Friday, January 8, 2010

Playing Jewls

:) I've started playing Jewls again. Makes me light headed. It's significant.

It had been a lord's house, tall and elegant, granite and copper.  A small village nestled in the mountains, Kaneh, was a village of shepherds, goatherds, weavers, and peace. It owed no firm allegiance to either of the larger kingdoms and had nothing really that either wanted, so it flourished away from politics and war. It had a school, a hereditary healer, and a dead lord. His house was lovely, three stories tall with real glass windows and a cooper roof long turned to a lovely green.

He'd been dead enough time that even his gravestone had moss. The village elected new leaders as often as they could get someone willing to take the house. Sometimes they offered the jobs to wise or admirable travelers. Sometimes they offered the job to rude travelers.

Their ghost of a lord suited them decently enough, as it was. His prankful and sometimes even vengeful nature echoed their feelings towards the world outside their village.

It was in the early spring when Jewls the Lucky wandered into their village. Not very tall, but with a presence that gave the impression of more height and stature, he walked tall, a pack on his back. A wanderer, good boots, gypsy embroidered pants, and hair of fire and copper, he smiled at everyone who'd meet his gaze.

In the village square, surrounded by shops and other fine houses, the mayor's house in particular, he set his pack down. As if he had every right to be there, he dipped his hands into the fountain, splashed his face, pressed cooled fingers to the back of his neck.

After another few minutes, he pulled a black case from his bag and reverently unsealed it, pulling out a bright blue violin. When he started to play, that's when everyone really began to notice him.

He sang of love and war, of journeys great, dragons and gypsies.

The mayor, a slender and spritely man, who was actually a distant cousin of the ghostly lord, finally approached the guest. His thumbs hooked behind his suspenders, gray hair short and spiky. Several other people stood behind him, giving him an increased air of authority.

Jewls lowered his bow, tucked his violin and bowed.

"Oi there," the mayor said, bouncing up onto the balls of his feet for a moment. "We've not had your kind here. From whence have you come?"

Gracefully, Jewls rose, violet eyes amused. "Good Soul, I am Jewls the Lucky of the House of Fire, Guilty of Contempt. I have come from the lands to east. I am Lingshan, dedicated to the Goddess of Luck, Barrie. I am seeing the world and knowing the truth of as many people as I can find."

"You must be a man of great wisdom," the mayor baited.

"No, no," Jewls said. He held up his hand, bow tucked neatly. "I have no wisdom, not really. I just seek truth and record people's stories, sing and try to bring people happiness."

"All people," the mayor asked.

Jewls tilted his head, felling there was some hook in this polite bait. "All people. We all have the same value."

Muttering went through the gathering group. "Oi," the mayor said, nodding his head. Speaking much quicker, he asked, "What about the dead?"

Jewls scratched the back of his head, bright red eyebrows rising up. "The dead can't speak for themselves very well, so as Lingshan, it is my obligation to speak for them, to speak their truth."

The mayor nodded, again bouncing on the balls of his feet. "Well, perhaps you'd consider staying a day or so, meeting our lord. He's been dead a while."

"Doing my duty endows those I assist with obligations."

"Oh yes, yes," the mayor said, taking Jewls by the arm. Jewls had just enough time to pick up  his own pack, as the mayor dragged him towards the largest and finest house at the far end of the square. "We'll give you anything you want."

Curious now, Jewls let himself be led to the steps of the great house. "How did he die?"

"We don't really know," the mayor hedged. "It could have been a suicide. The lady that he loved rejected him."

Jewls put away his violin neatly, experienced motions. He rolled up his right sleeve, revealing a complicated set of scars and tattoos. He pulled a long red braid out from the back of his shirt and wrapped it around his scars, his mark of Lingshan. He pressed his palm against the door, closed his eyes for a moment, then said solemnly, "I have come to speak your truth."

The door creaked open a little, perhaps from the pressure of his hand. Perhaps.

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