The Story So Far...
The Tales From Bridgetown (AKA The Bridgetown Tales) were intended to be an anthology of completely separate comic fairy tales when they began. As is often the way with such things they tales caught the eye of the Master of Mischief himself. This is when all the trouble began.
Before long all the characters had met up and were engaged on adventures together. Often they found that if it weren't for each other they would all have been in serious trouble long ago. Let's try and make some sense of it all, shall we?
BOOK ONE - A BAD NIGHT IN BRIDGETOWN
First of all there was the little girl Rachel and James The Mouse. They lived in the Skull Garden, which is a place far away on the edges of reality. They escaped the garden with the aid of a grumpy gnome.
The gnome took them to The Patchwork Market at Bridgetown where they would quickly run into Tabarnas Riseandshine, a goblin merchant. Before that could happen, however, a few more things had to happen first.
For a start the young squire Sir Frederick Cobb would have to set out on his quest to become a knight. The young Princess Anabyl Spireshine would... well, she would be what she was which was trouble, let's move on. In a long ago kingdom a stuff of even Faerie Legend the Warrior-Mage Prince Avan Weatherstrong would set out on his travels, determined to realise his destiny.
The Goblin Merchant Tabarnas is a big fan of the adventures of Avan Weatherstrong, he keeps them all in his market stall. He harangues passers by with tales of daring and adventure, this is how he met Rachel and James. The girl and her mouse were soon to be separated, however when James and a wandering innocent by the name of Lester were the victim of a faulty flying broom.
The only thing that could comfort Rachel was meeting a beautiful and intelligent mermaid, which she did in the shape of Teleosti Shaleshore (Eos to her friends). Both Eos and Rachel were grudgingly taken in by Tabarnas and his business partner Cressidia.
Meanwhile in the long lost city of Afsana a street thief named Saeed Ibn Abihi lost his mother. Ashamed that he had lied to his mother Saeed set out upon a journey to find his mother's spirit and apologise to her for his dishonesty. This led him through time and magic into the path of Joshua Arundel, a powerful alchemist who helped Saeed on his journey by delivering him to the Patchwork Market.
Meanwhile Lester and James encountered a possibly dead dragon and, more terrifyingly the force of nature known as Princess Anabyl. They found themselves in a dead sorcerer's castle and woke up the ill-tempered witch Phoebe September. This business being done the small party decided to head back to the market, stopping off in Hamsamperburg where they bump into one Frederick Cobb in dire straits.
Hang on a minute, you may ask, how did Frederick come to be in Hamsamperburg. Well, after a brief excursion through the time of myth in the company of one Avan Weatherstrong Sir Cobb found his way back to his own time and place via a strange land called the Upside Out (he doesn't like to talk about it, or at least hasn't up until now).
So all of our heroes return to the Patchwork Market, one way or another. Saeed helps Kalico, the Master of the Market, by rescuing the unfortunate Prince Butterstone. The other heroes arrive in time to offer a hand in confronting the decidedly evil Sir Vaskorn. Princess Anabyl's family bail everyone out and it looks like everyone is reunited....
Except that, as is the way of such things, Rachel and Tabarnas set out on the trade routes to search for James just before the whole Vaskorn/Butterstone incident. So now they have to set out to find each other somewhere in the Hundred Kingdoms of Faerie.
BOOK TWO - THE HOUSE OF MASKS
On the road Tabarnas, Rachel and Eos were unaware that the object of Rachel's quest was back at the market. It probably wouldn't have mattered in some ways. Tabarnas was determined to reach the Faerie Archive at Sommerslip and Eos needed to check on the fate of her own undersea kingdom of Shaleshore.
Meanwhile Saeed was sent as a spy for Kalico to find out what was happening in the city of Sorrowblade. Sir Cobb, Phoebe, Lester and James arrived at Steephill Fell just behind Rachel, Eos and Tabarnas. Just behind, however, was not good enough. All three had disappeared in the town and nobody could find them.
Not that Princess Anabyl knew about any of this under the tutelage of her new guardian, Peregrine Pagebinder, a trickster sprite with more mischief at his disposal than the Princess. The princess believed that the remainder of her wild youth was to be a dark and unpleasant time. It was, but not for the reasons that she imagined.
Meanwhile most of our heroes managed to get themselves ensnared in the eternal ball of Lady Crimzona's House of Masks. Saeed, walking his own path, instead earned the Master's Mark and came to Luminis, the City at the Edge of Forever.
While Sir Cobb, James, Lester, Phoebe, Tabarnas, Rachel and Eos contrived to escape the clutches of Lady Crimzona Avan Weatherstrong was recovering from the loss of his first great love. Obviously he was doing this in the past or he would have helped out but it's so difficult to keep track, particularly when he runs into Princess Anabyl, up to her usual mischief. What was particularly unusual about this encounter is that it happened on the long lost island continent of the Terra Draconis.
Shortly after the Prince made landfall on the Terra Draconis the whole continent was swallowed in a mysterious magical event known only as "The Vanishing". Prince Weatherstrong is determined to fight the very fabric of history itself to prevent this. He is fortunate to find, fighting by his side, a much older, far more confident Saeed. Saeed's time in the mysterious city of Luminis has given him incredible martial skills, but not yet the opportunity to apologise to his mother.
Such encounters would have to await a time when the land of the dragons was not under threat, however. Avan and Saeed team up to put a stop to the Vanishing whilst Princess Anabyl enters the Academy of Dragon Warriors in equal measure determined and resistant.
At the close of book two Rachel and James are reunited, although unfortunately once more cast to a different location at the edge of reality itself accompanied by Eos and Lester. The Terra Draconis is still under dire threat and Tabarnas is still determined to reach the Faerie Archive.
BOOK THREE - THE LONG ROAD HOME
Sir Cobb and Phoebe consider going their separate ways. They are pulled back together by Tabarnas who has noted a change in the story books of old that could spell trouble for Princess Anabyl. Lester, James, Rachel and Eos flee the Undone. The girls escape but the white, misty nothingness claims Lester and James.
Inside the Undone Lester discovers a little more about the fate of his long, lost brother Chester and James discovers his human body, some more memories and his missing wife. They escape the Undone determined to return to the Patchwork Market where James has promised he will meet Rachel again.
In the past the mechanism by which the Vanishing occured is revealed to be the evil scheme of Count Bartolomeo Okulas. Avan finds himself unable to prevent the disaster, even with Saeed at his side, but he does prevent Okulas from using the power he has stolen. The two of them find a safe place to hide the Terra Draconis now encapsulated within a magical gem known as the Quintessence Crystal.
Some years later the last of the dragon warriors, a young woman known as Princess Anabyl, sacrifices herself to protect the crystal once again. This story, like many others, are all laid down in a new heroic tale that Tabarnas brings to the Faerie Archive at Sommerslip. Thankfully these tales also relate how Sir Cobb and Phoebe rescue Princess Anabyl and return the Quintessence Crystal from its hiding place.
Eos and Rachel manage to get themselves captured by the evil witch Vespula Velvet upon their return to the Patchwork Market. Thankfully James, Rebecca and Lester foil Velvet's plan and the Rummage family are once again reunited. Unfortunately none of this has done anything to help Lester find Chester, or so it seems. Now that James, Rachel and Rebecca are back together a flood of returning memories causes James some inconvenience. In so doing it reveals that the former mouse and the lost brother may have had a closer relationship than anyone had suspected before.
It so happens that Chester's fate and the fate of the Quintessence Crystal are closely entwined. And so it is that Sir Cobb, Phoebe, Anabyl, James, Lester, Eos, Rebecca and Rachel all discover some revealing truths at the hand of the Master of Mischief. Saeed continues the quest for his mother at the side of his new friend the legendary Avan Weatherstrong. No doubt, some day, all of their adventures will continue.
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