The clear, azure sky stretched like a dome over the luscious green pastures and gurgling streams of the realm. Fat golden-yellow clouds adorned the sky, upon which giggling fairies excitedly perched. Threading through them as they soared in the magnificent sky were majestic dragons roaring jets of fire into the horizon. Below them, in the rushing streams and crystal lakes were proud merfolk, cutting the silvery water with their scaled fins and deadly spears.
This was the town of Magus, full of wild possibilities, magic and wonder, where every corner held adventure and where happiness held sway. But today was not such a day…as today was a day of mourning. All of Magus stood grieving in the heart of the rocky caves that burrowed under the land as the very last dragon lay dying.
The ancient Dragon rumbled his throat and spoke, “As you all know today marks the end of the dragons, the guardians of magic and the solemn protectors of the nine realms. We who were created with the universe and swore to protect it with our last breaths have come to an end.” Here the dragon paused and looked at each person gathered in the cave intensely, “I cannot let that happen.” The dragon took a rattling breath and prepared to speak, “I address you today to ask you to secure the very last hope for Dragon kind. It is an ancient secret found in a story passed down from generation to generation. It refers to the lost egg.”
Here the assembly took a collective gasp and the dragon calmly continued “Nearly a millennium ago, an egg was secured by our ancestors and hidden in a secret valley, guarded zealously by its guardians-the legendary Disir. They had foretold such a day where dragons would breathe their last and had hidden the egg as our only hope. The story says that many a dragon, fiery and mer-knight risked their life to obtain it but the Disir found none of them to be worthy, and thus the egg lay in the Valley, undisturbed and hidden from the world. Today, as the last of the dragons lies dying, the egg must be found.”
Wyvern lifted his head high above the crowd and roared; “Ellen and Jake Fuego!!” Two trembling Fairies, a girl with fiery red hair and a boy with tousled black locks- both with the same blue eyes, tumbled out from the crowd. Behind them, a tall elven woman with berry red lips, braided raven hair and pupils as dark as night apprehensively stood waiting.
“Sir” said Ellen, trembling and wondering how her voice could sound so scratchy. “Children, do you know why I have called you?” the Dragon asked. “No sir”, stammered Jake. Wyvern took a deep breath and said, “I have called for you because I want you to find the egg.” At this the elven woman, Marys, gave a squawk of protest but was instantly silenced by a quelling look. “ I want you and you alone to go because I feel you have the only chance of retrieving the egg from the Valley of Wuagyl and obtaining it from the powerful guardians- the Disir. Will you undertake this quest?” He asked them, gazing at them intensely.
The twins looked at each other, and then to their mother who stood to the side with her lips pursed and forehead creased. They took a deep breath and gazing at the solemn dragon in front of them simultaneously nodding their head said yes. The Dragon gave a deep rumble, “Dragon kind will never forget your kind deeds. Now go my brave adventurers, and may the Universe be fortunate on us all.” Having said so, the dragon closed his eyes spread his wings wide and ....soared off the horizon, defiantly roaring jets of fire from his nostrils. All of Magus respectfully bowed their heads in a silent tribute to the Dragon.
The next frosty morning, when Ellen woke up, she found her mother waiting for her at the foot of her bed. “You’re not going”, she said with a worried expression.“Wait…what? “Ellen muttered sleepily”, “To find the egg, I mean. No matter what Wyvern said, you are far too young and so is your brother. Merlin’s beard, you’re just children- they can send proper warriors on this quest, can't they!” exclaimed Marys. Ellen jolted awake at her mother’s words, “ But mom…” she protested. “ No ifs or buts. You’re not going and that’s that,” ordered Marys sternly, hoping to put an end to this nonsense.
“Well mom, defying a dragon isn’t the best course of action if you ask me” came a voice from the door. Marys turned to see Jake leaning against the door, fully dressed in toughened hide with backpack swinging from one shoulder. “And I brought a guest too!!” he said. An old, tall man came through the low doorway, and smiled, “ Marys”. “Wizard Lefliar!” cried Marys, “What brings you here?” “Oh nothing much, just the customary rituals before a quest” he said stretching his fingers.
“But they aren’t going!!!” shouted Marys. “Listen, Dragons may be wise and great and all, but Wyvern made a mistake in choosing Ellen and Jake because they are far too young!!!” “Marys” said, the old wizard gently, “Dragons are never wrong, Wyvern chose Ellen and Jake for a reason and they agreed. I understand your pain, but once a quest begins, you cannot stop it.” Marys slowly nodded, tears streaming down her face. “Take care my Elly, my Jake-Jake. I’ll miss you. May the universe smile upon you” she tearfully cried. “I love you so much”. “Me too ma” said Ellen, embracing her mother. “Love you too mom! Goodbye.” said Jake. And then with deep breath they turned and together walked out of their little cottage with Lefliar.
After walking for a considerable distance in silence the party of three reached the edge of the jungle when Leflair turned to Ellen and Jake and said eagerly “Now, to business! As I take it you will have to voyage from here to Wuagyl, face insurmountable trials and perilous villains before facing the Disir- the most fearsome guardians of the nine worlds and obtain the egg and bring it home!” Lefliar cheerfully stated as though he was reading a menu of a Sunday Cafe. “Y--y-y-y-yes” said Ellen. “ P-p-perilous villains???” piped Jake. “Ah yes, the usual – your giants, cyclops, nixes, pixies and all round troublemakers. Which brings me to the next order of business. Do you have a knife?” “A knife? Ellen echoed.“A knife, a cutting instrument consisting of a sharp blade fastened to a handle! I expect quite a lot of people will be tying you up and you’ll want a way to get out, wont you?” Lefliar explained lightly.. “Well I have this”. Ellen gestured to a small dagger in her boot “Oh perfect!” Lefliar clapped his hands, “And you, Jake?” Jake pulled out a triangular blade held around his neck with knotted seaweed “A mermaid gave me this.” “Hmm…interesting- it’ll do well. Well then now that you have everything, all you need is a map.” Lefliar dug around in his robes to procure a thick musty book, from which he pulled out a map. “This will guide you safely through the Magic Lands. Have hope and courage children. Farewell!” The twins set off into the forest after bidding Lefliar goodbye.
It had been two hours since Ellen and Jake had ventured into the dense forests of Diana, and Ellen was seriously considering renaming the vast expanse to the forest of Dire Dark Demise. Jake had been absolutely of no help and according to the map, it would take them at least another day to reach the village of Espoir. Jake on the other hand was excited about every single thing, which was really getting on to her nerves. Jake suddenly stopped mid-jog causing Ellen to bump into him. “WHAT HAPPENED!!!” she crossly asked him. Jake pointed to a red squirrel nearby “That’s it!” Ellen exploded “You’ve been excited with every single thing you’ve seen in the forest. Merlin’s beard, you were even excited about the leaves and now you’ve stopped because of a squirrel!!!! A SQUIRREL!!!! At this rate it’ll take us forever to get out of this dismal forest!“ Now see what you’ve done” Jake exclaimed, chasing the squirrel, which had darted away.
Ellen gave a growl of frustration and vented her fury on a nearby tree for a few minutes until she realized that she was alone in the gloomy forest. “Jake? Jake?” Ellen called for her brother. “ Jake where are you? Come back this instant!!” When no answer came, she tried again, “ Okay, fine I’m sorry. Can you just come now? Jake it’s not funny anymore!” But the ominous silence remained, like a thick blanket and Ellen realized that her brother was quite possibly lost in a forest chock full of perilous villains. Without a minute’s hesitation, she ran in the direction of her brother’s footsteps clearly visible in the squishy brown mud.
Ellen traced the footsteps up to a large house, which was around twenty feet high, with tall walls and a large straight flat roof. She silently crept along the house till she found a hole big enough to wriggle in, which she promptly did. The scene inside was enough to give her nightmares for the rest of her life.
A hellish creature so tall that he could almost touch the sky was standing in the center of the room. He was wearing a pair of dirty overalls and as the light struck his face, Ellen had to stifle a gasp because instead of two eyes, the giant had but one eye in the middle of his forehead. But that wasn’t the reason why Ellen felt deep-rooted terror that made her physically feel sick. Living in Magus she had seen her fair share of odd appearances. No, what terrified her was the fact that, in the middle of the room suspended upside down over a roaring fire ready to become one eyed monster’s supper was her brother JAKE!!!!
Ellen tried to think her way through but felt as if her head was filled with white smog. She had no proper magic, no way of rescuing Jake. She took a deep breath and stared around her. Her eyes were drawn to a section of the roof were many curved iron bars extended from the floor and rose upwards, meeting at the roof. The entire thing had been lifted high by a complicated pulley of ropes, so as to create more space for the Cyclops. But the strange thing was that the contraption reminded her of a…Ellen’s lips slowly drew into a smile. She had just the perfect plan in mind.
Ellen took a deep breath and steeled herself. If her audacious plan was to work, she would need courage and a healthy dose of luck. Wriggling out of the hole, she stepped into the light and shouted at the top her voice. “ Yo Cyclops!!” Just as she had hoped, she had gotten the Cyclops’s attention. Now for the tough part- “Hey you! Yes, you the one I see.” She laughed hysterically. Confused the Cyclops passively regarded her. “Come here if you dare. Yes here-can’t you see? Or do you need glasses- I mean glass!” This did the trick. Enraged the Cyclops slowly lumbered towards here till he was right under the bars. Ellen quickly darted away and plucking the knife from her boot, slashed at the ropes, causing the metal structure to fall neatly around him, just like a cage. The Cyclops bellowed with anger, but was unable to escape.
Next, Ellen retrieved a rusted ladder and climbed onto it carefully freeing her brother and dragging him down the ladder. She then somehow half lifted half dragged him out of the house and finally out of the forest, after which she promptly collapsed at the village walls out of sheer exhaustion.
The next morning, Ellen sleepily woke up in an unfamiliar room, on a bed that decidedly was not her own. She had a brief moment of panic before the previous day’s events flooded in front of her eyes. The egg, the woods, the Cyclops and her brother… “Jake!” She cried. “Was he all right? Did he make it safely?” Her heart raced until the door suddenly opened and Jake peeked through, “ Ellen? Are you okay?” “Jake!” Ellen exclaimed. Jake awkwardly hugged her. “Merlin’s flowing beard, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!!!!”she cried, “Running off on your own like that, you know how worried s was?” “ Sorry, Ellen. Its just that….” Taking a deep breath he continued, “ you’ve always been the bold one. Ready for adventure, smart and funny, you were always sure of yourself I just wanted to shine for once I guess.” “Jake, running off into a cyclops’ lair is not the best way to prove yourself.” “I know…I know.... I am really sorry Ellen”, Jake pleaded. “Fine then, apologies accepted. But NEVER do that again okay?” admonished Ellen. “Of course “ Jake promised. “ I was out in the village while you were asleep and found these.” Jake pulled out a pouch full of eggs, “ What are these?” Ellen inquisitively asked. “Chocolate eggs, they have a custom here” Jake explained.
Ellen carefully chose a bright red one and ate it. The richness of chocolate was immediately masked by a much stronger taste, which felt like fire coursing in her mouth. Red-hot steam puffed out of her ears. “WHAT WAS THAT?” She shrieked. Hiding his amusement Jake said, “ Apparently the red ones are a little more flavorful”. “You think!” Ellen sarcastically said erupting into a fit of giggles. Laughing, Jake put a few of the fiery red eggs in his backpack, “Fun for a trick”, he proclaimed. The two roamed in the village with replenished supplies and spirits, they set off to the valley and on their quest.
After four long hours of trudging through sticky, sludgy swamps. Jake finally found a landmark which he (or at least the map) recognized. Ellen groaned, “Are we there yet?” “Well actually, I think we are at the Temple of Cupisco, entryway to the valley. Ellen’s face lit up but immediately fell as she looked at the ominous ruin in front of them. Constructed from marble, rock and onyx, the monumental temple was very different from the comforting and quaint cottages of Magus. Imposing stone faces loomed from the top of the high stone walls, glaring at the twins. Patches of slippery moss lined the pathway to the temple, ready to trip any unwitting passerby. The twins approached one of the many enormous gates, which was flanked by an imposing stone centaur wielding a spear. All of sudden the centaur moved ,barring the entryway with his spear and rumbled in a deep voice, “Only one can pass”. “What?!” cried Ellen. “No way!!” Jake protested. The centaur regarded Ellen stonily and said, “Enter from the second gate or do not enter at all”. Reluctantly Ellen agreed, “ We haven’t come this far to stop so close. This is the only way to the valley of Wuagyl, right?” “Yes”, Jake said. “Well…be careful. If all goes well , see you inside”. Taking a deep breath, they entered.
Jake found himself in a deep, dark vortex. He felt as if he was simultaneously being crushed and stretched. Just when he thought he couldn’t take it any longer, the sensation ended, and he found himself in the feast hall of Magus. Seated along the table was the entire town, cheering for him. On his right sat his beaming mother who was excitedly chattering to the woman seated next to her. Jake could hear snippets of the conversation-“my son”, “hero”, “saved us all”…..On his left was wizard Lefliar. Seeing Jake, he smiled, and standing up, he addressed the gathering. “Friends…today we are gathered here to honor the hero of Magus, the warrior who saved us all from the dark forces, who saved magic itself. Hail, Jake!!” The crowd roared in approval. Bemused, Jake stared at them. “Why, what’s wrong Jakey-baby?” his mother crooned, looking at his confused face. “Don’t you like this? Its all for you…you are our hero!!”she cried.
Jake wondered why he was feeling so strange. This was what he had always wanted….why then did he feel such a strong feeling of foreboding? And since when did his mother call him Jakey-baby? It was nothing, he told himself. Ellen would have reprimanded him so much for doubting everything….She would have told him to accept his blessings…Suddenly he felt a chill run down his spine. “Mother,” he said, “Where’s Ellen?” His mother abruptly froze and a low whine filled his ears until the entire scene erupted and faded away into black shadows, which flew around him like a whirlwind, increasing in number and howling at him till he found himself crouched on the stone floor of the abandoned temple.
Ellen felt as if she was drowning. What else could explain this sensation of being crushed by an immeasurable weight, this feeling of panic, inky darkness and breathlessness??She longed to break to the surface but found herself unable, and just when she thought the darkness would claim her, she found herself in the comforting safety of her home. Blinking her eyes, she rolled in her bed sleepily-only to be woken up by a tall wizard wearing brown, long robes and a kindly smile- her father, she realized with a jolt. “Elleennn…”her father cried. “Its time to wake up!!!” She stared at her father for a minute as he spoke, “You’ve been wanting to go dragon riding for such a long time,I thought we could go today. Come on now!” “But...but what about my bed, clothes?”she protested. “Why, what’s magic for?”he asked rolling his eyes.With a flourish of his staff, the bed was neatly made and Ellen found herself neatly dressed in riding gear. Oh...Jake would be so jealous, she thought with a grin...then froze as a chill ran down her spine. Where was Jake..he usually was the first to get up. “Where’s Jake” she nonchalantly asked her father. Suddenly, he froze and with a shriek exploded into black fragments.A high pitched wail echoed in the room as the illusion broke apart in a rush of salty tears, and Ellen found herself sobbing on the floor of the abandoned temple.
The two emerged out of the temple and looked at the bright blue skies and meadows for a minute. “Well that was intense.” said Jake” “Y-yes” replied Ellen trembling. “But the good news is that we are almost there” . “Almost? Ellen I’m exhausted. We’ve been travelling the whole day!” exclaimed Jake. “There aren’t any villager nearby Jake. The Valley of Wuagyl is uninhabited.” Jake groaned in frustration then suddenly squinted “Wait, look there...do I see…. A house!” nearly shouting with excitement, he ran towards a red cottage in the distance.
Ellen took up chase after him, tiredness winning over caution. Jake hammered at the wooden door, which opened promptly. A young man peeked out warily, and seeing the children opened the door and welcomed them “ Children! What are you doing in this remote valley?” the man inquired. The twins stepped out inside the small wooden cottage. Sparsely furnished, the cottage had but one room. A table with a few chairs was placed in the center. A dusty mattress was placed to the side. A cupboard made of sturdy teak occupied most of the space.
The man himself was quite average looking, with narrow brown eyes, a mop of thick dark hair, wearing a simple coat and creased pants. “I am Jake and this is my sister Ellen, sir” Jake answered. “I am pleased to make your acquaintance children. I am Promisus. But I must ask you, why have you come to this remote land?” “No particular reason sir” Jake replied. “ Ah but the way here is perilous and risky, full of dangers and unsuitable for young children like you. Why would you wish to risk your life?” Promisus inquired. As Promisus pressed for an answer, Ellen felt a deep sense of unease.“ Like Jake said, no particular reason. But now we must leave. Thank you for your hospitality.” Ellen said, arising from her seat. “Oh! But children there you are mistaken. For you see, I know why you have come to the ancient valley of Wuagyl. You have come to retrieve the dragon’s egg to save dragon-kind”, Promisus sneered. “ And since I am the one who killed them all, I certainly don’t want that to happen. So children, you will now tell me where the dragon’s egg is and how I can retrieve or I will kill you.”
There was a maniacal giant in his eyes that froze the children with deep-rooted panic. For a moment both children looked at Promisus , frozen and in a state of utter shock. “You did all that?” asked Ellen. “You are responsible for the murder of the dragons? “Jake whispered, “But why?” Ellen asked “Why would any one want to do so?” “Because you see children, I am not like you” Promisus retorted with bitterness in his voice “ I am not fairy, wizard, elf, mermaid, dragon, giant, Cyclops, nixie, pixie or witch. I am not magic.” The twins gasped simultaneously. “ From the minute I was born, I was a curse, a load. While my friend soared in the skies, dove in the water and mastered weaponry, I was stuck talent less on the ground. Magic had gifted every creature of the nine realms - except me. And so on my sixteenth birthday, I set off, searching for anyone like me but everywhere I went, I was shunned and ostracized. Magic had cursed me and I vowed to end magic.” Promisus took a deep breath and continued, “Out of all the magical creatures, dragons are the most powerful. They are the guardians of magic. Destroy them and you have destroyed magic. And so I made it my mission, my quest to destroy the dragons, and unlike you children have been very successful. Promisus smiled sinisterly. “ So now will you tell me how to retrieve the egg from where it is?” “Never!” cried the twins defiantly “I thought you might say that”, said Promisus with a theatrical sigh. “Guards!” He bellowed, “do what you must.”
Suddenly, the cupboard’s door flew open to reveal steps chiseled into a smooth stone wall. Emerging from the inky darkness were thousands of mechanical soldiers, with pincer like claws for hands, bronze armor and talon like sturdy feet. Two mechanical soldiers stepped out and holding the children in a vice like grip began to crush them. The children’s screams echoed in the cottage, and Promisus asked them once again, “Are you sure you don’t want to tell me where the egg is?” “We will never tell you! “ cried Jake, just as Ellen screamed, “Fine, I’ll tell you, just STOP!”. Grinning Promisus gestured to the soldier who immediately dropped Ellen. “ I’m so glad you came to your senses dear. Now where is the egg?”
Panting, Ellen replied, “ The thing is we weren’t going to the Valley when you found us” “WHAT?” exclaimed Promisus, “ We were returning”, Ellen explained. “But-But that would mean ..” “The egg is with us, yes.” Ellen finished his sentence, unzipping Jake’s backpack. Ellen procured a small red egg. “ This is a dragon’s egg?” Promisus asked disbelievingly. “Yes” Ellen answered. “ It is a very special one, enchanted to stay safe from all spells – which means your methods won’t harm it either. “Really?” Well if there is no way to destroy it, I’ll just have to vent out my anger on you!” Promisus shouted. The soldier moved towards Ellen, “ NO, WAIT!” she exclaimed. “ There is one way.” Promisus smiled cruelly. “You boil the egg” “Boil it??” Promisus echoed,“ YES!” Ellen impatiently said, “ Boil it!!” “Very well” Promisus stated. Heating some water, he dropped the egg in it. The egg immediately broke to release a cloud of chilly powder which blinded him instantaneously. Screaming in raw pain, Promisus ran around the house like a blind mouse. Ellen promptly freed Jake and together they ran out of the house as if there was no tomorrow.
Ellen rested her head against the cool grass. “Our very first villain!!”, Jake proclaimed. She felt a sob building up in the throat and said, “ I didn’t want a villain. I was hoping for a happy, rainbow filled quest with a villain conspicuously absent. Instead we get a villain who is cunning, greedy, proud and powerful”. “ Oh Elly!” Jake comforted his sister. “No Jake, think about it.We are children and he is the one who killed the most magical beings of the nine realms. What do we have, that he doesn’t?”. Ellen questioned. Jake fell silent. Then suddenly an idea struck him like a fireball.
“Well actually…..he said whispering his audacious plan to his sister.
Ellen stood in the dark caves of Tenebris, underneath Promisus’s house. She was trembling like a leaf and still couldn’t believe that she had agreed to Jake’s plan ,which was even more foolhardy than her own plans. This, she though, outranked even the great Cyclops Capture!
“PROMISUS!!” her voice echoed in the caves, and just as she had hoped, she saw a figure emerge from the stone steps chiseled onto the rock. “ELLEN FUEGO” Promisus said. “Promisus, I have come to strike a deal with you!” Ellen said confidently. A deal?” He said, laughing, “What do you have that I don’t, little girl?”
“I have MAGIC” Ellen said extending her hand. Promisus watched in wonder as a small flame popped on each of her fingers. “And I am willing to give it to if you stop waging war on magic”. “It can’t be done” Promisus said raggedly, his sight fixed on Ellen’s fire.“ Yes, it can” Ellen said. It can if I am willing to give up my magic through an ancient ritual. But do you agree to stop this murder??” “Of course” Promisus said, “But how can it be done?”
“First take a pound of mandrake root boiled in water, a Cyclopes eye, a shell prized by a mermaid which holds a giants drool, simmer…boil…branches of olive…leaves…. a golden squirrels hair, rock from the temple Cupisco…. a flower from the valley of Wuagyl…” she droned on and on and on calling upon her power of imagination. After all, she just needed to buy Jake some more time before he…her thoughts were suddenly interrupted by Promisus’s bellowing, “IS IT DONE YET?”
Jake sat crouched in the corner of a cavernous room in the labyrinth like caves of Tenebrius. He hoped Ellen was all right, but now he had his part of the plan to worry about. Carefully rolling out of the nook he had been hiding in, he peeked into the room to see thousands of Promisus’s soldiers operating the heavy machinery required for Promisus’s nefarious curse. Clutching his blade in his hand, he crept stealthily towards the first soldier.
Taking a deep breath, to calm herself, Ellen replied, “Yes, the recipe for the potion is all done. NOW will you disable the soldiers?” “ Not just yet crafty fairy, first we will try this potion” he said, pulling her viciously out of the cave. “ NO WAIT!!!!” she cried..” I just remembered ... the ingredients can only be collected at midnight for the potion to work!!!” Promisus stared at Ellen suspiciously as her heart raced. Suddenly she heard the sound of a thousand drums beating beneath her. Promisus furiously whipped his head back and forth trying to identify the source of the sound.
“Its over Promisus, came a voice from above. Ellen and Promisus turned to see Jake confidently descending down the stone steps, pointing beneath him to a dark stream flowing beneath the rocky cave he said, “The mermaids have destroyed your spell. The mechanical soldiers have been disabled. All of Magnus knows of your crimes.” “Impossible”, sneered Promisus. “You children could never have bested my soldiers.” “Why don’t you see for yourself?” Jake said. “Guards!” Promisus called. When no answer came Promisus uncertainly called once again.” “Guards, I command you to report here this instant!!” Promisus looked around furiously. Jake looked at him calmly. “ NO...no, no, no”,cried Promisus… “THIS IS NOT POSSIBLE!!!!!! This cannot be happening…NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” Collapsing on the rocky floor in abject misery, Promisus cried and screamed bitterly. Ellen and Jake left the dark cave together, leaving behind a man who had turned into a monster by his own bitterness, hatred and cruelty.
It had all been Jake’s brilliant idea. He was the one who had suggested tricking Promisus through an offer which he could never refuse. Of course, Ellen had not reached magical maturity yet, so Jake used a portion he had obtained in Epanouie, which allowed the user to briefly set fire on ones hand. He had also recognized the spell killing the dragons as an ancient vice created by a sea witch. He had informed the mermaids who destroyed the curse immediately while had had disabled the army of soldiers Promisus had created. In the end Jake had indeed proven himself to be True HERO. The twins spent the rest of the journey to Wuagyl in a state of perfect and nearly delirious happiness, the kind you can only achieve by defeating the most powerful villain of the nine realms.
The twins reached the fables valley of Wuagyl just as the sun reached its zenith. The sight took their breath away. Living in Magus, they were no strangers to beauty, but the resplendence of the legendary valley was nothing like they had ever seen before. Minty green grass covered every inch of the earth. They sky was ethereal, ineffable blue with golden candy-floss like clouds hanging at distances. A dazzling azure river descending from the monumental mountains nearby pooled into a cerulean lake. In the middle of the lake stood a jutting rock flanked by vibrant rainbows, and on the rock was a pearly white dragon egg. Surrounding the egg were seven guardians – the Disir. Tall and proud, each one hovered a few inches off the ground, clutching fearsome battle-axes and knives. The twins bowed to the powerful guardians and were about to speak when the Disir raised their hands for silence.
“Ellen and Jake Fuego” they said in unison.
“Revered Disir” Ellen began, “We have come here to request for the Dragon’s Egg. The guardians of the nine realms- the dragons have died. The egg is the last hope for us all. The last dragon, Wyvern the Great, sent us on this quest to prevent the extinction of the dragons”. The Disir regarded them impassively and spoke, “ We the Disir have been guarding the Egg since time immemorial. We have a sacred duty and we can only give the Egg to a worthy soul”. Ellen gathered her courage, “How can we prove ourselves, venerable Disir?”
“Psychostasia!” the guardians thundered “Weighing of the SOUL”.
Procuring golden scales from the sky the Disir continued, “If your soul is worthy, honest and true, then it shall be light and unburdened, and the Egg is yours. But if you are sinful, greedy or proud, your crimes will weigh you down and you will be scorched in hellfire.” The twins looked at each other, the fire of determination burning fiercely in their eyes, “We haven’t come this far to give up. We accept the trial, fair judges of our soul!” answered the twins. “So be it” spoke the DISIR ……“ELLEN FUEGO!”
Ellen valiantly stepped forward. …“Sit Incipere! Anima Pondera Dolosa!” the Disir chanted. A glowing ball of light formed on one pan. Jake watched the scales tremble, but after what seemed like eternity, Ellen’s scale lifted and Jake let out a breath he didn’t realize he was holding.
“JAKE FUEGO!”.. the Disir called. Steeling his nerves. Jake presented himself. The Disir apathetically stared at him, then raising their arms, cried out, “ DIGNUS ENIM RESURGEMUS, QUI CECIDRIT, SUPER ZINDAI”! A swirling mass of energy collected on one pan and just as before, the scales indecisively trembled before reaching their conclusion and lifting Jakes pan.
Swirling and whirling the Disir spoke, “You have proved yourself to be brave, true and just. Your souls are worthy and we thus give you-THE DRAGON EGG!!”
Ellen and Jake held the egg with exhilaration, nestling it in their hands. Sunlight caught on the egg’s pearly shell resulting in dazzling golden explosions here and there. The Disir addressed them once again, “ And now as a gift for your heroic deeds, we shall take you home”, casting a spell, the Disir transported the twins back to Magus, back to their familiar fairies, merfolk and elves, back to their loving mother…Back Home!!!
It had been a whole year since the twins’ adventure, yet even today the same kind of excitement buzzed in their hearts. All of Magus crowded at the square today, because today was a day of excitement. The egg which Ellen and Jake had risked their heart and soul for stood in the middle of the square. As the first rays of sunlight fell, it moved ever so slightly. Everyone looked mesmerized and watched the spectacle before them with bated breath. Then suddenly a long crack appeared on the side of the egg. The crack soon webbed every inch of the dragon’s egg until all of a sudden the egg had completely cracked and in its place was a small, shimmering, blue and violet scaled dragon.
The entire crowd erupted in cheers, as tears streamed down everyone’s face. “SERAPHINA” the crowd chanted, swaying to the happiness, energy and magic of Magus as the dragon’s race continued defying all odds, rising in the face of adversaries like a phoenix from the fire and using the hurdles as stepping stones, to live another day