Today is of the Cycle Of The Seventh Moon.
Current Season & Month:  , Year: 543 A.R. (ref)

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The Northern Forest Road

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Duilliath
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The Northern Forest Road ran from the old Kingdom of the Reach and its major town. When The Reach was absorbed by the kingdom of Amenee, the Road, which traveled a perilous route into the heart of the Rosewood gradually fell into disuse.  

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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Duilliath
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OOC: Duilliath from the Tumbledown Bridge over the River Ahvinn - [Northbound]

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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Duilliath
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Baoun, The Cat 🐈‍⬛ 

OOC: From the Tumbledown Bridge Over the River, Ahvinn

The indomitable ur-Feline rode at Doré’s saddlebow and kept a watchful eye on the trail ahead and beside them.

Surely the foolish Sidhe could manage to guard their back, unfortunately between the horse hooves trailing through the dried leaves and the Sidhe’s humming, they were likely alerting every foe in earshot.

The Sidhe’s voice was rather nice, he was clearly humming a song of praise to all things Cat.

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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Duilliath
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The Sidhe, Duilliath 

Along the path he trod watching ahead and behind for hazards: he seldom felt the aches and infirmity of his [by most standards] advanced age.  He noticed more acutely the scarring on his spirit.  Oh, aye, the presence of Doré was a balm for that, there was no end to the benefit of the adoration of a good woman.  While he walked, his dark gaze was seemingly everywhere and nowhere. It was quite challenging to know exactly where he was looking… eyes without pupillary contrast would do that.

Gods alone knew what Doré saw when she looked into them: the eyes were the window to the Soul, it was said.  He did not have one, in the strictest reading. Did she see only a void?  He hoped not.

The Sidhe feared little, save elf-shot and  The Nathair.

He was, however, afraid that when she looked into his eyes that she saw Nothing.

 

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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Duilliath
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Baoun

The ur-Cat spent the early part of the the peering over the horse’s next using his physical senses and at last, he used his other ur-senses as well.

”You know, Duilliath, we are not alone.”

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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Absynthe
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No Widows About This Wood

The gait of her horse was lulling, with a bold moggie aloft, and a Sidhe to her side. How greatly had fortune smiled upon her whilst searching for her mistress. She glanced sidelong at Duilliath, but did not disturb him as he wore his thoughts as a cloak around him at the moment.

Once more she thought of Syn, and all of the adventures they'd had together. To be certain some had been but child's play, but she was a child no longer. On more than a handful of occasions, they had slipped away from their wandering-eyed guardian to the Red Swan Tavern. She hummed the tune under her breath, and casting a minxish smile at her companion on foot, she sang: 

"High atop a lonely moor, a Widow lived alone.
An Inn she kept, and as she slept,
her pillow heard her moan:
“Oh, many’s the lonely traveler
has spent the night with me,
but there’s no a man in all creation
gives content to me!

“Well, some can manage once or twice,
and some make three or four;
but it seems to me a rarity
is the man who can do more.
I’d do anything to find him,
in Heaven or in Hell.”
And as she spoke these words,
sure, she heard her front door bell.

And the wind blew cold and lonely
across that Widow’s moor,
and she never, ever turned away
a traveller from the door.

So boldly ran the Widow,
and the door did open wide,
and as she did, a tall and handsome
stranger stepped inside.
Well, she gave him bread and brandy,
and when that he was fed,
he said, “My dear, now have no fear;
it’s time to come to bed.

“For I’ve heard your plea
right down below,
and I’ve come to see you right.
But you must come to Hell with me
if I can last the night.”
She said, “You randy Devil!
To this bargain I’ll agree,
for Hell on Earth, or Hell in Hell,
it’s all the same to me!”

And the wind blew cold and lonely
across that Widow’s moor,
and she never, ever turned away
a traveller from the door.

Now, as they tumbled in the bed,
the Devil, he proved well…
and he thought before the night would end
that she’d be in his Hell.
Ah, but when they came to number nine,
the Widow cried out, “More!”
And when the twelfth time came around,
the Widow cried, “Encore!”

At twenty-five the Devil
felt compelled to take a rest,
but the Widow cried,
“Come raise your head,
and put me to the test!”
At sixty-nine, the Widow laughed.
“Again! Again!” she cried,
and the Devil said,
“Well, I can see just how your husband died!”

And the wind blew cold and lonely
across that Widow’s moor,
and she never, ever turned away
a traveller from the door.

At ninety-nine, the Devil
he began to wail and weep.
He said, “I’ll give you anything,
if you’ll let me go to sleep!”
But before the morning light was up,
the Devil hobbled home,
and the Widow, still not satisfied,
once more was left alone.

She lay there on her pillow
and she thought on ninety-nine.
“It’s a pity that poor old Devil
couldn’t manage one more time!
I’ll call him up again tonight
to see what can be done –
with a little more application,
we could make it to the ton!”

But when she called to him that night,
no Devil did appear.
For the first time in Eternity,
the Devil, he shook with fear.
He said, “Of all the torments
I’ve witnessed here in Hell,
I never knew what pain was,
’til I rang your front door bell!”

She finished on a gleeful note, then she flung a challenging look at Duilliath, "I hope you shall ne'er leave me without you. I do not think Baoun would approve were I to take the Devil to bed rather than you, Heartling."

 

* Song credit Mick Ryan, "The Widow's Promise."

This post was modified 9 months ago by Absynthe

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The Naithair

“Now isn’t this just precioussss?  Adorrrrable… the pair of you.

I know you are weak, Walker Under the Eaves.  I smell your weakness in the aether.  Now I see you have a new weakness; oh… don’t deny it. I know it, even when I cannot see you.

How long, do you think, before I find you? 

Do you hear that? Already my pet is seeking you out.”

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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Duilliath, Dorcha agus amhras

The Sidhe smiled at the lass' song, and he found himself stepping lively to its jaunty air.  It was an old tavern song, in the old days, it was sung slower, as a 'lay', although it was entirely what the song remained.   He appreciated the artistic irony of it.  As she had found the rhythm and the he had even danced one half a reel as they walked.  He did not stumble once, but seemed to grow straighter and taller because of the presence of her music. 

There was even more irony, for the widow she sang of in such a carefree manner had at one time been a real person - possessed by a devil, it had not gone well for her.  A stake and oiled timber were her reward. It was not fair, but it was what happened.

Still, time puts a different glaze on everything.  Old trauma becomes drama, becomes comedy and becomes farce.  That was how Humanity dealt with their fears and powers beyond their own.  Why, his own kith had been relegated to mound-dwelling tricksters that blessed gardens and such, according to their own Tales.  He was a living contradiction.  He relished that.

"Bravo, Maith Tu!," he called as she finished, and as she added her teasing gibe at the end, he smiled broadly.  Unseen, he made a sign of protection for her, it was never always guaranteed that calling on the devils of the world would not bring them. "I had not dreamed you had such a lovely singing voice... it has a pleasant timbre for a great many things," here he winked one dark eye, for she had run through her range with him before, "but I had no thought to know it was so melodic.  I'm in awe."

Dark things always listened, though. 

While his protection shielded her, it drew the Naithair Sgiathach's pedantic lecturing. Still smiling, he sighed as the Other Voice went through its diatribe.  When it was done, he closed the door on it and gestured toward the road.  

"Here of old dwelt the Horsefolk, Centaurs of the Stonehoof Band.  There may be those descendants still about."

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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                                                      His Eyes Have It

At his words, Doré's lips parted in brief astonishment, and then she laughed with rich glee. "I am pleased to know my voice on this day has redeemed its self over the shoddy performance of my nightingale voice." Once again she laughed, but ended it by sticking out her tongue at him. "Centaurs do sound promising, though," she concluded.

As hoped, his eyes smiled in a subtle, but lovely way. The wonderful thing about his eyes, were that they were like no others she had ever seen--each and every time she looked at them. He gave her a curious look, and she realized she was staring at his eyes.

"Your eyes--they are magnificent. One time I look, I see a velvet-strewn moonless sky. The next, I see that shadowed spot beneath a waterfall, and you just know something special is there. So I shall forever be gazing at them, finding new reasons to look again."


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Duilliath
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Duilliath Suilleach - the Dark Eyed

The Sidhe smiled at her words, looking at her with a bit of …. What was it?  How was it that she knew what he needed to hear?

A lucky guess?

The intuition of a wise and sensitive woman?

Divine or Diabolic inspiration?

Though she sang casually of relations with infernal powers, he knew she did not mean it.

What then?  It could not be prolepsis, could it? If so, what other latent skills might she have woken?

That was the thing, wasn’t it?  The longer she spent around Sidhe, the more Sidhe-like she would become.  They had been close, but she had only known him for a handful of days.  What did it mean that she responded to his touch so readily?

He laughed in response, walking closer to touch her fingers with his own.  “Best watch that tongue, a crow might take it away.”  But he kissed the back of her hand and then as she leaned from the horse, gave her a better, warmer kiss. 

He took advantage of the moment to whisper.  “They are all around us.  Do not move suddenly.”

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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                                               You Inquired?

She would have scoffed at his remark about the crow, but the kiss upon her hand, followed by the one on her lips caused all thoughts of birds to take flight. His voice, soft, low--and urgent? What was it he was saying? Slowly, her mind fumbled and tumbled its way back to attention.

Who was around them? Doré  had not heard anything amiss, but of course, whilst kissing Duilliath, what female would have been listening to anything other than the beating of her own heart?

Marigold whickered and stamped a black-stockinged foreleg. Doré gave her Sidhe the briefest of nods and turned very, very slowly and carefully to discern who.


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Duilliath, a Word of Caution 

“A grha, the nearest approaches,” he took advantage of their closeness and kissed the corner of her mouth.

Baoun, she may note, had crouched down behind Marigold’s fine neck.

There was a soft scraping, a hoof against the moss-covered stone.

“Oortreders, hoekom het julle na ons bos gekom?” *

* Trespassers, why have you come to our wood?

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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The Stonehoofs

The way ahead, the visible way ahead, was blocked by a pair of creatures.  Another had come up behind. They stood passively, but were at high alert.

Their leader, a female, stood a bit closer and gestured at them with her spear. 

“Oortreders, hoekom het julle na ons bos gekom?”

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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Duilliath, Oil on the Waters

The Sidhe disengaged from the horse and rider. He turned an extended his hands forward, empty. 

There were strange marks upon them, Doré noted, but The Sidhe was speaking to the centaurs in a reassuring manner.

”Greetings to the… ah… Stonehooves. I am pleased beyond pleased that I have found my way to you once more.”

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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Duilliath
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The Stonehoofs

The centaur at the center of the phalanx gestured for the tall and lean figure to halt. 

He *Felt* familiar, awakening some kind of racial memory in her.  “You said… you have come again.  When did you come here last? Why have you come?”

There was some agitation in them.  It was a dangerous moment.

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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