Author's Note – This story was a long time coming. I originally came up with the idea over six years ago while brain storming with a friend for her story – as well as inspiration from Patricia C. Wrede's Enchanted Forest series and from my favorite poem "The Princess" by Sara Henderson Hay (which has a major role later on in the story). I had initially intended for the story to be a parody of the normal princess stories, but the humor that I had planned to inject got lost in a slightly more serious story. Ah, well… I hope you enjoy it anyway! Please read and review!
Chapter #1 – A Most Unusual Godmother
The Kingdom of Geyshal was part of what was commonly referred to as "the kingdoms" to the people that lived in the fifteen human-ruled kingdoms that filled the continent. Geyshal was neither the largest nor the smallest of these kingdoms. It was neither the richest nor the poorest, either. It was, by all measures, quite a moderate land and its people were generally happy and the king was kind. All the kingdoms that filled the continent were, at least at the moment, enjoying a time of peace. It had been a very long time since the last war ended.
The continent the kingdoms were a part of was a magical place. There were dragons and elves and faeries and phoenixes and unicorns and all other sorts of magical creatures that filled the land. Many of these races had their own territory outside the control of the human lands. The last war that had been fought on the continent had been in an attempt to subdue these magical beings. It had been the reclusive sorcerers – who had long been the protectors of the magical races – that had stopped the war and forced peace.
By far, the most visible of the magical races were the faeries. Faeries lived the closest to humans and, when the first kingdom was established, a deal was struck for the children of that first king taught by faeries and become their godparents. The boys, however, did not seem to be very interested in the more peaceful nature of the faeries and it came to be that only the princesses – and then, over time, other young women of the nobility – were taught by them. The more important the family of the girl, the more common it was for many faeries to vie for a chance to be the one that was chosen to be the child's godmother.
Kassha was the first daughter born to King Runik and Queen Malasie of Geyshal. They had three sons already, their eldest being nearly ten now. Kassha was a beautiful baby. She had been born with a head of brown hair and had hazel eyes that were more yellow than brown. But what made her exceptionally special was that she was the first princess born in all the kingdoms for over fifty years. As soon as she was born, her parents knew there would be many faeries vying for the position to be her godmother.
When she was three months old, the ceremony was held to introduce the child to the kingdoms and to announce her official name. All the nobles were there from all parts of Geyshal, as well as ambassadors from many of the other kingdoms. No fewer than twenty faeries had come to the ceremony (each radiant with her shimmering rainbow colored dress, stardust-coated white hair, and elegant opalescent wings) to seek to be the baby princess's godmother. The king and queen sat on their thrones, their eldest son was standing by their father and the other two by their mother. The cradle with the infant princess was in front of her parents and she was asleep during most of the ceremony.
When the right point in the ceremony was reached, though, her father had to go to her and pick her up, showing her to all those gathered. She silently woke at that point. Her father named her Kassha Eluni Tryn Katrael. The audience clapped enthusiastically, for it was a wondrous name that included names of her grandmother and great-grandmother who had both been beloved queens. She was set back into her cradle and the "Contest of Guidance" began among the faeries. The Contest was to prove that each faerie was capable and qualified to become the new princess's faerie godmother and to see which was the one best suited to teach the princess.
It was truly a sight, for never had there been this many faeries as a child's naming ceremony in anyone's memory. The king had to call silence among them several times as arguments rose among them and a bit magic started flying unintentionally. It highly amused the audience that the usually good-natured fae that stood before them, regarded as wise and beautiful, could get into such a heated debate over who was most worthy of the honor of being the chosen godmother.
It was as the Contest seemed to be nearing its end that a globe of green light filled the center of the throne room. Gasps rose. There were a few panicked voices. Many people stepped closer to the walls. Though it was rare, they knew that those with evil intents would sometimes appear to oppose the faeries or curse the princess. The queen rushed forward and snatched her daughter out of the cradle, holding her close and ready to run off at any sign of threat. Half of the faeries took position near the queen while the other half stared down the growing green light. The baby princess, though, was cooing happily in her swaddling.
In the light appeared a form no bigger than the faeries, who were all shorter than most of the adult humans by just over a foot. What appeared, though, was something no one gathered would have ever expected. The first thing most people noticed was the tail – a shimmering golden tail that hung down and barely touched the floor. Multicolored butterfly-like wings sprouted from behind the form. It was a small dragon – a faerie dragon, to be exact. They were the protectors of gardens and forests. It looked around curiously, its green eyes taking in everything and everyone. Finally, its eyes went over the faeries and settled on the royal family. There was stillness and silence for a moment longer before the faeries seemed to suddenly strike up their debate again but no one was sure what was said for the attention of the whole court was still fixed upon the new arrival.
"I am called Llulshad." The dragon blinked benignly at the royal family. The faeries instantly fell silent again at it announcing itself. "I wish to offer myself as the child's faerie godmother."
The entire court was suddenly ringing with laughter. The faeries all widened their eyes and quickly returned to their discussions, sounding more heated than before. The little dragon felt rather embarrassed and looked down slightly. The queen was still holding her daughter tightly, backing towards her throne while watching the dragon with wide, fearful eyes. It was the king who decided to speak first among the large group – but such was his station. The hall fell silent when he stood, though a few of the faeries were still grumbling under their breath.
"Good dragon, you must understand that you are not the," he paused, thinking carefully for the right way to phrase it so not to offend, "preferred type of faerie to be my daughter's godmother. I am afraid that I shall have to refuse your offer," he paused for another moment, trying to remember the dragon's name, "Llulshad."
Llulshad's head dropped. Its eyes closed.
"You are welcome to remain for the remainder of the ceremony and the following festival, so please…"
The faerie dragon looked up suddenly and its eyes held such a seriousness as it looked at the infant Kassha in her mother's arms. The baby was still cooing happily, even if her mother was looking scared still. The king had stopped speaking, surprised by the intensity of the dragon's eyes. The court was even quieter than when the king had begun to speak.
"If I am not the correct type of faerie to be this child's godmother, then why was I called here?"
"Called here," the king asked, perplexed.
The faeries all looked at each other and started up their discussion once again. They all knew what this meant, but they did not want to believe it. Sometimes an infant was able to call out to the correct faerie that was supposed to be her godmother, but that was a rare thing. And never had a dragon been called in such a manner. They were not even real faeries. They were not under the same "obligation" as faeries were. It was not even known if this dragon could fulfill the requirements the station of being a godmother demanded. Plus, they were not even male or female, so the term "godmother" did not fit very well.
"Yes, called here, your majesty. By your daughter. She desires me to be her godmother, so I have come." Llulshad was trying to be polite but was not used to being in front of royalty and did not know how it was going. "If you doubt what I mean or my reason for being here, I am sure that one of the real faeries," the dragon said the two words with a bit of irritation that made all the faeries stop speaking, "will be able to clarify for you, your majesty."
All the faeries remained quiet now, standing rigid and looking at the dragon before them. They were all still trying to figure this out, for it was terribly strange to them. The king looked them over then cleared his throat, causing several of the faeries to turn to him. The look in his eyes demanded an explanation. The eldest of the faeries, Omulsannia, stepped forward and bowed deeply to the royal family.
"What this good dragon says is true, your majesty, though it is very rare for such a thing to happen. It last happened over three hundred years ago. The princess must be gifted with many abilities to call a faerie of any kind," she looked at Llulshad with an unreadable expression, "to her naming. And never, in all the times that it has happened, has a dragon fae been summoned. This is…most peculiar."
The golden dragon looked at the faerie that had spoken. "But she has called me."
"If she called you," one of the other faeries blurted out, "then you should know her name, which was only given…"
"Her name is Kassha." The court and all the faeries seemed to gasp as one. "Her Royal Highness, Kassha Eluni Tryn Katrael of the Kingdom of Geyshal, Princess of Mykeed." Llulshad turned its eyes to the princess. "And, before anyone thinks I was listening in, I was in Recerhom Forest when I was summoned by her."
The faeries all started talking among themselves again. But they fell silent when Omulsannia bowed to the dragon. "Then, good dragon Llulshad, you have more of a right here than all the rest of us. We must relinquish the child to your charge."
The eldest of the faeries there waved the other faerie into silence. Age was a highly respected thing among them. Omulsannia turned to the king and queen. "Your majesties, I find no fault with this dragon's speech. I must assume it is truth. So, if you are pleased with this, the rest of us shall leave. We cannot compete with a faerie chosen by the princess…unless you deny the right."
There was a pregnant silence that rose in the throne room. The king looked at his wife, who still held their daughter tightly. Kassha was looking at Llulshad, though her cooing had stopped. From the looks of it, the dragon and the faeries did, indeed, speak the truth of what had happened. He pursed his lips as he considered. If his infant daughter wished to have this dragon as her godmother, then so be it – however unusual it was.
"I shall accept this dra…Llulshad's offer, then, as that I desire…," he pursed his lips again, not really believing what he was about to say, "…the best for my daughter."
As the faeries around her muttered their disapproval, Omulsannia nodded gracefully, though her wings fluttered slightly with a touch of irritation that only Llulshad noticed. "Very well, your majesty. Then we shall leave. We wish your daughter all the blessings of a good and fruitful life."
And, with that, all the faeries disappeared. Each gave a small bow before they left in a shimmer of white-silver light. Their wings had twitched more than the eldest's had when they did their bow. This annoyed Llulshad quite a bit. But the whispers that rose in the hall were more bothersome. All Llulshad had done was answer the call of the princess – though there was no way that the little dragon could have expected all this. It knew it was exceptionally unusual, but still, Llulshad would make sure to be the best faerie godmother…or goddragon, as the position quickly became known. It would make sure Kassha would never wish for another to teach her.