Blog, The Fantasy Realm

A Fantasy Realm Tale: The First Quest

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*The following is a transcript of a WHUS Radio FM broadcast aired on Wednesday, January 23, 2019 from 1-2 PM along with the music used to accompany the story*

THE FIRST QUEST


{Legends of Azeroth (Main Title) – Tracy Bush – World of Warcraft}

Good afternoon, traveler. You have stepped into a portal here on WHUS Storrs and are now in the Fantasy Realm. Welcome. I am your guide, The Sage. Today, you will embark on your first quest. For your enjoyment, I recommend creating a character to follow along. What do you look like? Are you a master of magic or a bold blacksmith? Are you a dwarf, an elf, or will you stick with your human roots? You get to decide, and best think quick, traveler. Your story is about to begin.

{The Streets of Whiterun – Salome Scheidegger – Play}

Welcome to the kingdom of Lionheart. From the window of the Hero’s Lady Inn and Tavern, you see the silver shine of sea foam and royal blue lining the horizon. The sun is a brilliant gold orb amongst the frothy white clouds. Ships crowd the busy harbor.

Moving your eyes, you look at the ceenter of the city, populated with other travelers like yourself and tudor cottages surrounding the magnificent towering buildings. You notice the people walk around the wide cobblestone streets and through dark alleys where an occassional cat would make an appearance.

You head downstairs and grab a nice breakfast before heading out to mix in with the crowd.

Before heading out to the rest of the kingdom, you decide you need to collect some supplies. What will you get, traveler? Will you grab some snacks and perhaps some mulled wine? How about new attire? Will you head to the bank to gab some coin before you leave? You get to decide.

Strolling through the city square, you notice a merchant selling some trinkets by a fountain. You approach the merchant’s stand before you leave. This merchant specializes in jewelry. Adorned from top to bottom, the stand is. Silver rings, copper arm bands, golden necklaces of all sorts. The jewels glistened like the sparkling waters in the fountain.

One in particular catches your eye. A silver anklet with a char of a yawning cat sits ontop a sea of copper bracelets. You take it in your hands, and it glides through your fingers like smooth metal should.

“Curious, ain’t it?” The merchant says, “I try to keep my stand all regal-like, but once in awhile, I like a cutesy little charm. Funny, those tend to be the ones that leave my stand first. Interested in it?”

You nod, thinking of a friend you have a sudden itch to visit.

“I’ll leave it to you if you spend the word of my shop. Sounds all right to you?”

You agree and pay the merchant. Done with your wandering, you head to leave the city, toward the Goldash Forest.

{Concerning Hobbits – Howard Shore – Music from The Lord of the Rings Trilogy}

The Goldash Forest welcomes you with autumn winds and leaves once you leave Lionheart. Your shoes get dusty with the dirt path. The red, orange, and yellow tree tops shine with the sun. The sun rays manage to find a few spots between the leaves. They’re almost like golden specks, a natural garland for the tree tops.

Before heading any farther, you steer to your right. A small cottage sits nestled between two tall trees.

As you make your way to the cottage, a soft symphony of meows start to fill the air.

“Quiet now, ya beasties! Who is at my door?”

A small woman with a mouse-like face walked onto her porch.

“Oh, my dear, it’s you! Been some time! Come in, come in!” Miss Bethany runs a foster home for stray cats.

You met her when you first arrived at Lionheart. She offered you a hot bowl of potato soup and told you all about her feline friends. You don’t visit her much, but when you do, she’s always quite kind. Feeling the sudden weight of the anklet in your pocket, you think it’s about time you return the favor.

After petting a few kittens and trying her freshly-made bread, you gave Miss Bethany her gift.

“Well, aren’t you sweet? Many thanks, love. I’ll wear it proudly.”

You help her put it on when she starts to tell you about a friend of hers.

“Eilish has been just crying her eyes out by the Moorlough Shore. Would you be willing to check on her?”

You agree and before you leave, Miss Bethany thanks you one last time for the gift.

{Lucy Meets Mr. Tumnus – Harry Gregson-Williams – The Chronicles of Narnia}

You travel through the Goldash Forest. Critters scurry past your feet through the forest floor. The air smells of bark and berries freshly misted with dew. Birds hoot and whistle among themselves in the branches. You slow your pace to admire your surroundings.

As you go through a dense part of the forest, you notice a bunny with icy blue eyes and with a birthmark on its back in the shape of an anchor. You stop in your tracks, and it comes up to you.

It sniffs your leg, just for a moment. It looks at you with desperate, almost gloomy eyes, and then it hops away.

Not sure what to make of the critter, you keep going toward the shore.

{Moorlough Shore – Celtic Woman – Ancient Land}

You reach the Moorlough Shore and its foamy edge. You notice a small village nearby, but before you head that way, a woman’s voice perks your ears.

A woman with bold orange hair sits on a rock near the shore. She wears an emerald green cotton dress. Her bare feet play with the sand as she sings.

You approach her slowly, but she doesn’t notice.

You sit on a soft patch of moss and stare off at the horizon. Her singing weaves inbetween the sounds of the gentle waves. Though you can hear the chatter of the village’s tavern carried by the wind, her voice overpowers it.

Without interrupting, you listen and pay close attention to her words.

{The Whirling Ways of Stars That Pass – Johann Johannsson – The Theory of Everything OST}

The woman wipes her tears from her eyes. You approach her.

“Oh, I must be a right mess, aren’t I? A real sight.”

You ask if perhaps she is Eilish.

She says yes and asks how you know her.

You mention Miss Bethany and her concern.

“Miss Bethany is always keeping an eye out for people she cares for,” Eilish says.

You mention her lovely singing voice and ask about her song.

“Oh, I’m a singer for the tavern just down the way. I write many a song for my performances with the lute player. That song, I wrote about my poor sister, Keela. She fell in love with this boy, Finn, you see, but he went missing the day after their engagement.

“I tried to help her see reason, but she’d never listen. She built a small cottage by the shore and waited for him there. I’d visit her every day, but she’d always be by the window facing the horizon.

“Today marks the seventh year of her waiting. I came by, same as usual, but she’s gone. Nowhere to be found. I’m afraid she’s done something drastic, like found voyage out to sea just to find Finn. Oh, I feel mighty hopeless. Would you perhaps go looking for her? I’d certainly reward you for your help, even if you find the worst of news. I just need to know.”

You accept the quest and ask if there may be someplace you should check first.

“You should talk to Finn’s sister who works at the tavern with me. Her name’s Nora. Maybe she knows something I don’t.”

You thank her for her time and head to the tavern.

{Love & Honour – Celtic Woman – Ancient Land}

Nora is standing by the bar serving the townsfolk. After introducing yourself, she tells you what she knows about her brother.

“Finn is notorious for getting into scraps. This time’s no different. I’ve no idea where Keela is, but I do know before Finn disappeared, he told me he wanted to sail to find the perfect pearl for Keela’s ring. He went off about finding some witch for some help. I know no more than that. Only witch nearby is Grayla. She acts like a well-learned witch, but really, she dabbles. Nothing more.”

You ask again about Keela.

“Like I said, I don’t know. If I know Keela though, she’s probably heading to Lionheart where she can hitch a ride to someplace new. She wouldn’t want to stay in a place that reminds her of him. She loved him, and he loved her. It’s a tragic story for two so in love.”

Knowing what you’ve learned, you decide it’s best to look for Grayla the Witch. How will you go about learning Grayla’s whereabouts? Will you talk to some of the townsfolk? Or maybe you’ll look for a map? You get to decide, traveler, and along the way, you may learn more about the tragic story of Keela and Finn.

{I Will Find You (Theme from “The Last of the Mohicans”) – Clannad – The Best of Clannad: In a Lifetime}

You learn about Grayla’s whereabouts and head out in search of her. You know the path best, traveler. How will you get to Grayla the Witch?

Grayla is dressed in a royal blue cloak that covers her from head to toe. Her fingers are filled with thin sterling rings.

“Looking for spells or potions?” She asks.

You politely decline and ask about Finn.

“Funny you ask! I haven’t heard that name for a good seven years ’till this morning. A lady comes in asking for a forgetfulness potion, so she could forget a fella named Finn. I figured it’d be the boy she fancied. She was real distraught when she came in, but at least she could pay what he couldn’t.”

She notices your puzzled look.

“He came to me asking for a spell to bring a pearl from the bottom of the sea to his hand. I had what he needed, but he hardly had what I needed. I let him go wth the promise he’d return with the rest of my payment.

“He never came back.

“He didn’t realize how expensive a spell like that would be. No matter. I put a curse on the scroll. After three days of no return, he would turn into a critter of some sort. He probably speaks more in his animal tongue than in our language after all these years.”

You explain to her that you are looking for him and are looking to turn him back.

“Listen, I’m happy to help any romantic but not if the payment is incomplete. If you complete the payment, I’m happy to tell you where he is and how to turn him back.”

You pay Grayla the remaining coin. She rummages through a chest until she pulls out a small vial filled wth a cherry red liquid.

“You’re looking for an animal with icy blue eyes and a birthmark of a nautical sign. When you find him, pour some of this onto him. Just a few drops will do. He’ll turn straight back to his old self, memories and all.”

You ask about the lady that visited Grayla in the morning, sure that it’d be Keela herself.

“Ah, yes. She told me she’d drink the forgetfulness potion at sundown. If you don’t want her to, I think you best move quickly.”

And so you do. With potion in hand, you rush back toward Miss Bethany’s cottage to see if the bunny has not hopped far. The sun overhead is tarting to head to the west. You pick up the pace.

{Croí Cróga – Clannad – Lore}

You’ve arrive at the spot you remember seeing him last. Now you start to ponder on how you’ll find him. What will you do, traveler?

Will you try to find his tracks on the forest floor? Will you try to hunt down a rabbit hole? Perhaps ask Miss Bethany for a carrot or two? It’s up to you to find Finn, traveler.

{Narnia Lullaby – Harry Gregson-Williams – The Chronicles of Narnia}

You find Finn at last. Before he hops away again, you take the potion out of your pocket and pour a few drops onto his fur.

He begins to transform right before your eyes.

Finn appears before you clothed and in awe. Before he speaks, you tell him about Keela’s plan.

His eyes widen. He bolts past you. You rush after him, back to the Moorlough shore.

{The Return of the Eagle – Atli Örvarsson – The Eagle OST}

{Tales of the Wind – Taylor Davis – Odyssey}

You and Finn reach the shore just as a woman with long, dark hair dressed in white steps out of the lone cottage.

In her hands, she holds a goblet. She heads toward the sea.

“Keela, wait!” yells Finn.

She turns and drops the goblet at the sight of Finn, but her eyes look lost. You notice the goblet is empty.

“No, my love,” Finn says as he walks to her, “Look at me. I’m sorry I’ve been gone. I only ever wanted to give you the best the world has to offer. But I’ve nothing but a ship. I’ve nothing more to offer. I’m not deserving of you.”

He keeps his distance, careful not to approach or touch the confused Keela. He then presents her a ring. It had a flawless pearl.

“I made it myself with the help of a blacksmith, of course. I was ready to give it to you before the witch cursed me. Please remember, and if you do, I hope you can forgive me.”

She touches the pearl and looks at him. She blinks a few times, then, in a gentle whisper, says, “How can I forget the man I adore?”

The two kiss as the waves crash onto shore.

{Arrival of the Birds – The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra – 100 Greatest Classical Pieces}

Eilish and Nora come down from the village in tears to see their loved ones again. The four reunite with hugs, kisses and a few stern pointed fingers at Finn.

Eilish invites you to join them. After she gives you your reward, they all invite you to the wedding the next day. You happily accept.

You arrive at the Moorlough Shore. All the townsfolk are there for the celebration.

After Finn and Keela exchange vows and the torches are lit, the bard and the violinist play a song to which the two lovebirds dance.

{For the Dancing and the Dreaming – Taylor Davis Feat. The Hound and The Fox}

{Pagan – The Moon and the Nightspirit – Of Dreams Forgotten and Fables Untold}

Good spirits fill the party. All the townsfolk dance to the music. Keela and Finn thank you one last time for your help before you join them in the celebration.

That is the end of our tale for today. Thank you for joining me. I hope you join me next week for another adventure. Until then, fairfarren, traveler.

THE END

Fairfarren, Friends

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