Quentabulos

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The Quentabulos is a subject of much discussion, for though there are a barrage of theories to explain it, there is even more controversy as to the actual effects it produces. Indeed, very few have ever heard this rare musical instrument played, and much of what is known about it is pure guesswork made from poetry written by fans of its quirky yet rich and mellifluous tones. The only certain thing is that the device is powered in its entirety by a Qulirian Energy Converter. One of the most famous of these poems were written by the esteemed poet Dashpine, which was deeply moved when he one night heard his wife Eixis Anos play the bulbous and crystalline construction. The poem reads as follows:

Oh the queer Quentabulos, so full of qoo,
the shivering tones drift over me as cows must moo,
I know not what my heart may do,
until I once again will spend my time with you.
For you are not here, nor here has been,
and never were you here, yet still is seen,
the faintly throbbing sound produced
by metallic crystals finely fused.

As one can guess by the text, the most strange and thought-provoking aspect of the Quentabulos is the fact that the music is generated days, weeks, and sometimes months before or after the instrument is played. Exact timing is an artform only ever mastered by a handful of people. Many believe that the theoalchemical crystals utilized in the construction is to blame for this temporal effect, yet this would not usually account for the ways in which the tubing, made of purified Quezlarian Ooo, coils like tentacles while played. Though this ability to transcend the rather mundane barrier of time has inspired many insipid poets, it has made the instrument most reviled and hated by orchestras across Ghyll. Nothing is quite as bad as having a Quentabulos player join in, only to find out his performance isn't really heard until six days after the concert.

The sound of the Quentabulos has been likened to glass being smashed by repeated beatings with hammers, though this would hardly do the instrument justice. A few daring players of Quiver'n'bend have experimented with the Quentabulos, mainly because of the humorous alliteration, to varying degrees of success. Indeed, in the entire history of the instrument there has been only six successful public performances. This brings us to the most impressive and mind-bogglingly stupid piece of trivia when one discusses the Quentabulos: "The Queeging Qataract of Queen Qigara", a symphony composed by Trung Tro Hampher especially for the instrument in question. It is performed by playing the instrument at specific places and at specific times over the course of a month, and each performance must be expertly calculated, usually using advanced equations made with Quezlarian Numerals to achieve the desired result. If done correctly, one gathers an audience at the calculated time and all the previous played pieces will become audible at the same time, harmonizing as perfectly as if hundreds of Quentabuloses were being played in concert, even though not a single instrument need even be present. Of course, if even one part-performance is a tenth of a second off-beat the entire symphony will sound worse than a pyxie overdosing on chalk. It is possible to play this piece in reverse, that is, performing it after the effect has been generated, but none have been foolish enough to attempt it just yet.

Citations: Dashpine, Qulirian Energy Converter, Trung Tro Hampher.

--Lankin the Mad Mage 18:22, 13 Sep 2005 (EDT)

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