Tomasian’s Tale ((AUDIO BOOK))
The great Tomasian, the self-proclaimed King of All Bards, was not always so (1).
On the contrary, as a child of 12 he was a constant disappointment to his family, his friends and, especially to himself. The third son of Baron Stenoff, everyone knew that he would never inherit land or title. Rather, he would have to make a name for himself, or simply exist; forever dependent on his family’s ample, but not unlimited wealth. His father had made certain that Tomasian was well educated in the skills of hunting, fishing and survival while his mother arranged for many excellent teachers of the more refined arts of reading, history and music. Tomasian fared well in all of his studies, especially music. He could hear a tune once and was able to sing or play it flawlessly ever after.
Anton, his older brother by six years, had futilely attempted to teach him the fighters’ arts. Tomasian became adequately proficient with the sword and dagger, but he totally failed to utilize the Crimson Magic (2) upon which all great fighters relied.
“As you swing the sword, concentrate and focus the energy from deep within your stomach. With your mind’s eye, see the sword burst into flame. Concentrate!” directed Anton.
Even though Tomasian could clearly see the crimson red magical energy swirling around him, he continuously lost his concentration as he reveled in the beauty of the crimson force intermingling with the myriad of other multi-colored, arcane energies. The infinite hues of mystic energies formed endless, ever changing random patterns of fantastic beauty. Every time that Tomasian concentrated on seeing the crimson force, he lost himself in its dance with the other mystic forces – and failed to grasp control of it.
Tomasian failed equally as bad when he attempted to apprentice himself first to a wizard (3) and then to a healer (4). He easily mastered the physical skills of these esteemed professions, but never could grasp control of any of their mystic forces.
By his fifteenth birthday, his parents were resigned to his ever dependent future.
Baron Stenof was quietly discussing his youngest son with his wife, Clare.
“What are we to do? He is extremely intelligent with a fantastic memory. He needs something better for himself.”
Clare replied; “He will find his path when the time is right for him. The bard, Nyghtwynd, is expected in a few days. I’ll talk to him and see if he has any ideas.”
Nyghtwynd had one, very unusual idea.
Several months later, Tomasian exclaimed; “Last night was GREAT”.
For the first time, Tomasian had successfully proven his competence at something! Last night, at a very small inn, far inland and distant from the sea farers in Meren Beach, surrounded by travelers and locals alike, he had publicly performed his first ballad. Tomasian sang and brought to life the historic ballad of Babile. He held his audience totally enthralled with his animated and flawless presentation. Tomasian, was no longer a failure. He was now a BARD! (5) A teller of tales, bringer of news, entertainer and much more – a Real Bard! His past several months of travel, hard work and persistent study under the tutelage of the great, and very patient, elderly bard known to all as Nyghtwynd were very well spent.
Tomasian and Nyghtwynd continued to travel together until Tomasian reached his 20th birthday. That evening they held a celebration of Tomasian reaching adulthood and everyone present was treated, by both bards, to a long night of fantastic songs, historic ballads and the up to the moment news of the realm.
At sunrise, Nyghtwynd and Tomasian set out on horseback for the next town. Upon reaching an isolated cross road, Nyghtwynd, surprisingly, halted.
‘Tomasian, you have mastered the art and beauty of storytelling. Your tales come alive for all with your telling. Your singing causes all to stop and listen. There is nothing more that I can teach you. It is time for you to take make your mark on the world. Besides, I am getting old and the constant travel is hard on my weary bones. Take my hat and my lute. Fulfill all of our bardic commitments. I’m going to retire and find a quiet place to settle down. I hate goodbyes, so good fortune to you.”
Then he waved to Tomasian as he rode down the left fork in the path, leaving Tomasian committed to take the right one.
For the first time in 4 years, Tomasian was traveling alone. His emotions were very mixed. He greatly missed Nyghtwynd; yet, he was filled with joy at the trust placed in him at their separation. He was really a bard! Now, he was determined to be the best bard in the land.
Over the next several years, Tomasian travelled from the southern sea to the northern mountains. He visited the western sea ports and the secluded towns of the east. His skill and reputation continued to grow. His route included small towns, great keeps and mighty castles. He made it a point to visit all of the friends and acquaintances of his father, which made his father and family, finally, proud of him.
When the High King held a 10th birthday celebration for his eldest son, Jason, the heir, Tomasian was the only bard invited to perform for the royal children and their many friends. Elegantly dressed and wearing his master’s old floppy hat, Tomasian told fairy tales and recited nursery rhymes for several hours as the children kept calling for more. At his departure the following morning, the High King presented him with a large, new leather hat and a very rare, vibrant red Firebird Plume; which Tomasian immediately stuck into the band of his new hat.
Tomasian’s performance for the High King and his family bolstered his reputation throughout the realms.
A few months later, after his famous performance for the High King, Tomasian was traveling along a beautiful, narrow trade road between two of the many grape growing and wine making communities. He was just north of the Mare de Vento and west of Meren Beach, when disaster struck!
Tomasian rounded a sharp bend in the road and came face-to-face with two heavily armed thugs! Thieves! As he turned to flee from their drawn swords, he faced their two companions behind him. He was trapped!
Even though they were on foot and he was astride his heavily loaded horse, he was securely boxed in on all sides by trees and robbers!
“Gentlemen”, Tomasian declared, “I am a Bard and under the protection Order of the High King; as are all Bards and Healers!”
“We see no Bard, just a lone traveler with a heavy purse. Drop your pack and purse. Now, before we cut them from you” replied the largest thief.
Tomasian slowly complied with their demands and slid his pack from behind him and untied his purse from his belt; dropping both on the ground close beside his horse.
As soon as two thugs approached to pick up his possessions, Tomasian kicked his horse into a gallop and raced along the road, knocking them to the ground, then he halted out of reach of their swords, and turned to face them.
“You will regret this. There will be a heavy price on your head that all will seek to collect.” Tomasian warned. “Leave now and all will be forgotten”.
“No one cares enough for a lone traveler to put a bounty on us”, the robbers answered as they dumped his pack.
When Tomasian’s great leather hat with the rare red firebird plume fell to the ground, they froze in shock, stared at each other, then they dropped all of his possessions and fled! They recognized the hat, and now Tomasian, and were terrified of the High King’s wrath for assaulting HIS favorite bard.
From that moment on, Tomasian wore that great red-plumed hat every time he traveled or performed. True to his word, Tomasian never revealed the identity of any of the thugs, even though he passed one every time he entered a certain tavern.
Today, after many harrowing experiences, some brought on by his unintentional, and very unwelcome, association with that ancient wizard, T’Lar; Tomasian stood overlooking the town of Meren Beach. This Quest brought about by T’Lar, and the constantly recurring image of Sir Horningblow’s serving girl, Rosalind, had his mind in a complete turmoil.
Meren Beach appeared so peaceful and serene. So much so that Tomasian really regretted what he was compelled to do ….
But that is another Tale for another day.
To continue Tomasian’s story, please read “The Last Tale of T’Lar” by RJ Borton
- Venturers of Airth® Species: Human
- Venturers of Airth® Class: Fighter
- Venturers of Airth® Class: Wizard
- Venturers of Airth® Class: Healer
- Venturers of Airth® Class: Specialist – Bard
by RJ Borton, 9/4/2014, revised 02/04/2017
A Tales of Airth® publication brought to you by The Phanta Corp.
This story is a work of fiction. All names, characters, species, classes, places, things, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblances to fictitious or actual persons living or dead and events or locales real or imaginary are entirely coincidental.
© Copyright 2014, 2016, 2017 by Tales of Airth® Publications, Bensalem, PA. “All Rights Reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form”
Limited permission is granted to Bards, Heralds, Storytellers and anyone wishing to retell this story to tell and retell the Tale so long as it is told in its entirety and proper credit is given the author.