Feb 22, 2011

Music for Monday (on Tuesday, again)

Yes, I know, I'm late. But by the time Youtube got this uploaded it was bedtime *bares teeth and shakes fist at procrastinator website*

Anyway, this is my first uploaded video. And, y'know, if y'all wanna subscribe ... *hint hint*

This is me playing Elfin Dance by Adolf Jensen on our 100+ year old piano.

From the music sheet:
A pleasing study in scherzo playing. The sixteenths even, well articulated, precise, yet light. The pedal, if used at all, must be held but little if any more than the time of an eighth note, and merely for the purpose of affording the fundamental a little more resonance. The tones before rests are always to be played with a finger staccato, the hand (and perhaps the arm) springing up a little but not enough to delay the movement. At a) the sustained tone is held out its full length.

To be played "Vivace con grazia", at quarter note = 80. Adolf Jensen, Op. 33 No. 5.

Feb 4, 2011

My Adventure in the Dark, Pt 2

I should have felt safer, with three armed people following me, but I didn't. Especially not with my back to Iri, in particular. As has been said before, I knew him too well, and I knew that at the moment his hand was probably wrapped around his dagger hilt for comfort. Well, his comfort, anyway. It didn't do much for mine.

I rode a little closer to the middle of the road this time, deciding not to risk meeting someone else in the ditches. It could be Klista. Or possibly Faulkner. I shuddered at the thought. Iri was as close to a villain as I wanted to get. At least Aaron and Arionwyn weren’t fond of wantonly killing people for the least offense. You also never knew what offended him. Unpredictability, that was the plan. He was one of my most vivid characters. I had, however, never counted on meeting him in person, but relegated that honor to other less fortunate individuals. I found my thoughts spinning.

They solidified into one horrified mass when two blinding pinpoints of light appeared on the road ahead.

Three swords flashed in the dark. “Um,” I said, tongue-tied. Again. “It’s just a car – an automo – it’s a ... oh dear.”
“You were saying?” Iri growled.
Arionwyn edged a little closer to Aaron. Aaron narrowed his eyes at me. “What is that?”
I adjusted my grip on the handlebars again and stared straight ahead, my shoulders inching upwards and guaranteeing a headache. “You’re just gonna have to trust me.”
“And we should do that exactly ... why?” Iri asked, shifting nervously.
“Look, this isn’t your world.”
“We guessed.”
“And things work ... differently here.”
Iri glanced at Aaron. “Should I shut her up?”
I involuntarily pedaled faster. The elves kept up easily, but Wyn started puffing. Aaron came around in front of me and clamped his hands on my shoulders. The bicycle fell over. “What kind of monster is up there?”
“M-monster?” I said innocently.
He spun me around. “There. The glowing one.”

I felt his hot breath on my ear. “S-step off the road.”
The car zoomed closer. I shut my eyes. “Just do it!”
“Should we attack it?” Iri volunteered, twirling his blade. “I think – ”
“We all know w-what you think. Get off the road. Now.”
Iri shrugged and stepped onto the shoulder. Aaron let go of me and followed. I scrambled to collect my bike and get out of the way. The four of us stood panting in the dark. Aaron hefted his sword. I wanted to slap him. Closer, closer. The headlights filled the night. Iri squinted into the light, leaning forward to get a look at the ‘monster’, probably so he could figure out how to kill it. I closed my eyes.
I later wondered if I held them all back by sheer force of will. Whatever happened, the lights zipped past us and on into the night. I nearly collapsed with relief.
Miraculously, we met nothing else even remotely frightening until I pedaled up our driveway. The three behind me stared up at the brightly lit house. An explosion of laughter and wild screams trickled out of the open windows. Yep. My house, alright.
I parked my bike on the front sidewalk and ran up the steps to the bright blue front door.
Someone behind me cleared his throat. I jumped. “Oh ... right. You three had better stay here?”
“For how long?” Iri asked, eyebrow cocked.
“Until I can explain ... well, you.”
“And then what?”
“I’m figuring this out as I go along, alright?” I snapped. Aaron shrugged. Wyn craned her neck to look in the window. I winced. “I’ll be back.”

A flood of hot air and smells from the kitchen flooded over me as I stepped in the door. I shut it quickly, resisting the urge to lock it behind me, and nodded to my dad, who sat with a newspaper in his favorite chair. He winked.
The kitchen was a morass of dishes, sounds of popping grease and various items simmering or frying or flaming on the stove. My mother clamped a lid on one unfortunate pot and emerged from the cloud of steam. “‘ello. You’re home.”
“I am!” I said, more enthusiastically than I felt. She enveloped me in a hug that smelled like biscuits and raw bok choy. “Mom?” I mumbled into her shoulder.
I grinned in spite of myself. It had been a frequent joke between us ever since reading the Discworld novels, and we had to laugh every time. “I ... had a bit of a run-in.”
She pulled back, one eyebrow raised and mouth curved into a mischievous smile. “With what?”
“Who is more like it.”
She looked at me.
“I think I’d better show you.”
She shrugged, looking more worried now. I took a deep breath and led the way to the door, motioning through the window for the trio to enter.
A minute passed. Someone fumbled with the unfamiliar doorknob. I sighed, stepped forward, and pulled it open. My three siblings chose that moment to race through the room screaming, happening to dash in front of Iri as he stepped into the room. My three-year old brother yelled, half in fright and half in fun as the elf tripped over him and sprawled to the floor. My nine-year old sister stumbled and ended up on top of him. They stared at each other. I wanted to crawl under the couch and die. Trouble was, the space under the couch was only about a inch high.

Aaron stared down at Iri from the doorway and burst into laughter. Iri glared at my sister. Her eyes went round and she scrambled off of him, hiding behind the couch. My brothers watched from the kitchen, howling with laughter. Wyn peeked out from behind Aaron’s back, then stared at my mom. “I’ve seen you somewhere.”
I frowned. “How?”
She stepped forward, over Iri, and into the room. “I don’t know. But ...”
Mom stood like a large icicle, the dish towel limp in her hands. “M-mom,” I began, “this is – ”
Aaron settled it for me. “Aaron Darkstar, at your – ”
“Russel,” Iri said, slowly getting up from the floor.
“Yes!” Wyn exclaimed, jumping forward. “Russel. I knew I’d seen you somewhere.”
Mom blinked.
Aaron blinked. “How is that possible?”
I raised my eyebrows. “I don’t know. She doesn’t look like Russel. Russel’s red-headed–”
“And chubby with freckles,” Mom finished. “I don’t know what made her think to base him off me.”
I glanced around. No one else seemed to think this was entirely nuts.
A remote control car zoomed past Iri’s feet. He stared at it.
Mom gallantly recovered her composure. “W-would you like supper?”
“Please,” Aaron said, ever the gentleman.

Feb 1, 2011

Race No. 5 -- Haethor

Haethor are humanoid with large silver eyes and slit pupils. The Haethor's eyes, whether they are of mixed blood or pure, are always a bright nearly luminescent silver with flecks of metallic color that match their hair. The pupils of their eyes are created for precision sight in any lighting, from being a nearly invisible slit in full sunlight to filling almost their entire iris on a moonless night. They are not usually deep-set.

Their hair is usually fairly thin and fine, rough in texture with a low level of shine. It is worn in short ponytails or cropped close in men and is worn long for women and boys. The males prefer to have facial hair of some sort. A beard denotes age and commands respect. Their noses are soft and shaped without angles and are not prominent. Their skin is medium brown in color and not easily sunburned. It's thick and leathery and built for work. They are not easily wounded, but are notorious for long, drawn-out recoveries and frequent relapses.

Their emotions are hard to read if they do not wish them to be shown. The forehead is low and wide. They have to prominent cheekbones. They have a very strong, prominent jawline. The Haethor's build is not at all delicate. Their height averages between 5' 7" and 6'. They are thickly built and very strong and muscular. Sense of sight rated at 4 1/2, touch at 2, hearing at 3 1/2, taste at 3, smell at 2 1/2. Their movement is slow and deliberate with moderate grace and agility. Strength and stamina are both excellent.

Mountains or other areas with difficult terrain are ideal habitats. Their talents or gifts from God are mining, smithing and stonemasonry. They learn at a very young age to shape rock and metal to their will. They forge marvelous weapons, armor, and other implements with amazing speed and skill. Often the things they make will take much longer to wear down or break than identical objects forged by another race. Their stone palaces are said to stand for hundreds if not thousands of years.Swords forged by them always fit the ones they were made for, even if they were not measured beforehand. By tradition, almost all Dragonrider swords are Haethor-made.

One of their faults is unsurpassed stubbornness, like the rocks they work with so often. They value solid, unchangeable things. It is very hard to provoke them to anger, but once they are angry they are virtually unstoppable. They hate arguments. They are not known for friendliness to strangers. Their leaders are chosen by tournament.

Their native language is called Hae and is similar in sound and structure to Spanish. They usually speak softly but quickly. They live in secluded, secret locations known only to friends of the race. Because of their affinity for stone, it is often hard to remember things about them. They usually have single children every five to ten years. They live for around 150 to 200 years on average, though some cases have been recorded as dying at 300 or older.

They are comfortable in many climates, and can live nocturnally or diurnally as they please, Overall, they are a gentle and humble but strong people. If you want them on your side, you will have to prove yourself first.