Live From the Fireside: Season 4 (Week 104: The Thousand Mile Shoes)
@Chimchar98; @The Jingster; @Tophat Dragoneye; @Soulmaster;
Brock and the gang are back with a fourth batch of stories to share!
Week 79: The Knight of the Crystal Hill
(real tale: The Princess on the Glass Hill)
The crowd roars as Brock meets them onstage, eager to hear what the master storyteller has planned for his fourth batch of tales. When the applause quiets, he begins "There was once a man who had a meadow that lay on the side of a mountain, and in this meadow there was a barn in which he stored hay. But there had not been much hay in the barn for the last two years, for every year, around the time of the summer festival, it was eaten up completely, just as if a whole flock of Mareep had gnawed it down to the ground during the night. This happened once, then it happened again, but on the third year, the man got tired of losing his crop, and said to his three sons--the youngest was named Aiden--that one of them was to go and sleep in the barn on the eve of the summer festival, in hopes of finding out who, or what, was eating all the hay."
Whispers race through the auditorium as the audience debates what is eating the hay. "Now, the eldest son was quite willing to go to the meadow." Brock explains. "He boasted that he would watch the grass and do it so well that neither man, nor Pokemon, nor even Darkrai himself should have any of it. So when evening came he went to the barn, and lay down to sleep, but when night was drawing near there was such a rumbling and such an earthquake that the walls and roof shook again."
As if on cue, rumbling noises fill the air, panicking some in the crowd. The screams of panic turn to awkward giggles when the rumbling subsides and Brock assures them "The eldest son jumped up and hurried away as fast as he could, never even looking back, and the barn remained empty that year just as it had been for the last two."
Interested murmurs fill the air as Brock returns to his place at center stage. "Another year went by, and on the eve of the summer festival, the man sent the middle son to watch over the barn. But the same thing happened--he went to the barn and lay down to sleep, but when night was drawing near there was a great rumbling..." The audience braces themselves for the rumbling noises, but no sound comes. "and then an earthquake--which was even worse than the one that had struck the previous year, and when the middle son heard it he was terrified, and raced off, never once looking back."
"So what was taking the hay?" a woman asks.
"Well, another year went by, and that year, it was Aiden's turn, but as he got ready to go, the others laughed at him, and jeered him." Brock explains. "Aiden, however, did not trouble himself about what they said, but set out for the barn when evening came. When he got there, he went into the barn and lay down, but he had scarcely been there an hour before the rumbling and creaking began." The audience braces themselves for rumbling sounds a second time, but no sound comes. "Relax, this isn't a 4-D theater." Brock assures the audience, to some relieved giggles. "The rumbling and quaking continued for another hour, but Aiden stayed still and hung on. When all was quiet again, Aiden heard something that sounded like a Ponyta eating something just outside the barn door. So he crept to the door..." Brock tiptoes to stage right, as if he is Aiden. "and sure enough, a shining Ponyta with a blue mane was standing there eating. Aiden had never seen a Ponyta like it before--much less a shining one. A saddle and bridle lay upon it, as did a sword and a complete suit of armor for a knight, all made of of shining white mythril. As soon as he mounted it, it grew tame."
Awed murmurs fill the air at this. "Aiden rode away to his secret place--a plain which no one else knew about, and tied the Ponyta up there. When he went home again his brothers laughed and jeered at him even more." Brock continues. "'You didn't lie long in the barn, if even you have been so far as the field!' they said."
"I lay in the barn till sunrise, but I saw nothing and heard nothing." he replies in his best mimic of Ash to represent Aiden. "Arceus only knows what made you two so frightened."
As himself, he continues "The brothers didn't believe Aiden at first, but when they got to the barn, the hay was all standing just as long and as thick as it had been the night before. This happened again two more times, until Aiden had three Shiny Ponytas and three sets of gear to his credit."
Once he is back in his place at center stage, Brock goes on "Now, the king of the land had a daughter that had a private residence on top of a hill made of crystal--we'll call her Cressida. Whoever could climb up the crystal hill and take three shining Leppa Berries from her would earn her hand in marriage and half the kingdom. This was proclaimed across the whole kingdom, and in many other kingdoms too. Princess Cressida was very beautiful, and all who saw her fell madly in love with her, even in spite of themselves."
Laughter goes up as the audience pictures a prince going gaga for Princess Cressida. "So it is needless to say that many a prince, knight, and adventurer were eager to win her and half a kingdom." Brock smiles. "They came from all over the world, dressed so splendidly that their clothing gleamed in the sunshine, and riding on Rapidashes which seemed to dance as they went, and there was not one of these princes who did not think that he was sure to win Princess Cressida's hand."
Brock's spotlight expands to include a chair and his guitar. "When the day appointed by the king had come, there was such a crowd of knights, adventurers, and princes under the crystal hill that they numbered like sand by the sea." he continues as he settles into the chair and begins a reverent song. "Millions more turned out to see who would win Princess Cressida's hand in marriage. Aiden and two brothers were there too, but his brothers didn't know Aiden was there--they had told him to stay at home. Not being one to take no for an answer, Aiden snuck out of the house and happened to arrive at the crystal hill at the same time his brothers did."
Giggles go up as Brock plays a "struggling" melody up the scale. "Now, all the princes, adventurers and knights were trying to ride up the crystal hill, but it was all in vain, for no sooner did the Rapidashes set foot upon the hill did they come sliding down again." He plays a downward glissando on one string for effect. "and not one of them made it any farther than a couple of yards up. It was no surprise, for the hill was as smooth as a glass windowpane, and as steep as the side of a house. But they were all eager to win Princess Cressida and half the kingdom, and so the slipping and sliding continued." He plays an adventurous theme as an interlude.
"Finally, all the Rapidashes were so tired that they could not take another step." Brock continues as he slows down the song. "So the king was about to proclaim that the attempts would start again the next day, when a knight in mythril came riding up on so fine a Ponyta that no one had ever seen the like of it before--and few still had seen a shining Ponyta."
"Oh"s fill the room as the audience figure out just who the rider is. "The other knights all called out to him that he might just as well give up, but he did not listen...and he went up as if it were a simple plain." Brock continues as he flashes a grin to the crowd. "But Princess Cressida had never seen so handsome a knight, and silently hoped he would make it to the top. But when she saw that he was turning back, she threw one of shining Leppa Berries down after him, and it rolled into his shoe. But when he had come down from off the hill he rode away, fast enough that no one knew what became of him. So all the princes, adventurers, and knights were told to present themselves before the king that night, so that he could find out who the mysterious rider was that had received the shining Leppa Berry. But no one had anything to show, and the mysterious rider was all anyone could talk about."
He stops his song to interject "Aiden's brothers had no idea that the mysterious rider was Aiden in disguise."
The crowd claps as Brock plays the Zelda theme as an interlude. "This happened again for two straight days--many would try and ride up the crystal hill, but then a mysterious rider on a shining Ponyta would make it most of the way up. Princess Cressida would throw down a shining Leppa Berry, and the rider would disappear as mysteriously as he had come." he explains as he slows the song down. "When the king called everyone together to find out who had the shining Leppa Berry, no one had anything to show for it. Finally, on the evening of the third day, Aiden came before the king, and to the amazement of everyone, showed him the three shining Leppa Berries.
He finishes with a festive melody. "And so it was that Aiden and Princess Cressida were married the next day, and there was great rejoicing in the land for at least a week!"
Finally, he stops the song to conclude "For all I know, the festivities may still be going on to this day." He adds a playful flourish at this.
Thunderous applause fills the air as Brock sets his instrument aside and gets up to take a bow....
Re: Live From the Fireside: Season 4 (Week 80: The Trial of the Ponyta and the Rock)
@Chimchar98; @The Jingster; @Tophat Dragoneye; @Soulmaster;
Week 80: The Trial of the Ponyta and the Rock
(real tale: The Story of the Donkey and the Rock)
"The story I want to tell you this week is one of a few folktales from Minami that Wendy taught me." Brock explains to the audience. Cheers go up at the mention of Wendy's name.
When all is quiet, Brock begins "A very long time ago, somewhere in Minami, there was a country governed by a very just king--we'll call him King Nestor. He was noted in all parts of the realm for his wisdom and fair judgment in all matter of disputes."
Piqued murmurs fill the air at this. "Now, in the city where King Nestor lived--which is today Honoru City--dwelt two poor men." Brock explains. "They each did the very best they could to put in a honest day's work to support themselves and their old mothers."
Once Brock returns to his usual spot at center stage, he goes on. "One day one of the men started to a village high up in the mountains carrying a jar of oil to sell. As he walked, he grew very tired and set his jar of oil on a rock by the roadside while he sat down to rest. As he sat there, his neighbor came down the mountain driving his Ponyta in front of him. There were two big loads of wood stacked one on each side of the little Ponyta, and it was a wonder she wasn't crushed from the weight. They didn't happen to see the jar, so they and knocked it off the rock, breaking it into a zillion pieces, and spilling all the oil."
Fearful murmurs race through the crowd as Brock continues "The man who owned the oil was very angry indeed, and the man who owned the Ponyta said it wasn't he who had done the damage, but the Ponyta. So they argued, and argued, and argued some more. The man who owned the oil said he couldn't afford to lose it, as it was all he had in the world to sell for food for his mother and himself, and it couldn't have been his fault the jar was broken. They finally decided to both go to King Nestor's palace to resolve the matter."
Light applause goes up as Brock returns to his place at center stage. "King Nestor questioned the two men very carefully about the matter, and listened as each side made their case." Brock explains. "Finally, he said to the men..."
He switches to a deeper version of his own voice. "I do not know if either of you is to blame here. Both of you are good men, take good care of your elders, and are honest in all your dealings. As far as I can see, no one is at fault but the Ponyta and the rock, so we will judge them."
As himself, he continues "So the little Ponyta was chained up and led into the dungeon, while five of the king's men were sent out for the rock. As soon as they brought it in, King Nestor ordered it wrapped with chains and tied outside the dungeon entrance to a post. By this time the news of this strange case and King Nestor's odd decision had spread throughout the city. When the people heard their great king had put a Ponyta and a rock on trial, they thought he had gone nuts."
Laughter goes up as Brock goes on "The next morning, King Nestor announced that the case would be tried. The idea that a Ponyta and a rock could have a trial in court was more than the people could understand, but at the same time, everybody in the city came to the courtyard to see the trial. When the appointed time arrived, the judge came, took his seat, instructed the door-keepers to shut and lock all the gates, thus locking in everybody, and then proceeded to pronounce his judgment on the case."
He switches to a mimic of Flint to represent the judge. "As you very well know, there is no law by which a Ponyta and a rock can be judged. Why have you all come to see so absurd a thing? Because of your curiosity in the matter, every one of you shall pay five pieces of gold before you can leave."
Some "Oh"s go up as the audience puts two and two together. "The people, looking much ashamed, and glad to leave, handed over their five pieces of gold and departed." Brock concludes as himself. "The money was given to the man who had lost his oil--both sides left happy, the debt was paid, and the case was closed."
Applause fills the air as Brock takes a bow...
Re: Live From the Fireside: Season 4 (Week 81: The Rose and the Cypress)
@Chimchar98; @The Jingster; @Tophat Dragoneye; @Soulmaster;
Week 81: The Rose and the Cypress
(real tale: What the Rose Did to the Cypress)
"There was once a great king who had three brave and clever sons--we'll call them Kaitou, Mamoru, and Akira." Brock begins. "One day, Prince Kaitou asked his father if he could go to the royal hunting grounds for the day. His father said okay, and a grand hunting party departed the castle."
Piqued murmurs race through the crowd as Brock continues "When Prince Kaitou got to the hunting grounds, he saw a beautiful Sawsbuck. He ordered that it should not be killed, but trapped or corralled. Try as the party might to catch it, the Sawsbuck leaped clear over Prince Kaitou's head and bounded off into the wilderness."
Feverish whispers race through the room as the audience debates if it is even possible for a Sawsbuck to jump over someone's head. "Prince Kaitou was in hot pursuit, and chased the Sawsbuck for so long and so far, his Ponyta died of exhaustion." Brock explains, quieting the chatter. "Prince Kaitou soldiered on through the desert heat until he came to a great mountain. He mustered his strength and climbed to the top, and there he found a giant tree so tall, it looked like it touched the very sky. On top of that, a stream flowed nearby."
Awed chatter wafts through the crowd. "Prince Kaitou was elated at the sight of water, and drank so much, he could've burst." Ash goes on. "Just then, he saw a man he presumed was a priest. The priest asked Prince Kaitou what he was doing in the desert. Prince Kaitou told the priest everything that had happened, and asked the priest the same question. The priest initially said no, but relented after Prince Kaitou begged and pleaded for a few minutes."
Giggles go up as Brock continues "The priest explained that he had once been a king of a far away land, with wealth untold, and seven sons of his own. One day, his eldest son heard of a king in a land far to the east who had a daughter named Yukina, who was as wise as she was beautiful. Anyone who wanted to have Princess Yukina's hand in marriage had to answer a riddle she posed them--and if they got it wrong, it was his life in exchange."
"What was the riddle?" a girl in one row asks.
"What did the rose do to the cypress?" Brock replies.
Murmurs fill the air as the audience ponders the odd question. "His eldest son tried to win Princess Yukina's hand, and failed. and one by one, he lost his other sons in the same way. He had been so overcome by grief that he entered the priesthood."
"Poor guy.." a man muses.
"Prince Kaitou listened to the story, and the idea to try and win Princess Yukina's hand entered his mind." Brock continues. "Suddenly, his hunting party caught up to him with a new Ponyta. When he got home, he told his father what had happen and his request to try and win Princess Yukina's hand. His father was reluctant at first, but saw him off to the eastern land with all kinds of fine and lavish gifts. He was welcomed with all due respect and ceremony, but when he told the court the reason he had come, the eastern king tried to talk him out of it."
Fearful whispers race through the crowd. "Prince Kaitou was asked the riddle, but could not answer it, and so it was his life in exchange." Brock sighs, confirming the crowd's prediction. "Understandably, his father was devastated. Prince Mamoru next asked to try, but unfortunately, he met the same fate." he continues. "Finally, Prince Akira journeyed to the eastern kingdom, but decided to spend some time exploring the capital city in hopes he would find a clue to Princess Yukina's riddle."
Once Brock is back in his place at center stage, he reveals the twist to his tale. "A wise woman explained that the cypress was Princess Yukina's father, and the rose was a fey woman he had fallen in love with years before. She explained that the answer was the rose had betrayed the cypress, as the fey-woman had left Princess Yukina's father not long after Princess Yukina was born, leaving him to raise Princess Yukina on his own. The only clue that Yukina had any fey blood in her was her great wisdom and knowledge that no human knows."
"Oh"s fill the air as Brock concludes. "Needless to say, Princess Yukina was stunned when Akira answered the riddle correctly. It wasn't long before they were married, and they all lived happily ever after."
He smiles and takes a bow for the thrilled crowd...
Re: Live From the Fireside: Season 4 (Week 82: The Legend of Xerneas and Yveltal)
This tale is in celebration of the unveiling of Gen 6.
@Chimchar98; @The Jingster; @Tophat Dragoneye; @Soulmaster;
Week 82: The Legend of Xerneas and Yveltal
(real tale: The Story of the Hero Makoma)
"Once upon a time, in a place far from here, and in a time long ago, a boy was born." Brock begins. "He was not like the other boys and girls, for he was very tall and strong. He carried a big sack over one shoulder, and a great shining sword in his right hand. He could also speak like a grown person, but usually he kept to himself."
Gasps go up from the audience, awed that such a boy exists, if only in Brock's imagination. "One day his mom asked him what he wished to be named." Brock continues. "The boy instructed his mom to summon all the town elders to the riverbank by their house So his mother did as she was told, and called together the town's council of elders. The boy met them at a place the river where all the fierce Croconaws lived. He challenged them to jump into the water and swim across to the other side, Croconaws and all. When no one stepped forward to accept his challenge, the boy jumped in himself!"
Everyone holds their breaths as they wait to hear if the boy survived. "Naturally, the people thought the boy was nuts for swimming across a Croconaw infested river." Brock continues. "But suddenly, they saw a blue flash of light in the water, and all the Croconaws came floating to the surface, stunned by a strange power. The boy, meanwhile, continued to the other side unharmed. The head elder was amazed at the boy's power, and gave him the name Xerneas, which in their people's language, meant 'the one with great power'"
Interested murmurs race through the crowd. "Xerneas left on a journey of discovery the next day, with only his sack of supplies and his great sword to his name." Brock goes on. "He wandered all across the world, which was still relatively new in those days. One day, he found Regirock shaping a mountain, and challenged him to a battle. Regirock accepted, and a great battle raged across the mountains. In the end, Regirock admitted defeat, and gave Xerneas a piece of amber as a sign of reverence, which Xerneas put in his sack."
"Who else did Xerneas meet?" a boy asks.
"Regirock's amber gave Xerneas super strength, making him able to pick up the biggest rocks just as it were a feather." Brock explains. "After a while, he happened to find Manaphy shaping the river beds. He challenged Manaphy to battle, and Manaphy accepted. It was a very long and intense battle, but in the end, Manaphy was defeated too. He gave Xerneas a sapphire as a sign of respect, which allowed him to create things from thin air."
"Then who did he meet?" a girl wonders.
"He then happened upon Virizion keeping watch over a forest." Brock replies. "As he had with his other opponents, he challenged Virizion to fight. Virizion accepted, and after a long and drawn out battle, admitted defeat and gave Xerneas an emerald as a sign of respect. Then he happened to meet Moltres in a great desert, and after challenging and defeating her in battle, earned a ruby from her as a sign of her respect."
Murmurs race through the room as the audience debates who Xerneas will meet next. "Xerneas came to a beautiful plain filled with flowers, and made his home there." Brock goes on. "One night, he heard rumors of a girl named Yveltal, who lived at the peak of a high mountain. She was said to be equal, if not stronger than him. So after putting his house in order, he set out on the long journey."
Brock then walks a few laps around the stage as he continues "He climbed over rocky mountains, slogged through swamps, crossed raging rivers, and tromped for days across deserts dry enough to kill an ordinary person, until he came to a house sitting on top of the high mountain. "A beautiful young lady all in red met Xerneas, saying that she was in fact the famous Yveltal. Not surprisingly, Xerneas challenged her as well.
Fearful murmurs fill the air as Brock continues "Yveltal accepted the challenge, and the battle commenced. Hour by hour they fought, and mountains trembled like trees in the wind. Yet no matter what they did, neither one could slay the other. At last, after two days of fighting, they collapsed on the ground, exhausted."
He concludes "In the morning, Arceus appeared to them, and told them that both of them were great heroes, and that they both deserved to protect the world. So he transformed Xerneas into a deer-like Pokemon with X-like antlers, and put him in charge of the earth. Then he transformed Yveltal into a red Y-shaped bird, and put her in charge of the skies, as queen of all birds. They became friends for all time, and in time, Xerneas taught the people of the earth how to call his friend Yveltal." With that, he sings <i>Yveltal, ame no ga bakeno...</i>
The audience roars with applause as Brock takes a bow....
Re: Live From the Fireside: Season 4 (Week 83: Victini's Gift to Meloetta)
@Chimchar98; @The Jingster; @Tophat Dragoneye; @Soulmaster;
Week 83: Victini's Gift to Meloetta
(real tale: The Divine Mischief Maker)
"Ever since Arceus created Victini, he always was a bit of a prankster." Brock begins. "So one day, he left his little grotto on what is now Liberty Island in hopes of playing a prank on one of the other Legendaries--like he did most every day. On this particular day, he happened to find Meloetta keeping watch over a herd of Tauros."
He then catches himself. "But then he noticed Meloetta was asleep--and he got the brilliant idea to try and take a few of the Tauros for himself." Brock continues. "So after choosing a few Tauros to take, he covered their hooves with bark so they wouldn't leave any tracks. Then he tied a few branches to their tails, which would wipe away whatever tracks were left behind. He worked quickly and quietly, hoping all the while Meloetta wouldn't wake up and cast a spellsong on him."
Nervous giggles go up at this. "Thankfully, Meloetta had no idea what Victini was doing, nor did she know Victini was even there." Brock assures the audience. "When Victini arrived home, he decided to sacrifice two of the Tauros to Arceus. He had some of the meat for dinner, then used some of the bones, some Spinarak string, and a Squirtle shell to fashion the world's first harp." He shows the audience his own harp for effect.
After pausing to put on some fingerpicks on his right hand, Brock continues. "Victini nervously plucked a few of the strings of his new instrument, and was enthralled at the sound they made." he explains as he plucks out a four note melody.
The audience listens as Brock builds on the simple four note melody into a lavish opus with multiple parts and beautiful harmonies. After playing the mostly improvised song for a moment, the different parts begin to disappear until Brock is back to the four note melody he started with. When the last note dies, they roar with applause, never mind the story isn't over yet.
Brock acknowledges his applause, then continues as he sets the harp aside. "It wasn't until the next morning that Meloetta figured out what Victini did. And when she did, she flew to the heavens and complained to Arceus about what had happened. But Arceus, with all his wisdom, already knew what had transpired the day before, and called Victini to the heavens. Meloetta demanded Victini return her Tauros, but Victini decided to play dumb."
He interjects in character as Victini "Who, me? I didn't take any Tauros."
Laughter goes up at this. "This made Meloetta even madder, and she chased Victini all over the heavens trying to cast a spellsong on him." With that, he dashes around the stage for a moment, singing gibberish "spellsongs" every once in a while. <i>Retapa, esebi ine....</i> <i>Etime posse ine....</i> <i>Sienon paifi ire...</i> <i>Temelo, quilami eno...</i>
He continues "Finally, Arceus broke up the fighting and told Victini to return the Tauros." as he returns to his waiting harp at center stage. "Victini returned the remaining Tauros, but when Meloetta saw that two Tauros were missing, he showed her the harp he had made. Meloetta was piqued in the new instrument, and decided to play it herself."
With that, he plays the waltz "Starry Night" for effect. "Meloetta was delighted with the new harp, and told Victini she would forgive him for taking the Tauros if he would let her have the harp in return. Victini agreed, and never again stole from anyone."
He concludes "From that day on, the other Legendaries shared their talents and gifts with each other--Meloetta taught the mortals of the earth how to make harps and other instruments of their own, and Victini served as a guardian and guide to many a great hero, leading them on to victory with a playful glint in his eye."
The crowd roars with applause as Brock takes a bow...
Re: Live From the Fireside: Season 4 (Week 84: Fennekin Learns to Fish)
@Chimchar98; @The Jingster; @Tophat Dragoneye; @Soulmaster;
Week 84: Fennekin Learns to Fish
(real tale: "Folktales from Japan" episode 41, story 3)
"Of all the water Pokemon, Buizel was the best fisherman among them, so he was always finding Magikarps and Goldeens." Brock begins. "One day, a Fennekin passed by, and noticed all the fish." She told Buizel that in the mountains where she lived, there was hardly anything to eat in the winter. Buizel assured her that there was always fish in the rivers and lakes, even in the winter."
Piqued murmurs go up at this. "Buizel offered to share some of his massive catch with Fennekin." Brock continues. "After both of them had had their fill, Buizel told Fennekin she was welcome to have a share of what he caught."
He starts back to center stage. "Fennekin visited Buizel every day, and they shared the fish together. But after a while, Buizel began to suspect something was up. When Buizel brought up the matter, Fennekin assured Buizel she would never have more than her fair share, and invited Buizel to come see her."
Giggles go up at this. "The next day, Buizel came to visit Fennekin, where he found her looking up at the ceiling presumably meditating." Brock continued. "He left in annoyance, but the next day, Fennekin explained to him that she was houesitting, and was looking out the hole in the roof for any intruders. Buizel agreed to try again the next day, but when he got there, he found Fennekin looking at the floor, presumably meditating."
He goes on "Fennekin explained that she was house sitting again the next day, and was watching for intruders through a crack in the floor. Buizel explained that he didn't get much either, and decided to teach Fennekin how to catch her own fish--find a hole in an icy pond, lower her tail inside, and wait there until morning."
The crowd gasps as silver glitter starts to fall on the stage, mimicking snow. "A blizzard came through the area the next night, so Fennekin decided to try out Buizel's instructions." Brock explains as he cleans the "snow" off of him. "But when the sun came up the next morning, her tail was froze in the ice!"
Laughter goes up at this. "After struggling for a while to get free, Fennekin hurried off to find Buizel." Brock continues. "Buizel was surprised to see that Fennekin actually caught a Magikarp. But Fennekin said she would rather share Buizel's catch.
He concludes "But Buizel said no--if Fennekin wanted fish, she would have to catch them herself!"
Laughter and applause goes up as Brock takes a bow...
Re: Live From the Fireside: Season 4 (Week 85: The Seven Brothers)
@Chimchar98; @The Jingster; @Tophat Dragoneye; @Soulmaster;
Week 85: The Seven Brothers
(real tale: The Story of the Seven Simons)
"Far, far away, in a land far from here, and in a time far from now, there stood a splendid city where there lived a king who was as good as he was rich and handsome--we'll call him Justin." Brock begins. "His great army was made up of thousands of men and women ready to obey his slightest wish; he owned so many cities, it was near impossible to count them all, and in each city he had ten palaces with silver doors, golden roofs, and crystal windows. His council consisted of the four wisest men and women in the country, each of whom was as learned as a whole college, and then some. This council always told King Justin the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."
Interested murmurs fill the air as Brock walks to his place at center stage, speaking all the while. "Now, King Justin had everything to make him happy, but the one thing he desired more than anything was a bride as pure in heart as she was beautiful--in other words, a princess."
Some children in the audience cheer at the mention of a princess. "One day, as King Justin sat in his palace looking out to sea, a great ship sailed into the harbor and several merchants came on shore. So he decided to ask them if they had seen any princess who is as clever and beautiful as he was." Brock explains, acknowledging the children with a smile. "So he ordered the merchants to be brought before him, and when they came, he said..."
In a deeper version of himself, he intones "You have traveled much and visited many wonders. I wish to ask you a question, and I beg you to answer truthfully. Have you anywhere seen or heard of the daughter of an emperor, king, or a prince, who is as clever and as beautiful as I am, and who would be worthy to be my wife and the queen of my country?"
"The merchants speculated and debated for some time on the king's question." he continues as himself. "At last the first merchant said that across many seas, in what is now Sunburst Island, there was a mighty king, whose daughter, the Princess Alani, was as lovely, if not moreso than King Justin, and so clever that the wisest sage couldn't guess her riddles.
Awed murmurs race through the room. "When asked how far the island was, the merchant said the journey would take ten years at least, and no one knew the way." Brock explains. "If he were to send someone, the whole trip would take twenty years at least--long enough to take multiple walking tours of every region and still have time left over."
Stunned chatter fills the air at this. "King Justin thought long and hard about this after the merchants left." Brock continues. "Finally, he decided to head for the royal hunting grounds to calm his nerves--for a good hunt always cleared his mind when he had a vexing problem. So after assembling his hunting party, they all departed to the royal hunting grounds. On the way, they came to a green hedge. On the other side of the hedge stretched a great field of Cornn Berries as far as the eye could see."
"Mm"s fill the air as many in the audience picture fresh Cornn on the cob. "King Justin looked around the field for a moment, curious as to who owned it." Brock continues. "So some servants hurried off to find out, and found a nice, tidy farmhouse at the end of the path, in front of which sat seven brothers, having lunch after a long day in the field. They wore shirts in every color of the rainbow bound with gold trim, and were so much alike that one could hardly tell one from another, except for the color of shirt they wore. The messengers asked who owned the Cornn field, and the seven brothers answered that it was theirs. When asked who they were, they replied that they were loyal subjects of King Justin. When brought before King Justin, the eldest brother reiterated that they were his humble servants, and all alike, save for the shirt he wore. He went on to tell the king that their father taught them to be true to the king, to till the ground, and to be kind to all they met." Ash replied. "He had also taught each of them a different trade or skill which he thought might be useful to them, and it was these they were named for. But they were farmers first and foremost."
Whispers race through the auditorium as the audience debates what the brothers will be named. "King Justin was pleased with the eldest brother, and asked them their trades and their names." Brock goes on. "The eldest, who wore red, was named Evan, as he was skilled in stoneworking. Next came Keane, who could see anything no matter how high or how far away it was. Then came Kenji, who had the gift of speed--both in running and in building ships and carriages. Then came Dolan, who had the gift of stealth. Avery was very skilled in archery, Hunter could find anything, no matter how well hidden it was. But it was Kai, who wore purple, who had the riskiest gift--he could pick any lock and steal things all without the guard having any clue he had been there."
"How did King Justin react to Kai being a thief?" a boy wonders.
"Despite Kai's assurances that he only stole from those with ill-gotten gains, King Justin ordered Kai thrown in the dungeon." Brock replies. "So while Kai rotted in the dungeon, the others were put to work--Evan built and repaired many stone walls, and Keane gave the king a report every morning about all he had seen. Kenji built a fleet of the fastest ships anyone had seen, and Dolan cloaked them all in a magical veil so they wouldn't be stolen. Avery made bows and arrows for the guard, and Hunter served as a scout for the king's hunting expeditions and on rescue missions."
Once the whispers quiet, he continues "One day, the brothers were summoned to the throne room, where King Justin asked Keane to see what was happening on the island where Princess Alani lived. After looking out across the sea for a moment, Keane reported that the island king was a mighty monarch, but full of pride, harsh and cruel. He would sit on his throne and declare that no prince or king on earth was good enough for Princess Alani, and if anyone asked for her hand, he would declare war against him and destroy his kingdom."
Everyone gasps, stunned at the turn of events. "King Justin was understandably worried, and pressed Keane to tell him more." Brock assures his audience. "Keane went on to tell the king that it would take at least ten years--maybe a little less in favorable weather--to get there. He had seen the army being reviewed, and it had a hundred thousand foot soldiers and a hundred thousand cavalry. On top of that, he had a strong personal corps of bodyguards and a good many archers, making for another hundred thousand people, plus some heroes on standby for great occasions requiring particular courage--roughly 350,000 people all told. King Justin thought long and hard about what Keane had said--he really wanted to marry Princess Alani, but how he going to do it?"
After waiting a few beats, he continues "Finally, Kenji suggested Justin take one of his fast ships, where he would arrive on the island in a week. So King Justin called together his council and asked them what to do when he got there. Yet the council, with all their combined wisdom, had no idea what to do. Just then, the court jester suggested to let Kai steal Alani and bring her to Justin. King Justin ordered Kai set free, and when Kai arrived in the throne room, King Justin spelled out what he wanted done--if he could steal Princess Alani and bring her to him, he would believe his claim he only stole for the benefit of others, and not for his own gain. Kai agreed, and bade his brothers prepare one of Kenji's ships with rare and exotic goods, and sailed off under the guise of merchants. The guards bought their ruse, and even Princess Alani wished to admire the many rare and exotic wares."
"So did her dad say okay?" a girl asks.
"Alani's father also bought Kai's ruse, and sent 100 archers, 100 knights, and 1,000 soldiers as an escort." Brock assures the audience. "As Princess Alani came aboard their ship and admired the fine wares, Kai told her all kinds of stories about his homeland. Princess Alani was so engrossed in listening to them, she had no clue Dolan had cloaked the ship, and they were sailing back to the brothers' homeland without her escort having a clue Alani was gone."
"Oooh"s go up as the audiences anticipates Princess Alani's reaction. "Now, Princess Alani was well versed in magic, and could transform herself into any Pokemon she wanted by simply singing a song, to name one spellsong she knew." Brock continues. "When she saw she was out in the middle of nowhere, she sang..." He then sings <i>Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul...</i> and transformed into a gold Pidgeot. But Avery seized his bow and shot the Pidgeot in the wing..." He pantomimes shooting a bow to emphasize his point. "and Hunter caught it in a bag. But then he heard..." He sings again <i>Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul...</i> before continuing "..and the Pidgeot turned into a shining Goldeen, but Hunter caught the Goldeen too. But before he could put it back in the bag again, he heard the Goldeen sing..." He sings <i>Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul...</i> a third time. "and the Goldeen turned into a shining Pikachu and ran about the ship."
Some laughter goes up at this. "The Pikachu darted towards a hole, but Hunter caught it faster than any Meowth. Finally, the Pikachu sang..." Brock pauses to sing <i>Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul...</i> again. "...and the shining Pikachu turned back into the beautiful Princess Alani. Meanwhile, King Justin was watching the sea and dreaming of Princess Alani. Imagine his surprise when he saw the ship in the distance, and Princess Alani aboard it!"
Cheers go up at this. "Princess Alani was given a royal welcome, and it was not long before she and King Justin were married." Brock concludes. "The seven brothers were handsomely rewarded, their land made tax free, and Kai was forgiven--because even thieves can steal for a good reason!"
He takes a bow as the crowd roars with applause....
Re: Live From the Fireside: Season 4 (Week 86: The Legend of Princess Ayaka)
@Chimchar98; @The Jingster; @Tophat Dragoneye; @Soulmaster;
Week 86: The Legend of Princess Ayaka
(real tale: The Princess Mayblossom)
"There was once a king and queen who longed to have a child more than anything else." Brock begins. "Finally, after months of trying, a little princess was born--since she was born when the flowers were in full bloom in a dazzling array of colors, she was named Ayaka, which means 'colorful fragrance'"
Some light applause goes up in approval of the name. "Now, the queen wanted Princess Ayaka to have a nurse who would help care for her and teach her everything a princess had to know. So heralds were sent out to all corners of the land, and commanded all the best nurses in the land to appear before the queen. So on the appointed day the whole palace was crowded with nurses, who came from all over the kingdom and the world--so many, in fact, that the queen asked that they come into the throne room one at a time if there was any chance of seeing all of them and keeping order."
Laughter goes up as the audience pictures the chaos. "So each of them came one by one, and the nurses, after they had bowed to the king and queen," Brock proceeds to bow before an imagined throne at stage right. "made their cases as to how they would bring up Princess Ayaka."
"Now, most of the nurses present were fairly good looking and had a kind air about them," he continues as he gets up. "but the king didn't find it odd that one of the black haired ones was speaking a strange language which nobody could understand. The queen, meanwhile, felt something wasn't right when it came to be this dark haired lady's turn, and sent her away. Then weird things started happening--one candidate was bitten by an Ekans and knocked out cold, another was knocked out cold by a Wartortle a Braviary had dropped..." Laughter goes up as the audience remembers "Wartortle Tries to Fly". "...and a third wound up poisoned by a thorny bush."
The audience holds their breaths as they wait to find out who--or what--could be hurting the nurses. "Horrified, the queen decided she would not go through any more candidates that day." Brock intones. "Just as the crowd turned to leave, some evil laughter got her attention--and the dark haired lady revealed herself as the dark fairy Duin."
Gasps go up as Brock continues "The queen ordered that Duin be arrested, but before the guard could move in, Duin summoned a chariot of fire drawn by two black Charizards, and disappeared into the sky, calling down all manner of curses and threats."
Once he is back in his place at center stage, he goes on. "The queen burst into tears thinking about what sorts of misfortune Duin had cast upon Princess Ayaka, but the king assured her that the best thing to do was combat darkness with light. They called all their advisors and counselors together, and decided that all the fey of the realm of light be there when Princess Ayaka made her public debut. The time of the ceremony was kept secret, lest Duin get wind of it and crash the festivities."
Nervous giggles go up at this. "The queen and her ladies set to work to prepare presents for all the fairies of light and nature--earth fairies would get a green velvet cloak, fire fairies a petticoat of red satin, and wind fairies a pair of shoes, to name some of the gifts." Brock continues. "The ceremony was a grand affair, and nearly every fey in the realm of light turned out to wish blessings on Princess Ayaka. The great fairies of the elements bestowed special gifts on Princess Ayaka-- the great fairy of fire blessed her with the beauty of a dancing flame, the great fairy of water blessed her with the wisdom of a flowing river, the great fairy of wind blessed her with a voice rivaling even Meloetta, the great fairy of earth blessed her with bravery and courage that would not waver, like a rock. But before the great fairy of light could giver her blessing, Duin appeared in a puff of black smoke!"
Tense murmurs race through the crowd. "Duin cursed Princess Ayaka to have twenty years of bad luck." Brock intones. "But the great fairy of light softened Duin's curse a little--the twenty years of bad luck would then be followed by an eternity of good luck."
He pauses to interject "If you think you know where this is going, I can assure you this is different."
Giggles go up as Brock continues "The fairy queen suggested that Princess Ayaka be hidden inside a tower until her twentieth birthday. So the King had a tower built with no windows, lit by candles, and the only way into it was by a secret passage, which had iron doors only twenty feet apart, and guards posted everywhere. Yet Princess Ayaka always had something to do and her ladies and her nurse to talk with, so she was never lonely. Despite never having seen the outside world, she understood what was there and how to behave in it, thanks to her blessing of wisdom. The years went by, and before long, her twentieth birthday drew near. All the town was rejoicing at the thought of Princess Ayaka's approaching freedom, and when the news came that a neighboring king was sending an envoy to ask her hand in marriage on behalf of his son--who we'll call Kaitou--, they were still more delighted. The nurse, who kept Princess Ayaka informed of everything that went forward in the town, did not fail to repeat the news that so nearly concerned her, and gave such a description of the splendor in which the envoy--we'll call him Mamoru--would enter the town, that Princess Ayaka wanted to see the procession for herself. After a lot of begging, pleading, crying, and a little threatening, the ladies made a tiny hole in the tower on the side that looked towards the city gates."
Some festive music fills the air as Brock continues "Mamoru led the way, riding a shining Ponyta whose mane glowed an elegant sapphire blue, which complemented his coat was that glittered with rubies, sapphires, emeralds, pearls, and diamonds, his boots were solid gold, and from his hat floated ruby plumes. Princess Ayaka vowed that Mamoru was the one she would marry. Princess Ayaka was brought out from the tower, where an extravagant package from the fey of light was waiting for her--a glittering crystal tiara, a matching scepter, a golden robe, and a petticoat marvelously embroidered with Beautifly wings were just a few of the gifts inside, and the gifts Princess Ayaka sent back to the realm of the fey as thanks were just as extravagant."
The music takes an ominous turn, making fearful murmurs fill the air. "The festivities had barely gotten underway when a great storm blew up." Brock intones. "Some familiar laughter echoed through the skies, and Duin appeared and conjured a chain of black crystal so fine, it looked very much like a scarf around Princess Ayaka's neck. But Mamoru paid no mind--cursed chain or no, he still thought Princess Ayaka was beautiful, yet he couldn't find the words to confess his love for her."
Laughter goes up at this. "The king hurried everyone inside the castle, and when Mamoru worked up the courage to tell Princess Ayaka he loved her, she told him..."
In his best mimic of Wendy, Brock explains "As you could not possibly guess how much I love you, Mamoru-sama, I should tell you that as soon as I saw you enter the town on your beautiful Ponyta, I felt sorry that you came to speak for another instead of for yourself. So, if you think about it as I do, I will marry you instead of your master. Of course I know you are not a prince, but I shall be just as fond of you as if you were, and we can go and live in some little corner of the world, and be as happy as the days are long."
As himself, he replies "Mamoru, meanwhile, thought he was dreaming, and could hardly believe what Princess Ayaka had said. He dared not answer, but only squeezed her hand as a sign he loved her. They didn't participate in any more of the feasting or dancing, and paid no heed to the minstrels singing and the antics of the jesters--they only talked with each other about all manner of things. Finally, everyone was so tired from the festivities that they crashed right where they were. But only Ayaka and Mamoru were awake--once sure no one else was awake, she took her father's sword..." The audience gasps as Brock draws a prop sword decorated with gold inlays on the blade and emeralds in the hilt. "and her mother's favorite blue scarf with a ruby in the center..." He shows the audience an identical scarf after sheathing the prop sword, and the two of them set out for a far away island named Sakura Island, because of all the cherry blossoms that bloomed there year round."
"Meanwhile, the king and the queen were waking up to resume the wedding preparations." he goes on. "Imagine their shock when the king's sword, the queen's scarf, Ayaka, nor Mamoru were anywhere to be found!"
Laughter fills the air as Brock describes the chaos. "they searched the castle and the kingdom from top to bottom, and asked anyone and everyone to find their beloved daughter. But they didn't find Ayaka and Mamoru anywhere!"
When the laughter quiets, he continues "Back on Sakura Island, Princess Ayaka had grown tired of finding food, and had slumped against a tree trunk in tears. Celebi heard Princess Ayaka crying, and gave her a honeycomb to comfort her. She ate her share and then gave the rest to Mamoru. For a while, Ayaka and Mamoru made their home on the island, and the resident Pokemon would bring them whatever they needed."
"About then, the king, Duin, and the fairy queen all figured out at the same time where Ayaka was." Brock continues. "The fairy queen pleaded with the Legendary Pokemon to protect Ayaka and Mamoru, and so they hurried off to the island. "They got there minutes before Duin did, and a great battle broke out as Ayaka and Mamoru looked on in awe."
The Zelda theme plays as an interlude before giving way to a festive theme. "After a long and drawn out battle, Duin was defeated." Brock concludes. "The king and the queen were elated Ayaka and Mamoru were all right, and the fairy queen gave her new clothes and gifts to replace what had been damaged on the island. Ayaka told her parents why she had left with Mamoru, and that she loved him. They returned to a hero's welcome, and Prince Kaitou sent his blessings as Ayaka and Mamoru were married, fulfilling the other part of the great light fairy's blessing--from that day on, they never had to worry about Duin, or any form of bad luck, again."
The crowd roars as Brock takes a bow...
Re: Live From the Fireside: Season 4 (Week 87: The Bean, The Straw, and the Ash)
@Chimchar98; @The Jingster; @Tophat Dragoneye; @Soulmaster;
Week 87: The Bean, The Straw, and the Ash
(real tale: "Folktales of Japan" episode 42, story 3)
"Once, a woman was about to prepare some beans for her dinner one evening when one of them fell out of the basket," A "falling" sound effect with a slide whistle plays to illustrate Brock's point. "rolled across the floor..." A sound effect of something rolling plays for effect. "and into the grass."
The audience giggles at the sounds. "The woman figured one missing bean wouldn't ruin the meal, and went to get some straw to light the fire." Brock assures his audience. "Suddenly, a breeze blew up, and blew a piece of straw near where the bean landed. She figured one missing piece of straw wouldn't hurt anything, and lit the stove." Brock lights a match himself for effect.
"And then?" a girl asks as Brock uses the match to light a candle that will be used for the next sketch.
"But one of the embers went flying out of the stove and into the grass, where it became a piece of ash." Brock explains. "The bean suggested that the three of them go to Wishmaker Peak. The straw and the ash loved the idea, and the three departed on their journey early the next morning, eager to ask Jirachi for a wish."
"Did they get there safely?" a boy asks.
"The journey was relatively uneventful until they came to a raging river." Brock replies. "The straw suggested stretching himself across the gap so the bean and the ash could cross. The ash volunteered to go first, but then made the mistake of looking down at the river far below and chickened out, burning the straw and sending them into the river." Another "falling" note and a splash plays for effect, to the audience's delight.
"The bean found this so funny, his shell split, making him cry in pain." Brock intones, quieting the laughter. "Luckily, a needle happened to be passing that way, and sewed him back up, creating the distinct black line certain beans have to this day."
Giggles and applause as Brock takes a bow and the lights go down...
Re: Live From the Fireside: Season 4 (Week 88: How Eien-no-Kurayami Finally Died)
@Chimchar98; @The Jingster; @Tophat Dragoneye; @Soulmaster;
Week 88: How Eien-no-Kurayami Finally Died
(real tale: The Death of Koshchei the Deathless)
"In a certain kingdom there lived a prince who was brave, kind, and unselfish--we'll call him Shiro." Brock begins. "He had three sisters--Princess Aiiro, the eldest, Princess Akaino, the middle sister, and Princess Midori, the youngest."
After a few beats, he continues Their father and mother had died not long before all of them came of age. They had told Prince Shiro to give the girls in marriage to the very first suitors who came to woo them."
"I have a bad feeling about this..." Rylan muses from backstage--giving someone to the first suitor that courted them hardly ended well.
"One day, they were all strolling in the royal gardens when a storm rolled in. They had just made it back inside when the rain started pouring, and the thunder rolled." Brock goes on. "As the four of them caught their breaths, who should appear on the window but Zapdos!"
Awed and excited murmurs fill the air at this. "Zapdos transformed himself into a young man, and said to Shiro..." Brock then intones in a deeper version of himself "Hail and well met, Prince Shiro! Before I came as a guest, but now I have come as a suitor! I wish to ask for your sister, the Princess Aiiro."
He then replies as a high pitched version of himself for Prince Shiro "If you find favor in the eyes of my sister, I will respect her wishes."
"And so Princess Aiiro gave her consent; Zapdos married her and brought her back into his own realm." Brock continues as himself. "A year went by, and then the same thing happened--Shiro and the girls got caught in a storm while out in the gardens, and just barely made it back to the castle before the heavens opened up. When they had caught their breaths, Articuno appeared on the windowsill!"
"Isn't Articuno usually a female?" Yuki wonders.
"Brock says that in some Kanto lore, Articuno is male." Akane assures her. "Including this tale."
"Articuno requested Princess Akaino in marriage, Akaino consented, and they were married not long after." Brock goes on. "The next year, the same thing happened again, only this time Moltres appeared, asking for Princess Midori. For a while, Prince Shiro loved having the castle to himself, but after a year went by, he wondered how his sisters were doing."
"And how were they doing?" a girl in one row asks.
"So after he got ready for the journey, his travels were relatively uneventful at first." Brock replies as he walks around the stage to mimic traveling. "Then one day, he saw a whole army dead on the plain." He looks down his jog and glances around the stage as he returns to center stage, as if he is Prince Shiro looking around at the fallen army. "He called out for anyone that could answer to tell him who or what what had caused the horrific scene. A man then told him that whole army had been slain by Princess Aiiro-no-Megami, the Icy Snow Goddess."
"The same Aiiro as his sister?" Now Kano is confused.
"Shiro rode on until he came to Aiiro-no-Megami's camp, where he found favor in her eyes." Brock continues. "She invited him to stay with her in her homeland, and it wasn't long before they were married."
"And they all lived happily ever after--the end!" Lotta replies with a smirk--loud enough for Brock to hear her!
Brock just chuckles. "But the story doesn't end there--one day, Aiiro-no-Megami had to head out for the battlefield to defend her homeland, instructing Shiro to not look in a certain closet. Sadly, curiosity got the better of Shiro, and when he peeked inside, he inadvertently released the evil spirit Eien-no-Kurayami, who Aiiro-no Megami had kept bound so she could banish him to the dark realm when she returned."
Everyone gasps at the turn of events. "Eien-no Kurayami wasted no time in capturing Aiiro-no-Megami." Brock continues. "Shiro was understandably devastated, and vowed to move heaven and earth to save Aiiro-no-Megami."
The children in the audience whisper excitedly about a quest. "Prince Shiro walked on for three days, and on the morning of the third day he saw a wondrous palace, and by the side of the palace stood an oak, and on the oak sat Zapdos." Brock continues. "Needless to say, his sister Aiiro was overjoyed to see him, and they spent three days catching up with each other. Then Shiro said he had to go search for Aiiro-no Megami. Zapdos bade him leave a topaz behind, in case something should happen to him. He then went on and visited his other sisters, and left a sapphire with Articuno and a ruby with Moltres, in case something should happen to him."
"I think I know where this is going..." Morgan smiles.
"After a long journey, Prince Shiro came to where Aiiro-no-Megami was being held." Brock continues, fishing a whistle from a shirt pocket. "She was overjoyed to see Prince Shiro again, but also asked him why he had set free Eien-no-Kurayami. Shiro explained that his curiosity had spurred him to do it, and that he had left jewels with the Legendary Birds--if something happened to him or they escaped Eien-no-Kurayami's lair, the three jewels would summon Lugia when the spellsong of awakening was played."
"And then?" A boy is piqued.
"Aiiro-no-Megami said she had a magic whistle to play Lugia's awakening spellsong at the appointed time." Brock replies, showing his audience the whistle. "They had not gotten very far away until they saw Eien-no-Kurayami chasing them!"
The audience gasps, afraid for Prince Shiro and Aiiro-no-Megami. "Try as Prince Shiro might to fight off Eien-no-Kurayami, he was soundly defeated and left for dead." Brock intones before readying the whistle to play. "About then, the three gems began glowing as Aiiro-no-Megami wept at her beloved's side, spurring her to play the awakening spellsong..." With that, he plays Lugia's Song for effect.
The auditorium explodes in cheers at the familiar melody. "Needless to say, Eien-no-Kurayami was no match for Lugia's power." Brock concludes. "Lugia also healed Prince Shiro, allowing him to return with Aiiro-no-Megami to her homeland, where they ruled for many years and went on many more adventures. "But that is another story for another day!"
The crowd roars as Brock pockets the whistle and takes a bow...
Re: Live From the Fireside: Season 4 (Week 89: Lady Suicune's Tears)
@Chimchar98; @The Jingster; @Tophat Dragoneye; @Soulmaster;
Week 89: Lady Suicune's Tears
(real tale: Mother Cheetah's Children)
"One day in a certain village, a lazy hunter woke to the sound of his children's pleas that they were hungry." Brock begins. "His wife told him to go find some food, so he nodded sleepily and slowly walked outside."
He looks up and shields his eyes, as if the sun is there. "He looked up at the brightening sky--as the sun was just beginning to rise. "He concluded that it would be too hot to work, and had half a mind to go spend the day chatting with friends in the town square, but his wife snapped him back to reality with a warning to not return empty handed."
Laughter goes up at this. "After setting out onto the plains, he happened to find Lady Suicune stalking a fine, fat Sawsbuck. He stood and watched as she moved first with stealth, then with speed, power, and grace. Then, the hunter spotted Lady Suicune's cubs lying beneath the shade of a tree. They too watched, wide-eyed, as their mother chased the Sawsbuck. When she finally caught her prey, the cubs and the lazy hunter gasped. The cubs, knowing they soon would eat, purred and mewed happily."
"Aw"s fill the air as the audience pictures a litter of Suicune cubs. "The hunter wished he possessed Lady Suicune's patience, speed and skill." Brock goes on. "But then the man shook his head and concluded that patience, speed, and skill were too much work in the hundred degree heat--far too much work."
Giggles go up in reply. "But then he saw Lady Suicune pull her prey toward the three little cubs, and got the idea to steal one of the cubs and train it to hunt for him." Brock intones. "Then he would never have to work another day--or so he thought."
He continues "The hunter stayed where he was all that day, watching Lady Suicune as she tended her cubs. He knew once the sun began to set, Lady Suicune would leave her cubs to hunt--then he would take one of the cubs. He decided to doze under a tree until then."
"Ooh"s fill the air as the lights dim to simulate evening. "As the sun began to set, the hunter woke and looked to see Lady Suicune as she nuzzled her little cubs goodbye. She ran off into the bush, and as soon as she was out of sight, the lazy hunter crept up to the lair where the three cubs lay sleeping. As he contemplated which one to take, he stepped on a twig, making it snap." A sound of a twig snapping emphasizes his point. "The cubs woke and began to shiver in fear. They did not like the sight of this human, but they were shy creatures, and had not yet learned to fear a human."
He adds as an aside "This is why the three Beasts are so elusive--they're more afraid of you that you are of them, and generally only appear to worthy humans and humans they trust."
Then he continues "Finally, the hunter decided it would be easier to just take them all, so he carefully picked them up and carried them back to his home." He carefully picks up an imagined Suicune cub and carries it around the stage for a moment.
"As the moon rose, the Pokemon of the bush began their nightly routine." he continues as he sets down the "Suicune". "Zebstrikas and Mightyenas called out in the night, and Stantler and Sawbucks gathered at watering holes. Lady Suicune watched closely, and when her chance came, she leapt to catch her evening's prey.
A Suicune's cry echos through the auditorium, making some surprised screams and awed gasps fill the air. "Once she had dinner, Lady Suicune quickly returned to her den." Brock goes on. "She panicked when she saw her cubs gone--she called out to them, and her voice sounded in the night like a wailing, moaning bird." A Suicune's distress howl resonates over Brock's voice. "She called and called, but then she realized her cubs were gone. She lay down in the tall grass and began to cry, for beyond everything else in the world, Lady Suicune loved her cubs. Tears splashed down her cheeks, staining the fur beneath her watery eyes a pure white."
The Suicune sounds fade away as the lights brighten to symbolize daytime. "The next morning, one of the village elders heard Lady Suicune crying." Brock continues. "He ran to see what had happened, and assured Lady Suicune he would do anything in his power to find her cubs. "He raced back to the village, asking if anyone and everyone had seen Lady Suicune's cubs. When he came upon the lazy hunter's house, he spied the three little cubs locked in a cage."
Angry murmurs fill the auditorium at this, appalled that any Pokemon, much less a Legendary, would be kept in a cage. "The elder harshly scolded the lazy hunter, and reminded him that the hunt requires you to use your own skill and strength, and that others could not help him." Brock explains. "When the hunter refused to return the cubs, the elder called together the other village elders and told them everything that had happened."
He intones "When the elders heard of the lazy man's crime, they threatened to banish him from the village. The hunter turned the cubs over to the elder, vowing he would work harder all the while. The elder brought the cubs to Lady Suicune's den, where he found her crying still. When she looked up and saw her cubs, she sprang up with joy and cradled the tiny cubs to her side." A happy Suicune yip punctuates this.
He concludes "Lady Suicune's tears were now tears of joy, and they came for so long, the white stains on her face remained, and ever since then, Suicunes are born with white stains beneath their eyes, in memory of a mother's happy tears."
The crowd roars as Brock takes a bow....
Re: Live From the Fireside: Season 4 (Week 90: The Pool of Varnish)
@Chimchar98; @The Jingster; @Tophat Dragoneye; @Soulmaster;
Week 90: The Pool of Varnish
(real tale: "Folktales from Japan" episode 43, story 2)
"In a certain village lived two brothers who made their keep making cups and bowls." Brock begins, "They would carve the wood, paint them with varnish, and then sell them. But getting the materials for varnish was hard, as it came from a certain tree in the summertime, and if you ever got it on you, your skin would itch for days." Laughter fills the air as Brock feigns scratching itches all around him.
"One day, the two of them were spending the day swimming in a river when a Wartortle passed by." he continues as the lights turn blue and mimic water patterns, as if the stage is underwater. "They decided to follow it, and it led them to a huge deposit of varnish."
Awed gasps go up as the water effects disappear. "After gathering some of the varnish, they found that just a little bit on a finger would be able to make tons of bowls and cups." Brock explains. "The people were amazed at the cups and bowls' beauty, and many paid a pretty gold piece." He flips a coin for effect. "The brothers quickly sold out of their initial batch, and before long, could hardly keep up with demand. But one day, the younger brother got the idea to horde all the varnish for himself."
After waiting for the angry murmurs to quiet, he goes on "So one day, when the elder brother dove in to get more varnish, he saw a Gyarados waiting for him down below!"
Some children yelp and scream at this. "He was so afraid of what else was in the river, he decided to look for work in town, while the younger brother stayed behind. But when the younger brother dove in, the Gyarados was still there!"
The screams turn to laughter as Brock continues "He was thrown back onto the surface, but when he dove back in, the Gyarados and the varnish were gone. He quickly hurried into town and apologized to his brother for wanting to horde the varnish for himself. Thankfully, the elder brother forgave him, and they returned home."
He concludes "From that day on, their work became popular again, but they never forgot to share what they earned with the townsfolk, particularly the less fortunate."
The crowd roars as Brock takes a bow....
Re: Live From the Fireside: Season 4 (Interlude 16: Legend of the Crimson Parasol)
@Chimchar98; @The Jingster; @Tophat Dragoneye; @Soulmaster;
Interlude 16: The Legend of the Crimson Parasol
Backstage, Brock is taking a moment to look through his photo album of his Minami adventure as the rest of the crew prepares for a rehearsal. <i>I really wish Ash was here...then I could tell him all about Wendy.</i> he smiles as he admires a picture of him and Wendy posing dramatically before a lamppost in Honoru City as a Vaporeon and a Sandshrew laugh hysterically in the background
Suddenly, a pair of gloved hands obscure his eyes. "Guess who?" a familiar male voice asks.
Brock immediately recognizes the voice. "Ash? Is that you?"
"How'd you know?" Ash chuckles as he reveals that in addition to him, Wendy, May, Blair, and Whitlea are present in the room as well.
"I just knew." Brock smiles. "What's the occasion to come all this way?"
"The Pokebook page said something about suggestions for another Gekijou play..." Blair explains.
"...and you also told me this in your last letter..." Wendy adds.
"...So we came in hopes we could perform the first Gekijou play we ever did at the Iris--'Crimson Parasol'" Ash concludes as he triumphantly produces a copy of the script for Wendy to look through.
Wendy thumbs through the script, a bemused look on her face. "Reminds me of that one play Team Elegy crashed--about how a Charizard brought fire..."
"Would you want to play a role in this?" Brock offers. "No auditions needed."
"Would I ever!" Wendy replies. "I would be honored to play the heroine."
'Okay, so I'm narrating as Kashu and voicing Langi the Raikou, Wendy as Akane, Lotta, Yuki, or Morgan would probably do well as Oka-san, May as Nabi the Beautifly, Kano could help perform Langi..." Brock muses over which roles still need to be filled. "Ash will still play whistle in the chorus, and Blair and Whitlea will still handle the props, and the Firelights could easily fill in the rest of the chorus and the other instruments."
"That means we need someone to perform Chelona the Wartortle, and people to play Obaa-san and Takuya." Ash muses.
"here's the script back, if you need to get copies." Wendy gives Brock the script.
Brock then flags Morgan down. "Tell the crew we have a change of plans for rehearsal--we finally found a play for this season!"
Re: Live From the Fireside: Season 4 (Sidestory 9: Crimson Parasol)
@Chimchar98; @The Jingster; @Tophat Dragoneye; @Soulmaster;
Sidestory 9: Crimson Parasol
"Nervous?" Brock--wearing his familiar red, gold, and green robe for Kashu--asks Wendy as the cast and crew make frantic preparations backstage.
"A little..." Wendy stammers. "I keep thinking Team Elegy's gonna crash the show, never mind we defeated them..."
"Don't worry, we can do 'My Bright Silver Star' if we have to." Brock assures Wendy. Wendy pictures herself and Brock doing the routine in their costumes, tambourines and all. She stifles a giggle at the thought as she heads backstage to change into costume. Brock smiles himself, then takes his harp and makes his way to the wings.
Onstage, the lights go down as the applause quiets, leaving the theater in complete darkness. After a few seconds of silence, the notes of a harp playing a familiar melody fill the air. The audience whispers who the performer could be for a moment, but the whispering is quieted when the lights come up on Brock, playing his harp. After playing the haunting melody through several times, he lets the last note fade away before addressing the audience.
"Good morning, and well met, travelers..." he smiles. "I am Kashu-san, your storyteller this morning. I travel from town to town playing my harp and singing..." He plays a bouncy melody as he sings <i>Come one, and come all--come and hear my tales!</i> The audience giggles as Brock dances around the stage for a moment, singing the song. "Then the old and the young, the rich and the poor, they all come from their homes and the streets and join me in the town square, eager to hear what tales I have to tell. Today I have a new twist on an old favorite to tell you--you yourselves learned this tale from a storyteller named Jacob Grimm, but where he learned it from, we may never know. You just can't keep a good story at home, can you?" Affirmative murmurs waft in Brock's direction. "The tale concerns a girl in red, a fearsome Mightyena, and a woodcutter that saved the girl and her grandmother from a terrible fate--I speak, of course, of 'Little Red Riding Hood'. But when that same story came to this land, Little Red Riding Hood transformed into Crimson Parasol." He plays a soft chord for effect as he makes his way to stage right. "Now, with a little help from the Nijiiro Chorus..."
The lights come up on a crowd of about thirty people by stage right, not including some familiar faces--Ash, Dawn, and Lyra. While the extras wear a plain colored robe and carry some form of a percussion instrument, Ash wears a red and gold robe, Dawn a flowing royal blue and gold robe that almost resembles a dress, and Lyra a green and silver robe. "we will tell you this tale just as it was told many suns ago." Brock intones as his spotlight blinks off.
<i>Kuro wa, makari deru...</i> Lyra sings a haunting melody reminiscent of a spellsong. As if on cue, Blair, now wearing a full black robe with a hood, appears on Brock's left with a gold disk in his hands. <i>Shiro wa, makari deru...</i> Whitlea, in a white version of Blair's costume, appears on Brock's right with a silver disk in her hands.
The harp and fiddle begin a soft melody as Blair and Whitlea spin the two disks in opposing directions as they exit in their respective direction
"Many many suns ago..." a male extra narrates.
"On an island in a land far away..." a female extra echoes.
"There was a mountain capped with snow." a second male extra continues.
"Below that mountain was a green valley." echoes a second female extra.
In that valley was a meadow of tall grass..." Those chorus members with shakers shake them to emphasize the third male extra's comment.
"And on that meadow stood a cottage." a third female extra concludes. At this point, Blair and Whitlea bring on a screen that depicts an Asian-esque house on a meadow.
"In that cottage, there lived a mother..." a fourth male extra intones.
"Oka-san!" Lyra calls, interrupting the extras' call and response.
As if on cue, Lotta, now clad in a pale blue and green robe, slowly walks on stage in time to the harp, the woodblocks, and bells. When she gets to the center of the stage, she bows to the audience before walking towards stage right.
"And with the Oka-san," the first male extra narrates.
"There lived a young daughter." the female extra echoes.
At this, Wendy, now wearing a deep red tunic-like robe, black leggings, and black shoes, enters from the right, with the woodblocks and bells providing a playful beat for her steps. She bows to Lotta and the audience as they notice the small red parasol she carries, then walks over by Lotta's side as the harp and fiddle join back in again.
"This is Crimson Parasol." the first male extra explains as a spotlight appears on Wendy.
"She has a feather head." the first female extra adds as Wendy feigns a giggle, spurning some real laughter from the audience.
"She has a wandering eye." notes the second female extra. More laughter goes up as Wendy looks around the area in feigned awe.
"Listen well, Akane-san." Lyra instructs Wendy.
"Listen to your Oka-san." Ash agrees, brandishing his whistle like a sword as the harp and fiddle abruptly stop their song.
"Listen to me, Akane, my love...." Lotta begins. "I would like you to visit your Oba-san that lives to the east." As Lotta is speaking, Blair and Whitlea bring on a small table, a tea set, and a small covered basket, then exit.
"Yes, Oka-san." Wendy replies
"Bring her this basket filled with Berries and sweet cakes." Lotta goes on, gesturing to the small basket on the table.
"How delicious--fresh Berries and sweet cake!" Wendy gasps, excited.
"Pay attention, Akane." Lotta's voice brings Wendy back to reality. "Do not go through the southern jungle." she warns over the harp's foreboding drone. "It is dark, it is dangerous, and Raikous lurk in the shadows." A soft drum roll punctuates Lotta's point.
"Yes, Oka-san." Wendy replies.
"Then go, Akane, before it grows hot." Lotta goes on. "Do not linger to pick the flowers..." Some bells jingle for effect. "do not chase the Beautiflies..." Ash interjects on whistle with the notes that match "Ai-yai-yai, I'm your little Beautifly!" for effect, to some laughter. "and do not sit and dream on the rocks in the fields." Some larger woodblocks tap for effect. "Furthermore, take your crimson parasol--who knows whether it will be warm or it will rain?" The drone ends with a soft flourish from the harp.
"I understand, Oka-san." Wendy assures Lotta as she takes the basket from the table and hugs her. <i>Itekimasu!</i> With that, she walks off in time with the bells and woodblocks as Lotta waves goodbye.
The lights go down and Brock appears in a spotlight by stage right, playing his harp. "And so, Akane took her small crimson parasol and set out on the journey to her Oba-san's house. But alas..."
"But alas..." the chorus echoes.
"Akane-chan was quite the scatterbrained girl." Brock intones. "As soon as she saw the misty and green southern jungle, she forgot all about her Oka-san's warnings and went straight into the woods!" He adds an upward glissando for effect as his spotlight shifts over to the Chorus as Dawn plays a frantic melody over the Chorus' percussion.
"No! No!" the chorus pleads.
"Don't go into the jungle, Akane-chan!" Ash warns.
"Don't take this path, Akane-chan!" Lyra agrees.
The chorus adds another plea of "No! No!" as well. As this exchange is going on, Blair and Whitlea bring on a leafy tree with a pink flower, which Wendy stops at as the frantic melody concludes. After a few tense seconds, May, now wearing a green, blue, and silver dress-like costume, dances onstage to the accompaniment of bells and finger cymbals.
Just then, Wendy spots May dancing. "Oh! A flower...a beautiful dancing flower." she smiles. "I will present this dancing flower to Oba-san as a gift." She tries to grab at May several times, but May dances away every time.
"Halt! Don't touch!" May finally demands a few moments later.
Ash then begins what sounds like an improvisation in B minor along with the percussion as May continues dancing around Wendy, speaking all the while over the flute and bells. "No thank you very much! I am no earthly bud! No blossom of the mud! I'm here, I'm there! I am queen of the air! Foolish child, use your eyes! For I am Nabi the Beautifly, princess of the summer skies!" Just then, the music ends abruptly.
Wendy gives May a respectful bow. "A thousand pardons, Sky Princess. I was confused, for the shadows teased my eyes. Please excuse this unworthy Akane-chan!"
"Very well, but don't let it happen again." May warns. "Now, I must be off, for I have an audience with the sakura." With that, she dances off as the fiddle joins the whistle and percussion. Some in the audience laugh when they recognize what the instruments are actually playing.
<i>Oh....oh...oh...</i> Lyra sings over the instruments.
"Beautifly! Flutter by!" the chorus announces over the music.
"Flash and flitter!" the first male extra announces.
"Skip and skitter!" the first female extra echoes.
<i>Ai-yai-yai...ai-yai-yai...ai-yai-yai...</i> Lyra continues to sing this over the chorus' call and response:
"Black and blue!"
"Colors in the sky!"
"Green, black, and blue, make the colors in the sky!" the whole chorus calls. At this, the instruments and Lyra stop as Brock appears in his spotlight, playing the chorus to "Beautifly" one last time on his harp.
"An encounter with a haughty Beautifly...do you think that stopped Akane-chan?" Brock asks the audience. Piqued murmurs fill the air as he continues "In fact, she went on, even further into the jungle."
At this, Blair and Whitlea bring on a second tree with a red flower and a slab of faux rock (which hides Yuki from the audience), then exit. After a few tense seconds, a Wartortle puppet performed by Yuki slowly "walks" onto the rock in time with the drum and some bells. It gives Wendy a nod, then hides in its shell.
"One foot, two foot," a male extra starts.
"Three foot, four..." a female extra echoes.
"Now a little," Ash continues.
"Then a little," Dawn echoes.
"Again a little more." Lyra adds.
"Easy does it," says a female extra.
"Slow as mush." a second female extra agrees.
"Never hurry," Ash concludes.
"Never rush." comes Dawn's reply.
"But what is this?" Wendy asks as she approaches the rock. After feeling around the puppet's shell, for a moment, she tells the audience "I don't need my eyes to tell me what this is--it is a great stone. I will take this great stone to Oba-san for her garden."
Laughter goes up as Wendy tugs at the puppet for a moment, making the Wartortle emerge from its shell.
"Here! Here! What are you doing?" Yuki demands in character as the Wartortle.
"Oh!" Wendy gasps in surprise. "I thought you were a stone..."
"A stone? Hmph--you need your eyes examined, child." The audience laughs again as Yuki starts making the Wartortle puppet "walk" offstage in time with the drum and bells, speaking in character all the while. "Leave me alone, I am not a stone! A stone is no one, I am Chelona, the slow one. Biding my time, making my way, inch by inch, day by day. So leave me alone, I am not a stone!"
"I beg your pardon, noble Wartortle." Wendy replies with a little bow. With that, she skips off stage left as the lights go down, buying Blair and Whitlea time to clear the stage. After a few seconds, Blair and Whitlea bring on a third tree with a yellow flower on it as the fiddle begins an uneasy drone with accents from the shakers.
<i>Listen, listen, what is that?</i> Lyra sings a fearful melody over the drone.
Ash joins in with a shuddering note. "Only a bird in the treetop high." a male extra replies over the whistle, fiddle and shakers.
<i>Hush! Hush! Who goes there?</i> Lyra sings again.
The woodblocks answer Lyra's sung question with a playful rhythm. "Only a child on the jungle path." a female extra replies over the fearful song.
<i>Listen, listen, a sound in the bush.</i> Lyra replies.
A foreboding drum roll punctuates the fiddle and whistle's song, which is now growing more and more tense.
<i>Look! Look! A shadow falls!</i> comes Lyra's sung warning.
At this, Ash blasts a high note that sounds amazingly like a female scream and a gong sounds as Brock mimics a perfect Raikou's roar offstage as a magnificent Raikou puppet--performed by Kano and two other puppeteers--runs onstage, to the awe and surprise of the audience.
"AUGH!!!" Wendy screams at the majestic puppet's sudden appearance, and takes a few steps backwards before opting to hide behind the parasol. "Oh! You look like...you look like..." she stammers as she shudders in fear behind the crimson parasol.
"What do I look like, shoujo-chan?" Brock intones in a deeper version of himself from offstage as Kano performs the puppet's mouth, making it appear to Wendy the puppet is the one speaking.
"Well, you LOOK like a Raikou..." Wendy shakily muses, even though she knows it is really Brock doing the Raikou puppet's voice offstage. "You SOUND like a Raikou....but I don't think you ARE a Raikou."
"What? I've never heard such a thing...how can I not be a Raikou?" Brock asks in character.
"Because I THINK you are a Raikou." Wendy explains to the puppet. "Today I have made two mistakes. First, I mistook a Beautifly for a flower. Then, I mistook a Wartortle for a stone. So if I think you are a Raikou, then you have to be something else. Understand?"
"Not very well." Brock sighs in character. The audience laughs as the Raikou puppet shakes its head. "So if I am something else, what am I?"
"Hm... Wendy looks the Raikou puppet up and down. "Fur...stripes...four legs...a tail...so you must be a Zebstrika! I should tell my Oba-san about you." The audience laughs again.
"Ah, an Oba-san!" Brock muses in character. There are some nervous giggles as the Raikou puppet licks its chops. "Two fine meals for the great Langi!" The puppet turns to face Wendy again. Of course I am a Zebstrika, shoujo-chan--you do not fear me, do you?"
"No." Wendy replies.
"Then allow me to come with you to your Oba-san's house--I could protect you from any Raikous that lurk in this place." Brock offers in character
"You are too kind, Zebstrika-san." Wendy smiles. With that, the puppet and Wendy walk in place as the lights go down, with the woodblocks, bells and the drum keeping the beat.
Suddenly, a fearful whistle phrase stops the beat as a spotlight appears on the chorus. "Oh, foolish Akane!" Ash gasps.
"Oh, wicked Raikou!" Dawn agrees.
"What will happen now?" Lyra wonders.
A tense fiddle riff plays as a spotlight appears on the Raikou puppet. "I will tell you what will happen now." Brock growls in character as Langi. As the puppet is speaking, Blair and Whitlea bring on another screen of a house in a field and place it stage left as Morgan, in the role of Oba-san, enters the scene. "I will get this foolish shoujo to her Oba-san's house, and then I will have a feast!" Ash punctuates this with a note that sounds like a female scream. "But how will I do this, you ask? Worry not, for I, Langi, am a clever Raikou!" The puppet then turns to address Wendy again. "Look, out at the sky!"
"What is it?" Wendy asks. "What do you see?"
"I see Articuno off to the west, with her beautiful blue and white plumes." Brock replies as Langi. "If you look towards the setting sun, you just might see her as she passes here." Wendy nods and freezes in a westward facing pose.
With Wendy distracted, the Raikou puppet tiptoes up to the unsuspecting Morgan and shoves her back behind the screen, complete with Ash blasting another scream-like note as the gong sounds again. "There! Into the closet with you while I deal with your precious shoujo-chan!"
A tense riff plays as Brock mimics another Raikou roar. Then, Blair and Whitlea arrive with an exact copy of Oba-san's pale blue and purple robe and silver headpiece, a straw mat, and blanket. Whitlea first lays the mat on the stage before helping Blair dress the Raikou puppet. Once the puppet is dressed, it lies down on the mat. Whitlea then covers the puppet with the blanket before she and Blair exit.
"There...am I not a clever Raikou? Do I not look like an Oba-san?" Brock asks the audience as Langi. "Listen to this..." The audience laughs as Brock mimics a female groan, then switches to an older female voice. "My Akane! Where are you, Akane-chan?"
Wendy runs in from stage right in time with the woodblocks and bells. "Oba-san! What's wrong? What's the matter? Are you okay?"
"No...I fear I have eaten a spoiled mushroom." Brock replies in character as an old woman, to some laughter.
"I can go get help! Surely there are hunters nearby..." Wendy offers as she turns to leave.
"NO!!!" Brock demands as Langi. When Wendy rears back in surprise, he stammers "Uh, I mean..." before switching back to the older female voice. "Don't worry, dear, my stomach will heal in a day's time."
Wendy kneels down and studies the Raikou puppet's head for a moment. "I don't wish to offend Oba-san, but she looks very strange today." More laughter wafts through the crowd as she turns to the puppet. "Oba-san, what furry ears you have."
"All the better to hear you with, my dear..." Brock replies as Langi.
"And Oba-san, what emerald green eyes you have." Wendy continues.
"All the better to see you with, my dear..." Brock replies as Langi again.
Just then, Wendy spots the Raikou puppet's tail peeking from the blanket. "Tails? Oba-sans don't have tails..." She pulls off the blanket, to a panicked riff. "A Raikou! Where is my Oba-san?"
"Don't try to escape, shoujo-chan!" Brock cries as Langi, With that, he mimics a roar as the Raikou puppet springs at Wendy as the whistle, fiddle, and percussion play an exciting melody. Wendy, meanwhile, uses the closed parasol as a sword.
The crowd begins cheering as Wendy and the Raikou puppet "fight" to the music. After a few minutes, Rylan, clad in a navy blue swordsman's robe, dashes in from stage left to a triumphant whistle flourish, a prop katana drawn.
"Praise Arceus, help has come!" a female extra cries over the music.
"It is Takuya, a great hunter!" a male extra agrees.
"Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!" Lyra pleads.
The music suddenly stops as Rylan corners the Raikou puppet. "Get away from her, you wily Raikou, before your head falls to the great Kanemoto!" He brandishes the prop katana for effect.
"What? Cut off my head?" Brock gasps as Langi. "You must be mistaken--the girl claims I am a Zebstrika."
"A Zebstrika indeed! I know you too well, Langi of the Southern Jungle." Rylan retorts.
"Please, have mercy, dear hunter!" Brock pleads as Langi. "I have not harmed the Oba-san...she was in the closet the whole time!" Cheers go up from the audience as Wendy brings Morgan out from behind the screen.
"Since you have not harmed the Oba-san nor the girl, I am feeling merciful." Rylan muses before he points the katana at the Raikou puppet. "Do you promise to return to the jungle from whence you came?" The Raikou puppet fearfully nods as the katana inches closer to its head. "Do you promise never to bother another human again for the rest of your days?" The Raikou puppet fearfully nods yes again. "Now go, before I change my mind."
A drum roll plays as the Raikou puppet bounds offstage. Morgan hugs Wendy, and Rylan sheathes the katana over a trumphant harp and bell flourish. "Shoo, shoo! Wily Raikou!" Ash calls after the puppet, brandishing his whistle like a sword again to emphasize his point.
"Never return again!" Dawn scolds.
"Hail! Hail! Wielder of Kanemoto! You've saved the red-clad child!" Lyra announces.
The lights go down, except for Brock in a spotlight nearby the chorus, playing an interlude on his harp. "And so, Langi the Raikou returned to the southern jungle--never again did he show his whiskers around that place." he explains as himself. "Word of Takuya's brave deed spread to even the Pokemon League, and he received a great crystal medallion from the Pokemon Master."
At this, the instruments play an Asian style rendition of the League anthem as Rylan kneels at center stage, and Whitlea hangs a large sparkling medallion around his neck before all three exit. "As for Crimson Parasol, she was a sadder, but wiser child." Brock continues as the lights come up on stage right, where Wendy and Lotta embrace. The screen, table, and tea set from before are back in place as well.
"Sadder but wiser." the chorus agrees as a harp and fiddle interlude begins.
"Never again did she venture into the jungle." Brock continues.
"Never again..." Lyra echoes.
"Never again did she chase the Beautiflies as often as she did." Ash punctuates this with the notes that match "Ai-yai-yai, I'm your little Beautifly!" "Nor did she sit and dream on the stones in the field."
"Oh no..." Lyra echoes Brock's point.
"And, I can assure you that she knew the difference between a Raikou and a Zebstrika." Brock assures the audience.
"She knows!" Lyra smiles. Wendy and Lotta pantomime drinking tea for a few seconds before the lights go down, except for Brock's spotlight.
"Crimson Parasol returned to her Oka-san, where they still live together, happily sipping tea." Brock concludes before his spotlight blinks off with a final harp flourish to end the play.
The audience roars with applause for a few seconds before the lights come up again for the curtain call. Brock leads off the bows, then the chorus bows, followed by the puppeteers. Blair and Whitlea remove their hoods so the audience can finally see their faces as they bow. May and Rylan bow next, followed by Morgan. But the biggest ovation is saved for Wendy and Lotta, who bow together....
Re: Live From the Fireside: Season 4 (Week 91: The Mint Girl)
@Chimchar98; @The Jingster; @Tophat Dragoneye; @Soulmaster;
Week 91: The Mint Girl
(real tale: "Folktales from Japan" episode 44, story 3)
"There was once a certain inn that stood by Mt. Moon, where the Pokemon Center is today." Brock begins. "The couple that ran it were very greedy, and so no one wanted to stay there."
"I can see why..." Yuki muses.
"They'd probably charge an arm and a leg for one night." Rylan agrees as he joins Yuki and some of the other Players in listening from the wings.
"One day, a traveler stopped there and gave the innkeeper an odd bag." Brock continues. "The wife was excited, believing the bag to be filled with gold. They fantasized about building a bigger inn, or traveling to Wishmaker Peak--or anywhere else, as they had never really traveled before." He then intones "So the wife plotted to have the bag be somehow left behind."
"That's not very nice!" Lotta is appalled at the wife's greed.
"The innkeeper remembered an old story about a miko that was forgetful, and ate mint to help her remember things." Brock goes on. "When she died, mint grew all around her grave. The wife on the other hand, believed the opposite--the sweet smell of mint, she presumed, made you forget things. So if the traveler ate a lot of mint, he would forget about the bag!"
Giggles fill the air at this. "The woman gathered all the mint she could find, and made tons of minty food." Brock continues. "Mint salad, mint soup, mint and potatoes, Mareep with mint sauce, and mint cookies were just a fraction of the menu!"
"Brock's even making ME hungry..." Kano chuckles as he imagines himself eating all the food Brock described.
Brock just goes on "The traveler was amazed by the meal, and the innkeeper explained that it was the special mint feast. All through dinner, they kept cramming mint down the traveler's throat."
"So what did all that mint do?" Morgan wonders.
"The next morning, the traveler took his wallet and departed, much to the couple's shock." Brock replies.
He concludes "It wasn't until a few hours later that they realized that the room was not paid for, so the traveler forgot something after all!"
The auditorium explodes with laughter as the audience pictures the looks on the greedy couple's faces. But the Player's laughter is the loudest-- "He forgot something all right, but not what they wanted him to forget!" Rylan wheezes as he brushes away a tear of laughter.
Onstage, Brock takes a bow for the enthralled audience....