Playing Scarborough Faire

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Flickerfinger
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Post by Flickerfinger » Wed Sep 17, 2008 11:36 am

In answer to the group’s collective queries, the arboreal musician leapt from the oak to the road. It was a lemur, a shady fellow, short of stature, whose tail was a truly magnificent gray appendage ringed in black, far longer than the lemur was tall. He was dressed the part, with a wide-brimmed black hat pulled low over one eye. Immediately he proved himself an easy conversationalist, producing a steady stream of chatter while he sized up every member of the group. Lystar didn’t trust him.

Still, the lemur musician was obviously going to the Faire, along with himself, Kirjath, and Harken. Elated as he was to be in the company of so many other musicians, Lystar recognized the potential for conflict. He had been in competition with other troubadours on several occasions, had never liked it. His trade was to sell a moment’s respite from the cares of the world, a song or a story for a bit of gold (or lodging, or ferry passage, or whatever). Instead of this the most enjoyable of business transactions, a celebration of song and story, it became a contest to see which could out-play or out-talk the other. (Lystar could always do the former, less surely the latter, but he never kept track and didn’t know that.) It was left then to see if this would be a duel or a duet – well, quartet, if all went well.

“Well met, sir,” the wolftaur said. “Have you a name, or am I to call you Ringtail the length of the Faire?”

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Post by Rackenhammer » Thu Sep 18, 2008 4:11 pm

"Say this fellow has no Instrument!"

Telemain took an opportunity to size up the newcomer. *A ringtail...and another music-maker. I doubt if that's all he is though.*
"I am a magician, not a musician." Tel gace the ringtail a twice over. "Although in the case of the exceptionally skilled one could argue that there is very little difference." Tel remembered the music department back at the University, reknowned for, among other things, finding a cure for tone-deafness. *It's thanks to them I know what music is.* Tel recalled with a smile, as he sized up the group again. *Oy...Four musicians, a warrior, and a mage. Let's hope we can get to the Faire without anything messy happening.*
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Post by Arlo » Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:49 am

"Urk..." Harken made a bashful gesture. "Looks like he heard you, Fluffs."

"Fennwick." The rabbit replied without a change in inflection. This group was certainly getting large; Fennwick took mental stock of everyone.

There was a hint of apprehension at thinking he was the only person who carried weapons. A caravan of career musicians; the rabbit was glad they weren't all like his charge, or he would have been liable to lose his mind. At least his job would be easier with the mere presence of a wolftaur and, he learned with a hint of surprise, a magician. But in any case, sheer numbers were the biggest deterrent for danger but, he noted, that meant more people that could get in trouble.

"Wake up, Fenn." Harken patted the warrior on the back. "This promises to be a big event indeed. And don't we sketch the most bizarre image, all together like this."

Fennwick frowned, looking down the road in the direction of Scarborough. "It is still a half-day away, if Sir Telemain is right. We should get going soon if we hope to get there before nightfall."
[url=http://twilightus.net/feila/viewtopic.php?t=2892]Arlo: The Otter Gourmand[/url]
[url=http://twilightus.net/feila/viewtopic.php?t=2929&highlight=]Kenneth: Righteous Horse Knight[/url]
[url=http://twilightus.net/feila/viewtopic.php?t=2894]Arena Character: Fennwick: Stoic Lancer of the Forest[/url]
[url=http://twilightus.net/feila/viewtopic.php?t=2943]Harken: Mischevous Squirelly Bard and his bodyguard[/url]
[url=http://twilightus.net/feila/viewtopic.php?t=3055]Age of Steam: Roddy Fanning: Enthusiastic Wanna-be Spy[/url]

Larcen
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Post by Larcen » Sat Sep 20, 2008 3:48 pm

((A thousand apologies to everyone; I had a bear of a time getting internet access to my new apartment, hence Kirjath's relative nonexistence.))

The entire time, Lystar's fellow canid stood slightly behind him, saying little, but thinking more than he could ever formulate into rhetoric. In accordance with his breed, whenever there was a congregation of souls standing around while something was supposed to be happening, Kirjath felt the impulsive desire to get things rolling. Of course, folks do not appreciate someone prodding them onward, and because he had enough trouble keeping people around him with his madness, Kirjath had trained himself to nix any and all things that would put someone off, leaving him an empty shell on the outside, but a thundering Tesla coil within.

Besides, it was not as if he was not expecting to meet up with the other musicians, in a way. His dreams consisted of advertisements for a gathering of musicians around a wood stockpile, or something like that, as well as footage of the arrival of a group of misspelled beetles and similar detritus.

As such, he remained in the background while the articulate critters conversed. The music from all sides did little to slow his mind's usual 8,000rpm pace, being that it was impossible to focus on any one tune at a time. His fingers hovered over the strings of the zither slung like a scabbard on his hip, air-plucking goodness knew what.

Finally he could resist instinct no longer. He poked Lystar's shoulder, then spoke almost into his ear, as if the others would set upon him if they heard. "Can, can we, uh...I mean..." The sentence trailed off with him motioning down the road. "Faire's waiting, and we aren't getting anywhere by yakking, are we?" He looked over the crowd, still refusing to make eye contact with anyone.
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Post by Teale » Sun Sep 21, 2008 12:27 pm

Jack turned to the wolftaur, raising a brow as he mentioned calling him ringtail. If his tail was not decorated with the common raccoon pattern, he'd of thought this character was calling him by his last name. His real last name, the one he threw out ages ago. A stupid name passed down by liberal parents. There was not a soul who'd recognize Jack Scratch as Cornelius Ringtail. Even his parents who remembered his face as a child would probably pass by without thinking twice.

Corny Cornelius was nothing more than a pet name in his childhood. A fancy rich man's name which he obviously was not. "Name's Jack Scratch!" he answered, shooting a wink to the Wolftaur, "The most professional pipa player you'll ever have the pleasure to pass by. A hint to gettin a title like that is choosing an instrument that nobody's ever heard of."
[img]http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u319/BrennusWolf/TealeSig.jpg[/img]
[url=http://twilightus.net/feila/viewtopic.php?t=2966&sid=2c1420ce814308d09a73c829dc1cc961]Teale[/url]

[url=http://www.twilightus.net/feila/viewtopic.php?t=2996&sid=a185218b0bc063cc739a268cc9a1b52f]Jack Scratch[/url]

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Rackenhammer
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Post by Rackenhammer » Sun Sep 21, 2008 1:24 pm

Telemain was encouraged by Kirjath's first words. "Yes! Let us finally move on. And as your guide, may I make a request? Please save any drama for a time and place where we may charge admission." Tel nodded at the now-named ringtail. "A pleasure to meet you, sir. I have actually heard of it before, unfortunately that was when I heard it being played horrendously. That is an awful experience to someone who was recently cured of tone-deafness. But enough talk, let us move on!"
Fitting action to the word, Telemain began a smart pace to the Faire.
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Flickerfinger
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Post by Flickerfinger » Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:05 pm

((I would have gone right to the Faire from here, but I need more time to set up the grounds and back-story. Besides, a whole afternoon on the road together doesn’t just vanish. Also, I wanted to get everyone used to the idea of role-playing a song – just post what your character and instrument adds to the performance and/or composition.))

It was decided then and there, and the motley crew set out, just far enough apart in time to maintain the impression of independence. With the exception of Kirjath, who kept rather closer to Lystar than was necessary. Or maybe it was necessary – Kirjath was a unique fellow. Northward and a little westward they strode. Soon the trees gave way, and the forest trail widened into a smooth dirt wagon track, the sun laying a persistent warm hand on the traveler’s backs.

Needless to say, Lystar had been shocked to hear of a cure for tone-deafness. In his experience, anyone lucky enough to possess an instrument could learn to play it; but he also knew that there were those cursed with a lack of musical ability. He pitied them, and wondered if Telemain had perhaps exaggerated his condition. But the hybrid didn’t seem the type. Harken might be the type, but Lystar thought Harken not so much a braggart as an incurable showman, convinced that the world was his audience.

These were the thoughts that occupied the wolftaur’s mind as they traveled. It wasn’t so long before other artisans appeared on the road, Gawainians with their eyes on the Faire. The lonely poet with his parchment under his ink-stained arm, the limner with his ample saddle-bag of canvas and sign-board, the woodcarver and the carpenter with their carts and wagons of canvas-covered treasures. They favored the group with smiles, waves, friendly greetings, and in the case of the wolftaur, no small number of stares. Many in Gawain had heard of taurs, but few if any had ever seen one, living, breathing, walking, and idly holding an instrument as Flickerfinger did.

After a while Lystar could hold himself back no longer. Having the instrument across his chest was an invitation to play. The tune he settled on was one he had learned in Edwin, staying the night in the home of a peasant handy with a fiddle, by the name of Harle. The melody was his, the chords were Lystar’s. Of course, the fiddle was an instrument capable of extending a note almost indefinitely, and the Serinex would vibrate only so long; still, he did his best, outlining the melody as he built the song from scratch. It was unpredictable, if not complicated, that would challenge any musician trying to follow it. Of course, that was his intent, as he looked around his party of players.

Song: Edgar Meyer, Short Trip Home
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ureNnXe1WZQ

((Post number 500. w00t!))
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Post by Rackenhammer » Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:09 pm

(I'm sorry, I'm going to be away for the weekend...again, and It would be too early for me to post an RP now. I'll get to this when I come back)
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Post by Arlo » Sat Sep 27, 2008 6:16 pm

Harken's ears perked up as the sound of music pulled him from his mind's wanderings. He almost thought that they were near the fair, and was surprised to learn that it was one of the group that suddenly burst into song. He smirked; musicians could be such a spontaneous bunch. Playing for the heck of playing, practicing from dawn until dusk, until their minds were nothing more than a jumbled collection of notes and key signatures. Harken, however, made it a policy to save his talents for a worthy audience, and to practice in private only as much as he deemed appropriate. After all, what other use was there for music if not to be heard?

"That's pretty good." Fennwick remarked beside him.

Harken made a face halfway between a pout and a contemplative stare at the taur's back. The bodyguard wasn't as musically inclined as he, being in the world of performance music only by proxy to him. Even so, the bard had to admit that the taur actually wasn't half bad. He even felt a momentary twinge of jealousy, quickly replaced with his trademark haughtiness. It certainly was impressive, but nothing a musical prodigy such as Harken Abirus couldn't match, and how!

He flipped his lute around his back and brought it in front of him. "It's about to get better, Fluffs." He came in haltingly for the first few measures, only adding an odd note or two as he tried to get the rhythm of the song. Then he began plucking strings and strumming chords with gusto.

Melancholy Galliard
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_K5zRA2APo
[url=http://twilightus.net/feila/viewtopic.php?t=2892]Arlo: The Otter Gourmand[/url]
[url=http://twilightus.net/feila/viewtopic.php?t=2929&highlight=]Kenneth: Righteous Horse Knight[/url]
[url=http://twilightus.net/feila/viewtopic.php?t=2894]Arena Character: Fennwick: Stoic Lancer of the Forest[/url]
[url=http://twilightus.net/feila/viewtopic.php?t=2943]Harken: Mischevous Squirelly Bard and his bodyguard[/url]
[url=http://twilightus.net/feila/viewtopic.php?t=3055]Age of Steam: Roddy Fanning: Enthusiastic Wanna-be Spy[/url]

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Post by Larcen » Sun Sep 28, 2008 10:52 pm

Kirjath was glad his instrument required a sitting position. If not, he would have tried to top both performers. Instead, he let the external music fill his head, allowing his body to relax as his mind was occupied by nothing more than the melodies. He closed his eyes until he could just barely make out where he was going. One might have mistaken him for a sleepwalker as he plodded along in silence, paws falling to the beat.
"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." --Groucho Marx

You say 'fundamentalist' like it's a bad thing. X3

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Post by Rackenhammer » Mon Sep 29, 2008 5:02 pm

Telemain's response was not too unlike Larcen's, in that he preferred listening to actually playing music. He did this in an idiosyncratic way, however. He sent a tendril of magic into the air to isloate the vibrations coming from the instruments. Tel then made them visible, slightly, as colored shimmers in the air, with Lystar's melody in blue shades, and Harken's in yellow. He felt the music like a blind person would feel braille letters.
Actually that was a very good metaphor (though Telemain wouldn,t have known it, since braille had not yet been invented). The Unseen University's cure for tome deafness was essentially to have music enter the mind through other senses rather than hearing. Eventually, the brain creates a sort of 'shortcut' that allows one to listen without expending the magical energies. Tel still could listen better if he sent out the energy, though and he did so, actively listening. *I wonder if anyone else even knows what these patterns mean.* Tel thought as they walked along.
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Post by Flickerfinger » Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:00 pm

((OOC: Alright all, this post gets us to the Faire. Hereafter audience members and fair-goers are free to introduce themselves. Let me warn you immediately that will be very looooong - I had a lot of ground to cover. If someone else among us already could answer the question at the very end? I'll be posting again on Monday, and then we'll have some time to mess around before the gig. Also, sorry about the autoplay, Telemain, but I needed someone to say that line. I tried to think what he would say - if you've a better idea pm me. Alright, on to the scene!))

Just as Lystar was beginning to enjoy the tune he was playing, another set of strings sounded over his right shoulder – in jangling opposition to Harle’s melody, instead of accompaniment as he had hoped. So he stilled the strings and gave ear to Harken’s lute. The song began on a gentle melody in a minor key embellished with the odd chord, and became no faster or more complex as it flowed through to its completion. Lystar thought it completely at odds with Harken’s flamboyant personality. When the song ended Lystar spared him not a word, but turning his torso to face the squirrel he looked him in the eye for a long moment, smiled and nodded deeply. It was a gesture of respect, for Harken’s skill with his instrument, and in some measure his audacity.

He gave up the idea of baiting the quartet into a jam. Harken didn’t seem the type, and he remembered that both Kirjath and Jack required a sitting position to play their instruments anyway. With uncanny timing the road turned suddenly to the left around a grassy hill, and the cliff called Scarborough rose into view. It looked almost insubstantial among the grassy hills in the distance, as though it were fading into the world gradually. It was difficult to tell much about it yet, but it was undoubtedly their destination. It would be fitting, the wolftaur thought, to play . . .

. . . under such a hill as this, where the small can become great,” the Duke exclaimed, spreading his arms to the majestic grey cliff before him. It soared to a height of three hundred feet or more – measurements of that scale frequently proved inaccurate or inconclusive. Scarborough dared the sky to fall upon it, rearing out of the grassy hills with the impudent daring of a stallion, and cradling the amphitheater at its base with the tenderness of a mare for her foal. And indeed, Scarborough embodied an unmistakable if ethereal duplicity of principle. It was a sheer granite cliff in a region of foothills, commanding yet quiet, dominating yet gracious. As she stood beside her father, on the edge of the rock shelf that formed the floor of the amphitheater, Cynthia knew that he saw none of this. He appreciated Scarborough because it made his duchy, Saxe-Weimar, more important than it already was as front line against Edwinian invasion. The thought made her shiver. Not that anyone could tell past her slim, rich satin dress, suitable for a future duchess and useless for anything but standing about and posing . . .

“Cynthia, are you listening?”

She looked her father in the eyes reflexively; she hadn’t realized he was speaking. He saw this immediately, and rebuked her with his eyes. “When you are duchess,” he said severely, “I hope you will pay more attention. It is unbecoming to a ferret to be sodreamy.” It stung that he would speak to her in such a manner. At least, she thought, none of his silly courtiers are here to see. “I said that we’ve settled on a pattern that emulates the turning of the seasons,” he continued, gesturing broadly at the fairgrounds. Cynthia failed to see the resemblance in the circular arrangement of stall and pavilion that graced the hill above her. Certainly, the Duke had created a practical arrangement, the various structures that housed the artist and their wares being interspersed with vendors of food and drink. With the shadow of Scarborough creeping ever larger across the grounds, the Faire had begun early, and the sound of the populace assembled was quite loud. Already there were artisans, the finest Gawain could produce, peddling everything from bolts of cloth and fine garments to sculptures wrought in iron and bronze. Craftsmen were standing talking idly with their fellows, showing off their creations to the ferrets, martens, badgers and all that had gathered to visit the Faire. Peasant, gentry, even some of the nobility had turned out for the night’s events. Cynthia felt herself relaxing into the atmosphere. “I truly believe this will be the best of Scarborough Faires,” her father the Duke said.

“There is another, in the Territory of the Ravens,” she said, gently goading him.

“Nonsense. This is Scarborough,” he said. Then, catching sight of something on the ridge, he added, “Oh, heaven help us, a wolftaur.” Cynthia turned to where her father was looking, and froze. Not because of the four-footed lupine who stood there, but because of the company he was in. She hurried to catch up with the Duke, who was already wending his way toward them.

++++++

“And here we are, friends,” Telemain said, rather unnecessarily, but Lystar was prepared to forgive him his idiosyncrasies; he had brought them to Scarborough Faire, and what a Faire it was. The whole of the great hill on which they stood was covered with it. There was something about the place that made the Bard feel right at home, though he couldn’t explain why. A shiver ran the full length of his body when he caught sight of the great amphitheater at the base of Scarborough – it was the perfect stage, dark now with the sun behind it, but it would be lit well by the moon when it rose.

Among the figures passing hither and yon below them, three separated themselves from the crowd and approached the group. There were two black-faced ferrets, both richly dressed, a male and a female who could only be his daughter. The third was a smallish pine marten with a roll of parchment under his arm. The ferret noble spoke first, addressing himself to Lystar.

“Greetings, sirs,” he said, his voice rich and commanding. “I am Algaur, Duke of Saxe-Weimar. Welcome to Scarborough Faire. You and your company wish to play the cliff?”

Lystar wasn’t sure why he had been singled out, but he took the question with grace befitting the ferret’s station. “My thanks, Your Grace,” he replied, choosing a form of address he hoped was appropriate. “It is the reason we have journeyed hence from far lands . . .”

The Duke waved him to a stop. “Berid, is there time?”

The pine marten pulled open the parchment and scanned it. “Certainly, and this very night as well.”

“Very well, then,” Algaur said. “By what name shall we call you?”

Lystar didn’t have a ready answer. “I am called Flickerfinger, and this is Kirjath Jearim of Domus, Harken Abirus, and Jack Scratch,” he said, indicating the musicians of the party as he spoke.

Once again the Duke interrupted him. “Well enough names for the lot of you, but how are you to be introduced? You are playing together, yes?”

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Rackenhammer
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Post by Rackenhammer » Sat Oct 04, 2008 4:04 pm

(The god play's Ok, but I think a post from me would not be precipitate, and i will most likely not have much time to visit here Sunday.)
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Post by Arlo » Tue Oct 07, 2008 2:37 pm

"Playing together?" Fennwick repeated with mild astonishment. The great Harken Abirus, work together with anyone? The last time he tried to share a stage... it wasn't pretty. That wasn't to say that Harken was partcularly jealous and prone to vicious tricks, but his co-player was equally competitive; it was all the warrior could do to keep out of the constant tricks and...

"Why of course we're playing together, Fluffs!" Harken announced with a flourish. "After all, bands are what the ladies are going for these days. Whaddya say guys, the Felian Flat-Notes ready to light the world ablaze with our beautiful voices and skillful notes?"

"Felian Flat-Notes?" Fennwick relied levely. "That's not exactly one of your winners there, Harken."

"Well so-rry!" The bard huffed. "They can't all be gems! If you guys have any better band name ideas, please go right ahead and say so. I can't carry the creative genius for everyone, you know."
[url=http://twilightus.net/feila/viewtopic.php?t=2892]Arlo: The Otter Gourmand[/url]
[url=http://twilightus.net/feila/viewtopic.php?t=2929&highlight=]Kenneth: Righteous Horse Knight[/url]
[url=http://twilightus.net/feila/viewtopic.php?t=2894]Arena Character: Fennwick: Stoic Lancer of the Forest[/url]
[url=http://twilightus.net/feila/viewtopic.php?t=2943]Harken: Mischevous Squirelly Bard and his bodyguard[/url]
[url=http://twilightus.net/feila/viewtopic.php?t=3055]Age of Steam: Roddy Fanning: Enthusiastic Wanna-be Spy[/url]

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Rackenhammer
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Post by Rackenhammer » Sat Oct 11, 2008 3:12 pm

(Sorry I took so long chaps, I wanted to give the others a chance to post.)
Telemain responded to the dukes question with as much respec as he could muster. "I'm not a musician, sire. I am Telemain, a mage-for-hire, currently serving as a...local guide, I suppose." Telemain gave some though to the question of a band name, but came up blank. *Creativity with words is not a strong point of mine.* He took the opportunity to scan the magic fields of the fair. There was apparently an illusion demonstration, and variou magical knicknacks for sale, as well as other magicians. These seemed to be more in the line of customers than competitors, so Tel allowed himself an anticipatory glee as he waited for the responses of his companions.
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