Contributed by Melony Mazur
Cluracan is a member of the world of Faerie, as it is portrayed by Neil Gaiman in his series, “SANDMAN.” He first appears with his sister Nuala in “Seasons of Mist,” issues # 21-28. He also makes appearances in “World’s End,” “The Kindly Ones” and “The Wake.”
Cluracan is a member of high society in Faerie, as he is the representative of the land under the Faerie Queen Titania. Cluracan is portrayed as a somewhat vain, pompous and drunken popinjay with a constant, playful smirk. Though his outward appearance is that of a beautiful blonde man, we learn that he, like other Faerie Folk, is able to change the outward appearance of things (which he does to his sister Nuala on several occasions), making the reader suspicious of what his true looks might be. Though he cares for his sister, the orders of his queen come before anything else.
Appearing before Morpheus in “Seasons of Mists,” Cluracan hopes to talk the Dream Lord into leaving Lucifer’s Hell empty after it had been abandoned, but to no avail. We discover in this arc that he is also homosexual, as he is seen in his sister’s chambers with an Egyptian priest with whom he spent the night (we are also clued in to the fact that many of his lovers appear to leave him). He later gives over his sister Nuala to Morpheus as a gift from his regent, saying that his Queen would take it as an insult if he did not accept her.
His next appearance is in “World’s End,” a tale about an inn beyond worlds where displaced travelers from all time periods and places come to rest themselves. As the members of the inn tell tales, Cluracan also recites a story about himself. In the tale, he is sent as an envoy from Faerie to a corpulent leader named Aurelian, who has him thrown in jail for his insulting prophesies. He is rescued by Morpheus as a favor to Nuala for her loyal service. Using his powers of disguise, Cluracan incites hatred in Aurelian’s people, resulting in his overthrowing.
In “The Kindly Ones,” Cluracan returns to Morpheus’ castle to see his sister and bring her back home upon orders from Titania. There, he strays from the path leading to her and ends up creating his own nemesis, who first appears as a buck, and later as a twin of Cluracan in “The Wake.” Though nonchalant about it at first, Cluracan is clearly disturbed by the fact that his greatest adversary looks and acts exactly like himself.
Cluracan and his adversary next meet in a bar at the border worlds between Faerie and Llinor in The Dreaming #16. A winter snow storm rages outside while Cluracan has spent the day inside drinking and sleeping it off when Cluracan’s “brother” enters the bar with a peaceful greeting. Nonetheless, Cluracan is alarmed and takes a defensive posture that elicits further reassurances. They sit down to drink wine, and in the talking make a truce and come to an understanding. Cluracan reveals that he has inadvertently offended Queen Titania, who has made him envoy to the court of Llinor, whose custom it is for ambassadors to wed a lady of its court. The choice is either to go against his nature or to be banished for not complying with Titania’s punishment; so Cluracan procrastinates by drinking in this bar. Upon hearing this news, the nemesis reveals there is another difference between the pair: he prefers women. And so he offers to go in Cluracan’s stead and wed a court lady while Cluracan remains at the bar till his return, and details may be confided as proof to Titania. [Edited by Joe]
A parallel story in which The Dreaming’s librarian Lucien travels to New York to confess his love for Nuala, Cluracan’s sister is also told in this issue. Alas, Lucien’s love remains unrequited.
Art by Gary Amaro and Daniel Vozzo from The Dreaming #16 (vol. 1).
The Cluracan was created by Neil Gaiman.
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