The Ferquad family stems back many generations. While the exact date is unknown, it is estimated that it was around 49 a.S. that the family's popularity began: The first well known Ferquad was Elizabeth Ferquad who had an amazing signing voice and attended the "School of Tunes" in Bardavos. She was offered spots in the "Circle of Dreams", studying there for a few years her heart was with the "School of Tunes" where she eventually returned.
Picture description: Elizabeth Ferquad, the first member of the famous Ferquad artist family. Image drawn by Faugar.
When Elizabeth was a little girl, she would always sing. Her untrained voice
would quiver on high notes and glide through the deeper notes on the scale. Try
as she might, she could never hit the higher notes but she didn't stop trying.
Elizabeth's family was of a fairly average standard when she was young. One day
as chance would have it a bard was travelling through the small farmyard outside
of Bardavos and heard the young and
untrained voice of potential.
The bard tried to resist the urge to head towards the voice. He couldn't. His mind said to continue on their own way minding their own business, while his legs walked towards the voice. He came across a scruffy looking young teenage looking girl milking a cow. Introducing himself as "Markus the Bard". The man instantly gave the young girl a lesson.
Instructing her to stand, and sing from the diaphragm. The shy young maiden rose to her feet, attempting to sing the same tune as Markus Bard had just done. "The elven Goddess Avá must have sent high elves and blessed you with the voice!" He said excitedly as the girl squealed having finally, although somewhat strained, hit the high note she had been wanting to hit all these years. In her excitement and boisterous behavior, Elizabeth's mother and father came running from opposite parts of their humble farm. Upon a rather abrasive confrontation Markus Bard introduced himself to the family and then got Elizabeth to sing.
The two harsh looking parents softened as their daughter sang. When she stopped the previous harshness returned. "And?" Was the fathers only response. "She's a milk maid, and will one day... Soon might I add marry one of the lo'cal boys and then start a fam'ly of her own! What good is a voice but to sing babes to bed with?" the uneducated mother spoke.
Realizing this moment that he had to rid this child of her parents and allow her to forfill the hearts of all those out there Markus thought on his feet. "Elven legend has it that once in a lifetime the Great Avá will bless a human maid with the voice of high elves." He looked at the girl somewhat anxiously and then at the parents.
“Marry her and she’s yours!” Francis, her father answered harshly out of the blue. Both Markus and Elizabeth gasped at the mention of the word marriage while May crossed her arms over her stomach. Shifting his feet nervously at the thought of having a wife, Markus looked at Francis simply raised an eyebrow. "She ain’t leaving this ‘ere farm without a husband," May said looking at the two men.
Needless to say, two days later Elizabeth and Markus were married somewhat hastily. Feeling somewhat used and un-cared for Elizabeth sulked all the way to Bardavos. The only thing that she was thankful for was the fact that she was able to keep her own last name as Markus didn’t have one, he took on hers. Upon arriving in the city she was spellbound by the buildings and various scenery having only ever seen double story farmhouses. Markus whisked her away and started her singing training as soon as they were settled in a small house above a tavern.
Within six months Elizabeth was singing on stage at various occasions. She was heard by one of the people organising the king’s coronation and was hired to sing elven songs in the back ground. Her voice adding mystical, melodic, calming and yet exciting background to the coronation. From that day she and Markus received many requests for the human with the voice of a high elf. She met various diplomats from other races and tribes. All the while her popularity, fame and fortune was growing.
Elizabeth became pregnant on the year she was asked to join the "School of Tunes". Late in her twenty third year she gave birth to a baby boy Richard. She continued her studies for approximately five years. She was also offered a position in the "Circle of Dreams". Trying to study at the two schools at once, and look after her demanding husband, dependend child and keeping up with her appearances became too much so she had to give up study for a short time.
Taking up study in her thirtieth year Elizabeth continued studying until the day she passed, eventually turning from student to teacher. Her miraculous voice was passed on to her son who also studied under his mother. The two also performed duets and on very rare occasions Markus would even join in on the singing. However ,Elizabeth’s fame went to both their heads, the money and popularity were too much for Markus to handle. He eventually developed a strong drinking habit. This would turn him violent against both Elizabeth and Richard. Fearing what leaving her husband would do to her courier Elizabeth stayed with him, keeping Richard away from him as much as possible, however the damage which would span for generations to come, had been done.
Importance. Elizabeth Ferquad's voice is still remembered and talked about, even centuries after here death. There exist several inns (especially in Bardavos) bearing her name where it is claimed that she had once sung and entertained artistocrats and common folk alike. Elizabeth Ferquad as well as her progeny are one of the most legendary artist families of Santharia and will remain unforgotten for many future generations.
Information provided by Selina Cantrell and Uragel