A Long Forgotten Power
Lord Killian ó Catháin of Ballyhaunis
The Mad Lord — The late Lord of the Ballyhaunis region.
Lord Killian and his family, being of Elvish lineage, had governed the Ballyhaunis region for nearly three centuries. Killian himself was revered by his people as a great ruler with a mind for economics which spawned a richly diverse and wealthful region. The wet and mild winters kept the foothills of the Menedor mountains fertile, and with proper irrigation, the long dry summers were ideal for growing grapes. KIllian recognized this and helped to convert many of the local farms to vineyards.
Several years later, he founded the town of Skeaghard near where the Melanis River merged with the Great Dalgunn River. He appointed his half-brother Kieran as the Duke of Skeaghard and the two governed peacefully for 150 years. Killian was known to travel the region, usually in commoners clothing, in order to sample the wines and spirits that his farms had so carefully prepared. He made every effort to visit each village at least once a year in order to sample the food and drink, and take stock of the state of local affairs. His visits were always unannounced, and always welcomed by the establishments. He ate and drank well and always paid double for his services.
For the last several years though, Lord Killian’s visits had become less and less frequent, and more often than not, he would send an aide or his half-brother Kieran to assess the status of the local towns. When Killian would come to town, he was always well dressed, though the clothing was dirty and torn. He began to look haggard and would sometimes shout out obscenities at random. His pleasant charm had faded and was replaced by persistent malcontent of varying degrees. He no longer paid double for his services, and instead demanded free service from everyone in town usually under threat.
Each subsequent year was worse than the previous until he simply stopped visiting. In fact he was rarely seen outside of his library or bed chamber at Ballyhaunis Castle. He had become reclusive, secretive, as his demeanor spiraled towards insanity. Finally, one day he had barged into his youngest daughter’s room while she and his wife had been sitting, and drew his longsword. His wife Saoirse called forth her rapier and the two crossed blades for the first time in nearly three decades. This time, though, one fought for her life, and the other fought with the passion of madness. A flurry of blows left Saoirse weakened, and Killian, blind with a mad rage, pierced the belly of his beautiful wife.
It was nearly an hour later when the eldest daughter Siobhan returned to the castle. She found her father keening, sobbing, and solemn. Her mother lay in her own blood which was becoming sticky with exposure to the dry air of summer. Killian, without turning spoke two words to his daughter, the sanist words he had spoken in 10 years.
Without hesitation, Siobhan took up her fathers longsword and delivered a fatal blow with a single strike.
With that blow, she had inherited the title of Lady Siobhan, and all of the responsibility she had been trained since a child to undertake. The wake was small, only Lady Siobhan, her second sister Sayuri, a few members of the court, and Lieutenant Malrey of the Chelish army. The youngest sister, Siavanya, nor Lord Killian’s half-brother could be found.