Menagerie Manor

About two miles west of Fellport, a run-down Ionian mansion sits on a cliff overlooking the ocean to the south. A square-cornered stone jetty points south into the water, originally allowing merchant vessels and yachts to dock. A paved road switches back and forth up the cliff face to the back lawn and patio. The once-manicured lawn hasn't felt the touch of a caretaker in at least 20 years, and the doors hanging in the arched entryway in the surrounding wall that leads to the circular drive at the main entrance stand open enough for horses to enter, but too narrow for carts. The words "Menagerie Manor" appear on one of the doors, amateurishly painted in squid ink. A mob of meerkats keep watch from the roof and various dens dug all over the yard.

Originally built over 500 years ago as the country estate of the Albinus family, five brothers who made their fortune trading across the civilized world, the Albinus Estate steadily declined under the Ionian Republic as the middle class of private merchants ate into their once-monopolistic profits. When Fellport declared independence, the manor stood empty, a shell of its former glory. The Council gave it to various powerful people in the city as a reward, but it generally became known as an albatross by being too expensive to repair.

And then twenty years ago, Julian Moray passed away of old age in his manor on Topside. He left his lands (including the Albinus Estate) and earthly possessions to his only surviving heir: a distant grandniece named Ciara Moray. It took some time to find her, as she wandered the underwater Nelendi Kingdom, but she came and settled matters. She sold the city estate to Darius Atreyan, a highborn leader in the Fellport Watch, but she kept the seaside manor and moved in.

Ciara renamed it Menagerie Manor, and she maintains it as a wildlife refuge. Animals from all over the world make their home on the substantial grounds, and sea animals frequent the waters around the jetty. She talks with them frequently and will awaken any of them if they want, like Oakshade, the giant talking oak tree planted in the middle of the circular drive in front of the manor, but it needs to be their choice. She travels the lands and oceans of the world, rescuing animals and taking them back home to recover. The Menagerie Manor provides a home for at least a dozen workers, apprentice druids, and healers to help take care of the scores of exotic animals on the grounds, but Ciara's considerable fortune makes sure that nobody goes hungry.

She knows about the secret room with the teleportation circle in the basement of the manor, and she uses that to return home quickly. Sometimes she travels with one of several wizard companions, but many times she simply pays the Longstriders Guild to send her to the provided address and then forget its existence. The stables contain injured or runaway horses that she sometimes loans out; they come back with stories about the outside world around the manor. She has been known to harbor fugitives on occasion, but no law enforcement has yet overcome their fear of searching beyond the huge, scarred cave bear that sleeps in the front foyer.

Part of T.W.Wombat's Lore 24 project, detailing the world around Fellport.
For all city posts, see the Fellport Index. For posts about the wider world, see the Beneterra Index.

No comments:

Post a Comment