So the Heroine parted ways with the Wizard and caught a boat headed back to her homeland. Upon returning to her home she let down her hair and took off all of her armor; she put her sword and shield next to her bed. She was exhausted. Laying under her covers, she couldn’t help but feel as though the adventure had changed her — though she couldn’t quite say how. She thought of the gold the Restored King had given her, and how it could fund any number of new adventures. The Heroine wasn’t certain where she would go next or what she would do, but she knew whatever it was, it would be an adventure of her own choosing.
On their way back to the port town, the Heroine and the Wizard noticed that the artists of the kingdom were abuzz with new creations — all which centered on them. Poets, playwrights, painters, and bards seemed to draw inspiration from the story of their recent adventure. Something bothered the Heroine, though — some of the details weren’t quite right. One song cast the Sorcerer as unrelenting and without redemption; one play featured her battle with the dragon at a later point in the narrative. They couldn’t even seem to get the length of her ponytail right or the correct color of her armor!
She talked about this to the Wizard, who has been the subject of many stories. He explained that sometimes in order to complete a rhyme scheme artists had to smudge the details a little bit; He said that some artists felt the drama or the artistic-ness of their story could be heightened if they re-arranged or added to the events of their story. The Heroine was shocked. The Wizard just shrugged, and reminded her that these weren’t historians.
“Everyone gets the chance to tell their own story, but no one gets to write their own legend,” The Wizard said.
The “Evil” Sorcerer, the former apprentice of the Wizard, professed to have seen the error of his ways, and that he regretted all of his rash actions. When this didn’t sway her father’s opinion, the Princess threatened to run away to another kingdom with the Sorcerer if he didn’t approve their marriage. It was at about this point that the Heroine and the Wizard started to feel infinitely awkward; this domestic affair really wasn’t any of their business. They politely excused themselves in the midst of the battle.
The Heroine wanted to believe that love could conquor all but she was also fairly certain love was supposed to devoid of any literal or physical conquoring; The Wizard found the situation amusing, but offered no opinions. It was at this point the subject of when to part came up — they were both heading to the same port so they figured they would travel together until then. The Wizard wanted to hurry to the Demon’s Seal and see if he could repair the Seal while the Demon Lord rested. The Heroine was less sure of her next destination, but figured she should stop off at her home first.
The Heroine Sequence, Pt. XI
Alex Hinders, 2012.
Colored pencil and marker.
The ousted king and his daughter returned to their kingdom as soon as word spread that the Demon Lord had bested and the Sorcerer had surrendered. With the crown returned, the king was fully back in power and started the process of rebuilding his kingdom — it hadn’t been seriously damaged during the seizure, but the land was in a disorganized chaos. The Wizard refused any gifts or treasure, saying he didn’t need anything more than he had; The Heroine asked for a modest amount of gold to fund her next adventure. In addition, the King granted both of them citizenship to his kingdom and the right to land ownership.
As for the Evil Sorcerer, he was originally to be executed, until the Princess intervened. It seemed that once she learned it was a sweeping romantic gesture to win her heart she found the whole notion so romantic that she demanded their immediate marriage. The re-crowned King was furious about this — why should he forgive the guy that overthrew his kingdom? And why would he want to let the scoundrel marry his daughter?
The Heroine Sequence, Pt. X
Alex Hinders, 2012.
Colored pencil and marker.
The Demon Lord changed form into a hulking monster with long and thick arms that each contained a deadly claw. The Heroine charged into battle while the Wizard fell back and drew some symbols on the floor. As the Wizard started casting a spell he explained that his magic wasn’t strong enough to hurt the Demon Lord — so he was casting a spell to negate the use of magic in the area. Once the spell was completed the Demon Lord would temporarily exist as a purely physical being and it would be up to the Heroine to finish him off in traditional combat.
The Demon Lord was stunned; he touched his body as if he was seeing it for the first time. Then he howled in rage and charged at the Heroine. Claw slashes were parried with sword and attempts to throw his weight against the Heroine were nimbly evaded. While his form was good for intimidation it seemed it was a poor choice for physical combat — all of that flesh exposed. The Heroine was able to land blow after blow on his monstrous flesh, leaving gashes across the body. Although the Demon Lord had no blood to bleed he could feel pain for the first time in his life.
The battle continued until the Demon Lord lay on the floor motionless; his great chest heaving up and down. Just as the Heroine drew her sword for the killing blow the Wizard was unable to sustain his spell any longer and the demon’s magical abilities returned to him. In an instant, the Demon Lord disappeared. The Wizard figured that the only logical place for him to go was back to where he was originally sealed away, as he was vulnerable and near death, thus needing a place to rest. It would probably take hundreds of years for the Demon Lord to recover.
For now, the battle was won, and the kingdom freed.
The Heroine Sequence, Pt. IX.
Alex Hinders, 2012.
Colored pencil and marker.
Sitting upon his throne, the Evil Sorcerer looked like a hollow man, devoid of passion. After a long spell of staring into space he noticed he had visitors. They looked at him silently, the Heroine with her sword sheathed and the Wizard with his arms folded behind his back. The Evil Sorcerer, formerly The Wizard’s failed Apprentice, sighed, and told his story. All he had wanted to was impress the Princess and his stubborn mind thought a show of force would demonstrate the depth of his passions. So he unsealed the Demon Lord in exchange for more power and a small army. The decision, it turned out, had been a poor one.
The Wizard had anticipated that the Demon Lord was involved with this — he knew that his former apprentice couldn’t take a kingdom by himself; he also sensed that the ancient seal had been broken. He had hoped the two events weren’t related. The Heroine shrugged and suggested that they just slay the Demon Lord and be done with it — but the Wizard said that the fiend’s powers far surpassed his own.
It was at this point the Demon Lord appeared, floating above them.
Upon approaching the Sorcerer’s castle the Heroine and the Wizard were greeted by the sight of a small group of mages in haphazard formation. The Heroine drew her sword and the Wizard sent off a few warning sparks and most of the lesser mages scattered; a few of the braver souls casted a few spells before fleeing. The Underling himself appeared when all of his troops had deserted himself and gave about an equal amount of effort before departing himself. With no more obstacles before them, the Heroine and the Wizard made their way for the throne room.
The Underling was thrown into a frenzied panic when he got word that the Heroine and the Wizard were steadily making their way across the sea. The Evil Sorcerer’s main line of defense, the dragon, had already been slain, so that only left the Underling and all of the sub-underling mages to defend the castle. Shouting and raving, the Underling started making battle plans for all of his subordinates — but his erratic behaviour simply terrified them. They began to whisper among themselves that their masters were as dangerous to them as were their enemies and that perhaps now would be a good time to jump ship.
The Heroine and the Wizard traveled to a small port town where the Princess was waiting for them. She had arranged for her father’s ship to take them back to her home kingdom so that they could wage war on the Evil Sorcerer. Before they set sail, the Princess quietly asked them to show mercy to the Sorcerer if it was at all possible — although she had rejected his advances in her youth, she was not altogether un-fond of him. The two adventurers made hollow promises that they would do everything they could to spare the Sorcerer and then boarded the ship.
The Heroine arrived at a small cottage in the middle of a forest that looked so ordinary it was almost hard to see; she met with The Wizard and asked him what he knew about the Evil Sorcerer. The Wizard had taken him on as an apprentice about a decade ago. He had shown great potential with both magic and dragon taming but there was bitterness in his heart and a chip on his shoulder that made the Wizard leery. Eventually, he dismissed the Sorcerer. Upon hearing about the Sorcerer’s recent actions he became worried – the Sorcerer shouldn’t be powerful enough to overthrow a kingdom. Things were even worse than they seemed. He asked the Heroine if he could accompany her on her journey and the Heroine agreed.