Post by Deleted on Dec 26, 2016 0:07:53 GMT -7
Ancorbe, Malscure. 11th Day of The Winter Storm. Dusk?
He lost all sense of time in this place. How could you keep track of the days when so many of them were lost in darkness. In the depths of winter the sun seemed to not rise at all, or else was hidden behind a thick mask of clouds. Even the moons hid their faces behind gray gauze.
Their modesty was commendable.
Aodfhin did not like Malscure. The cold dragged at his bones. His body ached whenever he went outside and he felt like his skin begged for the gentle kiss of the sun. And yet here he remained. Here he remained because of all of Malscure, Ancorbe was the most hospitable. Ancorbe was beautiful. It was flush with bards, which made business poor but the days (nights?) rich. He had heard so many new songs and tales already, traded for lessons on instruments he'd never seen. For a while it had been enough to distract him from the real reason he lingered on this island.
He was here because this was the closest he could get to Atton without going to the bloody place. His curiosity nagged. And here more often than not he heard news and rumors quite before they got to the mainland. This, he thought, was where much speculation took root. Fact or fiction, he didn't care. He eagerly drank every scrap of information he overheard.
Since he could not quite bring himself to abandon the object of his fascination, he found way to make his life more comfortable in this cold place where he didn't really belong. He had set himself up in a small, not entirely respectable tavern right on the edge of the rough parts of town. It was cheap and lacked a minstrel- and more importantly, it was warm. He slept buried in his cloak on the hearth after the tavern closed. The innkeeper had run off her last entertainer when he had gotten fresh with her girls. Aod had gone out of his way to assure her that his interests lay firmly elsewhere, even if it weren't completely true.
He assumed it was the end of the day by the way the tavern began to fill. Dusk he mentally noted though he doubted it would help his internal clock. He tilted the rickety stool he sat on back a little until his back thumped against the heated stone of the fireplace. This close might have been uncomfortable for most but Aod would've climbed in among the coals if he thought he could get away with it.
Knowing he couldn't, he bent his head to the tuning of the instrument in his hands. He was only a moderately skilled lute player and had traded for the instrument second hand recently. He was getting used to it but like many of the instruments he'd had the pleasure of handling in Ancorbe it sang beneath his fingers and elevated his plucking to something with just a touch more grace.
He let himself appear absorbed in his instrument, precariously balanced on only two legs of the stool and the stones at his back. His finely tapered ears listened more to the sound around him than from what emerged beneath his fingertips. When he judged the time right, he let his soft scales gain strength and transition into true song. It was a local ditty making the rounds in taverns like this and he could almost feel the energy in the tavern pick up a bit, become more boisterous. Good. The mood of the crowd was good.
From beneath his lashes he watched them, keeping his music background to their conversation. Nothing interesting. With a gentle sigh he lifted his head, gracing the room with a grin that invited them to join in on some inside joke. Then he let his voice lift above the sound of the lute.
"Fill the goblet again for I never before
Felt the glow that now gladdens my heart to its core;
Let us drink!
Who would not since through life's varied round
In the goblet alone no deception is found."
The song was typically a short one, but one he'd found was well loved among the normal crowd here. He glibly added a third verse, repeated the first again when he got a good laugh, then added another that poked fun at a particular gentleman he'd discovered was good natured about that sort of thing. Though it was funny how many people would take some teasing from a bad when they wouldn't from anyone else. Content with the sound of laughter and knowing he'd done his job well, he brought the song to it's merry conclusion.
The front legs of his stool settled on the wood floor with a not so gentle thump and he hopped from his perch lightly, distinctly aware that not all the attention had left him yet despite the fact that he was clearly taking a momentary break. He flexed his fingers, though they weren't really stiff. Even with the fire roaring at his back he felt the phantom ache of the cold that permeated this place, as if cold radiated from even the smallest shadow. And there wasn't enough light to drive all the shadows even from this small place.
He accepted a mug of watered ale from one of Agrippa's girls, giving her an absent minded nod of thanks. Best not to pay too much attention to her. He didn't want to get on his current patron's bad side. Instead he let his gaze dance across the room, seeking the new, the unusual, or the promising.