Windy Crag Taverne
A project site for Vincent Gerard Way
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Welcome to the Windy Crag Taverne!
If you're looking for a place where you can hear a good story, you've come to the right place.
A Holiday Audiobook Offering for the Winter Season of 2012-2013
"Cinderella and the Great Prince of Southern China"

by Vincent Way, 
copyright Vincent G. Way, all rights reserved

The 26-year-old bachelor son of a duke of a backwater port and river valley domain in southern China is sent by his father to represent their district at the royal wedding of the Emperor's seventh daughter and to deliver wedding presents. He exchanges gifts with a young woman who works at the palace kitchen who had done him a good turn when unloading his ship, only to find that his visit to the capital becomes ever more complicated with problems that arise from that meeting. A madcap romp through the Qing Dynasty eventually leads to contests of physical prowess and wit, a bit of torture, and of course, love (masquerading as loyalty).

Not suitable for children unless they're accustomed to profanity and references to the fact that adults have sex (in various configurations and circumstances other than heterosexual marriage) and that at one time in history, civilized nations used torture as proper method to discerning the truth of a situation. That said, it's supposed to be a romantic comedy ... you be the judge.

Part 1 - The Princess Seven (16:23) - It's time for a royal wedding at the capital in China! The Seventh Princess, the Emperor's favorite, is getting married to a great war hero. She's a little more interested in getting one last look around her town before she's shipped off with him to the north.
7.5 MB

Part 2 - The Docks (17:42) - Wang Three, a duke's son from the Jewel River Valley in the southern provinces, has come to deliver his family's wedding presents. By chance he meets an intriguing girl who works in the palace kitchen.
4.0 MB

Part 3 - The Docks continued (14:08) - Three gets a lesson in how business is conducted in the capital.
3.2 MB

Part 4 - The Princess Banquet (10:26) - The Princess Seven preps for her banquet but receives a surprise invitation for the next day.
2.3 MB

Part 5 - The Princess Banquet continued (16:34) - The dinner spies report.
3.7 MB

Part 6 - At the Evergreen Inn (18:14) - Seven and her attendant Silver Bird escape the harem.
4.1 MB

Part 7 - At the Evergreen Inn continued (14:00) - A visit to the Xia Dynasty.
3.2 MB

Part 8 - At the Evergreen Inn continued (25:54) - When a lady says "no," a gentleman hears "better the offer."
5.9 MB

Part 9 - At the Evergreen Inn continued (9:46) - A second "four-times" dog is revealed.
2.2 MB

Part 10 - Anto Antics (23:40) - Three runs into a pirate at the docks.
5.4 MB

Part 11 - Anto Antics continued (15:54) - Check-in at the Mountain View Academy for Young Scholars. Three meets a few soldiers.
3.6 MB

Part 12 - Doesn't Anybody Have Cash Around Here? (16:08) - Rejection, depression, and acceptance: what all great vacations are made of.
3.6 MB

Part 13 - A Visit to Whispering Pine Estate (18:00) - A fashionable gent wants to buy the shirt off Three's back.
4.1 MB

Part 14 - Complication and Altercation at the Red Lantern Inn (15:20) - Old debts are settled, but new ones arise.
3.5 MB

Part 15 - Battle at Mountain View Academy (20:28) - A contest of scholar vs. soldier.
4.6 MB

Part 16 - Battle at Mountain View Academy continued (19:22) - An arresting development for Three.
4.4 MB

Part 17 - Pretrial Motions (17:38) - Judge Kuang takes the case.
4.0 MB

Part 18 - The Trial (14:06) - A true friend says nothing.
3.2 MB

Part 19 - The Trial continued (19:16) - A sophist takes the stand.
4.4 MB

Part 20 - I Might as Well Be a Nun (or the Other Way Around) (10:16) - The girls lament a happy ending.
2.3 MB

Part 21 - I Might as Well Be a Nun continued (18:32) - Eleven is not a lucky number.
4.2 MB

Part 22 - The Banquet of Silence (11:38) - What lunatic invites someone to dinner at midnight anyway?
2.6 MB

Part 23 - The Banquet of Silence continued (23:03) - When is a meal more than a meal?
5.2 MB

Part 24 - Farewells (8:57) - Goodbye and good luck!
4.1 MB

Comments from the Cosmic Barmaid

Hello there. I am your Cosmic Barmaid, an employee here at the Windy Crag Taverne--and yes, there is a such a place. It's located in the mountain pass in that margin between Reality and Imagination, or some poetic claptrap like that. I do have a real name, but it's not pronounceable by folk on your side of the pass, so just call me CB.

People pass through here all the time from both sides and tell a story. The Employer tries to collect them. This is his first attempt at trying to record one and put it online, therefore it will be the worst one as that idiot figures out which side of the mic to talk into. Bear with him. It will get better (we hope). Folk keep telling him he has a voice and a face for radio, so he's testing it out. Rather wooden and slow if you ask me and it sounds like he needs to blow his nose! 

This little story sits inside a larger novel which will be recorded and published here week by week throughout 2013. The Employer thought that by itself it was enough of a complete little gem that it could be rolled out as a Christmas/New Year present to our patrons. 

If you care about context, it is a tale being told by a 16-year-old girl (who loves fairy tales) on a South Pacific island to a vacationing geologist, presumably about an ancestor of hers. She specializes in anachronisms needless to say.

Your comments are most welcome, especially if you miss a word and want to know what was said or what happened.


PS Can you buy a copy to read online or to print out? No. Eventually The Employer will figure out a way to self-publish it in literal form, but in the meantime, he's perfectly content that you listen to it and pass the link on to anyone else to anyone who finds such things interesting. It's recorded in 10-20 minute chunks, perfect for a bedtime story or limited attention spans.

Some More from CB . . .

Didya eat yet? One early-adopter listener said she'd like a cast list. Goodness people! PAY ATTENTION! This plot is intricate and a twist may happen on a single word. OK OK, admittedly there are a LOT of people who come onstage and you can't read it and backtrack easily, so The Teller of this tale has agreed to put together this cast list for you who listen for a bit and then put it away and forget who's who.

CAST in order of appearance/mention (*asterisk indicates main character)

Queen Mother: The Emperor's mother; Princess Seven's grandmother

Astrologer: The one who pronounced Seven a 4-times dog

*Princess Seven: favorite daughter of the Emperor, 26 years old, getting married, also known as "Qi" (pronounced "chee") to Wang Three

Mid-Provinces Shipping Agent

Slouchy: a lazy, palace eunuch guard

Qin: scullery maid in the palace kitchen

*Wang Three: the third son of the Duke of the Jewel River Valley in southern China; he's called Wang, Wong, or Three

*Backie: Three's bodyguard and porter

*Lucky: Three's family retainer, 50-ish

Various merchants at the docks

Two capital city porters

*Silver Bird: Seven's lady-in-waiting, childhood friend, and confidante; slightly younger than Seven (not a Dog though)

*Fart Toad: weird 14-year-old daughter of the headmaster of the Mountain View Academy; a language prodigy but thought by most to be a mental defective; called "Toad" by most and "Firebird" by Three; her real name is South Phoenix

*Professor Wu: the headmaster of Mountain View Academy and Toad's father

Mrs. Wu: the headmaster's wife

Ambassador and Lady Tang: retired ambassador to Japan and his wife (she's Japanese)

Mama Horse and Maid Li: kitchen workers in the Palace

Minister Long: Chief Imperial Minister of Finance

Palace gardener and groundskeeper

Monks at retreat next door to the palace

Mr. Li: winemaker and owner of the Evergreen Inn (if you simply MUST have the backstory on him, yes, he's a frustrated opera director, gay, and he is in a lifelong, faithful, spousal relationship, but he also has a "beard" in his second-cousin wife--but you don't meet either of them in this story); Li's onstage name is Gold Talent when dealing with his South Door clientele

Mr. and Mrs. Zhang: Two older workers at the Palace sympathetic to Seven; he's the master carpenter, she's the mistress seamstress

Various actors doing role-play work at the Evergreen

*Anto: a pirate captain and business associate of Three's

*Ska: one of Anto's crew

Anto's other crewmen

Blessing: Professor Wu's steward

Fart Toad's nurse

The faculty and staff at Mountain View Academy

The 24 students of Mountain View Academy (you will hear from the 12 young men of the two upper cohorts again someday) 
*Field General Zuo: also called "Glint"; third son of the Duke of the Northwestern Territories; a war hero; fiance to the Princess Seven

Three of Zuo's officers

*Red Beard: captain of the Palace Eunuch Guards; he's huge! Seven feet tall! His people are from the steppes.

*Whispering Pine: Imperial Protocol Officer who has refined tastes in fine clothes, the literary arts, gracious living, and pretty young men; hires Fart Toad as a translator now and then

The Sifu: the martial arts instructor at Mountain View Academy

Civil servant at the Hall of Justice

*Judge Kuang Wen Sheng: an Imperial Magistrate; Princess Seven calls him "Uncle Wen" because she's known him since childhood 

Silver Song (age 19) and Silver Joy (age 17): Silver Bird's younger sisters

The Princess Eleven: Seven's younger sister

[Whew, that's a lot of players! Probably left someone out. If this were made into a TV miniseries, it would put about 50 Asian American actors to work . . .]

If you enjoyed listening to this audio recording by the author, read a Beta version that appears in successive postings on the author's blog "Messages from Pops Way" at You will have to go back to the listings for July 21, 2013 to get to the beginning.

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