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AABN:  63145
Title: a book entitled, 'Princess Sophronia and the God of Thunder, part 1'

Princess Sophronia and the God of Thunder, part 1

INTRODUCTION

Sophronia was an ordinary eight-year-old girl, until her widowed mother
caught the eye of the King of Magicka.  The king decided to buck the
tradition of marrying fellow royalty and courted her mother, and the two
were soon married.  Along with that marriage, Sophronia became a princess. 
As a symbol of her newfound status, the king entrusted his stepdaughter
with the Amulet of Avignon.

Although it wasn't believed to be magical, the amulet's latent powers were
awakened by the pureness of Sophronia's heart, and thus it granted her a
host of minor magical abilities, such as the ability to converse with
animals and summon the princesses of other realms to advise her.  She keeps
these powers secret to protect herself and her family.

STORY

The scent of freshly baked pastries made its way throughout the castle
until the aroma reached Sophronia's bedroom.  She awoke to the familiar
scent, aroused with fond memories of her days as a baker's daughter in the
village.  Sophronia dismissed the waiting chambermaid as she did every
morning, preferring to bathe and clothe herself.

Once she was ready for the day, Sophronia went straight to the kitchen. 
All sorts of pastries were laid out on platters, waiting to be served to
Sophronia's family in the dining hall at the appointed time.  The royal
chef looked very busy, so Sophronia approached his daughter, a girl about
Sophronia's age who acted as the chef's assistant.  'Good morning, Sutch. 
Would it be all right to have an apple tart before breakfast?'

The kitchen scullion replied, 'I'm sorry, miss.  No apple pastries today. 
We're all out of fresh fruit and having to rely on the dried stuff.'  She
pushed several dried apple slices into a cup with a fork and offered it to
Sophronia, saying, 'It's okay to snack on, but it doesn't bake well.'

'That's all right, Sutch,' Sophronia replied, accepting the apple slices. 
'Do you know why there isn't any fresh fruit?'

'I don't rightly know, miss,' Sutch replied curtly.  'I reckon it's the
drought.  It hasn't rained in months.  There hasn't been any fresh fruit in
the village for weeks.  What little fruit there is has been imported and
costs a fortune.'

'Oh my,' Sophronia gasped.  It might not have rained for a long time, but
she hadn't really noticed.  The lack of rain hadn't interrupted her routine
until now.  'Those poor villagers.'

'I'd feel worse for the orchard keepers,' Sutch continued.  'Their whole
livelihood depends on rain.'

While pondering the situation, Sophronia was interrupted by the castellan,
Juris.  'Ah, Sophronia, there you are!  You really must learn to let the
attendants do their jobs!  The kitchen is no place for royalty.'

'Sorry, Juris,' Sophronia replied dryly.  'I'll go sit in the dining room.'

After breakfast, Sophronia immediately went up to see the royal sorcerer. 
She knocked on the door to his chambers, and the door magically opened of
its own accord.

The sorcerer was engaged in some sort of alchemy, mixing ingredients in a
bowl while reading a recipe book as the princess approached.  'Yes, yes,
what can do for you, princess?'

Sophronia curtsied and said, 'Mr. Seedrick, could you cast a spell to make
it rain?'

'Yes, of course I can cast a control weather spell,' Seedrick responded,
never looking away from his book.  'But, I'm far too busy to be bothered
with such a trivial endeavour.'

'Please, Mr. Seedrick,' Sophronia pleaded.  'If it's such an easy spell,
surely you could take a little time to help the villagers.'

Seedrick paused, taking a moment to look at Sophronia before responding. 
'Princess Sophronia, I am the royal sorcerer.  I cannot cast that kind of
spell without permission from the king.'  He then returned to mixing,
continuing, 'Is there anything else?'

'No, Mr. Seedrick.  I suppose that will do.'

Sophronia left the sorcerer's workshop and sat at the bottom of the stairs,
downtrodden.  It wasn't long before Seedrick absent-mindedly passed by on
an unknown errand.  Sophronia realized that his workshop would be empty,
and so she hurried up the stairs again to the workshop door.  She activated
the it via the secret switch and briskly entered.

Sophronia quickly searched the workshop for Seedrick's wands.  They were
easily found, and even clearly marked and indexed.  She snatched a short
ebony rod labelled 'control weather' and surreptitiously left, concealing
the wand in sleeve of her gown.

After securing permission to leave the castle for a walk, she ditched her
escort and made her way to the village's orchards.  The trees were withered
and devoid of fruit, and there was no one nearby.

Sophronia was by no means a druid, but she had been instructed in the usage
of magic items such as wands.  She removed the control weather wand from
her sleeve and fingered it, searching for the subtle switch usually built
into such devices.  Once it had been found, she pointed the wand at the sky
and activated it.
 

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