• Aisling

    Unforgiving Dead

    Pr: 1 Ag: 2 Bo: 1 Re: 2 Af: 3

    Size: Small Atk: 0 (0) Def: 0 AC: 1 Ini: 2

    Hits: 20 (6d)

    Fúaimm: 0

    Spells: None.

    Abilities: Immune to physical damage, with wounds immediately healing with no sign of injury. Takes half damage from magical or enchanted attacks. If slain, will return to the shores of Loch Aillionn and start her search again on the morning that follows the night of the next full moon (with full attributes and hits). Anyone slaying the form of Aisling will be affected as if by the spell Dark Night of the Soul until such time as they can find her once again and help release her spirit from its curse.

    Background: Aisling was a young girl born into a small settlement on the shores of Loch Aillionn in 2859, along with her twin sister Ébha. Her parents worked the loch with her father setting out each morning as the first rays of dawn crept over the hills to the east and gazed south and west to the stronghold of the ruling king, Ailill mac Máta. The settlement was a quiet one, providing food, wood and other trade to Cruachan in exchange for the king’s protection. The first years of their lives were happy ones. Food was plentiful, the spring in which they were born and the summer that followed were warm and the autumn and winter mild. The settlement was always well stocked with food. As they grew up together, Aisling and Ébha were rarely seen apart; they would play together on the shores of the loch and help their mother prepare and cure the fish to be traded with Cruachan. Unbeknown to the villagers however, things were afoot in the king’s court and a dark shadow was spreading from the north. In 2865 during the sixth year of Aisling’s life, war broke out as the king Ailill mac Máta struck north and began to wage war with the tribes of Ulster. Tragedy then fell upon the family mere weeks before the twin’s seventh birthday in the early spring of 2866.

    Their father had set out early that morning as the moon was at its fullest and the sky clear. By dawn however, a thick, unwelcome mist had rolled in across the loch and fearing that the fishermen could lose their way back to the settlement, many of the children had been instructed to build a beacon on the shores of the loch to beckon the men-folk home – Aisling and Ébha included. The fire crackled and spat into the dawn sky and the children gazed through cupped hands into the mist, straining to see sign of the returning fishermen. As the prow of the first boat pierced the thick mist, the welcoming yells of the children quickly turned to screams as they saw it for what it really was; not the hull of a village fishing currach but the carved and blood-soaked bow of a Fomorian oar-boat, hung with the severed heads of the fishermen. Ébha wailed and ran back up the hill to the settlement, as did many of the children. Aisling dropped to her knees on the shore, her face buried in tear-stained hands as the mercenaries leapt into the shallows and began their assault, having taken advantage of the mists to sail up the from the river to Lough Erne in the east. They were the first of many such Fomorian raids taking advantage of the war between Connacht and Ulster. Aisling was slain, her throat cut and her body left floating face down in the shallows of Loch Aillion. Whilst the settlement was razed and the raiders proceeded inland, many of the villagers escaped to the safety of Cruachan, Ébha and her mother included.

    Aisling takes the form of a young girl, her plaited hair dishevelled, tousled and wet and hanging in front of her face. Physically she looks like any other young child, though her skin is pale and muddied. On closer inspection and should her hair be brushed aside then her face shows signs of wounds and and scratches and close examination of her neck shows a broad, deep cut devoid of blood or other signs of trauma. She does not speak and her eyes are glazed and sightless. Each full moon she appears at dawn, walking slowly out of a thick mist that coalesces and drifts from the shallows of Loch Aillionn, even on the clearest of mornings. She wanders in the direction of Cruachan, never at a pace that is fast enough to reach it by nightfall; at which point she fades into the mist again until the night of the next full moon. Her curse is the bond she shares with her sister Ébha; the bond of twins, torn apart by horror and tragedy. Her sister still lives in Cruachan, wracked with guilt at leaving Aisling behind on the shores that terrible morning. Should the twins ever be reunited and Ébha ask for forgiveness from her Restless sister, so Aisling’s spirit will be free to pass through the Veil and onwards to the otherworld.