The Humble Bard
The first stories of the Humble Bard began at the end of the last aevum. It was a time of great strife, armies pitted against each other, warriors determined to destroy that little semblance of civilization that was left. Conflict was more common than bread or water. It was in the midst of these troubles that an old monk awoke one morning to a thumping at his door. By the time that he made it to the door the visitor had disappeared, leaving a small stack of bound parchment at his door. Taking the papers into his home, the monk was curious to find out what the papers held. Setting down the bundle on his table, the monk opened the cover and began to read. Eyes ever widening, the monk was enraptured by the work that flowed over the page, woven glories from the mouth of Muse herself. Included within the pages were songs, epics, prose, poetry, idioms; wisdom in all her multivaried strains lay on the manuscript like dew in the morning's light. The monk could not stop reading. Pace ever quickening, eyes gripping the pages clenched in fists as the monk read on. Like a man possessed he read, skipping lunch and dinner, supping from the page late into the night. Only when Yähdiel stood once again in the sky where he had the day before did the monk let the pages fall, the works complete. The last words signed on the last page stood out to the monk. "The Humble Bard." Exhausted, invigorated, and utterly changed the monk felt driven by an urge to share the works with others. Standing up, he resolved to speak to the printers of his order to have these works published. Whoever the Humble Bard was, the monk felt this was their plan as he could feel the bones of his own spine. And so it was that the works of this mythical figure were published and shared. In the coming decades more manuscripts were placed in the doorway of this monk, and they too were published. In many mouths the verses and prose of the Humble Bard could be heard. By Aevum Quintus these works have become something akin to canon in the temples of Muse, a recognition of nigh-divine skill in the craft of words and tale.
Though many have stepped forth and falsely taken credit for the words of the Humble Bard, no verifiable record is to be found of the whereabouts of the Humble Bard. By the end of the Fourth Aevum many presses continued the tradition of the Humble Bard by taking anonymous writings from locals who wish to share their work pro-bono provided an unspoken agreement that should a reader seek patronage of the author, the publisher will refer the potential patron to the respective author. This has resulted in the publishing of monthly, or in larger cities, weekly magazines containing the works of prospective bards, and as such have taken on the role of public forum for bards who wish to affect artistic discourse.