The Princess Niamh, being the only daughter of the Fairy Rhianna and King Gavron, and a woman filled with grace besides, had such beauty about her that as she grew she became almost unbearable to look upon. Those who saw her without her veil were laid bare: some taking up a holy life, while others were driven mad. However, as none could come into her presence, none could woo her.
Fortunately, news came of a recluse, a "hermit," who was purported to have the head and tail of a lion, the wings and claw of an eagle, and all other parts a man. He agreed to meet with Niamh and, if she liked, marry him. As he journeyed southward, he sent the eagles of Eyre as emissaries, and in this way they came to like each other.
However, Niamh was so afraid that once again she would overpower a suitor, that she listened to the advice of a devious Count who hated the Princess, and who advised her to burn her skin and make herself lesser so that she might meet her bridegroom. Niamh threw herself into the fire, her whole body becoming ashen, so that when her father entered, he did not recognize her and cast her out of the castle.
Niamh adventured from there, even as her bridegroom - who arrived soon after at the castle and learnt of Gavron's mistake - sought her out. After many trials and transformations, they were reunited, but at the cost of a second Fairy's life: this time Maelgwenn, the trickster of them all.
Read the full adventure here!
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(c) Emily C. A. Snyder