Archive | July 2013

Eleanor’s journal entries 14

I knew it was coming, I just did not know when or how severe it might be? Every night before I slept, I would write down the year, the date and any detail I thought might be of some importance? I kept my small book with me at all times and held on to it as I slept each night.

This night, I did not bother with the exact date… I thought that it was not so important in overall situation as keeping well track of the year? A few days or months of loss or change, I could accept and deal with. I wrote down the year, it was 1543. Henry VIII was King of England, and the circumstances of importance I felt were, he was not wed to anyone at the time, and his claim of children were presently four… Mary, Elizabeth, Edward, and of course Jane. My location was that of Dragon Valley where Lady Leona WoodLyon was the present ruler. Truly, this night, I was so exhausted and overcome by headache that I wrote nothing else and drifted into an uneasy sleep?  The next morning, I woke with still a headache and a feeling of fatigue and nausea… There was some blinding light shining through my still shut eyelids and it was causing even more intense stabbing pains to my head? I closed my eyes even tighter in attempt to block it out, which helped little! I felt for my book, knowing instinctively that something had happened? My book was still with me, a somewhat reassuring sign for me. I slowly opened my eyes only a bit to determine the source of that blinding light? Brilliant sunlight was streaming in through an uncurtained window across from my bed… The window looked unfamiliar, as did the sunlight? It had been so long since I had seen such a measure of sunlight after so long of pouring rains and storms! I closed my eyes again and thought back to last night when I fell asleep? The storms of last night had been some of the worst. The winds had howled ferociously sounding as demons and gargoyles had been out! Windows had rattled, and I had heard precious glass shattering elsewhere in the house? I had prayed the girls to be safe in their rooms near mine as I had drifted to sleep. We had been cold and damp for so long, never seeming to be able to completely dry out, even inside. Rains had pelted down so heavily from all directions that at times it was even difficult to keep fires going in the fire places!

Now, with the brilliant rays of sunlight, there was also such a quiet calm that my ears were unused to it? I hesitated but knew that I must wake myself fully and take account of what ever had happened. I opened my eyes to look more fully around my room. It was quite empty, save my bed and me in it? It was quite large, but nothing about it spoke of familiar to me… not a good sign. I knew I was not where I had been last night when sleep took me on yet another journed into the unknown. The walls were covered in a light wood paneling with beautiful blue fabric inserts… I looked a bit closer, Yes those patterns did look somewhat familiar and the colors were of my favorites. Windows lined a portion of the wall in front of me looking out to vaguely recognizable scenery and view. I had seen this view before? I crept out of the high bed, which was thankfully still my own, with the intent of examining the view better. I looked down at myself and felt this luxurious soft and thin night shift I was wearing… this was also quite foreign to me but it felt so good that I would not utter or voice a complaint against it! I made my way to the windows and stared out the amazingly clear glass. I saw the landscape I was familiar with, though it had changed a great deal?  I took a deep breath and held it, then exhaled slowly… Alright then, I thought to myself, “I am still within the realm of Dragon Valley at least? That at least should count for some good on my part?”

I looked around the room once more as I tried to put my thoughts together. “Well, One thing I know for certain? I can not wander about anywhere in this lack of dress!” My mind may have been muddled, but I knew that where ever, when ever I was, this dress or lack of it was not appropriate to venture out of this room in? My wardrobe, hence my clothing were no where in sight. There were two doors from the room. I took a chance to peer out of one, finding a wide but empty hallway. On trying the other door, I found a well appointed dressing room! I only hoped it was my clothing?

Screenshot-2 Screenshot-3What Eleanor saw !

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Eleanor’s journal entries 13

I went along, all the while thinking to myself that it had been quite some time since a storm. A storm of the Witch’s storm proportions… life had progressed somewhat quietly and mundanely for a change. Royals came and went from Dragon Valley and Royals Castle. Dragon Valley settled into it’s new role as a nuetral and soveriegn territory. They became more connected to the outside world on a public level but retaining their individual, unique standing and status. Lady Leona had taken back her power and control, was indeed becoming a leader to be respected and revered by other countries as well as her own and her territories in the Highlands.  No trace of Gerard was ever discovered… it was as though he had disappeared from the face of the world?  I knew he was somewhere else in time, I just did not know where or when, or what he might be putting in place again?

Some months went by, I began to suffer worse from headaches again and knew that something was going to happen?  The headaches were usually a sign of a coming storm, a disturbance of some sort about to take place. In visits with young Diantha, I learned that she was suffering as well. Lady Leona was concerned about them and seemed on edge herself?  I knew little of the ancient beliefs her clans practiced and set store in… only that some whispered of it being tied to Witchcraft, sorcery, believing them to be able to control such things as the weather, the seas, the powers of nature? I tried to question Diantha as to this in an understated, undiscriminating or unaccusing way. Diantha stated in a firm, undisputable manner that her family’s beliefs were in no way questionable. I should not spread such discourse or rumors! This was one aspect of our friendship that Diantha brooked no conversation or discussion of. I left it at that, not wanting anything to come between us and feeling that Diantha had enough troubles to deal with, I should not increase them!

The headaches became intense and debilitating for me until I could not rise from bed at times. They had never been so extreme or frequent before? Storms came around us at massive quantity. It seemed that they never let up… Lands were flooded, torn apart, Seas washed over the shores in horrific tidal waves! The sun disappeared behind the moon which people took as forboding of bad omens to come? Diseases and plagues overtook the lands in forces that had not been seen in ages? Many said it was because of the weather, the floods, the scarcity of food due to ruined crops. Travel was nearly impossible and those of us in Dragon Valley once again became isolated and cut off from the rest of the world? It was a dangerous task just to send a messenger out on horseback over the washed out roadways, the now treacherous seas, or even through the storm laden and ravaged forests. One never knew when a sudden storm surge would approach seemingly out of nowhere? Some of course said God was venting his wrath upon the evils of the world… others feared it was the end of time…. I feared it was the beginning of time? The beginning of another new and altered time?

It was yet another slip in time, a more massive one than ever previous that I was aware of! I had strange dreams of pasts which I was quite certain had not happened that way, and I had even stranger nightmares of futures?

Eleanor's futureIt was a bizarre and strange vision of myself and my three charges in a very different world but still the same people? I could not fathom it and it terrified me to think that this might be coming to us?

 

Eleanor’s journal entries 12

 

With Diantha newly installed with her family, the Woodlyons chose to work on their family matters privately. Henry of  England was remaining in Dragon Valley to settle some matters with his own family. He was in possession of a landholding here called White Towers. It was initially his decision that as Mary was a young woman would reside at White Towers, along with I as her chaperone, the two younger sisters. His plan was for all three to be somewhat sequestered here in Dragon Valley at White Towers away from the English court for the time being while he took his time to decide on a course for their individual futures?  I was left with pages of detailed and specific instructions on how the household should be managed, how the women should be managed… I was to answer to Henry on all matters, not Lady Mary, as she percieved in being granted residence here away from his watchful eyes?

 

White Towers had once been a more ancient medieval Castle but through my efforts was to be upgraded and transformed to a Royal Manor home suitable for the ladies of  Nobility to reside while they were trained and groomed for their prospective futures as wives of Nobles. It was as daunting a task as Royals Castle had been for me! Now, in addition to the Castle’s renovations, I had also to be in constant supervision of young ladies, completely responsible for their training and their reputations which must be impeccable with no hint or trace of possible scandal attached to them!

 

Much as usual for me, I settled into this new task focusing only on it and not on what may or may not happen in the future or anywhere else but my own controllable vicinity. I had deemed this the only way to survive and deal with the chaos around me. I set aside my personal thoughts, my inner most desires for some sort of family, some life to call my own… some life that would give me peace and happiness? Truly, I knew not even what that life would entail should it ever exist for me! I took on one day, one night at a time and considered myself lucky if I woke in the morning in the same location, in the same time period with the same people in their same relationships with me!

 

 

 

 

Eleanor’s journal entries 11

I met with Diantha in private… She was at first so happy and joyed to see me, it hurt to know that I should have to soon destroy her world in order to rebuild it again in her rightful place, where she belonged, a strange foriegn place yet one of Royalty none the less!  As I set about my explanation, I saw her look of bewilderment and confusion… I saw her tears and I saw her small delicate fists clench in frustration, then determination to hold her emotions in check as she deemed a proper Lady should?  I hesitated in reaching out to comfort her, not sure of what her reaction would be? Without a word she reached back, curled herself into my arms and wept as I held her close. I soothed her sobs and held her close, reassuring her of my faith in her, my pride, my joy and my love for her. I  knew that this was all so overwhelming to her and I worried that she would fall to one of her debilitating headaches? My words to her were that she must be strong, she must call upon her deepest faith and go forth into this new world with her head held high, she must meet this challenge with the dignity and the grace of her raising and her training.  Some time later after she had collected herself and regained her composure, we talked of her future here in Dragon Valley. Her Father may be a traitor to all, but her Mother was the Ruler of Dragon Valley now.  Diantha must take her place within that family, accept it and prove that she was worthy, that she was capable of fulfilling any royal destiny placed upon her shoulders! I reassured her that I would be nearby, as would young Lady Jane to remain her heartfelt family forever. She must take this new path but we would always be here for her when ever she should need us?

 

Eleanor’s journal Entries 10

I know not much of Francois’ personal matters with his wife. Those matters did not concern my situation, and that family was one that regarded their personal affairs as just that? They were not ones to cause such disturbances as to be considered a topic for court gossip. In fact, I believe the precarious situation that Francois’ affair with Marie had placed the houses of France and Spain in… being that Marie and Gerard were French Nobles… had shaken both houses to their core? It was one thing to have an acceptable by all accounts in France,  Mistress… it was an entirely different matter to have that Mistress turn out to be involved in such traitorous actions! I do know that from that point on, Francois and Isabel presented a united front to the world and did indeed produce an heir during their stay at Royals Castle!

They remained at Royals Castle for some time due to Isabel’s pregnancy and the son was born in Dragon Valley at the Castle. Juan Carlos also remained in Dragon Valley for the duration of his sister’s confinement but did take up residence with his son at a smaller castle. I know little about him, he was a quite private sort and did not much associate with the others. It was said that his main purpose for staying the longer length of time was to find a suitable, appropriate wife for his son, Philip who would eventually be the next ruler of Spain. Juan Carlos was intent on making sure there were no scandals or skeletens in the future bride’s past that should come out later to haunt them? I am supposing that finding a young lady of these requirements was becoming rather difficult!

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As to my situation then, I remained at Royals Castle getting used to my new responsibilities and new charges. I had not previously met Mary of England but quickly realized that she might be the bane of my existance! I began to believe that this was truly the punishment extracted upon me by Henry? This young woman was perhaps the most grating and annoying creature I had ever chance to meet? She was religious to the extremes and felt an overwhelming need to save us all with her self rightious beleifs that we were all sinners and should surely burn in Hell if not for her saving grace? In contrast to her religious extremes were her desperate attempts to find a husband, and her love of lavish finery and food! In addition, although she was well educated and intelligent, she was easily swayed and gullible to what ever an attractive man might want to convince her of?

Her two younger half sisters were as different as night and day but for their physical appearances which were somewhat similar. Despite their differences, they immediately developed a close bond with each other and were seldom any trouble for me other than the usual plights and fancies of young girls! Elizabeth was gregarious, flirtatious, and a bit mischevious… if ever there was a prank or such of unknown source, I knew who was responsible! Jane, whom I had raised for the most part, was the opposite. She was serious, studious, painfully shy. I often had to drag her from her books to join us or participate in social activities which were paramount and necessary for her to be seen as a suitable candidate for marriage!

While the Royals were in Dragon Valley sorting out the messes that Marie and Gerard had created, they all set about putting down footholds in the place and firming their various connections with the now much recognized and approved Ruler, Lady Leona Woodville. Her Highness preferred to be addressed by Lady Leona, she made note that her clans would be far more comfortable with that title than any others?  She was much respected, trusted and truly liked by all! Lady Leona had shown compassion, honor and spirit in all of the events that occured. Sir Francis as he was now known, had given up his service to Henry and took his rightful place in the Woodlyon house. It was felt by all that even though he had little understanding of Clan ways any longer and possbily closer ties to England, he would one day become an honourable and just Protector and Ruler of Dragon Valley.  One of his first priorities was to honor a request by his Mother to return her daughters home where they belonged!

This task proved far more difficult than first imagined. It took much involved work by the House of France to in the end, accomplish! The first daughter’s return was not so entailed or difficult other than the fact that she did want to return and had to be forced to only with assurances that she would be allowed to return to the land she now called home, the Highlands of Scotland! It took much convincing of the Highland Clans to allow their ward to come to Dragon Valley. She was not only thier ward, but their bargaining piece, their own pawn now in determining their future?  They had been distrustful of Gerard in the first place and now were proven vindicated in that respect. They had little trust as well for the English, or the French… and what trust they had in Lady Leona had been strained to it’s limits! The Highland Clans suspected all of the parties involved of gaining the young Leora back then turning on the Clans? Leora was of this thought herself and held little trust for a Mother whom she felt had abandoned her?  Sir Francis had traveled to the Highlands, made a very fragile peace and escorted his sister home. To say the least, it had not been a pleasent homecoming on any level!

The youngest daughter was a difficult matter in all respects. She had been removed as an infant by Gerard. Lady Leona knew nothing of where he had taken her other than to be raised in France? It took an intense search and investigation of what little accounts Gerard had not destroyed to unearth the girl’s identity and whereabouts… Imagine my alarm, distress and surprise when I discovered that she was none other than a young orphan placed in our household to raise during our time in France!  Lady Marie had accepted a small child into our household during that time known as Diantha DeJewelle. Marie had stated that she was a distant relative and was in need of a proper upbringing that we could provide. Of course at the time, I had not questioned it… I was in no position to question anything of Marie at that time!

So, it seemed that the child, Diantha had survived a timeslip of her own… or Gerard’s? I am still certain that Gerard is in some part responsible for these or know how to use them somehow? Diantha had suffered as a child from those horrific headaches as well so now it appeared to make some sense? I willingly admit that Diantha was much adored and favored by me. I know it is not proper or correct to display such favorites to the young one’s in your care. But, it does occur that you become more attached and fond of one child over others? I did attempt always to keep my pleasure and my favor of her in limit and control so as not to cause Jane undue heartache. Diantha was such a sweet, loving, and beautiful child it was difficult for any around her not to be enchanted by her! She was dutiful, obedient, always wanting to please those around her. Her one youthful passion was books? Books of any kind… But, she was not overly bookish as was Jane’s tendancy? The books were a bond between her Jane though, they had become close friends through their years of being raised together. It tore at our hearts when Lady Marie had decided that Diantha would not accompany us on our future but would be placed in a Noble house of France as a young Lady of Waiting in training.

Marie assured all of us that this placement would ensure the young Lady Diantha a place in French Nobility and we should all be happy for her! Before she left, I had taken her aside and reminded her quietly that I had not raised and trained her to be anything other than proper? She should  not compromise her values, her personal beleifs or her reputation to gain fleeting status in an uncertain future. My greatest fear for her was that Marie would have her trained and tutored in other ways of gaining status… such as those of a Mistress?  I knew not of which household Marie was sending her off to. Marie of course said, “That is not of your concern! You attach far too much fondness to a child who is not yours to govern the future of!”

My heart was broken, but I knew far better than to show it to Marie, to give her any additional ammunition to hold over or against me at a future time!  I had far more pressing concerns to deal with at the time… those of preparing our household for the fateful journey to Dragon Valley.

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Now, much to my relief, Lady Diantha was on her way back to Dragon Valley. I knew this would be traumatic for her.  A child who had been lied to, told her parents were deceased only to find that her Father was a much hated traitor to all countries and her Mother was ruler of a land that would in many ways appear Barbaric and primitive to Diantha?  When my role in her life had been discovered, I was called upon to assist in her arrival and her transition to her new family? I was firmly reminded though that I should not interfere or hinder her return to her family. I was merely to be a go between, a liason in persuading her to be accepting of her new circumstances and her place in life.

She had been escorted to Royals Castle by members of Francois’ family, whom it was revealed that she had been placed in service to.  Diantha had been told little of the situation surrounding her because no one was quite sure how to approach it! She assumed that she was there as a serving member of the household visiting Francois? It was left to me to explain the details and the circumstances… I continued to feel as though these chores were all part of my ongoing subtle punishment!  The Royals did not see it so, they felt that it was better for her to hear it all from me. My heart filled to see her again, yet broke to have to tell her the details. My one consuming fear was that she might in some way hold me responsible for a part in all of it though I had no knowledge what so ever of her situation or the circumstances of Gerard’s deception and betrayal with her?  Once again, all I could do was put my faith in a God that I was not so certain about, and pray!

 

Eleanor’s journal entries 9

Once my fate was settled, I was dismissed from their presence while they tried to come to some agreement on Lady Marie’s fate. This would end up being a lengthy and heated debate becoming a matter of  diplomacy between the countries. It was a delicate, intricate balance as Lady Marie was a French Noblewoman and the Mother of two children who carried Royal blood. It was not a trivial or simple matter at all and was going to take much time  and even more secrecy to sort out an equitable agreement for all parties, English, French and the Realm of Dragon Valley as well Scotland, for they had all been adversely affected by hers and Gerard’s actions! There a number of issues to be dealt with including what to do with this Glorious Grand Castle that had stands in Dragon Valley, but was built with funds from all three countries. Then there was the matter of how to ease the tensions and restore the fragile peace of Dragon Valley and Scotland itself?

The meeting turned into what became a foundation for a major treaty among several countries which most likely changed the course of history for the timeline we were living in!

The castle, Royals Castle as it is now known as, and the surrounding area of Dragon Valley became a separate neutral country with the Woodlyon Clan restored to their place as Rulers of it. Lady Leona Woodlyon, now her Highness Queen of Dragon Valley, signed peace treaties with England, France, Scotland and France during this time ensuring peace in her Valley. Her Clan would retain some of their holdings in the Highlands and take steps to bring them into accordance with the Peace accords. It was hoped that by this example, other Clans would follow suit?  The Castle and it’s lands would be considered neutral ground for all of the countries and the expense of upkeep of it would be shared by all. It would become an important part of history, hosting many more important peace meetings for all countries! I was accorded much credit for the work I did on it, which did much to raise my status in life! It is one of the accomplishments that I mark with great pride!

Marie spent much time in the Royal Prisons while they tried to decide on her fate. Henry, of course was easily of the opinion that she was a traitor and as such should deserve a traitor’s fate of beheading. He had no qualms about it and in fact was quite insistent on it being done on English soil as a Public display! He did offer her the gift of a fine French Swordsman, as he had offered one of his wives…

Francois was not in agreement on this. He felt this was more of a personal family matter and should not be waved about in front of the public? Those things always had a way of backfiring and coming back to haunt you later? She was a woman, a Mother… and insane? The crowds could turn in her sympathy? Also, it would more tarnish the status and reputation of the daughters who had already suffered and would find life difficult enough without this added stain. His opinion was to quietly lock her away somewhere safely for the duration of her miserable life. Leona of Dragon Valley was in accord with Francois on this. Her view was that the truest guilty party was Gerard, it was he who should be hunted down at all costs and suffer a grueling death for all to see! She did add that Lady Marie was obviously much deranged and of such a volatile nature that where ever she was put should be one that would ensure no escape, no pardon, no sympathy towards her? It was eventually decided that she would be transported to an isolated convent in Spain where none knew of her previous status, and no exceptions or pardons for her would ever be considered.  Francois’ brother in law, Juan Carlos of Spain was a part of this agreement and took it upon himself to take responsibility for her transport and her imprisonment.  He took a bit of personal satisfaction in it as Marie had betrayed his sister Isabel with the flaunting of her liaison with Francois.

During this time of  negotiations, the Castle overflowed with Royal families! Because it was such a lengthy process in such a well guarded and remote location, the Royal men had decided to have their families join them  there for the duration. Of course, it was not just so they could spend quality time with them. Each family had their own particular reasons!

Henry did not trust his daughter Mary, who was continously plotting on her own to make Henry’s life more difficult! He wanted her close by where he could watch her. His younger daughter, Elizabeth was a teen who at times was easily swayed by others such as Mary, or young men who had their own agendas? And, young Edward, well he normally did not travel as Henry was overly cautious about his well being. Henry had determined that Royals Castle was more than adequate to be safe for Edward so he allowed his prized young son to join him for this summer! Henry’s intent was to transfer Mary and Elizabeth over to my care at this time. He was also intent on finding suitable and appropriate matches for the girls and a future queen for Edward? Henry thought perhaps this gathering would be an excellent starting point… there was the son of Juan Carlos, which would ensure some added peace with Spain? Then again, there was now young Francis Woodlyon, who was in line for the Rule of Dragon Valley.  And, Henry had another thought in the back of his mind… he was in need of another wife and Leona’s marriage to Gerard had been recently set aside allowing for her to marry again if she chose?

Francois’ extended family had arrived for some equal reasons. Juan Carlos had a young son in need of a Royal wife and he was hoping to make some sort of arrangement with Henry, although their relations were strained due to Henry’s treatment of his previous wife, Mary’s Mother. But, in the name of peace, Juan Carlos would look past that if need be if assurances could be made that such future treatments would not be repeated. He had other possibilities here though… Now that the Woodlyons had been restored of their Royal place, there were two daughter there of marriageable age?

Juan Carlos had another serious concern. That was the current situation between his sister, Isabel and her husband Francois. Their situation was putting a strain on the Spanish/ French diplomatic relations. The French were hinting that since Isabel was not producing an heir, possibly the marriage should be set aside and Francois should seek a wife elsewhere? Then there was the situation with Francois’ illegitimate offspring, Marguirite whom Francois was planning to legitimize and raise in his household.  Isabel was not happy with this arrangement and had suggested that if this took place, she would have no qualms with having the marriage set aside and retiring herself to a convent where she had preferred to be in the first place! Juan Carlos was furious, as was the French family. Francois had proven he was quite capable of producing an heir so this left the blame on Isabel and her Spanish bloodline… This was an affront to Jaun Carlos’ pride and his ego that she should bring this accusation upon them! He had sternly and forcefully taken her to task on all of it. It was quite obvious to him why Francois did not want to bed her! She was cold, stern, distant and pious to the point of spending all her time in a chapel.  Juan Carlos reminded her that her duty to God was to be a faithful, obedient and willing wife, and to produce heirs! He would not allow her to retire to a convent until she had done her earthly duty and produced the much needed heir. After that, he did not care if she chose to lock herself away in meditation and most likely Francois would not care either, he would most likely be glad… Juan knew that if it were him, and it had been his position previously, he would happily assist the woman in her search of a convent!

Juan had brought her here despite her protests and determined that she would do her wifely duty if he had to lock them both in a room until proof of a coming offspring was notable! Francois’ family had been in agreement after learning of his intent to bring the strange ailing Marguirite into the family and give her leave to inherit rightfully! All were in accord that Francois and Isable must fulfill their marital agreements and bring forth an heir for his family!

Eleanor’s journal entries 8

They helped me to a seat at the table and waited for me to regain my senses and my composure. I knew there were still questions to be answered and I felt there was still some sort of punishment to be assigned to me. The guilt I felt demanded it and if they did not punish me in some way, I would find a way to pay my own personal penance for my part in this? I also feared for my personal secret and prayed that Marie’s insanity would be our salvation… they would believe nothing she said?  There was much more discussion of the events that had taken place and what my part had been in those events. In that, I could be completely truthful! I had tried to dissuade Marie from her plans, I knew little of what the actual plan and plot was, I was truly fearful for the lives of the children. I knew nothing of Gerard’s whereabouts, I was even more afraid of him than of Marie! Henry and Francois believed me, and throughout the interview we were able to piece together most of the plot. I learned that Gerard had been living in Dragon Valley since we made our ill fated voyage to England, even it seemed, before then?  This troubled me even more but I kept silent on it. How could he have been there before? Before that, he had been in those past years with us. Something was quite peculiar and, as I had suspected, it tied to Gerard! I remembered back to those years… Gerard had been some years older than us, out of our household and only coming back to visit. He was in the King’s service and spent much time traveling in the King’s name to England, and to Scotland… I wondered, could he have encountered some of these time slips previously and found some way to use them to his advantage?

Gerard had a family in Dragon Valley. I found out that he had managed to tie himself to the recognized Royals of this place by marrying the eldest daughter, Leona Woodlyon. He had then went about deceiving, betraying them and bringing the clan to ruins. The young man that I had suspected of watching us for Gerard, Francis Woods, was actually Gerard’s son! Francis was a knight in service of Henry. He had been distanced and estranged from his family for years, having been fostered out at a young age. Francis had received a message from his Mother of serious troubles in Dragon Valley that required the King’s assistance and attention? So, it was Francis who had alerted Henry of what was taking place.  Wanting to have more evidence of the entire plot, Henry and Francois had initially played along with Gerard’s ruse and made partial ransom payments for the girls.

While they waited for Gerard’s next moves, Francis had continued his mission of secrecy working to find out exactly what Gerard was doing. What Gerard was doing was stripping the Valley of it’s wealth and raiding what ever coffers he could avail himself of! He was pouring the monies into this Grand Castle? He was scheming and thinking that somehow he could bring down the entire reign of England and replace it with his Royal bloodlines of Scotland? The key to his plan was this isolated, remote Valley that sat hidden between the two lands. The other key was the Woodlyon family, who had strong family and clan ties to the fiercely independent warriors of the  highlands. They were so against the English interference and rule that if  he could offer them power and control, they might just win?! He was destroying what little peace the country had managed to salvage over the years of warring between themselves and England. The scariest part was, that as bizarre as his plan was, it just might have worked had he not gotten ahead of himself, carried away with his power and greedy for all of the glory and gold to go to himself!

I became ill when I heard what the rest of his plan had been. It directly involved me and laid bare part of my well kept secret? Henry and Francois turned deeply serious and quiet as they talked about how Gerard made known my family connections, my royal bloodlines and his intent to marry me to his son Francis, thereby sealing the royal line between the Dragon Valley Royals and the English? He knew there were still constant insinuations, accusations, and debates over who the true Rulers of England were, even after these many years. His plan would set England to once again be at war with itself, and he felt if he played his cards right, he would come out the winner!

The room was silent… Henry was waiting for my response, and I had none that I thought would be acceptable to him other than as much of the truth as I could piece together and tell. He continued to stare at me, drumming his fingers on the table, the sound echoing through the room and my ears. He finally spoke, “You do realize how serious this is? I would not have thought you for a traitor such as this?”

I know my skin went even paler than it’s normally porcelain white complexion if that was possible! My voice shook as I attempted to compose my admission, my confession. “Your highness, I am not a traitor! I have never had  desires or intents on laying such claims to any Royal Lines. In the past, I have been used as a pawn and a commodity by many  of my family. I had no choice in those events, I was but a child , a girl child with no voice in decisions that were made on my account.”  Tearfully, I continued while the men listened intently, “ I was sent away  to France as a child, during that time my parents both died and I became a ward of the DeJewelle family. They made the decision that for my safety in uncertain times, and because of my lineage, I should be known by my Mother’s family name of  DeGuille? In doing this for me, they essentially put an end to my connection to the houses of England. To everyone but Gerard, my place in English Royal lineage ceased to exist long ago. I would prefer it to stay that way.”

I had told them the truth, as much of it as possible anyway? And, with the strange time slips also came changes to history, much of which I still do not understand?  Henry had done his own investigation into my past, which I had feared he might. According to his search of  my family, I was  telling the truth according this time line? My parents had died some years ago, but  not well over 50 years ago. I was their only child, and it was recorded that I had died around the same time? I suppose that might have been assumption, as most of the household died in that epidemic. My parents had sent me away in some secrecy as had many other families at the time. So, even in the other time line, most would have assumed that I perished with the others? They may have found a small girl child’s body and assumed it was mine…

Henry had a document in front of him which he pushed across the table to me, “So, My Dear Lady Deguille, for all practical purposes, and for the good of England, You will swear that you are the Lady Eleanor DeGuille and not the missing, presumed deceased Lady Eleanor Stafford? You will sign this document swearing to that, thereby removing yourself from any claims to the English Royal bloodlines. You will swear fealty to me as your English King and Ruler?”

With no hesitation on my part, I took the document and the quill, and signed my name, Lady Eleanor DeGuille! Henry, Francois and I swore that this information would remain here in this room between us. The document would be used in the future when Gerard was apprehended and might attempt to make these claims once more!

An immense stone of weight had suddenly been lifted from me and I felt such relief that what ever punishment they would assign me would be more than bearable!

Well, what an odd punishment was assigned to me! Upon hearing it, I was not quite sure whether to laugh or cry? As I have mentioned, I have no overall fondness for children? So, in this respect, my future at the hands of Francois and Henry could be regarded as definite punishment. It was decided by them that because I had shown great care, concern and responsibility for the children, and because of my proper upbringing which I was adamant on instilling in the girls, I would be appointed their Royal care taker. I would be in charge of their upbringing, their education and their supervision? Francois had decided however, to adopt Marguirite into his immediate family and keep her with him for the time being as he wanted time to get to know her better? For the time being, I would be in charge of Henry’s daughters… all three of them, including Mary who already an adult? Henry insisted that she still needed to be chaperoned and he felt that she was severely lacking in some much needed social skills. These things would all fall upon my shoulders!

Eleanor’s journal entries 7

The castle was a ruin, barely inhabitable. I did not see how Marie could expect us to live there? We had been escorted to the village by guards who took their pay from Gerard… Upon delivering us to the castle, I was given a missive to avail myself of the villagers and spare no expense in making the castle liveable and worthy of the Royals that the girls were?  I had no idea where the monies for this were coming from, only that I had been extended a seemingly unlimited line of credit by every merchant and builder near and far? I also received regular correspondence from Marie, reminding me of the threats she had placed upon my head! I was on my own with two Royal children in my care and responsible for rebuilding a castle! Yes, I admit there were times when it went to my head… when I forgot about the fear and felt only the feelings of control over something, a thing I had never experienced before! Then late at night, the fear and the terror would flood back over me like the Witch’s Storm that had started this all!

eleanor and nellone of many battles with Nell!

Another bend or slip of time… What should have taken years of work was finished in months? I had staff hired from the surrounding village, good people all of them! Though I do admit, I had my battles at first with Nell Guinn, the keeper of the kitchens. Truth to tell, she was usually right? I knew  little about kitchens, or how they should be run but I was so determined to maintain control that I often refused to listen to her! Often, her husband, Hugh who was to be the Master of Arms would have to intervene lest we all starve! The young maid, Ayleen Healer whom I first took on as a kitchen maid, soon proved to be so good with the girls that I appointed her as governess. Her sister, Morganna was dark, brooding girl with a gift for healing, which we were in dire need of as there was something seriously ailing Princess Marguirite? No one wanted to admit it but one look at the child and it was quite obvious there was something wrong with her? She seemed healthy enough, other than an aversion to the days of bright sunlight… I worried that I would be blamed for her illness, What if this child died while in my care, What then might Marie do to me? My least worry was what Francois would do, if  Marie got to me first, there may be no me for Francois to accuse!

Marurite DeFranceSuch a beautiful child but we knew there was some sort of illness about her?

The young Stable Master was a quiet sort, he was excellent in his position but he always seemed to watching warily, kept much to himself… I wondered at times if he was hired by Gerard to keep watch on us?  As it turned out, he was there for another reason. He was watching for some others?

                      ____________________________________

As the castle was nearing completion, Marie arrived looking pale and distraught. She was delusional again, I thought as she went on about missing the girls yet ignoring them when they were near her? She kept talking about a meeting among their Fathers and how an agreement on the future should benefit and bode well for all parties?  One minute she would be merry and excited, the next she would be planning our way out, and yet the next she would have a look of stark terror on her face?  She scared me so much that I went so far as to ask where Gerard was, hoping he might have some control over her and this situation? Or, if  he had disappeared, possibly there was a chance
for me to escape this situation with the girls?

She seemed to read my mind, her reply was clear and coherent, “Don’t you even think to escape this! If I shall go up in flames for this, then so shall you!”  We all tried to avoid her and wait uncertainly for what ever was to come.

It wasn’t long. Within a few days, a force of  Royal armed Guards escorted two Royals to the Castle. Those two Royals were Henry and Francois in search of their respective missing children, the Lady Marie, and answers to accusations of kidnapping Royal children?  They were also in search of Gerard DeJewel whom they knew was a part of what ever plot we had devised to overthrow their rules, ransom their children and betray the families of Dragon Valley and their clans of the Highlands! We… as in they were accusing me of being in on all of this. Well, of course I was involved, wasn’t I? I had betrayed their trust in me and gone along willingly with Marie and Gerard’s plans. I was guilty of a part in this, I must admit it… I knew I must admit to my own culpability and part in this. I must beg forgiveness and seek redemption for my wrong doings, no matter what Marie accused me of now. I must have faith that Marie’s fragile grasp of reality would snap and they would believe nothing from her. I must pray that Gerard had already disappeared, run like the traitorous coward that he truly was and could not stand against me.

Henry and Francois spent hours locked away in conference with only Hugh Guinn to have access to them. There were armies of  men guarding every entrance and possible exit to the castle in case anyone should think of fleeing. The only one who might think of fleeing would have been Marie? I was prepared for once to stand my ground, take back some of my control and power over such was my life. If it came down to a battle of wills between Marie and I, I would stake my chances on myself this time! Marie busy with her delusions that they were inside that room drawing up agreements pensioning for her? She refused to believe that these two men who had once cared for her would turn against her, the Mother of her children? I could not believe that she was so far gone in her mind as to think Henry would have any qualms about beheading us both as traitors!

They spent so much time in there and each moment brought more fear upon me. Hugh told me later that much of the discussion centered around Marie. They had already surmised that she and Gerard were the guilty parties and that I had been coerced in some way to go along with it. They needed to hear it from me though.

kings conference1

kings conference4

When we were finally called before them and the accusations were brought against us, Marie accused me of absconding with the children, of plotting with Gerard to take her children away from her. Before she could go on, I stepped forward to defend myself! I could not stand there and let her control me any longer. I stood tall, remembered my own hidden Royal bloodlines, the icy regal bearing of my Mother and faced these two all powerful men looking straight at them, not wavering, “I admit to you both, my guilt of  being a foolish young woman, of not questioning what I was ordered to do, supposedly for the safety of the two young children in my care. I take full responsibility for my part in that.” I slowly took a breath and continued, “ I regret and feel great remorse that I did not trust you two who offered me favor and friendship, and trusted me with the well being of your children. I bow to you and accept what ever punishment you deem so necessary.” I lowered myself into the lowest curtsy to the floor and stayed there until I felt two hands upon my head resting there. I steeled myself for their response, their decision. As I knelt there, little did I realize that Sir Hugh was firmly escorting Marie out of the room until I heard her screaming? Francois’ soft but authoritative voice reached my ears,”Up with you then Lady Eleanor”  I was still trembling with fear when they both held my arms and lifted me up. Tears were uncontrollable, streaming down my face in fear of my fate.

Hugh and marie Marie in the dungeonHugh escorts Marie to the Royal prisons

Henry spoke in his deeper, louder fashion than Francois, “My Lady Eleanor, you did just as we asked you to, You kept these girls safe from undue harm and you will continue to do so!”

After that, the lights dimmed, the noises buzzed and I fell into a dead faint at which the two Royals had to catch me from collapsing to the floor and injuring myself!

Eleanor’s journal entries 6

We returned to France, our trip uneventful this time. No storms, no slips of any kind. Life in France was better in some ways than in England… here it was not frowned upon, but a good thing to a mistress to a member of the Royal family! Francois was at first as infatuated with Marie as Henry had been. He was married to a Spanish Royal by the name of Isabel. Her brother was Juan Carlos of Spain, the current King. Theirs’ had been an arranged marriage, a contract between countries and neither Francois or Isabel were very invested in the marriage, at least it seemed that way at the time?  Isabel was a serious, well educated, proper wife who accepted the affair for what it was. She made her feelings well known, that at least if he was with Marie,  he was not bothering or interfering with her life. Not that she liked Marie… No, far from that! She called Marie out often for what she was, a Royal bed warmer and nothing else!

When Marie got herself with child again, she once again had high expectations and hopes! Francois had no heirs… it was rumored that one would actually have sleep with one’s spouse in order for that to happen?  In France, it was far easier and more acceptable to gain legitimacy for one’s illegitimate offspring so Marie was resting assured that her child would provide for her future wealth either way. And, true enough, when the child was a girl, Marguirite DeFrance, Francois took steps to legitimize her and make her his heiress should he not produce a son with Isabel.

It was around this time that Francois’ and Isabel’s families began their campaign to force the couple into setting aside any differences and producing said heir! This would naturally pose a difficulty for Marie? Marie decided then to start stacking the cards in her favor. She was of the opinion that she should have both children in her care just to be on the safe side.

Marie suddenly became for all appearances, a devoted Mother only interested and concerned for the well being and futures of her daughters. I always felt that Marie was one of the most talented performers of the time! She begged leave of Francois, telling him that now she had this second daughter, she was heart broken at the leaving of Jane in England.  I am not so sure if he truly believed her, or he found it agreeable to send her and the babe away for a while?  I know he had some doubts, as he bade me to watch over his child and see no harm come to her in any way. So, just as once before with Jane, I was now responsible for a child’s well being… I who did not even particularly care so much for children! I will also admit that at that time, had it come down to my life or theirs, I can not honestly say whose I would save? The only life I could say honestly I would not have saved would have been Marie’s!

Back in England, Marie again played the heart broken devoted Mother  in order to gain safe keeping of young Jane.  Henry now had his heir, and the two older daughters were causing him difficulties. Perhaps he, as with Francois, was looking for an agreeable way to not have to deal with another daughter for a while?  Marie was allowed to take Jane to France with strict stipulations on the girl’s upbringing, education and Henry would still retain control over the girl’s future, as in when and who she would marry!

Now, we were in France again… there was peace in the household for a time. Marie was now a very wealthy woman with some considerable status as Mother to two Royal blooded daughters! She was happy, and when she was happy, so could be those around her.

Not long later though, troubles started again for us. I am not quite certain what happened… I believe it had to do with Marie over stepping her boundaries, pushing her luck and not being satisfied with all she had? She knew that once Jane reached the reasonable marriage age, Henry would resume control of her and she would be required to return to England. There was also some discussion on Marguirite’s future?  No heir seemed to be forthcoming to Francois and Isabel, and it was put forth that perhaps Marguirite should be raised in the Royal household, adopted as legitimate. Now, if Marie had been of a more rational mind, she might have agreed to both of these things and accepted the compensation being offered to her, which would still have left her a very wealthy woman!

Unfortunately for all of us, Marie was not a rational woman. What she chose to do instead spoke disaster for all of us. She turned to someone I trusted as little as her! Marie had a brother who had made that Witch’s Storm crossing with us. Shortly after our arrival, he and some of the others quickly made their way out of England and disappeared. I always assumed that when we all parted ways, it was because we could not in good faith or conscience remain in a group and keep silent?  I thought everyone parted and went their separate ways to keep the secret to their souls… something I realize that I most assuredly should have done myself! I never questioned or thought that Marie had kept in touch with any of them, even her brother Gerard. To my dismay, he arrived in France to meet with Marie. He stayed only long enough for a private meeting with her then was on his way and I never saw him again?

What happened later, I hold him as much or more responsible for than Marie! By this time Marie seemed to be suffering from the feeling that the life she had built up was unraveling around her?  She was not rational, or for that matter even lucid at times! She had developed agonizing headaches, of which I too have experienced often. I often wonder it they are side affects of the slips? Marie began to have periods of delusions and would occasionally insist that people were trying to kill us?  I think Gerard saw some of this and used to what he thought was his advantage.

Shortly after his visit, Marie insisted that the children were in danger and must sent away to be kept safe? No amount of my trying to reassure her changed her mind. Most likely because at the same time, Gerard was sending her messages telling her just the opposite! When I refused to go along with her plans, she turned calm and deadly to me? She swore that she along with Gerard and others from the ship would come forward and speak of my delusions about traveling in time? She would tell others of my treasonous past and how I covered up my real name and my lineage in order to side with the French over the English, that I was nothing more than some sort of a spy seeking information from both countries? She calmly told me that when she and the others were finished, I would have no home or country to call my own?  I was young and terrified! She might have been delusional but some of what she said was truth and if others backed her up in her accusations, what little of life I had would not be worth living!

I knew not what else to do, I went along with her plan, not even knowing the half of it? I did what I was told to do for fear of my life, and yes,  in fear for the life of the children  as well. I did not, do not care much for children in general, but these girls, I had become fond of! I was responsible for them and I could not rightly leave any child to the care of Marie! That went against any decency and moral thoughts I had left!

So, I took the girls off to the hidden and isolated place of Marie’s direction. A place that Gerard had bade her send us to, we would be safe there. We traveled to a remote village named Dragon Valley and an ancient castle there.

Eleanor’s journal entries 5

t was during my time with Marie that events seemed to go far off kilter?! The time slips became quite apparent to me? We set out to return to England, where by all rights according to my time line, it should have been somewhere around the year of 1480. There should have been a York King on the throne and Henry Vii would have been a child held safely away like others of us? All I know is that our voyage was one of those they call a Witch’s storm! Our ship should likely have sunk to the bottom of the ocean during the storms that never let up? Perhaps it did? Perhaps I am dead and living out this strange nightmare as some sort of purgatory or hell for some unknown disobedience to God? Mayhaps this is my punishment for thinking ill of my parents, my guardians, my Lady Marie? Though, I do not think so considering what Lady Marie later did!

When we landed in England, we aboard the ship were distressed and beyond confusion upon realizing that it was now the 1530’s? We kept silent, all of us, knowing that  to speak of this would surely burn us at the stake or be locked away somewhere! The witch’s storm seemed an accurate description- it had for some reason tossed 50 years into the future. The even stranger thing than that was that not one soul questioned our ship, our arrival, our dress, or our identities? It was as though we had been expected to arrive and the only comments on our outdated attire was sympathy for us having been so isolated in France?

The war for the throne was long over, England and France had made peace and we were welcomed to the court of Henry VIII. We were given fine quarters as due Lady Marie’s title… Another strangeness took place, which Lady Marie vowed me never to mention or speak of? Her direction to me was, “If you know what is good for you and you value your head, you will keep silent!”  Henry acted as though he knew Marie? Had met her previously in France… Marie had no qualms, no conscience or guilt about going along with this. In fact, she told me this would benefit us greatly and be to our advantage. Lady Marie had appointed herself as my guardian now and had the King’s ear so I was obliged, as she said, to keep silent for my own survival!

It wasn’t long before Lady Marie used her dubious charms to entrance the King and find her way into his bed as one of many mistresses. I knew why she didn’t aim higher, as in one of his Queens… She valued her own head, and thought perhaps she should take her chances on providing a male heir, who even though he might be illegitimate, could still be a powerful player in the Royal standings. Unfortunately, luck was not quite on Marie’s side. She ended up giving birth to a daughter instead! I felt much compassion for this girl, Jane England. Marie was much like my Mother had been. She was bitter over Jane’s being a useless girl that Henry would care less than nothing about. That was where she made one of her errors in judgement. Henry did care about Jane. She  was not and never would be in line to the throne, there would never be any dispute on that fact. His intent was to see her well cared for and be married well because she did have Royal blood. He set out an agreement with Marie for the well being of Jane, which Marie went along with at first and signed readily as it would leave her with a large sum of money with which to ensure Jane’s  proper upbringing. I was appointed as maid to the infant. Some time after that, Marie met a French Royal by the name of Francois, and quickly took the course to seal her Royal connections by becoming his mistress.

Marie was wanting to go back to France with Francois but Henry refused to let Jane leave. At the time, Marie was unconcerned with that and chose to leave with Francois. She demanded that I go with her, and I having little recourse in the matter was not in a position to argue with her. She was not above using any means to gain what she wanted and I know surely that if I had not agreed, she would find a way to force me, or even worse cause me some undue harm- not necessarily physical harm. No, there are far easier ways to cause enough harm to destroy one’s life. I did have one thing in my favor at the time. King Henry like me, he trusted me, and upon my leaving he bade me should I ever be in need, I would always be in his favor?