Foreword

History records that for centuries the only Bastion of the Weave belonged to the Academy of Bold Companions who were the oldest and most influential Bards and Minstrels that wandered the lands. Among them were the legendary Mockingbird Lords whose titles were handed down to the most worthy. They were the greatest most extravagent of the Troubadors and many flocked from miles around to listen to their tales and see them perform. What they hid from the world was the true purpose of their illustrious titles born of Glamour and the Songs of Legend handed down from the Skagriagaard. In the year 2000 the Academy was attacked by the Talons of the Mockingbird itself, believed to be an ancient Gillieabad and all but a handful of the Mockingbirds were slain and the objects of their office stolen.

It seemed like the Academy would collapse and the secrets of the Weave would be forgotten but the weavers returned to their damaged guildhouse and rebuilt and the way continued for 14 years until the rise of a small number of folk within the ranks.

Lead by the redoubtable Katarina NiGaothain whose associates grew in number to include such folk as Dirk Lionsgold and Honest John among many others they uncovered the truth about the titles and powers of the Mockingbirds. At the heart of the Shadow War they battled the forces of Ministers masquerading as the Gillieabad and recovered some of the missing accoutrements of the Lords and returned them to Fleet. Here they formed, with the Blessing of the King, the House of the Last Word which was to replace the shattered Academy and build learning of the Weave anew. This because King Dazak North recognised not only the power that it had against the enemies of his people but to rebuild the world around them.

When they returned to the land and the stasis effect dropped many who had been trapped behind the curtain of magic struggled to adjust to life after almost 4 years of imprisonment. When the House of the Last Word came to claim the Academy with orders from the King Jergen Frings, the remaining and defacto head of the Academy, refused them. Over the next few months the Academy seniors in Hersha Fraje and Everon Koliard seemed amenable although Gerald Street had vanished.

Eventually the Weavers arranged a meeting for all intending to force Jergens hand and reclaim all the missing power of the Mockingbird Lords. Instead Jergen exhibited unusual behaviour and swore violence unless the bards knelt to him and they refused. So in bloody act of weave strangeness on a late afternoon towards the end of Summer in 2018 the council of bards were executed and Frings took the form of a Magpie and escaped. He has not been seen since.

Both the Academy and the House remain in flux. The House lack the experience of guild maintenance and buildings but the Academies hierarchy had been destroyed. Weavers are still trained but they hold tradition and knowledge with the ways that belong to the Mockingbirds. The House hold the keys to that lost wisdom but the door to it is hidden somewhere in the Academy and perhaps with the departed Jergen Frings or the missing Gerarld Street. Whilst the guilds are in flux the King ensures the training of the bards and encourages them to unify their guilds and restore the power of the weave before the Ministers return and the story of the world is consumed by them.

Whilst the House have yet to affirm their words or their carry their sacred artefacts to the herat of Maryat the Academy and its history is long enshrined and thier traditions and teachings work well.

History

When the light of the comet graced the heavens it heralded a time of change in the Royal Basin when the powers of the new magics would rise up and become the power in the world; replacing the strength of the Skagriagaard and the artificery of the Zoranethi. In this time of great upheaval much of the lore and knowledge of the world threatened to vanish from the annals of history; wisdom, guidance, words and stories of civilisation long gone back to the mud. The written word was not the power that it is now, much was an oral tradition of old stories, told and retold to inspire, to teach and to guide. Against all odds, however, that knowledge remained and has been reshaped and remoulded to create what we call the weave and it is through this weave that we use the weight of history to effect the world in which we live.

There is a legend, an old legend, some say from before the time of the Skagriagaard that there were once fifteen spirits and that these spirits carried the stories of the tribes that were to come. They were wise, it is said, beyond the measure of the other Gillieabad and that the Ghurahl were envious of them. They flowed through the passage of the world, dancing and revelling in the open freedom of the early moments and deepening their knowledge of the mysteries of this world and the worlds to come and the worlds that were past. The storytellers smith their words and tell us that into this garden their came a Hunter who carried deplorable weapons. A great spear wrought of the blackest materials the earth could bare and a net whispered together by the voices of the hated reverence. The Hunter had been sent to ensnare the fifteen spirits and bring them to the mortal realm there that they may be bound to one body, one presence and one purpose.
From the Hunter on the Wind By Brendan Dasmamacas, 824

The hunter came on darkened wings with streaks of silver down its feathered back, when its talons flexed, as it came from the sky, the snow white of its underbelly could be seen. Black remiges with grey bands and a black tail tip with a narrow white band caught the eye but only for a handful of seconds before the dark beak and eyes consumed the soul.

Through the realm of spirits where the Gillieabad sing they were pursued by the relentless Hunter, long into the sun and fast into the dark. They used the tricks they had learned, the cunning they remembered and the art that was yet to come but they could not escape and, for the first time, they were threatened. In their darkest moment there were only fragments of breath between them and their last. It was then that the fifteen heard their own voices calling to them and promising them safety. At first they thought it a trick of the Hunter but the words spoke of comfort and made sounds of nurture and care such that the Fifteen felt compelled to approach. The spirits, jealous as they may be, had come to the aid of the oldest walkers sending the Spirit of Mockingbird to guide them to safety. The price was heavy but the Fifteen paid it: Here the legend becomes thin but all agree that the Fifteen became mortal and that with them they carried the power of the stories, the Mockingbird and everything past, future and present.

The folklore of our guild tells us that our council is made up of those that carry the titles of the first Mockingbird Lords and that behind each one of these titles is a legend that guides us through our life and journey. The Highest Lord is the Lord Meistersinger, the first of whom, Eryas, laid down our laws and rules, the Meistersinger is our Lord or Lady and through them flows the lifeblood of the guild. The tablature of the Mockingbirds was sung by Eryas as she took her mortal host and speaks of how we must live our lives and the lore which leads us through the world. Much of this knowledge is taught to initiates as they begin their career but some is held back until a member of the Academy has proven their responsibilities and abilities to the Mockingbird council. These are the values and the words of the spirits and powers that sang their song before the tribes and the spirits, their sagacity ineffable and their legacy eternal.

Below the Lore Meistersinger the fourteen sit, each with their own duties and responsibilities, each with their own knowledge and their own powers. All that they are sprang from the same source as Erya’s, this ancient power and it has been passed down from Lord to Lord over the centuries. It is the duty of each to keep certain tales and stories and to monitor the Weave and ensure that which the story represents is kept in flow and power. Their legacy is one of involvement only in story and in legend, skipping through the wanderings of guildsmen, observing, bearing witness and adding the details of their deeds to the tapestry of the world and remembering that tale and how it came to be. When they speak it is with the voice of all those that have gone before them and carries the weight of each body that has carried the title or perhaps housed the spirit of the Lord that has existed since those early days.
From the Walking Silence By Alifacerenalon Kor Verikan Tzay, 1352

In the stillness of the night She wept the tears of fallen Lords To keep the darkness all abright Within the stories broken Chords
Forever in that tale it must Remain imprisoned in fear, alone For in the teller we must trust The creature it will na’er atone
When the first Mocking Bird Lords came together it is said that they built a great hall in places of darkness. Those stories are lost to legend, stories of six chairs in the hollow of the world. From this place they began to spread their word; at first to a handful, mainly Melkarr and Fae but then, as time went by their knowledge spread. It is said that those first tales and stories began the path that would lead to the power of the Weave, that those first songs bound creatures of darkness and evil into themselves. From here all subsequent weaves draw their strength, allowing the Mocking Bird Lords to spin the web of tales throughout the ages to give the Academy the power that it has now. The stories each hold elements of truth, real living, breathing elements; sometimes heroes who are willing to sacrifice themselves to keep an area of land safe in story or sometimes villains that cannot be allowed to roam free. The Academy calls on each of its members to continue this tradition and use the examples of the past, through story, to battle the enemy.

A Bold Companion is one of a company, an academy, of individuals with similar interests and goals; they have received the same training and come from a firmly seen background. Humans, Eaölfs, Kuldisar or Skaylebourne, all are welcomed, accepted and venerated in their own right. We do not believe in rank or title although we do gain and measure our own respected weight of influence. Whilst we do not interfere in political matters many of our number serve and assist certain nobles of the land that fall within the remit of our ethos: We tolerate many faiths and orders but we work to oppose warfare and the horrors that come with conquest; slavery and wanton destruction. To stand against those that would build Empires by battle and the blood and deaths of others or through the use of unfettered and mindless use of magical arts.

Amongst our other duties we also work towards the meticulous preservation of histories, crafts and knowledge that will lead to the unity that comes with the willing sharing of universal knowledge through friendship. The arts of fallen races and civilisations are to be preserved and their records bought for archiving that they are remembered. Alongside these duties we must stand and work against those who inspire insidious evil and pass word of these foes as we travel the lands: Those who would plunder and wilfully destroy the resting places of the dead and repositories of knowledge and raise the shadowed Lands to raise their own thrones. We guard the smallfolk against such threats where we can, keeping alive their stories and tales as much of those of the Kings and Heroes.

In many ways a role that we play is to keep the duchies, the kingdoms and the protectorates small, keen with trade and to notice the problems of their peoples. Any leader that grows too strong and seeks to take knowledge and power from another is a threat. What is lost when the great kingdom that will be created falls, as it will, is more precious than that which will remain. There is no good and evil, not truly no shining ones and men of purest evil. Not outside of the tales that we spread in taverns and at festivals. We have been given the freedom to act as we wish in freedom and strength by the Gods and by the Tao and we have every right to do so. It is our way to walk always together, taking joy in each other’s company.

Sadly in the year 2000 post pantheonic wars the Hall of Enlightenment was infiltrated during a meeting of the 15 Mockingbird Lords, our version of a ruling table. These meetings took place under extreme secrecy and signify a coming together of the true power of the Academy; ancient power collected from a hundred ages and kept safe, used against those enemies of the peoples that cannot be stopped by any normal means. The whole table was assassinated by forces still unknown to this day and many of those powers stolen. To this day we seek them, the objects and those responsible for the deaths of our elders.