Bevan gazes out at you all, regarding you with a cool levelled stare, his
hands on his silver-strung lute. Quiet and still as the sea.
Bevan indicates his crystalline lute with a smile.
Bevan says, "Please forgive me in advance if this is not as florid nor as
pretty a piece as you may be accustomed to hearing from me. This ballad,
however, is not about me or my overblown reputation. It is about her, and
all like her, and her tale must be told simply and without embellishments."
Bevan strikes up a soft, somber tune on the lute, slow and achingly sad ...
Bevan says, "The Empath's Lament ..."
"A warm glow washed upon the darkened lane
And voices carried out into the night
She waited there a while, and looking down
At hands with scars and knowledge dearly bought"
"Who had not found a touch of what she'd sought
In lonely years through village, sea and town
For service was her joy -- healing, her light
But that was not why this dark night she came."
Bevan smiles somberly, letting the music pour into the night air, a vision
perhaps awakening in your mind's eye of a rain-swept night, and a young healer
standing by the door ... looking for light and warmth, and something else
"Maybe here," she thought, "Oh here, at last!"
She mused, her fingers resting on the door
"There'll be what I've ached for all my days,
"There are so many folk and people here!"
"And laughter, joking, friendship and good cheer -
Oh great and gentle goddess!" did she pray
"Please let me be so lonely nevermore,
"Give me a family, end my soul's long fast!"
Bevan smiles out at you all, gathered here together in song and laughter
and comradeship, with friends and family and lovers about you ... and sends
his voice beyond the charmed circle to those, alone, in the wind-swept darkness
"The healer walked inside with quiet step
And held her satchel tight unto her breast
She marvelled and exulted at the scene
Of revellers -- With hope, and crossed the room -"
"Leaving her fears behind beneath the moons
"Empath, ho!" She saw the speaker beam
"You're just what's needed for tomorrow's quest.
"We leave at dawn! So hark - do not forget!"
"She nodded to the man, yet held her breath
But as he turned back to his waiting friends
She craved for yet more than a terse command
None looked her way for more than just a glance."
"Her heart sunk within her - In a trance,
"This time is like the rest - I understand
"I"ve here and always been a fool," she said,
"They want no more from me than ward from death."
Bevan smiles mildly enough at you all, as the melody flies from his fingers
... but who can see through to a heart? Through a smile? To what loneliness
may dwell within? Who can say ... ?
"She knew too well what the next morn would bring
The screams, the pouring blood, the pain, the fear
She'd seen it every day her waking life
But stronger still were vows that she had made -"
"To never, on her honor, let life fade
To knit and heal the bodies torn by strife
As loved by none, she slumbered with no cheer
While the hall below with joy and song did ring -"
Bevan smiles somberly, picking with one hand as he nurses his tea -
Bevan gives his head a little shake, spilling a shock of silvering hair over
his shoulder, and picks up the pace of the tune -
"The morning dawned a fair one, and the lass
Gathered to her party with a frown
The leader sent her straight back to the rear
"We've got to keep YOU safe! Just come along"
"We'll shout for you should anything go wrong!"
Thus the calls that day, so cavalier
"Heal me!" "Take this bleeder!" "Willem's down!"
"Do you have some leaf left?" "Where's that grass?"
"Her rapier could have been sheathed, for the good
It did in war that day against the foe
Oh yes! that day, none of her party died
For even in despair her skill prevailed."
Bevan sighs sadly.
"The quest ended in triumph, and they hailed
All their friends whom back in town they spied
In wine they toasted every kill they'd known
While off and to the side - forgot - she stood."
"They gifted to her gold, and hearts' aflame
With song and mirth they left her there alone
To seek out war of some less deadly kind
She stood all by herself at tavern's door."
Bevan smiles quirkily, shrugging, calmly regarding each of you in turn.
Bevan asks, "Isn't a healer's life like that, after all? No rest, little
thanks -- well, maybe a tip now and then, or a dollop of mana. When was the
last time we did something truly lovely for those who keep us alive?"
Bevan smiles slightly, shrugging again, and murmurs "For some of us, when
was the first?" before continuing -
"She knew that if the chance came by once more
To join for questing with those folk she'd find
She'd pray that next time she might find a home -"
Bevan smiles wistfully, cupping the strings of the lute to silence, gazing
steadily at you all, a certain question in his eyes -
"And once -"
"Just once -"
"They'd ask of her her name."
Bevan sighs softly.