Mirror Point was established in response to the Wyrm Skull invasion of K.9; existing records seem to indicate that Brand raised the fortress in a single night, although he did not personally fight in the battle there. Since then, not much has happened, although Brand has made sure that Mirror Point is always commanded by someone personally loyal to him. In K.21, he made the then-colonel Brimante Valien Marchioness of Mirror Point in recognition of her role in supressing the Caprine uprising; Valien and all her successors have held Mirror Point directly from Brand's hand, as his immediate vassals, and are not legally subordinate to the Summer King at all. Brand granted Mirror Point to his adolescent daughter Melanie in K.43, to get her out of his hair. The colonel that that time, Galamon Geer, had expected to be named Marquis, and was most displeased at being cast aside in favor of a chit of girl. Fortunately, his second-in-command uncovered his plot and executed him and his coconspirators before they could ambush Melanie upon her arrival, and the whole matter was quietly consigned to a dusty filing cabinet.
The fortress of Mirror Point sits on a thirty-yard high spur of rock at the northeast side of a mountain-walled lake, at the head of the pass that leads back to Camyse Crossing. The poetic explanation of the site's name is that from the fortress one has a spectacular view not only of the jagged, thickly forested mountains, but also of their reflections in the clear still waters of the lake. The mundane explanation is that the topmost tower of the fortress is just high enough and in just the right place to send heliograph signals down to the fortress at Camyse Crossing.
The fortress itself is of fairly ordinary design, consisting of concentric walls delimiting an outer yard, an inner complex, and a central keep. The walls are of sturdy red-streaked brown stone, raised from the ground in one piece, and the roofs are of the red tile commonly used in that region. Most of the buildings have glass windows, although they can be quickly dismounted and replaced with strong wooden shutters when necessary. A drawbridge connects the main gate to a broad ramp that leads down into the mouth of the pass, and a small postern gate on the other side provides access to a narrow, perilous staircase down to the lakeshore.
The village along the lakeshore subsists primarily on what trade passes along the South Road, plus a little fishing in the lake and herding of sheep and goats. The land is too steep and rocky for farming beyond a few vegetable plots; grain and most produce has to be bought from Camyse Crossing.
Like most people of the southern Summerlands, the inhabitants of Mirror Point have dark skin and dark eyes, and blond, red, or brown hair. They tend to be tall, thin, and stronger than they look. Both men and women wear tunics and kilts, the kilts getting longer as less physical work needs to be done. People who are important or think they are often wear open robes over top.
Colonel Yander replaced Colonel Geer after arresting and executing him for conspiracy to commit treason and murder against Melanie, and has maintained that loyalty to Melanie and Brand ever since. Although Jenivay is the first Colonel to hold command in Mirror Point without being Marquis since the title was created, she does not seem to resent this; she would much rather be a soldier than a pen-pusher.
Jenivay is utterly devoted to Melanie, and not just as soldier to her commander or a vassal to her liege; she's carried a torch for Melanie since almost the day they met, but has never made her feelings known. If you asked her, she would say it's unprofessional for a soldier and commander to be involved, but the truth is she's afraid of rejection, since she's never seen Melanie take a female lover.
Jenivay is 12 kalends old, which in the March Mountains is not far from middle age, but is still perfectly healthy and quite youthful-looking. Even when she was young, no one called her pretty, but her figure is still athletic and feminine, and her face is strikingly dark-eyed and high-cheekboned. She usually keeps her long auburn hair braided and coiled under her cap, and dresses in the leather tunic and trousers of a soldier, but can occasionally be convinced to let down her hair and don a gown for a suitable occasion. She always carries a sword, though, which somewhat ruins the image.Master Molcayre (master of body magic)
Molcayre is something of a hermit, living in the mountains above Mirror Point where he can pursue his meditations and studies without bother. He's not completely antisocial, but usually goes into town only to buy supplies he can't grow himself or books. Although he holds no official standing in the community, anyone who gets to study the Marchioness' anatomy in detail attains an importance disporportionate to any actual rank. This research project has been somewhat curtailed in the wake of a recent unfortunate incident, but the local betting is that this is only a temporary setback.
Molcayre studies a form of magic fairly common in the southern Summerlands, the study of the flows of energy within the body. Practicioners of this art can perform physical feats far beyond those of ordinary men: running as fast as a horse for days on end, leaping over someone's head from a standing start, punching through solid oaken doors, and catching arrows with their bare hands. More advanced masters can strike blows without touching their foe, shout loud enough to shatter stone, and even fly through the air. Molcayre's interest is in less martial applications, however; although he knows enough of the practical uses to defend himself, his primary study is the use of the art in healing and promoting longevity. The villagers often come to him for medical care, in exchange for which he asks that they submit to his surprisingly painless experiments involving pressure points and hair-fine needles, and he has agreed to serve as a medic at the fortress should war ever break out.
Molcayre's interest in Melanie was originally purely scientific; having never met a shapeshifter, he was curious to know how their personal energy flows differed from those of a normal human. Despite scientific detachment, though, there aren't many men who can ask Melanie to take off her clothes and then run their hands over her body without both parties being affected at least a little. Chastity is not an absolute requirement for practice of the Art; and so one thing led to another and then another, and so forth.
Master Molcayre is more than 20 kalends old, but has kept himself as healthy and handsome as ever through the secrets of his art. He is tall and rather thin, with muscles wiry rather bulky, skin burnt dark by the sun, and strong, capable hands. His face is rather sharp-featured, and his eyes are piercing and occasionally terrifying. When he goes to town, he wears the brown robe of a master of the Art, but at his own home he often wears no more than a loincloth. His long blond hair is usually tied back with a copper clasp Melanie gave him.
In K.7, the great trollish hero Gormigg slew the great wyrm Kassaz, which had been plaguing the savannah since the beginning of time. With Kassaz' skull as his standard, Gormigg set about welding the hobs and trolls into an unstoppable engine of conquest. In K.9, he led the Wyrm Skull Army north over the March Mountains to take the Summerlands and perhaps even the Silver City itself. In response, Brand raised fortresses at Mirror Point and Camyse Crossing, and transported an army there to garrison them, under the command of the notorious General Dengaye. In the Battle of Camyse Crossing, The Wyrm Skull Army was held at the Red River for three days, until the defenders of Mirror Point broke the force besieging them and sallied to take the Wyrm Skull in the flank, breaking and routing them. General Dengaye and his battalion pursued Gormigg and his personal band deep into the mountains; none of them have been seen since.
Since that one famous battle, almost nothing of note has happened around Mirror Point. The trolls and hobs have never recovered enough to cause any more trouble than petty brigandage; some of them have even settled in the mountains or northward, and become civilized subjects of the Summer King. A few times the garrison of Mirror Point has been sent to help put down rebellions, but those have all been minor, and well to the north.
This file was last modified at 1457 on 27Apr99.