Hirow's tale, Pt. 1
Hirow sat down by Sister Orsolla at the hearth of the inn. The day had been warm, so no fire was lit. Nevertheless, the stonework was the focal point of the room.
"You never did tell me why you had to flee your homeland." she said as he settled. "And why you are hunted."
Hirow slowly pulled something from his pack wrapped in cloth. She glanced at the cloth, and then looked back at him. Hirow sighed.
"It is a tale I am loath to tell. Would it suffice to say that the Sultan and I had a difference of beliefs?"
Orsolla gave a quizical and somewhat impatient look and said nothing. From the cloth he withdrew a wooden flute, which he then used the cloth to polish. Without looking up, Hirow continued.
"The Sultan can be a cruel man, most especially to women. And though he has four wives, he also enjoyed a harem of almost a dozen young women; a most cruel enjoyment. One day I could bear his treatment of them no longer. Foolishly, I spoke to them, thinking I might devise some easement to their suffering."
Hirow paused and took a deep breath. He folded the cloth and set it on the pack. Then he brought the flute up to his lips.
"The Sultan was so enraged by my transgression that only by the grace of Allah was I able to flee with but my life. A fatwa was issued and a price was put upon my head. A most impressive price, I am led to understand..."
Hirow began a slow, somber song.
Orsolla listened and after a while the rest of the room seemed to fade.
She began to nod her head in time with the drums.
Drums?
She opened her eyes and glanced around the room. No drummer or drums could be seen.
She moved her head from side to side, tilting and turning it. The sound of the drums was coming from everywhere. And from nowhere.
Hirow stopped playing, and the drums stopped as well.
"A sound, it flies like a bird through the air and on into your ear. Once inside the ear it stops at a gate, and on the other side of this gate a musician sits at a harp." Hirow paused for a moment, checking for her reaction. "This musician, he replays faithfully all of the sounds that reach the gate. It is this music that travels into your head, where you hear it."
She looked pensively in the direction of the ceiling rafters, imagining it.
"When an angel sings to you or when he speaks to you, there is no sound that traverses the air. Another person in the room, he might hear nothing. There is nothing that reaches the gate of your ear. Instead, it is the angel sitting at the inner harp; he himself is plucking the strings."
Hirow put the flute to his lips and resumed playing. Orsolla closed her eyes and listened.
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5 comments

5 Comments

Dave, this is wonderful. I love how this develops the character and lays the groundwork for future intrigue. The bits involving the music were thoughtful and poetic as well. Just out of curiosity, where is Hirow from specifically? Baghdad? That's where the Arab Caliphate is headquartered in 1425. Again, great stuff.
This is just awesome! By far your best journal post yet. I like how the transgression seems minor, yet leads to his such serious consequences. The flute is a really nice touch that will continue adding flavor and depth to the game. Loved it!
This is just awesome! By far your best journal post yet. I like how the transgression seems minor, yet leads to his such serious consequences. The flute is a really nice touch that will continue adding flavor and depth to the game. Loved it!
Excellent post Dave!
Love this post!