Corey and Lori's Quest Log


Corey and Lori’s Quest Log

Women of QfG4: Erana’s Peace

To the far north of the monster-plagued land of Spielburg, there is a small valley filled with flowers. It is a sanctuary from danger. Its tree provides food for the hungry. The thick carpet of colorful daisies makes a warm, fragrant bed for the weary. The air vibrates with a delicate melody that eases the soul. And to one side of the valley, there lies a granite rock carved like a gravestone with the words, “Erana’s Peace.”

Erana's StoryThe Quest for Glory series starts out with these questions, “Who was Erana? Why did she make this place of peace here in Spielburg? What happened to her?” Some of the people in the valley think she is dead. Erasmus the Wizard seems a little envious of her talents when he criticizes the fact that Erana’s magic protects the town from harm, but that she missed the alleyway. The sorceress Zara dismisses her magic as minor. The questions remained unanswerable in So You Want to be a Hero.

It took three more games to tell Erana’s story. Even as the game series ended, there were still questions unanswered about her. So now, it is time to tell the tale of a woman caught between two worlds who shared her loving soul everywhere she went on Gloriana and maybe, just maybe, was loved in return.

Magical Beginnings

Long ago, before the game series starts, Spielburg was a flourishing valley of farms and trade. It was also a powerful nexus for magic. Faerie Folk journeyed to this valley to draw upon its magic to create items of power.

A lovely young woman named Elaina from one of the nearby villages discovered that she had a talent for magic, but her parents tried to discourage her from learning to be a spellcaster. “Magic only leads to a life of loneliness and solitude,” they said. “Do you want to live like the old Healer in the woods? Everyone comes to her for favors, and nobody really likes her.. Better you should marry a nice boy, settle down, have children, and forget this foolish magic stuff.”

But Elaina could not deny the magic she felt in her very being. One night, she wrote a long, tearful farewell letter to her family and ran away from home. She sought out the Healer in the woods and asked to become her apprentice. There Elaina’s magical talents developed and grew.

So powerful was her magical ability that she attracted the attention of an Elf Lord who had come to the valley to recharge his magical staff. He soon seduced Elaina, but Elaina stole his heart as well. So while his duty to his people and his Queen kept him away most of the time, he returned whenever he could to Spielburg and his beloved Elaina.

Then Elaina bore him a daughter and named her “Erana.”

The Half-Blood Princess

EranaErana was a very loving child. Her skin was the golden color of late afternoon sunshine on the Autumn fields. Her hair was a mixture of her father’s honey curls and her mother’s auburn tresses. She was petite in frame and Faerie-like in face.

She also inherited both her parents’ exceptional magical talents.

The people of Spielburg feared this Half-Elf changeling. The Faerie Folk who traveled to the valley disdained and ignored the Half-Blood human. Erana’s friends were the animals of the forest and her playgrounds were the forests and fields. She loved to explore the wild places and to dance with the pixies. She was the sunshine in her mother’s and the healer’s lives.

As Erana grew up, her father visited the valley whenever he could. He delighted in his joyful daughter and his human lover. Then one day he was called to fight in the war between the Faerie and the Dark Ones in the distant land of Mordavia. He perished in the final battle that sealed off the cave of Avoozl.

Elaina and Erana had no idea what had happened to him. All they knew was that he didn’t return to them.

Faerie Trials

One day, an Elf Queen and her entourage entered the Spielburg valley seeking magic. She found Erana playing in a field surrounded by Pixies. The child showed great potential for power. What a waste! So the Queen had Erana kidnapped and carried off to the Faerie lands beyond the world.

For several years, Erana served the Queen and studied Faerie magic. She was treated as a slave by the Faerie Folk. However, by listening to their tales, Erana learned of her father’s sad fate. He had not forgotten or abandoned them. In his final moments, he called out Elaina’s name.

Finally, Erana became powerful enough with spells and knowledge to cross the world gate and return to Gloriana.

Spielburg Spells

When she returned to Spielburg, Erana discovered that decades had passed while she was gone. The Healer’s House was abandoned. In the weed patch that had once been a garden, she found the cobwebbed gravestones of her mother and the healer.

Erana's PeaceIn her grief, she created Erana’s Peace as a memorial to her mother and her father’s love for one another. Because the villagers of Spielburg had given her mother the respect of a gravestone, Erana also cast a spell to protect the town.

Then she began a restless journey to find a new place that she could find home.

Wizard’s World

She was invited to join the Wizard’s Institute of Technocery. She soon learned that the Wizards there were more interested in studying her magic and the Faerie folk than they were in teaching her. She was treated like an exotic creature in captivity. It was clear to Erana that WIT would never be a home to her. It was an academic temple removed from society to worship the study of magic. So after a few years of learning the basics of Wizardry, she returned to her wanderings through Gloriana.

Trail to Tarna

Tarna GardenFor a while, she made a home for herself in remote Fricana. The savannas and jungles had a wild beauty all their own. Here she could forget the sorrow of her past and practice her spells of magical peace. Here she created a staff made from the Heart of the World. Here she made a sanctuary where all creatures could drink peacefully.

But the Simbani people feared her for her magic. The city of Tarna forbade magic. Even the loveliness of the landscape could not console her loneliness.

For decades she traveled the world creating little pockets of peace and beauty wherever she went.

Mordavian Nightmares

Mordavian GardenThen one day, Erana’s journey took her to Mordavia to visit the site of her father’s death. She discovered that a cult had been working to open the gates of Avoozl and release the Dark One into the world. The cult had almost reopened what Erana’s father died to close.

She met the Paladin Piotyr as he fought to stop the cult. Together, they forced their way into the cave of the Dark One. The High Priest had already completed the ritual to open the portal between Gloriana and the Chaos Realm. The chaotic magic thus released transformed the High Priest into a loathsome monster. In madness and agony, the monster attacked Piotyr as Erana tried to close the ever-widening entrance between worlds.

The Dark One, Avoozl, fed upon magic and souls. Gloriana was a banquet hall too long denied to the starving Dark One. Avoozl fed upon the souls of the cultists. It could sense the power of Piotyr’s holy wrath and Erana’s magic, and it hungered for their souls.

Avoozl had fought the Faerie before and knew how to counteract Faerie magic. Wizard and Paladin magic, on the other hand, were very different. The combination of all three types of magic was too powerful. Erana and Piotyr drove Avoozl back to its own plane of existence.

As the gate was almost closed, Avoozl reached out one of its tentacles in furious desperation and pulled Erana across into the Chaos Realm.

Erana had a choice – She could stop the Ritual of Closing, try to free herself, and start the ritual over; or she could complete the spell and remain trapped in Avoozl’s lair. She could see Avoozl reaching through the gate with another tentacle of Avoozl to capture Piotyr.

Erana made her decision. She completed the ritual, sealing herself away in the Chaos Realm where Avoozl slowly devoured her soul. She was trapped in the agony of endless death in a realm where time has no meaning. Each second was like an eternity…

Until a Hero was summoned to Mordavia by a very different woman. The Hero reopened the gate between worlds, freeing Erana’s soul, and then sealed off the gate forever. Erana’s soul could at last find peace.

And thus ends the tragic tale of Erana.
Erana's Last Words?

 

Coda

Or perhaps the story doesn’t end there.

Perhaps the Hero can call her from beyond the grave to help save the world once again.

We’ll learn more about that in Quest for Glory 5.

[Okay, so in the last article, I said that I was writing about both Katrina and Erana this time... turns out there was just too much to write. Would you really want me to give these two ladies less than they were due?]

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Comments

  1. Ben H Says:

    Wow! Just… wow.

    I was always more of a Katrina fan than Erana; but not by much. Everything she did laid a framework for the hero to complete. Almost prophetic. Back story like this really makes me pine for another run through Gloriana. I can’t wait to be a part of the kickstarter (and I have a wild dream that you guys are successful enough to acquire the QFG IP and can expand the universe even more; that faerie realm sounds intriguing)

  2. Brandon Says:

    What about Katrina? What’s her deal? She’s gotta have an amazing story.

  3. Spider7 Says:

    I’m sure you’ve heard this a thousand times, but QFG inspired me back when I first played it in the 90’s and is still inspiring me today. The magic that surrounds each and every game of the series can not be denied and has survived the test of time.

    It means a lot to a fan like me to see and feel that the series ‘Is still alive’ in the form of such articles that light the QFG spark in the heart of the fans and bring back the emotion that we felt when we played it for the first time.

    It’s truly a historical times for QFG fans – reading articles that reveal new details about the stories and the characters of the series, and also anticipating the new Hero-U game.

    We the fans will be there for you when you’ll need us (October 19..)
    Good luck!

  4. Wayland Says:

    Erana always struck me as a person who thought the absolute least of herself. She was a true hero in that everything she had was merely a means to server other, but she was also a tragic figure in that I don’t believe she ever learned to love herself.

    “She was a Paladin in all but name.”
    —Rakeesh

  5. Ashton Herrmann Says:

    @Wayland: Don’t get me wrong, I loved that about her. I think that it also highlighted a deeper aspect of her character in that, as you put it, “Unless she had your love, what did she have to live for?” Erana always struck me as a person who thought the absolute least of herself. She was a true hero in that everything she had was merely a means to server other, but she was also a tragic figure in that I don’t believe she ever learned to love herself.

  6. Ashton Herrmann Says:

    @Corey: Between the two, I always considered Erana the more powerful for exactly that reason. Katrina’s power was limited by her perspective. I always wanted to think that if Katrina married the hero, some of him might rub off on her to correct that.

  7. Wayland Says:

    Ashton: Unless she had your love, what did she have to live for? She had been through hell, released and dead once already. She tried what she is used to, giving of herself for the good of the world.

  8. Ashton Herrmann Says:

    @Brandon: You get to see her in battle in QFGV, though I don’t remember if she ever goes on the offensive. In perfect Erana fashion, it was nigh-impossible to get her to not sacrifice herself.

  9. Corey Says:

    Erana has an altogether different approach to magic. She doesn’t “kick ass” because she doesn’t want to. But let’s say you have a Gate through which an endless stream of Demons is pouring through to destroy the land. Katrina might stand in front of it, blasting Demons with powerful spells, until eventually she gets tired or exhausts her mana. Erana would erect a shield to temporarily delay the Demons. While they are forcing their way through it, she would call upon the forces of nature to surround and block the portal. It would take time, but in the end, either the portal would be completely sealed, or it would be destroyed entirely by the slow, but unstoppable power of tree and rock.

    Which of those types of magic is more powerful? I know which way I’d choose. Fireballs are flashy, but they have limits. Erana doesn’t try to do everything herself, so she has fewer limits.

  10. Brandon Says:

    I get that Erana was into healing and stuff but There is a part of me that wants to hear you say Erana could kick ass in a battle…. Please say this is so. Lol

  11. AztecMonkeyGod Says:

    Yeah, she finds peace and a hot hunk of a Paladin for a husband. At least on my first QFG5 playthrough. :-)

    I was thinking about Erana again last night as I was writing in my journal. I had just beat QFG4 and she was on my mind. Her unconditional love is even more impressive considering her hard life.

    I hope we get to see more of these untold stories. I enjoy them very much.

  12. Lori Says:

    It was actually very sad writing about Erana. She lived a solitary and lonely life, but she never stopped believing in love. She would share her love with the world by making it a safer place.

    At least she finds peace in the end.

  13. Christopher Says:

    Erana was one of the most brilliant touches of QFG saga, a myth, that was whispered throughout the games. Her thread was touching and mysterious to me as a very young man playing these games and I’m very disappointed that I have not seen anything nearly like it in modern games as an adult, as the trends swing to instant gratification. Hoping to see more myth and magic from you guys soon. Thank you for a long awaited back story.

  14. Ashton Herrmann Says:

    I agree with Joseph Austin’s earlier comment, Erana took on a divine mythos for me as I progressed through the series. Having begun the series with QFGIV, I had the unique opportunity of meeting her character through what I think are the most intimate moments in the series. For my first few plays through the game, I rarely slept at the inn. My nights were spent before Erana’s staff or in her garden. In fact, it was a surprise to me when I finally did start sleeping at the inn on maybe my third run through the game (first one as a thief) and found that I was being watched. That’s one of my favorite aspects of the series, no two experiences within it are ever identical.

    When I was finally able to track down a copy of the anthology–my dad had a local Hastings order it for me–I came to learn how Erana’s journey paralleled my own. I often felt as though I were following Erana, that she, not glory, was my ultimate objective. As I came into Shadows of Darkness once more, this time as a paladin, I developed an even greater appreciation for her character.

    In QFGV, I always had a hard time playing a mage for whom I felt Katrina was the more perfect fit. She and Erana both were tragic in that they deserved love but rarely received it. Katrina gained a certain sort of respect through fear, and Erana gained reverence, but few loved them. In Hades, every time I was asked if I was willing to cast one of their souls into oblivion to spare the other, my heart broke a little.

  15. RoyMartin Says:

    Thank you for writing that beautiful story.

    It immediately took me back to my memories of playing through the games. I REALLY liked Erana, and this back story made me like her even more. Such a sad story.

    *goes to listen to “Erana’s Peace”*

  16. Jeremy Murdoch Says:

    This was a really fascinating read. Lots of very cool information, and it’s great to see it all put together here.

    I agree with the other commenter who said that Erana was like a mysterious, benevolent deity in Glorianna. It’s really nice see her story more clearly, and I wonder if we’ll ever get to hear about any other travels she may have had abroad.

    So many characters in these games have had such great adventures, and Erana’s story makes me wonder about all of the others.

    As for Hero-U, I can’t wait to discover a whole new class of characters. Just the word “archvillains” is enough to get me excited.

  17. Corey Says:

    The moose would probably take another blog article of its own.

    Ok, just kidding. It’s actually a Sierra trope. It’s been a while, but I think there was a stuffed moose head in Leisure Suit Larry, one of the early King’s Quests, and maybe even in Space Quest.

    So we put a moose head on the wall to be mutual. We might have borrowed some props from other games for Erasmus’s house in the original EGA Hero’s Quest as well.

    The Starship Enterprise is an Easter Egg in ever game for which Jerry Moore did art. He was (probably still is) a huge Star Trek fan.

  18. James StarRunner Says:

    So what’s the story with the moose? :B

  19. Corey Says:

    That’s one of the things players don’t realize – Every game character, location, story line, etc. is like the tip of an iceberg. We put in many hours on each one, working out back story, personality, and so on.

    Without completely understanding each character, we wouldn’t be able to write realistic dialogue for them.

    For Hero-U, we’ve been working on archvillains and political intrigue that you will barely see in the first game. But tantalizing hints and threads of the story will make the world seem more alive, and will help tie all the games together.

  20. Blake Says:

    Brilliant.. just brilliant. As someone replaying the QFG series at the moment its great to hear more about these famous characters and their back stories. Makes my playthroughs so much more meaningful.

  21. AztecMonkeyGod Says:

    I was glad when I realized this article shared the untold story of Erana. It just makes her that much more fascinating. I would dare say that I’d love to see her as a main character in her own game based on her life.

    A gamer can dream, can’t he?

  22. James StarRunner Says:

    HOLY… Simply amazing! Such a tragic story, but I for one am glad to hear it. I always wanted to know more about her. It’s a shame there was no way to better tell players of her in the game.

  23. Joseph Austin Says:

    Wow… now I feel really filled in since i didnt connect the dots while playing the game. Thank you for this, Lori!

    You know, as a kid, Erana was god-like. She was a far off deity that i knew little of, yet she had left kindness in the world. Like I’ve told you, QFG1 was something I played years before any of the others, and as an impressionable child she became more of a force to me than a person. Honestly, so did you, Corey, and Sierra. It doesn’t hurt my experience for any of these things to change, but rather it enchances it. Looking forward to a deep look into the psyche of Katrina.

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