II.IV.VI A Good Alliance


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The Potters were a thriving merchant family of Castle Keep. Especially in the material sense. Their artistic, sculpting and designing skills had made a name of them. They had commissions coming in from far and wide and although they did not have noble titles or were great property owners, they had accumulated a good sum of simoleons that surely opened some doors for them. Osmond had almost reached the journalism career and Winifred had mastered both the painting and sculpting skills and was now contemplating to explore the inventing skill.


Rudd was well on his way to maximize his artistic skill, he had decided to build on his skills before going out and taking architectural design jobs from clients. He felt it was important to give clients the best of his abilities and he realized that to be able to achieve his lifetime wish he needed top scores on his reviews. This did not stop him from doing some decoration at home where he introduced new colors, drapes and furniture to the otherwise very simple Potter household.


It seemed that Winifred Potter’s attempts to network in the Castle Keep society had given some results. Winifred had quickly become a good friend of Mrs. Wall, and now, they had arranged for Ermengard Wall, the youngest of the Wall daughters, to meet Rudd. Mrs. Wall and Winifred did not want to push the match, if the two young sims met and took like for each other, who knew, maybe they would agree to marry. Rudd was the heir of the Potter family and a very eligible bachelor. Ermengard was an accomplished young sim and a very good match for Rudd. It was a good alliance for both the families.


Norma grew up into a teenager and gained the ambitious trait, Winifred and Osmond had made the right decision in paying the extra fee to give her an education. For her birthday Norma was allowed to return home briefly from boarding school, something that made her endlessly happy. She was her parents favorite and very close to her brother Rudd. During her stay at Smuggsworth Prep School she had missed her loving family enourmously, she did not feel at home in the snobbish school amongst all the nobel and royal children. In fact, she didn’t want to go back.


Although Norma was going to continue her education at Smuggsworth Prep School as a teenager and there receive the greatest education available in Castle Keep, it did not mean that her future was secure. She was a merchant’s daughter after all, it was up to her parents to make a good match for her. The family’s position in Castle Keep had improved and the chances looked good, but the Potters were not the most sociably apt sims of Castle Keep, and getting a good match for marriage was all about the social skills.

II.IV.V The d’Angervilles of Warburton


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Warburton Castle was an old decayed castle situated by the river close to the Aspen Woods Monastery. Before the 50 years war it had been inhabited by a noble family, but several sims from their dynasty had died in the war and the house was abandoned and stripped of it’s contents by looters. This was to Jamie d’Angervilles advantage, since he had just enough simoleons to purchase it and move in to settle his line of the d’Angerville dynasty.


There was much to do at Warburton, not only was there almost no furniture, a lot of the comforts of a noble house were missing. Shortly after he settled in his new home, he realized he needed help. He could barely cook a meal of his own and cleaning, well, that was just something that a lord did not do. He decided to immediately find some good help, maybe a butler or even a maid.


While his late father, lord Francis d’Angerville, had chosen a military career, Jamie was of the opinion that in times of peace the most sensible thing to do was to join the law enforcement career if one wanted to bring order and discipline to Castle Keep. This was exactly what lord Jamie wanted, and did.


While he was quite busy with his work and the refurbishing of the great Warburton Castle, he soon felt a bit lonely in the big castle. He realized that he should marry, the quicker the better. So he visited his mother to make the match, she was the greatest lady of Castle Keep and she would find him a good wife.

“Son,” she told him. “I’m afraid it is a bit too early for you to marry. You have to raise more money and certainly you have to fully furnish Warburton Castle with all the comforts, if you are to bring a wife there.”

“But mother…” he protested.

“Now do as I tell you, go home and work hard and in the meantime I will find you a suitable wife.”


Lord Jamie could not complain, although Warburton was still a bit lonley and empty, his future looked bright. He would work hard and excell in his career, he would raise his fortune and put things in order at Warburton, he would be the most eligible bachelor of Castle Keep. And the business of finding him a suitable sim to marry, well, it was taken cared of, by his mother.

II.IV.IV Matters of Love and Marriage


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When Thea de Servant married lord Harald she became what sims of Castle Keep would call, a lady. She rose in rank. She would no longer be called Miss de Servant, but lady Thea Vaughan. She knew all this when she decided to marry him, but it was not until it happened that she fully understood what it implied. She was now invited to great balls and celebrations around town. People would bow to her when she came. Other ladies suddenly noticed her and would stop to talk to her. However, although for most sims she was completely changed, to her, everything felt the same. She continued dressing in a simple manner, she still looked over the household at the Dark Castle and made sure all the Vaughans had what they needed. She was still as caring and friendly as she always had been. She was still Thea.


Life at the Dark Castle continued quietly as always. The Vaughans had never beend very extravagant and they enjoyed the quiet of their home and the application of their mind, either by playing instruments, chess or reading. Velma had married Mr. Potter and moved out and Heathcliff worked late hours at his business, so the Dark Castle was uncommonly quiet.


Although Heathcliff was an ambitious and genius sim that spent extensive hours devoted to his work, he did find time for his best friend, King Edmund II. Not only did they work together, they shared several traits and hobbies.


Thea and Harald married for love and were very happy together. There was quite a difference in age between the two, not something that was uncommon in Castle Keep, but sometimes Thea would worry that their happiness would be short lived. She didn’t dare to think how life would be without Harald, but she was sensible enough to realise that it was most likely that the reaper would come for him before he came for her.


After talks between lady Thea Vaughan and lady Arabella d’Angerville, the match betwen Heathcliff Vaughan and Katelyn d’Angerville was settled. The couple married in a small ceremony at the Dark Castle. The Vaughans, who were not very fond of great celebrations, still held a ball to the honour of the marriage, as the social rules of Castle Keep dictated.

II.IV.III Shift in Power


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Suddenly life appeared unfair and tough for Cedrica d’Angerville. As the eldest daugther of the most powerful noble family of Castle Keep, she had grown up with all the privileges, all the pamperings and pleasures a sim could imagine, she just wasn’t used to setbacks. Her mother had intended her to marry the crown prince, it was still a posiblity, since the prince was still unmarried, but the queen mother had strong feelings against the match. It was a true dream to become the next queen, but if that wasn’t possible, marrying the heir to the Vaughan dynasty would suit her well enough. However, it seemed the Vaughan’s prefered Katelyn to her as a wife. Suddenly the future seemed so uncertain and the cruel posibility that she would never marry well, planted a seed in her head. She was inconsolable.


As a grumpy, clumsy and loser sim, Katelyn didn’t find much pleasure in anything else but painting. She didn’t expect much of life and felt adversity to every change that appeared before her. She was sure she would be miserable either path she took in life. That was just the way of the sim world. Certainly she was content that she had charmed the heir of the Vaughan family and would be very comfortably married. She felt even more content knowing that she had done so in competition with her sister Cedrica, her good and beautiful sister, that everybody adored. Who was the loser now?


In the midst of all the drama and controversy at the d’Angerville family, Francis passed on. The sims of Castle Keep would say that he had done great things for the d’Angerville famliy, risen like a phoenix bird from the ashes that the war had left them in. What very few would remember, and even fewer would dare to mention, was that he had been but a silly puppet, the true master-mind of the success of the d’Angerville house, was lady Arabella. However, she would not correct them, it was better this way.


Always in the shadow of the great family he had serverd, Thomas de Servant passed on shortly after his master. The d’Angervilles only noticed the inconvenience they now found themselves in without a live-in servant. The matter of recruiting someone to take his place became very important. Until then they would have to manage with only the butler and the maid.


The day came for a great celebration. Princess Catherine of Castle Keep and Badrick d’Angerville married and a new chapter in the dynasty of the d’Angervilles started. All the great sims of Castle Keep attended the ceremony. Apart from commenting on the fantastic food, the great decorations and lively entertainment, everybody whispered about the shift of power. Was lady Arabella to continue ruling the great house as she pleased? Was Catherine strong enough to take control of the household, and especially her mother-in-law? She was a princess, after all.

II.IV.II The Legacy of The Monastery


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As a natural cook Burleigh quickly became in charge of cooking all the meals at the monastery and in this way he found his place easily. Peter was delighted that the monastery was finally growing, with Helena and Burleigh it would really stand a chance of surviving and even thriving. Together he was sure they would recruit more monks and nuns to join them and the word of The Watcher would be heard by every sim of Castle Keep.


With more monks taking care of the day to day at the monastery, Peter found more time to fulfill his duties as a spiritual guide to the sims of Castle Keep. His visits around Castle Keep could take more time and thus be of better quality for the sims that sought his wisdom. He realized that he also had time to visit more households and expanded his route. It was all for the better, with more time for the sims of Castle Keep, the more popular the monastery became, and the more interested sims became of picking the way of The Watcher for their children.


Helena, who also did visits around Castle Keep to help wherever she could, found herself spending most of her time visiting the households that kept dogs. As a dog sim she just found it so fulfilling to cuddle and play with all the dogs she met, she just prefered their company over any sim. Still, she had to check herself, there were more needy sims in Castle Keep than those who were dog owners.


Suddenly a devastating day arrived, the day when the reaper came for Peter. The monastery was in turmoil and Helena was particularly devastated. He had been like a father to her and she was eternally endebted to him. And to the monastery. Now it was her turn to take over and lead the monastery forward. Being the head nun was a great responsability.


Death was a natural part of every sims life, and as a monk or nun, one was particularly aware of it. Life at the Aspen Woods Monastery had to go on, even without Peter. Burleigh and Helena did what they knew best and got to work. There was no better gift for Peter than maintaining the monastery that he so proudly founded all those years ago.

II.IV.I Matters of the Heart


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Although love had grown in the arranged marriage between Edmund I and Eleanor I now things were different. After the discovery of Edie, the bastard child of Edmund I and that peasant sim, Mary le Peasant, Eleanor I had felt a breach growing between her and her husband. She tried to keep it to herself, pretending that everything was perfectly fine. She could play the part of a happy wife and a great queen while friends and family looked, but inside she was suffering. The betrayal, the pain and humiliation his actions had brought to her, made it impossible for her to forgive him. During their time at Champs Les Sims she could forget shortly about their problems, but back at Castle Keep she felt the coldness grow in her heart.


Eleanor I was a party animal and quite a popular sim, she threw huge parties at the Royal Castle, inviting the great celebrities of Castle Keep. All was to keep her mind occupied and stop her from thinking about how much she had grown despise her husband. Her friends made her feel alive and young. With Edie away at Smuggsworth Prep School, the incident was almost forgotten, and nobody dared to even insinuate anything about the affair. Edmund I also enjoyed the parties, being a party animal himself, but little by little he came to understand that things were not quite right between him and his wife. Maybe, they would never be right again.


When she was alone, the Queen Eleanor I played music by herself, it was some sort of consolation. During her life she had perfected the skill and her melancholic tunes filled the Royal Castle with feelings. She never played something cheerful when she was on her own. And although she never spoke of her broken heart it was not hard for those who heard her play, how she truly felt about her life.


Catherine was now engaged to Badrick d’Angerville, and although she was not fond of the idea of marrying at all, she wasn’t a sentimental or romantic sim. She always took the logical view on things and found solutions to every problem. Although the two had met very briefly on their engagement celebrations, they were not allowed to meet, specially not unchaperoned, before the wedding day. However, Catherine arranged for them to secretly meet at the library and discuss their future. Badrick was quite impressed by this bold move by his wife to be and decided to hear her out.


Catherine and Badrick talked mainly about their interests and what kind of future they saw together. For Catherine it was quite important to set some ground rules that would allow her some independence. She had been gifted an estate in Champs Les Sims by her father after their travels there, once they were married the estate would legally become Badricks, but he was to give it as a wedding gift to her. She had already drafted the documents and made him sign it right there and then. He was not to utilize it without an invitation from her. It was to be her sanctuary.

“And if I refuse to sign it?” he asked her holding the pen and with a gentle smile on his lips.

“If you refuse, I will do everything in my power to plague your heart out.”

He signed it.

II.III.IX Two Paths


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At the Fisher household, the youngest son, little Nigel, had turned into a teenager. He gained the schmoozer trait, not the most impressive trait on any sim, but supposedly it could come in handy in life. The family celebrated, as they always did, since they cared very deeply about each other and showing affection whenever there was a possibility. It was a simple celebration, of course, but when everybody pitched in, fantastic things could be accomplished. Faye, who was a natural cook, prepared a delicious cake. William, with his great musical skills, entertained the whole family.


William loved his children very much, and he was the first to praise the two boys he and Anne had raised. Still, he could not but worry about the future of the family. Anne was still young and active, but he was himself an old sim, and one of the boys would have to take over the household, care for the animals and their elderly parents. The problem was that while Nigel had the better traits, he was the least keen on taking over. If Nigel was picked, would he resent his parents for not allowing him to join the Aspen Wood Monastery and pursuit a quiet life of intellect? What about Byram, would he take over, could he really commit to the task, and more importantly, would he settle down and tie the knot? Nothing was settled yet.


With her two brothers grown up and her parents being preoccupied with the question about the next heir to the household, Faye was left to herself. Her parents did not talk much about their concerns, but she could hear them muttering about. It seemed that for now, they had forgotten about their ambition of sending her as a cook to the Royal Castle. She continued perfecting her cooking skill and climbing the ladder of the culinary career with ease. As a humble sim from a peasant home, she was very happy and thankful for it.


Then it was time for Byram to grow up into a young adult, the loving upbringing his parents had given him was not enough to compensate for the rough life of a peasant, he gained the coward trait. Most unsuitable for any sim, specially for a peasant that had to take on the hardships of a peasant life. Things looked grim for the Fisher family. Anne and William did not say it to their children, but at night, when they went to bed they agreed that they would persuade Nigel to take over the household. What was to happen to Byram, was a whole other question.


It was the right decision, William tried to convince himself. Byram had become a good for nothing sim, if he took over the Fisher household, he would most certainly bring even more hardship to the household. It was the right decision. William focused on his fishing, he had still hopes of fullfilling his life-time wish of a perfect aquarium. He felt much more at ease about the future if he kept himself busy, or at least, he didn’t think about his problems that much then.

II.III.VIII The Peasant Way


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The work had to go on, winter had come to an end and spring meant there was a lot to do at the le Peasants. The animals had to be taken care of and the vegetable garden too. The good thing about being a big family was that there were many hands to help and the le Peasants were a hard-working family who weren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty.


Mary didn’t mind the early mornings the peasant life meant, actually she rather enjoyed being the first one up and having some time to herself with the animals. A good, hard and honest day’s work let her sleep well at night. She liked taking care of the animals and tending to the vegetable garden. She still had hopes to achieve her life time wish of growing the perfect garden. Actually she was well on her way to doing so.


The two youngest le Peasants, Sedgewick and Loreena, had turned out to be quite hard-working teenagers that helped out a lot at home. Sedgewick, who was to take over the farm, loved the outdoors and ran the family stall at the farmers market. Sure, he was a bit absent minded, but as a good sim he had his heart in the right place. Loreena had taken a part-time job at the Ubiquitous Unity Day Spa, a place where the ladies and gentlemen of Castle Keep would come to recuperate from different ailments. Her neat and loner trait made her very suitable as a servant to one of the great houses of Castle Keep. The question was wheather her insane trait would be a hindrance, and then there was that scandal with her sister Edie. If there was on thing that the royal and noble families in town didn’t like, it was scandals.


Desirae, with her disparate array of traits, was a story of her own. Her family didn’t expect much of her. She had gotten it into her head to befriend and adopt a unicorn, an animal so mysterious that nobody had seen it in Castle Keep or in any of the neighboring kingdoms. Nobody believed the animal existed and dismissed Desirae as insane, even though she didn’t have such a trait. Her parents didn’t have the heart to tell her it was all a fairy tale, at least she now had a goal in life and since it meant taking care of the family horse, Pino, at least it was good for something.


While there was no hope for Desirae to get a good position as a servant, Mary was sure that Loreena could have such a chance. While the noble and merchant mothers of Castle Keep concerned themselves in getting their daughters married off well, for a peasant mother it meant securing her daughter’s future with a good job. One chilly afternoon Mary took Loreena to se the mistress of the White Castle, Lady Arabella d’Angerville. She presented the neat and hard-working teenager to the lady in the hopes that she would suit the d’Angerville household. Lady d’Angerville was a quite powerful sim in Castle Keep, something that made Mary a bit intimidated, but it seemed that the lady wasn’t displeased.

“She doesn’t seem entirely hopeless, but she needs to learn a bit more cooking,” was Lady d’Angerville’s judgement. Mary nodded.

“Come and see me again when she has improved her skills and we might arrange for a try out.”

II.III.VII A Love Marriage


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Mr. Potter had also been one of the guests at the Dark Castle when Lord Vaughan married Miss Thea de Servant. Lord Vaughan himself had come to see Mr. Potter and issue the invitation. Something that had left Mr. Potter with a great feeling of honour and respect for the Lord. At the wedding party, he had suddenly found himself alone with Lady Velma, love and happiness was in the air, and they had embraced.

“Lady Velma…” he had tried to protest, but she put his finger over his lips to quiet him and kissed him again.

Suddenly they heard steps on the landing and their arms unlocked. Lord Heathcliff appeared by the entrance.

“Brother!” Lady Velma exclaimed and approached him. “I was just telling Mr. Potter about your business.”


Back in the daily life Tilton Potter was going mad, he could certainly not deny to himself how ardently he admired and loved Lady Velma, but what could be done? Could he dare to ask her for her hand in marriage? Would she accept him? What did he mean to her? Was he just a flirt while she waited for a great lord to marry her? Or could she really share the same feelings for him, as he felt for her?

He submerged himself in work and the study of logic, but he could not get rid of all his thoughts. How was it that she, the daughter of the dark lord of Castle Keep, and he, a simple, disowned son of a merchant family, had found themselves in each others arms? Had embraced each other? Had kissed? Was it Lady Velma herself that had taken the initiative? No, how could a lady compromise herself, her virtue, in such a way.


Although Mr. Potter was a hard-working and friendly sim, he had no fortune, no position in society. He was most certainly an outcast, a black sheep in his family. However, Mr. Potter was also a brave sim and one day, he realized that there was only one thing that he could do. And that was, to follow his dreams and hopes.

In the following weeks, he had to make some really hard decisions. He sold his old friend Victoria and other posessions he had, to raise money for his future wedding. It broke his heart to part with his beloved horse, but it was something that needed to be done.

He visited the Aspen Woods Monastery and the head monk Peter, to find strength and guidance. When he felt strong and ready, he invited Lady Velma over to his house once again.


When Lady Velma arrived at 222 Black Sands Beach, Mr. Potter did not waste any time. He reasoned that he should just straight out ask her to marry him, there was no point in beating around the bush. If she would not marry him, it was better to know as soon as possible. He got down on one knee.

“Lady Velma, I’m not a man of great fortune,” he said. “I’m not a man of position in society. I have very little of material matter to offer you. What I can offer, is eternal love and devotion for you. Lady Velma, will you take my hand in marriage?”

He blurted it all out and she stood there astonished for a short moment. Then she said:

“Mr. Potter, I’ve always wanted to marry for love. And I’m most certain that this is love. So yes, I will take your hand.”


While Tilton had saved a lot of money to throw a great wedding party, Velma persuaded him to save the money and use it to make improvements to their house. Instead they had a simple wedding ceremony at the Castle Keep Cathedral, attended only by their closest friends and relatives.

And that is how Lady Velma of the Dark Castle of Castle Keep, became Mrs. Potter, a merchant wife, and very proud of it.

II.III.VI Prosperous Future


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The day had finally arrived when all the Wall children were reunited at the Wall family home. Randall had graduated from LeFromage Art School, and his twin sister, Ermengard, had graduated from the school of Peace and Love. On the day of their arrival the family threw a big party to celebrate. It was a typical Wall family celebration, with lots of music and singing and dancing.


It was a true joy for Elmer Wall to see his children thrive in life, they had truly been blessed by The Watcher. However, since the return of his eldest daughter, Bega, Elmer had sensed that something was amiss. She seemed happy enough, but at times she behaved quite secretive and mysteriously. One cold winter evening, when they were sitting in the sitting room, he approached her in the hopes that she would take him into confidence.

“I want you to know, that whatever it is that is troubling you,” he told her. “You can tell me and I will do my best to understand you and listen to you, and hopefully be able to help you.”

But it was in vain, she assured him that there was nothing wrong and that she was as happy as ever.


Randall was the heir to the Wall household, and his life looked quite prosperous. He was a handsome sim, with good traits, a fine horseman and a good enough fortune. He was artistic, dramatic, athletic and charismatic, traits that suited perfectly for following in his mother’s steps in the entertainment business. All these things made him a very eligible bachelor and soon enough the rumor in town was that he was a favourite amongst the ladies.


For Ermengard the future did not look bad either, she had been fortunate enough to gain an education, which wasn’t commong for merchant daughters, especially not second daughters. In her absence, her mother had worked out a suitable engagement for her, to the heir of the Potter family, Rudd Potter. Lecie Wall had first intended the marriage to be between Bega and Rudd, but she was not interested and insisted that she would not marry him. Mrs. Potter had arranged for Ermengard to come over for tea, so that the two young sims would meet before the engagement was settled. The meeting was a success since they both shared a keen interest in the visual arts, and everybody at the Potter household were charmed by Ermengard.


Lecie felt quite at easy with how things were turning out for her children. To think that she herself came from a very simple home, how far they had come, and how great the future looked.