My Contribution to the Bards of Elanthia (book)

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Several months ago these writings were brought to me by a young Elven man who thought that I might have interest enough to pay coin for them. According to the story he told, many years ago his grandfather, as a young man himself, worked for the city. At one point early in his career, he had the rather unpleasant task of going through the effects of bodies unclaimed by relatives or friends. Supposedly this item was found in a dilapidated house in a rather unpleasant part of town. It had previously been occupied by an old Elothean man who had been found there, dead.

The young man never said why his grandfather took the writings, nor why his family held onto them for so long. Perhaps he didn't know. As such, I cannot confirm the content of these writings or Master d'Havit's contribution, but I submit a copy of them to our library here for the facts that it may represent about the beginnings of our Guild.

-- Bard Sinoria Gludfri, 13th day of Falcon, 448 IY

*****

My Contribution to the Bards of Elanthia
by Her Majesty's Special Scribe Dodely d'Havit

The 5th day of Songbird, 47 IY

Before I begin, allow me to say word or two about myself. My name is Dodely d'Havit, of the House of the Ivory Scroll. No doubt you have heard of my illustrious family, as they are quite prominent in the House and have been for generations. We've oft been close advisors to the reigning Ferdahls, even as I am at present. Our gifts of knowledge and wisdom are unsurpassed, a fact no leader could fail to note and take advantage of. It is only a fluke in our now-ancient history that my family is not of the Ferdahls, but I shall not dwell on that unfortunate matter here.

As I stated before, I am one of the more important advisors to Her Majesty. So much so that I am currently in this Gods-forsaken place they now call "Riverhaven" as a special envoy of the Ferdahl. Only I have the ability to perform this task as required by Her Majesty, so naturally, it was I who was chosen. Although I've had to travel far away from Court to accomplish this important assignment, I do so willingly, as it must be done wisely. I do not relish being away from Court for so long, but I'm sure the Ferdahl would be loath to send someone else this far away, only to fail.

Of course, _I_ will not fail.

Having arrived this afternoon, I find that the home the Ferdahl's Treasurer let for me here is a bit more modest than what I am accustomed to. I suppose I shall make do -- at least I have several servants that will tend to my basic needs. I must say, though, that I am disappointed with location, and I have already sent a message to Her Majesty on the subject. I expect I'll be relocated to a more suitable section of town soon after. A larger home would be more fitting to one of my station, naturally. This whole situation will definitely be addressed once I return to Court.

My task would be difficult, if given to a lesser man than I. But it shall not take me long to determine a suitable location and arrange the necessary documents. After all, my name and the name of my Ferdahl command considerable respect, even in these lands. And it should be an honor for those that I do business with -- after all, I am creating history. My name will be exalted in the tales and songs of Bards from this day forward, for I will have shaped their destiny!

My Ferdahl, a Master Bard herself, has decided to bring all Bards together in a sanctioned profession. May I say, this is certainly no easy thing! The Bards themselves are a wandering sort, and they seem a bit reluctant to be joined together. However, I have no doubt that my excellent powers of logic and persuasion will rectify this. If I perform this task well, I know that Her Majesty will reward me in kind. Most likely, the duty of being the Bard's first GuildMaster will fall to me. After all, I am the most likely choice, with the exception of my Ferdahl, of course. And being Ferdahl, she obviously has not the time. I will accept this assignment as I do all others, with the knowledge that I am the best person for it.

I must assume because this "city" (as some choose to call it) has been recently established, Her Majesty has decided to make this the location of the first Hall of Bards. If it isn't for such a momentous occasion as this, then why send a man of my talents? To begin my task, tomorrow I go to investigate the inhabitants and features of this place. Luckily, the ferry captain has already warned me away from the salt yards, so I shall not venture there. I will take up this narration on the morrow, when I have more information to share.

*****

The 7th day of Songbird, 47 IY

Oh, what a wretched place this is! If it were not for my undying loyalty to my Ferdahl, I would take the very next ferry away from here! It is only for her that I will stay, and continue to carry on with my duty, however ghastly it may be. I'm sure Her Majesty had no idea what this place was like, or she would never have sent me here!

Yesterday morning I awoke and after a less-than-suitable break for my night's fast -- for which I had a few words with the kitchen servant -- I started out on my survey of this river town. Almost immediately, I was set upon by thugs! Two females -- they barely reached the height of my belt -- walked directly towards me. I continued walking, sure that they would move aside, as they should. They did not, and a moment later, they were past, and with hardly a jostle to my person. I turned to glare my disapproval at them -- this was no way to treat a d'Havit! -- to which they laughed and walked quickly away. I thought naught of it until I noticed an unusual lightness at my belt. They had taken my purse!

I immediately ran for the nearest guard and reported the thieves, but to no avail. Naturally they were not caught, and all my coin was gone! I then went back to my lodgings and sent off a dispatch to Her Majesty to tell her of this wretched town. Of course Her Majesty's Treasurer will send more coin. Only my aforethought has saved me in the meantime. I had already paid in advance for my lodgings, so I will at least have a place to stay, and food to eat. By the time I sent the servant away with the dispatch, the sun was beginning to set. I did not go out of the house again that day.

This morning, after once again eating a less-than-palatable meal, I threw the kitchen servant out of the house. I cannot abide what is being served here as food. I can do better myself, and so I will. After finding a small knife from the kitchen pantry to protect against the vile inhabitants of this town, I went out again. I first walked to the guard tower, to ask after the thieves from the day before. Of course, they were of no help to me.

I then proceeded to the Town's Hall. There, despite the fact that I told them who I am, the clerks refused to talk to me until they had served all the other people who were milling around. The absurdity of how they do business here appalls me. I find it amazing that they get anything done. Once I finally was able to speak to someone, they told me to come back tomorrow! I had waited all that while to find that the person I needed to speak to was not even there! Even as I stressed the urgency of my request, I was ushered out the door, which was promptly closed and locked in my face. The insolence!

*****

The 10th day of Songbird, 47 IY

I have spent several days waiting at the Town's Hall so that I may obtain a land permit, as I have found a suitable area for a building. Suitable for the Bards, at least, for I doubt that they will care a whit for the time and effort I have expended for them!

I was forced to dismiss another servant today. What he tried to pass off to me as food was no better than the fodder that is fed to swine. As soon as I receive the additional coin from my Ferdahl, I shall hire suitable replacements. Surely there are servants worthy of my station here in this Gods-forsaken place!

*****

The 3rd day of Eagle, 47 IY

No coin has been forthcoming from my Ferdahl's Treasurer. I do not understand this at all. I have finally received a letter from Her Majesty praising my efforts in obtaining the land and getting the construction started. It also seems that the supervision of the project has been released from my government. I don't understand why Her Majesty has ordered this, as every day I have personally gone to the site and supervised all details associated with the building. Undoubtedly there are more important details that I must attend to.

I have lost quite a bit of weight. I have no more servants, as those who were adequate enough to serve me left when they found that I could no longer pay them. Obviously they have no loyalty to their superiors -- I am far better off without them. My food has run low, and with no funds the merchants in this town refuse me credit. Even invoking my Ferdahl's name and authority, they smirk and tell me to go away. I will show them!

*****

The 20th day of Crow, 47 IY

The building is almost complete on the outside. They would not allow me inside to see the progress there. I am very weak these days, for some reason -- I took to my bed as soon as I returned home. I have not heard from my Ferdahl. I cannot understand how she could leave me here, in this place. I have no doubt it is the doings of the Treasurer -- he never did care for the fact that I was of a better house than he. I shall catch the next ferry away from this place, as I can only assume that my task here is complete. I eagerly await the accolades I surely will receive upon my return home!