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EVERYONE: Live From the Fireside: Season 16 (Week 406: The Beast Slayer)

LightningTopaz

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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...
 

LightningTopaz

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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...
 

LightningTopaz

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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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LightningTopaz

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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....
 

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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....
 

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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...
 

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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...
 

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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....
 

LightningTopaz

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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...
 

LightningTopaz

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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...
 
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