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Grand Amphitheatre of Etoile

Every ten or so days during the second and third seasons, the Amphitheatre held open sessions; admission was free and performance time was purely first-come first-serve. This was in many ways a mixed blessing; typical Amphitheatre performances by renowned bards and troubadours were affairs that would cost hundreds of florins, if not in admission then in the performance-gift. On the other hand, not many of the open performers were even accredited musicians - many were actually applicants to the Guild of Canticles, and the rest, well...
"Right, time is up! Our next musician!" The master of ceremonies either hugged or grabbed the would-be flutist (Phanae couldn't really tell which) and hustled him off the platform. A young girl walked onto the stage slowly and gave a short bow; she was clearly wearing the best clothes she owned, but it was also clear to Phanae that she was of little means.
"I am Iris Torrin, hailing from the Machine City of Patino. I will be singing today." She took a step back and took a breath; the stagemaster had just finished pushing the last entrant off the stage and was looking a bit impatient.
"-- in my dreams
in my memories
I recall the love
of Cantor and Lia --"
Phanae straightened in her seat. Not only was the girl a gifted singer, but the story of Cantor and Lia was not well known in most of the Principality. As a matter of fact, as far as she knew, only the people from her native village recounted the tale.
"-- the crashing waters
tore a grasping hand
the years of salt, and
the tears of yore --"
Some of the audience were visibly tearing up. The girl's voice was something special - a breathy ethereal quality with tremendous range, with something in her demeanor that arrested your attention.
"-- by the window she stood
the forlorn Maid of the River
and with a heavy heart
the love of Cantor lay at rest...."
The girl stopped, and Phanae saw a brief flash of terror in her eyes. She shouldn't have worried; the audience immediately stood and roared its approval, and huge bouquet performance-gifts rained on the stage. She bowed deeply.

Purpose / Function

The Grand Amphitheatre of Etoile is a public venue - originally constructed by the First Princeps upon the founding of the Capital as a way for him to deliver his message to the people, it serves now mostly as a musical venue due to its favorable acoustics. The Guild of Canticles owns the Amphitheatre and Guilded musicians perform there regularly to the adoration of anyone who can afford the famously expensive admissions price.


Although the physical structure of the Amphitheatre hasn't changed much, the Wizard's Association was commissioned by the Guild of Canticles to apply magecraft to the acoustic signature. Some of the walls now have resonant crystals embedded into them; these crystals amplify sound and allowed the Canticlers to add more seats (and charge more for them).


The Amphitheatre is a prime example of early Etoilean Imperial architecture, with mostly stone construction and rigid lines garnished with steel accoutrement. Constantine has ordered the building painted white.


The military origin of the Grand Amphitheatre remains quite obvious, as stonework on the walls still exists for soldiers to store their weapons before entering the hall proper. The First Princeps was known to give speeches roughly every twenty days, exhorting the new Etoilean people as to their new purpose in his new nation.   Upon its repurposing as a musical venue, the Grand Amphitheatre serves as both a way to test new musicians that wish to enter the Guild of Canticles and a way for them to publicly celebrate Etoilean musical culture. Many famous musicians have cut their teeth here before entering the world as traveling troubadours, and particularly famous acts have been known to take up residence, performing at least once a season. In addition, every year the Guildmaster assembles a concert of folk songs from across the Principality and selects musicians to perform them, in a ritual meant to further the unification of the country.
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