A Khati Storytime - Hearts Shared
Tonight, the house of Fidante sponsor this storytime where not one but two stories will be shared. Hear about the power of true love and what might happen when two hearts are shared willingly to unlock strength through fidelity. Powerful tales of hummingbird, rose and the whip-poor-will and the stars above. A valuable practical lesson on what faith, love and loyalty joins together in a time when those things are sorely tested by your enemies.
As always, clues shared afterwards.
Hooks: Spirits, Stars, Stargazing, Fidelity, Theology, Occult
Aug. 7, 2022, 4 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Compact - The Golden Hart Social & Gaming House - Main Hall
Comments and Log
Aconite has left the wildcard table.
Briar, the fleet and agile shrike have been dismissed.
Alejandro, a gravely sober middle-aged Torean have been dismissed.
Tove has joined the comfy sofas.
Lucie has joined the comfy sofas.
Raven has joined the comfy sofas.
Briar, the fleet and agile shrike have been dismissed.
Alejandro, a gravely sober middle-aged Torean have been dismissed.
2 Farshaw trained guards, Suzette - a Westrock Aerie Page leave, following Ryhalt.
Comedenti, the Calderan Bearded Vulture arrives, following Someone wearing A porcelain white sand phoenix skull mask with softly glowing eyes.
Someone wearing A porcelain white sand phoenix skull mask with softly glowing eyes drops saffron shadow play stage.
Lucie has left the comfy sofas.
Ann has joined the a handsome wooden bar with steel footrest and swivel barstools.
Gianna has joined the table by the fire.
All who have entered the Golden Hart have passed under words that say "Life, Luck and Love" above them, escaping for a moment the chilly touch of winter outside. Music is played by Saffron people dressed in outfits with feathers and when guests are shown in, they're each given a chance to take a beaded necklace from the carved wooden bowl that has beautiful exotic feathers and a bear claw pendant carved with a spiral from the base to the tip.
Candles are extinguished one by one as the large shadow play stage which was dark is now lit with a pale golden glow and from behind the stage walks a black painted tall and gaunt figure with birds and flowers painted on one side of him and trees and mountains on the other side. On his chest are birds circling a roaring bear. The phoenix's eyes glow blue as he looks at those gathered here tonight. "Good evening, my friends." the decayed voice says to them as it reaches into a small pouch at its side, letting pale sand with golden flecks be flung across the floor in a wide arc to scatter on the ground as it glitters from the light of the stage.
Looking right at you, a dead sounding voice speaks as it moves black long fingers with gold sandy dust which sparkles in the low light, weaving a web. "We recognise those who came before us, to those from the lands we are on this evening and we honour them, for their history is ours to guard and protect. And together, we step across the dunes of time, across the sands of the past and look back with our hearts to what once was and the stories and people are remembered. Of moments split apart but connected in spirit. May we learn a lesson from the mothers and daughters that whisper from the stars above by being here tonight. And we thank the noble Fidante for sponsoring tonight's storytime, may you remember their names for sharing and protecting culture."
Raven settles into a seat at the couches, wincing a bit as she eases down and not wearing a mask but keeping her scarf and hat on to hide her face even though she's inside.
The fire is crackling and provides some reprieve for the Marquessa of Tremorus, who looks a little chilled from the winter cold. Cheeks flushed red, she is settling in and seeking the heat that radiates from the flames. Dressed in orange-red tones adorned with a variety of stones native to the Saffron Chain, the bloodstone and malissite contrasts with bright and dark. Seated next to prince Nazmir, she is welcoming Lady Sylvana looking at the woman as though she is very happy to see her. There is that excitement one gets when it's been some time, and Cassiopeia is ever energetic and chatty while still remaining relaxed and comfortable in her surroundings. Waiting for the story time to begin, she looks on with anticipation as she murmurs with her table mates, welcoming those who opt to join them.
Rosalind is excited to be here. She's plopped herself on a comfy spot, a smile on her face.The sight of glittery sand causes her to shift anxiously.
Ann quietly moves into the hall and takes a look around. A small smile on her features as she finds a seat at the bar and swivels in her seat to face the stage. A finger wave to any familiar otherwise she absorbs the environment and the storytelling that is to begin.
Having arrived before the start of the story, Nazmir had accompanied Cassiopeia over to the table by the fire, even as a hand lifted to swipe away flakes of snow from his shoulder and then smooth back through his hair, to shake away the last of the snow here. Claiming a seat beside the Marquessa, there's a smile given to her and then to Sylvana and Gianna, when she comes to join them as well.
Tesha's wounds had been bound and the woman was cleared to go home not long after she'd arrived back in Arx. Though she wanted to keep herself busy given the last thing that happened involved Felicia dying. The woman is dressed in her trademark crimson as she enters the Golden Hart. She finds her way towards a quiet space to sit and observe the proceedings. The alcove would due nicely.
Khanne is there, as she almost always is for a Khati Storytime. She is quiet tonight, attention focused on the stage and not much else.
Tove Sits quietly on one of the comfy couches, settling in. Waving to those she had met before turning her attention to the stage. Reserved excitement as she wiggles in her seat a moment before finally settling comfortably.
Gianna is a quiet presence, simply blending into those assembled and less ostentatiously garbed as she would be if she were performing. She is not. She is simply part of the audience.
Caspian slips quietly into the hart, careful not to slam the door. the does his best to tip toe in to find a seat in the back.
The stage comes to life behind the storyteller with shadows moving. Two tall regal figures move as a garden springs up of all sorts of animals and plants, many you might recognise and yet there are others that seem foreign or exotic. Taking primary place in the garden is a rose and a small hummingbird.
Among the audience, a male dancer wearing a crown and holding an emerald rod and a long cloak of white petals dances while a female wearing a tiara of tiny feathers move to the story. Petals so soft might be dropped lightly on a few people like Cassiopeia, or Ann, others like Raven, Khanne or Gianna might find impossibly tiny feathers left with them as the dancers move.
"A long time ago in a distant place that no longer is the same, there was a garden created by sisters of Dream and Nightmare who sang their song to create and coax out of the world their first children. And as their first children woke up, the children began to carry out their tasks for they were the firsts of firsts. In that garden there was the first rose, white and pure as he bloomed within the garden of dreams and as the first of the roses, he work a cloak of white silk petals which were desired by many as they were sweet and soft. Birds often would come and trade with Rose for a few petals he would give them to eat, no matter their size."
The wind outside has a muffled howl as others enter and a few snowflakes drift in to try claiming this area for Winter's conquest but for naught as they melt away on cheeks or noses.
Caspian has joined the a handsome wooden bar with steel footrest and swivel barstools.
Ann is intently watching what is going on before her. Looking down as petals fall on her. Her smile remains as she continues listening. A quiet hello given to Caspian when he joins her.
Ilira slips quietly inside, dashes over to a back corner, and settles down with her great big quilt tucked around her shoulders.
Gianna sniffs twice as a feather tickles her nose; she gently swats at it and manages to capture it. It's given a curious look but held in one hand.
Ilira has joined the shadowy alcove.
Sylvana has her knees tucked underneath herself, her boots carefully arranged in front of her chair as she watches the presentation and the dancers with wide, attentive eyes. She sips the wine and tilts her head curiously as she looks about.
The stage has a tiny hummingbird that moves through the garden as the great might be seen or other spirits that interact with it in the story. The hummingbird dancer continues to dance within the audience, blessing them with a smile as if perhaps she recognises there is sadness in hearts and her job is to help the audience to remember things.
"There was one bird who was one of the smallest and most fragile birds ever created, her wings incredibly tiny. The great eagle would look down and laugh as even his great shadow was larger than her and told her she should hide as there was little she could do to fight and all eagle had to do was fly so high he could blot the sun and she might get lost in his shadow."
For a moment on the stage as the great eagle flies, it causes a large shadow to blot out the light but then it flies away and hummingbird can be seen.
"The great wind would laugh at her tiny wings saying she could not soar on the breezes like others, and when the wind would laugh and cause a gale, the little hummingbird would have to seek shelter lest she be lost."
A wind blows and the little hummingbird moves all over until it seeks shelter in a tree before the wind leaves and once more, out she comes.
"But Hummingbird's purpose wasn't to fight or to soar high above, she instead would hum her joyful song with the other spirits and encourage them to be what they were and as her song had no words, the words of the other spirits' songs could easily be sung by others. At this time, little Hummingbird had no colours and was very plain looking but that didn't hold her back from encouraging others to sing and when they lost the tune, to listen to her humming as she would fan the breath of the goddess to inspire them and they didn't have to fear the angel of order scolding them harshly. It was her purpose, a tiny encouraging thing in a big big world. And for Hummingbird, time was nothing as she floated in the air forwards and backwards, up and down or simply stayed in one place as she desired."
"It is known that Hummingbird flew in the garden of dreams and that she and Rose fell in love with each other. He would give her a bed of soft velvet petals from himself so her tiny wings could rest and she would drink deeply the nectar he would provide. She would hum the song of the dream and bring him drops of dew to drink in the early mornings and together they would sing the song of creation. Of course, all knew that two of the most fragile things loved each other greatly and so the day came when Hummingbird desired to marry Rose but she was humble and truly had nothing to give. The other spirits decided that they would bless the little bird who had nothing but her innocence and joy."
Ilira has left the shadowy alcove.
Tesha gives a look to the stage and the little hummingbirds with what might pass as a smile today. She didn't feel very joyful, but she was hoping being out would change that. She keeps her hands clasped in her lap as she watches and listens to the story.
Raven blink-blinks and looks at the tiny feather and looks around as if wondering if she's meant to hold onto it or not. She looks at the masked figure quizzically.
Nazmir is silent, his gaze directed over in the direction of the storyteller, head giving a little cant to the side as he listens to what is said.
Tove Keeps her hands folded in her lap, and smiles to herself as she listens, watching the little hummingbird
Ann shifts in her seat as she picks up her glass of whisky and toasts the stage. She must like the story so far.
"The first was the fire-crowned vermillion flycatcher as in those days, he wore a large crown of feathers on his head. He plucked the bright red feathers off his crown and gifted it to her as a necklace. The bluebird next came and she gave several long vibrant blue feathers so that the hummingbird might have a gown. The motmot next came and offered emerald feathers to add to her gown. And like lightning, oriole came down in a bright flash of yellow and black for she was a great seamstress and working with the great spider queen, she made a most beautiful wedding dress for hummingbird. The great spider queen's gossamer threads were fashioned into a veil which captured the morning dew and turned into diamonds and oriole and the great spider queen dressed hummingbird in her new dress of jewels that were like a rainbow. She was as beautiful and colourful as all the different spirits she would hum and visit each day."
"When the wedding day arrived for the rose and hummingbird, the two sisters came into the garden and observed all the great and small spirits who gathered as Rose and Hummingbird married. And sister Dream was so struck with the humility of the tiniest of birds that she blessed hummingbird to wear her wedding dress for all times although sister Nightmare pulled a hem so that hummingbird's dress would each night unravel, for beauty should never be forever. But hummingbird, humble, would use the gossamer thread that came from her dress unravelling to strengthen her nest for a new beginning can come from an ending."
"And since then, all hummingbirds have worn their finest in honour of the first hummingbird and the lesson that if we approach our duties with humility, we truly can blessed."
The shadow stage shows the procession of all sorts of birds flying in a circle around the rose and hummingbird as the two sisters look on. The plants and trees seem to move in a silent dance as well. It looks like a sun rises and sets and then rises again signifying that time moves on.
"Later on one day, the sister of dreams walked within the garden of dreams and watched how the rose gave his cloak to the hummingbird, the tiniest of birds and she was moved with his devotion of care. She came over and touched his crown with her fingertip, and there she blessed him with the most beautiful of perfumes so that others who smelled it would have strong memories and emotions tied to love. And so rose and hummingbird would meet, and the other spirits and children would be reminded of their loves the moment they smelled his sweet and intoxicating fragrance."
The rose dancer begins to dance with the hummingbird dancer, and together they move through the audience, sweet smelling rose petals gently raining on those here gathered.
Caspian gives a warm smile to Ann, raising his flask in salute and greeting. but then the story is taking off and he focuses on the stage. His eyes travel the bird as it flutters around, his smile growing and the masked figure holding him entranced.
Rosalind watches the bird with sheer delight. There's a smile as she quietly listens, picturing the story.
Looking up with wonder in her eyes as the petals fall, she cannot help but be pulled into the story, listening with avid curiosity, going silent from the conversation she shared at her table. Rather, now her full attention is on the story-teller looking on with familial familiarity. A smile easy on her lips as she absorbs the tale and it brings a flicker of emotion in her eyes. It doesn't matter, happy or sad, she is easily touched by everything around her and lets her reactions play out vividly.
Khanne continues her quiet audience, smiling softly as she watches the dancer and the tale is told.
Raven's verdant gaze is riveted to the performance, tracing the motions of the performance.
Gianna's expression is about as inscrutable as ever, though she seems to be paying very close attention. And maybe her gaze is less calculating than usual.
There's a dreamy look on Ann's features that she doesn't hold often. She must be getting lost in the story or really enjoying her whiskey. Lips stay upturn when its the rose petals that fall among the audience.
"Later that night, the sister of nightmares came. She smelled the sweet perfume and followed it as it beckoned her and found Rose asleep. As her sister gave a blessing, she would as well as she touched the rose, because there should be a cost for good things and gave him thorns so those wishing to be reminded of memories past would pay the price today trying to keep it too close. The next day when hummingbird came to sing the song of creation to rose, she pierced her chest upon the thorns and died. But rose would not forget his beloved and drank the blood from the emerald blades of his weapon and his petals turned crimson red and have been ever since. The hummingbird's children could not cry out as their mother died, instead they hummed the song of creation so when she passed she was remembered. For in memory, things might never be truly gone."
The dancer of hummingbird embraces rose and she falls dramatically down dead at the end of the story as rose twirls and the white cloak he did wear is now a deep red. He bends down and beckons hummingbird who takes his hand and off the two go behind the stage. The stage goes dark and for a moment, no sound but the muffled noise of winter's wind can be heard outside.
The decayed voice says quietly in a whisper, "Life can be tragic and yet memories can be gifts to help us through moments of difficulty or even great joy, but clutching them too fervently and not letting go will cause us pain. Despair can be overwhelming, but remember that Death is but a transition and necessary for life to continue."
The storyteller throws petals of white and red roses, letting them scatter on the floor as a light touch of a perfumed breeze coaxes your memories.
'Life can be tragic'. When Tesha hears that bit there is a moment that the woman has to raise a hand to wipe something off of her cheeks. It was a beautiful and painful story. But one that was good to hear.
Raven's gaze follow the metals as they whisper across and her eyebrows furrow briefly.
Eyes going wide at the turn of events in the story, she takes in a little breath holding it for a moment, it's akin to a soft gasp. Then she breathes out, as the story continues, one hand holding a glass of wine that she sips from on occasion. The fullness of her attention is focused on the storyteller as he weaves the tale.
Tove Couldn't help but tear up. Feeling a tear trickle down her cheek. She quickly sniffled, taking out a kerchief she wiped at the corners of her eyes, then her nose before putting her hands back in her lap.
The stage lights up again as the storyteller stands in front of it. Behind the storyteller, one might see a mighty city with fantastical creatures like great dragons encircling it and their breath attacking tiny figures defending the city as the sun shines but at the edges it looks like night with other figures helping defend the city too.
This image slowly fades as three figures are running away from the city into a forest being chased.
"A long time ago but after tigers had earned their stripes of experience, a great city rose up and from that place devotion was challenged. And in this wide world there was a child who had lost her world as she fled the great city of devotion. She was a child of great Skald and for that it was her place to serve but her parents dreamed of a world where they were free to choose instead of forced to serve and they broke their shackles and fled. But those they served could not allow even one to be freed for that would spark hope and an uprising and all should do as they are told, so the parents were chased and hunted down. The mother and father though secreted their daughter away, hiding her in mud and thorny brush that would dirty those who would search and while the parents died, the child lived."
The shadows play out the moment of sacrifice and soon the girl is alone. That first night is shown and then the rising of a new morning as a bird sings.
"The girl did not know that in the thicket she slept was the nest of great Whip-poor-will and the bird was brave and would not move her nest. The strange featherless chick confused Whip-poor-will but as the girl cried, the bird mother sang her song. Each morning this would happen with Whip-poor-will singing her song to lessen the sadness of the featherless chick and the girl then would sing back to it. Their voices became a duet, and she would bring Whip-poor-will offerings and thanks for the song, and they became friends. Just two alone in the forest."
Captain Curls, an attentive, ebony guard poodle, Aspira arrive, following Quenia.
Nazmir's attention is focused solely on the story, head still canted a touch to the side as he listens and takes it all in. He does lift the glass of wine that he holds to his lips, to take a small sip before it's lowered back down.
Quenia slips in quietly, somewhat late, to the Khati story hour. She has Aspira take care of all of the fur coverings against the snow prior to slipping into the main room. She immediately settles with those at the table by the fire, whether she knows there or not. There's fire there. Fire means its not cold.
Quenia has joined the table by the fire.
"Whip-poor-will saw the girl was sad, and was confused, for you see Whip-poor-will never had parents, she merely woke when the sisters of Dream and Nightmare sang their song of creation in the garden. Whip-poor-will was the First Child of all Whip-poor-wills, and every whip-poor-will that you ever hear in the forest learned its song from this one. Girl taught Whip-poor-will what it meant to mourn, and Whip-poor-will told Girl that she would never, ever again be alone."
"Girl grew into a woman, for that is what children of Skald do as years pass, and Whip-poor-will named her Prima for she was no longer a girl, and made her a crown of feathers, and said the Prima of Feathers would forever be loved. This made Prima very happy, and for a time, the two were happy in their land of Whip-poor-wills, and the songs grew."
In the forest the great Whip-poor-will and the girl fly and dance but time passes and the girl grows into a strong woman as the trees grow larger. One can see far away the great city of devotion with again those fantastical creatures like dragons attacking it and there's a sound of a mirror shattering as dragons disappear. And a thundering of drums can be heard as figures that looked dead rise up and begin attacking the city.
"But then trouble came to the land, as trouble does, and the dead walked the land, for Death was very angry at the world and wished for everything to restart. The Dead cried out, "We have no quarrel with you, Whip-poor-will! You are one of the First Children of the World, an Ancient, an Old God, and you have no place on our broken Wheel. But this woman is a Child of Skald, and she must come with us to Death."
"But Prima did not wish to go."
"Prima was scared."
Raven is slouched back on the couch watching and looking briefly pensive. Tove says something and Raven gives the Noble Woman a Daaaaaaark look and sip her flask before she allows the performance to enrapture her again.
Ann is in easy conversation with Caspian but her attention is split between her table mate and the story telling that is going on. Glancing back and forth, with her drink still in her hand.
"This made Whip-poor-will very angry, even as many upon many upon many of the Dead came to claim Prima."
"And so Whip-poor-will flew into the sky, and thousands of other birds flew around it, and it became a great bird of the sky, and it flew down to fight the dead, because it made a promise to Prima, and First Children do not know how to lie they only know their purpose and what they are. And if you have seen any of Whip-poor-will's children you understand they will never give up their children or their nest no matter how dangerous the threat might be, they may be a small bird but they have a strong spirit inside. And the Dead fought and fought, and Whip-poor-will was wounded many ties, and as the last of the Dead was driven far from the land so they could never again threaten Prima, Whip-poor-will fell to the ground and was dying."
Undead figures seem to swarm the forest and attacking the great spirit but the Whip-poor-will continues to destroy and drive them out until she lays down next to the woman named Prima. The sun is setting and the night sky might be seen in the shadow stage.
"Prima was very sad, and she was confused, because Whip-poor-will told her that she would never be alone, and First Children do not know how to lie. As Whip-poor-will died, the promise would be kept, and Prima merely needed to look up at the sky, for Whip-poor-will would be there, now and forever. As she watched, a bright new star glittered in the sky, with Whip-poor-will always watching."
"And during the dark night, for every night as long as Prima lived, the star shined down upon her, and Whip-poor-will was with her. And during the mornings, each and every day, she was greeted by the song of all of Whip-poor-will's children, and all of her people."
"And she was never again alone."
The stage is dark except for Prima and a star that shines very bright over her in a constellation by itself. But what might be more interesting is from the stage in the darkness of the Golden Hart, thousands of points of light are on the ceiling and walls. Some might look and recognise the sword of Gloria or the Wolf or Wolf's Guide, some might see other forms.
"We each face great moments of despair, when things seem to be their darkest. But in the darkest of nights the smallest of stars shine even brighter. When you look up, may you find yourself remembering those who have left. Those who have touched your life in some small or even great way, and let their memory not fade. Remember their stories and be a better you. And may that better you touch others, even one, in such a way that when you die your star shines in their hearts. While many here hurt and often are angry or confused with Death being unfair, remember as children of Skald that it is our choices which can take ordinary people in extraordinary times and do tremendously amazing actions that ripple far down the stream of life."
With this, the storyteller moves from the stage. The stars still shine here inside the Golden Hart, the Prima looking at her Whip-poor-will's star.
One just might also see constellations that look slightly similar to someone you might know who has passed away, but surely that's just in your mind.
Caspian is contentedly talking to Ann in hushed tones, though as the story continues, he looks back to the stage and smile, listening.
Tove couldn't help give a smirk as she kept her eyes on the stage, only catching briefly out of the corner of her eye, the dark look Raven was given her.
Gianna tilts her chin up, regarding the cieling with a pensive expression. She shifts a lock of hair out of her eyes.
When the story comes to its conclusion, Cassiopeia stands up to her full height and raises gloved hands, applauding with fervor. "Bravo!," she says enthusiastically, after the emotional journey that has occurred. "What a beautiful story," she says with a wistful sigh. "Beautifully told," she adds, showering compliments from her place by the fire.
Rosalind nudges Raven briefly when she gives--the eyes. Then she's clapping. Loudly.
Tove Claps excitedly as the performance comes to an end. She grins at Rosalind and then Raven.
Caspian stands up from the bar and claps loudly, "well done! masterfully told! a wonderful story!! and an even better lesson! Well done Well done!" his smile is bright as he appluads
Raven applauds, "Excellent, absolutely spectacular."
Tesha gives a round of applause as the performance concludes and thankfully she's done with the tears for the moment. They might come back later in the night, but that was a later problem. For now she's just happy to soak in the warmth and the company.
As the performance comes to a close, Khanne smiles, eyes on the man in the mask with the glowing eyes, and applauds.
Ann also stands from her seat and gives her applause but isn't as loud as Caspian in giving praise but her smile tells of how much she enjoyed it.
Tesha is overheard praising Titus.
Gianna rises from her seat and applauds, still carefully holding her feather.
Raven is overheard praising Titus.
Cassiopeia is overheard praising Titus: Exceptional Storyteller!
Rosalind is overheard praising Titus.
Tove is overheard praising Titus.
Rosalind has left the comfy sofas.
Connal, a Northern Wolfhound, Honeymare, 1 Ravenseye Warrior, 3 Sanna House Guards, 2 Northern Rangers, a Whitehawk rusted hawk leave, following Rosalind.
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