Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Chapter 4: The Ballad of Tam Lin

Ariel Hawksquill, the town's doctor, has confirmed their second child will be a boy, and Meri and Allyn discuss names.

"I'd like to call him Tamlin," Allyn says, a blush spreading over her cheeks.

"I like it," Meri says, but noticing her color, asks, "Does that name have a special meaning for you?"

"You don't know it?" she asked, surprised.

"Should I?" Meri asks, shaking his head.

"Tamlin was a fairy, there are several stories and ballads about him. He was once a mortal man, taken by the Queen of the Fairies and turned into one of them. A young maiden encounters him in an enchanted wood and falls in love with him, gets pregnant, and then rescues him, turning him back into a human. Do you think any of that was true?" Allyn asks, a little disappointed that it's not common knowledge here.

"Mortals tell a lot of fairy stories, most of them probably have some bit of truth to them. The whole turning from human to fairy and back again sounds impossible," Meri says, "But it is true that Tania Summerdream used to take humans. She was trying to understand them, I think, trying to find some way to coexist. Of course kidnapping them, especially the children, didn't really help relations between the fae and humans. Why do you want to name our son after Tamlin?"

Allyn blushes again, deeper red, "I used to have this fantasy about meeting a handsome fairy in an enchanted forest and running away with him."

"Enchanted forests are hard to come by these days," Meri says, taking her hands.

"But I got my handsome fairy to run away with," Allyn laughs.

When their son is born, they name him Tamlin.

The young parents find their time filled by caring for their children.

Meri, a hopeless romantic at heart, teaches Brynne about the important things in life.

 Nothing could make Meri any happier than he is right now.  Except maybe another child.

 Allyn agrees to his plan, and soon a third child is on the way.

Tamlin becomes a toddler.

Brynne is happy to have a playmate in the nursery, rather than just a crying baby.

But Brynne's day in the nursery are coming to end.

Brynne becomes a child.

Allyn goes into labor a little earlier than expected, and Brynne birthday cake is interrupted.

Meri rushes Allyn off to the hospital, leaving their party guests behind. The Summerdreams have seven children between them, but are still utterly at a loss when dealing with labor. Brynne, however, is not going to let childbirth interrupt her cake time.

The party carries on while Meri and Allyn are gone. Casey, Erys and Melusine's oldest, now a teen, chats with her aunt Tansy, while Brynne gets to know her aunt.

"I'm your fairy godmother!" Tansy exclaims, tickling little Tamlin. Allyn had introduced her to the fairy godmother concept and decided to take on that role herself.

When it grows late, Erys tucks his nephew into his crib. He and Melusine recently had a third child, a boy named Aubrey, after hos own father, Auberon.

Meri and Allyn come home with their new son, Kalen, while Erys is in the nursery with Tamlin.

"I really need a shower," Allyn sighs as she tucks Kalen into his crib, "Can you take care of the cake plates?" She doesn't wait for answer, knowing her husband will clean up before bed.

Before he heads down to clean up, Meri takes a second to talk to his brother-in-law. They've both been so busy with their jobs and babies, they haven't had a chance to hang out like they used to. After boasting for awhile about their kids' looks, intelligence and cute antics, Meri asks Erys about the story Allyn told him about Tamlin.

"My mother never talked much about the old days," Erys says, admitting that he'd never heard of this Tamlin character, either. "But do you think it could be true, that my mother was able to turn a mortal fae?" 

"It's doesn't seem possible. But only your mother would know."

Erys' eyes brighten, and he smiles, "I'll ask her, then. Maybe she could..."

Superstitious, afraid of jinxing himself, Erys doesn't finish the thought. Instead, her pulls his brother-in-law into a warm embrace. "Thank you," he whispers.

Brynne wakes up early, hours before her first day of school, to get some time with her birthday gift, a new easel.

As the sun rises, Erys meets with his mother on the roof of the Summerdream house.

It has been a long time since Tania took a physical form, and she embraces her son fondly.

"I have three children," he tells her, "With Melusine Dayspring. We're married now." And he tells her about his sisters, their husbands and children.

"It is wonderful you are all doing so well, and Edgewater prospers so," Tania says, "You are all so fertile! But you called me here to speak of other things, I assume?"

"I want to know about Tamlin," Erys answers. Tania's expression shows confusion, and for a moment Erys' hopes are dashed, he should have known the story was some mortal fantasy. Not willing to let it go so quickly, Erys presses on, "It's a human tale. You took a mortal man and made him fae?"

"You are speaking of Tam Lin," Tania says, "Why do you ask about him?"

"It was true then?" Erys can barely contain his excitement, "You turned a mortal? You could do this for Melusine, and our children, so they won't have to die?"

"I did turn Tam Lin," Tania admits, "But what he was, and what he became...it was not as simple as your tale tells. After I changed him, Tam Lin prowled the woods, using the gifts I bestowed to seduce and prey on mortal girls. He was of us, but not. He was human, but not truly of them any longer, either."

"But Melusine is already part fae," Erys protests, "And our children...that won't happen to them."

"Maybe not the same way it happened to Tam Lin, but you cannot change from one state to another without changing in more fundamental ways. I will not do as you ask. Not to Bricelle's daughter, not to my own grandchildren."

"Then teach me how to do it."

"This is not some simple enchantment. The power I used to change Tam Lin was not solely my own. You have not spent the time engaging your magic that I had done when I set myself on that course. You are fae, my son, but you live like a mortal. If you truly wish to learn from me, you will need to work for it."

"I will do anything to keep Melusine and our children alive," Erys swears, determined.

"So you say," Tania answers, "But you have not even spoken to her of your plan, have you? Mortals, even those with fae blood, are surprisingly unwilling to give up their mortality. Only the foolish ones who don't understand what they are seeking actually pursue immortality. You have lived only the length of two human lifetimes, you have yet to feel the weight of time. When the centuries pass, you will begin to understand what the mortals know instinctively. It will take that long before you are ready to practice the kind of magic I could teach you, if you are determined to learn."

"But by then, Melusine will be..." Erys can't say it out loud.

"As long as you think like a mortal, son, true magic will elude you. Your goals are short-sighted and personal. To use your power, you must become your power. And to become your power, you must let go of your attachment to your life, be willing to leave your physical form and exist as pure spirit. When you are ready to do that, then come to me, and I will teach you."

Tam Lin (aka, Tamlin or Tamlane) is a real character from folklore. There are several versions of the tale, and ballads about him. I've changed some of the details of his story to fit my lore.
In case it wasn't obvious, folklore, fairy tales and world religion/mythology is an obsession of mine. So nice to be able to use it for something!

So, for the challenge, I've got the 3 required kids. I will have a hard time choosing an heir. All three have the artistic trait (to fit the Stylist career). Brynne also has Loves the Outdoors and Party Animal. Tamlin has Friendly and Kalen has Brave.
Meri's Misc. Fun is live your trait, and I've chosen Hopeless Romantic for that. So everyday, he makes time to romance Allyn, and also he fulfills every roll to amorous hug and kiss her. He gets those daily.


  1. I can't wait to see what hair Kalen has! I am in love with Brynne's myself... I'm happy Meri and Allyn are still deeply in love :)

    I wonder what Erys will choose... or if Melusine would even be on board with it. :/

    1. Also, I totally thought you were going for Tamlen from DA before you explained the lore behind it xD

  2. While it would be nice for Erys not to have to lose Melusine, I can't help agreeing with Tania that his idea is all too likely to go wrong

  3. I love the twist you gave the story for erys!

    And I just have to say, when meri tries to teach brynne to talk about love, she looks as thigh to say "ooh no, not this again..."

    I love the hair of those toddlers! And the eyes! I have something with it of the ordinary Sims.

  4. Maddie, when I did my first playthrough as a Dalish elf (a male), I almost named him Tamlin, but decided against it figuring it was too obvious of an elf name. Then the first elf I meet in game is Tamlen. I'd be willing to bet the DA writers had Tam Lin in mind when they named him. It would have been funny though, Tamlin and Tamlen.

  5. Great chapter! All of the kids are so adorable. I see Tamlin got his father's eyes. Good Lord, good luck picking an heir. I also get where Tania is coming from. But would immortality be so bad if you got to bring your family along for the ride? Hmmmmm....

  6. Looking forward to more! You have such a great imagination. :)

  7. ... I want a handsome fairy to run away with. : (

    Erys' situation makes me sad, but I understand Tania's worries (Also: Yay! So happy to see her again!) Erys is now officially by fav of the Summerdream siblings. Although Tansy's fairy godmother comment made me smile. It was just so adorable.

  8. Gah! Don't be so selfish Erys. If you love her and your family so much, choose to become mortal!!! Would you really want to live without them, come time for that? I wonder if Tania would even do that for him though, since she would be losing an immortal and son to boot.

  9. Thanks, guys!
    My personal feeling has always been that immortality becomes a burden, psychologically and emotionally, and that gets reflected a lot when I'm dealing with immortal or long-lived characters like Sim vampires.
    I haven't fully decided where I'm going with Erys' story, but I have some ideas. And I will be giving Melusine a chance to speak her opinions on the subject in future chapters.

  10. I love all the kids! I already said this, but Brynne's hair = <3 I just can't get over how nicely it suits her.

    Erys' story makes me so dang emotional. I'm excited to read where you take it though.

  11. I love Brynne's hair it is so pretty >.>
    Oh poor Erys' I feel he is going to screw something the wrong way.