Medb's Companions

Heroic & Dark Fantasy and Science Fiction Character created by Kevin L. O'Brien

Avengelyne, © by Al Rio

Katana, © by Beatriz Gonzalez

Untitled, © by Martin McKenna

Her Companionsedb hErenn often gives the impression of being a loner, being as her willful independence is so strong that even when she has lovers or a husband she is either dominant or aloof. Yet she craves companionship as much as any normal person, perhaps more, and as a result she is almost never without at least one companion wherever she lives or travels.

Most of her companions have been small birds and mammals, being as her druidical training gives her the ability to communicate with them. She can also train them to obey her, something she cannot do with human companions. Though she has no stated preference for one kind of animal over another, more of her companions have been cats than any other animal except birds, with rodents a close second. Canines are one of several types least likely to be companions, yet she has traveled with foxes, wolves, even a coyote. She has even had reptiles, arthropods, and fish for companions, as well as some exotic creatures, such as a unicorn, a basilisk, and a phoenix.

She has, however, had a number of human companions, individuals who, for one reason or another, have decided to travel with her. These are not friends in the normal sense, though they may consider Medb to be a friend. The main reason is that friendship is a foreign concept to Medb. The only time she had friends was in the Dreamlands, but when she returned to Earth, she found it difficult again to maintain friendships. She sees companions as comrades-in-arms, like members of a warband, and while sworn to protect them, she would not hesitate to sacrifice them if necessary. Whereas she would never sacrifice a friend, and would die for one if need be. Some companions are also protégés, but that need not be the case, and few protégés become companions.

Because of her longevity, all but a very few companions are transient, and even those who are not find it prudent to distance themselves from her at frequent intervals. As such, she frequently has to find new ones.

What follows is a list of her companions. Click on a name below to open a hidden panel, then click on it again to close it. Click on an image to see a larger version of it.

Conaed

© by WhiteHikariConaed, called Runt, is a Zoog from the Enchanted Forest in the Dreamworld. He is about half the size of his species, and was deemed unfit to be a hunter, but he demonstrated a quick mind and a bright intellect, so he was trained to be an archivist. This is a Zoog who memorizes all the stories told to them by their spies, informants, and friends, becoming a sort of living encyclopedia. There are twelve archivists at any one time, all with roughly the same knowledge. This is not only to insure the accuracy of the stories, but also so that if anything happened to one or two, their knowledge would not be lost. The Zoogs tried to capture Medb when she first arrived, but when she beat them off, they became intrigued and contacted her instead, asking to be friends. Conaed was then assigned to accompany her, ostensibly to be her guide and counselor, but really to spy on her activities and learn about her abilities. Medb suspected that from the beginning, but did not care as long he served her faithfully. Since their first meeting, Conaed has come to respect and trust her, and while he continues to report on her to the Zoog elders, he does so with her blessing.

Conaed is about three-quarters the size of a rabbit and resembles a short, squat rat. His rounded ears are larger and his legs longer in proportion to his body than a rat's, and his feet have long claws. His front paws are more like hands, with thumbs and long, prehensile fingers. He has a long, flexible snout, and instead of whiskers he has a cluster of thin, pink tendrils that writhe and squirm like excited worms. He has verdigris-speckled bronze fur that is darker then average, and tarnished silver facial stripes that are bolder. His eyes are large and his peat-brown irises nearly fill the entire cornea. In strong light, the round pupils contract to tiny dots, but when they expand the eyes glow like emerald flames. Aside from his native tongue, he knows only Cat and the common speech of Men; he can speak both, but he is only fluent in the latter. He knows a great deal about the history, culture, geography, and lore of the Dreamlands, but there are gaps in his knowledge. He does, however, know a fair amount of magic, which he uses in defense of himself and the other companions. He can also bite and claw anyone who lays a hold of him. He serves Medb as storyteller and scholar.

Crèmedevoyager

© by WhiteHikariCrèmedevoyager, which means Master of Travelers, is a two-year old tomcat born and raised in the Dreamworld. He is in his first life, and hasn't yet experienced the Waking World. He is the middle son of the cat queen and the leader of her council, and is a respected member of the cat messenger service. He also serves as aide-de-camp to his father, who is the supreme commander of the cat legions, and special envoy for his mother. Medb saved his life on her second day in the Dreamlands, when she rescued him from a Ghoul. In gratitude, he travels with her, helping her on her adventures.

Crèmedevoyager has a rangy, stocky look, having inherited his mother's long frame and his father's beefy build. He has a short coat of fawn colored fur decorated with bronze tiger stripes, bold on his head, legs, and tail, but pale everywhere else. His eyes are dust-blue, but glow blood-red at night, and he has a salmon-pink nose. At first he could speak only the languages of Cats fluently. He could understand the common speech of Men, but not speak it himself, and he understood and could speak only a smattering of Ghoul. Under the tutelage of Medb and the other companions, however, he gradually learned to speak Man and became fluent in Ghoul, and learned to understand Zoog and the common tongue of Birds, though he cannot speak either one. He knows no magic, but he is one of the few cats that can jump to the Moon on his own, and from any altitude. This allows him to traverse enormous distances in very short periods of time. As a result, he has visited lands far beyond the Six Kingdoms, including Sarrub in the west, deep inside Mhor to the east and the Cold Waste to the north, as far south as Industan, and even to fabulous Cathuria. As such, he has traveled farther than Teehar'owan and knows some things even Conaed doesn't know. He is a fearless and indomitable fighter, willing to throw himself into battle to defend Medb and the others even at the risk of his own life. He serves Medb primarily as an advisor and diplomat, but he can also scout, guide, and tell stories, he helps with hunting, and he makes an excellent picket.

Elizabeth "Bess" Tudor

© by J. PrechtelFormer queen of England, who supposedly died in 1603. Medb had known her at various times throughout her life, most recently as Grace O'Malley, the Sea Queen of Connaught, in 1593. They became lovers, and Medb went so far as to offer Elizabeth the chance to be her companion and tour the world. In the last years of her reign, however, Elizabeth became the target of a Fomóraigh plot. Their plan was to take advantage of her iconographic standing as the Virgin Queen to make her seem divine. They would resurrect her from death and use her to create an English empire that would encompass the globe. Medb stopped them, but not before they had reversed her aging to 25 years. This time she agreed to become Medb's companion, however, they were only together for a quarter-century before Bess struck out on her own.

Bess soon discovered that in addition to being made young again, the Fomóraigh had also slowed her aging process, so that she only aged ten years for every hundred. As such, she and Medb had numerous further encounters for many centuries to come, including the time in the 1700's when Bess was a Caribbean pirate captain. Bess also found that her body aged better than before, and that progressing medical technology allowed her to remain strong and active to a greater physical age than had been possible before. Even so, she finally succomb to death in the mid-24th century. Much to her bitter disappointment, however, she also discovered that the Fomóraigh had rendered her incapbable of having children, to maintain the illusion of being the Virgin Queen. This led to a running feud between her and the Fomóraigh that put even Medb's hatred to shame.

Father Damien Alvito

UncreditedIn 1641, Medb ran afoul of the Roman Inquisition, when she investigated a possible Fomóraigh plot to seize control of the Papacy. A Jesuit investigator, Father Damien Alvito, accused her of sorcery and blasphemy, but when he discovered the Fomóraigh had control of the tribunal, he joined forces with her to drive them out. He even saved her life. They discovered that, while Pope Urban VIII was free, most of his advisors and courtiers were Fomóraigh agents. Medb destroyed the master Fomórach before the Pope, revealing its true identity. The Pope made Fr. Alvito an independent agent so that he could root out Fomóraigh threats wherever they might be in Europe. Fr. Alvito journied with Medb as her companion for 18 years before being recalled to Rome by Pope Alexander VII to help him in his dealings with France and cardinal Mazarin. She continued a correspondence with him until his death in 1676, and joined forces with him against the Fomóraigh on at least three other occasions. During the first couple of years of his companionship, he tried to convert Medb to Catholicism, while she tried to seduce him. Finally they agreed to stop their activities.

Madeleine d'Urbanville

© by D. MaulaIn the second half of the eighteenth century, Medb met a gentlewoman in Paris who was known as the gentlest and yet most provocative woman in Parisian high society. Medb became intrigued with her and after a number of social engagements successfully seduced her. In the morning Medb discovered that she was smitten with her and was pleased when Madeleine agreed to become her companion. They lived and traveled together for over 80 years, during which time Madeleine not only never seemed to age, she also took on many of Medb's personality traits, including an aggressive eagerness to engage in combat and a propensity for carousing and drink that matched Medb's own. Medb seemed oblivious to Madeleine's eternal youth, her strength and near invincibility, and her seeming immunity to alcohol, disease, and injury.

Then one morning Medb awoke to find her gone. Though she searched for her, she never found her again, or even heard of her continued existence. Eventually she realized that Madeleine must have been some sort of paranormal entity similar to a Leanan Sídh, capable of draining the life energy from her lover. The only reason Medb survived so long was because of her body's ability to draw power from the earth to sustain her life. Though she understood that Madeleine had used her to sustain her own life, she did not feel any resentment, only puzzlement as to why she left her and curiosity as to what happened to her. She considers her time with Madeleine to have been one of the high points of her life, and were she ever to encounter her again, she would not hesitate to reinitiate a relationship with the being.

It should be noted that, while Medb has had longer overall relationships with a few other companions, Madeleine is the only companion to have stayed with her so long at any one time.

Merlech

UncreditedMerlech is an oddity — a very unambitious Fomórach. He has no interest in world domination; instead, he prefers to live in the shadows, let the humans do all the work, and then steal whatever he needs to live the good life. At best, he would advise his fellow Fomóraigh to rule from the shadows as crime lords; at worst, he has actually opposed other Fomóraigh who have tried to take control of the world. He has been a companion of Medb off and on for centuries. They first met in 1194 in England, when he warned Medb of a Fomóraigh plot to seize the throne of England through John, brother of Richard I Cœur de Lion. He then helped her to secure the ransom for Richard's release, and guard it when John and the Fomóraigh tried to steal it. While Medb became Richard's mistress, Merlech helped himself to the choicer crown treasures. Most of the time, he contacts Medb when he needs her help, but sometimes Medb is able to locate him, and several times he has traveled with her, particularly when she is in a larcenous mood herself.

Teehar'owan

© by WhiteHikariTeehar'owan — Teehar for short — is a bird whose species lives in the Jungle of Kled located south and west of the Six Kingdoms and south and east of the Desert of Cuppar-Numbo in the Dreamworld. Teehar'owan is not his real name. It was given to him by the birds of the Enchanted Woods and means "The Despairing One" in the common language of Birds. A few years before Medb arrived, he had fallen in love with a female of his species and had mated with her. Since his species mates for life and individuals can live as long as fifteen years, they decided to tour the Dreamlands before settling down. However, while in the Enchanted Wood, Teehar's mate was caught by a bird catcher and taken away. He was off negotiating with the Zoogs at the time, and he could find no witness to the abduction. Since then he has searched in vain for his lost love. When Medb arrived, he recognized she was a Dreamer who would travel far and wide, so he took service with her in the hope that she might be able to help him find his mate.

Teehar is the size of a large jay, with a crest and a long tail. He is decorated with a gaudy blue, green, gold, and red plumage, and he has scarlet eyes. He knows the languages of hundreds of bird species and can mimic human speech exactly, but he can articulate his thoughts and he knows dozens of human tongues. He can also speak Zoog and Ghoul, but while he understands Cat, he cannot speak it. Because of his earlier travels and his subsequent quest, he knows the terrain of the Dreamlands around the Six Kingdoms quite well, from the city of Sinara on the western edge of the Liranian Desert, to the city of Gak on the edge of the Land of Mhor far to the east, from the city of Ilek-Vad in the north to the city of Delphi south of the Jungle of Kled. He serves Medb as guide, scout, and herald, and he will defend her to the best of his abilities, which usually amounts to distracting an opponent by attacking his face.

 

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