Princess Toadstool Kidnapped!

TOADSTOOL CASTLE, MUSHROOM KINGDOM — Just after the stroke of midnight, eight airships invaded the sky above Toadstool Castle. In the aftermath, the Mushroom Kingdom’s seat of power was a pile of smoking rubble, and Princess Peach Toadstool was gone.

King Bowser Koopa quickly claimed responsibility for the devastating attack and subsequent kidnapping. On-the-ground witnesses confirm that the airships were of Koopa design, while Royal Guard reports contain numerous accounts of battles against Koopa Troopas, Goombas, and other Koopa-affiliated troops.

Koopa is expected to issue his demands shortly.

The attack and Princess Toadstool’s abduction mark a major escalation in the long-simmering Toadstool-Koopa War. Early last year, King Koopa and his children, known collectively as the Koopalings, launched a simultaneous invasion of the Grasslands, Desert Hill, Ocean Side, Big Island, Nimbus Land, Iced Land, and the Pipe Maze — all of which share borders with the Mushroom Kingdom.

While the Mushroom Kingdom and its allies across the Royalands have launched numerous attacks intended to wrest Koopa control away from the occupied kingdoms, their efforts have been largely unsuccessful thus far.

King Toadstool, who was recently diagnosed with advanced Red-Blue-Yellow disease, survived the attack, but is currently in critical condition, a castle spokestoad says. He is currently receiving treatment at a nearby medical facility.

A kingdom in disarray

With King Toadstool incapacitated by illness, Princess Peach, 16, had been running the country, as well as representing the Mushroom Kingdom at the Kings’ Council, of which the Mushroom Kingdom is one of the most powerful and influential members. Now that she’s in King Koopa’s clutches, control of the nation falls to Chancellor Toadsworth, the ranking minister on the Mushroom Kingdom’s High Court.

“Make no mistake, King Koopa will pay,” Toadsworth vowed in a brief statement. “We will retrieve our princess, and we will reduce the Koopa empire to ashes. On that, you have my word.”

While the princess is known for her empathy and caution, Toadsworth tends to be considerably more aggressive and has made no secret of his dislike for the Koopa family. The Mushroom Kingdom’s response, when it comes, is expected to be swift and deadly.

In the meantime, however, the Mushroom Kingdom military is busy coordinating relief efforts at the former castle grounds. The number of casualties is currently unknown, but initial estimates place it in the low hundreds — at a minimum.

This is a developing story. The Toad Town Times will update as more information becomes available.