Lore:House of Reveries: The Troupe
So you've joined us for a life of reveries, of intrigue and drama and joy! I'm so proud of you, dear heart, so very proud. Let me be the first among us to welcome you home.
Now begins your transformation. Yes, you've chosen a name and donned a new mask, but that's only the beginning. Learn to change your voice, adopt new mannerisms, dye your hair bright colors. Learn to tell a thousand boasts but never a hint of the truth. You'll be tested, again and again. After all, there's no greater romance than the allure of intrigue. Stay strong and stay silent. Your very place within our troupe hinges upon your discretion.
There's more to learn, dear heart. So you've mastered the gentle plucks of the lute? Pick up a sword and learn theatrical fencing! The best and brightest performers that Summerset has to offer now surround you. Don't waste this opportunity trying to protect your silly pride. Fall flat on your face, warble out a shaky note, and never stop growing. Every new skill you learn strengthens the entirety of our troupe. There's no such thing as a perfect performance, but we all damn well try our best to get there.
Though Rellenthil may be our base of operations, the Manor of Masques cannot hold every member of our dear troupe. Besides, Summerset is a large island. How can we expect every adored member of our audience to make the trek to us? No, you'll be expected to live most of your days on the open road, lending a helping hand as needed. We fully expect every member to pull their own weight. You'll brush down the horses, oil creaky wagon wheels, cook supper, and dig out latrines. And remember, complaining will only earn you naught but more chores for your trouble.
Every traveling troupe is led by a Maestro, a senior member who has proven worthy of such a majestic title. It wasn't too long ago that I was making my first trip around Summerset with my Maestro, a rather taciturn mer that went by the name of Baritone. It seemed we were doomed to dislike each other from our first meeting, for I thought myself silver-tongued and quick-footed. Maestro Baritone instantly saw through my act and gave me the longest, driest, and most monotone monologue I had ever read to memorize for my first performance.
I nearly cried when I read it, for I thought it nothing short of sabotage. I would toss and turn at night, imagining the disapproving faces of my audience. Daily I begged Maestro Baritone to give me another part, but to no prevail. He simply shook his head and told me to get back to it. Painstakingly, I memorized every line of that cursed monologue, every dry and boring second of it. It was only when I memorized it without fail, without hesitation, that Maestro Baritone gave my next direction.
"Now, Quill," he told me with one of his rare smiles, "I want you to make it your own."
I was stunned. Despite my hatred for the accursed monologue, I found myself arguing. This was a piece of history! Written by our ancestors of old, renowned enough to survive through the centuries. How could I change it? Defile it? I felt no end of bafflement, as the Maestro had always been an absolute stickler for rules and regulations.
"You've honored this piece already," he told me. "You've read it again and again. You know every name, every place, every detail, but you also know it has no heart. I believe in you, Quill. You're the one to give it that heart."
I was transformed that day. The name I seemed to so casually bequeath upon myself truly became who I was. I was a quill, ready to create, eager to write the words again. Anew. Even to this day I find no greater pleasure than breathing life into a stagnant work of old. And my Maestro, the mer who I so adamantly disliked upon our very first meeting, was the one who showed me that. Never would I have guessed such a thing, that first teary night.
Learn. Listen. Create. You've said but your first line, sung but your first note. You have such a long, difficult, tiring, wondrous journey before you, dear heart. Love every minute of that great production. The curtains open, you step upon the stage. We all simply cannot wait to see your performance.