But alas, it is not so. I'm hoping that warmer weather will help improve things, since I'll be doing things that are much more interesting and far less chilly than I have been lately. This isn't a blog where I write out particulars about my life, either, so blog material has been scarce. The next parts of FtGG will have to be sorted via skype with Dana at some point, because we've run out of finished transcript to copy over. So that will take a short while to do. Then, of course, there have been no Imagination Games due to the weather. And what with writing and all (I've quite the workload, at present) there hasn't been time for research to write a Legend Post.
On the bright side, I'm on my way to publishing a short story of mine. I'll toss a link up here when I do.
So, in the meantime, my long suffering readers will just have to put up with me rambling about Lore. It's the topic that's most on my mind as every chilly day whets my anticipation for warmer weather. My imagination has been considering and scheming, longing to take part in the epic journeys that keep flititng through my mind, and the sheer enjoyment of living those magical adventures alongside the people I love the most.
|Morganna Le Fay.|
My hair is much shorter,
and I tend to smirk a bit
but I like this picture anyway.
And then..... something else approached. The darkness cursed, as the form of the surpassingly noble hearted St. George lifted his gaze to the scene, and with him came heroes of legend, seared with determination to battle these rogues for not just a treasure, as I'd thought before, but the good of the Lands of Lore themselves.
The song continues, outlining the rapid exchange of fight and scheme, light and dark locked in a grapple for victory, a struggle of greater complexity than imagined as more and more lives are caught into the current of this desperate race.
And so 'El Dorado' has become to me the song that describes The Quest for the Keys of Avalon.
By way of explanation, Avalon, in Lore, is a place that's hidden in another dimension that can only be reached through portals called the Gates of Avalon. These portals are unlocked/created by special devices, known as the Keys of Avalon. The Keys are kept by various Nimues, who are the race of continuous regenerates, most of whom have been alive for quite a long time and are considered somewhat mythological. Also, the Keys are made to look like another object. For example, the Key placed in the posession of The Lady of the Lake is better known as Excalibur, the magificent sword. And again, the mirror owned by Amaterasu is another such Key, and in fact the reciperocating Key that links with Excalibur to unlock the Gates of Avalon.
Avalon is considered such a special place because it is where the very best in all trades are taken to build the most majestic and beautiful things their trade can possibly produce. It's a land of incredible wealth, breathtaking beauty, and untold secrets, much like its underwater sister, Atlantis, which is another story all together.
Being such an amazing place, it's no surprise that villains of all kinds have sought to secure passage into Avalon. And also no surprise that heroes have risen to stop them.
Once upon a time, there lived a valiant knight named George. This knight had slain a dragon and gained the hand of a beautiful princess, but alas his promise to serve six years as knight of the Fairy Queen, his foster mother, called him away until his dues were honorably paid.
It came to pass that one day his patroness called him to her throne. Word had reached her that a dear friend of hers, a woman only known as the Lady of the Lake, had been driven from her watery home by an evil dragon named Fafnir, who pursued her capture. Though the queen knew not this dragon’s reasons, she bade George go forth, find the Lady, protect her, and slay the dragon. Undaunted, George sallied forth to do as he was instructed.
Thus George crossed into the Land of Lore, a place where legends meet. At length, he located The Lady and her trusted handmaiden, Azula, and gave them refuge from their flight. Upon inquiry, George was told of this terrible dragon that sought the Lady so zealously. He was Fafnir, the Dragon King, and terrible in body and heart, worse than any dragon George alone had every set out to slay. Intelligent as a fox and black hearted with greed, he protected a treasure beyond all save the treasure of Avalon. The treasure of Avalon, so, was the one he desired so strongly, and The Lady alone was said to have the key to entering that glorious city.
Hearing this, George began to doubt. He alone could not withstand this king, a king who commanded all his offspring and followers, an army of dragons and dragon halflings, each almost as black as he. It would be a futile quest.
Furthermore, Fafnir vowed revenge on any who would attempt such a feat on him, and should he succeed in slaying one who sought his blood, he would ravage the kingdom from whence the fool came.
Now George, being in no way arrogant, came to the conclusion that he would require powerful assistance in order to be successful in his bestowed mission.
Many a time had he heard tales of a warrior king named Beowulf, who resided in Scotland and had so far been known to have killed three dragons with the aid of only his sword and famous shield. In that, George knew he would gain a great ally, so protecting The Lady and Azula, George came to the land of Lore in which this king resided.
When his plight was explained, Beowulf, having long since wanted to test his mettle against such a famous dragon, agreed to assist. However, the one thing that had restrained him from going against such a foe thus far had been a thing that had halted many a slayer before him; he knew not where Fafnir dwelled. In this, they looked to The Lady, who informed them that only two knew the whereabouts of the Dragon King. Merlin, and King Arthur himself alone posessed such knowledge.
Confident that their chances of success had been multiplied in the alliance between George and Beowulf, the two dragon slayers set out for Camelot.
Along the way they met with two women -- a noble and a gypsy -- who hailed them. One named herself as Vivian, ward of Morganna Le Fay, who now sought out her end for helping Merlin steal half of a key to the Gates of Avalon from Le Fay and attempting to escape with him to the city. Alas, she had been thwarted, and while she escaped Morganna's wrath, she was unable to reach the portal in time before it vanished.
Now she came to find The Lady, who was known to posess the only other key to the Gates of Avalon, that she may follow and be rejoined with Merlin in Avalon before Morganna kills her. The key, however, had been hidden at The Lady's home in the lake, and could nto be reached until Fafnir's end had been obtained.
Therefore, Vivian, and the gypsy, who proved herself to be a mere storyteller with a mischevious air but a kind disposition, joined the band. She gave no name. She was a Brownie, and as such her name could not be pronounced in the human tongue. She allowed those who wished to name her for their convenience. Now George and Beowulf willingly accepted the task of protecting all four women, as their swords alone bore skill, and did so easily as they continued on towards Camelot.
Their path drew them through a section of forest, along a well trodden path.
Suddenly from the treetops there dropped a man clad in lincoln green and a hood covering his head. His longbow drawn back and his arrow nocked, his keen eye sighting down it with effortlessness belonging to an expert marksman, this man informed them that were currently being held up, and that any who wished to oppose this action would be shot by him or his men.
Brownie associate quickly informed them that the man with Beowulf's heart in his sights was known as Robin Hood, and he was every bit as good a shot as the legends said (though not quite as tall as was told), and also had a band of men who would assist him as he said they would.
However, Beowulf liked not such insolence, and refused to offer forth his weapon in surrender. Before an eruction could begin, another figure appeared from the forest; tall, with a warrior's build and carriage, and wrath in his countenance. He raised a gleaming sword and called out a challenge to the two dragon slayers, calling them kidnappers of The Lady they now had under their protection. Upon this accusation, the archer appeared to withdraw his jovial daring and drew taut his bowstring. But in the moment that he had been distracted by the arrival of the newcomer, Beowulf had charged him. Too close to shoot, the archer dodged within an instant, escaping the slayer's blade.
The other warrior came for The Lady, and George, fired with a noble anger, rushed to the conflict to protect his charge from harm.
The man fought with skill George could not have attributed to an outlaw, famous or no, and did his best to withstand. Beowulf found a match in his own opponent, who had lived in the greenwood far long enough to have learned to use it to his advantage in a fight.
All at once the Lady's cries fell upon the ears of the fighters. She called for them to cease immediately, and gave a name to the man George had engaged: Arthur. At the sound of it, the tall man paused, and George caught his breath, ready to fight again should this be a false alarm.
The Lady came up behind George, and to the tall warrior. The man's countenance of anger faded, and his sword abated its ready position. He called to Robin, shouting for him to stay his own blade. The Lady hastily told George that the man before them was none other than King Arthur, and George gave urgent cry to his fellow dragon slayer to keep from decapitating the outlaw.
At the pause in the conflict, The Lady placed herself in a peaceful position between the two opposing lines, and gave an account of what had transpired up to the present time. As the tale progressed, both lines relaxed, and George dropped to one knee and apologized profusely to the legendary king.
When she concluded, Robin Hood invited them to dinner, and the group proceeded to a camp that had been previously set up by both the outlaw and the king. In their company around the fire there were two more women to add to the enterouge, who were introduced as a young woman named Belle, and another named Scarlet, who wore a cape and hood to match her name. Scarlet was related as a Wulver, a shape shifter who could assume the form of a wolf. The other, a princess from a nearby land who had learned the art of dragon taming. This, obviously, the dragon slayers regarded dubiously.
Once around the fire and being informed that Robin was, in fact, alone, and had successfully halted the band single handedly -- something he took great amusement in -- The Lady asked Arthur to relate to them the tale of how he and his company had come to join.
Robin answered, at the king's bidding, and informed them that Fafnir had recently come and wreaked havoc over his lands, especially Locksley. Although he had retired as an outlaw since King Richard had been restored to the throne, he donned his old uniform and set out to teach this dragon a lesson. He learned soon enough what a daunting task he'd undertaken, and sought out King Arthur for advice, as he knew also the location of the dreaded beast.
Arthur took up the tale at this point, and from Robin, who has a habit of talking to the lowly in rank and learning local gossip, as that had been a tool for survival in his outlaw days, learned that The Lady had been captured. Assuming she was taken by Fafnir, he enlisted Robin to help him rescue the maid from the Dragon, if she were indeed his captive. Along the way, they aquired a guide, the Wulver, Reeve, and a dragon tamer, who would serve well in securing their safe passage to Fafnir's cave itself through all the Dragon King's minions.
Now, however, that The Lady was safe, they willingly retasked. Together with those present, they would seek out, reach, and slay Fafnir once and for all, risking life and limb and safety of kingdom to rid Lore of its worst blight. It was also agreed that along the way, The Lady would meet with her cousin, Amatarasu, who bore the other half to the key The Lady owned that would open the Gates of Avalon.
Thus the band set out, their talents together more than legend can do justice.
As you now know, the simple, if difficult, task of slaying Fafnir and saving Avalon once and for all isn't going to turn out to be as simple as they thought. With other villains such as the vengence bent Morganna, and the mysterious Red Rider, and conflicts even with their own band, the adventure is going to become one of far greater magnitude, and their quest one of far greater importance.