The life of a traveling ministrel

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by Sarah of Yew

While ’tis true that the musician who seeketh only to make sweet music for herself and for others needs little more than some talent, and stern practice at the chosen instrument those of us who seek the open road shall find indeed that a greater skill is required. Herein discover those secrets which I have learned over the years as an itinerant performer..

Once I was in Jhelom, and accidently angered the bravo of some local repute, whose blade flickered all too eagerly near my slender neck (for I was young then). After various threats to “ruin my pretty face” this bravo grabbed my arm in a most unseemly fashion and tossed me into a barbaric enclosure locally entitled a dueling pit. My plaintive cries for help went unheeded by the guards, for the inhabitants of Jhelom are eager indeed to measure fighting prowess at any time!

What saved me was the ability to improvise a melody and tune that satirized the proceedings, and sufficiently angered an onlooker to prod him to coming to my defense. Once that fight was underway I was able to make good my escape. Hence, I regard the ability to incite fights as indispensable to the prudent bard.

Upon another occasion, ’twas the obverse side of that coin which saved me for I was being held prisoner by a particularly nasty band of ruffians who had seized me unawares from the road to Vesper.

They had worked themselves into a frenzy and were ready to attack and I fear, tear me limb from limb, when I began to sing frantically, tapping my fallen drum wit my tied up feet. The melody developed into a soothing one, and the brigands slowly calmed down to the extent of apologizing, and they let me go!

A final example I would pray you grant your attention: once I was lost upon a large isle far to the east of the mainland, well beyond Serpent’s Hold, where lava made its sluggish way across the surface landscape. And this accursed land was filled with vile beats and cunning dragons.

I was being pursued by one of said fell dragons when I found myself trapped. I quickly skirted a bubbling pool of molten rock and attempted to hide. The dragon scented me and was preparing to skirt the pool, when I began to play a lusty tune upon my lute that attracted its attention. Mesmerized and enticed by the melody, it stepped directly towards me, and into the lava-where its foot was so burned that it quickly hopped away, undignified and annoyed.

‘Tis my fond hope that other travelling minstrels shall learn from my experience and apply themselves to practicing these skills in order to preserve life and limb.

-Sarah of Yew

Last modified: May 14, 2011

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