About the Craft


A Harper's Life


Events in the Harperhall


Meet the Harpers


In the Vaults

Teraille's Exam

[ Up ] Jayla ] Jerran ] Jueann ] Kestria ] Seamus ] [ Teraille ]


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. A decorative object has been placed in the center of the room, right in the way. Perhaps you should ask its owner to move it. The window looks out over Main Beach . Through the open window, you notice that It is a winter afternoon.  Watching from a high shelf are Mordred and Milo .
You see Staff Tackboard, Lesson Schedule, Tas, Useful Facts for Harpers,
Paybox, and Opree here. Caramak is here.

Shinnai (#1357)

A slender woman of medium height and skin the color of tanned cherry wood. 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 neatly-fashioned knot of harper blue and white is accented with a strand of orange, a Harper Master's knot next to a badge of Blacksands. Shinnai is 35 Turns, 1 month, and 24 days old.

Shinnai smiles to Caramak.

Caramak settles himself at a desk and smiles back at Shinnai. "There...Think we're just about all here...Do we think we're ready for her?" 

The door creaks slightly as Jeranium, a journeyman of epoch proportions (*grin*), shuffles in. He seems tired, and slumps into a chair with a brief nod to the two masters.

Caramak glances up at Mordred. The flit glares back. Mak frowns at him. Mordred glowers. Mak narrows his eyes. Mordred decides that Mak is bigger than him, and obliges the humanpet. Mordred suddenly flicks into ::between:: with as little warning as possible, hoping to startle someone.

Jeranium is, apparently, startled by the firelizard's abrupt disappearance, and blinks, then glowers. "Harrumph. She's late."

Caramak stiffles a laugh. "Jeranium, she's been waiting. I just send Mordred to go fetch her."

Teraille walks calmly and with purpose in from the ballroom. Teraille steps just within the door, stopping just within.

Shinnai smiles placatingly to Jeranium, who seems unimpressed. The lump-like journeyman stares at Teraille almost accusingly as she arrives, but says nothing.

Teraille nods slightly to Jeranium as she feels his gaze, then surveys the rest of the room, offering nods and smiles to everyone within. 


Shinnai warmly returns the apprentice's smile, welcoming her to the room. "Ready?" is her encouraging question.

Teraille nods. "I am," she says calmly, remembering deep breaths.

Caramak smiles and nods to Teraille. "Ah...Good. Mordred didn't get side tracked along the way...I'm amazed, honestly." He shakes head. "In any case. Let's start out with the formality: Please state your name, rank, place of birth, specialty," he pauses to take a breath, "voice level, main instrument and, uh...name of journeyman project." He glances in Jeranium's direction to see if he missed any; that worthy would /surely/ love to correct Mak on any he might have missed. Another Journeyman, apparently an import from Fort, takes up a pen to record the responses.

Jeranium raises one fleshy eyebrow and adds, "And your age, please." 


Teraille nods. "Teraille. Senior Apprentice. Born in Nabol." She pauses slightly. "As of yet, no specific specialty. Voice level soprano, main instrument gitar, journeyman project Open Concert." A glance at Jeranium. "Age 26."

Jeranium nods, as politely as is possible for someone that looks like Mr. Potato Head.

Shinnai, sitting behind a desk, jots down the information on a ready hide.  "Thank you, Teraille." She gives a real smile, as opposed to Jeranium's.


 Teraille nods to Shinnai and shifts her weight slightly, hands slipping behind her back. "If I may ask a question briefly?" 


Caramak bites his tongue to keep down a smile at Jeranium's addition. Somehow, he always finds the sedentary Journeyman far more amusing than said Journeyman finds anything else in the world. Mak nods as Shinnai finishes writing, looking down at his notes then up again at Teraille. "Surely...Ask away."

Shinnai nods her assent, although Jeranium grunts briefly.

"Some of the faces here are unfamiliar to me," Teraille says, a bit hesitantly. "Could I have names to go with them?"

The look on Jeranium's portly visage seems to say that such a thing is not necessary; after all, Teraille is the examinee, not the examiner.

Shinnai volunteers her own name; it's been quite a while, if Teraille met her at all. "Shinnai. I used to be a regular here, as Jeranium, the journeyman to your left, will tell you. Caramak, I'm afraid there are some new faces to me as well, so if you'll perform the rest..?" 

Teraille nods to Shinnai, recognizing her once she hears the name. Jeranium -- Upon hearing his name her eyes light in barely supressed mirth.

Caramak smiles slightly and nods. "Alright...Going quickly around, we have: Jeranium, Brindle, Rowan, Amar," he points to each in turn, Amar being the scribe, and sitting beside Shinnai, "then Shinnai and I hope you recognize me, Tayre, Veldan and Blanton..."

Teraille nods. "Thank you, sir."

Jeranium seems oblivious to any humor he might present, for he nods grumpily. Puffy circles beneath his eyes are due to more than indulgence, and speak of long and recent hours with the youngest of the apprentices as they learn to play their instruments. (ouch!)

Teraille would wince sympathetically if she understood the language of puffy circles.

Caramak glances around the circle once more. "Alright, then...All set to begin?" He glances at his notes once more and then up again.

Teraille nods slightly, again shifting her stance.

Shinnai readies her pen, dipping it lightly in the inkwell and keeping it poised above the hide. Amar, beside her, has in front of him the agenda, and Shinnai glances at it and then looks to Caramak.

Teraille tries very hard not to fidget, by locking her eyes directly on the wall in front of her.

Caramak looks up at Teraille. "Alright. Suppose that you're researching a Conclave that was two full Passes ago which /might/ have witnessed the altering of the border between Ruatha and High Reaches. One would think that such an usual event would be well recorded; but the case is unclear. Maps from that long ago are generally blurred, but an old one was recently
found which seems to indicate that there /was/ a change; this Conclave is remembered as being a tense time, but the reasons are left unremembered; the obvious hypothesis is that this shift might have caused it." Mak pauses in his recitation and leans back in his chair somewhat. "Where do you go to try and find clues about this? What are your first steps?"

The corpulent Journeyman leans against the back of his chair, which creaks in protest as Jeranium covers a yawn.

Teraille considers. "The first thing I'd have to look for would be records from before that time from the areas that would have changed. There may be something there that mentions an allegiance illogial with current boundaries." She pauses, considering. "I'd also have to look at who drew the maps and what other records we have of that person. It's quite possible he's not overly reliable." She thinks for another moment, her eyes falling to the floor as her brow furrows in concentration. 

"Also," Teraille adds, "there might be songs of it. If it was a tense conclave. . ." She glances at Caramak.

Amar considers this answer gradually; his expression transparent as the thoughts pass across his face. "Where would you look to find this information?" the young archivist asks. 


Teraille smiles. "Well, first, I'd consider things like weather and agricultural reports. Perhaps tithe records." She considers, beginning to get into this. "Even diaries, or such things. People mention little things. Of course, there is the issue of whether they would have been preserved, so I would have to go with things /like/ the tithe records. . .Actually, that's probably where I'd begin. And then at records of what certain holds produced. . . The songs are everywhere. I could go through
the archive vault and check. Chronologically. Or even go with smith records and the like. They'd likely have records of postings -- postings! I didn't even think of that! Where people were posted, cotholds they stopped at just on one side of the border. . ."

Shinnai prompts quickly, "And you would find these records by travelling where?"

"Well, HarperHall first," Teraille begins. "It's a good place to start for records. Then the Weyrs. Beginning, obviously, with Fort and High Reaches. Then the Holds themselves. Ruatha and High Reaches. Then the other crafthalls, neighboring holds. . ."

Shinnai allows Amar to take over recording for a moment, shaking out a slight cramp in her fingers. "And suppose you found what you were looking for?"

Shinnai continues the questioning. "How do you go about recording this for posterity? What are the legal ramifications of such an event, and who could have gotten this to happen?"

Teraille raises an eyebrow. "Actually, that's an interesting question. It could be a matter of dispute between High Reaches and Ruatha today, depending on who lost or gained land." She pauses. "In terms of the recording, the best we can to it to write treatises on it and such. We cannot go back and write it into prior works. That would be cheapening everything. As for the why. . . " She trails off, deep in thought. 


Jeranium prompts, his voice and manner hoarse from reprimanding children all day, "Why would a Lord give up a holding? What could force him?" 


Amar scribbles quickly away at his sheet of hide, glance up occasionally. It's quite obvious the young man is a scribe by trade; the pen flicks over the paper lightly. As she trails off, he glances up again, the flow of his pen ceasing temporarily.

Teraille takes a deep breath. "There are a few explanations I can think of. One is that the people who lived on that land wished to move, and, for the sake of simplicity and avoiding conflict, the Lord Holder allowed it. The other explanation is that he was ruled not capable of managing as much land as he had. The others could have taken away part of it for that reason."

She pauses again. "Or perhaps it was mutually decided. It's possible neither gained or lost land, that the border was simply reshaped." "Or perhaps -- " Teraille breaks off, her eyes mildly unfocused. 


Shinnai watches Teraille, wondering if she's had so little sleep that she's disoriented.

Teraille looks directly at Jeranium as she continues, her eyes coming back into focus at the though solidifies. "Perhaps he was dead. Perhaps he died without naming an heir. That would have to be researched, too. There are too many possibilities, and we can't know for sure without a great deal of research."

Jeranium harrumphs; perhaps he was satisfied, perhaps not. 


Teraille glances back at Shinnai, then Caramak.

Caramak keeps his face impassive, but glances at Jeranium for the next question.

Teraille follows Caramak's eyes back to the journeyman.

And so, Jeranium fires off another one, his pedantic instincts reawakening for the moment. "As a journeyman, young Teraille, your responsiblities would greatly increase." This is a fact; there is no question here. "And suppose that you are posted to a small hold. You take a new student and are acting as her mentor. After an uneventful month, this student disappears. You have no word for a sevenday, and then she returns. What do you do with her?" He seems to be implying something rather directly in this question.

Teraille flushes. "Um. Yeah. I was expecting something like this. . . " 

She pauses for a long moment. "I check to make sure she's all right, first. She's going to be at the healers before she can even open her mouth to explain. After that. . . " She sighs, considering. 


Jeranium grunts, and settles back in his poor chair again. The effort isn't worth the trouble, it appears.

Caramak nods slightly. "She's fine. She's a little thin...she hasn't had much to eat in the last sevenday, but she's come out of it ok." He considers a moment. "She seems rather sheepish...but doesn't really volunteer information."

"Well," the senior apprentice says thoughtfully, "I'd ask where she'd been. If she doesn't tell me, she's going to be out of the hall fully as quickly as she was at the healers. If she does tell me. . . well, it depends on where she was. For not contacting me, she's going to be, at the very least, confined to the hall for twice the time she was away. Two sevendays, in this case. After that. . . Well, it depends on her reason." 


Shinnai smiles slightly, looking directly at Teraille. "The reason she gives is that she heard an old woman singing in distinctly odd keys, and wanted to record it. And in fact, she has recorded it remarkably well, for she has a good sense of relative pitch and has documented a 14-step scale." 


Teraille sighs and rubs at her jawline. "And why didn't she ask me before she left?"

Shinnai grins, and shrugs as if she were the guilty apprentice caught by circumstance. "It's tough to come back for permission when you don't want to lose your quarry."

Teraille nods. "Why didn't she ask the old woman to stay?" 

Caramak sits back and watches Shinnai with just a touch of amusement. She does the part of the guilty Apprentice well.

Shinnai looks innocent. "Well, she never really thought of that." A simple answer, really, though not much of an excuse.

Teraille sighs. "How old are you, precisely?" She unconsciously slips into the role.

Shinnai also slips into the role, following Teraille's lead. "Fourteen turns, Ma'am."

Teraille nods. "That's fourteen turns of dealing with people, and how many turns working with a craft that specializes in communication?"

Shinnai looks down at the floor, guilty. "One and a bit, Ma'am."

Veldan tries not to look incredulous. Fourteen Turns indeed...Why the woman's older than him! (Just turned thirty. Poor guy feels ancient.)

Teraille raises an eyebrow. "And yet you couldn't manage to communicate either with me or this old woman?"

Shinnai slips a wink at Veldan, who looks far too serious, and is back in character with hardly a lapse. "No, Ma'am. I had to follow for two days before I caught up with her."

Teraille blinks. "Did she never /sleep/?"

Shinnai manages to look tired and hungry. "Not long enough," is her long-suffering response.

Shinnai tells the rest of the story in brief. "On the third day I finally caught up with her, and she let me learn some of her songs, but when I woke up the next morning, she was gone again." A sigh. "_Then_ I had to get _back!_"

Veldan blinks at Shinnai's wink, then resettles himself with a wry smile. Mental note: learn not to leave your face open as the books you read.

Teraille rubs at her forehead. "Well, since you seem to have suffered a severe lapse in communication skills, here's what I want you to do. First, we discover what it is like to live without it. From the time this meeting ends, I do not want to ehar a single word leave your lips for three days. In that time and the following time, you will do some small tasks. First, you will write five different versions of letters you /could/ have sent me. Then you will spend some time dealing with all the communications those of higher rank deal with -- all the letters we get, all the questions we get asked. You will spend time reading speeches which have been transcribed. This is what you will be doing during your confinement. Then you get to spend some time communicating with a whole new group of people. The drudges. You will be working with them for a week. Do you understand?"

Shinnai nods to Teraille, subdued.

Teraille nods, then turns to Caramak. "If, by the time her drudgework is to begin, she does not look recovered from her journey, I will caution people that she is to be given relatively light tasks for the time."

Amar breaks into a grin as he records the response, controlling his pen so that it doesn't shake with his silent laughter. Punishment appreciated.

Shinnai returns to her own, 35-turn-old self, and gives a smile. "I think she's learned her lesson," she remarks to Teraille. "Any further notes?"

Caramak leans on the desk, his chin in his hand and his mouth mostly covered by his fingers; just the faintest hint of a smile peaks through. He gives the faintest of nods, and glances from Shinnai to Teraille and back, and then once at Jeranium, just for his own amusement.

Jeranium doesn't seem to have appreciated the humor in the situation, but grunts approvingly at the mention of drudge work.

Teraille considers. "If she does speak in that time, her confinement to the hall will be extended by one hour for every word."

Amar gives a quiet "oof" and adds that note.

Teraille thinks about this. "And after the drudge work, she will be back to the original standing with me. I will, of course, send a report to HarperHall for filing."

Shinnai nods, and glances to Caramak.

Caramak drops the hand away from his mouth again and nods. "Mmmm." He glances around the circle to see if there are any other comments, then plunges onward. "Now...to change the subject. Performance. And don't," he adds quickly, "pull out your gitar yet, because first, we ask you some questions about it..."

Teraille takes a deep breath, nodding.

Caramak folds his hands in front of him to keep himself from playing idly with something on the desk. "We all have strengths and weaknesses in performance. You're about to be a Journeyman; one of your tasks will be to help people with their performance, to empasize their strengths and downplay their weaknesses. So. What would you tell someone...if on the day of his performance, this Apprentice came down with a cold? He's an all around decent performer, nothing spectacular...But he can't get out of the performance, either."

Teraille considers. "Could I have more specifics, please? What instrument? Who will be at the concert? How severe a cold? Why can't he get out of it? Is he stuck with a specific piece, or could he choose another?" 


Brindle interjects. "Gitar; say it's his Journeyman exam. You happen to know you won't be on the panel, so it's not like there'll be a conflict of interest or anything...He /can't/ chose his piece, but he could admit to having a cold and ask that they be nice to him." The white haired Journeyman glances Jeranium's way; he knows exactly what the planted one would think of admitting to being sick. "The cold isn't all /that/ severe, though. Lowers his voice about a third and makes it just a touch scratchy if he tries to go up as high as usual." 


Teraille nods. "So his voice /is/ going to come into it." She considers for a moment. "He should go easy on the voice, if it becomes necessary to sing. Keep it soft, and try to carry it more through feeling than technical proficiency. Your ear sometimes goes when you have a cold, so just make sure the gitar is there. If it becomes necessary to go too high, think about it. Decide in advance what you can do. If you can't, consider alternate melody lines that fit into the gitar. And explain that you aren't feeling well. If you think there will be trouble in advance, ask the panel if they'd prefer him to push through or take that initiative and improvise it. And try to put the emphasis on the performance, not the music." Her brow furrows. "That was fairly scattered. Sorry." 


Jeranium looks dubious, his bulbous features set in an unreadable mask.

Shinnai smiles, and nods. "All good points, although don't mistake volume for technical proficiency. Good vocal technique will make up for a lot."

Shinnai expands upon the initial question then, with a different scenario. "And what is your advice for a person who is a fantastic composer, a talented instrumentalist, but has a voice the quality of a wherry's? How can they give a good performance all 'round, in a place where they have to both play and sing?"

Teraille nods. "But I'm sayong that if the technical details of the music can't be there -- for example, forte on the G or something sickening like that -- to go for feeling abover that. Or if you can't hit the notes at all, to try and let the feeling be there. And don't decide it's all over if you make a mistake. We're all human. Even the examiners." A quick glance at Jeranium. "No matter how it looks." She grins. 

Amar gives a quick grin, sharing the joke and carefully not looking at the plant-like journeyman.

Teraille considers. "Define voice like a wherry's. Do you mean there voice simply isn't appealing, or that they don't have technical proficiency with it, or that their range is poor, or what?" 


Caramak puts his chin in his hand again, carefully covering a smile from Jeranium's sight. Wouldn't do to be caught /smiling/ during an /exam/. How improper.

You say, "Pretty much all three, although the apprentice has had some vocal training. He knows how to breathe, and sings on pitch, but the tone of his voice, even at its best, leaves something to be desired." 

Teraille nods. "The first thing I'd suggest is something along the lines of the first chorus of Master Caramak's song "Will I Still Love You." Something that has the words spoken, not sung. Spoken word and music can mingle very powerfully." A pause. "Also, depending on the mood of the song, an unappealing voice can be a plus. If it's about an uncomfortable topic. . . Or to show contrast, perhaps. . ." 


Shinnai nods. "Luckily for him, he's an excellent instrumentalist and knows how to write for himself. How about another one, Caramak?" She turns to her fellow Master, awaiting.

Teraille shifts her weight slightly, hands slipping behind her back as she looks to Caramak.

Something on Jeranium's face leads one to believe that he's heard too many wherry-like voices in his time.

Caramak smiles slightly. "Yes...One more. Suppose the Apprentice who comes to you has a wonderful voice; great range, lovely pitch, intoxicating tone...But has next to no technique on her instrument...harp, say. How would you advise her to improve /her/ performance, in general?"

Teraille sighs. "Practice. Or try a new instrument. Or try simpler melodies. Don't aim for complicated chords. Simplify. Play things softer. . . "

Shinnai chuckles softly, glancing at Amar's notes briefly as she listens.

Teraille takes a deep breath. "Play slower pieces, ask someone with knowledge in harp for help, run things by people in advance and see what they think, never have the instrument alone if it's avoidable. . ." 


Teraille smiles wryly. "And don't give up hope and smash it."

Teraille (#7076)

An air of presence follows this young woman, whose five feet and eight inches of height don't seem enough to describe her. Her long brown hair is carefully tooled into a fishtail braid falling more than halfway down her back. Confident green eyes sweep the room, seeming to take it in with a single glance. Her stance is easy, and her footing solid. As she speaks, her hands move easily in a silent illustration of her points. Lightly tanned skin covers a figure toned by exercise and hard work. Her eyes, though not hard, are firm, and still carry with them an air of serenity and self-satisfaction. A hidden light sparkles behind them still, but it is under control, and adds to a subtle maturity. Her chin is held proudly, adding to the appearance of height.
Teraille's tunic and leggings of Harper blue have obviously seen better days. They are faded and have clearly been mended a few times, but they are clean and neatly worn. Chosen for comfort and ease of movement, they are loose and easily stretchable, falling across her shoulders and hips gracefully. Two bracelets of carved silver with tourquise inlay of dragonwings rest loosely about her wrist sliding against the skin and one another.
A new knot graces Teraille's shoulder, that of a Harper Senior Apprentice.  She wears it with the pride and dignity she knows her craft deserves. Teraille looks a bit worn, but in control of it. Her slipping poise has returned to her, and she holds herself tall and proud. Her eyes are just slightly reddened, but her smile seems natural. Teraille is 26 Turns, 8 months, and 1 day old.

Shinnai grins wryly in response; then asks, "Well, presuming your own instrument is still intact, shall we hear a bit of practical knowledge in performance? You should know the old Teaching Song 'the Harper's Chore', I presume."

Teraille nods. "I do."

Jeranium goes through this one at least three times a day, it seems, for all the enthusiasm he shows at the prospect of hearing Teraille perform. He gives a quiet 'harrumph', and settles his midsection more firmly on his nether regions which, in turn, utilize the everpresent forces of gravity to become melded around the seat of the chair. The unfortunate chair gives every indication of falling in; but luckily, the floor still holds. 


Teraille glances at Jeranium and smiles apologetically.

Shinnai waits for a moment, and when it looks as though Teraille hasn't moved, adds, "Perhaps you could perform it for us, then."

Teraille flushes, taking her gitar from the floor beside her and tuning it as quickly as possible, mere adjustments from the work she has already done. She glances up at Shinnai before beginning.

Shinnai smiles, waiting for the apprentice to commence.

Teraille hesitates. "Shall I sing and play, or simply play?"

Shinnai raises an eyebrow. "Are there words to the song, and an accompaniment?" she asks rhetorically.

Teraille nods, glancing down and checking the tuning one last time. Stall, her? Never. Finally she begins, her fingers beginning the piece a bit slower than usual. The opening notes seem almost hesitant, but weave themselves into a more coherent whole as she reaches the vocals. Her eyes remain riveted on her instrument as the words seem to come naturally, mingling in and around the music, just slightly louder than the chordings are. The words are clear and carefully dictated, and the chords seem to
blend together beneath them. The tempo moves up slightly to where it should be as she plays, and the notes seem to grow more confident as the words do.  Her voice trails out just slightly before the music, which again winds down to the diminished tempo before resolving themselves and finishing. 


Jeranium doesn't even seem to be listening, so it must be relatively pleasant.

Teraille's hand wraps around the neck of her gitar as she watches the others in the room.

Shinnai, in contrast, listens closely, watching Teraille's guitar technique closely. As the apprentice finishes, she first nods approvingly, and then questions. "Teraille, I notice that in the first verse, you accented the chords which underscore the words "duty", and also "pride". In the score, these accents are unmarked, and as one says the words, the accent falls elsewhere in the sentence. Tell me, what is the thought behind that?" 


Tekran walks in.

Teraille smiles a bit. "To be honest, I hadn't noticed myself doing that."

Tekran waves and smiles to all preasent

Jeranium glances up, his mouth set in his usual expression of displeasure, and notices Tekran. His eyebrow raises questioningly, and his bulk shifts slightly in his chair. "Ahem. Yes?" He challenges.

Tekran turns to Caramak, "Are you Caramak, or do you know where I can find him?"

At Jeranium's comment, Teraille turns, and her face becomes an interesting shade of crimson. She turns back to the ranking people, a pleading look on her face.

Tekran (#8626)

Tekran is about five feet with rusty brown hair that swings wildly about when
he walks. He is about 15 turns and 12 days. he looks ready and rested. He
has green eyes, a long face, and strong build. His eyes pick up every detail
of the room with their sea green color, and his lips are a light redish

Caramak raises his eyebrows at Tekran. "I would be the one you seek...But we're in the middle of a Journeyman examination...Could I request that you return at another time?"

Tekran bows, "Yes, of course, till later then."

Jeranium harrumphs, loudly.

Teraille's face returns to a close facsimile of its earlier color.

Caramak sighs and shakes his head. "Sorry about that. Should've locked the door before we started..."

Teraille nods. "It's all right."

Shinnai chuckles slightly at Teraille's answer, and responds, "Well, at least you're candid with us. Would there be a reason why you might want to accent those chords, if you had realized?" she wonders, after the newcomer has left. 

Caramak props his chin on his hand again and re-emerses himself in the exam.

Teraille considers. "In part because I think that is a major part of the harpercraft for me. Duty -- " She pauses, ordering her thoughts. "Duty is what I thrive off of, I think." Her voice lowers slightly in volume, still audible, but just so. "Duty is what compels me. Duty towards friends, towards the craft -- towards Pern, mostly." She considers again. "I think that sense of duty is the most important part of me, to be honest." In some sense, she seems to be talking to herself more than the examiners. "Duty towards myself, I think, above anything else, though -- Though I think I would rather hold Pern in higher esteem. I don't believe, in my deepest heart, I do. I would be hard-pressed to sacrifice /me/. My life I could give up, but I would find it hard to decide if someone asked me to change who I was, and I knew it would be good for Pern. I don't know if I could go on living my life after such a betrayal of self. . ." She trails off, her eyes staring indistinctly at a random point in the air.

Tekran walks in from the ballroom.

Shinnai watches Teraille's self-examination with some curiousity. "An interesting observation. But I think I see that Journeyman Blanton has a question for you, as well."

Tekran glances at Caramak, "Good time yet sir?"

Jeranium, firmly planted on a chair, snorts somewhat louder than is polite as he sees the boy stick his head in yet again. "Ahem. We will let you know, child."

Caramak raises his eyebrows at Tekran. "No. Exams take a long time...Tonight will probably be taken up..."

Teraille glances up at Shinnai speaks, startled. She starts again st the voice from behind her, but doesn't turn this time, just closes her eyes and tightens her lips.

Tekran blinks, "When may I see you then?"

Caramak sighs and closes his eyes. "Try me tomorrow?"

Amar's pen pauses; he has captured Teraille's soliloquoy verbatim, but looks up to watch the interruption.

Tekran sighs himself, "sorry to bug you, when are you free tommarrow?" 


Teraille's eyes open and she casts a mournful gaze at the ceiling. 

Tekran drops hhis head, "sorry, I'll leave then."

Caramak opens his eyes again. "Try me around noon. Now please...?"

Tekran walks out into the ballroom.

Teraille lowers her eyes again, sighing slightly.

Jeranium also watches Tekran with a less-than-tolerant gaze. Finally, he closes his eyes. When he hears the boy close the door behind him, his wish has been fulfilled, and the first _ever_ hint of a smile appears on the aging man's visage.

Caramak sighs and rubs his temples. "Oy. Blanton...? If you haven't forgotten your question by now?"

Teraille glances over at Blanton, reaching up a hand to brush a hair from her eyes. She leaves it near there, rubbing idly at her collarbone. 


Blanton smiles wryly and nods. "No, I haven't." The young Journeyman, younger than Teraille, relaxes. He'd been looking jumpy for a while previously. "In the ...seventh measure? Yes, that was it. The seventh. You used a Db major triad instead of a Bb minor seventh chord...Can I ask why you made the substitution?"

Teraille shakes her head. "Because I can't get to the Bb minor," she confesses. "Gitar has never been my strong point, and the chordings move quickly just there. I can't get my fingers to obey me on that one, so I substituted. I've worked with this piece enough to know that the Db works in that spot. Besides which, I've /always/ though dropping a minor chord in there makes it sound a bit off. It gives it this feeling taht just. . . I don't know. It doesn't feel right. Which," she admits, "is likely the reason I never nailed it home for myself. I could have, if I'd truly worked at it. I didn't." SHe makes the admission easily. 

Shinnai glances to Blanton and to Caramak, but doesn't appear to have anything to add.

Caramak glances around the room, looking for any more comments or questions. Then back to Teraille. "Alright...Just one more. Teaching. You're going to be doing it. How do you go about preparing a good lesson plan? How do you keep the class interested and involved? How do you try and make it /enjoyable/, so that you don't go insane over it?"

Teraille considers this. "Well, first you need to know what you're going to be doing, and you need to have some knowledge of it. . . more than you plan to impart on your students. You have to be willing to admit that you don't know something if you don't. You need to be prepared to have the lesson change if it starts to drift off course. . . " She pauses to think. "You want to get them into it. Have them teach each other as much as you teaching them. Ask them questions, and listen to the answers. Consider what they have to say, and be willing to change your ideas based on it. After all, we're harpers. We have to be openminded, to consider everything and be willing to change."

Caramak nods to the answer and stands up, glancing up and down the rough line of Masters and Journeymen.

Teraille's eyes follow Caramak while the rest of her doesn't move.

Shinnai nods agreeably, while Amar scribes. Jeranium, on Teraille's left, doesn't move, but merely grunts.

Caramak reaches into a drawer of the desk and pulls out a neatly braided knot of Harper blue, a size bigger than Teraille's current one. "Congratulations, Journeyman," he pronounces solemnly. He steps around the desk with two strides of his long legs and offers her the knot. 

Teraille blinks, looking at the knot. "Don't you need to confer or anything?" She looks back up, her eyes wide.

Jeranium hefts himself from his chair and grunts softly, although not as menacingly as perhaps a moment. "Don't look a gift runner in the mouth, girl," he advises. He might even be joking with her. Nah.

Caramak laughs lightly. "Didn't you see them nod? I don't think there was really any disagreement..."

Teraille glances at Jeranium, Shinnai. . . then the others, one at a time, finally returning to Caramak. "You mean -- You're saying I passed?" She can't seem to get this through her head.

Shinnai chuckles. "I'm sure you'll do the craft proud, Teraille."

Caramak nods, still holding out the knot. "Didn't I tell you...? Now, before my arm gets tired..." He wiggles the knot.

Amar, putting the final seals on the hide record, stands and brings the pen and hide to Teraille. "You only pass if you sign here," he grins openly to the new journeywoman. "Without this, it won't be official."

Teraille blinks a few times, not so much in confusion as to get the tears out of her eyes. She accepts the pen before the knot, signing her name and looking at it for a moment, then hugging Amar before turning to Caramak and hugging him. She pulls back for a bit of distance before accepting the knot and looking at it, almost in disbelief. "Thank you. . . Thank you all."
She turns, her look encompassing the entire room. 


Shinnai's eyes reflect her soft smile. It's always nice to see someone pass. 

Teraille moves around the room, hugging each of her examiners in turn, even Jeranium. Whether he likes it or not. An almost ludicrously wide smile curves her lips.

Jeranium is an awfully large bit of flesh to hug, and takes to it poorly. He stands, uncertain (he probably hasn't been hugged in a while) and waits for it to be over, and then harrumphs, characteristically.

Teraille beams at Jeranium, then everyone. "Thank you," she repeats. 

Shinnai shakes her head. "No, thank you, Teraille. It's not often we get an apprentice as well-prepared as you were."

Teraille smiles and flushes slightly, then stops. "Hmm. I'm a journeyman now."

Shinnai grins. "Notice I said 'were'."

Teraille smiles. "But this mean I can do things like have relationships. Legitimately."

Caramak laughs and nods. "One of the many little side benefits..." 

Shinnai's eyebrows go up. Yep, this one's quick alright.

Teraille grins, glancing at Caramak, then away. "Don't know how much use I'll be getting out of that one, though. . ."

Caramak opens and closes his mouth once, then bites his tongue. 


Teraille smiles a bit, shrugging.

Altra walks soundlessly in from the ballroom.

Teraille rises, looking at Altra. "May I help you?"

Altra drops to one knee in cold respect.

Teraille raises an eyebrow. "Apprentice. What may I do for you?"

Altra says in a neutral voice, "I wish to speak with you....alone."

Teraille nods. "If you'd like." She glances back at the others. "You will excuse me?"

Jeranium harrumphs, ignores the apprentice (he deals with too many all day) and gives a nod to each Journeman and Master left. Then, his heavy steps lead him back out the door. 

Shinnai helps Amar with the finalization of the document which promotes Teraille to Journeywoman, then looks up as the Fortian scribe makes the final notes, his quill scratching on the smoothed hide. "Teraille?" she softly queries the newly promoted.

Shinnai nods. "Of course. All finished, Amar?"

Teraille shakes her head. "I'll handle it. Please, follow me. Teraille walks calmly and with purpose out into the ballroom. Amar nods, leaving the document to dry on the desk, and gathers up his portfolio quickly.

Altra rises, and walks without a sound toward the door. Altra walks soundlessly out into the ballroom.

Logfile from Shinnai





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