Way Back When the world of legend and myth began to fall away and merge half-heartedly with the real world, two brothers from the mythical kingdom of Pollis fought over the ruler-ship of that land. One brother, Neilio - taking his cue from the biblical story of Esau and Jacob, disguises himself as his older brother Beckus and tricks his father, old King Pollis, into giving him the birthright and ruler-ship over the kingdom. ("War") breaks out, and we find the once unified kingdom of Pollis split asunder into the realms of Neilio and Beckus.
From here, we move into intrigue and mystery—allies from opposing sides bound by power, lust, and deceit meet. King Neilio, concerned that his act of deception is coming to light, has summoned Queen Aluis, the wife of King Beckus, his brother, to meet in secret to uncover the person or person's exposing the deception within the Royal houses.
As chance would have it (and it often does), only one person can travel safely between these two kingdoms. His name is Clown. Having lived when both domains were one, Clown has the trust and affection of both Neilio and Beckus. On one such occasion, Clown is sent to King Neilio by King Beckus to listen to reason and give up this costly war. ("The Message") Clown then reveals a spy lurking in and out of the King's lands. We soon learn that Prince Aaron (son of King Neilio and heir to the throne) has been in league with Clown to end the war, and it is he who was lurking about the Kingdom of Beckus at night! ("Way Back When").
Prince Aaron has fallen in love with a commoner from the Kingdom of Beckus and counts on Clown to keep their liaison secret as they work through a way to end the war. Unfortunately, Aaron is cornered in the Clown's quarters with the maiden Jess ("Come Close to Me") and taken away for spying and certain death. In desperation, Jess tells Clown she will go to the Queen and plead with her to free the Prince. So moved, Clown tells Jess he will speak with the Queen on her behalf.
The following day comes, and Clown makes his way to see Queen Aluis but is met instead by King Beckus. King Beckus, frustrated and in a terrible mood, explains that he isn't having good relations with Queen Aluis. He isn't having relations, period. ("Give Me A Chance") Clown convinces King Beckus not to give up and moves on to meet with Queen Aluis to gain an audience for Jess.
The Queen agrees, and shortly after that, the maiden Jess meets with Queen Aluis and pleads for the life of her love, Prince Aaron. ("I Never Thought") But Queen Aluis refuses to release him, and in anguish, Jess tells the Queen she will tell King Beckus of her deception and affair with King Neilio if she doesn't help her. The Queen calls Sir Robert, Captain of the Guard, and commands him to take Jess to the land of the Dragons! ("War: Reprise")
Sir Robert doesn't want to venture to the Land of the Dragons and meets with Clown. In his ramblings, he unwittingly reveals to Clown, Clown's true identity, where he came from, and, more importantly, who his birth mother is. With this new information, Clown persuades Sir Robert to allow him to take Jess to the Land of the Dragons. So elated at this gesture, Sir Robert places himself in Clown's debt. Clown accepts and wisps Jess away to a secret haven until he can decide what has gone wrong.
In his attempt to bring the warring parties together, Clown disguises himself and leaks information to a Neilean spy about Prince Aaron's capture and impending execution. The spy promptly returns and tells King Neilio the news. ("What Have I Done?") Motivated to save his son's life, King Neilio sends word to Queen Aluis to tell King Beckus the truth about everything. Queen Aluis sends word through the spy that she will do as the king asks.
The following day King Beckus, tormented at putting his nephew to death, seeks out the Queen for solace and a little lovemaking ("Stranger to My Heart"). But, unfortunately, instead of easing his burden, she asks him to break the rules of war and execute the Prince in two days, rather than the customary five!
The spy soon returns to King Neilio and gives him the good news that the Queen will comply. Neilio summons Clown and is shocked to hear Prince Aaron will die in two days. Queen Aluis has lied to him! King Neilio then commands Clown to deliver another message to his brother revealing the truth!
Clown journeys to the Kingdom of Beckus; he stops to rest and gather up Jess for tomorrow's ride to save Prince Aaron. ("One Step Further") Meanwhile, Queen Aluis meets with Prince Aaron in the Tower. ("Tell Me"), ("Come Close To Me: Reprise,"). Queen Aluis, in a moment of remorsefulness, seeks redemption ("I'm Sorry, Aaron").
As dawn approaches on the day of Aaron's execution, King Neilio cannot leave Aaron's fate in the hands of another and prays to God to send him the fabled winged horse Pegasus so he can save Prince Aaron's life ("Hear My Prayer"). God agrees and sends Pegasus to King Neilio, who flies off to save Prince Aaron's life.
As day breaks, Prince Aaron is led to his death as the Clown and Jess arrive. Witnessing this, Queen Aluis orders the guards to kill Jess, but Clown defends her with the aid of Sir Robert. Outraged, the Queen tries to kill Jess, but King Beckus stops her. Clown then begins to unwind the story ("War" Part I) of how a child (Prince Aaron, whose real father is King Beckus) was carried away at birth as a ransom for keeping silent about a secret love affair between Queen Aluis and King Neilio.
At this point, King Neilio arrives - flying in on Pegasus - and proclaims his deceitfulness in stealing Beckus' birthright and confirms Clown's accusations ("War" Part II"). Beckus, in total madness, prepares to cut Queen Aluis' head off when Clown suddenly proclaims one last incredible truth ("War" Part III").
Clown, having revealed that Queen Aluis is his birth mother shocks the entire court as Aluis breaks down from shame. Finally, King Beckus, understanding why the Queen had so much patience for Clown, takes pity on her by proclaiming his love for her is more significant than any transgression or perceived mistake she might have committed as a young child herself. King Neilio relinquishes his claim on the throne, and King Beckus is acknowledged as the rightful ruler of both lands, decrees an end to the war, and then gives his permission for Prince Aaron to marry the Maiden Jess, to the surprise of the court ("Finale").
© Delayna Publishing