Rise of the Banloch

King Claddagh returned to Lí Ban with the heart of the Banshee and presented it to her as a gift. Lí, considering herself the new Queen and Claddagh’s Banloch demanded that they be wed at once in the sanctity of Craoí-Amhain. A dark ritual from Tír fo Thuinn, in which both persons remove their hearts and replace them with the others.

Craoí-Amhain was one of the darkest rituals in Ancient Erin, a ritual that requires Magicks from the darkest part of the Oceans. It must be performed just before dawn when the night is at its darkest and the shadows are strong in number. Each person must first drink from the Chalice of Dorchadas.

As the King was once bound by the heart of another he enchanted the heart of Solas into a ring, bound by the crown she once wore and the hands of the man who once promised to protect it forever. As long as Claddagh wore the Heart of Solas upon his hand, he would never have to fear death.

They were bound together under the cover of darkness in shallows of the ocean and once the ritual was complete Claddagh was able to travel with Lí Ban to The Land Under the Wave, where they would live together for eternity.

It is a little known fact, that one who is “delivered of the faeries” is not bound to any world, realm or plain. A faerie can only travel between Tír na nÓg and Erin and only during certain times of the moon cycle. An imp can only remain on this plain, unless otherwise invited by one of faerie-kind. Oh, but one “delivered of the faeries” knows no earthly bounds. As we now know, one should never, ever, cross one who is “delivered of faeries”.

Solas sat wailing in heartbreak and betrayal, awaiting her death. For the very first time, since she opened her mouth to take her first gasp of air in the world, Solas felt anger.

Can you remember the first time you felt anger? I doubt it, you were probably only new to the world and unable to retain the emotional intensity of the moment. Imagine feeling such rage for the first time in your entire life. It is an abundance of flames engulfing you from your toes to your cheeks, when that fire hits your cheeks for the first time it is as if you are drowning in acid and being boiled alive, all at once.

Solas felt the fire. It burned her alive and resuscitated her. She was dying but this was the most she’d ever felt alive. Solas had been betrayed by the only man she ever loved. At the cusp of death, the intensity of Solas’s anger broke the curse of Lí Ban’s comb and she was able to use her Magick to shift through the Veil to the Otherworld of the Souls Before.

It is imperative that you know that when one is on the cusp of death, the absolute worst place that you can go is Beyond the Veil.

Near dead and weak, Solas was forced to live a millennium in the Otherworld, tormented by the Souls Before. Driven mad by the howlings of the tortured souls. The Banshee no longer had the ability to speak. She would cry hysterically for five years and then scream with rage for ten. Without a heart, Solas no longer knew who she was and she no longer had her Maitheas Magicks. All that was left was her Dorchadas. A Magick she had never used before as it is powered by the shadows that surround the heart.

Having lost her mind and being unable to control the new power within her, every time Solas would cry she would look as beautiful as the day of her murder. But every time she howled with fury her power would be impossible to control and she would be unable to maintain her immortal beauty.

Five years, crying and beautiful.

Ten years, a wailing hag.

After a millennium of torment, the Banshee was stopped by the lost soul of an innocent.

“Why are you crying?” the child had asked.

Unable to remember, Solas began to cry once more, this time out of frustration. This was until, she remembered. The betrayal, her beloved, her murder.

This time the anger didn’t hit so hard, she had grown accustomed to it. A millennium of confusion and anger, finally the Banshee remembered how powerful she was. The Banshee fed off this anger and returned to Erin once more. It had changed greatly since The Banshee and her Diana-Rí had ruled. Solas, seeing that Erin now knelt before New Gods, chose to seek the permission of these deities before seeking her revenge on her beloved.

Lí Ban and King Claddagh had ruled Tír fo Thuinn since the day they were wedded. The King, still under the enchantment of his Banloch, had become a tyrant. They ruled side by side with a stern rule and harsh punishments. Once, the mythical horses of Tír fo Thuinn, the Kelpie, had escaped and destroyed Lí’s sea bed. Out of fury and resentment Lí forced Claddagh to banish the Kelpie from their world and imprisoned the in the Loch’s and Rivers of Erin. They were damned to haunt these places for all eternity, drowning those who dared disturb the lakes.

A once proud and majestic creature, now forced to live as monsters of the deep.

Lí would use her Siren Song to lure sailors out to darkest parts of the ocean, only to drown them to absorb their essence and gain more power. As time passed, Lí had grown more powerful than Claddagh and was beginning to plot her take over of Erin. Now that the Banloch possessed more powers than The New Gods of Erin, why should she be forced to live in exile Under the Wave? She had once chosen to live Under the Wave to retain King Claddaghs immortality. Lí knew she no longer needed Claddagh and was finally powerful enough to live without her playmate.

“Tell me, little witch, why do you seek an audience with The Gods?” bellowed the Guardian of The Geata Bán.

The Banshee stood at the white gate that entered into the court-yard of Erin’s New Gods.

“I am Solas, The Goddess of Erin, The Banshee, I am “delivered of the faeries”. I seek to destroy my beloved, as he sought to destroy me. I do not wish to take arms against the Gods that Erin has chosen to follow, I simply seek vengeance for the heart he stole from me. The heart that once beat in perfect sync with his, the heart that is bound to his by Anam-Amhain. I seek to kill King Claddagh.”

The Guardian stared at Solas with curiosity and intensity. A Guardian has the ability to read people’s intentions, an ability that is useful for protecting any deity. After careful scrutiny she spoke.

“You have great anger little witch, this makes you dangerous.” she paused briefly. “But that danger makes you powerful. I will grant you an audience. But be wise, little Banshee, you may find what you desire, but not what you seek.”

The gates parted for Solas and she made her way up the courtyard steps.

 

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