About the Author

About the Author: Research

Phew. The last week for yours truly has consisted of nonstop query letters, writing, and research. Research into what you may ask? I was investigating why agents want to know about the author. I know ironic given the above title, but it has confused me. In my mind, I am merely the story teller of a grande tale. My characters should be the ones they focus on and how they interact with their world. People want to escape and read about the story not really about the life of someone they could meet on the street. However, looking further into the matter I began to realize why they want it so badly. They are searching for someone they can get along with and peak their interest. Someone who has had a good amount of life experiences that they can knit into their stories; giving more dimensions to situations that go beyond black and white. They want that writer who puts every bit of themselves into their work and believes their story is worth telling. Well, that is my theory anyway. In the spirit of this, I am going to share below a few events I have experienced in my life time.

Learned a different language: At one time, I learnt how to speak the basics of four different languages those being German, Latin, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese. Before anyone asks, no I do not remember much of any of them. In my writing, I use different languages to name my characters and places; that way exposing a bit of culture to everyone.

Experienced nature: One of my favorite things to do. It is serene to be able to sit in the middle of the forest with the bugs buzzing, the birds chirping, chipmunks scurrying about, leaves rustling, and the wind dancing across ones skin. The scent of pine in the air is one of my favorite smells. I also am an avid geocacher and will go on long hikes. Those who do not know what that is, think treasure hunt but on a massive scale.

Read Books: Always take time to read a good story. There is almost nothing more satisfying than seeing a character develop over the course of a book or getting lost in a world unlike our own. My favorite authors include J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, J. K. Rowling. Charles Dickens, and Homer.

Spend a day without electricity: Something about handwriting my thoughts really gets me pumped. Especially after finishing a story, I feel like I want to run a mile. Course playing board games with family with no electronics is a fun afternoon too. Its funny how much we ignore the buzzing of our tech. A day without electricity provides a romantic setting for a candle light dinner that I have always gotten hazy eyes. Then hiding under a blanket fort because one is never to old to be young. That makes sense right?

Go on stage and be applauded: Once upon a time and a galaxy way far away I used to act and sing. It was invigorating to get reactions from the audience from my performance. Of course it was also ironic. Why? You see I am diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder, so you would think that being on stage would be the last place I want to be. Believe it or not, it was very therapeutic. It got me to be way more confident about myself and to not get so bent out of shape about change.

For now I will leave it at that, do not want to give you my life’s story all at once. If you got any questions for me, please feel free to comment below or contact me. Thanks to everyone who supports me by liking, following, and sharing my posts. Until next time, I wish you the greatest of travels in this world.

Samples

The Stained Hood

Another night of merrymaking was in procession in a crowded tavern in a town whose name no one remembers. Laughter, story-telling, and idiotic babbling filled the air as old and new friends shared in good times. At the bar there sat a young woman covered in a red hood, never stopping her intake of alcohol. Across her skin were a number of claw marks and bites; signs of great conflict and an attitude to match. No one dared to come near her, except one foreigner. She sat next to the intimidating figure without an ounce of fear. The woman in red seemed to ignore her presence as the liquor continued to pour down her throat. Finally, the foreigner spoke,

“Seems to me that you are the only one sulking on this fine night. Come, why not smile a bit and share in the partaking of stories. Tell me your name and the most exciting of tales. The sky is alight with the stars and moon that…”

Suddenly, the girl in the hood smacked the foreigner backwards against a nearby wall. She glared menacingly at her victim with her red eyes alight before going back to her drink. Seemingly foolish, the foreigner rose up and sat next to the hostile woman. A chuckling emitted from the hood before the woman within it spoke aloud,

“Stubborn, I like that. You want to hear a tale then huh? Let me tell you one, but I guarantee you that there will be no laughter found within it. I am only known by the name of Red for my past name I do not deserve. It started upon a night like this, I was out riding upon my silver horse with my white hood when out of the shadows a werewolf pounced upon the two of us. I tried to defend us, but I was knocked back by the strength of this creature. Hours crept by as I lay in darkness, only awaken by the rays of the coming morning. When I awoke I found only bits of my beautiful horse left. My anger and sadness knew no bounds as revenge became my only thought. I marched to the temple of the goddess Epona and demanded for the high priestess, my grandmother. The attendants worked fast to retrieve her as she appeared before me in a long gown with a moonstone carved into a horse’s head. She looked at my questioningly before asking,

‘My dear granddaughter, what is the matter? Have you finally come to your senses and asked for forgiveness from the great goddess? It is only then will you find peace in your parent’s death and see the purpose that is meant for you.’

I scoffed at her before responding, ‘No, I came to make you aware of what the goddess that you revere has done to us. As you know, she took my parents away many moons ago but gifted us a silver horse. For a while, I was happy with the gift that I had been giving, but sure enough your goddess had to ruin that too. A werewolf, a creature of the moon, attacked me and killed my beloved horse. What do you have to say to your goddess now?!’

At first, she seemed unfazed by my news, making me even angrier, but then she did something I never thought I would see. She grabbed her necklace and shattered it against the ground. That is when our quest for revenge began.”

Red took a few more sips of alcohol as she paused from her story. The stranger was stunned by the words that came from the woman’s mouth. She asked,

“Revenge on a goddess? How foolish could you be? The gods and goddesses are not to be trifled with. How are you even still alive?”

“Shut up and I will tell you.” Responded the harsh woman. After finishing what seemed like her eighth glass she continued, “First, we wanted revenge against the werewolf, the goddess was afterwards. We knew that we needed at least a third to even attempt to kill the beast. So, we came to this very tavern and hired the services of mercenary who used only axes to kill his victims. The three of us then headed into the forest to hunt for the beast. It took days to even get within the right area to find its den. In that time, the three of us bonded and partook in merrymaking much like those around us tonight. But like most good things, it came to an end. We were attacked in a flash by the beast. Without a second thought, it killed my grandmother by biting down on her throat. I screamed in anger as I went after the beast with no plan. It easily pinned myself underneath it as it tore into my skin. I would have been dead if it were not for the mercenary. He threw three axes into the side of the beast, making it come towards him. I went towards my grandmother’s body and found the shards of the moon necklace she once wore. Then I heard a dying scream as the body of the mercenary lay cold and bloody upon the ground. It was just me and the horrid beast left to battle. I took up one of the axes and grounded the moonstone into the axe head. With my weapon ready, I charged forward once again to kill the wretched beast. It moved to the side, barely escaping my swing as it latched onto my arm with its teeth. My other hand was still free as I chopped again and again into the beast. It died after the first two strokes, but I did not care. Over and over again I struck it until my white hood was stained red. As I looked at what was left of the body, it began to change to a human form. Horror struck my face as I saw the dead body of my father upon the ground.”

Red had to stop for a moment, her past causing her to be visible shaken before grabbing a whole bottle of wine and guzzling it down her throat. The room had stopped their fun and were listening intently to her story. She noticed this as she gave them a murderous glare, to which they all returned to their fun. After a few deep breaths, she continued,

“As I stayed at bended knee at my loss a beam of light from the moon above came down in front of me. A being formed from the radiant glow as a goddess stood before me. She kept her hair in a pony tail and had a riding hood of silver around her shoulders. Across her shoulder, she wore a belt of moonstones that glowed within the dark night. She looked at me with a disappointing gaze while she spoke,

‘What have you done? My dear you were always so headstrong, but this is beyond that characterization. Anger blinded your judgement and reason. Your father was so close to finishing his sentence before you struck him down. Now, you have lost him forever.”

I was stunned by the figure in front of me, not because she was a goddess but because I had recognized her.

‘Mom?’ I asked questioningly.

The goddess sighed as she replied, ‘Yes, my dear daughter. You see you were only half right about when you thought the goddess took your parents. When I committed myself to your father and him to me, we were told by the other gods not to reveal my identity to anyone. For many a year we both kept silent of my true nature until one night in that dam tavern. Your father was with some of the other men in the village who began to mock me. They said horrible things such as I was a whore looking for redemption by the goddess Epona by becoming a priestess. Due to anger and alcohol, your father rose to defend my honor revealing who I was. Of course, this broke the vow we made to the gods and he was immediately struck by the moon. He transformed into a werewolf and killed all around him before running into the forest. Many moons passed, and he hid within the woods; not killing another soul until he felt the pull of the silver steed, the one I gave you. Another test by the gods to see if you were worthy of being in my presence again. This you failed miserably. Had it not seemed strange that he did not kill you at the same time? You were knocked unconscious with no way to defend yourself, easy prey to anyone. Worst of all you dragged two others to their deaths because of your anger. My dear I am sorry, but you must be punished. Henceforth from here on you will guard my temple as the beast that drove you to such foolishness.’

The moon struck me with such power it overwhelmed my mind. All I could hear was howling and feel a hunger for flesh. That night was the end of me as a human for now I am cursed to walk this earth as a werewolf until my sentence is finished. Serving as the guardian of the temple of Epona just a short distance away.”

With her tale finished, she had finally stopped drinking from the alcohol she had been given. Her eyes had softened from her tale from the fury she had started the conversation. The foreigner smiled as she talked to werewolf,

“So, you are the woman I have been searching for. I am going to need your help Red. The gods have decreed only one that has been bathed in moonlight can defeat the foe I face now.”

Red plucked an eye brow up at the foreigner, intrigued by her offer. Before agreeing to anything she asked one question,

“What’s your name?”

A small smile appeared on her mouth as the foreigner responded, “Aurora.”

Samples

Cinder Ella

How long had it been since she had seen the outside world? All she knew was the inside of her father’s castle, well at least in the last ten years. Most of that time the woman spent in the dungeons, only being let out to clean the castle that her step mother and step sisters now ruled over. The three made her life a living hell. Every day she was let out of her shackles to clean. Her cruel sisters would blast her body with spells to make her scream. Constantly, pain wracked her body only matched by the way the woman felt like dirt. She was not allowed any help through her daily cleaning routine. Although, when her sisters and mother were busy with other matters of the state, she summoned animals to help her finish her chores. This gave her time to rest and to catch up on reading. Today was not one of those days. Today they had shackled her particularly tight and had thrown the usually cinders into her eyes. They called her Cinder, not even addressing her by her real name.

Cinder was fading in and out of consciousness. Someone stood in front of her; a person she swore was glowing with light. She shook her head thinking it was only a hallucination from the lack of food.

Then the figure talked, “Ella, daughter of the king of the land of Gaul, a place bathed in sunlight and blessed with the rich soil of volcano. You have suffered greatly these past ten years. The injustice you have suffered is incalculable, but it was not without purpose. Unknown to you, you have been building up strength to take back your kingdom. Your father had a noble heart and that same heart beats in you.”

Finding her voice, the princess responded, “Who… who are you?” Her eyes could now focus on the stranger. She wore a long pink dress embroidered with flames as a red veil lay over their head. Around her neck she wore a golden necklace embedded with a Ruby in its center. The red head had a sweet smile and lovely complexion as warmth seemed to radiate from her.

“My name is Hestia, goddess of hearth, architecture, domesticity, and fire. I was a virgin for many a century until meeting your father. He was such a kind man, taking me into his home without seeking anything in return after I was injured by a chimera. He intended to my wounds and listened to the advice I gave him about his castle. I felt so warm around him. This filled my being until I decided to no longer contain it. That was how you were born. The only reason I left was due to an urgent matter on Mount Olympus. When it had passed, and I had finally returned, your father had been enchanted by your stepmother before being killed by her.”

A tear fell on the goddess’ face before she continued. “I sought advice from an oracle in the far-off region of China in the territory owned by the Shang. She revealed to me the only way to defeat the wretched woman and her enchanted daughters. She foretold to me that my daughter would avenge the death of her father once she reached the age of nineteen. Within you has the potential to blaze a fire bright enough to snuff out your oppressors.” Her mother said as a fire lit in her hand. She floated it to her daughter’s chest as it sank within it. “Trust in the fire that burns within you my daughter. Know always that I am with you.” With that, she disappeared within a burst of flames.

As her mother vanished, the princess could hear footsteps coming down the staircase. Her vile stepmother Tremaine dressed in an expensive gown made of silk and other fine linens. Jewels adorned her fingers and the crown of the former king set upon her head.

The old bat stuck her nose up to Ella as she spoke, “Ah, if it isn’t my deceased husband’s bastard child, all full of ash upon your face. The name Cinder really suits you my dear. Now, the only reason I grace you with my presence is that you left the kitchen quite a mess the last time you cleaned. You should no better to leave specks on my dishes. So…” The cruel woman pulled from her side a cat of nines whip. “You must be punished.” Strike after strike hit the princess’ stomach as the warmth her mother’s fire began to spread. The more she was hit, the more the fire burned brighter as she felt a new surge of power. Still, her cruel stepmother did not notice as she continued her attack.

The old crow’s words soon confirmed her doom. “Your mother was nothing but a common whore. No wonder she left you to rot.” That did it. The cuffs around her wrists and ankles melted away as fire erupted from her fingertips. Tremaine scurried back like a rodent at the sight of pure power standing in front of her. The locks of hair that hung from Ella’s shoulders acted as an inferno while flowing into the air. The princess’ eyes turned into a crimson red while she stared at her abuser. Pure terror was the last feeling the stepmother felt as the blaze burned her to an unrecognizable crisp.

From the charred corpse, Ella ripped the crown from her stepmother’s head and placed it upon herself. She strode up the stairs, scorching the floor with each step. As the door opened, she was met by a host of knights that had heard the former queen’s screams. They were mystified by the sight before them, but soon brushed this off as they charged forward. These mere mortals were no match while they cooked in their own armor. Through the castle she went, cleansing it from the putridness her step mother had wrought. The men that the former queen had employed were pathetic fighters and were no match for the true ruler’s fury. The real challenges soon approached her. Her two step sisters were glowing with menacing magic and screamed like hell cats. Blast after blast they met in strength, shaking the very foundation of the castle. The duo could see they were making no ground and summoned cat-like men with glowing red eyes. Valiantly, she fought against wave after wave of these creatures; her strength never failing her. Realizing that she could not keep this up forever, she summoned a wall of flames that barricaded her from the enemy.

With great haste, Ella retreated further into the castle; stumbling across a young man named Henri. Before striking him down, he bowed to her and pleaded, “Please Princess Ella! I live to serve you and your lineage. My family, the Charmers, have served yours for generations. We were your father’s oracles and kept many secrets from the vile Tremaine. When she stuck your father down, she did the same to mine. I was forced to serve as a foot servant to the trio. I endured in the hopes that one day you would finally rise to power. Your father knew this day would come and trusted my family with this container; saying only you would be able to open it.” From the sack on his back, he pulled a large metal sphere and set it at the feet of the princess. As her hands touched the strange object, it began to glow as it opened to reveal a peculiar pair of objects. It was two glass slippers with parchment stuck between them. The princess took the latter and began to read what was inscribed upon it.

“My sweet Ella. I fear that I will be long dead before you read this and that you have suffered for my weakness. Tremaine and her twisted daughters have been enchanting me. Only for brief moments I am not under their spell and in these moments, I seek to ensure your future. The people will gladly follow you once you dispense those hags. These slippers will allow you to turn your bird friends you sang to as a child into much more magnificent creatures. I love you my daughter and even in my death, I will always be with you. Love your dad, Gentille son of Doux.”

A tear fell from Ella’s eyes as it steamed on her cheek. For years she thought she had no love but was clearly wrong. She sang an ancient song as her birds flocked together before her. Slipping into the gifts her father gave her, the princess focused on the flock as fire whirled around them. They soon changed form and size as Phoenixes now perched before her. Astonished at their transformation, she patted each of them as she turned to face her enemy again. The demon cat-men filled the hall as she made their way toward them. They mewed a twisted cry as they came slashing toward her. It was then her birds erupted behind her and tossed her oppressors against one another. Beaks tore into flesh as the twisted creatures could not stand against Ella and her forces. Hearing the howls of their minions, the two witches turned the corner to see their step sister with her own followers. Blasts of magic launched from their hands as they tried to keep the Phoenixes at bay. It was no use. Ella protected them with shields of fire as they eliminated the entirety of the cat-like horde. All that was left were the two hags.

The Phoenixes took to the air alight with fire as they whirled around their enemy. A fiery tornado formed around the witches. In vain, they attempted to escape; trying spell after spell to escape. Nothing worked. Fear overtook their being before getting struck down with a fiery sword through each of their chests. Like their mother, they were burnt beyond recognition as Ella stood over them triumphant. Henri of the prophet family of Charmers proclaimed a joyous victory, spreading the word throughout the kingdom. Soon, villagers flocked to the castle, exalting their princess with praises. She was soon made Queen of Gaul and appointed Henri her high priest, reestablishing the fallen order. They dedicated the new directive to the goddess Hestia, whose ideals of a safe home and loving family were followed for many years to come. Still, the new queen would feel unrest and would partake in many adventures to come, calling herself Cinderella.

About the Author

About the Author: Update

Greetings again one and all, just thought I would give you all an update on my life. Those of you who had not seen my previous birthday post, I have turned twenty-four with another year of survival under my belt. A present that appeared with this occasion was to see Lion King on Broadway. Super excited to be going to New York again to see a show I have been yearning to see for a long time.  Also in recent weeks the date for my fiancee’s and I’s wedding has been decided. Much excitement comes along with this news accompanied by oh my goodness the cost of such things, but in the end all that matters is the love for each other. Hopefully with the date we have set we can both save up the money to have a splendid day to celebrate our love… and of course to get to a little place called Ireland for the honeymoon. Why here? Both of our families come from the Emerald Isle and it has long peaked our interests to visit this land of rolling hills and fences made of stone. Excitement fills my very being of celebrating such a joyous occasion and traveling to a place that I have wanted to visit since I was young.

On the writing frontier, my efforts with agents have been less than successful. However, I will say that none of them have said that my book was terrible or poorly written. The only reason they passed it was on their gut feelings. It gives me a bit of encouragement but at the same time frustration. I can feel myself having my goal at my fingertips but not able to grasp it. More annoyingly is the fact that my followers are waiting so patiently for my book to appear and I cannot produce it yet. For that I am truly sorry that you have to wait to see the fantastic tale. I promise it will get to you, of that I am sure; just unsure when that will be. Hopefully in the coming days I will have the good news of finding an agent. On a side note, I have gotten half way through writing A Collection of Epic Retellings of Classic Fairy Tales of which I will be posting another story of tomorrow. When not working on this, my thoughts linger back to the story in Magitotum. Yes, indeed friends I have started to write the second book in my Scales series. Looking on the bit I have already done, my head begins to spin. The very first place that the group ends up in at the end of the first book is filled with a mixture of many different cultures. What I mean is I used influences of many different countries’ mythologies to form this land. The tricky part is blending them in a way to give proper homage to each. Before I forget, if you have not noticed in recent posts or looking at old ones, I have almost caught up on my illustrations. Now, I do request that you be gentle with me on the artistry; it is not my strong suit by any means of the word. I do hope you are enjoying what you find on my page and the posts that are soon to come.

About the Author

About the Author: Birthday Reflections

Another year on this planet has passed as I tread upon my path. Mistakes and frustrations have beset me, but there was much good as well. Spending more time with my beloved is at the top of that list. With her support, I was able to experience much that would have frightened me many years ago including amusement park rides, scare fest, visiting New York City, etc. She is my inspiration to write and share with you all the stories that I so do love to write.

Upon the previous year, my dream of being a writer did spark. Since I was a kid, I enjoyed spinning tales for my cousin, brother, and friends as we acted out our imaginary games. As years passed, opportunities arose to show my wordsmanship, but I always seemed to come in behind everyone else. My confidence was shot as for many years I suppressed this dream; spending my days in high school filling journals with ideas that I would expand upon later. It was not until my second year of college that I would relearn the joys of writing when one of my professors challenged me to write a story. At first I treated the assignment as an assignment just to get the job done. She took one look and handed back with a retort that I could do better. (She had seen some other writing assignments I had turned in on a more research based level where I had to put a lot of work to get it up to par).  With a bit of an eye roll at the time, I went back and instead decided to do a different story. I quickly found that spark I once had of writing and wove such a tale that made me smile. Eagerly and timidly, I brought in this new story. Applauds were met by this professor as she asked if I had ever thought of being a writer. At that moment, I had nervously laughed, saying that it was a career that was not stable enough for someone with anxiety. She chuckled remarking that if I ever did change my mind, that she would be thrilled to read anything that I wrote. Thinking on that, I wonder if I still have her contact information.

Anyways, that spark stayed in my bones as over the next few years I started to write my first book Scars and Scales, I only had time to make a paragraph here and there while I went to college. Unfortunately, during the beginning of my third year my leg ended up needing surgery, effectively draining my account of any money for school. It brought my drive to my original plan of becoming a music teacher to a halt. With this time to stop and look at my plan, I realized that I still could feel that electricity in my body. I felt more like me when I sat down and wrote rather than when I was doing my studies. With a new found vigor, my book became complete before I gave it to my fiancee for an edit. Nervously I waited for her feedback when, to my relief, she came back that I was entertaining and interesting. After pointing out my mistakes, the next few months were spent polishing the story. At long last while visiting her mom in Florida, I had gotten to a point where the book was at its best. Now, at that point that was going to be it. I more wrote this to empty out the space in my head to allow more ideas to flood in. It was not until talking with my fiancee and other friends that I was inspired to try to get this book published. At the moment, that has not happened yet. However, my drive and hope does not waiver. My dream will be achieved.

And what is that dream you ask? It is much simpler than you think. All my life, all I have wanted is a job that a thoroughly enjoy, a house that I design, and a loving wife that I can spend my life loving right back. One part of this dream has been achieved and another is in the works of becoming reality. I would say that it was pretty good year over all, in no small part to my family, friends, and fiancee who support me. Not to mention those who enjoy my writing and share it with others across the web. I thank you as my goal is almost within sight. May you all remember and recognize what is important in each of your lives.

Species Spotlight

Species Spotlight: Yilong

Eerie how shadows can seem to crawl toward one and follow one’s every move; never leaving their side. Constantly, they watch as those in the light walk about ever so freely. Caution is advised if you find one acting strangely, one of two beings you could have on your hand. This time around we will talk about the option of it being the dragon species known as the Yilong. These creatures have the ability to make shadows move at their will; sometimes forming solid constructs or simply melting into the darkness. They are extremely crafty, able to plan several steps ahead of time while favoring surprise attacks. Usually, these dragons are hired for assassinations by other lands; rarely getting into larger conflicts except for warring with their human ninja neighbors in the land of Ying. The reason being not of land division, but a rivalry of gaining contracts for assassination targets.

In appearance, these dragons unlike others have a beak-like mouth and are smaller in size. This proving an advantage as it helps them to move about quicker and with more acrobatic ability. Their smaller wings are more meant for gliding from roof top to roof top than anything else; depending on their quick feet or hitching a ride in a stranger’s shadow. Found along their body are thin black scales that help camouflage them into the darkness except for a band-like gray pattern found around the eyes to the back of the head. Down their spine you will find no spikes, only a smooth back to their short tail that they use to heighten their jumps. Their eyes adjust to light from having them be completely black to a sliver with green outside the pupil. Never try to face these creatures without a plan of action. Odds are they have already put theirs into effect before you take your first step.

Samples

Hansel and Gretel the Glory Seekers

(Another epic retelling of a classic fairy tale, hope you enjoy.)

Hansel and Gretel, twins at birth, were the son and daughter of the mighty king Adalbern. At the age of sixteen, they grew restless at their home and set off in search of glory to prove their worth beyond royalty. On one such occasion, they heard of a strange occurrence in Blackthorn Forest. The two curious royals traveled to this land, before entering the forest however, the duo fell upon a village. Entering the center, they found that no one was outside of their homes, all of which had been boarded up to prevent entry. One of these they approached and heard the whispers of citizens inside the structure.

A villager unlocked the door and asked, “Are you an ally or foe? Where do you hail from? Why have you come here?”

Gretel, the fairer talker of the two responded, “We are friends. My name is Gretel, daughter of Adalbern, and this is my brother Hansel, son of Adalbern; we seek glory and to rid this village of its oppressors. Speak so we may know what we must vanquish.” The villager sheepishly stepped out of his door, revealing that he wore a full set of armor and seemed to be heavily injured.

Hansel is perplexed, “Why are you hiding warrior? Where is the rest of your company?”

“Gone sir. I am the only survivor.” The man responded. “My name is Franco son of Godwine, the friend of the gods. I was sent by my father to liberate these people with my men. But we were destroyed in the face of the enemy or enemies… I am still not sure which it is…”

Gretel questioned, “What do you mean brave soldier?”

“We came to the forest and found a lone wolf feasting on the flesh of one of the elders of this village. When we approached, the monster turned quick and used its mighty jaws to rip through one of my men’s armor and tore his leg off before it disappeared. While we looked, a mighty bear swung its paws from behind us and brought down a fourth of our company. One of my men was able to shoot an arrow at the beast, causing a scar across its face. The bear hid away, and we thought it was over, when from the sky arrows began to rain down above us. A seventh of my men and I were lucky enough to put our shields up while the rest perish. With the remaining soldiers, we began to retreat when we saw the wolf again, this time though he had fancied a scar. The scar of which the bear had worn. To my despair, I watched as the rest of my comrades were eaten alive as I fled for my life. I have disgraced my family and name, but I bring information and warning to any who may enter.”

Hansel responded, “We mourn for the loss of your kin but how did you escape from the forest? The land changes as one enters, no man can emerge from it alive.”

Franco explained, “My father Godwine once had to journey to slay a mighty boar for the gods. The divinities favored him and gave the tool to escape the paths. This object I give to you. It is the Crumbs of Credon, a bag full of rock hard crumbs that shine when the moon is full. Take this so that you might escape with your lives. May the gods favor you.” The twins took the Crumbs of Credon and went on their way. After crossing over the river and into the forest, the pair felt a presence nearby that watched their every movement. They began to drop the crumbs knowing that the forest had a malice beyond its roots. As they reached the very center, they saw smoke arising from the tree line. Carefully they approached and found a peculiar sight that neither had ever seen. A house made of of delicacies stood in front of them, the main structure made of gingerbread. Frosting kept the parts together while the framework was made of candy canes. Decorating the roof were gumdrops as big as their heads. Tentatively they approached, having not been able to eat for what seemed like days. As they partook on the goodies before them. the door swung open and a figure emerged from the house. The two drew their swords but lowered them after beholding the creature in front of them. The creature was a beautiful young woman who was covered with skins of animals layering her lovely hourglass figure.

The stanger spoke, “Weary travelers, where have you come from and why are you in this terrible forest?”

Hansel responded, tripping over his words from his befuddlement that was caused by her beauty, “I am Hansel, son of Adalbern, and this is my sister Gretel daughter of Adalbern; we have come to slay the beast that has oppressed this land.”

“My name is Ada, and I welcome you here. Please eat and rest brave travelers. I offer my home to you and everything found within it.” Said the stranger with a wink.

Hansel responded, “Lead on fair maiden.”

Ada led them inside, but before Hansel followed, Gretel grabbed his arm, “Something is not right with this woman. Take caution brother and let us focus.” Hansel nodded and entered with her sister.

After a great feast, Gretel laid in her bed to slumber and so does their hostess in their separate rooms, but Hansel was restless. He stood up from the table where he remained sitting and entered the chambers of Ada who was waiting for him. The woman invited him to her bed where they fornicated for hours. As Handel tried to leave, he heard ancient and foreign words emitted from behind his back that caused the young hero to drift to sleep. Gretel who had been awaken from the sounds emitted from the fair maiden in her bedchamber, peeked into the room of Ada. The beautiful woman looked at the now asleep Hansel after casting a sleeping spell on her guest.

“My hunger needs to be met, a taste could not hurt.” Said Ada before ripping the right arm off the sleeping warrior and devouring it. As she looked toward the door with bits of Hansel in her mouth, a scar formed across her face. Finally, she sees Gretel looking through the door way. In a fury, Ada grabs a kettle from beside her bed and captures her female guest inside it. Bewildered by the magic displayed, the young heroine was unable to escape the power that kept her trapped.

“I guess I will dine early tonight.” Shrugged off the monster as she took the kettle straight to the oven; her mouth watered at the feast she was about to savor. In Hansel’s dreams, the god Andhrimnir approached him.

“Hansel, you have been enchanted by the creature you seek. Her grip on men is fierce and she seeks to eat all of mankind; causing the gods to put an end to her crimes. If we intervene, we will be forced to use magic so fierce that your world will not survive our wrath. You must vanquish her now while she is weak. Strike for the scar and beware her powers. I will help you defeat her by giving you the Stone Arm of Bucegi.” Hansel awoke and looked at his new weapon that was attached to his missing arm. He ran out of the bed chambers and found Ada with the kettle close to the fire.

“Face me wench! You who is despised above all! You will die for the shame you have brought upon me!” Screamed Hansel. Ada turned and saw the Stone Arm of Bucegi, causing fear to twinkle in her eye.  The prophecy she was told many years ago, stood in front of her.

“Shame dear Hansel? You came to my chambers to fill your lusts. It is you who has shamed yourself. As for that new toy of yours, an oracle said that one day a man with a stone arm would come to vanquish me. I do not believe in such fate and will not die today. Your taste I have tried twice now, let us see how you will taste in the bottom of my gut.” Ada then transformed in front of him by uttering hidden and strange words. The wolf described by Franco appeared in front of Hansel. The shapeshifter leapt forward knocking Hansel back through a wall. He writhed in pain as he tried to recover, when the mighty wolf pounced on top of him. Raising his sword, he forced the sword between the teeth of the creature only holding it back mere inches from killing him. Its might jaws bit down, and the sword shattered into many pieces that clouded the air. Hansel wiggled free from under the beast as the dog was stunned. Remembering the words of Andhrimnir, he rose the Stone Arm of Bucegi and landed a punch on the face of Ada. Her skull was crushed into nine pieces as her body shook and then was still. Hansel freed Gretel from the kettle, receiving a hit on the head for falling for the creature’s seduction. Together the two dragged the shape shifter’s body through the woods. They followed the path of the Crumbs of Credon that was laid before them until it brought them to the village. Praises were sung from the villagers as they came in triumphant from the quest with the corpse of the wretched creature. After a brief celebration, Franco asked to join them on their search for glory, and they gladly accepted his company. The three then went on to travel the world and their names were written into history.