Terrouge E-zine Archives
Questors Bold III: The Story So Far
On October 1st, Questors Bold III began. Ten writers, chosen by the audience, embarked on a cooperative effort that will span over weeks and months, full of adventure, excitement, and the threat of sudden death. In the end, three will remain, one of whom will earn the coveted honor of winning Questors Bold.
Wind that back a bit, though. We're only a month in. There's still plenty to come. But even in these few weeks the story is moving towards unknown destinations, characters are meeting and forming alliances, and as of this writing the Quest has claimed two lives.
As the story began, we met each of the Questors, beasts from a range of backgrounds and situations. Soon it became clear that each Questor (with the exception of Kearney, a young slave who has been given a sudden chance at freedom) was following somebeast. Some are following acquaintances--such as Fidget Alytirp the robin, who started out chasing the obnoxious marten Peiora over a lost hat, but is now finding that there's something more sinister then hat-theft behind his enemy's flight. Or the weasel Madame Claude, convinced that the goldsmith Julius is in on something big, and determined to have a paw in it herself. Others follow strangers; such is Torry Steggims, a young stoat thief obeying his Master's last order as he tracks a strange weasel who is just as quick of paw as he is. Some follow for hatred--two such are Nian Leafbright and Vitora, the first a squirrelmaid pursuing a treacherous friend, but not sure what she'll do when she finds him; the second a bat seeking vengeance for the murder of her brother Taran at the claws of the sadistic Gamir. Others follow for love--the mongoose Romiette Sundell, deserted by her cousin Tullis but determined to track him down; and Ildiko Soska, smitten with a fellow marten whose name she does not even know, following him without fully understanding why. Lyosha Obolensky is following his sweetheart's jilt, a mouse called Bartolomeo, with the half-formed intention of doing him bodily harm. Almakar, a young deaf wildcat, is possibly the only Questors on his search for pure curiosity--he cannot understand why one Salamandastron hare is running away from the others.
As they quest onward, seeking their quarries for so many differing reasons, one theme has become dominant; the town of Atherton. This, it seems, is a rendezvous point--one by one the pursuers and pursued are making their way to it, all converging on the Blue Scarlet Inn. And along the way they have rubbed up against each other, forming small groups as their paths cross, always Southwards, always towards Atherton.
Vitora was the first to reach the town, kidnapped by villains and rescued at the last minute by a squirrel called Daruk. Shortly thereafter Fidget and Lyosha turned up; after a chance meeting the pair have struck up a friendship, despite Lyosha's lack of common sense and Fidget's introversion. The two met Vitora shortly after reaching Atherton. The next group to find their way to the town was a strange one; Madame Claude has, for reasons perhaps best known to herself, tolerated Torry and Almakar despite her irritation with the slow thief and the deaf wildcat. The final group, Nian, Romiette and Ildiko, reached Atherton somewhat later than the other Questors--after a rocky start together they ran into an irate tribe of stoats, only narrowly escaping with their lives.
None of the other nine Questors realize it, but the stakes got a little higher when Kearney, too exhausted to run further, gave up and simply collapsed. When Fremont, the wildcat who offered him the opportunity to go free in the first place, stumbled upon the young otter, he gave Kearney a half-hearted paw--but it but a lost cause. A sinister fox called Sephus came upon the pair, and killed them both. Kearney's death, depressingly alone and anticlimactic, is a chilling reminder that the Quest will claim many lives before the game is over.
But the other Questors have no idea of this; they grapple with problems of their own. In Atherton itself pursued and pursuers are bumping into each other (sometimes quite literally)--it seems inevitable that something will give. What gives is Vitora, who, spotting Gamir, her brother's murderer, loses her head and tries to get at him. Fortunately for her, the squirrel Daruk, Fidget, Lyosha and Torry are there to stop her. But this is only the beginning--suspicious activities, strange revelations, and more chance meetings are slowly making clearer the complexity of the plot that surrounds the Questors and their various quarries.
Then, in the midst of new discoveries about the fox Sephus (who has come to Atherton after killing Kearney), comes the second death; Ildiko Soska finds that the marten she was following (called Tarrant) has a sweetheart of his own already--Peiora. She determines to take her revenge--but Peiora, ever jealous of her Tarrant, steps in and stabs Ildiko. However death may not be not the end for our dancer. . . she will dance to unknown music, perhaps, in Dark Forest's shade.
In the more recent posts (as of this writing) a mansion in Atherton, the property of the sinister Sephus and current residence of the equally sinister Gamir, has become central to the tale. One by one, the Questors find their way to the mansion, to discover that their quarries, the ten beasts known as Voices, have met there, consulted, and are leaving Atherton immediately in a stolen boat. Now, the Eight must discover some way of following. . .
In the audience, there's been plenty of speculation and discussion of the tale as it unfolds. Each post has been eagerly read and commented upon as it is put up; clearly there is a large audience following the Quest. Some folks have created fan art; groups shots and series of portraits of the Questors--and even poems! There are also entries in the tribute contest, in which the audience is invited to write songs and poems in honor of the most recent character to die, and that Questor chooses his or her favourite tributes.
So, even these few weeks in, the story's marching onward, the excitement building as Questors die one by one and the outlines of just what is going on become clearer and clearer. And there's plenty for readers--the story, the audience forums, and the contests. So head on over and see what's happened now! I'm going to check for new story posts myself. . .