Queen Niamh / Sister Marian
Before getting to the story behind that picture a little background about the series Niamh appeared in is probably a good idea. "Slaine" was a departure for 2000 AD from science fiction into sword and sorcery fantasy. The series was based on Celtic mythology by writer Pat Mills who had obviously done his homework on the background. Set in Tir-Nan-Og, the mythical Land of the Young which became the contemporary British Isles after the celtic version of the Great Flood, the series covered the adventures of the title character Slaine. Having fled from his tribe rather than face execution the series began with Slaine hearing that the King who had decreed his death was dead so he could at last return to his people. Most importantly to Niamh. Niamh had been Slaine's lover before his exile from the tribe. In fact she was the reason he had to leave in a hurry as she was the concubine to their tribe's king. What Slaine didn't know at the time when he left was that Niamh was pregnant with their son. Forced to bear the child unassisted by the vengeful king Niamh survived and vowed to never depend on anyone else ever again. She also wasn't too happy to hear that while Slaine had been far from celibate during their three year separation he expected her to be waiting for him. So Slaine's homecoming wasn't quite as joyous as he'd expected as Nimah departed the tribe taking their son with her. Regardless of his shortcomings Slaine was the champion of the Earth Goddess and became her spiritual husband, the Horned God, and King of his tribe. Uniting the tribes of the Earth Goddess for the first time in history he defeated the sea demons and their master Slough Feg, the first Horned God who had refused to step down and used dark magic to live for centuries. It was a bitter victory as Tir-Nan-Og drowned but Slaine managed to save most of his people from the Great Flood and resettle them becoming the first High King of Ireland. Reunited with Niamh after he convinced he had truly changed they stayed married for the seven years of Slaine's reign. After those seven years as he had promised the Earth Goddess and the kings of the other tribes with his being ritually killed in accordance with the laws of the Earth Goddess so that a new Horned God could be crowned. While that might sound like the end of the story the Earth Goddess wasn't done with Slaine just yet. Reviving him to be her champion in other times against the dark forces behind a variety of foes Slaine faced the Roman Legions, Medieval Crusaders and many other foes. It was during his time in Sherwood Forest as Robin Goodfellow, the Lord of Misrule and leader of the pagans known as the Merry Men he was reunited with Niamh. Niamh had been reincarnated as Sister Marian of the local convent. Being a staunch Christian she had no interest in the pagans of Sherwood or their leader. But when she learned the Sheriff of Nottingham was a servant of dark powers and she began hearing the voice of Niamh talking to her from the distant past. Eventually renouncing her religion she became Slaine's lover again but was captured by the Sheriff. Condemned as a witch she was sentenced to death by burning at the stake.
Naturally Slaine lead the Merry Men in an attempt to rescue Marian but before he could get there Marian called on her past self for aid and was able to take matters into her own hands.
Freeing herself Marian and Slaine made short work of the Sheriff and his troops. It was then that Marian discovered that her communication with Niamh had been two way and that inspired by her example Niamh had become a warrior of her tribe rather than the King's concubine. So the past had changed and Slaine had never been exiled from his tribe and never been separated from Naimh. When Marian questioned Slaine about it asking how he had met Ukko if he hadn't been exiled she discovered his memories had changed and he couldn't explain where Ukko had come. Anyway as the avatar of the goddess Marian married Slaine and they lived together for a year and a day before the Goddess called Slaine back to work as her champion. Most recently that work has seen Slaine returning to Ireland a few years after his death to be reunited with the original Niamh rather than one of her future reincarnations. If this leads to any suitable scenes they'll be added to this page.
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