Secret of the Unicorn, Chapter 14: The Shout

(If you’re reading the original edition, this is Chapter 11.)

In the aftermath of the Unwinnable Boss Battle, Emily — with the help of some refugees — dispels the rest of the party. At least Emily’s smart about who she dispels first: she snaps Kara out of her trance, then uses an amplified Dispel to aid everyone else. With everyone back to normal, Emily suggests that the party follow Lorelei and the harpy through the now-closing portal in order to save their new unicorn friend. The party is skeptical about the whole venture, but they eventually agree to follow Emily through the portal. As Adriane succinctly puts it: “One jumps, we all jump!”

And so Emily, Adriane, Kara, Ozzie, and Ghyll jump into the portal, and find themselves on the Magic Web.

Okay, a quick digression here: this is the first time we get to see the mechanics of traveling on the Magic Web without direct portals. In the Avalon series, magic users can follow strands of the web, usually by floating around in protective magic bubbles. Later on in the series, the girls figure out how to calibrate portals so they can reach their exact destination without all the floating around. The method is similar to that in Jewel Riders, in which the main characters wear magical armor to protect themselves when riding in the Wild Magic. However, in that series the characters use Travel Trees (similar to the portals in Avalon in that they’re marked by natural features) to reach certain locations on the portal network; it isn’t until the second half the series that they learn to glide around freely.

Anyway, the party find Lorelei and the harpy on a nexus, a location on the Magic Web where many strands (and thus portals) meet. The harpy is forcing Lorelei to open a new portal, but gets distracted by the party’s arrival. She takes the opportunity to reveal a secret: Ghyll isn’t a flobbin, and he wants Lorelei’s magic. This pisses off the party enough to resume their Boss Battle!

Boss: Harpy (take two!)
Do I need to repeat myself here? Oh, this time her spells do radiation damage, too.

Emily remembers that Lorelei was able to break the harpy’s spell by singing, so she tells the party to do the same. Ozzie and Ghyll chime in, Adriane sings a Wolfsong, and Kara … well, just watch the clip below.

Apparently Kara’s utter lack of singing ability is Super Effective, because it stuns the harpy — but not before the harpy counters with a radioactive shout of her own and disintegrates the strands of web under Kara’s feet. Before Kara falls into nothingness, Ghyll manages to save her — thus redeeming him of whatever wrongs the harpy accused him of.

Lorelei is freed from the harpy’s spell by Kara’s singing, and interrupts the battle by agreeing to take the harpy to some secret location (her home in the original edition). The harpy’s all like, “Yay, at last I’ll reach Avalon, where all dreams come true!” Lorelei opens a new portal, and the two enter.

But the boss battle can’t end this way, so the party follows them.

Status Update!
Emily learned Dispel!
Kara learned a new spellsong that I need a name for!

Next time: Let’s bring this singing battle to a close!



  1. Speaking of Doctor Who, them traveling in a sparkling bubble through a magical void reminds me of the make-shift TARDIS slapped together in “The Doctor’s Wife”. If the Avalon films ever get this far into the series then I want this scene to look just like that.

    1. It looks like there’s going to be more than one Avalon movie (the press releases have hinted at it), so if we’re lucky we may get to see that scene on film.

      BTW, “The Doctor’s Wife” was a pretty awesome episode.

      1. One of my favorites now.

        I remember you covering that. It seems quite presumptuous to announce sequels before the first film has even released.

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