Mar 6, 2009

Caisteal Teanacadh

*note to the reader: Throughout this post, I will drift in and out of character as I describe the creative process that allows the story of Eva Bellambi to bloom and grow. These out of character (OOC) moments will be indicated by text written in italic font. To catch up with this chapter of my story thus far, one may review the posts here, here, and here).*

And now, Caisteal Teanacadh.....

Lunar had been working on the restoration of my family's castle and keep for the last several months (well months of our time accelerated SL - really only a few weeks). I have been living high above Isle of Skye in one of Miss Serra's fine builds during the excavation and construction. One night, he sent a message to me, "Lady Eva, the work is essentially complete. Would you come have a look?" Now of course I had been following the progress with great amazement on a daily basis, but to hear the builder say that it was nearly complete set it in an entirely new light.

His restoration of the clan home has been thorough and incredibly caring and patient. He has had the wood carvings cleaned and repaired, the stonework stabilized, and the papers and painting all painstakingly restored or recreated.

When I moved Eva from Loch Avie to Anodyne, I knew that everything about the land needed to be different. The story needed to expand on my character, and new layers of her history and life experience needed to become known. Much of my inspiration for Eva comes from my own grandmother (also named Eva), my love of the actual history of Scotland and her clans, and the fictional tales as told by Diana Gabaldon in the Outlander series of books. The Frasers of Lovat are Eva's ancestors on her father's side of the family. It is this part of the family that we now begin to explore in historical fantasy/fiction, of course. As you recall from the stories referenced above, Eva has found herself in the lands of these forebears thanks to Nellie, who guided her here. She found evidence of her family, and has reclaimed the lands. Discovering the ruins of the Clan Seat here on Isle of Skye, she engaged Lunar to rebuild, and rennovate. In reality I found inspiration for her home by searching about castles in Scotland - and in particular - on the Isle of Skye.

The one that caught my attention is Dunvegan Castle.

I sent this inspiration picture to Lunar and he felt that he would be able to create something similar based on this. I also sent along a few interior shots for his reference. We talked a bit about the history I was creating and for what purposes the castle would be used. He amazed me. He was even able to find and review blue prints of the castle, and work with an friend on what interior textures and stylings would be for castles built in this time period. What a talent this man truly has. (You will see more, in a group of exterior shots further down in this post, but I will be posting interiors as soon as I have decor where I want it.)


When I arrived at the bridge in front of the castle for my grand entrance and tour of the (essentially) completed restoration, Lunar handed me a bundle of yellowed papers that he said he found as he worked in the vaults of the underground portions of the castle. I did not read them at the time - only shuffled throught them, but what I found later as I sat in my new library and carefully unrolled the dusty pages amazed me. There were years of documented clan accounts from the monthly audiences that those under the chief's care had with him. Private letters, which I shall pour through with great interest. And some history of the castle and clan written over periods of time.

What I can surmise thus far are the following things.

  • It was once the greatest and most renowned among Hebridean strongholds.
  • The picturesque quality of the building itself is matched by its glorious surroundings. "Ane starke strengthe biggit upon ane craig", or so it is described by a writer of the early 1500s.
  • And as the stories in my family have always indicated, the Frasers, at the time of the '45, supported Bonnie Prince Charlie. At the time from the castle on the other side of Teanacadh Buinne was Galtrigal, the home of the Prince's pilot, Donald MacLeod of Galtrigal, the man who brought the Prince 'Over the sea to Skye' during the time when the Prince was a fugitive.
  • The chiefs have been fair for the most part, if very demanding and tough.
  • Our clan motto has been truly earned: aut viam inveniam aut faciam
    "I will find a way or make one"
Please explore the link that follows, as a starting point if you'd like to know more about Dunvegan Castle.

Caisteal Teanacadh

Those who know me well understand that I am a strong woman, but also very expressive. When I gazed upon my completed home for the first time in it's entirity, I literally bounced up and hugged Lunar's neck, kissing his cheeks as tears streamed down my own.

The rear elevation

Simply gorgeous!

This castle on these lands. It is perfect. It is my family. It is ME.

**Teanacadh Buinne is Scots Gælic for Healing Tide. Miss Serra is gracious enough to have allowed that to be the name for the waters surrounding Isle of Skye. Although in the elven tongue it is called Eless Eccaia.

Therefore it follows that Eva's ancestors would have called the castle, The Castle of Healing,
Caisteal Teanacadh. And that may be the reason that the women in Eva's family have always been known as healers. Were their abilities and strength drawn from these mysterious waters? Perhaps we'll explore this and other questions. Hmmm?**


TotalLunar Eclipse said...

I am so glad you approved of its restoration, this is the first time I have built something like this. I am honoured you choose me to reconstruct.

TotalLunar Eclipse said...

Before I forget, I would like to thank my muse Miss Eladrienne Laval for customizing the unique one of a kind textures.