The Great Journey
Note: A Knight of the Labyrinth tale. I promise action, adventure, romance, drama, and a good splash of humor.
Prologue – A Brief History Lesson
A long time ago, when more people believed in the "little people" or "fae folk", as they prefer, a great journey took place. According to Earther's, the people who live above ground, this is nothing more then a silly tall tale, but to the fae folk, this is a great story of historic significance.
The tale of 'The Great Journey' starts out in the vast kingdom of the Labyrinth. The Labyrinth was, and still is, ruled by a mighty king named Jareth. He is descended from a great ruling line of Elfin rulers and aristocrats who came from all sorts of places in the Underground, the world where all fae folk live.
From a young age, Jareth was known to be malevolent, a trickster. In his early teens, he started his training of fae magic and found an affinity for illusions. He found that he had the power to enchant nearly any female of any race, charm those who were higher up, and create almost any place or person with his magic without the slightest feeling of exhaustion.
The blonde prince grew up ensconced in power and magic until he crossed a greater, more powerful prince. Prince Jareth, handsome and debonair, had tricked one of the many daughters of Prince Elathan into marriage. Jareth would have not only gained a large fortune, but much more power.
Enraged, Elathan, the prince of darkness, exiled Jareth to a bland kingdom that contained so many various races that war had broken out amongst the citizens. The kingdom was in the form of a very large labyrinth and a very dangerous forest. To the north of the Labyrinth lay a vast desert that was so dry no man, elf, or faery had ever crossed it. To the south and west lay a great ocean plagued by great storms that swallowed ships and beasts. The east held the only possible way out of the Labyrinth, a great dense forest that held so many dangers it was barely traveled except by large groups of warriors who protected tradesmen. The great forest also contained a large bog, the Bog of Eternal Stench. A whiff could melt nose hair, a taste would poison your taste buds, and a touch would make you smell bad even in death.
Jareth found himself stranded in the center of the large labyrinth. The city that surrounded the strong castle was named Goblin City. The reek of the city could be smelled ten stories up. The noise from the goblins, faeries, elves, dwarves, and other such creatures was enough to drive a man insane.
For nearly two hundred years, Jareth stayed inside his castle at all times. Goblins who were sometimes found in the castle would claim to see him in a deep depression or practicing his magic or exploring his castle. The castle was built upon a great underground cave of natural hot water. In the midst of the coldest winter, the castle was free of snow and ice, which in turn led the citizens to believe their king was more powerful then the most powerful Fae.
According to various words, Jareth's castle is somewhere between twenty stories tall to one hundred stories tall. It most certainly does not meet the clouds, but it is a massive and intimidating sight. The white stone, now gray from the filth of the Goblin City, will shine through after one of the long summer storms. Gargoyles made from various stones and of various shapes and sizes stand guard around every level of the castle. It was rumored that Jareth made the gargoyles in his spare time, but whether he did or not; it was not enough for the new king.
Jareth grew restless with his time until one day three beings stood before him in his throne room. There was a dark elf, which, by Earther means, had black hair, very large almond eyes, and skin that was very pale yet tinged with green. Dark elves, which most Earthers think of as evil, are simply shorter elves, perhaps five feet or five and a half feet tall, with dark hair and eyes. The light elves have more fair tones, blonde hair, blue eyes, perhaps light brown or red hair, they stand up to seven feet in height, but all with the same pale skin and pointed ears. This elf stood a grand total of four feet and ten inches. He was dressed in green and brown cloth and carried a sword in his belt.
The second being was a small, thin creature that was covered in spines and bristly fur as a hedgehog might be. This creature, a pixie, wore a hat of bright red and a matching sash around his waist. He only came up to the dark elves thigh, but had a presence of authority about him.
The third being was of great size and build, and was a foreigner, even in the Labyrinth. She was a centaur. Her hair and coat were of a rich mahogany and her skin was very tan. Her face was long and narrow, but it only accentuated her foreign appearance. She was encrusted with armor plating and décor while gracing her self with an axe pike.
Jareth stood before his throne watching the three warriors for a great time. The swishing sound of the centaur's tail brought him around to speak.
"I am King Jareth" Jareth said. "Who are you?" He watched as each being spoke in turn.
"I am Somai" The dark elf said with a bow. "Of Modgrough."
"I am Zane" The pixie said in a high voice. "Of your great labyrinth."
The centaur bowed her front half before speaking. "I am Caduul of Tirn Aill. Sent here by way of letter from Prince Elathan."
"Prince Elathan?" Jareth sneered. "What does he wish you to do here?"
"I bring a letter, your majesty" Caduul said retrieving a letter from a hidden purse. Jareth took it and sat in a disheveled heap on his throne reading the letter.
The letter read: To King Jareth; I have been watching your kingdom and found it to be as unruly as it was when you first were entrusted with it. It concerns me that you don't seem capable of controlling your lands, your people, and the magic that is hidden within the Labyrinth.
It has been two hundred years since your exile. As I am now the King of Darkness, I will grant your exile to be terminated if, and only if, you prove yourself to be a worthy king.
Control you're Labyrinth and its peoples and you will find your reprieve. The Labyrinth holds many secrets and these secrets can only be found if you truly are a great ruler.
To help you start your path back to the high courts I have sent you three warriors. It is up to you if you wish to employ their help for your future.
Elathan, King of Darkness.
Jareth tucked the letter into his vest and turned to face the three before him. The three seemed very different and the only one who truly looked like a warrior was Caduul.
"You were all sent here?" Jareth asked.
"Yes, your majesty" Somai said.
"Do you all know why you were sent here?" Jareth asked.
"That we do, sire" Zane said.
With his interest piqued, Jareth requested that the three warriors take up housing in his guest cottage for five nights. Over those five nights, Jareth made plans for the change his Labyrinth would need to endure so he would find himself back at the high courts.
No one knows what Jareth planned exactly, but after five nights he gave each warrior a personal mission. Each warrior was to find two others they considered worthy of being knighted. After Caduul, Somai, and Zane were finished, they were all to form a small protective group of warriors whose main goal was to protect the Labyrinth.
Jareth also asked the three to each find a goblin that showed the cunning of a warrior. The three warriors nodded and began their trek into the Labyrinth.
It took an entire moon cycle before the three warriors were reunited with the king. The night was poor. A great summer storm had ripped through the Labyrinth. The warriors were all taken inside of the castle.
"Present your warriors to me, Zane" Jareth said from his throne. The small pixie stepped forward and gestured to his companions.
"Your majesty, may I present to you Thera of Mayville and Assellus of Goblin City" Zane said with a smile. Thera was of tiny stature, like Zane, but was not as charming. Her skin was brown, her hair stringy and nearly black, her eyes were too large, and her nose was pressed up so it barely stood out from her face. She was a brownie, a very loyal and submissive creature.
Assellus, on the other hand, was a light elf. His blonde hair was tied into a braid so his ears clearly showed. His tunic was made of soft gray leather that was trimmed with elfin embroidery. He carried a crossbow across his back and proudly stood a grand six-foot, four-inches.
"Somai" Jareth called. Somai traded positions with Zane and gave a slight bow to the king.
"I wish to present to you Bear the traveler and Sol of Olive Grove" Somai said. Bear massively stood at six-feet, nine-inches. He carried a great battle-ax.
"Bear" Jareth asked. "What race are you?"
"Human, your majesty" Bear said in a deep low voice.
"Human?" Jareth repeated.
"I assure you your majesty. Bear is quite capable. I found him roaming the eastern forest" Somai said. Jareth nodded and looked over Sol. Sol only stood four and a half feet tall, but was very thick through the chest. Very characteristically for a dwarf, he had a long red beard and hair. He also carried a battle-ax, but also had several knives tucked away in his belt.
"Caduul" Jareth said.
"Your majesty, I'd like to present Verdel Lambis of Stone City and Bjorn Askeer of Svengard" Caduul said.
"Verdel Lambis" Jareth said. "May I inquire about your age?"
"I am nearly four hundred" Verdel replied. His short stature and white beard seemed strange in the midst of all the other younger beings in the room.
"And what makes you fit to be a warrior?" Jareth asked.
"Nothing" Verdel replied. He carried a variety of pouches and bags around his waist. He stood as tall as his tiny frame would allow while holding a tall staff. "But, I do not need metal to be effective."
"What is it that you do then?" Jareth asked.
"I am a sorcerer, your highness" Verdel said with a bow. Jareth nodded and looked at the tall, fair colored man beside Verdel. He stood six feet tall. He had his long blonde hair pulled back revealing human shaped ears. His face was adorned with a long Fu Manchu style moustache.
"Bjorn Askeer, are you human?" Jareth asked.
"Yes" Bjorn replied. Jareth nodded while deciding on how to proceed for the future.
The warriors waited until the storm passed before receiving their instructions to form into a council. Jareth helped them form their own constitution and rules while requesting a few rules of his own to be placed into the writ.
The Constitution of Labyrinthine Knights, as it was titled, reads as follows:
1. One must posess loyalty to the king, the land, and to thy self.
2. Respect the Elders and you will, in turn, receive their respect. Elders would be the Elder knights (Generals), the king, and any knight higher ranking then you.
3. Don't take anything for granted.
4. Freedom of religion.
5. Fight for the right, as one.
6. The King's actions are not our own and we are not to intervene, except to protect those who may travel through the Labyrinth.
It took three days to write the constitution and another three to develop a system for training any future knights. King Jareth allowed the knights to train with each other until they felt they knew themselves and each other better.
While Jareth watched the Knights trained, he found himself busy with the three gathered warrior goblins Caduul, Somai, and Zane had found. After installing fear into them which wasn't hard, Jareth held a small feast in which the goblins attended. These three goblins, Smorgaf, Bronze, and Grouple were to become the start of the great goblin army.
Jareth allowed the three goblins to train with the Knights of the Labyrinth until the Knights sent them back.
As time came and went, so did the knights. The Knights of the Labyrinth became highly regarded as the peacekeepers of the Labyrinth. A small school was developed for various purposes. Many beings attended to learn medical skills at Myrick's Corner or magic at Cardella Hall, but only a few were selected to ever become knights.
The Labyrinth was becoming a reformed kingdom with a strong royal military and with a strong union of specialized knights. The markets started to become very popular, though the roads into the Labyrinth still remained very dangerous. The Labyrinth was growing and doing very well until Romarra came along.
Romarra, one of the daughters of Duncan the Red, a great warrior, came to the Goblin City with one of the groups of tradesmen. It didn't take long for her to meet the king as he was prone to throwing huge parties at this time since his depression was gone.
They met and instantly the king thought he had fallen in love with the dark haired girl. She was tall and had very dark hair that fell to the middle of her back. Her eyes were hazel and her will was strong. She was everything the king wanted in a girl.
The only problem was that Romarra was not in love with the king. She tried telling him several times, but he wouldn't listen to her. Finally, during the midst of fall, Romarra had left leaving a note for the king. It simply read: Jareth. I cannot stay. I do not love you. You have no power over me. Romarra.
The king was devastated. He stopped hosting his lavish parties and only wandered through the streets of Goblin City in costume, preying on the drunks, dropping them into the Bog of Eternal Stench.
His army became a mass of slobbering idiots, the Knights of the Labyrinth started to decrease in numbers leaving only a handful left, the Fiery Forest to the east became even more dangerous, and the citizens became very frightened of their king.
It took almost thirty years before the king had a visitor. You see, all the while Jareth was king in the Labyrinth, it was his duty to take children who were unwanted and unloved and turn them into goblins. Sometimes, he even allowed the wisher a chance to run through the Labyrinth with the hopes of reaching his castle, but no one ever made it.
When this new visitor wished away her baby brother, Jareth appeared before her. He was stunned to find that she looked almost like a cut out of Romarra, except younger. He pledged his love for her while she ran through his labyrinth, but she didn't understand. She made it through the Labyrinth, encountered Sir Didymus one of the last knights, and won back her brother.
Her name was Sarah Williams. Her brother was Toby. It is a classic tale of the Labyrinth. The king does not speak her name or Romarra's and, as a courtesy, the citizens of the Labyrinth don't.
Our story begins a decade after the Sarah Williams incident in the Goblin City. The Knights of the Labyrinth, once holding a constant sixty knights, now holds a measly twenty. They are constantly on duty and rotate in three different shifts: morning, evening, and graveyard. With seven divisions among the knights, it has left the Labyrinth open to several attacks and high crime.