Éilís Mór (pronounced "ale-ish-more") is an isolated Irish island. The island host the Cronemeadan, a prehistoric huge hole in the ground near an ancient Roman ruin, that is thought to be linked to The Veil.
The island appear as rounded, rocky and low populated, probably located in the Irish Sea. The hinterland consist in hills, while at the island's centre there is a large marsh. The only inhabitated part of Éilís Mór is a small village, dominated by the Donnán manor, house of the community leader Lord Donnán. Other sites of interests are the Cronemeadan, situated on the hills of the west side of the island, and the ruins of an abbey at the north of it. There is also a lighthouse, that became inactive and ruined, for the indifference of the natives.
The Éilís Mór's past is very dubious, told by way of legends. The natives told that the Cronemeadan was the abode of a monster dragon-like creature, called "The Crooked One", also thinked to be the Devil himself. The locals, once ruled by a king, worshipped Lugh, the Gaelic god of the Sun and storms (sun's symbol could be found on the Cronemeadan). One of the legends of the island states that the last member of the Laidcend family challenged the Crooked One while wearing iron. Because beings of the Other Side detest iron, the Crooked One did not respond immediately. But a few days after the challenge, the solitary house of the Laidcends was set ablaze by the demon. This probably ended the lineage of the Laidcends.
The island inhabitants are very superstitious and believe their island has a strong connection with the spirit realm. They believe that at certain times the connection becomes very strong and that spirits will pass the village by in large numbers. In order to not be noticed by the spirits, the villagers dress up as monsters. This ritual is called the Festival of Reunion and is very similar to Halloween. Villagers also bury their mirrors close to old Fearnóg trees. They believe mirrors have captured their essence and will reveal their identity to the spirits. Villagers should however not stay to long near Fearnóg trees. The resin scent that comes from the trees attract spirits.
Another superstition is that villagers believe the marsh is inhabited, by creatures called marsh dwellers. These goblin-like creatures want nothing more than to lure unknowing villagers into the marsh.
Shortly before his death, Kaufmann tells Wakefield by letter that Professor Wright discovered that an island named Éilís Mór hosts an ancient site linked to The Veil. Months later, Wakefield travel to the remoted island to find some informations about the Veil. First, he meet the local landlord and leader, Lord Donnán, who reveal himself as an antiques collectors, especially Roman statues and monuments. Lord Donnán reveal some local legends, and inform Wakefield that he didn't known much of them, in spite of Miss Foster, the old local teacher.
Wakefield learn by Miss Foster the legends about the Cronemeadan, the Crooked One and the Festival of Reunion, also revealing the tragic end of the Laidcend family and the disappearence of Lord Donnán's son, Kieran, few weeks ago. Visiting the island, Wakefield discover more about the local folklore,a nd understand that the natives are hiding something to him. During his researches, he learn that the last Laidcend, Brighid, discovered something of terrible about her family, and after a visit in the family crypt, under the ruined abbey, she apparently died in a fire, that also destroyed her house.
As the chapter proceed, all the inhabitants disappear excepts for a mysterious masked figure, who guide Wakefield to discover the Laidcend crypt. At the end, the terrible truth is revealed in the Máire Laidcend's coffin: the deformed skelton of Máire herself, who appears as a bird-like creature. After that, Wakefield is closed inside the crypt by someone, causing a total darknes who left him enter in Zha'ilathal, situated in the Veil.
The secret of the island is revealed: the natives of Éilís Mór worship the Crooked One (probably the Simurg, another Veil's creature or simply their idealization of the Veil). They sacrificed some inhabitants putting them inside the Cronemeadan (a passage to the Veil), consenting them to experence the primal terror and enter in Zha'ilathal. However, probably unknown to the natives, people could return from the Veil but usually transformed in monsters, like happened to Máire Laidcend and Hugo Ashdown. It's implicit that the islanders confused their victims to the Other Side creatures themselves.
To avoid the exposition of the cult, the villagers left the lighthouse ruined, so the island would been isolated, and probably burned alive Birghid in her house with all possible proofs (in reality hided in the undamaged cellar). They also invented parts of the legends to hide to the rare visitors the truth. It's also implicit that Kieran was the masked figure, who hide his monstruous nature coming out only during the Festival masked ironically as a monster. Like Kieran's father rule the island, it's possible that he simply accidentally fell in the Cronemeadan and returned transformed.
- The island and the story of the chapter 7 are based on the 1973 mystery horror film The Wicker Man. References include the possibility to find four wicker men in all island, burned by someone or something, and the name of Christopher Lee (actor in the movie) in the Laidcend crypt.
- Clues about Éilís Mór's secret cult are occult books in the school and a crucifix left to rot in the marsh