Lost in the uncharted eons of time when creatures of legend shared the earth with men, a peaceable kingdom stretched from the fertile valleys, green and verdant, to the ancient, towering forests and even to the far, blue mountains beyond which no eye had seen. Among the rolling hills and blooming glens, lush with all manner of orchards and gardens, the valley towns thrived with barely a thought for any matters beyond their neatly walled fields.
Such were the range of a roaming minstrel whose long-told tales and oft-sung songs could be heard in the valley inns and markets. Along the winding roads he occasionally heard whispers from the far countries, intrigues from the king’s household, and murmurs from deep within the tangled forests, deeper even than any of the king’s heroes dared venture. The wonders of such mysteries filled his imagination.
And so it was that one cool spring afternoon he determined to leave the familiar lanes of the valley towns and venture to the farthest reaches of the kingdom and--should fortune look kindly upon him--farther still, beyond the wilds and wastes, beyond the far countries, and there to learn the peculiar songs and strange stories of those ancient lands.