Bryce says, "All right, I ain't gonna stand, as I'd still be shorter'n most of you that're seated anyway."
Bryce says, "And if I'd known this kid was gonna steal my story," he gives an exaggerated glare at ?Hreidun?, "I'd have asked to go first so we coulda saved the better version for last. But I'll do mine anyhow, I suppose."
Bryce retrieves an old and battered-looking guitar from beside his chair. The musical instrument looks like it's been through some ordeals and is in need of some repairs, but is more or less in one piece. "I haven't found anyone to repair this old thing yet, so I'm gonna accompany my verse with somethin simple instead of tryin anything fancy. One day I'll make this into a proper song."
Bryce begins a simple upbeat four-note reptition of the like that often accompanies Hillfolk story recitations. He stops then, attempts to tune a string and with a few experimental strums between adjustments, then eventually gives shrug with an apologetic smile. "Best I'm gonna get out of her today," he comments as he takes up the four-note reptition once again, nodding along once he seems to have achieved an acceptable tempo. He then begins reciting in a clear, somewhat-monotonous yet still musical tone.
Now pull up a seat my fine friends, gather round
and I'll tell you the Exodus tale.
A tyrant, a savior, a sign from above
and a flight o'er a terrible trail.
I can trace my line back quite a ways you should know
to the folk of an Aetgard long lost.
Baby-blue eyes and long locks of gold hair,
these good looks were given a cost.
Bryce adds as an aside while he continues the four-note repetition, "And damn, ain't these looks good ones?" He wiggles his eyebrows, then begins the more structured recitation once again.
A nasty old cuss named Gudleifr rose up
and he claimed all of Aetgard his own.
Blood and brutality, fury and rage
were his means of securing his throne.
Torchbearer's teachings had begun to take root
Ol Gudleifr wouldn't abide it.
Compassion and kindness had no place with him
He'd slay all good people who tried it.
Now my ancestors, they were good people you see
So the tyrant-king hunted em down
Just havin our hair or our eyes was a sin
to that jackass who'd stolen his crown.
Now someone on high didn't like this so much,
they'd set up a savior to aid
From the sky fell a star on the day of her birth,
Sifa, the golden-haired maid
Though of younger years Sifa harbored no fears,
she spoke out against the king's crimes
And rallied good people to speak out the same
in a call for an end to such times.
The tyrant-king wouldn't be swayed, no surprise
and Sifa wished no more blood shed
She gathered her people together in secret
and into Fey Forest they fled.
Now no-one who enters that forest comes out,
it's something that everyone knows.
But Sifa was fearless and blessed besides
she had faith in the path that she chose.
So her people went into that forest of dread
and the tyrant-king's army gave chase.
Sifa and company passed through unscathed
but Gudleifr's men? Not a trace.
And that is the tale of the Exodus led
by Sifa the golden-haired savior
We Hillfolk celebrate Exodus day
and hope to reflect her behavior.
Be fearless against those who'd control your lives
Speak out against vile tyranny
We all have the right to live as we may
The right to be happy and free.
Bryce ends his performance with a few simple strummed chords. "Still needs a more proper ending, seems a bit abrupt," he apologizes. "There you have it, though." He returns the battered guitar to its place beside his chair and leans back, lifting both arms to place his hands behind his head.
Jorgarven dips his head towards Cerise before with long strides approaching what seems to've become the designated spot for delivering performance, the seated performance notwithstanding. He takes a deep breath, and begins without providing any sort of contextual background for his delivery.
Jorgarven begins to speak, and the pace is slow, wrap't round in percussive rhythym, it's almost a chant, "on dark starlit nights, moon wreathed by stormclouds," as he speaks, the unmistakeable rumble of the giganti's heavy bass swells, "one's gifted a sight of creatures most proud."
Jorgarven continues at this slow pace, using the spacing between words as punctuation, and letting emotion seep into the swell of his chant, "it's these four-legged beasts with paws, claws, fur, and snout," the giganti wears something akin to a smile, lips quirked at the corners as he sweeps his gaze around the room, "that with giganti doth feast, hunt, play, war, and shout."
Jorgarven 's chant slowly builds in pace, its staccato breaths interspersing its words, "of their wagging tails eir and frodr speak true," he stamps one foot, spine held stone-straight as he rises from the drumlike stomp, "their tales beyond veils of wounds these friends soothe."
The giganti's voice rises in a more haunting melody, the chant of before having built into the volume of his words, "while krigmeister calls for warriors staid, and stood upon hills our hounds there have bayed." Jorgarven casts his eyes ceilingward, and then back down to the crowd siting, standing, and otherwise most beneath the level his eyes would normally sweep.
"No beasts of burden, these friends of yore, within their big eyes our secrets are kept," a large hand rises, thumping at his chest. The sound flatly provides rhythm against the backdrop of his lyrics, "greater than steinskjaere car-ved stone core, while for their departure great warriors've wept." Jorgarven bows his head ever-so-slightly, long hair hanging longer to sweep at his shins before the head shoots up once more, eyes finding those in the crowd with whom he's communed, supped, and shared battleworn companionship.
Jorgarven 's thumping rhythm continues, a drumlike noise to accompany his song, "the mountain father's great sonorous tone has spake truth in blood, skin, and bone," the voice of the giganti rises and falls, but always remains that bone-rattling bass, "our might we practice, our minds we have honed, yet without furred friends, we're naught but alone."
"Ven-Helligdom waits, the carved realm deep," Jorgarven acknowledges the other giganti in the room with a look, eyes closing afterwards for but a moment, "and in those worn halls, our great spirits sleep." He sways now with the melody writ in the spaces between his words, letting emotion fill the almost mournful tune spilling from his lips.
Jorgarven opens his eyes once more, their honeyed-amber shining with the light of the fire behind him as his words carry the dark tune once more, "warriors true, stoic brothers we've known, healers, wordsmiths, and carvers of stone," his face isn't quite expressionless, not quite the mask of non-emotion some warriors choose to bear, and in his eyes shines the soft light of perpetual rain, while something hunted rings in his voice, "those who live high, and those who live low, but surely runehounds, who gnaw upon bone."
Jorgarven speaks as though coming to the conclusion of his song, the volume of before quite dissipated as the final lines of his melody come to a close, "these words, they bear truth, through river an' dale. so hearken to them, 'round mountain an' vale:" the final two lines are nearly a whisper against the encroaching sound of the inn, their vibrations more felt than they could ever be heard, "the hound is the key to happiness dear, so long as they're 'round, there's nothing to fear." the final four words of this performance are far more drawn out than the others, their conclusive end tippled with an emotion that no longer shows in his face as the giganti thumps at his chest one final time, the ceasing beat of a heart that no longer does.
Mira's Performance (TW: Death of a baby)
"Don't let anyone steal this," Mira says to Pigeon, setting down her cup on the table where she was sitting. Striding gracefully forward to the same spot Jorgarven just vacated, she glances around, her perpetual smile somewhat fading into a wistful one. "For those who don't know, my name is Miralania Kjaban. But most people call me mira. This is a song that I used to sing to help an old soldier fall asleep. He was the one who started my teachings in Common, through some of these songs."
Mira begins to sing. Slow, with long pauses, just long enough for tention to build, but not quite long enough for that tention to bleed away. She possesses quite a range, reaching from rather rich, lower notes up to a clear, cutting high end. Though she offers quite a range, and a voice powerful that echoes out across the room, her voice carries with it the hints of someone untrained, unrefined. "Said the lord unto his lady ... as he rode over the moss, 'Beware of Long Lankin ... that lives amongst the gorse;. Beware ... the moss, beware ... the moor, beware of Long Lankin. Make sure the doors are bolted well. Lest Lankin should creep in.'".
Said the lord unto his lady ... as he rode away
'Beware of Long Lankin ... that lives amongst the hay;
Beware the moss ... beware the moor ... beware of Long Lankin
Make sure the doors are bolted well
Lest Lankin should creep in.'.
Mira suddenly and without ceremony speeds up, nearly doubling her speed. Previously focused on putting the emotion into the keening notes, she now begins rapidly shifting pitch. "'Where's the master of the house?' says Long Lank-in. 'He's 'way to Lost Lands,' says the nurse to him. 'Where's the lady of the house?' says Long Lank-in. 'She's up in her chamber,' says the nurse to him. 'Where's the baby of the house?' says Long Lank-in. 'He's asleep in the cradle,' says the nurse to him."
Mira's previously distant smile morphs into a grimace and she all of a sudden turns and starts pacing, skirts billowing slightly around her black boots, those same boots keeping perfect time with her singing. "'We will pinch him, we will prick him. We will stab him with a pin. And the nurse shall hold the basin, for the blood all to run in.' So they pinched him and they pricked him, then they stabbed him with a pin. And the false nurse held the basin, for the blood all to run in."
'Lady, come down the stairs,' says Long Lankin
'How can I see in the dark?' she says unto him
'You have silver mantles,' says Long Lankin
'Lady, come down the stairs by the light of them.'
Down the stairs the lady came, thinking no harm
Lankin he stood ready to catch her in his arms
There was blood all in the kitchen
There was blood all in the hall
There was blood all in the parlour
Where my lady she did fall
Now Long Lankin shall be hanged
From the gallows oh so high
And the false nurse shall be burned
In the fire close by.
Mira returns to her original act, slow and keening. Now, though, her expression shifts a bit, and her eyes moisten a small amount. Her voice lowers a bit in intencity, down almost to a croon as she stops walking entirely, pivotting to face the crowd. Despite the lowering, it still is a powerful voice, and caries well across the room. "Said the lord unto his lady ... as he rode over the moss, 'Beware of Long Lankin ... that lives amongst the gorse; Beware ... the moss, beware ... the moor, beware of ... Long Lankin. Make sure the doors are bolted well, lest Lankin should creep in.'".
Mira lets her breath out, reaching up to wipe the scant moisture from her eyes. "This goes out to that soldier, where he lies. I love you, as you loved me." With that, she strides back over to her chair, picking up her mug.
Alexei hesintantly walks to the front of the crowd. "Well, I'm pretty sure I can't outperform the last one. But let's try to end with a cheerier note, shall we?" His voice starts.
Alexei lightly starts, "This story, I got off a drunk sailor from one of the Parren docks. He claimed he was well traveled, and that he knows stories from those isolated islands around the sea. I'll agree with him, if I wasn't sure he just pulled the storry out of his butt..."
Alexei realizing his words, he finishes it with, "Bottle."
Seemingly more relaxed now, Alexei continues trying to keep eye contact with everyone in the crowd. "There are many stories about how our world started, where we're from, and well, many disagree with some. Well, here's just but one." Alexei begins to pace. "In the begining, there was nothing, a blank black canvas of nothingness save for the painter of things. And of course, him being alone, he got bored. Thus, he started to paint."
Tapping his nose as if in thought, Alexei begins to mime swishing a paintbrush over an easle. "He just started with "green. Green was the grass, the plants and all, then came the people. Everything was abundant." Alexei smiles. The painter observed, what will the people do, he wonders. And they, did... nothing. Apparently with everything given to the people that they got lazy and never improved. Bored once more, He whitewashed the world. Alexei waves his hands as if to remove something. "Thus, this is the end of the first age."
Alexei pauses. "With a new canvas, and well, the last people dead and buried. The painter of all things made a new one. this one is more red. Red the clay, the sunrise and sunsets. Perhaps if I give the people more passion, that they'll do something. Alexei grins, "As you know, as usual, that was a mistake. Passion the people had, however, this ended with more bloodshed and rutting sometimes at the same time... Disgusted, the painter once more filled the world with white. Thus it's the end of the second age.
Alexei blinks at the a sourdough roll stuffed with creamy muskrat filling he was still holding, a little surprised. "Oops," before shoving the whole thing in his mouth.
Alexei takes a bite of a sourdough roll stuffed with creamy muskrat filling, then proceeds to finish it off.
Dusting off the crumbs off his lips and hands Alexei sheepishly continues. "Well, the painter wants to try next. He now filled the world with yellow. Yellow the sunshine, the wheat, and gold. Passion might be good, but what if we also give the people foresight?" Alexei mimes another paintbrush. "This time, the people planned, and they planned. They got all the things, horded harvest for the future. Problem is, well, the people are stuck with planning and nothing happened." Alexei shrugs. "The world was filled with white as the painter of all things once more looks at his creation with disgust. Thus, that was the end of the third age."
Smiles at the people listening. "As we established The painter of all things is, rather, uh, bored by now and has good ideas, problematic in execution. Sometimes, though, they do have good ideas." Alexei returns to where he first stood and faces the crowd. "For the fourth age, They decided that yes, what if we use all the colours? Green the grass and plants, red the sunset, gold the sunrise. Give the people, passion and foresight. And maybe make it that people will be reminded of this. So green was the spring, red was the summer, and yellow was fall." Alexei looks thoughtful, "What about winter? Well, right, this isn't called the legend of winter. Well, it's the time for us to contemplate and reflect what happened the whole year, a chance of renewal."