The 21st-Century Scop banner

scop (noun): Old English – bard, minstrel, storyteller

Next on Mystery Theatre:
Dragons, Ciphers, & Two Locked Doors

A few years ago, I discovered bats in the attic. A whole family nesting in the rafters. After consulting the local critter specialist, I learned that evicting a bat family is a bit more involved than eradicating carpenter ants. You can just exterminate them. Nor can you trap them and take them to someone else’s neighborhood. Instead, when the young are able to fly, you fit their entry point with a one-way door. Exit only. That way, they get locked out and (one hopes) don’t get back in some other way.

Fortunately, it worked.

But King Vortigern (pictured above) had a more troubling infestation. Rather than bats in the attic, he found himself contending with serpents in his basement … or, more specifically, two battling dragons in a pool beneath the foundation of his fortress. And since it was the 6th century, rather than calling the critter man, he sought the aid of twelve magicians who told him (according to Geoffrey of Monmouth) that his only recourse was to find “a youth that never had a father, and kill him, and then sprinkle the stones and cement with his blood.”

That’s the condemned youth in the picture above, wearing the red robe and standing beside the white-robed Vortigern. The kid doesn’t look frightened. Perhaps the king hasn’t filled him in yet. Or maybe the boy already knows something that the king and his magicians haven’t figured out.

To find out which it is, you could read The British History of Geoffrey of Monmouth (you’ll find a link below), or you can plan to check out our next five installments of Prime Stage Mystery Theatre, which will feature a special fantasy-based mystery story to coincide with Prime Stage’s live production of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Here’s the pitch:

This March, strange sounds emanating from a locked cabinet will plunge you into an investigation involving an encrypted message, runic letters, and the legend of a medieval king. It all begins March 2nd with Act I of  “The Ælf in the Wardrobe,” Chapter 7 of Prime Stage Mystery Theatre–the podcast where you are part of the story.

You can find Prime Stage Mystery Theatre on your favorite podcast platform, or you can visit the Prime Stage website where you’ll find more information about all present and past episodes.

Also, if you attend the March 4th opening of Prime Stage Theatre’s The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe at The New Hazlett Theatre, we hope you’ll stop by our special Mystery Theatre display, where you’ll be able to check out some of the clue’s presented in the first installment of our March mystery.

Either way, be sure to tune in March 2nd for one of our most challenging mysteries yet. I’ll meet you there!

Credits: The illustration at the top of this page is from The Romance of Lancelot, 1316. The text quoted above is from The British History of Geoffrey of Monmouth, translated from the Latin by Aaron Thompson. London: James Bohn, 1842.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Comments: