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EVERYONE: Live From the Fireside: Season 16 (ended in this form--being rebooted!)

Brock's Pikachu
Nov 8, 2005
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@Chimchar98; @Tophat Dragoneye; @Soulmaster;

Brock and the gang are back for a sixteenth season, filled with redone old favorites and some brand new tales!

Week 401: The Hero's Sword

(real tale: The Good Sword)

"There was a man who had a son, who lived with him." Brock begins as he arrives onstage. "The man was a hunter, but as the years went by and he grew older, he got weaker and weaker, and eventually had to tell his son--we'll call him Greg--that soon he would no longer be able to hunt for him, and it would not be long before Arceus called him to the heavens. Greg tried to comfort him, and assured him he would recover; but his father said no, if his time to die was really close, he had nothing to leave him. What money they had would be just enough for his own funeral. Yet he had one thing of value to pass on to his son. It was only a sword, and badly rusty at that, but it would cut down any foe that dared harm its wielder."

"Aw"s go up as Brock continues. "Before long the father joined Arceus in the heavens, and Greg had to sell what he left in order to bury him. All that he kept of his inheritance was the rusty sword. Now he had to find work to do, and this was not easy, since he had never learned a trade, and at best could only herd Mareep. So he went to the village, and had to content himself with work as a shepherd. His master sent him out with the Mareep, and warned him to keep away from three particular meadows, which belonged to three mountain trolls. They lived on a hill known as "Troll's Mount," and if one of his Mareep were to wander to their meadow, the mountain troll would come, and not only carry off the Mareep, but their shepherd as well."

He adds as an aside "But Greg knew the master only said that to scare him."

Nervous giggles waft through the auditorium as Brock continues "The new shepherd promised to take good care of the Mareep, and so he did; for he never lost a single one, and his master was very pleased with him. The one day, he happened to think of his sword, and figured it might able to help him should he run into the mountain troll. So one day, he intentionally let the Mareep stray into one of the forbidden meadows, and the mountain troll, raging and roaring, rushed up to him, and asked who had allowed him to let his sheep graze in that meadow. Greg replied that he had allowed himself to do it, and when the mountain troll threatened to carry him off with his Mareep, he attacked him and slew him with his sword."

Some light applause goes up at this. "Now the first meadow was his; but not long after the Mareep felt like visiting the second meadow, and Greg let them go. The second mountain troll rushed up to him in a towering rage, and Greg slew him, too. The same thing happened with the third meadow too, and Greg came home with his Mareep, singing all the while." Brock continues. With that, he makes a few laps around the stage, the audience clapping along as he sings "The Hearthome Pilgrim".

Once back at center stage, Brock continues "Then he got the idea to see "Troll's Mount," and there he found three Ponytas, a normal one, one whose mane shone bright yellow, and a Shiny one, and the Legendary Beasts, Raikou, Entei, and Suicune, as well. Each Ponyta had a saddle, and a full suit of armor as well, and they, too, were red, blue and yellow. Besides, there was food for the Ponytas, and food for the Beasts, and gold and silver out the wazoo. Greg was understandably ecstatic with all the splendor that he had discovered, and went home singing."

With that, he makes a few more laps around the stage, this time singing the jig "Ash's Welcome to Pewter".

When the song ends and Brock is back in his place, he intones "Then his master had one of the hands tell Greg that although he was very happy with him, he wished he would stop singing. Greg was puzzled--what was wrong with singing? At first, the farmhand did not want to tell him the true reason, and said that he should stop because his master said so. But Greg kept bugging the farmhand to tell him why he was not supposed to sing, and the farmhand relented, after having Greg swear to Arceus he would not tell anyone else."

Piqued murmurs fill the air. "The farmhand told Greg that great sorrow reigned throughout the land, because the king had been forced to give each his three daughters to three trolls. The trolls would be arriving to take them very soon, and the king had promised a third of the kingdom to anyone who could save one of them, and if the hero were male, the hand of the princess he saved as well." Brock explains, quieting the chatter. "It was for that reason Greg was not to sing in town, although out in the fields it was okay."

He pauses for a beat, then continues "Greg could not stop thinking about the story of the poor princesses, and it occurred to him that perhaps he might be able to save them. He could leave his Mareeps behind with a clear conscience, since now he had nothing to fear from the mountain trolls, and the next day, he went to town to find out what was being said about the calamity that was due. He learned on which day the oldest princess--we'll call her Robin--would be led out to the troll while he was out. When he got home, he put on his red armor, mounted the normal Ponyta, and with Entei at his side, rode out to the place where the troll was to receive Princess Robin. She arrived in a coach, and the coachman scrambled up a tree for fear of the troll. At the exact second the red knight came riding up, a three-headed troll rose out of the sea. The knight rode up to him, easily cut off all three of his heads with his rusty sword, took the ruby it dropped as it died, and rode off again."

Some in the audience start to applaud, but Brock interjects "Now, the coachman was feeling greedy, so after he climbed down from his tree, he threatened to kill Princess Robin unless she promised to say that he was the one that saved her. She readily complied, he gathered up the heads, and they returned home. Eight days later, the middle princess--we'll call her Livia--was driven out, and the same thing happened. The coachman sought safety in a tree, and a blue knight came riding up on a Shiny Ponyta with Suicune at his side. Then out of the sea rose a monster with six heads. The knight cut off the heads, took the sapphire it dropped when it died, and rode off again. This coachman also threatened Princess Livia, and demanded she say he was the one that saved her."

Angry murmurs waft through the left section as Brock continues "Eight days later, the youngest princess--we'll call her Alyssa--was driven out to be handed over to her troll, and again the same thing happened. The coachman climbed a tree, and a yellow knight appeared on a Ponyta with a yellow mane, with Raikou at his side. The troll rose out of the sea and he had nine heads: but the knight cut them all off, and took the topaz it dropped when it died. When Princess Alyssa saw that he had saved her, she took off her topaz pendant and tried to throw it around his neck; but it fell on his head. He just gathered it up and wound it in his hair, then put his helmet over it so that no one could see it. Then he rode away. This coachman acted just as the others had. and compelled Princess Alyssa to say that he had saved her."

The auditorium is quiet as the audience contemplates how the greedy coachmen will get their just deserts. "You can imagine that there was much rejoicing in the castle, and all three princesses were to be married on the same day." Brock finally breaks the uneasy silence a few moments later. "By now, Greg had had his fill of Mareep herding, and told his master goodbye, who did not like to let him go, since he did so well. But there was nothing he could do; his shepherd wanted to go, and so they said their goodbyes and off he went. He traveled to another town, and took a room in the inn for the night, where he heard rumors about the splendor with which the coming triple wedding was to be celebrated. The barkeep mentioned how pleasant it would be to have a chance to taste a bit of the fine bread that was baked in the castle.

Excited whispers waft through the middle row. "Greg wasted no time, and sent Entei to get some bread. Entei ran to the castle and scratched at one door after another. The people opened their doors for him, and in this way he reached the room where the bread lay. He grabbed a loaf of bread, and the king said that they were to let him keep it--there was no sense in refusing a Legendary--so he came safely home with it. Then the barkeep talked about how pleasant it would be to sample the freshly roasted meat that came from the royal kitchens. Greg sent his Suicune to get some meat, and Suicune ran to the castle, sniffed about for the kitchen, grabbed an entire roast and ran off with it, and the king gave the order to let him go--the Legendary Pokemon must not be refused what they wanted."

Murmurs of agreement fill the room. "When the barkeep saw the roast, he wanted to have wine as well, and Greg sent Raikou to get some." Brock explains. "Raikou actually found the wine cellar, took a bottle of the best wine, and ran into the room where all the princesses and their husbands-to-be were seated. When Princess Alyssa saw Raikou, she clapped her hands, and said that his master had saved her. Her betrothed grew angry, and said that up until now, she had always said that he had saved her, and what did she mean by saying what she did? But she insisted that the Raikou's master had saved her. So the king sent out men to follow Raikou, in order to discover his master and bring him to the castle. Raikou ran as fast as he could, so that the men could barely keep up. Yet they reached the tavern, puffing and groaning, and told Greg that he was to come to the castle. When he got there he asked whether the Beasts had done something in the castle that called for punishment, He himself wondered what in the heck he had done."

Fearful murmurs go up at this, but Brock assures the crowd "The king said nothing, but motioned for Greg to come into the great hall. Greg excused himself, and said that he was not used to meeting royalty. But he could not help himself, for the king insisted that he enter. So he went into the great hall, and no sooner had Princess Alyssa seen him did she say that he was the one that saved her. When her betrothed grew angry, and the others would not believe it, she asked him if he had her topaz pendant. So he drew it from his hair, and all saw that it was the princess's own. But her betrothed spoke of the nine heads which he had. At this, Greg produced the topaz the nine headed troll had dropped and all recognized that he had saved the three princesses."

He concludes "The three deceivers were put to death right then, and the true hero received Princess Alyssa's hand and the third part of the kingdom, and the rest of the kingdom when he succeeded to the throne. He had a long and prosperous reign, and went on many more adventures with the Beasts--but that is another story for another day!"

The crowd roars with applause as Brock takes a bow...
Brock's Pikachu
Nov 8, 2005
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Week 187: The World Beneath The Well

(real tale: The Cistern)

The crowd roars as Brock arrives on the stage "In a far away land, there lived three princes." he begins. "The elder two were going hunting one day, and did not want to take their youngest brother--whose name was Salvadore--with them. Their mother the queen asked them to let him go with them, but they stuck to their guns, if you will. Prince Salvadore, however, followed them, so they had to take him with them anyway."

Giggles go up as the audience pictures how the other two princes reacted. "They came to a beautiful plain, where they found a large, deep well, and ate their lunch nearby." Brock goes on. "When they were done, the eldest brother got the idea to throw Prince Salvadore into the well, so that way he'd be out of their hair. "So he asked his little brother..."

In his best mimic of Gary, he asks "Would you like to explore this old well? There could be treasure!"

As himself, he goes on "Excited by the idea of treasure, Prince Salvadore consented, and they lowered him down. When he reached the bottom, he found three handsome rooms and an old woman, who said to him..."

"What are you doing here?" he asks in a gentle female voice.

"I am trying to find my way out; tell me how to get back to the surface." he requests in a mimic of Ash.

"Three princesses in the power of an evil wizard are trapped down here; take care that you do not fall under his spell yourself." he warns as the old woman.

"Tell me what to do; I am not afraid." he replies as Prince Salvadore.

He points at an imagined door and instructs as the old woman "Knock at that door."

He interjects as himself "When he did..." He knocks on the stage floor for effect. "a princess--whose name was Orla--met him."

"What has brought you here?" he asks in a mimic of Morgan.

"I have come to rescue you; tell me what I have to do." he requests as Prince Salvadore.

He shows the audience a prop ruby. "Take this ruby and pass through that door." he instructs as Princess Orla. "My sister is there, who can give you better directions than I can."

After pocketing the ruby, he interjects as himself "He knocked at that door..." He knocks on the stage floor again. "..and the middle princess--whose name was Ariana--met him. She gave him a sapphire..." He shows the audience a prop sapphire. "and directed him to knock at a third door." He knocks on the stage floor again. "It opened and the youngest princess, whose name was Christina, met him. She somehow recognized Prince Salvadore..."

"Ah! Salvadore! What have you come here for?" he gasps in a mimic of Serena.

"I have come to rescue you; tell me what to do." he explains as Prince Salvadore.

He shows the audience a prop emerald. "Take this; when you are in need, only sing 'Seios, higarima laisido' and the emerald will obey you." he instructs as Princess Christina. "Come on in and eat something, thentake this bottle; the wizard is about to wake up. Hide yourself behind this door, and when he wakes up he will ask you: 'Why are you here?' You will answer, 'I have come to duel you; but you must agree to take the smaller Ponyta and sword than mine, because I am smaller than you.' You will see a fountain which will invite you to drink; do not drink from it, for all the statues you see there are humans who have become statues drinking that water; when you are thirsty drink from this bottle."

As himself, he continues "Taking Princess Christina's instructions to heart, Prince Salvadore went and knocked at the door." He knocks on the stage floor again. "Just then, the wizard woke up and said..."

"Why are you here?" he demands in a deep gravely voice for the wizard.

"I have come to duel you, but you must agree to take the smaller Ponyta and sword than mine, because I am smaller than you." he replies as Prince Salvadore.

As himself, he goes on "The fountain invited him to drink, but Prince Salvadore remembered what Princess Christina said, and did not drink from it. They battled..." Some bemused giggles go up as Brock pantomimes fighting an imagined opponent. "and in one blow Prince Salvadore cut off the wizard's head. He took the head and sword, went to the princesses and said...

"Get your things together, and let's go, for my brothers are still waiting at the entrance of the well." he calls as Prince Salvadore.

As himself, he asks the audience "I suppose you're wondering what Prince Salvadore's brothers were doing while Prince Salvadore was on his adventure in the world beneath the well?"

Chants of "Tell us!" fill the room. "Well, after they had lowered their youngest brother into the well, they turned around and returned to the royal palace." Brock assures the crowd.

"Where is your brother?" he asks in his standard "king" voice.

"We lost him in the forest, and could not find him." he explains as the eldest brother.

"Quickly!" Go and find my son, or it will be your lives for his life." he orders as the king.

As himself, he continues "So they departed, and on the way met a man with a rope and a bell, and took them with them. When they reached the well, they lowered the rope with the bell. 'If he is alive he will hear the bell and climb up; if he is dead, then how will we face our father?' they anxiously thought. When they lowered the rope, Prince Salvadore had the princesses climb up one by one. When Princess Orla emerged, the oldest brother said..."

"Oh, what a pretty girl! This one shall be my bride." he grins as the eldest brother.

He interjects as himself "When Princess Ariana emerged, the middle brother said she was his. But Princess Christina did not want to climb up, and said to Prince Salvadore..."

"You climb up first; if you do not, your brothers will leave you here." he warns as Princess Christina.

"They argued about it for a while, until finally he prevailed, and she climbed up." he intones as himself. "Sure enough, when she emerged the two brothers took her, left Salvadore in the well, and returned to the palace. When they got there, they said to their father..."

"We have looked for Salvadore, but we could not find him." he sighs as the eldest brother. "But we have found these three young girls, and now we wish to marry them."

He continues "As they agreed, the eldest brother took Princess Orla for his bride, and the middle brother chose Princess Ariana as his bride. Princess Christina they would marry off to someone else."

"But what happened to Prince Salvadore?" a boy worries as his father lovingly squeezes his hand to assure him all will eventually be well in fantasyland.

"Well, as Prince Salvadore was sitting there in the dark and damp well, all alone and contemplating his predicament, he felt something his pockets and touched the ruby." Brock shows the boy and the others in the audience the prop ruby.

He then proceeds to sing to the ruby as Prince Salvadore Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul..., lighting up his face in an ethereal red glow.

"..and in a flash of red light, he found himself warped out of the well." he explains as himself. "He went to the royal city, and met a silversmith, who assumed he was a young man seeking his fortune and took him in as an apprentice, feeding and clothing him. While he was with the silversmith, the king commanded that a silver laurel leaf wedding crown be made for his oldest son, who was to be married.
"You must make me a royal wedding crown for my son, and it must be completed by tomorrow evening." he instructs as the king.

"He gave him ten ounces of fine silver to work with, and sent him on his way." he continues as himself. "When he got home, the silversmith was greatly disturbed, for he had very little time to make a wedding crown, and royal wedding crowns usually took at the very least several days to make."

"Master, why are you so sad?" he asks as Prince Salvadore.

"Take these ten ounces of silver--I am going to seek Arceus' protection, for there is nothing else I can do." he explains in a mimic of Flint.

He explains as himself "See, in olden times a shrine of Arceus had the right of sanctuary; so whoever was wrongfully accused, in danger, or otherwise overwhelmed fled to the shrine, and the authorities could not harm the person--this was commonly called 'seeking Arceus' protection or 'seeking sanctuary'."

"Oh"s fill the air at this. As Prince Salvadore, he muses "I will see if I can make this wedding crown. My master is seeking sanctuary for a trifle."

He continues as himself. "So he made the wedding crown himself."

He looks out on the enthralled audience. "Anyone want to guess how he did it?"

Enthusiastic suggestions waft in his direction, but then one girl in the right hand section near the front calls out "One of the magic jewels!"

Brock smiles as he reveals the prop ruby again, confirming the girl's guess. "He took out the ruby and sang to it..."

As Prince Salvadore, he sings Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul... again, making the ruby glow.

He then reveals a prop silver laurel leaf crown. "When it was done he gave the wedding crown he had conjured to the silversmith's wife, who took it to her husband. When the silversmith saw that he did not need to seek sanctuary after all, he went to the king, who, well pleased, invited him to the wedding feast that evening. When he broke the news at home, the apprentice said..."

"Take me to the feast." he asks as Prince Salvadore.

"How can I take you when you have no suitable clothes fit to wear?" he gasps as the silversmith. "I will buy you some, and when there is another feast I will take you."

As himself, he narrates "That night, the silversmith departed, but Prince Salvadore took the ruby and sang..."

He then sings as Prince Salvadore Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul.......to some cheers as the ruby glows again.

When the applause dies down and the ruby's glow fades, Brock continues as himself "...and in a flash of light, he was dressed like a prince, and went to the palace, where he hid in the kitchen, and saw his brother married, but his master was none the wiser. A few days later, the king summoned the silversmith again to make another wedding crown within twenty-four hours. The same thing happened--the apprentice made a wedding crown more beautiful than the first, with the aid of the sapphire."

He reveals the sapphire and sings as Prince Salvadore Imultaos, ame no hao bakezo..., making the sapphire glow blue.

As himself, he continues "The smith took it to the king, unaware that his apprentice had also attended the feast. After a while, they wanted to marry off Princess Christina, but she said..."

"Who wants me must wait a year, a month, and a day." he instructs as Princess Christina.

As himself, he continues "She had no peace wondering why Prince Salvadore did not appear--he had the ruby, the sapphire, and the emerald, after all."

Intrigued murmurs fill the air at this. "After a year, a month, and a day had passed, the wedding was arranged, and the smith had orders to make another wedding crown more beautiful than the first two." Brock continues "This was so that no one could say that because the girl was younger they treated her worse than the others."

Murmurs of understanding waft towards the stage. "Again the smith was in despair, and the apprentice had to make, by the aid of his magic emerald, a better and larger wedding crown than the others." Brock goes on.

He reveals the prop emerald and sings as Prince Salvadore Karuto, iichiida shou..., making the emerald glow green.

As himself, he continues "The king was astonished when he saw the beautiful crown, and again invited the silversmith to the wedding feast. The smith returned home sorrowful that he had to leave his apprentice behind once again. After Salvatore had seen him depart, he took his magic emerald and conjured splendid clothes and carriages."

He sings to the emerald in character Karuto, iichiida shou...

He goes on as himself. "When Prince Salvadore reached the palace, he did not go to the kitchen, but before the bride and groom could say "I do," and the priest had said that if there were any objections, speak now or forever hold your peace, he nearly screamed..."

"I OBJECT!!!!" he yells as Prince Salvadore, startling some in the crowd.

He explains as himself "He revealed that Princess Orla had given him the ruby, Princess Ariana the sapphire, and Princess Christina remembered that she had given the emerald to him, making Prince Salvadore her rightful bridegroom."

He concludes "Princess Christina and Prince Salvadore were married right there, and the silversmith was amazed at who his apprentice really was. Prince Salvadore thankfully forgave his master, and his magic jewels led him and Princess Christina on many more adventures--but that is another story for another day!"

The crowd roars as Brock takes a bow...
Brock's Pikachu
Nov 8, 2005
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Week 403: The Swanna Song

(real tale: The Magic Swan)

"There were once three brothers, who lived in a far away land." Brock begins as he arrives onstage. "The two elder brothers' names are not important to us, but the youngest was named Morgan. Morgan was often made fun of by the other two, and they treated him shamefully. If anything went wrong with their affairs, Morgan had to take the rap and set things right for them. And the Cheri Berry on top? He had to endure all the bad treatment because he was weak and delicate and couldn't defend himself against his stronger brothers. To say that poor Morgan had a hard life is putting it nicely, and every night he thought long and hard about how he could make it better."

Angry murmurs fill the air at Morgan's mistreatment. "One day, when he was in the wood gathering sticks and crying all the while, a old woman--who was really the holy Delphox Kitsune in disguise--came up to him and asked him what was wrong; and he told her everything." Brock continues.

"Come, my good man, isn't the world wide enough?" he asks as the old woman. "Why don't you set out and try your fortune somewhere else?"

As himself, he goes on "Morgan took her words to heart, and left his father's house early the next morning to seek his fortune, as the old woman had told him. But he felt sad leaving the home where he had been born, and where he had at least passed a short but happy childhood, and sitting down on a hill he took one last look at his home."

He pauses, then introduces Kitsune for real. "Suddenly, Kitsune, in her true form, stood before him, and said...

"So far, so good, my boy; but what do you want to do now?" he asks as Kitsune.

As himself, he narrates "Morgan didn't know what to answer, for as far as he knew, fortune would drop into his mouth like a ripe Cheri Berry. Being a Psychic Pokemon, Kitsune read his thoughts, giggled, and said..."

"I'll tell you what you must do, as you seem to be a kind and unselfish boy, and I'm sure you won't forget me when you've made your fortune." he smiles as Kitsune. "Tonight at sunset, go to the Aspear tree you see growing at the fork in the road. Underneath it you will find a man asleep, and a beautiful large Swanna will be tied to the tree close to him. You must be careful not to wake up the man, but you must untie the Swanna and take it with you. You will find that everyone will fall in love with its beautiful plumage, and you must allow anyone who likes to pull out a feather. But as soon as the Swanna feels so much as a finger on it, it will begin singing its last song, and you must calm it before it can sing it in full, or else it will die. Then the hand of the person who has touched the Swanna will be paralyzed, and nothing will set it free, unless you touch it with this stick, which is my gift to you, and sing Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul.... When you have caught a whole lot of people, lead your parade along with you; you will come to a great city where a princess lives who has never been known to laugh. If you can make her laugh, your fortune is made."

As himself, he continues "Morgan promised that he wouldn't forget Kitsune, and at sunset he went to the tree she had mentioned. The man lay there fast asleep, and a beautiful Swanna was tied to the tree beside him by a red string. Morgan freed the lovely Pokemon, and led it away without disturbing its master."

He walks around the stage for a moment as he continues "He walked on with the Swanna for some time, and came at last to a bustling shipyard. They gawked in admiration of the Swanna's beautiful plumage, and one boy, who was covered in clay from head to toe, called out..."

"Oh, if I only had one of those feathers how happy I should be!" he calls as a young boy.

'Pull one out then,' he offers in a mimic of Ash for Morgan.

As himself, he continues "...and no sooner had the boy plucked one from the Swanna's tail; the Swanna sang Gatrandis favel, secret, edena...., but that was as far as it got before Morgan assured it everything was okay. Try as the boy might, he couldn't get his hand away. The more he cried, the more the others laughed, until a girl who had been washing clothes in the neighboring stream hurried over to see what was the matter. When she saw the poor boy stuck to the Swanna she felt so sorry for him that she stretched out her hand to free him. The bird sang Gatrandis favel, secret, edena....."

Laughter goes up at this before Brock assures the crowd "But that was as far as it got before Morgan calmed it, and the girl was stuck too. When Morgan had gone on a ways with his captives, they met a chimney sweep, who laughed over the extraordinary little parade, and asked the girl what she was doing."

"Oh, give me your hand and set me free from this cursed young man." he pleads in a mimic of May for the girl.

As himself, he continues "The sweep gave the girl his hand, and the bird sang Gatrandis favel, secret, edena.....

After his last note echoes into the room, he assures the crowd "But that was as far as it got before Morgan calmed it, and the sweep was added to their number. They soon came to a village where a fair was being held. A traveling troupe was giving a performance, and a jester was working a few magic tricks. His eyes widened with amazement when he saw the remarkable trio stuck to the Swanna's tail.

"Have you gone nuts?" he asks in a nasaly voice.

He narrates as himself "...he asked as he tried oh-so hard not to laugh.

"It's no laughing matter,' he explains in a mimic of Flint for the sweep. "This wretch has got ahold of me so tight, I feel as if I were glued to her."

As himself, he continues "Without a moment's hesitation the jester grasped the sweep's grubby outstretched hand. The bird sang Gatrandis favel, secret, edena.....

"But that was as far as it got before Morgan calmed it." the audience repeats along with Brock.

"...and the jester unwillingly joined the party." Brock continues, pleased the audience has caught on to his refrain. "Now, in the front row sat the mayor of the village, who was annoyed by what he considered a foolish trick. He was so annoyed, he grabbed the jester by the hand and tried to pull him away, in an attempt to hand him over to the guards. Then the bird sang..."

Gatrandis favel, secret, edena.... the children enthusiastically sing, before Brock can react.

Brock isn't sure what to make of the children filling in his spellsong, but he fills in the rest of the refrain. "But that was as far as it got before Morgan calmed it, and the mayor shared the fate of his predecessors. The mayor's wife, enraged at the insult to her husband, grabbed his free arm and pulled at it with all her might...."

Gatrandis favel, secret, edena... the rest of the audience sings without any prompting.

"Thank you..." Brock stifles an embarrassed chuckle--he hasn't counted on audience participation for this tale. "...with the only result that she too was forced to join the procession. After this no one else had any wish to join them. Soon Morgan saw the towers of the royal city in front of him. Just before entering, a glittering carriage came out to meet him, and in it was seated a young lady as beautiful as the day, but with a very solemn and serious expression. But no sooner had she spotted the motley crowd stuck to the Swanna's tail did she burst into uproarious laughter, and all her servants and ladies in waiting joined in. 'Princess Abigail has laughed at last,' they all cried with joy. Princess Abigail stepped out of her carriage to look more closely at the wonderful sight, and laughed again over the poor captives. She ordered her carriage to be turned around and drove slowly back into the city never taking her eyes off Morgan and his procession."

He continues "When the king heard the news that his daughter had actually laughed, he was more than delighted, and had Morgan and his marvelous party brought before him. He laughed himself when he saw them till the tears rolled down his cheeks."

"My good friend," he offers in character as the king "do you know what I promised the person who succeeded in making Princess Abigail laugh?"

"No, I don't," he confesses as Morgan.

"Then I'll tell you--a thousand pieces of gold, or a piece of land. Which will you choose?"

As himself, he continues "Morgan chose some land. Then he touched the members of his party one by one with his little stick, and they were all free again, and they all ran away as if a fire were burning behind them; and their flight, as you may imagine, gave rise to more laughter."

Laughter goes up from the audience. "Then Princess Abigail felt compelled to pet the Swanna, at the same time admiring its plumage. The bird sang Gatrandis favel, secret, edena.....

He assues the audience one last time "But that was as far as it got before Morgan calmed it."

He then concludes "And so it was that he won Princess Abigail as his bride. But the Swanna flew up into the air, and vanished on the blue horizon. Morgan received a kingdom of his own as a present, and became a very great man indeed; but he did not forget Kitsune, who had been the cause of all his good fortune, and built a shrine to her in their magnificent castle."

Before the crowd can applaud the story's end, a girl asks "But how did the whole Swanna song go?"

"You want to know how the complete Swanna song went?" Brock is surprised at this, but decides to sing the complete song for the audience. Gatrandis favel, secret, edena....
Emusto rozen fine el balaziis...
Katoradis favel siicletu edena...
Emusto koron zen fine, si....

When Brock's last note fades away, the room explodes in applause....
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Brock's Pikachu
Nov 8, 2005
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Week 404: Under the Leppa Tree

(real tale: The Harper in Fairyland)

"There was once a minstrel named Tristan who ruled over an entire land of minstrels--which meant he could play the harp like no one else." Brock begins as he arrives onstage. "When he played, birds stopped singing, just to listen."

"Wow"s fill the air as Brock shows the crowd his own harp. "It was a small harp, probably not much bigger than mine, but it was one he could tuck under his arm, on his back or in a bag, and take with him wherever he wanted."

After quickly putting on his harp's fingerpicks, he continues "On afternoons when the weather was nice, he and his queen, a lady named Fiona, would go into the palace garden. They would spread out a blanket to sit upon, lean against a tree and eat a picnic lunch. Then he would play his harp and she— and the birds —would listen."

With that, he plays "The Fairy's Waltz" for effect, as if he is Tristan serenading Fiona in the garden. "On one such day they sat down beneath a Leppa Berry tree and leaned as usual against the trunk. Its blossoms were open, with the sweet smell pouring out." Brock continues as the last note echoes into the auditorium. "In fact, it was not long before Fiona fell asleep. So Tristan called two servants to come and guard her."

"Protect her well." he whispers in a mimic of Flint for Tristan.

As himself he continues "Once sure his queen was safe, Tristan then went back to the palace to hold court, and other things that all kings--even a king of a land of minstrels--must do. "The servants stood under the Leppa Berry tree, one on each side of Fiona, when suddenly, and at the same time, they sneezed. Their eyes closed for just an instant — as it often happens when you sneeze — and when they opened their eyes, she was gone. Just like that...." Brock snaps on the word "that" to emphasize his point. "...she was gone. The servants looked behind the trees, the bushes, the flowers, inside the palace and out, but she was nowhere to be found."

He sighs, as if he is one of the servants. "There was no way out of it, they had to tell the king."

“What do you mean, gone?” he gasps as Tristan. “How could that be? Tell me what happened!”

As himself, he narrates "The servants told him about the sneeze and the blink. As he listened to them finish the story, Sir Tristan was already taking off his crown."

“I know what’s happened--it’s the Fair Folk." he announces as Tristan. "They have taken my beloved Fiona. When they see something they want, they make you sneeze, and in that blink, the Fair Folk take what they want. My beautiful Fiona has been taken by the Fair Folk. Well, I don’t want to sit on the throne without her beside me.”

He interjects as himself "As he took off his royal shoes, he called for the Lord High Chamberlain."

“I’m going away to find the Lady Fiona." he instructs an imagined person as Tristan. "I want you to look after the country until I return. And I won’t return, until she is with me”.

As himself, he continues "He took off his royal finery, and put on the colorful clothes of a traveling minstrel. He took no food or weapons. All he took was his harp as he walked away from that place."

After playing a "traveling" song to simulate the passage of time, he goes on "For days, weeks, months, he walked and he looked. He ate only the nuts and berries he could find. He washed in the streams, he slept on the ground. He lived the way an ordinary traveling minstrel would. But every night, before going to sleep, he’d lean against a tree and play his harp. The wild Pokemon would come to listen, furred, finned, and feathered alike. They were his only companions in all that time."

He plays "The Prayer to the Sea" for effect before continuing "One morning, as he was still waking up, he heard, then saw, 50 Rapidashes walking by. Sitting on each Rapidash, was a beautiful lady. He knew by the way they sat, so still, that they were the ladies of the Fair Folk. In the midst of them, was his own lady, Fiona. He moved to wave, so she would see him. But he forgot how he looked. In all that time, no one had cut his hair, nor trimmed his beard. His clothes were torn from the briars. He did not look like the king that he was, and so Fiona didn't recognize him. So he picked up his harp and began to play. She knew the music, and knew it was him, but a spell was on her and she could not even wave nor even smile."

He then plays "Come Give Me Your Hand" for effect. "As the Rapidashes moved on, he followed after them, hiding from bush to tree. They came to a mountain, and he thought they would go one way or the other. But no, a tunnel opened into the mountain, and the Rapidashes moved on into that tunnel. It was so dark, nothing could be seen — not even a hand before the face. Tristan followed the sound of Rapidash hooves on the stone floor, and ran his hands along the cool, damp stone walls of the tunnel. When he came out of the darkness, he was in the land of the Fair Folk."

Excited whispers fill the room as the children speculate what fairyland looks like. "As beautiful as ever it is imagined to be, that’s how beautiful it was to Tristan." Brock assures the children as parents rush to quiet the whispers. "There, across a meadow, he saw the castle of King Oberon and Queen Titania--the rulers of the Fair Folk. Around the castle was a garden, and sitting on the ground, leaning against a Leppa Berry tree was his beloved Fiona, sleeping, just the way she was when she’d been taken. He tried to speak to her, to touch her, but the spell was still on her. So he went right into the castle, marched right up to King Oberon and Queen Titania, and without even being asked, began to play his harp."

He plays "The Beautifly" for effect before continuing "His music was so beautiful, that King Oberon and Queen Titania stopped what they were doing to listen. From all over the land, Fair Folk came to listen. Tristan played happy music, for he had found his lady. He also played sad music, for he had no idea how he would get her from there. When he stopped, all the Fair Folk were silent for a moment. Then as if they were one entity, they took in a deep breath, and let out a sigh of satisfaction."

The room is silent for a moment, then Brock continues "Queen Titania leaned toward the king of mortals and said..."

In a mimic of Clair for Queen Titania, he smiles “Sir, we have never heard anything so lovely. We hear our music which is fine itself, and yours is even more grand.”

“We want to give you a reward for playing that music." he adds in a younger version of himself for King Oberon. "Just ask for what you want, and it is yours--we promise”.

“I know what I want." he replies as Tristan. "There is a beautiful lady sleeping under a Leppa tree outside your castle. I’d like her to come away with me.”

As himself, he narrates "Although the rulers of the Fair Folk were reluctant to do it, his wish was granted. He went out of the castle, right to the garden, right to the Leppa Berry tree. The spell was gone now, and he could touch her on the shoulder. She opened her eyes and took his hand as she stood. Together they walked across the meadow, away from the Land of the Fair Folk. In the tunnel, they listened to their shoes on the stone floor and felt with their hands, the cool, damp walls, ’til, there they were, back in their own land again. To their own castle they went – walking and talking – telling each other of their adventures in all that time. There in the garden, their Leppa Berry tree was still standing. Its branches were so full, the Berries nearly touched the ground. Even so, they tiptoed past it, being careful not to sneeze."

He smiles at the enthralled looks on his audience's faces. "As luck would have it, the Lord High Chamberlain was standing outside the castle. He welcomed them both, and Sir Tristan went into his room. He washed, the barber came to trim his hair and shape his beard. He put on the royal clothes that made him look like the king that he truly was.

He concludes "From that day on, Sir Tristan and Fiona ruled wisely and carefully, together. But never again did either of them sleep under a Leppa Berry tree."

The crowd laughs and applauds as Brock sets the harp aside and takes a bow....
Brock's Pikachu
Nov 8, 2005
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Week 405a: The Legend of Callan, part 1

(real tale: The Story of Ciccu)

"There once lived a man who had three sons." Brock begins as he arrives onstage. "The names of the elder two are not important to us, but the youngest was named Callan. They were all very poor, and eventually things got so bad that they did not have enough to eat. So the father called his sons, and said to them..."

"My dear boys, I am too old to work any more, and there is nothing left for me to do but beg in the streets." he sighs in a mimic of Flint for the father.

"No! You can't do that. If we had to, we would do it ourselves. But we have thought of a better plan than that." he pleads in a mimic of Ash for a supposed son.

"What is it?"

"We will take you in the forest where you will cut wood, and we will bind it up in bundles and sell it in town."

As himself, he continues "So their father let them do as they said, and they all made their way into the forest; and as the old man was weak from lack of food his sons took turns carrying him on their backs. Then they built a little house in a clearing, and set to work. Every morning the father cut wood, the sons bound them in bundles, and carried them to town, bringing back the food the old man dearly needed."

He sighs. "Some months passed like this, and then the father caught a horrible disease, and knew that Arceus was calling him home. He bade his sons gather, and told them all of his last will and testament."

"I have a little house in the village, and over it grows a Figy tree." he explains as the father. "The house I leave to my sons, who are to live there together. As for the Figy-tree, I leave my eldest son the branches, my middle son I leave the trunk, and to Callan, my youngest, I leave the fruit. Besides the house and tree, I have an old blanket, which I leave to my eldest son. I leave to my middle son a coin purse, and I leave to my youngest son a flute which belonged to their mother."

Some in the audience whisper excitedly at the mention of an instrument, but stop as Brock delivers the bad news. "The man clung to life for a few days before closing his eyes for the last time. The brothers wept bitterly for their father, whom they loved, and when they had buried him they began to talk about their future. After much discussion, they agreed to stay where they were and continue to earn their living by selling firewood."

A smile forms on his face--a signal that the sons' fortunes are about to turn. One summer evening, after they had been working hard all day, they fell asleep under a tree in front of the house. As they slept, Azelf, Mesprit, and Uxie passed that way, and stopped to look at them."

"What fine fellows! Let us give them Arceus' blessings." he smiles in a young male voice for Azelf.

"All right, how should we bless them?" he asks in a mimic of Dawn for Mesprit.

"This young man has a blanket over him. When he wraps it around him, may it take him and anyone with him anywhere in the world." he replies as Azelf.

"This young man has a purse in his hand. May it always give him as much gold as he asks for." he pronounces as Mesprit.

"This one has a flute in his hand. When he plays a certain melody, may the seas be covered with ships. When he plays it again, may they all disappear."he pronounces in a mimic of Lucas for Uxie.

He intones as himself "Once Uxie had given his blessing, they vanished, unaware that Callan had been awake and heard the whole thing."

"Ooh" go up as Brock continues "The next day, when they were all cutting wood, he said to his brothers..."

"That old blanket and the purse are no use to you; I would like to keep them and take care of them until you have sons and daughters to pass them down to." he offers in a mimic of Ash for Callan.

He interjects as himself "Now, the two elder brothers were very fond of Callan, and never refused him anything, so they gladly let him have the blanket and the purse."

"Dear brothers, I am tired of the forest. I want to live in town, and work at some trade." he sighs as Callan

"Please, stay with us! We are very happy here; and who knows how fortune will treat us elsewhere?" he protests in a mimic of Gary for the eldest brother.

"We can always try. If we fall on hard times, we can always return to woodcutting."he assures an imagined person as Callan.

As himself, he continues "With that he picked up his bundle of sticks, and his brothers did the same. But when they reached the town, they found that the market was overstocked with firewood, and they did not sell enough to buy themselves dinner, much less to get food to take home. As they were wondering what to do, Callan said..."

"Come with me to the inn and let us have something to eat." he offers as Callan.

He narrates as himself "They were so hungry by this time that they did not care about how they were going to pay for it, so they followed Callan, who told the innkeeper..."

"Bring us three plates of your best dish, and a good bottle of wine." he requests as Callan.

"Callan, are you nuts? How are we going to pay for it?" he protests as the eldest brother, to some giggles.

"Just trust me, okay?" he smiles as Callan.

As himself, Brock continues "When they had finished their dinner, Callan told the others to go on, and he would settle the bill. The brothers hurried on, without needing to be told twice, 'for, he has no money, and of course there will be a row.' they thought."

Giggles of anticipation fill the room, but Brock has other ideas. "When they were out of sight, Callan asked the innkeeper how much he owed, and then softly sang to his purse..."

He pauses to sing as Callan Imultaos, ame no hao bakezo... before continuing as himself "...and just like that, six hundred gold pieces were in the purse--the exact price of what he had ordered! He paid the bill and joined his brothers."

"How did it go?" he asks as the eldest brother.

"Never you mind, I paid every penny," he replies as Callan.

He goes on as himself "...and he said no more about the matter. But the other two were very uneasy, for they were sure something fishy was going on, and the sooner they parted company with Callan the better. Callan understood what they were thinking, and, taking forty gold pieces from his pocket, gave twenty to each, saying...

"Take these and use them to make people happy. I am going on a journey of fortune." he explains as Callan.

As himself, he continues "With that, he embraced them, and started down another road."

He grins at the enthralled crowd. "What adventures awaited Callan? I will tell you more next week!"

"Aw"s and applause fill the air as Brock takes a bow....
Brock's Pikachu
Nov 8, 2005
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Week 405b: The Legend of Callan, part 2

(real tale: The Story of Ciccu)

Brock arrives onstage as the applause in the Fireside's main auditorium quiets. "He wandered for many days, until he came to the Aiiro City." he begins, picking up from where he left off the previous week. "The first thing Callan did was order himself some fine clothes, and then bought a grand house, nearby the palace. Next, he locked the door, and ordered a shower of gold to cover the staircase. When this was done, everyone came and marveled at the shining golden stairs. The rumor of these miracles reached the royal ears of the king, who left his palace to see them with his own eyes. Callan received him with all due respect, and showed him around the house."

"Wow"s fill the air as the audience imagines what the shining gold stairs and the house looked like. "When the king got home, he told so many stories of what he had seen that his wife and daughter wished go see them too." Brock continues. "So the king sent word asking Callan's permission, and Callan answered that if the queen and the princess--whose name was Christine-- would be pleased to do him such great honor he would show them anything they wished to see."

He explains "Now, Princess Christine was as beautiful as the sun, and when Callan looked at her, his heart went out to her, and he longed to have her as his bride. Princess Christine sensed the thoughts in his mind, and how she could use it to satisfy her curiosity about the golden stairs; so she praised him and flattered him, and asked all manner questions, until Callan finally broke down and told her the whole story of the Pixies and their gifts. She begged him to lend her the purse for a few days, so that she could have one made just like it, and so great was the love he had for her that he gave it to her without second thoughts."

"Uh oh"s and giggles of anticipation fill the air as the children wait to hear what happened next. "Princess Christine returned to the palace, taking with her the purse, which she had no intention of ever returning to Callan." Brock intones, making the giggles turn to "Ooh"s. "Before long, Callan had spent all the money he had, and could get no more without the help of his purse. Of course, he went to Princess Christine, and asked her if she was done with it, but she would give him some excuse, and told him to come back the next day. The next day the same thing happened, and the next, and the next, until a great rage filled Callan's heart instead of the love that had once been there."

He then intones "When night came he took a thick stick, wrapped himself in the blanket, and in seconds he was in Princess Christine's room. Princess Christine was asleep, but Callan grabbed her arm and pulled her out of bed, and beat her till she gave back the purse. Then he warped himself home. No sooner had he gone did Princess Christine hurry to her father and told him what had happened. The king was beyond furious, and summoned Callan before him."

"You deserve to die for harming my daughter, but I will allow you to live if you will give me the blanket, the purse, and the flute." he sternly instructs as the king.

He sighs before continuing as himself "What could Callan do? Life was sweet, and he was in the power of the king; so he gave up his gifts, and was as poor as before. While he was wondering what to do next, it suddenly occurred to him that this was the season for Figy Berries to ripen, and he said to himself, 'I will go see if the tree has borne any fruit.'

He walks around the stage to mimic Callan traveling. "So he set off for home, where his brothers still lived, and found them living very uncomfortably, for they had spent all their money, and did not know how to make more. However, he was pleased to see that the Figy tree was full of fruit. He ran and grabbed a basket, and was just feeling the Figy Berries to see if they were ripe, when the eldest brother called to him...

"Stop! The Figy Berries of course are yours, but the branches they grow on are mine, and I forbid you to touch them." he calls in a mimic of Gary for the eldest brother

As himself, he continues "Callan did not answer, but set a ladder against the tree, so that he could reach the topmost branches, and had his foot already on the first rung when he heard the voice of the middle brother reminding him the branches were his, and his alone. They argued for hours, and it seemed to be anyone's guess as to when they would stop, until Callan suggested they ask the magistrate in town. The others agreed, and when they arrived at the magistrate's house, Callan told him the whole story. The magistrate thought long and hard, then told the brothers...

"The Figy Berries rightfully belong to you, Callan, but you cannot pick them without touching the trunk and the branches." he explains in a mimic of Flint for the magistrate. "Therefore you must give your first basketful to your eldest brother, and the second basketful to your middle brother. The rest you can keep for yourself."

He continues as himself "This satisfied the elder brothers, and they all returned home, making plans to send a basket of Figy Berries to the king. So the best Figy Berries were carefully packed in a basket, and the eldest brother set out with it to the castle. On the road he met the wily Delphox Kitsune, who asked him..."

"What have you got there, my good man?" he asks in a mimic of Serena for Kitsune.

"Dirt, and nothing more." he scoffs as the eldest brother.

"So may it be." he smiles as Kitsune, to giggles from the audience.

He interjects as himself "Imagine the eldest brother's shock and surprise when it was discovered there was nothing but dirt in his basket! It goes without saying he was kicked out of the palace."

The audience roars with laughter as they picture the eldest brother's reaction. "A few days later, more Figy Berries were ready for picking, and the middle brother set out for the palace. He had not gone far down the road before he met Kitsune, who asked him what he had in his basket." Brock continues, quieting the laughter.

"Sawdust, and nothing more." he scoffs in a mimic of Barry for the middle brother.

"So may it be." he smiles as Kitsune.

As himself, he narrates "When the middle brother reached the castle, he was horrified to find sawdust in his basket, and he too was kicked out."

The audience cane hardly contain itself laughing at they picture the middle brother's look of horror in their minds. "Callan had to wait a little before he gathered the last Figy Berries on the tree, they were just as good as the first set." Brock smiles as the audience calms down. "He picked them and set out for the king's palace. Kitsune met Callan, and asked him..."

"What have you got in that basket?" he asks as Kitsune.

"Figy Berries for the king," he smiles as Callan.

"May I have one, please?"he requests as Kitsune.

He interjects as himself "Callan agreed, but Kitsune kept asking for more until she had eaten half the basket."

"Don't worry--continue on your way to the castle, and you will find luck." he smiles as Kitsune.

He concludes as himself "What did Kitsune mean by this prophecy? I will tell you more next week!"

"Aw"s and applause fill the air as Brock takes a bow...
Brock's Pikachu
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Week 405c: The Legend of Callan, part 3

(real tale: The Story of Ciccu)

"Callan bid Kitsune farewell and went on his way, and with a trembling heart rang the bell at the castle gate." Brock begins, picking up where he left off the previous week.

"Here are some lovely Figy Berries for the king, If His Majesty will graciously accept them with my humble duty." he announces as Callan after one of the Firelights rings a bell for effect.

He narrates as himself "When the king was told that there was another man with a basket of Figy Berries, he cried...

"Oh, let him in, let him in! I suppose it is a bet of some kind!" he grumbles in his "king" voice, to some giggles from the crowd.

As himself, he reveals that Callan's attempt is no joke. "But Callan uncovered the basket, and there lay a pile of beautiful Figy Berries. The king was delighted, emptied them on a silver platter, and gave five hundred gold pieces to Callan, offering to hire him as a servant. Callan accepted gratefully, but said he must first return home and give the gold to his brothers. The other two brothers heard what happened, and they grew very jealous, and thought of ways they could put their little brother to shame."

"Ooh"s fill the air as Brock narrates "Finally, they came to the king and said to him...

"Your palace is beautiful indeed, but to be worthy of you it lacks one thing--the Sword of Eight Colors, now in possession of the troll Zulkis." he explains as one of the elder brothers.

"How can I get it?" he asks as the king.

"Oh, Callan can get it for you; ask him." he smirks as the elder brother.

He interjects as himself "So the king sent for Callan and said to him...

"Callan, you must bring me the Eight-color Blade, no matter what." he instructs as the king.

He continues as himself "Callan was surprised at this sudden command, and he walked thoughtfully away to the stables and began to stroke his favorite Ponyta, saying to himself...

"Ah, my friend, we must bid each other good-bye, for the king has sent me away to get the Eight-color Blade, which is in the hands of the troll Zulkis." he sighs as Callan

He next reveals the Ponyta's identity. "Now this Ponyta was not like other Ponytas, but none other than the Legendary steed, Epona!"

Cheers go up at this. "Fear nothing, and do as I tell you. Ask the king to give you fifty gold pieces and the rest will be easy." Brock instructs in a mimic of Lotta for Epona.

As himself, he continues "Callan did what Epona said, and asked the king to grant him what he asked. Then the two friends set out, but Epona chose what roads she pleased, and directed Callan in everything."

The Firelights play a "traveling" interlude before Brock continues "It took them many days of hard riding before they reached the land where Zulkis lived. Then Epona told Callan to offer the first three people to pass a piece of silver if they would collect a number of Venonats and tie them up in a bag. When the bag was full Callan put it on his shoulder and went into Zulkis' cave, and let them all out in his bedroom. He then hid under the bed and waited."

Giggleds of anticipation fill the air. "Zulkis came in late, very tired from his long walk, and flung himself on the bed, placing his the Eight-color Blade by his side. He had hardly laid down when the Venonats began to buzz about and bite him, and he rolled from side to side trying to catch them, which he never could do, though they always seemed to be close to his nose. He was so busy with the Venonats, he did not hear Callan sneak out with the sword. But Epona stood ready by the cave entrance, and as Callan came flying down the stairs and jumped on her back, she sped away like the wind, and never stopped until they arrived at the king's palace."

He explains "The king had suffered in his absence, thinking that if Zulkis ate Callan, it would be all his fault. He was so overjoyed to see him safe that he almost forgot about the sword. But the two brothers did not love Callan any better because he had succeeded when they hoped he would have failed."

He concludes "What other plots did the brothers have up their sleeve? I will tell you more next week!"

"Aw"s and applause fill the air as Brock and the Firelights take a bow...
Brock's Pikachu
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Week 405d: The Legend of Callan, part 4

(real tale: The Story of Ciccu)

The crowd applauds as Brock arrives onstage. "The king had suffered in his absence, thinking that if Zulkis ate Callan, it would be all his fault. He was so overjoyed to see him safe that he almost forgot about the sword. But the two brothers did not love Callan any better because he had succeeded when they hoped he would have failed." he begins, picking up from where he ended the previous week. One day, they spoke to the king."

"It is all well and good for Callan to have gotten the legendary Eight-color Blade, but it would bring you even more honor if he had captured Zulkis himself." he suggests as the eldest brother.

He interjects as himself "The king thought on these words, and finally said to Callan..."

"Callan, I will not rest until you bring me back Zulkis himself. You may have any help you like." he instructs as the king.

As himself, he narrates "Callan felt down-hearted at these words, and went to the stable to ask the advice of his friend Epona."

"Fear nothing. Just say you only need fifty pieces of gold." he smiles as Epona.

He goes on as himself "Callan did as he was told, and the two set out together. When they reached the land of Zulkis, Callan had all the bells toll, and told all the minstrels to play the funeral hymn, under the ruse he had died." The Firelights softly play a few bars of "Amazing Grace" for effect. "Zulkis soon heard the news, and was glad in his heart, for he thought, 'Well, it is good news that the thief who stole my sword is dead.'"

Giggles of anticipation fill the air as the Firelights finish playing. "But Callan bought an axe and a saw, cut down a pine tree in the closest forest he could find, and began to saw it into planks.

"What are you doing in my forest?"he demands in a deep gravelly voice for Zulkis--one of his favorite "monster" voices.

"I am making a coffin for the body of Callan, milord." he replies as Callan

"Don't be in such a hurry, perhaps I can help you." he offers as Zulkis.

He continues as himself "They set to work sawing and fitting, and soon the coffin was finished."

"Oh, silly me! I never took any measurements." he chuckles as Callan. "How am I to know if it is big enough? But come to think of it, Callan was about your size. I wonder if you would be so kind to put yourself in the coffin, and see if there is enough room."

"Of course!" he grins as Zulkis.

As himself, Brock intones :So Zulkis laid down in the coffin. Once sure Zulkis would not be getting out, Callan closed it up, tied a thick rope around it, tied that to Epona, and rode back to the king. When the king saw that he really had brought back Zulkis, he commanded a huge iron chest to be brought, and locked the coffin up inside."

He concludes "But the brothers had one more plot up their sleeves...I will tell you what that entailed next week!"

"Aw"s and applause fill the air as Brock and the Firelights take a bow....
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Week 302e: The Legend of Callan, part 5

(real tale: The Story of Ciccu)

"Some time later the queen succumbed to a horrible disease, and after a few months, the king decided to marry again." Brock begins as he arrives onstage, picking up where he left off the previous week. "He looked everywhere, but he did not hear of any princess that struck his fancy. Then the two jealous brothers came to him and said..."

"Your Majesty! There is but one woman that is worthy of being your wife, and that is Marla, the fairest in the world." he breathlessly explains as the eldest brother.

"Where can I find her?" he asks as the king.

"Oh, Callan will know, and he will bring her to you." he smirks as the eldest brother.

He explains as himself "The king had got so used to depending on Callan, that he really believed he could do everything. So he sent for him and said..."

"Callan, if you can bring me Princess Marla, the fairest in the world, I will handsomely reward you If you fail, it will be your life in exchange for hers." he warns as the king.

He narrates as himself "This mission seemed to Callan a hundred times worse than the others, and with tears in his eyes he made his way to the stables."

"Cheer up! Tell the king you must have supplies for the journey, and leave the rest to me." he smiles in character as Epona.

"Callan did as he was told, and they left early the next day." he continues as himself. After they had ridden for a while, they saw a Lucario lying on the ground, so hungry and weak that it was unable to walk. Callan felt sorry for the majestic wolf Pokemon, and gave it some meat, receiving a ruby as thanks."

Excited whispers go up at the mention of magical jewels, which intensify as Brock continues. "Before long, they came to a stream, where Callan spotted a Goldeen flapping feebly about in its efforts to reach the water. Callan carefully put it back in the water, and received a sapphire as thanks. Farther along the hillside they saw a Braviary whose leg was caught in a trap. Callan set it free, and in a moment the Braviary was soaring up into the sky, and an emerald dropped at Callan's feet in thanks. Eventually, they came to the castle where Princess Marla lived with her parents."

"Wait here, for I must enter the castle alone." he explains as Epona. "When you see me come by with Princess Marla on my back, jump on behind her, and hold her tight, so that she does not escape. If you fail to do this, we are both done for."

He continues as himself "Everything happened as Epona had said. As they dashed past the rock where Callan was waiting for them, he swung himself up and held her round the waist. As he put his arms round her waist, Princess Marla unwound the veil from her head and threw it to the ground, then she tossed a ring into the stream. But she said nothing, and they rode on and on. The king was watching for them from the top of a tower, and when he saw in the distance a cloud of dust, he ran down to the steps so as to be ready to receive them. Bowing low before Princess Marla, he spoke.

"Noble lady, will you grant me the honor of being my bride?" he asks as the king as he bows before an imagined person.

"That can only be when Callan brings me the veil that I let dropped on my way here." he replies in a mimic of Misty for Princess Marla.

He interjects as himself "Callan, who by this time had hoped for a little peace, felt his heart sink at this new errand, and he went into the stable to complain to faithful Epona."

"It will be all right--just take enough food for the day for both of us, and then get on my back." he assures the crowd as Epona.

He reveals a prop emerald to the audience "They rode back the way they had come until they reached the place where they had found the Braviary. Epona told Callan to invoke the emerald."

He next sings as Callan Karuto, iichiida shou..., making the prop emerald glow in response to his voice. He continues as himself The emerald glowed, and the Braviary they had rescued came fluttering towards them with the veil in his beak. Callan took the veil, thanked the Braviary, and rode back to the king. The king was elated to see him so soon. He wasted no time in taking the veil from Callan and flinging it over Princess Marla.

"Here is the veil you asked for, so I claim you for my bride." he announces as the king.

"Not so fast! I can never be your bride until I have the ring I accidentally threw into the stream." he shoots back as Princess Marla, to some laughter.

Callan, who was expecting something like this, bowed his head when he heard her words, and went straight to Epona. he narrates as himself.

"Mount immediately, this time it is very simple,"he smiles as Epona.

After jogging around the stage to mimic Callan and Epona traveeling, he stops at center stage and reveals a prop sapphire to the audience. "Now, invoke the sapphire." he instructs as Epona.

He sings as Callan Rou iitsa ron selga vichii..., making the sapphire glow.

As himself, he continues "Sure enough, the Goldeen Callan had saved came to the surface with the lost ring in her mouth. Callan took the ring, thanked the Goldeen, and rode back with it to the king."

He then reveals the twist in his tale as Princess Marla "That is not enough--before we can be man and wife, the oven must be heated for three days and three nights, and Callan must survive the trial by fire."

Piqued chatter wafts through the auditorium--the Lucario and the ruby was just a red Goldeen! "This time Callan felt that no escape was possible, and he went to Epona and laid his hand on her neck." Brock narrates, quieting the chatter.

"Now it is goodbye for real, and there is no help to be gotten even from you." he sighs as Callan.

"Never lose heart, but simply sing the spell I will teach you, which is a spell of protection. Once the spell is cast, you may enter the oven, and the fire will not hurt you or anything else." he explains as Epona.

As himself, he continues "Callan did exactly as Epona bade him, went back to the king, and before the eyes of Princess Marla..."

He sings as Callan Leishu shun ji, lei si.... before intoning as himself "...he leaped into the oven. When Princess Marla saw Callan emerge from the oven without even being singed, she fell in love with him, and she said to the king,

"One more thing--before I can be your bride, you must survive the trial of fire as Callan has done." he instructs as Princess Marla.

Brock next reveals the king's fate as himself. "The king gladly agreed, and threw himself into the oven. But as he did not know the spell of protection, he was burned alive."

Laughter and applause go up as Brock concludes "And so Callan married Princess Marla, and became king of all the land."

The applause intensifies as Brock takes a bow...
Brock's Pikachu
Nov 8, 2005
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Week 406: Daisuke, the Beast Slayer

(real tale: The Beast Slayer)

"Once upon a time there was a man and his wife who were very poor." Brock begins. "The man earned his living making wooden bowls and platters to sell and oftentimes worked from dawn until dusk, but wooden bowls and platters sold for so very cheap that he could barely support his family no matter how hard he worked."

"Aw"s go up at Brock's woeful observation. "Now, the man and his wife were the parents of three lovely daughters--we'll call them Miyu, Ran, and Eina." Brock explains "They were all very beautiful, and the man and his wife often lamented the fact that they did not have money to provide for them."

When he returns to his place at center stage, he goes on "One day, a handsome young man mounted on a beautiful Rapidash came to the poor man's house, and offered to take one of the poor man's daughters as his bride in return for a hundred gold pieces. The father was very much shocked at this request--he may have been poor, but not so poor that he had to sell his own children. The young man, however, threatened to kill him if he refused; so the father reluctantly consented to give Miyu to him, receiving a hundred gold pieces in return. The next day, the father found himself also giving up Ran, and the day after, Eina, to rich young men, on pain of death."

Angry murmurs race through the crowd as Brock goes on. "Their home was not childless very long, for soon a little boy was born to them. They named him Daisuke, and brought him up in great luxury. But the neighborhood kids always teased him with taunts that said the only reason his father was rich was because he sold his three sisters. The teasing made Daisuke sad of course, but he said nothing about the matter for a long time. When the year came that he had come of age, he went to his father and mother and demanded that they tell him everything."

"His parents told Daisuke the whole story of the strange circumstances through which they had obtained their wealth." Brock continues, breaking an uneasy silence. "Daisuke then asked if he could go out into the world in search of his sisters. His father and mother gave him their blessing, and Daisuke set out on his journey early the next morning."

Brock walks around the stage for a moment,simulating Daisuke traveling. "Before long, Daisuke came to a house where there were three brothers fighting over a boot, a cap, and a key." he continues when he arrives back at center stage. "He asked them why those things were so valuable that they were fighting over them. The brothers replied that if one sang to the boot, Karuto, ichiida shou... the boot would immediately take him anywhere he wished to go. If one sang to the cap, Seios, higarima laisido..., the cap would turn him invisible. The key could unlock any door in the whole world. Inspired, Daisuke he offered so much money for the three items, the three brothers decided to end their fight and divide their shares of a thousand gold pieces.

Awed chatter and some applause goes up at the wondrous items. "Daisuke put the three treasures in his bag and went on his way. As soon as he had gone a little ways, he sang to the boot Karuto, iichiida shou... and the boot warped him to where his sister Miyu lived, which was the most magnificent palace he had ever seen in his life. He asked to speak with his sister, but Miyu replied that she had no brother and did not wish to be bothered with the stranger. It took a lot urging for the Daisuke to get permission from her to tell his story; but, when she heard it, everything made sense, so she decided to welcome him as her brother. She asked how he had ever found her home, and how he had come through the thicket which surrounded her palace. Daisuke told her about his magic boot."

"Aw"s and some applause go up, relieved Daisuke has found one of his sisters. But Brock had other ideas. "Later that afternoon, Miyu suddenly burst into tears. When Daisuke asked what the matter was, Miyu explained that her husband is the a red Gyarados--and he would be very angry to find a human in his palace." Daisuke then told Miyu about his magic cap.

Brock pauses for a moment, then intones "Soon the red Gyarados arrived, and in a very bad mood, damaging, if not breaking everything in his way, and ranting that he smelled human blood."

Gasps go up, but Brock assures them "It took some doing, but once Miyu had talked him into a relaxing soak in the hot spring, he became a handsome man. He then ate dinner, and when dinner had ended Miyu asked him what he would do if he saw her brother. The red Gyarados replied that he would be kind to him, just as he was to her. Daisuke revealed himself, and the red Gyarados treated him with all the kindness and respect of a king. He asked Daisuke if he wanted to live for the rest of his life in the palace. Daisuke declined the invitation, saying that he had two other sisters to find. Before he left the next day, the red Gyarados gave him a magical sapphire from his royal treasury, saying that if he was ever in any danger in which he could help, take the sapphire and sing Rou iitsa ron selga vichii...

Some light applause goes up at the gibberish spellsong. "Daisuke thanked the red Gyarados, and went on his way. Then he took out his magic boot and sang Karuto, iichiida shou...

After a beat, he continues "Daisuke was warped into a more wonderful palace than Miyu's. Ran had married Master Gogoat, and he too treated the newly found brother of his queen with great consideration. When Daisuke had finished his visit there, Master Gogoat gave him a magical emerald from his collection of curiosities saying that if he was ever in any peril in which he could help, take the emerald and sing Imultaos, ame no hao bakezo...</i>

The audience waits to see what sort of Pokemon Daisuke will encounter next. "With the aid of his magic boot, Daisuke went to visit the home of his youngest sister Eina." Brock continues. "He found her in the most magnificent palace of them all, for her husband was Moltres. When Daisuke left, he gave him a magical ruby from his stash of wondrous items telling him that if he was ever in any danger that all he had to do was take the ruby and sing Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul...

Cheers go up from the children at the gibberish "spellsong". "All three of Daisuke's new friends had admired the power of his magic boot and they had all advised him to visit a legendary kingdom said to be made of jewels, many of them magical." Brock goes on. "Daisuke was glad that his sisters were safe, and so warped himself to the mythical kingdom of jewels. He soon heard on the street that the king of the land of jewels had a beautiful daughter--we'll call her Yuna--whom he wished to give in marriage if she could be persuaded to choose a husband. She was such a famous beauty that no one could pass before her palace without eagerly gazing up in hopes of seeing her lovely face at the window. Princess Yuna had grown weary of being the object of so much attention, and she had made a vow that she would marry no one except a man who could pass before her without looking at her."

"Ooh"s go up at this. "Daisuke was interested when he heard this, and rode past the palace with his eyes fixed steadily on the ground. He did not give a single glance upward in the direction of the window where the beautiful Princess Yuna was watching him. Princess Yuna, meanwhile, was overcome with joy at the sight of the handsome stranger who appeared as if in response to her vow. The king summoned him to the palace and ordered that he and Princess Yuna be married right then and there."

Thunderous applause fills the auditorium at this, but Brock is not finished yet. "After the wedding festivities had died down a week or so later, Princess Yuna soon found out that her husband carried his choicest treasures in his bag. She asked about their significance and Daisuke told her all about them. She was especially interested in the key, and told him that there was a room in the palace which was never opened. In this room there was a mujina, a huge Buizel-like monster which always came to life again whenever it was killed. Princess Yuna had always been anxious to see the ;i]mujina
with her own eyes, and she suggested that they should use the key to unlock the door of the forbidden room and take a look."

Fearful murmurs race through the crowd as Brock goes on "Daisuke, however, pleaded with her not to do this. He decided that it was too risky a bit of amusement; but one day when he had gone out hunting with the king, Pincess Yuna was overjoyed to find that the magic key had been left behind. She quickly picked it up and opened the forbidden door. The mujina gave a great leap, and grabbed her with his sharp claws!"

Surprised screams go up as Brock grabs at the air, startling some in the front row. "When Daisuke and the king returned from their hunting trip they were very much worried to find that Princess Yuna had disappeared. No one knew where she was. After searching through the palace and garden all in vain they went to the place where the mujina was always kept. The prince recognized his magic key in the door, but the room was empty. It dawned on him just what had happened--the mujina had fled with Princess Yuna!"

"Did Daisuke save her?" a girl stammers as she squeezes her mother's hand in fear.

"Daisuke wasted no time in using his magic boot to warp by Princess Yuna's side." Brock assures the girl. "The mujina had hidden her in a cave by the sea and had gone away in search of food. Princess Yuna was delighted to find her husband whom she had never expected to see again, and asked him to get her out of there. "Daisuke explained that since she had gotten into this mess, she could at least try to kill the <i>mujina</i>. So Princess Yuna waited for the <i>mujina</i> to return, then she asked it to tell her the secret of his seemingly eternal life. The mujina was very much flattered to have the Princess Yuna so interested in him, and he told it to her, unaware of a plot."

He explains to the crowd. "The <i>mujina</i> explained that its life was in the sea. Somewhere in the sea was a chest, and in the chest there was a stone, and in the stone there was a Pidove, and in the Pidove there was an egg, and in the egg there was a candle. Only when that candle was extinguished would he die."

The crowd applauds, impressed that Brock remembered the whole list. "Little did the mujina know, Daisuke had been there the whole time, and he had heard every word. As soon as the mujina had gone to sleep, Daisuke stood on the seashore held the sapphire to the sky, and sang Rou iitsa ron selga vichii....

"Sure enough, a great school of fish appeared in a flash of blue light." he continues. "Daisuke asked them to get the chest from the depths of the sea. They replied that they had never seen such a chest, but maybe the sea guardian Kyorge would know about it. So they went and asked Kyorge, and she said that she had seen the chest only moments before. With Kyorge's help, the fish brought the chest out of the sea. Daisuke opened the chest easily with the aid of his magic key, and inside he found a stone."

After pausing for a moment, Brock continues "Then Daisuke took the emerald, held it to the sky, and sang Imultaos, ame no hao bakeno... The ground started rumbling as the emerald glowed, and Daisuke saw millions of Gogoats and Ponytas running to the beach from all directions. They attacked the stone, giving it mighty blows with their hard heads, horns, and hooves. "It didn't take long to break open the stone, and from out of it there flew a Pidove."

The audience is on the edge of their seats as Brock goes on "By now, it had dawned on the mujina what Daisuke and Princess Yuna planned to do, and dragged Princess Yuna back in the cave. "Meanwhile, Daisuke took the ruby, held it to the sky, and sang Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul... Moltres appeared in a flash of red light and quickly defeated the Pidove. Minutes before the mujina could kill Princess Yuna with his great claws, Daisuke took the egg from the slain Pidove, broke it and blew out the candle. At that moment the mujina died, and Princess Yuna was unharmed."

He concludes "Daisuke warped both of them home to the jeweled kingdom, and the king called for a great festival that lasted at least a week. There was rejoicing throughout the whole kingdom, and great relief that Princess Yuna was all right. Daisuke was hailed throughout the jeweled kingdom as a hero, and the people there talk of his many adventures even to this day."

Thunderous applause fills the air as Brock takes a bow...
Brock's Pikachu
Nov 8, 2005
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Week 407a: The Three Valleys, part 1

(real tale: The Three Valleys)

"Long ago, there lived a count, who had many castles and estates, and a beautiful daughter. But no one liked him, for it was rumored he was in cahoots with Darkrai, the Nightmare Pokemon." Brock begins as he arrives onstage. "At some time or another, his servants would all vanish without a trace."

Some kids in the front rows shudder in anticipation. "The last who disappeared was the shepherd. When he did not return to the castle, the whole town turned out to look for him, to no avail." Brock continues. "After this, no one would enter the Count's service, but eventually, a bold, handsome young man--we'll call him Dolan--presented himself. He had traveled far as a soldier, and blew off evil spirits as fairy tales. The count immediately hired him, and said he could take the Mareep out wherever he liked, but never go into the three valleys to the east of the castle."

Some others in the audience swallow hard as they picture what horrors await in the three valleys. "For a time all went well--Dolan drove the Mareep into the rich meadows around the castle as his master had ordered, and led a very comfortable life. But he was always thinking of the three valleys, and being a brave young man who did not fear evil spirits, he one day took the bow and arrows he had used on the battlefield, restrung his bow, and said, as he struck his rusty sword against the ground...."

"I will see who dares to harm me in the three valleys! They'd better not mess with me!" he announces in a mimic of Ash for Dolan.

"So going towards the east, he soon arrived with his Mareep in the first valley, where he found beautiful meadows where he could safely leave his flock." he continues as himself. "He looked carefully, but, except for the Beautiflies fluttering to and fro..." He weaves the notes that match "Ai-yai-yai, I'm your little Beautifly!" into the uneasy melody he is playing. "...and the humming of the Combees, there was neither sound nor movement."

He pauses to dig a whistle from a shirt pocket as he goes on "Then he sat down beneath a tree and began to play his flute to pass the time."

One of the Firelights grabs a drum and proceeds to provide a beat, over which Brock plays a set of two tunes. But the harp playing an ominous chord quiets the applause. "Suddenly, there arose a crashing and cracking as if some mighty Pokemon were breaking through the bushes." Brock intones. "Before our hero could nock an arrow, a powerful giant stood before him and cried..."

In a low deep voice for the giant, he intones "What are you doing here with your grass-eaters, destroying my meadows, you insolent fellow? You will pay for this!"

Some kids yelp in fear, but the grin on Brock's face assures the children all is well. "He did not wait for an answer, but heaved his spear with all his might at Dolan, who dove behind the oak, and the spear sank so deep that the point stuck out the other side."

He sets the harp aside for a moment, takes a prop bow, and nocks an arrow before going on "Then, nocking an arrow to his bow, he took aim, and struck the giant so hard of the forehead that he fell with a deep groan to the

With that, he fires his shot, a tung from offstage signaling he hit his target. "Before he had time to get up, Dolan bounded forward and ran his sword through his adversary's neck, killing him."

Cheers go up at the giant's demise. "Dolan took the giant's sword and armor, and was about to return home, when he spotted a stately castle in a clearing." Brock continues. "The doors were wide open, so he went inside. In the spacious hall stood a stone table on which was a cup covered with a silver plate bearing these words:

Who drinks of this cup
Shall overcome the nightmare.

"And then?" a girl asks.

"Dolan had no confidence in the words or the drink, and left the cup untouched." Brock replies. "He laid the dead giant's armor in the hall, and taking the key to the door with him, he returned home with his flock, and went to bed without mentioning his adventure to anyone."

Once back in his place at center stage, he goes on "The next day he tended his flocks on the mountain slopes surrounding the castle, but the second day he could not rest without wondering what lurked in the other two valleys. So after girding on the sword he had taken from the dead giant..." He pauses to set a prop sword at his right side. "...he started with his flock for the second valley, in hopes of a new adventure. There were beautiful pastures, richer and more luxuriant than in the first valley; the flowers smelled sweet, the birds sang just as sweetly, and through the meadows meandered a stream clear as crystal, by the banks of which our hero lay down to rest. He was just about to get comfy when an enormous block of rock fell on the ground, missing him by inches, and a voice rough and wild, like that of an Ursaring, said..."

"What are you doing here with your grass-eaters, you insolent fellow?" he demands in a gravely version of his "somebody's in trouble" voice, to some delighted screams from the children.

As himself, he reveals who owns the voice. "...and from behind a wall of rock stepped a mighty giant, brandishing a huge stone club." He makes a form in the air to give his audience an idea of how big the club was. He aimed a blow at Dolan, who ducked behind the rock, which shattered into a bazillion pieces from the force of the blow."

Excited chatter goes up as Brock draws his blade, which has emeralds studded in the hilt and a spherical one in the pommel. "Quick as lightning Dolan drew his sword, and with one stroke cut through the sinews in the bend of the giant's knee, who fell to the earth with a loud roar."

After performing a few sword moves, he narrates the next part of the fight. "The giant tried to fight back, but a well-directed thrust through the heart soon quieted him." He delivers a final blow to his imagined opponent to illustrate his point.

Cheers go up as Brock sheathes his blade. "Dolan left him lying there, and turned towards the wall of rock; where he found a massive door concealed in the brush. He went in, and entered a hall-like cavern, in which, at a stone manger, stood a shining Ponyta ready for battle, and over the manger was the following:

Who rides this legendary steed, Epona
Shall overcome the nightmare.

But Dolan thought 'I am strong enough to take care of myself, and I do not want to overcome the Nightmare Pokemon, he has always left me in peace. But I will remember that here stands a fine Ponyta on which I can ride into the wide world.' He threw fresh oats into the manger, shut the door, and returned home."

"Did his master find out what was going on?" a woman asks.

"The next few days he remained very quiet, lest someone figure out what he had done." Brock explains. "Then, as no one had questioned him, he drove his Mareep into the third valley. Beautiful meadows glittered in the sunshine; from a hill of rock a waterfall rained down, forming a small sea where millions of fish Pokemon played. Dolan looked around, and searched under every bush, but found nothing. No sound was heard save the continued splashing of the cool water. The day was very hot, and Dolan was just about to take a swim, when from out a ravine near the sea appeared a horrible human head, with one eye, as large as a plate, in the center of its forehead, and a voice loud as the roll of thunder shouted..."

"What do you want here, you insolent earthworm?" he demands in his "monster" voice again.

As himself, he goes on "The head rose higher and higher, until a giant as high as a mountain stood before Dolan, who with a sure aim sent a beam of light from his sword into the eye of his adversary. The monster groped wildly about with his hands, in hopes of strangling his enemy, but he only grabbed an oak tree, which he tore up by the roots and threw high into the air. Now the victory seemed easy, for though the giant could no longer be hurt by cuts and thrusts, which slipped off from his body like water off a Ducklett's back, Dolan soon found other means."

"Like?" a teen boy asks as he holds his little brother close.

"He called the blind giant all kinds of names not fit to repeat in front of a family audience..." Brock grins, to some nervous giggles. "...and lured him ever closer to the sea, at the side where the cliff overlooked the water. Finally, he sprang on the edge of the precipice, gave one last shout--something I'm not repeating--then silently concealed himself behind a tree. The giant pursued him eagerly, but lost his footing, and fell into the sea."

Cheers go up at the giant's demise. "Then Dolan went down into the ravine where the monster had appeared from." Brock explains "He found a meadow full of beautiful flowers, and a spacious mansion stood in the middle. Dolan entered the hall and saw a mighty sword, and on the guard was engraved the following:

A beam from this holy blade
Shall overcome the nightmare.

He remembers his sword from before, and feigns struggling to draw it as he continues "Dolan grabbed the sword, but he was too weak to even draw it, and he wearily laid the scabbard back in the corner. At the same time he thought, since he had conquered three giants, he could surely take on Darkrai, the Nightmare Pokemon, and win, sword or no sword. As the sun set, he gathered his Mareep together and returned to the castle. Once he got there, he was immediately summoned before the count, who asked him angrily where he had been. Dolan told his master everything that had happened in the three valleys, and how he had that day slain a giant as high as a mountain."

"Woe to you and to me," he gasps in a mimic of Flint for the count. "I heard the giants' cries of rage, and hoped you were paying for your disobedience with your life. But fate had other plans, and now I and my daughter Elena must suffer because you disobeyed my commands and entered the giants' territories. It has been foretold that tomorrow the leader of all that is evil and dark, Darkrai, the Nightmare Pokemon, will appear, and demand Elena or me as a sacrifice; but before that, you will suffer all the agonies of torture as punishment for bringing me into this calamity."

He angrily looks over at an imagined person at stage left. "Seize him!" he demands as the count.

"Dearest father," he pleads in a mimic of May for Elena. "Shouldn't we use this brave young man's courage to save us than torture him? He has slain three giants; surely he will be able to vanquish the Nightmare Pokemon."

As himself, he narrates "The count thought long and hard about this, and then acknowledged that Elena's suggestion was both a good idea and clever. He told Dolan that if he could take on Darkrai in battle and win, he would forgive him.

Brock just smiles at his enthralled audience. "It goes without saying that Dolan agreed...but how did he defeat Darkrai? I will tell you more next week!"

"Aw"s and applause fill the air as Brock takes a bow...
Brock's Pikachu
Nov 8, 2005
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Week 407b: The Three Valleys, part 2

(real tale: The Three Valleys)

"With the first dawn of morning, he got up from the couch, for he remembered the words about overcoming Darkrai, and hurried to the first valley, where in the castle stood the cup with the inscription 'Who drinks of this cup shall overcome the nightmare.'." Brock begins, picking up from where he left off the previous week. "He grabbed the cup and drank it all in one gulp. The magic potion flowed through his veins like fire, and he felt enough courage and strength to take on a whole army singlehandedly."

"Wow"s and awed whistles go up at this. "With sparkling eyes, he hurried to the second valley, mounted the shining Ponyta Epona, who greeted him with a joyful whinny..." A sound effect of a Ponyta whinny emphasizes Brock's point. "...and then galloped as if flying to the third valley, in which stood the mighty sword. Yesterday he could hardly move it; today, with one hand, he swung it high over his head, as if it was a twig."

The Zelda "got item" stinger plays as he holds his prop sword from earlier over his head like Link, to some laughter. "By sunrise, he was back at the count's castle, waiting eagerly for what would happen, but the day passed and no one appeared. Ho'oh had gone to roost, and Lugia had just risen in all his glory, when in the northern sky a dark stormcloud appeared. With lightning speed it approached the castle, and a voice that made the earth shake boomed out from the cloud..."

"Where are my promised sacrifices?" he demands in a gravely, deep voice--his go to "Darkrai" voice.

He continues over the harp "At the same time a huge Braviary with greenish-grey wings like the storm-cloud hovered high over the castle, ready to swoop down on his prey. Dolan spurred Epona, and holding his blade skyward, cried..."

"There are no sacrifices here for you, you robber!" he almost screams as Dolan. "Return to the depths which you came, or you will feel my wrath!"

As himself, he continues "On hearing these words, the Braviary swooped down with a wild cry, before Dolan could nock an arrow."

He adds as an aside "He would have died had his mind wandered or had he been without Epona."

He then plays a series of long glissandos to mimic Epona running. "He spurred her, and she flew swift as the wind under a very old and thickly leaved willow tree, whose branches hung down almost to the ground, so that the Braviary could only break in through the side. The Braviary tried this, and it killed him, for his outspread wings became entangled in the branches, and the brave rider, with one powerful blow of his sword, severed the head from the body. But instead of blood, there came from the headless body of the Braviary a huge Arbok, who, with wide open jaws, approached our hero and tried to trap him in the rings of its coils."

"And then?" a girl in costume as a princess asks.

"By a skilful movement, it encircled the Ponyta and rider, and squeezed them to the point where Dolan thought they would both suffocate; but Epona pressed herself so close against the tree that the head of the Arbok came around on the other side of the trunk, keeping it from harming our hero with its poisonous bite or breath. One stroke of the shepherd's sharp blade, and the body of the Arbok fell in two to the ground; and Epona immediately trampled on the head. But the right half of the Arbok swelled, the cut became a frightful mouth, which spurted out smoke and flames, while from the coils of the Arbok's body grew claws and wings, and eventually a horrible black Charizard threw itself on our hero, whose strength was starting to fail."

Gasps go up at this. "But in the hour of his greatest need, a thought occurred to him as he turned Epona around." Brock assures the crowd. "She broke through the branches of the willow tree into the open field, and sped with her rider to the nearest stream, in whose waters they both cooled themselves. The Charizard snorted after them, spitting forth fire and smoke. But as the head of the Arbok had been destroyed, there was no deadly poison in its breath, and Dolan was safe from the flames because he was in the stream. So he rode boldly towards the approaching Charizard with sword in hand..." He pauses to draw the blade from earlier. "...and tried to approach it from the side; but all his blows glanced off from its scaly body. Suddenly it occurred to him to aim a sword beam down the monster's throat. He turned Epona and spurred her straight towards the Charizard, and firing a beam through the smoke and flame, it landed right in the creature's throat."

Cheers go up at the Charizard's demise. "He was forced to leave his sword behind, for his Epona, singed by the fiery breath of the Charizard, bounded far to one side; but the monster did not attempt to follow them, the sword's beam had gone deep into its body." Brock explains, "It struck wildly with its tail on the ground, until the earth burst, then it shivered and fell over, first on its side, then on its back, a stream of fire poured forth from its wide open jaws, and with the flames it died."

More cheers fill the air at this. "And so it was the battle ended, and Darkrai was defeated." Brock continues over a triumphant melody. "Joyfully Dolan rode back to the count and Elena, and told them everything that had happened. The count, embracing him, said..."

"You are our hero, to you I owe my life and all that I possess. Take half of what is mine, or choose from it whatever pleases you." he requests as the count.

"Dolan gazed earnestly into the eyes of the count's lovely daughter Elena, and replied..." he narrates as himself.

"I know of nothing, in the whole world which is dearer to me than your daughter Elena, milord." he replies as Dolan. "Give her to me for my bride, if she be willing."

"Are you willing, my child?" he asks an imagined person by him.

"I love him more than words can say." he replies as Elena.

"The next day, the marriage was celebrated with great splendor, and when Arceus had blessed their union with children, Dolan, a shepherd no more, would say to his sons and daughters when telling them of his adventures..." he narrates as himself.

"There are three things that can subdue giants and evil spirits--the fire of courage, the power to persevere, and the wisdom of heaven." he concludes as Dolan.

The crowd roars as Brock takes a bow....
Brock's Pikachu
Nov 8, 2005
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First tale of Galar featured!

Week 408: The Hero and the Giant of the Hunting Hill

(real tale: The Giant and Cathal O'Cruachan)

"Once upon a time something happened..." Brock begins as he arrives onstage. "If it hadn't happened, it wouldn't be told."

Cheers fill the air--the first tale of Galar will be told on the show! "Long ago, in what is now the region of Galar, a man named Brendan won a beautiful lady--her name is not important--as his bride." Brock begins his tale. "They lived happily for a while, until the notorious Giant of the Hunting Hill stole his new bride away."

Gasps go up at this "To say Brendan was distraught is an understatement." Brock explains. "He vowed to find his wife, or die trying. So he set off into the countryside in search of the Giant of the Hunting Hill. He traveled far, until he came at last to a cave at the top of a mountain; where an Arcanine named Anya lived. She welcomed him with an open heart, and open paws."

"Have you seen my wife?" he asks in a mimic of Ash for Brendan.

"I have indeed--I saw her passing by last night on the shoulder of the Giant of the Hunting Hill." he replies in a mimic of Sonia for Anya.

As himself, he continues "Just the image of this made Brendan want to cry."

He interjects "Now, no dog Pokemon likes to see a human feeling sad; and Anya was no exception. When Brendan was ready to leave the next morning, Anya told him..."

"If ever you need my help, sing the Swanna's Song, and I'll be there!" he smiles as Anya.

He narrates as himself "Brendan thanked Anya, and he set out for the mountains. After he'd been climbing for a while, he reached the edge of a great cliff; where the glorious Corviknight Cuidachta stood, keeping watch over the valley."

"Have you seen my wife, Ri Cuidachta?" he asks as Brendan.

"I have seen her on the giant's shoulder, passing by. If ever you're in need of strong wings, call upon Arceus with the Swanna's Song, and I'll be there!" he replies in a deep gentle voice for Cuidachta.

As himself, he continues "Brendan walked on, and soon he came to a flowing river. He saw Marin, the guardian Wartortle of the river, playing in the rapids. Brendan asked Marin if she had seen his beloved. Sure enough, Marin had."

"I have seen her passing by on the shoulder of the giant, good sir, and if ever you need me, invoke the Swanna's Song and I'll be there!" he smiles in a mimic of Misty for Marin.

He adds as an aside "You see, Pokemon know good people when they see them."

Giggles go up in agreement. "Brendan spent the night by the river, and at dawn he set off." Brock continues. "By evening he reached the giant's castle on the Hunting Hill. His wife was overjoyed to see Brendan. She hurried Brendan inside and hid him under the bed. Minutes later, the giant tramped into the house."

"Is there anyone here?" he asks in his "somebody's in trouble" voice

"Not a soul. You're so strong, no one could hurt you." he replies in a mimic of Serena for the wife.

"No one can hurt me." he brags as the giant. "That's true, unless..."

"Tell me, so I'll know how to keep you safe." he coaxes as the wife.

"The only way anyone can kill me is by killing my Wooloos, catching the Fletchling in its belly and breaking the egg inside the Fletchling's belly." he explains as the giant.

As himself, Brock continues "At dawn the giant woke up and left the house. But as soon as he was gone, Brendan crawled out from under the bed, grabbed a sword, and ran outside to kill the Wooloos. But the Wooloos saw Brendan coming, and ran as fast as they could. Soon Brendan was out of breath. In desperation he sang for Anya...

In a mimic of Ash, he sings Gatrandis favel, secret, edena...
Emusto ronzen fine el balaziis...
Katoradis favel siicletu edena...
Emusto koron zen fine, si...

Applause go up at the song. "No sooner had the last 'si' echoed across the plain, did Anya catch a Wooloo." Brock went on. "When Brendan opened the Wooloo, a Fletchling flew from it. Brendan wasn't fast enough, though, so the Fletchling flew away, up into the bright blue sky. Brandan sang for Cuidachta..."

He sings as Ash again Gatrandis favel, secret, edena...
Emusto ronzen fine el balaziis...
Katoradis favel siicletu edena...
Emusto koron zen fine, si...

He continues as himself "Just as the last 'si' left his mouth, Cuidachta appeared, just as he promised, and he swept into the sky after that Fletchling. A moment later Cuidachta dropped the Fletchling at Brendan's feet, but just as he did, the egg fell out of the Fletchling and rolled right down the hill, picking up speed as it rolled into the water."

He intones "It didn't help that he was running out of time--the giant was on his way home! So Brendan sang for Marin..."

He sings as Ash again Gatrandis favel, secret, edena...
Emusto ronzen fine el balaziis...
Katoradis favel siicletu edena...
Emusto koron zen fine, si...

He continues as himself "As soon as the last 'si' echoed over the plain, Marin caught the egg just as the giant spotted our hero! The giant charged at Brendan, but Marin smashed the egg on the ground, killing the giant immediately."

Relieved sighs go up as Brock concludes "Brendan as his wife collected all the gold in the giant's house, and with their friends, Anya, Cuidachta, and Marin, they returned home, and held a grand party in honor of their never ending friendship."

"Aw"s and applause fills the air as Brock takes a bow...
Brock's Pikachu
Nov 8, 2005
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Week 409: The Shiny Tepigs

(real tale: The Three Red Piggies)

"Long ago, there lived an old woman who lived in a little house." Brock began as he made his way onstage. "Her only means of income was a single Miltank. She lived with her grandson, Jack. Jack was a charming fellow, full of ideas--never mind if they actually worked."

Giggles go up at the wry comment. "Over time, the old woman had no choice but to sell her beloved Miltank." Brock went on. "She told Jack to take the Miltank to town and sell it. Jack set out to town with the Miltank early the next morning. On the way to town, he fell in with the holy Delphox, Kitsune. Kitsune kept him company on the road, and listened as Jack told her why he was going to town."

“I like you, my boy--you seem to be a brave, kind, and unselfish person." he smiles in a mimic of Serena for Kitsune. "Would you like me to trade something for your Miltank? If you will trust me, I will give you something that will help your family out, and so much more.”

As himself, Brock continues "Jack agreed, and asked to see what Kitsune would give in return for the Miltank. Kitsune showed him three Tepigs that shone like gold. She then conjured a magic whistle..." Brock pauses to retrieve a familiar silver whistle with a black mouthpiece from a pocket. "When she played it, the shining Tepigs danced along."

The audience claps along as Brock plays a set on his own whistle for effect. "Jack was amazed by the dancing Tepigs, and happily traded with Kitsune." Brock goes on when the applause quiets. "He wrapped the Tepigs in his coat, and put the magic whistle in his pocket."

He intones "But the woman was angry at first--how were dancing Tepigs supposed to buy food and pay the bills?"

Murmurs go up in agreement, but Brock assures his audience "Jack assured his grandma that if she trusted him, the Tepigs would bring more money than she could dream of. The woman agreed to trust Jack, although she had her doubts."

He continues "Now, nearby the old woman’s cottage lived a rich nobleman with his wife, and they had an only child named Teresa. Teresa was known all around the area as being a very pretty girl. She was around Jack's age, about sixteen years old, but she was a proud young lady. Jack knew that her parents were away from home, and that she was alone. So one day, he took his Tepigs, stood in front of her window, played the magic whistle, and let the Tepigs dance."

More clapping fills the auditorium as Brock plays another set for effect. "Teresa came to the window and looked out on this unusual scene." Brock continues as he pockets his instrument. "She came outside and offered to buy one of them. But Jack would not give her one for money. He told her that if she gave him some food for his old grandmother, he would let her have a Tepig. Ragged as he was, something told Teresa--I don't know if it was real empathy or if it was her love for the Tepigs--to grant Jack's request."

"Aw"s fill the air at this. "Jack returned home in high spirits, and told his grandmother what he had received for one Tepig." Brock continues. "The woman still had her doubts, but decided to give her grandson the benefit of the doubt."

He goes on "The next day Jack returned, and Teresa asked for another Tepig. Jack replied that he would give her another if she would allow him to kiss her."

Awkward giggles go up as the audience pictures Teresa's reaction. "Now, Jack didn't look all that kissable in his old rags. But something told Teresa to let him kiss her. She said okay, but only on the cheek." Brock explains. "Jack agreed, gave her a little peck on the cheek, and went home with another basket of food. His grandmother was sure the last Tepig would bring even more--maybe Jack knew what he was doing."

He continues "On the morning of the third day, Jack visited Teresa again. She asked for the last Tepig and the magic whistle. Jack said okay, on the condition that he be allowed to brush her hair. Teresa was even more weirded out by this request, but something told her--maybe it was love?--to let him brush her hair. So she gave Jack an old brush, and let him go to work."

Brock pantomimes brushing an imagined person'[s hair as he continues "Jack carefully brushed Teresa's jet black hair, being careful that no tangle went untouched. As he was brushing, three hairs stood out among the others: one was golden, another was silver, and a third was white as crystal."

Intrigued murmurs fill the room. "He received his usual basket of food and walked home. When he told his grandma what had happened, she told him to find out about the hairs."

He explains "The woman remembered that before Teresa's parents had left, her father had issued an odd challenge. Whoever could name three hidden marks on his daughter, would have her for a bride. Many young men arrived from all over, and guessed all sorts of things, but not one of them thought of the right thing."

Brock continues "The next day, Jack returned to the house, and asked to attempt to solve this riddle. The squire agreed, and Jack guessed that Teresa had one golden hair, one silver hair, and one hair white as crystal on her head. The squire was astonished that Jack knew the correct answer, and begged him to explain how he knew. Jack told his story from start to finish. He told the squire about the Miltank, his wondrous trade with Kitsune, how he entertained Teresa for three days, and how he traded the Tepigs and the magic whistle to her. The squire was charmed by Jack's cleverness and sincerity. When Teresa confirmed every word of Jack's tale, the squire allowed them to marry."

He smiles. "And so it was that a poor boy with the wits of a Delphox and a heart of gold married a squire's daughter."

"Aw"s and applause fill the air as Brock takes a bow...
Brock's Pikachu
Nov 8, 2005
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Week 410: The Performer Meowths

(real tale: "Folktales from Japan" episode 170, story 1)

"In a certain temple lived a priest who was renowned for being hard to please." Brock begins as he arrives onstage. "His only companions were a girl who served as the cook and a Meowth named Tama."

Intrigued murmurs go up as the lights go down a little to mimic nighttime. "One night, the priest was on his way home from visiting people in town when he heard noise coming from an old shrine to Meloetta." Brock continues. "Piqued, he looked inside, where he found a huge crowd of Meowths watching a play about a boy and the three Beasts of Johto."

The crowd chuckles and whispers excitedly as they remember Brock performing the story in question. "In fact, the story of the boy and the three Beasts had been the priests' favorite bedtime story as a child, and even as an adult, he enjoyed seeing storytellers, puppet troupes, and actors alike tell the story." Brock explains. "Imagine the priest's surprise when he saw that Tama was playing the role of the boy!"

The lights come back up to mimic morning. "Back at the temple, he told the cook what had happened. It didn't help that they kept finding toys and pots around the temple the next morning."

Giggles fill the air as the lights go down again. "The next night. the priest saw the shrine to Meloetta active again, and this time, the Meowths were performing 'The Hero of Shamouti Island'--but the priest found it odd they were using doll's clothes as costumes, leaves as umbrellas, and pens as swords."

He then reveals the twist in the tale. "The Meowths were nearly rioting because the Meowth that was supposed to play Lugia wasn't there. but the Meowth playing the summoner played Lugia's Song again--and the priest was stunned to find that Tama was playing Lugia!"

"Oh"s go up as Brock explains "The priest put two and two together--the Meowths gave Tama the important roles in return for her providing costumes and props!"

He continues "On the third night, Tama told her master she was leaving in a journey to become a great actor. The priest said he would miss her, but would pray that she achieve her goal. He gave her a huge bag of doll's clothes for costumes and items for props, and wished her Arceus' blessings on her journey."

He smiles as he concludes "It is said that Tama did become the leader of her own troupe of Meowth actors, and returned to her master's temple every summer to visit and perform."

"Aw"s and applause go up as Brock takes a bow...
abandoned account
Mar 28, 2019
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Hi! This is a review for Week 401: The Hero's Sword. I've been intending to read this for a while, and figured I might as well review it.

Grammar stuff

When the song ends and Brock is back in his place, he intones "Then his master had one of the hands tell Greg that although he was very happy with him, he wished he would stop singing […]"
There should be a comma after "intones". This is repeated on a lot of other lines.

"At the exact second the red knight came riding up"
Instead of "the", I think you meant "that"?

"This coachman acted just as the others had. and compelled Princess Alyssa to say that he had saved her."
I think you meant to use a comma there.

General Notes

"He adds as an aside "But Greg knew the master only said that to scare him." "
I think this would work better if Brock's actions and tone of voice were shown rather than told to us. Part of the charm of a live storyteller is how they act out the different characters and interact with the audience as they tell a story. For example, with this quote in particular, what actions did Brock take that shows us that he's adding this as an aside? Maybe he leans over to the audience and winks, or says the line in a hushed tone of voice. That way, the reader can imagine Brock on stage, as if they're part of the audience watching him.

"Each Ponyta had a saddle, and a full suit of armor as well, and they, too, were red, blue and yellow. Besides, there was food for the Ponytas, and food for the Beasts, and gold and silver out the wazoo."
"Out the wazoo" is a colloquial expression, but the rest of the narration so far has been fairly formal.

"The man was a hunter, but as the years went by and he grew older, he got weaker and weaker, and eventually had to tell his son--we'll call him Greg--that soon he would no longer be able to hunt for him, and it would not be long before Arceus called him to the heavens."
Same thing here - "we'll call him Greg" feels very conversational, even though the rest of the tale is told in an old-fashioned, formal voice, as if you were reading an old storybook. It feels a little jarring, though you could definitely make the switch in tones work.


I like the idea of this project. It's cool to see old fairytales reimagined in the world of Pokemon. The stories you've chosen to adapt are ones I haven't heard of before, and the writing keeps their medieval folktale charm. So far, though, it feels like I've picked up a storybook, not as if Brock is narrating a tale to an audience. Describing Brock's body language and tone of voice in more detail would probably improve that.

Hope this review was helpful, and if I haven't explained anything properly, feel free to ask me some questions about it.
Brock's Pikachu
Nov 8, 2005
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Week 411: How Jack Killed the Hydreigon

(real tale: The Meister Stoorworm)

The crowd roars as Brock arrives on the stage. "Once upon a time something happened. If it hadn't happened, it wouldn't be told." he tells the audience.

He begins "Long ago in what is now Kanto, there lived a well-to-do farmer, who had seven sons and a daughter. The names of the other sons are not important to us, but the youngest was named Jack. Jack was known as a lazy boy, who never did any work on the farm as his brothers did, but daydreamed of heroes, monsters, and magical items. When the sun was hot in the long summer afternoons, Jack often laid in the ashes, telling himself long and adventurous stories. His brothers, would laugh at him, and call him names--which I will not repeat here."

Nervous giggles go up at this. "When they came home from their work, they would push him around and tease him." Brock continues. "His mother would make him sweep the floor, draw water from the well, and all the other chores that no one else wanted to do."

He assures the antsy crowd "Jack would have been very miserable had it not been for his sister Amy, who loved him well. She would listen to all the stories that he had to tell; no matter how outlandish they were."

He intones "But one day a terrible thing happened—or at least it was a terrible thing in Jack's eyes."

More nervous giggles ripple through teh auditorium as Brock explains "Now, the king of the land had an only daughter, Princess Gwendolyn. One day, Princess Gwendolyn was looking for a new lady to attend her. She happened to find Amy, and asked to hire her as her lady in waiting. The farmer was very pleased at this, and so Amy became Princess Gwendolyn's new lady-in-waiting. Jack missed Amy a lot, and cherished any letter or gift from the castle she sent."

"Aw"s waft down the rows at this. "Time passed, and one day a rider rode through the countryside bearing horrible news." Brock continues, "The night before, some fishermen had spotted a Hydreigon. Hydreigons were rarely seen in Kanto--their native land was to the north. But every once in a while, one would venture to Kanto. Everyone in the realm knew that if something was not done, he Hydreigon would wipe Kanto off the map. What wasn't eaten would be burned or poisoned; and there would be nothing left of Kanto."

Gasps go up at this. "As you can imagine, everyone in the realm pleaded for the king to do something." Brock went on, walking across the stage as he spoke. "So the king called a royal meeting with all his advisors. For three days they discussed and debated ways to get rid of the Hydreigon. But no matter what anyone suggested, no one had a clue how to battle a Hydreigon, much less defeat one. Just as everyone was about to give up, the queen came to the royal war room."

He interjects "Now, the queen was not very well liked in the realm. She was a proud, vain, and cruel woman, who did not treat Princess Gwendolyn well. Rumors even said she favored spending more time with a notorious sorcerer than the king. So it was no surprise the advisors gave her disapproving looks. But the queen paid the angry looks no mind, and told all present..."

"You believe that you are brave men and strong, and fit to be the protectors of the people. That may be, when it is mortals that you face." he sneers, using a mimic of Jessie for the queen. "But you are no match for the foe that now threatens our land. Before him, your weapons are like mere pin-pricks. It is not through physical might, but through magic, that he will be overcome. So I ask that you seek advice from the sorcerer Edor, who knows all the mysteries of the earth, the sky, the sea, and beyond."

"Boo"s go up at the queen's suggestion. "Now, the king and the advisors understood there were many that practiced the magic of light." Brock assures the jittery audience as himself. "But they didn't like the thought of asking someone who practiced the magic of the dark. Since no one else had any better ideas of mages of the light to ask, they reluctantly agreed to summon Edor."

He intones "What Edor proposed to do made everyone turn white as Gastlies. Edor suggested giving the Hydreigon seven young maidens of pure heart each week."

Worried murmurs waft through the seats, but Brock is not done yet setting the terrifying scene. "And so every week, like clockwork, seven maidens were sacrificed. Many mourned the losses of so many daughters, granddaughters, and nieces. Weeks passed like this, and every week opened a new wound in the region's hearts. Many feared that there would soon be no maidens left in Kanto. But no one was prepared for what Edor said to do next--sacrifice Princess Gwendolyn."

The audience shudders as they wait to hear what happens next. "The somber news spread like wildfire." Brock sighs--it pains him to tell a sad part of a story. "It was already bad enough that so many other young ladies had died, but sacrificing Princess Gwendolyn was where many drew the line. Some even called for Edor to be thrown to the Hydreigon instead of the princess."

Nervous giggles fill the air in agreement. "The king pleaded for Princess Gwendolyn's life, and Edor relented. He told the king that if a hero was not found, Princess Gwendolyn would die in three weeks. So the king sent messengers far and wide to find a hero brave enough to slay the Hydreigon. If anyone managed to slay the Hydreigon, he would be named heir to the throne and receive Princess Gwendolyn as a bride. The chosen hero would also get a very special weapon to battle the Hydreigon with: the blade Valkyrie, which was said to be the preferred weapon of Zacian, the Hero's Sword."

Excited whispers go up from the Galarian visitors in the audience at the name of Zacian. "Many a hero came from all over the world, but all that stood against the Hydreigon failed." Brock goes on.

A smile forms on his face, signaling all is not lost. "One night, the Great Lord Arceus came to Jack in a dream." he continues.

"Be not afraid, Jack." he announces in a regal, yet gentle male voice for Arceus. "I have heard your people's cries to stop the needless slaughter of young maidens, and save the life of Princess Gwendolyn. You are the chosen hero that will have her."

"But how? I am but a poor lad." he protests in a mimic of Ash for Jack. He continues the conversation between both roles:

"But you have far better treasures than gold or jewels--bravery, kindness, and cunning."

"What must I do?"

"Go on outside--the holy steed Epona waits for you. Ride to the palace, and ask to wield the holy blade Valkyrie."

"I don't know if I will be laughed out of the palace, or thrown in the dungeon, but I would do anything to save the princess' life!"

Some applause goes up for Brock's vocal dexterity. "Jack woke up, got ready, and made his way outside." Brock continues as himself. "Sure enough, the holy steed Epona was waiting for him!"

Cheers go up at the hopeful turn of events. "He rode off to the palace without his family having a clue he was gone." Brock goes on, being careful not to hurry the story in his excitement to tell about the battle. "He reached the palace as the sun was peeking over the hill. Jack was admitted to the palace, where many at the court laughed at his ragged clothing. How could a farmer's boy wield a blade like Valkyrie?"

He smiles. "But no one was laughing when the king said that if Jack really wanted to try, he would let him battle the Hydreigon."

Cheers go up in agreement. "That afternoon, a great retinue traveled to the Hydreigon's lair. Only a few days remained before Princess Gwendolyn became its next meal." Brock explains. "Jack trembled at the Hydreigon's huge claws and sharp fangs. He took heart in knowing Arceus was with him, and would protect him in the looming battle."

He looks out on his enthralled audience. "And oh, what a battle it was!"

He continues "The Hydreigon attacked with all its might, but Jack matched the powerful dragon Pokemon step for step. What Valkyrie didn't get, Epona got with her divine strength and power. It was a very long, drawn out battle, but by sundown, the Hydreigon lay slain on the hillside."

Wild cheers go up at Jack's victory. "The king could hardly contain his joy!" Brock agrees, a note of excitement in his voice. "He gave Jack a big hug, put a cape fit for royalty on him, and hailed him a hero. News of Jack's victory spread across the land, and the people rejoiced that no one had to lose a daughter anymore. The queen and Edor were banished from the land, never to return again on pain of death."

Some light applause goes up as Brock concludes "As for Jack, he married Princess Gwendolyn when he came of age, with all the splendor and honor of a royal wedding. When the time came for the king to join Arceus in heaven; Jack ascended to the throne. He ruled the kingdom for many a happy year, and went on many more adventures."

He grins. "But that is another story for another day!"

Wild applause fills the air as Brock takes a bow...
Brock's Pikachu
Nov 8, 2005
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Week 412a: The Legend of Owen, part 1

(real tale: The Hound of the Hill of Spears)

"Long ago, in a world where magic and fantastic creatures were common, there lived a king and queen who had a son named Owen." Brock begins. "The queen had died when Owen was little, and after some time to grieve, the king married again. His new wife hated the boy, and did everything she could to bother or hurt him, in hopes she could drive him away. Owen, for the most part, paid her no mind, and went about his daily routine as always."

Intrigued murmurs fill the air as Brock continues "He was very fond of bird hunting, and one day when out with his bow he followed a beautiful shining Pidgeot, something he had never seen before. He did not catch it, but brought home a feather that fell from its wing. As the feather was beautiful, he showed it to everyone in the castle-his new stepmother included. After dinner that evening, his mother proposed that he play a game of chess with her. He asked for what they would play for; and she answered that whoever won would put a charge on the other--a kind of magical spell that would force the target to do a specific task, like it or not. If one fulfilled the charge, the spell on them would be broken."

He tells the audience "Now, chess in this world was not like chess as we play it, but was closer to games like Othello and Spot."

"Oh"s fill the air as Brock continues "Owen agreed. When they played he won the game. His stepmother was very much vexed at this, and demanded to play another game. Owen agreed, but this time his stepmother won."

"Well," he asks in a mimic of Ash for Owen, "what is your charge?"

"Obey the ancient pact of the ages and fulfill your duty…" he chants in a mimic of Clair for the stepmother. "The feather you brought home today was from the wing of the Golden Pidgeot of Sinoch, which is owned by a great giant. All the world covets that Pokemon, but though hundreds of heroes have searched for it, not one has ever returned. I therefore charge you to set out on your travels and never return until you bring me the Golden Pidgeot of Sinoch."

He intones as himself "Poor Owen was troubled by this charge as his stepmother's marking--a teardrop symbol that resembled a hanging Zubat--appeared on his hand as a reminder of the charge. After composing himself, he said..."

As Owen, he intones "Obey the ancient pact of the ages and fulfill your duty...for the game I won, I charge you to stand on the top of the tallest tower on my father's castle from the moment of my departure until the hour of my return with the Golden Pidgeot of Sinoch. You are to face the wind, and your food will be what seeds the wind blows you, and your drink the rain that falls on you."

As himself, he goes on "His stepmother was enraged as Owen's marking, which resembled a reversed treble clef, appeared on her hand. But she had to honor her own bargain."

Excited whispers fill the air as Brock continues "The next morning Owen, after bidding farewell to his father, his friends, and everyone in the castle, set out on his travels. He saw his stepmother on the tallest tower facing the wind--there to remain, feeding on the seeds that were blown to her and drinking the rain, until he would return-if he did return-with the Golden Pidgeot of Sinoch. Far and very far Owen traveled; until, late that evening, as he sat down by the side of a stream, weary and hungry, a beautiful Arcanine came bounding from the hills. He looked with hungry eyes at him eating his dinner."

"I'm very, very hungry," he pleads in a gentle deep voice for the Arcanine. "Will you share with me?"

As himself, Brock continues "Owen felt sorry for the majestic dog Pokemon, so he divided his dinner, and gave half of it to the Arcanine, who ate it happily. Then it asked Owen where he traveled. Owen told the Arcanine his sad story, and showed him the charge mark on his hand."

"Sir Owen, you are going on one of the most adventurous, and at the same time most terrible tasks in the world; but, if I, Hunter of the Hills, can do anything to help you, I will. Come with me tonight anyway, and rest." he offers as the Arcanine.

He continues as himself "Owen thanked Hunter, and went with him. Hunter brought him to a fine house on a hill, where Owen got a soft bed for the night. The next morning, Hunter told him how the Golden Pidgeot was guarded by the great giant."

"I have lived on this hill a hundred years," he intones Hunter, "and have seen 99 brave heroes and heroines pass every year on the quest of the Golden Pidgeot--some of them charged, and some of them on their own free will--but none of them ever returned. However, the great giant is in need of someone to care for the Pidgeot, and your best plan is to offer him your service. When he asks what you can do, tell him that you are good at anything you set your mind to, but especially good at minding golden pidgeots. If you are lucky enough to get custody of the Pidgeot, be as kind to the bird as you can, until it grows to like you. If you succeed, it may wish to go with you. But when you have earned its trust, your task is only begun. Every stone in the giant's castle is enchanted, and can tell him if anything goes wrong. If he discovers you trying to steal the Golden Pidgeot, you cannot escape with your life. The giant lives five thousand miles away from here; but if you want, I will transform myself into a fine steed, and then quickly carry you to the giant's castle."

He interjects as himself "Owen agreed, and Hunter sang..."

After pausing to sing Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul... as Hunter, he goes on as himself "...transforming into the legendary steed Epona in a flash of fire! Only Epona's heels touched the tops of the hills, as they whirled over the world like Lugia on his nightly journey. They overtook the wind before them, but the wind behind couldn't overtake them."

The lights dim a little to mimic night. "Late in the evening they reached the castle of the great giant." Brock continues from a spotlight. "Once Owen dismounted, the shining Ponyta became Hunter again. Hunter wished him success; and said if he ever escaped from the giant's castle with his life, he would be waiting. With that, they parted. Then he went up to the castle and knocked at the gates; and a great giant, the most terrible Owen had ever seen, came out and asked who he was and what he wanted. He answered that he was Owen, of the Aiiro City, and was in search of a master. The giant asked what he could do, and Owen answered that he was good at anything he put his mind to, but especially good at minding Golden Pidgeots."

"Very well, as I'm just needing such a person, I'll hire you for a bag of gold, to serve me for a year and a day; and in the morning I'll show you your work." he offers in a deeper version of himself for the giant.

As himself, he narrates "He took Owen in, gave him food and a bed; and in the morning told him he was going to put his work before him. The next morning, the giant led Owen to a tall tower in one corner of the castle, and showed him the beautiful Golden Pidgeot, which Owen had followed in the forest not long before."

"Your duty is to care for and feed that Pidgeot, and see that nothing happens to it." he instructs as the giant.

He intones as himself "He warned Owen that if he ever messed with the Pidgeot or shirked his duty, it would be his life in exchange. He then left Owen and the Pokemon alone. Owen was very kind to the Pidgeot--he fed it the best food, and washed it every morning, and saw that it had all it wanted and more. The Pidgeot liked Owen from the beginning; it grew fonder of him every day, until it trusted Owen enough to take it back to the Aiiro City."

The lights dim a little more as Brock goes on "They planned to escape at midnight on a certain night. When the appointed time came, Owen climbed out the window with the Pidgeot under his arm, when the Pidgeot happened to innocently flutter a wing, and the tip of its wing touched a rock."

Gasps go up at this "That was enough to wake the giant, and he brought Owen and the Pidgeot back to the castle. But for some reason, seeing the charge mark on Owen's hand made him reconsider killing him."

"I only want one thing to make me The Greatest Master of Them All-but I have never yet been able to get." he explains as the giant. "It is the Sword of Light belonging to the king of Fanyan, a flash from which can light up half the world in rainbow light. It lies in the innermost room of the king's palace, constantly guarded by ten thousand warriors. Hundreds of heroes have gone seeking that sword, but none have ever returned with their lives. Your life will be spared if within a year and a day you bring me that wonderful blade."

As himself, he narrates "Owen agreed to the task, and was seen off the next morning."

He looks out over his enthralled audience. "But Owen's adventure was just beginning...I will tell you more next week!"

"Aw"s and applause fill the air as Brock takes a bow...
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Brock's Pikachu
Nov 8, 2005
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Week 412b: The Legend of Owen, part 2

(real tale: The Hound of the Hill of Spears)

Cheers fill the air as Brock arrives onstage. "He had not gone far, when Hunter of the Hills appeared, and asked him how things had gone." he begins, picking up where he left off the previous week. "Owen told Hunter what had happened; and Hunter cautioned that he was now going on a far more adventuresome task than before."

"But, I'll do everything in my power to help you." he assures the worried crowd as Hunter.

He interjects as himself "With that, Hunter sang...

After singing Karuto, iichiida shou... as Hunter, he continues as himself "...transforming into a majestic Braviary. Owen then climbed on the Braviary's back, and set off. The tips of the Braviary's wings brushed the fire off the stars, as they went around the world like a celestial arrow. They overtook the whirlwinds before them, and the whirlwinds behind couldn't overtake them-and they never stopped until, late that evening, they landed at the castle of the king of Fanyan, where the Braviary turned into Hunter again."

"Wow"s and awed murmurs fill the air. "Hunter told Owen to ask for work at the castle, and when the king asked what he could do, to reply that he was good at anything he put his mind to, but especially good at caring for swords." Brock explains as himself, quieting the chatter.

"He needs someone to tend the Sword of Light, and may hire you. If you ever escape from the castle with your life, you'll find me here waiting for you." he explains as Hunter.

As himself, Brock continues "Owen thanked Hunter, and everything happened as Hunter said. The king brought Owen into the castle, gave him dinner and a bed for the night; and the next morning he took him to the innermost room where the Sword of Light was kept. Though the room had no windows, it was as bright as day, because the Sword of Light was shining in a rainbow of colors. Owen was put in charge of the sword, and warned that if anything happened to the sword it would be his life in exchange."

Fearful murmurs fill the room at this, but Brock quickly assures the crowd "He took the greatest care of it, polishing it well every morning and evening. At the end of a month, when he had learned all about the sword, and had learned out all the secret ways out of the palace, he decided to escape with the sword."

The lights dim to simulate night. "So at midnight one night, after a feast, when all the guards, having eaten and drunk too much, had fallen asleep, Owen took the sword from its case, and was climbing out a window when the sword touched a wall." Brock intones, cuing the lights to brighten to normal. "The first flash lit up half the world, woke up the king and the ten thousand guards, and everyone in, and for a hundred miles around the palace, with its rainbow light. Owen was captured and brought back; Though the king wanted him executed immediately, seeing Owen's charge mark made him reconsider."

"There is one way your life can be spared, but it is an impossible way." he warns as the king.

"What do you mean?" he asks as Owen

"There is only one thing I want to make me The Greatest Master of Them All, and that is the wonderful legendary shining steed, Epona, who belongs to the king of Kalski. Hundreds of heroes have set out to steal her, but as far as I know none have ever come back alive. I'll spare your life, if within a year and a day, you bring me the legendary shining steed, Epona." he instructs as the king.

As himself, he concludes "Owen agreed, and was seen off the next morning. But this was not the only treasure he would be sent to procure...I will tell you more next week!"

"Aw"s and applause fill the air as Brock takes a bow...
Brock's Pikachu
Nov 8, 2005
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Week 412c: The Legend of Owen, part 3

(real tale: The Hound of the Hill of Spears)

"Ooh"s and "ah"s fill the air as Brock arrives onstage with a familiar minstrel's harp. "Owen agreed, and was seen off the next morning. He hadn't gone far when he found Hunter waiting for him."

"How was it?" he asks as Hunter.

He sighs as himself "His heart was saddened when he heard how Owen had fared and failed. He was saddened all the more when he learned of the new task Owen had to perform."

"I'm afraid it's an impossible task." he sighs as Hunter. "But, all the same, I'll do what I can to help you."

He interjects as himself "With that, Hunter sang..." before singing as Hunter Rou iitsa ron selga vichii...

After playing a soft glissando to mimic a transformation, he continues as himself "...transforming into a ship in full sail. Once Owen was aboard, the ship set sail, and overtook the wind before, while the wind behind couldn't overtake it."

He plays a few more chords to mimic the magical ship's journey before continuing "Finally, they sailed into port near the castle of the king of Kalski."

"Go up to the castle, and ask for work. The king is looking for someone to mind and tend the legendary shining steed, Epona. When he asks what you can do, say you are good at anything you put your mind to, but particularly good at minding Ponytas. If he hires you, you may have a one in a million chance of stealing Epona. If you escape alive, you'll find me here waiting for you." he instructs as Hunter.

As himself, Brock goes on "Owen thanked Hunter, and went off to the castle. All happened as Hunter had said, and Owen had a good dinner, a soft bed, and a sweet sleep. In the morning, the king showed him the legendary shining steed, Epona, which had a gorgeous stable all to herself, and told him she was the most wonderful steed in the world, and that heroes and heroines from all over Mikawa had come trying to steal this special Pokemon, but the minute they laid a hand on her, the thousand bells she wore would ring, and their ringing could be heard halfway around the world. This was why no one could steal Epona-all those that had dared to try had lost their lives in the attempt. So with many warnings, the king left Epona in Owen's care."

He continues over a melody evoking friendship "Owen was particularly kind to Epona, watched her, and cared for her, groomed her, and fed her well-hoping to win her trust by his kindness. In a short time he and Epona were great friends. Epona was willing to go with him to the Aiiro City, so dearly did she love Owen."

The lights dim a little to mimic nighttime. "So in the middle of the night, when the king, his court, and all the guards were sleeping heavily after a feast, Owen got up and roused the legendary shining steed, Epona, and started off with her." Brock continues. "But just as he was walking through the castle gate, one of the bells touched it-and that was enough to wake the world."

After playing a few ringing chords to mimic bells, he continues "Owen was arrested, and led into the castle again. As much as the king wanted to kill Owen, seeing the charge mark on his hand made him reconsider."

He proceeds to preform the whole rigamarole between Owen and the king again. "There's one way to spare your life, but it is an impossible one."

"What is it?"

"Bring me, within a year and a day, Marla, the beautiful daughter of the king of Teselia. I only need Marla for my wife, that I may be The Greatest Master of Them All. Thousands of heroes from all over the world have gone to Teselia on the same errand, but not one has ever lived to tell the tale."

He concludes "Owen agreed, and went down to the sea, where he found Hunter of the Hills waiting for him.

He grins. "So what else would Owen have to procure before fulfilling his charge? I will tell you more next week!"

"Aw"s and applause go up as Brock sets his harp aside and takes a bow...