Funeral Pyre

Sometimes, days just seem to merge together. Events, happenings, words heard and words said, jumbled together, imperfectly recalled like last night’s dreams. I guess this is what happens when you leave your diary behind in the sithen caves and forget to write in it daily. I shall get caught up eventually.  The days that passed after our visit to the Seelie sithen were interesting, if a little on the sad side.

I found Rachel by Ardan, armed with a trowel, wondering how she could repair the damage done by her tornado experiment. I gave her some advice about dealing with broken tree limbs and separating clumps of wild flowers to spread them out a bit to help cover the damaged ground. I guess the hours I spent with Mother, and Father, in the garden at home did teach me something after all. Rachel was wearing an interesting dress that seemed to be made largely of straps; yet, it conformed to the dress code that Gwyn had established, since it did cover her midriff. She called it finding a loophole, but I reckoned there were lots of loopholes, certainly in the dress itself.  She asked about magic and trees, so I had to explain that Ardan was somewhat of a special tree. We talked, I tried to be friendly, but it was hard work. She was somewhat upset that we hadn’t told her about the meeting the Valene, and it was hard to get the idea across that not everything had to involve her.  We spoke briefly about arranging a funeral for Paash, and I said I was trying to find a convenient moment to broach the matter with Aoibheann.  Aoibheann turned up shortly thereafter, singing and skipping. Apparently, the idea of meting out justice to Braeden had put her in a happy mood. I decided not to raise the matter of funerals for the moment.

As it turned out, we only had to wait a day or so to discuss the matter.  We were down by the bridge again, near Ardan, possibly because Aoibheann feels safer there.  I was trying to explain to Rachel how using wind magic to make herself fly gracefully like an eagle was impractical. She did not seem to understand that the wind speed needed to produce that much lift against the area of her feet was likely to be very difficult to control. I had to laugh to myself as I was explaining it, remembering how my tutor had almost despaired trying to explain how to calculate wind-loading on sails, back when I took my seamanship classes.

Anyway, somehow, we got onto the subject of arranging the funeral.  Aoibheann rightly pointed out that Paasheelu’s beliefs were that those of her kind were forged in fire by the Artisan, so it made sense to return her to fire.  So, I was right to suggest cremation.  I ascertained that the hat had been delivered along with the body, remembering how important the hat had been to her.  We discussed places to do this, thinking that either way; we would need to ask permission if we did it in fae lands, especially after the fire. Then Aoibheann suggested that since Paasheelu was loyal to Cristof, the castle, if it still stood somewhere, would be the best place.  We knew from the Kzzz that Paash had been found by some sort of portal up in the village, and Aoibheann recalled that she had spoken of trying to find a way to wherever the castle had gone.  Gwyn wasn’t too happy about trying the portal, but eventually agreed she would come along.  Rachel decided that she would not come, as she hadn’t been close to Paash and was not sure how much of a welcome she would get from Cristofr.

We climbed the hill to the village and found the portal.  I volunteered to go first and come back if it was safe.  If it wasn’t, well…  I hate travelling through those things, but I went anyway, and found myself in a courtyard eerily reminiscent of Castle Shithole. After a bit of exploration, I found the return portal was in the tavern, which looked almost exactly as it had been before, save for a change of furniture and decoration. I went back and brought Gwyn and Aoibheann with me.  When we returned, Cristof was there, waiting for us.  He seemed a little surprised, but not displeased to see us.  The castle was partly shifted, as well as being demolished, and this part of it, built from the stones of the old one, was now in the mortal realm, rather than faerie.  Oh, and all this took place 300 years ago, from his point of view.  He was most amused by Gwyn’s wings and not a little smug when he learned she had aligned with the Seelie, as he had predicted.

We explained why we were there, and he seemed pleased that we should think this an appropriate place, since he honoured Paasheelu as a person. He gave instructions to his staff to prepare a pyre and indicated an appropriate place for it. We were pretty certain that establishing the link, the portal to here had been her last act of magic, and so it should be honoured and remembered.

Cristof also made an offer to Aoibheann, that she should inherit Paasheelu’s title, and the tavern, as her daughter. Now there’s a thought – Duchess Aoibheann.  She said she’d have to think about it.  I rather like the idea myself.

So, we returned to the village with a plan. Now, we just have to find a time when we can all get together and bring the remains there. And, perhaps I underestimated Cristof. There is honour there, and decency. Maybe I should spend more time there and learn something of my heritage, instead of getting piecemeal prejudice from Rachel. Gwyn is learning about her heritage, which is a good thing, even if it means we don’t get as much time together, so maybe I should be thinking about mine.  Of course, I would also like to learn about the other side of mine. Maybe some of the fae can help me there.


Jam Today…


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