Elspeth is immensely powerful, and immensely ancient. There have been Witch Queens before her, but nobody can remember just who or just when. The fact that she's been rejuvenated and reincarnated numerous time without ever taking a day off the job does not make the would-be chronicler's job easier, of course. In due time Elspeth will teach Machiavelli a few tricks, but here in the year 1000 those in the know use "Elspethian" as a synonym for devious, manipulating, uppity, creepy, oh-no-I'm-dead. She's what grown-up witches threaten naughty little witches with, and what Satan threatens unruly demons with. The tales of Elspeth circulating in wicca kindergarten are hair-raising enough that even young adult witches like the headstrong Krakatoa revert to blubbering infancy when given a talking-to by the Witch Queen.
Elspeth is sometimes called Queen of Wicca, even if that's somewhat misleading. She's no priestess. There are wiccans who hate her guts (or whatever it is that squirms inside that withered body), but few who dare stand up to her. Most of those are never heard from again. Elspeth believes in setting examples, and in the power of imagination. She rules by hints, intrigues, secret schemes and by letting her people wonder just what was in the 100 small packets carried out of the palace dungeons one late night under the full moon.
Elspeth's one open enemy is, curiously enough, ofttimes not only tolerated but even invited to the Royal Court. Countess Alcydia von Dönnerwetter, whose only and oft-spoken ambition is to "become Witch Queen instead of the Witch Queen" is a useful tool for Elspeth. Leaving enemies into the hands of the feared Alcydia is a sure-fire method to quieten down the simmerings and schemings at Court for a few months. She's really more wary of Alcydia's cousin, Duchess Guðrún. The Duchess works her schemes quietly, out of the public's eye, and even dares refuse direct orders from her queen - if she thinks she can get away with it. Either Guðrún is succeeding where Alcydia is not, or Elspeth is deliberately letting her get enough rope to tie herself to the stake with.
Elspeth's seat of power is the Undercity, a hidden sprawling underground palace spanning muliple dimensions. In the world of Clwyd-Rhan, the Undercity is believed to be located somewhere under the city of London.
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