Chapter 4b (Autumn 1230): A Faerie Friend

It's been a year since Chryse's Arts were opened, but she cannot be said to have settled in to the covenant - indeed, if anything, she's become increasingly withdrawn and unpredictable over that time. All too often, she's woken screaming in the night, and during the day time she's slow and stupid with fatigue. She's also isolated - the only other children at the covenant are Petrus' apprentices, who give her a wide berth, and her attitude to Viola is a strange mixture of clinginess and a wariness which even the Parma doesn't seem to dispel.

[OOC: let me know what, if any, measures Viola has taken in response to this, but I am going to assume that nothing she's so far been willing to implement has effected more than temporary relief.]

Matters come to a head when a messenger from the local village arrives insisting that they come and collect their witch child now, before she damages any more of their boats. Following up, it becomes apparent that Chryse had run away in an attempt to find her mother, but had only got as far as the harbour when the villagers' refusal to allow her to take one of their vessals had resulted in a full fledged turbulance.

Viola has been as maternal as possible (any child who wakes up screaming in the night definitely deserves immediate comforting), though she always keeps in mind that Chryse is going to need to learn independence....Being a maga is not a sheltered existence, especially on the edge of the Order here.

Let's gather up the most sociable and charismatic shield grogs we can, and head down to the village.


Arriving at the village, you find that all of the rigging on one of the fishing boats has been transformed into brambles. Chryse is sitting on the ground, crying - she appears to have a red mark on the side of her face, and occasionaly phrases muttered to herself in greek are mixed into the sobs. She's being watched warily by several villagers - one man appears to have bloody scratches on his hands and arms.

Viola will ask the grogs to talk to the villagers, and promise whatever help is necessary to make repairs. In the meantime, she'll go comfort Chryse and see if we can calm her down.


Chryse takes some time to calm down, but gets mostly there eventually - she's still clearly fairly fragile. Her upset is partially caused by the villagers having panicked and hit her when she had a Turbulence, but also out of distress from the failure of her story - apparently the villagers should have given her a boat, and then she'd have sailed away and found her mother, and lived happily ever after with her.

The grogs, meanwhile, are largely successful in their own discussions with the villagers (the covenant will be paying for new rigging, and loss of time spent fishing), but they're quite firm that please can you take that crazy girl with you and not let her come back.

Let's do so, post haste. Then Viola is going to have to figure out a way to convince Chryse that messing with evil fae is a bad idea, even evil fae that gave birth to her. Where is what's-her-name the singer, anyway? Viola bets she might be persuasive, if random.


You take Chryse back, and ask Ipek to speak to her. Possibly it even works. At least, a few days later Viola notices that Chryse is looking a lot happier...

[I've been checking for the new post notification in this thread over and over, and somehow missed it. Ugh.]

Well...that's...good. Once Chryse has calmed down, Viola will attempt to engage in a good parental talk about her mother.Viola is not sure how to approach this, since the faerie lord who fathered her was perfectly nice, while her own human mother spent enough time around the fae and their oddities not to be bothered by something like the Gift. She left home and apprenticed to the Order voluntarily, and occasionally visits her parents, so this is all foreign to her, though she's certainly heard of other Merinita with stories not unlike Chryse's.

Eventually Chryse is going to have to see the world differently than she does now, and perhaps giving her some control over her magic will help by giving her more of a sense of agency. Viola is better at manipulating adults than children, but she suspects that competing with Chryse's mother for filial affection won't end well, which leaves developing indenpedence in Chryse as the most viable path.

So...during this parental discussion, let's make a point of asking Chryse what she'd like to be able to do with magic.


This time mentioning Chryse's mother does not set off a flood of tears, although there are points when Chryse looks a little worried or confused.

"When she planted something, it always grew. She used to show me all the flowers, even ones no one else in the village could find. She used to braid them into my hair, so no-one realised there were more of them growing there and got jealous. Except Sophia, but she was just a stupid drakoi child and no-one paid any attention to her unless she broke something."

She glances off to the side for a few moments, apparently concentrating on something.

When asked about her magical interests:

"Can I make people calm down? And be happy always? And make my own flowers?"

Viola thinks a few moments on these questions before replying.

"Yes....Well,there can be different ways you can calm people, yes? Maybe soothe their minds yourself with magic, or maybe show them pretty flowers. Always be happy? Well, no one is happy every bit of time, but happier and calmer, yes, you can. are my specialty. I usually shape them, not make them, but maybe you can make them?"


Chryse's lip trembles a bit. "She was always happy, until I...until she got back her veil. Then she was angry. So I need to make her always happy, and not scary again."

She glances nervously off to the side again, before focussing her attention back on Viola.

"Can I make new flowers?"

Viola sighs, trying to compose an answer. "Flowers are easier than people; you can make new flowers, real flowers, but...vis, that's precious....Without vis you can make new flowers for a little bit.

"Your mother...hmm...I'm not sure what was her happiness. If without her veil she was happy, why want the veil? She wanted to be unhappy, yes?

She pauses a bit before adding, "Maybe...we can study Mentem. Seeing people's minds could make it easier to understand."

(As an aside, I shudder to think what Chryse might try to pull with a high Mentem score and a couple of rooks of vis. This is going to be difficult.)


Chryse thinks this through. "How long is a little bit? Flowers die too soon - could you make one that lasted forever with vis?"

About her mother, she says "I don't know ... she used to mention her veil a lot to me. She said my father took it when he started courting her, and she'd never been able to find it. She was happy without it though - she was my mother and she looked after me and father and was always calm and never complained. Maybe she didn't know having the veil would make her angry?"

"A moon, but...well, that's hard. If the flower is in a circle, it can last until...until it's out of the circle.

"But with vis, long as a flower from a plant...or on a plant...sometimes forever even."

Viola can't help but sigh. "Sometimes...a faerie has a thing she wears...but it's part of her. And a human who gets the thing, he can make her do what she wants. Very, very useful to know...this can make things easier...but you don't want this a long the end, the faerie might find the thing, and then...well, you know how bad...."

She pauses for a bit, thinking about how to interpret the nuances of faerie self-awareness for a pre-teen. "Your mother....I don't now. Happy? Maybe...or maybe she pretended. I don't know your mother. But listen, this is very useful, too:"

"Faeries and don't make choices like humans. shadows. Everything said before. They sing songs humans sang before....Faeries don't sing new songs. And always there are rules. I can't say how your mother's thing worked. Maybe if someone had it, he could choose for her, make her happy, make her loyal...but like a puppet, yes? Maybe she didn't like it, but her rules said she had to act happy. Maybe the rules said she would be really happy and even love the person who had the thing...but still want the thing back.

"Also, I don't know how your mother acts to humans when her veil is on. But probably bad. Maybe she hated your father only...he stole it. But maybe he stole it because she didn't want to be with humans."

Viola makes sure Chryse is paying close attention before the next statement. "But one thing is sure: no matter what, happy, unhappy, confused...your mother always, always, always will try to get the veil back. And hurt anyone who took it. That's her rule."

Viola herself is close to tears at this point, but there are a few more things Chryse needs to hear, though she knows they won't entirely sink in, and this won't be the last time. "I am lucky. My father, my mother, they chose together. Father chose as a faerie...he has his rules. My father...I love, he loves a faerie. I wish your parents both chose. Forcing a choice for something that's long like marriage, always is bad at the end, even forcing a faerie with the faerie's rules."

She looks straight into Chryse's for this last part: "Chryse, you and I...we aren't faeries. We carry their flesh..they touch our bodies, our minds too. But we have human souls. I would never choose a faerie for a mate...not like my mother. Not the same. Your flower? A faerie can't make a forever flower, even with vis."


Viola can't help but sigh. "Sometimes...a faerie has a thing she wears...but it's part of her. And a human who gets the thing, he can make her do what she wants. Very, very useful to know...this can make things easier...but you don't want this a long the end, the faerie might find the thing, and then...well, you know how bad...."

Chryse shudders at this, and wraps her arms around herself in a defensive fashion.

Viola needs to pause a moment here to give Chryse a chance to sob.

Chryse takes some more time to compose herself, as part of which she seems to Viola for a few moments to be listening to something else. Finally she asks:

"How do you know what a faerie's rules are? And can you change them? Is that what you did with Halia? She was a monster and then you and Iken made her a mother again - is she going to turn back into a monster?"

"Also - you say you would never choose a faerie for a mate. Can a faerie be your friend? Really your friend? Would it turn into a monster one day too?"

Viola does her best to be comforting (given zero experience with human children), and gives Chryse a hug at this point.

Viola takes her time in answering, just to make sure Chryse is listening. "A faerie's rules? You watch. And sometimes you know things...faerie rules are often similar. Faeries live in people's stories; people tell stories not too different from each other. But...."

She again makes direct eye contact, so that this one really sinks in.

" can't know always. That's...dangerous."

She gives Chryse time to respond to that if she wants to, then moves on to the next question. " can make the rules change. But this is very hard. And it may not happen like you think...once the story changes, different people tell it, it changes over and over. Halia? No, no monster any time soon, but she'll change, the story changes. For my lab? Yes, that's fine. But I wouldn't give Halia my heart...not a good bet."

Answering the last question requires some genuine thought...but she'll start with a question of her own: "What's a friend?"


Chryse thinks about this a little. "They play with you? And keep your secrets. And they aren't mean and don't play nasty tricks on you. Or...hurt you."

Viola replies after some thought, "Hmm...well, yes. A friend I guess. But a faerie will never be human...a faerie won't act human...but then a human can't be faerie, yes? Maybe that's good sometimes."


"I thought my mother was just like normal mothers. But with more flowers. Until...

Would a faerie friend be the same? They seem fine, and special, and then..."

Viola thinks a bit more, "Well, there always is risk. You can mostly think you know a faerie's rules...but never be sure. Still, a faerie friend you know a long time, and you don't anger her, it can be safe."