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*UPDATE 5JAN24 - 4:21PM*

Oops, messed up the lettering and lost the line which probable made it look more like a koan poem than originally intended. All fixed now. - PJH

About Lou Anders

Lou Anders is the author of the novel Once Upon a Unicorn, as well as the Thrones & Bones trilogy of fantasy adventure novels (Frostborn, Nightborn, and Skyborn), and the novel Star Wars: Pirate’s Price. In March 2021, he founded Lazy Wolf Studios to publish his roleplaying game books, the Thrones & Bones: Norrøngard 5e campaign setting, and other endeavors. He has also done roleplaying game design for Kobold Press, River Horse, and 3D Printed Tabletop. In 2016, he was named a Thurber House Writer-in-Residence and spent a month in Columbus, Ohio teaching, writing, and living in a haunted house. When not writing, he enjoys playing role playing games, 3D printing, and watching movies. He lives with his wife, children, and two golden doodles in Birmingham, Alabama.

Website | Amazon



1 woman sneaking up on or charging into group of monsters

[if there is room for them to speak, we’d hear “Kill it” “Let’s torture it first” and “huh?” from one monster turning around to seeing her approach.]

1 I can’t change what they did to me.

2 woman running monster through with sword or stilleto while others realize they are under attack 

2 Or what I’ve done to others.

3 woman cutting through all the monsters to reach their center

3 I know what a hero looks like…

4 woman taking off monster’s head 

[If there is room and it appeals, we see her memory in the air of what she thinks heroes are – shining, heroic, perfect. If this is IP, I can provide references]

4 …from the outside.

5 last of the monsters fall


5 I cram my broken pottery …

6 behind the wall of monsters— a frightened wolf puppy! 

6 …into a hollow statue I carved of someone else.

7 woman lifting puppy up. 

7 Someone I pretend to be.

8 Elsewhere, woman kneeling to present puppy to little girl.

[Or possibly back to wolf parents. Point is wolf puppy is reunited with those what love it]

8 And I’ll never stop. 


Artists Notes

Ok, this is an unusual one, in that I drew a version of this, entirely, and then scrapped it. It's here:

Why? Well, it felt like I drew it quick (and yes, I intend to draw all of these quick, otherwise I'd go broke, but this was too quick) it's also my weak zone, fantasy isn't where I usually ply my trade, so I was conscious that it just... didn't have a lot of depth in the art (it was all a bit rudimentrary). Spent the day before the redraw hanging out with John McCrea looking over the Apex edition of Mick McMahon, featuring some of his slaine work, and man - that stuff is so amazing. So I made a concious effort to try and include some of that as inspiration for the redraw. You'll not the redraw didn't do much with the story telling, by and large it's an identical page, but it just feels like a more lived in weirder world now. (I think)


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