A long time ago, there was a kingdom ruled by a wise and gentle king. He did not want power or gold, but only for those living in the whole kingdom to live in peace as much as possible. Whenever there was an argument, he worked hard to settle it so everyone got something of what they wanted. The king was well loved and many came to him for advice.
But when he passed and it was his children's turn to rule the whole of the continent, they couldn't decide who should be in charge or what the rules ought to be. Without their father's guidance the brothers and sisters argued and eventually all went their separate ways, always fighting and wanting more than what the others had.
The states of the kingdom split and soon fought amongst each other, too, and the common folk stopped traveling so far to visit the other parts of the continent. People still traded and went about their business, but many missed the old king.
In was in this time that an old man came to a small, remote farm. He knocked on the door and asked if the young farm girl, Sarai, was in. The farmer and his wife let in the old man who went straight to the young girl and looked deep into her eyes.
"You, Sarai, are heir to the long lost crown of the great king," the old man said gravely. "In this time of great fighting, you can bring the people back together and end this useless bickering."
Sarai was surprised, for she thought the farmer and his wife were her aunt and uncle. "This can't be," she murmured. "Uncle, tell him!"
But the farmer shook his head. "You were brought to us when you were just a baby. We were told to look after you and keep you safe for one day you might do great things," the farmer admitted.
They talked long into the night and, when they were through, all agreed that Sarai would journey out with the man the following morning. He revealed himself to be a wizard named Alatar. His magic would help them along their way.
The following morning, they gathered their belongings and traveled to the nearby village. There, they met with a woman named Tiana who often traveled between towns and knew the country well. She agreed to go with them as she was fond of Sarai and hoped to do what she could to make the kingdom whole once more.
Part of the "There Once Was a Kingdom" bedtime stories series.