Once upon a time, I awoke in a strange place. I had no idea how I'd come to be there. Bewildered, I stood on a cliff over looking a giant land, with a large factory in the distance. The factory looked dark and foreboding, an ominous presence in what looked to be a once beautiful countryside. "It was mine, once," said a voice behind me. I turned around to see a strange man. A toy. He looked raggedy and forlorn. What once was shiny and new, was now a forgotten and broken old man. He told me he used to be The King, but now lived as an outcast, overthrown by the heartless Queen Carolina. Carolina has stolen the heart of the king's adopted daughter, Porcelain. She locked Porcelain's heart away in a toy box and cast her out of the kingdom. Now Carolina lived in the tower atop the factory, where she continuously created more toys, soldiers for her army. No one had seen Porcelain for a very long time. The Outcast King told me how to get home. In the factory tower, there was a toy box. Inside were all the things Carolina had stolen, including the entrance to my home. But I would need the key. The key was split into halves. And the person that held half of that key, was Porcelain. I would need to find her, get into the factory thrown room, and unlock the box. I set off, in search of the Lost Princess, and a way home.
I dreamt I was asleep. Carolina came to me in the night. I couldn't quite make out what she looked like, her form changed from second to second, but she radiated power. She asked me to join her. No one would have to know,it would be our dirty little secret. I could have everything I'd ever wanted, but I would never go home again. The factory would be my new home, and I could be her new king. Although I considered it, I turned her away and she vanished. I awoke in a forest clearing, in the dead of night. At the base of a giant tree, stood a young girl. Not a toy, but a person. A lost warrior, beautiful and dangerous. I had found Porcelain.
She wore a half key around her neck, like a pendant. I asked Porcelain why she wasn't a toy like everyone else. She didn't know. She couldn't remember anything of her life before her heart had been stolen, and had felt empty ever since. The Queen's toy soldiers roamed the countryside, stealing everybody's hearts, and locking them away. With all of the toys in Toyland feeling the apathy of heartlessness, no one would stand up to her. I told Porcelain my tale, and explained what we must do. She agreed and told me that first we must find the Stuttering Wise Man. The one creature in Toyland who still had a heart, and the other half of the key. We had to find him, before the Toy Soldiers found us.
The Stuttering Wise Man lived in secret in a cave. Brother to the Outcast King, he had once been the Prince. He looked a little worn, but still had a glow about him. He still had a heart, and a guilty memory. He told us that Porcelain was from the same place as me. She had shown up as a lost child, and had been adopted by the king. The Prince had known Carolina once, too. She had seduced him to get into the Royal family. She had told him what he wanted to hear. But as soon as they were married, it all changed. She stole young Porcelain's heart first, and it broke the heart of the King. In his frail state, he was too weak to fight her. The Prince and the King had both fled, seeking safety in hiding.
The Prince showed us the secret entrance to The Factory. All toys were born in the factory. We snuck down to the basement, to the fiery forges. There were hundreds of Toys. They were working on a giant assembly line, assembling new soldiers. Numb soldiers who are born without hearts at all. Stolen, before they were ever born. We stood on a podium, overlooking the factory floor. We pleaded with the Toys to join us. If we worked together, we could overthrow the Queen and everyone would get their heart back.We urged them to face the music when it's dire. Slowly, there were murmurs of rebellion. With our own army, we marched into the courtyard. A giant chessboard. We stood on one side, and the Queen's army, ready for us, stood on the other side with a thousand royal guards. We were outnumbered, but just needed to buy enough time for Porcelain and I to sneak into the tower and open the toy box. The Outcast King led the charge into battle. Alone, The Stuttering Prince, Porcelain and I snuck up to the tower.
The Queen was waiting for us at the toy box. She came at me. I couldn't hold her off. As she reached hungrily at my chest, Porcelain and the Prince unlocked the Toy Box. I was blinded in a wash of light. From the courtyard, we heard joyous screaming. When my eyes focused again, I saw Porcelain, now powerful, standing over the Queen, sword drawn. The Stuttering Prince lay motionless. The other half of the key had been his own heart. He had sacrificed himself to free the hearts of everyone else. Porcelain picked up the Queen, and threw her from the tower window into the courtyard bellow, where she was overwhelmed by a sea of angry toys. The King no longer an outcast, retook the thrown. Porcelain and I went home, but found after everything we'd been through, it no longer felt like home. So we chose to return to Toyland, where we lived happily ever after.