Leannán Sidhe in the Streets. Leannán Sidhe in the Sheets. Either way, You're Fucked
Ireland has long been regarded as a place somehow caught between two worlds. This world, a place of mortality and the mundane, and the Otherworld, a realm of magic, fantastic beasts, and Immortal beings. Today we take a look at one of these 'Sidhe', 'Fae' or 'Fairy folk' of Ireland.
The Leannán Sidhe is an alluring, powerful and somewhat dangerous member of the fae folk of Ireland. Often translated as the 'fairy lover' this person takes a rather specific interest in mortals.
In some cases sharing a loving and lasting relationship with them, either in our world or the Otherworld. The most widely known version of this Leannán Sidhe would have to be Niamh. She came to Ireland from the Otherworld upon her great white steed and seeing Oisin, son of Fionn, hero of the Fianna, fell in love with him. Oisin for his part was equally smitten by Niamh and agreed to journey to Tir na nOg, the land of eternal youth, with her. There they lived a joy filled life and even brought forth children together. Unfortunately, the tale does not end well as homesick Oisin left to visit Ireland upon Niamh's white steed, and by ill fate broke the one prohibition she had placed upon him. Oisin's doom came swift upon him and it was said that Niamh was forever in her grief.
Still, though this is the most well known Leannán Sidhe, its not the most common version of the tale. Far more examples exist of a fae immortal taking an artist, musician, or poet as their lover. It is almost always a tortuously passionate and inspiring relationship, with the mortal reaching undreamt of heights in their art. Still these tales too do not end well for the mortal as the Leannán sidhe is said to come upon them every night to drain them of their life essence. These artists exist for but a short time, burning bright with their creativity even as they are consumed unto death to satisfy the needs of this immortal being.
There are few ways to escape the 'affections' of a Leannán Sidhe. Once they have bonded to you there can be little hope of survival. Even fleeing across the waves, out of Ireland, to the Americas was not enough, according to one particular tale. What hope there is comes with its own moral dilemma. The most effective way to free oneself from a Leannán sidhe is to find for them some other mortal to take your place. Therefore to save your own life you must willingly sacrifice another to an unending, Otherworldly hunger.
Whether you meet this 'fairy lover' on the streets, or between the sheets, it might be fair to say, you're fucked.