In Penrith, there is a single bardic college. This college, called The Thunder of Song, is well-known for training entertainers, advisers, and drum boys for the nobles and military respectively. Though many others have tried to make their own colleges in Avalon, they have all been slain by the monopoly that the Thunder of Song holds over the arts and the magic that possesses them. As a result, in Prometiia, many exiled, rejected, or rival groups have come to form their own colleges.
It is in Verdade, and only Verdade, that these colleges spring. Though they must still compete with the Thunder of Song’s branch in the capital city, which is funded by numerous high-ranking nobles, they are not as easily destroyed and dissolved as they are back in the motherland. Here, people are trained in the art and magic of song and sent to advise politicians, to work in the armies, or simply to run the massive performances they put on to earn a large amount of money.
Other bards, however, are trained by the wandering magicmen that claim no faction or college as their own. These spread out to all territories, including the Frontier, where they often seek truth, adventure, or the tallest of tales.
Below are a number of famous colleges in Verdade:
Four Seasons was the first of the new colleges, formed by Maximillian Pendragon, a poet famous in Avalon. It focuses on the art of writing and theatre, with famous poets and playwrights abundant. They put on the largest performances and have earned enough money to compete against The Thunder of Song in Prometiia. Likewise, the magic they produce makes wonderful works of art sold not only to the rich in Prometiia, but also to nobles across the world in Avalon. Their current chair is Charlemagne Pendragon the Second, a middle-aged playwright of great renown.
Swordsong Academy works directly with the army of Verdade, training drum boys and valor bards to swell the ranks with inspiration and magical power. Whereas the Four Seasons is the artistic college to go too, Swordswong Academy is where the army sends those with aptitude in rhythm and war song, as well as their most charismatic magic users, to be trained. It is currently run by General Barbaros, a man who wields a magical sword of seven strings.
The Moonlight is the smallest of the new age colleges, but has earned a vast amount of prestige in its short existence. It is formed of only thirteen bards, one from each city state in Avalon, and each a master-class warrior, mage, or performer. When they decide to put on performances, they hire the aspiring as extras and train the promising in a few of their ways. No other college, either in Prometiia or Avalon, can match the magic or awe-inspiring nature of the Moonlight’s master-class performances.
The Thunder of Song
A branch of the main college based in Penrith, the Thunder of Song in Prometiia is in constant competition against both Four Seasons and Swordsong Academy. Headed by Lance Wolfang, a man made famous for creating animated books of magic, they seek to undermine and overcome all other colleges through any means necessary, even if it involves utilizing the Thieves Guilds or other, less legal means.
Below is a number of Bards famous because of their own talents:
Soul Mystique is a lone bard that made her name in Espellismo and Trabayo almost one hundred years ago. A High Elf from an unknown family, she puts on magical performances for nobles, the rich, and even the poor and the common from time to time. She is a local hero in some places, and a thing of myth in others. Rumor has it that she has even captured the heart of Espellismo’s own Sorcerer Cabal, a feat that should be all but impossible. Finding Soul Mystique is impossible unless she wants to be found, and learning from her is something beyond even that, but some claim that she has taught them a secret or two.
A Bard as mysterious as Soul Mystique, Mr. Vestige is a man of a thousand faces. He is a traveler that has put on solo performances in all three colonies, and has even brought cheer to the frontier on more than one occasion. Much like Soul Mystique, no one can say who he is or where he comes from—no one even knows what race he actually is. Rumors abound about his identity, made larger by the fact that he’s worked with the Moonlight College and the Four Seasons on more than one production. Some say that he may not even be a living man, but a ghost or spirit of some long-forgotten bard. Whether this, or any of his many tales, are true, none can say.
Solomon of the Falls
Unlike the other two famous bards, Solomon of the Falls is not some mysterious individual or a whisper on the wind. He is a very real man, a dwarf in fact, whose name and legend is most famous in Trabayo. It is said that he earned his freedom thirty years ago after tricking his masters in a game of cards, where if he lost he would tell them the secrets of the Mountain Dwarves technology. Winning, either through trickery, luck, or cunning, Solomon of the Falls has went on to become a masterful performer and teller of tall-tales. He has even crafted his own organization, a circus tied to no college, that uses the majority of its money to buy slaves and to make them freemen. To those underfoot, none are more important, famous, or well-loved as Solomon.