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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Our Fellow Troubadours Detained and Lady Brittney's Shocking News.


The Cathedral's bells rang over the moonlit castle and village. A procession of monks followed the Abbot's torch as they walked slowly down the lane to evening Mass. I drew the shutters closed. The night's air was cold and crisp, laden with the comforting smell of wood and fire. The sound of wheel on cobblestone drew my attention to the opposite lane below. A woodsman returned from the forest. His cart strained under the weight of newly cut firewood. His day was ended, his duty's done.

Our band of Troubadours gathered for their evening's lessons. Some took up quill and parchment, and by candlelight, continued their compositions for the nobleman's theater. Lady Emily and Master Wyatt sat to warm themselves by the fire. Our youngest fellows sat before them with instruments in hand.


"Lady Emily, what sayeth thee about my pleasing new melody?" Master Wyatt plucked at his mandolin's strings as he waited for a favorable response. "Tis the song I played for all this morn. The melody came to me during the night. A fortunate gift form the angels in God's heaven."

"I thought the melody showed promise," Master David said whilst painting a scene for a new work destine for summer's telling.

"And the Lady speaks...." Master Wyatt turned to Lady Emily.

Lady Emily looked up from her harp, "And should my verdict disappoint? How shall you be then?" Our band of Troubadours fell silent. Master Wyatt was not known to embrace criticism amicably.

"Then say nay, and witness thy tongue tear my crestfallen heart from its moorings and onto the cold stone below!"

Lady Emily thought for a moment to consider the gruesomeness of his description. "And should my verdict be agreeable?" she said in a softer tone.

"Then say it so, and see the departed sun appear anew to bid the dark of night adieu." Master Wyatt's fingers parodied the rays from the sun around his smiling lips.

Lady Emily momentarily returned to her thoughts before speaking. "I speak the truth when I say your melody has found good company with my thoughts." Her fingers moved back and forth across the harp's strings, recreating Master Wyatt's newest ballad. The pleasing sound of a well crafted harp filled the hushed room.

"Dear Lady, you do favor the melody so. I believe it prefers your company to mine." Wyatt turned to the younger members of the troope sitting with instruments in hand, patiently waiting for their lessons to begin. "Do you not agree?" he thought to wait for a response, then continued before anyone could speak. "Granted your ears are not trained to fathom the sound of wing on air or hand upon cheek. But still, do you not feel your spirits sore at its playing?"

"The Lady's harp speaks for itself. The tune, never finer played," spoke young Connor. Master Wyatt jumped to his feet. Young Connor had transgressed the boundary between student and master. The boy retreated. "Did you not say it so yourself just a moment ago?" Connor spoke quickly to not offend. His back straight and muscles tensed - ready for flight.

Master Wyatt's countenance softened. He stretched forth his arms, and with billowing voice shouted. "Let the sun return, for the Lady's tune is pleasing." The young Troubadours applauded. Master Wyatt accepted their praise.

Lady Emily motioned for Master Wyatt to return to his mandolin. "Sit now and ease your mind, for I truly confess that Beauty is the definition of your tune. And now to the business at hand. Our pupils wait."

There was a sound in the hall. The great oak door burst open. In stepped the Count's trusted Herald. The look upon his face spoke of the bad news to follow.

"I have news of your fellow Troubadours Casey, Bronson, and Jack. A herald from King Wesley of the Northlands reports they are detained. Their return is no longer guaranteed."

The Herald's news was interrupted by shouts from the assembled troope.

"What treachery is this?" questioned Master Adam as he reached for his dagger.

Master Devin's response was quick to follow. "Our response is sure. We take up arms against King Wesley of the Northlands!"

Several stood with arms raised to join the holy cause. The herald cleared his throat and waved his hand beckoning all to silence. "The news is worse. Lady Morgan is detained as well.

"To the defense of Lady Morgan!" Master Zac jumped from his desk. His parchments scattered to the floor. "Where is my sword?"

"Taken from you by the Count for spearing his favored cat three months past," Lady Stacy's reminder drew laughter from the somber crowd.

"Said cat suffered from demonic possession and thrust itself upon the tip of my sword. That I am sure." Master Zac reached out to his fellows for support. "How can I bear responsibility?"

The Herald raised his hand to speak. "The Count believes King Wesley detains them in the North Lands for the sole purpose of creating a theater to rival ours. The Count and Countess will speak more on the matter during the evening meal. I bid you adieu."

The door shut. Threats against the Northlanders engaged every tongue. Not one was silent, each attempted to overspeak the others in his or her company.

"The news is worse." Lady Brittney rose to speak. "Pray indulge me this moment."
She waited for quiet to drive the last of the angry sounds into the stone walls.

"I will take my leave of this place after the Christmas performances. I shall find work in the Southlands where I reside. Good fellows, I pray you support me in this decision." The Lady bowed to all then sat with head down in prayer.

The shock of such news, all at the same time, caused many an eye to tear. A feather could have swept us from our feet. The door opened again.

"The evening meal is prepared. Please join the Count and Countess." A brightly dressed footman bowed, turned and walked away leaving the door open for all to follow.

"There is much to discuss," I spoke as the troope stood to exit. "We shall talk of these things again after our meal. Make haste, do not keep the Count waiting."

Note:
The story above carries two items of Space Center news. Casey Voeks has accepted a position as Valiant Set Director for iWorlds in Park City. He has moved to Park City. Bronson, Morgan and Jack (among other Space Center Park City volunteers) will be working with Casey to bring the Space Center experience to the people of the "Northlands". We wish our friends the best as they work long hours to make this a success!

Brittney Vandeboss, the Magellan's former Set Director, will be leaving full time employment at the Space Center. The Magellan's Directorship was given to Zac H.
Brittney lives in Provo and is attending BYU.
Brittney is looking for employment on campus. She has been with us 6 years and is entitled to a rest. Brittney will remain an employee, working as a substitute when needed. We wish Brittney all the best as she moves on with her education.

Mr. W.
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