Blog, The Fantasy Realm

A Fantasy Realm Tale: The Great City of Esoria with The Urban Legend

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*The following is a transcript of a WHUS Radio FM broadcast aired on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 from 1-2 PM along with the music used to accompany the story*

THE GREAT CITY OF ESORIA


{Main Title – Ramin Djawadi – Game of Thrones (Music from the HBO Series)}

Ahhh, hello there traveller. I’d like to welcome you to The Fantasy Realm. That is, of course, the land you’re currently standing in, on the other side of the portal on WHUS Storrs. For your enjoyment, I recommend creating a character to follow along with today’s tale.

No, no, I’m not The Sage, though she’s a dear friend of mine. No, I’m The Urban Legend−at least, that’s what most tend to call me. I’m a bard of sorts. More of a musician, really. In any case, The Sage was in need of my services because she’s away this week, attending some sort of council as far as I’ve gathered.

Today, it will be my most sincere pleasure to guide you on a journey to attend a festival of song and dance in the great city of Esoria. Some of the most renowned musicians and performers in all the land will be there!

It’s your choice, traveller, whether or not you wish to join me, but you must decide quickly−your tale is about to begin.

{Rivendell – Chance Thomas – The Lord of the Rings Online (10th Anniversary Commemorative Soundtrack)}

A warm breeze blows past, gently tickling the edges of your travel-worn cloak. Although the weather has been inconsistent as of late, today is a fine day with the sun blazing brightly in the sky. The trees are beginning to blossom, making the Western Wood look cheerful and alive again. Spring was late, but now, it is finally here. It’s all anybody has been talking about in the nearby villages.

The steady, rhythmic beat of hooves on the cobblestone path echoes through the forest, mixing with the sweet chirping of birdsong.  

{Warcraft – Ramin Djawadi – Warcraft OST}

All of a sudden, you halt abruptly, looking around through the dense shrubbery and towering trees. You swear you heard something making noise in the woods on the left side of the path. Was it real, or simply your imagination playing tricks on you? Your horse flicks its ears and snorts, irritated that his steady trot has been broken.

Something is not right. Your trek through the forest has been fairly uneventful thus far, but you can’t escape the trouble that always seems to trail behind you. Something wicked is lurking nearby.

Suddenly, you hear crashing in the underbrush, accompanied by heavy footsteps running along in an uneven gait. A moment later, a large orc emerges from the bushes, face contorted in rage. In one hand, he holds a wickedly sharp scimitar; in the other, a battered and rusty iron buckler. By his side looms a massive mottled gray warg, its teeth bared in a snarl, and blood-red eyes trained on you and your steed.

What will you do? The orc alone would be difficult to best, and the warg at its side will most likely prove to be an even greater hindrance, considering the massive jaws and deadly claws that it possesses. This will be a tough fight.

Grimacing, you gingerly place your hand on your shortsword, a determined glint in your eye. You will make these enemies bow to the might of your blade, or die trying. With a yell, you grip your sword, leap off your horse, and charge.

{Viinamäen Mies – Korpiklaani – Noita}

The orc raises his scimitar, and with a guttural cry, dashes forwards to meet your blade. A steely, scraping noise rings out in the air as metal clashes upon metal.

The orc’s choice to parry your blade gives you a moment to think about your next attack.

What will you do? Whip out your hunting knife with your other hand and slash at his ribs? Kick him in the shin? You need to get the upper hand in the situation before he does.

{Waldschrein (Instrumental) – Equilibrium – Waldschrein EP}

In one fluid motion, you manage to unsheathe your hunting knife and go for the orc’s face while he’s distracted in parrying your sword. Just as you try to slash at his eyes, a howl of pain pierces the air. Both you and your opponent turn to see what’s happened.

That’s when the hulking, sinewy mass of green-grey flesh falls to the ground with a dull thump, three arrows sticking out of his back. With a groan, the orc shudders, and goes completely limp.

You look over to where the warg was standing, and see that it too is laying on the ground, completely lifeless.

What has happened here?

{Back in Venice – Jesper Kyd – Assassin’s Creed 2 OST}

“You’re pretty lucky that we were in the right place at the right time, stranger.”

You shift your gaze from the dead orc and turn around to see absolutely nobody behind you.

“Ahah, try looking up,” the voice chuckles.

With a curious glance, you look upwards, and that’s when you see a cloaked figure drop down from a tree and onto the path right before your eyes. He stays in a crouched position for a moment before rising up and giving you a small bow.

“Tyberius Korthylarion, ranger of the Northern Isles, at your service,” grins the tall, lean youth. His deep brown eyes study you closely, although his lips are parted in a friendly smile. He hides his caution well.

“And what, pray tell, is your name, stranger?”

You respond neutrally, trying to appear as little of a threat as possible. Rangers of the wild are the very last type of people one wants to end up in trouble with.

“Ahhhh, I see. Well, it’s a pleasure to meet you, though I’m curious to know why in the Maiden’s name you’re wandering orc infested woods,” Tyberius muses thoughtfully.

You take the subtle hint from his polite comment and explain that you’re travelling to Esoria to attend the Kevät song and dance festival.

“The spring festival, eh? It’s been a good long time since I’ve attended one. My work has me travelling all over the place, so I’ve got very little time for leisure. In any case, my company and I are actually headed to Esoria on business,” the ranger says.

{Dragon Age Inquisition Theme – Trevor Morris – Dragon Age Inquisition OST}

With a casual wave of his hand, two more rangers drop from the trees and make their way over to where you both are standing.

“Let me introduce my dear comrades in arms. First up, we have Riia.” He motions to the smaller of the two figures, a young woman with shoulder length flaming red hair dressed in a brown leather jerkin and dark green tunic. She nods her head at you lightly.

“And here, we have Vara.”

The other ranger tips his head in your direction, and you note that he has a very calm and casual demeanor, despite the fact he’s got two massive swords strapped across his back.

“We’ll be very willing to accompany you on the remainder of your journey, if you wish, my friend,” Tyberius offers. “It is up to you.”

{Divojko – Manntra – Meridian}

{Crackling fire}

“And that, my friend, is how Norminven, Maiden of the Void defeated the Werechicken, beast of woe.” Vara rasps as his tale comes to an end.

After agreeing to travel together with the rangers, they were able to guide you and your steed through the Western Wood using the quickest and most efficient paths. Just before nightfall broke, you and your party managed to set up camp.

After a hearty meal of coney stew, Vara began to tell stories- legends about mythical creatures that stalk through the forest at night, immortal goddesses of the moon, and many more peculiar tales.

“And with that,” yawns Tyberius, “I think I’ll be going to sleep. Riia, would you mind taking first watch?” He asks, turning to his friend. “Just wake me up for the second.”

“Of course, Tyber,” Riia responds, strolling over to the edge of camp, longbow slung across her back.

“You should get some sleep too,” Tyberius suggests, before settling down into his sleeping roll. “Sleep tight, and don’t let the werechicken bite!” He chuckles.

You follow the ranger’s lead by climbing into your bedroll, closing your eyes, and letting sleep wash over you.

{Crackling fire fades}

{Darkness – Blackmore’s Night – Autumn Sky}

{Hills of the Shire – Chance Thomas – The Lord of the Rings Online (10th Anniversary Commemorative Soundtrack)}

The next morning you and your fellows break camp and continue the journey to Esoria.

“It’s not very far now. Look, I already see the city walls!” Vara exclaims.

“Eheh, I can’t wait to stop by Yura’s Pub later today. There’s a keg of mulled elderflower cider with my name on it sitting in the storeroom!” says Tyberius, a note of excitement in his voice. “I wonder if Dae and Ris are working the bar. No matter, we’ll find out when we get there. In any case, what do you plan to do in the city, friend? The festivities don’t start until the evening, and Esoria is full of things to do.”

{Evening In The Tavern – Pawel Blaszczak – The Witcher OST}

“Well, here we are. Welcome to Esoria. I’m afraid we must part ways at this point, but stop by the Pub later if you’ve got time. Good luck in the city, my friend.” Tyberius salutes you, and both Riia and Vara say their goodbyes to you as well.

The massive city is here, waiting at your disposal. What will you do? Visit the armoury, or ask to see the grand library? Or perhaps there is a clothing shop nearby where you can purchase a nicer tunic for the festival?

{Ibelin – Harry Gregson-Williams – Kingdom of Heave OST}

You begin walking down the main street, which is crowded with various vendors, merchants, and shoppers. One store that immediately catches your eye is a curious-looking bookshop coming up on the left. You head over to it and walk through the door that is propped open by a large stone.

You look around the shop, then close your eyes and deeply breathe in the scent of polished wooden shelves, leather, and the crisp pages of books.

“Greetings. May I help you with something?” A friendly voice breaks the silence.

Opening your eyes, you turn to see a girl behind the counter, sorting books on one of the shelves against the wall. You return the greeting, then ask if she has any recommendations.

“Ahh, I have so many!” She pauses, scanning her shelves thoughtfully. Suddenly, her countenance brightens. “Ope! I found one! It’s called ‘The Search for the Lost City of Kyo’, by Renneth the Wise.”

You agree to purchase the book and thank the bookkeep for her help before exiting the shop and emerging back out onto the street.

As you’re walking down, peering at the different stands filled with things ranging from elegant jewelry to delicious looking pastries, someone calls out to you.

“ALOO THERE FRIEND, MY NAME IS FANA! MAY I INTEREST YOU IN A NICE CUT OF MEAT TODAY?”

You glance over and see a tall man waving a carving knife at you.

“Or perhaps, a nice flask of Fana’s Five Hour Energy? Wyn and Koek, help me out here. Go grab that box out of the back.”

Two teenage boys who are standing off to the side talking about something you can’t hear snap to attention.

“You got it, Fana,” says the taller, dark haired one, “Come on, Koek.” He beckons the blond boy, and the two of them walk over to a pile of crates behind the stand, sifting through the contents of each.

You tell this Fana fellow that you’re sure his drink is delicious and works well, but that you’re not interested in it at the moment.

“Ehhhh, nonsense, this one’s on the house!” He reaches into the crate that his apprentices have just brought over and hands you a small flask filled with a bright green liquid. “Enjoy, friend, and sip sparingly!” he cautions, a twinkle in his eye.

{Skeleton Tree – Auri}

As the sun begins to set behind the tall, snow-capped mountains in the distance, the last rays of light bask the city of Esoria in an ethereal glow. Evening approaches, and soon, the festivities will begin. You head outside the city gates and towards the massive pavilion set up in a nearby field.

There are fire-filled braziers dotted around the edges of the clearing to illuminate the area. Benches and chairs are lined up in neat rows before a massive, ancient stone dais, which will serve as a stage for the evening.

People mill about as the performers ready themselves, tuning their instruments, and making last minute adjustments to their costumes.

Your eyes roam around, taking in the rest of the sights of the pavillion. Streamers and banners hung up on tall poles also surround the premises, and there’s an entire open area in the center of the pavillion devoted to dancing. Several large tables near the back of the pavillion boast tankards of assorted ales, wines, and ciders, as well as other food and drink.

Shifting your gaze back to the stage, you walk over to one of the benches and take a seat.

As soon as you are seated, a green-haired nomad in a dark purple and silver dress walks up onto the dais.

“Greetings, friends! Welcome to the Kevät Festival of Song and Dance! Let the festivities begin!”

{Play Minstrel Play – Blackmore’s Night – Paris Moon}

{Walpurgisnacht – Faun – Luna}

{Prologue – Loreena McKennitt}

{The Voice – Celtic Woman – A New Journey}

{The Song of the Sword-Dancer – Marcin Przybylowicz – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt OST}

{Mordred’s Lullaby – Heather Dale – Avalon}

{LOTRO Legacy – Chance Thomas – The Lord of the Rings Online (10th Anniversary Commemorative Soundtrack)}

That is the end of our story today. It is now time for you to step back through the portal on WHUS Storrs. The Sage will be back to guide you on your journey next week, but I hope that you enjoyed today’s tale as much as I did.

Fairfarren, traveller.

THE END

Fairfarren, Friends

 

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