You may not now nor ever be ready to cosplay, LARP, have a theme wedding, or even honeymoon to New Zealand where you will take the Lord of the Rings tour and proclaim your love loudly (of fantasy, not your spouse, though I’m sure the latter would be a good afterthought) from a mountaintop, but just try to tell me you didn’t fantasize just once about setting Falcore the Luck Dragon after your fiercest enemies while you cheered victoriously from his back. Seriously, try. You can’t do it, can you? That, my friends, is because even the non-fantasy lovers among us have to admit--this genre has style.
There are so many types of fantasy out there from high to historical, fairy tales to urban, but no matter which subset of the genre you prefer I’ve found you’ll notice a common thread--getting around can really beat anything we’ve got here. I don’t know, maybe you have a really sweet car, maybe you don’t find the bus creepy or the subway too hot, maybe you really like to walk. But come on people, commuting in fantasy is where it’s at.
Sure you don’t always know exactly where you’re going to end up, if you’ll make it home in one piece, or even if you’ll come out alive, but I think we all know you wouldn't pass up the chance to go from here to there in the blink of an eye. I assume you're sitting there gaping at your computer screen thinking 'of course I wouldn't!', and so, here are some items to look out for:
- Your wardrobe. I realize wardrobes are rare these days, at least here in the U.S. where we're big users of dressers and closets and other far less magical ways to store our clothes BUT should you run across one, make sure to run your hands along the back behind the coats. You may not feel the back of the wardrobe at all. You may find snow and pine trees and Turkish delight! Note: I will not be held responsible for any awkward encounters with women in white.
- A knife. Is it subtle? Has the edge been folded over and over again so many times that it is so fine and sharp that it has the ability to cut through worlds? If so, you just have to get the knack of sliding through!
- Certain doors. I realize we all go through door every day. But some doors don't just lead to another room, or a building, some doors lead to other worlds. Ignore any with hand prints burnt into them--they're useless, but pay particular attention while in Wales. If there's a wheel with color blobs outside, make sure you have your colors and destinations strait!
- Rainbows. Yes, yes, go ahead and snicker. It's probably the lamest form of transportation in fantasy, but since that's the mode of travel between here and Asgard, and you certainly don't want to call a Norse God lame to his face, let's just keep that under wraps. Oh, and call it "Bifrost"...it sounds cooler.
- Beanstalks of the unusually large variety. I just hope you're in shape--it's going to take you several hours of climbing to reach the top, but once there if you're able to negotiate with the locals, you can use the Cloud Kingdoms as an excellent platform from which to parachute into any number of worlds.
- Dragons. Not just for hoarding anymore! Often misunderstood, you see these creatures made out as the villains in a lot of fantasy. They're curmudgeons, require ridiculous amounts of food, and are quite often blamed for the demise of knights. But if you're enterprising enough, you can bond with them at birth and work with them to sear Thread from the skies.
- Hounds. Yes, again, this is one of those you almost have to be born into, but there are certainly ways to worm your way into the Dark Court of the fey and become part of the Wild Hunt. This is a pretty good option if you enjoy havoc, destruction, and scaring the pants off of anyone in your path. Bonus: your hound can look like the awesome kick butt car of your dreams.
- Companions. They look like beautiful white horses, but anyone worth their attention can tell that there's more inside those magestically powerful creatures. As with dragons, they kind of have to choose you--but you can up your chances of being Chosen by making sure you're exceptionally awesome (and good hearted/altruistic/patriotic...).
- If you're a Darwinist (or just very open to biological engineering) you can take a lovely jaunt on an airship that's largely whale, but also part glow worm and 100 other species. Or if something smaller is to your tastes, try a Huxley--part hot air balloon, part jelly fish! Of course there's all sorts of beasties on the ground and seas as well, and if you're not into picking up your ride's dung, you can always hang with the Clankers.
- If you have a need for speed, but not necessarily to retain all of your limbs, you can spend your fall on the island of Thisby attempting to capture and ride one of the vicious water horses. Just be prepared--you're as likely to end up in the water as you are at your destination.
- Or, if you're one to truly insist on instant gratification, I suggest getting your hands on a Babylon Candle. They're not cheap or easy to come by, so I'd save it for that special moment, but make sure you know precisely where you want to go. One slip of the mind could have you at your Grandma's house. I don't know, maybe you love your Grandma's house, but I'd rather use it to visit Machu Picchu.
- Flying cars and/or motorbikes
- Port Keys
- Flu Powder
- Apparation (but only if you're 17!)
- The Nightbus
- Thestrals (but...um...you may or may not be able to see this one coming)
- Animagus abilities
Heidi, your post is one of my favorites of the entire event! It's a thoughtful post packed with so much humor and fun, and I can't thank you enough!
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I don't like to walk, Heidi! I HATE it. Frankly, I prefer the wardrobes, because Prince Caspian is eventually behind door number one. And, dragons, definitely. Comment below if you want to borrow a dragon to blow your enemies to ashes or have ever caught a water horse.