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The Rules Britannia


 

Let’s start at the very beginning, the Rules Britannia is not, as some people think, a jolly old song to sing along to, oh no. The Rules Britannia is a book of incredibly powerful spells and enchantments created by one of the most powerful wizards that the world has ever known.  His name was Bran the Blessed, and he was born in the eleventh century making him incredibly and unbelievably old.

The Rules were created to protect the borders of what was to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain from invasion by marauding infidels and were quits successful for nearly nine centuries.

Their origins are considerably older.

In the first century AD (the year 61AD to be precise) Boudicca, was crowned Enchantress of the Isles (all 6,000 of them – that’s right there are about 6,000 separate islands that make up what is known as the British Isles and they amount to a total land area of approximately 121,674 square miles) and she decreed that to keep her kingdom safe, a great magic would need to be wrought.

It took just over 100 years for the great spell to be prepared with a talisman planted on each and every one of the islands. Then in 1066, after the great battle between the Dark Wizard Galangal and Bran the Blessed, the Rules Britannia were finally and irrevocably invoked sealing the British Isles from invaders.

In 1877, Her Imperial Majesty Queen Victoria, Enchantress of the Isles and the Colonies, instructed the greatest wizards of her empire to strengthen the Rules Britannia with enchantments from the Far East. After much debate, the decision was made to enact a new enchantment; a codicil to the original Rules Britannia if you will, that would need to be renewed at the turn of the nineteenth century and then every hundred years thereafter on New Year’s Eve.

Through the latter part of the nineteenth century all the preparations were put in place for the most powerful spell casting in history. As the time approached for the enchantment to be cast, the most powerful wizards and witches of the British Isles gathered together in the Great Hall of Bombay Manor in Wizard’s Thatch.

But something went terribly wrong.

The gathering started the chanting of the codicil at eleven o’clock at night – the whole enchantment was due to finish at the stroke of midnight, but as the clock was about to strike for the twelfth time a mouse ran across the Great Hall and through the circle of witches and wizards causing Artemisia Bombay to lose her concentration.  She screamed and let go of the hands of the wizard on either side of her as she picked up her skirts and stepped backwards out of the circle and out of the ring of magical protection that was being created.

There was a loud clap of thunder as the clock struck twelve and she promptly disappeared, as did every other member of the Bombay family who was alive at that moment in time.

The rest of the assembled company quickly finished the codicil and tried to search through time for Artemisia and the rest of her family but to no avail. They had all vanished completely without a trace of their whereabouts being left behind.

Apart from those in the Great Hall Bombay Manor was silent. Empty. Everything that the family had been doing as the stroke of midnight fell was still there, exactly where it had been dripped as they disappeared.

Beds had indentations where the younger family members had been sleeping; rocking chairs were still rocking; books were still open to the page that was being read when those holding them had disappeared; and the kitchens still had a fire lit with a whole hog roasting over the flames on a spit – now slowly burning as there was no-one left to turn it as all the family servants had also disappeared.  But that wasn’t the only magic wrought that night.

A terrible curse had also fallen on the inhabitants of Wizard’s Thatch, all 8,786 of them – but no-one would talk about it.  It was a complete mystery.

The only living member of the Bombay family to survive this tragedy was Dr Thaddeus Bombay who was “away” at the time travelling with his companion Will. When he returned, he was as mystified as everyone else – but perhaps the worst thing for him was that he believed it to be his fault. Artemisia (his younger sister) had taken his place at the gathering and if she had not been there she would not have broken the circle.

As the sole living survivor of what was deemed to be one of the greatest mysteries of the Victorian age he vowed to discover the whereabouts of his family and restore them to the land of the living.

At the turn of every century, he hopes that the gathering will restore his family and put right the curse that fell on the inhabitants of Wizard’s Thatch.

The original Rules Britannia has pride of place in the Wyrd Museum, in a specially constructed glass cabinet beside the Royal Regalia used by the Enchantress of the Isles, Her Imperial Highness Queen Victoria in the original conjurings.