Oliford

















The Castle
the centre of royal life
The castle sits at the centre of sprawling grounds containing gardens, training arenas, barracks, the royal stables and Lake Lilith, which is fed by the River Twinge. The royal guards which are stationed at various points around the territory will occasionally check fairies’ identities but are usually happy to let visitors wander around, unless the king orders otherwise. Within the castle itself, the west wing is the personal residence of the royal family, the east wing is the home of the court and the servants’ quarters on the lower levels. The castle is practically impregnable and is well-guarded against attack.



Royalty

king
Mordred
queen
Gaiane
Heir
Loholt
royal men
--
royal women
Morgana, sister of the King

consorts
--
courtiers
Lady Alethea
Lady Styx
Captain Flynn
Lord Anapa
Lady Electra
Lady Rhyolite



Residents and Employees

military
Grayson, Squire
Flynn, Captain of the Royal Guard
Caldera, Royal & Alliance Guard
Dylan, Trainee Guard
Saffron Trainee Guard
Alector, Trainee Guard
professionals
Amber, Treasurer
Gavin, Artist
Danny, Royal Doctor
Graeling, Naval Navigator
Mohana, Librarian

household
Madeline, Housekeeper
Margaret, Kitchen Maid
Alistair, Stable Boy
Luke, Kennel Boy
Cypress, Kennel Boy
prisoners
Jacopo, Kidnapper

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located here
  • Royal court: The royal court is a place for people to receive an audience with members of the royal family. Petitions can be presented to the king, connections made and events held.
  • Royal stables: The royal stables offers quality horses on lease for a variety of uses.
  • Royal schools: Children can receive private tuition or schooling here.
  • Royal library: The largest collection of written works in all of Shaman.
  • Royal hospital: The only official hospital in Shaman, this is where the sick and wounded are brought to be cared for.
  • Royal gardens: Beautiful and varied gardens which are open to the public. Includes allotments, flower gardens, and open spaces to walk or ride in.
  • Barracks: Royal and Alliance guards and soldiers live in the barracks.
  • Training arena: A well-equipped arena for knights, soldiers and guards to develop their fitness and skills.
sun's up, a little after twelve; merlin.
IP: 90.254.122.185


sun's up, a little after twelve
make breakfast for myself, leave the work for someone else


“Now?” Mallos muttered in Spanish, staring in horror at his flashing sun-pendant. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

As soon as the first message had threatened to come through, he’d taken the pendant off and placed it carefully on his desk. He’d learnt from grim experience that trying to hold a squirming toddler while receiving magical pendant-messages simultaneously didn’t end well. The message, written on traditional papyrus paper in the ancient language, was a summons to Amarna for a council meeting. Khasekhemwy had also rigged the pendants up to flash continually when there was a summons, since some of the deities (Mallos) had a habit of not always reading their mail.

The timing couldn’t be worse. Croe was out on some mission for Arthur and Rana had left the twins with a babysitter in Brazil so she could take a mini-break. Ángela clung happily to her father’s neck, watching him with her irresistible dark eyes.

Great. What now? Even if mortals were allowed in council meetings, Mallos couldn’t very well bring a three year-old with him to a conference which could potentially last hours.

Shifting his daughter slightly so that she was over his hip instead of sprawled across his chest, Mallos crossed the room and nudged the door to the bedroom open with his elbow. Helena, his chamber maid, was polishing the end-tables next to the bed and muttering to herself.

“Hey, Helena.” He presented her with a winning smile. “Did you say your niece was a certified nanny?”

--

Ángela couldn’t believe this was happening. She’d tried everything to make her parents come back: screaming, stamping, holding her breath, crying, throwing her toys, hitting her nanny’s legs and refusing to eat dinner. The chipper young child-minder, who had introduced herself as Anita, didn’t seem remotely fazed.

“You’ll be hungry later,” was all she’d said cheerfully when Ángie had thrown her dinner at her in a temper.

It was time to change tactics. Ángie grizzled for a while before pretending to give up. She kept her mouth downturned and wobbly so that Anita wouldn’t get suspicious, but accepted her evening milk quietly. Once Anita had put her down in the cot, Ángie waited for a good hour or so before silently peeling back the blanket and peering through the bars. Anita had spent the first half hour tidying up and had been engrossed in some book on the sofa for the last 30 minutes. Ángela arranged her toys so that anyone glancing across at the cot from the other side of the room would think she would still asleep before making her well-practised escape. She knew exactly where the latch was which lowered the cot’s bars, and she knew to guide them down gently so that the click when they reached the bottom was avoided. Once out, she was careful to repeat the process in reverse so that the bars shifted back into place again.

Anita didn’t even look up.

The little angel pattered around the back of the sofa, using the rug to silence her footsteps. She could just reach the door handle if she stood on tiptoes, and knew how to inch the door open carefully so as to avoid any creaking. She held her breath as she shut it behind her with a soft touch.

The open corridor beckoned. Ángela kept to the rugs to avoid making a sound, ducking under or behind furniture or curtains whenever a guard came round the corner. Fortunately, no one expected to see an intrepid three year-old roaming the corridors alone as of an evening, so no one did see one.

Ángie hadn’t been out and about around the castle very much. Her parents, presumably, were still trying to shelter her from the inevitable stares and gossiping which was liable to follow her wherever she went in public. She wandered aimlessly for a while before stumbling across the royal apartments out of sheer luck. The unlocked door to the suite swung neatly open, revealing an empty room predominantly occupied by a large, wooden dining table. On the far side of the room, another door was ajar. From within, Ángie could hear multiple voices and a distinctive crackling sound.

Luckily, the door didn’t creak at all when she pushed it gently, peeking around. Several armchairs and a sofa were gathered around a hearth with a roaring fire. Five people were present, two women and three men of varying ages, all of whom had their backs to her. The sound of their voices and clinking glasses, offset against the crackling fire, was as warming as the heat from the latter. Ángela had to assume that her parents weren’t in the castle at the moment – or if they were, she wouldn’t be able to find them – so her best chance of bringing them back was to get another adult to do it for her. She slipped silently around the door and toddled across the room to the nearest armchair, which she approached from the back. Ángela moved around the side of the chair and peeked around the arm, getting her first look at who was sat in it.

What she saw changed everything.

“Uncle Arthur!” She exclaimed in delight, recognising him from the pictures daddy had showed her.

She moved all the way around the chair so that she was stood in front of his legs and held her arms up in the universal toddler sign for pick me up, please! When he obliged, she sat down on his lap and wrapped her arms around him in a hug. Resting her cheek against his chest, gazing across at the other occupants of the room with huge, dark eyes rimmed with long eyelashes. Now that she had a good look at their faces, she recognised them too.

“It’s Morgana,” she identified clearly. “And Tristan, and Mordred, and Nimueh.” The last one she pronounced a little slower, stumbling slightly over the vowels in the middle.

She shifted slightly and popped her thumb in her mouth, feeling Uncle Arthur’s heart beat against his chest. It sounded just like daddy’s.

Ángela
progeny of the warbird and the sun-god


image by sunny m5


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