Crimson KingThere is an intriguing legend about Merovich, the founder of the Merovingian Dynasty. It seems that his mother was raped by a fiendish monster known as the Quinotaur (which literally means five-horned). One of the consequences of this heritage is that Merovich is the first vampire. Both of these stories fit very nicely with the title Crimson King.
Black QueenBrunhilde was a Visigoth princess and an Arian who converted to the Catholic faith when she married Sigebert I of Austrasia. Though she was hailed as a stalwart Catholic by such luminaries as St. Gregory of Tours, she eventually earned a reputation for avarice and cruelty and stood at the center of several conflicts over succession. I need a lamia to haunt the environs of the Chateau, and Brunhilde fits the bill quite nicely as someone tempted by power — especially the fiendish kind that spawned the Crimson King.
The Purple PiperSt. Gregory of Tours is part of the Marovingian line. Therefore, he was a royal who gave up nobility in order to take up the cloth and preach the Gospel. Since purple is a royal color, he fits the role of the Purple Piper (someone who leads in unexpected ways) quite nicely.
The PilgrimIt was through the faith of St. Coltilda that the Merovingians became Christian. She, therefore, makes a good Pilgrim (using its original meaning of a person who journeys to a sacred place for religious reasons).
The GardenerKing Clovis I was the first Christian Merovingian king. There is a legendary story about his decision to embrace Christ: he was granted the vision of an angel giving him a flower. The fleur-de-lis has been the heraldic symbol of France ever since. Given this horticultural symbolism, I thought he might make a good Gardener.
The Pattern JugglerThe Merovingians actually had several kings ruling over various sections of there territory. Despite this, they collectively were considered one political unit — much like the Roman Empire when it was under multiple emperors. As one might expect, this led to a lot of internal conflict (as exemplified by Brunhilde). This suggests a singular figure who suffers from multiple personalities, many of whom are in direct conflict with other personalities. The Pattern Juggler would have a love/hate relationship with the Black Queen.
The Yellow JesterKing Childeric was the last of the Merovingian kings. He was also a puppet. The real rulers were the founders of the Carolingian dynasty, who prior to their ascension to the thrown were Mayors of the Palace. Yellow suggests sickness, decline and the setting sun. Since the Yellow Jester smiles as the puppets dance, I think the puppet Childeric fills the role quite nicely.
The Fire WitchI did not find any historic correlation for the Fire Witch; however, I quite like to think that she had something to do with the summoning of the Quinotaur, of which the broken bells play a part…
For the purposes of having a fantasy version of each, here are the versions of all these names I plan on using:
- Merovich = Merovic
- Brunehilde = Brunehaut
- Gregory = Gregor
- Clotilda = Iotilda
- Clovis = Chlodovic
- Childeric = Kildervic