Silence? Not Tonight
The noise started somewhere near the docks, in the parts of the city suffering the worse. Voices carried it, makeshift drums were manifest, lanterns and wagons commandeered. Now voices are carrying through Arx, singing tunes that belittle our enemies and show Arxian spirits are far from broken.
Will you add your voice? Will you dare to sing out against the enemy in even the darkest places of the city?
This is a non-combat scene for the musically inclined and lyrically gifted. There is risk of combat, but only if you're particularly bad or good!
Bonus points if you bring your own songs to share.
April 9, 2017, 7 p.m.
Arx - Lower Boroughs - Visitors Gate
Comments and Log
The boisterous noises started not far off, people laughing and singing despite the hour and the siege. That happens from time to time, but it usually fizzles out. Tonight it got louder, more voices joined in, and has been spreading. Perhaps it was the news of the Queen being sighted that lifted spirits, or maybe it was the keg of ale someone 'liberated' which wasn't going to any better use.
Perhaps you joined in right at the start, perhaps you're just getting here. Either way there is a wagon being pulled by a mule that may well be drunk himself through the street, half a dozen poor quality lanterns hanging off it while a mix of people - commoner's mostly - are trying to get enough of the lyrics down for a handful of Bringer hating silence be blighted tunes down to inflict them on any in Arx close enough to suffer.
Riding at the fore of the wagon is an old man with a big grin, farmer from the looks of it, keeping the mule in check and waving more to join them. He has scribbled sheets of songs that are mostly legible to go around.
Serafine is with Leta, the blonde drunk, the copper-skinned Knight hanging off the sellsword. She herself isn't far behind, tipsy at the least, giggling, still in her Guard leathers.
Bright eyes flickering in the lantern light, Lady Tikva Riven walks on light steps among people, as the lyrics sheets get passed around. "Needs more hey nonny," she says, of one of the sheets, and grins a toothy grin. She is here without portfolio and without instrument, carrying nothing in her hands; she bears her weapons at her back, and her hands loose at her sides.
He might not be joining in on the singing, but Tobias is here nonetheless. Wearing his usual (these days, at least) blood red armor, Tobias keeps his left hand idle on his scabbarded sword. His crimson cape flows behind him as he marches on, twin columns of ten Crimson Blades heavy infantry and archers behind him as they patrol the streets alongside the wagon. He keeps pace with the growing crowd, at least, and seems to be there mostly to keep a vigilant eye in case of any real dangers.
Leta's already pretty boisterous by the time she joins the convoy. She's been bolstering her own spirits and this is as good an occasion as any to come along, it was just a matter of dragging Serafine along from whatever important guarding duties that were taking place in a nearby tavern. "So we're to - we're to guard the parade! Hush. Secret assignment!" she informs the knight, an arm over Serafine's shoulder, leading the way to join up with the party alongside the wagon. She's got her lute with her, though it remains strapped onto her back.
Ywaine is midway back in the pack of Crimson Blades, to one side. He has a cloak and hardened studded leather armor on, his great bow in his left hand. Quiver and that odd looking short spear at one hip. He's looking left and right, muttering orders now and then to the archers and scouts that are near him.
Serafine strokes her fingers along the strings of the lute, smiling, leaning into Leta with a soft laugh, her other hand gripping the edge of the blonde's cloak across her chest.
A merry laugh comes from the old man as the mix of people file together. "Well we're a motley lot to be sure, and from the sounds of it we can bend a turn to make milk turn!" He waves people over. "I'm Old Grimminy and that song is the only one I've got, just there to set the mood. I reckon there are plenty of good songs for a night like this." He points a thumb over his shoulder. "Ale is in the wagon, fella named Barnes has the mugs." He sniffs the air, giving out a contented sigh. "Such a nice evening for a good song and half a dozen bad ones. Let's hear a few and figure out which is which!"
Tikva finds a barrel in amongst the general detritus around the gathering, tests her palms against its lid, and then hauls herself up onto it, perching astride with her short fluff of hair bright in the lantern light. Filling her lungs to shout, she beats a beat out on the barrel beneath her thighs, thump, thump, thump, and calls, "Right! Who's got a really awful one to start us off? Get the drink flowing!"
Leta frowns for a moment, looking down at Serafine, "Be on the watch for - what do you call those fellows, like jesters but they're real quiet?" she wonders out loud, then wanders over towards the wagon, one hand on Serafine, one hand on her hip. Tipsy or not, she manages to strut in a straight line, give or take a step or two so she doesn't bump into anyone in the crowd. "Lady Tikuhva! Well met and such!" she offers a cheery greeting, then looks over to the old man up on the wagon ahead. "I've a song! It's - I think I need another drink first though. Not an epic or nothing, mind you!"
Serafine can't help but laugh at it all, guiding Leta to a person with a mug for her. "I need a drink too, love," she tells the sellsword, grinning. "Especially if I try and sing as well!"
Nisaa arrives, following Malik.
Nisaa leaves, following Malik.
Still decidedly not singing, Tobias has his attention on the old man briefly. Then, he looks up to the rooftops, before he looks back over... and a strutting Leta gets his attention. "Interesting one drunk, her." Tobias comments offhandedly, before he turns back to regard his men with a side glance. "If any of you want to join in, feel free. Just be sure to keep watch."
"Rooftops and windows," says Ywaine to the men around him as he checks out the old man and a glance at Leta with a grin. "Keep yer eyes on the rooftops an' windows, boys. Y'ain't gonna see me singin' none so no one go askin', ah'm too darn old for that sorta thing," he says with clear humor.
Some of the makeshift drums turn out to be little more than something to thump to the melody, while a few others turn out to be surprisingly decent. There are no instruments other than voice and drums, but that is all you need sometimes. Old Grimminy laughs at Ywaine like it was the best joke he'd heard all night, giving a big grin at the man before clapping his hands. "Y'all guards got heavy armor and big weapons. Keep yer singin' voices to yerselves if ya like, but thumpin' along to the tune sure would make this an impressive sight!" He slips to one side, gesturing for Leta to hope on up. "Go on and take the stage. Barnes, some brew to warm up the lady's pipes!"
Tikva makes a whooping noise of encouragement, pounding on her barrel even as she kicks out with both feet, swinging her legs above the ground. "All right! Break it open wide!" she carols, cheer bright.
Tikva checked charm against difficulty 7, resulting in 25, 18 higher than the difficulty.
"Be on the lookout for them jesters!" Leta calls out jovially to Tobias and Ywaine, this being something she's apparently concerned with in her current, somewhat inebriated state. She's apparently a happy drunk. The sellsword accepts a mug from somewhere in the crowd, and heads to fill it up and take a swig. Then she claps a hand onto Serafine's shoulder and pulls the shorter guardswoman against her side, "Here I go, then." she says, then pulls away and clambers up onto the wagon.
Once atop the wagon, a little unsteady, Leta takes off her feathered hat, holding it in one hand, the mug in the other. "This is a song - this is a song dedicated to them bloody Bringer shitheads! Goes like this!" and she clears her throat, then takes another sip, preparing to belt out.
Leta checked charm + performance against difficulty 15, resulting in 24, 9 higher than the difficulty.
Serafine steals a kiss from Leta, then lets the woman climb the wagon and do her thing. She finds a suitable place to collapse and does so, flopping in the sand or dirt or blankets, leaning back on her elbows and crossing her ankles, admiring the woman.
Leta's singing is not particularly lovely today. But then again, it's not really the sort of song that requires anything approaching training. Why, it's likely meant to be sung a few cups in. The melody's the same as a hundred other drinking songs, and what Leta lacks in careful phrasing perfect pitch she makes up for in enthusiastic volume.
"So I hear an army's out there,
But they don't sound disciplined,
Or it could well be my tummy,
Or a rumor in the wind,
'Cause I was told that this foe,
Is as silent as a mouse.
But a soldier that don't curse
Is not welcome in my house."
And here the little ditty grows louder, into a rousing, hearty chorus, with Leta holding her mug aloft.
"So... Get the fuck outta our city
Slip away without a sound,
Get the fuck out of our city,
Slip away without a sound,
Or we'll make ya cry for mercy,
And then grab another round!"
It's not hard for Tikva to find the tune or to pick up the words of the chorus. She puts the full force of her lungs behind the drinking song as the others begin to pick it up as well, up off her barrel and using the stamp of her boots for accompaniment.
As they continue, Tobias darts his eyes this way and that, that extra vigilant watch keeping his attention. He occasionally moves out of formation as he checks alleys, but otherwise heads back quickly enough as he listens to Leta.
"Aye sir," calls Ywaine to the old man and a grin and a salute at Leta. The big man stamps his boots as he walks along - his way to take part in the music even as he's keeping an eye out with the other men. His eye catches something and he pokes a scout next to him, "Keep an eye on that window, eh?" he tells the private.
Keso arrives, following Aleksei.
Keso leaves, following Aleksei.
Serafine hums along like she's heard it before, and she may have in parts and pieces, and she giggles at the words and what comes next.
The peasants are a mix of bad and terrible, but thumping along and letting Leta do the singing is easy for them. There is a fairly quick shout support when someone in the group starts one. Old Grimminy laughs for his part, stomping a foot on the wagon along with the tune as he guides the mule. It is having mild issues walking in a straight line.
Some people open up windows, a few even light lanterns as you go past. You're still in the lowers on an approach to the uppers, and clearly there are people down here who shouldn't be. So far you've been lucky, in that those who have taken an interest are supportive or just close their shutters.
Leta continues singing, swaying and waving her hat and mug from side to side.
"And I hear that they got powers,
But our gods stand here with us,
And to the Bringers' ugly faces,
Every sound I make's a cuss.
For our walls are high and mighty,
And our steel is strong and true,
And we have ale and we have bread,
To last us the whole year through.
So get on outta our city,
Slip away without a sound,
So get on outta our city,
Slip away without a sound,
Or we'll beat you like ye're drums,
And then call for one more round."
And here there's a pregnant pause. The song's not yet done, but Leta feels the need to take a very big swig from her mug of ale before launching into the finale.
Tikva throws herself with great animation into the singalong at this stage, to the point of filling her lungs and cupping her hands at her mouth for a full-bodied shout as for the pickup on the chorus. Music is clearly not a time for dignity as far as Tikva is concerned.
Tikva shouts from nearby, "ONE MORE ROUND!"
Continuing to say nothing, Tobias watches the people in the windows with a steady gaze as they go. At this point, Tobias is glancing into alleyways as they go, content to walk along. "A lot of song haters here." Tobias quips offhandedly.
Serafine is clapping and laughing, continuing to hum and sing a little, enough alcohol in her to -not- sound terrible.
"Folks hate things that 're good, general," calls Ywaine to his boss with a grin. He's still stomping and will even pause to clap for several long seconds for Leta's song, a whistle. The window turns out to be nothing - a fella playing with the curtains, and once it's clear Ywaine turns his attention to the other windows and balconies and roofs.
Leta finishes her ale, covers her mouth for a moment, then belts out even louder. And here she strikes an attempt at an epic, uplifting delivery!
"And... in war as in pie eating,
It's the one who's fed that wins,
And our warehouses are packed,
With a thousand tons of beans.
So if it's Silence on their banner,
And they want us to be quiet,
They can cut my tongue or close my mouth,
'Cause the other end's a riot!
So you'll hear me sing out courage,
For I know this too shall pass,
And if Bringers follow Silence,
I shall break it with my ass!"
Leta just /yells/ out that last part, standing steady.
"So, get the fuck outta our city..."
And from then on the chorus cheerfully repeats a few times...
Tikva cackles and whoops for the ultimate punchline, stamping through the chorus as she sings out in time. She does not abandon dignity to the point of trying to make fart noises, though. Not this time. Not enough ale first, clearly.
For all the lack of support some showed, there is a larger crowd now. They joined by the ones and twos, taking turns at grabbing some ale and trying to find their spot in the tune. Old Grimminy gives a hooting laugh and loud applause. "Can't say this is my city, but damn fine to be welcome here!" More quietly he says something to Leta, before holding up his hands in mock fear with a grin. Turning to the crowd he calls out again, "We got any other singers tonight?!"
Serafine stands and can't clap loud enough, whistling shrilly, joy in her eyes.
Leta has rolled a critical success!
Leta checked dexterity + athletics against difficulty 20, resulting in 67, 47 higher than the difficulty.
Ugarte arrives, following Aureth.
Ugarte leaves, following Aureth.
"Leta Broadbent, my good man!" the sturdy blonde introduces herself with a cheerful grin and flops the beret back onto her head before she tries to get down from the wagon, stumbling once as she nears the edge, arms held out at her sides. "Wooop..." the inebriated sellsword leans dangerously forward and over the edge, and instead of falling she leaps, tumbles through the air in a somersault and lands on her feet! The landing's wobbly, and she stumbles a few steps over to the side, nearly crashing into Serafine before she catches herself. "Sorry. Sorry!"
"I'll take a crack." Tikva rolls his shoulders, and then springs up onto the stage of the wagon with a hint of a saunter to her athletic leap. She stamps experimentally as though testing it for sound quality. Her smile for Leta is wide, and she claps her hands in the aftermath of her tumble. "I can hear that circulating round the taverns in no time, Mistress Broadbent," she says. "D'you mind if I sing it? With credit, of course. Not right now, obviously. For now I've my own little ditty--"
Tikva checked charm + performance against difficulty 15, resulting in 16, 1 higher than the difficulty.
Leta checked charm against difficulty 7, resulting in 14, 7 higher than the difficulty.
3 Culler Lackeys arrives, following Orathy.
3 Culler Lackeys leaves, following Orathy.
Old Grimminy stands up to give an ovation to Leta's dismount, promptly wobbling and falling over in his seat. He chuckles, fixing his hat before making room for Tikva's performance. "Remember, there ain't any bad songs, just bad audiences!"
Ywaine follows along with the others, glancing left and right and checking rooftops. A gesture now and then to direct a man's attention or to direct his own. A grin at Tikva and Leta and he continues his way down along the street, checking an alleyway and continueing on.
Tikva fills her lungs and stamps out the beat before letting her voice ring out with the bright, familiar tune: sprightly and upbeat as she stamps and bounces around the crown of the wagon; maybe not the finest her voice has ever reached, but certainly with a great and vibrant enthusiasm for her absurd creation. Like so:
"Princess Ribbons rode to war
'Gainst Bringers by the score
And they fall before her blade
Pink as strawb'ry lemonade!
The power shone in her stroke
Gleaming roseate, full of hope
and the Bringer that she struck
Blew apart, well holy fuck--
Princess Ribbons rode to war
boldest, with esprit de corps
conquering hearts left and right
as she raised her shining blade to fight!
But the lady took no prisoners
With no glance at any particulars
She was matchless, unattached
While those Bringers she dispatched
None could claim her, nor dared try
'Twas the fire in those bright blue eyes
While she blew 'em apart, cut 'em in half
Smashed 'em flat and crushed the chaff--"
Griza have been dismissed.
"Feel fre, m'Lady! It's a song for all the people!" Leta says to Tikva with a smile, leaning against the side of the wagon. As the song begins, the sellsword starts clapping her hands, more or less to the beat, and raises her voice along with the rest of the commoner masses, keeping the tune and singing heartily along with a few to the rhymes! The rest of the lyrics she may be unfamiliar with, but she can guess at the ends of verses here and there.
Tikva sings out as she stamps across the wagon stage, tripping back and forth, until she brings her song to its final crescendo: "But a stalwart warrior like our heroine
Need not stand alone, nor no fellow win;
You see, all a girl like that's gotta do is ask
And her boy's gonna to do any wooer's task
So who would Princess Ribbons claim
but the rascalliest blade you could name,
that brightest spark of the Champions' Guild
whose name many a singer's tongue has thrilled?
The slipperiest Prince of the Mirrorguard
Prob'ly oiled up for her bright regard
the finest Lycene swordsmanship might
be a good dower for her bridely delight.
Their swords will dazzle, pink and black
While they're slaying foes back to back
Princess Ribbons rode to war, my dear,
and snatched herself her pretty cavalier."
Her song done, Tikva sketches a bow with a bardic exuberance, regardless of whether there is applause or not -- clearly, there's some in her own head either way -- and so winds her performance to a close.
Mongoose arrives, following Joscelin.
Mongoose leaves, following Joscelin.
Old Grimminy gives Tikva a congratulatory pat on the back, grinning as he goads the crowd to present another challenger.
On the wagon goes, on the music continues, well across the evening and on into the night. While people come and go from the group, no bringers, shavs, or anything else make their presence known to harass the impromptu rowdy pilgrimage through the city.
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