Explosions. Screams. Smell of burning wood. Mother holds them tight but for the first time in their lives, no security can be found in their mother’s arms.
Smell of coal. Sound of metal grinding metal. Father tells his first born to lookout after the younger siblings. This was the last time they ever saw him.
Slow motion of a moving train. Smell of coal. Bustling carriage. Soldiers, children. The Train conductor offers them comforting words and gestures.
Almost a sleep. Bitten by grief and dread. A kind lady comforts them and asks her husband, a faceless soldier, to empty their cabin for the children. At least they have peace and quiet.
Arriving at the trainstation in the country no one is there to meet them. A poor hobo dazzles them with sleight of hand, conjuring a lollipop from the children’s ears. An older Scotsman shoos the hobo off; placing the children in an open carriage, dragged by two horses.
Over the hills the carriage totters. A mansion becomes visible. The door is open by a menacing looking man. He escorts them up the stairs to the attic, where a gramophone plays an eerie tune, cats hiss and the Lady of the House meets them with her cold malevolent eyes.
The war is lost, proclaimed King Gargamol. A treaty has been signed.
Reunited after a long war, the siblings met up with the strange Emris. He offered them a new adventure and with a sudden blink of an eye, the siblings found themselves in a cavern. Behind them a winding stair, in front a huge door; guarded by two guardians; Kaman-Tha and Nasht.
“The wanderers’ apprentices arrive” Nasht said. “Give us your tokens and we shall let you pass.”
Lawrence offered a silver key, Lyra a glass statue of a ballerina and Thomas a music box.
They met Emris on the other side of the door; in the Enchanted forest. He told them of this world, a realm where evil lurked and good laid in dorm. But the sword of power had returned to the realm and soon it would sing for the rightful king. A king the siblings should meet and guide him in the quest to united the realm. He told the to find the city of Ulthar and find Barzai for he could answer their questions. And a sudden as he had appeared, he was gone- leaving them alone in the strange woods.
The music of Leonard Cohen echoed the white and pale green room. Two orderlies guarded the huge door. A television flickered behind a small metal grate. Boris and someone whose name sounded like a dragon where playing chess on the next table. The Doctor walked around in his white coat, mindfully taking notes as he passed. But try as they might, they could not move their hands.