Once Upon A Time There Were Three Brothers...

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This is a canon-in-training article. Information in this article is subject to change before it becomes canon.

"Once Upon A Time There Were Three Brothers..." is a piece of prose fiction written by Greg Weisman in 1997 about the death of Maol Chalvim I and his sons: Duff, Kenneth II and Prince Malcolm, as well as the usurping Indulf and Culen. As an Ask Greg exclusive, it was updated whenever Greg Weisman was inspired or if the mood struck him. [1][2]

The story is meant to serve as a prequel to Gargoyles: The Dark Ages. In 2003, Greg considered it to be his first “attempt at Fan Fiction.” [3]



In 954, King Maol Chalvim I of Scotland lies on his deathbed and asks his two sons, Duff and Kenneth II, to support each other and to protect Katharine, his third wife, and her expecting child. The brothers vow to do so and later travel to bury their father at Iona. While the brothers mourn, their cousin, Indulf, crowns himself King on the Stone of Scone after making alliances and gathering troops. Duff and Kenneth II are ready to challenge his claim until word breaks that Indulf also has Katharine (and soon after, her newborn son, Malcolm) in his custody, insuring the two brothers won’t attack.


In 962, King Indulf’s rule has grown unpopular and Katharine hatches a plan to escape Edinburgh Castle with her eight year-old son Malcolm. Sneaking the details of the plan out of the castle (through her son’s peasant friend Robbie) Duff and Kenneth II agree to it. Duff and Kenneth II soon march to Edinburgh and demand Indulf’s unconditional surrender. Indulf’s upper hand is shaken when only Katharine is found. When his son, Culen, returns from his search of the castle with no sign of Malcolm, Katharine orders the King to open the gates and let Duff and his troops in. That, or see her jump from the tower, robbing Indulf of both his hostages. Indulf ultimately abdicates and he and his son are granted safe passage to Ireland. Katharine and Robbie race to the castle’s small cemetery, unearthing a buried-alive (with wooden breathing tube) Malcolm. Finally free, Malcolm meets his older brothers.


In 967, King Duff’s reign is a peaceful one but, now old and with no son as heir, the situation is uncomfortable at best. Thirteen year-old Prince Malcolm is riding along the coastline with his old childhood friend, (now Corporal) Robbie, curious about a local gargoyle rookery. As they hear the clan waking up from their stone sleep, the two see a fleet of Culen’s ships approaching the shore. They race back to the castle to alert Duff just as he and Kenneth II are celebrating the birth of the King’s new heir, Kenneth III. Duff rallies a small army and meets Culen’s forces at Gaine. After two days of fighting Duff is betrayed and killed by one of his guardsmen. Kenneth II takes his surviving family into Northern England. On the journey, Katharine falls ill and dies.


In 971, news that King Culen finally has an heir to the throne, Constantine, reaches Prince Malcolm and his family in Northern England. Now seventeen, Malcolm convinces Kenneth II to fight for Duff’s crown, arguing that if the two of them don’t deal with Culen now, Malcolm’s young nephews Maol Chalvim II and Kenneth III will one day feel compelled to confront Constantine. Kenneth II begins securing allies in Scotland, but realizes he’s going to require additional – and powerful – support. Malcolm and Lieutenant Robbie soon slip into Scotland and arrive at Wyvern Hill. They come across a young gargoyle sentry (that remembers Robbie), who leads them to the rookery to meet the clan’s leader.

To Be Continued . . . with Gargoyles: The Dark Ages

Part Five initially planned to cover what life at the rookery was like before Castle Wyvern was built. Three years after Part Four was released, Greg remarked that the story was still “unfinished.” [4] Seven months later though he rambled that it better served as a prequel, writing, "the last posted chapter of three brothers wound up being the last chapter of that little story period. Because '3Bros' really wound up being just a prologue to DARK AGES. And where '3Bros' leaves off is in fact right at the beginning of where DARK AGES begins." [5]

See Also