Deep in Haimwood and overlooking the River Vyrnwy, Castle Melverley is Sir William's residence and the administration center for the Melverley estate, at least as far as governmental paperwork is concerned. In reality, the majority of the governance is handled at Graystone or in the covenant proper and the Lord and Lady often find it better to walk or ride into town to see everyone rather than try and summon them to the forest castle. It does, however, serve to receive noble guests and, quite importantly, gather and secure the taxes to be sent to Angad (and from there to Llywelyn).
Castle Melverley proper is a large, single-structure stone fortification summoned forth by a casting of Summon the Noble's Manor. The structure is both surprisingly ornate and fabulously engineered, the creation of an exceptional finesse casting by Geoffroy and the well-planned designs of the village's master architect Jans of Roskilde. Separated from the greater village of Melverley by the thick barrier of Haimwood, the castle and its outbuildings act much like their own miniature village or industrial estate. About half the employees and laborers live on-site, while the rest live with family in the village.
- 1 Melverley Castle
- 2 Personalities of Melverley Castle
- 2.1 Lord and Lady
- 2.2 Men at Arms
- 2.3 Craftsmen
- 2.4 Household Staff
- 2.5 Woodsmen and Others
- 3 Manorial Court
The interior of the castle is a marvel of modern design, demonstrating a refinement of French influences brought by Geofrey's experiences, Jans' Romanesque architecture, and Willam's fond descriptions of the many manors and castles of the Greek (Byzantine) and Islamic worlds.
Located in a small room on the third floor of the castle, the library primarily serves as an archive room for the manor's tax records and legal cases It does, however, also contain a few academic texts worth studying, and a small desk upon which to study or write.
- Liber Abaci by Leonardo of Pisa. Summa Lv ? Q?
One of the castle outbuildings positioned close to the entrance, this wooden structure houses the six falcons gifted to William and Cathrine by Lady Angharad for their wedding. Attached to it is a small domicile for the Falconer and his apprentice.
Personalities of Melverley Castle
These characters primarily live in or work around Melverley Castle out in Haimwood. As the castle is less than 3 miles from Graystone, there is plenty of exchange between them and the village proper.
Lord and Lady
Sir William Cromwell, Lord of Melverley
Lord William is a long wondering veteran of two crusades who returned to England with Joshua Levi. After living as one of the covenfolk for a few years, he was made Lord of Melverley by Lady Angharad ferch Madog at the end of a very complicated set of dealings following her marriage. A born warrior and adventurer, he would rather leave the details of management to another, like his wife. (Companion character.)
Catherine of Pulverbatch, Lady of Melverley
Lady Catherine, originally of Pulverbatch, was raised by her strong-willed mother and originally engaged to Sir William as a political move to keep her from being ceased by a local noble. After he became landed and the couple got to know each other, they decided to go through with the marriage after all. Growing up with her mother (who ran the family estate) then serving as a lady-in-waiting to Angharad (who also runs much of her land) Catherine has no problem taking over the management of the estate.
Men at Arms
The various bachelor knights who have made their way to the Covenant are the only full-time Men at Arms that Wiliam maintains, though the sum of the hunters and woodsmen would make a not-insignificant garrison if mustered in an emergency.
Sigmund is a German knight bound to a holy relic embedded in his sword.
Sir Daniele d'Audrieu
Sir Daniele is a Norman knight and experienced merchant who much prefers trading to combat.
Louis is the squire assigned to Sir Daniele to provide him with an appropriate retainer for his station. In actuality, he is much closer to the notion of a martial warrior than Daniele is. He also competes with Daniele for attracting attention from ladies; Louis is much more successful in this endeavor, however, attracting attention when Daniele would be scorned and ignored.
William maintains two skilled craftsmen explicitly for the purpose of maintaining the Manor and its outbuildings. Several other carpenters and tanners are also employed but are primarily dedicated to producing material for sale on the market.
Suntje is a young female blacksmith from Yorkshire who relocated to Melverley to find a place where she should open her own shop. She is now the in-house metalworker for the Melverley estate, working on everything from tools to cookery.
Melverley Castle maintains a staff of about a dozen people, split largely between the assistant staff to the resident knights and kitchen staff which finds itself often cooking for both the castle's inhabitants and most of the woodsmen.
Woodsmen and Others
Haimwood, gifted to Sir William as part of his demise, serves as the castle's primary income source and employment. The forest is used in a few different ways, with copped wood bundled for fires, large oaks felled for timber, and its animals managed and hunted to provide fur and leather. William made a point early on to track down and hire an experienced forester who would be able to set up the industry in a productive and sustainable way. The hunting and trapping is managed by the manor's ranger, with William generally only getting involved when the two are in conflict.
A young child from the covenant, Braeden is a naturally skilled hunter with a unique ability to sense the nature of the wilderness around him. He's become something of an expected but star apprentice to the Ranger, much to the annoyance of the boy's mother, who would prefer he would spend more time at home.
These are petitions to Sir William as the Lord of Melverley.
|Dean of Marchia representing Bishop Abraham
Josef ben Gavrel, Autocrat of Melverley, representing the Magi of Nova Semitae
|Bishop Abraham has found it distasteful to send his dean to speak to the jewish Autocrat regarding use of the unattended vacant chapel (Chapel of St. Catherine of Alexandria), and refuses to acknowledge Josef ben Gavrel, or indeed the magi, as having ‘proper’ authority over the vacant church. Instead, he petitions to Sir William to negotiate assigning a proper Welsh priest and to build a proper ‘living’ (benefice) for this resident priest.
Josef ben Gavrel, Autocrat of Nova Semitae and Melverley village, requests Sir William to redirect the bishop’s dean to the Council of Magi if he does not wish to deal with the Autocrat.