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Iron Stiles

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In olden times, when wishing still helped...

Gerard Argent was not a king that one would call 'loved by the people'. King Gerard valued and understood the importance of power. He ruled his kingdom with an iron fist, the finest guard, and no mercy. It was for this reason he had many fortuitous alliances with the neighbouring kingdoms; they all feared Gerard's wrath. All but one. The Hales were proud. They valued justice and love above all else because of this they stood in direct opposition to the Argents. Queen Talia swore on her life she would never be a willing ally to Gerard.

King Gerard had two children who were both beautiful - and deadly. Gerard's daughter was so fierce that the sun itself, which had seen so many things, was always filled with impossible cold when it gazed upon her. However, his son Chris was far more reluctant to kill, even more so with the birth of his daughter: Princess Alison.

Now, there was a great dark forest near the Kings castle, which rested on Beacon Hill. In this forest, beneath an old linden tree, was a pond. When her battle training had finished for the day, the Kings daughter, Princess Kate would go down to the pond in order to clean her weapons for the next day's hunt. If she became bored she would raise her sword and practise her formation next to the water. More than anything she loved to hunt with this sword.

One day, as Kate raised the sword high above her prepared to slash down, the sword slipped from her grasp. She watched in shock and horror as her beautiful golden blade plunged into the pond whose waters had so recently cleansed it. Kate was furious. She began to scream, and she screamed louder and louder, for there was nothing near that she could kill in revenge. As she stomped around the clearing fuming at her loss a voice cried out to her, 'What's the matter Princess? Your screams could wake even a stone."

Kate looked around to where the voice was coming from - finally someone she could blame - and saw a frog sticking his slimy (it's mucus), fat head out of the water. Damn. Not someone she could blame but maybe she could kill it to appease her anger. It was clearly abnormal and monsters had no place in the Kingdom of Argent. 'Oh it's you, you filthy water-creature!' She inched closer to her crossbow. It would be truly magnificent if she could get it with one shot. 'I'm mildly inconvenienced because my golden sword has fallen into your manky pond.'

'Shut up and wait.' The frog croaked out. 'I can help you. But what will you give me if I fetch your shiny metal.' Kate felt her eye twitch in indignation. How dare this little sludge crawler- 'Well?' The frog prompted. He flicked his tongue out lazily and snatched a fly from the air.

Disgusted Kate spat out a flimsy promise, 'Whatever you want- jewels, riches, whatever. Just get me that damn sword.' She crossed her fingers firmly behind her back where the fog couldn't see.

'I don't want any jewels or riches.' The frog replied. 'But if you love me , let me sit beside you, let me eat from your plate, and sleep in your bed. Then I will fetch your stick.'

'It's not a... yes yes okay whatever you want. Just get it already.' He better not bring me back a stick or I'll stab him with it.

Now that the frog had her word (sort of) he dove beneath the water and soon returned with the sword clenched firmly in his mouth. He spat it onto the shore, blade shining with slime, and it settled within Kate's reach. She quickly pulled a cloth from her pocket and wrapped it around the sword's hilt. She was determined not to keep her promise and was soon sprinting towards the opulent castle she called home.