Author's note: Still working on the next chapter to wings spellbook and digivices, in the meantime thought I'd get you all interested. Fair warning everyone, Maleficent IS dead as a door-nail here and expect surprise appearances from the characters of Disney's Snow white who will be joining the heroes of the Dark crystal book series written by the talented J.M. Lee.
In the meantime enjoy!
It all started one spring day, Rapunzel and her friends had been on a restoration project with the castle staff regarding the old tunnels, the very same ones used by Herz Der Sonne back during the war with Saporia.
The group split up to cover ground, Rapunzel with Kira, Eugene and Fizzgig to one section, Cassandra with Jen and Pascal to another. None of them knew of the amazing discovery they were about to make…
Course it had been by accident. In one room it had old rotten floorboards, Eugene was the first to notice and tried to warn the girls to walk softly. Yet the floor gives way, causing them to fall into a hole, screaming.
When the debris cleared, they sat up finding themselves in a dark, dusty area. From the opening in the floorboards, Fizzgig barked anxiously.
"We're dead. Right?" Eugene's voice sputtered out.
"I don't think so."
"Hey, my body's numb, and I'm staring into a tunnel of light. We are talking deceased here." Eugene said nervously.
Rapunzel shook her head. "No. the floor gave way and we fell into a hole underneath the tunnel."
"Oh, boy. That's a relief."
Kira glanced around. "What kind of place is this? A secret room, in another one of those tunnels?"
"You got me. But from the smell. I'd say something crawled in here and..." As Eugene stepped forward, pushing aside cobwebs he bumps right into a skeleton. "DIIIED!"
In his panic, Eugene grabs the skeleton and throws it, and runs back to the girls, and the skeleton falls onto the ground.
"There's something in its hands." Gathering her courage, Rapunzel swallows and pulled the satchel from the skeleton's hands, once she did, it opened to reveal…
"I think these are journals or at least courier logs." she said thoughtfully.
"What?" Kira questioned.
"A written record used to detail feelings, thoughts and events. Maybe even historical ones."
Kira leaned in curiously. "What do they say?"
Eugene squinted. "It's too dark. Hang on, I'll light a match."
He promptly strikes a match. The couple and female gelfling look around in horror to find themselves in a room full of skeletons and skulls covered with cobwebs. The three scream in terror, and immediately jump out of the hole and dash away then end up crashing into Cassandra and Jen.
Around midday, Rapunzel brought their new discovery to Xavier, the local blacksmith, and a man quite familiar with Coronian history.
"By the sun, this is an entire log devoted to what brought on the gelfling resistance centuries ago…" Xavier said awestruck as he gazed back at them.
"It does?!" Jen gaped
"I can't believe we actually found this!" Rapunzel gasped, looking through the journal.
Eugene looked over. "Whoever wrote it must've have experienced the events firsthand in the castle of the crystal when it happened."
The gelflings were anxious and eager about the journals contents, they too wanted to hear what had happened in the past. "Please, read it! What does it say?"
Rapunzel had approached the fountain and took a seat. "All right, all right. You should all sit down. The reading light's better over here. Okay, here goes…" She opened the journal and begun to read, "The creatures we've met in this realm are truly a sight to behold, most of them are wary of outsiders. But, over time, my kingdom has garnered their trust. Some, I am quite happy to report, I now call friends. Be forewarned, the darkest secret you are about to learn have been kept hidden for ages, a secrets they would prefer to stay hidden…"
She exchanged looks with Eugene, Jen and Kira, unnerved. Then her gaze returned to the written words. "My story takes place in a realm unlike anything ever seen… the realm of Thra."
Beautiful, mysterious, sometimes frightening, always magical and full of wondrous beings. And at its center was the Crystal of truth, the Heart of Thra. Ever since the land was young and new, Aughra protected the crystal. For she knew the crystal connected all the creatures of Thra. But closest to her heart, were the gelfling.
Seven Clans of Gelfling call Thra home, from the proud Vapra in the Mountain city of Ha'rar, the most cultured of the Gelfling who rule over the seven Clans. To the fierce Stonewood, who dwell in the endless forest, renowned for their prowess in battle and the gentle Grottan, that live deep beneath the ground in perfect harmony with all of Thra, forgotten by the world above.
Ages ago, a ship carrying human settlers arrived to the shores of Thra. Although wary of each other, the gelfling and humans soon grew close, recognizing the similarities they shared by living together side by side.
But then one day, new beings came not of Thra nor from the worlds across the sea… barely a decade after the humans built their kingdoms…then they suddenly appeared. The Skeksis.
Strange creatures that closely resembled predatory birds with sharp teeth, yet they possessed no wings.
Many say they bewitched Aughra with stories of the universe and built her an Orrery, so that she might discover the mysteries of the cosmos herself. Others claim she was still searching for the lost shard. Whatever the cause, Aughra turned her eye to the stars, and entrusted the crystal of truth to the skeksis.
Centuries have passed since the skeksis declared themselves Lords of Thra. Now once again, the skeksis gather in secret within the crystal chamber, as another day dawns… to steal life from the crystal they have sworn to protect.
So that they may replenish themselves, cheat death by harnessing the power of their treasure… their prize… the Dark crystal.
However on this day, the crystal's beams were not as strong as they once were.
"The Crystal fails us once again." One of the skeksis griped, this one wore dark armor and black feathers on his carapace. This was SkekVar, the General.
"Bah! What did you expect?" Another one of the skeksis, who had a scar across his left eye replied snidely. He was SkekLach the Collector. "Nothing yesterday, nothing the day before…"
Another skeksis gasped. He was the shortest with three pairs of eye glasses on his beak, SkekOk the scroll keeper. "Why? Why does this happen?"
"Just look at the crystal!" A corpulent skeksis, SkekAyuk the gourmand, moaned. "We've taken too much! It's gluttony, pure gluttony!"
Then one of the skeksis snarled, his deep voice rebuking the others. "Pathetic! You sound like frightened podlings!" He wore obsidian, midnight blue robes and carried a scepter with a moon symbol at the top.
"But Emperor," A skeksis in gold, SkekZok, the ritual Master, protested worriedly. "If the Crystal will not give, we will die!"
The other skeksis gasped fearfully.
"NEVER!" Emperor SkekSo snapped vehemently. "We have nothing to fear, already a solution lies within the Scientist's very grasp. Is that not so?"
The Scientist, SkekTek, was taken completely off guard for a moment before speaking. "Our mighty Emperor speaks true, I am hard at work on this troublesome inconvenience."
"Patience, we are Lords of the Crystal. We have ruled for an age, and we'll rule for all ages yet to come." Emperor SkekSo declared, "We… are… eternal!"
The Skeksis were delighted.
"Now go!" The Emperor dismissed them.
All the other skeksis dispersed, save for the Scientist who approached the Emperor. While SkekSil, the Chamberlain, cautiously hid behind a wall to overhear their conversation.
"I would not dare to question your wisdom…" The Scientist was saying. "But you know I have found no solution! The Crystal is the Heart of Thra, they are one and the same. But the more we take, the less it gives! All our survival is at stake!"
With a menacing growl, the Emperor grabbed the Scientist by the left shoulder causing him to cry out in pain.
"So find a solution!"
"Of course, Emperor – forgive me!" SkekTek whined.
With that answer, the Emperor released his grasp. "I did not build an empire only to watch it turn to dust!" Emperor SkekSo sneered before turning away.
"I will find the answer Emperor, you will see. I will not fail you! I will not fail you!" SkekTek called after him earnestly.
From his hiding place, the Chamberlain whimpered deviously before walking away.
The crystal of truth had been corrupted, that corruption has spread through Thra and is starting to infect the kingdoms belonging to the humans and into its wildlife. Neither the gelfling nor the humans knew of the Skeksis' crimes, the truth must come to light. The fires of rebellion must be lit and a new age must begin…
Meanwhile several miles away from the castle, was the growing kingdom of Corazion, ruled by King Stefan and his fair Queen Leah. It was two years ago that their daughter the Princess Aurora had returned from hiding, betrothed to Prince Phillip, the son of King Stefan's best friend King Hubert, to unite their kingdoms.
For on the day she was born, the wicked sorceress Maleficent cast a spell on the princess that before sun set on her sixteenth birthday, she would prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and perish. However, the three good fairies had bestowed their gifts on the infant princess that same day, the third one, Merryweather used her blessing to weaken the curse so that instead of dying, Aurora would fall into a deep sleep, only broken by true love's kiss.
At the fairies' urging, the King and Queen reluctantly allow the fairies to care for Aurora within the forest to live with them in safety. The Princess grew to be a humble, tenderhearted young woman that dearly loved nature. Who would've thought she'd end up meeting her future husband on her sixteenth birthday, while singing to the forest animals?
Of course the curse is still fulfilled, Aurora falls into a deep slumber and a powerful sleeping spell was placed upon everyone in the kingdom, causing them to sleep until the spell on their princess was broken. While Prince Phillip was captured by Maleficent, so the fairies came to his aid, arming him with the magical Sword of Truth and Shield of Virtue. An enraged Maleficent surrounds the castle with thorns but fails to stop Phillip. She teleports in front of him and transforms into a gigantic dragon. They battle, and Phillip throws the sword, blessed by the fairies, directly into Maleficent's heart, causing her to fall to her death.
Phillip awakens Aurora with a kiss, breaking the spell and waking the kingdom. The young royal couple were married months later, in a grand celebration.
Among those present in the wedding, were not only the three good fairies as honored guests but at least three of the skeksis –they were the scroll keeper, the Ornamentalist and the Chamberlain- had been witnessed the happy occasion. Nearly no one else recalled Maleficent's ominous words years ago, when she'd laid eyes on the Crystal Lords the day of Aurora's christening.
"So guileless. You've unknowingly invited a group of vipers into your den."
They did not know they were a thinly veiled warning of things to come.
To be continued...