I. The Coronation
On the first day of January 1525, Lucille was sat in her chariot on her way to her coronation, being a beautiful shade of deep mauve that sparkled in the sunlight. And as Lucille sat on the silky black cushions of the chariot alongside her ladies in waiting, she adjusted her coronation gown which was made from the finest purple brocade; silk and velvet.
She had a low neck line where she wore a diamond amethyst necklace, matching earrings and a ring. Pinned to her gown she wore a silver brooch in the design of a panther whilst on her feet she wore black leather shoes with white diamond buckles.
Over her head she wore an enchanting royal purple veil. Her six ladies in waiting all wore matching gowns of white satin with panther embroidery, white gloves and silver cross necklaces. The chauffeur steered at the helm of the chariot where it was pulled by two vast black panthers - Lucille’s pet companions: Shadow and Midnight.
The chariot came to a stop outside Villamorte Cathédrale. The chauffer opened the chariot doors for the monarch and her ladies in waiting including her guards who wore blood red coats with the panther insignia. Lucille pulled her veil down which sparkled magically as it hid her beautiful face.
She made her entrance to the Cathédrale ready to take back her crown; she worked so hard to reclaim for her house had lost it to the De Fortis house in a bid for power decades ago.
Lucille’s coronational robes came down to the ground and her attendants held it from the back as she walked into the grand Cathédrale. The great arched doors opened as the procession walked the mosaic aisle looking every much regal.
The ladies in waiting trailed behind their queen as Lucille smiled when she passed the members of the royal court. They were all enchanted by her radiant beauty and her gown which glittered as she passed them by.
Her closest acquaintance, Alessandro, gave her a nod as if to say “You deserve this day!” She had claimed back her birthright with the help from Alessandro Maledizion da Fortiz, the High King of Oakencrest in the kingdom of Terra Fortis.
Following the death of his father from the sweating sicknesses, Alessandro gave back Lucille her birthright, for he knew in his heart that the Kingdom of La Mortis was in safe hands; so he thought…
Lucille stood up on the dais as her ladies in waiting helped her uncover her veil. Her beauty was revealed to the nobles when they saw her pretty face, which was smooth, emerge from beneath the cloth. She looked very young although she was twenty five years old, and had long black hair that parted in the middle, curled on both sides down to the left side of the neckline.
She had the most amazing dark brown beautiful eyes that glowed purple when she summoned her magic, she wore no make-up other than the purple glittering lipstick she wore on her lips and she had a beautiful scent of roses from the garden of Eden. It was really heavenly to behold. One aroma of her scent made the nobles fall in love with her immediately.
Cardinal Hemlock came forward - his servant handed him the crown on a violet velvet cushion of ermine, embellished with solid gold with pearls, diamonds and with a jewel encrusted panther’s eye on top. He held it aloft Lucille’s head as the Cardinal spoke the Coronational Oath and the Queen repeated it in her regal French accent.
“I Lucille La Morte, Queen of the Kingdom of La Mortis, great-great granddaughter of Geneviève the Great do solemnly swear to uphold the laws, to bring peace and prosperity and to condemn those who do wrong. I vow this today and the many days to come”
“I pronounce you Queen Lucille of the Kingdom of La Mortis, long may you reign.” The Cardinal placed the crown on her head and she was presented with a golden and jewelled sceptre and orb. The crown felt heavy on her head as she sat on the solid gold throne which was heavily cushioned for comfort on a raised platform.
The cardinal stood back and looked at his new Queen and bowed. “Long Live the Queen!” he shouted. “Long live the Queen!” her royal subjects chanted. Lucille smiled and stood up from her throne.
“This is glorious day, one that should be cherished, I am now fully stated as your Queen. I shall begin rebuilding this Kingdom to what it once was in my great-great grandmother’s time! But first we shall feast! Join me at my family Château - a banquet will be held and there will be a month of celebrations to follow!” Lucille walked out with the dignity of a Queen; head held high with a cheeky smile. Her royal subjects stood up and let her pass.
The crowds outside cheered for their new queen as she got into her chariot and they screamed as the chariot drove away. As Lucille sat in her chariot on her way back to her family Château, she looked in her violet purple hand mirror which had panther designs circling the frame. She thought about how she had arrived at this point and the mirror shimmered with a bright purple glow and the mirror showed flashes of images of her past memories. it was a mirror of magic that could show.
The mirror showed an eighteen years old Lucille. She had just graduated from Wizitch School of the Magic Arts when she received a letter from her closest friend Alessandro who disclosed that her parents had been arrested on suspicion of treason, on the grounds that they conspired with Mages of Wizitch to kill the former King of Oakencrest. Lucille pleaded for the help of The Radiant White Queen of Wizitch of that light Mages but was refused. It took all her willpower not to blast them away with her purple fireball. She turned her back on them and left for Villamorte where she learned that her mother and father were executed by being burned at the stake - a witch’s death. She was too late. However, before they were burned at the stake they left a letter for Lucille, which points out the truth of her true parentage.
Lucille went to find her parents whom gave her up at birth. She found herself at the doorstep of the grandest Château in Villamorte where she was reunited with her father Monsieur Henri le Duc la Chavalier. At first he was not pleased about the reunion of his only daughter. It bought about fresh tears as Lucille watched her past memories through her magic mirror. Hénri, Lucille’s father was far from pleased to see her but let her in his grand halls as she had no other family left and to some extent he felt pity for her. He told her the reason why he gave her up: his wife Madame Hélène la Duchesse la Mortis had died giving birth to her and he could not face seeing the person responsible for the death of his beloved wife.
Over time, however, he came to love her as the daughter he would have had, but this affection came too late. Her father grew ill from a fever and Lucille did everything in her power to save him. There was nothing that the physicians could do: not even magic could save him. On the last day they had with each other, Lucille, now twenty-three years of age had spent a few years together with her father.
But on his death bed Henri revealed two important pieces of information: Firstly that she is descended from a line of kings and queens and made her promise him to take back her birthright. Secondly a curse had been placed upon Lucille’s maternal side of the family that caused the women to die in child birth. He spoke in the French tongue, “Promise me to take back your birthright for our house!”
With these words echoing in her mind she replied, “I will take back what was ours for you and Mama and the house of la Mortis. I will make you proud papa!”
“I know you will. These past few years have been wonderful. Je t’aime little Princess. You will al..... .” Her father’s heart stopped beating and his body became limp. He laid still with his eyes wide open. Lucille screamed and calls for a physician.
The Mirror shimmered as it faded back to her reflection and put her mirror back into her black panther fur handbag. The chariot screeched to a halt outside the Villamorte Château which laid in the middle of a beautiful shimmering lake boarded by summer gardens with many purple flower beds, panther statues and fountains created in a similar style. The Château was very grand carved from stone with Stained glass windows adorned with panther designs. A hundred rooms housed the nobility when they came to the Royal Court.
The Château was built in the later years of the fourteenth century. It was first occupied by Lucille’s great-great grand-mother, Geneviève the Great First Queen of La Mortis, until Lucille’s great grandfather, Marcel was butchered to death and lost the crown to Lyulf da Fortiz the King of Terra Fortis who proclaimed himself king of all Oakencrest and Marcel wife’s Anora who died in child-birth many years ago. So their only hope for future was their daughter Astrid. With the assistance of her Italian husband, Signor Erik da Duca who acted as spy, they plotted to take back the throne.These actions concluded with a war that lasted for decades. It ended only when Alessandro became King of Oakencrest.
The Queen was ushered out of her chariot by her attendant and walked to the grand doors which had to be opened as it was not any Château Lucille had used magic enchantments for it to become fairy-tale Château. As soon as she was through the front doors she was welcomed by her Mistress of robes, Madame Dupont who was a French dress maker and the Mistress of Robes to the Queen. She curtsied before the Queen. “Votre Grâce! Welcome home. I am to take you to your chambers.”
“Oh please you flatter me Madame, but I don’t swing that way!” smiled the queen amusingly. Madame Dupont turned a bright shade of red. “Oh votre Grâce that is not what I was implying. What I meant to say was that I am to take you to your chambers so that we could get you out of your coronation robes and into something more comfortable for the coronation Banquet.”
“Oh yes you’re quite right. Do you have anything new I can wear”
“Well actually I have been working on something you may like. Come to the wardrobe and tell me what you think?”
“Oh so you been holding out on me?”
“Not at all votre Grâce - well maybe a little. I wanted it to be a surprise”
“You cheeky minx, I am sure I will love it lead the way.”
They walked up the grand staircase to the third floor where they turned right into a closet, which was more of a room than a wardrobe. It was where Madame Dupont also slept and worked. They walked into the grand wardrobe. It was beautiful to behold. There were all kinds of magnificent dresses for balls and special occasions also for casual wear were fabric materials draped over an oaken table. Sewing equipment was left out but in the middle of the room a mannequin with a dress over it could be seen. “What do you think votre Grâce”
“I think I should try it on. Will you help me into it?”
“If it pleases votre Grâce.” Lucille stood in front of the great argent mirror as Madam Dupont helped her into her purple velvet gown. Lucille watched the grey haired woman fix the folds of her skirts. Madame Dupont was a petite woman almost childlike and nervous. Every now and again she would let out a small chuckle as she whirled around. This often made Lucille feel uneasy.
“What do you think votre Grâce?”
“Wow it’s so beautiful, thank you. You’re are a life saver!”
“Just doing my job votre Grâce”
“Is everything setup for the Banquet”
“Oui votre Grâce. The guests should be arriving as we speak.”
“Then I must make my appearance! Meet me down there when you are ready. I wish to speak to you about enchanting some of my gowns with magic.”
“But votre Gr...”
“I said we will speak about it when you come down!”
“Oui votre Grâce.” Madame Dupont curtsied as the queen left the wardrobe.
Outside the wardrobe, the queen waved her hand over her dress as her dark brown eyes glowed a purple hew as her hand beamed with a bright purple light. The dress sparkled magnificently. She took out her purple hand mirror and glanced at her own reflection. She smiled. “I look magnificent! The Seigneurs won’t know what hit them! Oh especially Andro. I do hope he notices me!” giggled the queen like a school girl. “I am ready to do this!” she said out loud as she gathered up her skirts and she sat on the banister rails as she sild down the grand staircase like it was a lift that took you to any floor you chose as if this was a perfect normal thing to do.
In the grand Banquet Hall, the Queen sat on her gold and purple velvet cushioned throne as the guests arrived. Great lords and ladies came from all over Oakencrest to pay fealty to their new La Morte Queen. The Banquet hall looked grand. As the lords and ladies walked the splendid halls they could feel the black and white patterned panther design marble floors under their feet. From the ceiling hung purple crystallised chandeliers with purple flamed candles which was lit with the Queen’s magic flame. It was magnificent to see the purple lit hall.
There were long, oak polished tables with food lain out for guests. There was a chocolate fountain and even a champagne fountain and also ice sculptures of panthers and of the Queen herself dedicated by the Royal Sculptor Togiaus Maneish. It was really spectacular. The first guest to arrive was the Queen’s Seigneur Secretary, Tobias Becca who was an old man with a grey beard and hair. He wore the chain of his office around his neck. As he kneeled at the feet of the Queen, “Votre Altesse. It is such an honour to serve you. You will do great things I am sure!” He kissed the ring of her finger on her left hand.
As The Night drew on more guests arrived. The Queen kept scanning the room to find a certain someone but still they hadn’t yet arrived. She was getting frustrated. Her Ladies in Waiting were dancing to the finest tunes especially played by her finest of musicians. “Votre Grâce?”
“Huh? Pardon?” The Queen snapped out of her trance as she saw who had spoken. “Madame Dupont?”
“Votre Grâce you wished to speak to me?”
“Oh oui, I remember now!”
“Votre Grâce are you quite well?”
“Very well! I was just expecting, but never mind… I wish to discuss the matter of enhancing magic into my gowns.” Dupont’s expression went pale. She did not look too pleased.
“But votre Grâce, you know the dangers of this! For one you could blow up the Château or set fire to your dress not to mention there are witch hunters all over La Mortis, and what happens if someone falls under your spell?”
“You make very good points, but as it happens I have enchanted this dress.”
“Oh my you’re right! It does look different do a twirl for me votre Grâce!” The Queen stood up from her throne, gave a little twirl and as she did it sparkled - it was magnificent to behold. The lords that saw her twirl fell in love with her at once and they all asked her to dance. She did not know what to say and was taken aback with the lords vying for her attention.
Votre Grâce, I warned you that this would happen. We must get you back to your chambers. I will cover for you.”
“Let me take her” spoke a familiar voice.
“Who said that?” asked Madame Dupont.
“Me Alessandro Maledizion da fortiz , the Queen’s closet acquaintance and the High King of Oakencrest!” The queen looked surprised that the very person she was expecting stood before her ready to save her life. He stood tall and proud; he was very handsome and had short, brown, cropped hair with brown sweet eyes. He wore a royal blue brocade doublet with gold buttons and breeches. On his head he wore a blue and gold embroidered hat with a red feather sticking out.
“Where the hell have you been? You’re late!” screamed the Queen and started hitting him in the face. “Okay, okay! I see you’re pleased to see me!” laughed Alessandro as she stopped hitting him. She shot him an annoyed glare. “Haha! I am laughing so hard I can hardly hear myself thin., NOW WHY ARE YOU LATE??”
“Does it matter? I’m here now aren’t I?”
“Barley!” As the two friends started bickering they hadn’t noticed that more gentlemen started coming closer to the Queen.
“I beg your pardons vos Majestiés, but there is no time for this. We must go now!” They both stopped arguing and looked around. “Madame Dupont is right we must get you to safety and get that gown off you.” The queen choked, “Excuse me! What?” Alessandro laughed. “The look on your face is priceless. I am not trying to get you into bed but that dress is causing them to be infatuated with you so we must take it off!”
“Can we discuss what’s to be done once we get out of here?” replied the Queen.
“Yes let’s go before something bad happens!”
They ran for the great doors to the grand staircase. The queen would have used her magic but she was too weary and merry from so many glasses of champagne. They ran up three flights of stairs. It was exhausting but they had to get away from the noble gentlemen. They had to keep stopping to catch their breath. As they Stopped On The Second Floor, the Queen stood to ask the question that been bothering her. “Can I ask you something Andro? ”
“I don’t think now is the time do you Luce?”
“But I need to know something!” Alessandro sighed “Make it quick” .
“Why aren’t you effected by my dress?”
“What do you mean?”
“You’re not under the spell like all the other gentlemen…”
“I...I...I.” They were interrupted by Madame Dupont. “Discuss this later but now we have to get going. They are coming!”
“Oh right, yeah!”
They carried on running up the stairs. Alessandro and Madame Dupont helped the Queen up the stairs as her dress lagged behind her. They finally reached the Queen’s chambers and gasped for air. “Finally at last!” said the Queen as she collapsed on her velvet covered bed. Alessandro and Madame Dupont came behind her also out of breath. “I think we’ve lost them!” sighed Madame Dupont. “Are you sure?” asked Alessandro.
“Not at all. But someone has to stay positive!”
“Bar the doors! We can’t let them get in here,” ordered Alessandro. They both did their best to bar the door with whatever they could find and then approached the Queen who was still laid on the bed.
“Votre Grâce. Let me help you get out of that dress” stated Madame Dupont The Queen nodded. She was too exhausted to speak. They went around to her changing area; the room divider which was made out of a velvet purple curtain held up by a pole. As Madam Dupont helped the Queen out of her dress, Alessandro spoke to the Queen from the other side of the divider. He paced as he answered the question of which Lucille asked earlier. “So earlier you asked why I wasn’t under the spell like the other gentlemen?”
“Yes, you never did tell me the answer,” replied the Queen from behind the curtain.
Alessandro sighed. “To be honest I don’t know why I wasn’t effected by your spell. Maybe I am immune to your spell?”
“Or maybe you already are in love with her?” replied Madame Dupont.
“THAT’S ABSURD!” they both shouted/ There was an awkward silence for the next few minutes until Madame Dupont spoke again. “Very well as you say. Well, all done! Take the dress and burn it!” she told Alessandro. “WHAT? NO!” screamed the Queen. She ran out as Alessandro took the dress from Madame Dupont. she wore her under garments, now royal blue silk. “Wow I have never seen Luce in her under garments before. She’s so gorgeous! I just want rip them off her right, right now, but no we can’t keep it together Alessandro! We are just close acquaintances that is all!” Alessandro thought himself as he took in all her beauty.
“Lucille we must destroy the dress, as long as it survives so does the spell.” The Queen frowned. “But I love the dress. There must be another way to break the spell without destroying the gown!” “I know how you feel, it was my master piece but there is no other way we must destroy it. Don’t worry, I will make you a new one, a better one, but this time don’t put any enchantments on it!” “I won’t. I’ve learnt my lesson - do what as you must!” Alessandro threw the dress into the fireplace. It whooshed as the orange flames turned to purple, like the same purple fire as the queen’s magic flame.
They watched the dress burn and as it did both women started to cry. “God women!” thought Alessandro to himself. “Well I must take my leave. My usher is probably waiting outside for me.” said Alessandro. “Must you go so soon? We didn’t get a chance to catch up.” Alessandro frowned. “I know, but I must get back to running my Kingdom. We will meet again. Until then, see you later!” Lucille started to cry but this time it wasn’t because of the dress. “Don’t cry Votre Grâce. I am sure you see him soon,” said Madame Dupont.
“Can’t you at least stay the night? We have plenty of room.”
“I am so sorry but I can’t. I have urgent business. You will do well as Queen I know it!” He kneeled and kissed her left hand and took his leave. Then the Queen was left alone with her dress maker.
“Call my maids for me will you? I need them to get me ready for bed.”
“Votre Grâce I could help you if it pleases you?”
“But that’s not your job.” “
I will do it all the same. No need to bother your ladies with this.”
“Very well! You can help me, but only just this once.” Madame Dupont helped Lucille out of her dress and into her nightgown and then the Queen sat at her dressing table as her dress maker brushed her lovely silky black hair.
She looked into her argent mirror but it wasn’t the look she had at that precise moment. What she saw was a dark and powerful Witch Queen all in black. It had to be her future self, for that’s what she always sees when she looks into the mirror every night. “Merci! That will be all!” Her dress maker left the queen to her thoughts. “Well, here we are finally. Queen as I promised my Papa. I hope he would be proud Mama too.” She waved her hand over the candles that were lit on her bedside table and the flame went out. She was in complete darkness as she got in bed and went straight to sleep. She had powerful dreams as witches all have of possible different futures.
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