"The Long Road Home": Ayla is growing younger and to comfort her she is told a story with her friends being used as models for the characters.
Appearing in "The Long Road Home"
- Brother Shadowkin
- Polar King
- Princess Laurel
- Prince Valor of Gandia
- Sister Shadowkin
- Sun Baron
Synopsis for "The Long Road Home"
Ayla is growing younger and to comfort her she is told a story with her friends being used as models for the characters.
In the story, Garth is tormenting Ayla with her doll Dreamy and accidentally causes her to fall into a domed machine resulting in her being knocked out.
When she wakes up she finds herself falling towards a planet. On the planet Starfinger and White Witch are fighting until the machine Ayla is in drops on Starfinger killing him. The White Witch gives Ayla Starfinger's ring (to allow Ayla to see the starpath and use the stargates she will encounter) and a headband for protection and tells Ayla that Valor may have the power to help her get home. Accompanied by Violet of the Imskians and warned to beware Starfinger's sister, Ayla enters the first stargate.
On the other side Ayla and Violet note they look different and find a world nearly devoid of color. They quickly find a pair of Shadowkin turning everything they can touch into shadows. In running to the next stargate Ayla drops her doll Dreamy which the Shadowkin turn into a shadow. When Ayla activates the stargate it floods the region with light which reverses the Shadowkin's transformations and hurts them. Grabbing Dreamy, Ayla tells the Shadowkin to stop turning the animals to shadows or she will be back.
Through the stargate, the two of them find themselves in a maze. There they encounter a person who says he is the fifth person to try the maze to become the village genius and get an actual name (He calls himself "5"). Using the starpath to exit the mage the three of them suddenly find themselves on a island and use stepping stones...which turn out to really be a sleeping creature. After apologizing they go through the next stargate.
The three of them now now find themselves in a junk yard where they rescue a metal man (Erg) about to melt down. After freeing Erg, Lady Starfinger animates the junk to create a monstrous metal golem of herself. Five uses the junk to create a makeshift weapon to stun Lady Starfinger long enough for the four of them to escape through the next stargate.
The next location is a forest where they encounter Furball who tries to frighten them because he is tired of people laughing at him. Accompanying them through the next stargate they find themselves in a land half ice and half fire ruled by the Sun Baron and Polar King. The two rulers promptly start fighting and the fivesome quickly go through the next stargate. They then find themselves in a dark place where Ayla, Violet, and Furball promptly fall asleep. When they wake up it is light and Violet comments that each time they go through a stargate they look different.
Finally arriving at Prince Valor's castle they find only children. After a projected warning from Lady Starfinger, Princess Laurel appears and tells them that Valor left the kingdom to deal with the Starfingers but never returned. Moreover, while he was gone Lady Starfinger had turned all the adults into children. With no other options Ayla decides to go to Starfinger's castle and her friends in the guise of guards pretend to escort Ayla to the castle.
In the Injun Prairie they encounter flying humans who are distracted by laughing at Furball allowing them to go through the next stargate. They all find themselves in a land of living mud that captures everyone but Ayla before the next stargate. There she meets Blok whose people the starfingers destroyed when they would not bow to them. Blok convinces Ayla to continue on her journey.
Finally confronting Lady Starfinger it is revealed she wasn't fooled by the escort as they were too old and she has turned Valor and Ayla's friends into objects. Lady Starfinger then teleports them to a torture chamber and in her efforts to push Ayla into the furnace trips over Dreamy and is burned up. Freeing Valor and her friends everyone is returned to their true ages but Valor is unsure if he can return Ayla home. The White Witch appears and reveals the headband not only protected Ayla but allowed her to mentally and physically grow up. The White Witch, Valor, and Princess Laurel cast the spell to return Ayla home.
Ayla wakes up on a bed and finds out the machine she fell into was a experimental growth accelerator and while her adventure was a dream her being older isn't.
After Ayla has gone to sleep the Legion discusses how to stop Glorith's effects as Ayla will keep getting younger. Its revealed that Ayla wasn't asleep and has heard everything.
- The story is inspired by the 1939 Wizard of Oz movie with some elements of Return to Oz thrown in.
- The tapestry of all the lands is in the shape of an "L"
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Links and References
|Elseworlds Annual |
This issue was part of the 1994 Elseworlds Annuals crossover event, in which every annual was an alternate universe story of their respective title characters. This template will categorize articles that include it into the Annuals and Elseworlds Annuals category.