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  #16  
Old 07-24-2018, 09:07 PM
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Sona From the state of the furniture, and Willima's original treatment of Durra, Sona gathers the impression that trolls are likely not favorably looked upon in this society. Part of her wonders if the stigma is warranted. "Durra seems clever enough... but maybe he is an exception?" Sona doesn't know enough about trolls to say for certain.

Durra's answer had been far more than Sona expected, especially his humility, but then again, every interaction with Durra had left Sona at least somewhat caught off-guard. In the back of her mind, she realizes that she would likely outlive the Troll. Maybe if he did become an adept, she would be one to sing songs about him.


Sona's eyes widen at Darla's Sperethiel. "She speaks it better than I speak Throalic."

As she listens to the story, Sona's hand slowly moves to cover her mouth. She had expected some silly story, not a tragic one. "I'm so sorry," she replies. The words sound so ridiculous out loud, but what else could she say?

"Well, Darla, your Sperethiel is honestly flawless. Willima, you're not bad yourself. We elves tend to have sticks up where the sun doesn't shine, so who cares if they don't like it?" Sona smiles, then in Sperethiel, "You can talk to me in this language whenever you like. Your voice is lovely, and perfectly suited for it. Your mother taught you well."

Sona leans forward, about to divulge that she cannot read the common tongue and put Darla's mind at ease for her inability to speak the Human tongue. "What am I doing? I don't know this woman." Thinking better of it, Sona momentarily considers telling Darla that she herself can speak the human language... but again, elects not to. "That would just make her more embarrassed, surely."

Unsure of how to continue, Sona looks to her viol, still covered by the sack with which she carries it. On one hand, she is not eager to begin playing so soon. The music always sounds hollow to her own ears. On the other hand, it would be expected for her to at least test the acoustics of the stage, as well as tune her instrument after a day's travel. "I loosened the strings lightly so the humidity would not stretch them against the instrument. It'd be a good idea to tighten them now that I'm indoors." She would also need to apply new resin to the bow; It had been wiped clean for travel, and Sona wants the best possible sound.

Sona grabs one more slice of bread and sticks it into her mouth, chewing while she unpacks her viol. The behavior is somewhat uncouth, but she is hungry and at the same time repulsed by the idea of sitting at a silent table with nothing to say. She plucks the strings. "They didn't change much. I was right about the humidity." A few minor adjustments, a few more plucks of the strings, and the sound is beautiful. Sona takes out a small brick of dried pine sap and runs it up and down the horsehair filaments of her bow.

Finally, Sona walks over to the stage, viol and bow in one hand, picking up a chair to sit on along the way with her other hand. She takes a seat,her back perfectly straight, her feet perfectly in line with her shoulder, neck and head held tall. The posture is refined, elegant, and seemingly effortless after so many years of having it drilled into her with a the help of a switch.

"What to play..." The Tavern's name is the Last Laugh, so perhaps something upbeat? "But refined... they are aiming for wealthier clientele, likely those who can appreciate proper music..." No need to start a drinking song... perhaps a slip jig?

Dice Musician STEP 10 (2D8):
d2-1rh1 (1 (Rerolls: greater than 1))-1 Total = 0
d8cx9,8t 3 Running Total = 3
d8cx9,8t 6 Running Total = 9
Sona begins, starting with a quick series of short, staccato notes. The pitch dips up and down over and over, never particularly sharply, but stress is always put on the low note, giving the sensation of something plunging downwards, designed to be in time with a dancer's dip. The fingering on the neck of the viol is not complex, but it is quick. At first, Sona plays only a single string, allowing her audience to become accustomed to the rhythm. "9/8 time... not everyone is familiar..." Sona allows several measures to play out before incorporating more strings, forming chords. Then she adds small trills over the longer notes.

Eventually, the dance begins almost insatiable. Sona's hand trembles and shakes as she adds vibrato to any note she can, adding accents to those cannot. Every so often she switches a familiar note out for a new one, so that the repeating dance can absorb the listener without becoming monotonous.

Sona's foot taps with the time, but for the most part it is a hollow gesture. She can barely even hear her own music. Her smile, the movements and sway of her body, as if caught up in the energy of the song, is all an act. In truth, her seated dance takes up more of her mental focus than even the song itself. To her, the flicker of her fingers, the sway of her arm dragging the bow across the strings... all of it is so rote as to the point of boredom. Somehow, all the notes of the song blend together and dull, as if heard from the other side of a very thick door.

Very suddenly, Sona stops. She had learned what she needed to about the acoustics.

As she gets down from the stage, Sona smiles at the three individuals comprising her audience. All the while her ears feel like they are ringing. "I should pick something less monotonous for when patrons arrive. I will need to stomach the entire evening. Without other performers to pair with, Sona could not entertain herself as she played. She will need to listen to the din of her own song for several hours, and the only way to do that is to incorporate interesting fingering and occasional, wild shifts in rhythm in order to occupy her mind.

Sona glances around the main hall for a few moments, looking for any change in the arrangement of furniture she could perform to improve acoustics. "Relax. It's a tavern, not amphitheater." Any improvement by moving only tables and chairs would be minute at best, anyways. Instead of potentially irritating her employers by shifting their inn without permission, Sona wanders back over to the stew pot and takes a little more food.

"The structure of the building is impressively conducive towards music," Sona says, regardless of whether it is true or not. "I'm impressed. So many taverns are built without any thought towards entertainment in mind, and end up sounding like the bottom of a lake as a result."

"This stew IS really good. The second taste is even better." Sona is already so tired with talk about music that her mind wanders elsewhere, first the stew, then her payment. Willima had described payment as "food, lodging, and tips." To Sona, that did not sound like a bad deal. "Plus, I can watch Darla work..." The elf almost slaps herself across the face as the thought crosses her mind. "I will not flirt with my new boss on my first day." Of course, that is assuming Darla even is her new boss...

Sona looks Willima and Darla in the eyes. "So... am I hired?"

OOC Musician check rather than entertainer because Sona is more concerned with tuning her instrument and checking acoustics than actually impressing. Besides, based on wording, I feel like entertainer is more concerned with large crowds of faceless peons, rather than named characters that totally won't be killed off to illicit feels.

Also, quick
Dice STEP 8 (2D6):
d2-1rh1 (1 (Rerolls: greater than 1))-1 Total = 0
d6cx9,6t 6 Running Total = 6
→ d6cx9,6t 6 Running Total = 12
→ d6cx9,6t 1 Running Total = 13
d6cx9,6t 5 Running Total = 18
Elven lore check to recall if Salaminia Dialothora is a name Sona has heard before.

I tell the potato that I respect its decision, and that we can remain friends. Secretly, I yearn for the potato, and spend the next few years hoping it will change its mind, because that's a very healthy and productive way to deal with rejection.

DamageWoundsWound Threshold/Unconsciousness/DeathHealth RatingsPhysical/Mystic/SocialDefensesKarmaRecoveryStatus Effect
0
0
6/21/26
9/9/11
3/4
2/2
--

Last edited by NotAHoneyBadger; 07-24-2018 at 09:09 PM.
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  #17  
Old 07-24-2018, 11:14 PM
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The Last LaughAs the music flows from Sona, perfect yet mechanical, Darla, Willima, and Durra listen carefully, though Durra spends a little Teenagers...more of his attention on the stew before him. Durra smiles, and gives a gesture of approval, he enjoyed the song.

Darla smiles broadly at Sona's appraisal of the acoustics of the room. "Thank you! My mother was always pleased that the room had a.. sweet spot... for music. That's where the stage was built. If you tried to play anywhere else, sound would feel pretty flat."

Darla walks over to the stage, and calls Willima over. They put their heads together and whisper back and forth for a bit, Willima shrugs a couple of times, then looks back up to Sona, then back to Darla. Their conversation quietly continues a moment, then Willima stands up and walks over to the bar and takes a leather sack from below the counter. Opening it, light flows from the bag and illuminates her face.

Darla calls Sona over, "Sona, could you go up to the stage one more time? I'm sorry, you want to eat, but I just want to try something, and I think if you're still a little hungry, it might carry that much more impact."

Willima reaches inside, and produces a set of three light crystals, each the size of Durra's thumb, and grabs three lightly colored glass bowls and walks up to the stage.

"Here, let's try something, try and get your eyes to shine", she says, and places the bowls, with crystals inside, strategically about the front of the stage while Darla closes the curtains, blocking out most of the light in the room. The resulting effect is that the only light is on Sona, bringing all attention to her face.

"Oh, yes, that's lovely, really makes the silver in your eyes stand out... ooh... enchanting!"

Darla is standing by the bar, arms crossed under her bosom, with a curious smile, lips slightly pursed. She speaks in Sperethiel. "That's fine for background music, though I doubt that you'll get many tips that way, the Her tone is matter-of-fact, not condescending, not judging, purely the voice of experience.patrons will probably just ignore you while they engage in conversation. She moves one arm from beneath her bosom, gesturing passively, then brings her hand to the side of her face.Which is fine... She taps her cheek with one fingerbut I feel like... I feel like there's something more. I feel like there's more to you, though, I think you could really sway a crowd. I offer you a challenge."

She saunters up to the front of the stage, slides out a chair, and sits on it, gazing into Sona's eyes. "Sing me an Elven love song, one with loss and regret, sing with your instrument, sing with your voice, sing with your heart."

Willima intently watches the exchange, eyes going back and forth between Sona and Darla, nervously chewing on her bottom lip.

Durra helps himself to another bowl of stew.

Darla leans forward, face serious, green eyes wide with hope, and continues in Sperethiel, purring the words. "Make me cry."



OOC:The family name strikes a bell, there is a story of a family of Elves from long before the Scourge, that shared the same last name: Diolothora. They were said to be a respected family in Wyrm Wood, with some members being prominent fixtures in the Elven Court.

Entertainer can be used with any size audience. Even just one. For Darla's challenge, musician won't be enough.

When Darla leaned forward, with Sona's height advantage from the stage, there was definitely cleavage view.

In this moment, you barely even remember the potato...
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Last edited by Karhald; 07-24-2018 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 07-25-2018, 05:27 PM
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Sona Sona relinquishes her bowl when beckoned. "I'll be back soon..." She makes her way over to the stage where she is pleasantly surprised to find the girls merely want to fawn over her, to set the stage with her as more than a bard, but as a centerpiece. In spite of herself, Sona blushes - a very distinct cue against her blue skin - and wells up with more than just a touch of girlish glee and pride. It had been some time since Sona had had someone - dare she even say, friends - dote on her. For the past several months, and even before when she lived under her mother's thumb, Sona had been subjected to the cold hands of This includes her mother...strangers callously applying makeup or choosing her dresses. The way Willima flutters about, strategically placing crystal cowls to catch the dim light makes her seem like an older sister playing with younger sibling.

The elf winces as Darla points out her passionless performance. "Ugh... she knows..." Not everyone could pick out the difference between Sona and a true artist, but Sona had managed to wander into the employ of one who could. "That will make things more... diffi... cult..."

Sona's internal thoughts trail off as Darla pulls up a chair and stares into her eyes. Part of her becomes lost in the emerald green. The other part begins to panic at the request.

"I can't. I can't do it. And I can't bluff it. It'll sound just like the last one, and she'll know."

"Make me cry," Darla purrs. Sona can't help herself but to bite her own lip as her heart skips a beat. Darla had utterly defeated the elf, using the same charms that Sona had thought to wield against the merchant. The difference is that whereas the merchant had merely been tricked, Sona is now completely enraptured, entranced in a spell. She simply cannot say no.

Before, whenever Sona had tried to pull inspiration from inside herself, whenever she had tried to recapture the magic she once had, she had closed her eyes. Now, Sona doesn't bother. Darla is the entity commanding her to sing a love song. Darla is the one who placed a spell on Sona. Darla draws the song out of her. Sona does not close her eyes. She cannot.

Sona gently puts down her bow, not entirely sure why she does so. She returns her hand back to the strings of her instrument, at the bottom of the neck. Her other hand wraps gently around the middle of the neck, fingers curled so that her fingertips and thumb are the only parts of her hand in contact with the wood. Slowly, Sona plucks out three notes, each one rising higher than the last. The forth note she rests, leaving the air lingering with want.

The troubadour continues to stare into Darla's eyes, and plays the same three notes again. Finally, her voice follows the notes. She sings an octave above her instrument, clearly, but so quietly at first as to make one wonder if the sound were not truly real. The first vocal notes are wordless, seamlessly flowing into one another like a stream of tears. Only after two more repetitions of this does Sona form words, and when she does, they are filled with the same longing as her previous, wordless cries.

Sona sings in the elven tongue the story of two hunters. At first, one speaks of his love, a girl from the village named Evelyn, whose hand he had asked in marriage not days before. The hunter sings of the joy in his heart upon hearing Evelyn's tear-stained "yes." Despite the flowery beauty with which the scene is painted, each line ends with a slight dissonance, a sadness and foreboding for something terrible to come.

While the hunter is proclaiming Evelyn's beauty, grace, and kindness, neither he nor his companion notice the monster creep upon them. Quickly, one hunter is slain, and the groom-to-be finds himself in the clutches of the beast.

The monster tells the hunter that unless he offer it something precious, it will slain him. Sobbing and sniveling, the hunter offers his bride-to-be, Evelyn, as well as the rest of the village in exchange for his life.

The creature makes good on its word, leaving the hunter alive, and rushes off to the village. It slaughters everyone, saving Evelyn for last. Until her last moments, she cries out for her betrothed to save her. It is only just before it kills her that the monster reveals that she had been betrayed by the very one she loved.

Sona shudders as she ends the final verse. She had originally intended to sing a love song, something beautiful and kind. Now she ends a song of nothing but betrayal and death, with not even so much as one more chorus to give the slightest hint of closure. Somewhere, in the middle of the song, even her own heart had been twisted.

But she could hear it. The entire song, Sona could hear, and feel. Now that she had finished, Sona cannot help but think that she never wants to feel another song again, not if they make her feel like this.


Far in the back of the tavern, behind Darla, behind Willima, standing in a darkened corner, a vision of Sona's mother sneers, taunting the girl.


Sona whispers, "I'm sorry... I don't know where that came from..."
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Old 07-25-2018, 10:55 PM
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The Last LaughDarla watches intently as Sona settles in carefully, tilting her head and spilling her fiery locks to one side, quizzically analyzing Sona's choice to leave the bow out of the beginning.

As Sona plays, simply plucking the notes, she notices Darla catch her breath in surprise at the clarity and power. Something incredible has started from the first note. Something so simple and pure emerges in the atmosphere of the tavern as those notes, delivered with a voice. Wordless yet breathy and clear, accompanying the echo of the strings, the music flows and reverberates throughout the tavern. The only sounds those of her voice and viol, the haunting ebb and flow of the pure, wordless voice.

left-aligned image
Breathless, Darla watches and listens in rapt attention, transfixed by the purity of voice and simple chords. Once the story has begun, professions of love, hope for future joy and the promise of a life of happiness, tears are already welling in her eyes. Her mouth opens slightly, her breath catches, and her chest heaves with slow, deep breaths.

During one of the many crescendos, the tavern door opens, and in stroll a pair of young Dwarven men carrying drums. They are dressed in matching festive clothing, and while upon their faces is meant a presentation to the owner, they stand in the foyer, paralyzed by Sona's song. One of them produces his drum, and prepares to try and join in, but the other Dwarf grabs his friend's arm and shakes his head vigorously. They listen for a minute before bowing and leaving without a word. Though Sona saw none of this. For the duration of the song, there were only two people in that room.

The words flow, the story builds, and the tragedy unfolds. As the revelation to the bride is broken, Darla breaks. By the time the song comes to an end, and Sona can see the rest of the tavern, and... an image of her scornful mother. She looks to Darla, and sees a beautiful woman with tears streaming down her face.

Darla raises a shaky hand, and wipes futility at the river of grief and pain coursing down her cheeks.

"S- Sona... I-I-I haven't... I didn't know I could... Where did that come from? How did you? " She reaches for her towel that she had set upon her lap, then realized that it had fallen to the ground during that hypnotic performance. Bending over, she picks up the towel then stands up while wiping her face, and walks toward Sona. "That.. that was not possible... The sounds, the harmonies, the rawness of it. Are you... are you an Adept? Is.. was... was that a true story? It was terrible and beautiful, tragedy and pain... I haven't cried like that since... since we received the letter from Blood Wood."

A deep, careful cough sounds from the back of the room, seemingly so far away, as Sona's world is just her and Darla at the moment.

Durra is standing up, slowly and carefully, so as not to cause much noise. He shakes Willima's hand as she hands him some coins for today's labors. Wordlessly, he bows to Sona, fist upon his chest, and As he does so, his hand lifts up to rub at his eyes.turns to leave the Tavern.

Willima sits on her chair, dumbfounded and staring at Sona, a single tear finally falls down her cheek as well.

right-aligned image
There is a knock on the door front door before the door opens. In walks a young-looking Elven male, eyes and face stony and emotionless, yet he walks in and stares directly at Sona.

He stands there, blocking the doorway, just staring at Sona. A puzzled expression crosses his eyes, then he looks to the other people in the tavern, from Willima, to Durra, to Darla and Sona.

He speaks in Sperethial: "I heard your song while I was walking past. Will you be performing here tonight?", then again to the others, in a thickly accented Throalic, "She is to sing here tonight, yes?"

Darla does not take her eyes off of Sona, but answers the stranger. "Yes... yes she is."

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Last edited by Karhald; 07-26-2018 at 11:09 PM.
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Old 07-30-2018, 03:59 AM
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SonaSona glances with tear-stained eyes between the visitor, Darla, and her mother’s ghost grinning from the back of the tavern. She had begun to cry during her own song without realizing. ”I... I... need some water...” she finally manages to get out.

Hurriedly, the elf stands and escapes to the kitchen, taking her viol with her but forgetting the bow on the stage. Propping the instrument on a chair, Sona takes the first clean cup she can find and plunges it into a water bucket. As soon as she sips it she spits it out, the bucket she had chosen being full of soapy water and dirtied dishes. The elf finds a new cup and clean water, inspecting more carefully before gulping it all down in one go.

”What was that?

Sona had felt that... not just played it, but felt it. It had been incredible and exhilarating, but terrible and sickening as well, and the latter had far outweighed the former, in her mind. Sona was shaking with clammy anxiousness and more than a little sweaty. She grabbed a spare rag from her travel gear and wiped her face clean, but fresh sweat quickly came to replace the old. ”What was my mother doing there? Sona would not find a satisfying answer to that question.

Once she had given up on calming down, Sona finally leaves the sanctuary of the kitchen to return to Darla. For the first time, Sona is not smitten silly by the woman. ”Darla, I... She knows she needs to be honest. ”...I must confess. Yes, I am an adept. I had planned not to tell you though. I don’t normally play like that. I don’t think I can do it again. I know I can’t! I haven’t for years! I-“

As Sona begins to panic and ramble she doesn’t even realize as she switches into Sperethiel. ”I’m a failed troubadour, Darla. I won’t be able to do that again, I’m so sorry. I want to, I do, but I can’t...” Sona sighs. With a look as if she is on the verge of tears again, she meets Darla’s eyes. ”You... still want me to play, don’t you?’

Her last question was foolish. Sona knows she could leave the Last Laugh right now, this instant, and never come back. She won’t have to suffer Darla and Willima’s expectations. She won’t have to suffer her own singing. She won’t have to see her mother grinning and cackling at her.

But part of Sona wants to suffer just one last song. It is an addiction, a drug, Sona can tell. The rational part of her knows that there would be a hundred “last songs” after this one. She knows that as much as it hurts, it feels better than burning out one’s own ears with a wretched din. And that glimmer of hope... that tiny, little glimmer of hope that maybe... just maybe... ”Maybe I can make it a love song... a real one... if I try again...”

That tiny hope is an even worse drug. Unlike the song itself, it will give her nothing beautiful or good in return... just more heartbreak.
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Old 07-30-2018, 10:26 AM
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In the kitchenWhen Sona is in the kitchen, she sees a deep pan of water over a spread of hot coals. The water is steaming, and above the steaming pan is a multi-tiered rack holding rolled towels. Most of the towels are clean, while, and appear to be damp, but the towels on the bottom row, just above the boiling pan of water, are riddled with small spots of browns, yellows, and blacks.

The kitchen is more humid than the rest of the tavern, but it is not so extreme as be unbearable, merely a little uncomfortable.

The stone-oven appears to be filled with baking bread, and next to the oven are several bowls with clean linens over the top. Sona can spot what appears to be rising dough through a gap in one of them.

One one wall of the kitchen are a series of shelves filled with pots in which hundreds of herbs are growing. There is a window facing that wall, and it is likely that the morning sun streams into the kitchen and the plants can take advantage of that. A closed and barred door, with the bar on the kitchen side, leads outside. Next to the door is a large bucket filled with kitchen scraps, all vegetable matter.

On the opposite wall holding the window, vines grow all around the window. The vines hold blooming flowers that add faint but pleasant smell to the room. In front of these flowering vines, strings hang down from the ceiling, drying flowers of the same variety as from the vine are hanging from these strings.

On the stove is a kettle of water, but the fire from the stove is too low to bring it to a rapid boil.
The Last LaughThe Elf man, Durra, and Willima are gone. Only Darla stands by the stage, her red hair awash in purple, blue, and green light from the colored bowls. She is leaning forward, hands on the back of the chair she had been sitting on, head down, her hair concealing her face. As Sona approaches, Darla lifts her head, her eyes are puffy with tears, mouth slightly slack from the exhaustion of the sobbing she was trying so desperately to gain control of.

She takes a deep breath, steeling herself as Sona confesses her failures as an Adept.

She raises her left hand to her face, wiping away tears with her wrist, and looks at Sona, a strand of ruby hair stuck to her cheek.

"Sona," she begins, "this, this is my fault. I didn’t know that you would be affected this way by your own..." she gasps a sobbing breath, "incredible music. That was just incredible, I’ve never heard anything like it, it was pure tragic beauty, I was in absolute awe."

She steps around the chair, hands weakly clinging to each other, fingers loosely intertwined and resting before her pelvis as she steps toward Sona.

"But doing that brought you pain and sorrow. You dug so deeply for me, and you..." she tries to choke back the tears, but talking makes it impossible, she continues, speaking through her choking sobs, "you... you did that because of me, and I", standing before Sona, just inches away, she reaches out with trembling fingers to take Sona’s hands into her own. "*sob* I am so sorry I did *sob* this to you."

She throws her arms around Sona and hugs her fiercely, though her body shakes with emotion,

"I’m so sorry. Please stay, forgive me, please stay. You don’t have to play tonight if you don’t want to. Play how you wish, play with a guarded heart, play baudy drinking songs, or don’t play, but please stay."

She pulls back, her hands on Sona’s shoulders, and looks into the wounded Elf’s glimmering silver eyes, pleading, begging with her own viridescent eyes, tears welling and spilling down her cheeks. Her quivering face is framed by a fiery lace, plastered to her forehead and cheeks with tears and sweat.

"S-stay?"

Deep down in Sona’s heart, where scars of emotional abuse are thick and hard, the lack of a memory stirs. In that void, she realizes that she never heard the story of Evelyn the Betrayed, she made it up on the spot, but she knows deep within her, that the story is true.

Light streams into the room through the open front door.
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Last edited by Karhald; 08-03-2018 at 09:20 PM.
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Old 08-04-2018, 03:03 AM
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Sona Darla’s pleas fill Sona with another dose of that sickening sadness, as if the song had hidden within Darla and is now echoing back to its source. Sona cannot tell if the Song is still eating at Darla, or if Darla is normally such a melancholic person. The memory of the red headed woman divulging the secrets of her past and her mother lead Sona to believe the latter. ”She wears her heart on her sleeve.” It is not just melancholy. It had been the inviting warmth when Sona had first arrive, and the playfulness at issuing Sona her first challenge. Sona wishes she could be so open.

“I can learn.”

Sona stands stunned for a few more moments as Darla embraces her, wondering if she should play again. She wants to play a love song, a real one. That tiny, terrible little hope in her heart wins, and Sona finally wraps her arms around Darla. When Darla pulls away, she is treated to the most genuine smile Sona has shown in years.

“Staying.”

OOC
Dice Perception STEP 7(D12):
d2-1rh1 (1 (Rerolls: greater than 1))-1 Total = 0
d12cx9,12t 11 Running Total = 11
Perception, as requested


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Old 08-04-2018, 09:56 AM
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The Last LaughWhen Sona hugs Darla back, her hands pressing on the woman's back, she can feel that there are a few spots on Darla's back that are hard and rigid, each about the size of a coin, one a bit longer. The stiffness is not that much unlike the feel of a thick scab on skin. Slightly flexible, but fairly hard. Like a patch of boiled leather. Darla's body seems to wince slightly, as if there was a little pain from Sona pressing against the spots.

Darla pulls back from Sona's embrace, body still shaking with emotion. She reaches up and wipes the hair from the side of her face and looks down, unable to bring herself to meet Sona's eyes.

"Th-thank you. I'm sorry."

She fans herself with her hand and takes a couple of steps back as the front door darkens slightly with the form of Willima entering the tavern, carrying a large burlap sack filled with potatoes.

"Ol' Varid was rolling by with his wagon, thought I'd grab a sack of... Darla? are you still crying? What has gotten into you?"

Darla blushes a deep rose color that is only augmented by her messy hair.

"I don't know. I just can't... I can't stop."

Willima casts a curious glance at Sona, the stage, then back to Darla. "Well, we've got to be getting ready. That feller that came in, that was Dantreth Kalrivan! He said he's going to be bringing his associates here for dinner. Darla, he's the head of the Trader's Consortium! He asked me to reserve fifteen seats by the stage! We're going to need to..."

As she sets down the sack of potatoes, she gives a small cry of pain, and moves her hand to gingerly touch her back.

"Willima!" Darla calls out in alarm, "What's wrong? Did you... " A look of shock and sorrow crosses Darla's face, and she swallows her tears, rushing to her friend's side. "When did we last do your poultice? I should have done that the moment you returned!"

"I'm fine, lass, I'm fine. It'll take a lot more than..."

"To your room, now, Willi." the Dwarven woman offers no more resistance, and heads to the side hallway while she begins to untie the strings on her blouse. In a moment she has turned the corner, out of sight.

Darla turns to Sona, "I’m sorry, I need to take care of Willi, please eat, I’ll be right out with some more bread, it looks like Durra was very hungry."

She runs to the kitchens and returns with another loaf of bread, fresh from the stone oven, steaming and smelling like heaven. She places it down in the table next to the knife, then begins to slice it into smaller, daintier portions. "I still want to cry, and I don’t know why. I must have surrendered myself fully to your song."

She ladles out another bowl of stew, then produces a small packet of dried herbs, and sprinkles a little on top. "Here you go, it’s still hot, please enjoy, I’ll be *sniff* back in twenty minutes or so."

She rushes back into the kitchens, re-emerging a few moments later with a tray filled with steaming towels, the stained ones from the bottom of the rack.
ooc:oh, look, a whole sack of potatoes on the floor.

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Old 08-04-2018, 02:30 PM
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SonaSona can do little more than watch as Willima and Darla run off. It is best if she doesn't ask questions... but the spots and Willima's back pain leave worried thoughts in her mind. "Do they have the same injuries?" The shapes and patterns had been strange to the touch. What would make marks like that? And were they scabs? Burns?

Whatever the answer is, Sona will have to wait to discover it. It had been an... an emotional day. The stories of nasty scars can wait until tomorrow. "If I want to help them, I should plan for their guests of honor." Sona can surmise easily enough that in a large city like this, the Trader's Consortium holds immeasurable power over the Last Laugh. A favorable review from the head could make Willima and Darla's year, while a poor one could ruin them.

Sona glances over to the food. She isn't terribly hungry anymore after all the crying and stress, but she also knows she won't want to eat right before she performs, and that she won't get a break from performing for several hours, likely. Begrudgingly, the elf sits down and begins to slowly sip spoonfuls of stew.

"The elf and his associates are coming... business meeting? If so, I should let them have enough opportunities to speak. If I make the room burst into tears like last time, no one will eat." That is, assuming Sona even can muster the same level of emotion as she just had. "When we open, I should start strong, draw people in from the street. Play loud, play excited music. The first patrons can listen while they wait on food. Once we start to fill, calm down, let the crowds waiting outside draw people in, and provide a good atmosphere. From there, I can watch..." What was the name Willima had said? "... I can watch Dantreth and his associates to gauge what I play. If they are looking to me or growing quiet, I'll play to draw all eyes and ears. If they are happily talking, I fade into the background."

Again, that wriggle of doubt creeps into Sona's mind. "What if I can't play like that?" Failing to do so could cripple Darla and Willima's chance of impressing Kalrivan.

"They've already done so much for me..." Willima had been Sona's first friend in this town, and led her to meet two more. Darla had drawn out Sona's talent. Both had been so kind to a stranger. Sona wants more than anything to pay them back. "If it weren't for them, I'd be in some seedy, mud-caked bar and sleeping in a storage shed tonight."

Sona looks over the tavern floor. Part of her wants to move a table over near the stage and set up fifteen chairs for the girls, but she remembers the speed and excitement Willima and Darla had shown earlier arranging the bowls on the stage for Sona. "They would probably work faster if I didn't touch anything." That leaves only one thing left.

Picking up her viol and her discarded bow, Sona hops back on stage and begins practicing.

OOC I tell the potatoes that I will always remember out time together, but I cannot forgive their betrayal. I've met someone new now, someone that won't hurt me. It's a bag of turnips. I still love the potatoes, I always will. I'll even visit again, whenever I eat German food... but we can never be together. Goodbye, potatoes.
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Old 08-06-2018, 11:02 PM
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The Last LaughAs the sounds ebb and flow from her practice, Sona notices how some trills and higher notes seem to ring rather clear in the tavern. The stage truly does sit in the perfect place for song.

After a while, she looks up from her practice and battles with self doubt to see Willima and Darla standing in the hallway, Darla with her hand on Willima's shoulder, and both of them with broad smiles on their faces.

Darla gestures to Sona in an Elven gesture of gratitude, and walks into the kitchens with the sack of taters while Willima begins to move about the tavern, unhindered by back pains, pulling tables and chairs closer to the stage.

She pipes up for a moment when Sona takes a small rest. "That truly is beautiful, I've heard players try their darndest to play songs to make you smile, but even their greatest efforts sound nothing like your simple practices."

She stops for a moment, looking at the stage and glass cowls that glow fiercely with colored light from the crystals underneath them, for a moment she chews on her bottom lip in though before looking at Sona again. "Also heard some real masters play too, I dinnae have an ear for who is the best, but I can still feel your song, and whatever you did, you really cracked Darla, haven't seen her release tears like that in years."

She walks back to the bar, moving around mugs and finely carved Elven wood wine cups, muttering to herself.

"Nope, not like that at all."

Willima stops and leans forward, elbows on a low section of the bar, hands cupping her pretty face, "What do you think of Durra? I be thinkin' we could use some muscle every couple of days when we get new casks delivered, always a real challenge to haul them back and forth from the cellar and he be lookin' for work and a meal I think."

From the kitchens, a tea kettle begins to whistle.
OOC:The sack of potatoes stares at you with dozens and dozens of eyes. It does not understand what you are talking about. The corn understands, however, he heard EVERYTHING.

Better give Sona some love, 500 legend points for, makin' friends, awesome RP, and using Sona's magic to completely crush the will of an unsuspecting Darla, sending her to a dark and sorrowful place, a place she'll only be able to come back from by building emotional barriers to never let anyone near her heart again.

Or maybe she'll have a nice cup of tea instead. Either works, I'm not fussy.
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Old 08-07-2018, 03:55 AM
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SonaSona glances up from her practice and planning, happy to see that Willima and Darla are back to their normal selves. Although curiosity eats away at her, Sona thinsk it is better to let the discussion of what had happened to another time. At the very least, she should let the two prepare for their important guest without distraction.

Willima pipes up as Sona rests the viol on her lap to dust off the resin from her practice. At first, the dwarf sounds as if she is complimenting Sona, and the elf smiles. However, as Willima continues, a strange hint of hostility appears... no, not quite that... perhaps suspicion, or uneasy? A hint of uneasy creeps into Willima's words. To Sona, it seems almost as if the dwarf is really talking to herself, sorting through the strange occurrences of the day by voicing her thoughts out loud. Sona doesn't respond to Willima's comments on music or Darla, not entirely sure of where the dwarf's thoughts lie. When Willima switches topics to Durra, Sona cannot help but feel as if that is not what she really has on her mind.

Regardless, Sona finally responds, and nods in affirmation. "You might consider making him a guard, too. He's not just strong and imposing, but he's patient and thoughtful, and with nothing to prove to anyone but himself. He'd be more likely to calm down drunkards before a brawl breaks out that to just beat them up afterwards. Although..." Sona gestures at the room. "... I don't know how many fights break out here. Seems like you girls cater to a more civilized crowd."

A whistle from the kitchen signals an eager teapot waiting to be poured. "Darla must be the type to need quiet and solitude to calm down." Before, Darla had managed to gain her composure most after Willima and Durra had left, when Sona herself had disappeared to the kitchen.

Sona looks back to Willima, and asks, "By the way... when does the tavern open? First I need to move my bags from the kitchen to my room... I don't want them in your way during business. But then... would I have time to perform a little ritual? I need you and Darla for half an hour, maybe a little more. Then, if I can... I'd like to take a catnap before opening. It's been a long day on the road."

OOCI need to stop forgetting this gosh-darned stat block. I went to all that trouble to copy it wholesale from you.

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Old 08-08-2018, 12:54 AM
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The Last Laugh
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Willima barely contains her laughter at the mention of hiring Durra as a guard, then nods in approval of Sona's estimation of the Laugh's need for security.

"Aye, worst that happens round here is we have to slap hands away from our bums. Anyone gets too out of hand, and I've got a cudgel keep under the bar. Haven't had to use it in a while, we're in a good part of Bartertown, lots of rich merchants live in this section, so the guard keeps the riffraff away. Those sorts stay in the Mud where they belong."

Her eyes wander to the front door, which she had closed when she entered with the potatoes.

"I was a bit surprised at Durra as well. Most of the folk who live in the Mud aren't the brightest or friendliest sort, but he's been a real dear. We whispered a little bit when you started your song, and it sounds like he's got a future ahead of him once he gets his training started."

She looks back at Sona with a smile, then stands up and produces a It's a brass key, but there is a fine silver filigree inlaid into the shaft of the key., with leaves adorning the handle. It's quite lovely, and made in a distinctly Elven style.key from beneath the bar and hands it to Sona. "Now aye, we'll be gettin' right busy pretty soon. The Laugh is open just before the shops close, usually around sundown, so that's coming up in a couple hours. If ye want to be takin' a nap, that's fine, you must be exhausted carrying all that on your back. I'll show you yer room, we don't have many to rent, just three, and none of them are taken right now." She stops and turns to face Sona, "But what's this about a... ritual?" Her tone and posture become quite guarded. She's somewhere inside of the area where suspicious and curious meet, as ritual could mean so many things. "Ye be a questor, or something?"
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Old 08-08-2018, 02:02 AM
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SonaThe elf takes the key and looks at it for a few good seconds, admiring the craftsmanship, before wrapping it up in her palm with her fingers. "The ritual is a small ordeal. It helps me put a little magic in my music... well, in theory. If I use too much magic in a day, I wear myself out. The ritual refills me. All adepts of any path can perform one."

Sona stands up to collect her things, giving Willima a smile as she does to put the dwarf at ease. "In the end, I'm just going to put on a performance for you two, although nothing like the last one. At the end, I should be ready to perform the whole night." Sona pauses and taps a finger to her lip. "Well... I suppose I don't need the ritual... but I assumed it would be preferable to be at my best for Dantreth Kalrivan and associates."

The elf's voice takes a teasing tone at the end as she glances back at Willima with a wink.

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Old 08-08-2018, 02:48 AM
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The Last LaughWillima's face relaxes as she realizes what the ritual entails.

"Well, if that be all there is to it, I don't see any reason why not. Can we be preparing the room while ye play, or do we need to be sitting and watching? Oh! Can ye do it now before we start cooking up a storm? Darla! Is the tea ready?!"

"Coming!" calls Darla from the kitchens, and in moments she emerges with a tray that has the tea kettle and three carved wooden cups.

OOC:If they're mostly paying attention, it should be good enough, or do it right now.
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Old 08-09-2018, 12:39 PM
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SonaSona smiles widely. She has been waiting for a chance to try this.

"Great! If you two lovely ladies would give me just a moment more of your attention..." In a swift motion Sona scoops up the three bowls, removing the crystals and placing them safely within her pouch. Then, as suddenly as she had picked the bowls up, Sona tosses two of them into the air. A mischievous tint colors her grin as she stands motionless, the bowls slowing their rise high into the air, almost touching the ceiling... "Perfect, remember that height later..." The bowls begin falling, faster and faster, threatening to rupture against the stage. It is only when both are almost level with her head that Sona throws the third bowl into the air in a swift, dramatic fashion, her arm raised high and poised, her back arched backwards, her head held high into the air. Her left foot raised ever so slightly above the floor, allowing her to rotate like a dancer in a music box. With her low hand she snags one of the falling bowls behind her back, and immediately she shifts her position seamlessly, spinning her body as she bends forward. Her lower hand with the bowl launches upward, flinging the bowl once more away from the earth, and her raised hand ducks low, in line with her cocked knee, in time with her body, flowing like a waterfall to catch the second falling bowl mere centimeters before it strikes the stage. Sona continues to spin, throwing the bowl just like others just as catches one with her other hand. As she rotates and dances, the elf's blue hair whips around, flashes of colored light ricochet around the room and across her azure skin, augmenting a bright white flash of a joyous smile.

"It's working! It's working!" Sona giggles like a kid.

Remembering the height she had thrown the bowls earlier, Sona catches two of the bowls at once and then holds them dropping her body low by bending one knee so far as to almost sit on her own heel, and extending her other leg straight out. Then she extends, hurling the bowls upward as she leaps off the ground with a flip. In the middle of her flip she catches the third bowl and returns to the ground with it before repeating the maneuver, throwing the bowl as she flips, and catching the other two before she lands.

Sona laughs hard enough that she begins to feel winded, and decides to wrap up the show. The next time she catches two bowls at once, she does not leap into the air again. Instead she resumes her spin, rotating and bending low at the knees and waist, gently placing the bowls on the stage on either side of her. Then in one smooth motion she catches the third and final bowl, spinning into a sitting cross-legged position with the glassware on her lap. Sona beams with pride as she gives a sly shrug and flips her hands out to the side, palms up. She lets out one more giggle before shuffling a little in her seat to achieve a more relaxed position with one leg extended off the stage.

"Before I came to Bartertown, I was traveling with a troupe of T'skrang acrobats. One of the girls there - D'jinean - would juggle daggers while dancing on a tightrope. We became fast friends, so I ended up teaching her how to sing, and she taught me how to do... well, this." Sona gestures at the bowls. "Admittedly, I never got to the part where I began using the tightrope... plus, the bowls are shaped and weighted differently, and I don't have a tail, so... I improvised a few things."

The elf stands up and returns the bowls to where they belong, filling each with one of the crystals she had pocketed before the show. Then Sona takes up her pack and slings it over her shoulder, followed shortly by the viol stowed safely in her sack. She pulls the key Willima had given her into her palm and bounces it a couple times before looking back up at her audience of two.

"And there it ends, for such is the truth of the thing."

DamageWoundsWound Threshold/Unconsciousness/DeathHealth RatingsPhysical/Mystic/SocialDefensesKarmaRecoveryStatus Effect
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9/9/11
4/4
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