Castle Ironside
Set in a citadel very far away somewhere in the middle of nowhere....Play as any fantasy character you want, act out storylines, interact with other characters, and learn more about them in a forever changing and expanding fortress...
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To Be Ascertained
Francesca Kallingard, Keeper of Ironside, stared out into the December fog. There was no-one left in the castle these past moons, just the Queen and herself. How Francesca longed for Castle Ironside to be as lively as it had been ten years ago, when Jarazia's father had reigned. The kingdom was prosperous and famous for its magicians back then...but now there was nothing. Everyone was gone. Francesca sighed, her luminous red hair swaying in the light, lonely breeze that blew absently by.

'Not even the wind stops to stay.' the Keeper thought. The barren land that was once lush forest and filled with huge, inspiring lakes and rivers had long gone, replaced by dirt, burnt roots, large craters and drought consumed soil. It filled a well of sorrow with rains of sadness everytime Francesca dwelt on the thought. And she had to look out at this landscape everyday to watch over the castle for her Queen, to welcome any travellers that passed by. Fat chance. The last person to enter this place, and the last person to leave, aye, was Lord Xerxes. The person who had brought this curse upon the kingdom of Ironside in the first place. Francesca bit her lips when the Dark One's name touched her mind, and instead resumed her eternal, immortal watch from her post, her fingers grasping the ropes that would open the Portcullis if there would ever be a time to raise them. But when would that time come again, when Ironside would be alive again?

Francesca had protected the kingdom from the very first days of its creation, when it had been nought but a collection of huts in the forest.

Francesca had taught the very first ruler, Nmorind, the basics of magic.

Francesca had defended the castle from every attack it had experienced, and fought like a demon to protect it.

Francesca had lived for so many years because of her love for Ironside.

Francesca had rooted for Jarazia ever since she took the crown on that fatal day.

And Francesca was not about to see the kingdom she loved and supported her entire life collapse into ruin before her like this.

The Keeper of Ironside clung fiercely onto the rope, still believing that there might be a chance, a chance that once again the Portcullis would open to people from right across the world, open its doors to all who came to it, and that Ironside would be boisterous and filled with a new light, a new destiny, and a new meaning....

Francesca Kallingard stared out into the December fog.

12/2/2006 #1
To Be Ascertained
And then she saw the figure.

It took her so much by surprise, Francesca had to stop herself from stumbling to the ground in shock. The person was evidently tall, and a floppy pointed hat was placed upon his or her head. The person seemed to notice her, and then dashed towards Francesca, mumbling things, and crying out in delight once he or she had a better view of the castle.

"HELLO?" Francesca called, as the figure drew closer, and as the person came nearer, she saw that it was a man. The sight awoke something in Francesca's mind; that neither she nor Jarazia had clapped eyes on a male in ten years. They had been the only humans either of them had seen for a decade, and the realisation that they weren't the only people left on the planet silently sunk into her mind. Of course she knew that, but now that the reality was presented in front of her again, she had difficulty grasping it. But when he finally came face to face with her, Francesca saw that he was no one to get moony eyed over.

His face was slightly goofy and his smile was missing some teeth; those which had survived were rather crooked and yellow. His hair was wispy and a greying brown, and a mustache of a similar colour spread haphazardly below his nose. His brow was wrinkled and dehydrated, choked in dust and lack of water. The man wore a dark blue robe that was frayed at the bottome and folded over his body many times until he was plastered in cloth. The hat was of a similar material, and kept dropping over his eyes, and his shoes were torn and worn by the elements. The man's hands were rough and dirty, large and coated with cuts all over. He gave a weak, disheartened smile at Francesca, who was still coping with seeing someone else for the first time in years.

"Howdy...." He croaked, sniffed and then cleared his throat. "My name is Mortimer Dalingrad. I've been travelling through Ironside for years, and only now I find the castle that I have been searching for. What has happened to our lovely kingdom, fair maiden? It was not like this when I left eleven years ago..."

"I-I-I.." Francesca began, trying to remember how to speak to someone she hadn't met before.

"Xerxes." She spat quickly, hoping that Mortimer would get the message.

"Xerxes? LORD Xerxes did such a deed?" He asked, increasing in volume as his anger boiled.

Francesca nodded sagely. Mortimer shook his head mournfully.

"I could not find my way back to Castle Ironside when all the forests disappeared. I have been hopelessly lost for a very long time indeed. Give me passage to the Princess, O Keeper, I must meet with our future-"

"Queen." Francesca finished the sentence for him. "She is already Queen. Everyone else was killed by Xerxes, and now Jarazia has claimed her rightful inheritance."

Mortimer looked as if his heart had been blown up inside. "Accursed be that wretched Lord!" He yelled. "I must enter! This castle will be restored to its former glory!"

He strode forward powerfully, and on impulse, as Francesca had been anticipating this moment for ten years, she tugged the rope of the Portcullis with such strength and speed that the gate pulled up in seconds, just in time for Mortimer to walk under it.

Francesca's heart welled up with pride. For the first time in a decade, Castle Ironside had a visitor.

12/3/2006 #2
The Ferrett
The Jack [another one - different to Andrew] strode tiredly towards the castle in the mist. Playing the fool for castle all over the land had left him tired and worn out. His white and black fool's hat was now grey and hung over his eyes.

Then the mist parts. Before him stands a terrifyingly beautiful woman... he's stunned.

He opens his mouth, "May I have a room for the night?" ... [Your turn]

12/7/2006 #3
To Be Ascertained
As Mortimer went in, Francesca could not help noticing another figure in the fog emerging. Her pulse quickened, her mind abuzz with confusion but excitement as well.

"May I have a room for the night?" the man asks, and Francesca nods slowly, as she had never expected TWO people to arrive on the same day. She wrenched up the portcullis once again just as powerfully as she did for Mortimer, and for the first time in a very long while indeed, the Keeper thought she would get used to this.

"Go on in...sir."

She bows her head shyly and allows the Jack to stroll into the Castle.

12/8/2006 #4
The Ferrett
The Jack is offered entry but having been on the trail a long time he decided to perch himself on the other side of the portcullis of this lovely lady.

"Seen many people lately? Not many people are on the track these days."

The lady keeps her head down, and The Jack is confused as he normally doesn't deal with shy females, more the more 'energetic' princesses. They keep him hiding.

"Would you look up? I like to look into people's eyes when I speak."

She looks up and he gazes into her green eyes, and he smiles. "See that's better."

12/8/2006 #5
To Be Ascertained
Francesca, being unused to such behaviour, decided to just weakly smile back.

"And when I talk to people, I like to know their name before I speak." She says. "The name to me is Francesca Kallingard, and I am the Keeper of the Kingdom."

12/9/2006 #6
The Ferrett
"Oooooh. The Lady finally has some s***. My name, dear lady, is Edward Porter [not my Edward - another one] but most people just call me The Jack. I am part fool, part gentleman and I feel honoured to be in your company."

He bows in a long, sweeping gesture, removing his hat as he does so. His mix of black and white locks fan out from his head and his yellow eyes stare intently into her green ones for the entire movement. A smile plays his lips as he asks her, "Would the lady accompany me into the castle, or are we going to stand her all day? The choice is your."

[and it is.]

12/9/2006 #7
The Ferrett
[oops missed an s on yours.]
12/10/2006 #8
To Be Ascertained
"OK then," Francesca replied, getting used to this game, "Let's go on in. I'm sure Queen Jarazia will be MOST pleased to see you."

She jumped off the ledge she was sitting on, and looked behind her, smirking. "Well? Are you coming or not? I can wait. Done that for ,oh, ten years or something." Francesca wandered through the open portcullis, not stopping to wait for The Jack to catch up.

((enters the foyer))

12/10/2006 #9
The Ferrett
Curious and Curiouser said Alice in Wonderland.

((enters the foyer smiling towards The lady))

12/10/2006 #10
Lilith saw figures on the castle's walls about to leave. "Wait!" she panted urging her horse faster. The world around her spinning and growing dark and not from the fog. Even though the world was slipping from her cold fingers she still managed to hold unto the egg, her child. She could feel the blood running down her back and legs that ran so freely from the arrows in her back. "No, don't go!" she whispered stopping at the portaculis (sp?). She could barely hold the egg let alone stay on the horse.
12/19/2006 #11
To Be Ascertained
Francesca bounded out of the castle foyer, barely giving The Jack a chance to ask her.

"I'm coming!" she bellowed desperately, hardly believing her eyes. Three people in one day. "Sorry, ma'am.." the Keeper rasped. "Pray tell me your name, and come in out of the cold. My name is Francesca Kallingard."

1/4/2007 #12
Lilith slowly brought the horse and her small burden inside. "I am Lilth Goldwinds." said the elf she handed the large egg to the women,"Gaurd her. Keep it hot always." she said handing it to her. Then the elf slupmed against the horse's neck and died knowing her mission was complete.
1/6/2007 #13
To Be Ascertained
Francesca was gobsmacked at the elf's sudden death. She had just...died right in front of her. It wasn't right. Francesca took the egg and hugged it close to her, determined to make sure Lilith's death was not in vain.
1/13/2007 #14
The Ferrett
((Ok since we're going slow time for some time laspse))

4 months later...

The Jack was again at the gate, looking out at the newly snowed grounds. He seemed to like this small area because it was nice and cold and free all the time.

1/20/2007 #15
The egg had hatched into a baby dragonet, which they had named Lilith after the elf that had given her life to save. At four months she could already change into the human form of a young child, that appeared to be around 4 years old. However one look at her and you knew that she was not human. Her jet black hair hung in lose curls to her midback and her tanned skin did not seem to go along with her icy pale blue eyes. Already she spoke with a vocabulary that many adults would not even understand. She ran over to Jack to stand with him by the gate. Her blue dress was dirty from playing outside and her face was flushed from the cold air. However she didn't wear any coat and her dress was of a light thin fabric, for her firey draconic nature kept her skin hot to the touch. "What are you doing Jack?" the tiny girl asked.
1/21/2007 #16
The Ferrett
"Hiding. Shhh. We'll hide together little fiery one." He says smiling wide. The girl dragon has already touched a nerve with him and he likes the way her spirit matches his in the way it roams free.
1/21/2007 #17
"What are we hiding from?" the little girl whispered. Then placed a tiny finger over her mouth to show she would try to be quite.
1/25/2007 #18
The Ferrett
"We're just hiding.' he smiles, plopping his hat onto her head.
1/25/2007 #19
The small girl smiled up at him pushing the brim of the large hat back so she could see him. "I be very good at hiding and being quite." she whispered putting her finger back in front of her mouth.
1/27/2007 #20
To Be Ascertained
{um, sorry for being absent all this time...I suppose you want to execute me now. But I'm here to say that from now on Francesca and Jarazia will be NPCs, meaning that you'll be able to control them :) It'll make all our lives easier}
2/12/2007 #21
The Ferrett
"That you are, little one, that you are."
2/12/2007 #22
The girl smiled up at him.

((so um....what yall wanna do?))

2/15/2007 #23
The Ferrett
It's then that The Jack has an idea, "You know, since you're so good at the hiding thin, why don't we go down and find a town where we can get you something special, I feel like shopping."
2/15/2007 #24
The girl reached out and took his large hand in her smaller one, "You mean like candy? I heard cook say something about that, but I never had any."
2/17/2007 #25
The Ferrett
"we can go for candy as well bt that's somthing extra I think."
2/18/2007 #26
"Well what were you thinking of Uncle Jack?" she asked. The small dragonet had started calling the residents of the castle with family titles since she did not know any of her's.
2/18/2007 #27
The Ferrett
"I was thinking of an adventure, although I haven't been on that many."
2/18/2007 #28
"What kind of adventure? Would we be back for dinner or would we stay away several days?" she asked already excited at the thought of exploring the outside world.
2/18/2007 #29
The Ferrett
"Just a short trip, the doorkeeper would get angry if we ere away for more."
2/18/2007 #30
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