Here & There . . . & Back Again?
Name: Alisdair MacCodrum
Membership: Explorer’s Society
Sidhe/Vendel-halfbreed: + Child o’ Sea, Fearful Countenance, Good Standing, Keen Senses; – Cold-Hearted, Iron Susceptibility, Sea Bound
Sidhe weapons: Avalon Long Bow & Dirk/Seax
Lost Love – Fiona MacDonald (NicDuff)
Mistaken Identity – ?
True Identity – Uilleam MacMuirsidhe
Languages: Avalon, Eisen, Sidhe, Vendel
3 Brawn, 2 Finesse, 2 Wits, 2 Resolve, 2 Panache
Heritage: Glamour / 1
1 – Mad Jack O’Bannon
1 – Robin Goodfellow
1 – Thomas
Heritage: Laerdom / 1
1 – Fornuft
1 – Grenselos
0 – Uvitenhet
1 – Varsel
School: Good Fellow / 1
1 – Arc
1 – Disarm
1 – Tagging
1 – Exploit
1 – Attack
1 – Fletcher
1 – Snapshot
0 – Trick shot
2 – Climbing
1 – Footwork
1 – Sprinting
1 – Swimming
1 – Throwing
1 – Attack
1 – Parry
1 – Diagnose
1 – First Aid
1 – Quack
1 – Attack
1 – Parry
1 – Ambush
1 – Fishing
1 – Stealth
1 – Tracking
1 – Traps
1 – Balance
2 – Climbing
1 – Knot-work
1 – Rigging
You see Rose, I find it so much more romantic out here on the open ocean. The waves create a soothing motion to our endeavors, don’t you think? It’s also peacefully quiet, I can’t hear the screams and fights from the vulgar folk of the city out here. You still want me to tell you, don’t you? Let’s play another game first – I’m sure you’ll like it. Give me your wrists and close your eyes.
If you couldn’t trust me, why are we out here in a dingy beyond site of shore in the middle of the night?
I don’t remember much before mother took me away to the Isle. Only two things really, a foul smelling unkempt bear of a man whom I feared, and the few Runes that mima Sigrid drilled into my skull at such an early age. She claimed that I would one day wield great power so I’d best know the words of creation to keep from distorting the work of the Gods. She had no idea that I would not be around long enough to be fully taught the Runes.
Living on the Isle was wonderful for the short time I was there though. The weather was beautiful all the time and fruit was abundant year round. There was none of this waiting for the seasons to change before getting decent tasting meals or snacks straight from the trees. Mother was sorry she took me away from mima and her instructions, but she told me it was better to be away from that thief of a man.
Once back on the Isle, mother was spending so much time waiting on Ladies at court, she wasn’t able to take care of me like when we were still with the smelly man and mima Sigrid. We went to the MacCodrum’s and she left me to be fostered there. So I grew up with the name Alisdair MacCodrum despite really being Uilleam MacMuirsidhe to my Uncles Robin and Thomas who came to visit and make sure I didn’t forget who I was and where I came from. Come to think of it, the Queen probably didn’t want a half-blood being totted around the court anyway. I may very well have been dumped because I was not politically practical.
Thank you Rose, for asking me to recount the past now that I’m older and can see more clearly. I’ll have to remember to do this occasionally.
Speaking of my uncles, Uncle Robin taught me how to use a bow and helped me build one for myself once I passed 13 years. Uncle Thomas showed me how to gather my glamour and emulate him, Uncle Robin and the O’Bannon. He tried to show me the Green Knight and Elilodd, but they were really difficult people to know when I was still a kid. I just couldn’t really ken them well enough. I shall try again at some point though.
My foster father eventually got tired of me day dreaming about fantastical dragons hording their gold in old world cities instead of toiling with the others farming, so he sold me to the Explorer’s Society to get rid of me. They saw that I didn’t really have the head for concentrated study, and instead trained me as a shield man. They were especially impressed with my archery ability and believed that I had wonderful potential for field placement.
That’s when I met Corwin. We both spent a lot of our time on the archery field and became fast friends.
A few years later, I met Fionna NicDuff at one of the Society’s fetes when Corwin and I were used as groomsmen. I helped her down from her horse and couldn’t help but smile into her deep beautiful eyes. At first I’m sure that I was just a pleasant diversion for her from her family’s obligations. As time went by though, she became really fond of me and Corwin finally convinced me to propose to her.
Life was grand in that last year of my training. The only thing that separated Corwin and I was Fionna’s affections; and then only for a night of wedding discussions with her family, or pleasure. Even though my evenings with Fionna were nearly divine, exercise with Corwin would call again in the morning.
Then one evening, Corwin and I had gone to a tavern after a hard day of drills and practice. We threw a couple of games of darts till he gave up as he always did to my unerring aim. A few minutes latter there was a loud commotion as a few Vendels roared into the tavern. Corwin wanted to leave, but I pointed out that foul brutes were still blocking the way to the door. I saw one of them raise his arms demanding the wonderful mead he’d heard this tavern boasted. Like them all he carried a seax belted across his over plump lap, but his was different, cleaner, more polished than the rest of his gear. He did not look to be the sort who actually took decent care of his equipment, yet his seax was exquisite.
I made Corwin stay with me and wait for the dirty Vendels to get well into their cups. Later in the wee hours most of them were passed out drunk on or under their table. I then invited the man with the pretty blade over to my table in the corner and started talking to him about his past raids and the tactics he would use in battle. Corwin finally got interested in this since it’s always good to learn new battle strategy especially from an old geezer like this stinking raider. After a little while I turned the conversation to women.
“Oh aye, there was a selkie once I had bedded as wife." he proudly proclaimed. "Stupid creature left her skin lying out in the open and I snatched it up quicker than spit. Took her home with me after that raid, had to beat back my crew to keep their hands off her too. Damn she was nice in bed though, writhed around like a hooked fish when I had her trussed up good and tight.” He was grinning drunkenly at the memories he shared. With another mug of mead, he went on describing the things he’d done to her for punishment or his pleasure. I endured it as best I could, feigning lewd interest in his decrepit exploits.
“Was she infertile that she never bore any whelps to you?” I asked.
“Oh aye, the cunt did yield me a lad eventually. Damned no good scrawny thing he was, no meat on his bones. I remember that once he could crawl he’d always be trying to hide from me in her skirts. She disappeared with him in a few years, never had the time to toughen him up to be a real man, the bloody half breed." a momentary pause so he could spit on the floor. "You know, I think it was that damned brat who found her pelt and gave it back to her that last spring! If I never see those two beasts it would be too soon, let me tell you!”
“I can see you’re glad not to have anything as a reminder of them. I should apologize for raising such bad memories.”
“Oh, nonsense boy! Like I told you before the bitch was hell fire in bed. Those are tales I’ll always share with young men wanting to know how to bed a woman properly. Besides, I forced her to get this seax for me when I threatened the babe as it was wailing in those first months of its wretched little life. Here take a look at it, feel how light it is? Yet it swings like a broadsword!” As he passed over his prized possession, I inspected it with a warrior’s eye, testing its weight and balance with a few mock swings and thrusts.
When he held out his hand to request it back, I grabbed his right hand with my left and suddenly slapped the blade into his open palm. “Can you even remember what your son looked like?” I asked him in his own native Vendel tongue as I held the flat of the blade against his bare skin. I would like to think that the surprise I caused him with my actions sobered him up just enough to fully realize what was going to happen to him. I could see him finally look directly at me and the color drained out of his face like the mead in his over turned mug. As he gazed into my sea green eyes, his hazel ones widened in confusion and slowly turned to dim recognition and fear.
Corwin put his hand on my shoulder and muttered into my ear “Alisdair, what the hell are you doing?”
“I’m about to teach this Vendel bastard a little of his own medicine Corwin. I suggest you leave if you’re not comfortable with this.” I said roughly and turn the seax blade onto Sigurd’s hand and slid it up his wrist.
Corwin grabbed my arm trying to pull me off what he thought was only as a poor drunken Vendel who’s on the wrong side of my bad mood, causing me to slice open Sigurd’s wrist. He screamed and jumped back, knocking over his stool, coming up hard against the wall. As he watched the blood flow out of his arm he clumsily pulled his short sword and lunged at me yelling in his native tongue such obscenities that even I would not repeat to sailors, let alone your delicate ears my dear Rose. I yelled at Corwin “Get off me you damned fool!” and parried Sigurd’s wild drunken swing while I thrust my mother’s seax into his chest, twisting it to make sure and kill the bastard. As it happens, I guess I wasn’t afraid of him anymore.
After the guard was called in and everyone calmed down, I played the distressed repentant and consoled his shipmates, lamenting the strong raider that they lost. I asked them if Sigrid was still alive and well, proving to them how close the bastard and I had come in that brief evening of tall tales. They said she still lived, and I scratched Varsel, Grenselos & Fornuft onto a scrap of leather for them to take back to her – telling them that he would have wanted her to know how much he appreciated her instructions. No one else but she would know that he thought she was a stupid hag meddling in the affairs of the gods. He was too ashamed to let anyone know of her talent. I just hope she’s still right enough in the head to remember those tortuous instructions she put me through.
Everybody but Corwin believed my story that the clumsy old twit grabbed the blade I was handing back to him, cut himself and went into a drunken rage before trying to kill me. The gilders that I dropped in front of the other Vendels and the barkeep didn’t hurt my story all that much either. I also took it upon myself to settle his burial arrangements, in doing so I kept the seax. That night was probably the turning point in my friendship with Corwin.
I can see now how he would have gone to Fionna for comfort from the only other person close enough to know me. Seeking some understanding of why I attacked an innocent and so boldly lied about it to the authorities. She would always look at me with a little distrust in her eyes after that. When she found the seax I had taken back from my father she fully believed Corwin and left me, choosing to become Mrs. Corwin MacDonald instead of a wife to me. I saw it coming when she talked in her sleep asking Corwin about the horseshoe tattoo that his father gave him when he was nine. Having seen it myself, I know it’s not located in any place a proper lady would know.
For two years she schemed with gossip to keep other women from my bed, I think she even flirted with the town guard to get them to harass me. I hadn’t had much problem with them before. I needed to either get an assignment with the Society soon or just leave to get away from that vengeful woman.
And that is the story of my life so far. There is not much of import between when I left and my good luck in finding you in that ale house tonight. These are all the things that I have to keep secret as my life now depends on staying hidden from Fionna’s meddling. If she finds out why I killed Sigurd, that he was my father and a Muirsidhe was my mother . . . I will not be safe either here in the mortal realm or back home anywhere near the Courts.
So you see my sweet little pile of wriggling flesh, after your insistence on knowing my past I can’t let you go blathering all this gossip fearfully to your whore friends. The knots are quite strong and will only tighten as you struggle way out here beyond the ninth wave. The bag of cannon tied to your feet will ensure you don’t have to struggle against each wave for hope. It’s best to just relax and try to breathe the water; it will be quicker that way.