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Infusion of Magic

In Betrayal, the first book of The Crystal Crux series, we don’t see or hear much use of magic or otherworldly occurrences.  There are some.  There are hints of heightened activity in the city of Parthenope of little tiny lizards.  By the end of Chapter 4, we learn there is a sinister giant, a court magician wearing a Bellerophon Crystal.  Neither the giant or the Lord of Parthenope, Gherardus Fabbro, reveal anything more about it – it simply is something they are aware of and respect the power.

And then Chapters 5 & 6 go way off course to focus on the creation of the Bellerophon Crystals themselves.


Bellerophon is a warrior of ancient Greek mythology.  There are many variations, and many legends as well as storytellers of all the ancients.  I embellished on Euripides tale where Bellerophon rides Pegasus to Mount Olympus.  Zeus does indeed send a gadfly to sting the horse’s backside, sending Bellerophon back down to earth in a heap.  It is said he survived the fall but was crippled, a beggarly figure eating his heart out, his death never recorded.

b and z

I gave Bellerophon purpose.  Before he fell, he grabbed and stole esoteric particles from heaven.  He then took the particles to another fallen “god”, Hephaestus.  Together, they devise a plan to help Bellerophon make the earth his kingdom.  Hephaestus doesn’t really care what happens on earth as long as innocent people keep dying and their blood drips down into his caves.  The more war Bellerophon makes, the better for him.

And then I turned to the constellations of the night sky and pulled down Ophis from Serpens.  Serpens is a unique constellation in that it is split in two halves with Ophiuchus, the serpent-bearer between the head and tail.  Ophis is also, by some accounts, the ancient snake or dragon of the Bible, the one in the Garden of Eden.  It seemed fitting to inject Ophis into the tale, messing up Bellerophon’s plans.

Engraving by Sir James Thornhill

So Bellerophon’s plans get messed up, the five crystal Hephaestus created containing the esoteric particles of heaven were separated and lost during the eruption of Vesuvius, and now one Crystal, the center-stone, the Crux, is being used by the giant Sinibaldus.

And then the magic ends for awhile.  Life goes on as does the “betrayal” of Pero de Alava, a well-respected Spaniard running things in Capua.  All was well for Pero while Emperor Henry VI yet lived.  After Henry dies, however, there is an election for a new emperor which ultimately leads to civil unrest.  Pero is on the wrong side of the battle lines when he foolishly professes his support for Henry’s brother, Philip.  All hell breaks loose after that and Pero doesn’t know where to turn for answers.  He’s rightfully scared of what the Fabbro family has planned for him and his loved ones.

It is at this point, Pero starts having nightmares.  The visions become so powerful and imposing, they affecting him during the day.  He sees only death.  His faith in God wanes.

And during his dive into madness and uncertainty, a letter comes from Parthenope, sending him on a suicidal quest.  Pero sees this as his out, a chance to leave all his problems and ghosts behind him.  He shuns the advice of his best friend, forsakes his bride-to-be, and leaves, a scapegoat taking his sins into the wilderness to save his people.

Sadly, those seeking vengeance often respond in wholehearted measures we can’t often reason or define.  They’ll stop it nothing to punish all usurpers, sending a message to all who may try to oppose them in the future.

A bit a magic begins to rear itself as Pero sees things and experiences things on his quest he couldn’t imagine possible before that day.  Even Francis Whitehall, during a moment of betrayal and terror, is confronted by an otherworldly tranquility he will need in order to persevere.

As one steps into Book Two of the series, Blue Grotto, the magic and otherworldly elements begin to really flow into the story.  The barrier between reality and supernatural is broken, especially in magical places like the Blue Grotto.

Don’t forget, Betrayal and Blue Grotto are adult versions of the story not meant for the young and squeamish.  I did create one young adult volume combining the first two books called The First Three Days.  The whole series will eventually encompass ten days – ten days in the year 1198.  I hope you join us on the quest.  Be sure to leave a review.  Authors need reviews – especially self-published authors.  The more the better!

Amazon Authors Page – Allen M Werner

Goodreads Page – Allen M Werner

Be sure to follow me on both!


Building A Cave

Since I’ve not been to Italy and didn’t have actual pictures of my own of the Blue Grotto on Capri, I decided to build one in my basement for the cover of my second book : The Crystal Crux-Blue Grotto.

Despite all the investment in work and time, it didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted it to but that’s alright.  It still provided enough of an atmosphere to use it on the cover in a somewhat blurry, blinding blue aspect.

So here is my recorded history of the build.



And so it begins.


I started with cardboard and plaster.


One of my main concerns was how to work water into the scene.  Just painting everything blue wasn’t going to cut it.  I knew I would also have to experiment with the lighting.


I build a cardboard shelf (which doesn’t really exist in the Blue Grotto but I needed for my story).


I bought a blue light.  This is one of my first experiments with it.


I had envisioned a much larger, wider shot of the grotto eventually so I started expanding the cave with wire mesh and more plaster.


The wood column I added to the front did not actually stay there.  I moved that out.  I thought I might need it for support but didn’t.


I drilled holes in the board because I knew I wanted light coming up from the water.



I also didn’t like how the blue light was working on white plaster, so I decided to go with a silver-grey color for the interior.


Me and my monstrosity.  Lol


To hold the water, I used a clear paint tray.  I actually liked the ribbed pattern for effect.



I started experimenting with the lighting again, even adding smoke.


Yes, I wanted the skeletons in there but they were too prominent and I needed them to be more in the shadows.  Too much light exposed them.  If you search the final product, they are there but really shaded.



That’s me in my magician’s robe – the one I wore to Bristol’s Renaissance Faire in 2016.  Any other Ren Faire people out there?


And this is me in the photoshop format that was eventually placed inside the cave for the cover of the book.


And this was the final product.



And then came the deconstruction – tear down the cave!

Be sure to pick up a copy of The Crystal Crux – Blue Grotto.  Read and write a review – even if you just put up the number of stars without writing a review.  Authors need those reviews!  Thanks for all your support supporters!  I look forward to writing Book Three in the series in 2017.






2016 to 2017

Thank you to all the supporters of The Crystal Crux series.  It has been a wonderful 2016.  My dream to be an author came true in 2016 as I self-published Betrayal in January and Blue Grotto in November.  Not sure I can write two more books in 2017 but I will, at the very least, complete book three in the series before this time next year.

I’m also working on a all-ages appropriate book combining the first two books.  I’m not going to label it YA.  It is just appropriate for all ages.  It should be titled – The First Three Days.  So watch for that in the near future.  I’m going to see if a publishing house might be interested.  Who knows – right?

Enjoy this night and see you on the other side!  2017 – Here we come.





After researching this stuff, because I am not website savy, I have learned how to do this!  Or at the very least, I’m getting better at it.

This WORDPRESS website will be dedicated solely to “The Crystal Crux” series.

My other WORDPRESS website will be dedicated to all writings I author, so that site should change in nature as I go along.  I do have other writings I have already or will in the future, write  (Chessy grin)

Anyway, there its.  Looking forward to making this work, getting the word out on my series.  I hope you enjoy it and are as excited about it as I am!  – AM Werner