User:Trevyr/Bardic Colleges

The BR rulebooks states that Bardic Colleges have their own goals and hidden agendas. Mark weighs in on their secrets.
In the context of Anuire, I sort of took this to mean that, unlike the province-holders, they could see beyond the boundaries of each duchy's own political boundaries, and so they took it upon themselves to look out for what is best for the "common man," what's best for Anuire, encouraging regents to act together for the common good when possible, and attempting to act as the soul, conscience and memory of the Culture now that the normal "centralizing force," that of the Emperor and the Imperial Government, are gone. Rather like the Harpers in Anne McCaffery's Dragonriders of Pern series, if you're familiar with those books.
For example, the Imperial Heraldic Society (or whatever we named them in the OCP) are cheifly concerned with political decentralization of Anuire, and in maintaining the "standards of nobility and honor" among the ruling classes. After all, they keep what is essentially the "official" Heraldic Register of the Anuirean Nobility, the list of Who's Who and Who's Not (no
matter how hard they try to pretend). That gives them a lot of power, socially, at least, and means that they can go into virtually any court and expect to be seen and at least listened to politely.
Then there's that College in Aerenwe: Greenlaw College or something. I see that one as much more acting as a social conscience: working to change the attitudes of the nobility for the commoners, and vice versa, to keep the worst of the abuses possible in the system as rare as possible, and perhaps always on the lookout for ways to improve things with the right change in perspective.
Second edition bards could cast enchantment/charm spells, and though he doesn't specifically address it, 3e bards can cast healing spells. What does this imply for other arcane spellscasters?
I'm not really sure what to make of this. If I ever knew it, I have forgotten about it. It bears some thought, to be sure. My initial thought is that it perhaps has something to do with the famous relationship between the bard and his "Muse." Perhaps a Muse is an actual spiritual being, perhaps a holy servitor of Laerme, that all true Bards gain a special relationship with in a ceremony led by a Priestess of Laerme, either at the end of their college days or before they reach whatever level it is that they begin to be able to cast 3rd level spells (sorry, books not handy). That at least makes things fit neatly into my own personal Cerilian metaphysics, although it may not be as "neat" as some would like it.
Mark VanderMeulen

October 1999

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