About the Craft

 

A Harper's Life

 

Events in the Harperhall

 

Meet the Harpers

 

In the Vaults

Dolphinsinging

Why Does a Journeyman Journey? ] MOO Dynamics ] Interviewing and Handfasting ] Acrobatics ] www.angelfire.com/hi5/knottywench/NPpage.html ] [ Dolphinsinging ]


Main Hall and Ballroom

The ballroom's vast space is simply and tastefully decorated, combining images and 
materials from many parts of Pern. Opposite the main entrance, a broad balcony is 
supported by pillars of the finest northern marble; polished to glassy smoothness, 
they contrast the toning blues of the walls. A staircase of the same stone rises in 
sturdy flights to the upper level. The high vaulted ceiling with its round 
wrought-iron window is white, brightening the room, while the varnished floor is 
the deep red-brown of a Lemos hardwood. High on the west wall, a large 'mural' 
shows a map of Pern, framed by images of harper life and symbols of the Craft, 
while the bright 'tapestry' opposite offers an... [look closer]
Watching from a bit of artistically carved lintel are six firelizards.
You see Leyte here.
Tytom is here.
Obvious exits:
Artist's Workshop Archive Vault Harper Office Harper Classroom 
Shainman Rehearsal Hall Great Hall Instrument Workshop Curving 
Stairways


Jessa is standing in the main hall a bit to the right of the entrance that leads 
into the rest of Ista Hold. In her hands she holds a book and she stands straight, 
as if she were trying to look somewhat official in the hall as she looks around at 
the comings and goings.

Tytom is looking around the main hall, awaiting the rest of the gathered apprentices. Walking towards the door he approaches Journeywoman Jessa "How fare you this day Journeywoman?"

Esmati emerges from the balcony, making her way down the steps at a demure pace. 
She pauses briefly at the bottom, and then makes directly for the unfamiliar face 
by the doorway. "Excuse me," the tall girl queries, "would this be where we were 
to meet for the dolphinsinging class?"

Jessa's wandering gaze turns towards the apprentice that greets her and she smiles, 
"Doing quite well, and yourself? Are you here for the dolphinsinging class?" And if 
that didn't answer the female apprentice's question, Jessa nods. "Yep, I'm Jessa, 
waiting here to lead you to the dolphin hall for the class." A few other 
apprentices mill about and start to slowly gravitate towards the trio. 

Tytom says, "Yes, Journeywoman, I am here for the class. I am well today and 
looking forward to hearing your Dolphins today."

Esmati nods, satisfied. "Pleased to meet you, Journeyman Jessa," the girl says, 
drawling Igenite voice polite, before shooting a mildly curious glance Tyran's way. 
"Excuse me, are you a new apprentice here? I don't believe I've seen you before." 

Jessa smiles to Tytom, Esmati, and the vague semi-crowd of random apprentices 
"Alright then, well, shall we head over to the dolphin hall then?" Not so much a 
question as a polite command to the group. "This way you can see the dolphinhall, 
learn more about dolphinsinging, and meet the dolphins." The journeywoman turns and 
then heads out, at a slow pace so that even the most dawdling of apprentices can 
keep up. Let's see how many of them follow along.

You go to the Great Hall.
You pass through the great doors into the courtyard.
You walk down a few steps into the courtyard.
You walk towards the beach.
You go to the Ista Sea Hold Courtyard.
You go to the Main Hall.

Main Hall

Running through the cavernous Main Hall of Ista Sea Hold, a ten meter ledge of 
sea-worn stone comprises the main working area along with a lane of seawater the 
flows parallel to the shelf. Upon the ledge are six tables used mostly for classes 
or cleaning dive gear. To the west a large archway leads to the entrance foyer and 
the dormitories, as well as the Crafthead's office. Along the other walls are 
smaller archways, leading to the other areas of the Hall. Opposite this area runs a 
wide bridge that crosses the sea-lane towards the other side, to the other archways 
that lead deep inside. On non-Thread days, heavy metal shutters are opened from 
large windows, letting fresh sea air and sun... [look closer]
Gliding above is a brown firelizard.
You see Cindy the Drudge here.
Obvious exits:
Records Room Office Corridor Bridge Docking Cavern Kitchens 
Courtyard

Esmati walks in from the Ista Sea Hold Courtyard.
Tytom walks in from the Ista Sea Hold Courtyard.

Tytom turns towards the other apprentice. "I am Tytom. I have bin here for a 
while, but have bin keeping to my self recently" then turning back he follows the 
Journeywoman.

Jessa enters the main hall of the Ista Sea Hold, also known as the Dolphincraft 
Hall, and walks to the middle where she stops and turns around to look at the 
Harper apprentices that followed her here. When the last one enters she smiles, 
"Alright, welcome to Ista Sea Hold, which has the Dolphincraft and Seacraft Halls. 
Now if you'll follow me, we can go to the Lounge and see if the dolphins are here 
and start class." 

Esmati trails on Jessa's heels, glancing about the sea hall with enough curiosity 
that it's plain she's never ventured this way before. "Yes'm. Are they probably 
here, or is it hard to predict?"

Tytom says, "This hold seems well built. I take it that that you have a water lip 
so that the dolphins can come right up to the hold?"

Jessa shrugs in reply to Esmati, "They're not too hard to find, and especially 
mornings and evenings they are here to share news with us. And yes, we have a water 
lip for them, which you'll see in a moment or two." The dolphinsinger looks at the 
assembled group. "Well then, let's head over." Jess turns and heads them over 
towards the rest of the hall. 

You go to the Arched Bridge.
You go to the Hall's Lounge.

Hall's Lounge

Cozy to the point of downright stuffy this lounge exudes a salty briny air. 
Overstuffed and comfortable looking are the chairs of dark blue that reside at one 
end of this circular room. The smattering of tables that they surround are nothing 
more than tops with scarred wooden legs attached as well they should be. The bases 
of the tables and chairs are waterstained and marked by mild salt buildup. Rugs 
worn with age decorate the polished floor of this relaxation area soft greens and 
browns making barefeet swoon. Paintings of charts and various sea mammals and fish 
have been painstakingly added to the walls creating the atmosphere of their mother 
sea. To one side of the bridge is a wide ledge... [look closer]
To the south, you see three people.
Settled near the water are Minty, Havelock, Scamp, Sam, Demitri, and Archimedes
Swimming about are Zaphi, Ihiske, Tika, and Tesia
You see Dartboard here.
Obvious exits:
Baths Men's Dorms Staff Hall Women's Dorms Infirmary Bridge 
Sea Lane

Tytom walks in from the Arched Bridge.
Tony walks in from the Arched Bridge.
Esmati walks in from the Arched Bridge.

A mottled grey and white head pops up and peers into the lounge, chittering 
happily. "Hello. My Name Tesia..." She begins. "J'ssa? Who people?"

Tony watches with a memoic look on his face

Esmati nearly jumps back a step, but catches herself in time. Barely. "Er."

Tytom with a entranced look upon his face Tytom takes a knee in order to take a 
better look at the dolphin 

Tony steadies Esmati, with a passing thought to push, instead of support.

Of course the extra activity of a small group of Harpers would awaken the dolphin's 
interest and cause them to come. Or perhaps Jessa asked them to come. The 
journeywoman smiles, "G'day Tesia, these are some Harper apprentices that came over 
for a class on dolphinsinging." And there's a harper master there too, but no time 
for specifics. Jess points to the lip, "And there you can see the lip that lets 
them get closer. We also have a shallower pool used for medical cases." 

Tony gets down on his knees and places his hand in a gesture of greeting

Esmati stares, though her bemused expression quickly turns rather charmed. "Um. 
Pleased to meet you, Tesia," murmurs the girl, picking forward through the little 
crowd of apprentices.

Tesia chitters more quickly, peering around at the guests. "Harpers? Sing like 
you?" Has the little 'phin heard Jessa sing? Well, undoubtedly, one of them has, 
and what one of them knows, the rest of them know of course. "Come to sing happy 
song for us?" The dolphin squees happily. 

Tony sings a small scale of 18 notes then slides the notes in waves back to where 
he started

Tony with a final hum, slides the notes into silence, with a rings tone, which was 
reverberaated off the water

Jessa looks proudly on at the gathered Harpers and their varying reactions, smiling 
as someone sings a little bit for the dolphin. "So any of you notice anything about 
Tesia?" Jess asks the crowd in an attempt to get the class moving along in a 
direction.

Tony stands up again

Tony says, "Would it be Tesia unusual colour markings ?"

Tytom takes out his reed pipes and repeats the scale

Esmati's lips quirk. "Well, she certainly seems to like music, ma'am. Is that why 
there're dolphinsingers?"

Tony 1/2 stumbles, springs out his hand but safely regains his footing, and moves 
to the rear of the group

Jessa shakes her head at Tony and notices his rank. A master, eh? To attend out of 
interest or to keep an eye on the oh so rowdy apprentices? "Well, besides that..." 
she says, and before she can get to what she was looking for she smiles at Esmati. 
"Dolphins have an oral history that is passed on, and dolphinsingers record this, 
and have another main purpose. So can anyone tell me something that they noticed?" 
Hint: not physical.

"Un-us-ual?" Tesia asks. "What means /that/ word?" She swings her head from 
right to left as the singer and piper offer the music. "Pre-tty." She says, 
nodding to her friend. "What those?" She means the pipes of course.

Tytom offers the pipes for Tesia's inspection. "These are my pipes Tesia. They are 
made of sea reeds an stained with fish oil for color."

Esmati purses her lips, peering down over Tytom's shoulder. "Well . . . she 
doesn't seem to talk quite like a human would, but that isn't what you mean, is it, 
ma'am?"

Tika squees as she surfaces in the lounge cavern, look around at the humans.

Okay, Jessa's class is tending towards the chaotic at the moment, what with people 
discussing pipes with Tesia and others stumbling around. But the journeywoman 
continues nonetheless, since even in this disorganized array there is certainly 
something to be learned or at least observed. And it looks like someone is actually 
paying attention and putting her observations to use. Jess nods to Esmati, "That's 
actually exactly what I mean. Their language. For a while they were separated from 
humans, so their language changed a bit. So dolphinsingers also work with dolphin 
language and grammar and try to prevent it from, ah, deteriorating further." The 
dolphinsinger waves to Tika, "Hello Tika!" 

Esmati always pays attention in class. It's one of her more aggravating points, 
really - though she actually does look quite interested. The girl steps back, 
slightly, obviously unwilling to venture *too* close to the water - within 
splashing range, specifically. "Oh, I see. How do they learn to speak? From 
their parents, the way people do?"

Tesia splashes idly with her fins, listening to the boring human talk. "J'ssa," 
She asks. "When your boring class done, harpers can come swim?" She flips on to 
her back, and swims a slight ways away from the ledge, reappearing to hear the 
answer. 

Tytom steps back from the edge, sliding in behind Esmati

Jessa is just oh so hurt by Tesia's harsh words. "Of course they can." If they want 
to, but Jessa's not going to tell Tesia that and get her all excited over nothing 
if the Harpers decline. "They learn to speak from their parents, and specifically 
the Tillek, who is the oldest, wisest, and knows all the history from memory. The 
Tillek is also supposed to keep the language accurate." And obviously something 
didn't quite work right with this system. "Any other questions before we move on?" 

Esmati's lips quirk. "So, the . . . Tillek . . . is sort of the Masterharper for 
dolphins? Though I'd feel sorry for a Masterharper who had to memorize everything 
without paper to help." Despite having just *asked* a question, the girl shakes 
her head. "No, ma'am."

Tony wades into the waters of the Sea Lane.
Tony swims in from the southwest.
Tony wades into the waters of the Sea Lane.

Tytom nudges Esmati tords the edge

Luckily for Esmati, Jessa isn't too picky about details and all. "Essentially, yes. 
The Tillek is the historian for the dolphins." The journeywoman pauses and looks at 
the group. "So what kind of stories do you think that dolphins tell?" 

Tesia squees, clicks and laughs, listening to Jessa for a moment. She watches Tony 
swim out to the Sea Lane. "We tell stories about Shad's." She squees loudly. 
"Podsisters tell us good stories about swimming and catching fish and..." She 
stops, realizing she's probably messing up Jessa's class again. "I Sorry, J'ssa." 

"Oh, hm. Well, you said they have an oral history, so -" Normally, Esmati is 
fairly graceful on her feet, but a series of events conspire against her. Tytom's 
nudge comes just as the girl is in mid-sentence and failing to pay attention. 
Caught off balance, the girl only makes things worse for herself by 
overcompensating, and ends up - "Ack!" - tripping. Whoops.

Tytom reaches out his hand to catch Esmati, befor she hits the water

Yep, a chaotic class indeed. Jess says nothing about the lack of balance in this 
batch of students and instead nods and continues, "No problem Tesia, you're welcome 
to continue." Jessa did, after all, invite the dolphins, which implies that they're 
free to contribute. "Yes, they have an oral history. What kinds of events do you 
think they pass on?" 

Esmati is probably blushing at the moment, though it's hard to tell with her dark 
complexion. The girl gives Tytom an extremely chilly nod of thanks, primly 
smoothing down her skirt. And taking a good long step back from the water. Well, 
then. "Um. Could you repeat the qu -" One of the other apprentices mutters it to 
her. "Oh. Really bad storms? Shipwrecks?"

Tony swims in from the southwest.

Tesia flops her head around happily, swimming up and down the ledge. Maybe this 
could be fun. Especially if one of them fell in. "Hissstory, G'ography." Her tone 
sounds like she's listing a litany of classes. "Fissh catching." She swims back 
over to where the bulk of apprentices are, and splashes a big splash on to the 
ledge. "Being nice to pod."

Tytom says, "the first thread fall, and the crossing from southern"

Tony goes home.

Jessa doesn't even flinch as Tesia plays 'splash the Harpers', a game quite similar 
to 'splash Jessa' apparently. "Right, they record history of important events such 
as storms, crossings, threadfall, shipwrecks... and other things that we may 
perceive as less important like fish flows and geographic changes. But that's 
important to /them/." 

Esmati makes a face at the splash, even if she's far back enough that only her toes 
get touched. "What do you mean by 'fish catching' . . . Tesia?" She looks a bit 
hesitant talking directly to the dolphin. The girl turns her gaze to Jessa. "Is 
that what you mean by 'fish flows'?"

Tesia tilts her head toward Jessa, as if to say that the Dolphineer would answer 
the question. Her reply is less clear. "Like humans, learn to eat not messy." 
She says, meaning that little dolphins have to be taught to catch fish.

Jessa shakes her head at Esmati, "Tesia is talking about eating, I'm talking about 
the patterns that fish migrate in. They tell all sorts of stories about what goes 
on in the ocean, and some of that is important history to them that is passed 
down." The dolphinsinger smiles at Tesia and then looks over to her group of 
apprentices. "So, dolphins pass down history that is important to them, and what 
importance do you think this can of to us?" 

Ihiske peers at Jessa before blowing out a spray of water to clear his blowhole, 
"Jessa has a lovely voice. For a human," he teases, this once choosing to speak 
correctly. He can. When he wants to that is.

Tytom smiles as he gets showered by water. "So, things like how weather affects the 
currents. They can show fisherman, where the fish are and where it is and is not 
safe to sail. They are probably also good at giveing weather warning"

"Well," says Esmati, slowly, "I know that we lost a lot of information about what 
happened before the Plague in the 6th Pass, because so many records were lost or 
deteoriated. Do they maybe help fill in the gaps? How far back does their history 
-" Ihiske's proper grammar makes her start. "I thought you said their speech was 
a little different than ours, ma'am?"

Jessa shakes her head to Tytom, "That isn't exactly history, that's news that they 
bring to the dolphineers and seacrafters to help them. It does become history if 
something big and important happened because of it though." Jess looks over at 
Ihiske. "G'day Ihiske," she says, grinning at the silly dolphin. "Well, for the 
most part their grammar and pronunciation is off, but that's because they were 
separated from us for so long, and they can learn to speak more like us." Jess 
takes a breather. "They also tell us stories about shipwrecks, and we can use those 
stories to correlate the finding of artifacts..." she says, giving an example of 
the use of their history. 

Tesia dives under the water, and swims toward Ihi, popping up near him. "Hiii. 
J'ssa is teaching class." She says, trying to get her grammar as close as possible 
for the elder dolphin. "One almost fall in." She listens to Jessa, squeeing 
delightedly. "You find wreck?" It helps to listen to the teacher, silly 'phin.

Ihiske squees with mirth at the startled comment, "Some speak better," is the large 
dolphins comment, he turns an eye on the younger dolphin, "Wreck?" what'd he miss? 

"Ohhh. I see. You've very good speech then, er, Ihiske." Esmati ruminates on 
Jessa's example, folding her hands demuring behind her back. "So they bring up 
artifacts? What sorts of things? I wouldn't think much would stay whole for very 
long in the ocean."

Ihiske bobs his head. He speaks good, but he knows 'phins that speak better, 
"Jessafish find wreckstuffs?" okay, so now he's not speaking well. That's hard work 
after all, and usually saved for very few people. Esmati is eyed for a moment, 
"Wreck stuffs. Old old stuffs. Lots of stuffs," he answers.

Tytom says, "so do they rember the stories of man's first arival in Pern?"

And dolphins have short attention spans. But they make up for it by being cute and 
sweet. And this class is rapidly divurging into the realm of slightly off-topic. 
"Er, no... there is no wreck, at least that I know of, I was just saying that 
dolphins tell stories about old shipwrecks and we can correlate that to findings in 
the ocean," Jessa says, catching the dolphins up. "Dolphins don't necessarily bring 
things up, but dolphineers and their partners find things like bracelets, old 
tools, boxes..." Jess says to Esmati, giving the girl a rather short version reply. 
"I think Mailli found something recently?" 

Ihiske bobs his head, "Old stuffs. Lots of barncles on it," he answers helpfully. 
Always happy to talk about his Fish.

Tesia swims under the water back to the other side of the ledge, but just barely 
underwater. Most of her dorsal fin and back can be seen. "No wreccks." She 
says, sadly. "I found a ball a time." she says, remembering, popping up happily. 
Short attention span indeeed.

Esmati gives a thoughtful nod, though she looks a little disappointed at how 
mundane the list of discoveries is. "Oh, I see. What else do they do? Other than 
helping sailors and the rest of it?"

"There's a contract between dolphins and humans. Dolphins protect humans in the 
water and inform of weather, changes in conditions, tell them where the fish are, 
and help humans. In return humans take care of dolphins by removing bloodfish, and 
treat them when they're sick and stranded," is the brief reply given to Esmati 
because Jess is determined to move this course onwards in a direction. "So, we 
talked about the dolphin's grammar and pronunciation, what types of stories 
dolphins tell, and the use of such stories. So uh, would you like to /hear/ a story 
from their oral history?" 

Ihiske bobs his head, flipping water towards the humans nearest him, "We 'membered 
the contract. Not forgett, long long time. Long long time we sing/No answer we 
hear/Long long time we search we guide/No thanks we are given after many many 
Turns/Long and longer we sing and we Guide/Long and longer do we seek to abide/Ever 
the contract to us it is new/Long long time." Ihi's voice fades slowly in the 
echoing of the lounge area, the mournful tone broken by the squee he lets loose 
with at the end.

Esmati opens her mouth to respond to Jessa, before going silent as Ihiske sings. 
"*Oh*. They really do sing!" She abandons her habitual reserve, looking utterly 
charmed. "Yes, I'd like very much to hear a story, thank you."

Jessa was going to sing one herself, but since Ihiske so nicely demonstrated, that 
spares Jessa from that task. The journeywoman crouches down next to the ledge to 
give Ihiske a scratch, assuming he wants one that is, and looks to the Harpers, 
"So... any questions?" Or rather, any last requests before they get tossed in the 
water? "Thanks for that, Ihiske." 

Ihiske bobs his head and clacks his beak. Which sends water spraying into the air. 
Ooh, a scritch! "Scritchings?" aww, how pathetic?

Esmati clears her throat, recovering her scholarly air. "Er, no, ma'am. Thank you 
very much, it was very interesting . . . I've never seen dolphins up close before, 
they're very interesting." Yeah, that? That was pretty much her just *asking* to 
be dunked.

Jessa gives Esmati a close look, but just sort of half-shrugs it off as she looks 
down to Ihiske, "Yeah, scritchings!" she says to the dolphin, giggling at Ihiske as 
well. "Well, you're free to stay here and talk with the dolphins or go back to the 
Harper Hall. If you have any questions later feel free to seek me out and ask." 
This is the cue for the random apprentices to mill about and start chattering and 
making noise. 

Ihiske squees happily as he tail walks back from the ledge far enough to slip down 
beneath the water a good ways. Another squee is given as he drops himself. And wait 
for it... Here he goes. Ihiske launches himself swiftly into the air in a full 
breaching and crashes back down into the water after turning a summersault.

Silly Ihiske. Jessa didn't even scritch the 'phin and he's freaking out. As the 
apprentices mill towards the exit, Jess stays crouched to spend time with the 
dolphins. 

Ihiske bobs his head again, "Fun!" he states emphatically, "Come back? More fun?" 
is asked. Not that he wants the apprentices to stay, just that he would like to see 
them again.

Logfile from Jessa

 

 

 

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Harper's Tale MOO Web SiteThe Masterharper's Office Graphics Copyright P. Rutins & J.Hamilton, 1999 

Design Copyright S. Minkus & L. Ledger, 2003

Content Copyright the Members of the Harper's Tale Harpercraft, 1999-present

Pern and the concept of the Harpercraft is the property of Ms. Anne McCaffrey, who kindly allows us to play in her world. Thank you!