INTRODUCTION TO
ROBERT'S STORIES

by Robert Delaney



1) The Quiet and Fertile Plain 5) Brightblosson and the Gleam
2) There Goes the Neighborhood 6) Dreamfinder
3) Nightfawn and the Gleam 7) ElfQuest
4) The Sinking Star 8) Eight-of-Dreams



These stories take place in the ElfQuest universe created by Wendy and Richard Pini, although they focus on my own characters. This introduction provides some background information for those of you who are unfamiliar with it. Also, since the stories form a kind of series, I'm providing a brief synopsis of each, so you can follow any one of them without having to read all of them. Of course, I hope you'll want to read all of them. (A more long winded version of this paragraph is available.)

But be forewarned: these summaries are full of spoilers.


ElfQuest

Imagine an ancient world, its inhabitants an ancient race who have evolved not only immortal lifespans but also telepathic and telekinetic powers that seem like magic. They can heal any wound, reshape rock and metal and even living tissue. They can transform anything or anyone into anything or anyone they desire. But even they could not prevent their world from dying when its time had come. So they formed the last remnants of their planet into a fleet of starcraft that scattered out into the universe never to encounter each other again.

After millions of years, the inhabitants of one craft - who would ages later come to be called the High Ones - decided to seek out others of their kind. They encountered a world much like medieval Earth whose human inhabitants had legends about magical creatures they called Elves. The High Ones were certain that these legends had been inspired by their own people who must have visited that world (later called Abode) long ago, so they decided to land and investigate. In order not to frighten the humans with their alien appearance, they reshaped themselves into the elves of legend and their starship into a faerie castle.

But an accident occurred - the details of which are no part of this narrative - and the moment the palace emerged from hyperspace to appear in the sky over Abode, it was pulled back in and hurled through time twenty thousand years into Abode's past. Dazed from the experience, the High Ones emerged from the palace to be met - not by medieval humans - but by savage prehuman creatures who immediately feared the new arrivals as some sort of demons. And, as is the case everywhere, what primitive men feared, primitive men attacked. To their horror, the High Ones discovered that their magical powers did not flow properly on this young world and that they were helpless to defend themselves. Those few who survived the massacre were scattered into the forest. Eventually some managed to relearn how to use their magic, but at only a fraction of their original power.

The scene shifts ten thousand years and many generations into the future, focusing in on a small group of the High One's descendants: a tribe of elves called the Wolfriders. They no longer possessed the knowledge of their starborn origin or that there might be other elves living elsewhere on Abode. All they knew was that they had been at war with the humans for longer than anyone could remember. Eventually driven from their home by fire, they began wandering until they were surprised to encounter another tribe of elves called the Sunfolk. This meeting inspired Cutter, the leader of the Wolfriders, to embark upon a quest to find and reunite all the lost children of the High Ones, to rediscover to secret of his past - and that of his destiny.

(ElfQuest, its characters, situations, logos and their distinctive likenesses are trademarks of Warp Graphics, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.)

The Sinking Star

A tale of the High Ones that starts just before their arrival on Abode. It shows the creation of Dreamfinder's staff and then focuses on two lovemates, named Hallam and Welkin, who get separated during the massacre, never to see each other again. Hallam becomes the founder of Dreamfinder's people. Welkin changes her name to Skye and founds Skycia. The title refers to the poem, Ulysses, by Tennyson.


Brightblossom and the Gleam

Brightblossom is Dreamfinder as a little girl. She speaks of trying to create peace between humans and elves and is mockingly called a Dreamchaser. She decides to keep that name as a challenge. The title refers to the poem, Merlin and the Gleam, by Tennyson.


Dreamfinder

This is an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet in which an elf and a human accidentally meet and fall in love. When the inevitable tragedy results, Dreamchaser uses it as an opportunity to start building a lasting peace, eventually earning the name, Dreamfinder.


Eight-of-Dreams and the DreamCall

A collection of stories written by a group of people with whom I've become associated. See also Sweetwind's Home Page. The following is adapted from the Holt handbook:

"Many years ago, an elf named Dreamchant left her home to escape from the tyrannical rule of her chieftess-mother, Silvertree. After much wandering and many hardships, she reached the site where Eight-of-Dreams Holt would later stand. One night, in loneliness and desperation, she detected the psychic presence of elves - like herself - who were marked as dreamers. She called to them through a prodigious telepathic sending, later spoken of as the DreamCall, in an effort to preserve the power of dreaming for future generations. One by one, the dreamers came...."


Nightfawn and the Gleam

Dreamfinder senses the DreamCall but is unable to comprehend its meaning and unable to seek out its source due to her responsibilities as leader. She knows, however, of a young human woman in her village, named Nightfawn, who is trying to find a purpose in her life and a destiny to fulfill. Nightfawn jumps at the chance to go on a quest to find the DreamCall's source.


The Quiet and Fertile Plain

Two stories separated by thousands of years that unfold parallel to each other. In one, Nightfawn meets a knight errant, named Roland, who is also following the DreamCall, and together they get captured by the Skycians in a land where elves rule and humans are enslaved. In the other story, a woman from Abode's medieval period witnesses the palace of the High Ones' brief appearance and is unintentionally pulled back in time with it to Abode's stone age.


There Goes the Neighborhood

Nightfawn and Roland arrive at Eight-of-Dreams and meet Dreamchant. Roland rides off in search of more adventures while Nightfawn begins a new chapter in her life.



Alternate Long Winded Introduction

As stated earlier, this page is here for two reasons:

  1. To provide a brief introduction to the ElfQuest world that serves as a backdrop to my stories for those poor culturally deprived souls among you who aren't familiar with it (you can confess; I won't hold it against you). It also introduces the Eight-of-Dreams Holt.

  2. Deciding on an order in which to list the stories presented a bit of a problem. Since they form a series, it would be tempting to list them in the order in which they take place. But this was not the order in which they were written. And a couple of the stories that take place earlier may actually be more meaningful if you already know the future events that they set in motion.

    Another possiblity is to list them in the order in which they were written since this is probably the best order in which to read them. Unfortunately, my ego is bothered by this. I'd like to think that I improved a bit with each story, and I'm worried that you might read the first one, decide that I'm not very good, and then not bother to read any of the others. If you read only one of them, I'd prefer it to be "The Quiet and Fertile Plain." But the plot may be hard to follow if you're unfamiliar with the events that preceded it.

    Thus, I decided to list the stories in reverse order - newest first - and to write this introduction which will summarize all the stories in chronological order. This way you can read them in any order you want.





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