The Hero's Journey
Emma stopped for a moment slightly perplexed before she opened the book.
The book was handwritten the black handwriting shining off the crisp white pages.
Once upon a time, there was a kingdom called Aeolgoyryn. Aeolgoyryn was a magical kingdom, where elves and wizards and humans lived in harmony.
The people in the kingdom were very happy, but none happier than King Gregor and his wife, Queen Arianwen.
Gregor was a just and brave king. He saved his kingdom from invaders countless times and made sure that none of his citizens were lacking.
His wife Arianwen was the most beautiful being that Gregor had ever seen, as she had long blonde hair and shimmering blue eyes. Not only this but as she was an elf, she was immortal.
Elves will never die unless they are murdered.
The only person who was happier in Aeolgoyryn was their daughter, Princess Eirwen.
Eirwen was only half-elven, so would live a longer than normal life rather than being immortal, but she was just as beautiful as her mother with silvery blonde hair and eyes like sapphires.
Princess Eirwen was not just beautiful though, she was better than many men with a sword, better than some of her father’s knights even.
Eirwen had been trained in swordsmanship by Gregor’s most trusted advisor and closest friend, Sir Elthered the Brave Knight.
Sir Elthered had a head of white hair and was slightly stooped from old age. Elthered trained Eirwen personally in sword fighting because even if she was a girl, Elthered knew a warrior when he saw one.
But not everyone in the kingdom was happy. In fact, one person was far from it.
Prince Gryffyn, King Gregor’s younger brother was a very jealous and power-hungry man. Gryffyn also hated magic and anything to do with it. The only thing Gryffyn hated more that magic was his brother who had inherited the throne.
One fateful day, Prince Gryffyn crept into the castle by the dark of night and killed King Gregor and Queen Arianwen whilst they were sleeping in their beds.
Even though his brother was gone, and Gryffyn was now king, King Gryffyn was still not happy. For Princess Eirwen with help from Sir Elthered, the Brave escaped before he could kill her.
Gryffyn searched the kingdom with his knights for years searching for Eirwen, killing every wizard or sorceress he found along the way.
The once happy kingdom of Aelogoyryn was downtrodden, but they had not lost hope. For King Gryffyn never found Princess Eirwen….
‘But where’s the rest of the book?’ asked Emma as she finished reading.
There had only been a few pages of the story, she wanted to know what happened to Princess Eirwen, did she defeat King Gryffyn?
She flicked through the books desperately trying to find some more writing. But she found nothing.
As she flicked through the second time, she found something taped to the back page of the book.
There was a leather necklace, with a simple blue stone attached. It wasn’t a gemstone, it was bigger than that and less shiny. It looked like someone had painted a smallish pebble bright blue, and then drilled a hole into it so they could attach it to the necklace.
Next to the necklace was a neatly written list.
‘What in the world,’ muttered Emma looking at the list.
How did her name end up in this book?
She had never seen this book until fifteen minutes ago. She hadn’t even lived in this house until yesterday.
Emma took another look at her necklace and pulled it on over her head.
As she put the necklace on over her neck, she found herself being pulled by a strange force, as if something otherworldly was pulling her away from her bedroom.
Her bedroom began to fade around her, and she was suddenly in the middle of a deserted forest. The forest was filled with an ethereal green glow, as the sunlight shone down through the leaves.
Where was she? wondered Emma.
Where had her bedroom gone?
Was this because of the necklace?
She thought about asking someone where she was and what was going on, but there was no one there to ask.
Just as she was about to go and look for someone, she heard the cantering of horse’s hooves along the path.
A knight in shining armour riding a chestnut pony was galloping down the path that Emma was standing in the middle of.
Emma was so shocked to see a knight appear out of nowhere, that she didn’t jump out of the way of the horse's path.
‘Woah there!’ called the knight pulling on his horse's reins.
‘Who goes there?’ asked the knight, ‘friend or foe?’
‘I’m sorry?’ asked Emma now completely confused.
The knight lifted the visor on his helmet so he could see her properly. Emma could now see that he had a face covered in wrinkles, and his hair was snow white.
The knight looked her up and down for a moment.
‘Strange garments,’ muttered the knight looking at her jeans and jumper and trainers.
‘Might be a dwarf,’ he muttered continuing to talk as if Emma couldn’t hear him.
‘I’m not a dwarf,’ giggled Emma, ‘I’m a girl.’
‘Ah a young maiden,’ exclaimed the knight, ‘and what would be your name?’
‘Emma, Emma Smith.’
‘My name is Sir Elthered,’ said the knight.
'A knight at the court of King Gregor.’
‘It’s a pleasure to meet you,’ laughed Emma who couldn’t believe how formal the knight was being.
Maybe he was practising for a play or something.
‘Well Emma of the house of Smith,’ said Sir Elthered, ‘how did you come to be in this forest?’
‘Are you lost child?’
‘I don’t quite know,’ stammered Emma, ‘the last thing I remember I was sitting in my room, and then I put this necklace on.’
Emma showed him the leather necklace with the stone on the end.
‘Then the next thing I knew, I was standing in the middle of this forest, it’s like magic.’
‘Magic you say?’ asked Sir Elthered, ‘are you a sorceress then?’
‘I’m not a witch,’ said Emma, ‘it would be cool if I was though!’
‘Cool?’ asked Sir Elthered inclining his head.
‘Brilliant, or amazing,’ explained Emma beaming.
Emma was a bit confused about what she was doing in the middle of this forest, but she quite like Sir Elthered, he seemed very friendly.
‘So you’re not a sorceress,’ said Sir Elthered disappointedly.
‘I think this necklace might be magical though,’ said Emma holding it up again, ‘it brought me here from my world.’
‘The amulet,’ exclaimed Sir Elthered, ‘it can transport people between worlds.’
‘Perhaps you are the child we have been waiting for.’
‘What are you talking about?’ asked Emma.
‘Here is not the best place to talk,’ said Sir Elthered looking around shiftily.
‘If you will come with me, we can talk privately.’
Sir Elthered offered Emma his hand to help pull her onto the back of his horse.
Emma faltered for a moment. She remembered that Mike had always told her to not talk to strangers, or to go anywhere with someone she didn’t know.
But then again, she thought, she had just been pulled from her bedroom in Dorset to a medieval forest, and she was talking to an old knight about magic. Sir Elthered seemed like a good knight, and he wasn’t going to hurt her.
This was clearly different; the usual rules didn’t apply.
Emma beamed and held out her hand, and Sir Elthered pulled her onto the horse, and Emma got comfortable in the saddle behind him clinging onto his waist, as the horse galloped away.