Tag Archive | Arthur and Guinivere

More good news for Bernard Cornwell fans and fans of history!

Just wanted to share this recent news.  A recent Variety article revealed that Bad Wolf productions is developing an small screen adaptation of Bernard Cornwell’s series, The Warlord Chronicles!

Variety can also exclusively reveal that the company is developing an adaptation of Bernard Cornwell’s trilogy “The Warlord Chronicles,” which is a revisionist take on the King Arthur legend. “He is a great storyteller as we know from everything from ‘Sharpe’ to ‘The Last Kingdom,’” Gardner said. “He has a very innovative way into the Arthurian stories, which is to take an ordinary man who by work, chance and life is an observer and an intimate in the relationships of Arthur, Lancelot and the key characters that we know.”

This information was included in Variety’s announcement of  HBO partnering with Bad Wolf Productions. You can read the entire article here:

http://variety.com/2015/tv/global/hbo-partners-with-production-company-bad-wolf-1201632217/

If you follow this blog on any regular basis, you will probably be well aware and familiar with my interest in the early Saxon period in Britain as well as the Roman involvement there. I’ve read the Warlord Chronicles and discussed them previously.  If you have not read this series, you should!

Bernard Cornwell takes a more realistic approach and perspective in his telling of the legend of Arthur. For the most part, he avoids the myth, magic and fantasy realm and tries to create the more real world that Arthur might have lived in. The only exception is his inclusion of Merlin, but even with Merlin, Cornwell attempts to give us a more realistic presentation of Merlin as one of the few remaining Druid Preists in that time period. He does an excellent job for the most part, of debunking much of the magic, mystery and myth but does leave some mystery and question surrounding Merlin.  I say for the most part, because I will admit that I did struggle a bit with the character of Merlin, and at times I felt like Bernard struggled a bit with him as well. Aside from that minor issue, the books were an excellent interpretation of the legend and the more real history that surrounds that myth and legend.

I’ve already written reviews on the book series as well as a number of articles pertaining to early Saxon and Roman history in Britain. I have also previously discussed the legends of Arthur. I will provide links here to some of those previous articles!

Saxons, Romans and Arthur:

king-arthur-tapestry

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2015/06/30/saxons-romans-and-arthur/

From Odin and Woden to Anglo-Saxons in Britain:

wodin and his followers

wodin and his followers

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2015/06/23/from-odin-and-woden-to-anglo-saxons-in-britain/

 

Ancient history connects Norse with Romans and Arthur:

Roman era map of Britain

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/from-the-creator-ancient-history-connects-the-norse-with-romans-and-king-arthur/

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Saxons, Romans, and Arthur

Previous post about Saxon history: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2015/06/23/from-odin-and-woden-to-anglo-saxons-in-britain/

king-arthur-tapestry King-Arthur-power-rule King-Arthur-2004-king-arthur-875455_1254_940

 

Before we head back to the Viking era, I just want to add some last added thoughts on the earlier realm of the Saxons, the Romans, and that ever elusive yet legendary man called Arthur who united the Britons in defending their world against those heathens the Saxons. The legend of this man is so tied to this time that one can not help but think of him when thinking about the era of the Saxons invading a crumbling and divided Britain. We have already looked at much of the history and seen what may have actually taken place with the Saxon arrival in Britain but those legends of Arthur are so steeped in that history and in peoples’ minds that we need to take one more look at him and those legends.

As I mentioned, I’ve already discussed much of this in earlier posts so this is just more of an update to all of that previous information! You can read a much earlier post on theories of Romans and King Arthur here:  https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/from-the-creator-ancient-history-connects-the-norse-with-romans-and-king-arthur/

In my previous post about Saxon history, I mentioned movies and books that strip some of that myth and magic from the legends and attempt to give a slightly more historically accurate basis for the stories. I do say slightly more accurate because it is all of course, historical fiction! There are few if any remaining documentations of what actually took place during that time. The only truly accurate account of what happened would be ones from people on both sides who were actually there to witness that history taking place. As far as I know, no one has come across such eye witness accounts! What we have left are scattered remnants, bits and pieces of that history from early sagas and story tellers who were paid-much as current day story tellers- to create a glowing story of that bloody and dark part of history. Every story teller added to and changed the events to please the audience they were telling the story to.  Down trodden and beaten warriors wanted tales of glory, victories and battles. Ladies of the realms wanted romance, a knight in shining armor, a love story, the church wanted tales that would make them look good and the pagans look bad… and, so thus, the Bards wove the legends of Arthur and his Britons into all of those things, just as they do today!

We all know those stories, those fantasies of Arthur the legend. My search has been for more of what might have been the real stories behind the legends. I have stated before, that in every legend or myth, there are grains of truth, you just need to search for them.  When I read or watch historical fiction, I look for those small grains of truth.  I am like anyone else, I love a good story, but being one who is passionate about history, I do prefer those stories to some grain of truth or at least some sort of accuracy when dealing with historical events.  For that reason, I try to stick with authors that I trust, one who have put some significant research into the history that they are writing about. I have no qualm with them playing with timelines as needed in order to weave their story, I also have no problem with them weaving the events into their own story line- that is all to be expected in creating a good story. What I look for within or behind each story is an author’s reasoning and their ability to blend what might have happened to what actually did happen.

The legends of Arthur are so filled with myth, magic and fantasy that is difficult to separate that from the events that actually took place, the events that were the basis for the myths. In order to find some balance between those fantasies and the limited actual history, I have turned to some of those authors that I trust and looked at their stories of what might happened, could have happened. These two authors have given different versions of Arthur and the events surrounding his life, his rise to glory and his attempt to hold on to it.

I did mention the first author and his representation of Arthur in my previous post. I will refresh your memory here and highly recommend that you read his version. Bernard Cornwell gives us his version of Arthur in his Warlord series.

I found this book trailer for Winter King and the Warlord series and had to laugh when it included various clips from our Vikings and the King Arthur movie!

winter_king_uk-179x307

Uther, the High King, has died, leaving the infant Mordred as his only heir. His uncle, the loyal and gifted warlord Arthur, now rules as caretaker for a country which has fallen into chaos – threats emerge from within the British kingdoms while vicious Saxon armies stand ready to invade, As he struggles to unite Britain and hold back the enemy at the gates, Arthur is embroiled in a doomed romance with beautiful Guinevere. Will the old-world magic of Merlin be enough to turn the tide of war in his favour?

enemy of god Arthur book 2 by bernard cornwell

The balance of King Arthur’s unified kingdom is threatened by Merlin’s quest for the last of Britain’s 13 Treasures; by the conflict between the ancient religion and the new Christianity; and by Britain’s war with the Saxons. A master storyteller continues his retelling of the Arthurian legend.

Excalibur arthur book 3 by bernard cornwell

In The Winter King and Enemy of God Bernard Cornwell demonstrated his astonishing ability to make the oft-told legend of King Arthur fresh and new for our time. Now, in this riveting final volume of The Warlord Chronicles, Cornwell tells the unforgettable tale of Arthur’s final struggles against the Saxons and his last attempts to triumph over a ruined marriage and ravaged dreams.   This is the tale not only of a broken love remade, but also of forces both earthly and unearthly that threaten everything Arthur stands for. Peopled by princesses and bards, by warriors and magicians, Excalibur is the story of love, war, loyalty, and betrayal-the work of a magnificent storyteller at the height of his powers.

Bernard Cornwell does include some of the mythology of the legend with his inclusion of Merlin and others such as Nimue (Vivianne). He addresses the conflicts going on between the new religion of Christianity with the dying Pagan beliefs and how this as much as anything else worked to tear the kingdoms apart when they needed to be united against the Saxons.  While he includes that mythology, he also addresses the divisions of the kingdoms, the Roman influences that remained, the betrayals that took place as rulers attempted to hold on to their kingdoms by any means possible- including siding at times with the Saxons and attempting to pit the Saxons against each other. Cornwell looks at all of these things that were most likely actually occurring during that time. He gives us a more realistic picture of those legendary characters, flaws included! My personal favorite deviation from said legends is his portrayal of Lancelot as a vain and traitorous man whose main ambition was to be a King in order to enjoy the materialistic benefits it would bring him. Lancelot had excellent PR men, which he found within the church, and used them to extoll his “saintly” virtues.  The portrayal of Arthur as a man so focused on his role as protector and seeing only the good in people combines that legendary honor status of Arthur while showing the flaws of such belief. He refuses to see clearly what is going on around him, what treachery and deception other people that he trusts as loyal are capable of, that he makes serious mistakes in judgement and nearly defeats his purpose of uniting the kingdoms as a result.  I have not yet read the third book but am looking forward to seeing the conclusion to this version of Arthur and his history.

 

 a more basic and realistic representation. As she herself warns, you will find no magic or fantasy realm here. There is no mention of Merlin, Lancelot, or even Tristan and his beloved Isolde here. Helen Hollick admits freely that she is not an academic historian but she did do a great deal of research into the events of this time period to put together this version of who Arthur may have been, how he might have risen to his power and what might have happened as a result. For those of you looking for a glorious knight in shining armor full of honor and true goodness, this is probably not the book for you… This Arthur is full of flaws!  If you are looking for a romantic love story of Arthur and his true love, Guinevere, then this is probably not quite the right story for you either. Above all else, this Arthur is a warrior with high ambitions. He has a vision of being King as his Father was and he will do almost anything to achieve that goal. He does love his Gwenhwyfar but that love comes second or third to his first ambitions. He is definitely not a saint, he has a lust for all women- which he often acts on and then must suffer the consequences of those actions.  Some of those consequences include a number of jealous and spurned women as well as various offspring along the way.  Some readers have commented and complained that this series portrays women in such bad light as evil, manipulative types… What I get from this series so far is Helen Hollick showing that women could be just as malicious, devious and manipulative as men when it came to terms of them fighting for  power or wealth and status. They were not above using what ever means available to them to ensure they got what they felt they deserved, needed or desired.  This is a much a story of women’s wars against each other as it is about the battles or wars of men for a country or kingdom. The story of Arthur’s battles at time almost comes secondary to the power wars of these early women!

 

The kingmaking Helen hollick

As Uthr Pendragon battles to overthrow the tyrant Vortigern tragedy strikes. There is only one man who can lead Britain from the chaos of darkness into a new age of glory. Protected since birth, he is revealed as the new Pendragon.

The Pendragon Banner 2 by helen hollick

Who was the man
… who became the legend
… we know as
KING ARTHUR?

Pendragon’s Banner is the second book in Helen Hollick’s exciting King Arthur trilogy, covering 459-465 A.D. This is not a fairy tale or fantasy. There is no Merlin, no sword in the stone, and no Lancelot. This is the most accurate Arthurian legend ever written, based on historical evidence and meticulous research.

At age twenty-four, King Arthur has the kingdom he fought so hard for and a new young family. But keeping the throne of Britain—and keeping his wife and three sons safe—proves far from easy. Two enemies in particular threaten everything that is dear to him: Winifred, Arthur’s vindictive first wife, and Morgause, priestess of the Mother and malevolent Queen of the North. Both have royal ambitions of their own.

In this story of harsh battles, secret treasonous plots, and the life-threatening politics of early Britain’s dark ages, author Helen Hollick boldly reintroduces King Arthur as you’ve never seen him before.

PRAISE FOR PENDRAGON’S BANNER:

“Hollick’s interpretation is bold, affecting and well worth fighting to defend.”
Publishers Weekly

“Weaves together fact, legend, and inspired imagination to create a world so real we can breathe the smoke of its fires and revel in the Romano- British lust for life, love and honour.”
Historical Novel Review

“Camelot as it really was… a very talented writer.”
Sharon Kay Penman, bestselling author of Devil’s Brood

PRAISE FOR THE KINGMAKING:

“Hollick juggles a cast of characters and a bloody, tangled plot with great skill.”
Publishers Weekly

“If only all historical fiction could be this good.”
Historical Novels Review

“Stripped of its medieval trappings, the story of Arthur’s rise loses none of its legendary power… this [is a] well-researched, skillfully constructed trilogy opener.”
Library Journal

Shadow of the king by helen hollick

Arthur Pendragon is dead! His widow, Gwenhwyfar, faces overthrow by the powerful council headed by Arthur’s uncle, and a power struggle with his ex-wife Winifred. But, unknown to her, events in France and Germany mean that a far mightier battle is ahead.

 

I have only just started the second book in Helen Hollick’s series so I can not give a full review of all of them together but I can say that I am as equally impressed with Helen Hollick’s version as with Bernard Cornwell’s! The two authors give different representations and reasonings but both present a rather realistic portrayal of the events surrounding the legends. I have to say for now that I am slightly more in favor of Hollick’s version only because she has chosen to leave out the magic of Merlin in her telling of the story. I appreciate that Cornwell found a way to incorporate the myths and magic into his version but kind of wish that he hadn’t put so much focus on Merlin and his seemingly magical qualities. I understand his reasoning in wanting to include this mythology in some way but I think it takes a little away from the rest of the more realistic story he is presenting. He could have presented Merlin as the highly respected Druid that he might have been and even alluded to what ever mythology or magic that may have been associated with that belief system, much as he did with the other beliefs such as Mythros and Isis, and left it at that without involving his supposed mystical and magical qualities quite so much. I did also appreciate his portrayal of Tristan and Isolde in their doomed love affair with no myth or magic involved in it, just a sad story of two lovers who met a bad end.

What initially drew me to Hollick’s version of the legend was that in reading previews and summaries of her series, I was interested in the fact that she chose to include the stories of Hengist and Horsa, and Briton King Voltigern. Hollick’s version of the legend places Arthur in the middle of these events and gives us a version that weaves Arthur’s ambitions and actions into this historical event. It then allows for a telling that coincides with some historical theories that the later Saxon King Cerdic was probably of part Briton descent. I did address this history in the previous post on Saxon history so her weaving of the legend in this way made some sense to me.  Hollick’s version of Arthur places him in the earliest part of the Saxon arrival while Cornwell’s version put Arthur at a later time with Cerdic and another Saxon King Aelle fighting against each other for land and power.

Both Hollick and Cornwell make some reference and admissions as to how it is in some ways a situation that the Britons themselves created. In Hollick’s story, Arthur admits that were he in the same position of those Saxons such as Hengist being deceived and betrayed on land that was promised, he might have reacted in much the same way. This Arthur also concedes that Hengist had a right to promised lands and he honors that particular right, allowing him to retain those lands. Hollick’s  Arthur makes mention of the futile wish for peace between all and realizes that the Saxons are not going to disappear from their land.

 Both authors also both make excellent reference to the earlier Roman domination and remaining influences such as the architecture left behind. In Cornwell’s version, Arthur and his Guinever reside in one of those remaining villas, though the villas all are suffering from disrepair and neglect due to the fact that there are so few skilled artisans left to make any repairs. There is also much reference made to the beliefs of both Britons and Saxons not wanting to live in such stone buildings filled with spirits and ghosts of unknown nature. Another unfortunate side affect of the ongoing wars is that everyone was so focused on battles and surviving that they had little time, wealth or manpower left to devote to the upkeep of such places. 

My personal thought and suggestion is that you read both versions for a better understanding of  who Arthur might have been and those events that had a part in creating the legend and myth that he became!

 

If you are still craving the fantasy and the myth of Arthur, never fear… there is yet another version of that legend coming. Knights of the Roundtable, a feature film version of the story is currently in production with a scheduled release date in 2016. It is being directed by Guy Ritchie, written by Joby Harold and stars at this time include Katie McGrath, Charlie Hunnam, and Jude Law. It was recently announced too that David Beckham will make an appearance. For full details on the cast, see here:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3496992/fullcredits?ref_=tt_cl_sm#cast

The young Arthur runs the back passages of Londonium with his crew, not knowing his royal lineage until he grabs Excalibur. Instantly confronted by the sword’s influence, Arthur is forced to make up his mind. He joins the rebellion and a shadowy young woman named Guinevere, he must learn to understand the magic weapon, deal with his demons and unite the people to defeat the dictator Vortigern, the man who murdered his parents and stole his crown to become king.

Some production photos have been released:

'Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur' filming in Wales Featuring: Atmosphere Where: Conwy, United Kingdom When: 14 Apr 2015 Credit: WENN.com

‘Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur’ filming in Wales
Featuring: Atmosphere
Where: Conwy, United Kingdom
When: 14 Apr 2015
Credit: WENN.com

'Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur' filming in Wales Featuring: Jude Law Where: Conwy, United Kingdom When: 14 Apr 2015 Credit: WENN.com

‘Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur’ filming in Wales
Featuring: Jude Law
Where: Conwy, United Kingdom
When: 14 Apr 2015
Credit: WENN.com

'Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur' filming in Wales Featuring: Guy Ritchie Where: Conwy, United Kingdom When: 14 Apr 2015 Credit: WENN.com

‘Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur’ filming in Wales
Featuring: Guy Ritchie
Where: Conwy, United Kingdom
When: 14 Apr 2015
Credit: WENN.com

'Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur' filming in Wales Featuring: Atmosphere Where: Conwy, United Kingdom When: 14 Apr 2015 Credit: WENN.com

‘Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur’ filming in Wales
Featuring: Atmosphere
Where: Conwy, United Kingdom
When: 14 Apr 2015
Credit: WENN.com

'Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur' filming in Wales Featuring: Jude Law Where: Conwy, United Kingdom When: 14 Apr 2015 Credit: WENN.com

‘Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur’ filming in Wales
Featuring: Jude Law
Where: Conwy, United Kingdom
When: 14 Apr 2015
Credit: WENN.com

'Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur' filming in Wales Featuring: Jude Law, Eric Bana, Poppy Delavingne Where: Conwy, United Kingdom When: 14 Apr 2015 Credit: WENN.com

‘Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur’ filming in Wales
Featuring: Jude Law, Eric Bana, Poppy Delavingne
Where: Conwy, United Kingdom
When: 14 Apr 2015
Credit: WENN.com

Filming 'The Knights of the Round Table:King Arthur'  in Wales Featuring: Guy Ritchie Where: Conwy, United Kingdom When: 14 Apr 2015 Credit: WENN.com

Filming ‘The Knights of the Round Table:King Arthur’ in Wales
Featuring: Guy Ritchie
Where: Conwy, United Kingdom
When: 14 Apr 2015
Credit: WENN.com

In January 2014, Warner Bros set Guy Ritchie to direct a new multi-film version of the King Arthur legend. The first film titled Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur,  with Lionel Wigram as producer and Joby Harold as screenwriter,  is the first installment of a planned six films series, and is scheduled for a July 22, 2016 release.  Idris Elba was in talks to play a Merlin-esque figure who trains and mentors Arthur. When Elba did not sign on to the film, the director continued to look for an actor to play the role.Charlie Hunnam, Ritchie’s choice for the role, will play King Arthur.  Elizabeth Olsen was in talks for the female lead.  However, on September 18, it was Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey who was added to the cast of to play Guinevere.  On November 14, Jude Law was in talks to play the lead villain role in the film.  On February 11, 2015, Eric Bana was added to the cast to play Uther, the father of King Arthur.  Mikael Persbrandt joined the film on March 6, 2015 to play a villainous role.   Filming in Windsor Great Park was underway in February 2015, then later in North Wales from March 2, 2015.  Later on March 10, 2015, Ritchie tweeted a photo and confirmed the first day of shooting  In April 2015, filming took place in Snowdonia, where locations used were Tryfan, Nant Gwynant near Beddgelert and Capel Curig.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knights_of_the_Roundtable:_King_Arthur

From what little plot or story information that is yet available, all I can surmise is that this will be more myth and fantasy than any real historical basis other than mention of said King Vortigern playing some part in it. That is fine too, we all enjoy some fantasy in our life along with the more real stories! It looks interesting so far!

 

 

 

 

Musical inspiration

Tonight’s music brought to you by….

Van Morrison

Avalon of the heart

 

 

Loreena McKennitt – The Bonny Swans

 

Loreena Mckennitt – The Mists of Avalon

 

And, while you’re listening, you could check out Melusina’s story here if you haven’t read it yet!

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/melusinas-story-a-royals-link-to-avalon/

 

 

From the Creator: Weekly update!

It’s been quite the busy week we’ve had! Story update, book reviews and music for us to enjoy, plus today’s tour of the now finished Royals Forest!

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Story update: Brennie’s Destiny
https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/06/01/eleanors-journal68-brennies-destiny/

The Water is wide
book reviews and music
https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/30/from-the-creator-15/

Music page
https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/musical-inspiration/

Royals forest cover
Royals Forest Tour
https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/behind-the-scenes-royals-forest-now-finished/

Now, I think I should answer some of your wonderings on the twists and turns of our story. I am sure that many of you might be getting confused with it so I hope to clear some of that up now without giving too much of the story away ahead of time!

Elizabeth's trunk

Elizabeth cover
Please don’t worry, we will get back to the mysteries of Richard III and the princes in the tower. We will just be taking a round about longer journey back to them. Brennie’s journey and her destiny in Scotland will lead us to the future and then back to Richard! If you remember, Richard made a deal with the Vampyre factions to remove the boys originally. He, and so many others of that time also had a great interest in the ancient linen. We know it belonged to Guinivere Pendragon at one time, and was then passed down through the centuries to other women including Jacquetta and Elizabeth. Many centuries later, another witchly woman, Elizabeth Rivers has come into possession of a chest containing an ancient linen and three medallions of the York Suns.

Judith and Eleanor in the hall
guinivere's arrival
Before we got so entangled in the mystery of the Tower, Eleanor DeGuille and her friend Judith were trapped in time with Guinivere. That is where they began to unravel the events of the past. To our present knowledge, they are still there somewhere between times at Haunts Castle reliving all of the history of those people. If you have been reading all of the story, you may recall that Judith’s boyfriend is a Vampyre known as Eric…and one of her best friends is another Vampyre known as Brenda Blonde? Eric and Brenda will soon arrive at the present day Haunts Castle in search of Judith find out her fate of being lost in time with Eleanor. Eventually it will all tie together so be patient and enjoy the timeslips and the detours! Our next detour will take us to Scotland, and the Isle of Skye where Eric and Brennie settled and made their home for centuries.
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dunvegan castle

showing up for a day on the set

Behind the Scenes: Royals Forest now finished!

All of the work on the Royals Forest property has now been completed and for those of you who are simmers, you can download the property here:

http://www.thesims3.com/assetDetail.html?assetId=8253257
Royals forest cover

It does not contain any custom content but it is a custom placed lot. I am including views here so you can get an idea of where it was built in Dragon Valley! As I have mentioned before during the earlier creation process, it is designed with story tellers in mind. It is also easily converted to a community lot if you would rather use it that way. I tried to keep it fairly basic so did not include a lot of décor. I also did not include garden plants but there is plenty of open space left for you to add those on your own. I did place butterfly and small bird spawners as well as fish spawners and some alchemy insects. There is also a dive well in case you should want your own time slip opening!

Guinivere Pendragon in the grave yard.

Guinivere Pendragon in the grave yard.

Guinivere at the time slip/dive well.

Guinivere at the time slip/dive well.

Adrian DeWare with Ainor at the timeslip.

Adrian DeWare with Ainor at the timeslip.

Brennie at the campsite practicing archery

Brennie at the campsite practicing archery

Guinivere guiding Catherine away

Screenshot-25

Here are some finished photos of the property. Most of you who have been following the story will be familiar with the property since it was used extensively in recent episodes!

Royals forest cover

royals forest cover2

royals forest cover3

royals forest cover4

royals forest cover5

royals forest cover6

royals forest cover7

royals forest cover8

royals forest cover9

I did make one last addition to the open field. I thought it would be a thoughtful gesture to include a memorial to Guinivere Pendragon who so died so tragically there in that field. If you happen to wander into the field now, you will find a monument to a fallen Fairie in the middle of this peaceful meadow that is now filled with butterflies! Of course we may never know for sure who placed the monument there. Nothing has ever been mentioned of it…
royals forest4

We did not use all of the lot for our filming purposes so you might wonder what some of the other spaces looked like? For example, we never saw the basement of the Abbey.

The basement portion of the Abbey contains kitchen, dining, sleeping spaces for pilgrims and other weary travelers, plus work areas which include nectar making, alchemy, and gem cutting. This is also where the privy and bathing spaces are located.

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We did see the main floor of the Abbey
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Screenshot-28

The light for Abess Ancient

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Adeliza and sybilla3

We also saw some of the second floor of the Abbey, where the Abbess Sybilla’s private quarters were
Screenshot-38

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Screenshot-36

Adeliza and sybilla

Another portion that we never saw in our story was the second floor of the cottage.

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Through out the story we saw a great deal of the outdoor parts of the property. Here are some highlights and overviews of it.

view of back of hunting lodge

view of back of hunting lodge

front view of property with trees included

front view of property with trees included

Screenshot-54

Screenshot-55

Overview of forest showing placement on island in Dragon Valley

Overview of forest showing placement on island in Dragon Valley

Overview  with placement on island

Overview with placement on island

distant view of field and Abbey

distant view of field and Abbey

distant view showing trees and hunting lodge

distant view showing trees and hunting lodge

distant view of lot showing Abbey

distant view of lot showing Abbey

Screenshot-16

view of hunting lodge with trees included

view of hunting lodge with trees included

distant view of hunting lodge

distant view of hunting lodge

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I hope you’ve enjoyed the story so far, and the behind the scenes tour of Royals Forest!

Eleanor’s Journal65:Beyond the tower and back…

Brennie with Adrian and Eric

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

Avalon at night
Before she turned from them, she could not resist just a minor slip and piece of her mind. She continued to glare at Adrian and spoke evenly in attempt to maintain control. “That child is still in grave circumstances and the Higher Council will not look kindly if you should place her in even more danger than she was before.” She then gave a scathing look at both men and continued in a soft but clear warning. “She should have went on to Avalon with her Father. That is where she should be, protected and training with the merlins and the ladies of the lake, not here in these dire times.” She turned and stalked away from them, leaving them with a last piece of her thoughts. “Achhhh But, of course men always assume that they know better, even in matters that they do not know of… such as the raising of children or the protecting of fairies. I am quite sure Vivianne was not so agreeable to this plan when it was put to her after the fact.”
Screenshot (2)

Brenny left the men to their discussion and took the child upstairs away from their conversation, which she felt might become quite heated before the night was through.
Brennie and Ainor1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

little Ainor

From the Creator: Piecing together threads of history!

Ahhhh now that we’ve finally made some progress on the story updates, it’s time to piece together some of the historical facts that were used as inspiration for our journey!

We should probably start with some of the references to Arthur, Guinivere and their mythical lands. As I’ve mentioned before, there a number of scholars and historians who do think there may have some grains of truth as to his existence. That is of course, often the case with myths and legends. They begin with one or two retellings of an event, and over time the stories get woven with great exaggerations which continue until they become somewhat unbelievable stories of that fantasy and mythical proportion!

There so many versions of Arthur’s tale in various different forms and names that I am not even going to attempt to record them all here! We all know how to google his name! If you want to start your quest, you can go here for some the basics!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Arthur

For my story purposes I drew from some of the basics of his imagined history. I have given him some family and included a history of residing at mythical Avalon. In my version of the story, his Father Uther, a great Merlin of our Avalon sets his son Arthur on a course to be a guiding light for the bleakest and darkest of times in the outer world. Our Arthur knows his duty and fulfills it willingly, all the while knowing he must eventually return to Avalon.

I chose to portray the fair Guinivere as a part of the ancient and vulnerable Fairie Realm. She too eventually knew what her role to play was, though not nearly as clearly as she should have! For my part, I have to admit that I did enjoy allowing Arthur to ride off into the mystery of history on his white horse, while taking Lancelot off from his shining pedestal! There was information regarding Guinivere’s family- one version lists her Father as Gwythyr ap Greidawl. As for the existence of her sister, in the Welsh Romance Culhwch ac Olwen, she is mentioned alongside of her sister Gwenhwyfach.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guinevere

As to the location of Camelot, the stories locate it somewhere in Great Britain and sometimes associate it with real cities, though more usually its precise location is not revealed. Most scholars regard it as being entirely fictional, its geography being perfect for romance writers; Arthurian scholar Norris J. Lacy commented that “Camelot, located no where in particular, can be anywhere”. Nevertheless arguments about the location of the “real Camelot” have occurred since the 15th century and continue to rage today in popular works and for tourism purposes.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camelot

As I was searching for sort of location to place it and his eventual final battle at, I did find some opinions that would place it in or around areas of Scotland. One such location was that of Camboglanna, which was originally one of the forts in Hadrian’s Wall.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camboglanna

In his books The Borders and Arthur & the Lost Kingdoms, Alistair Moffat argues that an ancient fort on the site of Roxburgh Castle was Camelot.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roxburgh_Castle

Arthur’s last battle was told as being that of one at Camlann. There are of course a number of supposed locations for that! One of them puts the battle near Hadrian’s Wall at Camboglanna (Castlesteads), while another puts it at a place near Stirling in Scotland. River Allen runs through the town of Bridge of Allen, just north of Stirling in Scotland. If you accept that Arthur was Scottish, this is a possible site of the final battle. I chose a combination of these two as my mythical location and later discovered that it fit in well with my young Abbess!
http://www.legendofkingarthur.co.uk/battles/14-camlann.htm

Two Queens from history band together in fantasy!
Adeliza and sybilla pray

My search for an identity for the Abbess Ancient proved less difficult than I first anticipated. I knew I wanted someone from history that had no further ties or connections to the future but who could provide a link or connection between the early Scottish realms and the English ones. I found Sybilla de Normandy and she provided a starting point in tying the various parts together. I did have to alter her history and story a bit to suit our purposes but tried to maintain some link to her actual historical facts. She was born to Henry I and one of his many mistresses around 1092. Although it is most probably unlikely that she had any sort of friendship with Henry I’s second wife, I deemed it possible or slightly plausible within my fantasy timeline!

Henry I of England
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_I_of_England

Sybilla de Normandy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sybilla_de_Normandy

Henry’s second wife, Adeliza of Louvain, who bore him no royal heirs and eventually did retire to a monastery. After Henry’s death, she did eventually marry again and had a large family. for some unknown reason, she chose to retire to the monastery where she died around 1151. For us, Adeliza merely provides a link to the future in safeguarding the linen and ensuring that it passes on in time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adeliza_of_Louvain

So, there you have some idea of how I pieced together threads of history and time in order to help weave my story!

guinevere__s_lament_by_designdiva3-d5piuxt