Small brass bell
The official GemStone IV encyclopedia.
Located in the South Exhibit Room of the River's Rest Museum, the loresong of small brass bell gives a view of the extent of the excesses enjoyed by the upper-class merchant families of River’s Rest.
This brass bell is a small instrument with an ornately engraved ivory handle. The clapper is missing. A small tag attached to the bell reads, "This bell was donated by the Klipsted family estate. During the Turamzzyrian Resettlement era of River's Rest, (mid-4490s M.E.), a 'bell servant' fad developed among members of the wealthier merchant families. In addition to the usual body servants, each member of the family kept a 'bellboy' or 'bellgirl,' an all-purpose servant trained to respond to a bell of a specific tone. Each family member had a bell with a different tone. The fad was short-lived."
As you direct your song at the brass bell you feel your vision shift and blur. As it clears, you find yourself in a large, sumptuous bedchamber. An elven woman of middle years stands looking out an arched window. Sitting nearby, her head cast down, is a young elven maiden just reaching the age of womanhood. The older woman speaks, her voice tinged with irritation. "Four bellgirls have left your service in the last three months, Durna. Four! We can't find another island girl who is willing to serve you." In a soft, musical voice Durna apologizes. "I'm sorry to be such a willful and troublesome daughter, mama." She looks up at her mother, and for the first time you see her face. Her beauty is astonishing. It's not a sophisticated beauty, but the simple beauty of perfect skin laid over perfect bones, of delicate green eyes complemented by luxurious hair that is not quite red and not quite blonde, of rose petal lips that need no artificial color and shell-like ears. The mother sighs, turns away from the window and looks at her daughter. "You must have a bellservant," she says. "Our position in the community demands it. Your father has arranged for you to have a bellboy. Try not to ruin another servant." You resume your song and find yourself observing the sunny courtyard in a large manor house. A group of young upper class elven maidens are seated on wooden benches arranged under a green silk canopy. Open sewing baskets sit beside them. One of the young women looks at the fabric in her hand and sighs. "I don't know why our mothers insist we pretend to sew," she says. "We all know that when we get home the servants will undo all our inept work, then sew it correctly." "I don't care," says another. "I just want to see Durna's new bellboy again. I wish my parents would get ME a bellboy." A third grins mischievously and says, "You know what the common elves in town say...take an elf to keep your hearth warm, take a human to keep your bed warm." The young women giggle in shocked delight. Durna reaches for the bell in her sewing basket, and gives it a lazy ring. Almost immediately a young human arrives. He is uncommonly handsome with curly, nut-brown hair and piercing blue eyes. "Bellboy," Durna says, "I've dropped my needle again." The bellboy slowly squats and begins to search the grass around Durna's feet. The young women pointedly look away from the young man, but shoot constant glances in his direction. "I'm sorry, miss," the bellboy says, "but I don't see a needle." Durna looks down at him. "Perhaps I was mistaken," she says. "That will be all for now, bellboy." The bellboy stands, bows, and walks away. Behind him the young women giggle. Darkness surrounds you as you continue to sing, and the soft cooing of nightdoves works its way into your song. You find yourself in a carefully tended meadow turned almost silver by the light of the two moons. The same group of young elven women stroll slowly through the short grass, followed by a group of servants. Durna points to a spot and rings her bell. The young human bellboy steps forward. "Put the blankets down there, bellboy," she says. "It's a perfect spot for a moon viewing." The bellboy hesitates. "If I might suggest, miss," he says, "a spot a little farther from the brook would be...." "You may NOT suggest, bellboy," Durna says. She points to the spot again. The bellboy turns to fetch the blankets. Durna turns to her companions and says, "A bellboy...and a human at that...would teach an elf how to view the moons." Her companions giggle musically. The blankets are laid in the chosen spot and the servants set about brewing tea and arranging muffins and sweetmeats on silver trays. With equal care the young women arrange themselves on the blankets. Again, Durna rings for her bellboy. "We will have muffins now, bellboy," she says. The bellboy says, "The tea is not quite ready yet, miss. If you'd care to...." "Did I ask the bellboy for tea?" Durna asks her companions. "I thought I asked for muffins." The bellboy bows and fetches a tray of muffins. He presents the tray to each of the young women, who take their time selecting just the right muffin. As he starts to present the tray to Durna, the bellboy suddenly drops the muffins and pushes her to one side! He reaches past her, grabbing for something in the grass! Durna seizes the silver tray and begins to assault the bellboy with it, shouting "Wicked bellboy! I will have you beaten for this. I will have your entire family beaten and driven out of River's Rest! I will have you...." She stops as she sees the bellboy, his head bleeding from where she struck him with the tray, turn to face her. In his hand is a long, black deathsmile adder. Durna collapses in a faint. Your song to the bell takes you back to the sumptuous bedchamber. Durna lies abed, propped up with many plump pillows, her bell in hand. Her companions are gathered around her, sitting decorously in plush chairs. The bellboy enters the room as if just summoned. Durna points to a small casket on a shelf, just out of her reach. "I would wear my emerald and silver necklace, bellboy," Durna says. The bellboy hands her the jewelry casket with a bow. She accepts the casket allowing her slim, perfect fingers to graze his. "Thank you, bellboy," she says softly. She drops her eyes demurely when he glances at her. He bows again, and exits. Immediately, Durna's companions are on their feet, giggling excitedly. "I saw your fingers touch!" one says. "He is ever so handsome," says another. "And brave," says a third. "Why, he risked his life to save Durna. He deserves a rich reward!" Durna smiles sweetly and says, "I may see that he gets one." After a moment of shocked and delighted silence, the young women erupt in a gale of giggles. The smell of roasting meat fills your nostrils as you continue your song. The smell draws you to a crowded street of merchants. As Durna walks through the crowds they part, captivated by her simple beauty. Behind her, his arms laden with packages, walks the bellboy. Durna stops at a brazier where a man is grilling strips of spicy, peppered lamb. She points to a particularly savory cut and the man quickly serves it up. "Oh, and something for my bellboy as well," Durna says. She turns to the young man and gives him a bright smile. As she walks away, the man at the brazier hands the bellboy a small portion of grilled lamb. The bellboy's arms are full, however, and he is unable to accept the food. With a shrug and a smile, he hurries after Durna. Songbirds chirrup cheerfully in your ear as you resume your song. The birds are outside the window of the sumptuous bedchamber. Sunshine, warm and thick as butter, pours in through the window. Durna awakes slowly, her lovely face as fresh and cheerful as the song of the birds outside the window. She arranges her hair and pulls the comforter modestly up then stretches for her bell, which is sitting on the shelf beside her jewelry casket. She gives the bell a shake, but no sound comes. Turning it over, she sees the clapper has been removed. With a puzzled smile, she sets the bell back on the shelf and calls out, "Bellboy? Bellboy, my bell is broken." There is no response. Durna smiles broadly and gets out of bed. "Silly bellboy, to tease me like this," she says to herself. As she dresses, she notices her jewelry casket is open. And empty. "Bellboy?" Durna says in a tremulous voice.