Chapter 1: The Shadow Sages
It had been months since the Thousand-Year Door. Since, well, you know. The whole thing with the Shadow Queen… The whole world was enveloped in darkness for a time. It quickly died down, though. If the Shadow Queen had been out of the door long enough, she would be far too powerful to defeat. This darkness caught the attention of three wise Shadows who lived alone in Twilight Town.
“We still can’t find any sort of clue as to what that darkness was in these texts!” Geldam shouted.
These three Shadows were the Shadow Sages. They had been around for a long time. A long, LONG time. Yet even they did not date to the time when the Shadows ruled the planet. To the time when the Shadow Queen ruled. They were not there when the Thousand-Year door was closed. They didn’t know about these occurrences. Ever since the darkness fell, they have been searching through endless volumes of ancient books to discover the secrets.
“I think I found it!” Simean cried out. He held up a large and old book over his head.
“Well what took you so long, you dunce?!” Geldam shouted. “You should be glad I don’t punish you for incompetence!” Geldam snatched the book out of his hand and read through the pages quickly.
“Huh,” Geldam sighed in annoyance. “There is nothing in here that in any way points to the darkness.”
Gyrian snatched the book out of his hands and stared at it long and hard.
“Aha!” he exclaimed. He pointed to a page. It read:
Rougeport and Surrounding Towns,
It has come to the attention of the neighboring kingdoms that this Shadow Queen who resides over you is becoming too powerful. The overwhelming darkness alone has destroyed the crop rotation. We must entrap your tyrant inside the Palace of Shadows, where she currently resides. We must seal the door using the seven Crystal Stars. Each city has one. Use these to seal the door and return peace once again to the land.
“This finally clears up that conundrum.” Geldam bellowed, “Thanks for nothing, Simean!” Geldam read the document over again.
“You know what? This says something about a Shadow Queen ruling all! We’re Shadows! Was it possible we dominated the world?” Geldam pondered.
“Didn’t I hear something about that Sir Grodus fellow releasing a Shadow Queen?” Simean said.
“Hum. Maybe… yes! Yes, I did hear about that! Where does this Grodus fellow live now?” Geldam screeched.
“I believe over in Poshley Heights, sir,” Simean yelped.
“Heh!” Geldam chuckled. “Maybe you’ll be a use to us after all! Come, brothers, let’s go to Poshley Heights!”
* * * *
Geldam, Simean and Gyrian arrived in Poshley Heights. It was a beautiful day, as it always was in that section of the kingdom. They wandered around, looking for the whereabouts of Grodus.
“Here! Let’s try that building- Poshley Sanctum! Gyrian!” Geldam shouted. Gyrian had stuffed his face full of pasta. “Don’t let that food stick out of your mouth! It’s so unbecoming.”
“Guh,” Gyrian grunted as he slurped up the pasta.
They floated over to the Sanctum, where Pennington sat outside.
“Who are you people?” Pennington asked. “On second thought… what are you people?”
“We…” Geldam said, gesturing to the other disgruntled figures, “are the Shadow Sages. We come in search of Sir Grodus.”
“Oh, you mean that nut with no body?”
The Sages looked at each other and then back at Pennington.
“That guy’s over at the hotel with his buddy, Crump. They’ve been living there for a while.” Pennington’s voice then went down to a whisper. “Between you and me, I think they got money problems.”
The Sages looked at each other with puzzled looks. Despite Pennington’s weird comments, they headed toward the hotel.
They entered and walked up to the front desk. Gyrian immediately wondered off to stare at the water coming down from the indoor falls.
“May I help you?” a young Toad girl said with a perky tone.
“Ahem! Yes, we are looking for a Mr. Grodus.” Geldam said.
“He’s on the third floor,” the girl said. “Say! Who’s your friend?” She looked at Simean with stars in her eyes. He was a very good-looking Shadow despite his through-the-floor low self-esteem (no doubt due to Geldam’s constant criticism).
“Who, HIM?!” Geldam shouted. “Some idiot who doesn’t know when to shut up!”
“But I didn’t say any-“
“ZIP IT! There will be severe punishment for this when we get home!” Geldam’s voice went down twelve tones as he said, “Thank you, miss.” He then grabbed Simean’s arm and yanked him toward the elevator.
“C’mon, Gyrian!” Geldam yelled.
They opened the door to the hotel room, seeing a disembodied head laying on a bed pillow and a fat man wearing a helmet sitting in a chair staring blankly at an infomercial.
“Excuse me, which one of you is Grodus?” Geldam asked.
“I am, what’s it to you?” the disembodied head said.
The three brothers jumped as they watched the head hop over to them.
“We… we… came to ask about the Shadow Queen,” Simean said with a loud gulp.
“Oh yes. That one. She is why we didn’t conquer the world,” Grodus said, smoothly.
“That crazy freak who nearly destroyed the world?” Crump yelled.
“We want to know more about her,” Geldam said.
“It’s a long story. Are you sure you want to hear the whole thing?” Grodus asked.
The three Shadows nodded.
“All right. I’ll tell you the story. Pull up a chair. I’d pull one up for you, but well… you know.” He looked down at his missing body. “Anyway. And so the story begins…”