Lily Lightfoot and Ironclaw ~ my fairy heroine and her trusty steed, not to mention the Northern Portal Keeper of DuraDor~
Formorians ~ the evil minions of Lord Kane, bound to find Lily and stop her from saving the True World~
Peter Everheart ~ Lily's elf guardian and fast friend
Come on over and visit my boards ~ there's so much lovely art over there for inspiration. And since today is #SampleSunday on twitter, here's a treat for you from Book III ~ enjoy~
GALAMAR AND THE HARPY, ASHTAROTH
Galamar knew the story of Ashtaroth. All elven children did. Their mothers told them the fairy tale without fail so that they would learn the dangers of vanity and greed. No one wanted to end up like Ashtaroth. She had been a beautiful elf maiden once, but her heart was tainted. She loved no one so well as herself. She had many suitors, but none could satisfy her need for more wealth. She discarded them, knowing there would always be another to replace him.
One day, Ashtaroth was riding in the forest and came upon a raven at a pool where she stopped to let her horse drink. Strangely, the raven spoke to her in a silky voice.
“Oh My Lady, thou art so lovely.”
“’Tis a pity thou wilt wither and age one day.”
Ashtaroth scowled at the thought.
“I know a way to preserve youth’s beauty forever.” The raven hopped to a higher branch.
“Oh? What is that?”
“You must give me something first, before I’ll tell you,” said the raven.
Ashtaroth had no intension of giving a silly talking bird anything, but she was intrigued.
“What do you require?”
“You must give me your heart – that which you have never given anyone.”
Ashtaroth laughed out loud.
“How could I love you? You’re nothing, but a lowly, common beggar.”
“Have I begged you for anything, My Lady?” The bird’s voice was demanding. “I have only offered you eternal beauty. What say you?”
Ashtaroth knew she had no need of her heart, shriveled as it was, but she still didn’t see how she could ever pretend to love the raven.
“If you give me what I desire, you will forever have my heart,” she told him.
The raven flapped his wings and screeched at the top of his wee lungs. Ashtaroth felt a lightness in her being she hadn’t felt in years and she knew instantly the bird had kept his word. Her reflection in the pool was beyond compare.
“I will take your heart now,” said the raven. Horrified, Ashtaroth dug her heels into her horse and fled, but it could not outrun the raven. It flew after them with the speed of a falcon and easily overtook them, cursing her.
“A broken promise is never forgotten. May you forever look like the contents of your heart, Ashtaroth!”
Instantly, her body sprouted coal-black feathers, her arms became wings, and her face became twisted and hideous. She became a harpy with a sharp beak where her lovely face had once been. People ran from the sight of her. So fierce and mean was her countenance that she was eventually captured by the elves and chained to the ancient tree, Terah Tahan, to prevent anyone from entering the Portal.