Authors: Thomas Snowder
THE LEGEND OF PRINCESS WILDHEART
THOMAS W. SNOWDER
currently lives and writes in New Braunfels Texas
“I like to create stories that inspire the imagination of those who read them. This book is written to be a family style story book which will appeal to a wide audience. My hope is that years from now it is still being read and enjoyed.”
Long ago there lived a Queen named Amanda Rose that in her day had been wild, brave and beautiful. Her husband, King George Rose, loved her very deeply and over time three sons were born to them. After giving birth yet again, the couple was blessed with a baby girl. They were both thrilled to now have a little Princess and decided to name her Wildheart. The King had often told the Queen that because she was so loving, brave and adventurous, that she was a wildhearted woman.
This morning found Princess Wildheart Rose sitting alone in the castle garden. It was a perfect spring morning to relax in the castle garden and watch butterflies, listen to the birds singing and enjoy the beautiful roses blooming. Princess Wildheart let her mind wander as she sat on the garden bench. She was a very beautiful girl, average height, well endowed and slender with raven black locks. She was fair skinned with captivating green eyes. Everyone in the Rose Kingdom adored her. The King and Queen loved her as expected and took great care to raise her with the skills and knowledge she would need to carry out her duties as a Princess of the Kingdom. She had been well educated and trained in many areas, including some that may not be considered appropriate for a female, especially a Princess. These included weapons training and survival techniques. She was an accomplished sword fighter and could wield the weapon as well as any male could. She could ride a horse just as well as men could and her horse Mystical was like a close friend to her. Princess Wildheart was indeed a true Princess though and she presented herself as such. She wore beautiful Princess gowns most of the time and was very feminine, refined and elegant. She had great manners and social skills which were needed as a representative of the Kingdom and the people who inhabited it.
The Kingdom, which was called Rose Kingdom, had been named after the King, George Rose. Rose Kingdom thrived since food and resources were plentiful. Requirements for successful living were easily met and taxes were kept low for those who did business there. The Castle was placed on one end of an enclosed area which was rectangular in shape, with high stone walls surrounding the castle and courtyard. The castle itself was several stories tall, completely made of stone and had many areas which could be used to defend it. Archers could be placed atop a massive stone wall which served as the outside façade. It had a huge draw gate in front and two giant doors, side by side for an entry. In front of the two castle doors
the draw bridge could be raised allowing the moat that surrounded the castle to deny easy access to enter the castle. There were two tall circular towers in front which served as inside staircases to access upper floors. Entry to the courtyard area was granted through a large gate, located on the opposite courtyard end from the castle. Well trained armed guards at the courtyard gate and in front of the Castle ensured that everyone inside would be safe from undesirable intruders. Inside the protected courtyard area, merchants set up small open air shops to vend their various goods and services as Rose Kingdom soldiers patrolled the area. There were venders of clothing, food, drink, armor and weapons. Some shops carried healing medicines, elixirs and patients. Other merchants there sold flowers, tools and travel equipment. The courtyard was very active during the daytime and many travelers would stop by to trade or purchase items which added to the Kingdoms economy and wealth. When nightfall came the courtyard was quiet and peaceful. The Kings’ courtyard soldiers continued patrols and as expected were well armed with various weapons and armor. The guards were also stationed at strategic locations among the courtyard and castle walls. When nightfall came, the huge front courtyard entry gate was routinely lowered to protect everyone inside the courtyard and castle. The gate was reopened again at sunrise to invite visitors to begin a new day of trade. The entire Kingdom felt safe and secure. It had been this way for decades. The Kingdom enjoyed safety and success because it was located deep inside a natural forest on a long established trading route. Natural springs and ponds provided clean fresh year round water. The huge forest provided wood, food and other needed resources to the Kingdom.
Although Princess Wildheart had traveled very little outside the Castle and courtyard areas, she had been well taught and trained by experienced educators and skill masters. The King made sure her every desire was met, her happiness was a high priority with him. The Princess was not spoiled although she did not know hunger or want.
Queen Amanda was also very beautiful. She spent much of her time with the Princess, coaching her on the finer points and duties of being a royal Princess. Princess Wildheart along with her older brothers, the three Princes, had all been raised inside Rose Kingdom. They loved it there and all of them were caring, confident and adventuresome.
Each brother had been raised and educated by skilled teachers and trainers. They possessed highly skilled abilities with various weapons. Combat tactics and arms training had been taught from an early age to them and the proficiency showed in their skills. All three of the brothers were handsome, educated and well mannered. They were liked and admired by everyone in the Kingdom. The brothers were very protective of Princess Wildheart. She had very few worries with her parents and brothers watching out for her well being.
Princess Wildheart lived in a great Kingdom and had an easy life. Things would change for her very soon though since she had now become of age to be married and begin a family of her own. According to the traditions of the time, it was now that she would begin courting potential suitors for marriage. This is where her mind had wandered to. She was considering all the changes that beginning a new life with someone else offered to her and the impact it would have on her future. She was not unhappy about coming of age and looked at the event as a new adventure in her future.
The Queen approached Princess Wildheart as she sat alone in the castle garden. She knew the day would be coming for her daughter to be married and had mixed feelings about her little girl growing up and becoming a woman. Having a Princess to spend time with and pass on teachings had meant a great deal to the Queen. She loved the Princes but it was Princess Wildheart who she felt the deepest connection with. She had tried her best to prepare the Princess for the future ahead of her. Now the reality of her daughter becoming a grown woman and leaving her family to embark on new life adventures had come to pass. She would deal with the event with dignity and courage.
“It’s a glorious day, so beautiful in the garden courtyard,” said the Queen.
“Yes, mother, I could not agree with you more,” said Princess Wildheart.
“It is now time for our lunch and we need to go inside the castle. Your father the King has some very important news he plans to discuss with us all. He would like us all to be seated together for his news after we dine,” said the Queen.
The two ladies left the courtyard together and went inside the castle. They would spend some time preparing for the meal ahead. For most meals the family dressed up and presented themselves at their best. For Princess Wildheart, her hair would be done with some braided flowers added and some additional Princess pampering. She was beautiful even without the added beauty treatments and clothing.
The King’s table was a huge affair with plenty of room for the family and any guests that might be invited to join them. It was located inside a large castle room with a very large table and many chairs. The room was naturally lit in the daylight hours and had huge candle chandeliers for night lighting needs. Today only the family would be seated at the huge table, since the King had news only to be known to them.
The table was set for the three Princes, Princess Wildheart, The King and Queen and Pricilla to enjoy a grand meal and each
other’s company. Servers placed the many offerings on the table to satisfy them all. There was no need to have a taster eat the food ahead of the family since all castle staff were trusted and had been providing services to the family for years.
Pricilla was considered part of the family, she was Princess Wildheart’s best friend and the King and Queen thought of her as a daughter. The three Princes were very protective of Pricilla also and considered her a sister.
Pricilla was not royalty like the rest of them. Pricilla lived in the castle with the family and had her own separate quarters for herself. She was close in age to Princess Wildheart and also very beautiful. She had long golden hair and was slender with blue eyes. The people of Rose Kingdom thought of her as another Princess and adored her as such. Pricilla had also been educated and trained in all the same areas as Princess Wildheart and always treated as royalty by the family and others.
The King was the head of the family and Rose Kingdom. He had the final word on any subject that arose. No one challenged his actions, opinions or orders. He was a true King and had earned the respect of those who knew of him. His judgments and decisions were the law of the land. He was known across the Kingdom for being a great leader and adored by the people. King George was a King for the people and they knew with him in charge that safety and security would stay intact. People in the Rose Kingdom lived well under his rule and good judgment. The King stood as the entire group focused on what he had to say. He seemed very happy as he began to explain his big news.
“There will soon be two suitors for the hand of my daughter Princess Wildheart coming to the castle from faraway lands. Each of them a Prince and heir to the Kingdoms from which they come here from,” he said. “I have chosen these two potential husbands based on knowledge obtained by me from trusted sources. I was assured that each Prince would offer Princess Wild heart a great future as Queen over substantial Kingdoms.”
The King was mostly concerned for Princess Wildheart to be happy in her future, he had no desire to profit in any way by receiving gifts for her hand in marriage, which were not uncommon in that time. He was not over protective of her but he did make sure that no harm would come to her. Any person who had intentions of harming or making his little girl unhappy would be answering to him.
“Princess Wildheart, my daughter, you will make the final decision on which Prince will have your hand in marriage. Your happiness is my only desire, I love you dearly,” said the King. “You have been raised well and educated. Now that you have come of age to begin a future of your own, I believe it is fitting you should make your own selection for a future husband. I trust your judgment and ability to make important decisions like this.”
Everyone agreed with the King’s
wise decision and was happy that the Princess would be the final say in whom she married. They all knew that she would choose wisely. The mood at the table was lighthearted and talk centered on the potential suitors coming to the castle. Princess Wildheart was happy that her father trusted her to make important decisions about her future. Pricilla sat next to her at the table and the two of them were excited about the arrival of the Princes and the upcoming festivities surrounding the event.
The following day the King made an announcement to the entire Kingdom. He proclaimed that there would be a coming of age festival to take place inside the castle courtyard. The news was spread by official announcers inside the Kingdom and through written posters placed in various locations inside the courtyard. Everyone in the kingdom way thrilled and excited for Princess Wildheart. Rose Kingdom festivals usually drew in big crowds which meant more money coming into the pockets of the venders and merchants there. The festivals presented added excitement and fun to the lives of those residing in the Rose Kingdom.
A few days passed before the first potential suitor for the hand of Princess Wildheart arrived in the Kingdom with much fanfare. It was Prince Tangent who arrived by coach pulled by huge white horses. His riding horse was tied to the back of the coach as it made its way through the gates and into the courtyard. He passed many spectators who had begun flocking to the Kingdom in advance of the ceremonies. The coach stopped in front of the huge Inn located to one side of the courtyard, opposite of the merchant and trading areas. A small crowd gathered and pressed near to see the Prince as he exited his coach and went into the Inn. Prince Tangent was average height and build with sandy brown hair and a clean shaven face. He dressed in fine clothes and presented himself well. He was well educated and trained in many skills needed by a Prince who would be a future King in his own domain. Footmen unloaded his belongings and brought them into the Inn for the Prince. The Inn is where the Prince would be staying while in the Kingdom. It had special quarters for the more respected guests who occasionally came to visit. The Prince would be housed in one of those quarters with any servants he may need sharing a room not far down the hall from him for his needs and demands.
Next to arrive was Prince Darksoul, who rode in alone on a black horse. He was wearing dark black chest armor with a long black cape. He carried a sword and a few items needed for travel but little else. Prince Darksoul had dark black hair and wore a trimmed beard and mustache. He was slender and slightly taller than average height. His meth
od of travel was to purchase any needed items as they were required and pack lightly for journeys. A purse loaded with gold coins was all he needed to acquire anything he wanted. He nodded to the onlookers as he rode past them. He stopped his horse in front of the Inn and went inside where he also would enjoy special quarters. The Stable Master would take care of his horse and saddle while tending staff would be provided for him to meet his every need. Prince Darksoul had been well trained and educated and had always gotten anything he wanted. He did not know what it was like to be deprived or denied. He was a Prince and future King of his family’s lands and no one was allowed to question or challenge him in any way or form. To do so would result in severe punishment and suffering for the unfortunate person involved. His way was the only way and it was insured by his actions and attitude towards others.
Many other travelers began arriving in Rose Kingdom that morning also. Word had spread that Rose Kingdom would be offering a festival for Princess Wildheart in celebration of her birthday and coming of age. One of the new arrivals to the Kingdom was a young adventurer traveling with his friend who rode in on their fine stallions. Each had a pack horse behind them loaded with goods and supplies. Prince Morgan was a young handsome Prince. He was average height and build with dark hair and a clean shaven face. Prince Morgan was well dressed but did not care for the frilly Prince clothing and opted instead to wear clothes that allowed him the freedom for adventure. He wore black leather pants with a white shirt and black coat. He wore boots that were fashioned of the finest leather. He had been trained and educated in all areas a Prince should have skills in. His upbringing had taught him compassion and consideration for others while remaining a firm but fair leader for the people. He was not aware of the Princess or events and had only come to Rose Kingdom in search of a sword that had been stolen from him. “The Sword of Caledon” was considered almost magical in nature, giving the bearer power and greatness in battle. It was given to Prince Morgan by his grandfather to empower him and allow him success in battle. Prince Morgan took notice of the poster announcing the Festival as he rode past the merchants and traders. The Festival was to begin tomorrow and end with a special, invitation only dance and celebration to honor Princess Wildheart.
A wealthy friend rode along with Prince Morgan, his name was Duke. He and the Prince had been riding together for a while now. The two men had grown up together in Caledon and had many grand adventures together which always ended well. Duke was muscular and medium build with brown hair. He had the body of a fighter and was skilled in combat and well educated. Duke was Prince Morgan’s best friend and after discussing the upcoming events the two of them decided they would stay for the festival since they were in no hurry to be anywhere. Prince Morgan and Duke secured a room at the Inn and dropped off their provisions. Their horses were taken to the stables for care and housing.
The Kingdom also provided a Tavern next to the Inn for food, drink and entertainment. The Tavern was a focal point in the Kingdom which provided enjoyment for anyone who wished to go there. It was not unusual for the King or any of his family to be present at the Tavern. They came and went just as the common people did.
The courtyard buzzed with activity as the various travelers settled in and went about their business. Business was good today and everyone in the Kingdom was happy and prosperous. The venders and merchants made sure that quality items and services were available for a reasonable price. With ever changing inventories each day offered new discoveries for shoppers to sort through for purchase. Most non consumable items could be bartered for or purchased outright with gold being the preferred payment.
Princess Wildheart gazed out a castle window at all the activity in the courtyard. Her thoughts were mainly on how much she would miss living here in the castle. She wondered how things would turn out for her having to relocate to a new Kingdom and new life. She gave little thought about her future husband but knew what traits appealed to her in a person. She felt that she was ready to evaluate any potential husband.
Prince Morgan and Duke made their way through the various merchants in the courtyard, wheeling and dealing wares they had brought with them. They traded various items in their possession for medicines, potions and elixirs. They also examined armor and weapons for anything that might benefit their needs. Both of them enjoyed this life having made many connections to work with along the many trade routes they traveled. Prince Morgan was always on the lookout for special weapons and of course his prized sword.
Prince Tangent walked through the trading areas mainly looking at clothing. He loved to dress in fine cloth
ing and always looked like a Prince. He was a ladies’ man and flirted with any women he came in contact with as he wondered through the merchants.
Prince Darksoul was over at the Inn drinking and eating. Not real friendly, he would buy drinks for enough people to gather a small group. Then he would boast to them about his various exploits and wealth. Most were stories about how cruel and dominating he had been towards others in the past. His stories always ended with a big laugh from him as he relived the misfortune that had come upon someone else by his hands. Another round of fine ale for the group of listeners encouraged Prince Darksoul to continue
on with his yarns and tales.
The three brothers of the Princess were inside the castle dining hall discussing matters of the Kingdom’s military power and security for the upcoming festival. They ran most of the Kingdom’s defenses and held responsibility for outlying lands and outposts. The King had very little involvement in these matters since he had such fine sons to attend to them. The three Princes were capable and made intelligent decisions to keep the Kingdom secure and protected.
The King and Queen were out in the garden enjoying time together and discussing the Festival and Princess Wildheart. Pleased with the way things were going so far, they felt proud. The happiness of Princess Wildheart would be the main concern for them both. Official planners and organizers took care of any details for events such as this, leaving them free to enjoy themselves.
Eventually with business concluded, Prince Morgan and Duke made their way to the Tavern. It was very busy and active while everyone enjoyed the ale and food there. Prince Tangent was inside along the three Prince brothers of Princess Wildheart who had concluded discussions regarding security and military.
Prince Morgan and Duke found a nice small table on one side of the large room to sit. They both ordered up some ale and roasted turkey legs. The items were delivered to them by one of the Tavern Maids who was friendly and welcoming. It had been a long journey and some fresh food and drink were welcomed by them both.
Prince Tangent sat at another table nearby and was just drinking his ale, having already eaten. Prince Tangent noticed Prince Morgan and Duke and thought they looked like good fellows. He rose and walked over to their table
and introduced himself. The three exchanged greetings and Prince Morgan invited Prince Tangent to join them at the table. Prince Tangent was happy to meet some new friends and took advantage of the invitation. Prince Tangent told them about his Kingdom and how he enjoyed designing buildings and weapons. He was an engineer at heart. Duke asked him about designing some armor for him and Prince Morgan, Prince Tangent proudly stated he would enjoy doing that very much. The three of them discussed Princess Wildheart. Prince Tangent told them he was there to meet her and hopefully gain her hand in marriage. He explained that he had never met or seen her but had heard she was very beautiful. Prince Tangent needed a wife for a future Queen since his own mother, the Queen, had passed and his father, the King was now becoming old and weak. The three of them also discussed weapons and discovered that Prince Tangent was renowned for his sword skills.
Nearby them sat Prince Darksoul who continued telling stories to a group of locals. He was as usual bragging all about himself. When the Tavern maid brought him fresh ale, he grabbed her and wouldn’t let her go. He and the other men at the table laughed as she was almost in tears trying to escape his clutches. Prince Tangent took notice of this behavior and excused himself from the table. He walked over to Prince Darksouls’ table and asked Prince Darksoul in a polite manner to let the woman go. Prince Darksoul released the woman and turned his attention to Prince Tangent. Prince Morgan and Duke watched as the two Princes introduced themselves to each other. Prince Darksoul told Prince Tangent that he was here to marry Princess Wildheart and understood that Prince Tangent was his only competition. Prince Darksoul explained that he needed a Queen as a trophy for his castle and knew he would be leaving with Princess Wildheart. He believed that he would be the chosen one since he always got what he wanted in one way or another. Prince Tangent then turned and walked back over to the table with Prince Morgan and Duke. It was agreed upon by the three of them that Prince Darksoul would be a troublemaker. Prince Tangent asked Duke and Prince Morgan if they had intended to stay for the festival and compete in the games. Prince Morgan informed Prince Tangent that they had not yet decided about participating in the games but were considering doing so. They would be staying for the festival and may join in the competition at the games.
Princess Wildheart went to join Pricilla in her room. Pricilla was her best friend and was about a year younger than Princess Wildheart. The two of them had been best friends as long as they could remember and were not often apart from each other. Pricilla had been dropped off at the castle by her parents when she was very young. Her parents were extremely poor and felt that a life of servitude at the castle would be better for her than poverty and starvation they faced daily. The Queen immediately took her in and treated her as part of the family. Pricilla is not a Princess but she has one for a best friend. She considers the King and Queen her parents. The King and Queen consider and treat her as their own daughter although Pricilla is not entitled to any royal benefits. Pricilla and Princess Wildheart were discussing the upcoming events. They were both excited about Princess Wildheart getting married and all the festivities surrounding that event. Pricilla had confessed from her heart to Princess Wildheart that she was worried about being left behind when the Princess married. Once the Princess got married they would not be as close as they are now and this made Pricilla insecure and afraid. Princess Wildheart told Pricilla that she would be coming with her after the wedding and that they would always be best friends. That was all Pricilla needed to hear, she felt great joy knowing that she was not going to be left behind. Both of them needed each other for the same reasons and could not imagine being separated for any length of time.
Meanwhile back over in the Tavern, Prince Tangent, Prince Morgan and Duke continued their conversation about the upcoming Festival. Princess Wildheart’s three brothers, the Princes walked in and grabbed a table near them. The brothers were also talking about the upcoming games at the festival and which of them would be winning each of the events. Each of the brothers had champion skills in the areas needed to win the various events. The locals all believed the three Princes would win every event. The three Princes believed the same way. The only question being which brother would win what event.