Cimorine in Destreham

War is ready to break out in the kingdom of Moonhigh, between the ragged and motley villagers of Destreham and the prudely clean army of Moonhigh. Destreham's citizens and bravest warriors fight for justice to return to their village and freedom to speak their minds without direct execution. In the alternate universe we call our home, Cimorine is a teenage girl hoping to inherit her family's bakery business and run the shop like her family has for generations. When the new boy in school calls upon the attention of her and her best friend Lola that her missing father had never been truly missing and needs her help to save Destreham, the kingdom of Moonhigh, and her father, Cimorine agrees to go on a quest to find the Dark Wood's Forest's deepest secrets to uncover the Necklace of Araset and gain the knowledge of how King Farstoff had come to be ruler, why her father had left so suddenly, and the truth behind her mysteriously quiet older brother.

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1. Preface

    The stampede of one-hundred warriors rampaging through the Dark Woods Forest echoed the anger that had pent up among the thousands of villagers on the outskirts of it. They charged towards Moonhigh Tower, eager to resolve the issues they’d been waiting to fix for decades.

    “Milord, they come in an enormous group.” informed the castle’s messenger to King Farstoff. He rushed to the window and looked out at the small spots of passionate orange flaring against the serene blue-green Dark Woods Forest during the late twilight sky.

    “That invitation brings in only one person! Wasn’t that written inside?” stormed the king. He brought a wooden flask of whiskey, made by his best moonshiner, to his lips in hopes to relief the wave of stress that had washed over his nerves.

    “Yes, it was.” replied the messenger. “I made it clear through the whole village of Destreham that only one is to attend. It seems they’ve brought an army, milord.” marvelled the messenger as he looked to the warriors as well.

King Farstoff sighed loudly and ran down the stairs to the main hall. His messenger trailed behind him, careful not to trip over his long kings robes as they trailed down the stairs. Their worth was high and grandeur irreplaceable. It was made in the first years of the kingdom of Moonhigh and had lasted until the fourteenth king’s time. The elf-woven robes would last for eternity as long as it was on the shoulders of a royal. If anyone else wore it, the fabric would crumble into silken dust. Then the kingdom would fall into anarchy. With that thought, the messenger’s footfalls were even lighter.

King Farstoff threw open the doors to his castle before his doorsmen could. The people stopped in their tracks to not touch the cloak he wore.

“My people, calm down! We are at an impasse!” the king called out. The people of Destreham began to cry out their frustrations once more.

“An impasse doesn’t even begin to describe these troubles!” screamed one in front.

“My children are going to sleep with empty stomachs and you do nothing to fix it!” cried a woman in the back. A chorus of YEAH! rang out from the people.

“People, please! I have come up with a solution! Instead of the one person coming inside, I’ll bring in three! And we can discuss the problems from there.”

All at once! All or none! All at once! All or none!” the subjects chanted.

SILENCE!” screamed King Farstoff. A fidgety quiet rang through the people, with a slight murmur here and there.

“The generosity of allowing three is tremendous.” King Farstoff said. The militia of Moonhigh began to come from all angles of the castle and aim their weapons at the people. They were forced into a compact circle by spears and arrows.

“Accept my terms, or death awaits you all.” The power the king held angered the villagers, but if they were to die they couldn’t tell the king their demands.    

The first man to speak stepped forward slowly. He bowed reluctantly before King Farstoff.

“Your Grace,” said the man, still kneeling. “I am Albern Ulysses of the village Destreham. The hardships our village has faced brings us the courage to face you now.”

King Farstoff looked at the man in front of him with less respect than a dog; though he had a heart of gold, Albern was a dirty commoner from head to foot. The dismay of a dirt-trailing man stepping foot into King Farstoff’s castle sent shivers throughout his body. Destreham was a bartering village.

After slight murmurs, another man stepped up to the king in faded clothes that were barely holding together. His face was docile; unwrinkled and soft-skinned, the boy could be described as beautiful. When he spoke, King Farstoff was shocked to hear the voice of a woman.

“I am Halyn Strong, born and raised in the village Destreham. The difference between our land and yours is far too immense in quality and must be neutralized for true prosperity.”

King Farstoff was beyond words. If he’d thought a man covered in dirt was unacceptable, this woman was dressing in men’s clothes and had the gall to act as though she was equal to one. He was starting to feel unsure of his proclamation, but said nothing.

The crowd mumbled, surrounding one person. The figure nudged a way through, and the mob parted slightly. The man stood in front of the king and kneeled. He was cleaner and a lot less bonier than his colleagues. His blonde hair and blue eyes set him clearly apart from the villagers’ darker features.

“State your name and business, foreigner.” King Farstoff assumed.

“Name's Jax Quinslow,” said the man, “here for justice.”

 
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