"Cluracan's Tale": At the World's End Inn, the faerie Cluracan tells his story to those assembled around the table.
Sandman (Volume 2) #52 is an issue of the series Sandman (Volume 2) with a cover date of August, 1993.
Synopsis for "Cluracan's Tale"
At the World's End Inn, the faerie Cluracan tells his story to those assembled around the table.
Once, long ago, Queen Titania had summoned him to send him on a mission to the Lords Carnal in Aurelia of the Plains, a beautiful and strange land. She warned that an alliance of the folk of the cities of the plains would not be good for faerie, and he is to prevent that from coming about.
He rode for a long time until he came to Aurelia, but it was not as he remembered it. It was now covered in filth and ruin. A monk met him on the road, and helped him toward the home of the Psychopomp, ruler of the area. The Psychopomp was a gluttonous man, who mistreated his people. He was gracious and hospitable to Cluracan, anyway, and the faerie was shown quarters and fed.
That night, Cluracan sent off a preliminary report, and returned to his room to find a man named Otho looking to speak with him. Otho was the Psychopomp's uncle, and he explained that once, the Carnifex and the Psychopomp were separate titles. Now, however, a treaty had allowed that Otho's nephew be both. He believed that his nephew was merely trying to grasp for even more power. Otho hoped for a Psychopomp who would do what was right, but before he would say anymore, he stopped himself and left Cluracan alone.
The next day, at the meeting, Cluracan felt an impulse to speak the truth building within him until finally he stood and shouted that the Psychopomp had overreached himself in taking the role of Carnifex as well; that the dogs would chew his carcass yet, and history forget him. Angrily, the Psychopomp had the faerie manacled and locked away behind cold iron bars - which cannot be penetrated by faerie magic.
In prison, Cluracan dreamed of being visited by his sister Nuala, who promised to send him help. After the dream ended, he was visited again by Dream. With some reluctance, Dream frees the faerie at Nuala's request. Afterwards, Dream left, and Cluracan resolved to do his best to complete his mission and return to his sister.
So, Cluracan influenced many of the citizens of the city to make statements that called the Psychopomp's validity into question. The result is that the citizens went into revolt. The Psychopomp and his monk Cabriolet locked themselves away in a room full of the corpses of the previous Carnifexes, including the previous one, who had cancer, and was not poisoned as Cluracan's rumours would have it.
Suddenly, Cabriolet revealed that he was not Cabriolet at all, but Cluracan in disguise. He admitted that it was he who caused the rumours to spread, laughing that it is bad luck to cross the fair folk. Even more sudden, the body of the Carnifex rose up and grabbed the Psychopomp, accusing him of having killed his heir in order to gain more power. The corpse grabbed the Psychopomp around the neck and threw them both through a window to their deaths. Cluracan had been on his way home when the storm rose up.
The others are not sure that they believe the faerie's story, so he demands that someone else tell a story.
Appearing in "Cluracan's Tale"
- Queen Titania (Flashback only)
- Brant Tucker
- Charlene Mooney
- Nuala (Flashback only)
- Stalker the Soulless (Cameo)
- Mairon/"Psychopomp Innocent XI"/"Carnifex Carys XXXV" (Single appearance) (Dies) (Flashback only)
- Cabriolet (Single appearance) (Flashback only)
- Otho (Single appearance) (Flashback only)
- Worlds' End
- Dreaming (Flashback only)
- Aurelia (Flashback only)