The the Manner Home D’Marsarac has been the home to those nobles of royal blood who are not (closely) in line for the throne. Those of this line are deeded the title for the valley and administer it for the crown family.
The main house and outbuildings, the elaborate gardens, and a large woodland park are set high on a promontory of limestone that points like a finger into the fields of corn and tobacco in the fertile valley below. The limestone raises the Manor lands a good 140 feet up from the valley floor.
Two centuries ago, one of the Lordlings, inspired by his tour of duty in the Vacinian Guards, redesigned the family’s working gardens of vegetables and fruit into a formal Italiante terraces of boxwoods (a type of hedge) and gravel paths. This has made the Manner an idylic retreat for the family and the various royals over centuries.
The long peninsula of a park, which inclues 50 stony acres of woodlands between the main house (which is at the promotory’s end) and the valley hills also attracted his attention. He constructed paths for rugged walks there. He added points of interests, including belvederes, drystone huts, a waterfall and small pond, a tall pillar of Antiox origin, carved benches (originally for the elderly and infirm, but they are popular with the young for trysts), and an unclipped forest of oak trees and scrubby 30 foot tall boxwood.
In truth, the feeling of the place is timeless and magical.
The main house, the manor, is a two and a half story, fifteen room affair, with two large great rooms, a good sized library, and a solarium. The construction is similar to the local homes below, a light terracotta colored plaster with a dark tile roof.There is strong thick glass in all the windows. The woodwork is recessed, resembling an Italiante style. There is a small and loyal staff supporting the family. The family recieves many vistors from court, so the staff is always preparing food fit for a high noble table.
Note: Every decade or so, the King or Queen will visit their country cousins. However, they always feel at home since the staff is comparable to staff at a royal estate.
Surrounding the house is a beautiful boxwood parterre. Kept in good clip, the boxwoods form a sea of green, swirling on the parterre of the main house. The paths weave in and among the greens that are trimmed in various patterns throughout the property. There is a tunnel made of tall boxwoods that leads from the house down to several of the out buildings.
The paths near the house are often lit with several hundred votice candles that line the edges. There is one child in the manner who always get an extra desert because they run along all the paths lighting these candles. Normally they are lit only on summer nights and special occasions.
There is a bastion, a defensive wall of sorts at the end of the promontory. Mostly it is there to raise and hold the soil level near the main house. However, if attacked from the valley edges, it would make accessing the promontory by scaling difficult. It would also give the defenders cover and better defensive abilities against attackers coming from below.
At the outmost tip of the promontory is the family chapel where a variety of religious observances are held. The chapel is in the local style with a tile roof and a tall bell tower that has no real bell, just a mock one. The tower provides excellent sight lines along the valley and promontory. The only place which has a better view of the promontory is the Memorial Stone.
The memorial stone is on a slight rise on the north side of the promontory about 1/3 the way down. It is deep inside the park. It is surrounded by a thick grove of trees. This point is a memorial to all family members and royals who lived here and died in service to the crown. There are seventy two names now. New names are carved into the large granite block the intricately carved stone sits upon. From this point one can see both the bell tower and the Lookout.
The Park of green paths and heavier trees runs from the valley hill to nearly three quarters the length of the Promontory. As stated it has many rugged paths, with benches and various points of interests. It also has a number of meadows and greens (each one named for the odd statue placed in it). These greens are great for secret meetings, picnics, and the occasional duel.
The Lookout is a simply a place above the road that leads from the valley hills to the manor promontory. The lookout provides good cover and a tactical advantage against anyone coming down the road or crossing over to the promotory. Sometimes children with lanterns are sent to sit here, raising them up to signal incomming travellers.
Uses for this place:
It is an excellent idylic setting for any number of adventures entangling nobility and royalty. Nobles escaping the pressures or rumors of court might retreat here. A princess or queen might retreat here to give birth to her child. Various noble and military friends will visit the manor and bring their problems with them. This manor might be used to entertain an embassy from a foreign land.
Of course some of the loyal staff is comprised of active and retired members of the Crown’s Agents, the King’s Hands. Many of the staff’s extended family members who temporarily join the staff are agents who are injured or need to lay low for a while, or are just passing though on their way to new assignments. There is also a secret training salle beneith one of the drystone huts.