Into the Wasteland
Minstrels after the Plague
Minstrels think of themselves as the everyman’s lore master; they believe that only through the traditional songs and not from stuffy books will people remember history. In the days before the plague, minstrels traveled the lands, sharing stories and cultural traditions from one town to the next. Because they traveled so widely and were so easily accepted into the homes of nobles and politicians, not to mention the hearts of the common man, minstrels were often employed as envoys and spies — a few even learned to use simple magical devices. The best minstrels are charismatic and curious, though some found it necessary to learn the art of self defense after Pip the Merry Halfling sullied their reputation by using entertainment as a cover for his thievery. After the plague, even the minstrels had to stop traveling. Some found other means of employment, but a dedicated few took students and passed on their skills, believing that every village should have someone who knew the old stories.
Vic was growing old, his fingers trembled too much for most instruments and sometimes he forgot the words to the songs, he’d spent the last few years training a lovely young girl only to find out she was going away. He want to the feast of champions hoping to persuade her to stay, but then thought perhaps she could be the one to return minstrels to their former glory. Penelope was going out into the world where she could share Hommlet’s stories and learn those of other towns. Other youngsters would be coming soon and young Dickon had shown an interest in music. When he saw the shining faces of the young champions, Vic could only wish them well. He gave Penelope his one treasured possession before she left — his masterwork flute, handed down to him from his father, who’d had it from his father. “Go, lass, and make us proud. Never forget what I’ve taught you.”
(Submitted by M. Emigh – approved by R. Guy)