For treasure hunt enthusiasts, there's nothing better than solving a puzzle that could lead to a real-life treasure, and in 2004 first-time author Michael Stadther provided that opportunity. For those of you who missed out on “A Treasure Trove's” excitement, don't despair. Stadther has a new book, “Secrets of the Alchemist Dar” and hidden within the pages are clues to a $2 million dollar worldwide treasure hunt. Here's an excerpt:
The First Eclipse: The SyzygyHigh above the bedroom in the tree house Zac had built for Ana, his bride of almost two years, as they lay sleeping with their trusty, chubby doth, Pook, tucked under the covers, a celestial dance was being performed — a slow rotating dance, a dance that never ceased. Although the dance had never happened this way before, it had been destined to be performed this way since the beginning of time.
That night, as Ana lay safe in Zac’s arms, secure in Yorah’s mighty oak branches, she dreamed of her wedding anniversary approaching in two days. Zac slept soundly, pleasantly tired from carrying a new load of his hand-carved wooden boxes to the village earlier that day. Pook slept lightly, his guard-dog sense keeping him half awake even though his moth sense had told him to close his eyes once the lights were out.
A cool night breeze brushed over the Good Fairies that slept in Yorah’s leaves: the gentle Flower Fairies, the clumsy Kootenstoopits, and the mysterious Pickensrooters.
The Great Forest was peaceful that night.
No one dreamt the Dark Fairies — the Darklings, the evil, destructive malcontents who caused pestilence and disease — would soon leave their black cave again. The Darklings had not ventured out for almost a year, since Zac and the brave Pook had destroyed their leader.
None of the peaceful sleepers could know far away, deep in the Grotto, a new leader was emerging to unleash the Darklings into the Great Forest. The sleepers couldn’t know they would be forced to leave the Great Forest. They couldn’t know all the Good Fairies soon would die.
Nor could they anticipate how the new, evil Darkling leader and the celestial dance of the sun and the moon with the Earth would cause all these things to happen.
Everyone slept peacefully as the celestial spheres started their inevitable alignment, the Earth almost directly between the sun and the moon. The shadow of the earth — now just touching the edge of the moon – soon would cover the lunar orb. This would be the first of three eclipses to occur over the Great Forest.
As the inhabitants of the Great Forest slept, the first eclipse, the alignment of the sun, moon, and Earth — the syzygy — had begun.
Excerpted from “Secrets of the Alchemist Dar” by Michael Stadther. Copyright © 2006, Michael Stadther. All rights reserved. Published by Treasure Trove Inc. No part of this excerpt can be used without permission of the publisher.