“Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful princess. . .”
All my favorite childhood fairy tales began that way. But, what if the princess wasn’t so beautiful? And, what if no one really wanted her? This is how Princess Keita’s story begins.
While she is the wisest princess in all the Two Lands and princes journey long distances to seek her advice, King Meriot cannot find a husband for his daughter. Then, a prince from across the sea arrives and asks for Keita to accompany him back to his home so they can ultimately be married.
Once they depart on their voyage, Keita is haunted by dreams of an unknown man enticing her and calling her name. She also can’t seem to forget the face of her father’s guard who escorted her safely into the hands of her prince. Her journey begins to take an unexpected turn, and Princess Keita finds herself having to choose between a prince who only wants her based on rumors and his own desperation, a dark wizard who speaks to her through dreams, and her father’s guard who seems to be harboring a secret and wishes for the princess to forget him.
Princess Keita’s troubles, as daunting as they may seem, are overshadowed by a threat that endangers the lands. Someone is trying to reunite the Two Lands that were separated many years ago, which will ignite war between power-hungry kings. As Keita realizes her place amongst this struggle, she begins to learn the truth about the kingdom she now calls home and the people surrounding her.
Before long, the overhead trees were so thick they blocked out the sun and the forest floor grew very dark. She briefly considered the possibility that she might get lost, but found that she didn’t care.
There weren’t many flowers deep in the forest. Instead it was mostly shrubs, brush, and fallen trees. Every once in a while she found a small bush with berries on it, but these were unfamiliar to her, so she left them alone.
Looking up, she saw that two thick shrubs were blocking her path. Determined not to turn around yet, she pushed through them and found a small clearing.
“What are you doing so deep within the forest?”
Looking up, she found a large creature standing before her. It looked like a large man; only its dark brown skin appeared chiseled, like a rock. He looked as though he could pick her up as easily as she picked up her rag doll back home. Her mouth fell open in surprise. She had never seen anything like it.
“Don’t you speak?” The deep voice frightened and soothed her at the same time.
“Step back Gerik,” a more gentle voice interrupted. “You’re scaring the child.” As the creature took several steps back, Keita saw a dark haired man sitting on a fallen log next to a fire.
“Look at her,” he chuckled. “She doesn’t even know what she’s looking at.”
She quickly moved towards the man. While she didn’t recognize him, at least he was human.
“Sometimes I don’t know what I’m looking at when I see Gerik,” another voice pitched
Turning again, Keita saw a small creature entering the clearing from the forest. Her eyes widened even more as she stared at the odd brown creature that walked on two legs, had arms that almost touched the ground, and large floppy ears.
“Careful goblin,” the larger creature growled. “I could silence you merely by sitting on you."
A goblin? What was a goblin? Was that its name?
“Stop it, both of you,” the man stood. “She’s terrified!”
“More curious than terrified actually,” the goblin mused as he scratched his head. “Quite interesting.”
“You’re a little far from home today, aren’t you Keita?”
She turned back to the man, but said nothing.
“You may have your parents fooled, but I know that you can speak. So let me repeat my question: you’re a little far from home today, aren’t you?”
“Very good. Now, why are you so far from home?”
“I like it out here. I was told to wait in my room, but no one came for me and so I left.”
“Do you know why you were told to wait in your room?”
“Well, I do. Would you like me to tell you?”
“Well look at that; you do have some manners. Why don’t you come over here and sit down with me.”
“Do I have to?”
“No, you don’t. But it might help.”
Cautiously she moved towards him, choosing a spot on the log as far from him as she could. Suddenly the other two creatures no longer seemed important.