Once Upon a time, in the land
of the humans, there was a Kingdom called Rugalia. Rugalia lay in
the arms of the Fastral Mountains, near the border of the Land of
Ghouls. In the Kingdom of Rugalia there once lived a King and a
Queen who had no child of their own, for it had been prophesied
that if the Queen bore a child, then the black plague would surely
visit the kingdom for five hundred years.
King Ruper and Queen Liana
greatly desired a child, and they sent across the lands for help,
seeking the advice of wise men and wise women who might find some
way to confound the prophecy. Yet no way was ever found.
At long last word of Ruper and
Liana's distress came even unto the Land of Ghouls. And the
Council of Ghouls pondered this news, wondering whether they might
not strike upon some way to turn the Rugalian Monarchs' desire to
their own benefit.
One evening a Ghoul named
Gathlia came before the Ghoul council. In her arms was a Ghoul
baby, her own child just delivered. "Harken Ghouls, and look
well," said Gathlia, holding out her child as though for
inspection, "have any of you ever seen a Ghoul child who looked so
like a human child. And the Ghoul council looked, and they goggled
and wretched, grunted and said that it was just as Gathlia had
"Now," declared Gathlia, Aa
Ghoul child in human form has always been thought a great shaming
and misfortune to a Ghoul, yet the longing of the King and Queen
of Rugalia makes me think that my child shall be a blessing and
not a misfortune to the Ghouls. And the Ghoul council clapped and
shouted, for they saw the wisdom of Gathlia's words.
Two days later a basket was
found outside the castle of Rugalia, and in it was a baby girl
wrapped in a blanket. There was also a card which read, "Dear
Queen Liana and King Ruper, please accept this child as your own."
Signed - A loyal subject who wishes you health and happiness."
The King and Queen were
overjoyed. They named the Child Apelia, and raised her with the
greatest loving kindness and care. One strange thing the King and
Queen noticed about their daughter was that though Apelia refused
all food she nonetheless seemed to thrive and grow swiftly. It was
also noticed at this time that a strange sound was to be heard
around the castle late at night, a stealthy crawling noise as
though a silken animal were slipping softly about. Furthermore it
was noted that the castle's mouse population seemed to be
Over the next decade Apelia
continued to thrive and grow, while the Castle's population of
mice, then rats, then cats, and then dogs, gradually disappeared.
About the time that the last dog disappeared from the castle The
King and Queen began to worry about Apelia, for she appeared to be
losing weight and growing weak. One morning Liana came into
Apelia's bedroom and was overjoyed to discover that her daughter
appeared to have completely recovered, almost as though she had
eaten an enormous feast in the night. Later that morning Apelia's
governess was discovered to be missing. No trace of the Governess
could be found.
Liana questioned Apelia ,but
all her daughter was able to say was that the governess had been
very good. A month later Apelia appeared to be wasting away again.
Yet on a morning Liana was reassured to find her daughter looking
healthy again, plump to bursting almost, as she put it. That
afternoon the gardener was reported missing. A castle wide search
could turn up no information.
A month later Apelia again
appeared to be wasting away. Liana ran off to express her concern
to the King, but she could find him nowhere. After great and
frantic searching she came into Apelia's room. Though greatly
agitated about her husband's disappearance, the Queen was pleased
to find that her daughter had recovered once more and returned to
robustness and health.
No trace of the king was ever
found and the Queen, whilst mourning her husband, felt that she
had a double sorrow, for once again her daughter was seen to be
wasting away. She found Apelia lying in bed looking weak and
famished. "My darling," sobbed Liana, isn't there anything mommy
can do for you, mommy would do anything for you." Would you really
mommy," asked Apelia. "Of course darling," said the Queen.
Queen Liana was never seen
again, and Apelia became the new Queen of Rugalia. At Apelia's
coronation an embassy from the land of Ghoul's showed up. From the
Ghoul ambassador Apelia learned of her true origin, concerning
which she never told the humans. She straightway announced to her
subjects, however, that it would be her policy to try and make
peace with the Ghouls. Throughout her glorious reign Queen Apelia
sent embassy after embassy of Rugalians to the land of the Ghouls,
none of which ever returned.
Apelia was a great Queen. She
made many outstanding new laws, such as the law requiring her
subjects to shower with salt and pepper, rather than water, so
that they would be more tender and taste better. In the Land of
Ghouls many new dishes and delicacies, such as Ambassador's
ankles, and Envoy's Earlobes, were named in her honor.
After five years of Apelia's
reign, for unknown reasons, her ungrateful human subjects rose up
in revolt against this goodly Queen. Fortunately however, thanks
to secret preparations made by the Queen with the Ghoul council,
the Rugalian conspirators were surprised and defeated, and the
entire Rugalian population was eaten by the Ghoul army during a
memorable and delicious victory feast.
After the consumption of her
human subjects Queen Apelia retired to the Land of Ghouls where
she became an important member of the Ghoul council. Apelia is
still remembered in the land of the Ghouls as a great ruler.
Perhaps Queen Apelia's greatest legacy was that never again, in
the Land of the Ghouls, was a Ghoul child born in the shape of a
human called a misfortune.