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 The Bard (OPEN)

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sleeplessCartoonist



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PostSubject: The Bard (OPEN)   Sat Aug 03, 2013 1:06 am

Pushing open the swinging doors of the tavern, Maestro Mezzo held his head high, examining the ponies inside. There were enough for at least one to be interested in his music, he thought, and he headed to the front to buy himself a drink. Not too strong yet, he told himself, as he tossed some money onto the counter. Mezzo ordered some cider- the kind that parents didn't let their foals taste -and removed his lute and saddlebag from his back, finding a place to sit down.
The earth pony adjusted the tools to play the instrument on his hooves, and began to tune it. He took a few sips from his drink as he did so (by lowering his head to it since his hooves were busy, much to his embarrassment).
When he was finished tuning the stringed instrument, he glanced around, before leaning towards the nearest pony.
"Anyone want to hear a song or two? Donations are accepted..."
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Zephyr Botanica



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PostSubject: Re: The Bard (OPEN)   Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:30 pm

A tavern was the last place one would expect a celeb-pony to be. They were often considered dingy, dark and disturbing. Most local watering holes also homed ponies of poor attitudes, hygiene and tastes. In other words, it was the perfect place to go about incognito.

Silver Starlight cautiously pushed open the front door with her black hoof, its aged creaking thankfully loud enough to silence the jangling of her silver bracelets. As she sneaked inside, she kept her hooded head bowed so only the tip of her horn showed, and made sure her steps were light and shallow enough to keep the cloak she wore covering her silver hide. The unicorn further executed caution by keeping to the shadows and refusing to make eye-contact, even when little snorts and sneers were sent her way.

She felt a shiver run through her blue blood. Having grown up in the lap of luxury, her senses weren't accustomed to such sights and smells. But Silver never liked her former lifestyle and made an effort at every opportunity to compensate for it. That was why, as she gazed around and spotted a pale red colt wielding a lute, her curiosity spiked. The unicorn nearly galloped over, but quickly, after hearing the jangling of her jewelry, calmed her pace as she approached him. He was asking if anyone would like to request a song.

"Why, yes, I would." Silver smiled under her hood. "Whatever would please you most to sing would be fine."

The unicorn craned her neck around and stuck her snout under her cloak, from which she produced a mouthful of bits. She placed the coins on the table across from the colt quietly, as not to call too much attention to the currency. While most would consider her 'donation' for a single song to be rather generous, the money meant nothing to her. Silver Starlight always had plenty of it in her life, and because of such, learned to value the little things. Plus, she was a generous mare at heart, and always tried to help others in need.
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sleeplessCartoonist



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PostSubject: Re: The Bard (OPEN)   Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:52 am

He grinned, taking the money and placing it in his saddlebag.
"Thank you, miss, for your generous donation." Maestro nodded, sitting back and examining the unicorn. He adjusted the tools strapped onto his hooves and began to strum. He had a few songs in mind - most ponies dressed the way she was dressed were travelers, so he could sing of his travels throughout Equestria. Or maybe he was to sing of wings, an aspect they both lacked? Something upbeat, or something calming?
Maestro Mezzo settled on a single song, his left hind hoof tapping on the wooden floor to the beat in his head. The first few chords were a slower, and were not accompanied by his voice, but the tempo suddenly picked up and he began to sing. He was a talented singer, as his cutie mark might suggest, his voice having a silvery quality to it.
It was a song he wrote in Appleloosa, inspired by the laid back countryside, and it was fun to sing and play. The stallion's ears wiggled a bit as he played, his eyes focused on his lute.
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Zephyr Botanica



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PostSubject: Re: The Bard (OPEN)   Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:17 pm

"My pleasure, sir." She secretly smiled, her heart warming from his gratitude.

Her hidden eyes marveled over the simple, but beautiful design of his string instrument. She had always enjoyed listening to music of all sorts, but those created from hard working hooves were always the best. It took a lot of raw talent, practice, and heart to birth harmonies of sweetness- an ability she envied. So when he flicked the first few notes, Silver felt herself straightening, though felt as light as air.

The unicorn decided to make herself comfortable and took a seat, ensuring her cloak draped properly around the stool. One little mishap, and her well-known cutie mark could be exposed (that which represented her family's bloodline along with her personal calling). She ever wanted to remove her hood, to better enjoy his angelic voice, but did not want to take any attention away from him. Silver was a famous individual, often sought after for autographs, personal questions, beauty aid, or just for admiration.

He deserved the entire tavern's focus. Her ears were tingling with pleasure, lips pulled to a soft, warm smile from ear-to-ear. The colt truly had a golden voice and a knack for tunes. The beat wasn't like something she was accustomed to, which made Silver appreciate it all the more. It was foreign, happy, even fun. As she enjoyed herself, the unicorn noticed others taking interest in his show, and encouraged them to gather around with a welcoming wave.

"Absolutely fantastic!" She exclaimed, barely able to contain herself.
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sleeplessCartoonist



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PostSubject: Re: The Bard (OPEN)   Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:27 pm

After a couple minutes, Mezzo grinned, finishing the song with the last few notes. He wasn't used to people being so enthusiastic about his music, and it was a pleasant change. The stallion sat up - this is what he wanted when he set out into the world all those years ago, to make people happy with his talent, and he was loving the unicorn's reaction to his music. He noticed a few more ponies approaching and his smile widened.
"Wanna hear another song?" Maestro asked, his eyes scanning the small gathering of curious ponies.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bard (OPEN)   Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:39 pm

Every second was a moment of pure bliss. Silver Starlight could just picture this colt dressed in the finest of suits, surrounded by masses of the wealthy, performing with all his heart before adoring fans. He would be whispered about amongst the cultured, praised by his peers in high standings, worshiped by the less fortunate masses. She blinked, her image receding to the present, to the bar of patrons that were gathering around rather close. This place was unworthy of his talent, she declared to herself. He needed to be seen under a spotlight.

But how could she help him?

The unicorn pondered hard. Surely, she had connections in the media somewhere. Why, didn't most of the news ponies use her product? Even if their faces were scarcely featured in the newspapers with their articles, even the little slice of immortality needed to be perfect- thus they would slather her beauty aids on before the shoot. Perhaps she should contact one of the primary writers. Or the editors. Heck, she should go straight to the top and have him documented! But.. did he want all that attention?

Silver studied him. He did seem to take a liking to the crowd. His whole essence seethed with confidence and happiness. But this was still a small crowd- she had her doubts that he'd be able to handle what she had to offer. Perhaps it was best to take things slow.

"You have a marvelous voice, and a true gift with that instrument." She complimented, smiling broadly. "Have you ever tried getting an actual gig, rather than hunting for willing ears in places like this?" The unicorn meant no offense to the customers, nor the tavern's owner, truly..
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PostSubject: Re: The Bard (OPEN)   Wed Aug 07, 2013 1:41 am

Mezzo glanced back at her. "Of course. I've managed to get a few since I started playing - but getting them is tough." he frowned for a moment, still strumming on his lute.
The stallion wanted exposure, but a lowly bard like him wouldn't get the attention of many people past the taverns he rested and played in. It would be especially hard since the more important ponies resided in Canterlot, a place which he was hesitant about treading near. He gave a shrug before playing a new song, one that was requested by several patrons. It seemed that he came to the place often, and the ponies that were usually there were familiar with him.
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Zephyr Botanica



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PostSubject: Re: The Bard (OPEN)   Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:01 pm

She wrinkled her nose.

"A friend of mine hosts a fundraiser every few months, and usually manages to draw a large crowd. Ponies from all around Equestria attend and lend her support for multiple causes, from more serious diseases, to earning money for fillies who can't afford proper school supplies and the like. She welcomes all forms of entertainment to contribute. Perhaps I could ask her if she would give you the chance to sing there?"

Silver's voice was hushed a bit, as not to call to much curiosity to her. By her inquiry, it was clear that she was someone with connections, and thus, of a higher part of society than the colts and mares around them. Should their suspicions grow, there might be a bit of a riot to contend with, which she wanted no part in.

"I'd be more than willing to vouch for you. And pay you as well." The unicorn added. "Not only would it give you the opportunity to get yourself more well-known, but it's for a great cause. There's really no downside."

While he began to sing his next masterpiece, Silver turned to the bartender, whom was enjoying the show himself. She waited until he glanced her way before purchasing a cup of summer wine, a sweet, refreshing fermentation of fruits. When it was given to her, the unicorn inhaled the fragrance, then carefully took a sip. The tang on her tongue tickled, the sweetness soothed her. T'was an excellent vintage.
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sleeplessCartoonist



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PostSubject: Re: The Bard (OPEN)   Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:12 pm

He had more bits given tossed in front of him from some ponies in the crowd and he placed them in his saddlebag. Mezzo glanced back at the mare, an eyebrow raising in curiosity.
"I'd love to perform for a fundraiser. Which town does it take place in?" he tugged the device made of metal and cloth on his hoof off with his mouth, placing it next to his drink. The stallion took a swig of his cider, sitting up a bit. Maestro swallowed, examining her, before his own voice lowered.
"How lucky is it that I play for someone with connections tonight?"
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Zephyr Botanica



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PostSubject: Re: The Bard (OPEN)   Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:16 pm

"Why, Canterlot, of course. I'm sure she would have preferred hosting in her hometown of Cloudsdale, but the attendance would be limited to Pegasi only." Silver blushed, wondering why she added the latter. But now that she really thought about it, it made her appreciate her friend all the more. It showed how truly considerate and compassionate the pegasus was, to purposely place her events somewhere where all the species of Equestria could trot. "When permitted, my friend prefers to have the performances in the royal garden. She has an affinity for nature, you see.."

The unicorn cleared her throat, a bit taken back by her own loose tongue. She eyed her cup of wine suspiciously, wondering if it was the nectar's work. With a shrug, she took another sip. When the colt spoke again, she nearly sputtered it all out as she choked back the swallow. Quickly composing herself, Silver gulped the less-than-mouthful down, took up a napkin, and blotted her lips clean.

"I assure you, I had no idea I'd encounter someone of your talent here." Now that the stalking possibility was aside, she continued, "The coincidence on both our parts is nothing but fortune smiling on us. But please, continue your songs here if you'd like. I'd be more than happy to wait and listen- the music is hypnotic, your voice golden." Silver sipped again. "But if you'd like to learn more, it'll have to be somewhere more..private."
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PostSubject: Re: The Bard (OPEN)   Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:46 pm

He examined the small crowd before nodding. "I'd like to discuss this further, then. It's been years since I've been home." he slipped the other metal device off his hoof, placing it with the other in his saddlebag. Using the strap on the lute, he pulled it onto his back. There were some noises of disappointment from the gathering of ponies.
"I'll play some more later." he straightened up, taking a large gulp from his cider, finishing the drink off.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bard (OPEN)   Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:06 pm

Silver Starlight smiled, humbled by his decision. She took one last sip of her summer wine, added another Bit in tip for the bartender, then carefully dismounted her stool. Upon all four hooves, she walked soundlessly, her cloak fluttering around her slender silhouette. As she headed to the door, the unicorn glanced over a shoulder to the bard, and with a head motion, gestured for him to follow.

It was a few more paces before she pushed free from the tavern and into daylight once more, which would have blinded the mare, had her hood not been in place. "I'm thankful for you being so eager and agreeable. Most ponies would have found my actions to be suspicious." And she wouldn't have blamed them. What sort of individual intruded upon a bar, dressed the way she did, and was armed to the teeth with bits? Some seriously unusual ponies, that's whom.

With him hopefully following, Silver would lead him down the open street, unafraid of the eyes that followed them all around. She made sure they had placed enough distance between them and the tavern before flicking off her hood, revealing the gorgeous features of a young silver mare with an onyx black and silver bouncy mane. Her stunning face was seen in magazines often, as well as articles, billboards and the likes.

"Forgive me for not introducing myself earlier." She bowed low in apology. "My name is Silver. Silver Starlight."
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PostSubject: Re: The Bard (OPEN)   Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:22 pm

His eyebrows raised. "Well, that'd explain some things." Mezzo smiled at her, straightening up. "I suppose I'd better introduce myself, too. Maestro Mezzo. But I'd rather not be called by my full name."
Though it was a bit silly to now feel embarrassed of his mostly unkempt appearance, he couldn't help but want to have combed his mane at least a bit that morning, and have tried to get some sleep the previous night.
"And I guess removing your hood in the tavern would've caused a bit of mess, wouldn't it?" Maestro knew how the ponies in Ponyville reacted to celebrities- he never did understand their fascination with the famous -and to have every pony in the bar tackle Silver, asking for her autograph or advice for something, wouldn't be very pleasant for her.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bard (OPEN)   Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:06 pm

A light pink tinge speckled across her silver cheeks. T'was a light blush, nothing more. While she was accustomed to fame, certain ponies still managed to make her feel embarrassed, or flushed, if you will, upon recognizing her. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Maestro." She stated, once he dictated the preference towards his name. Hopefully, the formality wasn't the incorrect method. While she had never heard of his surname before (her family only dealt with the bluest of blue-blood unicorns), she made sure to take note of it. One day, the name Mezzo would be renowned.

"Quite. I wanted the people there to focus on you, and you alone. You deserve a lot of attention, and I'll see to it that you get some." Silver nodded in self-agreement. "Don't get me wrong- I appreciate each and every one of my fans. I even take a part of my own free time to answer their mail, or sign pictures, should they choose. My manager even arranges special greet-and-meets for me. If it weren't for my fans and ponies everywhere, I wouldn't be as successful as I am. Furthermore, I wouldn't be able to give back to the community, either."

The unicorn looked around casually, her thick eyelashes fluttering on their own accord as she gazed over the mares and colts of the market. "I'll have to try and contact my friend first before anything." She said, turning her attention back onto the bard. "Fortunately, for a pegasus, she's quite easy to find. She has this obsession for flowers and plants- an oddity in itself for someone born of the sky. I'll probably be able to find her in the gardens."

Realizing she was rambling again, Silver covered her snout with a hoof and cleared her throat. "But all that can wait. I'd like to know more about you, Maestro. Why not tell me a bit about yourself?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Bard (OPEN)   Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:19 pm

He nodded, smiling. It was enjoyable, he thought, being treated with respect by someone as revered as a member of the Starlight family.
"Well, where do I begin?" he pondered, "I was born and raised in Canterlot. I have two sisters, one's an Earth pony and the other's a Unicorn... I earned my Cutie Mark when I was pretty young, but I never enjoyed Canterlot's posh culture- er, if you don't mind me saying -and I left home in my late teens. Haven't heard from my family since. I traveled around Equestria, using the bits I already had and the bits I could scrounge up on the street, and I eventually settled down in Ponyville. I've been here for a few years, and there's enough action involved with living here to keep me interested." Maestro paused, wondering if he left anything important out.
"Ah, that's... pretty much my life up to this point."
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Zephyr Botanica



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PostSubject: Re: The Bard (OPEN)   Sat Aug 10, 2013 1:50 pm

Silver kept a warm smile, hoping it would keep him comfortable and calm. The last thing she wanted was for him to stammer and be nervous around her, especially if they were to spend more time together. Fortunately, he did seem to be brimming with confidence, which reassured her. She listened attentively, her ears ever-pointed in his direction, silver eyes locked onto his. Every so often, she nodded, to show her focus remained constant.

It was interesting to hear of his siblings. For one, him having an Earth Pony as one was a fault in his genetic line, according to her family. She inwardly quivered, imagining the cruel insults her kin would have flung in his direction. When he poked a comment towards the high society of Canterlot, she chuckled and nodded, completely agreeing. The Starlight family was one of the most prestigious- regal in its own rights. They were truly one of the worst of the worst to come across, unless your blood was pure.

The unicorn frowned slightly. While she stayed away from her family as much as possible, she still kept in touch every so often- just as a courtesy. If anything had ever happened to her blood without her knowing until later, she'd never forgive herself. While she wanted to recommend him getting back in touch, Silver knew it wasn't her place to make such a suggestion.

"Well, you picked a fine place to settle down." She commented, looking around her. All the colts and mares seemed so friendly, and were always smiling. The homes and shops were quaint, streets clean, products plentiful. It was a nice suburban region- a fine place to have a getaway home, actually. Perhaps she would look into the real estate for herself. "And I'm glad to hear that you're happy here." Silver added.

"Now, if things go well at the fundraiser, you may need to consider a few things. For one, if you have tight ties here, they might have to be broken. You may be asked to go on tour as well, or leave your home completely. Now, all of this can be refused, of course.. But if you should, I can't guarantee you'd be able to regain your status again. So, this could very well be a big decision for you. Don't take it lightly. I'm not trying to frighten you, I just hope you understand the type of ponies that you'll be introduced to, and what a success could mean."
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PostSubject: Re: The Bard (OPEN)   Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:17 pm

He straightened up a bit and frowned. "Well... I'm sure I'd be able to leave here. I'll be able to visit again, I'm sure..." Maestro took a glance back at the simple buildings and nodded. "And I do like changing things up. Going on tour would be a blast, I bet."
He paused for a moment. If he was successful, his family could track him down in a heartbeat. What would they say to him? He never was fond of his sisters, and his parents were overbearing, to say the least. Would he be chastised for leaving home, or for taking so long to find fame? Would he be praised for his sudden rise to glory?
Mezzo swallowed. He wasn't even sure if the fundraiser will go well. He'd take things as they come.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bard (OPEN)   Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:08 pm

The sadness in his expression was all too familiar. She had been forced into her life by her family- they wanted their precious filly to be the best-of-the-best, as her blood demanded. Mistakes, failure, anything improper was forbidden. And should she embarrass her namesake, there was no redemption. Thus, even as a young little unicorn, Silver attended the top schools, was forced to study to get the best grades, could only interact with others of her own social level. As she grew, the same stature was expected- she couldn't be a simpleton. She had to be someone important.

And so she was.

But Silver didn't regret her lifestyle. Her beauty products helped many mares and colts, and opened possibilities for other experiments regarding youth. Plus, all the Bits she earned were hers alone, and she always gave back to the community- even if it wasn't hers. The unicorn's generosity knew no bounds, making her more loved than most celebrities. And it was because of what she could do for others that kept her working so hard, not her horty-torty family.

So that expression he gave reminded her of how she felt when she had forsaken her family. While her surname remained, she held no ties with them on a routine basis. It had been a heavy burden to undertake, but worthwhile.

"I don't see why you wouldn't be able to visit." Silver stated calmly. "Would you like some time to think on this, though?
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PostSubject: Re: The Bard (OPEN)   Tue Aug 13, 2013 5:54 pm

He paused for a moment. "...no, I don't need to think on this. I'll do it." he nodded. "It's my destiny, after all - I'm supposed to make people happy using my music." Mezzo smiled at her, straightening up.
There was no better place to do that, he thought, than a fundraiser. But his sister was bound to be there, if there was going to be anything involving the arts.
I'll deal with her, he told himself. He wasn't going to let her ruin his chances at fame.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bard (OPEN)   Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:18 pm

Silver nodded. "I'm very happy to hear that." She declared, smiling warmly. "I'll send a letter for you when all the arrangements are made. I still have to contact my friend and see when her next event is. So, you could very well have time to prepare not only your things, but your mind and performance." Her silver eyes were shimmering with delight and excitement.

"Until then, I wish you the best. I'm afraid I must take my leave." The unicorn bowed deep, her eyes closed for the process. After they fluttered open again, she gave an affirmative nod, bit the rim of her cloak's hood, and pulled it back on.

With a simple turn, she began a casual pace down the road, back the way she had originally come.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bard (OPEN)   Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:38 pm

Mezzo grinned, heading back into the noisy tavern. He got his things ready again, playing a chipper tune for the gathering of ponies who were drinking and hollering. His spirits were high now, the lingering issue of a reunion with his family in the back of his mind as he sang, his voice ringing clear.
He would consider writing a new song, one that would please the crowds of Canterlot. Something feeling foreign and new, but something that they felt comfortable with.
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