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APA July 2007 newsletter

From our book of Shadows:

Apollo, With Your Blessed Golden Light(Invocation)
By Ginger Strivelli

Apollo, with your blessed golden light
So good, so knowing, so bright.

Lead us onward, upward, outward.
We follow the point of your sword.

Out of the darkness, away from the fright.
Apollo, with your blessed golden light.
We are behind You, ever satying near, 
For Your light banished the darkness we fear.

We are with You for feast or fight.
Apollo, with your blessed golden light.

Honor us, who still worship You.
By blessing us, and all we do.

Let us florish and prosper in Your sight.
Apollo, with your blessed golden light.


A short story by Ginger Strivelli originally published in the Ultimate Unkown Magazine

('Crystal Ball' Painting By Waterhouse)

Dragons No More
By Ginger Strivelli
Published in issue 21 of The Ultimate Unknown Magazine

Belizama looked up from her altar to gaze out the window 
at the lake and the land stretching out behind it. The spell 
was done. After thirteen moons of the most powerful magical 
workings, she had succeeded. In truth, she did not yet know 
that she had succeeded. She wouldn’t know until the first 
dragon arrived at Castle Urquhart and bellowed up to the window 
where she now stood waiting. If any dragons remained in 
Britannia, for her to save. With every Prince, Knight, 
merchant, and farmer hunting them for fame, profit, fear, 
and ignorance they might all be dead.

If only it hadn’t taken so long, so many of the beasts would 
not have been slaughtered. But one could not summon such 
mystical creatures as if rounding up sheep. It took great 
power and Belizama had to work with the Earth, Sun and Moon 
to build up that much energy.

But it was done. Every Dragon left living was turning towards
 Castle Urquhart. Belizama looked relieved only briefly. 
A wave of premonition swept over her. In her mind’s eye 
she saw something she had not foreseen. All those Princes, 
Knights, merchants and farmers were baring down upon her 
castle, as well. There would be no dragon sanctuary upon 
her grounds after all.

Two days passed. It was longer than Belizama had expected 
to wait for the first arrival. Her beloved creatures must 
be scarcer than even she had feared. However, that first 
arrival was heart warming, and she had been so stresses by 
the premonition and by the long wait, her heart needed 
warming, in deed. It was not a single dragon, but a bull, 
a cow, and a set of triplet hatchlings. All five proceeded, 
as if entranced, up to the foot of the castle and called in 
perfect unison up to Belizama’s window in the tower. They 
needn’t have. She’s seen them coming. She’d watched tearfully. 
First crying in awe of their magnificence, then in joy of 
their heeding her call, then in horror as she recalled the 
hunters that were uninvited, but also heeding her call.

The dragons glittered rose, purple, and green in the sunlight. 
Except for the smallest hatchling, who was strangely all white, 
with but touches of pale colors. Belizama wondered if he might 
be sick, or perhaps he was but a whim of Mother Nature. She 
couldn’t contemplate that mystery at length, for she had to 
think of how to save them from the hunters. If only they could 
fly and breath fire, like everyone claimed, they’d stand a 
chance against their attackers. Alas, they could no more breathe 
fire than they could breathe the dark water of the lake.

That thought froze in the Sorceress’ mind.
“Breath water,” she said out loud.
The animals looked at her quizzically.
She hadn’t meant the words as an incantation. She didn’t expect 
them to dive in, like her words alone could turn them 
into merdragons. No, she’d need an even grander spell than 
the one she’d worked to summon them, to supersede Mother 
Nature and change one race into an another. She didn’t have 
thirteen moon cycles for the celestial bodies to build up 
the magic for her, she’d have to force it from within 
herself. Belizama fasted, more dragons arrived, Belizama 
meditated, more dragons arrived, Belizama prayed, and more 
dragons arrived, Belizama built a small circle of stones on 
the shore of the lake, but only one last dragon arrived. 
Her circle was but an embryo compared to the sacred circles 
to the south. She was, after all, only a single person and 
could not build a proper circle, which would outlast the ages.

Hers needn’t last that long any way. It would be a temple 
for only one rite. Belizama labored finishing the circle for 
two more days, but no more dragons came. As she finished 
placing the last stone, in the moonlight, she looked around, 
to count only twenty-eight beasties asleep about her. Exhausted, 
she only wanted to join the in their dreams.

“What utter wonder must fill the dreams of such magical 
creatures!” She said to the Moon.
Alas, she had no time for dreaming. She smelled another 
creature on the wind. A predator, one too terrible not to 
fear. Men were following the tracks of her charges, and 
were nearly upon the sanctuary already.

Belizama centered herself hastily and began to draw down the 
power of the moon. When she felt the lunar energy saturate 
her soul, she called out in her mind for the spirits of 
the lake.

The Nixies, Sprites, Nereids, Fairies, and all such water 
spirits joined Belizama’s thoughts. No one spoke. Words are 
not needed in the realm of the mind. Nevertheless the water 
spirits learned of Belizama’s plan. There was dissension 
about if such a thing was wise 
even if it proved possible, which they also disagreed about. 
Of course, this argument was 
instantaneous without the burden of words. Likewise, 
the begrudged decision happened in but a moment, They 
agreed to help the human.

Once together, their mental power swelled out of the tiny 
stone circle, spreading out to engulf the sleeping 

There was lightning, in the clear night sky, flashing madder 
than the worst of natural storms. Belizama’s eyes stared 
heavenward but she did not see the phenomenon. As the last 
of the energy discharged, she fell face first into the grass. 
Mortals could not work magic with Nature’s spirits without 
risking injury, if not death, for their mortality.

Belizama laid unmoving, unbreatheing as the dragons awoke 
suddenly. They gasped for air, only to find gills in place 
of their lungs. Their new water creature instincts took 
over instantly and they all dove into the lake.

Several of the twenty-eight splashes hit Belizama’s still 
body, shocking a gasp from her bluing lips. Once she fought 
herself back from the cliffs of the land of the dead, she 
awoke to find herself alone in the demolished circle.
“Where are you, my darlings?”

A splash answered her. The white hatchling lifted its head 
from the water, looked at her but a moment, sunk below the 
water, and swam away.

Belizama had just pulled herself to her feet, when a 
Knight on horseback charged into the remnants of her 
“Fair Maiden, are you hurt? I am tracking a dragon. Has 
the monster attacked you?” He asked as he swung down from his 
mount to offer his arm to steady her on her feet.
“Sir, I can assure you, there are no 
dragons here at Loch Ness.”

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