• PM To Join • Go Blow your own Horn why don’t You.

Its Important.

As one approaches the City of Nashaki, trains of caravans lead through the sprawling outskirts to the numerous open city gates. The largest gate is on the west side and leads past the fortified walls into an octagon of eight districts. Each district features unique markets and is maintained by one of the eight Towers that rule Nashaki. In the city, heavily guarded, is the prized oasis that supports the Nashaki people to flourish in such an unforgiving land.
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Kaladis Anar
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Go Blow your own Horn why don’t You.

Go Blow your own Horn why don’t You.


23rd of Cylus
Nashaki, Vkran Street, Bombasts Shop

The Scrolls of Anar, Nashaki, #9 Learning the Muse.

I
t had been a struggle to find anyone specialising in teaching very loud instruments here in Nashaki, people generally seemed to prefer more refined, quieter or more specialised instruments. The blind singers of Kanmal were a prime example of a group that had voices of angels, quiet and practiced over Qi’ora decades. None of this would help him with his bonesong. Horns and drums is what Kaladis needed practice with, something loud and with a sound that carried, for the more subtle he would use his own voice as the instrument.

Speaking to the owner of this small, loud shop, his poor hearing was having real trouble making out what the man was saying over the din. They exchanged what amounted to shouts at each other, getting nowhere, until the blowing nearby stopped, even then Kaladis still couldn’t hear him very well, the shop owner was so used to shouting loudly, he continued to do so as he spoke.

“I am Bombast” he bellowed! “Welcome, how can I help you!” Bombast was a human of average height, tanned skin, thick moustache and bushy eyebrows. Wearing a merchants clothes, not silks but fine enough fabrics, green, purple and shades of grey, Bombast looked like he had a coin or two, but by the looks of the store around him and its dust, he was wearing most of it.

Resisting the temptation to bellow back at the man, Kaladis took a breath. “Kaladis of house Anar, I want to learn the horn and the drum.”

“We have many fine teachers here,” Bombast assured him enthusiastically.

“I want your best,” Kaladis stated firmly.

“Our best is not cheap,” Bombast took out a small horn from underneath his table. “Are you certain?” The merchant rubbed his hands together happily. Kaladis just nodded in response, too proud to settle for anything less than the best they had. It wasn’t a big building, he doubted they had anyone too expensive anyway.

Blowing on his own horn, Bombast called out one of the few elderly Qi’ora that Kaladis had ever seen up close, an old Qi'ora could place him at two centuries of age. He was a small man, with very simple clothing, having what Kaladis considered a sad look in his eyes. “A student for you Shinvar!” The older man perked up a little bit, before shuffling off slowly to another room, Kaladis followed him and they both took a seat.

If one thing Nashaki and the Qi'ora had, it was experience in their trades. There was no better place to be a student in his eyes.
~
Last edited by Kaladis Anar on Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 473
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NPCs: Ralari - Alaya| Themes: Social - Dreams - Nightmares
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Kaladis Anar
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Go Blow your own Horn why don’t You.

W
aiting for Kaladis to select an instrument, and sit, the elderly Qi’ora Shinvar, like the swordmaster Kaladis had learned from previously, preferred showing the basics first. Where they differed in teaching him, was the mitigation. Here the teacher was advising alternative techniques if Kaladis needed to adapt. “No notes. Leave it open. Hold the horn and note where it is stable.”

Kaladis blew and made no sound whatsoever. There was no reaction from his teacher, just waiting for him to go again, and again. Patience from the older man, or perhaps he had just done this so many times, that everything Kaladis was doing was expected. “Vibrate your libs, pressure makes the sound.”

The Eidisi vibrated his lips, getting a lacklustre sound if ever there was one. He’d picked a Carnyx, which was a long tall horn with a serpent head, designed to carry over the heads of a marching troop. Perfect for carrying long distances over a group of men, women, or undead constructs.

Shinvar told him to breathe from below as he called it, to “use the muscles here,” he pointed to Kaladis’s diaphragm, “take a deep breath, you will need it.” When he was being instructed, the Eidisi was a good listener, because it benefited him to be. He never complained or questioned the teacher at these early stages, until he’d had time to fully understand the material. Although they didn’t live as long as Qi’ora, Eidisi had a slower, more detailed process of working through a subject, than say a human ever did.

Taking a much deeper breath from his stomach area, he got more pressure on the horn, but his lips only partially vibrated and the note hovered around, it was there just not stable. Shinvar waited and didn’t say anything, he was not the first Qi’ora Kaladis had encountered with a subtle appraising way of communicating. He looked at Kaladis like he was a sculpture he was working on, or a sword that needed hammering straight.
~
word count: 359
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NPCs: Ralari - Alaya| Themes: Social - Dreams - Nightmares
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Kaladis Anar
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Go Blow your own Horn why don’t You.

P
atience was an understatement. Kaladis’s hearing made holding any particular note well difficult, much easier than singing because it wasn’t all based on his hearing, but difficult all the same. Shinvar repeatedly demonstrated breathing from his stomach, which hurt Kaladis at first, although he got a lot more oxygen out of it and a longer blow on the horn. They did this as many times as Kaladis needed, the basic technique for what seemed like an eternity.

“As the stomach rises and falls, that will show you, that you are breathing into your stomach correctly.”

The old man stopped to sip a cup of tea an attendant brought in, Kaladis refused as always, wanting his mind naturally sharp not herbally balanced. There was no rush from Shinvar to do anything, so much so even Kaladis was beginning to notice the slower pace. Was this really the best man they had? Eventually Shinvar asked for the horn and blew a melody even Kaladis’s dull hearing could not help but sway too. By the time he was done, the usual rigid posture from the Eidisi had relaxed noticeably, and two people were peering in the door, having enjoyed the show. Somewhere in the background Bombast could be heard blowing a horn to get them back to work.

Shinvar didn’t say anything after finishing, just let Kaladis practice and corrected him where he needed it. This went on for breaks, small corrections, alternative techniques were the real gems he gave Kaladis. Shinvar showed different positions for the fingers, different postures, teaching him to walk and blow at the same which was critical for the Carnyx, and his intent for it.

While Shinvar was moving his hand, Kaladis noticed the small blue snake on the wrist of the other, the man caught his glance but as usual said nothing. It was the same tattoo that he’d seen in the tunnels on a certain wrist, not knowing its significance or what it led to, only that the man had been a prisoner with him. Another might have immediately questioned him on it, but he took his time so not to draw suspicion and they continued as they were. On to different notes, using the same lip tension and pressure going onto another note. What Kaladis did have more luck with was rhythm, and his instructor telling him to hold the notes to the count of five became easier because of his stomach breathing.

“Practice the first five notes again until you can hold them steady.” Which for the horn, was going to last the rest of the lesson by the pace Kaladis was going at, nobody cared how long it took, and slowly but surely he was enjoying himself, even with the elephant in the room, or on the wrist so to speak. By the way they both wore the snake tattoo so visibly, it didn't seem a hidden secret, and it made Kaladis curious how it connected to a killer.
~
Last edited by Kaladis Anar on Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:08 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 512
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Kaladis Anar
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Go Blow your own Horn why don’t You.

W
hen Kaladis was comfortable, and more importantly Shinvar had stopped sculpting his students founding abilities, they took a break to give Kaladis’s stomach a rest, progressing to drums instead at his request. Asked again to pick his choice of instruments, the choice wasn’t as wide as the choice of wind instrument, so Kaladis made do. Picking out a simple, but loud hand drum with a wide face, a frame drum he was told, it had an open back and was made of light wood.

Shinvar told Kaladis to get a feel for the surface and test it with his fingers and palm. Explaining there are, “three positions to hold the drum, hand held with your fingers,” holding the drum and strumming it with his fingers. Shinvar demonstrated using his fingers while gripping it with his palm, also demonstrating; “the lap position”, which had one hand steadying it, and another being more able to freely to move around; “the leg position,” fitting the drum between the legs and using both hands to get much more freedom. Kaladis had already considered wearing the drum around a neck, to better have full access and mobility for it.

The first thing he made Kaladis do was find a good method of holding it, the hardest part being to strike and hold it at the same time. With the wooden drum facing away from him on its side, there was a small groove in the back to fit his thumb into, for increased grip. Kaladis immediately tried to use his fingers in the same grip, wanting control of the wayward instrument, “don’t grip the drum itself else you will mute it,” Shinvar advised, before he could really even think of that Kaladis had almost dropped it.

After a glare at the instrument, Kaladis found his grip again, Shinvar wasn’t satisfied with the angle his student had the drum, “at an awkward angle you will be uncomfortable when you play, or it will be unbalanced and slip from your hand.” He demonstrated with his own version of the frame drum, having it roll around on the left hand that was holding it, until Shinvar steadied it vertically to balance it upright.

There was a lot more to playing a drum than Kaladis had considered.
~
word count: 392
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NPCs: Ralari - Alaya| Themes: Social - Dreams - Nightmares
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Kaladis Anar
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Go Blow your own Horn why don’t You.

A
fter the basics were done, Shinvar spent a long time fine tuning his student’s own technique, and offering further alternatives, different grips to hold the frame, different frame drum types of different weights or sizes, and ways to use the fingers to make the initial sound.

Supporting the drum with his left hand, “Middle tone” Shinvar tapped the outer edge of the drum’s rim with a finger on his right, making a sharp sound. His thumb supported the drum also from the side to steady it, leaving four fingers free to hit on the right hand. “Low tone” Shinvar hit closer to the center with his index finger, making a base sound, alternating between these two tones

Kaladis copied him, and while Shinvar patiently ordered more herbal tea, Kaladis alternated between these two basic tones, for 30 bits, until he was comfortable and Shinvar had polished off another cup of tea or two.

“High tone,” at the peak of his student’s competence for the day, Shinvar progressed to a slightly more trick tone, using the flat supporting left hand. This was harder as it held the drum upright, and his student had difficulty maintaining the balance of the drum again. As if having seen hundreds of times before, first Shinvar just sat there waiting patiently, then suggested alternate ways of hitting the drum and angling it again. All four bottom fingers of the supporting hand could and eventually would be used, so Shinvar let him find the one he preferred.

“Slowly seek clarity in the tone, not song or melody,” Keeping it simple for his student, the old man relaxed back in his chair.

Blue snake tattoo again visible, Kaladis passed casual comment on it, “that’s an interesting marking, I am seeking my own, do you know of anyone?” The Eidisi kept the surface questioning familiar rather than intrusive, hoping to gain an answer with some truth to it. Keeping a steady beat on the drum between the high and the low tones, strokes on the rim and further in, this was easier than the horn he was finding, the only battle at this early stage was the balance and volume to the strokes which was far from consistent.
~
word count: 383
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NPCs: Ralari - Alaya| Themes: Social - Dreams - Nightmares
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Kaladis Anar
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Go Blow your own Horn why don’t You.

D
emonstrating and speaking at the same time, Shinvar didn’t miss a beat, “there is a woman I know, I will offer directions at the end.” Kaladis decided to press it as Shinvar seemed in no hurry to hide or cover the tattoo. “She does these snakes?” The Eidisi had trouble strumming and talking at the same time, trying his best.

Shinvar chuckled, “no they take many arcs to get. There is a man who teaches melody unlike any other and his students receive the mark when they graduate.” The elderly Qi’ora offered the information freely, as if it was common enough knowledge. Kaladis had trouble picturing the teacher as a student, he seemed venerable in years and talent, and if there was better out here it was worth finding out for that alone.

“I am interested in finding him as a teacher.” Kaladis’s motivations extended to investigating leads into finding the woman who had attacked them, but he didn’t reveal this, he had to chase up any lead he could.

“So are many. They won’t see you unless you can play for them, but I will give you directions.” The Qi’ora continued playing, and Kaladis was content he’d picked up an unexpected boon. Soon scribbled on some paper later, he squinted to read it, Gavalis was apparently the name of who he was looking for?

They picked up the pace, bringing all three tones into a basic rhythm together, Kaladis finding he had a natural talent for drums, unlike the horn which was a struggle, this was a joy. Not exactly bringing down the house, but he had a beat going, progressing to a four beat pattern, only missing the occasional beat but nothing major.

Hitting closer to the center of the drum, he muffled the sound and Shinvar advised he pulled back out of the center for most of his strokes. Demonstrating one specific technique at the center with the flat of his hand, giving a short flat sound. Feeling his student was ready for another, Shinvar introduced a scratching sound by rubbing the drum back and forth, softer with fingers, and harder with nails.

Now having five sounds to remember, the muffled center sound, the scratching or rub, the high, low and middle. Pushing Kaladis to his limit, Shinvar put all five into a rhythm and Kaladis found it difficult to keep up, dismissing any failure as momentary, it was clear he had talent for this. In his proud mind he pictured bodies of his workers, those marching under his will drumming their way to his melody, echoing out across the sands, and it was a good thought, ever cloaked in Audrae's embrace.

Fin For Now
~
word count: 466
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NPCs: Ralari - Alaya| Themes: Social - Dreams - Nightmares
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Go Blow your own Horn why don’t You.

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Go Blow your own Horn why don’t You.

Name: Kaladis Anar

Knowledge:
Location: Bombast's Shop
Location: Bombast's Shop: Teaching Rooms
NPC: Bombast
NPC: Bombast: Generally loud
NPC: Shinvar
NPC: Shinvar: Patient
NPC: Shinvar: Skilled musician
NPC: Shinvar: Has blue snake tattoo
Musical Instrument: Carnyx Horn
Musical Instrument: Carnyx Horn: Sound carries well
Musical Instrument: Carnyx Horn: Pressure makes sound
Musical Instrument: Breathing is key
Musical Instrument: Frame Drum
Musical Instrument: Frame Drum: Has three positions
Endurance: Working diaphragm muscles
Tactics: Timing questions
Nashiki Lore: Blue snake tattoo

Loot: -10 gn for the lesson
( Even if it is a small establishment, they did say the lesson wasn't gonna be cheap )
Injuries: None
Fame: None
Devotion: None

Story: 5/5
Collaboration: 0/5
Structure: 5/5
Magic: These points may not be used for magic

Comments: Overall, I felt as though this solo was really well written. There was one case of a missed word, but that was it as far as grammar went. I liked how you furthered ( what I assumed ) two plot points for your character in one. It was clear and easy to read, and I can say I enjoyed reading it.
word count: 188
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