Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Princess in the Dawn: Part 2

With the King gone, the Queen took control of the Kingdom and raised her daughter to one day lead the Kingdom. She raised her to be strong and fearless, and able to lead warriors in battle. However, always fearing her daughter would fall prey to the wicked fairies, she would not let her daughter leave the castle yet.

As the princess had grown she has discovered that she had a special gift. She could speak to plants and enchant them to grow, heal, or do what ever else she wanted. She used her gift to craft a magical garden not only in castle garden but also in her room. The trees grew in through her windows and along her walls and over her roof, their leaves never falling, flowers ever blooming.

A year after her father’s disappearance, her mother became ill and Lily became the new ruler of the lands. The neighboring kingdom they were at war with then chose to invade, thinking she was a weak and inexperienced leader. And some of her own captains and generals also thought so, because she was not only young but a woman at that.

Yet she donned her armor, held her banner with the white lily aloft, and gathered her troops to her. She rode into battle against the foreign prince, and she was victorious. After that none questioned her judgment and all looked upon her with awe, as she won battle after battle against the foreign prince and his captains. What none of them knew was that because of her special gift, she knew things no one else did, for the flowers and trees told her all the movements and secrets of the other army.

So after nearly a year and a half of defending her border, she finally struck a great victory at the large river that separated her land from the foreign prince’s lands. His name was Prince Magnus and he finally came before her for the first time when he surrendered. But what he did not know when he surrendered was that he would also fall in love.

When he looked upon the beautiful Princess with her long black hair and pale skin and eyes almost violet he felt his heart melt. And so he began to woo the princess. But Lily, raised by her mother to hold all men in suspicion would not even give the lovesick Prince an interview or a passing thought. For deep down in her heart, she knew that she might very easily fall in love with him too.

But the Prince was obstinate. He tried climbing into the castle walls, but the trees guarded the princess well, and would not let him climb them. He tried stealing into the side gates at night, but the flowers woke the Princess and she called the guards. And so the Prince was thoroughly turned out of the castle.

He began wandering the lands, seeking a way to win her heart. He came upon a wild boar in his wandering and as he was about to strike it down for his meal, he heard it speak. And the talking boar pleaded with the boy, pledging to aid him if the Prince would spare him from the dogs, for the boar was actually the King and Lily’s father.

The Prince saved him and then the Boar-King told him the hidden way to the Enchanted Forest where the Fairy Queen dwelt. At first the Prince was skeptical, but the King convinced him to go. And then he warned Prince Magnus that he must obey the Fairy Queen no matter what she said. The Prince left and went to the Enchanted Forest.

He traveled for many days and nights until he finally came to the forest. But it would not grant him access. Finally he began chopping his way through. But when he finally reached the clearing there was no throne, no flower-lights, and no Fairy Queen. Only a white stag walked fearlessly through the clearing.

“Why have you come Prince-Boy?” asked the White Stag.

“I come seeking the Fairy Queen. I need a way to win the hand of the fair Princess Lily.” said the Prince.

“Ha! Boy you are not worthy of the girl! Look at how you have harmed the very forest that gave her life.” spoke the Stag, which dropped its coat to reveal a ragged hag with dirty hair and blind eyes beneath its skin. “There is a prophecy that she, the child of the moon, can only be joined to the child of the sun. Years ago another child-seed was planted and he will be her husband, not you.”

And then in a flash of light, the old witch had disappeared. The Prince was angered and returned to the castle. There he found the Boar-King and almost killed him, when the Boar-King told him that there was another way into the castle, a secret tunnel that led from the nearby forest to the royal chambers. The Prince found the way and soon stepped from the dark tunnel into the warm bed chamber of the Princess.

“What are you doing here?” The princess called in alarm.

“I am Prince Magnus, the one you conquered. But you not only conquered my armies, you have conquered my heart, my soul, my very being. I love you!” he said getting on his knees before her.

But before the Princess could say anything, there was a blinding light and the witch from the woods stood in the chamber. Then she cackled loudly before she spoke.

“I told you to stay away Prince-Boy. Now she will have to be preserved until the child of the sun is ready. I will hide her away in the light that bore her. You will never see her again!” cackled the hag and in a flash of light she and the Princess were gone.

The Prince was filled with remorse and grief, and returned to his home heartbroken. The Princess however had not disappeared. The witch, thinking she was born of pure moon light intended her to walk forever in the light of the moon. But because her parents had disobeyed the Fairy Queen, she was not doomed to walk in moonlight, but in the mixing of the lights at dawn’s breaking.

There in the strange land of eternal dawn, she began to think. She thought of her life so far, of her victories in battle, of her disappearing father, and sick mother. She thought of the kingdom which would fall into chaos without her there to guide it. But more than anything she thought of the Prince and his declaration of love. And the more she thought of him, the more she began to love him too.

The Prince who had retuned hung up his sword, and would no more go to battle or sport. Instead he began spending his days contemplating and gardening, for he recalled the words of the witch. And there he would sit for hours on end, simply listening to the sound of the trees growing as he longed for her in his garden.

The Princess heard of the Prince’s actions through the flowers, because as everyone knows, flowers are immense gossips. And so she decided to send him a message though the flowers. Upon receiving her message Prince Magnus traveled back and went to the place in the Enchanted Wood where he had seen the witch. And as dawn’s lights touched the world, and the moon began to sink, Princess Lily appeared walking through the forest.

He ran to her, and she to him. They embraced and pledged their love for each other. In those few moments their hearts became one. And he gave her the ring on his finger, as token of his love for her. But as they were still talking, the moon set, the sun rose and dawn passed. And with its passing she also disappeared.


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