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The Start of Magic, by Dr Bob Rich

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She was a tiny little fifteen-year-old, enslaved, raped, whipped. She didn't know that one day she'd become the War Leader of her people.

 

Heather the Mother was the Ehvelen's greatest hero. She had been their War Leader for almost all of the thirty years of terrible warfare that transformed them from peaceful, forest-dwelling hunters into fearsome warriors, then scattered them throughout Asia, Europe and even beyond. Wherever they were, they lived in the wild places, protecting wilderness from the depredations of mankind. Because of the terrible experiences recounted in the five Stories of the Ehvelen, they always fought for the oppressed against the powerful.

   But Heather knew none of this when she was fifteen. She was on the Hunt that should have qualified her and her four friends for adulthood. And then, what seemed to be two-headed giant monsters appeared, killed the boys and took the two girls away.

   "This was the worst day in the history of the Ehvelen. In a way, it was the day when our history began, the day when the Mother started to forge us into Her sword against slavery, cruelty, exploitation. It was the first day when an Ehvel was murdered -- and the first day, ever, when an Ehvel killed a Giant."

   Thus starts the FIRST STORY OF THE EHVELEN. They were short, had pointed ears and possessed wonderful abilities. Their memory is preserved in distorted form as Elves, Fairies, Leprechauns, Pixies, Dwarves, Gnomes, and perhaps surprisingly, Trolls and Djinns.

   We remember them as magical creatures. This book explains where the magic came from: keen intelligence, the abilities of an Olympic gymnast, the training of a hunter. 

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