As a fan of ElfQuest for decades, I made an early donation to the Kickstarter campaign of Wendy and Richard Pini who were raising money to develop an “audio movie” of the first book of the epic elf saga. I followed with interest, as actors were chosen to voice the characters. This first season is aptly based on the first collected graphic novel, Fire and Flight, which first introduced readers to the World of Two Moons and the elfin Wolfriders. Tune in yourself to the Apple podcast!
Fire and Flight
Fire and Flight introduces us to the Wolfriders, an elfin band that rides wolves and live in the woods, or as they call it, The Holt. Primitive humans are their enemies and have captured one of the elves, Redlance. A rescue is mounted to retrieve their friend, but at great cost, as the humans burn down the woods in retaliation. The character Savah, who we will truly meet later, is the all-knowing narrator in these early episodes.
All the elves and their wolves are able to escape to the caverns of the trolls, but due to some trickery, the trolls lead them underground and abandon them near an entrance to a desert.
The Burning Waste
The elves, led by their leader Cutter, set out across the sands in hope of finding a new home. On the brink of disaster, they are completely shocked to find a hidden elfin village in the desert mountains.
Raid at Sorrow’s End
They barge into the peaceful village, creating chaos, for the other tribe is as shocked at their existence as they were. The Sun Villagers welcome the Wolfriders while Leetah, the Healer, uses her magic to heal Redlance.
We learn some important background to the story-as Savah the eldest Sun Village elf there, explains how the elves and humans became enemies and how the desert tribe came to be where they are. Cutter feels the pull of Recognition (when two elves are drawn to each other’s souls and come together to create a strong child) towards Leetah, to the great dismay of Rayek, the Sun Villager’s chief hunter. Savah shared her backstory about her lifemate who became obsessed with shaping the rocks of the desert.
Cutter and Rayek engage in a series of physical and mental challenges in an attempt to win Leetah’s heart on the Bridge of Destiny. Two cocky alpha males fighting for one woman- I wasn’t a fan.
Although Cutter won the challenge, he only won the chance to woo Leetah. One night she eavesdrops on a howl the Wolfriders have and learns more about their tribe and way of life. She is intrigued by their stories and begins to respect Cutter.
Blood of Ten Chiefs
More backstories are shared, specifically the tale of how Cutter became the chief of his tribe at a young age when his father Bearclaw was killed by the evil monster Madcoil.
Voice of the Sun
The Sun Folk and the Wolfrides begin to work together, as Redlance’s magic gift with plants is appreciated and Scouter’s keen eyesight is needed. When spooked wild animals threaten the village, the Wolfiders leap into action.
The Bridge of Destiny
The healer Leetah finally gives into Recognition with Cutter and the two tribes rejoice. The concluding minute shares the two tribes live in harmony for seven years until the humans find the remote village…but that is a story for Season Two!
I question using the term audio movie that the creators used, for I feel that the word podcast is more accurate, and more people will understand that term. While it was voiced wonderfully and included sound effects, in no way did I consider it a movie of any sort. For podcast fans, this is a great way to be introduced to the world of ElfQuest and the Wolfriders. For those that fell in love with the elven tribes in the graphic novels, this is a treat, however, I did miss the exquisite art of Wendy Pini. ElfQuest became a sensation it was due to Wendy’s art, so I have to admit I missed it. But if and when season two is greenlit, I will be tuning in!