Once, long ago, in a land far beyond, there was an old one eyed witch who lived upon a barren, black, rocky island out in the dark and stormy southern sea.
Her name was Ivelda, the pirate witch and she was a most vile and wicked woman indeed for every night she would summon up, by her mental powers alone, her fire breathing, many tentacled sea-beast, the Grathmoth, from below the waves and place a magic silver saddle upon its long slimy back then go riding across the water looking for wooden sailing ships to burn with the creatures fiery breath or crush with its many long tentacles, sometimes to steal the golden treasure from their holds but often just to watch the ships sink and all the helpless sailors upon them drown.
In spite of all her power, however, there was one thing that gnawed terribly upon Ivelda's pitch-black heart . It was lonliness and jealousy of those women who had the love of husband's and children.
Often Ivelda would go into her dark cave of echoes on the edge of her black island and ask of the voices in the cave, “Why? Why must I be alone?”.
“You cannot have everything, Ivelda”, the echoes would say, laughing at her from out of the darkness, “You gave your heart in return for power and by doing so gave away your power to love and only those who truly give love can truly receive it”.
But Ivelda was not satisfied with this answer and across the sea on the mainland she had heard that a handsome, young prince called Prince Walther was to be married to a beautiful young princess called Princess Chrisobel and this news made her very jealous and very angry; so angry, infact, that she let out a scream that could be heard high up in the heavens as well as deep down at the bottom of the sea and all around the globe.
“It should be I who is marrying that prince”, she said, “And, by all that is evil, it shall be!”.
Then Ivelda went into her cave of echoes and told the dark voices within, “Make me beautiful and young and the mirror image of the pretty princess Crisobel for what I cannot get by fair means and a loving heart, I shall steal by deception and cunning”.
And all of the evil echoes within the cave laughed with delight at the thought of Ivelda’s dark and wicked plans and, with their evil power, they wove an illusion of youth and beauty around Ivelda’s aged and ugly form so that, when she emerged from out of the cave again, she was the very likeness of Crisobel in every little detail of her face, hair and figure and only the loving kindness that was so abundant within the real Crisobel’s eyes was so noticeably lacking in hers.
“Now I shall go and find young Crisobel and take her place”, said the witch cackling with evil glee, “And then the handsome prince's heart and his golden throne shall be mine!”.
Round about the pirate witch’s black desolate island, the sea seemed to roar with anger and the wind howl with sorrow at Ivelda’s evil plan but they were weak next to Ivelda’s dark powers and so they raged impotently while Ivelda rose up into the wild air and flew across the stormy sea to the mainland and the house of Chrisobel and there, peering through the window of Chrisobel’s bed chamber, she saw the beautiful, young princess asleep in bed, tossing and turning as if in the midst of some terrible dream.
“Well ye may have nightmares, princess”, said the witch as her shadow crept across the face of the sleeping beauty and, outside, loud thunder began to peal, “For I am about to steal the dream of your heart”.
Then, by the light of the pale, pearl like moon, the vile witch worked an evil spell and, in her dreams, Chrisobel felt that she was standing upon the edge of a high cliff and that, whirling below her feet, was a wild, hungry maelstrom and that dark, gnarled old hands were seizing her from behind by the shoulders and that behind her she could hear the evil cackling of an old witch and that, suddenly, those old, clawed hands were pushing her off of the high black cliff down into the raging whirlpool below.
“Help me! Help!”, screamed Crisobel but no one could hear her or help her and the whirlpool sucked her down into its terrible foaming mouth and then, the next thing that the poor princess knew, she opened her eyes and saw that, all around her, was a smooth, transluscent, glimmering but impenetrable sphere; a giant pearl that she was imprisoned within and, outside the pearl, she could see the inner walls of a giant, golden oyster shell and for a long time she screamed and cried and banged upon the inside of the giant pearl but no one could hear her and then she heard that dark cackling voice from her nightmare, “No one will ever hear you princess”, said the voice of Ivelda echoing in her head, “For you are imprisoned within a giant pearl inside a giant oyster shell at the bottom of the deep ocean and there you will stay imprisoned forever while I take your place and marry your prince”.
And, though the sea could hear the cries of the poor princess no one else could and, sadly, she was locked in that underwater prison for a long time without a glimmer of hope while, up above, the evil witch Ivelda, pretending to be her, married Prince Walther and lived with him in his royal palace.
But though the witch looked, in every way, like Chrisobel, some things cannot be easily disguised, like the coldness of one’s heart and Prince Walther, recalling those times when he had met young Chrisobel before they were married, was sure that he could see, whenever he looked in the eyes of his wife, that she was not that same sweet, gentle girl that he remembered , nor when he kissed her did he feel anything but the coldness of ice in her lips.
And then something strange started to happen that made the king even more suspicious of his new wife. Everytime the prince slept at night he would have a peculiar dream that he was swimming deep underwater and yet still able to breathe and that, infront of him, he could see a large, golden oyster shell and that, as he swam closer to the giant shell, it started to open, revealing an enormous pearl inside and inside the pearl he would always see his wife or a girl that looked like his wife and she would always smile when she saw him and then he would be inside the pearl with her , holding her in his arms and kissing her and the kiss would be magical.
“What can it mean? This dream that I keep having”, he wondered to himself but, whenever he told his wife about the dream she merely told him that it was a silly dream and that he should forget about it.
And so he tried to forget but the dreams would not stop coming to him; on the contrary the dreams just became ever more vivid and more intense; the woman in the pearl, ever more beautiful and her kiss, ever more magical and each time he looked into his wifes eyes or kissed his wife he became ever surer that the girl in the pearl was not her but some other girl.
“I must know the meaning of the dream!”, he then resolved within himself, “And the identity of the girl in the pearl”.