|Armor Proficiency||None, Light|
|Special Abilities||Path of Soft Strings
Path of Rough Strings
Path of Wind
Bards, people of spirit and song; playing on their instruments enchanting melodies and mesmerizing songs that enrich the soul. Most commonly seen in regions where life is needing uplifting, the Bard plays a role in aiding the sullen by traveling from region to region playing for the populace songs. Despite this seemingly simple role, Bards are anything but what normal. With their tongues, gifted by years of training to produce tones and hymns that can create vibrations in Aether that brings about magical effects, the same going for their instruments.
Most commonly, a Bard can be self taught, but for one to be truely realized, they must be directed by the aid of Damcyan, where the masters of song and voice reside. With enough training, Bards can understand how to direct and channel the flow of Aether at a whisper, aid a comrade with but a strum of their instruments. Using this vibrations, Bards can enhance the magical field around them, aiding their comrades. Special in that they may use their songs to increase the strength of a foe, refueling their pools of mana, or so forth.
Despite any training they might recieve, Bards are purely neutral, seemingly pacificist. However, they are bound by no laws or dictates and may do what they wish with their talents. Some Bards in unsung history have become thieves, using their talents to lull victims to sleep, enchanting them to do their bidding, etc. This is a darker road in which Bards may venture if the desires of their heart are selfish.
Bards are commonly seen in alone, but can be found in mixed company. Traveling with an army is not unheard of, as they might give empowerment to the marching hordes, strength before the assault. Aiding groups of people with their magical flows, or even being the court minstrel to provide a soothing tale for their royal/house.
Bound by nothing but their own desires, the Bard will use their talent in directing the flow of Aether forever more.
Becoming a BardEdit
One might think of a Bard as someone who simply strums a few strings, tells a few tales, sings a few songs... however, they are much more. No one can be born with this power, it is not something that you are born with. It is talent honed, this caliber of Bard is something focused and hardened over years. Taking the time to train one's tongues to play with mana so easily that it might dance before you, with graceful fingers a fully realized Bard can cause the very air to vibrate with energy; commanding it a whim.
Where as most mages might control Aether directly, Bard's simply channel it and shape it, gracefully molding it into a state where it can be guided. This simple push, elegently done offers the Bard a carde of tricks that no others can understand nor achieve.
Bards must learn first how to use both their tongue and fingers to direct and guide the Aether within and around them, even others. This in itself takes dedication, a number of years practicing simple routines over and over. Patience is a virtue for every bard, as once they are done training... they must prepare to test out these skills. Not all, but many Bards that take training in Damcyan are sent out on a field journey to enrich and uplift the hearts of downtrodden territories, to prove their magical talents can indeed raise spirits, or bring an emotion to the group around them, whether sweet, or sorrow.
A Bard, once fully realized and trained can venture forth, free of reign to do as they please. Their wants their own, and their hearts seeking true desires; they put their newfound abilities to good use.
In the years of training, a Bard will hand carve an instrument of their choice. This instrument varies in design based on the user, and can be made of any fine wood, detailed with the rarest and exotic of materials. As the very sound of their instrument will change the nature of Aether. One might think this is not true, but it is entirely all too real a fact. These differences in Aether manipulation, mean that the Bard will usually be known to carry one or two instruments of choice, mastering each one slowly over time. However, a Bard can also carry a lone instrument of choice, putting all his effort into the lone music-maker, and master that set's abilities.
Depending on their mastery over both tongue and instrument, and how mastered they are over a single instrument. First, mastering the tongue is key, as it bends, guides, and folds the Aether in ways that it may unlock their abilities for use. These instruments are given direct paths, and a Bard can follow an instrument's path to further unlock their abilities. Each instrument offers certain abilities once mastered, and a Bard can master anything more then two instruments (and this will take 10 years per instrument). A Bard can choose to be skilled in all, but master of none, gaining all the benefits as well. All instruments are capable of playing all their abilities, but there are certain ones special to each instrument.
- Path of Soft Strings: By picking up talent with the Lute, Mandolin, or Lyre, the Bard grants themselves access to the Soft String Technique. Playing soft melodies, entrancing audencies with plucks of the strings, mere strums stirring hearts to rest their weary eyes. Sorrowful, hopeful, and mesmerizing, the Soft Strings are reknowned for their abilities to soothe damage away from comrade, strengthen resolves, reinforce armies, and even drain away the strength from foes; providing openings for himself or allies. A truly powerful route to go, the Soft Strings will give the Bard a caste of tricks that never cease to lighten the load or increase the burdens of his foe. Masters of the Soft Strings can cause emotions to drain, eating away at both health and mana. It is most common for a Bard to follow the path of Soft Strings out of all three paths.
- Path of Hard Strings: Picking up talent with the Guitar, Sitar, or Violin grants the Bard a chance to master abilities in the field of Hard Strings. Hard strings are beautiful in their own regard, but in the way they guide and form Aether is most malefic and dark. The chords and strings applied with precise mana control only further destruction on the strings of chaos. Mastering this path lets the Bard deal damage to an enemy, playing sharp tones to disrupt and silence spells midflow.
- Path of Wind: The path of the wind, chosen by users of the flute, ocarina, or panpipe. Least common of the three routes that the Bard may master. The Path of Wind offers tactical abilities to the field, and affects Aether on a broader scale. Abilities that would effect the terrain, or large groups are generally fond of this Path. A master Bard of the Path of Wind might use his Aether-Manipulation to increase the speed of his allies. It is also the instrument based highly around mental manipulation, twisting the minds of others to force them to obey them. This commonly works on animals, and sometimes a Bard can change the situation quickly by turning ally to foe in a moment of haste.
Gear and EquipmentEdit
A Bard is nothing without his instrument, whether his tongue be trained or not. He can only shape the Aether, he can not guide it and push it forward to it's true potential. The Bard will always keep an instrument on him, and if training in more then one instrument, then he will carry those as well. With the Bard, they treat their instrument like any forgemaster they would their greatest creations. Carving, melting, and collecting materials to produce the most magnificent instruments they can afford, always seeking to improve their instrument every few years, sometimes keeping the old one as neccesary.
The Bard will wield lutes, mandolin, lyre, guitars, sitars, violins, flutes, ocarinas, and panpipes. Due to their unsuspicious manner and shape, most Bards are rarely taken as a threat, and this is the grandest mistake a man can make against an experienced bard. Many a bard has been wiley enough with this tongue to be allowed to keep his instrument of choice in prison, detention, or under watch.
Wearing plain garb, fashioned with fine linen and silk, detailed to appear flamboyunt to the eye. The more standing a Bard has, the more royal he might seem. As well, this stature usually goes to show just how experienced a Bard is. To others, this might not seem as much. But to the trained eye, one will realize the appearance of a Bard means much, as it is their goal to ascend in the world, wherever they might be.