I’ve been up to a lot of great listening lately and now that my production schedule has slowed down a little, I’m going to try and catch up with my thoughts on some of the most interesting things to hit my mp3 player.
Circus 13 Productions regularly post their latest releases to the Yahoo Modern Audio Drama discussion group and it was with interest I downloaded some of their latest releases, including “Quest for the Passion Stone” and the adventures of a space bounty-hunter, “Truck.” They also do a lot of fan fiction and seem targeted towards this fan base rather than a general audience.
Having not heard much original fantasy audio drama, it was “Quest for the Passion Stone” that first got my ears. It starts with a band of goblins chasing down a mysterious Thunder Savage, then finds a grim-voiced troll named Varick who rescues the real Thunder Savage (a reincarnated mystical hero, who of course, doesn’t know it yet) from the marauders and brings him into the fantastic landscape that populates the next several hours of adventure.
The fantasy is original without being unfamiliar — there’s a parallel world to the real world called the “Underhollow,” accessible through the local Deny’s, populated with trolls, evil magicians (named Bob), thieves, goblins, etc. There’s good guys, bad guys, and a magical item that will change the tide of the war forever. The hero goes through a period of self-discovery and his his inner powers and great wisdom are the key to bringing peace to a troubled kingdom.
Despite the predictable plot points, there are a lot of great moments and the storyline is pretty addictive. There’s some great humor and self-referential jokes, such as the evil wizard “Bob,” and the frankness that the evil king uses to speak about his evil deeds and weaknesses to the good guys. The production quality throughout is a bit rough, but again, the intriguing story kept me listening. Overall, I felt the story delivered on its promise and provided some solid hours of original fantasy entertainment. If you find your cravings for fantasy audio lean, definitely check out The Quest for the Passion Stone for a great journey.