~♚ Swan Maidens ♚~ discussion

♚~Once Upon A Time...

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message 1: by Brooklyn (new)

Brooklyn (toxikitty7887) | 67 comments Mod
Queen Mirabelle is a woman of high expectations and has only wanted the best for her four sons. So, naturally, when her sons were old enough to marry the Queen only wanted the most beautiful and unique women for her sons’ wives. The entire kingdom was searched and hundreds of maidens were brought before Queen Mirabelle, but none of them could meet her expectations. Their personalities were too bland or they were too gushy or too whiny or not very smart or not pretty enough or… You get the idea. Woman after woman was turned away by the Queen. Soon, she began to despair that she would never find the perfect wives for her sons to marry.

Eventually, Queen Mirabelle traveled to a witch’s home deep within Wolfbane Forest. Queen Mirabelle explained her dilemma to the witch and asked for the witch’s counsel. The witch then told the Queen of a secret. She directed Queen Mirabelle to a hidden pond where the most beautiful of maidens go to bath in the moonlight. As the Queen was about to set off with her guard, the witch cautioned that either she should go to the pond alone or send one person in her stead; as more than one person might frighten the maidens off permanently. The Queen opted to send one of her guards to the pond while she and her remaining guard hung back where they waited for his return. Some hours later, the guard returned with a fantastical tale to tell. He reported to his Queen he found the pond and, just as the witch promised, there were several beautiful women bathing in the moonlight. He told the Queen of how he announced himself then approached the women only to watch, surprised, as they became swans before flying away.

Did the Queen believe the guard’s story? She did not.

Believing him drunk or crazed or both, she dispatched another guard the following night to the mysterious pond. Like the first guard, he returned a few hours later with the same story. He announced himself only for the maidens to become swans and fly away. She hardly believed her guards’ story, thinking they were joking, but decided to investigate and see the maidens with her own eyes. On the third night, Queen Mirabelle traveled to the pond alone. Just as the witch and her guards told her, there she found several of the most beautiful women Queen Mirabelle had ever seen. She watched them a while before revealing herself to the maidens. It should not have come as a surprise, but Queen Mirabelle was surprised when, frightened, the maidens took up a feathered cloak each and transformed into swans. Stunned, the Queen stood with her mouth agape as she watched the transformed maidens fly away into the night.

They were certainly beautiful and unique, Queen Mirabelle conceded.

Immediately, the Queen went straight back to the witch’s house where she demanded an explanation. She wanted to know what the maidens were and where they came from. The witch explained that the women were shapeshifters known as ‘swan maidens’ that hail from a mysterious land east of the sun and west of the moon. When the Queen told the witch how the swan maidens had flown away before she could speak to them, the witch told the Queen that she had to steal their cloaks. Without their cloaks, the swan maidens would be unable to return to their homeland.

The Queen returned to the pond with this knowledge in mind later that night. This time, while the maidens bathed, the Queen secretly stole four of the maidens’ cloaks. She placed the cloaks into a sack which the Queen secured to her horse before returning to the pond. When the Queen made herself known, all but four of the maidens took to the skies. Naked, the four maidens left behind searched for their feathered cloaks with the Queen offering to help. Hours went by, but the maidens, of course, never found their cloaks. The Queen offered them a place to stay in her castle where she promised they would be well taken care of by her staff. The maidens reluctantly agreed. Queen Mirabelle called for her guards. When they approached, she ordered them to shed their cloaks so that the maidens could cover their nakedness. Queen Mirabelle, her royal guard, and the four maidens returned to the castle a few days later. Just as the Queen promised they would be, the maidens were well taken care of and were given their own rooms, new clothes to wear, and plenty of food to eat. Most important of all, in the Queen’s mind, her sons spent time with the maidens. How could they not? The maidens were enchanting, but none of her sons knew the exact truth about them. Queen Mirabelle had high hopes her sons would fall in love with the maidens and the maidens in turn would fall in love with her sons, forgetting all about their former lives as swan maidens.

As for the cloaks, Queen Mirabelle has them hidden away and only she knows where.

message 2: by Brooklyn (new)

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