Why, hello there, my dears, how nice of you to drop by and see me, tee hee! No, neither this place nor I are what we once were, dear me, no. Yes, I used to be more worthy of my name, living like a goddess, ruling over the heavens, married to the most powerful of the lost. I was quite powerful myself in those times, not to mention beautiful. I was worthy of a golden apple meant for the fairest among us. It’s not my fault that the judge was a weak-willed sneak, easily bribed. Tee hee, did I ever fix him and his people! Ah, that was so long ago. Now I appear to be a flabby, aging woman with sagging cheeks and graying hair. Oh, my, it’s so easy to underestimate me like this. I’ll admit it makes me giggle, even while it makes me cry. I live in Omphalos, a village turning into a town on the edge of reality. I have a little cottage there I share with my deranged daughter, poor dear. My husband used to live with us, but he escaped. Does he really think he can hide from me? Such a silly creature! Alas, I’ve had to strike a bargain with some rather unsavory monsters, although they do have style. One of them keeps quite the handsome realm, filled with gardens and beautiful boys. I have to admit, I like her style. I can also see her reasoning in becoming a man-eating monster, one who doesn’t even allow boys to grow up to be men. I wonder how much trouble was caused by the men who worshipped my husband, not to mention my husband himself, the gods like him, and the goddesses who tried to emulate him. Too often they became monsters. Maybe it’s time for monsters to eat them. These cycles do keep happening over time. My husband truly owes my daughter and I a debt, even if he’s now too weak to accomplish anything. Something must be done, something to regain some of our former strength, yet reshape it into something a wee bit more progressive. And what better place to begin this process than the Shadow Forest, wouldn’t you say? It’s just a matter of collecting our pretty key and getting him to open our Door. We just need to say the right thing to persuade him to do this and I think I have a few ideas about that, oh, yes. There may be a teensy bit of conflict, but I don’t anticipate too much, oh no. I’m not that diminished in charm and persuasions, plus I’ve still got a few surprises in this old body. As peaceful as this snug little sojourn in dear Omphalos has been, I think it’s time to make a few changes. Given the quality of poor, lost souls who find themselves here, it appears the changes are already coming. All sorts of things are popping out of the realm of imagination, manifesting in various forms at the Navel, oh, my! It makes me wonder just how apart those two things are, imagination and reality. Oh, yes, if you can reshape yourself in the dream realm, just what will you come out as? I may have to give up something to gain something else, but what else have I ever done, pray tell? I’m quite excited to see what can be accomplished beyond the Door, yes, indeed, I am! Not to mention certain wayward husbands can only run so far. I will find him, oh, I will, indeed. We shall see, won’t we, who’ll truly be in charge once I do.