Haven't yet worked out if this is older middle grade or young adult--I want to get it all written first and figure out the audience, then trim it/ add to it accordingly. So let's say young adult for now. The story takes place in an original fantasy world, but it is parallel to our own, and takes place in the modern day. A boy is helping in his grandfather's hotel when a strange, panicked guest arrives, seeking directions for a place that doesn't exist. Overnight, the guest vanishes without a trace, leaving behind a small white stone in his place. The boy, for various reasons, nabs the stone and hides it. Over time he realizes this is the Stone of the Seven Realms, and seers are looking for it. (Seers are a society of magical people; his mother was a part of this society but they had a major schism in the group and now the two sides fight each other.) Whoever has the stone is master over the realms. The stone cannot get into the wrong hands or terrible things would happen, and the only place it is secure is the alleged Heart of the Mountain, which no one knows how to access. So there's this journey of the boy and his siblings trying to hide the stone and get it to safety, and the whole time they're hunted and on the run. Meanwhile, their little country has been involved in decades of on-again, off-again war with an opposing country due to major problems in history. Another invasion is imminent, but the current leader refuses to do anything, saying it will only make it worse. (There's more to this but it would take a long time to explain.) The boy ends up using the stone, gets stuck in the place between the realms (where he once again finds the strange guest, who is there because the stone backfired on him), and when he finally manages to get himself and the man out, he accidentally goes to the wrong realm. This realm is a warped, twisted place that, long ago, was overrun by the enemy. The boy realizes what will happen to his country if they allow themselves to be invaded and has to get back home before it's too late. This is setting up, of course, for a much broader, bigger story--but this is part one. I made the fantasy worlds original, I used all-original creatures, there's no prophecy or anything, and it's set in a closely paralleled modern time so I could give a new spin on the old hero quest story. But has the hero quest story been told too many times?