A story of a brave princess and her dog to break a curse full of magical beasts, wizards and many surprises!
Once upon a time, not too long ago, in a kingdom not too far away lived a princess and her family in a beautiful palace. King James, Queen May, Princess Amethyst, and their loyal dog Francis lived a happy, peaceful life reigning over the Kingdom of Sofia with prudence, justice, wisdom, and mercy. However, recently a curse had been cast over the entire realm and beyond causing panic and chaos at first, and then as time went on despair. It was a plague of mysterious origin and was spreading rampantly. Many people were very sick and the Royal Hospital was filled. King James issued a royal decree instructing all to remain in their homes. No one could figure out who or what would want to curse this peaceful kingdom. The king had no known enemies. The worst of it was the hopeless atmosphere throughout the land.
King James and Queen May called for their Royal Physician, Dr. Hippocrates (Doc Hip for short), and their Royal Wizard, Solomon. Even these wise men did not know anything that could shed light on this dark plague. "We do know that it is contagious ." Offered the Doc. "That is why it is prudent in enforcing the precautionary measures to stay at home and wear protective gear, such as face veils. This should help contain the plague. I assure you that I have been researching past diseases, and have obtained a sample trying to find some answers, but I'm not making much headway." The King and Queen shook their heads in disappointment for Doc Hip was the best physician in all the kingdoms. "I am certain that this is indeed a curse as I consulted my crystal orb, but I have no information on who bestowed this upon us. If we can discover that then we may be able to find a remedy or contra- spell." Pondered Solomon aloud. " I will continue to go through my extensive library of remedies ." The King and Queen expressed their gratitude, but Princess Amethyst, who was watching from the stairs, could see their frowns and downcast eyes and knew that they felt helpless and hopeless which are not good feelings for a king and queen, nor anyone for that matter to feel.
Princess Amethyst had been eavesdropping, she knew she really shouldn't but she wanted to know what was going on. When she heard and sensed everyone's despair she too felt hopeless and helpless. She retreated to her room with Francis, their faithful dog and got down on her knees. "Dear Lord, please help us!" She cried and opened her Bible to Psalm 91 which always comforted her. She read aloud." He is my refuge and fortress. My God , in Him I trust. Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence." Then it goes on to say that we should not fear if we trust in Him." She patted Francis. "Yes, we must always place our trust in God for nothing is impossible for Him. Even so I feel called to help in someway. Let's pray some more." Soon she had an idea! "Francis, we will go on a quest to find out where this curse came from and I think we'll start with Witch Minerva. She usually has answers." Witch Minerva was not a typical witch she was just a very wise old woman who had done some bad things in the past but now used her gifts for good. "What do you think Francis?" Francis wagged his tail and said. "I think that you are a very determined and resourceful princess and I have faith in you." Princess Amethyst hugged him and gave him a special dog treat. Francis barked. They both felt a little more hope.
The princess and Francis waited until nightfall and snuck outside the palace, wearing their face veils for protection. They stole past the Royal Guards, who were busy playing cards. They went out to the courtyard fragrant with roses until they came to the Royal Stables. The stables held many magnificent horses, but the princess had two favorites. Golden Sunray and pure white Moonbeam. She saddled Moonbeam to ride. As they rode out into the dark night, Moonbeam ran faster and faster until a silver horn emerged from her head and diaphanous wings spread out lifting them higher and higher towards the skies. "Where to my dears?" the horse asked. The princess replied ."Off to Witch Minerva's castle!"
They were soon at their destination. Witch Minerva had the castle doors open and was waving as if she had been expecting them, for most witches are wise that way. " Please, all of you come in and you are most welcome for I don't get many visitors and I am very lonely. I just brewed a pot of elderberry tea." She poured the tea and brought out some cookies shaped like bats. "Now what can I do for you?" She did not wait for them to answer. "I suppose you are here for some information about this plague. Well, Steelheart, the dragon who lives in the Dark Mountains cast the curse on all the kingdoms nearby. He is the only one who can break this spell." Princess Amethyst nibbled on a spicy bat cookie and said. "Yes, we are on a mission to break the curse. We will go to Steelheart. " "You are all very brave." Minerva reached into a golden chest." Here are some things you may need. This sword and shield were given to me from my great, great, great grandfather, who was a noble Knight and they were blessed by St. Peter. They are yours now use them wisely." She handed Amethyst a silver sword and shield which bore the sign of the cross and a black velvet bag that contained a large flask. Amethyst strapped on the sword and shield and strung the velvet bag around her neck ."What is the flask for?" She asked. "Trust me you will know if or when the time comes. Now after you have seen Steelheart you must go to the Kingdom Valorous which lies just beyond the Dark Mountains. You will see King Victor who lives in the Emerald Palace and ask to see his eldest son Prince Valiant. They will know what you need. I will send a messenger before you." She would send her faithful owl , Gabriel. "Oh, we can never thank you enough!" Exclaimed the princess. Minerva shook her head." Never mind just don't forget me. Now hurry you must get back to your kingdom by sunrise. I have faith in you all. God be with you!"
The princess, Francis, and Moonbeam rode off into the dark night higher and higher feeling the bitter winds as they reached the Dark Mountains. Upon reaching the dragon's cave Amethyst dismounted with sword and shield by her side and called out."Steelheart come on out!" Two yellow eyes shone from within the dark cave and a feeble voice croaked. "Who dares to call upon Steelheart the ferocious dragon?" "It is I, Princess Amethyst from the Kingdom of Sofia, my loyal companion Francis and my trusty steed Moonbeam." "What is it you want from me?" Sighed the voice. The princess thought she heard sobbing. "Please come out and speak with us. We are not here to hurt you. We just want to know why you cursed us and how it can be broken. " She put away her sword and shield. Steelheart emerged from the cave looking weak with tears in his yellow eyes."Yes it was I who cursed the kingdoms. I did it because I am so lonely here and no one comes to see me because of my reputation of being so ferocious. I thought if I cast the curse then someone would have to come and see me." "Oh, my dear Steelheart that is so sad. We can help you if you will help us break the curse." "Give me your flask, "Steelheart said still crying. He took the flask, opened it, and filled it to the top with his tears. "These are dragon tears of sincere remorse and repentance. Anyone afflicted who drinks it will be healed." They all thanked the dragon promising to tell all of his help and to fear him no more. Steelheart replied. "Thank you, for you have given me hope and blessed me with your compassion. Now you must hurry to the Kingdom Valorous for Prince Valiant has something else you will need." Off again the trio rode swiftly into the night, the stars shone and the winds were warmer. When they reached Valorous King Victor greeted them at the palace doors for Minerva had sent the message to expect them. A handsome young man was at his side standing with a large crate covered in sapphire silk. "This is my son, Prince Valiant. He has what you need and will ride with you to your kingdom. Now make a quick departure so you may reach your destination by sunrise. Godspeed!"
Off they went riding into the edge of the night until they reached the Kingdom of Sofia. They rode Moonbeam right up to the palace doors. They dismounted and went in. The king, queen, Doc Hip, and Solomon were all standing there. "Where on earth have you...." Queen may started to ask. Amethyst interrupted. "I will explain later. First Doc you must give this to the sick to drink." She handed him the flask. Prince Valiant introduced himself and explained. "Now I have with me what everyone who is sick or not needs." He removed the sapphire silk revealing a golden cage of three beautiful white doves. He opened the cage and called them by name "Faith, Hope, and Love." The doves flew around the palace. "These three doves will spread the faith, hope, and love that all need to be truly healed from the despair this plague caused. They are free to fly throughout the kingdom and beyond spreading these virtues."
There was much amazement, healing, and rejoicing in the palace, the kingdom, and beyond. The Princess and Francis told of their journey . A great feast of celebration was held at the palace and all were invited including Minerva and Steelheart (now called Gentleheart). Stories were told and retold with much laughter and love and praising God. The prince eventually married Amethyst and the three doves after their many travels flew freely in and out of the palace. Faith, Hope, and Love remained in the kingdom and beyond the end of the world in the hearts of all.