|“||For the last time, that's not it. You're extra special crazypants for stories and I happen to have a machine down there that's an unparalleled story delivery platform. Period.||”|
— Jonah Panghammer
What is it with the Snow Queen and her love of/addiction to stories? And how does that little blue bottle imp plan to take advantage of her weakness? Can he really spin a tale so compelling that the evil queen of ice and sorrow will willingly let them all go in peace? Let’s find out as we hear the rest of Sleeping Beauty’s tale, and learn how Ali Baba ended up stranded in this bleak and snowy world.
Jonah Panghammer discovers Ali Baba attempting to escape from the Snow Queen's ice palace by climbing out onto the ledge of a high tower. Jonah can't help but note that Ali is apparently leaving by himself - and without the magic bottle in which Jonah resides, and which binds him to Ali in the first place. Ali had no intention of bringing the bottle, and Jonah takes this as his cue to announce - as planned - that Ali Baba is no longer his master, and he is now free to serve the Snow Queen.
Ali naturally sees this as a betrayal, having thought that regardless of the magical bond between them, he and Jonah were friends. Jonah explains that they are friends, and that his actions will inevitably lead to all of the glory he promised when they first met - including getting the girl. Ali Baba is skeptical at that last point, noting that Briar Rose has little interest in him at all. Slyly, Jonah points out that when Ali found two sleeping beauties back at the goblin camp, he had not kissed Briar Rose first.
Several nights later, Jonah returns to telling tales to the Snow Queen, at her command. He tells the story of how, after defeating the forty thieves, Ali had grown bored with his wealth and success. In order to counter this stagnancy, he had decided to turn to thievery himself. The Snow Queen tires of the story, finding little indication of why someone who just thwarted forty thieves would resort to thievery. Jonah decides to give up on story telling, but the Snow Queen threatens he and his companions with death, should he fail to keep telling stories. He responds that she won't do any such thing, because she is not as evil as she claims to be. The reason for this is explained through the final portion of the tale of Briar Rose. Though the Snow Queen has tired of that tale, she agrees to hear the end.
After Hadeon the Destroyer had cursed Briar Rose to die after pricking her finger, the only fairy godmother who had not bestowed a gift was Leysa the Defender. Unfortunately, Hadeon had taken advantage of the midnight hour to make her spell the most potent. Leysa's spell would be too weak to reverse the curse. However, she could temper it, such that the death could be spread out between multiple people. It would instead take the form of a deep and endless sleep, shared by Briar Rose and all of those around her. This sleep would only be ended by true love's kiss.
Eventually, Briar Rose did prick her finger, and the kingdom fell asleep. Prince Charming rescued her with true love's kiss, but the curse continued such that every time Briar Rose pricked her finger, she and all around her would fall asleep all over again, until true love's kiss woke her. This was used effectively as a weapon against Gepetto. It was also used against the Snow Queen. However, the Snow Queen had been under the influence of a loyalty potion administered by Geppetto for a long time, and she did evil in his name. Jonah explains that were it not for Briar Rose putting her to sleep, the Snow Queen would have been under that potion's influence even still. While she was asleep, the potion ran its course, and now she is her own woman. In effect, Briar Rose inadvertently saved the Snow Queen. Jonah suggests that the real her is not as evil as she acts.
Suddenly, Hadeon the Destroyer herself appears before them and expresses her intent to find out why her name has been spoken time and again for the past several days.
Days later, Briar Rose finally manages to pull Ali Baba from the ruins of the ice castle. Neither knows exactly what happened, but it seems that the destruction was the result of some kind of battle.
Appearing in this issue
- Ali Baba
- Briar Rose
- Jonah Panghammer
- The Snow Queen (Flashback and main story)
- Abd al Quadir (Flashback only)
- Geppetto (Flashback only)
- Hadeon, the Destroyer
- Basimah (Flashback only)
- Leysa, the Defender
- Seppantyre (Flashback only)