Five Royal Princesses sit in the chambers of the castle in the vast domain of the Brulinskia regime.
In the top floor of the residence of the Royal Family of Rus live the five sisters of the prince, Pietro Brulinskia. The Tzar is a good monarch and cares deeply for his people, but he is not well. A hereditary illness plaques him and his weakness has returned, he is sound of mind however, he uses his generals and advisers to complete the duties he cannot.
The sisters live a life of cloistered anonymity. Their servants and family are the only ones who see them. When they must leave the secret walls of the castle to move to another residence they are covered from sight. Each assigned a servant whose primary concern is to keep them concealed.
This existence is expected of them, they will live their entire lives this way, with no hope for an outside life. No marriage to be arranged, no profession, no education and no voice.
Two exceptions: Katrina is not of a docile nature. She has fought the tradition of her station in life. She has managed to steal out and reap some of the same benefits as her brother, the prince. He actually enjoys her company, she is bright and determined. She challenges him and speaks frankly, he is not used to that.
Her willful nature is not expected and has never been corrected. This life she has been destined to will not hold her. Being the eldest of the five girls has allowed her childhood to extend longer than the rest. She had witnessed the lives of the other residents of the castle longer than her younger siblings who were sequestered as a group when Ludmilla, the middle child was twelve.
Irina is only second to Katrina. She had learned from her older sister. but does not show her independence outwardly. She has a diary. She writes daily of her observations, her sisters activities and her thoughts of this most restrictive and enviable lifestyle of luxury and wealth, — unless you are the one that has to live it. Before she was sent into obscurity at the age of fourteen she had tasted enough of the natural existence of any young woman to realize the unnaturalness of living such a life isolated from the world. Especially Vasilly, he was a young man of the Royal Guard who was twenty-four years old. He was unaware of the attention he was receiving from the impressionable young Princess Irina. A striking figure in his Royal Guard Uniform, he would wink at the princesses and show a bit of humanity, which was mostly lacking considering the severity of the military presence. His smile is what Irina dreams of most, a most unfortunate turn of events.
The month of March has come and gone. I have completed the cross-stitch I have been working on with Sophia, she is still doing her best to keep the stitches perfectly lined up but needs my assistance from time to time. We have had Kerzey measure it to be hung, it really is that lovely. The physician that tends our father the Tzar, also tends Sophia. They share the same degenerative illness. That leaves the Tzarina (mother) to claim that her blood has nothing to do with Sophia’s episodes.
Ludmilla has been quiet and sad lately. She cries when she thinks we are not looking. I must close for now Vasilly, till next time. You and I will keep our secret.
Irina puts down the diary and quickly hides it away. She remembers how her carelessness almost ruined her private relationship with her not-so imaginary acquaintance and confidant, Vasilly.