The Victorian Hawk Dragon has currently reviewed the following:
Fire Tiger - Egyptian Fire King - Queen Bastet
Be Egyptian Queen. Be Empires Fight. A Fire Tiger - knows friend from foe. Be Egyptian Warrior. Be Egyptian Caste. A Fire Tiger - knows claw from claw. Be Egyptian Goddess. Be Egyptian Griffin. A Fire Tiger - knows tail from tail. Forever woven, in Egyptian Fire - a Fire Tiger, of Queen Bastet:
For Ancient Egypt knew for well, the importance - of a Battle-line ... In Queen Bastet, came Pharaoh Rule, who'd learnt her Art, of Military Might. In her Armies, walked her Foot-men - spear on spear, bow on bow. In her Legions, rode her Warriors - axe on axe, sword on sword. But in her Vanguard, burned her Tigers - claw on claw, roar on roar! For Fire Tigers of Bastet, lived Military General ... In Paths of Royalty, her Tigers bred - in purest Fire, with hottest Heart. In Paths of Fearless, her Tigers walked - in foes of Many, with grins of Plenty. In Paths of Ferocity, her Tigers snarled - in fearsome Leap, with Battle Claws. In Paths of Anger, her Tigers raged - in whirling Tempest, with burning Sun. For Fire Tigers of Bastet, lived Military Wise ... In Paths of Authority, her Tigers pranced - in thought of Regal, with Kingly Pose. In Paths of Courage, her Tigers danced - in heads held High, with rally Me. In Paths of Prowess, her Tigers led - in awesome Strength, with blatant Daring. In Paths of Valour, her Tigers reigned - in stunning Braveness, with thoughts so Bold. For Fire Tigers of Bastet, lived Military King! And yet: forget their Lineage - did they not ... They kissed the ground, that Queen Bastet - had walked upon. They licked the flame, that Queen Bastet - had cast upon. They purred the steps, that Queen Bastet - had hewn upon. For these Fire Tigers were (as of always), a symbol of the Power, of Queen Bastet! They knew their place ... Pets of hers that Fuelled the Fire! Pets of hers that Fought in Line! Pets of hers that Guarded her! And in return? Did Queen Bastet bestow within their Fire - an Immortal Soul :) And so it was ... That these Fire Tigers, got to rest when time for thought - residing in: The Valley of the Kings! On either side, Fire Tiger Guardians. On either side, Fire Tiger Sentinels. On either side, Fire Tigers Deadly. For these Fire Tigers of Bastet - knew at once, Pharaoh Fall. For these Fire Tigers of Bastet - helped Resurrect, Pharaoh Dead. And so it was ... Their watchful Eyes, knew Truth from Sin - did you slay in Battle, or did you cower? Their knowing Eyes, knew Honour from Lie - did you Guard him well, or stab in back? Their wisest Eyes, knew fact from fiction - did you Storm just few, or storm an army? For these Fire Tigers of Bastet - were Pure of Heart, and Foe of Many! Because in them, laid a Power - a Power of Fire, a Power of Fury! Because in them, laid a Might - a Might of Fight, a Might of Warrior! Because in them, laid a God - a God of War, a God of Carnage! And of their foes? Did Queen Bastet - simply smile :) As most would flee. As most would run. As most would die. And of those: that didn't? Well then ... A fight of fights! With fearsome Claws, rend for rend. With deadly Teeth, bite for bite. With powerful Paws, stomp for stomp. With flicking Tail, whip for whip. With burning Eyes, look for look. With snarling Jaws, scar for scar. And of those: that didn't fall? Well then ... Breath of Fire! Queen Bastet, knew for well - mountain foes, mountain grave. Queen Bastet, knew for well - countless enemy, countless dead. Queen Bastet, knew for well - endless tide, endless ash. For Queen Bastet, did bestow - upon her Tigers, Kiss of Pharaoh! An Immortal Kiss, Transcend through Time - never Age, never Old, never Die! And so it was ... That these Fire Tigers, walked between - World of Worlds. An Egyptian Underworld, where Tigers Heart - beat forever :) An Egyptian Underworld, where Tigers Name - known forever :) An Egyptian Underworld, where Tigers Form - last forever :) For these Fire Tigers of Bastet - answered only, Call of War ... Roar! Roar! Guard our Queen. Roar! Roar! Guard our Pharaoh. Roar! Roar! Guard our Goddess. Roar! Roar! Slay her foes ...
Viking Dragon - Sentinel of the Skies - Western Dragon
On the Teeth-like Rocks, in the Guise of a Western. At the Crest of a Tide, in the Cries of a War-host. That's just where you'll find him - Viking Dragon, and his Viking Longboat:
For when the Vikings go to War, is it not just their Longboats, and their Viking Warriors, that they take to Conflict! For there's also their Dragons, their Sentinels of the Skies ... In Mighty Red and Conquering Green, they match their Longboats - Sails and All. With twist of Silver, Armoured Clad, they match their Longboats - Shields and All. With cries of Roar, Piercing Shrill, they match their Longboats - Drums and All! For this Sentinel of the Skies, and his Viking Warriors, has just made - Landfall ... To Newfoundland have they come, this Western Dragon, and his Raiding Party - the first of their Kind, a Herald of their Viking War Fleet, from across the Atlantic. A Treacherous Expanse, of Open Ocean, that honed these Warriors, in thoughts of Odin: To War, to War! To Conquer, to Conquer! To Pillage, to Pillage! This Newfoundland :) From Scandinavia they spread, in Ages of Dark, with Rays of Light, that Shined the Way - yet always following, the Paths of the Warrior ... For this Viking People, tamed their Dragons, in Ages Past, to Fight for them ... These Viking Dragons, know of Norse - both how to Speak, and Riddle with Script. These Viking Dragons, know of Odin - both being Cruel, Kind and Wise. These Viking Dragons, know Valkyrie - both Wingless Angel, and Souls to Valhalla! For to them, to Die in Battle, at the front of a Viking War-host, donned Valkyrie's Hero: a Dragon's Glory, in which you'd find, the Bodies of the Slain, piled all around them :) For these Viking Dragons, are a Western Kin ... With Dragon Wings, they Soar the Skies, and Dance through Clouds. With Dragon Fire, they Burn the Woods, and Heat the Anvil. With Dragon Teeth, they Drink the Foes, and Grin of Wrath. With Dragon Armour, they Turn the Arrow, and Bend the Sword. With Dragon Claws, they Slash the Ways, and Slice the Enemy. With Dragon Tails, they Wrap the Rocks, and Anchor Themselves. For these Viking Dragons, know of - the Art of War ... A Dragon lands on a Precipice, to survey the Land. A Dragon elongates his Neck, to view Around. A Dragon sniffs the Air, to smell of Foe. A Dragon licks his Tongue, to answer This, of Riddle God: What is this - Newfoundland? Just the Jagged Outcrop, of a Mountainous Rock? Just the Patterned Layers, of an Eroded Sea Scape? Just the Alcove Shape, of a Secluded Lagoon? But with a Sniff and a Lick, does this Dragon know, the answer to this Conquest's Riddle: for he's a Viking Dragon, that's been Bred and Raised, in the Castles of War :) He smells the Tide of Conflict, ten thousand Foes to march on him. He tastes the Air of Battle Lines, ten thousand Foes to come to him. He feels the Power of Enemy Commander, ten thousand Foes to aim at him. But this Dragon does not Cower, for he's a Western Might! He Plants his Feet, and Wraps his Tail, around his Teeth-like Rock. He Focuses his Eyes (through Armoured Helm), knowing well - Horizon Glare. He Roars a Dragon's Defiance, amongst the Cliffs of Armoured Sea - calling in he's Dragons Kin. For this Viking Dragon's, just the Herald, of a thousand Viking Longboats, and their Dragon Sentinels! And if he Falls, before they get here? Then to Valhalla will he go, on the Wings of a Valkyrie, off from Newfoundland - to Odin's Dragon Land :)
On the Snow Covered Slopes, in the Guise of an Angel. At the Rooftops of the World, in the Herald of an Arrow. That's just where you'll find her - Viking Valkyrie:
For when the Vikings go to War, is it an Honour for their Fallen - to Die in Battle ... Whether born of Axe, or born of Sword. Whether born of Bow, or born of Fire. It matters not! For Valkyrie walks, the Battlefields of the Slain - knowing just is, what it is she wants :) The Bravest of the Brave. The Strongest of the Strong. The Deadliest of the Dead. For these Fallen Viking Warriors are to her, nowt but the Heroes of a Viking Hel ... To some comes the Kiss of Death - to Valhalla, to Valhalla! To others comes the Kiss of Life - to Rot, to Rot! For only to Valhalla, do the Heroes go ... These Viking Warriors, Masters of Sword. These Viking Warriors, Masters of Axe. These Viking Warriors, Masters of Fire. These Viking Warriors, Masters of Wrath! As it is with these Heroes, and their Fighting Ways ... Would they charge a Battle-line, hundred to one? Yes! Would they hold a Mountain-Pass, thousand to one? Yes! Would they jump into the Midst, of an Army of Men? Yes! For to these Heroes, is the Eternity of their Names, more important than their Lives. As in Viking War-cry, will their Names live forever! As it is with this Valkyrie - and her Kiss of Death ... Her Curves of Beauty, that be-nigh her Blood Lust. Her Sword of Ascension, that dishes-out her Judgement. Her Looks of a Goddess, that be-spell no Angel. For she's a Viking Ghost Warrior herself - who with a flick of her Sword, dispenses her Judgement. A Herald of Odin, who's versed in Seduction - who with a twist of her Blade, brings Death to the Mighty. As she walks through this Battlefield, eyeing the Slain. As she stands in this Battlefield, asking the same ... Are you a Mighty Hero, out of the Viking Wars, who faced Death in Battle, against overwhelming odds, where none but the Strongest and the Bravest, have the right to be called, a Viking Hero out of Legend? Yet you fell this Day, amongst these Snow Covered Slopes - though your Fury was known, amongst the ranks of these Men? Yes ... Then I fly you to Valhalla, just in time for this Night, with the Feasts of the Mighty, and the Healing of the Angels. For you - Viking Warrior, I bestow my Kiss of Death :) To Valhalla, to Valhalla! And after your Feast this Night? Well ... Tomorrow, to Battle shall you go ... Blood shall be spilled. Arms shall be broken. Shields shall be splintered. Skulls shall be cracked. Swords shall be swung. Axes shall be arced. Bows shall be thrown. Fires shall be cast. To Battle, to Battle! In the Halls of the Slain, in my Master's - Valhalla :) For your a Mighty Viking Warrior, who shall Fall again, Tomorrow's Day, but shall Rise again, Tomorrow's Night! Feast with the Mighty, then Fight again. Then Fall again, then Feast again ... But your Name! Shall be known by Odin, and heard each Day, upon thy Battlefields of Valhalla, Forever and Forever, your Name shall be Known, my Mighty Viking Hero, my Mighty Viking Warrior, in this Viking Hel of Valhalla, in Odin's Halls of the Slain :) For in Valhalla, shall your Viking Name, be both War-cried and Remembered, Forever and Forever! Viking Valkyrie - Viking Ghost Warrior :)
The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring - Part Two
No indeed, the Elves do not! But what of Men, can they throw back the Darkness of Sauron, all by themselves? For a Time, does this Classic Fantasy Tale, appear to suggest (at least to me), that Men very well can! Or perhaps instead, I to (like Boromir), was under the Spell of Darkness, and the Power of the One Ring, to Rule them All:
For the forth point, on why this is one of the best, Sword and Sorcery Fantasy Novels, that you can ever read - is it's range of Dark Fantasy Creatures ... At the Head is Sauron, a Dark Sorcerer, whose Magnificence of Old, is only hinted at (within this Tale). Even so, did I quite enjoy, the Chapter called The Council of Elrond, as it lays the seeds, for the Character of Sauron, in the Later Days of Middle-Earth. He wants the Ring, the One Ring that he made, the One Ring, that he placed much of his Sorcerers Powers in! For me, the One Ring, goes hand-in-hand, with Sauron's most prominent, Dark Fantasy Creatures - his nine Black Riders. Who are akin to Phantoms, with no physical form, other than Dark Visage in a Cloak. They wield Blades, that are both Cruel and Evil. I shuddered when Frodo was wounded (by such a Blade), at the thought of what he could become - a Wraith of some-kind! I feel that Frodo was right, when he chooses to avoid the Black Riders, even though doing so, meant entering the Old Forest (the lesser of two Evils). I found myself sitting, on the edge of my seat, when Frodo was racing for Rivendell (the Elven home of Elrond), with Black Riders chasing him! Added to this, are Sauron's Black Dragons (although here in this Tale, is it just the briefest of glimpses - with a bow shot from Legolas, downing the Dragon). And yet, are there also, other Dark Fantasy Creatures, at work within Middle-Earth - although I feel, that they have no direct knowledge, of the One Ring itself (and thus, do not directly, answer to Sauron). For example, I liked the Orcs and Goblins of Moria, together with the concept of the Balrog (a large Fire Breathing Western Dragon of a Daemon) - who to me, is one of the Oldest of the Old. An Elemental Dragon/Daemon, that lives in the Hottest Fires of the Earth. Yet do I find, that both the Balrog, and the One Ring, have a connection (at least in a saying): Delve Too Deep in Greed, and Pay the Price! The Black Riders delved too deep - what once was King, now Phantom of the Night (and Day!). The Dwarves delved too deep - what once was Moria, was lost to Dark (Durin's Bane - a Balrog!). And of the Wraiths? The Barrow-wights, sent a shiver down my spine! As there's something Unnatural, about former Kings, and Warriors of Old, that feel that they, still have a Hold, on the Living. Wake up Frodo! Fifth: is it's range of Fantasy Swords ... I've always liked the idea of Magical Swords, and the background build-up, to the Sword of Elendil, is no exception: a Sword that was shattered, upon an enemy of Old (Sauron), that is reforged, and renamed Anduril (Flame of the West), the Weapon of Kings (borne by Aragorn) - made me want one :) Added to this, is Gandalf's sword, Glamdring - which I for one, have long desired, to look upon! Yet, do I like the fact that Glamdring (borne by the mighty), is also matched by Frodo's short-sword Sting (borne by the lesser/Little People), as both gleam/glow blue, when in the presence of Orcs - which if you think about it, would be slightly scary, whilst deep in the Mines of Moria! Sixth: is it's range of Fantasy Castles ... For me, there's four that immediately spring to mind: i) Rivendell. The Fantasy Realm of the Elves, with it's Last Homely Gardens, and it's Waterfalls of Sea in Dream, and it's Ford of Guardian Horses (in Force of Water - commanded by Elrond). I liked the idea, of Powerful Elf Lords in Rivendell, that could resist the Darkness, at least for a Time :) ii) Minas Tirith. The City of Men, the City of Kings, that is foremost in the Defence, against Sauron's Armies. I to (like Frodo), found Hope growing in me, at the description of Minas Tirith (within this Tale) - especially at the mention, of it's Towering Battlements :) iii) Minas Morgul. Is perhaps the clearest indication to me, of the One Rings power to Corrupt, as what once was Good, fell into Ruin (owing to the neglectfulness of Men), and became a Fortress of Darkness! I did not like the thought, of both Fear and Dread, to be found there - in the plenty. iv) Lothlorien - not a Castle as such, more a Stronghold in the Trees of the Elves. I liked the idea, that the Elves of Lothlorien, climb upwards, and live in a Kingdom amongst the Treetops :) As to me, a City in the Trees, feels like a strong connection, to the Roots of the Earth, and Nature. Seventh: is the Hobbits themselves ... I found myself, constantly amazed in this Tale, that the Affairs of the Mighty (such as Wizards, Kings and Sorcerers), are at the Mercy, of the Little People: Frodo Baggins, and his trusty companion - Sam Gamgee :) For even with all of Sauron's Might, he can't find a Hobbit! But Gandalf can, yet bows to Frodo - for Frodo is the Ring Bearer :) As chosen by - the One Ring. And what of Merry and Pippin? I find these two Hobbits, to be of less importance (especially in the second half of the Tale), but Gandalf holds them in High Respect. I like this, because the Good Deeds of the Tiny, can unravel the Dark Deeds, of the Mighty :) Overall: An amazing, Sword and Sorcery Fantasy Novel, that took me longer to read, than I had expected - as I reread several parts (especially the Mines of Moria). I also feel, that there's a deliberate shift, in the concept of the Main Fantasy Character (as you read this Tale). It's always Frodo, but at the beginning, I thought for a while, that it was Gandalf - until he met his match! I especially like the fact, that this Fantasy Tale, is a David verses Goliath, that's played out on a bigger scale - with Powerful Elements, on both sides :) Finally: The One Ring, is a Ring of Power, is a Quest of Power, between Good and Evil - whose Fate is most directly, in the Smallest Hands of the Land, the Underdog: Frodo Baggins :)
The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring - Part One
A Classic Fantasy Tale, with a range of Fantasy Characters (including Elves, Dwarves and Men), that sees a Quest of Power, through the Roots of Adventure, in the Darkest Days of Middle-Earth. With a guiding Wizard, and a bare foot Hobbit (one of the Little People), it's The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring:
I've always thought, that this is one of the best, Sword and Sorcery Fantasy Novels, that you can ever read :) There's several reasons for this ... First: is it's use of Humour ... I found myself laughing, when Sam (one of the Hobbits), is pulled through the Window (by Gandalf the Wizard), after having eavesdropped, and making out that he hadn't - he was cutting the Lawn you see! I also laughed, when Gimli the Dwarf, tasted some Cram (a Travellers Bread), having not believed, that it will taste very nice (even raising an eyebrow) - then promptly eating, the whole piece! I also found humour, in the strangest of places, such as when Gandalf had nearly been destroyed - well, well, he flew down some stairs, after encountering a foe, that he could not best, whilst joking about it! Second: is it's range of Fantasy Locations ... First and Foremost, my favourite is the Dwarven Mine/City of Moria. I especially liked the Ancestry of Moria, that it was once the most prized, of all the Dwarven Realms (owing to it's Mining of Mithril - the Dwarven Wonder Metal), which was in-turn lost, to the Orcs/Goblins and Durin's Bane (a large Fire Breathing Western Dragon of a Daemon, that even the Elves Fear). Moria is now a dark place, which Gandalf leads our Adventurers through, with his Bobbing Wizards Staff of Light (akin to a Will-o'-the-wisp). I especially liked the idea, of Moria's Dwarven Doors, that can only be seen in Moonlight (and opened with a specific word/phrase). I also found comedy here, as I laughed at Gandalf, being outwitted by a door! Of Moria itself, did I like the idea of staircases hewn from stone, together with cavernous pillars (that defined a City in Starlight), together with Tombs of the Fallen (still blessed in daylight), and Treasures of the Deepest Mines (that Dwarves still dream of). I also liked, what I feel was the reason that Moria was built (by the Dwarves) in the first place - a Magical Lake (called the Mirrormere), which Shines with Stars in it's Waters so Deep :) It is with some irony then, that although I love the Green Places of this World, that I have often felt a Desire, to explore the Dark Halls of Moria myself! In stark contrast to Moria, are the Fantasy Woods, of the Old Forest. It's a mythical place, that Tales of Old, used to scare young Hobbits with - and yet, Frodo Baggins (the main Fantasy Character of this Tale), decides to venture that very way :) Now I like Woods, and I like Trees, but the Trees of the Old Forest, are not like other Trees (they can move/walk, and they can talk/be-spell) - it's Old Man Willow you see. He's a Magical Willow Tree, who does not have the Hobbits best interests at heart! Although I find the Old Forest to be a Dark Place (perhaps even more so than Moria), it leads to one of my favourite Fantasy Characters - Tom Bombadil :) He's such a fun/comedy element, that it's hard to feel all Dark and Gloomy, when he's around (especially with that Bobbing Hat of his!). Now it feels to me, as though Tom is some kind of Nature Fairy (as he's always been concerned with Trees) - yet even if he isn't, then his sidekick (Goldberry), is certainly a Water Fairy :) In any case, I like the fact, that both Tom and Goldberry, tend to the Old Forest, and look after Frodo (after Old Man Willow, gets his Roots to him). To me, the Old Forest feels as though, it's full of Magic - both Good and Evil, that's just kind-of mixed together, in it's raw, natural form. It's a powerful place, that I feel, could have played a larger part in the Tale (together with Tom Bombadil). Third: is it's range of Fantasy Characters ... The Fellowship of the Ring, is itself comprised of a Motley Crew: four Hobbits (Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin), two Men (one called Aragorn, one called Boromir), one Elf (called Legolas), one Dwarf (called Gimli), and Gandalf (the Wizard). I like the idea of the Fellowship (aka our Adventurers), because it is a contradiction - you have powerful members (such as Gandalf and Aragorn), mixed with weaker members (such as Merry and Pippin). Whilst in the middle, do you have members that are a bit of both: both in terms of alignment (such as Legolas is to Trees and Nature, whilst Gimli is to Stone and Anvil), and in terms of not judging a book by it's cover (such as Frodo at first appearing weak, but over time, does Frodo become the appointed/recognised strongest, Ring Bearer). Of these Fantasy Characters, would I say that my favourite is Gandalf, though I wouldn't normally like Wizards! Gandalf is an exception, for he's more like a Warlock - a Wizard and a Warrior, all rolled into one :) Next would there be Aragorn - as I like the fact, that he is descendant from Kings (although I'm not so keen, on his Strider personality, in the earlier parts of the Tale). Then would there be Gimli, as there's a fair amount of humour, surrounding his character: A Dwarf! Which plays right into, the grievances between Dwarves and Elves (with several twists in friendship, along the way). In any case, I especially like the portrayal of Elves within this Tale. I like their connection with Nature (especially of the Woods, plus Spells of the Sea), and I like the fact, that there's at least three, families of Elves found, within Middle-Earth: those from Rivendell (who were there at the start, when Darkness first showed it's face), those from Mirkwood (who still have dealings with Men, and is the home of Legolas), and those from Lothlorien (who Guard a Treasure of Middle-Earth, and befriend the Fellowship). I also liked the way, that the Elves are used, to underline an important point/theme (within the Tale): the Elves may be Powerful, blessed to live much longer than Men, skilled in the Art of Combat (especially Bow and Arrow) - yet just like the rest of Middle-Earth, they do not have the power, to throw back the Darkness/Evil by themselves! Or do they?
In Kingdom's Ethereal, White be Haze. In Tangled Ribbon, Wind be Touch. Born of Water and of Air - this Dragon's Spirit, Ninjas of thy Monk to be:
Dancing through this Water's Verse, Temples of the Spire so High. Skating through this Ocean's Realm, Churches of the Light so Bright. Weaving through this Sea's Domain, Chapels of the Stance so Right. Darting through this Element's Empire, Ninjas of the Rain so Proud. Guiding through this Cyclone's Wind, Shoguns of the Rule so Wise. Fighting through this Heaven's Day, Abbots of the Monk so Scribe ... Temple here, Temple there - one Church here, one Church there! Ninja here, Ninja there - Abbot say, Abbot do! For in Heaven's Lore, there was a Place - donned in Shroud, donned in Guard. This Heaven's Realm, called Monastery. This Heaven's Arms, called Swiftspear. The Shimmer of a Blanket Sea. The Sparkle of a Tungsten Blade. The Tonal of a Falling Wall. The Twinkle of a Pointed Gaze. The Shading of a Rising Spray. The Glimmer of a Shearing Edge ... For in Shogun's Lore, there was a Place - born of Dragon, born of Ninja. This Dragon's Realm, called Monastery. This Ninjas Arms, called Swiftspear. The Obelisks of a Element Wise. The Patters of a Silent Feet. The Monoliths of a Dragon King. The Assassins of a Samurai Way. The Pillars of a Eastern Dragon. The Warriors of a Human Monk ... Shogun here, Shogun there - one Spear here, one Spear there! Ninja here, Ninja there - one Foot here, one Foot there! Running through this Temples Maze, Knowing of thy Paths to Take. Skipping through this Churches Fog, Certain of thy Turns to Make. Sprinting through this Water's Edge, Splashes of thy Toes to Beat. Jumping through this Airy Cloud, Vapours of thy Swift to Dodge. Skimming through this Temples Lore, Pleasing of thy Craft to Rule. Honing through this Churches Art, Dreaming of thy War to Make ... War-cry here, War-cry there - Dancing here, Dancing there! Fighting here, Fighting there - Sculpting here, Sculpting there! For in Monastery Swiftspear, there was an Army - born of Human, and of Monk. This Humans Realm, called Eastern Way. This Monks Penance, called Scribe of Art. The Writings of the Empire Verb. The Teachings of the Kingdom Pure. The Drawings of the Realm in Shape. The Learnings of the Wise to Power. The Letters of the Artist's Form. The Knowings of the Spear to Battle ... Ninja here, Ninja there - one Strike here, one Strike there! Shogun here, Shogun there - one Wound here, one Wound there! Victory here, Victory there! As in Monastery Swiftspear, there came a Monk: donned in Ninja, donned in Shogun, donned in Samurai ... The Guardian of this Fortress Monastery: swathed in Mist, swathed in Robe, swathed in Rune, schooled in Lore, schooled in Arms, schooled in Question ... Who be you that comes to Sea, this Temple Realm - of Monastery Swiftspear?
For twelve hundred years did Cleopatra's Spell last - a Spell to Lock her Egyptian City, within the Sands of the Mediterranean Sea. It was a Spell that Cleopatra cast - to Hide her Secrets, from the Scorpions, of these Ancient Lands. Yet upon the Temple of Amun - does Cleopatra still sit, Lost in her Memories, of what Once had been:
It was with an Ancient Enemy, that Cleopatra, sought to Fight. It was with the Goddess Wadjet, that the Pact had first been made - an Army of Lava Serpents, so that Cleopatra could Harvest, the Crystal-Gold (from the Depths of the Earth). Yet, Cleopatra could not have Foreseen, the price that she would pay, for Thonis-Heracleion's Streets of Gold: the Tide of the Hyksos - and of their Scorpion King. For countless years had Thonis-Heracleion served her well, as a Port, to unload Crystal-Gold, from the Lavas of Vesuvius, and of Thera. Yet, throughout those years, had Cleopatra, underestimated, the Cunning of the Scorpion. Countless Battles had proven them to be Formidable Warriors, with even their human-kin (the Hyksos) over-running several of her Temples! Yet, with her Wisdom, had she found a solution to the Threat of the Scorpion: by Killing Two Birds with One Stone - have her Lava Serpents erupt the Volcanoes, to free the Crystal-Gold, and bury the Scorpions in Ash! At last, could she concentrate on the building of Thonis-Heracleion ... Yet, in doing so, did she set-upon a Path, from which there was no return. For it was, as she strove for more Crystal-Gold, that her Lava Serpents dug deeper, within the Magma of the Earth, and Awoke that which would cause her Demise: a Scorpion God King - the like of which she had not seen before! It was upon the Island of Santorini, that he, first made himself known: in a Titanic Eruption, that destroyed the settlements of Thera - her precious Crystal-Gold (from there) was lost. Upon the Temple of Amun, had she stood, Energies Flowing from the Tips of her Fingers - even a Tsunami was no match for her, the Waters abated, from her Circle of Power. Then did she Grow Complacent - as she knew that she still had Vesuvius, and that her Egyptian Galleons, still ruled the Seas of the Mediterranean. For sometime still, did Thonis-Heracleion flourish ... The Crystal-Gold built her Temples strong. The Crystal-Gold built her Sarcophagus, to withstand the Sands of Time. The Crystal-Gold built her Statues, for others to marvel at, on the Streets of her City: an Egyptian Minx, an Egyptian Sphinx, an Egyptian Lion - an Egyptian Empire! Her Lava Serpents were winning - the Wars of the Sands: each Time the Scorpions advanced, did her Lava Serpents shift, the Sands undulating, in a Never Ending Earthquake, did the Scorpions Demise! She could Foresee it all - within her Pyramid of Conflict! Powerful indeed had Cleopatra become. Yet it was, from within the Earth, that her Demise would be ... Soon enough, did the Earth start to Tremble! First at Vesuvius: the Volcano began to Erupt - by itself ... It drew her Eyes, just for the Shortest of Time. Yet it was enough! As the Lava Serpents battled, to turn the Tide - Cleopatra found that Wadjet had gone quite ... Yet, upon her last meeting (with Wadjet), was it not Foretold that her Lava Serpents would be Triumphant! Second at Vesuvius: the Lava's continued to Flow. Her Lava Serpents continued to Battle. She stood upon the Temple of Amun, seeing her Galleons of War, she knew that she would be Victorious! Her Eyes fixed on the Mediterranean, the Waters calmed (at Once) - her Fleet sailed for Vesuvius. The Tide would be turned ... Third at Thonis-Heracleion: Did the Earth Start to Shake? Her Eyes in Surprise! What Magic was this? Thonis-Heracleion began to Sink! To Wadjet she called ... Yet, came an answer from the Deep: the Scorpion God King! What Treachery is this? The Cunning of a Scorpion! But it was too late ... A Plate of Earth had he Eaten through - as she Screamed: No, you will Not take My City! Energies Rushed Forth from the Tips of her Fingers ... Thonis-Heracleion locked in Time - Under the Sea, did Cleopatra, turn to Stone.
Aligned with the element of Fire, this fairy is entwined with Destiny and Desire:
In the heart of the flames, in the heat of the sun - with the passion of an idea, this fairy shall be found. Bringing light to the dark, burning so bright - with the passion of a dream, this fairy shall be found. Barring the way, skills of a warrior - with the passion of battle, this fairy shall be found. Roaming the night, dancing the streets - with the passion of assassin, this fairy shall found. I like the fact that this artwork captures the ideas of fate within her spiralling tail, together with the ideas of aiming-so-high within her robust/powerful wings. I also like the way that this artwork suggests the ideas of pulling-together: with both the remnants of a trailing skirt and rising leather boot straps. I believe that her pose suggests the prowess of a warrior: legs spread wide (barring the way), with torso curves of a pillar (holding the strength of the world) and v-bent arms (like an elbow to the face). I especially like the opposing angles of the assassin blades, and knowing that there is strength in those hands, its not hard to imagine a flick to the hips! I'm impressed by the choice of colours: both those that are similar (such as the red silk wings/tail and crimson leather outfit/leggings) and those that are contrasting (such as the use of gold/yellow on her arms and chest). I also like the suggestion of shadowing near the foils of her wings - and suspect that this was quite a difficult effect to achieve. Overall: I love the the way that this artwork makes use of layering - such as the different layers to the wings (and the passing-through layers of the tail). I also love the way that this fairy artwork captures the ideas of fire (red with attitude), whilst at the same time, capturing the ideas of a Gothic warrior (the ability to fight through the night, in the loneliest places of the Earth).
I'm really impressed by this (fantasy) drawing book:
I like the fact that the book breaks everything down: it starts by considering the stick figure, followed by the stick figure in action. Then it's into basic shapes (such as squares, triangles and circles) for building up the basic human shape. It then considers finer details: faces, eyes, mouths, hands and feet. At this point, you are up to page 20 (out of 143). The rest of the book is where the real magic happens! Tutorials on drawing a large range of characters: Dwarves, Elves, Kings, Orcs, Queens, Warriors, Witches and Wizards. There's even a section on scenery, so that your characters are not just standing by themselves. The book concludes with some tips on colouring (when using markers, inks or watercolours). In short: an impressive title that can help you increase your drawing abilities.