Alba Salix, Royal Physician* - Follows trials and tribulations of Farloria’s head witch of the House of Healing, Alba Salix. It is a 6-part mini-series (+ bonuses) with no future episodes currently planned.
The Behemoth -
15-year-old Madyson tells the story of the Behemoth, a large, lumbering beast that has emerged from the waters off of Cape Cod. It will be a 20-part mini-series.
Hello From the Magic Tavern - An improv comedy podcast hosted by Arnie, a man who accidentally passed through a portal into the land of “Foon”. Every week Arnie interviews patrons of the Vermilion Minotaur tavern including monsters, wizard, and adventurers.
Audio drama (Horror)
Alice Isn’t Dead* -
A truck driver searches across America for the wife she had long assumed was dead, encountering not-quite-human serial murderers, towns literally lost in time, and a conspiracy that goes way beyond one missing woman along the way.
This podcast is produced by the same people who brought you Welcome to Night Vale.
Archive 81 - These are the recovered tapes of missing archivist Daniel Powell, posted by a well-meaning friend hoping to locate him.
Help Me - Nicole investigates the mysterious death of her friend Olivia and possible link to a dangerous entity. It is a 15-part mini-series with no future episodes currently planned.
Limetown* - Radio host Lia Haddock investigates the sudden disappearance of the residents of Limetown. It is a 7-part mini-series (+ bonuses) with future seasons (and possibly a TV show) in the works.
Return Home - Jonathan Baker returns to his home town after being contacted by a mysterious entity. Episodes are broken up into multiple parts aired every week, with breaks between episodes.
Audio drama (Pseudo-radio show)
The Black Tapes* - (horror) A weekly radio show hosted by Alex Reagan that investigates unsolved paranormal phenomenon documented by the Strand Institute. They also produce TANIS.
The Message* - (sci-fi) Nicky Tomalin documents the work of a team of cryptologists as the attempt to decipher an alien message. It is an 8-part mini-series.
Good Morning Zakera Ward - (sci-fi, Mass Effect) A morning radio show set in the Mass Effect universe. It is an 11-part series that appears to have ended abruptly, but is still worth a listen if you’re a fan of the games.
King Falls AM - (sci-fi/fantasy) A late-night talk show from quaint town of King Falls that is frequently interrupted by peculiar happenings and paranormal events.
TANIS - (horror) A docu-drama series hosted by Nic Silver exploring the myth and conspiracy of Tanis. They also produce The Black Tapes.
Welcome to Night Vale - (cosmic horror) Community radio updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff’s Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events.
Audio drama (Sci-Fi)
ars PARADOXICA* - A journey through spacetime and the Cold War with Dr. Sally Grissom, a physicist send back in time when an experiment goes awry.
The Bright Sessions* - The recorded therapy sessions of Dr. Bright, who provides support for patients with unusual talents. ((It’s more of a paranormal drama that a true sci-fi)).
The Bunker - A breakfast radio show broadcast back in time to us from the post-apocalyptic year 2414. It’s a 12-part mini-series, and the developers are currently working on another sci-fi series that will be titled Mars Corp.
EOS 10* - The adventures of two maladjusted doctors, their medical team, and a hypochondriac ex-prince aboard an intergalactic travel hub.
Kakos Industries - Corporate announcements for Kakos Industries, a corporation dedicated to helping you ‘do evil better’.
Liberty - Tales from Atrius, a colony cut off from humanity and racked by civil war, and the surrounding lawless expanse known as the Fringe. It consists of multiple mini-series.
Sayer - Acclimate to life on Earth’s man-made second moon, Typhon, with the assistance of the self-aware AI SAYER.
Thrilling Adventure Hour - A podcast in the style of an old-timey radio show consisting of the regular sub-series ‘Sparks Nevada: Marshall on Mars’ and ‘Beyond Belief’ as well as other segments.
Wolf 359*** - Follows the crew of the U.S.S. Hephaestus Research Station as they orbit around the red dwarf Wolf 359. This is my all-time favourite series - you should be downloading it right now… unless you’ve already heard it in which case you should definitely treat yourself and listen to it again.
Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History - As the title implies, this is really hardcore history. Episodes are exceedingly well-researched and is surprisingly easy to listen to considering the density of the subject matter.
Lore - A podcast examining myths and folktales alongside the true dark stories that either inspired or arose from them. A chilling listen that also has a TV show in the works.
Myths and Legends - Re-tellings of both popular and obscure legends that make them very accessible to a modern audience (i.e. people like me who DON’T read Beowulf in it’s original Old English for fun in their free time).
Sleep With Me* - Honestly, I have no idea what this podcast is actually about because Ackerman’s ramblings are so soothing I’m usually asleep shortly after turning it on. If you have insomnia and problems falling asleep to silence (like myself), this is a must-download - it’s more engaging that rain/wave/whale noises but you don’t have to worry about missing anything.
Escape Pod - Every episode consists of a sci-fi short story from a variety of sub-genres, and they are generally 30-60 minutes in length. If you enjoy Escape Pod, also check out their fantasy (PodCastle) and horror (PseudoPod) podcasts.
The NoSleep Podcast - Narrations of short horror stories posted to the NoSleep reddit board. It’s featured horror stories for every squick and trigger imaginable so be careful with this one if you aren’t into hardcore horror, and definitely heed the warnings at the beginnings of episodes.
Serial - I don’t think it’s possible to be a podcast fan and not have (at the very least) heard about Serial. If you haven’t listened to it yet, definitely give it a go - there’s a reason it was at the top of the (Canadian) iTunes store for close to a year. It’s produced by ‘This American Life’, which is another professionally-produced podcast worthy of downloading.
Someone Knows Something - A series produced by CBC that examines unsolved cases of missing or murdered individuals.
Thin Air Podcast - Two English majors investigate cold cases by examining evidence and interviewing people involved with the original investigation.
Pending - I either haven’t started these or haven’t listened to enough to categorize them, but most have been rec’d by multiple sources so check them out!
A New Winter - A first-hand account of the unsolved murders and disappearances of 25 people in a small UK village.
The Cleansed: A Post-Apocalyptic Saga - (audio drama - sci-fi) An epic post-apocalyptic saga set in a world ravaged by fossil fuel scarcity.
Greater Boston - An audio drama set in Boston that blends the real and the unreal, the historical and the fantastical.
Hadron Gospel Hour - (audio drama - sci-fi)A sci-fi comedy/adventure following a duo of scientists stranded ouside of spacetime in the Hadron Bunker.
Jim Robbie and the Wanderers - (audio drama - sci-fi) Follows two female musicians travelling surreal America with their robot companion, Jim Robbie.
Monster Talk - (informational) Examines the science behind cryptozoological and legendary monsters.
The Night Blogger - (audio drama - paranormal) It appears to follow blogger Brian Foster’s encounters with the paranormal.
Our Fair City - (audio drama - sci-fi) A campy (their words), post-apocalyptic audio drama.
Pete’s Paranormal Chronicles - (audio drama) In 1996, Pete Schwartz began work on a documentary series called Pete’s Paranormal Chronicles, but his sanity began to unravel during the production of the program and he became completely immersed in a nationwide conspiracy.
The Twilight World of Ultimate Smoothness - A podcast chronicling the decline and fall of radio veteran Greg Willis. It is a 6-part mini-series.
Ruby: The Adventures of a Galactic Gumshoe - (audio drama) Ruby is a hip, tough-talking detective hired to track down the malefactors who are manipulating the media on the planet Summa Nulla (the “high point of nothing”).
Unexplained - (informational) A podcast about strange and mysterious real-life events that continue to evade explanation.
As always, if there’s a podcast you like that’s missing from this list, please drop me a line (message, ask, fan mail, raven, etc. etc.) and I’ll check it out! I’ll also be adding a podcast link to my blog featuring this list with updates. Enjoy~
When a blind woman was named Inquisitor, none of her inner circle expected the task before her to be easy. Neither did any of them expect her to face it alone. Each of them has their own task, a duty they have assigned themselves to make Elera Lavellan’s life just a little easier, a role they carry out with stubborn dedication. None of them say it, but they all know that every one of them would rather die than see someone else take their place.
Solas walks with her in the Fade, drawing her into his memories, conjuring up images of the places they’ve been. Only her body is blind, and in the Fade, she can see the echoes he creates for her. They stroll the ramparts of Skyhold together, a smile flickering around her mouth as she looks out on the rolling mountains, and he helps her memorise every staircase and passageway so that she might navigate them more easily in her sightless waking world. He shows her the Emerald Graves, so that she can stand beneath the trees and gaze at the million different shades of green the sunlight creates as it falls through the leaves. He shows her, despite his scorn, the Dalish camp they visited in the Exalted Plains, so that she can remember her own clan and feel, for a time, at home. They walk the paths of his memories together, he her hahren, and she, a student and friend he is proud to teach.
Varric does what an author does best - he puts the world around them into words. When they reach the top of a slope and let out gasps of awe at a view that Elera can’t see, he steps up to describe it to her, painting every detail with the best words he can think of until she smiles and whispers, I can picture it. He does the same with the people they meet, telling her everything from the colour of their hair to how high she has to look to meet their eyes. Leave it to the others to do the basics, helping her to make it through the world. Varric’s duty is to make that world beautiful.
Sera is the one who climbs. Up the piles of rocks, balancing on beams and narrow ledges, clambering onto rooftops and jumping between gaps. She hates those creepy shards, but Elera says they’re important, and Sera’s damned if she’s letting a blind woman go hauling herself up those frigging rock piles to reach them. Elera would do it if someone else didn’t, stupid stubborn woman, and Sera doesn’t want to see her fall and get herself killed. Because even though she’s an elf, an elfy elf, a really elfy elf who wants those pissing elfy shards to open that elfy temple… somehow, they ended up as friends. Real good friends. And Sera was never one to let her friends get hurt.
Vivienne picks out her wardrobe, not only for all those soirees and balls that the Inquisitor is obliged to make an appearance at, but for day to day wear. Just because practicality is Elera’s greatest concern - finding something with few buttons she needs to fumble at and few fastenings to struggle with - doesn’t mean she should be forced to sacrifice fashion. Vivienne seeks out fine silk and velvet for her, fabrics that a Dalish elf could never have heard of or touched before. She finds tunics in rich turquoise to match her vallaslin, and, for special occasions, a ballgown in pale silvery-blue, so unearthly against her pale skin that she almost seems to be wearing moonlight.
Dorian reads to her. It starts with him making some remark about a book on spirit magic he’s been browsing through. That sounds interesting, she says, could you read that passage to me? And before long it’s a tradition. She comes to the library, he finds a book, they sit in chairs facing each other and Dorian reads. At first it’s mostly tomes on magical theory, but soon, he’s narrating a new chapter of Hard In Hightown every evening, and a little circle gathers around them to listen, all of them catching their breath in unison over the dramatic parts and groaning whenever Varric ends things with yet another cliffhanger.
Cassandra has always been at home on the battlefield, and right from the start, she appoints herself the task of making sure that Elera can feel at home there too. Two rage demons, approaching from the right, and three wraiths, she roars, as the rift splits open and pours the Fade’s denizens forward. One Red Templar in heavy armour, one archer. Just the simplest things, the things that tell Elera where to stand and what spell to use. There’s nothing she can do to make the bellowing of demons and the clashing of weapons less chaotic - but she can try to bring some kind of order out of the chaos. That’s what she does best, after all.
Bull takes it upon himself to make sure she can indulge in all the things the others won’t let her. Honestly, they treat her like she’s made of glass sometimes, and he knows it infuriates her, knows that she doesn’t want to be coddled. She’s blind, not a child. So he’s the one who makes sure she drops into the Herald’s Rest like all the others, the one who buys her a drink and lets her vent. She rarely has more than one or two, but all the same, he walks with her back to her room afterwards. Leaders have as much right to let themselves go as anyone from time to time. The fact that this leader can’t see doesn’t make the damnedest bit of difference to that.
Cole helps. He appears from thin air to guide her up staircases and through passageways when she needs it - but only when she needs it, because he knows she wants to stand alone as much as she can. And since she can’t see the curl of another man’s lip or the twitch of his brow while she speaks to him, Cole reads people for her, telling her the things she can’t pick up from their words and their tone. To him, her lack of eyesight means nothing. She’s a person, like all the others, and her thoughts are the same as everyone else’s.
And Blackwall stands beside her. Where he’s meant to be. He’s the shield between her and everything that could ever possibly hurt her, the hand that flashes out to catch her when she stumbles and the weapon that cuts down the enemy who dared to get close. He’s the arm she rests her hand on as they go about their travels, the voice that tells her the path’s getting steeper or take it slow, there’s a sharp drop to the right. At first it’s an obligation, the duty of a soldier who’s seen men suffer a thousand different wounds from war, losing eyesight and limbs and sanity and Maker knows what else. He knows how to help someone whose body isn’t quite whole.
But it becomes more than that, so much more. She is so strong, so capable, so determined to face all the trials thrown at her by a world she can’t see - but she can’t protect herself from everything. Just as he has needed her, needed her calm kindness and her dauntless faith in him, so she needs him to be her first and last line of defence. He knows, as the rest don’t (all right, Cole probably does, but all the normal rest don’t) that the one thing Elera Lavellan fears is oblivion. Being lost and alone with nothing to guide her.
She won’t have to face oblivion while he’s still breathing. She will always be able to reach out for him and find him there, to hear him tell her, I’m here, my lady. To which she responds with a smile and a murmur - I know, vhenan. Thank you.
She is his fortress, he is her shield, and nothing in the world can touch them.