• Aug. 10th, 2009 at 10:28 AM
skywalker: kara thrace / bsg (sw (across the stars))
Once upon a time, there was a magical kingdom called Adamston-between-the-Mountains, practically named for a very old ruler and its defining geographic characteristics. For, you see, Adamstown-between-the-Mountains was a very proper old magical kingdom. It had knights and damsels in distress, a few dragons up in the cliffs, and wandering minstrels who could charm the clouds from the sky. It had jolly innkeepers and rowdy patrons, wizened old crones, and hidden races. It had everything a magical kingdom could want – and, indeed, when the country ran low on trolls or talking trees or the like, its soldiers always went in search of replacements in neighboring lands. Adamston-between-the-Mountains had everything one could want from a magical kingdom, and it was determined to stay that way.

The whole idyllic lot was ruled by the Old King, who had been a charming prince in his younger days but had aged more or less gracefully into a tawny, ruffled, lion of a man, who made annual appearances to cheering crowds and even occasionally dispatched an ogre for old times’ sake. Most of the time, however, the king lived very comfortably within the big, beautiful castle, surrounded by his daughters, the princesses of Adamston-between-the-Mountains.

On the day of her daughter’s birth, the queen had named the eldest princess Wisdom. Her skin was the color of fresh-pressed paper, her long tresses were the color of ink, and she was pursued, wherever she went, by all the sages and philosophers and bards of the kingdom, for it was known far and wide that the princess was both clever and learned beyond her years.

As she took her first breaths, the second daughter was dubbed Courage. Her gray eyes flashed like swords on the battlefield, her lips curved like a bow, and, when she was not outpacing them on foot or on horse, she was surrounded by soldiers and warriors and children who needed to learn how to protect their lunch money from larger fellows, because everyone knew that Courage was the most skilled and fearless person in all the kingdom, and in many other kingdoms besides.

Within minutes of her arrival in the world, the queen had announced that the third princess was Beauty. Her golden curls could outshine the sun, the sky itself sighed over the blue of her eyes, and she was swarmed at all times by poets and dreamers and lovesick swains who worshiped the ground her perfectly pedicured feet strolled upon and lived for the sound of her laughter, since it was perfectly common knowledge that she was the most beautiful woman in the whole of creation.

The fourth princess was largely ignored. She was the youngest, but, being a fourth daughter rather than a third, was not expected to accomplish much of note. The queen had died giving birth to the fourth princess, leaving her without the blessing of a mother’s name and without high expectations from the rest of the royal household. It would be enough, sighed her nurse, if she settled down with some reasonably handsome younger prince or wandering knight and left all the fame and glory to her sisters. She did not grow up to be brilliant or fearless or radiant: she simply grew up, as girls – even princesses – usually do.

And that was the state of Adamston-between-the-Mountains, the kingdom, the king, and the royal household when the Child Magician arrived.