Act II Scene I

Civil unrest reigned in the kingdom as the throne remained unfilled.  Within the ivory tower the princess languished as she was forced behind closed doors to hold audience to her various advisors, who conspired against one another.  All seemed to be vying for power and position. How tedious, the princess thought as she noticed how their plots and schemes so often involved using her as a weapon in their warfare. Her current captor, the court chancellor had been brought in to investigate matters.  They may as well have sent the court jester.  The princess sighed and gazed out the window, wishing she could return to her quiet spinning at the wheel. She then fell into a delightful daydream in which she teased her prince with promises to let down her golden hair.

But something much more menacing was afoot in the forest just beyond the tower. Evil much darker than mere mortal ambition was churning.  There were reports that five score of blackbirds had fallen dead from the sky.  Four and twenty were baked in a pie (and still no king for that dainty dish).  In exponential numbers greater, the fish had perished inexplicably. Their bloated pale bodies with dead staring eyes had washed up to shore. A lunar halo foretold more erratic behavior from nature, and the ground shook daily, either in fear or fury.