Summer is finally here! You’ve left the noisy city behind and have splurged on your dream trip — a much-anticipated vacation to the gorgeous green hills of Ireland! You’re fulfilling your dream of spending a few weeks hiking and exploring this beautiful, magical countryside!
Your hike takes you through an enchanting landscape of rolling green hills, past high, rugged cliffs, across endless meadows and into vast forests. You breathe in the crisp, fresh air — pure nature! You are so incredibly happy, and think how amazing this is!
You’ve left the hiking trail to forge your own way and have just entered a thick forest with many ancient trees. There is a peculiar atmosphere here — tingling hot with strange smells in the air. It almost feels as if the trees turn around and watch you as you go by! Everywhere things hop and rustle, and you get the feeling that it’s not merely forest animals hiding from you.
You come to a large, circular clearing in the midst of the thick forest with some trepidation. From a distance, you notice a large boulder with something squatting on top of it. As you cautiously approach the boulder, you see it’s a small goblin! He‘s about the size of your backpack, wears a long green jacket and a small, pointy green hat. He looks just like the illustrations you’ve seen in fairy tales! He suddenly jerks his head around and looks at you with his small, glittering eyes.
Totally excited, you say to him, "Good day, Mr. Goblin!"
The goblin flinches, loses his balance and topples backwards down the stone! You hurry to help him and put the completely confused-looking little guy back on the boulder. He looks at you with wide eyes and stammers, "Ca-Ca-can you see m-m-me?"
"Yes," you reply, "I can see you."
The goblin turns his gaze from you and sinks down. Shaking his head sorrowfully, he speaks quietly to himself, "Then the rumor heard through the forest lately is true."
"What rumor is that?" you ask curiously.
The goblin flinches again and glares at you angrily. "What rumor you ask? What rumor? Just a rumor!” he snarls. “And how dare you frighten me like that? And not once, but twice! Who are you anyway, and why should I tell you anything about it? You’re just some random human trampling through our nature! Can't you just stay in your cities where you belong and leave us alone?"
You try to calm him down, saying, "First of all, I’m sorry for scaring you, Mr. Goblin. I didn’t mean to. I came here because I can't stand it in the city anymore, and I'm also looking for peace and quiet. I love to explore in nature. I‘m terribly curious, you see."
"How terribly curious?"
"I’m so curious that I sincerely hope you’ll tell me about the rumor you’ve heard. Maybe I can help!“
"Hmm . . ." The goblin looks at you for a while, then nods thoughtfully and speaks. "Well, you seem all right to me. Probably an exception to your kind. Very well, I will tell you."
He pauses for a moment, looking off into the distance, then speaks in a gravely serious voice.
"My name is Andjar. I am the son of the great Schurell, and I am a goblin. I have lived in this glorious forest for hundreds of years. Lately, however, all sorts of strange things have been happening here and the forest dwellers are very worried. They say that the Guardian Crystal Envir has lost its power."
"And that's bad?" you ask, somewhat confused.
"Is that bad? Is that BAD?" the goblin practically shrieks. "It's not just bad, it's terribly bad! The entire magical world is in danger!"
You furrow your brows and look questioningly at the goblin. "I don’t understand.“
"Listen. Envir, the Guardian Crystal, protects the magical world from the human one. We are safe from you only because Envir makes all those from the magical world invisible to you."
You consider that for a moment before asking, "Would it be so terrible if we could see you and your world? I would think that would be wonderful! What could happen?"
"In fact, someone like you would probably not be a danger to our world,“ the goblin admits. "I think we could get along well and perhaps even learn from each other. However, not everyone in your world is like you. Most humans have forgotten how to live in harmony with nature; how to enjoy it, how to feel the glory of the nature kingdom, and how peaceful it is to just sit on a big boulder at the edge of the forest."
Hissing and with narrowed eyes, he adds, "If you're not disturbed in the process!"
Shaking his head, he says, "Instead, people in your world buy lots of things that are supposed to give them pleasure. Noisy, smelly, nature-destroying things. Many of the people from your world would be afraid of those from my world. They would be afraid that we might take something away from them, and that would lead to anger. Eventually, there would be a war between the two worlds. No, your world just isn't ready for us yet!"
You consider his words, realizing he’s right. Most people would probably fear a world full of magical creatures they don’t understand. So you ask, "How then can Eivar regain its power?"
"The name is ENVIR; listen properly, human! Envir gets its power from the three elemental crystals that were once created by the Three Eternals."
"The Three Eternals?"
"Yes, the Three Eternals! Our three World Mothers: Wilbeth, the Sun Mother; Ambeth, the Moon Mother; and Borbeth, the Earth Mother."
Seeing your confusion, he takes a deep breathe before explaining further. "Wilbeth created the crystal Sulis from the rays of the sun. Ambeth formed the crystal Litha from arctic moon flowers and Borbeth formed the crystal Amind from the power of the earth. These three elemental crystals combined give Envir the power to keep the magical world invisible to you and your kind. Over time, this power fades and so the three crystals must be reunited once again to restore Envir’s power. However, the crystals themselves are very powerful and, if used incorrectly, may cause great harm. For this reason, the elemental crystals have been protected and guarded for many millennia in secret places by three guardians. The guardians will release the crystals only if the one who challenges them proves worthy of it."
"Where are these secret places? Are they around here?" you blurt out abruptly.
"Why do you want to know? Are you going to set out and claim the crystals from the guardians?" the goblin laughs.
"Well, why not? I'd think a little adventure would be cool, and I could at least give it a try!"
"Oh really?" chides the goblin sarcastically. "The human thinks it would be cool to help and could at least give it a try. I'm really encouraged by that. It's not like the entire magical world depends on it or anything! With that attitude, you're sure to fail!"
"I didn't mean it that way," you apologize. "Even though I don't really know you or your world, I'm willing to help you get the crystals, if only I knew where and how to start."
The goblin looks deeply into your eyes for some time, then finally nods, coming to a decision. He reaches into his deep pocket and pulls out an object wrapped in cloth. It looks like a short, thick telescope. He hands it to you.
"To save my world, you must reunite the three elemental crystals,“ the goblin explains. "To do this, you must travel to three secret places and convince each guardian to give you their crystal. Each of them will give you a number of mysterious tasks to complete. You have to find the runes, which are ancient characters belonging to each crystal, and reassemble them. Look around carefully, recognize the peculiarities and solve the mysteries.“
He looks at you again, warning, "Only the wisest and strongest will be able to master these tasks and retrieve the gems. But I doubt that a human being is able to find these signs. Unfortunately, I don't know any other way we can help Envir regain its power. Thus, I will entrust you with this tool, which will help you find the crystals‘ secret locations.“
"Now concentrate,“ the goblin urges. "Gather all your thoughts and feelings, and imagine yourself in the state of the three elements: sun, moon and earth. Then look through the telescope and you will see the first secret place. Solve the mysteries the guardians ask of you, then return with the crystal. I hope you don't fail — the fate of my entire world is at stake!"
Full of apprehension, you concentrate fiercely, gather all your strength, bring the telescope to your eye and peer through it ...