• Solo • The Lute, Part 1

The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.
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Race: Mortal Born
Profession: Baron Smooglethorn
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The Lute, Part 1

Ashan 40, Arc 706

Devin was on his way home from school. He was always either on his way home from school or on his way to school, but hardly ever at school. He didn’t like school. The other children laughed at him because of his cheap clothes that were always several arcs out of fashion, and they also made fun of his mother because her job consisted of emptying the judge’s chamber pots, among other things. Besides, school bored him. It bored him nearly out of his mind. The teachers were dull, and everything was just so slow. If only they’d let him study on his own, he thought, he would have graduated by now. He didn’t understand why he had to spend another seven arcs in a building full of idiots!

This trial, he was walking through the streets of The Crown where the nobles and other members of the upper class lived instead of sitting in his classroom, whistling a merry little tune and pretending that he was one of them. He held his head high and tried to walk just like the people around him. He was … he decided that he wasn’t simply Devin, the son of a servant, but a wealthy merchant’s son that had come to visit from the Eastern Settlement. People were only staring at him because they were wondering who this elegant young man was and not because he stuck out like a sore thumb among all the elegant ladies and gentlemen. He pretended that he was just on his way to a fancy restaurant where he would dine like a noble lord.

He could almost taste the delicious food he would eat when a harsh voice pulled him out of his daydream abruptly. “I had no idea that his kind are allowed here! Go back to Lowtown, you little beggar!” Devin turned around and stared at the woman that stood there with what he assumed to be one of her friends, clenching his fists as he did so. Both of them were middle aged and dressed elegantly and practically reeked of incredibly expensive perfume, and both of them had dogs with them that were small, white and fluffy.

“What are you staring at?” the woman asked and looked at him as if he were a disgusting little insect. “Go away! Shoo!” With that she turned to her friend again and complained, “The nerve of these people! The king should pass a law that forces them to stay in their part of their city!” Devin’s face turned red, and he felt tears start to form in the corners of his eyes even though he didn’t want to cry. For a moment, he wanted nothing more than to punch the stupid bitch, but then he simply ran. He ran as fast as he could, away from the insults and the embarrassment, burning with shame.

He hated this. He hated that people looked down on him because his family were poor even though he hadn’t chosen to be poor, and he hated his mother because she did all that demeaning work. Why couldn’t his parents be nobles? He didn’t want that kind of life!

It wasn’t fair!


After a while, he realized that he didn’t know where he was anymore. He’d gotten lost. He stopped abruptly, looked around and tried to find out if anything looked familiar, but to no avail. He was in a part of the city he had never been to before. The buildings around him weren’t quite as posh as those in The Crown, and the people were dressed normally, but everything was still pretty nice. He was in a street that was full of little shops and cafes.

He suddenly realized that he was hungry. He reached into a pocket of his rather plain, dull blue jacket and felt the copper nel that his mother had given him that morning so that he could buy a bite to eat during lunch break, usually a sandwich with a single piece of ham or cheese, because that was all that you could get for a copper nel. Could you buy a sandwich for a copper nel in this street? Or maybe a cup of coffee? His mother never let him drink coffee because she insisted that he was too young, and coffee was expensive anyway.

He hesitantly made his way towards a café where a few men and women sat, drinking and chatting. They looked friendly and happy. It was just then that something else caught his eye though. There was a shop with a large window directly next to the café. The most amazing thing he had ever seen was on display in the window. It was a lute, a lute made of the finest wood imaginable, with intricate carvings. It nearly seemed to shimmer!

Devin stared at it open-mouthed for a moment, not caring that it made him look like an idiot. He wanted it. He had never wanted anything so much in his entire life. He wanted it even more than food and coffee and new clothes. He loved music. His neighbour sometimes let him play on his lute if he helped him around the house. It made him forget the world for a while. If he only had that beautiful lute, then everything would be alright again!


His feet moved towards the shop almost of their own volition. A little bell above the door sounded as he entered, clutching his copper nel in his right hand as if he were afraid of losing it. He could see that the shop was full of instruments, but he only cared about the lute. He wanted it. He needed it. He needed to buy it before someone else could do so!

An old, white haired man stepped forward from behind the counter and smiled at Devin kindly and somewhat confusedly before he asked, “Yes, young man? What can I do for you?”

Devin was so excited that he could barely speak. “The lute … the lute in your window!” he stammered and pointed. “Can I see it? I want it! I have money!” he added.

The man eyed him doubtfully for a moment, but something about the look on Devin’s face must have moved him. Eventually, he walked over to the window, removed the lute and brought it over to the counter. “This is an archlute with fourteen courses - or fourteen pairs of strings, in this case”, he explained, realizing that Devin might not know what a course was.

“That makes it somewhat more complicated to play than a normal lute, but greatly expands its range compared to lutes with six or even eight or nine pairs of strings, for example.” He paused and touched the little knobs that were attached to the neck of the lute before he played a few chords that were so beautiful that Devin gasped.

“What are those things?” Devin wanted to know and pointed at the knobs.

“These are pegs, not things”, the old man said, rather amused by how eager Devin was. “You use them to tune a lute and adjust string tension. Do you want to hold the lute for a moment? Careful”, he warned him as he laid the instrument in his arms.

Devin held it as if it was the most precious thing ever and tentatively moved his fingers across the strings before he returned it to the old man with a look of utter regret on his face.

“How much does it cost?” he wanted to know, hoping against all odds that the old man would say ‘a copper nel’.

“Twenty nels”, the man said. Noticing the dejected look on Devin’s face, he directed him towards a table where there were several other lutes on display. “Here”, he said and took a lute that was made of very plain, dark wood and only had six pairs of strings. “This one is used, and it’s quality is not as high, but it’s a good instrument for a beginner. It only costs five golden nels.”

He handed the old lute to Devin who plucked the strings for a moment, frowning as he did so. It didn’t only look ugly, it sounded ugly compared to the other lute. It sounded flat and strange, and he didn’t want it. He couldn’t afford it anyway, he realized. At that point, he wondered if there was anything in the shop he could afford. Maybe a stupid flute?

He opened his fist and showed the old man his copper nel, expecting to be laughed at. People always laughed at him. “What kind of instrument can I get for this here?” he wanted to know.

The old man shook his head. He didn’t laugh at Devin, but only looked at him with pity, realizing that the boy had even less money than he had thought at first. “I’m afraid that even the cheapest instrument costs five silvers. Maybe you could ask your parents to buy you a lute though?” he suggested. Now it was Devin’s turn to shake his head. He doubted that his parents could afford a lute. They could barely afford to buy new clothes for him!

“I’ll tell you something, young man”, the shop owner said because he had never met somebody that wanted one of his instruments so much before and wanted to help him somehow. “I will put the lute into the backroom for a ten-trial, and I won’t sell it, and if you manage to procure the money after all, it’s all yours. I’ll even give you discount. What do you say?”

He extended a hand, and Devin shook it even though the chance that he’d be able to procure twenty nels in a ten-trial was miniscule at best. He wanted the lute so much that it didn’t matter though. Maybe he could sell some of his old clothes. He didn’t like them anyway. He’d even help his mother empty the judge’s chamber pots if people agreed to pay him – or go to school!

If he only got the lute, he’d gladly let the other children insult him and the teachers bore him!

It would all be worth it!
word count: 1735


  • Due to an encounter with a magical tree Devin has bright violet eyes.
  • Devin has fancy black claw-like nails. The Grafter Rakvald made them from the spines that grow on the dubaebo's back and attached them to Devin's hands.


Devin owns a Ring of Reversal. He's always wearing it, unless stated otherwise.


Posts: 469
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:29 am
Race: Human
Renown: 270
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Wealth Tier: Tier 6


Re: The Lute, Part 1





Musical Instrument (Lute): Definition of a course
Musical Instrument (Lute): An archlute has 14 courses
Musical Instrument (Lute): The more strings, the greater the range
Musical Instrument (Lute): Pegs are used to adjust string tension
Musical Instrument (Lute): The quality of your instrument matters
Running: Running from people that insult you

Renown: 5 drawing attention to oneself

EXP: 10


Wow, those people were so mean to Devin when he was younger! I wonder if that’s why he ended up becoming so fashionable and deceitful when he grew up. I loved the childlike wonder Devin had towards the lute and how determined he was to afford anything he could get. Enjoy the rewards.

word count: 121
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