Her Return Edit
Lady Una, cast out of Arcadia in 1969, came to a very different Earth than the one of fae memory. The reasons for her exile have been forgotten, a casualty of the Mists, but it is known that her exile was neither inhumane nor haphazard. She replaced a mortal girl, Martine Jenkins, so that she would have some protection from Banality. That summer, Martine had a nervous breakdown; for days she seemed dazed, apparently responding to things that weren't there, speaking of fantastical events, and sobbing uncontrollably. Her parents never considered professional help. Once they were certain that her condition wasn't drug related, they did what they thought best: they gave her time and love. It seemed to do the trick, and Martine slowly returned to her senses, though she was never quite the same.
For Una, the exile was particularly harsh. She was young, and had endless summers of pleasure and romance ahead of her. To be cast out suddenly into the role of a quiet human teenager from suburbia was almost more than she could bear. If not for the obvious concern the Jenkins' showed the girl they thought to be their daughter, she would have forgotten all. Instead, she resolved to make the best of it; a world in which parents so cared for their children could not be irredeemable.
To mortal eyes, her first year was peaceful and serene, save for one "minor" incident. A seemingly innocuous school outing to Fort Pulaski turned into a harrowing gauntlet for her; she became separated from her group and it turned out that a small band of nunnehi were in the area. During the five hours Una was "lost," she was taunted and harried across the historical site, driven further and further from the safety of human company. Her flight, however, was not without purpose. Using Arts of Primal and Soothsay, she learned the lay of the land, and worked this to her advantage. She also discovered a hidden cache of weapons and cold iron, brought by "the dark ones," according to the trees. So armed, she hid herself in the hollows of the dunes and made her stand. The nunnehi, not expecting serious resistance, fled, carrying their wounded, as Una assailed them with cold iron-tipped arrows. Surviving such an attack, as well as uncovering weapons that were presumably intended for foul purposes, won her fame, as well as the favor of Baron Morrig's court. Some say that the baron's exposure of the Shadow Court's assassination attempt on Elena, duchess of the Southern Coast, can be attributed in no small part to Una's initial discovery. There is neither confirmation nor denial of this scenario, though the baron, now Count Morrig, holds great esteem for Una.
In her early years at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Una kept herself close to the center of the arts scene, though she was never a direct contributor. Soon, her attachment to artists and there eventual successes earned her the nickname "Muse." When she learned of this, though, she withdrew, fearing that she had made her Reveries too obvious, and began to cultivate solitude. Long walks became a regular ritual for Una. Her cloak of alienation protected her, and after a while, the nickname faded; but her withdrawal had another, more unexpected effect. When unoccupied, she began to have visions, almost waking dreams, of the aching beauty of lost Arcadia. It became a vicious, melancholy circle; the self-imposed loneliness fed the longing and the longing fed the loneliness.
Arthur EditIt was during one of those walking fugues that Una met Arthur. She found herself walking in a walled garden, and images of Arcadia kept flitting in and out of her mind: snippets of a ballad, the musical laughter of fellow sidhe, mythical plants and animals. Reality and memory blurred; Una was unsure of what was real and what was illusion, and less sure than it mattered. For one brief moment, she was home. Rounding a corner, she seems to see a servant misplacing a rosebush. Annoyed, she informed him that it didn't belong where he was putting it, but to the left, as it was in her memory. The young man paused, looking from her to the spot she indicated, then nodded and moved the bush. When he had finished, he smiled and introduced himself as Arthur Laurence.
Completely embarrassed, Una was at a loss for words. Arthur complimented her eye for harmony, and asked her if she was pleased with the results. With a mute nod, she glanced at him, truly seeing him for the first time. She liked what she saw, and offered a tentative smile. Taking that as a sign of encouragement, Arthur offered to show her the rest of the garden. As they walked, he asked her opinions, and Una respond with the aesthetic sense that came from her memory of Arcadia. He was an attentive listener, and took note of all she said without question. When he offered to escort her home, she could not refuse. Arthur asked if he could see her again and she readily agreed.
That fortunate meeting led to many more. Una found herself gradually warming to the earnest young man. He spoke often of his landscape work, and gave her tours oh his "works in progress." He always welcomed her comments and his work flourished. The two achieved a rare, magical synergy; her comments would spur Arthur to greater and greater success. Una cautiously reaped the Glamour from his creations, and even more cautiously began to open herself to him. Their meetings became dates, and romance bloomed as surely as any plant under Arthur's care. Within the year, they were wed.
Una loved Arthur immensely, yet not with all her heart. how could she, when in truth she was not of his kind; she was fae and he was human? She felt their differences acutely, and was often overtaken by brooding silences. Arthur put forth every effort to make her happy, even creating the garden of her dreams, and she held him all the dearer for it. Yet how could she explain that his gift of love, drawn from her dreams of Arcadian youth, only made her suffering more poignant? With noble gratitude, she accepted his tribute in the spirit it was given, and endeavored to keep her yearning to herself. Her silences grew and came to cast a shadow over the marriage.
In desperation, Una requested and received a favor from Count Morrig. She wished to create a freehold on the grounds, a place where the Dreaming would be closer to her. she hoped that such a powerful reminder of Arcadian Glamour would allow her to see her home in contrast, as merely a gift from her beloved, and not a torturous reminder of that which was lost. Sadly, the opposite occurred. Over time, the Glamour of the balefire mingled and multiplied with the Glamour from Arthur's dedicated creations. Her home became more magical, and Una fell prey to its call, growing further removed from the banal world outsiders hedges. She came to view Arthur as an alien force of restraint. Though she loved him still, the call of the Dreaming pulled more strongly on her Romantic heart. He seemed oblivious to this subtle shift, and focused more on completing the garden. Una came to believe that the grounds held the place in his soul that once was hers. Yet, it was she who first abandoned him, so she said nothing. His obsession grew so powerful that he would work all night, and well into the morning. Oftentimes, Douglas would bring Arthur's exhausted body to the house, where Una waited. After a time, he ceased to come back to the house at all, but merely slept where he collapsed. One morning, the somber troll brought Una Arthur's worn body, snapped at the neck, noose still around his throat. She accepted his death resolutely, silent tears the only sign of her broken heart. Her silence grew, and for years, she mourned his loss.
Nathan Earl Edit
Time, however, numbs, if not heals, even the deepest of wounds. Gradually, Una came to believe that her self-imposed seclusion was having a deleterious effect on her. Oddly, unsettling dreams of Arthur plagued her, and at times she was certain she could still hear his voice. She had even begun to find herself responding to the whisperings only she seemed to hear. Fearing the classical signs of the first threshold of Bedlam, she determined to reenter the society of humans.
At first she dedicated herself to charity work. It was as if she could stone for the misery she caused Arthur by giving aid and hope to those in need. By the mid-80s, she was sitting on advisory boards of several large charities, and much of the money from Douglas' customers was redirected to humanitarian aid. Una began to regain a sense of herself. Her actions on behalf of the less fortunate earned her praise from her House, and her name was again mentioned at court.
Anxious to fill the void in her life, Una turned to the arts. She began to frequent Savannah's many galleries and made a point to attend openings, basking in the resonant glory of satisfied and accomplished artists. It was at one such event that she met Nathan Earl. His painted landscapes were inspired creations that seemed to capture the unspoken, mystical aspects of even the most commonplace scenes; a crumbling warehouse, when framed by his hand, appears mysterious and otherworldly. Intrigued, Una sought him out, and found him to be much as she expected: impassioned, vibrant, and insightful. She found herself warming to these traits, and in turn, to the man. When she he asked if he could see her again, she was quite flattered, and agreed.
As Una saw more of Nathan, he reinforced her impression of him. Every question she posed spurred him to greater and greater insight. She began to feel useful again; connected to another person. Each time, however, that she asked to see his recent works, Nathan demurred. Her anticipation of his incipient genius only grew with every denial. The relationship slowly developed into a romance. Determined to learn from her past mistakes, she prepares a very special meal for him at her home, imbued with Glamour, and took him into the orchid house. She could tell that he was enthralled, and hoped that his vision would only inspire him further. She answered his questions, when they came, honestly. Finally, she offered herself without pretense or deception, and was overjoyed when he accepted her gift of enchantment.
As the months progressed, her desire to see Nathan's works became irresistible. Finally driven to the brink of temptation, she snuck into the studio he had established in the drying shed and, with trembling fingers, unveiled the canvasses. What she saw stunned her; the painting showed no evidence of genius, but rather a marked lack of it. She was standing mute amidst the accusing sheets of canvas when he entered. finding her there, Nathan became enraged, and charged her with countless offenses: mistrust, deception, condescension, and most importantly, robbing him of his "vision" by exposing him to a reality he could not hope to equal. She accepted all of his accusations in silence, and was still standing motionless in the makeshift studio when Douglas found her hours later.
Consumed with guilt, she could not bring herself to expel Nathan. He was allowed free reign of the grounds, contingent upon his silence in regard to the fae nature of all within. Again she retreated within herself, and took to wandering at odd hours. She began listening in earnest to the the whispers; they offered comfort and consolation, both of which she desperately longed for. She came to believe that the voice was, indeed, some aspect of Arthur; even if drawn from her own memory, it filled a need that she sorely felt. If this was Bedlam, she deserved no less.
Taking solace where offered, Una began to slowly right herself. Her appearance at Count Morrig's court became more regular, and were warmly received. Una lobbied on Douglas' behalf and obtained a title for him as reward for his stalwart support. Her tragic past, her stately reserve, her vast freehold, and the regard Count Morrig held for her, all combined to elevate her standing. She began to attract applicants to her household, and she accepted to denied them with rare dignity. She came to be viewed as a prize to be won and cherished by a young and impetuous sidhe wilder named Garrett. Though flattered, she was resolved to maintain her solitary existence. Alas, every polite rejection seemed only to incite him to further extremes. Bound by etiquette and the rules of courtly love, she was finally compelled to offer him conditional status as a member of her household. Recently she has found herself bemused by his eloquent professions of love undying and his obvious suffering; she assures herself that it is nothing other than bemusement.
Image EditIn her mortal seeming, Una Laurence is a dignified, even regal, beauty. Thick, luxuriant, auburn hair cascades around her serene face. Eyes of darkest verdure gaze compassionately at all in her presence. Well-cut, unornamented clothing enhances her slender, lithe form. In her fae mien, her nobility in unquestionable. Raiment of the finest materials, made elegant by its simplicity, accentuates the cool, distant beauty of Una Morrowind. Every movement, every word or hint of expression exudes a grace rare even in faerie courts.
Twice bereft of love, Una girds herself with solitude. Benevolence, compassion, noblesse oblige: these are her duties and she attends them earnestly. Though she knows atonement is denied her, she cannot but hope to redress the overbalance of harm caused by her desire for love. By aiding others, leading them to discover the numinous within themselves, she hopes to find some measure of forgiveness. She treats all with compassion and understanding; the only love she allows herself is maternal. She repays every injustice with kindness and rewards kindness generously.