minstrel: Things bardic at Triatia war, and saying hello (fwd)

Heather Rose Jones hrjones at uclink.berkeley.edu
Sat Mar 29 09:22:23 PST 1997

On Sat, 29 Mar 1997, Kathy Lee wrote:

> Mikal - I'm curious - what is the structure of the college of bards in your
> kingdom?
> What about in other kingdoms?  Anyone?

Well, here's a personal take on bardic "organization" in the Central West
(since I don't know enough about Oertha and Lochac to say anything

There is, theoretically, a kingdom "college of bards" -- it was originally
set up (I believe) for the purpose of producing commemorative poems for
the fighters in Crown Lists. When this activity passed out of custom (no
doubt, to some extent, due to the unmanageable growth in the number of
Crown tourney entrants) the College of Bards fell into inactivity for a
while. The label has been applied to various relatively informal
"workshop" type activities at various times, but there is no on-going
formal structure as far as a kingdom-wide organization. The Principality
of Cynagua has a Bardic Guild, which is (at least based on the information
I have) very formally structured with internal rankings and award
structures. There is also an annual competition for the Bard of Cynagua --
a post which is loosely affiliated with the Guild (depending on who you're
talking to, it seems). I'm much more familiar with the set-up in the
Principality of the Mists. The Mists also has an annual competition for a
principality bard, and the former holders of this position (the Order of
the Golden Branch) occasionally take on projects or activities as a group.
(As a bit of comparative anthropology: in the Mists, the Bard's position
is that of personal bard to the Coronet; the impression I have been given
is that Cynagua's Bard is more of a populist-oriented position.) The Mists
have had moderately regular monthly workshop/oganizational meetings,
theoretically under the aegis of the kingdom College of Bards, but with
very strong support and participation from the Order of the Golden Branch.

Anyway, that's the "formal" structure. Mostly what we have is a lot of
spontaneous, unstructured bardic activity at events. ("Unstructured" in a
formal sense -- the host of each individual bardic circle may create a
clear structure according to their tastes.)

Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn

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