A long, long time ago, when creatures of myth and magic walked the earth openly with lesser mortals, there dwelt in the kingdom of Daventry a king named Graham. He had won the crown by his wit and courage when he went forth to uncover and reclaim the three lost treasures of Daventry. Now Graham ruled over the land, with the aid of the Mirror that foretold the future, the bottomless Treasure Chest, and the invincible Shield. The people of Daventry prospered under the reign of the kindly monarch.
Just one year after returning from his first victorious quest, King Graham arose and looked into the Mirror as he was wont to do daily. Much to his astonishment, he beheld the face of Edward, the king who came before him in the succession.
King Edward spoke. “Graham, your kingdom is strong now, thanks to the recovery of the three magic treasures and to your wise leadership. But it will soon grow weak again, if you do not provide an heir to the throne. Marry, my son, and give your people a prince that will make their future secure.”
The vision faded. King Graham pondered how he might find a bride fit to reign over Daventry. He consulted with Gervain, his wise prime minister.
“She must be good, and kind, so that she will love my people and they will love her,” said Graham. “She must have the wisdom to counsel me in my daily problems, and a loving heart to bring me comfort. I wish my queen to glow with an inner beauty of spirit as well as beauty of face and form.”
Gervain suggested that Graham host a celebration, and invite all the maidens of marriageable age from his whole kingdom. He could then observe and converse with likely candidates, and see if any one of them fit his idea of a queen.
The invitations were sent out, and the whole kingdom turned out for the celebration. From every corner of Daventry the maidens came. Short and tall, slender and plump, fair and dark, pretty and plain. There were maidens from all stations in life, from dukes’ and earls’ daughters to the village goose girl and the scullery maid from the castle kitchens. They all had but one thing in common: they greatly admired the handsome King, and were eager to catch his eye. Word had spread that the King was looking for a bride, and they were all thrilled by the prospect of marrying the charming Graham.
For two days the celebration wore on, and though he tried to be cheerful, Graham gradually became somber. None of the maidens he had met quickened his pulse. One maid squinted, another tripped over everything in sight. Another was too coy, and the one after her giggled constantly. They all had some fault, however small. It was with great relief that Graham saw his guests ride away at the end of the celebration. He retired to his room to reflect gloomily.
“My kingdom is home to hundreds of lovely maidens,” he mourned. “Why is there not one among them who touches my heart and my dreams?”
As he asked the question, King Graham was standing near the Magic Mirror. He glanced toward it, and noticed that the glass had grown inexplicably cloudy.
The mist cleared. All at once, King Graham beheld the most beautiful maiden he had ever seen. She had hair of glowing auburn, and eyes of midnight blue. Her skin was the color of rich cream, but alas, no roses bloomed in her cheeks, and the corners of her pretty mouth drooped in sorrow.
She was standing at a window, motionless except for the stray breeze that stirred her hair. A tear fell from one eye, and sparkled on her cheek like a diamond on velvet. She put up one hand to brush it away, and Graham was struck by the grace of her movement.
The King’s heart was suddenly enveloped in a strange fever. He knew that this was the maid for whom he longed — this was the woman who must be his queen. He wanted to find her and bring a smile to her lovely face. He wanted to take her in his arms, and protect her from trouble forevermore. Eagerly he consulted the Magic Mirror.
“Oh Mirror wise,” said Graham, “I have vowed to make this maiden my bride. Where may I find her?”
The Mirror clouded again, and a voice was heard. “This is the maiden Valanice. She is from the kingdom of Kolyma, and is known for her goodness no less than her beauty. The jealous crone Hagatha whisked Valanice away to an enchanted land, and imprisoned her in a quartz tower guarded by a ferocious wild beast.”
“I must rescue her or die in the attempt,” declared King Graham. How may I find this enchanted land?”
“You must travel to the kingdom of Kolyma,” said the Mirror. “There you may search for the keys which unlock the three doors to the enchanted land . . .” The voice faded and the Mirror cleared. Graham stared at his own reflection. Vainly did he call for its return, to give him more clues to the whereabouts of the magic keys. He then shouldered his provisions, and set out on his quest of love.
Only you, my bold adventurer, have the power to finish this tale. Become King Graham on his quest to find the magic keys. Encounter characters of legend, folklore, and fantasy. Explore underground caverns, eerie towers, and ocean wonderlands. Help Graham rescue the enchanted maiden, so he can lay his kingdom and his heart at her feet.
You will be faced with challenges that would intimidate those of lesser timbre. Summon all your strength and courage. Leave no stone unturned, no avenue unexplored, and all your perserverance will be richly rewarded.
It may be possible to find each key through more than one avenue. The more imaginative your solutions, the greater your reward. Study all the ancient lores for clues. Along the way collect as many treasures as you can — treasures fit for a queen. The road you must travel is long and perilous. You will be beset by many dangerous beings, both mythical and magical. You must have the wisdom to know when to stand and fight and when to flee from superior strength. But take heart — you may receive help in unexpected places.
Go now, and remember that True Love conquers all!