Story for the Day: Tirlough's Bluff
Frewyn has many romantic legends, one of the most prominent being the history behind Tir Bryn, or Tirlough's Bluff. Tirlough was General to Brave King Breian, the king responsible for winning the First Galleisian War. Thanks to Tirlough's excellent tactics, the war was won in a week and thence Frewyn enjoyed a long period of peace. After the war, however, an injured Galleisian woman was found near Westren, Tirlough's home. His clan nursed her back to health, and just as Tirlough was about to return to his post in Diras, he realized that he had fallen in love with the Galleisian woman. His position took him away from Westren, but his clan promised to look after Frihet until Tirlough could return. He promised to come back every Gods' Day to see her. His promised was kept, and every week the two would meet at the large tree on the bluff between Kileen and Westren. They were married on the bluff and were eventually buried there when their time came. There is a series being written about all of Frewyn's legends, and here is a small chapter from Tirlough and Frihet's story. Enjoy.
Tirlough was tending the fire when Frihet entered the main room. He could not but hear her shuffling footfalls echoing through the grand hall, but did not turn to remark her as she walked over the threshold and toward his usual chair. He sat in deep ponderation, with elbows on his knees, chin resting on raised fists. He was conscious of her approach but his mind was engaged with notions of their soon parting to pay her immediate regard. He did not like to leave her; they were only just grown more accustomed to one another, she only beginning to speak to him and he only beginning to acknowledge sentiments that his heart had long been whispering to his mind. He liked her, excessively so, and was sorry that he must soon quit Westren. His time at home had been unexpectedly agreeable, and though he might have been diffident to leave his post for a protracted period before Frihet had been in the question, he could not express the same sentiments now. He might defer his leave by a few days and meet Breian in Tyfferim rather than in Diras, but that he and the beguiling Galleisian must part ere long occasioned some feelings that he was ashamed to disregard. It was uncommon for him to suffer such an attachment: that she was Galleisian and that she was a pariah to her people for having sided with Frewyn openly were points in her favour, but his admiration of her endurance, of her willingness to recommence her life in another kingdom with language and a people and customs she barely knew, must garner all his esteem. She had relinquished a life of subjection and cruelty for one that may have shown itself to be more of the same, but her readiness to salvage her dignity in a kingdom that must be Gallei's enemy accorded Tirlough a wonderment that made her infinitely endearing. She was a silent sufferer, a quiet tempest that would rather endure the pain of estrangement than the pain of indifferent familiarity. She stood at his side waiting to be acknowledged when a sudden notion struck him: he would take her to Brien and ask for sanctuary. She was a casualty of war, though she was found in Frewyn after the treaty had been signed and sealed, but if dates and records could be forged, she should be well established as a refugee before the season's end. Then it should be illegal for her to return to Gallei. He smiled thinly to himself; he liked this plan, and though war had allowed him to design various machinations for battle, schemes contrived in times of peace might prove to be just as animating.
His gaze drifted over to the woman at his side. "C'mere, bhean," his voice rumbled, taking her hand and pulling her against him. "This is what we're gonna be: yer gonna live here in my clan's home, they're gonna take good care of ye, I'm gonna ask Brien for yer sanctuary, he's gonna give it, and ye ain't gonna worry 'bout goin' back to Gallei no more, ye understand?"
She nodded and tried to suppress her smiles, able to conceal the wreathing corners of her mouth but unwilling to check the crinkling of her eyes.
"Good." He swept his arm under her legs, taking them out from under her, and placed her in the seat of his lap. "And this is what we're gonna do," he added, his tone softening. He wrapped the arms of his hulk peats around her and held her chin with his thumb and forefinger to gain her unmitigated attention. "We're gonna be together, ye and me, bhean, ye hear me?"
Her eyes brightened and her whole aspect was in a glow.
"Aye,” he nodded, “and I'm gonna come back every Gods' Day to be with ye. Yer gonna meet me by that tree on the bluff, and yer gonna open yer arms to me when I come, and I'm gonna catch ye up and ravish ye on the sward."
She laughed, placed her delicate arms around his neck, and turned away that he might not see the tears welling in her eyes.
"And,” he demanded, pulling her features back to meet his, “yer gonna be mine and no one else's. Ye hear me?"
She could not but hear him at such convenience, but she understood the sense in his speech: this was his proposal, and she nestled his rough cheek with her nose and kissed him to convey her approval.
"Aye," he purred, "that's mho bhean laith. Ye'll come with me to see Breian, and when we come back, I'm gonna marry ye under that tree, that every time yer waitin' for me to come back, ye'll remember my promise to ye." His hand wandered through her knotted locks and pulled her forward, his mouth oppressing hers in a violent osculation. He would have her, by rights he should, for he had secured and safeguarded her life, but her acceptance of his vow is what he was truly desirous of attaining. His proposal was met with unbridled exultation, and the moment she pulled away to whisper her breathless acquiescence, Tirlough wrapped his enormous arms around her slight frame and ravished her sinuous skin with all the heedless fervency that his affection unbound could accord.