Species: Half-púca, a form of Irish horse-fairy, and half-merrow, or Irish mermaid
Age: 24 (born 1986)
Build: Tall, slim and graceful
Eyes: Soft green
History: Once upon a time (may as well start one of these traditionally), a beautiful noblewoman of the merrow folk had great difficulty concieving a child, a common enough sorrow among people as long-lived as the Fae. When a part-human púca traveled through her domain, she hit upon a plan: to offer the handsome man the hospitality of her keep and her bed for long enough to find out if his fecund human blood might be the answer to her problem. The lady's suspicions proved entirely correct, or she proved lucky in her timing, and she bid her lover a fond farewell some months later, never letting him know or even suspect that she carried his baby. But what one fairy's magic can conceal, another's may later reveal...
Caoimhe was only three when her astonished púca great-grandparents discovered her existence, too young to understand much about the legal wrangles that ensued once her mother Saraid's deception was uncovered. She only knew that from then on, she divided her time between her mother's domain by and in the oceans of Faerie and her father Tadhg MacEibhir's (gifted_hands) home in the human world, her selkie bodyguard Hoyd (skerry_selchie) traveling with her. At first bewildered and upset over her change in circumstances, the little girl couldn't help warming to her new parent and the rambunctious, loving family that came with him. The MacEibhirs took Caoimhe to their hearts and taught her about wider worlds and greater possibilities than a life constrained by training to become her mother's heir and successor. Saraid might have been more inclined to balk at this disruption, but she couldn't deny her adored daughter the unconditional, uncalculating affection so hard to come by in the Courts of Faerie.
Although she belongs to both worlds, Caoimhe feels fully at home in neither of them. Her mother cherishes her, but the other members of the mer nobility often look askance at her half-púca self, taking more interest in who she's related to than in who she is and calling her hippocamp behind her back. In a quiet act of defiance at their superior attitude, she taught herself to take the shape of the half-horse/half-fish creature, discovering a talent for shapeshifting that she has continued to develop. As for the mortal world, she adores her father and his family, most especially her youngest cousin Marcus, who gave her the nickname Kiki. But if her own kind seems to elude her understanding, mortal humans have proven downright baffling ... though fascinating as well.
Personality and Quirks: Caoimhe learned poise, grace and deportment in the stern school of the nobility. As a result, she can seem quite formal on first meeting, her phrasing archaic and reserved, her manner reflexively cautious no matter how friendly a smile she offers. She has spent so much of her life among fae who are not above using her for her connections and humans who still trip her up and confuse her on a social level, it takes time for her to open up to anyone who isn't family. Once she does relax though, she is fun-loving and curious, endlessly delighted by new experiences and new people.
Just because she's sweet and friendly most of the time, however, doesn't mean that she inherited none of her mother's imperious temper. And no member of the fae ruling class can afford to grow up ignorant of the arts of manipulation ...
Appearance and Abilities: Kiki's looks favor her merrow heritage more than her púca side. Her appearance gives no hint that she's anything out of the ordinary, except perhaps in the grace of her movements and the melody of her voice ("You'd knock them dead on stage," her Uncail Rory once told her. "Why would I want to do that?" she asked, perplexed). Her fair skin is unmarked; though she has discussed the possiblity of a tattoo with her father, she hasn't yet decided what design she wants.
Her magical abilities come from both her parents, a púca's gifts of healing and illusion blending with a merrow's superlative charm and song-magic. If those gifts are somewhat diluted by her mixed blood, she has another talent that she excells at through natural ability mixed with plenty of hard work: shapeshifting. While a púca can wear the forms of human or horse; and a mer can become human, fish or a human with a fish's tail; Caoimhe can take on all four forms and more besides. After figuring out how to turn into a hippocamp, she eventually learned to turn into various species of fish and even a gannet, a gull-like seabird. To learn a new shape takes considerable time spent studying the animal she wants to become and much trial and error. She is currently learning to take a dolphin's form. She may have inherited other abilities in spellwork and pattern-sensing from her father, but right now she prefers to focus on the gift she feels is truly hers, and Tadhg has not pressed her.
Special Skills: She has learned leadership, diplomacy and the other skills of a ruler from her mother, drawing and listening with her full attention from her father, bladework from Hoyd, and that's just for starters. She is in fact quite skilled at the role of student; when she sets herself to learn something, she gives it her all. What she might want to be beyond a student, she hasn't quite decided yet, though she loves to travel as much as Tadhg does.
NOTES: I've made a glossary of terms in both English and Gaeilge that will crop up in all the MacEibhir-related journals. Also, if anyone wanders over to the livejournals of Caoimhe and her family, bear in mind that while everything recorded there has happened, the timeframe for all those events has been compressed in the Visions Dancing versions of the characters.