The majority of persons in the Princelings world journey no further than their nearest castle, although the areas around some of the castles are well inhabited and give rise to various sub-communities or villages.
In the fourth book, The Traveler in Black and White, Hugo identifies communities where his product, Wozna cola, might be sought after, and travels up to Sowerby as a result of the description in the newspaper of a fun-loving community. That is one of the longest single journeys we have heard of so far. He leaves the Inn of the Seventh Happiness to go to the Prancing Pony to get the overnight coach to Sowerby, which arrives well into the afternoon. Numerous changes of co-passengers are mentioned. The coach itself has sleeping accommodation which folds away to become seats during the day. It doesn’t sound too comfortable whether sleeping or sitting! My concept for the sleeping coach is based on a combination of the Green Turtle bus trips in California and the very comfortable sleeper train from Sydney to Brisbane, both experienced in the 1980s. Add in a bit of design and mechanical ingenuity and there you are!
The Sowerby coach is exceptional in its sleeping arrangements. The overnight coach from Seventh Happiness to Powell and Buckmore is more of a wagon with shelves on which to rest. It goes slowly, has little in the way of suspension, and it’s not surprising, as Baden says, that people have plenty to drink to help them sleep when they are on it.
The drivers of the coaches have certain parameters they have to work within. They are otherwise free to adapt their routes and timings as they think fit. They must leave at advertised times, they carry mailbags and other packages, but if there are too many passengers the mail has priority and passengers get left behind! Non-mail packages can be left for later too. They can put passengers wherever they can fit them, though. Fred opts to stay on top of the coach to Dimerie after seeing the state of Victor when he has been strapped in at the back with the parcels. Poor Victor looks even worse after the second part of the journey, up front with the driver but with no protection from flies and the wind! But drivers can prioritise their passengers if they think fit. The Powell-Buckmore coach sometimes bypasses Powell if none of the passengers want to go there. This is no great hardship for anyone waiting at Powell to go to Buckmore since there are regular fast and slow coaches between the two castles. Hugo is our guide once more to the delights of the slow coach from Powell to Buckmore!
Some of the other routes mentioned have yet to be explored in any depth. The Forest-Minster-Deeping-White Horse line sounds interesting. I am not sure whether we will ever discover more about the Cabot-Torchwood area, although all sort of strange things happen down there. We have met some of the Princelings and Princes from Wash and Humber, which are direct journeys from the Prancing Pony, in Princelings and the Pirates. Fred will be working with Hunston of Wash to establish a new route to Castle Marsh. It will be ready by the time we get to Victor’s Story – book 5 in the series!
And if you’re going on a journey, don’t forget to take your e-reader with you – with The Princelings of the East downloaded on it. Check the panel on the side of this page for the special offer for A to Z bloggers!