All the World's a Stage
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I met Honeypot at the last performance of a play at the Sandpoint Theater. Afterwards we went to Cracktooth’s Tavern and met Cyrdak Drokkus. We started talking. I asked innocently if he had a new play. As he said no, I suggested him to read my play. Honeypot said that if he would choose to go with it she would play the role of herself and as she had quite a fame as both an actress and for playing and dancing she would draw a crowd. He agreed to reading it and we had fun at the tavern the rest of the evening. We noted that Cyrdak spent most of the time around Jasper, while Ameiko avoided him. Cyrdak and Jasper was the worst kept secret I knew, so no surprise there, but with Ameiko there was some unknown old grudge I had never heard of.
Already before midday the day after, Cyrdak came looking for me. He found me eating breakfast at the Rusty Dragon and told me he liked th play. He said he would set it up on his theater. We started talking when Honeypot showed up. She soon took over talking to Cyrdak about it. It turned out well. In the next few days we started hiring actors. We were reminded that Cyrdak wasn't well liked in Magnimar and we wondered why. Honeypot asked around and found out that he had been a dancer and had been thrown out of there after a performance. We started rehearsals and preparations for the play. Cyrdak had some suggestions for changes to it and thought I should go home and write. Honeypot thought she'd better join me. Together we headed for Magnimar on the way to Turtleback Ferry. Honeypot changed into a snow leopard and I rode Creampuff. She was in a hurry to get there and Creampuff had a hard time keeping up. He was a little heavy, it being early winter and all, but he's supposed to gain some weight for the winter. Perhaps it was a little too much, though. I didn't like to admit that Nathaniel was right about that. Along the way I got thinking about how Cyrdak had been thrown out of Magnimar. Perhaps we could get him to be welcome back? We decided to try, and then it would be good to have help so we told Nathaniel and Velicia in Runeforge, using the dwarven stones, to join us in Magnimar. We got there and went through the gates without any waiting, and headed for the Grand Arch district and the Foxglove Townhouse. Even though it is quite large it is still a little cozy. We arrived in the evening so I just ate a big meal Kaven cooked and thought of changes I would make on my play.
The next day I dressed up as Sandeli Foxglove, in a big dress. Then Honeypot and I went to the Starsilver Plaza. Abalone shell inlays created a scene of thousands of stars and there in front of us stood the Triodea, the most renowned playhouse and concert hall in Magnimar. The building housed three performance halls: the Grand Stage for operas and plays, an acoustically perfect concert hall called the Stonewall, and the Aerie, a raised, rooftop stage for soloists. Honeypot took the lead and went straight in. We got to see the director, Durstin Versade. He was responsible for all of the Triodea. Honeypot started talking about everything, singing, dancing and acting and while she kept him occupied I sneaked into his office. I looked through a lot of the papers there but there was more than I cared for. From what I could see I guessed that Durstin Versade was new as director, and that he had put in a lot of money. While searching there I heard Honeypot's music ending so I sneaked back out and came just in time to see her reciting from my play. I was amazed of how it came alive when she played it. Versade said that it would be a shame if he wouldn't get to set it up at the Great Stage. I agreed and said that I would like for the play to be played here but with the same players as was working in Sandpoint. He agreed and seemed happy.
We left him and Honeypot walked around the theaters gathering rumors. She heard of a famous eladrin dancer called Kassiel Iylmrain. He had a reputation of being a diva. He easily made enemies and was promiscuous. It was also said that he courted both men and women. We were content with the first day of work and I went home to change. Then we visited a few taverns and enjoyed ourselves before calling it for the night.
Next day we went to see Versade to talk further about the play, but by then he didn't want the play in his theater. We were surprised of the dramatic change, but didn't push the matter. Instead Honeypot went looking for rumors of what could have happened. From Versade's mistress and prompter she heard that he had spent the night with friends. It turned out especially one, Kassiel Iylmrain. Dressed as my usual Nell I took to the streets to find him and succeeded surprisingly soon. Magnimar was a big city, but I had few ideas where to look. He was in a house of ill repute, but good reputation. I watched it from across the street. Soon Honeypot got there too following other leads and we heard from Nathaniel and Velicia. They were in town and not that far away and soon we were all gathered. Velicia, who had read my play, complained about its accuracy. She had found things in it that wasn't completely true. I pointed out that several of her remarks wasn't completely correct either. I told her that it's not supposed to be correct. It's supposed to be entertaining. Nathaniel had been to Pug's Contraptions on the way over. There he had asked Pug, who made a music box for Nathaniel's little sister earlier, to make more toys for his siblings. He had asked for a small mechanical white dragon and little dolls looking like us for his little brother. After catching up we discussed what to do. Someone suggested that we should try to seduce Kassiel and get information out of him. Honeypot would be the first choice for something like that, but Kassiel seemed to prefer men. I suggested that Nathaniel should seduce him and I could keep watch. He didn't agree. To bad, I would have liked to see that. In the end we found out that Honeypot could change her shape to that of a man with her magic. Then the plan was set. She changed her shape into a male faun and as she headed over to where Kassiel was I ran after her and put on my best gold digger look. As we entered Honeypot quickly picked up another girl on the other arm and then we walked around, looking for Kassiel. As soon as we found him Honeypot started flirting and we girls dropped to the background. As the male Honeypot seduced Kassiel I used the opportunity to search through his things. He had very little stuff and it told me almost nothing of what he was doing and very little about who he was, apart from having few things and probably moving around a lot. I got out and joined Nathaniel and Velicia. She asked me a lot about what I had found and together with other things she had found out she concluded that Kassiel had been involved with the Brotherhood of Seven and Ironbriar. She could also figure out from what I remembered of Versade's papers that he probably was put there by previous associates of the Brotherhood of Seven. He was most likely just supplying money and being used by them.
We had dinner tried to decide what to do with Kassiel. Velicia started giving suggestions.
"We could kill him."
"Then we have to know if he has a tattoo first." I commented but Nathaniel didn't agree:
"No! That would be murder. We could never do that."
"We could intimidate him to leave." Velicia suggested.
"It might work." I said hesitantly.
"We could trick him to leave." Velicia continued.
"That could work." Nathaniel offered.
"Only for a while. As soon as he figures it out he would return." I argued.
"We could get him a good job someplace far away." Velicia suggested.
"That's great! It would take him for ever to get there and he would stay." I said enthusiastically but Nathaniel replied:
"The only place we have any contacts in, far enough away is the Great Kingdoms. I've been there and it's a long and dangerous journey there. I doubt he would brave the war."
"Yeah. He could be too lazy to go there." I agreed and added "You crossed a war to see my sister?"
"We could cause him to loose face and leave out of shame." Velicia interrupted.
"That could work, too." Nathaniel said, nodding.
"It's really Honeypot's area, but I like it too." I agreed.
We parted for the night and when we reunited the next morning. Honeypot thought that it could be arranged, but she would have to have time to set it up. In a few days I had finished writing the changes to the play and went back to Sandpoint. I oversaw the rehearsals and made further improvements on the script. The work on the play went along well. I told everyone not to tell Cyrdak about our plan to get Cyrdak to be welcome back into Magnimars cultural circles. They all promised to keep it a secret. Meanwhile Honeypot had learned that Kassier was to dance at a show where she could interrupt him and out-dance him. Velicia came to me and wanted all of our dragon stories collected in a text, so I wrote a collection of our dragon encounters and called it "Of Dragons Defeated". Velicia said she would print it.
The day approached and we all gathered back in Magnimar. Together we went to the show where Kassiel Iylmrain would dance and waited for him to take to the stage. Then Honeypot made her move. She entered the stage and stated that there would be a competition between him and her. The crowd was quite surprised and some booed and some cheered. Her fans supported her and I sneaked around in the crown and started chanting "Dance off! Dance off!" before moving on and doing it again. That tipped it all in favor of a dance off but when our attention was on the crowd he tried to use that opportunity to get away, but Velicia teleported up to him and caught him in a teleport to send him up on stage. Now the crowd cheered and he had to dance just to not loose face. They both started dancing tentative as the two tried to size each other. Then Kassiel made some really beautiful moves only to be out shone by Honeypots twirls. He tried to make up for lost momentum only to fail embarrassingly. It was obvious to everyone that Honeypot was the better dancer and that he couldn't take it. As he stormed off the stage Honeypot was clearly the winner. Afterwards we celebrated all night and Honeypot was the center of all attention. I met Durstin Versade and he said that my play, Cyrdak and especially Honeypot was welcome at the Great Stage.
The next day we returned to Sandpoint. I was almost asleep during the ride, but Nathaniel was impertinently spirited. When we got back Cyrdak was ready for the big premiere that was in just two days. Honeypot and me prepared everything and waited for our big day. On the day, while waiting behind the scene for it all to start, we got word that several tickets had been sold to unknown people that probably had bought them for others. Peeking out over the audience we found several important people from Magnimar there. In my role as chorus I was first of all to take the stage and just as I was about to go on stage I turned to Cyrdak and said:
"I really hope it's going to be good. Otherwise we will look foolish when performing it on the Great Stage in Magnimar."
He looked at me in disbelief and I nodded. He fainted but as there was a stagehand nearby to catch him I went on stage. It was a strange feeling to stand on a stage to actually perform for the first time in my life. I started the play with my own words:
"Old forces of great strength, long forgotten, In fair Perrenland, where we lay our scene,
From ancient halls beneath the ground, begotten, Awful monsters with intentions unclean...."
The play went well and the audience laughed and stirred where I had hoped to move them. I wrapped it up with these words:
"Thus far, with rough and all-unable pen, our bending author hath pursued the story, In little room confining mighty men, mangling by starts the full course of their glory. Small time, but in that small most greatly lived, these stars of Perrenland: Fortune made their swords; By which many magic items were achieved. They set out on paths encouraged by lords, To far off places, riding their steeds, meeting both giants and dragons of old, Performing many great heroic deeds, of which many good stories may be told: Which oft our stage hath shown; and, for their sake, In your fair minds let this acceptance take."
Then there was silence.
I almost started to panic before the applause started, but what an applause. I had never heard the likes. Perhaps because I had never stood on a stage to receive one before.
Afterwards we went to Cracktooth's Tavern as was usual. There we met many celebrities that had come to see the play. There were many famous adventurers and scholars, not only from Magnimar but from the far reaches of Perrenland and further and even from Grayhawk itself. From there two stood out over the rest of the crowd. They were from something called the circle of eight and was called Bigby and Tenser. Velicia was extremely impressed. She said she used magic all the time, that they made up. I kind of liked the old men. They were apparently some sort of high ups but were still men of the people. They said that they liked the play. I thanked them and we talked a little. It was only later that I found out there had been some meeting discussing our findings of old Thessalonian history that had helped draw some of the famous visitors. At least the wolf nomads from the north who went to the play had come just to see it. They even said they liked it. Cyrdak was very happy about the play being set up in Magnimar and thus making his come back there possible. But Ameiko still didn't talk to him. Velicia tried to find out why and asked her. It turned out Cyrdak had been dating her evil brother Tsuto a long time ago.
In the next couple of days we moved the play to Magnimar. I had it printed there and gave one copy to Velicia and her guild and another to Chask Haladan who had the Curious Goblin bookshop in Sandpoint. Honeypot continued to play her part and I read the chorus almost until midwinter. By then I retired to Turtleback Ferry. There several had heard of the play and wanted to see it. I could only tell them that I wasn't any good actor and we had no stage. That got Maelin Shreed thinking. He thought that it would be a great opportunity to give the people of Turtleback Ferry other things to do than drinking, gambling and whoring. As we planned to build a theater I started working on my second play that continued our adventures where the first had ended. We couldn't build a new theater during winter, and I wasn't in any hurry to write, so the months passed and the winter slowly turned into spring.
|Rise of the Runelords
|Rise of the Runelords • Episodes • People • Drawings
|Dorothea • Honeypot • Nathaniel • Nell • Velicia
|Whisperwood • Turtleback Ferry • Sandpoint • Magnimar • Perrenland