Red Dragon Inn
Dreamweaver's Lair => WestEnd => Gharnholme => Topic started by: Cieara DeAuster on December 03, 2013, 03:47:57 PM
[size=18]"Music is a moral law.
It gives soul to the universe,
wings to the mind,
flight to the imagination,
and charm and gaiety
to life and to everything."
- Plato [/size]
The flame undulated, then paused. Only to flare again before it twisted in a silent dance. Luminescent pale emerald eyes watched from a short distance away while her thoughts drifted aimlessly for the moment. Around her, there was an array of finery. From the opulent furnishings and the gilded guests that graced the party she was attending. The low drone of conversation teased her senses. The lilting tones of her mother's language was different from what she was used to, but it was still soothing. Songs from her childhood were recalled before she turned to smile at her cousin. Sorcha did not look to be at all happy. Her expression was a stoic mask that resembled cold marble.
Sorcha wore a lovely gown of deep plum with dark Elven spun lace the only decorative element. Unlike most in attendance both were wearing a slimmer skirt. Following the Mercivian styling of a simpler, classic fashion. Cieara knew that, like her mother, Sorcha was also well armed as was she for it simply was their way.
Muttering the other woman shot a look around that to the unobservant, would seem serene enough, but for Cieara she felt the barely contained irritation the other couldn't completely hide. ?Tis a waste of my time.? Sorcha muttered almost inaudible.
?Ye did nae need to accompany me to this event, Sorcha. I did say that to ye earlier. I am quite capable of taking care of myself generally. ? Cieara's tone was light, lacking censor, just a reminder of an earlier conversation. ?I nae understand why Bronwyn insisted I attend. Something about a certain musician she wanted me to hear. I promise ye cousin, the moment the music is over we shall depart.?
If anything this seemed to create further agitation within Sorcha. It was but a second of temper flared in her eyes but was quickly banked, which was followed with a short nod.
?One day, I shall ask ye why ye are so tense over such things. Nae tonight of course.? Again that soft, nonthreatening tenor used as Cieara turned and moved towards an open door. The mint green silk rustled softly with her movements. ?For now, let us find a place to sit and get some air. Tis my understanding we are to mingle for a time before the main event starts. I am nae in the mood for too much socializing.?
The air was cool and soothing against her skin after the more stuffy interior. There was that faint scent of rain in the air. Cieara could feel the energy building, there was a storm creeping their way and she felt sure that if not for the sound of laughter and conversation spilling from the Manor house doors, the low growl of thunder would be heard. That slow rumbling wave steadily coming closer.
It was apparent that Sorcha was already starting to relax. Perhaps it was the crowds that bothered the woman, Cieara thought to herself. Taking a seat upon a stone bench under an array of hanging candles she looked over at her companion. From the way her cousin was peering upwards she didn't need to ask if Sorcha felt that curling power that was still unreleased.
?So tell me Sorcha, what is this musical recital about? I was told it was based upon old legends but I an nae familiar with the tales of this land but for the few shared by my Mum.? Plucking a small golden flower from a nearby arrangement. The delicate bloom twirled gently in her fingers.
If anything Sorcha's expression darkened even further at the question but when she replied, none of what she may be feeling could be detected in her tone. ?Tis an array of poetry set to tunes based off the bard tales of old Zymire. Often one might call them fables, for they border on the fantastical. Best suited to children or fools. ?
?Tis stories of the old gods and the Palace of Mist. Of romance, jealousy, betrayal. Stories born of victory and defeat and of the many residents that reside there to this day. It is the history of life but on a grander scale.? Words offered with dramatic flair as an older elf emerged from the darker edges of the elegant gardens. His accent was slightly different then most Cieara had met. Not quite Zymirian, but she was unable to determine where he may be from. His manner of dress hinted that he was a comfortable member of the selected guests, but most of those around tended to be more sedate then he by far.
?Ah, I see and ye are?? Her auburn head inclined politely, but she was mildly surprised that he had managed to sneak up on them both like that. Such a talent did not go unnoticed by either of them for the frown upon Sorcha's fine visage was apparent.
A flourish of a bow then followed along with a charming smile. ?I am Talyesan, Bardic Lord of our lovely regent.? He dipped his graying head low in a respectful fashion. ?Forgive my intrusion, but your companion seemed determined to color ye view of tonight's performance in a less then glowing way. This is part of our heritage. Our stories teach us all about where we come from. Tis hardly fare for ?children? or ?Fools? only.?[/size]
[size=18]?Music, when soft voices die, vibrates in the memory.?
― Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Complete Poems [/size]
[size=16]Cieara glanced over at Sorcha for a moment but the woman had retained her mask once more. Her emotions were contained and made it impossible to read her in any way. Letting the small flower fall from her fingers Cieara regarded the man curiously. ?I nae know of these tales but for a few. My mum is from here, and shared a a couple of the fairy-tales she knew, but I learned more about my own home and it's unique histories and fables.? Brilliant pale green eyes shimmered in the glow of candles, catlike for a moment before she smiled. ?Tell me Milord Bard, what tale shall ye spin this night??
Ice blue eyes shifted between the two woman. Shrewd and sharp and there even seemed to be a hint of caution before he bestowed another charming grin towards Cieara, having determined her to be the safer, or perhaps more receptive of the two. ?Tonight I shall spin a tale called ?The Shadows Dance?. It shall enthrall the listeners as it shares the story of the Dark Lady of the Midnight Forge and the King of Shadows.?
For a moment Cieara tensed, with a faint narrowing of her gaze while beside her Sorcha offered a faint, yet unmistakably less then ladylike snort. ?I be knowing that story and there is nary a shred of proof that it be a ?History? of any sort. Tis' about potentially fictional beings that may have never been. A mere moral fancy designed to teach others the dangers of their ways.? The darker woman stated with a light tossing of her chocolate brown head.
Obviously it was an actual story told through out the realm of Zymire. Not one she knew of course but for a moment Cieara had been suspicious of the unusual gentleman. She still felt a need for some caution but her demeanor remained relaxed. ?Sounds harmless enough Sorcha. Even the bards of Cisroe sing such tales.?
?Aye, every land has their own legends to teach and share.? Talyesan added while adjusting the cuffs of his multicolored coat. The motion sending light dancing upon the glimmering garment. ?I am familiar with yer Cisroe. I went there once as a very young and impressionable youth. I even studied at the Grand Library and other less savory locals of that much lauded city. Many a story, legend and history untold lives within those hallowed, stone walls.?
?Indeed. My father is having many such tales found in the Grand Library copied by talented scribes. A time consuming task to be sure, however he plans to share them with Zymire's library, Malarid's Keepers of History and the Tignus Repository of Knowledge.? A glance over at Sorcha, who seemed less inclined to be social then was normal.
?Such a generous offering speaks of a man of understanding. One can never know when disaster may befall their lands. Tis' thought that much was lost due to the Time Before Memory when our world fell into the eternal night for a time.? A hand lifted and held with palm outwards and then he bowed again to the two ladies. ?Alas, tis' time for me to prepare. I do hope ye both enjoy the entertainment to come shortly.? Before either could even offer a reply he had strode off, leaving a rather baffled Cieara watching. [/size]
[size=18]?Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart..?
― Pablo Casals [/size]
[size=16]?An odd fellow eh Sorcha?? Cieara's auburn head turned to regard her cousin. Sorcha was wearing a minor frown as she also watched him disappear into the house and was quickly out of sight. ?I am familiar with the term ?The Time before Memory? but I nae knew the world had been cast into an extended period of night. I can only assume that is what he meant.?
A light huff before Sorcha turned and gazed at Cieara for a moment. ?Nae everyone is aware of all the details of that time Cieara. He could be spinning yet another yarn, or mayhaps it is true. Either way tis in the past and hardly matters now.? The tone was light but held a hint that she wasn't in the best of moods.
?My father has been known to say that ?One must learn from our past history, or we shall be doomed to repeat it.? A phrase I always thought to be terribly wise and cautionary. Perhaps that is why I find such stories and possible legends based on truth or what some think to be truth having much value.? Cieara stated candidly. ?I am nae as familiar with all the history of Zymire, only what little they have allowed others to know, but I find I am still curious. I believe the fables, fairytales, as ye call them, and legends are as much a part of my home as historical facts and offers a much broader understanding of the people because of them.?
?Aye, ye may perhaps be correct about that Cieara.? Sorcha replied. ?I learned some time ago that while young and full of dreams such tales and stories are gold dust that dance within our memories, yet when the harsh light of reality strikes, they lose their luster.? There was a sudden tightness in the elf's fine features as she then fell silent.
Before Cieara could ask her companion to explain such a curious statement, the bells started to chime from within, alerting the guest it was time to find a seat for the evenings performance. ?Come cousin, let us return to the festivities. We can speak more about this later.? Rising up from where she had been seated she smiled to Sorcha and soon the pair were gliding back inside.[/size]
[size=18]?Music is the moonlight in the gloomy night of life.?
― Friedrich Richter[/size]
[size=16]Lady Mindora Taerris was well known as one of the leading Social forces within the Zymirian courts and took her role very seriously. She was a slender elf, with the usual dark hair that was common for her people. Her pretty features and warm, friendly crystal blue eyes were always welcoming along with a genuine demeanor that everyone found charming. Her parties were grand events and she took time to know her guests. This night she was quick to find Cieara and Sorcha and gently guided them to the front row. It was an oddly curious thing, but perhaps it was common for visiting dignitaries to be given such deferential treatment, Cieara thought. Then again, she was still not yet used to the whole business of diplomacy or her titles, which she tried to ignore for the most part.
Idly toying with a lace fan, Cie glanced around as others settled into place behind them. She caught snatches of conversation. Mostly of some very mundane things such as what Lady Dunndera was wearing or Lord Kafel's new post. There was a bit of chatter about the coming musical event and even the sharing of gossip about the Queen, an heir and thoughts about who her latest consort was. For the most part it was fairly normal for parties of such noble mingling. Beside her Sorcha sat, elegant and still as a statue, an unyielding figure in the sea of finery.
?Ye nae like these social situations at all do ye Sorcha?? Cieara asked softly with a leaning of her auburn head towards her cousin.
?Ye be right about that Cieara.? Came the instant response along with a side glance of stormy turquoise eyes and a micro tightening of her lips.
Luminous pale green eyes met Sorcha's with a light of curiosity left open in their radiant depths. ?Why? Are these nae ye own people??
?Nae, they are not ?my people?. They are perhaps of my social class but what ye see here is only the surface Cieara. Dig deeper and ye start to find it is nae as shiny and pretty as the facade may indicate. Ask ye mother about it, for she has knowledge same as I on such matters.? A jaded glittering reflected back in the gaze that met Cieara's along with a equally sardonic curling of Sorcha's lips. ?Tis a case of what ye see is nae always what yet get and I am all to well aware of it. Always remember that navigating these waters is likely more dangerous then what ye have found on any battlefield.?
That last statement brought a soft, melodic bubbling of laughter from Cieara. ?Now ye are starting to sound like my Father, Sorcha. He enjoys the battles and conquering as he claims that is easier, but nae likes all the social duties and obligations of a King that comes from it.?
?Aye, but while there is certain intrigues to be found at most court functions, ye father has managed to root out the worst within his own. Here, there are few that I can claim to be redeemable. Our queen is gracious, but she is nae willing to be ruthless with her social garden ye might say. ? There was an edge in her quietly spoken words that spoke volumes to Cieara. Sorcha has been a victim of Zymirian society and it had left it's mark to be sure.
A startled look as Cieara gently gave a pat to one of Sorcha's gloved hands, and for a split second there was a surprised vulnerability to be found upon her normally aloof visage before she glanced away. That momentary lapse quickly repaired.
Before Cieara could continue, the horns blew upon the stage before them with the swaying of deep rich blue velvet as they slowly opened before them. It was a small orchestra assembled, with Talyesan taking on the role of conductor's. At the forefront a small Elven woman with blue-black hair woven with diamonds. Her gown was simple. Dark midnight blue with tiny shimmering stars sewn into the luxurious fabric. Beside her another elf stood wearing a coat made of the same cloth as the lady. His black hair was shorter but tousled in a manner that had to be on purpose. They made a striking looking couple standing there, with light playing upon their elegant forms.
They were introduced but Cieara wouldn't remember their names past the performance. Perhaps over time she might but for now, she found herself quickly drawn into the unfolding tale with both wonder and delight. [/size]
[size=18]?How is it that music can, without words, evoke our laughter, our fears, our highest aspirations??
- Jane Swan[/size]
[size=16]The lights fell in silence, casting only the orchestra in a dim glow, small shimmering particles drifted, creating a surrealistic ambiance to the scene. The first soft airy tones which had started low, slowly, almost casually rose to caress the senses in a dreamy cloud. The singers moved into place and soon their voices joined the instruments already in play. A blending of magic and fantasy of the story unfolding.
Zymirian music was unique for it's melodies were often layered and intricate. The beat and time of the tunes often compared to that of a beating heart. Some claimed it spoke of a passionate people, where as others believed it gave but a small glimpse into a race of elves who had not forgotten their roots. Theirs was a celebration of life and all the many facets of it and that was found within the rich tones and elegant rhythms.
Before Cieara's eyes the images danced with the light of those tiny stars and playing of color. They were hazy at first, almost tentative before they eventually coalesce into an astonishing vision. It was if she was there as a witness to what had transpired long, long ago when this world was a different place.
With every soft note, the rise and fall of the haunting melody the story was told. Every lift and cleft of time played with magical perfection. It drew in those listening with ease and left them with a sense of wonderment and awe that would be remembered long afterwards. Later, she would have to ponder upon the magics used, but for the moment she was transfixed and perhaps even enchanted with performance as it unfolded before them.
Zymirians believed that the Gods of old were the first to live upon the pristine surface of Carowyn. They grew into their mythos over time and developed their powers. They were the ones that had come before all others and most honored their wisdom and knowledge through worship. While other realms across the planet all had their own rituals, in Zymire, they gave blessings to their ancestors who were now treated as deities. Many even believed that some may still walk among them, as it was said they were the grand Immortals of the Palace of Mists.
Each had their own stories to tell and this was but one of hundreds still known to their people. A small, tiny part of a more intricate puzzle that made up the whole. Their legends were rich with intrigues and mystery. Rife with betrayal, war, love and more. Lessons were taught. morals shared and most remained having stood the test of time through the ages. [/size]
[size=18]?Music, once admitted to the soul, becomes a sort of spirit, and never dies.?
― Edward Bulwer-Lytton[/size]
[size=16]Here is that story as told from the annuals of Zymirian History:
In the early days before the dawn of time and days, those that came before walked the lands. Each had their duty to perform and such was the first of days. As we see now so it was then that they sought the company of others. In those more tales would be born along with the children that would follow.
Alliances were made and agreements offered and in time the pairing of the first would occur. Aesin, God of the Sun and Virien, Goddess of Night, were the wisest of them all and thus their choice of mate was expected. Others followed with the merging of strength, knowledge and even power.
Ceidwynn, Goddess of Shadow, was encouraged by her brother Cenarran, God of Death, to align herself with Tamesis who would take up the mantle of the God of War. Bowing to the wise council of her elder sibling it came to pass. This was not a love match but as a pairing they were suited well enough. Time passed, with the days fading into night and below the grand Palace of Mist the world was crafted by the wills of many.
Creatures multiplied and the cycle of life spilled forth. From the humans to the Elves, dwarves, drow, Orcs, goblins, dragons and many more now started to populate the carefully cultivated world. Fledgling races all starting out and growing into thought and understanding.
Tamesis had a wandering eye. His attentions shifted like the ways of the wind when it came to matters of passion. His frequent dalliances were expected by Ceidwynn who simply left him to his latest interest without complaint. There agreement was such that promises of the heart had not ever been required.
As was the way of things the young goddess did eventually meet one who caught her attention. Not of any pantheon but he was unique. The first of the shadow walkers. She sought his favor and in the process they fell in love.
The story unfolded as such tales will with the surprise of a child and then the fury of a god, who felt betrayed. Never mind the many times he himself had followed his own desires. Or the multitude of his own offspring that populated the world below, Tamsis did not care to be reminded of his own infidelities for to him, such things were different. Indeed, Ceidwynn was hardly willing to bow to his fury. It was said that the very heavens shook with their battle. In the end, she could not save her child or the one she loved for Tamesis in his rage spat forth a curse. A punishment to those who were actually innocent of any transgression against the God of War.
Ceidwynn's lover, Kallen, was cast into the realm of shadows along with their child and she was unable to stop it. The curse had effectively tied her own hands. She could not seek either out as that could effectively kill them and vice versa. It is said that to this very day she has yet to forgive Tamesis.
Of course with every curse, there is a cure. Sadly such a thing never was discovered. Tis said that the storms at night are the omens of weeping by the somber goddess of shadow and forgeflame.
As for Tamesis, he too felt the sting of punishment. When it was discovered that there was no way to remove the curse upon Ceidwynn and her loved ones, the pantheon in unison returned upon the God their own judgment and sentence. It was said that whom ever may capture his eye would now turn away from him shunning him forever. He could no longer collect the innocent hearts of any of the younger races. He would remain alone and in darkness until his curse was broken.
The legend that remains claims that the curse remains intact and on dark nights when the slow steady fall of rain beats a pattern upon the window pane, it is the tears of the Goddess who mourns what she lost.
As the last note of the story faded a hushed silence fell upon the attendance. After a few moments there was an audible breath in unison. That first low drone of conversation started to swell and in seconds the roar of applause followed. The singers and the composer, Talyesan took their bows as the thunderous accolades continued for more then a few moments.
Cieara followed suit even as her eyes still shone with the residual effects of the magical display and a soft, low laugh drifted from her lips. She had been spellbound by the story and was still adrift in that dreamy haze. Beside her, Sorcha was feeling the same effects, but was perhaps a touch quicker in her recovery. ?Tis obvious as to why he is the Queen's bard.? The words spoken soft and quiet as mildly glazed blue-green eyes shifted to meet Cieara's.
?Indeed. It was most impressive to be sure.? Cieara's own tone was just as gentle as a hand lifted to tuck a wayward russet curl behind a tapered pointed ear. Around them others were also returning to normal and soon the airy sound of quiet laughter and comments broke through the earlier mist of music and magics. [/size]
[size=14]?After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.?
― Aldous Huxley, Music at Night and Other Essays[/size]
[size=16]?So, do ye think the plan worked Talyesan?? Tension held sway in the honeyed tones of the black haired woman that stood in the balcony doorway. Behind her one of the three moons of Carowyn lost it's light behind the dark cloud that enfolded it. The wind carried the light scent of lilac and smoke and sent the diaphanous gown she wore fluttering at it's touch.
The ancient paused and then turned to gaze upon the woman without a smile that normally rested upon his visage. ?I believe the tale has piqued her curiosity My Lady. If she is as rumor claims, she is certain to dig deeper.? He heaved a deep, tired sigh as the composer's hand rose to rub the tight cords of his neck. ?I have planted the seeds.?
He dared not use a full blown compulsion spell upon the young princess, else he would draw the wrath of her family. Tal was quite aware of just how dangerous the DeWil's were, all on their own. It was also said that her father, DeAuster, Sovereign of Mercivya, was beyond merely ruthless making him also a potentially dangerous threat. So, the old Zymirian mage had to be very clever and very careful else he would become a target.
An indrawn breath heavy with sadness hung in the night as she drifted closer with a hand laying upon his stooped shoulder. ?Did you see him dear Talyesan??
?Nae My Lady, but I did sense him nearby. He guards her.? He straightened at the touch as if the weight of years was drawn from his form and another sigh, one of quiet relief issued from his lips.
?Aye, he chose to take that role.? That lingering sorrow made it's own music in her voice as she gently touched Talyesan's cheek with delicate fingers and smiled into his radiant eyes. ?Thank you my dear one. We now can but leave this in the hands of The Erias.?
It was a certain ironic laughter that moved him with a twinkling in ice blue eyes that lifted to meet the radiant golden gaze of the lady. ?The Fates, such as they are can be the most fickle of all the Gods, my dear, one should have care when calling upon ?their? favor.?
?Ah, but ye forget my dearest. They owe me one after all.?
[size=9]Continued here: http://rdi.dragonsmark.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=27217 "The Shadows Dance Adventure"[/size]