The House of Von Windenburg (1870s-1920s)
Queen Miranda Von Windenburg the First and Only lived a long and mostly happy life, reigning for seventy years. The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebration is still spoken of, and the Von Haunt Estate Merlot is still produced in her honor. Princess Miranda married her true love, Ferdinand Villareal, three years before ascending the throne, and the couple had a large family of ten children.
The Detailed History of Queen Miranda, Windburg’s Beloved and Last Monarch by The Avante Gardes Society, Maaike Haas, Editor. Available at Walrus Books & Gifts, the following has kindly been excerpted for public domain by author and Avante Gardes Society Member Gunther Munch.
Fortunately for the royal family, their last child, Alfred, was born in Winter 1907, thus avoiding the Queen’s breaking the Decree of Naught Eight of Aught Eight. This decree stated that no more than eight persons could reside in a residence as a result of the Great Famine, Fire, and Drowning in which no fewer than ten Windenburg households had perished in early 1908. Only those whose household members totaled eight or fewer survived. Modern persons would say superstitions held over from medieval Windenburg made the correlation that larger households equaled chaos. The Great Famine, Fire, and Drowning—Or Why Eight Is Enough by I.T. Snawnsense, published by Walrus Books, is a complete history of the decree.)
Queen Miranda’s eldest child, Prince Eddie Von Windenburg, met the lovely and elusive Lady Emily Shallot while on a fishing trip to the Island Bluffs. He was immediately smitten and his affections returned. Emily, though, was under a curse, unable to leave the Island. Not to be deterred, Prince Eddie received permission to build a small estate, and he and Emily were wed soon after, expanding their family by two children, Solaris, and Luna, a short time after. Prince Eddie was an avid fisherman, who against Princess Emily’s advice—and even pleas—would fish in any kind of weather. He always laughed that he was lucky since he was the heir. Princess Emily wrote to the Queen, begging for her to intervene. “There is no such thing as a ‘lucky’ Sim,” Emily wrote, “lucky—and its counterpart unlucky—are simply traits that do not exist. There is, however, such a thing as bad weather.” Even the Queen could not encourage her eldest son to postpone a day’s fishing due to a storm.
The inevitable happened as inevitabilities do. The prince’s valet later wrote in his journal that “the scene is forever burned in my mind. The Prince was reeling in a large mysterious fish when a bolt of lightning struck.” Upon receiving the news of her husband’s death, Princess Emily insisted upon telling the Queen herself. In her grief, she forgot about her curse and upon reaching the mainland turned into a giant sea creature. She sadly swam back to the Island, where, it is said, she still swims, mourning her husband. Their charming villa sank into the sand, and all that remains of their estate is the large pool. The Bluffs are a popular spot for teenagers and young adults.
[Picture of Snow Globe]
Princess Emily is commemorated in a collectible snow globe available at all Walrus Books & Gift Shops.
Tragedies large and small befell Queen Miranda’s other nine children as well, leaving only her sixth daughter, Helen, as the last surviving child. This was unprecedented in the history of Windenburg and no provisions were in place for whether the deceased heir’s child or a younger sibling of the deceased heir would be next in line to the throne. The Council prided themselves on their indecision and hoping for the best policies. After the King over-exerted himself one to many times, leaving the Queen a widow and not getting any younger, Queen Miranda summoned her remaining child to the palace to officially name her Heir. Her last journal entry indicated concern for the kingdom should she pass without a clear heir.
The penultimate tragedy of the House of Von Windenburg was Queen Miranda’s passing the night before Princess Helen’s arrival–before she could formally install her daughter as the next in line to the throne.
Debate raged for months as to who the heir would be. Factions included the supporters of Solaris Von Windenburg, son of Prince Eddie against Luna Von Windenburg followers who felt the kingdom needed another Queen. There was a vocal group suggesting that Prince Solaris and Princess Luna reign together, while others were tired of the monarch. Princess Helen’s relationship with the disgraced von Nachtstand family, did not help her cause, and her supporters were in the minority. Although it has never been definitively proven, Lord Ike the Fourth is assumed responsible for the Crisis of Sausages in 1892 and the abolishment of fire fighters.
Unfortunately for Princess Helen, she had married Lord Ike von Nachtstand the Fifth, the last of the once-proud and now disgraced line. While handsome and charming, Lord Ike was jovial and even coined the term “what a goofball” but lacked any kind of common sense. The ultimate tragedy to befall the House of Von Windenburg rests solely upon him. While Princess Helen was visiting her best friend in Henford-on-Bagley, her witless husband attempted an unauthorized Fire Dance in the City Hall as a petition to be accepted into the Knights of the Hedge. Being a clumsy Sim, he caught the heavy velvet curtains ablaze. Lord Ike panicked and caught a ferry to the Island, where he once again attempted his Fire Dance–this time setting the entire Island on fire. The fire quickly spread throughout Olde Platz, jumped the river and completely destroyed Neu Platz, raging through thousands of hectares of forest and burning through the countryside, while the Island was being laid to waste, as there were no fire fighters to battle the blaze. Windenburgers watched helplessly as most all of the countryside and city burned–nearly all structures but those ancient stone ruins themselves becoming ruins. After three months, rain fell for thirty-nine days and nights. Flooding ensued, of course, and over half the population was displaced. Many households emigrated to SimNation, and Lord Ike was run unceremoniously out of town. Princess Helen remained in Henford-on-Bagley but nothing else is known about her. This event became known as the Great Fire of 1922 and is still spoken about today.
Reclamation Homeware has created a commemorative table in remembrance of the tragedy, immortalizing the bard’s lament:
In early 1924, after living without a Queen or King for two years, the City Council unanimously voted to eliminate all royal titles. All Windenburg nobility, except for the Queen’s grandson, Lord Lycan, and his wife, agreed and kept their heads as well as what was left of their lands.
The Detailed History of Queen Miranda, Windburg’s Beloved and Last Monarch is available at Walrus Books & Gifts