“I will be your instructor. Feel free to run your compositions by me as well.” – Mai’lyraea, Bard Guildmaster of Var Bandor

Minstrels, singers, storytellers, who influence others with music, bards travel the world, walking alongside great armies, entertaining in crowded taverns, recording individual or collective histories, or furthering artistic visions in word or song. They may be of any alignment or ethos, giving them the flexibility to walk alongside any who may have a tale worth telling.


Introduction

Music has been a part of most Avendarian cultures, from the heavy drums of the ancient alatharya, to the discordant tones of the shuddeni, to the gentle harp of the aelin, to the lutes of humanity. In other cultures, such as the kankoran or the ethron, tale-telling and oral history were vital components of their racial narrative. As the races began to intermix, their ways and methods were indexed by the industrious Chadralnite caladaran. In time, their scholarship bore fruit, by making accessible these disparate notions to all. Together, this formed the basis of the modern Bardic Collegium, based primarily in the heart of Earendam the Grand.

Before long, bards would travel the world, walking alongside great armies, entertaining in crowded taverns, recording individual or collective histories, or furthering artistic visions in word or song. The most spectacular of these early musicians discovered a fragment of magic that existed in sound, and learned to tap into it for ever more spectacular performances. Bards became renowned for their profound power to bolster the emotions of others, making them a fixture in the Earendamian Republic, the aelin empire, and every great court or conflict of each successive age. While their martial skill is simple, if showy, their music more than compensates for their lack of other training.

Bards may be of any alignment or ethos, giving them the flexibility to walk alongside any who may have a tale worth telling. Because of both their religious leaning toward the arts and their natural beauty, the aelin are often among the most famous bards. However, the historians of the caladaran and the storytellers of the ethron are surprisingly routine. The shuddeni make for particularly exotic bards, bringing their strange, nightmarish tales and plying unusual oils. The life of a bard means what he wishes, making him indispensable in leisure adventure alike.


Class Abilities

Click an ability name to see more details.

Skills

Level 1: Dagger
Syntax: Automatic

Small, bladed weapons, daggers are one of the simplest melee weapons, often
favoured by scholars for this reason, most other professions in Avendar also
receiving training in them. Rogues are more intimately trained in their usage,
learning techniques both flashy and subtle. Typically thrusting or slashing
weapons, due to their length, they are poor at warding off blows though it is
likewise difficult to parry against a dagger. Someone wielding a dagger will
have a harder time getting around a shield, a stone phalanx, or a fighter's
fending.

Primary Attribute: Dexterity

See also: PARRY
Level 1: Whip
Syntax: Automatic

A whip is usually composed of a flexible cord or a chain attached to a handle,
the lash typically dealing slashing damage, though they are often enchanted,
as well. Gladiators and Void templars are the only professions that receive
dedicated training in this weapon, though many others learn the basics of
using this weapon, and they are often used in the off hand. Because of their
flexibility, they are notoriously poor at parrying with, but they are
similarly difficult for opponents to use any defense save dodge or evade
against. The length of this weapon makes it throw off one's parrying if a whip
is offhanded, as well.

Primary Attribute: Dexterity

See also: PARRY
Level 1: Sword
Syntax: Automatic

One of the most commonly-produced and commonly-trained weapons in Avendar,
swords are simple to learn the basics of, but may take decades to master. The
only weapon with an entire profession dedicated solely to their usage, in the
hands of most others, swords are a particularly average weapon. Typically
slashing or piercing, they range from slender rapiers to massive two-handed
claymores.

Primary Attribute: Strength, Dexterity

See also: PARRY
Level 1: Dodge
Syntax: Automatic

Dodge is a melee defense skill focused on the avoidance of blows. It is
particularly difficult to dodge flails and polearms, and easier to dodge
whips. Dodge is the favored defense of rogues, but it is taught in many other
schools as well.

All aelin receive a bonus to this skill.

Primary Attribute: Dexterity
Level 1: Haggle
Syntax: Automatic

A basic mercantile skill used to get a better price on items from merchants,
haggling is a skill that is widely taught but a talent applied with the most
success by the charismatic.

Primary Attribute: Charisma
Level 3: Hand to Hand
Syntax: Automatic

The art of fisticuffs is taught by several of Avendar's martial guilds.
Students will hit harder while unarmed than those who are untrained. If
someone who is trained in both fighting unarmed and dual wielding has even a
single free hand, he will use that as an off-hand attack. Having claws, both
srryn and kankoran will do more damage with this skill than other races.

However, this basic training only goes so far, and those who fight without a
weapon in hand will find themselves unable to parry.

Primary Attribute: Strength, Dexterity

See also: PARRY
Level 4: Kick
Duration : Instantaneous                                       Cost: 3 Mana
Range    : Current Enemy

Syntax: Kick

Many guilds teach this basic martial manuver, allowing them to slightly
augment their damage in combat. Bandits receive further training in making
well-placed kicks.

Primary Attribute: Strength, Dexterity

See also: KNEE SHATTER
Level 5: Dirt Kicking
Duration : 0.5 Hours                                           Cost: 5 Mana
Range    : Single PC or Mob

Syntax: Dirt <target>

This skill attempts to temporarily blind a person by kicking dirt in their
eyes. This skill cannot be used on or underwater, or in the air.

Primary Attribute: Dexterity
Level 9: Tumbling
Syntax: Automatic

The acrobatic arts, learned by both bards and thieves, serve to protect them 
from harm during feats of entertainment, larceny, and the occasional brawl. 
While most defenses evolved directly from combat, this skill is instead an 
exercise in pure grace on the battlefield.

Characters who dodge well will blend tumbling into their movements; when it 
seems all but assured they would be hit by a blow, they move at the last 
minute to avoid it. Characters entangled in a bolo or with shattered legs 
will not tumble well, but are more likely to do so if there are particularly 
large, immovable objects to duck around. Tumbling also assists the rogue in 
avoiding the full force of a bash or shield bash, and characters skilled in 
acrobatics are more likely to avoid entangling nets.

Primary Attribute: Dexterity

See also: DODGE, BASH, SHIELD BASH, ENTANGLE, BOLO, BONESHATTER
Level 10: Peek
Syntax: Automatic

Peek is an enhancement to the look command. Whenever someone with the skill
looks at a person, an attempt will be made to reveal their inventory and
money.

If one so chooses, one may cease peeking by toggling the autopeek command.

Primary Attribute: Intelligence
Level 12: Second Attack
Syntax: Automatic

Characters with proficiency in this skill will attempt a second attack each
round with both their main and any offhanded weapons. Mastery of this skill
does not guarantee the attack will be attempted every round, but it does make
it very likely.

Primary Attribute: Dexterity, Strength

See also: DUAL WIELD
Level 14: Trip
Syntax: Trip <Target>

The trip command attempts to bring an opponent down by knocking their
feet from under them. Tripping is most successfully practiced by the
quick and nimble, and fails on opponents who are flying or otherwise
not tied to the ground. Trip can either be used to start a fight, or
in combat, where the argument is optional.

Primary Attribute: Dexterity
Level 15: Flourish
Syntax: Automatic                                         Requires: Special

With this skill, members of acrobatic classes such as thieves and bards may
use a fluid or fabric item worn in the about body slot to confound foes and
ward off attacks. The longer any individual combat continues and blows are
foiled, the more effective this will be, as the rhythm of the situation aids
movement. At best, it will be slightly more effective than parrying with a
sword. Leaving combat disrupts the flow, and this process must begin anew. In
general, materials that are flexible and will bend easily may be used-- cloth,
leather, lace, water, et cetera, while metals may not be.

Primary Attribute: Charisma, Dexterity

See also: DODGE, PARRY
Level 15: Meditation
Syntax: Automatic

A basic technique for focusing one's thoughts, meditation is a skill taught by
all guilds that their students may recover mana more quickly.

Primary Attribute: Intelligence, Wisdom

See also: TRANCE, MANA
Level 16: Fast Healing
Syntax: Automatic

Fast healing is a skill taught by most guilds, that their students might apply
their knowledge to quicker recovery of bodily injuries, increasing the rate at
which they gain hit points.

Primary Attribute: Constitution

See also: HIT POINTS
Level 20: Harmony
Syntax: harmonize <song>

The harmony skill allows a bard to harmonize a second song in addition to
one that is already being played.  This secondary song is sung at a
slightly reduced level of power, but also requires half the normal amount
of mana to upkeep.  Anything that changes or stops the primary song also
cancels anything that is currently being harmonized.

Primary Attributes: Dexterity, Charisma
Level 21: Throw
Duration : Instantaneous                                    Weapon: See Text
Range    : Single PC or Mob, up to 1 room away

Syntax: Throw <weapon> <target> <direction>

Fighters, fire templars, thieves, and bards are able to throw weapons at their
foes. Fighters and fire templars are able to throw spears, while the latter
two throw daggers. Daggers are small enough to be thrown midcombat, while
spears may only be thrown to initiate it. Heavier weapons will deal more
damage, but there is a limit to the weight of an item that can be thrown.

It is possible to throw a weapon into an adjacent room, but this cannot be
done if there is anything present that prevents scanning into the room. If a
thrown weapon strikes its target, it will be moved to the target's inventory,
elsewise it will land on the floor there.

Primary Attributes: Strength, Dexterity
Level 22: Mimicry
Syntax: Mimic <Person> <Channel> <Message>
    Ex: Mimic Aurula say You are a churlish oaf!

The mimic ability allows a bard to mimic the appearance of a message
from another person. In the context of this ability, the channel
is one of Avendar's normal communication channels, and message is
the message you wish to send. Bards will find mimicking persons
very similar to their own in gender and race more effective.

Primary Attribute: Charisma
Level 23: Detect Hidden
Duration : Level/2 Hours                                       Cost: 5 Mana 
  
Syntax: Detect Hidden 
  
This skill allows the user to see people who are hidden from view using the 
hide skill or its variants. It will also allow them to see more readily into 
darkened places. 
  
Primary Attribute: Intelligence, Dexterity 
  
See also: INFRAVISION, HIDE
Level 24: Third Attack
Syntax: Automatic

Characters with proficiency in this skill will attempt a second attack each
round with both their main and any offhanded weapons. Mastery of this skill
does not guarantee the attack will be attempted every round, but it does make
it very likely.

Primary Attribute: Dexterity, Strength

See also: DUAL WIELD
Level 25: Enhanced Damage
Syntax: Automatic

Most of the non-scholarly guilds offer their students training in heightening
the force of their blows. A higher skill will see better results at these
techniques, as will a better weapon.

Primary Attribute: Strength

See also: BRUTAL DAMAGE, PROWESS
Level 27: Catch Throw
Syntax: Automatic

This skill allows the user to catch thrown weapons such as daggers and throw
them back at the assailant.

Primary Attribute: Dexterity
Level 30: Disarm
Duration : Instantaneous
Range    : Current Weapon-Wielding Opponent

Syntax: Disarm

Combat-oriented classes can use this skill to knock a weapon from their foe's
hands. Two-handed weapons are more difficult to disarm, while certain other
weapons such as whips and flails are easier to use to disarm others.

Most weapons will fall to the ground when disarmed, though those that bear the
nodrop or inventory flags remain in the character's inventory. Items with the
noremove and nodisarm flags cannot be disarmed with this skill. Mobiles who
are able to see at the time they are disarmed will immediately pick up their
weapon.

This skill must be used while already in combat, and only against the person
the user is currently fighting.

Primary Attribute: Dexterity

Songs

Level 6: The March to Harrud
Syntax: Play 'The March to Harrud'
  
The desert city of Ashta Harrud lies in the southern reaches of
Avendar, in the geographic center of the Crimson Sands. The city
fell only once, when Felsa the Mad General of Gogoth led an 
entire battalion of his troops across the desert to assail the
city. This song commemorates the spirit of the mad general, and
those who hear it are invigorated, moving further while expending
less stamina.
  
Instrument: Vocal
   
Duration: Discretion of performer
  
Primary Attribute: Charisma
Level 8: Touch of the Seas
Syntax: Play 'Touch of the Seas'
  
Said to contain some small measure of the healing powers of the sea,
this song, when played, brings increased regeneration to the bard
and his or her group.
  
Instrument: Vocal
  
Duration: Discretion of performer
  
Primary Attributes: Wisdom, Charisma
Level 11: Note of Shattering
Syntax: Play 'Note of Shattering' <Target>
  
Through the use of certain powerful harmonics, bards can use this
note in an attempt to shatter the crystal and glass objects used
by an opponent.  If the sonic energies of this note are not focused
at a specific target, the note will affect all those in the room.
  
Instrument: Percussion
  
Duration: Single chord
  
Primary Attributes: Wisdom, Charisma
Level 12: The Walls of Nordath
Play 'The Walls of Nordath'
  
'The Walls of Nordath' is a poem which tells of the fall of the Keep of
Nordath, located in the southern reaches of the wild North Forest.  Just as
Nordath's walls were overcome, so too will this song act, attempting to
crumble walls of stone and the locks of doors.  
  
Instrument: Brass
  
Duration: Single chord
  
Primary Attribute: Charisma
Level 13: The Mute God
Syntax: Play 'The Mute God'
  
This ancient song tells the tale of a forgotten god, who loses his
voice bit by bit as his ungrateful followers desert him. Left
without voice or power, the legend has it that this demigod was able 
to communicate only through the chords of his lyre. Now, the song produces 
a melodic sound that often completely prevents any other sounds from 
entering or leaving the bard's immediate vicinity.
  
Instrument: Strings
  
Duration: Discretion of performer
   
Primary Attribute: Charisma
Level 14: The Feckless Nefortu
Syntax: Play 'The Feckless Nefortu'
  
The nefortu have a perhaps deserved reputation as a tricksome, 
often untrustworthy people. This song commemorates this trend,
and has a dubious effect on those who hear it. Under the influence
of the music, groups of travelers often fall to quarreling among
themselves, breaking the bonds of unity.
  
Instrument: Strings
  
Duration: Single chord
  
Primary Attribute: Charisma
Level 15: The Day of Two Dawns
Syntax: Play 'The Day of Two Dawns'
  
A poem first composed by the legendary ch'taren bard Sy'kanse bore
this title, and this song sets those words to music. The poem 
celebrates the Day of Two Dawns, when the ch'taren first arrived
on the surface of Avendar. Bards who sing this song are protected
by an aura of light, which may blind or stun those who strike at them.
  
Instrument: Woodwind
  
Duration: Discretion of performer
   
Primary Attribute: Charisma
Level 16: Bane of Asjia
Syntax: Play 'Bane of Asjia'
  
Asjia was a caladaran mentalist of some great renown who worked
tirelessly throughout his long life to bring peace to the shattered
and divided Broken Lands east of Earendam's reach. Largely successful, 
he met defeat only at the hands of a kankoran barbarian, who hewed
Asjia in twain with one fell stroke.  The telling of this tale in
song evokes some bit of chaotic magic that is disruptive to the 
mental powers of psionicists.
  
Instrument: Strings, Brass
  
Duration: Single chord
   
Primary Attributes: Wisdom, Charisma
Level 17: Crash of Arms
Play 'Crash of Arms' <Target>
  
A stirring song, this particular piece of music speaks of the 
force and fury of epic combat. Those to whom the song is directed
are struck by a wave of sonic force, which can both damage and 
deafen the victim.  If the sonic energies of this song are not 
focused at a specific target, the note will affect all those in
the room.
  
Instrument: Percussion
  
Duration: Single chord
  
Primary Attributes: Wisdom, Charisma
Level 18: The Veils of Tyril
Syntax: Play 'The Veils of Tyril'
  
This song, long a favorite of the common folk, tells the tale of
the heroic rogue Tyril. Calling to mind a bit of his spirit, 
the bard who plays this song will call up shadows to conceal
themselves in in the manner of thieves and bandits, their presence
indicated only by the sounds of the music. 
  
Instrument: Woodwind
  
Duration: Discretion of performer
  
Primary Attribute: Charisma
Level 19: The Lone Defender
Syntax: Play 'The Lone Defender'
  
The song of the lone defender is a tale of an ancient soldier,
who comes out of retirement to defend his village from a
barbarian raiding party. Standing alone, he holds a mountain
pass long enough for his people to escape, defeating the
enemy's chieftain before being felled himself. Those allied with
a bard who sing this song are inspired by its heroic nature,
and defend themselves with similar valor.
  
Instrument: Strings
  
Duration: Discretion of performer
  
Primary Attribute: Charisma
Level 20: The Hakuran Balm
Syntax: Play 'The Hakuran Balm'
  
This song is based on the famous balms produced at the Hakuran
monastery, designed to calm troubled minds. The power of this
music has a similar effect, acting to slow or even stop bloody 
quarrels in their tracks.
  
Instrument: Woodwind
  
Duration: Discretion of performer
  
Primary Attribute: Charisma
Level 24: The Lay of Lilisa
Syntax: Play 'The Lay of Lilisa' 
  
This lay, or epic poem, tells a portion of the dark and tragic tale
of Lilisa. A daughter of one of Var Bandor's wealthiest merchant
family, Lilisa was ensnared by the lures of the god Serachel, and
trapped in the realm of dreams. In the end, she took her own life,
only to serve as an unwitting hold the dark god had on the heroic
assassin Sydonus. The Lord of the Damned used Lilisa to manipulate
Sydonus into dooming both of them to a dark immortality as guardians
of the Coven of the Shunned. So horrific is the magic and power
inherent in this song that all those who listen are subject to an
unnatural fear, which may cause even the staunchest warrior to 
flee from combat.
  
Instrument: Woodwind, Brass
  
Duration: Discretion of performer
  
Primary Attribute: Charisma
Level 25: Song of Salyra
Syntax: Play 'Song of Salyra'
  
Named after the legendary first archmage of water Salyra, this song
tells of her greatest feats of healing. Captured in the magic of
this music is some portion of the archmage's healing power, and those
who hear the music will benefit greatly from it.
  
Instrument: Strings
  
Duration: Discretion of performer
  
Primary Attributes: Wisdom, Charisma
Level 26: The Tides of War
Syntax: Play 'The Tides of War'
  
This song stirs the martial spirit of the bard and their companions.
While this song is being played, the martial skill of the bard's
group will be enhanced, adding the strength of legends to their
blows.
  
Instrument: Percussion 
  
Duration: Discretion of performer
   
Primary Attributes: Charisma
Level 26: Note of Striking
Syntax: Play 'Note of Striking'
  
Through the use of this powerful, booming note, a bard blasts
their opponent with sound with the intention of stunning them
with the power of their music.  If the sonic energies of this
note are not focused at a specific target, the note will affect
all those in the room.
  
Instrument: Percussion, Brass
  
Duration: Single note
  
Primary Attributes: Wisdom, Charisma.
Level 30: The Forgotten Fugue
Play 'The Forgotten Fugue'
   
This polyphonic piece is a fugue, made by some long-forgotten
composer (though some more liberal members of the Bardic Collegium
still credit it to the poet Quarentis). While its origins remain 
unknown, when played by a bard, the fugue has the unusual property 
of enhancing the mystical and mental energies of those who listen.
  
Instrument: Strings
  
Duration: Discretion of performer
   
Primary Attributes: Wisdom, Charisma
Level 32: The Stuttering Sage
Syntax: Play 'The Stuttering Sage'
  
This song is derived from an old folk tune which concerns the
antics of a magical sage who speaks with a pronounced stammer. 
Such is the effect of the song that all scholars who hear it will
find their own spells similarly impaired.
  
Instrument: Vocal
  
Duration: Discretion of performer
  
Primary Attribute: Charisma
Level 35: The Price of Cowardice
Syntax: Play 'The Price of Cowardice'
  
Bards who play this song remind all those around them of
the ultimate fate of all cowards. Such is the magic of the
music that all who listen find that their own attempts at
flight from combat are hampered.
  
Instrument: Percussion, Brass
  
Duration: Discretion of performer
  
Primary Attribute: Charisma
Level 35: Tears of Kyana
Syntax: Play 'Tears of Kyana'
  
This song is a dirge telling of the sadness of Kyana, mythical
goddess of the stars. In legend, her tears often had power over
the hearts of mortalkind and are memorialized in this song. Bards
who perform this piece draw forth the sympathy of those around them,
often causing them to assist the musician should he or she be in
peril.
  
Instrument: Vocal
  
Duration: Discretion of performer
  
Primary Attribute: Charisma

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