Kyngdom Survival Guide

*TALE: TWO KYNGDOMS

Chatterbox: KYNGDOM™ Power of Hoof

*TALE: TWO KYNGDOMS

*TALE: TWO KYNGDOMS

A Tale of Two Kyngdoms, Part One
By Zephyra

It was the worst of times. That much was obvious. Chaos everywhere. Claaws was dead. Jaaws roamed our land, jaws dripping with Brazen Goo. Catastrophe was always lurking, ready to fight anyone at the slightest provocation. I heard whispers of a “Mutant Army.” And B.I.G. crept ever closer to finding and activating all four of the Powers, which would lead to--what? Utter global destruction? To be honest, I was finding it harder and harder to go to sleep. Dark thoughts swirled through my brain at all hours of the night.

On one particularly hopeless mornings, as I was drooping over a mug of oak root coffee at the Bog & Burrow, I received word from my faithful network of spies that Dr. Cornelia Hornshaw was heading north, toward the Decoy Forest. My go-to tech wiz, Techibeetle, quickly tapped her phone and, after listening to a very disgruntled conversation she was having with one of her chief scientists, we learned that she believed the fourth Power--the Power of Hoof--was located there. In the forest.

Now, this was a little too close for comfort for me, my fellow spies, and the other Guardians. Because we knew that while the fourth Power wasn’t actually in the forest, it was nearby--very nearby, on the hoof of Regina the Silver Reindeer herself. I sent a message to Regina begging her to retreat to her mansion, and then I began planning my trip to the north.

(Another complication: I was supposed to be planning my nephew Little Crow’s Naming Ceremony. It was time. He was of age. But the party would just have to wait--and I felt terrible about it.)

After another mug of oak root coffee, I hit upon a plan that was simple, but so daring that it made me nauseous. I was going to do the unthinkable. I would try to intercept Cornelia before she went into the Decoy Forest, and I would…talk with her.

Yes, talk. A dialogue. I figured that I could use B.I.G.’s technology to make Cornelia understand what I was saying, and then I could explain how dangerous her behavior was. How it would put us all at risk--animals and humans. Naïve? Maybe. But sometimes the best route is the most direct, no? There’s a reason for the phrase “as the crow flies.”

Of course it was a terrible shock when, while flying over the Labyrinth, I heard something rustling about in the suitcase that was strapped to my back--and out popped Little Crow, squawking that he couldn’t let me go alone and he was practically an adult and why did I get to do all the fun stuff? I was furious that he’d snuck along, but it was too late to turn back. Cornelia’s train was literally zooming below us as we flew. Besides, I’ll admit it: sometimes it’s nice to have a sidekick.

When we arrived at Jökull, the mansion of the Silver Reindeer, Regina greeted us joyfully and gave us each a huge, steaming mug of Black Winter Cherry cider. Little Crow was shivering. I was exhausted.

“She’s coming,” said Regina, giving me a meaningful look.

“I loathe Cornelia Hornshaw,” spat Little Crow.

“Little! She’s done some terrible things, but she is a very lost, very confused woman,” I said.

“She thinks we’re stupid. She doesn’t respect the world we’ve built. Why do I have to like her?” said Little Crow.

I was flustered, jet-lagged, but Regina jumped in with grace. “You don’t have to like her, Little Crow,” she said, her mother-of-pearl horseshoes twinkling. “But what Cornelia Hornshaw lacks is empathy. She can’t put herself in our horseshoes, so to speak. So she’ll never truly understand us--or anything about the world, really. Zephyra is saying that if you try to empathize a little with her, no matter how much it angers you, then you will have already won part of the battle.
“And for the other parts--if empathy and reason fail, at least you have an entire network of spies and warriors on your side,” I added.

Little Crow’s eyes were drooping.

“Let’s go to bed,” I said. “Cornelia is probably staying at that human eyesore, the Wayward Villa, tonight, and won’t be striking off toward the Decoy Forest until morning.”

After Little Crow went to sleep, I turned to Regina.

“I’m worried,” I said. “The Decoy Forest never shows travelers the truth. But who knows what she’ll see there? Sometimes half-truths and white lies can lead to the real thing.”

Regina looked down at her fourth horseshoe--the one that was old, rusty, nondescript.

“I am prepared to fight,” she said, simply.

submitted by Zephyra, Decoy Forest
(January 4, 2017 - 1:39 pm)

A Tale of Two Kyngdoms, Part Two

When I woke in the morning, I didn’t know where I was.

Let me emphasize how rare this is for me. I am a highly trained spy, a black belt in Avian Ninjary, and I have decades of experience adapting to whatever bizarre trouble comes my way. Besides, I’m a crow: scavenging and surviving is in my blood. As one of my defense tactics, I’ve trained myself to wake up fully alert. So it was a shock when I woke up and the room was swimming and I had no memory of the night before.

“Regina?” I croaked, but the mansion was silent.

Something deep in the pit of my stomach--some spy instinct, some ancient crow warning signal--twanged. My mind was flooded with a single thought: Get out. Now.

I struggled out of bed and flew through the halls of the empty mansion as silently as possible, looking for Little Crow. I found him in his bedroom, still asleep. I shook him awake. He looked as groggy as I felt.

“The Black Winter Cherry cider,” he whispered immediately. “There was something in it.”

I felt a surge of pride at his detective skills. I also felt nauseous. Regina and I had been friends for decades. I spent most Christmases at her mansion. She was my confidant, my pal. Surely she wouldn’t--no. Someone got to her before I did. Was it B.I.G.?

“We can’t stay here anymore,” I said. “We’ve got to find Regina.”

My nephew and I flew outside and gaped in shock. The outside of beautiful Jökull was covered in graffiti: CATASTROPHE WAS HERE.

Little Crow and I took cover under a weeping willow covered in delicate icicles. I was trying to hold it together, but I’ll admit that I never felt so low in my life. How in the world did I miss this particular menace? I assumed that Catastrophe wasn’t a threat to people like us--that he was busy creating his deranged schemes in another section of Kyngdom, that he had no idea about us vs. B.I.G., and that he wouldn’t care if he knew. But apparently he’d decided to get involved. Great. Just great. Nothing tests a crow like fighting off two enemies at once.

“Stay here and keep watch over Jökull, but remain absolutely hidden,” I told Little Crow. “I’m headed for the Decoy Forest to find Cornelia. If you notice anything suspicious, fly straight to me.” He nodded. He already looked older than his age. Poor kid, always so brave.

I flew around in front of the Forest for about five minutes before I saw Cornelia Hornshaw walking toward it in a dramatic white fur coat with a massive hood. I dove downward and got in her face--a little aggressively, I admit.

“Cornelia, I need to talk with you,” I shouted.

As I predicted, she whipped out the device B.I.G. uses to translate animal-speak.

“Repeat yourself, crow,” she said in a voice made of ice.

“I think you know who I am,” I said. “We’ve met before.”

She shrugged.

“Listen, I don’t have time for a dramatic monologue about how much you’ve wronged my people or how tacky it is that you’re wearing a fur coat,” I said. “In fact, I’m here to help you. This forest is incredibly dangerous. I know what you think you see in there, but believe me, the Decoy Forest has no interest in showing you the truth.”

“I don’t understand why you’re so invested in any of this,” said Cornelia, gesturing broadly toward the forest, the land, the sky. “You don’t have opinions. You don’t have emotions. Why do you care?”

I looked deep into Cornelia’s flat, beady eyes, trying to find some sliver of understanding.

“Did you know that I have a name?” I said.

“What?”

“I have a name,” I said. “Did you know that? I know your name. Cornelia Hornshaw. Well, I have one, too.”

“Get to the point,” she snapped.

“My name is Zephyra. I can talk, think, reason, and feel. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you believe me or not--you are fighting something much deeper than just the Powers. You are fighting nature. You are fighting biology. And you are wrong about biology, Cornelia. You know nothing of what you study, and that’s not just embarrassing for you--that’s sad, deeply sad.”

Cornelia opened her mouth but no sound came out. Just then, Little Crow zoomed into the clearing, out of breath.

“Catastrophe’s army!” he cawed, ignoring Cornelia. “They’re swarming all around Jökull. They’re tearing down the tapestries, digging up trees. It’s total chaos.”

“Cornelia,” I said, desperately, naively, “will you help us? There’s an army nearby who doesn’t care about human vs. animal. They’re total anarchists. They’re full of creatures, vampires, ghouls--they just want destruction. This is so much bigger than--”

But Cornelia was staring into the forest with a look of awe on her face. I could see the forest glimmering and rippling, as it does when it shows someone a vision.


“Regina,”
she whispered.

And then the weirdest thing: I saw Regina, too. She was deep in the forest, the Power still on her hoof, tied to a blue juniper tree. Were Cornelia and I sharing the same delusion? Or did the fact that the Decoy Forest show it to both of us mean that…it was real?

Cornelia plunged into the forest. Little Crow and I followed.

submitted by Zephyra
(January 5, 2017 - 8:42 am)

A Tale of Two Kyngdoms, Part Three

“Don’t pay attention to ANYTHING,” I screamed to Little Crow as we flew, whipping through the branches of the blue junipers. I could already see the decoys glimmering on either side of me. There was my mother, begging me to stop training and come home for dinner. There was my older sister, who died decades ago in battle, asking me to bind her wounds. Tears sprung to my eyes. I could tell from Little Crow’s grim expression that he was having similar visions.

Beneath us, I saw Cornelia reel and stagger. “Joshua!” she cried, tears pouring down her face. “Joshua, come back!” Suddenly, she plunged off the path and deep into the trees.

“I knew humans weren’t strong enough for this sort of psychological strain,” I muttered. “Little, fly straight to Regina and untie her. I’m going after this human.”

For a moment, I watched Little Crow speed away, straight as an arrow. He was practically my son. He’d done so much, been so strong, for such a small warrior. Soon I hoped to give him his name.
But emotion could be dangerous in situations like these. I blinked away my tears and plunged into the dark underbrush of the forest, dodging roots and low-hanging branches, searching for Cornelia. At first I thought she was gone forever, that the forest had swallowed her whole.

But then I saw her, kneeling at the edge of one of the Decoy Forest’s dark, treacherous canyons. She was rocking back and forth, clawing at the air.

“Don’t leave me again,” she whispered. “I promise this time I’ll do better. I’ll study harder, I’ll learn more. I won’t be so emotional. I’ll be merciless. I’ll be the type of scientist you could really love. Please, Joshua, don’t leave me, don’t leave me for her, don’t leave me, come back.”

And then she stood, and took a wobbly step forward, and plunged over the edge of the canyon.
Had I been another sort of creature, like a badger or a muskox or a human, her story would have ended there. Thankfully, I try to see the best in people--Cornelia had information we could use. And thankfully, I can fly.

I dove into the canyon and caught Cornelia on my back. (We crows are forever stronger than we look.) As she whispered and babbled and cried into the back of my neck, I flew straight toward Regina. It was as though the Decoy Forest was opening up for me, finally showing me the true way. You can imagine my relief when I found Regina at the base of the blue juniper tree, and saw that Little Crow was already untying her. I dropped Cornelia gently to the ground and flew over to my friend, who was trembling.

“I’m so sorry,” Regina sobbed. “They spiked the Winter Black Cherry cider. I had no idea. When I tried to go to bed, they emerged from behind the curtains and took me away. It was awful, awful. They said they wanted to take the Power. They said they wanted to watch the world burn.”

At the mention of the Power, I shot a glance at Cornelia. But she just looked at us, spent and shaken. And then she said something that I never thought I’d hear a human say, something that still rings in my ears like a bell of salvation:

“What can I do to help?”

“You help us?” I cawed. “What do you think gives you the right? You, the leader of the B.I.G., of all things?”

“Catastrophe wants to kill all of us,” Cornelia whimpered. “And…you saved my life.”

I look at Regina. She nodded. I nodded back. Suddenly she neighed, and reared up on her beautiful mother-of-pearl clad hoofs, and cried, “Climb aboard.” And the three of us clambered onto her back and shot through the forest, with the blue juniper branches whistling over our heads.

It wasn’t until we exploded out of the Decoy Forest and immediately hit the ground, hard, and groaned and checked our aching wings/arms/legs and rubbed our scratched faces that we realized Regina was gone.

She’d vanished out from under us.


She had been a decoy all along.

submitted by Zephyra
(January 5, 2017 - 10:44 am)

A Tale of Two Kyngdoms, Part Four

“The Powers, the Powers, the Powers.” The sound spread over northwest Kyngdom like a black plague. Catastrophe’s army was chanting.

Cornelia was staring her cellphone. I was about to snap at her to pay attention to the real world, when she screamed. “I can’t believe it,” she choked, staring at the cracked screen. “The laboratory is burning. That heathen army is destroying everything. My scientists are out of a job. And the Powers are all gone.”

“OK, OK, OK, OK,” I said, in lieu of coming up with a plan. “They’re gathering at Jökull. They have Regina. They’re going to activate the fourth Power…”

Cornelia snapped to attention. “I’m calling my two idiot--ah, I mean, my fellow scientists. Bob and Gog. They’ll help us. I mean, they’re unemployed now.”

“Let’s retreat back to the Bog & Burrow and gather the troops,” I said. “The three of us simply aren’t enough to take on an entire army.”

We arrived at the Bog & Burrow an hour later. There, my faithful allies were waiting for me: Silverpaw, Treetoad, Techibeetle, Flying Sqirl, Ssassandra, the whole gang. Cornelia’s fellow scientists, Bob and Gog, were there too. I recognized them from, well, the time they kidnapped me, but I nodded in their general direction anyway. No hard feelings. There was also a ragtag bunch of people I didn’t recognize. Silverpaw whispered in my ear, “They identify as members of the Mutant Army. They want to help.”

Nervous energy crackled in the air. “What do we do?” hissed Ssassandra. A hooded figure from the Mutant Army whispered a response that sliced through the air: “We fight.”


I am prepared to fight.
Regina’s last words to me.

“We head back north,” I said, simply. The crowd roared. “But wait! Before we go, Little Crow, will you come forward?”

My nephew took a fancy backward loop de loop flight path toward the front of the room.

“We’ll throw you a real party after all this chaos has died down,” I said. “But in front of everyone, I wanted to acknowledge your bravery, your cleverness, and your growth as a bird. When crows come of age, they receive their name. Little Crow, you are fast, you are witty, you are bright. I bequeath you your new name: Flash.”

Little Crow tried to hold himself together, but I could see his eyes were shining. Courageous kid. What did he see in the Decoy Forest?

We packed. We headed back north. I’ve never seen the Badger Express move so quickly. I kept an eye on Cornelia, and several times she complaining about the “accommodations,” but mostly she was helpful. She even tried to reach out to Silverpaw, who to this day refuses to even look at her.

Anyway, it was nightfall by the time we arrived once more at Jökull, which was no longer peaceful and twinkling with candlelight, but raucous, filthy, and overrun with Catastrophe’s warriors. I sent Silverpaw and Flying Sqirl to camp out in the trees and report back. Meanwhile, we set up our own camp under the cover of darkness.

Before long, Flying Sqirl came leaping back through the trees to bring us horrifying news. She’d spotted Regina through the huge front window of the mansion. They had her in a cage, uncomfortably close to a raging fire--and all four of her horseshoes were missing.

“But how will they know how to activate the Power?” said Cornelia.

I turned to her. “That’s it! They know who you are, and what B.I.G. does. Tell them you want to make an alliance. Tell them you want to help them activate all four Powers and see what happens. Tell them that they’re helpless without your scientific knowledge.”

“No! What’s stopping her from actually making that alliance and betraying all the animals?” Silverpaw shot in.

“I don’t believe Catastrophe is capable of making an alliance, and I don’t think Cornelia does either. And regardless--it’s our only chance, Silverpaw.”

He looked away and said no more.

“Quick, Cornelia,” I said, “take Bob and Gog and try to worm your way inside--this might be our only chance of getting close to Regina before one of those madmen accidentally sets the Power off.”

Cornelia shook her head, slowly. “I can’t.”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” said Flying Sqirl. “You’re a scientist. You know how to manipulate variables.”

“I can’t knock on that door,” said Cornelia. “I can’t fling myself on their mercy. They’re--they’re creatures. They’re beasts.”

I looked at Cornelia. I stared deep into her eyes. I didn’t see hate. All I saw was fear.

“I’m sorry,” she choked, and sprinted off into the darkness, in the direction of the Decoy Forest. I realized, then, that the forest had gotten its claws in her, and it was drawing her back into its pain-filled mazes…forever.

“Cornelia!” shrieked Bob, and ran after her.

We all looked at Gog.

“What? I’m not going with them,” he said. “They always told me I was stupid. But I always thought you guys were real cool.”

“Well, Gog,” I said. “Do you want to try being the hero for a change?”

Will Gog try to get the Hoof from Catastrophe? Once morning dawns, will the two armies clash in battle? Will all four powers be activated? Tell us what happens below! 

 

submitted by Zephyra
(January 5, 2017 - 11:40 am)

Zephyra, it is in your best interests not to engage with any of the vampires Catastrophe has. Wait for me, and my reinforcements. As a Highborn Vampire, I can guarentee that any of the vampires which you may encounter will leave me alone. I will be coming to your aid along with some buddys. And weapons. 

-Elliot 

submitted by Elliot
(January 5, 2017 - 6:31 pm)

I thought Blazing Star had the Power of Hoof, a small drum she carried around her neck? She posted on the Underwater Ball thread. Also wow, first non-admin post! Funny how my clock says it's 1:35, but the thread was posted at 1:39. 

submitted by Viola?, age Secret, Secret
(January 5, 2017 - 1:35 pm)

We wrote these chapters a long time ago, so some details might not match newer threads! Maybe Blazing Star and Regina are co-guardians or friends?

submitted by The Editors
(January 5, 2017 - 5:00 pm)

The Power of Hoof! The first Power I'm here for! Thank you Admins!

thankyouthankyouthankyou

so much! 

submitted by shadow, age 13
(January 5, 2017 - 5:13 pm)

SAME!!! SO EXCITING!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Mr X. says brad. So your name is brad? OK. *shrugs*

submitted by Nehina, age Classified, Everywhere
(January 5, 2017 - 8:40 pm)

you walk into shadow's bedroom at the Resistance base, looking for her after she missed training this morning. The room is empty. Huh. It's not like her to go somewhere without notifying someone first. You search the room for a clue as to where she's gone, and there, lying on her bed, you see it. 

A note.

Dear friends,

I'm sorry to have up and left like this, but I needed to go after the Power of Hoof. It was calling me. I was aching for an adventure, anyways. Not a controlled mission or a project for the Resistance. I wanted freedom. Something I could do without worrying about others reprimanding me, telling me what to do. After Mina left for her own mission, I got lonely. I hope you don't feel as though I'm abandoning you. I have left to help try to rescue Regina from Catastrophe. I will not tell you how I plan to get there, in fear for you following me. Brynn, I'm sorry for leaving you like this. I think Sprocket and Trillian will be far better teachers for you than I ever could have been. Good luck with your lessons. 

~shadow, also known as shadow of everywhere, former Angel of Death 

submitted by shadow, age 13
(January 5, 2017 - 6:11 pm)

I have to activate the Power of Hoof, don't I? Even if it means that they'll all hate me. They don't know about Sylvia, and we have to--Oh feathers, we have to reactivate Claaws! Oh feathers, if Cornelia is on our side, then--my dad! Oh feathers, he started the---

I have to activate the Power. It's my mission, and I quietly take a deep breath before I step into the forest. Claaws, Lunee, I'll never forget about you. I swear, once I'm done getting Sylvia, I'll get you. I swear, once I get Sylvia, Unicorn, Power of Hoof....

FAFA will call me a traitor.

But I have to do this.

I am PowerFriend, after all. 

submitted by Icy, age 12!!!, The Forest
(January 5, 2017 - 3:30 pm)

Hello, Icy I'm new here and I was wondering if you could explain everything to me. Please.

submitted by Squid
(May 6, 2017 - 6:01 pm)

Hello! I know I'm not Icy, but I'd be happy to help if you like.

The story has changed a lot since FAFA first rose up against BIG. Now it's mainly the all-inclusive Resistance against the wicked boy king Catastrophe and the mysterious evil organization called The Black Skull. There are many other organizations and conflicts, but that's what the main focus has been on lately.

There's a Story So Far thread on the home page, as well as one somewhere in the Power of Claw collection, which is accessed by clicking on the thing at the top of the home page that says "Power of Claw". That one is updated to around the time of the Power of Fin. We're currently on the Power of Hoof. The Powers are six ancient magical beings--Caelani, the gryphon and Power of Wing, Ecio, clawed serpent and Power of Claw, Ayearth, sea serpent and Power of Fin, Sylvia, unicorn and Power of Hoof, Claaws, dragon and Power of Fang/Darkness, and Lunee, angel-winged wolf and Power of Howl. You may have known that, I don't know. Each Power has an instrument form and an animal form, and most have Sideaffected Powers, which are usually evil beings created when a Power makes a major mistake. There's more, but this is getting long and you might not even want to hears it from me. So... If there are any questions you have for me, I will do my best to answer them.

submitted by Viola?, age Secret, Secret
(May 7, 2017 - 8:03 am)

Thank you it makes more sense now.

submitted by Squid, age --, --
(May 7, 2017 - 10:22 am)

You're welcome!

submitted by Viola?, age Secret, Secret
(May 7, 2017 - 2:12 pm)

Oh! Sorry I wasn't here  to answer, but  I assure you I'm here for any questions.

submitted by Icy
(May 7, 2017 - 2:18 pm)