Bard's College - The Powers Of History
Jan. 25, 2020, 4 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Crown - Bard's College - Performance Hall
Comments and Log
Qadira has joined the upper right seating.
Gianna has joined the stage.
Ryhalt enters in quiet conversation with his assistant, Cotyar, and moves to take a seat.
Lucita arrives on time, in costume and discretely heads up the steps to take her place back stage. She gives a reassuring nod to Rowenova who accompanies her. "See, we did get here on time, Thankfully nothing delayed us along the way and those at the dinner seemed to understand our early departure."
Cillian comes in just behind Rowenova moving to follow her to find a good spot to sit being quiet.
Fiore the Sarcastic Attendant arrives, following Gabriella.
Symonesse arrives with her retinue of guards, smiling as she gazes all around her before being guided to seating on the upper level in the center. Her guards arrange themselves at strategic points in the general area, but the Queen herself sits alone to observe and enjoy the show.
Distinctly out of place and unaccompanied, the common wench known - by almost nobody present - as Qadira weaves uneasily through the performance hall, before choosing the shadiest and least well-fashioned area of seating. She slides in quietly, moving all the way to the end, and leans forward; observing with verdant gaze, waiting for the show to begin.
Positioned back with the other performers, the Prince Talwyn Valardin stood with his fingertips twisting and checking his lute. Lifting it to ear, picking to ensure it was at the perfect sound for when called.
Evaristo checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 72 higher. Evaristo rolled a critical!
People have filtered in the last half hour or so, filling up the hall, a murmur of expectation amongst the audience. The room is lit, but now the lights are dimmed and a focus goes onto the stage.
Evaristo takes the stage, bowing out towards the audience with a deep, sweeping gesture. "Your Majesties, Your Highnesses, Lords and Ladies, Goodmen and Goodwomen of Arx - welcome to an evening of history! We shall sing songs about powerful people that has in some ways shaped or influenced the Compact. Sit back, enjoy - let us begin!"
He gestures at the musicians that start playing softly and he stands tall and proud on the stage, clearly about to start off the concert himself.
His song is about Calithex, the King of the Nox'alfar. He sings of Caer'alfar, of the troubles they face. Of how he tried, how he steadfastly resisted the abyss, how he tried to convince his fellow elves to walk another path, how he did everything he could to persuade them to not go that route. How he saw it all fall. To see his people be cursed to live forever in the darkness. Of the Dance of Skulls and the exodus to Arvum - and a New Beginning, of new allies and new hope. It starts like a dark ballad, but it changes along the way, to joyful tunes and ends with another crescendo of madness and exuberance with a large choir also joining in.
In the background is first a big burning sun and the stage is well lit, then it fades to stars and the moon on a night sky with shadows dancing below. But the shadows lift and a grove of trees come forth - and a skull hovers now where the moon was and a gigantic spider moves in the background as a large shadow.
Evaristo stands with his arms held high at the end, and when the music fades out, he bows deeply - and then gestures at Prince Talwyn. "Our next performer is the most talented Princes Talwyn to sing about Prince Tristan Valardin!” Then he leaves the stage, to let Talwyn take over.
To Lucita, Nova nods. "Aye, looks like!" Although Nova already has a couple boxes which definitely smell like feast food, she still accepts a treat basket. Only one, though? She must have just come from a winner dinner of some note! "Good luck! I can barely wait to hear your beautiful voice! Sir Flop will stay back stage... because." Sir Flop, indeed, moves backstage and posts up in an out-of-the-way spot but easily accessible in the off chance Lucita might need him. Meanwhile, Nova gently nudges Cillian as she picks up an offered drink for not only herself but also him then heads somewhere they can cover exits if need be.
Sebastian, an adorable gray and white tabby, Jacinthe, Arindais, a dour-looking Scholar, 1 Templar Knight guards arrive, following Sina.
Talwyn checked composure + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 32 higher.
Prince Talwyn Valardin steps forward to the centre of the stage dressed in a blue and gold spun doublet, pleated skirt of it kissing the top of his thighs. Tall riding boots snap around trousers, a set of silver rings set on several of his fingers - lute lifted to sit across his chest as he begins to perform.
Talwyn's fingertips begin flicking slow down the strings, the set on stage is just the Prince himself. Drawing powerfully across the room, Prince Talwyn's voice carries to sing of Prince Tristan Valardin's battle upon the Sovereign Bridge. The song builds slowly, the two champions testing each other, before there are sudden spikes in the layers of music.
More fervent playing picks up from Talwyn's lute as the lyrics twist to sing of the day and night fight until there comes a sudden stop.
With his hand across the lute's strings, Prince Talwyn's chin lifts as he calls powerfully across the room?
And fall they went.
Into the Gray below.
Afterwards a light twinkle of lute strings is plucked to draw for a gradual conclusion before a low bow and muted exit.
Sina has joined the upper left seating.
Jules has left the lower center seating.
Jules has joined the upper center seating.
Dressed for summer and, perhaps most shockingly of all, bereft of her beloved sword for one truly rare evening, Gabriella Pravus works her way in to the performance hall with an air of wondering unfamiliarity. Hands clasped at her back, those keen, sky blue eyes of hers sweep the plentiful seating, a fascinated smile growing splendidly at the corners of her mouth as the performances begin. Without a word, the Setarcan knight makes her way towards the upper levels, finding a seat in relative comfort and quiet to settle herself into as she watches the performers with rapt attention -- sparing only the occasional glance towards the spectacle of the flitting fireflies in their decorative jars.
Gabriella has joined the upper right seating.
Sina finds a seat quietly in the upper left area, where she can get a good view of the stage from above. She checks the performance against her program occasionally, but soon she seems fully enraptured by the tale, her mercuruial eyes watching with interest as the performance unfolds.
Evaristo is the host and he calls out the performers from the side of the stage. "Our next bard is the amazing Duchess Vanora Grimhall, singing the song of Primeria!"
Vanora comes on the stage. She sings about the war facing Primeria’s people, her desperation in finding a way of protecting them. How the gods don’t come to her aid, how she’s been told of another way, tempted by promises. How she finds no other way, that she can use the power to protect her own. It ends with her stepping through a mirror, and a crescendo where the room gets darker, and she is illuminated in light and then lifts her arms up, singing about the power she now wields.
In the background, shadow-plays of dragons flying outside a castle window can be seen. There are fallen soldiers, fires, dread and chaos. Vanora leaves the stage with a dramatic flair, just like the song.
As the concert starts off with Calithex's Song, the Queen smiles fondly, nodding in the parts that match her memories. She leans forward in her seat, watching avidly. When Primeria's song is sung, a shadow passes over Symonesse's pale face and she sits back a little bit, one hand resting lightly against her chest.
Tiye is fashionably late. (It must be fashionably late, because it's Tiye; the self-proclaimed 'bard, wanderer, storyteller, and gawker-at-things' wouldn't do anything unfashionably, after all.) The dark-skinned woman glances around the room as she arrives, searching for a free seat. The nearest spot -- at least the nearest with a decent view -- is amidst the upper center seats, and so that's where the bard heads. She settles into her seat, promptly leaning forward to listen intently.
Tiye has joined the upper center seating.
Evaristo steps up once more, to introduce the next. "Our next bard, is our most splendid, charming Princess Tikva Grayson, performing the song of Alarice!" There's a glance out over the audience at that, to... look for someone? He squints at the Queen herself, and he looks a bit anticipatory for some reason before he leaves to let Tikva take the stage.
Tikva takes the stage with striding confidence in whorls of green and gold, and her song for Alarice is a celebration of strength, of leadership, and above all, of will. Her lyrics are quick and bright, and sharp, celebrating action and drive. Many paeans to Alarice have been written over the years, and this is a song that is not quite one of them; instead it is written from her perspective, fierce and bright and struck through with portions that blast out a belted strength. She sings of the life of the Queen, not delving into intimate personal details but hitting the greatest hits of a life spent. The best summation of the song is probably in the rhyme that Tikva first threatened when she joined this project: If you don't stop throwing all this nonsense around, this badger's gonna knock your heads together and throw you to the ground.
The ultimate theme is of course that there's none greater than Grayson, but the greatness is in the greatness of service, of dedication, maybe of derring do. But her song never loses its vibrance, nor its sense of humor, nor -- of course -- its full-lunged volume.
For the most, Qadira finds the opening performances a little hard to appreciate. The stories are unfamiliar, the mien and manner of the performers not just alien, but professing membership to a station she finds instinctively objectionable. The barmaid from the Lowers looks uncomfortable, then, until Duchess Vanora vastly ups the ante. Drawn into the theatrical display, the wench barks a coarse but delighted laugh at the ending. From that point, she is more alert and invested, and by the end of Tikva's lively song she's grinning in spite of herself. And the probable glares from those alongside her. Couldn't she at least have brushed her hair?
As Tikva leaves the stage, Evaristo goes up again. "Our next bard is a special guest - our only performer tonight that is not a member of the Bard's College, but that we are so very proud to have singing with us tonight. Our very own Oleander of Lenosia, the beautiful Princess Berenice Velenosa!"
Berenice checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 53 higher.
Berenice steps onto the stage with a regal elegance to her gait and the cut of her gown: the impossibly rare spidersilk that House Velenosa is whispered to have developed recently. Perhaps in honor of that, it has been dyed a rich, deep purple. The material is woven into a light chiffon, the neck plunging all the way to the waist, where it is belted in Oleander lace. A caped back drifts behind her in an elegant train. Both at the lace belting and the shoulder where the silk is gathered, there are adornments of amethyst, duskstone, and a single onyx set into mirrorsilver filigree.
She is not so very unlike herself as she steps center stage, that lift of her chin, a glint of mischief in her dark eyes, but she is also someone else. And when her song begins, slow and warm and elegant, that person is made clear: Procella Pravus. Those who had the good fortune of attending the opera The Spider's Journey at the Black Rose some years ago might recognize its influence here, but now Procella's story comes in one extended aria. Berenice sings of Procella's fraught early years as a scion of House Pravus, disgraced and orphaned when her parents were executed for their ties to the Abyss. She sings of her rise as a courtier, playing games of Lycene machinations across the warring, independent city-states, with shadow puppetry playing the part of each figure she charms to her will, dancing in a weave of social conquest. And then it becomes a dance in truth, with dark figures sweeping in for snatched moments of dance with her as she sings and laughs her rise through the social web. And then the turn of her ambition, when she met and seduced Onyx Thricesworn to learn magic from him -- while deftly avoiding being bound herself. She dances with him too, rising higher and higher still, taking the skills she has learned and turning them to the Lyceum, seducing the Herald of Avarice meant to conquer the land and turning his power to her ends instead. Their tango is elegant, seductive, and deeply Lycene. Mage by mage, city-state by city-state, she unites the Lyceum under one banner, ruthlessly ensuring its safety and survival. And in the end, she rises ascendent as the first Grand Duchess of the Lyceum, with the founding of a new house as its Grand Duchy.
She was, after all, the very first vixen of House Velenosa.
Berenice's voice is clarion and clear, a deft mezzo-soprano with a strong upper range, and she uses it to great effect for all those varied moments of Procella's life. And that mischief, the ineffable charm, the inscrutable smiles: sometimes it is difficult to see where Berenice ends and Procella begins.
While Primeria's Song might have touched a sad chord for Symonesse, Alarice's Song brightens her smile considerably. By the end of it, the Queen is tapping her foot a little, seeming quite pleased. The grin remains and deepens as Procella's Song is performed next. Symonesse watches the performance with bright eyes and even murmurs a little to herself, "Clever Procella."
Evaristo just stands there like an idiot once Berenice is done and leaves the stage, turning to watch her leave with his jaw slightly agape. The lights are all on him, but he doesn't seem to notice at first. Then he snaps out of it and whirls around, moving up the stage and tugging at his shirt collar. "Our next performer is our most lovely Lady Sanya Grimhall, singing the song of Triscali!" He smiles at Sanya and steps away to leave the stage to her.
Sanya checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 35 higher.
When it's her time to perform, Sanya gracefully steps onto the stage garbed in an elegant night-dark gown with a train of roses. Stygian roses adorned with jewels crown her golden waves, leaving little doubts as to who she's portraying before her first note.
She sings of a figure who had been worthy of a place among the most notable of heroes - the Metallics. Silk sashes are held up, with alternating colors depicting different metals. She sings of Lorwoth Kinsbane's carnage and war leading to the figure being allowed to leave before completion of her training to join the fight, her victory ultimately leading to her becoming Queen-Regent of the Compact. Her performance begins to pick up tempo once the tale reaches Triscali's rule, telling of her ban of slavery and writs as well as her devotion to freedom.
One leg crossed over the other, Gabriella takes in the procession of performances with interest -- but it is not until Berenice's performance that her attention is truly grabbed. Brows furrowing, the knight of Setarco leans in, personal interest piqued in a way clear from the sharpening of those bright blues of hers. Fingers lace together into a bed to comfortably support her chin as Gabriella purses her lips, listening to a story she knows well spun in weave of magnetic melodies and shadow silhouettes. In the aftermath of it all, the noblewoman of Pravus leans back in her seat and tilts her head aside, gaze lost in thought, but a pleased smile dancing on her lips all the same.
Tiye leans forward among the audience seats, arms in her lap as she watches the stage. The wandering bard is listening as intently to the stories as anyone who might be hearing them for the first time would be. And perhaps in a sense she is; everyone tells a story slightly differently, and so there are a thousand thousand variations upon any given tale. Any time you might hear it, there might be some new detail -- some new twist or bit of color -- to be remembered and incorporated into your own telling.
Evonleigh checked composure + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 24 higher.
As Sanya leaves, Evaristo steps up once more. "Our next performer is someone you shall see more of soon, and she is always most amazing! Lady Evonleigh Whitehawk to perform the song of Axia!" He moves aside to let Evonleigh take the stage.
A harp begins to play softly before Evonleigh takes the stage. She comes to the center to address the audience first. A white-feathered bodice takes the shape of a wing stretched from hip to bodice.
"The full story of Axia Laevina's fascinating life was told in a play, 'The Lady of a Thousand Masks,'" she explains, adding. "It was popular in the time of Queen Triscali." The Whitehawk gives a respectful nod to offstage where Sanya rests, for the song that had just been performed. "My current project is staging that play and I hope you all will come to see it and some of these same amazing performers bringing Axia's tale to life more than I can do today."
Evonleigh brings her hands together, and adds, "This song is one I wrote based off of a tale I found in researching Lady Axia, and it captures just one of the momentous things that she did in her life. I hope the music will give her a place in your heart to remember her by, for her name is one that has been forgotten by many, despite having done Arvum an amazing service in the past."
The harpist's intricate notes crescendo, the minor key creating a mystical and melancholy atmosphere that serves as a delicately textured backdrop for Evonleigh's voice once she begins to sing. Her voice has a sweet clarity of tone and a rich timbre, if less studied than many of the performers' tones. As she begins to sing, the harpist's notes become quieter, an underlying harmony for the melody line that Evonleigh sings.
The story begins as a gentle admonishment of a Grayson prince of yore: "Alarith, dear, do not tease your sister. You have the gift of swords but she has the gift of words. Sit, and let me tell you the tale of our house's sigil." Behind the scrim, the shadows of two children and a woman stand, the little boy carrying a sword and the little girl, a book.
The song then tells the tale of how at the time of the Reckoning, Axia Laevina traveled to Nefer'khat to try to persuade the First Children to help the people of Arvum fight against the Abyss. The elven lady spoke to the lords and ladies of storm and fire, and the cats and the eagles, and while they were moved by her words, they did not join her cause. The shadows the Primasen can be seen playing upon the scrim, before finally the silhouette of a griffin appears, and a woman approaching him.
The griffins were Axia's last chance, and knowing the majestic creatures admire valor above all, she spoke to them of the stalwart hearts of those defending the land and the sacrifices of those already fallen in battle. It is this that convinces the griffins to return with her to Arvum and ultimately victory.
As the tale ends, the song concludes with the moral of the story: "Children, remember: blades may win a battle, but words may win a war."
Evonleigh dips into a graceful curtsy, dark lashes fanning her cheeks as she drops her gaze downward.
The Archscholar of Vellichor nods and smiles in appreciation of each story as the procession of historical performances are presented. She's quiet up there in the shadows, but no less appreciative as each performer shows off their skills, and their knowledge. Hands folded neatly in her lap, Sina seems enthralled by the performances given, her lips curved into a gentle smile.
Looking quite awed, Evaristo nods to Evonleigh as she leaves the stage, to move out and introduce yet another performer. "We have thirteen performers tonight, very fittingly - we hope the Gods and Godesses are with us and enjoy the show too! The next bard has performed for us so many times, and here she is tonight again, to enthrall us all - Princess Sorrel Thrax, singing Sugan's song!"
Sorrel takes the stage and with her lovely, enchanting voice she sings the song about Sugan - about a promise to be kept by a powerful ally, of a love that seemed impossible and the struggles in a war threatening the whole compact.
At the end of the performance, a most spectacular effect is displayed - from the back of the hall, a dragon soars above the audience and towards the back of the stage. White silk flutter, the head is shining from inside; it is a stunning display made of a wooden frame and silk, and must’ve cost the Bard’s College a fair bit of coin to make.
There's no doubting that Berenice's performance is a show-stopper. From the costumiery to the soaring vocal, Qadira is quite swept away by it - once more, entirely in spite of herself. It seems to her that the next performance is quite lost, in fact. Evonleigh is a different matter. Her presentation draws a crooked smile from the wench, finding the princess quite charming; far more informative than most of these blowhards, and with a decent moral at the end. Unseen and unremarkable in the stands, she nods appreciatively.
Tiye checked composure at difficulty 10, rolling 10 higher.
Lucita checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 125 higher. Lucita rolled a critical!
Tiye does not react with shock as the dragon soars overhead, and instead applauds appreciatively.
Symonesse is still grinning as Triscali's Song is sung, her golden eyes bright with enjoyment. That one she even soft hums with just a little as she attempts to catch the melody but does it poorly. That soft grin remains in place when Axia's Song is performed next as she leans forward, leaning a bit against the railing in front of her so that she doesn't miss a single note or even one gesture from her seat on the upper level of the performance hall. At the end of Sugan's Song, Symonesse's eyes widen and she lifts her chin, grinning a little as the white silk dragon flutters through the air.
The stage is reset quickly with a dramatic yet simple backdrop of cloth dyed in mottled hues ofgreen on which have been painted tree trunks and hints of paths. Before the backdrop extras act out fallen wounded soldiers being tended to by a healer while against it shilouettes of a small battle show. The sound of clanging swords and thud of spears and arrows fades as the battle moves out of view. The sound of a wooden flute starts and Lucita comes to center stage. She is dressed in a tunic, skirt and knee high boots that embody the setting and song. "A little over five hundred years ago the War of Stolen Names was fought, a fearsome time where Skald's dark reflection enslaved many of the Sylv'alfar and they fought against the Compact. This is the song in memory of one of the women I consider a hero of the time, sung from the standpoint of the first member of her choir." And accompanied with exquisite timing by the flute, Lucita sings:
I stood there watching battles of men who would be free
While standing near Pena's group beneath an oaken tree.
I saw the sturdy soldiers wielding swords so skillfully
And I thought that surely this war was not for me.
But I lingered and I listened and I heard the half-blood elf
In mismatched armor pieces singing bravely by herself.
Each note was sung with passion and hope and love and life
So I began to sing with her to end this awful strife.
She was not a mighty fighter, she did not use a blade
The power of voice was the impact that she made.
She inspired me to come join her, singing at her side
As enemy lines broke, I was filled with pride.
Lia was the halfblood's name, she was called 'The Lianhan'
As the war progressed she was known across the land.
She had a strong spirit, determined we would stay free
More joined with her, a Choir of War that came to be.
I sing now of this heroine, what she did, how she died
Singing till the bitter end, Sir Venteri at her side.
Queen Alarice and King A'kioh were in a crucial duel
If the Queen had lost, fate couldn't be more cruel.
Lia was cut off from her Choir of War, all alone she sang.
While protecting the Queen, clashing swords around her rang.
She sang of life, love, and hope and of living free.
She sang with such effort she weakened and died, you see.
She was my inspiration, a warrior without a blade
The power of her voice was the weapon she had made.
And when the war was ended, even though Lia had died.
For her we sing of freedom as our voices lift with pride.
After Lucita's finish, Nova suddenly bellows in a Northern Way, "For Freedom!" It is a half cheer and half declaration!
Zoey is overheard praising Lucita.
As Lucita sings Lianhan's Song, the Queen's grin fades and her eyes grow a bit misty as the sweet and soulful ballad fills the air. In the wake of the song, Symonesse dabs at her eyes, but the bellow draws a short laugh from her.
Evaristo is getting a bit dazed by all these DAZZLING performances - this is beyond any of his dreams that this would be. He looks touched, and has a hard time keeping composed enough to introduce the performers. When Lucita is finished, he has to clear his voice and walks more slowly out onto the stage, taking a few deep breaths. "Truly, this is a blessed night," he says which didn't seem to be what he MEANT to say. "Ahem! Our next bard, is our handsome rascal prince Niklas Grayson, performing Prince Tyrval Ael'Noctis Song!" He grins, and steps aside to let Niklas take the stage.
The silken dragon is impressive, a spectacle to remember in itself, but Lucita's performance is simply, humbly enrapturing. Qadira finds herself with her elbow against the seat in front, a palm cupped to her cheek and verdant eyes glazed as she quite loses herself in the sincere clarion. Nova's cry jerks her out of a revery, and the barmaid grins widely, trying to track the familiar voice before adding her own to it, a little ragged and rough. "For Freedom!"
The song sung by Lucita about the Lianhan brings immediate tears to Sina's eyes. The Archscholar seems to know the story well. Her silvery eyes glimmer, and she blinks them rapidly, trying not to cry. But the beauty of Lucita's voice, and the heroism of the song, is too much for her. Tears fall down her cheeks, and soon enough, she's up there in the left upper area, dabbing at her eyes too with a silk handkerchief.
Niklas checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 49 higher.
Niklas takes his place on stage, dashing in his nox'alfar inspired Twilight Prince outfit, and turns to face the audience with an energetic bow. "Ladies and gentlemen! Every word of this song is exhaustively researched and entirely true!" Then, after a brief clearing of his throat, he begins to sing!
The song is a very straightforward account of the highlights of Prince Tyrval's life. Sure, Niklas acknowledges, everyone knows that Tyrval married Alarice and as such forged a friendship between the Compact and the Nox'alfar that would last for a while until it all got messed up but then fortunately Tyrval, who is great, the song assures the listener, and really strong and handsome and very smart, was around to fix things and now stuff is better than ever. But! What about the time he was wandering through the jungles of the North and met a frost giant that was tearing apart all the mango groves? No? Well, after besting the giant in a game of wits the giant still refused to leave, so with one swipe of his mighty blade, Stabsword, Tyrval defeated the fiend. When it collapsed it formed the northern mountains, so yeah, he did that. But then the wintry storms that followed lead to Tyrval getting very lost, ending with him wandering in the deserts of Eurus, which is confusing and is a transition Niklas glosses over with the panache of a true raconteur. There in the deserts he evades the sun by putting leaves on his head. Eventually he finds the coast and when he can't find a ship to take him back to Arvum ends up marrying a friendly whale, who then swims him back across the sea. Unfortunately when Tyrval eats one of her friends the two decide that they have some key political differences and agree that they got married too quickly, leading to an amicable divorce, but if you're ever on the ocean and hear the haunting sound of whalesong that's actually her singing that she wants him to come and get his stuff because she's tired of moving it every time she goes to a new whale house. Eventually Tyrval gets back to civilization and everyone compliments the leaf contraption on his head so he sells the design and that's how hats are invented and did you know that every time you buy a hat Tyrval gets three silver? Very true and accurate.
As he comes toward the end of his song Niklas takes a deep breath and then sings several sentences in the language of the Nox'alfar, putting his hand to his chest as he gives it his all. That finished there's a pause in the music, then he briefly recounts the tale of the time that Tyrval asked Petrichor to make a new fruit for him that's like an orange but kind of shitty, and that's how we got grapefruits.
Niklas offers another flamboyant bow, then heads offstage.
Niklas says in Nox'alfar, "You can be endlessly patient when you live forever. But come on, Dad. Just how patient do I have to be?"
After the previous song, Symonesse's golden eyes are still shimmering with tears, but Tyrval's Song makes her forget all about them for a moment as she laughs aloud, a tinkling giggle. The last line makes her cover her mouth to attempt to quiet her laughter as her shoulders shake uncontrollably. She raises both hands together in a short burst of applause, hiccuping a little.
Evaristo bursts out laughing somewhere in the middle of that song. He manages to compose himself... only to get thrown into outright giggle-fits towards the end. He's bending over and trying to stay to the side of the stage, though to be fair he doesn't mind too much if someone sees.
Dreya, an older woman in Velenosan livery, 2 House Velenosa Guards, Ailfryd, a tall, thin man with a haugty air arrive, following Saoirse.
Sina's tears are wiped away, only to replaced with tears of laughter as she hears Niklas' tale. She seems to be enjoying the entire show, from the sweeping dragon over the top after Sorrel's preformance, to Lucita's beautiful song, to Niklas' humerous tale. She is in stitches now, dabbing at her eyes again, but this time for other reasons.
Evaristo is taking deep, deep breaths and somehow - though with a strained voice - introduces the next. "Ah... The most charming, cheerful princess of them all - Princess Sabella Grayson, shall now perform the song of Queen Elisia Ael'Noctis!" He gestures for Sabella to take the stage, smiles at her and steps aside.
Talwyn has left the stage.
Zephirine have been dismissed.
When Sabella enters the stage it is bright with light and she holds her head high, smile beaming out at the audience. Her song starts off up beat and hopeful with no accompaniment, setting the stage with a melodious "Once upon a time," her voice carrying sweetly to every part of the audience and echoing out as she tells the story of a beautiful woman who was born to the Lord of the Diamond sun and who, for most of her life, did her best to solve the quarrel between her father and the Lord of Eventide Endings, for despite their anger at one another she knew that they could move from bitter rivals to good friends if they only opened their hearts and minds to such a thing.
The light of the stage dims slightly as she repeats the refrain, "Once upon a time," with slightly more gravity than there was in the beginning, as the song recounts the war that, despite her best intentions, then raged between the two kingdoms, with her father and the Queen of Jewels making a horrifying choice to burn their enemies to nothingness and end all endings. But the darkest fight was between father and daughter, she who wanted to warn the people of the Eventide and he who made her swear on her name she would not. Of the bitter battle that raged within her even after she had sworn it so and how in the end she gave away both her name and her heart to break the trust of her father for the first and last time to warn the Lord of Eventide Endings so that his people would be spared.
The lights drop down to near total darkness, the third refrain of "Once upon a time," is broken and discordant, as she struggles with the heavy weight of knowing she did the right thing, but how in doing so she lost two things she had not intended: her family and her home and was cast out into a world where both the night and the day showed her no kindness for her betrayal. Alone she cried, without a name and a heart to help her, with nowhere to turn for solace, her life a folly.
But rather than extinguishing completely, the lights then strengthen just a bit, and Sabella sings of how the Lord of Eventide Endings heard her cries and found her there in between the light and the darkness and declared that a new court would be built to house her if neither the day not the night would grant her peace and how they should always forever after, honor follies as such she had claimed her life to be. And although she had lost her heart and her name, she had hope and happiness there and a new name: the Lady of Twilight Dreams.
And one more time Sabella sings, voice full of hope as with the beginning of the song, "Once upon a time..." and stands there until the last echo fades away, smiling brightly and eyes shining with tears.
Story through song. Every new tale, familiar or not, teaches Gabriella something new in all their dulcet strains. There are so many deeply moving performances, and indeed, the knight is stirred out of even her deep reverie by Lucita's stirring account of chains broken by song and sacrifice. She blinks. She looks up. Her brows lift.
And then it is Niklas' turn, and her brows lift ever-higher and higher and higher as if she might be believing every single word until he gets to 'whale house' and that, it seems, is exactly the point where suspension of disbelief shatters and the stoic Gabriella bursts out into riotous laughter, muttering something about how large a whale house would have to be and how patently ridiculous that is. Deeply, deeply ridiculous.
Sabella checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 61 higher.
Shard is late, but at least she's very quiet. She slips in and finds some place in the back to lean, arms lightly crossed.
The Queen's sunny smile dims a little at the sad, but hopeful song of the Lady of Twilight Dreams, her head tilted to the side as she listens carefully. At the end, she is applauding, nodding along to the conclusion, something rather resolute in her golden gaze.
Apparently you can tell any old nonsense to a Silk and they'll find it positively hilarious. Qadira files that fact away for later, but at least joins in the ripple of applause that seems to expand through the upper seats. It was well-delivered, passably witty, and the man certainly had charisma to back it up. For her part, the wench just wears a small, amused smirk, though; it was barely even bawdy, for Skald's sake. Sabella's performance likewise is appreciated for its verve, and the pure passion placed behind it, but it's almost too heartfelt for the Eurusi woman. She joins in the applause again, but is growing rather restless.
Once she's recovered from Niklas' storytelling, Sina tucks her handkerchief away, and then focuses on Sabella as the princess takes the stage. She tilts her head slightly, and closes her eyes as she listens to the story, nodding her head slightly here and there. After a moment, however, she opens her eyes, recognizing the story. She listens quietly, her expression filled with a mix of sorrow and thoughtfulness, as Sabella tells the story of the Lady of Twilight Dreams. In the end, her expression leans more toward the thoughtful side of things, and she lifts a hand to touch the corner of her eye again. She joins in the applause as well, her expression filled with delight as the performances continue.
With a hand on his heart as he steps out, giving Sabella a nod of his head in respect, Evaristo moves out to introduce the next bard. "Radiant Emeritus, Selene Whisper - need I say more?! She will now perform the song of Queen Elisia Ael'Noctis!" He sweeps an arm out to welcome Selene who takes the stage.
The dichotomy of darkness and moonlight announce the next performer gliding onto the stage. Selene's voice is vibrant as she honours her mothers, praising Death the Queen, fair Lagoma, fierce Gloria. Drops of fiery carnelian blaze in her hair as she weaves the first act of joy, friendship, and thrilling discoveries. Then, a love song after encountering Calithex. Her lips curve and eyes flash, adding to a stanza of blended shadowy innuendos of a penchant for violet sheets and who won more points. She sings of her time in Caer'alfar, its dazzling beauty and a terrible war, one that would not end.
As Calithex and Elisia's romance deepens, the first signs of gathering conflict play behind the Radiant Emeritus. Lanterns use strong flames to spin the rotary holders, splashing silhouettes of warriors and dancers behind her on the walls. She tells of grief for the endless bloodshed and burning cities, families torn apart by standing with a corrupt king or resisting him. She never falters, though the minor key resonates with foreboding.
A light flashes, and she flinches, banished to a dark corner of the stage. She sings of the sun's light scalding her, and the king exiling her people from the light. No longer poignant, her tone soars into a plaintive, impassioned appeal to the goddesses to provide her the means to save the king, her husband, her son, and her people. "I beseech you, grant me hope for the children of Night!" The petite Whisper drops to one knee as the candles are quenched, shadows a shroud drawn around her. Something glints when drawn, a gleaming longsword brought by an assistant in a white cloak with the Faith's device.
When the light reignites, she holds the sword, point-down, and vows to redeem the Nox'alfar from the doom laid on them. The path will take her over the sea and carry her far from those she loves best, in permanent exile until the dawn welcomes her people once more. In the last bars, she sings to her son: "Do not forget that you are my north star. In you is our greatest love, our best hope."
Tiye checked composure at difficulty 20, rolling 11 higher.
Shard checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 4 lower.
The moment that Symonesse hears the name of the next song, something falters in her smile. Throughout the song, it's almost as if she's holding her breath, those golden eyes riveted on the stage. The tears start to roll down her pale cheeks unbidden. By the time the last bars are sung, Symonesse is weeping openly, not bothering to hide her emotion.
The concert is nearing its end - Selene's performance was number twelve of the thirteen. Who is missing? Why, the Nightingale herself, of course. There's a murmur in the audience, the lights dim a bit further and the sparklega lights focus on the stage.
Evaristo steps up, to announce the last performer. "Your royal highness, your highnesses, lords and ladies, goodwomen and goodmen - we have heard something amazing tonight. I thank you all for joining us when history was made, and told, at the same time. Now, welcome our beloved extraordinary leader of the Bard's College, whom without this would not have happened!"
"Nightingale Gianna Whisper, singing the song of Elegon!"
Zoey when the last song is announced, Zoey shifts around in her seat, glancing around as though looking for something or someone.
Gianna checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 43 higher.
A figure in a hooded cloak strides onto the stage. Once she reaches the front of the stage, she casts her hood back to reveal herself as the legendary Nightingale, Gianna. She is joined on stage shortly after her entrance by a tall blonde woman, Haptenna, who accompanies her on the gittern. Striking a dramatic pose - and what an incredible cloak she wears, and the dress, with its train of black feathers, so exquisite so as to be something out of a dream - she begins to sing. It's a sad song, a lament about Elegon trying to save a his sister and choosing to turn to dark magics only for it all to be in vain. A song about the magic of music, and how one spellsinger can be cast up and into fame - it's pretty clear it's the Lianhan, without ever saying her name - while another dwells in obscurity and darkness. To lose their name and be known as Dirge. Shadow puppetry plays in the background - a pair of figures, trees, terrible monsters, a chorus of people, and finally, one lone figure - but it doesn't distract from the power of her voice. When the last notes of the song die away, Gianna raises her hood again and turns to walk off the stage, her black feathered train whispering along behind her. Way to end on a big downer, Gianna.
Seryna, a charming Lycene handmaiden, 6 Grimhall House Guards arrive, following Vanora.
Well, it's not as if Symonesse could make any more of a fool of herself by crying more. Instead, she sits there, letting the sadness of this last song wash over her as well as she wipes at her eyes with the back of her hand, trying to recompose herself.
Qadira settles in her chair after the best seem to have played their hand, leaning back with arms folded loosely about her midsection. Not quite bored, but a little over-burdened by the sheer bulk of performance. It's certainly all compelling, but the downturn in mood just draws the wench to sit there, breathing heavily, and watching with a distance in her gaze, allowing the dour tone to sink against her and drag her into the seats until she finds herself nodding off at the end, mesmerized by the play of shadows...
The Mockingbird of the Bard's College gives Nightingale Gianna a respectful bow of his head as she leaves the stage. He steps out one last time, as the applauds ring out through the hall. "So ends this concert, Powers of History! But please stay and mingle and meet everyone!" And the musicians start playing muted mingling music, as Evaristo waves to the performers to get up on stage, and out on the floor to socialise.
Sina watches with interest as the Nightingale takes the stage. She keeps her handkerchief in her hand, because she's probably going to need it for this one too. Sure enough, she catches a glimpse of the costume, and already her eyes are looking misty just from seeing its legendary beauty, on a legendary singer. The sorrowful lament has her crying, and then as Gianna walks off the stage, the Archscholar rises to her feet, and begins to applaud in earnest.
Stormy-gray eyes sparkling with tears, it takes a moment before Evonleigh steps out from behind stage at Evaristo's invitation to mingle. Her eyes fall on Symonesse, and she moves that way, pulling a little silk handkerchief from a pocket (her dresses always have secret pockets). She moves to where the queen sniffles, curtsying deeply, before offering the little silken square.
Lucita turns to the other performers. "Each of you did such a beautiful job. Well cone!. It was a pleasure being able to share the stage with you all."
Cillian says in Northlands shav, "seems to be speaking in quiet tones with Rowenova as he is there are tears sliding down his cheeks for some reason."
Sabella bursts into applause from her place on the wings, beaming at Gianna as she comes off the stage, "Well done! Well done everyone, truly! I learned so much and everyone did such an amazing job with the people they chose! Fantastic!"
Cillian seems to be speaking in quiet tones with Rowenova as he is there are tears sliding down his cheeks for some reason.
Ryhalt applauds all the performances, smiling for a time spent in education and entertainment, best of both worlds, really.
It takes her a moment to gather herself, but just a few moments after the applause begins, Symonesse rises gracefully to her feel and joins in. She slants a glance at Evonleigh and smiles at her, mouthing 'thank you' as she accepts the handherchief and begins to wipe her damp eyes.
Symonesse is overheard praising Evaristo.
Symonesse is overheard praising Talwyn.
Symonesse is overheard praising Vanora.
Symonesse is overheard praising Tikva.
Looking worried, Nova also gets a soft kerchief from her own pockets, much like Evonleigh did. But, instead of giving this to Symonesse, Nova gives the soft kerchief to Cillian and then also gives him a wolfy/seasilky hug.
Symonesse is overheard praising Berenice.
Symonesse is overheard praising Sanya.
Dreya, an older woman in Velenosan livery, 2 House Velenosa Guards, Ailfryd, a tall, thin man with a haugty air leave, following Saoirse.
Niklas claps Evaristo on the back. "A well-run exhibition, Captain. Even if you did forget to introduce me as First Mockingbird." All smiiiiles, then he's off to Evonleigh. "You do fantastically, my lady, and truly I do look forward to opening night of your play. You've done an amazing job of staging the tale. Arx has had good luck when it comes to fantastic adaptions of old performances. Why, at the opera about the spider, I met my wife! And then elbowed her in the face. I've gotten much better at dancing since."
Symonesse is overheard praising Evonleigh.
Symonesse is overheard praising Lucita.
Zoey rises with the rest of the crowd and joins in the applause before looking around to decide whether to stay and mingle or depart.
Symonesse is overheard praising Sorrel.
The lights turn up a bit more, sparklega giving everything a comfortable glow. Staff scurry out to offer more drinks to the audience now, and more treats to eat if they wish, moving aside some seats to make room for moving around. The dragon in the ceiling is pulled out to the center above them all.
Symonesse is overheard praising Niklas.
Though he's been quiet so far -- some might even say to the point being nearly unnoticable -- Nicholaus rises from his seat in the back to applaud as the concert comes to an end. Muffled somewhat by the umbra enshrouding his palms, his clapping is nonetheless enthusiastic though it's somewhat mismatched by the faint grin that turns up the corners of his lips. When he's had his fill, he slips from his row of chairs and begins to scan the performers as they either come out on stage or come down from behind it, evidently in search of someone in particular.
Symonesse is overheard praising Sabella.
Symonesse is overheard praising Selene.
Gianna inclines her head to the other performers, shrugging out of her cloak. "I believe that went very well," she tells them, though there's a tiny line between her brows as she passes the cloak to her assistant to rush off to elsewhere. Then she steps out from behind the stage to join the visitors.
Symonesse is overheard praising Gianna.
Symonesse is overheard praising Haptenna.
Tiye stands from her seat in the audience, offering enthusiastic applause. "Oh, bravo! A shining example of storytelling! Excellently done, particularly the dragon prop!"
From her place at the back of the hall, Shard applauds as the show comes to an end, though her clapping is quiet enough, and so is the rest of her. As people begin to mill around and mingle, she pushes off of the wall and weaves into the growing crowd; not much, just a little. She doesn't actually seem to be heading for anyone in particular, and she doesn't really say anything to anyone either.
Nicholaus is overheard praising Evaristo.
Berenice is overheard praising Bard's college.
Nicholaus is overheard praising Berenice.
Nicholaus is overheard praising Sabella.
Zoey is overheard praising Niklas.
Nicholaus is overheard praising Niklas.
Nicholaus is overheard praising Bard's college.
Rising from her seat backstage, Sanya applauds her fellow performers, practically beaming. She approaches Vanora, leaning closer to murmur a few words.
Symonesse is overheard praising Bard's college.
Cillian looks over to Symonesse with a bit of a longing look then back to Rowenova nodding his head to her as she speaks.
With her laughter faded, and with more somber and affecting performances coming to pass, Gabriella settles into a calm repose. Arms crossed over her chest, head cocked to a curious right, those blue eyes glitter against the wavering light of the dancing fireflies entrapped around her. She watches with a reserved quiet until the very end, her expression wreathed in thought that seems to chew over the details of those performances as well as the sentiment of them. And when it comes to an end? She rises crisply onto her feet, the clap of her applause a resoundingly powerful and passionate thing that is lost in the din of the rest of those countless cheers.
Evaristo stands there and just beams at everyone. "Thank you," he says, to the performers, bowing to them all. He looks a bit overwhelmed, but in a good way. "I... honestly, you all did so wonderfully amazing, I don't even know what to SAY. Except, we should do this AGAIN!" he exclaims. He jumps off the stage, to start mingling. And drinking.
Sanya is overheard praising Bard's college.
Gabriella is overheard praising Evaristo.
"You're welcome," Evonleigh mouths back to the queen, before giving her some space to cry in peace, if she likes. Niklas is there to compliment her, and she laughs at his words, offering him a quick squeeze of hands. "You did wonderfully as well. I am excited to be able to tell the rest of her tale... sad, too, as it is, at times." She offers another small smile at Symonesse, for it was yet another person of the queen's past that she knew -- and lost.
Sina lingers where she is for a time, resuming her seat and taking a little time to compose herself. She dabs at her eyes one last time, then tucks the handkerchief back up her sleeve. Then she smooths out her robe and pats her hair into place before rising to her feet once again, and making her way down from the upper level.
Ryhalt after his assistant whispers to him urgently, he sighs and leaves.
Ryhalt has left the lower center seating.
Sina has left the upper left seating.
Gabriella is overheard praising Bard's college.
Evaristo is overheard praising Bard's college.
After whispering something quietly in Gianna's ear, Vanora...dressed as Primeria, makes her way down from the stage after applauds and calls for encores (Were there any calls for encores?) are complete. She drifts towards Evaristo, putting her hand on his arm and murmuring something else softly, and then proceeds to see which guests to the concert appear to be staying. After applauding her fellow performers just as Sanya does, she listens to whatever words come from her Grimhall cousin, nodding and responding.
Berenice steps back out onto the stage with the other performers, the spidersilk of her gown almost glimmering in the light, her features alight with a warm smile. She steps through the mingling crowd, her gown's train trailing behind her, and draws up first to Evaristo, slipping a hand through his arm and murmuring something in his ear. And then her gaze slips off to the crowd, her smile curling slow and warm as she recognizes a particular guest who looks in search of her.
Cillian turns to head for the exit slipping his glove back on and rolling his sleeve down covering up whatever was shown.
"You did fantastic at keeping us all on schedule," Sabella tells Evaristo as she passes to head into the crowd, "No small feat with so many of us and so many props! Did you see those puppets? Amazing! Everyone was so creative!"
After Cillian's covered his arm and hand up, Nova stops hugging him as cover and turns to get ready to head out, too, following him.
It's going to take a few moments for Qadira Thorne to resituate herself. One second she's slumbering amidst a whirl of umbral puppets, and the next there's light, applause, glasses chinking, people chattering. Starting with an indelicate snort, she sits bolt upright and looks frantically around, instinctively checking her purse. Everything's still there, of course, but she's completely alone in the corner of the stands. This, in fact, is relaxing. She leans against the wall beside her, dark tangles falling across her face as she observes the action around and in front of the stage with a haze in forest green eyes. She'll be fine. Just got to wake up from this bizarre, conjured dream.
Evaristo leans in to listen to Vanora, and bows to her afterwards, saying a simple, heartfelt; "Thank you. Your performance was truly amazing." Then he's turning to Berenice, lopsided charming smile given to his patron and adoration clear in his gaze as he murmurs something back to her. He laughs, waving a hand as Sabella praises his TIMING skills. "To be quite honest? This was the first time I managed to keep things somewhat ORGANISED - and truly, I must thank every hard working man and woman who set up this AMAZING venue tonight." He looks around, at the props, the dragon, the fireflies.
"Thank you, Evaristo." Vanora responds. "I tried to do justice to the story, the history and the tragedy, just as you encouraged. The Nightengale's performance though...that was truly remarkable. Beyond words. I hope that we did justice to these figures of history...these legends. I think some would be proud, to look upon this great work."
Zoey once the crowd thins a bit, Zoey makes her way down the aisle to the performers.
Sina quietly makes her way out of the performance hall, though she does pause to whisper something to Evaristo on the way out. Then, she dips her head in deep respect toward any remaining performers on the stage, before she takes her leave of the concert hall.
Lucita finishes congratulating and complimenting the other singers and then steps down off the stage. She approaches the Queen and curtsies to her, the gems on the costume skirt catching the light and glinting as she moves. "Thank you for taking the time to come listen to us."
Gianna has to walk around with the black feathers of her train draped over her arm, but she handles it with an experienced air. It isn't her first ridiculous feather train, after all. Spying Symonesse, she threads her way through the crowd to make her way toward the Queen. "I'm so glad you came to the College," she tells the elven woman. She sinks down into something akin to a bow, and everyone praise spirit gum, because THAT DRESS. "I do hope you enjoyed yourself."
After a few dabs from the handkerchief and a few more steadying breath, Symonesse manages to regain her composure, though her eyes are still a little red from crying. With a smile, she murmurs to Evonleigh, "Your performance was lovely. They all were. The talent just present here in this hall is awe-inspiring."
1 Crimson Blades Sergeant, 1 Crimson Blades Lieutenant, 1 Crimson Blades Private, Rowenova leave, following Cillian.
Sebastian, an adorable gray and white tabby, Jacinthe, Arindais, a dour-looking Scholar, 1 Templar Knight guards leave, following Sina.
Niklas looks around and clucks his tongue. "No Tyrval. Well. Hopefully someone lets him know that I put every word of the messages he sent me into my performance." He turns and takes Sabella's hands, leaning in to say to her, "We should go to the Nightingale and effusively gush over her performance."
Turning from Vanora to Niklas with an amused smile, Sanya tilts her head. "Is that the story he gave you when you prodded him from information?" She laughs. "That was fantastic."
"That means so much, coming from you, Your Majesty," Evonleigh says to the queen. "I hope you can make the play, once we have it staged," she adds, turning to Gianna and dipping her head. "You were magnificent, as expected," she tells Gianna warmly. "What I aspire for, but if I come near the half way mark, I'll be quite pleased with myself."
On second thought, this is a bit crowded. Zoey turns to go instead.
Berenice laughs at whatever Evaristo murmurs to her in return. "Did I? I suppose I'd already forgotten." She reaches to set her hand to his cheek and then brushes a kiss to the other. "They were all extraordinary," she says with uncharacteristic graciousness, turning a warm smile to Vanora who stands there as well, clearly including her and all the rest of the performers in the sentiment.
Niklas shakes his head at Sanya. "Unfortunately he forgot to respond to me at all, leaving me to search the historical record for word of his many great deeds and, on failing that, just make a bunch of stuff up. I don't think anyone noticed. He seems the sort to like grapefruits."
Sabella wraps her arm around one of Niklas' and laughs, "I'm sure word will get around to him and I do think he'll like what you sang. What was that part at the end, by the way? I assume that was Nox'alfar? I really should get around to learning some of it one of these days but I just don't seem to have an ear for language," she reaches up to rub the very ear that Niklas was talking about elbowing earlier with a grin, "Hey, I happen to enjoy grapefruits! Well, perhaps enjoy is the wrong word but I do have them for breakfast from time to time."
Evaristo looks quite surprised by Sina's words, and he bobs his head at her. "History can be taught in a good song, and bard's are not to be forgotten as ones to spread knowledge," he says, in response and in general. "I hope everyone learned something new, and interesting from this, apart from enjoying the music and singing." He grins at Niklas, and once more lets out a quiet laugh, shoulders shaking. "I want to learn that song, so I can sing it EVERYWHERE - praising you for it, of course." He gets all distracted by Berenice's kiss, his beam of joy for it radiating in the room. "Your royal highness... Is that not a song that deserves to be sung even amongst the Nox'alfar, hmm?"
Zoey has left the upper center seating.
"I would be delighted, Lady Evonleigh. Please be sure to extend me an invitation when the play is ready." With a little bow of her head, Symonesse smiles once more and moves towards Evaristo, grinning as she says, "Well, the entire show was just as lovely as was promised and expected. I am most delighted to have had a chance to see it." She glances to Berenice, her smile widening just a trace, "Your performance as Procella was spectacular, Princess Berenice. You are a born performer."
Spotting Berenice roughly around the same moment she spots him, Nicholaus raises one hand in greeting, his grin turning up just a touch. Rather than approach, though, as he spots her engaging Evaristo in conversation, he turns to regard the hall in general, both hands falling to rest behind his back.
When he sees Sabella and Niklas, he starts to pick his way that way, pausing a few feet in front of them both as he lets them converse without interruption. After clearing his throat though, he takes a step closer and flashes a broad smile to both. "Cousins. I hadn't realized you were going to perform, though I suppose I probably should have. It was a pleasant surprise. You were both fantastic."
Vanora squeezes Sanya's arm, and then moves to approach the Queen, before whom she curtsies with a courtier's perfect practice. "Your Highness. I hope that my performance did not disturb you overmuch...I did my best to play the part well, but it is a story that can quicken the blood and the heartbeat too. I hope that you managed to enjoy it nonetheless." The Duchess Grimhall murmurs in a quiet voice, before her words become too soft to hear for any but the Queen herself.
Evaristo has left the stage.
"I can only eat them with copious amounts of sugar." Sanya muses, glances between the Grayson couple. "As well as the type to sweep a whale off of it's.... fins." She adds with a laugh. She turns to Nicholaus when he approaches. "I always wondered if I'd be in the same room as the two of you." She gestures between him and Niklas. "Do you ever get terribly mixed up with their names?" She asks Sabella with a chuckle.
Shard ultimately ends up crossing the enormous room twice, and she manages not to speak to a single person that whole time, though her progress is often halting, sometimes stopping completely. She eventually ends up back near the door she entered from, and while she doesn't quite return to her previous leaning, she comes fairly close, looking back over those gathered with a faintly narrowed gaze.
Jules has left the upper center seating.
Gianna's lips curve up into one of her hints of a smile at Evonleigh's words. "You did very well, I thought. And thank you, of course." She tilts her head at something Vanora says and murmurs something back.
"I have never once mispronounced either of their names," Sabella assures Sanya. Aloud. Then she leans back a little to hide a bit behind Niklas to mouth 'all the time.' She then beams a smile at Nicholaus, "I'm so glad you came! More of the family ought to support the arts I think and this venue is just so amazing! Did you see the mosaic in the front when you came in? It's fantastic! And the acoustics! Oh, if you haven't met the Nightingale we can introduce you. Did you know she was once Nik's protege? She's certainly done extremely well for herself! And there is such talent in this city I think a Bard's College was exactly what Arx needed to bring it all together."
Lucita glances up as Vanora also approaches the Queen and hesitates, then curtsies again and steps aside as she gives a beguiling smile. Her eyes widen as she realizes that though Rowenova has gone, her guard dog remains behind and she almost bumps into it then quickly makes sure the dog moves out of the way so not to disturb any of the others.
Berenice smiles with perfect poise and precision to Symonesse when she offers that compliment. It is a picture-perfect smile. "You are very gracious to say so, your highness. I am sure you have many talents yourself. I understand that dog training might be among them? I certainly hope you find your new hound to be a loyal one." She drops slowly into a deep, graceful curtsy.
"Thank you," Evonleigh says, moving a little more out of the way as others join in. Evaristo is given a quick pat on the arm. "Very well done organizing us all. I know it's like herding cats, and not just cats, the troublesome ones, when trying to get performers to do what you want them to do on time," she says with a smirk.
Vanora turns her body to the side slightly, not having meant to interrupt Lucita's own momentary audience with the Queen of course. She gives the Baroness a warm, encouraging smile, and murmurs softly, "Your performance was truly beautiful. I think you brought the story to life in unexpected ways." She turns then to Berenice, inclining her head at the praise she was offered along with other performers. "Thank you, Highness. You were breathtaking yourself as always. The story of Procella beautiful and passionate in every note."
"The last great Procella to grace the stage was Mistress Yasmine Champagne, I believe. So in this realm Princess Berenice now stands among giants." Niklas gives the Queen a bow and may be ready to say something else, but Sanya's question gets a look that might have been exasperation but it disappears quite quickly. "I honestly don't hear it! But perhaps it's just my Islander accent and the history in the name. Prince Niklas Thrax was quite a, uh, mass murderer. But in a heroic way! For some people!"
The performance appreciated, for all her prejudice and commonality, Qadira rises and makes her way downstairs. Her footfalls are catlike, quiet, by habit as much as intent, sinuous motions carrying her down and around through the performance hall hopefully without drawing notice. She does smile at the performers as she passes, in particular the pair of Lucita and Evonleigh, who made the most personal mark upon the wench. Berenice is regarded with a distant - and very grudging - sort of admiration. No words are spoken because she's assured that none would care to hear them; not from her, at any rate. She only tarries long enough to appropriate a few tasty morsels from the servers weaving through the well-dressed crowd, and manages to pilfer a decent glass of wine as well, knocking it back on her way out. She leaves the glass behind; she might be a thief, but there's a line...
Evaristo looks over seeing Shard there and she's given a wave, and a friendly nod. "Pri-, err. Captain-General Shard, great to see you here!" he calls out, bright smiles and mischievous eye-glitter quite prevalent. He is glancing around, nodding and smiling at various audience, including Tiye and Qadira, both given curious looks. He bows deeply to the Queen, and makes some sort of strangled noise as Berenice talks about dog training. He looks between Symonesse and Berenice, opens his mouth to say something... closes it again and seem to consider what to say VERY thoroughly.
Qadira's smile for her draws one from Evonleigh, who offers a wave to the retreating woman.
Symonesse reflects Berenice's smile, but the mention of dog training has her tilting her head looking extremely confused. "New hound? I don't have a dog. I certainly do not train them, though I like them very much. Someone did send me a cow, though. Very odd." Her sweet smile returns and the confusion fades as she turns to greet the others, murmuring as her eyes fall on Gianna, Vanora, and Lucita. "You all were marvelous as well. I found your performances very engaging. I wish I has been able to attend a performance before this, but now I'll definitely not miss another."
Shard blinks as she's addressed, but she recovers quickly, if it can be called recovery. "Evaristo," she says, with a nod in turn. And then, simply, "I was late."
Tiye rises from her seat finally, offering a cheerful wave to those who shared her section with her. Then she makes her way down and towards the door, though pauses when Evaristo addresses Shard. "Ah, but being late can be so very fashionable... ah, 'Captain-General', was it?" She casts a questioning glance between Evaristo and Shard, as though she's not quite certain she has that right.
A knowing smile appears on Sanya's lips when she regards Sabella before turning to something a little more wry at mention of 'mass murderer' from the prince. "That's a common theme in the Thrax hall of heroes, it seems. People of deeply questionable morality.... but heroes." She studies the velvet gown the princess wears. "That is beautiful, your highness. If there ever was a gown to perfectly capture the allure of twilight, I don't think it could top this." She smiles. "It must have cost a fortune." She nods to the jewelled fabric.
"We try to make it a rare occurance," Nicholaus replies aside to Sanya, glancing at Niklas with a faintly amused grin before he refocuses on her, "If we draw too close, there's a fear that it would cause all sorts of chaotic happenings. Let alone the risk to safety if we were to ever touch. I shudder to think." Indeed, he does shudder, but it's chased by a wink sent her way.
The Prince's gaze then shifts to Sabella and a smile blossoms on his face, "Unfortunately I was running a bit late, so I didn't get a chance to stop and appreciate it properly." A pause. "And no, I haven't yet had the pleasure." He says the last as he scans the crowd, perhaps searching for the aforementioned Nightingale.
After stretching out the kinks of sitting for far longer than she is rightly used to, Gabriella winds here way down to the congregation with that brisk, single-minded pace of hers. She pauses only to give a brief, curious glance back towards Qadira as she makes her exit, expression falling briefly into thought before she turns a brighter stare upon the performers. The grin on her lips is a radiant thing as she approaches the gathering, her head canting to the right as she addresses Evaristo with an arched brow. "A sailor -and- a singer. You are a man of many talents, captain. I am duly envious." She looks over towards the rest, a sincerely respectful hand to her chest and deep bow following in her wake. "It was all truly magnificent, and truly eye opening in equal turns. Thank you." A second passes by, and Gabriella's brows furrow. "Though I admit I still struggle to conceive of a whale's house, and what such a thing would look like." She's clearly put some serious thought into this.
Lucita tips her head, smiling one last time as she murmurs. "Thank you. It was a pleasure." And with that she starts to withdraw, edging toward the entry steadily.
"I imagine the world itself will implode if you touched." Sanya adds to Nicholaus' comment.
Qadira has left the upper right seating.
Lucita has left the stage.
Micana, 1 Saik Guard, Sir Floppington, the soulful hound leave, following Lucita.
Shard's attention shifts to Tiye, and for a moment she says nothing as she openly studies the other woman. Then she waves her hand. "It's Shard," she replies. "I'm Captain-General of the Valorous Few, and people like titles." A beat. "I'm not very fashionable," she adds, as if that needed saying. Although her outfit is certainly not /un/-fashionable, apart from lacking any sort of decoration.
Gianna looks pleased. Like cat-with-canary pleased. "I do hope so," she tells Symonesse, because who doesn't want the Queen attending every performance? What a feather for her cap.
Sabella runs a hand down the skirt of her gown, giving Sanya a pleased look, "Thank you! I actually have one that's quite similar made of umbra, but I thought the velvet would better display the, well, velvet of a night sky! Or a twilight sky, as it were. Mistress Petal's skills and those of her apprentices cannot be denied, really. The attention to detail is astounding! And you ought to take a look on your way out," She says to Nicholaus, "It really is breathtaking and when the light hits it just right it's like little details you never noticed before jump out at you. Where did Gianna get to?" She looks around the crowd then raises a hand to beckon Gianna over, "Nightingale Gianna! Have you met Prince Nicholaus Grayson?"
Evonleigh has left the stage.
"Hm." Tiye's first response to Shard is a wordless hum of thought, and then she offers a bright smile. "Well, titles can be important. People need someone to look up to sometimes, don't they? Or to lead the way. If this 'Valorous Few' didn't have a Captain-General, I imagine things wouldn't go nearly as smoothly for them in the field!"
"Why, I certainly think we should make this a reoccuring thing," Evaristo muses, to Gianna and the queen in particular. "Maybe once a year?! Could have different historical themes, or not historical at ALL but... themes," he babbles animatedly. "I would say that Shard is absolutely fashionable and sets a precedent," he protests, winking at the mercenary. "Lady Gabriella! So nice to see you again. Aye, I sing, and play the lute as well - in fact I was trained ON a ship by an old bard that became a sailor, so it went hand in hand. Though my skills were expertly honed by Nightingale Gianna." He gives Gianna a look. "She made me get up at dawn. I'm still having nightmares."
Gianna inclines her head to Gabriella and informs her, "It's true. I did. He was so grumpy." Evaristo, not a morning person? Noooo. Sabella is addressing her, however, so the Nightingale turns and glances between the princess, Niklas, and Nicholaus. "...I have not, no. Well met. How do you spell your name?" Another sidelong glance at Nik.
"Oh, how odd," Berenice replies to Symonesse with an innocent widening of her eyes. "Well, I am sure you will find him eventually." She turns her gaze to Vanora with a warm smile for something whispered to her, and she offers a few quiet words to her in return, reaching to give her hand a squeeze.
Shard's nose wrinkles, though whether it's at Tiye's words or Evaristo's is unclear. And for that matter, the rest of her expression seems vaguely, darkly amused, however briefly. "'Smooth' and 'Valorous Few' aren't two things I tend to hear used together often. Although the last big contract we were on involved ambushing an ambush, and things didn't exactly go smooth for the first ambushers either." She again pauses, and then clarifies, "Because they were idiots."
Symonesse shrugs off Berenice's comment as the princess turns away, the slight uptick in her pale brows perhaps indicating the Berenice might have her mistaken for someone else. For Evaristo, the Queen smiles brightly, "Well, if the Bard's College requires any support or patronage in order to host such performances, please do not hesitate to reach out. I should be happy to help. For now, I should return to the palace. Again, lovely performance." With a nod to her guards, the Queen detaches herself from the crowd and moves toward the exit with her retinue gathered around her.
Symonesse has left the upper center seating.
5 King's Own Guardsmen leaves, following Symonesse.
"Really?" Tiye grins. "That sounds like quite the story. I'd love to hear it sometime. I collect stories, you see. Oh!" And she makes a surprisingly graceful -- almost sinuous -- bow to Shard. "Tiye Moretti. Bard, wanderer, storyteller, and general gawker-at-things. An honor to meet you, Captain-General Shard of the Valorous Few -- and source, I imagine, of many fine stories." She glances over at Evaristo with a cheerful wink. "I imagine she's very popular here with the other bards!"
"Yours seems like a life forged by adventures, captain," notes Gabriella, the rich entertainment of her tone coupled well with the brightness of her grin. "Not a bad lot, for a bard, I would imagine." But as he brings up Gianna, that bright blue gaze turns to the woman. Her brows lift -- but it's far from a look of surprise. "Well then, you ought to be very thankful towards Nightingale Gianna, I should think. We rarely ever achieve greatness without a -little- suffering, and the suffering of having to wake up slightly early in the day seems vast indeed." A teasing twinkle in her eye, the knight nonetheless is all appreciative courtesy as she presses a hand to her chest and dips her head, offering in warm greeting, "Nightingale Gianna, it is a true honor to make your acquaintance. Lady Gabriella Pravus."
Something said by Gabriella catches Vanora's attention, pale green eyes settling on the woman. "Lady Gabriella Pravus, you say? I was Pravus once myself, and do understand that greatness is indeed rarely achieved without a little bit of suffering. Lovely to meet you." She interjects into another introduction of course, but steps back then that the Nightengale can acknowledge Gabriella herself.
Niklas looks up when he overhears Tiye and moves over to her. "Good evening, Mistress Tiye! I am Prince Niklas Grayson, First Mockingbird of this Bard's College. If you fancy yourself a bard, then you are among friends! When her adoring fans are done mobbing her," Niklas glances back toward Gianna as if staring at the sun itself, "you should speak to the Nightingale about joining our number."
"I'll make it a point to give it a long look on my way out," Nicholaus assures Sabella as she describes the beauty of the mosaic. When she turns to find Gianna, he turns with her, mostly following her gaze until she manages to locate the Nightingale and wave her down. At that point, he bows his head slightly and offers a broad smile, raising it as she asks after the spelling of his name. "N-I-K-L-A-S," he replies evenly, pausing afterwards with a look of inward turned thought, "No... Wait... I think I might have got that wrong. In fact it might be N-I-C-H-O-L-A-U-S. I'm always mixing it up."
Niklas points at Nicholaus, "Don't make this worse!" He looks around. "Where's Lord Nikias? I get his messages all the damn time."
"I was, and I'm very hard to make grumpy. Still, it was worth it, because now I am truly a bard - I do owe the Nightingale very much," Evaristo says in agreement with Gabriella, and he gives Gianna a fond look. He looks between the queen and Berenice again, something humorous in his gaze, then bows to the departing Queen - there's something of a thoughtful look after the Nox'alfar, before he snaps out of it and focuses on the others once more. "Miss Tiey, let me introduce myself properly. Mockingbird Evaristo Arterius, a pleasure to meet. I am, I suppose, SECOND Mockingbird," he offers with some wry humor, a glance at Niklas and a broad grin. And to Nicholaus, he bows; "Your highness, a pleasure to meet." He's catching on to the name discussion, clearly - he laughs quietly at the prince's joke.
"It doesn't have a very good ending," Shard says as she rubs her knuckles along one side of her jaw. "The butchering jackass behind it all is being protected by a bunch of other jackasses who like his butchering just fine." She flicks a glance toward the room at large, and something sour pulls at her mouth. "...Anyway, I don't think most of my stories would be very useful to you. They're not the kind that people like hearing in big concert halls, and I'm not much of a storyteller."
an aid in Kennex livery, 2 Kennex corsairs arrive, following Zoey.
Zoey returns a short while later and starts down the row where she had sat through the performances. She mutters to herself, "Now where could it have gotten..."
Evaristo gets Bard's College - The Powers Of History Concert.
"Well met, Lady Gabriella," Gianna tells the woman. "I hope you enjoyed Princess Berenice's song. I'll admit, I was jealous when I found out she had managed to take Procella before me. I'm quite fond of the story." There are a number of conversations going on, but thankfully Gianna has enough Whisper training to keep tabs on all of them. Almost. She casts a curious look Tiye's way, inclining her head gently, before turning an almost-amused look at Niklas and Nicholaus. "I often that problem with Gina Whorsper." She delivers this with a completely straight face, flicking a feather back into place.
When Sabella calls to Gianna, Sanya's smile brightens at the Nightingale. She joins them before long. "Mistress Gianna, I must say, your performance brought tears to my eyes." She says with awe. "I hadn't expected anyone would be performing as Elegon, though with the baroness doing Liahnan's song, it was a perfect addition."
Berenice flashes a shameless smile to Gianna when she catches her name. "How could I resist! She is the founder of House Velenosa, after all. I would have thrown /such/ a tantrum to Evaristo if you'd gotten there first." Her gaze moves past her to Nicholaus, her smile warming. "Nicholaus, darling. Have you met the Bard's College renowned Mockingbird, Captain Evaristo Arterius?"
Back to list