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Talvas the Ogre


“Talvas the Ogre” is the first complete story published by M.J. Ortmeier. There’s a version on Amazon and a slightly different (better, IMO) version on iBooks.

This story came out of a larger project about William the Conqueror. It’s such a highly complex topic with so many players that I needed a way to separate some out, to pull their backstories out of the main story line. I, however, still need to know who these people are. It made sense to give them their own short stories.

William “Talvas” de Bellême became a reviled character in his own time. For anyone who knows about medieval punishments, that’s saying something. What he did wasn’t any more awful than any of his contemporaries, yet for a while, he was stripped of his possessions and exiled. History doesn’t really explain why he was so thoroughly routed, but I came to the conclusion that it was contextual–think “The Red Wedding.” There was probably other elements of politics, opportunism, and “daddy issues.” The usual tropes.

Oddly, however, I didn’t fully tell Talvas’s story here. I set it about 4oo years in the future, being retold as a fairy story to children, a cautionary tale about honor and revenge. There will be another coming up that will explain more about what happened.

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Michael and Julie write separately, but when they write together they are...M.J. Ortmeier!

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