I’m starting to pick up some traffic on this blog site. If you’re new here, please feel free to browse through what I’ve posted so far. I’ll caution you – if you want to follow Kabize’s story, you’ll probably want to start from the beginning. So far, I’ve gotten no comments on this or any other posting, but if you feel so inclined, I’d be grateful for any feedback you’d offer! -Sligo
Summer Growing, Stalker’s Day 14, Year of the Lion number 427; June 3, 1738 Agathon
While I’m told this isn’t the only date designation in use, it seems very popular. Agathon was a man who lived a long time ago. He and his half-brother fought a war and the brother was banished to hell. For winning the war, they started a calendar in his honor, and that seems to be what most of the human people are using.
For the Tabaxi, the Year of the Lion corresponds to a celestial event where two of the brightest stars in the night sky merge to become one for a few days. This happens in a regular pattern – every 523 years for the long cycle and then 127 years for the short cycle, which is known as the Year of the Tiger. We’re 427 years into the long cycle, so I’ll probably be dead and gone before the conjunction occurs.
I’m told that the people on the western continents of Waralica an Fellbia use a newer calendar, which started less than 200 years ago. I think the Tabaxi calendar makes more sense and I think it would be a lot easier if everyone just adopted our tradition.
But I digress.
Last night Lena Prengood presented an opportunity. More than just accompanying her with her caravan, she thinks I could be a performer and earn money for us as a sort of side show. I mulled over it throughout the night before finally drifting off to sleep, undecided. In the morning, as the bright sun shone through the window of this private room, and I lay in the shadow of the bed, because I slept on the floor, I thought, “Why the hell not? What’s the worst that could happen?”
During the day, Lena found a bard who knew dancing, could play a couple instruments, and was willing travel with us for a few months. Lena promised my daily stipend was unaffected by Alani Lightfeet’s pay. When we were introduced, I was taken aback. Alani is a halfling! But other than seeming a bit chubby, she was proportioned just like every other human I’ve seen. Of course, she wore no shoes and her ears were pointed, but other than those things, she looked just like everyone else.
In the evening, after the day’s work was completed, Alani gave a small performance for our group and the other patrons at the inn. Lena wanted her to play several different instrumental styles and asked me to improvise. Lena watched me as she played. Twice she stopped and offered a minor suggestion. Mostly, I was following what I knew was The Trail of the Dance, but she said I was too rigid and too controlled. For my kind, The Trail of the Dance is a means to discipline your mind and body so that they work in unison. While I had earned the highest stripes for technical accuracy, my masters always criticized my style and presentation. Alani, watching me for the first time, identified what the issues were. It wasn’t something I could change easily, but I realized how important it is to relax while I’m doing the movements. The other thing she told me to do was to smile. I’m so focused on the accuracy of motion, my face and tail express the concentration. It’s okay to make a mistake. Performance isn’t the same as martial arts, and sometimes imperfection actually enhances the outcome. If my body says that I’m enjoying the activity, my audience will, too.
I was surprised at how worn out I was when we turned in for the night.
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