Ailill Concert, 9/19/1998, Dreamheart's Summer Concert Series, Baearholt's Tavern

As transcribed by Mykk Dalys

[Personal note:  This was my first concert.  Is it any wonder I made it a point from that day forward to attend and log as many performances as I could?!?  "The Path of the Wren" remains one of my all-time favorites; I can still remember being riveted to my screen.

I do not have guest descriptions from this concert.  "Look" descriptions are spotty through all of the Dreamheart concerts as it is.  It wasn't until later I started making a point of trying to capture them.  --aka Mykk, 3/18/02]

[Baearholt's Farmhold, Taproom]
Dark oak beams criss-cross the low whitewashed ceiling in the taproom of Baearholt's Farmhold. In the corner, a bard sits on a tall stool playing a rapid melody on her gittern as patrons join in a hearty drinking song and sample the quality meads and ales for which Baearholt's is known. You also see a menu, a narrow door and a polished mahogany counter with some stuff on it.
 

Guest List

Minstrel Ailill

Doveswings
Taleweaver Dreamheart
Faerin
Poet Firannion
Fleche
Genah
Johndrew
Joss
Balladeer Kesstrell
Storyteller Khory
Magus
Millimbar
Montevant
Mykk
Journeywoman Teeka
 

Set List

"There was a fair maid and she lived all alone"
"Boozing, bloody well boozing"
"a pub with no beer"
"Well it's all for me grog"
"as drunk as drunk could be"
"The Selchie"
"In Crossing Town I was bred and born"
"I will not marry..."
"We feast, we feast, we feast and then we dance"
"The Path of the Wren"
"Goodnight and joy be with you all"
 

Concert

Ailill says, "I would like ta start with a few drinking songs, my personal favorites"
Ailill says, "then a short story"
Ailill says, "a brief intermission whilst I quaff some liquid courage"
Ailill says, "a selection of my more populars"
Ailill says, "and finally a new story I have uncovered in my travels"
Ailill says, "you shall all be the first to hear it"
Ailill bows.
Ailill says, "so here goes"


Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "There was a fair maid and she lived all alone
     She lived all alone on the shore, o
     No one could she find for to calm her sweet mind
     But to wander alone on the shore, shore, shore
     To wander alone on the shore,o."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "There was a brave captain who sailed a fine ship
     The weather being steady and fair,o
     I shall die, I shall die this captain did cry
     If I can't have that maid on the shore, shore, shore
     If I can't have that maid on the shore, o."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "After many persuasions they brought her on board
     He seated her down in his chair, o
     He invited her down to his cabin below
     Farewell to all sorrow and care o
     Farewell to all sorrow and care o."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "I'll sing you a song this fair maid did cry
     And the captain was weeping for joy, o
     She sang it so sweetly, so soft and completely
     She sang captain and sailors to sleep, o
     ... captain and sailors to sleep."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "She robbed them of jewels she robbed them of wealth
     She robbed them of costly fine fare, o
     The captain's broad sword she used as an oar
     She rowed her way back to the shore, shore, shore
     She rowed her way back to the shore, o."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Well don't be so sad and sunk down in despair
     And you should have known me before, o
      I sang you to sleep and I robbed you of wealth
     And again I'm a maid on the shore, shore, shore
     Again I'm a maid on the shore, o."

Ailill asks, "not truly a drinkin song, but a warm up nonetheless. Heed the power of song eh?"



Ailill says, "now fer some serious drinkin"

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "What do you think I've been doing all day?
     Boozing, bloody well boozing!
     And how do you think I've been spending my pay?
     Boozing, bloody well boozing!"

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Don't argue the point, 'cause you know I'm not right.
     Don't tell me I'm wrong, 'cause you know I can't fight.
     Where would you like me to take you tonight,
     Boozing, bloody well boozing!"

Firannion's soprano and Dreamheart's alto join with Ailill's baritone as he sings:

    "Boozing, boozing, when we are dry.
     Boozing, boozing, suits you and I.
     Some does it open, but more on the sly
     But all of us likes to go boozing!"

Ailill waves a flask of Glythtide's Favor around.

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "And what are the joys of a poor married man?
     Boozing, bloody well boozing!
     What is he doing whenever he can?
     Boozing, bloody well boozing!"

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "He comes home at night and he gives his wife all
     He goes out a-shopping, makes many a call
     But what brings him home hanging on to a wall?
     Boozing, bloody well boozing!"

Firannion's soprano, Kesstrell's countertenor, Fleche's tenor and Dreamheart's alto join with Ailill's baritone as he sings:

    "Boozing, boozing, when we are dry.
     Boozing, boozing, suits you and I.
     Some does it open, but more on the sly
     But all of us likes to go boozing!"

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "What is the joy of the labouring man ?
     Boozing, bloody well boozing.
     What is he doing whenever he can ?
     Boozing, bloody well boozing."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Comes home on a Saturday gives his wife all
     She goes to the market makes many a call
     What brings her home clinging on to the wall ?
     Boozing, bloody well boozing."

Firannion's soprano, Kesstrell's countertenor, Fleche's tenor and Dreamheart's alto join with Ailill's baritone as he sings:

    "Boozing, boozing, when we are dry.
     Boozing, boozing, suits you and I.
     Some does it open, but more on the sly
     But all of us likes to go boozing!"

Ailill bows.



Ailill asks, "ready fer more?"
Ailill says, "alrighty"

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "It's lonesome away from yer kindred and all
     By the camp fire at night where the wild wind hounds call
     But there's nothing so lonesome so morbid or drear
     Than to stand in a bar of a pub with no beer."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Now the publican's anxious for the quota to come
     There's a far away look on the face of the bum
     The maid's gone all cranky and the cook's acting queer
     What a terrible place is a pub with no beer."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Then the swaggie comes in smother'd in dust and flies
     He throws down the roll, rubs the sweat from his eyes
     But when he is told he says "what's this I hear
     I've walked fifty miles to a pub with no beer.""

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "There's a dog on the verandah for his master he waits
     But his boss is inside drinking wine with his mates
     He hurries for cover and he cringes in fear
     It's no place for a dog 'round a pub with no beer."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Old Billy the blacksmith the first time in his life
     Has gone home cold sober to his darlin wife
     He walks in the kitchen, she says you're early me dear
     But he breaks down and tells her the pub's got no beer."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "It's lonesome away from yer kindred and all
     By the camp fire at night where the wild wind hounds call
     But there's nothing so lonesome so morbid or drear
     Than to stand in a bar of a pub with no beer."

Ailill sobs.
(Ailill suddenly rediscovers his favor)
Ailill gets an impish expression on his face, and lets out a hearty cheer.
Ailill waves a flask of Glythtide's Favor around.
Ailill exclaims, "whew!"
Ailill takes a sip of his Favor.



Ailill says, "and another with Chorus please"
Ailill grins.

A chorus of voices join with Ailill's leading baritone as he sings:

    "Well it's all for me grog, me jolly jolly grog
     It's all for me beer and tobacco
     For I spent all me tin on the lassies drinking gin
     Far across the western ocean I must wander"

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Where are me boots, me noggin', noggin' boots?
     They're all gone for beer and tobacco
     For the heels they are worn out and the toes are kicked about
     And the soles are looking out for better weather"

A chorus of voices join with Ailill's leading baritone as he sings:

    "Well it's all for me grog, me jolly jolly grog
     It's all for me beer and tobacco
     For I spent all me tin on the lassies drinking gin
     Far across the western ocean I must wander"

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Where is me shirt, my noggin', noggin' shirt?
     It's all gone for beer and tobacco
     For the collar is all worn, and the sleeves they are all torn
     And the tail is looking out for better weather"

A chorus of voices join with Ailill's leading baritone as he sings:

    "Well it's all for me grog, me jolly jolly grog
     It's all for me beer and tobacco
     For I spent all me tin on the lassies drinking gin
     Far across the western ocean I must wander"

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "I'm sick in the head and I haven't been to bed
     Since first I came ashore with me plunder
     For I spent all me Kro' on the lassies movin' slow
     Far across the Western Ocean I must wander"

A chorus of voices join with Ailill's leading baritone as he sings:

    "Well it's all for me grog, me jolly jolly grog
     It's all for me beer and tobacco
     For I spent all me tin on the lassies drinking gin
     Far across the western ocean I must wander"

Ailill takes a sip of his Favor.
Ailill gasps and chokes as his face takes on a bright reddish hue!
Ailill grins.



Ailill exclaims, "anyone still dry? Grab a brew and we'll continue!"
Ailill says, "last drinkin song now, listen well, this one has a lesson to it"

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "As I went home on Monday night,as drunk as drunk could be.
     I saw a horse outside the door,where my old horse should be.
     I called my wife and I said to her:Will you kindly tell to me,
     Who owns that horse outside the door,where my old horse should be?"

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Oh, you're drunk, you're drunk you silly old fool,
     and still you cannot see.
     That's a lovely sow that my mother sent to me.
     Well, it's many a day I've traveled, a hundred miles or more,
     But a saddle on a sow, sure, I never saw before."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "As I went home on Tuesday  night, as drunk as drunk could be.
     I saw a coat behind the door, where my old coat should be.
     I called my wife and  I said to her: Will you kindly tell to me,
     Who owns that coat behind the door, where my old coat should be?"

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Oh, you're drunk, you're drunk you silly old fool, and still you cannot see.
     That's a woolen blanket that my mother sent to me.
     Well, it's many a day I've traveled, a hundred miles or more,
     But buttons on a blanket, sure, I never saw before."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "As I went home on Wednesday night, as drunk as drunk could be.
     I saw a pipe upon the chair, where my old pipe should be.
     I called my wife and I said to her: Will you kindly tell to me,
     Who owns that pipe upon the chair where my old pipe should be."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Oh, you're drunk, you're drunk you silly old fool, and still you cannot see.
     That's a lovely tin-whistle, that my mother sent to me.
     Well, it's many a day I've traveled, a hundred miles or more,
     But tobacco in a tin-whistle, sure, I never saw before."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "As I came home on Thursday night, as drunk as drunk could be.
     I saw two boots beside the bed, where my old boots should be.
     I called my wife and I said to her: Will you kindly tell to me,
     Who owns them boots beside the bed where my old boots should be."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Oh, you're drunk, you're drunk you silly old fool, and still you cannot see.
     They're two lovely flower pots my mother sent to me.
     Well, it's many a day I've traveled, a hundred miles or more,
     But laces in flower pots I never saw before."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "As I came home on Friday night, as drunk as drunk could be.
     I saw a head upon the bed, where my old head should be.
     I called my wife and I said to her: Will you kindly tell to me,
     Who owns that head upon the bed, where my old head should be."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Oh, you're drunk, you're drunk you silly old fool, and still you cannot see.
     That's a  baby boy, that my mother sent to me.
     Well, it's many a day I've traveled, a hundred miles or more,
     But a baby boy with his whiskers on, sure, I never saw before."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "As I came home on a Saturday night, as drunk as drunk could be
     I spied two hands upon her breasts, where my old hands should be.
     I called to my wife and I said to her: Will you kindly tell to me,
     Who's hands are these upon your breasts, where my old hands should be?"

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Oh, you're drunk, you're drunk, you silly old fool, and still you cannot see
     'Tis nothing but a Jadeite Gweth my mother gave to me.
     Well, it's many a day I've travelled a hundred miles or more,
     But fingernails on a Jadeite Gweth, I never saw before."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Now when I came home on Sunday night, a little after three.
     I saw a man running out the door with his pants about his knee.
     So I called to my wife and I said to her: would you kindly tell to me,
     Who was that man running out the door with his pants about his knee?"

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Oh you're drunk, you're drunk, you silly old fool, and still you cannot see,
     Twas nothing but the tax collector the Queen sent to me.
     Well, it's many a day I've travelled, a hundred miles or more,
     But an Tax Collector that could last 'till three I never saw before."

Ailill bows.



Ailill says, "now lads and lasses, I shall change the pace a bit"
Ailill asks, "I shall shift now from drinkin songs, trusting my allies here on the counter will keep ye all tolerably warmed up?"
Ailill takes a sip of his Favor.
Ailill gasps and chokes as his face takes on a bright reddish hue!
Ailill sighs.
Ailill says, "good. Then I shall tell a story"
Ailill says, "told this once afore. Some of ye might have heard it. But here goes"

Ailill recites:

    "This is a story from another place, in a time long past.
       Far east of here, where great Segoltha joins the sea is a land of steep cliffs,
      rocky inlets and sheltered coves.
       It is an ancient place of mists and fog,
      the playground of gulls and curlews,
      dolphins and seals.
       There are many strange tales of this place
      where the sea hammers endlessly against the rocky anvil of the shore.
       This is perhaps one of the stranger of these tales."

Ailill recites:

    "In a sheltered cove, outside a small village lived a lonely fisherman.
       Con was not especially young or old.  There was really nothing extraordinary about him.
       He was a solitary man, given to long days on the sea."

Ailill recites:

    "From boyhood he had held a deep attunement to the rhythm of the sea.
       Keenly he felt the booming drum of the surf against the stones.
       He heard also the fluting howl of the wind over the rocks,
      the sound of water dripping into the tide pools
      - almost like the plucking of a harp string.
       He called the sea "Deep Music" - Ochain in his language."

Ailill recites:

    "Con spent many hours in his hide boat, tending his nets and pots, hauling in his catch.
       Long, hard days in the cold gray sea.  "

Ailill recites:

    "One day, Con was working his nets.
       He was so intent on his work he failed to notice the rising wind,
      or the sudden chill in the air.
       He was caught too far from land to make shore before the storm hit.
       Bravely he fought the swells, but of course the sea is a mighty foe,
      and at last, exhausted he could do naught but hang on.
       Some time just before dawn, the sea hoisted him and pitched him against the sandy bank of a small cove.
       He slept where he landed."

Ailill recites:

    "As the sun rose, Con heard an odd sound.
       Rising slowly, he sought the source.
       Coming around an outcropping he found a seal, hopelessly tangled in the fragment of a net.
       The seal was cut and seemed near exhaustion.
       Without stopping to wonder why, Con gathered the animal from the tide and wrapping it in his oilskin coat brought it in to shore.
       Miraculously, he found his boat largely intact.
       Patching it he bundled his coat into the boat and made for home."

Ailill recites:

    "Arriving home at dusk, he hurriedly built a fire.
       He had all but forgotten about the seal, when a movement from the corner caught his eye.
       Hurrying over to his coat, he opened it to check on the hurt animal.
       But to his surprise the seal was gone.
       Instead he beheld a beautiful woman.
       Her skin was white and smooth.  Long graceful fingers and a halo of dark brown hair.
        But it was her eyes that held his attention."

Ailill recites:

    "She said "Thank you for freeing me.  I owe you my life.
       You see, I am a woman on the land, but I have the form of a seal on the water."
       Then Con knew he had found one of the Selchie,
      the magical half-human half-seal people."

Ailill recites:

    "Con nursed the Selchie to health and in time they were married.
       She stayed away from the suspicious eyes of the villagers.
       Every day she would stand by the standing stones high on the cliffs
      and watch him as he sailed his hide boat and tended his nets.
       Con was very careful of the nets to keep them well away from the seals. 
      The sea became generous, filling his nets with a fine catch of herring and mullet each day.
       His pots had the largest lobsters."

Ailill recites:

    "One day, Con was working diligently.
       Again, he failed to sea the darkening sky.
       Too late he turned his boat for shore.  Rowing furiously he sought the shelter of his cove,
      but alas he was too far and the current was against him.
       In growing fear, she watched from the cliff.
       As the light failed she saw his boat struck by a mighty wave and tipped.
       With a keening cry she ran from the cliff and leapt into the churning waters."

Ailill recites:

    "To this day, she has never been found.
       Few are there who have heard Con tell of how his boat capsized,
      and as he fought for breath in the maelstrom, he was born up by the sleek brown body of a seal.
       How he was carried to shore near his hut and pushed inland above the surge's pull.
       Of his lady, there was never a sign."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "On the moonlit shores of Sule Skerry
     A fisher mends his tangled nets
     Where a wounded seal lies on the ground
     With eyes that are so deep and dark and round."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    ""You have the eyes of one so dear
     I'll wrap you in my coat so warm"
     But when he opened it at home
     Up spoke a very strange and human form."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    ""I am a woman on the land
     But I'm a Selchie on the sea
     And when I'm far and far from land
     My home it is in Sule Skerry""

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "A beautiful and strong young maid
     Her hair was wild her palms were wide
     Her wounds were healed by the fisherman
     She fell in love and chose to be his bride."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "High on the cliffs she watched for him
     Where the seabirds dived down to the wave
     And in the mist above the foam
     They're borne aloft to soar on open wing."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "A sudden storm arose one day
     She saw her husband's boat go down:She leapt into the raging sea
     Some say that she was never, ever found."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Now he lives on to tell the tale
     Of a seal that bore him to the shore
     Where he looks out on Sule Skerry
     The seals they play, the waves they do roar."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    ""I am a woman on the land
     But I'm a Selchie on the sea
     And when I'm far and far from land
     My home it is in Sule Skerry""

Ailill bows.



Ailill says, "now, how's about a switch to some of my popular tunes"
Ailill takes a sip of his Favor.
Ailill says, "here is a traditional piece"

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "In Crossing Town I was bred and born
     In the Town Green now I lie in scorn
     I served me time at the saddler's trade
     I always a roving blade
     I always a roving blade."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "At seventeen I took a wife
     I loved her dearer than I loved me life
     And so to keep her both fine and gay
     I wnet out robbing on the King's highway
     I went out robbing on the King's highway."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "I never robbed a poor man yet
     Or lately caused any one to fret
     But I robbed lords and ladies fine
     And I carried the gold home to me heart's delight
     I carried the gold home to me heart's delight."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "I robbed Lord Baldwin I do declare
     And Lady Manswell in the Lemicus Square
     I closed me shutters and bade them goodnight
     And I carried the gold home to me heart's delight
     I carried the gold home to me heart's delight."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "To the City of Shard I made my way
     With me dear wife for to see the day
     The Ferdahl's men there did me pursue
     And I was taken by the cursed crew
     I was taken by the cursed crew."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "My father cried oh me darling son
     My wife she cried now I am undone
     My mother tore her grey locks and cried
     It's in the cradle I should have died
     It's in the cradle I should have died."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "When I am dead I want for my grave
     A flashy funeral pray let me have
     Six highway men for to carry me
     Oh give them broad swords and sweet liberty
     Oh give them broad swords and sweet liberty."



Ailill shakes his head.
Ailill sighs.
Ailill takes a sip of his Favor.
Ailill gasps and chokes as his face takes on a bright reddish hue!
Ailill ponders the betrayal of that glass of Favor.
Ailill gets a flagon of nightbrew lager from atop a polished mahogany counter.
Ailill just hugged a flagon of nightbrew lager!
Ailill giggles.
Ailill asks, "ready?"

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Step on out and do not tarry
      Step on out and do not tarry
      Tell me, tell me who you'll marry
     Hi-dee, hi-dee ho-la!"

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "I will not marry a dung foot peasant
      Life with her would not be pleasant
     I will not marry a serving woman
      All that work I could not stand"

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "I will not marry a magic seer
      She'd know how to keep me here
      I will not marry a blessing priest
      In her devotions I'd be least"

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "I will not marry a cursing wizard
      I'd ask for snow and get a blizzard
      I will not marry a poor musician
      She'd be playin' and I'd be wishin'"

Ailill winks.
Ailill says, "gets better"

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "I will not marry a tracking Ranger
      She'd blindly follow me into danger
      I will not marry a stout Barbarian
      Such a wife you'd not find hairier than."

Ailill ponders hairy women.  Ick!

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "I will not marry a guzzling drinker
      She'd be no lover and no thinker
      I will not marry a starving painter
      I'd get thinner and grow fainter"

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "I will not marry a wealthy trader
      She'd keep me now and sell me later
      I will not marry a filthy hermit
      Such a life I could not permit"

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "I will not marry a chanting Bard
      To get a word in 'twould be too hard
      I will not marry an Empath, blushing
      She'd only TOUCH me when I've a bleeder, gushing."

Ailill blushes a bright red color.

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "I will not marry a fat old cook
      For the larding pan I'd be forsook
     I will not marry a sly intendant
      I'd make the money and she would spend it"

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "I will not marry an acrobat
     She'd always think that I'm too fat
      I will not marry an aristocrat
      She'd treat me like a dog or cat"

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "I will not marry a noble Paladin
      The Holy Grail is what we'd put salad in
      I will not marry a mystic Moon Mage
      To see a palm reader would be an outrage!"

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "I'm gonna marry me a bandit
     I'm gonna marry me a bandit
      Rich and free is how I've planned it
      Hi-dee, hi-dee, ho-la!"



Ailill says, "last song and then my story"
Ailill pants.
Ailill says, "some of ye other oldsters will recognize this"
Ailill asks, "chorus please?"

Firannion's soprano, Doveswings's soprano, Kesstrell's countertenor and Dreamheart's alto join with Ailill's baritone as he sings:

    "We feast, we feast, we feast and then we dance
     We gather here to worship, then we feast and then we dance."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Therrilliar had a fiddle that she played upon her chin
     And the music that she made invited dancers to come in
     With a song within her heart and a song within her hand
     And the dancers all delighted whe she joined in the band."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Agraynel for a birthday got a bodhran for a gift
     And she learned to play that bodhran not a rhythm beat she missed
     Whether beat to tap your toe or a waltz across the land
     And the dancers all delighted when she joined in the band."

Firannion's soprano, Doveswings's soprano, Kesstrell's countertenor and Dreamheart's alto join with Ailill's baritone as he sings:

    "We feast, we feast, we feast and then we dance
     We gather here to worship, then we feast and then we dance."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Darkel had a mandolin he played upon his knee
     And he played those many strings inviting dancers liberty
     He played magic in his heart with the magic in his hand
     And the dancers all delighted when he joined in the band."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Aiffe had a pennywhistle, into it she would blow
     And the notes that she would play inspired dancers round to go
     She played high up in the air, she played low unto the land
     And the dancers all delighted when she joined in the band."

Firannion's soprano, Doveswings's soprano, Kesstrell's countertenor and Dreamheart's alto join with Ailill's baritone as he sings:

    "We feast, we feast, we feast and then we dance
     We gather here to worship, then we feast and then we dance."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Ailill had an Uillean pipe, to play it he would kneel
     And playing on the chanter, made the dancers jig and reel
     With the droning and the piping, like the wind o'er the sand
     And the dancers all delighted when he joined in the band."

Ailill blushes a bright red color.

Firannion's soprano, Doveswings's soprano, Kesstrell's countertenor and Dreamheart's alto join with Ailill's baritone as he sings:

    "We feast, we feast, we feast and then we dance
     We gather here to worship, then we feast and then we dance."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Starlighte had a harp of gold, she strummed those burnished strings
     And the dancers when they heard the notes would jump and leap and fling
     She rolled those notes like a stream across the land
     And the dancers all delighted when she joined in the band."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Nesbit had some bones he took from some dread beast
     But sometimes he would spurn them for the leavings of the feast
     He pounded out a rhythym that could often get out of hand
     But the dancers all delighted when he joined in the band."

Firannion's soprano, Doveswings's soprano, Kesstrell's countertenor and Dreamheart's alto join with Ailill's baritone as he sings:

    "We feast, we feast, we feast and then we dance
     We gather here to worship, then we feast and then we dance."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Dreamheart had a flute, of deobar it was wrought
     And the harmonies she would coax from it were like gems dearly bought
     She played the aires and flourishes, and the hornpipe on demand
     And the dancers all delighted when she joined in the band."

Ailill bows to Dreamheart.

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Freye played a tambourine just like a gypsy lass
     And when she'd strike the tempo beat, it'd sound like breaking glass
     She kept the players rhythm time just like she always planned
     And the dancers all delighted when she joined in the band."

Firannion's soprano, Doveswings's soprano, Kesstrell's countertenor and Dreamheart's alto join with Ailill's baritone as he sings:

    "We feast, we feast, we feast and then we dance
     We gather here to worship, then we feast and then we dance."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Brite found an old tin whistle, and through it she would blow
     And everywhere the notes would stray, then there a dancer'd go
     She sent her high notes prancing nigh to every corner of the land
     And the dancers all delighted when she joined in the band."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Payoot had some pan pipes, whose haunting tones would pierce the soul
     And when he trilled a playful aire, the dancers lost control
     Rollicking and frolicking, so that "still" you could not "stand"
     And the dancers all delighted when he joined in the band."

Firannion's soprano, Doveswings's soprano, Kesstrell's countertenor and Dreamheart's alto join with Ailill's baritone as he sings:

    "We feast, we feast, we feast and then we dance
     We gather here to worship, then we feast and then we dance."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "On the ocarina, rapid trills would Deedlitt play
     For the privilege of a rondo would the dancers gladly pay
     And the gyrations these would foster, we all thought would be surely banned
     But the dancers all delighted when she joined in the band."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Canu played a huge bass drum, that like a mountain's heart would pound
     And the pulsing beat that he produced sent shivers through the ground
     The dancers as they spun about would leap the sound waves in the sand
     And the dancers all delighted when he joined in the band."

Ailill says, "Deedlitt"
Ailill says, "Canu"

Firannion's soprano, Doveswings's soprano, Kesstrell's countertenor and Dreamheart's alto join with Ailill's baritone as he sings:

    "We feast, we feast, we feast and then we dance
     We gather here to worship, then we feast and then we dance."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Ordeith played a special lute, around the circle his chords he'd throw
     The counter-melody he wove in the dance would make the resonance grow
     Like a shepherd to a wayward flock, he pulled notes to his command
     And the dancers all delighted when he joined in the band."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Disdainful of an instrument, her voice alone she played
     And like the ultimate Soloist, Sollitude her skill displayed
     She chanted to the music of the richest gathering in the land
     And the dancers all delighted when she joined in the band."

Ailill says, "Sollitude"

Firannion's soprano, Doveswings's soprano, Kesstrell's countertenor and Dreamheart's alto join with Ailill's baritone as he sings:

    "We feast, we feast, we feast and then we dance
     We gather here to worship, then we feast and then we dance."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "So release yourself from worries, and the quests you feel so hard
     Come listen to the music, feel the Power of the Bard
     Feast within our welcome, feel the music through the land
     And with the dancers feel delight as you join in the band."

Ailill pants.
Ailill grins.
Ailill hiccups.
Ailill blushes a bright red color.
Ailill bows.
Ailill says, "thanke ye all"



Ailill says, "I would love to tell ye now my story"
Ailill says, "I know I have kept ye all long"
Ailill takes a seat near a polished mahogany counter.
Ailill takes a sip of his lager.
Ailill says, "I learned this story on my travels"
Ailill says, "what i will tell you tonite has been pieced together"
Ailill says, "there are many fragments"
Ailill says, "this will take a bit so sit back and enjoy our collective history"
Ailill leans back.
(Ailill begins beating a soft, yet complex pattern on his bodhran.)

Ailill recites:

     "In these troubled times, when our guild itself is once again threatened, I want to share with you a story I found in my travels. I have found this tale an inspiration, and proof of the subtle, yet abiding power of music. Just as Peri'el keeps the Great Wyrm sleeping through her gentle song, we, the children of Faenella, can continue to hold back the great darkness that threatens to silence our world."

Ailill recites:

     "I should tell you, that I did not create this tale. Indeed, it has been my great challenge to piece together this history from the scraps of oral tradition preserved through the centuries by the stolid, but enduring holders and craftsmen who live so far from our centers of lore. It is my hope that these humble efforts will inspire each of you as this labor has inspired me."

Ailill recites:

     "My story takes place many years ago--by my estimate, some 160 years before the Redeemer's Triumph. You won't recognize the heroes or the villains. These are not the vaunted epics of the great and mighty. Rather, they are the all too real struggles of the common and plain. Yet, you shall see true nobility here, and will come to honor the strength and values of these people. We are their children, in spirit if not in blood."

(Ailill begins a rhythmic drumming on his bodhran, starting soflty and gradually building in strength.)
Ailill smiles as he leans back. You can no longer see his face in the shadow and his voice changes as you hear it from the darkness, sounding somehow younger and sadder.

Ailill recites:

     "Drums. I could hear them through the earth as I awoke. My first thought was of Grusha. Still trying to master the simple rhythm Amachi had shown us last visit. I smiled again before awaking as I imagined him, grimacing in concentration as he struggled to sound the pattern on the great hollow log he dragged back to the village."

Ailill recites:

     "As I opened my eyes, I frowned as I remembered Amachi's last words that day. "Don, be patient with them. They do not have your gift. The music will always be a struggle for them. One you will not understand. Help them teach them. That will be your burden." At last I understand him, as I did not then."

Ailill recites:

     "It was not Grusha, however. As I left the cottage I could hear that it was the drumming of hooves. As I ran to the village I knew that Rachai would be there before me. She can run almost as fast as the horses she so loves. As I reached the tiny village common, I saw that they were all there: Trekhalo, holding his staff of fire, Grusha, with his father the miller, Rachai, of course, Telo, with her father the smith, Partani, Amachi, in his faded blue coat, and little Cui. "

Ailill recites:

     "As this was fall, most of the adults were in the forest gathering wood for the winter or collecting the flocks. I did not recognize the woman or the horse. She fairly fell from it into Grusha's strong arms. As everyone started speaking at once, it was Treckhalo who took control."

Ailill recites:

     "Grusha! Bring the young woman. The rest of you go back to your tasks. She needs looking after. We will have a moot tonight to learn what is to be learned." And with that he turned, and gesturing for Grusha to follow, led the way to Narodel's cottage. I knew I would have to meet Partani to see what her mother would say."

Ailill recites:

     "That night at the moot, there was more energy than any moot I could remember. I guess the arrival of the stranger had caused quite a stir. I could see from Partani's face that something quite important had happened. I couldn't sit near her though, so I found my way to Telo and her little sister Cui. Cui, who I had found could sing even better than I. Trekhalo had some trouble getting everyone quiet. Finally, Grusha's father banged on the table and everyone settled down."

Ailill recites:

     ""People, I am afraid." That's how our elder started. Trekhalo said, "Sad times have come upon us. The great fires we have had rumor of have come to our shore. The lady who arrived this morning sadly has died of grave wounds. Before she died she told a frightening tale. I will let our bard, Amachi, tell you now."

Ailill recites:

     "Amachi then rose. I could see that being called a bard did not cause him his usual pride mixed with guilt. "A great evil is loose in the land. Followers of the Great Wyrm are scouring the countryside looking for the song spinners, our teachers. They seek to destroy music. They believe this will weaken the Singer enough for the Dragon to wake. They are hunting the bards and destroying any who stand in their way."

Ailill recites:

     "The lady who came this morning was once my sister in the guild before I was cast out. She came here to seek refuge, but was waylaid by a hunting party of these fanatics and barely escaped. I fear that I must leave you so you will not face the danger my being here brings. Farewell.""

Ailill recites:

     "With that, our teacher turned to go. There was a great cry from the people, for Amachi was much loved. None there cared that he had not completed his training. Without him, we would have no teacher and remain in ignorance. He was persuaded to stay while the elders debated. This was his undoing."

Ailill recites:

     "Long into the night the elders argued. Some reminded that Amachi was not a true bard since he had left the guild before his training was complete. Narodel pointed out that the lady said the rosters had been captured by these Dragon Priests and surely Amachi was on them."

Ailill recites:

     "It seemed likely that in their zeal, any who had started on the path would be destroyed in their plan. At this, I looked at little Cui, asleep in the corner. Her beautiful voice silenced by sleep. I looked up to see Grusha, Rachai and Telo all looking intently at me."

(Ailill leans forward into the light. His drumming picks up, changing tempo.)

Ailill says, "I pause in the tale for a moment to sing this song. It evokes the feeling of that time, when the Dragon Priests were completing their pogrom."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Life returns with my Lord the Sun
      as the winds of Arhat blow
     As a thousand rills and mountain streams
      run white with melting snow"

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "And the bear revives from his winter death
      with motions dazed and slow
     In a forest wild with odors
      of things beginning to grow"

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Of the trees reviving with him
      as pale saps quicken and flow
     But he cannot see what the Bards see,
      or know what the Bards know."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "The rapacious Dragon Priests,
      whose way was to crush and grind
     Who sucked the good from their conquests
      till nothing was left but a rind"

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Observed how the Bards fought them,
      tho' they murdered all they could find
     They said, 'the order is finished'
      in reports they sanded and signed."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "(Transfix the morning mist with a spear
     -describe the dawn to the blind!)
     But the Eagles have flown from Elanthia
      and left the Bards behind."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Life returns with my Lord the Sun
      at the fairest time of year
     Life returns and laughter,
      to banish a long held fear"

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "As the blood runs hot, exulting,
      and passion is tenfold dear,
     And through the nights of Arhat
      the piles of kindling rear"

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "In every village and steading
      as Shosandu draws near
     The Bards wait for ancient Word
      which only the Bards can hear."

Ailill smiles sadly, shaking his head.
Ailill says, "Let's get back to our story."

Ailill recites:

     "Near dawn, the argument was settled. Amachi would leave. Alone. Silently I wept, fearing for our teacher alone in the forest, pursued by these villains. I had not long to fear for him. Suddenly, a great booming was heard at the door. I turned to see the door swing wide and in the glow of the fire beyond it seemed a great dragon had come right to our hall. "I am Azmu! Turn over that vile creature to me!" And the shadow pointed right at Amachi."

Ailill recites:

     "We all stood frozen to the ground. The moment stretched on to infinity. Finally, with a bow of his head, Amachi started toward the door. It was then I saw Grusha turn. "No!" he shouted and heaved his bench toward the shadow at the door. Everything turned nightmarish."

Ailill recites:

     "I saw soldiers with helmets shaped like great serpents pour into the hall. Two went for Grusha and I saw him fall under them. There was screaming and the bright flash of torchlight on blades and the scarlet cloaks of the invaders. Grusha's father, the miller, went down with a sword stroke to the shoulder. I saw Telo and her father standing back to back armed with swords that came out of nowhere."

Ailill recites:

     "I saw Partani hurrying Amachi toward the back of the hall where Trekhalo held open a door I could not remember seeing. I rushed in their direction and tripped over Cui, who was cowering on the floor. I picked her up and carried her to the secret door. We did not pause as we followed Partani and Amachi through. There seemed to be a great struggle behind us. We hurried on until we came to a stair leading down."

Ailill recites:

     "Partani stopped. "I know not the way! Where does this lead?" Amachi was weeping. While we stood confused, we were joined by Telo and Rachai. "Trekhalo is dead as are all the others. Grusha stayed to hold the door as long as he can. Trekhalo said to follow this tunnel until we come to the fork. One wall has a wren etched into it. We need to follow this path until we come out in the forest. After that..." and Rachai shrugged."

Ailill recites:

     ""But, Grusha," I said. "He cannot hold of these by himself!" Telo shrugged, "Let us move so his effort is not wasted." We pushed on down the stairs and on in the dark. Partani in the lead with Amachi, little Cui, me, Telo and Rachai in the rear. Rachai had her hunting bow and a few birding arrows. Telo had her little sword. I had a great deal of fear, but was hiding it for Cui's sake."

Ailill recites:

     "The passage seemed to run on for a very great distance. I wondered that it was here at all and none of us had known of it. Finally, we reached the fork. We sat in the dark while we tried to solve this problem: how to find the wren in the dark?"

Ailill recites:

     "Time passed. I could hear Amachi weeping bitter tears in the dark. As I held little Cui, I hummed a familiar song and thought about all those in the distant hall. I turned in the direction we had come. To my surprise, it seemed I could see in the direction. Rachai hissed for everyone to be quiet and I heard her nock an arrow."

Ailill recites:

     "Slowly, in the distance we could see a glow, then the sound of heavy footsteps. I moved Cui behind me as we crouched in the dark. Rachai bent to her bow as we could see a torch moving toward us. As the light grew close, we began to see the glint of metal in the torchlight and knew we had been found. Rachai raised up kneeling and sighted down her shaft."

Ailill recites:

     "Just as we felt the light grow enough that we could be seen, she loosed and in a swift movement nocked again. A cry echoed through the tunnel as the arrow found its mark. The dragon priests, we could see now there were three, ran toward us. Rachai loosed again, a feathered shaft blooming in the throat of the nearest Dragon Priest. Then they were among us. Telo laid about with her sword as we backed away down the left fork in the tunnel."

Ailill recites:

     "All would have been lost, but for Grusha. Appearing suddenly behind the invaders, he gave a great roar. Swinging one of their serpentine blades, he seemed crazed. A very vision of the rage of battle. He was wounded in one leg and was bleeding from the temple, but he was heedless. He caught one of the dragon priests from behind and felled him with one sharp blow to the back."

Ailill recites:

     "As the last fellow turned, Telo took him in the side, her short sword notching on a rib and wrenching it from her grip as the priest fell. Grusha finished him with a crushing blow to the chest and all was quiet except for the labored breathing of the survivors. Thinking faster than the rest, Rachai picked up the last torch before it could sputter and go out."

Ailill recites:

     "We had survived. But we had lost Amachi. He took a vicious cut from a dragon priest sword before we had finished them. Partani did what she could, but it was too late. Rachai found the wren, as Amachi's life leaked out onto the stony floor. Grusha was injured, but Partani was sure he would survive. Amachi gathered Cui and me to him and said his final words."

Ailill recites:

     "They fear the music. There is great power in music as the Singer has shown. Many are those who delight in rhythm and song. But there are few with the gift to create it. You two have that gift. Live that it not die. Flee this place. Hide. Practice in secret. These companions will protect you. The day will come when your gift will protect them. It is fitting that you follow the path of the wren. Follow it now and remember.""

(Ailill silences his bodhran)
Ailill sighs.
Ailill says, "this story has not ended"
Ailill says, "but that is all I can say today"
Ailill bows.



Ailill says, "now lastly, and for traditions sake"

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Oh, all the money that erre I spent
     I spent it in good company
     And all the harm that ere I've done
     Alas it was to none but me."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "And all I've done for want of wit
     To memory now I can't recall
     So fill to me the parting glass
     Goodnight and joy be with you all."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Oh all the comrades that ere I had
     Are sorry now I'm going away
     And all the sweethearts that ere I had
     Would wish me one more to stay."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "But since it falls unto my lot
     That I should rise and you should not
     I'll gently rise and I'll softly call
     Goodnight and joy be to you all."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "If I had money enough to spend
     And lesiure time to sit awhile
     There is a fair maid in this town
     That sorely has my heart beguiled."

Ailill sings in a baritone voice:

    "Her rosy cheeks and ruby lips
     I own, she has my heart in thrall
     Then fill to me the parting glass
     Good night and joy be to you all."

Ailill says, "The Wren hold ye under her wing"
Ailill says, "and thanx fer coming"