Moira was bouncing up and down on her rear, so excited was she by the turn of events in her father's tale. "She did it? She got all six stories? She got what she needed to fix the book?"
Caoimhe rolled her eyes. "Of course she did! If she hadn't we'd have all sorts of stories about Nightmares ruling Ireland, and the English may be headaches, but they aren't worthy of being called the nightmares of the fae." Caoimhe hoisted herself up onto her knees so that she could look between her mother and her father. "But... how did the Sorceress get free of Underhill? Dúnmharú was blinded - so she had no guide back out of the passage tomb!"
"Nuh-uh!" contradicted Moira. "You're forgetting about the satyr that came with them too. The smart one that just stood and watched and never said anything. I bet the other fae forgot about her too!"
Their Da chuckled and nodded in agreement.
"Indeed they did Moira. And Damhsa took advantage of their forgetfulness to head to the exit of the hall - ready to guide the Sorceress again to the realms of men - but the fae were not ones to allow an escape so easily; especially after they had been so soundly beaten.
Unsurprisingly, it was the host of the Hall - the aos sí of Rus who challenged the Sorceress' attempt to leave.
"And WHERE do you think you are going?" he challenged.
"I am leaving. The sunrise comes soon, and I will not be tricked into staying passed the rise of the sun."
"You think you can leave? You think you are allowed?" sneered the Rus
The Sorceress turned with a frown and rapped her zebra staff against the floor - and where she hit it, the floor began to age and crack.
"You do not want me to stay here Lord of the Rus. You do not want me to live in your realm. You do not want to give me that sort of power."
The columns grew fissures. - The diamonds in the ceiling started to crack and rain dust down upon the room.
The Rus glared at her and with a deep breath, enforced his will upon his realm, halting her damage. "You have not negotiated for passage out from Underhill. You have given me no price to allow you out of my realm."
The Sorceress should have been frightened at his words; any human would have....... but as she had told them earlier, she was no human. She laughed. She laughed and her laughter echoed through the hall and shook the walls.... and then she began to speak in a voice that echoed with madness. "You want me in the other realm lord of Rus. You want my imagination and my mind where it can be a balm to your kind... you do not want it here ....
For if I stay here..... your walls will run red with spirits of blood who live only to turn your beautiful halls into ruins of their glory."
As she spoke the words, the blood spirits she spoke of started to form out of the cracks she had created in the marble and as they flowed down the walls, the walls began to crumble and rust, just as her narrative had said they would.
The Rus gaped in horror and astonishment as his will failed to right his world. "How? How are you doing that? Those are dreams I have never seen!"
The Sorceress laughed her eerie laugh of madness again. The voice she spoke with was still dripping with a lack of sanity. "I am one who believes the power of her words. I am a Senachie- moon touched, bearing the blood of chaos and gifted with the ancient magics of will. I am mad enough to believe that the words I speak are true and real.... and so here- they are..
Trap me at your own peril."
The Lord of Rus watched the blood spirits eat through the walls and head toward the floor- leaving in their trail a void of nothingness.
"OUT!" the aos sí screamed in utter terror. "GET OUT! AND TAKE YOUR STORIES WITH YOU!!!"
The Sorceress twisted her mouth into a smirk and put her hand on Damhsa's elbow, ready to be lead home. "I obey your command my Lord."
Damhsa led the Sorceress and Dúnmharú up the long stairs and through the winding maze through which they had come. When they exited the threshold of the mound that had been the door to the place, the Sorceress paused... and listened - straining to hear back down the marble tunnels.
She was rewarded with the most beautiful screams she had ever heard. It hurt her ears so much that she was turned deaf and could not hear her own victorious laughter or anything ever after."
Caoimhe sat up and gave a puzzled expression to her father. "But wait, if they made her deaf, how was it still a victory?"
Caoimhe's Da smirked. Lord of the realm as he was, the Rus aos sí's panicked words had expelled not only the Sorceress and her story of the blood spirits, but his words had also ripped from Underhill ALL the stories that the Sorceress had taken with her - including the memories of each story she had given to the fae in trade for the pages in her coat.
Caoimhe and Moira rolled on the floor with laughter at how wonderful a victory their ancestor had gained over the malicious and capricious 'fair folk'. After all, it was always grand to hear a tale of the monsters getting beaten for once.
After a while, Caoimhe stopped laughing enough to look at her father and admit how she had been wrong in her initial assessment of the insane Sorceress. "You were right Da. Crazy she might 'ave been, but there was no way she was a Silver Fang - she was far too clever and even actually admitted that she was crazy!"
Caoimhe's Ma stood from her chair and decided to use the opportunity to drive home an important lesson. "Insanity will come for us all eventually my dears - but if you deny it, you only give it power. If you accept it, and admit to it, than your insanity can become your power.
Caoimhe looked up at her Ma and in a very serious voice said "Insanity isn't coming for me Ma. It's already found me."
Moira gave her big sister a fierce hug and her Da nodded as her Ma said with pride "Good girl."
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