Song of Tales features a choice of eight narrators divided into four traditions of folk tales. Anyone can tell any tale, but telling those from your narrator's tradition may well be easier.
The folk tales of feudal Japan often feature paranormal Yokai, sometimes malicious, sometimes noble or just mischievous these spirits often took the form of animals, such as the elegant Kitsune or the naughty Tanuki. In Song of Tales if you might choose one of these two spirits.
In Japanese folklore foxes have the power to change their shape and while some use this power to trick others they are often depicted as faithful and noble guardians, friends, wives and lovers. When transformed they are often depicted as elegant and attractive, Yokai Kitsune are usually thought of as being wise and long lived, they are said to grow extra tails once they reach 100 years of age, finally ascending to heaven after 1000 years when they gain their ninth tail and become celestial tenko.
Within Song of Tales the stories of the Kitsune are those of monks and maidens, faith and sacrifice.
The Tanuki are Japanese racoon dogs, the Yokai Tanuki or Bake-danuki, are shape-changing animal spirits with a more humorous tendency than the Kitsune. Once seen as mighty spirits, Buddhism saw them reduced in stature, yet they remain skilled shape changers. However, their purpose for taking other forms is almost always to make others look foolish, or just for the sheer joy of it.
In Song of Tales the Tanuki stories are of trickery and playful, sometimes cruel, pranks.
The folk tales of medival Europe used repeated motifs of the cursed innocent, represented by the Swan Princess, and the dangerous outsider, represented by the Wolf Stranger. In Song of Tales if you choose a European narrator you will be choosing between one of these two characters.
European folktales include innocent victims cursed to change and transform in various ways over and again, some find a way to alter their fate, some to live with it and still others to use it against others. The Swan Princess is itself a popular repeated motif, telling the story not only of a curse laid upon an individual, but those they love.
In Song of Tales the Swan Princess' stories are of curses made, bargains offered and fates averted.
European tales always come with a clear instruction to stick to the path and to distrust the dark stranger who calls you into the shadowy places of the world. Even so warned though the hero will always turn away from the straight and narrow, tempted to step into the darkness by the Wolf Stranger in any of their deadly and alluring forms.
In Song of Tales the Wolf Stranger tells stories of those lured to the edge of the dark places or beyond and the punishments of stepping from the path.
Of all the traditional tales of the Arabian peninsula the cycles of the 1001 nights as related by the princess Shahrazad and that relating the adventures of Sinbad the Sailor have most captured imaginations the world over. In Song Of Tales players will have the chance to take on the role of one of these legendary narrators.
Of all the narrators in the history of folk tales, none uses the power of stories as directly and effectively as the wise and lovely Shahrazad. She uses the sheer wonder and fascination that these tales produce alone to save not only herself and her sister, but many others.
In Song of Tales Shahrazad's tales are varied and flexible, telling many tales and taking many forms.
SINBAD The Sailor
The story cycle of a lost sailor battling adversity recurs across history, but few relate it with the strange mix of simultaneous self deprecation and aggrandizement that Sinbad the Sailor manages in his tales. Sinbad always has another tall tale of strange lands and unlikely creatures.
In Song of Tales Sinbad's tales inevitably include narrow escapes from strange and deadly situations.
Africa has a rich tradition of folk tales and aural storytelling, story cycles found throughout West Africa with peoples such as the Akan-Ashanti include character such as cunning Anansi and foolish Ti Bouki. In Song Of Tales players will have the chance to take the part of one of those great characters.
Chief among the pantheon of the Song Of Tales is Anansi, the trickster god and teller of stories. Anansi sometimes takes the form of a spider, sometimes of a man, but whatever form he takes he is almost always the underdog, using quick wits and careful cunning to gain the upper hand over often more powerful enemies.
In Song of Tales Anansi's tales turn the tables against oppressors with cunning plans and witty tricks.
For every cunning plan that goes well, there's one that goes wrong, and for every plan with a winner there's a loser, and Ti Bouki is usually on the receiving end of both. Sometimes lazy and greedy, sometimes just unlucky, the hyena spirit almost always ends up as the butt of the joke.
In Song of Tales Ti Bouki's tales usually tell of hard lessons, painfully learned.