Character Name: Siobhan Minos of Legends
The Story of Siobhan Minos
As many tales told in these lands, this one starts with a lass, a young lass who left her home due to something as silly as an argument with her father. He was a stern man - raising his daughters to work the land as he. Their mother was a strong woman as well, but something was sad about her.
You see, my mother was a bard - legendary in her time. My father was a man of magic. After they married, they wandered the lands in search of adventure, many times almost finding death. It was the night my mother told my father that she was with child that they both decided to leave the life of adventure and fighting for one more suitable for their unborn child.
My father continued to practice magic, but only for the good of the village -
Healing those who came back from battle, curing those poisoned in a fight with something magical, casting spells upon the land to grow food for the family.
My mother, however, she left her music behind, but for her, that was as if she had left her soul out to dry. She was happy, however, with her life - bearing two more children, the middle being myself.
My mother and father took up herding in a small village near Yew. My sisters and I were raised to tend to the herd and to farm the land. We grew listening to my mother's tales of the mythical lands and listening to her play her lute at night. She sang like an angel.
It was around my 8th year when my father and we girls were out with the herd. Unlike any other day, fog lay on the land. Thick and grey. We heard a growl in the mist, and my father being protective of us, went forward to find out. Out of nowhere, he was cast down to the ground by the hand of an ettin. He wailed in pain for us to run.
My sister Gwendolyn, the eldest, yelled at me to get mother. She stayed, wielding my father's sword, protecting his injured body. My sister Catrina and I ran as fast as we could back to the house. I yelled for my mother - my sister Catrina could not speak. She was silent - as she stayed for many years after.
My mother grabbed her satchel, ran outside and mounted the mare in the barn lot quickly.
Like lightening, she urged the mare forward. The horse nickered loudly and then grunted - lunging forward.
I ran as fast as I could, and when I ran up on the mass of bodies, my mother was in the fog playing her lute and wailing a death song. The ettins battled over my father's body. Gwendolyn fought like mad at the enraged ettins. They could not handle the tune my mother played, and were ripping at one another. She played and played. I ran to my father's side. Gwendolyn helped me get him to his feet.
My mother urged to get him back to the house - that she was fine. I was hesitant to leave her, but the tone of her voice - the urgency.
I was scared and in awe at the same time.
We walked towards the house, my mother disappearing in the fog behind us. My father was enraged that we had left her, and gave me a spell book, almost pushing it into my face. He told me to go back. To help her. My legs, tired and aching, carried my body to the fields once more. I was new to casting spells, but was not unfamiliar in the chants.
Before I got to the field, I cast a spell - my fingers tingled with power. I knew I was ready to strike. I got closer - but I heard nothing.
I stood there - the fog beginning to rise slowly.
The bodies of many ettins were scattered about. Torn limbs, blood, broken bones and... and my mother.
She was limp on the ground, her lute still in her hand. I ran to her side and she was gone. I did not get to tell her goodbye. I only saw her - for the last time, with red in her eyes and fire in her voice. And that was my vow.
My mother was a brave woman. She gave up her life of barding to be with my father. And was happy - but in a time of need - she was a strong warrior, using music. I reach down and closed her eyes with my hand and kissed her cheek.
With the blood of my mother on my lips, I took her lute. I practiced many nights after a hard day in the field learning the chords, learning the songs. My father - he destroyed all her other instruments and forbade us to learn the skill of bard and encouraged our skills in magery.
It was around my 14th birthday when he found the lute. I had been careless and left it on my bed. When I came home, I saw the same red in his eyes that I saw in my mothers. He cursed me and smashed the lute. And that is the day that I left and began my journey alone. With words of hatred and malcontent - I left the home, only taking enough time to steal up the broken bits of the lute my mother had once played. In a river of tears - I left. My sisters stood to the side as I ran through the front of the house and down the road.
I took nothing but the clothes I had on my back, a broken lute. I had no idea of what I was to face. I spent many nights sleeping in dank caves - my days walking - until my feet were swollen and bruised. I ate berries from the bushes - acorns from the trees. Anything I could find really.
In other words, I was half-starved all the time but in my heart I could not turn back to my home - my father was angry - my mother was gone.
It was a good ten months of my being alone, avoiding all other humans. I practiced my music on my lute, one I had done my best to piece together - practiced my poetry. I did not have pen and ink, so it was my memory I relied upon.
One early spring morn, I made my way to a small clearing - flowers and sweet grasses. It is there I made my home. I fashioned a crude fishing pole to aid in feeding myself. I thatched a small roof between trees to provide shelter.
I lived there alone - speaking very little - I learned more than I could with lessons from my father.
I learned how to care for myself.
It was a day when I woke to the unnatural sounds of the male human voice. More than one. I was sixteen now that I count back. They had invaded my haven; my private spot. I hid in the tall grasses and watched them - listening.
They plotted the murder of a friend. They plotted evil in my sanctuary. It was then I knew nothing was sacred and I knew I had to move on. I packed what little I had acquired and headed off again, this time to a world of humans and hate.
It was but a matter of days before I found what I sought: a city.
I knew not what I was walking into - the men on horses tore by, ignoring all on foot - Beggars in the street being kicked and spat at. Shop keepers standing in their doorways calling out for all to enter.
It was mad - truly mad.
The noise hurt my ears - I was used to the songs of the birds. I saw a few street performers - singing and playing instruments. It was all I could do.
I began to sing and play my worn lute. After several hours of nonstop play - I had formed a small crowd and a bit larger purse of gold at my feet.
I gathered my gold and sat at a table for the first time in years. I ate a warm meal quite foreign to my taste preferences. I counted the gold and realized I did not have enough to request a bed, so I took off to the alleyway to rest. I curled up between crates outside the provisionary shop and closed my eyes.
I felt a prodding on my leg.
I blinked the dark from my eyes and looked up. The most beautiful woman stood before me.
"Lass - you cannot sleep here. The street is not fit for someone such as thee."
I was rather confused, but thinking the shopkeeper did not want me resting outside their door, I gathered my pack and stood.
"I am sorry, m'lady. I shall move on to another spot."
"Nay, Lass. Tis not what I am saying." She paused a moment and must have looked rather confused. "I watched you today. Listened to you sing. You are talented lass - and you do not deserve to sleep in the street."
I held my bag tighter to my chest.
"I will not harm you - but you must come with me."
I was leery of her - just wanting to call out - but she seemed different than the others I met this day. She smiled lightly and began to walk away.
"Where are you going?" I mustered.
"Where you are bound, lass." She motioned for me to follow. And I did.
You ask who this woman was? This woman was the gateway to my future. As we walked out of the city, we talked. Her name is Mami Wata. As I later found out, Mami Wata is a water spirit who walks the lands as human.
She lives in the Land of Myths and that is where she led me. The land of which my mother spoke - a land I thought was nothing but a fairy tale.
I was greeted openly by many but more cautiously by other muses and myths as I was still human. Mami Wata invited me into her home and fed me great foods and I rested well on a bed made of feather down. I felt much like the king's and queens that ruled the lands of Sosaria.
It was easy to lose time there - it was truly magical. This place human's cannot venture to, I was blessed to walk about and befriend. I realized I was brought there to learn and master my skills - and to be somewhat of a human muse, but in my time there, I grew less human.
It was a sorrowful day the day I was bid to leave. Ioya, an evil sea muse, had decided that I was nothing but a threat and saw to it that I was cast from the lands I had grown to call home. It was a sad farewell at the water's edge - the wind ready to guide my ship back to the land of humans. I closed my eyes and thought back - remembering the madness of where I was bound.
I took a deep breath, and with strength, I stepped my bare foot to the water's edge. The true muses of music and art and poetry and literature stood with me, tears in their eyes. The eight sisters.
"Siobhan," the eldest muse Calliope spoke.
I looked to her with tears in my eyes.
"Do not cry lass - for you are loved. I send you this day to the land of humans with three gifts - gifts perhaps but with a promise I ask of thee." I listened to her intently. "You shall leave these lands with the gift of eternity, beauty and inspiration. You have learned much here and I ask you to promise to take it to the lands you fear now - and take it and spread it amongst those who need it most."
Although tears fell from my eyes, I nodded and barely mustered the words "I promise Calliope."
The Ship of Dreams set sail with me that day and returned me to the lands in which I came. I knew I would be ok - the muses would not send me forward if they knew differently but what my future held for me were days of poetry and stories and festivals. It had become my promise to bring something different to those who lived their lives under the same tasks. To feel the warmth and happiness of a small child while attending a festival created by me or perhaps the joy felt by a man who had secretly stole away from his guild mates and read a poem to a group - his first poem that he had ever written and more so the first time he had spoke in front of a group of people. It became a life for me to see people grow and carry on but not be forced into the same roles they had in the past - to offer up "something different."
In this time of growth for our lands, I met my mate - a man from the land of myth - the Story of all came to me and in due time we wed. Now I reside in a small town known as Fort Briarwood - a community formed north of the road on the Umbra side of the mountains and enjoy the merriment there - games and events, readings and hunts. A true community away from the madness of what our world once was.
I still practice my bardic skills nightly, away from others. There is no need in our community for a skill that entices death and destruction. I practice and play in honor of my mother. I am a warrior in my own rights, the same as my mother - for her, I sing.