Originally this was a blog for the setting of a RPG I was running, but after the death of my daughter the game came to an end and I posted about her instead. I doubt I will post anything here again, but I am leaving it open as a kind of on-line memorial.
City Tour: The Green Hill
The House of Mind, Body and Soul (Council Chambers)
You can see why it's called GREEN HILL; it's the only expanse of grass for miles. Took them years to cultivate it, and a fair amount of magic too. Trees line the main streets, bushes elsewhere, and every building has its own roof-garden. Only councillors, their assistants and families are allowed to live here; although you will note that none of these buildings, save the Council Chambers, are as richly decorated as those in the NOBLE QUARTER.
The other buildings are council-owned, where are laws are passed, enforced and the breakers of such as tried and sentenced. That grand building at the centre of the hill is the HOUSE OF MIND, BODY AND SOUL, the city's COUNCIL CHAMBERS. That's where the council of priests, nobles, and Guild Masters hold their weekly meetings to discuss the concerns of the city. They're split into three factions, each with their own area of influence and responsibility. The MIND deals with the laws of the city; making, enforcing and protecting them. Nobles make up the majority of that faction. The Guild Masters are the majority in the BODY faction; they're responsible for the health of the city, its maintenance and safety, collection of taxes, and the implementation of many of the city's laws. The SOUL is, as you'd expect, the domain of the clergy and they fill it. They're the cause of most arguments and debates, often just amongst themselves. Due to the numerous religions of the city, the faction's membership is continually changing as they are elected on a rota of seats. They look after all religious matters, and are the most powerful and influential of the councillors.
Surrounding the chambers are the COURTS, where the judges pass sentence on criminals; the PRISON, where the criminals often end up, and which are largely underground within the hill itself. The public CITY HALL is on the opposite side, where public go to moan. The TAX OFFICE is next to the Hall, and if you ever want to to see the sheriff, that's where he is based.
We even have our very own standing army, independent from the kingdom and paid from the council's coffers. Their main barracks and offices are here, although most are billeted in the IRON TOWERS that guard the walls of the city. The soldiers patrol the walls, guard the gates, and protect the outlying farms and mines. They're chiefly responsible for protecting the city from external enemies. The interior is protected, patrolled, and policed by the CITY-WATCH, whose offices are also based on GREEN HILL, under command of the sheriff. They are the guards you see manning the WATCH TOWERS, patrolling the streets, and dealing with any trouble-makers. If there's a tavern brawl, or a burglary, it's their job to to deal with it. They're easy to spot, dressed in their bone-coloured tabards, with their conical helmets and round shields. The foot-guards are known for their heavy-handedness, more than happy to belt you round the head with their maces if you cause any trouble. The tower guards are skilled archers, able to pin a man with an arrow from great distances and with deadly accuracy. The WATCH TOWERS they man are all outfitted with large bells, rung to sound alarm, and have signalling lanterns that allow them to communicate with each other.
Word of advice: don't get on the wrong side of the Watch.
Before we leave GREEN HILL and visit the TEMPLE QUARTER, I just want to show you this building here. You might have heard that the clergy take a dim view of the arcane arts, with many religions considering such magic to be the work of heretics at best, demon-worshippers and devil-dealers at worse. Most magi are barely tolerated, and throwing spells around or blatantly using magic in public is more than likely to get you thrown in jail, exiled, or stone to death; depends on which part of the city you're in. However, there is a type of magi that is licensed to practice arcane magic and conduct research, all legal; and that's by being trained or joining the ACADEMY, which is based here, in this surprisingly plain building. Or maybe that's the point, so they don't attract unwanted attention. It also holds classes for rich noble's children, has a well-stocked library, and several laboratories that they rent out.
The funds we raised to dedicate an acre of ancient woodland and a memorial bench has now been completed, and the bench now sits in a wood near my hometown.
These are the maps of its location and how to get there. We won't be able to visit it for a good few months yet, but look forward to doing so.
Good news, for those who do not know, is that we now have a beautiful boy, my son Rohan Robert Forster, nearly eight months old, healthy and strong and amazing. It makes dealing with the loss of Millie easier.
This is him, from a recent outing to some nearby woods:
Happy Birthday Millie.
Love from you mum, dad, and your brother Rohan xxx
Yesterday was the funeral of our daughter. It started by the two of use viewing her body, which was so much harder than I expected it to be. She looked so different, so very much a body rather than the little girl who left us. Although it was difficult, and there were tears aplenty, I am glad we saw her one last time, if only for the sense of closure. The funeral itself was lovely, and it was nice to see so many of our friends and family in attendance, most of whom had to travel a fair distance in order to be there. Some of them we hadn't seen for years, as we'd lost touch with people with all the trouble of the past few years; so it was nice to reconnect, albeit under circumstances that we wouldn't have wished for. Lorraine wrote a eulogy for our daughter, which I thought I would share here. To our dear family and friends,
I just wanted to say a huge thank you on behalf of Simon and I for the outpouring of love and support you've given us over the last year, throughout my …
It is a year ago today that we had the funeral for our daughter, Millie. It was about three weeks after she died, due to the necessity of an autopsy, and it was on the Friday of my first week at work in my new job.
It was a strange and emotional day. We went to view the body in the morning, which I wish we had avoided, as seeing her lying there in her coffin... well, it wasn't our daughter. I could barely look at the body, and my tears flowed freely. I had thought it would give us closure, but all it did was remind us of what we had lost, and with hindsight I would've preferred to remember her as we saw her at the hospital.
The funeral itself was full of people and relatives we hadn't seen in an age. My childhood friend Phil managed to attend, and I hadn't seen him in years. It felt good to see so many faces, and the support they lent us was beyond anything I could've wished for.
I carried the coffin in. I didn't want anyone else to do it. I had to fight back …