A Pot o’ Gold

Once upon a time, back when the species of Gaeliand was very suspicious of each other, there was a great treasure hidden by the leprechauns. They would only come to the secret hiding place and take some gold whenever they needed it, but for the most part, it was well hidden from everyone else’s eyes. But, one day, the entire treasure trove was stolen and no one knew what had happened to it. They searched for it in vain, not a single gold coin could be found anywhere.

Some time later, a young leprechaun named Oiryn decided to try his luck and set off in search of the great treasure. He obtained a shamrock in the hopes that it would show him the way and, with a few words of advice from a priest, he was off. The shamrock led him over valley and dale, the road seemed to never end, until it finally did in a cave with a sleeping syrictae. Oiryn began to wonder why the shamrock would lead him here, when the syrictae shifted in his sleep, and Oiryn caught a glimpse of the treasure. So the syrictae stole it! Oiryn shook his head, typical dragon behavior. But now came the dilemma, how was he to get it all back without being killed? Leprechauns were pretty quiet, to be sure, but syrictae had exceptional hearing, and this one no doubt would hear his approach, no matter how quiet he was. As a matter of fact, the instant he took a step closer, the syrictae’s eyes popped open. Oiryn paused, what should he do? The syrictae spoke to him, asking what his business was. Oiryn pondered telling the syrictae the truth, but eventually decided on telling him some of it, at least, and did tell him that he was looking for a pot of gold, which led to the story of the leprechauns’ lost gold. The two spoke at length of what may have happened, who might have stolen it and why. When Oiryn suggested a syrictae as a possible suspect, the syrictae fumed and stated quite firmly that no syrictae would ever steal. Oiryn revealed the shamrock and asked why the syricate was guarding the stolen gold. The syrictae stated that he was merely guarding it for another leprechaun, but a growing suspicion had entered both their minds, and the two sought to get to the bottom of it all.

The syrictae shifted into his dark-skinned human form and lead Oiryn to his employer’s castle. Upon arriving at the castle and seeking entrance, they found that the leprechaun was out at the moment, but they could go on a tour of the castle while they waited for his return. As the maid, a mimia, showed them the rooms, they came across a young female selkie who was lamenting her fate. She told them her sad tale; the leprechaun had kidnapped her and planned to marry her against her wishes. They asked how they could free her; all she needed was her seal skin to return home. The four set about searching the castle for the skin when the leprechaun returned. They found out quite quickly that this was the perpetrator of the theft, and that he was quick and wily. But between the three of them, the mimia’s extensive knowledge of the castle and impeccable ability to work with dirt, and a pot of gold, they were able to get him to not only confess to his crimes, but also to reveal where he had hidden the selkie’s skin. Taking the criminal with them, they walked the selkie to the sea and watched her disappear beneath the waves.  A minute later, a male selkie emerged, and, revealing that he was the father of the lass they had saved, took the criminal leprechaun with him under the sea, never to be seen or heard of again.

The syrictae and the mimia helped Oiryn get the lost gold back to its proper place among the leprechauns amid joyous celebration. With the return of the gold also came a reduction in prejudice against other races as leprechauns from all over, after hearing the tale of Oiryn, strove to get to know their neighbors better. And though they would come to get along quite with the other races, it was always the syrictae and the mimias whose company they preferred the most.

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