Story Saturday: Setting Study

The story you are about to read takes place many years before last week's character study for The Stolen Jewel. It is an early attempt to build the history behind the world of Klingland. You may notice that I also tweaked a few things from last week's story, such as killing off Charlotte's parents. We writers can be so heartless at times. I'm looking forward to writing the final piece and learning what you all think about it.


The Stolen Jewel: Setting Study

Once upon a time, there was a kingdom known as Klingland that was infused with magic. It flowed through the oceans and poured from the sky. There was nowhere a creature could step without unleashing some sort of power from the earth. Over the course of thousands of years, the magic was soaked up into tangible jewels known as enchanted runes. The markings on the runes revealed what sort of magic they contained. Runes could be found everywhere. They were buried in the earth, washed up in the ocean, and fell from the trees. Scholars known as mages studied the runes and their symbols, allowing them to master the powers contained within them. They wrote countless books about how the magic worked. Armed with the runes, the mages became so powerful that the kingdom used them for defense instead of knights, defeating entire armies with blasts of wind or earthquakes or tsunamis. Mages also used the runes to perform shows that people would travel from distant lands to watch.

One day, Klingland was threatened by a new sort of magic. Scholars from a nearby kingdom called Dorraine had created a powerful staff that worked like a magnet for enchanted runes. It was King Mercer's intention to use the staff as a way to neutralize Klingland's defenses, forcing them to surrender their enchanted runes to Dorraine so that they could benefit from the advantages of having magic as well. However, the mages of Dorraine underestimated the level of power contained within the staff. When the king's knights tried to use it to steal the runes from Klingland's mages, it instead unleashed their magic in uncontrollable blasts, creating natural disasters everywhere. Earthquakes, floods, and fires filled the land.

The king and queen had been watching the destruction from afar. They ran to the castle for shelter, but the magic spread too quickly for them to escape. The earth shook, knocking them off their feet, while a powerful blast of sparks and flames came straight toward them. The queen's sister Denise tried to run to them to help, but she was too late. The king and queen perished that day, and the Denise was crippled and confined to a wheelchair. King Mercer could have claimed the land of Klingland as Dorraine's property right then and there, but fortunately, he had a heart. He felt awful about the unexpected destruction his staff had caused, and he begged the queen's sister for forgiveness. Denise agreed to end the quarrel between the two kingdoms lest more people get hurt. She was crowned regent until the infant crown princess Charlotte came of age.

Many people felt sorry for Denise, who had lost her ability to walk. Some said she was too weak and lenient to run the kingdom, but her son Henry took care of her and never lost faith in her abilities. One thing had become clear. Magic was far too dangerous for casual use. In her first act as the regent queen, Denise decreed that all enchanted runes be gathered and locked up in the royal treasury. They would be heavily guarded, and only the royal family was permitted to be near them. King Mercer spent the next few years trying to restore his relations with Klingland through trade agreements and invitations to royal events. He too realized that magic was too powerful to be messed with. Despite his change of heart, the kingdoms were still wary of each other and held their relations at arm's length.

When Princess Charlotte was almost of age, Denise decided that she must ensure the safety of the kingdom for her beloved niece as well as her son Henry by destroying the enchanted runes once and for all. She invited King Mercer and his son Prince Braydon to attend a ceremony where all of the jewels that had been collected in the royal treasury would be carried on a ship to the deepest parts of the ocean and cast away forever. King Mercer agreed to destroy his magic enhancing staff as well. This would restore the alliance between the two kingdoms so they could work toward a peaceful future. The ceremony would be preceded by a royal ball that Princess Charlotte and her ladies eagerly awaited. This is where their story begins.

To Be Continued in The Stolen Jewel...

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