Everyone should go to one their shows at least once, for it is truly a magical experience. Mind you I'm not tellin' ya to sneak in. Always buy a ticket, or offer what tip you can, Kindness to minstrels in tinkers is paid double.Nico couldn't believe it. The Shadow Bards were HERE! As he ran through town he was telling anyone who would listen. Of course he couldn't pause to long. One of the Bards had asked him to take an invitation to Mister Gherardo Saldutti. Promised him and his family saved seats in the FRONT ROW. Nico slowed as he neared Master Saldutti's estate. Then his face broke into a grin. Old Marco was on duty at the gate. While he took his job as an estate guard seriously Marco wasn't mean like the other guards. He would probably even let Nico deliver the message in person. "Hey Marco, you wont believe it!" exclaimed Nico excitedly as he walked up. "The Shadow Bards are here. I cant wait. Uncle Sal still talks about the show he saw and that was YEARS ago." Marco smiled, shaking his head a little. It had indeed been almost 3 years since Nico's Uncle Salvatore had seen the Shadow Bards over in Blindshire. "Thanks for the heads up Nico." He then leaned down, "I appreciate you comin all this way to let me know, but you had best get back to the square and finish your errands. Don't worry, I wont tell your parents you were slacking a bit, us working folks have to stick together after all." This last was said with a wink has he slipped some candied nuts from his pocket and offered them to Nico. Nico suddenly remembered the invitation he was carrying. "I ain't slacking Marco," he said, a bit petulantuly, "See. One of the Bards asked me to deliver this invitation to Master Saldutti. He said if I brought back proof it was delivered he would save me and my family seats in the FRONT ROW. If you help me deliver it to him I'm sure they will let me save you a seat too..." "Well then," said Marco, standing back up and clasping Nico's shoulder, "we had best get you to the Master right away. That is a reward no one should miss out on." As they walked into the estate Marco decided he may ask his Captain later for a couple of days off to enjoy the Harvest Festival. He had heard and entirely different sort of rumors than those Nico would have heard, and decided that even if they were probably false, he was better off away from the Estate for the next few days.
- 18-23 groups located through out the world
- 7-20 members per group
- Director/Narrator - leader of the group, makes decisions on where to go next, what play to perform, etc.
- Voices - 2-4 people, both male and female who voice the various characters in plays, often includes the Narrator in smaller groups. Often also musicians that set the mood with music.
- Puppeteers - 2-4 people responsible for manipulating the shadow puppets occasionally number as many as 6 in larger groups or more complex plays.
- Master of Light and Mirrors - responsible for coloring and directing the light as needed. Usually a single person. Rumored to be magic users.
- Wagon Master - while not involved in the play's themselves, anyone who has traveled with a caravan will tell you the importance of a good wagon master. Usually also in charge of setup and procuring supplies and care of the draft animals. acts as a bouncer/guard if needed.
Spreading happiness while teaching villages and city folk the tales of heroes from far away lands and ages past.
Each group of Shadow Bards have, at a minimum, the following
- 1 large Black wagon - The black color comes from the large amount of pitch black cloth that is used to set up a portable amphitheater. Whether by enchantment or clever engineering the Cloth can be unfolded into a conical shape great for directing sound toward the audience while allowing little to no ambient light in
- 2 white "stage" wagons - These wagons form the front corners of the "stage" and provide some support to the cloth from the black cart. When set up they also have white cloth strung between them forming the screen for the shadow play to take place on. One or both are often taller in the front than in the back, assisting int the projection of the Narrators voice should he choose to reside in one for the play.
- Mirrors and Lenses - A collection of equipment used to provide various lighting effects to the screen.
- draft animals - the wagons dont pull themselves after all.
Shadows bring truth, to those willing to look