Once upon a time in a land far away there lived a little girl called Rachel. Rachel was out walking by herself in the woods when she heard someone singing. The songs were so joyful and beautiful her ears drank them down and begged her to seek out this delicious singer in the wood. She crept up to a small clearing and peeked through the undergrowth expecting to see a woman singing. However, the clearing was empty, empty but for the biggest fairy toadstool she had ever seen. At first she thought the toadstool was singing, but as she looked more carefully she noticed a stone perched right at the apex of the toadstool.
Rachel watched and listened to the song until at last she could not contain her curiosity anymore, she stepped out from the undergrowth and asked politely who was the one singing such beautiful songs?
But at once there was silence in the grove. Rachel was undeterred and walked up to the stone perched on top of the toadstool. She gazed down upon the stone, which looked so common to her eye, and considered if indeed the wonderful singing came from such a humble stone? Continue reading “The Enchanted Singing Stone”
Lady Envira was ambitious and longed to rule the kingdom so she courted the young king and successfully seduced him. Once queen, she thought she could rule but her husband proved more difficult to control as time went on. She was clever and popular with the nobles and sought a way to depose her husband. The nobles were supportive but only on the condition that she had a male heir. The queen feigned her love for the king until she became with child.
Queen Envira gave birth to a healthy boy, thus securing the succession. Realising her good fortune, she seized the opportunity to depose her husband, the king. Once divorced, disgraced, and cast out into the wilderness beyond the kingdom, the king could no longer thwart the queen’s ambitions. Envira ruled as Queen Regent until her son, Shaylen came of age and demanded his father’s crown.
Fearing that she might lose her power through a conspiracy, she curtailed the freedoms of all in the land and was both hasty and cruel in her punishments. She lived every day on the throne fearing it would be snatched out from underneath her and although she held the reins of power through her son, no one posed more threat to her than her son.
The queen loved her son, but she loved power even more. She never wanted her son to come of age and usurp her position on the throne. She gave directions that her son must be raised entirely by women of the softest and most agreeable nature. Furthermore, he was never to struggle for anything that he wanted. Everything was to be made simple and effortless for him.
“Smother my dear boy with the softest down of motherly charity. Let him never know want, heartache, or despair. Never criticise his ideas nor discomfort his temper,” the queen ordered. Continue reading “Shaylen and Bellandria – Part One”
In the town of Kaladon there lived a sculptor renowned throughout the land for the beauty of his statues. Vergan, for as he was known, made statues of dogs, lions, owls, fish, and bears that were used to decorate all the great buildings of the nation. Vergan was rightly proud of his work, and the crown prince himself had come to thank him for his services on more than one occasion. He believed in excellence above all else and worked long hours perfecting his skills.
However, the sculptor was now old and had no wife, and the loneliness of his days weighed heavily upon him. In the basement of his home he had built a large underground workshop where he put all his passion into a statue of a woman. The proportions and features of this woman were perfect in every way. The stone woman was young, fit, and sublimely beautiful. There was no living woman as outstanding as this statue which he kept hidden away from the eyes of the locals.
Vergan was feeling deeply sad one day as he gazed upon his work, and so he prayed to the god Archen.
“Lord Archen, god of excellence, your servant Vergan has laboured hard in your name to create works of beauty, come here now to gaze upon the most wonderful work of art that I have ever created!” Continue reading “The Marble Beauty”
A long time ago, in the lands far to the North, there lived two children: Ethen and Latharna. The children lived in a small village in the valley with their father and their stepmother. One winter’s day their stepmother told them there was nothing for them to eat and directed them to go into the woods to the village on the other side of the mountain to ask them if they could spare some food. Ethen and Latharna set off into the woods for the other village for they were very hungry.
The woods were covered in snow and the bushes all bare of fruit. Latharna looked for mushrooms in the woods, while Ethen looked for bugs they could eat. However, by midday they had almost arrived at the village and had found nothing they could eat. That’s when Ethen noticed something glimmering in the snow by the road. Ethen picked up the glimmering thing to discover that it was a silver cup. The two children marvelled at the beauty of the cup, but decided to keep going on to the village as they were so close.
As they approached the village they noticed that something was wrong. There was no one in sight.
“Where have all the people gone?” cried Latharna.
“Maybe they’re hiding?” said Ethen.
The two children searched the village but could not find anyone. They were just about to give up and go home when Latharna thought she heard voices. She motioned for her brother to keep silent and the two children carefully moved in the direction of the voices. They were coming from a field they previously checked and had been empty. Peeking from behind a fence they were astonished to see that someone was trying to plough the field; in the middle of winter! They looked even closer and were even more astonished to find the plough was being pushed and pulled by two little people with wings! Continue reading “The Children of the Thaw: The Silver Cup”
Long ago in the town of Marlenburg, there once lived a young woman called Bessica. She was an intelligent and educated woman, but she wasn’t pretty and every day she lamented her lack of beauty. She could not help but notice that all the men of the town ignored her, they liked the prettier women and she was angry with envy. All the men except for Jamie, the fletcher’s son, he liked Bessica and would bring her flowers and sometimes she’d chat to him and tell him of her frustrations. He would listen to her for hours and give her as much of his company he could spare.
Bessica appreciated Jamie, and although she had no romantic interest in him, being a poor boy, she decided to teach him how to read in return for his companionship. Jamie struggled at first, but soon mastered the alphabet and could read a few simple books and letters by himself. The love and respect for Bessica grew deep and strong in Jamie’s heart, in his eyes she was indeed the most beautiful woman in town. He told her one day that he was so thankful for teaching him how to read, that he wanted to marry her. Bessica told him he was sweet, but that they were not meant for each other.
In truth Bessica felt ugly, she felt insulted that she an educated woman was being completely ignored by all the gentlemen, and she could only be courted by a mere fletcher’s son. She would howl with rage at her mirror Continue reading “The Tragedy of Bessica”