Each of the three novels that make up The Prodigal Band Trilogy has at least one seemingly random or even somewhat meaningless event that would, likely at the conclusion of the novel, play a key role in the overall spiritual climax of the novel and the trilogy as a whole. The first snippet post in this topic comes from the first novel in the trilogy, Battle of the Band.
When I incorporated this event that just popped into my head, an event in Chapter Four that is somewhat based on the seemingly endless ‘war’ between British troops in Northern Ireland (aka Ulster) and the Irish Republican Army (IRA) that pretty much concluded in the late 90s (or just went underground so to speak), I figured, before creating the final version of the novel in 1995 for publication in 1996, that it was just some random novel event that would not have broader implications as to the novel’s climax. But what makes up this snippet set does indeed play a key role at the climactic event ending the novel; while suffering a mild heart attack and in a state of physical coma yet spiritually existing in a void where good vs. evil reigns, the prodigal band’s bassist, Keith, is visited by two deceased ‘gang brothers’ who deliver to the bassist a powerful message.
Before I get to the snippets, let’s review what this Northern Ireland conflict was about. It was mostly nationalistic what with Ireland having separated as a Republic in the early 1920s from the United Kingdom (of Great Britain and Ireland), but most Americans anyway were ‘told’ that it was mostly a Catholic vs. Protestant issue, which according to events summarized in this Wikipedia post, was not the main cause of the conflict. It wasn’t just Protestants that wanted to stay in the UK and it wasn’t just Catholics that wanted to join Ireland; mostly, it was nationalistic mixed with politics between the Irish Sinn Fein (Provisional IRA) and the Ulster pro-Britain political groups, while Catholics did tend to support the IRA and while Protestants tended to support the UK. The roots of this conflict go back to the early 1600s when mostly Scots from the southern portion of Scotland moved to northern Ireland and were given ‘plantation’ land rights, lands that may have been stolen from the native Irish (and these Scots eventually would make up what became known as the Scots-Irish, many of whom wound up in what would become the USA in the 1600s and 1700s as indentured servants (note: I am part Irish and part Scots-Irish, as well as part German). Oh, and I was once Catholic as well! Still, I didn’t really support one side or the other, for the most part. Starting in the late 1980s, both sides apparently tried to end the conflict, which didn’t end until the late 90s; cease-fires began to happen throughout the mid-90s.