viernes, 29 de noviembre de 2013


I first heard "Games Without Frontiers", a wonderful anti-war song, as a twelve-year old child.
Only upon listening to it yesterday evening did I realize the meaning of the lyrics!
So I decided to give the lyrics a Thirty Years' War spin, et voilà!

Now comes the (SPOILERS)  answer to the "historical character Easter egg hunt" within my parody lyrics
(read my previous post first!). If you have missed one of the characters, highlight the empty space below to reveal the answer key (I've written it in white letters, so one needs to highlight the text to decode it!)

  • Ferdi: Kaiser Ferdinand II (whom else?)
  • Maxi: The Elector of Bavaria, Maximilian I von Wittelsbach. Classmate to the Kaiser, de iure leader of the Catholic League, and employer of Tilly.
  • Jean: Jean 't Serclaes, Count of Tilly, Generalissimo and de facto leader of the Catholic League (whom else?).
  • Friedel: The dethroned Gegenkaiser (Anti-Kaiser, Counter-Kaiser) Frederick V of the Pfalz. Lost to Tilly.
  • Lizzie: Elizabeth Stuart, Frederick's consort (daughter to King James, and sister to Charles I), active for the Protestant cause.
  • Chris: can refer either to Christian of Brunswick, one of the Protestant leaders defeated by Tilly, or to Christian IV of Denmark, who shared the Brunswicker's fate.
  • Ernstchen: Ernst of Mansfeld, another of the Protestant leaders defeated by Tilly.
  • Albrecht: Albrecht von Wallenstein, leader of his own army "at the Kaiser's service" and Duke of Friedland (whom else?)
  • Willi: William of Hohenzollern, Elector of Brandenburg-Prussia, stepbrother-in-law and reluctant ally to Gustavus Adolphus.
  • Georgie: "Georgy Porgy" von Wettin, Elector of Saxony and reluctant ally to Gustavus Adolphus.
  • Gustav: Gustavus Adolphus Vasa, King of Sweden and de facto leader of the Protestant cause (whom else?)

It's a knockout...
If looks could kill, they probably will
in games without frontiers!
War without tears!
Games without frontiers!
War without tears!


Another song parody, this one 30YW-based!

By Sandra Dermark
Dedicated to all historical figures who are named in the song!!
See how many you can recognize! (There is a historical Easter egg hunt in this parody!)

(Jeux sans frontières...
Jeux sans frontières...
Jeux sans frontières...
Jeux sans frontières...)

Ferdi plays with Maxi,
Maxi plays with Jean.
Friedel plays with Lizzie,
but they haven't won.

Chris plays with Ernstchen,
Albrecht plays with Jean,
Willi and Georgie reunite,
and Gustav joins the fun...

(Eerie whistling)
Whistling tunes, we hide in the dunes and the hillocks!
(Eerie whistling)
Whistling tunes, we're kissing our guns and our scabbards!

It's a knockout...
If looks could kill, they probably will
in games without frontiers!
War without tears!
Games without frontiers!
War without tears!

If looks could kill, they probably will
in games without frontiers!
War without tears!
Games without frontiers!
War without tears!

(Jeux sans frontières...
Jeux sans frontières...
Jeux sans frontières...
Jeux sans frontières...)

Gustav has a blue flag, 
Albrecht's is half black.
They all have hills to fly them on, 
but some will not come back.

Dressing up in breastplates,
playing senseless games.
Hiding out in thickets,
shouting out their names.

(Eerie whistling)
Whistling tunes, we hide in the dunes and the hillocks!
(Eerie whistling)
Whistling tunes, we pull out our guns and our scabbards!

It's a knockout...
If looks could kill, they probably will
in games without frontiers!
War without tears!
Games without frontiers!
War without tears!

If looks could kill, they probably will
in games without frontiers!
War without tears!
Games without frontiers!
War without tears!

(Jeux sans frontières...
Jeux sans frontières...
Jeux sans frontières...
Jeux sans frontières...)

(Jeux sans frontières...
Jeux sans frontières...
Jeux sans frontières...
Jeux sans frontières...)

(Jeux sans frontières...
Jeux sans frontières...
Jeux sans frontières...
Jeux sans frontières...)


This afternoon, I will host a tea party for four at my mother's place!
Remember those Susaeta Concha Matamoros books (about chickadees, telling the time...)?
I found them at my mother's place, in my childhood bedroom, in the bookcase I once used as a child!
 So I hadn't thrown them away!
The only one I miss is the one with the kitten, of which I only have a scrap I use as a bookmark and the French cover as a digital image...
I just put the books away in my childhood home, where my insecure teenage self thought they fit in best... but soon they'll be in my current bookcase, where Othello and Alice Liddell have tea with the Clever Princess and her consort (from the Fourth Story of "The Snow Queen"), Wallenstein, the young lieutenant from the Spanish story "The Cowardly Horse" by Felipe Benítez Reyes, the twelve Dancing Princesses, and Kanga, among many others.
Tere and Carlos with all their chickadees, Bambi and Thumper, and a couple of rambunctious puppies will soon be invited to such cozy and lovely celebrations!

jueves, 28 de noviembre de 2013



Iago: One day, Moor!
Two days have passed of those you promised me...
I have 'till dusk to do as told to me!
That young lieutenant, way too fair,
bereft of life, will not be there!
One day, Moor!

Cassio + Bianca: I didn't know until today...
you were for me the one and only...
Tomorrow, we'll forget that cloth...
I don't want you to feel that lonely...

Desdemona: One day, maid, all on my own...
Emilia: She will not wake up again...
Desdemona: One day, maid, with him not caring...
Emilia: He's turned mad with love for you...
Desdemona: What a life we might have known...
Emilia: Yet I know you're really true...
Desdemona: But he'll never love again...

Iago: Just one day before the dusk...
Roderigo: Do I trust this noncom bloke?
Iago: Want to slay that young lieutenant?
Roderigo: Shall I find my sweetheart, then?
Iago: When he comes to Bianca's inn...
Roderigo: Do I stab him in the back?
Iago: Will you take your place with me?
Iago + Roderigo: The time; at dusk! We'll slay him here!

Othello: One more day to retribution,
we will nip hope's brittle bud!
She'll be stifled in her bed sheets,
he will drown in his own blood!

Cassio: I'll come to the inn...
Bianca: When the sun has set...
Cassio + Bianca: Never mind our argument and no regret!
Cassio: Here's a little beau...
Bianca: There's a little belle...
Cassio + Bianca: Neither one prepared for what they soon will tell!

Outpost Dwellers: One day to our liege's breakdown...
This last week was full of strife!
The alarm bell will soon ring!
The alarm bell will soon ring!
There's a madman in our guardhouse!
There is one who'll kill his wife!
Do you hear the outposts sing?

(Everyone sings their own part of the song, at unison)

Iago: Tomorrow I'll be far away,
tomorrow I'll have made my day!

Everyone: Tomorrow some will right here stay,
while others will sleep for eternity, for sure!
One Moor's dusk...
One Moor's night...
One day, Moor!


A blue monster, Jean Bon Bon, steals a cookie...which kickstarts the umpteenth Misérables parody... one with Sesame Street Monsters!


One spoof more,
another Misérables parody,
another retelling in funny key,
This book, this show, this product line
retold just for the umpteenth time!
One spoof more...


Starring Gustavus Adolphus, Mary Eleanor, Christina, and the officer who killed Gustavus.
It's, however, in Swedish!


A beautiful yet excedeeingly gory (or vice versa) anti-war poem, by wonderful Victorian London poetess and feminist (one of my favourites) Eliza Cook:

" Whom do we crown with the laurel leaf? 
The hero-god, the soldier chief; 
But we dream of the crushing cannon-wheel, 
Of the flying shot and the reeking steel. 
Of the crimson plain where warm blood smokes. 
Where clangour deafens and sulphur chokes ; 
Oh, who can love the laurel wreath, 
Pluck'd from the gory field of death ? 
Whom do we crown with summer flowers ? 
The young and fair in their happiest hours. 
But the buds will only live in the light 
Of festive day or a glittering night ; 
We know the vermil tints will fade 
That pleasure dies with the bloomy braid : 
And who can prize the coronal 
That's formed to dazzle, wither, and fall ?"
Sheer baroque vanitas. 
Sheer critique, in the right words, of warfare and superficiality.


One of the soldiers in your personal guard, the one who doubles as a cupbearer (he's just a-do-ra-ble!), has aroused your fiancé's suspicions. Looks like he won't drink from your chalice... Your days are numbered, Your Ladyship!

miércoles, 27 de noviembre de 2013


From a retelling of "The Singing, Springing Lark". Perrin is the hero and Lark is the true heroine. Perrin has just won the battle against the false heroine (Spoiler on my EAH canon in the end!):

His face was quite easy to look at. He had tawny hair and eyes, and rough, strong, graceful
features that were young in expression and happier than their experience.
His name was Perrin. He was gentle and courteous to his servants, had an ear for his musicians' playing, and had lean, strong hands that moved easily among the jeweled goblets and gold-rimmed plates.

The dragon had fallen on its back, with the lion sprawled on top of it.
A woman lay on her back, with Perrin on top of her. His eyes were closed, his face bloody; he drew deep, ragged breaths, one hand clutching the woman's shoulder, his open mouth against her neck. The woman's weary face, upturned to the sky above Perrin's shoulder, was also bloodstained; her free hand lifted weakly, fell again across Perrin's back. 
Her hair was as gold as the sun's little box; her face as pale and perfect as the moon's
 face. The woman drew a deep breath. Her eyes flickered open; they were as blue as the sky.
She turned her head, looked at Perrin. She lifted her hand from his back, touched her eyes delicately, her brows rising in silent question.
Then she looked again at the blood on his face.
The dragon princess: I am--we are most grateful to you. My father is king of this desert, and he will reward you richly if you come to his court." She took a tattered piece of her hem, wiped a corner of Perrin's lips, then, in after-thought, her own.
"My name is Lark. This man is-"
"Yes," the princess said, musing. Her eyes were very wide, very blue; she was not listening to Lark. "He is, isn't he? Do you know, I think there was a kind of prophecy when I was born that I would marry a lion.
I'm sure there was. Of course they kept it secret all these years, for fear I might actually meet a lion, but... here it is. He. A lion among men.
Do you think I should explain to my father what he was, or do you think I should just... not exactly lie, but omit that part of his past? What do you think?
"So I should tell my father. Will you help me raise him? There is a griffin just beyond those rocks. Very nice; in fact we became friends before I had to fight the lion. I had no one else to talk to except
bullfrogs. And you know what frogs are like. Very little small talk, and that they repeat incessantly."
"Then how wonderful that you have found him. The griffin will fly us to my father's palace. It's the only one for miles, in the desert. You'll find it easily." She laid her hand on Lark's. "Please come. I'd take you with us, but it would tire the griffin-"
She stiffened, began pushing at him and talking at the same time. "I remember. I remember now. You were that monstrous lion that kept nipping at my wings." Her voice was low and sweet, amused as she tugged at Perrin. "You must get up. What if someone should see us? Oh, dear. You
must be hurt." She shifted out from under him, made a hasty adjustment to her bodice, and caught sight of Lark. "Oh, my dear," she cried, "it's not what you think."
"I know," Lark whispered, still amazed at the woman's beauty, and at the sight of Perrin, whom she had not seen in seven years, and never in the
light, lying golden-haired and slack against another woman's body. The woman bent over Perrin, turned him on his back.
"Perrin!" Lark cried desperately, and the princess, clinging to the griffin's neck, looked down at her, startled, uncertain.

What would he think when he woke and saw her golden hair, heard her sweet, amused
voice telling him that she had been the dragon he had fought, and that
at the battle's end, she had awakened in his arms?
And so. And therefore. And of course what all this must mean was, beyond
doubt, their destiny: the marriage of the dragon and the lion. And if
they were very lucky--wouldn't it be splendid--the enchantress might come

to see them married.

Finally, climbing a rocky hill, she saw an enormous and beautiful palace, whose immense gates of bronze and gold lay open to welcome the richly dressed people riding horses
 and dromedaries and elegant palanquins into it.
She hurried to join them before the sun set and the gates were closed.  She looked like a beggar, she knew but the people spoke to her kindly, and even tossed her a coin or two.
"We have come for the wedding of our princess and the Lion of the Desert, whom it is her destiny to wed."
"Who foretold such a destiny?" Lark asked, her voice trembling.
"Someone," they assured her. "The king's astrologer. A great sorceress disguised as a beggar, not unlike yourself. A bullfrog, who spoke with a human tongue at her birth. Her mother was frightened by a lion just before childbirth, and dreamed it. No one exactly remembers who, but someone did. Destiny or no, they will marry in three days, and never was there a more splendid couple than the princess and her lion."
As she walked down the streets, people stared at her, marveling. They made way for her. A man offered her his palanquin, a woman her sunshade. She shook her head at both, laughing again. "I will not be shut up in a box, nor will I shut out the sun." So she walked, and all the wedding
guests slowed to accompany her to the inner courtyard.
Word of her had passed into the palace long before she did. The princess, dressed in fine flowing silks the color of her eyes, came out to meet the stranger who rivaled the sun. She saw the dress before she
saw Lark's face.
"Oh, my dear," she breathed, hurrying down the steps. "Say this is a wedding gift for me. You cannot possibly wear this to my wedding... No one will look at me! Say you brought it for me. Or tell me what I can give you in return for it." She stepped back, half-laughing, still staring at the sun's creation. "Where are my manners? She looked finally into Lark's eyes. She clapped her hands, laughing again, with a touch of relief in her voice. "You have come!  Perrin will be so pleased to meet you. He is sleeping now; he is still weak from his wounds."
 She took Lark's hand in hers and led her up the steps. "Now tell me how I can persuade you to let me have that dress. Look how everyone stares at you. It will make me the most beautiful woman in the world on my wedding day."
Lark, who had been thinking while the princess chattered, answered, "I will give you the dress for a price."
"Anything! "
Lark stopped short. "No--you must not say that!" she cried fiercely. "Ever! You could pay far more than you ever imagined for something as trivial as this dress!"
"All right," the princess said gently, patting her hand. "I will not give you just anything. Though I'd hardly call this dress trivial. But tell me what you want."
"I want a night alone with your bridegroom."
The princess's brows rose. She glanced around hastily to see if anyone were listening, then she took Lark's other hand. "We must observe a few proprieties," she said softly, smiling. "Not even I have had a whole night in my lion's bed--he had been too ill. I would not grant this to any woman. But I know you mean no harm. I assume you wish to tend him during the night with magic arts so that he can heal faster."
"If I can do that, I will. But--"
"Then you may. But I must have the dress first."
Lark was silent. So was the princess, who held her eyes until Lark bowed her head.
The princess said lightly, "You were gracious to refuse my first impulse to give you anything. I trust you, but in that dress you are very beautiful, and you know how men are.
Anyway, there is no need at all for you to appear to him like this. And how can I surprise him on our wedding day with this dress if he sees you in it first?
Lark yielded knowing she wanted to see Perrin with all her heart, and the princess only wanted what dazzled her eyes. "You are right," she said.
"You may tell people that I will stay with Perrin to heal him if I can. And that I brought the dress for you."
The princess kissed her cheek. "Thank you. I will find you something else to wear, and show you his room. I'm not insensitive--I fell in love with him myself the moment I looked at him. So I can hardly blame you for--and of course he is in love with me. But we hardly know each other, and I don't want to confuse him with possibilities at this delicate time. You understand."
She took Lark to her own sumptuous rooms and had her maid dress Lark in something she called "refreshingly simple" but which Lark called "drab," and knew it belonged not even to the maid, but to someone much farther down the social strata, who stayed in shadows and was not allowed to wear lace.
"Till sunrise," she said; the tone of her voice added, And not a moment after.
Perrin: "I was glad when the dragon attacked me, because I thought it might kill me. Then I
woke up in my own body, in a strange bed, with a princess beside me explaining that we were destined to be married."
"Did you tell her you were married?"
He sighed. "I thought it was just another way of being enchanted. A lion, a dove, marriage to a beautiful princess I don't love... what difference did anything make?"
Lark: "She took you away from me before I could tell her-I tried-"
And thus the princess found them, as she opened the door, speaking softly, "My dear, I forgot, if he wakes you must give him this potion--I mean, this tea of mild herbs to ease his pain a little-"She kicked the door shut and saw their surprised faces. "Well," she said frostily. "Really."
"This is my wife," Perrin said.
"Well, really." She flung the sleeping potion out the window, and folded her arms. "You might have told me."
"I never thought I would see her again."
"How extraordinarily careless of you both." She tapped her foot furiously for a moment, and then said, slowly, her face clearing a little, "That's why you were there to rescue us! Now I understand. And I snatched him away from you without even thinking--and after you had searched for him so long, I made you search--oh, my dear." She clasped her hands tightly. "What I said. About not spending a full night here.
You must not think-"

This dragon princess may have been the inspiration for Elle Skinner's equally blond, blue-eyed, and outrée Lady Valdis (Lark is raven-haired like Svetla, but Perrin is blond unlike Marcus). Let's see if she (Valdis) gets just jilted, like this dragon princess, or defenestrated!

The palace where Katla lives is also on a rock, overlooking Lake Vänern. The court is equally sumptuous, yet slightly austere fitting a warrior nation. The warrior king/former commander of the guards is actually her stepfather (she is a lovechild, conceived by her mother's human beau).
Speaking of being golden blond and blue-eyed, Katla transforms after healing/resurrecting the one she actually loved, Gustav Leutnant. She loses her dragon wings and special powers, the scales on her cheeks become freckles, her talons are reduced to normal nails, her flaming hair turns a lighter shade (golden blond), and her green eyes turn bluish-green. This whole "mugglification" also tears at her state of health. She had been warned not to take such a chance: the resurrection/extreme healing spell (a bullet lodged in a young lieutenant's heart was the wound to be healed!) would at worst cost her her life, but having lost Charles was a lesson harsh enough not to be that shallow and to tell true love from mere infatuation. The one who wished for anything beautiful or exciting her sight was set on sacrifices her powers for the life of the one she truly loved...

Charles Liddell physically resembles his namesake in the Pattou novel:
His hair was golden, glowing bright as a bonfire in the light of the candle. And his features were fair.
In Edith Pattou's novel, the drug used on the dashing and golden-haired Charles by his troll fiancée is a powder called rauha. Which happens, coincidentally, to be the Finnish word for "peace" (cognate with German "Ruhe". Many troll words in the novel are actually Finnish.)! It's used, in the first place, as a painkiller, with the side effects of erasing the drinker's memories and creating a strong addiction, and withdrawal from rauha is lethal to addicts (could rauha actually be opium/laudanum? Or some mushroom substance, perhaps? I think it's most likely to be deadly nightshade, or some other alkaloid!)...

Ice Queen

    It was a man.
      His hair was golden, glowing bright as a bonfire in the light of the candle. And his features were fair. The stranger was wearing the white nightshirt. It fit him well, not too wide nor too narrow across the shoulders; the sleeves falling to his wrists, neither too long nor too short.  
He lay on his side. His hand curled gently on the white sheet in front of him. There was a silver ring on his smallest finger. I could see sparse golden hairs on the back of his hand, and the curved fingers seemed vulnerable.

I made sure that Urda and Tuki wrapped him well in furs and gave him frequent draughts of slank. The cold will be an adjustment for him, but soon enough he will grow used to it.
His lovely face is pale and pinched with unhappiness, but it does not disturb me, for in time that will fade. There is rauha in the slank and this will help ease his pain, and blur his memories as well.

And my queen is most generous when the nightmares come. If I cry out, which I often do, she will come to me at once and bring me a cup of warm slank. She sits with me until my shaking abates.

 I do not think there is anything now that would stir Myk's memory—the rauha slank is too powerful for that to happen—but such a slip-up may trigger a nightmare. (I still do not know why the slank does not eliminate those occasional nightmares. It is irksome.)

      I saw Tuki for just a moment that afternoon, and he whispered to me, when no one was near, that he had given Myk the unpowdered slank again the night before. It had been seven days since the white bear's last dose of slank laced with rauha. Tuki saw a difference in him.

Tuki learned that Myk had a large cup of slank each night before bedtime. For a week Tuki had managed to substitute plain slank for the kind with the powder. I have some idea he switched his own slank, unpowdered, for Myk's, which he poured away. 

   I have been feeling somewhat odd of late. Not ill or unhappy. Just a little different, like my sight is clearer, or my thoughts. Or perhaps it is that I feel more awake; I certainly rise in the morning feeling more alert. I can't quite figure it out, but I am glad of it.
       I have even had brief memories of the time before I came to the ice palace. Even before I became a white bear. They are fleeting but pleasant.
      Just today I recalled being a child and playing on a field of the greenest grass, with many bright yellow flowers poking through the green. There were other children and we were all laughing together at something. It was very enjoyable, the memory.
      I have not told my queen because she does not care for mention of the past. And I do not wish to upset her, especially when she is so busy preparing for our future happiness.

Myk seems sleepy eyed, somewhat subdued. I suppose it is the effect of the double portion of powdered slank I gave him last night. But when he looks at me, he smiles...
  Last night Myk had one of his nightmares, the first in some time. I attribute it to wedding-night jitters and am not unduly concerned. He was very agitated, though, and I had to give him double the portion of the powdered slank. It was very peaceful, holding him in my arms as he settled down to sleep, his golden head resting on my shoulder.

    MY QUEEN IS RADIANT. I can hardly believe it is me she wishes to wed. Tomorrow. How can I be worthy of such an honor?
      Tuki is acting odd. All the time he gazes at the entrance, as though expecting someone to enter. He has hardly touched the delicious food.
      I wish I did not feel so drowsy and dull witted.

...but most died because of the slank—or, I should say, of withdrawal from the slank doctored with rauha. Those who had been at the palace for years and had been fed a daily diet of it were not able to adjust to life without slank. The withdrawal was a terrible thing, causing a violent trembling of the entire body, vomiting, and eventually an abrupt halt of breathing.

  "Charles," he replied.
      "My name," he said with a smile that lit his face. Setting down his flauto, he leaned over and picked up the book beside him on the couch. Opening it to one of the blank pages at the beginning, he pointed to some words written in a flowing, cursive hand:
       Charles Pierre Philippe, Dauphin
      "I wrote this," he said. "My name. I am Charles Pierre Philippe." He set down the book.
      And then he took both my hands tightly in his.
CHARLES PIERRE PHILIPPE was the fifth child of Charles VI, king of Fransk. My friend Havamal, the custodian of Master Eckstrom's library of books, helped me track down information about Charles's origins. It turned out that Valois, the word inscribed on the ring he gave Rose when they married, was the title of the line of royalty from which he was descended. Charles's younger brother was the dauphin whom the maid Jeanne d'Arc helped to put on the throne. But that is another tale.
      All it says in the written history was that Charles, beloved son of Charles VI and Isabeau, was born around the time of a peace parley of Amiens and died at age nine. From what we have learned of his parents—his father was hopelessly mad and his mother greedy and traitorous—it is possible he was better off as a white bear. I do not know whether he would agree with that or not.

       Charles dedicated himself to music and, in fact, invented a new design for flautos in which the mouthpiece cap contained a sponge to absorb the moisture from the player's breath. It was quite a success, and Charles became both a sought-after musician and an inventor. However, he never cared much for traveling, preferring to stay at home with his wife and children. They had four—one for each of the cardinal points of the compass.

In the Laboulaye story Perlino (rather influenced by Andersen's Snow Queen!), the leading character, blond and dashing like Charles, is tricked by the Countess of Clanking Shields to drink a golden powder that freezes his heart to ice, making him care for nothing but the poisonous powder, and causes addiction.


Victorian novels of the adventure and historical fiction genres. I have read one starring Gustavus Adolphus and reviewed it on this blog (find my review under February 2013!)

Listen to James Hodges, number one Henty fan and scholar, give his humble opinion on such exciting novels!


In a retelling of a Scandinavian folktale, we find a redoubtable troll princess living in an elegant baroque palace north of the Arctic Circle. I drew from her to create my so renowned Katla (SPOILERS FOR MY EVER AFTER HIGH FICS AHEAD!):

There was no courtyard, and no wall around the golden palace, but then, there was no need for any. The palace doors rose to four times the height of a man and were set with precious gems in a design that showed the sun and moon eclipsed. Over the doors, dimly seen in the light from the torches that burned on each side, the lass could make out the emblem of the troll queen: a polar bear on a blue background, with a crown above it and a saw-edged sword below.

The true heroine meets a guard (whom else)?
He carried a black sword with a serrated edge, like the one on the trolls’ standard, and wore livery of a sort: a blue leather vest and trousers. His boots were studded with iron, and there were iron cuffs around his wrists. He had huge ears pierced with fat rings, and a sharp, jutting nose. There was no hair on his head, but his scalp had been painted blue.
(Notice where I took Katla's army's uniforms from!)

"It’s all wine and dancing and feats of magic, and I’m out in the cold talking to a mad human."
The palace of the trolls was a truly magnificent place. There were windows with panes of crystal set into the walls every few paces, and the lass stood on tiptoe to peep through them. She supposed that for a troll they would be low, but even on tiptoe she could just rest her chin on the sill. It was growing darker and darker, and inside the lights blazed. From what the lass could see, there was a great deal going on. She heard music and saw servants in blue livery rushing back and forth with silver trays. The servants were gargoyles, pixies, brownies, and other creatures.
None of the servants were trolls.
But there were plenty of trolls in attendance. Male trolls and female, dressed in elaborate suits and gowns of brightly colored satin and velvet. Jewels gleamed and sparkled in the light from the hundreds of candles. The troll ladies had their hair piled in fabulous towers of curls above their hideous gray-green faces, and the troll gentlemen had caps of leather or silver or gold covering their heads.

The ballroom was a sight to behold: huge beyond belief, with pillars of carved crystal and amethyst. Chandeliers with dangling pendants that were surely diamonds filled the room with light and were reflected on the gleaming black floor. At one end of the ballroom stood a dais with two thrones. One was of gold, set with rubies, and the other silver, set with sapphires. Beside the silver-and-sapphire throne was a stool, also of silver and inlaid with pearls.
The double doors at the far end of the room flew open. A dozen servants marched into the room in perfect formation. They had the upper bodies of men and the lower bodies of horses, four legs and all. They stood at attention to each side of the large doors and raised silver trumpets to their lips. When their fanfare was over, the roomful of trolls dipped into deep curtsies or folded in half with bows.
There’s a world of difference between that bored sentry out there and the fish-eyed courtiers in there!"

The doors opened and an especially hideous troll woman in a scarlet gown swept into the room. She had a tall pile of unnaturally yellow hair surmounted by a crown that was more diamonds than gold. Her eyes bulged and her nose drooped down almost past her lips. There were so many gold rings in her ears that the lobes touched her shoulders. Her skin was the exact color and texture of unpolished granite.
That's the Queen, the Princess's mother. Though I beautified Katla's.
The queen surveyed the room with her glaring, scum-green eyes and sailed past her bowing subjects to take her seat on the golden throne. The centaurs—that was what the servants were, the lass remembered reading of such creatures once—blew an-other, shorter fanfare to herald the entrance of a second troll lady...

And now for (DRUMS ROLL)...
She wore a gown of sapphire-blue velvet, to match her throne, and her hair was a gleaming arrangement of flame-red tresses and diamond hairpins. She swayed across the room with the air of a woman who knows all eyes are upon her, and stopped to plant a kiss on the cheek of the human prince before sitting on the silver throne.
Of course this is another story that inspired me to make Katla a redhead (plus, redheads are said to be moody and to bring bad luck!)...

The window behind the lass was opened wide, and the Princess Indaell herself leaned out of it. Today she wore peach silk.
"Indaell" is a Norse name, like "Katla". While "Katla" means "kettle", "Indaell" (which sounds pretty elfin and equally beautiful) means "delightful".
And yes, Indaell looks good in warm colours though royal blue is her favourite, like Valdis and Katla.

Her fingers were twice as long as the lass’s and her pointed nails were gilded. 
The heroine had just had a sudden insight into the trollish character: they were jealous! They were jealous of humans, who could make things, when apparently they could not. The clothing, the dancing from the night before ... the lass now saw them for poor attempts to copy human society.
Drakharin (weredragons) like Katla have such a national character, but due to speciesism and their history as a warrior species with a dictatorial elected monarchy.

Indaell grew impatient. “Give it to me now!”
Yes, Katla is equally used to give orders sergeant style due to her personality and culture, which causes culture shock at Ever After High (mirroring my experiences as a loud and outspoken Spaniard in the UK). It would be nice if she ever had a picnic/tea party with Indaell and Valdis!

The princess was plainly intrigued. At the same time, though, her long fingers flexed on the windowsill, making dents in the gold surface, as though she yearned to simply reach out and grab the jar.
False heroines are generally dynamic and aggressive, impatient, overconfident... like the author of this blog.

Dressed all in rich purple with silver lace and bead-work, the troll princess stood there smiling. “Hello, little human,” she said. “I shall lead you to my betrothed’s room now. Of course, he will not be there for some hours. We are having a ball to celebrate our marriage.”
Katla also has a purple gown with silver lace. It looks like a darker and sexier, eighteenth-century version of her rival Sophia's...

The lass followed the princess through long hallways of gold, richly carpeted and hung with silk. There were vases of fine Oriental work, statues of marble, and beautiful paintings.
They stopped in front of a door made of silver and set with pearls. 

They were in a large sitting room, richly furnished. Beyond, they found a bed-chamber and a washroom. Here everything was made of gold and inlaid with jewels. There were books on a footstool near the fireplace, in Norwegian and German, and a game of chess was under way on a small table by the windows.

Later on, we learn more about trolls in general:
“They aren’t natural creatures: they can only destroy. They cannot make things, which is why they are so fascinated by human tools. They take thousands of lives, filled with the creative forces they don’t have, to build a palace like this. She doesn’t sew the parkas and boots, either. A servant does, and from the pelt of her last husband (in polar bear shape), no less. Then she enchants the ribbon and has it sewn on".
Drakharin, in my EAH canon, are surrounded by similar black legends. However, like with the Vikings or Saxons, being warriors does not mean that they are uncultured and without aesthetic sense!

As part of the ceremony, the bride and groom ask each other to prove their suitability. The bride asked the groom to “provide for her,” so he slaughtered a bull. And he asked her to always be beautiful, or something like that, and she did a spell that made her beautiful, or more beautiful. I think it was the troll queen, and her consort.
What happened to Indaell's father? In my EAH canon, the Feuersbrunsts have a family history of heartbreak and consorts darting off with their true brides (generations of Fantines or French Lieutenants' Women!)

The princess does not like to lose. Neither does the queen.
The Feuersbrunsts have been sore losers for generations. It comes with being the leaders of a warrior species.

There’s no guarantee Her Highness won’t take out her anger on you.
Confronting Katla is as useless as trying to reach the Sun with a ladder. Ask Lizzie Hearts, who is even ready to declare war after losing to her...

They should have known that the princess would ruin their plans. There was a bitter taste in her mouth, and she wanted to spit. It wouldn’t be fair to make the poor, captive servants clean up after her, so she just grimaced instead.
“Now, now,” Princess Indaell clucked at her, waving a beringed hand, “no need to look so sour. You’ll spoil the effect!” She stepped back to survey her handiwork.

The troll princess had not allowed the lass to leave. Instead Indaell had insisted, with an icy smile, that the lass attend her at the wedding.

For her wedding, the troll princess was attired in a gown of white satin. The shift underneath it was cloth of gold, and the bodice of the gown was thick with rubies and pearls. Her red hair was pomaded and curled and arranged to show off the heavy ruby-encrusted crown she wore. There was rouge on her cheeks.
Princess Indaell’s smile widened, as though she guessed the lass’s thoughts. She stood and snapped her fingers. The pixies who had dressed her flew forward, bearing a heavy cloak. It was scarlet satin, lined with polar bear fur.
For Katla's betrothal, she wears a gown exactly like that one with an equally matching hairstyle!! Rainer Leutnant, the bridegroom, is attired in his mess uniform: Prussian blue coat, white breeches, and black leather boots, with a short sword, Pickelhaube (Prussian military helmet) and epaulets.

“I heard that,” the princess snapped, whirling. “If either of you do anything to ruin my wedding, I will hang you both by your thumbs from the highest tower!”
Pay heed to this! When Charles and Sophia show up at Katla's wedding, she thinks at first they're going to crash it like the Thénardiers... but they had actually been invited!

Indaell swept out of her dressing room with the pixies trailing her to hold up the edges of the cloak. The lass followed, and after them came various female creatures in livery. In the corridor they were joined by a dozen hideous troll maidens dressed in extravagant silks and velvets, draped with jewels and all atwitter over the wedding. They paraded through the palace to the grand ballroom for the marriage of the troll princess. The ballroom was hung with long banners bearing the polar bear and jagged sword symbol of the trolls. Musicians played their strange music in a high gallery opposite the dais. On the dais stood the troll queen, her yellow curls shining, dressed in a blue gown trimmed with polar bear fur and embellished with diamonds and silver embroidery. She held out her arms to her daughter, who strode through the crowd and embraced her mother.
They do marry in the ballroom, though Gustav is reluctant at first (it was in the Wintergarten ballroom that his beloved Lilli's betrothal to another was celebrated).

The troll bride is described as "standing head and shoulders above her young, handsome bridegroom." False heroines are typically tall as grenadiers for the same reason that they are impatient and aggressive. In matters of size, I identify myself with Katla and Indaell. By their side, Valdis appears to be a runt with a serious Napoleon complex.

The troll queen raised her arms. “Our people, rejoice! After languishing alone for a dozen years, our beloved princess, the beauteous Indaell, has at last found a prince worthy of her!”
Monstrous howls rose from the troll court.
Katla's heart's desire is not to be heartbroken like her mother and previous female ancestors. So many weddings crashed by obnoxious maid-fifth columns...

Tossing her head, Princess Indaell strode over to the washtub.
A snap of her fingers, and a chair was brought to raise the tub up for her convenience. From the basket she pulled the nightshirt and a bar of soap and dipped them both in the washtub with clumsy hands. Seeing the fearful look on the troll princess’s face, the lass could almost feel sympathy for her.
Katla and Valdis are equally tomboyish, and all three share the same never-give-up attitude.

The harder the princess scrubbed, the darker and larger the stain grew. The princess’s face turned an ugly puce color that rivaled her rouge. Some of her curls straggled down from her coiffure and she tossed them angrily over one shoulder. The rings on her fingers snagged the soft fabric, so she ripped them off and threw them aside.
During the so-called "wedding crash", Katla's hairstyle suffers similar damage. However, instead of throwing a tantrum that would shake the whole ballroom... she unexpectedly laughs! She has actually learned her lesson!

Princess Indaell threw back her head and howled. As she did, her crown fell off her head, taking her hair with it. The red curls were nothing but a wig, and underneath, her scalp was sparsely stubbled with coarse gray hairs.
Now Katla wears no wig. That tangle of fiery curls is actually her natural hair! And Valdis isn't wearing any wig either!

“You!” She pointed one long, dripping finger at the lass. “This is your fault, I know it! You horrible thing, why did you have to come here? You’ve ruined everything!” She lunged at the lass.
With a shriek, the princess reached out her clawed hands for the lass.
On Katla: Instead of throwing a tantrum that would shake the whole ballroom... she unexpectedly laughs! She has actually learned her lesson! What actually happens is that she lunges at Sophia to ostensibly attack her... but then hugs the Lilienstielian and starts laughing and shedding tears!

“Daughter, control yourself!” The queen’s voice was a whipcrack. “There is no need for all this unpleasantness.” She put a soothing arm around her daughter’s shoulders. “The humans will be dealt with in good time, each in their own way.”
Let's say Katla's been raised by a single mother, after her stepfather's death (he was the commander of the Royal Guard), à la Miss Havisham. That sums up their conflicted relationship

Princess Indaell was threatening to make a pair of boots out of the prince, and a belt out of what would be left of the lass when she got through with her.

“He’s mine,” the troll princess screamed, and pointed a knobby finger at the shirt. There was a crash of thunder as the power Indaell directed at the shirt, in defiance of her promise, backfired and struck her in the face.
The troll princess crumpled to the ground, dead.
“No!” the queen screeched and lunged at the lass, who held up the now-snow-white shirt like a shield. When the queen’s hands tore at the shirt, she screamed even louder. “It burns!” She sank to the floor, clutching her daughter’s twisted body in her burned hands and howling, quite mad.
“My daughter, my beautiful daughter,” the troll queen moaned. Her face was so pale that the lass could see the blood pulsing in it. “My daughter, my daughter.” 
Katla doesn't die like Indaell or Valdis, but she happens to be rather near death a couple of times. And she realizes that her mother really loves her...

“No!” The one-eyed chamberlain pushed his way onto the dais. “It isn’t because of the humans that we have come to this; it is our own vanity!” He glared around the room with his one eye. “The fine clothes! The jewels! Keeping servants and living in palaces! And even worse: taking human consorts! For three thousand years our queen has reigned in the far north, and now because of her daughter’s perverted tastes she has lost her reason!” There is a battle in the ballroom between courtiers and servants. The latter win, and the palace is destroyed after the revolution.
In my EAH canon, there are dynastic conflicts between Drakharin (weredragon clans), and Katla is blamed by other, nomadic, clans as a scapegoat. She manages to defeat them in the end!

The palace where Katla lives is also on a rock, overlooking Lake Vänern. The court is equally sumptuous, yet slightly austere fitting a warrior nation. The warrior king/former commander of the guards is actually her stepfather (she is a lovechild, conceived by her mother's human beau).
Speaking of being golden blond and blue-eyed, Katla transforms after healing/resurrecting the one she actually loved, Rainer Leutnant. She loses her dragon wings and special powers, the scales on her cheeks become freckles, her talons are reduced to normal nails, her flaming hair turns a lighter shade (golden blond), and her green eyes turn bluish-green. This whole "mugglification" also tears at her state of health. She had been warned not to take such a chance: the resurrection/extreme healing spell (a bullet lodged in a young lieutenant's heart was the wound to be healed!) would at worst cost her her life, but having lost Charles was a lesson harsh enough not to be that shallow and to tell true love from mere infatuation. The one who wished for anything beautiful or exciting her sight was set on sacrifices her powers for the life of the one she truly loved...

lunes, 25 de noviembre de 2013


In the late summer of 1631, shortly after the storming of Magdeburg and before the fall of Leipzig, the Catholic League sent envoys to the Saxon court in Dresden. Kind of to warn the Elector of what was coming up...
In those days, a particularly redoubtable kind of marzipan was produced in Saxony (it's the marzipan in the Weihnachts-Stollen, or German version of the yule log cake).
This gave His Electoral Highness Georgy Porgy (Not kidding! The elector was called, due to his waistline, by a nickname of which "Georgy Porgy" would be the most convenient translation) von Wettin the chance to counterattack with a clever remark, should Leipzig share Magdeburg's fate:

ELECTOR GEORGE "GEORGY PORGY" VON WETTIN: So, you're coming hither for the Saxon candy... It may contain nuts!
"May contain nuts". Though in the sense of "hard nutshells" rather than allergy triggers. The Elector has actually sided with Sweden...

One week later, the Leaguesmen are coming, one third of Leipzig is on fire, a battle takes place on the plains of Breitenfeld (the "broad field" known to every Leipziger) on the seventh of September, guns are fired on both sides, Swedes win in spite of being outnumbered and having the sun in their faces (remember why? Lighter weaponry, revolutionary strategy, a younger and more charming leader), few free living Leaguesmen flee into the woods as the Protestants recapture Leipzig, Halle, and the surrounding area...
With old Count Tilly and his closest cronies (Pappenheim, Altringen et consortes) seriously injured and their army in tatters (those who haven't been slain or died of their wounds have been taken prisoner and recruited into Swedish service), the Catholic League is desintegrated. Another battle royale would be fatal: the League is knocked out until spring the next year, when they set up the last stand across the Lech (an "everything or nothing" scenario if you recall)...

And there was much rejoicing on the Protestant side: "Ding-dong, the Catholic League is dead!" There has been a lot of poetry about the subject, Gustavus (young and dashing and not that fundamentalistic) is always the hero and Tilly is portrayed as the antagonist (he is still LOVED in Austria and Bavaria, while Wallenstein is more or less blacklisted. But let's return to the Protestant sphere!).

In the seventeenth century, in spite of all the wars and witch-hunts, there was still humour. There was comedy. The Breitenfeld enterprise gave broadside and chapbook authors (many printers were based in Leipzig, the capital of literature in the early modern Germanosphere!) the perfect excuse (never defeated...) for satirizing Tilly. One poem, "General Tilly's Three Virtues Turned to Vices", put particular emphasis on nothing less than the old Walloon's legendary three virtues: chastity, temperance, and invincibility.
Here is the poem, written by Georg Gloger, that I have translated into English. Pay heed to the turning point and the punchline of the poem:


Until today, the Catholic Faith's sword, Count Tilly,
was defined by three virtues (they left all others be):
Never with wench or maiden had he had a good cheer.
Neither had he lost reason through liquor, wine, nor beer.
Third and most renowned: never a battle did he lose...
when born, his destiny did him for victory choose.
I believe that, through virtues so powerful three,
from threat of brains and brawn of foes he sure was free.
For a reward will always be waiting for the chaste:
those who restrain themselves overcome foes with haste.
The same for temperance: who steers clear of the cup,
in front of enemies will always win and stand up.
Since he got drunk on blood, and his reason waylaid,
                            and, thus intoxicated, raped the Saxon Maid,                                     
he couldn't make a stand upon the battlefield,
and thus, he's forced to flee, to the foeman to yield.
Those who get drunk on blood have surely got no measure,
those who rape maidens don't have good fortune nor pleasure.
They now call him what he deserves, that's old Count Tilly:
a rapist, a drunkard, and a loser forced to flee.

(Remark by the translator: the "Saxon Maid" refers to either Leipzig or Magdeburg)        

The Elector of Saxony's snark on Saxon marzipan became, at the same time, one of the first and widest spread memes in history, often illustrated by Gustavus Adolphus harassing his fundamentalist and septuagenarian sworn enemy in some or other way. In these broadsides, the dapper young King of Sweden usually inflicts a rather badass punishment:
"The Old German Dentist", etcetera. Leipzig, 1631.
The full title of this comic panel reads "The Old German Dentist, who harasses or better said cures hypocritical, insincere Defectors and Candy Eaters (who get cavities) à la mode and better than any Charlatan".  A long but meaningful title, isn't it?
The picture depicts the end of the Battle of Breitenfeld. Catholic losers come in throngs to the surgeon's in the Swedish camp. All of them appear to be suffering from cavities (luckily, I have never had cavities, the closest thing being my currently pushing-up wisdom teeth, and that is searing pain!). There is a queue in account of rank, the Generalissimo sitting on the chair with a Jesuit and a Cardinal behind should this be the last dance. After Tilly, the lesser generals like Pappenheim and Altringen are waiting for their turn.
But our attention is drawn to the Walloon on the chair and the plumed figure, tongs in hand, ready to take on those cavities. And my reaction is "OMG! The dentist is Gustavus!!" Now that is gonna hurt!
Above Gustavus, we can read a transcription of the rant that he is delivering: "Halt, my lad! It's for all that candy..." Imagine Gustavus saying that with the voice of Cleese (think "Fresh fruit not good enough for you?!" or in Fawlty Towers as Mr. Fawlty when irate)...
Now both foes appear to be locking eyes, but the poem that accompanied this woodcut gives another, darker interpretation of this proximity. The whole poem is the rant Gustavus gives Tilly while pulling the veteran's cavities out. It appears to be written in a quite Carrollian or Shakespearean style (my translation from the German):

"I just can't seize your teeth, no pincer seems to fit.
You should, for your own good, between my legs now sit".

Homoerotic innuendo, the image of being sexually abused by the victor, ensues. Having one's teeth taken out could stand in for castration (through a Freudian lens): another equally painful and emasculating operation. And there is the idea of Tilly being past his prime, defeated by the younger and stronger Swede. There is more than meets the eye in this broadside ballad.
The poem continues with the old Walloon fainting in his chair as the Swede pulls the cavities out with his own fingers (orifice invasion, another metaphor for homoerotic rape). That must be bloody painful: having that done without any anaesthetic, not even surgeon's brandy (Jean 't Serclaes was not only sworn to temperance, but also a devout Catholic and a veteran warrior, used to sustain painful injuries without a single complaint)... by one's worst enemy with his own hands, so close to him that you can't figure out what he's going to do next... After that, he comes to, to hear the Vasa proceed with his rant:

"Hey, Old Corporal! If the pull has been in vain,
I know a recipe that will make you fit again.
Those gums are bleeding sore from marzipan excess,
and thus, under your belt, all that stays in that press
is ready to come out the one or other way...
Thus, cavities and aches and pains do come to stay.
And that would also explain the ringing in your ears,
and the pale and gray skin, and the cold sweat and tears."

Take that, Jean 't Serclaes, Count of Tilly! From Sweden with "loooove"!!

From the same co-ordinates in time and space (1631 in Leipzig) hails this other broadside, with a rather laconic and memetic two-word title:

"Saxon Candy". Leipzig, 1631.

"A table was once lavishly set on a broad field, 
where there were two heroes who didn't know to yield..."

These are Georgy Porgy and his Swedish ally. The sweets have names like "Religion", "Freedom", "Dignity", and even "Life". But a third character soon appears:

"A scoundrel came along, spurned by hate and greed, 
to whisk the sweets away, and stuff himself indeed..."

The heroes spring to action, defeating the scoundrel and his easily identified cronies:

"The great General whose deeds were proclaimed in cheers,
his Croatians, Walloons, and faithful Cavaliers,
those vast, Count-less Germanic ranks made of playing cards,
did either run away or lay down, slain, in shards".

Within the allegory, this is expressed when the consumed poison-laced sweets take effect, leaving the antagonist in a far worse state of health. The anonymous author nearly ends with the moral of the story:

"In my opinion, this to a proverb doth bring:
that one can have too much of a rather good thing.
And that one's expectations prove actually deceits:
think of Tilly when he went to Leipzig for sweets!"

But the crowner is a praise to God for the Protestant landslide victory, that turns the "Saxon candy" metaphor up to eleven and explains the hitherto veiled allegory:

"O Good Lord who with poison the candy had laced,
and around the world, thus, you're eternally graced!
To you honour and praise, and our thanks and the Light,
from the crack of the dawn to the fall of the night."

In the illustration (see above!), one can clearly distinguish the spires of Leipzig and the clashing armies in the background, but our attention is drawn to the table and the three characters. Tilly is standing on two unstable spheres branded "FRAUD" and "ENVY", and he is clearly losing balance, as Gustavus lunges at him with a cup of marzipan in the hand and a confident expression on his face. The King of Sweden is also delivering a rant in verse:

"So you've come here for the candy...
Thus we'll thwack you fine and dandy!"

He seems to be force-feeding the enemy general (compare the oral invasion in the previous broadside) perhaps to suffocate him, perhaps to give him a taste of the poisoned or liquor-laced sweets. That's what I would reply to Tilly's envoy were I the Electoress of Saxony!

"GEORGIANA ALEXANDRA VON WETTIN": Go tell your old general that we do have fine sweets, we make them with love in Dresden and in Leipzig... but those are liquor marzipans! Yet they're so sweet that he won't find out there is liquor in them until they've gone down at last... The lessons that you'll learn from his very first hangover!

But what did Gustavus and Tilly think of each other? Luckily, there are actual reports of them regarding each other as worthy opponents:
Jean 't Serclaes, Count of Tilly (between Breitenfeld and the Lech, in late 1631): "The King of Sweden is both brave and clever, in the prime of his life yet a seasoned warrior. He is a gambler against whom not to have lost is to have won a great deal."
Jean 't Serclaes, Count of Tilly (on his deathbed, to Gustavus's personal surgeon, who was tending to his wounds): "Your liege is truly one noble knight!"
Gustavus Adolphus Vasa, King of Sweden (during Tilly's funeral in Bavaria, April 1632, having sent his own surgeon to tend to the enemy general): "Alas! The honorable old Tilly is no more!"

As for Wallenstein, he cared only for himself. He was temporarily unavailable. And he was mad as a hatter.


Malheureusement, I can't use my own computer to post pictures on my blog.
The brittle tab on the Ethernet cable finally snapped, leaving me to post my latest image of Valdis from a borrowed computer.
Luckily, I have discovered that, no matter from which computer you upload blog images, all of them wind up in a Picasa web album, that exists as long as the blog and the Google account.


In the midquel to my first Ever After High fic, new characters, both original and canonical, appear. Most of them are staff members who interpose themselves between Christian "One-Eye" Drosselmeyer and Polly Poppins, but there is also a sub-plot about a dangerous black widower and war profiter having broken prison and hidden on the EAH campus... In this post, I am going to introduce the OCs that have not debuted yet:

  • Blondie Lockes: A vain and blond, cute-looking gossip with fair skin and blue eyes. This ditzy and cute-looking aspiring artist is the daughter of Goldilocks, equally fond of porridge and curious. She hates Arts and Crafts classes, being sensitive and unable to take constructive criticism from her paintings. When Rainer Leutnant (even before being possessed) tells her that her pictures looked wonderful to him, she feels a little more encouraged. Later on, she is substituted with Charles in drag, in a ruse de guerre that he has planned, when a posessed Rainer lures her into the Vault of Lost Tales... ROYAL. 
  • Sparrow Hood: Descendant of Robin Hood and leader of a music band. Ostensibly related to Cerise, and has a history in common with Will Scarlet and Rosi Törne. Dark-haired and aloof, like his relative in red. He has orange/red hair and green eyes, and sports a little goatee without a mustache. He dresses like a hard rocker/punk. About Laurent's size. REBEL.
  • Cerise Hood-Rouge (née Scarlet): She did appear is Series One, but she gets more relevance in the next arc... Descendant of Red Riding Hood. A dark-haired and reserved girl in the renowned scarlet cloak. Dark skin, short hair, and nutbrown eyes. Loves galettes (flapjacks or thick pancakes). Ostensibly related to Sparrow, and actually a werewolf. Her real older brother is Will Scarlet (she was attacked by werewolves and saved by peasants after the massacre). This aloof loner joins the team after Roswitha's disappearance. REBEL. 
  • Earl Grey (Earl for short): Maddie Hatter's pet dormouse. Like Cerise, he appears in the first arc, but gets much more attention in the second saga. Earl is an ostensibly normal dormouse, who hibernates and loves poisonous shrooms...