So we backed a Kickstarter project – Forge of Honor – as part of our ongoing effort to cultivate their creativity through imaginative play. The boys and I recently came up with a story for the Targimals called The Targimals and the Endless Night. It’s about two boys and their Targimals who go on a quest to save the world from the Night Monsters. The story is written by Mum with story ideas from G1. The pictures are of the boys enacting the story.
The Targimals and the Endless Night
Once upon a time, two brothers lived in a little cottage deep in the woods. Their names were Gavin and Gareth. Gavin and Gareth were not only brothers, but they were also the best of friends. They did everything together – fishing, camping, swimming, hiking, and skiing. What they loved most of all was reading a good book.
Now you might be wondering what two young boys were doing living alone in the forest… Weren’t they scared? What about monsters? Who was looking after these kids? Well, I’m glad you asked because each boy had a Targimal guardian protecting him and keeping him safe from all the terrifying monsters lurking in the forest after dark.
Gavin, the older brother, was watched over by Poing, a Targimal, who is green and gray and looks something like a mix between an elephant and capybara. As the youngest of the Targimals, Poing is often energetic and playful but fiercely protective of his ward. Gavin and Poing got along really well because they both loved to eat burgers, pizza, dumplings, and milkshakes!
Gareth, the younger brother, was guarded by Tang, a black-and-red winged Targimal, who looks like a cross between a Gila monster and dragon. Fiercer than any monster but as friendly as a guinea pig, Tang takes extraordinary care of his ward. Gareth and Tang get along really well because they both love hugs and moving around a lot!
One night, while Gavin and Gareth were sleeping, they were awoken by a scratching noise at the window. Tang and Poing alerted the boys, and they were up and armed before you could shout, “Monster!” As they brandished their swords, their Targimals hopped into Battle Mode on their shields. The boys rushed to see what it was.
It was a face in the darkness attempting to break through the protective barriers of the windows set up by the Targimal guardians every night before the boys go to sleep. Gavin and Gareth fought the hideous face bravely with their Border Blades – forged in the fires of Honor – and vanquished the evil from the night.
The next morning, the boys and their Targimals discussed the meaning of the invasion from the evening before. It had been a long time since any monsters had ever dared to attack them because all monsters knew that this house was protected by the formidable powers of the Targimals. So why did the face in the dark appear? Were the monsters of the night becoming stronger? If so, this was terrible news indeed.
“We should ask the Strawberry Man. He will have the answers,” said Gavin confidently.
The boys and the Targimals travelled to the Mushroom Hut where the Strawberry Man lived. Everyone knew that the Strawberry Man would only come out if you brought him a special treat, so Gareth gave him a tray of strawberry cupcakes.
“The time of the Endless Night is coming,” said the Strawberry Man. “When the Endless Night is here, the portal to the Realm of Nightmares will open and a hoard of Night Monsters will invade the dreams of children.”
Gavin and Gareth knew it was up to them to stop the Endless Night, but they didn’t know how. The only person who might know would be the Wise Man but he lived a long way away on the Lonely Mountain, and the journey there was so perilous that few dared to attempt it. To prepare for the quest, the boys and their Targimals trained hard every day – running, jumping, rowing.
At last, they were ready to begin their expedition to get to the Lonely Mountain.
In the first part of their journey, the boys and their Targimals had to travel across the Seas of Doom – so dubbed because of the giant maelstrom at its heart that sucked every ship into the doom of its watery depths. It was a dangerous journey, but the heroic boys turned their ship from the safety of the harbour toward the open sea bravely anticipating the raging waters they knew were coming. The maelstrom was soon upon them, and boys fought hard to keep their ship on course. Soaked to the skin and frozen to the bone, they were exhausted, but Gavin and Gareth knew they had to press on.
Finally, they landed on the sandy beaches of the Lonely Mountain. Gareth crawled up the beach and collapsed in a heap on the sand. “I can’t go any further,” he moaned.
But as weary as the boys felt, they knew that their journey was far from over. Now they had to hike through the Haunted Forest, cross the Chasm of Echoes, and scale the Frozen Mountains. Even if they could make it, who knew what monsters lay in store for them?
“C’mon Gareth,” said Gavin. “The earlier we get a move on, the faster we’ll get to the Wise Man. Get off your behind and let’s get moving!”
Grumbling to himself, Gareth reluctantly got up to follow Gavin, who had already started off in the direction of the Lonely Mountain – a lone peak in the distance.
It wasn’t long before Gareth noticed something was not right. He could have sworn the trees were moving. It felt like they had been walking around and around in circles. Huge walls of hedges f up towards the sky, blocking their view of the Mountain that had been their guide. “We’re lost,” said Gareth mournfully. “We’ll never get out of here.”
Tang jumped up onto Gareth’s shoulder and nuzzled his neck reassuringly. “We’ll find out way out,” he said. “We just need to ask the Tree Spirit.”
“Did someone say my name?” Asked the Tree Spirit, who had magically appeared out of nowhere.
“We did,” said Poing. “We’re looking for the way to the Lonely Mountain.”
The Tree Spirit looked at them in concern. “The path to the Lonely Mountain is a dangerous one,” she said. “Are you sure you want to go there?”
“We must!” Cried Gavin. “The Endless Night is almost upon us, and we must stop it.”
“Very well,” said the Tree Spirit. “Follow me.”
So the Tree Spirit led the boys and their Targimal guardians through the tangle of trees until they arrived at the edge of an enormous chasm. A rickety wooden bridge spanned its gaping mouth.
“We have to walk across that?! Are you even sure it’ll hold our weight?” Asked Tang, eyeing the bridge dubiously.
The Tree Spirit replied, “Well, it’s the only way across the Chasm of Echoes, so we don’t have a choice.”
Tang heaved a big sigh and the motley band plowed onward onto the dilapidated old bridge. Halfway across, the creaking got so loud and the swaying so violent that the team had to grab hold of the tattered rope handrails for dear life.
“We’ll never make it!” Cried Gavin. “We have to jump!” Screamed Gareth.
The boys and their Targimals leapt to safety and landed onto the powdery, soft, white snow of the Frozen Mountains just as the bridge behind them collapsed into the chasm below.
“Phew! That was close!” Exclaimed Gareth.
“Brrrr! When did it suddenly get so cold?” Wondered Gavin. The winds from the Solitary Peak were blowing down to the Chasm, bringing an icy cold that bit into their flesh. Gavin and Gareth quickly pulled out their winter suits from their packs while Tang and Poing huddled together for warmth. They put on their super warm thermal suits and then it was time to hike into the bone-chilling cold of the Frozen Mountains.
They walked for days until they reached the base of the Solitary Mountain. Gavin raised his eyes up and up and up and up the never-ending mountain to its peak and sank to his knees in despair. With fingers frozen, and feet blistered, the boys were too tired to climb. They decided to set up camp for the night and tackle the mountain the next morning. Tang used his fire power to get a fire going while the boys pitched their tents. Poing searched their packs for food and started preparing their dinner.
Everyone was ravenous by the time dinner was ready, and they tucked into it in silence. The boys were silent until Gareth ate the last grain of rice from his tiffin and looked up for dessert. Dessert was marshmallows that they toasted by the fire with their Forge of Honor swords. With full bellies and warmth from the campfire, the boys fell quickly into a blissful sleep while their Targimal guardians watched over them through the night.
The next morning, it was time to continue their quest and climb the mountain. With their grappling hooks, ropes and ice picks, the boys and their Targimals made the arduous ascent up the north face of the Solitary Mountain. Up and up they went with no end in sight. Just as they were about to give up, Gavin climbed over the final ledge and found the temple of the Wise Man. As he approached the temple, a pack of rabid dinosaurs rushed out of nowhere to block his path.
Gavin strapped on his Forge of Honor Border Shield and raised his Sword to defend his motley team of adventurers as they made their final ascent. Before the dinosaurs could attack him, the Wise Man appeared and held them at bay.
“I know why you are here,” said the Wise Man. “Time is running out! The Endless Night approaches. You must find the three Shards of Daylight and take them to the Shrine of Morning. Return the shards to their rightful place before the sun sets on the last day of Autumn and you will save the world. Now hurry!” With a wave of his hand, the Wise Man called a magic carpet that swept up the boys and their Targimals and sent them flying back to their cottage in the woods.
“How are we going to find the Shards of Daylight?” Tang wondered mournfully. “We don’t even know where they are!”
“I think I remember reading about them a long time ago,” replied Gavin.
“Oh yes!” Cried Gareth excitedly. “I remember! The first one is kept in the Catacombs of Doom. It’s by the Whispering Falls near the Heart of the Forest.”
“We must hurry,” added Poing. “The last day of Autumn is almost upon us!”
Hidden behind the falls, the boy had to walk across a narrow ledge to access the entrance to the catacombs. The boys carefully edged behind the curtain of water and soon found themselves inside a dark cave lit by two torches. A long winding stairwell leads down into darkness.
“I don’t like it here! It’s dark and scary!” Moaned Gareth.
“Don’t worry, just turn on your Magic Light!” Reminded Gavin.
Before Gareth could summon his Magic Light, a ghostly silhouette appeared, floating toward them. Targimals Poing and Tang leapt into battle mode as Gavin and Gareth brought their weapons to the ready. With two swipes of their swords, the ghost was banished forever.
There was a small alcove in the wall holding a large key. The boys took it and continued down the dark hallway to a locked door at the end of it. They unlocked the door to reveal a shimmering room, filled to the brim with gold and hidden treasures. Inside a chest in the center of the room lay the first Shard of Daylight shining so brightly it was difficult to look at it. Gareth quickly put it into his pack and the team left to search for the second shard.
The second shard was hidden in the Valley of the Earth Eater. It was fiercely guarded by the fearsome giant green worm that reared its gaping maw filled with row upon row of razor-sharp teeth. Once again, our valiant boys raised their mighty Forge of Honor swords and, together with their Targimal guardians, they battled the Earth Eater for the second Shard of Daylight. They parried and leaped around the ferocious creature, always barely one step ahead of it. It was Gareth who finally plunged his Border Blade into the heart of the Earth Eater and vanquished the serpent back into the Under World.
Encircled by a ring of stones was a second wooden chest. Gavin threw open the heavy lid of the now unguarded chest and took the second Shard of Daylight from its nesting place and put it carefully into Gareth’s pack. Two down, one more to go. They had to move quickly because the last day of Autumn was fast approaching.
The third Shard of Daylight was the hardest to get – it lay hidden in fiery depths of the Flaming Volcano. Even if they weren’t burned alive by the heat radiating from the volcano, they had to get past the fire-breathing raptors guarding the shard. Gareth conjured up a Magic Heat Shield with his Targimal power enabling the rest of their crew to pass the searing hot lava.
As they approached the hidden chamber within the volcano, a pack of raptors leaped out of hiding. One of them knocked Gareth to the ground. Gavin seized his sword and turned to face the Alpha. He knew that the only way they were going to get out of this alive was if he could defeat the Alpha Raptor. The Raptors came at him, and Gavin sprung into a tuck and roll. At the last minute, he stabbed his sword up at the Alpha and all the other raptors melted away. Gavin rushed to collect the third shard while the Targimals helped Gareth.
Morning dawned upon the last day of Autumn as the courageous group made their way to the Fountain of Liquid Fire. It was an arduous journey, but they made it just as the sun began to recede below the horizon. “The shards need to go into the fountain, but the liquid will burn us,” warned Tang.
So Gareth used his Magic Heat Shield to protect them again as they dove into the flaming liquid to replace the three Shards of Daylight. Gavin managed to fit the last shard into its socket just as the last ray of daylight disappeared. The boys and their Targimals swam quickly to the surface and looked around in anxious anticipation. If the night monsters appeared then, they would know they had failed their quest. Moments slipped by and the night remained peaceful. They had succeeded – they had stayed the Endless Night and children all over the world were now safe in their beds.
Gavin and Gareth returned home to their cottage in the wood with their Targimal guardians weary but content. The world was safe again, and the children would all sleep soundly that night. They celebrated their victory over a sumptuous steak dinner. Then, with full bellies, they, too, surrendered to sleep while their Targimal guardians watched over them.