Saranni pushed open the door to the large classroom and stepped
inside, looking around. She was a bit early, her mother had always
said that a lady is never late to any appointment. Besides, she wanted
to see who else was auditioning, if anyone. She also wanted a chance
to examine the room. In the old Hall, rooms like this one had great
acoustics and she imagined this one would as well. Besides all that
though, she was simply excited. It felt like a guilty excitement. This
was not why she was here, but... since the Lord Holder loved music...
She shrugged off her musings and made her way further into the room,
looking to see if the Master was here yet.
Eilomar was talking with Ueltin. The journeyman was there because
Eilomar wanted his baritone to the choir. Besides, the tall harper was
much better at handling people and herding the first Turn apprentices.
She spotted the Master in conversation with another man, a journeyman
by his knots. He was very tall, and quite handsome. Without really
meaning to, she found herself approaching the two. They were obviously
in a conversation and she probably should not interrupt. However, it
would be rude not to greet the Master, she decided. She gave him a
polite curtsy when she reached them, "Master Eilomar."
"Good, you made it. Add you name to the list," Eilomar replied and
handed her parchement with the pen.
He looked around. There was plenty of people auditioning, mostly apprentices.
"Can we start now?"
"Ten more minutes," Ueltin reminded, "It's not ten yet."
Saranni dutifully added her name to the list and handed it back to the
Master harper. She glanced at the journeyman and felt an odd little
flutter in her stomach. Like she was nervous, but it couldn't be that.
She hadn't been nervous at meeting anyone since she was a child. Her
mother had drilled that out of her. She pushed the odd feeling down
and gave the journeyman a polite curtsy, "It is a pleasure to meet
"Ueltin," Ueltin replied with a friendly smile.
"There's still no reason that we can at least start preparations. This
time we are doing a duet, so pair up, male-and female. Those who don't
have pair, will sing with Ueltin. Pick a song sheet from the table,
I'll give you few minutes to go thru it and practice," Eilomar
declared and gave out instructions. There seemed to be odd number of
people present, with females out numbering males.
Saranni barely heard the Master's instruction. Her attention had been
captured by the journeyman... Ueltin's smile. He had a very nice
smile. It softened his angular features some and made his eyes crinkle
in a way that was entirely fetching. What was wrong with her? Had she
taken leave of her senses? She shook herself just a bit and then said,
"Journeyman Ueltin, a pleasure. My name is Saranni."
"Well met, Saranni. Looks like you're left without pair, so we'll be
singing together," Ueltin smiled at her.
She blinked, not realizing what he was talking about for just a
moment. Then her brain caught up with the situation and she remembered
hearing the Master mention something about partnering up. What was
-wrong- with her? "Oh! Of course. What shall we sing?"
"Here," Ueltin gave her the song sheet.
After a maybe half a candlemark, Eilomar estimated they had enough
time to rehease the song and called the first pair.
At the half way thru the song, he gestured them to stop. "No, no, no!
This is duet not a duel. You sing with each other, not against.
Spellbattles are whole different affair. Counter does not mean drown
the other one out. It means you find the harmony in your differences.
Sheesh, did you sleep thru your classes?"
"Listen to master Eilomar, his style may be harsh, but there's good
advice underneath it," Ueltin murmured to Saranni.
Eilomar called the next pair. When the girl started, he wasn't the
only one who grimaced in pain. He stopped her short. "Singing, not
shrieking! What were you trying to do? Break the window? Get out and
come back after you're learned to sing. You," he pointed the boy half
of the pair. "Stick around, I want hear you again." The girl fled the
room in tears while the boy nodded and withdrew to back to wait
The next pair actually got to finnish the song before Eilomar said,
although the boy's voice broke few times.
"Come back when your voice has settled," he told the boy and then
paired the girl with the boy from previous pair.
Saranni nodded, she remembered the Master's personality well. Whenever
she would make a mistake in her singing after she returned home and
continued her lessons with a journeyman, it was Master Eilomar's
caustic tones she heard reprimanding her for it instead of the much
milder ones of the man her father hired.
She eyed the song sheet, waiting for their turn to be called up. To
her ear, her soprano had blended well with his baritone during their
brief rehearsal, neither overwhelming the other. Of course, she was no
Master ranked Harper, so her opinion might not matter so much. She
would find out soon enough, as another pair was finishing up. It would
be their turn next.
Eilomar gestured that it was their turn.
Ueltin stepped forward confidentally.
Saranni joined him, and they began singing.
Eilomar allowed them to finnis before saying anything. He then shook
his head and pointed Saranni. "You are badly out of practice. There's
potential but currently, you're not good enough for the choir.
Practice, practice, practice. I do like they way your voices sound
together but compared to him you sound unrefined and callow. You ran
out of breath near the end, you need more stamina."
Saranni blinked in astonishment before feeling her face heat with
shame. She also felt more than a little piqued at the Master's
critique. She had not been spoken to like that since... since her
father pulled her out of the Harper Hall. She sighed and pushed the
resentment away with difficulty. The disappointment was even more
difficult. She hadn't realized how much she had been looking forward
to joining the choir and it jolted her. She was not ultimately here to
sing in a choir, after all. "Yes, Master. Thank you for giving me the
"You can always try again later," Eilomar said and shooed her out of
Ueltin gave her lopsided, sympathetic smile. "Tough," he murmured. "If
you want to get some practice, don't hesitate to find me, I'll be
Saranni nodded, giving the journeyman a smile of gratitude even though
she felt miserable. She had never actually failed this badly at
something she wanted to do. She hadn't thought she could. For as long
as she could remember, if she set her mind to doing something, it got
done, one way or another. It was why her father had set -her- the task
of marrying the Lord of a Hold. But now... If she could fail at
something so seemingly simple as joining a choir, at doing something
she thought she was good at... What else could she fail at? She left
the classroom, shaken.
Last updated on the April 12th 2019