It was the morning after the sleepover where Billy had kept them up and Kylie had read them the story which intertwined the tale of Rapunzel and two gelflings, now a bright new day begins for the guardians and their young apprentices.
"What I want to know what that story was doing in the Book of secrets to begin with." Joe questioned.
"Well the book neither confirmed nor denied that the events were true," Beth remarked with a cryptic smile.
"Maybe it's got something to do with the vultures wearing these old clothes and talking to a king." Billy obliviously remarked, he was looking through the Book of Secrets and holding it upside down and sideways as though he were examining the pictures.
"The Skeksis talking to a king?!"
Mimi, T.K. and Kari looked over at his words to see the book.
"Hey, let me see that!"
Kylie snatched right out of their hands before anything else happened. "This looks like an old journal entry." she then read aloud the first sentence, "I, Princess Irene, write this in…"
Curious, she skimmed through a few more lines and pages silently before gasping, "Why this is an entire eyewitness account to the Second Great conjunction which started the Great Division!"
Every one of the children rushed forwards, intrigued by this. They would be getting answers about what had happened during that tumultuous time in the past.
"I can't wait to find out what actually happened back then and what parts they left out."
"How could they leave stuff out? Surely what it'll tell us will be true." Mimi commented.
"But remember there's two sides to every story, looks like we're going to get this from a human witness's point of view." Zaira told them.
"Well, why don't we read it and find out?" Sora T. chimed in.
"Yeah, we got a couple of hours before we our folks expect us home." Matt shrugged. "And we're having brunch here we can manage until then."
Kylie opened the book and began to read aloud, "It seems almost difficult to believe it's been nearly a week since we've departed for this new world…"
Our story takes place in a realm unlike anything ever seen. Beautiful mysterious, sometimes frightening, always magical and full of wondrous creatures. A land called Thra.
It was strange to the humans that first ventured there. The virtual wilderness was filled with all manner of creatures far different than those back in their native homeland. There appeared to be no clear line between the flora and fauna – t'was almost as though even the inanimate everyday natural objects such as rocks, trees, shrubs and rivers were completely aware, and could in their various ways, converse.
Mainly the primary voyagers had consisted of royal scouts, settlers, missionaries and their families in search of new lands for future generations. They'd encountered podlings halfway through building shelter, mistaking them for children, but were unable to decipher their spritely language. So they made due with hand gestures or pantomimes.
The humans in turn, had been regarded with caution and curiosity from a distance by the other locals; the gelflings never seen creatures that resembled them so much yet differed in many ways. They would need counsel on these strangers and knew exactly who they would turn to.
However the very first formal contact occurred almost a week after lodging had been built, except it was not with the indigenous locals of the land.
It was on a misty day for the colonists, when a bright light broke through the gloom. For a moment, they thought the sun was shining through the fog, it could not be further from the truth.
What they saw was a tall, luminescent pale gold being of vaguely human shape in robes that glided downwards into the midst of the settlement. Many were afraid, fearing it to be an omen from above, that they would be judged by a higher force on that very spot.
Instead the shining being calmed them gently. "Fear not. I wish harm to none. All shall be explained."
There they learned that this extraordinary creature was an UrSkek, one of eighteen that had arrived to Thra centuries ago. Their world was far beyond the farthest star. Not only were the humans astonished by his perfect mastering of their tongue and revelation but of the message he brings: That soemone bid them welcome.
Nearly three days later, the Urskek introduced the human newcomers to Aughra and various gelfling elders.
Once again, the humans were amazed. The gelflings were slender humanoid beings with pointed ears and protracted facial structures. Their hands have three long fingers and a thumb. The females possessed butterfly-like wings that can be folded to fit easily under clothing.
While Aughra, herself, was but an enigmatic wise woman of all things mysterious and embodies all races, all genders, and is the very essence of the world of Thra itself.
This was fortuitous indeed. They could help the human explorers, since the natives here know the land better. They know how to navigate the rivers, the plants and wildlife what can be used for food and what cannot.
Soon afterwards the royal scouts departed from Thra with a message to King Gawain. Next, word was sent out that a royal ship would arrive, its passengers were King Gawain, his young daughter the Princess Irene and her friend Curdie. Little did they know, that their voyage shall be the start of an unforgettable adventure.