In a time of legends, two brothers ruled the world.
These were the brothers, Adour, Lord of the Day, and Ilta, Lord of the Night. Sons of the Phoenix King, they were appointed to watch over the world. And above all, they were to protect the mortal races. Chief among them, were the Penguins, tall birds that could survive in the harsh, unforgiving winters to the far south. Under the guidance of these flightless birds, and the brothers, the world flourished as the Penguins unlocked the deep mysteries of magic.
But this Golden Age… was not to last.
For Ilta grew jealous of his brother's apparent dominion over the world, as the Penguins and most of the other races honored him above Ilta. Being awake during the day, and most asleep during the night. In his anger and resentment, he attracted demons from beyond that he enthralled to his will.
And by his hand, the War of Darkness began… and Adour lost.
For although Adour fought with the valiant soldiers of the Penguin Empire, he was weakened by the onslaught of his brother and his demon armies, and the disunity and corruption that plagued the Empire during this time of great turmoil, but ultimately. The Lord of Day fell into a deep slumber. While the Lord of Night was weakened by his wounds, enough that he could directly influence the world… but his wounds were also enough that he could not enjoy and revel in his dominion as he had wanted.
And thus the world had been plunged into a long night, and the Empire of the Penguins was cast low. The myriad tribes and clans of the Penguins scattered to the four corners of the world. From the ancestral Penguin homeland of Ice-Rear to the furthest reaches beyond her shores.
But there is one hope. For with Adour's last breath before his long sleep, he foretold of a Penguin that would arise to awaken the Lord of Day. And free the world from Ilta's rule. This hero of prophesy was simply called.
The Phoenix of Dawn… the Hero that would restore our world to its former glory, and end the generation's long night that Ilta had imposed upon the world.
"Monty! Your father and I are going out to the storage igloo." Monty's mother said as the young Emperor was reading an illustrated book of stories.
"What? But it's Saturday! You can't be working today!" Monty said.
"I know son, but the village needs all flippers on deck. Were low on food, and skua keep stealing our catches… fish that we need to live, and survive!" Monty's father said.
"I know… I just really hate it when you're not here!" Monty said.
"As do we Monty… on the plus side. We managed to get Jessica to babysit!" Monty's mother said.
"But I'm eleven! I can be alone by myself!" Monty protested.
"You said that the last time we left you alone… it took an entire week just to fix the roof!" Monty's father said
"I'm here, now what damage has the little ankle bitter done?" Jessica asked as she entered the igloo, an Emperor Penguin wearing a wig.
"That only happened once!" Monty protested.
"Regardless, thank you for coming on such short notice." Monty's mother said.
"Yeah… I mean I had to cancel a date and I had to bring my boyfriend along. But hey, what's a girl to do?" Jessica said as her boyfriend followed after her. A rather lanky Penguin hunched over, with large rimmed glasses.
"Good evening Mrs. Piitha. I'm Arthur… I'm Jessica's boyfriend!" Arthur said, his voice cracking wildly.
"Well… this is going to be a fun time." Monty said in annoyance. Several hours passed as the three of them played board games. Slowly growing bored as time went on. "Uh… we've played 47 games of Long Ship." Monty said in annoyance.
"But you've won every game." Jessica said.
"Yes… against Arthur! Seriously, you'd think someone as nerdy looking as him could beat a kid at this game." Monty said in annoyance.
"Which reminds me… want to go to Doctor Merada's lab? It's not much but… well he's got to have something more exciting than this." Arthur said.
"Yes! Please!" Monty said.
"You're more annoyed then bored are you?" Jessica asked.
"It's the weekend, and my parents aren't here, and I'm being watched over by my Homeschool teacher. And we've spent a few hours playing board games… and Arthur rather embarrassingly losing to me at every one. You tell me." Monty said.
"Fair enough, with any luck. Your parents won't mind if we take a little trip." Jessica said.
"Well it has to be better than nothing. Let's get a move on." Monty said, and so the three Penguins made their way across the village. Among the igloo homes, the igloo, shops, and the igloo shops of the village of Penglet. Eventually, they arrived at Doctor Merada's house, right next to a large igloo.
"So… what is this thing made out of? Stone, some kind of magic ice from the Golden Age?" Monty asked, noting the shed.
"It's something called… 'wood'. I think he said once, that it's some kind of surface plant." Arthur said as he knocked on the doctor's door. "Doc… Doc Merada are you in there?" Arthur said as he knocked on the door, and a Rockhopper Penguin wearing a bizarre looking helmet answered.
"Arthur! You're just in time! And you brought friends with you! This will be so much more fun than usual." Doctor Merada said.
"Please tell me that isn't the mind-reading helmet again. I told you the last time I saw it. It just doesn't work!" Arthur said as he, Monty and Jessica entered.
"But that was years ago!" Doctor Merada protested.
"And yet, it's still around. So did you want to show me THAT thing again? Or do you actually have something new?" Arthur asked.
"What?... OH YES! Well it all really started a few months ago. A trader from one of the Mountain Tribes came into town." Doctor Merada explained.
"Really, a Penguin from beyond the Wind Wall?" Monty asked, referring to an immense snow storm that separates the coasts from the interior of Ice-Rear. Further within, behind another, and another Wind Wall, at the literal bottom of the world was the fabled Tomb of Adour. The Lord of Day, sleeping within since the War of Darkness with his fallen brother Ilta long ago. The tomb itself is within the ancient capital of the Penguin Empire, the once great city of Pax Svenisidae.
"Oh yes! Apparently he found a ruined city from before the War of Darkness! And inside… he found this." Doctor Merada said as he gestured to a brass colored baby Emperor Penguin. "I've been restoring this animatronic Penguin. And just recently I got the little tyke working again." Doctor Merada said.
"…how? I mean… what does is it even supposed to do?" Monty asked.
"Well apparently it was at some kind of amusement center… or a museum I wasn't really listening to his story. Point is, I've spent all this time refurbishing her, and improving on some of her inner mechanisms. Now, she's activated by a large windup key." Doctor Merada said as he took out the large windup key in question.
"Couldn't the ancients have made a SMALLER windup key?" Monty asked.
"Yeah, but the ancients haven't picked up on the finer points of robotics. You remember that history test I gave you?" Jessica said.
"Hey, I do my homework!" Monty said.
"Now to wind her up… and hope that nothing explodes again." Doctor Merada said as he began winding up the animatronic penguin. "Not relating to this mind you. It's that some alchemy experiments of mine went off while I was working on the animatronic." Doctor Merada said as the animatronics eyes flickered to life.
"So… hello, my name is Monty-" and without warning, the animatronic ran off behind some boxes. "-and it normally isn't that quick for Penguins to decided they don't like me." Monty said.
"Nah, she's just shy. She's only really seen me since I figured out how to give her intelligence. Now come on out Ani, we have company… and it's rude to just hide like this." Doctor Merada said.
"Then… how did you make her smart in the first place?" Arthur asked.
"I'd explain, but then again. I don't want to go through the mana-watts conversation again. I have enough of a headache from those adventures with that beastless time machine." Doctor Merada said as Ani emerged from behind the assorted bags and boxes.
"H-…Hi. I'm Ani. It's… short for 'Animatronic'." Ani said nervously to Monty and his friends.
"Ah… so how old are you?" Monty asked awkwardly.
"About… two or three years since daddy gave me intelligence. But I have actually been around since the last days of the Penguin Empire and the War of Darkness… least. That's what I figured from dads half sane ramblings." Ani said.
"Hey! I may be old but I'm not THAT crazy… it's frankly a miracle that time machine even worked, and didn't destroy the universe." Doctor Merada said.
"Well… it's nice seeing you. But I think we should move on. There are all sorts of things to do in Penglet on a weekend." Monty said as he and Jessica left.
"Oh… he must not like me." Ani said in disappointment.
"He's only eleven Ani… don't take it so personally. There easily distracted at that age." Arthur said.
"Speaking of age, I've almost perfected that potion to fix your voice! Seriously, you've been sounding like you've been stuck in puberty for years. And it's been on my nerves since you ended High School." Doctor Merada said as he presented a potion to Arthur.
Later on, Monty and Jessica arrived at the town marketplace. "You sure we shouldn't have waited for Arthur?" Monty asked.
"It's okay, Arthur and Merada get along like an igloo on fire." Jessica said.
"I try to do ONE alchemy experiment by myself. And nobody lets me live it down! Only the roof was even damaged." Monty said in annoyance.
"Regardless, let's see if there's anything special here tonight." Jessica said as the two of them approached a stall.
"Well hello dere. I be known as Travelin' Waldo Rhino-Breaker. And I welcome you to my stall don't ya know?" Waldo said, Waldo was a King Penguin covered in a large heavy fur coat. And behind him was a large hairy rhino.
"That depends, what DO you sell?" Monty asked.
"Oh! A curious one ain't you little one? Well I mainly go about ruins beyond the Wind Walls in the interior of Ice-Rear for things. So I just dig about in the ruins of our ancient forefathers for valuables and lost technology and magical artifacts from the Golden Age don't ya know?" Waldo said.
"No, I did not know that you did any of that… because I literally just met you." Monty said.
"Well good ta meet ya all da same. Now here's somthin' new I got… I recovered it from the ruins of Pax Svenisidae itself." Waldo said as he bent down behind his stall.
"What? You mean you've been to the ancient capital itself?" Monty said excitedly.
"Oh ya." Waldo said.
"And you've seen the ancient Towers of Imperius?"
"And the Great Bathes of the First Emperor?"
"Oh ya, but they were frozen over. Completely useless for bathin'"
"And you've seen the Tomb of Adour itself?"
"Oh ya, quite a sight to behold, I honestly thought it'd ave' been smaller. But there it was… an enormous statue that could be seen for miles and miles around. Didn't even see the city proper till about a week later when I actually got to the outskirts and the outerwalls… Agatha here nearly insane with hunger by the time we actually got there." Waldo said as he gently petted the wooly rhino.
"Is it true that the ruins are infested with Bats and Ice Monsters? And that there are the frozen remains of the cities former inhabitants?" Monty asked.
"Oh yeah… if it weren't for my axe and my wits, those beasties would've killed me over a dozen times over, that and my habit of takin' just about everything that I can fit in my pockets. Potions, medicine, medicine potions, weapons, random junk, basically I'm an adventurer, warrior, scavenger, survivor, salespenguin, rhino rider, and a kleptomaniac all rolled into one." Waldo said as he finally emerged with a talisman. "Now here's that new thing I was just talkin' aboot. And as for the frozen statues… yes, and there indestructible to every weapon I could find. True story, wasted a good half-hour tryin' to bash one of them with my axe. But they held." Waldo said as Monty took the talisman from Waldo's hand.
"It looks nice… is it magic?" Monty asked as the talisman lightly glowed.
"No idea, if it is it hasn't worked for me, found it near the base of the Tomb Adour itself… not sure if it means anything significant, but it's got to be worth more then it's weight in gold." Waldo said.
"So it isn't inherently magical if it glows like this?" Monty asked.
"Yep, couldn't tell you why it's doing that now though. Maybe it's actually some kind of light up toy from the Golden Age. Maybe it's got something in it that wants out. Or maybe it'll make you into some manner of chosen one… or something else. Either way it's going to cost about… let's say one-hundred silver coins. I'd ask for less, but it's the only item I'd really sell. I have provision in the back don't ya know, but I'm saving those for other villages. Seriously, despite this village's serious skua problem, there's always plenty of food… really, the only things that can be sold here are trinkets and weapons. And I seriously doubt that you need any weapons little guy." Waldo said.
"One-hundred silvers for that?!... fine, I've got the money. But Monty, you better take good care of this thing." Jessica said in annoyance as she gave Waldo the money he asked for.
"I will… assuming that we don't run into Titan." Monty said, and then a shadow of a large baby Emperor Penguin showed up. "Well speak of the Night Lord." Monty said as he bumped into Titan's chest.
"Hey Piitha… what'cha got there?" Titan asked.
"Nothing you could afford Titan. Not unless you got a thousand silvers on hand." Jessica said she threw Titan onto a sled and it barreled down a hill into a huddled mass of ten Penguins in a triangle shape.
"TITAN! IT'S BAD ENOUGH THIS HAPPENS ON WEEKDAYS!" One of the Penguins said as the sled knocked them down like bowling pins.
"That sorta thing happens often around here?" Waldo asked.
"Yeah, at least every other day Titan uses one of the chicks as a bowling ball. Not sure why… but those exact same ten guys are always knocked down in the process. Not sure why they keep doing that but… well let's just say Titan is a key reason why I'm home schooled." Monty said in irritation.
"Well what's got you all this treatment if you don't mind my askin'?" Waldo asked.
"He's one of the Village Elder's grandchildren." Jessica said.
"Jessica! I can speak for myself… but yes. I am one of the Village Elder's grandchildren. Doesn't do me all that good for me mind you, parents still got to work… even on weekends at times." Monty grumbled as walked off.
"…so will it just be the talisman or would you like something else?" Waldo asked.
"Do you have anything else?" Jessica asked.
"Nothing that couldn't get me in trouble with for selling to chicks… or otherwise selling them to Penguins that are going to give them to chicks anyway." Waldo said.
Eventually Monty arrived home, followed shortly by his parents. "Sorry we're late Monty. Apparently your old school bully caused a small avalanche near the storage shed, and he had to spend the better part of an hour trying to get through it." Monty's mother said as she and her husband entered the igloo.
"And how was your day Monty?" Monty's father asked.
"I played board games with Jessica and her boyfriend. Then when that went boring we went on an outing to Doctor Merada's. He refurbished some kind of Golden Age animatronic. Then after that we went to the market and Jessica bought me this from an adventurer from one of the Mountain Tribes." Monty said as he presented the talisman.
"Well that looks… nice. So you had a good day?" Monty's father asked.
"Aside from several hours of winning to someone twice my age for several hours, and running into Titan when Jessica got me the talisman, it was a swell day. Though there was one glaring thing about it I didn't like." Monty said.
"We weren't around?" Monty's mother asked.
"Yep… really annoying that your almost never home. You're so busy helping Grandpa, and thanks to the Seal incident with Titan. I pretty much don't have any friends my own age… a lesser Penguin would be bitter at this situation! But am I…? I'm asking a question, am I bitter?" Monty said.
"Well… a little. I can't say I blame you. But you can't just be mad all the time." Monty's father said.
"I'm not mad...! Okay maybe a little. I just-"
"You don't have to make excuses for yourself Monty. Now let's get dinner ready." Monty's mother said as the three Penguins prepared for dinner.
Unaware that soon… everything would change.