This log includes the Finals performances and presentation of the winners of the Spring Festival of Orfeo, held in House Aspis, Friday, April 18, 1997. Those performing include: Lady Sincerity, Lord Wxuuan, Lady Melodie, Atalya, Lady Ylena, Lord Quiet, Lady Morgatha, Cinnamon, Terrenth, Lady Kerrithan, and Lady Elysia. Bevan says, "Good gentles, welcome to the finals of the Spring Festival of Orfeo ..." Bevan says, "We have for your listening pleasure tonight the finest performers in the land who aren't me" Bevan says, "Our theme for tonight's performances is of Drinking Songs ..." Bevan says, "For which the eleven performers before you tonight will sing for the grand prize, the Cloak of Orfeo ..." Bevan removes a white wool cloak with a topaz and opal clasp and a golden lyre embroidered on the shoulder from inside his herbalist's satchel. Bevan rubs a white wool cloak with a topaz and opal clasp and a golden lyre embroidered on the shoulder. Bevan says, "Which as the Grand Prize will belong to the champion for six months until the Fall Festival in November." Bevan exclaims, "Without further ado, to open the finals, in the Master category ... the defending Champion, Lady Sincerity ... !" Lady Sincerity's Performance: (Sincerity carefully makes her way to the make-shift stage at one end of the room. She climb the stairs and disappears for a moment behind theheavy velvet curtain. You hear some moving and crashing sounds.) (Sincerity carefully makes her way to the make-shift stage at one end of the room. She climb the stairs and disappears for a moment behind theheavy velvet curtain. You hear some moving and crashing sounds.) (Sincerity comes out from the wings dragging a heavy modwir podium to the center of the stage. It has a small step attached and has a magnificent carving of a dragon with wings spread wide on its front.) Sincerity pants. (Sincerity eyes the podium making sure it is exactly center.) Sincerity furrows her brow. (Sincerity nudges it slightly to the right.) Sincerity nods. (Sincerity steps up to the podium and removes an exquisite double necked lute from her cloak. She cradles it with as much tender care as one would show a child. She secures it around her neck by means of a velvet brocade strap.) Sincerity takes out a seashell comb and begins to carefully comb her hair and in general to tidy up a bit. (Sincerity pulls her hair back into a severe bun giving her an austere look.) Sincerity clears her throat. (Sincerity hands alight upon her lute strings as a hummingbird would upon aflower but the music that issues forth is not light but a heavy funereal tone, droning a mournful march.) Sincerity smiles serenely but tinged with an unmistakeable edge of judgement and looks deep into your eyes. Its almost as if she not only sees butknows your secret sins. You give a small shudder. Sincerity sings: "All ye brethren! Gather round me! Sisters! Hark to my woeful tale! Cleric, but pawn of destiny, Ruined by demon known as Ale!" (Sincerity looks out into the audience with an impassioned fiery gaze. Hermusic in forceful counterpoint to her words.) Sincerity sings: "Aye! I know you walk the true path, Avoid tempation when you can! So too did I and always hath, Revered as High Priest Kharnaban!" (Sincerity leans slighty over the podium in such a manner that the slight elevation makes it appear as if she looms over you.) Sincerity sings: "Then did I preach of temperance In high temper righteous wrought! Drink's bane! At drunkards look'd askance! But my diligence cameto naught..." Sincerity frowns. Sincerity sings: "As sure as Sheru's tool it toiled, Robbing men of will and e'enmind, It left mine soul tarnished and soiled My purpose left in dust behind." (Sincerity has apparently worked herself into a wild-eyed evangelical fury.Each stanza is almost a physical blow. Suddenly the music quiets,she bows her head and whispers a penetrating entreaty.) Sincerity sings: "Bend your ear to this epistle, Listen and I'll reveal all truth. But first...drink to wet the whistle Will loose tongue! Verily! Forsooth!" (Sincerity looks up with a unabashed grin plastered across her face. She merrily steps out from behind the huge podium and segues her melody into a still recognizable but whimsical variation on her prior piece.) Sincerity sings: "Glug! Glug! I drink to mine health! I'll drink to yours too! Hic! Hic! Regardless of the next morning we'll rue! Heal! Heal! Ale will cure what ales you! I promise you!" Sincerity smiles sardonically as she steps into the crowd. Her cloak billowinggently behind her as she moves about singing with mock earnestness. Sincerity sings: "Missionary to Teras Isle, Twas where I met my doom'ed fate! Aye, on saintly quest all the while Tis where I stopped to thirst abate.." (Sincerity still delivers her tale with a prohpet's intensity but there is now no mistaking the hint of sarcasm that runs through it.) Sincerity sings: "Stepped into innocuous Inn With rhetoric as rank befits Met deafness of unadmitted sin. Met also unholy spirits!" Sincerity smiles sternly as she pauses right in front of you! She sings her next refrain as an obvious chastisement as if you'd not been listening! Sincerity sings: "Sea voyage, see? Had not been quiet, Rations and rough waters ill met To make a not wished for diet, Reaching land with scurvy beset!" (Sincerity pats her stomach.) A pained expression crosses Sincerity's face. Sincerity sings: "A doughty dwarf saw my poor plight And approached me with ale in hand. I returned his gaze aghast at sight, Of "cure" I did not understand." Sincerity gasps. Sincerity blinks. (Sincerity takes a couple of beats to gaze about in mock horror which meltsinto a gleeful smirk. She crouches down as she tromps about, briefly assuming the gait and rough voice of a dwarf.) Sincerity sings: "Glug! Glug! Drink! 'Twill heal your ills! I swear! And mine too! Hic! Hic! Your bleeding gums will be as good as new! Wink! Wink! If not...I'll convert! This I promise you!" (Sincerity bends to her music with a will. It leaps and jumps from scale to scale and its volume threatens to unseat a bric a brac or two.) Sincerity sings: "I gambled with a soul's salvation Instead lost mine along the way. I made the deal. Revelation! He had spoke truth that curs'ed day!" (Sincerity mocks her own words by the comical pout with which she mouths them.) Sincerity sings: "I held the Dark Swampwater Ale. With trembling hands I drank itdry. Indeed, then taste of swamps assail! But teeth did rot no more! No lie!" Sincerity smiles evilly. Sincerity sings: "Twas then I thought, "This goodly drink! Cannot then be all bad!" Alas... So turned I did not stop to think What of folly might come to pass." Sincerity sighs insincerely. Sincerity sings: "Glug! Glug! Drink to my gout! And I'll drink to yours too! Hic! Hic! I say! Give me more...of this magic brew! Heal! Heal! I'll stop when I'm well! This I swear to you!" (Sincerity moves unerringly about the crowd as she sings stepping on neither foot nor cloak. Infectious joy radiates off her as she almost skips about.) Sincerity sings: "An onslaught of liquor paraded... Dogwater Ale did take my gout! Truly dog that bit me! Not sated I fixed all mine ills, no doubt!" (Sincerity nods vigorously and takes a moment as she comes by to tap you onthe nose!) Sincerity winks. Sincerity sings: "Some Semaks Smooth to close my chin (When owner I'd called uncooth)... Aged Schooner to put eye back in (When his wife I'd called un-cute)..." (Sincerity takes a deep breath before beginning the refrain and slows just enough as if in invitation for you to sing along.) Sincerity sings: "Glug! Glug! Drink to anything! And your little dog too! Hic! Hic! I'd give right arm for drink thats what I'll do! Bleed! Bleed! Clear way laddie! Let a one armed man through!" Sincerity hiccups! Sincerity blushes a nice shade of off-pink. Sincerity smiles fades as she momentarily becomes somber once more. Her hands play heavily on the lute and the echo of the initial dirge is heard once more. Sincerity sings: "Thats how I came to sorry end A bloody mess of barroom stink. Now that you've heard my story, friend..." Sincerity sings: "...Buddy, won't you buy me a drink?" Sincerity smiles at you expectantly. She then quickly switches to the merrier base line once again. Sincerity sings: "Glug! Glug! Drink to mine health! And I'll drink to yours too! Hic! Hic! I'd die for a drink and that I might do! Heal! Heal! Ale will cure what ales you! I promise you!" Sincerity removes a ruddy crimson nose from inside her sapphire cloak. Sincerity puts on a ruddy crimson nose. Sincerity taps a ruddy crimson nose. Sincerity curtsies. Sincerity recites: "Amen" (Sincerity pushes the podium back into the wings and resumes her seat.) Bevan says, "Thank you, my lady ... for our next performer, in the Journeyman category ... Wxuuan, pray delight us with your skill" Lord Wxuuan's Performance: Wxuuan asks, "hmm?" (Wxuuan looks up from his side conversation with one of the serving youths. He looks bemused...) Wxuuan asks, "WHAT? ye haven't heard the tale of The Kidnapping of Sir Harold?" (Wxuuan grins widely... his eyes twinkling in glee..) Wxuuan says, "then bear thy drink..." (Wxuuan motions to the lad to quit his labors and take a seat with the rest of the audience.) (Wxuuan moves toward the back of the room where he picks up a chair andsets it down in full view.) (Wxuuan makes a motion with his fingers toward you pulling inward.) (Wxuuan bears out a small silvery flute out of a glove. He plays a single note before slipping it back into the white recesses.) Wxuuan says, "ahem." Wxuuan sings: "Have you heard of Sir Harold, of wagging tale so bright? A fierce companion during the day, Laranna's protector at all goodnight." Wxuuan sings: "A stalwart furry soul, of huggable redeem And quite a dancer I've been told! A shaggy silly dream." Wxuuan smiles whimsically and you suddenly feel yourself striking mugs, glasses, and whatever (or whoever) is available to keep with the tune. Wxuuan sings: "But what of his dissapearance you say? I can see you hands move to tapping... Then grab these tankards of demon rum, While I tellof Sir Harold's kidnapping." (Wxuuan motions and several barrels roll into the room already tapped. Large foamy mugs are sloshed throughout the room and into your waiting hands.) Wxuuan sings: "It was a glorious day, the kind that move hearts to create... When Sir Harold met with long-haired soul, a rolton soul-mate." (Wxuuan clenches his side... nearly tearing this sack into bits as ye yanks it off his belt.) Wxuuan sings: "Their hearts were moved to sniffing, and playing as would do right, But unbeknowst to the loving pair, evil thoughts had met the sight." Wxuuan sings: "Corner-lipped, Burlap in hand, did these eyes greedy ponder... A rolton flank, a Harold shank! Did his lips begin to saunter..." (Wxuuan moves towards you... hand set to grasping..) Wxuuan sings: "At Lady's turned back... his hands began to reach A roltons wail! A soul-mate's flail... and begging to beseech..." (Wxuuan plucks the cap off the startled youth's head... and stuffs it into the bag...) Wxuuan sings: "M'lady's eyes turned back at once... in hope to see good fun, But instead of two dancing in joy, she touched her fingers... but one!" (Wxuuan holds up his index finger with mouth wide..) Wxuuan removes some black demon rum from inside his slim white boots. (Wxuuan raises his rum in a toast!) Wxuuan says, "So..." Wxuuan sings: "Toast to Good Sir Harold... Toast him into the night...." Wxuuan sings: "Toast him with friends at your side To wake by warm sunlight..." Wxuuan sings: "And if you find a furry face Licking ya at the dawn..." Wxuuan sings: "You'll know good Harold's blessed this keg that we do drink upon!" Wxuuan sings: "Harold did tear at canvas bare... which had engulfed his skies, With Muffled cries and tearful sighs. All seemed lost and dim..." Wxuuan smiles excitedly as he glances about at the rows of mugs swinging back and forth in beat.. Wxuuan sings: "But good Harold bearing mind... that would strengthen any man, Rested thoughtfully in borne prison... and began to stealthy plan." Wxuuan sings: "The thief rested in happy pleasure... his desire with happy greed, Soon cultery would be displayed, and revelry with his feed..." (Wxuuan raises his sack high in the air in joy, lips greedily smacking together.) Wxuuan sings: "But still was the object... which bore that stolen treasure... Had it died? The thief now sighed... robbing him of wanted pleasure." (Wxuuan shakes the bag several times in succession, as if nervously waiting for something to occur.) Wxuuan sings: "His mind went racing... his hands sweaty... he felt his heart grow weak. Just a look... a single glance... an itsy bitsy peek." (Wxuuan shakingly takes a brief look into his sack..) Wxuuan sings: "A tiny flash of light... into that bag did send, And rolton mind.... with thoughts on hind... took opportunity there and then." (Wxuuan 's eyes grow wide as he flings the sack away in terror.) Wxuuan sings: "Did scream the sorry scoundrel, with Rolton locked on pants The dinner guest, his anger test... did make for running dance..." (Wxuuan screams loudly and leaps out of his chair...) Wxuuan sings: "An instructive godling... heard the screams as they came Rolton pulled from buttocks full... an anger less then tame." (Wxuuan grimaces and makes a pulling motion with his hands... once...twice.. and then throws his arms back as if the in sudden suprise..) Wxuuan sings: "Did flee the injured thief, from bungled dinner meal Still tensed... from welted underpants... bits missing did he feel." (Wxuuan reaches back and winces...and then his face breaks out into a grin...) Wxuuan says, "So..." Wxuuan sings: "Toast to Good Sir Harold... Toast him into the night...." Wxuuan sings: "Toast him with friends at your side To wake by warm sunlight..." Wxuuan sings: "And if you find a furry face Licking ya at the dawn..." Wxuuan sings: "You'll know good Harold's blessed these kegs we do drink upon!" Wxuuan sings: "The Elder Gods in watch, did see this occurance most merry, But to fools who break their rules, punishment did not tarry..." (Wxuuan slips behind the chair..) (Wxuuan looks down at the chair's seat and sticks his finger straight-down into the center of it...) Wxuuan sings: "The thief saddened at this lost, but happy for near-completed sin, Asquiended to his chambers, And awoke in kobold skin." Wxuuan sings: "Unbeknowst of his new form, he wondered down the stairs, Content in treachery, unheeding of gaping stares." (Wxuuan drains his foamy repast.... and grabs another in bliss...) Wxuuan sings: "Head held high, he sauntered into the sun, And into a mass of Elthaina youth, Who found kobolds to be quite fun!" Wxuuan sings: "Head held high, he sauntered into the sun, And into a mass of Elthaina youth, Who found kobolds to be quite fun!" Wxuuan sings: "Invasion! they cried fiercely, and unshealthed their longswords slim, The thief grew confused and then set pale... They were talking about him!" Wxuuan removes a shimmering thin-bladed longsword from inside his leather ankle sheath. Wxuuan sings: "Foul Murderers he screamed... as they chased him though the town... But his words leaped out as barks... fearfully glancing at hands held down." Wxuuan sings: "Screaming out the front gates.... he fled our hungry kin. Through Elthanian wilds.. unto unwavering din." (Wxuuan drains the second mug... calling for another.. and happily returns to his seat..) Wxuuan sings: "Some say he just dissapeared... others are not quite so hasty, All I can say of his ending... " Wxuuan sings: "....is that roa'ters find kobolds quite tasty." (Wxuuan sets his mug down and wipes his foam-ridden lips...) Wxuuan asks, "And good Harold?" (Wxuuan grins as the sailing mugs stop for a brief instant.) Wxuuan sings: "Good Harold was returned to M'lady... with good form and happyhurry.. A great furry soul. The bells did toll. To dinner of kobold curry." Wxuuan hiccups! Wxuuan says, "So...." Wxuuan sings: "Toast to Good Sir Harold... Toast him into the night...." Wxuuan sings: "Toast him with friends at your side To wake by warm sunlight..." Wxuuan sings: "And if you find a furry face Licking ya at the dawn..." Wxuuan sings: "You'll know good Harold's blessed this keg that we do drink upon!" (Wxuuan ruffles the hair of the youth before setting the cap back on his head.) Wxuuan says, "and that... is the tale... of the Kidnapping of Sir Harold." Bevan says, "In the Master's category ... Lady Melodie, pray grace us with your skills, this eve" Lady Melodie's Performance: Melodie says, "Most of you do not know, but upon my arrival in the Landing, I worked at the Raging Thrak." Melodie smiles. Melodie says, "This song is about those times, just after the loss of my family." Melodie says, "I dedicate it to my father and mother, who loved me as a child." Melodie says, "And to my husband Morte, who loves the woman I have become." (Melodie curtsies to the judges and to the audience, then slowly slumps her shoulders as though the weight of the world is bearing down upon her. She aimlessly rubs a cloth across the surface of the dining table, pushing back a loose strand of her long, golden hair with a tired hand.) (Melodie sighs, glancing around her, without meeting anyone's eyes. She nods and musters a weary smile.) Melodie says, "Anon, good sir, I'll bring you another." Melodie offers Bevan a cup of herbal tea. Bevan accepts Melodie's herbal tea. Melodie sings: "Is this all that I've become? Someone that you call upon A young and quiet tavern wench You call to have your crude thirst quenched?" Bevan takes a drink from his herbal tea. (Melodie bobs a quick curtsy and waves as though bidding the last patrons farewell. Melodie shuts and bars an imaginary door, then turns her back towards it with a sigh of relief.) Melodie sings: "In all the time that I've been here I've overcome some of my fear Of men who cannot hold their ale Whose grasp is strong and breath is stale." Melodie sings: "The hours pass by all too slow I cannot wait for them to go For when they do, then I am free And can release this misery..." Melodie sings: "...in Dance." Melodie takes off a faded turquoise scarf. Melodie drops a faded turquoise scarf. (Melodie rolls her shoulders backwards, stretching tentatively. Almost furtively, she glances around the room before she pulls a worn tambourine from a hiding place beneath the table and lovingly unfurls its frayed ribbons. Tapping the surface softly, Melodie closes her eyes and stands on her bare toes, drumming her fingers in an increasingly louder and faster beat.) Melodie sings: "In early morn when they are through Return to homes as I once knew Then no more am I just a lass Who brings more ale to fill their glass." Melodie sings: "I...... ......Dance!" (Melodie gives the tambourine a quick, hard thump, then arches her back and glides forward sinuously, as a cat stretching itself after a nap. The scarves of her gown intertwine with her long, loose hair as she weaves a pattern on the floor before you, matching each light step with the drumming of her fingertips on the tambourine. The faded ribbons gleam in the softness of the candlelight.) (Melodie hits the tambourine against her knuckles, creating waves of sound like the breakers on a rocky shore. She pirouettes on the tips of her toes, a frenzied swirl of rainbow scarves, ribbons, golden hair, unfulfilled longing...and despair. And then without warning, she leaps onto the table, crouching on her knees and slams the flat side of her instrument suddenly to the table top.) (Melodie breathes in and out, almost panting, her eyes darkened by passion and the exhilaration of motion. As she regains her breath, she pushes the loose, damp strands of hair back from her face, wiping beads of perspiration from her forehead with the back of her hand.) Melodie sings: "The hours pass by all too fast I cannot make this moment last Soon, they'll return and I will be The serving wench who brings to thee..." (Melodie climbs almost wearily from the table, winding the ribbons around her tambourine. She kisses it softly before hiding it beneath the table. As she turns to you again, her shoulders curl forward slightly, and she lowers her eyes respectfully.) Melodie sings: "...a glass." Melodie sings: "Gentle folk, I ask of you To remember that I, too, Once was more than what I am And maybe, someday will again..." Melodie picks up a faded turquoise scarf. Melodie puts on a faded turquoise scarf. Melodie sings: "...Dance!" Melodie curtsies. Bevan asks, "Our next performer in the Journeyman category ... Atalya, will you grace us with your skill this night?" Atalya's Performance: Atalya's face turns slightly pale. Atalya curtsies to Bevan. Atalya smiles nervously at the panel of judges... Atalya says, "I must admit a weakness for an occaisional crook of the elbow...andalso an amateur interest in the distillation of spirits. Using an old elven recipe I once pursued the making of a potable fit for a Lord..." (Atalya steps forward with a goblet balanced in her hand. She gazes at it with a smile, then raises it before you...She sings sweetly...) Atalya sings: "It began with a thousand drops of dew Gathered 'neath countlessdawn-streaked skies Each drop by precious drop accrued And further distilled to clarify." Atalya sings: "Essence of far-flung flower liqueur Foraged from beside treacherous trails Crushed tender petals releas'd nectar For this unexcelled Ranger wassail." Atalya smiles as she indicates the golden cup in her hand. Atalya sings: "The sap and juice of berries bright Patiently strained with tender care Simmered for hours to render light And delicate flavors to ensnare." Atalya sings: "Honeyed with beehive yield so sweet Tinged with the syrup of fruit and herb The seed of my beverage was complete Only age needed now for dram superb." Atalya clears her throat. Atalya smiles a little less confidently. You notice your mouth is a trifledry and a sip of that bracer might be nice... Atalya sings: "Saving silvers, hoarding skins I waited for a merchant of crockand glaes I found 'midst jostling traveller's inn A vessel the gods for spirits had glaz'd." Atalya sings: "Enruned and sculpted, thick and clear This flask fit handsomelyin my hand Through slender neck poured quaff so dear To ferment and await a moment grand." (Atalya seems shorter than she did a moment ago, and less imposing. Thearm that holds the goblet aloft is tired, and Atalya smiles apologetically and switches hands.) Atalya sings: "With bundled bottle in satin sack I traipsed the hills to seek a haven A spot away from well-worn tracks Seen only by the wanderingraven." Atalya sings: "There nestled under moss and leaf My Ranger's elixir was laid in wait Hidden away from temptation or thief Until the moment foretold by fates." Atalya smiles at Bevan. Atalya exclaims, "The other night, M'Lord, when ye announced the theme for tonight's contest, it was as if the gods had sent a sign -- the time had come for the uncorking of my Ranger Red Eye!" Atalya sings: "And then it came, the clarion call The moment awaited had finally come My heavenly brew would enthrall Even fussy elven gastronomes." Atalya sings: "So off I sallied, map in hand To rescue the marvelous cup of cheer Farther afoot I searched the lands Always sure it was somewhere near..." (Atalya hesitates a moment and coughs. Smiling weakly, she raises the cup again...) Atalya sings: "So here! My Lord! A toast to thee! For songs of pain and songsof mirth. Raise you cups in harmony! To all the pleasures found on earth!" Atalya sings: "Aye, pleasures found and sorrow too. Here's to friendships I'vediscovered! Encountering dreams, myths and truths... And all that I have yet to uncover..." (Atalya sighs and her shoulders slump.) Atalya mumbles something that you don't quite catch. Atalya sings: "In this fair land I've met upon Valor and treachery in a wink Located treasures within a song..." (Atalya raises the cup to her lips...) (Atalya suddenly, with a sigh, she lets her hand swing down to her side...you gasp in anticipation of the showering of liquid that does not come...) Atalya sings: "If only I could find that drink!" (Atalya gives a rueful smile and stuffs the goblet into her greatcloak. With an embarassed blush she slinks back to her seat, hopeful you will not notice her taking out a cheap flask of flaeshornberry wine to sip) Atalya blushes a nice shade of off-pink. Bevan says, "Now ... for our next Master, whether or not she's properly - or improperly - attired ..." Bevan asks, "Lady Ylena, shall we hear you?" Lady Ylena's Performance: Ylena says, "I'm always perfectly attired..." (Ylena strides confidently to the front of the room. She reaches into her purse and you see the corner of her mirror - but suddenly, she removes her hand, shaking her head and grinning.) Ylena says, "I'm going to forego my usual grooming ritual - because I'm going to be a mess by the time I'm through with this one. I'm sure my hair isperfectly tousled, anyway." Ylena smiles coquettishly, biting her lips and hoping they are as perfect asher hair. Ylena says, "First off, I want to thank Lord Bevan for this particular topic choice. Last festival it was that huge invasion, and I spent two sleepless evenings researching. This time around, I've spent two sleepless evenings drinking." (Ylena grins broadly and stifles an errant hiccup, her emerald eyes sparkling with mischief. ) Ylena says, "Oh, I hope you don't mind, but I took the liberty of inviting a few old friends to join us." Ylena winks at Mustafo. Ylena gestures and utters a phrase of magic. A sudden burst of bright light emanates from Ylena's hand! Ylena smiles broadly as her musician friends emerge from what formerly were shadows. You see two drummers, a harpist, a luthenist, a recorder quintet, and two young lads with krumhorns. One of the lads whispers to Ylena, "You sure we can t do the Box Song?" (Ylena whispers back, Remind me to spank you later? No, this is the new one. The topic wasdrinking, not drooling, remember?") Ylena smiles impatiently as the kid whispers, "Which new one?" She maintains her composure and elegance as she hisses back, "The NEW new one . .. Brewhaha." Ylena smiles dazzingly as she whirls and strikes a dramatic pose, looking back over her right shoulder, arms wrapped around herself as she yells,"One! Two! Three! Four!" Ylena sings: "Raise your glass, oh raise your glass And hoist it to the sky, Bring it back down to your lips And drink until it s dry." (Ylena continues to dance, moving around the room, laughing and touchingthose of the male persuasion. The band merrily continues on in the background.) Ylena recites: "Two rangers walk into a tavern . . . which was odd - You'dthink the second ranger would have seen the first do it." Ylena smiles brightly as the band strikes up the chorus again. "Gods, I love having this many men around me!" Ylena winks at the harpist, who promptly blushes. Ylena sings: "Raise your glass, oh raise your glass Then drink the contents down, How will you knowif you ve drunk enough? The room goes spinning round." (Ylena twirls a few times gracefully, her skirt flaring out dramatically. She plops happily on Bevan's lap, ignoring any raised eyebrows. The band continues to vamp.) Ylena recites: "What s the difference between a kobold and an onion? Nobody cries when you chop up a kobold." Ylena smiles happily, then smooches Bevan on the cheek as she stands up and dances around again, laughing and clapping her hands. Play on, boys! They do, of course - who can refuse Ylena? Ylena sings: "Raise your glass, oh raise your glass Of ale, beer or mead, Goodfriends are all around us, Good spirit's what we need. " Ylena recites: "Two warriors walk past a tavern." (Ylena glances around, tossing her hands in the air.) Ylena recites: "Hey, it could happen!" Ylena giggles. Ylena sings: "Oh, raise a glass, or two, or three Or six or eight or ten, Fillthem up then drain them down And drain and fill again!" (Ylena sprawls across one of the large drums, much to the drummer's dismay. "Play around me, sweetie!" she giggles as she claps time.) Ylena recites: "This is a ba-a-a-a-a-d one. A rolton walks into Helga's. Helga says, "We don't serve mutton." The rolton says, "Fine with me,lady, I just wanted a drink."" Ylena smiles sheepishly as she slides off the drum and grabs Sophokles by the hand, pulling him out of his seat and dancing around him with wild abandon. Ylena sings: "Ohhhhhhhhhh......" Ylena recites: "Sing along, you should have this part by now, even if you're extremely drunk. . ." Ylena sings: "Raise your glass, oh raise your glass, Tankard, mug or flask, Singing is a thirsty work If you want a refill, ask." Ylena smiles enticingly as she drapes herself around Mustafo. Ylena recites: "A dark elf, a giantman, and a dwarf went in a tavern. They all ordered mugs of ale. Just as they were about to drink - Flies landed in each mug." Ylena recites: "The elf pushed the ale away in disgust." Ylena recites: "The giantman fished the fly out of his ale and continued drinking it as if nothing had happened. " Ylena recites: "The dwarf picked the fly out of his drink, held it over his mug - And yelled, "Spit it out! Spit it out!"" Ylena smiles merrily as she undrapes herself with a lovely sinuous movement."Boys! One more time! Let's take it home!" The band swings into the first bars of the chorus. (Ylena claps her hands in time, gesturing for you to join in.) Ylena sings: "Ohhhhhhhhhhhh - Raise your glass, oh raise your glass And drink the very last drop, I don't want this to break your heart But I thinkit's time to stop." Ylena sings: "Oh raise your glass, please raise your glass It's all been such great fun But now it's time to stagger home For now our song is done." Ylena smiles happily as she dances gracefully to her band's last strains. She stands proudly before you, managing to make eye contact with everyone. (Ylena curtsies deeply, acknowledging the fine musicians behind her. "Thanks, boys, a pleasure as always.") (Ylena blows kisses around the room.) Bevan asks, "For our next entrant, in the Journeyman list ... Lord Quiet, shall we hear you?" Lord Quiet's Performance: Quiet says, "Thank you, Lord Bevan." Quiet says, "The demon said to the hobbit sitting at the bar," Quiet recites: "You are going to die." (Quiet takes on the posture of an old hobbit, sitting on a bar stool and clearly deep in his cups.) Quiet asks, "Well, if I am going to die, would you have a drink with me before I go?" Quiet says, "The demon answers reluctantly," Quiet recites: "As you wish, it will not change your fate." Quiet yells, "Innkeeper!" Quiet sings: "Roll out a barrel of your finest ale. The man sitting there with eyes so pale Will amuse us with some strange tale. Roll out a barrel of your finest ale." (Quiet and the demon raise their flagons of ale in a toast.) Quiet asks, "You say I will die, but why should I believe you?" Quiet says, "The demon smiles as if he expected this question." Quiet recites: "I get your soul when you are done with it. I know more about you than you do about yourself." Quiet recites: "Remember the time with your parents you dined? I was there." (Quiet notices his flagon of ale is empty.) Quiet yells, "Innkeeper!" Quiet sings: "Open a cask of your imported rum. Turkey and giblets, corn and a plum, Dinner was love, given by mum. Open a cask of your imported rum." Quiet says, "I remember it well. I was but a young lad, hardly a care in the world. My parents were loving and sweet. Our dinners always had the finest food and warmest company. Those days are gone." Quiet smiles as he tips back a steaming snifter of rum, winking at the demon. Quiet says, "Again the demon taunts the hobbit..." Quiet recites: "Remember the time with your love beneath the pine? I was there." (Quiet notices he is now out of rum.) Quiet yells, "Innkeeper." Quiet sings: "I'd like to try some whisky and rye. Afraid to touch we met eye to eye, Finally parting with a bittersweet sigh. I'd like to try some whisky and rye." Quiet smiles as the innkeeper serves a golden whisky in a clear glass for both Quiet and the demon. Quiet says, "My love indeed. She walked in beauty, and made everything she was near glow with the reflection of her joy. I thank the gods for every moment we spent together." Quiet says, "The demon growls, disgusted at the sentimentality." Quiet recites: "Remember the time you paid your fine? I was there." (Quiet looks into his glass.) Quiet grumbles. Quiet yells, "Innkeeper." Quiet sings: "Bring from the rear some foaming beer. I did what I must without any fear But I still regret they took my gear. Bring from the rear some foaming beer." Quiet says, "The demon looks warily at the stein of beer, overflowing with a fine white head of foam." (Quiet speaks softly, with regret.) Quiet says, "I remember the giant who insulted my wife. His death was sweet, but a crime none the less. The jail I would not like to visit again." Quiet recites: "Remember the time when you fought my kind? I was there." (Quiet glares at the demon with anger in his eyes, tossing back the beer in a single gulp.) Quiet exclaims, "Innkeeper!" Quiet sings: "Would it be a sin if you poured some gin? I dreamed of demons and all of their kin And glorious war and battles to win. Would it be a sin if you poured some gin?" Quiet stares off into space. Quiet says, "I thought of glory; Of heroes in battle. Little did I know what price would be paid." Quiet says, "My sword and lips were ever after the demons. They came at us in endless waves. The bodies from both sides were stacked above my head. It seemed forever before you finally stopped." Quiet says, "The smell was awful; my throat was sore; no vision of beauty could I discern." Quiet recites: "Remember the time when your love's body you did find? I was there." (Quiet tosses back a glass of clear gin.) Quiet shudders. Quiet says, "Innkeeper." Quiet sings: "A bottle of wine would be just fine. Forever in beauty, nevermore mine, I will treasure forever our loving pine. A bottle of wine would be just fine." Quiet says, "We vanquished your leader, but some remained. Your kind tortured my love. My name her final breath." Quiet says, "Your revenge went far beyond my small contribution to the battle." Quiet recites: "Remember the time when you lost your mind? I was there." Quiet smiles as he swirls a flute of wine, finally drinking the fine white wine like water. Quiet says, "Innkeeper." Quiet sings: "Some sweet honey mead is what I need. The words of friends, they tried to lead, In madness and anger I would not heed. Some sweet honey mead is what I need." Quiet says, "The smell of cinnamon and honey floats across the room. Drinking the mead with his eyes in the distance, the hobbit continues." Quiet says, "I killed many a beast and man. They all fell to blade and spell. I searched for death, as a lover searches for life. I found neither." Quiet smiles as he notices the demon has his face in his glass, dead to the world. Quiet says, "Innkeeper, thank you sir. My friend here will pay the bill when he awakes." (Quiet muses to himself, looking straight at you.) Quiet says, "Perhaps he knew me, but all men die eventually." Quiet says, "And though I have lived a life of worry and strife, I will muddle on awhile yet before I am dead." (Quiet staggers off the edge of the stage.) Quiet says, "and the hobbit staggers his way home, to bed and sleep. Another day beckons. Another to keep." Quiet bows. Bevan says, "Our next Master to perform this evening - which is good, as she already seems to be warming up ..." Bevan says, "Lady Morgatha, come, let us hear what you have for us this night" Lady Morgatha's Performance: (Morgatha limps slowly to the front, her body hunched over and gnarled. You notice her hair is unkept and gray, strands of it about her face.She is strangely old, looking ancient and decrepit. She speaks, her voice rough and cracked.) Morgatha asks, "Hehehehe....A little magic is needed, perchance?" (Morgatha cackles and points to a corner of the room. The lights suddenlydims around you and you see the corner illuminated with a strange light. ) (Morgatha grins as you see a scene appear slowly - a dimly-lit barroom, warriors laughing and drinking together. One warrior, especially proud-looking (and drunk), calls for a bard to sing a song, 'We need a song! A tale! Entertain us!') Morgatha smiles darkly and says, "So, it's entertainment ye wants, gentlemen? You will not be disappointed with my tale!" Morgatha recites: "He remarks: "You? You old crone?! I'll warrant the young bardhere will do better!" Pointing to a well-dressed young man." Morgatha says, "I think not...for my tale comes from before his time, and has been held secret for years. Only now have I been able to tell it, in my old age." Morgatha recites: "He says: "Well, this intrigues me, woman! Tell on!" (Morgatha slowly bows to the warrior. She then moves to the fireplace to sit. You suddenly realize you are IN the bar, watching all that is happening.) Morgatha finds an empty seat and sits down. Morgatha recites: "This is the tale of a drinking man. Now, men drink for different reasons - joy, loneliness, anger, pride. The man in this tale drinks out of FEAR!" (Morgatha raises her hand.) Morgatha smiles and an empty booth nearby is suddenly occupied. At first glance, you see he is a man of war - his armor worn, but well cared-for, hair close-cropped, face lined with care and a lifetime of fighting. He stares at the drink in his hands. Morgatha recites: "He suddenly screams, "NOOOO!" His eyes wide with fear. The patrons nearby glance in his direction and go on with their conversations. He is pale, blankly staring in front of him." Morgatha recites: "He collapses, his head in his hands, muttering, "Nooo!...Go away!....don't look at me!....the eyes..."" Morgatha says, "Arvemon was a mercenary - a man who killed without thought. He wasa much-feared and greatly sought after fighter. His skills were ofthe highest degree, for which countries paid handsomely." Morgatha says, "He loved life as only a warrior could. He fought well, drank well, and never was want for a warm body at night."" (Morgatha winks at the warrior, who smirks.) Morgatha recites: "One evening, after a particularly bloody battle, a young soothsayer wandered the camp. Arvemon was drinking, as his wont, with someof the others there. One of them called to the young seer, hoping for some fun." Morgatha recites: "She walked up to them and smiled. Glancing at their faces one by one, she is startled when she looks at Arvemon's, her skin going white with fear." Morgatha recites: "She says to him, "Good sir! Turn away from this life! You have darkness surrounding your future!" Morgatha recites: "Arvemon laughed at her, "Young witch! What do you know of me?Go away!" Morgatha recites: "She implores him: "I beg you sir!" Morgatha recites: ""Go away, wench!" And he thrust her aside, drinking deeply." Morgatha recites: "She stared at him darkly, then pointed directly at him. She intoned: "You shall not drink for fear of what you see You shall not rest without drinking fear." Morgatha recites: "Then she turned and walked away, the men laughing as she went." Morgatha recites: "The next day, the battle was again fearsome. Arvemon was fighting well, as usual. As he felled his first opponent, the man collapsed, but not before staring at Arvemon, eyes dark and burning." Morgatha recites: "The next one was the same, the man falling before Arvemon, eyes staring at him. And the next.... And the next...." Morgatha recites: "By the end of the day, many had died, yet Arvemon thought littleof it. He rested, drinking his ale, consuming much. Suddenly, twoburning eyes stared at him from the depths of his glass. Eyes he saw fall that day - eyes that were dead!" Morgatha recites: "Startled, he threw the glass away, and got another, drinking heavily. The eyes returned, but these from a different opponent!" Morgatha recites: "Arvemon went white as a ghost, as the words of the seer burned into him, and the desire to drink increased, yet so did the fear of those eyes." Morgatha recites: "He drank again. Halfway through, the eyes again - burning dark and hideous. Eyes from death. Screaming, he ran into his tent, to the amazement of his companions. He left that night, but not before breaking his sword and throwing it to the ground." Morgatha recites: "He began frequenting this bar, always drinking heavily. Always screaming about the eyes. Those eyes...hatred burning at him...calling him...pulling at him." Morgatha recites: "One night, he fell asleep at his table, glass in hand. he dreamed of the eyes, the eyes that never stopped. He screamed for release! Suddenly, he realized he hadn't awoke with the screaming." Morgatha recites: "Terror consumed him like a fast-acting poison, and his voice broke as he screamed again, "STOP! LET ME AWAKE FROM THIS DREAM!!!"" Morgatha recites: "At his words, a figure coalesced in front of him. "Dream?" Thedark figure smirked. "You have no dream to awaken from, sir. You are DEAD. You died that day, long ago, in battle. This is one dream you will never awaken from...for you are in HELL!" (Morgatha cackles, and the warrior startles, looking rather pale. He glances at the figure in the booth. At his approach it suddenly vanishes! He stumbles away in fear. Morgatha laughs, gutteral and low.) Morgatha asks, "A tale is it, sir? Perchance the truth?" (Morgatha grins hideously at the complete silence in the barroom.. Not a breath, not a whisper breaks the palpable fear pounding through everyheart.) (Morgatha claps twice, and you jump in your seat, blinking at the sudden brilliance of the lights in the hall. The barroom is gone, and you realize you're here, in Aspis, listening to the Lady Morgatha.) Morgatha smirks. 'Have a drink? You ask, "Have a drink?" Bevan says, "Alright ... for our next Journeyman ..." Bevan asks, "Cinnamon, shall we hear you ... ?" Cinnamon's Performance: (Cinnamon moves to the center of the stage and looks out at the sea of faces staring up at her. Blushing from all the attention, she clears her throat and folds her hands together.) Cinnamon says, "Last night, I tried to recall everything I know of drinking songs. It amounts to almost nothing... Deciding I needed some experience,I ended up at Helga's." Cinnamon blushes a nice shade of off-pink. Cinnamon says, "Apparently.. I became a little too experienced in drinking last night. I ended up very drunk.... I even think I passed out. About two in the morning, I woke up under the corner table." (Cinnamon nervously runs her hands through her hair.) Cinnamon says, "The tavern was very dark, and almost looked empty... but light spilled out from behind a curtain half-hidden in the shadows. I could hear loud, drunken voices yelling and singing." Cinnamon says, "I crawled over to the curtain... because trying to stand caused my head to spin. I was going to ask Helga for an escort home, but when I put my eye to the worn hole in the curtain, I forgot everything." (Cinnamon glances upward for a moment, almost as if waiting for something. She definitely seems nervous about telling this story.) Cinnamon says, "I had found the secret bar where the GreatMages go to relax late at night..." Cinnamon says, "As I stared, Banthis banged his empty mug against the bar and yelled drunkenly for more rum. I had NEVER seen Helga meek before! She scurried to fill his mug, then started wiping the counter, a tense look on her face." Cinnamon exclaims, "A small group sitting at a corner table raised their mugs and started to sway back and forth. They began to sing, very loudly... Eventually everyone joined in. The whole room was singing off-key!" Cinnamon sings: "All day long without a break Screaming newbies, never a thanks. Running ragged to answer each cry, Never stopping to ask "Why?"" Cinnamon sings: "We answer assists and listen patiently, Being polite so desperately. "It's against policy" we must explain And then they yell, whine,and complain!" Cinnamon sings: "Oh, bring me some honey, bring me some mead Kill those newbies, One! Two! Three!" Cinnamon exclaims, "Now.. if you heard drunken demi-gods singing about killing obnoxious youngsters, you'd be scared stiff too! I was terrified to move ormake a sound!" (Cinnamon forgets to mention she was so drunk at the time, she was having trouble not swaying while sitting down.) Cinnamon sings: "Always a scream, a yell, or a plea: Can you rezz me? Can you kill me? Can I have that? Make me stronger! Why not? WHY NOT?? Just likea fishmonger!" Cinnamon sings: "Make me this or make me that! I want a pet, give me a cat! Give me a tattoo. Take my scars. We're not empaths! Not by far!" Cinnamon sings: "Oh, bring me some honey, bring me some mead Kill those newbies, One! Two! Three!" Cinnamon says, "Then, behind the raucous crowd now standing and swaying wildly asthey sang, I saw a shadow in a dark corner. Squinting my eyes and trying to focus, I realized it was Cyper. He looked fairly sober, and was scribbling furiously on some papers." Cinnamon exclaims, "Then he looked up briefly, and the gleam in his eye made me shiver at the thought of what might hit the lands next!" (Cinnamon shivers, remembering the maniacal gleam in the famed GreatMage's eye, his face half in shadows in the darkened bar.) Cinnamon sings: "The worst is stopping fights, wrest an apology. "He killed me!"_"Well, almost killed me!" Settle down and go play nice Give us a break, you little mice!" Cinnamon sings: "Oh, bring me some honey, bring me some mead Kill those newbies, One! Two! Three!" (Cinnamon glances nervously at Miriani, then takes a very deep breath, her face turning an even brighter shade of red.) Cinnamon exclaims, "Then Lady Miriani walked into the room. Everyone paused to yell hello. Banthis dropped his mug on the bar and swept her up in a huge hug, until he finally noticed she was beating against his shoulders. She couldn't breathe!" Cinnamon exclaims, "Poor Lady Miriani, she was the only one in the room not drunk. Then she sat at a table with a large group and started drinking as if she wanted to catch up. I heard her mumble something about dancing with a ranger. It seems he stepped on her feet, shattering her glass slippers. I guess I can see why she was drinking!" Cinnamon says, "The song picked up again, a little louder.. and the words more slurred, though I think I got them all." Cinnamon sings: "But we'll get even, yes we will. See them running up that silly hill! Lock the doors and turn the key Close the merchant lines, you and me." Cinnamon sings: "Tweak the creatures, knock them flat! Won't they be surprised? Imagine that. Loose a fire elemental in town square. Oh my! What's that doing there?" Cinnamon sings: "Oh, bring me some honey, bring me some mead Kill those newbies, One! Two! Three!" Cinnamon says, "Right about now, Draug's table caught on fire... I think he was drunk and had started mumbling the words of some incineration spell, while he was asleep face down in a puddle of ale." Cinnamon exclaims, "Stump stomped over and lit a cigar from the burning table while the others stared. Then Helga ran out and threw a bucket of water on Stump, Draug, AND the table. I think she was pretty upset. She actually glared at them when Stump started laughing!" Cinnamon sings: "Send bees and wasps to sting them, Banshees charge the gate on awhim. Watch them all run and scream Just a way to let off steam." Cinnamon sings: "Free the undead and close the gates. Freeze the world and break some dates. Fill the world with swirling fog Make the weather a sinking bog." Cinnamon sings: "Oh, bring me some honey, bring me some mead Kill those newbies, One! Two! Three!" Cinnamon says, "A shriek of laughter broke into the song. Fawn was leaning against the fireplace on the far wall, surrounded by a small crowd. She wastelling bawdy stories, and had just reached the climax, throwing everyone into fits of laughter." Cinnamon sings: "We do our jobs as best we can. No better can be said, of woman or man. But our patience bears a limit After which, we no longer submit!" Cinnamon sings: "Oh, bring me some honey, bring me some mead Kill those newbies, One! Two! Three!" Cinnamon's face turns slightly pale. Cinnamon says, "Suddenly, Reline materialized in the center of the room. In a steely sweet voice that carried far, she started to scold and chide them, sending everyone home to sleep it off. All the GreatMages in the room started disappearing, going home to sleep and recover. To prepare for tomorrow and another round of complaints and tricks." Cinnamon exclaims, "Reline was the last to leave, and just before she disappeared, she looked at my hiding place and winked!" Cinnamon giggles. Cinnamon says, "By then, I was sober enough to walk home and crawl into bed, already feeling the kind of hangover I was going to have." (Cinnamon rubs her head and groans, hoping she can go back to bed now that this is over.) Cinnamon bows. Bevan says, "For our next Master, whose husband has apparently arrived just in time ... Terrenth, if you could stave off birth for a few minutes more at least ..." Terrenth's Performance: Terrenth glares at Jadaard. (Terrenth stands and pivots on her heel, her skirts a whirl behind her. Obviously angry, she shuffles forward and you catch only the tail endof what she hisses to Jadaard:) Terrenth exclaims, "...am a grown woman, and husband or not, ye'll not be dictating to me what I can or cannot drink!" (Terrenth gestures with her hand to a certain spot on the stage area where Jadaard sets a small wooden table. He then stalks back and flops in his seat, his arms crossed upon his chest, a scowl darkening his countenance.) (Terrenth takes a deep breath in an attempt to compose herself. She says,"My friends, ye sit this evening in the ancient House of Argent Aspis.") Terrenth gazes in wonder at her surroundings. Terrenth removes a stein of giantman mead from inside her large sack. (Terrenth now makes a point of staring at Jadaard as she takes a dainty sip of mead, as if daring him to say a word.) Terrenth mumbles something that you don't quite catch. Terrenth says, "Aspis was once a place of mystery and wonder for me. Often I'd bring messages for the doorkeep and bat my eyelashes (to no avail), hoping that he'd allow me a peek inside." Terrenth says, "And if, perchance, a member did sweep past, I'd crane my neck to catch a glimpse of the splendor I knew lay just beyond that door." Terrenth smiles as she remembers her younger days. Terrenth says, "Those days are over. I now proudly claim this house as my own, itsmembers as my family." Terrenth smiles warmly at Dremerie, Bevan, Tanri and Halvor, Atalya, Solai, and the many other members in the audience. Terrenth glances at Jadaard. Terrenth coughs. Terrenth says, "And I solemnly believe that the thrill I get from seeing that familiar doorkeeper tip his cap to me will never diminish with time." (Terrenth lightly lays a hand to her throat, a slight frown upon her face.She licks her lips, which seem a bit dry. Blushing, she finishes off the mead.) Terrenth takes a drink from her giantman mead. Terrenth says, "So, tonight, I sing for ye, 'The Pride of Argent Aspis'...also known as, 'Whaddya Mean? I Can *So* Stand Up!'" (Terrenth winks and in a lusty voice...) Terrenth sings: "We are of Argent Aspis! Dragon brethren, one and all! Our hallsare void of cowardice! Before our might ye'll fall!" Terrenth sings: "We strive to teach the youthful one From disrespect to shrink, But when night arrives to chase the sun, We set our minds to drink!" Terrenth asks, "Is it hot in here, or is it just me?" Terrenth fans herself. Terrenth removes a stein of rich dwarven ale from inside her large sack. (Terrenth takes a swig from the heavy stein and licks away the foam that lines her upper lip.) Terrenth takes a drink from her rich dwarven ale. Terrenth sings: "'Pon entering our hallowed hall Ye'll meet a marbled dragon. 'Though repslendent wings rise proud and tall 'Neath its tail we hide our flagons!" (Terrenth gestures with her hand, sloshing some of the ale from her mug. It splashes some nearby members of the audience, and she flushes with embarrassment.) Terrenth put a stein of rich dwarven ale inside her large sack. Terrenth sings: "We are of Argent Aspis! Dragon brethren, one and all! If we a drop of liquor miss, Ye'll hear our bawdy bawl!" Terrenth sings: "Within our ancient iron gates There stands a holy shrine. Upon our knees we consecrate Our daily cask of wine!" Terrenth hiccups! Terrenth blinks. Terrenth says, "Ye know? I think a bit o'wine would do nicely just about now..." Terrenth removes a flute of fine white wine from inside her large sack. (Terrenth guzzles the pale liquid. Much of it escapes from the side of her mouth, and she wipes the excess with the cuff of her sleeve.) Terrenth drops a flute of fine white wine. Terrenth sings: "'Tis said our halls he nightly haunts, The ghost of Erebor. With tipple, spirit smirking taunts Those passed out on the floor!" Terrenth removes a cask of Erebor's Tipple from inside her large sack. Terrenth sniffs at her Erebor's Tipple. Terrenth takes a drink from her Erebor's Tipple. Terrenth giggles. Terrenth drops a cask of Erebor's Tipple. Terrenth sings: "We are of Argent Aspis! Dragon brethren, one and all! Suffused with woozy, boozy bliss When we heed Helga's call!" Terrenth removes some fine old brandy from inside her large sack. (Terrenth withdraws two types of brandy from the sack. She hefts them each in turn as if trying to decide which to drink, spilling some of each.) Terrenth drops a large sack. Terrenth removes a snifter of sylvan brandy from inside a large sack. (Terrenth zealously raises her brandy in a toast, but the snifter escapes her grip and sails through the air to shatter upon the floor. Bevangrumbles to himself about the damage to the parquet floor.) Terrenth drops a snifter of sylvan brandy. Terrenth giggles. Terrenth glances at Bevan. Terrenth says, "Oooops!"" Terrenth sings: "No other house, despite their boasts, Is imminently able To match our brethren toast for toast When we drink them 'neath the table!" Terrenth sticks out her tongue. Terrenth sings: "Brigatta, Paupers, Silvergate Have tried -- it is but nonsense. 'Cause come the dawn, they meet their fate: To spew their stomach contents!" (Terrenth glances at the other bit of brandy, and with a giddy grin, shrugs and drains the bottle dry. After a moment, she frowns, dropping the brandy and gripping the sides of the table as if to steady herself. "Ohhh...my...") Terrenth drops some fine old brandy. Terrenth sings: "If ye believe this lie boldfaced: That our members ye outclass..." (Terrenth Terrenth turns around, wavering and unsteady, so that her back is to you. She starts to bend over...) Terrenth sings: "So ye'll not miss, I'll bow at the waist When ye kiss my dragon--" (Terrenth suddenly begins choking! She holds up a hand and takes out a shot of whiskey from the sack.) Terrenth removes a shot of whiskey from inside a large sack. Terrenth takes a drink from her shot of whiskey. Terrenth exclaims, "Ahh...much better!" (Terrenth grins as she flings the shot glass to the ground!) Terrenth drops a shot of whiskey. Terrenth hiccups! (Terrenth teeters over to Jadaard, wearing a cockeyed grin. Mere inches away, she sings directly into his face.) Terrenth sings: "We are of Argent Aspis! Dragon brethren, one and all! Solemn words do not dismiss..." Terrenth hiccups! Terrenth sings: "Before our breath ye'll fall!" (Terrenth blinks her eyes rapidly in an effort to focus on just one of theimages blurring before her.) (Terrenth wavers, and her eyes roll back into her head as she keels over into Jadaard's strong arms. He gawks, shocked at his pregnant wife'sshameful public display! Silence blankets the hall.) Terrenth smiles as, with help from her grinning husband, she gets to her feet again. Mischievious merry laughter bubbles from her lips as she winks. Terrenth exclaims, "Did ye fall for it? 'Twas but harmless water and tea!" (Terrenth bursts into an uncontrollable fit of giggles and, as she takes Jadaard's hand, she dips into an impish curtsy.) Bevan says, "For our final Journeyman of the evening ... Kerrithan, let us hear you" Lady Kerrithan's Performance: Kerrithan says, "Some of you have taken us to some pretty strange places tonight... Iprefer to drink someplace a little closer to home... not as far to crawl." (Kerrithan gets to her feet, a little unsteadily, and whispers a phrase of magic, filling the room with mist. As she begins to sing, the mist clings to the walls, changing the great hall to a more familiar scene... ) Kerrithan sings: "There's joy to be found in this land all around, From silver and gems, to the friends that abound. There's magic to find, and a world to explore, But nothing can match what's behind Helga's door!" Kerrithan winks. Kerrithan sings: "We've all been to Helga's, that mystical place We've all seen theguard with that smile on his face. What many men wonder and few of them know, Is how he gets drunk when he's drinking so slow?" Kerrithan sings: "A secret's been kept from the masses, I know! You've heard it in song, now, you know that it's so... A back room at Helga's that few men have seen, The drinks are all free, and the glasses are clean!" Kerrithan sings: "There's joy to be found in this land all around, From silver and gems, to the friends that abound. There's magic to find, and a world to explore, But nothing can match what's behind Helga's door!" (Kerrithan hums to the mist clinging to the walls, and the room shifts again.Looking around in wonder, you find yourself in a small, extremely well kept and well-stocked bar. Kerrithan perches on the bar, swinging her feet in time to the music.) Kerrithan sings: "You scoff and you chuckle, I tell you, it's there! I've seen it, I swear, before my amazed stare! The tables are clean, and the bar's been wiped clean, There's drinks on the counter like none that you've seen." Kerrithan sings: "The lad that pours drinks is both handsome and sweet, He'll dancefor a coin, and he's light on his feet. The barmaid's an elegant, beautiful lass, Just mind that you keep your hands on your glass!" (Kerrithan gives you an impish wink and a grin, then turns to gaze at the incredible display of bottles behind the bar. Catching up a glass of something a disturbing green color, she kicks her feet against the bar and continues.) Kerrithan sings: "There's joy to be found in this land all around, From silver and gems, to the friends that abound. There's magic to find, and a world to explore, But nothing can match what's behind Helga's door!" Kerrithan sings: "The mead there's as sweet as a night-stolen kiss, And ale that's as dark as a demon's abyss. The wine tastes of magic that calls out your name, There's rum that puts demon rum drinkers to shame." Kerrithan sings: "I'll whisper the way, if you vow not to tell, I've paid for the path, and I've learned it full well. The door will appear when your head's in a fog From barrels of Helga's most infamous grog!" Kerrithan hiccups! Kerrithan sings: "There's joy to be found in this land all around, From silver and gems, to the friends that abound. There's magic to find, and a world to explore, But nothing can match what's behind Helga's door!" (Kerrithan hums the final chorus once more, dissolving the mist and returningyou to the Grand Hall, visions of a place that might be dancing in your head, and the taste of alcohol such as you've dreamed of on your lips.) Kerrithan smiles a bit dizzily, and collapses in a graceful heap to the floor, snoring quietly. Kerrithan says, "t understand what you typed." Bevan says, "Good gentles, I thank you all for attending the Festival, and for appearing here tonight to hear our finalists perform." Bevan says, "We have one final Master this evening, but before she sings for us, I would like to give some heartfelt thanks" Bevan says, "Firstly, to the many people who donated prizes or money, far too many to count, but especially Sophokles, Dremerie and Tanna ..." Bevan says, "Secondly, to my noble judges, who've helped to make this an unbiased Festival, with little enough besides me carping at them for their Technical scoring ..." Bevan smirks. Bevan says, "Thirdly, to the House of Argent Aspis, for co-sponsoring these grand performances and allowing us the use of this lovely hall ..." Bevan bows to Aurien. Bevan says, "Fourthly, to Lord Mhorigan and Lady Miriani, for their able assistance in crowd control and for the lovely pins for our singers ..." Bevan bows to Mhorigan. Bevan says, "We are greatly in your debt, my lord" Bevan says, "And finally ... to all of you. Performance is my dream and my life. Without it, I never would have returned to these lands; without it, I would be gone in a twinkling. To see you grow and mature as performers is the greatest of joys to me ..." Bevan says, "Your talent is the best reward I could ever enjoy." Bevan smiles slightly, his eyes misting over Bevan says, "Without further ado, then ... Lady Elysia? Send us out right, if you would" Bevan smiles at Elysia. Lady Elysia's Performance: (Elysia walks slowly towards the center of the crowd.) Elysia smiles softly. Elysia says, "Good evening, my friends and family. My Name is Elysia Mairearad, daughter of Callisto Loenthra's House... famed for our artistry, song, and of course, world famous vineyards." Elysia winks. Elysia smiles languidly, her expression growing distant for a moment. Elysia says, "My apologies, someone left wine on the floor." Elysia says, "One moment." Elysia curtsies to Bevan. Elysia says, "Apologies." (Elysia walks slowly towards the center of the crowd.) Elysia smiles softly. Elysia says, "Good evening, my friends and family. My Name is Elysia Mairearad, daughter of Callisto Loenthra's House... famed for our artistry, song, and of course, world famous vineyards." Elysia winks. Elysia takes a drink from her winterberry wine. Elysia smiles languidly, her expression growing distant for a moment. Elysia says, "Come, relax and have some wine with me, and I will share with you a bit of old Loenthra lore." Elysia smiles lazily at gentle faces as the crowd begins to settle on the floor around her. She beckons you to come and sit. Elysia takes a drink from her winterberry wine. Elysia says, "Winterberry wine is a popular trade vintage from The Risse family of Ta'Loenthra. However, few outsiders know how the wine's fruitcame to be known by the Name of Winterberry." Elysia says, "Winterberries were not always known as Winterberries, nor were they dark in color, nor harvested in winter... and once, the wines were sweet instead of tart and biting on the tongue, as they are now." Elysia smiles , lost in reflection. Elysia says, "My telling tonight is the Legend of Maichen's Sorrows." (Elysia gestures. The firelamps in the old Aspis Hall suddenly extinguish, leaving the room illuminated by only a few flickering candles. Faded light skitters across the faces around you.) Elysia leans back. Elysia takes a drink from her winterberry wine. Elysia sings: ""Golden spirits I plead, Sweet as summer rain... Gently ease my sorrows, Pray dull my pain..."" (Elysia pauses for a moment, lifting her face. The night air stirs slightly around you, carrying the scents of warm earth, sunshine, and growing vineyards heavy with ripening fruit. The candlelight steadiesand glows with golden warmth.) Elysia sings: "Was born a girl, And Maichen Named To the landed Risse, Of vineyards famed." Elysia sings: "Sparing no thought for 'morrow, Nor for the last, She danced her days In sheltered bliss." Elysia sings: "In her sixteenth year, Maichen met, by the lore, One Jailan Meynir... Her first paramour." Elysia sings: "Maichen lifebonded with Jailan, A love so pure... Exchanged vows of forever, Maichen's fate now secure." Elysia smiles softly, as the sound of young laughter drifts past you and slowly fades. After a moment, a pensive look crosses Elysia's fair elven features. The candles begin to waver, casting dancing sparks across your eyes. Elysia takes a drink from her winterberry wine. Elysia sings: "But Maichen's own father, He was not pleased- Jailan was but aworker, In the vineyard Risse..." Elysia sings: "He refused Jailan's quest For Maichen's gifts. Locked Maichen away, Then Jailan dismissed." Elysia smiles sadly. The warm, heady scent of the vineyards slowly dissipates, leaving behind an acrid tang in the air. The candlelight flickers dangerously, weaving dark shadows on the walls. Elysia takes a drink from her winterberry wine. Elysia sings: "Jailan swore on his heartsblood, To prove his worth Promised Maichen in one year, He would come forth." (Elysia looks up at you, as the candleflames twirl dancing shades acrossthe room.) Elysia sings: "But Jailan, in the manner Of those so young Found more in the world Than he'd ever known..." Elysia sings: "He forsook poor Maichen, To chase other dreams, With no secondthought To the lover he'd been." (Elysia sighs sadly. A murmuring whisp swirls past you, tasting of bitterness and love lost. The candle flames flicker and begin to burn low.) Elysia sings: "As young Maichen waited, Four seasons were passed Summer came,the boughs laden, Heavy and massed." Elysia sings: "Yet her Jailan ne'er returned, And poor Maichen distraught... She left behind mortality, And began her Lament." Elysia says, "The lovely, sweet Maichen of old was lost to all who knew her." Elysia says, "She turned inward upon herself, and took to wandering the vineyards in search of her Jailan... and she sung softly, keeping time with her steps as she paced..." Elysia sings: ""Golden spirits I beg, Sweet as summer rain... Gently ease mysorrows, Pray dull my pain..."" Elysia takes a drink from her winterberry wine. (Elysia lowers her eyes to gaze at the wine glass in her hand. The delicate crystal seems to shimmer strangely as she continues.) Elysia sings: "For each tear Maichen shed, A golden berry turned black And clung to the vine, Unripened and set back..." (Elysia trembles. Suddenly, the wine glass flies from her hand of its own accord, shattering against the far wall. With a sharp intake of breath, Elysia composes herself and begins to sing again.) Elysia sings: "Six months she wandered Those blackening rows. Until finally, in winter In burgeoning snows..." Elysia sings: "Maichen was found, Frozen stiffly and cold Her arms wrapped ina vine, To be held and to hold." Elysia says, "Every year in the hundreds since then, the Risse berries have blackened, and harvested ripe in the dead of winter. The wines made became tart and crisp, no longer sweet on the palate." Elysia sings: ""Golden spirits I beg, Sweet as summer rain... Gently ease mysorrows, Pray dull my pain..."" Elysee becomes solid again. (Elysia stands and curtsies deeply to you. With a sudden last flicker, the candles gutter, leaving you in blackness.) AWARDS CEREMONY: (Bevan holds his hands up for silence ...) Bevan says, "Good gentles ..." Bevan says, "Allow me first to present the prizes for the Journeyman competition ..." Bevan says, "Our third place Journeyman tonight ..." Bevan offers Kerrithan a Wehnimer's promissory note. Miriani removes a 3rd place box from inside her goodie bag. Miriani just opened a 3rd place box. Bevan says, "Pray accept this miniscule token with my grateful thanks" Kerrithan accepts Bevan's promissory note. Miriani removes a flashing emerald pin in the shape of a flute from inside her place box. Bevan just hugged Kerrithan. Kerrithan smiles at Bevan. Kerrithan exclaims, "Thank you!" Miriani offers Kerrithan a flashing emerald pin in the shape of a flute. Miriani beams happily at Kerrithan! Kerrithan accepts Miriani's emerald pin. Kerrithan beams happily at Miriani! Bevan removes a Wehnimer's promissory note from inside his violet cloak. Kerrithan says, "It's beautiful, thank you1" Kerrithan puts on a flashing emerald pin in the shape of a flute. Bevan says, "Our second place Journeyman this evening ..." Miriani put a 3rd place box inside her goodie bag. Bevan offers Quiet a Wehnimer's promissory note. Quiet stands up. Miriani removes a 2nd place pouch from inside her goodie bag. Miriani just opened a 2nd place pouch. Quiet accepts Bevan's promissory note. Bevan removes a fish spine sword from inside his herbalist's satchel. Quiet says, "thank you" Bevan offers Quiet a fish spine sword. Miriani removes a delicate ruby pin in the shape of a flute from inside her place pouch. Quiet put a Wehnimer's promissory note inside his suede cloak. Quiet accepts Bevan's fish spine sword. Quiet says, "thank you" Quiet grins. Quiet put a fish spine sword inside his suede cloak. Miriani offers Quiet a delicate ruby pin in the shape of a flute. Bevan says, "Along with this token further, to cut through the miasma ..." Miriani beams happily at Quiet! Bevan chuckles. Quiet nods to Aurien. Quiet accepts Miriani's ruby pin. Quiet bows to Miriani. Quiet says, "beautiful" Bevan removes a beautiful treble clef symbol from inside his herbalist's satchel. Quiet put a delicate ruby pin in the shape of a flute inside his suede cloak. Bevan bows to Quiet. Quiet says, "thank you all" Miriani put a 2nd place pouch inside her goodie bag. Miriani removes a 1st place case from inside her goodie bag. Miriani just opened a 1st place case. Miriani removes a sparkling diamond pin in the shape of a flute from inside her place case. Bevan says, "And for our Best Journeyman in the Spring Festival of Orfeo ..." Miriani put a 1st place case inside her goodie bag. Bevan beams! Bevan offers Cinnamon a beautiful treble clef symbol. Cinnamon blinks. Bevan just kissed Cinnamon. Cinnamon stares at Bevan. Bevan says, "Yes you" Cinnamon accepts Bevan's treble clef symbol. Cinnamon says, "Umm...." Bevan removes a Wehnimer's promissory note from inside his violet cloak. Cinnamon glances at Miriani. Miriani offers Cinnamon a sparkling diamond pin in the shape of a flute. Miriani beams happily at Cinnamon! Cinnamon asks, "Umm.. Miriani... have you heard about my song?" Cinnamon blushes a nice shade of off-pink. Cinnamon accepts Miriani's diamond pin. Bevan offers Cinnamon a Wehnimer's promissory note. Miriani says, "No, I haven't." Miriani smiles. Cinnamon sighs. Cinnamon exclaims, "good!" Cinnamon giggles. Cinnamon puts on a sparkling diamond pin in the shape of a flute. Miriani raises her hand. Cinnamon accepts Bevan's promissory note. Bevan says, "Hold on, Cinnamon love ..." Miriani just tickled Cinnamon. Bevan says, "I also have the prize for the competition's Best Story" Bevan says, "Which was your first round performance ..." Cinnamon blinks. Bevan removes a twisted gold ankle-bracelet from inside his herbalist's satchel. Cinnamon put a Wehnimer's promissory note inside her grey velvet cloak. Bevan offers Cinnamon a twisted gold ankle-bracelet. Cinnamon accepts Bevan's gold ankle-bracelet. Bevan removes a Wehnimer's promissory note from inside his violet cloak. Bevan offers Cinnamon a Wehnimer's promissory note. Cinnamon says, "Ok. I have heard some of the things going around. All I am going to say is, I entered this contest trusting my husband's STRICT policy onjudging. He wouldn't be biased for any of his family, if they did not perform well. period." Bevan says, "I'm only 2/5th of the score. I can damn a piece, but I cannot win for one." Bevan nods to Miriani. Cinnamon put a beautiful treble clef symbol inside her grey velvet cloak. Bevan offers Cinnamon a Wehnimer's promissory note. Bevan chuckles. Cinnamon accepts Bevan's promissory note. Cinnamon drops a Wehnimer's promissory note. Miriani exclaims, "Congratulations to all of the Journeymen here in the finals!" Bevan says, "And now ... for the Masters ..." Miriani put 10th-4th place purse inside her goodie bag. Bevan smiles at Miriani. Miriani smiles. Bevan says, "But first, Lady Morgatha has a brief bardic announcement" Morgatha recites: "All performances from the first rounds and tonight Are being placed in the download libraries For your perusal." Morgatha finds an empty seat and sits down. Miriani removes a 3rd place box from inside her goodie bag. Miriani removes a flashing emerald pin in the shape of a flute from inside her place box. Miriani put a 3rd place box inside her goodie bag. Bevan removes a Wehnimer's promissory note from inside his spidersilk satchel. Bevan says, "In third place among the Masters this evening ..." Bevan offers Terrenth a Wehnimer's promissory note. Terrenth beams! Bevan says, "Thank you for your marvellous performance tonight, my dear" Terrenth dances around the room to music only she can hear. Terrenth blushes a nice shade of off-pink. Miriani beams happily at Terrenth! Terrenth exclaims, "eek! Shouldn't dance! I may fall down!" Bevan just hugged Terrenth. Terrenth accepts Bevan's promissory note. Miriani offers Terrenth a flashing emerald pin in the shape of a flute. Bevan says, "Don;t worry. I'll hold you up." Terrenth put a Wehnimer's promissory note inside her azure cloak. Bevan winks at Terrenth. Miriani removes a 2nd place pouch from inside her goodie bag. (Terrenth kisses Bevan on both cheeks.) Terrenth says, "Thank ye." Terrenth accepts Miriani's emerald pin. Miriani removes a delicate ruby pin in the shape of a flute from inside her place pouch. Bevan says, "In second place among the Masters this evening ..." (Terrenth turns to Miriani.) Miriani put a 2nd place pouch inside her goodie bag. Miriani smiles at Terrenth. Bevan removes a Wehnimer's promissory note from inside his violet cloak. Terrenth says, "Thank ye, my lady." Bevan offers Melodie a Wehnimer's promissory note. Terrenth puts on a flashing emerald pin in the shape of a flute. Bevan says, "Thank you for the cup of tea, Melodie dear. Here's your tip." Melodie blinks. Bevan winks at Melodie. Melodie blushes a nice shade of off-pink. Melodie accepts Bevan's promissory note. Miriani offers Melodie a delicate ruby pin in the shape of a flute. Bevan removes a shimmering diamond pendant from inside his herbalist's satchel. Miriani beams happily at Melodie! Melodie says, "Thank you." Melodie put a Wehnimer's promissory note inside her white silk cloak. Melodie accepts Miriani's ruby pin. Miriani removes a 1st place case from inside her goodie bag. Bevan offers Melodie a shimmering diamond pendant. Miriani removes a sparkling diamond pin in the shape of a flute from inside her place case. Melodie puts on a delicate ruby pin in the shape of a flute. Miriani put a 1st place case inside her goodie bag. Melodie accepts Bevan's diamond pendant. Melodie says, "Thank you, very much. I'm honoured." Melodie just kissed Morte on the lips. Bevan just hugged Melodie. Melodie smiles. Miriani smiles at Melodie. Bevan says, "We were, to see you dance for us, my dear" Bevan says, "And now ..." Bevan says, "For our first place Master and Best in Show ..." Bevan removes a white wool cloak with a topaz and opal clasp and a golden lyre embroidered on the shoulder from inside his herbalist's satchel. Bevan says, "And possessor of the Cloak of Orfeo for six months ..." Bevan rubs a white wool cloak with a topaz and opal clasp and a golden lyre embroidered on the shoulder. Bevan says, "I proudly present this token of performing excellence to ..." Bevan offers Ylena a white wool cloak with a topaz and opal clasp and a golden lyre embroidered on the shoulder. Ylena blinks. Terrenth applauds. Ylena blinks. Ylena says, "Oh, Gods...." Ylena accepts Bevan's wool cloak. Miriani offers Ylena a sparkling diamond pin in the shape of a flute. Ylena's face turns slightly pale. Miriani beams happily at Ylena! Bevan says, "You wanted more clothes. You have them." Ylena says, "I don't know what to say..." Ylena slings a white wool cloak with a topaz and opal clasp and a golden lyre embroidered on the shoulder over her shoulder. Ylena accepts Miriani's diamond pin. Bevan removes a Wehnimer's promissory note from inside his herbalist's satchel. Miriani smiles at Ylena. Ylena asks, "May I say a few words?" Bevan offers Ylena a Wehnimer's promissory note. Ylena puts on a sparkling diamond pin in the shape of a flute. Ylena accepts Bevan's promissory note. Ylena put a Wehnimer's promissory note inside her feather boa. Miriani exclaims, "Congratulations to you all!" Miriani applauds. Ylena says, "Orfeo adopted me as his daughter, a long long time ago..." Ylena says, "This means more than I can say."

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