Introducing: THE BARD

Updated: Jun 16

This is an extract from the beginning of my first book, Silent Skies.

It is a note bound with weathered string to the top of a hand-written, coffee-stained, blood-encrusted tome; a tale the bard has titled Flames of the Exiled and sent right into the heart of the Empire...



27th Year of the Second Eon

To Zündenai, heir to the throne of The Empire,

Peace be with you, as you contemplate the many choices you must make that will define our future.

With your coronation swiftly approaching, I hope this tale is of some use to you. Consider it a history of this recent chaos and the concurrent exodus of the Taranor people – though, when I penned my first thoughts on this story, I hadn’t the faintest inkling that I might later use my notes to attempt to exonerate the exiles. I was just intrigued by the circumstances of the people I met…

Let me explain.

Over the last few years, I have been collecting and organising several perspectives on the events leading to the exodus of the Taranor. With all the confusion and bitterness rising in the wake of this turmoil, I feel it is essential that someone shine a light on what is now our history.

The story enclosed is rooted in the truth I have uncovered through my interrogations of the many people I have travelled with – primarily: a Tuthervarr, a prince, a Monster Missionary, a chimeric maven, and a member of the Taranor Royal Guard. My own part in the tale begins much closer to its culmination – so it may be some time before I introduce myself properly. For now, call me The Balizon Bard…

So, why am I giving this to you?

As I said earlier, I hope it is useful. I believe it will be the first written history of the Second Eon – and, as a friend has often told me, ‘history is the cornerstone of all knowledge’.

All that aside, I am a sentimentalist. I put my faith in Oldone – the god of the Old Way. He must be something of a sentimentalist, himself, for it is said that his glory resides in artworks, literature, and movements of music; and it is because of this that the stories told through these vessels have the capacity to transform us in subtle ways. I suppose I hold the hope that this story is solid and subtle enough serve that function – and I accept that it is likely to be a vain hope in more ways than one.

You will notice, though, that in some sections I have stated things that cannot be proven or gathered through interrogation. You will have to trust that I know these things to be true by different means – by intuition, by inference, and by my understanding of the shape of the world, and stories, and people. In turn, I have trusted Oldone to guide my understanding of these things.

Still – and lastly – I hope it is enjoyable. I implore you to take those passages where I seem to ramble not as superfluous, but as of equal importance. I am firmly of the opinion that in a story about humans, all that seems inconsequential is in fact the meat of it. Those exciting points of change, catastrophe, or eucatastrophe are spices and mead – best taken alongside the meat. After all, without meat to calm it, the spices and the mead take a heavier hold and begin to obscure the vision of the consumer…

Here, I’m rambling already.

To begin this tale, we shall go back ten years. We will visit a campfire in the wooded foothills of Abnoran, some kilometres northwest of Fort Banam. Now, before I introduce the primary characters that form the company there, I should give a proper introduction to this story as a whole...

If you are old enough, you might remember this.

If you are young enough, you have imagined it.

If you are wise enough, you may even believe it…

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