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Once upon a time in a land far, far away there lived a good and honest king who was well loved by his people for he was a virtuous monarch and had a noble heart. He ruled in splendour over the land of Fantastica, which was a beautiful and peaceful realm, full of magic, wonderment and joy. The Queen had died long ago, but she had left him a daughter of unparalleled grace and beauty, so much so that they had named her Glorious, for she was lovely to look at. For many years peace and security was established but just as the king’s generosity attracted the blessings of his people, greed attracted the ire of others and danger lurked in even the most happy of places.
Fantastica was a land strong in magic. White magic utilized only for good or unselfish purposes but it was also a place of black magic used for dark needs and nefarious gains. At the furthest reaches of the land, where the forests were chokingly thick and dark there lived a sorcerer of great power. His name was Mephasto and he looked upon the king with bitter eyes of jealousy and an evil heart. Using his powerful knowledge of black magic he conjured a terrible curse upon Glorious and she fell into a deep, unresponsive sleep. Neither alive nor dead the princess lay in a stasis of non-existence to never marry, her once flawless soft skin transformed into Quartzite sandstone. The heart of the king was shattered into a thousand pieces and he wept day and night, as did the people for they loved their princess like no other and a great time of mourning fell over Fantastica.
So King Waldor sent the kingdoms mightiest warriors, men of valour and pure of heart on a long and perilous journey to kill the sorcerer. None returned. With his resources depleted and knowing that the continuation of the royal bloodline would end with the death, the king issued a decree to all the noble houses at all the four corners of the land. Any house that put forward a champion who broke the curse and put the evil sorcerer to death would win his favour. Their reward would be immeasurable and King Waldor would not only grant half his great kingdom but also give his daughter in marriage to the champion who freed Glorious from the spell that bound her. Since he was considered the wealthiest of kings many great warriors of noble birth answered his official order. None returned from the Forest of Absence.
As days passed into weeks and the weeks into months the champions that answered his call grew less and less frequent until they faded away into nothing, yet still the king lived in hope despite his ailing health.
Then on one special day someone did answer his call. It would all start with a prince…