Portfolio – Notes and Letters

The Mysteries of Chateau Riand

Chateau Riand is one of the oldest homes in Amara; indeed, it is one of the oldest homes on the continent. Such a heritage has left it steeped in mysteries that are made even more enticing by the reclusive nature of the Halley family.

One such mystery surrounds the ghosts that are said to haunt its halls. Guests, rare though they are, report soft, unidentified moaning; books falling off shelves in the library; and candles abruptly extinguishing themselves before lighting themselves just as quickly.

But with a history as rich and dark as Chateau Riand, it is no great surprise that the place is haunted.

During the Battle of Gevere, the villagers sought safety in the Chateau. When supplies dwindled, Lord Betram Halley refused to let anyone surrender to General Yan, and dozens of people slowly starved to death.

The horrific tale of Lady Amalia Halley is well known. It’s never been proven that she bathed in the blood of those she murdered, but there have been reports of bath water in the Chateau having a disturbing red tinge.

And then there is Lord Simeon Halley, who just ten years ago slaughtered his wife and two oldest children before killing himself. Investigations could find no motive, and the only reason that the current Lady Halley survived is that she was on a field trip with her tutor at the time.

All of this begs the question: is Chateau Riand haunted, or is the Halley family cursed?

– From A History of Amara by Una Samill

My darling Gregor

I miss you like I miss the noose around my neck, which is to say: not at all. I’m sure you would say the same.

But word has reached me of the ghastly goings on back in Temond. The guillotine, Gregor? Really? There are subtler ways to get rid of your enemies, ones that won’t make the whole populace rise up against you.

Perhaps I’m just looking back at what we had through rose-tinted glass, but I’d hate to see your head on a spike. So please, ease off on the public beheadings. If you need someone killing, use a good assassin who’ll make it look like an accident.

I’m sure you won’t listen to me – you never have before – but at least I tried.

Yours in hope

Deyann

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