AN~ Yup, I'm starting a new story. An AU story. Normally I don't hold with AU, but in the case of this plot bunny, I'll put up with it. Warning: this will be updated very spottily, but I wanted to get the idea out here before anyone else took it. It's kind of like a very much expanded and more detailed version of my really long chapter of 'Hundred', Fairy Tale, if you want to take a look at that to see what you're in for. (Also kind of beating Winged Water to it, sorry, mi hermana!)

Disclaimer: Los personas aqi no estan mios.

From the desk of 'Scarecrow', Chief Scribe of Magica, formerly of Scholar:

The five tradeskingdoms of the great continent were established centuries ago, and Scholars long before myself have chronicled that already, and done so far better than I could.

However, as any good scribe, I must start my narrative with a brief history of the subject matter, and that means repeating what is common knowledge.

The founders of the kingdoms all had a common goal: to provide a place for people involved in any skilled trade to meet with others, share secrets and tricks, and to train others to do the same. They didn't begin as kingdoms, just empty tracts of land that were originally going to be turned into schools of sorts, but the kingdoms grew too fast, and simple, small structures had to be erected instead. After a time, tradespeople began to settle down and set up governments: schools where specializations could be learned, places for people to retire once their work was finished, and the like.

Originally, there were many small kingdoms, more lordships than anything, but one by one, most of these lands combined into countries proper.

My homeland, Scholar, is made up of teachers of all sorts, and those who love learning. We try not to discriminate who comes and lives with us, though few stay for long. Most leave the archipelago that houses us once they have learned all they need to, and go to other places to achieve firsthand knowledge or to spread the gift of learning to others.

My present country, Magica, is very unlike my previous dwelling. It is a mountain range that harbors little natural life, the furthest of these lands to the north, and it is landlocked. Magical enterprises are the only ones that could be studied in this cold, harsh land, other than perhaps mining, but that has been done and over with here for centuries.

The largest, Artisa, is a land of rolling hills and villages dedicated to one craft or another, from smithing to glassblowing to cooking and more. On my travels, it was my favorite of the lands, though I am not built for hard work.

Second largest is Trickster, which has long been debated as a tradeskingdom. The people there are dedicated to having no career at all, and rarely have they been chronicled to do anything helpful for anyone. It has a very large population of lazy people, though they all proclaim to have a talent of some sort, and they do farm and such enough to keep themselves alive.

Finally, there is Sneak. Little is known about this, the smallest of the tradeskingdoms. It is nestled in a valley surrounded by steep cliffs on three sides and the ocean on the last, less than two hundred miles square, and the people there become secret agents and spies and undercover sorts of things, but other than that, they don't tell anyone what they do. I, fortunately, had the benefit of a behind-the-scenes informant for this, otherwise this tale would be far less interesting.

Each of the countries lived together harmoniously most of the time. But on occasion there were... problems. I'm sorry to say that the occasion of which I will speak was started by my current home.

It begins, of course, with a princess...