Over the centuries, I’ve had many names. One of my titles was Handmaiden to the Serpent. Rubbish. I was far more than a mere handmaiden. She might have been the Serpent, but I was the Spider. I spread my webs, weaving them throughout the lands, which would become the Empire, while Nevalyn went lashing her tail, mindlessly crushing whatever lay in her path. (see ’N is for Nevalyn’ at inspirationcauldron.wordpress.com) The Dark Circle was still my lair, when the Imperatrix banished the Serpent from her lands, both times. I was gathering my minions, when the empire fell, taking the Dragon Priesthood with it. Power dripped from my webs, when the Unicorn clerics came to ‘cleanse’ the Dark Circle. All of them ended up, dangling, upside down from the ceiling of my lair, as my daughters drained their vitality from them. I listened with some interest to tales of young Corwyth Nevalyn, trying to rebuild an ancient vampire’s lair, to transform it into a walled city. Transformed it was. Corwyth Keep is no match for the Dark Circle, but it is one of the more interesting places to rise from the ruins of the empire. Not to mention its wards keep my kind out. A pity my own fangs never caressed Corwyth Nevalyn’s neck, when he was still alive! What a feast he would have been! Alas, I have little interest in a vampire, other than as a useful tool. I much prefer shapeshifters, faeries, and humans with a touch of magic to them. Take little Ylynessa. She has no memory of the time she spent here with me, before William Caerac adopted her. (see ‘W is for William’) She doesn’t realize the letters she’s writing to her Aunt Xyna are actually coming to me. She’s been the perfect servant, capturing that sea monster and binding it into enchanted armour. However, I wonder at her silence lately, as well at the chaos happening at Caerac Keep. Not all of it is of my design. I wish I had an additional pair of eyes and ears in that wretched place, to inform me of what’s going on. However, opportunities may present itself with these youngsters, who’ve come to investigate the chaos. Interesting children, these little magic users. I don’t doubt that Corwyth has plans of his own for them. I’ve just got to make certain his plans don’t interfere with my plans. If you’re curious about this little tapestry of intrigue I’m weaving, you might encourage my author to pick up my story, once more. I was part of a planned novel, until she abandoned it, to transform my world into the Keep, which she and other authors used to write in. She will pick it up again, regardless. Once I’ve begun to spin my webs into a dark corner, even if it’s in my author’s imagination, they never go away. She will discover that, as she tries to write about other characters. I’m creeping into the creation of her other villains, even though she tries to deny me. I’m older than all of them. I shall endure, long after she’s forgotten the rest of them.