KEN MURDOCH – Guitar and vocals
GABE ANTAL – Drums
DAN D’AGOSTINO – Bass
MICHAEL VINCENT TAN – Narration
“Book I:” Produced by Outlaws of Ravenhurst
Recorded & Mixed by Teddy Johnson and Ken Murdoch at the Sewer, Calgary, AB
Mastered by Carl Saff at Saff Mastering, Chicago, IL saffmastering.com
All songs written by Outlaws of Ravenhurst
Original paintings: Maria Dillmann
Graphic design & Layout: Chris Pecora at chrispecora.com
… AND REMEMBER, THIS IS ONLY PART 1!
released November 3, 2011
I. The kingdom of Ravenhurst was one of bleak solemnity in the absence of King Earl II.
For years, the king had been away on a soul-seeking journey, leaving Castle Ravenhurst nearly empty and uninhabited.
II. Early one morning, Friar Brown-Head (the king’s spiritual mentor) and Muckle John (the court jester) set out to go fishing on the Loch of Ravenhurst. Friar Brown-Head had not been out in the boat for long when they noticed the silhouette of a gray-cloaked stranger approach from the east.
As Muckle John cowered along the shore, fearful of the oncoming stranger, he heard a familiar laugh bellow from the hulking figure...
III. After so many years, the king had finally returned.
King Earl called out to Brown-Head who immediately began rowing for shore. Muckle John danced giddily about and the monk sensed a greater degree of peace in the king’s soul as they embraced. There was certainly much for the king to tell.
IV. The tranquility of the moment was suddenly quashed.
Out of nowhere, the evil wizard Uncle Roger appeared, riding gatorhorse: a half-horse, half-alligator of his own creation. He mocked the king, calling him “spineless” and a “coward” for leaving his people for so many years without a ruler. Insisting himself to be a stronger ruler than the king, Uncle Roger challenged him to a game of marbles.
V. The wizard offered to gamble his own soul if the king would wager his kingdom. Friar Brown-Head advised the king to have no part in the wizard’s tricks, but in his own haughty pride, the king accepted with laughter.
A circle was drawn on the ground and the game began. Dark clouds and thunder rolled in as the epic game neared a finish. The wizard appeared to have the upper-hand, but at the last moment, the king’s skill proved victorious.
Furious, Uncle Roger rode away, promising vengeance upon the king.
VI. A sense of pride welled up within King Earl as he rode towards Castle Ravenhurst. The subjects of Ravenhurst greeted him with cheers of wonder and amazement at the sight of their leader.
All was right in Ravenhurst once again.
VII. Once the celebrating and excitement had died down, the king had time to sit by the fire, recollect his thoughts and recount portions of his journey to the eager ears of Brown-Head and Muckle John. They listened intently as he told his own spiritual growth over the years, as well as his own visible flaws, made apparent by the stark state of solitude embodying his quest.
But this quiet moment of introspection could not last forever...
VIII. The doors of the great hall burst open as a burly figure entered into the firelight. The king’s main knight and closest friend, Sir Godfrey of Ravenhurst, boastingly carried a wild boar and slammed it on the banquet table before greeting his dear friend and master.
Shouts of joy echoed through the vaulted ceilings as the two were reunited once again.
IX. The following morning, King Earl brought his companions to a shrine he had built in the forest many years ago. Now, overgrown with ivy, the statue the king had sculpted by hand was all but forgotten in the nearby woods.
The king cleared the shrubbery and spent a moment in silent prayer. He turned to those gathered around and expressed his eternal gratitude to Our Lady of the Forest, who he was convinced was responsible for the safety and success of his journey.
X. As the band returned to Castle Ravenhurst, one member of the party remained in the woods.
Once all but the one disappeared from sight, Uncle Roger emerged from the thick of the forest. He reprimanded the companion-turned-traitor for their inefficiency in carrying out the plan of mutiny laid out by the wizard. The deceiver did all that he could to conceal his trembling as he promised to enact the wizard’s orders and overthrow the kingdom.
XI. Back in the great hall, King Earl instructed Godfrey to tend to the fireplace. Godfrey carried a number of logs toward the fire when he noticed the foundation of the fireplace seemed to be somewhat unstable. As he inspected the shaky structure, the bricks suddenly gave way. Sir Godfrey tumbled down into the pit that the bricks had created.
Unscathed, he noticed that he had fallen into a secret chamber.
XII. Hurrying down the newly discovered staircase, the king looked around in awe of the large room that he had never seen before. In the center of the room stood a small stone altar. Stepping closer to this central fixture, the king’s eyes began to adjust to the dim firelight streaming into the chamber. He saw a glass box on top of the altar.
As his sight became clearer, so too his recognition of the broken blade within the box became apparent. His stomach sunk as he was suddenly flooded with an array of traumatic and painful memories, revolving around his father’s death at the end of this sword. All of the peace and clarity that had been discovered on his soul-seeking journey was now being eroded away by returning feelings of hatred and revenge.