While combining elements from several tales, and several versions of those tales, one of the fun ones we definitely borrowed from the Disney version of the Snow Queen, (the recent film Frozen ) is the idea of a royal family with 13 princes. It was too juicy of a tidbit to leave on the table!
As the "youngest of 13" our boy, tall, dark & handsome Hess of Demargen has a feeling of being "over shadowed" by his brother's achievements.
But he has no idea that the twelve older than he once endured a harrowing brush with Fairyland, (the plot for the upcoming Twelve Dark Knights) when he was too young to be involved with their activities.
They never talk about it, putting it resolutely behind them, and yet, there is a distinct feeling that Hess has "been the lucky one", to have missed that. And they "protect him" from knowing about their scare, and near doom; assuming that being ignorant is similar to being safe.
In the end, that is never the case, and Hess himself feels the sting of unfriendly Fairyland when he is maliciously poisoned with the potion known as "Devil's Mirror"... beginning a journey that will harrow his soul, too.
Coming from a family of five kids, but having a background of friends who had up to ten/eleven children, I really enjoyed getting to get my hands deep into the family dynamics of a sibling set that ranges over twenty years.
Our own family had a wide range, so while the youngest was only #5, she was 5 when the eldest was 19, so the life experiences were very varied between them.
She often felt "left out" of things, simply because she wasn't even born when things happened in the older kid's childhood memories. It took her until she was into her early twenties to feel like "she belonged" as part of the family... the she had "earned her place". (She is a sweet, thoughtful type who everybody loves, so no one else viewed her in that way at all! Only herself.)
On the flip side, the eldest in our family felt like everybody younger than her had it "so much easier" and we all "abysmally failed to appreciate it."
As the middle child I can unequivocally state that each end had it's advantages, but after struggling with my own place in the family for years I'm now extremely grateful for where the Lord put me! He knew exactly what lessons were important for me, and set me where I could get a good view!
(Thankfully, I'm actually not too bad at learning from others mistakes, so that's convenient!)