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by on September 17, 2011

So it’s been twenty-one episodes and a retcon since the short story series of the Catrina Chronicles first began way back in January with Episode 1: A Princess Story. Good times, yes? At any rate, it occurred to me that it might be helpful at this point to provide a recap. Some of you might be new to the story and you have no idea where the P.O.U.S. came from or why a medieval princess is waving around a lightsaber. Or perhaps you’ve been following along from the beginning, except you missed a few episodes and you’re lost now, because you’ve no idea who this Catrina person is and where Princess Caitlin went to. So, with that in mind, here’s what’s happened so far.

Story Arc One : How It All Began

In the very first episode, we first meet our heroine, who was then named Caitlin. Caitlin had a happy life, all things considered, until she was suddenly threatened with attack from Charles, a somewhat incompetent minion. Fortunately, Caitlin had been practicing swordplay for years, ever since the untimely demise of her mother, so she was quickly able to dispatch Charles. Episode 2 saw her learning a bit of magic and discovering that someone had been absconding with her socks, a plot thread that hasn’t entirely been resolved yet. But things took an interesting turn in Caitlin vs. Minions, when she and her faithful bodyguard Colin the Mime-Assassin stumbled across the minion army of Vladimir the Marauder, the diabolical warlord who slew her mother . Then came the epic Inigo Montoya-style fight between Caitlin and Vladimir, in the post aptly named Caitlin vs. Vladimir, which for some strange reason gets clicked on by people searching for “Caitlin vs. Vladimir” to this day. Caitlin defeated Vladimir, but tragically, she perished in the battle herself. It was a sad day. I shed tears.

But, as it turns out, it wasn’t that tragic after all, because Caitlin went off to Character Heaven in the metaphysically shattering Caitlin vs. Death, where she learned that she wasn’t a flesh-and-blood person at all, but a character in a story. Her self-esteem a bit low, Caitlin decided that she didn’t want to live or die by her author’s rules, so she left Character Heaven and wound up in New York City. Unfortunately, her resurrection of herself had dire consequences: she turned into a zombie penguin, thus triggering the Zombie Penguin Apocalypse. As the ZPA raged in Zombie Penguin Caitlin Parts One, Two, and Three, our zombie-penguinified heroine faced off against the mystical essence of Charlie Sheen, the indomitable superheroine Gaseous Girl, until she was killed off again by Colin the Mime-Assassin, who didn’t realize the zombie penguin he was slaying was the princess he had sworn to protect. This time, however, Caitlin didn’t go to Character Heaven. No, she went somewhere else. Somewhere decidedly less pleasant. I refer, of course, to….Character Hell.

Here she first met her arch-nemesis: the evil, diabolical, absolutely terrifying….Susan. Susan’s only goal is to destroy all fictional worlds, everything from Narnia to Disney. She promised to release Caitlin from Character Hell if the princess passed three tests. First, in Caitlin and the Song of Pain, she had to listen to Rebecca Black’s “Friday” three hundred forty-seven million and one times. Then, in Caitlin and the Dark Side (They Do Not Have Cookies), she ventured out into the vast Plain of Minions, where all the minions go when they get killed off by the hero. Caitlin was supposed to find Charles and dispatch him again, but unfortunately she encountered a misogynistic Sith minion, who so infuriated Caitlin that she dispatched him instead and stole his lightsaber. She quickly took care of Charles and went to face Susan in what was supposed to be the final test. But, in The Duck, The Princess, and the Lightsaber,  Susan tricked Caitlin into killing a sinister duck which was guarding the secret chamber of the Puzzle of Worlds, where every piece represented a made-up reality. Susan hit Caitlin over the head with the Traveling Shovel of Death (thank you, NaNoWriMo), poisoned her, and left her to die while Susan went off to burn the puzzle and destroy everything. Just as things looked at their bleakest, Caitlin tapped into the light side of the Force and broke free of the TSOD’s power, in Everything’s Shiny,Caitlin, Not To Fret. Once she did, she launched right into an epic battle against her foe in Caitlin vs. Susan, which ended with Caitlin using the Force to drop a JumboTron on Susan’s head. Susan escaped only by dropping into the Plain of Minions, where she met an ironic yet untimely end at the hand of her own mook hordes….or did she? Meanwhile, Caitlin went happily back to her own world, free to pursue a life of personal fulfillment.

Or was she….?

Story Arc Two: The Secret of Shmirmingard

No, no, she wasn’t. Because now she had a whole new quest, setting right the unfortunate mistake of her great-grandfather, Prince Roderick. Roderick, as Caitlin learned in Caitlin and the Secret of Shmirmingard, was supposed to play the role of the One True Kisser and deliver Princess Ermingard from her enchanted sleep caused by a cursed chamber pot. But Roderick ran off to marry another woman, and so Ermingard never woke up, and was hidden away in a secret cave by the paranoid dwarves of Twilyt’s Dum.  Caitlin resolved to find Ermingard and wake her up, redeeming the honor of her family and her castle Shmirmingard.

She set out with the usual things one needs on a quest, including an allergic sidekick named Perry. They’ve faced many trials in their quest thus far: the strange clue of “My face is in the butter” in Caitlin and the Librarian’s Cousin, a tribe of small howling female weasels from which she is only saved by the Panda of Unusual Size (In Which Caitlin is Nearly a Tasty Snack), random italics and a POISONOUS snake (In Which Caitlin is Nearly A Tasty Snack, Again), and worst of all, the treacherous Prince John the Unafraid of Commitment, whose real name was Myron (So Tweasure Your Wuv, Caitlin). Myron tricked our heroine into invoking an evil fictional god which caused her to be possessed by the spirit of her worst nightmare…..Suuuusan. (dun dun DUNNNNN)

Susan, as it happened, promptly set off on her own story arc, which was to find the Five Swords of Literary Power: five magical swords that could do incredible things like change the setting of a story, summon catchy theme music, or erase whole plots. By remarkable coincidence,one of these swords was hidden in Princess Ermingard’s hidden chamber, so Susan set out to find the sword and kill Ermingard at the same time. She faced several challenging trials herself, including a mysterious talking beard, in Susan and the Long Grey Beard of History. Finally, ,  Susan found Ermingard’s secret hiding place, slaying Myron in the process out of sheer irritation. There she discovered the sword that changed everything: Continuityslicer. When she touched the hilt, Continuityslicer flashed brightly, and suddenly Myron became Myronica. Worse yet, way back in time, Caitlin’s parents decided not to name her Caitlin after all, and so she became the happy well-adjusted Princess Catrina that she is today. The strain of all this continuity changing proved too much for Susan to control, and she lost her hold on Catrina. Fortunately for her, she managed to possess Zombie Myronica, which was neat because then she could face Catrina in yet another epic battle in Susan vs. Catrina. Susan nearly won the fight, trapping Catrina under a giant pile of legal encyclopedias (the horror!). But instead of finishing Catrina off with the princess’s own lightsaber in ironic fashion, Susan decided to use her own weapon: the laser rifle which she called…the Funky Chicken (Catrina Sees the Funky Chicken). This proved to be a bit of a mistake, especially when Catrina summoned the Panda of Unusual Size, which smashed the Funky Chicken and chased Susan clean away. And now you’re all up to speed; stay tuned for yet another exciting episode in the Catrina Chronicles, coming soon!


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  1. Nice work. I love recaps and updates.

    • Thanks; I’m fond of them too. It always helps to remember what’s happened before, so you know where you’re going.

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