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Monasterio San Ignacio is one of the five Lorallian elemental sites, positioned at 7-o-clock (210°) to the meridian, aligned with the Planet Jupiter, the metal Tin and the element Fire.
Monasterio San Ignacio is built upon giant steps forming a multitude of ridges around a volcano, which has torn open a vast expanse of land, forming a gorge, with its ridges surrounding the gorge. Built into the cliff sides, towards the coast, is the monastic town of Escaletaña, which is famed for its narrow, cobbled streets and enchanting plazas. The monastery itself is set back on the volcano and dominates the town.
The monastery is named after the legendary San Ignacio, who, legend has it, is the first mortal to have descended into Hell and returned unscathed. The legend of San Ignacio tells the story of a fifteenth century candle maker, a simple man, dissatisfied with his simple life, his simple trade and simple God, who sets out on an adventure into the realms of the underworld to look beyond, and discover the meaning of his existence and his higher purpose in the universe. During his adventures, Ignacio is on a quest to reason with the Devil and has to overcome a series of tricks and traps, including a skeleton in a canoe, a river of lava, a throng of daemons, a three-headed beast and a great fire snarling dragon ("The Dragon of the Threshold"). Eventually he meets the Devil and is bestowed a number of rewards, including the Tin Torch of Endless Fire, the Shield of Fire Rubies and the Cloak of Magma. Ignacio and The Devil subsequently have a long, philosophical discussion about the meaning of life, which lasts several decades, before Ignacio becomes bored and distracted by the seraphim and the cherubim (who are flitting about nervously on the ceiling), and begins to question his own life down there in the sodding depths of Hell. Ignacio eventually escapes and spends the rest of his life on the surface, where he goes on to become a great teacher, preacher, prophet and philanthropist, imparting all wisdoms concerning the Great Mysterious of the Cosmos and all things "above and below the fiery towers" (to anyone who would listen). He builds the monastery on the site of his ascension, and establishes his new religious order, resulting in a proliferation of churches, sub-churches, priories, abbeys, fraternities and sororities across the peninsula. The Devil eventually claims Ignacio as his own, and Ignacio is buried in a special tomb deep within the gorge of Escaletaña, beneath the bowels of the monastery (below).
The monastery is the largest sacred institution of its kind in the Lorallian Empire, and its legacy as a centre for Christianity and Catholicism is second only to Rome. It is currently in the hands of the Rodríguez family who have owned the monastery for the last two centuries, following the crusades of the early nineteenth century. The monastery finds itself at the crossroads between a vibrant mix of cultures and religions. Largely male-dominated, the monastery houses its own school for young boys aged five to ten, who are brought up on a strong scripture-oriented curriculum, singing in the choir and contributing to the wider community.
Escaletaña is a vibrant community. Its crumbling stone façades, sandy plazas and sun-scorched, terracotta roofs and verandas are broken up by hanging gardens, flower baskets and colourful awnings. There are over twenty churches in Escaletaña, each with their own sub-communities for their respective amenities and living quarters. A large market dominates the town, encouraging a wealth of Islamic traders from across the estuary in the neighbouring Amarendine Empire, Romani caravans and Iberian arts and crafts. There is a busy fishing quarter, and neighbouring farmlands rich the sulphurous soil of volcanic ruptures.
The monastery was owned by Marcelino Rodríguez, who tragically died of a terminal illness at the end of the 1960's. He was succeeded by his son Velasco Rodríguez, who also succumbed to the same illness and died quite young. Velasco had a wife (Sylvia Rodríguez), and three sons, Eduardo, Felipe and Luís. The youngest son, Luís eventually inherited the monastery, and still looks after it, with his wife Alejandra, and son Juan-Marco Rodríguez, who is expected to inherit the monastery when (if) Luís dies. Eduardo and Felipe also live with their brother and share responsibilities for the running of the monastery, together with Enriqueta who looks after its domesticity, upkeep and maintenance, and Chloe, who tends to its grounds and surrounding farmlands.
Hayda Loral lived at the monastery, from the age of five up until the age of eleven, where she was fostered and cared for by Bishop Luís Rodríguez, who would teach her 'the mysteries of all things, above and below the fiery towers'. There, she learned life's early lessons and God's mysterious ways, and developed a passion for melody. Determined and curious, she began to learn the clarinet. At the age of eleven, Hayda was thin and waif like, with dark eyes and dark hair, tied in two pigtail plaits, her primary focus being her clarinet performance and her strict morality. Now that she was approaching maturity, her parents deemed it inappropriate for a young woman to be dwelling among a primordially male order at the monastery, and they believed that she was a distraction and a potential temptress to the other monks. Thus they demanded she leave at once. Nevertheless, her years at the monastery were an important stage of her life, and it was also during these years that she met a young boy with whom she shared a special connection, but mysteriously vanished from her life, never to see her again. The monastery was also a favourite haunt for Belinda Cabrera who acted as Hayda's teacher and mentor during her early years, looking after Hayda's pastoral needs while the bishop was away.
The monastery has a large nave, two towers at the front and one taller tower at the back. Around the sides are living quarters surrounding a cloistered plaza. The domed chapter house at the other side of the building houses Luís Rodríguez' Planetary Model Of The Universe hanging mobile, which realises his theory that the Earth is just one of six "planets" (or "wanderers") revolving around a "sun" (which is the object in the sky that produces light and heat for our planet). Adjacent to the chapter house is a small lady chapel. At the front of the monastery are three large pits, or catacombs, which will eventually hold the sarcophagi of the three brothers - Eduardo, Felipe and Luís - when they die. Legend has it that the gateway to Hell is located some few miles beneath the catacombs, and is accessible via the gorge which passes out through El Pasaje De Los Santos ("Passage of the Saints").
Susan (left), Hudan (middle) and Judan (right) are the three triplet daughters of Stuart (a.k.a. "Stewden") and Maureen McTart, who live in West Hilbury. The triplets were born at GMT 15:03 on Friday 4th May, 1990, in Sisorca Hospital. They grew up in Rosefield estate, West Hilbury, and attended Oaks Close School, where they were taught by none other than Hayda Loral briefly in 1998 (Hayda got sacked after a term for locking two of their classmates in a paints cupboard).
The triplets are quiet, yet confident in their own way, always happy to blend into their environment and whole heartedly go along with whatever fun and games are happening, mingling with whoever is around. Young and free-spirited, the triplets have their own sensibility and traditions, and partake in the activities and wider life of whichever school they find themselves in. Musically-gifted, they play the guitar, fiddle and bandolino respectively, forming their own family folk group with father Stewden on pipe-whistle and mother Maureen on kitchen clangers, and also partaking in the Sisorca Arts Youth Orchestra.
Susan is the most outgoing of the three, whereas Judan is a lot more shy and retiring. Hudan is the most quirky and eccentric and has her own style.
The triplets attended Ignisborough Community College, and, later, went on to study English, Art and Music respectively at the Royal Holloway (University of London). Since graduating, Susan has gone on to study journalism, Hudan is a trainee art collector and curator, and Judan teaches bandolino at local schools in the area. Nevertheless, they remain youthful at heart, always introduced to other young people of their age (via their parents). They are still friends with Zac Taylor, Louise Taylor and Smartyana Candy, with whom they went through school.
The Rodriguez house is situated on the Atlantic coast, on the southernmost tip of Spain, across the water from Paletine, Jeromani and the Dunes of Amarenda. The Rodríguez family lived here for three generations from Marcelino Rodríguez, to his son Velasco Rodríguez, Velasco's wife Silvia, and their three young sons Eduardo, Felipe and Luís. When the family returned here, Velasco and Silvia divided the bedrooms among their three sons.
Eduardo, the eldest son, had his room in the caves at the bottom basement floors of the house.
Felipe, the second son, had his room overlooking the sea. It was a white room, full of shells, clams and other fishery. Velasco placed a fishmanoid sculpture directly in front of his bed to ward off evil spirits.
Luís, the third son, had his room at the top of the house, surrounded by verandas looking out over the volcanic landscape, and surrounded by plants, stained glass windows and wind chimes.
Fort Krünchen-Halla is one of the five Lorallian elemental sites, positioned at 4-o-clock (120°) to the meridian, aligned with the Planet Mars, the metal Iron and the element Earth.
For the past few centuries, Fort Krünchen-Halla has served a dual purpose military stronghold of the Lorallian Empire and its resistance to the invasions of Celius and the Nordic Implementation, and equally as a military training school for adolescent boys and young men and women preparing to enter the armed forces.
Situated on the husk of an ancient iron mine, on the Arageiner ridge at the heart of the Black Forest, the establishment is currently owned and run by the very endowed Spitzburg-Arageiner dynasty, comprising of Randolph Spitzburg and his wife, Lysann, and Randolph's daughter (Lysann's half daughter) Deimienne Spitzburg, who is currently in training to be the next headmistress of the school.
The fortress has a rich, noble history, and it is renowned for its conglomeration of fake doors, secret passage ways and man traps. Its location on the side of a ridge rich in iron ore has made it into a desirable site for thieves, cheats and vagabonds, as well as armies invading from the north, attempting to capture areas of land. Security measures have been increasingly restricted and tightened over the years, and now, the fortress is virtually impenetrable to outsiders. The only way to infiltrate the fortress is either to enrol your son (or be enrolled) at the school, or to enlist your son or daughter (or be enlisted) on its military training programme. CCTV cameras are dotted throughout the fortress, and monitored remotely from one of the two watch towers that stand at its gates.
The fortress layout is divided into four sections. At the front, are the great gates; tall, beaming pillars and fortified walls, preventing outsiders from entering. To the sides, are the east and west galleries, housing the living quarters and dungeons. Each of the galleries is adorned and decked with flags representing the four elements of Earth (black), Air (white), Fire (red), Water (blue). Adjoining the galleries with the great gates are two watchtowers. At the back, is the main fortress building, housing the Great Hall and the clock tower. The clock tower is divided into three columns. The main column at the centre adjoins with the top of the Great Hall, and houses the royal quarters, the clock and the games room at the top. The left and right columns house a three-storey library, and a three-storey museum, respectively.
The fortress is rife with passageways and tunnels interconnecting the different rooms. The library, in particular, is famed for its secret passageways encased in book shelves. The library also houses the great History of Heidelwald, a book outlining and delineating the labyrinthian layout of the fortress, its rooms and the objects enclosed inside. The book used to have a map of the Lorallian empire inside its back cover, but this map was mysteriously removed by an intruder in Autumn 2005.
The museum is divided into three sections, each of the three storeys devoted to one of its sections. The first section is devoted to alchemy and magic, and contains the statues of five creatures; dragon (fire), elephant (water), badger (earth), beast (air) and phoenix (ether). The second section is devoted to warfare, with interactive reconstructions of the torture devices that might have been used, samples of detonated bombs and weapons and display cases re-enacting the different battles that took place over the centuries, with time lines illustrated on the walls. The third section is devoted to the mining heritage of the fortress, and contains samples of iron ore and various mining carts that might have been used.
The central column of the main fortress tower building is built around a giant set of weighing scales, controlled by each of the five levels. The weighing scales are a magnificent feat of mechanical engineering and were once a giant mining shaft with a crane to lift the iron out of the earth. At the centre of the weighing scales is a central bore, which acts as an access shaft to each of the five levels. At the top of the weighing scales is the central clock tower mechanism, which controls the time of the fortress, and deploys planets throughout each of its five levels, which, in turn, control the rotation of the seasons and circumstances surrounding the fortress.
The bottom level is the labyrinth, which houses the legendary iron medallion after which the fortress is named. The labyrinth is moulded out of the roots of a tree that once stood, and was carved into the weighing scales. Its network of roots hide an infestation of bats and other creatures of the underground. Above the labyrinth is the Great Hall, a richly furnished, panelled room, adorned with knights, tapestries, shields and paintings. This hall acts as the main entrance to the central building, as a communal space and a venue for the traditional weighing ceremonies that accompany annual army recruitments that take place every September. Some of the greatest feasts and banquets of the Lorallian have taken place in the Great Hall. On special occasions, the tables are bedecked with red velvet, and gold crockery and cutlery. Above the Great Hall are the royal quarters, which house the master bedroom, a magnificent high-ceilinged room with stained glass windows looking out over the forest. Its walls are painted with forest trees and foliage, and it has a moss green carpet and oak furniture, creating the illusion that the room is outside, in the middle of the forest. Above the master bedroom is the clock room. This room houses a sophisticated planetary model of the universe, which deploys planets as weights further down the tower. Above the clock, situated at the top of the tower, is the games room, a panelled room with dark green walls. Dominating this room is a large pool table, which, on the press of a button, extrudes itself outwards (like dough rising) into a topographical map of the Lorallian. This device was used by the military to plan and devise their strategic attacks. The map is large enough to hold four people sat close together. The ceiling of the games room is a glass dome, through which the stars shine at night.
Fort Krünchen-Halla, especially its main building, has been a subject of architectural fascination since the beginning of the Lorallian empire as we know it today. Its central scales have been hailed as a structural masterpiece, and its clock has its own time, which becomes true for that province.
Fort Krünchen-Halla is notable for keeping the majority of its doors locked, so that only a true recruit or time wanderer (Hayda) can access its conglomeration of rooms. The role of "Keeper of the Keys" is a prestigious role, its identity kept secret as it is passed from generation to generation. The current holder of that title is thought to be General Günther Gorman (son of Gerald Gorman, one of the key antagonists in the Iron Pile Assassination Conspiracy in the 1910s). The most closely guarded area is the royal quarters, situated above the Great Hall and below the clock room. All of the passage ways from the adjacent library and museum have been blocked. The only way to access this room without the keys is via the labyrinth. There is a tunnel leading from the dungeons into the labyrinth. If one can circumvent the labyrinth and arrive at its central pillar, the access shaft provides a route upwards, leading through the Great Hall and into the master bedroom. But this access shaft can only be operated from the central pillar of the labyrinth. The only known person to gain access into the master bedroom was Hayda Loral, who is also suspected for the removal of the map in the library.
Bracing the main building with the galleries are the classrooms and bathhouses, where the students change for sports, wash and study for their theoretics.
Some of the tunnels are also controlled remotely via knights. The knights' visors conceal secret switches, traps and mechanisms that unblock various passage ways. Legend has it that the knights contain the souls of the deceased soldiers, who control the building's access paths via the spiritual plane.
The Spitzburg-Arageiner family comprises of General Randolph Spitzburg, his wife, the Lady Lysann Arageiner, their half daughter Deimienne Spitzburg, Randolph's three sisters, Edith, Judith and Nina Spitzburg, his parents, Julian and Sandra Spitzburg, and Lysann's mother, Sophia. Lysann's sisters Amanda (mother of Hayrak Donda, wife of Jochen Donda) and Vera, live in their own noble palaces in the nearby village of Heidelwald.
The fortress is also recognised for its impressive collection of tapestries, which bedeck its many halls and chambers. These tapestries were all hand woven by none other than the Lady Lysann Arageiner, as she was waiting for her husband (Randolph Spitzburg) to return from the battlefield. Little was it known that for many of these vast stretches of time, Randolph Spitzburg sought the pleasant female company of Madame Isabelle Oreille, in neighbouring France. The tapestries depict all of the many battles and historic events taking place at the fortress. They are a treasure trove of heritage, and are valued at several millions of Euros.
The fortress was taken over by Randolph Spitzburg in 1980. Hayrak Donda was a notable student at the school, and was enrolled in 1985. He spent seven years studying at the school, before enrolling on its military programme in 1992. Hayrak was dispatched to Great Britain that year to participate in Randolph Spitzburg's Dopium Operation on the south coast of England.
The school's curriculum is divided into 2 strands; academics and physics. The academics strand emphasises the humanities, with Geography and History being the two principle subjects. There are also more specialist courses of study in Law, Politics and Sociology. The physics strand emphasises a thorough all-round physical training. Boys are expected to take everything from cross-country running to assault course and interdisciplinary athletics, team games such as football and rugby and also gymnastics and weight training.
In addition to the core curriculum, boys are also expected to take vocational courses such as navigational orienteering, how to survive in the wild, army skills, team building and leadership training. The philosophy of the school places its emphasis on the community, particularly within sports, where rules, duties, conventions and expectations come into play - the opposite of College Des Sirènes, which nurtures individual growth and creativity.
The Amarendine locket is said to have been forged around 600 AD, in the dunes of Amarenda, North Africa.
Helias was a kingdom across the sea from Amarenda, and is thought to be the foundation of what we now know as the modern Lorallian. In those days, Helias was ruled by three kings in succession, Terizo, Zeno and Marios. The rulership of these three kings was consistently threatened by the presence of a dark force known as the "Grand Inquisitor", Mazin, who had ruled before and was overthrown by the three kings. Mazin had the ultimate weapon; his daughter, Kyterea, who was the most beautiful woman known throughout the kingdom.
During the reign of the second king, Zeno, Kalkeus, being the most unfaltering of citizens, was given Kyterea’s hand in marriage, by Zeno, to prevent conflict between the other royal citizens. There was a great deal of unrest caused in the aftermath of Mazin (The Grand Inquisitor) that many feared that the state would erupt into civil war. Kyterea was Mazin’s daughter, and Zeno believed that they could resolve the conflict by marrying Kyterea into their family.
Kalkeus and Kyterea had an arranged marriage. But Kyterea, disliking the idea of being married to Kalkeus and tempted by the idea of becoming the future queen, began an affair with the third king, Marios. Kalkeus discovered their affair and caught them in the act.
Kalkeus, broken‑hearted, retreated into the dunes of Amarenda and swore revenge against Kyterea. Out of the sand dunes, he forged a magical locket made out of Amarendine, which would allow any woman wearing it to remain eternally young and beautiful. It provided eternal life. The stone in the middle of the locket was made out of the mystical substance Amarendine, and around it, forming the shape of a heart, were two serpents, one gold and the other silver, whose open mouths formed a clasp. The locket was also encrusted with various jewels – ruby, sapphire, emerald and diamond. However, the locket would ultimately bring great misfortune to its wearer or owner.
Kyterea later became engaged to Marios, and their union was thought to be the great promise to the future of the kingdom. Upon hearing of the engagement, Kalkeus made contact with Ana (the former lover of Marios). Ana presented the locket to Kyterea on her wedding day.
Lured by the mystical powers of the locket, Kyterea's obsession with immortality deepened, and combined with her desire to become the future queen. Believing that Zeno's ultimate power would eventually be transferred to Marios, Kyterea brought back her father, Mazin, to overthrow Zeno so that Mazin would rule again once more and Kyterea would be in direct succession of the throne. Mazin stirred up a revolution and a great conflict ensued. Kyterea’s betrayal led to the deaths of Terizo and Zeno. Marios got caught in the onslaught and pleaded for Kyterea to help him. Kyterea nearly did but was frightened at the last moment and abandoned Marios. Seeing that her world was falling apart, with the three kings (Terizo, Zeno and Marios – the past, the present, the future) now dead, Kyterea tried to flee, but the ground opened up and swallowed her.
Ayda flew in, collected the four bodies of the deceased royal family, and buried their essences deep in the cauldrons of the mountain. She kept the locket, and lived on, through the generations, awaiting the return of Mazin in a future life.
Mazin returned in the present day as Celius. His wife, Frida, finished off Ayda, but they were too late. Kyterea was already reincarnated as Isabelle, and, together with Luís, Randolph and Seth, had possession of the locket. The locket was eventually bestowed to Hayda Loral, the modern reincarnation of Ayda, and its legacy lives on.
Hayda passes the locket onto her daughter, Nadine. Hayda and Hayrak die at roughly the same time, transform into serpents (gold and silver) and ascend gracefully to the ‘Land of Paradise’ (a land of pillows, mattresses and pink and purple glasses). Nadine keeps the locket and it continues to be passed down through the generations of the Lorallian.
Dunes of Amarenda
Ah! A light!
In N'veskan 'lore, the lamp is the lamp of the wicked, a burning lamp that is held by The Lakas (= The Devil) as she looks into your soul and laughs her evil, manic laugh.
These were the famous words uttered by Hayda Loral, in March 2006, shortly before the second Great Eclipse. They represent her last moment of sanity before succumbing to the dark force that was tormenting her very existence.
Hayda was a residential patient at the Institut Psykiatren, Slottetsval, Sweden at the time. It was the night after the murders of Luís Rodríguez, Alejandra Torres, Isabelle Oreille, Pierre Martel, Randolph Spitzburg and Lysann Arageiner. Hayda was sleeping in the ward overlooking the bay of Slottetsval and noticed the lights emanating from seven helicopters passing over the bay, to collect the corpses of the deceased and transport them to their final resting place, St John's Cathedral, Phenrow Hill.
Hayda, traumatised after witnessing the six murders, cracked, and went mad, and the lights were her last remnants of hope before they were dashed, sending Hayda over the edge. After this pivotal moment, all hope was lost, and not much of what Hayda experienced afterwards could be explained empirically by rational reasoning.
During the days following this fateful night, Hayda was de-briefed by the angel of the Loral no more and no less than seven times, and, when it was over, Hayda could not tell whether what had happened had actually happened at all or whether it was just a fig of her wild imagination. Despite this, she was told that she would belong to the Loral for life, and nothing would ever get in the way of that.
Since then, Hayda has cultivated a fascination for lights in the darkness, especially when refracted through reflective surfaces.
Pierre Martel is the son of Sandrine and Zenäid Martel, and elder brother of Angelique Martel. Born in Vannecy, France, Pierre Martel is a high range tenor, an opera singer and a choral scholar, who completed a degree in vocal and opera studies at the Blue Mountains Conservatory.
A shy, introvert and conservative young boy, Pierre was often overlooked by his peers. A romantic artist who was technically gifted, and a true artisan of the voice, Pierre was loved and cared for dearly as a young boy, and, as a result, grew into a man who is kind, affectionate and protective of those around him, including none other than the madame Isabelle Oreille.
Merle Moéthie, who was, at the time, contemporary vocal student and best friend of Pierre, introduced Pierre to Isabelle, through an accompaniment class at the College des Sirènes in the early seventies and the two young students were instantly besotted with one another. According to Hayda Loral (Time Wanderer),
"Whilst by no means the most attractive young man Isabelle was drawn by the depth and clarity of his voice, his sensitive artistic expression and his innovative construction – the unusual ways in which he would sculpt and craft his melodies and compositions – unparalleled by any other vocal student in the land. Many of the staff and students were mystified at how a smart, talented and attractive young female pianist such as Isabelle (who had all of the other young men chasing her; with her lavish aquamarine eyes, her luxuriant wavy blonde hair and her classic, aphrodisiac looks) would be attracted to the pale, bespectacled and skinny young opera boy with an awkward disposition. Yet their ensuing musical partnership naturally became the fertile soil out of which a young music school romance would blossom and flourish."
Top: Pierre at Flood Control Dam no. 3 (1987)
Above: Pierre and Isabelle graduate from the Blue Mountains Conservatory (1975).
Pierre became one of the six original protagonists in the Divine Coregency saga, as the third mortal admitted into the big secret (after Alejandra and Lysann). Devoted to Isabelle, Pierre went out of his way to attain her love and affection. Unfortunately his efforts were to no avail, as on the arrival of Seth, Isabelle left Pierre to pursue other romantic interests namely Randolph Spitzburg. When Pierre discovered the affair, and the nature of their business, he did not know how to resolve himself and so he, along with a faction of people in the Durance River Province, chose to disassociate himself from the madame and everything that she became involved with.
In 1987, after witnessing the spirit of Corina, naked in Kelley's Crypt, Pierre, in his shame retreated to Flood Control Dam no. 3., where he would become gatekeeper. He spent eighteen years there in solitude, a prisoner of his own guilt and broken hearted after the rejection of Isabelle. During this time, he kept contact with a few friends, Merle Moéthie and her husband Claude Dripussy, and Maurice de Ravin. He was only roused from his melancholic existence in 2005, by Hayda Loral who encouraged him to go out there and pursue his dreams.
In 2006, Pierre relinquished his post at the Flood Control Dam no. 3., and was summoned back to the College des Sirènes, where he was offered a seat as one of the twelve members of the newly formed Lorallian council. There, he was granted one wish. Pierre wished that he would be liberated from Flood Control Dam no. 3., permitted to roam wherever he pleased, throughout the Durance River Province and Lorallian European Union, and that he would one day be considered handsome and free to make his own artistic choices.
Pierre had no other love interests (Isabelle was the love of his life) yet he went on to excel in the performing arts, becoming a treasure of the Vannecy and Durance River Province cultural scene. Starring in many operas, musicals and music dramas, Pierre became known as "The Voice" and won gold medals in the vocal olympics held in Athens and Rome. Since 2006, Pierre and Isabelle have reestablished contact and Isabelle is in the process of making up for all of those years in which she abandoned him. They are now too old to have children, but she has pledged to offer him her companionship in their later years.
Y'Gaëlle Edenne Oreille is the daughter of Lilithe Oreille, the wife of Celeste Martineau, the primordial mother of Isabelle Oreille and the grandmother of Phoébie and Deimienne Oreille. Born as "Gaëlle" on the 7th of February, 1919, shortly after the end of the First World War, Gäelle is said to be of mermaid ancestry and a direct descendent of the great Néreide Oreille, the mermaid who is said to have constructed the Venetian palatial structure of the College des Sirènes during the nineteenth century.
Gaëlle was born in Brocéliande, Paimpont Forest, Bretagne, in the north-west of France. She was named after the nearby village of Gaël. She spent much of her time as a child wandering around the forests and lakes around her home. It is these early conversations with nature that are thought to have blessed her with one of the finest voices in the Lorallian. Gaëlle soon learned to sing, and decided that her true calling in life was to tell stories through song.
Gaëlle studied music at the Junior Conservatoire in Geneva, Switzerland, before going on to study the voice at the Blue Mountains Conservatory. At the time, orchestras in the Lorallian were purely instrumental, and remained segregated from choirs. Gaëlle was frustrated because, in her mind, the ultimate union of music was with the words, and the celestial marriage of the male instruments with the female voices was its ultimate destiny. Gaëlle was highly influenced by Beethoven, and her revered Symphony of Fornication was the first symphony to include voices.
Gaëlle inherited the riches of her mother, Lilithe Oreille, and travelled to Vannecy in the French Alps, where she purchased the College Des Sirènes from Valerie Laurent the last in the Laurent family dynasty (right), who had dominated the college for much of the first half of the twentieth century.
Below - room with a view: College des Sirènes master bedroom overlooking the Vannecy Flood Basin.
In Vannecy, Gaëlle told many stories through her operas and music dramas, some fictional and others true stories (but most of them fictional). There, she met the aeronaut, Celeste Martineau, at one of her concerts and the couple immediately became attracted to one another. For Celeste, Gaëlle had grown up around the forests and lakes, and was a true mistress of the earth. Celeste, on the other hand, introduced Gaëlle to the wonders of the skies. Together they were a match made in heaven. Celeste took Gaëlle on many moonlight airship flights across the mountains and valleys, discovering new and unknown territories. They married at Flood Control Dam no. 7 at the end of the Second World War.
The Durance River Province is different from the other lands in the Lorallian, because the maiden naming system is reversed. In the Durance River Province, the spouse and children take the last name of the female and not the male. Celeste was from a very noble family, yet he agreed that their children would be named "Oreille". Gaëlle was henceforth known as Y'Gaëlle. Celeste affectionately added the "Y" apostrophe to the beginning of her name in honour of her storytelling. Ever since, Gaëlle has gone down in history by the name Y'Gaëlle.
In the summer of 1951, Y'Gaëlle became pregnant, and gave birth to a baby girl nine months later. Y'Gaëlle decided to have a water birth, and the baby girl was delivered in a clam shell in the middle of the Vannecy Flood Basin. Y'Gaëlle named her Isabelle, and Isabelle would go on to become the second headmistress in the Oreille family dynasty.
Y'Gaëlle went on to be headmistress of the College des Sirènes for over forty years, until her retirement in the early eighties. During her time at the college, Y'Gaëlle brought about many changes and reforms to the school. She was the first headmistress to controversially combine the College des Sirènes orchestra and chorus into a singular performance, and introduce theatre, opera and music drama into the college core curriculum.
Shortly before her retirement in the early eighties and the invasion of Celius and Nordic Implementors Y'Gaëlle chanced upon the copper chalice of Arielle. Once filled with water, its depths enabled her to see things that have been, things that will be in the future, things that are, things that were, things that could have been, things that would have been and things that might have yet to be... Tempted by dark arts, Y'Gaëlle was seduced by the power of the cup and sought to possess it, believing that if she took it, instead of a dark lord (Celius), the Lorallian would have a queen (above). However, once offered the cup, Y'Gaëlle decided to relinquish it, and so she passed the test. She bestowed its ownership to her daughter, Isabelle, and hid the cup deep within the waterworks of the college. Upon her retirement, she diminished, and went out into the west, where she would remain Y'Gaëlle for the rest of her life.
During the eighties, nineties and noughties, with the College Des Sirènes under the governance of her daughter, Isabelle; Y'Gaëlle, with her husband Celeste, retreated from public life, becoming almost legendary figures in Lorallian 'lore. Their only known appearance was at the celestial marriage of Hayda Loral to Hayrak Donda at the turn of the century, in Rouenac, France.
Y'Gaëlle will turn ninety-five next year, making her the longest living person in the Oreille family. Legend has it that the only knowledge that she obtained from the cup was the exact date of her death. From her aquatic ancestry, Y'Gäelle inherited from the water nymphs a collection of several hundred dresses, each dress representing a day in her life, thus each dress being worn until the day of her death. The last dress is thought to be the most mysterious and magical, made of silk and satin, and richly embroidered with moonshine, sapphires and pearls.
Y'Gaëlle, like other members of the Oreille family, has a fair milky complexion, and long, straggly blond hair which grew paler as she advanced through her sixties, seventies and eighties. Now, she has waist length wispy white hair. Her eyes are an aquatic blue white, and her cheekbones are fine and delicate.
Sophie Michelle Morris (née Oliver) was born in Winchester, Hampshire, on 19th March 1974, the only child of Marin and Corale. Sophie was born with a fascination for the sea, and spent much of her childhood on the beaches around Hampshire. Her parents, both general practitioners, owned a boat, and as a child, Sophie also had the opportunity to travel around the world with her parents.
Naturally gifted and bright, Sophie attended St Swithun's school, Winchester, where she quickly became involved with the badminton, polo and sports teams, and also participated in the choir and ballet clubs. But it was her interest in 'caring' that led her into medicine and nursing.
Socially, Sophie took one of the main leadership roles in her clique of girls, and had her first drinks aged 11 an her first clubbing experiences aged 13. She had a string of relationships between the age of 11-18. When she was 18, she decided to settle down.
However, Sophie attained twelve GCSE's -
A* - Biology
A* - Chemistry
A* - Physics
A* - Maths
A* - English
A* - Music
A - Spanish
A - French
A - Geography
A - History
A - Design Technology (Food)
A - Leadership
- and five A-Levels
A - Biology
A - Chemistry
A - Physics
A - Maths
A - Further Maths
In 1996, Sophie embarked on a course in nursing at the University of London. The course involved an Erasmus year working as a practitioner in a foreign country, with an added language elective. Sophie decided that she wanted to do Spanish, and she went to work in Madrid. This was an amazing experience for Sophie, and an opportunity for her to sample the culture of another country. Sophie fell in love with Spain and decided that she wanted to live there after completing her course.
Sophie completed her nursing course with first class honours in 2001, and relocated to Escaletaña because she wanted to live near the sea. Her parents bought her a pad with a pool for her 23rd birthday. Sophie decided to decorate it with sea shells and water nymphs. Sophie made a special friend called Dolores who moved in with her. They threw the coolest frat parties on the peninsula.
In 2002, Sam Morris was on holiday in Spain, and was staying at the hotel next to her apartment. Sam met Sophie on the beach, whilst buying towels, and they instantly fell in love. Sam had also been through a string of unfulfilling relationships, and was looking to settle down. Sophie was also thinking about moving closer to home, as she was missing all of her friends in Hampshire, who were now on exodus in London.
Sam offered Sophie a job at Sisorca Hospital, and Sophie joined the team, initially on work experience, a few weeks later. In September 2002, Sam offered Sophie a more permanent contract with the hospital. Sophie soon threw herself into the busy work and social schedule of the hospital, and, within weeks, made friends with nearly everyone. She found everyone a little strange, but, nevertheless, was happy to go along with things and humour them, saying that she was just as 'crazy' as everyone else.
However, Sophie made a few enemies. She got involved with one of the patients, Ryan Hewston, who went under the alias of Newton Syrah, and the Legionnaires plot. She euthanatised Matias Larsson because she believed him to be a dangerous influence on society. She also seduced Erik Andersson, and blackmailed him out of money by telling his girlfriend, Leanna. When Erik decided to train as a doctor, his position of head nurse became open. Sophie and Leanna both applied for it, and Sam appointed Sophie. Sophie got a promotion, more money and maternity leave when she became pregnant. Leanna, on the other hand, left the hospital, because she was clinically fed up.
Sophie and Sam married in Bethany Church, New Houston, in July 2004. They had a son, Luke, and bought no. 5, London Park Road, where they live happily ever after.
Samuel J. Morris, born on 19th August 1974 in Cardiff, Wales, the eldest of the two sons of Owen and Donna Morris, his younger brother Thomas being two years his junior.
Sam, although one of the youngest in his year group at school, was one of the popular kids, always being in with the right crowd.
When he was eighteen, he studied medicine at the University of London, and soon qualified to become a doctor in 2000. Sam was soon promoted to head doctor at Sisorca Hospital, where he met his then girlfriend, Laura Hill.
Sam spent a number of years at the hospital, drifting between long-term relationships with Laura Hill and Emma Patel, and also enjoying casual flings with Sarah Winchley, Emma Notnub and Cassandra Silverspoon, but his heart was never settled. Finally, in 2002, Sam met the love of his life, Sophie Oliver, whilst on holiday in Escaletaña in the south of Spain. Sophie moved back to London with him, and he gave her a job at the hospital.
Sam is noted for mixing business with pleasure, and often confusing the two, or putting pleasure ahead of his work. Sam's appointment of Sophie Oliver as head nurse caused great controversy at the hospital, and resulted in Leanna Sethsson (who had applied for the position) handing in her notice.