The Lilly is the strongest ship in the Royal Scottish fleet. The Lilly is incredibly new, being built in the year 1218. The ship is very lovely to look at. The finish is a beautiful glossy golden brown with gold plated edging. The ship is 100 feet long. The cabins are extremely nice. There are four official cabins. The first one is no doubt the captain's cabin. His cabin is split up into two main areas, his bedroom and the ship's meeting room. The next bedroom is the royal suite. No one is allowed to use this cabin except members of the royal family. This room is lavishly furnished like the palace in Edinburgh.
The next two cabins are for passengers. There is not much to note about these cabins except the one cabin has a window which is just big enough for a man to fit through.
The crew's sleeping quarters are nicer than most of the ships at this time. The crew has bunk beds with plaid curtains attached. The men had their loved ones sew the curtains to be of their family's tartan. There is a shelf which the men can put their personal belongings on. The ship's flag is St Andrew's Cross, the flag of Scotland. The flag was woven by the Crown Princess herself. She did this at the request of the Captain.
The officers are served meals first in their private dining room. The officers also bring their own stores. The crew is served after the officers and in order of seniority. The Crown Princess would bring her stores as well and would get served in her room by the royal cabin boy.
The ship has a very extensive store of food, enough for 2 years if necessary. They have a great quantity of grog. Grog is a mixture of lime juice and rum. Lime juice prevented the crew from getting scurvy.
To serve on this ship you must have two full years of duty to the country of Scotland. The Lilly's captain is Brian Stewart. He is a very young leader in the Scottish navy. Every man is hand-picked out of hundreds of extremely loyal men. Here is a listing of the ship's crew members:
The Lilly's mission now is to transport the Crown Princess of Scotland to France. The regent Queen has ordered Captain Stewart to take the Princess to France against her will. This year the Scots formed an alliance with France. The French will protect the Scots from England. And the Crown Princess, Alicia, will marry the old, recently widowed King of France.
Alicia is 19 years old. She was born in 1200. She has beautiful blue eyes. But because of those blue eyes, some people think that she is not the true heir to the Scottish throne. Most of the Scottish royalty have green eyes and the rest have brown eyes. Her hair is red with gold mixed in, providing a beautiful copper tone. Her lips are a very light shade of red. Her waist is so tiny that clothes she wore when she was 10 still fit.
Alicia has had a sad life. Her mother died of influenza, when she four. Her father, upon the request of his people, remarried the former queen of Denmark. Her stepmother never really liked her and left her to fend for herself. Her father tragically died when she was 14. Was it an accident that he fell down the castle stairs? It's a mystery. Her stepmother took over as regent until Alicia was 20 or married.
Being left by herself most of the time hasn't stopped her from being active and very resourceful. Outside on the castle grounds she thrives by living a very wholesome life, mostly outdoors. She can now outrun any girl in the city and most of the boys in the city too.
She has built a small house for herself. This seems strange so let me explain how she did it. She started planning the house when she six. For her seventh birthday she asked her father for a wagon and a puppy and a place on the castle estate of her own. He was pleased at these small requests and granted them readily. She named the puppy Gold. She also got a small kitten from her best friend Genevieve, the chancellor's daughter. She named the kitten Vanilla on account of its creamy fur.
For the next three weeks, she lay in bed spinning her idea of the small house in the wood.
She asked the tanner for a small harness. In two weeks he made the harness.
Every day she would ask for scraps of lots of different things. She would carry the items to the spot she picked out, just into the hunting grounds enclosed by a thicket of trees.
She went to the miller one day and lo and behold one of his millstones had just broken. She asked him if she could have it and he said yes. She hauled the millstone away in small chunks in her wagon.
Every day she would go to the carpenter and ask for scraps of wood. The castle seamstress also got a daily call.
She traded a small silver chain of hers for a bag of mortar.
On rainy days when she couldn't go outside she would practice sewing and weaving.
By her ninth birthday she had enough wood to start making the walls. She then started to erect the walls made out of mostly wood but some stone too. She saved enough stone for the fireplace.
She also began asking the stable master for two handfuls of straw a day. She put these handfuls in a large chest she had "stolen" from her room. The straw was to thatch the roof.
One lucky day someone broke a window in the castle. When Alicia heard she raced over to the room and asked for the window. She hauled the window off for only part of it was broken. She delicately took the broken pane out and set it aside. She then carefully separated the other panes and cautiously placed them in the window holes. Now she finally had windows.
She began to thatch the roof with full force and by her twelfth birthday it was done.
Now she had a small house unfurnished and without a door. That was an arduous problem to solve. She postponed that problem for a couple weeks. She started to make a quilt with the scraps of cloth she had been saving up for five years. Her quilt was done in two weeks.
Before she could get the table started she had to go to some long parties mandated by her stepmother.
When she was 14 she thought she ought to have some different dresses for around the palace. She had new dresses made and she took the old ones and made curtains out of most of them.
She bought a small set of carpenter's tools and cut down two small trees. She sawed them into planks and made a table, a straight backed chair, a rocking chair and a cot.
She bought a door from the carpenter for a tiny diamond.
She then wove a large bag or so it would seem. She went to the royal kitchens and asked for some feathers that they had plucked from the geese. Every day she came back with two bags full and put them in her sack. When her sack got full she sewed up the opening and made a mattress. She took this out to the cottage and laid it on the cot.
Then she asked the head cook for old dented pots and pans. These she took back with her to the cottage.
She bought a small package of seeds and planted them in the small patch of land. She would water them every day and they grew into a wonderful garden.
She only had to ask for two more things. She went to the castle armory and asked for a hunting knife, a bow and a quiver of arrows. She would go and hunt in the forest and the game she caught she would skin and eat. Then she would sell the skins to the tanner. She would buy sugar and salt and flour and so on with that money.
By the time this was all done she was 16. For three years she roamed free about the castle estate. She sometimes would stay out for a week without going into the castle. She would keep a chest of clothes for just such an occasion. And there was a stream nearby. But no one ever found her.
In the mean time she learned how to dye things. One day she was dying a kerchief purple and Vanilla came in. Alicia heard Gold barking at a bird. She turned around to see; splash! The dye landed all over Vanilla and turned her purple!
Quite recently Alicia has been betrothed to the king of France against her will. She did not know of it until the deed was already done.
There are three locations I will discuss: Scotland, Mexico, and France. First, I'll address the year. In the Year of Our Lord 1219 the story begins. The Scottish are at war with the English. Nothing very serious, just a small skirmish for the time.
As I have said before, the French have formed an alliance with the Scottish. The Scottish gave their crown princess to the French and the French will engage in the war against the English. The crown princess of Scotland, Alicia, was very much sought after. The king of Castile asked for her hand as well as the king of Austria, the holy Roman emperor and the Grand Prince of Kiev.
In Spain, the Moors are getting increasingly troublesome. There are hundreds of Moorish pirates on the Atlantic Ocean.
First, I shall tell you about Scotland. Scotland is a very nice country, a trifle small perhaps, but very quaint and beautiful. Most of the Scots speak Gaelic, but some speak English. The nobles and royal family speak Gaelic, English, French, Latin, and Greek.
Second, I'll tell you about Mexico. Mexico has not yet been discovered by Europeans. The part in question is a dense jungle. Wild beasts roam the jungle. It is not very wise to walk about the jungle alone and unarmed.
At this time the Mayans inhabit this particular jungle which is just off the east coast. These tribes of Mayans are known for being fierce and warlike and especially bloodthirsty. The chief of the tribes is Chadunocisu. Chadunocisu's wife has recently been mauled to death by a cheetah. He has been making a search through his tribes for a girl equal to his wife, Kichanju's beauty.
The climate is extremely hot and very, very muggy. If not for the beautiful plants and flowers, I wouldn't be surprised if the natives would move away to a more agreeable climate. The hunting in the jungle is also very good. The Mayans enjoy the food very much, but as for me, I wouldn't like to eat boa constrictor snake Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for dinner.
Finally, I will talk about France. France, the place Alicia would have been going to, is also a nice country but, perhaps, a bit broken. Queen Claudette died four months ago of a mysterious fever. King Louis was very sick with the illness too, but he recovered almost too soon to be true. Instead of mourning for his wife he immediately asked Princess Alicia's hand.
Prince Henry, the Dauphin, has recently disappeared. There was some talk of the prince denying that the king was his father. But the affair was soon hushed up. Prince Henry went on a small pleasure cruise and has not been heard from since. The king's theory was that the prince was captured by pirates and the ransom note will be coming soon.
As for the physical capacities of France, the country is extremely beautiful. The countryside is filled with miles of light green grass. And the cities are filled with laughter and song. Paris is the most colorful city of them all. But Alicia was going to Bordeaux, that is, before she got shipwrecked.
The mysterious stranger does have a name but I will withhold his name for now. It would be rather tedious to keep saying "The mysterious stranger" so I shall call him by his middle name, Robert.
Robert is 27 years old. He has light brown hair and kind brown eyes. He has what you would call an honest face. His smile is nice but he has a slight overbite.
He is left handed and has expensive tastes, perhaps a trifle too expensive. But he can't really help it; his mother brought him up in that manner.
He likes sailing and inventing useful objects for the kitchen. He is extremely interested in botany, gourmet spices and fine cuisine.
He has two sisters, Luciana and Annette. Luciana is 32 and is married. Her husband's name is Claude. Luciana is a complete terror. She is the most ill-tempered, spoiled person in the family.
Annette is 17 and is the complete opposite of her sister. Annette is pretty and also very wise for her age. She is her older brother's favorite. She also is interested in gourmet spices and fine cuisine.
Robert has a golden retriever named Francis. Francis is 6 years old. Francis knows 100 tricks.
Robert's best friend is Andre. Andre is the exact same age as Robert and they have been companions since they were five.
Even at his young age Robert has already fought in three wars. Andre fought by his side through each one. In his last war Robert was wounded rather severely in his right shoulder. The enemy plunged his rusty sword in Robert's shoulder and the tip broke off. The tip was lodged deep in his flesh and the doctors were unable to get it out. The muscle tissue near Robert's shoulder blade was infected by the rusty sword tip. gangrene was starting to set in.
After the doctors finally fell asleep, Robert took his dagger out of his sleeve. He cut away the bandages and stuck his finger in the wound. Blood was oozing out creating an awful mess. He felt about a bit. Even though he was in excruciating pain, he stopped and smiled to himself thinking, 'I'm actually lucky, not everyone gets to operate on themselves'. After three minutes he found the sword tip. It was embedded deep in some cartilage. With a yell, he yanked it out. The doctors woke up and saw a steady flow of blood from the wound and the tip in his hand. The chief doctor thought that bleeding Robert would help. (Bleeding is an archaic procedure, in which one of the patient's veins is cut. This was quite common for the time; many people were suspicious of "bad blood".)
Andre, back from the battle and in the tent now, shouted that bleeding Robert was an extremely bad idea. What they needed to do now was to remove the infected tissue, stitch the open wound closed and bandage the gash with clean cloth.
Now I have told you something about Robert, perhaps too much, but it will set the stage for what is to come.
On a small craft, under a perfect crescent moon, there stood a man looking up at the stars one last time before he went to sleep. He saw a shooting star, he made a wish (I can't say what it was.) then he climbed down in the hold of the vessel and straight away fell fast asleep.
His dream was this: He was floating along in a raft with two girls. One was about twelve years old he would guess. She had chin-length raven colored hair and soft brown eyes, just like his own eyes. The other girl was about his younger sister's age, and she looked a lot like her. He carefully surveyed the girl. He thought to himself as he studied her features one by one, "She has Annette's athletic build as well as her sparkling blue eyes, her hair is exactly the same col-," Here he broke off mid-word, noticing the blue tips on the serenely blond hair. He quickly stumbled to his feet, just realizing that he had been on the deck of the vessel. "I beg your pardon for staring miss, but blue hair?" he stammered above the wind.
The blue-eyed girl, whose name was Esther, laughed, "Oh, it's not so unusual. Almost all the girls in school have some sort of color. Cathy Denali got her hair dyed all purple. Do you believe that?" She questioned him.
"No," he said flatly to Esther and her sister Katie. The happy group talked on a bit instructing Robert in modern culture. Esther talked the most because, Katie was quite content to bite her fingernails and watch the sea gulls. Now and then Katie would interject something on whatever the topic of conversation was. They neared an island. Katie, the raven haired girl, saw that he was very easy-going so she picked up a handful water and -
Splash! The water was coming in over the side of the boat. His friend, Andre, was rousing him. There was a terrifying gale going on. Together, they hauled down the sails. By the time they were back in bed again Robert was too tired to have any more dreams.
Hundreds of miles away, a normally enchanting copper-haired girl sat looking not-so-beautiful. Her pretty nose was puffy and red and her sparkling blue eyes were bloodshot. If you were to look at her from two miles away, it still would have been obvious that she was sobbing. She at last fell asleep.
And this is what she dreamt: Far to the contrast of foggy Scotland, she was on a sunny and warm beach off the coast of Florida. There was a small group of Islands, three to be exact. They were in the shape of a smiley face. The largest one had a mini jungle and a tribe of monkeys. The smaller ones had a handful of palm and coconut trees. Alicia took in the surroundings in an instant and a second later a cheerful 15 year old girl appeared with two PBCC&J (Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip and Jelly) sandwiches. She took a seat upon the sand next to Alicia and offered her a sandwich. Alicia took one bite and gasped; never had anything tasted so good in her entire life. After thirty seconds she stammered out, "Thank you!!!" The girl smiled even bigger.
"I'm Marianna Walters, What's your name?"
"Alicia," said Alicia, with the slightest suspicion of a Scottish brogue. She omitted the "crown princess" part, not wanting to put her newly found companion ill at ease.
"Alicia what?" quizzed Marianna.
"I think it's something like Stewart," Alicia answered foggily.
"You are not sure of your last name?" Marianna probed with a slight giggle.
"It doesn't get used very much where I come from, or at least mine doesn't. The town folk use their last names all the time; they hardly ever use their Christian names. I'll tell you the conversation I heard today when I was walking in to town. I burrowed a small hole under the grounds wall and it came out next to the blacksmith's shop. The cooper was talking with the blacksmith and he asked him 'Smith do you have my hoops?' and Mr. Smith answered 'Ah Cooper, I've been waiting for you.' So there, Marianna Walters," Alicia said with a peel of laughter.
After chatting a bit more, the two girls decided to play in the cool inviting lagoon. They had marvelous games of Marco Polo, Sharks and Minnows (The monkeys joined in for this.), and of course, Splash Fight. The monkeys were the judges for this particular affair. Then Alicia noticed something coming across the ocean. She beckoned Marianna over to where she was standing. Marianna remarked, "Why, what a funny canoe. It looks like it has a bird in it." The boat neared. Instead of a bird it was a man, a very savage looking man. He had a crown of feathers and as an alternative to a shirt, ferocious war paint. He wore a skirt made of grass which was adorned with beads. The most terrifying part was his face. His face was also painted ferociously and he had a ring through his nose! He landed on the island but had not seen them yet. Marianna grabbed Alicia's hand and ran with her to two hollow oak trees. The two of them climbed up inside the oak trees.
The savage man came to the lagoon in which they had been swimming. In her haste, Alicia had forgotten her tartan. The savage picked it up and yelled, "Aiiiieeeeeeeeee, aiiiieeeeeeeeeeee!" He waved it around his head and danced viciously. He seized a monkey by the tail and tormented it dreadfully (I shan't say what he did, because it was so horribly disgusting.).
Alicia scampered out of her tree, screaming in Gaelic, "You go to blazes you feral beast!!" Upon reaching him she snatched the monkey out of his hands. The injured monkey clung to her shoulder as she struck the barbarian's face. "That will teach you not to hurt defenseless creatures the next time," she said hotly. But before the words had scarcely left her lips, the man had vanished into thin air. She saw Marianna running towards her but every second she became more and more transparent. Marianna was yelling, "Don't go on your journey, please, don't go!!!"
Crash! The door of the small hut burst open and a dreadful tempest was thundering. Alicia jumped out of her cot and bolted the door fast again. She realized that she was chilled to the bone, but at the same time she wasn't very wet. She made a hot cup of tea and as she drank it, she pondered over her dream. She thought of the terrible man, as she drank a sip. But, what she thought of the most was, why did Marianna warn her against her voyage? She got back in bed, but she still couldn't help wondering: What does it mean?