"The Wizard and the Princess"
King's Quest VI fanfiction
Story and Art by Beth Hodgson
A note to the reader:
This fanfiction solely takes into account any and all lore that Sierra On-Line published in the 1980s-1990s,
which also includes all three published novels from the 90s: The Floating Castle, Kingdom of Sorrow, and See No Weevil.
This fanfiction does NOT take into account any lore that 'The Odd Gentlemen" published in 2015.
This fanfiction is a work in progress. It will change over time. Also, do not persecute me on mistakes. I will do my best to keep the story free of errors, as this story is not professionally edited. I'm only human after all! Thank you!
Poetic Interlude (from KQVI)
What was it when I looked at you?
What power has chained me through and through?
And binds my heart with links so tight,
I cannot live without the sight of you?
What nameless thing has captured me?
And made me powerless to flee?
What thing is it without a name,
That brings my mind ever back the same
The name of ‘love’ cannot apply,
Its commonness does not descry,
The haunted, hunted, painful cry
That my heart makes for you.
That ever my soul eternal makes for you.
It was like any other day in the Kingdom of Daventry. The midsummer sun was shining bright, the air had a gentle breeze, and the birds chirped outside the palace window, greeting Alexander with their morning song. He was already up, as he wanted to get his day started. The prince had planned a visit to Cyril and Lydia after breakfast, meeting the couple halfway from each of their respective residences. He had a traveling bag packed from the night prior, and planned to depart straight after he ate. The journey to the lake would take up most of the day traveling there; it was the only location that was halfway to meet the young couple.
After Alexander dressed in his favorite green traveling tunic, he buckled a sturdy brown belt around his waist, knowing he’d need it for his traveling pouches. He ran a comb through his jet-black hair, then for extra measures, he smoothed his hair back with the palm of his hand. Giving himself a once over in the mirror, he noticed that his dark eyes looked more tired than usual.
As he stared at his own reflection, Alexander couldn’t help but think of Cassima. It was the very reason for the dark circles under his eyes. He hadn’t been sleeping very well as of late; ever since him and Cassima had parted months ago, he couldn’t shake her from his thoughts. How he wished to see her. If only there was a way to find her.
Hopefully the get-together will be able to clear my thoughts, he thought. Or at least get a good night’s rest.
Alexander sighed, then tossed his comb aside on the vanity, then headed out his bedroom door.
As he entered the dining hall, Alexander noticed that his father and mother weren’t present at breakfast yet, though his twin sister was. Rosella was seated, already digging into her favorite morning porridge that consisted of brown sugar, honey, and raisins. On a side plate was a helping of sliced breakfast ham, making Alexander’s stomach rumble with hunger. He noted that Rosella was not dressed her in usual gowns made of silk and satin, but rather in her outside linens. Her golden locks weren’t brushed either - they were tousled and wild without the adornment of satin ribbons.
“Hey brother,” Rosella called out across the room.
“Good morning sister,” Alexander greeted her as he took his seat. Alexander grabbed his spoon, then taking a bite of his breakfast. He couldn’t help but eye her once more.
“I know what you are thinking brother,” Rosella said, poking him with her spoon.
“Rosella, I wasn’t thinking anything…”
“Yes you were,” she said playfully, taking a big bite of her porridge. “I can read you like a book brother. You were thinking I wasn’t put together this morning,” she said with a mouthful of food. “I don’t have anyone to impress today. Farquhar will be tutoring me about some boulders he found outside the town. Supposedly they have magical properties.” She took another bite. “And Farquhar is hardly worth impressing.”
“You have lessons?” Alexander lifted his eyebrow. “Aren’t you supposed to meet the Prince of Kolyma today?”
“He’s a duke, brother,” Rosella laughed. “And yes, it’s supposed to be today. I decided to cut as much time out of my day so that I have as little of time with the Prince, even if it means putting up with Farquhar’s boring lesson about rocks. Father is hoping that the duke and I will make a fine match.”
Alexander suppressed a smirk. “What do you think?”
“I’m hoping that I’ll scare him. I heard that he’s a snore.”
“Still avoiding marriage I take it?” Alexander quipped.
“Ugh! To a snore I am.” Rosella lifted her chin, taking another bite. “And you brother? Shouldn’t you be worried about your future? You are the heir to the throne after all. I don’t see you wooing any maiden.”
The sudden thought of Cassima made his cheeks burn with embarrassment. “I…just…”
“What about Lydia? Aren’t you going to see her today?” Rosella continued. “Isn’t she a princess, or at least used to be one?”
“Lydia?” Alexander said incredulously. “No. She’s too young and her personality is rather abrasive. Besides, she and Cyril seem to have grown closer over the past few months.”
Rosella chuckled, her bright blue eyes sparkling. “I know, I was only joking. I wanted to see your reaction.”
Alexander sighed. “Thanks.”
“I know you are pining over Cassima. Haven’t seen you the same since we’ve returned from that awful place.”
He frowned at the mention of Mordack’s lair. He didn’t know what was worse, being captured by Mordack or being raised by Mordack’s brother Manannan. The only good that came out of it was meeting Cassima.
“Who said I’m not the same?” Alexander said defensively.
“Calm down brother. No one did,” Rosella said, taking another bite. “You need…mrphhh…to relax a little…rmaph…” her mouth was full of food, then she swallowed. “Any time Cassima’s name is mentioned, you pipe up more than you do of a mention of a spellbook.”
Alexander felt his cheeks burn once again. “Am I that obvious?” he asked.
“Uh huh,” Rosella said. “Even father and mother have noticed.”
“I was hoping that they wouldn’t.”
Rosella giggled. “Don’t worry brother. They won’t say anything about it. They know you like your privacy when it comes pretty much everything.”
Alexander sighed as he dug into his morning meal. The last thing he wanted was his parents to know of his secret. Having his parents know his feelings, it was rather embarrassing. Rosella was right; He was rather private when it came to matters of the heart. It was hard to contain it though, with him asking his parents about maps to Cassima’s land. His parents were bound to know sooner or later.
His father, King Graham, had gently brought up the idea of him getting married, reminding Alexander of him being heir to the throne. He certainly didn’t feel like an heir to the throne. He had been estranged from his family his entire childhood, meeting them after his escape from the wizard Manannan right before his eighteenth birthday. He even had a different name that the wizard gave him - Gwydion. For all he knew growing up he was just boy, cleaning the stables and daydreaming of the day when he would be a grown man and be free. Now that he was an adult, there was an immense pressure on him to wed a princess and produce an heir so Daventry’s kingdom would be secure for the future generation. At times, it was rather daunting for Alexander, finding out that the life he had been living was a lie. Oddly, he preferred the name Gwydion. Not that he liked the wizard Manannan one bit. On the contrary, the wizard was terribly evil and Alexander hated living his life under such cruelty. But the name Gwydion felt right, being that he had been used to be called by that name. And that there was power behind that name, as it was rooted in magic. He felt it more like his true self, with the name meaning magician. To him, that’s what Alexander had felt that was his true destiny, living and breathing magic, not being a prince. Though he had been told by his sister Rosella that girls swooned over him in Daventry’s court, Alexander never noticed. When it came to women, he was oblivious. With good reason, as he was kept as a household servant nearly his entire life, and didn’t meet any women until he became of age.
Alexander quickly ate several slices of breakfast ham, then gulped his tea. It was hot, but thankfully it was at a reasonable heat that he could manage to drink it quickly. Rosella side-eyed him, but didn’t say anything.
As Alexander rose from his seat, his mother Valanice entered, giving him a bright smile.
“Alexander, leaving already?” she called out as she neared the table, then seating herself.
“Yes mother,” Alexander said. “I’m meeting Cyril and Lydia at the lake today.” Hopefully Cyril can teach me a new spell, he thought.
“Oh, alright,” his mother called out. “Please be safe.”
“I will mother,” Alexander said, waving to his mother.
“And Alexander!” his mother called out.
Alexander paused in his tracks, slowly turning to face his mother. “Yes mother?”
“Don’t be asking Cyril about teaching you spells,” his mother reminded him. “You aren’t a wizard, you are a prince; I can’t have anything happen to you. Magic is extremely dangerous. One wrong incantation…”
“Yes yes mother, I know,” Alexander sighed. “I won’t.”
Valanice smiled, then waved. “Be safe, my son.”
“Bye brother!” Rosella called out.
Alexander swore he saw Rosella smirk as he darted out of the room. His sister knew that nothing would stop him from learning a new spell.
Alexander quickly ran through the halls, returning to his chambers. He snapped up his satchel, securing his pouches.
Then he slung his pack over his shoulders, then ran out his chambers, heading toward the castle’s portcullis.
It was late afternoon as the sun started shifting to a butter yellow to a warm orange. The glow of the sun’s rays streamed through the forest’s treetops, beaming through the pine branches. Puffs of pollens danced in the forest air, thickened by a cool mist hugging the forest floor. Sounds of the nearby stream and Alexander’s crunches of leaves under his boots made soft noises in harmony. Occasionally Alexander would see a squirrel dash by, rabbits, or deer crossing his path. He even spotted a fox early in the day, giving him curious glances before darting off.
The entire time he hiked, Alexander couldn’t take his mind off of Cassima. What was she doing right now? Was she helping her parents at court? Or was she in the palace gardens, having afternoon parties with other ladies of the court?
Alexander smiled privately to himself, imagining Cassima in his imaginary scenarios. He recalled the first time he had seen Cassima. Her raven-colored tresses flowing down the swell of her back. Porcelain skin like creme. And her piercing blue-grey eyes, shimmering like starlight. Her lips were the color of deep red roses. Though dressed in rags as a wizard’s servant, Alexander had never seen anyone that paled in comparison to Cassima’s beauty. But what captivated him even more was her demure of peace and tenderness. She seemed so calm and private, similar to his temperament. Alexander was never one for being loud or known. To him, he’d rather be somewhere unknown and go about his life in peace.
What he would give just to sit in her presence, to know more about her. To kiss her crimson lips. Her lips looked so soft, her eyes smiled at him in the firelight…
Alexander felt suddenly hot, shaking his last thought. It was pure torture not being able to see her. He was only making matters worse by giving in to his tempting thoughts.
As he continued his hike, Alexander did try to think of other things along the journey. The beauty of the forest, the majestic mountaintops in the distance, the warm rays of sunlight. Though these little things did ease his thoughts, it was no use. Cassima was always there in the back of his mind.
Evening light basked the distant mountaintops as Alexander finally made it to the lake. The sun’s gleaming orange rays danced across the lake’s waters as Alexander noticed two recognizable figures near the lake. A bonfire was burning on the other side of the lake, with the figures walking around a campsite.
Looks like I’m late, he thought as he hiked his way toward the camp.
As he approached, Cyril jerked his head up, waving. “Alexander,” he said, gesturing to him.
Alexander smiled back, with Lydia peeping her head from the other side of a tree. Alexander was surprised to see Lydia not so dressed up; usually the former princess always was polished and immaculate. Living in the woods must have had some effect on Lydia, as she seemed more in a natural and carefree state.
The two men shook hands with a hardy greeting. Lydia smiled brightly standing next to Cyril. “I was beginning to think you forgot about us,” Cyril said.
Alexander laughed. “I’ve been looking forward to this. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”
“How are you Alexander?” Lydia asked, sweeping a few strands of blonde hair out of her eyes. “Practicing any new spells?”
Alexander blushed, biting his lip.
“I see,” she said. Quickly, she shot Cyril a look, raising her eyebrow. “It’s a good thing we brought a few extra books for you to study.”
“Lydia made me bring them,” Cyril said jokingly. Lydia nudged Cyril playfully. “It’s true, isn’t it?”
“I thank you for doing so,” Alexander said. He glanced at the camp, then set down his pack. He loosened the ties on his bedroll as he surveyed the best area to situate his sleeping space.
Lydia and Cyril exchanged glances. “No tent?” Cyril asked.
“No,” Alexander said. “I didn’t want to carry the extra weight. I’m rather used to sleeping with very little. Even living at the castle the past few years, it’s hard to get good rest on such a large bed.” Alexander smiled, gazing at the evening sky. “It’ll be a nice night for sleeping under the stars.” He rolled out his bedroll, away from the fire but still in range of the heat.
“How about a little lesson?” Cyril said, kneeling next to him.
Alexander cast an excited glance. “You have a new spell in mind?”
Cyril beamed as Lydia handed him a spellbook. Cyril flipped through the pages, then handed Alexander the book with it opened to a certain page. As he accepted the book, Alexander noticed that the page’s caption read Summoning a Tent.
Who would have ever thought? Alexander smirked as he looked up at Cyril. “I can’t believe they have a spell for this.”
“Why wouldn’t they? Apparently there is a spell to make a cat cookie, if I’m not mistaken,” Cyril pointed out.
“I suppose so,” Alexander agreed, chuckling.
Cyril knew the whole story of his past. The wizards - on both accounts of Alexander’s past, the spells he used, the manner in which he grew up. Of course, Cyril and Alexander had journeyed together to the floating castle and experienced their own adventure. Though at that time, Cyril was just an apprentice wizard, and Lydia was a rescued princess with dabbling in the magical arts. Just like Alexander.
“I will give the spell a try,” Alexander paused, looking at the spell requirements. “It says here that I need a wand for this particular spell.” He glanced up at Cyril. “I don’t have a wand.”
“It’s your lucky day,” Cyril said, shoving his wand in Alexander’s face. “You can use mine. And, I have all the necessary ingredients,” he added as he opened up his own pack of magical components.
“I’ll start supper while you two do your thing,” Lydia stated. “But you must hurry, unless you want overcooked stew.”
Cyril leaned over and whispered in Alexander’s ear, “She just says that because she doesn’t want to cook. She’s still very much a princess through and through.”
“I heard that!” Lydia called out.
Cyril and Alexander laughed, then turned to the spellbook. The ingredients needed were odd, which made Alexander wonder if Cyril packed the ingredients just for this very moment. The last time Alexander stayed at Morowyn’s house, he did manage to slip that he didn’t want to use a tent from the castle guards’ equipment. All of them had the Daventry crest embroidered on the leather. Alexander wanted to remain as anonymous as he could, especially while out in the woods. It was probably the very reason why Cyril came prepared for their camp out, knowing what Alexander had told him before.
As Alexander dug through Cyril’s pack for the necessary ingredients, Cyril made a makeshift table on a study log with his burner, then set his wand on the table for the prince. Alexander sat before the workspace, then slowly began to work each ingredient as called for in the spellbook. Black toadstool, dried faery wings, a small piece of deer hide…about seven ingredients in total.
After each ingredient was carefully added, boiled, burned, and mixed, Alexander picked up the wand and spoke the incantation over the mixture:
“Forest of the trees, bend thy will for me. I bestow gifts for pay, if thou giveth me a place to stay.”
Alexander’s voice commanded the magic as he spoke. In it’s own reply, the wand released its power into the mixture he had created from the ingredients. Swirling green magic rose from the mixture and wafted around the wand. He felt his entire being filled with a newfound energy, with the ingredients feeding more power and more energy into the mixture. Alexander could feel the magic flood his entire being.
Suddenly, a bright green energy lit up the entire camp.
It was just him and the magic, funneling its power into the wand.
Place thy resting place, a soft voice called out in his mind.
With a strong, but careful movement of the wand, Alexander flicked it towards an area near his bedroll that he had placed. With a sudden flash, the magic released itself from the wand, then shot to the area that he pointed to.
Within seconds, a small but cozy tent materialized before his eyes.
Amazed, Alexander turned to Cyril, handing the wizard his wand, then walked over to the tent.
“How quaint,” Cyril nodded with approval. “You did great.”
“Thank you,” he said, still in awe of the conjured tent.
Lydia, who had stopped stirring at some point during Alexander’s spell, quickly realized that she was burning the meal, turning back to the cooking pot.
Alexander grabbed his pack and his bedroll, then poked his head inside the tent. Inside was much larger than the outside of the tent - perhaps four times the size. Not only that, Alexander was able to fully stand in the tent and walk around. There was even a featherbed, furnished with blankets and pillows. It was no wonder why wizards chose to become wizards in the first place. Magic had such power. There were so many uses for magic. Not to mention that it could be of such great use for doing good things for those in need. If only he could convince his parents. The Kingdom of Daventry could benefit from his magic if they ever allowed him to fully pursue the study of magic. He never understood why his parents - the King and Queen - were never keen on the idea of him learning magic and just being ‘Prince Alexander.’
Setting down his pack and bedroll inside the tent, Alexander walked back out to the fire, seating himself on the log. Cyril had already packed his pack of magical components for the night, and just had been given a bowl of stew. Lydia dished Alexander up some, handing him a bowl.
“There’s more if you want,” Lydia said.
“Thank you,” Alexander said, taking a bite. It was by far from the cooks of Daventry skill level of cooking, but it was edible. If he were to take seconds, it would be because that he was still hungry and not due to the taste. Nevertheless, he made a pleasant smile to Lydia who seemed satisfied, dishing herself up a bowl.
The sun was setting, with the peaks of the mountains in the distance losing their details as they became mere silhouettes. Alexander saw the first star appear in the twilight hues. It felt good to be out of the castle and out in nature. All he did was think of Cassima in the castle, driving him mad for many weeks now. Not that being out here helped deter his mind from her, as it was proven difficult the entire hike to the lake. But it did bring some relief being in the presence of friends.
“Tell me, how is the old wizard Morowyn doing? Have you been able to reverse his spell? Or has he become a tree?” Alexander asked.
“He is making progress reverting back to his old self. Slower than we would have liked,” Lydia said.
“At least he’ll be fully human again,” Alexander said.
“I for one will be happy when he is; having a tree-wizard as a mentor is frustrating at times,” Cyril pointed out.
“And here I thought you were slow during our journey,” Alexander said with Lydia suppressing her giggles.
“I was an apprentice so I have an excuse,” Cyril stated. “My master on the other hand…”
“Still has an excuse,” Lydia said. “He is part tree, after all.”
The group of them laughed as they continued their meal. Alexander did go for seconds, cleaning his second bowl. He didn’t realize how hungry he was until he sat down for the meal. During the meal, the group talked about many things. The Old Wood, Daventry, reportings of odd travelers, and magical spells that they recently discovered. It was the perfect night, with the air cool, the fire warm, and being in good company. Above him, the starlight shone in the sky like thousands of little gems skittered across an eternal black pool of night. That same sky, Cassima would gaze upon.
What he would give to have her next to him at this moment, sitting by his side.
“Alexander?” Lydia called out.
Alexander blinked. “What?”
“Did you hear what Cyril said?”
Alexander flushed, shaking his head. “Sorry, I was distracted.”
The two of them looked at the prince. “I said have you happened to find any interesting maps?” Cyril asked.
“Maps?” Alexander was lost. How did they get to this conversation?
Cyril frowned. “Maps. You know, anything that would have this ‘Land of the Green Isles’ that you have been in search of.”
Lydia studied Alexander for a moment, eyeing him curiously. “Didn’t you say that a princess you met was from there?”
Alexander couldn’t help but burn with embarrassment. “Yes,” he said as he rubbed the back of his neck.
Suddenly, Lydia burst out laughing as she flashed Alexander a smile.
Cyril was confused. “What’s so funny Lydia?” he asked.
“I think this mysterious princess has captured Alexander’s heart,” she cooed.
“And that’s funny?” Cyril said.
Alexander’s heart pounded, and he felt flustered.
“It’s not funny, it’s just…sweet, that’s all,” Lydia said.
Cyril looked at Alexander across the fire, with Alexander lowering his gaze. “It’s true,” he admitted. “I haven’t been able to shake her from my thoughts since I met her. Since I met Cassima, my thoughts are consumed by her.” He sighed. “Just the mere thought of her holds me her prisoner; there isn’t anything I can do to break free of this feeling. I cannot stomach to eat food. But when I do eat, it doesn’t taste the same anymore. I cannot sleep. And even the joys of spellmaking…” Alexander met there gaze across the bonfire, “…it pales in compassion to being in the presence of Cassima.”
Lydia sucked in her breath while Cyril searched Alexander’s hopeless expression.
“Why is it that you are here with us, instead of searching for this princess?” Cyril asked.
Alexander furrowed his brows, sighing. “I haven’t found anything. Believe me, I have searched everything that had any text. Maps, books…there is no account of such a land.”
Cyril gave him a daring smile, with Lydia slyly holding his hand. “What about the Magic Mirror?” the young wizard suggested.
Alexander was about to give an excuse, but paused. He never gave it any real thought, as it only seemed to aide the Kingdom of Daventry and not personal matters…
“I…I don’t know,” Alexander said in a whisper.
“I think you should try,” Lydia added. “What if this Cassima has feelings for you too, and she’s waiting for you to visit her? After all, didn’t you tell us prior that she invited you to visit her kingdom?”
Alexander’s heart beat hard in his chest. “She did, right before she was sent back to her kingdom through magic. I…I’m not sure if it was for formality-sake. It is the one reason why I have been trying to find her kingdom. I have been invited, so I have at least have an excuse when I do visit.” Alexander paused, with the other two holding onto his words. “I have been spending all my time trying to find Cassima’s kingdom, and I do mean all my time.”
“I believe it,” Cyril stated.
He sighed. “It’s one of the reasons why I took up your invitation to meet you here. I’m frustrated that I cannot locate her kingdom, and cannot escape the thought of her. I just don’t know what to do anymore.”
Lydia frowned, clutching onto Cryil’s hand firmly, as if Alexander’s heartbreaking story made her appreciate Cyril all the more. Cryil studied him, thinking.
“I think you should try the Magic Mirror,” Cyril said. “If nothing happens, then at least you know that it didn’t work and you can try something else.” The wizard smile. And as for ‘The Land of the Green Isles,’ I will search other libraries. Maybe I’ll have some luck.”
“Thank you Cyril,” Alexander said. “Any help is most appreciated.”
“Of course.” Cyril yawned, then rose to his feet, stretching. “I think I’m going to turn in for the night. I’m tired and the bed is calling.”
“Same here,” Lydia said.
“Good night to you both,” Alexander said.
The two of them disappeared into their tent while Alexander leaned back on the log watching the fire dance in its pit. His heart was like the log of the fire, burning with desire. Soon, it would be fully consumed and he would be nothing more than a tormented soul, tortured by the flames of unrequited love.
To Be Continued...