Tolavin, R'zel


Tolavin's found some long-forgotten music to play - but R'zel doesn't find it so obscure.


It is midmorning of the first day of the eighth month of the fifteenth turn of the 12th pass.


Nighthearth, Southern Weyr.

OOC Date 24 Nov 2018 00:00


tolavin_default.jpg r-zel_default.jpg



A comfortable nook, this natural extension of the living room is cozily attired with overstuffed chairs and a couple of well-worn loveseats. All have been covered in various shades of green, giving the very incongruous appeal of a miniature forest hidden away inside… a grove of man-made proportion. Fish stews and spicy white-wherry chili are often kept hot on the minor hearths east and west of the main, for those whose hours defy when meals are kept. Ornate, the largest hearth towers high, rich with carving and utilitarian in fashion: it holds court by providing the weyr with rich klah, the air thick with the scent of cinnamon wafting.

The chilly winter rain is unpleasant enough to drive Tolavin into the Weyr in search of a warm spot - and he's found one, in the form of the night hearth. Yes, it may be mid morning, but the hearths are giving out a nice heat. There's also the added bonus of hot food and drinks! The harper's helped himself to a bowl of fish stew, as much for himself as for the gold fire-lizard sat quietly on the table. Fishing a chunk out with a spoon, he holds it towards, but not quite in reach, of her. She looks at it hungrily, but he keeps the food hovering there temptingly. "Good!" He seems happy with whatever it is he's teaching her, and now the spoon moves closer, the clearly very young fire-lizard eating the chunk of meat eagerly. A dark brown lurks above the nearest hearth, watching intently at the scene taking place at the table and the big comfy armchairs. "You're such a sweety," Tolavin tells the gold happily as he dips the spoon back into the stew before him.

R'zel has his own gold firelizard. She is definitely not being a sweetie today: she's perched on his shoulder as he approaches the nighthearth, and she is chittering loudly about something understood only by herself. R'zel is keeping a restraining hand over her forefeet. As he spots the harper and his young lizard, he tells Zhiva, "Now settle down before you upset…" he grins. "Whoever this is. You've got a new friend, Tolavin! What's her name?" Zhiva instantly forgets her protests and warbles cheerfully at the youngling. R'zel looks relieved. "I don't know what that's about, but maybe she'll let me get some klah, at least."

Tolavin turns a bright grin up at R'zel when the Wingleader approaches. "Hey R'zel! This," he says with a harper's flair, pausing just long enough to give a little suspense to the introduction- "is Princess. Isn't she a beauty?" Princess, for her part, cheeps up reservedly in reply to Zhiva's warble. "She giving you trouble?" Tolavin cocks his head at R'zel's gold; Princess takes the moment to take a sneaky step closer to the stew bowl. So close, yet so far. Innocent look engaged.

R'zel shrugs the shoulder that doesn't have a lizard on it. "Oh, something bothered her during drill, and she turned up while we were flying and wanted to perch on Verokanth's neck. She feels safe there, but it's not really on during drill, so she's miffed about that too. But I'm not sure what the original problem was." Zhiva is calming by the second now that something has distracted her. He rubs her chest with his finger as he turns his eyes towards the younger firelizard. "Princess. It suits her - she's going to be a pretty one."

"Huh." Tolavin's still rather enamoured with the latest of his fair, and he turns his lovey-dovey gaze back onto Princess. He's still pondering the Zhiva situation, though. "Does she usually do that sort of thing? I'm hoping Princess is going to be well behaved. I don't think her interrupting my lessons would go down well with the Masters." Though his broad smile implies he'd find it rather funny. "Bri stays out of the way, at least. And thanks! She was worth the marks I parted with for her egg, for sure." Paying for a fire-lizard in Southern? Well, then.

"No, she's usually pretty good. Something had frightened her, but she's not showing me what." R'zel sounds puzzled about that, but nods towards Princess. "So when did she hatch? And does she like music?" Rather important for a harper's pet, that. "Not that I've ever met one that didn't, but I suppose there could be exceptions." He makes for the klah hearth and pours himself a steaming mug.

Tolavin shares in R'zel's puzzlement, though he has no solution to the situation. "Weird." Talking about Princess! Yes, he's VERY happy to do that. "About - two months ago?" The man thinks for a moment, before a sharp nod confirms it. "Yeah, something like that. Time flies!" As to the music comment, he laughs. "Well, Bri's never seemed keen." Said brown glowers from above the hearth, unmoving and doing his best impression of a statue there. "Princess seems interested, though. She's even tried to sing a little, though I guess she's still growing into her voice." He blinks down at the gold who seems closer to the stew than she was, but Tolavin shrugs and spoons some food into his mouth. "How're you doing, anyway?" He asks R'zel, speaking around the mouthful.

"Pretty well," R'zel responds as he settles into a chair, careful not to spill the klah he's holding. "I tapped a second wingsecond, and it seems to be making a difference already. Having another person to help keep an eye on things, answer questions, and all that sort of thing, has to be better. How about you - how's harpering? And have you picked up any more good duets?"

"Glad to hear it!" His general notion of how Wings work tells Tolavint his is a good thing - and R'zel is certainly making it sound so, what with the list of positives he's given. "So you've got more time for playing now, right?" He asks with a wink and a grin, before he starts offering another spoonful of stew to Princess. She's been sat there so patiently. "I went digging and spotted an interesting one, but nobody's copied it across for so long the hide's in terrible condition. I'm gonna try and get some to make a few copies that we can use. Might be interesting to bring it back to life, so to speak?"

"That sounds like a job for one of your apprentices," R'zel chuckles - he's done his share of that sort of task, back in the day. "What's interesting about it?" Zhiva launches from his shoulder and lands on the table, obviously eyeing that spoon. R'zel's tone is affectionate but firm as he tells her, "Hey, you, that's not your stew! And you don't eat other people's food!" The gold backs off a little in response. "I should think so too!"

Tolavin gives R'zel a sly look. "You know the way the Hall works too well! As long as I don't give it to the one who seems to spill food on everything…" With a long-suffering sigh, he leaves that behind to talk animatedly about the piece, detailing the older techniques the piece has, ones that aren't common nowadays. "So I thought it'd be neat to give it a go. I know the theory of some of it, but actually playing it…that's gonna be the fun part," Tolavin concludes. Princess gives Zhiva a piteous look when she joins her on the table, and scoots closer to the bowl. Tolavin seems to find it amusing, at least, and reaches to pick his gold up and pop her on his shoulder. "She's a sweetie. I don't think she'd hurt a fly. Can't blame Zhiva for trying though - fish is one of their favourites, right?"

"She's fond of fishing, certainly. I think on the whole she prefers meat, though. But she's able to feed herself by fishing, so that's quite handy." R'zel's more curious about the music. "So who wrote it, and when does it date from? It sounds as if it might be a good contrast with what I picked up last time I went home. Mother's really pleased that I'm still playing, and she looked out some music for me."

"I think Bri must do that a lot, get his own food. He doesn't come to me for much." The brown doesn't seem to even be blinking up on his perch, just watching. Tolavin's used to this behaviour though, and now he has Princess to lavish with attention - which he does, stroking her back as he chats. "Not a name I recognised - a Master Gaverin, apparently. Seems to date back to the 10th Pass, so I guess someone who jumped forward thought it was worth grabbing and bringing with. Either that, or it's somehow survived the last few hundred Turns, but I doubt that!" He's very interested in what R'zel's mother's picked up, though, looking across at R'zel with lifted eyebrows. "Oh yeah? What's she got for you?"

R'zel laughs aloud as he hears the name. "Gaverin! That someone might quite possibly have been Mother, in that case - he was one of her teachers at the Hall, and I think she was rather fond of the old boy. She still talks about him sometimes. I don't remember him - but I've got some of his other pieces in my weyr. No duets, though, so that'll be fun to try. I've got some by one of the oldtime Istan masters, as well - some decent songs, and some really odd stuff, all experimental and not entirely tonal. But this time Mother gave me a bunch of duets including a couple that Morcom wrote recently - also experimental and not entirely tonal, to say nothing of fiendishly difficult, but I have to admit they've got something."

A broad grin spreads across Tolavin's face when the connection becomes apparent. "Well hey! That's neat. Once I get this one copied, you're welcome to have it to add to the others? Seems fitting to keep a collection together." Experimental music! His ears are pricking up now, his hands both going to the stew bowl to curl around its warmth. Rather than eating, he's listening to R'zel intently. "Nice - nothing like that to give us a challenge, huh? Is she gonna come hear you play at all? Sounds like she's trying to catch you out giving you the tricky stuff." He seems to find it all rather funny, eyes bright.

"I don't think she's out to get me - she did warn me that I might not be up to Morcom's stuff, but she couldn't really not include it, I suppose. Being married to the man." R'zel doesn't really hide the fact that he doesn't get on with his stepfather. "I suppose I could offer to pick her up sometime when I'm going to do a set at the Treble Clef." R'zel's eyes widen a little: he's had a glowbasket moment. "Which reminds me what I was thinking of: how about you and me doing a set of duets at the Treble Clef sometime? We should have enough music up to scratch before long."

Ah, the fun of family dynamics. "All the more reason for us to master it, huh?" Tolavin gives another cheery smile, trying to look on the bright side. "Yes!" He latches on to R'zel's bright idea with gusto. "I reckon we've got a decent repertoire now - something to please most everyone. I think I've got the measure of the place now. You wanna have a few more rehearsals, and we can figure out what we wanna play there?" He's talking a mile a minute, food and Princess (sorry, girl!) forgotten as his enthusiasm for his craft takes over.

"Yes, let's do that." This is a hobby for R'zel, but it's also his escape valve, and he's almost as enthusiastic and cheerful as the harper. "I'm going to need some time to prepare the new pieces, though. There's no way I can play Morcom's music without a lot of practice - if then - and Gaverin's stuff's probably lovely but if it's like the other pieces of his that I've got, I bet it needs impeccable fingering. I'll tell you what, though: why don't we have a look through what Mother gave me and decide what to tackle next. I can bring it down sometime."

A devilish look comes across Tolavin's features, and he waggles his eyebrows. "We'll crack it. Imagine the look on his face if he finds out you've mastered his music? Between the two of us, I reckon we can get a passable performance going!" He's not going to comment on whether he feels he can take on the difficulty factor of the two composers. "Sounds like a plan! Even if we just get one going for a performance, we can always work on the others later. And I'll buy your mum a drink for contributing to our portfolio!" The harper's grinning again, lifting his bowl in a toast to R'zel's mother, before finishing off the last of the now-tepid food, much to Princess's dismay.

R'zel's eyes acquire a conspiratorial gleam: he's going to take that as a challenge. "All right, it's a deal. The worst that can happen is we give it up as a bad job, after all. And I'm sure we can get a set together from the more… accessible stuff." Zhiva loses interest in sitting on the table once the food is gone, and returns to R'zel's shoulder. R'zel has forgotten his klah during the interesting conversation, but now picks up his mug and finds it cool enough for a long draught. He settles back in his chair, enjoying the warmth of the hearth area and the hot drink.

"Exactly!" Tolavin isn't having to drag R'zel into this challenge of sorts, though no doubt he wouldn't be above the coercion needed to get the Wingleader to agree. "Oh yeah, definitely. Maybe sandwich the difficult song between the others. Catch people unaware too, if we start with something more, ah, plain." He's looking forward to this a lot. But! He does have a job to do as a harper, outside of playing to the Treble Clef's audiences. He rises, taking care not to displace little Princess. In a sudden movement, Bri flies from the hearth and shoots off out of the living caverns. "Now I have the fun of a lesson with the little kids - still, at least they want to play, unlike some of the older ones." Ah, teaching.

"And that's exactly why I didn't want to be a harper," R'zel smirks. "Endless teaching of ballads to disinterested children. Enjoy your lesson." He laces his fingers around his warm mug. Zhiva wraps herself comfortably - for her, at least - round his neck. There is no hidework in sight, and right now, R'zel is planning on doing exactly nothing for a while.

"Will do!" Is Tolavin's response. At least he's got the prospect of future duets with R'zel to get him through whatever the kids are going to throw at him today - hopefully not literally. With Princess clinging to his shoulder, he heads off for the lower caverns with a bounce in his step.

Add a New Comment