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Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Quest For The Dragon's Egg (Biggest Loser Challenge)

This is the story written by our team leader Amy for the Biggest Loser pre-challenge quest. I love being a Scarlet Dragon on the Spark People's Biggest Loser team. This was a really great challenge - I loved every minute!

The Quest for the Dragon's Egg 

Once upon a time, in a faraway land, there lived a beautiful princess in a secluded royal castle. Her family and she raised the finest dragons in the land. Everybody in the kingdom acknowledged the fine breeding and superior lineage of the royal dragon herd. Having cared for her from an egg, the bond between the princess and the alpha of the herd was incredibly strong. 
On the night of the annual grand gala one late summer evening, an evil sorcerer reputed throughout the neighboring lands silently crept onto the grounds and made his way to the dragon's keep. He knew of the legends surrounding the magical powers contained within the egg of an alpha, and he coveted these powers. As this particular alpha was the strongest and most well-bred, of course this is the egg he wanted. The stronger the alpha, the more powerful the magic contained in her egg. He was willing to risk everything to acquire such an egg, but with only one guard watching over the precious nest of the alpha queen, overpowering him proved an easy task. With a simple sleeping curse, the guard slid down the wall of the building to land in a snoring heap as the sorcerer ducked around the partially cracked door. 

The alpha, sensing the intruder before ever seeing him, reared up, sparks erupting as she prepared to blast him with her fiery breath. Jumping from behind a half wall, he sprang at her with an elaborate wave of his hands, Latin smoothly flowing from his lips. She froze where she stood, only her eyes able to move as he coated her with a sheen of steely ice. With the alpha immobilized, the sorcerer darted between her feet and made off with her exquisite egg, the royal family and the kingdom none the wiser, marveling at how easily he could overpower her. The egg in his possession, he took off for the long journey ahead of him. He had a head start, but he had to travel from one end of the enormous kingdom to the outreaches, 5000 miles away. 

As he reached the edge of the forbidden forest, he muttered more Latin, and in a swirl of smoke, he appeared to vanish into thin air. 

  As was her nightly routine, the princess headed to the keep before retiring for the evening. With the party still going on in the main ballroom, she kicked off her slippers at the edge of the lawn and danced across the soft grass of the east yard, excited to tell the alpha all about the men she'd danced with. As she made her way across the expanse, her mood began to change, a trickle of fear overshadowing her giddy happiness. She didn't know what it was, but she could sense something wrong, something dark. 

Her steps faltered when she spied the guard, asleep on the job. Hands on her hips, she was furious that he would be so careless as to leave her beloved dragon and that exquisite egg unprotected. Storming up to him, she nudged him with her foot and ordered him to wake up this instant. When there was no response, she bent and yelled in his ear for him to get to his feet. Nothing. Her feeling of dread spiked. 

As she stood straight, she realized there was no noise from inside the dragon's keep. Never before had she approached the building without her alpha sensing her and giving a soft, welcoming rumble. She hurried through the door and skidded to a halt, aghast at the sight of her friend frozen in mid-roar. The only sign of life was the darting of her eyes, and a single tear slowly freezing in place as it began to form in the corner of the beast's eye. 

Dropping to the ground, she placed her hands upon the frozen feet of her dragon. Closing her eyes, she took a calming breath and let her mind touch that of the alpha's. 

"What has happened, dear friend? Who has done this to you?" she asked. Taking another soothing breath, she clearly heard the response in her thoughts. "It was the sorcerer! He has cursed me to ice and stole away in the night with my baby! Please mistress, send your knights to bring my egg home. Don't worry about me, just get my baby back quickly!" 

Hugging the leg of her frozen companion, the princess sprung to her feet and ran as quickly as she could back to the castle. They had to catch the sorcerer and retrieve that egg! 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

As a subject of the royal house, it is your duty to embark on the quest to retrieve the dragon's egg. Be warned, this will prove to be a long and harrowing journey! You have many miles of rough and rugged terrain stretched out before you. 

Pack up your provisions and begin your Quest for the Dragon's Egg! 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

Our journey begins at the royal castle. 
Make your way across the 23 mile stretch of lawns and gardens to the edge of the forbidden forest. 
Wind your way through the forest, over streams, through thickets of poisonous, thorny brambles, through ravines and crevices. Be sure to fill your water bladders in the abundant natural springs. You'll need it! After a daunting 1286 mile stretch, the forest thins. The soil begins to transition to sand. 

The next 1401 miles will be the most difficult in some aspects. Searing heat, no shade, shifting sand dunes and no source of water at all are what you will face as you make your way through Deadman's Desert. The name speaks the truth. Many a valiant knight is still in that desert, buried beneath so much unforgiving sand. It's a deadly trek, but there is a safe way to make it through. Unfortunately, the safest path is also the longest. If you have the magical abilities to produce water, you may just need it! 
Just as you think you'll succumb to the elements in this stark, barren sandpit, the ground begins to gradually climb upward. Coarse grass fights for nourishment in the sand, more and more thriving as you climb the base of the Mystic Mountains. Towering in front of you are some of the most treacherous trails, the steepest slopes and scariest ledges you'll ever try and scale! A 1238 mile winding and dangerous hike stands between yourself and the mountain's summit. 
As you reach the peak, you stand at the edge of a gigantic, glassy smooth lake. You are standing on the shores of the enchanted lake, spoken of many times in fireside tales of heroism and adventure! There are no boats to take you to the center, but you must get there. It won't be easy. This is an enchanted lake, after all. Only the strongest and surest of knights can make it through it's icy depths. It may appear to be smooth as glass, but the lake holds secrets. The creatures below the surface may just try to pull you under if you disturb them. 
And beware the fire-breathing guardian! Make no mistake, he WILL try and stop you from reaching your goal! 
After what you thought would be a short swim, but in reality spanned a staggering 8 miles to the center, you pull yourself up onto a snow-covered island. You have exited the frigid water and face the mouth of a giant cave. What you seek lies deep in the heart of the the crystal caverns. Make your way deep into the center of the mountain, 44 miles down, to the heart of the cavern and the secret hiding spot of the evil sorcerer. 
 
In a nest of spun gold lies the magical egg of your princess' alpha. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
For every fitness minute you complete, whether it be cardio, strength training or stretching, you've earned a mile on the quest. When posting your miles, post name, miles and team. 

***NOTE: WHEN POSTING YOUR MILES, INCLUDE YOUR TEAM NAME OR THE MILES WON'T COUNT*** 

The easiest way to insure you get credit is to make sure your signature line includes your team! If you don't have your team name in your sig line, please note your team after your miles. 

Example: 
Amy - 104 - Dragons 
Linn - 83 - Panthers 

We will total the miles up at least daily to ensure no lost posts and to keep you informed of your location. Push hard and reach that egg!!!
Yes!!! We were able to bring the Dragon's Egg back to our Kingdom and Alpha! Our Kingdom is hapy and whole once again!

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