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Author Topic: The riddles of the Three Bards  (Read 10252 times)
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Silfer Darkflare
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« on: 28 March 2003, 18:42:00 »

After a good time of gaming, at a time when sleep is for most people desirable, but for me it comes some hours later, I write. So I present to you, a story I did not plan, but wrote, and it was created as i wrote. Weirder and weirder, to quote Alice.

This is a story told by myself, in first-person. This is meant as a prelude, and I hope to make some more chapters to it. Enjoy... Comments welcome.

The riddles of the Three Bards

Once upon a time I happened to pass by the city of Bardavos, which lies south of the great Narfost plain, near Occen's Lake. I did not plan to stop by the city; but as my supplies run short, I had better get new ones, rather than starve and freeze. My stay should not have been long; I needed only food, and maybe some coins - to ensure my journey for a while. And since the School of the Quill, the part of Bardavos dedicated to poets and writers, greatly welcomes tales from the northern lands, I figured to have a fair chance at getting my supplies there.

Once inside the city, I was directed to the aforementioned School of the Quill. It was not hard to find, and soon I reached my destination. As the weather was rather ugly, because winter was battling the arising spring, it felt good to come inside the school, and sit down by the fire. Not knowing much about the school, nor the ways of the bards, I decided to sit down and listen for a while, rather than opening my mouth. For it is an old line of wisdom that refers to speech as silver, yet silence as gold, in certain situations.

After listening to various stories for a while, there was one conversation that caught my attention from the cozy corner I was occupying. Two young, but no doubt talented bards were talking among themselves. Their conversation was going on for a while, and did not catch my ear until they started to talk about wisdom. As wisdom is not a light matter, and a matter valued by any mage, I centered my attention, listening closely to their conversation. The main issue was how one could acquire wisdom, and what one could see as wisdom. However, as the bards talked, they reached no agreement, and their dialogue became slightly more heated. Little time passed, and the two were arguing among themselves, about who was the cleverest of them. Soon, they began to wonder how they could measure it. As competition attracts listeners, there was soon a small crowd around the two bards, watching their debate with great intensity.

Figuring that this could be a rather interesting conversation, as well as a gaining one, I rose from my cozy corner, walking closer to the two arguing bards.

“The ways of wisdom and knowledge are a rather interesting subject”, I said, smiling in my thoughts. “One can argue for all it is worth, yet, I propose a diversion, that can both prove enlightening, and entertaining”, I continued, as both the bards and the people around them turned their attention towards me.

“Who are you, stranger?” one of the bards inquired me. “A lonely traveller, running out of supplies, and thus stopping at this city”, I replied. “And since your conversation proves rather interesting, and since my pockets are as empty as my stomach, I propose the following: Each of us can tell a tale, and inside the tale, each should place a riddle. Once the tales are told, we will try to figure out each other’s riddles. The quality of the tale, as well as the riddle inside, can be a measure of our knowledge and wisdom.”

“Yet”, I continued, “As I am in need of supplies, I also propose that if you like my tale, and cannot solve the riddle within, then you let me stay for the night, as well as give me some food - to aid my journey."

"And if we do solve your riddle, traveller?” – one of the bards curiously inquired . “If that happens, you are still welcome to let me stay for the night, however, in return I will tell you a tale or two, if you wish. You see, I have travelled here all the way down from Ximax, and I picked up quite a lot of stories on my journey. Either way, we will all be at win – you will hear and tell a tale, as that is a bard’s liking, and I, in return, will also hear and tell some tales, as well as have a good night’s sleep if my tale falls to your taste.”

“A rather interesting concept, traveller”, the second bard spoke up. The first one looked at him, then, if reaching some understanding, they both spoke up: “We agree. As you pointed out, there is no more delight for a bard than to listen and be listened to.”

“Very well”, I said. “Yet, before we start, can I have at least something to still my hunger? Otherwise, I fear my tale might be unheard under the rumbling of my stomach.” The bards smiled, and got me some food. While I ate, the bards waited, no doubt preparing their stories. After finishing eating the simply delicious food, I spoke up: “Who will begin?”

End prelude.


BTW-If somebody here wants to take part in this, you are welcome to write a story on behalf of the first or the second bard. I am only reserving one of the three following chapters for myself.

Bard Judith- if you happen to pass by this forum, and decide to grace this by acting as one of the two bards, I will be truly honored. (Heh, I even try to type less typos than usual...)



Edited by: Artimidor Federkiel at: 8/30/03 9:02
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Viresse
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« Reply #1 on: 28 March 2003, 23:32:00 »

If'n ya want I'd like to write one...
Viresse isn't a Bard, but she considers herself a wealth of knowledge and wisdom in her elven years- and is in that sense kind of arrogant.
*smiles*


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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #2 on: 29 March 2003, 07:15:00 »

Very well written, Silfer, I'm waiting for the stories and riddles!  

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Silfer Darkflare
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« Reply #3 on: 29 March 2003, 08:47:00 »

Sure, Vir, just go ahead... if you finish before me, just add a small prelude e.g.: "I can begin," the first bard spoke up... etc. The more details, the better. (BTW- Silfer aint a bard either, but as a travelling mage he picks up lots of intresting things to tell)

Thanks Talia.


Edited by: Silfer Darkflare at: 3/28/03 2:47:48 pm
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Lamertu Kthaen
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« Reply #4 on: 29 March 2003, 19:35:00 »

Great start of a story. Would partake in it if i wasnt busy with / school/ writing my own stuff.

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Viresse
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« Reply #5 on: 29 March 2003, 20:39:00 »

Cool! I'll try it this weekend.
*tries to come up w/ a riddle; Santharia based*


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Xarl
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« Reply #6 on: 30 March 2003, 13:38:00 »

I'm in.

One of the bards sat back against the wall by the roaring fire.
"Hmm... something tells me I've seen your face before, Master Ergless." He spoke in a lilting tone, the accent that of the Green Hills just beyond the Ximaxian Plateau.  "I think I may've seen your face about the Shimmering Spires, yes, the Yellow Tower, if I'm not mistaken. And if you are from the Magic City, it's all the more fitting my tale's of me and a magical man..."
He took a drink from his mug, and then began...
* * *

I was walking through the forest one day... Where, you ask? Ah, a literal mind my friend has. 'Twere the Quellion, land of the Elven Lords, and a disputed ground for wizards. For 'tis there that the Wizardleaf grows, a blossom with sorcerous powers to fool the eyes, trick the ears, and bring through to the world illusions great and powerful. But I'm afraid my tongue wanders. The story begins with me walking through that forest, enjoying a fine early summer's day, when I came across an entire field of the Mage's Bouquet. Nearly as far as the eye could see, 'twas nothing but the mystic herb covering the ground, even some growing on the sides of the great trees. Well, I don't mind telling you, I sat down and started to pick some for myself, saying to myself as I went, I said, "Nilifus, you'll be getting yourself a fine few meals out of this, and no mistake, because there's not a wizard for strals about who wouldn't pay through the nose for some nice healthy leaf like this!"
But then I said to myself, "You know, Twitter, that there's bound to be one of the magic ones about. After all, isn't it said that they can smell leaf from a mile away, and be taking it into their pouches in a minute?"
I argued with myself for a while, picking leaf while I sat there, talking to myself. 'T must have been a strange sight, a man sitting in the middle of a field of magical herb, mutterin' to hisself... but then the story got interestin.
As I was talkin' to meself, I said "Y'know, Nilifus, it's strange none of the robies have shown up yet," and then there he was. Those robes were such a shade of violet y'coulda fallen asleep just lookin' at 'em. I looked at the robes, and I looked at the face ('Twas one of the oldish ones. The ones who've got the grey hair and the wrinkled faces but can still catch you across the knuckles if y' try to go to sleep.) and I said to myself "Well, here's a right problem."
And then came the funny bit. The roby smiled a bit, and said "Indeed it is, for this is my ground, Master Bard, and I think you may be disturbing my crop." I remember thinkin' he looked like the type who'd be completely polite even as he was choppin' fingers off.
Well, I said to him, I says, "Now now, Master Wizard, there's no reason to be pokin' around in Twitter's mind, is there? I'm willin' to talk a bit more without you knowing what I'm going to ask you before I opens my mouth."
He smiled a bit more, and he said with a smirk you could practically taste, "Wasn't that much pokin' to do, Nilifus Bunglefoot." And that was a nasty thing to say, 'coz that was the name all the kids back at home had for me back whenever we'd be playing... I wasn't botherin' to try not to think the names the roby bastard deserved.
Well, I says to him, "How's this for a deal, Master Wizard? I asks you a question, and you has to answer it. If you answers it, you gets to do whatever y' please with me, and I won't have to toss this fireseed-" Coz' while he'd been having a look-see in my head, I'd been holdin' on real tight to the fireseed I'd grabbed from me pack when roby'd showed up "-into your crop here. If I stumps you, you let the poor bard go with what he's got. Not goin'a ask y' to not poke around my poor head for it, and if I can't answer it either, then you'll still win." And I knows he'll accept, coz' if he don't, he'll be out his crop, and he'll have a bard's death curse on him, and that isn't the thing a wizard's likely to take lightly, no.
Then I thought, but in his voice, kind of, "Very well, Bard. You may pick whatever riddle you can think of."
So I sits, and I thinks. I thinks "Twitter, you'd better think good, 'coz if you wants to get another meal again, you'll have to know the answer to the riddle, but not let yourself know it. 'Tis a right problem, and no mistake."
So eventually, me, sweating all over, asks him, "What's the downfall of tyrants, makes the best into the lowest, brings fools their fortune, and lights the worst life?"
Well, he sits, and he thinks, and I does my best not to think. And I can feel im' messin' around in my head. Something like a headache, only in the way your thinkin', it'd be all over. More like he was givin' me little headaches, one at a time. And eventually he sits back and says "Damn you, bard! It's not in your head at all! You have no idea what you meant, you just heard it somewhere before and couldn't figure it out! I still win, and now you are going to pay!"
I says, still tryin' not to think, "Well, I'm not to begrudge you a guess, Master Wizard."
Well, he thinks, and this time there's not a headache to bother me. So I'm thinkin', and suddenly there's a headache, and he bursts out with "LUCK! I have you, Bard!"
* * *
"Now, I can't finish the story without one of you fine gentlemen figuring out the riddle, coz' what I did next was the answer." Nilifus Outwitter took another swig of his ale. "But I will say that was how I earned those first two letters, and I ain't talkin' about the N and the I."

Xarl Bluestride, Archmage of the White Tower, Elder of the Magic Forum, Master of RP Sorcery and generally cool guy. All requests are to be written on the back of a ten-dollar bill (or equivelant thereof) placed on a dead ferret, and tossed in the sewer system.
Xarl Bluestride
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When life gives you lemons, you clone those lemons. And make super-lemons.
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Edited by: Xarl at: 3/31/03 10:42:58 pm
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Silfer Darkflare
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« Reply #7 on: 30 March 2003, 18:06:00 »

*bows before the great story* Wow. I had started my own story, but this is awesome, Xarl... and btw-as i do think i will have my story up shortly, (i still dont have the riddle, but almost everyhtign else), ill post my answer to the riddle within my own story.

Thanks for the fine chater, Xarl... *bows again*

And then we have all contestants... if Vir is still up for it. On the toher hand, if the Bard does walk into this, ill make it theree bards and myself.

if not, than it is staying as is.

hehe... and pretty damn good riddle.... nice diversion for my weekend.


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Bard Judith
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« Reply #8 on: 31 March 2003, 09:48:00 »

This Bard wants in!  Gimme a few days to come up with a story, but you'll have my participation for sure....

And of course, Sifler, if you get enough interest, you can always go back and change the framing story to FOUR bards....or FIVE... (grin) and have the Great Guild Debate of 1646 (or whatever current time is!)  Le'ssee what Vir contributes here - should be fun...

Edited by: Bard Judith at: 3/30/03 3:52:02 pm
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Silfer Darkflare
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« Reply #9 on: 31 March 2003, 10:20:00 »

Nice, nice. My story is nearly done, I will have it up today or tomorrow... we shall see.  


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Viresse
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« Reply #10 on: 31 March 2003, 13:16:00 »

I'm still up for it. I just need a riddle.
Lemme think so more. I'm not the cleverest, but by Golly, I'll try.


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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #11 on: 01 April 2003, 09:35:00 »

LOL, now I know already that there has to be a short paragraph in my Bardovas entry which covers this story!

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"For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path  that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length. And there I travel looking,  breathlessly. ~Don Juan"
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Silfer Darkflare
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« Reply #12 on: 01 April 2003, 11:48:00 »

Heh, this was meant as a small diversion, as well as a story to go into library... Now, i am thinking of maiking it part of a bigger thing, "The wanderings of Silfer Darkflare".... we shall see. I still have riddle for my won story, but i thnik i have figured Xarl's.


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Viresse
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« Reply #13 on: 01 April 2003, 16:29:00 »

Silfer, that would be so COOL.
Adding a biography of yourself into the site!
And then you'd need to do a people entry; that points to the Story.

Hee! Still thinking.


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Xarl
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« Reply #14 on: 01 April 2003, 16:39:00 »

Heh. E-mail me if you think you've got it. an_trim@hotmail.com.

Xarl Bluestride, Archmage of the White Tower, Elder of the Magic Forum, Master of RP Sorcery and generally cool guy. All requests are to be written on the back of a ten-dollar bill (or equivelant thereof) placed on a dead ferret, and tossed in the sewer system.
Xarl Bluestride
Owner of the longest pure text sig in Santharia.
Xarlian Quote Of The Moment
When life gives you lemons, you clone those lemons. And make super-lemons.
No Longer Master of the Magic Forum, but still basically dominate the place. All bribes to xarl@santharia.com

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