(\/) Musical Charm
For centuries, Muses from around the world have delighted in making wonderful music to entertain the people around them. The Musical Charm, an artifact just recently unearthed by the Muse Guild of Buya, allows one to strum a cloth-stringed harp, play a wooden flute, and hit melodic and percussive bells, all at the same time. One Musical Charm can perform an entire piece, giving the bearer the most ease of use possible.
There is also a rather amazing side effect to weilding a Musical Charm; the percussive bells jingle in such a way that the defense of the wearer is boosted; the noise seems to frighten or irritate animals on the hunt...
Or perhaps it calms them, much like the famous "Muse Tranquil Symphony" that soothes their souls.
The secret of the Musical Charm was discovered in a Legend kept treasured on the island of Hausson. The text of the legend is as follows:
Once in the land of Ilbon there lived two young Muses who were especially gifted. The boy, Taro, was a skilled musician who enjoyed composing. The girl, Utako (no relation to Girl, of course), moved the heavens with her sacred songs.
One moonlit evening, Taro went to the beach, bringing with him a set of melodic bells. Inspired by the scenery, as he often was, he began to compose a melody that rang out through the land, making the waves dance with the moonlight. The winds responded to his melody by caressing the trees, and carrying it to the village, where its beauty lulled the villagers into a deep slumber.
However, Taro's bells were not the only source of the beautiful melody. Hearing something more than what he was capable of, he glanced up, to see Utako staring back at him. That night, the fifteenth sun of the twelfth moon, is celebrated by the Muse Guild there, for it is the anniversary of the night Taro and Utako first made beautiful music together.
The two lovers grew close, standing at the shore each night to make beautiful music. The villagers nearby could not complain, as the magic the two made was that of a Tranquil Symphony; the magic to soothe the soul, and calm the spirit, was created from Taro and Utako's love.
However, the peace of the village was shattered one night by an earthquake that destroyed it abruptly. Casualties were high, and the villagers blamed Utako for keeping them in such a trance that they could not escape their collapsing homes. The magic previously encouraged was condemned by the village elder, and Utako was forbidden from ever singing again. Music itself was outlawed.
Crushed, Utako and Taro retired themselves to the local Muse Circle, and were rarely seen outside of it. Rumors spread that Utako was a witch who had enslaved Taro with her siren-song, and the Muse Guild, already full of artists who liked to keep to themselves, became a local haunted site; children always ran past it, holding their breath and covering their ears to stay protected from Utako's evil magic. The few Muses who dared to go into town were treated with fear and hostility by the locals, people now afraid of what they could not grasp.
Denied the lives they had once lived, Taro and Utako grew restless, and bordered insanity. Taro took to refining metals, while Utako preferred to collect her thoughts by gathering wood in the nearby forest. In the evening, they would both weave cloth to pass the time, distraught without their music but still in love with each other.
Time went on, as it tends to do, and the young lovers refined their skills to reclaim the music that lived in their hearts. Utako began to carve her wood into flutes of all different octaves, longing for the chance to sing with once more. Taro found that he could refine his metals into bells of different pitches, both melodic and percussive, and took to creating a bell for each star in the sky, remembering the night he had met his soprano songbird. When together, they would weave cloth strands of different thicknesses and lengths, daring to pluck them softly to tune them, only to never pluck them again.
A silent winter engulfed the land, the silence broken one night by rains that flooded the nearby village, with heavy casualties. The village elder declared that the witches in the Muse Guild had cursed their village, and were probably singing celebratory songs, even! He declared that the Circle should be raided on the fifteenth sun of the twelfth moon, so that Utako and Taro could be put to death.
A young girl by the name of Faye, however, could not stand the ignorance of the villagers. The night before the circle was to be raided, she ran to the Muses, to join their circle and warn them of the approaching danger. The few Muses there that had remained in exile, the elder Masa included, opted to flee the town and open a guild elsewhere, but as they prepared to leave, Taro and Utako stopped them in their tracks, refusing to abandon their Guild. The Elder Masa was inspired, and ordered the sacred stage of the Guild to be decorated and prepared for a show. And what a show there would be...
The Muses worked through the night, attaching cloth strands and bells to each flute, until the multitude of instruments Taro and Utako had made became a plethora of magical instruments, capable of producing an entire symphony. These new instruments were called Musical Charms.
The fifteenth sun of the twelfth moon arrived, and the villagers formed a mob, poised to destroy the sacred halls of the Muse Circle. However, they were greeted by a decorated stage, the Muses all in their finest clothing, holding strange devices in their hands. Taro handed out the music to a sacred song he had written for his beloved Utako, and for the first time in a year, accompanied by a symphony of Musical Charms, Utako's voice covered the land like a warm, comforting blanket.
The people of the village, the cruel and ignorant village headman included, were touched deeply, having realized their mistakes and remembering the music they had loved so. By the time Faye, the deserter, played an impressive solo on her wooden flute, the crowd had swooned. At the end of the piece, the applause was almost instantaneous, the bloody intent for the day forgotten, washed away in a sea of pentatonic rhapsody.
Taro and Utako lived on within the village after that, their music shop frequented by Muses travelling from all over the world, eager for the chance to forge a Musical Charm of legend. Eventually business was so plentiful, Taro and Utako wrote out specific guidelines for forging a Charm so that Muses everywhere could create these wonderful instruments. Their legacy left in the world, the two lovers disappeared the next year, their wonderful melodies echoing on the fifteenth sun of the twelfth moon, for the final time.
Each Muse, day by day, discovered something new and magical about their own Musical Charm. When played by its Guardian Muse, the charm produces a lovely melody, but one cannot get a sound out of another's Musical Charm. This is because when a Muse forges a charm, his or her experience, thoughts, feelings, and soul is engraved within the overtones of the Charm.