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Bladesingers were elven wizards who practiced the sacred art of bladesinging, an ancient and sacred tradition of fighting that blended swordsmanship, along with other fighting styles, and unique arcane magic. These individuals were revered by their fellow elves as personifications of the perfect balance between skilled artistry and devotion to the guardianship of their people.[9][10][11]

"Using his free hand, the bladesinger mirrored his opponent's casting then sent his considerable power out to surround the overmatched wizard, binding it to himself. Argent energy flew from the human's outstretched hand only to fizzle unto nothingness as the bladesinger quenched the spell." [12][13]

CultureEdit

Bladesingers held a prominent place in the society of the Tel'Quessir of Faerûn. They were renowned as heroes of their elven brethren and welcome within any of their communities. As such they often traveled across the Realms, seldom forming permanent ties to a single elven settlement.[11]

The tradition of bladesinging was taught in a single master-apprentice tutelage system. A master bladesinger would on a single apprentice to carry on their work of defending the Tel-Quessir and promoting their principals and way of life.[11] Tradition stated that the art of bladesinging was never to be shared by the written word.[4]

Bladesingers often had themselves tattooed with the animal that was associated with their style of bladesinging.[10]

OrdersEdit

In the centuries prior to the Retreat, bladesingers of Evermeet formed small warrior lodges, with each individual member specializing in a different weapon. They distinguished themselves from other orders by arming themselves with the most antiquated weapons and tattoos of ancient elven runes,[14] rather than animals.Unfortunately many of their numbers dwindled during the first few decades of the Era of Upheaval.[4]

In the Arcane Ages, bladesingers served both as armathors of Myth Drannor as well as a unit of elite warriors within the Ahk'Velahr known as the Protectors. They specialized as bodyguards for the city's nobility, as well as defenders against great, magical monsters such as demons and dragons. In ancient texts it was mentioned they even invented their own spells.[15]

The Weavers of Bladesong was a group that served as a dedicated order of Corellon Larethian.[16]

ActivitiesEdit

Bladesingers served as the guardians of the elven people and exemplars of their way of life. As such they dedicated themselves to the Tel-quessir, forgoing any life that was more self-centered.[9][11][14]

While the larger elven communities often offered bladesingers opportunities to fight alongside their fellow practitioners of the art, many of their kind chose to work in solitude.[11] Bladesinger adventurers who traveled the Realms alone often embarked on quests that greatly benefited the elven people.[3]

CombatEdit

In battle, bladesingers utilized discrete tactics and precise movement to maintain a highly effective defensive posture. Wielding a one-handed blade while keeping the other hand free, allowed a bladesinger to parley that defense into powerful attacks that were empowered by their unique magic.[9][3][17]

AbilitiesEdit

The bladesong itself is an extremely demanding martial art, the epitome of elven mastery of weapons.[citation needed] It was a defensive style of combat that allowed an elven warrior to cast spells without fear of successful counter-attack.[9] Bladesingers themselves referred to it as a sense of serenity amid the disorder and disruption of battle.[18]

While the word "bladesong" referred to the whistling sound a bladesingers weapon made when cutting through the air, the style itself actually resembled something of a dance.[19] It was described as being both hauntingly beautiful and almost otherworldly in appearance. Bladesinging emphasized beauty and economy of movement over excessive force, and was deceptively dangerous for its apparent gentility and obvious grace.[9][17]

BladesongEdit

When novices began their tutelage under experienced bladesingers, they could maintain their bladesong for about a minute's time, two times every day.[10] Throughout the course of their training they developed great concentration that helped prevent their magic from being halted in any manner.[20][21]

Over time they learned how to further modify the magic of their bladesong in order to better suit their needs. These songs were often presented in pairs that shared some close association with one another.[10][20]

A song of defense a bladesinger could actually negate harm inflicted upon them, while song of victory allowed them to attack with greater power.[10]

When performing a song of celerity a bladesinger was empowered to cast a spell with great quickness, while the song of fury allowed them to make a swift, "arcane strike" against their foe.[20][22] With the choir of swords a bladesinger could strike out against every opponent near them, with similar blinding speed.[23]

StylesEdit

Bladesinger by Ginger Kubic

A practitioner of one of the "cat styles" of bladesinging.

While bladesinging has traditionally been tied to the use of a longsword, different techniques utilizing a variety of weapons have developed throughout the years. Each type of weapon was associated with an animal group, with more specific weapons linked to species of that animal.[10]

  • Cat: Practitioners of this family of bladesinging wielded swords in battle. The oldest tradition was the "lion style", which was practiced with the longsword but held no preference for a particular school of magic. Those who studied in the "leopard style" preferred short swords and illusion or stealth-oriented spells, while the "red tiger style" bladesingers wielded scimitars in movements that alternated between whirls and lunges.[10]
  • Bird: While these newer styles were quite different from one another, they each made use of a weapon with a handled shaft. The "eagle style" focused on fluidity in combat, involving a pair of small handaxes; whereas bladesingers of the "raven style" made use a pick and spells that made them more dexterous.[10]
  • Snake: Another of the older style families, each of its styles utilized a weapon whose shape would change in combat, such as a flail or chain. For example, practitioners of the "viper style" employed the use of whips in their bladesinging, along with particularly wicked spells that made use of poison and disease.[10]

BladespellsEdit

In addition to their skill with a weapon and inherent spellcasting powers, bladesingers gained access to a number of unique spells. Among these spells were: dancing fire, dazzling sunray, frost bite,[24] lightning ring, shadow sever, unseen hand,[25] dimension switch,[26] force volley,[27] deceptive shadows,[28] and black fire.[29]

Some of the most powerful bladesingers could let chain the effects of their spells as they reached the crescendo of battle.[28]

PossessionsEdit

As was the case with other wizards, bladesingers still kept a spellbook within which they inscribed their spells for the day.[18]

Unlike other spellcasters they could use their primary weapon, typically a one-handed blade, as their implement.[17][18]

HistoryEdit

It was said that the moon elves were the first of the Tel-quessir to develop the art of bladesinging.[30]

New styles of bladesinging were continually in development throughout the years. One of the more recent styles came to use as recently as the 12th century DR.[10]

During the great Retreat, which began in the Year of Moonfall, 1344 DR, many bladesingers dedicated their efforts to the safety of those elves who remained in the lands beyond Evermeet.[14]

The culture and practice of bladesinging in Faerûn enjoyed a great rebirth in the years following the re-connection between Toril and the Feywild. The eladrin bladesingers in the Feywild brought their tradition to the elves of the Realms, and the ranks of the bladesingers swelled among the sun elf and moon elf communities.[4]

MembersEdit

Nearly all of the bladesingers were either elves or eladrin, along with a select few number of half-elves.[9][4][31]

Rumors & LegendsEdit

Elven legends stated that Corellon actually taught the art of bladesinging to its first practitioner.[3]

Notable bladesingersEdit

AppendixEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 141–142. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  2. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 113. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (August 2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. Edited by Tanis O'Connor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 66. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (August 2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. Edited by Tanis O'Connor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 67. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  5. Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (August 2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. Edited by Tanis O'Connor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 77. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  6. Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 179–181. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  7. Andy Collins, David Noonan, Ed Stark (November 2003). Complete Warrior. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 17–18. ISBN ISBN 0-7869-2880-8.
  8. Colin McComb (1993). The Complete Book of Elves. (TSR, Inc), pp. 88–90. ISBN 1-56076-376-0.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 141. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 10.9 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 142. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 179. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  12. Keith Francis Strohm (April 2006). Bladesinger. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 14–15. ISBN 0-7869-3835-8.
  13. Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 140. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Anne Gray McCready et al. (March 1994). Elves of Evermeet. (TSR, Inc), p. 110. ISBN 1-5607-6829-0.
  15. Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. (TSR, Inc), p. ?. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
  16. Eric L. Boyd (1998). Demihuman Deities. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 103. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 42. ISBN 978-0786966240.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (August 2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. Edited by Tanis O'Connor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 70. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  19. Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 106. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 180. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  21. Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (August 2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. Edited by Tanis O'Connor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 76. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  22. Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (August 2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. Edited by Tanis O'Connor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 75. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  23. Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (August 2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. Edited by Tanis O'Connor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 78. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  24. Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (August 2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. Edited by Tanis O'Connor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 71. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  25. Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (August 2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. Edited by Tanis O'Connor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 72. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  26. Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (August 2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. Edited by Tanis O'Connor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 79. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  27. 27.0 27.1 Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (August 2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. Edited by Tanis O'Connor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 80. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  28. 28.0 28.1 Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (August 2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. Edited by Tanis O'Connor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 82. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  29. Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (August 2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. Edited by Tanis O'Connor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 83. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  30. Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 39. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  31. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 43. ISBN 978-0786966240.

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