Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there was a young lad who dreamed great dreams of worlds that expanded well beyond mortal imagination.
Once upon a time, in that very same land, a group of Trolls set forth with but one mission in mind: Destroy all that was not knotted, gnarly, hunched and twisted. Destroy all that was not like them. There was comfort in their numbers for they were all the same. They dressed the same; they looked the same. They were like-minded, and their little like-minded kingdom was complete. These Trolls cared not for anything or anyone that was not like them - and they were comfortable in that.
Day in and day out, no matter how great his dreams, the young lad found he had to face the Trolls who were always present in his life. They had fortresses on mountains, in the desert of Skools, and even on the frozen waters of the garden that held the key to his worldly dreams. Try as he might, he was forced daily to pass through their land, unable to avoid their judgmental gazes, their taunts and jeers. On occasion, their disdain turned to a different path; the jeers and taunts turned into pushes and shoves. For the Trolls were a mighty bunch, always drawing strength from their knotted numbers.
But the lad possessed a ring of magical powers. It was a small, silver mask. Wearing it was like a shield of armor he could use to navigate his way past the Trolls. No matter what they said or what they did, the ring was his protection.
One day, on the desert Skool, surrounded by fences with no escape, the Trolls took control. They circled the lad, overpowered him and tore the ring from his hand. Laughing and taunting, they threw it towards the sun with it the hope it would melt the dreams for which it stood. They laughed and walked away thinking they had won, and that yet another one unlike them had been dominated and destroyed. Their world was once again safe for all those of their like-mind kingdom.
However, like its owner, the ring mask was a survivor. Buried beneath the desert, it struggled to find its way. Small as it was, it managed to move beneath the feet of the Trolls, avoiding their heels and maneuvering the waves of the sand they created with their heavy footsteps until it found its way to the surface where it could once again breathe. Not knowing which way to turn, the ring did the only thing it knew would save it. Using the bright light of day, it positioned its face towards the sun, reflecting the light so brilliantly it was seen by a passing giant who bent down, and gently cradling the grateful ring, placed it in a pocket, carrying it to a wise Wizard. The Wizard spoke to the ring and asked what had caused this sad situation. When the story was recounted, the Wizard summoned the lad to the castle and with great ceremony returned the ring to its rightful owner.
As years passed, the young lad outgrew the tiny ring. But its harrowing plight was never forgotten, and neither was its story. While other rings have held the world's attention, that first, small ring knows it was the spark of a dream that, to this day, is carried as a reminder of how - in the face of darkness - it found light and strength.
The moral of this story: You will prevail if you don't let bullies con-Troll you.