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Bards of Krynn – Dragonlance Nexus

Art by Jason Engle

This can be a letter written by Layka of Ergoth to Emma Xela, an inquisitive and sensible sorcerer of the Solace Academy. This letter by Layka was a factor in the developments of Emma’s spell theories, which reworked the discipline of sorcery. Although it did not result in her celebrated successes in breaking the false educational limitations that had been erected between the faculties of Sorcery (see the Heroes of Sorcery boxed set), it did play a task in later discoveries. – TLD

Mistress Emma,

I’ve been dwelling nicely right here in Ergoth, recording the events of history that unfold on this vintage land. It is definitely not where I anticipated to be once we wore the pink robes within the days before the Chaos Warfare. When the magic was taken from our grasp, the Empire provided first a refuge from Khellendros, then a meal ticket, and eventually a home. It took a few years earlier than I used to be capable of put the foolish goals of magical power and turn out to be content material right here as a humble scribe, but wanting again on my life I can truthfully say that I am content with my accomplishments. True, I was tempted by the opportunity to review the “new magic” when Palin Majere opened his academy a decade ago, but I was too involved with my work on the courtroom to be drawn away from it. I do, nevertheless, benefit from the pleasures of the magic of my youth now that it has returned. It’s a nice help and comfort as my body begins to fail.

I like your talent in the new magic, and your spirit of free considering and experimentation in your art. I personally have studied your writings, which I had copied and shipped to me, at appreciable value to myself. I am not stunned then, why you’d want details about the bardic schools of Ergoth, though I am stunned to study simply how full your ignorance is of them, given your in depth and lifelong training in magic. I worry you’ve got been too accustomed to the cloistered setting of the academy and have uncared for to review the world around you.

Which will seem a harsh factor to say, however your questions depart me to know different conclusion. Whenever you requested why they have been capable of forged Excessive Sorcery when it had failed us, or have been in a position to make use of sorcery earlier than it was “discovered” by Palin Majere you revealed your blindness. In any case, magic is innate and might be felt and experienced by anybody born with the talent. When you have got forged your spells you felt the facility drawn from an infinite sea, as infinite and vast because the starry heavens. Why then do you assume that those with probably the most books have all the entire information of infinity? Bards certainly use wild sorcery, but they do not use the wild sorcery of your academy. There are extra issues in heaven and earth Emma, than even your creative thoughts can provide you with.

The Energy of Bardic Magic

Phrases and music have energy. By way of them, man might be impressed to braveness, anger, tears or fanaticism. None know extra the facility of words and music than the minstrels and troubadours the sermonizing clerics and politicians, or (in all humility) we keepers of lore in the library of Palanthas. Nevertheless, to the bards of Ergoth, words and music possess a a lot higher power as it could unlock the very magic of creation.

Each mortal soul possesses a divine spark, an inside energy that can be drawn upon. The mystics faucet this energy immediately, working miracles by the sheer power of their will. Clerics supply this divine spark to the gods in a sacramental trend, receiving their magical blessings in return. Monks via meditation and self-discipline faucet the facility of their souls (which they know as ki) to perform unimaginable feats of martial prowess.

Nevertheless, there’s another use for the divine spark, recognized to the wizards, sorcerers and bards. The magic inside works as a lodestone to the ambient magic that permeates all life and existence in the universe. Thus, the same power inside themselves that the mystics use to do miracles within the outdoors world, the users of arcane magic use the innate energy of the mortal soul to channel magic from the surface world into their bodies. This power is then instantaneously released in a show of magical power, giving the recipient of this magic a sense of euphoria. This euphoria stems from the sensation of being in communion with the essence of the universe, just like the sensation that clerics feel in working the miracles of their gods.

To assist within the channeling of magic, one will use material elements, symbols, gestures, and incantations to summon the required energy. For clerics, this often includes a logo of their faith and utterance of prayer to their god so as to strengthen their soul for the marvel that’s to be performed. For wizards and sorcerers this includes the careful research of magical principle, which finds its software within the rituals they carry out. How precisely the magical principle has any relevance to the nonsensical phrases they converse are a matter of intently guarded secrets and techniques.

The phrases of the bard nevertheless, which summon the magic that they wield, do not depend upon any of this stuff. Somewhat the supply of a bards energy is the drive of expression, through which by way of the facility of their words and music attracts the essence of the arcane power of the universe to them just like the songs of sirens lure sailors. The magic comes from finding the essence of something, which makes it manifest in music, which makes in manifest within the wild power of Krynn’s creation.

We in Solamnia have all the time dismissed the Ergothian bards as self-important minstrels with noble blood. Nevertheless, you can’t imagine the wonders of listening to an Ergothian Opera, as illusions and emotions come to life with the dulcet tones of their singers. You possibly can solely dream of the dances that I’ve seen performed by dancers of such grace and wonder that their very shadows are inspired to move of their very own accord. I as soon as saw Quivelan Sath, probably the most famed of bards, magically compel a person into slumber merely by singing an exquisite lullaby.

Nevertheless, you may ask, how did the Wizards of the fabled Towers of Excessive Sorcery tolerate such a display with out persecuting them, as they’ve the sorcerers and renegades? Why do they not pressure the bards of Ergoths to stop or to don the robes of purple, white, and black material? I keep in mind my days as a renegade hunter properly, all the moreso because they are tinged with shame. How much less traumatic the transition to the new magic may need been if those that practiced it were not pushed into the shadows?

The bardic schools nevertheless have been birthed in a time earlier than the towers have been pushed to such worry of wild magic by the facility of Galan Dracos, and thus in a time when mages have been extra prepared to stay on the planet and compromise with it. Maybe now that wild magic has put down roots and begun to flower again, such a compromise may be made once more. With Dalamar the Dark because the grasp of the conclave nevertheless, I worry that the errors of historical past will repeat themselves and a conflict between the practitioners of magic can be unavoidable. It will be my recommendation Emma, to ensure that you and your college students are prepared from any sudden attacks from that elven snake. He is gathering his power, and there is no telling where he will strike first when he recovers it.

The History of the Bardic Schools

Bardic magic could be the oldest of Krynn’s magical disciplines. One can easily think about within the deepest recesses of the age of goals storytellers and shamans beating their drums and discovering the facility within their acts. There has actually been a concept, proposed by the late Brother Resmus, that a ghostly legacy of bardic magic might be found in all the disciplines. In any case, do the cantors and clerics not sing to their deities? Is just not the ritual of the wizard not a matter of artistry and wonder?

In any event, we know that the bards have been around on Krynn when the Orders of High Sorcery have been being shaped, within the courtroom where they’re most prevalent at this time, that of Imperial Ergoth. Within the centuries after the first founding of the Order of Excessive Sorcery, progress was sluggish in recruiting mages and convincing them to swear allegiance to it. It was not till a couple of centuries had passed that the Order was an influence to be reckoned with, and through those centuries the nation of Ergoth had grown to be the most important and most powerful empire Ansalon has ever seen. Thus, when the Order determined that each one magic have to be introduced underneath their management and all mages have to be educated by the order for the safety of Krynn the bards have been declared among the renegades. In Silvanesti, all mages beneath the rule of King Silvanos promised to work no arcane magic however that influenced by the white moon. Numerous other scattered tribes and city states also agreed to send not solely their sorcerers, but in addition their shamans and story tellers to review underneath the Order.

In Ergoth nevertheless, the imperial throne was unmoved by guarantees or threats. The bards in Ergoth have been of noble start, who had the position in society of preserving Ergoth’s legends and historical past, and thus the empire’s glory. They have been additionally advisors to the varied courts, heralds, and even the collectors of the taxes. The thought of submitting such an important part of the imperial structure to another master would by no means be tolerated by the proud nobles of Ergoth, much much less their Emperor.

Relatively than risking a struggle between metal and magic, the two sides labored out a compromise. First, the bards needed to type their very own academy by which they might be taught to use their power responsibly. Secondly, they agreed to have a representative of the Order of Excessive Sorcery to watch their actions. Finally, the Emperor agreed to permit for the construction of a Tower of High Sorcery inside the partitions of the imperial city of Daltigoth. Thus, the favored of Branchala and the gods of magic have been reconciled, as they within the heavens had desired.

This expertise proved to have a constructive impact on the expansion of each disciplines. Though originally forbidden to have anything to do with the research of bardic magic, the mages of Daltigoth couldn’t include their curiosity. Via the bards, they expanded their information of incantations, leading to higher heights of magic. The bards themselves benefitted from the research of wizards rather more. For example, the bards have been till this time largely illiterate, using solely a careless pictographic script, principally for accounting functions. Because the mages needed to pronounce every syllable precisely, that they had devised an alphabet based mostly on sound. This was copied by the bards, who devised their own script to go well with their language. That script (generally known as Ergot) is being used by myself at this very second, though I’m writing within the tongue of Solamnia, Ergoth’s daughter nation. This increased literacy additionally created a brand new political class in Ergoth, that of the scribe, who used the script to keep an accurate accounting of the nation’s affairs, quite than the affairs of its heroes. These scribes would ultimately supplant the bards as the administrators of the realm.

Thus, the bards survive to this present day in Ergoth, and in places where the tradition of Ergoth has touched. They blend the facility of magic into their operas, their ballads, their poems and tales, making certain that Ergoth remains the cultural middle of the world, regardless of how its energy has pale.


I’m afraid that is all I’ve to say about bardic magic at current. I personally in any case, am not educated in the traditions myself. It might be greatest so that you can visit a bardic academy your self, which I’ve all the time discovered to be an exquisite expertise.

In every bardic academy you’ll be able to look forward to finding three issues. One is an adequately stocked library crammed to the brim with numerous varieties of books chronicling the ancient and recent past of the world and its individuals. The second thing you possibly can look forward to finding is a small cluster of wizards, who spend their time there learning magical lore that may be gleaned from observing the follow of bardic magic. Thirdly, you possibly can anticipate music from the all over the place bards have a chance to follow, the annoyed muttering as composers search to seek out the appropriate words and the appropriate notes and cheering of nobles and the wealthy as they cheer and enjoy the comedy and tragedy around them. This leads to a continuing din of noise in the school that by no means seems to stop.

After Daltigoth fell in the Cataclysm and the Imperial Courtroom moved, Gwynned turned (and stays) probably the most prestigious bardic school on Krynn. Within its vaults might be discovered the legends and songs of energy that are educated to probably the most gifted students in the Empire. Right here too is the wizardess who serves as the observer for the conclave. A gorgeous black robe, she has inspired lots of of sonnets and ballads by the heartbroken students.

With the sundering of Ergoth in the Cataclysm, many Ergothians took to the ocean, crusing across the northern edges of Ansalon in search of new lives to settle. Some discovered their option to Saifum, this nation of sailors and pirates, and based a new academy within the metropolis of Seabreeze. For sure, the bards who study their lore from right here are often unscrupulous and dangerous adventurers.

The academy in the metropolis of Goodbay can be properly value your time to visit, which I consider is just every week or two by horseback away from Solace. The prince of this plutocratic Abanasinian city married a Ergothian noblewoman. After his dying, she used his wealth to found a new academy and to entice Ergothian bards to settle here and practice new college students. This faculty is now recognized for being probably the most unconventional of the faculties, experimenting with all method of inventive types.

With the dying of Takhisis, one knight of the Lily who had once been a scholar of bardic lore was devastated. Vowing that the legacy of his goddess would never die, he started to collect round a gaggle of followers whose function is to continually sing within the previous temple of Sanction by which she fell. Although their spiritual views aren’t appreciated, these bards enchant the residents in Sanction with their music, which seems to have an unearthly and haunting high quality of sorrow.

Peace and long life,

Layka of the Purple Robes