This is a story I wrote influenced by numerous different famous stories which include Rumpelstiltskin, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Rapunzel and various other fairytales. This story plays a huge part in the work ch I produce as some of my paintings, installations and animations will be based on scenes from the fairytale itself. I hope you enjoy my fairytale!
The Kingdom of Faravelle ©
Chapter One – The Wealth of Faravelle
It all began in the Kingdom of Faravelle when King Elias was in search of a way to rid his kingdom of its financial problems. He interviewed the townsfolk individually to ensure that everyone in the kingdom over sixteen years of age had suitable employment, for if they had not they would be forced into slavery.
When King Elias came to interview the miller, the king asked the profession of his daughter. The miller replied, “Your highness, my daughter only reached working age as of last week, we have yet to find her employment. Please allow us a further couple of days.” King Elias could not make an exception; he had to do what was best for his kingdom. He asked if the child had any useful skills that would benefit Faravelle for if she did not, she would face a life of slavery. In a moment of panic concerned for the welfare of his daughter, the miller replied, “Isadora can spin straw into gold!” King Elias and the miller’s wife gasped with astonishment. “Very well.” replied the king. “Your daughter will be taken into the forest to a destination only I know the whereabouts. She will spend the night in a room filled with straw. If I find out that your word is dishonest, not only will Isadora face a lifetime of slavery, but the fate of your family will be worse than death.”
Later that night, King Elias sent a horse drawn carriage to the miller’s home. Isadora said farewell to her parents. Before the king, stood a girl of five feet tall with long golden wavy locks falling gracefully upon her shoulders. Her skin as pale as snow and green eyes that sparkled like emeralds. The king said nothing as the young girl entered his carriage. As the carriage made it’s way up the road and into the forest, a single tear fell down the girls blossoming red cheek. And again, the king said nothing.
Upon stepping out of the carriage, Isadora looked up to see what appeared to be old castle ruins and way at the top stood a tower that overlooked the rest of the kingdom. Passing by the ruins and through the forest was Faravelle’s river, The River of Souls; the meaning of the river’s name is unknown. Isadora was quite overwhelmed by the sight of it all and wondered how she had never seen it before. She often found herself taking long strolls along the side of the river into the forest and it never seemed to lead anywhere. King Elias and Isadora walked up many stairs before reaching a large round room at the very top of the tower. The room mainly contained a bed, a spinning wheel and a lot of straw. There were two large open windows at either side of the tower.
King Elias turned to Isdadora and said, “I do not wish to see even a single strand of straw left in this tower. You have until sunrise to spin this straw into gold. If I am to return and discover you have been unsuccessful, both you and your family will pay the price.” King Elias left the room, locking the door behind him with Isadora breaking down into a flood of tears.
Chapter Two – Rumpel
After numerous attempts of spinning the straw, Isadora knew it was no use. It would take someone of great power and magic to complete such a task. She walked over to the window and gazed out over the kingdom, hoping for a miracle when she saw what appeared to be a ball of purple glowing light in the distance travelling closer and closer towards the tower. Isadora took a step back as the glittering light entered the tower through the window when, “POOF!” What stood before her was an imp. An imp no taller than the average man’s waist with pointed ears and a long white beard. His skin sparkled like the midnight sky. He was wearing tight rugged clothes with a tailored jacket and to the left of his petite body he balanced on an old crooked cane. “I believe someone called for my help,” said the imp. “Who are you? What are you?” replied Isadora in a gentle inquisitive voice. “Just someone who would like to make a deal with you”. The imp and Isadora agreed that for exchange of her necklace, the imp would spin the straw into gold by sunrise as the girl slept.
By sunrise, Isadora awoke to discover that the imp had left and the room was filled with sparkling gold. Moments later the king arrived in his carriage and made his way up to the tower. King Elias unlocked the door and upon entering he froze staring into the room. He could not believe his eyes. He had finally found the solution to Faravelle’s financial crisis, Isadora. After removing the gold from the tower, he demanded she would stay another night and spin the wheel again, this time he brought twice as much straw.
The imp arrived the second night and agreed to spin the straw into gold for the price of Isadora’s shoes. The next day King Elias returned to see the room once again filled with gold. However he gazed upon the girl and asked, “Where are your shoes child?” Isadora paused for a second before replying with “I have simply outgrown them”. The king looking more curious than ever demanded that Isadora spent one further night in the tower, for if she was successful a third time she would receive the king’s son, Prince Edwardo’s hand in marriage. However if she were unsuccessful she would receive the penalty of death.
The imp returned the third night but Isadora had nothing left to trade of value. The imp suggested she would give him her first-born child. The girl gasped in shock but knowing the cost of failing to spin the straw into gold she agreed. Isadora would give the imp her first-born. As promised, King Elias returned and allowed Isadora to marry his son.
Isadora glided down the isle wearing a twinkling white ball gown with her face shadowed behind a veil. The first look at her prince and she knew it was love at first sight. Edwardo had short wavy brown hair that danced in the wind and blue sapphire eyes. He smiled as he watched Isadora walk towards him. The two were wed in Faravelle’s royal castle where Edwardo lived with his father ruling the kingdom by his side. His mother, the queen, had past away months before the financial problems begun. This was now Princess Isadora’s new home.
After many happy years of marriage Princess Isadora had forgotten about the imp and gave birth to her first child, a daughter she named Lily. Just days after Lily’s arrival, the imp returned to claim what was rightfully his. The princess fought against it, she could not part with her daughter. The imp made one last deal with Isadora, “If you can guess my name within three days, you may keep your daughter and I will leave your kingdom. You have my word.” Without a moment to lose the prince and princess along with their servants and maids began listing possible names. The imp returned the first day and Isadora read out their guesses one by one, but she and Edwardo were left disappointed when none of them were the imp’s real name. They began listing names a second day but once again failed to guess it correctly.
Princess Isadora had just about given up at the end of the second day and decided to take a stroll down the river like she used to back in the days when she was just the miller’s daughter. While walking in the forest she heard singing, chanting you could say. She followed the voice only to find the imp dancing and singing around a campfire. She watched for a while before hearing the following words leave his lips, “I dance and I sing with all that I can and my name is Rumpelstiltskin”. The princess hurried back to the castle with her hope restored. The imp arrived the third day grinning and holding up a copy of their bargain. “Your name is Rumpelstiltskin!” came a voice from the back of the room. Isadora walked forward holding Lily. Rumpelstiltskin’s grin changed in a matter of seconds into a face of rage. He yelled and stomped his feet before tapping his cane twice on the ground and disappearing in a ball of purple light. Prince Edwardo, Princess Isadora and their daughter Lily were free from Rumpelstiltskin. Or so it seemed…
Chapter Three – The Sleeping Princess
One year later, Edwardo and Isadora were celebrating Lily’s first birthday. Upon receiving gifts from the townsfolk, Isadora found a note addressed to herself among Lily’s gifts. She recognized the handwriting and kept the note to herself. Towards the end of the day, Princess Isadora found a quiet room in the castle to read the note. The note read as follows:
We will meet tonight when the clock strikes twelve at the place where we first met,
If you refuse then your kingdom will suffer and trouble is what thou will get.
Do not tell a soul of this note, not even your servants or husband,
For those who you tell will fall under my spell and will be forgotten from your land.
Princess Isadora threw the note in the fire so that no one else in the kingdom could read it. She waited until her husband and daughter fell asleep and snuck out of the castle in search of the tower. Isadora walked up the stairs of the tower but from the moment she opened the door she fell under Rumpel’s spell.
A spellbound Isadora walked towards the spinning wheel and began spinning it. Rumpelstiltskin watched over as the princess cut her finger on the needle. This cursed the princess to sleep for ten years, locked in the tower, hidden from her kingdom. Back in the royal castle, Prince Edwardo awoke as his wife fell under the curse to last a decade. He instantly knew something was wrong and sent soldiers out into the kingdom in search of his wife. After six months of searching for the lost princess, the royal court pronounced Princess Isadora dead, leaving Edwardo devastated.
Five years passed and Edwardo was more than an amazing father to his daughter, Lily, and watched as she grew into a beautiful young girl. She had her mothers green emerald eyes and flawless white skin and her fathers brown hair. Edwardo never let Lily forget her mother and spoke of her every day. She reminded him so much of her.
Chapter Four – Snow White
Although Edwardo was more than capable of ruling the kingdom and caring for his daughter, the Law of Faravelle stated that in order for him to take to the thrown as king, he must have a queen. He also thought that it would be better for Lily to have a female role model in her life and therefore felt obligated to remarry, even knowing that no one could ever take the place of his one true love, Isadora.
His new wife, Lady Catharina, arrived at the castle at noon on a cold November’s day. Brought in a purple horse drawn carriage, she left the carriage dressed in a black ball gown wearing a red net headdress and hat. She had wiry red hair and brown eyes. Edwardo and Lady Catharina had a short quiet ceremony with Lily as a flower girl and the only guests who attended were the staff who was already present in the castle. After the wedding Edwardo spoke to an unsettled Lily in private. “Lady Catharina will never replace your mother but soon she will come to feel like part of our family and one day she will come to think of you as her own daughter. You’ll see!” Later that month King Elias fell very ill and was the victim of a sudden death. Only one week after his father’s death and still grieving, Prince Edwardo and Lady Catharina attended their coronation and were as forth known as Faravelle’s new king and queen.
One sunny afternoon while everyone was outside enjoying the weather shining over the castle grounds, young Princess Lily spent the day exploring the castle when she entered the queen’s private suite and decided to have a little look around. She found potions and spells but at only six years of age, the princess did not think much of it and continued to explore her stepmother’s room. Whilst moving objects around, she came across a secret passageway that she did not remember being there before Queen Catharina moved to the castle. She walked through the passageway when she came to a door with a tiny window. She looked through the window and saw her stepmother looking into a mirror but seeing a different reflection. Scared and confused she ran to her father and informed him of her findings. King Edwardo giggled and told her that she must have been imagining things.
Later that night King Edwardo laughed as he confronted his wife about what his daughter claimed she saw. She also laughed and replied “What a silly thing to suggest. Little girls have very big imaginations!” Catharina, who was now worried that Lily was getting suspicious of her, felt it was time to bond with her new step daughter. Her and Lily went apple picking at the orchard near the forest. Queen Catharina started the day by saying how beautiful Lily looked. Lily replied with a simple smile. “Lily, I understand that you saw my special room yesterday. Do you believe in magic Lily?” The princess nodded. “Well, what you saw was a secret magic room that only special people can see, like you and me. How about we keep it our little secret?” Lily agreed and continued to pick apples.
As the years passed, Princess Lily grew more and more beautiful and the queen felt rather threatened by her looks. Catharina and Lily never properly formed a bond. Catharina would often try to buy Lily’s affection with gifts, but Lily never grew to love Catharina and neither did her father.
Chapter Five – Rapunzel
Ten years had passed since Rumpel’s sleeping curse was cast over the lost princess, Isadora. She awoke confused and frightened. She sat up and her eyes slowly wandered around the dusty isolated room. Everywhere she looked she saw cobwebs and thickening layers of dust and dirt. Although she had no idea how long she had been sleeping, she did know one thing. She had been in the tower a long, long time.
I took a few moments before Isadora noticed the ever so long trail of golden locks that fell upon the floor beside her. The princess’s hair had grown almost twenty times her body length. In a moment of panic, she ran towards the tower door only to discover that it had gone. All that remained in its place was a stonewall. Isadora then ran to the window carrying her wildly overgrown hair behind her. She peered out of the window to see the tower and its ruins covered with thorns and trees and far in the distance she could see her once loved home in the Kingdom of Faravelle.
She spent her days wondering about her husband and daughter. Many questions ran through her mind. Would her family still remember her? Were they well? Could Rumpelstiltskin have harmed either of them? One thing the princess did know is that there was no way out of the tower and if no one had found her by now on his or her own, no one ever would. She thought back to the day when she first met Rumpelstiltskin and how stunned she was by his power and magic. Maybe some of his magic still remained in the tower and Isadora began to write a spell of her own to signal her true love and let him know that she was alive, with hope that he would come to her rescue.
On a cold stormy night, the king began to dream of his beloved Isadora and found himself talking to what felt like a projection of his beautiful princess in his room. She told him of the curse and how she was trapped deep in the forest in the tower where his father once locked her in. Kind Edwardo awoke suddenly. He knew in his heart that Isadora was alive and without a moment to lose he gathered his sword and his horse. An eleven-year-old Lily paced into the stables as her father saddled his horse. Edwardo said goodbye to his daughter and told her not to worry about a thing, he would only be gone a short while. “Be good for your stepmother, while I am gone.” he said to Lily as he galloped off into the storm in search of his one true love.
Shortly after Edwardo left, Lily went back into the castle and up to her room when she was stopped by a cross and worried queen. “Why are you out of bed child?” she asked. Lily told her of her father’s journey into the forest. “Don’t worry!” she said, “Father said that he will be home very soon.” Filled with rage Catharina charged into her room, slammed the door and began chanting a spell as she walked through a passageway that lead to the room Lily saw as a young child containing an enchanted mirror. The queen stared into the mirror and in place of her reflection stood an almighty purple fire-breathing dragon. She chuckled a little before saying, “Excellent!” Queen Catharina sent the dragon into the storm after her husband and commanded it to kill anyone it saw.
King Edwardo traveled for hours before finally reaching the tower, which was overgrown with thorny branches. He reached for his sword and began cutting down the trees and bushes while shouting “Isadora! ISADORA!” The princess ran to her window with glee and looked out into the stormy night as a very brave king chopped down the branches that stood in his way before reaching the ruins. Isadora then let down her long golden hair and Edwardo began to climb to her rescue.
All was going well until they heard what at first they thought was thunder but was in fact Catharina’s dragon. In little to no time, the two found themselves at the mercy of the scaly long lizard that flew around the tower shooting flames from each angle. Just meters from the window, Edwardo drew his sword and began to fearlessly fight the dragon in defense of Isadora. He worried for her safety as the dragon flew closer and closer to the window and the king threw his sword into the room before sacrificing himself to save his true love. The dragon blew flames at King Edwardo and Isadora watched as the love of her life caught fire and as he burned alive, he began to fall from the tower holding Isadora’s once beautiful long hair. She screamed as her brave king fell to his death in a bunch of flames, and then watched as his ashes blew along the River of Souls.
Chapter Six – Warrior Princess
The princess spent several years weeping over her deceased love. Her cries could be heard throughout the kingdom. The townsfolk were bound to their homes after the queen announced the cause of King Edwardo’s tragic death as a dragon attack. The dragon lay in the forest day in, day out in the ruins of the tower listening to the cries of a heartbroken Isadora.
The people of Faravelle were surprised by how well Queen Catharina coped with the news of her husband’s death while her stepdaughter wept. Not only did the queen not shed a tear, but also she became rather strict with the child. Lily became one of the castle’s servants and served the queen with endless amounts of chores. No longer was Lily privileged with beautiful gowns and dresses, she now wore old savaged rags and no longer resembled a young princess.
After the townsfolk saw the way that their queen was mistreating Lily, they began to talk. Some even swore that they heard lost princess’s cries. The rumors escalated throughout the kingdom and the queen began to look a little worried. She proposed a vacation to Lily of leaving the Kindom of Faravelle for a while. Lily refused for it was her home. Catharina began to get very mad and impatient with the girl and believed that her chores were no longer enough punishment. She locked the princess in her room while she packed up her things.
Back at the tower, Isadora who was still grieving her loss even years after his death started to think about her daughter and the castle where she once lived. She then thought of how Edwardo sacrificed his own life for hers. It was in that moment that she knew she needed to fight back and escape the tower on her own.
Isadora picked up Edwardo’s sword and ran to the window shouting of the dragon encouraging it to fly her way. As the dragon came close to the window, the princess dived out onto its back and with all of her anger and rage built up inside, the adrenaline took over and she began to slay the dragon avenging King Edwardo. As the dragon began to fall, so did Isadora landing on the dragon’s large scaly chest and the dragon’s wing landed on top of her. After the princess crawled out from under the dragon’s wing she found herself running through the forest back to her castle. As she ran through the village the townsfolk gasped in surprise and some even fainted at her feet. Nothing could stop Isadora now.
As she charged forward into the royal castle, Queen Catharina paused as she walked down the stairs with her suitcase packed, ready to load into the carriage. Isadora looked into Catharina’s large brown eyes, as they seemed more and more familiar. Isadora then broke the silence by asking the whereabouts of her daughter. The queen replied with “Don’t you recognize me my dear? Oh how silly of me! How could you possibly…” and in that moment, huge gusts of wind circled the queen as she began to glow in a purple glittery ball of light and she transformed into a familiar face. Queen Catharina was in fact Rumpelstiltskin disguised as a woman. He chuckled as he asked, “Miss me Princess?” Isadora took a few steps back knowing the power of the imp that stood before her. She jumped as Rumpel began chanting spells and firing at the princess. As she was blown backwards and broke into Rumpel’s enchanted mirror, which shattered all around her, he stood over her and stated that he would cast one last spell, the death curse. As Rumpelstiltskin began to say the spell, a terrified Isadora reached for a piece of the shattered mirror and as the magic came towards her, she shone the mirror directly at Rumpel, reflecting the spell back to the imp. He yelled, “What have you done?” The room filled with gusts of wind and the princess covered her eyes as Rumpelstiltskin burst into purple flames leaving nothing behind but his purple glittering ashes.
Isadora looked around the castle seeing destroyed furniture and broken ornaments. She then ran up the stairs to the room she believed to be her daughter’s. Upon opening the door, Lily instantly recognized her mother, leaping into her arms. The two were reunited at last and Isadora ruled the Kingdom of Faravelle as Queen Isadora with her daughter, Princess Lily at her side.