Three short monologues, set to music.
The Arbor Bell Tolls
Read to "Inside", Jack de Quidt
In the quiet of the morning, the only sound in the town of Pinesville is the wind in the trees.
The day here is welcomed by woodsmoke in chimneys, the smell of baking bread in the market, two lovers walking through waist high grass hands held tight. A peaceful welcome. A good one.
It’s a quiet town, always has been (if you leave out that orc attack a few months back). It’s a place to build families, but I doubt you adventuring types would understand that.
And right at the center of it all, we had the Arbor Bell.
That thing stood tall, damn near loomed over the whole town. An entire tower, carved from head to toe out of a single old redwood. Sigh.
It took the settlers of Pinesville 10 years to craft, and if the stories are true, getting that honkin’ silver bell up there was no easy feat. It’s the kind of thing you hardly notice its been there so long. Hardly notice it until it’s gone.
You remember what the bell sounded like? I still do. That sound is burned into my brain. It went a little something like this...
A Lofty Heist
Read to "Marielda", Jack de Quidt
The sky is a burnt orange, as the sinking sun hits the heavy clouds. It’s a sunset so pretty, you almost don’t see the massive pirate ship floating in the air above your village.
It hangs in the air not by sails, but by a titanic black balloon, inscribed with skull and bones.
And suddenly Pinesville is shattered, as a piece of the town is plucked from the ground and pulled into the sky!
Four iron chains hang from the ship, attached to four iron harpoons, plunged into place around the Arbor Bell. The towering tree is beginning to lift off, roots and all. Houses are smashed and people flee as the flying chunk of land carves a path through the town. Gyro squeals, “No!”
For a moment, you see a figure atop the belltower, imposing, assured, all dressed in red. Then you see another figure, one you know...
A sea elf, now stone, pounces on the figure in red, tackling them and tumbling out of sight. The ship pays no heed—it is the unstoppable force that has pulled the immovable object out of the bedrock.
/ It grows closer by the second.
/ You are in the path of the destruction.
/ They seek to steal your monument.
/ What do you do?
Scripted: The Captain, The Queen
Red Jack, Jack de Quidt
The Whisper on the Water wasn’t always a ship in the sky.
/ It was christened as a whaling vessel, a titan of wood and pitch, made to hunt titans of blood and bone.
/ The day it sailed out of port in the small town of Spray was a day of celebration; a ship with which to crack the sea in half and spill its bounty for all to profit.
/ Oil. Fat. Flesh. It would change Spray forever, they said, place it on the map.
/ The Whisper on the Water never returned to port.
Pirates, they called them, but they were so much more. Brigands and minstrels, cooks, knights, dancers. Adventurers of all sorts.
/ Well, in some ways they were adventurers of the same sort: they took what they wanted.
/ Now you stand on the deck of this same ship. The horizon stretches wider here, even as rigging stretches from bow, to stern, the boat clinging to the balloon clinging to the sky.
/ In the midst of the bustle, and the silk, and the tar, you see Her throne. The woman in red, her hood cast back and her gaze sharp on you.
/ Your steps beat into the deck. She draws near. In her right hand she carries a golden sabre, in her left a gleaming silver trident. The ground beneath you rocks, as if to fall away.
Her indomitable voice rings out.
I am Queen Vermina Valerias Dominitia Haruspex, Fleet Captain of the Irontide Forgotten, and Sovereign of the city of Monument. You are stow-aways upon my ship, name yourselves or face the due penalty of your crimes.
(Slow, careful enunciation, sharp syllables)