Blog, The Fantasy Realm

A Fantasy Realm Tale: An Evening in Mayve

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*The following is a transcript of a WHUS Radio FM broadcast aired on Wednesday, March 13, 2019 from 1-2 PM along with the music used to accompany the story*

AN EVENING IN MAYVE


{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. You’ve gone on many adventures, traveler. Perhps it is time you stay put for a bit, and lucky you, you’re in town for the Mayve Midsummer Festival. For your enjoyment, I recommend creating a character to follow along. What garments are you wearing for the festivities? Are you a social butterfly or a wallflower? What will you spend your coin on? Trinkets or food? Or perhaps both? You get the decide, and best think quick, traveler, your story is about to begin.

{Elwynn Forest – Tracy Bush – World of Warcraft}

Plum, lilac, and periwinkle leaves adorn the ivory-white trees of the Mayve Forest. The blue-green grass is soft with each step, a carpet freshly cleaned and brushed like fur. It all smells of honeydew as you stroll past the hills, bushes, and trees.

All is calm in these woodlands. The flora is in a restful snooze now that midday has passed, the tranquility persuading your steps to slow. The fauna, however, are anything but idle.

Creatures with fur, wings, shells, and tails scurry and wander around the forest like you do. Hooting swallows, tavern owls, and even a few ember doves soar over the tree branches, their bird calls adding to the harmony. Lily-mice and oak-squirrels scurry over fallen tree trunks and into burrows. If you stand still for a few moments, you’ll catch glimpses of the migrating beryl caribou from the mountains of Alderwine, perhaps even a lone whisper wolf or two lapping at a nearby pond.

And in standing still, with eyes closed and ears open, you start to catch the voices of Havel brought by the winds.

The kingdom of Havel is nearby, and there you will celebrate Mayve Midsummer, the summer solstice for the land of Maanosa. The best folksingers and performers live in Havel, alongside the artists and philosophers who enjoy thinking of life in all sorts of beautiful ways.

Soon, you start to feel the subtle rumble of village life beneath your feet, and in turning a tree, you see the kingdom.

Hollowed-out tree trunks with spiral pathways and windows make up the kingdom of Havel. Alongside these taller buildings are nested the mushroom and toadstool homes of the inhabitants, all painted in bright colors. Tinker-style mechanics operate around the village. Though with a face of instability and scrap-like nature, all of Havel’s technology suits the needs of its people.

As for its people, they walk around these parts with a carefree smile and happy bare feet. Many carry paintbrushes, books, instrument, all the tools of an artist.

Then, you notice the festival’s decorations. Colorful wreaths and pillars of flowers stand at every crook and cranny. Tables with meal, drink, goods, and game line up and down the main walkway which leads to center stage. There, a sign reads “Mayve Midsummer Festival.”

A crowd surrounds the stage on which there are performers singing to their heart’s content.

{A Window to the Past – John Williams – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban OST}

As you approach the stage for a closer look, you notice behind the elaborate design what it is hiding.

It’s as though you’ve stepped into the dark hidden corner’s of an artist’s mind, an artist who suffers and then creates.

The heartwarming, mystical purple hues of the forest are black like tar. The thin, scrawny branches of what is left are singed. Paw prints are embedded in the ashes that cover the forest floor. The ground smells of despair, pain, and a long-forgotten fire. The air here feels different. The Mayve Forest soothes the skin, but here, there is a prickly feeling, as though nails are scratching up and down you arms and legs. Even the sky turns dark as you step into this part of the wood, as you step on the scar of the Mayve Forest.

It has been a few years now since The Cardinal War, the first war of Maanosa. Havel was not at all at the forefront of the fight, but it felt just as much pain as any other kingdom.

Though entering the village now, it seems nothing has changed, nature has her own process for healing, and it takes a lot longer wihtout manpower. Yet, the people of Havel have always left the forest alone, and that mentality has not changed. They still walk through their kingdom with a passion to explore all the natures of this world through their art.

However, they are still human, and the war still had an impact. At the edge of the black forest, right where it changes back to its blue-green grass, you see painted pebbles with names on them: offerings to those who are gone.

You slowly make your way back to the festival. You hear the music on the stage filling the air with joy. However, you can’t seem to shake off the prickly sensation of the black wood.

Perhaps that is how all the people of Havel feel. Perhaps that is why they celebrate, despite the scar. Life goes on and perhaps it is best to enjoy the good than to wallow in darkness, even if the only good you can manage is getting out of bed.

You find a nice spot amongst the crowd in front of the stage, just in time for the next performance. The performers set up on stage as you begin to get comfortable to enjoy all the music, and all the stories and tales to be shared.

{Two Sisters – Clannad – Turas (Live, 1980 Bremen)}

{Leave Her Johnny – Sean Dagher – Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag Game Soundtrack: Sea Shanty Edition}

{Ms Langtree’s Lament – The Blasting Company – Over the Garden Wall}

{Potatoes & Molasses – The Blasting Company – Over the Garden Wall}

{Dizzi Jig – Dizzi Dulcimer – Dulci Solo}

Out of the corner of your eye, you notice a Sirassian nymph. From the singing hills of Sirassi, these nymphs are feline-mice humanoids with bold eyes, large ears, and small statures. This one has bright blue eues, blond hair tied up in a blue bow tie, and a long white gown.

She is furiously rubbing her hands together, her eyes dart from left to right. Before you get a change to approach her, she scampers away.

{Poison Glen – Clannad – Anam}

{Siúil a Rún – Órla Fallon – The Water Is Wide}

{Noble Maiden Fair (A Mhaighdean Bhan Uasal) – Patrick Doyle – Brave (Original Score)}

{Song of Seven Sorrows – Merrigan – The Changeling EP}

{The Hanging Tree – James Newton Howard – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Pt. 1 OST}

The attention of the crowd shifts inward. The song spurs awake the memories of The Cardinal War. All eyes look elsewhere either avoiding those memories or remembering ever last detail.

You notice the nymph again peaking from behind the curtains of the stage, her eyes glistening. You decide this time to approach her, and you ask her if she’s all right.

She says she can’t perform. She’s never done so before, and now all she can think of is her sister who she lost in the war.

“War is a dreadful thing,” she says, “even now, it haunts me.”

You look at the black wood behind her. Twilight turns to dusk and though the forest is black, the magic is still there as the stars begin to blink awake with the rising of the moon.

The chorus of the crowd singing along rises with the moon. You tell her to listen, and her ears perk up.

“They sing for their loved ones. Those loved ones aren’t far. They’re still with you, always, which means your sister will be with you on that stage as you perform. Maybe you can sing for her while you’re up there.”

You tell her all this in your own unique way, and after a few minutes, she smiles and wipes the tears from her eyes. She thanks you.

She says this is her first time performing in Havel and that it’s an honor to be here. She laughs nervously, joking about her nerves. You assure her she will do well.

At the end of the day, you remind her, this is the Mayve Midsummer Festival. Everyone is here to celebrate, so one ought to have fun. Maybe later, you suggest, she can paint a rock as an offering for her sister and the forest.

With a grateful grin, she nods and accepts the offer.

Hearing the end of the performance, you leave her to prepare for her two songs, and you go back to your seat amongst the crowd.

{Jabberwocky – Erutan}

{The Willow Maid – Erutan – Raindancer}

{The Red Thread – Frida Johansson & Henrik Oja – Unravel (EA Games Soundtrack)}

The festival comes to an end with a large bonfire where people throw in secrets written on pieces of parchment, a tradition of the kingdom. The nymph joins up with you after her performances and you both write out a secret to throw into the fire.

Ember doves nestle near the kindling as the music caresses everyone into a blissful trance.

“What is your name?” you ask the nymph.

She giggles, saying how embarrassed she is for not introducing herself. “My name is Penelly, nice to meet ya.”

You introduce yourself, and you both walk over to a table that offers rock painting. She paints a rock, and once she’s done, you join her in putting it amongst the others at the edge of the dark wood.

“You know,” she says, “Life really is quite a gorgeous thing. It’s us who muck it all up and make it all complicated. Still, I suspect that’s how we can enjoy it all. Can’t enjoy beauty if you’ve never met the ugly.”

She looks to the trees that are starting to blossom within the dark wood. She goes on, “Can’t appreciate life is you never realize there’s a chance of it all being gone. That’s what my sister used to say. She was a smart nymph, that one. She taught me to sing and to play all sorts of instruments. She said I had real talent and that one day, I’d join all those artists in Havel, like any singer would want to.

“She also used to say all the time, ‘It’s okay to worry, and sometimes it’s even okay to fall down. What’s important is that one day, you get back up again. It can be today or tomorrow. It can be on your own or with some help. You just have to get up, dust off your fur and try again, because if you don’t try, you never know what you might miss. You never know if that’ll be the last time you have to get up again.'”

That is the end of our tale for today. Thank you for joining me, but it’s now time for you to step back through the portal to WHUS Storrs. I hope you join me next week for another adventure. Until then, fairfarren, traveler.

THE END

Fairfarren, Friends

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