mAlice , Lucretia , Artemisia and Beltaine Darke live in the sprawling and ancient Gothbury Manor, in a beautiful village not far from where you are now. Gothbury Manor encompasses gardens and fields and forests and streams as far as even an eagles' eye can see. The Manor house itself sits at the base of an extraordinary and magical mountain, whose peak is always covered with snow (you have to look high into the sky to see the top), and yet there are always vibrant wild flowers growing down towards the bottom. Nobody knows how long the girls and their kitty have been at Gothbury Manor - not even the girls themselves. It seems as though there was no time that they weren't here - and indeed time is peculiar at Gothbury Manor, it doesn't always run the same way you and I are used to - it might go forwards or backwards or even round in loops (usually dependent on the mischief mAlice is up to).
Artemisia and Beltaine tend the gardens with much help from the Fae and other magical creatures that reside there - even the plants themselves chip in, carefully placing their seeds exactly where Artemisia would have planted them, or dropping their leaves in neat piles of mulch around their own base or that of their bed-fellows.
The Manor itself is mostly Lucretia's domain - most particularly the ginormous library and massive kitchen-come-laboratory.
mAlice, when she isn't off meeting creatures in strange lands and having lots of adventures (about which she brags incessantly to her sisters) spends hours at her sewing machine in the huge attic which she turned into her own private 'imagination and creation' room - part of which is a museum of sorts for her collection of oddities.
Gothbury Manor is mysterious in that it encompasses more than one place in space and time - very occasionally, if you look out of the corner of your eye at just the right moment you can see an 'other' Gothbury Manor, with mysterious and unfamiliar (though usually friendly) beings busy about their day. mAlice is very clever and understands how to go about easily seeing and even visiting these 'other Gothbury Manors' (usually through the giant opening in the enormous Redwood 'Abigail' in the Darke Forest, but there are many other ways too). She often invites new friends to the sprawling banquets Lucretia likes to cook up, and they all eat outside on the immense granite table, with candle lit chandeliers and the moon for light, and the humming of the flowers for music.
Next time: More about Gothbury Manor, and all about mAlice....