Liddy really, really liked University.
Sure she was a bit of a freak, but she found other intelligent, interesting freaks and for the first time in her life had a social circle. With full flesh and blood humans to boot. Her oddness wasn’t a deal breaker since she was immersed with other uber-nerds. She exchanged ideas and theories with other bright minds and learned all sorts of techniques and insights into this new, hot scientific method that was the craze at all the schools of higher learning. She was well respected by her professors and had a prestigious career ahead of her.
But she discovered what anyone with any actual experience with faeries knows as opposed to the fluffy horseshit spouted by romanticizing twats: Faeries are a real pain in the ass.
The house Liddy grew up in, the one on the outskirts of the Fae forest, was far from the only one. While human settlements (Albino village not withstanding) had never been allowed to take root, various homes, cottage and even Manors had not only sprung up, but unbeknownst to many of the families that had dwelled there generation after generation, were carefully laid out in a pattern very advantageous to the small inhabitants of the forest within. Few could really appreciate the geometric patterns that could theoretically be made if you started drawing imaginary lines connecting those residences. Fewer still could even begin to imagine the sigils those shapes suggested and just how much power and towards what uses those sigils could serve.
But the homes, at least a very important core of them, must be inhabited. There must be a resident. A few years could go by without anyone dwelling there, sure, but for the home to become deserted, unmaintained, lifeless? It would rot the entire sigil.
LIbby’s parents’ health was failing and Libby was on a track to never come back. This was… unacceptable.
Libby grew up around the Fae. She was well versed in their ways. When they started calling her back she knew exactly what was going on. But the call of the Fae is hard to resist. Many have been broken by it and few have ever escaped with their sanity intact. As soon as she recognized it, Libby got really pissed off.
She set about resisting it, but as time went by it became more and more difficult and her sanity started to slip. Her drinking increased, she started getting a real taste for opium which she tried her best to keep under control, her memories began confusing moments in her dreams with actual memories, her ability to stay anchored in a moment instead of off somewhere in her head or beyond took over to such a point that everyone around her noticed. Her insights were the only thing that benefitted, as her ability to think outside the box flew far beyond any of her colleagues, but everything that anchored her to logical thought started unravelling.
She swore, she grew angry, but this did nothing to help her and she became more and more aware of how others were looking at her and how opinion of her was becoming warier. And still the call increased. Eventually she had to accept that her choices just sucked. So she made the only decision she could, but she decided that she could use this situation to the advantage of science and the accumulation of learning.
Liddy left her beloved University just as a bright and motivated descendent of hers would also do. She returned to the cottage in which she was born and raised, thus causing that stupid call to subside. And she brought her tools of science with her.
She decided that this could in fact be a blessing in disguise as she was now in a unique position to scientifically study a heretofore unstudied topic of the natural world: Faeries.
So study Faeries she did.
It was not as easy as one would imagine. For instance, she discovered that dissecting Faeries was much more difficult than dissecting frogs. Finding anasthetics that worked on Faeries was quite difficult and heavens knows they can raise a ruckus when your’re removing their wings and trying to isolated the body parts which are used to channel their little Faery magic.
The scientific study of how their magic worked, how their little bodies channeled it, the nature of the energy and how it grew out of and interacted with other known forms of energy was endlessly fascinating and after a few years Liddy was actually quite enthralled. Her lab was covered with all sorts of faerie body parts, dissected faeries, and various concoctions made out of various parts of liquified faerie.
The Faeries of course were not so happy with this mad scourge of their forest, this professor from hell who studied them with a horrorsome menagerie of awful techniques and absense of ethics. It has been asked why they didn’t retaliate and use their magic on Liddy.
Well they certainly tried. By the time they had actually figured out where all their mates were disappearing to and what sorts of insane experiments were being conducted upon them, Liddy had grown immensely knowledgable about Faerie magic from a scientific point of view. Using Fae magic against her was akin to trying to electrocute Nikola Tesla. You’re better off just hitting him in the head with a sledgehammer.
Hitting Liddy in the head with a large, blunt object was out of their physical realm of possibility and gaining entrance to her rustic laboratory was out of the question as she had long since discovered exactly how iron reacted negatively with Faerie biology and magickal energy and was as well protected from any sort of retribution as a man atop a hill wth a circle of machine guns is to a bunch of rock throwing peasants in the valley beneath him.
So the Fae did the only thing they could. They caused three seperate residents of three seperate houses surrounding the forest to go mad and burn their houses down. The sigil broke and the Fae settlement disappeared from the part of the forest intersecting with this reality.
When Liddy became aware that the Fae had disappeared from the area she was actually initially disappointed as her research had been going so well. Eventually however, she shrugged, muttered “little fuckers”, packed up the results of her research and headed back to New Albion.