The Faith's Passion Play Contest
March 4, 2018, 5 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Compact - Blackrose Theater - Auditorium
Comments and Log
It should be noted that the handful of players that have been rousted up for this event are not the usual cream of the crop that the finest theatre in the capital can be expected to cover. A few travellers, two disciples of Jayus and a small but dynamic woman with white hair sticking out from her head in every direction have annexed a corner of the stage, with Aureth at their head, apparently speaking to them in low voices with flicking fingertips through the air.
Aureth departs from their midst to stroll to the head of the stage, standing with his hands braced at his hips as he surveys the gathering attendees with a brilliant smile. No one should ever have given him access to a stage. He is clearly enjoying it too much just by standing here. "Hallo, everyone," he says, his voice pitched to carry. "If you are here to watch the contest, so am I, it's going to be great. If you're here to participate, that's wonderful! We'll need to get a queue going of people so please bring your materials up to the stage and we'll start sorting this out. Now, if you have just wandered in here and have no idea what's going on, today is the time and day set for the Faith's Passion Play contest, for the inclusion in the repertoire of the Faith of a play to help educate and entertain the commons about the Lost Gods! Our winner will receive three hundred writs of social favor on behalf of the Faith, 50,000 silver, and an exclusive brooch designed and executed by a master jeweller I happen to know!"
Princess Cassima Tharx is one of those who has just wandered in. Dressed head to toe in austere, form-fitting, and modest black, the Princess settles into the Noble Pews off to one side to see what she might observe.
Aleksei has joined the Commoner Seating.
Looking around somewhat confused the large man eventually makes his ways up into the noble pews. Jeffeth grimaces slightly as he heads over to Cassima. He goes into a deep bow, fist thumping against his breastplate. "Your Highness." He whispers before gesturing with one hand to her. "May I?"
Tomwell has arrived with Stuff. Materials, or whatever. There's a folio under one arm, overstuffed with papers that peek out from the edges. There's a box in the other, with a stuffed spider visible right on top. Props! Arms full, he gives Aureth a nod of greeting and a warm smile. "Blessed," he greets, before taking his things toward the stage.
Lethe looks around with curiosity as she goes to find a seat.
Tomwell has joined the line.
Felicia, perhaps unusually, has papers with her, though from the way she holds them close to her and eyes those present she's seriously debating whether or not she wishes to make the attempt. Stealth isn't her strong suit, and to judge from the lack of props, preparation might not have exactly been thought through either. But still, she sucks in a breath and elects to participate anyways.
Felicia has joined the line.
Cassima seems surprised taht she is addressed, but she gives Jeffeth a polite smile and a gesture of a gloved hand. "You are, of course, most welcome," The Thraxian Princess says. "Please, join me. Are you here to participate, sir, or to bear witness?"
Jeffeth has joined the Noble Seating, House Right.
Aleksei has flopped into a seat in the floor seating, because he is a commoner who sits in commoner places and doesn't have so much of a history of nobility given up for his vows to ever want to go upstairs. He leans back in his seat, looking delighted to watch.
Lethe has joined the Noble Seating, House Right.
Aureth grins crookedly -- boyishly -- across the field to Aleksei, and then claps his hands. "Right! First up... looks like first up is Lord Tomwell Leary. What a charming spider you have there, my lord." Wherever could he have gotten it! "Come on up and have a little conference with our players here so they can perform a selection from your work."
Armani arrives, following Duarte.
Turn in line: Tomwell
Tomwell checked intellect + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 24 higher.
Tomwell checked intellect + theology at difficulty 15, rolling 14 higher.
Duarte has joined the Commoner Seating.
Armani has joined the Commoner Seating.
Tomwell checked charm + propaganda at difficulty 15, rolling 22 higher.
Duarte enters with the extemely lovely Lady Armani! And boy does he look proud of himself! He escorts her to the commoners seating to enjoy the proceedings.
Armani is settled comfortably against Duarte as she follows him into the play and settles beside him to watch what unfolds. She does not have plans to participate.
Having provided the players with scripts and props (hello, stuffed spider!), Tomwell gives himself a shake and takes the stage. What follows is a play about the Queen of Endings. Thus, the spider. It is a thoughtful study on the meaning on beginnings and endings, a rumination on the differences between the two might be in the context of the wheel. Heavy questions, but lightened with a touch of comedy (largely in the form of a comedic stuffed spider chorus).
Duarte claps! And whistles! "A fine performance! Outstanding!"
The players are quick with the unfamiliar material, and although one of them might be a little overenthusiastic with the prop -- maybe even trying to earn unearned laughs -- it is clear that for the most part they are here to take this seriously and entertain the small audience with all their little Jayus-loving hearts.
Aleksei laughs aloud at the piece, particularly the /stuffed spider chorus/, and he's got a low enough sense of humor to appreciate it even when the performers dig for some unearned laughs. He applauds enthusiastically when it's over.
Aureth is /obviously/ delighted by Tomwell's play (although he is an obvious sucker for the subject matter, anyways). He emerges from the wings clapping with obnoxious delight and says, "I love it," in obvious earnest. "Thank you for your entry, my lord. Now, let's see what our next contest entrant has to offer us! Dame Felicia, of the King's Own!"
Aureth has joined the line.
Turn in line: Felicia
Rhea enters the auditorium well into the middle of Tomwell's play being performed. She sheds her cloak and drapes it over an arm, taking a moment to watch the players and only heading to find herself a seat during the applause thereafter. "I loved EVERY minute of it," she calls, because -- you know what -- she was definitely here for the entire thing. She ends up sitting not far from Jeffeth or Cassima.
Rhea has joined the Noble Seating, House Right.
Lethe seems to really enjoy Tomwell's play. She claps when it finishes.
Preparation, and perhaps an unfortunate choice of subject matter to follow Tomwell. It takes some significant chatter just to try and make idea understood in consultation with the players, and although there's at least an attempt at props in the form of brown and black material dredged out of somewhere. The message itself might well be lost. There's a 'murder' committed and someone, perhaps intended to be playing Death, stomping about the stage as if angry, and then two actors that only have their bearing and skill to try and depict somehow being royalty coming together to call forth something that may be a wall to judge from the poor guy who gets to throw a sheet on. The artistry of it might have something as a drama, but it definitely lacks anything as a propaganda piece, and from the shades of red the knight turns, she's trying her hardest not to cringe about it.
Elizabetta, a lissome lady-in-waiting, a small brown and white corgi puppy, Lily, a lithe young woman arrive, following Sabella.
It's true that this offering invokes a little more confusion than the last, but the players give it their best, just as the author has. In the end, Aureth emerges with some applause for the effort. "Thank you," he says lightly. He calls up the next participant in the contest, next, and the players meet with this new entrant to quickly go over the next script. While they are preparing, Aureth swings back down off the stage -- seriously, who gave him access to a stage -- and calls out to the audience, "There are many Passion Plays out there, and we may have time for our players to put on a quick show after we're done putting on the contest pieces from our entrants! Does anyone have an old favorite?"
Aleksei clearly has trouble following the piece, but when Aureth starts applauding, he shifts to start applauding, too, if only for the sake of supportive politeness.
Sir Jeffeth Bayweather, attempting to be quiet rushes out in a clank-clank-clank of his armor. It looks like he's trying to sneak but also be quick. Which produces a lot of steel on steel clanking as he goes.
Far be it for Tomwell not to support a fellow artist, and he gives the knight an enthusiastic round of applause.
Better late than never, right? Maybe not when plays are happening. Sabella comes in as quietly as possible when followed by her two ladies, clapping politely as she does so as if she was here the whole time! Really! Then she slides over to sit in the Noble seating in the House Right. "How've they been so far? Anything amazing?"
Sabella has joined the Noble Seating, House Right.
Felicia retreats to the commoner seating, trying hard to pretend like her cheeks aren't trying to turn all kinds of crimson as she takes her seat again.
Felicia has joined the Commoner Seating.
The players finish their discussion with the next entrant to move out across the stage and put on another brief show. It's difficult to figure out what exactly the point is: it appears that this playwright was very focused on his own art, and so created a Work of Art rather than anything more comprehensible or saleable. The subject matter appears to be relevant, as each player walks downstage to deliver a brief soliloquy about choice and choosing, but the prose is somewhat inaccessible.
Tomwell has joined the Noble Seating, House Right.
Rhea is leaning forward for the entirety of the next play, though she's clearly got her mind on something else, lips pursed and eyes narrowed. She keeps darting looks in the direction Jeffeth went.
"Yay choice!" Aleksei hollers from the floor seats, even if the entry is a bit -- underwhelming.
Tomwell quietly gathers all his things, including the stuffed star of his show, and makes his way to a seat. Everything is pushed beneath his chair, though he keeps his spidery friend in his lap.
The next piece causes one of the players to break into giggles just reading the script, but then there's a brief flurry of discussion, and someone runs off into the wings to find something. A moment later, one of the players strides out on the stage, puts the pillow down on the stage, puts his head down on it and appears to pretend to take a nap, while all around him, the other players come out and basically tell a serious of groundlings-style fart jokes. It probably has something to do with Aion and some of it is quite funny but the theological message is not really apparent.
Clank, clank, clank.
It seems Sir Jeffeth has arrived, he is covered in sweat and is panting. But he has a small inkwell and a piece of paper. He immediately is headed for the right sections of noble seating.
Rhea has joined the line.
Duarte has joined the line.
Duarte has left the Commoner Seating.
After stealing someone's pen and receiving copious ink & parchment, Rhea quickly polishes off what appears to be a half-written script. She smiles broadly to herself, murmurs a word of thanks to Tomwell and Jeffeth, then gets up and heads down to await her chance to present the play to the players.
Turn in line: Rhea
When the last fart joke has been told, Aureth resumes the stage to thank the playwright and clears his throat as he claps his hands for it. He looks slightly quizzical but not without a certain amount of good cheer. "Next, please," he says with a slight lift of his chin, gesturing Rhea forward.
Estil arrives, following Theron.
Theron has joined the Noble Seating, House Right.
Rhea checked intellect + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 7 lower.
Rhea checked intellect + theology at difficulty 15, rolling 3 higher.
Estil has joined the Noble Seating, House Right.
Rhea checked charm + propaganda at difficulty 15, rolling 12 higher.
Rhea beams a bright smile at Aureth, then heads up to pass out the script and whisper some enthusiastic suggestions. She leaves afterwards, looking immensely pleased with herself.
The next play is... ... ...interesting. If this contest was taking place in Sanctum, they'd probably drag her (and all the players) right out and throw them into stockades. It's a simple story at heart, featuring Death and Skald spending a month amongst mortals in secret to settle a bet Lagoma gave them. They take jobs and live as roommates in the Upper Boroughs. The former adopts the guise of a crime-solving member of the Iron Guard who wraps every case up with a deadpan pun. The latter becomes a Whisper who teaches stress management to nobles with increasingly silly and exaggerated problems (his catchphrase is, of course, 'I don't care, do what you want'). The play is about fifteen minutes long and after Skald's third 'scene', it is essentially nothing more than a vehicle for Death to issue increasingly groanworthy puns. The final scene involves Skald getting increasingly annoyed with Death's long chain of kitten puns. Eventually, he kicks over a chair, shoves his way out of reality and goes back to Elysia. Death declares the month has been a 'meownificent' use of her time and that she's feeling very paw-sitive and that everyone should have a lovely caturday. And... that's it. It ends there. There is no apparent moral to the story except, perhaps, that Death likes cats and Skald doesn't (or at least cat puns).
'Gently prodded' into leading Estil to the noble benches, Theron flashes a look of annoyance at his Navegant friend before they settle down.
LOUD AND BOISTEROUS CLAPPING!!!!! from Duarte.
Aleksei straight up can't stop laughing by the end of the play. He is kind of wheezing.
Having provided (some of) the supplies for this play, Tomwell leans forward to watch intently. Hands on his knees, he's hiding his face behind his hands by the end and quietly shaking. Maybe he's crying! Emotionally touched! Or he's laughing. Impossible to say, as he swipes the back of his hand across his eyes and breaks into applause. "Meownificent, Lady Rhea!"
Aureth is definitely both applauding and laughing by the time the play ends, however abruptly. "Meownificent indeed," he says. "What a lovely caturday." He clears his throat, and then glances at the line, eyebrows swept high. "Right!" he says. "Thank you! Now... next up, is that Count Amadeo I see?"
Turn in line: Duarte
Duarte has joined the Stage.
Now that Felicia doesn't have the anxiety of trying to prepare her own vision she's content to watch and applaud those following curiously.
Rhea claps along, grinning and taking a little bow before getting right the heck out of Duarte's way and back into her seat.
"It is! And thank you." Duarte walks up to center stage and bows. "As Count of Bravura I will submit my rendition of an improvised passion play - in the true spirit and tradition of Bravura." He smiles, and motions to Armani, "The script will be written as it is performed by my lovely scribe." He clasps his hands together. "I will need two Gods, an animal, a setting and a small frivilous item of no value, called out by members of the audience."
Estil leans forward in her seat at the request, and laughingly offers up, "A cow!"
Aureth sidesteps to give Duarte room, and waves back the other players since he has come with his own, although there is some muted rumbling of confusion from the troupe as this goes on.
"The Sentinel and Lagoma," Aleksei calls out, because Skald and Death just got a good sendup.
Duarte nods to both. "And now a setting, and a frivilous item of no value?"
"A silk rose." Felicia suggests as the item.
Armani seems unbothered by being a noble in the commmoner benches. She is pretty distinctly Gilden with how she dresses. IT pretty much says her as such. When duarte calls her his scribe she makes a playful face at him, "Best do me great justice then, Count." she tells him, leaning back to see what happens.
Duarte has begun the thinking process. "And a setting?"
Theron replies, "The Grotto!"
Duarte checked intellect + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 6 higher.
Duarte checked intellect + theology at difficulty 15, rolling 5 higher.
Duarte checked charm + propaganda at difficulty 15, rolling 4 higher.
Duarte begins, acting out all parts and shifting body weight and stances to represent different sides of conversation - changing voice inflections and accents as needed. When playing the cow, he is on all fours and simply looks confused while chewing.
What follows is a scene wherein the only cow in the vassal has been accused of dark magic and is to be judged by the Sentinel. However, winter is about to turn to spring and the cow's manure is needed to raise the small city's only export: roses.
As Lagoma and Sentinel meet at The Grotto in heated battle and conversation : each vying for their right to the cow's fate - they are happened upon by a humble free-thinking disciple of Skald - one who is VERY charismatic with long wavy locks and the most adorable smile any one ever saw. he has come to bath in the waters of the Lazy Sea Turtle Bath!
The play concludes with the compromise that in place of actual roses, the city will invest in worms instead and make silk ones for export. This will increase export revenue, as well! Lagoma is pleased with the massive change for better, and Sentinel gets to judge the evil occult cow.
The moral seems to be: we can all work together in the pursuit of Godly endeavor if we simply agree to work to resolve conflict amicably.
Aureth applauds for Duarte's creative take on the Passion Play. Clapclapclap. "Thank you, my lord," he says. "What a convincing cow that was. My word." Clearing his throat, he says, "Now, I believe that is all our contestants, so it may be time for the panel to meet and discuss who might be the victor of our little game; in the meantime, our small company will put on a play from their usual repertoire. Since no one has shouted out any votes, I expect they'll just pick one!"
Duarte accepts all the applause and exits the stage, graciously thanking someone for presenting him with a boquet. He goes back to his seat.
Duarte has left the Stage.
Duarte has joined the Commoner Seating.
Niklas has joined the Noble Seating, House Left.
The players begin to put on a dynamic little play about firing the creative spirit in praise of Jayus. It's very exuberant and involves a remarkable amount of acrobatics.
Aureth has joined the Commoner Seating.
Niklas has left the Noble Seating, House Left.
Niklas has joined the Noble Seating, House Right.
When the little play on the stage comes to a close with whistling and dramatics from the players, Aureth finishes some messenger business from his loungey spot in the commoner seats, and bounds back up to the stage again. "Thank you all," he says, "for coming, watching, and participating. I am happy to announce that the winner of the Faith of the Pantheon's Passion Play contest is Lord Tomwell Leary, for his charming offering about the Queen of Endings. All of you who brought works for the Faith, we very much appreciate your effort and inspiration, and, some of you, your hilarity." He winks.
"Now, I am informed there has been a slight delay in the arrival of the jewelry prize, but it will be awarded to Lord Tomwell as soon as it appears. In the meantime, it is my honor and delight to award him the silver purse and the social writs that are the remainder of the prize!"
Cassima has left the Noble Seating, House Right.
4 Thrax Guards, Bastian, the Reformed Rogue leave, following Cassima.
Felicia applauds for Tomwell's success, with a sharp whistle of encouragement, twisting in her seat to glance back at him briefly with a couple of nods.
Lethe claps for Tomwell. "It really was a wonderful play."
Aleksei shifts in his seat to once again offer his enthusiastic applause to the event's winner, grinning wide.
Niklas has left the Noble Seating, House Right.
Aleksei has left the Commoner Seating.
Keso, a street urchin, Peanut, an oversized mastiff leave, following Aleksei.
Niklas has joined the Noble Seating, House Right.
"Oh!" There's a slight pause, from Tomwell, and then he's getting to his feet. "Thank you." He presses a hand over his heart and bends at the waist in a graceful bow toward Aureth. "I truly couldn't have done it without some of your previous counsel. So my thanks." He's grinning broadly, with perhaps a light touch of pink to his cheeks, as he turns to the applauding crowd with a nod. "Oh!" He sweeps his hand from his heart toward the stage. "And my deep thanks to the players, who did the source material better than it deserved."
Aureth beams with wide cheer at Tomwell as the players whoop and cheer behind him for their own role in this. He says, "Now, your play will join the repertoire of the traveling players who will do honor to the Faith, and educate and entertain the commons all throughout Arvum. Thank you, and thank you to everyone. Now, I don't want to overstay our welcome at the Blackrose, because they have another show to put on later tonight, so I'm going to issue those thanks with a bow, and begin to clear the stage so that the Procella team can have it back!" He bows elaborately, gives Tomwell an extra thumbs up, and bounds off the stage.
Felicia is overheard praising Aureth.
Rhea is overheard praising Aureth.
Rhea is overheard praising Tomwell.
Rhea is overheard praising Felicia.
Lethe has left the Noble Seating, House Right.
Back to list