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Heroes of song!

Tags: Bardur,  Isobel,  Loren,  Brev,  Riolan

Short Summary: The Dwarven Skald Bardur performs his new work in the Fiery Flagon, eulogizing Dwarves and Dale-landers involved in the recent goblin conflict.
Date (real-life): 2013-03-17
Scene Location: Fiery Flagon
Date (in-game): June 3058
Time of Day: Evening
Weather: Rain
Fiery Flagon
 
The Fiery Flagon has long been a nexus for gossip and comradary in Esgaroth. The room is still scattered with evenly placed tables, each piece of furniture well smoothed and ready to provide a comfortable seat and a place for a mug to the inn's patrons. Against one wall, a large brick fireplace stands proudly, a number of iron tools and an extra pile of wood huddled on the hearth. To the side of the fireplace there is a large window with thick glass which looks out onto Bowman Street, the words "The Fiery Flagon" painted in common across the pane so they might be read from the road.
 
The bar occupies another wall of the room, standing as a stout guard before the neat rows of bottles, glasses, boxes and kegs. It is perhaps this piece of heavy, dark wood that shows the most evidence of a recent fire. The base of the bar still shows the scorchmarks from the flames, although the entire bar has been polished so much that it will neither chip nor flake ever again. Carved deeply into the center of the bar is the tavern's sigil: a mug overflowing with flame.
 
Behind the bar a doorway vanishes into a kitchen area, whee rumour has it a small courtyard can be found.
 
Obvious exits:
 Up the stairwell leads to Sleeping Quarters.
 Swinging Doors leads to Center of Bowman Street.
 Back Door leads to The Market Square.

----

Dale-Lands Time and Weather Service

Real Time: Sun Mar 17 16:16:28 2013 MST
 
Dale-Lands Time:
Monday, late night on a stormy summer's night, June 13 of 3058

----

Rain drips steadily from the eaves of the Fiery Flagon in a surreptitious reminder that there's more to summer than sunshine. Perhaps that's why the tavern is so busy this evening, rather than the fact that one of the Dwarves - that black-bearded one who's neither merchant nor warder - has announced his intent to sing a new song for the good folk of Esgaroth. If nothing else, it will ensure that those whom chance or curiosity have brought here tonight will think twice before slipping away.
 
Currently Bardur son of Mardur is to be found over in one corner surrounded by a group of his fellows, marked out by the fact that whilst most of them clutch mugs, he is alternately rubbing resin on the bow for his viol and protesting vociferously to a serving-maid's suggestion: "No, I do /not/ wish to stand on a table. That is not how the Folk of the Mountain make music." Blue eyes flash angrily at the suggestion he might be taken for a mere tumbler!

[Isobel(#23796)] Ah, 'tis not always easy being short and one who can sympathize is perhaps Lady Isobel. Though she is not of dwarf stature she is still lacking in the height department and that may explain the frown currently on her face. The noblewoman stands by the bar, facing the room, and is clearly looking for someone, obviously without much success. However, someone is about to find her.
 
Loren steps into the tavern, coming from Bowman Street, and makes his way to the bar while scattering nods and greetings left and right. He spies Isobel and hesitates a moment; still, in the end he approaches her, nodding respectfully. "Lady Isobel, good evening."
 
The scholar's distracted look fades and her head jerks to the side to see who speaks to her. She returns the nod and gives the man a faint smile. "Ah, Loren! Good evening to you! Fancy seeing you in here?" Briefly her eyebrows rise to make the statement a question.
 
Loren shrugs and brushes the front of his tunic, maybe reflexively. "Aye, well, just came off my shift so I figured I'd stop by and drink a pint before I go home."
 
"Of course. I myself am looking for Brev. How is Arla's cold, is she still not feeling well?" And they go on exchanging pleasantries until an awkward silence falls.

[Brev(#30997)] Of course, the person Isobel's looking for might not actually be there yet. Brev ducks through the back entry from the Market Square looking decidedly wet: the grey cloak is drenched and those wisps of dark hair that have escaped their tie lie plastered to his face. Some time is spent fiddling with the new brooch that pins his cloak but eventually he succeeds in loosing its stranglehold and stretches up to hangs the cloak on a high peg noone has noticed before glancing around. His features brighten and instantly he's on his way over to the bar, alternately ducking round obstacles and giving unwilling patrons a nudge in the right direction.
 
"I see your Excellence brought an escort," he quips, sliding a damp arm around Isobel's shoulders before turning to Loren. "You offered to buy drinks, right, Sergeant?" His mouth stretches in a lopsided smirk.

Bardur, meanwhile, has negotiated a compromise: tables have been pulled back to clear some floor space and only a single stool remains. The Skald approaches this and spends some time settling himself to his satisfaction with the viol between his knees and then delays things even further by making a show of plucking at the strings to test their tuning. Conversation, which had grown somewhat muted, strikes up anew as patrons lose interest.

[Isobel(#23796)] Riolan's little adventure (some might say mishap) in the Flagon a few days ago does not appear to have deterred him to such an extent that he is keeping away. He is, however, decidedly calmer and quieter this time - perhaps a concession he had to make in order to buy any ale at all! He sits with a handful of friends, conversing in easy, low tones and his gaze wanders over the ever-shifting landscape of the tavern at times. He spots Brev coming in and raises a hand in greeting before returning his wandering focus to his company.

[Isobel(#23796)] "Oh no," Isobel protests, a grin already forming, "I'm sure Loren is much too busy watching for actual theats." She slides an arm around the carpenter's waist and looks up at him, one brow raised in query: "Or do you mean to imply I am a criminal or a dangerous element that ought to be kept an eye on?"
 
"Wotcher, Brev!" Loren grins and leans against the bar. He doesn't say anything one way or another, clearly content to let the other man handle the question. Instead the sergeant's gaze drifts towards the centre of the room where something appears to be happening. "Looks like a dwarf is taking the floor," he notes idly.

[Brev(#30997)] Brev (who alas fails to notice Riolan's wave, so preoccupied is he with ... other things) smirks at Isobel's question. "I thought the good Sergeant might be required to keep those criminal elements from designs on your noble person. After all," there's a glint of mirth in his eyes, "according to our friend here I'm a well-known disturber of the peace. Why, he's given me quite the reputation!" Loren is awarded a mocking bow.
 
The Sergeant's comment causes him to glance across the room. "Is that the one with what looks like a Dwarf-sized coffin with ropes of gut strung across it? Kiern, I thought it was a torture instrument."

Bardur is finally satisfied with his viol's tuning; however, he does not call for silence. Rather he nods to one of his fellows, who begins to beat out a slow, steady rhythm on a table (fairly gently for the moment, in case Brue's watching). The viol soon joins it in simple, stately melody: solemn notes in a minor key. When the first rendition of the tune is complete (and hopefully the tavern crowd has fallen quiet!), the Dwarf begins to sing in a deep-throated voice whilst the viol holds a two-note drone:

    "Doughty Dwarf and Barding brave
    Strove, and sought their land to save;
    Listen, then, and learn each name,
    Living legends, long their fame!
 
 
[Isobel(#23796)] Loren's brows rise. His mouth twitches and he dryly remarks, "Whatever designs you have on the good lady I suspect we would all be happier if you kept them to yourself, Master Brev."
 
Open-mouthed Isobel stares at the sergeant for a moment and then shakes her head. Before she can speculate on the nature of the instrument (if the singer is bad it could still prove to be a torture instrument!) the dwarf begins to play. One by one the cliques around him pipe down, listening, and thus the strains of Bardur's song easily reaches those by the bar.

[Brev(#30997)] Brev smiles innocently back at Loren (that look /is/ innocence, isn't it?) before falling silent, his arm still resting on Isobel's shoulder and his hand curling protectively round her. As the strains of Dwarven music cause most conversation to cease he manages to attract a server's attention with a jerk of his head and wave of his free arm. Soon one wine and two ales are being poured.
 
In the lull following that first verse Brev murmurs to his companions, very quietly, "Heroes? Thought their chants were all about menus."

Between each verse of the Dwarven Skald's song there is a pause while the viol takes the lead again, swooping and diving in an increasingly complex set of variations whilst Dwarven voices take up the original melody in a wordless hum. Bardur's singing continues:
 
    "Dauntless Dorn in daring deed
    Winded horn in hour of need.
    Orc-kin faced he, forced them out,
    Wily warder, strong-armed scout!
 
    Bear-strong Bernar, bloodshed bringing
    Set his burnished blade to ringing,
    Brought the Bardings to the chase,
    Braved black barb and mauling mace.
 
[Isobel(#23796)] Well, no one has thrown anything yet so that's a good sign, right? Loren stifles his chuckle at Brev's words but only because of a Look from Isobel. Instead he lifts his flagon of ale and salutes the other two before looking back at the dwarven singer.
 
Isobel's features register surprise; she glances up at Brev and softly whispers, "Did Lord Bernar really do all that? He must be very brave."

[Brev(#30997)] Brev, despite his mutterings of earlier, refrains from any further smart remarks (his lips do twitch as he glances across at Loren, but he keeps it silent). His amber eyes show a flicker of surprise kin to Isobel's as he glances down at the woman. "Aye, he is that," he murmurs. "He'd hardly be a leader of men otherwise. Bold and brash and strong as an ox. But I have hopes that along with his father's brawn he's inherited a little of his uncle's wisdom."
 
He's earning frowning glances from those near enough to be disturbed by the length of the murmurs, so he ceases and instead takes a gulp or two of ale.

Bardur, meanwhile, continues to alternate names, Dwarven-sounding and Mannish. Now he's singing:
 
    "Nimble Neleth, night-dark scorning,
    Struck and stabbed and spurned all warning;
    Arrow-pierced, yet undeterred
    Drove back dark with deed and word.
 
    Wrathful Hrodwyn, bright blade wielding
    Faced the foul-spawned filth unyielding ...
    Turned back troll, and goblin foe,
    Sent them shrieking, scattered woe.
 
[Isobel(#23796)] The returning soldiers must have carried some of these tales back home to share them before Bardur did - the name of Hrodwyn brings ragged cheers from different parts of the room, not least Riolan's table. He cheers with the rest of his friends though there's no glint of recognition in his eyes.

[Brev(#30997)] Brev, for his part, looks amused. "Wonder what she'll make of this, the Hrodwyn woman? Don't see her here ..." He twists round to peer across the sea of heads then shrugs and gives up, bringing his ale-mug mug back to his lips.

[Isobel(#23796)] "I met her!" Isobel exclaims suddenly and squints in the direction of the dwarf. "In the armour shop. Perhaps he was the one who was there?"

The Dwarves do not cheer for their kin, though there is much nodding of heads and wagging of beards whenever one is mentioned. Rather, they eye this rowdy Mannishness with stony disdain. Bardur ignores both groups, caught up in his chant:
 
    "Gallant Ganon grim-faced stood,
    Hammer hefted, goblins hewed.
    Stone-skin scarred, black blood to spill,
    Hard his hand and firm his will!
 
    Dun-skinned Brev in darting dance
    Taunted troll in test of chance;
    Sawbones' hand no healing brings,
    Shining spear holds sharp-edged sting!
 
[Isobel(#23796)] Sharp the sting may be but does it have anything on the edge in Isobel's voice as she slowly turns to regard Brev and asks: "Troll?"
 
Loren, who was staring at the carpenter in open surprise, wisely looks away.

[Brev(#30997)] Brev had nodded to Isobel's earlier words without lowering his mug. Now, as that Dwarven singer versifies him without warning, he chokes. There's a moment's red-faced silence whilst he sets the ale-mug down but then he mumbles something incoherent about 'poetic licence'. Hmm ...

Bardur, oblivious to any reactions to his words, goes on listing names with a verse devoted to each one. Will this song ever end? On he goes...
 
    "Watchful Wray the woods patrolled,
    Gruesome creatures gained no hold.
    Few her words yet wise her thoughts,
    Goblin cunning came to naught.
 
    Adept Arzi bent his bow,
    Loosed his shafts to lash the foe;
    Able archer, undismayed
    When his skills him target made.

    Gravely, Gerik kept his guard,
    Careful Karath. Harried hard,
    Still with scything blade he swung;
    Goblins worsted, glory won.
 
[Isobel(#23796)] Isobel's narrowed eyes declare that she's not convinced but for now Brev is saved not by the bell but by the dwarf! The song continues and captures the noblewoman's attention once again.
 
"Seems like it never ends, doesn't it?" Loren mutters (mostly to Brev it must be said) and takes another pull from his mug.

[Brev(#30997)] Brev nods wordlessly at Loren's mutter. He doesn't touch his own mug again but there's still a rather glazed look on his features as the Dwarf's recitative continues. He still has his arm round Isobel; now he bends closer and rests his cheek against her hair. She's not actually walked out on him yet, surely that's a good sign?

Now, at last, the Skald looks up at his audience to address them with a knowing expression on his craggy features:
 
    "Bold-tongued Bardur shaped this song,
    Wrought these words, to linger long:
    Hearken, hear now, hold them true:
    Heroes all - high praise is due!"
 
And with thatt the tale of names is done. The music draws to a close with a triumphant chord to accompany those final words.

[Isobel(#23796)] Brev isn't the only one looking a little glazed and after the dwarven bard finishes there are a few beats of silence. Then cheers and clapping fill the gap, some folks banging their mugs on the table (and one fool calling to hear it 'one more time!'), and Bardur will surely find himself treated to more than one ale this night. Though whether or not his pride (indeed, there seems to be nothing stunted or dwarfish about it!) will stand for being asked to sing such songs as Deep down in Finney or Red Nell remains to be seen...
 
Loren tilts his head back and upends his mug. "Right, I'm off home," he tells the other two and sketches a slight bow. "You two enjoy your evening." There's a gleam of amusement as he murmurs, "Remember the tricks I showed you, Lady Isobel. You know where to kick him." And with that serving as his parting words the sergeant is off.
 
For her part Isobel smiles sweetly at Brev. "Taunting trolls and Taurdains, hm?"

[Brev(#30997)] Brev looses his grip on Isobel for long enough to add his applause to the rest. When Loren excuses himself he nods his farewell, adding, "Give my regards to Arla."
 
Then he's looking back at Isobel. "Perhaps I like playing with fire?" he suggests flippantly. "After all, I'm swift enough to avoid retribution ... mostly. What of you, Isobel the Incomparable? Should I have that Dwarf fellow write another verse, eh?"

Bardur accepts the cheers as his rightful due, bowing stiffly to all assembled, though those who can read Dwarven expressions might deduce that there's a look of satisfaction in his blue eyes. "An ale for each verse!" someone shouts.
 
Thus it is that both singing and drinking will continue, growing increasingly rowdy as Brue's best takes effect. Even Dwarves can imbibe too much eventually! At least Bardur has remembered to safely stow his beloved viol in its hardwood case with the green velvet lining ...


Date added: 2013-03-18 03:18:36    Hits: 120
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