Thalia of the Bards Guild
A Tour of Guildmasters: Thalia of the Bards Guild
by Kerrin Gaile
This is one of a series of articles involving interviews with the
current guildmasters of the realm. We will be finding out what each
guildmaster thinks of his or her guild, and hopefully learning a little
about these leaders in our community. So, join me as we sit and chat
with each of these powerful and influential figures.
For this particular article in the series I interviewed my own
guildmaster, Thalia of the Bards guild.
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THALIA: So you wanna ask me about bards?
KERRIN: Yes, I do. So, let me see. Starting with something simple...
How long have you been the guildmaster of your guild?
(I noted a very long pause while Thalia pondered her answer.)
THALIA: Well this is rather embarassing, but long enough that I've
forgotten when I became GM.
KERRIN: So, pretty much since the time when dirt was first discovered.
THALIA: Pretty much. I was married still I think so before 213. Lots
of folks remember Et (Etruscan) as GM.
KERRIN: Since becoming guildmaster do you feel you spend less time being
a bard and more time being a parchment-pushing administrator?
THALIA: Definitely, but I'm not just GM so that contributes to the time
away from actually performing.
KERRIN: Other commitments keep you busy as well?
THALIA: Yes, church responsibilities, clan and believe it or not, even
the Council sometimes.
KERRIN: Do you view your guild as a professional association, a
clubhouse, a close-knit society, a way of life, a comedy club,
or as something else entirely?
THALIA: It's a professioal association, but as a bard you know that if
I'm trying to figure out how to say this.
(Tongue-tied! Woo, score one for the interviewer!)
Being a bard is a way of life for those who belong amongst our
KERRIN: Ooo, very cagey answer, that.
THALIA: I was trying to be tactful.
KERRIN: What do you feel is the biggest misconception about your
THALIA: People think we're thieves.
KERRIN: What are you doing to either encourage or change that
THALIA: Nothing. It amuses me to no end. It's been a few years since
I've had a complaint about a bard stealing weapons.
KERRIN: So this misconception does not cause your guild any great
THALIA: No, I don't think it's ever really caused any harm.
KERRIN: What do you feel are the strongest traits of your guild and its
THALIA: Our talents. The ability to perform, to entertain. It's what
makes us unique.
KERRIN: What sorts of things do your guild members do that make you the
most unhappy or cross?
THALIA: Misuse their talents and abuse our skills. Other than that I'd
have to say the thing that bothers me most is bards who don't
perform. Of course if you ask them about it they all claim they
perform in private. We aren't being paid for that.
KERRIN: As a follow-up...What sorts of things do your guild members do
that make you the happiest or proudest?
THALIA: That's simple. Perform. We have some very talented bards and we
have some bards who missed their calling as fighters or couch
KERRIN: Simple enough.
With which other guilds do you feel your guild has the closest
and best ties or relationships, and why?
THALIA: Years ago it was the thief guild, but times have changed. I
can't say we are any closer to one than another now.
KERRIN: And the converse...With which other guilds do you feel your
guild has the most contention or worst relationships, and why?
THALIA: I think we have good relationships with all guilds. People like
bards. We make booze, we sing, and we're pretty handy in a
KERRIN: Entertainment, mood-altering substances, and music...a perfect
Why is your guild better than every other guild in the realm?
THALIA: We're not better than any other guild. We are best at what we
do. Each guild has its own niche and together we form a complex
scoiety where we all give and take. Bards are the natural
performers of the realm. No others can match us when we take
KERRIN: Nicely put. I think your Silvanite roots are showing!
Do the issues of ethos or religion ever cause disruptions in
THALIA: Yes they have.
KERRIN: Is it something that occurs regularly?
THALIA: It used to never be a problem, but I guess we're suffering
growing pains. The guild has grown in recent years and we have
many differences of opinion now. It still doesn't occur all
that often, but we've had bards threatening other bards over
KERRIN: I have noticed the number of new performers on the rise. How
bad do the conflicts get?
THALIA: It hasn't been bad. Overall I am very fortunate. We have few
guild rules in the guild, but one has always been to fight
anywhere other than the guild hall.
KERRIN: How do you answer those who say bards are charlatans, merely
con-men who hide behind the facade that is called high-art?
THALIA: It's hard to argue with critics when we have some bards who
don't do their jobs. However, I think the performances of the
vast majority of the guild speak for themselves. We have many
talented artists in our numbers and there have been a variety of
unique performances offered.
It is sad when we spend so many hours preparing for a performance
and so many can't put aside their weapons and come watch for a
KERRIN: Is it difficult to manage the flakey bunch of artists and
performers who make up your guild?
THALIA: Most days no. I realize that artists don't respond well to lots
of rules and regulations. I try to make very few. I require
common sense and courtesy of the bards and for the most part I'm
KERRIN: How does it feel to have the only guildhall that is buried in a
pile of rubble?
THALIA: It's sad to see Wagner's livelihood reduced to rubble. As you
know, the bards tried clearing it. I think most of the rubble is
gone, however, it has yet to be rebuilt. I'm a little
disappointed in the rebuilding efforts of the city overall, but
especially so in the case of the Manor.
KERRIN: Would you say that the Mayor's lack of presence around the city
has hurt the overall rebuilding effort?
THALIA: How could it not?
KERRIN: If you could change any one thing in our society or in the realm,
what would it be and why?
THALIA: I'll have to think for a moment.
I guess you're looking for something other than a statement
reminding that moose are best when not served as dinner. They
taste like chicken anyways right?
KERRIN: Well, if that is the one thing you would change, then that is
THALIA: On a more serious note...We have a lot of problems and troubles
in society. However, were we to remove them, we'd have a very
boring realm. I'd rather struggle through things I don't
necessarily enjoy than create the perfect society. Differences are
what make us interesting.
KERRIN: So you would not change anything except to post a big glowing
sign about moose tasting like chicken?
THALIA: Yep. Eat more chicken.
KERRIN: What is your favorite color?
(I thought I might have her stumped with this one.)
KERRIN: Any particular shade of green?
(At his point, Thalia drew forth her famed blade, Lautori,
and used its emerald to douse a nearby copy of The Sablean
Times in a green flame!)
THALIA: Emerald green.
(Score one for the interviewee!)
KERRIN: And finally...Is there anything else about your guild you would
like to say to the rest of Sable?
THALIA: We have some very talented performers. Don't miss the
opportunites to see their work.
KERRIN: Well, that is all the questions I have for you. Thank you for
taking time out of your busy schedule for us all.
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Keep your eyes peeled for the next article in this ongoing series.
Several guildmasters have already agreed to grant interviews, and
hopefully all will eventually appear here in the pages of The Sablean