The Ice King was acting wierd.
There had been a HUGE decrease in princess kidnappings and an increase in Ice King sightings. Not that he was unnoticable, what with his big ol' beard and creepy old man dress, but more that he had just been popping up everywhere.
Those evil gnomes that had kidnapped him that one time had found the Ice King running around their tunnels screaming for an "bed". Personally Finn wasn't sure if that or the gnomes with a sack and predatory grins next to his house was worse. He had only been able to ponder the Ice King situation after making Jake forcibly boot them off his doorway. The little freaks still creeped him out.
Princess Bubblegum had found the Ice King in the candy kingdom lollipop and caramell stores. That had caused an uproar that was still working itself out. Of course he and Jake had rushed over, their swords drawn and ready for an epic battle of ice and fists. To their shock, Ice King had bumbled his own way out without their help and flew back to the ice kingdom. PB was ordering an inven... thingy to find out if anything had been taken.
Tree Trunks had reported seeing the Ice King being thrown out of the crystal dimension by the crystal men. She had been to distraught at the sight of her old subjects indifference to notice anything else.
Doctor Princess had recieved quite a few visits from the Ice King with Gunter in tow. She thought he was going to have another baby, but nothing medical happened. The visits seemed to just be visits. He only asked about things like the effects of being frozen on the body. What confused Finn though was that she hadn't been snatched, not even once.
Marceline had called for them a few times after finding the Ice King digging in her pond thing out back for "treasure" and "antiques". Nobody he asked knew what the glob that meant.
Right now he was on his way to PB's castle to see if she knew anything about them. Jake was busy with Lady Rainacorn and he was really curious and bored. Besides PB knew all kinds of stuff about science and weird words. She was the smartest and most perfect person he knew. If she didn't know what "antiques" were then nobody did.
"Hello Finn," she waved to him from one of the windows.
"Hi Princess! Can I come inside? I have an AWESOME CHALLENGE for you! Nobody else has been able to get it yet!" He grinned, there was no way she'd turn it down, she loved a good puzzle.
"Ooo what kind of challenge?" Hook, line, and sinker.
"A word challenge!" he shouted back.
"Come in, I know the perfect place for this." The candy guards let him in and guided him past the lab and a bunch of other rooms that he didn't remember all that well. Eventually they ran out of doors and hit the end of the hallway. PB was waiting for them. She grinned and shooed the guards away.
"Welcome to the Archives," she announced in her Royal voice. She reached toward the wall and ran her hands over it until a latch appeared. With a secretive wink and tug, a hidden door creaked open.
"Whoa," he whispered in awe.
"We don't usually come down here, but this is the best place to find old words and history. If your word challenge can't be solved here then I doubt it can be solved at all. Now what is your challenge? Is it a riddle?!" she exclaimed in excitement as she led him through a giant room that looked ancient.
The books and shelves seemed to be the only things in the candy kingdom that weren't in fact candy. Wood, rubbed smooth with age filled the room. The books were of paper and a strange writing that was all the same. Literally, all the letters in a book were exactly the same all the way through.
"These people must have been writing magicians or something!" he exclaimed as he flipped through the closest book.
"Yes, most of the books have the same writing, strange isn't it?" PB commented as she grabbed his hand, causing his cheeks to flush a bright red, and pulled him to a worn table.
"You still haven't told me about your challenge." she said to pull him out of his happy daydream.
"Huh, ah-oh yeah," he stammered,"What are antiques? The Ice King keeps looking for them. I have to know if they're some type of evil ice weapon or mind control device that he'll use to take over all the princesses!" He punched the air for emphasis.
"Antiques?" she murmured before darting amongst the shelves, occasionally yanking out a book and flipping furiously through the pages before moving on the next. Every once in a while she would return to the table to drop off a book.
Finn just kicked his feet up and leaned back in his chair and polished his sword. The repetitive motion was soothing and relaxed him. This was a nice break from his constant adventuring, he loved the action, but today would be an easy day.
"Uuuuggghhh! I just can't seem to find anything!" Princess Bubblegum collapsed into the other chair in defeat. Finn bolted upright. When PB sat down the chair tilted backwards and crashed to the floor taking her with it.
"Are you alright?!" he said as he pulled her to her feet.
"Yeah, I'm fine, but I think the floor broke," she exclaimed. There was indeed a hole where the fourth leg of the chair had disappeared into. As Finn pulled the chair out, a dirt encrusted, leatherbound book came into sight.
"Oh! Look, it's just like the other ones," he pointed to the writing," I just can't read it!"
"Don't worry, its a really old language. I've spent years down hear learning to decifer it as part of my code training. You won't believe half of what's written down here," she gasped.
"What's it say?" Finn questioned, leaning over her shoulder.
"The Antiquarians Guide"
"That's one of the words! We found it! We found it!" he cried jumping up and down. Together they settled down to read. Er, Princess Bubblegum read and Finn just listened.
~~~An antiquarian is a student of antiquities or things of the past. More specifically the term is used for those who study history with particular attention to ancient objects of art or science, archaeological and historic sites, or historic archives and manuscripts. The essence of antiquarianism is a focus on the empirical evidence of the past, and is perhaps encapsulated in the motto adopted by the 18th century antiquary, Sir Richard Colt Hoare, "We speak from facts not theory".~~~
"What the math?" Finn gaped at PB.
"It means a person who collects and learns about historical objects, kinda like getting an old sword and trying to find out who owned it first," she explained in a way he might understand.
"Ooooh I get it, but what's an antique?" he still wanted to get to the bottom of the Ice King mystery.
"It's the really old things that they find," she turned a few pages:
~~~By the end of the 19th century, antiquarianism had diverged into a number of more specialized academic disciplines including archaeology, art history, numismatics, sigillography, philology, literary studies, and diplomats.~~~
"Does that mean that there are a lot of different types of them?" Finn offered hesitantly.
"Yeah, it does," Princess Bubblegum encouraged.
~~~Antiquaries had always attracted a degree of ridicule and since the mid-19th century the term has tended to be used most commonly in negative or derogatory contexts. Nevertheless, many practising antiquaries continue to claim the title with pride.~~~
"This isn't getting us anywhere! We still don't know what the Ice King is up to!" Finn exploded. His short attention spand and lack of patience were telling him that he was wasting his time. He needed to do something.
"Finn, calm down. This is quite fascinating, from what you have told me the Ice King is looking for ancient artifacts that may be valuable or have powers," she tried to channel his focus onto this fact.
YES! The Ice King was looking for a... a...
"A WEAPON!" Finn jumped to his feet, knocking the much abused chair back down," This explains everything! He stopped try to kidnap princesses one at a time so he can find a magic weapon that'll catch them all at the same time!"
He already had his pack on and sprinted out the door.
"Thanks PB!" he called behind him. Now all he had to do was find Jake and they would storm the Ice Kingdom and put a stop to the Ice King's plan.
Finn could feel he was planning something big this time.