Éadaoin Ní Marcaí

Conor's Fae Mom

Mainly I created this entry to just pull it off Conor’s record sheet
Conor only knows some of this in-character yet.

His mother is the mythological figure of Éadaoin (one of the Tuatha dé Danann). She is a powerful Sidhe of the Summer Court and very ancient. She has powers over women, fertility, childbirth, horses, butterflies, swans, and all things that are pushed by the wind (dandelions, leaves, pollen, etc. etc.). In English the name is written Etain. She is not quite the equivalent in power/position of Lea for the Winter Court (from the Books), but she’s up there.

Etain has the power to turn into the Irish Peacock butterfly (Inachis io) or a white swan. She also has a ritual that allows her to be born into mortality time and again via human women. In the ritual, her butterfly form dissolves into a glass of wine. The target “mother” then drinks it and becomes pregnant the very next time she has intercourse with a man regardless of if conception actually happens (as with most of the “old magics” the energy of the act itself powers the spell). If intercourse resulted in a regular conception, then Etain will have a fraternal twin. Etain is always a daughter and will come into all of her memories and powers at the time of her “first blood” at puberty. The child is not a Changeling per se, but it does use the Changeling template. This is actually how Etain keeps immortality interesting; being born multiple times and living a new life every few centuries. Unfortunately, it never lasts as eventually the Summer Court finds her again… at which point she vanishes from mortality.

One of her lifetimes was spent in Galway as the wife of a simple Galway farmer. Conor’s father knew her by her mortal name of Éadaoin Ní Marcaí (which was the modern spelling of her old name Étain Echraide, or Etain the Rider). Then, the Sidhe found her again… and she was forced to leave or risk her husband getting hurt in the “splash effect” of the Fae Courts. She knew her son would be drawn into the mess of Fae politics one day. Whether she is watching over him now or not… that’s up to the GM._

Appearing to Others (Materializing)

Butterflies and being blown around in the wind is pretty central to her legend. So I figure that Etain will always appear in a swirling cloud of things blown by the wind (leaves, dandelions, flower petals, wind blown seed pods) and butterflies.

Physical Description

Warning: The following are boring notes on her appearance

Etain’s physical description is actually one of the few Tuatha dé Danann that is preserved in multiple sources. So I figure like Lea always shows up in her “favorite” guise, I’d do the same for Etain.

  • Physical
    • Hair: Red-Blonde. Specifically the color of polished red gold (copper tinted blonde) or the yellow flag iris in summer (when it takes a slight reddish tint).
      • Her hair has two 4-strand braids that end with golden beads at the end of each strand, tied together with a green silk ribbon (unknown if all her hair is in the two braids or if the two braids are small and decorative). Also worn is a silver and gold comb “tiara.”
    • Skin: Snow white on a moonlit night
    • Cheeks: Pink as foxglove (flower)
    • Eyes: Blue as any blue flower (most likely the Spring Gentian common on The Burren)
    • Lips: Red as rowan-berries
    • Misc: High proud eyebrows and dimples

  • Dress
    • Sleeveless green silk dress with a hood. A sleeveless Celtic léine in the greek/roman style. I believe that since it was silk, it was more likely an imported garment from Greece or Rome.
      • It is heavily embroidered with red gold thread (almost certainly the Greek “maze” border pattern) along the edges (suggesting it is actually an imported Greek green wild silk Ionic Chiton or embroidered Roman stola depending on the era you believe the Irish legends take place).
      • The legends record the dress had an integral hood of the same fabric. So that presents a problem as this is clearly an Irish modification to the Greek/Roman design.
        • I suggest that the heavy embroidery, combined with the “overfold” style of the Doric chiton, allows the back part of the overflap to form a hood when she pulls it up over her head (the heavy embroidery also helps hold it open, as a hood should). It would also be protection against the scratchy wool fabric of her cloak/brat.
        • A Roman stola does not allow that unless the hood was added afterwards (which is also possible). If this is the case, it was a basic folded hood stitched to the back “panel” of the stola (the back area in between the fibulae attachment points). It is possible that the “hood” was the Roman palla (but it would have been the same fabric, and she wears a wool brat as well). It seems unlikely the hood came from a palla. Romans also recorded that the Celts loved hooded garments (cuculla) and cowls so it doesn’t seem unreasonable to believe that they would have had a problem adding a hood after the fact.
    • The dress is attached by two heavy golden fibulae at the shoulders, connected via silver and gold interlocked jewelry that drapes across her breasts like a heavy necklace.
    • Yes silk! Most likely it was Greek/Mediterranean raw wild silk (not modern Mulberry Silkworm silk). Archaeological digs support the idea of Greek export silk in northern Europe as early as 270 BCE. Optionally if it was a Roman stola, silk is certainly possible.
  • Cloak
    • Her cloak (actually a brat) is of purple wool with silver tied fringe. It is held together at her shoulder with a “Celtic” penannular brooch.

Only the above is recorded in the ancient Irish texts. The rest is speculative based on the items found in the Reinheim “Celtic Princess” tomb.

  • Misc
    • Her dress would have required a belt. Most likely gold chain links and amber beads, ending with some kind of dangling beadwork decoration.
    • Shoes are leather low “boots” (see Roman calcei) with golden decoration around the ankles (see Heuneburg dig). The laces most likely end in gold aiglets.
      • Celtic women were notorious in antiquity for wearing their dresses short enough to expose the ankles (plus you don’t put gold on the ankles and not show it off).
    • Jewelry
      • Gold neck torc
      • Heavy single-strand necklace of amber beads
      • Gold arm and/or wrist torcs
      • A bangle or two of silver, gold, and/or carved amber
      • Gold toe ring (obviously not visible)
    • Makeup
      • Celtic women are known in antiquity to have worn eye shadow. Most likely black, blue, or green.
      • Eyebrows were plucked (tweezers were found in burial digs) and dyed a dark color with berry juice
      • Fingernails were stained with berry juice

Source photos found via Google image search, in general used without permission, and digitally modified for our usage (claiming fair use: parody/pastiche). This is a non-profit site, no challenge real or intended to legally held copyrights. Please contact the GM if you would like your image/likeness removed or if you prefer different credits/notice.

  • Art Used For Photos: Unknown Model Alexander McQueen Fashion Show

Éadaoin Ní Marcaí

Dresden Files Dallas wolfhound wolfhound