Sunday, December 30, 2012

Can You Be Brave For Me?

Learning as they go, the kids soon realize that not every animal is going to be all that friendly upon escaping their captivity. The mighty Shenlong–a large dragon of Chinese Mythology that governs wind, clouds and rain–shows this to be true. After being freed, he’s less than thrilled to be seeing other human figures standing before him and an angry master of storms is not a pretty sight.

* * * * * * *

"Whoa...big," said Bree, craning her neck to follow the rising blue dragon as it took to the sky. "Not Zaratan big, but still...really big"

"And angry, too." Shiloh reached out to the growling Arrow, putting a hand on the much smaller dragon’s neck. "Even Arrow noticed it."

The Shenlong let loose a fierce roar. As if in response, clouds began to gather in the sky overhead. The light drizzle was now coming down harder and the wind followed suit.

With his arms around Arrow’s neck, Shiloh tried pulling his partner back. "We need to leave. Now. Seriously."

"We can’t. Not yet." Sophie kept still, her eyes stuck on the sight in front of her. "We’re not done."

"See that grouchy dragon flying above us, So-So? He’s not trapped anymore. Job done," said Bree. "I don’t even want to try and ride him. I just want to get out of here."

"But look at him. He still thinks he’s in danger." Sophie looked down at the shivering Arkan Sonney by her feet. The small pig looked up at her and squealed softly. "He needs our help, Arkan. Can you be brave for me? Can you grow real big? Please?" Still shaking, the little pig squealed a little louder and started growing. As Arkan Sonney grew, Sophie jumped on her back and shouted out to the enraged dragon. "Shenlong! You’re free! No one is going to hurt you!"

The dragon slowly came down to the ground, its’ narrowed eyes fixed on Sophie and the now large Arkan Sonney.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Shauna Healy

Helping out at the Wales Animals Care Facility (or as Bree calls it, the "Pet Shack") is the twenty-three year old Shauna Healy. In fact, her whole family has been helping out Callum for some time now and this just happens to be her turn. At the W.A.C.F., Shauna acts as the driver, caretaker, receptionist, and just about anything else that keeps the place running. She sees Callum as something of an uncle figure, but easily gets frustrated that he hasn’t adjusted to being on Earth yet.

Like the rest of her family, Shauna has the rare gift of magical immunity. This means that magic has no effect on her and will actually vanish in her presence. This tends to cause some friction when it comes to her dealings with the magical creatures she helps take care of, but she doesn’t mind. After all, she understands what Callum is trying to accomplish and things like an annoyed dragon is a small price to pay.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Less Whining, More Action

Another picture from my artist friend, Elmer Damaso, has just arrived with the kids making a hurried escape into cold ocean waters. As with every rescue mission, the kids have to free the captured animals by putting keystones into a certain spot. This time the mythical creature is quite a bit bigger than previous ones and they realize pretty quickly it’s best to get out of the way as soon as possible!

* * * * * * *

"Found it!" said Sophie. She stood in front of a rounded rock with a small hole in the middle, perfect for a keystone.

"Slam it in!" Bree was tugging furiously at the seaweed clinging to her ankles. "Do it before this stuff drags us back into the water!"

Sophie took the glowing orb in her hand and put it in place. The seaweed immediately stopped, dropping harmlessly to the ground. Water Lily Jaguar still eyed the plants suspiciously, claws ready to strike at a moments notice. Sophie turned to Bree. "Okay, where’s the Zaratan? Usually something happens by now."

Bree was running to the jaguar and quickly hopped onto his back. "Oh, it’s gonna happen!"

"What do you mean?" asked Shiloh. He stood behind Farasi Bahari with Ercinee flying overhead to provide light. He pulled some stray seaweed off of his backpack and threw it to the ground.

"It’s about to get way crazy here so you might want to..." She gave Water Lily Jaguar a playful slap on the side. "Run!"

"Wait! Seriously? What’s–" The sudden rumbling on the island made Shiloh pause. "Again? Why does every mission have to end with rocks falling all over us?"

"At least she warned us this time," said Sophie. She was already on top of Farasi Bahari and gave Shiloh her arm. With both of them on the emerald horse, they made a break for the water.

"Less whining, more action!" Bree and Water Lily Jaguar were already leaping into the air, right into the open water. "That’s how animals get rescued!"

Monday, October 8, 2012

Mythical Folk and Magical Worlds

In the story of Mythic Summer a lot of research was done on the myths and legends found all over the world. While looking for the various magical people and animals that different cultures believed to exist, many themes kept popping up that helped to shape this story.

One such idea is that of the figure that served as a protector or guardian of animals. Creatures would gather around them, forgetting all aggression and fear in their presence. An important role for these people would be to act as a mediator between humans and animals. An example of this is the being known as Desana, a dwarf found in the amazon with the magical ability to change into various animals. Any human hunters in search of game would need to get his permission first before any animal could be harmed. It was from beings such as Desana that the idea of the Shepherds came about.

Another constant theme was that of the hidden world found just beyond the view of humans. These places would be the true home of many magical people and animals and would exist right alongside the world of Earth. The paths to reach these magical lands would usually be kept secret to only those that lived there, but stories of humans discovering these worlds by accident happened on occasion. In Irish lore, the Sidhe were rumored to live in an invisible world that coexisted with our own world. Occasionally visiting the Earth, they would always find their way back to their own hidden home. The world of Meurum–the home to all magical people and animals in Mythic Summer–came to be because of stories like this.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Water Lily Jaguar and Arkan Sonney

The shy and sensitive Arkan Sonney and the stoic and bold Water Lily Jaguar couldn’t be more different, but both of these animals have proven themselves willing to help Callum and the kids on their big adventure to rescue the captured mythical creatures.

The little pig from the Isle of Man is just full of surprises. Arkan Sonney is able to change size at will and has the unique ability to bring good luck to those aroud her. This normally small creature has long white hairs all over her body with bright red ears and eyes. The kids find out quickly enough that the Arkan Sonney is a little on the timid side, but she is always willing to help out, especially when Sophie is the one asking. Even when she does run or hide, she can usually be coaxed back with the phrase, "I wonder who’ll help me eat this?"

Water Lily Jaguar is a mysterious cat from the area of Central America. Rumored to be something of a protector deity, he looks like a regular jaguar save for his larger than average size and the water lily growing on top of his head. Water Lily Jaguar is at home in the water, able to stay underwater for long periods or even run on top of it. He has been helping Callum the entire time ever since he first began this quest to rescue the animals. While he is wary around humans, he has shown incredible patience around the kids like when Shiloh asks him to pose for a drawing. Usually though, he is found at the bottom of a pool of water, sleeping the day away.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Hugo Soares and Maxine Devereux

"Love your life" is the motto of Hugo Soares and Maxine Devereux, parents of the ever energetic Bree. These two documentary film makers are true to those words, traveling the world to make their popular nature series, Big World, and loving every minute of it. They met in Brazil when Maxine was trying to get footage for her very first film and needed the help of the outgoing forest guide, Hugo. Their mutual love of animals and adventure has helped make some incredibly popular documentaries and the two have been together ever since.

Bree used to go with her parents, but after what can only be called the "Elephant Incident" they decided she needed a more stable living arrangement. Luckily, Maxine’s best friend, Cassidy Talbot and family were willing to share their home to not just Bree, but the parents as well. Now with a home base in Wales, Colorado, Maxine and Hugo have a place to return to after their months of filming and with the construction of a small film editing building in the backyard, they can comfortably put the finishing touches on their projects.

Upon hearing about Bree’s summer job, they were both extremely excited. While they were proud to see their daughter wanting to work with animals like they do, they were more pleased with the idea of Bree taking on more responsibility, hopefully a sign that she is finally starting to control that enthusiasm of hers. Until they’re done filming their current documentary, Hugo and Maxine remain content to hear Bree’s constant updates about her own animal least the ones Bree can tell them about.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Samson and Cassidy Talbot

Meet Samson and Cassidy Talbot, the parents of Sophie and Shiloh. They run what has become known as the Talbot Compound, a place where people and horses alike can be taught the fine art of horse riding. Samson has been around horses all his life and couldn’t think of anything he’d rather do than train them and the people who ride them. Cassidy runs the onsite veterinary clinic and isn’t afraid to stare down any horse foolish enough to test her patience.

Cassidy is best friends with Bree’s mom, Maxine, from their days in college. When Bree’s parents asked if she could stay with them while they filmed their documentaries, she went a step further and asked if the whole family would like to move in with them. Samson took some convincing on his part, but when he realized it meant they could afford a much bigger compound, he soon changed his mind.

When the girls asked about getting a summer job taking care of animals, Samson was all for it, making the case that he had a job of his own when he was their age. Cassidy was a little more reluctant, but she agreed as long as she be allowed to take over in case of an emergency. Of course, they both still expect the kids to help out around the compound, especially when Samson has a difficult horse that only Sophie’s special way with animals can handle. They’ve been quite impressed with how well they’ve been dealing with their new responsibilities, even more so when they noticed their son, Shiloh, helping out, too.  Then again, they might be more worried than impressed if they fully understood all of the kids' responsibilities this summer.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Just a Bunch of Feathers

For the kids, part of their job is to learn how to work with these amazing mythical creatures and no one has it harder than Shiloh. Being a partner to a young dragon like Arrow certainly has its’ drawbacks. Whether it’s cleaning up after him, keeping him fed, or trying to break him of his peculiar dragon habits, Shiloh has a busy summer ahead of him.

* * * * * * *

"Arrow, don’t do it," whispered Shiloh. He slowly crept up to the young dragon and reached out to touch him. With a hand on Arrow’s wing, Shiloh did his best to keep his voice calm. "It’s just a bunch of feathers. Only feathers."

The dragon paid no attention to Shiloh, instead focusing on the yellow and black bird in front of him. A low, happy growl rumbled in his throat and his eyes shone excitedly.

"Leave her alone, Arrow. You can’t have her feathers." Shiloh stood in front of the dragon, trying to block the Ercinee from Arrow’s view. The dragon kept craning his neck over Shiloh, pushing against the boy insistently. As Shiloh wedged his body up against Arrow to hold him back, he looked at the Ercinee and said, "Stop glowing already. It drives him crazy."

As if surprised, the Ercinee flapped her wings and squawked shrilly, her feathers glowing even brighter. Arrow immediately took notice and quickly knocked Shiloh to the side to pursue his object of obsession. In an instant, the bird took flight and the young dragon was off after her.

"Arrow! Get back here!" Shiloh started to run, but stopped and shouted behind him. "A little help would be nice!"

"Can’t, ‘Loh! Staring contest with Jaculus!" Bree was on the ground, facing the winged snake.

"And I’m the judge," added Sophie.

"And Sophie’s the judge! Deal with it!"

"Ugh..." Shiloh glared for a moment, but turned back to join the chase. "Don’t make me get the squirt bottle!"

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Ercinee and Veo

Here are two more animals that will certainly prove useful to the kids on their various missions this summer. Hopefully, Sophie, Bree and Shiloh will take the time get to know these mythical creatures and all their quirks.

The crane-like Ercinee was rumored to live in the Hercynian Forest, located in the area of Germany. This bird had the ability to glow extremely bright due to the magical nature of her feathers. With her light yellow and black feathers and strong legs and beak, this bird was an impressive sight. A vain bird, the Ercinee is always seeking attention and compliments, especially when it comes to her feathers. Unfortunately for her, those feathers also draw the unwanted attention of a young dragon who just loves shiny things.

With sightings in Indonesia, the Veo is a large creature very similar to a pangolin, complete with thick scales and a lengthy tail. While his long tongue and thick claws are useful, it’s his unique ability to roll up into a giant ball that proves most helpful to the kids. The Veo is a nocturnal creature and needs some coaxing to get going during daylight hours. He generally likes to stick to himself, but seems to get along with the Haetae. Is generally annoyed with Bree’s constant attempts to ride him like a horse.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Save the Mishypishy

Finding the keystones is just the first half of any mission for Bree, Sophie and Shiloh. Once they do get their hands on it, a spell is activated which summons the rogue Shepherd himself, Faelan, in an elemental form. After a cryptic message to the humans attempting to free the captured creatures, the fake Faelan makes a final effort to stop the rescue. In this scene, Sophie and the Farasi Bahari run into a stone Faelan as they try to release the Mishipeshu.

* * * * * * *

"You sure you don’t need help?" asked Sophie. She held the keystone tightly in her hands as she watched her brother and best friend hold on to the thrashing lake creatures.

"Nem Rola! We have this! Save the Mishypishy!" shouted Bree. She had a tight grasp on the aquatic animal’s back as it tried to buck her off.

"It’s the Mishipeshu!" screamed a panicking Shiloh. "Just hurry up, Sophie!"

"Alright. Let’s go, Farasi." With a light kick of her feet, Sophie nudged the emerald horse forward, but he didn’t budge. Instead, Farasi reared back in surprise as the ground underneath their feet began to tremble. "Steady, boy!"

From the rocky lake bottom, a human-like form emerged, quickly taking the familiar shape of Faelan. In a gravelly voice, the stone figure said, "Well done, humans. You have taken the keystone. But understand this." The fake Faelan turned around and kneeled to the ground. "Some creatures won’t be so happy to see humans." In a flash, two palms struck the ground and a burst of magical energy surged forward, forcing a huge, algae covered rock to quickly appear.

"The Mishipeshu! We found it, Farasi!" Sophie’s joy was short-lived, though, as she took a good look at the stone. The algae was growing at an alarming rate, covering the entire surface. There was no telling now where the keystone would fit.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


The kids wouldn’t be on this great adventure if not for the actions of the rogue Shepherd, Faelan. Though the man himself is imprisoned by the Shepherds he once worked with, his trials are still in place, leaving many mythical creatures patiently waiting for humans to free them.
Faelan is member of the tall, elf-like Sidhe just like Callum; in fact, the two had a kind of student-mentor relationship with Faelan teaching the younger Shepherd all he knew. He is a highly competent mage, capable of performing many types of magic like controlling earth and plants, creating magical barriers, and much more. In his days as a Shepherd, Faelan was considered one of the best, not just in his ability, but also in his devotion to protecting the magical animals of Meurum.

Yet something tragic happened to Faelan’s first animal partner, something caused directly by humans. With a growing sense of anger and distrust towards the people of Earth, Faelan’s actions became more and more severe, eventually drawing the attention of one temperamental Cait Sith that chose the now bitter Faelan as his partner. Even now, his resentment continues to grow as he is very much aware at how long it has taken to find any humans capable of passing his trials. Whether Sophie, Bree and Shiloh will prove any different remains to be seen, but in their defense, their summer has just started.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Crab Bowling

Throughout their summer, Sophie, Bree and Shiloh will be going on all sorts of missions to rescue the captured mythical creatures. They’ll have many dangers ahead of them, but they’re determined to find the necessary keystones to free each and every animal in need of help. In this scene, the kids come face to face with a small army of creatures known as basket monsters. Even with the help of their animal helpers, can they get the keystones away from these crab-like creatures?

* * * * * * *

"You sure those...crab things have the keystone?" asked Shiloh.

"Keystones. I saw two of them," said Bree, holding up two fingers like a peace sign. "All Callum said was look for colorful, roundish stones and that’s what I saw."

"But how do we get the stones away from them?" Sophie leaned down, carefully reaching a finger out to touch one of the creatures. In a flash, a pincer shot out and almost latched on to one of her fingers. "I kind of like my fingers the way they are: on my hand."

"I can have Arrow, um, blast them?" The dragon was too busy eyeing the crab creatures. "Pretty sure he doesn’t like them."

"No! We don’t want to hurt them," said Sophie sharply. "Maybe we can just knock them over until we find the keystones."

"Knock them over?" Bree tapped a finger to her chin thoughtfully. Her face brightening up, she shouted, "Got it! Crab bowling!" She put a hand on the large, scaly creature next to her. "Veo, ball time, okay?" The animal gave a low hiss and obediently rolled up into a giant ball.

"Did she just say ‘crab bowling’?" asked Shiloh. He folded his arms in disbelief. "I bet she’s smiling, too."

"Don’t hurt them!" yelled Sophie.

"Ótimo!" With an exaggerated effort, Bree started pushing the Veo forward, knocking the clawed creatures over as she passed. She was smiling.

Friday, February 24, 2012

It Actually Did Look Tame. Kind Of.

Whenever a mission is about to start, Ghost the White Hart appears through his magical mist to escort Sophie, Bree, and Shiloh back to his partner, Callum. It doesn’t matter if they’re at home, the park or even the mall; Ghost will show up to perform this essential task. This is the first meeting the kids have with this mythical creature.

* * * * * * *

"It doesn’t look like it’s from around here," said Shiloh nervously.

"What? There aren’t any deer in Colorado?" asked Bree. She was already giving the white deer a vigorous back scratch.

"Not that color. It’s probably wild, don’t you think?"

Sophie joined Bree and reached out to pet the animal. "Come on, Shiloh. He looks friendly enough. Not like he has rabies or something."

"It’s possible," said the boy. He was still a good ten feet away from the others, but he looked ready to jump back at a moment’s notice.

Sophie let out a small laugh. "I think he just rolled his eyes at you."

"Just pet him, Loh. He’s super fuzzy!" Bree buried her face in the deer’s side. "Stop being such a kid."

Shiloh eyed the deer carefully. It actually did look tame. Kind of. "Fine. Better not get ticks from him." Slowly, he approached the animal, hand outstretched carefully. "Goooood boy. Good boy."

"See? He’s not biting," said Sophie. "If you can befriend a dragon, a deer should be no problem." Sophie noticed the strange mist spreading around their feet. "Um...why is it getting foggy all of a sudden?"

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Shiloh and Arrow

In Mythic Summer, magical animals from the world of Meurum have the ability to form a bond with humans (or human-like beings) which can last a lifetime. When chosen, the animal's mark will appear on their partner’s hand, a sign of their pact. Every Shepherd has bonded with some kind of mythical creature and because of this, has sworn to protect them. It is true that most of these bonds are with those from Meurum, but it has been noted that humans from the world of Earth have bonded with these mythical creatures from time to time (though none have been considered Shepherds). Such is the case with our young friend, Shiloh, who makes a powerful connection with a juvenile dragon he names Arrow.

Arrow would be considered a European style dragon, complete with spikes, wings and fire breath. As he is still very young, this dark red dragon has quite a lot of growing to do, but for now, he is roughly the size of a large Great Dane. Aside from his natural talent for breathing fire, Arrow has already proven to be an excellent flier and his keen eyesight certainly does come in handy on missions. Arrow is a very playful dragon and loves to interact with those around him. As with many dragons, he is especially attracted to shiny things, a habit his partner is trying hard to break. He has shown to be very protective of Shiloh and tends to get nervous when he’s not with him.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Farasi Bahari and Haetae

Fantastic animals are a key element of Mythic Summer and there are plenty to talk about. Callum has spent a lot of time traveling the world of Meurum in search of mythical creatures willing to help the kids on their quest. Two of the first to appear are the Farasi Bahari and the Haetae.

Said to have roamed the Indian Ocean, the Farasi Bahari could best be described as an aquatic horse. They have emerald green skin and since they have no need for lungs to breathe, they have incredible endurance. Living underwater, these horses are just as capable and graceful in water as they are on land. In Mythic Summer, the Farasi Bahari the kids work with is a very proud horse and loves to show off, especially for Sophie. He does tend to get jealous, but he can usually be appeased with some seaweed, his favorite treat.

From many Korean legends, the Haetae is a sturdy creature with incredibly thick skin. These creatures had the uncanny ability to devour flames and served as protectors against this dangerous element. Even though the Haetae was considered a dog, they had a somewhat lion-like look to them. Sophie, Bree and Shiloh realize pretty quickly how much work it is keeping this playful creature in check, especially when she forgets just how heavy she is. She likes to follow Arrow the Dragon around just in case the firebreather has one of his outbursts.