Le petit chat de la Tour d'en haut

Le petit chat de la Tour d’en haut from the high tower is a cat who doesn’t think he’s little. Le petit chat de la Tour d’en haut thinks he’s a big black cat. A huge black cat. A giant black cat. His furballs are forests, his coarse tongue the sea ripping the sand from the beach as it goes out, his purring the rumbling of distant thunder, his eyes stars, and his claws swords, rapiers, sabres, lances or daggers – anything that cuts, severs or slashes. But Le petit chat de la Tour d’en haut from the high tower is little. He’s the only one who doesn’t realise that. And, like all little cats, he likes cuddles, being stroked, naps, bringing bad luck, making people sneeze and eating birds. Any little birds.


Beautiful, powerful, distinguished, combative, bewitching, capricious ... You can't talk about Queen Selena without amassing the adjectives. From the kingdom of the moon over which she reigns supreme, she looks down on and flies over all the nights of all the lands. She is up there. Above men. Above the law. Above ordinary mortals. Above the world. She prefers great destinies to insignificant lives. The impetuousness of intense passions to paltry emotions. She lives life to the quick. She sees beyond. The darkness doesn't hamper her at all. To the contrary, it makes her more clear-sighted than ever. Cloaked in mystery, encircled by paradoxical shadows, she foresees everything, feels things before they happen, hears words that are not uttered and understands all about tormented hearts. She influences moods and affects the seas. She is the Queen Mother and there's nothing the Kingdom of the Sun can do about it. Their king can shine as much as he wants, Selena couldn't care less - it's always dark somewhere.


Roxane. How could you not love her? She may be a tomboy, but she makes a great princess. The epitome of the princess, in fact. A rock princess who loves martial arts, the moon and balconies – the ones she hops over to go off on adventures, without even realising that one or two princes are moping around at the bottom. A tearaway princess, who has nothing to fear but dressing like one. A princess from a swashbuckling space caper. A fairy-tale princess with a face as pure as the driven snow. Roxane is a paradox: intrepid and romantic, an impossible blend of battlefield and ballroom. Roxane is a princess forever young, daughter of the land of the Rising Moon.


Lily, with the name of a flower, and the character of a thistle. 'Little Madam' Princess. Stylish and pretty princess. The little pest princess of fairy tales, the one who keeps getting into trouble and has to be locked in her room. Princess of porcelain, princess of the pea, bedecked in sable, always finding it either too hot or too cold. Her dissatisfaction has become her hallmark and she is renowned for her tantrums in both kingdoms, because yes, her reputation in this area has crossed the boundaries. She loves stroking her cat, wearing her jewels, going to the ball, making herself up, putting on her little tiara, being right and especially - above all, above all else - not being happy. It's so funny. Poor Lily, imprisoned in her role and in her High and Mighty Tower, convinced that this is how princesses should behave; compelled to attract attention and ire in order to exist, caught between her intrepid sister and her mother, the Queen. It would be wrong however to sum Lily up like this and only see in her the fickle young girl she endeavours to be. Lily is much better than that. Hidden behind her lunar complexion is a big heart, and behind those dark eyes simmer high hopes. Have patience Lily: one day you will grow up too.


Ichtyonef! A dirigible fish. An extraordinary aerial vehicle conceived by the most brilliant minds in the kingdoms. A machine of incredible dimension, floating in the air better than a flying fish ever could. Before Ichtyonef, there were of course airships that cleft the clouds, even in bad weather. In fact, some of them are still in circulation, mainly to move the armies from one front to another and to move people between the two kingdoms, but Ichtyonef is different. Inspired by fish fauna, its structure resembles scales that are streamlined to cut through the wind. Its fins guarantee it an unprecedented lift on the updrafts. And the ship itself is so comfortable that the passengers cradled within often doze off and don't even notice the time passing.


Helios has a problem. How do you square a heavenly body with an adventurous heart? The face of Peter Pan with the soul of Captain Hook? Alas, Helios can’t decide between helix and sun. He feels it. He knows it. His name means both. So, Helios dreams. Every night, he has a date with the moon, pacing up and down at the foot of his balcony. What he loves, by any name, doesn’t matter much. It’s all in the telling. The story he tells himself. The story in which he saves princesses imprisoned in towers made of smoke and mirrors. The other one, in which he scales mountains to seek his Sleeping Beauty in the clouds. She whom he loves and who obsesses him while he dreams in the dark. For her, he dreams of gently landing on the moon in the rocket he’s designed. Of crossing the oceans in the sky, hooked to a fish. Of taking control of robots and foiling plots. Of warming cold nights, like rivers of the burning rays of his namesake... Helios, son of Zeno, Prince of the Kingdom of the Sun.


Maskero has made ambiguity into a way of life and ambivalence into his favourite dance. Is he a masked hero or does his mask hide the face of a bandit? Maskero knows not. He spends his life drifting between two versions of himself. Light or dark. Two paths, between good intentions and petty betrayals. He loves fighting and sees himself as a war leader. He’s a predator whose lusts mean he always has the urgent flame of desire within him: for possession, for power. There’s nothing like flying through the air astride a unicorn or robot, sword in hand, battle cry roaring from your throat. There’s nothing like raising the flag of his beloved Kingdom of the Sun on hard-won mountainsides. His hot-headedness often gets the better of him. But sometimes his tormented heart is touched by grace – the love of a princess, perhaps – or his impetuous blood reminding him who he is: a Prince of the Sun. The mask falls. The hero appears.


Zeno is a myth, a legend, a world in himself. How could he not be when he wears the crown of the Kingdom of the Sun? How could he not be those things when he sets the sky ablaze every time he rises to his feet? Zeno is formidable and proud but sometimes tires from the weight of this crown. From this kingdom without end that he must govern, from these protean subjects ever changing over time, pledging their allegiance according to their moods, one minute to him, Zeno, the next to Selena, the Queen of the Night (the Queen of Woe as he likes to call her); and from the wars that are always brewing at the gates of the kingdom for no apparently good reason. Not to mention his children, the crown princes and their antics, their plans to conquer or abduct princesses, their science fictional inventions, their infatuations, their sword fights and coups de force... two princes but only one throne - yet more decisions to make... Put together, quite a few little problems for the great Zeno to iron out. Sometimes when he goes to bed, he ponders things over and dreams as if he were a stranger, with no powers or army, and no fame of course, but feeling so much lighter. And in the morning, he's forgotten it all.


Cupidon is a device with an impish character. He speaks in riddles and enjoys playing a trick or two. Hélios always has him on him like a Gameboy or a smartphone. In fact, Cupidon is more than that; he is a master key, but one that only works for lovers. As an object, the key never works if those who use it are not in love...