Prologue (Exordium)

Between the realms of fable and fancy, there once was a land called Caledon. A commonwealth of united communities, her residents were as varied as one’s imagination. In this land, magick was often fused with science and technology. Humans, faeries, mechanicals, aetherials, daemons, gnomes, and hybrids lived in a tenuous harmony.


Caledonian adventurers might enjoy mountain climbing and spelunking on the magnificent flying mountain over Morgaine Valley in the morning and later, moonlight sailing in the river below. Academics traveled south to learn a trade at Oxbridge University in the a.m., often then catching an airship to settle in for a lesson on potioning at the Academy of Wizardry overlooking the nation’s large inland Firth at night. Socialites crowded the lavish Gaiety Theatre in the fashionable PenzanceTown shopping district on opening nights. Later, they might hire a carriage to the Tangled Woods to join in a midnight jig with a menagerie of tiny animal hybrids and sprites under the full moon. Most Caledonians seemed equally comfortable in all manners of transport—horseback, buggy, sailboat, or airship. Often, they could be seen donning expedition gear while hunting the medicinal mushrooms that dotted the landscape. Or they might dowse for the rich mineral deposits featuring fantastic properties found nowhere else in the world.

Caledon’s leader preferred the lesser title of governor (which he pronounced “Guv’nah”) to that of king or president. To him, every Caledon resident was an aristocrat, and he had a reputation for making time for anyone, whether pauper or manor-born, mundane or wizened. To the citizens who had proven themselves exceedingly trustworthy to the nation, he granted titled peerage and stewardship over vast swaths of land.

In the heart of this nation lived some of its most strange and secretive residents—the last remaining sisters of a powerful coven—witches of Sidhe, Fomorian, Felidaen, Elven, Aurai, Impish, and still some odder variations of otherworldly races. One found herself in the role of a Caledon peer, with all the stately intrigue and responsibilities that came with the title. And that is where this story begins—with a Sidhe queen’s exiled daughter who turned her back on her family and heritage and who became a high priestess and bound minion to a legendary and masterful war-mage. Then, once freed, she emerged in her newly wedded life as a Caledon duchess. It is a story of Aeval-Leigh and her beloved Speirling Isles, a small grouping of mystical islands scattered through the central Caledon Firth or Middle Sea.

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