Taril_icon.gif Adrian_icon.gif

Scene Title <Picking Up Arrows>
Synopsis A Bard and a Hunter meet in the aftermath of Summerday
Location Lowtown
Date Bloomingtide 31, 9:31 Dragon
Watch For Terminal optimism
Logger Taril

Lowtown sits within the cauldron shaped pit that was once the city's very first quarry. Constructed by slave labor, the district is now home to the less wealthy members of Kirkwall's population. This is a labyrinth of shantytowns, corridors, and hexagonal courtyards with the very poor living in caves carved into the cliff's face. This district is shoddily built with walls scarred by slow collapse. The sparkling manors of Hightown can be seen over head- forever within view, and forever out of reach. Foundry smoke often smothers the area, the Darktown shafts occasionally erupting with gouts of foul air known as chokedamp. It's not uncommon to find whole slums silently suffocated, frozen in the midst of everyday activity.

Not much clean-up has been done in the aftermath of the previous day's events. There are still bits of paper, wilted flowers, the occasional scrap here and there- though those have been mostly cleaned up by the local desperates. There are also arrows, since not many have been willing to gather them up for resale just yet. The shadow of the Qunari looms large, it appears. This being the case, Taril moves stiffly along picking up those of his arrows that didn't find targets to stick into. Yep, this is a pain in the ass.

Coming out of a nearby tavern with his lute held in one hand Adrian wanders onto the square. The human bard pauses a moment regarding the scene before him with a thoughtful gaze, then he spots the elf picking up arrows. Slow strides have him heading over that way, his steps light and his expression friendly. He pauses halfway there picking up a few of the same kind of arrow that are in his path as he heads over that way. A faint smile is given to the young elf and the arrows he collected are offered back to him. The bard tilts his head considering a breif moment before he speaks in a polite tone, the accent of Starkhaven rather obvious there. "Would you like help retrieving those arrows by any chance?" He asks calmly not offering either pity or scorn for the stiff moving elf, just a polite offer to help him get done what he is doing.

Taril is a little tired and, at first, his expression might seem a little grumpy at first until he brushes his hair- not yet braided- out of his face to consider the person speaking. "I appreciate the offer," he replies, reaching out to take the arrows. "I thought I was woefully out of practice until I started counting these. …but I think this might be the last. You're the bard, right? From yesterday?"

Adrian offers a warm smile and a polite dip of his head. "It is no trouble, and yes I am the bard from yesterday." His smile turns a touch playful and he offers a graceful bow. "The name is Adrian, its nice to meet you." Grey eyes study the red haired elf curiously, there is a look of clear admiration for that long hair but the bard knows better than to stare. Once again the man smiles warmly his gaze and tone mirroring that warmth as well. "Who might you be? A talented archer obviously if these are the only shots that missed. I'm better off with daggers myself."

Taril snorts. "Talented. That's what they're going to call it." At least he realizes that he's gotten himself into things after the fact. It might be too late, but better late than never. "Taril. …and I'm not really used to shooting at things that shoot arrows back." Which would be his excuse for having so many arrows to pick up. "It's a pity those Qunari had to interrupt yesterday. The people here have little reason to celebrate and it was taken away from them."

Adrian looks rather saddened as he nods in agreement. "Its unfair to the people here yes. They have enough problems and should have been allowed to enjoy thier day of celebration in peace. Though the Qunari showed up before I got drunk which might be a blessing, drunken bards are rather shameless." He tries to liven the mood a bit with a joke and a playful wink. "I will just have to find another way to bring some cheer to Lowtown. Even if I have to do it myself its worth doing." His smile returns now, bright and optimistic.

Taril settles on one of the benches still left out with a wince- look, that arrow was really stuck- and begins settling the arrows into their quiver. The difference in the item still gives him pause but he masks that with a grin. "If it's anything like some of the stories I've heard, it might be a pity." Once the arrows are settled he pulls out a cord to tie back his hair- he slept rough, everything's getting done slowly today. "If the Qunari had gotten here a bit later we might have avoided the whole mess." Do Qunari get distracted by drunken bards?

Adrian grins back and settles carefully on the bench next to Taril. "I honestly have no idea whether Qunari are susceptable to the charms of drunken bards or not. I'm honestly not sure I want to find that out either…they might squish me." He chuckles softly watching Taril a moment. "I had never seen a Qunari until last night actually. They look quite grumpy, like they could really use a good dose of cheer."

"From what I've heard, Qunari don't do cheerful. At least, not their military. I'd never seen one before, but the way the leader of the group took that arrow…" Yep, Taril has never seen THAT before. "At least things calmed down and they know they'll be stood up to. I take it you'll find work in one of those mansions up there," he indicates hightown with an inclination of his chin. "You're certainly not going to find much beyond appreciation down here, and that's not a currency anyone's going to accept."

Adrian nods looking thoughtful and considering a moment. "I would be better off working at a tavern or inn, I would rather avoid mingling with nobles if at all possible." There is a glance towards Hightown a look that is hard to describe, an odd mixture of worry, regret and pure stubborness is a close description though. He shakes his head and covers that expression with a smile. "Besides the people down here have more need of inspiration and cheer I think. And as long as I get to eat I will be fine."

Taril laughs. "You're the first entertainer I've met who doesn't have ambitions that include riches. I thought all Bards worked for noble families if they had the chance. …then again, I don't know much about them at all aside from rumor. My clan trades with humans, but we know better than to be around for their celebrations." Pause. "Usually." Obviously he knows that trouble finds him or he finds trouble and that's just the way the world works. "So why would you care about cheering up the citizens of Lowtown? Hope here is almost as bad as poison."

Adrian just smiles softly and cants his head to one side. "Not all bards desire to be wealthy. Some of us are content to be reknown for our inspirational and musical abilities rather than our collection of jeweled lutes that we cannot play." He nods in understanding as Taril explains and then blinks at the question. He considers for a moment and the answers quietly. "Because anyone can succeed if given a chance. Nobles have all the chances and inspiration they could want and its squandered and wasted. Down here people struggle and fight for survival and yet I firmly believe that if they were inspired they could still achieve more than they do. They could rise above what they are, as much as they wanted to if only they had hope." He pauses a moment. "Besides I would wager that all the coin in the world cannot make a man happy, that one can feel just as trapped in a Hightown mansion as they can in the slums of Lowtown. The difference is its easier for the noble in that mansion to escape his fate…the people of Lowtown should have a way to escape even if its just an eveing of cheerful song and stories." This is clearly something he feels strongly about and there is a passion to his voice as he speaks.

Taril gestures toward the area in which they sit. "You say that, but look around you. Entertaining them is one thing, but trying to inspire hope… Here?" Clearly, he's confused. "These people watch their children and loved ones die for lack of food and cleanliness. Hope seems like salt in the wound. I'm not saying it should all be misery, but… well, most of it is. They're lucky if the poisoned air gets them before starvation and disease."

"Thats just it, they suffer so much that they cannot see beyond that suffering at times. Its hard to see it but there is -always- hope and joy and with enough of it people can make a difference for other people. Hope isn't something to be feared Taril, its something to keep you going even when you don't think you can make it any further." Adrian tries to explain his point with a soft smile. "Everyone deserves joy and hope to live in complete avoidance of those things is a life half lived. Yes bad things happen but not everything has to be all bad and negative…good things can happen in the most unlikely of places." His gentle smile and soft words are spoken with the tone of a man who believes what he says and is determined to at least try. "Besides a bard who brings hope and joy to those who have none likely draws more enjoyment from his audience than the one who stages shows for nobility and fights and claws for a higher ranking. I am in this for the joy of those around me and also my own happiness."

"It just seems strange. Then again, I'm the last person who would understand this kind of life. Even in the alienage it seems like offering hope is like offering bread made of dust to a starving man." Taril shrugs it off. "But you're the one who would know better about that sort of thing. I'm not about to give up my way of life for life behind city walls. At least, not for long. Unless my Keeper hears about how well I'm keeping myself out of trouble." He's half kidding. "She may decide I'll ruin our reputation and ability to trade." He waves a hand to dismiss his own words. "And I'm a grumpy elf who spent an uncomfortable night trying to get comfortable in a tree with an arrow wound to the ass. You seem to enjoy the work and you're the one who has to judge it."

Adrian nods in understanding. "Even in the darkest of places if there is no hope at all there is only dispair. And no one deserves to live in constant dispair." He smiles softly and then chuckles lightly. "Poor you, that must have been most uncomfortable! You need a softer surfance to sleep on I would wager as least until that arrow wound heals." He cannot help but snicker a bit more throughly amused by the idea. "An arrrow to the ass…that sounds like something worthy of a comedy. But don't worry I won't write that particular song without your consent." He winks playfully at Taril trying to lighten the mood a bit or at least take the elfs mind off the pain a bit.

Taril laughs. "Oh, I'm sure I'll be the butt of many jokes, it doesn't bother me. A song will be the least of the teasing once those who know me find out about it. …but the tree isn't so bad. I've slept in worse places. Besides, it helps people maintain their idea of we wild Dalish. I also don't think those Qunari look up, so…" Yeah. 'bring me the elf'. He heard that. "I imagine another few weeks here and you'll begin to wish you'd never left… it's Orlais, isn't it? That's where most bards I've heard of come from."

Something Taril says has Adrian looking torn between horror and amusement. "From Orlais? Oh goodness no…and I'll never visit, definately not after what I've heard. Starkhaven is where I'm from orginally." He cracks a grin at Taril. "And trees make good perches until there is a Qunari around that goes looking for fruit. Elf-fruit is probably not as tasty as a peach though…" He smirks playfully and then smiles reassuringly. "Don't worry, they are so tall and thier horns so heavy looking up probably gives them a headache. How thier leader fits through doorframes I have no idea."

"I didn't hear an accent, but some people can hide them." Taril, on the other hand, doesn't stand a chance. "I'll make a point to ask the next thing that bites me…" Of course, now he's thinking of that scenario. "Starkhaven. My clan's never ventured near it, but I think we've traded with traders going there." The mention of the Arishok going through a door gets a genuine laugh. "I get the feeling that he expects doorways to yield to him. I imagine he just walks through and makes them large enough."

Adrian smiles. "Its more obvious when I sing but its there." He nods to Taril looking curious. "Your clan sounds like it does quite a bit of trading then?" He laughs heartily at the mental image of the Arishok making a door yield. "Maybe its a good thing they don't like cheer and merry making, I don't think the poor tavern doors could withstand them all." He snickers.

"Our Keeper says that it's the easiest way to convince humans that we should be allowed to keep existing. …well, not in those words, but that's what it means." The way Taril shrugs it off, he doesn't see it as any huge deal. "Can you imagine that face cracking a smile? Or anything other than that scowl? Actually, if I thought I could…" Yep, he'd let the Qunari find him just to see if he could get the Arishok to laugh at a fart joke.

"Why should you have to prove that? Maker help me…my fellow humans are rather closed minded sometimes aren't they?" Adrian shakes his head and then looks to Taril with a stubborn gaze. "I think you have more than the right to exist and live however you like just like anyone else…and don't let anyone tell you otherwise or if they do shoot them in the butt with an arrow." He says this calmly and with conviction his accent showing throught a bit as he gets a bit worked up. Then he laughs softly once again. "I doubt they would get our jokes. Unless someone learns the secrets of Qunari Humor whatever they maybe they will probably get stabbed or have to explain the joke in detail…"

Taril shrugs. "It's the stories they tell themselves. But as long as they want our dyes and furs, the Maker can wait. I'm sure he'll understand. A lasting purple is hard to come by. It doesn't bother me." He laughs "The secret of Qunari humor is probably based on not understanding wordless orders and going the wrong way. They certainly didn't think our mages were funny."

"All the Maker does is wait. I doubt he will mind waiting a bit more…though thats probably blasphemy but I really don't care. Religion isn't something I worry about. It tends to start more fights than its worth. Why fight over a God who hasn't been seen or heard in so long and may just be a figmant of imagination? You would be better served arguing with a bard to change the ending of a horriblly tragic romance than arguing over who believes what." Adrian smiles playfully and chuckles after that. "Now you have me wanting to write random jokes and present them to random Qunari to figure out what they find funny. If one of them happens to smile and laugh we may very have blackmail material! Is smiling illegal under the Qun or whatever it is they follow?"

"Has anyone ever done it? Successfully, I mean." Taril has had discussions over bad endings to stories. If any have had success, they certainly weren't with HIS Keeper. "Your Maker, our Creators, you'd have better luck praying to a dog. At least it'll get what you're talking about sooner or later." The image of a laughing Qunari elicits a grin. "Get their leader to smile and you might be able to dismantle the entire Qun. I'm not sure what it is. I hear about flat ears joining all the time to get out of Alienage life. The Chantry grows it's own worst enemy without even realizing it."

"I think so? At least I'm pretty sure bards have changed stories for people a time or two. Normally those are just the fictional ones though as historians hate it when people take liberties with history. Some historical tales may be sad but if they stopped getting told the correct way then we would believe a lie would we not? Our own history would be a falsehood. You could always make a fictional rewrite of the tale though as logn as you were honest about it being a tale not history as its recorded." Adrian seems to enjoy talking about stories his expression is quite bright and happy as he studies Taril. He laughs at the mention of making the Qunari leader. "That or I discover jokes and laughter are actually some kind of Qunari courting ritual and wind up having to explain myself." He looks thoughtful once his chuckling dies down. "Elves join them? I suppose thats one way out….see though? This is why people here human and elf need hope. Otherwise they turn to things like that and forgo smiling and laughter altogether."

"…make their leader laugh and you have to marry him? You could introduce him as 'he may be dour but look at that rack'." Taril tries to process this and shakes his head. "I don't know, I get the feeling that a lot of our stories are as much fiction as they are truth and no one seems to mind. I've always liked them without requiring they be true." Under that logic, he can't really find a way to argue. "I suppose. A useful lie. Give them hope so they don't go looking for it elsewhere."

Adrian has to bite his lip to keep the laughter from escaping this time. Because laughing at a Qunari's rack will probably get him murdered in a horriblly creative fashion. Still he is grinning broadly and a snicker escapes him. He nods in understanding. "Well stories are told by the winners or the surviviors…and then tend to sometimes get twisted with each retelling. How to we know for sure that any of our history is truly accurate? We just know what we are taugh to believe and what we come to believe." He blinks and then shakes his head. "Hope is not a lie. Its real…one day I will convince you of this." He rises to his feet. "I should be on my way for now, it was very nice meeting you Taril." He offers a charming smile and dips his head before truning to saunter off with his lute still in hand.

Taril grins. "Good luck. …and good luck with your song," he says in parting. For his part, he has a cat to talk to and a tree to climb. It's certainly safer than sleeping anywhere that can be accessed easily from the ground. Maybe he'll get enough sleep to be his usual smart-assed self.

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