Ex-Husband Stew

The years is 5103 (Elanthian, or 2003 for us regular people), and it is night 3 of the House Argent Aspis Annual Bardfest. The game is Gemstone III (pretty sure it hadn’t changed to Gemstone IV yet in 2003?)

This is one of my (five?) Bardfest performances, possibly the last one. I’m not sure, a couple of them were duets. No fear, I was never in any danger of winning the thing (and indeed, for several of them I was ineligible to win, due to being working Simutronics staff).

House Aspis hosted a performance competition, once a year, to which all bards in the game were invited. Of course, not all of them were performers…but (in our opinion), if you didn’t perform, you weren’t a bard–You might play a bard class in a video game, but to BE a Bard–ya gotta sing!

To my knowledge, this the only one of my performances where the text still exists somewhere.

But since Lemmy was my bard and I did write and script the performance, I’m pretty sure I’ve got publishing rights!

Here ’tis (audience fidgeting and such has been edited out, it’s still difficult enough to explain to folks who don’t Grok roleplay, or text-based games like Gemstone). I think this was “recorded” from Dremerie’s point of view, but she may have had a helper doing the text capture:

(Dremerie slips her hand into the hat and quickly draws out a heart_shaped parchment covered in
hand_drawn violets.)
Dremerie recites:
“I should have known!
Lemmie love, come up and show us what ya got!”

<applause applause>

You see Lemandria D’Verethin the Songmistress.
She appears to be a Half_Elf Pariah from Ta’Illistim.
She appears to be old and shorter than average. She has long_lashed sea green eyes and copper
skin. She has very long, glossy black hair worn in a chignon. She has a triangular face, a thin
nose and wide hips.
She has developed slurred speech.
She is holding a bone_hilted knife in her left hand.
She is wearing a pair of wire_framed spectacles, a delicate cream leather collar, a deeply hooded
dark burgundy cloak, a fitted rose silk bodice, a soft cream satin chemise, a stained cotton apron,
a full_length rose silk skirt, some sheer cream silk stockings, and some burgundy velvet dancing
slippers.

(Lemandria strides up to the stage carrying a large glaes pot and sits down on the edge, settling
the pot between her knees. She hikes up her skirt a bit and scratches at her knee, looking out at
the audience dubiously.)
Lemandria drops a red glaes pot.
Lemandria removes a bone_hilted knife from in her dark burgundy cloak.
Lemandria says, “Tonight, ah thought ah’d give you something just a little bit different from the
normal song an dance. A special treat fer all the ladies out there, ahm gonna give ya’ll a little
cookin lesson.”
Lemandria asks, “Sharp things?”
Lemandria grins at Ylena.
Lemandria playfully says, “An no, there hain’t no felines involved in thisun a’tall.”
Lemandria grins.
Lemandria fidgets.
Lemandria worriedly says, “But ya know, witch cookin…”
Lemandria rubs her chin thoughtfully.
Lemandria waves her hand in a dismissive gesture.
(Lemandria pulls a cutting board out of the pot, and sets out a small pile of fresh vegetables. She
picks up a carrot and begins slicing it into the pot. Each slice thunks hollowly on the bottom as it
drops in.)
Lemandria says, “Today we’re gonna make some stew, ladies. Pay attention to the recipe, mind.”
(Lemandria discards the leafy greens as she slices down to the end of the carrot and picks up
another. Cackles quietly to herself and begins to sing in a chanting melody:)

Lemandria sings:

“The first scum ah married was a warrior bold
We’d be as one always, ah was frequently told
But along came a beautiful young sylvan thing
She winked and he followed as if drawn by a string”

Lemandria stares off into space.
(Lemandria shakes her head and slices a bit more carrot before looking up with a wry grin.)

Lemandria sings:

“But ah can’t say ah’m bitter, oh no not a bit
She did me a great favor seducin’ that git
Y’see six months later he’d abandoned her too__
He became the first meat in my ex_husband stew”

Lemandria cackles!
(Lemandria picks up an onion and begins to skin it, hands skillfully shedding the outer layers and
slicing off both ends. “It’s quite tasty, ya know,” she says, “Mah momma taught me ta make it
when Dad lost tha house in a game o’ cards.”)

Lemandria sings:

“My ex_husband stew that I stir in my pot
Warm over the fire til it’s all nice an’ hot.
There’s nothin’ so tasty, if truth be told.
Revenge is a dish that tastes best not served cold!”

(Lemandria quarters the onion and cuts each section into smaller pieces, peeking into the pot as
she drops them in.)

Lemandria sings:

“The next cheeky feller that ah give me heart to
Was a strappin tall giant who was never untrue
He just up and vanished on one cold winter day__
It seems like ah just can’t get a feller to stay”

(Lemandria wipes a tear from the corner of her eye and blinks out at the audience.)
Lemandria sarcastically asks, “What? Ah’m choppin onions, what’d ya expect?”
Lemandria rubs a stained cotton apron.
(Lemandria mutters to herself. “Kin’t unnerstand it, ahm a wunnerful cook,” she says, reaching
down to pick up an escaped onion slice from the floor. She shrugs, saying “It’s a mystery,” as she
brushes the dirt from it and pops it in the pot.)

Lemandria sings:

“But ah can’t say ah’m bitter, oh no not a bit
And ya knows ah was not really ready ta quit
If ah see him again ah’ll just get a sharp knife
An ah’ll mince him up nicely fer ditchin his wife”

Lemandria waves a bone_hilted knife around.
(Lemandria peels the potato in a long, curly sliver, raising the unbroken skin skyward with a
cheerful chuckle. “Is tha some skillful knife work, or hain’t it? One piece!”)

Lemandria sings:

“My ex_husband stew that I stir in my pot
Warm over the fire til it’s all nice an’ hot.
There’s nothin’ so tasty, if truth be told.
Revenge is a dish that tastes best not served cold!”

(Lemandria stares at the potato in her hand for a moment and suddenly breaks into a huge, wicked
grin. She stuffs the potato quickly into the left side of her bodice, then grabs another and stuffs it
in the right side.)
(Lemandria sets down her pot and leaps to her feet, prancing around the stage and tossing her hair
about wildly, thrusting her new tuberous figure outward boldly.)
Lemandria stands up.
Lemandria sashays about in a circle with her head thrown back and arms wide.

Lemandria sings:

“”Yes, ah’m just a misogamist girl!””

Lemandria gulps.
(Lemandria stops suddenly, looking very sheepish, and plops back down on the edge of the stage.
She mutters in a low growl, “Worked for him,” flushing deeply and pulling the potatoes out one
by one, dropping them in the pot whole.)
Lemandria takes a comfortable seat on the pews.
Lemandria coughs.

Lemandria sings:

“So ah gave one more try just fer stubbornness sake
But the last one ah married was tha biggest snake
Seems ah was not tha only lass in his love life__
He neglected ta tell me ’bout his ~other~ wife”

Lemandria scowls.
(Lemandria pulls an aqua wand from her cloak and gives it a casual wave at the pot to fill it with
water. She sticks her hand in the pot and swirls the ingredients around with it, drying it on her
apron before singing again.)

Lemandria sings:

“But ah can’t say ah’m bitter, oh no not a bit
The fellers and I, we just can’t seem to fit.
Ah shouldn’t be angry that this feller just ‘missed’
Tellin me that ah’d married me a bigamist?”

(Lemandria sniffs at her stewpot.)
Lemandria dubiously says, “Ah think it needs somethin. Hmmmm..”

Lemandria sings:

“My ex_husband stew that I stir in my pot
Warm over the fire til it’s all nice an’ hot.
There’s nothin’ so tasty, if truth be told.
Revenge is a dish that tastes best not served cold!”

Lemandria exclaims, “Ah yes!,” as she pulls a rather doubtful_looking slab of meat out of her
cloak and plops it on the cutting board. “Ya know there’s just somethin about tha taste of…er..
pork!”
Lemandria smacks her lips.

Lemandria sings:

“So ah’m finally finished, all my hope is spent
Ah’ve just now decided not ta give my consent
To another grand feller, dun matter how cute__
Retired completely from romantic pursuits”

(Lemandria chops the slab of meat into tiny pieces, hacking away with evident relish.)
Lemandria knowingly says, “You ladies mind, ya get more flavor from yer ingredients if ya chop
him…”
Lemandria quickly says, ” Them, ah means, ya chops THEM up real fine…yer…um, ingredients,
that is..”
Lemandria coughs.

Lemandria sings:

“But ah can’t say ah’m bitter, oh no not a bit
I found them quite tasty, ah just gotta admit
They make a nice gravy, all dark and rich
Just reward for their ditchin this wicked old witch.”

Lemandria stands up.
(Lemandria cackles happily to herself as she adds a dash of salt and pepper, and picks up her pot.)
Lemandria says, “Now ya just hang it over the fireplace and let it simmer fer a day er two. When
it smells better’n the stew from tha week afore, it’s ready.”
Lemandria nods.
Lemandria innocently says, “Oh and…”
Lemandria bats her eyelashes for attention.

Lemandria sings:

“Should one of you fellers ever doubt my tale’s true,
step into my kitchen…”

Lemandria sings:

“There’s a pot fer you too.”

(Lemandria gives Aurien a meaningful stare and then flounces happily back to her seat with her
stewpot.)

<applause applause>

Some odd artifacts in there, probably from game-to-capture-to-text-to-html conversions, extra linefeeds, characters lost…but the basic gist is there,

Bardfest ‘performances’ tended to be poetry + emotes + acting + fidgeting with props + all kinds of other stuff.

Lemmy was (go figure) a great scripter (I’d hit an F-key to start the show, and sit back and sip coffee while it scrolled along). But she was a pretty weak poet (I was, I mean), and only fair at “performance”.

Still, I’m glad someone preserved this sort of thing (Thanks House Aspis Archivist, whoever you are!), because it’s a bit of personal history, too. I’ve lost all the rest of my Gemstone text captures in computer turnover/crashes over the years. :/

Wish I’d saved players encountering the 30-foot Combat Mecha in Elnath’s Office Segment…that was fun.

RecDave Seal

Gemstone III and Gemstone IV are registered trademarks of Simutronics. https://www.play.net/gs4/

It is one of the oldest active games on the internet.

Apologies to Madonna for the Material Girl sequence.
GS4-Elnath and Lemandria are retired 😛

 

 

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