Saturday, August 19, 2006

Day XXVII - Story 3

Princess Gelachien Decides to Marry

In the country of Ontia in the land of Chaorak their first princess was named Gelachien. After she had been princess for several years she decided that it was time for her to get married.

She held a ball and invited all the eligible princes from the neighboring countries. Four countries sent princes.

From Slojia, the country just south of Ontia came prince Audie. Audie was tall and strong. He had thick dark hair and a serious look.

From Laia, the ancient capital of the old empire came prince Lang. He was not as broad shouldered as Audie, but he was just as tall and handsome. Lang had long blond hair that curled just a little.

Aoia sent prince Trev. He was a small man with a well trimmed moustache and short red hair. He told funny stories and played the piano very well.

Prince Feren came from the tiny country of Southern Eoia near the Kraingaown mountains. He was thin and of middle height. He had dark hair and looked strong for his weight. He didn’t smile much.

All the princes were very polite, friendly, gentlemanly and nice. After dinner they each had to dance with Gelachien and talk to her about themselves and their countries. She asked them each to tell her why she should marry him.

The princes all danced very well and told her lovely stories about how beautiful their countries were and how she would love living there. They all told her that they wanted her to marry them because she was the most beautiful, smart and talented princess in the land. She was impressed by them one and all.

When the night was over and they had all left she had no idea which one would be the best husband. She called for her royal wizard, Shorfly to talk with her.

“Surely you don’t intend to marry someone after only one dinner?” Shorfly asked her as they walked through the garden.

“No, of course not. I only intended to decided which one I should allow to court me. We will have a long courtship of course.” She dipped her fingers in the fountain. “But I can’t decide which one.”

“Perhaps we can make a test.” He said.

“What sort of test?” She asked.

He took off his blue pointed hat and fiddled with the brim, as he did when doing some hard thinking. A breeze blew in off the ocean nearby and a bird flew over their heads.

“Yes, that’s it.” He said. “I will turn myself into a dragon and fly over each of their countries. I can then see how each reacts and that may help you make your decision.”

“But I won’t be there to see what they do.” She protested.

“Then I will make you an eagle and you can fly below me. That way you can better see and hear what the princes do.”

“I like that idea.” She said as she yawned. “But do we have to do it tonight? I’m tired.”

“No. I think the morning would be better.”

So, in the morning Shorfly had made up the spells that turned him into a giant, fierce with bright red scales. He had spikes all over his body and teeth as long as your arm. He had huge claws that would make a tiger jealous and he breathed fire.

He turned Gelachien into a beautiful bald eagle with sharp eyes and ears to go with her sharp talons and beak. They both flew off to the princes’ countries.

The first country they flew over was Slojian. It was just south of Ontia. As they flew the people all ran to the castle to tell the King. The king sent his son out to do something about the dragon that was scaring all the people.

Audie rode out on a great black horse with a troop of men and looked around until he saw the dragon. Gelachien was flying right behind him and heard everything he said.

“Look, there’s the dragon.” Audie pointed into the sky.

“Your majesty that is a most dangerous and powerful dragon.” He captain said.

“Yes it is. Just think of how imposing I would be to enemy armies if I rode into battle riding him. Captain, I want to capture that beast and train it to take me as a rider.”

“By your command majesty.” The captain said, but as they started making arrangements the Shorfly and Gelachien flew off.

The next country they came to was Laia, the home of prince Lang. This country held the capital of the old empire and it had many ancient pieces of art and archetechure. The castle was adorned with gold and statues. Lang had spotted the dragon right away and Gelachien was flying right near the window of the tower he was in.

Lang made plans with the captain of his guard as well.

“Captain I want to destroy that dragon. I want to do it in a spectacular way so that all the people can see.”

“Perhaps we can lure it to Oolpao Bay sire and drown it there. It will make a tremendous plume of steam.”

“No, I want to kill it on the ground here in the square. Then I can cut off the head and make a trophy.”

“I will make ready to lure it down to the square then sire.”

But as the captain ran off to assemble the men to lure the dragon down Shorfly and Gelachien flew off.

They crossed the River Preomb into the lovely land of Aoia. This land had beautiful rolling hills of lush green and many colorful villages. The capital city was Vunyn. It sat in a clear water bay where the Preomb met the blue Urkoa Ocean. The castle was white with deep green domes.

Prince Trev was outside the castle in the royal hunting grounds with a group of men. Gelachien swooped low to her them talk.

“Your highness, look a great dragon comes from the west.” As man pointed. Trev turned and looked up.

“That is a giant of a dragon.” Trev said. “I’ve never seen such a dragon.”

“Perhaps it is hunting for your Father’s gold and treasures my lord.”

“You’re right. Dragons love to horde treasure. I must ride and protect our family’s gold and jewels.”

As he rode off for the castle Gelachien and Shorfly flew south over the River Aoae and over the land of North Eoia until they reached the Eoae valley and South Eoae. They saw prince Feren walking along the river alone.

Shorfly flew high above and breathed fire while Gelachien wheeled around and came down out of the hills. Feren looked up at the dragon and listened. Suddenly he turned and shot an arrow at Gelachien.

He missed, but before she knew it he loosed another arrow and split the feathers on her right wing. She pulled her wings in and dove for the cover of the trees. Once she was below his sight she turned and headed for home. Shorfly saw all of this and headed home himself.

“That was some day wasn’t it princess?” Shorfly said after he had restored their shapes.

“Yes it was, but now I am exhausted. Please arrange for all the princes to come back for another ball tomorrow night. I am going to rest now.” She said and went off to her room for an early bedtime.

The next night she was her usual beautiful self and four princes came to dinner. They each felt it must surely be to tell them which one the lovely Gelachien had chosen for a husband.

They ate dinner and made small talk until the end when they all had coffee. That was when Gelachien stood and made an announcement.

“Tonight I do not chose a husband. Tonight I am going to chose which of you will be allowed to court me. I will meet with each of you privately by the fountain. Prince Audie, you are first.” She finished her coffee and strode out the huge French doors to the garden.

She sat on the edge of the fountain and waited for Audie. He finished his own coffee and came out to sit next to her.

“Prince Audie, do you remember the dragon that flew over your castle yesterday?” Gelachien asked.

“Of course, but I lost sight of it before I could catch it. Do you know what happened to it?”

“Yes, actually I do. That dragon was none other than my royal wizard. I am very disappointed that you only wanted to capture it to gain more power to defeat other countries. I am afraid that I will not allow you to court me.”

Prince Audie was angry, but he was polite, kissed her hand and left. Next out was prince Lang. His golden curls bounced as he walked.

“Prince Lang you only wished to gain glory for yourself when my wizard appeared over your castle yesterday in the guise of a dragon. I am sorry, but you cannot court me.”

Lang said nothing, but gritted his teeth, bowed low and swept off.

Prince Trev nearly ran out to the fountain, but before he could sit down Princess Gelachien scolded him.

“Prince Tev, I can’t believe that you love money so much that you thought of nothing but to save it when a dragon appeared above your country. Please leave. You cannot court me.”

Trev turned very red in the face and stormed off without even saying good bye.

Prince Feren walked out slowly. He smoothed his dark hair and smiled. He knew that he was the only prince left so it must be that Princess Gelachien had chosen him to be her suitor.

“You look lovely in this light princess.”

“Please sit down prince Feren, I would like to ask you a question.”

Feren sat down next to her and looked deeply into her eyes.

“Why did you shoot at the eagle flying over the River Eoae yesterday?”

“What? How did you know about that?” He asked.

“I was that eagle. My wizard Shorfly turned himself into a dragon and he turned me into an eagle.”


“I wanted to see which of you I should allow to court me.”

“So you spied on us?” He stood up angrily.


“I can’t believe you tricked me like that.”

“I had to know what you would do.”

“Then why didn’t you just ask me?” He said.

“Because I wanted the truth.” She said, getting angry herself.

He leaned forward. “Then just ask.”

“Alright, why did you shoot at the eagle and leave the dragon?”

“Because my country depends on the fish in the river for all its wealth and food. Dragons don’t eat fish because they can’t go near the water. I had nothing to fear from the dragon so I let it be. Eagles eat fish. I chase them away so my people won’t starve.”

Princess Gelachien leaned back and the blood cooled in her face. A small smile grew there.

“You were protecting your people?” She asked.
“Yes.” He leaned back and put his hands in his pockets. “But I don’t like being treated like a criminal. Next time you want to know something, just ask, okay?”

Gelachien’s smile broadened. “Okay Feren. If you would like to court me I will allow it.” She held out her hand.

Feren took her hand and helped her up.

“Princess,” he said, “I do think I want to court you right now. I am very angry about the way you treated me and the other princes. I think right now I would like very much to go home, if I may.”

Princess Gelachien’s heart sank. The smile was completely gone. Her hand was still in his and she shook it. “Yes, you may go and I hope you can forgive me.”

“Yes, I forgive you, but I would still like to go home to South Eoia now.”

She let him go. She stayed out by the fountain until Shorfly found her with a tear on her cheek.

“What’s the matter princess?” He asked.

“Oh Shorfly, prince Feren is a good man and a noble prince, but I made him angry with the test and he doesn’t want to court me anymore.”

Shorfly sat beside her and took both her hands.

“That doesn’t mean that you can’t court him.” He said.

She looked up into his eyes. “Do you think I should?”

“If you want to you should. I can invite him to a picnic if you would like.”

“Yes, thank you. I would like that very much.”

Shorfly stood to go, but she stopped him.

“Shorfly, no dragons or birds this time though, okay?”

“Yes your majesty.”

And that was how the courtship of Princess Gelachien and Prince Feren began.

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