A mysterious man walks up the spiral staircase of a tall gloomy tower. A lot of his thoughts end in ellipses. When he reaches the top of the tower he stands on a balcony and looks up at the sky where a bright flash breaks through the clouds. “Oh no,” he says. “It has begun.”
A young boy hates being the son of a farmer.
A stranger comes to town and hints at an ominous past he shares with the boys father. The father is elusive. The boy walks around town and dreams of adventure. Then he finds an ornate chest in the attic where a fancy sword is carefully stored. Just then, the stranger emerges from the shadows.
The stranger is very pushy and cryptic. The boy runs away from the stranger. The father is nowhere to be found. Not sure who he can trust, the boy takes the sword to his friends house. The friend is a reader of books and a pacifist. He suggests they run very far away. There is a storm. The boy and his friend run through the woods in the rain and are followed by a shadowy figure.
The boy and his friend arrive at an inn where they are forced to sing and dance for room and board. It is an inn full of perverts. They sleep in the barn. In the night, the inn is burned down. The boy and his friend run back into the woods where a monster attacks them. They are saved by the stranger.
The stranger tells an inconclusive story about a battle between good and evil. He doesn't know where the farmer is, but informs the boy that the farmer isn't really his father and then refuses to say more. The boy is frustrated but must follow the stranger in order to unlock mysteries. The friend tags along for reasons not readily apparent. A lot of attention is given to the terrain as they hike through the woods and then through some hills. The stranger is always smelling the air. One morning the boys see him meditating with tears in his eyes.
They meet another stranger on the road, and the two strangers have a conversation to decide who is the strangest. It is determined that the new stranger is the strangest, and an evil demon to boot. The evil demon tries to kill the boy but the friend saves him, though he is inflicted with a soul-devouring wound. Finally, the stranger kills the demon and they all run away. Looking behind them, they see ominous figures on horseback riding after them. The stranger calls upon a spirit and they hide in a cave. The stranger uses some kind of magic to heal the friend, who talks about seeing ghosts.
The friend becomes increasingly weird and distant. They come to an abandoned castle, which, the stranger informs them, used to be the home of a wise and elegant king. Some attention is given to the history of this place, but only a little attention is given to the giant spiderwebs in every corner. It is only a matter of time before they are ambushed by giant spiders. The friend and the stranger are held captive, but the boy manages to escape by using the farmer's sword, which glows with holy light. He struggles for awhile with the reality of having to be a hero, and thinks about some wise words his father once said to him, and finally stops crying.
The boy saves the stranger and his friend from the giant spiders, just in the nick of time. Some revelations occur about the sword, and there is some mention of destiny.
They arrive in a big city filled with many colorful characters, which implies the enormity of this world. They get into some trouble with the locals but are bailed out by a friend of the stranger, a talking animal of some kind. The animal is a scholar and teaches them some stuff about magic, and mentions that a big festival is about to begin. The festival is controversial, he explains, because of something to do with the worship of unholy gods from outer space. Some riots erupt and all four of them end up in the castle dungeon.
They escape from the dungeon and are helped by a scullery maid, who has evidence that the queen of this kingdom is possessed by an evil spirit. They work their way through the castle and come across many clues. Then, for some reason, they split up. The animal and the friend end up in a library where the friend confesses some strange feelings he's been having. The boy and the scullery maid end up being chased by guards. And the stranger continues to hunt for the queen with a stoic resignation that can only imply his impending death.
The boy and the scullery maid end up hiding in a very small space where they feel uncomfortable with their bodies. A slight nod to class distinctions and progressive values follows. Meanwhile, the animal and the friend are guided to an important book by a ghost that only the friend can see. The book conveniently summarizes in just a few paragraphs the history of the space gods and their war with this planet. The friend, the animal, and the ghost think of a plan. The stranger comes face to face with the queen's loyal bodyguard, the black knight.
The stranger and the black knight do battle. The boy and the scullery maid, on the outer ramparts of the castle, come across a giant space vulture sitting on three space eggs in a nest. The boy does battle with the space vulture but the scullery maid earns her heroic stripes by threatening the space eggs. Distracted, the space vulture is killed by the boy. The scullery maid makes a quip about motherly instincts that is feisty but also implies her sympathy for the space vulture. The stranger and the black knight continue to do battle, interspersed with an interior monologue by the stranger that gives him human depth. The boy and the scullery maid come across this battle just in time to see the stranger get stabbed in the heart.
The castle is shaking because the queen has begun her ritual to summon the space gods, or to resurrect them, or to save them from some magical prison; its not exactly clear. The black knight is trying to kill the boy and the scullery maid, both of whom feel greatly pressured to act fast. Unable to avoid him any longer, the boy does one-on-one battle with the black knight while the scullery maid runs into the queens chamber, where she isn't quite sure what to do. The boy summons powers he never knew he had by thinking of lessons the stranger and his father taught him, and he kills the black knight, and then he sits at the strangers side where with his last breaths the stranger implores him to fulfill his destiny. The boy runs into the queens chamber where the scullery maid is being held captive by two space goons. Meanwhile, the animal, the friend, and the ghost are in the observatory, on the opposite end of the castle, hoping their plan works.
The queen gives a long monologue about the space gods and her motivations. There's a lot of rumbling in the castle and chaos everywhere, and the sky is full of flame. The boy wishes he was still just the son of a farmer. The scullery maid urges him on and the space goons act like jerks. In the observatory, the animal, the friend and the ghost have rigged the telescope somehow. The ghost hints that he might be the mysterious man from the prologue. When the sky opens up and the space gods poke through, the animal, the friend, and the ghost reveal their plan of sending light up into the sky through the inverted telescope. Its kind of a metaphorical light of the spirit or friendship or something, and it blinds the space gods and makes their space chariot get all out of whack. This causes the queen to get frantic and the space goons to get distracted, which allows the boy to save the scullery maid, kill the space goons, and then cause general disrepair to the queen's space god altar before killing her too. But not before she warns that this isn't the end—not by a long shot.
Unsteady peace. The boy decides to search for the farmer. His friends insist on joining him. The end?