Roway: The Crowned Jester | E. Christopher Clark

Roway: The Crowned Jester

Roway Freewings is the Crowned Jester of Lokoter [LO-ko-ter] and the sole surviving qhirat [KEE-raht] in existence. A prolific songwriter with a biting sense of humor and a penchant for social commentary, Roway has made a name for herself in every iteration of reality she’s appeared in.


Back in the day—like way, way back—Roway was the mortal lover of the goddess Mira. But when fickle Mira ended that affair and broke poor Roway’s heart, the jester sought revenge by unsticking herself in time to prevent their meet-cute from ever happening. The resulting paradox brought about the universe’s first-ever Calamity, which wiped out the qhirats and many other species—and ended with reality’s refugees seeking solace in the purgatorial paradise of Eden.


In each iteration of reality since—and in every Eden-bound Interregnum as well—Roway has appeared at random to live out twenty-seven years of song- and joke-filled existence. And each time she shows up, she meets an even more preposterous death. Many believe this is a curse from her former lover, Mira, but it’s been ages since Roway has seen her dark fate as a burden.


These days, having perished countless times already, Roway laughs at the very idea of “death.” Instead of cringing at her impending doom, she finds each untimely demise funnier than the last.


Appearance & Personality

Roway is a tall, slender humanoid with silver hair, purple eyes, and wings of the purest white. Though born with the feathered forearms, scaled legs, and clawed digits of all qhirats, she will occasionally employ the shape-shifting powers of a Personal Transfusion Device to tone down her more “frightening” features.


Bubbly, flirtatious, and prone to peals of laughter, Roway thrives on being underestimated. Beneath the polished exterior, which she tweaks to suit each reality she is born into, she is an introspective, hyper-intelligent master manipulator. A student of human nature—and elven nature, and kíndallan nature, and so on—she obsessively fine-tunes her songs and stories to maximize their emotional impact on the audience she finds herself in front of.


Notable Iterations

The Skald (The Second Age of Eden)

Hatching from an egg in the middle of the Nunyan countryside, she was surprised to find that A) she’d been reincarnated as a fully-grown version of herself; and, B) she’d retained all memories of her previous lives.

She went on to serve as a Skald for the armies of Nunya’s Free Cities, inspiring them to victory with her poems and songs. Flying overhead during Nunya’s border disputes with the United Countries of Oz, her instrument of choice in these days was a flaming mandolin—a sight which struck fear in the hearts of the halfling armies below.

Sadly, this life came to an end when she took pity on an Ozite deserter who’d fled Munchkinland, crossed the Bü‘ükopo, and sought refuge in the Nunyan border town that Roway called home. Never one to say no to a pretty face, gullible Roway was then murdered by the Munchkin spy—an event which would be used as Oscar Diggs’ rationale for The Invasion of Oz.


Seven Voices in One (Earth-668/Edenian Fourth Age)

Reborn this time at the end of the forty-second iteration of reality, Roway made a name for herself as the star of a intergalactic singing competition. A creature the likes of which this universe had never seen—the stuff of legends as ancient as The Old Faith—she sang bawdy ballads and droll ditties across the cosmos, earning a spot in the finals that year.

Tragically, during the season finale of this annual competiton, a Calamity struck and survivors once again sought refuge in Eden.

And yet, Roway was among them. So not all hope was lost. They’d at least have her and her songs to laugh at while they waited for reality to reboot.

Things got even better once the general populace learned of The Tale of the Seven Voices. Certain that Roway would be one of them—one of the septet of singers destined to sing the next iteration of reality into existence—the peoples of Eden waited patiently for the remaining six voices to emerge. But as the twenty-seventh year of this life drew closer, Roway grew impatient—as did the halfling historians who knew, by now, the nature of Roway’s brief existences.

Together, the halflings and Roway hatched a scheme. They hired six kíndallans to mimic Roway, sent Roway and the copies to the The Hall of the Voices, and decided to roll the dice on the idea that the gods wouldn’t think this cheating.


They did, of course, but they let Roway give it a try anyway. And when she died of a broken voicebox, Mira tried not to laugh.


The Crowned Jester (Earth-669)

The current iteration of Roway Freewings was hatched in the year 1997 on the Wolaríxkín homeworld of Lokoter, where she quickly rose to prominence in the flyting community. Worshipped by the Howardians in particular for her skills on the mic, Roway’s battle raps are overtly sexual, often scatalogical, and always hilarious.


Her epic hip-hop-inspired take on the Earthling joke “The Aristocrats” is a particular favorite.


Roway was elected Crowned Jester of Lokoter after her epic takedown of Donaldian demagogue Ronka Senk during the planet’s 2010 elections, and was selected by The One True Goddess to serve as a member of the House of Thrones soon thereafter.


It was during the House’s annual card game that Roway met the current lust of her life: a queen called Merama who wears a painted face and pays way more attention to Roway than she does to the cards she’s been dealt. The couple have become a fixture in the House’s Game Room, and a favorite distraction for the rulers gathered there to play for the continued autonomy of their kingdoms.


With the twenty-seventh year of her latest life fast approaching, Roway is cranking out songs like there’s no tomorrow. But she’s also trying to enjoy life even more than usual this time around, and the lecherous behavior of marvelous Merama is a big reason why.


Roway can only hope that her jealous ex, the goddess Mira, won’t exact any vengeance on Merama for ushering a modicum of joy into this latest stretch of existence.



Early Life

The first iteration of Roway Freewings was hatched on the planet Pinion in what would later come to be known as the Dwarven System. She lived an uneventful life amongst her fellow qhirats, hunting small game, learning the trade of her parents (musical performance, of course), and riding The Great Wind on the qhirats’ annual migration across the cosmos.


Like all of her kind, she relished in inspiring tall tales on the planets she visited—sneaking back in future years to eavesdrop from above and hear how her exploits had grown in the telling.


On a visit to Gadalla, she inspired a decades-long fad of “wing-sprouting” amongst the Kíndallan youth. On Earth, her flights above Crete inspired young Icarus to defy his father’s wishes and fly too close to the sun. And on the dwarven homeworld of Thün Büldar, her circlings of the mighty Mother’s Rock sparked renewed interest in conquering that divine mountain.


And the dwarves were not the only people who young Roway caught the attention of on those visits to Thün Büldar. No, not at all.


The Love of a Goddess

As worshippers of The Old Faith and literalist interpreters of The Myth of Mother’s Rock had long suspected, the peak of that place played host to the sister deities, Mira and Phina. And Mira, a rather young god at this point, was not yet jaded enough to ignore the potent beauty of soaring Roway. That was how Roway came to be invited into the goddesses’ cavernous home and to be wooed into Mira’s bed.


For a time, theirs was a happy and satisfying relationship. Roway sang Mira one love song after another. Mira granted every wish Roway made, no matter how ridiculous, like she was a jinn trying to get out of her lamp early on good behavior. And the two of them learned that there was no greater orgasm than one given or received while flying through the stratosphere.


But Mira soon grew jealous of Roway’s need to keep moving—to keep migrating—and she banished the beautiful qhirat from the mountain one day on a whim, sealing shut the entrance and swearing to never see the “unfaithful fool” again.


Causing a Calamity

Roway, not one to be rejected, decided she would have her revenge—and that she would have it in a most unorthdox way. She would travel back in time by flying on The Great Wind until she reached The River Without End. Then she would soar above the rapids of that time-churning waterway, circling the known universe until she’d reached the moment when Mira had invited her into the cave, and she would chase her younger self away from destiny.


It was a plan which Roway pulled off without a hitch, save for the butterflies which swarmed her in the final moment. But though she smiled big and broad when her younger self followed her away from Mother’s Rock and back onto The Great Wind, Roway’s sense of triumph was short-lived. Soon enough, winds blew in from all sides, tearing feathers from her wings as she struggled to stay aloft. Then the rain began, great torrents of it, as the River Without End began to flood. And then, finally, the mountains began to fall.


A Calamity had begun. It was the end of the world as Roway knew it, and she didn’t feel fine. Not. At. All.


In her head, she heard a vengeful Mira telling her, “This is your doing. This is your fault.”


And that was how Roway became the first Riverbender in the Clarkwoods Literary Universe.


Of course, she wouldn’t be the last. And the only thing Roway finds funnier than the increasingly absurd ways Mira chooses to kill her are the increasingly absurd lengths that others will go to in their quest to defy the will of her old flame.


Now that they know it’s possible. Now that Roway has paved the way.


Her Greatest Hit

One of Roway’s most popular works, the song “A Great Big Pile of Should,” had such staying power in the Clarkwoods Literary Universe that the tune eventually found its way here to The Real World, where it’s been covered by author E. Christopher Clark’s one-man band Pop Bubblegum Trash.


The Song


The Lyrics

there’s nothing like the fire in your belly
when you’re almost there
there’s nothing like the feel of the great wind
blowing through your hair


but in this time of the virus
of memes and of war
there’ll be no joy in mudville
until we settle the score


with you people who came here
so long ago
from so very far away
from the last place that you stole


mom and dad and the ancestors
i know they did the best that they could
they fought your wars
and they learned your words
still i’m a great big pile of should


i should be grateful that you left us some land
in this land that you landed upon
i should be peaceful like the wisest of men
i should, or like them i’ll be gone


there’s nothing like the scream of a fiddle
played by a man
who’s lost everything in the world
as part of your plan


you sit in your happy castle
way up high on your throne
taking in the man’s pain and his artform
which you’ll soon call your own


but the goddess and i
see you for yourselfand in the deepest of dungeons
we’ve saved you a cell


mom and dad and the ancestors
i know they did the best that they could
they taught me well
said I did them proud
still i’m a great big pile of should


i should have done more with the gifts that they gave
and the wings and the one thousand songs
i should have done more with the time that they bought
with their lives when you dropped the bombs.




mom and dad and the ancestors
i know they did the best that they could
now it’s all up to me
to dig myself out from under
this great big pile of should


so listen to me, men of the colonies:
pack up your guns and your wives
do what you should have done four hundred years ago
and i’ll let you leave with your lives.


Other Popular Songs by Roway

Courtesy of Everything Ever Produced

  • “Crazytown, Bananapants”
  • “Additional Legumes”
  • “Evicting the Cat”
  • “The Mating Habits of Gadallians”
  • “Cotton Candy Pessimists”
  • “The Rage I Won’t Deny”
  • “Fragmented Scabs and Circus Nipples”
  • “George Jetson’s Tunic”
  • “The Not-So-Naughty F Words”
  • “The Walter Before This One”
  • “Toilet Paper Pantyhose”
  • “Scars (The Souvenirs You Never Lose)”
  • “OC/DC///”
  • “Ten Dollars a Song”
  • “The Things I’d Do to You”
  • “All the Time in the World”
  • “The Lamentable Consequence of Venery”
  • “Anacondas in Denmark”
  • “Francis David Castle is an Angry Potato”
  • Special Thanks

    Special thanks to Dazzlikat for her advice during my January 18 Twitch stream and to AuthorGoddess for the suggestion about rap battles during my January 21 stream.

    A version of Roway’s famous song, performed by real world band Pop Bubblegum Trash
    Currently Held Titles
    Aligned Organization


    Author's Notes

    What’s your favorite song by Roway? One of the ones above, something from Greatest Hits Volume VII, or a deep cut that only EEP subscribers have ever heard? Tell us below, along with any other comments you have.

    Please Login in order to comment!
    Jan 22, 2022 23:08

    For best song I am going with OC/DC :p   Nice article and fun to read! Loved the various iterations of the character and how things were done differently in each one. Also quite interesting to learn more about the first Riverbender. I guess I got my answer now for the riverbender article :p It seems like the godess River does not like her anymore :p

    Feel free to check my new world Terra Occidentalis if you want to see what I am up to!
    Jan 23, 2022 01:58 by E. Christopher Clark

    I'm glad you got a kick out of it. Yeah, River's not fond of Roway anymore. Someday I will have to write out the full article about River. She's definitely an interesting character in my mind, with a lot of quirks.

    Now it's time for the awkward wave.
    Jan 22, 2022 23:13 by jyliet of the house

    clear, bold, and bright! clever and cool. B)   beautifully written article. the narrative voice is darling, and character herself is a joy.

    Jan 23, 2022 02:00 by E. Christopher Clark

    Thanks so much! I can't wait for folks to see the art I have in mind, too. I think it will add a whole 'nother level to this.

    Now it's time for the awkward wave.
    Jan 22, 2022 23:15 by Chris L

    This is great as always. I'm super amused that you're using the "27 Club" motif. I'm using it in mine too!   My favorite song has to be: "Fragmented Scabs and Circus Nipples"

    Learn about the World of Wizard's Peak and check out my award winning article about the Ghost Boy of Kirinal!

    Jan 23, 2022 02:02 by E. Christopher Clark

    Thanks! I really appreciate the support here and I'm always happy to meet a fellow lover of "Fragmented Scabs and Circus Nipples." I can't wait to read yours. I have it saved to my Reading List.

    Now it's time for the awkward wave.
    Jan 23, 2022 23:08 by K.S. Bishoff

    Such a wonderful story (stories, I guess) ... so many lives to stir up trouble

    Come vist my worlds
    Jan 23, 2022 23:52 by E. Christopher Clark

    Thanks, Dazz! I'm glad it lived up to expectations. Can't wait to share the art and music that go along with it.

    Now it's time for the awkward wave.
    Jan 26, 2022 12:12

    This was a really nice read! Amazing story and a great character overall. I love how you included a couple iterations of the character as well.   Favourite song? Honestly, I can't decide :D Keep up the great work!

    Worldember is coming! Want to find more of my things: SatriumHub
    Jan 26, 2022 23:57 by E. Christopher Clark

    Thanks so much for the comment, Satrium! I'm so glad you enjoyed it, especially the various iterations—which I came up with on stream one day with Dazzlikat providing feedback and guidance. I really, really appreciate the support of you and others who stop by my streams on the regular.

    Now it's time for the awkward wave.
    Jan 27, 2022 18:43

    "Her epic hip-hop-inspired take on the Earthling joke “The Aristocrats” is a particular favorite."   XD please make this!

    Jan 27, 2022 20:53 by E. Christopher Clark

    I'm very tempted to, if only I can get the right singer/rapper to do it. My voice, unfortunately, wouldn't pass for hers. Otherwise, I'd do it for sure.

    Now it's time for the awkward wave.
    Jan 29, 2022 16:34 by Catoblepon

    Oh yeah, lets go back in time, what's the worse that could happen? Woops now's the end of the world, cool. Loved the article

    Visit Daeliha, Iphars, Khulgran & Shattered
    Love to code, but this one is driving me crazy!
    My world Shattered won as the "Most ground-breaking premise new world"!
    Jan 29, 2022 20:26 by E. Christopher Clark

    Thanks! Yep, I definitely wanted there to be pretty big consequences for messing with time. Glad you enjoyed it. Can't wait to fill it out with more art and maybe, if I'm lucky, some music.

    Now it's time for the awkward wave.
    Jan 31, 2022 14:29 by Thicc Shrek

    Icarus flying too close to the sun because of a being that would go on to break reality over a romantic quarrel feels oddly fitting... and very Ancient Greek.

    Jan 31, 2022 15:42 by E. Christopher Clark

    Thanks for the comment, Thicc Shrek! I will take that as a high compliment.

    Now it's time for the awkward wave.
    Jan 31, 2022 18:46

    This was on my reading list, now I got it read to me which was really neat. (I love audiobooks, so this was perfect ^^)   Honestly, the article is so much fun. Roway sounds really interesting and I would love to read (hear) a few of those songs. Amazing job. Fingers crossed for the article to do well in the challenge :)

    Jan 31, 2022 19:10 by E. Christopher Clark

    Thank you! I was so glad to get to hear it, too. Kahuna always does a fabulous job.   Fingers crossed for the songs. It may be a little while, but I hope to get at least one done before the Challenge ends.

    Now it's time for the awkward wave.
    Jan 31, 2022 18:50 by Racussa

    Gratulations to this beautiful article. The tragic history of the character (last of her species) made me really excited how she covers the loss. And then came the stories of the iteration, what a great idea!!! As for the best song, I like Evicting the Cat best ;-)

    The world is not enough.
    Jan 31, 2022 19:10 by E. Christopher Clark

    Thank you! It sounds like I'm definitely going to have to do "Evicting the Cat."

    Now it's time for the awkward wave.
    Feb 1, 2022 12:59 by Neil

    Beautiful stuff, and the art! The song names had me in stitches!

    Feb 1, 2022 16:03 by E. Christopher Clark

    Yay! Glad you got a kick out of the song titles at the end. I felt like they were a good way to end the whole thing. And thanks for the compliments on the art. I worked hard to bring her to life here.

    Now it's time for the awkward wave.
    Feb 8, 2022 14:24 by TC

    As always, you make for very fun and entertaining characters! While its a bit of a sad origin story, I'm glad that Roway seems to be taking the consequences of her actions pretty well. Neat work!

    Creator of Arda Almayed
    Feb 8, 2022 15:16 by E. Christopher Clark

    Thank you so much! It's definitely a sad story, which is sadly the way for a lot of comedians/funny people. But yeah, I'm glad she's taking the consequences of her actions pretty well these days. And I can't wait to write more stories about her soon.

    Now it's time for the awkward wave.
    Feb 8, 2022 20:03 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

    Great article and art! I love to see the different aspects of Roway's life and that she now totally embraces her new existence rather than see it as tragic. Did anyone ever hate her being at the origin of the constant universe destruction? Or if they learn that she is among them, are they happy and maybe honoured to meet her? I was going to ask how Roway is reborn, but then you mentioned an egg :p Is it the same every time? Her always sprouting from it in the same adult body as ever?   “Anacondas in Denmark” is my fav XD

    To see what I am up to: my Summer Camp 2024.
    Feb 8, 2022 21:15 by E. Christopher Clark

    Thanks for reading it, and for the great questions (which I'm wondering if I can answer without going over word count). The answer to all of them right now is kinda "I don't know," but now I want to know!   Glad you liked "Anacondas in Denmark." Just added that one this morning!

    Now it's time for the awkward wave.
    Feb 10, 2022 21:11 by Michael Chandra

    “The Rage I Won’t Deny” sounds awesome.   And I guess River messed around and found out. Definitely had it coming.

    Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
    Feb 10, 2022 21:32 by E. Christopher Clark

    Thanks, Michael! "The Rage I Won't Deny" is shout-out to Sarah McLachlan's song "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy." I hope I get to write that one some day.   And yes, River definitely messed around and found out. You saying "had it coming" reminded me of the song "Cell Block Tango" from Chicago, which has the line "He had it coming" in the chorus. Now I want a version where "she had it coming" by Roway. :-)

    Now it's time for the awkward wave.
    Feb 12, 2022 14:54

    There are not enough lyrics to say how awesome this is. Just absolutely love this story of a love that is broken and with it reality. The rebooting alternate realities are fabulous. So much detail and effort that shines through.

    Graylion - Nexus   Roleplaying
    not Ruleplaying
    not Rollplaying
    Feb 12, 2022 16:08 by E. Christopher Clark

    Thank you so much for these really kind words. I did a lot of work pulling this one together, and I'm thrilled that you enjoyed it so much.

    Now it's time for the awkward wave.
    Feb 12, 2022 16:52 by K.S. Bishoff

    Ok, I just had to drop a second comment for the song. ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!! And it truly shows the core of your bard!

    Come vist my worlds
    Feb 12, 2022 17:35 by E. Christopher Clark

    Thanks so much, Dazz! I'm glad I just stopped sweating getting a female vocal and put it up. Now I'm just chilling out, relaxing, and basking in the glow of finally finishing this thing.

    Now it's time for the awkward wave.
    Feb 13, 2022 17:32

    Obviously my favorite song is "Francis David Castle is an Angry Potato"   You have given us another incredibly fun article to read. The different iterations, and the fact that they basically went "full time-loop" and have decided to just enjoy the things they have no control over. Its almost like River obviously still has feelings for them if they spend some time coming up with more elaborate, (or at least entertaining to Roway) ways to kill her.

    Feel free to stop by some of my WorldEmber articles if you want. My favorites are The Book of the Unquiet Dead, Outpost of the Moons, and The Emerald Hills. Feedback is always appreciated.
    Feb 13, 2022 18:55 by E. Christopher Clark

    I look forward to writing more about River some day, for exactly the reasons you mention. What makes her tick? Why does she keep doing this?   Anyway, thank you so much for reading the article. I'm glad you enjoyed it. And I'm glad you got a kick out of "Francis David Castle is an Angry Potato."

    Now it's time for the awkward wave.
    Feb 14, 2022 08:53 by Clarissa Gosling

    Great article!

    Feb 14, 2022 11:41 by E. Christopher Clark

    Thanks so much!

    Now it's time for the awkward wave.
    Feb 15, 2022 17:47 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

    'Additional Legumes' is my favourite. I can't tell you why, but it tickles me.   Really interesting character - I love the idea of someone being so upset by being rejected that they will break reality in repsonse.   Interesting character! :)

    Feb 15, 2022 20:19 by E. Christopher Clark

    Thank you so much. I, too, am very fond of "Additional Legumes" as a title. I think it originated as something Janet said on stream.

    Now it's time for the awkward wave.
    Feb 19, 2022 04:51

    There's even sheet music! Roway is a very interesting character, and I love she has been able to find joy and find humor in her fate. Your song is great, your band name is awesome, and I love how many elements you've added to this article. It's clear you put a lot of effort into this.   I admit to reading while tired, but does the calamity happen every 27 years, and therefore a new iteration of earth every 27 years? Or only when a new riverbender bends the river? When Roway dies, is she rehatched immediately, or at given/random time intervals, to pop into existence at varying eras? Or is she only reincarnated after a new iteration of earth is created?

    - Hello from Valayo! Featured work: How to Write Great Competition Articles
    Feb 28, 2022 20:21 by E. Christopher Clark

    Thanks for reading, and these are all great questions. Calamities happen at different intervals, each time a new riverbender bends the river. Roway only rehatches once per iteration. So if she dies early in an iteration, she might have to wait a long time to be rehatched.

    Now it's time for the awkward wave.
    Feb 19, 2022 08:52 by Secere Laetes

    A really unusual article. I can only say that you made a lot of effort with it. Even though I don't really like that kind of thing, I think the fourth dimension (that's what you can call it here) is well done, as are all the allusions to literature and other things, which of course aren't here, but rather the other way round. What I like about Roway is that somehow, despite everything, she is probably a hero more often now. Who would have thought that with the beginning and her nature? Let's see if she can eventually appease River and actually be happy with Merama, but I doubt it a little. At least a lot would have to happen. ... Maybe mediation ;).

    Feb 28, 2022 20:23 by E. Christopher Clark

    Thanks so much for the comment. And yes, she has ended up in a quite interesting place despite her beginnings. As for whether she can ever appease River—we'll have to wait and see!

    Now it's time for the awkward wave.
    Feb 19, 2022 10:02 by Kaleidechse

    This is an awesome article! It was a pleasant surprise to find the explanation for all those reboots here. A tragic story, though - River kicking Roway out was really unfair. Roway's response was clearly not a smart move, either - but that's the trouble with strong emotions, they tend to cloud one's judgment.   The illustrations look amazing, and "A Great Big Pile Of Should" is a wonderful song indeed - it sounds beautifully melancholic, and the lyrics trigger loads of emotions. You did a great job covering it. :)   Regarding the best song, "Toliet Paper Pantyhose" stands out from the rest.

    Creator of the Kaleidoscope System and the planet Miragia.
    Feb 28, 2022 20:24 by E. Christopher Clark

    Aw, thank you for all of these kind words. I think "Toilet Paper Pantyhose" might have been one of the first song titles I came up with. It's been in a journal for a while, so I can't remember what originally spawned the idea. I wish I could!

    Now it's time for the awkward wave.
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