A beam of moonlight comes down from the sky and bathes you in light.
dances down a moonbeam and alights gently on the ground.
[director-related effect setup stuff]
Rootweir Faythe says, "Lief."
Finger extended, Faythe pokes you.
You have emoted: Lief's ear twitches to the sound of her name. She perks up, lifting her head from her efforts and finds Faythe with her eyes.
Smiling warmly, you say to Faythe, "Hello, Faythe."
Faythe gives you a peck on the cheek.
Rootweir Faythe says, "Hello Lief."
Rootweir Faythe says, "Am I interrupting you?"
Rootweir Faythe says, "I woke past the scrim and saw you were nearby."
Faythe points outwards.
Waving an ink-stained hand, you say, "Oh, I'm just preparing my lecture."
[director-related effect setup stuff]
Scuffing a slippered toe along the ground, Rootweir Faythe says, "Do you have some time?"
You have emoted: Lief turns more properly to face Faythe, concern suddenly tugging at her brow. "A little bit - what's wrong, Faythe?"
Faythe laces her fingers together, glancing up at you. "There's nothing wrong."
Rootweir Faythe says, "I just have something to show you."
You have emoted: Unconvinced, Lief tilts her head. "Where are we going?" she asks.
You begin to follow Faythe.
Rootweir Faythe says, "Just outside here."
You follow Rootweir Faythe out to an idyllic hillside amphitheatre.
Faythe bounds over to the grass in front of the stage. She turns and beckons to you, pointing to the ground.
Rootweir Faythe exclaims, "Sit, sit!"
You have emoted: Curiously, Lief wings to the spot indicated. Just above the ground, she hovers, folding her legs and leaning forward.
Rootweir Faythe has lost you.
You ask Faythe, "Are you going to perform for me?"
Rootweir Faythe says to you, "Stay here one moment."
Faythe leaves to the west.
Faythe arrives from the west.
Rootweir Faythe says, "Okay."
Faythe wanders over to the stage, frowning at a list, before nodding.
There is a shimmering flicker in the air above a vine-entwined stage, as it readies itself to replay a recorded performance of 'Winter's Etude'.
The curtains part on a vine-entwined stage, heralding the start of the performance of 'Winter's Etude'.
Lief Myeras-Silvermoon parts the curtains of kudzu vines with her leading hand and wings her way onstage, taking position at the front and centre with her ivory violin and bow.
Lief Myeras-Silvermoon takes a moment to scrub her bow with rosin, the faint scent of tree sap dusting the air.
Once finished, Lief Myeras-Silvermoon lifts her violin, gently setting her chin against its rest.
Inhale. Exhale. One prolonged, meditative moment passes, and then Lief Myeras-Silvermoon begins.
Notes hop and skip from the quartet of strings pulled taut over the ivory violin, jumping with sudden, bright curiosity, falling like the very last cinnamon-orange leaf from a tree at the end of autumn, on the cusp of winter.
The introduction fades, and one long, tender note draws itself forth, lasting a second, a minute, an eternity.
You have emoted: Lief makes a face over at Faythe, her eyes twinkling nonetheless.
The way Lief Myeras-Silvermoon knits her brow together betrays a sense of mourning - and yet, too, a sense of anticipation as the single sound hums without break.
Finally, the note warbles in the air long after the pale bow stills, poised with perfect posture, and then, just as its sigh ends, music resumes.
Drifting, twirling, spiralling through the air, the melody dances on high, as crystalline as icicles, as fragile as snowflakes, and yet purposeful in the way that they cluster and gather.
Faythe fidgets in front of the stage, her hands behind her back as she faces you while the recording plays.
Blue-tinted silver flecks spark from her violin each time bow touches strings, floating like a lazy snowfall, fading before they touch the stage.
As the sparks begin to whirl and dance themselves, the music continues, growing more playful and bold with every stroke of the bow.
In the midst of play, Lief Myeras-Silvermoon conjures a flourish of her bow, and the flecks of silvery sparkles whirl with the motion as though caught on a winding, ephemeral wind.
Higher and higher still the music climbs, and at its peak it quavers, and then pauses, a held breath in the reigning silence.
The air above a vine-entwined stage shudders, as the recorded performance of 'Winter's Etude' pauses.
Faythe lowers the hood on gold-edged, pale green robes of the philosopher.
You have emoted: Lief tilts her antlered head the other way, the sound of silver chains chiming faintly against one another.
Faythe steps out in front of the stage as the recording suddenly freezes. Slowly, she pulls out from behind her an onyx-wrought violin of windswept cherry blossoms with matching bow, freshly rosined.
With a lengthy, wintry sigh, the clouds above release a small flurry of snowflakes.
You have emoted: Lief blinks slowly, eyes flicking from Faythe to the violin held in her hands. Confusion works her way across her features now - she doesn't dare let anticipation show, but uncertainty, she does.
Shifting almost nervously, Faythe lifts the instrument and settles it against her chin, fingers curling around and bracing the neck of the violin gently. She slides her fingers along the strings, and then lifts the bow. She closes her eyes for a moment, taking a breath, before she opens them again and draws the bow across the strings.
Faintly, as though in imitation of the recording behind her, Faythe angles her violin, jaunty little notes freeing themselves from the strings. A simplified version of the tune played by the flickering image of you behind her, each note is bright and precise.
Faythe keeps her eyes on the strings as she manipulates them with her fingers, continuing the skipping introduction of the piece. Then, she slows, shifting as she closes her eyes again. A long, low note sings forth from the belly of the violin, a mournful echo of the piece behind her.
You have emoted: Lief's eyebrows rise with silent surprise, her eyes widening. Beyond the shift in her expression, she doesn't dare move, as though doing anything might shatter the scene playing out before her.
Silence fills the air as the note fades away, before Faythe begins to play again. Her fingers glide along, settling with a bit of effort into the position for the next portion of the piece. She hesitates, and then resettles her hand once more, before continuing. Higher this time, the notes begin to climb upward, simple and sweet. It is nowhere near the skill of the recording behind her, but it is clear where the inspiration is drawn from.
A smile touches Faythe's features as she continues to play, the notes climbing higher and higher. They bound from the strings, playful and spritely as she shifts her fingers with each new note. She closes her eyes as the music reaches the peak, warbling and straining at the strings.
You have emoted: Lief smiles faintly as she listens, the music lulling her with its charming beauty. She even begins to allow herself to sway just slightly from side to side like a blade of grass bowing to the wind.
As the music approaches its zenith, Faythe slows the tempo. Rather than following along the rest of the recording, which seems too complicated for her to manage, she instead brings the notes back down to earth. Lower and lower they fall, before she hits the very lowest tone, drawing it out slowly. She holds it for several breaths, before finally drawing her bow away and allowing the music to fade. She opens her eyes once more, lowering the instrument as she looks up at you.
You have emoted: The last note lingers in the air, reverberating for quite some time, before Lief shakes herself of its spell. Finding herself back in the present, no longer caught up in the music, she blinks slowly, attention shifting this way and that before settling on Faythe. "You learned," she whispers.
Faythe nods and ducks her head in an uncharacteristic display of shyness for a moment. "I took private lessons with @Elexia
for almost a year." She looks up at you sheepishly. "Happy early birthday."
You have emoted: Of all things, Lief grows misty-eyed. Lifting her hands, she wipes furiously at her face, glistening marks left in the wake of her efforts to dry her cheeks. It takes her several moments more until she manages another choked, "You learned for me."
Faythe nods her head in agreement. "I learned for you," she echoes. "A little for me, in the end, but mostly for you."
You have emoted: Lief sucks down a long, rattling breath that she releases wetly. "Thank you, Faythe," she says when she can look up, just moments before swallowing another gulp of air.
Emotion giving ragged edges to her voice, you say, "This means so much to me."
Faythe crosses the grass and then crouches down in front of you. The violin and bow hang in a loose, careful grip from her hands as she regards the faeling. "You like it then? I've been practicing every spare moment I had. I didn't have enough time to try and compose a piece, so Elexia suggested I learn a portion of one you performed. This was the best one I could do, the beginning of it." She looks a bit worried. "I'm still having trouble with the third fingering position, so the higher notes are a struggle for me."
Continuing her sentence, Rootweir Faythe says, "But I wanted to learn for you, because I thought it would make you happy."
You have emoted: Lief doesn't exactly look happy, with her reddened eyes and her continued, albeit slowed, rubbing at her cheeks. But she insists, "I'm so very happy, Faythe. I don't think I can imagine a better gift in the whole, entire world. You played beautifully, and you made it your own."
A quiet smile crosses Faythe's features as she looks at you. "And here I thought I played so badly I made you cry for your poor art," she teases. She takes a breath. "This is why I told you I couldn't play the flute, why I had lied to you. I wanted time to finish learning the violin, and I was afraid you might want me to do a performance once you knew I could play that instrument. I've been playing so much I thought my fingers would fall off, and I'm still not that good, but my goal was to be able to play a song for you, for your birthday. I did it early because I didn't want you to get nosy as the time started to get closer. I knew you knew that I had something planned, since I told you." She grins at you sheepishly.
You have emoted: When Lief seems to have her emotional outburst somewhat tamed, she gives one last vigorous scrub at her cheeks before lowering her hands into her lap. "I know I'm nosy," she says, faint strains of anxiety in her words, "but I try not to ask for what's not ready to be given." Her antlered head shakes a little bit as though to clear it, and she follows her words emphatically with, "Your play rivals what I did in Harvest Moon, easily, and I practiced for so long for that performance. You were wonderful, Faythe. Are. You *are* wonderful."
Small insects flit about in a gentle cloud, their serene humming lending a murmuring cadence.
Faythe takes a seat on the ground next to you, settling her instrument in her lap. She leans back on her hands. "If I'm any good, it's because I had such a good teacher. Elexia tried to do it for free, but I made her take 500 gold for each lesson." She grins suddenly. "It was the least I could do. I'm sure she needed a good healer for the headaches from the first few lessons. The violin kept screeching." She shakes her head with a sigh. "I still sometimes make it screech."
Rootweir Faythe says, "But I kept at it, even when I thought I was a horrid musician, because you are my best friend, and you should have nothing less than the best."
Faythe nods her head sagely.
Making a face, Rootweir Faythe says, "Or well, the best I can attempt."
Rootweir Faythe says, "I'm sorry I made you cry though."
Faythe glances at you.
You have emoted: "The best any of us has," Lief says quietly, "is all anyone should ever ask of us." She pauses, wetting her lips, and shakes her head. "I cried," she laughs roughly, "because it was so beautiful and so meaningful to me!"
Faythe nods her head. "I should hope it was meaningful, it was your own work!" She pauses. "Well, part of it."
The white blanket of cloud in the sky above you thickens into a heavy cover.
Rootweir Faythe says, "So, happy almost-35th birthday, Lief."
Faythe gives you a peck on the cheek.
Rootweir Faythe says, "May you have many more happy birthdays."
Lips twitching upward, you say to Faythe, "That part of the song, I think of as the birth of winter. The first few snowfalls of the season are so delicate and beautiful - the first falls before the harder storms come."
Canting her head, speaking half to herself, you say, "I wonder what it meant to you when you played it?"
Making a face, Rootweir Faythe says, "Yes, and your harder winter snows were the bits I couldn't play yet. So complicated!"
Rootweir Faythe says, "I had to do a bunch of hand exercises to make my fingers reach that far around on the strings. You'd think it'd be easier, especially since I had to do good grips for when I fought with a blade, but it's so different!"
Rootweir Faythe says, "Meant to me?"
Deep in thought, Faythe leans her cheek on her hand.
Rootweir Faythe says, "I was just picturing your face, and how I hoped you'd feel, after hearing it. My only goal was to make you smile, to be proud, perhaps."
Faythe props her chin on her hand as she considers a bit more. "And it's true I actually really enjoy playing the instrument. I feel closer to you when I play it, and even a little bit closer to Elexia. I feel... useful, and there is a purpose to my music when there is no purpose in my life. It sounds silly, but you gave me purpose, Lief, even for that short time." She turns and smiles sheepishly at you.
Rootweir Faythe says, "That's how I felt while playing that bit."
Faythe nods her head emphatically.
You have emoted: Lief tugs at a lock of her short hair, eyes thoughtful on Faythe. "I think of that, too, when I play," she admits. "I think of how my work touches others - whether it touches others. 'Whether it leaves a mark or a scar'." The last words sound quoted, such weight does she place upon them. She then smiles with renewed warmth at Faythe. "I hope to hear so many more songs from you, Faythe. I really think you have a talent for it."
Faythe nods her head, pulling a rag from her pocket and using it to polish the length of her bow. "As long as it makes you happy Lief, it makes me happy, and I will continue to do so." She examines the instrument in her lap. "I rather like this design. It has my favorite flower." She touches the cherry blossoms lightly. "Fleeting and bright, cherry blossoms are."
You have emoted: "They've such a sweet and lovely scent to them," Lief agrees, her wings humming quietly behind her. Legs uncrossing, she lets them dangle toward the ground instead. "I think they suit you, Faythe."
Still smiling warmly, you say to Faythe, "I will always treasure this memory. I need to meditate, now, and I'm sure this song'll be in the back of my mind while I do."
You tell Oracular Elexia Myeras-Silvermoon, "Oh, it was beautiful. So beautiful I cried - ask Faythe. She felt bad!"
Faythe smiles slightly at that. "And you know, I did tell you before - I've always wanted to learn the bow!" She jestingly holds the bow in her hand aloft, though she clearly means something else.
You hide a grin behind your hand.
Faythe sets the instrument aside and then opens her arms to you. "Hugs before you go," she orders.
Elexia tells you, "She told me! Oh, it was such a lovely idea for a gift."
Elexia tells you, "And Faythe is such a quick study!"
You have emoted: Lief wings in eagerly, wrapping her arms about Faythe to squeeze her tightly. "Thank you," she repeats herself for the hundredth time.
The chirping of crickets surrounds you in a medley of night-time music.
Faythe returns the embrace, gently squeezing her friend back. "No, thank you, Lief." She releases you after a moment and then smiles. "Now, rest well."
You tell Oracular Elexia Myeras-Silvermoon, "She kept saying she wasn't as good as I was in the Etude, but Elexia, she's probably equal in skill to where I was when I played Harvest Moon. I bet she could play that like it was nothing."
You beam broadly at Faythe.
You say to Faythe, "I will!"
You tell Oracular Elexia Myeras-Silvermoon, "I have to meditate now, but thank you SO much for helping her, sister!"