Two Bards Run Amok

AKA, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Song

Fellsgard is the foundation of Khy'eras' history and through reconstruction, it is now a vibrant and lively city. People reside here due to mild climate, opportunities, and safety and stability. Adventures often start from Fellsgard. Read more...
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Val Bellamy
Character
100% Guaranteed Not Her Fault
Level
01
24 / 24 HP
20 / 20 MP
0p / 0g / 0s / 50c
Race: Human and Elemental
Class: Bard
Posts: 16
Joined: July 6th, 2019, 6:23 am
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Two Bards Run Amok

Post by Val Bellamy »

(( Late afternoon of a pleasantly cloud-speckled day, down one of the side-streets not far from the markets and bustle of activity. The merchants proper hawk goods at their customers, leaving entrepreneurial souls such as Val and @Roan Mohan to ply their own business model. ))

The crowds had been early that day, which was a roundabout way of saying that Val had been late. Even halfway through the front door of Bellamy's Blueprints, she was still tussling with her trousers and a bite of bread when the day was already well proper into its whole "passing of time" thing. A cargo ship had docked the previous night, and a caravan earlier that week; it was the usual time of month that all the rural farmers and tourists came to town to exchange pretty coins for three minutes of oohs and ahhs before settling into complacent disappointment, and if anyone was going to hussle such a bonafide transaction, it was going to be her, damnit!

... And then she came face-first with the enormous throng, and tried to muscle her way even a teensy little footsie-wootsie into the burgeoning plaza lined with stalls and all manner of fresh produce, sundries, and textiles for trade, and Val was forced to realize one simple fact: it was absurdly busy. Like, she had half a mind to check with the local gossip if something was afoot, only she was the proverbial talking vineyard, and no, she didn't have any particular wisdom to impart on herself for those still curious.

The bazaar was simply so busy that she had nearly been elbowed three times in the face, her ribbon-bound hair snagged twice on passing crafts, and she was definitely groped a solid once - which had actually been the delicate hands of a pickpocket lifting her of her financial burdens and leaving her a shouting mess in a sea of turned heads and disinterested grunts.

All in all, it was a fairly typical day, and after Val had finally scoured a quick perimeter of the plaza, as well as chatted up a complete stranger into the local café's Duck Chowder and Blackened Pork - don't ask - the Bellamy bard was all set to... why, cavort with Old Man Oscar, of course, and partake in a most wonderful slice of work!

It consisted of once more blending herself into the crowd, now able to find breathing space at least between all the shoulders and backsides crammed together. The western end of the merchants had been giving poor old Oscar a particularly difficult bit of competition, and after an exchange of coin, a keen grin, and some surreptitious waiting right as another would-be connoisseur took up inspection on a rather plump fruit for sale, Val finally sprang into action:

"I wouldn't trust Lynn, he isn't so nice-
the dampness in that fruit bowl did not come from ice!
And if you were thinking about Mr. Key's rice,
I'd best tell you now that he stores it with mice!
And don't even ask about the blondes with the spice-
do you really not know that's a scam, not a price?!

Why, if you're hunting for deals and not a roll of the dice,
drop down by Ol' Oscar's - he's the one without lice!"


There was an enormous round of applause, a standing ovation, a spotlight, and even an ocean of roses lapping low tide at her feet, but only in her imagination. In reality, the tall gent with the attractive scar on his eyebrow gave an annoyed grunt and set the fruit back down. A dolled up gal with a half-full basket of eggs cast her an insidious side-eye. A guard relaxing against the wall coughed in second-hand embarrassment. Virtually no one actually bothered with Old Man Oscar's stall. Nor Lynn's, Mr. Key's, nor the two blondes, for that matter. The plaza people continued to shuffle and the clouds still drifted in the sky, Val waiting for a bigger impact yet.

"... Yes, well..." she gulped, recovering. "I can see that wasn't berry convincing, but never fear - I'm nothing if not pear-sistent!" Was Oscar regretting his prepaid commercial? Maybe, but at least she had money again.
Word count: 699

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Roan Mohan
Character
Luminous & Bright
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01
23 / 23 HP
20 / 20 MP
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Race: Fae
Class: Bard
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Joined: September 23rd, 2019, 3:42 pm
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Re: Two Bards Run Amok

Post by Roan Mohan »

It had been a long, fascinating train ride and while Roan was the type of creature who longed to say he'd enjoyed every minute of it, the truth was some of it had been boring, some of it had been strange, and some of it had perhaps made him a little bit motion sick. He'd scraped together all the tips from travelers and visitors who'd appreciated his performances and taken the leap, aware that the journey would not be a short one but also aware that the journey home would be just as worthwhile.

The fae musician had certainly made the trip worthwhile: meeting folks, exchanging stories and songs, swapping baubles, sharing snacks, enjoying laughter and smiles. He heard rumors, too, as well as listened to sad tales and heartfelt woes from corners of a broken and danger-filled world he had yet to really see with his own green eyes and had yet to really become a part of in his eager effort to shine some light in the darkness of it all.

Maybe he'd let his own inherent selfishness hold him back over the decades, telling himself in all those times that he wasn't ready, that he had nothing worthwhile to give. Maybe he was, in some ways, actually afraid of everything he'd heard, realizing that he was just one small creature against things much more powerful than himself, more alone than he liked to believe. Then again, the train journey reminded him that he wasn't alone, that he wasn't helpless, and that there were plenty of folks beyond the humid, comforting heat of the jungle that needed something, that needed hope.

Roan was refreshed with the reminders, and it was a very good thing, too, because the fae's arrival in Tviyr, in Fellsgard, was certainly a culture shock. It was colder here, and far less green. The crowds were different, the people suspicious of the lithe little fae and his dark wood mandolin, quite aware that his kind were all but brimming with magic.

He was so very sure that the city guards watched him more closely, that the innkeeper very nearly turned down his coin, and that every tavern and street corner he busked on were as full of just as many judgmental faces as they were full of enthused ones, as if strangers were waiting for him to make some obvious and beautifully magical mistake. Truth be told, it was difficult to hold it all in, the musician used to embellish his performances and practically every part of his life with his innate abilities, making everything more wonderful, but he had no interest in being arrested, in being interrogated, in disappearing into some dark, nevergreen dungeon for simply being himself.

It was a very eye-opening experience, really, and after a few days of it all, Roan had finally begun to see past his initial disappointment. People were suspicious, cautious, but people were still people. They still wanted to enjoy themselves on occasion, they still had a sense of humor, and while it was true that the entire city seemed to struggle to take the fae musician seriously or without a healthy dose of caution, he began to see a bit of beauty and excitement in Fellsgard. He began to listen for his Muse, to listen for those little whispers of his glorious Dainyil that stirred his heart and set his soul into creative excitement.

He wanted to give the world a benefit of his doubts, the sparkle of his smile, and the encouragement of his songs, but at the same time, there were still some doubts in his warm little heart: maybe he really was just better off in the jungle. Maybe he just needed a few drinks. Maybe he just needed to find another street corner and play a few more melodies. Maybe he just needed a hug.

Wings tucked carefully against himself as if to draw less attention to them, the braids and 'locks of Roan's hair were bound up in a brightly-dyed scarf as if in luminous rebellion against the cobblestone streets and drab carefully hewn walls. He was bundled against a temperature his earth-toned skin and lithe form weren't at all acclimated to, verdant gaze watching the taller forest of other bodies wash past him as he wove his way between them, aware that he was hardly taller than a child among the crowds. He heard it then, the little notes of a sing-song voice floating between the idle chatter of a couple of older ladies standing near a flower stall in the bazaar he'd found himself in.

Roan paused, too short to see over most of the people, tilting his head to attune his keen jungle-honed senses to the sound of a taunting young voice, grinning at the words as a well-dressed middle-aged man and his dog that was probably large enough for the fae musician to use as a mount roughly pressed past him, the hairy mutt panting at him and the man all but hip-checked him backward. The smaller creature sneered, rolling his eyes and attempting to squint through the carts and vending stalls that had been set up in the place, so many of them blocking his field of vision.

He rolled his shoulders with a slight flutter of incandescent green wings, resisting the urge to simply take flight, having to bite his bottom lip to keep his feet on the ground because this wasn't home and such a display of his fae-wrought prowess would not have been as appreciated as it would be back in his humid, vine-laden birthplace. The motion spooked the strangers next to him just enough for the crowd to part, for a few suspicious mutters and surprised hisses to clear his view. Catching a glimpse of a young woman making use of her musical talent to either scare off a few would-be customers or perhaps attempt to attract them.

It was a witty but sharp little limerick, but Fellsgard was a stubborn place, it seemed, because no one laughed.

No one except for Roan.

He'd been closer than he thought, and his verdant gaze was alight with the sunshine of humor. He grinned. He giggled—a lilting, warming noise that filled his narrow chest like so much kindling, spilling over into a proper laugh. He would have clapped, but his hands moved to slip the mandolin from its comfortable place against his back, slipping his way between some woman with a basket of eggs and some gaggle of children who'd been staring (hardly taller than any of them, poor Roan), fingers already moving over the strings.

"If you're so berry talented, then lettuce hear you sweeten your tune to plumb the depths of our hearts as well as our coin purses, hmm? Give it another try, darling, and this time try to make it a-peel-ing instead of appalling." There was a lilt to his accent, an obvious blending of vowels and lingering on certain consonants that marked him just as much from Ninraih as his stature and his wings, as his color and flair marked him as a glorious jungle flower far from home. He winked, the shorter, colorful creature setting a tempo, plucking his strings and taking his place on the other side of some stranger's cart. Roan was joking and he hoped that much was clear—this was a friendly challenge despite all the cultural differences he was still somewhat ignorant of. He let his green eyes wander over to Old Man Oscar and the others in the immediate crowd of bazaar-visitors this afternoon, studying them with all the appraisal skills of a musician.

He taunted her with the mischievousness of his expression, with a little flutter of the incandescence behind him, and with a few sharp plucks of his mandolin's strings, shifting on his feet and settling into a comfortable stance, glancing about the crowd to read their faces and gauge their interest in his sudden appearance. Perhaps he was enough of an oddity to attract more attention. Perhaps they could split the tips, but he'd have to really play it all well. Would this stranger play along, too?

"I'll try not to go too fast for you, hmm?" Oh, Roan, always fishing for trouble. His fingers moved with airy grace over his instrument and his narrow chest huffed in challenge, but he leaned a little and added quietly, "Or maybe just not too fast for them. Maybe, just maybe, you can keep up with me."
Word count: 1416

Val Bellamy
Character
100% Guaranteed Not Her Fault
Level
01
24 / 24 HP
20 / 20 MP
0p / 0g / 0s / 50c
Race: Human and Elemental
Class: Bard
Posts: 16
Joined: July 6th, 2019, 6:23 am
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 6 times

Re: Two Bards Run Amok

Post by Val Bellamy »

Of all the people in all the market to pay her ditty any mind, she hadn't expected it to be a foreigner.

How could she tell? Easy - she scanned her surroundings for the source of the laughter, and found nothing... until she looked down. Anyone with any business in Tviyr was some variety of human; clearly, he was here for the sights instead. The looking up at things helped solidify that point. Also, his clothes were horribly out of fashion. And he didn't seem to be apologetic about possessing those gaudy wings. And he had an accent. ... Should she have opened with that last one?

Point was, he answered her directionless monologue with the wind, taunting back in reciprocal punny fashion. There was even an instrument that glided between his fingers, Val's eyes instantly sparkling alongside a thin grin as her interest in the creature grew tenfold. No longer was he a random mark to pry a tip from, but someone to pay attention to - someone who might actually know what they were doing!

Naturally, she had to test him first. This peculiar patch of sentient garden in the city seemed to know how to hold it at least, and he posed nearby a cart for appropriate stage-presence. The similarly dark-skinned gal leaned casually against it, the wooden container shifting a bit, but no one seemed to mind or holler about it. She played it cool instead, keeping her voice low enough for the two of them for now as she sidled ever closer and eyed the musician appreciably, remarking, "That's some nice wood you've got there - I'm guessing you know how to use it? Good length, sturdy make, very eager upright posture... Tell me, how often do you give it a good polishing?" It should come as no surprise that she managed to utter all this completely deadpan, too, still ever the appraiser and certainly not anything else.

Trick was, she wasn't really listening for his answer. That he had a reaction, yes, but therein lied the beauty - she was listening for his concentration, for the staccato of a missed beat or the twang of a broken note. Val wanted to hear him gather his wits and say anything at all, and then very rudely, she planned to disregard it all and leap immediately into song, keeping him ever on the backfoot and trying to keep up in the challenge he himself issued:

"I hope you know
the do-si-do
if perchance you plan
to dance to this,"
she interrupted whatever he might be saying, a wink and a spin away to set her own rhythm and expect him to follow rather than whatever he had planned.

"Or all the time
to sing and rhyme
and lose yourself
to music bliss-"
she still sang, preferring to twirl and weave around members of the crowd in hopes that more would take notice.

"We're here and now
so take a bow
at all the offers
you might miss,

When merchants try
to sell the sky
and swear it on
a feigned promise-

So rest assured
you've not misheard
that Oscar's wares
are no abyss,

They're all the best,
so buy and rest!
With faith no
coin has gone amiss!

And since I know
you'll want a go,
yes - all sales
are final with a-"
she paused the note, and grinned over her shoulder at Oscar, gesturing voluminously towards his moustache as she finally finished the line: "-ride."

Satisfied with her second song and quite finished with the gent she had borrowed as a dance partner, she ushered more towards Oscar's stall, noting that this time he did seem to have a small appreciative following growing.

"So," once more reclined against the cart beside her fellow busker, content to let the crowd figure out its mixed feelings and make purchases for a while. "Are you a singer, too, or do you just do backup?"
Word count: 656

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