Greyhawk 636 CY: The Rise of Asmodeus
Aislin And The First Princess of Geoff
Aislin And The First Princess of Geoff
In the early morning of the world when Elves and Men shared their joys and sorrows, a great kingdom of the Flan grew in the Sheldomar Valley. It was the ancient Kingdom of Geoff and it was home to the capitol of Gorna, where learning and honor were paramount and the City of Morning Rainbows where Elves and Men cooperated fully. The kingdom was ruled by the good King Llewellyn and his family Queen Ann, Prince Owen and the young Princess Rhiannon.
One day the Princess began to have nightmares. She had horrible nightmares about the court magician who had learned great magic from the Elves. She dreamed of death and pain and the destruction of all she loved. She could not even speak of these to her parents and brother because they were so unbelievable she feared ridicule. And within she knew they were destined to come true. So she slept each night in fear.
On one such night her nightmares resonated within the god of nightmares and his sister Aislin, the protector of dreams, heard her cries. She made sure her battle would not suffer overmuch for her absence and gathered her staff, Moonlight, and traveled to Geoff. She watched the young girl’s dreams and saw that they were indeed shadows of the future. Some parts, such as the rise of the court magician and his transformation into the archlich…were beyond her ability to stop. But she was not helpless as long as the little girl would have courage.
She calmed the nightmare and transformed the scene into the playroom of the royal children. She sat on the floor across from Princess Rhiannon. The young girl looked at the beautiful but tired lady without showing any fear.
“You look tired,” she said, “Would you like to sleep?”
“Very much” the goddess replied smiling, “but that is beyond your power to offer. For your kindness I will help you with your problem.”
The princess lowered her eyes, “I don’t have a problem.”
“No one would believe me anyway.”
“I do. And I want you to tell me…what do you want more than anything?”
The princess thought. She knew in her heart that some things were beyond help but she also knew that the impossible was something only adults believed in most of the time. She said, “I want Geoff to be strong, good and perfect. I do not want it to be destroyed. Even if horrible things happen and people die…I know this is what my father wants. And what I want.”
The goddess nodded, “I can do this. But you must help. I can give you aid but you must be the ones to gather what is needed.”
“But I’m just a little girl. You should get my brother. He’s brave and strong and older and will be king someday.”
“I did not come to help your brother,” the goddess answered, “I came to help you. Will you help me do that?”
The princess nodded.
Aislin held out her hand and touched the jewel the princess wore around her neck. “The royal jewels of Geoff. One for each family member. The Jacinth for the King, the Ruby for the Queen…the rest…depend. You, luckily, have the Rainbow Moonstone.”
“It’s very pretty,” the princess said and added without hesitation, “Do you want it…for helping me?”
Aislin smiled, “You have proven the right choice and worth my time. No child…it would do me no good since it is a part of me already. As much as the King’s stone is part of…it matters not. What matters is with it you can travel into the dreams of others and protect them. Also you can copy them.”
The princess was amazed, “I can?”
“You can. And you need to go into the dreams of the King, Queen and Prince and combine them with your own. Their dreams of the best Geoff can be. The best it will ever be. And take part of that into the stone. You must then enter the dreams of the people of Geoff…one by one…and take what they dream of as the perfect Geoff. You must copy that into the stone. And if you do that…no matter who tries to stop you; I will come back and tell you what you must do to keep it alive and nurture it so it keeps your people strong. And someday…it will even come to pass as a reality perhaps.”
The Princess was excited but scared. “How can I go into everyone’s dreams. All my people? And you said come back? You won’t be here to help me?”
The goddess looked sad, “I had other duties…I wish I did not. But I will not leave you alone.” Aislin rose and walked across the room. She looked at the toybox of the royal children and smiled. It was a good toybox. It was filled with dreams and joys. But it was not perfect. It was, after all, a mortal toybox…so to speak. She reshaped it with her own power. She took the toybox and made it perfect. It would always produce good toys. Toys that fostered dreams and hopes…the perfect toys for its’ children. She reached in and pulled out a doll.
“Hello, old friend,” she said fondly, “I have need of you.” She inclined her head as if listening to the doll. The princess thought for a moment she heard a soft whisper coming from the toy. The goddess nodded in response to an unheard question. “Agreed,” she said, “as long as you guide and protect the child.”
She turned to the princess. “This is Carwin, she will keep you safe.”
Rhiannon took the doll carefully, “Hello, Carwin.”
She heard the voice of the doll in her head, “Hello, Rhiannon, my sister and friend.”
The princess smiled broadly. “How amazing!”
“I will leave you now, princess,” said Aislin, seeming suddenly even more tired than before, “My other duties draw me back. You will need Carwin’s help if you are to get past the plans of Vecna. For he surely will know of your efforts.”
The princess looked puzzled, “Who is Vecna? I fear the court magician, that’s not his name.”
“Oh, child,” the goddess said sadly, “his name, in truth, has never been anything else…he is only becoming who he really is.”
“I will go to my brother first,” the princess said, “because I love him the most. Does that make sense to start?”
“I would think,” said Aislin as she faded from sight, “That makes perfect sense.”
When the goddess had left the princess used the rainbow moonstone to take her and Carwin the doll into the dreams of Prince Owen. His dreams were filled with bravery and daring deeds; Knights of valiant heart and strong will. His dreams were the essence of the Order of the Griffon: The noble warriors of Geoff. She wished so dearly she could take Owen with her. In his dreams he was just the shadow of the warrior he would be. She saw then that what we dream is what we become and her task took on new meaning.
She went to her mother’s dreams and saw the heart of what Geoff could be as protector. She saw the families safe and warm. She saw how Geoff would one day protect other countries and care for her people. Her mother’s dreams were the essence of moral Geoff: The heart that kept strength centered and fair.
She went to the dreams of the King and saw that they were filled with justice and truth. She saw that he dreamed of a time when all would know that Geoff was worth her word and that justice, mercy and truth would be given equally to all from the throne. His dreams were the heart of truth that would sustain Geoff in all trials: The source of kingly right.
She saw her own dreams and saw that they were filled with magic and hope. They had the love of the Elves and the wonder and beauty of her land and all Beory in the light of Pelor and the glow of the moon. Her dreams were the magic of Geoff: The connection of all living things.
She moved from dream to dream, through all the people of Geoff; Gathering the best, excising the worst and preserving the perfect. But time passed. And in the morning the Queen could not wake the princess. She was alive but deadly still. A general alarm was raised. Healers were called, and found nothing amiss. She simply slept..and slept…and slept. For weeks the princess slept. Healers maintained her health with their magic but they could not wake her.
And all the while she travelled in dreams. Nightmares and dangers were defeated by her beloved doll. And the princess gathered from the hearts of her people their dreams of a perfect Geoff. But the royal family grew sad and desperate. And when the court magician returned from studying in the Kingdom of Celene they immediately called upon him for help.
He saw immediately what was happening and vowed to not be undone by a child and her toy. He could not see how she was doing this but he was furious she possessed this great magic. And even more so that she would dare use it against him. He told the King that she was suffering some curse…and that he could enter her dreams and save her. He would take his trusted bodyguard, Kas. And they would retrieve the princess. The prince offered to come along…and at first the magician thought to refuse. But he saw the advantage in it and convinced the king that a child could make the journey and he could reach his sister and help. Reluctantly the king consented. He told the magician that he would have in his possession and be responsible for the safety of both the royal children. And he trusted the magician knew just how important that was. The magician assured him, he indeed knew how important it was.
Meanwhile, Princess Rhiannon had finished gathering the dreams and called out to Aislin. The goddess appeared and looked over what she had gathered and smiled. “It is good. It is worthy.”
Rhiannon was happy. She did not know how long she was gone but she began to feel as if getting home was a good idea.
“You have only one more task to complete. Travel over the far hill and past the east wind. You will find a platinum palace of amazing beauty. Ask for the Eye. And tell her that The Dreaming Lady asks her to keep this safe.”
With that the goddess split a gem of platinum from the moonstone. It was at the same time a gem and a metal and the princess was not confused because in dreams such things are possible. She was also not confused as she moved beyond the hill and east wind and stood on the shores of the plane of Celestia and looked upon the palace of Bahamut; god of good dragons. This was early in the day of the world and such places were closer than they are now; And reachable by a child walking in dreams.
When Rhiannon arrived she looked at the large gold dragon guarding the gate and held up the platinum stone. “The Dreaming Lady has sent me to see the eye.”
The dragon was amused. “A strange visitor indeed, but if the lady has time for you…I am not going to refuse you entry.”
He called a small dragon spirit who led her through jeweled corridors and hallways to a large room with maps and notes. A massive gold dragon sat in the center and received reports from smaller dragons, birds and angels who came in and out the high windows. She noticed her visitor.
“Can I help the little princess?”
“You know who I am?”
“I am Kurya the Eye, spymaster for the great Platinum Dragon. Little escapes me.”
“Then it should not surprise her greatness that The Dreaming Lady asks you to keep this safe.”
Kurya took the platinum gem. “It does surprise me actually. What does this have to do with me?” She examined the gem. “It is beautiful,” she said, “What is it?”
Rhiannon said, “The dreams of the kingdom of Geoff. To be preserved and perfected so they are not destroyed by a man named Vecna.”
Kurya nodded solemnly. “Ah. So beautiful. So…ambitious. I will keep It safe.” The Great Gold Dragon showed the princess and her doll to a path. “This will lead you home. Off of it lies ruin. Do not leave the path.”
Rhiannon thanked her and followed the path. It was within sight of Geoff when she saw, off the path, the court magician, his warrior and her brother.
The magician called to her in a sweet voice. “Princess…we have come to bring you home. Come off the path and to safety with us.”
“I thank you magician,” she yelled, “but this path safely leads home.”
“I think,” he called, “you would rather have the same safety as your brother…would you not?” As he spoke Kas placed one hand on the shoulder of the prince and the other on the hilt of his blade and smiled. The prince looked confused and sleepy. He did not know what was happening.
The princess understood the threat. She decided to step off the path. In her head she heard the voice of her doll, “Step off the path and I will protect you as always. When the time comes…forget about me and run to the palace. We will meet again.”
So the princess stepped off the path and, doll in arms, moved toward the magician. As she came within arm’s reach and he held out a deceitful hand, Carwin jumped from her grasp and threw herself upon the magician. She savagely tore at his hand and then managed to impact against his chest. The force knocked him to the ground and brought Kas away from the prince and to his side.
The princess grabbed her brother and ran for the palace. She could hear the magician swearing behind her that his plans were less effective now and he would have to move before he was ready. She took a look back and saw him smash her doll to pieces in rage. With little time for sorrow the world became bright as she woke from her dream. The king and queen rejoiced at her wakefulness. Her brother remembered nothing. And soon the Archlich, Vecna attacked the City of Morning Rainbows and shattered the peace of the morning times.
She never told her parents the truth of the sleep. And the attributed it to the spells of the archlich and an attempt to kill the children. She mourned her lost doll as the war went on and wondered always what it was she asked the Dreaming Lady for as her price for helping so long ago. But she did not wonder long, for It was in the first year of the war that the queen bore a second princess, Carwin, friend and sister to Rhiannon first princess of Geoff.