How 'All Is As All Should Be' Is Secretly About 'The Adventure Zone'

How 'All Is As All Should Be' Is Secretly About 'The Adventure Zone'

Casey Crescenzo is a closet TAZ fan, and I can prove it.

About two hours into a four-hour train from Venice to Rome, I made a startling and possibly world-changing discovery: The Dear Hunter's new EP, All Is As All Should Be, is actually about the Balance Arc of the popular Dungeons and Dragons podcast, The Adventure Zone. There are six songs, one for each aspect of the seven birds prophecy: The Twins, The Lover, The Protector, The Lonely Journal Keeper, The Peacemaker, and The Wordless One. The album cover even features a handprint made from the rings of a tree.

"Now, Phoebe," I hear you say, "All Is As All Should Be is a collection of songs based on fans' lives. It's not a fan album for your D&D podcast." And that's true, but play with me.

Warning: Spoilers for everything up to episode 67 of The Adventure Zone.

1. The Right Wrong - The Protector

With the chance to go back and amend every grievance, how could I resist preventing my demons from ever existing and making a mess of the life that I could have had? Would I return to you? To the love I knew?

This is the song I was actually listening to when I had this earth-shattering revelation. I had just finished relistening to episode 48, where the chalice offers the boys the chance to change a moment in their history and was more than a little surprised when "The Right Wrong" came up on shuffle.

The very real possibility that Magnus would have taken the chalice if it didn't mean giving up all he'd done with the Bureau, making him the only member of the IPRE to actually be tempted by one of the relics, is a bit of characterization that I find fascinating.

A large portion of Magnus' character comes from his fixation on the lives he might have saved, especially Julia's, and the ways he wishes he could change his actions are perfectly mirrored in "The Right Wrong."

Not only are questions like, "Where could you have gone, the only right I had wronged?" and "What character would I be if my conscience was clean? What would become of me?" at the core of Magnus' character arc, especially as his past actions becomes foggier after The Eleventh Hour.

The song's final decision that "despite all my skeletons, I see all is as all should be" is exactly where Magnus lands at the end of episode 48. It was quite literally the exact dilemma I had just listened to in an hour and a half episode of TAZ condensed into a four-minute song.

2. Blame Paradise - The Lonely Journal Keeper

Did you believe it? Can you unsee it? It isn't difficult to scribe a scheme if you manage to master the subtleties of doublespeak. But I can't keep up, no, the stories creep up.

I wasn't exactly expecting the rest of the songs to relate to the podcast, but I was definitely keeping a closer eye (ear?) on the lyrics. About halfway through the EP's second track, I started to realize it's a pretty solid retelling of Lucretia's decision to rewrite the canon at the end of The Stolen Century.

It begins with Lucretia's plan to beat the Hunger being rejected by her friends with "So I beg for rationale in the midst of all the rage, but I'm met with reduction. Again, I offend before I've opened my mouth." The chorus carries her through the alteration of the world's memories: "The truth's no longer deified. Instead, we wade the wreckage of this false information that you can't deny. Tell me this isn't real life." The rest references her friends slowly start to find the cracks in their memories and "the stories creep up."

Once again, the most important decision of a character's arc is summed up in a song on this album.

3. Beyond The Pale - The Peacemaker

Have we inherited the flaws of fumbling gods too small to stumble on their own who never grow? If you demand we fall, how will we evolve beyond the pale of your holy sprawl?

At this point, I'm basically building a tinfoil hat right there on the train. "Beyond The Pale" is literally about a man's struggle with faith considering how often his god allows him to fail, AKA the basis of Merle's relationship with Pan.

As Merle's powers fade and he begins to believe Pan has abandoned him toward the end of the Balance Arc, the questions asked throughout this song are the core of his character.

What's really interesting, though, is the way this song begins: "Reanimated, I awake awaiting mistakes I shouldn't make born of bonds." This is the first of several references to reawakening or moving throw cycles in this album, and one particularly interesting reference to bonds.


4. Shake Me (Awake) - The Wordless One

If day becomes dusk, don't let that stop us on our way to something more uncertain, 'cause when we arrive, oh, honey, honey, wherever we're going, we may never want to leave.

I'll admit, I was sort of dreading finding a song for Davenport. Of all of the seven, he receives the least characterization, so if I didn't find a song about travel or a smaller aspect of his character, like his tendency to find simple things to do in his free time, I was going to be at a loss.

"Shake Me (Awake)," conveniently, sings of constant travel and the need to abandon normal life to fit as much into every day as possible, including the smaller things, because you don't know when your life is going to end. It's a song that embodies the IPRE's entire mission, but especially their captain's.

He's the one who relies so heavily on the mission that Lucretia had to erase nearly all of his memories, the one who spends the time he gets to himself each cycle relaxing in trees, drinking wine by himself, or playing cards, the one convicted of rage by the four judges at the "the endless circles [he's] been running in."

It's fitting that a song that so perfectly captures the mission be given to the man whose life was the mission.

5. Witness Me - The Lover

My spirit has been drifting for years in secret as a narrative appeared in plain sight. The fiction forced the truth to imitate.

Barry has always been one of the most intriguing characters in The Adventure Zone to me, and "Witness Me" echoes one of the most intriguing periods of his life almost impossibly well: the years between The Stolen Century and the end of The Suffering Game.

Barry's time spent between life and death, watching a new story take the place of history, trying to get his friends to notice and trust him, and unable to join them without losing himself and his memories, is completely laid out in this song. It's hard for me to even pick a lyric to prove it with because literally, every lyric fits.

It even comes with a call-and-response section where separate voices, easily interpretable as his lost friends, sing, "Join us and watch all the world from afar. We're all just the same, we lost who we are."

You kind of just have to listen to it.

6. The Twins - All Is As All Should Be

Copycat, you can't look back. Your eyes, they haven't seen nothin'. But, at the end, when you're looking out through my eyes, you'll see that all is as all should be.

With only one song left and the Twins the only ones left on the list, if "All Is As All Should Be" didn't fit I was going to have to either find a way to reassign already perfectly assigned songs or give up on this venture entirely.

Luckily, this song is, remarkably, perfect for Lup and Taako. It's the only song sung by one person entirely about their relationship with another, centered around someone who is watching the other move through life without them, slowly closing in on the truth, the moment when all is as all should be.

So, basically, it retells Lup's perspective on Taako moving on without her.

What's weird about this one is how specific the lyrics are, though. Not only does the song bring back that idea of reawakening at the beginning of a new cycle of life with lines like, "Is all that remains the will to start again or is there more retained when another life begins?" It applies that idea to the concept of fading from a person's life: "As I fade away, you come to be and when the cycle ends, it begins with an unfamiliar me."

When combined with the fact that the person forgetting (in this case, an identical twin) is called "copycat" and the song's assurance that "all is as all should be" despite the music underscoring it being markedly heavy leading to a joyous ending as all is proved to be right, it really feels like an impossible coincidence.

Somehow, every single song on this short EP matches up with the IPRE. Not just in small ways, but in loud, easily interpretable ways that reflect the main portions of each of these characters stories. At the very least, this is a very strange coincidence.

At most, this album is secretly Casey getting his feelings out about the TAZ: Balance finale. Until he denies it all, I'm gonna start banking on that latter.

Cover Image Credit: Cave & Canary

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9 Eligible Princes You Need To Know About Now That Prince Harry Is Off The Market

You too could have a Meghan Markle fairytale

Prince Harry's royal wedding is officially over and there won't be another British royal wedding for quite some time now, as Prince George is way too young to start thinking about that. Fortunately, there are plenty of other countries with plenty of other princes that are still eligible bachelors at the moment. Lucky for you, I did my research and compiled a list of all the eligible princes you need to know about know that Prince Harry has tied the knot with Meghan Markle.

1. Prince Louis of Luxembourg (31)

Prince Louis is the third son of the Grand Duke Henri and Duchess Maria Theresa of Luxembourg. He has recently become a bachelor again after his separation with his wife of 10 years, Princess Tessy.

Fun Fact: He graduated from Richmond, The American International University of London with a BA in Communications. He can also speak Luxembourgish (the fact that's even a language is fun fact by itself), French, German, and English fluently.

2. Prince Sebastien of Luxembourg (26)

Prince Sebastien is the youngest child of the Grand Duke Henri and Duchess Maria Theresa of Luxembourg, so if you marry him, you'll probably never actually be queen because he's pretty far removed from the throne. However, he's relatively young and single, so best of luck.

Fun Fact: For some bizarre reason, this prince actually went to college in Ohio. He played rugby and graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2015. Now, he is back in his home country and is an officer in the Luxembourg Army.

3. Prince Phillipos of Greece and Denmark (34)

You read that correctly, Prince Phillipos is the prince of not one, but two countries. He is the youngest son of King Constantine and Queen Anne Marie of Greece and Denmark. Unfortunately, Greece abolished their monarchy, so he's a prince in name only there.

Fun Fact: Like Prince Sebastien, Prince Phillipos also went to college in the United States. He earned his B.A. in foreign relations from Georgetown University in 2008. Fortunately, for us American girls, he is actually still living in the US and he works in New York City as an analyst at Ortelius Capital.

4. Prince Albert of Thurn and Taxis (34)

Ever heard of Thurn and Taxis? No? Me neither. Anyways, Prince Albert is from the House of Thurn and Taxis, which is essentially a very old German aristocratic family. He is the son of Prince Johannes XI of Thurn and Taxis and Countess Gloria of Schonburg Glauchau. His family is well known for their breweries and castles, so unless you're gluten-free, you can't really complain.

Fun Fact: He's not just a prince. He's also a racecar driver and 10 years ago he was ranked 11th on Forbes Magazine's List of The 20 Hottest Young Royals.

5. Prince Mateen of Brunei (26)

Prince Mateen is basically like all the guys you already know, except he's royalty. He's the prince of Brunei, which is a small country on the island of Borneo, south of Vietnam. He is one of the five sons of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, and he also has seven sisters. Maybe that's a little different than the guys you know, but one thing he takes very seriously, just like most frat guys, is his Instagram.

Fun Fact: Mateen enjoys playing polo, flying in his private plane, cuddling cute wild animals, and keeping up his Insta game with 890k followers. You can follow him @tmski.

6. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai (35)

Sheikh Hamdan also has a killer Instagram with 6.3 million followers. Anyways, Sheikh Hamdan is the billionaire crown prince of Dubai and the second son of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is the prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and essentially the king of Dubai (Emir). He's actually next in line for the throne because his older brother died in 2015.

Fun Fact: Hamdan's hobbies include skydiving, zip lining, and diving, just to name a few, so if you're an adrenaline junkie, Sheikh Hamdan is the prince for you.

7. Prince Hussein of Jordan (23)

Prince Hussain is the son of the extremely beautiful, Queen Rania and Abdullah II of Jordan and next in line for the Jordanian throne. At 23, he's already a second lieutenant in the Jordanian Armed Forces and he was the youngest person ever to chair a UN Security Council Meeting

Fun Fact: Like Prince Phillippos, Prince Hussain also graduated from Georgetown University in Washington D.C.. Also, like Prince Mateen and Prince Hamdan, he's Insta famous with 1.3 million followers and you can follow him @alhusseinjo.

8. Prince Constantine-Alexios of Greece and Denmark (19)

Like Prince Phillipos, Prince Constantine-Alexios also has two countries. Lucky for us though, he is also living in the US right now attending Georgetown University in Washington D.C. (like pretty much every other prince, amirite?) He is the oldest son of Crown Princess Marie-Chantal and Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece.

Fun Fact: He's Prince William's godson, so that's pretty neat. However, if that wasn't cool enough, you might like to know that this Greek/Danish prince was actually born in New York. Oh yeah, you can also follow him on Instagram @alexiosgreece where he has 88.7k followers.

9. Prince Joachim of Belgium (26)

Prince Joachim of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este is the third child of Lorenz, Archduke of Austria-Este and Princess Astrid of Belgium. Although he bears the title, "Prince of Belgium," he is also Archduke of Austria-Este, Prince Royal of Hungary and Bohemia, and Prince of Modena. Unfortunately, he'll probably never actually be king in any of these countries as he is ninth in line to the Belgian throne.

Fun Fact: Prince Joachim has degrees in economics, management, and finance, but he decided to join the Nautical School in Brugge after completing college and is currently an officer in the Belgian Navy.

Hope is not lost for all you girls dreaming of finding a Prince Charming that's literally a prince. After reviewing the data, my best advice is to transfer to Georgetown where princes are basically around every corner.

Cover Image Credit: @meghantheduchessofsussexstyle/Instagram

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'The House That Jack Built' Is One of Many Films That Questions The Ethics And Psychology Of People, Including The Film Director's

Movies are everywhere today and the way that they affect different people, is interesting to see and understand. I mean everyone understands them differently, so it is fun to see who sees it how.


The movie industry as we known it is changing every single day. There are new movies with different tales coming out all the time. However, we often applaud for the actors who did the amazing job in the movie, but it is more often than not the directors who come up with these amazing one of a kind ideas for people to have head- turning reactions. This then brings up the question of how certain films affect different people and whether or not a director should allow ethics to influence his films. For the influential part the perfect example would be the movie "The House That Jack Built" because the director makes it to an interesting level of gory that caused audiences of regular movie-goers to get up and leave but makes journalists stay.

It kind of makes one wonder how the psychological makeup is different for both.

To many, the answer to the second question, at least, would be easy. No, a director should not allow ethics to get in the way of his or her film because if he or she does, then the whole film could end up awful. There are also those few people, like me, who say that on the flip side, a director should allow his or her ethics to come in the middle of their work because if they do not, then it could make for a bad film for very different reasons. If the director truly believes that a certain sense or a certain part should not be part of a film, they should definitely take it out, because honestly, what you personally believe is more important than how others may judge.

Whatever your view is, every director is different, and that leads to the first question of how different films affect different people.

I mean think about it: a film with a happy marriage at the end could make you happy because you love that your two favorite characters got their happiness, but your friend sitting next to you could be sad and balling her eyes out because she is watching these people get together, and she has not found her person for life. These differences in perception are not just in the emotions that come out, they are also in those films that you cannot simply stomach, but you friends think are the best in the world. This being said, one very big example would be Director Lars Von Trier.

Lars Von Trier is a very controversial film director who reentered the Cannes Film Festival this year. He was initially banned after he said that he sympathized with the Nazis. Anyways, he reentered with what many have been saying is his most gruesome film yet: "The House That Jack Built."

This film has caused many film goers who went to go watch it walk out of the theater. However, when journalists went to go watch the movie, hardly any came out. When asked, one said, "That wasn't as bad as I expected." This was weird because the frequent movie goers had to get up and leave, but the journalist did not.

This is only one example of how a journalist's perception is different than the average person's perception. Another example would be "The Avengers" when the movie goers thought it was amazing and made the $1.5 billion, but out of the critics, only a few of them saw anything that was amazing and cool about it. It makes one think about the psychological mind of a journalist versus a regular human because of the way that they think, especially when it comes to movies.

In other words, not matter what you answer to the questions of how how certain films affect different people and whether or not a director should or should not include their ethics in their work. Each person is different, and that is not bad. Yes, I believe that the director should use his or her ethics, but it is up to their personal discretion. Lastly, it is interesting to see the different points of views for all movies; maybe it has to do with how ones brain is psychologically... who knows.

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