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The Centaur Spell

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It's been hundreds of years since the first spell. The centaurs were an artificial race, created by a mage to be a king's knights in a long-forgotten war. And for their kind, the centuries have been bitter and lonely, for the mage only created them from men.

Long ago, they left the human kingdom to start their own, deep in the forest near the western mountains. They avoid humans, except for once a year. They agree not to wage war on the human kingdom, and in exchange, once each year, the humans provide them with three young women, to be used as the centaurs see fit. For to ensure their continuation, they must mate alternate generations, one generation horses — the other humans.

This year, Eva was "chosen" as one of the three. The ceremony was big and loud and celebratory, but it was the kingdom's worst-kept secret that girls were chosen to be disposed of: Undesirables, the poor, and the troublemakers. Eva, always the outspoken junior mage, angered the wrong Elder in the Magery, and found herself standing before the kingdom on a dias with Melinda, a poor girl from the slums, and Penny, a merchant girl whose father owed just a bit too much money to the king.

The centaurs rode in stoically, as they did each year, a wooden cage pulled on a rolling cart between them. Words were exchanged, and then all three were roughly shoved into the cage, the wooden door slammed behind them to seal their fate. They all could guess what unpleasant future awaited them.

The journey was long, winding through the forest on a rarely-trod path. Eva, a little bored, began studying one of her captors walking beside the cage, and discovered that she could still "read" the spell on them. She couldn't alter it — but she could see how it was done to them, all those centuries before. And at this, she formed a plan.

In hushed tones the three then whispered. They knew there was no way out of this, but if they were willing to dare it, and strong enough of character, she could turn the situation to their advantage. At last, after many hours, the cage rolled to a stop. The three young women steeled themselves for what Eva would do.

The centaurs collected in a circle around the cage, as they did each year. The Elders would soon choose who would mate, and who would have a son by a human woman. Each man crowded around to see what his chance might be this year.

The cage was opened. Eva stepped forth, the other two behind her. She raised her wand — and cast the spell. The men watched, their jaws agape, at the wonder that unfolded before them.

And then, as they discussed, each woman walked toward the very surprised men, chose one, and ordered him to follow her. A few men protested to no avail as the girls and their selections walked past them into the forest. For hundreds of years, the centaur men had never experienced feminine charm, and they were utterly powerless against it.

Each year since, the centaurs have come to the human kingdom — not to claim young girls as tributes, but to seek volunteers. For the strong but peaceful Centaur Kingdom, ruled by the wise and powerful Council of Mothers, chaired by Eva, the wise Chief Mage, is now a matriarchy, and the centaurs would not have it any other way.

So... hey, this happened.

I'm long overdue for a new showpiece picture for my gallery, and Penny (black hair) and Eva (blond) and Melinda (redhead) were a perfect intersection between "good composition" and "good story" and "muse is still interested in finishing it." The story actually came first (in a slightly different form) several years ago, and when I noticed it on my computer a few months ago, my muse went bonkers and made me draw the transformation scene. They may be feminine and topless, but they're still really strong, capable enough to take over a kingdom, which is pretty awesome: I really like empowered women. The text above is a greatly-abbreviated version of the full story, which is incomplete, and which likely won't be posted on deviantART any time soon because it's incomplete.

But if you don't like my story, they're just three girls willingly turning themselves into centaurs, and you can tell your own story that fits that.

I have no idea how many hours this took, but it took a lot. A lot a lot. Hundreds? I don't even know. All of the foreground characters were done in CorelDRAW with a mouse, and all of the background was painted (badly) in Corel Photo-Paint, also with a mouse.

Yes, you read that right: This was drawn entirely with a mouse. Yes, I'm crazy.

Anyway, happy "Draw a Centaur Day" 2016! Hope this makes up for not joining in last year!

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