Wonderland, Scene IV (Daphne, Erin, Underwood)

   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin
"Oh! How interesting! How does that work? What kind of wishes? Anything? Are they very expensive, wishes?"
"I am called a bard." Harvey said, smiling for a moment. His was a strange sort of smile, fey and cold. He reached beneath the table, and drew from it a small harp, made of black wood and crystalline strings. He plucked at a string, and there was no sound, but Erin felt a sudden cold. "What I play, comes true... for a certain value of truth. For a certain price."

"Have you any wishes, Erin Lamothe?" The P˙ca asked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin
"Arcadia, then?"
The Maestro smiled, and she winked, but she didn't say the word herself. To do so would have made it more real.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin
"There's a lovely looking pudding, if you trust it not to try anything untoward," Erin murmured to the girlish vampire. One could never trust Hedge food, but it was sometimes nice. "Would you like me to ask if we could have some?"
"Yes please." Mary Mack said, casting her eyes downward. She regarded the pudding dubiously. Though Mary Mack had taken to eating bloodwort in the last year or two, there was still an in-born distrust of food that she hadn't hunted herself. Poisons, drugs, all were dangers to the Kindred.

"You could ask for the rest of us, maybe." Heather said, staring at the food. There was a lot of it, and while Erin's packed lunches were magnificent, there was something to be said for feasts.

The Maestro was smiling, and her eyes sparkled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Underwood
"Some venue. So, you come across this spread here by one of those 'who would have thought this'd be in the Hedge' coincidences, or do you just pack really well?"
"Found it. The Wyrd provides." The Maestro said, raising a glass of something pale and making a toast. "To the Wyrd!"

"I found the feast and put on a little play for it." Marie Tempest said, now buttering a piece of toast. "Shakespeare, actually, Twelfth Night. Harvey here played Sir Toby Belch. He is a really good Toby Belch."

The P˙ca smiled dryly. "Everything needs a price. Nothing is free."

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoTiamat View Post
"Have you any wishes, Erin Lamothe?" The P˙ca asked.
"I have many wishes," Erin agreed. "I rarely commission them to others."

She leaned in to examine the bard's harp, however, eyes flicking left and right over the craftsmanship. "What wishes have you played upon it? Does it play things other than wishes?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoTiamat View Post
"Yes please." Mary Mack said, casting her eyes downward.
"You could ask for the rest of us, maybe." Heather said, staring at the food.
"You could ask for yourself, you know," Erin said to Heather, giving an amused look. Still, she turned around to the Maestro. "May my companions and I join you at this feast, Maestro?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoTiamat View Post
The P˙ca smiled dryly. "Everything needs a price. Nothing is free."
"So it is. I can offer a song, for my friends and myself," Erin replied. "Your harp reminds me of a ballad, sir bard, if you would like to hear it - though I'll sing with a different accompaniment, if it does not offend. This is a song I wish not to come true."

Erin sang a soft little acapella tune, a mournful song, though those with sharp eyes could catch her glancing the way of Heather and Sasha on occasion:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Your Name Is Not Getting Any Easier, Buddy
"Everything needs a price. Nothing is free."
Underwood pointed a finger briefly at Harvey, as to one who has made a trenchant conversational insight. "Got it. Dinner and a show."

He pondered for a few moments, tapping his chin. Then he pointed at Cinder. "You sing. Come on over here for a second; we gotta talk." He jerked a thumb at a far corner of the ceiling-cave, maybe fifteen feet away from the main gathering.

Once there, an impromptu two-person football huddle was inaugurated. Underwood's hand was on Cinder's shoulder, in a way that was steadying but not unmistakably flirtatious. He spoke in a low voice.

"Listen. I heard you at the campfire last night. You've got pipes, kid. And -- this is me talking as a professional here, not as a guy who wants to see you have fun once in your life -- I'd be a derelict in my guide-ly duties if I didn't let you use them. I'd sit up nights, guilty. Nobody wants that. Here's what I've got in mind."

He tapped his breast pocket. "Sparky. Be a trooper and play track 499 for Miss Pleasant, will you? Headphones, please."

The phone scrambled out, detached a small pair of earbuds from…somewhere on his person, and swung them eagerly at the werewolf, beeping demonstratively. Underwood nodded at Cinder. "This is Frank and Ella, but you can get the idea. I take the low part, you take the high, Sparky does the orchestra. You've gotta give this one a lot of play, now, or it just falls flat. Have to throw your back into it."

Presuming that Cinder listened to the song, Underwood waited politely for her to finish, then raised an eyebrow. "What do you say? Sometimes, all it takes for things to come out right is a good musical number…"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin
"What wishes have you played upon it? Does it play things other than wishes?"
"The traditional wishes. For fame, for love, for glory, for beauty, for wealth, for health." Harvey said, idly strumming a few notes. Still, the harp made not a sound, though Erin's teeth were ready to start chattering from the cold. "The form may change, but the soul of the wish never does."

Close up, the harp was a thing of dark beauty. It was carved from ebon wood, at least a dozen individual pieces that Erin could notice, all held together by pale pins of what Erin strongly suspected was bone. It had been polished, but the polish had worn off in places due to time and use. This was not a display piece, but a working instrument. Most interesting were the strings however, which were pale and translucent, more like silken strands attached to knobs of bone and ebony.

"I have played for wedding feasts and funeral corteges, but only on borrowed instruments." Harvey said, smiling faintly. The P˙ca moved to stow the harp. "This is for wishes."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin
"May my companions and I join you at this feast, Maestro?"
"You've earned it, so dig in!" The Maestro said, waving a hand. "The more the merrier. The merrier the more!"

And indeed, while Erin had been singing, more food had appeared under the plates. It never quite materialized out of thin air, but a covered dish that had been thoroughly empty now had a roast duck braised in stewed dream-a-drupes, or puddings of blood with a silver coin poking out of the tip.

"Now, we feast, then we a quick nap, then we head off to the land beneath the mound." The Maestro declared, helping herself to a slice of duck. "Sound about right, Harv?" The P˙ca merely smiled and nodded. "What about you, Erin?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Underwood
"What do you say? Sometimes, all it takes for things to come out right is a good musical numberů"
"You remind me of one of those charity celebrities." Cinder said with a small smile, listening to the music which Sparky played. The scarred werewolf didn't move while she listened, but she did close her eyes. "That everything could be solved if we all just sang together. It's endearing, if foolish."

Cinder looked at Underwood for a moment, and then laughed quietly, almost more an exhalation of breath than an actual laugh. "Fine. Let us go sing for our supper."

As Cinder stood up, there was something different about her. The Fair Folk were beautiful, and when Erin sang, it was with an ineffable beauty born of glamour. Fair of face, fair of voice, the fae came by their names honestly. Cinder was different. Her form rippled with power, and one could see a barely visible aura about her, one of coruscating flames and raw vitality. Cinder was a living flame, creation and destruction combined into one.

And when Underwood sang, so did she, fair and beautiful, yes, but with a note of danger beneath it.

Presence(5)+Expression(4)+Spirit-Skin(4):
Dice Roll:
13d10s8ez
d10 Results: 7, 1, 3, 9, 10, 3, 7, 4, 3, 3, 9, 9, 10, 4, 3 (Total Successes = 5)
Cinder's Singing (5)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Pleasant
"You remind me of one of those charity celebrities. That everything could be solved if we all just sang together. It's endearing, if foolish."
Underwood flashed a grin. "Doesn't solve everything. But it does make it a lot more fun. Come on, kid."

The reporter ambled back to the table, a spring in his step. Sparky scuttled onto the table and laid down on his backplate, pointing his speakers up. Underwood gave a two-handed flourish.

"Ladies, Gentlemen, in honor of this festive event, Miss Pleasant and I are gonna sing you a little song. A-one, two, three, four…"

Underwood didn't have fey magic or spirit-fueled bard powers, but he did have showmanship, verve, a boatload of natural enthusiasm, and a set of sterling silver vocal cords. Tonight, though, center stage was Cinder's, and the reporter played up to her like it was his job. It didn't take a tremendous leap of logic to figure out who the song was about, after all.

3 Successes and 1 WP spent on singing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoTiamat View Post
"I have played for wedding feasts and funeral corteges, but only on borrowed instruments." Harvey said, smiling faintly. The P˙ca moved to stow the harp. "This is for wishes."
"Then I regret I have nothing to lend you," Erin replied. "What else do you play?"

"'Tis a beautiful instrument. May I ask how you came to be its master?" She paused, and then asked, out of curiosity and not intent, "what is the price, of your wishes? And how true is a certain value of true?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoTiamat View Post
"You've earned it, so dig in!" The Maestro said, waving a hand. "The more the merrier. The merrier the more! Now, we feast, then we a quick nap, then we head off to the land beneath the mound." The Maestro declared, helping herself to a slice of duck. "Sound about right, Harv?" The P˙ca merely smiled and nodded. "What about you, Erin?"
"It sounds lovely, Maestro," Erin replied, reaching over for a dream-a-drupe. She hadn't actually planned on eating the Hedge Feast, to be honest - Hedge food was rarely to be trusted - but as more food appeared on the table, Erin's suspicions were somewhat assuaged. It was by no means a guarantee, but nothing ever was. "My destination is not my own, but as a general plan goes, so long as my companions agree, it sounds about right to I as well."

"Here, Mary," Erin said kindly, fetching the blood pudding. "What about you two? Any songs to sing?" she teased her two Russians. It was teasing only, for a) the Russians were not nearly drunk enough to start singing, and b) no one wanted them to anyway.

Figuring if she were to eat anything, she may as well go for broke, Erin busied herself in filling her plate, "accidentally" knocking a liver up onto the ceiling/floor. She did pause to applaud the duet, however. It was quite impressive for someone to sing a song after hearing it only once, and sing it well - presuming Cinder didn't have some unknown love for the '30s. Prior to meeting Underwood, at least.

Despite Daphne's searching for an alternate route, it seemed Mary had the most efficient...ah, method.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
She did not bother to insert her own name where Erin had left it out. And greeting those above you, literally, was a tad awkward. She stepped onto the wall like the others, and found it quite stable.

How quickly her companions got comfortable upside-down! Already they wanted food? "Have you never heard fairytales?" Daphne said lowly. "Once you eat of Faery, you're enchanted for life." She eyed Heather, though it was more a joke than anything else. Changelings were already screwed that way.

It wasn't long for listening to realize Daphne was either going to be very amused, or very bored. Depending on the singing, really. She liked Underwood's but...

Cinder?

Daphne opened her mouth a bit sideways as she heard the dusky sounds come out of the werewolf's half-ruined face.

Finally, she turned to the Maestro and the Puca. "You really do inspire, don't you? A pleasure to meet you, I am Daphne, the Apothecary."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Underwood
"Ladies, Gentlemen, in honor of this festive event, Miss Pleasant and I are gonna sing you a little song. A-one, two, three, fourů"
Cinder, it seemed, was perfectly aware of whatever it was that Underwood was trying to do to her. Just what she thought of it, she didn't say, but she played along. She was a good singer, if her voice was deeper than was perhaps ideal for this sort of song. She had a good ear, and she had an impressive memory for song, as befit a ritualist in an oral tradition. She sang the song with fire, and when she was done, she laughed.

"Now maybe we can eat?" Cinder said, arching her unburned brow at Underwood.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin
"What else do you play? 'Tis a beautiful instrument. May I ask how you came to be its master? What is the price, of your wishes? And how true is a certain value of true?"
"I play whatever is asked of me, in exchange for food and for shelter." Harvey said softly, helping himself to the leg of a hind. "And I am its master for I crafted it myself -- I will not say more, for us bards have our secret oaths."

"A drop of blood, and a loss of equal value." Harvey said, smiling. "The blood facilitates it, though to some mortals, that is the only price they need hear about. But for the rest... to gain money, one loses family. To gain love, one loses health. Equivalent exchange, to maintain balance in the Wyrd. They are true wishes, though they have their limits, and not all are ready to accept these limits."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin
"Here, Mary," Erin said kindly, fetching the blood pudding. "What about you two? Any songs to sing?" she teased her two Russians. It was teasing only, for a) the Russians were not nearly drunk enough to start singing, and b) no one wanted them to anyway.
"Thanks Erin." Mary Mack said, and for a moment she smiled, looking downright girlish. She took a spoon and began to eat, arching a brow as she did so.

"Pass on the singing for me, and double for Sergei." Sasha drawled, helping himself to a bottle of something that sparkled. "I don't think anyone's here insulted us that badly."

Sergei snorted a laugh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin
"My destination is not my own, but as a general plan goes, so long as my companions agree, it sounds about right to I as well."
"You're going to Arcadia." Cinder said, looking then to Underwood, and then to Erin. "Curious. But I do not object."

The Maestro arched a brow, though she was too veteran a trouper of the Hedge to ask for something as silly as an explanation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daphne
"You really do inspire, don't you? A pleasure to meet you, I am Daphne, the Apothecary."
The Maestro was busy just then, with another hard-boiled egg, but Harvely laughed softly, and winked his hourglass eye at Daphne. "That is what we do, Daphne. We are performers. Inspiration is our cause and our life."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Pleasant
"Now maybe we can eat?"
Underwood nodded, with a raised eyebrow and a smile of his own. "Now maybe we can eat."

The reporter sidled down into a chair, gesturing at the seat next to him, if it was open. "You did great up there, you know. You ever do open mikes?"

Selecting the covered dish closest to him -- on the premise that it may not have actually been there before he had started singing, and that the Wyrd generally liked to pull shenanigans of this nature -- Underwood unveiled his dinner. It turned out to be something that very closely resembled flank steak with pepper sauce, and a small selection of Peter Lugerish vegetable sides. There was also a small yellow-and-red box of cigarettes, printed with something that could possibly have been the Fatima logo if you didn't look too closely at the girl in the veil -- and lastly, on a side plate, there was a small, black length of ribbon, rolled onto two plastic spools.

Underwood seemed pleased as punch with the whole arrangement, but particularly so by the last item, picking it up and turning around in the light for closer inspection. After ten seconds or so, he nodded, immensely satisfied. "...It is. Nineteen-Fortyeight Underwood Standard typewriter ribbon, fresh off the line. There's maybe two places in the city where you can pick one of these up reliably... I mean, I make my own ink, but the name-brand stuff's like a vitamin shot in the arm."

He dropped it in his breast pocket, delicately, before picking up his fork and setting to dinner. "Yeah, if you all don't mind a little ad-hoc shop class going on later tonight, I'm finding a private corner and swapping reels. Gotta keep the old chassis up to code, you know?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Underwood
"You did great up there, you know. You ever do open mikes?"
"No." Cinder said, with a faint, half-hidden smile. Given that half her face was scarry brilliant, crimson red -- even if she was trying to hide it behind her hair more recently -- it was probably not an option. Looking like the Norse goddess Hel meant that one did not do Karaoke.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Underwood
"Yeah, if you all don't mind a little ad-hoc shop class going on later tonight, I'm finding a private corner and swapping reels. Gotta keep the old chassis up to code, you know?"
"One thing I'm curious about." Cinder said levelly, tearing into what looked to be a bowl of soup. "I know there are many kinds of fey. Sidhe and brownies," her gaze lingered on Erin for a moment, "and redcaps and the like. But I have never heard of a typewriter fae. Some day, you will have to explain."

If you would be so kind as to move to Wonderland, Scene V. Underwood can explain typewriter fae to Cinder then if he so chooses.




 

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