Quest for the Crown: From the Chronicles of Daventry: Part I (Part 1 in some editions) is a chapter in The King's Quest Companion, it is the chronicle of Graham's adventure to find the three treasures and save the kingdom, as told by Graham to the Royal Scribe (a nameless court chronicler) and transcribed into the Chronicles of Daventry.
The novelization is actually designed as a walkthrough for the original version of King's Quest, that can be followed to win the game. It follows the main path through the game (as designated by the game developers).
The order the treasures are collected reflects the order in which Edward listed them in when he commanded their return in KQ1.
Introduction of the remakeEdit
In the second and 3rd edition he calls the changes in the KQ1 remake's story 'creative license'. The 2nd edition (and 3rd edition with some slight edits to reflect chapter number changes) added a explanation as to why the author never bothered to adapt order of events as told in the KQ1 remake, but rather left the version of the story as shown in the original KQ1. Explaining that the original story was the true history of Daventry, and it would be wrong for him to be a revisionist historian.
- In improving the look and sound of the game, however, Sierra decided to make a few changes in the game itself. Not many, just enough to make a few tough problems more logical and a little easier to solve. Thus, in the SCI Version only, the gnome's name problem can be answered in more than one way, the condor doesn't appear until late in the game, and the pebbles by the river find a more visible home by a lake. These, and the fine tuning of other sequences, changed the game slightly. It's called "creative license"...
- This book covers both versions of King's Quest 1 game. However, the changes in the game do not, and cannot reflect what actually did happen to Graham as he quested to save Daventry and win its throne. Anyone with an older or non-IBM/compatible KQ1 can play the game along with the narrative in Chapter 2 and win through to the end. This is no longer completely true for folks with the new version.
- It has been strongly suggested to me that I "rewrite" that particular court chronicle to reflect the game's changes. I have not. To do so would be to rewrite history, and thus reduce Graham's adventurings to a mere fiction. To do so would be to deny the reality of Daventry, something I am not prepared to do at this time.
- The other reason for my decision to leave the KQ1 narrative the same as it appeared in the first edition of this book is a more practical one. The vast majority of KQ1 players have the original version--King's Quest Classic, so to speak. To modify the words of that nameless court scribe would be a disservice to those game players, as well as a misrepresentation of apparent facts. For the sake of verisimilitude, my editors and I have decided to leave the narrative the same as it was sent to me.
- However, all of the changes to KQ1 have been included in Chapter 11, "The Easy Way Out." That chapter reflects both "game realities," the old and the new, and can be confidently used by all King's Quest players. No matter which version of KQ1 you have, we've got you covered.
Quest for the CrownEdit
Note: The section titles correspond to unnamed section brakes in the original text. The titles themselves did not exist, but are here to make the story easier to read.
Part I: PrologueEdit
We live in a time of changes and contradiction. The kingdom is in an uproar, yet it is whole and united as never before. A land of poverty, famine, and despair is rich with hope and gold. We laugh and shout and rejoice in our grief. We weep, wail, and with sorrow beat our chests in our euphoria and jubilation. Tears of every type score every face. The kingdom has been saved and the three great treasures of the realm returned. The fat and happy and quiet days are back upon us. But there was a price. Ah, the price. There always is a price. Great indeed it was, mortally great.
The King is dead! The King is dead! Long live the King! Long live King Graham of Daventry! Love live King Graham!
It is for others, at other times and places, to decide the reputation of the man we called, during our own time, King Edward the Benevolent. Elsewhere we have recounted the stories of how he relinquished Merlin's Mirror, the Shield of Achille, and the Chest of Gold. He lost all through love and treachery. He was the kindest and bravest and most innocent of men. Though he built schools and universities, he was not the most brilliant of monarchs, and in the end it was his very humanity that doomed him, and almost doomed Daventry. Today we look to the future with the young and brave King Graham. He is a man of wit, wisdom, and learning; one of undoubted courage and fortitude. I pray that our future is as bright to our prospects.
During this, the inaugural week of his reign, we have been directed by King to set down on paper the events that brought him to the golden throne. It is a tale of daring and mystery that begins when Graham enters the very castle from which he now rules....
Graham opened the castle doors and began following the familiar red-carpeted halls toward King Edward's throne room. He tried to keep the armies of depression from invading his mind, much as he had been trying to keep Daventry free from the invaders that had been shrinking its borders since the loss of the magic shield. Both tasks were nearly impossible. The famine had reduced the population again and again, and few remained in Daventry. Even if an army could be raised, no gold existed to pay it. The moat with its flesh-eating beasts and the thick metal-clad door were all that guarded Castle Daventry. The weakening spells of long-departed sorcerers, backed by the sword-arms of fewer than 100 worn-out and battered knights, were the kingdom's final defenses. "Whatever the old king wants," Graham thought as he bowed respectfully in front of his aged and weary monarch, "it will probably be the last thing I ever do for him. It's unlikely either of us, much less the kingdom, can go on much longer."
Edward struggled to give a pleased smile at Graham's bow." Always the proper and respectful one, aren't you?"
"Here it comes," thought the young knight. He listened to the king's still energetic voice echoed quietly through the throne room. Like Graham's hopes, the room was empty save some tapestries--sad reminders of brighter days.
"I'm old, Graham. My end is near. Find the three treasures. I've searched for years without success. You are quick of wit, strong, clever, and are learned in all the subjects taught at the royal university. Use that knowledge. Use your mental faculties as well as your knightly skills. You alone among my subjects can do it. There is no time; you are Daventry's last hope. GO."
"This much I promise you, Sir Graham. If you succeed, the kingdom will be saved. In reward, you will inherit my throne and become King of Daventry in my place!"
"Thank you, sire!"
"Now get out of here, Graham. As you leave, I shall lock this castle's doors; it shall be my last stand against this kingdom's enemies. Locked they will remain against all, including you, Sir Graham. They will only open again when you bring me the three treasures. Our wishes go with you. We can give you no more! I have spoken!"
Graham knew an exit line when he heard one. as the castle doors boomed shut behind him, all he could do was remark to himself, "Some days you eat yogurt, other days you step in it!" He checked his boots, straightened his hat, made sure not to step into the deadly moat, and crossed the bridge into perplexity.
Just west of the castle, Graham paused to consider his problem. He leaned against a large rock in the first clearing he came upon, a peaceful spot dotted with wildflowers and shaded by many trees. he was not a large ma. His body's length was just at six feet, and his muscles were long and low. When forced to arms, Graham beat with speed and skill, not muscle. He kept his dark brown (almost black, really) hair cut long to cover his ears. he had begun doing this during his first years in the palace school, on the theory that if the teacher couldn't see his ears, the teacher couldn't pull them. The theory didn't work, but the hair length stayed. Sir David of Bruce, a former classmate of his, once described Graham's features (with clever but undue harshness) as being "forgettable the moment you saw." The truth is, Graham is pleasant and strong looking, in a vague sort of way.
It was his quickness that set the future king apart from the rest of humanity. Nimble and fast of both hand and foot, he was, and still is, even nimbler and faster between the ears. Graduating the first of his class from the royal university, Graham had specialized in knowing a lot of things. No one subject could capture him, and he had devoured all the lore and learning he could listen to and read. As he leaned against that rock, he scratched his belly, and began to think.
The only leads to the missing treasures the young knight had to go on were slim. One: the dwarf who had taken the magic Shield of Achille had been seen disappearing into a whole in the ground. Two: the shape-changing witch who had stolen the Chest of Gold escaped on her broomstick into the clouds that clung to the peaks above Daventry, solid-seeming masses that looked like snow cornices, impossible outcroppings poised out from the mountains with no support. Three the nameless sorcerer who had absconded with Merlin's Mirror had said it would be kept in a safe place, guarded by some fearsome beast. There were no easy answers in this list, but that was all anyone knew about the mystery.
To these facts, as lightweight as fiction, Graham added some home-brewed observations. "My daddy used to tell me, 'Boy, if I have learned anything in my life, I have learned this: when in doubt, or in trouble, pick up anything that is not nailed down, and, if it is, check for loose nails or boards. Check carefully into, under, above, below, and behind things. read everything; you might learn something. Wear clean undergarments, brush after meals, and always remember, nothing is at it appears.'"
With all of this in mind, Graham took inventory of what he had. he discovered nothing. That meant he had to get some food, some gold or the like with which to buy things, and a weapon. He leaned forward harder and harder, as he set his plans and sorted out his situation. The rock rolled. Graham stumbled but a little and, as he recovered his balance, noticed that the rolling stone had revealed a hole. "Well, its time to heed some of Daddy's advice," he said so the trees, and looking into the hole, he saw what appeared to be a dagger. So it was, and while taking it he breathed, "Thank you, Father," a note of respect in his voice.
"I sure hope this is an omen."
Food and treasure were next for Graham to obtain. Treasure, he realized would not be particularly easy to come by, but food could be taken care of quickly in a vegetable garden that had been planted behind the castle. Graham headed north so as to arrive at the garden from behind the castle. Passing beside a large, lush oak tree, flushed with the confidence of one easy success, he decided to test his father's rule another time.
There was nothing hidden in the hole at the tree's base, so Graham started climbing up, the songs of birds surrounding him, until he reached a fork in the oak's branches. Within that fork a nest had been built; in it a lone egg lay surrounded by the dry twigs and grass. Graham looked closer at the egg and almost fell out of the branches so startled was he to find that the egg seemed made of gold.
"I guess it always pays to heed your father's advice," Graham told himself as he climbed down from the tree. He had taken the egg--a treasure to match a weapon.
He was still marveling as he turned east into the castle garden. Mostly carrots grew here in neat, tended rows; but none was large enough for picking. Only on the Garden's western edge did he find anything worth taking. "I'll harvest just one carrot," he decided, shaking his head in disappointment. "I'm sure I can get more food along the way."
Leaving the walls of the castle behind, wondering if he would ever see them again, Graham wandered north, intending to skirt the small lake where he he had played often as a child. Some call it the Lake of Maylie still, after King Edward's lost wife. It had been named that when Edward and Maylie married. They were often seen sitting in a small boat upon the lake late on summer afternoons. Shadow players against a setting sun, they were alone in their love for each other. The lake's name has lost favor since Maylie's death, and few ever float upon it or splash in its water, out of memory of happier days.
Graham's mind was floating in the past when his reverie was broken by the sudden appearance of an elf playing in the sunbeams.
In the interests of understanding, it should be clearly noted here that many in Daventry don't hold much love for the little people--the short elves, dwarves, gnomes, and leprechauns. This was not always so, of course, for the little folk also withdrew, or were forced to withdraw, from the Other World. They too are partly responsible for the very fabric of our world. It was, however, one of the little people who duped the king into parting with the Shield of Achille. A dwarf, it was claimed, but that word never came from Edward's lips. he said it was a small figure bearing a root known only to dwarves. With the subsequent death of the queen, the populace pointed the fingers of hate, fear, and anger at all of the small ones.
Graham saw only someone who might offer him assistance in his quest. Feeling the dagger secure against his hip, he approached the gamboling elf and began to talk. "Hail, friend," he exclaimed. "I quest to save Daventry and hope you might be able to help me."
The elf stopped, stunned--surprised by Graham's sudden appearance. He listened as the knight explained his search for the treasures, tugged on his ear frantically as if to hurry up his thoughts, and replied in a voice of pure melody.
"Sir Graham, I know but little of the treasures, and I cannot much help you there. But there are some things I do know that might help you in your travels. Known then there is much evil and danger now both on the ground and in the air. Ogres and trolls, wolves and dwarves, wizards and witches--all are about in the forest to the west. Take much care. Flee at first notice, or you are doomed. Giants and dragons patrol both above and below the earth. Weep for Daventry, the end is near! Know also that you, Sir Graham, are the first humanfolk to speak with me in years, and you have spoken without hate or anger. In return for that, I will give you something."
Holding out a tiny hand, the elf showed Graham a golden ring with an inset tiger's eye stone. "This ring is magic. Wear it and you will become invisible in time of danger. There is a catch; it works but once and for only a short time. Use it wisely, just as you have acted wisely in speaking with me! Only through wisdom and courage might you succeed in your quest."
In a blink, the elf was gone. Graham was so busy examining the ring that he noticed not if the elf disappeared or ran. He never had the chance to thank him for either the ring or the advice.
Caution was a virtue Graham had cultivated since his father had first explained to him about things not always being as they appeared. He was neither a rushing fool nor a timid one. he believed that his head, for instance, better served his king and himself while firmly attached to his neck. He would give it in battle, if he must, but he refused to offer it around like the dark, warm top to a fresh loaf of bread. The elf's words made the kind of survival sense that Graham appreciated. With more care in his step, he continued his journey northward.
Maybe it was his lucky day, although no four-leafed clovers had crossed his path, and the shadows were beginning to assert an argument for dusk. There, filling his path, was an empty bowl, appearing as unlikely to the eyes as his chances for success in his mission appeared unlikely to his judgment. Curiously he picked it up and examined it. A word was inscribed inside the red and yellow ceramic container: "FILL." The bowl appeared to be large enough to hold a dozen or so apples or enough stew to feed a family. It wasn't nailed down, so he took it. It would be a perfect wash basin in the morning, provided he could find a safe place to spend the night.
Graham didn't have to wander much farther before he found a camping spot. Just beyond the clearing where he found the bowl was the River Fools. It screamed around a bend as it tore through the earth, much like it would tear apart anyone who attempted to wade or swim in it. It is said that only a fool would enter the river's waters, which is true; but it actually got its name from a time long past when a group of thrill-seekers tried to ride its waters. They inflated a number of pig bladders and connected them inside a piece of canvas. They called the thing a raft, though no one had ever seen such a raft before. They said it could not sink, that the breath that inflated the bladders would protect against the shocks of the ragged rocks, and that the river spirits welcomed them. They were dead wrong. IF the sprits did welcome them, perhaps it was as a sacrifice that day or as a warning against trespass. Neither bodies, bones, nor bladders were seen again. Since then, all know it as the River Fools. To this day, all that stop by the river carry away pebbles to appease the river spirits, as if with each stone taken the river would have more room to grow.
Graham picked his pebbles from the small beach and then chose a dry, high place above the river. Laying his head on his pack, he was asleep in moments.
Dawn broke a ruddy orange color. It awoke Graham to the fact that all he had eat was one carrot, and a carrot was not his idea of breakfast. He decided to save it for an emergency, and, putting his appetite away with the carrot, continued his journey northward. He was quite aware that he had made no apparent progress since leaving King Edward and that his prospects did not match the bright dawn.
He followed the River Fools but a little way before he realized that further progress in that direction was barred by the very river he had appeased the previous night. Worse, a very large mushroom grew just on the other side. Almost close enough to smell, it was forever out of reach. He avoided the obvious comparison to his quest.
With the river to both the north and east of him, Graham was faced with returning the way he had come or venturing west. West was the direction elf had warned him against. Rubbing the magic ring for good luck, and taking a deep breath for courage, Graham headed into the unknown.
Distracted at the time, Graham had neglected to ask the elf just how the magic ring worked. He knew now. As he watched himself rub the ring, he watched his hand disappear. He also knew that this would be the only time the ring would work, the only time he could disappear from sight. In despair he realized that he had wasted his magic gift thoughtlessly.
Actually, the irony of the events that immediately followed was totally lost on Graham at the time. This is understandable. No sooner had his mistake struck him than something else almost did. Suddenly faced with an ogre--several hundred pounds of human-eating appetite, all claws and fangs, charging and slavering directly at you--you don't usually stop and chuckle, wryly noting that the ogre can't see an invisible person. Usually you run. Usually you lose. Ogres are over seven feet tall and run faster than people. You run anyway, if only to get away from the stench.
Graham turned and dashed south. Risking a quick look behind and still forgetting he was invisible, Graham almost collided with something short, massive, and ugly. It also seemed to have an ugly temper.
"Two hours gone in the day and I haven't found anybody to rob! Two hours and no treasure! The wife will kill me! Or worse!"
The sudden look was enough to tell the knight that he had now almost crashed into a desperado, a dwarf by its looks, and one out hunting for trouble. Continued flight seemed to be in order. Maybe the pursuing ogre would see the dwarf and forget about Graham. It sounded good in theory.
Only marginally curious as to why he hadn't been immediately jumped by the surly bandit, Graham burst back into a run, dodging boulders and heading south as fast as he could. His hope for escape lay in getting a quick, big lead and surviving on endurance. After a short sprint, dwarves usually just give up, their stubby legs moving them fast but not far. When that happened, maybe the ogre and dwarf would take their ill humors out on each other.
The dwarf, though, astounded Graham by not giving chase at all. Perhaps theory was working for a change.
Enlightenment finally came to Sir Graham as he leaned against a walnut tree, safe, he hoped, from further pursuit. Still gasping, trying to bring cooling air to his flaming lungs, he felt something bounce off his head. His eyes followed the walnut as it fell to the ground, joining dozens of other nuts scattered around the base of the tree. His first thought, now that the near panic had passed, was food--here was food! He'd been up for hours without breakfast, and was surrounded by nuts. He realized he was ravenous. Eager to fill his stomach, Graham reached up to pluck a walnut.
This, of course, is when understanding number two hit the monarch-to-be. He could not see his hand. He could feel the walnut, he could lift it and see it float above the ground, but he could not see his hand. It was invisible!
Graham's laughter filled the little grove for minutes as he realized that he had been running like a madman from creatures that didn't know he was there. He might have been able to walk up to both and spit in their eyes with impunity; well, maybe not spit in their eyes, but perhaps check them for lice. Laughter roared again as he remembered cussing himself as a fool for wasting the power of the magic ring. "With a few more mistakes like that," he murmured, "I just might be able to save Daventry!"
In a moment, Graham quieted, and for a moment the future looked almost golden. Maybe today was his lucky day. Maybe.
Moments later that future shone still brighter, for upon opening the walnut clutched within his transparent hand, Graham discovered that instead of nut meat, the shell was filled with what looked like the purest gold. One bite confirmed it.
"I think I'll look for other nuts to breakfast on," thought Graham. And for that third time that morning, there was laughter.
"You were right, Daddy. Nothing is as it appears!"
Actually, Sir Graham tarried beneath that walnut tree for little longer than it takes to tell the tale. His breath returned quickly, as did his determination and his mirth, which went from hilarity to good humor. The sun was much higher in the sky than when he had rubbed the ring, and he remembered that the elf had warned the ring's spell did not last long. How long he knew not, but he did not want to be facing other dangers when he became visible again.
South continued to beckon Graham. This was the way he had fled, so it seemed his lucky path. That path soon skirted the edge of some mountains, the same cloud-crowned monsters that had climaxed the witch Dahlia's broom-borne escape with the Chest of Gold. This was part of Daventry unfamiliar to the knight. He thought it a likely place to pick up clues to at least one of the stolen treasures, for some assumed that Dahlia had secreted the Chest somewhere within its cloudy shadows.
A huge door, girded with iron bands, seemed to be waiting for Graham as he explored. It was set into a wall of cyclopean stonework that itself had been inset into the living rock. The whole construction looked as if meant to repel armies--large armies. On the other hand, it could be the door to someone's home or fortress. If the size of the keyhole were any indication, the person hiding behind the massive door would be a very large person indeed.
The keyhole, while not so large as to provide entrance to even the smallest of little people, was ample enough to allow Graham to peek within. The scant light revealed what appeared to be a set of proportionately huge stairs that appeared to wind up into darkness. Without surprise, Graham confirmed that the door was locked as tight as it seemed, and no matter what he tried, he was unable to force it open.
Graham thought back on the words of the friendly elf who had cautioned him to be wary of giants and dragons--Creatures who now romed both above and below the earth. He suspected the stairs beyond led to one of the two, and that creature might someday be a stop along his quest. Stymied for the moment, the knight vowed to return and journey up the mountain.
Graham also noticed an inviting mountain lake, like emerald sparkles on the horizon, luring him from the west. He hadn't bathed in days. A short swim was one temptation to which he could succumb; it would both clean and refresh him, he rationalized. Anyway, as he was still in strange surroundings, one direction seemed about as promising as another. Fortune, however, continued south while Graham walked west because, as soon as he entered the chill, fresh water, the magic ring slipped off of Graham's finger. He was visible once again and suddenly felt very alone, very mortal, and very exposed. The chill he felt was coming from more than just the lake's alpine waters.
"I think I'd better get moving," thought the vulnerable and now young-feeling knight. "North, south, or west? The lake's narrow and I'm already wet. Go west, young man!"
And thus it was that Sir Graham swam right out of the ice bath and into the fire.
Fortune is a mercurial lover--fickle and fast to flit away. Fortune never says good-bye; you find out it's deserted you just when you need it most. That's usually when you begin meeting the bad things. Bad things, it has been noted, often come in threes. This particular day, three big bad ones were just waiting for one lone wanderer.
Graham walked a few paces, shaking off as much water as he could along the way. The sun was sure to dry him out, and he was sure his edgy feeling would evaporate along with the remaining moisture. As he reached up to wipe some final cold trickles from his brow, he caught sight of something so chilling that he dashed back into the frigid lake. At that moment, Graham felt he had moved faster than ever in his life.
Bad thing number one was jetting across the sky, black robes trailing what could only be a broomstick. It was undeniably an evil witch. Graham had read histories that told of witches swooping from the sky so fast that it was almost impossible for anyone to escape. The few that had muttered of how they were imprisoned and kept caged, much like a dangerous pet. They talked of how some witches played with their new pets, and they groaned out details of unspeakable torments to both mind and body. Only a few of those that got away escaped with their sanity.
Graham was sure that the witch in question this day could only be Dahlia, for that wicked one was the only cone-crowned cackler reported in the realm for decades. As he carefully crept out of the lake and crouched under a pine tree, he was sure he had not been spotted. He also was sure that if he were captured, for him, at least, the game would be over. Death would be preferable, and he knew he wasn't that lucky today.
Bad thing number two came along just as Graham convinced himself that he had again escaped the terminal jaws of catastrophe. Turning south from the lake to avoid the witch, he had barely taken his first step into a clearing when he saw the hate-red eyes and drooling jaws of what could only be described as a very big, very bad wolf. How Graham pivoted before he finished his step, and how he was able to dash back into the lake before the jaws closed on him, he has never been able to reconstruct. But he won that dash, too, and the wolf, deigning not to follow him into the water, soon disappeared.
That cold, nameless, mountain lake was quickly taking on the warm feelings of home, a safe spot to retreat to when all seemed hopeless.
"It would sure be nice to have that ring back," Graham murmured wistfully as he crawled back under what, by now, had become his favorite tree.
"I could go back the way I came this morning, but there's an ogre and a crazy dwarf that way. I could stay here, but that wouldn't get me anywhere. Things have just got to be better to the north."
Bad thing number three was north, and it appeared just as suddenly as the prior two misadventures. It came in the form of a wandering sorcerer who was out looking to give somebody a bad day. Perhaps Graham was tired from the exertions of the past hour; perhaps so much had happened to him so quickly that his mind was unable to react in time. No matter. This time Graham could not flee quickly enough. In fact, after the wizard had made his mystic signs and shouted his incantations, the hapless knight was unable to move at all. He was paralyzed.
Looking at the result of his work with a knowing smirk, the sorcerer sneered, "Hope no hungry beasts or worse come this way, young fool!" He waved and laughed at Graham as he disappeared from sight.
Graham was still dazed when the spell finally wore off. Both his mindand his body were numb from standing immobile for so long, but the fact that was still in one piece gave him hope that some sanity had come back into his life. He had stared into the west while he was spellbound, and during that time he had noticed the outline of a small house in that direction. Perhaps there he could rest and recover for a while.
The smell that surrounded Graham as he approached the ornate cottage was familiar. He had quietly come up the path that led to the front door and sneaked around to peek into one of the windows. The glass was so cloudy that he couldn't see through it at all, and his fingers stuck to it slightly where he had touched. The slightest lick of his finger brought a taste much like sugar to his tongue. Since he couldn't see inside, he decided to try the direct approach. As he reached to knock on the door, it became clear to him that he really had tasted sugar on his hand and the aroma in the air was gingerbread.
The hunger hit him at once. Graham has always had a sweet tooth. As a child, he was the first to snitch particles of pie, pastry, and confection from sills and counters where they were left to cool after leaving the ovens. Knights and ladies all knew to have an extra dessert ready when he came to sup.
Graham started to eat the gingerbread abode; not a lot, but merely a small piece of the front door trim and a bit of chocolate drop nail. He was sure the owner would neither notice nor mind.
He was wrong again, but eating part of the house saved Graham's life. As he licked the sweet, aromatic crumbs from his hand, he heard a cackle within.
"Nibble, nibble, little mouse. Who's that eating at my house? I'll eat them, if I catch 'em!" Sir Graham had again blundered upon the evil witch.
For what seemed like the thousandth time that day, Graham sprinted for safety. Convinced that the crone would come out the door he had been consuming, the knight sprinted out the front gate and around the side, barreling north past the confectionary cottage. He kept going until he came to a long lake surrounded by moss-bedecked willows. He was sure the trees would shelter him from any aerial observation.
Sometimes the only way to keep moving is to stop. Take a few moments to watch the sun play with water and the breeze caress the trees. Sort through what has been happening to quickly to be assessed at the time. Breath deep, slow your heart, and let your brain waft over what you have experienced, caressing facts and impressions like that breeze moving through the leaves. Take some quiet time.
Graham's unharried musings brought him to one firm conclusion: he must get into the witch's house. He was sure he had discovered Dahlia's home (if that truly was her name) and thought the Chest of Gold might be inside. If not, he was convinced a clue would be found, or some knowledge would be discovered that would aid him in his quest. He also knew that he had to wait until the witch was away, for he was no match for her magical powers.
"Tomorrow then," he thought to himself. "I'll scout around a little more today and spend the night here. Tomorrow I'll take on the wicked witch while she's away."
Continuing to move north, away from the gingerbread house, seemed the safest choice, although Graham's bones and bruises reminded him of the results of his earlier "safe" choices. North it was, however, and after an easy hike through woods untainted by any hint of danger, he found himself in front of a log cabin.
Red and yellow flowers grew happily near the open door. A woodsman's ax stuck out of a short chopping log, mimicking the handle on the house's water pump. It was such an ordinary scene that Graham was tempted to go inside immediately. "On second thought, check the place out, you dummy!" he chided himself. He had been both safe and sorry already that day, and he much preferred being safe.
A window on the side of the house seemed a likely avenue for snooping. Looking inside, Graham saw two sorry-looking, hungry people. They appeared to be a woodcutter and his wife, and they were so emaciated that they looked as though they couldn't do much damage to anyone.
He remembered his father's advice about things not being what they seem, patted his dagger, walked around to the front, and entered the cabin.
The years of famine and poverty that had attacked Daventry were quite apparent throughout the one-room hovel. The furniture was sparse and shabby, rotting where it barely stood. Holes in the floor made it a dangerous place to walk, and Graham reminded himself to watch his step. The only glimmer of beauty was a fiddle tucked into a corner.
As knight of the realm, Graham was a man of privilege. Though not unaffected by the calamities of the hard years, he could still eat daily and sleep secure in his bed. The sight in front of him threatened to bring tears.
"Welcome to our humble home," the woodcutter greeted Graham.
"We'd like to offer you something to eat, but we have no food," volunteered his wife.
For Graham, the emotion of the scene demanded he do something. Again his fathers advice echoed in his thoughts.
"It's worth a try," he said as he took the ceramic bowl out of his pack. Despite the pounding of the day, there were only minor nicks in its finish, and the container remained in one piece. Looking at the word inscribed in the bottom, Graham breathed the word "Fill." At once, the air shimmered, and the bowl grew suddenly hot. Steam and savory smells filled the cabin, and the bowl magically filled with stew. Graham presented it to the starving couple.
Tears and wonder filled all eyes. "Please, eat," said the man who would be King. "This is yours. I hope it is enough."
"We can never thank you enough," cried the woodcutter's wife.
"Please, take my fiddle. It is our last possession, but it is now yours. Please take it in payment for your kindness!"
Graham knew he would insult the two if he didn't do as they asked. Gingerly he stepped around the floor's holes and retrieved the precious instrument. The finish was still good, and the polished cherry wood grew warm and friendly in his hands. Playing a few experimental notes, Graham discovered the fiddle was still in tune. With a merry "One, two, three, four!" he played the couple a happy song.
The melody still filled the cabin as he left. The sad pair had little information to help him on his quest, but they did mention a mysterious rock with a small hole in it. The rock was just south of the rear of their cabin and not far from where Graham planned to spend the night. It wasn't much and probably didn't mean anything, they said, but it was the only odd or mysterious thing they knew about in their vicinity.
Since it was not out of his way, Graham decided to pay the strange boulder a visit on his way back to the lake.
It really wasn't much to look at. The boulder was obviously ancient, covered with brittle green moss. The hole in its base just as it was described to him, too small for any person to enter. Graham stared deep into the hole's blackness. He thought he noticed a faint, green glow, but wasn't sure. It was getting on toward dark, and the last light of the day played many tricks with color. It was time to leave anyway. Standing up, Graham walked west to his camp.
As promised, the rock was only a short distance from the tree-ringed lake. Sleep again came quickly, blocking out all aches and fears and doubts until the morning.
The second dawn of Graham's quest was overcast. It was the kind of sky that seemed unsure of itself, one that could just as easily turn gray and stormy as it could blue and warm. This seemed to be an omen to the knight. He had resolved to enter, if he could, the witch's house this morning. Like the weather, his prospects could not be predicted. They could be very good, or terminally bad. Graham decided not to dwell on the might-be's and planned on breakfasting on the gingerbread house. If he failed, he wouldn't need food anyway.
The cool air of morning muted the overpowering gingerbread aroma Graham had noticed the day before. It still smelled good, though, and he put his plan into action. Making sure the witch wasn't roaming around outside, he walked quietly up the front path, gently laid his ear to the delicious door, and listened intently for any sounds from inside. All was quiet, but he continued listening, hardly breathing, for several more minutes. It sounded as quiet as death inside, a comparison that did little to allay Graham's misgivings.
It was time to do something.
Graham grabbed a firm grip on both his courage and the door knob and opened the door. He did this, of course, very slowly and very quietly. If the witch were home, he reasoned, he might be able to slip in unnoticed. That was his theory, anyway.
Sneaking inside, Graham could see or hear no one. The room he had entered was furnished with just a table and a pair of hard wooden chairs. A second door led off to the right, and Graham quickly tiptoed to it. Still there was no sound, so he tentatively peeked around the corner. It was the witch's bedroom, and it had the off odor of someone who didn't wash very often. It was empty. In fact, the little cottage was completely deserted. Quickly Graham began his search. Disappointment hit him hard when all he could find in the room was a brief note on an empty bed table, a note that read simply, "Sometimes it is wise to think backwards."
The unexpected sound of Dahlia returning made Graham freeze where he stood, but the crone did not go to the bedroom. Soon he heard sounds of food preparation coming from the other room--the witch talking to herself aloud about cooking up something "good and human" to eat. Graham peeked out, trying to judge whether he could bolt for the door successfully. What he saw was the bent-over form of a figure larger than himself. The witch's attention was on stoking her cooking fire. Escape seemed problematic at best.
Sometimes we all do things without conscious volition and later explain it as something we did on the spur of the moment. In this case, the particular moment spurred Graham into sneaking quickly behind Dahlia and giving her a mighty shove. The momentum from the blow sent the witch headfirst into the fire, where her body immediately burst into flame. It was over so soon, the body might have been made of the driest parchment. Dahlia had returned to the skies from which she had wreaked terror, and an indifferent wind dissipated her ash and smoke to nothing. King Edward and Daventry were avenged.
Safe for the while, Graham ransacked the gingerbread house looking for the Chest of Gold or some clue to its whereabouts. Except for a piece of cheese he took from the kitchen cabinet, and the enigmatic note already acquired, there was nothing.
"Dahlia's dead, and I guess that's something," Graham told himself. "And maybe the note is a clue. Onward, dear boy! The day is young and you have already done one impossible thing.
On the road south, the piece of gingerbread house he was munching tasted even better than the one the day before. The morning had decided to be as sunny as Graham's new mood, and he passed without encounter or incident through the territory formerly hunted by the wicked witch. About an hour later he came across an ancient well and stopped, thinking to cut his thirst with some water. Graham lowered the old bucket there into the depths of the well, but it reached the end of its rope without touching water. Drought had taken its toll here. Looking down, though, he could see a reflective glint indicating there was still water down there.
Thirst gave the knight an idea. Raising the oak bucket back up, he cut the rope and took the bucket. Lowering the rope again, Graham intended to climb down the well, fill the bucket, and climb back up. He was confident in his agility, having scampered up and down ropes for years as part of his martial training. He was always considered the best climber in the army. Carefully, he climbed onto the rope and shimmied down. As he reached its bottom, the best climber in the army's hand slipped.
It was a short drop to the water, and when Graham recovered himself, he found he could reach up and touch the end of the rope with his hand. Knowing he could get back the way he came, Graham dove back under the water, as much for sport as for curiosity. One bit of father's advice had been search over, under, around, and through everything. Diving to the bottom he saw the usual assortment of old bottles and trash, but in one wall there appeared to be an entrance to a cave or grotto. Swimming into the opening he immediately popped out of the water, and was able to crawl into a hot, dry cave.
King Edward the Benevolent had spent a score of years trying to recover the mirror that foretold the future. Countless people had searched, both in Daventry and elsewhere. And there it was, not more than a score of steps in front of Graham. One of the objects of his quest, one of the salvations of the kingdom, was in plain sight. All Graham had to do was get rid of a little problem.
The problem took the shape of a 12-foot long, iridescent, green-scaled, fire-breathing dragon. The flames that blazed from its jaws had scorched deep the virgin rock. From across the cave, the heat of the sulphurous flames singed Graham's hair. The dragon made half-rushes back and forth at him, taking its dragon time before making a killer charge.
Graham tested the balance of his dagger, knowing he had only one chance to strike the dragon in its heart. He knew he could retreat safely back into the well, but his duty was clear; he must rescue the mirror from the beast.
First, though, he had to distract the dragon to give himself more time to aim and a clearer target. The oak bucket was still with him, now mostly filled with well water. Graham reasoned that, instead of extinguishing his own thirst, that water was going to extinguish the dragon's flame. It was the distraction he needed.
Hefting the bucket, Graham advanced as close to the dragon as he dared, a mistake would turn the knight into a crispy critter. Just as the dragon exhaled, he flung the water splat into its snout.
As a distraction it may have worked, but Graham would never know for sure. The liquid hit the dragon's flame full-on and put it out. The green-scaled monstrosity just stopped and sputtered, steam and ubbles gurgling from his nostrils.
It was the expression on the dragon's face that held the dagger in Graham's hand. He speaks to wonder when he says that he never knew a dragon could blush and show embarrassment. It could only have been that; dropping its head and tucking its tail, the beast pushed a boulder asise and pussyfooted out of the cave. Sir Graham was left behind, alone.
Graham spent many minutes just touching and looking at Merlin's Mirror,. It's surface still shone, and the luster of the carved mahogany frame still glowed. Picking it up, Graham looked deep into the glass that told the future. His own face looked back, and on his head was a crown!
"I hope this mirror doesn't make mistakes'", he prayed. He put the mirror into his pack and followed the dragon's route to see if it would lead to open sky. It did.
It was a jubilant and confident Sir Graham of Daventry who walked out of the underworld as if reborn. He didn't recognize the cave he emerged from, and he paused to get his bearings.
Above him, condors were soaring, sweeping steeply up and down, seemingly weightless. One unsually large condor made a few low passes at Graham in what seemed a friendly manner, as if inviting him to climb aboard and fly too.
A short distance to the west was another of the many lakes that dot Daventry. Tall cattails grew on its banks and trembled in the slight breeze. The lake was inviting to Graham, and after the singes and sulphur fumes of the dragon's cave, it was an invitation he could not refuse...
Graham bathed himself as he frolicked in the water. After a while, as he swam near the western bank, he thought he saw something growing in a nearby clearing--something he had wanted since the start of his adventures. He rushed out of the lake. There, just a little west of where he stood dripping wet, grew a patch of four-leafed clover. He knelt to pick one, and held it for a moment in front of his eyes.
"This just might be my lucky day!" he told himself and, sticking the clover into his hat, hurried back to the cave to complete his quest.
The big bird was still there when he returned, still seemingly inviting Graham into the heavens. Its curious behavior demanded attention.
"Why not?" he thought. "If the bird could carry my weight, I could see a lot form the sky, and I could figure out just where I am."
The knight began to jumping up and down, trying to attract the bird's attention. Banking quickly, the condor swept low and plucked Graham into his claws. Rising into the clouds, the powerful bird easily carried Graham aloft, first in a tight and dizzy circle, and then in a wider, freer arc, swooping east on great wing-strokes.
The flight went quickly, though not smoothly enough for Graham's stomach. His nausea was soon forgotten, however, when the condor, perhaps tired or perhaps having served its own unfathomably purpose, just let go of the knight and soared away, screeching as if in triumph. Graham was too busy falling to notice the bird's departure. He hit hard and rolled with the impact. After a series of bumps and tumbles, he rolled to a dusty conclusion and finally arose with a thumping head to keep his clutching belly company. The scrapes and cruises would have to be ignored.
A rapid survey revealed that he had been dropped onto an island in the River Fools, within sight of the bank where he had camped two nights before. The fat, speckled mushroom still grew not from the river, large and alone. It looked like no poison fungus Graham had ever studied, so he picked it; it could be food, or it could be useful.
What appeared to be the spires and turrets of Castle Daventry were outlined faintly in distance, unreachable across the river. A large hole in the ground was his only companion, and a glance down into it revealed a faint, green glow coming from not far below.
Graham attempted to climb down, but the hole's sides were too steep. They crumbled at once and he fell, leaving him at the bottom of the hole with another aching bruise. There seemed no way back up.
So, Sir Graham pressed on, following the faint green glow farther into the gloom. The hole had turned out to be a fairly extensive cave, with the glow providing enough illumination by which to grope along. Scraping and scratching sounds grew louder as Graham padded deeper into the cave; rats, most likely.
He was wrong. It was one rat, a giant one easily his own size, that guarded a door at one end of the cave. Making soothing "Nice ratty, nice ratty!" sounds, Graham crept as close to the rat as he dared. Reaching into his pack, he pulled out the piece of swiss cheese he had taken from the witch's house. Gently, he gave the cheese to the rat. The giant rodent practically bit Graham's fingers in his greedy grab for the morsel and dashed away with his prize, seeming to disappear into the rocky walls.
"That wasn't too hard, was it?" He congratulated himself. "Now, let's see what's behind that door."
There was no answer to Graham's loud rapping on the door the rat had guarded. It creaked inward, slowly, as he opened it. Waiting for him inside, however, were two more guardians, leprechauns to be sure. With their green clothing from tip to top, clover in their lapels, and silver-buckled shoes, there was no mistaking these little people.
There are few outside visitors to the Hall of the Leprechaun King, so the guards were idle, humming a tune (a jig Graham recalls), when the knight entered the antechamber. At first they were startled by the surprise visitor, but seeing the four-leafed clover nestled in his hat, they respectfully stood aside to let him pass and went back to their humming.
"Top of the day to you, little folk," Graham greeted the guards. He was hoping to get some information as to where he was and how he could get back to Daventry. They were too involved in their music-making, though, and paid no heed to his queries. Graham decided to join in. Perhaps they would be more talkative after a song.
The cherry wood fiddle had survived Graham's series of bruising misadventures. Leprechauns are a musical people, and as Graham's first notes began dancing in the air, a look of ecstasy burst upon the guards' features. They began a frenzied dance, leaping and twirling, abandoning everything to the music.
Graham followed as they danced themselves right out of the chamber and into the adjoining throne room. There the rest of the emerald court joined in the delirium. Lost in the abandon of the moment, they all danced off, abandoning their monarch. Graham put down the fiddle as the Leprechaun King followed after his merry subjects, leaving behind Sir Graham, his royal scepter, and what appeared to be a shield.
Graham took the scepter and moved to the other side of the stone throne to take a careful look at the shield. As he picked it up, a surge of invincibility rushed through Graham. It was the Shield of Achille. He had found the second of the three great treasures.
A flight of stairs led out of the throne room, which still vibrated from the dancing bodies of the little people. Graham had no choice but to follow their path. The stairs climbed upward a short way and ended abruptly at a wall of rock. No door was there to aid his exit, just a hole too small for Graham to squeeze through. He could see the outside world on the other side.
Graham sat a moment to think through his problem. He could fee the slight draft of air that entered through the hole; it smelled of green, living things, of sunlight and open spaces. Sitting there, Graham was also aware of the fresh smell of the mushroom he had picked before he had fallen underground. It, too, smelled fresh and wholesome. It made him hungry.
He took a tentative bite of the mushroom, almost positive it wasn't poison, but giving it a taste test to be sure. A wave of strangeness overwhelmed him with that first bite, and the world rushed past his eyes in a blur. As his vision cleared he saw a large doorway ahead of him, leading outside. Graham rushed through, and a second wave of strangeness followed the first. When he had recovered, Graham recognized where he stood.
He was next to the old, moss-laden rock, the one with the small hole, not far from the woodcutter's cabin. Apparently, eating the mushroom had made him shrink, making the tiny hole a huge doorway. For the second time he had escaped from beneath the earth. Again he come back with one of the objects of his quest, this time with the shield of invincibility. Graham felt ready for anything.
Now began the final part of Graham's quest for the throne. First he visited the woodcutter and his wife to see if all was well, and then he continued north at a leisurely pace until he came to a large lake. He followed it, skirting its shore, sometimes swimming, always moving to the west. In the stump of a tree near a rotting log, he discovered an old leather pouch filled with diamonds. He took the jewels, found a soft piece of ground, and slept his last night as a knight.
In the morning his wanderings took Graham south, past another of the countless lakes that help make Daventry the fair land that it is, through a fertile field of wildflowers, fresh with their springtime smells, and on through tall trees. Here the countryside opened up again, and Graham passed the cave that lead into the dragon's lair. He waited there a bit, scanning the skies for the friendly bird, but it never appeared. He would have liked to thank it, caring not if it understood the speed of humans.
Graham's path soon filled with the unmistakable smell of live goat. The goat in question was caged in a pen larger enough to hold a herd. Graham leaned for a while on the gate, smiling at the noisy creature's antics. The scene was so normal that he almost forgot, for the moment, his quest and the troubles that threatened the kingdom. Almost.
Just a little to the west of the goat pen lay another pretty meadow filled with wildflowers. While graham paused to snif and gaze a while, the air around him began to glow, a light floating within it. It soon materialized into an attractive woman who spoke as follows to Graham: "Gentle Sir Graham, I am your fairy godmother. Your quest is indeed noble. My small part to help you can be no bigger than this magic spell, protective but for a little while. I will be watching over you, Sir Graham."
Fairy dust filled the air and Graham was alone again. A moment of quiet seemed to own the universe.
"Thanks a lot, Grandma," Graham thought aloud and punctuated it with a sneeze. "I accept your gift with gratitude, but I sure wish you'd come around earlier!"
Turning north, Graham continued through fields of lucky clover until he arrived at a wooden bridge that spanned a section of the River Fools. Here his way was barred by nine feet of green, ugly troll. It appeared in a combative mood.
"Listen, buddy, this here is a troll bridge. Understand? Pay me a treasure or you will never cross alive!"
The troll looked perfectly able to back up his threat, so Graham, unwilling to part with any of his hard-one treasure, decided to find another way to small island on the other side of the bridge.
In the next hour, Graham found two more bridges, but no matter which one he tried to cross, the troll was always blocking his way. It was time to teach this troll a lesson.
As he hiked back to the goat pen where he had lingered earlier, Graham grinned in anticipation of the prank he was soon to play. Opening the gate, he walked up to the goat and tried not to breath through his nose. It worked in theory, but the goat stench was so strong he could now taste it. But, it was just something he would have to put up with for a while.
Graham got out the carrot he had never eaten. He knew goats love carrots and that they'll follow you anywhere if they know you have one, just to get a nibble. He showed it to the goat, being careful not to let it get a bite.
"That's a nice goat, you rancid old beast. Nice Goat. Come along with Graham. I have a juicy carrot for you!"
Graham really didn't have to coax the goat out of the pen; it wasn't listening. It just wanted the carrot, and it was in this manner, holding out the carrot as bait, that Graham brought him to meet a troll.
It is a well-known fact that goats hate trolls even more than they love carrots. Graham merely stepped aside when the threatening troll tried to exact his toll.
Old Billy Goat needed no coaxing. At first sight of the troll he lowered his head and charged directly at it. The goat's blow sent the troll flying straight off of the bridge and into the river. The splash was quite large. The old goat just kept going.
It was the sight of a crude lean-to that had lured Graham to go through all that effort of crossing the bridge and exploring the small island. When he got closer, he realized that it was the residence of an old gnome.
"Hail, good sir! May name is Graham, and I'm looking for some help."
The gnome stared at Graham for a few seconds.
"I'll make you a deal, kid. I know all about your quest, and I can help you."
Graham's heart leaped in anticipation, and he listened closely.
"I've got something you must have to finish your tasks. I'll even give it to you. But first you must tell me one simple thing. What is my name? I'll even give you three guesses!"
There are perhaps a handful of people in all of Daventry who might know the answer. Graham is one. He had studied our world's histories while at the university and knew that the gnome he was confronting could be none other but the one and only "Rumplestilktskin!"
"You're dumber than you look," snorted the old gnome. "What backwards part of the realm are you from anyway? Wrong! Want to try again?"
Graham could not understand how he could be mistaken. "Unless, of course, the answer is not what it seems," he realized. "Or the gnome's reply isn't either."
The solution flashed in his brain like an old witch in a cooking fire. The gnome had accused him of being from a backward part of the realm; therefore, the name must be Rumplestiltskin spelled backwards.
"What kind of backwards answer is that, you alphabetical imbecile? Wrong again! Want to bet you don't get it right the third time?"
Graham was stymied. If he couldn't solve the riddle, all would be lost. His wit had failed him; his brain burned in confusion.
He kept thinking back to "backwards." The gnome had deliberately used that word twice now. Graham knew the name was really Rumplestiltskin, but twisted backwards somehow. He even remembered the note he had found in the gingerbread house: "Sometimes it is wise to think backwards." Backwards? An alphabetical imbecile?
Maybe a backward alphabet was the answer. Change A to Z, B to Y, C to X. If that were the solution, then the answer was....
King Graham has confessed to me that he really wasn't sure about his final answer. He does agree, though, that when all other possible solutions have been discarded, whatever remains, however improbable, must be correct.
The gnome looked at him for a moment with what might have been affection. If it were, it passed in a blink.
"Not bad. Here are some magic beans for a reward!" With that, the old gnome was gone. The beans lay on the ground where he had stood.
Magic beans need to be planted if they are going to do any good. Graham suspected a nice, fertile flower patch might be a good place, and there was such a patch just past the troll bridge to the east. Picking up the small, dried beans, he set off to finish his quest.
More massive than any tree, the beanstalk disappeared into the clouds, its thick foliage offering precarious footholds. The magic beans had sprouted as soon as Graham planted them in the flower bed, and when the growth had stopped, it had become obvious what he had to do.
Upward he climbed, slowly making his progress into the sky. Grasping and clawing around the twisted stalk, Graham lost count of the times he almost fell, but nothing, not even the cloud-slicked leaves, was going to stop him from saving Daventry.
At last his head poked above the clouds, and he was able to step off the stalk. Looking around, Graham saw low clouds everywhere; like the heaviest of fogs, they obscured the ground, making it almost impossible to see where to place his feet. He had to be very careful, lest he step off into nothingness.
Graham's direction, however, was clear. With patience he moved due east where, after a few hundred yards, the clouds broke enough to show him the floor of a forest. The woods extended a little to the south, and Graham followed them there until clouds obscured the ground again. He continued west, staying near the cloud edge, wondering at the strange trees that grew there. In a tree at the eastern edge of the cloud border, Graham discovered a sling for shooting stones, and he took it with him. North of the tree, he found a cave burrowing its way into the mountainside.
After some minutes of searching the cave, Graham descended partway down some slick stone steps far enough to become convinced that this was the way back to Daventry. He was sure that these stairs were the very ones he had glimpsed early in his quest winding upward toward unknown dangers; the stairs behind the locked door set in the mountain.
Suddenly, from the clearing behind him, Graham heard noise--booming thumps that shook the ground and rattled his teeth. He hastened away from his investigation of the cave to find out what was making the giant sounds.
Ten or twelve feet tall it was, human in outward form and with bulk to match its build. The giant was carrying a golden chest under his arm, pacing wearily to and fro, silent except for the impact of his steps. It seemed weary, much like a guard who is asked to pace the same small area endlessly. Back and forth and around again the giant thundered, aware of nothing but its one small post.
From the magic shield that he was carrying, Graham felt a surge of energy engulfing and protecting him. The giant seemed uninterested in Graham. Perhaps that was part of the shield's magic.
Faced with the problem of getting the chest from the giant, the last task in his kingly quest, Graham took advantage of his being ignored. He stopped to think through the problem slowly, something he had seldom been able to do during the previous days' adventures. As Graham sat there, debating whether a stone in his newfound sling could fell the goliath, the giant dropped down on the ground, wriggled himself a soft spot in the earth, and fell fast asleep.
Snores--long, drawn-out explosions--filled the land in the clouds. Graham waited a while until they became regular, like the beating of a heart. Slipping from behind a tree, he hefted the golden chest from the ground taking it from within inches of the giant's limp grasp.
The weight of the chest was not as great as Graham had feared, a property, perhaps, of its own peculiar magic. On the other hand, it was not light, and the knight's return trip to the cave and down its long, narrow, stone stairs seemed to last forever. He kept listening for the thud of the giant's following footfalls, but they never came.
Graham's surmise about where the stairs ended was correct--the entrance into the mountain was indeed at the bottom of the stairs. He was surprised, however, that the door was open, but lost no time pondering his good fortune Closing the heavy door behind him, Sir Graham headed quickly, and in singular triumph, back to the halls of King Edward.
Chapter XVIII: EpilogueEdit
The royal alligators seemed hungrier than usual, thrashing and snapping almost to his feet as Graham crossed over the moat's bridge. He made his way past them and up the few stairs to the castle door. Its locked doors opened at his touch, a sure sign of his success. He enetered to greet his king, and to meet his destiny.
My telling of this history must end as it began; with both grief and rejoicing. As soon as Graham had bowed his respects to his monarch, Edward arose to greet the kingdom's savior. A smile crossed his face as he moved to embrace his successor, but the smile abruptly turned to pain as the old king clutched his chest, his face in agony.
Tears ran down the face of King Graham as Edward's face became still. It was over quickly. Edward's last words were, "Well done Sir Graham...my kingdom is now yours!"
Thus you have it. I myself observed the beginning and the end of the tale with my own eyes and ears, sitting as scribe in my accustome place in the corner of the court. The rest was told me that very evening by King Graham himself, who was anxious to record his quest while the dust of adventure still clunk to his body. I have done so, my Lord.
Long live the King! Long live King Graham of Daventry!
Behind the scenesEdit
Go West, young man is a phrase often credited to the American author and newspaper editor concerning America's expansion westward, related to the then-popular concept of . It was first stated by John Babsone Lane Soule in an 1851 editorial in the Terre Haute Express, "Go west young man, and grow up with the country."
He does agree, though, that when all other possible solutions have been discarded, whatever remains, however improbable, must be correct. This phrase is a reference to Sherlock Holmes common axiom repeated throughout his book series.
Other differences included in the remake (not always related to continuity or story) include;
- Rumplestiltskin answering to Nikstlitselpmur along with the backwards alphabet version of his name.
- The order of events when the treasures were collected in Chronicles it is Mirror, Shield, and then Chest in the same order Edward asked for the treasures in his request (as given in both games), as well as the same order they were stolen in the manual (but can be found in any order in the original game), IT is also the order they are collected in the KQ1 Hintbook. In the remake it is any order for the mirror and chest, and then the shield is last.
- The geography of the door into the mountain is different being stairs in KQ1AGI and KQ3, but suspended walkways and bridges in the remake. The door itself is magical in the remake, but acted as a normal door in the original.
- There are no deadly holes in the Woodcutter's house but the family has turned for the worst with the wife nearing death (sick and in bed). She was starving and sitting in her chair in the original.
- The witch doesn't lock you in a jail in her house but cooks you into a 'graham cracker'. She dies burning in a fire in this and the original game, but melts into a pot in the remake.
- Daventry is a darker kingdom, and covered with the thick woods of Daventry rather than such a brighter and cheerier and more open place it is in the original (but still woody in its own way).
- Female Leprechauns have been added to the Land of the Leprechauns. Whereas females are considered rare or nonexistent in the myths, and that the race as a whole is possibly the male forms of the Fairy race.
- Enemies do not patrol to one screen, but have an entire region that they can be found, that overlap with other enemy's territories.
- Architectural changes to the castle; Castle wall is three screens long, rather than two, no entrance hall shown in the remake, but instead a court yard beyond the castle wall's gate, the front gate functions differently and opens into completely different locations in both games (the three novels tried to blend some of these inconsistencies between the versions games, and the castle architecture).
- The location of the pebbles, by the river in the original and by a lake in the remake.
See KQ1 comparisons.
Where the King's Quest Companion went with the idea that the original game was closer to the 'real' story, and chose not to change the story to keep it accurate. The Official Book of King's Quest (3rd Edition) went with a more blending of KQ1 remake with the rest of the series, basing its artwork on the remake, see The Official Book of King's Quest VI Artwork. Both games and books can be seen as discussing slight alternate universes see Dimensions and game realities.