King’s Quest IX: It Takes Two to Tangle
(Edgar is thinking over what to do to please Rosella. After some thought, he heads to the field of the four rainbows, The Crossroads, as it is called in Etheria, and slides down one of the four rainbows, in particular, the one leading to the desert. He lands with a crash, dusts himself off and walks north and east to the Kangaroo Rat’s trading post. He kneels down and knocks on the door thrice. The rat says):
Would you like to trade with me?
You won’t believe what you will see.
(Edgar replies): I’ll bet. I’m looking for some advice on how to impress Rosella. Perhaps you’ve met her. She gave me permission to court her, but I’m kind of at a loss now.
(The rat blinks his eyes, then replies):
I can tell at a single glance
That your meeting wasn’t all by chance!
(Edgar sighs and says): That’s for sure. I wasn’t in my right mind, though. I…kidnapped her.
Rat: Rumor is that the Troll King was swayed
By the beauty of a foreign maid.
Edgar: Well…I was the king. At least, I think I was. It’s hard to tell. But what advice do you have for me, rat?
Rat: Give some trinket that goes with the girl!
Perhaps a rose or a precious pearl!
Edgar: I’ve already tried the rose routine. Shortly afterwards she rejected me. I’m a bit confused. She is so kind. I saved her life, then she changed mine and saved me. I think I owe a lot to her.
Rat: Give you me a bit of string
I shall exchange it for a ring.
Edgar: No…I’m not thinking about marrying her yet. She’s a smart girl. She knows what she wants. And it’s not a ring. Not yet anyway. I want something out of the ordinary.
Rat: Erzatz the Faux Shop owner sells
Many a thing with whistles and bells.
Edgar: No…not something from a shop. She’s a princess of Daventry. Her mother is the queen, Queen Valanice of Daventry.
Rat: That queen retrieved my precious specs!
I daresay both have risked their necks!
Edgar: All that and then some. I think I need help from outside this realm. Rosella seems to think the same thing.
(The rat looks deep in thought for a moment, then whispers):
I say you seek help from the Land of the Green.
Her brother has many an evil thing seen.
(The rat slams the door in Edgar’s face. Suddenly the jackalope leaps out of his hole and lands in front of Edgar, looks at him closely, then leaps into the air, laughing in the usual manner. Then he kicks a few foot-fulls of sand in Edgar’s face, except he kicks a rock along with the sand. The rock hits Edgar in the back of the head.)
Edgar: Oww! Stupid rodent!
(The jackalope leaps back into his hole. Edgar mutters some obscure, derogatory remarks in the animal’s hole’s direction, then the jackalope sticks his head out again and makes a rude noise. Edgar snarls, dusts himself off, then stands up and starts talking to himself.)
Edgar: The Land of the Green? I guess the rat meant the Green Isles…that’s where Rosella said Alexander was king…but how can I get there…?
(Scene changes to the throne room of the Castle of the Crown. Alexander is standing beside Cassima. He is wearing a scarlet tunic with matching silk pants. Around his neck is a large, blue gem, similar to the one on his bride’s forehead. He looks concerned for a moment, then says):
Cassima, something isn’t right. A person who practices magic gets a feeling like this sometimes, and usually it means something is amiss.
Cassima: Alexander, you shouldn’t worry. The chaos has been resolved, the least you can do is relax. Besides, what could be wrong?
(An image of a parchment letter with a familiar signature flashes across Alexander’s mind. Again, he speaks):
Shadrack! The only other wizard I know who is a member of the Black Cloak Society! For all I know, he could still be alive! And plotting revenge!
(Cassima shudders slightly, then speaks):
Was he the one who advised Alhazred to “take care of me” when I was imprisoned in my own room?
Alexander: Of course! That foul master of evil! I have had dreams of a shrouded figure for the past few weeks! At first, I feared you wouldn’t take me seriously…but now that these visions grow so intense that they interfere with my life…
Cassima: I understand you, Alexander. If that Shadrack is still alive – and I feel in my bones that he is – he can be up to no good. Why…he could destroy you if he had the chance! What should we do?
Alexander: The only idea I can think of is a little…dangerous, Cassima.
Cassima: Well, what is it?
Alexander: I found a small stone pendent strung on a gold chain in Alhazred’s trunk. I think it once belonged to either him or Shadrack. From what I could find out, when a strong enough picture of the individual he wishes to see is formed in the wearer’s mind, the pendent teleports the wearer as close to the individual as possible. But it is very dangerous, as you can guess.
Cassima: What else?
Alexander: I haven’t tried it out myself, and no one in the kingdom has been brave enough to. It appears to be only half a pendent, I have no clue as to where the other half is. I don’t think anyone in his right mind would try to teleport anywhere with only half a charm. I don’t blame everyone for not wanting to try it out. I’m honestly not sure that my assumptions about the thing are correct, and I doubt that I’ll ever know for certain.
Cassima: That’s why I’m volunteering.
Alexander: What? Egad, Cassima, what do you mean?
Cassima: I mean what I say. I volunteer to travel anywhere that little pendent takes me to hunt down that foul Shadrack. If he means to harm you…
Alexander: Cassima, why do YOU want to go! You may never return alive! I love you, Cassima, I can’t just…
Cassima: THAT’S why I want to go, Alexander. I love you. Please let me go. I’d give my life for you. After all, you saved mine.
(Alexander clasps Cassima’s hands in his with a mournful look. Cassima gazes at him with a brave smile on her lips.)
Alexander: Well…all right, Cassima.
(He leaves the throne room and returns in a few minutes with a small, stone pendent in his hand. The camera zooms in on it. The pendent is in a carved, spiral shape, with several gaps between its lines, attached to a golden chain.)
Alexander: Here it is…
(The scene changes. It is very similar, but this time Rosella’s hand is holding an almost identical pendent. She is standing in the Main Garden of Etheria with Edgar, who is staring intently at the charm.)
Rosella: I asked your mother about how you were to get to the Land of the Green Isles. She said it would be almost impossible to reach it by sea, even for a fairy.
(Edgar nods. Rosella continues):
So she gave me this little heirloom of hers. Says she has no idea where it came from, but she assumes it aids in travel. It takes you to any place you envision in that head of yours. At least, that’s what she said.
Edgar: That’s the only non-nautical route you’ve found, Rosella?
Rosella: ‘Fraid so. I asked Titania about it myself, and she concurred that it was risky, but if you are so eager to ask Alexander for his advice…
Edgar: I’m not visiting him only to ask about you, Rosella. Don’t laugh, but I think that little kangaroo rat in Eldritch knows that something much darker is afoot.
(Rosella snickers. Edgar sighs and rolls his eyes.)
Edgar: Hey! You laughed! Anyway, this may be serious, my father said that he isn’t doing too good himself. Weird dreams, he says. About some black cloak thing.
(Rosella looks uneasy for a moment, then relaxes.)
Rosella: Well, here’s the pendent, and do be careful, Edgar. I can’t believe that you’d actually do this for me, but if you really are…be careful, okay?
Edgar: Okay, Rosella. Thank you for everything.
(Scene changes to the throne room of the Castle of the Crown. Cassima is standing in the center, with the dagger that Alexander gave her in her belt and her wedding ring with the insignia of Daventry on her left hand. Alexander is seated on one of the two thrones behind her.)
Alexander: Are you sure you want to do this, Cassima?
Cassima (rubbing her ring): Sure as my homeland is green, Alexander. I’ll be all right.
Alexander: As you wish, Cassima.
Cassima: Now could you please be quiet for a moment? I need to focus on this “black cloak.”
(Cassima closes her eyes in concentration. The spiral pendent around her neck pulses softly, slowly at first, then increasing. Cassima’s form begins to dissolve into the air. Suddenly, unable to sit still any longer, Alexander leaps to his feet and leaps towards his wife’s fading body.)
Alexander: Cassima! NO!!!
(Too late. Cassima vanishes in a flicker of light and mist. Alexander drops to his knees and begins to cry softly, fearing that he will never see his queen again.
The scene changes to the Grand Hall of the palace of Oberon and Titania. The Queen of Etheria is present, as are King Graham, Queen Valanice, Princess Rosella and Prince Edgar. Edgar is standing in the center of the room, holding the spiral pendent in his palm.)
Titania: Edgar, are you sure you want to do this?
Edgar: Mother, this thing should take me straight to the Green Isles and back again. What’s unsure about that?
Graham: Plenty. Believe me, boy, nothing is as it appears…(Rosella joins in with him) Nothing! (They both laugh. Edgar sighs and turns the charm over and over in his hands, then speaks):
It should work as long as I focus on an image of the Isles, right, Rosella?
Rosella: Right. At least, that’s what your mother said. Right, Titania?
Titania: That thing is so old, I doubt if it has any vitality left. If it DID have any in the first place, which I doubt. But roughly, it should do what I assumed it would do.
(Edgar slips the pendent over his head and turns away from the group.)
Edgar: All right, I’m ready. Everyone let me concentrate. (The two families fall silent. Edgar closes his eyes and clenches his hands as the pendent begins to pulse and his body begins to fade. Suddenly, Oberon bursts into the room, screaming in terror.)
Oberon: Titania! Titania! The dream! The dream again! The Black Cloak! Coming to get us! Destroy us all! Help! We must get help!!
(Everyone turns in his direction, including Edgar. He looks confused, and then speaks in an echoing voice as he disappears):
The Black Cloak…Father, I…No…(Edgar vanishes. Rosella looks frightened. She looks into her mother’s eyes and whispers):
Mother, what happened? If Edgar was thinking of something else when he teleported, maybe he didn’t go to the Land of the Green Isles! Where did he go?
Valanice: I don’t know, Rosella. Perhaps Oberon’s words brought back some old memories, and who knows where those could have led him. (Rosella looks shocked, then mournful, thinking that Edgar could have perished. She hugs her mother as Graham and Titania look at Oberon, who still looks petrified.)
Oberon: Edgar was right! Something is terribly wrong! Wherever he went, I daresay my words triggered his future destination. For now, I guess we can only hope that he will return.
(Scene changes to a totally black world. Cassima shimmers into view and looks around, anxiously.)
Cassima: Where am I? That wizard sure picks some odd places to visit. By the heart of Samhain, who knows what could be out there? I don’t know, but I’m not going to find out by standing here. Off I go. (She pats her dagger, and heads off into the unknown.)
(Meanwhile, in another part of this dark world, Edgar appears. He looks around in confusion, wondering what went wrong.)
Edgar: The Black Cloak…what is that? Either I’m inside one right now or the Land of the Green Isles is experiencing a solar eclipse. Or maybe I’m…NOT in the Land of the Green Isles…perhaps what father said right before I…oh nuts. I think I made a wrong turn somewhere. Good grief, it’s dark…(he stumbles ahead for a few feet, then thinks he hears the sound of footsteps, and freezes in his tracks. Scene changes to Cassima, walking backwards, trying to retrace her steps, her dagger drawn, her green eyes darting about the dark void. Suddenly she backs into Edgar, and both of them spin around and shriek in unison at the sight of each other.)
Edgar and Cassima: AAAAAGGGHHHH!!!!
(Title screen. End intro.)