The Guidebook to the Land of the Green Isles is a travel guide to the Green Isles written by Derek Karlavaegen, many years before the events of King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow, and a physical copy came with that game. Although Derek had originally only made two copies (taking one with him and leaving the other with 'the Crown' of the Land of the Green Isles), other presumably unauthorized copies appear to exist.
There are two main versions of the Guidebook, the tall version packed with the floppy version, and the square version published with the CD-Rom version.
Alexander had received a copy of the manuscript from Derek (his personal copy), during a visit to Llewdor, before traveling to the Land of the Green Isles. He lost his copy when the Johannes Bey crashed near the shores of the Isle of the Crown. It was information he had read from the book during the voyage, that helped him solve the riddles of the Cliffs of Logic, and also to get through the traps in the Catacombs.
Another copy was kept in the libraries of the Castle of the Crown, given to King Caliphim by Derek Karlavaegen as a gift.
Abdul Alhazred had also somehow obtained a copy, learning about the isles, and it was for this reason why he had decided to come to the Green Isles and take it over. He kept his copy in a chest by his bed.
In King's Quest Companion, Peter Spear claims that Jane Jensen called him and told him how she was sent a copy from Derek Karlavaegen. He was surprised how much it matched documents sent to him and eluki bes shahar from Derek a month or two before. He later learned that an edited version of the book would be packed in with KQ6.
- Note: To avoid piracy a diagram of the Ancients Ones Alphabet and material showing symbols used to solve copy protection is not allowed.
Herein lies the account of my travels in that mysterious kingdom known as the Land of the Green Isles. Lest this record be put down to the fevered imagination of a madman or the fiction of a notorious liar, let me assure you, dear Reader, that the Land of the Green Isles does indeed exist. One can hear the name of the Land whispered in roadside inns off dusty roads from the hills of Daventry to the sea of Tamir - especially on nights when the wind howls and the rain plays havoc on the window panes. The storytellers inevitably take on that same tone of voice they use when speaking of the Fairy Kingdom. I cannot vouch for the Fairy Kingdom since I have yet to get a leprechaun in a position of compromise, yet, the Land of the Green Isles... Ah...that is a place where the feet of a man can find solid ground and his eyes feast on such wonders!My tale begins with a broken compass. I had taken passage on a ship bound east from Llewdor. Our destination was Serenia, yet in the second week out we encountered a terrible electrical storm. Waves crashed upon the deck of our little ship, the Round About, and lightning struck the sea all around her. At one point it even struck our secondary mast and we were saved from a fiery death only by the lashing rain which quickly put out the fire. We felt sure that we were all dead men, yet on we bailed and strove throughout the night. After long hours of terrifying labor, we found ourselves still afloat on the other side of the storm. At first light, the damage seemed minimal despite the lightning that had struck the ship, but by sunset the Captain was forced to announce that the instruments of navigation had been magnetized by the storm - the compass spoke east, yet the sun sank low over the right of our prow.
The Captain did his best to sail by older methods, by the sun and the stars. He assured the voyagers that there was nothing to fear. Yet we seemed cursed, for a dense cloud cover settled over the sky far into the horizon - and stayed. The Round About sailed like a blind man groping in a vast unfamiliar room.
After a week, the Captain had to admit that we had missed out destination. There was no land to be seen anywhere. It was as if the storm had been another flood that had wiped civilization from the face of the Earth. With naught else to do we sailed on, by now so lost that turning around seemed futile. Who was to say that we were not turned around already?
A month later, I lay in a fitful sleep on my bunk - throat parched and skin stretched from the scant provisions allotted all hands from the near-empty hold below - when I heard the cry on deck "Land Ho!" Startled from my sleep and exhilarated with hope, I sprang to the deck. The sky had cleared and its blue seemed a hue I had never seen. A sailor was wildly pointing off the prow where the bright green of a small body of land was dimly visible. The Round About responded as though leaping from the sea towards that remote shore.
Yet within the hour, the curse upon our ship took its final vengeance. As though enraged to see us within view of escape, the sea came alive and swirled around us. Currents and whirlpools materialized and sucked at the beaten planks of the ship - turning her first one way and then another! I was thrown against the deck and rolled uncontrollably against the cables and the lifeboats. The last thing I heard before my head was struck and blackness descended was the mate screaming "She's going Down!!!"
Who can judge providence? I am not a hero, I am a wanderer - neither as strong nor as brave as the Captain of the good ship. Yet with no effort on my part - none greater, in any event, than the skill of getting myself knocked on the head - I awoke the following morning, not among the bones at the bottom of the sea, but on a beach. Of the crew and passengers of the good ship, there was not a trace.
Perhaps I was chosen for some destiny here. Perhaps the sea simply found me too sour an old dog for the swallowing. In any case, that is the tale of how I found the Land of the Green Isles, or should I say, how it found me. Being but a poor traveler with feet that itch and a spirit that cannot rest, I have naught to leave this world but a record of the things these eyes have seen. Being not nearly as clever as a ballader, I set this down in humble prose.
May this account someday find its way back to the land of my youth, though I fear I myself shall die on this distant shore.
- Derek Karlavaegen
PART I The Land of the Green IslesEdit
The land of the Green Isles is an ancient kingdom ruled by a royal family designated simply as the "Crown". Its location so far from the rest of the known world, combined with the dangers of the surrounding sea, have effectively isolated it from the influence of other lands. This small kingdom might as well exist on a distant star as on the other side of an inhospitable sea.
Because of this isolation, the citizens of the kingdom have a unique flavor and a quaint naivete. If one asks about the history of the Land, they are eager to speak. Yet of true answers, little can be found. They can recite the names of the holders of the Crown spanning back hundreds of years, can speak each dwelling's origin, of practically every citizen's lineage yet when I asked how the kingdom began, bewilderment is the response. "The kingdom has always been." they say, "There has always been a royal family." It is as if this place has existed, unaltered since the dawn of time.
But there is some basis for a different picture: that these islands have actually held a succession of kingdoms, each bleeding into the next, new civilizations building on ruins scarcely cold. I base this opinion on the traces and legends of an ancient civilization to be found on one of the islands--but more of that later.
The kingdom as it stands today, has remained relatively unchanged for hundreds of years. Fours islands make up the bulk of the Land. The Isle of the Crown is the center of the kingdom. There on a magnificent rise stands the Castle of the Crown, the seat of the royal family of the kingdom and the heart of the Land. A village and docks comprise the rest of the island and run most of the kingdom's daily commerce, such as it is.
Across a short distance of sea is the Isle of Wonder, an aptly-named place of sheer delight ruled by a pair of rival queens who are, despite their own internal strife, unalterably loyal to the Crown.
The Isle of the Beast is the least hospitable of the islands. Seemingly deserted, I did not see much of the place since obstacles made it impossible to travel far inland. Nevertheless, the place has its own history and is listed among the kingdom's holdings.
The fourth island is the Isle of the Sacred Mountain, so called for the soaring peak that rises from the base of the island into the clouds, and around which that community--both literally and philosophically--is built. The Isle of the Sacred Mountain has its own rulers who are also subservient to the Crown.
A more dissimilar set cultures can scarce be imagined than those on these four islands, yet they seem to exist in harmony and function as a whole. The uniting factor is the Crown, which maintains loyalty both by means of its undisputed heritage as the seat of all government and by the grace of its goodly royal family.
Peace has reigned for centuries in this idyllic kingdom and seems likely to continue. That is, as long as the Land remains hidden from the evil that we know exists in the world. Though I am a stranger here, I hope not to influence this place overly much. Who would wish to change such a paradise?
PART II The Isle of the CrownEdit
Of the four islands, the Isle of the Crown is the one which will seem the most conventional to travelers from distant lands. It is largely inhabited by members of the human race, men and women of pleasant disposition and generous hospitality. As stated earlier, the Isle of the Crown is comprised of the Castle of the Crown, a quaint village, and the docks from which travel among the islands is commenced.
The village on the Isle of the Crown is a small one. Its stucco walls gleam in the hot sun, its dirt paths are clean and well-maintained, its vegetation is lush. The shop merchants are friendly and seem to delight in unusual trades, Though little of mine survived the shipwreck, the few trinkets that I'd had on my person or managed to salvage from the shore were deemed unusual enough in that distant realm to obtain a few necessities. I also found the villagers eager too share what they had in return for honest work, so I have survived quite comfortably here.
Village life is one of cheerful routine. The villagers rise at first light to do their chores before the tropical sun reaches its peak. Then a light midday meal is served. The bulk of the afternoon is reserved for indoor activities:
Reading and scholastics for the younger population and naps for their elders. Everyone seems to prize this quiet time. When the sun goes down, communal activities are frequent. If there are no weddings or other festivities (I must admit that I am quite fond of these local celebrations), the families often gather informally for a plain but plentiful supper, music, and conversation.
Though most families are modest, none are in want. Servants are used in the more affluent households, but most of the citizens cheerfully rely on their own strong hands for the work of daily life. What serving class exists is generally well-treated, though even in this gentle civilization, I did note a few exceptions.
Beyond the village lie the docks, a place of bustle and excitement, Even the humblest citizen of the Isle of the Crown frequently enjoys visiting the other islands in the kingdom. In return, it is not uncommon to see all manner of strange creatures frequenting the village shops from the kingdom`s other islands.
All travel between the Islands is focused at the docks and, indeed at a single vessel, That vessel is simply called "the Ferry" and it is a pleasant enough little ship, well- maintained as befits its value to the kingdom. The ferryman is a jolly fellow, patient even with the youngest of his passengers. His young son helps manage the vessel and helps keep her shipshape.
The story of the ferry is an interesting one, particularly if you recall the fate of my own ship. The islands, it seems, have always been surrounded by terrible eddies and currents that make seagoing nearly impossible. The family that runs the ferry has done so for generations, each father passing on to his son the secret of the tricky navigation. Many believe that the ferryman`s family line has an uncanny instinct for the sea around the isles. It is said that they sail " by the blood in their veins". One thing is certain: I would not venture to sail a ship in these waters, so whatever the secrets of the ferryman`s family - thank the stars for it!
The Castle of the CrownEdit
The castle of the crown is a stunning palace, giving testimony to the skill of the kingdom`s architects and the richness of its treasury. The castle is a monument of marble, gold and precious gems, with tall arched ceilings and artistic fittings. I am told that it was built one hundred years ago by King Aliphid as a present to his bride, Queen Astar. The previous castle, also called the Castle of the Crown, was large and drafty and had been the seat of the royal family for over three hundred years. It is said that King Aliphid was cautious over his new brides fragile health and built the new palace with thick walls for protection from the high winds with cool hallways for respite from the blazing tropical sun.
The palace is made even more exotic by the race of guard dogs that serve and protect the palace. These wondrous creatures seem to combine the best qualities of canine and human. Speaking in gruff voices and armed with swords or pikes, the guard dogs are strong and intelligent, and have loyally served the crown through the centuries.
Despite my status as a stranger I was granted a visit with the reigning king and queen. Their openness and accessibility, added to the lack of drawbridges, moats, or battlements of any kind, make clear to me the innocence of this kingdom that had never known war or treachery. Had I been a viper in disguise, I would have been granted an intimate audience just as readily! As a citizen of the larger, more dangerous world, it made me feel a little nervous and honor bound not to betray such trust in me.
I met the king and queen in the castle's throne room. The throne room is a vast hall more ornate then anything these poor eyes have ever seen. Standing before the two thrones in that cavern of gold, it felt as though I stood before fabled Olympus itself. Yet, raising my eyes up slowly to those noble faces, I saw nothing of judgment in their eyes, nothing of disdain, indeed, their faces were full of kindness, welcome and kindness.
As for the rulers of this kingdom themselves, King Caliphim, though not a large man, has an air of strength and self assurance about him. He has the face of a scholar and the eyes of a gentle benefactor. Of Queen Allaria, his beautiful wife , my first impression was of hair the color of night and skin as pale as dawn. She smiled at me graciously and I could see the sadness there. For despite the glory of the palace around them, the halls seem to weigh on the couple with their emptiness. Having met the royal couple and recovered sufficiently from my ordeal at sea, I began to feel right curious about the other islands in the kingdom, and so I put my itching feet in the care of the jolly ferryman.
PART III The Isle of WonderEdit
Imagine a place where the very path beneath your feet might complain of your weight, and the trees purposely drop twigs on your head for the sheer merriment of it all, and you'll have an idea of what it's like to be on the Isle of Wonder. The Isle of Wonder is a comma shaped body of land that might as well resemble a question mark, for confusion and astonishment are sure to be a lot of the unknowing visitor. The island is teeming with life. Vegetation is abundant as are the island's inhabitants. In fact, the two are frequently the one and the same. One can scarcely pick up a grain of sand on that shore without it demanding to be put back... and this instant, if you please. The history of this unusual island is an issue of fervent speculation. That it was an uninteresting deserted island until a wizard enchanted the whole place, bringing everything in it to life, and presented it to his daughter as a birthday present. Others say that the island was once a prison of a beautiful princess, held captive there by a powerful and jealous queen. The maiden was so fair that the very trees and stones themselves could not bear to hear her crying, and came to life to provide her companionship. Still another group claims that the Creator of the Universe simply got tired of serious business of life giving and decided to indulge His or Her sense of humor. Whatever the origin, a more delightful spot could scarcely be imagined. But be warned those travelers who like to know, exactly what to expect from life would be well advised to go elsewhere. Whilst most of the island's inhabitants are friendly, some of the thornier natives are capable of being downright rude, and all are quirky. Visitors are frequent on the Isle of Wonder, for it offers a refreshing respite from the ho-hum of everyday life. Even the King and Queen enjoy a picnic or a stroll in the gardens, and they are on occasion to be found relaxing and passing the time of day with the island's natives.
The rulers of the Isle of Wonder are a pair of queens, rivals in every way, and most frequently to be found arguing over everything from the color of the sky to the consistency of potato hash. Despite their eccentricities, the Isle of Wonder, seems to run smoothly and be a flourishing part of the kingdom, providing many exports and lending the kingdom a lightheartedness to counter the more serious countrymen on the Isle of the Sacred Mountain.
PART IV The Isle of the Sacred MountainEdit
The Isle of the Sacred Mountain, on first impression, appears to be nothing but a great wall of cliffs rising to the sky with no apparent means of scaling it. The visitor is soon met, however, by a pair of "greeters" of the Winged Ones race.
The Winged Ones are the inhabitants of the Isle of the Sacred Mountain. Towering to a height of six to seven feet, the Winged Ones are by far the most impressive creatures I have ever seen. Each one of them, male and female alike, is surprisingly beautiful. Their bodies are muscled and athletic and gleaming with health. From their broad backs mighty wings emerge like secondary limbs, strong and webbed, and covered with large white feathers. And when they spread those massive wings.. oh!... it is as if the sun itself is eclipsed.
Two of these creatures, the greeters, meet visitors at the base of the cliffs and so was I met. Gently, they took my arms and flew me upwards. Has there been a man who hasn't dreamed of flying? Are we all not Icarus in our heart of hearts? Imagine then, the thrill of that flight and the glory of the beings who rule the very air around us!
But as the saw warns, "Beauty is only skin deep." I was flown to the Winged Ones city, a strange and haunting place whose architecture combines the two overriding elements of this culture: aviation and the classical. The city seems built to exclude those poor creatures whose lot it is to crawl like insects upon the ground, for each edifice towers into the sky with no connection to the next or to the ground itself save by flight.
Thus completely dependent on the greeters to travel about the city or even leave, the visitor is humbled and loathe to much exploration. This appeared to me to be rather the intention, for the culture of the Winged Ones is a private one. On the Isle of Wonder I always felt welcome, despite the sometimes gruff nature of the inhabitants. They had a certain simplicity, an honesty about them. By contrast, although my reception with the Winged Ones was on the surface extremely polite, the formal words of welcome did not ring true. I sensed, in the eyes of that beauteous race, a disdain of common humanity, a haughtiness that made them suddenly irksome in their golden perfection in the eyes of this humble observer.
Despite this innate sense of superiority, the Winged Ones are valuable members of the kingdom and provide many important skills. Incredibly intelligent, the Winged Ones are master logicians and mathematicians, precise architects and planners. They disdain magic and the daintier arts, being far too logical for such goings on. Even the palace of the Winged Ones city has a sparseness, a sense of functionality that denotes their contempt for artistic ornamentation.
The Winged Ones culture is old, and they make frequent references to the "Ancient Ones," their forefathers, whose ruins and great works still abound on the island. The Isle of the Sacred Mountain is ruled by a lord and lady, who exist as monarchs on their own island but owe allegiance to the common Crown.
The name of the island derives from a lone peak which soars into the clouds beyond the city. There, in a cave, dwells the sacred Oracle, the philosophical head of the community. It is said that the Oracle is centuries old, ultimately wise and can read the future. She is consulted by the lord and lady on every facet of the city`s life, and even advises the king and queen. I, of course, did not meet the Oracle, and even most Winged Ones citizens regard her as an almost mythical being. The greatest honor any Winged Ones citizen might hope for in his or her long life is to be granted a meeting with the Oracle, for her cave is a place reserved for only the most worthy souls. Like many lofty ambitions, most of the Winged Ones never achieve this end.
I found myself fascinated by the Ancient Ones, for it was the only deep history apparent in the kingdom. From what I managed to learn from the close-mouthed Winged Ones themselves, and from the more readily available information to be found in the writings and from scholars on the Isle of the Crown. I put together the following picture of this bygone race. I include it among these records of the kingdom, for they are as much a presence in the Land as the current inhabitants.
PART V The Ancient OnesEdit
The Ancient Ones' culture inhabited the Isle of the Sacred Mountain perhaps as much as a thousand years ago. At that time, it is likely that there was no "kingdom" and that the Ancient Ones existed alone in the sea, since no similarly aged records exist on any other island.
The Ancient Ones had an advanced, mysterious culture. Their writings have been discovered on ancient tablets and scrolls buried beneath the current Winged Ones city, and in the ancient catacombs on the Isle of the Sacred Mountain. It is commonly believed that they possessed knowledge and mechanical acuity far surpassing anything that exists today. This belief is based on a few remaining artifacts such as their mysterious labyrinthine catacombs and the writings on the island`s cliffs. The artifacts of the Ancient Ones are fiercely guarded by the Winged Ones and are studied by scholars of that race who spend their whole lives trying to unravel their mysteries. What is known about them derives from these delicate and treasured written records.
The Ancient Ones were believers in the power of language. They were fond of saying, "A master of languages will soar" This, presumably refers to intellectual heights rather than physical ones, but who can say? It is also known that they were great lovers of symbols and had a complex theology which seemed to worship all things aerial, though only fragments of their belief system are understood today. The Ancient Ones gave meaning to every creature, every color, every element and mineral. In addition, they studied the emotional states of being. Every emotion, like every creature, color, and element, ranked high or low on their theological scale - the lowest being "base" or "primitive," the highest being "pure." At the top of this scale were the Sacred Four; the emotion "tranquility", the color "azure," the creature "caterpillar," and the element "air." The color azure and the element air are obvious allusions to the sky. Similarly, tranquility is reminiscent of the heavens above. The caterpillar is the one surprise. In their reasoning, however, it makes perfect sense. After all, there are birds aplenty in the skies, but what glory is it to fly when one is born with wings?. Is it not more glorious still to be born to crawl upon the ground and build one's own wings?
It is a matter of much debate whether or not the Ancient Ones themselves possessed the power of flight. Despite their theology, the remains of the Ancient Ones do not bear the wings that distinguish the Isle of the Sacred Mountain's current inhabitants. The Winged Ones firmly believe the Ancient Ones flew without wings, thus proving themselves superior even to the Winged Ones themselves. Some scholars on the Isle of the Crown, however, believe that the Ancient Ones could not fly, and that their obsessive interest in flight and their secret knowledge enabled them to created a winged race, the descendants of whom are the Winged Ones. Ah, but such things we will never know for certain, for true understanding was buried along with the last of that long-dead race.
I spent some time studying the language and culture of the Ancient Ones, and, in the interest of antiquity, I set forth here as much as is understood of their works.
The Ancient Ones' AlphabetEdit
The alphabet of the Ancient Ones consists of graphic symbols. It is clear that there language and ours share the same root, for their writings are directly translatable by simply replacing the appropriate letter of our alphabet for its corresponding symbol in theirs. It is probable that the Ancient Ones spoke in our language and used these symbols in their writings as a code for secrecy for for their ceremonial beauty. Or, perhaps, our own "letters" for the spoken language evolved as short-hand notations for the complex symbols used by the Ancient Ones. In any case, there are twenty-six primary symbols in their alphabet. There are other minor symbols, but those were used only for accent and as representations of complex philosophical ideals and are not included here.
(Note: To avoid piracy a diagram of the Ancients Ones Alphabet and material showing symbols used to solve copy protection is not allowed.)
The Logic CliffsEdit
One of the most intriguing artifacts left by the Ancient Ones are the logic cliffs. The cliffs are so named from a series of riddles written on the face of the cliffs leading from the beach of the Isle of the Sacred Mountain to the Winged Ones city. Chiseled painstakingly into solid rock, the viewer must question what purpose the words serve. From the ancient scroll that references the cliffs, it can be determined that the riddles on the cliff were part of an elaborate mechanism designed to protect those who dwelt at the top the cliffs from undesirables that might arrive from the sea below. The mechanism may have served as some sort of calling device designed to alert those at the top of the cliffs that a brother required admittance, or perhaps led to secret chambers within the rock itself. Whatever the cliffs purpose was, it was obviously built to admit only those indoctrinated into the secrets of the Ancient Ones culture and for that reason is, alas, as yet unsolved by those who live today.
The following translations from the Cliffs of Logic scroll may help the reader understand the mystique that surrounds this artifact.
The first challenge "Only those pure of heart will be able to RISE the cliffs of logic"
The third challenge: "The Stones of Stealth, are associated with this riddle:
- Four men standing in a row,
- Third from the left and down you go,
- The rest in order, move you on,
- The Youngest, the Oldest and the Second Son.
The fifth challenge: "Only those of the highest order may ASCEND the cliffs of logic"
Another remnant of the Ancient Ones culture, the catacombs, is tragically inaccessible to visitors today. The catacombs held the burial chambers of the Ancient Ones, and are said to be designed as a giant labyrinth. To protect their tombs from looters, the Ancient Ones built death traps into the catacombs and filled it with dead-end paths, maze-like corridors, and rooms where secret knowledge is needed to pass.
The Winged Ones were close to mastering the secrets of the catacombs some years ago, when a minotaur taking an instant liking to the dark funereal place, decided to take up residence. At first, the Kingdom attempted to regain the hostage artifact, but, between the dangers of the catacombs itself and the minotaur`s stealth and treachery, the losses became too grave to continue the struggle and the minotaur was left to his prize. Since then, the catacombs have been bolted shut. It is one of the great sorrows of the kingdom that each year the minotaur demands, and must be given, the living sacrifice of his choice lest he emerge from the catacombs and attack the city.
The catacombs are illustrative of the Ancient Ones obsessive interest in death. Indeed, it seems to be in the air in this part of the world, for the modern-day Green Islanders also have elaborate death traditions, as I will describe later. The catacombs were obviously a place of high reverence for the Ancient Ones, as a message on an ancient tablet that once adorned the doors to the catacombs shows:
- Three roses laid upon the bower,
- A scythe for he who cuts the flower,
- A crown, a dove, most noble race!
- Thy bones make sacred this dread place.
PART VI The Isle of the BeastEdit
The Isle of the Beast, long ago, was called the Isle of the Forest. It was a place of woodlands, sparkling ponds, and prolific wildlife. It used as a playground favored for jaunty hunts by the royal family and other local sportsmen, and for that reason was left uninhabited. The scenes of this treasure diversion on that beautiful island still decorate local tapestries and paintings.
One night, so the story goes, residents of the other islands could see magical lights around the Isle of the Forest. The next day the king, then King Aliphim, led his guards over to the island to investigate (and, of course, to hunt if all proved well). They found the island much changed. The forest had grown so dense overnight as to prove impenetrable save by a single path blocked by mysterious obstacles. And, most mysteriously of all the heart-rending cries of some mighty wild beast echoed on and on throughout the forest. It is said that several guards fell into madness immediately at the sound and that King Aliphim himself was haunted to the end of his days by the echo of those cries.
Since that time, the island has taken its new name and has remained impenetrable and undisturbed, in the midst of the kingdom`s teeming life.
PART VII Legends and Myths of the Land of the Green IslesEdit
Through long nights spent before the fire with my companions on the Isle of the Crown, I learned that the Green Islanders are famous story-weavers. To me, nothing speaks more of a people than the tales they tell, for they are woven with the fears, the hopes and the dreams of the culture. For your enlightenment and entertainment, I set forth some of the more interesting of these legends and myths here.
Hidden Islands and Other WorldsEdit
Every land has its tales of hidden places: lost caverns, underground treasure rooms, and secret kingdoms accessible only through some ancient oak tree. The Land of the Green Isles is no exception. Here, as might be imagined, the hidden places take the form of islands hidden in the mists and of what might lie beyond in the sea.
One popular tale seems to reflect the universal myths of harvest and planting. It is said that nearby exists a hidden island of priestly inhabitants who worship Mother Earth. These priests keep the weather and the tides in balance to insure safety from hurricanes and other forces of the sea and to plead continuance for the kingdom's bounty. It is said that these priests demand privacy above all and that they remain loyal to the Crown in exchange for secrecy. What a wonderfully conspiratorial tale!
The Green Islanders are also fond of saying that the impassable currents in the seas around the kingdom are there as a warning - to keep all ships from sailing further east. For it is believed that within a day's sail in that direction a ship strong enough and foolhardy enough to survive the tempest seas would encounter the edge of the world!
"What lies beyond the edge of the world," I asked "why, the next world." they replied, and with fearful glances at one another, quickly changed the subject.
Death fascinates men the world round, and there are as many philosophies about what comes after this life as there are, it seems, lives which end. I found the Green Islanders to all share a common belief, so strongly held as to seem to defy questioning.
The family of the deceased hold funeral ceremonies a few days after death to bid the soul of their loved a safe passage to the Realm of the Dead. The deceased is buried with the things he or she will need for the journey.
The Realm of the Dead is a place not of this world. There Death himself rules. Some call him the Lord of the Dead, others call him Samhain. Those souls who have died at peace with their lives are allowed to enter the Underworld and are placed in the Sea of Souls. In that safe repository, they are greeted by ultimate knowledge and are prepared for the next stage. Those souls, however who died with unresolved trauma in their human lives cannot enter the underworld but are consigned to wander endlessly on the surface of the Realm, chained there by their woes. Sometimes, their life`s problems will be resolved in the real world without them - justice meted out, or loved ones taken care of - and they are freed from their bonds and gratefully go below. More often, however, things are never resolved in the real world and the bonded souls, over time, become part of the mindless dead, roam the surface eternally, never to know peace or be allowed to move on. This belief system deeply affects the lives of the Green Islanders, and is, in my estimation, the root of their peaceful lives and their aversion for friction and infighting, greed and anxiety. Certainly as a man or woman approaches old age or infirmity, he or she strives to resolve any loose ends in their lives in preparation for the journey ahead.
In Daventry, the poor man's idea of a great tale involved a tradesman or poor farmer falling in with a fairy and thus gaining a fortune overnight. How many wild-eyed dreamers have spent their days searching out such instant prosperity instead of buckling down and taking the long road to that end? hah! It is a tale this wanderer has heard all too often!
Here in the Land of the Green Isles there are no fewer dreamers, but they speak not of fairies but of the djinn, or genies. A genie is an even greater temptation for the aspiring soul than ever a Daventry fairy, for a genie does not simply turn a one-time favor; however great, and then be done with it. No, a genie, like a faithful dog, belongs to its owner for life - or, that is, for however long the fortunate "master" might keep hold of the creature's lamp.
It seems every Green Islander knows the ins and outs of the djinn, though few have ever seen one. According to the stated "rules", each genie is immortal and each is permanently attached to a given lamp in which they might or might not be trapped for long centuries depending on the whims of their owner or fate. Once the lamp comes into the possession of a man or woman that person becomes the genie`s master and must be obeyed, Genies are very valuable creatures and can do a variety of tricks including transporting a man anywhere on earth, taking any shape the master might wish, and, of course, the ever-popular gathering of great treasures and wealth. A genie does have some limitations, however: it cannot cure ills, change the weather or bring back the dead. And a genie always has a weakness.
A genie is also bound to its master in other ways. It is said that a genie is like a mirror; it only reflects its master`s will. If a master is evil minded and cruel, the genie will be also. If a master is generous and kind, so will be the genie.
One of the most popular genie stories is the following one about a genie named Mali Mellin.
The Story of Mali MellinEdit
Mali Mellin was a genie with a terrible weakness for mistletoe berries (although the same are poisonous to humans). He had been trapped for a few thousand years in a crusty old lamp after being buried with his possessive master. One day a poor farmer uncovered the lamp while plowing a field. The farmer, being ignorant took the lamp at once to his wife, and she, being no more intelligent than he cleaned the outside, brusquely without ever opening the lid. The pair took the lamp to market to sell for a few pence.
The lamp was purchased by an antiquities dealer, who, being equally lazy, never bothered to open the thing. (this tale continues on in this manner, passing through a dozen or so hands, much to the increased hilarity of the local listeners who seem to find this the largest joke they have ever heard. But, to move on...) Finally the lamp was purchased by a poor maiden named Daltina, who desired only a little warmth and light for her ailing mother. Daltina took the lamp home and opened it at once in order to fill it with oil and a wick. But instead of dust, a cloud of smoke issued forth from the open lamp and Mali Mellin appeared.
The girl was overcome with fear, but Mali Mellin finally persuaded the poor thing that she was in no danger, and, indeed, could now have anything she wished for. In the next few months, Daltina and her mother went from being poor, sickly outcasts, to being well to do. The poor house became a fine mansion and their garden blossomed. The girl, with the flush of prosperity in her cheeks, Mali Mellin, of course, was furnished with all the mistletoe berries he could eat. But on one thing, Daltina followed the advice of her mother, never tell anyone of the lamp, she warned, for we are but two lone women in the world and would be no match for those who would wish to steal our treasure.
Several years passed this way, and Daltina was content. Every night Mali Mellin would ask her, "what more do you wish?" and Daltina would reply "nothing. I have all that I want." Then, one day, a procession rode through the village. Riding at the head was a prince, the most handsome man that the girl had every seen. That night, Mali Mellin asked "What more do you wish?" the girl was silent for a moment, thinking "who am I to wish such a thing?" and "he should marry a princess." But her heart, never before touched, clamored too loudly for her to hear her own wisdom and so she whispered, "I wish for the prince." The next day the prince rode back to the village with haunted eyes. He had seen the girl in a dream and was sick with love. Within weeks, the two were married.
But the prince was not as good as he appeared - he wanted things: more wealth, more land, more of everything. When he moaned about for these things, the girl felt pity in her love and would in secret go to her lamp and call forth Mali Mellin to achieve her loves desires. At first, the prince was amazed at his wife`s powers and intuition. After a time, however, the prince grew suspicious of his wife's seemingly magical abilities. One night, he lamented long about a certain gold sword he must have that hung in a nearby castle. He pretended to go to sleep, and heard Daltina slip out. In silence, he followed down a corridor to her mother's room and there spied upon her as she called Mali Mellin from the lamp and, offering it some pretty mistletoe, asked her boon. "Mali Mellin," Daltina said, "there is a sword of gold ten leagues from here. Have it delivered to my husband in the morning as a gift of tribute." To which, Mali Mellin replied, "yes, master." The next morning, a courier arrived with the sword, just as Mali Mellin had promised. "How marvelous," the prince thought, "to have a wife with such a powerful genie!" Then he thought "How much more marvelous to possess the genie myself!" And so that very night the prince waited until Daltina slept, then snuck into his mother-in-law's chambers and removed the lamp from the trunk as he had seen his wife do. Seized with excitement he hastened to his armory and pulled the lid from the lamp. Mali Mellin appeared "yes master," the genie twittered, with a new malicious grin on its face. "You are MY genie now " said the prince " and shall do only as I wish" "of course master," said Mali Mellin, " but how about some mistletoe?"
The next day the girl awoke to find the prince in possession of the lamp. Despite her pleadings that she be allowed to control the dangerous creature, the prince refused to give it back. And oh what the prince did with that lamp! Whereas before the girl had indulged his desires conservatively, the prince with lamp knew no bounds. He kept Mali Mellin rushing to fulfill his wishes until the rooms of the castle were heaping with gold and jewels. His enemies lay slaughtered on the fields without provocation. Mali Mellin's wicked face now became like a demon`s in the land, a demon who stole and laid scourge to everything. Finally the girl could stand no more. The flame of her love for the prince was doused by bitter tears. One night, she drugged the prince`s wine and when he fell into a deep sleep, took the lamp from his grasp. She called forth the genie once more, and, sadly, had Mali Mellin carry the prince off to a distant and deserted land where he could trouble no-one ever again. With the prince gone and Mali Mellin back to his good-natured self, Daltina restored the broken land and reigned as a benign (if rather melancholy) queen for many years thereafter - reaping, always, a plentiful harvest of mistletoe.
PART VIII PostscriptEdit
So concludes my records on the Land of the Green Isles. I have been well treated here and have become rich in friends, knowledge and in countless other blessings. Though I have found my spirit forlorn at times with my inability to travel on, I must admit that my feet have itched less here than anywhere else in this wide world. Still on occasion, I find my mind roving back to the green hills of Daventry. Perhaps, if my spirit at least is allowed to roam free, I've yet to see them soon.
To those who may someday follow in my footsteps, I say this; Be kind to this gentle land, be open-hearted to her whimsy and protect her, if you can, from the harsh winds which might wish to blow in from the sea to steal her soul. She is unlike any place I have ever seen and she has stolen my heart.
Behind the scenesEdit
It was used as a copy protection measure for the game, and was actually written by Jane Jensen.
This article contains the 'lore' based comments that may relate to the copy protection, but not the symbols used for the copy protection to avoid piracy.
KINGS QUEST VI GUIDE BOOK TO THE LAND OF THE GREEN ISLES
Originally, as written by Jensen, the "author" of the book was to be someone named "John the Wanderer". Peter Spear, author of the King's Quest Companion, suggested to Sierra's then marketing head, John Williams, that citing Derek Karlavaegen as the author would be a neat way of cementing the connection between the game and the King's Quest Companion book. John agreed and when the Guide to the Land of the Green Isles was printed for inclusion inside the game box Derek was named as the "author".
In the game, there are comments made by the narrator that suggest that Alexander has or had a copy of the Guidebook to read, thus explaining his knowledge for solving the Logic Cliffs and the Catacombs.
- ↑ KQC, Third Edition, pg
- ↑ "That Alhazred found a copy of the "Guidebook to the Land of the Green Isles," and that was why he decided to come to this kingdom and take over?", KQ6 Hintbook, pg 74, Narrator (KQ6): "A few worn leather books occupy the trunk. The top one is entitled "Guidebook to the Land of the Green Isles. A book like that might have been a big help when Alexander first arrived! The trunk's owner obviously found it interesting, too, for the guidebook is dog-eared and stained."
- ↑ Narrator (KQ6): "Reading about the Ancient Ones in the "Guidebook to the Land of the Green Isles" may help a puzzled journeyer.", "Four, plain, stone buttons have been carved into the cliffs. One may need to read about the Logic Cliffs in the "Guidebook to the Land of the Green Isles," in order to understand these stones.", "The rock has been etched by some unknown hand. One may need to read about the Logic Cliffs in the "Guidebook to the Land of the Green Isles," in order to understand this mystical inscription."