Once upon a time, many ages ago, there was a young man. His name was Jordan. He was blonde haired with bright blue eyes and a sense of wonder unlike any other. He was quite the weaver of tales, and would often tell them to the children in his village, who listened with amazement at how real his fantasies sounded.
I must apologize, first. You were probably expecting a princess, this time, weren't you? You will have to remind me next time so that I can put her in. Oh, she wasn't a princess yet, you say? Just a normal girl? Alright, I'll remember that.
Anyway, one morning, Jordan was out of the house, exploring the world around him, finding his muse. It's something storytellers do quite often, you know. Well, maybe not very much anymore, but back then, they did.
He wandered around the forest that was just outside his village. The grown ups in the village had always warned the children and young folk about the forest. Legend had it that witches and goblins and other scary creatures would come out and kidnap you, and take you to their own little world, where you would never get out. But Jordan had run out of material to use to weave his stories together. He had already gone as far as he could go in every other direction, except for the forest.
Well, he wandered into the forest, against all warnings. He noticed that the further he wandered in, the more unreal everything seemed. He had never seen anything like the forest before, because nobody ever went into the forest, and never told any stories about the inside, of what it actually looked like.
Well, it looked like the most magical thing you could imagine. The sunlight would shine through all those leaves just barely, and it made the ground and everything around Jordan look like it was sparkling. You could hear birds chirping just above the treetops, and little frogs just barely waking up would begin to talk to each other the way that frogs do.
Then, Jordan heard a rustling sound. He turned, expecting to see a deer, or a fox, or something that you usually see in the forest. But there was nothing there. He thought he saw something scurry by, about the size of a small child, but it didn't look quite like a child. It was vaguely child-shaped, though. "What could it be?", he wondered.
He followed after the sound, hoping to figure out what it was. Again and again, he saw the thing that wasn't quite a child, and each time he still couldn't get a clear view of what it was. After quite a long time of trying to catch it, he figured it was very late, and that the children of the village would be waiting for a story. He got back onto his path, and started heading out the way he came.
When he reached the exit of the forest, though, his village was not there. It hadn't disappeared or anything like that, no, I promise you. He probably just kept going down the wrong way, though he could have sworn that he was headed back the way he came. But now the world around him looked quite different, and new. He figured nobody else had seen anything like it before, and how could they? The only way to find it is through that forest, unless you have magic powers, I suppose.
When he walked out, away from the trees, he noticed how the very ground around him seemed to sparkle. It was like the rocks themselves had magic dust inside them. It was easy to guess where it came from, too. All around him, fairies would flutter this way and that, but he got too close to one, and it bit him. They aren't too fond of people, you know. They're not quite sure what people are, so they keep them away.
As he wandered around, trying to figure out exactly where he was, he saw the thing he was chasing earlier. It scurried again, trying to hide behind rocks, but he was too out in the open, now, and Jordan was very clever. He caught the creature as it tried to scurry again from behind another rock.
When he looked at the creature, he wasn't quite sure what to call it. Although it was shaped like a child, and about the same size, it was definitely not a child. At least, that's what it appeared not to be. Was this what a goblin looked like? He wasn't sure. He hadn't seen a goblin before. He couldn't be certain.
"Let me go!" the creature shouted. "Or I'll tell the old Haglady on you!"
"Haglady?" Jordan asked. "What is a Haglady? And just what are you?"
"A Haglady is the evil witch who commands us goblins!" the creature said. "She will be very cross with you if you keep me from getting back to her." The creature then kicked Jordan, causing him to lose his grip, and it ran off.
It ran into a door that was the entrance to a large, stone maze, but not just any maze, it was a Labyrinth. It's like a maze, but usually it has more tricks and twists and turns and traps, and sometimes, even magic. Jordan chased after it, but he didn't see which way it turned after it ran into the maze, and found himself in a bit of a puzzle. That was when he heard something say " 'allo..."
He turned to see a blue worm, talking to him. Rather than question the possibility of a talking worm, (he had just seen goblins and fairies on the same day, after all) he simply asked, "Did you see which way the goblin-thing ran?"
"I did," the worm said, "but you don't want to follow it. The Haglady's castle is a dangerous place. If a human, like you, stays there for more than thirteen hours, you turn into a goblin, like 'im!"
"I don't care!" Jordan said. "I want to know which way it ran, is all. I want to learn more about it. I want to be able to tell a good story about it."
"This ain't worth the story!" the worm said back. "There won't be a story to tell if you go and get yourself all goblin'd up like they did!" This little guy was very serious. He had seen many a child wander into the Labyrinth, never to return, at least, not looking the same way as when they went in.
Jordan knelt down next to the worm so that he could see it eye-to-eye. He leaned in real close so that he could whisper, something he only did when he needed to be heard clearly.
"Look," Jordan said, in his serious, quiet voice. "I am far too old to be a child. I will not turn into a goblin." He was right, sort of. He was too old to become a goblin, since the cut-off age was usually ten years old. Jordan was at least twenty.
"I still won't say nothin' about where the little creature ran off to," the worm said, realizing that he wasn't going to convince Jordan not to chase the goblin.
"Very well," Jordan said as he stood up. "I'll just have to search far and wide until I find it. Maybe I could start by knocking down a few of these walls." He turned around to properly gaze at his surroundings, picking which walls were most likely to budge under pressure.
"H-hang on, there!" the worm shouted. "You can't just do that!"
"And why not?" Jordan asked.
"I-it's against the rules!" the worm said. "Y-yeah! The Haglady made rules, you see. If anyone wants to try an' get through, they have to solve the Labyrinth. If they try to cheat, by knocking down walls and whatnot, then the Haglady catches 'em!" Although the worm's tiny face told that he was lying, he was partly right. The Haglady could, and would catch him if he decided to wreck her Labyrinth.
"Ah, rules," Jordan said with intentional disbelief. "Are there any other rules I should know about?"
"I only stays here, so I don't know 'em," the worm said. "If you meet anyone else, though, they should know the rules." Before the worm had finished his second sentence, Jordan was on his way.