Set During the Fae Wars…many, many years ago…

Queen Aisling, the wife of Nuada was dead. Killed by Prince Itet, the eldest and perhaps the least deserving of all of the children of the Queen of Air and Darkness.

The light of evening had begun to fade over the Fortunate Island. Noting that I had already accomplished a great deal of State correspondence that was pressing, I had but one last letter to write. I’faith, I confess, it was a letter that I was both looking forward to and dreading at the same time. I lit a single candle in my room and pulled a fresh piece of my stationery from the writing desk.


To His Divine Majesty, Nuada

Your Majesty:

There are no words sufficient that can adequately express my deep and heartfelt sadness and condolences for the terrible loss of Your Queen, Aisling. She was well known to Us and We consider her to be as Our Kin. I am deeply sorry for your loss. I can only offer this, an inadequate and what must seem to be a very small consolation to you.

This missive has been delivered to you by Gabriel himself, who is mostly, yet not completely healed of his wounds. He and my own apprentice, Cliodhna, spent a great deal of time pleading their case before me that he must be allowed to return to aid you once more in this conflict. It was only with great deal of thought and with deep reservations that I have allowed Gabriel to leave the Fortunate Island at all. I wish that I could be the one to return with him myself, however, I cannot leave my people, especially now that war has been declared. I will send whatever aid and assistance that you have need and as much as I am able to, my Lord. There is no need to tell you that I would ever wish it to be more than what it is. Word has come that the covetous eyes of the Unseelie are on the Fortunate Island even now. The lesser Sidhe princes among the Unseelie and in particular, Prince Tjeled have still not chosen a side in this conflict. I do not know what I could do, if anything, to convince him.

My thoughts and prayers are with you. May the great Goddess, and especially our Dannan ancestors guide us all in these hours and days ahead.

Your steadfast ally and friend,

Faelyn

With trembling hands I blotted the paper and folded it carefully. I lifted the sealing wax to the candle to heat it and dripped it upon the fold of the letter, affixing my seal to it. With a soft prayer I went to Gabriel’s room myself. Other than Gabriel, I was determined no other hands would touch it until at last it was placed into the hands of Nuada Himself.

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10 responses to “Set During the Fae Wars…many, many years ago…

  1. An Angry Proposal

    He had waited, waited too long for her to send word to him,. ’Arrogant bitch,” he thought as his barge pulled into the harbour of the Fortunate Island. He would arrive unannounced, but he could hardly be blamed now that war between the Seelie and the Unseelie kingdoms had broken out. Whatever little neutrality that existed in the world was quickly evaporating, and along with it was Tjaled’s patience.

    His booted foot hit the dock and he did not wait for his footman to follow, and did not even give the harbour master a cursory nod, but pushed past him and strode toward the cavernous, labyrinthine passages that wound beneath the castle where he would seek out the Lady Faelyn.

    ’Faelyn, Faelyn, Faelyn,” her name was a curse under his breath, the hard punctuation of his boots against the stone pavings of the subterranean cavern. Every guard that he encountered knew better than to stop the pricnce, for he had been given command by their High Lady, Faelyn, that he was to be able to pass to see her whenever he wished. With the war now, however, that order may change, especially with his brother, Itet vying for a place at the table in so audacious a manner. But, really, it did not matter. Soon he would be Lord of all of this place, and it would be his orders that these mindless underlings would obey. In time, if all went to plan, then all of the Unseelie Kingdoms, too, would fall into his hand, but he must be cautious. For this he would need to enlist the help of not only Faelyn, but an ancient commander of his armies that he had not seen in an age. No time to think of that now, though, he forced the thought back. He had to convince Faelyn that to follow Nuada was folly and that they had much greater things to accomplish in the grand scheme of things.

    When at last the tall, cloaked Sidhe prince found her, she was in her chamber pouring over her book as she always was, recording, always recording the events of her life. The bits and snippets that she collected, be they leaves or pieces of conversations that were memorable, she placed them all here. It was almost human of her, but then he had to remind himself, she was half human after all. When he entered the room, she had almost jumped and spilled the inkwell at her right hand. She was even more breathtaking now, he noted. Faelyn’s appearance of vulerability, he had to confess, appealed to him.

    “You come unannounced, my friend,” Faelyn said quietly, composing herself with as much dignity as she could muster, “the matter must be urgent or you would have sent word.” She capped the inkwell, set her pen aside and closed her book gently.

    Tjaled strode across the room and grabbed Faelyn by the arm roughly and brought her to stand before him. Her eyes were wide with horror at his sudden and rough treatment of her but soon her face flushed with indignance, “What is the meaning of this?” she protested.

    “I’m done waiting for you, Faelyn. I will not allow you to pledge your alliance to Nuada,” he growled, “not when I fully intend to ally you to myself. Stop pining for that worn-out pretender and think of the future for once!”

    • Re: An Angry Proposal

      I felt my face flush so hot that my ears burned. The anger that roiled in side of my blood burned almost as much as the flesh of my arm burned where Tjaled’s fingers dug through the fabric of my sleeve. We were alone in my sanctum. Tjaled was one of the few who had been accorded entrance there, and now I was left wishing that he nad never been allowed to enter.

      “What is the meaning of this?” I protested hotly, struggling against his grip. I could smell the sweet herbs that he always wore, but there was something else, something decidedly more sinister. This was not the Tjaled I had known for all these years. For months, leading up to the war he had been acting strangely.

      • Re: An Angry Proposal

        “I’m done waiting for you, Faelyn. I will not allow you to pledge your alliance to Nuada,” he growled in her ear, his breath hot against her neck, “not when I fully intend to ally you myself. Now stop pining for that worn-out pretender and think of the future for once!”

      • Re: An Angry Proposal

        I let out a hiss, “Do you mistake me for one of your maiden playthings that you set down in your kingdom and let run them run amok with promises of romance and adoration? Never in a million years did I think you would try such with me!”

      • Re: An Angry Proposal

        “No innocent maiden can tip the balance in this conflict, Faelyn.” Tjaled came closer and lifted his gloved fingers to caress her throat. Inwardly He felt her flinch, maybe even shiver at his touch. Gooseflesh began to rise on her skin, “and you are no maiden.” He grabbed the neckline of her gown and tore it in a single rough motion.

      • Re: An Angry Proposal

        Faelyn could hear the buttons fall around them, one of them bouncing across the floor to hit the metal of the candleabra that stood in the corner. He wrapped a free gloved hand through her hair and twined a hank of it around his hand, drawing her head back, exposing her throat. He kissed her neck and drew my earlobe into his lips and between his teeth. She felt herself stiffen as a bolt of real fear held her in its grasp.

        “And once you have taken that which you want, Tjaled, what will stop me from slitting your throat once the deed is done?” she spat struggling against him. But she was unable to get free.

      • Re: An Angry Proposal

        His only answer to her was a flash of a smile and a low chuckle.

        “That is what I’ve always loved about you, Faelyn,” he murmured into the flesh between her breasts, “You like to play at being the ever-dignified monarch, but deep down, beneath your Halfling skin your appetites are entirely Unseelie.”

      • Re: An Angry Proposal

        She bit into the curve where his shoulder and neck met. She could taste the metalic flavour of blood where her teeth had actually penetrated his flesh. With a growl he cast Faelyn away. She pulled the ragged remnants of her dress up over her breasts, breath heaving, “Unseelie or not, I think you had best leave, Tjaled,” she said, choking back the shock and shame of what had almost occured, “Save what you can of our friendship and get out!”

      • Re: An Angry Proposal

        But he didn’t leave. Instead he pursued her.

        He knew that she would fight back, even as he closed the distance between them. Tjaled’s were eyes cold and hard. He put gloved hand back over her throat, pressing his thumb into her neck until she gasped beneath his hand.
        Boundless pride, his arrogance had turned into something darker, more sinister. He drew his free hand, now somehow ungloved over her breast, circling the tip with his fingertips at the last moment he pinched the nipple causing her to gasp. He made a pleased sound as he pinned her easily between the stone wall and himself. As Tjaled expected, she did indeed struggle, throwing her entire weight against him but to no avail. The prince’s strength was undoubtedly greater than her own.

        Dipping his head down he kissed Faelyn, plunging his tongue into her mouth. She tried to bite but he pushed her roughly back into the wall so that the stone cut into her hip, bruising her. Suddenly, without warning, he broke the kiss off and released her, leaving her sputtering and spitting in his wake.

        He looked back at Faelyn with characteristic arrogance and gave her a smile, “Yes, Faelyn, I will have you, but it will be you who will ask me to come to you. In the meantime, my Lady, I am here to tell you that Nuada will meet his end in Callais….and there is nothing that you can possibly do about it.”

  2. Nuada stood at the side of his dead queen, the missive from the Lady Faelyn in his hand; his jaw clenched. The pain that was inside him was so great he could not even dare to express it for fear it would take a tangible shape and once loose would cause hardship and ire throughout the land. It was a beast. Instead he chained it, and hoped to keep it to shred with razor teeth the beast that was Itet. In all the history of time, of the time of the Elven Kings and Queens never had a creature risen from the hells of the Unseelie Court as vile as the Prince of Darkness. Rumors were that he had even slept with his own mother, and even know kept her a prisoner with spells, drugs, and a guard of corrupt courtiers. He had turned the Red King’s daughter, he had slain the fair Aisling, he sowed hatred and violence where ever he went and if he was allowed to carry out his plans he would cause the destruction of all. Nuada was sure of it.

    So even if Nuada desperately wished to join his Queen in the realms of the unliving he could not. It was his anointed task to protect reality, and to fight this one last great fight. Then he could rest. Before he could rest he would need strength and allies.

    He remembered the beauty and the strength of the Lady of the Fortunate Isles. He would take some comfort there.

    He wrote back:

    Madame,

    I implore you to come and join me. Bring troops, bring yourself. Do not leave your realm undefended, but sway Lord Tjaled if you can (though I suspect that is not to be from my intelligences). I have need of you in these hard times. I have need of your guidance and your faith.

    Yours,

    Nuada

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