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.”
The 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.
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
Erana 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.
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.
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.
In 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.
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
For 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.
Then 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.
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?]
- None Found