A King’s Tears

Today, I am sharing a few of my favorite parts of Brumbletide and the Triad Champion. I love Chapter 3: A King’s Tears because it gives some insight into what exactly Pippin is doing in Castle Emily. Christians might find Maggie’s vision familiar…

Chapter 3: A King’s Tears

The next class is Academics with Queen Mother Felberta in Soleil Tower. I have never been more glad to be in the dark and dreary tower, even if there is a creepy white dragon head mounted to the ceiling above us. Aren’t heads of animals usually on walls? Soleil Tower, like Justice, has many levels, and today we are at the very top. Science and Math are taught here, but the equipment and techniques used by Queen Mother Felberta are by no means ordinary for high school. All around us are dusty beakers and bottles containing strange liquids, dead reptiles, and even human organs. These are by no means the most disturbing; large wooden beds with leather straps stand erect, leaving one only to guess what is done to someone in them. Tall metal walls full of bulky Frankensteinish switches are creepy décor that pop and spark randomly during lessons. I try to imagine little spikey-haired Soleil, so spunky and vivacious, working experiments and equations here. She is the Queen of Science and Mathematics.

Despite all the creepiness and dreariness, it’s warm, and I’m not expected to climb two hundred feet. Queen Mother Felberta is at the head of the class wearing large black goggles; her short grey hair pokes out of the strap and top of her crown. Her pointy nose looks even more pointy between the circular lenses, and thick black rubber gloves cover her hands and arms all the way to the elbows.

“Good day, your majesties,” she says kindly. “We have an exciting class today. Give me one moment to clean up; we were picking brains last period.” She giggles a strange giggle at her pun.

The desks of Soleil Tower are old, tattered, and wooden. Nothing nice is needed for dissecting, burning, and blowing things up. Calysta is next to me.

“I’m doomed,” I whisper. “And I’m mortified. We were to climb George Tower this morning in Hoplology. I couldn’t even get five feet up.”

“Ugh, we had to do that yesterday. Isn’t it the worst? I hate it.”

“Were you able to climb it? How high did you get?”

“I went the whole way, but it was awful.”

My cheeks burn.

Queen Mother Felberta emerges from a closet now looking like a perfectly splendid queen.

“Alright, class, I need a volunteer.”

No one raises their hand. This is because Nathan Youngblood’s hair is just now growing back from when he decided to volunteer a month ago. I hesitate, waiting for someone else to offer, but a small voice in my head taunts, “redeem yourself from the morning,” and the next thing I know, my hand is in the air.

“Ah! Princess Maggie. Excellent. Come up here with me, please.”

As I trudge past the student’s rickety desks and wide eyes, Queen Mother Felberta rolls out a gigantic coffin.

Of course.
            She pops open the lid revealing that it is about half full of water.

“Today, we are studying sensory deprivation. Princess Maggie here is our specimen. My dear, hop inside and make yourself comfortable. I’ll have a Snickerling bring you another gown.”

Unable to speak because my throat has closed, I silently step into the coffin and sit in the water.

“You have to lay down, Princess,” says Queen Mother Felberta helping me lay back into the lukewarm water. Now, all but my face is submerged. 

“See you soon,” Queen Mother Felberta says, but right before closing the lid, adds, “It might be a while.”

I am now in complete silence and darkness and water. My throat is still closed, and my heart is beating so hard I think it’s touching my ribs. I start breathing through my mouth, taking large gulps of air, but this seems to make my head spin. I close my lips and breathe through my nostrils, fighting the urge to gulp air again. Slowly, my muscles relax, and I float in the water. Slowly, my throat opens, and my shoulders loosen. The class could have up and left for all I know because I can’t hear a thing. Slowly, the blackness seems to blend with my thoughts, and images appear in a way that I’m no longer sure if they are in or out of my head…

Yes, yes, I see crowns and gowns, scepters and thrones—royals in a room with glimmering chandeliers, flames dancing among them. Everyone is smiling and laughing. I see Calysta and Atticus dancing together. She is teasing him as usual, and he is blushing. I smile watching them. My foot taps to the Snickerling’s song.

At once, they are dry bones.

In the lavish Throne Room, gowns and crowns sparkle through the pile of hideous rubble. What has happened to everyone? My stomach lurches seeing both Atticus and Calysta’s crowns laying together amongst the debris.

Two antlers appear in one of the balconies. A great White Stag peers down at the mess of decayed bodies. He is crying, and I cry. Whatever happened here, there is no hope—all is lost. The Stag continues to cry. He hangs his regal head over the edge, and his tears become larger and larger as they fall, splashing with such mighty splashes on the bones that I fear everything will wash away. The Stag leaps from the balcony and walks on the pool—walks right on top of it. Giant tears continue to fall from his brilliant green eyes, and as they do, something miraculous happens.

The bones raise.

Skeletons are walking around, wobbling on their unsteady legs. Pippin picks crowns out of the mess with his antlers, drawing some out of the water as they float by and setting them on the heads of some of the skeletons. Those skeletons, in turn, begin picking up crowns themselves and placing them on the heads of others. In a short time, all the bones have become skeletons, and every skeleton is either giving or receiving a crown. But now the water is so much and so great that it covers everyone. The only one above it is Pippin, who crouches on the water, looking down into it at all the royal skeletons about to drown. He seems to be counting them—making sure they are all there, maybe?  He bobs along the waves doing this until finally, he stops counting. He stands, his great crown gleaming brilliantly between his glorious antlers. At once, the lake of the dead parts; each side rushes up the Throne Room’s walls and escapes out of the upper windows.  As the water parts, Pippin lowers into the midst of not skeletons but beautiful royals kneeling all around him. The brightness of their gowns and crowns is almost too much for me to look upon.

The lid opens. Queen Mother Felberta smiles down at me. “All done.”

She takes my hand and helps me out of the coffin. Snickerlings bring towels and dry me off a bit.

“Would you mind telling us your experience?” asks Queen Mother Felberta.

My face in my hands, I shake my head. “Can I gather myself a minute, Queen Mother?”

“Ah, you’ve hallucinated. How lucky! Yes, we’ll discuss it after you get changed. Use my office.” She turns to the class full of curious faces. “Class is dismissed for today.”

With disappointed groans, the class gathers their things as the conical roof opens and Snickerlings bring carpets to fly them to High Noon Fare. Calysta waves down to me just before disappearing into a cloud above.

Queen Mother Felberta runs her fingers along the glass jars on an old dusty shelf and stops at a small one containing a long, squishy pinkish organ. Written on some tape is “Tongue of Man.” When she pulls the jar, the shelf moves to the side, revealing a spiral stone staircase lit by torchless flames and Miriam, the Snickerling doomed to die before Pippin rescued her.

“Follow me, Princess.”

As Felberta, Miriam, and I descend the winding stairs, I am able to peak into other levels of Soleil Tower, ones we haven’t yet explored in Academics. You would never know one of them was inside a building because it looks to really be outer space! Wes has certainly not seen this, or he would have already talked my head off about it.

“The Heavens,” calls Queen Mother Felberta behind her. “Only for Last Years, Rexes, and Reginas.”

Calysta told me about Rexes and Reginas. They are sort of leaders of their year. I’ll have to tell Wes.

A few more stories down, Felberta unlocks a giant dungeony door and lets Miriam and me into her office. Her desk is extremely messy, books are scattered everywhere, some laying open as if she began reading but got distracted by another, and then another. There is a bookshelf, but most of the books are gone or stacked sideways. A blackboard is covered in chalk with equations I could never hope to figure, and another giant white dragon, not just the head, hangs from the ceiling as the only decoration. It is very lizard-like and has a fierce expression, nothing like the pint-sized, lumpy warmouth that belongs to Soleil.

“Go ahead and change in here. I’ll be right back.” Queen Mother Felberta pulls the heavy door closed with a thud.

Miriam helps me with my gown.

“Miriam! It’s good to see you! I’m so happy you’re alive.”

“Thanks to you, ma’am,” she replies sweetly, tying my sash. She flies backward and looks me over. “Perfect.” Then coming in close, she whispers, “And now that you are Head of Castle, all will be well with my kind again.” She beams as she flies to the door, opens it like it isn’t the least bit heavy at all, and is gone.

My stomach sinks. Why is she so confident? It is true that Snickerlings will probably not be killed for their magic now that Julian and Louie are dead, but Michelle’s spirit is still in the hearts of everyone loyal to Emily Castle, and we have yet to find the stones of the Seven. As long as they are missing, the ancestors cannot leave the Axiom or they’ll die. In awful addition, we have placed trust in Lenore, who surely wants me dead, to help us with it all. Speaking of Snickerlings, a bunch of them were helping Lenore try to kill us! Here’s to hoping they’ve all reformed.

“Knock, knock,” says Queen Mother Felberta as she cracks open the door. Seeing I’m ready, she breezes in. “Have a seat, Princess.” She sets a roughed up wooden chair in front of her messy desk. “Watch out for splinters.”

I carefully take a seat, and Felberta leans back on her desk, crunching some papers beneath her bum.

“Tell me what happened in the chamber.”

“I saw a vision…er…or maybe it was a dream?”

“Hallucinations are common in sensory deprivation. It was probably a vision. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t true.”

Her last words take me by surprise. “Oh. Well, I saw loads of students in the Throne Room dancing and having a good time when suddenly, they dropped dead and were just a pile of bones! Then Pippin came—”

“The King,” Felberta says under her breath.

“Yes. Pippin came, and he was crying. But his tears became an ocean of sorts and somehow brought the royals back to life.”

Queen Mother Felberta’s eyes are as wide as saucers. “Anything else?”

“Not that I can remember.”

“This is no dream, Princess. With recent events, it is no surprise you’ve seen what you have.” She looks around as if something will appear suddenly in the air. Staring off into another world, she whispers, “Pippin is on the move. Anything can happen now.”

A thrill, both exciting and frightening, creeps through my skin. The “recent events” she speaks of is the defeat of the wicked ancestor, Michelle, by the great White Stag, Pippin—does she know about that? The return and then the dreadful exit of the six ancestors, George, Flori, Justice, Eve, Soleil, and Sara Lisa, whose stones that keep them immortal outside of Brumbletide have yet to be found. The escape of the ex-Head of Academy, King Julian, and his accomplice, Lenore’s husband, King Louie—I killed them both with the Scepter of the Seven and still haven’t come to grips with it. The Lux Sea turning to blood, signaling that Pippin is likely eradicating evil from Emily once and for all, but that war is probably imminent as well. And lastly, Pippin showing up during the fight between Lenore’s Snickerlings and the Boggletrice Company, terrifying Lenore and causing her to agree to step down and make me Head of Emily Castle. She also agreed to help us find the stones that were stolen from the Six so that they can leave Brumbletide and rule Emily with me.

As you can see, it’s been an average run-of-the-mill school year so far. Sheesh!

Queen Mother Felberta has come back to earth. “I won’t have you tell the class. We’ll discuss something else. You should, however, tell King McShanihan. Now go, hurry to High Noon Fare before you miss the meal.”

She heaves the great door open and whistles a loud whistle with her forefinger and thumb to her lips. In seconds, Snickerlings have brought a white carpet. I bid Queen Mother Felberta goodbye, and the Snickerlings fly me through the stairwells and then out of the conical roof to one of the high windows of the Throne Room. Inside, Atticus and Calysta greet me warmly. The balcony is loaded with a magnificent feast for High Noon Fare. Starving, I immediately take a seat on the third throne and pile my crystal plate full of fish and chips.

Have yet to discover the magic of Brumbletide? Find it here!

Pathetic

Today, I want to share with you a few of my favorite parts of Brumbletide and the Triad Champion. Here is an excerpt from Chapter 2 that I laugh at every time I read it. Poor Maggie. Enjoy!

My first class is Hoplology with Atticus and Thorn. We are freezing—absolutely freezing. The weather is frosty, and we are all gathered on carpets in midair in front of Queen Mother Berthilda. Two or so dozen young royals are bundled in white furs and huddled two or three to a carpet held by Snickerlings. The magical flying children are dressed in no more than their usual patchwork attire and seem unfazed by the cold.

            Four Snickerlings hold Queen Mother Berthilda’s carpet in front of the others while she raises her large arms to get everyone’s attention.

            “Hear, hear! Attention, your majesties! As many of you know, the one hundred and seventy-fifth Em Games are right around the corner. In preparation, we will be performing exercises more daring than usual. We break the ice today with Tower Climbing.”

            Gasps escape from around the carpets. Even the Snickerlings appear a little worried and lean in to whisper what I gather to be consoling words to their passengers.

“Now, now, not to worry, class. You will be monitored the whole time, and if you happen to fall, Snickerlings will come to your rescue immediately. Any questions?” Queen Mother Berthilda scans the class.

            “Has anyone died before?” shouts Eden Kung over the wind.

            Berthilda considers his question as if she isn’t sure whether to answer honestly. “Yes, some have. None in the past few years though.”

There have been no games in recent years! The last were twelve years ago!

“And if the worst should happen, what a way to go, eh?” The Queen Mother flashes a toothy smile reciprocated by no one.  “Right. Now, everyone, do your very best—especially you, Champions. Let this not be the year we break our Triad winning streak.”

            “Yeah!” shouts Atticus. “Let’s do it, Champs!” A few other Champions whistle and applaud as well.

            Meanwhile, I haven’t gotten past the name of the event—Tower Climbing. My head is back as far as it will go as I take in the massive monstrosity that is George Tower. It can’t mean what it sounds like, can it?

            “For those of you unaware,” pipes Queen Mother Berthilda, “Tower Climbing is exactly as it sounds. You will be climbing George Tower.”

            Pushing Thorn out of the way, I lean over and puke off the side of the carpet into the Lux below.

            “Maggie!” shouts Atticus. “Are you alright?”

            I sit back up woozily. “No.”

            “Blimey,” mumbles Thorn, checking her gown for vomit.

            Atticus nudges my shoulder and whispers, “Heights are my greatest fear, but I’m going to suck it up and go first since I’ll be leading the Em Games and all.” He raises his hand.

            “Yes, Prince Atticus? Oh, are you alright, Princess Maggie? You’re green.”

            I lean over and puke again.

            “Eesh, let’s trade places,” says Thorn, crawling to the center of the carpet.

            Atticus waits a second to show a little concern but no longer. “I volunteer to go first, Queen Mother Berthilda.”

            “How wonderful. Your carpet can come forward then.”

            To my horror, the Snickerlings fly us to the ledge at the bottom of George Tower. A large stone winged hound—George’s warmouth—sits at the corner permanently fixed on Little Ipswich.

            Queen Mother Berthilda’s carpet hovers next to ours.

            “Our brilliant ancestor, King George, designed his tower to be climbed. There are grooves all around it for your hands and feet. The things to overcome are the wind, your lack of strength, and, of course, your own fear. Prince Atticus, godspeed.”

            Without hesitation, Atticus grabs hold of the hound and pulls himself onto the ledge. He catches a glimpse of the Lux far down below on his way, and a flash of panic sweeps his face. But without closing his eyes, he takes a deep breath and stands up straight. Immediately, he begins climbing fast up the tower. His small frame is of benefit to him here. He stumbles once, and Snickerlings lunge forward, but he immediately regains his footing and continues upward at an impressive pace. Before long, Atticus has made it halfway up the tower and waves to us from what is certainly two hundred feet in the air.

            “Bravo! Bravo, Prince Atticus! And a Champion, no less,” Queen Mother Berthilda shouts gleefully.

            Snickerlings soar to Atticus and bring him down safely to our carpet. In the snowy wind, he is sweaty and out of breath.

            He swats the air. “Wasn’t anything. A nice warm-up.”

            Thorn is next. She doesn’t seem happy about the task but not terrified either. Quietly, she steps onto the ledge and is smart enough not to look down. Not so quickly as Atticus, but at a decent pace, she climbs the tower.

            “Steady, calculated, precise— the Firebreather way,” Berthilda tells us quietly as if not to disturb Thorn’s concentration.

            Eventually, Thorn reaches the halfway point and raises her hand.

            “Well done, Princess Thorn!” Berthilda shouts as Snickerlings fly her to the carpet.

            “Next we have—” She pauses because I’m apparently still green. “Princess Maggie.”

            I hoist my body, which seems to weigh a ton, onto the ledge and cling for dear life to the wings of the stone hound. I feel woozy and, without meaning to, catch a glimpse of how high I am. Puke immediately projects into the air and makes its way into the carpets holding my classmates who squeal in disgust. I close my eyes and breathe, trying to compose myself, and when I feel the first bit of relief, turn and mount the tower.

            Atticus and Thorn have deceived me. Even pulling myself onto the tower takes all my strength, and my arms are already burning as I hold myself up. The flag marking halfway up the tower seems a mile high. I’ll never make it. I won’t even make it five grooves in. I let go of a groove and immediately grab the next closest. My legs and arms are trembling, and my body is getting heavier by the second. I’ve never been athletic—how am I going to do this? Atticus and Thorn must have done this before. Yes, of course, they have!

            With my arms already so fatigued that I can’t raise a hand, I yell, “I can’t do it! My arms are giving out!”

            In a blink of an eye, I am in the arms of Snickerlings and then back with Thorn and Atticus on the carpet. I don’t feel that ashamed when Queen Mother Berthilda doesn’t give me a “good try” or anything, but little do I know the shame will grow heavier and heavier as every single student climbs high onto the tower. Even Eden, whose fear had him crying on his way up, made it to the flag. I alone was the only one not strong enough to do it.

            And I am supposed to be the Head of Emily Castle. Pathetic.

Have yet to discover the magic of Brumbletide? Find it here!

Lesson from the Apple Tree

Five years ago, my husband, Jason, planted two apple trees in our backyard. And for five years, not one apple grew. We had pretty much given up on them; in fact, we didn’t even pay much attention to them anymore. So when a single apple was found on one of the trees in early August, we all marveled with surprise and delight. There was finally fruit from the trees we’d almost given up on!

Of course, the kids wanted to eat the apple immediately, but I wouldn’t let them. It was from the backyard and might have bugs or worms. After all, I am accustomed to the shiny apples at the grocery store. Those apples are bigger, polished, and beautiful; even the organic varieties are still much better looking than this one from our tree. So despite the kid’s pleas, I set it on the kitchen counter for us to look at until it went bad, and then I would throw it away. But surprisingly, the apple looked exactly the same after almost three weeks. Still happy the tree had finally grown an apple, I decided to keep it longer.

Then today, I was cleaning the kitchen, and there was the apple. The thought crossed my mind that after five years, God saw fit to yield an apple from those trees…why not at least cut it open?
I washed the apple and sliced it in half. I should have taken a picture of the inside because I had prepared myself for a worm, a wormhole, or at the very least, for the apple to look unappetizing in some way. But no, the inside was brilliant white and smelled wonderful!
I sliced it up and got the kids to try it with me. I admit I was a little nervous because of some spots I saw on the skin that I didn’t know why they were there. But heck, I eat the store-bought apples all the time without a clue of what goes on with them before they get to me! We all took a bite, and low and behold, it was good.

This all probably sounds silly to you. Who in their right mind would be afraid to eat an apple right from the tree? But consider this: Eve. There she was, considering a fruit. That one was forbidden, but she decided she knew best and ate, plunging us all into darkness. And now, with all things in life, we have to really try to not see them backwards. The things that were prepared for us from the beginning now seem much less pretty than the things this world has to dazzle us.
Don’t we all know that not everything that glitters is gold? We know, but we forget! Go back to the fruit of the Spirit given to us by Jesus Christ, who died and rose again so that we can bear it. He is the true Vine, after all. The one Vine you can trust even though, at first, following Jesus may seem less pretty, less clean—even dangerous. But taste and see that the Lord is good. You can trust Him.

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Psalm 34:8

Brumbletide and the Triad Champion: RELEASED

Happy news!

The third in the Brumbletide series is LIVE. Find it here on Amazon!

ALSO, books one and two are remaining on super sale for THREE MORE DAYS! So if you haven’t yet discovered the magic of Brumbletide, now is the time!

Thank you for reading, Loves!

Brumbletide and the Triad Champion

It’s happened. What Maggie feared has come true. Princess Magdalene Prewitt of Firebreather is now Head of Emily Castle and has been made so by King Pippin, no less. Now there is certainly no turning back! Thankfully, Maggie’s best friends, Calysta and Atticus, will be by her side, and she also has the aid of King Mortimer McShanihan and the Boggletrice Company. But even with the help of her most trusted royals and Horsemen, she is still completely sick at the thought of ruling such a prestigious establishment at the young age of thirteen.

To Maggie, life couldn’t possibly be any more stressful…that is, until she’s told about the Em Games.

Of course, she would become Head of Castle just in time for some kind of Olympics that only Emily royals seem to know of. And, of course, the Head of Castle is to lead every event—and leading means doing the most outrageous and dangerous sports Maggie has ever seen! And, of course, Maggie is the clumsiest and most unathletic person in the academy.

Unbelievable.

And through it all, the wicked King Michelle still lingers throughout the castle. But since he’s dead, he’s found in the most unsuspected places.

Queen Flori of Bravetail

Meet the queen with the green thumb, Queen Flori of Bravetail!

Last but certainly not least, we have Queen Flori, Head of Bravetail House, and creator of the magnificent Hanging Gardens of FLori.

When one beholds the magical Hanging Gardes in Flori Tower, they would never guess that the hands that made them belong to such a humble queen. Of the seven ancestors, Flori is the most humble and down-to-earth. In fact, if she has ever seen her reflection in a mirror at all it was only on accident because she couldn’t care less about her outer appearance. A little rough around the edges, she can be blunt, but you can rest assured that what you see is what you get with this earthy queen.

Flori spends the majority of her time bringing life into the world. The queen of Nature, she stays busy planting and growing and birthing and nurturing. Flori Tower, where Emily Academy students tend the Hanging Gardens with Queen Mother Hertha, is a wondrous mystery filled with breathtaking yet unheard of and never-before-seen plants, wildlife, and more.

On her hand not pictured is only three fingers. Like Sara Lisa’s eye, this was the work of Michelle. We will not find out what exactly happened and why today but it will be learned later in the series. Any guesses?

The stone stolen from her crown is a brilliant green emerald, and her warmouth is a jolly winged beaver. Her house in Emily Acdemy is Bravetail. Students chosen for Bravetail have a passion for life, nature, and usually enjoy being outdoors. Bravetails are life-giving and nurturing at heart and never a bad addition to a group. The world would be a better place is everyone was a Bravetail.

Think you might be a Bravetail? Find out here!

Have yet to discover the magic of Brumbletide? Find it here!

King Michelle of Firebreather

Ask and you shall receive! Today, we meet King Michelle of Firebreather.

King Michelle, one of seven ordinary men and women chosen by the great White Stag, Pippin, to leave behind their ordinary way of life and rule a new land with him. That land was Brumbletide, planned and prepared before the beginning of time by Pippin for the people of Little Ipswich and beyond.

Queen Eve, King Justice, Queen Flori, Queen Sara Lisa, King Geoge, and the twins Queen Soleil and King Michelle were all given free rein to design their towers however they wanted them and even contribute their own creations to the kingdom. They all worked extremely hard until the castle and its surroundings were perfect. It was a kingdom like none other, and their work was deemed good by Pippin.

But when the day of inauguration came, one ancestor did not show. The day that this special kingdom was to be revealed and opened to the world, it was empty and would remain so for seven hundred years. It so happened that one of the chosen, Michelle, thought it better that he take the ideas of this miraculous kingdom and build one almost exactly like it, where he would rule it alone.

He would rule this kingdom alone but by no means would he build it alone. He lied to the spouses and children of his fellow royals and also to a third of Pippin’s magical Snickerlings. Deceived by Michelle, they turned their backs on Brumbletide and willingly became slaves to Michelle. This new kingdom, Michelle named Emily, meaning “rival”, has been deceiving the people of Little Ipswich ever since, keeping them away from Brumbletide with the best kind of lie—the kind that is so close to the truth that no one could possibly fathom that it is built on death.

And death is, in fact, the building blocks of Emily. King Michelle was able to create an exact replica of Brumbletide Castle but Pippin is the only one that can work the kind of miracles that happen in Brumbletide. Not willing to accept this truth, Michelle resorted to slaughtering many Snickerlings for their magical wings, nailing them to the walls of the Catacombs. Every year, an innocent Snickerling is killed to keep the magic and miracles the people of Ipswich adore so much alive in the palace.

Meanwhile, the true and good kingdom is hidden beneath it all, neglected and forgotten by those who say they love it.

Michelle is head of Emily’s Firebreather House. Only Firebreathers have been Heads of Castle for seven hundred. That is, until Maggie Prewitt stumbles into the castle up-ending everything. When he was helping the other ancestors build Brumbletide, he designed the magnificent library that is Michelle Tower. Its replica is in the Michelle Tower of Emily Castle and is where the subjects of English and History are taught by Queen Mother Toadi. Of course, the books in the library were all carefully placed by Michelle who only allows certain authors to be read, himself being one, and the English and Historical philosophies taught have a distinct Michellian twist (only noticed by those who know otherwise.)

It was Michelle who stole all the stones from his fellow ancestors. While most of them are hidden in the castle, his black onyx and his sister’s white stay on two points of his crown. This is how he keeps himself immortal and the ancestors trapped in Brumbletide. I’ve already given many spoilers here, I won’t give any more.

Michelle’s warmouth is a purple dragon.

Students chosen for Firebreather often have a flare for the arts and/or an interest in Emily’s version of history. They are intelligent and shrewd, and often charming. Unlike other houses, Firebreathers must learn Pippin’s Puzzle.

“Firebreathers always execute…or are executed.” -Queen Mother Toadi

Think you might be a Firebreather? Find out here!

Have yet to discover the magic of Brumbletide? Find it here!

Queen Sara Lisa of Fairfang

And we continue on! Meet Queen Sara Lisa of Fairfang House.

Don’t let the picture fool you, this one-eyed beauty happens to be the queen of Beauty and Celebration. Of all the Brumbletide bunch, Queen Sara Lisa has the most swagger and charisma. If there is a ball, a gala, a tea party to be had, you can be sure Sara Lisa is behind it, and that it will not only be the time of your life but the most unique of all times you’ve ever had. With the wondrous Sara Lisa Tower and the awe-inspiring Resplendent being the works of her hands, it is evident this queen knows how to dazzle a group of royals.

Queen Sara Lisa’s stone stolen from her grand coronet is a vibrant ruby, and her warmouth is the white panther, Hildi, who we see has just as much swagger as she does in Changing of the Crowns. Both the queen and the cat ooze confidence and magnetism.

Why the eye patch? Ugh, spoilers. I try not to give too many away but here are TWO. In chapter twelve of Changing of the Crowns, we learn that the Six fought Michelle in battle not long after he built Emily, and Sara Lisa’s eye was gouged out. Centuries later, her descendant, Gus the friendly bartender, suffered the same fate at the hands of Emily officials. There is a reason that she still has the missing eye and Queen Flori still has a three-fingered hand but I will not be spoiling that today. These will be answered in later books.

Queen Sara Lisa is head of Fairfang House. Emily Academy students chosen for Fairfang show strong promise of leadership, a charming and charismatic disposition, and a compassionate heart. They also need an eye for non-traditional beauty in life. Many times it is difficult to decide if a student belongs in Fairfang or Fleetwing as they share many of the same characteristics.

Think you might belong in Fairfang? Find out here!

Have yet to discover the magic of Brumbletide? Find it here!

King Justice of Fleetwing

And then there were four! Let’s meet the charming King Justice of Fleetwing House.

If you are curious as to why this king is in his pajamas, it is because his heart is set to bring the royals of Emily into the knowledge of Pippin and Brumbletide through his tireless work in hospitality and service. In Brumbletide, Justice takes it upon himself to make sure the Castle and its surroundings are inviting and captivating as well as magical. Justice knows the power of care and service and ensures that Brumbletide draws royals in through every one of the five senses. Of course, since the ancestors are alone in Brumbletide for now, Little Ipswich and Emily are unknowingly benefitting from all his hard work. The people of the Downtown Ipswich are entranced by the unique and delightful aroma of the ferry’s chimney smoke (the ferry is one of Justice’s first creations). Even at just the sight of the Castle’s ferry alone, one is filled with wonder. What’s inside the strange floating cottage? Inside, one tastes the magic of Brumbletide through perfect hot chocolate, bubblegin, gingerwheels, and the biscuit with a message, lucky nests; that’s just to name a few of Justice’s kitchen masterpieces served. What about touch? Everything from the fluffy linens of the ferry’s nooks, to the squashy armchairs of the towers, and the luxurious canopies of the dormitories are the work of the king of Hospitality and Service.

King Justice was the first ancestor chosen by Pippin to rule Brumbletide with him. The stone missing from his coronet is a glorious jasper, and his warmouth is a sparrow. Justice is king of the Fleetwing House of Emily Academy until Brumbletide is made known and he can rule them rightly. A student chosen for Fleetwing shows a compassionate nature and a servant’s heart. One could say without the Fleetwings, Brumbletide will never be made known.

Two large works of Justice’s are found in Brumbletide. Justice Tower where the classes of Hospitality and Subjects (not like school subjects, but like a king’s subjects) are taught. Justice Tower has many magical levels, all venues for perfecting the art of caring for your neighbor. The ferry is Justice’s other large work. The idea was inspired by Pippin when he told Justice that the journey to the kingdom should be unforgettable. Justice did not disappoint. The ferry is a miraculous boat that looks like a floating quaint cottage covered in snow with frosty portholes all around. The smoke from the chimney is scented like baking pastries. Inside are several cozy nooks where passengers nestle in around the magic fireplace and enjoy refreshments prepared just for them.

Hopefully, one day the people of Little Ipswich will experience the true and good ferry and Justice Tower of Brumbletide instead of the off-brands of Emily Castle. Until then, Justice is continuing on in his labor of love.

Do you belong to Fleetwing House? Find out if you are a Fleetwing Sparrow here!

Have yet to discover the magic of Brumbletide? Find it here!