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    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Singer to the Sea (for SuBuWriMo)

    A/N: This does contain spoilers for Magic of a Melody!

    "Singer to the Sea"

    The First Night

    "Is she here?" a Persian asked as the sea breeze rippled her pale yellow fur and nearly blew the small silver tiara atop her head into the water.

    "Of course she's here, Kissa." the Persian's owner, a brown haired boy with tanned skin, replied as he approached the shore. "Melodisa said that she would always come to us if we played to the sea." After picking some seaweed from his dull red, white, and gold tunic and making sure that various instrument cases were accounted for, he addressed the majestic cat Pokemon again. "What shall we play this time?"

    "Whatever you like, Master--merfolk have no preference of song." Kissa replied as she glanced out at the waves. "I wonder what Melodisa's been doing since our quest for Rainbow Symphony..."

    "Probably exploring the sea and trading with those in the port towns." the boy replied as he took a harp from one case and began tuning it.

    Once he was ready, the boy began to play a quiet melody Kissa recognized as the Prayer to the Sea--the one song guaranteed to lure the merfolk to the surface. She didn't know why the merfolk liked the song--was it because the chords ebbed and flowed like the waves? Or maybe the melody reminded them of a sailor lost at sea? Whatever the reason, she liked it too, and thought of the mermaid they had met every time she heard her master play it.

    The last note faded away into the evening sky, which was beginning to turn pink, yellow, and orange as the sun set. All was quiet for a moment as both the minstrel and his Persian watched and waited to see if their mer-friend had heard their song.

    Just as they were about to pack up and return to the town that overlooked the beach, a flash of dull fuschia beneath the water got Kissa's attention. "She's here!" The flash of scales in other colors and the jerky movements of smaller fins got her attention as well. "and it appears she has mer-children with her, too!"

    Sure enough, a small black haired mermaid with a blue tail was first to surface. "Is this the landboy singer you told us about, Melodisa?" she asked.

    "Of course..." an older female voice replied before Melodisa surfaced, the beads in her dark brown hair shimmering in the fading sun like pearls. "This is Brock, the landboy that helped me save the Ocean Shrine last year."

    "Wow...a real member of the landfolk!" a blonde haired merboy with a red tail gasped as he swam to get a closer look at Brock.

    "Hail and well met, Guide of the Merfolk." Brock replied. "I find it hard to believe it has been a year since I unleashed the ultimate Song Magic..."

    "Are your friends here too?" Melodisa asked as she combed out her hair with a cockleshell.

    "Not this time--just me and my pet, Kissa." Brock replied.

    "Well, what have become of your friends since you completed your quest and drove the Dark King away?" Melodisa asked.

    "Dawn has returned to Whitespell Temple, although now she divides her time between the temple and her family." Brock explained. "Misty was reunited with her comrades, and has since returned to Mavi. Janine has returned to Miyakawa Village, and is now known as a hero there..."

    "And the mage?" Melodisa wondered.

    "Ash mainly teaches aspiring mages for most of the year, and travels with me when classes are not in session." Brock continued. "Myself, I continue traveling and performing for the landfolk."

    "...and I teach the merchildren when I am not trading with the landfolk." Melodisa replied before gesturing to the group of five merchildren swimming in circles around a rock.

    "So these are your charges..." Kissa mused.

    "Mm-hm--they have the energy of a pod of Gorebyss!" Melodisa giggled as she shepherded the merchildren back by her side. "I brought them to the surface so they could hear some of the songs and stories of the landfolk."

    "Well then, I guess it is appropriate that we begin with a tale of the sea." Brock smiled before retrieving his harp from its case and beginning the song of Marista Laire.

    "Is that song special to you, Landsinger?" a brown haired mergirl with a green tail asked when the song ended.

    "Yes--my teacher mainly told stories, and she would play that song at the start of a performance." Brock explained. "I play that song when I begin the tale telling in a performance in her memory." The merchildren nodded to show they understood and listened as Brock began his tale. "In a far away land, there was once a king that owned a small hand mill. But this hand mill did more than grind grain for bread--all you had to was request something and turn the crank, and whatever was requested would appear. If you requested gold, it would produce gold. If you requested pearls, it would produce pearls. Whatever you named, it would produce."

    After playing a brief interlude, he continued. "Now one day, a thief heard of the magical mill, and decided to try and steal it. He spent days formulating a plan, then set out for the palace. He disguised himself as a scholar and talked of many things with an official. During this talk, he learned that the mill was right by the lotus pond in the royal garden. So one night, he snuck in the palace and stole the mill.

    "And then?" the green mergirl asked.

    "Once he left the palace, the thief was struck with fear--once it was discovered that the mill was taken, every man, woman, and child would be questioned as to where it was." Brock continued. "So he decided to sail somewhere far away to hide. Once he had set sail, he thought long and hard as to what to request from the mill. Then an idea came to him--salt."

    "Salt?" the merchildren asked, confused.

    "The thief thought that since there was always a need for salt among the landfolk, he would make a lot of money selling and producing it. So he commanded the mill to produce salt, and salt came spilling out into the boat. Giddy with joy, the thief told the mill to continue producing salt. Eventually, the boat sank beneath the sea, it was so full of salt. That, the landfolk say, is why the sea is salty."

    "Tell us some more landfolk tales!" the blue mergirl begged.

    "And sing some landfolk songs!" an auburn haired merboy agreed.

    "Now remember, if you wish to interact with the landfolk regularly, you must understand their customs, tales, and traditions." Melodisa cautioned the merchildren. "So when we return, I will be asking you what you remember from these songs and stories."
    Last edited by LightningTopaz; 9th June 2011 at 11:55 AM.
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    Default Re: Singer to the Sea (for SuBuWriMo)

    The Second Night


    Brock was surprised the next night by Melodisa and the five merchildren waiting for him as he and Kissa approached the shallows. "Well! I didn't have to call you this time!"

    "I've told my charges that we will arrive here to see you perform each night for thirty nights--that is enough time for them to learn about and understand the ways of the landfolk." Melodisa explained as a couple of the mergirls swam up to a rock and watched as Brock began tuning his harp. "So tell your tales and sing your songs, and we will be glad to listen."

    "First of all, might I know the names of these little merfolk?" Brock asked.

    "Okay...there's Pearl..." Melodisa began, prompting the blue tailed mergirl to wave hello. "Tristan..." The red tailed merboy looked up from staring down a Krabby and waved. "Nadia..." The green tailed mergirl giggled as she waved. "Rio..." An auburn haired merboy with a orange tail paused from organizing some seashells to wave. "and Alana." A yellow tailed mergirl waved, then set three pearls onto a rock for later.

    "Pleased to meet all of you." Brock replied. "I hope you will enjoy what I have to share on these thirty nights." With that, he played the song of Marista Laire to focus his thoughts.

    "Those that tell tales and sing songs among our kind are known as loresingers." Alana explained. "Usually they help tend to the Sea Guardian's shrine, but there are a few that wander the seven seas like you wander the land."

    "Nadia's training to be a loresinger." Tristan interjected. "If you want, she could trade one story from the sea in return for a story from the land."

    "My loremaster Undine really liked the salt story you told last night." Nadia added. "I told it to her myself."

    "Then listen close, for tonight I have a tune as well as a tale." Brock replied before preparing to play the harp again. "Hear now a dance of the land called 'Lights Among the Water'". With that, he began a playful jig, prompting the merchildren to clap along. While the the mergirls were more appriciative of the performance, the merboys were trying their hardest not to laugh as Brock skipped across the sand in time to his song. Tristan let a giggle slip, but Melodisa shot him a warning glance.

    Nadia snapped as the song ended, forming a small harp made from yellow coral. "Would you teach me that song, landsinger? Please?"

    "Okay...I'm going to play the basic melody slowly, and you can follow along, Lady Nadia." Brock replied as he waited for Nadia to tune. Then, he began the lighthearted melody again at a slower tempo, repeating any problematic sections as Nadia played along with him.

    "Not bad for a first try, Nadia." Rio noted as Nadia slowly ran through the bouncy tune again.

    "I'll practice it again later--let's hear what tale from the land the landboy will tell tonight." Nadia assured Rio as she sent the harp away in a veil of water.

    Brock took that opportunity to play Marista's song to calm the merchildren down, then began a tale. "There was once a wealthy merchant who lived with his wife and many servants. One of these servants--a girl I will call Kotoba--was as wise and clever as she was beautiful, and worked hard to earn every bit of her wage. When she had saved up 150 pieces of gold, she asked her master if she could travel to her hometown and visit her family. The merchant was proud of Kotoba for her wise ways and hard work, and agreed to let her travel, wishing her well on her journey."

    "So where did Kotoba go?" Tristan asked, studying Alana's pearls all the while.

    "Kotoba set out early the next morning, and came to a marketplace in a neighboring town." Brock continued over an interlude. "As she admired the many things for sale, she heard one merchant calling "Words for sale!"

    "How can words be traded?" Pearl was confused.

    "Kotoba felt the same way, but paid the fifty gold pieces for the merchant's words anyway." Brock replied. The merchant told her 'Do not betray the hand that feeds you'. Kotoba took the words to heart and went on her way.

    As she went along, she met two other word traders and bought two more pieces of advice: 'Those who wish to climb may fall, but those who do not wish this will soon rise above us all.' and 'Where the heart is fond, the beloved is beautiful'. As she had no more coins, Kotoba decided to wait on her trip home, and returned to her master's house, pleased with the words she had bought."

    "What good would words do, anyway?" Rio was piqued.

    "Listen, and you'll see." Melodisa assured him.

    "Some time later, the merchant left on a journey himself, and left Kotoba in charge of the house." Brock continued. One of the other servants, jealous that Kotoba had been chosen to watch the house, came and said to her that the merchant's wife wished to see her. But Kotoba remembered the advice 'Do not betray the hand that feeds you', and did not go.

    Later, she went to the market, where some villagers invited her to join them at the tavern. She politely refused, remembering the second piece of advice she had bought, and paid no mind to the taunting and teasing as she went about her business.

    Then, she met an old man with two fine Ponytas--one with a normal red mane and a second whose mane glowed as blue as the sea. He asked Kotoba which of the two was the more beautiful, but she simply replied 'Where the heart is fond, the beloved is beautiful'.

    Suddenly, the shining Ponyta transformed into a handsome prince, who joyfully embraced Kotoba as thanks for setting him free from a curse. They fell in love and were soon married. Kotoba's master wished the couple well, but Kotoba never forgot the value of words."

    "That's an interesting story..." Tristan mused.

    "I think you again for another evening of music and story--we will return again at the same time tomorrow." Melodisa assured Brock before she and her charges prepared to return to the water.

    "I'll keep practicing that song, too!" Nadia called to Brock before she and the other merfolk disappeared beneath the waves....
    Last edited by LightningTopaz; 4th June 2011 at 08:18 AM.
    My URPG stats: Maya's status

    SuBuWriMo status: 28,103 words in all!

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    Default Re: Singer to the Sea (for SuBuWriMo)

    The Third Night


    "What story are you going to tell us tonight?" Pearl asked as she and the other merchildren arrived. "Melodisa's coming, she's just finishing the evening offering to the Sea Guardian."

    "Well...tonight I brought a new instrument, as well as a story that features it." Brock explained as he retrieved a silver whistle from one pocket. "Mind you, I didn't forget the harp, either." he assured Nadia as she arrived.

    Once Melodisa and the merchildren were present, Brock took the harp and played Marista's song to compose his thoughts, then set it aside as he began. "Here on the surface, one of the most well known trickster figures is Sorin, a very crafty Pikachu."

    "Is he anything like Umi the Vaporeon?" Nadia asked.

    "Somewhat--Sorin does face justice for his pranks on occassion, unlike Umi--but he finds a way to escape and pull pranks again." Brock explained. "In this particular tale, he inadvertantly creates a day where the Pokemon danced when he is brought to justice."

    "But we digress--this is the tale." Kissa interjected.

    "One day, Sorin's uncle gave his nephew a fine bow hewn from a juniper tree and a whistle made of silver." Brock began. "Like this one." he explained as the merchildren oohed and ahhed over the tiny instrument.

    "Now, in most versions of the tale, Sorin receives a fiddle, but many minstrels will change the instrument to whatever they can play or whatever they want to play." Kissa interjected before slinking away behind a rock, fearful of the annoyed gaze Brock shot at her.

    "Where was I?" Brock mused before the next part of the tale came to him. "Oh...Sorin's uncle said to his nephew..." He then switched to a deeper voice. "This bow will not miss, and the whistle will always sound sweet so long as you use them wisely."

    As himself, he continued. "Sorin eagerly set out into the world, and came upon Liepard stalking a Sawsbuck. Sorin offered to help, and proceeded to kill a Sawsbuck clean thrugh the heart."

    "That must've been one sharp arrow!" Rio commented.

    "Liepard was amazed by the bow, and pleaded with Sorin to sell it to him, but time and again Sorin refused." Brock continued. "They argued for hours, until Ninetales passed that way, interested in the arguement. After hearing Sorin's and Liepard's side of the story, Ninetales suggested that they both travel to see the council of Pokemon, headed by King Entei. Sorin agreed to Ninetales' proposal, and he and Liepard went out to the grove where the council met. They got there just as the council was settling in to hear disputes. King Entei stood in the center, with Donphan and Zebstrika on his left, and Girafarig and Mightyena on his right."

    "May I interject with some explanation?" Kissa interuppted. "Just as it is said that Lapras rules the sea Pokemon, the landfolk believe that Entei rules the land Pokemon." Upon seeing Brock's annoyed glance again, she stammered. "That is all--please continue."

    "King Entei told Sorin to state his case, and Sorin tearfully pleaded his case to the council--the bow was a gift from his uncle, and Liepard was trying to take it." Brock continued. "Liepard claimed that the bow was his, and Sorin tried to steal it."

    "So what did the council say?" Alana asked as she toyed with a pearl.

    "The council debated for a few moments," Brock replied. "and Zebstrika finally said..."

    "Sorin, we find that you were the one that stole the bow." Kissa interjected in character as Zebstrika. "As punishment, you are to turn it over to Liepard and pay 5000 Berries as restitution."

    "Sorin requested one thing before turning the bow over to Liepard--to play the silver whistle." Brock continued. "Girafarig granted permission, and Sorin began playing a reel--the other Pokemon found the tune catchy, and danced to the song, which sounded something like this." With that, he played the reel "Miran's Flight to Sindura."

    "Bravo!" Tristan led the applause as the song ended.

    "Encore!" Pearl agreed.

    "Sorin played on, and all the Pokemon danced right along with him, until they all groaned with exhaustion." Brock interjected before beginning a set of polkas. The merchildren's eyes grew wide as Brock blazed his way through the four tunes in the set, his fingers flying over the fingerholes all the while.

    At the set's last note faded into the setting sun, the story ended as well. "King Entei pleaded with Sorin to stop, and Sorin replied he would only stop if Liepard told the truth. Fearful at the prospect of dancing even more, Liepard confessed that the bow was Sorin's all along, and paid the 500 Berry fine for lying to the council. Since then, no Pokemon has ever forgotten the day that the Pokemon danced."

    "Not even the sea Pokemon?" Nadia asked.

    "Not even them." Brock replied.

    "Well, since you have the whistle out and your tale has ended..." Kissa mused as she rejoined Brock on the shore. "Can we share a song with the merchildren?"

    "Now that I've finished, you may sing now." Brock replied, switching the whistle out for the harp. "What's your pleasure to sing, Kissa?"

    Kissa, however, was focused on the merchildren. "Hear now a comical tale about a little girl's curiosity about a book....this is 'The Little Book of Night'." Brock nodded and began a playful introduction before Kissa began:
    I saw it on the bookshelf not too long ago,
    Inside my father's study, was it filled with tales of joy or woe?

    He had said not to read the tome, but this I wondered why
    It was merely a little book on the shelf, and one whose opening I dare not try.

    So I set off to ask him why the black tome must not be read.
    He gasped out loud at my request, and told me I was good as dead.

    The black book, he said, was magic of the direst and evil kind,
    and if I were to read the words within, I would surely lose my mind...


    The song continued into the night as Kissa kept describing contrived reason after contrived reason for not reading the book, but the merchilden's laughter echoed into the starlit sky when it was revealed to be nothing more than a magical recipe book...
    My URPG stats: Maya's status

    SuBuWriMo status: 28,103 words in all!

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    Default Re: Singer to the Sea (for SuBuWriMo)

    The Fourth Night


    Brock and Kissa returned to the shore the next evening to discover that Nadia had already arrived with her harp, and was running through "Lights Among the Water". Unlike Brock's spirited rendition, Nadia's version was still shaky, and still lacked much of the bounce that characterized the tune.

    "It seems you have the basic melody down..." Kissa commented as Nadia finished another slow run-through of the song.

    "I do--it's just playing it fast always makes me stumble." Nadia explained as a fast run- through was marred by a wrong note.

    "The key is to start slow and work your way up." Brock suggested. "If it's any consolation, it took me a lot of practice to learn it as well."

    Nadia smiled. "Thanks for the advice...while we wait for the others to arrive, I want to share with you a tale from the sea." With that, she played a quiet lullaby-like melody. "There was once a kepala--a chief of the sea--who fancied himself a master of riddles. So whenever someone told him one, the kepala would tell that person his own riddle--'Kou ola na ma ola! Answer me now, or face the Sea Guardian!' Since no one knew what the odd phrase in the sea tongue meant, many merchildren ended up as meals to the Sea Guardian, Kyorge. Before long, that city risked becoming a city of elders. The Wily Kepala, as this kepala came to be known, soon was feared across the seven seas, and was even known among the landfolk too."

    "How cruel, sacrificing your own people for failing to solve an impossible riddle!" Kissa gasped. Brock gritted his teeth as well--he had told plenty of tales telling of cruel kings and rulers, but this ruler of the merfolk took the cake!

    "One of the few remaining children was a mergirl renowned for her wisdom--I will call her Anya." Nadia continued. "She was the last remaining child in her family, as her brothers and sisters had all been thrown to the Sea Guardian at one time or another. Her parents wept when they heard that Anya had been chosen to find a riddle--they feared that she too would be the Sea Guardian's next meal. They pleaded with her to find an answer to the death riddle as Anya set out the next morning."

    "Did she ever find an answer?" Brock asked, fearing for Anya's fate.

    "Anya searched across the seven seas, but many had lost a son or a daughter to the Sea Guardian, and few were brave enough to tell her what riddles they knew." Nadia continued over a soft interlude. "In time, she had found three riddles, but no leads as to how to answer the death riddle. She met an elder couple in one village that invited her to spend the night--they had heavy hearts, for not only had they lost a son, but many grandchildren as well to the Sea Guardian. Anya asked them if they know what 'kou ola na ma ola' meant, and the elder merman's heart sank--all he remembered was that the line itself was part of a challenge--'Your life for my life'--and what was greater than life itself."

    "Hm..." Brock mused as he entertained several theories as to what could possibly be greater than life itself.

    "A vexing question, indeed." Kissa agreed.

    "Anya contemplated the meaning of the old challenge that night, and she was still thinking the next morning when she returned." Nadia replied over her lullaby from before. "As she was whisked away to prepare for her audience with the kepala, the prayers and offerings were made to the Sea Guardian. In the morning, Anya, now in her best scales and clad in coral and pearls, came before the kepala and said 'Great Ruler of the Sea, I come before you with a pearl of wisdom.'" "'Let me hear it, then.' the kepala said.

    Anya then said 'What is broken every time it's spoken?'

    The kepala thought, then replied 'Silence...very clever!'

    "But did Anya challenge 'Kou ola na ma ola'?" Kissa asked.

    "After telling the two other riddles she had found, Anya was faced with the death riddle." Nadia replied. "But she shot back, 'I know the thing greater than kou ola! Akamai is greater than kou ola!'

    "YES!!!" Brock cheered over Nadia's trumphant flourish--finally the death riddle had been bested!

    "So the kepala was thrown to the Sea Guardian, and Anya was hailed as a hero." Nadia concluded as Melodista and the other merchildren arrived. "But no one in that city ever speaks of riddles again in memory of those thrown to the Sea Guardian at the hand of the Wily Kepala."

    Melodisa applauded. "That was wonderful, Nadia!"

    "Nadia told a story and I missed it? No fair!" Tristan complained as Nadia sent her harp away.

    "Well, whose idea was it to explore Sharpedo Ridge?" Rio countered.

    "Everyone, please!" Alana broke up the impending argument. "Nadia will be more than glad to tell it again some other time."

    "Thanks, Alana." Pearl heaved a sigh of relief as the merboys swam closer to the shore, forgetting their argument completely.

    "Now then..." Brock began as he took his own harp. "I have heard a tale from the sea, and in return, I give you this tale from the land." After playing Marista's Song, he began. "Once a powerful king set out on a hunt--everyone in that land knew their king was an avid hunter, and wished him well for a bountiful hunt. As the royal hunting party traveled into the forest, a Deerling darted across the path, startling the Growlithes and taking the servants a good hour to catch it."

    "They didn't kill it, did they?" Tristan asked.

    "When the king saw the frightened Deerling and how beautiful it was, he felt merciful, and instructed one of his servants--a girl I will call Mayu--to take the Deerling and present it to his son the prince as a gift." Brock continued. "Of all the servants, the prince favored Mayu the most, as she was very wise and gentle. As Mayu started back for the palace, she heard a Sawsbuck wail in the distance, and tears forming in the Deerling's eyes. She set the Deerling free, not wanting to see it seperated from its mother."

    "Aw..." Pearl mused.

    "Later that day, Mayu told the king what had happened." Brock continued. "The king was furious, and drove Mayu away in a fit of rage."

    "If I were a landboy, I would've set the Deerling free too!" Rio protested. "So why banish someone over a Pokemon?"

    "Sometimes the landfolk will do rash things in the heat of their feelings." Melodisa reminded him.

    "Time passed, and the prince grew into a fine young man." Brock continued over an interlude. "So the king called together all the wise men and scholars in the land, and asked them what was the most important thing a king needed to know. He got a variety of answers--poetry, songs, stories, bravery, kindness, math, hunting, courage, literature, and the stars were just a fraction of the suggestions. Yet the king felt a twinge of guilt in his heart along with the vow to find the best teacher--and deep down, he remembered just who that teacher would be."

    "Mayu?" Alana guessed.

    "Exactly." Brock smiled over his last interude. "Mayu was welcomed back to the palace with open arms, and taught the prince many things. When it came time for the prince to ascend to the throne, he ruled with a kind and just hand--and that ends the tale of "The Deerling's Freedom."

    "I was wondering when the king would have a change of heart..." Tristan mused as the merfolk turned to leave.

    Nadia just giggled. "I'll keep looking for more tales to tell you, okay?" she called to Brock and Kissa before disappearing beneath the sea.
    Last edited by LightningTopaz; 5th June 2011 at 05:05 PM.
    My URPG stats: Maya's status

    SuBuWriMo status: 28,103 words in all!

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    Default Re: Singer to the Sea (for SuBuWriMo)

    The Fifth Night

    Brock smiled as Melodisa and the merchildren arrived. "Welcome, everyone..."

    "What are you going to tell us tonight?" Rio asked.

    "Tonight's tale tells of how four scholars learned the value of common sense." Kissa explained before allowing Brock to perform Marista's song.

    "Long ago in the western lands, there lived four scholars that were close friends. Since they were scholars by trade, they knew much of the world; and were well renowned for their wisdom." Brock began when the last note died. "One day, they traveled to the seat of the western League, hoping to share their wisdom with the Champion, Sir Ethan. As they walked, they talked of what would happen to them in Nishi. 'Surely Sir Ethan will want us to serve him, for we have learned much of the world.' the first one said.

    'Yes! When we work, we will divide the wages equally' the second one agreed.

    'I'm not sure, one of us has not studied as long as we have' the third one protested, and all eyes were on the fourth, who valued common sense more than what was contained in a book."

    "So what did the fourth scholar say?" Alana asked, curious.

    "He said to them, 'While it is true that you three are great scholars, isn't common sense just as valued as what is found in books?'" Brock replied before playing a soft melody. "They went on like this for a while--the fourth scholar vigorously defending his common sense, while his friends boasted of the many books they had read. Suddenly, they found the bones of a Pokemon lying in the road.

    The first scholar gasped and said to the others "I can assemble this Pokemon's bones in perfect condition!'

    'That's nothing, I can put flesh back on the bones!' the second one boasted.

    'I have you both beat--I can make this Pokemon live again!" the third one proclaimed.

    "Impossible!" Tristan gasped. "I thought that was the gods' job, bringing things back to life!"

    "Quiet down, they'll figure that out soon enough." Pearl hissed before turning her attention back to Brock.

    "Before long, the fourth scholar could see that his friends were building a Raikou--the Legend of Thunder." Brock continued. "While his friends assembled the bones, put flesh on them, and then breathed life into it, he took shelter in a tree. After a few tense moments, the Raikou stirred to life, and hungrily eyed the three scholars. It then pounced on them with a great roar.

    The fourth scholar watched as his friends struggled with the great Pokemon, telling them 'Scholars you may be, but common sense is best for me.' But it was too late--the other scholars were quickly eaten."

    "Serves them right for trying to do something only the gods can do." Nadia commented.

    "The moral of the story? The best knowledge of all comes not from a book." Brock concluded with a flourish. "Now then...a song before you return to the sea?"

    "Yes please!" Alana replied.

    "Okay...hear now 'The Dancing Duel'." With that, Brock started a slow riff. He came a'walking into town, so noble and debonair,
    But behind his friendly smile was a plot to steal and ensnare....
    My URPG stats: Maya's status

    SuBuWriMo status: 28,103 words in all!

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    Default Re: Singer to the Sea (for SuBuWriMo)

    The Sixth Night

    Pearl was the first to arrive on the sixth night, just as Brock concluded Marista's Song. "What will you tell us tonight?"

    "Tonight I want to tell you of one of the landfolk's most well known scholars." Brock began as Melodisa and the other merchildren got settled. Once all was quiet, he began. "Once a scholar was traveling with a few of his students. As they admired the tapestry of nature around them, they talked of many things, such as nature, culture, and people. Suddenly, they came to a little traveled path, and it was agreed they would travel that way. They came to a four way intersection, where some children were building a castle from reeds and sticks.

    One student politely asked the children to move their castle elsewhere, but the children, having never seen the beautiful flowing robes of scholars before, shook with fear and awe."

    "I would be afraid too If I saw someone dressed that way." Rio mused. "Just how many was in this party of scholars?"

    "For the purposes of this tale, we will say there were ten in all--the master and nine apprentices." Kissa assured Rio before nuzzling her master to continue.

    "Three of the children hurried away down the road, but one boy stood his ground." Brock continued before speaking in a young boy's voice. "Your coach will have to find another way--it's pointless to take down a castle so a coach can pass."

    "Do you not realize who you're speaking to?" he thunders as the apprentice. As himself, he continues. "The scholar heard the commotion outside and asked the apprentice what was going on. When the apprentice explained what had happened, the scholar proposed a challenge--if the boy could answer some questions correctly, they would find another route. If even one was wrong, the castle would be moved."

    "So what was the boy asked?" Alana wondered as she strung some pearls onto a thread.

    Brock played an interlude in the background as he continued. "The boy agreed to the scholar's challenge, and the questions began:

    "What water do fish not inhabit?" he asks in an older male voice.

    "The water from the well." he answers as the boy.

    "What fire has no smoke?

    "The fire that Volbeat and Illumise make."

    "How clever!" Melodisa was impressed at the boy's knowledge.

    "The scholar was just as impressed, and told his apprentices to start finding another route." Brock continues as himself. "But before they could depart, the boy challenged the scholar to some questions of his own. He asked how many stars were in the sky and how many clouds were passing above them. The scholar was baffled at the questions, and realized this boy was wiser than he. He called his apprentices together and told them to find another route--for he had been outwitted and humbled by a mere child that was wise beyond his years. The boy's name? Arran."

    "You mean the great sage of the landfolk, Arran?" Tristan gasped.

    "Yes, that Arran." Kissa replied.

    "Wow...even as a child he was very wise!" Tristan mused as the merfolk turned to leave.

    "Do you take requests?" Alana asked.

    "If you have a request for me, tell me tomorrow and I will tell it for you." Brock assured Alana. He waved goodbye as the merfolk disappeared beneath the sea for another night.
    My URPG stats: Maya's status

    SuBuWriMo status: 28,103 words in all!

  7. #7
    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Singer to the Sea (for SuBuWriMo)

    The Seventh Night


    "Now, what was it you wanted me to tell you, Alana?" Brock asked as he arrived at the shore to greet his and Kissa's audience of merfolk.

    "I was guiding a ship through some stormy weather one day, and the humans aboard were keeping themselves calm by telling stories." Alana explained. "While I couldn't hear most of them over the wind and rain, I overheard one about a group of officials and a great feast--something about the people being unhappy with the officials and they host a grand meal to appease the people--or something like that."

    Brock smiled. "I think I know what tale you mean." After playing Marista's Song on the harp to compose his thoughts, he began. "In a far away land, the people never stopped complaining about their vizirs..."

    "What's that?" Tristan asked, piqued.

    "That is what an official is called in some lands." Kissa explained. "Including the land in which our tale is set." Tristan nodded to show he understood before observing some Wingulls flying overhead.

    "As I was saying, the people of that land never stopped complaining about their vizirs." Brock continued. "The reason? They would fight over anything and everything, and once they started fighting, it was anyone's guess as to when they would stop."

    "I would be annoyed too if our kepalas all fought like that." Nadia mused.

    "Now, the vizirs heard what the people were saying, and decided to show their people that they could conduct themselves civily." Brock continued over an interlude. "So one day, they took a stroll through town, chatting among themselves and greeting all they met. But on the way back to the palace, they found something glittering in the noonday sun."

    "A black pearl?" Rio guessed.

    "No, something more valuable than that--a fine diamond." Brock replied over an upward glissando. "The high vizir suggested that they use the diamond to host a grand feast. The other vizirs were about to object, but remembered their promise to not argue, and agreed with their leader's proposal. They came to the food shop and asked for a fine feast. The food merchant gladly agreed, and it was delivered to the palace that evening."

    "Oh boy..." Kissa licked her lips at the upcoming description of food.

    "I bet there was all kinds of land and sea food!" Pearl gasped, her eyes shining.

    "That there was." Brock replied. "There were potstickers and puddings, dates and fruit, breads of all kinds, nuts and pilafs, Apicot and Cheri Berries, and a bewildering array of fish from all over the seven seas." Kissa sighed dreamily, longing to taste some of the items mentioned. "That was only a fraction of the food availiable, but there was enough for the whole city to have a share and still have leftovers."

    "Wow..." Even Alana was impressed by the amount of food.

    "But before any of the twelve vizirs could dig in, one of them saw that the palace gate was open." Brock continued over a tense interlude. "He requested that the sixth vizir shut it to keep inquisitive Pokemon away, but the sixth vizir asked the first, who then asked the fourth, until the entire table was arguing."

    "Was it ever stopped?" Traistan asked over the frantic harp song.

    "Finally, the high vizir brought some semblance of order back by saying that the next person to say anything or stand would be the one to close the gate." Brock continued, his song now calmer. "So the vizirs helped themselves--not getting up or saying a word all the while. However, the smell of all the food and the open gate attracted Pokemon from miles around. Food went flying at this--once they finished all the pork, beef, fish, Mareep, and Combusken, they moved on to the rice and vegetables, and finally the sweet berries, cakes, and pies." Tristan giggled at the chaotic scene. "One Growlithe mistook the high vizir's lip for a piece of meat, and bit down hard enough to make him cry in pain." The merchildren could hardly contain themselves laughing at the chaotic scene the minstrel described. Even Kissa was laughing--besides the epic description of the feast, this was her favorite part of the tale.

    "T-then what--hee hee..." Nadia giggled as she wiped tears of laughter from her eyes.

    "The other vizirs told the tenth to close the gate, but since all the food had been eaten, there was now no point in shutting the gate." Brock concluded. "The vizirs went their seprate ways, not wanting to fight about the matter any more--at least until the next day!"

    "Now I know why all the sailors were laughing!" Alana wheezed as she too wiped tears from her eyes.

    "Will your next tale be just as funny?" Rio asked as Melodisa prepared to lead the merchildren back beneath the sea.

    "I do have more funny ones to tell, in addition to sad ones, adventurous ones, and quiet ones." Brock assured Rio. "But which one I will tell you tomorrow is a surprise."
    My URPG stats: Maya's status

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  8. #8
    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Singer to the Sea (for SuBuWriMo)

    The Eighth Night

    A familiar harp playing the song "Wild Mountain Thyme" met the waves the next night--Brock and Kissa had arrived at the shallows and were waiting for the merfolk to arrive. At first, Brock had just sat and quietly reflected on the productive day he had had performing in the town square (where he had earned a gold piece for his singing--a rare tip for any minstrel) and touring the gardens outside of town. But then Kissa had insisted he at least practice to keep his skill sharp--so he had complied by practicing a few scales to warm up. The G major scale exercise he had been playing minutes before had quickly turned into the popular love song, so he just decided to play it instead.

    "That's an interesting song..." a male voice noted, startling him from his performance. A quick glance around the shallows revealed that Tristan had arrived, with Melodisa and the other merchildren not far behind.

    "Well...it was one of Ash's favorites--Misty's too." Brock explained. "I usually play it around the first of spring, but if someone really wants to hear it at other times of year, I'll play it."

    Tristan was about to ask Brock to sing the song when Pearl interuppted "Ash sounds like a nice landperson--do you miss him at all?"

    "Sometimes--my most recent routes haven't led me to Masuliro." Brock replied as he concluded the song. "We do write letters to each other. Not long after our adventure together, his home lodge celebrated its hundredth year of service, and I was asked to perform for the grand banquet. Of course, it was a lot more orderly than the feast I spoke of last night." Giggles filled the air as the merchildren remembered the previous night's tale. "The archmage asked me to dedicate a song to the lodge's hundredth year, which sounded like a daunting task at first--Masuliro has had many noteworthy mages fledge from its halls over the years. But as I thought, I was constantly reminded of our adventure, and so this song was born."

    He then began a brisk melody before singing When I fledged from these hallowed halls, sword and spell by my side, I was dreaming of what lay ahead, and the adventures awaiting me--I had heard the tales of heroes, and how they gave us all great pride. So I set out from Masuliro in search of someone in need--it mattered not their walk of life, maybe to adventure they would lead....

    Melodisa was the most impressed as some of Ash's more memorable exploits came flowing through the harp strings and Brock's lilting, melodic tenor--how he and Ash had met; his tearful plea, in story, that led him to go with him on his quest; his eageress to charge to battle; his battle with Melis in Sindura; his near possession to save Meloetta; his unlocking the power of the Song Magic spell Feu Rose in the ice caves; his meeting his Pidgeot Mina; his discovery of the ruins that held Deami's Ruby in the desert; and of course, how he had helped him play Rainbow Symphony.

    "A very fitting song for a friend!" Rio led the applause when the last note died.

    "Has he heard you sing his special song?" Nadia wondered.

    "Once--at the banquet." Brock replied. "I plan to sing it again in a month or two, when I see him next."

    After playing Marista's Song to clear his mind, he continued. "Tonight's story is a tale of how a brave girl saved her sister from a goblin's spell, very much like how I rescued Ash." With that, he began reciting in time to a soft melody. "Morning and evening,
    Maids heard the goblins cry
    "Come buy our orchard fruits,
    Come buy, come buy:
    Leppas and Wepears,
    Nomels and Orans,
    Plump unpecked Cheris,
    Hondews, and Razz Berries;--

    All ripe together
    In summer weather,
    Come buy, come buy,
    Taste them and try,
    Come buy, come buy."

    Evening by evening
    Among the brookside rushes,
    Narisa raised her head to hear
    Chani veiled her blushes
    "Lie close," Narisa said,
    Pricking up her golden head:
    "We must not look at goblin men,
    We must not buy their fruits:
    Who knows upon what soil they fed
    Their hungry thirsty roots?"

    "Come buy," call the goblins
    Hobbling down the glen.
    "Oh," cried Chani, "Narisa, Narisa!
    You should not peep at goblin men."
    Chani covered up her eyes,
    Closed them tight lest they should look;
    While Narisa reared her glossy head,
    And whispered like the restless brook:
    "Look, Chani, look, Chani,
    Down the glen tramp little men.
    One hauls a basket,
    One bears a plate,
    One lugs a golden dish
    Of many pounds weight.
    How fair the vine must grow
    Whose Grepas are so luscious;
    How warm the wind must blow
    Through those Berry bushes."

    He picked up the melody's pace as he continued. "No," said Chani: "No, no, no;
    Their offers should not charm us,
    Their evil gifts could harm us."
    She thrust a finger
    In each ear, shut her eyes and ran:
    Curious Narisa chose to linger
    Wondering at each merchant man.
    One had a Meowth's face,
    One whisked a tail,
    One tramped at a Ratatta's pace,
    One crawled like a snail,
    She heard a voice like voice of Pidoves,
    Cooing all together;
    They sounded kind and full of loves
    In the pleasant weather.

    When they reached where Narisa was
    They stood stock still upon the moss,
    Looking at each other,
    Signaling each other.
    One set his basket down,
    One reared his plate;
    One began to weave a crown
    Of tendrils, leaves, and rough nuts brown
    (Men sell not such in any town);
    One heaved the golden weight
    Of dish and Berries to offer her:
    "Come buy, come buy," was still their cry.

    Narisa stared but did not stir,
    Longed to buy but had no money:
    The whisk-tailed merchant bade her to taste
    In tones as smooth as honey.

    But sweet-toothed Narisa spoke in haste:
    "Good folk, I have no coin with which to deal,
    To take and not pay is as if to steal:
    I have no copper in my purse,
    I have no silver either."

    "You have much gold upon your head,"
    They answered all together:
    "Buy from us with a golden curl."
    So she clipped a precious golden lock
    She dropped a tear more rare than pearl,
    Then sucked their fruit both fair and red:
    She chewed and ate and swallowed the more
    Fruits which that unknown orchard bore;
    She sucked until her lips were sore;
    Then flung the emptied rinds away
    But gathered up one kernel-stone,
    And knew not whether it was night or day
    As she turned home alone."

    "Oh no!" Alana gasped over the drone of the harp. "What happened to Narisa?"

    Brock replied with the next section of verse as his drone turned forboding: "Chani met her at the gate
    Full of wise upbraidings:
    "Dear, you should not stay so late,
    Twilight is not good for maidens;
    Should not loiter in the glen
    In the haunts of goblin men.
    Do you not remember Jera,
    How she met the goblins in the moonlight,
    Took their gifts both choice and many,
    Ate their fruits and wore their flowers
    Where summer ripens at all hours?
    But ever in the moonlight
    She pined and pined away;
    Sought them by night and day,
    Found them no more, but only dwindled and grew grey;
    Then fell with the first snow,
    Where to this day no grass will grow
    Where she now lies so low:
    I planted daisies there a year ago
    That never grow and never blow.
    Narisa, you should not loiter so."

    "Nay, hush," said Narisa.
    "Nay, hush, my sister:
    I ate and ate my fill,
    Yet my mouth waters still;
    Tomorrow night I will
    buy more," and kissed her:
    "Have done with sorrow;
    I'll bring you Ganlons tomorrow
    Fresh on their mother twiggies,
    Cheris worth getting;
    You cannot think what Figies
    My teeth have met in,
    What Hondews icy-cold
    Piled on a dish of gold
    Too huge for me to even hold!"

    The drone switched to a minor key. "So, early in the morning
    When Combusken crowed his warning,
    Neat like Combees, as sweet and busy,
    Narisa rose with sister Chani:
    Fetched in honey, milked the Miltanks,
    Aired and set to rights the house,
    Next churned butter, whipped up cream,
    Fed their poultry, sewed and dreamed.

    At last slow evening came:
    They went with pitchers to the reedy brook;
    Chani most placid in her look,
    Narisa's face more like a leaping flame.
    They drew the gurgling water from its deep;
    Chani plucked purple and rich cattails golden,
    Then turning homewards said: "The sunset flushes
    Those furthest loftiest bends;
    Come, Narisa, not another maiden lags,
    No wilful Parchirisu wags,
    The Pokemon are all fast asleep."
    But Narisa loitered still among the rushes
    And said the bank was steep."

    And said the hour was early still,
    The dew not fallen, the wind not chill:
    Listening ever, but not quite catching
    The customary cry,
    "Come buy, come buy!"
    Not for all her watching
    did she find even one goblin
    Racing, whisking, tumbling, hobbling."

    Tristan was shaking as Brock played a festive interlude to mimic a supposed dance of the goblins. Melodisa held him close as Brock continued, his voice almost hypnotic over the flowing notes of the harp:

    "Then Chani urged, "O Narisa, come;
    I hear the fruit-call, but I dare not look:
    You should not loiter longer at this brook:
    Come with me home.
    Narisa turned as cold as stone
    To know her sister had heard that cry alone,
    The goblin cry:
    "Come buy our fruits, come buy!"
    Must she then buy no more dainty fruit?
    Her tree of life drooped from the root.
    Narisa said not one word in her heart's sore ache;
    But trudged home, her pitcher dripping all the way;
    So they crept to bed, and lay
    Narisa silent till Chani slept;
    Then sat up in a sudden yearning,
    And gnashed her teeth for her desire, and wept
    As if her heart would break.

    Day after day, night after night,
    Narisa kept watch in vain
    In sullen silence of exceeding pain.
    She never again caught the goblin cry:
    "Come buy, come buy;"--
    She never again spied the goblin men
    Hawking their fruits along the glen:
    And when the moon waxed bright
    Her hair grew thin and grey;
    She dwindled, as the fair full moon doth turn
    To swift decay and then to burn
    her fire all away.

    One day remembering her kernel-stone
    She set it by a wall that faced the south;
    Dewed it with tears, hoped for a root.
    Watched and watched for a waxing shoot,
    But there came none;
    The stone was not to see the sun.
    Then she no more swept the house,
    Tend the fowls or the Miltanks,
    Fetch honey, knead cakes of wheat,
    Bring water from the brook:
    But sat down listless in the chimney-nook
    And would not eat."

    "W-what did Chani do?" Rio finally mustered a question in the face of the droning harp.

    Another glissando in a minor key pierced the air before Brock's answer in verse arrived: "Tender Chani could not bear
    To watch her sister's wasting care
    She longed to buy fruit to comfort her,
    But feared to pay too dear.
    She thought of Jera in her grave,
    Who should have been a bride;
    But who for joys brides hope to have
    Fell sick and died
    In her gay prime,
    In earliest Wintertime.

    Till Narisa's dwindling
    Seemed to knock at Darkrai's door:
    Then Chani weighed no more
    The better or the worse;
    But put a silver penny in her purse,
    Kissed Narisa, crossed the heath with clumps of brush
    At twilight, halted by the brook:
    And for the first time in her life
    Began to listen and to look.

    Laughed the goblins
    When they spied her peeping:
    Came towards her hobbling,
    Flying, running, leaping,
    Clucking and gobbling,
    Mopping and mowing,
    Full of airs and graces,
    Pulling wry faces,
    Meowth-like and Rattata-like,
    Chattering like Taillows,
    Fluttering like Pidoves,
    Gliding like fishes,--
    Hugged her and kissed her:
    Baskets and plates:
    "Look at our Leppas
    Russet and dun,
    Bob at our Cheris,
    Bite at our Pechas,
    Out in the sun,
    Ganlons on their twigs;
    We grew them and stew them,
    Pomegs and Figys."--

    "Good folk," said Chani,
    Mindful of Jera:
    "Give me much and many:"
    Held out her apron,
    Tossed them her penny.
    "Nay, take a seat with us,
    Honor us and eat with us,"
    They answered grinning:
    "Our feast is but beginning.
    Such fruits as these
    No man can carry;
    Half their bloom would fly,
    Half their dew would dry,
    Half their flavor would pass by.
    Sit down and feast with us,
    Be our welcome guest with us."

    "S-so did Chani go with them?" Even Pearl was afraid now.

    Brock smiled and resumed his drone before telling the next part of the tale. "Thank you," said Chani: "But one waits
    At home alone for me:
    So without further bargaining,
    If you choose to sell me none,
    Of your fruits though much and many,
    Give me back my silver penny
    I tossed you for a fee."--

    They began to scratch their head,
    No longer wagging, purring,
    But visibly demurring.
    Grunting and snarling,
    One called her proud,
    Cross-graining, uncivil;
    Their tones waxed loud,
    Their looks were evil.
    Lashing their tails
    They trod and hustled her,
    Elbowed and jostled her,
    Clawed with their nails,
    Barking, mewing, hissing, mocking,
    Tore her gown and soiled her stocking,
    Twitched her hair out by the roots,
    Stamped upon her tender feet,
    Held her hands and squeezed their fruits
    Against her mouth to make her eat.

    One may lead a horse to water,
    Twenty cannot make him drink.
    Though the goblins cuffed and caught her,
    Coax'd and fought her,
    Bullied and besought her,
    Scratched her, pinched her black as ink,
    Kicked and knocked her,
    Mauled and mocked her,
    Chani uttered not a word;
    Would not open lip from lip
    Lest they should cram a mouthful in;
    But held firm her heart to feel the drip
    Of juice that syrupped all down her face,
    And streaked her neck
    And lodged in the dimples of her chin.

    At last the evil people,
    Worn out by her resistance,
    Flung back her penny, kicked their fruit
    Along whichever road they took,
    Not leaving root or stone or shoot;
    Some writhed into the ground,
    Some dived in the brook without a sound,
    Some vanished in the distance.

    In a smart, aching tingle,
    Chani went her way;
    Knowing not if it was night or day;
    Sprang up the bank, thro' the thicket she burst
    Racing through bush her heart a'tingle
    While she heard her penny jingle
    Bouncing in her purse,--
    Its bounce was music to her ear.
    She ran and ran
    As if she feared some goblin man
    Dogged her with gibe or curse
    Or something worse:
    But not one goblin skurried after,
    And inward she felt silent laughter.

    She cried, "Narisa!" up the garden,
    "Did you miss me?
    Come and kiss me.
    Never mind my bruises,
    Hug me, kiss me, taste my juices
    Squeezed from goblin fruits for you,
    Goblin pulp and goblin dew.
    Eat me, drink me, love me;
    Narisa, make much of me;
    For your sake I have braved the glen
    And had to deal with goblin merchant men."

    Narisa started from her chair,
    Flung her arms up in the air. Clutched her hair:
    "Chani, Chani, have you tasted
    For my sake the fruit forbidden?
    Must your light like mine be hidden,
    Your young life like mine be wasted,
    Undone in my undoing,
    And ruined in my ruin?"
    Shaking with anguish, fear, and pain,
    She kissed her sister's streaky stain.

    Narisa's lips began to scorch,
    That juice was wormwood to her tongue,
    She loathed the feast:
    Writhing as if one possessed she tore
    Her robe and wrung her hands
    In lamentable haste,
    And beat her chest,
    She spun about,
    Like a foam-topped waterspout
    Then cast down headlong in the sea,
    She fell at last;
    Pleasure past and anguish past,
    Was it life or was it death?"

    "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!" the merchildren all cried, fearful for Narisa--they had wanted Chani to save her, and now she had died?

    They swallowed hard as the harp resumed its drone and Brock spoke again. "That night long Chani watched by her,
    Counted her pulse's flagging stir,
    Felt for her breath,
    Held water to her lips and cooled her face
    With tears and fanning leaves:
    But when the first birds chirped about their eaves,
    Narisa awoke as if from a dream,
    Laughed in the innocent old way,
    Hugged Chani not twice, but thrice;
    Her gleaming locks showed not one thread of grey
    Her breath was as sweet as day
    And light danced in her eyes."

    "YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!" The merchildren were elated that Narisa was alive.

    "Thank Anima she was all right!" Even Melodisa heaved a sigh of relief as the harp returned to a major key.

    "Days, weeks, months, years
    Afterwards, when both were wives
    With children of their own;
    Their mother-hearts beset with fears,
    Their thoughts bound up in tender lives;
    Narisa would call the little ones
    And tell them of her early prime,
    Those pleasant days long gone
    Of not-returning time:
    Would talk about the haunted glen,
    The wicked, quaint fruit-merchant men,
    Their fruits like honey to the throat
    But poison to the blood;
    (Men sell not such in any town):
    Would tell them how her sister stood
    In deadly peril to do her good,
    And win the fiery antidote." Brock concluded with a flourish on the harp before he added "For there is no friend like a sister
    In calm or stormy weather;
    To cheer one on the tedious way,
    To fetch one back if one goes astray."

    "WOW!!!" Nadia led the applause.

    "That was your best one so far!" Alana agreed. "We cannot wait to hear what you will tell tomorrow!"
    Last edited by LightningTopaz; 8th June 2011 at 01:35 PM.
    My URPG stats: Maya's status

    SuBuWriMo status: 28,103 words in all!

  9. #9
    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Singer to the Sea (for SuBuWriMo)

    The Ninth Night


    Brock was surprised the next night to only find the five merchildren waiting for him in the shallows, but no Melodisa. "Why is your mistress not with you this evening? Is all well beneath the sea?"

    "Melodisa has been called on the pearl hunt that precedes the Sunrise Festival." Alana explained. "Each year, a party of six sets out on a journey across the sea to find a blue or black pearl to offer the Sea Guardian in return for bountiful hunting as the days lengthen and the waters warm."

    "Every merperson of age makes this journey at least once in their life." Tristan added. "I can't wait to go on it when I get bigger."

    "I don't know--I hear tales of Sharpedos and Gyarados in the depths..." Rio stammered.

    "Perhaps you would like another tale of courage this evening?" Kissa asked as Brock retrieved the harp.

    "I don't know if you can top the one you told last night..." Pearl mused.

    "Can't you tell a princess story for a change?" Alana asked.

    "I think I have just the princess in mind..." With that, Brock played Marista's Song to focus his thoughts, then began. "A long time ago in a land far away, the king of that land had a daughter that he loved very much--I will call her Kalina. One day, three princes from neighboring countries heard of Princess Kalina and came to court her. But Princess Kalina was not interested in any of them at all--one was too bossy, the second was highly unclean in his habits, and the third was very vain."

    "That must have been hard on her father..." Nadia mused.

    "Kalina pleaded with her father not to force her to marry either of the three princes, so the next morning, he proposed a solution." Brock continued. "Each of the three princes was to set out on a year long journey, and the one that found the most wondrous item would win Kalina's hand."

    "Fair enough." Rio mused.

    "So the three princes set out and came to a fork in the road a week later." Brock continued over a soft interlude. "The princes agreed to split up and return to the fork a week before the year ended. When the time came, the first had found a crystal ball, the second a magic carpet, and the third a potion of healing."

    He then changed to a minor key. "They gazed into the crystal ball and saw Princess Kalina weak and pale from a dire sickness--and the royal healer said that she had only weeks, if not days, to live." The merchildren gasped in fear.

    "So they climbed aboard the magic carpet and flew to the castle, where she was given some of the potion of healing. Brock continues over a series of glissandos. "She was restored to life immediately, and each of the three princes made their case as to who had the most wondrous item. The king had a vexing dillema--which one could he choose that would make Princess Kalina happy and still satisfy the other two countries?"

    "A very good question, indeed." Alana agreed.

    Brock just smiled at Alana--it was time for the big twist in his tale. "So the king summoned the high sage--an old man who had served the court for a long time. The high sage suggested that Kalina be the one to make the choice. So when it came time for Kalina to make the choice..." The shore fell silent as the merchildren and many sea Pokemon waited to hear who Kalina chose. "she chose the high sage."

    "WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTT?????" The merchildren are stunned at the choice.

    "I did NOT see that coming!" Nadia notes.

    "Many in the court howled in protest, but Kalina explained that of all of them, the high sage was the one that respected her feelings by allowing her a say in the matter." Brock explained."She then gave the high sage a drink of the potion of healing, and almost instantly, his youth returned to him, and he was now handsome and full of life."

    "Wow..." Even Tristan is amazed at the story's ending.

    "Kalina and the high sage were married, and the three princes received some land as thanks for saving her. In time, they too found a princess to love, and everyone lived happily ever after." Brock concluded. "So ends the tale of 'The Three Princes'"

    "Melodisa always did like princess stories..." Nadia mused as the merchildren prepared to leave.

    "We should tell her that one when she returns." Rio agreed.

    "If only for the big twist at the end!" Tristan added.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Singer to the Sea (for SuBuWriMo)

    The Tenth Night

    "Good evening..." Brock smiled at the merchildren as they arrived the next night.

    "Well met to you, as well, landboy." Pearl smiled. "Since Melodisa is not here, could you let us pick the tales you tell and songs you sing?"

    "I'll always honor your requests--just say the word." Brock assured Pearl.

    "Oh, good!" Pearl giggled. "I have a friend that's always inventing wild tales to the little ones--so I need a story that will tell her that lying isn't a good idea."

    "And such a story you will receive." Brock replied before playing Marista's Song to alert the other merchildren that his performance was about to begin.

    When all was quet, the story began over a soft melody. "There was once a brother and a sister that were very close--I will call them Akira and Yumi. They were never apart for very long, even when they were little ones--they spent their days playing and laughing and talking together." Brock then stopped his melody for a moment. "Well, Akira would be the one to talk, spinning many a tale while his sister listened quietly to the unfolding adventure--adventures that grew more elaborate as they grew older."

    "Just like you're doing with us..." Nadia sighed dreamily.

    "But of all the tales Akira told, he liked telling tall tales." Brock continued. "The tales were even more elaborate if someone's father was involved--Akira would boast that the father in question could singlehandedly defeat ten Ursarings at once, or was wise as the Lord of the Night, or was as kind as the Lady of Light, or had traveled to every place in the world. Now, Yumi knew that their own father was none of those things, but began to secretly wish that he was."

    "Sounds like Madi for sure..." Alana mused.

    "Akira's boasts continued, and Yumi listened--enthralled that someone's father had sailed the seven seas all alone, or singlehandedly defeating an army of ten thosand men, or found treasure in the most unlikely places." Brock continued. "But Yumi also began to grow skeptical--was anything her brother said true? And if so, what was true and what was not?"

    "Definitely sounds like Madi in a landboy's skin..." Rio mused.

    "One night, Akira asked if Yumi wanted to go walking in the forest." Brock continued over a tense interlude. "It was a late hour, and Yumi feared encountering an Ursaring in the woods, if not something worse. Akira assured her that all would be well, and off they went into the forest. Akira began spinning wild tales about someone's father singlehandedly defeating a Mightyena, or walked ten miles in foot-deep snow. Suddenly, a loud rustle got their attention--an Ursaring was charging to meet them!" Brock adds an upward glissando for effect as the merchildren gasp.

    "So what did the children do?" Alana swallowed hard.

    "Akira dashed to the tallest tree he could find and climbed to the highest branch, but Yumi simply laid down and laid very still, as their father had taught them." Brock replied over a tense melody. "The Ursaring circled Yumi several times, sniffing her all the while as Akira looked on in terror. Finally, the Ursaring assumed Yumi was dead, and lumbered off elsewhere."

    "But wouldn't an Ursaring go ahead and eat something that was dead?" Tristan interrupted.

    "Ursarings do not eat something that has died--they assume something else killed the dead creature and go look elsewhere lest they tangle with a predator stronger than them." Kissa explained. "That's why the landchildren are taught to lie very still if confronted by an enraged Ursaring--this way, the Ursaring thinks they have died and will look elsewhere."

    "Kinda like what we do with mad Sharpedos..." Nadia mused.

    "As Akira climbed down from the tree he told his sister that he swore he saw the Ursaring say something to Yumi, and wanted to know what it had said. Yumi replied that the Ursaring had told her to not go walking in the woods with one who spooks easily and tells wild tales." The merchildren laugh at this as Brock concludes. "After that, Akira was very careful to tell the truth, and no longer told tall tales."

    "This'll be perfect to get Madi to tell the truth." Tristan mused as the merchildren prepared to leave. "I get to pick the story tomorrow!" he called to Brock as they dove beneath the water...
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  11. #11
    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Singer to the Sea (for SuBuWriMo)

    The Eleventh Night


    "A question, Sir Landsinger?" Tristan asked as he led the other merchildren to the shore.

    "What is it?" Brock asked.

    "That song about thyme you were playing a few nights ago...will you play it for us?"

    "Of course." Brock quickly finished tuning the harp and began a soft melody, over which he sang:

    Oh, the summertime is come,
    And the leaves are sweetly bloomin...
    And the wild mountain thyme
    Grows around the bloomin' heather.


    Will ye go, lassie, go? Kissa joined in, doubling her master's voice an octave above.
    And we'll all go together
    To pull wild mountain thyme
    All around the bloomin' heather...
    Will ye go, lassie, go?
    The merchildren listened as the song continued:

    I will build my love a tower
    By yon crystal fountain
    And on it I will pile
    All the flowers of the mountain.

    Will ye go, lassie, go?
    And we'll all go together
    To pull wild mountain thyme
    All around the bloomin' heather...
    Will ye go, lassie, go?

    If my true love, she were gone,
    I would surely find another
    Where wild mountain thyme
    Grows around the bloomin' heather.

    Will ye go, lassie, go?
    And we'll all go together
    To pull wild mountain thyme
    All around the bloomin' heather...
    Will ye go, lassie, go?
    Will ye go, lassie go?


    "Such a sweet song..." Alana sighed dreamily.

    "Depending on the audience, I will also repeat the first verse before ending the song." Brock added before playing Marista's Song. "Tonight I want to tell you how a boy saved his mother from an imp, since we are talking about love."

    "Wow...imps live on land too!" Tristan was impressed.

    "Unlike sea imps, land imps are a bit more varied in personality." Kissa explained. "While there are some land imps that are as dangerous as sea imps, many land imps just want to play and don't want to harm landfolk. Some of them are even friendly." With that, she motioned for Brock to begin as the last note of Marista's Song faded into the starry sky.

    "Once a man and his wife decided to plant some grain for bread." Brock explained. "When Harvestide came that year, they were horrified to discover that the wild Pokemon had beaten them to the grain. After some discussion on what to do, the man decided to dig a pit trap--so any Pokemon that tried to steal more grain would fall in and be trapped."

    "That's an idea..." Rio mused over an interlude.

    "As the man dug the pit the next morning, a land imp happened to pass that way." Brock continued. "When told the man was digging a pit trap, the land imp made an offer--he would help dig the pit if the man shared what Pokemon were caught in it--the humans would take the males, and the land imp would take the females. While the man had reservations about asking for a land imp's help, he agreed anyway. For a while, the male Pokemon came pouring in--male Grumpigs, Sawsbucks, and Boufflants appeared in the trap almost daily, and he taunted the land imp for making a foolish offer."

    "Rule one of sea lore: Don't anger a sea imp." Nadia cautioned.

    "That's probably true of a land imp too." Tristan agreed as Brock's song turned tense.

    "Soon, the family had plenty of meat, but no bread." Brock continued. "So the woman went out to gather grain for bread. She was gone for some time, until the couple's son began wondering where his mother had gone." The man went out to look, and was shocked to find his wife had accidentally fallen in the pit!" He adds an upward glissando for effect. "He had a heated discussion with the land imp whether a human female counted as a female creature."

    "Now, before we go any farther, I want to stop the story for a moment." Kissa interjected.

    "Why?" Brock asked, stopping his song.

    "I want to see how well the merchildren have been paying attention." Kissa replied before addressing the merchildren. "You know that the boy will save his mother from the land imp--my question to you is, how will he do it?"

    Heated whispers of discussion filled the air as the merchildren discussed ideas for a moment, then Rio addressed Brock and Kissa. "We think the boy will convince the land imp that his mother does not count as a female creature."

    Brock resumed his song and continued the tale. "Finally, the boy reminded his father of the agreement, and his mother would go to the land imp. But as the land imp danced with delight and ran to claim his prize, he too fell in the pit!" The merchildren laughed as Brock added a downward glissando for effect. "This made the land imp belong to the man, and the land imp gave up his claim on the woman--so ends the tale of 'Outwitting an Imp'"

    "Now that was clever!" Alana smiled as the merchildren departed for another night....
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  12. #12
    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Singer to the Sea (for SuBuWriMo)

    The Twelfth Night

    "Could you maybe tell a tale of the gods tonight?" Nadia asked as the merchildren arrived.

    "What sorts of tales of the gods?" Brock was confused.

    "Any one--I have no preference." Nadia replied.

    "Okay then--here's a tale that began as a song....or maybe I should sing the song?" Brock asked.

    "Sing the song!" Tristan begged.

    "I would very much like to hear the song." Alana agreed.

    Brock retrieved his harp and began a soft and tense melody. In a land that was so far away, that we cannot even see
    A king watched over his gold and jewels
    In a box locked with a silver key
    Some fifteen soldiers from the west were coming
    To take his land with a grand soiree
    So he called his lords together and gave them this one decree
    "If I want a chance to save my land,
    Find the Flame Maiden Deami!"

    So they rode west and they rode east
    And north and south as well
    Until they came unto the cave
    Where Deami did dwell
    They told Her of the fifteen lords
    and the place they planned to fell
    "Come dance for our lord," they said
    "Lest our kingdom hear its death knell"

    The fire goddess looked at them with a twinkle in her eye
    "Your woe surely requires my help
    So I will surely draw nigh
    Lend you my skill and dancing flames so high
    But tell me this in return, ye lads,
    For what in return shall I vie?"

    "Well, we can give you a plow or two
    For your fine lands to till
    And should you ever yearn for bread
    We can give you a mill
    And we can give you a fine house
    On a choice plot of the land
    But make your decision as you will."

    Before they could continue, Deami did protest
    "Is that all you offer me? Surely you do not jest!
    That cannot be the prize for a victory so great!"
    "But would you accept a handsome knight?" the lords did beg
    "To love you for all time?"
    "No mortal yet has been my love!"
    "Yet I will come with you on your quest."

    So Deami to the castle came
    And for her guests did dance
    So gracefully as flick'ring flame
    Like a new spring breeze she pranced
    and swifty did she jump and spin like waves upon the sea
    The fifteen lords were in a trance,
    "Tis the Fire Goddess, Deami!


    At this, Brock decided to play a medley of dance tunes to represent Deami dancing--he played "The Light at the Close of Day", "Pechas in the Summer", and "Flowers in the Field" as a set before he continued:

    One by one the knights did come
    To best the goddess' feet
    They spun and whirled and jumped and twirled
    They dared not try to cheat
    But they all fell exhausted
    As the Fire Maiden swirled
    Her movements much too fast for them
    They knew thay had been beat

    Deami kept on dancing till the tenth hour of the night
    And only one more knight remained
    To take up his comrades' fight
    "I will not fall so easily
    I'll avenge my comrade's might!"
    So he strolled out onto the floor
    To meet his partner with feet so light

    The knight did dance his hardest
    Matching Deami step for step
    They frolicked on all through the night
    Until the morning come
    Deami was still going strong
    The sun giving her new power
    The final knight dropped to his knees
    Having no strength for another hour

    So that is how Deami danced to save a kingdom fair
    The moral of the story now, as I conclude my air
    Don't think that you can best a god
    Ask those that came to Deami's lair.


    The merchildren applauded as the last chord died away. "Bravo!" Nadia cried.

    "Encore!" Tristan agreed.

    "I don't think I'll boast of my swimming speed for a while..." Rio stammered. "Just in case the Sea Guardian or even Lady Miran hears me." Everyone laughed at this as the session ended for another night...
    Last edited by LightningTopaz; 13th June 2011 at 09:09 AM.
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  13. #13
    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Singer to the Sea (for SuBuWriMo)

    The Thirteenth Night


    "Good evening all." Kissa called to the merchildren as they arrived in the shallows. "What would you like to hear this evening?"

    "I want to hear another adventurous tale!" Rio suggested.

    Brock smiled as he took the harp and played Marista's Song--he had just the tale in mind. "There was once a boy that lived with his family in a far away land. They were not well off, and often struggled to make ends meet. One day, the boy's father saved up enough money to give his son a baby Torchic as a companion. The boy loved his Torchic--he walked with it, gave it the best feed he could find, played with it, and spent many nights singing and telling stories to it."

    "Aw..." Alana smiled, touched at the boy's devotion.

    "A year passed, and the Torchic eventually became a Combusken." Brock continued before beginning a sad interlude. "The winter that year was brutally harsh, and the boy's father died from a terrible disease. Naturally, the boy was heartbroken, but he had his Combusken to comfort him."

    "Poor landboy..." Pearl mused over the harp's lament. Tristan brushed away a tear as the sad melody continued--he had a feeling the boy's fortune was about to get worse.

    "That spring, the boy's mother married again." Brock continued over his sad interlude. "The boy's new stepfather was not the nicest of people--one day as the boy returned from a stroll with his Combusken, he screamed..." He then switches to a deeper version of himself. "You spend too much time with that Pokemon! Tomorrow, I will kill her for our supper, and she will provide us meat for the rest of the winter!" The merchildren gasp, worried over the Combusken's fate.

    "A-and then?" Even Alana was afraid.

    "That night, the boy waited until his mother and stepfather were asleep, took his Combusken, and started down the path to the forest, which in turn led to town." Brock continues as himself over a hopeful interlude. "As the sun rose, he divided some food for the both of them, but when the Combusken received her share of Berries and cheese, she suddenly spoke to him!"

    "Thank you so much for being a kind master." Kissa interjects in character as the Combusken.

    "But how did you learn to speak the words of humans?" Brock gasps in a higher pitched version of himself. "And without being crowned, no less!"

    "I have always known how, but have never felt the need to--not until now." Kissa replies as the Combusken. "Listen close to my instructions, and your fortune will be great." The two continue the conversation between their respective personas for a while:

    "I'm listening..."

    "We must keep going until we reach town. If we stop before we get to town, your stepfather will surely find us and kill the both of us. But the way to town is not easy--allow me to protect you if we run into any enemies."

    "You can't! I won't let you fight alone!"

    "Promise me you will do as I tell you."

    "All right, by the Lady of Light, I will follow your commands."

    "Very nice!" Pearl was impressed at Brock's ability to assume personas.

    "The boy realized his Combusken was no ordinary Combusken." Brock continues over a tense interlude, now as himself. "It likely had been sent by the gods, and he needed to heed its words if he was going to get to town alive. That night, a pack of Mightyenas ambushed their camp, but the Combusken skillfully fought them off. The next night, a herd of wild Grumpigs attacked them on the path, but the Combusken fought them off as well. But on the third night, he awoke to a roar unlike anything he had heard before. His Combusken came to him and said...

    "Be on guard, for a Salamence is passing this way." Kissa continues as the Combusken. "Although I will fight my hardest to protect you, it will kill me in the struggle. But do not despair--when I die, my heart will remain in the form of a jewel. Take this jewel--when the time comes, it will become something you can use to fight the Salamence yourself. When you do slay the Salamence, take its heart and present it to the king."

    Nadia swallowed hard at this. "Then what happened?"

    "No sooner had the boy hugged his Combusken for the last time, did the Salamence come storming into the camp." Brock continues over an adventurous melody. "Everything happened just as the Combusken had said--it was a mighty struggle, but the Combusken laid down her life for her master. Her heart was the only thing that remained when the dust settled, in the form of a ruby. The boy tearfully took the ruby and continued on his way, vowing to avenge his friend when the time came."

    "Oh boy!" Rio smiled--the adventurous part was coming up!

    "He walked on for a few days, until one night, he heard crying in the distance." Brock continued over a calm melody. "He was shocked to find the princess of the land tied to a tree! But the princess waved him away when he tried to untie her--she was to be a sacrifice for the Salamence, or else he would destroy the whole kingdom!"

    The merchildren listened as Brock began his adventurous melody again. "Just then, the Salamence came lumbering into the clearing, but the boy took the ruby from his bag, and it became a beautiful sword with feather inlays and more rubies decorating it. The boy and the Salamence fought for hours, but in the end, the boy emerged victorious!"

    "YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!" the merchildren cheer.

    "The boy took the Salamence's heart and presented it to the king the next day." Brock concluded over a festive melody. "The boy and the princess fell in love, and were married not long after. Yet they always told their children about the faithful Combusken and all she did to protect the one she loved--so ends my tale for this evening."

    "Now THAT was an adventure!" Rio smiled.

    "I love happy endings." Nadia agreed as she led her friends into the surf.

    "Tell that one to Melodisa when she returns!" Tristan agreed before disappearing beneath the water for another night.
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  14. #14
    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Singer to the Sea (for SuBuWriMo)

    The Fourteenth Night

    "Everyone has had a turn to request a tale but you, Alana." Brock smiled as the yellow tailed mergirl led the other mer-children to the shallows. "So what would you like to hear tonight?"

    Alana noticed other instrument cases on the rocks. "I would like to hear a tale about magic, in honor of your mage companion, Ash."

    "Wonder what instruments are in there?" Rio asked, piqued in the new cases.

    "Watch and see." Pearl assured her friend as Brock took the harp and played Marista's Song to focus his thoughts.

    When the last note died, he began. "Once a boy was wandering through a forest one night, on his way home from a hunt. It was late that night, and there was no moon to light his way. Suddenly, he heard a scream way off in the distance, and a mage dashed through some nearby bushes, pursued by a pack of Mightyenas. The boy readied an arrow and fired at the biggest Mightyena, killing it and making the rest of the Mightyenas flee. The mage was grateful, and promised his deliverer whatever he wished in return for spending the night with him. The boy replied..." He switches to a voice that sounds more or less like Ash. "I would desire nothing more than a night's rest--I have been hunting all day, and have lost my way back home."

    As himself, he continues. "The mage took the boy to his cabin that lay in a clearing. No sooner had the boy arrived, did he lie down and fall into a deep sleep. After some time, the mage's servant girl was quite interested in how the boy saved her master, and asked him to tell her about the encounter. Once the boy had finished his tale, the servant girl instructed him..." He switches to a voice that sounds like a breathier female. "If my master should ask if you desire a reward for saving his life, request the third Ponyta that is boarded in the stable."

    "Why that one?" Nadia was piqued at this, but listened over the harp's calm interlude.

    "Some time later, the mage returned with a grand haul fom his hunt, and the three of them sat down to a great meal together." Brock replies. "Besides the meat, there was fruit of all kinds, the finest cheeses, and fresh water unlike any other. When the meal had ended, the mage asked the boy..." He switches to a deeper version of himself. "I must thank you again for saving my life--do you desire any reward?" He next switches to his psuedo-Ash voice. "I only want the third Ponyta that is boarded in the stables." As himself, he continues. "the boy replied. The mage tried again and again to talk the boy into reconsidering his offer, but again and again the boy insisted on the Ponyta. Finally, the mage relented, and also granted the boy three magic instruments--a cadena, a fiddle, and a flute. The boy was told that should he ever be in danger, to play the cadena first. If no help came, he was to play the fiddle, and if still no help came, to play the flute."

    The next morning, the boy thanked the mage again for his kindness and rode off for home with the Ponyta and his three treasures. He had not gotten very far when the Ponyta spoke to him, saying..." He switches to his standard female voice. "Rather than returning home now, where you will be lectured, scolded, and beaten, let us visit a few towns first--maybe something lucky will happen to you on the way." As himself, he goes on. "The boy was enamored by the thought of going out into the world and seeking his fortune in a far off land, so he rode on, visiting many villages and towns on the way and helping the townsfolk with their troubles."

    "Like what?" Alana asked.

    "Depending on Master's mood, he will tell a few episodes of what happened to the boy on his travels." Kissa explains. "But we will stick to the basic tale this time."

    "Before long, the boy came to the capital city of his homeland, where the townsfolk were awestruck by the beautiful Ponyta." Brock continues. "Even the king heard of it, and sent messengers to the boy offering to buy the Ponyta for whatever price he offered. At first, the boy wasn't sure, but the Ponyta assured him..." He switches to his standard female voice again. "Do not sell me, but instead board me in the royal stables, and in the morning, all the other Ponytas will be just as beautiful as I."

    As himself, he continues "The boy took the Ponyta to the royal stables, where it was given its own stall. Sure enough, when morning came, the other Ponytas were as lovely and strong as the boy's Ponyta. No more did they struggle to trot, and their manes and tails burned as bright as the sun. While the king was amazed at the transformation of his mounts, the groom in charge of the stables grew very jealous of the boy and his Ponyta. For days, he came before the king bearing some charge against the boy, but the king didn't listen, as he was well aware of his groom's jealousy."

    "Humans can get jealous over the sillest things..." Rio mused.

    "Finally, the groom came before the king saying that he had heard the boy boasting of how he knew where the king's best Rapidash had disappeared to years before." Brock continues. "Of course, the groom was lying through his teeth, but the king believed him. He sent for the boy and commanded him to find the Rapidash in three days, or else." Whispers waft through the audience, but they are hushed as Brock goes on. "The boy's Ponyta was waiting when the boy returned, and said to him..." Brock switches to his female voice again. "Do not worry over the task you have been charged with--in the morning, ask the king for a hundred Tauros, which you will sacrifice to Arceus for safety on your journey. A portion of the meat from the sacrifice will be kept for you. Then, we will depart and ride until we get to a certain river. You will see a Ponyta there, but you are to pay no heed to it. Then you will see another Ponyta, but ignore this one too. But when you see a Rapidash, throw my bridle over it."

    As himself, he continues. "The next day, everything happened just as the Ponyta had said, and the Rapidash was corraled and bridled. On the way back, he tossed some of the Tauros meat he had saved to keep the Shadow Murkrows that lived in the forest away. When the groom heard that the boy had brought back the king's Rapidash with two days to spare, he again pondered how he could have the king look unfavorably on the boy."

    He goes on over the harp. "Some time passed, and the groom again came before the king, saying that he had overheard the boy boasting that he knew where the princess of the kingdom had disappeared to some months before. Although the groom was again lying through his teeth, the king believed him a second time. So he summoned the boy and charged him to find the princess, or else.

    The boy was troubled by this command--how could he know where the princess was if she had disappeared months before? Fortunately, the Ponyta was nearby, and she said to him..." He switches to his standard female voice again. "Do not fear, we only need to go as far as the river we rode to yesterday. You will find a Taillow by the left bank--sprinkle it with some water from the river, and it will take its true form--the princess was turned into a Taillow by a witch several months before.

    So in the morning, the boy and the Ponyta set out, and everything happened just as the Ponyta had said--no sooner did the boy sprinkle the Taillow with water from the river, it transformed into a young girl in a flash of blue. When the king saw the boy returning with his daughter, he was filled with much joy and happiness, and showered the boy with gifts."

    "So did the groom ever leave him be?" Nadia was getting nervous now.

    "Well, you would think by now, the groom would know to leave the boy alone, but no..." Brock replies as his melody turns tense. "Some time later, the groom appeared before the king a third time, saying that he had overheard the boy saying that he wished to have the throne for himself. Once again, the groom was lying through his teeth, but the king was angry enough to believe him."

    "That's not fair!" Pearl is appalled that the king was gullible enough to believe a lie

    "The king was so angry, he didn't even bother to give the boy a trial, and ordered the boy be killed right away." Brock continues as he sets the harp aside and takes the cadena in his arms. "The day of the execution came, and the boy was asked if he had any last requests. The boy nodded, and asked if he could play one last tune on the cadena. Leave was granted, and no sooner had the boy touched the strings, the executioner found himself dancing in spite of himself." With that, he begins "The Thunderbolt Reel", prompting the merchildren to clap along.

    "Now I wish we had legs to dance on!" Tristan smiled as he applauded.

    Once the applause dies down, Brock goes on. "By the time the boy had finished, the executioner was so tired, he delayed the execution for a day. The story of the cadena spread like wildfire, and the next morning, a huge crowd had turned out to witness the execution." He pauses to switch the cadena for the fiddle. "When asked if he had any last requests, the boy asked if he could play one last tune upon the fiddle. No sooner had the bow met the strings, not only did the executioner dance, but so did everyone else in the crowd." Nadia leads the clapping as he plays the reels "Ponytas in the Grasslands" and "Ninetales' Blessing"

    "Encore!" Pearl calls when the set ends.

    "By the time the boy finished, it was dark out, and so the execution was delayed another day." Brock continues as he sets the fiddle aside and takes his whistle. "On the third day, when the boy was asked if he had any last requests, he asked if he could play one last tune upon the flute. The king refused him at first--he had bad memories of dancing away another day. But the princess interceded, saying that it was his last request, and a prisoner's last request must not be refused him. So the king plugged his ears with wax, and the groom tied himself to a tree to protect themselves. But no sooner had the boy blown one note, did the rest of the crowd dance again, barring the king and the groom." He plays "The Meowth's Call" for effect. "After a few minutes, the mage appeared to the boy in a rush of wind and light."

    As the mage, he interjects "What sort of danger are you in, that you have called for me?" He switches to his psuedo-Ash voice. "Someone present here has spoken a lie against me, and now the king wants to put me to death...the executioner is waiting for me to finish my song." As himself, he continues. "the boy breathlessly explained. The mage, meanwhile, charged some red light in his hands and called..." He switches back to his "mage" voice. "Out of the ground, raze all greenery with flame! Fire!"

    "No sooner had the mage spoke, did a fireball come flying from the mage's hands, setting the gallows ablaze." Brock continues as himself before switching back to his mage voice. "And who was it that brought a false charge against you?" He returns to himself. "the mage asked. The boy pointed out the groom--who was still bound to the tree-- and the mage charged another ball of light, this one blue, and called..." He switches to his mage voice again. "Scatter your chilly sharp blades! Ice!" As himself, he continues "Icicles came flying from the mage's hands, and they sliced up the tree and the groom to little pieces." After retrieving the harp, he plays one last interlude. "The king then realized that the boy was truly innocent, and that his groom had been lying to him all along. So he ordered the boy freed, and offered the princess' hand in marriage as an apology."

    "Yes!" Tristan is relieved things turned out all right.

    "So the boy and the princess were married...but the boy kept the three instruments and his Ponyta with him, just in case he needed their power again." Brock concludes. "So ends the tale of 'The Mage's Gifts'"

    "Bravo!" Alana led the applause.

    "Melodisa will be back tomorrow." Nadia added. "She missed out on some great tales!"
    My URPG stats: Maya's status

    SuBuWriMo status: 28,103 words in all!

  15. #15
    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Singer to the Sea (for SuBuWriMo)

    The Fifteenth Night

    "Welcome back, Melodisa." Brock smiled as Melodisa returned to the shallows with the merchildren. "Did the pearl hunt go well?"

    "Yes--we found a blue pearl to offer the Sea Guardian." Melodisa replied. "The children have told me much of what you told them in my absence--pity that I was not there to listen."

    "Fear not, sea maiden, for I have much more to tell you." Brock assured Melodisa before playing Marista's Song. Melodisa sighed happily--she had longed to hear that melody all during her adventure.

    She listened intently as Brock began. "There was once a poor man who had four sons. Figuring his sons were of age, he called them together and asked them to go out into the world and seek their fortunes. The four boys accepted their father's request, and set out early the next morning. They walked for a good long while until they came to a fork in the road that went four other directions besides where they had come from. The eldest brother promised that the four of them would return to the fork after four years, where they would then share with their father how they had made their fortune."

    "Is this the same story you told about the three princes and the wondrous items?" Tristan interrupted.

    "No--I can assure you this is different from that tale." Kissa assured Trista before motioning for her master to continue.

    "So each brother went a different way, hopeful they would find fortune. The eldest brother happened to meet a thief on the road, but when the man offered to train him, the eldest brother was hesitant at first--he knew very well that getting caught for stealing meant prison time at best and death at worst. But the man assured him that he would only teach the boy to steal what was fair game, and to give what he stole to the poor." Brock continues. "The second brother met a man on the road who was a stargazer by trade, and trained under him to learn all about the planets and stars. During his service, he received a magic looking glass that allowed him to see all that was in the heavens and on the earth as a memento of his time there.The third brother met a huntsman on the road, and the fourth, a tailor--and both of them also became skilled at their trades."

    "So what happened to them once they went out into the world after four years?" Rio asked.

    "After four years, the four brothers met back at the fork, and returned home to their father. One day, as the five of them were resting after a hard day's work, the father saw a Pidgeotto nesting in a nearby tree, and asked the second son how many eggs were in the nest." Brock continues over a soft interlude. "The second son took his looking glass, and told his father there were five eggs in all. Then the father commanded the eldest son to take the eggs from the nest without alerting the mother Pidgeotto. So the eldest son climbed the tree and carefully took the eggs with all the grace and dexterity of a Meowth. The Pidgeotto had no idea her eggs were gone, he did so well. The father took the eggs and set one at each corner of the table with the fifth in the middle, and told the third son to aim an arrow through the center of each egg."

    "Did he kill the Pidgeys?" Pearl asks, concerned.

    "The third son complied, and his arrow made a hole in each egg, that was just large enough for a needle to fit." Brock replies with a nod. "Then the father told the youngest son to sew up the holes in the eggs. So the youngest son took the magical needle he received from his master and sewed up the eggs so well, they looked like new. The eldest son was then told to return the eggs to the nest, and he did so without even disturbing the Pidgeotto.When the eggs hatched some days later, the Pidgeys were healthy and strong, and bore no evidence of what had happened to their eggs."

    "Whew...." Pearl heaves a sigh of relief.

    "The father was pleased at how much his four sons had learned, and wished deeply that he could give them a reward of some kind." Brock continues before his song turns tense. "Some time later, a great and terrifying Dragonite brought terror on the land, kidnapping the princess in the process..."

    "Seems landfolk like princess saving too..." Tristan mused.

    "The four brothers decided to try and save the princess, with their father's blessing." Brock continues over his melody. "So the second son looked with his looking glass, and saw the princess in a cave far over the sea, with the Dragonite guarding her. They went to the king, made their request to save the princess known, and asked for a ship to travel to the Dragonite's cave. After braving many traps, the four boys made it to the Dragonite's cave, where the princess was sitting on a rock, with the Dragonite guarding her, just as the second brother had said. The third brother was afraid to shoot at the Dragonite, for any arrow he shot would likely hit the princess and gravely wound her at best. So the eldest son slipped her out from the Dragonites claws as quiet as a Ratatta, and the five of them quickly returned to the ship. They had not gotten far when the Dragonite woke with a great roar, and pursued them."

    "And then?" Alana swallows hard, fearful over the party's fate.

    The third son readied an arrow, and killed the Dragonite, but the impact of the Dragonite's body on the water broke the ship apart, leaving the four sons and the princess on nothing but planks." Brock replies. "Fortunately, the youngest son sewed the planks back together with his magic needle, making the ship look like new." Everyone heaves a sigh of relief as he concludes "Upon their return to the castle, the four boys begin arguing over which of them should have the princess. However, the king was a wise ruler, and told the four boys that their quarreling was a sign that the princess was destined for someone else, but they still needed to be rewarded regardless of that, and offered the boys a piece of land for each of them. By then, the boys realized it was fruitless to be fighting over a girl who was not meant to be married to them, and accepted the king's offer, each of them receiving a piece of land to rule over...and that ends the tale of 'The Four Brothers'

    "Bravo!" Melodisa led the applause.

    "Can we each pick a story again?" Nadia asked as the merfolk prepared to depart. "I wanted Melodisa to hear our requests..."

    "Just tell me what you'd like to hear, and I will gladly honor your request." Brock assured Nadia. With that, he played a song of farewell as the merchildren returned to the sea for another night.
    My URPG stats: Maya's status

    SuBuWriMo status: 28,103 words in all!

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