In the mid-tenth century, during the reign of mighty Anatinus, King of
Misty Island, a beautiful
peasant girl named Morning-Star was born, who was blessed with rare and
perfect beauty. The legend of this platypus' beauty spread all
kingdom, even to the court of King Anatinus. There beside the throne
sat the heavy-hearted Queen Alexis. For her own newborn daughter,
caused by by fate and prophecy, was sightless. She was unwilling to
look upon her blind child’s face. And the baby Morning-Star, more
beautiful and perfect, made her jealous.
Envy breeds evil. And thus Queen Alexis caused the simple
peasant home of Morning-Star to burn. The sleeping family
perished, all but Morning-Star, who, being rescued by the Queen's
design, became her daughter, whom she claimed had her sight restored by
prayer. The one true princess, who had been left behind to fill the
vacant cradle, perished too, and never saw her mother. She was then
raised as the Princess of Misty Island.
years were kind to Morning-Star. Her beauty blossomed like the fragrant
water-lily into full, abundant maidenhood. Many knights already sought
her fair hand in marriage. On her seventeenth birthday, Anatinus made
it known that whosoever might desire to win the hand of Morning-Star,
should now come forth to claim it. According to the custom of the
kingdom, the groom had to prove his worth by fulfilling a love-quest of
the Queen's own choosing.
Many were the eager knights who
journeyed to the royal palace, hoping there to win the love of Princess
Morning-Star. Alexis, dark with envy, watched the lusty swains descend
like vultures around her daughter, and vowed in secret not to let them
From the knights assembled, six were chosen, and
stood before the heartless queen for testing. But the crafty Alexis
devised impossible love-quests for the suitors.
first brave knight, a lad of twenty-one years, was sent across the sea
to beg Lord Nimbus, God of Rain, to quench the thirsting Fields of
Frotzen. But that pseudo-god, not sympathetic, smote his vessel with a
bolt of lightning.
The second knight, a
weapons-bearer, strong of limb and spirit, scaled the mountain peak of
Matter-Horn, to seek Advice from spirits. The hopes of Princess
Morning-Star fell with him.
A third knight
ventured forth to try the fabled Wings of Icarus, and learn the secret
method of their Flight, to please Alexis. But whilst soaring home to
claim the princess, the joyful knight flew into the open maw of
Thermofax, a dragon.
Alexis sent the fourth
knight deep into the Mines of Mendon to slay a grue, and drag the
carcass up where all might see it. But Darkness overcame the hapless
knight, who, lost without a lamp, was soon devoured.
knight, the fifth, directed by the Queen to steal the Coconut of
Quendor, chanced upon a lair of hungry Implementors, and did not
Foresee his peril.
Lastly stood before the
Queen a gentle boy, no older than the Princess. Morning-Star liked well
his beardless smile, and begged her mother not to test his Luck too
harshly. But Alexis caused the youth to spend an evening amidst an
unclean cemetery, from where he never returned; for eldritch vapors
carried him away, and gave no reason.
Queen Alexis cried, “Is no man in the kingdom fit to wed my only
daughter? Methinks she must remain unmarried, then, and a virgin all
her days.” So it was Written.
Morning-Star hoped death might
grant her Freedom from the edict of Alexis, by her mother's timely
passing. But the Reaper (busy elsewhere with a plague) heard not her
praying; so Alexis lived, and laughed, and watched her daughter's
beauty fade away, and all her wishes dwindle in her bosom until her
Over the years, her body decayed into dust, except her
heart, which, hard and shrunken to a pebble in the grave, shining
brightly with the stifled wishes of her lifetime (rain, advice, flight,
darkness, foresight, luck, freedom). This was the origin of
Wishbringer, the Magic Stone of Dreams. Eventually, the whole incident
would fade into legend, the reign of Antainus forgotten, and the names
of Morning-Star and Queen Alexis lost in time.
While not much is
known about the palace of Morning-Star, it is odd that there are no
official records of its location as rumors abounded of it during the
Second Age of Magic. It was said that a queen quelbee had in her
the only map to this lengendary place, and once inside, a package
needing delivery to the Festeron Postal Office would be found.