Within the oak panelled walls of the Study of Castle Dark Taliesin, upon a bookshelf, only one book remains, or rather, was placed. Leather-bound in a cover of purple and blue swirls, a fine hand written with a flowing script in black ink seems reasonably fresh upon the pale cream coloured pages.
I leave this here, for any curious to know, a little of Taliesin, as I remember it. For those that would remember such times, long ago, you may recall me, I wish you well. For those that have never heard of me, I am Tyla, a Seelie Sidhe, a Fey for those not so well versed in the numerous Courts and Races that are collectively termed Fey, Faerie, and such. I am also the former Lord of Taliesin.
The move to Castle Taliesin and the lands that it lay claim to came about after Kenyon‘s (former) ruler, The Goddess of the Dark, Sirenna and her High Priestess, Branshevog, had a disagreement which ultimately ended up with the two parting company.
I was at that time still slave to Branshevog, as I had been taken by her some years before when she was first appointed as High Priestess in Kenyon. Naturally, I went with her to her former family home of Taliesin, as I’d taken somewhat of a fancy to the woman before even my capture by her. Many would think it odd, a Fey creature so enamoured with a vampire, but it worked for us at the time.
Branshevog was not a vampire in the truest undead sense, she could breathe for one thing. There was a darkness about her and I was her light, her counter. She followed the Old Ways, her magics being what some might consider witchcraft. Nature magic, ritual magics were more her style. Upon reaching Taliesin, we spent some time doing the place up, making it habitable and Branshevog announced herself as Banrion. A queen, if you will.
We were not without enemies, of course, but our allies were strong with the likes of Mithras on side and with it The Land of Shadows. He hated Kenyon and that worked well in our favour.
The Outer Kingdom
The vast lake, an inland sea perhaps, I have not ventured that far West, but I can see it from where I sit whilst writing this, there was most certainly nothing that large splitting Taliesin’s lands before. Beyond, and stretching for miles around, the mountain range looks impressively larger than it used to. I am surprised that much of the Forestry appears much as it did, though perhaps darker now than it was even back then.
I was very much taken aback to find that the Castle is relatively intact, which, considering it had been buried, it’s looking rather good. At least, the main tower and some of the surrounding walls are sound. Perhaps that is the reason for the inland sea also, as if it has been drawn back up out of the water to return to the Mountainside.
South, the lake that rivers towards the coast, has, seemingly randomly placed, standing stones, particularly close to the lake and dotted around the grassy plains that eventually reach what is the coastline . One or two of the dolmens and menhirs, I recognise as markers at a Fey Circle from previously. The Circle is no longer there, I arrived from a less obvious one that brought me out where I had not quite expected. But still, I will make use of it to return home.
The large swathe of trees to the South East appears to be almost normal from this distance, but likely best to be wary if travelling that way as it is in lands that I know little of and have no want to investigate.
The Ancient Grove
There are spirits out in the forests that would most definitely wish to feed on my life force. They were not here when last I was. I knew of some when they were still people, living, it is a shame what Mickaela and her ancestors have become. So be warned, the ancient garden grove to the West edge of the forest lest you would like to roam the forest in undeath as they do. The area is enchanted with protections as well as ghosts. Fortunately, some of the woodland immediately around the Castle is still pleasant enough. Wolves, rabbits, the usual forest creatures thrive. Though one would do well to stay out of Taliesin’s forests altogether.
The Castle itself was set into the mountainside, the sea close by and a vast forest that stretched much of the way between Taliesin and Kenyon was excellent for hunting in. Not only for game, but many of the less civil diners would hunt for travellers or opportunities that did not usually arise within the Castle grounds. I often enjoyed the ancient forest and the Castle gardens. There were even a few villages that came under our protection. It was never a vastly populated land, but we fared well enough.
My dreams even came true, after many years, I eventually married my dear Branny. My enslavement was no more at this point, I was the Lord of Taliesin. Life was not as easy as it could have been, still we had our enemies and in the build up towards the end of Elyu as we had known it, tensions grew amongst the various factions.
Trouble brewed to a point unstable magics were building up, chaos and destruction was becoming more prevalent. Branshevog hid the castle, sinking it beneath the mountains and the sea below the cliffs to be hidden prior to us leaving. We were fortunate that there was a route away from the impending doom of the planet and we took it, of course and set up home elsewhere.
I did not think that I would ever come back here; it has been years, decades maybe. Branshevog and her Champion ran off together and well, I went back to my original home plane, but I felt a need to, one last time at least, to take a peek at a place I once lived before the shattering that befell us.
Really, it was this old Castle, that once I saw it, I had to investigate further as it had been spat back out of the ground. Many of the furnishings are missing inside, but the structure itself is still surprisingly solid. I’m not sure if the cellar and the dungeons are still intact, but I am not going down there to have a look in case the Unseelie is still around somewhere.
I have fond memories of the banqueting hall; many a ball did grace it. It still looks impressive with its vaulted ceiling. So many times was I up a ladder decorating the hall at the whim of Branny, not that whoever reads this needs to know that of course. Just know that not all was war and dark deeds.
I loved the castle gardens and tending to them, when my duties permitted, I was pleased to see that although much wilder, my rose bushes have flourished. They are coming into bloom with their violet petals; I may tend to them a little before I depart.
The outer walls and the tower have survived well, their fortifications have held together well despite its burying and re-emergence into this newly remade world. This place, this Castle, was home to many. Vampires, Fey, elves, humans, a demon or devil or two, and other such races frequented this place long, long ago. I imagine one day, someone or something else will make this home.
But not for me, this is home no longer.
~Penned by the hand of Tyla