North Light had long known of the prestige of the Yorland Theater in Austera. Their bards were far more than actors and musicians - they were well-funded and well-connected. When Farah mentioned this audition, he thought it was a joke. As he stood waiting alone in the auditorium wearing an elegant white suit and mechanical wings, he began to fear that might genuinely be the case.
North had never been in a theater before and certainly not one as fine as this. His webbed ears perked as his steps echoed through the chamber. “There must be a thousand seats,” he muttered to himself as he imagined a full house. “Th-this… might be my only opportunity.”
North lifted his Viola up to his chin and played a soft, sad tune. He closed his eyes as he improvised around a broken melody. Note by note the song would settle into place along with the lost memories of how North Light came to be.
Soft notes began to resonate as North Light remembered the day the Warborn were possessed. He pulled the bow sharply across the strings, recounting the fear he felt. They had sought the boldness and strength of the Nuon and he was not worthy.
North drew a shaky breath, and then promptly resumed with a tempo of the Demon War. His notes painted a picture of fire and death where once again, North gave in to fear and fled. A shrill refrain wavered clumsily until the sounds of battle faded. The notes turned weary, wandering, and lost.
The halcyon melody -- the one that was broken in his memory -- began to leap from his strings. It was the song of Rahul Kalia, the bard who saved him and the founder of the Open Palm.
The song was interrupted by a slow clap. North opened his eyes and quickly flushed once he realized he was being watched.
“So, the rumors of the Peaceborn Angel are true.” The robed man would smirk, “This outfit was Farah’s idea, wasn’t it? I suppose it at least drives the point home.”
“I-I’m sorry… Yes.” North fumbled for the right words. “Is there something else you’d like me to do for the audition?”
“No, no. That was quite enough. Honestly, I could tie a Warborn to a piano, and it would draw a crowd, so the fact that you can play is a bonus.”
North stares blankly.
The robed man pivots away from his joke, “And Farah’s recommendation holds weight here. You should have no reason for concern. My understanding is that you want to change the world’s perception of the Warborn. That they aren’t all groveling monsters -- that they are /normal/.”
North nods with confidence, “People think we are riddled with diseases. That we are dumb. That we are lesser than them. That we should be feared or punished.” He presents his violin, “I want the world to know me, I want them to fall in love with my music, and then I want to speak for…”
He pauses briefly, realizing he’s never said these words, “... /my/ people."
The bard blinks and raises an instructive finger, “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Follow me downstairs.” The bard gestures and North Light follows. “I already wrote up a contract for you and secured lodgings for you here.”
North objected, “I will not need lodgings. I live nearby on the coast.”
“All of our artists in residence must live here. No exceptions for initiates. We keep a tight schedule. You won’t find time for much else, especially if you want to change the world,” the bard smiled encouragingly as they reached his desk. “We just need a signature.” The bard presented the document and gestured towards the quill.
North knew in his heart what he must do, “I’m not going to run away from this.” He picked up the quill and signed his name.
“Excellent.” The bard smiled. “Our patrons, the Kalia’s, will see you now. Downstairs.”
“The Kalia's? Rahul...” North muttered in surprise, suddenly wondered if he made the right choice.