Format: 136 x 205 mm
In a Nutshell:
Dafydd is an apprentice to the bard Palatin at the Güldenthal court. The boy can scarcely believe that he of all people is supposed to be the bearer of the magical stone that can save the world from the white magician. But he soon finds himself with Palatin, Princess Livia, a gnome, a dwarf and the cranky witch Morgat on the biggest adventure of his life. The companions must win the battle against the albino magician, his trolls and death fairies, or else the land they know will be doomed. And all of this stands and falls with Dafydd. In the end, both Dafydd and Livia play their part in the rescue and realise that what was once friendship has turned into love.
Sixteen-year-old Dafydd grew up at the court of Güldenthal together with the heiress to the throne Livia and as a talented bard he can hope for a life as an adviser to the future queen. However, he is secretly hoping more for marriage with his friend, for whom he has had feelings for a long time. The signs of danger are mounting in this rather crumbling kingdom. The whole land seems to be under threat, trolls have been sighted at the borders. The king, who is already overwhelmed by the court ceremonies and putting on his armour, first sends out scouts, including Dafydd, his teacher Palatin (with Elvish roots) and the exuberant gnome Memphy, who is always close to starvation. In the meantime, Livia is to be married with Rodric, the son of the Grand Duke of Moldivia, an experienced warrior. After all, the king realises that he himself feels very uncomfortable in armour and can never be a powerful warlord. The conceited Floriana will prepare them for their role.
On the way, the mysterious dwarf Ffargolf leads Dafydd to a pond where he finds a curious stone that attracts him magically. This stone is evidently watched over by a toad. Dafydd reaches for it and is flattened by a blinding flash of lightning. The toad has turned into the cranky female magician Morgat, who tells him that the stone has been waiting for him for centuries. It is a mighty magical artefact, made by elves, and the help of the stone and its bearer is now urgently required, because the albino magician Morolt has robbed his peers of nearly all their magic. His trolls were invading the human kingdom and had already slain the Grand Duke of Moldivia. Morgat impatiently urges them to leave, after all she had to endure over 300 years in the pond, which was terribly boring even as a toad.
They set out but soon come across Livia, who is on her way to her future groom with her entourage. When the friends arrive, a disaster occurs: the conceited Floriana has asked the princess to dress suitably for the official reception. Livia obeys in a rather unconventional manner, by wearing the jerkin and trousers of the (hitherto always male) heir to the throne, whereupon Floriana passes out. She is guiltily laid down on the throne. Then the death fairies of the albino – sinister beings in black clothes – invade the tent and abduct Floriana, who they think is the heiress to the throne. Livia pledges to free her and sets out in pursuit with her companions. In a sandstorm and guided by Dafydd’s stone, they reach the former elf kingdom Erand’Or, which was destroyed centuries ago by a troll invasion. The human king at the time had not come to the aid of his allies. The spirits of the slain elves appear. Dafydd must prove himself as the bearer of the stone and is subjected to a test: the path of dreams. He must face up to his fears such as heights, darkness and confined spaces and sees himself in mirrors that reflect his image variously. He decides on the image of a Dafydd who looks like a warrior – a Dafydd who, he realises, Livia could love. He can therefore keep the stone and the companions are allowed to move on. It remains unclear whether he has already passed the test. They leave the elf kingdom at the Nordklang gate, where gigantic sculptures of the elf and human king tower, who are holding a ring together that is not fully closed: a symbol of the promise of help that was broken by the human king.
In the meantime, Grand Duke Rodric has found out that his future bride has been kidnapped. He avoids an ambush by the trolls with the help of the tracker Holmgert and his foster son, the expelled troll Grandocht. It is not only his strength that is striking. Although he cannot really express himself (“Hrrrch!”, “Hrrrch, hrrrrrch!”), he is in fact the most well-read member of the group. Together they succeed in freeing Floriana, who they also take to be the princess, from the hands of the death fairies. She is not very grateful to her uncouth rescuers, but instead complains continuously about the lack of comfort. When the Grand Duke protests against this tone of voice, a rockfall hurtles down that kills the tracker and injures Rodric severely. With her bare hands, Floriana digs him out of the rubble. They flee, whereby the troll carries the feverish patient on his back.
Dafydd and his companions, on the other hand, are facing the albino, whose kingdom they have now entered. In return for the life of his companions, Dafydd agrees to hand him the stone and to accompany him to his residence in the Icy Tower. Livia and her companions are on the way back, pursued by a gigantic troll army. In the meantime, Dafydd has got the stone back. The albino needs the help of the stone that only obeys Dafydd. In return, the boy would share sovereignty over a perfect world where white dominates all other colours: a world without deviations or imperfections. In an unobserved moment, Dafydd manages to escape and is led by the stone to the Icy Tower. Dafydd realises that the path of dreams is not yet over. He makes the dangerous henchmen of Morolt, a kind of steam-driven robot, turn around by adjusting his singing to the rhythm of their movements. Finally, he is standing once again in front of mirrors that show him differing versions of his future, as a warrior, merchant, fisherman, perhaps even a king. However, it is clear to him that only all these together represent him. A new mirror shows him Livia and her friends in danger, but at this moment the white magician is suddenly standing behind him.
Livia and her entourage have reached the gates of Nordklang, where the gigantic figures of kings are holding the incomplete ring. But the elves deny them access, just as they themselves were not helped back then. Livia grasps intuitively that they must climb up the sculpture of the king, which they also do in desperate haste, while the figure of the king is smashed by enemy catapults. Floriana, Grandocht and the feverish Rodric come face to face with the army of Livia’s royal father, which Morgat called together in the form of ravens. At the Nordklang gate it comes to a battle against the trolls, at the same moment as Livia understands what she must do: she fulfils the path of her distant ancestor by thrusting the sword of the heir to the throne into the incomplete ring and closing the circle. At this moment, Dafydd throws himself into the mirror and emerges by Livia at the gate. The big danger is therefore averted for the time being. The ruler can take a deep breath and decides to put his plan into action straight away: to have his daughter Livia and Grand Duke married. He flies into a rage when instead Dafydd declares his love to the girl and Rodric, whom he asks to follow his wishes, unexpectedly asks for the hand of Floriana. It is only possible to convince him when the dead elves appear, who now finally grant the human king forgiveness for the unfulfilled oath. Dafydd and Livia will settle at the gate of the elf kingdom, as the ancestors of the princess once promised, and rebuild the land ravaged by war. After the death of the king, the throne of Güldenthal will be accessed by the last male heir, Rodric, and Floriana, who will teach her barbarian a few manners.