|“||You tell good stories. I'm addicted to good stories. Always have been. My winter court used to boast the best players, minstrels and storytellers in a thousand kingdoms. Ten thousand kingdoms.||”|
— The Snow Queen
We want this third issue to be really big, so let's have Briar Rose and Ali Baba captured by the Snow Queen! And let's throw in seven good fairy godmothers and one really, really bad one. Let's have dire curses and desperate fights and comic asides. Let's show the consequences of attempting a second uninvited kiss. Basically let's have everything in this but the kitchen sink. No, wait – let's throw the kitchen sink in too!
At the Snow Queen's request, Jonah Panghammer continues the tale of how Briar Rose came to be cursed. Feeling slighted at not having been invited to the celebration of Briar Rose's birth, the witch Hadeon called on Borian - a man she cursed to be turned into a boat until she had made use of him one thousand times - to take her to the castle.
At the castle, the hour neared midnight, and the fairy godmothers begged for the opportunity to pass their blessings on to the babe. Briar Rose had long ago been put to bed, but the fairies had waited until that late hour, because their magic would be most potent. Katrya blessed the girl with beauty. Sofiya blessed her with the wit of angels (which backfired, as angels are notoriously naive). Nyuria blessed her with grace. Ionna blessed her with wealth. Alyas blessed her with the singing voice of a nightingale (which also backfired, as the magic was taken literally). Finally, as midnight drew even nearer, Leysa prepared to give her final, most potent blessing.
Just then, Hadeon appeared, and cast Leysa aside. Though the previous blessings could not be undone, Hadeon thwarted them by adding her own curse: at some point in the future, all of Briar Rose's beauty, grace, wit, and wealth will be taken from her when she pricks her finger on a spinning wheel, falls ill, and dies.
The Snow Queen looks to Briar Rose, and points out that obviously, the princess didn't die, and she is quite curious to know how she avoided it. However, before Jonah continues the tale, she insists that they all join her for dinner. The meal looks very inviting, and they all eat ravenously. That is, until the Snow Queen reveals that they have actually been eating Goblin. Briar Rose and Ali Baba are so disgusted that they vomit, and have to excuse themselves.
With them gone, Jonah takes the opportunity to present a plan to the Snow Queen. While he is obligated to serve Ali Baba, so long as he owns his bottle, he intended for the Snow Queen to confiscate that bottle, so that he would have to serve her. Through his own manipulations, Jonah had arranged it so that Ali Baba would wake both Briar Rose and the Snow Queen, and wind up captured as they are now. Jonah believes, somehow, that all of these events are in Ali's best interests, anyway. By his plan, he saves Ali, Briar Rose and the Snow Queen - but the method by which he saves the last can only be explained in the last part of his story of the curse of Briar Rose.
Appearing in this issue
- Briar Rose (Flashback and main story)
- Jonah Panghammer
- Ali Baba
- The Snow Queen
- Hadeon, the Destroyer (Flashback only)
- Borian (Flashback only)
- Katrya the Pure (Flashback only)
- Sofiya the Wise (Flashback only)
- Nyura the Graceful (Flashback only)
- Ionna the Gifted (Flashback only)
- Alyas the Noble (Flashback only)
- Leysa the Defender (Flashback only)
- The Dirty Birds (Flashback only)
- Seppantyre (Flashback only)