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In a land and a time that has ceased to exist in the minds of most men, there was a kingdom called Eternity (Eternity Plains was named in honor of this mythical land), ruled by King Fisher. The kingdom prospered, and everyone lived contently. Every family had three meals a day, and if a family were ever in need, there would always be another family who would help. One day King Fisher’s wife, Queen Gwenivere, discovered her husband’s dirty secret of his illicit rendezvous with other women, which prompted her to seek the aid of the black magic of nefarious Sorceress Fallen. The sorceress concocted a poison that when ingested nullifies all fives senses – sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing. Queen Gwenivere slipped the poison in to the king’s wine during an evening meal…
With the king severely handicapped, the kingdom slowly fell into moral and economical degeneration. The only thing the king could do each day was to go the easternmost part of his kingdom – apparently some impalpable force guided him – and face east. The king would remain there until noon and return to the castle after the zenith of the sun.
The people wanted to return to the days of prosperity and eventually called their most trusted friend, Wizard Marlin, to help restore peace and prosperity. Wizard Marlin acquiesced to the people’s call and went immediately to examine the king’s condition. Upon completion of his diagnosis, the wizard announced to the people that the king required the healing powers of the Wondrous Light, a magical orb of light located deep in the heart of an icy cavern, Endless Depths, located at the top of the tallest mountain, Mount Clara. As the spirits of the people elevated, the wizard announced that only people of a pure heart and mind might enter the cave. After announcing the remedy, Wizard Marlin declared that he would not be able to complete this quest – for a reason never disclosed to the public – and someone other than he must do it. Two Teachers of the Youth, a brother and sister, walked forward and declared that they would embark on this journey for their king, for their people, for their kingdom. Franklin and Joan, the brother and sister, had just agreed to one of the most arduous and highest-staked journeys ever known to man.
After gathering the necessary supplies and being blessed by Marlin and the other townspeople, the two began their mammoth quest. The journey to the cave was the easy part, which only required a week of hiking. Now began the difficult task – finding the Wondrous Light. Interestingly, Franklin and Joan were both able to enter the cavern. As they progressed into the cave the temperature dropped dramatically so that their heavy clothing could not even ward of the frigid grip of the frozen cavern, which forced Joan and Franklin to apply an ointment, Marlin’s special “dragon’s breath” ointment, over their skin. Instantaneously the two were impervious to the biting cold for twenty-four hours. As they neared the end of the tunnel, they noticed a faint glow coming from the end of the tunnel. When they reached the end of the corridor, they saw the Wondrous Light completely encased in a block of ice with a golden giant sword stuck in the ground beside it. As the two stepped into the glow of the light, a sphinx-like creature materialized before the siblings.
“What is it that you seek?”
“We seek the Wondrous Light,” replies Franklin.
“For what purpose do you seek the Light?”
“For the restoration of our king and kingdom,” Joan replies.
“What is the highest price you are willing to pay for the Light?”
“Our lives,” replies Joan and Franklin simultaneously.
“Interesting… the last time anyone made it this far, they never made it back out.”
“What happened to that person?” inquires Franklin, slightly nervous now.
“I devoured his soul.”
Annoyed by the sphinx’s intimidation, Joan impetuously asks, “Why are you here?”
“I am the keeper of the Light. To be worthy to obtain the Light I must test you. I have a question for you both. If one of you can give me an answer that amuses me or I like, then I will allow you both to free the Light from its icy cage.”
“Go on,” Joan says impatiently.
“Whom do you turn to when all else seems lost?”
The apparently simple question took Franklin and Joan by surprise. They discussed the question for about an hour when they both came to a conclusion.
Franklin steps forward and begins his response, “When all seems lost, I turn to myself. The gods, if they exist, can only bring about a false sense of comfort. Friends are not dependable because they are not kin to me. They will not risk their life for mine. Although family may be close, they would only be external motivation and comfort. The purest and most effective strength comes from within one’s own mind, heart, and soul. When everything seems lost, I cannot put faith into others and expect them to help resolve the problem. The only person I can turn to in the direst of times is myself.”
The sphinx ponders for a moment and then smiles.
“You humans never cease to amuse me. You may retrieve the Light.”
As fast as the sphinx materialized he disappeared. Joan then walked over to the golden sword and picked it up. After examining it for a few seconds, she made an overhead slash at the block of ice. As soon as the sword hit the block of ice, the block of ice split in half and the sword disintegrated. Franklin picked up the Wondrous Light, and the two began their journey home. When they arrived back home, Franklin gave the Wondrous Light to Wizard Marlin. Marlin gave a quick “thanks” to the siblings and rushed to the castle with the Light. After a couple minutes, an intense light began to radiate from the castle. Minutes later the king walked out of the castle. As people began to notice the king they all started congregating around him. After a couple hundred people gathered about him, he announced, “I have returned.”
A deafening roar of approval and joy emanated from the crowd, and everyone began celebrating. After a week of celebration, the king began to reorganize the kingdom and bring prosperity to the land. After several months of hard, arduous work on behalf of the king and of his people, prosperity and peace returned to the kingdom. As for Queen Gwenivere and Sorceress Fallen, they were banished from the kingdom for eternity (although it is rumored that the former queen and sorceress are building an army to exact revenge upon King Fisher’s kingdom for the banishment). Joan and Franklin were showered with gifts from everyone in the kingdom and were allowed to stay indefinitely at the castle as the king’s personal guests. Wizard Marlin was appointed as the king’s Royal Advisor and Chief of Alchemy and Magic. And for the time being everyone lived contently.
“May good always triumph over evil, may all wrongs be righted, may ignorance never be bliss.”
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