The Harbinger and the Fountain
The Mercury Wind, Guardian of Lir's Four Children
Archetype: Lost Oath?? Or Sacred Grove (Castle site of King Lir)
Social Class: (Lower) Easy come, Easy go (steal from rich give to poor, take anything ill-gotten, or acquired through slave labor etc…)
Conviction: Sworn Vengeance on the demon of air (hatred of anything demonic)
Complication: Faerie Forged of Fire, Feather and Filth (limits shape-change ability, defines weaknesses and affinities)
Free: Scourge of the sea (possible complication for piracy skill – bad reputation “wanted” etc…)
Free: Fiery Temper (dramatic anger when slighted)
Free: Sailed the Seven Seas (well traveled, not local)
Free: Irish Patriot (defend irish culture, people, connections with them)
Mearcair Gaoth – Mercury Wind – Phoenix Fae
Once upon a time when Ireland was home to the Tuatha De Danaan, Aoibh bore four children unto Lir, ruler of the seas. The children were:
Fionnuala – “white shoulder”, pure beauty, sunlight on blossoms
Aodh – “fire”, eagle like in life, destined to rule in the underworld
Conn – “Chief”, beautiful as running water
Fiochra – “Raven”, hunter, scavenger
Humble Beginnings: The younger two, Conn and Fiachra, were twins and in their birth Aoibh passed from this Earth. One day, young Conn caught the eye of a simple fae spirit fluttering in the breezes by the shore. The fairy was enamored with Conn’s regal presence, for although he was a boy, Conn was named “chief” and comported himself as such. Conn brought the fairy back to his father, who compelled the fairy to swear an oath of service to him. The fairy took human form and a name, Mearcair Gaoth. “Lost Oath or Sacred Grove”.
Follies of Youth: Mearcair served Lir for many years, sailing the seas and sending messages to the Four Winds. When free from duty he would sneak off to pirate vessels – levying from them a percentage of what they plundered from the weak. But Mearcair had no use for the shiny bits and shed them off to the less fortunate souls he would meet along his travels. “Easy come, easy go,” “Scourge of the Seas”
First Awakenings: While the children were still young, Lir took Aoibh’s sister, Aoife as his new wife. She was rumored to have strange gifts of her own. When Lir sent his children with her to meet their grandfather, he advanced Mearcair to Royal Guardian and charged him with the protection of the children during their trip. Mearcair guided them through many perils on the journey, but was unprepared for the greatest threat. Aoife was jealous of the bonds between Lir and his children. She turned on the children and cursed them – transforming them into swans for 900 years. Although the spell did not target Mearcair directly, his attempt to defend the children lead to his sharing of at least part of their fate. Mearcair’s fae nature allowed him to slip out of the swan hex and with help from Conn’s sense of command he was able to master changing shape. He was thus able to return to Lir and tell him of Aoife’s betrayal. Lir cursed Aoife; turning her into a demon of the wind. Mearcair was unsatisfied with the punishment and “sworn vengeance on the demon of the wind”.
Mysterious Origins: Mearcair would uphold his vow to Lir and guard his children. For 300 years they swam the Sea Moyle, a desolate patch of unproductive ocean between Ireland and Scotland. They survived by scavenging what little sustenance could be scraped from flotsam. Fiachra excelled in this, being named after the raven. Mearcair thus gained an affinity for the raven and all others who pick over the bones and scraps of this world. Next they spent 300 years on Loch Dairbhreach where Finnuala taught Mearcair to value all forms of beauty and here he took on all manner of gaudily plumed avians. The last 300 years of their curse were spent in the estuaries of Irrus Domnann, where Aodh showed Mearcair that seeps of oil and gas and even peat from the ground could be set to flame with the slightest spark. Those flames could be used to shape the world around them. Thus Mearcair became a “faerie forged of flame, feathers and filth.”
Great Failing: When they finally returned to Lir’s castle, they found it in ruins. Their world had decayed over the millennium. With help from an old monk, they were able to complete the requirements to lift the curse, but once lifted, the children began to age rapidly – 900 years in just a few days. Their bodies died, but their spirits found their way to their father in another realm of divinity. Mearcair held them as they crumbled in his hands, but he could not follow their spirits. He rose from the ashes and set out to destroy the wind spirit Aoife. With the loss of Lir’s children fresh in his mind, he ventured abroad in a great “fiery temper” casting down any obstacle in his path. While never finding Aoife, he did learn of three myths in his travels 1) of the Phoenix of Greece – perhaps a kindred spirit, 2) of the Djinn of Arabia – perhaps a manifestation of or ally of Aoife and 3) of an exclusive club in London where beyond the hounds of hell he might find clues to old puzzles and perhaps a new purpose as well.