Over the past few days, I’ve embarked on an unexpected adventure. I’ve been working on a series bible (or world guide) for Ravensmuir, Kinfairlie and Inverfyre. The plan was to compile what I’ve said about these places and characters before writing Ross’s book (The Runaway Bride) to make sure I don’t forget any important details. There are a LOT of details and it’s a much bigger exercise than anticipated. (I should have expected that, given how many books are set in that world, but there you go.)
The thing is that as I’ve been compiling details, I’ve found little gaps in the overall narrative. For example, in The Rogue, Ravensmuir is empty except for Ada and Arnulf when Ysabella arrives with Mavella, Tynan and Fitz. (Well, Merlyn is hiding there, but there are no more servants.) By the end of the book, Ada leaves, Berthe has arrived and Berthe’s parents come to be Merlyn’s seneschal and housekeeper. There’s no mention of men-at-arms or mercenaries hired to defend the keep, much less a captain of the guard. There needs to be one, and Berthe needs an HEA. In The Warrior, the Hawk has a company of loyal warriors and friends who follow him and aid in his quest. Where did he find them? I’m going to guess that he found some of them at Ravensmuir, in service to his uncle.
Similarly, by the end of The Rogue, Mavella has married her true love Alasdair, who is Kinfairlie’s miller. Alasdair has adopted his cousin’s fifth son to give that boy a legacy and to give himself an heir. On the downloadable family tree, Mavella and Alasdair are listed as having five unnamed children, the oldest of which is a girl. I left off the cousin’s son, since he isn’t their child. The next time we hear of Kinfairlie’s miller is in The Snow White Bride, when the current miller’s son, Mathew, is encouraged by Alexander to court shy Ceara. Who is that miller? I think he must be Alasdair’s youngest son, which means I need to figure out what happened to the other ones, as well as name some peeps.
In The Rose Red Bride, Alexander tells his sisters the story of the maiden who disappeared through the portal to the realm of the Fae, the one whose Fae suitor left behind a red rose made of ice as her bride price. This maiden was the beautiful daughter of the castellan who managed Kinfairlie keep after it was rebuilt by Merlyn and Ysabella but before Roland and Catherine took command of it. Anthony, the castellan at the beginning of The Beauty Bride is an older gentleman. Could this have been his daughter? What was her story? Where did she go and why? I always intended to write this story, but it’s been pushed aside for a while.
There’s also the story of Roland and Catherine. While we learn in The Beauty Bride that they drowned in 1420 in a shipwreck, they were still married for 25 years and had 8 children. I’m thinking they had a good marriage—plus they inspired a desire to marry for love in their daughters. Theirs must have been a love match. When and where did they meet? We know that Roland and the Hawk of Inverfyre were milk-brothers—when and where did that happen? Merlyn and Ysabella must have journeyed to Sicily, where Gawain and Eglantine were living after the siege of Inverfyre and where the Hawk was born. They must have gone during Ysabella’s second pregnancy or shortly thereafter, which makes sense given that Merlyn continued his trade in textiles from the east. I want to write Catherine and Roland’s story, too.
I haven’t even looked at the True Love Brides series, yet.
I’ve started Berthe’s story. My thinking is that these will be novellas or short stories, but we’ll see how it goes. I don’t tend to write short and I know you all prefer longer stories anyway. I’m going to call this collection Kinfairlie Tales. You’ll find a page for it under the Ravensmuir tab, after the Brides of Inverfyre.
And here’s my question for you today: would you be interested in the world guide for Ravensmuir, Kinfairlie and Inverfyre? I’ll be compiling it for my own reference, but could publish it as well. What do you think?