A TOKEN APPEARANCE
Eternia was a place where myth, sorcery, and technology were closely intertwined. Some people might rise in the morning and thank the Ancients for having made it through the night and then attend a local market filled with produce, potions, and electronic toys for children; minor magicians evoked spells to help with the household cleaning, while someone the next door over might have forgone sleep and spent the night tinkering with a new invention. However, despite those close everyday relationships, what most Eternians had not been able to control was the weather and a sudden yet then welcomed late night downpour could create unwelcomed results. The rainstorm of the previous night had left more than just a cool morning in its wake. Several fresh fields in the vicinity of Eternos were saturated by the unexpected rainfall and faced potential ruin. In the late afternoon word came that Prince Adam and the Captain of the Guard would be needed. Unfortunately their visit to the museum with their guest Lady Velora of Porras was cut short and she was left, with numerous apologies, to wander the Royal Gardens. The soft gurgling of water in the man made streams and fountains, together with the warm afternoon created a calming affect. So absorbed was she in her inspection of an elegant fountain that she failed to notice Randor, King of Eternia and father to Adam standing a discrete distance away with his sentries.
He was the warrior king who had served Eternia, first as a dedicated soldier and then was personally chosen by the Elders to rule. He came to the Eternian throne not by seeking power but by having it thrust upon him. The Elders knew what they were doing and King Randor was admired throughout Eternia for his military intelligence, compassion, and willingness to render aid to all.
From her early days in Eternos Velora was witness to other things about the noble King Randor. It was clearly evident that King Randor loved his family and treasured his friends. As a child Velora would watch the tableau as an outsider, much like the children who plastered their noses up against the window of the shop that sold the most decadent sweets in the kingdom. She longed to be a part of such a family. The way the King would gaze upon Queen Marlena with adoration made her toes curl. It was almost like she was the only one in the room. Velora also remembered Adam's adoration for his father. His mischievous antics would produce a warm, hearty laugh in the King. A strong contrast to the man that was often seen by the outside world. In King Randor's presence Velora always felt the inclination to stand a little straighter then before. The King had a commanding presence and anyone could see that Adam, despite his more approachable demeanor, inherited his father's stature and dignity. Velora pushed down a girlish indulgence when she thought of Adam and what other attributes he may have inherited from his father.
"I trust your accommodations are to you and your mother's liking?" King Randor asked as he nugged her out of her daydreams.
"Oh yes your majesty. We were pleasantly surprised to discover that mother and I had the same rooms which we used so many years ago. In some ways it feels like we never left."
"That's nice to hear. Porras and Eternia have always been great allies and it is good to have the two of you among us again."
"Thank you sire."
"If I remember correctly you've always been your mother's travel companion yet in communications from the past few years she mentioned that you were pursuing other interests."
"I spent a good amount of time in the city of Drisdos, your majesty, doing research for my mother. She is well aware of my infatuation with architecture so she felt that the task would work towards my strengths. It was her hope that the environmentally harmonic design of Drisdos' infrastructure would benefit some of the more secluded areas of Porras. Unfortunately, as I'm sure you're aware of, many of the villagers were less then enthusiastic about the idea. No one likes being told that their way of life could use some improvements."
"Very true. So you've become an expert on Drisian architectural design. That is quite unusual for a lady of the court."
"I prefer the term admirer. It has far less threatening connotations. Unfortunately I have to choose my battles. Many of my mother's colleagues do not take too kindly to someone half their age telling them that they aren't as informed as they should be, let alone a woman."
"You are indeed your mother's daughter Velora," he chuckled goodnaturedly. "You've grown into quite the young lady. I've enjoyed our chat but if you'll excuse me I must meet up with the second half of the Porras delegation. She's been waiting for far too long. Please enjoy your visit. I'm sure the Prince will be more then willing to escort you for the duration of your stay."
And with a nod of the head from King Randor and a curtsy from Lady Velora in return the king was off in the direction of his offices on the other side of the palace.
Lady Velora was a frequent playmate of Adam's so many years ago and if their brief chat was any indication then she had grown into a lovely, witty, and intelligent young woman. She would make a fine match for Adam. A good queen should compliment her husband's strengths and aid his weaknesses.
It was not his role to choose Adam's potential bride but the boy certainly wasn't going about the task in a way that he approved of. Choosing the future Queen of Eternia was no laughing matter. Finding love is hard enough without complicating it with matters of state. Randor was lucky. It's not every day true love falls out of the sky he thought with a smile. When Marlena broke the happy news of her pregnancy Randor made a vow to himself that he would do everything in his power to ensure the happiness of their growing little family. He would love them, raise them, and protect them. And when the time came he would let them follow their own paths in life and support them throughout. He would not mettle in their private affairs. He would let his children be individuals and let them discover their own interests, not what he wanted them to do. Yet despite all the best intentions Randor found himself going against everything he promised himself with Adam. Perhaps if things had gone differently so many years ago he thought absently. The point of the matter was that Randor had no desire to rush Adam. He was still young, but he would like his son to occasionally give some thought to what his flirtageous dalliances with the females of the court could do to his inevitable decision to marry. No self-respecting girl would want to marry a playboy. It doesn't matter that marriage to Adam would bring this girl the crown and a handsome husband. Aside from those two obvious benefits King Randor was quite aware that his son set many hearts aflutter throughout the kingdom. He was quite the charmer. In addition to that Adam was respectful, intelligent, funny, and extremely affable. Randor liked the reflection of himself and Marlena that he saw in Adam. There's no question in his mind that he was proud to have this young man as his son and heir but the boy wasn't perfect. No one was and unfortunately those few blemishes were enough to cast doubt on whether Adam truly was prepared to inherit the throne.
As Randor looked up he realized that he'd completed the rather long walk to the other side of the palace and where he would meet the Chief Councilor to the King of Porras, along with his wife and his man-at-arms. He was completely lost in his musings that the walk went by rather quickly. "It's still far too early for those thoughts," Randor grumbled to himself. Thoughts of his son were usually reserved for late night contemplation. "No matter. On to business," he thought as the sentries posted before the doors to his office saluted and opened the doors to his awaiting audience.
The laughter of a woman rang out in the early evening air on the grounds of the Palace of Eternia.
"Well that's not what I've heard," contested Velora.
"Oh well that must have been my evil twin," Adam whispered conspiratorially. "You see like all families we too have a deep dark secret and he happens to be it. We have to keep him locked up. When ever he gets out he causes a great deal of damage to the hearts of all the poor girls here. It's not pretty."
"I think I'd like to meet this evil twin," Velora said with a gleam in her eye, "He can't be all that bad. People can't stop gushing about him. And shame on you Prince Adam for keeping such a secret from me. I thought we were friends. Don't you trust me?" And with that Velora took Adam's arm and led him away to complete her tour of the palace. Perhaps she can convince Adam to let his "twin" come out to play Velora thought playfully.
And beyond the horizon from where Prince Adam of Eternia and his companion flirted, past the Fertile Plains and near the edge of the Evergreen Forest stood a shadowy remnant of the past that linked the present to the future of Eternia. It was here where a search that had once appeared to be futile was about to receive an unexpected jolt.
Despite the passage of so many years Grayskull protected its own and across the vastness of space it continued to reach out despite the shadows that surrounded the source. So powerful was the stranglehold of the the shadows that Grayskull could never quite pinpoint its location. That was until now. It was not, however, a time for celebration but a time for urgency. A soul was now at a crossroads. There comes a point when the soul becomes so tainted with past indiscretions that redemption is hardly possible. If proper measures were not taken then all could potentially be lost.