Full Circle

By Mary Anne Gruen

Disclaimer: This is fanfiction, made just for fun for the fans of The 10th Kingdom. None of the characters from the original movie belongs to me. All the rest belong either to me, the Brothers Grimm, or to Mythology.



The craggy coastline of the Sixth Kingdom had no thriving harbor. The slopes leading down to the sea were sheer and windblown, with a myriad of jagged rocks sticking up out of the water like dragon's teeth. The weather was always rough and damp. And the caves just above the thundering waves were rumored to be haunted. No sensible person ever went there. Only the occasional goblin, because goblins crave solitude and have no fear of water. It was the perfect place to hide.

In the deep recesses of one of the caves at the water's edge were gathered twenty survivors of The Magic War that had taken place almost thirty years before. They had been attracted to that spot because of its isolation and because the mad Great-Grandson of the Naked Emperor was too busy endlessly reliving his ancestor's foremost foolishness to be suspicious of anything. But now it seemed like things were about to change.

The recent war with the trolls and the giants had brought the Ice Maidens to the vicinity. And even worse, after the war was over, several members of The Council of the Nine Kingdoms had begun paying visits to The Great Snoozing Castle to see the Naked Emperor's Great-Grandson. They were trying to force him into developing a parliamentary system for fear that his mental instability would make the Sixth Kingdom easy prey for new uprisings. That was bad news for the twenty who were hidden away on the kingdom's coastline. Stability was something they most definitely did not want.

So they began working harder for the return of their Master, the great and terrible wizard Mazarin. He had been imprisoned at the end of The Magic War. Centaurea, the Elf King, and his wife Matilde, Queen of the Fairies, had sent him to another dimension on another world and imprisoned him there behind a magic barrier. During the struggle, Centaurea was killed by Mazarin. And the self-sacrifice of his death allowed all of his magic to join with the barrier, thus strengthening it.

For the last thirty years, Mazarin had been communicating with his consort Zafira, a two hundred year old winged fairy. Together they had formed a plan. Zafira gathered their most loyal followers and began the work of uniting their powers to break the barrier holding Mazarin. A few of their members were getting old by then, but since the magical power of such beings increases with age, this was actually an asset.

Day after day the group repeated the incantation that Mazarin had taught them.

"Inso eli todop ry,

Inso talla edep ry

Inpa tola hida so,

Etop efra kado ro."

It was an ancient language and an ancient spell which was supposed to dissolve even the strongest of magic barriers as long as there was enough power behind it. Thirteen of Mazarin's twenty followers walked ceaselessly in a circle within a circle of twenty stones. Each one of them wore dark purple robes because purple was the color associated with wizards. At the center of the circle lay an amulet of jet, which is fossilized wood. The piece had once been worn by Mazarin, but had been torn from him during the final struggle with Centaurea. Jet is supposed to be capable of absorbing part of the wearer's soul. So it was hoped that part of Mazarin's essence still remained in the fossil and would create a better link to draw him to their circle.

When one of the thirteen grew tired, their leader Zafira would cut a doorway into the circle with her ritual knife so they could be replaced with another dark figure from the core of twenty. They were all magic beings, witches and warlocks, wizards, fairies, a couple of elves, and one Ice Maiden.

Finally as winter moved into the Nine Kingdoms, their patience paid off. They could feel it in the crackling energy that surrounded the circle inside and out.

"Inso eli todop ry," the thirteen chanted.

"Inso talla edep ry

Inpa tola hida so,

Etop efra kado ro."

The fire lit cave began to rumble and shudder, but the followers of Mazarin chanted on. Those inside the circle were joined by those outside of it. Smoke began to rise in the center of the circle. Then great black clouds jumped up into the air, broken by blinding flashes of lightening as the magic barrier imprisoning Mazarin fell apart under the constant attack of his followers.

"Master!" Zafira shouted.

And he appeared in all his dark glory. He held his onyx tipped cane triumphantly in the air and stood like the god that he was convinced he was. He had on a purple robe covered over by a black cape. His brown hair and beard were flecked liberally with gray. But his dark eyes glowed like burning coals into the soul of anyone who looked upon him.

His consort Zafira threw herself at his feet and kissed the hem of his robe. "Oh great Mazarin!" she cried. "You have returned!"

The remainder of the twenty bowed low but said nothing. They were afraid to speak in the great one's presence.