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"Lords and ladies, good citizens of Ravens Bluff, we are pleased to present to you our humble Guild. Here, musicians, actors, and performers of all kinds live and work, producing fine entertainment and works of art for your enjoyment. Our theater, the Ravens Bluff Playhouse, offers weekly performances by some of the most talented bards of our fair city. Look for the Guild red and blue for a great show!"
  — Anonymous[1]

The Fellowship of Bards, Performers and Artists was a guild comprising the bards, actors, musicians, craftsmen, artists, singers, and other performers that operated within the city of Ravens Bluff during the 14th century DR.[1] Different from a bards' college, the fellowship operated as a true guild, which was uncommon for a Faerûnian bardic institution.[2]

ActivitiesEdit

The guild earned the majority of its income from ticket sales for performances put on in the playhouse. The theater offered tickets that ranged from 5 cp for bench seats, 1 gp for a balcony view, to 30 gp for the luxury of a private box[3] (a strike of brilliance of Guildmaster O'Lyre).[1].

CraftingEdit

Master Craftsman Randall Morann had his pupils create beautiful musical instruments, which were available for sale to both guild musicians and citizens of Ravens Bluff.[2]

PerformancesEdit

Shows put on by the guild were impressive affairs that transformed their venue into a magical place to be for a night. The theater allowed for a number of experience-enhancing effects, such as a "birdwire" that allowed thespians to be lowered onto the stage (as if they were flying) and iron cages, which held monster-shaped sculptures or near-naked performers, that could be suddenly dropped to jolt any bored or tired audience members out of their seats. Makeshift "lightning" could be created from lamps encased in metal cylinders, often enhanced with overlays that created shadow effects like spider webs over the stage. Many performances were given an arcane touch thanks to the illusory magic of the brilliant and comical special-effects artist Arrion Weatherspoon.[3]

LocationsEdit

The guild operated out of a guildhall in the Altarside neighborhood, within the Bluff's Temple District. Located right next door was the Ravens Bluff Playhouse,[4] a theater and venue used by guild members to put on performances, such as plays, concerts or other displays to entertain the Ravenian citizens.[1]

Guildhall
The guildhall served as the home, dormitory, and practice quarters for its members. It was an attractive stone-and-wood converted manor house, full of life and busy with just about everything to do with the performing arts.[1]
Playhouse
Located just next door to the guildhall, the theater of Ravens Bluff put on weekly performances, where the nobles and commoners alike could enjoy a show.[1] Whether they were enjoying a farce crammed together elbow-to-elbow in the benches, or a personally-commissioned ballad from a private viewing box,[3] all in Ravens Bluff were welcome to enjoy the show.[1]

MembersEdit

Guild bards were respected and well-appreciated throughout the city. Troubadours and minstrels who were not sanctioned by the fellowship could seldom find a place to perform within the city, as they were believed not be "up to snuff" with their civic-approved contemporaries.[2]

OfficersEdit

  • Guildmaster Colin O'Lyre: The head of the bards' guild was a skilled musician and master of stringed instruments. He worked tirelessly to raise the influence of the guild, and earn respect among the power groups within the city. He had successfully promoted the band of performers as an organization of societal importance and financial profitability.[2]
  • Master Craftsman Randall Morann: The guilds expert wood-crafter was also a highly skilled instrument-maker. With his assistant Jolan, he oversaw and trained the guild's apprentice craftspeople within their workshop.[5]
  • Master Thespian Beatrice Weatherspoon: Head of the guild's thespians, as well as the theater's primary director,[3] Lady Weatherspoon was a life-long actress within the Bluff's playhouse. If she had her druthers, all of the performances within the theater would be performed exclusively in elven.[5]
  • Brunhilde Erikksonn: After retiring from a career as a renowned singer, Brunhilde doubled as the guild's prop and costume-mistress. Her big heart and great spirit made her a mother-figure of sorts to the guild's apprentices and younger performers.[5]
  • Arrion Weatherspoon: Known affectionately as "Old Horseface" among the apprentice bards, Arrion had had a storied life as the jester of a Lord's court outside of Procampur, a traveling-illusionist full of wanderlust and, most recently, the "special effects" artist within the Ravenian performers' Guild.[5]

AppendixEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 32. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 34. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 33. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
  4. Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 112. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 35. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
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