Nettle and Mistletoe
Saffir "Voice of Faerie"
Human Name: Saffir Llywelyn
Deed Name: Glór ar Sí (gaelic)- Voice of Faerie
Apparent Age: late teens/early twenties
Actual Age: 21
Date of Birth: April 30th, 1990
Born on Beltaine to a single mother (technically; her father was around, just not actually married to her mother), Saffir Ariana Llywelyn was marked as odd from the very beginning. Never mind that her father – Michael McDonnell – always made trips across the Irish Sea to Ireland (frequently taking Saffir along when she wasn’t in school), or that her mother – Morien Llywelyn – seemed to go through all the moods between despair to the heights of artistic creativity (often within the span of a day), Saffir always garnered attention wherever she went.
Initially she liked all of the attention, particularly the compliments for her eyes (‘So big!’ and ‘Such a pretty blue!’). Nothing good can last forever, though, and quickly the compliments from random strangers were replaced by insults as she entered primary school, bullies finding a favorite target in her. It started as childish barbs for her less-than-conventional family situation, and as she (and the bullies) got older, the insults became more complex, more insightful, and cut more deeply. While not strictly fitting the definition of a nerd, she retreated into books and faerie tales, seeking escape from the real world. Aided by her mother’s repertoire of stories of the fae (Titania and Oberon being favored ‘characters’), and her father’s tales of great warriors attuned to the Earth Mother that turned into wolves at will, she muddled through primary school, not making any particular impact in any specific area.
Her test scores weren’t quite good enough to get her into any of the better local secondaries, which was just as well as she couldn’t be sure her parents would be able to afford it, so it was to the public secondary she went at age eleven. This unfortunately meant that her bullies still had access to her at school. Soon after the Christmas break of her first term, she started having flashes of red flit through her vision, and vicious dreams where she ran down her tormentors and tore them apart with tooth and nail… or claw and fang… And for a time, recalling those dreams helped her tolerate the taunting.
When she started retaliating (in a physical fashion – she had long given up on verbal retorts), her parents – particularly her father – finally took notice of the changes that had taken place in Saffir. While her mother knew something of the signs, her father knew precisely what was going on. Immediately, she was scooped out of the school system and ‘home’ schooled. This meant that, primarily, her father was teaching her, but his lessons were based more on survival and ‘self-defense’.
Her First Change came without the usual mishap and potential for a Veil breach, safely in the sound-proofed cellar of their house during a round of sparring with her father. It was only then that her father came clean about his secret life on their trips to Ireland, about the werewolves (garou) and his place among them (a Fianna philodox known as “Waits for Rain”).
And so he took his daughter to Ireland, and the Sept of Silver Tara, for a proper den parent to teach her. Due to the extended nature of the ‘trip’, Michael stayed with Saffir at the sept, and chaperoned her home to visit her mother on occasion. It was on one such trip that Saffir was finally let in on the other half of her heritage. Morien, long thought by her daughter to live in her own world, showed Saffir the tree she was tied to as a fae. Morien told her daughter to think of her as a sort of dryad, but bound to a birch tree instead of an oak tree. Eventually, after much needling, her mother yielded the name of her ‘kith’; Morien was a Gillhe Dhu.
While her mother never did more than confirm a few details (none very relevant), her father taught her what he himself had learned of the fae in his time in Ireland, as well as in England and Wales. As a theurge, she had many other things to learn as well, and did learn at least the basics, but vastly preferred to hear about the fae.
Saffir’s den parent, a ragabash of the Tuatha de Fionn, used this knowledge to her advantage, and conspired with her father (also a member of the Fianna camp) to plan Saffir’s rite of passage. All told, the terms for completion were fairly simple; no quests, no goals, just get back from whatever realm she got dropped in. Armed with her basic knowledge of the umbra, spirits and the fae, Saffir thought herself well capable of successfully navigating the realms and was sent off immediately.
To Arcadia Gateway? Or at least that’s what it seemed like.
Saying that Saffir was surprised would be an understatement, and that she had decidedly mixed feelings about this development even more so. She knew the rules to follow in the realm, so she figured she could make her way out quickly… But Murphy’s Law is a friend to the fae, and such a plan was doomed from its conception.
Before she had time to gain her bearings, she found herself swept off her feet into a dance. When they realized that they had a non-fae in their midst, the dance came to an abrupt end. A very attractive male, clad in fine robes that twinkled with stars, steps towards her while the remaining fae formed a circle around them. What ensued was a test of knowledge. The male sidhe quizzed Saffir that reminded her of the Wizard from Once Upon A Mattress. The questions got more difficult and complex as she answered more and more correctly. On top of the questions, the sidhe came closer, flirting and smiling and winking at her. Despite the fae’s allure thoroughly discombobulating the young theurge, Saffir managed to keep her head, and the sidhe at a safe distance.
Her voice became hoarse from all the talking, and one of the fae behind her offered her a glass of water. Saffir refused the offer as politely as possible and continued answering. She grew tired from standing, shifting her weight from foot to foot and bending her knees, and one of the fae offered her a place to rest, but again, she quietly demurred and went on answering, continually thankful that her mother had told her the stories from all the different celtic mythologies.
At last the sidhe asked one final question; “Will you speak for us?” At first stunned, she did not immediately respond, so he asked again. This time, she opened her mouth to reply, but nothing came out. Trying again, her voice made an odd squeaking noise, but nothing else. A woman, the man’s match for beauty and finely garbed in a flowing gown seemingly made of pure sunshine, stepped forward and placed a delicate hand on Saffir’s shoulder.
“I see your answer is yes…” she starts with a voice soft but ringing with many different timbres and accents, each taking a turn in precedence. “But if you would speak for us to your kin in these darkening days, you will need one that will gain their attention.”As she spoke her last word, one of the myriad voices vanished. Saffir cleared her throat and was able to thank the woman in the new voice.
“Safe Journey, and speak well,” the man says… Then, with the blink of an eye, the fae all disappeared, and the surrounding scenery did as well. Saffir promptly kicked herself as she recognized the area as part of the Fianna tribal homelands. Thoroughly chagrined, she set off for home.
Upon her return some time later, and after hearing the tale from the spirits that had watched over the cub, her den parent named her “Glór ar Sí” – gaelic for ‘voice of faerie’.
She was a bit of a messenger between the fae and the garou of Ireland then. Recently though, the fae asked her to investigate some places of fae power located on a sept/caern in America; specifically, the sept on Grey Cloud Island, River’s Might.
Upon her arrival, she found that there were only a few places on the island held by the Nunnehi, but she still found herself getting swept into the problems of the fae. Thankfully, most of them coincided with the problems her new sept faced. She’s considered a close advisor to the Countess, and can be found at the Freehold and she offers a little physical training (advanced students, comprised almost entirely of Trolls and Redcaps, she takes on “runs” with her pack, Collateral Damage) and teaches a little lore and occult as well.