She was called Moon Song, for no one knew her name and her songs had the light sound akin to the lunar beams of silver luminosity, if such a thing were to have sound. And Moon Song was most renowned for singing not one song that she did not compose herself. She carried not one but two instruments with her wherever she went, the first naught but a simple wooden flute. The tone of this flute was such that it made one feel as a child again, believing in tales of forest spirits, though the flute was nothing special.
But when she did not play the instrument that demanded her breath, she took up her harp, small enough to sit in the lap or to carry on her back. It was carried in a ratty bag, patched too many times, and wrapped with a quilt that years ago had been lovingly made. What came out of that quilt seemed at first simple, another wooden instrument. But the frame of the harp was covered with intricate carvings inlaid with gold settings, so that it was judged the harp was worth more than the bard herself. Two or three of the carvings proved to be runes that might gleam a little brighter than all the other carvings while the strings were plucked. And on the head also was the form of a sun (which seemed contradictory to both her song and her name) which faced the audience and gleamed brighter than the runes. She treated both harp and flute as a mother treats a babe.
This bard traveled all of Gallidon, and though none knew from whence she had come, all enjoyed her trade. She never settled long in one place, some whispered because she did not want the constriction of staying in one place, though most assumed it for new and renewed pay. Many rumors drifted around concerning the mysterious bard, no two alike, scandals about her life on the road, unwed and friendly. But all agreed on one thing. She played and she sang as one who had lost everything, despite appearing to have it all.
Despite her cheery smile.
This evening she entertained at The Sword and the Talisman, an inn in Mogadur, frequented usually by the lower nobles. Upon agreeing on her pay with the innkeeper, she mounted the ‘stage’ which was little more than a platform in one corner of the room, and flourished her cape. The cape was an extravagant piece of work, dyed with many colors, and though it seemed incongruous when it settled, was loud and flamboyant when flourished.
There was a time she might have had to announce herself, and to be honest, there were frequent times she still did. But she had visited here before, and with such a unique appearance, she was recognized. From her premature white hair, to her dress, she was unique. Beneath the flamboyant cloak she wore simple traveler’s clothes, a man’s white tunic, left strategically unbuttoned, and leather pants, which left little to be imagined. Heavy traveler’s boots (but fresh as of an hour ago, the muddied ones stored elsewhere) and heavy leather gloves. She even wore a baldric, which on first glance seemed to be of no use, as she seemed to wear no weapons, but if one looked closer they might see the weapon’s belt had been modified to carry instead the harp’s bag and the flute’s sturdy case.
The inn quieted and turned their attention to her. “Evening good sirs and madams,” she said, hardly needing to raise her voice, yet it carried to every corner of the intricate room. “Many of you know me, and I recognize many faces.” She removed the cloak, with an extra flourish, and draped it over a chair nearby, before removing the heavy gloves. “I am humbled by the presence of many nobles tonight, and commoners as well.” She dipped her head to both, seated in different parts of the room, as she removed the flute from its case and the harp from where it was clipped to her back. “I wish I could say my reputation precedes me, but that would be a lie. We all know it is for Madam's delicious meals that you are here.”
She turned ageless eyes towards the audience, and grinned, as she raised the flute. “Ah, but don’t worry, I won’t waste your time with talk,” she finished before starting a hearty song. With the passion of the music she played her body seemed to heat up, years seemed to drop from her frame as pure music overwhelmed her, sweeping her audience away with her.
This Work set in Runes of Gallidon — runesofgallidon.com.
Available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
First Published September, 2009
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