Tuesday, 17 June 2014

[RFM] Lone Wolf: Eclipse of the Kai [3/4]

Welcome to Radio Free Magamund, wherein I listen to stuff whilst doing other things, then write about it. Here we are listening to the third part of the audiobook of the novel of the gamebook adaptation of Lone Wolf Legends: Eclipse of the Kai, by Joe Dever and John Grant, read by Edward DeSouza.

Part 3: The Gathering Storm

Vonotar control of a gang of Giaks, and into the Dungeons of Kaarg.  Meeting the dark lord Zargana and blinded so he doesn't go mad looking at him. Zarganna has a kind of  Dalek voice modulator, which kinds of work. Vonotar and creates a hallucination of Zargana as a genial old man, offering tea  DeSouza voices him as a creakily well. Vonotar initiates himself into the evil Nadziranim magic through a weird psychosexual vampiric oedipal ritual with an old lady vampire. Freud and Crowley would approve.

Banedon stops for the night in a village, where his membership of the Brotherhood of the Crystal Star ensures him food and lodgings for the night. DeSouza does a fine west-country accent, for the peasantry (sterotyping of westcountry folk as kindly cider drinking yokels is ever apparant) and his female impersonation (of an old dear) is no where near as jarring as that of the youthful Alyss. It is the music, however that bears most notice - a medieval feel strongly reminicent of  Saltarello by Dead Can Dance from their 1990 album Aion (Aion/Aon - a coincidence surely?) Perhaps it's the specific medieval bagpipe instrument - undobtedly synthesised in the Lone Wolf soundtrack - this is a 'digital music sound track' after all and the jaunty rythem bubbles along nicely in the background and effectively conjours green fields and sackcloth...

Banedon leaves the village in the company of two children, in the direction of the Kai Monastry.

Back to Vonotar convinces to Zargana to  attack on the Eve of Midsummer, as all the Kai lords will be in one place, and so can be wiped out all at once and so unable to rally he armies of Sommerland against the Dark Lords. We arrive at the Kai Monastry - accompanied by a bombastic synth fanfare to find preperations for the Feast under way, and Silent Wolf on kitchen duties.

Struck by the theme of  hospitality which seems to run through this episode -
  • Banedons warm reception by peasants: one of rural, impoverished, domestic, familial,
  • Vonotars other strange, hallucinatory,  dungeonesque, manipulative and exotic, vampiric. power, 
  • Silent Wolf clumsy and inept preparations for the reception of guests at midsummer. 
It's perhaps interesting that the PC-character Silent Wolf takes the part of the host, albeit a minor role,  wheras both Banedon and Vonotar are guests. But it is the differences between these two magicians experiences that are the are the most striking, and the flipping between them seems to invite we consider the juxtaposition. The moral universe unfolds itself, and the kinds of experiences by the right (Vonotar) and left hand (Banedon) magicians paths manifest - domesticity being un-rewarded, but ultimately positive, ambition leading to debasement, but the inevitable attainment of power. There's also an underlying current of labour and hospitality given freely in Sommerlund, vs. enforced servitude in the Darklands.  The grandiose and the rustic, on the one hand slavery and lack of identity contrasted with the Dark Lords, and on the other poor Tradesmen Blacksmiths and Journeymen Wizards clearly individuated with familial ties and an economy of reciprocation to bind them.

Meanwhile Silent Wolf, ever the underachiever, accidentally cuts himself with a knife - which excuses hm from his work, and he takes to slacking off in the woods, which he identifies with in a familial sense, his excessive, almost obsessive compulsive firewood picking interrupted by circling of the great, dark Zlaan beasts in the sky above.  Fade to part four....

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