Aliana: Princess of Faeries
It is thousands of years ago in a land located between England and Ireland. It is a land filled with rolling hills, vast rivers, and...magic. This majestic land is known as Gathenfar and our story begins in a part of Gathenfar known as Farellel, the kingdom and home to all Faeries.
All sorts of Faeries come out of the woods nearby (gnomes, pixies, mermaids, forest nymphs, and elves among others) to honor the birth of the new princess. The parents, Uloth and Enith, are overjoyed with their newborn baby and Enith christens the child Aliana--which in the language of Gathenfar means "daughter of the earth" for the Faeries are great nature lovers.
But this is a fairy tale and like most fairy tales, it has a villain. Enter Mortigana, a wicked Faerie with a deep-seated hatred her own kind. Mortigana wants to take over all of Gathenfar and the Faeries with their wise ways stand in her way. Uloth berates her for entering without being invited. Mortigana, undaunted, warns Uloth that she and her army of Dribbens (evil lizard-like assassins) will destroy Farellel and whoever is in it. Uloth calls for his guards to arrest Mortigana but Mortigana disappears in a puff of smoke her sinister laughter echoing through the hall.
While Uloth begins to help his subjects evacuate for another sanctuary, Mortigana calls upon her Dribben soldiers to attack Farellel. While many Faeries escape, others are killed. One dribben creeps up on Aliana's crib about to finish her off but is stabbed by Enith who takes the infant princess in her arms and flees with Uloth out of Farellel. They rush through the woods keeping out of sight. However, once they exit the woods, Mortigana who has been waiting for them shoots an arrow into Enith's back piercing her heart.
The kind queen collapses to the ground the baby still in her arm. Uloth rushes to her aid. But the queen is dying. With her last words, Enith tells her husband to take Aliana as far away as possible. Uloth swears to her that he will protect her and will tell her everything when the time is right. Uloth rushes with Aliana in his arms. The queen dies. Standing over her corpse now are Mortigana and two Dribben soldiers. Mortigana eyes the departing figures deciding not to follow them but rather await the rise of Aliana for there is a prophecy that Aliana will one day not only revive Farellel but also bring peace to all of Gathenfar. And so begins the adventures of Aliana.
Nine years have passed. Aliana is now a young girl full of spunk and curiosity. Yet she has a wistful sadness on her face. Her father and she live in a village far away from Farellel called Dirken. She does not yet know about her heritage for her father has kept it from her. Aliana is now sitting by a small pond playing a tune on her pipe. This will be her main theme throughout the course of the story. She hears a bell signaling for everyone to enter the village for nighttime is falling. She rushes to the village and is scorned by the town crier. Why? Because she has pointy ears. Both her and her father have not been well liked in the village. In fact, she is bullied by some younger kids but is saved by the only villager kind to both of them, Rowana. Rowana invites her to have some soup and introduces Aliana to her newborn son, Cedric. Aliana immediately takes a liking to the little infant and the two of them seem to connect to each other.
Aliana returns to her father who gives her a present which is a medallion that her mother had. He tells her that it will help protect her in the most dire times. Aliana kisses Uloth good night and heads to bed looking outside the window at the stars admiring the lovely sight. But one star seems to attract her attention. It is bright, red and flaming. At first she is entranced by how willful it seems by flying to and fro. But the closer it seems to get, the more Aliana grows uncomfortable and begins to doubt that it really is a star. Her premonition proves to be correct for the flaming form moves closer and closer...and disappears on top of the house. Aliana looks further out of her window and then...a hideous bird-head with rows of sharp teeth in its beak appears upside down shrieking loudly.
Terrified, Aliana screams and wakes her father up telling him that they must get out. The creature (which is a harpy) crashes through the house setting everything in the house on fire. Aliana arouses the village's attention. The town crier sees the sight and alerts the townspeople to evacuate even forcing Rowana to rush out, while she still tries to call out for her baby. Aliana, showing a bit of courage, throws a pebble at the harpy who is threatening her father. Almost immediately she regrets her action for the harpy claws its way towards her. However, the harpy notices Aliana's pointed ears and blinks as if recognizing her. Uloth rushes to Aliana's aid shooting sparks out at the harpy much to Aliana's surprise and amazement. Uloth tells Aliana to run. She wants to help but she does what her father tells her to.
Aliana takes refuge underneath the a tree. She can hear the fighting going on. Then she hears an awful groan. There is silence. She sees the harpy flying off. She fears the worst. As soon as the harpy is completely out of sight, she rushes out and sees the body of her father. She runs to him. There is a huge gash in Uloth's chest. He speaks to Aliana in a whisper about to tell her who she is, but before he can, he dies. Aliana kneels over her father's body weeping. She looks around the wrecked village, alone and confused. She calls out for help, but everyone has vanished. However, from a fallen heap of planks, Aliana hears an infant wailing. She pushes away the planks to see Cedric still alive. She takes Cedric with her. As they leave, Aliana looks back at the corpse of her father with sadness.
Soon, Aliana, with Cedric in her arms are in a nearby forest. To a nine year-old who has lost her father and is not accustomed to strange surroundings it is a frightening place. The large trees seem to reach out to grab her. Still, Aliana presses on. She does not really want to go forward, but she knows she can't go back. Beginning to feel lost, she suddenly spots a new creature, only a more benign sort. This is a unicorn its mane shimmering in the moonlight. Aliana reaches out and touches the face of the great animal--so strange and yet so beautiful.
Suddenly, the unicorn dashes off. Aliana looks behind her. Out of the mists come a pack of wolves. Immediately Aliana runs with the wolves in pursuit. Over briars and bushes, the wolves chase her. And when it seems that both Aliana and Cedric would make an appetizing lunch for the pack, sudden bursts of light come crashing onto ground scaring the wolves away. Aliana turns around and is surprised to discover that the maker of those flashes is a little old woman with a serene expression and a quirky personality. This is Gallana, the enchantress of the wood. She tells Aliana that she knows her name and leads her to her house which is hidden within a huge dormant rock.
Sitting down for some bread and hot water, Aliana tells Gallana of her life in Dirken and of her father. Gallana reveals that she was a friend of her father but also that Aliana is actually the princess of Faeries. Aliana is shocked! But after inadvertently causing a candle flame to go out, she comes to believe it. The strange events that have happened this evening, her father using magic, it all suddenly makes sense. She inquires for more details about what really happened. Leading her to a nearby cauldron, she shows her the images of the events at Farellel and explains Mortigana's history. She was once named Linieth. But she was unsatisfied with the amount of power that she had so he sold her soul to the dark god of Gathenfar to obtain her own dark powers so that she can dominate the land and have more power than anyone else. Aliana is captivated by what she sees but terrified of the images of the dribbens. Once she is finished Gallana tells Aliana that there is a prophecy that the Princess of faeries must seek out the Staff of Erania which will help restore Farellel and once again provide the Faeries with a home. Not only that, but the princess would bring peace to the Gathenfar. Determined to set things to rights, Aliana enthusiastically steps up to the plate prepared for the long training ahead.
The next day, Aliana begins training, the first step is using magic. The years go by and as Aliana's mind develops, so do her skills in fighting and magic. Nine more years have passed and Aliana has grown into a lovely young woman with flowing brown hair and striking blue eyes. Cedric has grown too and is learning some bit of combat though he is still of course inexperienced.
Now, Aliana is ready to go on her way and Cedric is coming with her out of gratitude for saving him. Before she leaves, Gallana gives her a sword which is the same sword Uloth used in battle. ("In one blow, it cleaved a Dribben in two.") Aliana gives thanks to Gallana for helping and sets off which Cedric on the long and perilous journey.
Meanwhile, Mortigana is watching all this through a sphere in her tower. This is the moment she has been waiting for. She summons her head dribben General Ackenthorn to go out and find her. Ackenthorn (whose form is hidden in shadows) departs and Mortigana gloats about how she looks forward to the day when Aliana will be defeated and soon the rest of the faeries will be destroyed.
Far from Mortigana's domain, Aliana and Cedric are taking a rest. Aliana tells Cedric about his mother which in turn makes Aliana think about what her own mother was like and whether she will survive the journey or suffer the same fate as her parents. Still, her spirits remain optimistic and she reminds herself that even if she dies it will be for a good cause.
Her thoughts are interrupted by a piercing shriek. She and Cedric run in the direction of the noise. It turns out to be a raven with an arrow partly pierced through her wing. Pitying the poor creature, Aliana tends the bird and magically heals her wound. She also tells the raven that she is the Faerie princess which seems to elicit a reaction of understanding from the creature. The grateful bird flies off into the sky.
We meet Nasia. She is a tough, ragged woman and she is a thief whose intention is to steal to help those whose homes have been destroyed by the Dribbens. Aliana and Cedric cross her path. Nasia is initially hostile towards them, but once Aliana explains the situation, Nasia calms down and takes Aliana and Cedric to visit her own companions.
We now come upon the village of Cal. Unlike Dirken, this place is more colorful and even though there are some ne'er do wells, they seem to have a greater appreciation of life. Nasia takes them to meet three of her companions-- Wart, a four-eared lizard with a quiver full of arrows; Dorbeck, a bird-like creature with monkey arms and a rat's tail; and Borin who is, like Aliana, a Faerie. Aliana is enthusiastically greeted by Wart and Dorbeck. Borin however, walks up to her in silence. They stare at each other for a long time as if something seems to click. Nasia breaks the connection and they discuss matters in a tavern. They agree that to find the Staff of Erania they need to see Galthor, another ancient quirky hermit who could show them the way. This positive outlook is cut short with two Dribben soldiers arriving at the tavern. Quickly Aliana transforms herself and Cedric into mice and they hide in Nasia's pocket while Borin turns invisible. Nasia and her friends act all natural as if nothing have happened. The two Dribbens interrogate them asking questions where Aliana went. But Wart cheerfully puts on a brave face telling the Dribbens to even go as far as to search the skies. The Dribbens leave the inn and the people within who are frozen with fear. Borin makes himself visible and Aliana restores herself and Cedric to their original forms. Aliana decides that they should leave now and so the group of six heads out leaving the inhabitants of the inn weirded out by what they just saw.
That evening, they all settle down by a fire. Aliana is charmed by Wart's excellent manners and good taste while she is both amused and slightly annoyed by Dorbeck's obnoxious cynicism. Only Borin seems cold and distant. Aliana approaches him and says that even though they have started off on the wrong foot, they'll be able to work things out. Borin reprimands her for not coming early to save their kind. Aliana mentions what happened to her and Borin reveals that he has lived in a similar way to how she lived and didn't know about it until he was older. He also explains that he too has a great destiny but he doesn't know what. Aliana realizes at this point that there is a common link between them. And even though she is hurt by Borin's coldness, she begins to feel close to him.
That night, everyone's asleep. However, only Aliana remains awake. She looks at the medallion that her father gave her wondering what significance it has in helping in her quest. At that moment, she hears a strange voice. At first she wonders if it's actually the wind but it begins to sound more and more human. As she goes through the woods, the voice becomes more distinct. Soon, she sees the person who is singing. It is a 16-year-old girl adorned in a black-feathered dress with black hair, pale skin, and sunken eyes. Aliana is at once frightened and entranced by this wondrous vision. She cautiously steps closer to get a better look. But she accidentally steps on a twig catching the dancer's attention. The young girl is startled. Aliana tries to calm her down, but before she could further explain, the dancer, in a panic, runs off. Aliana gives chase but the dancer is too fast for here. By the time Aliana has caught up, the mysterious girl has vanished into the night. Aliana calls out to her. When she doesn't receive an answer, she sighs and heads back to sleep.
The next morning, Aliana still has thoughts about the mysterious girl. But Wart and Dorbeck tell her that it was just a strange dream and decide to snap her out of it by singing of heroic glories that could come from the quest encouraging her to believe in herself more. They continue this way on the next leg of their journey. Aliana begins to feel more confident and almost forgets about the events of the previous night. Their merry-making is interrupted by a black windy flurry. It turns out to be the very raven that Aliana rescued the day before.
The raven, who speaks in a raspy voice, introduces herself as Keiri. Nasia doesn't trust her believing all ravens to be a form of ill will. But the raven insists that they trust her. She mentions that General Ackenthorn has picked up on their trail. The mere mention of the name sends Nasia into a bit of a shiver. Keiri says that the best way would be through the Swamps of Despair. Despite being warned about a monster that is hidden somewhere within the swamps, Aliana agrees. So, they proceed to the swamps.
They come to the Swamps of Despair, a desolate place. There is not a sign of human life. Aliana inquires what monster inhabits the swamp. Wart says it is a mud troll that always moves from one area to the next and can increase in size if provoked. Aliana, since it is her first real monster, swallows hard. Still not seeing any alternative, Aliana presses forward. As they get in deeper, the stench becomes stronger. It is apparent that the monster is lurking nearby. On the pathway, Cedric gets his foot stuck in a pile of mud. As he tries to get it out, he sees a bit of the mud prying open to reveal a huge green eye. The eye closes up again. For a brief second, Cedric looks at it quizzically. But then the bit of mud holding him becomes a giant fist. The Mud Troll emerges in a towering mass of glob dangling Cedric upside down as if he were a stuffed doll.
Cedric's screams attract the traveling companions. Aliana is the first to take real notice of it. They rush right through the trees just in time to save him from being eaten. This monster is not easy to battle. The creature's liquid texture makes it possible for him to transport from one area to another confusing his opponents. Aliana makes a run for the troll but the troll, with a tremendous swipe, throws Aliana against a tree, knocking her out cold. Cedric runs over to her. The Troll comes upon them but as he does so, Borin performs a heating spell on the beast hardening him from the arm up. Finally the Mud Troll crumbles into rocky remains. Aliana wakes up to find Borin standing over her, his face distorted in disappointment. "You? Our savior?" he asks in a sarcastic tone. And with that he makes his way back to the rest of the group. Keiri flies down to Aliana asking if she is all right. But Aliana doesn't speak. Could it be the overwhelming sensation of fighting her first monster? Or does she feel some pressure from Borin from both his guilt trip and his good looks?
That evening, Nasia joins Borin, Dorbeck, and Wart in a fireside discussion. But a discouraged Aliana sits far from them with only Cedric to keep her company. Cedric tries to cheer her up by saying that she will have a chance to prove herself a worthy queen
That evening, the mysterious dancer quietly makes her way past the sleeping companions, first looking at Borin. She finds him handsome. She proceeds past Cedric who wakes up and sees everything. He catches the dancer looking up at the moon saying a small prayer for Aliana and her friends to be protected. Quietly, Cedric sneaks over to Aliana alerting her to the dancer. Ecstatic that someone else has seen the dancer, Aliana quietly hurries with Cedric to catch up with her. The dancer suddenly sees them. She is about to run but Aliana calms her down saying that she means them no harm. The dancer tells them that it isn't that she is afraid of. It's being seen by anybody in her state. Aliana gently reassures her that she doesn't mind her appearance or activity for she herself was an outcast and can understand.
This is enough to make the girl relax. Aliana asks for the girl's name, but she declines saying that she is called the Night Dancer. The Night Dancer tells Aliana how she knows a great deal about Aliana and her story. She tells Aliana that she is somewhat envious because she feels that she herself is more of a coward while the Princess is so brave and would do anything. But Aliana tells her that she is being too hard on herself and that somewhere deep in her heart, there is great courage. Feeling sorry for the Night Dancer, Aliana talks to Cedric about allowing her into the group. Cedric is a little uncertain however. As the two talk, the Night Dancer sees the moon going behind the clouds and quietly sneaks away. Aliana looks up and finds that the Night Dancer has completely disappeared. Sighing, Aliana and Cedric walks away. They do not see the Night Dancer peering behind the tree tears in her eyes.
Meanwhile in a rocky cliff near the ocean, Mortigana takes out a crystal and chimes an incantation. A gigantic whirlpool opens in the ocean. A huge moan is heard. An unseen creature rises out of the deep and looks down at Mortigana who greets the obvious monster who she sold her soul in exchange for the dark powers. Mortigana offers the monster Aliana as payment for her debt and in exchange, the remaining demons will have the rest of the Faeries for dessert. The offer and promise are greeted with an eager growl from the demon.
The next morning, the group of heroes continue on their way out of the swamps. At this point they realize that they are running low on supplies. Nasia suggests robbing someone. But Aliana opts for a less dishonest alternative. They have come to yet another town. This is the town of Belster, a town that partakes in frivolities. Aliana suggests that they each find some ways of trying to entertain pedestrians for money. Dorbeck tries juggling but to disastrous results. Cedric tries a hand at singing an old Gathenfarian tune but his voice isn't strong enough. For a while it seems hopeless.
Just then, Aliana spots a stage where an entertainer by the name of Frivol Frip performs magic tricks. Aliana gestures to Borin asking him to get the others and bring them over. As Borin reluctantly does so, Aliana puts her hood over her head. She doesn't want people to know who she is just yet. Just as she comes to the stage, Frivol Frip boasts that he is the greatest maker of magic. Aliana wishes to challenge that notion saying that all Frivol can do are parlor tricks. Mockingly, Frip invites her to come up on stage to prove that she is capable of greater magic. At this point Aliana's friends have arrived in time to see the spectacle. Aliana gets up on stage. At first she does some similar magic to what Frip did only it's real magic and therefore more convincing. The crowd is in awe. Aliana then transforms herself into a graceful swan flying all over. Jealously, Frip tries to upstage her. So, he places a robe around him and then goes down. A parakeet emerges. But Aliana lifts one of the boards on the stage revealing Frip. The audience throws rotten vegetables at the hack who goes off running. At this point, Aliana reveals herself causing everyone to bow toward her. Aliana explains her quest saying that they need more food to continue on their journey. Enthusiastically, the crowd gives them enough money to bundle their sacks with food.
Once they have their provisions, Aliana and her companions continue on their way. Aliana is satisfied with herself she has a hard time not talking about it. To that point, Borin shouts: "Can't you think about others instead of yourself?" A shocked Aliana explains that she always thinks about other people and apologizes for she has been so surprised at the amount of attention she has received since back in Dirken scarcely anybody was nice to her. Borin is still angry and says no more. But Wart and Dorbeck have overheard the conversation and feel sorry for Aliana.
That evening, both Wart and Dorbeck approach Aliana and Cedric who are once again on their own. They mention how Borin is bitter towards her because it his destiny to be married to Aliana and become king and that he feels forced into it rather than thinking on his own terms. They cheerfully tell Aliana that they themselves had been outcasts saying that there is nothing wrong with being different. This cheers up Aliana greatly to the point where she and Cedric join Wart and Dorbeck in dance. They don't see the Night Dancer watching from the trees enjoying the frivolities.
At that same moment, a group of Dribbens are skulking nearby. Ackenthorn, still unseen, sniffs and cackles. His prey is not far.
A much more optimistic Aliana wakes up to a bright sunny day. She walks up a hill and scans the magnificent landscape that lies before her. Then she walks down the hill to a small river and dips her toes in. Cedric wakes up and doesn't see Aliana around. Slightly worried but still happy, Cedric climbs up looking for her. While Aliana still has her toes in the water, she thinks she hears something. She looks all around. An uncomfortable feeling creeps over her. Just then a Dribben comes in view. Aliana startled throws a magic spell at it knocking the creature out. Another Dribben attacks. Aliana uses magic and sword to try and fend them off. But it is no use, she is soon caught by two of them and brought before General Ackenthorn. Cedric spots her being dragged away and runs back to warns the others. Aliana is dragged to a a hutlike arrangement of bare, skeletal trees.
Ackenthorn reveals himself. He is indeed a sight to behold. He is a hunched over figure with a one humongous red eye and the other eye badly scarred. And he is larger than any of the other Dribbens. He makes his way towards Aliana, taking her sword saying it was this sword that scarred him. Aliana is terrified by Ackenthorn's hideousness. But she hides it by speaking praises of her father even going so far as insulting Ackenthorn. A not-so-amused general throws the sword to the ground. Saying how Mortigana would like to kill her herself. Aliana snaps back at him: "I would like to see her try. I imagine that my death will only bring forth many avengers to defeat her." Now Ackenthorn is amused. But he still allows his men to hold Aliana hostage. He even proposes killing her himself. But before he can do so, an arrow shoots forth and a piercing raven's caw signals the arrival of Aliana's companions. The distracted bodyguards let go of Aliana who gets her sword and fights with the rest of them. Amid the skirmish, Ackenthorn gets some of his stronger men to come with him and disappears from view while the remaining dribbens give chase to Aliana and company. They reach a cave. Seeing the oncoming dribbens, Borin tries to stop them by magically throwing rocks from the cave. Seeing trouble Aliana tries to stop him. But too late. The boulders tumble down onto the ground blocking the entrance. "Nice work, amateur." is Dorbeck's response. There is no other way. Aliana and her friends must endure the dark cave with Aliana using her magic to conjur up torches for each of them. "After all", says Aliana, "It's better this than being chopped to pieces by the Dribbens." This piece of humor impresses neither Borin nor Nasia.
They make their way through the cave. Cedric doesn't like the dark. He is only scoffed by Nasia who constantly makes ghost noises until Aliana tells her to stop. Borin approaches Aliana asking her if he could lead. But Aliana refuses. She is appalled by his actions and his attitude. She admits that she knows why he is acting the way he does. This leads to an argument which climaxes in Borin saying: "I would rather be destined to marry a water toad than the likes of you!" This is enough to crack Aliana's spirit in two. She immediately slaps Borin and runs off hurt. Borin realizes what he has done and he runs after her with everyone else in tow.
Aliana is just no so filled with tears that she doesn't even know (or care) where she's going until she falls through a big hole. She tumbles down several feet onto cold ground. There she comes across cave goblins who break into song frightening her out of her wits. This is interrupted by the awakening of a giant deadly serpent who sends the goblins scampering away and Aliana running for her life. Borin and the others hear her screams and follow them. They find her trying running from the serpent and join in. They go across a rocky bridge overlooking a pool of boiling lava and they can see an opening. Borin is the last in line but he is caught by the serpent and is almost outdone by it. Aliana sees this and forgetting her anger with Borin, turns herself into a dragon wounding the snake and sending it into lava. Reverting to her natural state, Aliana, along with Wart, carry Borin.
They finally reach the exit to the cave. This forest they come upon is almost cathedral like as if it was waiting to bless the travelers who have endured the previous hardship. Aliana settles Borin on the ground. Borin comes to. Aliana gently soothes Borin. Later on when they've settled, Aliana performs a spell that helps heal Borin. Borin asks Aliana why she saved him even after what he said to her. Her reply? "Because I can not stand to see a living being die if he has not done any harm to his friends."
Wart, Dorbeck are out watching the moon and they could see the ravens flying away. Asking why they are behaving that way, they are met with a surprising response from the Night Dancer who says that they know danger is coming and Mortigana is forever stretching out her hand not just to harm the Faeries but to all of Gathenfar even using dark forces. It is here that Borin sees her for the first time and acknowledges her existence. The Night Dancer tells Borin to talk to Aliana and make up for what he said.
Later that evening, Aliana is bathing in a lake, cleaning the wounds off. Borin walks in on her making a noise. Aliana sees him and hides her body beneath the water only her head and shoulders sticking out. Borin apologizes and gives his thanks to her. Aliana playfully says that there is something that she wants him to see in the water and just when Borin tries to get a good look, Aliana pulls him into the water. They playfully splash each other. This leads to a romantic interlude between the two as their love blossoms and they see good qualities in each other convincing Borin that maybe she is the one to marry. This interlude comes to an end as the dance in the rainy air and passionately kiss.
One night Aliana is lying on the grass deep in thought of her love for Borin. Cedric comes upon her and talks to him a little about love. Even though Cedric is too young to fully comprehend what she is talking about, he is happy for her. It is at that moment that they see a light moving through the trees. Aliana asks Cedric to hide. She gets up to her feet and prepares herself. She shoots a spark which comes flying back past her. It turns out the person returning the attack is a little man with a long beard, humongous ears and thick, bushy eyebrows. Aliana demands to know why he is out in the woods. The little man says he is only taking one of his evening walks and he introduces himself as Galthor. Aliana is surprised. She curtsies to Galthor.
Inside Galthor's palace, everyone is getting settled in. Aliana has been dressed like an actual princess. SHe speaks to Galthor asking him about the whereabouts of the staff. He tells her a little bit about how he knew her father and how they were both good friends. He tells her that he will talk discuss the staff in the morning. "In the meantime", he suggests, "Make yourself at home." Aliana being the curious woman she is explores the halls a bit. She then sees a familiar looking face. It is Rowana! She's alive! She runs up to her. At first Rowana doesn't recognize until Aliana reminds her. They then hug each other in happiness. It turns out that Rowana and at least a few others from Dirken have escaped and found their way to Galthor's palace. It is at this point that Cedric comes walking in and Aliana reintroduces him to his mother. And while they're talking, Aliana is intrigued by the slightest hint of a door behind a tapestry. She walks up to it and opens the door. It leads into a hallway where she sees a faint light. Cedric joins her. As they approach the light, they see a wondrous vision.
There are crowds of Faeries of every type: Gnomes, nature nymphs, dwarfs, mermaids and many others. Aliana is astounded by all this. She always wanted to be among her people and now she has that chance. The sight of these innocent creatures makes her more sympathetic to their plight for why would Mortigana want to destroy such beauty?
Meanwhile Borin is outside thinking about things to say to Aliana when he sees Keiri flying down into the gardens. He takes it upon himself to ask her for advice. He magically transports himself into the garden. He walks up towards Keiri as the moonlight touches her wings. Just then, Keiri begins to grow and lose shape and becomes...The Night Dancer! Borin, surprised, begins to step up towards her but accidentally steps on a twig alerting the Night Dancer of his presence. The Night Dancer, in a slight panic, falls backwards. Borin offers his hand much the way Aliana offered hers to the Night Dancer. At first, she is reluctant but then she relents. The Night Dancer, or rather Keiri, explains how she came into this state. She was an orphan living on the streets and feeding off leftover meat thrown out of taverns. Mortigana spared her life in exchange for her servitude to her. For years Keiri was a servant to Mortigana. One day, she overheard two imprisoned Faeries talking about Aliana and her possible return to Farellel. Inspired by what a brave figure Aliana must be, Keiri decided to try and escape. However, Mortigana caught her and cursed her to be a human during the night time and a raven by day. Keiri feels guilty for what has happened. It is because of the failed attempt at escaping that she has lost some of her bravery. Borin tells Keiri that she must tell Aliana. But Keiri is afraid to. Borin insists or else Keiri would just continue feeling sorry for herself, something that she seems to agree with for she reaches boiling point and sharply demands Borin to leave, which he does leaving the poor girl in tears and regretting her behavior.
The next morning Borin arrives into Galthor's discussion room. Aliana notices his downcast appearance. But he hides it all with a shrug of his shoulders and a warm smile. Galthor tells Aliana that the staff of Erania can be found within a vast forest on the snowy peaks of Lakilai. She will know it from the light shining during the night. And so it is that a several days later, Aliana and her companions arrive at the peaks of Lakilai not knowing that Ackenthorn and his men are still on their trail.
The reach the forest. It is very cold. But they're fortunately are all dressed warmly enough. Nasia calls Aliana to her side to apologize to her. She acknowledges that Aliana is a good leader and would make an even greater queen. The shake hands as a truce. Borin then approaches Aliana saying that when it is all over then they will be together forever.
That evening, Aliana walks out onto the snow while others are sleeping, the wind and snow making her hair flow while the cold wind nips at her cheeks. She feels she could hear an echoing voice calling out to her. She follows the voice and sees a bright light coming from another part of the forest. This is it! The voice calling her must be the spirit of Erania. Aliana rushes towards the light while a newly awakened Borin follows.
She goes through the woods which is nothing but towering pine trees. In the center she sees it. The Staff of Erania letting off a sunlike glow high above her head. Aliana walks beneath the staff and holds out her hand. A great bean of light comes shooting through Aliana and then two sparks coming floating out of her hands rising towards the staff. Aliana backs away to reveal the wonderful vision while Borin waits with her. Keiri is also watching perched on a branch. Finally the staff begins to descend. Aliana reaches out to grab it, but as soon as it is at her level, it instantly disappears. Mortigana's voice is heard cackling: "You fools! The staff now has your magic and I have it so that you would never cast spells again! You will never stop me this time! I have won!"
Back at the sleeping area, General Ackenthorn and his surviving Dribbens have reached the remaining heroes. The get ready to attack.
Back in the Staff Forest, Aliana and Borin are sitting on a log. Aliana feels like she has failed in her quest. Borin tells her not to let what Mortigana said get her down: "You may have lost your magic for now. But you still have that same spirit within you." Keiri nuzzles Aliana's hand and Aliana gently caresses her feathers. It is then that they hear a far-off horn. Nasia! Aliana rush back to where their friends are.
Sure enough they find them being threatened by Ackenthorn. A fight is going on. Keiri is the first to fly in and attack Ackenthorn who slashes across her chest. The bird falls to the snowy ground. Aliana has witnessed this. With a vengeance, she attacks Ackenthorn who blocks her attack. The fight rages on. Borin joins in and try as he might with his magic and sword, he is caught by two of the sentries and carried off to Mortigana. But this is amidst the ruckus. And everyone is too busy fighting to notice. Aliana continues fighting Ackenthorn all the way to a cliff ending in Ackenthorn accidentally falling to his death.
Wart and Dorbeck explain to Aliana that the Dribbens have taken Borin to Mortigana. But that isn't the worst of it. Aliana rushes over to the fallen Keiri. The slash is huge and beyond all repair. Aliana kneels down again stroking Keiri's feathers. Just then, Keiri reverts to her human form. Everyone, especially Aliana, is surprised by this for the had no way of knowing. Keiri apologizes to Aliana for keeping it secret all this time and tells Aliana to go after Borin and bring peace to Farellel and the whole of Gathenfar. Aliana promises her. And with that Keiri--The Night Dancer--dies leaving a grief-stricken Aliana and her friends sad and confused in the snow.
The next day, a funeral is held for Keiri. She set adrift on a raft being carried down the river. Aliana watches the disappearing shape. Her eyes are overflowing with tears. First her mother, then her father now Keiri. So many lives have been lost during Mortigana's cruel reign. She looks down at her medallion her father gave her so many years ago. And suddenly she feels a tremendous rush of emotions. The sacrifice of Keiri and Borin's words of encouragement have made her into a stronger being. She sheathes her sword and looks in the direction of Mortigana's castle with a defiant scowl on her face.
At Mortigana's castle, the two Dribben sentries have dragged Borin to Mortigana's throne. Mortigana, with a satisfied smirk, walks toward Borin. She shows that she has the staff and is prepared to destroy it in addition to feeding Aliana to the great demon that she received the dark powers from. Borin defiantly spits at Mortigana. But Mortigana only laughs saying that he too will meet the same fate as Aliana for it was his destiny to be with her. Borin is taken to the dungeon while Mortigana lies waiting, the staff in her clutches.
Aliana and her companions minus Keiri and Borin continue their way up towards MOrtigana's domain. Because of Aliana's lack of magic, it has become exceedingly difficult. The climate becomes colder as they go higher. They reach the palace and its icy look matches the chill weather. Aliana and her friends sneak into the castle and, with Nasia's help, they find the row of cells. They free the prisoners and let Borin out. Aliana explains what happened to Keiri and Borin tells her that Mortigana will be waiting at the cliffside with the staff warning her that it is a trap. But Aliana will not jeopardize her friends anymore and runs to where Mortigana is waiting.
Mortigana is at the cliff overlooking the sea. Aliana ,Cedric, and Borin arrive just in time as Mortigana stands at the cliff shouting incantations summoning the Creature of Darkness. But as she finishes, Aliana stops her. Mortigana isn't startled. She turns to face Aliana saying: "I was beginning to worry you would miss the performance." Mortigana officially introduces herself to Aliana and mockingly compares her to her father. At this time, Wart, Dorbeck, Nasia, and the freed prisoners are fighting off an onslaught of Dribbens.
Mortigana gloats to Aliana saying how Aliana has failed in her goals and how she (Mortigana) will have full control over Gathenfar with the help of the dark souls that dwell in the water. But Aliana has been driven down before and now she is fully confident. She snaps back at Mortigana saying that the only thing she doesn't have is love and care. For that it is the truest magic to help shape the world. Mortigana angered that Aliana's confidence hasn't snapped returns to the cliffside and summons the great monster. The whirlpool opens and out of it emerges the the huge Dark Angel and black winged monster with a flowing cape, enormous talons and skull-like face. Many souls emerge from the pool as well. There is such a noise caused that it diverts the fighters. The Dribbens afraid run away. But Nasia, Wart, and Dorbeck made of sterner stuff decide to run and help.
The creature is about to make a grab for Aliana but Mortigana insists that a final battle with her foe would be appropriate. The fight begins with a standard sword fight brimming with a mixture of Errol Flynn choreography and samurai sword fighting. Aliana gains the upper hand and is about to do away with Mortigana when Mortigana says that if Aliana kills her, she will become just like her, evil and forever vengeful. Despite the immense hatred she bears for Mortigana, Aliana spares her life and offers her a chance to run away from Gathenfar and never return. But as she turns her back, Mortigana laughs: "Just like your father! Foolish and weak! Now you will see me as I wish you to see me before you die!" And with that, she vanishes in a puff of smoke. In her place is a harpy--the same harpy that killed Aliana's father. Now it is a battle between Faerie and creature. Borin and Cedric try to help but Mortigana throws them off. While they try to help, Aliana makes a grab for the staff, but Mortigana knocks it off and then Aliana is thrown off as well. She tumbles toward the water. But as she does so, she makes a grab for the staff.
Mortigana, convinced that Aliana is dead turns back to Borin and Cedric determined to finish them off and reverts to her natural state. But as she rises for the kill, Aliana, holding the staff, bathed in a heavenly light, and now sporting giant gossamer wings, approaches Mortigana. She lifts her hand and magically summons the crystal from Mortigana's necklace and instantly smashes with her sword. ALmost at once, the demons stop flying around and the Dark Angel makes a grab for a struggling Mortigana taking her down down down into the whirlpool. After they've all disappeared, the ocean violently clashes and all is silent. Aliana and Borin look at each other relived and they embrace. Aliana holds the staff and decides that it is time for them to get all the Faeries and return to Farellel.
So, they are at the last part of their journey, Aliana, her friends and her people at the remains of Farellel. Aliana, knowing what she must do, walks to the center of the place and thrusts the staff into the middle, quickly, the staff disappears and the palace of Farellel re-emerges more beautiful than ever before. After restoration is complete. Aliana's medallion glows and out of it emerge three spirits-- Enith, Uloth, and Keiri. Their spirits were contained in the medallion and they helped give her the strength to fight. After bidding tearful farewells to her mother, father, and friend, Aliana and everyone else rushes into Farellel. It is such a happy event.
A week later, Aliana and Borin are finally married and become king and queen of the Faeries. And they rule Farellel and help restore peace to Gathenfar for many years.