An Eastern Song

Concept by: Nimrodellian, Doviel, The Lord and Lady of Aerwinion, and Animal House

ABC’s by: Nimrodellian

The members of the Cottage all clapped in amusement as Doviel finished up her tale.

“A wonderful story”, one of them laughed. “One wonders what else our horse-friends think when we are not around.”

“I would not wish to know”, another chimed in. “Not with how many cliffs I have taken mine off of.”

They all turned towards the Teller of Tales who was quietly sitting at his seat by the fire, slowly strumming a few notes on his lute and grinning.

“A fine tale it was”, he said from underneath his hood. “But now I think we shall delve into something a bit more ambitious.”

“What did you have in mind?” They all asked eagerly. The Teller of Tales simply smiled again and played a few short phrases on his lute to himself before finally speaking.

“A tale of a distant land unknown to most of you, far in the east where the people and customs are strange. But it is a tale too big for me alone I think, so I shall be asking for some of your help as we go along. I think as well that this tale demands music since music is tied so intimately with the tales they tell in the East. Let us see where this tale take us my friends as we begin this Eastern Song.”

(The Teller Of Tales begins to play and the image of a solitary traveler, floating down an unknown river to an uncertain shore is evoked in the minds of the listeners of the Cottage.)

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 Floating down the river, to what adventures might it take us?

***  The River Journey *** <—- Music Link

‘Hail friends of the lighted West, welcome to this Eastern Song.
Under the Shadow our journey lies, into lands no eagle flies

Traveling down the Celduin, we pass beyond Rhovanion
There to find the Sea of Rhun, under darkness, under moon.

What adventures wait us there, in the land of Easterling?
Do their minstrels also sing, of love and death and bravery?

But Lo! We’ve reached a city fair, its pennants bearing strange device.
The cry of merchants reaches us, our eyes meet with the wondrous

What is this city, who are its Lords, and can one rest his weary feet?
Our questions will be answered soon, as the next resumes our tune.

Who can tell us dust-stained travelers, the city we find ourselves in?’

(With that the Teller of Tales motions for another of the cottage’s residents and they join in the music and continue the tale.)

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A merchant greets us as we pass the city gates and we see a bustling market town open up before us

*** Song of Dorwinion ***

Welcome friend to the city that never sleeps. Where all the goods of the East are found
If you have the coin to spend at least.

In Dorwinion!

Our wine is famous, care to take a sip?  Just not too much or you’ll lose your wits,
And wake up with a girl wearing strange attire, which is not so bad I must admit.

I’m a merchant whose traveled all around, from the Inland Sea to the Red Mountains.
But my feet, no matter where they roam, seem to always find their way back home

To Dorwinion!

What ever you desire you can find right here, we have wares to satisfy or entice.
Be it food or drink or war or strife. You’ll be satisfied if you pay our price.

We have armor polished red and bright, good for turning the spear of a Gondorim
Weapons that are sharp and shields that are broad, care to take a look? That’s free of charge!

Pomegranates,
Fresh Melons,
Any food that you could want.

Entertainment,
Slave girls,
All you have to do is ask.

But what is this? The strangest sight, these eyes of mine have ever seen.
A wagon with a Lady fair, chained to pole, what could this mean?

I’d give good coin to know the truth, what crime has brought her to this fate?
Escorted by the General’s guard, a ring of death surrounds her star.

Fair Lady,
Who are you?
Doesn’t anybody know?

Speak up,
Come forward,
We are curious to hear.

(The Merchant player motions for another to join the stage and the duet becomes a trio as the next joins the music)

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A market guard answers the merchant’s inquiries.

*** Annunel’s Song ***

Annunel the lady fair, stands veiled before you, on that bier.
Her hair shines like the setting sun, her eyes green like the woodland trees.
A kind and gentle mistress there, her city mourns her every tear.

Beyond the walls, she dances free, in palace gardens gracefully.
She sings of love unto the stars. Fair and lithe, a summer breeze.
But sadly it was not to be, for someone watched her lustily.

And in the night, the wind cries for the Lady Annunel,
Who can save her from this evil spell?

Long we wished, she would be wed, Annunel to noble lord.
They’d grace Dorwinion parapets, and rule from marbled minarets.
Far into the east instead, the General brought the sword.

He came with soldiers, iron bound, and camped outside the walls.
To war he marched against the West, but first he claimed our cities best.
And with him went to our regret, the fairest of us all.

And in the night, the wind cries for the Lady Annunel,
Who can save her from this evil spell?

It seems my friend, although she swore, to wed that man of war.
Her heart was given to another, For true hearts cannot be tethered.
And with wings they fly unerring, to that distant shore.

And in the night, the wind cries for the Lady Annunel
Who can save her from this evil spell?

(And who is her lover? The cottage members implore. Finally they convince the guard to continue the music)

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The lovers meet by chance. If chance it be

*** Thalanir’s Song ***

He is Thalanir, a captain brave as any that I’ve ever known.
Bold and valiant as he rides through the city he calls home.

But though war is his profession, he longs most to retreat to his
family home and tend his vineyards. And it is there he met his lady true.

For Annunel, the lady fair was wont to disguise herself at times
and escape the palace, and for a little while, her future groom.

And under the morning sun she chased butterflies and felt the wind on her face
and forgot for a time her sorrows, and dreamed of better things.

So it came to pass that Thalanir, inspecting his land, spotted the hooded
Annunel from afar. Curious, he rode to her, startled she tried to flee.

As her drew near, he dismounted and with gentle words eased her fears.
The wind picked up, blew back her hood, and Annunel revealed her face.

It was there, in butterfly filled fields, that Thalanir met Annunel,
and love struck where once only gloom, had filled her heart with tears.

They agreed to meet again, when Annunel could escape the palace once more
But more about their love and the Ladies current plight who can say?

(From the audience a girl rises up and speaks. ‘I can tell you that!’. The servant girl rises up and tells her tale. As she speaks, the trio becomes a duet again as our lovers meet).

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The sounds of music and merriment mask our lovers plans

*** A Plan At Night ***

And so, that fateful night, did soon arrive,
Our lovers planned.

Servants sent away, a sickness feigned,
At Lady’s bed.

As fireworks alighted up above the city sky.
Annunel slipped quietly from window up on high.

Carefully hidden, shadows danced in the torch light.
Skipped amongst the pillars to the spot he said was right.

There, against a wall, her heart did leap,
This was no dream.

A ladder fair and white, waited for her.
Her face did beam.

Much to her elation, on the other side she saw
Thalanir her lover, in his chariot so tall.

Practically leaping down the ladder to his arms.
Startled lover caught her and protected her from harm

They rode for most the night, quiet at first,
Danger was near.

Well outside the walls, where lights were dim,
They felt no fear.

Laughing and embracing, gentle whispers in the night.
Thalanir and Annunel discussed their current plight.

Dreams of life in Gondor or the distant Rohan Mark.
Little did they notice something creeping in the dark.

(‘What did they not notice?’ the audience asks in suspense. The servant girl continues as our watcher joins the music and the band grows to four)

Horserace

A chase by night, will their secret be revealed?

*** The Wain Race ***

In the dark
Of the night,
Shadows creep
Out of sight.

The silence breaks, our lovers wake, to a most regretful fright.
A spy had come, following behind, hiding from the fire light.

But a branch
On the ground,
Alerted them
To the sound.

And Thalanir, with a mighty shout, set to put the man aground.
The spy reached his chariot first and they raced back to the town.

On the road
Chasing fate,
Riding hard
For the Gate.

Thalanir knew well if he failed Annunel, they would face the general’s hate.
So he rode to beat the spy’s retreat,  but the hour proved him much too late.

On the path
Overgrown,
Wheel was struck
By a Stone.

Thalanir was tossed, and the race was lost, and his fate is still unknown.
Lady Annunel, worried and distraught, in the dark and all alone.

(‘What became of Annunel?’ The audience asks in anticipation. ‘I shall tell that myself!’ A member of the audience pronounces. They join the music and we find that it is none other than the Lady Annunel herself who tied to the wagon on the way to her doom, pleads to the crowd.)

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A star now fallen, what shall she proclaim?

*** Annunel’s Plea ***

Dear friends!
Gather round, listen to my last tale.

All alone it seemed and wavering, awaiting lovers swift return
Sat worrying, as a ring of death converged.

I thought I heard the wind blow rustling, on an autumn breeze,
But I was dreaming, for the general’s men emerged.

Dorwinion!
Home to me, listen to my last cry.

Through the palace gates returned, where I once had danced,
I yearned, for my lover’s gentle hand.

In the General’s palace room, judgment swiftly passed in spite,
I swooned and felt the iron band.

Kind Sirs.
Hear me well, listen to my last plea.

To my hearts true love take these, My last earthly words
And please, don’t wait. I would save him from my fate.

That his Annunel is dead, do not to come in hopeless quest
Instead, Flee the General’s endless hate.

Thalanir
Wish you could, listen to my last breath.

Keep the time we spent and savoring, souls entwined as ours
Not worrying, for  the future seemed so bright.

As I travel towards my final end, watch the executioner’s axe
Descend, I can see a distant light.

(‘How does the story end?’ a member of the audience asks in shock. A final sixth person rises from the audience and we see that it is Thalanir, finally returned to Dorwinion.)

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The music finishes, where shall its final notes lead us?

*** The Story Ends ***

After my fall I knew with dread, I had not force alone,
To conquer that scourge on his iron throne.

So gathering those with loyal heart for their captain,
We came before the city walls in force.

With weary arms I pushed the Gate-Doors wide,
Returned to find my lover’s hand.

But found the city up in arms before us and heard
The news that shook me to the core.

That my Annunel was dead, I had come too late
My quest had failed. I gave into helpless rage.

And the town ignited like a fire, against that fiend
Who with his word, had taken Annunel.

Then sword unsheathed and arrow arced across the sky
The general quaked and fled as one pursued.

And battle raged on palace grounds, between the general
And the town. But in the end, he was thrown down.

The wise have said, the West was spared that mighty scourge,
For with his death, a terrible weapon of the Dark Lord fell.

But I still think of Annunel, and with her memory take sail
Up Celduin and take my tale into the rising sun.

(The last notes of the song are played. The curtain falls, the actors bow. The audience is glad today, to have heard the Eastern Song)

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One thought on “An Eastern Song

  1. Pingback: The Cottage of Pen and Play opens it’s doors! | The Cottage Of Pen And Play

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