You’ve got to hand it to the fairy folk, when they decide to take revenge, they’re in it for the long haul. Unfortunately, their intended victims may be slightly too dead by the time they get around to it to experience the totality of their vengeance.

I blame it on time zones. Fairyland (otherwise known as the rather unwieldy “Tir na nÓg” or land of youth) is notoriously sketchy with regards to its connection to Earth Time. The fabled hero Oisín (read: oh’sheen) was said to have stayed there for a mere 3 weeks. Upon traveling back to the land of mortals, he found that 300 years had passed! It’s got to be difficult to plan your revenge when dealing with that kind of time difference. Most people today can barely work out conference calls with other time zones.

The story of Conary Mor (or Conaire Mór) is one of the most famous pieces of Irish Celtic storytelling. It is a sweeping tale with a wide scope that spans several generations, a story I could not hope to do justice in a single blog post, though I do highly recommend finding it and reading it if you can get your hands on it. I will, instead, attempt to give you a brief summary.

There was once a beautiful Faerie woman(more like a goddess than today’s pixies) by the name of Etain who resided where all faerie folk dwell, in the land of Eternal Youth. Being a creature of surpassing beauty, she caught the eye of Midir, a proud and handsome man descended from the great Dagda. Midir, already married to a rather jealous woman named Fuamnach, attained the help of his half-brother to woo the beautiful Etain and make her his wife. Consumed by jealousy, Fuamnach used her considerable magic to transform Etain into a butterfly and set her to roam the land of mortals for daring to usurp her in Midir’s life.

After quite some time spent fluttering around, a breeze happened to blow her into the drink of a noblewoman where she was unknowingly consumed, causing the noblewoman to become pregnant. Etain was birthed into a mortal form and grew up without ever knowing her true nature.

Eventually Etain caught the eye of a mortal king, a man by the name of Eochu (or Eochy) who promptly carried her off to his castle and married her. The two fell deeply in love and were rarely apart. Unfortunately, the Fae had other ideas. Midir himself ended up visiting his beloved Etain, and attempted to separate her from her mortal love. After stealing her away from Eochy, the king decided to go to war with the people of Fairyland. Through a series of adventures and tricks, he eventually wins her back, they settle down, and have a child of their own.

Midir is not pleased and swears vengeance against Eochu. As illustrated in the comic above, it takes a little bit longer than one would think for that vengeance to come to fruition. In fact, the mighty foe of Eochu doesn’t actually get around to anything until about a hundred years later, long after Eochu has died and probably rotted away in some crypt.

Midir ends up wreaking havoc on the life of one of Ireland’s greatest and most noble Kings, a young man named Conaire Mor who brought peace and prosperity to the land for the duration of his reign. The poor man had never done anything to offend the fae folk, only having the misfortune to be descended from Eochu and Etain.

I guess the moral of the story is to avoid messing with the Tuatha de Danann (the fae folk) at all costs. You may come out fine in the end but someone you love, somewhere down the line is going to get it even if they don’t deserve it.

Faerie folk are much bigger jerks than pop culture would have you believe.