Lament for the City Guard
Chorus from a Pento opera, c. 7100 DE

In 2397 DE, the Eamis Theatre Company presented the first Pento War play, inaugurating the D'ni Renaissance and giving voice to a broad range of cultural values and anxieties. Sirreh's first play had a profound effect on D'ni culture: it popularized the theater as a mode of both entertainment and cultural dialogue, it introduced the Pento War as a subject through which his and future generations could see themselves, and it opened up new possibilites for expression and critique, such that King Naygen himself could urge the nascent Minor Guild of Musicians to pursue their "true feelings in such wonderful displays of art."

The Pento War subject reappears a number of times during D'ni history for various reasons, but prominent among them is anxiety over the empire's political stability. It is no accident that Sirreh wrote his play in the years approaching the height of "the religious confusion"—concern over the derangement of the monarch's court found a perfect mirror in wartime fears of a nation without a king. It is tempting to view King Naygen's later construction of the Guild Hall, which entirely obscured the Great King's tomb, as a bid to literally cover over the parallels being drawn between his reign and D'ni's darkest hour.

The Pento War subject became again popular at the time of Kerath's abdication, for obvious reasons—D'ni was entereing an era when it would have no king, and this certainly was a cause for concern. Opera had been a popular art form at least since the 1600s, and the dramatic subject was perfect for the operatic stage. The chorus reproduced here is an excerpt from one such opera composed during the transition from monarchy to republic. It is sung by the women of D'ni as the survivors of the ill-fated City Guard return from battle. King Koreen has been killed, and the fate of D'ni looks dim.

The audio sample is taken from that heard in Kadish's Gallery, and is known to be the voice of his disconsolate wife, singing in vain hope of her husband's return.

Listen to an excerpt of Lament for the City Guard


D'ni score to Lament for the City Guard (click to enlarge)