Archive | May 2014

From the Creator

Ahhh Yes, I have been absent this week, but for such an excellent reason! I have just spent all week on the most incredible journey through time and through Scotland! My own writing was on hold while I immersed myself in this voyage. My only disappointment is that it’s over for the time being… at least until the next book in the series comes out!

One rather strange coincidence worth mentioning… because I am always fascinated with those odd coincidences and moments of Déjà vu? Before reading the last book in the series, The Water is Wide, I experienced a couple of those odd little moments. I randomly heard the song played twice?! The first time was at a music presentation for our residents at work. At the time, I did not think anything of it but was entranced with the song, which I could not remember ever hearing before. The next time I heard it was when I put an old video one evening for the residents to enjoy… An Evening with The Irish Tenors. Fortunately, my residents didn’t even complain when I rewound it and played the song a couple of times!

I was moved by the song, then quite happily surprised when I picked up the book and made the connection!

So, before I head off into my own fantasy realm, I leave you with some versions I’ve found of the song, the lyrics, and then my book review!

The Water is Wide
The water is wide, I cannot get oer
Neither have I wings to fly
Give me a boat that can carry two
And both shall row, my love and I

A ship there is and she sails the sea
She’s loaded deep as deep can be
But not so deep as the love I’m in
I know not if I sink or swim

I leaned my back against an oak
Thinking it was a trusty tree
But first it bent and then it broke
So did my love prove false to me

I reached my finger into some soft bush
Thinking the fairest flower to find
I pricked my finger to the bone
And left the fairest flower behind

Oh love be handsome and love be kind
Gay as a jewel when first it is new
But love grows old and waxes cold
And fades away like the morning dew

Must I go bound while you go free
Must I love a man who doesn’t love me
Must I be born with so little art
As to love a man who’ll break my heart

When cockle shells turn silver bells
Then will my love come back to me
When roses bloom in winter’s gloom
Then will my love return to me

The Water is Wide (Blue Bells Trilogy, #3)The Water is Wide by Laura Vosika
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have just finished traveling through time and Scotland with Shawn, Niall, Amy and Angus. It was an incredible journey and I have to say that I am a little sad that it’s over for now… at least until the next book in the series comes out. Yes, there were times when the trip was a little slow going. We got side tracked and delayed quite often having to stop and deal with Amy’s overwhelming and sometimes annoying bouts of guilt, betrayal and grief. I cut her some slack and decided that it was justified under her circumstances- having left Shawn in the tower after breaking up with him, being pregnant, realizing that he’s wandering around medieval Scotland totally unprepared.

I am including all three books together in this review because you really do need to read them all to get a clear picture and understanding of everything going on. When I read the first one, Blue Bells of Scotland, I interested and intrigued with the concept but not necessarily all that emotionally attached to some of the characters- such as Amy. With the second book, Minstrel Boy, I was able to understand and empathize with her more. Also, in the first book, Shawn was definitely struggling with some likeability issues for a lot of reader… yes, including me at times! By the third book, I am now so emotionally attached to all of them that I am somewhat disappointed in the ending and having to wait for the next book. I was really hoping for some little preview or hint of what comes next as there is another book coming.

There were a few parts that seemed confusing to me and I am hoping those niggling little questions left in my mind will get answered in future books. Knowing that there were books planned when I got to those somewhat confusing parts, I could only assume that they might be small clues or references to future story lines. Had I not been aware of the future installments coming, I would have been more frustrated and annoyed with these little bits that seemed to be left hanging in the air for us.

Over all, the three books are excellent and I can’t wait to continue this journey!

Behind the Scenes4: Costume design and makeup!

As I have had some comments and questions in the past about the costumes and patterns I use, I’ve decided to take you on a tour of our costume and makeup department!

I’ve recruited a couple of our guest stars to help me with the tour and the transformation!

This is how Brenda usually shows up in the morning!

This is how Brenda usually shows up in the morning!

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http://www.thesims3.com/assetDetail.html?assetId=5062305

Brenda Blonde is one of our reoccurring characters and has been with us for what seems like forever! She is a mega star performer on stage and screen but always finds time to help us out with our various projects. Her most recent appearance here is in the character of Brennie. Because Brenda is so versatile and has went through many changes, we thought you might like to see how her transformation takes place.

Her first stop is usually at hair and makeup, where we try a few different style options out on her.

This is for Brennie’s more casual every day appearance
Brenda Blonde hair and makeup

This is her more formal hairstyle. It works well because the accessories attatched to this hair recolor well in cas. Some of the hair styles don’t recolor as well so we tend to avoid using them.
Brenda Blonde in hairstyling

When choosing hairstyles for the medieval time periods, I’ve found that the EA store had provided some that work really well when recolored. I really like the India inspired ones… Once you play with the coloring, they are quite passable for this time frame. I usually try to go with hairstyles that are realistic looking… sometimes that can be extremely difficult when using the EA provided items!

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http://store.thesims3.com/productDetail.html?productId=OFB-SIM3:68260&scategoryId=11979

Brenda Blonde in hairstyling
http://store.thesims3.com/productDetail.html?productId=OFB-SIM3:49594&scategoryId=11979

I do occasionally use some custom created content but try to limit it because it adds to lags in my game loading and playing. I’ve also found that while some of them look great on the advertisement models, they end up being as much a disaster on my sims as the game or store provided hairstyles! One creator that I do use and trust is Cazy… I know a lot of people don’t want to use Sims Resource, but I have had very few problems with them and their content is now free.

This a sample of her work on her model
Cazy North Star hairstyle
http://www.thesimsresource.com/artists/Cazy/downloads/details/category/sims3-sets-hair/title/northern-star-hairstyle–set/id/1227646/
And, in my game:
Elizabeth York cover

Another important part of creating a more realistic character is in the eyes. Unfortunately, the EA provided eyes often leave one with a bland blank stare. There are so many custom options available for makeup and contacts that make sims more realistic looking! I generally use contacts by Eruwen.
http://mysims3blog.blogspot.com/2013/06/new-contacts-by-eruwen_30.html

Using the custom contacts helps too with toning down the vamypire look that the game gives.
Brenda Blonde hair and makeup

See the difference? This early photo of Brenda is without the contacts!
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One last aspect of makeup that I will deal with here is not really makeup, but skin. The game provided skins leave a lot to be desired, especially with the vampires! Once you choose a vampire, their skin tone becomes an odd yellowish tone that does not look too great in game. I have played around with numerous custom skins and finally found ones that I am happy with for humans, and for vampires.

For my human characters, I usually stick with some very early non-default creations by LadyFrontbum. You can find her skins here.
http://www.ladyfrontbum.com/

For my vampires, I use starfruit skintones by Kurasorerina which you can find here:
http://kurasoberina.tumblr.com/post/62967257362/a-few-requested-a-defreckled-version-of-freckled

or on sims3 blog here
http://mysims3blog.blogspot.com/2013/10/candied-starfruit-non-default-skintone.html

Now, on to costume design!

Brennie’s character initially showed up looking like a peasant or serving wench. Here is one of the options available to us from the EA store. I chose this outfit for our demonstration because it makes a remarkable transformation once recolored!
Brenda in costume dept1

A version of finished product…
Brenda costume design1

But, there is a lot of in between in that process! Some important things to keep in mind when designing more authentic and realistic medieval designs… Lower status people, even those of noble blood would not have worn some colors which were often reserved for the high born nobles and Royals. One specific reason- those colors were extremely expensive and difficult to achieve. Wearing certain colors made one’s status, wealth and role quickly recognized. These were colors such as purple, red, gold, white-realistically, white was difficult to keep clean and most people would not choose to wear it often. Another thing to keep in mind is the textures, weaving and patterns available and more commonly used back then.

I use some basic patterns and textures and recolor those depending on whether the character is more common or more noble. I try to use patterns and textures that allow for easy color changing with good results…

Let’s start with a game pattern available to everyone. Yes, it’s extremely bright right now, but it has four color channels to work with so you can get a wide variety of results in playing with those color channels!
brenda costume design2

brenda pattern designs2

brenda pattern designs3

Here are some other basic original patterns and the results of playing with the color channels provided with them!
brenda pattern designs4

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After wardrobe, Brenda visits the accessories department

This is a sample of more formal, royal jewelry used in it’s original colors
brenda jewelry choices

After recoloring the jewelry
brenda jewelry choices2

One piece of jewelry that I’ve found quite versatile is this collar!
brenda costume design8

After playing with the coloring on it, you can get it to blend in with various outfits and it becomes an interesting addition to the clothing rather than a necklace!
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Finished look!
brenda costume design10

After those fittings for medieval wear, Brenda is once more transformed back to more current styling for some upcoming scenes.
Brenda in fitting for more current costuming

A bit of color adjustment and she’s ready to head out for the day!
Brenda heads out for next photo shoot

Now we meet up with our other guest star as he arrives for his costume and makeup sessions.

Eric Northman is another veteran performer who has been with us from early on in our projects. Yes, many know him from that other vampire series, TrueBlood… He is as busy as Brenda now days and we do appreciate him taking time from his hectic schedule to make guest appearances here with us. We also need to take a moment to thank his agent (creator), Kimwriter75 for ensuring that he’s available when we need him!
http://www.thesims3.com/assetDetail.html?assetId=4102600

Eric arrives for costuming

Eric goes through the same makeup, hairstyle and skintone sessions. Because his more recent appearance was that of a more ancient, gaelic version of himself we did have to make some adjustments to his hairstyle!
Eric in hair and makeup

After the hairstyling, it’s on to the costume department for him as well!
Eric in initial costume choices

The same recoloring process and results
Eric optional costuming2

In this view, his tunic has simply been darkened to a deep red. The faint texture of the pattern remains and gives the pattern some added texture and depth. The trim has been changed to a game pattern in leathers and fur.
Eric pattern design2

Some simple recoloring of that leather pattern.
Eric pattern design3

Finally, a game pattern on his under shirt…
Eric pattern design4

You could leave the shirt the way it was for more of a chain mail effect, but I chose to recolor it to a softer tone for a somewhat woven appearance.
Eric pattern design5

One other optional clothing choice for him
Eric optional costuming
Some quick recoloring on that option
Eric optional costuming4

For the men, there is one added difficulty when putting together their costumes. This difficulty is in finding them decent foot wear that works with their outfits! The reason… Once again, EA has chosen to make it extremely difficult to match boots with various pants or outfits.

Here is an example of what happens. You might notice that in many of my photos, I choose not to show a full view of the men… this would be the reason!
Eric boot choices3

Eric boot choices2

Finally, we find a somewhat workable pair of boots…
eric boot choices4

A small bit of coloring and they blend well enough with the rest of the outfit to be acceptable.
Eric boot choices5

A finished costume!
Eric pattern design7

Eric is not quite as patient as Brenda. He was not exactly thrilled when we told him there was one more fitting for an upcoming scene!
Eric preparing for next shoot

The same recoloring process with a leather pattern on his present day jacket.
Eric pattern design8

A more appropriate hairstyle, a few minor color adjustments, and Eric is ready to go!
Eric ready for next scenes

Here are our two guest stars showing up on the set with other members of the cast!
showing up for a day on the set

Previous Behind the Scenes:
https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/about/behind-the-scenes/

Eleanor’s Journal 67: Family Reunion or Family Nightmare

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Jaquetta was well right in her warning that Margaret’s longed for reunion with her children would be anything but easy, or even pleasing. Twas not quite so difficult with the older one, Henry, for he did at least know her and remember her somewhat. At the age of 18, he was old enough to understand much of what had transpired and why. He did hold resentments against her for what he deemed weakness on her part, but he could look past that for the most part. The one he held more bitterness and hatred for was his step father, whom he trusted not at all. Henry did not know for sure what this new game or ruse was, or who was truly behind it. His only concern was that of keeping himself and his young wife safe and above the speculations or reproaches of anyone who might use his relationship with his Mother against him. Henry knew of his Mother’s deep loyalties to the Lancasters and her past refusals to remain quiet about them. That insistance had put her in her current position and gave her husband that power over her which he continued to exploit. Knowing all of this, Henry was rightly hesitant about this family visit. He remained cool and aloof, unwilling to give any heartfelt emotion to this woman, even though he could see the hurt and the longing in her face. His wife, Catherine was much softer and kinder in her meeting with her Mother in law. Catherine was ever the peace-maker, she had always been so since her childhood. She was pleasant and sociable, trying to ease the tensions of all during the family visits. This was no easy task as everyone involved was on edge. Even the little Eleanor sensed that there was much wrong with this gathering and somehow knew that she was a cause of at least part of it.

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Richard Dayrell had arrived to the gathering in icy and stormy temper. He brought with him a confused young daughter, Margaret, who knew none of them, not even her half brother Henry. It was quite clear that the girl of nine had no clue that her Mother was even still alive. She was a pale and fragile looking little girl who did resemble her Mother and might have been called pretty had she ever deigned to smile. She had lived a much isolated existance at a rural estate of her Father under his strict guidance and the constant threat of a well cloistered nunnery should she fail to obey him in every command of his. Now she had been much literally dragged to court and tossed at this group of people as her Father spoke harshly, “Here, here is the family you have cried and whined for, wept at the loss of. A crazy woman for a Mother and a brother who deems himself to much better than to waste his time on the likes of one such as you.”

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When she began to cry in her fright, he pinched her arm and continued as the rest of the group gasped in apalled unison of his treatment of her. He gave Margaret a scathing look. “This is what you’ve given me, a crying, sniveling girl who jumps in fear at her own shadow! Why I should have expected any more from you, I should not have been surprised. Your son was much the same as a child… until he was salvaged somewhat by that Queen.” Casting an equally disgusted look at Henry, he added, “I say somewhat salvaged because I have no doubt that raised in her household by such a throng of women, he is probably still a weak and cowardly boy, ever hiding behind the skirts of women but having little idea what to do with what’s beneath those skirts.”

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Such was the beginning of their supposedly happy family reunion. Henry had to be held back from assaulting the older man. The child Margaret sobbed and would let none near to comfort her any way, though Margaret did try to ease her daughter’s distress… she only seemed to make it worse. Catherine was so disgusted by the man’s behavior that she was without words. The little Eleanor tried to escape by clinging to wall away from them all. Brenny, who was in attendance was so shocked by this turn of events that she had no idea what to do as she made attempt to hold Henry back from attacking his step-father. Richard just stood back and laughed, “Ahhh, Now, this is such an appropriate reunion for all of us is it not? We must be sure to do it often.”

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While Brenny and Catherine were trying to keep Henry calm, Richard happened to spy little Eleanor against the wall. He strode over to her and snatched her up in his arms none too gently, gripping her overly tight and pinching her as he had his own daughter. The fact that Eleanor did not show fear or cry seemed to irritate him greatly. She merely tensed in his arms, held herself stiff and allowed no reaction what so ever. He tossed her in the air roughly and spoke snidely, “Well, and isn’t this a treasure for us all, another child for us to enjoy. Another girl for us to put a high price on and make a profit from… and one that we did not even have the pleasure of producing on our own. Who knows, perhaps that is the better of it, maybe this one will show some will and strength that you failed to produce in the other two, Margaret.”
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As he was torturing little Eleanor, the others all quickly recalled their senses and stepped in to surround him, demanding him to let the child alone. He simply laughed again, “Why, I am just playing with my child. You did insist that this is a family gathering and we should get to know each other.”
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At those words out of his mouth, Jacquetta entered the room, stepped into the group and grabbed the child from his arms. “If this is how you enjoy small children, Sir Richard, then rest much assured that you shall not be enjoying much family togetherness in the future with any of your family… less they should like to visit you in the Tower.”

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Her sudden appearance had taken Richard by surprise. He was even more surprised to look out and see that Jacquetta’s daughter, Queen Elizabeth was standing in the doorway. She had seen and heard much of what went on and was as disgusted by this event as everyone else. When her Mother had made to step in earlier, she had held her back. She had whispered to Jacquetta, “Nay, let him hang himself fully, we know that he will… we will step in when it appears there is true danger.”

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Elizabeth had called for her guards and motioned for Jacquetta to take all of the others to her personal quarters where they could collect themselves. Only Richard remained in the room with Elizabeth and her guards as her witness to his actions and to her decision of what to do with this man. Richard tried vainly to remain calm and maintain his arrogant dignity even in facing this Queen, who could be at times more powerful and controlling than her husband the King.

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Elizabeth sought to maintain her own composure with this confrontation. She knew exactly what type of man Richard Dayrell was and as much as she despised him, she knew to tread carefully with him. He was not one that anyone would want as an enemy if they had the choice… but it seemed that few found themselves with a choice when it came to dealing with him. Richard Dayrell was one who was vile and evil but generally kept his cards well hid and showed a moral and upstanding persona to the public. She knew before he spoke what his response would be, and he would be well justified in it in the way many thought. Elizabeth would give him time to go on with his defense, all the while thinking of how to go around it without calling offense to him publically. He was right in his declarations of being a loyal subject and friend to Edward, and this being a family matter.

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Elizabeth was as cold and calm as he when she gave him leave to speak. She could play this game as well as he could, she thought to herself as she smiled cooly and suggested to him that he should explain himself now. Inside, she was silently cursing her own Mother for dragging her into this situation, for that matter, even creating it to begin with.

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Richard assumed that he had the upper hand in this matter now. “Your Grace, this is but a private family matter that needs no attendance from you. You have far more important matters to concern yourself with. Truly, this is of no concern or consequence to anyone but that of my family which I am attempting to make ammends to and put to rights. That is my reason for being here in the first place with them.” Richard went on smoothly, never stumbling over his lies. “I am only trying to reunite my family, it is not of my fault if they seem to have difficulty with it. Our family has seen much trouble over the past few years and I would only ask that we be allowed to work out our problems in private.” He ended his petition in the way she knew he would. “Your Grace, my family’s troubles should not reflect upon my loyalty, my honor or my long standing friendship to the King.” He smiled slightly, and a bit too smugly for Elizabeth’s liking at those last words.

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She smiled back in a much similar manner and lulled him into a few moments of deceptive grace as she offered him a glass of wine. He thought that she would absolve him when she responded in a much too kindly way. “Ahhh Yes, Sir Richard, I have heard something of your family’s difficulties over the past few years. And, I must say, I was greatly surprised and happy to hear the most recent news of that precious addition to your family. Let me congratulate you on the joyous blessing that God has bestowed upon you. What could have been such a tragedy has turned to a miracle… God has seen fit to let your wife and child survive, to recover and be such a blessing to you. You must be over come with such joy and emotion!” She smiled sweetly and reached out to pat his hand, which he was trying not ball into a curled fist.

Elizabeth noticed it, just as she noticed the slight wince that took over his face for just a moment before he contained it and smiled back at her. “Yes, indeed God has blessed us with a true miracle and we are all a bit overwhelmed with it. It will take us some time to adjust ourselves to the changes it will bring to our lives.” He responded with a tight smile that did not reach his eyes.

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Elizabeth knew that she had him where she wanted him now… she took note of her men at arms ever close behind her, overhearing all of this conversation, and well aware of what had taken place previously. They would be her witness if need be in the future, should there be any doubt cast about what took place here. She continued to smile at Richard as she spoke again. “Yes, yes a new child always does bring it’s share of adjustments for a family. I can understand your concerns, especially with your wife suffering such ill health for so long. I would seek to remedy some of those concerns of yours.” This was put as a statement of command rather than a suggestion. “Allow me to assist you in these matters, as a Mother of young children myself, I understand full well the many concerns of raising them properly.” She paused for a minute and saw a flicker of doubt come over his face. He was not quite sure of what she was going to so helpfully demand of him. Good, so much the better, she thought to herself as she let him suffer that wariness and unsurity for a few more moments. “You, Sir Richard are such a busy man, and so valuable to my husband in so many ways. I am sure that this situation is putting much strain on you.”

He hesitated and nodded his head in agreement. Well, she was right in that respect, this was the last thing he needed, or wanted to deal with now. She took his hands in hers and thoughtfully continued, “Let me relieve some of that strain upon you then so that you can focus your attentions on your duties better here at my husband’s court. I know that your wife has been ill for such a length of time and unable to devote her Motherly attentions to your daughter, Margaret. It grieves me much that you have had to bear her raising on your own and through no fault of yours, you may have been remiss in some of the proper raising of a girl child.”

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He started to speak up in his own defense and disagreement, not being quite sure what her intentions were on the matter of his daughter. “I can assure you, your Grace, that I have cared well for my daughter and sought out the finest of guidance for her training.”

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Elizabeth waved a hand for his silence. “Be that as it may, Sir Richard, she is more than of an age and status where she should be already in a suitable household training as a Lady in Waiting. Such a position would give her the proper training in all of those areas which will benefit her as a good match one day. I know that had Margaret been in better health, this is something she would have attended to before now. I am not faulting you, as you are a man and these things have a tendancy to slip past your thinking.” She smiled at him and waited for his response. He was not immediately forthcoming with one so she just went on in her overly kind and caring attitude. “I thought that I would have seen her name and your request for her placement in my household by now… Have you given thought to this important step in her training and perhaps sought to place her elsewhere in a worthy household?” She gave him a serious questioning look.

He was at a loss for a response at that moment since, for one… he was not expecting this line of questioning which seemed to him far off from the subject of which they were concerned. For another, he had adamently refused placing the girl out of his sight even when her maids had broached it with him. Now, he was expected to give some answer on this topic? What in God’s name was this woman up to. He had a feeling that he had been just royally duped and no answer was going to be acceptable in her reasoning. He had no choice but to feign some feeling of remorse and admit some remiss in his parenting duties, though he felt none of any sort.

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At his rather lame excuse of wanting to keep the child close to him and admission of oversight in his responsibility, Elizabeth shook her head and looked at him in some solomn consideration. “Well, we must take steps immediately to remedy this unknowing negligance on your part.” She sighed softly, took his hand again and held it in a way as to show her supposed concern and caring. “Do not worry about this Sir Richard, I shall immediately take steps to find her a suitable placement. In fact, I will go so far as to assist in finding her an excellent marriage match… which, I assume that you have not put much thought into as yet either? My Heavens, Richard, surely you must know how valuable a girl child is and how important it is to set these arrangements in place as far as possible.” She shook her head, “This is the trouble with leaving such things to a man.” Then she brightened and laughed, “Goodness, Sir Richard, Now you have two fine daughters to be concerned with the marriages of.” Before he could speak again, she waved her hands gaily and added, “Never fear Sir Richard, my Mother and I have become quite adept at this match making business…I am sure there a few suitable matches left over to choose from after all of my sisters and my own daughters.” She pertly turned her head to her guards and laughed, at which they all joined in.

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Richard was dumbstruck now. This had not gone in any such way as he had imagined. He now appeared somewhat like a fool whom the Queen had taken it upon herself to save. He realized that he had just lost possession of his most valuable commodities though one was not really his. His anger was broiling just beneath the surface but he dared not show it as the Queen had just officially bestowed such gracious kindness upon him for all public purposes. He knew damnably well that it was not out of friendly kindness she had done any of it. As she turned back to stare at him, he knew too that she was not yet finished with him.

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Now, she became quite serious and her posture reflected her sterner mood. “Now that we have taken care of that matter, I am sorry to say that me must address some other ones not quite so cheerful or pleasant. Your family quarell has no doubt caused some upset within my family and I must deal with it appropriately. I would not have to do so, but you chose to cause such a public display that many others overheard and I would be remiss if I ignored the slights to those in my family.” She glared at him coldly. “You know, I have spent much time raising your step son and look at him as family, besides the fact that he is indeed family by his marriage to my sister Catherine. Your words and your actions today and in the past have caused him no amount of distress and I believe that you owe him, and his wife a public apology, which you will accomplish here at court in front of your peers of the nobility. While for all you insist that it is a private family matter, you made the unwise choice to voice your opinions in a space where they were heard by the public, so now you will atone for it in public and you will also take that opportunity to make good your wife’s character and her prescence of mind… If she will agree to even be seen with you again after this. I would highly suggest that you find some way to remedy this which you caused.”

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Richard was speechless… he was too consumed with trying to maintain some thinly veiled control of his fury at this woman. Finally he managed to find some words against her demand. “Your Grace, surely you would not seek to make this all even more public and humiliating for all of us. Please allow us to deal with this in the privacy of our home and within our family.” He knew it was a useless effort but felt he had to make some attempt.

She gave him a disgusted look and answered him. “Really, Richard… Family, what family? Yours is a pathetic sham of a pretense of family and all know it but refuse to say it out of courtesy and honor. You are true in that you have been ever loyal to our cause and our crown and so in light and respect of that, I will not seek further disgrace or dishonor upon you as long as you now walk the line I have set for you. When your public appearance here at court with your loving family is completed, your wife will retire with young Eleanor to a place of my choosing not yours. Your daughter Margaret will remain here at court with me for the time being whilst I find her a suitable household to train in, and a suitable match… which you will agree on and aprove of.”

He was fuming now and in danger of losing all semblance of control. All that he could do was slightly nod his head and bow to her in his agreement of her decisions. All the while though, he thought to himself that this was not over by any means. He would see this woman, this witch rot in hell before he was finished with her.

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She brushed her hand out to dismiss him and he silently turned to leave, assuming she was finished with him. Elizabeth had one final comment for him however as he slowly walked away. “Oh, one last thought Sir Richard, should you think not to follow my directions in all of this, I must remind you on more important matter. In return for your obediance, I shall endeavor not to let my husband know that you are partaking of his very special toys behind his back whilst he is away. I do believe he would not take kindly to that much sharing between friends. And, I have only enough patience to raise and support my husband’s bastards least of all those who might not even be his. If I should find that I am indeed supporting your offspring, I shall do as I see need be in that matter.”

These last words only added to his fuel of anger at her and her witch of a Mother. He would indeed see both of them paid dearly for their actions in this game of which he seemed to be on the losing side of this day.

After he left, Elizabeth turned back to her guards. “Find her, find the one he has been dallying with behind my husband’s back and bring her to me. I have had enough of all of this nonsense and am in no mood to play nice any longer nor share my husband with quite so many toys. God only knows what diseases he should bring back to my bed. I want to know which of those women assumes that she can so easily spread her legs for anyone while sharing the King’s favors.” She hoped to herself that it would be that one woman whom she could not seem be rid of. That one other woman who the King favored almost as much as he did her. She dearly hoped that they would return with Elizabeth Shore and she could be done with that woman for good.

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During her interview with Richard, the rest of the so called family took respite in Elizabeth’s private quarters and tried to salvage what remained of their broken relationships. It was difficult to say who might be more broken by all of the events, past and present but, if the scene within that apartment was any indication most would have to agree on it being the young Margaret Dayrell. She truly did look like a shattered and destroyed china doll as she lay on a couch, exhausted and still weeping, her body shaking in uncontrollable spasms of terror and grief. The women huddled around her attempting to comfort her while Henry tried to entertain the somber little Eleanor.
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The women were having little success at soothing Margaret. She shuttered at their touch and brushed them away as if swatting at flies. Her distress was increasing so much that her Mother, Margaret feared the child would make herself quite ill. Margaret finally stood up and motioned the others away from the child. “This is doing no good to anyone, most of all her. She is greatly frightened of us all and our hovering over her is making it worse.” She sighed sadly wiping tears from her own eyes. “She is a fragile child and who knows what her Father has told her or threatened her with… this is much my fault. It is I who must find a way to fix this with her. Leave us be here and I will join you later.”

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Jacquetta led Brenny and Catherine away and Margaret knelt back down with her daughter. She kept a slight distance from the child and whispered some soothing words to her. Though the child refused to look at her Mother or reach out to her, her body did calm and she seemed to fall off into a fitful sleep. Margaret remained close, singing softly and occasionally stroking the child’s back lightly.

The others moved a bit further away and sat together pretending that all was normal and making useless small talk while Eleanor played silently on the floor between them all. Henry Stafford stared down at the little girl on the floor and shook his head. He then looked up at Jacquetta and voice his own frustrated concerns. “I will not lie or pretend that any of this makes sense to me. I will also say now that none of this sits well with me. It puts us all in danger, especially my Mother, who I fear is not strong to begin with and this will be an even greater stress upon her.” He reached for his young wife’s hand and held it as they all discussed the situation quietly. Henry was worried for his family. He did not trust Richard Dayrell at all and would not put anything past the man.

When Jacquetta tried to ease his concerns and assure him that Elizabeth would deal with him, Henry was not reassured. “No, I know him well enough to know that he will not let this matter go. He will find some way to retaliate against us in the future. In your decision to keep this little one safe, you have put us all at greater risk, I fear.” Henry was young, but he had seen his share of court treachery, deciets and politics. He knew that it was a constant battle of wits to stay alive in this bloody game of power. He knew too even at such a young age that he truly did not want to be such a part of the game, but had little choice due to the circumstances of his birth and his status. His deeper thoughts were always of whether he was capable of the deceptions, the back stabbings and the endless webs of mind games required to play the game and keep one’s family intact throughout it.

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Elizabeth returned some time later and joined in the discussion. She shared her treatment of Richard and what he would be required to do. She also warned them all that they should not provoke him in any way. They would make a front of accepting his supposed apologies. Once it was completed, they would all remove themselves from court and put distance between them and him.

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She looked thoughtfully at Henry and her younger sister, whom she was ever so fond of and would not wish any hurts upon. These two young people had grown up together in her court, had been married to each other as children and had a deep friendship that few other couples could ever hope for. Elizabeth truly wanted happiness for both of them and did not want to see them torn apart or destroyed by what this court was capable of. Many accused her of being heartless and cold… and yes, she could be, but that did not necessarily mean that she did not care for her family. She knew well that neither of these two really wanted a life at court, but had ever kept them there more for her own selfishness and their safety than any other reasons. She did not want to part with her little sister, did not really want to admit that she was grown. And, she knew that her Mother did not want to either. Catherine was always the sparkle and the joy in their life with her friendly and every happy manner. It would be difficut to see her gone from them but with this new threat caused by Richard Dayrell, Elizabeth had quickly decided that it was time for Henry and Catherine to live on their own as husband and wife in the country far removed from court, and Richard Dayrell.

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Elizabeth took their hands and made her sudden announcement that she was giving them leave to make their own household far away from court. She was sending them to one of Henry’s estates which had been held in trust for his coming of age. They would make their home at Brecon Castle. She smiled softly and somewhat sadly at their surprise and their shared excitement of this new phase of their life together. “You shall be safe there, out of this mess that neither of you have reason to be thrown into.” She warned Henry, “I will expect you to remain ever loyal and to put in your presence and appearance here when called upon. But, do not worry of much for now, You will have plenty of time to enjoy the benefits of your wedded life together.”

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As Jacquetta looked on with tears in her eyes at thought of parting with this last child of hers to leave her, Elizabeth tried to make light of the situation. “Who knows, perhaps you shall soon send us news of a growing family!” Her sister Catherine blushed at this comment but smiled happily. She knew that Richard’s earlier crude remarks at her husband had been in regard to the doubts and rumors over the status of their marriage not being consumated. Living within the heavily protected walls of the Royal household as they had, nothing was much secret or above gossip. There was also the fact that she had been ever surrounded and guarded as well by her Mother and her older sister, who kept insisting that she was too young for that aspect of the marriage. She had of late argued persistantly with them that at the age of 15, she was more than ready to be a wife fully and completely. Now, despite the dangers and threats surrounding them, and the sadness of Henry’s family situation, she could not hide her elation and happiness. Neither could her husband, who had been waiting as impatiently as she.

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From the Creator: Weekly update

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First of all, I do hope you have enjoyed this week’s story updates! We have come back almost full circle now from the past histories of the people involved to just a few short years before the events leading to the disappearance of the princes in the tower and the aftermath of that event. If you are paying close attention while reading it, you will see that the history prior to that particular event plays such a very important part in how it unfolded and why people made the choices that created the situation in the first place. As always, I have tried to tie in the actual history of those times as much as possible. I did have to adjust some timelines…but not really by very much this time!

This week’s episodes:
https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/eleanors-journal65beyond-the-tower-and-back/

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/18/eleanors-journal66-ainor-becomes-eleanor/

So, here is our historical facts update for the week!

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This week’s story centers around Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Stafford. She was the Mother of Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham. For our story purposes, she tied in well as she was a cousin of Margaret Stanley and James II of Scotland. Her Father and her first husband were loyal to the Lancaster faction.
Her father led forces loyal to the House of Lancaster in the First Battle of St Albans (May 22, 1455) against his main rival Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York. The Earl of Stafford followed his father-in-law into battle. Margaret’s father was killed; her husband, Stafford, was wounded. Margaret could no longer count on the support of her father; and she became a widow when her husband died of plague three years later. She later married a Sir Richard Dayrell and had one child, Margaret Dayrell. Little is mentioned about her second husband, so I did feel at liberty to add my own details to that portion as it fit in with our story!

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As to her son Henry Stafford, he was indeed placed in the Royal household after his Father’s and Grandfather’s deaths. After their deaths, he inherited the title of Duke of Buckingham and despite their loyalties to the house of Lancaster, the title remained intact. He became a ward of Queen consort, Elizabeth and was married as a child to her sister, Catherine.

Information on Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Stafford
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Beaufort,_Countess_of_Stafford

Information on Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Beaufort,_Countess_of_Stafford

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Another important character this week was of course, Jacquetta Woodville, Countess Rivers. Her history is well documented and I did try to stay as close to it as possible while still weaving her closely into the story! She is quite important to our story line as there are references made in various articles to her family claiming descent from the ancient water Goddess, Melusine. There is also documented evidence that she was indeed accused of witchcraft during her daughter’s reign. She was able to overcome the accusations. In 1484 Richard III in the act known as Titulus Regius revived the allegations of witchcraft against Jacquetta when he claimed that she and Elizabeth had procured Elizabeth’s marriage to Edward IV through witchcraft; however, Richard never offered any proof to support his assertions.

Information on Jacquetta Woodville, Countess Rivers
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacquetta_of_Luxembourg

Information on the legends and myths of Melusine
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melusine

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The last rather important character in this week’s episodes is not a historical one but as her story plays out, we will see how this fictional character ties in to some factual history. Right now, the young Brenny is a bit of an unknown quantity. All we know about her is that she is an illegitimate relative of King James III of Scotland. He deems her of some importance in his own schemes and so has her placed in his household. We will learn more of Brenny’s history and how it might connect to our story in the future. As her story unfolds, hopefully we will learn more about the places and the people are so interwoven in history!
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Information on James III of Scotland
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_III_of_Scotland

Eleanor’s Journal66: Ainor becomes Eleanor

From Ainor to Eleanor

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Jaquetta and Margaret sat quietly together in a Margaret’s private solar. It was a small corner turret room, well lit with a view of lush gardens and warmed by a constant fire. Books and pieces of sewing filled the spaces. This place was where Margaret spent most of her time, alone with her thoughts, her memories, her visions and her sorrows of the past. She let few others into this space which she so loved. It was one of the few places of this castle that she could call her own. In this room, she could look out at the gardens, the lands beyond, the skies above and dream of what might have been, what should have been. Sometimes she could almost see her children out there, happily playing in the flowers and the fountain… she could almost hear the sounds of their laughture come through to her. Those visions were of her own creation and they kept her half way sane through the worst of times within these closed walls she now called home.

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Her husband kept her well guarded, he insisted that it was for her own good and safety, for the good of their family. But, she knew different. She knew he was deeply afraid of her and her visions. His fear of that unknown caused him to react as so many others did. Rather than attempt to understand or accept in any way, he chose to instead to deny and control. Margaret knew that even deeper than the fear of the unknown, her husband was outraged by the fact that he could not control her, could not sway her beliefs, or manipulate her thoughts. He was powerless in this aspect and so chose to exert his power over her in other ways, such as keeping her locked away here with the excuse that she was deranged. At times, she laughed to herself and admitted that he was in some ways right in his thoughts… for there were times she did feel quite deranged and unhinged in her thinking. So, perhaps it was far better for her to spend her days here in quiet solitude where the walls did not talk so much, where throngs of people did not share their innermost thoughts and stories continuously with her just in touching her randomly. When she gave it serious thought, she did understand that yes indeed she was a danger to her children in that if the truth were known, they would all be labeled heretics and witches. Try as she might, she had been unable over the years to control her visions and her reactions to them.
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Lady Margaret
There were times when she much envied her cousin Margaret Beaufort Stafford Stanley in her ability to maintain some control over her visions, or at least her ability to put them in a light that was more acceptable to others. Her cousin Margaret had been wise enough to encase her behaviors and her visions in a shroud of church acceptable blanketing. She portrayed the devoutness and piety of the church and avowed that God was speaking to her. It worked well for Margaret Stanley, who was ever the survivor, a stronger warrior in this war than she herself was, Margaret readily admitted to herself and to her few close friends who remained in her circle of confidance.

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It was those few friends such as Jaquetta, who most probably ensured her safety and kept her alive. Had it not been for Jaquetta, her husband may not have had qualms over seeing her disappear entirely from the face of the earth. He could easily have locked her away so securely and privately and allowed for her to die from neglect or worse, had it not been for Jaquetta’s constant interferances and intercedences in his affairs and in her life. In the matter of her life and well being, Jaquetta was ever and always there in the background, using her influences in any ways possible. It had been Jaquetta’s suggestion that she retire from the overwhelming emotional taxations of life and live one of private peace and contemplation. Her husband had little choice but to agree with the arrangement but did exert his own sort of control over the situation. He chose the castle, and the guards. He set down his own particular rules governing her care, but Jaquetta always mantained her own network of spies within the place to ensure that no harm was coming to her. It was Jaquetta’s influence that put her son, Henry Stafford in the wardship of the King and placed him in the Royal household. It had been Jaquetta’s influence that had ultimately led to young Henry’s marriage to her daughter Catherine even though they were small children at the time. Jaquetta also quietly kept watch over her young daughter, Margaret, ensuring that she was being raised properly and well treated by her Father.

Now, these two women sat close together in that peaceful and comforting room, seemingly enjoying and sharing a bit of needle craft between them. Their heads bowed over the piece of linen they were carefully stitching upon, their voices in hushed tones in case one of her husband’s guards be overlistening to their conversation.

Jaquetta spoke softly as she sewed, answering her friend’s fears over all that was taking place. “Hush Margaret, all will be fine. Your husband is not such fool as to go against what I have laid out for him. He knows that people are suspicious of his actions upon you and accusing him of having hand in your disappearance. This will serve to appease those rumors and he is in dire need of that right now. Such dire need, in fact, that he is willing to go along on this with few questions asked.”

Margaret shook her head and her voice shook in her troubled concern. “But, I am not so sure that I can go through with this Jaquetta. What if I fail in this all important duty?” Tears fell from her eyes to the ancient linen as she continued with her fearful thoughts. “I am truly not so strong as all of the rest of you and I fear that I will not be able to carry this through with such a facade as you others are so adept at.”

Jaquetta reached to stroke her hand and comfort her. “You shall not need to much dearest, but for to make a few appearances with the child where you can be seen together as family. We all will be there surrounding you and protecting you through it. And, think on this Margaret, you shall have chance to see your other children, to touch them, hold them close and spread your love upon them like a quilt to carry them through the coldest and darkest times of their future. That in itself should be your strength to get through this.”
Margaret sighed and smiled wanly. She brushed a stray strand of still midnight black curl from her face and looked at Jaquetts with her palest of blue eyes now swimming in tears. “Yes, that is my one desire in my remaining time. To see them, to hold them, to let them know that I love them beyond any words or doubts, that what I have done has been for the love of them.”

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Jaquetta smiled back at her friend and pulled her close to hug her. “You see, tis the right thing you do in this matter. Your heart and your soul know this. You must set aside your outward fears now and go forward on this. This little one will bring you some joy, some comfort and some laughture in this much quiet life of yours.” She let go of Margaret and handed her back a needle while she went on. “And, you shall not be alone here. The young one, Brenny will stay with you for a time. She is in much need of comfort and peace for a bit and this stay will do her good.”

While they sat again sewing, Margaret let her fingertips wander over this ancient linen that should be nothing but shreds of dusty fibers, but was remarkably as crisp and fresh as a new piece of cloth other than a few slight stains and frayed edgings. She marveled at it’s power to remain, to hold together in such a way even after centuries of handling by so many women. It never ceased to awe her and fill her with faith. “Tis this that gives me faith and strength, Jaquetta. To hold this cloth, to know and feel the love , the care and the strength of those others before us who did not give up.”

Jaquetta smiled and nodded her agreement, “I knew it would give you strength my friend. It is what binds us all together on this journey through life. It carries our history, our beliefs from that ancient time and it guides us towards the future which is as always so uncertain. It is filled with our families, our love and our prayers. And, soon it will be whole again. It is waiting as are all of us for life to be stitched back together again after being ripped apart in so many different directions.”

They were content in their weaving upon the cloth and their quiet conversation regarding the child whose arrival they waited for. Jaquetta advised Margaret more about the poor child’s recent traumas and told her that the little one would most likely be in some state of shock over all of the events. “I am quite sure that the child will need a great deal of time to recover from all of this, but you must not coddle her too much. She must be made strong enough to endure what may come to her in the future.”

Margaret nodded her head in understanding. She knew that part of her own lacking was that of being so much over protected and untrained as a child. She sighed sadly, her own Mother had overly adored her and not given her the inner strength and fortitude that she would need later in life. Sadly, in these times, it was entirely possible to love a child too much… there must be some balance in that, as with all things important to sustaining life. It was difficult to admit to, but often times the strongest ones, the ones who survived and thrived, were the ones who were not so overly loved or protected in their beginnings. She understood this now and was determined that this child should not turn out as she had, all too dependent upon others for her peace of mind and her well being. No, this child should know from her beginnings that this life was difficult and not always fair, especially to women.

She spoke of this to Jaquetta and the other woman nodded while reminding her of the fine balance that must be walked else the child would grow cold and uncaring. They discussed these views of child rearing for a time. Then, Jaquetta addressed another issue. “The child’s name is Ainor, but I do think that it calls too much attention to the ancient ways. I believe that she should go on in life with the translation of it. You should call her Eleanor after that ancestor who was so strong for us, not even knowing of her ancestory much as this child.”

Margaret smiled happily and agreed. “Yes, I think that would be most wise. She shall be named Eleanor, Eleanor Beaufort Stafford Dayrell. As her supposed Mother, I reserve the right to name her and pass my heritages on to her through her namings. Her supposed Father will irked and irritated to no end by it but he shall have no say or governence in any of this anyway.” She have an almost vicious laugh at her small victory over the man she had come to so detest through the years. He was now so desperate to have his good name cleared and not besmirched that he would have to willingly go along with this game that was for once controlled by women.

Jaquetta laughed loudly and applauded her friend on her growing show of strength. Inwardly, Jaquetta knew that neither of them had a great deal of time left on this plane, this turn of the wheel and so she felt they should glory in the few victories and upturns they should manage before going on to that other place together. Jaquetta looked at this coming challenge as their farewell song sung together in one last chorus of redemption for the women of their lines. One last thing that they could offer to their future generations in the hopes that one day far in the future their act might be remembered or recalled with some love and some fondness for ancestors long forgotten. She kept this knowledge, these thoughts to herself and prayed that they would both live long enough to see this all through the way it needed to go. Jaquetta knew that Margaret’s strength of fortitude would be sorely tested and that she would be worn greatly and need to return here to this quiet sanctuary eventually. For this reason, she had already laid plans ahead for Margaret Stanley to take over at that time and be the stern guidance that the child need. Though, they had ever had their differences, she did trust Margaret Stanley to do what was needed in the future.

Margaret Stanley had been seriously advised that it would be in her best interest to follow this course. It was well known that Margaret Stanley’s main focus and intent was her son’s “God” given destiny, but she was also well prepared for any turns against that. She had been fighting these battles of power since her childhood. Margaret Stanley knew full well that any turn of the wheel could bring defeat for her, she had already experienced much of that. If by some chance, the Yorks could hold on to their power, she needed some way to stay in the fight… She and her husband, Thomas Stanley were walking the fine line of balance to stay in the good graces of the current ruling family who held everyone’s fate in their hands. Margaret Stanley knew that Jaquetta was not on her daughter’s side any longer. She knew that deep down, Jaquetta was still loyal to her former causes and to the Lancasters though she could never admit it openly.

Margaret Stanley was also well aware of the ancient blood running through Jaquetta’s veins, it ran through hers and her family’s as well. She had managed to avoid any and all inferances of her lineage over the years with her devout adherence to the accepted church and she should like to keep it that way ever more. When Jaquetta had approached her with disturbing information and foretellings of the future should she not go along with Jaquetta’s plans, she had felt little choice but to agree. She would be at some point in the future, entrusted with the guidance and training of a young girl who’s destiny it also was to sit on the throne. Jaquetta’s reasoning and bargaining power had been that either way, Margaret and her son would be safe… he may not have a crown, but he would be safe, alive and it would be seen to that his titles and his lands would be restored to him if this plan of events played out. There was always a possiblility that with his titles, his lands, and his lineage recognized, he might inherit the throne at a later time. Margaret would still be looked at favorably as the one who had raised this small girl child to sit on the throne.

Margaret’s initial answer at the time had been of why not just wed the child to her son at some point? Then all of them would be appeased. Jaquetta had argued back that they could not go against what was already set in front their path. There was already an heir to the York throne, in fact, two of them… as her daughter had just given birth to another son. Unless at some point, something should happen to them, they were currently the legitimate heirs and should succeed their Father. At this present time, Margaret’s son Henry had no right to the throne. They could not fight that, all they could do was set a daughter of their choice on the throne as consort and hope that they would carry enough weight to exert some control over the future ruling. She had added ruefully, not as in the case of the mess they were presently in due in much part to the actions of her willful daughter.

She had also placated Margaret with the idea that should anything go awry in the future, steps would be taken to ensure that her son have his fighting chance for the throne. She had warned Margaret with much seriousness though that those ancient ones out there watching would brook no interferances from any of them or actions on their part that should cause the plan to go another way. If it should happen, it must happen on it’s own, or from some other’s hands, not theirs. It was an uneasy, ackward alliance and agreement that Margaret Stanley set her hand to that day, but she had done it. She had sealed her fate and that of her son… then prayed insessantly for divine intervention in what ever the future would hold for them. She would not go back on her agreement much as she would dearly wish to through those next years.

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On the other side of the forest, Brenny and Eric prepared to deliver Eleanor. Brenny had donned her more proper attire, much to Eric’s surprise… he had not realized quite how Royal she was. They had to part ways for the time being but he promised her that he would return when she was ready to go home and escort her back there. She had just muttered bitterly that it was no true home and if she could find some way not to return there, she surely would. He had hushed her and reminded her that after this was finished he would help her with her troubles in Scotland.

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So, it came to pass that the tiny time displaced orphan, Ainor of Pendragon arrived at the home of Margaret Beaufort Dayrell to be raised as Eleanor Beaufort Stafford Dayrell. She was a much silent but ever curious child who observed her new surroundings and family with a keen understanding far beyond her toddler mind. Though she spoke little, cried even less and rarely smiled at all, she watched and listened constantly to everyone around her.

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For those first few weeks, the young Brenny stayed on with Margaret to see the child, and Margaret settled into thier life together. Jaquetta visited often to assure that all was going well, though there was really no need for concern.

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Margaret relished and savored every moment of caring for Eleanor even if she was not her own. She lavished every attention on the toddler during those first weeks, poured out the love she had been denied showering on her own babies. Her heart was lighter and her mind clearer than it had been in some years. She felt a surge of energy throughout her body and looked forward to each morning when she would rise at dawn and slip queitly into the nursery to find little Eleanor wide awake staring at her surroundings. She watched intently one mornings as Eleanor patted the walls near her and whispered garbled little words… It was as though she were listening to the walls and attempting to converse with them. It was then she knew exactly what the child was doing, and hearing. That was also her sign that the child was much more gifted than anyone realized.

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It was often said that very young children were more attuned to the ancient abilities and the spirit realms than adults. They must be taught and trained very young to control such abilities else give themselves away and be looked on with the dire dangerous suspicions so abundant in this time. Sadly, Margaret knew that it was up to her to protect the child, even from herself or they, none of them would survive to make a difference. Margaret had to force herself to be strict and unwavering with the girl, even as young as she was. She had left the nursery to speak to Brenny about it, and to send a message to Jaquetta informing her of this new situation.

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Jaquetta had come immediately to spend some time with the child. She at first assumed that Margaret was just overly concerned, as many new Mothers tended to be. When she questioned Brenny about it, the girl had agreed with Margaret and added that there was something not quite right about the child. She was far too quiet, often seemed to off in her own world babbling and gurgling to the walls, pointing to things which were not there, grasping out into thin air for something.

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Jaquetta had shooed them both from the nursery, picked up Eleanor and wandered about the room with her in arms. As she sang old, ancient lullabies and fairie realm songs to her, Eleanor for the first time since arriving, laughed and smiled happily up at Jaquetta. Her little fingers reached out to touch the woman’s face in delight. Jaquetta snuggled the girl and walked close to the walls with her. She reached out a hand and trailed it along the wall, feeling the faint vibrations of the past. Eleanor did the same and laughed again. Her little face stared up at Jaquetta and she seemed to search the older woman’s face for signs of approval before touching the wall or laughing again.

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Jaquetta stared back at her and gave an encouraging look, at which Eleanor reached for the wall again, then did seem to become lost in that other world. Jaquetta sternly pulled her hand back and turned them away from the wall. She held the girl close and murmured to her in that ancient language that few understood anymore. She spoke as she might to a much older child, for she felt that this one understood far more than she could communicate to them. “Ahhh my fine little one, tis a great gift you have been blessed with, but also a curse and you must be ever cautious with it, else it will take you away with it into a world which you might get lost in. You must be ever careful in life, these are dangerous times for all of us. We seek to keep you safe with us, and you must help us do it.” Eleanor frowned but did not cry. She laid her head upon Jaquetta’s shoulder and her small body trembled but, still she did not cry. Jaquetta knew the child understood every word spoken to her in that old language. She wondered how much she understood of their present language. Her next words were spoken in English. “Hush little Eleanor, we will let no harm come to you but you must be a brave, big girl now for all of us, your Mother would want that of you.”

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Eleanor lifted her head, slowly stopped her trembling and looked up into Jaquetta’s eyes again. Her bright blue eyes were solomn and serious as she nodded her head and finally spoke. “Brave strong girl for Mama.” Jaquetta sighed sadly and hugged her closer. “Yes my sweet, be a brave strong girl for all of your Mamas and all of the Ladies.” Tears formed in Jaquetta’s eyes and Eleanor reached a hand up to wipe them from her face. “Mama and Ladies of the Lake” she whispered softly and placed a hesitant kiss on Jaquetta’s cheek. The older woman cried again and planted a return kiss upon Eleanor’s forehead. “Yes, wee one, the Ladies of the Lake need you to be very very brave, and do all that you are asked to. And, the first thing you must learn is, never talk to the walls again until you are much older and know how to do it properly.”

Jaquetta sat the child down on the floor and kneeled there with her. Eleanor looked at her again and responded very seriously, “No, Never touch walls again.” She pointed her little fingertip towards herself and repeated as if to scold herself, “Listen to Mamas and behave else they will get you!” Jaquetta stood and sighed to herself, this child needed no scolding, she did it all well enough on her own!

She left Eleanor playing on the rug with a basket of yarn and a maid attending her, to return to Margaret and Brenny. There was some discussion about the child’s abilities and her behaviors. Jaquetta assured them that the child was fine and knew much more than any of them expected. She suggested that they not be to cross or harsh with her as she knew quite well how to behave, she only needed reminders and guidance from them. She did advise them to continue to softly and gently remind her not to touch the walls for it would be a great temptation for a child, even one was cautious as her, to resist. “Just simply remind her that she might get lost there and not be able to get back to us, she will know of what you speak.”

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After that day, there was much else to be done, and some of it not so pleasant. Margaret’s husband, Sir Richard Dayrell arrived a few days later to meet with her and Jaquetta. He was not at all happy or enthused about this game he was being forced to participate in and made it quite obvious. Jaquetta’s sharp response to his ire was blunt. “Well, Sir had you not chosen to treat your wife so abhorently in the first place, none of this would be coming into question now, would it?” She glared at him coldly and continued before he could offer any answer. “Mind You, Sir Richard, be very careful in what you say, or how you say it… there are some in this place who will remember it later, should they be called upon to repeat it.”

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He gave his own look of disgust and suspicion, then did think twice about offending the Queen’s Mother too harshly. There would be time for that later, he was quite sure of it… for now, he must go along with this farce in order to salvage his reputation and his name against accusations that he had done away with his crazed wife. Not that anyone would have truly blamed him for it, as many did assume that she was touched or deranged in some way. Still, he did not want these accusations following him or his daughter about. So, now he was supposed to go along with this bizarre scheme, pretend that this random orphan child was his blood, and the reason that his wife was not seen for so long. He should present this far fetched story that she had been so gravely ill during the pregnancy and afterwards that she and the babe had retired to seclusion in hopes of surviving and recovering. He voiced his doubts on this whole scenario. “This is ridiculous, no one is going to believe such rubbish.” He held up his hands in distaste.

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Jaquetta eyed him again but before she could speak, Margaret found her own voice. “Well, then Richard, you had best work very hard at making them believe it, hadn’t you? Else I should have to go to court on my own to answer of their questions and as deranged as I am, Who knows what I may answer them with. I may tell of how I cuckholded you and made a mockery of our marriage by bedding any one who caught my eye…I may cast about that I am quite deranged, that it is a family trait and that you knew of it and chose to wed and bed me anyway. Or perhaps I shall just tell them that it was quite inconvenient to have me around whilst you were bedding one of the king’s mistresses. Perhaps I should call attention to the idea that some of those bastards he claims as his are truly most likely yours?” She stood her ground well even as he came close ready to slap her for what he deemed such insolence. “Oh Yes, Richard do go on and beat me now, for then I shall wear the bruises gladly to court and tell them of how you treat your beloved wife.”

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Richard was at the point of providing such proof when his hand was caught mid strike in the air by Jaquetta, who was still a much strong and able woman. She grabbed his wrist and twisted it, surprising Richard with the strength of her grasp. She merely laughed, “Haaaa Sir Richard, do you not forget that before I came to court, I spent much time on our country estate attending to the earthier things in life and death along with my servants including such as wringing the necks of squawking farm animals.”

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his disgust showed on his face as he attempted to regain his composure and control. He well got the meaning that she was comparing him to some bloody squawking animal whom she could easily dispose of.

Jaquetta stood between the two of them and kept him at arm’s length from his wife. “Ahhh Sir Richard, I do believe your wife has found her strength once more, perhaps she merely did just need a quiet rest for a time, which you so kindly provided her. I do think it highly unwise though under the circumstances to send her off to court on her own. The king might not look kindly to you playing with his toys while he is away… and I know that it would cause my daughter great concern to wonder if she is supporting your bastard children in her household rather than her husbands.”

Richard wisely kept any responses on this matter to himself and made a rather lame attempt at appeasing the women. His wife was more energetic and full of fire than ever he had seen her. He had a moment of thought cross his mind that maybe he should feign more of apology and exert his husbandly rights upon her. She was still a quite beautiful woman, and if he hadn’t been so put off by her mind wanderings, he would have kept her around him.

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Margaret knew exactly what his thoughts were turning to and showed her bitter disregard for him. “Do not even think to tread upon that path Richard, ever again. I shall never lie with you again, nor give you chance to abuse me in any way or form. You are the one following my rules now, and follow them you will, else all will know of your crazy wife and your playing with the King’s toys… I only hope that you have not broken or damaged any of those toys. I should not really have to explain to our daughter why her Father met the axe.”

At her mention of their daughter, he became enraged once more. “Have a care Margaret, anything you accuse me of shall come to blemish her name and her chances of securing a good marriage. You should not like to think her wasting away in a far off nunnery, should you.”

Jaquetta stepped in once more, she could see another battle coming. “Enough, Enough from both of you for now or I will see you both locked away somewhere and raise the girl myself. I am beginning to think I should have done that anyway.” She frostily glowered at Richard. “You will go along with this, you will present your wife at court, allow her time with her children and you will both pretend to be a loving reunited family, at least for the time you are in public. In return, Richard, I will see your name cleared and your faults swept under the rug so to speak. You will continue to abide with this until such a time as the ruse is no longer needed.”

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She turned to Margaret, “You my dearest friend, will hold your tongue for the time and not add to the fire. You should save that fire and energy for where it is rightfully needed, the care and concern of your children. This will not be an easy meeting or gathering for any of you.”

Eleanor’s Journal65:Beyond the tower and back…

Brennie with Adrian and Eric

Brenny glared at Adrian as he sat down at the table with Eric. She had little use for ones who assumed that they knew better than her, that she was less than an equal merely because of her status in life. This man was far too arrogant for her taste. She cared not how important his mission… and, yes she did know of what it was. What he must understand was that he could not accomplish it without ones such as her. Just because it seemed that she be a lowly serf of a tavern wench or servant did not give him right to misjudge or mistrust her abilities or her intentions. She kept back her anger at him and her desire to tell him proudly just who she was. No, that would serve no purpose right now… she was here to aid Eric and the others in this cause, not promote her own. That would come later, she thought to herself. Eric had promised that should she help them in this, he would see to assisting her in her own battles. For now, she would mind her tongue, hard as that might be with this Adrian.

Avalon at night
Before she turned from them, she could not resist just a minor slip and piece of her mind. She continued to glare at Adrian and spoke evenly in attempt to maintain control. “That child is still in grave circumstances and the Higher Council will not look kindly if you should place her in even more danger than she was before.” She then gave a scathing look at both men and continued in a soft but clear warning. “She should have went on to Avalon with her Father. That is where she should be, protected and training with the merlins and the ladies of the lake, not here in these dire times.” She turned and stalked away from them, leaving them with a last piece of her thoughts. “Achhhh But, of course men always assume that they know better, even in matters that they do not know of… such as the raising of children or the protecting of fairies. I am quite sure Vivianne was not so agreeable to this plan when it was put to her after the fact.”
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Brenny left the men to their discussion and took the child upstairs away from their conversation, which she felt might become quite heated before the night was through.
Brennie and Ainor1

Adrian was incensed at the young woman’s attitude and her words of warning. He set about questioning Eric on her role in all of this besides wanting to know just what their situation was now. If it was true that this was such a dire time then perhaps this be the wrong time and place for them.

Eric advised him to sit calm and listen while he explained the current time and situation. There were many things going on now that appeared on the surface to be greviously dangerous to all of them, but underneath and beyond these events was where they must look. Eric was frustrated with the situation as well but had better understanding of it than Adrian, who had not lived through the past few centuries. He had to choose his words carefully so that Adrian would completely comprehend what had taken place and was currently going on. He also had to do it quickly, he did not have weeks or even days to give his friend a detailed accounting of history.

First, he reassured Adrian that they were at the right time and place. Any future danger could be dealt with later if it came to that point. Hopefully by placing the child here and carrying through a plan which had been worked on for some time, they could avoid the possible dangers of the future. He went on to share the present time and most important events concerning them now.

The year was 1474 and the King was Edward IV. The more important fact for them was the matter of his chosen wife and Queen consort. His Queen consort was Elizabeth Woodville and she was the key in this whole situation that concerned them. While Edward was a descendant of some importance, being from the line of Eleanor of Aquatine who held some ancient witchly bloodline, it was more the bloodline of Elizabeth that currently mattered. When she had come into the rule, the witches faction had originally approved of her, deemed her suitable and went along with her supposed quiet, non threatening representation. Now, however, she was becoming a liability for them and for all of the ancient ones. She was bringing suspicions accusations upon them all and if she continued in such a way, she could bring about full scale annihilation for all of the ancients.

The Fairies had already gone much to ground and now resided only in a very few isolated realms. Their only remaining protection was from the Vampyre faction and from the few preistesses left who followed the old ways of the Ladies of the Lake. These included some witches who looked at it as their duty and honor to be the chosen guardians. The Vampyres had as always, managed to walk a fine line between worlds. The human population was becoming consumed with it’s fear and turning more and more to what they believed was their salvation… a church that in some ways was more wicked and corrupt than could be imagined. That church had over the past centuries gained an enormous amount of power and control over those who put their faith in it. Eric just shook his head and added that it was such a long and detailed history, it should wait for some other time. Now, they must concentrate on the most imperative matters.

Even the witches wanted little of Elizabeth or her line much longer. They were fearful of how much more damage she could cause, especially now that she had produced heirs for the throne. They proposed a plan of which would at least diminish some of her power later on. The witches faction had pleaded their case with the Higher Council that the child, Ainor who was trapped in time, be placed here in their protection and be allowed to follow her desitiny to rule. They would ensure that she was put in such a position as to wed the young heir to the throne, Edward V. The witches, the Fairies, and even the Vampyres were in agreement on this plan if it could be worked out.

The Higher Council was reluctant in interfering but, they did want the child safe and they also knew that it was vital to the balancing of worlds that the voices of all those representitives be listened to. If they were all of the opinion that this was what they wanted, then they could go forth with their plan. They must ensure however, that the child remain safe and well cared for at all costs. In human terms of time, it may have seemed this plan took place over but a few short months or years… but, in the timeless reality of that other world, there were those who had seen this coming for some time. Those ancient seers could not control the future outcomes, but they could make plans to possibly avoid some of the chaos they saw. Sometimes it worked well in their favor, other times it back fired. It was the risk, the chance they always took. This was one of those such risks.

When Eric finished his explanations, Adrian was still in a great deal of doubt. This was all such a chance and a gamble to take with this child’s life and her fate as well as their own. Eric argued with him on it. What other option or choice did they have. None, he reminded Adrian, “We have few other choices, save send you straigh back to the beginning and take the child to Avalon as Brenny so reminds us.”

Adrian stood up and paced around the room. “Well, then prehaps that is what we should do, should have done in the first matter.” He shook his head in frustrated anger. “This is a Damn Bloody mess, this is and I know not what to do now. For my part, I want to be done with this… I have need to go home to my time and my own family.”

Adrian and Eric1
Eric stood now as well. He knew it would come down to this matter of his own family with Adrian. “Your family is safe and well cared for, waiting for you on Avalon. Your part in this is almost finished and then you can go home to them. You have done your part, your honorable duty in this matter. Now it is up to the rest of us to continue it forward.” He was as tense and frustrated as Adrian. He was also a bit envious of Adrian’s fate and future but would hold that to himself. Perhaps one day a time would come for him to have that blessing and grace of a family to go to without it being torn away from him. Some of the events of the past few centuries he had endured still haunted him and he often wondered if he would ever be able to trust that another’s life would cease because of him. He could not, would not speak of these things to Adrian. Adrian must go back to live his own destiny and fate without the knowings too much of the in between times else it could cause him to make different choices and decisions and they would not end up right where they were now. These events and consequences of time travel were so complex and fragile that the slightest changes could make vast differences.


Eric gave Adrian this sound advice and warning of such consequences. He had already seen some occurances of it over the years and needed Adrian to be fully aware of such dangers. “When you leave here this morn, I will give you guiding threads woven by Melusina. They will take you to her at Avalon and they will give you the remaining details of all of this. You must rest assured for now that Ainor will be put in good care and the linen will be placed in such safekeeping as well.”

Their tempers remained short with each other and they argued a bit longer about the leaving of Ainor. Eric finally put an end to the discussion. “Adrian, my friend, You will do as you are directed on this. I do not want us to part in anger for it will be a long length of time before we see other again. We must follow the path and direction set for us each on this road now. Let us not wast more time together arguing but rather share a few pints of ancient Blood Ale together before we take our parting.”

He reached a hand out to his long time companion in friendship. “Come, let us head for the forest and enjoy a few moments of darkness before the light comes up and you must be on your way.” He nudged his friend and added, “Ainor is well asleep by now and I am sure that Brenny has calmed herself to her more usual pleasant temprement. Mayhaps we can coax a song or two from her. She has a fine voice and knows well all of the ancient tales and songs. It will ease your mind and put you in a better mood to return to that wife of yours.”

As they went to leave, Eric called softly up the stairs for Brenny to join them outside. He smiled at Adrian, “Smile Man, you are well on your way back to that lovely witch who entrances you. And, before you leave you will taste some of the finest ale ever brewed. Along with her pleasing voice, Brenny has talent for brewing such amazing concoctions as you have never tasted before.”

A few hours later as the sun began to slowly rise, Adrian found that he had to agree with Eric on all accounts. The young Brenny had soothed his thoughts with both song and the most delicious ale he had ever tasted. She had indeed calmed herself… more with the idea that this man would soon be on his way and out of her life than any other thought. Soon, he would be gone, she would deliver the precious child to her safekeeping, and then Eric would help her with her own troubles as promised.

Brenny was not truly happy or at ease with the plan these men had come up with for either little Ainor’s future or their own, but there was little she could do about it. It was a plan put in motion by those far more powerful than she could ever think to be so she must go along with it and pray it did not blow up in their faces to set them all a flame. She would do her part and deliver the child the woman who would care for her until such a time as the rest of the plan could be put in motion.

Eric could not venture out so far or so long in the daylight, nor stay for the length of time needed at this woman’s home. It was up to Brenny to don her more formal attire and persona to accompany this child to the home of Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Stafford. Margaret lived a quiet life of seclusion much away from court. In fact, such a secluded life she led, many thought her dead and her second husband let it stand that way. She suffered from much hearbreak and bouts of what he called seizures… In addition to these ailments, she also held a firm and deep inner loyalty to the house of Lancaster, of which her eldest son was heir to. Her son had been taken from her at a young age and she had no part of raising young Henry Stafford. After her second marriage, she had born a daughter who was in the care of her husband who maintained his loyalty to the York clan, namely Edward, not so much Elizabeth. Margaret’s true ailments were not ones which any of the family would want ever known. She was one of those rare individuals who showed visible signs of ancient bloodlines in her vague views of the future and the past… which were labeled as siezures and mind wanderings.

Because of these visions and her insistances on them being real, she was much confined away from others as she grew older. A few of her close friends and family still knew of her existance and kept ever close watch and care over her. Much of her heartbreak came from the loss of her children, having never been allowed to care for them or raise them. One of her closest friends and confidantes knew of this and endeavored to find some way to ease her friend’s pain, even if for a short time. The Queen Elizabeth’s mother, Jaquetta was that friend. Even though she was now a staunch supporter of her daughter and the Yorks, she did never forget her once true loyalties to the Lancasters and to this friend of hers. Jacquetta was also a well trustworthy and silent witch. She remained true to her ancient ways while keeping them in the utmost secracy. Even she as Elizabeth’s Mother, feared what might come with her daughter’s continued open and blatent misuse of her rank, her power and her abilities.

It was Jaquetta who was a part of this plan to guide the child Ainor towards the throne. She took it upon herself to quietly lay the groundwork and the plan to place the child in the care of her friend and cousin, Margaret. She deemed it would give Margaret some peace, some solace to aide in caring for this little one and it would ensure much safety for Ainor.

Because it all must be done in such secracy and only a very limited and trusted few must be a part of it, Jaquetta had searched out trustworthy ones from the Witch and even Vampyre factions to assist in it. She had called upon the quiet watchers, the Ladies of the Lake for guidance. They had sent young Brenny to her as well the vampyre, Eric.

The young woman, Brenny was an ancient priestess from the higher lands of Scotland, but was also connected to the Royal families of there. She was currently residing within the household of James III of Scotland and was a distant relative of Margaret’s. It had fallen to Eric to escort her here and see to the transfer of the child whence she should arrive.

In the dim morning mist, she watched and waited as Eric said his goodbyes to Adrian. Her mind was troubled and filled with the worries of this plan, as well as worries of her home in the highlands. She found it very hard to keep her thoughts well trained on this current duty of hers and not think of the troubles that she had left in order to do this thing for those Ladies of the Lakes, of whom she was one of. They had called upon her to carry this out and she would do as asked, but she vowed to herself that once it done, she would return and put right those problems she had left there. As she waited, her mind wandered as always back to those other troubles.

Brenny tried not let tears slip out from the painful hidden thoughts that constantly bothered her. She had no home to speak of… she was an illigitimate, bastard daughter, one of many within the larger extended family of King James III. By all accounts, she should have been of no concern or value to him in his schemes and power. For some reason, though he had deemed that she should be a part of his court. She knew not why. She only knew that she had been removed from her peaceful and much isolated home in the northern highlands and brought to his court to live under his rule. She had earlier lived a content life with her Mother’s relatives, all witches and Ladies of the Lake. Well protected and loved by them, she had never questioned her parentage, knew only that her Mother had died giving birth to her and knew not who her Father was… nor did she care at that time. It seemed of no importance to her life there. Someone had known though, and eventually James had been made aware of her existance. He had used the knowledge to gain control over that part of the land, and over the much ancient Ladies. It was in recent years as she grew into her young adulthood and of a marriagable age that he had called for her to placed at his court and under his control. She knew full well that it was not any family concern behind his actions. She was just another of his pawns, his weapons to use against others or to use for his own advantages. What he really wanted from her were the stories, the histories that she had locked away within her vast knowledge of songs, ballads, stories and legends. He wanted to control those but he could not because she would not sing them, tell them, nor write them down as he demanded. They were locked in a battle over this which it seemed was at a stand still. He had vowed that until she should do as bid, she would ever remain his ward, his hostage to do with as he saw fit. She had vowed to never sing another song, tell another story and die in his custody rather than give in.

This trip now to England, which had been set by Jaquetta, the Queen’s Mother was presented to him as part of his show of good faith and alliance with England… a show which he was much intent on right now, as he had just signed a marriage contract to eventually wed King Edward’s daughter, Cecily. For this reason, he had allowed the visit of Brenny to these English relatives. He had no idea that he was being used in a far bigger plan than his own.

Brenny shook the thoughts from her mind and returned to the more important matters at hand now. Eric came back to her side and walked quietly with her to the house. He would sleep for much of the day and she would make preparations for the trip to Margaret’s home where Jaquetta and Margaret awaited their arrival.

These two older women, friends for so long, sat waiting together for the arrival of a little child who should carry a heavy weight of changing a course of the future, and mending a woman’s torn heart.

little Ainor

From the creator: Happy Mother’s Day!

To my Mother, I know that you must surely have a grove of them surrounding you now!

To my Mother, I know that you must surely have a grove of them surrounding you now!

Ahhhh, I must apologize… I took a break from medieval history and fantasy to enjoy a bit of the real world, enjoying a few of my favorite things besides history! Two of those “things” being my awesome children. Hahaaaa no, they don’t mind so much being called “things”. When they were little they did love Dr. Seuss and laughed at my occasionally calling them thing 1 and thing 2! In fact, one of the best presents I’ve received in recent years is a mug from my daughter appropriately labeled “thing 1 and thing 2”! Now that they are both adults, I am happy to say that they are two of my best friends. If I were not related to them and met them somewhere, I can honestly say that I would quite thoroughly enjoy their company and want them as friends!

It’s one of the most difficult things, to step outside that relationship you have with your children and see them honestly, openly in their own light, their life… To look at them objectively and think to yourself, “If I did not know this person, would I have that interest and connection to want to know them?”

when I was raising my children, I found one set of words and thoughts that spoke to me above all others. I followed those words with every decision I made for myself and them along our most difficult path together over the years.

The Prophet
On Children

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you, and yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love, but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward, not tarries with yesterday.
– Kahlil Gibran

When my children were growing up, I tried to fill their minds, their souls and their spirits with music, with books, with stories and poetry to open the world and all of it’s possibilities to them. I read out loud to them, anything from song lyrics to poems, from fairy tales to facts, from silliness to seriousness.

Some of their favorites were Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Child’s Garden of Verses’

As from the house your mother sees
You playing round the garden trees,
So you may see, if you will look
Through the windows of this book,
Another child, far, far away,
And in another garden, play.
But do not think you can at all,
By knocking on the window, call
That child to hear you. He intent
Is all on his play-business bent.
He does not hear, he will not look,
Nor yet be lured out of this book.
For, long ago, the truth to say,
He has grown up and gone away,
And it is but a child of air
That lingers in the garden there.
Robert Louis Stevenson

Tonight, I take time to think back, to be ever grateful and blessed that these two souls chose me to teach them, train them, guide them on the beginnings of their journey through life. I also take time to think of my relationship with my own Mother, whom I for so long felt at odds with, didn’t understand until so much later in my life. I often felt like I just never fit in… in the family, in the place I was raised. I wondered what the reason was for my being there? It wasn’t until I was so much older, raising my two children on my own and returned home to my parents that I realized how much closer we were in some spirit way, how much we needed each other on some other level that neither of us knew. I am ever grateful for having the chance to truly get to know my Mother as a person, have some insight to who she was before she was my Mother.

Before I Was Myself, You Made Me, Me

Before I was myself you made me, me
With love and patience, discipline and tears,
Then bit by bit stepped back to set me free,
Allowing me to sail upon my sea,
Though well within the headlands of your fears.
Before I was myself you made me, me

With dreams enough of what I was to be
And hopes that would be sculpted by the years,
Then bit by bit stepped back to set me free,

Relinquishing your powers gradually
To let me shape myself among my peers.
Before I was myself you made me, me,

And being good and wise, you gracefully
As dancers when the last sweet cadence nears
Bit by bit stepped back to set me free.
Author unknown

Close Your Eyes and Wish for the One Thing

Close your eyes and wish for the one thing
You cannot do without, and when you do,
Near your heart you’ll find it, always there,
Treasure that is dear but not so rare,
Held in the mesh that all your dreams flow through.
In truth, no gift more happiness can bring,
And so this day I give my love to you.
Author unknown

Mother’s Songs

Songs my mother taught me,
In the days long vanished.
Seldom from her eyelids,
Were the teardrops banished.
Now I teach my children,
Each melodious measure.
Oft the teardrops flowing,
Oft they flow from my memory’s treasure.
– Author Unknown

My Mother was not one for songs or lullabies. She was not the most affectionate or hugging type and she certainly was not one who you might want to hear singing, I must have inherited that trait from both her and my Father because while I love music, I do not sing… not even in the shower! One little lullaby she did sing though was this one. I can still hear her singing it softly to my children.
Bye, baby Bunting, Father’s gone a-hunting,
Mother’s gone a-milking,
Sister’s gone a-silking,
Brother’s gone to buy a skin
To wrap the baby Bunting in

So, to all of the Mothers, to all of the children… May you feel blessed to share each other’s journies in life whether for a short time or a life time and beyond together. Remember that even after the child has grown, and left on their own path, after the Mother has left this plane for another place of peace and comfort, your souls will be forever joined with the love and the memories you have left imprinted on each other’s hearts!

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