Part I, Book 2 in "The Annals of Santopia" begins when Prince
Nicky, new heir to the Kingdom of Santopia, is but three days old,
and continues immediately after the conclusion of Book 1 ("Santa
& the Lost Princess"), after Santa has left for the Other World
on Christmas Eve. (It is Christmas Eve in the year 1900.) When the
White Sage prophesies that Nicky will grow up to marry the first
girl born after him, the Baroness von Drear, then great with child,
assumes the next Queen of Santopia will be her daughter. Unknown to
the Baroness, however, the girl Noelle is born to a peasant couple
deep in the Koliback Wood in the Realm of Drear. Noelle's father,
Taraxa, knowing the danger to Noelle, escapes Drear in a nighttime
blizzard and safely places his daughter with Santa Pops in
Santopolis, far away from the evil clutches of the Baroness. Santa
Pops (the retired Santa) sends Noelle with Henry to live in London.
The baby is hidden on the Grand Sleigh when it leaves Christmas
Eve. He does not tell his son, the current Santa. Taraxa returns to
Drear to rescue his wife, Inula, still very weak after childbirth.
As they make their mad dash to escape across Frozen Lake, Gelf
Captain Spicata and his squad of ugly Trelves pursue them, thinking
they have the baby. Anxious to halt their escape, the Baroness
unleashes the deadly lizard-like Pirandelves, who, while trying to
kill or capture Taraxa and Inula, also make short work of Spicata's
squadron. Spicata sees that the two humans do not have a baby with
them. Taraxa says she died the night she was born. The last book
ends just as a Pirandelf tail sweeps Spicata, Taraxa and Inula into
one of the holes made when the Pirandelves bolted up from the
depths to attack them. In Book 2 of Part 1, Spicata encounters a
distant cousin, Turis the Cretin, in service to the Pirandelves,
rounding up the "catch" below water. Taraxa convinces Spicata to
help them escape to Santopolis where Santa will give him a great
reward and he will be forever free of the Baroness. They make their
way to the White Sage's Palace and he gets them safely to
Santopolis. There, Spicata realizes he will never fit in with the
other Elves. But he also finds out that perhaps the baby Noelle did
not die of a fever the night she was born. While Spicata is
exploring the new world of Santopolis, Elf Duncan (a notoriously
mischievous Blue Elf), while helping Henry keep Noelle hidden
during the journey to the Other World, decides to slip into a Gold
Elf uniform to explore the Grand Sleigh. When Duncan realizes he
has a unique opportunity to visit the Other World (where Blue Elves
are never allowed), he takes it and creates all kinds of havoc when
dealing with Santa's Red Elves who live in The Warren, a series of
catacombs beneath the Tower of London.
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