Fleet Captain's Story
Title: The Fleet Captain's Story
Author: Kayse Thaellian
The following tale WON the 20th Annual House of the Argent Aspis Bardfest. It was performed by Kayse Thaellian, an Aelotoi who makes her home in River's Rest. That evening, she wore her mid back-length, silky caramel brown hair pulled back with a trio of braided dark leather headbands into a loose fishtail braid that swept over her shoulder, leaving stray strands brushing against her cheeks.
Her outfit was a cinched hourglass black leather corset, a dirty black-and-white striped shirt with a roughly torn hem, a pair of worn black-and-white striped linen trousers torn at the knees, and some high-heeled black silk boots.
The words were: CHOLEN AND SOBRIETY.
The Fleet Captain's Story by Kayse Thaellian
(Kayse disappears into the darkness of the stage, the sound of metal pushing against the stage floor is heard, along with a few muffled voices and footsteps. The lights slowly fade up on stage left to reveal Kayse behind a set of steel bars, leaning casually with her hands swung over them.) Kayse informs, "As a locksmith, it is only natural you set off a trap or two in your career." Kayse offhandedly adds, "Or three." Kayse gazes in wonder at her surroundings. Kayse sheepishly admits, "Or ten." Kayse shakes her head almost reluctantly, then gives a half-shrug. Kayse smiles slyly and grips the bars with her hands as she leans forward. Kayse vaguely explains, "Over time, you tend to get to know the local law enforcement VERY well." Speaking coyly to herself, Kayse comments, "Perhaps a little too well." Kayse winks. Kayse says, "Here's a tale I was told while locked in the brig, that Snookums (or whatever his name is)---" Kayse waves her hand in a dismissive gesture. Kayse says, "I mean, the Fleet Captain of River's Rest divulged to me one day." Kayse adds, "...perhaps after one-too-few ales..." Kayse smiles mischievously as she removes a hairpin from her hair. Reaching between the bars, she inserts it into the lock on the door. After a few seconds, the lock clicks and Kayse swings the door open and walks through it. (Kayse steps to center stage as the light dims on stage left and a spotlight illuminates her figure.) Kayse recites reflectively: "There's something in the water or so they claim But perhaps it's the ale? Who knows what's to blame?" (Kayse walks over to stage right as she delivers her next set of lines, the lights fade up to reveal a long wooden bar with leather bar stools and a mongrel kobold behind it, a clean bar rag is draped over his left arm.) Kayse recites thoughtfully: "Is it liquor that keeps us River Rats straight? ...Is drunkenness our natural state?" (Kayse sits down on a stool at the bar and spins around on it once. The kobold disappears behind the bar and returns with a tankard of winterberry ale which she quickly picks up.) Kayse recites knowingly: "Anyone that's been to River's Rest, Knows that we're only at our best When filled quite full with winterberry." Kayse leans forward on her bar stool and loudly stage whispers, "Seeing us without it is quite scary." Kayse chuckles to herself. Kayse recites remorsefully: "Now, one fateful afternoon, I'm afraid, The Captain found a big mistake he'd made. His flask he keeps hidden but always on him, He'd let his liquor supply become very, very trim. " Kayse disappointedly comments, "Empty, I mean. Not quite there. He'd found the bottom!" (Kayse flails her arms, forgetting about the ale in her hand, it spills over the top slightly. You hear someone yell from the darkness, "ALCOHOL ABUSE!" and Kayse glares at the shadows.) Kayse recites dramatically: "Removing his flask from the belt on his hip, He looks around cautiously before taking a nip. He makes a double take as he shakes the flask. This drink, he realized, is now his last!" Kayse clutches her chest in mock horror. Kayse recites plainly: "Examining his flask he says, "Well, that won't do. I'll have to go out and get more brew. Byron, you mongrel slob! Where might you be, you kobold gob?" (Kayse shifts her eyes to the kobold, who responds by putting his hands on his hips. Kayse gives him a playful wink.) Kayse recites intoxicatedly: "His hands start to twitch, his vision blurs. His stride turns to swagger, his speech now slurs. "Oh dear, I believth I'm becoming shicker I needth to find me shome more liquor!" Kayse shakes her head, clucking her tongue. Kayse casually informs, "Sober, ya see?" She glances at her ale and takes a quick drink. "The worst place a Rat could be!" Kayse smiles to herself as she leaps off the bar stool. Bringing her ale with her she walks towards center stage again. The lights dim slightly on the bar, but a faint glow still illuminates it and the kobold in the background. Kayse recites amusedly: "On the way to town, he goofily grins. Whistling at lasses, as his mind spins. Then a particular girl catches his eye, This one is quite different and he's not sure why." Kayse raises an eyebrow. Kayse recites sweetly: "The Captain's type is usually quite petite An elf or sylvan, you know, something sweet. On this day it seems his preference is distorted Love at first sight, his heart contorted---" Kayse pauses, gazes out over the audience, then her eyes suddenly look downwards! The tone of her voice changes from sweet to disgusted as she asks, "...for a dwarf?" Kayse remarks, "One o' them short folk!" You hear a muffled shout from the audience and Kayse turns an ear in that direction before replying, "No, the other-uns! With the beards!" Kayse appears to be trying hard not to grin. Kayse recites affectionately: "Her hair is long and golden--there seems to be a ton. Beady black eyes twinkle back, could she be the one? Her button nose is perfect, even with her brown beard, The crimson frock and high heels, really get his gears." (Kayse sways her hips as she walks toward the edge of the stage, without missing a beat, she flips her braid over her shoulder and glances out over the audience, a wide grin on her face.) Kayse recites amusedly: "Let us pause and take note what really took place. Although this girl moved with elegant grace And giggled and blushed and bounced with glee, There was one little surprise, for she..." Kayse leans forward towards the audience, a hand cupped up against her mouth, she whispers conspiratorially to the audience, "...was a HE!" (Kayse gasps and looks about surprisingly.) Kayse recites bemusedly: "Once again I must truly stress, A Rat without ale ends up quite a mess. Not only does this impersonator look quite appealing, The Captain seems to be developing feelings!" (Kayse smacks herself on the forehead which bumps her ale and spills more onto the stage. She nonchantly moves the ale around with the toe of her boot, trying to disperse it.) Kayse recites suggestively: "Tossing his golden hair, the "dwarf" doesn't say much. Merely shoots the Captain a gaze, begging for his touch. Fluttering his eyelashes, the Captain gets weak, Something is overcoming him, he can hardly speak." Kayse recites drunkenly: "His voice is a slur, but still charming you see... "M-m-adam, you are as shtunning ash can be. I-I-I don't shuppose you would eshcort m-me, Off to the Shtone Eye to h-h-h-ave a drink...or shree." Kayse recites tensely: "Giggling nervously the dwarf nods his head. And now is the time to feel a little dread! Extending his arm, the Captain didn't give pause, As the dwarf latched on with a nice pair of claws." Kayse recites perplexedly: "What kind of dwarf has nails like that? Sharp claws lashing out, like a feral cat? Seems our Captain might need to be told, His lady sweet 'tis neither she nor dwarf..." Kayse flails her arms spilling even more ale on the stage and shouts, "...but a rather manly kobold!" (Kayse walks back to stage right as the light around the bar becomes harsh again. She leans against the bar and nods to the kobold and asks, "You remember this part, don't you?" The kobold looks at Kayse and shudders.) Kayse laughs softly, trying to hide her amusement. Kayse recites surprisedly: "The odd pair enter the bar and Byron drops a glass. So completely shocked he can't believe his kobold---" Kayse quickly offers, "...eyes...Yes! Eyes!" (Kayse lets out a sigh of relief and glances at the kobold who shakes a finger at her.) Kayse recites playfully: "The Captain looking to be short a few ales, A boy kobold in a dress hot on his tails!" Kayse recites lovingly: "Gazing at each other like lovers do, Our dear sweet Captain downs his first brew. "My Lady, your lipsh look awfully sweet, Could I partake of thish wonderful treat?" Kayse recites tenderly: "A giggle and a smile and a wonderful nod, Our Captain leans in with rakish aplomb His lips draw ever closer, puckering up tight-- When suddenly there comes a screeching yell from his right!" Kayse recites angrily: "You fool! You foul! You sweat-crusted nob! Whatever are you thinking in that dirty gob?!" Myron crashes in, his hand on a knife! "You foolish Captain, that kobold is my wife!" (Kayse glances at the kobold and admits, "I didn't see THAT part coming." The kobold twitches his nose and shrugs as he continues polishing the bar.) Kayse recites sorrowfully: "The Captain blinks his eyes, his vision is returning But funny enough his love seems to be still yearning. Myron grabs his "wife's" arm and tells her to come home. The Captain remains at the bar, desperate and alone." Kayse smiles slightly and returns to center stage, a single spot light spills around her, the lights around the bar fully dim out. Kayse recites sadly: "Returning home, he finds a card, addressed from you-know-who: "Darling, I'm sorry I lied to you, I'm sorry I was untrue. You know what I am and I don't know what to do. We'll always have this evening, but just for now we're through." Kayse recites mischievously: "The Captain tosses the card aside, quite finished for the day. The card flips over on its back, it has something more to say. A symbol on the other side that reveals who did this prank, A crimson lute across a field of gold, is who the captain should thank." (Kayse lifts her tankard of ale to her lips and a disappointed look comes over her face. She turns the ale upside down and a few drops spill out. Tossing the tankard over her shoulder, it bounces around a few times backstage. Kayse's wings start to twitch.) Kayse recites thoughtfully: "The Captain whistles at lasses of all sizes and sorts, Now even a few lads he will attempt to court. Though a Sylvan, an Elf, even a gnome may catch his eye, Only his little kobold mistress will ever satisfy." Kayse smiles widely as she takes a step forward her arm sweeping over her head then in front of her chest as she bows in a fluid movement. (Kayse starts to exit into the darkness of the stage as the lights dim, but quickly returns. Just before the lights go fully dark, you can see her grabbing another ale from the bar with a suddenly embarrassed grin to the audience.)
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