Performances from the first night of the Spring Festival of Orfeo, held April 15, 1997 at House Aspis. Included in this night's performance are: Taloa, Antinymous, Kerrithan, Morgatha, Jalea, Sido, Terrenth, Wxuuan, Pallidar, Elysia, Caler, Synz, Tymara, and Atalya. Bevan exclaims, "Good gentles, nobles and ladies all, welcome to the Spring Festival of Orfeo!" Bevan says, "We have many splendid performers ready to grace us with their talents ..." Bevan says, "But before we do --" Bevan says, "I wish to observe silence for the souls of Metaboculous and Ellizza, who both departed in recent days" Bevan says, "In especial, though it is no secret that Meta and I were not friends, I wish everyone to consider the reasons why he left, and seek within yourselves to make the lands a place where such things ought not to be ..." Bevan asks, "Alright ... the first order of business I need to do is thin out the judges' pool a tad ... we have the notable talents of Bloodsnake, Tanri, Sophokles, and Haymish here ... does any one of you wish to sit out until tomorrow?" Bevan smiles hopefully Sophokles raises his hand. Terrenth raises her hand. Bevan says, "Fair enough, my lord - you get to just listen tonight ..." Bevan just hugged Sophokles. Bevan says, "When every performance is done, good judges, pray whisper to me your scores" Sophokles says, "Greetings fellow friends and lovers of the performing arts" Bevan says, "And now, for our first performer in the Spring Festival of Orfeo ..." Sophokles says, "It is my honor and privilage to guide you thought tonight" Sophokles recites: "The first performer is the wonderful bard Taloa. " Sophokles recites: "She has been active amongst her peers in many respects Tonight she will perform for us. " Taloa stands up. Sophokles recites: "Please give your attention to Taloa." Sophokles bows. Taloa's Performance: (Taloa takes her harp from her cloak. Lightly she plucks notes with apparent randomness -- yet the music reminds you of birds chirping.) Taloa sings: "I dream of a warm, blue sky Thick forest so darkly green Longing for that remote scene A want for old, worn trails to try." Taloa sighs sadly. Taloa sings: "Listen for liquid laughter nigh Flowing from the river serene. Seeing deeply the water's sheen, Flowing over smooth rocks so shy " (Taloa lets the melody spill over you, invoking the coolness of water flowing.) Taloa sings: "Touching morn's foggy cloak Watching the fog rolling back As mother goddess goes to wake Her daughter hills for day's stroke." (Taloa gazes at you, sharing her pensive longing for home.) Taloa sings: "I wish to leave this mood so black And tread that earth to easemy ache." Taloa sings: "Memories stay, though I still cry. Forests here have not the unseen Friendly spirits who oft convene To talk in ways many and wry." (Taloa sings as her voice deepens slightly, taking on a calmer note.) Taloa sings: "I long for the soothing lullaby Sung wordlessly but oh so keen That even the stones do glean. One I kept to hear the sigh" Taloa sings: "For it bears in it the heart stroke That I seek to reach and track. Let mother know I do not forsake One day, I will see my gentlefolk" (Taloa shifts the melody into a lighter, if yet still pensive, air. In her eyes, you can almost see the hills of her home.) Taloa sings: "And have the love I now do lack. Someday soon that trip I'll take." (Taloa stills the harp with one hand.) Taloa removes a smooth stone from inside her silver cloak. Taloa rubs a smooth stone. Taloa sighs wistfully. Taloa bows. Bevan says, "Good gentles, my apologies for the interruptions, but I believe that Antinymous is here and able to perform ..." Bevan asks, "Lord Sophokles, would you do the honor of presenting scores for judging with the rest, as some judges are in and out?" Sophokles says, "Sure" Antinymous stands up to address the assembly. Sophokles says, "My honor" Bevan says, "Let us hear you, Antinymous" Antinymous' Performance: Antinymous smiles and pulls a small battered wooden lyre from inside his black bear hide mantle. (Antinymous tunes his lyre and looks out into the crowd.) Antinymous recites: "Tonight a bit of history. Tis a tale of bravery and treachery and tyranny and pride. I sing you now the fall of the Elven Empire." (Antinymous begins a light but haunting theme, fingers deftly plucking the strings as a shadowy melody in a minor key surrounds you. Suddenly hebegins to sing in a clear baritone rising just above the music) Antinymous sings: "In times before and ages past, Seven houses elven high, Built akingdom bright and vast, Cities envied by the sky." Antinymous sings: "Ta'Vaalor whose might was legend, Truer swords were never raised, Ta'Illistrim - scholars, mages, Strong enchantments there were made." Antinymous sings: "Ta'Nalfein sharp and stealthy Politicians full of guile, Ta'Ardenai's master archers Closer kept to forests wild." Antinymous sings: "Ta'Ashrim mastered water, Sailed great warships out to sea, Ta'Loenthra - craftsmen, poets, Artisans and bards they be." Antinymous winks. Antinymous sings: "Ta'Faendryl to lead them all, Eldest house of elven sons, Element and spirit masters, They would be the first undone." Antinymous bites his lip. Antinymous sings: "Thus they ruled from shining towers, A thousand years tenfold they say, Full of pride and drunk with power, Humankind they kept as slaves." Antinymous shakes his head. (Antinymous suddenly changes keys. The underlying themes remain the same butthe variations, and the change in key set a darker, more ominous tone.) Antinymous sings: "Till Despana dark and shifty, Sought the Tormitor and read, With aid of tome in daemon tongue, She raised an army of undead!" Antinymous sings: "Elven houses did make quarrel, Brother plotting against brother, Did they rise against the unlife? Nay! They rose against each other." Antinymous smiles sadly and looks out to the audience. He quickly bows his head,but not quickly enough to hide the pained expression on his face. Antinymous sings: "Darthiir, the arch-lich general, And sometime whispered lover, Of dread Despana quickly Rent the empire asunder." Antinymous's face turns slightly pale. Antinymous sings: "And every house lay broken, At the gates of Shadowguard, Despana left them drowning, In their prideful elvish blood." Antinymous sings: "But the few elves left united, Under banner Faendryl, With the newfound gifts of Sorcery Was dark Despana killed." Antinymous sings: "With undead gone, House Faendryl, These sorcerers so feared, Were banished to Maelshyve For the powers they had shared." Antinymous recites: "Never again did the elves hold empire over Elanthia. This marked the beginning of the age of Chaos. Eventually the children of House Faendryl became the Dark Elves, but that is another story." Antinymous bows. (Antinymous puts a small battered wooden lyre inside his black bear hide mantle.) Lady Kerrithan's Performance: (Kerrithan rises, her gold and silver jewelry gleaming against her ebon-skinned form. She pauses a moment, gazing at her audience, then beginsto sing a wordless melody.) (Kerrithan concentrates for a moment, focusing her voice on the air before her. The air dances to her voice, and within moments, you see the image of an ancient battlefield form before you.) Kerrithan sings: "Many years before our time, Despana brought the dead to fight. My people fought, and for that crime, Were banished ever from the light." Kerrithan sings: "All recall the demon wings The Faendryl called to battle strong, Shadowing other, brighter things That act shall be remembered long." (Kerrithan gestures, and the battlescene before you shifts, focusing on a rough shelter erected well behind the battlelines, where healers battle for the lives of broken warriors.) Kerrithan sings: "Healers in this age were brave, For Death was hard to keep at bay. There were no herbs their lives to save, Their spells were all that healed that day." (Kerrithan focuses her voice on the image again, bringing a single healer into view, a lovely elven woman in blood-stained clothes working desperately over bloodied warriors with bandages and magic.) Kerrithan sings: "Maelshyve, where Despana fell, There fell an empath among the rest, Imaera's child, as some would tell, Beloved by that Goddess best." Kerrithan sings: "Knowing well the price she'd pay, She healed the casters of thespell. She gave her life that fateful day, And to Lorminstra's armsshe fell." (Kerrithan gazes sadly into the scene, where the young elven healer gives her life for that of another, older elf, who rises, still chanting his fateful spell.) Kerrithan sings: "On her lips, a final prayer, "Sweet Mother, aid us in our pain!" Imaera heard her dying there, Then from the skies fell tears of rain." Kerrithan sings: "Silver light consumed the form. Where the healer's body fell. And from that silver light so warm Sprung a herb we all know well." (Kerrithan gestures once more, and you see before you the shattered form ofthe lovely healer consumed by Imaera's light. The blood-soaked ground where her body once lay shimmers silver for a moment, then the leaves of a familiar plant grow from the soil.) Kerrithan sings: "Aye, my people pierced the veil, And for that folly, paid the price. But heed my words, and hear my tale. Recall Acantha's sacrifice." (Kerrithan reaches into the image before her and plucks a single leaf from the plant. The image fades away as Kerrithan stops singing.) Kerrithan removes some acantha leaf from inside her black jacket. Kerrithan takes a bite of her acantha leaf. Kerrithan makes a horrible face! Nothing happens. Kerrithan gazes in awe at the leaf in her hand. (Kerrithan bows her head, a tear in her lovely, violet eyes.) Bevan asks, "For our next contestant, in the Master list ... Lady Morgatha, shall we hear you this eve?" Lady Morgatha's Performance: Morgatha smiles. (Morgatha glides gracefully to the front, her cape billowing slightly around her. She bows to the judges and to you.) Morgatha finds an empty seat and sits down. Morgatha removes a small rose from inside her velvet pouch. Morgatha smiles as she lays the wild rose on the floor in front of you. Morgatha drops a small rose. (Morgatha gets her harp from her cape. It is a small troubadour harp, made of modwir and finely crafted. Polished to a sheen from many yearsof use, she plucks it lightly to check its tuning.) Morgatha says, "Thank you for letting me perform for you this evening. This song is called, "The Life of a Rose"." (Morgatha slowly, steadily, plucks the lowest strings, the arpeggio building around you. As she does so, the rose is illuminated and begins to rise off the floor. You notice it is tightly shut, the bud still green.) (Morgatha begins a lovely melody, yet strident in harmony. It begins to move more quickly, changing timbre, and with a sudden, crashing chord, she stops the sound.) Morgatha sings: "It was night of full moon blown, Stillness shattered by a cry! Amidst laughter and tears - a birth. Red-haired and fair, of life barely known Squalling and squealing, not a moment's gone by Yet mother finds solace in a child of such worth." Morgatha sings: "One tiny hand to clutch a small finger Her face beaming softly,to touch, yet to linger." (Morgatha takes up the harp again, the melody renewed - happier and carefree. The rose begins to slowly unfold, its red petals peaking through to tantalize the senses with its possibilities.) Morgatha sings: "Red curls pass the window aspeed, Bouncing in haste, a ruddy round face, Her dress all a-kilter from climbing a tree! Mother looks up, eyes twinkle indeed Calling, 'Oh child, please slowest thy pace!' A laugh and a kiss she's away recklessly" Morgatha sings: "'Nae,mother, the ball runs away down the hill, And catch it I must! I can't just stand still!'" Morgatha smiles to herself as she continues the song, the melody now lush, vibrant, and potent. The flower opens slowly as you watch, petals full.Its fragrance hangs heavy in the air. Morgatha sings: "Two soft and sultry eyes reflect On a face gazing at her lovingly. Her body, flush with passionate need, Moves against him, joiningso perfect It leaves her breathless, his joy to see. A languid stretch, with little to impede." Morgatha sings: "Their selfish ardor and loving touch Neither feels they can love too much." (Morgatha ritards to a slower pace. The rose has become fuller, its fragrance almost spent. A blue and white butterfly alights on it, the pollen shaken from its place. A subtle change has taken place, as yetnot fully understood.) Morgatha sings: "The pitter patter of little feet Awakens her from slumber too short. But laughter fills the air as she Swings her child up to her seat. Her child chatters with youthful rapport Of the daily lives of the cows, you see." Morgatha sings: "Of such small joys are her days now filled Of ribbons and bows,of laughter never stilled." Morgatha smiles sadly, the melody turning darker and even slower now. The rosehas lost its brilliance, petals wilting and slowly falling to the ground. A large seed pod has begun to develop - the illumination becoming pale and transluscent. Morgatha sings: "So many years, so many to love. Her joy's now found in the rose's bloom, Their silent beauty commanding devotion. Old limbs move slowly and she hears a dove. The light fades quickly in the room, And she sighs with a lifetime of emotion." Morgatha sings: "The children gone, her husband, too. Only the roses, she thinks, will do." (Morgatha strikes the harp once - a discord of sound. The flower has lostits petals and has withered away. With her last verse, the light dims slowly around the rose, lowering it to the ground, leaving it indarkness.) Morgatha sings: "So quiet, she thinks - her mind has gone still. Death has come like a silent lover To lay beside her, gently caressing Her soul that longs for the quiet fill Of that place unknown - 'he's' above her. She smiles, eyes closed, her soul acquiescing." Morgatha sings: "A light above, a familiar face, She beams with the infinite love in this place." (Morgatha bows and takes the rose from the floor.) Morgatha picks up a small rose. Bevan asks, "For our next Journeyman ... Jalea, would you be so kind as to brave following that one?" Lady Jalea's Performance: (Jalea walks bravely to the front of the room.) Jalea smiles and gently extracts an azure lap harp from within her cloak. Jalea recites: "This is a wedding song composed for some dear friends of mine." Jalea smiles and plays a cheerful arpeggio across her lap harp's strings. Your spirits are lifted by the very sound. Her eyes twinkle as she invites you to join in this joyful event, and she sings: Jalea sings: "Gather ye all and hear a tale Of the power of love that's bold. The two who now exchange their hearts Have defied the words of critics cold." (Jalea becomes more serious, and the music becomes more stately and measured.) Jalea sings: "They met as they fought a holy cause Regarding Lorminstra's cause as right. They joined with Voln and sought to free The tortured souls of Luukos' blight." Jalea smiles tenderly, and the tempo becomes more brisk. Jalea sings: "Some said such love was passing, Not love at all, just a lie. But they have triumphed o'er such As said this love would die." Jalea smiles joyfully, and returns the music to its original tempo. Jalea sings: "And now we know their love is true, That joy and fortune will prevail. May all the gods of light look on And praise this love that will not fail." Jalea smiles and with a graceful gesture, disappears into the crowd. Bevan says, "Alright ... good gentles, our next performer, in the Journeyman category, is Sido ..." Sido's Performance: Sido sighs. (Sido stands up adjusting his dublet, looks down to the floor, looks upand smiles,muttering something under his breath he walks into the center of the room.) Sido says, "Before I start I would like to dedicate this song to four vary specal people my mon and dad Lady Tanika and Lord Noonga for without them I would have left the lands long ago. " Sido says, "and to my dear friend Lady Elysee, and one dear to all of us all,who's loss has been felt by us all Spike." (Sido pulls out a small elegantly crafted Ironwood lute with ivory and silver trimmings, thelute's neck has been carved to depict two dragons interwined in a deadly embrace.) (Sido closes his eyes, strums a few notes, and looks at you, he seems distant, as if recalling some distant memory.) Sido sings: "Come one , Come all I have something for you a song of battle And every note rings true." (Sido starts to play his lute, The music from his lute slowly drowns that of the room. The shadows seem to grow ever longer, suddenly a small breeze sweeps through the room. ) (Sido 's song continues, now distant sounds of the forest can be heard,The rustling of trees, even singing of birds Everything blurs and you find your selves sitting in a large clearing. ) (Sido 's song continues, the notes from the lute seem to come from everywhere. Two forms come out of the forest. One is a much younger looking Sido, the other is someone you have never seen before. ) (Sido and his companion seem to be stalking something, suddenly a hobgoblin leaps out of the shadows his claidmore striking Sido's companionsquare in the chest, dropping him in one blow!) (Sido stands alone as five more hobgoblins step out of the shadows.) (Sido 's voice seems to come from everywhere.) Sido sings: "Friend at my feet Hobgoblins at bay Things weren't supposed tohappen this way A hunt among friends, That was all I never thoughtone of us would fall." (Sido 's song starts to quicken, as the scene before you unfolds, the hobgoblins start to close in on Sido, you can tell his companion is quite dead.) Sido sings: "Terror befallen me But I can not falter I must fight on no matter the number Five hobgoblins to us two,the odds would not have been bad But now my friend has fallen It's all in my hands." (Sido 's song quickened to a dizzying pace. One of the hobgoblins swings at Sido it's blade barely striking Sido right above the right eye, blood starts to drip down his face) Sido sings: "Blood drips over my eye I have found I'm in a battle for my life 'HELP' I cry out but there is no reply My falchion at the ready Shield in hand I have not come all this way to die in this land" (Sido 's song continues its dizzying pace, but now seems wilder somehow, You feel your heart start beating faster,your breathing becomes shallow,and your muscles tense.) Sido sings: "A dead Friend lies before me Hobgoblins at bay I shall not fall this way Ready thy falchion Ready thy Shield I have not come allthis way just to die in this field." (Sido 's song picks up the pace becoming a blur of musical notes, then suddenly ......silence. The shadows of the forest seem to swirl around Sido. The Hobgoblins seem tense and ready to strike.) (Sido 's voice seems to come from your mind) Sido sings: "Vengeance is true As sharp as my blade Some shall fall But not I this day!" (Sido 's song begins anew. Faster and faster the notes are played. The hobgoblins set into their stances as Sido leaps over the body of his fallen companion.) Sido yells, "'Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh"" Sido sings: "I leap into combat I hear only a distant scream Was it mine I don't know For it was all just a dream" (Sido 's song ends abruptly...Suddenly the room goes pitch back, you struggle to control your heart which now beats so hard that it hurts.The lights of the inn once more come into view. ) (Sido ,now in the center of the room, falls to his knees) Sido kneels down. (Sido looks up and smiles, above his eye is a small bleeding cut, he nods and smiles) Sido recites: "Or was it" (Sido 's music slowly drifts away into silence) Sido stands up. Bevan asks, "For our next Master candidate ... my dear Terrenth, would you be so kind as to perform for us?" Terrenth's Performance: Bevan smiles darkly, fingering the hilt of his really very heavily enchanted broadsword (Terrenth makes her way forward in that age-old awkward waddle of a woman nearing the time of her child's birth, but there is a strange and beautiful grace to her movements.) Terrenth says, "Pleasures of the evening to ye, good gentles." (Terrenth rests her clasped hands upon her protruding belly. ) Terrenth blushes a nice shade of off-pink. Terrenth says, "I seem to be having trouble of late playing my lute..." (Tanri glances worriedly at Terrenth's stomach) Terrenth chuckles. Terrenth says, "...So I shall be singing this evening without musical accompaniment." Terrenth smiles. Terrenth says, "I respectfully dedicate my performance tonight to two men: to Lord Bevan..." Terrenth gazes fondly at Bevan. Terrenth says, "...Whose efforts toward promoting the performing arts in this land are unparalleled, and without whom I would not have discovered my love for singing..." Terrenth smiles tenderly at Jadaard. Bevan smiles gently, blowing Terrenth a kiss Terrenth says, "...And to my beloved Jadaard, without whom I would have no reason to sing at all." Terrenth clears her throat. Terrenth sighs. Terrenth says, "However, I sing not of love this night, but of...revenge." (Terrenth conjures a small smokelesss fire to burn upon the ground before her feet. The flames flicker strangely in the candlelight, sort of whispering, beckoning you to come within its reach.) Terrenth smiles grimly as, in a husky contralto... Terrenth sings: "There lived a lass whose lover's soul Was foul as daemon's bile. His heart was filled with avarice, His temper sorely vile." Terrenth sings: "Despite his faults she did as he asked. Her plight she felt she'd earned. She bore the haggard, haunted mask Of a child who'd oft been spurned." (Terrenth sings a melancholy air as she drops a mask of tragedy into the fire. You find yourself unable to draw your gaze from the mask as its scintillating edges shift and smolder in the flames.) Terrenth sings: "On a perilous hunt for profit one day, She suffered a ruinous blow, But precious herb he did not deign Upon her to bestow." Terrenth sings: "'Yer clumsy error, ye thoughtless twit, Has cost me valued kill!' 'The herb!' she blurted, 'Ye'd best be quick, Else heart will e'er be still!'" Terrenth sings: "He cast upon her glacial eye, And promptly she did cower, Ne'erbefore had she dared to defy His overbearing power." Terrenth sings: "In manner she could not evade, And because of a kobold's chest, He drove the deadly point of his blade Into defenseless breast." (Terrenth hurls a slender silver dirk into the fire, where it quivers, itstip embedded in the polished wood parquet. The flames quickly blacken the metal to a dull finish.) Terrenth sings: "He turned, upon his face a sneer, And left her there to rot, Left his 'love' of five long years Without a second thought." Terrenth takes off a small rose. (Terrenth now holds over the fire a small pink rosebud. She lets it fall,where it immediately curls, burning in the eerie heat.) Terrenth drops a small rose. Terrenth sings: "She dragged herself in weakened state Across the blood-soaked ground. Imaera's hand devised her fate -- Sweet moss and grass she found." (Terrenth shifts her song into a disturbing refrain, its feeling slowly building in intensity, constant and determined, then flowing toward anuneasy plateau.) Terrenth sings: "Some years later to lush temptation His selfish eye was drawn... 'Twas self-same lass - a transformation She had undergone." Terrenth sings: "Lo, these many years apart She'd trained like one possessed. O'er the rich demanding art Of combat she'd obsessed." Terrenth sings: "From poise and self-reliance sown, Her girlhood she'd outgrown. Her purity of spirit honed Along the steps of Voln." Terrenth sings: "Despite her scolding conscience, Garbed in silk and costly jewels, The lady plied her wealth immense To lure the greedy fool." Terrenth removes a diamond teardrop pendant from her neck. (Terrenth removes a glittering diamond pendant from her neck and casts it also into the haunting flames. As the fire claims it, there is a sharp crackling sound.) Terrenth drops a diamond teardrop pendant. Terrenth sings: "She crooned a song with siren's sway Of treasure to be gained. Within a glen, from town away, She bid him to remain." Terrenth sings: "From fertile earth burst tangle weed From spirit spell she'd cast. Vise-like vines ensnared with speed, Created to hold fast." Terrenth sings: "Cat howls to sudden silence break And fierce upon him sprang, Left behind a bloody wake With claw and feral fang." Terrenth sings: "To death the cat she did consign, While pothinir he sought. Of meager strength and fleeting time His searching came to naught." Terrenth removes some pothinir grass from inside her azure cloak. Terrenth sings: "'Mayhap it is for *this* ye cast,' She mercilessly taunted, A fresh supply of curative grass Before his face she flaunted." Terrenth waves some pothinir grass around. Terrenth put some pothinir grass inside her azure cloak. Terrenth removes a silvery imflass sword from inside her azure cloak. Terrenth sings: "'Of grass this region has been eased,' Triumphantly she spat, ''Midst dew-dropped meadow 'pon my knees This morn I saw to that!'" Terrenth sings: "'This very setting should call to mind When, many years ago, Mylife ye spent with fury blind! To me this debt ye owe!'" (Terrenth grasps the hilt of her weapon, point down, with both hands. Shestares out into the audience with a challenging gaze that you find difficult to meet.) Terrenth sings: "But poised to kill, she wavered, By morality was pricked. This pause the fallen favored. By his falsehood, she was tricked." Terrenth sings: "'What debt?' he cried. His blood still seeped From out his jagged wounds. 'I know not of this *debt* ye speak! I'm not whom ye assume!'" Terrenth sings: "Struck dumb was the vindictive lass For loss of memory feigned. Had she steadily amassed Vindictive vigor all in vain?" Terrenth sings: "Shrieking keenly his contempt, He strove her blade to seize. The vine had vanished. In bold attempt, He drove her to her knees!" Terrenth sings: "'Ye fool! I now recall ye, Though ye're different now from then.'" (Terrenth swiftly swings her sword upward into such a threatening posture that you flinch, almost drawing your weapon in response!) Terrenth sings: "'Aye! *Attack* now supercedes My prior instinct to defend!'" Terrenth sings: "Tactics masterful and clever Brought to bear for retribution, His sword arm she did sever, To avenge her execution." Terrenth removes some pothinir grass from inside her azure cloak. Terrenth drops some pothinir grass. Terrenth sings: "She, o'er his bleeding body, tossed The worthless herbal grass. 'If gods see fit, ye'll forage moss. If not, from life ye pass.'" Terrenth sings: "'I care not what befalls ye now, With ye, my heart is through. A life with vengance so endowed Is empty to pursue.'" Terrenth sings: "Never wondering with sorrow What the gods for him ordained, Shebore her conscience toward the morrow Free from ugly stain." Terrenth put a silvery imflass sword inside her azure cloak. Terrenth sings: "''Mongst rangers there's a proverb That where spiteful blood had stained No flowering plant, nor healing herb Will there its life sustain." Terrenth removes a single black rose from inside her azure cloak. (Terrenth pulls a rose from her cloak. As the final spectral echoes of the song drift away, she plucks its lustrous black petals and casts them over the fire, which is then extinguished.) Terrenth curtsies. Bevan says, "Good gentles ... our next Journeyman performer is Wxuuan ..." Lord Wxuuan's Performance: Wxuuan says, "Good evening friends..." (Wxuuan inhales deeply, shaking a bit as from great exhaustion.) Wxuuan says, "Two days ago as I was wound-stealing across our fine lands, something imbedded itself in my heart..." Wxuuan says, "That night it made its way from my heart into my mind... tearing mefrom Churl's rest and forming itself into story and song..." (Wxuuan wraps both arms around himself and closes his eyes... inhaling and exhaling in deep concentration.) (Wxuuan 's voice becomes a soft whisper... You strain to listen...) Wxuuan says, "I must take myself back to that night..." Wxuuan shivers. (Wxuuan lifts a long night-black wooden tube out of his cloak with chaotic deep red designs. Upon further note, you realize that they are the caked streaks and splotches of his own blood.) (Wxuuan inhales deeply and concentrates, putting his lips to one end of the long wooden instrument. You hear a long gutteral howl that seemsto echo all around you.) Wxuuan says, "This tale is a tale of founding. This tale is a tale of death. Thistale will be a tale of ending." Wxuuan says, "A long time ago, when the first stones were laid upon this ground, there lived the Silver Wolf." Wxuuan says, "The Silver wolf protected these lands... kept the kobolds and hobgoblins from getting too great of a hold... put the roltons and thraksin their place." (Wxuuan blows with a satisfied look on his face... the howl rising and falling with the beatings of your heart.) Wxuuan says, "But a foolish man hungered for the Silver that the wolf wore..." (Wxuuan puffs his cheeks gently... and voices seem to dance around the room..) Wxuuan says, "And the man conviced the founders that the wolf was too much a danger to the new town. An agreement upon its destruction was forged..." (Wxuuan seems to stifle a long sigh, creating a long cry that ends unfinished. The room's walls become sickly and pale.) Wxuuan says, "So, one night on the crest of All Hallow's eve... the man laid a trap of spells and bitterness." Wxuuan says, "The wolf, a creature of hope, was called to that evil place... and bound helpless." (Wxuuan groans into the tube... You shiver as the glint of something seems to work its way into the corner of your eye...) Wxuuan says, "The man skinned the helpless creature alive, finally impaling the wolf through the stomach on a long spear to prolong its agonies. " (Wxuuan forces his cracked lips brutally onto the edge of the tube, tears streaming down his face. A long scream seems to resonate from deepwithin...) Wxuuan says, "The body held high ...He hung the soul dying in the center of town so all could see his prowress." Wxuuan says, "As the Silver wolf swung there in the wind... watching its life drip to the hard-packed dirt below... it began to howl...." (Wxuuan closes his eyes... and the room has lost all sunshine... all warmth. There is only the sad painful cry... the howls seem to form words...) Wxuuan sings: "Your old will be mouthfuls Your minds will be weak Your gods will be sticken,stipped,and bound I curse these lands, I curse this town." Wxuuan sings: "Your youth will sneer at your elders Your hearts will melt at your feet Your strength crushed, All cast down I curse these lands, Icurse this town." (Wxuuan runs his fingers across the streaks and drops of caked blood slowly as you listen to the instrument's lonely sigh.) Wxuuan sings: "Brother will tear into friend A land of beggars all you shall be Into this dirt... your hope ground I curse these lands, I curse this town." Wxuuan sings: "Your children will suck at the teat of betrayal Caring only fortheir own power Twisting honor... all decaying and brown I curse these lands, I curse this town." Wxuuan sings: "I curse these lands, I curse this town." (Wxuuan looks into your eyes, taking his lips away from the intrument. His lips are speckled with fresh crimson.) Wxuuan says, "With these last burning on its lips... the Silver wolf's eyes turned gray... and a rain of rotted flesh fell upon the earth." Wxuuan says, "The man.. wearing his new fine pelt... screamed as the fur engulfedhis body... before twisting in on itself... " Wxuuan says, "Leaving only his blood... to mingle with the wolf's." (Wxuuan looks deathly-pale. The happiness that nomally sparkles in his eyes seem dim compared to the dark circles that surround them.) Wxuuan asks, "I see it happening and it frightens me. Youth more willing to beg than to ask. Our old vanishing into the shadows to dance with V'tull.All gaiety snuffed. What will it take?" (Wxuuan leans exhausted on the dark tube. A single drop of muddy-red sweat falls from his forehead onto the wood... drying almost instantly.) (Wxuuan slowly walks into your midst... and returns to his seat.) Bevan asks, "Alright ... for our next performer, in the Journeyman bracket ... Pallidar, would you grace us?" Lord Pallidar's Performance: Pallidar says, "The good man of the cloth has said many times that nature needs notaccompaniment.. I've decided my performance tonight will be withoutaid of the instrument, but in hopes it will be perceived as close to the clarity of nature's harmony as possible." (Pallidar bows his head momentarily, closes his eyes, then continues.) Pallidar removes a glass of Flaeshornberry wine from inside his silk sack. Pallidar sings: "Step into my company... Share a tale with me, The fire's warm, the evening clear Plenty of ale to share, plenty of stories to tell, ... For Bard I am!" Pallidar tries to drink from his Flaeshornberry wine without much success. Pallidar hiccups! Pallidar says, "Better work more on the story, less on the wine." Pallidar winks. Pallidar put a glass of Flaeshornberry wine inside his silk sack. Pallidar removes a candle votive from inside his silk sack. (Pallidar lights the candle votive, its flame illuminating his face slightly as he begins to sing.) Pallidar sings: "Step into my path... A chosen way I walk, Peace be thy soul, Still be thy heart Protected are thee, blessed truly are we ... For Cleric I am!" (Pallidar extinguishes the flame reverently.) Pallidar put a candle votive inside his silk sack. Pallidar removes a Marallis berry from inside his silk sack. Pallidar smiles as he is comforted in seeing the Marallis berry. Pallidar sings: "Step into my path... A chosen way I walk, Peace be thy soul, Still be thy heart Protected are thee, blessed truly are we ... For Cleric I am!" (Pallidar takes a nibble from the berry and is comforted.) Pallidar put a Marallis berry inside his silk sack. Pallidar kneels down. Pallidar forages around for a moment but doesn't appear to have any luck finding what he was looking for. Pallidar shrugs. Pallidar removes a small rose from inside his silk sack. Pallidar winks. Pallidar sings: "Step into my surroundings... Breathe the air I breathe, Hear birds sing, see water run, feel sunshine on your face, Walk safely with me, never fall from the path, ... For Ranger I am!" Pallidar sniffs at his small rose. Pallidar put a small rose inside his silk sack. Pallidar stands up. Pallidar removes a professional lockpick from inside his silk sack. Pallidar cracks his knuckles. Pallidar sings: "Step into my shadows... Walk the night with me, Feel safety behind you, with me around you, Though you do not see me, I am here ... For Rogue I am!" Pallidar seems to be trying to figure out how to turn a professional lockpick. Pallidar blushes a nice shade of off-pink. Pallidar says, "I guess professional lockpicks are for professional lock pickers." Pallidar put a professional lockpick inside his silk sack. Pallidar removes a black skull from inside his silk sack. (Pallidar shifts his eyes to the black skull.) Pallidar shivers. Pallidar sings: "Step into my Energy... Arcane powers unleashed Terror in the night, fear in the heart Fear not with me, safe you will be ... For Sorceror I am!" Pallidar spins a black skull in his hand and it begins screaming! Pallidar shudders. Pallidar put a black skull inside his silk sack. Pallidar removes a silver wand from inside his silk sack. (Pallidar twirls about once, his cape flowing freely, causing his form to seem to blur for an instant.) Pallidar sings: "Step into my marvel... Watch wondrous works in awe, Feel wisdom and strength at these works, Find courage and inspiration in what you see with me, ... For Wizard I am!" (Pallidar runs his finger along the wand, as small crackles and sparks emanate, forming a brilliant glow at the end of the wand.) Pallidar put a silver wand inside his silk sack. Pallidar removes some studded eonake gauntlets from inside his silk sack. Pallidar puts on some studded eonake gauntlets. Pallidar sings: "Step into my shoes... Weary but ever steady, Feel strength and skill at your side, Scoff at peril, live for danger, ever be mighty, ... For Warrior I am!" Pallidar clenches his fist. Pallidar takes off some studded eonake gauntlets. Pallidar put some studded eonake gauntlets inside his silk sack. Pallidar removes a blue silk sack from his belt. Pallidar points at a blue silk sack. (Pallidar points at himself, then gestures to all around.) Pallidar sings: "Step into my life... Look to all those around you, Mortal yet strong, mighty yet weak, Let us be united, respect one another, ... For Elanthian I am!" Pallidar says, "Both sides of the parchment were used to write this work, and noElanthians were harmed in its production." Pallidar winks. Pallidar bows. Pallidar says, "I made a dire err, that I must correct.." Pallidar says, "It's said one should continue past mistake, and not mention it, butI shant do such to a wonderful group I missed by err in mmy writing, tho the verse was made." Pallidar says, "So to that end, the omission.." Pallidar sings: "Step into my presence... Bring thine afflictions unto me, Loosen ehy tension, comfort ntw you feel, Never be in pain when walking wth me ... For Empath I am!" Pallidar smiles. Bevan asks, "And now, for our next performer in the Masters' list ... Lady Elysia, would you do us the honor of performing, this eve?" Lady Elysia's Performance: (Elysia walks slowly to the front of the crowd. She stands in relative darkness, save for one small illuminated circle spilling light around her.) Elysia says, "Good evening, my friends and family. For those of you I have not met, my Name is Elysia Mairearad. I am a daughter of Callisto Loenthra's House." Elysia smiles slightly, as a shadow crosses her delicate elven features. Elysia says, "This lyric I wrote upon saying goodbye to yet another lifelong friend recently." Elysia says, "It is a work born of the despair and frustration that drove him to leave, and the anguish I felt as we tried futilely to convince him to stay... and it comes from my heart." Elysia says, "I sing tonight for my Aunt Warble, who gave me the gift of belonging. For my Uncle Milo, who patiently taught this aspiring bardessto Loresing. For the Lady Dreamweaver, from whom I learned the virtue of the spoken word." Elysia says, "For friends Thaerin and Aivylark, who lived as if there were no tomorrows. For my dear friend Brimstone, who taught me to live by my sword. And for Mojo and adopted Uncle Baine, who educated me in the finer points of enjoying rum." Elysia smiles softly. Elysia says, "These were the Bards who shaped my life, and I miss them all." Elysia says, "I give you... Lorminstra's Tears." (Elysia clasps her hands behind her and lifts her face to the night air.She begins to sing, her melody clear and true in the stillness around you.) Elysia sings: "Will we be remembered, Once gone from the lands? Or will we be buried In time-shifting sands?" Elysia sings: "Shadows of legends Live on in our halls... Will their souls heed the cries, Should anyone call?" (Elysia casts her eyes upward, mumuring a phrase of magic. A sudden breeze stirs around you in the darkness, slowly growing in intensity.) (Elysia gazes out over the crowd, lingering briefly on family and friends, but her eyes seem to search for faces not present. Her eyes moveupward, beseeching the swirling air.) Elysia sings: "What was his song, But breath on the wind? His night be recalled Or forgotten again?" Elysia sings: "Will his name be sung Throughout the years... When he is but another Of Lorminstra's Tears?" (Elysia pauses momentarily, seeming lost in remembrance, her eyes downcast. As she looks up and begins to sing anew, you're certain you hear the faint echo of a long-unheard Voice carried on the swirling breeze.) Elysia sings: "He remembered his youth, So fair and bright When waking was wondrous, A magical sight..." Elysia sings: "What to elder was common, To him seemed unreal Yet he too now wanders, Having lost those ideals." (Elysia gazes upwards, through the spiraling, swirling winds, her hair and gown whipping about her body. A strange, far-away smile crosses her lips, as if she's greeting old friends. More Voices join the first, weaving harmonies around Elysia's.) Elysia sings: "What was our song, But breath on the wind? This night be recalled, Or forgotten again?" Elysia sings: "Will our names be sung Throughout the years... When we are yet another Of Lorminstra's Tears?" (Elysia gazes upwards, into the tumbling currents. The very air streamsalive about you, caressing your face and whispering into your ears.A chill runs down your spine... a shiver at hearing Voices not Sung in Ages.) Elysia sings: "Out of sight, out of mind Is the grace of the youth So much history is lost, In their searches for truth." Elysia sings: "Will our children be forced To learn once again The lessons we taught, They dismissed out of hand?" (Elysia sighs, and her voice drops to a low, mesmerizing tone. The Voices haunt the circling air around you, whispering a sadness you almost cannot bear.) Elysia sings: "Will our deeds heroic And small just the same Be recalled by our children, As yet to reign?" Elysia sings: "Will we breathe through legends And tales left behind? Or will our songs, Our story be lost, in kind?" (Elysia 's voice rises again, lifted higher by the Voices joined with hers. Mingled with the sadness and loss comes the hope that the Voices might yet find their way back, and walk among you again.) Elysia sings: "What is our song, But breath on the wind?" (Elysia smiles softly, her eyes focused on something, or someone, you cannot quite see. The Voices slowly fade away, becoming fainter as if heard across many miles. As the air begins to calm, you suddenlyfeel a sense of overwhelming loss.) Elysia recites: "Not forgotten, are we... But, in you, live again..." (Elysia 's gaze slowly lowers. A single tear winds its way down her cheek.) Elysia says, "Lorminstra may shed another tear today, but I will remember you." Elysia smiles softly at you. (Elysia curtsies deeply.) Bevan asks, "In any event ... our next Journeyman is Caler ... shall we hear you?" Lady Caler's Performance: (Caler gracefully curtsies to the audience and carefully seats herself on a nearby cushioned stool.She pulls a finely crafted lute from herbackpack.The lute has intricate enruned carvings on the body.) Caler smiles and says I call this song Magic in the Making or Ode to Azure. (Caler strums her lute and the rich delicate tones wafting on the nightair seem to call forth memories of a intimate setting, not unlike waves kissing the shore.She plays in a slow but flowing tempo.) Caler smiles and begins to sing with her clear contralto voice..... Caler sings: "We all are a part of the tapestry We are the ones who give the lands meaning Tisn't a God in a misty ivory tower Who gives us strength for learning." Caler sings: "All are a part of the meaning We are Magic in the making The story is written as it unfolds Dreams are there for the taking." (Caler 's lute starts to shimmer in the faint light, its golden delicate tones drawing you closer to the stage, straining to hear those delicate shades of tone that seem to subtly tug at your senses.) Caler sings: "As you speak so it becomes But the lands we love are forgiving Time will not stand still For we will be forever changing." Caler sings: "History is but a stroke of the quill The change we experience with a thrill Hold your breath with each new gaze And view the magic of the days." (Caler has a golden circlet of light surrounding her, the aura appears to be golden glow of power emaniating from the enruned lute.) Caler sings: "Challenge ,excitement, adventure All are a part of the picture The price you pay to decide Your imagination will provide." Caler sings: "Dare to grab some glory Make yourself to be bold Reach for the end of the rainbow Your heart is in the pot of gold." (Caler 's eyes are closed now, her concentration on her music, her hands seeming to move without volition and her aura is now expanding, the circlet of power starting to reach out from the stage.) Caler sings: "Now bards have a role to play We've much to teach, much to say The keepers of the mysteries The scholars of our histories." Caler sings: "Songs for dreaming this heart will envision Alive the dreams become in this wondrous setting All told now without revision We teachthe lands new ways to dream." (Caler 's golden circlet of power has now reached out to you, the golden haze subtly shading all in the room, the strange golden light seeming to uplift your spirits and make your senses sharper.) Caler sings: "Songs for teaching--watch our rich culture unfold It shimmers like gems that beckon Treasures for the wise ones winking Unwary traps for the heart blind forbidden." Caler sings: "Never seeing the riches for their greed Darkness is their fate True punishment is never dreaming Their light is fading.." (Caler 's voice seems to decrease in tempo, but the power of the strange golden light seems to increase, flooding your heart with a powerful surge of light and hope.) Caler sings: "All are part of the meaning We are Magic in the making Story written as it unfolds Dreams are there for the taking." (Caler stops strumming her lute, the golden glow seeming to disappear from you, the circlet returning to the lute...Caler's eyes lock onto yours as she sings alone....) Caler sings: "We teach the lands new ways to dream....." (Caler quietly puts her lute in her backpack, stands and gracefully curtsies to the audience and makes her way off the stage.) Bevan says, "Next in the Journeyman category is Synz ... let us hear you, my lady" Lady Synz's Performance: (Synz Removes a thin, silvery and oakwood case. She unlatches the dragon's maw latch, and opens the casing. From where you watch, silvery reflections flick on and off of your face.) (Synz lifts the instrument to her lips, and begins to share in her talent with you. Her eyes closed, her breath softly passing through thesmall slits and holes.) (Synz begins to play a simple melody, perhaps one you've heard before, but with a twist of tranquility and andventure mixed within. The melody seeps into your ear, then stops, before dying down.) Synz sings: "Blue is a color of paradise, So beautifully it shines. With beauty so precise, Softly flashing its divines." Synz sings: "Loved by mortals who caress, This Goddess of colors true. What more beautiful to confess, Than romantic eyes of blue." (Synz begins to bring her lower limbs into a tapping motion, adding a faint depth of beat and rhythm to her melody.) Synz sings: "Touch a tinge of waterfalls, With traces whiffing your hand. Seeing tumbles of water balls, Flowing so bluish and grand." Synz sings: "A distant thunderstorm roars, With weaves of water's thread. Lightning lashes Elanthia's dry floors, With blue sky's to arrive ahead." Synz sings: "A rainbow in a glowing prance, With hues of blues that seem to dance. Glancing within an elegant trance.. A collage of colors in Nature's enhance." (Synz tucks the flute into her greatcloak, pulling the cloak shut.) (Synz gazes out through her amethyst gaze, watching the expressions of you, and your friends.) Synz sings: "Bluebirds roaming a bluish sky, In wonderous flights of day. Offering grace on the fly, To those who happen their way." Synz sings: "A sapphire star of bluish tint, Glistening in gleaming beams.. Appears to be of heaven sent, A gift of our mystic dreams." (Synz having sang the past few verses with just the faint drumming motions, she pauses in thought for a moment..the continues as if never stopping..Her voice carried acappella.) Synz sings: "Churning, turning, sea waters of blue, Waves shimmering in a bluish hue. An endless sky with a daunting view, Embraced by a child, of Nature's wild," (Synz stands, and dips into a low curtsy. Her voice softly reaching out in a whisper.) Synz says, "Who loves the color.... Blue." Synz curtsies. Bevan says, "And now, for our final Master of the evening ... Tymara, pray grace us with your skill" Tymara's Performance: (Tymara glances about the room, her eyes light upon you a moment. She takes note of the couples present and the passion burning in their eyes for each other.) Tymara smiles knowingly at those who sit alone for she sees the same passionwithin them, waiting only to be awakened by a love yet to come. Tymara says, "I have a tale to tell. Tis a tale of love. A love as I see living within the hearts of many in this room tonight." Tymara says, "Tis a tale of loves passion and its sorrow." (Tymara moves about the room dimming the sconces to a soft glow as she begins to tell her tale in a voice filled with the enchantments foundbound in all loves.) Tymara says, "I call my tale, "The Hidden Glade" Tymara says, "Times were when he wandered so far and long that he reached lands that were unmapped, unknown to humans." Tymara recites: "In a place long lost, Tis a glade that is hidden. Bound in natures beauty, Bound with love forbidden." Tymara recites: "Was a wandering warrior, By chance one moonlit night, Who stole upon the glade, And a heart gripping sight." (Tymara seems oblivious to her surroundings as she begins to sway to an ancient Elven song within her mind. Ageless rythmic steps carry her upon the air, her face turned upwards to the night's sky.) (Vanur watches in awe as Tymara's grace and beauty captivate his heart.He rises slowly from his seat in the shadows, his eyes never stray from her hypnotic motions. ) Vanur stands up. (Vanur boldly steps forward, clasping her hand gently, eyes embracing, they passionately glide through love's timeless dance.) (Vanur clasps Tymara's waist and lifts her high in a final twirl of tender grace before lowering her to his arms and gazing lovingly into her eyes.) Vanur smiles down into Tymara's glowing eyes. (Tymara gazes up at Vanur, love shimmering in her eyes.) Vanur recites: "Though honor bid him, Turn away, His heart he lost, To her that day." Vanur recites: "Though honor bid him, Turn away, His heart he lost, To her that day." Tymara recites: "Now tis known by all, Tis death to man, Who dares to claim, An Elf maid's hand." Vanur recites: "Yet elven arrows, Blades and rage, Gladly would he, Dare to brave." Vanur recites: "For just a moment, At her side, To proclaim his love, Which burned inside." Vanur recites: "So he stepped from hiding, And the glade he entered, Bold butfearing, He could not win her." (Tymara gives you a knowing smile, for what can stop a man from following his heart's desire.) Tymara recites: "At a sound the maid turned, And her heart did race. Like a God he stood, Dark and handsome of face." Tymara recites: "As she lifted her eyes, To peer into his, She realized her fate. Her heart would be his." Tymara recites: "And within the temple, Of that glade long lost, They sealed their love, Disregarding the cost." Vanur just kissed Tymara. Tymara just kissed Vanur. Vanur smiles tenderly down at Tymara then nods slightly toward the waiting audience with a wink and an encouraging squeeze of her hand. (Tymara turns a glowing face upon you and continues, her voice as soft as a feather.) Tymara says, "As with all great legends of love..." Tymara gives a sigh of sadness. Tymara says, "Sorrow enters." (Tymara moves restlessly from Vanur's arms toward a window. She leans upon the stone sill looking up at the night's star filled sky with an aura of sadness. Her voice floats back to you when she speaks.) (Vanur moves quietly up behind her, his strong hand reaches out and rests comfortingly upon her shoulder as he follows her gaze to the night's sky beyond.) Tymara recites: "How the stars glittered, In their hidden glade. Blind to all else but, The love they had made." (Tymara turns from the window, her face shaded in gloom and tormoil.) Tymara recites: "Now when word reached her kind that, Elven law had been broken. Father and brother gathered and, In rage words were spoken." (Omenowl rises slowly from his throne. His eyes buring with rage.) Omenowl recites: "A daughter is stolen, Our princess is gone! One has now cursed, The blood of her song." (Omenowl utters a deep, gutteral growl. His features twisted in anger and a snarl on his lips.) Omenowl recites: "A doom and sentence he bought, Here and now, I proclaim, The lone warrior is sought, With his life will he pay!" (Omenowl gathers his arms to hunt for the lovers.) Omenowl begins a musical chant... Omenowl sings a melody. Omenowl begins singing and focuses his voice into a falchion shaped vortex of air centered on his right hand. Omenowl sings: "Omen" Omenowl begins a musical chant... Omenowl skillfully begins to weave another verse into his harmony. Omenowl begins singing and focuses his voice into a vortex of air centered on his left arm. Omenowl recites: "Twas a moonlit night, Bearing shadows deep, When we found the lovers, Entwined and asleep." (Omenowl grits his teeth and sneers at the sight. He signals his guard to wait for his cry to sieze Tymara.) (Omenowl clenches his fist. He body tensed like a tiger, his breathing loud and fearsome. He falls upon Vanur with an earth shattering cry.) (Vanur leaps to his feet with the grace of a cat,diving for his sword he readys himself for Omenowl's fury.) Vanur removes a rapier from inside his rolaren weapon harness. Tymara screams! (Omenowl with fierce tempest rains blow after blow upon Vanur forcing him back.) (Vanur dazed by Omenowls barrage of attacks,and still groggy from sleep, raises his blade high, ready to parry the onslaught of blows.) (Omenowl cleaves with furious ire, each stroke staggering the young warrior. Vanur stumbles and falls to his knees, while Omenowl readies to give the coup de grace.) Vanur kneels down. Omenowl recites: "A doom and a sentence, A sworn blood oath I gave. For his crime this warrior, With his life will now pay!" (Tymara throws herself before Omenowl as a shield to Vanur. With tears spilling and outstretched arms, desperation fills her voice as she beseeches Omenowl.) Tymara recites: "I beg! I plead! Spare him! Let not your swift sword fall! Our love is of the Heavens! Beyond race! Beyond law!" (Omenowl stares sternly into Tymara's eyes, his blade lowering, his fury spent. He coldly speaks: ) Omenowl recites: "Your words in part I hear, Yet his doom still lives. No deathshall my hand deal. Another fate I give." Omenowl recites: "Another shall judge, The feared one sought. Elven law has been broken! Bind and Drag them off!." Omenowl recites: "Up to the slopes, And the lofty crags high, Up toward the lair. Of death from the sky." Omenowl recites: "To a wooden post, This warrior be tied. Though steady and tall, He holds his head high." Omenowl's sonic shield dissipates. Omenowl's sonic falchion dissipates. Omenowl stops singing. (Tymara gazes at Vanur, love and remorse contorting her features.) (Vanur gazes longingly at Tymara,a single tear streaking down his cheek.) Vanur recites: "Toward the elf maid, His eyes did turn and seek, His words sliced the air, With what he did speak." Vanur recites: "My love and heart's dream, I beg thee weep not for me, For with my last breathe, Your name shall I speak. " Vanur recites: "For worth any death, And worth any harm, Was the bliss I found, With you in my arms." Tymara recites: "Though the elf maid struggled, She could not reach his side. They held her securely, As the shadow filled the sky." Tymara gazes heavenward. Vanur gazes heavenward. (Tymara pales, her eyes huge and round. Her voice quakes with fear and alarm as she speaks.) Tymara recites: "The Wyrm had come! His wings beat the wind. All faces paled deathly, As it began to descend." Tymara recites: "Like a gale the wind blew. Death's dark hand hovered there. Benneath the earth trembled, As fire's breath seared the air." Tymara recites: "As silence commenced, Was a voice filled the air. So sweet and sorrowful. So heart wrenchingly clear." Tymara recites: "The young maid sang, Of her love strong and bold, And if her warrior fell, Of the death of her soul." Tymara recites: "Not a heart was untouched. Every eye did tear, Every head did bow, Feeling her fear." Tymara recites: "But was gasps and awe, That bound them because, Even the great Wyrm, Did stop and give pause." Tymara recites: "All magic and arrows, Were useless on the Wyrm, Yet his bellow now ceased, To her his fierce eyes turned." Tymara recites: "The maid broke then free, To run to her loves side. There to stand and cling, There to live or die." Tymara recites: "The warrior's one word, Seemed to break the spell, With his cry of "Nooooo!" The great claw..... fell..." Tymara hangs her head. Vanur hangs his head. (Omenowl lifts his head wearily. He stares out over your heads. His gaze a deep shadow of grief which tortues the soul.) Omenowl recites: "The Elven cries of woe, Were forever heard, As not one but TWO. The wyrm bore skyward." (Tymara walks silently to the window once more, her pallid face searching the dark night breathing beyond.) (Vanur approaches her, turning her from the blackness, he lifts her chin till their gazes meet and speaks in a low soothing voice..) Vanur recites: "Naught is known, Of this tales end, Yet it is whispered, By elves now and again." Vanur recites: "That there tis a Great Wyrm, One enchanted without choice, Who is bound by a love, For a fair Elf maid's voice." (Tymara turns a penetrating gaze upon you as her hand reaches out to touch your shoulder in an expression of sincerity. Her violet eyes shimmer with a quixotic gleem. Her voice gently passionate.) Tymara says, "And...." Tymara recites: "Spirits, hand in hand, A warrior and Elven maid, With a GreatWyrm's eye, Now guarding their way." Tymara says, "Walking...." Tymara recites: "In a place long lost, In a glade that is hidden. Bound in nature's beauty. Bound with love forbidden." Vanur just kissed Tymara on the lips. Tymara just kissed Vanur on the lips. (Omenowl clears his throat as a tear runs down his cheek. The wall sconces flicker and dim til the room is blanketed in darkness leaving but ageless emotions gripping at your heart.) Tymara smiles and curtsies low with a flourish. Omenowl bows. (Vanur bows his head.) Bevan says, "And for our last scheduled performer of this evening, in the Journeyman category ...Atalya." Atalya's Performance: Atalya curtsies to Bevan. Atalya says, "M'Lord Bevan, I thank thee for hosting such events...tis a fit example of what nobles in the lands should be doing...perhaps if enough do, all is not lost here in Elanthia..." Bevan bows to Atalya. Bevan says, "I try." Atalya smiles. (Atalya steps forward with a small harp tucked under her arm. Setting it next to her feet, she smiles and reaches into her greatcloak.) (Atalya removes a sprig of lilac from her greatcloak and sniffs it. Thepurity of its whiteness is stark contrast to her dark hair and you begin to smell its sweet perfume --- which evokes sadness for thingspast...) Atalya smiles. Atalya says, "My father was a great ranger and taught me well to forage the woodsand fields. This flower comes from a secret place my father found one day when he got lo..." Atalya coughs. Atalya says, "I mean one day as he took the scenic route home..." Atalya smirks. Atalya says, "He stumbled upon a deserted castle covered with vine...and in the empty courtyard grew a lovely lilac tree...whose blossoms were the purest white he had ever seen...and whose fragrance, once smelled willhaunt thee..." (Atalya tucks the lilac sprig into her braid, picks up the harp and begins to play. The quiet tune is simple and reminds you of a lullaby, though it has a melancholy air to it.) Atalya sings: "Wandering o'er the sunlit heath, a placid lake I spied A pale white castle crowning it, spired to the sky Upon the bank a hooded man gazed solemn at the sight Bundles of herb at his feet, his bowed, contrite." (Atalya rocks her head gently to the soothing beat as her hands play languidly over the strings...) Atalya sings: "O healer thou, who sits so still, whither dost thou gaze?" Gavehe such a heavy sigh and wearied glance did raise. "Yonder there lies all my joy, and also lies the other... For there dwells my dearest love who tonight weds my brother." Atalya sings: "Friend, brother, comrade-in-arms, long time we have been Voyaging, questing into the wilds, marvelous sights we've seen. But none compared with her fair face, e'en forlorn with grief, When first he gazed upon the child, beside her fallen chief." Atalya sings: "Poor orphaned waif, saved from death, he brought here to me To ply with herb and potion cure and soothe her misery Grateful for courageous acts she pledged to him merci To marry her when she was grown, 'neath the lilac tree" (Atalya leans over the harp and concentrates. The melody, though the same as before, takes on a more ominous sound.) Atalya sings: "Sharing magic, I taught her well, as mentor, like a brother Kissed her cheek with hidden flame, for she belonged to another. But flame was met by flame anon, affection forbidden bloom'd Declaring love beneath that tree, she cast us to doom." Atalya sings: "Now I must roam and be exiled from love and friendship treasured." He turned toward the darkening wood with footsteps heavy measured. His eyes shall gaze nevermore 'pon castle on the lake Turning away, he passed beyond, because of honor's sake." (Atalya bites her lip and furrows her brow as the music changes key. The cool scent of lilac teases you...never quite strong enough...) Atalya sings: "Across the dappled water, a comely boatsman took me yon A guestto partake of wedding cake and dance thereon. The banquet hall waslaid in gold and all riches splendor'd Swords glinting raised, toasts made to hail lady and lord." Atalya sings: "The bride at her husband's side, adorned in whitest lace Silvery hair halo'd 'round her head, but tears streaked her face. And he, her handsome savior, her wounded gaze did smite When reason for an empty chair came to sudden, painful light." Atalya sings: "The noble bridegroom, betrayed, clutched his slender bride "O! Better to have promised me the sun, or to still the tide! "Why did ye never speak thy heart and break thy foolish oath? "Now I have lostboth love and kin," the lord sighing spoke" Atalya sings: "O why! Ye kissed my lips and pledged to me thy bed "Now all I hold is flesh and bone, because thy heart is dead!" (Atalya pauses and bows her head. Then she plays again, slower and moredeliberately.) Atalya sings: "For honor's sake, I have kept my troth," the lady mournful cried "What care of cheek and hand have I, since love hath died?" Atalya sings: "For honor's sake, I have kept my troth," the lady mournful cried "What care of cheek and hand have I, since love hath died?" Atalya sings: "'Twas on that night the lord did flee, never to return For twice that night the banshee wailed before the candles burned. The bridelaid down on her maiden's bed, adorned in white Then rose her ladies wailing as death closed her eyes." Atalya sings: "Silent in the courtyard, but for busy droning bees Vines minglewith heavy blooms, nodding in the breeze. Long have all been sadly parted, I tell the tale to thee And pray that they in peace now lie,'neath the lilac tree." (Atalya stills the harp strings and sighs.) (Atalya takes the lilac sprig from her hair and cradles it in her hand. Suddenly she crushes the blossoms in her hand and the strong, sweetscent overtakes your senses, washing over you like a warm wind, then fades...) (Atalya tucks the harp under her arm.) Atalya bows.

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