Maelee (Melais De Toyne)

Written By: Stephen Dove

De ToyneMaelee (Melais) De Toyne

Lady Melais de Toyne was born in 875 AS; to an impoverished noble family who held the Manor of Tanebeck, near Corvallin Castle. Her father, Sir Alain, was a rapacious and greedy man, endlessly scheming to restore his family’s fortunes. He viewed Melais as just another pawn in his game, and from the day of her birth she was promised to the son of a wealthy vintner from Clyster, heir to the infamous Marchcombe family fortune. Her mother, Ellyn, was a quiet and demure woman of great beauty. She doted on her daughter, trying to shield her from her Father; and even used to tell her stories of how her true Father was a Fey spirit. Indeed Melais was teased by other children when young for being ‘a changeling girl, to fair of eye and hair to be truly human.’ But to the young girl this was a compliment and something that fuelled her girlhood dreams of what her own husband would be like.

For the first fifteen years of her life, Melais was schooled in the arts expected of a Lady, learning to ride, sew, and attend her husband; but inside the girl longed for freedom and the wider world. She would secrete herself away and listen to the music of minstrels and troubadours that visited her Father’s manor, or else drink in their stories of far-away places, dreaming that she too would one day go there. One troubadour came every winter; a player called Etienne, who hailed from Chaubrette, and Melais grew closer to the young man than was prudent, causing her Mother to bring forward the day of her marriage.

Edward Marchcombe proved to be a boorish and much older man that Melais had expected; and she ran from the room crying upon first laying eyes upon the man, his belly bursting from beneath a stained doublet.

The rumours she had heard of his family; that they were smugglers and ne’er do wells who had gained their fortune through piracy and then bought respectability, did nothing to endear her betrothed to her. Indeed she refused to marry Edward and so her Father had her taken to Kirklees Abbey to live with the Nuns ‘..until the girl regains her senses!’

For three wonderful years she lived with the Nuns; learning reading and the art of music from them. The Prioress grew to love the young girl and so warned her that her Father was coming to get her; to force the marriage upon her ‘…before Martinmas be she willing or no!’

Not knowing what else to do, Melais wrote to Etienne and the Troubadour came for her, and she left her old life behind for the road. Calling herself Maelee, the girl dyed her hair and became a Camelot and chapman and the companion of Etienne. They become lovers and were forced further and further south until her Father stopped looking for her, even spending time in Chaubrette for several years.

Then one day, she and Etienne returned to Albion and came north again to Gorburn and Clystershire. Maelee was by now a story teller and troubadour herself and part of a company of players. On midsummer’s eve they stopped nigh the village of Igham and gave a performance on a local ‘faerie mound’ of a story that mocked ‘The King Of Summer.’

Alas for Melais, said Lord heard; for he was a real creature who dwelt in the Jewelspider Forest and the animals carried news to him. He sent his servants, the wolves, to attack the troubadours’ camp that night and in the confusion, stole Melais away to the ‘Kingdom of Summer’; a Fey Gloaming deep in the forest.

There Melais was forced to play music for the King’s amusement, in a revel that lasted in waking world, for thirty long years. The Summer King freed her at last, but another of his chattels warned her that to set foot upon mortal lands would lead to her aging in an instant and that she must seek out Ulric the Sorceror or else perish.

She found her way through the Gloaming, to the hold of Ulric, which lay in the Realm of Cernas; and called to the mage for aid. He took her into his tower and healed her of the faerie glamour that surrounded her, using a potion so that she would not age.

She then stayed with Ulric for several months, whilst the Sorceror studied her; feeling she owed him a debt. That was until the arrival of Malvol…..

Session 1     

Session 2      

Session 3     

Session 4

Malvol

Carroe

Jasper

Sven

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