Once upon a time, in a far off kingdom, there lived a beautiful princess and her two happy parents- the king and queen. One day however, the king was returning from battle in a neighboring kingdom when he was attacked by a demon, who ate his men and spared the king’s life on the condition that he would give up his daughter to the demon in marriage. The frightened king agreed, but when he returned home, he immediately began to close the walls to his kingdom. None were allowed in or out, for fear that the demon might come for his only daughter.
The queen tried to comfort her husband, but paranoia had possessed him. When the good queen was caught trying to escape the kingdom with the princess, a kingdom now in the grips of famines and shortages without trade to neighboring kingdoms, the king had them both locked away in a tall tower on the far edge of the kingdom, in the old forest. Then he searched for a better solution.
Eventually, the king found a powerful dragon. He offered all the treasures if his vault if the dragon could protect his kingdom, and more importantly, his daughter. The dragon agreed. Once he gained access to the vault, the dragon cast a spell and turned the whole kingdom to stone.
“There!” Said the dragon. “Now no harm shall come to your kingdom. As for your daughter, she remains locked in the tower until a hero who is both cunning and brave can best it’s tricks and traps and save her. There she shall remain, ignorant to the passage of time, until a hero arrives. When the princess is we’d and the demon defeated, once more will the kingdom be alive.” And then he turned the king into stone as well, and covered him in crowns and rings and fine sills, for he was the crown jewel of the dragon’s new horde.
And so the princess continued to live in the tower, ignorant to the passage of time, awaiting her hero.
That’s what the books say, at least. But it wasn’t so. At first she was though. But she was a clever princess, and knew something was amiss. For one thing, her mother was a statue. Also, every morning the tower was reset back to where it was the morning previous. Kitchen stocked, books reshelved, and her in her bed even if she fell asleep in the library. She began to notice seasons didn’t change as they should. Her hair stopped growing, as did her nails. She counted the mornings after some time and in over six hundred days she never aged. Not physically, at least. But she learned.
Every book. She read every single one. She learned about potions, and math, and swordplay, and farming, and nobility.