Chapter 5: The Callesmere Empire

Chapter 5: The Callesmere Empire

A Chapter by Gosia

The Callesmere Empire




“Maewyn, concentrate!” the old crone nagged. May frowned and tried to hide a yawn unsuccessfully.


“Hmm?” she asked. Hilda glared at her with annoyance.


“What happened to you? You seem to be an entirely different person! You need to behave yourself.” the woman scolded May as the girl looked once again worriedly at the remains of the mirror. “Let us go through it once again. All of your servants have been released from their duty, so you can count only on my help. If you are without my or your father’s company, stay in your quarters or in your garden. Is it understood?”


“Mhm,” May mumbled, not taking eyes off the mirror.


She was lost in thought. To be honest, she didn’t have a clue on how to start figuring out a way home. Ask somebody? Yeah right, and get a first class ticket to Capital Decapitation?  No, she would rather not die. The best idea would be to learn something about that cursed mirror and maybe find something similar to it. How should she begin? If only someone could help her…


She felt so helpless, all alone in this strange, foreign place. She missed her family, was scared of never being able to come back to them, but there was another feeling inside her, like a tiny spark that could become a raging fire in time �" the feeling of freedom. Here she was free from her mom lecturing her all the time, her dad’s disappointed looks and Hailey’s boasting. Back at home, the life never focused on May, but here it seemed to be different; here it was all about her. She knew that now she was the main character, not Hailey, and only she had the power to shape her destiny. This thought gave May a huge confidence boost and fueled her hope to get out of this horrible situation.


But, she still wished someone would just tell her what to do, like they always did.


May shook her head, chasing that thought away �" she had to cope with it on her own this time. She had to think and decide for herself from now on. The girl gasped, as an idea popped into her head. Books! Surely in such a huge castle there was a library. And where is a library, there was information.


“Maewyn!” Hilda’s nagging returned May to reality.


However, the girl took absolutely no interest in listening to the strict old crone. She needed to devise some way out of her miserable situation. She needed to at least learn something more about this place and perhaps solve the mystery of her arrival here. There was no room for her shyness anymore, no more indecisiveness.


“Hilda? Is there a library here?” she asked. The older woman gave her a warning look.


“You weren’t listening, were you?” she fumed. “And yes, there is your father’s library. The priest of the temple on the outskirts of the village has a small library too, but it’s rather useless. If you want, I could take you to your father’s library tomorrow. ”


May furrowed her brows. She was way too impatient and wanted to start reading right away. She tried to put on her pleading face and make puppy eyes.


“Can’t I do it today? Please, Hilda? Please…”


Hilda sighed. What had gotten into this girl? Before the accident she was a gentle, polite Lady and now she was rude and feisty. The woman had no idea why Maewyn was so insistent on visiting the library all of a sudden, but she couldn’t really resist the innocent and pleading look the girl was giving her.


“Very well. Follow me and memorize the route. After you finish, return here on your own, and do try to avoid conversations with other people along the way.”


“I promise!” May clapped her hands and got quickly on her feet, feeling her body fill with a new-found energy.


Hilda led her to the library. It wasn’t as impressive as May had expected it to be, but there were numerous books and scrolls on the dusty shelves. May didn’t even notice when Hilda left. Fascinated, she began picking up books and scrolls, looking at maps. This was heaven for her. Some of the books must have been really old!


May began strolling along the book-filled shelves, wondering where she should begin her research. Her footsteps and breathing were the only sounds in the huge chamber �" it felt as lonely as on a cemetery here. Apparently, the Duke and the inhabitants of the palace weren’t too fond of knowledge. The girl smiled to herself, when she found a desk with a single thick book lying on it. She opened it and nearly squealed with joy, as it was the library index �" the book contained the information on every single scroll and book in the chamber, as well as had them sorted into certain categories. May quickly skimmed over the list.


“Geography, politics, romance, poetry…” she muttered, reading the names of the categories aloud. She hoped to find some books on mystical mirrors that transported people from Baltimore to this place, but apparently occult and religion weren’t the duke’s most favorite topics.


May sighed, disappointed. However, she didn’t waste her time. As she was already in the library, she could make use of it to learn more about this strange place. Quickly, she began gathering books and scrolls with basic information about the country, she was in, and dumping them on the desk.


A moment later, May was sitting by the solid table made of the finest oak with a huge pile of tomes and scrolls before her. Not really knowing, where to begin, she picked up the first book from the top. It contained maps. She took a look inside, staring at the yellowing pages �" the map looked foreign to her. She didn’t recognize neither the weird-sounding names of the countries, towns, mountains and rivers nor did she recognize the outline of the continent. It looked like nothing on Earth �" her crazy suspicion, that she found herself in some foreign world seemed more real with every passing hour. May straightened her back and took a few calming breaths before proceeding with her research.


Soon after, she learned that she was currently in the Callesmere Empire, which consisted of twelve autonomic dukedoms and the Capital City Thorongard. The administrative side of the empire resembled feudal Japan or medieval Germany with the multitude of the local rulers and a puppet Emperor. The empire boarded the sea from the east and south, with the northern wastelands and uncrossable Bradan Mountains from the west. In one book, which appeared to be a geographical work, she read, that the most of the mountain tops were seven to eight thousand meters tall and the highest peak was over a thousand and six hundred meters high, what meant that it surpassed Mount Everest nearly twice. May also learnt, that she was in the Thoen Stronghold, the capital of Farn, which was one of the smallest dukedoms in the empire. Farn had been ruled by Thoen family, which May was temporarily part of, for over five centuries.


From what she managed to read, the girl figured out, that the level of progress matched the Middle Ages in Europe �" a swift horse and a wooden ship with sails or paddles were the quickest means of transportation available; bows and swords were the top achievements of military technology.


After a fairly long time of being engulfed in reading May realized one particular disturbing thing �" the letters in the books. The girl closed her eyes, thinking that she was just tired, but when she opened them, the reality stared back at her.


“What the heck…” she muttered to herself, suspiciously eying the book before her.


The letters looked weird. Actually when she focused on it more, the letters didn’t even belong to the alphabet known to her, they were runic. May shook her head in confusion and began flipping over the books she just read; all of them were written in runes. More, the words didn’t seem right either. The girl sat back and stared at the ceiling, trying to make the sense out of it �" she most definitely knew nothing of runes, but she could read them as easily as though she was familiar with them all her life. Maybe… maybe there was a logical explanation. Perhaps this ability was a residue of being stuck inside of Lady Maewyn’s body.


May sighed, having an awful suspicion than the runes were just a top of the iceberg. She had an impression, that the language she spoke so naturally with all those people wasn’t English at all. She couldn’t spot the difference, but deep down she was certain for it to be true. The girl came to the conclusion that since she somehow understood this language naturally, there was no point in worrying herself over that, after all it was one of the minor issues here.


She wanted to know more about the extraordinary place, where she was, but her stomach rumbled, reminding her how many hours she had spent in the dusty chamber. May learnt quite a lot about this strange world, but Issue number one remained unsolved �" she still had no clue, how she could get herself transported back to Baltimore. She would use some occult books, but there were none here.


“The temple,” she muttered, remembering, that Hilda had mentioned the other library in the temple on the outskirts of the village. It was rather likely, that she could find some information on mystical objects there. But, there was one problem �" she had to think of the way to find an excuse good enough, so that she’d be permitted to go to the temple and roam through the library there, preferably alone. From what May had observed, that old bat Hilda would probably have a heart attack when she suggested it. The girl decided to figure it out later, after she grabbed something to eat.


May tried to go back to her quarters, but somewhere along the way she must have taken the wrong turn and she found herself lost. Her sense of direction had never been that great. May took a turn left and found herself in the courtyard. There were a couple of nobles strolling and talking to each other. All the faces were unfamiliar except one �" duke Thoen! May’s fake father was deep in conversation with some guy that was wearing overly an overly fancy hat which was sparkled with gems, and was wearing somewhat feminine robes.


Then, an idea popped into May’s head: if she stumbled upon the Duke, she could use this opportunity, making sure she’d be able to visit the temple’s library and find out something about that cursed mirror... Gosh, May has never really been an expert on convincing people, but it was the highest time to become one now. She kept in mind that she had to keep the façade of being a Lady. She walked towards duke Thoen, trying to appear graceful. She positioned herself in a place where he could see her. She didn’t have to wait long. Her fake father finished the conversation and hastily walked over to her.


“Maewyn, what are you doing here? You should be in your quarters.” he hissed out, glancing nervously at other nobles.


“Father,” May started cautiously. “I got lost, but I actually wanted to speak with you. There is a temple in the outskirts of the village, and I thought that I could pray there for my memories to return.”


“Maewyn,” the duke looked at first furious, but his expression softened after a brief moment. “I understand that you are eager to get better, but it is a long way and it would be tiring…”


“I know,” May interrupted him. “I am convinced that I can get there alone. I can do it, and I wouldn’t bother you or Hilda or that healer…”


“You want to go alone?” Duke Thoen whispered, shocked, as though May had just said she would travel across the entirety of the Callesmere Empire by herself, not the small village. The girl refused to give up.


“It’s not that far, and no one would dare to hurt a Lady. Besides, I feel confined here and I think my health is worsening from it.”


The argument about health was decisive. The Duke didn’t seem to be happy with the idea of the Lady roaming around the village, but it seemed that he couldn’t say no to his only daughter.


“I will agree, but I will send a bodyguard with you. I will choose someone who has not yet met you, so you would not have to be concerned about your memories. Now go to your room.”


May bowed and happily rushed from where she came. She was so pleased with herself because of her small victory that she felt like singing aloud. What she did just now was astounding! Actually, she never liked being shy or being unable to speak her mind in front of anyone. It felt refreshing to make those invisible chains crumble. May smiled even wider lost in thought; she didn’t notice that she was still lost until she nearly bumped into a solid wall..


Oh crap. I don’t have a choice but to ask someone to show me the way.


She chose a young maid as her target and stalked to her.


“Ahem,” she coughed to get girls attention. The girl looked up in horror, surprised and scared.


“My Lady?” she asked; her voice was shaking.


“Can you walk me to my room?” May asked and tried to look weak, as she didn’t want to admit, that she got lost. “I don’t feel well.”


The girl jumped up and led May, supporting her at the same time. When they got there, May thanked the girl and went into her room. She stretched and yawned loudly.


“Where were you?” the voice of the furious Hilda made May jump and let out a shriek. “I searched for you everywhere!”


“You scared me!” May accused her. “I got lost! It was not my fault!”


“Maewyn!” Hilda was shocked. “What an outrageous behavior! Tomorrow, you shall spend all day in your room.”


The girl barely refrained herself from huffing rudely at Hilda, who seemed to want to control May’s every step. She looked at the old bat with a new-found confidence, about to inform her, that she had other plans for tomorrow.


“Actually I am not. I’m going to the temple tomorrow.”


“I will not allow it,” Hilda said, glaring sternly at May, surprised how the Lady defied her. The Maewyn she knew would never behave like that.


“Father already allowed it. He believes, that praying in the temple will help my health to improve,” May announced, faking innocence. The old crone frowned and made her way to the exit.


“I am disappointed in you, Maewyn. I raised you to be a graceful and polite Lady. I feel sorrow when I look at you now,” Hilda said quietly and locked the door behind her as she left.


May couldn’t help but feel a little ashamed. It was great to act more confident, but she didn’t like hurting Hilda’s feelings. She decided to try to act more like Maewyn from now on. She wondered how the Lady was doing, who had been sent into her own world…


© 2013 Gosia

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I really like May. She's such an intriguing character. And you write her perfectly. She reacts to situations realistically and her shoving the cash into the woman's hands were priceless. Her manipulating Levi too was shrewd but I'd expect nothing less of her.

The shorter chapter works best again although your grammar and sentence structuring errors tend to pull me out of the world at times. But nothing so bad that it ruined the enjoyment for me.

The scene with the thief was cliche but so what? It works and May adopting strangers, strays and thieves will certainly add more confusion to her life as a princess.

I only have one suggestion here though and this goes for all the previous chapters I've read; you don't have to keep referring to her as fake princess or The Duke as her fake father. The readers get the point already and won't begrudge you if you don't stop to remind us every chapter or paragraph. Use alternatives like, the Duke or Lord Thoen.

Posted 10 Years Ago


10 Years Ago

Okay, I'll keep it in mind.
I'm enjoying the pacing of the shorter chapters. It keeps me turning the pages!
I like how you've made this society a bit draconian, and May's response to it.

Posted 10 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on July 23, 2013
Last Updated on October 1, 2013




Hello, my name is unpronounceable for most of humankind, but fortunately it can be shortened to Gosia. I’m an university student in my twenties, about to face the real life very soon. I’ve.. more..

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