In a hole of an apartment in Dublin there lived a hobbit...His name was Bilbo and with him lived his nephew Frodo. On the event of his 111th (eleventy-first) birthday in ‘The Cobblestone’ backroom (111 in Dublin years, 70 to us normal people) Bilbo decided to leave for good with the aid of his good friend and accordion wizard, Joe Burke-dalf. Before slipping away unnoticed, as all Irish people do at parties, he left Frodo a gift...a CD. No marks or indication where it came from.
“The fuck’s this? I look after that old fart for years and then he up and goes and leaves me this?”, said Frodo.
Upon seeing the CD, Joe Burke-dalf’s face drops...he has seen it before, while teaching in the University of Limerick.
“Frodo! Keep this CD secret! Keep it safe! It was recorded, mixed and mastered in the Academy of Irish Music in the University of Limerick by the Dark Lord, Keeg-ron to subdue the world of traditional music. This is ‘The One CD’! Everyone who has listened to its content has never been the same after...He who has it will have untold power. It must be destroyed”, says Joe.
“Better do that so. How?”
“In the place where it was forged...U.L.”
And off they set in a rusted out Toyota Hi-Ace van. Unknown to them, there were rumblings in UL. Keeg-ron could sense the CD being moved and decided to exert all his influence to get funding from the Government and Arts Council to go and retrieve the precious CD. Slowly he begins to amass an army of music students who follow his every command.
Frodo and Joe’s first destination is the ‘Irish Traditional Music Archive’ where they find more information about the CD. There a dwarf called Caro-lyn tells them that it was one of 9 CDs worked on by ‘CD Wraiths’ in the university, all of whom became corrupted by the sounds of said CDs.
“These wraiths became known as the ‘Trazz-ghul’. Their minds are so corrupted by the jazziness that they constantly search for the ‘One CD’, never sleeping and surviving entirely on Red Bull”, tells Caro-lyn.
Taking shelter for the night, the pair decide to stay in ‘Hughes’ Pub’. There, they come across a mysterious man playing flute who identifies himself as Harry-gorn.
“I heard of your quest and I admire your courage. Mind if I join you? Can’t resist sticking it to the oul experimenters! I can show you the way to Cork if you like. You might find more help down there”, exclaimed Harry-gorn.
“I know you”, exclaims Joe Burke-dalf, “You’re the rightful heir to the kingdom of Gradam Ceoil!”
All of a sudden, the ‘One CD’ takes on a life of its own and plays on the pub’s sound system. Frodo begins to convulse to the sounds of syncopation and chromatic ornamentation. Harry-gorn knocks the CD out of the player with a swift swing of his flute.
“Quick! We must help him now or else he’ll never be the same! He will wake up wanting to play Tico Tico!”, says Joe Burke-dalf.
Harry-gorn grabs Frodo and the trio speed down to Cork. On their arrival they are met by Arwen Mulcahy who plays a version of ‘The Coolin’ on her flute which brings Frodo out of his trance. The team decide that they cannot take any more chances and that they should assemble a fellowship to help guide Frodo. Along with them travels Caoimhín O’Ragh-olas, who fells enemies with his interpretive dance and bows shot from his Hardanger fiddle, however he is almost immediately killed by a disgruntled sliabh luachra purist.
They are also joined by the warrior dwarf Martin Donohue-li who wields an accordion axe and fiddle playing prince Frankie-mir. Frankie-mir suggests using the CD to do good but is warned by the other members that the CD is intrinsically evil and would ultimately take over its owner. With the fellowship complete, Joe Burke-dalf decides to head back to Dublin to talk with a friend of his about the unfolding events; Labh-ruman in Monkstown.
When Joe explains the situation to Labh-ruman, he realises that he has been deceived. Labh-ruman has turned against his friend and is beginning to amass an army of ‘Ard Comhairle Members’ to take the CD for himself. Joe becomes a prisoner in his Monkstower but manages to escape thanks to a giant flying pigeon, native to O'Connell Street, and make his way back to the fellowship. In order to leave Cork, the team decide to take a route through University College Cork, through the student bar. However on their arrival they are met by a group of UL students up on the rip for the weekend. Immediately the two break into rival sessions, one trying to overpower the other.
"Look out!", shouts Frodo, "They have a cajón!"
Luckily, the fellowship escapes with only minor aural injuries. As they leave, they are confronted by a Bodh-rog, an enormous tattooed bodhrán player. Joe Burke-dalf challenges the Bodh-rog on the street, allowing the rest of the group to escape.
"YOU SHALL NOT PASS...YOURSELF OFF AS A MUSICIAN!"
...screams Joe but in the ensuing scuffle the pair fall into an open man-hole, disappearing into the abyss.
The remaining members continue out of Cork and for some reason take the long way around, ending up in far north Gweedore. Here they meet Mairéadriel, ruler of Gweedore, who bestows on them gifts to help with their journey. She gives them Donegal tunes to confuse their enemies while Frodo receives a never ending, always full pint glass which glows whenever UL students are nearby. However, Frankie-mir’s desire for the CD overwhelms him, succumbing to its corruptive power and tries to take it from Frodo.
"Would ye goway! There's not need for that craic. It's a shite CD! I'm goin' to UL on me own...", Frodo tells Frankie-mir.
In order to protect the CD, Frodo escapes, leaving the rest of the fellowship behind. He realises that he must break the group if he has a chance of making it to UL without the CD exerting its control over others. And so he sets off...
To be continued with ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Two Monkstowers’