:: Posted at eye level upon the bulletin board nearest the Smoking Boar's Bard's Guild library are several stained pieces of parchment adorned with flamboyant black-inked script. The penmanship's style made the document's bardic owner obvious. However, were the exaggerated serifs not overt enough of who was responsible for the piece, upon closer approach to the parchment, one's olfactory senses would be overwhelmed with the smell of chamomile, lemon, cedar, and sandalwood oils. ::
I have some exciting news I wanted to share, incase I cannot tell it to you in person in these coming days. The winds of wanderlust carry a tune that I find myself yearning to follow. It's beautiful, and one I have been following for most of my life.
Incase you didn't know, my renowned family—the Eldanars—are comprised of masterful bards whose bardic services have been employed by royal courts for as long as we can remember. When we come of age, around 14, every Eldanar is sent to train with a local militia for two years (I myself served as a battle bard—NOT A DRUMMER BOY—for our local guard in my southern hometown). This period is designed to prepare the Eldanar with the skills necessary to survive a cherished tradition called the 'Wanderlust.' At the age of 16, after our training, we are given the key to our front door, which you may have seen worn around my neck. We are then sent on a Wanderlust to pursue a particular masterful musical contribution worthy of the Eldanar name and a vocation in some prestigious court.
When an Eldanar enters the Wanderlust, they travel the plane alone in search of some artistic contribution they believe worthy of our ancestries prestige. It’s a rather dangerous affair, but by virtue of being an Eldanar, it’s never lonely. For some, their return happens in a couple of years. Others may spend a lifetime.
Until an Eldanar makes a discovery they deem of warrant, they are not allowed to return. However, when they do, they return to their home and use the key around their neck to unlock the front door, and are greeted with Eldanars rejoicing over their return marked by Eldanars greeting them by their full name.
It's a wonderful event—an Eldanar's return! Every time a family member unlocks that door, all the neighboring Eldanars—who have a tendency to breed like rabbits and produce large families (I have 7 brothers and a sister you know)—gather for days upon days of celebratory festivities. The merriment, food, dancing, and music are so joyous and so entertaining that it is truly beyond words (and few things leave an Eldanar without words!). There are no parties like an Eldanar party! The festival concludes with the returning Eldanar presenting and performing their Wanderlust discovery, and shortly after they are often recruited by some prestigious royal household. My father, Richard, was one of the most accomplished Eldanars in our family’s history. He returned from his Wanderlust with an absolute treasure: the discovery of the long lost Eastern style of percussion. To say I have big boots to fill is an understatement. Not one to be outdone even by my father, I opted to pursue finding the even longer-lost Northern style of percussion—one rumored to have been lost shortly after the Age of Origination and the alleged origin of bardic magic. I found myself widely traveled in the former lands (and came to much fame, as I’m sure you well know), when my Wanderlust underwent some difficulties. While in a temple of Ordin’s library, I had discovered an important lead, only to be interrupted at that moment by the horrid firefall of dragons. I had managed to survive the ordeal (we’re a stubborn lot to kill, we Eldanars), and with it some of the temple’s written artifacts, and like many of you fled the dragon fire by finding passage as one of the first refugees in these lands of exile. Thus are the origins of the Bard’s Guild library—the remnants of the Temple of Ordin’s collection I could salvage. My Wanderlust has continued since, complicated by the fact that I found myself exiled twice-fold: first, exiled from the Eldanar family as is right per our Wanderlust tradition, and second, now exiled from the Former Lands per the unrighteousness of the Firefall. Surely, this has complicated things. I don’t even know if there is a front door left standing in which this key around my neck can open, however in spite of these complications I am still obligated to the objective of my Wanderlust: discovering the elusive Northern style. You may find these circumstances problematic, but Mother Tavern Protects and Mother Tavern Provides. Perhaps the Northern style was so-long-lost because we did not wander far enough. About a year ago, the most remarkable thing happened! I came into the ownership of an ancient scroll detailing the story of a first human called ‘Bard.’ The story depicts this character’s first interaction with an ancient tree, ‘Mother Tree,’ who became fascinated by this human’s ability to produce an unnatural song. The two conversed, and She gifted him with a piece of Her hollowed trunk, and a leaf from Her branches, which She fashioned both into a drum. I don’t know the origins of this scroll. It simply appeared one day in the Bard’s Guild library, however I think this is the long-sought after clue my Wanderlust has needed. The scroll has since been featured within the Bard’s Guild library for other bards to read, and it is easily recognizable by its adornment of a large ruby and gold crest. As another Firefall has befallen New Haven—that of War—I have given it much thought, and I think now is the time to pursue this lead before fire sets me and civilization back once again. An Eldanar in their Wanderlust is never meant to stay in one place for too long, anyways, you know… We are called to wander, by nature. And so I think it’s my time to do just that. 7 days from the date of this letter, I shall head off to continue my pursuit of a contribution worthy of my family’s name. Don’t worry about how I will fare with the often hostile exiled races beyond our borders. Perhaps they’re just lonely, and in need of festive company. I’m sure to befriend them, just as I had you, and they cannot be half as dangerous as the wrath of a Tavern Keeper who claims to have spotted me in a cellar with their daughter (ludicrous, I know. My mother raised me to be a gentleman). I do not know when, or if, I shall return. That is up to the wind and its musical score. I will be most busy pursuing the origin of this Northern style, and I must also be keen to check in on Ekrin (otherwise he will eat all of Shit-take-ee farm’s shroom supply, as he is prone to do). I must also check on an old white-haired foul-mouthed relative of mine. *wink wink, nudge nudge*” Kannoth actually wrote the words “*wink wink, nudge nudge*” in emboldened ink in the parchment.
“I will miss you all, my good friends, a very good deal. I hope the lust of the wander brings us to continue the performance of our friendship. It’s a beautiful song. You inspire me. Signed, Kannoth ‘of Songs’ Eldanar, ‘Friend.’ PS: No, I will not sell you the Smoking Boar Tavern. The Children belong to their Mother. The Tavern, to the Guild. PPS: I do love collecting trinkets of my travels. Little mementos. Many of your hair pins, rings, brooches, abandoned armored scale, and knick-knacks have found their way into my pouches. I have no clue as to how, and I do mean to give them back. However, if you would part of any insignificant thing in which I can remember you by, I would greatly appreciate it! PPPS: As a going away present, I will be cooking my favorite childhood dish to anyone who wishes to join me at the Smoking Boar for dinner on Saturday evening. PPPPS: Mother Tavern Protects, and Mother Tavern Provides.”