About the Craft

 

A Harper's Life

 

Events in the Harperhall

 

Meet the Harpers

 

In the Vaults

Rijalvas' Harper Concert

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Main Hall and Ballroom

The echoing space of the formal Ballroom is a mosaic of mosaics.  The floor is covered with a precise and colorful ocean, slim pillars of smooth marble reaching up to support the balcony overhead.  The low, flat ceiling decorated with bright golden-yellows and reds in a depiction of a partial eclipse of Rukbat.  Beyond the cover of the balcony, the space rises in an airy arch far overhead, an ironwork window round over the gracefully curving marble staircase.

An elaborate mural lines the walls, stretching from the mosiac on the floor to the ceiling.  One the 'northwall' and 'southwall' are portraits of some of Pern's influential Masterharpers.  The 'eastwall' and 'westwall' show aspects of harper life.

Extending from under the balcony, a small stage has been erected, glowbaskets positioned around it for optimal lighting.  Arrayed before it and tracing a faint curve are rows of seats, arranged to offer each watcher a view of the proceedings on the stage.  Over the stage, and across the railing of the balcony, a large piece of fabric has been stretched, artfully draped in the center -- low enough to give shape, but not low enough to distort the words in white:

             MIRTH & MUSIC:

             A Study

Watching from a bit of artistically carved lintel are Dawnwind, Disaster, Chutza, Snork, and Waterjem.

You see Muff and Leyte here.

Rijalvas, Fennara, Liesana, and Kristiana are here.

 

Tanella walks in.  Phoebe walks in.

 

Chananhikan is lounging by the stage, one hand on the wooden platform, counting performers as they wander in.  He offers a sunny smile to those guests who notice him -- not the universal state of affairs, as he is making little effort to thrust himself into the public eye.

 

Tanella looks around, soaking in the Hall. 

 

Phoebe enters, a guitar in one hand and a hide in the other.  Her brow is furrowed as she looks over the hide.  Hmm.

 

Fennara wanders in carrying a gitar....strange....Fenn doesn't know how to play one.......she waves at everyone and grins wickedly, as she flicks her eyes over a skin filled with tiny writing.

 

Rijalvas is seated in the front row, a scattering of seats there reserved for performers.  His gitar leans against his knee, and he bounces forward and backward in his seat quickly, a nervous motion.

 

Liesana slips down the stairs as quietly as her crutches will permit her, gitar slung from a strap over her shoulder.  Chananhikan is flashed a slightly-nervous smile, and she scoots over to a corner by her friends.  Could this be Liesana in a nervous mood?  Rare bird indeed.

 

Tanella feels awkward as she sees everyone here in harper garb.  She thinks to herself, "Am I supposed to be here yet?" but becomes relieved in the fact that it's better to be safe than sorry.  Tanella then takes a seat towards the back, feeling nervous about being around so many people.

 

Phoebe settles in one of the reserved chairs, still burning holes in the hide as she stares it into submission.

 

Niara slips in and looks around.  She too doesn't know if she should be here yet, but they've never turned her away yet!  So she slides into a seat near the fron and grins at everyone she knows.

 

Kristiana slips into the ballroom, grinning at the harpers on the stage. "Good luck," she mouths as she slides into a seat, relieved to not be on the stage.

 

The lanky journeyman by the stage moves towards the steps a bit nervously, then halts and turns to look again at the audience, scanning for a quick count of heads.  His hands fold together behind his back, and he bounces lightly on his heels.

 

Fennara shivers slightly....hardly noticing anyone...

 

Seif walks in.  Dolva walks in. 

 

Rijalvas spots Niara against all odds, offering a quick smile to the girl before turning his attention back to his instrument.  His eyes are all over the place today: gitar, journeyman, fellow performers, audience, gitar...

 

Marye walks in.  Marye quickly finds a place to sit and watch.

 

Niara giggles in delight and returns Rijalvas' smile, scanning the stage and room, her eyes absorbing all the details.

 

Pyrene walks in. 

 

Tanella looking around at the nervous harpers, stiffles a laugh, thinking to herself how silly it is for /her/ to be nervous.  She relaxes a bit and watches everyone come in.

 

Marianne sweeps confidently, with just the slightest hint of a whisper down the curving staircase from the balcony hallway.

 

Sorcen walks with smooth self-confidence down the curving staircase from the balcony hallway.

 

Safri strides down the curving staircase from the balcony hallway.

 

Maximus walks in.

 

Amidst the bustle of a milling crowd, a young, thin man steps up onto the stage, wearing a white shirt, blue pants, and the knot of a journeyman harper.  His sandy brown hair is tied back in a neat ponytail, and he holds up a hand for silence as he reaches the middle of the stage.  He doesn't speak immediately, just watches the crowd from his pose, awaiting quiet.

 

Rauve walks in.  Loren walks in.  Sraine walks in.  Tanella looks to the stage.

 

Rijalvas tries to still; his rebellious foot, however, continues a nervous tapping against the floor, bouncing him in his seat.  His eyes, at least, fasten for a less transient moment on the journeyman now ascending the stage.

 

From the balcony hallway strides a green-clad kidlet. Or is it a kidlet? No, no, as she makes her energetic way down the stairs in front of another man, you can tell that this is definitely /not/ a kidlet, but Marianne. Her eyes are twinkling with an almost unholy light of laughter as she spots her fellow harpers and strides smoothly over to take her place among them, beckoning to Sorcen to come sit beside her.

 

Pyrene leads in a group of white-knots as well as random Reaches type. New candidate-training scheme. Culture. "Hush..." she whispers to them furtively, feeling like a nanny again. And as she did when she was a nanny, she appropriates prime seats for them all by

virtue of staring at a few people until they move. "OK... now, sit." how well trained /are/ they?

 

As the room stills, the journeyman's hand's lower, and he offers an expansive smile to the audience.  "Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen."  His grin widens briefly.  "And any others who may be present.  I am Journeyman Chananhikan, and it is my great pleasure to welcome you to Harper Hall's demonstration of the role of laughter in music.  We have an absolutely superb group of performers today, and it looks like they are paired with an absolutely superb audience.  I hope you enjoy the show as much as we have enjoyed putting it together for you."

 

Sraine follows Pyrene, fidgeting a little. Here? There? Now what? Geeeeeez. At the whispered 'Hush' she idly wonders who had talked. Glancing around at the various faces, she tries to stick with her white-knot clad group. Taking a quick seat as Pyrene instructs, she then fidgets with her hands. Attention then focuses up to the journeyman that started speaking.

 

Trotting down the staircase following the 'kidlet' comes yet another one, brushing annoying strands of black hair out of his face. Jumping the last three steps, Sorcenkidlet half-walks, half skips after his 'sister' and takes his seat beside her, drumming his hands on his thighs in excitement. An unusual child-like glimmer in his eyes adds to the illusion that clothes are trying to project.

 

Arof walks in.  Caylea walks in.

 

Phoebe grins at the Journeyman's words, though her quick glance down at the hide in her lap, and nervous glare at the guitar rested beside her betrays her anxiousness.  She brushes quickly at her hair, then carefully tugs at her dress.

 

"Without any further ado," Chananhikan says, "I present to you the first of our performers.  This senior apprentice has been doing a marvelous job during her time at the hall, specializing more in dance than in music, but as you will see, she has talents in both areas.  I am proud to introduce Senior Apprentice Fennara and her song, The Ballad of Hapless Hatty."  That said, he steps smoothly to the side, vacating the stage for the first performer.

 

Rauve is a very well-trained candidate who trails Sraine with a look of the mildly uncomfortable. It's -hot- here. A seat is taken with a glance to Loren, arms crossing as his attention turns from goldrider to Harper journeyman, then the announced performer. He's never attended a performance before. This should prove interesting.

 

Fennara grins nervously and clutching her borrowed gitar she stands up, somewhat reluctantly and clambers onto the stage. Scanning the audience, she smiles a little, and takes a deep breath. "Hello! I'm Fenn. I'm a dancer and I play the pipes....quite well...which is why I have today decided to play...the gitar. so I'm appologising now...this could be interesting!"

 

Pyrene applauds lightly at the speaker, keeping an eye on the candidates with her lest they shame her, untrustworthy types as they are. As Fennara is announced she claps harder and focuses completely on the stage.

 

Fennara quickly runs a finger or two over the strings to check the gitar is in tune. It is. Petty she's not feeling confident with the chords....."Ok...This for your delectation and delight is ..The Firey Ballad of Hapless Hatty.....with my apologies!"

 

Rijalvas touches his hands together in a light patter of applause for Fennara, just grateful it's not him -- yet.

 

Kristiana claps for Fenn, holding back loud cheers, and bites her lip in nervousness for the girl.

 

Phoebe claps for Fennara a little over zealously.

 

Marianne tries to give her fellow apprentice an encouraging wink as she makes for the front of the room, smiling at her and crossing her fingers for her to see, nudging her 'brother' to do the same.. "come on, Fenn!" She says softly.

Tanella claps for Fennara, smiling.

 

Loren's still here, really. She just got a bit lost in the crowd. White-knotted bunch -- and Pyrene -- are located again, and Lo manages to clap for Fennara and take a seat next to Rauve. Without falling. /Wow/.

 

Her fingers hesitantly pluck the strings and a jaunty melody is played with the occasional discordant TWANG! here and there....Fenn grins and is loving every terribly out of tune mistake!

 

This is the ballad of hapless Hatty,

The harperlass who was dim - but chatty!

The cause of many an altercation,

And master of musical misinformation

 

Caylea snaps to attention.

 

Pyrene keeps an eye on Loren too. Cooks can't be trusted either, plus they might hide cookies about their person. As Fennara begins playing, she wrinkles her nose uncertainly. "Is this the new fashion in music?" she whispers to those nearest, before the long words make her focus. It rhymes--even to Pyrene's uncultured mind, it can't be that bad.

 

Fenn sniggers slightly as she breaks into the first verse

 

It happened one morning while doing her chores,

Her mind was distracted from mopping the floors,

A comment from a master's room filled her with dread,

Anguished call from inside said "Watch out for that thread!"

 

Caylea strides in, a pleasant smile upon her features. After all, it's warm!! It's really warm. And she doesn't have to trudge along in a blanket. Beam. Of course, the healer'd take every excuse offered to her to head back towards the tropics. She quickly scans the crowds and sidles beside a couple of her fellow candidates. Music. Too bad there was no dancing, but..

 

Rauve applauds politely for the gitar-welding harper, brow lilting toward his bangs. Hmm. A ballad? Ignorant to what makes music sound nice or not-so-nice, discordant sound or otherwise, he's quite taken with the girl's lyrics. Dim, but chatty? Sounds like Pia. A shrug aims toward Pyrene. He wouldn't know.

 

Oh this is the ballad of hapless Hatty

A good person really, just incurably scatty,

Striking fear into hearts of both friend and relation,

A master of musical misinformation

 

Sraine had stifled her applause when the music had started playing, leaning back to enjoy the performance before her. Being close enough to Pyrene to hear the question, she merely glances and shrugs, then gets back into focus as another verse it sung out. She's oblivious to what harpering is really about, so she'll just sit and enjoy what she knows: what it sounds like.

 

 

Fenn fumbles through the chords...and although the tune is cheerful..some of her mistakes are awful!!! Is this on purpose????

 

With the speed of a firelizard over the heights,

She leapt down the stairs - all three flights,

Shrieking "Thread in the harperhall - everyone hide!"

Illogical panic she spread far and wide.

 

Rijalvas lifts a hand to his mouth, pressing a knuckle against his lips to silence an escaping chuckle.  His other hand holds to the neck of his gitar, fearful of jostling that might push it out of tune.

 

Tyrol walks in.

 

Tanella twinges at each mistake, being a lover of fine music herself.  She keeps reassuring herself saying, "She's an apprentice, she's just an apprentice... at least the words aren't /that/ bad..."

 

"It's just as I said, Thread is inside the hall,

It must have got in through the roof - down the wall!

We must fight it right now - get agenothree!

Will nobody help? Well its all down to me!!"

 

Pyrene is oblivious now to discordant chords, instead she raises her eyebrows in wry amusement at the verse. "That's harpers for you," she mutters to the candidates, unable to remember but definitely hoping that a few of them were harpers previously.

 

Tanella quietly giggles, hoping nobody around her heard the small outburst

 

Loren's eyes remain focused on the stage, runner unusually attentive as she listens. Hands fidget for a moment, and Lo eventually burrows them into her pockets. She'll just have to go without cookies. At least the songs'll be good. Pyrene's question gets a blink, and Lo's shoulders shrug a bit. She wouldn't know; she never paid all that much attention to the old fashions.

 

With a merry twinkle in her eye, Marianne leans back in her chair and watches her fellow harper sing the words of her most amusing ballad.... A smile appears faintly on her lips, and she scans the crowd for familiar faces.. finding many, of course, since her fellow harpers /are/ giving the concert.. but one face gets a discreet wave and a hope she'll notice. She mouths, "Cay! Cay!" and leans over slightly in the hope she'll be recognized even in her kidlet garb.

 

Taer walks in.

 

Wincing, a harper at the front stands up and makes his way to the stage... a particularly bad TWANG!!!! emmantaes from Fenn's gitar and silently he walks on as she plays, pulls the gitar out of her hand and takes it himself, picking up the tune easily. Raising an eyebrow he dares her to complain as the music is played faultlessly.

 

Fennara looks shocked for and instant and then before continuing says loudly to the audience.."Hmmm! that bad huh!"

 

Oh this is the ballad of hapless Hatty,

(Who could never work out why her mentor got ratty)

Too often she got hold of the wrong end of stick,

'Harsh but fair!' cry the critics who labelled her 'thick'!

 

An old nanny bustles in, plain klah colored skirts swishing slightly around her fat legs and ankles, her shirt pulled tight over her obese top half. A tiny toddler Tyrol peeks out from where he is perched on one of her chubby arms, one leg on either side of her side.

 

Sapphire eyes scan the area and the stage, and he claps his hands together and grins at the song.

 

Pyrene does laugh at that. She's not good at the subtleties of musical humor, but she can appreciate the slapstick. "Apparently," she quietly answers Fennara in a murmur inaudible to the stage.

 

Caylea hears her name even as she takes a seat somewhere 'around' the queenrider.  The voice is definately familar, and the candi searches the crowds.  However, she doesn't reconize anyone save for her fellows.

 

Phoebe is chuckling at the last words from Fennara, the hide in her lap forgotten.

 

July walks in through an arch from the great hall.

 

Niara grins as someone familiar enters, and she hops up and down in her seat, waving the weaver over.

 

Sorcenkidlet attempts to hide behind Marianne, for all the world like a little brother unsure of what to do- even to the point of grabbing for her hand a couple times and looking around in mock fear at all the people around - ironic considering the size difference between the two. In one hand he grips the neck of his gitar, and in the other he clutches Marianne's shirt sleeve.

 

Marye watches in stunned silence, eyes wide and round from her corner of the ballroom as she takes in the happenings around her.

 

Fenn raises wicked eyebrows as she delivers the next few lines, the humour in her voice apparent!

 

Having grabbed the equipment, she ignored suprised glares,

With nozzle a-flaming, she dragged it upstairs,

Setting fire to the furniture she burst through the door,

....Singeing weaver, and gather dress laid out on the floor!!!

 

Pyrene smirks at the next verse. "Those of you who become weyrlings, get a copy of this for R'sli, before flamer practice," she whispers to the candidates.

 

Tanella hopes the toddler doesn't get ideas from this song... and quietly giggles again.

 

Putting on the voice of an outraged master and hamming it up quite viciously...Fenn shrieks rather than sings:

 

"My outfit! My room!" The poor master yelled,

As flames licked up her curtains, and her prize harp was felled,

"I'm dreadfully sorry..." Hatty took two steps back,

Realising thread .....held by weaver....was crispy and black!"

 

July begins to wave enthusiastically, but silently to Niara as she enters, ducking through the crowd. A wince is given to Fenn... Crispy Weavers, hmm?

 

Rauve doesn't smother a chuckle at the Harper-antics, orchid eyes flickering over the stage and particuarly over Fennara. Pyrene prods a slight grin, brow knitting at the song's amusing silliness. Cripsy weavers, indeed.

 

Rijalvas laughs aloud at that one, unable to hold it back, nerves and humor combining in a medley which forces him to give voice to his amusement.

 

Sraine can't keep the extremely amused smile from pushing itself on her lips. This was an interesting piece, of all the ones she's heard in her life time. It was quite a good start to the concert. Glancing over at Pyrene as she makes a comment, she then has to hide a snicker behind her hand. Heh.

 

Marianne kidlet puts on the face of a long suffering older sister and appears to sigh, giving up on Caylea's noticing her.. or recognizing her at all. She leans back again and, with only the slightest of amused expressions on her face, soothingly pats Sorcen's hand, whispering in an undertone, "Don't worry /dear/ brother mine... we'll show these people soon enough..." However, she doesn't make him release her shirtsleeves, instead squeezing his hand teasingly. "Until then, I'll protect you from the big bad people.." Her mouth quirks in a smile at the song's lyrics, just pictuing this Hatty in her mind...

 

Loren giggles a bit as the song continues, managing to tuck one leg up on the chair and prop her elbows and chin up. How she can be comfortable, nobody knows, but at least she's quiet. And apparently happy. Even without her tasty-cookies.

 

Tyrol yawns slightly and slumps a bit against his nanny, who coos soothingly to him and sits down at a bench. Sapphire pools are blinked rather tiredly, and another big yawn is emitted. The nanny whispers in a talking-to-a-little-kid voice to him, and sets him down on the bench, saying, "I'm going to go get something to eat, you stay here..." She turns and her voice trails off as she all but waddles in her chubby manner through the crowd.

 

Fenn breaks out into an uncontrolled giggle as the harper with the gitar looks at her with a grin and does a very obvious dischordant 'twang' himself! she takes a deep breath and the song continues...

 

Oh this is the ballad of hapless Hatty,

That fool harper lass - well, we musn't be catty,

This incident later her departure did herald,

She went off and handfasted a herder named Gerald.

 

Overflowing Bubblies has arrived.

 

Taer smiles as he listens to the peice, his green eyes shining with laughter.

 

Pyrene chuckles merrily, quite delighted with the song now and swinging her feet in time with the music. "Aren't you glad we came?" she asks the candidates. And /she/ no longer regrets being made to bring them.

 

With a swift and deliberate movement...Fenn wrestles the gitar away from the harper on stage...."I started so I'm gonna finish!" she declares to the audience!

 

And here endeth the ballad of hapless Hatty,

She lived long and well - though she went a bit batty,

Spent her life on the hillsides all quiet and calm,

And so lovingly, Gerald saved Pern from more harm.

 

July slips into a wobbly chair next to Niara... no wonder why it's empty! "Hello," she whispers, leaning over and wobbling. Her eyes temporarily follow one of the nannies depart for food. Apparently, the drudges are not all quite dense, and as if on cue, sweep around the room passing out bubblies.

 

The gitar is expertly played and Fenn is making no mistakes...with a flourish of humourous but perfectly in tune chords she comes to the end of the song and finishes with a sweep of her hand before bowing her head, down and up suddenly, signalling the end of the piece.

Rijalvas laughs again, clapping decisively in a cheerful applause.  "Woo!" he calls, close enough to the stage to not require much volume.  "Yeah, Fenn!  You go!"

 

Tanella couldn't help but laugh quite loudly at this part!  She held both hands on the seat to make sure the laughing wouldn't cause her to fall over.

 

Chaya walks in.

 

Marye laughs behind her hand and only her eyes show her amusement as she laughs the antics on stage.

 

Pyrene cheers Fennara's moment of rebellion blithely. Nothing like a bit of anarchy, although it was helped by a sudden burst of talent from the harper. Applauding loudly, she stands to show her appreciation.

 

Fennara comes to the front of the stage hand in hand with the other harper and they both bow....oh so it was planned the whole time!!!!!!

 

Sraine nods over to Pyrene, thoroughly enjoying this concert for the most part. As the song comes to a close, she claps as loud as she can make her hands move. That was a very interesting --and amusing-- song. As their escort rises, Ine follows suit, continuing her clapping but in an upright position.

 

Phoebe claps wildly, laughing as she nods to Fennara from her seat.  "Wooo!!"

 

Niara turns shining eyes on July as she applauds loudly.  "Hiya, Miz July!"

 

Chaya blinks nervously as she enters, new and quite shy. "Maybe I just shouldn't have come..." She murmurs, peering at all the /other/ people having fun.

 

"Sure am," Rauve murmurs, leaning back in his seat slightly. -Anything- is better than chores. Taking Pyrene's cue, he hops up, a better view of Fennara sought as he applauds her song.

 

Fennara follows the other harper off the stage and ducking down in front of the audience, she finds her empty set at the front.

 

Tanella breaks out in applause... may not have been very musical, but it was sure entertaining!!!

 

Tyrol shivers slightly, curling up in the corner of the bench. A lone sapphire eye is left open, as the other is clamped shut, and his one-eyed gaze rests on Niara and July, as the young kidlet recalls them as an aquaintances of his, though not in so many words, o'course.

 

Marye laughs aloud as she claps her hands.

Taer stands an applauds. "Great show!"

 

Caylea listens silently, and as the round of clapping starts up, she too begins to clap.  She's already given up on finding the person matching that voice, instead standing as well and continuing to clap wildly. 

 

Dolva stands slowly, what for his bad leg, and applauds firmly if not excitedly, at least a smile on his face.

 

Sorcenkidlet beams up at his 'sister' Marianne - without releasing her shirtsleeve - then turns his attention to the performance. As the song ends, he half-stands and applauds- both actions being obstructed by his refusal to let go of Marianne's sleeve. His clapping is muffled in the fabric, and his grip is most likely making her clapping more difficult, too.

 

Loren claps enthusiastically, beaming in the general direction of Fennara as she leaves the stage. "Good job!" Beam, glow. Songs. Good songs. /Yay/.

 

Chananhikan takes the stage again with a slightly more serious expression, addressing the quieting crowd.  "Our next performer was to be a student -- Lorsalia, studying at Tillek Hold, but she has fallen unfortunately ill, and will be unable to join us.  She has, however, invited another harper to play her song, and Apprentice Shiala has graciously agreed.  So I present Apprentice Shiala, performing Student Lorsalia's Ode to Emmett."  Gesturing towards the young apprentice ascending the steps with a gitar, he slides to the side.

 

Taer sits, willing the performer to start the second she is on the stage.

 

Jellem walks with a tired, if happy smile to the Great Hall.

 

July rises slowly in a state of semi-confusion and begins clapping loudly. "Great job!" she calls and tacks on, "Except for the deep fried weaver.." Blushing a faint shade of pink as everybody shuts up for the next introduction, she does so too, and sits down, a crimsom flush on her cheeks.

 

Phoebe claps, ready and willing to laugh again.

 

Chaya takes a spot with her back against the wall, not wanting particularly to be noticed by anyone.

 

Shiala takes the stage a bit timidly, offering a brief smile to the audience.  "'Lo," she greets, settling herself on a stool and poising her gitar across her knee.  The melody, when she begins playing, is simply, straightforward, and traditionally romantic; her voice is a bit reedy, but easily audible over the crowd. 

 

Pyrene settles down and watches the stage with interest.

 

Rauve goes home.

 

Oh handsome man upon the stool,

Sitting there, being so cool.

By the barrel your ale is drunk

My oh my, you're such a hunk.

 

White in your hair, though it's still gold

But that's not to say you're all that old!

Round is your waist, a big bulging gut,

Perfect for loving and hugging, but...

 

The chording of the gitar changes slightly here, as does the expression on Shiala's face.  She fades into wistfulness even as her voice becomes stronger, singing a plea to the object of the ode.

 

    I love you, my Emmett, you are so kind

    I'd like to 'fast you- if you don't mind?

    I love you, my Emmett, you are so dear

    You are the best, even with something in your ear.

 

I've never seen you go outside

And when I near, you run and hide.

You like the women; yes, it shows

Pyrene just blinks at the song. "How old is the person who wrote this? And do the healers know about them?" she murmurs softly.

 

And if you could, you'd remove their clothes.

 

Tanella begins giggling again...

 

But, O Barfly upon the stool,

You'd never get them past the pool

I'll show up, small yet strong,

And send them away with this song.

 

Niara giggles and plops down, snuggling closer to July.

 

I love you, my Emmett, you are so kind

            I'd like to 'fast you- if you don't mind?

I love you, my Emmett, you are so dear

 

Rijalvas snickers slightly at the chorus.  "Knew that kid was a bit buggy," he murmurs lightly.

 

            You are the best, even with something in your ear.

 

As the chorus concludes, the gitar fades out, coming to a neat, tidy, traditional conclusion melodically.  The apprentice's voice lingers for a moment beyond the accompaniment, then joins the instrument in silence.

 

Chaya sighs quietly, wishing she could go home...

 

Taer sits, Emerald's gaze locked on the performer.

 

Loren begins to giggle at the song, and leans forward a bit to attempt and answer Pyrene's question. "Las' time I saw 'er, Lorsalia was about ten or twelve, I think." Another giggle, and Lo leans back again. Reminds her of Tillek. And fish. And all that stuff that she shouldn't be reminded of by this song.

 

Tanella thinks to herself... no wonder she didn't show up!  Tanella attempts to hold in another laugh.

 

Caylea blinks silently as she listens to the song.  She shrugs her shoulders towards Pyrene's question.

 

Shiara rises from the stool and offers a quick, awkward bow, her gitar still clutched in one hand.

 

Pyrene leans across to ask Loren the newly dubbed Tillek-expert. "Is this Emmett a real character or a figment of her fevered brain?"

 

Emara walks in.

 

July peers at Shiara with the notes ringing in her ears, then back at Niara. Restraining an urge to clap her hands over Niara's ears at the 'remove their clothes' part of the song, she cranes her neck over the crowd and grins, "All resemblences to anyone real or fictional in this song are merely cooincidental, right?"

 

Rijalvas touches his hands together in dutiful applause, grinning lightly at the apprentice sitting next to him, who leans over to whisper something in the boy's ear.

 

Tanella looks over to Marianne... and quietly thinks, "I don't blame you... I'd fall asleep, too..."

Sraine mirrors Cay by shrugging, raising a brow as she listens to the conclusion of the song. It was....again another interesting one. It might be entertaining to see just what the author of this 'love song' looked like. Glancing between Py and Lor, she listens a little.

 

Chaya goes home

 

Taer remembers he has something to do, and had better get back to the Weyr as fast as he can.

"He's real," Loren responds, bobbing her head and sending pigtails a'bouncing. "I met 'im once. Lorsalia likes 'im a whole bunch." She'll just state the probably-obvious, here. Hey. It's her job. Beam.

 

Marianne laughs over at Tanelle, hearing her comment as she opens her eyes, tickling her 'brother's' side for a moment. "Oh, no, I'm awake...just resting for a  moment.." She tosses her two runner's tails and gives her a wide-eyed innocent look, making her look about five turns old for just a moment. She claps lightly for the song, wondering just who this is all about.

 

Climbing the stairs to the stage amidst the fragmenting applause, Chananhikan pauses only a moment before speaking again.  "Our third performer is  in his element at this concert, a young apprentice who cannot seem to write anything /but/ comedy.  I separate from the chagrin of most of his instructors and welcome his satiric bent -- and him to the stage, with his song: 'Love's Glory'."  The journeyman walks offstage as the apprentice ascends to take his place, a bit dubiously settling onto the stool.

 

Tyrol squirms and shivers again slightly. Opening his other eye and sitting up, he looks over at Niara, and, after a slightly stressful search of his memory, calls out her name in his little, yet hopefully heard, voice. "N'ara!" A yawn follows his call, and he slumps back to the back of the bench.

 

The new apprentice, Marye,  listens to the comments around her as she holds her face stiff trying not to laugh.

 

Rijalvas strums a single chord on his gitar, his attention on the instrument, then looks up at the audience with a brief, faintly nervous smile.  "I just want to tell you all right out that this is /not/ autobiographical," he says, his eyes flicking briefly towards a group of harper girls.  "It's called 'Love's Glory.'"

 

Again, Rijalvas bends his head over his instrument, his fingers on the gitar strings coaxing out a fairly straightforward melody.  The chordings are open and full, and his voice merges with them in a startlingly high opening, the melody following a sunny solemnity in a range more common among sopranos than men.

 

Pyrene applauds brightly for both the last song and the next. "Lot of love about this evening," she mutters, eyes sparkling wickedly.

 

Tanella looks up to Rijalvas on stage.

 

They tell you that love is a glorious thing

It can lighten our loneliness, make sorrow sing

It can offer you balm for the furious sting

Of life, with the genuine "lover's glow" thing

 

The open chords are here broken into individual notes, still well fitted within the chords, but arranged into a far quicker-feeling sequence.  Rijalvas looks up at the audience as he continues to sing, his eyebrows arched perhaps a bit higher as he leans forward to invite the audience in on the secret he is about to convey.

 

Niara's head swings about at the sound of her name and searches the crowd.  Spotting the squirming boy, she pantomines him to be quiet.  "Shhh..."

 

But love shows its glory more ways than just one

It will teach you hilarity 'fore it is done

Your laughter will peal -- to the cynic must come

The invasion of young romance into his fun

 

You can catch out the lie with the first wistful swoon

By the light in his eye when they're in the same room

By the confident way that his head will balloon

By the way he his former weeds now proclaims blooms

 

Rijalvas strikes a new chord here, letting it linger across the pause between verses as he speaks normally to the audience.  "Come on, don't try to tell me you've never seen this before," he says, his face settling into a silly parody of the young and in love, overstated laxness in his muscles and his eyes going hazy.

 

As the first few chuckles come back from the crowd, Rijalvas goes back to his instrument, speaking over the bridge between verses.  "Thought so," he says, before resuming the lyrics:

 

July giggles giddily like a hold girl, flashing a quick smile and a thumbs up to the harper on stage. Yeah, she knows..

 

He's infected with romance! Afflicted by cheer!

He's got love-sniffles! Heart-mumps! He's wistful! Sincere!

And if he turns mopy, it's fatal, I fear

His heart struck by love unrequited's grim spear

 

Slowing back down to the interspersed chords, Rijalvas sings again among the more sparce accompaniment, his voice devoid of all hints of humor, locked into the wistful self-indulgence of the unloved.

 

Fennara giggles slightly at the lyrics and knows all too well what they mean.

 

Then he'll gloom for eternity, gloom for an hour

Before turning his heart to another bright flower

And if she requites it, her love will empower

Their withdrawal unto sweet affection's white tower

 

Tanella smiles.  Beautiful song.

 

One more verse Rijalvas plays through, unaccompanied by the support of vocals but back to the unbroken sequence of notes which dances over the crowd.

 

Pyrene snickers. This culture lark's not as bad as she thought. It's actually quite entertaining.

 

With a final, full chord, the song fades into silence.

 

Phoebe is snickering in her seat, her mouth covered with one hand as she supresses the giggles

 

At Rijalvas' knowing tone, Marianne cannot help but call out softly, "Certainly not in this vicinity..." She really shouldn't be torturing the poor man, not now, not when he's performing.... but she can't help leaning forward and watching with a twinkle in her eye, smiling innocently and clapping loudly when he finishes, whistling softly for him. "Well done, my /friend/, well done.." Perhaps a truce? She smiles ruefully.. or not.

 

Marye claps as she listens to the end notes and realizes that the tune is complete.

 

Tanella applauds loudly for the wonderful song.

 

Sorcenkidlet squirms away from Marianne as she tickles him, a childish giggle emerging as he again beam at her. For the first time since they sat down, he releases her sleeve to lean further away so he doesn't get tickled again. When the song ends, his claps are quick and with little time between, with a grin plastered all over his face.

 

The nanny comes back, a bit of bubbly smeared on her face. Scooping up the kidlet, she says, "This is no music for someone of your age, Tyrol..." And with that, she departs, walking out of the big courtyard and back towards the Hold.

 

Tyrol goes home.

 

Rijalvas rises from the stool and glances over at Marianne briefly before offering a quick bow to the audience as a whole, his gitar held firmly as he descends the steps from the stage.

 

Niara stands up and jumps up and down yelling out "Yeah Mister Rij'l'as!"

 

Pyrene laughs and applauds again. "How's it going?" she asks the candidates near her. "Enjoying yourselves?" Say 'yes, nanny-pyrene'

 

Fennara stands up as well and claps for all she is worth. And wishes she could whistle!!!

 

Caylea glances over.  She's a little distracted, lost in her own thoughts. However, she does hear Pyrene's question and she gives a smile, nodding slightly.

 

Embarking on another ascent of the stage, Chananhikan pauses to make sure attention is again focused before speaking.  "It has been pointed out to me that I neglected to provide a name for that last performer: it is Rijalvas.  This next song takes an odd subject to mix with humor, and does it well in spite of that.  The performer, Apprentice Phoebe, is to be much commended for her efforts with this, and it is with great respect and admiration that I invite her up."  This said, he descends back into the audience, inviting up the next performer.

 

Sraine snaps out of her listening daze to add a brief amount of applause. Wha? Who? Where? Oh dear.. Blinking and shaking her head the slightest, she then realizes that she DID catch Py's question at least. "Er...yeah." she murmurs in her usual whisper-voice, toned down even more for the concert viewer's sakes...

 

"Very much so," July calls to the applauding nanny person. "Very nice, Harper Rijalvas!"

Oh, so she's uncreative in her compliments, but at least she's enthusiastic.

 

Phoebe stands up and dramatically and takes the stage.  She looks over the crowd calmly for a moment, before raising her guitar and smiling brightly.  "The Math Song...and don't ask me what half of the stuff means afterwards," she giggles.  Then, she strums one chord and takes a deep breath, her face transformed into a mask of...pain?

 

As I walked on the beach

I knew acute pain

Though the focus was somewhat oblique

Phoebe sings, starting the song with simple, stilted strums of her instrument with each word.  Her eyebrows are arched, her head shaking sadly as she calls out the next notes.

 

Your curves were not with me

Yet I knew in my brain

I would always be counted a

 

She pauses, looking plaintively out into the audience...

" Geeeeek!"

 

The guitar becomes more coherent, though it takes a soft, low muttering background to the clear notes she sings.

 

Oooh beautiful ocean

Send me a sine

 

Caylea just /stares/ towards the stage as she listens to the strange song.  Then, at the last words, the healer lets out another blink.  What was a 'geeeeek'?  However, the very sound was ironically amusing.

That my love may still be there for mee-e-e-eee

I'm a mathematician

To numbers consign

My heart and all things that I see

Niara starts to giggle uncontrollably, desperately trying to hold it in with little hands as her face turns red.

 

Amazingly, Phoebe manages to keep a sorrowful face throughout these last words, plucking a steady minor scale until the tremulous last note dies out.  Then, taking an overly dramatic, and thus comical, deep breath, she continues...

 

And though every second

My heart can derive

A complex yet natural line

I'm not a obtuse man

I know I'll revive

Once you're prime and our numbers align

 

Tanella catches herself biting her nails, and puts her attention back onto the stage

 

The last note is drawn until she runs clear out of breath, her face reddening slightly.  Then she bursts out with song, strumming away at the guitar strings with force!

 

July squints and scratches her head as she attempts to follow the lyrics. "Geh?"

 

Oh beautiful ocean

Send me a sine

Send me a sineThat my love may still be there for me

 

Fennara groans!

 

Pyrene was lost long ago and merely stares at the stage with a glazed expression.

 

I'm a mathematician

To numbers consign

My heart and all things that I seeeeee!

 

Niara falls over, her head landing in July's lap as she shakes uncontrollably and tears stream down her face.

 

The tempo has by now picked up its pace, pushed on by Phoebe's energetic playing as she works the relatively simple chords into a light, comical song--even if she herself is unsure what the nonsense may mean.

 

So plot me a vector

A course for your heart

I'll hypothesize what is in store

Though math's a harsh mistress,

I'll never depart

It's as sure as pi's 3.14!

 

The last chorus is belted out, her face still set in a mask of despair.

 

Oh beautiful ocean

Send me a sine (oh-oh-ohhh!)

That my love may still be there for me

I'm a mathematician

To numbers consign

My heart and all things that I see!

 

The song ends abruptly with a flourished last note and a bright smile as the harper girl, Phoebe, finally breaks character.  "I don't get it either!" she laughs brightly, and bows.

 

Pyrene snaps her mouth shut and applauds, in an attempt to look smart enough to understand the song. "Marvellous, marvellous...er, yes."

 

Rijalvas laughs aloud as the song ends, clapping cheerfully.  "Brava!" he calls. 

"Brilliant!"  His hands drill out a rapid patter, and his foot bonks the gitar lightly, almost knocking it over, but he saves it with a desperate grab.  Success.

 

Fennara jumps up and claps!! "Brilliant!!! even if I haven't a clue what you are on about!!!"

 

Caylea just stares blindly.  What was that all about?  She lost 'count'... literally.

 

Pyrene goes home.

 

Niara manages to wheeze out "That was so /silly/!" between gasps and giggles.

 

Tanella continues to be confused and bites her nails again.

 

The harper at the wall with her brother stands smoothly up and pulls her runner's tail's tight, clapping for Pheobe enthusiastically, fully into her character by now, acting the part of the kidlet she's about to sing. She tugs her "brother" to his feet, murmuring, "come along, dear..." before bouncing in the direction of the stage, dragging him behind her as she goes.

 

Chananhikan climbs again onto the stage, his smile undimmed -- and possibly brightening -- as the concert goes on.  He resumes his place in the center of the stage to address the audience.  "Our next and last performance is also our only duet, a piece performed by Apprentices Marianne and Sorcen, of the Istan Hall.  Two talented apprentices who promise to only improve, they are prepared to share with you... a different perspective on love."  That said, he steps aside, gesturing to the oddly garbed duo.

 

Sorcenkidlet skips up onto the stage with bounds of excitement, then prances across to the stool that was placed on the stage -well back from the edge- ahead of time. Leaning on it, he prevents it from sliding backwards with a foot hooked in the bottom rung. He nearly-silently confirms the tuning of his gitar as he waits for Mariannekidlet to introduce the song.

 

Rijalvas sinks a bit deeper in his chair, not applauding as he stares suspiciously up at the stage -- mostly at Marianne; his look at Sorcen is closer to not being a glare.  He folds his arms across his chest.

 

Phoebe settles down in her seat, setting the guitar and hide aside to enjoy this last song.

 

Fennara watches and waits with quiet amusement written all over her face.

 

Which Mariannekidlet does, striding towards the front of the stage, her hair bouncing about her shoulders. She sits down on the edge, looking about at everyone confidingly, leaning forward with the pout of a child. "My mommy's in love," she says, speaking. "And he's sooooo silly!" She begins to sing in the soft sounds of childhood, slightly whining, "You can smell the heady vapors of romance in the air.." She coughs, bending over, "I think I am going to be sick!" She wrinkles her nose slightly. "My momma's got a boyfriend, and they're cuddling over there!" She points offstage with a disgusted expression, singing, "I don't see what's appealing in this brick!" She beckons for her 'brother' to come forward, crossing her arms over her chest.

 

After Mariannekidlet introduces the song, he begins strumming the simple chords that he composed a few days earlier for the song while Marianne sings the first verse. A few odd picked notes are thrown in on occasion, more to emphasize the lyrics than anything else. The music provides the song with a heavy rhythm and slightly twanging melody as is befitting for the type of song the pair are performing.  While the words are being sung, Sorcenkidlet makes faces of disgust, clearly directed at mommy's boyfriend. At her indication, he moves away from the stool and closer to the front of the stage, prepared to pick up his refrain. After giving a slight bridge between first and second verse, he begins his own verse. "He talks in quiet undertones, he pats me on the head/ I'm not a silly canine to be won." He shakes his head with a face of extreme distaste.  "He makes her happy, makes her laugh, my momma she once said/ But since he came she's never been less fun." Having sung his verse, he backs off to let Marianne have the spotlight as she sings again.

 

With the expression of a moonstruck maiden, Marianne takes center stage again, striking her hands to her heart in a gesture of being overcome, fluttering her eyes at the audience, the people in the front row in particular. "She sits and moons o'er flattery, and she dreams of kisses sweet..." She sighs and fans herself as if overcome by the heat before throwing up both her hands in mock despair. "He brainwashed her to frippery, but I'll not give her up to him, I will not cede defeat!" She stands up and sniffs to the sky, putting her hands on her hips in indignation. "Though his intrigues be sublime and slippery..." She glances over to the side again where 'mommy and her boyfriend' are, letting Sorcenkidlet pick it up from here...

 

Rijalvas's lips twitch.  But that's it.  He's not laughing, and that wasn't a smile.  It's a nervous tic, durnit.

 

Once again moving forward, Sorcenkidlet continues with the next verse. "I'll put a crawlie in his bed -- I'll put it in his hair!/ So momma sees how yucky he can be/ Then she'll run screaming from the room, and I -- all unaware --/Will be there to offer comfort willingly" He adopts an evil, conspiring look on his face as he backs off for Mari's verse. As the plan is building towards a climax, the music takes on more picked notes as opposed to strumming, designed to bring the audience up to the climax with the two performers.

 

ha ha! Marianne once again picks up her verse and she looks triumphant as she shakes her little hand out over the audience. "And /then/ she'll see how gross he is, and how we're here for her!" She looks for all the world like some triumphant warrior. "and he'll go back to lurk where he was spawned! And til that day, I'll bide my time, though really I'd prefer to spurn him and whisk her off and thus abscond..." She sighs in regret, brandishing a mock sword in the direction of where 'mommy's boyfriend' sits, as if to fend him off, and all his evil doings.

 

Tanella yawns and sings quietly to herself, "Tho this song is all in fun / I can't wait until it's done!"  She giggles for a moment and puts her attention back on the stage.

 

Fennara gurgles with undisguised hysteria.

 

Phoebe grins as the two 'kidlets' build a conspiracy.  She chuckles as the two harpers prance about like little kids, her hands folded neatly in her lap.

 

Taking the front of the stage for the final verse, Sorcenkidlet plays almost all picked notes - now mostly improvised. "So I'll breathe the heady vapors of romance in the air" He adopts the cough that Mariannekidlet had in the first verse. "And I'll try my level best not to be sick/ My momma's got a boyfriend, and they're cuddling over there/ But their mystic music bubble I'll soon prick!" The conspiring look returns to his face accompanied by an evil smirk and after singing the final words he laughs maniacally and childishly at the plan. With the gitar, he starts with higher notes then spirals them down with seemingly impossible speed to show the downfall of mommy's boyfriend, then ends the song with a final, definative strum.

 

The other kidlet grabs her 'brother's' arm and bounces forward to the front of the stage to take a whimsical little bow, winking at her audience and crying, "And I /did/, too! Mommy's at home right now with /lots/ of crawlies around!" She giggles gleefully and bounces off the stage laughing, dragging her brother behind her.

Rijalvas has to laugh at that, but it's a brief laugh, and a bit reluctant.  His arms remain folded a second longer than courtesy admits, then he uncorsses them and taps his hands together in a half-hearted and less than eager applause, not looking at Marianne.

 

Phoebe snickers.  Kids and romance, an evil combination.  She claps loudly for the two harpers.

 

Bouncing to the front with his 'sister,' Sorcenkidlet bows with an evil giggle, then bounces off the stage with Mariannekidlet, winking at the audience just before being dragged into it.

 

Fennara claps and claps! All the songs have been so good! "Well done!" she shouts gleefully!

 

Dolva smirks, emitting one of his throaty chuckles followed by some emphatic applause.

 

Tanella applauds all the harpers for their performances tonite.

 

Climbing the steps one final time, Chananhikan takes his place center stage and spreads his hand helplessly.  "And with that," he says, "I'm afraid we have exhausted our store of performers for the day.  Please, everyone, give a warm round of applause to the men and women who have performed so brilliantly for you."  He touches his own hands together in an enthusiastic accolade.

 

Everest walks in.

 

Tanella stands up and lets out a large "Woooooooohooooooooo!" clapping enthusiastically.

 

Phoebe stands and claps for the others.  "Woo!  Wooo!" she hoots over the crowd, shaking her hands in the air when they're not pounding together

 

Niara stands and claps loudly.

 

Rijalvas claps at this more enthusistically, though he glances around with a vaguely uncomfortable look as /other/ people's applause comes back partially for him (he hopes).  He refrains from vocalizations now, but rises to his feet, fixing the positioning on the gitar so it will not topple.

 

Dropping her demeanor of the little child, she gives her fellow apprentice a huge hug for performing with her, laughing softly at him and poking him, "See? We didn't do /too/ badly at all, you know...." She tosses her hair, freeing it off her runner's tails and letting it fall loosely down her back, turning to clap for her fellow harpers and waving and those she can see enthusiastically, caught up in the excitement of the moment, her eyes sparklign and shining, and she even smiles over at Rijalvas once sincerely as she passes her laughter around.

July hops to her feet and joins the chorus of clapping, attempting to be louder than Niara next to her..

 

Chananhikan allows the applause to continue for a few minutes, then drops his own hands, spreading them out in another gesture of sown goodwill throughout the crowd.  "And now, I wish you all clear skies and smooth paths.  Thank you for your attendance and your support of these talented performers.  I hope every show has an audience as marvelous as you."  That said, he climbs down from the stage.

 

Everest weaves her way through people and finally finds a seat in front of the stage. She hopes she didn't miss the entire thing!

 

Tanella gets up and stretches, looking around the room.

 

Rijalvas pushes to his feet, picking up the gitar.  He offers a grin over in Niara's direction, picking his way through the seats over towards her.  "Hey, kiddo," he greets.  "Didn't expect to see you here.  You like the show?"

 

Liesana maneuvers masterfully on her crutches down the curving staircase from the balcony hallway.

 

Dolva stands, his bad leg stiff, and moves out of the seating area, but not leaving just yet, watching the others present as he really has no other pressing business.

 

Niara nods and grins.  "Un-huh, Mister Ri'al'as...You was da bestest." She grabs his hand and squeezes, her eyes shining brightly up at him.

 

Katrika walks in through an arch from the great hall.

 

Everest turns to Liesana. "Finally mastered the crutches, Lies? How is your leg?"

 

Tanella looks around the room for a bit, and feeling uncomfortable with all the people around, slowly makes for the door.

 

Liesana slips quietly down the staircase, carefully placing her crutches where they won't slip.  Her face is a little drawn still, but the wide smile and the soft clapping of her hands hints that she was listening from above.  "You lot were /amazing/" she grins, swinging over to her friends.  "Wish I could've joined you."  Everest is given a wry grin.  "It's broken, that's what." twinkle.

 

Rijalvas laughs, holding her hand back and swinging his gitar across his back via the shoulder strap.  "Nah," he says simply.  "Lot of the other people play lots better than I do.  Like Sorcen, for example.  Or Phoebe.  I just do okay with what I've got."  He grins down at the girl, rubbing one hand across the top of her head with a bright tousle.  "But you -- you were by far the best audience member we had."

 

Everest smiles and shakes her head. "I know /that/, Lies. Is it feeling any better?"

 

Phoebe glances over at Rijalvas as she catches that last comment.  She smiles brightly at the compliment as she collects her harperly gear.  "Well, in any case, it's time for me to get going..."  She doesn't say where, or how, but off she scoots, anyway.

 

Niara grins and blushes.  "Ya gonna do another one again?"

 

Samantha walks down the curving staircase from the balcony hallway.

 

Phoebe carries herself with the regal behavior typical of one with superb posture to the Great Hall.

 

July glances from Niara to Rijalvas with a grin. "You know, sir, she wouldn't make a half bad harper herself.."

 

Liesana nods.  "Aye, it is.  I'm still supposed to be resting it, though, or Id've emerged long before this."  A grin.  "Were you listening at all?  Bet the accoustics were better down here than they were on the balcony, but what I heard sounded pretty impressive..."  Niara is noted, and waved at.

 

Also dropping the pose of a young child, Sorcen throws his hair out of his face and returns Marianne's hug. "Nay, we didn't do too badly." Not really wanting to mingle in the crowd, he lingers near the stage. Leaning against the raised platform, he wathces the activities going on around him, actually looking more nervous now than he did before or during his performance.

 

Niara darts a look at July, her eyes widening at her /daring/ statement, but grateful for the suggestion.

 

Rijalvas shrugs vaguely.  "Who knows?" he says.  "Depends whether anyone asks me to.  I figure I will sometimes; Journeyman Chananhikan said I do well at this kinda thing."  He lowers himself to sit at a slight angle, protecting the instrument on his back.  At July's comment, he grins at the weaver.  "Don't think I don't know it," he says brightly.  "And I'm no sir; you a lot older'n I am, right?"  And higher ranked, but he's not prone to point that out.

 

Dolva finally tires of watching the crowd and 'obble-walks his way to the door, fingers testing the seal on a fresh bottle.

 

Fennara approaches Journeyman  Chananhikan and grins "Thankyou...I thought it went really well."

 

Niara notices Liesana and waves back, not seeing the lame leg.  She turns her attention back to Rijalvas and July, beaming at the hints of her bent toward harpering.

 

July mirrors Rijalvas' grin back, entering the GrinFest. "Oh, but you're probably a heck of a lot more productive than I am.. " A peer is sent down at Niara, and she whispers to the harper conspiratorially. "She's a great actress, you know.. I got her to pretend that she hates bunnies.."

 

Chananhikan is hanging to one side, watching the crowd without participating.  As Fennara approaches, he offers the young woman a smile.  "It certainly did," he agrees.  "You did excellently, every bit as well as I could have hoped.  Thank /you/."

Everest goes home.

 

Fennara smiles shyly "I'm just glad it worked. i'm sticking to the pipes from now on....those gitars have too many strings!"

 

Rijalvas drops his hand from the girl's head, peering at her with interest.  "That so?" he asks.  "Not only are you a marvelous dancer, with an obvious ear with music, you /act/, too."  He claps a hand to his breast melodramatically.  "Ah, my dear, we /must/ have you.  Say you will join us?"  He pauses.  "In a few turns, anyway?" he tacks on belatedly.

Stepping back from Sorcen and watching the crowd, she winks at him, tying up her hair loosely on teh crown of her head, falling loosely everywhere about, wisps here and there, loosely falling everywhere, quite out of keeping with her normal image, but none does she care. "Well, /brother/... you've been deceiving me! You said that you were much better at playing than singing... you did just as well playing, you know..."

 

Chananhikan laughs aloud at that.  "Personally," he confides, "I agree with you.  But it is difficult to play flute with vocals, and I confess vocal compostion to be my true mistress."

 

Niara giggles and hides her mouth behind her free hand at July's statement.  Her eyes widen when she hears Rijalvas offer, and she stares, shiny-eyed and mute, trying to determine if he was serious.

 

Fennara grins "It's true...although i do enjoy both...I tend to play and sing with others but its the dance that I've been specialising in...the writing and singing is almost what I do as a hobby!"

 

Serious, Rijalvas is.  Qualified to make the offer?  Well... that's a different story.  He forges on, though.  "C'mon," he urges.  "When you turn twelve, you'll be old enough.  And you must be... what, eight already?"  Oh yes, this one knows how to flatter.  "Say you'll come for an interview?"  And if she does, he can convince himself he recruited her.  Woo!

 

Liesana chuckles, watching the interplay between Harper, Weaver, and child.  A moment passes, and she decides to wander over and join them, hopefully dodging any more inquiries about her leg.  Which remains mostly the same.  "I should think we'll be fighting over who gets to make the interview, Niara."

 

Chananhikan nods to Fennara.  "Well, you are most talented in all arenas," he says, "so I am glad you are choosing the one where talent and love meld."  He watches the senior apprentice head off, and wanders up the stairs himself.

 

Niara turns slihtly bewildered eyes toward Liesana, overwhelmed by the prospect of people actually wanting her in the Harper Craft.  "Really?" she whispers, then, dropping Rijalvas' hand, she flings herself at July and buries her face in her skirts.

 

July eefs as her skirts are Niara-poofed. "Uh, hello," she murmurs staring down. "You're welcome."

 

Rijalvas hesitates there, glancing up at Liesana, then looking back down at the girl, reaching to touch the back of her head lightly with the newly-released hand.  "Yeah," he says softly, pulling his hand back.  "I mean, you obviously love the craft already.  And that's really the important part."  He clasps his hands together a bit nervously, looking down at the child.

 

Liesana smiles quietly "Aye, pet.  You've a stronger interest in harperish things than I've seen in many /apprentices/.  And while I'm sure any Craft would be glad to have you, we of the Harpercraft"  A hand sweep includes herself, Rijalvas, and by inference, the Hall at large.  "Are honoured that you'd want to make a place for yourself with us."

 

Niara peeks out at grins, her face fetchingly blushed by the unaccustomed compliment.  "I wanna be a 'arper.  I wanna tell people stories..." she murmers.

 

Rijalvas settles back a bit in his seat.  "And so you shall," he declares theatrically.  "Just wait and see.  The journeymen and masters will be fighting over who gets you as a mentee.  But Lies'll win, you just wait and see.  Because she'll be masterharper by then."  He winks at the senior apprentice.  "And even if she wasn't, she can outargue anyone in the hall, except maybe me, and I expect I'll still be an apprentice then."

 

Liesana chuckles, settling herself and her crutches into another chair.  "Indeed.  And I really want to see if I can permission to teach a class on debating some time.  Think I could drag you to it?"   A distinct twinkle hints that it'd be marginally less painful than dancing.  "And you'll help me make Rijalvas come, right Niara?"

 

Niara grins up at Liesana and asks with a touch of awe in her voice, "You gonna be /Master Harper/?"

 

Liesana shakes her head with another laugh.  "Perhaps.  But right now, I just want to be a Journeyman."

 

Niara shifts sligthly and twists her hands deeper in July's skirts.  "You gonna be!  I know it!" she says with a determined stamp of her foot.

 

Rijalvas distrusts the marginally.  "Debating?  No, Niara doesn't want to see me suffer through that, do you, Niara?"  He's sublimely confident.  He pauses, and then blinks twice, rapidly.  "Oh, sh -- um, oh no!  I'm supposed to be upstairs talking with Chananhikan.  A silly pep talk meeting telling us how we all messed up."  He winks light at Liesana.  Muaha.  "See you guys around."  And he rises.

 

July waves to Rijalvas as he departs. "Nice to meet you, sir," she calls after him. "Rijalvas."

 

Niara unwraps one hand enough to wave and wiggles her fingers at him. "Bye-bye, Mister Ri'al'as"

 

Rijalvas waggles his own fingers back, then turns and edges his way away from the seats.  Once clear, he sprints for the stairs, taking the steps by threes as he ascends.

 

Liesana waves.  "Later, Rij.  And you /will/ be at that debate..."  Niara is smiled down upon.  "Well, if I'm to be MasterHarper, you'll just have to be my craftsecond, won't you?"  'Cause if that blessed event ever occurred, Niara'd no doubt be old enough to fill the post.

 

July giggles discreetly into her hand. "Maybe too old, even... or she could get there before you, don't count that out.'

 

Niara's jaw drops, then snaps shut as she starts to giggle delightedly.  "Don' worry, Miz Li'sana...If I get ta be Master Harper, I'll make you a journeyman!"

 

July twiddles her thumbs. "That's probably about the same time the Herders will be delivering your.. evil bunny, Nia... "

 

Liesana blinks.  "What's this about a bunny?  And an evil one at that..."

 

Niara suddenly jumps back and stares in horror at some unseen evil approaching.  "The EVIL Bunny! Mwahahaha!" she squeals, turning around in the a tight circle, falling to the floor in a fake faint.  She twitches slightly, peeking through one cracked eye to gauge their reaction.

 

July muffles a giggle and grabs Niara by the arm. "Oh no you don't, Hater of Bunnies! You shall not escape my Devious Ploy!" She cranes back  her head and emits an evil laugh. "Mwahahahaha!" Then she shrugs nonchalantly. "But only after the herders deliver the commission.."

 

Liesana chuckles, and applauds loudly, the movement sending her crutches clattering onto the marble floor.  "Brilliant performance, m'deah," she enthuses, taking a fake accent of a high class Lady.

 

July fans herself melodramatically. "Thank you, thank you," she replies with a curtsey. "But really, it was all Niara. That's what I've been telling you and Ri.. jal.. vas.. that's his name?.. She really ought to be a harper."

 

Niara giggles and wiggles, squirming all over the floor, delighted by the success of her performance.  At the clatter of the crutches, however, she bolts upright, suddenly realizing that Liesana is hurt. "Mizz Li'sana!  What happened?!"

 

Liesana nods.  "Rijalvas." she names the irascible apprentice boy.  "And I whole heartedly agree with you there.  In fact, with me getting close to sitting my Journeyman's Exam, and all..."  Her line of though is interrupted by Niara's query, which is answered with the longsuffering patience of one who's answered the same question many times.  "Nothing too serious, pet.  I just took a bit of a flying lesson from Kurt's runnerbeast."  Apparently the lesson didn't go too well...

 

Niara flops backward in an explosion of laughter.  The image of Liesana flying head over heels over the King of Mops' runner tickled her greatly.  She manages to gasp out "Sorry...but...does the runner...have...rainbow braids too?"

 

Liesana giggles, and shakes her head.  "Unfortunately, no.  Otherwise they'd be a perfect pair.  Obelisk got attacked by a wild gold firelizard, and I ended up getting broken."  Although, the poor gold probably thought that Obelisk was attacking /her/.

 

Liesana goes home.

 

Logfile from Niara

 

 

 

 

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