Music

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Music plays a major role in the story. A gifted musician, such as a Masterbard, has the ability to use music as a form of magic, with sound, resonance, and frequency being amongst the foundations upon which magecraft is established. Music in the story is performed using discrete tunings (for example, with a lyranthe) or variable pitch (the human voice). In some cases, music need only be perfectly recreated in the mind of the musician to effect some result.

Verses from the Story

Several poems and song lyrics can be found in the story, and are collected below.

Stanza from a Ballad of Dascen Elur

This verse opens the Curse of the Mistwraith[1]. There is no indication of when it was written.

    All for the waste of Karthan's lands
    the Leopard sailed the main.
    s'Ilessid King then cursed s'Ffalenn
    who robbed him, gold and grain.

Verses from a Ballad about the Battle of Strakewood

Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from Curse of the Mistwraith.

This ballad was written by Halliron after the Battle of Strakewood.[2]

    What law has sanctioned a war for one life,
    when no bloodshed was sought at Etarra?
    Shadow fell in defense, for no man died
    by command of the prince to be harrowed.

    Who shall weep, Lord Steiven, Earl of the North
    for the refuge that failed to spare your clan?
    The prince in your care once begged to fare forth,
    then stayed; his liegemen were fate-cursed to stand.

    Deshir's butcher and Prince Arithon's bane,
    Lysaer s'Ilessid loosed his gifted light
    Sixty score innocents writhed in white flame
    for miscalled mercy, blind justice, and right.

    This day, under sky unthreatened by dark,
    the Etarran ranks march to kindle strife.
    Headhunters search the wide woodlands to mark
    one fugitive who owns no wish to fight.
Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from Fugitive Prince.

In Fugitive Prince, it is referred to as the Ballad of Tal Quorin and is described as casting Lysaer as a butcher made blind by morality and arrogance.

Ballad of Falmuir

The Ballad of Falmuir is referenced following the Battle of Strakewood.

Verse from a Children's Game

Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from Curse of the Mistwraith.

This fragment opens Ships of Merior. It was created in Fourth Age 1220.[3]

    Two princes, dark and fair,
    Cursed by the Mistwraith, Desh-thiere
    Hate bound them
    Blood crowned them
    'Til cold death, war must hound them:
    Vie for the shadows and the light
    Die blind in shadows, burned in light
    Cry, "Down the shadows, hail the light!"

The Ballad of the Cat and the Mead

Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from Ships of Merior.

This ballad is requested by Dakar when he is travelling with Medlir. There are multiple arrangements, ranging from one that's suitable for children, to one fit for nowhere but the bawdy house (with 88 verses and an awful repetitive chorus).[4]

The Ballad of Taerlin Waters

Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from Ships of Merior.

This ballad is practiced by Arithon for Halliron when the pair are in Jaelot. Halliron reminds him not to slur the runs in the third bar, or the grace notes leading into the chorus.[5]

Taerlin is a principality in southeastern Tysan, and Taerlin Waters is a lake in the southern spur of Tornir Peaks. This Paravian ballad tells of the First Age slaughter of unicorns by Khadrim.

Masterbard's Lament

Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from Warhost of Vastmark.

The Masterbard's Lament was written by Arithon s'Ffalenn in Third Age 5647. Because of its length, the text has been given its own page.

Masterbard's Requiem

Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from Grand Conspiracy.

Luhaine recites this requiem when traveling through the Salt Fens to Earle in Third Age 5654.[6]

    While four seasons turn under moon and sun,
    and the unicorns' springtide migration runs;
    while dancers leap to the solstice paeans,
    remember the names of the fallen sons,
    This life, the paid gift of their sacrifice--
    our brilliance of days their eternal night,
    forevermore. Oh, forever mourn them!

Verse of a Marching Song from the Campaign of Dier Kenton Vale

Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from Warhost of Vastmark.

This fragment opens Fugitive Prince. It was created in Third Age 5647.[7]

    Thirty-five thousand marched to war.
    Their weeping widows all died poor.
    Swords against Darkness, reap for Light
    Fell Shadow's Prince and rend falst night.

Tinsmith's Implacable Wife

Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from Traitor's Knot.

Arithon composes this ballad on the spot in Third Age 5671 in Shaddorn to commemorate the wife who fetches a drunken tinsmith from the taverns.

Verse from an Eastshore Water-front Lay

Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from Stormed Fortress.

This fragment opens Stormed Fortress. It was created at some point in the Third Age.[8]

Braggen's Stand at Leynsgap

Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from Initiate's Trial.

This ballad was written to capture Braggen's defense of Arithon at Leynsgap in Third Age 5670. Esfand s'Valerient notes that Arithon is depicted with dauntless courage in the ballad.

Jieret's Lament

Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from Initiate's Trial.

This song was written to memorialize the life of Jieret s'Valerient. Siantra s'Idir notes that Arithon is shown with a tenderly vulnerable spirit in the song.

References

  1. © Janny Wurts, Curse of the Mistwraith, p. 3 (US-Hardback)
  2. © Janny Wurts, Ships of Merior, p. 34-35 (US-Hardback)
  3. © Janny Wurts, Ships of Merior, p. 3 (US-Hardback)
  4. © Janny Wurts, Ships of Merior, p. 40 (US-Hardback)
  5. © Janny Wurts, Ships of Merior, p. 56 (US-Hardback)
  6. © Janny Wurts, Grand Conspiracy, p. 269 (US-Hardback)
  7. © Janny Wurts, Fugitive Prince, p. 1 (US-Hardback)
  8. © Janny Wurts, Stormed Fortress, p. 9 (UK-Paperback)