The hero Frederick did not know that when he faced the warlock king in battle, he faced his own father. Twenty years past, the babe who was the heir to the kingdom had been sent away into hiding by a fearful queen and mother. Green eyes gazed into green eyes. The warlock did not know his son. He did not know he had a son. Frederick had made it to the chamber in the castle where the king and his fellow warlocks had wrought their blasphemy. An immense slab of stone stood in the chamber, its night-black surfaces swirling with primordial lightning and glittering with stardust.
The hero tried to wound and capture the king, but the king would not yield. In the end, Frederick killed the warlock king. He unknowingly killed his father. As the blood of battle dried, Frederick called upon his allies to secure the great stone. It was not a thing that was meant to be trifled with, not by mortals. But already his fate swooped toward him, for the gods had seen the patricide. They had sent a Fury to punish the hero. They had marked him for eternal torment in the underworld. Continue reading
Not long ago, there was a rich land ruled by an assembly of three known as a Triarch. Always there were three. One had a claim of blood. One was chosen by the people of the land. And one was selected by the other two. But all had to prove themselves worthy. All had to prove victorious, both standing alone and standing together, in a contest devised by a king who feared that his realm would pass to an unworthy heir.
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He was a peasant, the son of a farmer but not a fair farmer himself. After his father’s death, the farm had produced little worth selling at market. Still, his mother sent him on that day with some vegetables she had grown in her garden. Sickly looking turnips and dried out carrots no bigger than his little finger. He never made it to market. For on the road, he was waylaid by a stranger who offered him a better price for his wares than he thought he could ever get at market. The boy accepted the offer. He thought himself clever, and he dreamed of how delighted his mother would be when he returned home with five magic beans. Continue reading
The royal city was known throughout the kingdom because it was home to a most famous—and most infamous object—a cursed bell. The Water Bell, some called it, for legends say its sound was like the trickling of a fountain. Chime, some called it, for an object so lovely and intriguing must have a name. The Bell had been cursed for generations, but when it first was forged, it was made as a blessing. Continue reading