A light breeze would be felt by any onlookers, and the
same could watch the sun as it lowered beyond the horizon.
Onlookers there were not, and the two figures, standing in
front of a lone stone protruding from the ground, would have
the next moments to themselves.
"We shall begin now dear, in the presence of your
father as tradition requires," spoke one of the two, a
human who had seen many winters come and go, and many
important events come and go, but who kept her eyes
transfixed upon this moment, as attentive as possible.
"I pledge that I will wield Father's blade with
dignity and as I see that he would have done, knowing best..."
began the smaller figure eagerly, akin in manner to a young
soldier reciting the oath of acceptance into a legion.
"Do not jump into such promises, dear," the boy
was silenced in mid-phrase as the other spoke. "It was
not your father's wish that you carry his sword, or that you
have a future in slaughter."
"But all my friends are getting blades, grandmother!
I do so wish for a blade."
"If that is the case, we will stop at the armory
before the day's end." At this the younger appeared
somewhat relieved. "But your rite of age will yet occur.
For your father wished for you his lyre."
"Lyre? You mean to say that father was a minstrel?"
"Young these days," the elder woman sighed,
"a Bard. He was a Bard, dear."
The younger seemed to turn this information about his head.
"So what did he do? What does a Bard do?"
"Why, a bit of everything, dear. Your father worked
channeling magick along with sword, and even did some less
savory things in his lifetime. The most important work of a
Bard, though, is his music. The sounds of a good Bard can
have the power of any wound or spell. A Bard can make things
happen with much more style than one of another Guild, as
"That would be wonderful to watch, grandmother!"
eagerness showing plainly upon the face of the boy, "Why
is it that I've not seen a Bard do such things?"
"A Bard does not crave power as that. The power
springs from emotion, like the magick of runespells you have
seen springs from the mind. The beauty of the song and the
feeling of need will take care of what must be done. The
skill lies not in the instrument, but in the person who plays
it. Perhaps this has been forgotten in the haste of many to
become more. You would do well to remember it also, dear."
With that the boy looked about the stone and found a
slight rise of dirt to one side. Brushing at it with his
hand, he uncovered with delight but much sadness, a small and
plain chest. Opening it with a hand, he withdrew a lyre. It
was not particularly worthy of note in size, shape, or
beauty; but it was held with a loving hand.
"That which you hold was very important to your
father. It was always kept safe. He played it at the evening
of his wedding, and played it as he and your mother were
dying of the plague," the last bit was spoken by the
woman with a quiet sob, after which she continued
unnecessarily, "Treat it with care, dear."
The evening readily gave way to night, and the two humans
readily grew tired in limb. Their hearts and spirits,
however, were awake and aware. Eventually they left the
burial site and moved into land inhabited, approaching soon
the town armory.
"I think I'll pass on the blade, grandmother," spoke the younger, though already seeming somewhat older by the mere look about his eyes. With a thoughtful glance downward he explained, "I think there will be plenty to keep me busy for a time."
That same night, all those of the town would sleep and think nothing but that which their dreams would bring...except for one. He lifted a lyre from a small chest, and placing a hand upon it, played a single, low note. As it sang, he was acutely aware of a single tear; forming in his eye.