OOC: This is an eariler piece of fiction that I wrote over at Pan Historia. This post was to have taken place during the Fae Wars that Faelyn /Fanny often refers to, long before she had met Hsu Danmei or was married to her husband, the Comte de Rochefort. Faelyn describes it as: “a time when the very fabric of the World was in danger of being rent apart.” It does not play into any timeline or RP currently being undertaken by Mun or Muse here on LJ. It’s just a way to keep my posting requirements up and a record of what I have written in more than one place. 😉
“You are certain?” I asked, my voice was hollow, numb.
“There can be no doubt,” Lord Albion Sage had said, his voice and expression grave, “though the images were allowed by the Prince, he was sure to show us all, and he was gloating with pride. It took a little work for me to discover if these were true images, but I’m afraid, my Lady, they were.”
“This news is very ill, Lord Albion Sage,” Nuada said.
Lord Albion Sage inclined his head and backed away. What happened next is a blur to me. I only saw crimson before my eyes. The sting of betrayal incites rage so deep and consuming within the soul of a Fae that if left unchecked could render to waste all that is in its path. No words can adequately describe the sheer scathing heat of the Goblin King’s betrayal of me – and worse, of my Island and its People to Prince Itet. I had been betrayed and the Goblin King had in one moment rendered himself forsworn.
A rising tide of nausea licked at me at the sheer disgust that mingled with my rage with the news from Lord Albion Sage. I had considered agreeing to the proposal of being Tjaled’s wife!. Certainly even before betrayed my trust he would have been planning this act of deception. Over a century of friendship, now gone.
A page came in with a tray with goblets and cool water and wine. He stopped before me and I took a goblet of wine. I swallowed a very large mouthful of it, but it all tasted like dust; the dust of despair and defeat. In a rage I threw it. The contents spilled all over the table the floor, looking very much like the stain of blood – the blood of my people that must even now be staining the sacred stones of the Fortunate Island.
“This affront will not be forgiven!” I proclaimed, “For meillenia the sacred shores of the Fortunate Island have never been attacked!” My breathing was laboured, I was about to storm out of the room, to find my armour, to put on my mail and gird myself with a sword and any other weapon I could find to go back and defend my homeland, when a strong hand restrained me. I looked up at the hand that dared to touch my person into the eyes of Nuada.
“No,” his eyes filled with the empathy that he had also lost a great deal in this fight, “it will not be forgiven, my Lady.” He then turned to the others in the chamber and spoke softly, “Leave us.”
What words and what actions can soothe a raging heart? What strength and demeanor can ease the bitter fruits of defeat in war? King Nuada must surely have known the answer to these questions for my anger was abated, if only long enough to give me the hesitance to think. Yet in his arms, I could not think. When was it, I wondered, that I decided that I loved him? When was it when I discovered that I would follow him through the Seven Realms of Existence and beyond if need be? If there was ever a doubt before, those doubts were erased when he soothed me with a kiss.
I was no weak queen, and Nuada knew this. If anyone could give me pause to think strategically rather than tactically and reactively, he could. With Nuada she could be herself, be unafraid of the Council on the Fortunate Island – and where were they now? Had Itet put them to the sword? Had his minions tortured them? How much blood would have to be washed away from the sacred swords where no innocent blood had ever been spilt?
With the arrival of Nuada’s daughter, Adrasteia, things seemed even more tenuous. Surely the High King had many children throughout the Realms of existence, but this one watched me with cautious eyes – as if she were expecting me to be true to my Unseelie blood and to recant the allegiance that I had already pledged to her father.
My thoughts were a’tumble as I wrote in my book careful to keep it hidden by magic. It was the one thing that bound me to my Island and my people. I fingered pages of my grimoire, or what some would call my grimoire. Its pages were of fine paper, some of vellum, perhaps a page or two of actual parchment. One could spend months or even years analysing each even before gleaning any wisdom from the contents. I confess that sometimes I made cert to sometimes write in English, at other times in what appeared to be Scots Gaelic and yet another related tongue. There was French and even some runic scripts of various types and other codes of my own making. It was an incredible work of devotion; a devotion to Nature, to botanical illustrations, to natural sciences as well as alchemy and other things that could have been construed as mystical or even magical.
I would have to use the book and soon in order to open the doorway in order to get us back to the Island? But what waited for us there?
The plan of Adriel was ambitious as well as dangerous. This group of people that Nuada had assembled around him have never ceased to amaze me. I looked down and out at the grounds beneath me, the leaves swirled in a small whirlwind, the first advance team for the invasion of my Homeland was about to begin. We, all of us in this place of Dover bound together. I was so far removed from home, I thought, and what was worse, through my own folly I was here now, an exile, cut off from my own people. Who knew what Prince Itet was even now doing to my servants and the priestesses that served there on the Fortunate Isle?
The truth was, I did know. I had heard the reports that had been whispered among my generals and those of Jareth’s Goblins. Every one of them were ever-so-careful not to say so loudly enough that I could hear, but I had overheard. The tortures of Itet and his minions and even their resorting to outright cannibalism were meant, I knew, to shock me and to incite me to mindless rage. What Itet and Jareth nor anyone else had counted upon was my rage was less directed at them and more directed at myself. I had to prove myself as their High Lady and Queen once again. Internally I vowed that if it took my last breath, I would do so.
“You will want to reach the Scryer’s Pool . It is deep within the walls of the Castle,” I had explained to the Selkie sorceress known as Dyfri, “There are a myriad of passages leading from the Tor to this place, and you could all well become lost if you do not follow my instructions exactly. These were created to precisely to prevent what it is that we are attempting now. If you or any of your team gets lost, even with their abilities, they could well die there.”
“I understand, Lady,” the sorcereress nodded, “and you know the direct path.”
“I do,” I nodded, opening a wooden chest on the low table in my makeshift chamber, Within it’s scented depths I pulled out a scroll and laid it out before us, “There are a series of wards that are nearly as old as the Island itself,” I explained, “There is one, marked with this seal, I pointed to an illustration on the scroll, it was a ninefold star. “There are others marked with ten or even eight, be ‘cert that it is the nine. Not even Itet will know of it, because they do not have the eyes to perceive of it.”
The Selkie made careful note and then bowed low, “We will follow your instructions exactly, Lady,” she said. Dyfri turned to go but something in me called out after her.
“My sincerest hopes and my gratitude go with all of you,” I said, feeling the lump gather in my throat. As she left me, I turned to look back out over those that were setting out on the mission. The cold never seemed so noticible as it was in that moment. I was about to shrug my cloak over my shoulders when I felt a warm hand place itself near the curve of my neck. Startled, I turned to stare up into the eyes of King Nuada. I felt my heart tighten at the sight of him. He wrapped his arms around me and I leaned into his touch.
“Your sincerest hopes will bear them up, Faelyn “ his deep voice that resonated through his chest was reassuring, “ I give you my word as King of the Seelie that we shall restore your rights as High Lady and drive Itet from your lands.”
All that I knew in that moment is that Nuada’s body was warm and I hungered for it. I followed the warmth that I found there.
Muse: Fanny Fae / Faelyn
Fandom: Original Character / Folklore / Mythology
Word Count: 1545