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That wear gowd on your hair,
To come or gae by Carterhaugh . . .
Stories collect around the Queen of Elfland, and most of them agree -- she is a woman to be wary of. Beautiful, seductive, and commanding, she has a fondness for mortal men.
And at the end of seven years, she pays a tithe to hell.
Until then, her land is a lovely place for her mortal favorites.
Full beautiful—a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.
The Queen is tall, dark-haired, and very beautiful. Her eyecolor is never quite definable. Her appearance as a whole may vary slightly from time to time, depending on who she's talking to or when she's living, but the basics are constant.
"Harp and carp along wi' me,
And if ye dare to kiss my lips,
Sure of your bodie I will be."
Any beautiful mortal man will catch her eye, but the creative ones -- artists, poets, musicians -- are of especial interest, for fairies rarely create anything on their own, and are easily bored.
Be warned, though: the tithe will have to be paid. And if the Queen cannot find one of her fair company to go, the Devil will come for her. She is most anxious to avoid this.
Into an esk and adder . . .
The Queen's powers are relatively limited. When dealing with men, she relies on their desires to put them in thrall and bring them back to her land with her -- more often than not, that is enough.
Most of her power stems from a sort of persuasiveness. She can convince someone of the right mindset to forget her, to be paralyzed, to obey her. The stronger-willed or more magically resistant someone is, the less likely this is to work.
Like most fairies, she can cast highly realistic glamours -- turning Tam Lin into a bear, a swan, a burning brand, and so forth. These will not last forever, and can be broken by distracting her, or application of iron, salt, or running water. The Queen can be hurt by iron, and avoids salt and running water as much as possible.
The Queen is inspired by a number of sources, primarily the Scottish ballad Tam Lin. She should not be confused with Shakespeare's Titania. Titania is nice.
Recommended: Pamela Dean's Tam Lin | Diana Wynne Jones'Fire & Hemlock | Terry Pratchett's Lords and Ladies
She appears here solely for use in milliways_bar. No profit is being made from this journal.
Monica Bellucci belongs to herself.
ballads, elfland, england, fae, fairies, ireland, music, poetry, poets, scotland, tam lin, the fairy court, the road to faerieland, thomas the rhymer, wales