Standing atop his castle, King Percival Goldenrod surveyed his kingdom as thoughts of the past and hoped for future rambled about in his brain. He was within an inch of the edge, supported by his ivory cane.
It would be a ten mile sheer drop if one fell from the castle roof to the ground below. The building was made of pure grey granite and stood tall and proud, the roof furnished with sky scopes through which one could look farther in the kingdom, or even observe the celestial bodies at night.
Behind him, the king could hear the woman’s chatter. His daughter’s wedding day was to come in a matter of days. Surrounded by ladies, the princess stood out in a dress of pure white, with white rose designs embroidered into it.
Erica Goldenrod was to marry the crown prince of the kingdom of Urak. The kingdoms would unite under her and she would become the first High Empress in generations.
Of this, King Goldenrod was most proud. She would make a fine empress, a fine ruler. It was in her blood, for their family was directly descended from the first humans created. It was his majesties uncontested claim that the holy clay from which the Holy One created man was under the ground under this very castle.
The king’s eyes caught sight of something moving on the horizon. It appeared as a massive darkness like clouds and as thick and dark as death smoke. His light grey eyes squinted for a better view.
“Oh, Princess Erica,” one of the ladies was saying. “You must be so excited.”
“I am,” she sounded almost giddy.
King Goldenrod felt the winds increasing. “Simon,” he called the man who stood not far off.
The short man, he stood maybe five-two, and had a stomach length snow-white beard and no hair on his head, he moved to the king with halting steps. A brace on the man’s foot made walking hard and at times painful.
“My King,” Simon’s voice was low and course.
King Goldenrod pointed to the speedily nearing darkness. “What means this?”
Simon’s lips pursed bitterly, he drew his brown robes close about him and peered through a sky scope.
Looking at the little man always made King Goldenrod feel self-conscious. He was much taller than him, and a bit more on the slender side, with a full head of graying hair – though no beard. He wore robes of royal blue.
Of course Simon was a sorcerer, so he had that going for him. Simon began whispering the language of magic – which sounded to King Goldenrod like chickens clucking.
“Aye,” Simon called in a worrisome voice. “The ol’ devil moves.” He rose from the sky scope. “Abaddon the Lord Demonus.”
King Goldenrod shuddered. The name was all too familiar to him. The dark clouds were picking up speed. “What does the Devil want?” He mused aloud, and even as he voiced the words the answer hit him – to stop his daughter’s wedding and her assent.
So the king shouted, “Guards! Get the ladies to safety.” Within the walls of the great castle the women would be safe. His daughter would be safe.
Lizard-like creatures began descending from the clouds, long tails swinging behind them. Their eyes lit like lanterns, they sailed along on bat-like wings. Their teeth were very sharp, the king could see, and their fingers were like talons. From what Hell had Abaddon retrieved them? The king wondered.
The winds beat down against the group. The women and their guards were driven from the doors. Powerful winds tried to drive King Goldenrod off the rooftop. Simon grabbed his arm and began chanting his magic chicken speak.
As Simon chanted he and the king held firm against the wind. His daughter though. The screaming ladies scrambled for something to grab hold of.
Guards grabbed at the Princess to keep her from being carried off by the winds. Then the reptilian beasts attacked. One of the guards fell on the ground, his face cut and blood spurting about.
Another guard raised his shield against a beast, and swung his sword. The guard was dark as night in color, a stranger from a foreign land named Daniel Divine.
Attacking winds brought the princess up. She struggled, but would never bring herself to scream. Then the beasts caught her and soared to the sky.
“Erica!” The king cried out. His daughter was gone. The winds ceased and he looked down, his eyes closed.
“I-I’m sorry Your Highness,” Daniel said. “We failed.” His voice was full of sorrow.
“You tried,” The King said. “You fought well.”
“Well enough indeed,” Simon added. “But, the magic of the Devils is a hard one to do battle against.” He sighed.
How many battles had Simon fought against the Devils? Wondered King Goldenrod.
“A meeting in the throne room, now.” The king said.
He missed his wife, thought the king as he sat upon the throne. The downcast Daniel stood before him, as well as the king’s first born son – Barron, and Prince Arjen Catenhouse, Erica’s husband to be.
Simon bustled to the king’s sided. His girded foot slowing him down and causing the man never ending frustration. He held a small cage.
“Your majesty,” Barron spoke, “We shall mount a rescue party at once.”
The King felt wistful for his youth, looking at his son. So young, strong, handsome as he had once been. Oh well, the past was the past now this was the Prince’s turn to prove himself, and the others.
“Yes,” Arjen said. “But, how do we find her?”
Simon made a throat clearing sound. “I have a solution for that.” He opened the cage. A small thing like a little baby bird flew out, it cast a blue glow all around. “This is Blue Belle, she is a Fae Pixie and she can track the princess.”
“It is my honor, duty and privilege,” She said.
Funny, such a small thing certainly spoke loud enough, thought the king.
“Very well my son,” The King looked to the prince. “It is up to you, and Prince Arjen and Captain Daniel, assemble your squad – rescue the princess.”
The men bowed.