Welcome to Viros!
My name is Gweneth. I am a shapeshifter, and a new member of the House of the Cat, based here on the planet, Viros. I’m also your tour guide for the day.
Viros has a monarchy. King Lynx, with the help of his two mates, Jannike and Shiloh, is dragging Viros into the future. It’s very exciting. Lots of changes afoot.
As you can see, the city sits on a hill. The castle at the top dominates the skyline, huge and imposing. Outside the castle is a huge square then the city falls away in terraced streets, the levels winding down the hill until they reach the wall that surrounds the city for security purposes.
We’ll start with the castle, since I have an “in” with the King and Queen.
This is a rear door. Don’t worry about the guards. As long as you don’t have any concealed weapons, we’ll be fine if we take a quick peek from the foyer. Security is tight since the House of Cawdor attack. The war occurred before I arrived—a catalyst for change.
The king’s mother is a big collector, so the castle is full of weird things from all over the universe.
Come this way… this is the ballroom where the famous routing of the enemy took place, and the House of the Cat triumphed over the House of Cawdor.
Let’s go outside. This is the market square. The evening markets are a lot of fun with the tiny pop-uprestaurants and stalls selling all sorts of things. I’ve been trying out all the different foods from neighboring planets, even the hangover cure—a malpack head. It looks pretty gross but once it’s sliced and seasoned it’s not so bad.
The feline statue over there is in honor of a past king – the current King’s grandfather.
Oops! Mind the kids playing. You stand on one of their tails and there will be tears and snarling. Come this way and we’ll wander down to the street on the next level. There is lots of rebuilding occurring at on the lower levels. The damage during the attack by the Cawdor was worse in the lower levels. Bombings and such. King Lynx ordered more modern buildings as replacements. The new buildings will have shops on the ground floor and accommodation above, and we’ve hired locals and a few tradesmen from neighboring planets.
We’ll continue down to the next level. We’re using this as a temporarymarket. The locals shop for their food and every day supplies here.
This next level is the magic quarter. We have a few practitioners moving back to the city now that the restrictions against magic have been lifted. If you’re interested, I suggest you come back at the end of the tour.
You’ll notice as we move toward the city walls that the buildings are becoming increasingly derelict. Before Prince Jarlath and his brother King Lynx took over, this was an area reserved for the poor. At present, we have a tented city in one of the squares. The plan is to have this area rebuilt before the seasonal winds hit the city.
And finally, this is the previous guard station. The leaders of the Cawdor strike made a stand here. See that dirty patch on the ground? That is where the Cawdor leaders shot Ellard, a royal security guard. That is where Ellard bled and was injured so badly that he lost his arm. He is a hero, and he helped Prince Jarlath and his wife, Keira, to finally foil the attack. I’m going to wed Ellard, but he doesn’t know it yet.
As I mentioned earlier, the city is in a state of rebirth. We have a new space port and we are aggressively working to market Viros as a tourist destination. I hope you will help spread the word.
*Gweneth flashes a smile* That concludes our tour for today. Do you have any questions?
Shelley Munro lives in New Zealand and writes paranormal and contemporary romance. Gweneth, our tour guide today, appears in three books from the House of Cat series, and her own book (Hunted & Seduced) is currently in progress. The city of Viros is the setting in book two of the House of the Cats, Claimed & Seduced.
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