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Perseus, Medusa and Andromeda Chapter Five :iconryanthelionking:RyantheLionKing 6 12
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Perseus, Medusa and Andromeda Chapter Four :iconryanthelionking:RyantheLionKing 6 12
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Cavin and the Black Cauldron Chapter 1 :iconryanthelionking:RyantheLionKing 10 71
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Cavin and the Black Cauldron Prologue :iconryanthelionking:RyantheLionKing 8 13
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Beowulf-- A Legend Retold Prologue :iconryanthelionking:RyantheLionKing 11 11
Literature
Perseus, Medusa and Andromeda Chapter Three
Perseus, Medusa and Andromeda
A Greek Myth Reimagined
By KingRyHuff
Disclaimer: This is a retelling of one of the most famous Greek Myths of all time albeit with my own twists and turns, partially inspired by some of the most iconic characters in Marvel Comic Books' history, Matt Murdock AKA Daredevil and King T'Challa of Wakanda AKA Black Panther. You'll be surprised by my references, I promise you that. 
Chapter Three: Gifts from the Gods and the Graeae Sisters
The next morning, Apollo raised the sun over Perseus's home and the young demigod woke up early for his breakfast and to prepare for his dangerous quest. He knew deep down in his heart that this would be a perilous task, slaying a creature whose very gaze would turn even the bravest of men to stone. He even had doubts that he, the son of a fisher King and a Princess, was up to the task where so many others had failed. 
He knew nothing of where Medusa was, how to find it and particularly how to kill her, particularly
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Literature
Perseus, Medusa and Andromeda Chapter Two
Perseus, Medusa and Andromeda
A Greek Myth Reimagined
By KingRyHuff
Disclaimer: This is a retelling of one of the most famous Greek Myths of all time albeit with my own twists and turns, partially inspired by some of the most iconic characters in Marvel Comic Books' history, Matt Murdock AKA Daredevil and King T'Challa of Wakanda AKA Black Panther. You'll be surprised by my references, I promise you that. 
Chapter Two: The Challenge of Polydectes
Eighteen years had passed since the birth of Perseus, the destruction of Argos and the cruel, yet fitting, punishment placed on Acrisius, and in spite of all the odds, Perseus had a happy childhood despite his being born blind. Serifos was considered an island paradise, far away from the ever-warring city-states of the Greek mainland. Yet just like Argos it too was ruled by a tyrant named Polydectes, Dictys's own older brother. 
While Dictys lived among the people; caring for them and loving them as though he was their true King, Pol
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Mature content
Perseus, Medusa and Andromeda Chapter One :iconryanthelionking:RyantheLionKing 9 17
Literature
Perseus, Medusa and Andromeda Prologue
Perseus, Medusa and Andromeda
A Greek Myth Reimagined 
By KingRyHuff
Disclaimer: This is a retelling of one of the most famous Greek Myths of all time albeit with my own twists and turns, partially inspired by some of the most iconic characters in Marvel Comic Books' history, Matt Murdock AKA Daredevil and King T'Challa of Wakanda AKA Black Panther. You'll be surprised by my references, I promise you that. 
Prologue: The Birth of a Hero
What is it that makes a person who they are? What defines our species as human? Is it appearance? Charm? Power? Wealth? Stature? Or is it how one treats the life they live on Earth and the people around them? 
What of the monsters that great heroes often face? Are they monsters because of their looks and because we do not understand them? Or are they just as complex or as flawed as we humans are? And are humans at times the real monsters? 
Can our humanity be perceived from within ourselves? Are our eyes truly a window into our souls
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:iconryanthelionking:RyantheLionKing 10 13
Mature content
The Twelve Labors of Hercules Chapter Three :iconryanthelionking:RyantheLionKing 5 30
Mature content
The Twelve Labors of Hercules Chapter Two :iconryanthelionking:RyantheLionKing 7 15
Literature
The Twelve Labors of Hercules Chapter One
The Twelve Labors of Hercules
A Greek Myth reimagined by KingRyHuff
Disclaimer: This is only a reimagined version of one of the most famous Greek myths of all time. I'll understand if I'm a little bit off in my understanding of Greek myths, but this is my retelling of Heracles or Hercules as most people in the world would call him now. So please, forgive me if I'm taking a few liberties with this retelling. 
Chapter One: Talk Amongst the Olympians
On top of the highest peak in all the Greek world Mount Olympus, was the palace of the Olympian gods the divine masters and rulers of the heavens. It was a truly a sight to behold, for the columns were made of the finest marble, by day the palace shined like the golden sun, and by night it was as silver as the new moon. Underneath the splendor of the palace of Mount Olympus, there was talk amongst the Olympians concerning little Hercules. 
Among those present in the discussion was the grey-eyed, flaxen-haired Athena the Goddess of W
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Literature
The Twelve Labors of Hercules Prologue
The Twelve Labors of Hercules
A Greek Myth reimagined by KingRyHuff
Disclaimer: This is only a reimagined version of one of the most famous Greek myths of all time. I'll understand if I'm a little bit off in my understanding of Greek myths, but this is my retelling of Heracles or Hercules as most people in the world would call him now. So please, forgive me if I'm taking a few liberties with this retelling. 
Prologue: The Birth of a Demigod
Many ages ago, in the faraway land of Ancient Greece, there was a golden age of powerful Gods, magnificent creatures, ferocious monsters and extraordinary heroes. It was also a time of turmoil, for Greece was not a united land, but rather a collection of warring city-states who often fought amongst themselves instead of against a common enemy.
Among the many cities on the Greek mainland, there were four that stood out among the rest; Athens the future mother of democracy, Mycenae a major port city and the most powerful of the four, which would
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Literature
Star Wars AU RP Starter-- Anakin as Jabba's Slave
*Has anyone ever wondered as to what could have happened in Star Wars Episode I, the Phantom Menace...if Anakin Skywalker had been a slave of Jabba the Hutt instead of Watto's slave? And what if Padme and Anakin were the same age when they met? How could things have turned out differently? Well now's your chance to explore that possibility.* 
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Literature
Star Wars AU Role-play Scenarios
*Yeah. As the title suggests, these are Star Wars alternate universe role-play scenarios. Now what kind of scenarios...I don't know yet. They can be creative. They can deviate from Star Wars canon...even deviate from the terrible prequel trilogy and give Anakin a better backstory on Tatooine. Like say for example...what if Anakin had been a slave to Jabba the Hutt? That's just one of many possible scenarios. So please be my guest and suggest.* 
Rules-- 
1. Anything that's considered NSFW must go via notes. 
2. The Slave-Leia thing has been done to death, so please don't suggest that scenario for me.
3. Be creative. 
4. Have fun. 
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Literature
Planet of the Pokemon AU-- Role-play Starter
*Everyone perhaps knows about how in the Pokemon World, humans have captured and raised Pokemon as their own partners and companions. However...what would happen if the roles were reversed? 
What if a powerful virus had increased the intelligence of most Pokemon and killed off most of the human population? And Pokemon now had to raise what remained of the human race, not as slaves...but rather as though they were fellow Pokemon, to ensure the survival of both species? To lead mankind out of its dark nature and to foster a more...peaceful side. 
Whereas other humans want revenge and to kill off the Pokemon whom they blame for their own fall from grace, in other words...the criminal teams...and our main characters live among Pokemon...including the boy called Ash. 
All his life, Ash has always considered Pokemon to be his family, but soon he must make a journey to discover where he truly belongs...and that is where our story...begins...* 
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I figured why don't I try doing themes for my retelling of the Perseus myth? I don't know exactly the total number of themes I should do for this, but I have to start somewhere. So today I thought I'd try a few topics about this retelling. I'll go with Religion, Fate, Appearances and Race for today. 

Religion-- For many ancient cultures, particularly the Ancient Greeks, religion was something not to be trifled with. The Gods of Olympus were rather notorious for punishing those who dared to cross them, yet they could also influence or manipulate peoples' lives as they saw fit. And in the case of Perseus, Medusa and Andromeda, the Gods are willing to help Perseus on his quest to save his mother from an unhappy marriage, even if Perseus is skeptical about his divine family. And while he is less than impressed by the pettiness they show towards their mortal worshippers, Perseus knows that the Olympians are mankind's protectors along with the other deities worshipped by other ancient peoples. Religion is an important theme in this retelling as in most Greek myths. 

Fate-- The Ancient Greeks believed in the power of fate, as did other ancient cultures of their time, and they also believed that fate was determined by the choices one made in life. Every prophecy that the Oracle of Delphi gave was meant to come true, no matter what efforts were made to prevent such events from coming true. Also if you fought fate, you would be punished for it severely. Acrisius, King of Argos, tries to fight his fate first by imprisoning his only child Danae in a tower open only to the sky, only for Zeus to impregnate her as a shower of gold. Then once Perseus is born, Acrisius attempts to have both Danae and her child drowned at sea. As punishment for his beast-like behavior, Argos is destroyed by Cetus and the Gods turn Acrisius into a monstrous animal like creature, reborn as Kalibos. Fate is something you can't fight, but you can create your own destiny as well. 

Appearances-- Have you ever heard of the saying, 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder'? Sometimes people aren't always who they seem to be. On the outside they may seem like respected members of the community, but on the inside there might be a different personality. For example, King Polydectes of Seriphos may act like a King but on both the outside and inside he retains the mannerisms of a pig, greedy and gluttonous. As for Perseus he may not look much like a hero on the outside, but on the inside he has a good heart and a determined spirit. Andromeda may be a Princess on the outside, but on the inside she's a warrior who wants to make her family proud. Medusa herself might look like a monster on the outside, but she still retains her humanity on the inside as do her sisters. Whereas Acrisius's animal like cruelty and selfishness on the outside and inside are the very things that get him turned into the monstrous Kalibos. Appearances don't make you either good or evil, it depends on your actions like with fate. 

Race-- Oh yes, it's just as the word states. This theme is about race. As a native Texan, and being a mix of different European backgrounds, I do know what it's like to be of a different culture and what it means to belong. In this retelling of the Perseus myth, the Ancient Greeks aren't the only culture being explored. In real life as in this story, the Ancient Greeks considered themselves civilized whereas they viewed everyone else, those who could not speak Ancient Greek, as 'barbarians'. The Aethiopian Empire of Africa particularly frowns upon those with lesser technology like the Ancient Greeks. Yet when Perseus and Andromeda meet in their dreams and start to fall in love, they come to understand that even though their skin color is different, they are both still human beings and equal. Prince Phineus however resents the idea of Andromeda 'fraternizing' with a 'Mzungu', viewing people like Perseus as inferior and no better than locusts. But race, like life, isn't always black and white, it depends on your viewpoint of certain people. Me, although I'm a white American, I want to present humans not as a race, but rather as a species although divided by different cultures. I just want to reflect my own perspective of different peoples as best I can in the most positive light. And also to show that love knows neither race, religion or culture. 

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Perseus, Medusa and Andromeda

A Greek Myth Reimagined

By RyantheLionKing

Disclaimer: This is a retelling of one of the most famous Greek Myths of all time albeit with my own twists and turns, partially inspired by some of the most iconic characters in Marvel Comic Books' history, Matt Murdock AKA Daredevil and King T'Challa of Wakanda AKA Black Panther. You'll be surprised by my references, I promise you that.

Be warned though, if there are any arachnophobes. No, there aren't any spiders in this chapter, but a close relative...sort of. GIANT ones. 

Chapter Five: Perseus and Skorpios

Perseus had slept peacefully on Pegasus' back with a smile on his face, dreaming of Andromeda and the promise that he had made to her in his dream. Even while sleeping, he had never felt so much in love than he had with this Princess whom he had shared his dream with. She had to be real, she had to. For it was a sad fact that Morpheus, the ever mysterious Dream God, had a habit of toying with peoples' dreams, minds and hearts. 

Sure Andromeda would not be considered 'civilized' by Grecian standards at the time, as she was a non-Greek or as the Ancient Greeks would call people like her a barbarian, but he was still captivated by her beauty and he was in love with her, if only in his dreams. He wanted to meet her so badly in person and there was no way that he would 'civilize' her. If anything in a sense, she and her people were more 'civilized' than the Greeks. 

But soon his dream was interrupted as Pegasus landed on rocky ground and neighed. "Huh?" Perseus asked as he opened his eyes, even though he was still blind, and used his hands to perceive the world around him. Yet there was dead silence everywhere and a sudden dread fell upon him. 

"Well, Perseus, we're here. Welcome to Sarpedon Island." Bubo said with a fearful tone of voice as he slowly flapped his wings and landed on Perseus's shoulder. Perseus then began to traverse the ground at his bare feet. Although Perseus could not physically comprehend the ground beneath his feet, it was rocky and rough like a gravel road today, yet his feet were used to this kind of ground. 

Around him though was a different story altogether. Though the grass of Sarpedon was beautiful, it was permeated with danger as it was surrounded by fog and there were dead trees everywhere. There was no sound anywhere. No birds, no squirrels, no rabbits, nothing. Yet Perseus had to continue onward as best as the teenager could, although walking into the fog was probably not a good idea. Perseus was followed by Pegasus who galloped next to his rider.  

As Perseus walked forward, careful so as not to trip, he asked in a fearful tone of voice, "What happened here, Bubo? Why can't we hear anything? Where are all the other animals around here?" 

"What do you think happened here, Perseus? This island is haunted and it's not just the Gorgons who live here. This place is also home to a breed of monsters even more terrifying than any creature who can turn people to stone. Their species name is Giganotoskorpio. Giant scorpions that are twice, even three times, the size of an ordinary human. One hit from their enormous stingers and you're a goner." Bubo said frightened, too. 

Pegasus whinnied in terror as he heard something approaching in the fog, rearing his front hooves and Perseus heard him. "Whoa, steady Pegasus. Steady, boy. What's the matter? You see or hear something?" He asked as he calmed the winged horse down. 

"Oh, thank goodness you're here. It's been so lonely since my master died." Said a strange voice, which sounded rather young like a boy's voice. Perseus and Bubo were surprised by this new voice and they could hear panting, like a dog. 

"You say your master died? Are you a slave--no, were you a slave?" Bubo asked in concern as the voice laughed heartily. 

"No. I don't even know what that word 'slave' means. My master fed me, loved me, took care of me. He often took me hunting with him." Said the mysterious voice, then it was followed by a bark or two. There must have been a dog with whomsoever was speaking to them. 

"Was that your master's dog I heard barking? I'm actually glad that you took it upon yourself to--." Perseus said before he felt something appear on the road. It was a black dog with a wide face, a thin muzzle, floppy ears that hung close to his head and set slightly above the eyes, a short and dense slightly dry, oily coat and a thick otter-like tail. Also on his neck was a leather collar and a golden plate with the name 'Σειριος' written on it, translated it meant 'Sirius' in modern English. 

Though Perseus could not see the collar physically, he hear Sirius panting. Then the most unusual thing happened, Sirius opened his mouth and spoke. "What's the matter? You've never seen a dog like me before?" This caught Perseus, Pegasus and Bubo completely by surprise. 

"Bubo? Did that dog just talk now?" Perseus asked in surprise as Sirius wagged his tail in excitement and smile with his kindly eyes. 

"Oh yes, I did. My name is Sirius. I was once the hunting companion of the greatest hunter in the Greek world, Orion son of Poseidon." Sirius said as he came towards Perseus and placed his paws on the blind teenager's legs, panting and licking his lips as if expecting to be fed. 

"Orion. That would explain a lot. Perseus, do you realize that we're in the presence of Orion's faithful companion? This dog practically knows the whole island inside and out. Maybe he can lead us to the Gorgons." Bubo said to Perseus, hoping that Sirius could lead them straight to Medusa. 

"The Gorgons? Oh yes, they are really wonderful. After my master Orion died while fighting a giant scorpion, I was pretty much alone on the island. When the Gorgons came, they treated me nicely. They gave me food and I was also their hunting dog for a while. Did you know that I still watch over my master's body and guard his club and his bow?" Sirius asked as he panted. 

"His club and bow? Interesting. But what makes Orion's bow and club that special if they couldn't protect him?" Perseus asked in interest and in doubt. Bubo simply frowned at that comment. 

"I think Perseus what you meant to ask was what made those weapons special if he couldn't use them to protect himself. Orion was many things; handsome, brave, strong, fast, perhaps even the most skilled hunter around. No one remembers or knows who bore him, but he was born in the region of Boeotia in close proximity to Seven Gated Thebes. Practically grew up in the woods and even killed himself a bear when he was only three, from what I've heard." Bubo said recounting Orion's story. 

"That's not possible. If he was so powerful and strong, how could he not have been able to handle a giant scorpion?" Perseus asked in bewilderment as Sirius spoke up. 

"My master might have been mighty in both body and strength, but when it came to brains, he wasn't always the smartest of people. He always tended to act impulsively without thinking in most situations. How he ended up here in Sarpedon is not a pleasant story. He was once happily married to a beautiful Princess named Merope, daughter of King Oenopion of Chios, who found me and gave me to Orion as a gift." Sirius explained his side of the story. 

Perseus began to understand as to how Sirius came to be Orion's pet, yet he wondered as to how and why Orion got himself killed. "But if they were happily married, how did Orion end up here and die?" He asked and Sirius sighed as he spoke. 

"One day when Orion came back home from another successful hunt, he was heavily drunk upon his own mead. He began to act irrationally towards Merope and they both got into a terrible fight which led to Orion brutally raping his own wife in a fit of rage. I only listened as the event happened, but when Orion took me with him, it was the last time any of us ever saw Merope. When Artemis learned of how her champion had misbehaved, she chose to make an example of him. She sent a gang of Satyrs to attack him." Sirius said to Perseus. 

"Yes, I know this story as well, Sirius. They charged at him with both their horns and their weapons, yet somehow Orion fought them off and killed them, taking their horns and their heads as trophies. But it was not to last as Artemis appeared before him and threatened to punish him for brutally raping his own wife. Orion boasted proudly that he would prove himself worthy of her favor again by killing any wild creature that she named. Sadly she named a truly dangerous creature called Skorpios, the progenitor of the Giganotoskorpio species and the largest of them all." Bubo said with dread in his voice. 

"How could this Skorpios be more dangerous than the rest of his kind?" Perseus asked not understanding as to how this Skorpios could be any different from the other members of his kind. 

"You know how Orion was about nine feet tall?" Bubo asked as Perseus nodded.

"Well Skorpios is at least three times that size with claws that can crush a person's bones in one grip. Or rather one claw that can do that since Orion practically crushed the other one. However, being crushed by his claw is a mercy killing compared to being hit by his stinger which is about the size of a warrior's blade. One hit from that stinger and you will be dead within minutes or even hours. That's what happened to Orion." Bubo continued, describing in detail as to how the mighty hunter died. 

"That's not the worst part though, Bubo. The worst part is that these scorpions spend time on both land and sea. I've seen them enter the ocean, except for Skorpios considering how big he is. He's the only one who stays on land and he sleeps during the day, which means he's active at night." Sirius answered.

Perseus was understandably afraid. He had hoped to face only Medusa and her sisters, not a host of giant sea-dwelling scorpions and their progenitor. This was definitely more than what he had bargained for. Yet he put on a stern face and said, "Then we'll have to deal with Skorpios if we are to reach Medusa. Where is Orion's corpse and where are his weapons?" 

Sirius panted happily and barked as he wagged his tail, "Follow me. I know the way." Just as he was about to lead the way, Sirius could detect that Perseus was blind and he said, "Just follow my voice and I'll lead you to where my master fell." 

Perseus thought long and hard about that offer and said. "Sure. Fair enough." So the boy, the bird and the winged horse followed the excitable dog through the dead forest. Though Perseus had to watch his step on the rocks and Sirius's webbed paws were used to this kind of terrain. 

"Stay close to me. The mist around here can be treacherous and those sea-scorpions could pop out at any given moment. You aren't afraid of scorpions are you, uh I never got your name?" Sirius asked curiously. 

"Perseus, son of Zeus and Danae, Prince and heir to the kingdom of Argos. And yes, I am afraid of scorpions. When I was a little boy, I was stung in the leg by a small scorpion. Although I had the best physician on Seriphos to look after me and heal me, I never got over that fateful sting. I'm really afraid of arthropods." Perseus groaned in pain remembering that terrible memory. 

"Imagine being stung by either Skorpios or his kin. Their venom's more lethal than an ordinary scorpion. It's more than enough to kill a Cyclops or even a Centaur for all we know. If they have any weaknesses, they have to shed their skins once every new season as their skeletons can't grow with their new bodies, they are slow and there are certain ways to kill them. When using a bow, you need to go for their eyes or mouth parts. If using a bladed weapon, pierce them through the eyes, stab their underbellies and cut off their stingers. Without their stingers, they're vulnerable. If using a blunt weapon like Orion's club, crush their armor." Sirius advised as they traversed through a pathway of statues. 

Bubo felt a hint of dread as walked through this beautiful, yet fear-inducing garden. All of these statues were of great warriors who came to find Medusa and collect her head, only now they were of this garden of death. If this were a graveyard today, these statues would all be tombstones and epitaphs at the same time. 

"Perseus? Buddy? I think we're getting close." Bubo said as he gazed upon the statues, while Perseus felt the statues with his hand and somehow he could hear the agonizing and ear-splitting screams of terror they let out in life before they gazed upon Medusa's face. Yet Perseus continued forward, in spite of the peril. 

Yet surprisingly there were also bodies of people who hadn't been turned to stone and all that remained were their bones. Many of them had been shot by arrows, while other skeletons had their chests punctured by something bigger.  Then Sirius saw the corpse of his master Orion, noticeable by the lion leather skinned cloak that he had worn in life.

"There he is!" Sirius barked happily as he raced towards Orion's corpse where his weapons lay undisturbed and surprisingly unblemished by time. Among these weapons was a mighty wooden mace-like club with a growling bear's head carved onto the club's head, and a golden recurve bow of the finest make complete with a quiver of arrows with strange red fletchings. 

"Come on, Perseus. You can use them. My master won't need them anyway." Sirius insisted, panting heavily. Perseus could barely believe it as he came across the corpse of Orion. He must have been a great warrior to wield weapons like these. Perseus reached for the bow and arrows first, placing them on his back next to the Silver Lance. Then he picked up the bear-headed club, yet he was surprised how heavy it felt. It was as though he was carrying a huge rock. 

"Incredible, yet how will they help me in--?" Perseus asked before he heard something clicking and snapping of mouth parts and claws. No sooner had Perseus spoke when a twelve foot Giganotoskorpio with a maroon red exoskeleton and a stinger the size of a lightbulb appeared along with seven of its siblings. 

Perseus could sense them despite his poor eyesight, and he felt that there was going to be a fight. "Perseus, don't move a muscle. They'll attack us if we do." Bubo warned slowly, but Sirius growled at them ready to fight and avenge his master. 

"I believe Sirius thinks otherwise, Bubo." Perseus said as Pegasus neighed loudly and reared his legs up, ready to crush these giant arachnids with his hooves. 

"I think Pegasus believes otherwise too, Perseus. I've been itching to use these sheaths on my claws anyway." Bubo said nodding in agreement as Perseus pulled out his shield and threw it like a discus at one of the scorpions, killing it. 

Then a fight broke out as the teenager, winged horse, owl and dog began to fight off the remaining scorpions. Bubo used his sheaths to slash at one scorpion, cut off its stinger and ripped it apart, spilling black to green ichor everywhere. Sirius dodged the stinger of one scorpion and bit at its legs, turning it over and biting down at its soft underbelly.

Pegasus reared up and used his hooves to crush one flat before it could use its stinger on him.  As for Perseus, he grabbed his shield from the scorpion he killed, pulled out his Silver Lance and swung it around to keep the remaining five scorpions at bay. Then he remembered Sirius' advice and thrusted the lance into one of the scorpions' eyes, killing it, while dodging the others' stingers and using his shield to repel said stingers. 

Then he sheathed his lance and drew forth Elektros and began to cut through the remaining scorpions with ease as their blood coated him. When the scorpions fell dead, he panted heavily. "That was....that wasn't so bad now was it?" Perseus asked with a chuckle. He had overcome his fear of scorpions and killed them. 

But then the ground began to shake and each of the animals felt it along with him as something traversed towards them in a zig-zag pattern. The animals turned and saw to their own shock the biggest scorpion they had ever seen. 

His exoskeleton was as black as ebony, yet he had blood red stripes along his back and stinging tail, his left claw had been crushed and crippled, and most of his twelve eyes had been put out save for four of them on the left side, as though they'd been put out by arrows or battered with a club. 

"Uh, Sirius? Is that Skorpios?" Perseus asked in fright as he reached for the Golden Bow. Sirius simply whimpered in terror as he said, "Yes." 

Skorpios gave out a loud screeching sound that was earsplitting and used his claw to swipe at Bubo, who flew out of the way quickly. "We'll have to work together to deal with him!" Bubo called out as he kept dodging the claw and stinger, using his own sheaths to swipe at the giant scorpion's legs. 

"Come on, Pegasus. Let's fly." Perseus said as he got on Pegasus's back and they flew up into the air as Perseus noticed one of his red feathered arrows to the bow and aimed for one of Skorpios's eyes. Then he let loose the arrow, hitting the monstrous arthropod's eye, causing the Giganotoskorpios to writhe in pain as he swung his tail  like a whip and knocked the teen off his flying steed. 

Yet Perseus felt the stinger slightly graze his left arm and he cried out in pain, much to the concern of Bubo and Sirius. "Perseus!" They both cried out as Perseus landed on the ground, clutching his wounded arm. Being stung by Skorpios was like being burned by a flame kissed weapon, only ten times more painful. 

Just as the giant arthropod was about to come closer towards him, Sirius ran up behind the scorpion,  bit at one of his eight legs and ripped it off causing the colossus to writhe as he turned his attention towards little Sirius. 

"Uh oh. Now I'm in big trouble." Sirius said to himself in terror as he backed away from Skorpios's stinger as it tried to hit him. 

Bubo flew towards the wounded Perseus as he said, "Perseus, are you all right? That wound looks--." Then Perseus groaned as he got up. 

"I can't let Skorpios hurt Sirius, Bubo. He's just a pup still." Perseus said as he struggled to lift the Bear-Head Club in his arms barely and cried out. "Skorpios! Leave my dog alone, you eight-legged freak of nature!" 

Sirius was shocked and surprised by those words. Perseus was calling him 'his dog', as if...he wanted to own him? This was almost too good to be true. He always wanted a new master, and Perseus had a good heart and a good head to match. 

Skorpios then turned towards Perseus, ready to kill the demigod and he zigzagged over to him. And just as he brought down his stinger, Perseus jumped out of the way and with one swing of the club, he smashed Skorpios's vile sting to pieces. 

Skorpios writhed in pain once more as Perseus dropped the club and drew Elektros once again, its blade gleaming with electricity and he smote the monstrous arthropod near the head, killing the progenitor of the Giganotoskorpios species and avenging Orion's death. 

Skorpios fell dead as his body collapsed and Perseus was covered in green ichor as he pulled his sword from the scorpion's body only to breathe heavily and collapse, not just from exhaustion but also from his wound. The last thing he heard before he passed out completely was Bubo crying out to Sirius, "He's wounded. Get help, Sirius." 

Then he closed his eyes, but time was running out. Would he be saved from meeting the same fate as Orion? Or was he destined to fall and break his promise to Andromeda? Who even knew if the Gods of Olympus were watching over him. 
Perseus, Medusa and Andromeda Chapter Five
Man was this a challenge. Not as much as it was writing the last chapter, but this was rather personal for me. Being that I'm afraid of scorpions in particular and that I was stung by a scorpion as a kid. 

In the next chapter, I don't know whether I should discuss how things are going on Seriphos with Perseus's family or continue telling Perseus's side of the story, with Perseus meeting the Gorgons, Stheno and Euryale, at last discovering that they're not the monsters that they seem to be...along with a visit from Hades himself. 

I need help with that decision. 

If you are wondering, Sirius is often depicted as Orion's dog. It isn't known as to which breed of dog he is, so I had to incorporate some attributes of my own family's dog Thunder who's a Labrador. 

And yes, I made Sirius a talking dog albeit with a kid/young teen's voice, considering how certain dog breeds still retain their puppy like natures even past their 'childhood' years. I'd say that Artemis blessed him with that gift. 

If anything I sort of imagine Sirius with Finn Wolfhard's voice. (Yeah, Mike from Stranger Things.) 

As you may or may not have noticed, I incorporated a bit of what would constitute for the stereotypical American frontiersmen in Orion, such as Hugh Glass (the main character in the film 'The Revenant'), Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett, albeit without guns and such, most notably Davy. 

What can I say? I'm Texas born and Texas proud. Also Houston Strong. 

As for the name of the scorpion species Giganotoskorpios, I was inspired by a certain South American predatory dinosaur who managed to dwarf the T-Rex. 

As for Orion's weapons, the Golden Bow is inspired by the Bow of Apollo from God of War III, while the red feathered arrows and the Bear-Head Club are inspired by two iconic characters who were created by Nintendo and Rareware and also made their debut in 1998 with the video game that shares their names. 

Bonus points for you if you know who I'm talking about. 

Lastly the fight between Perseus, his friends and the scorpions was inspired by Clash of the Titans and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids...without the sad part from the latter. 

Until the next chapter, please read, review and suggest. 
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Perseus, Medusa and Andromeda

A Greek Myth Reimagined 

By RyantheLionKing

Disclaimer: This is a retelling of one of the most famous Greek Myths of all time albeit with my own twists and turns, partially inspired by some of the most iconic characters in Marvel Comic Books' history, Matt Murdock AKA Daredevil and King T'Challa of Wakanda AKA Black Panther. You'll be surprised by my references, I promise you that.

Also in this chapter, there will be some nudity and innuendo. You have been warned. 

Chapter Four: The Warrior-Princess of Aethiopia

While Perseus, Bubo and Pegasus had just discovered the location of Medusa, not too far away was the mysterious Dark Continent and birthplace of mankind; Africa. Not much was known about this land to any Ancient Greek except for the Empire of Egypt, the most powerful and influential of them all, the Numidian lands, the Libyans and the growing Phoenician nation of Carthage. Yet what laid beyond those lands, no Greek had ever seen before.

Beyond the borders of the Kingdom of Egypt where the ruthless Pharaoh Seti I was building his domain upon the backs of his many thousand Hebrew slaves, dwelt another great African Kingdom; one that kept its power, its culture and its ways of life a secret from the outside world. From the lands of Kush, or Nubia, in the Sudanese-Egyptian border to the Swahili coast and the vast jungles of the Congo, with Tanzania being its border, this empire was practically the first multicultural African kingdom; its name was Aethiopia which would later be renamed Ethiopia. 

Secretive by nature and highly distrustful of many outsiders, these people were a nation of warriors who valued courage and honor upon the battlefield. They also incorporated and adapted the weapons, religions and customs of those whom they had either conquered or assimilated into their society. Yet each province of the Aethiopian Empire ruled itself independently, something that was yet unheard of in the ancient world and would not happen again until the rise of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia. 

They even shared a common official language throughout the Empire. While Meroitic, Nubian and Egyptian were among the shared languages spoke across the realm, Swahili or Kingozi was the lingua franca of the empire. As for the capital of this African realm, it was the port city of Joppa near what would one day be called the Red Sea.

It was a bustling trading city, with marketplaces as far as the eye could see and temples to the many gods that they worshipped, especially the Olympians. While not all cities and settlements within Aethiopia's borders were alike, they all shared the same currency and their connection throughout the empire was through a 'pony express'. 

The Aethiopian army was rather unusual for its time. Unlike Egypt and many of the other Middle-Eastern neighbor kingdoms, whose armies were mainly charioteer, foot archer and infantry based and unlike Assyria, whose main strength was cavalry, the Aethiopian army was strong in chariots, archers, lightly armored but well armed infantry and cavalry. This rare combination of tactics was a success against constant invasion from Egypt, who often sought to expand their influence. 

In comparison to the Egyptian army, who were well armored with leather and overlapping scales of bronze, the Aethiopian army had limited access to armor, but they made up for it with speed, aggression, maneuverability, knowledge of the terrain and technology. Whereas the Egyptians fought with bronze or early iron weapons, the Aethiopians had a brand new technology at their arsenal; steel. A combination of both iron and carbon, steel weapons were stronger and more durable than the weapons the Egyptians had. 

Most Aethiopian warriors fought nearly naked with only a leather, grass or even animal skin loincloth around their waists, barely covering their genitals and their shields were mainly made of wicker or even cowhide, the most popular. Only the wealthiest or even the most accomplished of warriors could afford heavier armor and stronger shields. The weapons that the peoples of the Empire used varied, depending on which region they came from and which people used them. 

However the weapons they used, whether they were made of wood, iron or steel, were among the most exotic, innovative and sometimes sadistic weaponry imaginable. They even copied or rather innovated weaponry from Egypt, including the khopesh, which was popular among among the bravest of warriors, the chariot and the composite bow. 

Among the newest weapons that they also developed, and also another popular weapon, was a stabbing spear with a long broad blade like that of a dagger and a shortened shaft of about four feet complete with a knob grip at the back to help pull out if it ever got stuck. It was known throughout the Empire as an assegai spear, but many centuries later it would be picked up by the Zulu nation and their King Shaka who would rename it as iklwa, for the sucking sound it made when it was stabbed into the body and when it was pulled out. 

The Aethiopians even had a way of settling disputes through trials by ritual combat. Now what weapons they used differed from people to people but the most humane or least lethal trial, and also the most common, was to substitute their weapons and shields with a carved club in the right hand and a small stick complete with a small cowhide shield in the left hand to ward off blows. This was called 'stick-fighting', but it was more than just a way to settle disputes, it was also a training exercise and would one day become a modern martial art sport.

You could hit your opponent anywhere and anytime, stabbing was forbidden and the goal was also simple; beat back your opponent until they backed down or until they bled. Fighters often broke bones or shattered teeth, but it was also an effective way to gauge one's speed, agility and instincts.

The power of the blows came not from the arm, but rather from the wrist. Blows were normally aimed for the head or the knees. The knees because they were easy to break, and the head because the blood vessels there were close to the skin and bled the easiest. 

As soon as blood flowed, the duel was over, the winner would tend to the loser and all bad blood was forgotten. If an opponent was killed, there was no charge as long as the rules were observed. 

Yet, like the Greek city-states and Europe to the north, Aethiopia was pretty much a male-dominated society. Women were expected to be subservient to men, they had little to no rights whatsoever unlike their northern Egyptian neighbors, were excluded from fighting alongside the men, and were hardly seen more as property value. One woman however, or rather a teenage girl who was Perseus's age, was determined to change all of that; a Princess. Her name was Andromeda. 

She was the youngest child and only daughter, sometimes even considered the favorite child, of King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia. Blessed with a rare beauty that was uncommon among her people, everyone in the Empire believed that she was practically a gift from the Gods.

Her skin tone was medium brown, a trait she shared with her mother Cassiopeia who was a Hutu-Tutsi royal from the province of what would one day be called Rwanda, and her lengthy hair was as dark as anyone's in the Empire, but that was not what made her stand out from the rest of the crowd.

No, Andromeda's most defining feature was her eyes; her bright blue eyes, a rare gift among her people. She had come into puberty early as a child so her curves had already been developed and yet in spite of her beauty, she remained ever humble.

As a Princess, she was expected to wear more modest clothing that covered most of her body, but that was not who Andromeda was. She preferred to wear a skimpy grass bra that barely covered her breasts and a skimpy grass loincloth that barely covered her backside and vaginal area. She even preferred being barefooted. 

She did not care what people thought about her or her 'scandalous' clothing, because had she been any other man's daughter Andromeda would have been punished accordingly. However, as she was King Cepheus's daughter and his pride and joy, Andromeda had her own sense of freedom and her greatest dream was to be the finest warrior in all of Aethiopia. 

On this particular day Andromeda had ridden her horse to the training barracks, where all the other warriors including her own father, King Cepheus, were all out training for another Egyptian invasion. Among those who were training were her two older brothers, Idris and Djimon. 

Now Idris, the oldest brother, was a giant of a man more than six feet tall. His skin was dark brown, his long hair was fashioned into dreadlocks and he sported a short beard, his body was muscular, his eyes were a piercing dark brown, he was clad in a bright green warrior's cloak and in his hand he carried an Egyptian style battle axe that was just as big as he was. 

While Idris may have led the armies of the Empire in his father's name from the frontlines, he was not the greatest warrior in Aethiopia. No, that honor belonged to another. 

Djimon the middle child and younger brother was bald as the King, shared the same skin and eyes of his brother, yet had a clean shaven face, and wore a bright blue robe. He was most comfortable fighting from a distance with either a sling, a throwing spear or even a bow and arrow yet was not afraid to use a weapon in close quarters combat. He used a mace like club that was made entirely of hardened wood in his right hand and a sword like knife in his left. 

In the center of the barracks, clad in purple with a beaded and jeweled crown upon his head, dark-skinned, and fully bearded, with a longsword in his hand parrying the blows of his soldier's weapons was Cepheus, the King of Aethiopia, Emperor of the Congo and Sovereign of the Serengeti. 

Andromeda had always loved to see how the warriors in her father's army fought, and she often learned by watching them and imitating their every move. She would often pluck an assegai from Kagame the blacksmith and an ox-hide shield and practice using these weapons. Just as she was about to head over and sneak one of the assegai, she failed to notice Idris watching her and he placed his hand on her shoulder. 

"Andromeda, what are you doing here, little sister?" Idris asked in a tone that was both amused and concerned. "Why do you think I'm here, Idris? I am not a desert flower to be kept in the garden." Andromeda said as she shook off her brother's arm. "I'm aware of that, as are Djimon and Father...the whole Empire knows that. You are no black mamba either. Our people are not ready to accept a Princess as a warrior. You know that, yet you still persist in wanting to fight alongside us." Idris said. 

"Idris, it has always been my dream to prove myself as more than just a Princess. I can't just stay in the palace and let some man try to win my hand in marriage. That is not who I am. I won't have the law of our land dictate how I am supposed to live my life, Brother." Andromeda said in determination before she noticed the grin on Idris's face. 

"That is exactly what I wanted to hear, Sister. You have a warrior's spirit. The persistence of a leopardess, the heart of a lioness and the fearlessness of a mamba. I suppose as your brother and future King, I can make an exception for you." Idris said with a nod as Andromeda smiled. 

"Thank you, Brother." Andromeda said as Idris led her to Kagame. 

Now Kagame was once a great warrior in the Aethiopian Army, that was until he had his left leg cut open by a khopesh. He was able to heal, but he could never run again after that wound. What he lacked now as a warrior, he made up for in his skills in making weapons for the King and his army. 

The overweight, over-worked, yet ever grateful blacksmith was always eager to make weapons for the soldiers, particularly for the Royal Family. "Kagame. My sister Andromeda needs an assegai and a shield. Can you do that?" Idris asked of the blacksmith who nodded. "Anything for my King and his family, Prince Idris. I have both a spear and shield worthy for a Warrior Princess." 

Kagame then gave Andromeda a shield made from both zebra and oxhide leather that was just right for her and an assegai spear with the words 'Maliki Jabari', Swahili for 'Warrior Princess', inscribed upon the shaft. Smiling at her weapon and shield with pride, Andromeda gratefully bowed her head and said in Swahili, "Asante, Kagame." 

"Karibu, Maliki Andromeda." Kagame replied back in Swahili with a smile. "Come now, Sister. Your training begins." Idris said as he led Andromeda to the training grounds. The warriors there nearly batted an eye, even Djimon, as Andromeda readied her shield and spear and Idris readied his battle axe. "Ready?" 

"I am ready, Brother." Andromeda said in determination as Idris swung his axe at her, only for Andromeda to duck and dodge the axe. Then as Idris swung his axe again, Andromeda used her shield to block and push the axe aside, before she used her spear to thrust at Idris. 

Fortunately Idris noticed the blade and used his axe to parry the blade. "Come now, Andromeda. You must not let Idris dominate you in training." Djimon cried out as Cepheus and the other warriors watched in anticipation. Whether they wanted to see Idris beat Andromeda, or to see if Andromeda was as good a warrior as any man in the Empire, it did not matter. What mattered to them was some good entertainment. 

As Idris swung his axe on her again, Andromeda used her shield yet again to block him, only this time as he brought it down he cleaved the shield in two. Fortunately he did not hit her left arm and she discarded the shield, grasping the spear in both hands. The assegai was more than just a thrusting spear, it could also be used for slashing like any spear. 

Feeling confident she thrusted her spear at her brother, who blocked the weapon with his axe and chuckled. "You've been watching me fight haven't you, little sister? You are a natural." 

"I could say the same for you, Idris. If only Phineus could appreciate my skills as a warrior and as a woman like you do." Andromeda grinned as she tried a slashing attack only for Idris to block her blow. "Impressive." Idris said. 

Then they sparred as the shafts of their weapons clashed like quarterstaves, and it continued for what seemed like two minutes until Andromeda used her bare feet to trip Idris down to the ground with her spear pointed to his face. "Do you yield?" She asked with a smirk as Idris laughed with delight. "Of course, Sister." 

Andromeda then reached her hand and got Idris up as the warriors, even Djimon, cheered at Andromeda's good sportsman--or woman--ship and Cepheus clapped his hands. "That was a good display of skills and warrior conduct, Andromeda. I am proud to call you my daughter." Cepheus said with a proud look on his face. 

"Asante, Baba. I was hoping to hear that from you and--." Andromeda said before a loud procession of harsh voices was heard calling out, "Niam-Niam! Niam-Niam! Niam-Niam! Niam-Niam! Niam-Niam!" 

The warriors and even the Royal Family turned to see that coming from the north were the most feared tribe in the entire Empire, the Azande people which was plural for Zande. The word Azande meant 'The people who possess much land', and referred to their history as conquerors. Their homeland stretched from the Southern Sudan to the jungles of the Congo and while they were never conquered by the Aethiopian Empire, they considered themselves as the Empire's defenders and the bane of the Egyptians. They had in a sense assimilated themselves into Cepheus's kingdom. 

The Azande warriors were known for their use of brute force and furious skill with their weapons, which were considered in the eyes of any other citizen in the Empire the most sadistic tools of war ever created. Azande warriors had a 'take no prisoners' approach when it came to warfare and a grisly way to wage war. They were fond of their boto bows and pima arrows that were dipped in a red powder made from a forest creeper which they called 'benge'. 

As for their close-combat weapons, they were shaped for maximum damage and came in the form of a barbed spear known as a makrigga, a sickle-shaped long knife known as a makraka, a needle point leaf shaped short sword and long sickle-shaped swords with tapered points and blades of different shapes. For defense they used wicker kube shields, but perhaps their most famous weapon invoked both pain and eroticism; the kpinga throwing knife.

Also called the hunga munga, this weapon was truly exotic even to the eyes of Cepheus' people. It may have been a knife, but it was not like any other knife due to the fact that it had three different shaped blades projecting at different angles for maximum damage. Many of these knives had a bottom barb that was shaped like a man's genitals, a sign of masculinity. 

The Azande knew how to use psychology in warfare, particularly fear to their advantage. They loved to collect the heads of the enemies they killed and some Zande warriors filed their teeth to make their enemies think that they could eat people. Such strategies caused the Zande warriors to nicknamed 'Niam-Niam' which meant 'great eaters'. It was a derogatory term of course, and still is today, but the Azande warriors used that term as their war cry to scare their opponents. 

Even hearing them cry out 'Niam-Niam' was enough to give Cepheus's warriors pause as a war band of fifty Azande warriors led by a heavily armored warrior astride what seemed like the most sadistic looking scythed chariot anyone had ever seen pulled by two giant black steeds. 

This warrior was clad in armor that seemed like a mixture of hardened leather and over lapping scales of iron, carried a long steel bladed Egyptian khopesh sword with a peculiar hand guard shaped like snake heads at each side and a leopard's head for a pommel sheathed to his back, a quiver of arrows at his right hip, in his right hand he carried a makrigga spear and in his left hand was an Egyptian composite bow. 

He was a light brown skinned man in his early to mid-twenties with short black hair that was shaped into dreadlocks which had been smoothed to look like a lion's mane, a light but impressive muscular scarred body, a small but thick mustache and a thick beard under his chin. On his neck he carried a necklace adorned with lion claws, particularly lions that he himself killed. 

As for his chariot, it was made of the finest material and was Egyptian in design, but mounted to each side was a makraka curved knife. 

This young man was Prince Phineus, eldest son of Adewale the Azande King and the greatest warrior within the Empire, also the most sadistic. Andromeda glared at the chariot rider, for Phineus was her most persistent suitor and the most aggressive. From far away she could smell rotting flesh and could hardly hold down her food. All the decapitated heads the Azande troops had brought back were permeating the air with a stench most foul. It was not the only thing she smelled that was rotten in the state of Aethiopia. 

As Phineus pulled the reins of his horses, causing the chariot to halt, he jumped off his vehicle and pounded his chest with his right hand in pride, "Habari, Mflame wangu. Great King Cepheus. My warriors and I have returned from another successful skirmish with the Egyptians. My men had collected many heads, but I also have captured their commander. He said he wanted to speak with you." Phineus said as he pulled out a bound prisoner from his chariot. 

This prisoner had lightly tanned skin, curly black hair, light brown eyes, a distinctive aquiline nose, a short beard around his face, and he was clad in Egyptian battle armor. He had been beaten, abused and there was blood dripping from his nose and around his left eye which was incredibly blackened. He did his best to look up at Cepheus and he spoke softly, "Habari, King Cepheus." 

"Ah, so you speak our language. That is good. What is your name and why do you wish to me?" Cepheus asked as the figure struggled to stand up and when he did, he breathed heavily while hanging his head low. 

After catching his breath, the man slowly raised his head and answered, "I am Moses son of Pharaoh Seti, the divine ruler of Egypt, he who is Horus reborn and will be Osiris in the afterlife, ordained by the Light of Ra." The warriors were impressed. This prisoner was Prince Moses, the favored child of Pharaoh Seti? He was considered one of the greatest warriors the Egyptians had, yet he looked nothing like a typical Egyptian Prince. Even Andromeda had heard of him. 

"Welcome, Prince Moses, even if it is under unusual circumstances." Andromeda said as she bowed her head in respect and Moses smiled, while Phineus frowned in contempt. 

"And just what makes you think you can speak among warriors and men, Andromeda? It's bad enough that you insist on defying the traditions of our people, now you stoop to fraternizing with the son of our hated enemy? I'd choose my allegiances carefully, if I were you." Phineus warned as he walked towards her with jealousy in his voice. 

Andromeda glared back in disgust, "Unlike you, Phineus, I observe the rules of war as do most of our warriors. I might be a woman and considered inferior to you, but I am still the daughter of King Cepheus and I am still your superior. I would suggest that you remember that." 

Phineus simply chortled in amusement, "Is that supposed to scare me, Andromeda? If it is, you just failed. I am an Azande warrior, and I fear no one, not even you. You also forget that sooner or later, you have to marry. There aren't that many suitors left in the Empire for you and I'm a Prince. We could make each other happy." 

As he said those words, he came too close for comfort to Andromeda's face with a lustful grin on his own face and his hand was on her one of her butt cheeks. Andromeda felt violated and angry in every sense of the word as she was tempted to stab her spear into his gut. Killing a warrior of the Empire was considered illegal without just cause and she had to restrain herself. 

"Consider carefully, Princess. Because one day, your father and brothers may not be here to protect you." Phineus warned as he returned to his chariot and cried out. "NIAM-NIAM!" 

Then his warriors cried out 'Niam-Niam' in reply as they marched and rode away from the barracks while Andromeda shook her head. "The nerve of that brute. How dare he touch me like that!" She said in disgust as Cepheus placed his arm on her shoulder. 

"Andromeda, my daughter. Sometimes we must do things that we are not proud of. I know that you do not love him, yet your mother still insists that he is the one that you should marry. As for you Prince Moses, as payment for the indignity that you have suffered, I offer you a place to stay for the night. You will be well-fed, cleaned up and your wounds shall be attended." Cepheus said to both Andromeda and Moses. 

"Thank you, Your Majesty. And thank you, Princess Andromeda, for defending me and behaving as a warrior should." Moses said grateful to both the King and Princess.

Andromeda was impressed with Moses's manners and nodded in respect. "You're welcome, Prince Moses. What do you intend to do after tonight?" She asked. 

Moses sighed and spoke sadly, "I will need to return to my father and report our loss. However, I know full well that your people would rather see me dead than tell any outsider of what I've seen. So I'll leave the first thing in the morning. And I do appreciate the hospitality, but I cannot stay longer than tonight. I am certain that one day we will meet again. In this life or the next." 

Later that evening at the royal palace, a great feast was being held. It was more of a celebratory feast in Phineus's honor, which offended both Andromeda and Moses. Yet they had to be polite and let the feasting go on, for Phineus was well-respected by the nobles of the Empire and he was also admired by many of the common ladies. 

In the Empire, the greatest of warriors were always celebrated as heroes and paragons of their societies. Phineus was such a man, for his reputation as a warrior was only matched by his reputation as a 'ladies' man'. The more enemies he killed, the greater a warrior he was. And the greater a warrior he was, the more chance he had of marrying multiple wives. 

Polygamy was not seen as much of a taboo back then as it is today in most societies. Even though King Cepheus was only married to one woman, Cassiopeia herself, it was no secret that their eldest son Idris had two wives already. Not that they complained, they were proud of him. His two wives were named Ashanti and Ife, both of whom he loved incredibly.

In spite of his handsome exterior, Phineus was rather ugly on the interior. As a Prince of the Azande, he was indoctrinated to believe that women were nothing more than trophies to be won, to be simple-minded and subservient to men. Even his brutally scarred upper body, whether achieved through ritual self-scarification or through battle, was a reflection of who he was; hard-hearted, merciless and sadistic. 

Cepheus and his family were dressed in their finest, much to Andromeda's dismay. She hated having to look beautiful and 'respectable' in the eyes of the people. She wanted to be her own woman, not some decoration for people to admire. For she was clad in a traditional white kaftan that covered her whole body, she was forced to wear sandals on her feet and her hair was covered by a white shawl. 

Next to Cepheus was a woman near his age with medium-light brown skin, dark brown eyes, a nearly large figure which was also a sign of fertility, a golden headdress and clad in an indigo-violet kaftan. This was Andromeda, Idris and Djimon's mother and Cepheus' proud and boastful wife, Queen Cassiopeia. 

Cassiopeia was a beautiful woman in every right, but what she lacked in most was humility as she raised her cup and called out, "Good people of Joppa and the Empire. Hear me. Hear me. Tonight, we celebrate the return of our greatest warrior; Prince Phineus of the Azande." 

Phineus stood up with pride and roared out as he drew his khopesh, "NIAM-NIAM!" This of course shook the guests to their core. That blood-curdling cry was enough to scare them. Phineus grinned though in delight. He reveled in causing fear. 

"Thank you, Queen Cassiopeia. I'm certain you all know of my return from a border skirmish between my warriors and a vanguard of Egyptians. I'm the kind of warrior that our Empire needs for her next King. Though I am rather surprised that you would allow the son of our hated enemy to sit at your table." Phineus said mockingly with a smirk, referring to Moses. 

Cassiopeia paid no mind to his discrimination, unfortunately, as she spoke more. "And what better way to reward our greatest warrior than to offer him the most beautiful of prizes, the most delicate flower in our land; my daughter, Princess Andromeda?" 

As she said those words, Andromeda felt her blood boil. Not just at the idea of marrying the one man she hated more than anything, but also being described as a 'prize' and a 'delicate flower'. "What could be more divine than Andromeda? She who is more beautiful than any woman in our lands, whose beauty outshines the Gods? Even the Hellenic Goddess of Love Aphrodite herself?" Cassiopeia boasted proudly as Andromeda began to storm out of the palace in anger and humiliation, in addition to fear, for it was considered blasphemous to compare someone to a God of Olympus.

Her father, brothers and sister-in-laws were concerned as Cepheus glared at his boasting wife, "Cassiopeia, you are drunk and you know not what you are saying. The Gods do not take kindly to that kind of talk." Cepheus warned his vain wife, who simply looked up into the sky as if waiting for something. 

"I see no bolt of lightning, dear Cepheus, so what have we to fear?" Cassiopeia asked, not understanding what her husband was afraid of. Cepheus shook his head in annoyance and concern. His wife was too proud and too small-minded to comprehend the consequences of her actions. 

"It seems that Andromeda probably agrees to the arrangement. She did leave rather in a hurry. She must be excited to marry me." Phineus said to the royal family, though Djimon glared at him as did Idris as both brothers rose from their seats.  

"If you cared about Andromeda, Phineus, you would respect that she is her own woman and she is not a delicate flower, nor is she anyone's prize to be won. And I doubt she would wish to marry a warmonger like you, a man who disrespects our rules of war--." Djimon said before Phineus spoke up. 

"'Rules of war'? Grow up, Prince Djimon. In war, there are no rules. In war, you either do whatever it takes to fight and emerge victorious or you die. It's pure and simple. There's a reason why I, Phineus Prince of the Azande, am the greatest warrior in the Empire. I'm not afraid to do whatever it takes to defend our lands from the barbarous mzungus who try to come here and make slaves of us. Can you claim the same? Or you, Idris? Can you?" Phineus taunted both Princes. 

Meanwhile Andromeda had torn off her dress and sandals, now wearing her grass skirt and bra as she ran towards the sanctuary of Aphrodite. She might have been a warrior in training, but Andromeda surprisingly was also a secret romantic and she did worship Aphrodite in her own way.

She humbly bowed in respect to the statue and spoke, "Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and Beauty. I modestly beg you to hear the prayer of Princess Andromeda of Aethiopia. I know you might have heard my mother bragging and trying to sell me off to the one man I hate more than anything, and I know that she doesn't think before she acts, but I am willing to suffer your wrath to protect her and my family. I also wish to know if I am ever to find love on my own." 

Then surprisingly a mysterious pink fog surrounded her and the sanctuary as a giddy and joyful laugh was heard along with a honeyed voice, "There's no need to be afraid of me, Andromeda. I know your mother can be a braggart, but I'm a lover not a fighter." 

Then from out of the fog came the strawberry blonde haired, milky skinned, bright blue eyed, scantily dressed and barefooted Olympian Goddess of Love herself laughing cheerfully without a care in the world as she walked around Andromeda who was surprised and confused. "Hello there, Andromeda. I was hoping one day that you'd pray to me for advice about love." 

Andromeda's mouth hung a little in surprise, she had not expected to meet an Olympian face to face before. She had often prayed to them, but none of them had answered her prayers before until now. "You...are Aphrodite? I don't know what to say. You don't look anything--." Andromeda said as Aphrodite interrupted her with a slight giggle. 

"Like the statues they make of me? They really don't do me justice. But I can't blame any of these mortal sculptors for trying. It's always up to them to use their imaginations." As Aphrodite said those words she looked at her statue as if to critique it. 

"I figured as much. These statues always either depict me without my arms or covering myself in shame, my breasts aren't the right size and they always make me look fat. Ugh." Aphrodite said with a groan making a face, while Andromeda was still rather confused.

"Uh, Lady Aphrodite? I prayed to you because--." Andromeda said before Aphrodite turned her attention to the Princess.

"Oh, right. Ha ha ha ha ha ha. I almost forgot about you. You prayed to me...because you were willing to sacrifice yourself for your family and loved ones, and also because you seek to find a man worthy of your heart and your love. Now I should have you know that as an Olympian, I can't just simply tell you your future. But I can tell you one thing. And it's really important." Aphrodite said with a hint of forewarning in her voice. 

"And that would be? I am willing to meet the man I wish to marry, but I will only marry for love and only if this man can beat me in single combat, as is my right as a Princess." Andromeda said bravely and eagerly, impressing Aphrodite. 

"That's good. That's very good. You're willing to follow your heart and stay true to your beliefs. That's the kind of woman I wish more women were like in this world. As to the man you might be destined for, you might get a chance to meet him tonight when you sleep." Aphrodite suggested. 

"Tonight? When I sleep? I don't understand." Andromeda asked in confusion, before she saw the mist and Aphrodite disappear. "Hello?" 

Then Moses spoke, "There you are, Your Highness. I was hoping to have found you here. I see that your mother has greatly upset you. Has she always been like this?" 

"Prince Moses, my mother is a proud woman. Yet she has always been of an empty mind and a wagging tongue. Sometimes I believe she doesn't realize what she is saying. I often fear that one day her boasts will get this kingdom in trouble." Andromeda answered.

"Do you not fancy Prince Phineus? He is the greatest warrior in the Empire. And he--." Moses asked before he interrupted. 

"I never have liked him. Nor do I suspect that he likes me. The way he looks at me is reminiscent of a lion eying an impala. He only cares about marrying me so that he might one day be King. I feel like an outcast among my people." Andromeda answered, before Moses spoke. 

"I, too, am an outsider among both my adopted people and the people of my birth. For I...am a Hebrew, yet I was taken in by the Pharaoh as a baby. I only recently discovered the truth of who I am and how I came to be among the Egyptians. Even my adopted father, Seti, confirmed all that he had done. I ran away after killing an Egyptian when he was beating an elderly Hebrew slave...and I was being hunted by Pharaoh's guards." Moses explained. 

"So that's why you were taken alive by Phineus and his warriors. You were escaping. But where will you go now, Moses?" She asked, curious as to where this Hebrew prince would go. 

"I do not know, but I know now that I can never return to Egypt after what I've done. If anything, I must escape and find a better life far away from the world I thought I knew. And it is better that my adopted brother, Rameses, thinks that I am dead. I'll need to use one of your ships." Moses answered as he looked out into the harbor. 

Andromeda saw that there was no lie in Moses's eyes and she said to him, "There's a merchant ship that sails for the kingdom of the Sabaeans at dawn's next rising. If you sneak in tonight, there is a chance you'll be able to make it there without anyone being wiser." 

"Thank you, Andromeda. I will never forget your kindness. Nor your hospitality. May my God look kindly upon your people one day." Moses said as he gently shook her hand and bowed before he fled to find the ship that she had mentioned.

Later that night, Andromeda slept peacefully in hopes that Aphrodite would keep her end of the bargain. The Realm of Dreams was more than just a place people visited while they slept, it was also a reflection of the person who dreamt. When Andromeda entered the Dream Realm, ruled by the mysterious God of Dreams Morpheus, she was standing on top of a hill overlooking the Great Rift Valley. 

She was also as naked as the day she was born and she only carried her spear in her hand. She had no shame and no need to hide her body, and there was no one in sight to look at her or judge her as she practiced fighting with her spear. 

Little did she realize was that she was not the only one in her dream as Perseus arrived in her dream, naked as she was. Yet he was near the base of the hill with only Elektros, his sword, by his side and he was completely confused. "Where am I? What is this place?" He asked to himself as Elektros gleamed. 

"Huh? What?" He asked as he felt himself being pulled up as if by magic. He tried to resist the sword's pull, but he could not keep his feet down as he was pulled closer and closer to Andromeda. Suddenly the naked Princess turned and saw him in surprise as she readied her spear. 

"Stop there! Who are you? What are you doing here in my dream?" Andromeda asked in a warning tone of voice as if ready to fight off this would-be suitor. Perseus was confused as Andromeda pointed her spear at his throat. Yet Perseus couldn't help but stare at her body and how beautiful she looked. In the Dream World, there were no limitations. If you were blind as Perseus was, you could see perfectly. 

To Perseus, Andromeda was the most beautiful young woman he had ever seen. Her breasts were neither too big or too small, her nipples were small yet hard, her pubic area was clean shaven, her backside was not big either and her eyes were the most beautiful blue eyes he had ever gazed upon.

Andromeda frowned at his silence, yet flattered that he found her attractive as she spoke again unafraid to stick him with her spear, "Who are you and why are you in my dream?" 

Perseus gulped nervously as he hesitantly answered, "I am....Perseus, son of Zeus and Danae...and I am the prince and heir to the kingdom of Argos--." Yet as he answered, Andromeda continued to hold him back. 

"Then tell me, Perseus son of Zeus and Danae. Why are you in my dream, naked as I am? Is it chance? Fate? Or are you here to ravage me in my dream?" Andromeda demanded, wanting to know his purpose, yet she continued to stare at his well toned body, perfect physique and his clean shaven pubic area, including his erect penis. 

"I don't know as to why I'm here in your dream or why you're here in my dream, but I would like to know who you are and where am I? What is this place?" Perseus asked as he looked around in surprise and wonder. For he had never before seen the beauty of an African sunrise or sunset. 

Andromeda was surprised by his curiosity and could see no malice or lustful intent in his eyes or voice. "This is the Great Rift Valley of Aethiopia, my home. This is but a wild land that my father King Cepheus rules over. I am Princess Andromeda of Aethiopia." Andromeda answered as she introduced herself to him. 

"You're a princess? The three Fates told me that I would one day meet a princess and fall in love with her. I...just find it hard to believe that it would be so soon." Perseus blushed heavily as Andromeda grinned. 

"As strange as it sounds, this night I was visited by Aphrodite who told me that I would be visited by the man I was destined to fall in love with and marry. I can only assume that he might be you?" Andromeda asked in a flirtatious voice and Perseus gulped nervously. 

"I don't really know if I am him, Princess Andromeda. I don't even know if I am worthy of loving a princess, being that I am a love-child of Zeus." Perseus answered modestly, much to Andromeda's surprise. He must have had a low opinion of himself. 

"Why do you say such things? Have you no pride in your lineage? No sense of worth?" Andromeda asked, feeling pity for him. Surely he had every right to be proud that he was a son of Zeus. 

"I'm certain you're aware that Zeus has had affairs with many women before my mother and while I am grateful that he saved her, while making me in the process, I have often prayed to the Olympian Gods all my life and was often given muted silence until now. And I was born blind, hence why I can see you in the Dream World. If you saw me in the waking realm, I doubt you'd like what I look like." Perseus explained his situation as he sat down on a rock, yet Andromeda placed her hand gently on his shoulder. 

"Perseus, I admire what I see already. And for a Mzungu, 'foreigner' in my peoples' language, you are rather handsome. Any woman would be honored to marry you. Me? As a princess, I am expected to marry whomever my family chooses, yet I still have the right to marry on my own terms. And I will only marry whomsoever bests me in combat." Andromeda explained, much to Perseus's surprise as Elektros glittered. 

"Why don't we spar right now? As in a friendly spar? To test each other's mettle." Perseus suggested piquing Andromeda's interest. She was starting to like Perseus already. 

"Very well then. I don't see as to why not. However, I must make the terms. If I beat you, you must tell me more about yourself. But if you beat me, then perhaps...I shall let you kiss me." Andromeda wagered much to Perseus' surprise. 

"Wait then does that mean...you'll choose me?" Perseus asked. 

"I have not decided yet. I have yet to meet you in person. And when we do, I shall need to face you in combat and if you beat me there, then and only then, would I agree to marry you." Andromeda answered as she readied her spear and Perseus held Elektros. 

"And if there is a draw and none of us can beat each other? What then?" Perseus asked as he readied himself for combat. 

Andromeda grinned as she said, "Then we shall share a kiss together." 

Perseus nodded, "Fair enough. Let's begin." 

Andromeda smirked, this was her chance to test her skills to this handsome stranger. She thrusted her spear at him, only for Perseus to use Elektros to parry her blade away. The naked fighters grinned. "Not bad for a Mzungu." She said as they circled each other and they clashed again, this time Andromeda swung her spear, merely missing Perseus. 

"Not bad yourself, Andromeda." Perseus said with a smirk, impressed with her skill. Andromeda chuckled at his compliments, sensing his sincerity. As they fought and parried each other's blows, Perseus and Andromeda spoke. 

"Are there any woman warriors in your kingdom, Andromeda?" He asked as Elektros's blade was blocked by the shaft of Andromeda's spear and he was admiring her skill. 

"I am afraid not. Women like me are expected to be silent, meek and obedient. But that's not who I am, Perseus. I will not have any man be my master or control me, even if such a man is as handsome as you are." Andromeda said flirtatiously as they clashed again. 

"I didn't realize that women in your kingdom were given limited rights. Perhaps one day when I return to mainland Greece, I will do everything that I can to give women more rights if I can. Provided that I survive my encounter with the Gorgon, Medusa." Perseus said, much to Andromeda's shock as she lowered her weapon. 

"You seek Medusa? Why? Do you plan to kill her and take her head?" Andromeda asked in concern and fear. For she had heard stories of Medusa and feared for Perseus's safety. Perseus simply shook his head. 

"I don't know whether I should kill her and take her head or not. But I might need her help. I was tasked with bringing her head back by my terrible adopted uncle, King Polydectes of Seriphos, as a wedding gift. But I fear that he might have sent me to my death so that he can get his hands on my mother. I need to know if she is the monster that everyone says that she is or not." Perseus answered unsure of what the right thing to do was. 

Andromeda sighed as she put her hand on his shoulder and spoke with a sultry voice, "Perseus, I want you to promise me something. Promise me that whatever you choose to do with Medusa, you will come to Aethiopia so that I can meet you in person and, if I do decide to challenge you, see if you are worthy of my love." 

As she said those words, she leaned her face towards his own as he blushed heavily and nodded, "I promise, Andromeda. No matter what happens, I will come to Aethiopia. I do want to meet you face to face and to know who you are as a Princess and a warrior." 

Then Perseus leaned his face towards Andromeda's and he gently and tenderly kissed her. It was a tender moment between the two warrior-lovers, though it was only a dream, and Perseus had made a promise that he needed to keep. 

Meanwhile looking from up above on Mount Olympus, Aphrodite grinned to herself. "Yes! I got them together in their dreams. I can so not wait until they meet in real life and eventually fall in love. I did it." She said to herself with a giggle. 

Yet when the time would come for Perseus to arrive at Aethiopia, would love actually form between the warrior-princess and the demigod? Only time and fate would tell. 
Perseus, Medusa and Andromeda Chapter Four
Man, I thought I'd never get this chapter done. Seven months were spent in making this chapter, mostly, it was just hard trying to find out how to make it work. 

As for the fictional empire of Aethiopia, I was inspired mainly by Wakanda. Yes, that Wakanda from the MCU and Black Panther, Zululand, Ancient Egypt...and a little influence from the Persian Empire. 

I'll bet none of you were expecting me to use Biblical references from the Book of Exodus or Prince of Egypt, were you? 

And yes if you are wondering, my two original characters Idris and Djimon are inspired by Idris Elba who played Heimdall in the Thor films and Djimon Honsou who surprisingly did portray T'Challa/Black Panther in the six episode animated series, Black Panther.

Now Phineus isn't an original character of mine, as he was originally a suitor for Andromeda's hand in marriage. However, I did base his character and his warrior ethos on the Azande warriors of Central Africa, Gaston from the 2017 remake of Disney's Beauty and the Beast and N'Jadaka/Erik 'Killmonger' Stevens from Black Panther. 

As for Aphrodite's character, as you may or may not realize given the description I gave, I based her on Giselle from Disney's Enchanted and Joy from Inside Out. I don't know, I just see Amy Adams as a pitch perfect inspiration for Aphrodite's appearance and Amy Poehler's humor for her character. 

And yes, if you are wondering the language I was using is Swahili/Kingozi. 

Habari means 'Hello', Jabari means 'Warrior', Maliki 'Princess', Karibu 'You're welcome', Asante 'Thank you', Baba 'Father', and Mflame Wangu 'Great King'. 

In the next chapter, Perseus lands on the island of Sarpedon at last. Not only will he, Bubo and Pegasus come across statues of those who failed to kill Medusa, but also three items that once belonged to the greatest hunter in the Greek world; Orion. I'll give you a hunt, one of them barks/talks, one is used for crushing through armor and the other is the perfect ancient long-range killer. 

But that's not all, Perseus and his friends learn almost too late what became of Orion and face his attackers alias giant scorpions and their progenitor, Scorpio. Will they make it out of there alive? 

Read, review and suggest. See you next time. 
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I believe it only necessary to disclose my themes for my fan-made rendition of Disney's The Black Cauldron with two final themes, two themes  perhaps many people are familiar with for a hero's journey; humility and exile. 

Humility-- Although considered one of the seven cardinal virtues of Christianity, particularly in Catholicism, some people view humility the same way as they view being poor; as a mark of shame. And as a poor farm boy in a feudal fantasy world ruled by bullying Knights in shining armor and limited rights given to the working class, Cavin wants to prove that he's more than what he appears through great deeds.  

Yet Cavin discovers that it is his noble heart and willingness to sacrifice his own needs for others which make him a worthy hero. 

While born into a royal family, Calla doesn't let pride or her position go to her head. If anything, she knows that one day she will need to look to others for help as well. 

Hector lies and brags about his skill as a musician, even if he isn't qualified as one, but only because he feels ashamed that he comes from humble origins. But he soon learns that lying can only go so far and that there are more important things in life than fame and fortune. 

In Cavin and the Black Cauldron, the ultimate good is not just life or love, it is humility.

Exile-- Exile can mean many things. Either you are not a part of the community you live in because others say so or maybe you did something terrible and must leave your home according to the law. Or you choose to cut yourself off from the rest of society or you've always felt different from everyone else. It can also be emotional as well as physical or spiritual. Whatever it is that defines exile for you, it's one heavy theme for Cavin and the Black Cauldron. 

Cavin, due to his being an orphan, is considered an outcast by most of society, yet he is willing and determined to prove everyone wrong. Even if they won't accept him, he'll keep trying again and again to be accepted by another community. 

Calla is pretty much considered an exile in her own right, she refuses to be a part of the pomp and circumstance that defines royal life. She chooses to follow her own path, only to find not just adventure but also love. 

Dracula is the perfect example for an exile. The murder of his beloved wife due to a wrongful accusation has caused him to curse humanity for their ignorance and plan revenge. As a Vampire and a Dark Lord, he chooses to exile himself from the rest of the world and use his magic to influence the forces of darkness to his will. 

Even most of the mystic beings choose to exclude themselves from their human neighbors when they get too violent and destructive. 

In some ways, this story is also about exile--about being separated from a certain group and trying to find a new home in which you can belong to. 
I hope none of you mind my new username. I'm really looking forward to the new Lion King remake. If Jon Favreau could do justice to the Jungle Book, which he did in my opinion, then I know The Lion King is in good hands. Though I have to wonder what changes they might make to this new upcoming version. 

I was four, nearly five, when I saw the original Lion King film and its been a part of my life ever since. Just like Aladdin, Tarzan and so many other of the old classics that I grew up with.

I know that the film will come out eleven days after my 30th birthday, I can barely believe it myself because I still have my youthful looks, but I will still gladly see it. 

But I'm also looking forward to Dumbo and Aladdin. This really is the Year of the Disney Remakes. 
I've started watching the new Carmen Sandiego Netflix series and it's pretty awesome. I won't give ANYTHING away, except that Gina Rodriguez does a good job voicing Carmen and Finn Wolfhard is really believable and more active as the role of Player...and it's got a lot of promise, though you'll have to see if Rita Moreno, who also voiced Carmen Sandiego, does make an appearance. 

So in Carmen's words, cheerio. 
Jan 22, 2019
:iconryanthelionking:RyantheLionKing has changed their username (formerly KingRyHuff)
I'm thinking of doing fan-makes again thanks to my successful (hopefully) take on The Black Cauldron. 

However, they won't be 'kid-friendly' shenanigans like everyone else does. No offense. 

Hopefully nobody minds. The thing is I won't be doing fan-makes on a daily basis. Oh no. These things have to be planned out carefully, or else you alienate the audience. 

And there will be darker, adult themes in my fan-makes that sometimes resemble the original works. For example, in the original Jungle Books as you already know, Mowgli never actually wore clothing until he spent time among humans. 

But no, due to 'social norms' and prudes, they'd never show that on the big screen...and at best for a good reason. The world we live in has lots of sexual predators who prey on children. 

Yet there was nothing considered sexual about it. None. Besides, I may depict nudity but I prefer to depict sexuality during young adulthood to adulthood. Sheesh. 

The point is...my fan-makes will have more of a sense of reality as opposed to the so-called 'family friendly' entertainment that we grew up with. 

I hope none of you will judge me harshly for this. I'll be able to obey the rules as long as I portray certain characters in their late teen to adult years. 

Some people can be such...prudes. 

Well still, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to one and all. 
Okay. I must admit. I am not entirely picky when it comes to who I ship Ash from Pokemon with. Some shippings I'm neutral with. However, I do have three that I love the most; Pokeshipping (Ash x Misty), Aureliashipping (Ash x Lillie) and Ash x Mallow. 

I know that this may offend certain fans of certain Ash pairings, but I would ask that you please act like civilized people; in other words, don't shove so called 'proof' down my throat. Please. 

I respect other people's opinions and I despise it when people try to shove their beliefs down other people's throats like crazed religious fanatics AKA Bible Thumpers/Humpers. 

I get that there are some fans out there who don't support what I support, but I'm different from other fans. I don't snub others for believing differently than I do.

I know I don't fit the standard of Pokemon fans. I just believe differently than most toxic fans do. I won't blame you for hating me for my beliefs. 

But still, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone! 
Well, it's two more days until Christmas. I can barely wait. It's been a tough year for me personally. Moving into a new house, had my first surgery (stone removal), my brother and his family moving back into their home after a year of living with me and my folks, getting back to exercising, but it's been a blast this year. I wonder how 2019 will look for me? 

And here's a clip from one of my favorite films to express my holiday cheer. 

I just saw Aquaman today and I gotta tell you that it was awesome. 

Totally an improvement over Justice League from last year and just as magnificent and glorious as Wonder Woman. And it dealt with some serious themes, too. 

Jason Mamoa gave it all his best, and given the fact that he has Polynesian blood in him, the sea is a part of his culture. And it was nice to see Willem Dafoe play a great character, I won't give it away. 

I really recommend Aquaman.
If Disney were to do a remake of the 1980s series, Gummi Bears, who do you think would voice the human leads; Cavin and Princess Calla? 

For me personally, Cavin could be voice by Tom Holland (Spider-Man: Homecoming; with an American accent) and for Calla, either Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones and X-Men: Dark Phoenix) or Chloe Grace Moretz. 

For King Gregor, Sam Neill (Jurassic Park and Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book) or Kevin Kline. 

Sir Tuxford, John Rhys-Davies. 

And I believe that's about it. 
Again here's another list of themes for my rendition of Disney's The Black Cauldron. This time it involves the themes of Sacrifice, War and Society and Class. 

Sacrifice-- This famous quote from the Prince of Egypt sums up one of the sadder themes of this story. "Moses, sometimes, for the greater good, sacrifices must be made." Cavin believes that he knows what it means to be hero, but he doesn't...not yet anyway. It's a lot more complicated than that as he learns. 

For Cavin, sacrifice means giving up everything for the benefit of others and to protect his loved ones. 

Calla is not afraid to sacrifice her freedom even if it means protecting her father and her kingdom. 

Hector nearly sacrificed his chance to be a family man for a chance to play for the world and he regrets it completely. 

As for Sid, tagging along with Cavin does mean sacrificing his own safety and expanding his horizons. 

As the Trollhunter and a Were-Troll, Jim knows personally what sacrifice means and Claire is willing to make that sacrifice soon when they...consummate. 

(Yeah, it also explores...well...how sex can bring out our inner beasts.) 

Dracula sacrificed everything in his war against the Greenskins, only to be betrayed in the end by those he had sworn to protect and thus turning him into a bloodthirsty, vengeful Vampire. 

Even Merlin himself must make the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that Cavin finds the Cauldron before Dracula does, and in doing so...returns far more powerful than anyone could imagine. 

Also in Cavin and the Black Cauldron, love equals sacrifice...especially for great heroes. 

War-- A Great War is brewing within the Realm of Middengard. Dracula is behind it all and he's manipulating it on his throne in Castle Dracul to keep the forces of good/order occupied so that he can find the Black Cauldron and use it to destroy all those who oppose him in vengeance for the death of his wife and unborn son. 

War tends to shape anything and everything in its path, particularly people. War can bring out either the worst or the best in people and Cavin is about to learn that even in war, there will always be casualties and consequences. 

In spite of many of the other races, particularly the Elves and Dwarfs, bearing grudges against each other or against Mankind, they must put aside their differences and fight together against the growing darkness. Because if Dracula gets his hands on the Cauldron, to coin a modern phrase; "It's game over, man. Game over." 

Society and Class-- In the Realm of Middengard, just like in our world, there's two kinds of people--the haves and the have-nots. And it doesn't just exist in Mankind's societies either, it also exists within the other races. Cavin, as an orphan, pretty much falls along the lines of the have-nots, yet he dreams one day of being somebody; a hero who everyone can look up to.

And then he has the bad luck to fall in love with Princess Calla, one of the one-percenters. Fortunately for him, she's one of the variety of rich people who shows compassion for those less fortunate than her and she's tired of being hounded persistently by suitors who see her only as an object to be desired, instead of as a person with rights, hopes and dreams. So he does have a chance with her. 

As for Hector, growing up poor in Santa Cecilia has made him feel ashamed of his social standing. He wants to move up the social ladder, not just for money and for fame, but to give his family a better life than he ever had. He wants only what's best for his wife and daughter. 

The Elves are split into three races and three classes; the noble and compassionate, yet proud and arrogant High Elves, the wild and isolated, yet vigilant and courageous Dalish or Wood Elves, and the bitter and sadistic Dark Elves. While the latter of the three have sided with the forces of evil out of bitter memories from being oppressed by Mankind, the former two have sworn an oath to protect each other and Mankind in

The Dwarfs themselves are split into what they call castes, eight of them to be exact; the Noble Caste, Warrior Caste, Artisan Caste, Smith Caste, Mining Caste, Merchant Caste, Servant Caste and at the bottom at the heap are the Casteless, like poor Sigrun. Yet...when threatened by the forces of darkness, the Dwarfs are willing to put caste divide aside and fight their common enemies. 

And there's also the matter of the nobility and Knights mistreating the common people. Even if they are sworn to protect the commoners from danger or any monster, many Knights have fallen victim to both pride and power. While Cavin is disgusted with how even some Knights whom he idolizes act like bullies, he can't resort to killing them unless it's in self-defense and he must show there is such a thing as self-control. 

Pretty much all that I have so far. 
Here is the next segment of the Races of Middengard for Cavin and the Black Cauldron, but where to start? Oh yes, with the Talking Beasts. 

Talking Beasts-- Or rather Talking Animals are the diverse species of wild creatures who possess human-like intelligence and are considered sentient beings in Middengard. Sadly not all animals in Middengard have been given this extraordinary gift, particularly most domesticated animals whom the Talking Animals consider 'spoiled rotten' by Mankind, even wild bison and game fowl (like turkeys and Cornish game hen) have not been blessed with the gift of speech. What separates the Talking Animals from their 'domesticated' or even 'dumber' counterparts is their ability to think, reason and use human-like communication. Some Talking Animals have been known to be valuable companions to many a great adventurer, and certain Talking Animals don't mind if you eat meat as long as it isn't them that you're eating. While many Talking Animals are wary of Mankind, they remember that there was once a time when Mankind needed the aid of the Talking Beasts to survive in Middengard, particularly the days of Adam and Eve. To earn the friendship of a Talking Animal is to earn a lifelong companion. Some Talking Animals have even been known to adopt some of the customs of Mankind and the other sentient beings, namely clothing. 

Giants-- Among the biggest and most powerful beings in all of Middengard, dwarfed only by the mighty Dragon race, the race of Giants are sadly not one species in particular. In fact, not all Giants are considered the same. While mostly human like in appearance, Giants are not always the smartest of beings. In fact there are two main races of Giants; the smaller, yet friendlier Ettins who are simple farmers and vegetarians, and the bigger, meaner inbred Jotnar who'd gladly join the forces of evil for the taste of human flesh. The Ettins prefer to be left alone by the outside world and believe in preserving life, only fighting when push comes to shove and if their friends are in danger. The Jotnar, due to thousands of years of genetic inbreeding, are dumb, lumbering growling brutes who are practically swayed only by food. The Ettins believe that strength isn't just physical, but also spiritual, for they believe that strength of character is what defines a person. The Jotnar are much more simple when it comes to strength; the bigger you are, the better you are. Though the Giants can never truly compete with the Dragons in size, they are the tallest sentient beings in Middengard. 

Trolls-- An offshoot of the Giant family tree, Trolls are often recognizable due to their hard rock-like skins, horns, tusks and koala-like noses. Trolls can come in any shape, size or form and they can speak just like other sentient beings, unfortunately though most Troll species are sensitive to sunlight which turns them to stone, hence why they prefer living in caves, dark forests, bogs, sunless lands or more commonly under bridges. Trolls have been in contact with many sentient beings and each being has their own opinion of Trolls. While many beings in Middengard are amazed by the wondrous magics that Trolls are capable of and their impressive strength and resilience, unfortunately some species of Trolls have developed a taste for human, Elf or even Dwarf flesh and they've been known to side with powerful beings of darkness. Among said Trolls would be Gunmar the Black and his legions of Gumm-Gumms, yet only the Trollhunter a warrior chosen by Merlin's Amulet of Daylight can defend both the world of Middengard and Troll-Kind from Gunmar's evil. The current Trollhunter is James Lake Jr, or Jim to his friends, who unfortunately has developed one of the Amulet's side effects, being the first human Trollhunter; by day he's human, but by night he painfully turns into a rare species of Troll known as a Were-Troll. 

Ogres-- Another offshoot of the Giant family tree, Ogres are far more tolerant of sunlight than their Troll kinsmen and are sadly more stupid and beast-like. Ogres can come in any size, color or shape, but they love to use brute force to solve their problems, whereas smaller Ogres like Toadwart or Toadie are more intelligent yet ruthlessly picked on. Like the Jotnar, Ogres have a tendency to think mostly with their stomachs and their muscles. Due to their sheer size and strength alone, they too are sought after by dark forces particularly Dracula and Malekith, the Witch King of Naggaroth. Don't let their stupidity fool you. They are dangerous, even when backed into a corner and can crush you without a second thought.  The best way to deal with an Ogre is either to outsmart them, play to their ego or to befriend a member of the cat family, whether domesticated or wild, as cats are among the only animals that Ogres fear just like mice with elephants. 

(Puss-in-Boots reference.) 

Greenskins-- Also known as the Orcs and Goblins, these green-skinned primitive, barbarous raiders are the scourge of Middengard. The distinction between the Orcs and Goblins are pretty simple; Orcs are strong, brutish, savage warriors who dwarf over Mankind and the Elvhen peoples, whereas Goblins are smaller and weaker, but cunning and conniving creatures. They don't farm, they don't craft anything except weapons and they don't trade. They simply murder, rob, pillage and destroy anything and everything within their paths. They've even been known to leave their marks on the lands that they've conquered by smearing their own feces onto landmarks or buildings. The Greenskins' only motivation is pure violence and a seeming hatred for all other races. However, they are willing to fight for whomsoever can pay them in both money and food. While once enemies with each other, Dracula has come to realize that he can use the Greenskins against the Dwarfs and other sentient beings on his maniacal quest to search for the Black Cauldron. In fact, they are now Dracula's most numerous servants. 

Beastmen-- Also known as the Horned Ones, the Cloven Ones, even the Children of Chaos, these mutant humanoids are a twisted reflection of the Satyrs and Fauns and they despise everything to do with civilization. In fact, they comprise of many different breeds; Gors, the most common breed who all possess horns save for their lesser Ungor kinsmen who possess little to no horns, Brays who are less known and make loud braying noises and the mighty Minotaurs or Bull-Gors, a species all of their own yet often seen fighting amongst the Beastmen. Unlike their Satyr, Faun and Centaur counterparts, the Beastmen are incapable of speaking clearly like humans, yet Dracula has found a way to converse with the most feared Gor of them all; Khazrak the One-Eye and convince him to fight for him. Like them, he too seeks to destroy the civilized world and redraw it in his image and often uses the Beastmen to spread terror amongst humanity or those who oppose him. You must not underestimate these vile creatures. For to underestimate these beasts is to court death. 

Dragons-- The largest and most majestic creatures in Middengard, Dragons come in many shapes, sizes and powers. They are also among the most intelligent of beings, yet like Dwarfs and Mankind, they have a tendency to be greedy creatures who have a love for precious metals. But not all Dragons are evil, just as not all Dragons are good either. Dragons are a mixed species at best, yet depending on their temperament and how they are viewed by certain people, Dragons are either seen as good or bad, just like humans themselves, they too are flawed creatures. To many fanatical Christians, Dragons represent Lucifer himself in the form of a great serpent as the ultimate source of evil. To pagans, Dragons are revered for their power and prestige. To those who share both pagan and Christian beliefs, Dragons are just like people themselves.

And just like humans and any other sentient being, Dragons have the capability to speak. Dragons are known for their greed, but some Dragons can willingly part with their treasure...if whoever so stumbles upon their lair has come with good intentions and means the Dragon no harm.

Sadly though, Dragons are being hunted nearly to the brink of extinction either because they represent evil in the eyes of Christian fanatics, or because of the price of their hides which make a strong set of armor or because of retaliation for an attack. Whatever the reason, Dragons are incredibly secretive and prefer to be left alone.

Dragons can come in the form of wingless Land-Wyrms, even have two legs, but four legs and two wings that act like a pair of hands or true Dragons are the most common. Their breath even depends on where they live, for example a Frost-Drake's breath is purely ice and a Forest Drake's breath is toxic gas, but fiery breath is the most common breath type for Dragons.

Some Dragons rarely master more than one elemental breath, but those who do are considered extraordinary.

So what do you think so far? 
To give my readers a better understanding of the Realm of Middengard, the world of Cavin and the Black Cauldron, I've decided to create a journal about the people who dwell within this realm. And believe me, being that this world is an amalgamation of different fantasy worlds, it's gonna be epic. I promise you. Ah yes, we should begin with the race of Man. 

Mankind-- Also called Men, Humans or even Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve, this race of intelligent, mammalian beings are the youngest of all the sentient species in Middengard and the most populous. Descended from a branch of the primate family tree which included apes who could walk upright and then evolved into the first true Humans, such as Adam and Eve, these beings were also among the last intelligent beings to become what is considered 'civilized'. Unfortunately the Human race had been created with a hole in their hearts, a hole that neither wealth, possession or power could ever fill. While bitterly divided among nations, religion does tend to unite the races of Man and whenever faced with a common threat, they can band together against any danger. In relationships with other races, Humans have a rather complicated understanding between themselves and the Elven people, particularly the High Elves and the Wood Elves who they once fought against and enslaved for a generation or two. They also tend to fear or distrust many of the other sentient races with the Dwarfs being the exception, as it was the Dwarfs who helped them establish their many nations. The Human race might be physically weaker than most other beings, but what they lack in strength they make up for in brains. 

Elves-- Also known as the Elvhen, 'The People', these beings are among the oldest and most powerful beings in Middengard. They are tall, slender humanoids who live for thousands of years and are inherently magical. The Elvhen are split up into three main factions; the wise and compassionate High-Elves or Asur, the proud and secretive Wood Elves also known as the Asrai or the Dalish Elves and lastly the twisted and sadistic Dark Elves, also known as the Druchii or even the Drow. Once they were the dominant race in all of Middengard until Mankind was able to overwhelm them and reduced most of the Elven populations to slavery. They eventually fought back until a truce was made between the two races. However one Elf and his followers did not believe in the promises of Man, Prince Malekith son of Phoenix King Aenarion. It would eventually be Malekith who manipulated the war between the Elves and Dwarfs known as the War of the Beard until his plans were foiled and he was sent into exile with his followers who would eventually become the Dark Elves. The Elves, excluding the hated Dark Elves, live in harmony with nature and the elements and have a healing relationship with the Dwarfs and the other sentient beings. They may not trust Mankind completely, but they know that their survival is more important than their own. 

Dwarfs-- The Dwarfs or Dawi as they call themselves are one of the oldest and proudest races in all of Middengard. Shorter, stockier and stronger than most other humanoids, the Dwarfs pride themselves as great warriors, engineers, builders, craftsmen, miners, tunnelers, the list could go on forever. But what they pride themselves most on, other than courage and exceptional martial skill, is their loyalty towards each other and to those who they are indebted to. Though they have a rigid caste system that rarely gives the casteless a chance to prove themselves, when faced with the threat of Greenskin incursions exceptions can be made. Whilst fearful of most Dragons for obvious reasons, a little slow to trust when it comes to most Elves also for obvious reasons, unsure of Trollmarket Trolls considering their history with Gumm-Gumms, completely wary of the Giant races and ever vengeful towards their greatest enemies, the Greenskins, one of the few races they trust is Mankind, their oldest ally. Dwarfs are known for bearing long grudges against those who've wronged them and often record the wrongdoings done onto them in the never-ending Book of Grudges, the Dammaz-Kron. You should never cross these people, because if you do, your wrongdoing will end up in the Book of Grudges and you'll face the wrath of the Dwarfs.

Centaurs-- Also known as Hippocentaurs, these half-human and half-horse beings are considered both among the wisest of beings and the most dangerous of enemies. Native to the wild forested region known as Athel Loren, Centaurs were among the first known beings to use iron and steel weapons. Like some of North America's Native tribes, they are not only a hunting culture but also a fighting culture and a culture that reveres nature above all else. The color of a Centaur's human skin more often than not matches the color of their lower horse body, their hair is often shaped like a horse's mane, their ears are shaped like those of a horse and except for poultry and wild game, my rendition of Centaurs are pretty much vegetarians. Ah, and I almost forgot, Centauresses or female Centaurs are renowned for their beauty and surprisingly wear NOTHING to cover their chests, because funnily their human breasts cannot produce milk, but their horse breasts can. In their culture, there are no such words as 'modesty' or 'decency'...and marriage is not only a celebration of love, but also a celebration of sexuality, something they share in common with their Satyr neighbors. Centaurs live in tribal-herds consisting of both stallions, mares and their foals and tribal-herds often regulate their size. When a tribal-herd gets too big, some of the stallions tend to break away and form new herds. Of course, in doing so the herds will be forever enemies, at least the herd's size is kept in check. They are also gifted astronomers and teachers, highly regarded for their wisdom and nobility. And despite rumors, they can only copulate with either Mankind or fellow Centaurs. 

Satyrs-- Half-human and half-goat, Satyrs are just as complicated as their Centaur compatriots. Considered to be an enigma, Satyrs are often feared by humans who pass by them. Now what makes them so feared is not their goat-like appearance, oh no. Satyrs are often feared due to their uncontrollable sex-drive and some Satyrs have been reported to EAT the flesh of their victims just as many humans would eat the flesh of a goat. Like Centaurs, they too excel in iron and steel weapon technology and like them they even use hit and run tactics against their enemies. While they lack the size of their Centaur neighbors, Satyrs are unafraid to get close to their foes and charge them with their horns. Trust me, getting head-butted by a Satyr warrior is the equivalent of getting hit by a car, you'd feel it and then it would be too late. When they're not fighting, like the Centaurs, they enjoy the simple things in life; particularly food, drink, partying and fornication. Satyrs are definitely more animalistic in appearance than Centaurs and for a good reason. Their faces and bodies are exactly goat-like, their hands are cloven hoofed hands, their horns are shaped like those of a Bighorn sheep, and despite their human-like intelligence and speech, they still tend to act like goats. With male Satyrs, the bigger their horns are the more successful they are at attracting a mate...and just like male goats, when rutting season comes, they will often use brute strength and their horns to establish dominance. They live in herds, too, yet they call their herds 'clans'. For a Satyr, being the leader of a clan is considered the greatest honor.

Fauns-- While half-human and half-goat like their Satyr kinsmen, Fauns are far more human in appearance than Satyrs. They are also reputably far more friendly and passive, and they have a deep love of music and nature. Yet when push comes to shove, they are cunning warriors and are not afraid to fight for their homelands. They have the upper body of a human from the waist up, albeit with two small horns on each side of their heads and long goat like ears, and their lower bodies show the appearance of a two legged goat with full furry legs, cloven hooves and a tail. Like their Centaur and Satyr compatriots, they live in harmony with nature and will do anything to make sure that nothing defiles it and they are the sworn enemies of the Beastmen or Children of Chaos. 

That's all I have for today. 
I may have already mentioned this before, but if not I'm going to tell you all this. And if this is something I will mention again, well screw it, I'm gonna say it again. 

My fanmade retelling of the Black Cauldron is NOT kid-friendly. Nope. Given that the Black Cauldron was originally 'intended' to be an R-rated film, imagine if that had happened, I do plan intend to have R-rated and MA-rated material in this retelling and I'm not afraid to do it, not anymore. 

However, as tempting as it sounds I will NOT use coarse language in this retelling, well except maybe for the word 'damnation' in the Christian concept. I may be crude, but I won't use crude language unless necessary. 

Other than that, this story will contain intense, if graphic, war and horror violence, dirt, blood, death, frightening images, graphic nudity and sexuality. Provided DA doesn't take down my story, I hope you don't mind. 

Besides, Cavin and Calla will be eighteen years old. In the UK that's pretty much the legal age...and it will be the legal age in this setting. And so it will be for Jim and Claire. 

The world that I'm creating is based on Narnia, Middle-Earth, the Warhammer World, Thedas from the Dragon Age series, Tamriel from the Elder Scrolls video games particularly Skyrim and Oblivion, the artwork of John Howe and Frank Franzetta, the Hyborian Age where Conan the Barbarian is set in, a few social norms from Ancient Greece concerning sexuality, and a bit of influence from the darkest 90s Disney show, Gargoyles. 

But despite the dark elements in this story, there will be plenty of light moments too. Plenty of comedy, wonderful musical moments and the ever hopeful view that in the end, good will triumph over evil and that change will come one day. 

Am I being a little too ambitious? Please let me know. 

Mature Content

This content is intended for mature audiences.


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Cavin and the Black Cauldron 

A fan-made version of Disney's The Black Cauldron, with some major differences

Written by RyantheLionKing

Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters, but I do own some of the dialogue. That's all I can promise.

Warning: This chapter will contain graphic war violence. Reader discretion is advised. This may be a fan-made retelling of the Black Cauldron, but this ain't no kid-friendly story...entirely. You have been warned. 

Chapter One: Dracula's Descent into Darkness/Cavin Orphaned/Bells of Notre Dame

"It began with the collapse of the Dwarf Empire due to the incursions of the Orcs and Goblins, or Greenskins as we called them." Hector narrated grimly as the flashback continued. 

Many centuries had passed since Hela's execution and the creation of the Black Cauldron and Middengard, while a beautiful green realm with graceful forests and towering mountains, was a divided world. A world where humanity shared their days with Elves, Dwarfs and so many other magnificent or terrifying beings, but it was also a time where superstition, fear and the sword ruled. 

It was a world where greed and corruption ran rampant within humanity's blood, where religious fanaticism led to persecution of anyone who practiced magic, whether light magic or dark, where medicine was condemned for having no religious affiliation, where barbarism was law, and war was commonplace; whether it was man fighting against their fellow man or man against any other mystical being. 

Yet when faced with a common threat, the people of Middengard were willing to put aside their differences and fight for the survival of their Realm. This was such a time when the vile Greenskins, the collective term for the murderous, barbarous races of Orcs and Goblins who were the scourge of Middengard and of civilization, grew from disorganized, strife-ridden beasts into a force that nearly destroyed the world.

Yet that was not what gave many people pause. The often warring Greenskin tribes were being led not by a mindless Orc Warboss, but rather by an Orc Necromancer named Azhag the Slaughterer who promised his fellow Greenskins endless human flesh, or humies as the Orcs and Goblins called them. All they had to do was follow him and destroy those who stood in their way. 

Woe betide unto those who were in their way, particularly the realms of the Dwarfs who reigned a large mountain Empire that stretched from the eastern lands of Transylvania to the western Kingdom of Dunwyn, the largest and most prosperous of the human kingdoms.. 

Unfortunately, the Greenskins under Azhag's command knew exactly where to strike from; the Deep Roads, the highway that kept the Dwarf Empire connected to each of its settlements or thaigs in their language. The Greenskins invaded and defiled most of the Dwarf thaigs, until only eight great kingdoms were left; Orzammar or Karaz-a-Karak the Seat of Power, Kal-Sharok, once the great capital of the Dwarf Empire, Karak Kadrin the Slayer Keep, Kal'Hirol the Smithing Center, Bownammar or The Dead Trenches where the Legion of the Dead, the elite Dwarf warriors dwelt, Gundaar and Karak Drazh (Black Hold), which was then taken from them and renamed Black Crag by the Greenskins, and finally Barak Varr, which now came down to seven. 

"The Greenskin horde seemed almost unstoppable in their rage as they threatened not only all of Middengard as they passed into the lands of Transylvania, but they were also threatening Christendom and mankind. And from those harsh lands came a great and fearless Knight from the Sacred Order of the Dragon named Vlad Tepes III, a vovoide or warlord with his own personal army. Yet many who knew his prowess battle came to call him Dracula, 'Son of the Dragon'." Hector narrated as a few moments later, a young man in his early thirties with long flowing black hair, light skin, dark blue eyes, a thick bushy black beard and clad in blood red armor named Vlad Tepes, or Dracula, was preparing to ride out with his troops against the unstoppable Greenskin tides. 

Watching from the tower of his castle was a tall woman with a slim figure. She had wavy blonde hair, crystal blue eyes and red lips. Her attire consisted of casual layered clothes. This was Dracula's wife Elisabetta, or Lisa, whom he loved and prized above everything else on Middengard. She feared for her husband as he prepared for battle and she remembered their last conversation. 

"Vlad, no! You cannot leave. Azhag the Slaughterer is said to be invincible in battle. He could kill you...and then where would I and our son, note my confidence, be? You would rather leave me without a husband and our son without his father?" Lisa's voice echoed inside her head as tears threatened to fall from her cheek. 

"STAY YOUR TONGUE, WOMAN! I will slay this Azhag if it kills me!" Dracula's voice cried out in an echo before it softened. "Lisa, you must have faith in me. God is on our side. He will NOT abandon us to have our lands defiled by the Greenskins. I will return triumphant. And when I do, we will be a family, you...me and our son.

"Then if you must go with God's blessing, I give to you my cross to carry with you in battle so that I will be there in spirit watching over you, my love." Lisa's voice echoed once again. 

"Before I go, have you thought of a name for our child, Lisa?" Dracula's voice asked in an echo. 

"I shall call him Adrian." Lisa's voice echoed once more as Lisa wept in anticipated sadness.

"Adrian...Worry not, Lisa. I shall return with Azhag's head on my sword and with God's blessing, we shall have a family." Dracula's voice echoed for the last time.

"On the eve of the battle his beloved wife Elisabetta or Lisa watched from above as she knew that he must face an insurmountable force from which he might never return." Hector narrated as Dracula pulled forth his sword from its sheath, causing his warriors to cheer while the clergymen looked on in fear and alarm. 

For the sword that Dracula carried was no ordinary blade; no. This weapon was not made by any smith among men, Dwarfs or Elves. The sword's blade glistened like silver, yet the handle was as black as night and its pommel resembled a snake bearing its fangs. This sword was called Todtenkuss 'Kiss of Death' in German, a blade of tremendous power; power that came with a terrible price which Dracula was willing to pay to protect mankind and his religion.

To the priests, that sword was an evil weapon both in look and in nature, no matter how strong or powerful it was against any foe. What also frightened them was that his wife, who was a devoted doctor and a woman of science that was unknown to most people at the time, had too much of an influence on him and they suspected that she was practicing witchcraft. 

As Dracula and his army marched off to battle, Lisa felt dread that she might never see her husband again. Little did she know was how right she was, yet not in the way that she imagined as she went back into her study and watched in horror as the corrupt and fanatically-twisted Bishop of Targoviste, head of the clergymen, ordered a search warrant on her medical equipment. She tried to stop them, but her protests fell upon deaf ears and her fate was sealed as fire consumed the room and her scream could be heard.

Meanwhile upon the battlefield, Dracula led his troops against the Greenskin horde. They were outnumbered at least two to one, and while the Goblins were a cinch to kill, the Orcs not so much for they were bigger and stronger than most humans, extremely hard to kill. 

Yet Dracula pushed his army on as his archers were able to fire arrow after arrow on the Greenskins and his infantry were able to punch through their defenses. Steel clashed against steel, blood soaked the ground and Dracula, armed with Todtenkuss, was able to plow through the Orcs and Goblins like a scythe through wheat upon his ebony steed Daredevil. 

He had earned a reputation among his men for riding Daredevil hard into battle and using Todtenkuss to chop off his enemies' heads at a full gallop. Then he would collect their heads and drink the boiling blood from their corpses. 

Until at last Azhag appeared upon a monstrous Wyvern named Skullmuncha. He was a large Orc with olive green skin, blood red eyes that glowed blue when enraged or under the influence of his crown, and clad in black crude armor. He wore a horned crown that was infused with dark magic and carried a red flag upon his back. In his hands he carried a slashing sword and an axe which he called 'Slagga's Slashas.' He roared in anticipation as he dismounted from Skullmuncha and pointed his sword at Dracula's neck. 

"So you's da one dey call Son o' de Dragon, eh?  Ha ha ha ha. You seems like a formi'able fighta fer a 'umie. Let's see 'ow yer sword matches against my own choppas." Azhag laughed arrogantly as he kept pointing his sword at Dracula's neck. 

"Let us see if you are strong enough against me, Orc-scum." Dracula said as he raised Todtenkuss ready to fight. 

Just as Dracula spoke, Skullmuncha snapped at him and he jumped out of the way in time as he swung Todtenkuss down upon the Wyvern's head twice. Upon the second chop, Skullmuncha's head came clean off as green acidic blood spewed from his severed neck and his body toppled down to the ground lifeless. 

Seeing his flying mount decapitated made Azhag enraged as his red eyes turned a fiery blue from his crown's magical aura. "Ye've gone an' done it now, Vlad Dracul! When I's done wit' yer, I'm gonna add yer skull to me belt and eat yer 'orse like I'll eat everyone in Transylvania!" Azhag growled as he swung his choppas down at Dracula who dodged each swing and parried two of them.  

"Come then at me, Azhag the Slaughterer. Show me the true might of the Greenskins!" Dracula growled and hissed, baring his teeth and ready for a fight. Then Azhag roared in anger as he swung his weapons at Dracula, who parried each blow just as quickly. 

Although Dracula was physically taller than Azhag, when it came to brute strength the odds were in the Greenskin Necromancer's favor. As Azhag brought down his axe down towards Dracula's head, the vovoide swung Todtenkuss upwards, severing Azhag's left hand and the axe with it. 

Azhag roared in pain as he dropped his sword and clutched his severed stump where his left hand used to be before Dracula picked up a pike from off the ground and immediately impaled him. The Necromancer roared even more as he used his right hand to pull that pike and Dracula closer to him, not caring that it would kill him. 

"If I'm ta die, den yer coming' wif me, Dracul!" Azhag growled, not realizing that Dracula was grabbing Todtenkuss and ready to decapitate him. Just as Azhag pulled the pike once more, Dracula aimed Todtenkuss at his neck and swung. Clean off came Azhag the Slaughterer's head as his body slumped down lifelessly. Seeing their leader fallen, the Greenskins downed their weapons and fled as Dracula pulled out Lisa's silver crucifix and kissed it. 

"Praise be to God on high. I am...victorious." Dracula said breathing a sigh of relief as he wiped Todtenkuss clean of any Greenskin blood and sheathed it. Then he gazed upon the Crown of Sorcery upon Azhag's head as said head rolled out still lifeless and bloodied. Dracula reached for the Crown, ready to claim it as a trophy, when he heard a scream. 

Turning his head towards the horizon he gasped as he recognized the scream and softly said, "Lisa." 

Then he picked up the Crown of Sorcery and ran towards Daredevil who neighed in anticipation as his rider jumped onto his saddle. "Come, Daredevil. My wife is in danger. To Transylvania!" 

Dracula rode Daredevil as fast as his ebony steed could carry him, hoping that he was not too late to protect Lisa from whatever danger befell upon her. 

"When Dracula returned to Transylvania, he had hoped that Lisa would be there to greet him and that Adrian had been born. He had no idea of the grim homecoming that awaited him." Hector's voice narrated in sadness and sympathy as moments later, Dracula returned to his castle and the gates opened for him. 

"Lisa! Lisa! Lisa!" Dracula cried out as he searched the castle for his wife. "Lisa, where are you?" 

Then a woman's voice was heard, "My Lord...your wife was burned at the stake." 

Upon hearing those words, Dracula was shocked and angry as he demanded, "What?! My innocent wife? Burned at the stake? On what charge?!" 

"The Bishop and his men ransacked her room, destroying her equipment and her books while you were away. They said that she was in league with the Ruinous Powers, that she was a witch," said the woman in a fearful tone, fearing for her life. 

"They burned her? And my son? Only because she practiced alchemy and medicine? Things which could have been helpful to our people?!" Dracula roared in anger as he drew Todtenkuss in rage, but upon seeing the look of dread on the woman's face he took a few deep breaths and calmly walked towards her as he placed his hand on her shoulder. 

"I thank you for your honesty, dear lady. If you have any family here in the castle, then I suggest that you take them and whatever possessions you have and flee this place. You do not wish to be here when I have a word with His Grace." Dracula spoke calmly at first, then glared at the Church, his voice reeking with sarcasm in the end. 

"I will. Thank you, Lord Dracul for your generosity," said the woman  as she prepared to leave and Dracula sneered at the Church once more as he headed out to confront the Bishop. He had half a mind to personally punish this pious procrastinator for this senseless act of violence. 

Inside the Church, praying before the altar, was the Bishop of Targoviste who was surrounded by statues of the patron saints of Christianity. While cruel and sadistic towards anyone whom he saw as 'heathens' or 'non-believers', he was pretty much a coward who believed that the only way to spread Christianity was through brute force instead of through peace.

"Please O Mighty Lord, have mercy on me. Spare me from the wrath of the Greenskin filth. Do not permit their ungodly wrath upon fair Transylvania--," prayed the Bishop softly before a loud pounding on the door was heard as he turned to the front entrance. 

"Are you in there, Your Grace?! I demand a word with you now," boomed Dracula's voice as the Bishop was surprised by the sudden return of Castle Dracul's lord and master, victorious from battle no doubt. This man of the cloth wondered yet as to why Dracula was speaking in such a tone, though. He had to confirm what was vexing this noble man. 

The door was then burst open as Dracula used Todtenkuss and his foot to break the door open. "My Lord Dracula, you have returned! How went the battle? Have the heathen beasts been slaughtered--?", asked the Bishop in anticipation before he noticed the glare in Dracula's eyes. 

"Be silent! Keep your wagging tongue behind your teeth like the dog that you are." Dracula warned causing the Bishop to pause in shock, not used to being talked down to or being compared to a lower animal such as a dog. 

"My Lord, why compare me to a dog? What have I done to earn your ire?" The Bishop inquired, either feigning ignorance or unaware that Dracula had been told of what had happened to Lisa, before Dracula grabbed him by the throat and pinned him to one of the pillars, threatening to choke him. 

"Did you not hear what I just said, Your Grace? I told you to hold your wagging tongue and you could not even do so." Dracula said as he tightened his grip on the Bishop's throat, making it hard for the priest to breathe. 

The Bishop struggled to release himself from Dracula's grip as he struggled even more to speak, "Why show such barbarism towards me? What is my crime?!" 

"Do not play me for a fool, Your Grace! You know exactly what you have done. You murdered my wife; my Lisa! Condemned her to the stake on a false charge and in the process you took away the life of my unborn son." Dracula growled as he pinned the Bishop once again upon the pillar. 

"I did what I could to save Transylvania from the Greenskins, just as you did. Even more so than force of arms ever could. Your wife was practicing black magic behind your back, plotting with the Orcs and Goblins against you to overthrow this land--," the Bishop explained, trying to weasel his way out of Dracula's grip, but he got punched in the gut instead by Dracula's fist. 

"Do not spew your lies to me, priest! You may fool the common people, but you cannot fool me. If anyone has sold their soul to Satan and the Ruinous Powers, it's you. You who accused an innocent woman of witchcraft, when in truth she was an alchemist and a woman of medicine over blind faith, and condemned her to die and the child within her. If anyone deserves to burn in Hell, it is you." Dracula said as he grabbed Todtenkuss, ready to punish this hypocrite for his crimes. 

"What good would killing me do for you, Vlad Dracul? It won't bring your wife back or your son. The moment you kill me is the moment your soul will be forever condemned to the lowest circle of Hell; to the Circle of Traitors! Traitors to country. Traitors to fellow men. Traitors to God! For spilling my blood on holy ground in petty vengeance for your 'innocent' wife's much deserved death, you will never know the grace of God again," declared the Bishop in a warning tone of voice, as if trying to bring the wrath of God down upon Dracula, yet it did not work as Dracula tightened his grip even more. 

"I defended God's Church and the survival of mankind in Middengard with my life, and this is to be my reward?! To be condemned for loving a woman who was not of the 'proper' faith? For avenging her unjust murder? Well then, if that is the price I must pay for the woman I loved, for the family I could have had and for exposing men like you as frauds, so be it," Dracula exclaimed as he dropped Todtenkuss and instead used his right hand to claw at the Bishop's throat.

Then with one mighty pull, he ripped out the Bishop's vocal cords. His right hand drenched with blood as the Bishop's throat spewed more blood upon Dracula's face and armor, then the pompous silently grasped at him before falling dead. Dracula sighed in relief as then remembered the Crown of Sorcery as he said, "All that power upon Azhag's head. If mankind will not reward me for defending them, then I shall punish all of Middengard for my loss."  

The priests came in and upon seeing the carnage, they were scared of Dracula as he calmly glared at them and at the statues of the saints as he began to sing. 

Dracula: I am condemned

For justly serving God

As you decree I do! 


Then he stared at the statues again as he continued his tirade. 

I am condemned

For vanquishing all those

Who would have conquered you! 

As he gazed upon his bloodied hands and the corpse of the Bishop of Targoviste, he glared at the clergymen and all those who gazed upon him. 

But as I return from my bloody campaign

You make treason my deadly reward

You cowards dare to treat me with disdain

For the way those beasts died by my swooooooooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrd!
 

As he sang the word 'sword' for three seconds he swung Todtenkuss at the top of the stone cross upon the altar, severing the top like he was decapitating a head as the cross head crumbled on the ground and blood began to spew, not just fro the cross, but also from the eyes of the statues like they were tears of blood. 

Chorus: Dies Irae! (Day of Wrath) 

Dies Irae! 

Dies Irae! 

Dracula glared upon the cowering clergymen as he pushed them aside in anger and sang. 

Dracula: I am condemned

But reject what you cowards proclaim

As you hide behind God's holy name

Playing the game

Only hypocrites choose

To hide your shame in selfless blame! 

I am condemned! 

Chorus: Dies Irae!

Dracula: I will descend into the depths of Hell

Never to live again! 

Chorus: Dies Irae! 

Dracula: My life will end

But I will rise to claim the lives of mortal men! 


This proclamation scared the clergy as they made the sign of the Cross and they fled with their lives, not wishing to meet the same fate as the Bishop. Unfortunately the doors closed on them, trapping them inside. Was it through dark magic or a strong wind? Who could say? 

Dracula: I summon the forces of all you despise

To avenge the great name of Dracul! 

To make me immortal as my love dies

And to give me Hell's legions to rule! 

My living death is a self-composed curse

To commence my unholy crusade

Eternal existence of night I'll traverse

In vengeance for being betrayed! 

I am condemned to exist in the Devil's domain'

No more love in my heart will remain

Never again will I be so deceived

Aggrieved by pain

I am profane

I am condemned! 


As he ranted and raved, he began to grab a hold of each priest snapping their necks like twigs as he cornered them. 

Chorus: Dies irae 

Dies 


Once he done with killing the priests, he swiped one of the papal rings and continued to sing, spitting on the ring in disgust. 

Dracula: To think I once believed it true

That I could serve my country through 

Your holy cause

But I no longer fight for Kings

Nor pious men with papal rings 

And bloody gauze

I challenge the holy to unholy conflict

I declare war between Heaven and Hell 

The blood of the living shall be my reward 

For sating my vengeance so well

I am condemned

To exist on the blood in their veins

For the blood is the life that sustains

Unholy creatures of darkness who dwell

In Hell's domain 

Where Satan reigns

I am condemned!

You are condemned!


As he nearly finished his song, he walked towards the blood filled cup and drank it down, embracing his new unholy identity as he belted his last notes with a roar. 

Dracula: I

Am

CONDEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEMNED! 

Chorus: Dies Irae 

Dies Irae 

Dies Irae 


Then he began to transform monstrously as he writhed in pain. His ears began pointed, his skin became as pale as the moon, his eyes turned from icy blue to blood red, his lower and upper canine teeth drew blood from his gums as they grew larger and more pointed, and his finger nails became like claws. No longer was he Vlad Dracul Tepes III, vovoide of Transylvania and Defender of the Faith a man devoted to his wife, to his country or his religion. No, this was now a monster who called himself Dracula and all of Middengard's human population would know his wrath.

"And thus did Dracula change from a man who was willing to defend his homeland into a monster whose only desire was vengeance and bloodshed. Hiding from the shadows and playing his own little chess game, he wormed his way into the graces of many if not all of Middengard's darkest forces. Believe you me while most races in Middengard were divided, Dracula's desire for power and revenge was what earned him the trust of many a foul creature. In doing so, Transylvania was no longer a place for mankind as Dracula had most of the population put to the sword and darkness covered the land. Now it was renamed Sylvania." Hector narrated as Dracula began his shadowy war against the innocent people of Middengard, making shadowy deals with many of the forces of evil, whether they were the Forces of Destruction, Chaos or Death, and causing panic and fear. 

"And for countless centuries, Dracula waged his crusade of vengeance from the shadows. Yet it was never enough. Always his plans had been thwarted by alliances, great heroes and powerful magic. However, he had heard of the power of the Black Cauldron and was eager to find it so that he would finally destroy mankind and avenge the woman he once loved." Hector continued to narrate grimly, before his voice changed. 

"Ah, but I forget. This story isn't just about Dracula or Hela, it's really about our hero, Cavin of Caer Tenzin, Cavin the Barbarian, Cavin Many-Friend, Cavin of Many Titles. Caramba, you would not believe the titles that my good friend Cavin earned during his adventures. He did not start out that way. Oh no. He didn't. Like many great things, his life started out small and it was in danger." Hector narrated eerily as Cavin's story began to unfold. 

Hector: Dark was the night when this tale was begun

On the docks near Notre Dame!
 

As Hector sang, a family of displaced Protestant refugees were fleeing for their lives as they were being carried on a small boat on the docks of Santa Cecilia. What their present situation was would never be known, but what was important was that they were being hunted. The cries of an infant were heard as these refugees had to keep their presence a secret. 

"Keep our child quiet, Isolde. We'll be spotted," pleaded the father, Tristan, hoping that their son would not give them away. 

"Yes, Tristan. Hush my sweet son," soothed the mother, Isolde, as she did her best to calm her crying son. 

Hector: A peasant family crept silently under 

The docks near Notre Dame! 


As the boat made it to the docks, the boatman reached out his hand for payment. "Four pieces of eight for safe passage into Santa Cecilia." 

Yet just as he reached out his hand, an arrow struck him down in the throat, killing him as the peasant family stared at armored guards who aimed their bows and weapons at these innocent beings. 

Hector: But a trap had been laid for this family 

And they gazed up in fear and alarm 

At a figure whose clutches

Were iron as much as

The bells


Then a figure rode by on a black horse. A tall, slender muscular man with fair skin, dark brown eyes, black hair, a thick black mustache and goatee, a huge nose, clad in chainmail armor and a purple vest was he and at his side, he carried a broadsword.

"It's Duke Igthorn!" Tristan cried out in fear, for if this Duke Igthorn was coming, death was coming for them all. 

Hector: The bells of Notre Dame! 

Chorus: Kyrie Eleison! (Lord have mercy!) 

"One of the most powerful men in all of Middengard was Duke Sigmund Igthorn, a Knight of Dunwyn and the magistrate of justice." Hector narrated as he continued to sing and Igthorn glared at the family.

Hector: Sigmund Igthorn was a man 

Of power so supreme!

Chorus: Kyrie Eleison! 

Hector: That he taxed the population 

To the most extreme! 


"Good work, men. Have these insolent Protestant farm-hands interned at Castle Drekmore for entering this city illegally and not paying their taxes." Igthorn ordered before he noticed Isolde's bundle. 

"Wait, you there! What are you hiding?" He demanded of Isolde as she sighed and spoke. 

"Please Duke Igthorn, my husband and I are innocent. We only came to Santa Cecilia to find shelter for my baby." She pleaded, hoping that he could show mercy. 

"Isolde, no. You can't reason with Igthorn. He's ruthless." Tristan begged of his wife as Igthorn raised an eyebrow. 

"A baby?" He asked in surprise, before he frowned and glared again. "A likely story. Guards, seize what she has in her hands. We're taking it as a tax for King Gregor." 

Then lightning flashed as Hector cried out, "And poor Isolde ran for her life!" 

Isolde ran for her life carrying the bundle in her arms as Igthorn urged his horse on after her, hoping to catch her and punish her for defying him. 

Chorus: Dies irae, dies irae

Dies illa, dies illa (That day, that day) 

Solvet saeclum in favilla (Will dissolve the world in ashes) 

Teste David cum Sybilla (David being witness along with the Sybil) 

Quantus tremor est futurus (How great will be the quaking) 

Quando Judex est venturus (When the Judge is come!) 

Isolde ran as fast as her legs could carry her until at last she came towards the doors of Notre Dame, hoping that she and her child could be safe. For the arm of the law could not touch anyone who claimed sanctuary in the Church, whether Catholic or Protestant or even none of the above. She ran to the door and pounded for help. "Sanctuary! Please give us sanctuary!" Isolde cried out. 

But just as she was hoping it was over, Igthorn appeared with his sword drawn ready to kill her and he grabbed the bundle. Isolde fought hard to protect her baby, but in the end Igthorn raised his sword and with one fell swing, decapitated her head as blood spurted from her neck and her head toppled onto the steps of Notre Dame. 

Chorus: Quantus tremor est futurus

Quando Judex est venturus

Dies irae 


Then Igthorn sheathed his blade as he heard the cries of the infant. "A baby? She was telling the truth."  Then he opened the bundle and gasped in fear, "It can't be! A Pendragon!" 

Igthorn was shocked beyond all belief. This child was an heir to the long-thought-dead line of King Arthur Pendragon, ruler of the Celtic Kingdom of Camelot and founder of the Old Code of Chivalry. He had to kill this child before he grew up to become a hero, even a future King. 

Chorus: Solvet saeclum in favilla 

Dies irae, dies illa 


Then he saw a nearby well and planned to drop the bundle into the well, hoping to drown the defenseless baby. It would soon be all over when a flash of lightning crashed and a voice was heard crying out, "STOP!" 

"Cried Master Tenzin!" Hector's voice narrated as a figure appeared. He was a man in his late thirties with grayish-blue eyes, a blue arrow tattoo or birthmark on his head, a short black beard, thick bushy eyebrows and clad in the traditional orange, red and yellow robes of the Air Nomads. His name was Tenzin, one of the last few Air Nomads in existence. 

He had overheard Isolde's cries for help and was shocked beyond all speaking upon the carnage that Igthorn had committed on holy ground as the Duke glared at him. "How dare you interfere, Tenzin?! This is an unholy spirit. I am sending it back to Hell, where it belongs!" 

Tenzin however would not have any of it as he held the headless body of Isolde in pity and he sang. 

Tenzin: See here the innocent blood you have spilt 

On the steps of Notre Dame! 


"Who are you to guilt trip me? She ran from the law, I pursued her and delivered justice." Igthorn said with a sense of twisted pride. 

Tenzin: Now you would add this child's blood to your guilt

On the steps of Notre Dame! 

"I am a Knight of Dunwyn, my position is protected by the law, my conscience is clear and this...Protestant child does not deserve life!" Igthorn cried out as Tenzin glared at him. 

Tenzin: You can lie to yourself and your minions

You can claim that you haven't a qualm

But you never can run from

Nor hide what you've done from

The eyes! 

Tenzin then pointed towards the statues upon the Church glaring down upon Igthorn as though they were judging him from above. 

Tenzin: The very eyes of Notre Dame! 

Chorus: Kyrie Eleison! 

Igthorn gazed upon the statues in fear as they looked upon him. 

Hector: And the saints looked down on Igthorn from their stone facade

Chorus: Kyrie Eleison! 

Hector: And he knew that he betrayed the sacred laws of God! 

Igthorn gazed upon the statue of a woman holding her child as lightning flashed and they appeared to glare at him. "You're right, Tenzin...but...what can I do? My position is all that I have left." 

"Give the child to me...and I will raise him as my own." Tenzin offered as he prepared to give Isolde's body a proper burial. 

"What? You want me to give this insignificant brat to--." Igthorn asked in shock, before he grinned to himself. 

"Hmm. Very well then. Take him for all I care. It's better that you raise him after all." Igthorn said as he handed the bundle to Tenzin and rode off. Tenzin then held the child in his arms and smiled. 

"There, there, little one. It will be fine. I promise you." Tenzin said to the cooing child. "I may not have saved your mother or your family, but I will save you and look after you. And who knows? They say the Lord works in mysterious ways." 

As Igthorn rode off in anger and disgust as he sang to himself. 

Igthorn: I could care less if this boy is allowed to roam free

Yet I know that this runt may yet one day prove to be 

Of use to me! 


But no sooner had he sung when armored Knights surrounded him and a great figure on a grey horse appeared with fair skin, a thick beard, dark blue eyes, clad in a red gold trimmed shirt, violet pantaloons and a dark purple cloak trimmed with animal fur appeared. This was King Gregor, Igthorn's liege lord who had overheard what this Knight had done and would see to it personally that Igthorn was punished. 

"Despite calls for his death, the disgraced Duke was only banished and his possessions seized as compensation for all his evil deeds." Hector narrated as later Igthorn was ordered to leave Dunwyn forever with only his horse. As they un-cuffed him, Igthorn brushed his guards aside and glared at Gregor whose archers were ready to shoot at any moment. 

"I'm not finished with you yet, Gregor. Mark my words. I have friends in high and low places. Powerful friends! And someday, I'll get my revenge on you. Oh, and when I do, everything you own...everything you love...will be mine!" Igthorn swore with bitter vengeance and spite in his voice before Gregor glared at him and silently used his hand to order him to leave. 

Then Igthorn mounted his horse and rode off in anger. "Many feared King Gregor was too kind. Yet he believed in showing mercy, even to his enemies. As for Tenzin, once he took the child home to his wife Pema, they had given the baby a name. A rare Celtic name which means 'handsome' or even 'beautiful at birth'; Cavin." Hector narrated once more as he sang once more, bringing the story to its proper beginning. 

Hector: Now here is a riddle to guess if you can

Sing the bells of Notre Dame

What makes a monster and what makes a man? 

Sing the bells, bells

Bells, bells

Bells, bells

Bells, bells

Bells of Notre Dame! 

And thus did Hector's story of Cavin and the Black Cauldron truly begin. 
Cavin and the Black Cauldron Chapter 1
Whew. Man. What a chapter, don't you agree? Not only did we get a chance to learn Dracula's tragic origins and how he became the monster obsessed with finding the Black Cauldron, but we also got to learn how Cavin became orphaned as a baby and left in Tenzin's care. 

In the next chapter, we'll learn what Cavin's life is like at Tenzin's land and also meet his animal friends, albeit his only friends so far. I promise you two things, two of those friends will be from Zootopia, the other from Dreamworks' Madagascar with some influence from The Wizard of Oz. And also after coming home from a hunt, Cavin dreams of being a somebody and what it would be like to live out in Middengard. 

Anyway the beginning og this chapter has references to Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow, including the sword and horse of the Hessian Horseman. I actually did make the name Todtenkuss up as an algamation of the German words for 'Death' and 'Kiss', the 1992 film Bram Stoker's Dracula, the Warhammer universe, the video game Dragon Age: Origins, and Castlevania. 

Ah yes, and there's a reference to Dante's Divine Comedy, Inferno.

The song Dracula sings, 'I Am Condemned', is an actual song. Here's the link in case you're curious; www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEArNg…

Yes, as a nod to Arthurian folklore, I gave Cavin's birth parents the names Tristan and Isolde. 

I had to include Duke Igthorn. How else can anybody explain Cavin being an orphan? Though his exile is reminscent of Rothbart's banishment from The Swan Princess. 

(Coincidentally, Richard Rich was at the head of both The Black Cauldron and Swan Princess.)

And those of us who were and are fans of the Avatar universe will know who Master Tenzin is. 

And yes, being a fan of Disney's films from the 90s, I added the next part of Bells of Notre Dame into this chapter though I also blended elements from both the German musical version and the recent Broadway adaptation. 

Until then, please read, review and suggest. I have a really good feeling about this story. 
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As the title says, tomorrow Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle finally comes to Netflix. I am totally excited for this. I've been waiting four years for this film to come out, either in theaters or Netflix. I think the latter is the best thing so that we all can enjoy this version of Mowgli's adventures based solely on the books, NOT on the Disney version. And it's the directorial debut for Andy Serkis, yes...Gollum. Although the animals don't look entirely photorealistic like they do in Jon Favreau's version, with motion capture at least the actors are there. 

I am so giddy for tomorrow. We shall see if this is an improvement or if it's more faithful to the book than any other Jungle Book film has been before. 
Well, I gotta say that Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald...while a good movie, had plenty of flaws. 

Among them were Leta's character and rushed storyline, Nagini and Credence's relationship, Queenie's...well-intended, but misguided, desire to marry Jacob in spite of the fucked-up laws in the American Magical World, pardon my language, and I felt like the storyline could have taken a better turn had this been saved for one of the final films of the series. 

I did enjoy JD's (Johnny Depp) portrayal of Grindelwald...definitely an enigma and a bit more believable than Ralph Fiennes' portrayal of Voldemort.  

Yeah, I know that as an American I'm supposed to poke fun at and laugh at our enemies, both real and imaginary, but I do take Grindelwald seriously. He did give a glimpse of the dark future that would become WWII and he did have a point. 

Though was it Ms. Rowling's intention to give Gellert Grindelwald a bloody right blue eye and a normal brown left eye? I don't know. 

But I am looking forward to the next Fantastic Beasts. 

Please don't hold it against me, but as an American citizen, I view the laws of the American Magical World as an insult to the freedom and equality that my country is supposed to represent, not this backwards thinking...ugh. 

But can you really blame the Salem Witch Trials for damaging any chance of magical and No-Maj relationships? 

I've rambled enough, haven't I? 
I got Total War Warhammer II downloaded on my Mac from Steam and damn is it that awesome. I am totally in love with the High Elves faction. Not just because of how badass they look as warriors, but also with the Dragons they command. 

This game will also serve as an inspiration for You-Know-What, along with Narnia, LOTR and so many other things. 

I'm just a sucker for high fantasy, heroic fantasy and sword-and-sorcery elements.

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RyantheLionKing
Ryan
United States

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:icondragonfire92379:
Dragonfire92379 Featured By Owner 2 days ago
Ok Ry, while we're busy with that Rp you showed me, it's time for Kairi and her group to locate Volteer at Dante's Freezer.

Kairi cheered wildly as she rode on Spyro's back while they, Taiku, Bloom, Aria, Astrid, Stormfly, Merida and Sparx soared in the skies above the clouds.

She gazed down at the sights as they went above the clouds and the winds slowly whooshed through both the purple dragon and princess of heart. Kairi laughed amazed by the view almost forgetting she was holding on.

"I can tell this is your first time up here huh?" Aria asked as Taiku held onto her lower body tightly while flapping his huge wings causing the wind made by them to be blown through her long blonde hair and tail.

"Are you kidding, babe?! Spyro's flying!" Sparx shouted at Aria while flying next to Spyro and Kairi. "Welcome to the club, big guy."
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:iconryanthelionking:
RyantheLionKing Featured By Owner 2 days ago
"Would that be the annoying little fly club?" Spyro asked. 
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:icondragonfire92379:
Dragonfire92379 Featured By Owner 2 days ago
"No, smart alec." Sparx retorted to Spyro in annoyance. "The flying club."

"Yeah, I could get used to this." Spyro chuckled a bit and dived down under the clouds.
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:iconryanthelionking:
RyantheLionKing Featured By Owner 2 days ago
"Don't get cocky though. Flying isn't always so simple." 
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:iconsonicfighter:
sonicfighter Featured By Owner 3 days ago
Hey Ryan, what are your thoughts on Kingdom Hearts 3?
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:iconclub-dreamiverse:
Club-Dreamiverse Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Hey there! Name's Nickolas (autistic 20-year old big-hearted dreamer who's doing fine)! How's today and yourself? What's your name? Do you role-play in notes or comments? What are your favorite cartoons, movies, books, comics, shows, video games and anime/manga?
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:icondragonfire92379:
Dragonfire92379 Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2019
Shall we resume where we left off in The Chronicles of Kingdom Hearts: Kairi's New Beginning Chapter 4. An Unexpected Meeting and Training?
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:iconryanthelionking:
RyantheLionKing Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2019
Right. 
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:icondragonfire92379:
Dragonfire92379 Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2019
Yep so this is the last edit of the evening until tomorrow.

Ignitus: Indeed. And in those dark runes, it is said 'One Ring to Rule Them All...One Ring to Find Them...One Ring to Bring Them All...And in the Darkness Bind Them.'
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:iconryanthelionking:
RyantheLionKing Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2019
Yep. 
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