Queen Mother in the Pandora Series
What I Liked
*Thumbsup* This was an awesome description in your opening paragraph of the Elves' hidden fortress: The part that couldn't be seen was bordered by a circular hedge that girded it like a belt.
*Thumbsup* You brought the dark witch, Millicent, to life with many good character descriptions, which helped me see and know her better: She had a short temper, didn't suffer fools and often acted on impulses fed by her emotions. I also chuckled at your wonderful line about her husband, Merlin: He was a white wizard and while a benevolent King, and loved by his subjects, was no jelly doughnut.
*Thumbsup* This line also made me smile. How often this is true in real life, hmm? While Millicent made it appear in public that her husband was in absolute charge, the facts spoke otherwise, an unassailable truth that everybody in the court realized.
But I liked that you also flipped the coin as it often does, because most of us ladies still like this: However, he was the anchor in her life and when life got too turbulent she expected him to step forward and take charge.
I enjoyed reading about this amazing couple in your Pandora Series. Keep on writing, Percy.
Once upon a time lived Millicent, The Dark Queen. Her home was the ancient and sprawling Fortress of Magnifico. It was old beyond memory and harkened back to ancient times, when elves ruled the land. It was "Spelled" in a clear cloud of magic that made it invisible. The part that couldn't be seen was bordered by a circular hedge that girded it like a belt. When man came to the continent it was called the "Mystic Realm" and inhabited by all sorts of magical creatures such as gnomes, elves, dragons and unicorns. With the arrival of men much of the magic departed as the magical creatures went elsewhere. However, there was some sporadic interbreeding between Elves and Men so some of the magic remained. The source of this magic sprang from a Fey Elves, a fading vestige all but forgotten, but when recollected, referred to as "A Fairy Godmothers." Millicent married the Great Wizard Merlin after rescuing him from the dungeons.
The union between Men and Elves occasionally resulted in Wizards and Witches. More commonly the Elven qualities were dominated by the nature of Man. However, traits such as blue eyes, red hair, pointed ears, impish noses and a sublimity of spirit were evidence of an earlier heritage. Less common were Witches and Wizards and among them, the white ones far outnumbered the dark. These were a legacy of our Elven forbearers born with the magic but for the most part unaware of how to use it. To be used the magic had to be awakened and the magician trained in it's use. Hence, the abundance of undeveloped potential, present but unrealized, in many of those today.
Millicent was a dark queen. It wasn't that she was a bad person but rather that inside she bore a heavy burden of the earthly elements that animated her magic. She tried to give her goodness dominion over her evil but it was a constant struggle. She had a short temper, didn't suffer fools and often acted on impulses fed by her emotions. Her subjects never knowing what to expect, lived in a constant state of dread.
Millicent was married to one of the most famous wizards of all time, Merlin. He was a white wizard and while a benevolent King, and loved by his subjects, was no jelly doughnut. When he needed to be tough he could certainly rise to the occasion and frequently did.
Millicent had ten children, one a dark witch, eight white ones and a Wizard son.
Their names were Pandora (18), Calliope (16), Arabella (14), Elsinore (12), Agatha (10), Drusilla (8), Marigold (6), Jolene (4). Regina (2), and Macomb (infant).
Pandora was Millicent's first child, and from the beginning, there was never any doubt that she was destined to be of the dark variety. On the eve of her conception over a thousand knights and men at arms perished in a battle, that even in those violent times, was a benchmark of brutality and slaughter.
After Millicent married Merlin, she became First Secretary, an ambassador who was constantly afoot doing the business of The Realm. It was her legacy to inherit and perform this oft' onerous task. Merlin, the King, stayed home as titular head, raising the children, and maintaining law and order.
Merlin loved his wife with a depth and passion that surpassed all belief and understanding. While Millicent made it appear in public that her husband was in absolute charge, the facts spoke otherwise, an unassailable truth that everybody in the court realized. Merlin was not the true locus of power. However, he was the anchor in her life and when life got too turbulent she expected him to step forward and take charge.
The king could have cared less what the court thought. He was hypnotized by Millicent's beauty and the allure she exercised, accounted, no doubt, for the many children she bore. The nobles and ladies oft referred to her infrequent visits as "The Witching Hours," and lovemaking when she walked the grounds was said to all but ensure fertility.
One day in early Spring the heralds blew their bugles and everybody, not in the receiving line flocked to the battlements. In the distance her ebony coach complete with footmen appeared at first to be a speck in the distance trailed by a great cloud of dust. The driver dressed in a black and white livery drove the eight dark horses at a breakneck speed. Through the hedge and up the tree lined boulevard it sped, across the drawbridge and onto the cobblestones, making a great clatter. Then at the last instant the driver hollered, "Whoah!" pulled back on the reins and the coachman applied the breaks. The carriage, skidded to a halt before the keep's vaulting roman arch and thick oaken portals. The foot men, dressed in white, dropped to the ground, one rushing up to open the door and the other to lower the step. The king, reached up, helped his wife disembark and then extended his elbow. Millicent took his arm and they strode in grandeur down the line of men and maids, poised to serve their every need. Bugles blared and drums rolled as the two walked with great pomp and ceremony down a long red carpet. The Wizard and his Queen then ascended the huge spiral stair case and retired to their Chambers. Several hours later they descended once more to entertain the Lords and Ladies in the main dining room.
When Millicent went abroad she took Calliope, Arabella, Elsinore and Agatha. Pandora was never invited to accompany them. Nor was any explanation ever given for leaving her behind. It was just another one of those odd things the Court attributed to the Queen's quirky nature.