Concept Art & Design of Merida by Sherry Isenbarger


When picking Merida, I thought it would be fun to take the character beyond the traditional happy ending and throw in a twist to her story. So in my version, something else goes wrong with the witch's spell and Merida gains an expanded life span and is charged with the duties of guarding the borders between mystical realms at the stone circles. I have brought her forward in time and thought it would be fun to give her a Steampunk spin. With lots of fun gadgets and her ever faithful companion Seamus the wolfhound.


Please enjoy Sherry's story of Merida below.



Becoming the Highlands Huntress (Part One)


      She sat down on the log and reached over to scratch behind the great hound's ear. A motion unconscious to the both of them, yet giving comfort to each.


"How long have I been at this," she pondered. "Four hundred, five hundred years?"


When thinking of her family; her mother, father and three brothers, her home, they all seemed so distant. Like a story related to her by someone else, about someone else.


"How did this all begin? Could I have prevented or changed this outcome?"


She shifted on the log and the dog Seamus grunted his displeasure. As she resumed scratching the silly beasts ears she pondered the beginnings...


       She had saved her mother from living out her days as a bear and had united her family. But that damnable, incompetent witch had forgotten to tell her the whole truth of the spell. She had wished to change her mother and change her destiny. With the hint from the witch she had  managed to change her mother back to a human and her destiny had changed, but not as she had expected. Why had the witch not told her the balance of the spell or CURSE!


      Her parents had changed their minds about forcing her into a marriage she wasn't ready for, but ever since that moment that spell was cast SHE had changed. Never aging a day more than she was at that point, so many years ago. As time progressed she became as proficient with riding, hunting and weapons as any man in the land. Soon there were no young men enthusiastic about to seeking her hand in marriage. She was no longer the mild, desirable, pliable young princess. Not that she really minded, she always preferred the company of her hounds and mounts anyway.


    Finally, she had made the trip to the standing stones to seek answers. There had to be more to this "new" life than eternally existing. She would find a beginning... or find an end...


          ~ The night was dark and the stars seemed endlessly distant, her current Seamus sidled nervously and emitted low growls and whines. The scent on the air was dense with the forest musk and seemed almost damp. Ahead, could still be seen, the blueish glow of the Will-o-the-Wisp she was following. Without warning she stumbled out of the trees and into the clearing.   All around her stood the great stone circle, silent and daunting. It seemed to be listening.


     She stepped to the center of the stones, leaving Seamus nervously pacing outside the circle.


"Is anyone here? Does anyone listen? Why has this happened to me?" Her voice raised with each question. "What right had you to do this to me," she anguished "I did not ask for this!".


"Did you not?" Asked a low voice with the resonance of the ages in it. "Did you not ask to be changed, to be in charge of your own choices and destiny? Who now stops you? " mocked the voice.


"My very false life stops me" she spoke. "I go on and on, with no goal, no purpose, no meaning to this eternal living", her voice quieting to near whisper. 


Lifting her chin in defiance she demanded, "Who are YOU to mock me or my fate!"


"I AM THE CAILLEACH BHEUR!  Goddess of Winter, Mother of Mountains, Ageless Lady of Dark Places, Ancient Crone of Wisdom. The Winter brings the Spring, and in death, I am endlessly renewed, and  you should have known better than to play with the DEEP MAGIC" the voice boomed and vibrated around her.


Part Two coming September 18th... 





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