Oriel, elfin, judgmental, willful and offensively candid (as her friend and neighbor Evan tells her) declines to obey. ("I don't know if she'll be happy!") She finds Court offensive-as they find her. Having alienated the queen and poets by pointing out that their plots are foolish, and the courtiers (including her promised husband) by scorning their hypocrisy, she makes friends with the commoners in the courtyard below: servants, thieves, artisans and whores, who call themselves Yardbirds.
The crises of Strafford's conviction and the royal wedding coincide with the kidnapping of Oriel for reasons of combined politics and vengeance. King, queen and courtiers shrug: the outrageous Oriel is no loss. It's the Yardbirds and Evan who unite to find and rescue her.
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