Bardic Life (book)

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by Tanella BrandiWillow

The life of a Bard in the Realms of Elanthia is, like anything else, what you make of it. Since the reopening of the Bard's Guild in the Crossing and before, Bards have made their mark on these lands in one way or another.

While the love of music is a defining point in every Bard's life, there are aspects of this devotion which most Bards tend to follow.

The Historian
History is this Bard's life. She has studied it extensively, but most importantly, she will tell you about it; either through her storytelling or through her songs. This Bard's work is rich in Elanthian history, and therefore plays a vital role in our society. Listeners can't help but learn a bit more about the world they reside in after she's taken her bow.

The Warrior
This Bard is wise in the way of battle. Many people believe that Bards know nothing about fighting and such, but little do they know that all Bards have a bit of the Warrior in them. Fraught with a violent history, Bards have learned the ways of weapons in order to save themselves from persecution; the Warrior Bard takes this a step further and thrives on it. When she does stop hunting long enough for an ale and a song or two, her music is ripe with tales of battle, and the heroes that war has made.

The Jester
The Jester lives to entertain his audiences, whether it's by telling jokes, singing a bawdy tune or performing backflips for his audience. He can't resist making a joke out of everyday occurrences, and will make up ditties on the spot in order to coax a smile or three from the people around him. Although not cruel in nature, almost nothing is too sacred for a humorous twist for this Bard.

The Romantic
Songs of lost love, unrequited love, first love or any other kind of love pour forth from this Bard. Anything that has to do with the affairs of the heart can be the Romantic Bard's subject. Often called upon to sing and perform at weddings because of the poignant nature of their work, they are also popular at the local taverns, where sad songs and ale go hand in hand. They tend to be sensitive in nature, only hunting when required and spending most of their time perfecting their craft.

The Wanderer
The Wanderer is the explorer of the Bards. Always restless, he is uncomfortable with staying in one place for any length of time. Quick to follow the urge to move on, he tends to spend a lot of time alone unless he can find someone who shares his wanderlust and is willing to leave for the next town on the spur of the moment. The Wanderer's performances are filled with the wonders of nature and the lay of the lands. He will often sing odes to the cities he has visited, or perhaps his favorite tavern. He may tell stories of why the river runs or of how the mountains came to be... but all are sure to entertain his audience.

The Performer
Although most Bards perform (such is the way of a Bard) the Performer relishes the opportunity to do so. Great thought and care are given to the presentation and content of her performance, all geared towards the enjoyment of her audience. In fact, this Bard rarely needs a formal stage -- she gives performances as a matter of course in her daily life. Usually melodramatic in nature and always entertaining, the Performer lives to be the center of attention.

The Connoisseur
This Bard is the jack of all trades of Bards. Drawing from all the other aspects, the Connoisseur can be heard telling the history of the Guild, hunting with zest, singing an amusing tune or two, crooning a love song, roaming the countryside or just giving her all in a performance. Although not with the depth that can be found in those that have chosen to concentrate on a single aspect of the Bardic life. This Bard is happy knowing a little of a lot of things, never really specializing her talents in any one direction.
As you can see, there are many roads a Bard can choose in her life, and probably many more that are not listed here. One of the most intriguing things about being a Bard in Elanthia is that we are not required to be like every other Bard. Our performances and our music proclaim our individuality, while binding us together as a Guild. Which road shall you choose?