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Save The Kingdom

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Falner ran up the last few stairs, panting. “Never…again…” She huffed, walking down a long forest-themed hallway. There were other kids running around, none of them holding the same wand as she did, but they were all waving them at different objects in the room. Chests, crystals, paintings, even the stars on the ceiling. After leaving the hallway, she noticed a giant grove of trees growing in the left corner. Kids were surrounding them and waving their wands at them. Falner raised an eyebrow in curiosity, walking over. She stood in front of one of the trees and waved her wand in a sharp swishing motion. The tree glowed white and, after a brief tremor, opened up to reveal a galaxy-esque portal. Her jaw nearly hit the floor. “Holy Peggy, there’s an actual portal here.” She said in awe. She took a quick glance at her surroundings, making sure no one was watching her before she backed up slightly and took a running start, launching herself through the swirling vortex.

She landed in an area reminiscent of the one she had just been in, only this one was much more grounded in reality. Birds were chirping, flowers were blooming, and she inhaled the sweet smell of fresh air. “This...this can’t be real…” She said after a moment, looking behind her at the trees that had led her into the strange world. A sudden zapping sound made her look down at her wand in alarm. Small neon blue sparks were flying out of the tip but looked to be restrained in some way. An idea dawned on her, and before she knew it, she had unscrewed the topper. The sparks flowed out of her wand, forming into the shape of a person. After a quick popping sound, a man was standing in front of her. He looked like Neo from the Matrix but had neon blue eyes and pointed ears that were very reminiscent of an elf’s. “Finally! You don’t know how long I’ve been stuck in there!” He said, stretching his arms.

“You just...came out of my wand?” Falner asked, screwing her topper back on. The man nodded. “Very observant, sweetheart.” He said, smiling at her. Falner’s face flushed red. “Who are you? WHAT are you?” She asked. “Consider me your guardian in this world,” He said, extending his hand. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Falner.” Falner’s eyes widened as she shook his hand. “H-How do you know-!” She was cut off by the man speaking again. “I took the liberty of peering into your mind while I was changing your cape. You keep a lot of things to yourself, don't you?” He chuckled.

Falner’s face turned red in shame. “Yeah, but that’s because I-I don’t have anyone to talk to. My brother's usually too busy, my parents don’t listen to me, and my friends don’t really care.” She said, looking at the ground. “Well, I care. You can tell me anything.” He said, smiling and tilting her chin up. She smiled back. “Do you have a name?” She asked. “People just call me Neo, due to my appearance.” He admitted. “Neo it is,” She said, pulling her spellbook out. “Now, where exactly am I supposed to go…?” Neo peered over her shoulder, then pointed to a picture of a stone with sparkles on it. “Since you’re an apprentice Magi, you need to get all of the runes. Your first objective is to take up the quest for the Dazzle Rune. Then we can go from there,” He instructed. “Now just repeat my hand movements with your wand, and it’ll accept the quest.” He waved his hand in a check mark shape, Falner doing the same with her wand. The wand tip glowed green, earning a smile from Neo. “Quest accepted! Now you need to find the five crystals.” He said. Falner looked down at her spellbook.

“Seek out the five crystals
with colors so bright.
Red, yellow, blue, purple,
and – most powerful – white.
The Lady in the Leaves,
In the woods so deep.
Will grant the Dazzle Rune.
It’s all yours to keep.”

“Alright, so all I need to do is find five crystals. That shouldn’t be too hard.” Falner said. Neo looked down at the book again. “You’ve got clues here, too.” He observed. “Wait, what?” Falner asked, looking down at the book as well. Sure enough, there were five sketches of crystals, each with a small clue next to it.

“Enchanted Woods hold
many secrets, it’s said.
It’s here that the crystals
shine bright and glow red”

“If I were a crystal
so vibrantly blue.
In Enchanted Woods
I’d be waiting for you.”

“Gems as yellow as the sun,
shimmer down on everyone!
Up to Piney Path you’ll surely find
a crystal with an enduring shine.”

“Not far from where
the Pixies dwell,
the purple crystal
does as well!”

“It’s in Tangled Woods
that white crystals glow.
They shimmer and glimmer,
and glisten like snow!”

“Well, now we have a starting point,” Falner noted, closing the book and tucking it away into her jacket pocket. Neo nodded, standing beside her. “Shall we set off?” He asked. She nodded. “Let’s go!”