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Your Tallest Tale

The Scholars of Vellichor host a night of storytelling in celebration of those long winter nights. Scholars and the public alike are invited to join in with their tallest tale. It can be a mysterious story about a ship that flies or one of your ancestor's most unlikely feats, the legendary sword that your grandfather (or you) lost or how there's a fountain of champagne in a palace in Eurus. Be prepared to share and win a few prizes for your troubles. Structured clue sharing for the end of the event will be in place for those who wish to contribute their actual tales and let us all marvel at how mad the world really is.

Come thirsty. Alcoholic beverages may feature among the prizes.

Date

May 2, 2019, 8:30 p.m.

Hosted By

Delilah

Participants

Mikani Peri Rysen Rukhnis Merek Lisebet Olivia Baltus Kaya

Organizations

Location

Arx - Ward of the Compact - Vellichorian Academy - Hall of Tutelage

Largesse Level

Small

Comments and Log


A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Rysen before departing.

The Hall of Tutelage bears an assortment of small, light finger foods notable for a lack of butter, jam, or chocolate. Little cookies arranged on plates, a few light pastries here or there, fill handsome plates stuck on a table for those who wish to eat. A few Scholars scattered about ensure no one carries a plate back with them into the ring of seats arranged between the desks and close to one of the comfortable couches, those on guard for the confused, the lost, and the welcome easily directed this way or that.



The affair is purely light-hearted by the looks of it, a come as you are sensibility. Delilah sits at the starlight table, lounging against the high-backed chair and opening another portfolio. "Fear us all if we're going to end up writing this down," she announces, a smile bright upon her lips.

Mikani enters smoothing her hair back and putting her hair pins back into her hair. She takes a seat as she seems to brush invisible lint from her clothing as she relaxes into her seat. She grins at Delilah. "Hello." She greets the other woman warmly.

Peri is here with her researcher kit. It is much abused these days. She has stuffed it with her notebooks which, in their turn, are stuffed with pages inserted into leaves. Today has been a busy day for taking furious notes. This is evident in the amount of ink splatter on her writing hand and a smear next to her eye. She enters the Hall of Tutelage and sees a freindly face. She joins Mikani at the table.

Rysen enters the hall with Rukhnis, a few snowflakes still clinging to his dark hair and the fur of his mantle. He approaches Delilah and bows respectfully. "Good evening, Duchess. Thank you for hosting us," he says. Turning to Mikani, Rysen beams. "That book you've sent me is quite beloved, Mika. Thanks for the extra copy. If I were to reread it from time to time, I would not admit it," he says with a wink.



Rysen comes to stand beside Peri, and glancing at her kit, chuckles softly and says smiling, "Always prepared, My Lady."

Rukhnis follows Rysen in at her usual place a little ways behind and slightly to one side of him, inspecting room and people alike as they enter together. Though she looks as spruce and tidy as ever, there's a faint droop to her shoulders and a certain heaviness to her step that gives her the look of someone who's not had much rest lately. Nevertheless she has a ready and graceful bow for everyone Rysen greets.

"The least I could do, given the abundance of wretched weather and an opportunity for tale-telling," replies Delilah. She crosses one leg over the other, resting the book upon the sweep of her thigh. Pen poised in her fingers, she leaves the nib resting just centimeters from the parchment. Nodding warmly to Rysen and Ruhknis as they enter, her attention turns back with a grin to Mikani and then Peri. "No matter how the turnout ends up being, it's bound to be a lovely evening altogether. So do help yourself and know the floor is yours. Essentially, this is an evening where you're invited to tell the stories that astound or might go without a regular audience, the chance to speak of whatever experiences or jot of lore you've never had an opportunity to try before."

Rukhnis blinks and gives Rysen a sharp look in response to something he says quietly to her. Her brow furrows faintly as she turns a somewhat distracted gaze back on the room.

Peri invites Rysen with a, "Please sit with us," She indicates a chair next to her. Rukhnis is smiled at but tot hose who can notice such things it is a very schooled and tentative smile. "What is this book I hear about?" She looks between Mika and Rysen. "I have given you my notes, you should give me yours." She waves to the audience at large, "And perhaps you could share it with the room."

Ramona - A Guard in Ashford House Colours, Bigsby - A Thoughtful Looking Young Man in Nondescript Clothing, 4 Ashford House Guard arrive, following Lisebet.

Mikani laughs, "Just a book. A story of fiction. Nothing scholarly about it." Mika adds the last quickly remmebering where she is. "Not something scholars would be interested in at all."

Rysen raises an eyebrow at Mikani. "I'm not so sure," he says laughingly. Turning to Peri, Rysen says, "a /detailed/ erotic novel - and an interesting meditation on true love. I have only one complaint about it." Glancing at Rukhnis, Rysen can't help but add, "I'll leave it my bookcase at home if you wish to read it." He is unable to keep himself from grinning a little.

Merek makes his way into the place to listen to stories, while he finds a quiet place out of the way from most others.

"Fiction is still worthy of the Scholars. Be not so quick to assume, Lady Mikani. You don't know the inspiration drawn from a number of adventure stories, telling by the contents of the library here or elsewhere." A playful wink touches Delilah's starry eyes, her smile incandescent for the risk. As people take their seats, she perches further forward in her chair, gesturing. "By all means, feel free to begin. I would rather not dominate with some terrible tale, and my position is more archivist than anything else. Meditation on true love is a powerful telling, you must know that. Something keeps the warmth for northerners in the middle of the winter!"



With that being said, there are open seats in a ring and several finger-foods of a largely pastry design on a table well away from any of the books. Anyone is free to help themselves, a stack of plates offered and overseen by a few Scholars press-ganged by their Voice into helping out.

Rysen has joined the a variety of desks arranged in a semicircle.

Lisebet makes her way in, glances at the pastries and then finds a seat, quietly listening.

Mikani blushes as Rysen describes the book. "I just didn't know scholars were interested in erotica Duchess." She stands up and goes to get some rum to cool off her face before going back to her seat.

Rukhnis presses her lips tightly together and looks perhaps rather more uncomfortable than Rysen's comment might call for. She gives a twitch of her cloak and shifts her gaze off to one side of the room.

Rukhnis has joined the a variety of desks arranged in a semicircle.

Merek seems thoughtful about the words spoken on stories, then he makes his way to where Rysen and Rukhnis are, settling in so he can listen. He doesn't seem to have anything of his own to add to it all.

Merek has joined the a variety of desks arranged in a semicircle.

Olivia slips in to the Academy quietly, offering a little wave as she gets inside, to all of the friends gathered. Her eyes narrow a little as she spots Rysen, and she smirks. She makes her way over to him, then right up to him and sneaks a little kiss from him with grin.

Olivia has joined the a variety of desks arranged in a semicircle.

Peri observes the people who trickle in and has polite and respectful smiles for them. She looks rather surprised at what Lord Rysen claims. She stifles a laught, thankfully so, for it would not do to snarf mulled cider all over notes. With the comment on fiction from the Dutches, she tentatively speaks up, "I heard Baroness Saik once sing a song that was based in a real journy but she was giving a lesson on how songs evolve. The version she hsared that had traveled around Arvum was more like a fiction. I think fiction, then, is instructive. For the tale was about a sea voyage and it was obvious to me that the ship was special. Not as special as the Nightstar though." She looks around the room. "Has everyone heard of th eNightstar? I read about it in the Explorer's stacks, and do not know much but what little I have I could share."

Rysen laughs warmly when Delilah mentions how Northerners keep warm and nods in agreement. When he notices Merek, Rysen greets the knight warmly: "It is good to see you again, Sir Merek. Nothing like the winter for -" He blushes furiously when Olivia kisses him, and stutters a little, but can't help but smile. "Um, sorry. I forgot what I was going to say," he says, laughing softly and turning to listen to Peri.

Lisebet gets a messenger, reads it, and then she gets to her feet. "I'm sorry, I am called away," she says lightly. And then she takes her leave.

Ramona - A Guard in Ashford House Colours, Bigsby - A Thoughtful Looking Young Man in Nondescript Clothing, 4 Ashford House Guard leave, following Lisebet.

Delilah waves to everyone as they enter, acknowledgments proffered to Lisebet and then to Merek. She holds that pen poised to the parchment, jotting down notes as Peri begins to speak. "That's an excellent point you make, Lady Peri. Baroness Lucita has an excellent point; three people might witness the same event and tell you three different variations an hour later. We can probably all agree that a story spreading over the Compact contains different messages or emphasis. Let's begin, for example, with Prince Cerdic Valardin." She pauses in writing, a smile on her lips. "Or, if you are more interested in his craft, the almost legendary Nightstar. If you come from the Oathlands, your focus may be on Cerdic himself. The Crownlands tend to preserve the places he went. In the Mourning Isles, they're much more interested in his ship. Yet if you go to the Lyceum, it's the man's exploits which engender interest, and in the Northlands, a combination of the dangers faced and the fact the man felt the need to go to the sea at all. I have indeed heard of it, and I would recommend you tell the tale, Peri. Go ahead."

Peri speaks to those near her at the table on the matter of the tale of love with much meeting of eyes and raised brows before speaking up again on the matter of the Nightstar. "What drew me to this book in the Explorer's hall was Cedric. His pedestal in the Hall of Heroes speaks of so many places he visited. I have found books on them all apart from Weijin until I found this scrap of information in the society shelves." She riffles through her notes before pulling out the specific material. She waves the book. In here there is discussion of many places he visited. With the visits from the foreign emmisseries last year we have come to learn that many of the places were not tall tales," Her voice grows in excitement, "but real places! And in this work I read more on Weijin, a vast land with a god emporer who had a palace larger than all of Arx." She has to set the book down to spraed her arms Arx-wide to convey the scale of the palace. "Where was I?" She picks the book back up. "Oh, yes... they were at ware with another emporer when Cerdic visited. I wonder if it was Platinum? The timeline on these things are so hard to tell because of how long people can live through means we do not understrand." She sighs. "So, yes. His ships! I imagine Brass was involved, but I will not be able to prove that to anyone's satisfaction. This work says that his ship the Nightstar was a gift from some god of the sea, a rival of Mangata's, even. Cerdic won this prize and tricked favors from that god in a game of wits." She grins, "I love tricksters. Anyway, I think Brass involvedd for the rumors of its construnction out of metal and oars of brass and such. And only today from the Pathfinder have I learned about such things artificiers have been able to build in the world. Cunning clockwork birds that can fly." She sets the book down finally, and catches her breath. "It is rather amazing!" She grins at the duchess, "Thank you Lilah for this party. It is the best."

Baltus enters quietly, remaining near the entrance to the Hall of Tutelage at first, and then moving to the bench nearest to him. When he drops to a seat he lets his elbows drop to his knees and he leans forward to listen to whatever stories may be presented. Sure, he's late.. but better late than never, right?

Rysen listens to Peri carefully, and his excitement grows as Peri speaks of Cedric and the Nightstar and the Metallics.

Mikani listens to Peri's tale. She knew some of Cedric, Caspian was obsessed with Cedric. Or was it the ship? She heard someone slip in and she glanced back. Seeing Baltus, her face lit up and she motioned for him to come and join her on the couch.

The Tall Tales night invites anyone who wishes to join. A few Scholars lurking about in plain sight direct visitors and prevent anyone from bringing liquid anywhere near paper, parchment or pristine books. That said, guests are invited to take a seat in a ring of chairs, couches, or the floor if it suits their fancy. Most of the participants seem to be in chairs, as it happens. Some distance away, pastries and plates are welcome to those who are hungry but there's not a spot of jam to be found anywhere, nor a dose of chocolate.

Baltus smiles as Mikani turns to beckon him closer, and he does rise, moving closer to Mikani and dropping into the seat nearest her that's available. His attention mostly remains on anyone who happens to be speaking.

Mikani smiles as she sits next to Baltus she leans and whispers to him softly, so quiet as to not disturb any who are speaking.

Peri replies to something at the table, "I wrote a letter to him once and he replied."

Baltus has joined the a variety of desks arranged in a semicircle.

Delilah has left the an Aion starlight table.

Delilah has joined the a variety of desks arranged in a semicircle.

"If anyone else happens to know something of Cerdic, do share. And you /wrote/ to Brass, Lady Peri?" Delilah slips off the table of starlight, carrying her book with her to join the more animated group. Missing part of the conversation calls for her to add there. She inclines her head to Rysen and chuckles. "Ironically, so did I, in the hopes the Nightstar still exists. It doesn't in the form preserved in legend, which I am sad to report."

Kaya enters the Academy?s Hall of Tutelage silently. Kaya finds a place to settle in to observe the event quietly. If she is noticed she will offer a polite greeting. Also, anyone who knows Kaya will notice she is missing her Armor and instead is wearing a gown and not any gown a -pink- gown but she still has her bow slung over her shoulder and her blades fastened to her waist

"Yes, well," Peri stretches and elbow behind her back as she considers what to say. "I wrote to him asking that he share details on how to run a successful slave revolt, for I wished to be able to free you all should Arx come under occupation from any hostile kingdoms. Perhaps someone will speak on this at the next Salon. I look forward to it. He did not send me any book, thoug he admited he has many questions."

Rysen's eyes open in surprise at Peri's words, and he smiles. "I do not know why I am continually surprised by your superb leadership skills and far reaching vision, Lady Peri - though I sincerely hope it will never come to that."



Chuckling softly about her comment regarding Mikani's book, Rysen says to Delilah, "Duchess, I have a story they have told in my family for many generations. It's a good story, but it's long and probably not based in fact so much as grand imagination, but if you're willing to hear it, I would be happy to tell it."

The conversation at the chairs brightens up with a warmer tone, and Delilah waves as Kaya enters. "Feel free to take a seat and join us. We're telling the tallest of tales. Lady Peri Seliki just finished discussing matters of Prince Cerdic Valardin, the famous Sunset Wanderer. I do believe Lord Rysen's about to entertain us. You are all welcome to share your tales, no reason to feel excluded. Whatever charms you." She surrenders the floor to Rysen with a grin.

Rysen waves to Kaya, and gestures to the desks arranged in a semicircle. He takes a long swig of rum and hands his glass to Rukhnis. The young lord then begins his tale in his rich, resonating voice:



"My great, great, great aunt, Lady Freya Crovane was a woman renown for wit and medicine. Though her sons and daughters all took to the martial life, she had no interest in weapons or violence. That which she adored most, aside from her husband and three children, was her cat, Pangurban. In my family, they often tell the tale of how Lady Freya found Pangurban, or 'Pangs,' as he's commonly known, at the Shrine of Petrichor in Stormwall, but I shall tell a tale that took place sometime later."



"One summer day, Lady Freya was strolling the beach just east of Stormwall. It was about as nice a day as we get in the North, and she had dismissed her guards so that she could have some time to think about a particularly troubling outbreak of disease in the city. Her only companion was her cat, Pangs, who was always at her side. As she walked along the beach, she came upon a great shipwreck that had washed on shore. Amid the washed up debris, she noticed a huge figure, crouched over. She froze in her tracks, but it was too late. The creature rose to its full height, and they say it was the size of two grown men at least. Pangs hissed, and the creature loped on all fours over to my great, great, great aunt."



"Though its features were disfigured, and its outer body devoid of light, or clothing, or marking of any kind, it's shape was roughly that of a human, though its arms were long, and used to support its great bulk as it moved. 'Greatly have I hungered for the fear of the living!' it roared at Lady Freya, but that stalwart woman of Crovane showed no fear. The creature rose on its legs and beat its chest, but still Freya looked on impassively at the monstrous form. 'I will eat you alive, woman! Do you not fear me?' gurgled the horror. 'No,' my aunt replied. 'The only things that frighten me are rats.' Then the creature's face distorted in a grin. 'Is that so?' it shrieked gleefully, 'then I shall taste your fear after all!' and the creature bent its body, and, through some unholy magic, transformed itself into a the form of a rat, with gruesome fangs and beady red eyes."



"Though the rat was hardly less hideous than the giant, a slight smile passed over the face of Lady Freya, and no sooner had the rat begun to take a step toward my aunt, than Pangurban lept upon it, and swallowed it whole. Lady Freya watched her companion for a moment with concern, but Pangs simply took his place back at her side with a soothing meow."



"This is only one of the tales of my great, great, great aunt Freya, renowned throughout the Northlands for her wit, and her cat, but it is one of my favorites."

Kaya settles into a seat offering a silent nod in response to the invitation to join. She is quietly listening and observing

Kaya has joined the a variety of desks arranged in a semicircle.

Peri checked composure at difficulty 10, rolling 6 lower.

As Rysen tells the tale of the the might Pangs, Peri grows more amused. She attempts tu surpress her amusement and admiration at the skill of the storyteller but cannot help it and bursts out laughing and turns a happy, open face upon the speaker. "I love it!"

Rukhnis squints thoughtfully at Rysen as he tells his story, her fingers tapping absently against the glass he's passed to her. She looks vaguely amused herself, which, for her, might be as good a response as Peri's.

Mikani smiles and claps at the stoy. "I love it. You always tell such a wonderful tale Rysen. If I were a bard like you!" She praises Rysen.

Kaya claps for Rysen still quietly observing and listening for now

"I shall never doubt the value or strength of a woman who fears rats. That shows considerable wisdom on her part." Delilah's laughter carries a note of approval and affection, and she brings her pen to paper, because writing counts for a great deal indeed.

Olivia sits back smiling, just listening to the crowd of people who are far smarter than her.

Peri is overheard praising Delilah.

Merek seems satisfied with the story, as he offers his clapping for it. He then takes a moment to drink from his flask, while he sighs thoughtfully.

Rysen smiles, and takes his drink back from Rukhnis. He takes a long sip and slips back into his seat at the desks.

"Lilah, what did you learn of the Nightstar?" Peri finally blurts out. She has been ruminating on it. "Do you think we could build another? People are doing artificing research, from what the Pathfinder told us."

Mikani looks at Peri and back at Delilah. "You really think we can build one? A ship that can sail to the end of the earth?" Her tone is excited.

"By Mangatas foamy pearl I shucking hope so!" Peri tells Mikani. "For I wish to circumnavigate the world like he did!"

Kaya is listening curiously. "It could be fun to go on such a voyage if you find you need a skilled bow or blade along, keep me in mind," Kaya comment quietly before falling quiet for others to share stories

Mikani nods to Peri. "If you get that ship I am so coming with you. I am not missing out on that one."

"Nor me," says Rysen to Peri. He blinks when he glances at Kaya. "Are you wearing a dress!?"

"Not just any dress Lord Rysen a -pink- dress but look I did bring my bow and blades so I am sure it is fine to spend sometime out of armor. I was told I was not versatile enough. I took it as a challenge and if my husband is lucky I will give him a heart attack and end his misery," Kaya states mildly. She has no hint of humor at all, in fact her affect if very flat as she speaks, not really looking at Rysen as she answers

Olivia leans forward in her chair. "So me and some people were exploring this old temple. I mean really old. I couldn't tell you how old... but real old. Nature had reclaimed it a few times it seemed. Well what ever happened there was dark. I mean really dark. Corrupted everything around it. Plants... animals... it was all rather terrible. Well we did some searching. And I found this page of a journal about ways to clear corruptions from Shardhavens. Or at least some of the corruptions? There could be several types. And I did not even get shot at one time the entire trip." That last part is said in a way that makes it the least believable part of the story.

The element of storytelling comes naturally to Delilah, the rhythm and meter of her voice sure enough to prove that. But with the clamoring of a few questions, she shakes her head, the breathless amusement infections to a degree since no one, least of all her, can likely withstand a Peri assault. Not really, as it is. "The Nightstar is a ship of almost impossible design, the tales passed down to us such they might seem unlikely at best. Her sails made of hammered bronze, straked back and bedecked in layers that shouldn't be possible. Others proclaim that the body was made from brass itself, not a single ounce of wood, while the masts and bow came from trees blessed by the Sylv'alfar, the elves of the wood. That it required no men to power it, that it almost leapt upon the waves by itself, guided as lightly as a husk." She spreads her hands. "Surely we have no such technology to speak of in our lands."



A fingertip tapped on the table strikes a thud, so as a beat, it acts as a markedly good measure. "Yet there is, for those of us who witnessed the coming of the Children of Platinum on their vassal from faraway Jadairal. That vast craft dwarfed even the Carlotta, and with it, the sails seemed to capture a wind none other did, and the great bulk maneuvered gracefully as any sloop I've ever had the pleasure to sail upon. Likewise, the Cardians became in their great ship, a veritable fortress. So is it fair to say that we have no such technology when anyone a few months back might have traveled down to the docks and seen such marvels for themselves? Ask Messire Merek." A nod to the man in question leaves her brazen hair captivating in its foxfire shimmer, braid plied down her back sinuous in its twists and undulations. "He witnessed it well as I did.



"The Nightstar, then, is pieced together from legends and an account of a near contemporary -- that of Princess Cerdicia, Cerdic's own granddaughter, an explorer as much as her fabled grandfather. Or so it seems, but Oathlanders are indeed known for their earnestness. What we know is that the ship was legendary even in its own time, its craftsmanship an utter marvel. Sentinels witnessed to its glorious proportions wept. Artisans went agape when she sailed into port. He claims the shipwright made Nightstar once, and the plans might never be duplicated again, even by that mighty master. Perhaps he poured something of himself into the craft, but it's said the Nightstar crossed great oceans -- the expansive western drift -- in weeks, rather than months or fatal voyages at all. Elsewise, how would we know of far-off Jadairal and Weijin, those empires transformed to little better than fable and fraught truths amongst generous heaps of mystery? Depending on whom you believe, the boat -- and Cerdic -- were beloved of Mangata. Depending on what you think true, the Nightstar traveled not only on water, but on the very starlit pathways themselves."



A deadly beat, a teasing smile plies out the ultimate seduction of knowledge held in a rapt crystalline form, preserved in star-shocked eyes of deepest summer-sky blue, held out like a gem to be seized on those delicate fingertips. "She /flew/."

Merek has rolled a critical success!
Merek checked willpower at difficulty 20, rolling 56 higher.

Rysen laughs at Kaya's response. "You look fantastic, and I suspect your husband will be very surprised - though hopefully not so excited as to end anything."



After listening to Olivia, Rysen skeptically says, "You weren't shot at even once? That's a tall tale indeed." Settling back with his rum, Rysen listens to Delilah. His face takes on an earnest dream like quality, and says, "It is too difficult to doubt that such a ship may truly have sailed amongst the stars. Maybe it is the poet speaking, but there is much to be said for the craft and skill of those who have been lost to history - or whom we assume are lost to history."

Kaya smirks at Rysen and says, "Hopefully he can end somethings though." she is mainly focusing on the story being told

Mikani listens to the story just thinking about how much she wants that ship.

"I've heard of the sky bridges of Whitepeak," Peri admits, "And if there are sky bridges, why not sky ships?"

Mikani looks at Peri. "This is when I wish I were smarter than I was."

Rysen rises from his seat, and says, "I'm afraid I must be on my way. Thank you, Duchess Delilah for hosting us. Farewell everyone." He bows and makes his way out of the hall with Rukhnis.

Mikani glares at Rysen. He knows what he did. "Have a good night." Her tone is warm not fitting her face.

Peri gazes curiously at Rukhnus. "Rukhnis, are you not a scholar?"

Rysen has left the a variety of desks arranged in a semicircle.

Rukhnis has left the a variety of desks arranged in a semicircle.

Rukhnis leaves, following Rysen.

"Indeed," says Delilah. "Though on account of that, let's wrap this one up and thank you all for coming out! I don't wish for anyone to risk their safety out there in the snow. Do have a lovely evening when you venture out."



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