[In this story Brean has had his nights disturbed by a recurring dream. He has sought the advice of their Leannán Sidhe, to assist in deciphering its meaning.
The Brean character is used with permission of the character’s player. ]
The woman sits upon her throne, her dress, gossamer, flowing about her body, enhancing her natural exotic, inhuman beauty.
Smiling demurely, “What brings you to my court this day Breandán O’Neil?” A mischievous smile tickles her lips as she raises an amused brow, “Your family’s stipend is not anticipated for a number of weeks. But if you wish to make due now. I’m sure I could find time to accommodate you and … Will your lovely wife be joining us?”
Her expression suggests it’s obvious that she knows Breandán has requested an audience alone.
The man, Breandán, stands silently before her. They have played this game many times before. He’s dressed in a plain kilt and a white shirt with the sleeves rolled up to above the elbow.
He smiles a little, chuckling softly and shakes his head in answer to her question.
“Leannán Sidhe … My Lady … Majesty, “As much as I’d enjoy … prepaying our stipend.” His expression is now more grave, “I’m … I’m hoping you can help me with something. I’ve been having an unusual dream most nights for the last two weeks. It’s the exact same dream … It is unchanging … I can recite what is said, word for word.”
There is a short pause as he sorts his thoughts, “It is not a fearful dream … But it’s one full of sadness. I don’t know how I know, but it’s not about me and Aath … but still, it sort of is.”
He purses his lips, pausing again, “I want to describe it to you … but I doubt my words can do it justice … But I’ll try. I think I need to find its meaning, before I worry the lass … Considering.”
The Fae Queen sits back a little, her eyes sparkling with interest.
“You think the dream, while not directly about our Aath … is still related to her in some way? And that it doesn’t feel threatening, while carrying great sadness. I am enthralled. Try and describe to me this dream. Leave nothing out. The smallest detail may hide the solution.”
Brean smiles and nods, “ I will try My Lady.” He takes a second to order his thoughts, “In it, I’m dying … Understand, I know it’s not me … but I’m seeing, feeling it as if I was the one dying. I’m old … ancient … I just know I’ve lived for hundreds of years, possibly millennia. I also know that while I have the form of a human … I’m not.”
He takes a breath before continuing, “I also know I haven’t suffered violence or illness … It’s just old age. At the same time … it’s not natural.”
“Like I said, I know it’s not me … but I can feel his weakness, his pain, the horror of feeling like I was too weak to breathe. But worse, the terrible grief knowing he will be leaving his love behind and there’s nothing he can do about it.’
A tear has slid from the corner of his eye and run down his cheek. He gently and unashamedly wipes his eyes, “Just thinking about this causes those feelings to return as if they are mine.”
Catching a slight sob and momentarily squeezing his eyes before looking back to the Queen, “I’ve got ahead of myself … I should describe where I am and who I’m with … I’m on a large comfortable bed and my hand is being held by an equally ancient woman, who is weeping. I know she’s not human either. I also somehow know that these two should never have been together … bonded I mean. I …”
Before he can continue the Queen interjects, “Breandán … Leannán, you and your wife, indeed all your family are dear to me. I will help and the price will not be steep.” It is now she who pauses to collect her thoughts, “There may be a way I can see what you see, feel what you feel.” she again pauses a moment, “But it involves magic, intrusive magic.”
Before he can interject with an answer, she holds up a silencing finger, “Before you agree. Know that you will have to allow my mind to enter some of the most private parts of your mind. None of your secrets will be hidden should I pry, and I will not!” She takes a small breath, “It’s not harmful in any way. Further, if I cannot help you, I will waive the price.”
Brean smiles “Leannán Sidhe, you have earned our trust many times over … what do I need to do?”
She smiles with genuine affection and stands holding out her hand to the Irishman adding a teasing “Just behave!”. She leads him to a divan and lays him down before joining him.
“Just relax, you need to do nothing but release yourself to my care.”
Pressed close to him, he can feel the softness of her body and the warmth of her breath on his neck as she gently feathers fingers over his face and brow. Closing his eyes tenderly, her lips brush softly against his neck as she starts to whisper arcane words of power. He sleeps.
Her incantation continues and while her mind remains alert, she joins his slumber.
Resting the heel of her palm between his eyes, her fingers splayed out across his forehead. Her incantation changes subtly as the power summoned changes from one inducing somnolence to that of a psychic probe. This probe delves into the matrix of Brean’s temporal lobe, searching out his dream centre buried deeply in a structure called The Hippocampus. True to his words, she finds there are no barriers to inhibit her search.
True to her words, her search is only directed to the dream he has been experiencing. It’s easy to find, the memory of it strong in his mind. Despite not actively looking for anything other than the dream … another particular memory is prevalent. Something she doesn’t explore. Her word had been given, it will have to wait and be investigated later.
The incantation then melds her consciousness with his and she finds herself experiencing what is happening from the perspective of the same ancient being that Brean had described. Just like Brean, she knows it’s not her but she too can feel the beings’ malaise, his pain, his weariness and his grief.
Her whispers continue as she closes her eyes and she allows the dream that Brean has been experiencing these last two weeks, to play out before her.
The fog that has clouded his mind clears a little, his attention drawn to soft sobs. The usual panic that accompanies his waking is missing. Ever since they had fled the planes they had lived with the fear that despite the powerful incantations of obfuscation, their hiding place may have been discovered. He felt so weak, so tired. He was dying and he knew it.
Drawing a wheezing, laboured breath he opens his eyes, his mind calms as he looks into the eyes of the one he’d loved for years beyond counting. But he was so tired, his eyes closing unbidden. He knows his time is short and he takes a few shallow, but difficult breaths to steal himself. With one last force of will, he tries to open his eyes. Even then he can only manage to open them a crack.
His once commanding voice now only able to deliver a soft gasping whisper, “I love you … with all my being … and I always have … I always will … I have no regrets … I would do it all again … in a heartbeat.”
The woman sobs but manages to give the familiar reply to his ‘I love you’, “I will always love you too, my angel, my love.”
Tears slowly roll from the corners of his eyes as weariness overtakes him and they close. He doesn’t think he has the strength to open them again.
Not much longer now, he would have to leave his love. He could feel the familiar touch of her hand as she held his. He can feel the warmth of her tears as they fall onto his hand and face, bathing him with her love. The scent of her fills and comforts his being. He can hear her stifled sobs as she wills him not to go. But after centuries of mortal life, it was his time to pay the price of their freedom.
As life starts to flee his ancient body, his mind wanders a little.
For the zillionth time he goes over what he and his love had planned so carefully, so long ago. What they had sacrificed so much for, for what their loyal followers had sacrificed so much for.
His mind drifts one last time to that turbulent period near the end of what is now called the First Age.
There is a near blinding flash, bringing the Queen to full alert. It’s only the power of her spell that leaves Brean sleeping peacefully.
She lies quietly reviewing all she saw and what she learned. Her sight showed her more than what the large man could possibly have seen. Even that was partially obscured by some powerful spell of obfuscation, the likes and strength of which she had never encountered before.
While appearing human, the characters of the dream were not, despite their physical appearance. Nor were they the same. There was also the sense that they should not have been, not a couple anyway. This was despite the evidence that they had been bonded for a seriously long time.
Her share of the dream ended with a powerful lightning like flash. Within the brightness lay a vague image. She knew this would be significant, but had no idea how.
With the man, her sight hinted at something. Something that had once been powerful, the exact nature of the power was unclear, covered by another powerful spell of obfuscation. There was a ‘tarnished’ brightness about him, perhaps the power of the cloaking spell weakened by his closeness to death.
The truth of the woman was harder to see, she was not yet nearing her death and the spell protecting her was strong. Still it was obvious she wasn’t human either. The shade behind, also greatly hidden by the spell, indeed at being beautiful but in a somewhat jarring way.
What was glaringly obvious to the Fae Queen was that this dream was not natural. It had been triggered by some power. She as yet didn’t know its origin nor understand its purpose.
To her side the large Irishman stirs. He and his wife had been her friends and sometimes lovers since they had moved to this secluded Island off the coast of Ireland. She kisses him gently on the cheek before standing and offering her hand to assist him.
She continues to hold his hand as he sits on the edge of the divan, “Leannán, you have brought me a mystery and given me much to think on.” Pursing her lips as she brings her thoughts together, “I don’t yet have an answer for you. I do agree this dream carries weight for both of you … particularly Aath.”
She watches him closely, “I can tell you that I don’t think this dream is natural.” She smiles, “Although I think you had already realised this and this is why you are here now. I don’t know what power has brought it to you nor its purpose.”
“Just before the dream ended there was a flash of light. Did you see that? More to the point, did you notice anything behind that flash?” Brean nods, “I saw the flash, but didn’t notice anything hidden by it.”
■■■■■■■■ her lips up slightly, a small show of frustration, “I thought I saw some shape, some symbol … I just can’t decipher the significance … I will need some time to think.” She smiles again, “I think one of the things I’ll need to think about is the something you’ve not yet presented. You said earlier you didn’t want to worry the lass, considering?”
Brean looks at the Lady, expression neutral, then smiles softly, “Aye Majesty … She has dreamed as well. I didn’t think the dreams were related by more than timing. But maybe they are?”
The Queen nods still holding his hand gently, “Tell me of Aath’s dream.”
((This dream can be found in the story Origin Stories - Dreams Of Lofn))