Either somebody is wringing a cat, or else Opera Season is underway

Slothjemian art is considered by outsiders to be an oxymoron, and music is no exception. With so many people from such varied backgrounds sharing their love for song and dance, hymn and chant, there are bound to be unpleasant tunes that accost the unprepared listener. A Romillian bard of some fame once noted that “Jorish music is an assault on the senses, every bit as effective in tearing down the inhibitions of the listener as their army is at rending enemy fortifications. You cannot help but succumb.”

It was not always this way, of course. The original swamp denizens were confined in their musical expression to whatever they could do with drums and simple wind instruments. As the humans of the north and the dwarves near to the Coreland exerted more influence in trade and diplomacy, so also did they affect the music of the fens. Heavy brass instruments, simple but loud, came into play. And nobody knows who brought the first accordion into Slothjemia, but there are plenty of outsiders who wish they had not done so. One cannot swing a dead ferret in any Slothjemian city without smacking an accordion player. Anybody that doesn’t believe that a polka can be used as an act of war has never been to Slothenburg. Day, night, doesn’t matter. Upbeat slap-happy music fills the air, and any attempt to silence it is met with unmentionable hostility.

Outside of Slothjemia, their musical tastes are seldom appreciated. Although opera is not heavily embraced by the people, there have been several notable productions that have been very well received. In fact, the dramatic tragedy “The Huntsman’s Lament” was performed as an entry into the Grand Geldenreich Operatic Society’s annual artistic contest, and was awarded the Chancellor’s Prize for musical comedy. Focusing purely on the fact that they won was enough for the composer, and the category for which it won has since been glossed over. Anyone wanting to see the official operatic production can do so in Jordrakenschloss year-round, and smaller unsanctioned troupes perform the opera, or snippets of it, at venues all over the country.

Visitors to Slothjemia should be well-prepared for some auditory assailments. Bards will find themselves kept busy, and everyone else will be looking for ear plugs. Helpful tip; soft candle wax works really well.