Once upon a time, in a land where castles, knights, and dragons were not as uncommon as they are today, there lived a princess. Like other princesses, she lived in a castle with the queen and king. Unlike other princesses, this princess was, well…

PLAIN.

She did not have eyes of sapphire blue; she did not have raven, golden, or fiery tresses; she was not even under a spell by an evil witch (which might at least have made her mildly interesting). She was completely unremarkable in every way, which was quite remarkable—for a princess. Her parents tried their best to make her appealing, but when all their efforts failed, they gave up on her and forgot her. She grew up quiet and alone, her only friends her books and her maid…

…the prince was his father's only child. He was spoiled by his doting parents, who never told him no, and by the adoring peasantry, who found his every action brilliant. Even the best of men would soon crumble under this kind of treatment, and he was NOT the best of men. He grew selfish and arrogant, despising all who met him as unworthy of his attention. His parents could not understand why he acted in this way, and when they died in a traveling accident the year after he turned twenty-one, he succeeded to the throne and became king. His adoring public quickly turned into a fearful populace; his island kingdom became a wasteland; and all his neighbors about him steered clear of his palace. The misery of his people cried out…

And was heard.