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The High Realm of Stormark
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High King Harald

Hornwood House

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Beloved Patricians and Friends,

 

This is Hornwood House, an ancient and mighty stronghold which is situated in a forest called the Hornwood in the Suðreyjarish Yeorlskapp of the Isle of Skye. It serves as the holiday retreat of His Majesty the King of Craitland in the Lands of Stormark under the provisions of the Lake District Treaty.

 

The name Hornwood House seems to be a bit of a misnomer for such a strong and vast fortress; the name aforesaid is, however, derived from a timber hunting lodge of the same name which was built on the site of the current castle in times ancient beyond the memory of woman by a local chieftain called Kjartan Melkorkasson of the House of Mael Curcaigh.

 

Mael Curcaigh means "servant of Curcach" in the local Storish - Celto-Norse to be exact - dialect. The noble House of the same name was created by a petty king, who bore the name of Curcach mac Dúngail of Clann Findliath, to reward Kjartan Melkorkasson's grandfather, who served as seneschal to the aforesaid petty king, for saving his life from an attacking bear.

 

In addition to the creation of the House of Mael Curcaigh the aforesaid reward by King Curcach mac Dúngai to his rescuer also encompassed the granting of lands - including the Hornwood - as well as a stout towerhouse. King Curcach also took the seneschal's son, Kjartan's father, as his royal squire.

 

As the power and wealth of the House of Mael Curcaigh grew they in time substituted the original timber hunting lodge by a timber and stone structure, which, as time marched, in turn was replaced by a lightly fortified building. Realizing the strategic and security value of Hornwood House its lords and ladies kept on strengthening and expanding it, and they also very prudently and cleverly designated it as a refuge of last resort.

 

Hornwood House served its masters and mistresses well, playing a pivotal role in the long survival of the House of Mael Curcaigh. It withstood several sieges, was never taken by any enemy force, and provided the House of Mael Curcaigh with a safe refuge during numerous wars and rebellions.

 

Throughout its long and glorious history there have been numerous attempts by its lords and ladies to rename Hornwood House to bring its name in accordance with its physical appearance and social station, calling it, among others, Hornwood Castle, Hornwood Fortress, and Fort Hornwood. The aforesaid attemps attempts were, however, in vain since the new names didn't stick and centuries ago the attempts to rename Hornwood House were abandoned.

 

When the House of Mael Curcaigh became extinct shortly after the Earldom of the Suðreyjar had became a Biland of the High Realm of Stormark, Hornwood House passed into the possession of the Storish State which used it to lodge and entertain guests of the Imperial Government of the Lands of the Longships Throne and the Imperial House of Ettlingar Freyu.

 

Hornwood House was in 2005, under the leadership of Lady Ingibjörg de Béthune of the House of Ydermure, extensively renovated and refurbished to, among others, provide it with home automation as well as other ultra modern amenities while retaining its ancient local Celto-Norse character and feel.

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