coup. After saving the murdered king’s son, the foursome takes
shelter with a traveling theater troupe, hoping to stay in hiding
until the Prince is able to reclaim his throne.
magic that threatens to run rampant. Venture into the Hanging Ferns
Forest, travel with the Thespian Connection, and help unravel the
mysteries that lie within the realm of Andar!
children. She and her husband live in the heart of the Midwest, USA,
in a place Ashlie likes to call, “The Land of Corn and Beans”.
She has lived there all her life but may plan to move North in the
near future. A unique childhood and a passion for the written word
have served as motivation and inspiration throughout the years.
Always the writer, Ashlie can often be found asking inappropriate
questions, staring at seemingly nothing for hours on end, and
generally being completely socially awkward. Her biggest wish is for
people to look past their differences and start treating each other
as the one, single race we are- HUMAN.
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Raising their hands, they shouted in unison, “Scuto socio!” A great, golden flash erupted from their palms, drawing everyone’s attention from the drama unfolding between Justine, Prince Gregdan, and the Duke/King. The crowd dispersed upon seeing the witches in action. Most feared the unknown forces behind their magic and others could simply sense the impending doom.
The shimmering shield spread it’s translucent tendrils until it was completely encircling all three women. The Prince, however, seemed to be just out of the spell’s reach. Muttering another incantation, Malinda nodded her head and the remaining guards dropped to the ground, completely paralyzed. Justine, now free of the guards, made a break for the Prince.
“Stop!” shouted the Duke, red-faced and veins bulging. He stepped closer to Prince Gregdan so that he was within arms’ reach, and pointed to Justine. “You foolish girl! Do you not know a losing battle when you’re in the middle of one?”
“The only loser here is you, King Ebrius,” retorted Justine, filling the title with as much disgust and contempt as she could muster.
“You would be wise to address me more respectfully, child,” warned Ebrius. “I may take pity on you yet. I do tend to prefer a feisty redhead,” he winked and Justine could feel her stomach churning in response. “Just think,” he said, “like it or not, I am King. You could be my Queen.”
Being an An-Kishar limited Justine’s knowledge of harmful spells, but she’d always been good at improvising. She recalled the incantations she’d been helping Alice transcribe before their world had been shattered into a million pieces.
Remembering a partial spell, and with more confidence than she felt, Justine summoned every ounce of her love and anger and bellowed, “Konfleur aphida!”
Nothing happened and, for a moment, Justine thought she’d done the spell incorrectly and she feared the consequences if she had. Just as she began to lose heart, they heard a great roar. Ebrius, fearing an attack from a large and fearsome creature, drew his sword, ready to fight. His foe, however, was not a great beast, but a massive swarm of insects. Every sort of insect found in the kingdom was present it seemed from the minuscule, crawling Opaci to the intimidating Vespuns, their black wings, shining in the evening sun. And their sole intent was to lay siege to the false King.