The Queen’s Podcast – #11

Two years prior to the death of Arthur, the Great Wizard gave Lady Isabella strict orders to preserve the best years of King Arthur’s life, when he reigned. Isabella was gifted the echo stone: the power to capture her voice and forever keep it locked away until Camelot needed the resolve left in the good times.

Lady Isabella tells us about the latest with the beloved characters of Camelot, this week’s episode changing the pace, but how long can she keep her secret?

Episode #11

~In the Blink of an Eye~

Mischief is heard in the voice of scheming visitors. Lady Isabella, eavesdropping on their conversation, finds herself in the middle of it, and is only helped by chivalry.

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The Queen’s Podcast – #10

Two years prior to the death of Arthur, the Great Wizard gave Lady Isabella strict orders to preserve the best years of King Arthur’s life, when he reigned. Isabella was gifted the echo stone: the power to capture her voice and forever keep it locked away until Camelot needed the resolve left in the good times.

I’m happy to say, this week’s episode has a surprise for you – I’m excited about it, and I do hope you enjoy listening!

Special thanks to the people who made this special episode possible!

Episode #10

~Dinner with a Friend~

It’s always nice to share a meal with a friend, but Isabella finds herself looking death in the eyes- will she be eating or will she be eaten by a live ghost in the forest? It’s a good thing she’s made a true friend with the druids.

The Queen’s Podcast – #9

Two years prior to the death of Arthur, the Great Wizard gave Lady Isabella strict orders to preserve the best years of King Arthur’s life, when he reigned. Isabella was gifted the echo stone: the power to capture her voice and forever keep it locked away until Camelot needed the resolve left in the good times.

Isabella has a knack at getting into trouble. Where did the promised golden age go? When Isabella is called to record the best years of King Arthur’s life, this is what happens? Goodness, gracious! Warning: high levels of spook.

Episode #9

~Cyhyraeth~

At the druid camp, Isabella sleeps restfully, until a scout cries for help, sighting a danger all too familiar to her. Her peaceful night of stories around the fire soon fills with anxious dread.

The Queen’s Podcast – #8

Two years prior to the death of Arthur, the Great Wizard gave Lady Isabella strict orders to preserve the best years of King Arthur’s life, when he reigned. Isabella was gifted the echo stone: the power to capture her voice and forever keep it locked away until Camelot needed the resolve left in the good times.

A world of peace and acceptance. It’s what every person of virtue wishes for, but is it really achievable? I’m not so sure about that, but whose to say it can’t happen, one day. Lady Isabella may have just found that day. What do you think?

Episode #8

~Striving For Acceptance~

Isabella is a lady, but she’s also a fairy, and to one friendly face, she’s a good luck charm. Maybe Lady Isabella’s finally found acceptance, but what does she plan to do with it?

The Queen’s Podcast – #7

Two years prior to the death of Arthur, the Great Wizard gave Lady Isabella strict orders to preserve the best years of King Arthur’s life, when he reigned. Isabella was gifted the echo stone: the power to capture her voice and forever keep it locked away until Camelot needed the resolve left in the good times.

Where do YOU like to listen to the Queen’s Podcast? On your way to work? While you’re washing dishes? Or maybe early in the morning with your hot cup of joe?

This time around, I suggest you curl up in your favorite recliner or couch, turn off the lights, and listen to this week’s episode. What trouble can Lady Isabelle get into this time? Without spoiling the plot, there is major spook-factor that just won’t be the same listened to in a well-lit area.

Happy listening!

Episode #7

~White Salvation~

Running for her life, Isabella is determined not to be found by the king. If she is, he’ll surely find out her secret. But what started out a simple adventure quickly turns into a dark fate for the fairy. Can anyone save her from a chilling doom?

The Queen’s Podcast – #6

Two years prior to the death of Arthur, the Great Wizard gave Lady Isabella strict orders to preserve the best years of King Arthur’s life, when he reigned. Isabella was gifted the echo stone: the power to capture her voice and forever keep it locked away until Camelot needed the resolve left in the good times.

Have you ever been given advice that you have no idea what to do with? Poor Lady Isabella, she has no idea what to do, and she has about as much support as a manservant with magic.

Helpful tip: NEVER go to a crabby old wizard, expecting sympathy for your troubles, no matter how great he is.

Episode #6

~Meeting With the Great Wizard~

What do you do with a secret that will sentence you to death if it is revealed? Lady Isabella struggles to know the answer, so she decides to visit the one who gifted her with the echo stone in the beginning.

The Terrifying Quality of the Afanc from BBC’s Merlin

Merlin Series 1, Episode 3, The Mark of Nimueh: The monstrous afanc emerges from behind the dim cavernous walls, disgusting, chilling our very bones. Prince Arthur, Merlin, and Lady Morgana panic when they see it, drooling with a mouth full of fangs, as it slinks heftily, ever creeping, closer. Arthur, in full battle posture, ready to protect and defend, strikes the afanc, grimly territorial. Merlin is ready, too. They understand why they are here. They cannot run. The afanc, described by Gaius as the darkest kind of magic, looks hungrily at its prey, but Merlin uses his own magic to destroy the monster before it makes a meal out of the lady or the prince.

What is an afanc?

Not too much is known about the afanc, except that it is a mythical creature deriving from a handful of legends, originally. Some say it looks like a crocodile, while others say it’s like a beaver.

Apparently, in Wales, the origin of Arthurian legend, crocodiles are an uncommon sight and if seen would surely cause room for worry. In two internet articles (Mirror and The Telegraph), there are claims of crocodiles being sighted, yet in both cases, the final conclusion was made that there was no threat. Could it have been that the original afanc was a crocodile? The answer cannot be found.

The design of the afanc on BBC Merlin is an example, in my opinion, of good sculpturing, and when you see behind-the-scene shots of the afanc costume being designed, you may feel a bit like you stepped into a Jim Henson studio, or you stepped back into the costume room of Doug Jones’ latest monster suits. The afanc thrilled us: it engaged the cast enough for us to feel their fright when they discovered it in the shadows, and it cinched our hate for Nimueh, the sorceress who brought it to being, as an antagonist.

If you’ve watched The Mark of Nimueh and seen the afanc, you may be thinking that the afanc doesn’t look much like a crocodile or a beaver, but I want to show you the similarities. First, take a look at my sketch of the afanc.

I think the likeness of a crocodile comes from the “something lurks in the waters” quality, the scare score. Crocodiles camouflage, lurk and “pounce” on prey from an unknown source, suddenly they strike unexpected, and that’s why I think, on a story level, building suspense, they were inspired by a crocodile. Meanwhile, the beaver has a little hand, connecting to an arm ending with an elbow and body, and the hand has got 5 claws, 3 longer ones and 2 short, end ones. Similarly, the afanc from Merlin has 4 claws, 3 longer and 1 short. Beavers and afancs are both brown, and their skull structure has a striking resemblance, stout and squared, despite the fact afanc has ferocious fangs and a lack of eyes, like a mole you’d find digging up your garden. Maybe that’s because the designers wanted to go with a cave monster feel, underdeveloped eyes, as opposed to the lake monster feel that afancs have from legend, which really proves the originality of the show.

That’s how a designer designs a monster to be inspired from, and yet unique of, the original mythical creature: They take an image of a beaver and crocodile – which admittedly, isn’t that scary when you combine the two by conventional means – and deform them to make something terrifying. That’s why I say that the artists who sculpted the afanc had to be brilliant.

In conclusion, I have a final thought about the Mark of Nimueh show, about how it cast a light on our heroes: the afanc was perhaps the first moment we see Prince Arthur and Merlin work together as a team, and as for Lady Morgana, it was the first time we see horror on her face to that degree. Diving into speculation about Lady Morgana, I wonder, did she have reason to feel traumatized by this event? Did it somehow cause her own soul to undergo a transformation of fear, unlocking sorcery in her own fate? It’s unsettling, but imagine Nimueh, the first of the three high priestesses, having a hand in the spiritual “coronation” of Morgana as high priestess. Nimueh foresaw the future and influenced it by conjuring the afanc so she could deprave the soon-to-be-witch’s psyche. Subtext we will never be privy to except through fan fiction.

The Queen’s Podcast – #5

Two years prior to the death of Arthur, the Great Wizard gave Lady Isabella strict orders to preserve the best years of King Arthur’s life, when he reigned. Isabella was gifted the echo stone: the power to capture her voice and forever keep it locked away until Camelot needed the resolve left in the good times.

Isabella’s secret is her life- but can she keep it, despite her sometimes careless tendency to flee trouble in the strangest of ways?

Episode #5

~Lady Isabella’s Confession~

“A lovely day for a walk in the woods” turns into a risky mistake when a knight follows Lady Isabella to discover what she does when she treks into the forest alone. Will Isabella’s concern for her old friend Morgana get her into trouble at the castle?

WIP Art: Lady Isabella

While waiting for my fellow bloggers to join in on the last post’s voting poll, I am passing time drawing a picture of Lady Isabella, the protagonist of BBCMerlinJunkie’s fan fiction podcast. This is not my photo, it is a picture without a copyright I found in a free photos website, but the art is mine. The concept is still in phase 1, meaning it has many more layers until completion, and the design may change, on her clothes particularly.

I had been procrastinating in finishing the picture because I had a strained shoulder and it was my artist arm that was strained, but today, I just got an e-mail from Podomatic saying my free trial was almost expired, and I would lose ability to use the design tools. Yikes! That may include adding pictures to the podcast page. If so, better hurry and finish in 7 days!

The Queen’s Podcast – #4

Two years prior to the death of Arthur, the Great Wizard gave Lady Isabella strict orders to preserve the best years of King Arthur’s life, when he reigned. Isabella was gifted the echo stone: the power to capture her voice and forever keep it locked away until Camelot needed the resolve left in the good times.

The subtext in Lady Isabella’s stories is the fear of her secret revealing. Can she keep her true motive hidden, though the inhabitants of Camelot become more aware of her presence, and more dependent on her participation in the daily happenings? …who is Lady Isabella, exactly? Listen to Episode #4 for more clues.

Episode #4

~Fight-or-Flight~

Lady Isabella, being asked by Merlin to be a companion to Gaius on a trip to a wounded community, with Percival escorts Gaius through the not-so-spooky, spooky forest. The group stumbles upon a dangerous predicament, soon finding the trouble comes from nothing else: sorcery. Panic hits Lady Isabella as she flees for her life, nearly revealing too much in the process to her unsuspecting allies.