What a fun dream! Back to being a kid again. The dream reminded me of an Ash Ketchum adventure in the world of Pokemon.
A child’s adventure of the imagination; chasing the medieval legend of secret caves hidden beneath the city. Caves which were never discovered, only spoken of as urban legends. However five curious children itching for adventure and mystery spend their days as forest explorers searching for the lost caves of legend.
The day after a heavy rain storm the children ventured into the forest once again determined to complete their expedition. Although the storm had passed, its presence was still evident in the sloshy mud and giant puddles deep enough to swallow a child’s knees. Still, the innocent children believed they could not call themselves explorers if they could not overcome each challenge they encountered. And so, in their youthful and innocent foolishness they continued their expedition only to be swallowed by a crevice hidden beneath fallen twigs and branches.
The young explorers had encountered their most challenging predicament yet.
It was dark, damp and cold. The only light leaked through the hole they had fallen through. There was no way of knowing how far they had fallen. Luckily the damp mossy ground cushioned the fall; otherwise they could have been severely injured. Covered in dirt and aching all over the children momentarily struggled to stand.
Once they calmed down and looked around, they noticed they had not fallen down a normal hole. The layout was similar to tunnels which stretched out in different directions. The tunnels were not made naturally but obviously excavated by humans long ago. The innocent children were in awe of their discovery. Overwhelmed with excitement and anxiety, the children could hardly speak a word. After all, they had unknowingly discovered the lost caves people had been searching for, for over 100 years.
The children decided to explore the tunnels to look for a way out. While wandering around aimlessly, the innocent explorers discover the truth about the lost caves and why they were hidden. A dark truth is concealed which questions the history of the foundation of the country.
The tunnelled caves were mysterious and enchanting. In the darkness, it was impossible to tell how far the tunnels stretched or which direction was the way out. Somehow, the young explorers all agreed on the same path, it was if there was an invisible force guiding them the right way. The children slowly walked down the chosen tunnel feeling their way along the cold rock walls and staying close enough to see each other.
Although they were shrouded in darkness the children began seeing strange visions. Visions from a time long ago, when the aristocracy of an ancient kingdom launched a coup d’état against the reigning Queen. The aristocracy were outraged that a woman sat on the throne and ruled the country. As if that wasn’t enough, the heir to the throne was the Queen’s niece, another female, as well as a child.
Aware of the rebellion against her, the Queen took precautions to ensure her niece escapes the capital city before the coup d’état ensued. The Queen knew she couldn’t stop the coup d’état, nor did she have enough support to suppress the aristocracy. She was killed, but died satisfied that her niece, the crown princess was safe.
The existence of the tunnels was one of the royal family’s most guarded secrets. It was a mystery how the tunnels came to be; they were discovered by the first King five hundred years ago. For five centuries, many precious artefacts and records were hidden in the tunnels.
Before the coup d’état, the Queen hid as many artefacts, books and documents as she could in the different areas excavated along the tunnels. She also prepared enough money to support the princess for many years. The Queen was prepared to loose her life but would not allow the aristocracies rebellion to succeed.
The most important artefact was the crest of the kingdom or the Kingdoms Seal. Passed down to each first born from the time of the First King. It was the treasured symbol of the Kingdoms foundation. Even if the royal family was eradicated, no one could rule the kingdom without possessing the Kingdoms Seal. Hiding the Seal was all the Queen could do to foil the coup d’état.
Along with her twelve most trusted retainers, the young princess fled from her homeland. She survived for many years hiding in the tunnels beneath the kingdom. More than anything, she wanted to prove her aunt’s actions weren’t in vain.
Even after fleeing her homeland the Princess took steps to ensure the Kingdom and its people did not fall into the clutches of the greedy and selfish aristocrats.
The aristocrats had underestimated the Queen! She knew of their plans and that she would be killed. Instead of fleeing the kingdom, the Queen sacrificed her life for the welfare of her Kingdom and people. However, after launching the coup d’état, the aristocrats were resolved to take control of the Kingdom.
They searched far and wide for the Princess and the Kingdoms Seal without ever finding a trace (Little did they know, she was right below their feet). The Princess was the only thing standing in their way. She was the last surviving member of the royal bloodline that needed to be eradicated.
Ten years after the coup d’état was launched, there was still no trace of the Princess. The desperate aristocrat swallowed their pride and turned to the most ruthless and heinous criminal in the entire Kingdom “The Hunter”. The Hunter was a sadistic murderer famed for his beastly appearance and senses. As a last resort, the aristocrats hired the criminal to hunt down the Princess and her allies.
After fleeing the Kingdom, the Princess explored the tunnels and travelled throughout the kingdom, although underground. For fifteen years, she avoided the aristocrats and the many soldiers and assassins sent to kill her. Although it was dangerous, the Princess still risked meeting foreign emissaries to seek allies to fight against the corrupt aristocrats and reclaim the capital city of the Kingdom.
For those fifteen years the Princess exhausted herself fighting to reclaim her homeland. Living underground for so long she contracted an incurable disease which she battled until the Kingdom was at peace again. Barely thirty years old, the Princess succeeded in restoring the Kingdom but would not survive to see it flourish. On her deathbed, the Princess thanked her retainers for their allegiance and entrusted them with the future of the Kingdom. The Kingdom would no longer be ruled by the royal family but by a council of twelve.
All of a sudden the children were greeted by an overwhelming light. They had escaped the darkness of the tunnel. They had returned to the forest, the rain clouds had disappeared and the sun illuminated the lush green forest.
The children couldn’t comprehend what they had just experienced; it was like travelling to a whole other world. Curiously, all the children felt it was real, something that happened a long time ago. Looking back to see where they had exited the cave, the children were baffled to see a rock mound; the entrance to the tunnels had disappeared.
Making their way out of the forest, the children carefully watched their footing. One of the boys noticed a strange mark on his outer wrist. Thinking it was a cut from when he fell the boy rubs at the mark only to notice its distinct shape. The boy recognised the unique symbol; it was one of the crests from the Council of Twelve he had seen in the strange vision. The other four children found similar symbols on their outer wrist.
It would not be long before the young explorers discovered they had inherited the seats on the ancient Council of Twelve.
- The children decide to keep the existence of the tunnels as a secret. They didn’t want the adults to desecrate the legacy of the heroic Princess who had been erased from history. As inheritors of crests from the Council of Twelve they became protectors of the Princesses legacy. After being entrusted with the crests, they were able to locate the sealed entrances to the tunnels.
- A society of greedy adults, descendants of the disgraced aristocracy are eager to pillage the legendary tunnels and claim the fortune they should have inherited. To achieve what their ancestors failed, the society will stop at nothing to find the treasures and secrets that vanished a millennium ago.
Original image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay