Part One: Origins
Mulenua took the black ale to the back of the room and found a stout table that was heavy enough to handle anything and settled down. The inn is one of many within the city of Tir Na Nog but it is one of the few that Mulenua is both known and welcomed at. Mulenua was not her given name; Fiona of the Red Hair was what she was birthed with. Mulenua was an adopted name from the adventure stories that her grandfather told every night to help provide them both with hope.
Her grandfather was at her birth, talking to the spirits that night to make sure everything went well. He had his own farm outside the major city of Connacht, but he often was at the small holding Mulenua's family started near the border town of Connla. Mulenua's parents were hardy folk, often trading with travelers coming and going through the wilds on the Marches of Midgard. Not only were there travelers coming and going, but raiders often roamed across the frontier, looking for riches and captives to plunder and loot.
Mulenua's family knew the risks involved in trying to stead in such wild lands. The freedoms they enjoyed was the reward for their hard work. The price they paid to keep those freedoms was often harsh and they paid the ultimate sacrifice - their lives only a few weeks after Mulenua was born. The local folk never venture beyond their own villages, not knowing or caring what went on in their neighbor's homes. The exception to this was the twice yearly feasts: Mid-Summer and Mid-Winter feasts when all the surrounding locals gather to revel and celebrate the turning of the seasons.
That year, an outlying farmer and his wife discovered a burned out village on their semiannual trek with everything razed to the ground and all living things, both people and animals slaughtered where they lay. They also discovered Fiona of the Red Hair, being sheltered by her dead mother from the tragedy that surrounded them. Word eventually got to her grandfather who came to claim her a few weeks later. Mulenua did not learn all of this until later, much later. Perhaps that was a good thing, perhaps it was a tragic thing. It wasn't until her grandfather was on his deathbed that he told her the things he felt she needed to know. Her early life, before her memories, was one of those things he felt she should know.
Her grandfather that night also told Mulenua about the family vault and the treasures it contained. It wasn't riches, but rather these treasures were the items of her past. These things were all recovered from the ruins of Connla and they included both the mundane and the profound. Among the profound items, there was a bible, passed down from generation to generation; mother to daughter. Mulenua knew this was something that she had to go get. Somehow, it survived the raiders of Connla to be passed from her mother to her. So, now, she determined that she too must continue the tradition and pass it from herself to her daughter.
Ryana Ryansdaughter was the daughter of Mulenua and Ryan. She was born on a freehold that Mulenua and Ryan shared near Connacht. Ryan was a levysman of Connacht and he often was called upon to defend against Midgards. He was trained at the city barracks with the spear and knowing it was important to Mulenua, he trained her in it as well. Ryan and Mulenua worked that freehold growing lettuce, tomatoes, squash and raising a couple of dairy cows. Due to Ryan's responsibilities in Connacht, most of the hard daily work fell on Mulenua's shoulders and she never had time to learn letters and to read. Ryan paid the ultimate price for his family's safety the summer his daughter was conceived. After Ryan died, Mulenua had full responsibility of that farm. She took care of it well, but between the farm and her newborn babe, all her effort was consumed. While Mulenua did what she had to do, Ryana was able to learn at the feet of her grandfather. She was the one to learn of the spirits and the lore - the secrets of the land. She quickly became the favorite of her great-grandfather.
Part Two: The Search
The family vault was located in the city of Tir Na Nog, a long journey from the outskirts of Connacht. During this journey, Ryana and Mulenua bonded very close, closer then ever before. It took a lot of footwork and paper shuffling to get that vault open, but they eventually got it open, even so. The bible that the vault contained turned out to be very important to both mother and daughter.
Ryana found a family listing scribed in the front of that bible, a letter to anyone reading. It told the story of Mulenua's family. The family that Mulenua never knew and that her grandfather never told her about. Ryana read the letter to Mulenua, the details explaining that Mulenua had a sister, an older sister that was not home the night of the raid that destroyed Connla. Both mother and daughter vowed right there and then to find the missing family member. This began a mother-daughter journey throughout Hibernia, going from one town to the next conferring with the elders of each.
During wedding festivities at one of the many villages they visited, Mulenua met a Chieftain named Foghladha. Foghladha took the women to a private room where Mulenua told her about the long search for the older sister. After a long night of back and forth story-telling and sharing, Foghladha told Ryana and Mulenua about her many daughters and sons. Then she surprised them by declaring that they are no longer alone, for not only did Mulenua have a sister, but she also had nieces and nephews. Ryana was the first to piece things together, realizing that she too was not alone, she had an Aunt and cousins. This is the story of two sisters, Mulenua and Foghladha.