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The Bards and the Lost Book

Shouting over his jubilant discovery, Adalgiso Batyun drew the attention of many from both communes and from all four cities. Upon arrival, they heard tell of “Love of Story”, an ancient book that had been written off as pure myth. Having found the cover, Adalgiso believed he’d found proof of its existence – and excitement was rife among the theatrical and musical communities. However, unlike the common travellers and bards, those bards who had studied the arts of the Great Voices of the Keepers of Songs heard the call of their Voices – and they were nearly frenetic with energy.

For the first time in untold aeons the Flock of Miracles came to be once more, the Voice of Rhapsody taking on the form of thousands of pristine white doves. Twisting herself into a cool, meandering breeze, the Voice of Trialante caressed the trees of the Southern Serenwilde, eager to find that which drew her attention. Belching something about a document with great power and knowledge – and a signature of powerful energy to boot – the Voice of Gullagumbah settled inside a great keg and, kicking out boots, the Effervescent Keg of Gullagumbah went gallumphing out into the city of Gaudiguch, eager to begin its journey.

They were not alone, however – high in the crystalline city of Hallifax, the Voice of Crys sought this document as well – drawing crystals about himself, the Voice of Crys took on the form of Jilai Clarramore, the spirit of a trill composer more than a millennia old which he kept about for company and the beautiful treasure that is her voice. In Magnagora, the Voice of Jagrerox swirled up the angry, tainted clouds of the city, summoning a ferocious storm which struck the Bell-Tower with angry red lightning. Upon exploring it, Magnagora found a blackened and charred skeleton clasping a hellish and demonic guitar – the Darkening Scream of Jagrerox given form.

Last but not least, the Voice of Mahalla moaned and wailed in the Glomdoring Forest, forced into action lest the other Voices succeed whilst she did not. Sinking into the dark and wyrden soil of the Glomdoring, Mahalla emerged as a swarm of death watch beetles, thousands upon thousands of the eerie and disconcerting insects wandering about the forest before ultimately swarming the Master Ravenwood itself – ticking away the moments in a frantic and insectoid cacophony of noise.

Kregarn lead the Voice of Gullagumbah forth into the Basin of Life, as Faragan lead the Flock of Miracles and Nelras lead the crystalline form of Jilai Clarramore. In Magnagora, Solange of the Cacophony lead forth the dark and malevolent Darkening Scream of Jagrerox, while Serenwilde and Glomdoring saw Lyethal lead the soft, whispery wind that was the form Trialante took while Zhri and later Synkarin lead the ticking swarm of death watch beetles forth. All across the Basin of Life the Great Voices pursued thrumming pieces and chapters of the “Love of Story” – and though they succeeded, a vortex would open and steal the document, hiding it once more.

They would not be thwarted so easily, however – each Voice would press on, able still to sense it. The common, wandering bards lending bits and pieces of myth and legend and power to the Voices, the forms they took would scour the Basin of Life with their students to seek out the chapters no matter where this figure of shimmering light would hide them.

Exhausted and tired of hiding them, the figure of light emerged from its vortex briefly – destroying the chapter that the swarm of death watch beetles pursued. However, it was a short victory for the figure, who abandoned the scene before all was done – and, absorbing the motes of energy into themselves, the swarm of death watch beetles fled into the earth and soil, returning to the Glomdoring they know of as home. Within, Synkarin – who had aided the Voice of Mahalla for much of her pursuit – discovered what Mahalla had gleaned.

Though the text had been destroyed, Mahalla had gained from it an implicit knowledge of a dead and forgotten art – that of Dramaturgy. Sharing this knowledge with the Harbingers, the Voice of Mahalla restored it to the modern era.

Soon Lyethal of the Spiritsingers would aid the Voice of Trialante in a similar debacle, though she too would manage to save some memory of the power the pages once contained. Faragan of the Cantors would see the Miracle Flock return to New Celest with this knowledge – with no small help from Lady Kelly McCloud – and Yatrius would aid the Voice of Crys in bringing it to Hallifax. While Kregarn would finally bring it back to the city of Gaudiguch, it was Solange who – after many brutal, agonizing demises under the leadership under the Ur’Guard Marcalla n’Lochli and much beratement and physical abuse by the manifestation of Jagrerox – finally brought the art of Dramaturgy to the city of Magnagora.

And so, though “Love of Story” has been lost, the energy released upon its destruction led to the discovery of the Art of Dramaturgy, living on now in the guilds of artists in every city and commune in the Basin of Life. The Voices believed that the energy released was almost divine in nature, tapping into the source of the creative pulse.

Questions linger, however. Among them, how did the book contain such power? And what was the presence that was so intent on destroying the chapters of the lost book? Hopefully, that will be the last that is seen of such a force.

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