About the Craft


A Harper's Life


Events in the Harperhall


Meet the Harpers


In the Vaults

Jayla's Exam

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Harper Office (#2732)

The office is cheerful, the light reflecting off of whitewashed walls and ceiling. A pattern mimicking musical notation in colors runs along the tops of the walls, shelf upon shelf rising from the floor to meet it. Desks, cabinets and filing drawers are arranged about the room, workplaces for those whose job it is to keep the harpers and hall in order.
The air is fresh, tangy with sea and hides and well-seasoned woods. The window looks out over Main Beach .
Through the open window, you notice that It is a fall sunset. Watching from a high shelf are Tylnar, YumYum, and Jester. You see Sign-up Sheet for B'var's Orchestra and Staff Tackboard here.


Shinnai (#1357)

A slender woman of medium height and skin the color of tanned cherry wood looks furtively from side to side. Her features, while not really pretty, are distinct - high cheekbones, a straight nose between deepset almond-shaped eyes
of an aqua so deep as to appear nearly black. Her face is shadowed by escaping wisps of dark brown hair, its length wound into a woven bun at the nape of her neck. 
Her figure is draped in light but voluminous robes, typical of those who dwell in the Igen deserts. Off-white cotton makes up the inner layer, covered with a robe of indigo and sashed, in the only ornamentation, with a broad, embroidered silk cloth of harper blue. Across her back is slung a gitar case, well-cared-for and yet well-beaten-up, in its time. A complex shoulder knot of blue and white signifies a Harper Master, a thin, triple-strand of blue, white and yellow denoting her allegiance to Pern rather than any single Hold. Shinnai is 31 Turns, 6 months, and 16 days old.


Jayla walks in from the ballroom.

Shinnai grins. "Jayla. Nice job on the play last week," she comments.

Jayla walks in and looks at Caramak. "Oh, I delivered those messages you sent me off with." She nods at Shinnai. "Good evening, Shinnai." 

Jayla blushes slightly. "Thank you...I'm glad you got the chance to attend."

Shinnai nods. "Me too. And it seems like I'll get another chance to see your work, unless you've got something better to do tonight than take an exam." 

Jayla's eyes become as large as saucers. "Um...exam?" She looks at Caramak and then back at Shinnai. "Well....yes, if you two think I'm ready for it!" 


Shinnai shrugs. "Well, don't ask me, he said so," she grins slightly. "But after seeing the performance, I wouldn't doubt it."

Jayla nods nervously and sits down on the edge of a chair. She takes a deep breath and looks toward Caramak.

Shinnai sits back in the chair, removing the guitar case from the desk so that she can have the surface free. "Well, I suppose we might as well start. We know who you are, so there's no need for name, rank, or serial number."

Caramak chuckles slightly, as he thumps into a chair with his usual lack of regard for the strength of the furnature.

Jayla grins and nods her head. She sits back in her chair trying to relax.

Shinnai winces as the old chair creaks. Luckily, it's strong enough to even hold Jeranium, so it shouldn't be bothered too much by Caramak's weight.

Shinnai takes the scroll in hand, glancing at it. "First category - Archives."

She glances to Caramak.

Jayla toys nervously with her necklace and waits quietly.

You say, "You've certainly had to deal with the archives quite a bit, I'm sure, and will have to deal with recording in the future. As you do so, you'll have to decide _how_ to record events and information."

Shinnai queries, "First, how will you sort out fact from fiction? On what does it depend?"

Jayla thinks a minute and then looks up. "Well, I would consider the source it comes from. How reliable is the person or the record that the information comes from?"

Shinnai nods. "Say you've got a number of accounts, all different? Um, Caramak, you have a thought?" She asks warily.

Jayla says, "I would consider something told to me by the Lady Holder a lot more reliable than something repeated to me by one of the drudges in the bar, for example."

Caramak hms, nodding, then suddenly grins, struck by a flash of inspiration. "Let's use an example...Imagine you were asked to chronical my, er, fashion exploits..."

Jayla smiles and shakes her head. "Well, considering the fact that I've been at your so-called fashion exploits, I would use my own recollections to record them..."

Shinnai raises an eyebrow, looking slightly confused, then she suddenly recalls the rumors, and chuckles softly. "Indeed. I've only heard second-hand."

Caramak nods, "However, you don't know how they started...Why B'ran dressed as he did, or why, originally, I did. You'd have to look to other sources..."

Jayla says, "But if I had not been there and had only heard 'second-hand' rumors, I would consider the reliability of the people relaying the information.....like I said earlier, someone with a position of responsibility would be more reliable than a drudge or someone who isn't considered responsible."

Shinnai nods. "And say you've gathered all the information you can. Do you just put it in the archives as it is?"

Jayla shakes her head no. "No, not everything is meant to be preserved, in my opinion. Only things that are essential to the history of the Hold, Hall, or Weyr...that might have an impact of future generations.

Shinnai ahas. "And how do you determine what is worthy?"

Jayla chuckles softly. "Yes, that can be a problem...A lot depends on the information and how many people it affects at the time." She grins at Caramak. "Although an amusing story, I don't think someone 50 Turns from now are going to be interested in what color Caramak's dress was the day of the Gather."

Caramak chuckles, "I should hope not...I'm not sure I want my memory to endure that long, if that's how it'll endure..."

Shinnai laughs lightly. "And yet, the story should be preserved merely for its entertainment value, no?"

Jayla grins at Caramak. "Yes, as an amusing story, perhaps....maybe even 'light' history....but not as something to include in the more serious chronicles of Ista Hold."

Shinnai rests her chin on folded fingers, leaning her elbows comfortably on the desk. "So you don't think that such stories have a place in Ista's history," she observes equably.

Jayla shrugs. "Perhaps if recorded in a light vein..." She smiles slightly. "We're not all work and no play around here....an amusing story from time to time can really cheer up a place...."

Shinnai nods, and glances at Caramak. "Anything else on archives, or shall we move on?"

You say, "Law, perhaps?"

Caramak frowns, considering, then his face clears and he nods. "Yeah. I don't have anything else on Archives, I think..."

Jayla sits back a little more relaxed now that the initial nervousness has passed.

You say, "Well then, something every harper should know: her duty. Where does a Harper's duty lie, and how do you choose between if the occasion arises?"

Jayla thinks a minute. "My duty as a Harper lies to the good of Pern. And by relying on the training I've received here in the Hall and my own common sense and judgement I should be able to ascertain just what that duty is in any given situation." 

Shinnai grins. "A flexible answer."

Caramak nods slowly. "Hard to argue with that..."

Jayla chuckles softly.

Shinnai turns the floor over to Caramak for the next question.

Jayla crosses her legs and rests her hands in her lap. She watches Caramak quietly.

Caramak continues to nod, "Ok...Then, what is your duty, as a Harper, to the Hold you're stationed to? Or Weyr? And what's your duty to the Hall?"

Jayla nods slowly as she formulates her answer....

Caramak gives a bit of a wry grin, "Rather tricky distinction to make, I think..."

Jayla says, "Well, my duty to the Hold or the Weyr is to record events that happen there and to act as an advisor or interpreter of the law. My duty to the HarperHall is to keep them informed of happenings and situations that I've observed around Pern....especially ones that might have some impact on the political structure of Pern."

Jayla says, "Also, it is the duty of the Harpers to teach the children of the Holds and Weyrs as well."

Shinnai catches Caramak's eye, then asks Jayla - "So which comes first, advising the Lord Holder or holding a class?"

Jayla raises an eyebrow and then nods. "Considering that whatever the Lord Holder would seek advice on could possibly damage the entire political structure of Pern, in the most extreme of examples, of course,...I think advising the Lord Holder would probably come first....However, educating the children would certainly never be overlooked...."

The corner of Shinnai's mouth curves a bit in the imitation of a smile.

Jayla looks back and forth between the two Masters and waits quietly.

Caramak pauses a moment, then, well, plunge onward..."On to performance?" he asks Shinnai.

Shinnai smiles. "Certainly. I believe you have a monologue prepared, Jayla?"

Jayla nods at Shinnai. "Yes, it was something I was working on to include in the next play I was writing....."

Shinnai nods, pleased. "Proceed as you will, then." She sits back to watch.

Jayla takes a deep breath and then stands...."This was something I was thinking about including in the next play I was going to write.....basically, it's a scene where a young girl has just learned that the man she loves has died suddenly....."

Shinnai nods, pushing a strand of hair away from her nose and replacing it behind her ear.

Caramak nods quietly, the silence of the two indicating that she should proceed. :)

Jayla walks over to the window and looks out at the Main Beach. When she turns back to the two, her eyes are filled with tears. "You know, don't you....that I didn't get a chance to even say goodbye?" Indicating the beach, she continues. "We walked there every day...hand in hand....nothing but the sand and the sea....nothing but each other and our love."

Jayla shakes her head and a tear rolls down her cheek. She whispers softly, "And now, he's gone....and with him, my love...." She looks up suddenly. "But I'll never forget...no matter how many Turns pass, he'll always have a place.." She places her hand on her chest. "in my heart...." Jayla looks back towards the window. "Goodbye, my love......"

Shinnai watches impassively.

Jayla shakes her head a bit and then grins broadly. "Um.....I hope that was okay?" She walks back over and sits down.

Caramak watches with an unreadable face. Not precisely impassive, there are emotions there, but a broad spectrum...As she finishes, he shakes his head, as if to clear it and nods, with a glance at Shinnai.

Shinnai smiles to Jayla. "Thank you. Now, as you've shown, you can perform either in alone or in a group. Can you tell us some of the differences? Difficulties, advantages to either?"

Jayla nods her head. "Yes, to me it is much easier to perform in a group...I've always been one who reacts to the emotions and actions of others. Even in this monologue I did, there was still another character, although dead, that I was reacting to in a sense."

Shinnai nods. "How about working with other actors, in rehearsal and in the planning stages?"

Jayla tilts her head to one side. "Oh, definitely....a play in the written form is nothing more than a blueprint to start from....so many times the final product doesn't even resemble what you've started with and most of this comes from knowing the actors and the talent with which you have to work." 

Jayla says, "And information like this can only be gleaned through the various rehearsals and auditions along the way."

Shinnai taps her fingers against the armrest of the chair, and nods abruptly. "So."

Shinnai lights the OOC lamp. :) MOO-specific stuff now. :)

Jayla nods.

You say, "As a journeyperson, you're responsible for newbie-helping. Not like you don't already, but what are the first things you tell a person when they first join us?"

Jayla says, "HT in general or the HarperHall?" 

You say, "HT in general."

Jayla nods. "Okay, well I try to encourage them to look around and get to know people before they decide they want to join a craft. Also, one of the first things I do is encourage them to read all the on-line help files. Most of the questions a newbie asks, can be answered there. It's where I learned most of what I know...."

You say, "Say you stumble upon a newbie as you take a walk through the birthplace. What are the first three things they need to do?"

Jayla says, "They need to set their age, their gender, and their desc." 

Shinnai nods. "Good enough for me. :) Caramak, next question?"

Jayla nods and looks at Caramak.

Caramak nods. "This one shouldn't be a toughy... ;) What are some of the important things to remember when scheduling on-MOO?"

Jayla frowns. "Scheduling on-MOO? You mean, different people in different time zones? I'm not sure I understand the question."

Caramak chuckles, "Well, you picked up on one of 'em, just by asking for clarification..."

Jayla says, "And..."

Jayla shakes her head slowly. "Sorry...I /really/ don't know what you're asking....."

You say, "Yeah, like getting together a bunch of different people in different places, and how to deal with RL in the process..."

You say, "And, while you're at it, what differences are there between RL and MOO interaction?"

Jayla says, "Ah...okay, well it is important to realize that different people are in different time zones...and that people have RL commitments outside the MOO and may not be able to make whatever it is you have planned. It is important to find out these kind of things before hand when planning something like the play I just did. I planned it mostly around Fenris, for example. He
had to schedule computer time just to make it. And the differences between MOO and RL? I think it's /very/ important to keep IC and OOC separate...so many times RL feelings are on the line and can be hurt very deeply by overlapping."

Shinnai nods. "And oftentimes, feelings are more difficult to communicate through text than face-to-face, or even voice."

Shinnai chuckles. "And the up-side to that is that it's easier to keep 'em guessing..." ;)

Jayla nods. "One of the most useful lessons I've had has been the one Fletcher taught on MOO dynamics...in fact, I had the chance to teach it to a couple of appys yesterday who desperately needed it."

Shinnai smiles. "Good. That's a useful lesson."

Shinnai nods. "Thank you, Jayla, I think that's all we'll require of you this evening."

Jayla smiles at the two Masters and then stands to leave. "Good evening then...."

Jayla walks out into the ballroom.

Caramak nods somberly, but can't resist a wink to her before she leaves.

Shinnai grins. "Too slow in your old age."

Shinnai spares a glance at YumYum, then turns in her chair to face Caramak. "So?"

Caramak smiles innocently at Shinnai. "Indeed, my age must be /huge/...How old would /you/ be now...?"

Shinnai chuckles. "That's for me to know, and you to find out, my dear Master."

Caramak chuckles. "Well then. It's hardly fair, if I can't pester you about /your/ age, for you to bother me about mine..." He winks. "But don't let it stop you."

Shinnai shakes her head decisively. "Never fear. So, your protégé there," she nods in gesture to the young woman who exited so recently, "needs a little..." She considers, as though searching for a word. Shinnai drums on the desk with her fingertips.

Caramak blinks innocently at Shinnai. "A little what...? Or do you think a little would be sufficient...?" He idly hopes he's on the same wavelength as Shinnai. ;)

Shinnai waves a hand in the air. "You know, she has a rather severe deficiency in ..."

Shinnai sighs. "Well, in rank. Which needs to be remedied immediately."

Shinnai winks to Caramak.

Caramak chuckles. "Glad we see the problem the same..."

Shinnai nods, and smiles broadly. "Aye. So, where did she get off to?"

You say, "Or perhaps we'll just keep her in suspense until tomorrow?"

Caramak shrugs, "Can always send a flit to retrieve her...It'd probably be truly sadistic to keep her in suspense any longer than necessary..." 

Shinnai stifles a yawn. "Well, do as you will. I think I need some sleep." 

Caramak chuckles, "Not going to go celebrate? Or are you going to leave that to the young folk, like myself?"

Shinnai narrows her eyes, glancing at YumYum. "Besides, I think the news will travel quickly enough."

Shinnai quirks an eyebrow. "Heck, I'm still recovering from the parties at Benden!"

YumYum opens a sleepy eye wondering how they're talking about since she can't understand their words.

Caramak chuckles. "Well, good night. But I /am/ going to send a little flit off to tell her...I could use a good party..."

Shinnai grins. "I tell you, you haven't lived until you've seen a Benden Hatching. _Nobody_ gets out of there on their own two feet for at least a full day."

Jayla walks in from the ballroom.

Caramak laughs, "I'll have to go. Sounds like just the sort of thing I'd enjoy..."

Shinnai nods. "Sorry I can't join you, but I've got to meet with a few people early tomorrow... Oh! Jayla." She smiles.

Jayla says, "Oh, don't mind me...I just came back to get my flit out of your way."

Jayla calls to YumYum, who flies over and lands on her shoulder.

Shinnai shakes her head. "No bother." She glances askance at Caramak, making small gestures with her fingers.

Jayla cradles the little green flit in the crook of her arm and the turns to go. "Well, goodnight again...."

Caramak quickly composes himself to seriousness again..."Jayla, hold on. We've discussed your exam. And we've reached our conclusion." Oh, isn't he evil?

Jayla looks back between the two Masters and then bites her lip. "Oh? Was it so bad that you could decide that quickly?"

Shinnai quirks an eyebrow, making her face crooked. 

Caramak chuckles, unable to keep up the cruelty long. "Turn that around 180 degrees and you'll have the right answer..."

A large, dull-looking journeyman shuffles in from the other room, an armload of scrolls teetering precariously in his grasp. Seeing Jayla, he harrumphs, nods to the two masters, and leaves again. Shinnai smiles to Jeranium despite the older man's sour countenance.

Jayla steps back a minute, a broad smile spreading across her face. "Really? You mean I passed? You're not just joking with me are you Caramak?"

Shinnai chuckles lightly, her attention back to Jayla. "He's cruel, but not _that_ cruel. Congratulations, Jayla.

Caramak shakes his head, "I wouldn't joke about that. That would be /far/ too cruel for me...Happy Journeymanship, Jayla."

Jayla blushes slightly. She nods to the Masters. "Thank you...thank you oth...I just hope I don't let either one of you down...."

Shinnai shakes her head. "Never fear. Just use that common sense you so blithely touted an hour ago and you'll do fine."

Caramak chuckles, "Thank yourself while you're at it, too. It's /your/ hard work that got you to this point."

Shinnai reaches into another of those wonderful desk drawers, pulling out a rank badge for the new Journeywoman. Standing, she walks over to hand it to Jayla.

Jayla nods. "I'll do my best, Shinnai." She turns a special smile to Caramak. "And it helped to have a good teacher such as you, Caramak." She smiles and takes the badge from Shinnai.

Shinnai nods. "Well, with that, I'm for bed. As I was telling Caramak, the parties at Benden are something your body doesn't easily forgive." She grins wryly, and heads for the door.

Date: Thu Nov 14 23:21:11 1996 CST
From: Shinnai (#1357)
To: *Harper (#711)
Subject: Congratulations, Jayla!

After much hard work, a hugely successful play, and a long, drawn-out exam,
Jayla is now a Harper Journeywoman!

Everyone congratulate her, and bug her for lessons. ;)

Logfile from Shinnai





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