A heartfelt Thank You!

I want to take some time to express my appreciation for all of you who have visited here and made this endeavor of mine such a success! In checking the stats for my blog tonight, I was amazed by the sudden realization that my random thoughts and words have now reached 20,ooo views. I know that some of you more successful bloggers out there- those of you who know what you’re doing… this milestone might not seem like all that much. For me, though, this is a huge accomplishment!

First of all, before I go any further, I want to thank Diana Gabaldon for her creation of the Outlander series which has swept me away through the Stones into a whole new life and journey. Long before I discovered her work, I was writing and creating my own little fantasy time travel world here. What Diana’s books, her devotion and allegiance to her fans, and her support of all writers have done for me is this: With her works and her many devoted fans, she has given me the self confidence to share my writing attempts and my creations. Through her support and guidance to aspiring writers, I have learned so much. Most of all, I have learned that it’s okay to write in the style that I do… chunks of seemingly unrelated scenes that eventually come together as long as I don’t forget an important character and leave them stranded somewhere in time? She has put herself out there, made herself and her knowledge available in so many places for us to learn from her even if we can not meet her in person. Because of this sharing of her experiences, I find myself more comfortable sharing my bits and pieces of thoughts and words with others even if they are never quite finished!


I began taking this blogging experience seriously about a year and a half ago.  For me it was a simple little experiment to see if I could do it, and stick with it? I have some major issues with ADD and procrastination which generally result in my not sticking with projects that I start. So, this blog was sort of a test for me… I wanted to push myself, to set some goals and have a way of holding myself accountable for continuing to work on them.  I thought that if I created a page or space where I could put my work, then maybe I would be more successful at continuing my projects.

When I originally started the blog, it was for the purpose of sharing my Sims3 creations and stories all in one place, rather than having them scattered all about in various Sims3 community sites. Honestly, trying to keep up with such a number of communities was consuming more and more of the limited time I had to devote to creating. It became much easier to just have it all in one place.

Many of you who have only recently started following and viewing this site probably wonder at the titles and are most likely not even aware of the original basis for the names. I know many of you assume that this is just an Outlander based blog… well, yes that is what it has become since I fell through the Stones with Diana Gabaldon and the Outlander series early this summer. But, it did begin with an entirely different story based on my own theories of time travel. So, while I do thank each and every one of my fellow Outlander time travelers for making this site the success that it is, I also feel that I need to thank the earliest followers of my work. The Sims3 communities and members that have stuck by me since the ragged and rambling beginnings. Those simmers who appreciated and valued my creativeness, who inspired and encouraged me to continue with it, who still come here in search of Sims related content and information, only to find an endless sea now of Outlander! To all of you simming friends, I give you my endless gratitude and the promise that I have not completely given up on the simming or the stories! I am hoping to return to some it in the next few weeks. I do miss my own story telling and the creative process that the Sims provides.  In my most recent ventures back into the simming, some of the characters from my long running soap opera type story even made their own connection to those more famous members of the Outlander Series…

For those unfamiliar with my sims related projects and stories, you can find more information in some of the separate pages devoted to them, or if you have an enormous amount of time and need something to fill up your days waiting for more Outlander… You could always go back to my archives and start the story from it’s earliest beginnings with Lady Eleanor DeGuille and Royals Castle?  Wow, that brought back memories for me! Poor Eleanor is still trapped between the walls of one Haunts Castle waiting for someone, anyone, to come rescue her!  Our story was moving along at a fairly good pace until we were side tracked by a few other  things… Dunvegan Castle, the Viking history of one Eric North, and Outlander!

Lady Eleanor DeGuille through time and history, from a lonely child pawn of Royals to an uncertain romance, timeless friendship to a Mother's spirit within her guiding her journey and her destiny.

Lady Eleanor DeGuille through time and history, from a lonely child pawn of Royals to an uncertain romance, timeless friendship to a Mother’s spirit within her guiding her journey and her destiny.


As I mentioned, one of the other projects that side tracked us in the story was Eric North’s decision to go home to Dunvegan Castle on the Isle of Skye. He is one of those characters that ends up having a mind of his own and insisted on telling his story! Eric’s appearance in the story began in the present day when he met Judith Self. He began with some minor small appearances in the storyline but for some reason, his character took on a larger than planned role. He emerged as a central character for much of the early medieval portion of the story where he appeared with Arthur and Guinivere in their ill fated story… He was a friend and fellow knight of Arthur’s and Adrian DeWare’s, and somehow his story took on a life of it’s own!

Eric’s appearance in the Arthur and Guinivere portion of the story



Eric and Brenny into the woods Eric North poster

Eric begins his story of his ancient Viking history and it’s connection to Dunvegan Castle

Eric and friends10 Eric holds Reina

You can read about the Dunvegan Castle project starting here:

dunvegan castle

My interpretation of Dunvegan Castle

overview of front with windows, towers and turrets Screenshot-11 Screenshot-9


I did mention that during the work on Dunvegan Castle and our characters’ involvement in that place, there was recently a reference and connection made to Outlander. Right now as the story stands, Eric and Brenny are remembering their time spent at Dunvegan during the 1700s when much work was done on improving the conditions of the Castle. When last we saw them, they were having a serious discussion about an odd invitation they had received from the Clan MacKenzie?

Eric and Svein in the stable Rory's parsel of correspondance Wedding Invitation The women have their own discussion


Now, I hope this clears up some of the confusion or wondering about the origins and beginnings of this blog. I hope that you take some time to explore the other portions of it that I have devoted so much time and love to over the last year. I will soon get back to my own stories and characters because they are the reason I am here in the first place! They have a place in my heart forever and I am deeply devoted and attached to all of them. Even though my story winds and bends through space and time… much like my mind most of the time, I do still want to continue the journey for them and not leave trapped in the mists of time! I write in fits and starts, chunks of seemingly unrelated pieces but, as Diana Gabaldon has mentioned about the individual writing process, that is entirely Okay as long as I remember where I left each of them and don’t leave one of them trapped for years? If it’s alright for little Jemmy to be stuck in a cave for years, for Jamie Fraser to be waiting on a window sill for many months… then I guess Eleanor DeGuille should not be complaining about being trapped in the walls of Haunts Castle for a few more months!

leaving Jamie ing the window Jack wins the hand with a rope in the drawer Dragon Fly in Amber 11_dragonfly_in_amber_00001


Don’t worry Eleanor and Judith, Eric will eventually come to your rescue!

Judith and Eleanor in the hall





Dunvegan Castle recieves an odd correspondance and invitation!

Warning, disclaimer and apology for a wayward tangent that I was unable to resist!  Normally, I keep my story segments and creations separate from my other fascinations and addictions… such as Outlander? For this one instance however, I was unable to resist the notion of them running across each other a bit! This is the one and only time that I will cross these paths!


First of all, in order to see or understand how any of this outlandish and far fetched fantasy might in any way shape or form have cause, reason or the remotest plausibility of intersecting, it may help to have a bit of background information on some relevant facts concerning Clan MaCleod and Dunvegan Castle during the period of the 1740’s. I will only supply the basic pertinent facts as they relate here to this story. My characters are fictional members of the Clan MacCleod much as Diana Gabaldon’s characters are fictional members of the Clan MacKenzie!  While they are fictional characters, I do try to tie them to historical events when ever possible!


Before anything else, let us look at where Dunvegan Castle and Clan Macleod lands sit on the Clan map of the highlands. This is important as it will give you some idea of where the MacCleod Clans resided in relation to MacKenzie and Fraser Clans. As you can see it would not have been odd for the MacCleods to know of or have dealings with either MackKenzies or Frasers.

Scottish Clan map with Dunvegan Castle's location starred.

Scottish Clan map with Dunvegan Castle’s location starred.


As far as factual information goes, during the 1740’s Clan MacCeod was headed by Norman MacCloid, who did not support the Jacobite rebellion and led troops in support of the Government forces.  The chief led 500 men of the MacLeod Independent Highland Companies in support of the Government at the Battle of Inverurie on 23 December 1745, where they were defeated.

The Macleods of Raasay, a branch of the MacLeods of Lewis, fought at the Battle of Culloden as part of the Glengarry Regiment, in retribution, the MacLeods of Dunvegan, under their chief, Norman MacLeod, burned and pillaged the Island of Raasay, harassing its inhabitants for many weeks in the late summer of 1746. As a result Norman MacLeod became known as “The Wicked Man”. In 1745, MacLeod of Dunvegan was said to have been able to “bring out” 700 men.   

Clan MacCleod history:

Norman MacLeod (The Wicked Man) :

Dunvegan Castle:

So far, I have not addressed any of this as yet in my story, but eventually will get to these details! Suffice it to say, Norman MacCleod would probably not been a friend of Dougal MacKenzie. But, then again, it might have been possible as the Jacobite Rebellion created a civil war, a divide between families and one time friends.  In our current story, we know little of the MacCleod Clan’s political or religious dealings at this time. As far as we know at this point, our fictional Clan members consisting of Eric North, Svein North, and young Brennie along with a housekeeper, Minn are the current residents of  Dunvegan Castle. Svein and Eric have been there since it’s beginnings and Brennie has been there for a few centuries now.  A clue as to the reason for them residing there and not Norman can be found in his factual history.  He supported the Government cause in the Jacobite Rising, and was an absentee chief as he seldom lived at his ancestors’ traditional seat of  Dunvegan Castle.  If you’re thinking Clan MacKenzie was the only Clan with not so likeable or trustable Family members, you might want to read more about Norman MacCleod? He was one of those Clan leaders that members probably rued the day they put him in power?  Ok, enough on him, he will show up in our story later!

Eric has appeared throughout this long sage but his personal story and his connection to Dunvegan Castle unfolds starting here:


It might also be of interesting note here that Dunvegan Castle has a long history and connection- which they are proud of by the way- with the Fairie realm and other such folk lore. Maybe they heard stories of that strange woman residing with the MacKenzies?!




Now that you have a bit of background history on the MacCleods and Dunvegan Castle, we can go on with our strange intersection?


During our construction of Dunvegan Castle we’ve been following Eric’s and Brennie’s memories of the past in the Castle. Brennie is reliving many of her own memories of  past events with thoughts of that time when her close friend and mentor, Minn was there as housekeeper and so much more. It was during the during the 1700’s when much of the Castle was renovated from a medieval fortress to a more habitable home, thanks much to Minn’s efforts and knowledge!   Brennie did not know much of what the outside world was doing, or what Eric and Svein were involved with during those times. She was just coming into her own as a new person thanks also to Minn’s sometimes overbearing but caring guidance. It was during this time that Brennie began to take part in what was happening around her, and what was happening in Scotland. 

Eric and Svein were often gone on Clan business, most of which Brennie questioned little of before this time. With Minn’s arrival though, the Castle began to change and become more of a home to many Clan members. Eric and Svein were not Clan Chiefs… they left that duty to the more human members of the Clan, a fact that in this time, they were beginning to regret. The current Clan Cheiftan, Norman MacCleod, did not reside at the Castle and rarely if ever bothered to even visit there. He did send two orphaned Clan members there though.  Two of his illegitimate offspring were sent to Dunvegan when their Mother died and Norman wanted them well out of his way.  So, Dunvegan along with Minn and Brennie took them in, welcomed them, and raised them.  The boy, Alexander was taken into training by Eric and Svein.  Where ever Svein or Eric went, so went Alex! Ellen, followed Minn and Brennie around with the same adoration.





Ellen MacCleod

Ellen MacCleod


Late one evening, the men were in the stables when young Alexander arrived exhausted from traveling hurriedly across the country with a message he said was of dire importance. He did not know what it was, had been given by one of the MacKenzies and told only that it was urgent that he get it to Svein and Eric.

An exhausted Rory

The first debate before even opening the message was one of what the MacKenzies wanted with them?  Eric was puzzled and doubtful, then suspicious… his words to Svein, “What have ye done? We’re at peace ye ken, and I would it to stay that way. I want no wars or battles now with other Clans. We have us enough trouble with Norman!”

At the mention of  his Father’s name, Alex hung his head. He knew of how much trouble the man was causing, and he was tired of the battles in his head and his heart over being the man’s son.

Debate on what to do

Svein assured Eric, “Need ye not worry, I have not done a thing, cept befriend the man!”

Eric’s response was resigned. “Achhh and, I am supposing that ye think that’s a much better thing? Dinna think that I want to be in that Man’s debt more than I want to be his enemy! What have ye promised him that we canna provide?”

Eric and Svein in the stable

Svein paused before answering. “Nothing, I promised nothing that we canna provide. I merely pledged our assistance against a more personal matter that he be involved in.  I promised our neutrality in that matter of his Fraser kin. We willna take any sides in what ever matters they dispute about was all I promised him.”

Eric nodded, “Well we can provide that, we have no quarrel with either of them and we need it to stay that way.”

He told Alex to take the parcel upstairs and noticed the frustration on the boy’s face. “Ye hold yer temper lad, and do as I ask. Ye’re not too old for a whipping yet even though ye think ye are!”

Discussion of news

Some time later, the family stood around the table staring at the parcel and missive that had been delivered, not quite sure what this meant to them?


The message was indeed a rather odd and curious one?

Wedding Invitation

Eric was not sure what it meant and thought for a few moments before asking Alex, “Are ye sure ye got the right parcel? And, are ye sure they said to deliver it here? Maybe ye heard them wrong or grabbed the wrong message. How much ale did ye drink and how tired were ye when ye were talkin to them?”

Alex bowed his head, mainly because he was so tired he was bout to drop off right there… and he did not want to share either just how much of the Ale he had shared at the Inn with the MacKenzie travelers! “Nay, Eric, I dinna grab the wrong message! Twas that Mutagh Fitzgibbons that shoved it in my shirt front, told me to ride like Hell to Svein and then get our arses back there soon as we could!”


Svein sighed and gave the only plausible explanation he could think of. “Well, like as not, we’re being called as to be impartial witnesses. I pledged to Dougal that I would not take sides in any of his family matters and this looks to be an important family matter? I know not much about the whole story of the lad but there is that land dispute in question between the clans, which the lad stands to inherit when he marries. Maybe it all has something to do with that?”

Rory bows his head

They discussed it for some time and could not come to any further conclusion than what Svein had suggested. There was agreement that what could it hurt to attend as requested… to not show up would cause some rift between them and Dougal that Eric did not want to encur so he went along with it though with some hesitation. He did not want to walk into some sort of trap either or become embroiled in some larger dispute of the MacKenzies. He agreed that they would go as requested, then return home immediately afterwards. The women would stay home, there was no need to endanger them and this was a man’s business anyway, Svein insisted.


Minn had her own thoughts as to Svein’s comment but wisely for once, kept them to herself.  After the men left the room, she filled Brennie and young Ellen in on her latest gossip about the MacKenzies and their strange guest who was visiting and now about to become their newest family member. “I heard tell that some folks think she’s a witch? They do say she is might odd, but a fine healer even if she does drink a might much? Probably should not be asking for her aid if it gets a bit late in the day… if ye know what I ken?” She went on with her tales and then after a moment reminded the women, “Achhh, Ye know of that lad, he’s passed through here before. Ye remember that fine young lad who all the lasses swayed over, the one who wouldna go in the boats?”

Brennie and Ellen nodded, they both remembered him now! Ellen blushed and said sadly, “Well I could only wish such a lad like him could find his way here for me! Not that it would matter though, as no one would be fool enough to have me.”

Minn just hushed and tsked at her youthful but true comments. “Hush ye Ellen, ye’re far too young to be thinking such thoughts anyway, and when the time does come we’ll be sure to find you a right fine lad!”



Previous Outlander post: Marriage of Convenience

Previous Dunvegan Castle post:


Most recent progress on Dunvegan Castle:


Left side Watch tower room with access to a work room.

Screenshot-2 Screenshot-3

Off the Work room is a small space which Minn uses for her book work space


This general work room is part of the original old Castle rooms. It  was used as work room space by Castle residents for many years, as it was better lit with windows and sunlight than some of the other rooms of the time.

Screenshot-11 Screenshot-10 Screenshot-5 Screenshot-6 Screenshot-8

Overview of work room with stairs down to stables and still room storage on the other side of it.





Dunvegan Castle: Great Hall comes to life with music

Previous Dunvegan Castle post:
Brennie and her music1

Work on the Castle continues and Brennie brings it back to it’s former life with her memories of it.  After living here for so many centuries, everywhere Brennie looks holds a vivid thought or memory of the past! Walking into the Great Hall/Dining room, she can see it as it once was and she can still hear Minn encouraging her to come back to life… to really live again and do what she was meant to. For such a long time, Brennie hid herself away in the Castle, avoided the Clan and it’s people as much as possible. The Castle stood empty and silent most of the time save for when Eric and his men would return from their battles and their journies.  One day, Minn dragged her into the empty Great Hall and as usual, sternly lectured her.  She swept her hands out around the room and demanded that Brennie look around at the emptiness.  Then she pointed her finger at Brennie, gave one her disgusted looks and sounds… “This, this is your fault. This emptiness and quiet is because of you. You need to fill this room, fill this place and fill our people’s hearts. That is what your duty is!”

Screenshot-11 Screenshot-9

Brennie was puzzled by her remarks. “My fault? My duty? What ever are you going on about now. I have no real duty here. This place, these people and their hearts are Eric’s and his Clan’s. I have no true place here, or anywhere else for that matter. My place and my people are long gone… as I should have been as well.” Brennie shrugged her shoulders and lowered her head. These people do not care about me, they care about Eric and the men who fight for them. They do not know what do with me any more than I know what to do with them.”


Minn shook her finger and her head with frustration, “Achhhh Yea, your people are long away, but they be not gone… it’s because you choose them to be gone that they are. The Ladies of the Lake are always out there waiting for you to return to them but you willna go because you’re skairt. You’re skairt of life! The people here, they dinna care because you willna let them. You willna let them know you or be a part of your life any more than you will let yourself be a part of their life. You hide away here because you dinna want to feel the pains of life and death around you. And, as to the fighting, every day is a fight for every one of us whether we be mortal or Fairie, Witch or Vampyre. They care not if you be Vampyre… My Stars Girl, have ye not eyes to see that half the people around here are descended from Vampyres, Witches and Fairies?  They all know the secrets of this Clan and they stand proud to defend those secrets during these times. They care about Eric because they know he goes out there and fights for them and their freedom to be what they are.”


With that speech, Minn walked over to a case lying on the floor near the fire. She pointed down to it and motioned to Brennie to open it. Inside was a beautiful, intricately carved violin. Brennie picked it up carefully, holding her breath as she felt the warmth and the satin smoothness of the wood. She felt something else as well, she felt the vibrations of the music within it reaching out to her, wrapping around her soul. It had been long since she had allowed herself to feel the music. Tears came to her eyes as she remembered the music that had filled her mind and her soul.


Minn smiled softly and motioned her to play, “This is your calling, your destiny, your way to fight for yourself and for all of us.”


Brennie gave her a bewildered look. “What do you mean? I am not sure I understand what you want me to do.”


Minn answered her calmly, “What do I want you do? I want you to use your gifts to fill this place, and these people with your music, your stories and your spirit. I want you to remind them of the old ways, of the legends and the prophecies. I want you to give them hope, give them courage and give them their pride in their heritage. Every Clan, every Castle has it’s Bard and you are Dunvegan’s now and forever more. You are a Bard, and that is what you shall do to inspire these people. Now, Play and fill this hall with music once again!”


Screenshot-5 brennie and music2



In medieval Gaelic and British  culture, a bard was a professional poet, employed by a patron, such as a monarch or nobleman, to commemorate the patron’s ancestors and to praise the patron’s own activities.

Originally a specific class of poet, contrasting with another class known as fili in Ireland and Highland Scotland, the term “bard”, with the decline of living bardic tradition in the modern period, acquired generic meanings of an epic author/singer/narrator, comparable with the terms in other cultures (minstrel, skald, scop, rhapsode, udgatar, griot, ashik) or any poets, especially famous ones. For example, William Shakespeare is known as the Bard or the Bard of Avon.

Bards (who are not the same as the Irish ‘filidh’ or ‘fili’) were those who sang the songs recalling the tribal warriors’ deeds of bravery as well as the genealogies and family histories of the ruling strata among Celtic societies. The pre-Christian Celtic peoples recorded no written histories; however, Celtic peoples did maintain an intricate oral history committed to memory and transmitted by bards and filid. Bards facilitated the memorisation of such materials by the use of metre, rhyme and other formulaic poetic devices.


A description of life at a training school for bards survives in the Memoirs of the Marquis of Clanricarde, written in 1641-1643, but published in 1722.[7] Clanricarde was a territory in Ireland, located in what is now County Galway. This description, found in the introduction to the memoirs, appears to be by the lawyer Thomas O’Sullivane.[8]

Concerning the poetical Seminary or School, from which I was carried away to clear other things that fell in my way, it was open only to such as were descended of Poets and reputed within their Tribes. And so was it with all the Schools of that kind in the Nation, being equal to the Number of Families that followed the said calling. But some more or less frequented for the difference of Professors, Conveniency, with other Reasons, and seldom any come but from remote parts, to be at a distance from Relations and other Acquaintances that might interrupt his Study. The Qualifications first requir’d were reading well, writing the Mother-tongue, and a strong Memory. It was likewise necessary the Place should be in the solitary Recess of a Garden or within a Sept or Enclosure far out of the reach of any Noise, which an Intercourse of People might otherwise occasion. The Structure was a snug, low Hut, and beds in it at convenient Distances, each within a small Apartment without much Furniture of any kind, save only a Table, some Seats, and a Conveniency for Cloaths to hang upon. No Windows to let in the Day, nor any Light at all us’d but that of Candles, and these brought in at a proper Season only. The Students upon thorough Examination being first divided into Classes, wherein a regard was had to every one’s Age, Genius, and teh Schooling ha before, if any at all, or otherwise. The Professors (one or more as there was occasion) gave a Subject suitable to the Capacity of each Class, determining the number of Rhimes, and clearing what was to be chiefly observed therein as to Syllables, Quartans, Concord, Correspondence, Termination and Union, each of which were restrain’d by peculiar Rules. The said Subject (either one or more as aforesaid) having been given over Night, they work’d it apart each by himself upon his own Bed, the whole next Day in the Dark, till at a certain Hour in the Night, Lights being brought in, they committed it to writing. Being afterwards dress’d and come together into a large Room, where the Masters waited, each Scholar gave in his Performance, which being corrected or approv’d of (according as it requir’d) either the same or fresh subjects were given for the next Day. This Part being over, the Students went to their Meal, which was then serv’d up; and so, after some time spent in Conversation and other Diversions, each retir’d to his Rest, to be ready for the Business of the next Morning. Every Saturday and on the Eves of Festival Days they broke up and dispers’d themselves among the Gentlemen and rich Farmers of the Country, by whom they were very well entertain’d and much made of, till they thought fit to take their leaves, in order to re-assume their Study. Nor was the People satisfied with affording this Hospitality alone; they sent in by turns every Week from far and near Liquors and all manner of Provision towards the Subsistence of the Academy, so that the chief Poet was at little or no Charges, but, on the contrary, got very well by it, besides the Presents made him by the Students upon their first coming, which was always at Michaelmas [29 September], and from thence till the 25th of March, during the cold season of the Year only, did that close Study last. At that time the Scholars broke up, and repair’d each to his own Country, with an Attestation of his Behaviour and Capacity from the chief Professor to those that had sent him.

The reason of laying the Study aforesaid in the Dark was doubtless to avoid the Distraction which Light and the variety of Objects represented thereby commonly occasions. This being prevented, the Faculties of the Soul occupied themselves solely upon the Subject in hand, and the Theme given; so that it was soon brought to some Perfection according to the Notions or Capacities of the Students. Yet the course was long and tedious, as we find, and it was six or seven Years before a Mastery or the last Degree was conferred, which you’ll the less admire upon considering the great Difficulty of the Art, the many kinds of their Poems, the Exactness and Nicety to be observ’d in each, which was necessary to render their Numbers soft, and the Harmony agreeable and pleasing to the Ear.

As every Professor, or chief Poet, depended on some Prince or great Lord, that had endowed his Tribe, he was under strict ties to him and Family, as to record in good Metre his Marriages, Births, Deaths, Acquisitions made in war and Peace, Exploits, and other remarkable things relating to the Same. He was likewise bound to offer an Elegy on the Decease of the said Lord, his consort, or any of their children, and a Marriage Song when there should be Occasion. But as to any Epick, or Heroick Verse to be made for any other Lord or Stranger, it was requir’d that at least a Paroemion, or Metre therein, should be upon the Patron, or the Name in general.

The last Part to be done, which was the Action and Pronunciation of the Poem in Presence of the Maecenas, or the principal Person it related to, was perform’d with agreat deal of Ceremony in a Consort of Vocal and Instrumental Musick. The Poet himself said nothing, but directed and took are that everybody else did his Part right. The Bards having first had the Composition from him, got it well by Heart, and now pronounc’d it orderly, keeping even Pace with a Harp, touch’d upon that Occasion; no other musical Instrument being allowed for the said Purpose than this alone, as being Masculin, much sweeter and fuller than any other.[9]

Martin Martin, in his Description of the Western Islands of Scotland (London, 1703), paints a picture of the bardic culture as he encountered it a few decades later, providing in the process a description of bardic training rites. This is one of the last eyewitness accounts of the bardic culture.

The Orators, in their Language called Is-Dane, were in high esteem in these Islands and the Continent, until within these forty years they sat always among the Nobles and Chiefs of Families in the Streah or Circle. Their Houses and little Villages were Sanctuaries, as well as Churches, and they took place before Doctors of Physic. The Orators, after the Druids were extinct, were brought in to preserve the Genealogy of Families and to repeat the same at every Succession of a Chief; and upon the occasion of marriages and Births they made Epithalamiums and Panegyricks, which the Poet or Bard pronounc’d. The Orators by the force of their Eloquence had a powerful ascendant over the greatest men in their time; for if any Orator did but ask the Habit, Arms, Horse, or any other thing belonging to the greatest Man in these Islands, it was readily granted them, sometimes out of respect, and sometimes for fear of being exclaimed against by a Satire, which in those days was roeckon’d a great dishonour; but these Gentlemen becoming insolent, lost ever since both the Profit and Esteem which was formerly due to their Character; for neither their Panegyricks nor Satires are regarded to what they have been ,and they are now allowed but a small salary. I must not omit to relate their way of Study, which is very singular. They shut their Doors and Windows for a Days time, and lie on their backs with a STone upon their Belly, and Plads [sic, plaid?] about their Heads, and their Eyes being cover’d they pump their Brains for Rhetorical Encomium or Panegyrick; and indeed they furnish such a Stile from this Dark Cell as is understood by very few; and if they purchase a couple of Horses as the reward of their Meditation, they think they have done a great Matter. The Poet or Bard had a Title to the Bridegroom’s upper Garb – that is the Plad and Bonnet – but now he is satisfy’d with what the Bridegroom pleases to give him on such occasions.


Brennie’s childhood with the hidden Ladies of the Lake had been spent training for life as a well respected Bard/legend keeper.  Her life had changed however with Eric’s turning her and the world had begun to change as well during those times.  She did not know how to change with the world, but realistically she admitted to herself, she had not tried very hard either. Minn was right, she was skairt as Minn so bluntly put it! But, with Minn’s help… she began to find herself again and understand that she could find a way to make a difference in their world.


Minn made her realize that it was not Eric’s place to teach her everything, it was up to herself to learn how to adapt and fit in to an ever changing world.  Eric could not teach her how to be herself and be happy with it and it was not Eric’s fault that she was so unhappy with this gift of life he had given her. She learned from Minn how to be strong again, how to be mistress of this Castle and leader of these people.  They worked together to make the Castle liveable, comfortable and filled with life again.


Minn explained to her how important it was for the Clan members to feel they were a part of this Castle, and for them to know that they were just as vital and important to the well being and survival of the Clan as the highest members. It was a give and take between all of them, a matter of team work on every level.  After all, what good did it do to be a Clan Chieftan if one had no Clan members left? A clan could lose it’s Chieftan and replace him with someone else but a Chieftan would have a harder time replacing his clan if they all died, or deserted him because he was not a good leader… So, it was important to take care of each other.  One part of that, Minn insisted, was to be able to provide the best care possible to all of their members. She and Brennie worked to ensure that their Castle had a well equipped and well stocked medicinal room and along with that, Minn added to the room with another well stocked storage room for some of the most valuable and in some cases highly dangerous detoctions. This area was a locked portion of the Medicinal or Still room.


Still room

The still room is a distillery room found in most great houses, castles or large establishments throughout Europe dating back at least to medieval times. Medicines were prepared, cosmetics  and many home cleaning products created, and home-brewed beer or wine was often made. Herbs and flowers from the kitchen garden and surrounding countryside were preserved for flavoring food[1] and processed into what today we call essential oils, and infused or distilled, or brewed  as required to make rose water, lavender water, tinctures, peppermint-based ointments, soaps, furniture polishes  and a wide variety of medicines.[2] The still room was a working room: part science lab, part infirmary and part kitchen.

Originally, the still room was a very important part of the household. The lady of the house was in charge of the room, and she taught her daughters and wards  some of the skills needed to run their own homes in order to make them more marriageable. As practical skills fell out fashion for high-born women, the still room became the province of poor dependent relations.


In the case of the remote Highland Clans and their Clan seat Castles, such as Dunvegan was, it would have been crucial to their survival and that of the Clan to have such a well equipped Still room and a highly trained, skilled healer in their residence.  Minn would have made sure that the Clan members were welcome to use the services of the Castle’s healer and she would have ensured that everyone shared in the growing, harvesting and stocking of the much needed herbs and plants. 

Over view of Medicinal Still room with locked storage area.



Minn spent a great length of time teaching Brennie her responsibilities as Mistress of the Castle, even though they both knew that as long as Minn was there, she would really be the one in charge. But, as she matter of factly pointed out to Brennie one day, “Well, Lass, someday I won’t be around to keep things running so smoothly and when that time comes you must know what to do.”  They stood in the now finished Still room addition one day discussing this rather depressing subject while Minn took it in stride and continued taking inventory all the while.

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Minn stressed to Brennie how important it was to keep accurate accounting of the items in this locked room. Some of it, such as the wine and some of the food stuffs were highly costly and worth as much or more than their other finer items around the Castle! “It’s not that I be callin the workers or guests here thieves or such but, one never can tell, Can they? Why leave it out and about for them to be tempted with.” She continued on, “Now some of the potions and detoctions be locked away in here for safe keeping, as they could be quite poisonous or even deadly if used in the wrong way. Tis just better and wiser to keep such locked up and make sure you know how much of it we have and how much gets used.”  Minn told her that there were only a very few with keys to this room and she must always be sure she knew of who had those keys, and who was let into the room.  The only ones with keys were Minn, Brennie, and Eric. Even the resident healer would have to ask permission to enter this room.

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As they worked in the storage room, they chatted about other things going on around the area.  Minn was always full of local gossip and stories, and loved to share them.  Brennie usually wasn’t one for gossip but often she found the stories amusing so she listened patiently to Minn.  She did find the stories more interesting now that she was coming to know the area, the Clan members and the history of this place better.  Minn was going on about the Fairie pools and the ancient circle stones near by and how some folks were swearing that the mists were heavier lately. She added that a few of the women insisted that they saw strange people and things near the pools… Minn just laughed and added her own observation on that, “Achhh well, I know that one, Lila… I suspect that she had a few too many nips of that rot gut Whisky she keeps in her pocket!”


Minn did grow serious though and warned Brennie, “Those places and stone circles be verra powerful dangerous. They’re ancient and most folks have no knowledge of them or their use any more. A few of the Ladies of the Lake are left who might know but they hide in deep secrecy now and have not been seen in many ages. You best be careful if you go there.”


Brennie eyed Minn warily. “Why would I go there? I have no need or reason to venture near the Fairie pools or the Ladies that are left.” Minn nodded her head, gave Brennie a somewhat knowing and suspicious look that said she knew well what Brennie was thinking.  And, Brennie was thinking then in a small hidden space of her heart, of the Ladies who had raised her, trained her… and of whom she felt like she had let down by leaving them so long ago. Even though it had been necessary, her and their lives had depended on her not returning to them then. But, now… Now, perhaps some of them would be left? She was quite sure that these Ladies of the Lake here would know of  the ones who had raised her, would know if they survived yet?


As quickly as the thought entered her mind, she stamped it down, set it aside and tried to follow the rest of Minn’s chatter. Minn was going on now about the Fairies, and the legends of the stones… how people could travel through them to other places, worlds, or times?  She gave her usual  laugh of  disbelief and disgust. “Such stuff and nonsense, who would believe such things. Why I heard tell of traveling to such a different world as where there be no Vampyres, no Witches, no Fairies… where they chain their babies to their cradles and don’t let them out till they be a child? They canna move their furnishings around just as they wish, they canna build a cellar, they canna design pretty fabrics as they wish… Now, would ye not be hating to live in that world?  Someone even said as one of their tiny villages had a name… something such as a place called Willow Creek?” Minn pointed her finger at Brennie and laughed as she added, “Now do ye not think that even with all of our problems in this world, it’s still not such a bad place to living… You could get too close to those Stones, Lass, and who knows where or when ye might end up.”


Brennie tried to laugh with Minn about all of it but her mind was thinking back to those past events that had caused her to end up here in the first place. She hadn’t thought of it in a long time, since shortly after arriving here to live in this remote isolation and safety from some of those early events. Now, as she left the room and Minn, she shook a little with doubt and real fear. Minn thought it all nonsense, but she knew otherwise. She knew that there were ways to travel through time, even though she had tried very hard to forget… and maybe if there were ways to travel through time, there were also ways to travel to other worlds?  That scared her even more and she thought perhaps she should stay far away from those pools and those circles!



Eleanor’s Journal 80: After the Death

Finally, a story update! So sorry for the long delay on it but hopefully I can get back on track with it now! This story update does not contain any illustrations other than a few Character references. I really just wanted to get this posted as soon as possible since there has been such a long absence from the actual story. I do apologize for that!  this is the continuation of Eric’s ancient past and the people in it.

Previous story post, Eric’s story: Visions in the fire:


The energy of Reina

           Eric’s soul was still fighting as it slammed back into his body and Reina’s parting words were burnt into his mind, engraved there forever. Sometime much later, as the sun began to rise over the river, he regained consciousness. His heart was barely beating, his breath so shallow that it was almost not noticeable. It took the greatest effort for him to lift his head and his eyelids to see the group of women kneeling around him. The reminder from Reina was the only clear thought in his head. “Look around you, there are those who still need you.”

                 The women gasped at his slight movement and Artorius, who had been standing aside guarding their mourning, quickly stepped in. He picked up Eric’s nearly lifeless body, threw it over one of the horses, swung himself up and yelled for the women to follow as he took off up the hill towards the safety of the closest enclosure. Eric’s body would not withstand another dose of sunlight and Artorius knew it.

                        The river they buried Reina next to was between the Fairie realm and the remains of Eric’s home where Svein resided under the heaviest of Vampyre guards. Artorius headed for that place as it was the closest. It was much in ruins and held the worst of memories for all of them, but there was little other choice for the time being. He knew that the women would be in dread of returning there and thought momentarily of sending them back to the Fairie realm. He did not have time though to argue with them and he thought that their concern for Eric would well outweigh their fears of their old home. Artorius urged the horse on up to the protection of the buildings not waiting for the women to catch up. They all knew the way well and were close behind, leading the other horse.

                      The Vampyre guards, having heard the commotion, were waiting with doors to the stable open. Scoithin had mounted the other horse and arrived in a flurry. The horse well lathered, the woman’s hair and cloak whirling out around her as she jumped down unassisted and ran to Eric’s side as Artorius pulled him down to the floor. She cast out orders to the guards and to Artorius as she knelt down next to Eric to assure that he was indeed still alive. No one thought to disagree or question her. It was obvious that she was well in charge of this particular situation. It would be apparent later on that Scoithin was well in charge of most situations. She was not a woman to be taken lightly and her quiet power would long be one to lead this group.


          Scoithin very quickly had Eric put to rest in one of the more private sleeping chambers. She determined that he would live and what was most needed for the present time was deep sleep. To assist in that deepest sleep she poured some vile smelling liquid down his throat and left his sisters, Freya and Helga to watch over him.

                            While she was occupied with seeing to Eric, Artorius was meeting with the guards to inquire about the condition of Svein, who was locked away in a darkest lower chamber. Young Scotia sat at a table near by, head in hands, listening closely to what was being discussed about her Father and crying quietly. Her Father who had once been so strong, so full of life and cheer, so full of love for her and her Mother… was now broken in his mind and spirit, locked away in some dark unreachable place filled with the demons that haunted him, might haunt him forever it seemed.

                             The men continued their discussion and seemed to forget she was in the room. Scoithin entered the room, saw her grand daughter weeping in the corner. She approached the men holding up her hands and firmly demanded they cease their talking, pointing to the young girl who had sat silently taking in every word. “Cease these words now! Have yourselves some heart for his daughter who has already endured enough for a lifetime in the past months.” The men suddenly looked towards the table and bowed their heads in remorse.

                       Artorius moved to the table where Scoithin was attempting to soothe the girl. He waved the men out of the room and knelt close to the two women, reached his hand out to Scotia’s face, which was buried in her Grandmother’s shoulder. He stroked her face and turned her to face him with care. “Scotia, I know these words, this truth is hurting you greatly now but, it is your Father who is in the greatest pain. You do understand this, do you not?” She looked at him tearfully and nodded her head. He and Scoithin held her and comforted her as much as possible while he went on with the most difficult of thing he felt he should ever have to say to one so young.

                                  “Your Father is in some darkest of in between places right now. He can not move forward out of that place and return to us, nor can he see clearly to move on to the other side where he might find peace. It has come time for us to help on his way to either side… for us to put it in the hands of the Gods, much as we did with Eric.”

                          The realization of what he was saying hit Scotia and she shook with weeping. She shook her head fiercely. “Nay, I can not do that. I know what you are asking and I can not give you leave to do it. I can not bear it, can not stand to lose him.” Her voice came in soft gasps between sobs.

                         Artorius brushed her hair away from her forehead. “Would you have him live on the way he must now, chained to a wall in the dark being held by those guards who must hold him in the tightest of grips just in order to force feed him nourishment to ensure he does not die of that? You think that is a life he truly wants? You have lost him already. If he stays this way much longer, he will never come back to you or recognize you.”


Scotia of Svein, daughter of Svein and Gizella, grand daughter of Scoithin

Scotia of Svein, daughter of Svein and Gizella, grand daughter of Scoithin

              Scotia paled and clutched her Grandmother’s arms. The older Vampyre woman looked down at her sadly with tears in her own eyes. “Scotia, my dearest one… He is right in what he says. This man who is locked away in such pain is not your Father. If he continues on this way, he will never be your Father again. His mind will snap completely, will separate forever and he will cease to recognize any of us. He will live out his life in some madness of the soul, never be human or vampyre, but some horrific semblance ever wanting only to roam the earth in search of blood…”

                   Scoithin stood then and paced the room thinking before she spoke. “I have a thought, of one last thing that might bring him back to us.” She paused and stared at her grand daughter with tears still in her eyes. “It is a great risk and it may not work… but at this point, I see little else in choice, save putting him out misery immediately.” Artorius looked up at her with some doubt. Scotia stopped weeping to wipe her eyes and her nose, and peered up at Scoithin with some hope.

                     Scoithin went back to pacing and holding hands to her face while she shook her head back and forth. “No, I should not even be thinking of this. It is far to dangerous to attempt and it may drive him further into the darkness instead of back towards us…” She stood still and looked up at the ceiling speaking in her ancient language in some form of prayer.

                   Artorius finally bid her to go on with it and she slowly voiced her thoughts again. Staring again at Scotia, she spoke softly in a murmur. “The girl looks exactly like her Mother.” Her voice broke as she remembered her daughter. “Ahhh Scotia, tis plain for all the world to know you are your Mother’s daughter. Every moment I lay eyes on you, I see Gizella. I hear her voice in you as you speak to me. You are the only thing that keeps my own heart alive, you keep her alive for me in so many ways. When I look at you, I can erase that last sight her from my mind. Perhaps the sight, the sound of you near to him will do the same for Svein?” Scoithin’s face showed her heartache and her fear. “The guards tried inside of him, to tell him, let him know that you were alive but his mind seems far past that ability. Maybe if he could see you, hear you, feel your presence close to him, he might fight his way back?”


                          Scotia jumped up from the table in haste and youthful hope. “I would do that, I would go to him and beg of him to hear me, to see me!”

The two older ones turned to circle her and contain her brimming excitement. Their eyes were full of caution as Artorius spoke. “No, it is not as simple or as that Scotia. If it were that easy, they would have brought you to him immediately as soon as you returned. Your Grandmother is right. It is a dangerous act that could push him either way.”

                   Artorius sighed sadly and looked at both of the women before speaking again to Scotia. “Tis not you, child that is torturing his soul. It is your Mother’s death that has driven him over that edge. I believe that what your Grandmother is suggesting is more for your Mother to drive him back this way?” He looked at Soithin in question and she bowed her head in agreement.

Scotia looked at them both in confusion. “What do you mean? I do not understand…”

                       Scoithin took Scotia’s hands in hers as she explained. “What I am suggesting Scotia, is that you must go to him not as yourself, but as your Mother. She is the only one he might still cling to memories of somewhere in his soul. You must go to him as her and tell him in no uncertainty to return here to those who need him most.”

Scotia closed her eyes and clenched her fists, she drew in a deep breath and tried to calm her trembling nerves as she asked, “Like Reina did to Eric?”

The older adults looked at her warily and Scoithin replied softly. “What did you see out there?” She ran her hand down her grand daughter’s arm to sooth her fear. “It’s alright to tell us here of what you saw or what you felt.”

                           Scotia was young and still troubled by her own recent horrors. She also was as yet unsure and fearful of her abilities that had recently developed. Her Grandmother had tried to reassure her that the things she felt and the visions she was were normal for one such as she was, with the Vampyre blood that ran through her veins and the other ancient blood from her Grandmother as well. Scoithin called it prophecy, others called it second sight… She had inherited none of the other Vampyre traits as yet, and this gift of sight had just recently come upon her. She knew, though she told no one, exactly when it had begun.

                           When she had stood out there in the Courtyard, held captive by those Romans, unable to do anything but stare terrified at her Mother’s crumpled, beaten and bloody body laying on the ground. Gizella’s arms wrapped around her swollen stomach, holding the life within her tightly as she and the child took their last breaths together. During those last moments, Gizella looked over to her daughter and sent her a final thought. Scotia felt her Mothers arms around her, heard her voice in her mind hushing her cries and telling her to be strong for all of them. Scotia felt her Mother within her, felt her life leaving, the pain ebbing away. When Gizella pointed toward the open sea and the sky, Scotia looked up to see her Mother floating away with the infant brother she would never know in this life. She looked around in fright to see if the others were watching this too? No, no one was noticing, or watching the sea. The Roman men’s attentions were focused on their captives. She, along with her cousins, was dragged off away from the yard amidst the screams of those left behind.

                            From that moment on, Scotia carried some piece of her Mother with her and her dreams were often clouded with images that did not make sense. She thought it was because of the terrifying events taking place and tried to shut all of it out. None of the young women had spoken of their individual stories as there had been no time to recover or share it. Their immediate thoughts had been of Reina and then her death.

                         So, now Scotia stood with her Grandmother, and this Roman Vampyre soldier who they said was to be trusted… She could not bring herself to do that quite so easily and knew that her Father would never bring himself to do it even if he were to be saved from the Hell he was locked in now. But, still her Grandmother seemed to value this man’s word and his worth, and trust him? Both of them waited silently for her to speak.

                      She hesitated for a moment then remembered her Mother’s words along with Reina’s words to Eric, be strong for others are in more need now than I. Scotia spoke haltingly and whispered of the sight. “Did no one else see it? I saw Reina with her baby daughter, in the mist… she was pushing Eric back to us, telling him he must stay with us, that we have more need of him than her.” She looked at Scoithin and Artorius as they both sighed and held her close.

                   Artorius stroked her hair and his voice soothed her, “It is alright, Scotia, only a very few have the gifts to see such things or feel them.” He sighed and went on, “You must always remind yourself that is a gift, this ablility you have been blessed with, for often in your future, it will feel more like a curse than a gift.”

                   Scoithin held her grand daughter in her arms and added her own thoughts. “My dearest child, I believe you have more to tell us of this sight, and of your visions… but for now, we will sit by the fire and you will rest with me for a bit.”

                     Some time later as the three of them sat near the fire, Scotia shared the vision of her Mother’s leaving and of the feeling that Gizella was still within her guiding and protecting her. Scoithin and Artorius both nodded in some unspoken agreement. Scoithin spoke gently to Scotia. “Then I was right in feeling that Gizella is still with you somehow.” She picked up Scotia’s small hand and held it while she explained, “Your Mother is with you because she still has work to do here. She, and you are the only ones who can do this. You must clear your mind of everything else and let your Mother do what she needs to do to help your Father.” Scoithin looked at the girl thoughtfully and went on, “Your Mother needs to do the same as Reina did for Eric. Your Father will never rest or be at peace with himself or this world unless she can get through to him through you.”

                  Scotia sat on her stool near the fire, staring into the flames and nodded her understanding while whiping tears from her eyes. Artorius spoke then. “You must understand that this is still very dangerous for you and for your Father. If you do not think you can do this, we will not place you in that danger. I am still in doubt whether this will work, and I would not put your life at risk for this.” He frowned then stood and started pacing, “I am torn on this, Scoithin. Perhaps better to let him go on his way to join Gizella rather than attempt this?”

                       At that, Scotia jumped up from her stool knocking it over in her haste. Her face was not quite her own, it suddenly took on the lines and the appearance of some other older version of herself. She spoke clearly in a near hysterical, hurried voice, “NO! You must give him a chance, a choice! You must give me a chance to help him! He must stay here, there is work for him to do in his future and he must be here for Scotia!”

                        Scoithin and Artorius stared at the young girl in surprise but quickly composed themselves on realizing how strong Gizella’s presence was. As fast as she had appeared, she left and young Scotia was standing there shaking. She looked about to fall to the ground and murmured of how cold she was. Artorius picked her up and carried her to a bench before she could collapse and faint into a stupor. Scoithin motioned for him to pick her back up and bring her to the back sleeping room. He carefully set her upon the bed and she drifted into a deep sleep.

Scoithin covered her with heavy blankets and they stood there watching her while they whispered together. Scoithin spoke firmly, “There, You see, I was right. Even if Scotia is not strong enough yet for something of this nature, Gizella is strong enough for them both and she will not let any of us rest until she has had her chance to save Svein.”

                     Artorius rubbed his forehead in frustration, still frowning in some concern. “I must admit, you are probably right in this. And, I have never seen before quite such an appearance as this? That does not mean though that I am not still worried about the success of this and of Svein’s reaction. To jeopordize her life, and that of everyone else’s if it should go wrong and he become even more uncontrollable?” He shook his head, “We can not send her into this as she is now, look what this one momentary appearance has done to her? And, we can not send her down there on her own… We must be prepared for the worst event. If it should go wrong, if he should break loose we must be prepared to end it for him rather than risk her life. That is the only way that I will agree to any of this?”

                        Scoithin nodded her agreement. “We can wait a few days more and prepare her better for it. I will fetch the others to help with it. And, I will abide with your decisions on how best to keep her safe from harm should it go wrong. I am sure that Gizella will not allow for any harm to come to her daughter in this. If it should come to be that she can not get through to him, I believe she will take matters into her own hands and see to his end herself.”

                          Artorius frowned even deeper at this. “NO! We can not let it go to that end, for it would not be Gizella’s hand in his ending, but Scotia’s. Then the girl would have to live with the knowledge and the overwhelming feeling of guilt at being responsible for her Father’s death.”

                           A sudden realization of that fact washed over Scoithin and she bowed her head. “You are right, I had not thought of that. I can not allow my grand daughter to carry that pain with her through life. Do what you need to, to see that it should not come to that.” She looked down at the sleeping Scotia and stroked the girl’s hair, brushing it from her pale face.

                       She called for a maid to sit with Scotia, giving instructions to send for them as soon as she woke. Scoithin and Artorius left the room to make their preparations. At the doorway, he thought of something else. “Those others whom you call to help… are they who I think they are? They are not the Fairies or the Vampyres, are they?” He gave her an inquiring and somewhat skeptical look. “Do not bring more trouble down upon us than we already have, Scoithin.”


Artorius and Scoithin2

                    She drew herself up showing her most regal and royal nature that which she had been born with a sense of. “Do not question their ways, their loyalties, or their abilities. They are far more ancient than any of us and though they live in secracy, they will live on just as powerful or even more so than any of the rest of us. The Druids will help in this and will seek nothing in return for it.” with that, she turned her back to him and walked away.

From the Creator: More of the Sims World TV Premier!




Well, before the paparazzi and the press leak the news, we wanted to take this time to share some publicity news about one of  our stars. I am sure many viewers often what goes on behind the scenes with our characters? Yes, we will confirm that many of them do have lives outside the set and some are very involved with other members of the cast. That might be quite evident in some of the scenes! One character that we hear a great of questions about is Brenda Blonde… And, yes the most oft asked question is, Is she single, in a relationship ore is she available?!


On that question, Brenda usually keeps a very low profile and extremely private life. She has however finally given us permission to give an answer to that question.  Yes she is still single, for the moment at least… but no, she is no longer available! It seems that she has made a commitment to long time friend and fellow musician, Rod Stewsim! They have been friends for many years and there have occasionally been rumors as to whether or not they might be more than that? She declines to answer any further questions on the matter right now and states that she will definitely let us all know when she decides to take the next step in this relationship.


On the subject of Rod Stewsim, he has also kept a low profile lately and a well kept secret too.  Over the years, many have asked how he managed to stay so young looking for so long… which he continuously avoided answering. Just recently however, he has revealed to the public his vampire bloodlines and attributes those to his aging more slowly.  He also insisted on being very clear about something that has surfaced along with his relationship to Brenda Blonde.  Brenda of course is a very well known Vampyre  and there have been rumors abounding that she might have been responsible for Rod’s turning at some point. He adamantly refutes this and states that while his Vampyre bloodline has been kept out of the public knowledge, it is well documented and traceable back to his ancestors in Scotland.


Recently during our renovation process of Dunvegan Castle, Brenda Blonde held a benefit concert there to raise funds for the Scottish Vampyre and Fairie Foundation.  She invited Rod to perform with her at this concert and they made a private announcement to our staff.  We were thrilled with the news and are happy for both of them, wishing them the best of luck in the future! We gave them a celebration, congratulations and provided them with an honor guard to back them in their performance that night!

Brenda and rod performing with their Honor Guards!

Brenda and rod performing with their Honor Guards!

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Here is a hint of what you missed!


It turns out that Brenda also brought Rod as her date to the Sims World Premier Event where they performed some Scottish Ballads together. We have exclusive photos of them at the event!

close up of Brenda and Rod Brenda and Rod3 Brenda and Rod performing at premier Brenda and Rod at Sims World Premier! Brenda and Rod at premier2 Brenda and Rod at premier with honor guard


What an odd coincidence this has all been… We were planning to bring Rod on board into the story at some point in the future anyway!


Previous post related to Sims World TV Premiere!



From the Creator: Sims4 sharing

I am trying to figure out the sims4 sharing system for the Demo? You can upload your Demo creations to their gallery now and they will be available for sharing and downloading into the game when it is released in September. You can download them now into your personal library for use later.  Yes, of course, you do need to have the Sims4 CAS Demo installed!


I have uploaded versions of Judith Self and Eric North to that gallery. You can look for them by name in the gallery or by my creator name of Judywork1957. I have not figured out how to link directly to them as yet… not sure if that is even possible yet?


Judith Self

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Eric North

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From the Creator: Behind the scenes

As most of you know, we are in the middle of filming in the highlands of Scotland right now telling Eric North’s story. We took a short break from the filming to enjoy that other time travel journey… Outlander! While we were on this break, we decided to send some of the cast members to a special event that we were invited to. We received an invitation to attend the premier of Mark Stone’s new network, Sims World TV! You can find more great info on it here:

Sims World TV


The cast had a fantastic time and we wish Mark Stone and Sims World TV the best of luck and much success in the future!

We thought you might enjoy the photos taken at the event!



One of the official promotional posters for the event

Time Slips cast members: Brenda Blonde, Judith Self, Eric North, Adrian DeWare, Scoithin Reil, Svein North, Eleanor DeGuille

Time Slips cast members: Brenda Blonde, Judith Self, Eric North, Adrian DeWare, Scoithin Reil, Svein North, Eleanor DeGuille

Arriving at the premier



Arriving at the premier

Arriving at the premier

Of course, the paparazzi immediately showed up and Eleanor was not amused!

Eleanor is not amused! Paparazzin show up!

Eric found a way to get back at them!

out takes, Eric gets back at paparazzi!

The paparazzi was not amused by Eric’s stunt… He seems to be a bit off focus with his camera? Unless of course he was intentionally aiming for Brenda’s assets… if so, then I believe we can bring a case of sexual harassment against him!

uninvited guests



Ohhhhhh We have not seen Eleanor in quite some time! She was enjoying a much needed vacation but did fly at the chance to attend this event! Here she is arriving and getting her Fairie on!

Eleanor gets her faire on!

Upon landing on the red carpet, she is cool, graceful and sophisticated as always!

Eleanor DeGuille at premier Eleanor at premier

Eleanor is joined by the other ladies for a little fun!

Ladies of Time Slips

Ladies of Time Slips: Scoithin Reil, Eleanor DeGuille, Judith Self, Brenda Blonde

Eric with Judith and Brenda

Eric, Judith and Brenda Close up of Eric, Judith and Brenda

A private moment between Judith and Eric caught on camera.

Eric and Judith

The camera also caught the rest of the group off guard while waiting their turn for photos!

paparazzi out take shot of the group

Adrian DeWAre… yes, Adrian is also playing the role of Artorius in the current episodes! Here he joins Scoithin Reil and Svein North to pose for the cameras!

Adrian, Scoithin and Svein close up of Adrian, Soithin and Svein

The men of Time Slips get their turn to have some fun!

Men of Time Slips close up of the men

Finally, Although they may have left their kilts in Scotland, the men did bring their swords!

Swords held high They brought their swords!


A formal Salute and Congratulations to Sims World TV from the cast of Time Slips!

Salute to Sims World TV


Eleanor’s Journal 79: Visions in the fire

previous post, Reina’s Reason:

dark thoughts

                Eric was jolted out of his dark memories into the light of the present. He was still shaking from that moment of Reina’s good bye to him. It was one of those deepest of memories that he had buried and locked away in the furthest corner of his mind and his soul, never going back to once he set there. It had been far too painful to think of again. But, now he realized with some shock that he should have retrieved it and dealt with it and it’s meanings long ago. He stared into the fire, saw Reina’s face, and another one so familiar to him, and he heard the words again from both of them. Reina’s words of promise… a thousand deaths… so similar to the ones that Judith had once spoken of to him. When Judith had shared her thoughts on reincarnation and her sould coming back, she had looked at him so thoughtfully, had touched his cheek so softly and whispered, “You, Eric live one life eternally searching and waiting for that one final passing, but I could live a thousand lives, a thousand deaths and still return each time on the same search.” She had laid her hands gently on his heart and went on, “I would come back again and again to search until I found the piece of my heart, my soul that was missing…while you go on through time in an endless search for that same thing”

vision in the fire

                Eric wept as he finally understood what Judith had meant, what her soul had tried so hard to tell him. He had refused, resisted for so long to admit how much he loved her, needed her with him in every way. There had been some unknown fear constantly holding him back from accepting it. Now, he knew what that fear was. It was that strongest, inner most fear of having finally found that other part of one’s soul and then losing it once again. It was what had kept that one part of his heart closed off for all of these centuries. That fear, that pain had been with him from the moment that Reina went into the mist with their daughter. In a way, it was also a fear of the unknown. The fear of that unknown other side, other place that they and so many others went to upon their deaths, but that he might never go to… That fear combined itself with a hurtful resentment, that they could go and he could not, and if he could not go with them to that place then he did not want to see them again here in this place only to watch them go again. Over the centuries of life, he had often encountered ones who felt so familiar to him… as though he had known them in some other time. He did not want to admit that this was true, though in his soul, he knew it was. It was that self denial that ever resided with him. So, when he met those souls, he took the utmost caution to avoid them, to not let himself become attached to them in any way. Most of the time he had been successful, but in a few instances, he had been unable to fight the overwhelming need to be connected to them once more in some way.

                Judith was one of those souls… Brennie was the other one, one who he had felt such an odd connection to all of those centuries ago when she had come into his life. At first he had tried to shake it off, dismiss the feeling as just one some sort of attraction on both their parts. Although his heart was closed off in certain aspects, he did ever have a soft spot for women and children in distress. His friends always warned him that it was his one weakness and would be his downfall one day. He never saw it that way. He looked at it as part of his honor as a warrior, as a man to care for those who needed it… was not a weakness at all, he thought, but often took more strength and courage than to walk away from one who needed help.

              He could easily have walked away from Brennie during those darkest times of her life, but something inside of him said No, this girl was part of his destiny and something in her soul reached out to him, kept reaching out to him, even now. There was a gnawing thought in his mind that crept closer and closer to the surface as he took another drink of the whiskey, then paused to splash the last drops of it onto the fire. Sparks danced through the flames and he saw it, saw it so clearly now, what he had hidden away in the secret depths of his mind for so long. The images wove themselves in and out of the flames to his heart. Reina, Judith, an infant with a cloud of red hair…much the color that Brennie’s had been before he turned her, then Brennie herself. They flickered, floated and surrounded him, he knew it now. He knew why the bond was so strong between the three of them together. They belonged together, they were as one, bound to each other throughout time, for eternity. When Brennie had entered his life so long ago, his soul found her and brought her back to him, the daughter his heart greived and searched for. He had turned her and felt her as family ever after that. They had spent centuries searching, together and separately for that one other part of themselves that was missing and found it in Judith.

surrounded with love

              The realization hit Eric full force and he felt his breath leave him momentarily. When his breath returned, he was calm, at peace with the knowledge and knew that whatever happened in the future, the three of them would go on together, either to stay in this life or to go on with Judith to that other place one day. He knew that he could give up this eternity of living, and he felt that Brennie was at that point as well. It would be Judith’s choice to make. What ever she should choose, they would follow her. First, though, they must find her!   The images dimmed and settled into his mind. He could now face the rest of the memories that came, knew well that they could be no worse than than the ones of Reina’s death.

Eric's final farewell to loved ones

               After Reina’s death, Eric had little time to mourn or grieve for her. The only time he allowed himself that pain was at her burial. He thought that he should not survive that, had not wanted to at that one point. He had willed himself to go with her and their lost daughter at that point… refused to eat or drink, would not sleep, laid himself upon that grave in the brilliant daylight sun, wanting it to destroy him, to take him to her and their child.

                 The others had been unable to reach through his grief and all thought maybe it was best to let him go. Scoithin said that perhaps it was what his destiny was, and they should leave it to the Gods… not intervene this time. Artorius had been filled with as much grief and pain, watching his friend suffer and he felt much guilt as well. Maybe this was his own punishment for having intervened where he should not have previously. He prayed to his own Gods for some answer, for some sign and eventually agreed with Scoithin that the Gods would make their own decision this time. The family carried out the burial rituals with heavy heart, saying silent goodbyes to Eric as well as Reina and the child.


             Scoithin knelt near Eric and kept a solomn vigil over his life hanging in the balance. She was joined by Eric’s sister, Freya. Though Freya’s heart was breaking, her warrior spirit was strong and she used to will her brother to live. She knelt there with her prayers and her thoughts focused on him bidding him to fight this wretched battle, to not give in, to be that warrior that Reina expected him to be.


                Artorius stood with Scotia and the youngest one, Helga at the edge of the river where Scotia called upon the Gods and the Godesses to carry the souls in safety to the other place. She lit the fires on the boat to carry them up down the river and send their spirits to the heavens above. Artorius lifted his sword, offered his own prayers for the guardians to protect all of the souls bring them to the peace of the after life. Young Helga cried out to the spirits in despair. Her heart was torn into shreds, her keening was heard throughout the forest and the sounds echoed around them carrying down the river. Even the animals lowered themselves in some sort of mourning for this passage of souls. The burial ritual continued until the sun set on the mourners and the stars filled the sky. The small group stood watch over Eric, waiting for the Gods to make their choice on his life.


He did not die, as hard as he tried, his soul would not give in and leave his body. As he clung to Reina’s grave and knew that she was no longer there, he still heard the faintest of heartbeats. He still felt a hand brushing his hair away from his face, and he heard her comforting voice still in his ear soothing him, lulling him into some sleep. In that dream state, he stood at the edge of that place, holding out his hand to reach hers.

Eric reaches for Reina

She touched fingertips to his and spoke. “You can not come now, there are many battles yet to fight for this land, these people. You must go on.” He stood there violently refusing to leave, trying to step over.

The energy of Reina

Reina had used her new found strength of spirit and pushed him away, yelling him this time. “Aye You stubborn man! Turn you around and look at those who need you now. Tis not me…” She cradled the infant and pointed. “We are safe now, but those who are left, they be needing you!” With that she used the force of her body and her spirit to push him back to the living.

Reina fades away with baby

Behind the Scenes: Update on Dunvegan Castle progess!

The current story line involving Eric and Reina required both indoor and outdoor scenes for filming. Rather than attempt to build a whole set for those scenes, I chose to incorporate them into the Dunvegan Castle build! The indoor set of Reina’s death was done in the lower level of the Castle. It was designed to portray the ancient cottage room in the Fairie village where Eric’s family sought sanctuary. It worked fine for that, and now that those scenes are complete, it will be a part of the old Castle rooms. It will represent what the oldest parts of the Castle would have looked like as a sleeping and private chamber for the first Clan leaders who lived there. In addition to this room, there will eventually be an old kitchen and work room as well as an old entry room.

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These areas are based on information and one picture from the real Castle that I used for inspiration!

inside dunvegan16


In my adaption of the Castle for story purposes, I am trying to incorporate some real aspects of the Castle into it. During the present day,  Eric, Brennie and Svein are working on renovating the Castle and grounds, and having it open to the public for historical tours. Those tours would include these older sections and some background on what the Castle would have looked like before it became a Castle!


The outdoor scenes were filmed along the river bank below the Castle. That area now includes a memorial to Reina, which we will see in an upcoming episode!

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A preview of the upcoming episode where Eric says his final farewell to loved ones.

Eric's final farewell to loved ones

previous episode:

next episode of Dunvegan Castle progress;



Eleanor’s Journal 78: Reina’s Reason, a cry from beyond

Reina’s Reason, a cry from beyond

Trying to place an origin

a reunion of grief

             Artorius and Scoithin communicated their worry in thoughts while Eric and his family shared theirs in tears that mingled together. Eric cared not if he cried in front of these women. They had seen far worse of him in their years of growing up, tears were the least of his concerns. Suddenly, there came a weak moan from the bed in the back of the room. A whispered questioning, “Eric… Eric is that you. Am I but dreaming again…”

Feeling the heartache of a loved one Eric with Reina

             At the soft pleading voice, all arms dropped, tears forgotten, it was a rush of all of them to the bed. Eric sank to his knees at the edge of the bed to see his wife, now a mere shell of what she once was, her eyes half closed, she was grasping out into the air searching for him. He grasped her hand and kissed the palm that was so cool to the touch, as if the life had already left her. He leaned to wrap his arms around her, whispered in her ear. “Reina, Reina I am here, open your eyes love and see me. Hold on for me.” Her hands were as cold as winter, but her cheeks were flushed and full of the fever that was consuming her.

             Eric held her through tears, told her of how much he loved her and needed her with him, begged her spirit to stay within her body. She was in a half dream state that often comes with death so close, but his voice pulled her back. She summoned some inner strength to open glazed, clouded eyes to stare at him and smile softly. Her hands were weak and it took effort to squeeze his hand back, he barely felt it but knew how much it had cost her as she sank back on the bed and drifted off to that in between once more. She seemed to sleep now, they said, a good thing as she had not truly slept in some time.

holding love and memories

              Reina drifted in and out of deep sleep for much of the night. Eric refused to leave her side for any reason. As she slept, he prayed to those who might hold her fate, her spirit and begged them to send her back to him. The others came and went quietly, sensing that the time was close, they went about making preparations for the young woman’s death. They did not broach it with Eric, they knew he was not yet ready to say good bye. Artorius did manage to pull him aside  to let the women tend to her for a bit and have their time to say whatever was needed between them.


sisters of heart

Moments of quiet goodbye between sisters of the heart.

Moments of quiet goodbye between sisters of the heart.

Some time during the night, Artorius came and sat with him by her side. Eric gave a broken sigh, “Can you help her?”

Prayers for a miracle

Artorius held his hand and placed the other hand on Reina. “Much of that is up to her. I can not do it, will not do it without her consent. What I can do is give her enough strength for a time to be clear in her mind and say what she wants to do.” Eric nodded and motioned for him to go on with it.


Artorius called Scoithin over and they both knelt over Reina stroking her and sending her energy. Her hands began to warm, her eyes fluttered open, and her pulse began to beat stronger. The older woman left then while Artorius remained stroking Reina’s arm for a bit until she came awake. She looked at Eric, her eyes clear and her smile brightened. Her hand squeezed his much stronger this time and her voice, though raspy, was more than just a whisper.


              Eric could not contain the tears of relief at what appeared to be some good sign of recovery for her. Perhaps the fever had burnt itself out, he thought, maybe Artorius had given her enough strength to fight this sickness. He held her face in his hands, kissed her sweet lopsided smile, tasted her tears and ran fingers through her sweat drenched hair. “You have come back Reina, you have come back to me… I knew you could do it. I knew you could fight this battle. Now, you will live, you will be strong again to face what ever comes with me. We will do it together.” He was so filled with joy that he could not stop himself from rambling on of love and of the future.

A kiss goodbye

              She pulled away from him gently, touched her fingertips to his lips to hush him finally. Her hands reached to his hair and stroked through the heavy locks of braids. She tugged on them and forced him to look into her eyes that glistened with tears. He wiped them away and whispered, “Shhh do not cry now, we will be fine… there is no more to cry for.”

              Reina sighed and hushed him back. “Hush you now Eric and listen to me. I have things I need tell you and you must listen to me.” He tried to quiet her, told her nothing mattered, there was nothing she needed to say that could not wait. They should have all their lives to say these things. She shook her head and held his hands, this time with a grip so tight that he could not pull away.

             “No, Eric… we do not have that time. I must go soon, I can not stay here much longer.” Eric was puzzled, her mind must not be completely clear yet. He assured her softly that she had nowhere else to go, where did she think she must be off to, he said with some faint humor.

                Reina laughed sadly and kept a grip on his hands. She was leaving deep red marks from the tightness of her hold now. “Eric, stop now, I know you would tease to make light of this, but we must face this one last thing together. Yes, you and I together must face this. I must go, I must go to her soon, I hear her always crying out for me. I can not leave her there on her own lost in the mist and not knowing where to go.” Reina’s voice became softer, filled with her own grief and pain. She started to fade away from him , then suddenly snapped back. “Do you not hear her Eric, she is crying out so loud now, she is so scared and hungry.” She pulled her hands away from him then and clapped them over her ears. Her head shook and her breath came in short gasps. “Ohhhh Goddess, Eric, How can you not hear your daughter calling to us? She is screaming now, I can not make it stop…” Reina threw herself back on the bed, moaned and reached out into the air for something, someone. “I am coming soon, my Brenna…” She collapsed back into an agitated half sleep, wrapping her arms around herself and crying for the one she could not leave alone.

Eric and Reina 2

             Eric knelt there next to her, holding her hand and faintly, he heard something. The sound came as if from a long distance through a tunnel, a weak cry, gasping for breath then another. It shook him to his soul. He turned to look at Artorius in confusion and panic. “Ohhh The Gods curse us… she is… her mind and her soul are broken.” He trembled and asked, “Do you hear that? Or am I as cursed as she is.” Eric had a dazed look on his face, not comprehending any of what was happening. He grabbed for Artorius’ arms and held on to him, violently shook his friend. “Tell me! Tell me you hear it, Tell me how to fix this!”

           The distant cries in his mind grew louder, a wailing keening sound that ripped his heart. He put his hands over his ears in attempt to shut it out before it drove him mad as his wife. Artorius did not know quite what to do either. He heard the infant cries as well, and it shook him to some fright. He had never seen or heard of such thing before.

empty arms Fear takes over

Suddenly, Scoithin appeared with a jug of spice wine. She touched both the men and told them sternly to drink it, drink it all if they need to. She would see to Reina and to the babe. The men just looked at her in shock, unable to propose what she might think she could do for a cursed spirit child. She just shook her head, “Of course you do not know, women do not much speak of it for the looks you men would give us… just as you are looking now!” She motioned for them to leave and take the jug with them. This was a matter for women to tend to…. She paused for a moment then had another thought, “Though, it is strange you heard it. Most times, men do not hear it. Maybe you do need to stay.” She pointed to a spot far back from the bed. “You stay back there and let me get them settled”

empty arms to fill

              She sat on the bed holding Reina in her arms, forcing drops of the spiced wine down her throat, murmuring all the while in some odd language to her. Artorius listened closely, tried to determine what it was… slowly, it dawned on him. Came to him in a flash of distant memory. She was speaking to Reina in some old Egyptian dialect, speaking something of souls parting and meeting again, of finding lost ones.

              Reina calmed down, her sobs turned to occasional gasps and hiccups. The distant screams and wails softened to the same small gasps and gurgles. Eric had a vivid flash, a sight of Reina somewhere in that mist, cradling a ghostly white infant wrapped in white swaddling, a fluff of curly wild red hair aout her head like a halo. She was making tiny little gurgling noices as she latched on Reina’s overly full breast. Reina sat in some sort of glowing trance rocking back and forth humming to the little one. He opened his eyes and looked over at the bed where Reina sat half reclining, resting in the woman’s arms wrapped around her, and her arms wrapped around some invisible bundle. A gentle sigh left her lips, she rocked to and fro and hummed in peaceful contentment.

Easing a soul to rest

Much later, Scoithin explained to the men as Reina slept soundly. “She will go soon, you will not convince her otherwise. Her mind and her heart is set to joining the babe. I tried to get her to let go, told her there would be others waiting for the babe, to care for it… but she has set her mind that she must go with the child.” She sighed softly. “I’ve seen it happen before, there is no way to ease them or reason with them once their heart is gone to the other place.” She looked at Eric with some other puzzled concern. “She will be back in a bit, says she still needs to speak to you of something… She was much upset by it and says it was not fair of you? Do you know of what she speaks?”

wanting to leave

Eric lowered his head and nodded to Artorius. “I believe she speaks of what we talked of earlier.” He walked back to the bed and sat at the edge, fell into his own disturbed dreams while he waited for her to come back.

 A deatly sleep

It was early morning when she woke, groggy from the spiced wine and the near death sleep. She reached for his hand and raked it hard with her nails. “Are you awake? I have words to speak to you before I go.” She watched the blood come to the surface of his hand where she scratched him… “Why did you do it Eric? Why did you not meet your death when you should have. We could have all gone together but now, I must go on my own with the babe.” Tears came to her eyes as she smeared the drops of blood from his hand up to her lips and licked it for the last taste of his soul before she left.

Eric holds Reina

Eric gripped her hand, then reached to kiss her lips and tasted his blood on her. He wept with her now. “I did not know, Reina, how could I know what had happened to you. I was at the edge of death myself when Artorius found me and saved me from death. But, know this Reina, I will walk out into the sunlight, I will have them behead me if that will bring us together again on the other side. If that is what you want, I will surely give my blood, my body, soul to you for ever more.”

Eric holds Reina2

                   They held each other and their tears wet the linens around them as well as their clothes. She finally took a breath. “No, that is not what I want of you. This is none of our doing, yours or mine and we should not cause one another to suffer eternity for it. What I want from you now, my warrior is for you to fight on… fight on with honor, fight for this land, and for our people. Fight for me, for our babe, Brenna. Live your life well, my beloved one and know that I will find you again, again and yet again. I go willing to be with Brenna, she is a lost soul out there… I can not leave her. But, you, you are my warrior, my strength. You must go on and be grateful for this chance the man has given you. Do not waste it!” She wept again, held on to his hand and held it close to her chest, then whispered, “Do not waste it! For if you do, I will come back… I will haunt you till your dying day and never give you rest!” She laughed weakly and pulled on one of his braids, brought his lips to hers and kissed him deeply.” They laid on the bed together, holding each other murmuring words of love, of memories and of promises. Reina grew quiet, her breath would come in short gasps and she would drift in and out of sleep. At times she would whisper out to that spirit child, soothing and promising to be there soon. Eric closed his eyes and saw what she saw, that small bundle of light clouded in the red hair, pale blue eyes that filled the round little face. A slight frown that turned to almost a smile and turned towards them as though she heard her Mother’s voice. Eric fought back his tears and smiled softly. He added his own whispered offering. “Shhhh little one, Mama is coming for you. She will forever hold you safe until we can all be together again.” The ghostly infant looked to him and blew bubbles through a smile.

Sleep in peace

Reina’s heart slowed, the light in her eyes faded and she reached once more up to Eric. “I love you, I always have, I always will…If I die a thousand deaths, I will always come to you, do not weep. We will find each other again.” Her last breath left her as she rested within his arms, still now, at peace. Eric looked up and could see her spirit drift away. He saw her reach out into the air and turn back to him with daughter in her arms. Her head held close to the baby’s she looked up and smiled at him that one last time, her half smile as though she knew a secret that no one else should ever know.

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