Princess Errant: Cabbages and Queens

In case it wasn’t obvious from yesterday’s picture post, Princess Errant won.  While I had idly described it as set in a fairy tale world with 17th century parallels, within minutes of starting character creation, I was giving Robin’s PC a clockwork tutor (with the stunningly original name of “Sir Gearheart”) and a lagomorph (half-rabbit) modiste (named Beatrix, of course).  The world has quickly taken on an odd, Oz/Wonderland/Disney steam-fantasy mashup quality that I didn’t expect.  I’m really surprised at myself.
World-Building Discoveries
Princess Dusk (Robin’s player character) hails from Albion, a united British Isles in a parallel reality I’ve just decided to call Earth-161.  It is a green and pleasant land devoted to the arts, the sciences, and social justice.
Like Alderaan and Naboo, Albion is an elected monarchy – but with an extra-twisty twist.  The nine Royal Families of Albion (from which monarchs are popularly elected) are comprised entirely of orphans, a tradition dating back to the founding of the realm under Arthur the Foundling, and the inheritance of titles by biological children is strictly forbidden.  Each Royal Family is permitted no more than nine members (though their attendant households are, of course, much larger); when a family member dies or leaves the family, a lottery is held amongst the nation’s orphanages and a child of no less than five years old and no more than ten is randomly selected to fill the vacancy.  This means that the Royal Families are a distinctly heterogeneous group, comprised of humans of all races and even having a smattering of morphites (half-humans).  

(Royal Family members who wish to have children are required to abdicate their position.  They are pensioned off with a noble title that lasts only their own lifetime; their children are granted the title of baronet, but that only lasts the children’s lifetime.  Pensioned nobles receive a stipend equal to half their royal allowance; their children receive half of this half-allowance and their grandchildren are expected to have turned the wonderful opportunities of a debt-free lifestyle into establishing careers for themselves.)

The monarch of Albion (currently Princess Dusk’s sponsor-mother, the alternate-reality Freddie Mercury known as Queen Freddie) is an absolute dictator, but is expected to get the approval of Parliament for significant executive orders.  Raised as wards of the state to serve the state, the Royal Families are civic-minded and beneficent.  The royal orphanages of Albion are as comfortable and nurturing as possible, but even the best orphanage is not a home; every member of the Royal Families has experienced this, and remembers need and want.  It is a rare royal indeed who turns his state-sponsored education and lifestyle to malevolent ends.

Also, the guiding principle of the realm is ethical hedonism, which – now that I know it exists – I realize is the guiding principle of my life.
Earth-161 is primarily inhabited by humans, who absorbed the indigenous fairy population millennia ago (resulting in a propensity toward magic use and wild, anime-colored hair), but it is also home to several other sentient species.  The most common are morphics, animal/human hybrids of various breeds and species.  Ailuromorphs (cat-people), dracomorphs (dragon-people), lagomorphs (rabbit-people), lycomorphs (wolf-people), susimorphs (pig-people), and vulpimorphs (fox-people) are common throughout Europa.

The origin of morphics are lost to time, but it is evident that their human side is the baseline from the way they are integrated into human society.  Despite their obvious physical differences, morphics do not (on the whole) form separate nations of their own, though a distinct morphic subculture is present in some nations.  In Albion, morphics are fully integrated with the rest of sentient society; several members of the Royal Families morphics.

Of course, Albion also grants full citizenship to sentient automatons…

The Story So Far…

Princess Dusk is turning twenty and it is time for her to start her Grand Tour.  The tour will take her around the continent of Europa (and possibly beyond, but I’m not sure yet) and allow her the possibilities to both live a year or two of wild excess and also learn more about the larger world and her place in it as a leader of Albion.  She will be accompanied by her automaton tutor, Sir Gearhart, and her modiste and lady-in-waiting, the lagomorph Beatrix Cottontail.

(Beatrix practices Mod Magic, a derivation of Weird Science that blends arcane symbology and alchemical materials into the ability to imbue clothing and tools with magic.  She is also a fully-certified clockworks engineer!)

After a heartfelt talk about her responsibility to have fun with her sponsor-mother, Queen Freddie, Princess Dusk goes to attend her going-away party at the Royal Alberic Hall.  Riding past adoring crowds in a carriage drawn by two snow-white Megaloceros, Dusk arrives at the hall and is greeted by the assembled Nine Families. 

(The event, by the way, is also a charity gala where commoners can buy tickets to view the assembled cream of Albionian society.  Essentially, the citizens have their own party going on in the circles and gallery while the Royal Families gather on the arena and stage.)

She is first compelled to dance with the popular, scene-stealing, and regrettably selfish Prince Adric, who dresses like a visual kei star.  Adric teases her with tales of his own popularity in Europa and generally tries to make her uncomfortable, but Princess Dusk puts him in his place.  They dance a riotous, acrobatic tango.

(Yes, Adric’s name and reputation for brattiness were lifted from the Doctor Who companion.  The resemblance stops there.)

She next dances with the quietly self-assured dracomorph, Prince Brolly.  Brolly gives her sounder advice and confesses he will miss her terribly.  He obviously has romantic feelings for the princess, but since part of the entire concept behind the Grand Tour is to experience love’s delights and miseries, he cannot press his suit.  They dance a tender waltz.

(I pulled the name “Brolly” out of the deep recesses of my mind.  It turns out it belongs to a Dragonball character.)      

Finally, she takes a turn on the floor with her totally platonic friend, the gender-flipped Prince Jocasta, a member of the Royal Unicorn Guard.  Jocasta is a few months younger than Dusk and would prefer they tour the continent together; Jocasta worries about the reception her unusual gender identity might have abroad.  They dance a bouncy, joyous country dance.

Aside from Adric’s usual absurdity, the night goes swimmingly.  Princess Dusk returns home and prepares for her flight.

Yes, flight.



  1. Looks beautifully crazy! I will enjoy reading more as the Grand Tour continues.

    1. I hope we can keep the enthusiasm and weirdness up!


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