Shellara Miller (formerly Shellara Amnherst) Edit
Current Full Title: Lady Shellara Miller, Queen of England, Duchess of Mercia, Marchioness of Normancross, Countess of Nottingham, Viscountess of St. James, Baroness of Castleton
Shellara remembers very little of her real family. Only a snippet of a song and a memory of a red curtain remain of the first two years of her life. She does not remember what her original mother or father look like, or if they were nobles, or bandits, or peasants.
Shellara was always told that she was found as a toddler wandering the woods near the River Trent after large group of raiders swept through the area. According to the story, the farmers in the area met to discuss her fate, some of them wary that she was the daughter of some of the bandits. A quiet farmer name Bram and his wife Anna offered to take her in until someone came to claim here. But her parents must have been killed, captured, or lost in the raid, for no one stepped forward to claim here. As the years went by, she learned spinning, weaving, and midwifery from her adoptive mother, and archery, swordplay, and politics from her adoptive father. In the forests near Coventry, she spent most of her childhood on the farm, learning how to care for animals and work hard. At fifteen, she was a very sweet innocent young woman, and Bram had arranged for one of the other farmer's sons to formally court her.
But the raiders came again. On their way to conquer Coventry, the burned the farms, killing as they went. Anna concealed Shellara in a tree stump just in time, making her promise to stay silent, no matter what happened. In horror, Shellara watched as Bram fought ten men at once and lost, cut to the ground in a pool of his own blood. She watched as Anna was raped and slaughtered, and as the bandits burned the house and everything in it to the ground. But true to her word, she stayed silent, and when the raiders had finished their work, they left without discovering her.
After waiting for hours to make sure the raiders had really gone, she emerged from the stump, weeping. She spent the night burying the bodies of her parents in shallow graves dug with her hands and a broken shovel. When the dawn came she wreathed their graves in flowers and turned her back on the only home she'd ever known. With nothing but the clothes on her back and her father's bow, she wandered aimlessly in grief through the woods. As the chill of autumn began to set in, she wandered into Derby dressed in rags, searching for a place to stay.
Once in Derby, Shellara threw herself into the community. Her skills as a farmer allowed her to swiftly gain her own field, and she soon had her own small farm, with a little house and field. As she became more familiar with the community, she began to have suitors, as she was one of the town's only unbetrothed elligible maidens. Unfamiliar with the rules of courtship, she found herself drawn to a very honourable, upstanding man by the name of Monte Cristo. They began to court in earnest, and he showed her the ways of men and women. But it was not to last. His mysterious work elsewhere kept him away often, and she began to see less and less of him.
Confused, she wondered what had gone wrong. But a new character had arrived in town, a daring dangerous man named Raytheon Yangreime, who lived for the moment and had few boundaries. Fueled by loneliness, she was drawn to his charismatic charm, and his daring. After a bit too much rum one night in the tavern, she slept with him, breaking Monte's trust. Within a few days, Raytheon was gone, and Monte left for Lichfield, where he quickly began to court another woman.
Deeply ashamed of herself, Shellara soon discovered that she was pregnant. As the child grew within her, so did the whispers around her. She was outcast as the town harlot, and shunned by many of the villagers. Alone and ashamed, she hardened her heart, vowing to love only her child and nothing else. Hiding from the pain and shame she felt, she threw herself into the Mercia Regiment almost recklessly, managing watches and patrols all the way through her pregnancy. Her dedication did not go unnoticed, and when the Derby City Knight failed to report for duty one day, Captain Alastair Williams gave her the chance to prove herself. She was named Derby City Knight, her first leadership position.
During her time in Derby, a young boy deaf-mute boy by the name of Hal Finley attached himself to her. Both of them being outcasts, the bonded over loneliness, and as Shellara's pregnancy progressed she felt increasingly motherly toward him. He, however, became very romantically enamored with her despite only being the tender age of 12, and begged her to sleep with him. She refused, slightly shocked at the idea and at his forwardness. He persisted, to the point of dreaming about it, then swearing his dream was real. Thoroughly uncomfortable with his advances, she strove to distance herself from him, to little avail. She came to realize that he viewed her no differently than the rest of the town, as a harlot, useful for a good time but little else.
About this time, the Hammer Clan arrived, unannounced, in Derby looking for a place to settle after a fallout in Sussex, invited by the captain of the Regiment to settle in Mercia. They brought with them an army, which greatly concerned Shellara as City Knight. She quickly wrote to Alastair regarding the authorization of their presence.
It was as she was validating their presence that she first met Harkaa. He entered the tavern and the rest of The Hammer Clan immediately gathered around him. She watched curiously, noting that he seemed to be a leader among them. He laughed and joked roughly with them, but there was something deeper. He was freakishly huge and brutishly strong, but she sensed a deep sadness in him that resonated with her. Cautiously she approached him with questions about his army and his purpose here. Though obviously annoyed, he answered her patiently and thoroughly. After months of shunning from the residents of Derby, his focused attention to her and her questions startled her. She left that day with a clear desired to see him again, though she did not understand why.
As the days went by, he continued to show her kindness and caring, despite being warned away from her by the other citizens of Derby. Noticing her loneliness, he went out of his way to interact with her, treating her with a respect she had not experienced in months. He also helped her discourage young Hal and his fantasies, and shielded her from the harsher ridicule she was experiencing. Bewildered by his compassion, Shellara felt her heart begin to soften again.
After some months, she was forced to admit that she was falling in love with the gentle giant. Due to his compassion and outreach to her, many of Derby's residents began to treat her as a person again. He decided not to join the monks after all, and returned to Sussex to collect his things and move to Derby. Constrained by her new roles as Mayor of Derby and Constable of Mercia, Shellara remained behind. They wrote letters to each other continuously, and the sight of Harkaa's raven with a new missive became the highlight of her day. He returned to Derby permanently just before the birth of her first daughter, Anatalie Rose Miller. The girl was born with Raytheon's bright green eyes, but though she informed him of the birth, the free-spirited wanderer expressed no interest in the child.
As Shellara recovered from labor, it became obvious that Harkaa's feelings for her were increasingly strong. But he had demons in his past that still haunted him. He asked her to accompany him on a trip to his hometown of Warwick, where he came to terms with his past in the crypt of his mentor and friend, Francois Alain. That night, the 15th of April, 1462, he asked for her hand in marriage. She was overjoyed to accept (http://forum.renaissancekingdoms.com/viewtopic.php?p=85093418&highlight=#85093418). They were handfasted ten days later, and the preparations for the wedding began.
The wedding was held in the tradition of Harkaa’s Norse faith, and was attended by hundreds of friends and family members(http://forum.renaissancekingdoms.com/viewtopic.php?t=2121134). During the wedding, he also adopted Anatalie as his own, promising to care for them both. Dignitaries and nobles from several nations, including France, Denmark, Italy, and England were in attendance, as well as hundreds of friends of Harkaa's. For the first time, Shellara began to see the reach of her new husband's influence. Having never been to any town other than Derby and Lichfield, the sheer number of attendees overwhelmed her. She was humbled and gratified that Harkaa had chosen her, a commoner, to be his wife among all the noblewomen whom she met.
They soon began a new life together, living in Derby. Shortly after, Shellara was recognized by the Crown with a barony, the Barony of Castleton. She was becoming more and more involved in politics, and less and less involved in the military. With a young daughter and a new household to run, politics seemed a safer pastime. Less than a year later, Harkaa and Shellara welcomed a son, Alain Gunnar Amnherst. Harkaa's pride and deep joy at the birth of his firstborn son was evident, and his deep compassion for both mother and son cleared any doubts Shellara might have had about the marriage. Their family continued to grow a few months later when Shellara discovered Amelia, a woman who looked and spoke just like her, with a similar story shrouding her birth, a sister. Shortly after this discovery, Shellara became pregnant for a third time. Surrounded by the love of family, Shellara was happier than ever before.
Then came war. Harkaa and some other members of The Hammer Clan joined the Mercia Regiment and other English forces to hold the front. Because of her pregnancy, Shellara remained in Mercia, serving as Countess and on King Rothgar’s Privy. She was part of the delegation that negotiated a nervous but lasting peace between England and the CA, NNGO, KoW, and Ireland. But the stress of her duties caused her to go into labour prematurely, during a brief stop at her barony on an urgent horseback ride through the county. After a long, hard labour, she gave birth to premature twins, Annissa Pamelia Amnherst and Aelsa Lynn Amnherst. Though weakened by the birth, her position as Countess and her new Viscountcy gave her no choice but to ride on to Derby less than a week later. The twins, weak and small as they were, could not travel, and were left in the care of a nursemaid at Castleton.
After months of uneasy standoff, the war ended, and Harkaa returned to find his wife exhausted, frail, and ill. After meeting his two new daughters and determining that they were now old enough and strong enough to travel, he urged Shellara to step back from politics and to accompany him and the children on a voyage to Denmark, insisting that the sea air would do her good. Before they left, however, she passed through Lichfield and found that her sister had died. Shellara returned to Castleton in grief to prepare for the voyage, her sister’s son Draegan Lovell in tow.
The family’s journey to Helsingør was uneventful, a welcome respite from the chaos of English politics. Once in Denmark, however, Shellara’s health continued to deteriorate. By her dear friend Tinzen's wedding she could feel her body failing, her cough deepening and exhaustion consuming her. When Harkaa was lost in a shipwreck just off the coast, she went mad. She was locked away from the world in the monastery and forbidden to see her children for their safety. With her family stripped from her, she lost the will to live. She lost track of time, fighting the monks that struggled to keep her alive.
But by some miracle, Harkaa survived the shipwreck and washed ashore several weeks later (http://forum.renaissancekingdoms.com/viewtopic.php?t=2230141&start=0). Reunited, the couple began to heal together, and Shellara’s madness receded. Fed well and cared for by the monks of Helsingør, she began to regain her strength. With her husband recovering from his ordeal by her side, they had many hours to talk and attempt to mend the rift that had grown between them during the war.
It was touch and go for awhile. Less than a month later, during the couple’s reunion with their children, a rambunctious Alain jumped on his father’s weakened chest, causing him to collapse and fall into a deep coma. This time, Shellara refused to go mad, choosing instead to focus on her children. Anatalie, Alain, Draegan, and Aelsa had been growing up and growing strong under the watchful eye of their “Aunts” and “Uncles” in THC since Shellara's incarceration in the monastery, but Anissa had become frail and sick. Shortly before her third birthday, the little girl had a seizure. Alone and afraid for her daughter, Shellara returned daily to her husband's bedside, praying for his recovery.
On the twin's birthday, after a sacrifice of amber to Odin, Harkaa inexplicably awoke with no physical or mental damage from his prolonged coma. The family remained in Denmark for several more weeks, then sailed together back to Derby where they sought the help of Dr. Beaker in healing their daughter. During his visit, Harkaa inquired about Shellara's health as well, since she was still experiencing unusual symptoms. It only took the good doctor a few moments to diagnose her with yet another pregnancy. Due to her health issues, this pregnancy was riskier. She was encouraged to minimize her workload and go on bedrest well before the due date.
Unfortunately, fate had other plans. One month before the birth of her child, invaders landed a ship in Derby and disembarked, creating an army and taking the town. Faced with this new crisis, Shellara strapped her sword over her increasingly cumbersome belly and began coordinating a national campaign against the invasion. The campaign was successful, but she was grievously injured in battle, taking a sword to the hip and stomach. The baby was injured as well, and was delivered on the battlefield through the gash in her stomach.
As time passed, she began to heal and slowly learned how to walk again, though her hip had been shattered and she would always walk with a limp. Harkaa, however, had retreated to the monastery and refused to see anyone, including her and the children. Confused at this new behavior, she gathered her children closer and began to help rebuilding Derby in the days following the end of the invasion. The battle had made her realize that her place would always be among sailors and soldiers, despite the risks involved.
Her wounds became infected however, causing another trip to the tender care of the monks. Fever raged through her, causing wild hallucinations and eventually unconsciousness. It was a few days before she awoke, alone and in the dark, covered with honey and a wooden shield which had been placed there by her husband to protect and heal her. Fearing she was being buried alive in a wooden casket she screamed and cried out, but nobody heard her. Weak as she was from her injuries, she crawled from the monastery and returned home, where she treated herself for infection.
Recovery this time was slower. She took her time, listening to her body and allowing herself to heal. Harkaa had once again vanished, this time on a sailing mission to return the invaders to their homeland. His emotional distance from her had begun to take its toll, and she began to make plans and decisions alone, without consulting him. When she was given the title Countess of Nottingham, she moved the children with her to Castle Rock and acquired a variety of excellent staff and tutors to see to their education.
Shortly after the move to Nottingham, Shellara received a missive from Queen Aggnes asking her if she would take on the duty of Earl Marshal. With cooperation between Counties still hesitant and the nation still healing from the invasion, she agreed. Guiding the energy and cooperation of the recent campaign toward a permanent National Military Council became her primary goal, spending months of time in meetings and Parliament discussing charters and purposes. Her work didn't stop with the death of the Queen. Through Princess Lark's regency and on into the first months of King Allyn's reign, she continued to labor on the NMC formation. Allyn moved her from Earl Marshal to Royal Steward, then moved her back again after protests from the County military leaders. With the NMC in place, she began work on rebuilding the Royal English Army.
Almost six months after the Christosmas Battle of 1463, she happened upon Harkaa at the tavern in Derby. She hadn't even known he was back, or where he had been, but the look of anger he gave her from across the room shocked her. He left before she could say hello, and though she searched for him she couldn't find him.
He found her a few days later though, at her favorite pool on the road between Derby and London. After talking with him for awhile, he assured her that it wasn't her that he was angry with - he had sailed to help someone, and one of his crew had died on the voyage, and he was tired and frustrated with being constantly alone and expected to serve. He thought that she had abandoned him when he returned to Derby to find their house empty and the children gone. She assured him that was not the case, and explained Nottingham to him, but despited several hours of talk, the rift between them remained.
Over time, they tried to reclaim their marriage, but everything from simple conversations to lovemaking seemed somewhat strained. Harkaa went sailing again without her knowledge, this time across the North Sea. Wearied of the constant emotional roller coaster and strain on both her and the children, Shellara went to appropriate officials in London and inquired about divorce procedures. She filed for the appropriate paperwork, though she hoped she would never have to use it.
When he returned to England, he came looking. It being too late to travel to Nottingham, she brought him to her London flat and they slept beside each other that night, which rekindled her hope that they might work things out. In the morning, however, she mistook him for a stranger in her bed, startling him with her defensiveness. She apologized, but he was already upset with her, and longstanding tensions exploded into a fight. They set off for Nottingham ill-tempered and angry.
But they were not to get far. On the 14th of March, 1465, Harkaa collapsed and died on the cobblestones of a heart attack.
Shocked by his sudden death and guilty of her anger toward him, Shellara discovered that the divorce had been approved only hours before his death. Crushed with the knowledge of her own bitterness toward him and guilty of divorcing him just before death, she returned with heavy heart to Nottingham and collected their children to attend the funeral. Alone and once more ashamed of herself, she wondered how she would go on.
Over the next few months, she spent a great deal of time with the children. But as children, they were able to move past the grief and get back to daily live far faster than she. Wrapping herself in her bitterness, she went north to help with some military training exercises, then signed up for a long sailing mission to get away for awhile. Still confused, hurting, grieving, and unsure of the future, she took to the seas, hoping to find some answers. For several months she travelled through Portugal, teaching medicine and helping to secure a Battle Carrack for the Mercia Navy, before returning to Derby.
Upon her return, she resigned from her position as Earl Marshal and set aside most of her other roles, focusing instead on her new holdings, the March of Normancross and the Duchy of Mercia. She was inducted into the Order of the Garter as per the late King Morat's decree, and spent a few months resting with her family and serving as Captain and Admiral of Mercia. Her strength and will slowly began to return, and became increasingly focused on the issues caused by dwindling population, as well as increased security concerns and disgraceful behavior in the very highest echelons of England's government.
Following the death of Queen Siren, she ascended to the throne of England.
Mother of Anatalie Rose (Yangreime) Amnherst (7 March, 1461 - 9 years old - time lapsed), Alain Gunnar Amnherst (13 August, 1461 - 7 years old - time lapsed), Anissa Pamelia Amnherst and Aelsa Lynn Amnherst (25 March 1462 - twins, 5 years old - time lapsed), and Aric Amnherst (24 December 1463 - 2 years old).
Aunt and guardian of Draegan Lovell (born early December 1461 - 7 years old)
Sister to Amelia_rose Lovell (died 27 May 1462)
Ex-Wife of Harkaa Amnherst
Former Titles Held:
- Queen of England
- Privy Councillor to King Rothgar, King Darien, King Cullan, Queen Aggnes, King Allyn, King Morat, and Queen Siren,
- Earl Marshal of England,
- Royal Steward,
- Gentlewoman Usher of the Black Rod,
- Countess of Nottingham,
- Viscountess of St. James,
- Apprentice Herald of the CoH,
- Monarch Representative to the RHA,
- REA Spokesperson,
- Crown Ambassador to Galloway,
- Crown Ambassador to the Regno delle Due Sicilie (Kingdom of Two Sicilies),
- Crown Ambassador to Finland,
- Special Ambassadorial Liaison to Galloway,
- Hammermaiden of The Hammer Clan,
- Captain of the Mercia Regiment,
- Chancellor of the Mercia Embassy,
- Sheriff of Mercia,
- Constable of Mercia,
- Spokesperson of Mercia,
- Vice-Admiral of the Mercia Navy,
- Derby Representative to the Mercia Awards Society,
- Mentor of Derby,
- Activities Director of Derby,
- Derby City Knight,
- Derby Harbourmaster.
8/30/1440 Born a bastard and sent to live with her aunt and uncle to avoid scandal
8/30/1460 Stumbled into Derby after robbers destroyed home
15/11/1460-1/9/1461 Appointed to Derby Town Council as Social Director
10/12/1460 Enlisted in the Mercia Regiment
11/12/1460 Opened a Mill and adopted the last name of Miller (Level 2)
1/1/1461 Appointed Temporary City Knight of Derby in a State of Emergency
8/1/1461 Retained as official Derby City Knight
21/2/1461 Elected Mayor of Derby
25/2/1461 Elected Constable of Mercia
7/3/1461 Gave birth to Anatalie Rose Miller (Yangreime)
23/3/1461 Re-elected Mayor of Derby
15/4/1461 Engaged to Harkaa Amnherst
14/4/1561 Retained as Mayor of Derby
25/4/1561 Handfasted to Harkaa Amnherst
26/4/1461 Re-elected to Mercia Council
13/5/1461 Resigned as Mayor of Derby
23/05/1461 Appointed Monarch Representative to the Royal Honors Authority by King Slon
20/06/1461 Married to Harkaa Amnherst
20/06/1461 Received her Hammer and became officially a member of THC
15/07/1461 Resigned as Derby City Knight
3/08/1461 Appointed Derby Harbourmaster
13/09/1461 Gave birth to Alain Gunnar Amnherst
16/09/1461 Appointed REA Spokesperson
09/11/1461 Closed the mill and opened a Weaver's shop like her mother's
10/11/1461 Appointed Mercian Ambassador to Sweden, Finland, and Denmark
11/1461 Sailed the SCS Pineapple Bomb from Derby to Lewes
19/2/1462 Elected to Mercia County Council
22/2/1462 Elected Countess of Mercia
25/3/1462 Gave birth to Anissa Pamelia Amnherst and Aelsa Lynn Amnherst
21/4/1462 Reelected to Mercia Council
23/4/1462 Appointed Privy Councillor At Large by King Rothgar
26/4/1462 Appointed Crown Ambassador to the Regno Delle Due Sicilie
10/6/1462 Resigned from Mercia Council in protest to Count Harold's actions
17/07/1462 Appointed Privy Councillor At Large by King Darien
10/08/1462 Joined the CoH
15/08/1462 Removed from RHA by Prince Louis
4/11/1462 Resigned from CoH due to time constraints
11-12/1462 Went mad
1/2/1463 Appointed Derby representative to the MAS
17/2/1463 Harkaa went into a coma
12/3/1463 Appointed RE Special Ambassadorial Liaison to Galloway
7/12/1463 Appointed Field Commander in Derby under Queen Aggnes
27/12/1463 Gave birth to Alain Gunnar Amnherst during the Derby Campaign
10/5/1464 Appointed Earl Marshal of England by Queen Aggnes
13/3/1465 Applied for divorce from Harkaa
14/3/1465 Harkaa had a heart attack in London and was pronounced dead.
April-August 1465 Sailed to Portugal to pick up a Battle Carrack for the Mercia Navy and teach medicine
13/10/1465 Granted the March of Normancross under King Morat
1/12/1465 Resigned as Earl Marshal of England to run for Mercia Council - appointed Captain
27/12/1465 Elected Head of Military Academy of the Royal English Army
16/4/1465 Granted the Duchy of Mercia under Queen Siren
21/6/1466 Elected Admiral of the Mercia Navy
~ Derby (home)
~ Alcacer do Sal