The Storm Shapers

Book 6 in the Wyrdwolf series

Book 6 in the Wyrdwolf series

Things aren't going well for Isolde. The new connection she has formed with Michael is threatening her relationship with both of her mates. Nothing any of them do resolves the problem. Then there is the strange light at the Kymin that leads Isolde to the Veilrippers. She should have known that would be trouble. Who is the nun Izzy saw at the Kymin? Where is the Wicked Witch? And what magic was being woven by the singers in the wood?

But it's the strange theft that takes place at the dark moon that takes everyone by surprise. And that presents a threat to their unborn child.

Michael, Declan and Isolde must find the thief in order to ensure the safety of their whelp. the problem is - where to begin? Declan seems intent on pinning the blame on one of Michael's ex-lovers... if only she were alive.

When the dog barks, she sets in motion events that lead, inevitably, to the destruction of an elf and the judgement of two young magicians. But Declan's shapeshifting, Michael's magic and Isolde's judgements cannot rescue their unborn's lost protection. To retrieve that, Isolde must overcome her fears and place her trust in two creatures that are neither Were nor human.

The sixth book in the Wyrdwolf series draws on Finnish and Sami mythology and magic, Heathen/Scandinavian mythology and folklore and Heathen galdr (sung magic). Set in the borderlands of England and South Wales.

The Storm Shapers - on sale in Kindle or print editions, via Amazon.

  • series number: Book #6
  • Where to buy: Amazon US
  • Where to buy: Amazon UK
  •    For other countries, click on the UK link and substitute your country's domain for the .co.uk in the url
  • True BitsIf you want to know which of the folklore and history in the books is true

True Bits in the book

Chapter 1
Geoffrey of Monmouth was a 12th-century monk whose work Historia Regum Britanniae kicked off the fascination with Merlin.

 The Roundhouse on the Kymin exists. It was built by a gentlemen’s luncheon club in the 18th century. It is now owned by the National Trust.

Tewkesbury Medieval Festival takes place every July in Tewkesbury.

Chapter 2
Auld (Scots) = old.

Cailleach (Gaelic) = old woman. In Gaelic mythology, the Cailleach is a goddess associated with winter.

Nyaff (Scots) =  a stupid, irritating, or insignificant person.

Bairn (Scots) = a child.

Shite (British slang) = shit.

The 2010 volcanic eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland disrupted air travel across western and northern Europe in April/May.

Chapter 3
Kitsune (Japanese) = fox. Japanese folklore depicts them as shapeshifters with paranormal abilities and wisdom.

Chapter 4
The story Loki sued about and The Lay of Heron Halfelven are my creations. They are on my website, www.were-wolf.com.

What Rikki says about a seita is true.

Chapter 6
Hof (Old Norse) = a temple.

The National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham is real.

Just do it and the swoosh are trademarks of the shoe company Nike.

Chapter 7
Gofer (British and US slang) = someone whose job is to fetch and carry for others.

Chapter 8
Tamworth was the royal capital of the great Anglo Saxon kingdom of Mercia. The first Christian king of Mercia donated land at Lichfield for a monastery. There is no hof.

The description of the hof is based on Norwegian stave churches, which may have been influenced by the design of Heathen temples.

A goði (m) or gyðja (f) was an Old Norse term for a chieftain-priest, mainly in Iceland during the Viking period. I’ve Anglicised that to godwife. Wife was a standard Anglo Saxon suffix for a woman carrying out a trade.

The birth of Ymir, his nourishing by the cosmic cow, Audhumbla and the use of his body to create the world are told in the Prose Edda Gylfaginning 5-8.

In Heathen mythology, Idhun is a goddess who guards the apples that make the gods young.

Loki borrowed Freya’s cloak of hawk feathers to take the shape of a hawk.

Ettinfolk is my rendering of a word generally mistranslated as giants in Heathen mythology. The disir are female ancestors and clan protectors.

Scoff (British slang) = eat quickly.

Daoine sidhe (Irish) = the people of the [burial] mounds: a supernatural race in Irish and Scottish mythology.

Tacitus mentions ‘the sticks’ as the form of divination used by the Germanic peoples. Insufficient information is given in Germania 10 to know what these are. As of 2020, there is no evidence of runes being used for divination before modern times.

Chapter 9
The Kalevala is the great poem of Finnish mythology. What is said about Lemminäinen, his mother and Väinämöinen is true.

I invented the Hero for Scarlett’s tarot deck, substituted wyrd for the wheel and changed the suite names. Otherwise, the reading is authentic to the meanings normally assigned to the cards. As is anything in the text about the characters on the cards. Credits for the artists at the front of the book.

The images (where not explained in the text)
The Hero – Siegfried slays the dragon, from Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen. The original source is the Icelandic Völsunga Saga.

The Magician – Loki eating the witch’s heart comes from the Poetic Edda  Hyndluljoð.

Death – Hermoð asks Hel to release Odhin’s son, Baldr. The story is in the Prose Edda Gylfaginning 49.

The High Priest – Väinämöinen is one of the three heroes of the Kalevala. In Finnish mythology, he is as old as the world.

The struggle to acquire the Sampo is one of the central stories of the Kalevala.

Chapter 10
In Greek mythology, Dionysos/Bacchus is associated with wine, fertility, ritual madness, religious ecstasy, and theatre.

In Heathen mythology, the Aesir are one of the two families of gods.

Queen of Torches – Gullveig was probably Freyja in disguise. She went to Asgard during the war between the god families and was killed three times, coming back to life each time. The story is in the Poetic Edda Voluspa 21-22.

Strength – the Prose Edda Gylfaginning 34 tells how Tyr (cognate Tiw) placed his right hand into the mouth of Loki’s wolf-son Fenrir to guarantee good faith. Tyr lost his hand.

Youth of Horns – the Rhinemaidens lure Alberich at the beginning of Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen. The tale doesn’t appear in the same form in Heathen mythology.

Wyrd – the three Great Norns tend and shape wyrd, which is a supernatural force that links events and outcomes.

The Moon – the story of Loki’s theft of the apples of youth is in the Prose Edda Skaldskaparmal 56.

Five of Ships – Kullervo is a character from the Kalevala. He suffers multiple tragedies that drive him to mass murder.

Judgement – the Midgard Serpent raises the sea against Asgard, while Naglfar (ship of nails) brings the forces of those who will defeat the gods. The imagery is from the Prose Edda Gylfaginning 51.

Chapter 11
The Roman site at Letocetum is owned and run by the National Trust. It is close to Lichfield in Staffordshire, England.

Chapter 13
Pattern welding is a technique used to make swords and knives. It was used by the Anglo Saxons. Several pieces of different metals are forge-welded together and twisted and manipulated to form a pattern. It’s also known as Damascus steel.

Tang and fuller are parts of a blade.

The information about foetal development was what was known in 2010.

In Greek mythology, the river of Lethe in the underworld offered forgetfulness to anyone who drank from it.

In Finnish mythology, Tapio and his wife Mielikki are Finnish gods of the forest and hunting. They have three or four daughters, one of whom is Tellervo.

It’s not known whether any of those who died in the medieval European witch-craze were witches.

The Salem witch trials took place in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693. Nineteen people were found guilty and executed, one man was crushed and at least five people died in jail.

Tat (British slang) = low-quality items that look cheap.

The hierarchy of specialness exists within the modern pagan community. I made up the bit about Scandinavian fraudsters claiming to be Finnish or Sami.

In European folklore, the seventh son of a seventh son is regarded to possess special powers.

There are repeated references in the Icelandic Sagas (part of Heathen mythology) to learning magic from the Finnish or Sami peoples.

Chapter 15
The books, TV series and games mentioned all exist.

Väki (Finnish) = a type of haltija. In Finnish mythology, haltijas are elf-like creatures that help or protect something or somebody.

Chapter 16
The information about re-enactors is true.

The three days of the ‘dark' moon were used to mark the start of a new month in many lunar calendars.

Chapter 18
Brand (Anglo Saxon) = torch or sword.

Fionntan is a Gaelic name derived from fionn (white, fair) and -tán (unknown, possibly fire or bull.)

Chapter 19
In Heathen mythology, a human being comprises many parts. The fetch (ON fylgja, Anglo Saxon fæcce) is one. It forms part of the person and is present from birth. It protects the person and can be sent out by a magical practitioner to collect information or accomplish a task. It can appear in dreams, including the dreams of others. Fetches take the shape of animals or women and have an awareness of future events.

Ça suffit pour l’instant, mon vieux = That’s enough for the moment, my old [friend].

The nursery rhyme Bye Baby Bunting exists. It mentions wrapping the baby in a skin.

Chapter 20
The conversion of northern Europe to Christianity took place between the 6th and 12th centuries, beginning with Britain and ending in Scandinavia.

Chapter 21
The soul bird is a belief from Finnic Paganism: the pre-Christian religion of what is now Finland, Karelia and Estonia.

Chapter 22
Keats wrote La Belle Dame Sans Merci (the beautiful woman without mercy). It is the tale of a fay seductress who breaks hearts.

Chapter 24
In Finnish mythology, the Milky Way is known as the Linnunrata (Bird Road) to Lintukoto, the home of the birds. The bear is a sacred animal with a taboo on the word for a bear. Euphemisms like Mead Paw are used instead.

The Finnish and Sami religions have many girl goddesses as daughters of other deities. In Finnish mythology, Tellervo is a daughter of Tapio and Mielikki.

In Heathen mythology, the disir (Old Norse) are female ancestors and protective spirits.

The Sami are a nation of reindeer herders.

Leib-olmai (Sami) = Alder Man. A god of the forest in the Sami religion. He guards wild animals, especially bears. He can give good luck in the hunt.

Until the 20th century, the sauna was a popular place to give birth in Finland. It is still used for some births.

The SAS use Pen-y-Fan in the Brecon Beacons for their final selection test.

Con’s misadventure is based on Major Mike Kealy, an SAS veteran. Kealy died of hypothermia in February 1979 when he joined SAS candidates on a selection march in the Brecon Beacons in deteriorating weather conditions. He had contributed to his situation by refusing to wear cold-weather gear or warm clothing.

Chapter 25
On 7 July 2005 four bombs were detonated in central London by terrorists. Three were detonated in the London Underground and a fourth on a double-decker bus. Fifty-two people were killed and more than 700 injured.

Chouchou (French) = little cabbage. (A term of endearment).

Chapter 26
In much north European folklore, seeing your fetch presaged death.

Chapter 27
Cherie, attends! (French) = Listen, darling.

The word enchantment comes from the chanting of spells. Galdor (Anglo Saxon = song) acquired the meaning enchantment through chanting or singing spells. The Anglo Saxon word galdorcræft referred to the magical arts.

Glee was a specific form of English part-song popular between 1650 and 1900.

Gleecraft (Anglo Saxon) = the art of music.

Chapter 28
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is a 1989 American comic science fiction film.

Chapter 29
The description of where Finland is in relation to the countries surrounding it is true.

Finland is not part of Scandinavia, which refers to Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The Nordic countries include many outside that description, including Finland.

The information about the Sami people, Sapmi and joiking is true.

Folie à deux (French) = delusion or mental illness shared by two people in close association.

Uppsala is the capital of Sweden and Helsinki the capital of Finland.

Nimue, Viviane and variants of those names are given to the female fay/Lady of the Lake who began appearing in the French chivalric romances by the early 13th century. The Prose Merlin section of the Lancelot-Grail cycle has the tale of Merlin falling in love with Viviane and of her trapping him in a tree, beneath a stone or in a tower. In Breton folklore, he is imprisoned beneath the Fairy Mirror lake in The Valley Without Return in Broceliande (modern Le Forêt de Paimpont).

Chapter 30
Stállu is from Sami folklore.

Háigir (Northern Sami) = heron.

Haikara Puolihaltija (Finnish) = Heron Halfelven.

Stones are a common feature of saunas and other types of sweat lodge. The stones are heated and steam is generated by pouring water over them.

In Greek mythology, Athena was born fully grown from the head of Zeus.

The Marches are the English counties that border Wales.

Chapter 31
Leominster is one of the four largest towns in Herefordshire. It stands at the confluence of the rivers Lugg and Kenwater. The geography is real.

Chapter 32
The Snowman was a 1982 animated TV film of a children's picture book by English author Raymond Briggs. Its one song Walking in the Air was an immediate hit.

Chapter 33
Swallows are found in the UK between March and October. They find it difficult to take off if they land on the ground.

The quote is from Andrew Marvell’s To His Coy Mistress.

Izzy quotes half of a couplet from T S Eliot’s poem East Coker, from The Four Quartets. Each of the four poems examines an aspect of the relationship between humanity and time. East Coker takes the cosmic timescale.

The Flower Fairies were the creation of English illustrator Cicely Mary Barker. They were published in the first half of the 20th century. My description of Bramble does not match Barker’s illustration.

Chapter 34
In Western and Eastern folklore, dragons have great knowledge. In Eastern folklore, it is unlucky to see all of a dragon.

Men in Black is a popular 1997 movie about a secret organisation dealing with aliens. The agents carry ‘neuralyzers’ to make people forget meeting them.

In Fafnismal (Poetic Edda) Sigurd slays the dragon Fafnir and drinks its blood. He overhears bad news from birds and kills his foster-father as a result.

Chapter 35
Mens sana in corpore sano (Latin) = a healthy mind in a healthy body.

Chapter 36
In Heathen mythology, there are many norns. They determine the fate of people and attend births to give gifts. These lesser norns are mentioned in the Prose Edda Gylfaginning 15.

Chapter 37
The age limits for riding motorcycles and mopeds are true.

Chapter 39
Blaise is named as Merlin's foster-father and tutor in Robert de Boron's medieval French poem Merlin and subsequent tales of Merlin.

Magister (Latin) = teacher, professor.

The tale of Loki taking the shape of a mare is in the Prose Edda Gylfaginning 42. He gave birth to Odhin’s eight-legged steed, Sleipnir.

Chapter 40
Icelandic horses are known for their small size. They have two lateral gaits unknown to other breeds of horse. Tölt is a walking gait known for comfort and fast acceleration into a speed similar to a trot. The other is skeið or flugskeið, which is fast and smooth. They also have normal walking, trotting and canter/gallop gaits.

Cover (horse-breeding term) = the act of breeding when the stallion covers the mare.

Chapter 41
The Twilight films were based on Stephenie Meyer's novels. They appeared between 2008 and 2012. The main relationship in them is between Bella Swan (human) and Edward Cullen (vampire).

Gakti is the Northern Sami word for the traditional Sami tunic. Traditional Sami dress is characterized by primary colours especially blue.

Scrying is a divination method.

Dr John Dee’s scrying mirror was made of obsidian although it was not the shape I describe.

Fairy eye ointment to dispel the glamour is common in British folklore. 

Chapter 42
Akku (Northern Sami) = grandmother.

Mummi (Finnish) = mother.

Mari Boine and Wimme Saari are two of the most renowned Sami joikers.

Chapter 43
Nyckelharpa (Swedish) = key harp. A traditional Swedish musical instrument.

The mistral is a strong wind that blows from southern France.

Ariel is a spirit who appears in William Shakespeare's play The Tempest.

Struwwelpeter is a mid-19th-century German book of cautionary tales aimed at children. It was popular into the 20th century.

Chapter 44
In Finnish mythology, Tuulikki (Little Wind) is a daughter of Tapio and Mielikki.

Weobley is a black-and-white village in Herefordshire. The village geography is real.

Shadowfax is the steed of Gandalf the Wizard in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.

Chapter 45
John Dee’s crystal was stolen from the Science Museum in 2004 and later recovered by the police. It is neither a crystal ball nor Dee’s showstone. Those objects are in the British Museum. The real showstone is a flat obsidian disc.

Mære (mara) (Anglo Saxon) = a malicious entity in Germanic and Slavic folklore that rides on people's chests while they sleep and brings bad dreams

Chapter 46
In the Kalevala Rune 14 (Crawford translation), Mielikki is described as wearing gold, silver and pearls, with a golden girdle and sky-blue clothes.

Chapter 47
Hale (Anglo Saxon) = hale, healthy.

Fast (Anglo Saxon) =  fast, firm. Modern English ‘fasten’ comes from this.

Chapter 48
Ostrobothnia is one of the two Finnish regions with a Swedish-speaking majority. The other is Åland.

Finlandssvenskar (Swedish) = Finnish Swedes.

Bien fait (French) = well done.

Death on the Nile and Murder on the Orient Express were two of Agatha Christie’s novels featuring her detective Poirot.

Chapter 49
In Finnish mythology, Mielikki nurtured the bear into existence and gave him teeth and claws. See Kalevala Rune 66 (Crawford translation)

Double jeopardy is a procedural defence that prevents an accused person from being tried a second time on the same charges following a valid judgement.

Chapter 50
Väinämöinen was renowned for using his kantele (a traditional Finnish and Karelian plucked string instrument) to charm animals.

Chapter 51
In Heathen mythology Loki had his lips sewn together as the outcome of a wager. See the Prose Edda Skaldskaparmal 5.

Lumoojatar (Finnish) = enchantress.

A year and a day was an ancient rule that existed in British law until 1996. Death could not be tried as murder or manslaughter if it occurred more than a year and one day after the act that might have caused the death. The period is used by some modern witches and Wiccans as a ritual period. It’s also used within modern pagan handfastings in the erroneous belief it’s an ancient form of marriage. That myth began in the 18th century and was spread by Sir Walter Scott in his novel The Monastery (1820).

Chapter 53
 Alice follows the rabbit on Lewis Carroll’s Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

In Heathen mythology, the squirrel Ratatosk carries information throughout the world tree.

Chapter 54
Brava (Italian) = well done. The feminine form of bravo and often shouted by audiences at the end of an opera to praise the leading lady.

Chapter 55
The red pill or the blue pill is a reference to the 1999 film The Matrix. The offer represents a life-altering choice.

The Cannes film festival takes place every year in May.

C’est bien (French) = it’s good.

Breizh (Breton) = Brittany.

Salem has an extensive tourist trade based on witchcraft.

A minor under the age of 18 cannot own land or property in the UK.