Rules and Advice
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ID: 3305


June 19, 2011, 12:20 am

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Cheka Man

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So you wish to be a Bard....


Thoughts of the true Bard…

I am a great fan of medieval music, and as a member of the SCA I get the opportunity to hear it as it once sounded, live on period instruments around a fire.

A few days ago Kamina gave me a CD of someone she once met at an event. I popped it in and gave it a listen.

A song, or rather tale, began with soft music lilting from the speakers, and a voice began to impart a wisdom I will never forget.
I have gone to this Bard (he is, in the truest sense of the word) and obtained permission to impart this wisdom to those who pass through these streets and alleys of the Citadel…

So You Wish to Be A Bard
by: Rathflaed DuNoir
The Black Bard of Meridies, MSoB
mka Stephen R Melvin

So You Wish to be a Bard young one, well listen to my tale,
A tale that's riddled with success, and yet the times that I have failed.
A storyteller tells his tales until the morning light,
Each line and verse the one that you'll remember through the night,
A troubadour will sing his songs to make people laugh or weep,
And feel the feelings he does feel, until they go to sleep,
A musician has the power to make music with his art,
And let his songs reverberate, to touch the mind and heart,
A minstrel must do all these things and do them very well,
But a bard must also do them, and between is hard to tell.
For a minstrel and a bard could be the same in word and voice,
And the difference between the two - a matter of their choice.
A minstrel's job to entertain, a bard's to educate,
To urge the men on for honor and love, and not for malice or hate.
A minstrel will sing only songs that please his audience well,
While a bard must choose most carefully, the tales that he will tell.
For in your words you have the power to make or break a man,
And all his good or evil deeds are yours to praise or damn.
And if the power is not yours, to move the souls of men,
Then call yourself a minstrel and no dishonor do intend,
For when a bard does sing a song, the story they do hear,
And yet the choice is for a minstrel when the song must please the ear.
So entertain young minstrel, or educate young bard,
But either path of either life, you'll find may be too hard.
For when the wind is blowing and the rain comes down in sheets,
'Tis ten more leagues that you must go, to sing for bread and meat.
And when the road is weary and you have no place called home,
Remember that it was your choice, to travel and to roam.
And when you think of lady loves and all the things you lack,
Remember, sir, the one you always carry on your back.
And remember too, this one last thing, ere your journey you begin:
A minstrel does not scream or shout to carry o'er the din.
A bard's not just a storyteller or harper playing long,
A minstrel's job it is to sing, A bard's to be the song.

Copyright BlackBird Recording, all rights reserved. 

Posted by Permission. 
For more information please see:


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Comments ( 10 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Cheka Man
November 7, 2006, 19:55
Only voted
November 7, 2006, 23:17
This Gem, and the good gentle that wrote it, inspired me to persue the bardic arts myself. Rathflaed; I am, as ever, your loyal and devoted servent.
Voted manfred
November 8, 2006, 3:25
A priceless inspiration for a bardic character, and the player as well.

Incidentaly, now I would love to meet such a person - a true Bard that is - and hear a story or few. Hearty thanks from this reminder, it made me feel for ages long gone.
Voted Ancient Gamer
November 8, 2006, 6:25
Only voted
Voted valadaar
November 8, 2006, 9:36
Ah, the SCA :) Used to be involved with that some time ago.

Brings back a few memories!

Great tune!
the Wanderer
November 8, 2006, 19:38
Updated: I though, after a suggestion was made to me, that formatting would do these words much deserved justice. I've also activated the links. (Thx for the help manfred!)
November 18, 2006, 10:43
keep em going, these sure are good subs!
Voted Moonlake
June 18, 2009, 20:23
Not music oriented myself but the lyrics are quite lovely
Voted axlerowes
June 19, 2009, 19:51
Fun, even without the intro it reminded me of Chaucer. So I think you hit the mark.
June 19, 2011, 0:20
Update: Fixed some formatting issues that cropped up.

Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

Hu's Iron Ball

       By: Murometz

Hu was an ambassador of the Seventh Emperor of the Reng Dynasty. Throughout his life he traveled across many miles and lands to entreaty with neighboring kingdoms and the semi-savages who dwelled amidst the Metal Mountains.

During one such diplomatic mission, Hu was gifted a small iron marble as a gesture, by a shaman of the Kiy-Kiy tribe. Little else is known of Hu, but that marble was lost and is now somewhere out there for someone to find.

A tiny, shiny sphere, the marble has several properties. First and foremost it is a strong magnet, considerably stronger than its size and density would indicate.

Secondly, if thrown or rolled upon the ground and the command word is spoken, the iron ball will magically enlarge to either the size of an ogres's head or to that of a great globe, twelve feet in diameter. The rolling ball of either size will continue to roll or fly at the same relative speed it was when launched as a marble, and can thus cause great damage to anything in its path. The magnetic power of the ball will also magnify when enlarged.

Legends claim that the ball has been tossed from besieged castles upon attacking foes and rolled at marching armies in ages past. At the end of such rolls, the larger size globe has been known to not only crush soldiers underfoot, but to also "collect" many dozens of metallic weapons and bits of armor unto itself, appearing as an armored sphere, with swords and spears sticking out from it in all directions.

Owning this powerful marble has its drawbacks. Anyone carrying it on their person, will experience the iron ball's insidious effects after some time. The owner feels no worse for wear, but after two month's time they will suddenly awaken one morning to find that their hair has fallen out completely, their teeth loosened like baby's teeth ready to drop, and their fingernails simply shriveled and sliding off the fingers and toes. Perhaps unbeknownst to the owner at first, the iron ball also renders an owner sterile or barren by this time.

Regular clerical healing will not reverse this horrible malady. Only finding and beseeching a shaman of the Kiy-Kiy tribe to heal the iron ball's effects with their particular brand of magic, will work.

Hu's Iron Ball should be handled carefully by players and gms.

Ideas  ( Items ) | March 8, 2014 | View | UpVote 3xp

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