You are the youngest knight in King Dargon's service. Queen Dahra is deathly ill, and the kingdom is in turmoil.
You are standing outside a locked bronze door deep in the tunnels under the Dark Mountains. You carry only a brass lantern (very low on fuel) and a scroll (which when read, should open any lock); all your other possessions were lost or used up in the journey to get here. You were sent on this fool's quest to find and bring back the Stone of Aayela, a perfect crystal in which Heliax the Wizard supposedly imprisoned Aayela, a spirit of light, and which may be the only cure for the queen's illness.
By Magnus Olsson. Written in TADS.
IF Comp 1996: 10th place of 27 entries.
XYZZY Awards 1996: Was a finalist for Best Writing.