Bards follow an Orlesian tradition, acting as assassins, spies, saboteurs and following other secretive pursuits in the constant, and sometimes petty, struggles between nobles. Having taken the minstrel's art to new levels, bards are skilled performers and master manipulators; bards can inspire their allies or dishearten their foes through song and tale.
A bard must know history so she does not repeat it. She tells the tales but is never part of them. She watches but remains above what she sees. She inspires passions in others and rules her own.
The creation of The Grand Game is credited to Jeshavis, Mother of Orlais, the first female gyoja or chieftan of the unified Ciriane tribe of humans in what is now Orlais. According to legend, she married two of the three so-called "Sons of Betrayal," the children of Maferath, and pitted brother against brother to the death to create a new nation and gird against Alamarri incursion. Her intrigue was considered "the seeds of elegance to come."
As a bard, you are welcome anywhere in Orlais. Doors are opened to you with generous smiles, their wearers confident that no one would falsely pretend to such a title for fear of retribution. Your slightest request is immediately seen to. Your services are expensive and yet actively sought, and those who cannot afford them beg only to not have your displeasure turn their way.
One day, however, you will awaken. You will realize the smiles are false, and behind them lies revenge. At the first moment of weakness, your brother and sister bards will be unleashed upon you like a pack of hounds, and you will realize they are not your brothers and sisters at all. For all your fancy intrigue, you have spent your life creating nothing of worth. You have been swallowed by the web of your own deceits, and the Game of which you believed yourself master? It moves on without you, uncaring.
A bard is something of a curiosity even in the courts of Orlais, where intrigue is as common as silk. Musicians and troubadours, doubling as spies, exploit their access to powerful nobility to glean secrets for employers who are usually nameless even to the bard. The nobles welcome such entertainers with full knowledge that any could be a bard; the thrill of outwitting a spy is a notion the Orlesian aristocracy can hardly resist. Unfortunately, when they finally realize that a master bard has been among them, it is usually too late. Bards use music to soothe hearts and cloud minds; in combat, their abilities to inspire allies and distract foes are legendary. Beyond their music, they are masters of dirty fighting, stealth and larceny.
In other parts of the world, bards are less prominent but no less dangerous. Bards travel wherever secrets have value: in Ferelden, they once played fairs and graced the courts of banns and arls, listening for secrets that could be used to sway the fiercely independent nobility. Outside of Orlais, most traveling entertainers are now merely musicians, but that only makes the spies more difficult to detect.
Bard training is quite rigorous, and bardmasters often wring the sympathy and capacity for love from the individual being groomed. Cruel as this seems, such an composed, aloof demeanor is necessary for a bard to be able to perform their duties and sell their sympathies to the highest bidder. The quintessential bard may in fact question whether they are even capable of love rather than treachery, though this training does not always wither an individual's basic compassion. For some, it is ultimately a bard's honor which determines how or even whether they will accomplish their given task or contract.
Interestingly, for all its pretensions the life of a bard is one that is strangely open to all. Indeed, for all that a bard's training makes him or her a spy, it also makes them a storyteller receptive to the legends of all cultures and their preservation. Skilled players are welcomed, whether human, elven or dwarven, mage or mundane, and female or male.
Bard talents Edit
| Song of Valor|| Sustained |
|The bard sings an ancient tale of valorous heroes, granting the party bonuses to mana or stamina regeneration at a rate affected by the bard's cunning. The bard can only sing one song at a time.|
| Distraction|| Activated |
Requires: Level 8
|The bard's performance, replete with dizzying flourishes, is designed to distract and confuse. The target forgets who it was fighting and becomes disorientated unless it passes a mental resistance check.|
| Song of Courage|| Sustained |
Requires: Level 10
|The bard launches into an epic song of the party's exploits, granting them bonuses to attack, damage, and critical chance. The size of the bonuses are affected by the bard's cunning. The bard can only sing one song at a time.|
| Captivating Song|| Sustained |
Requires: Level 12
|The bard begins an entrancing song that stuns hostile targets nearby unless they pass a mental resistance check every few seconds. Continuing the song does not drain stamina, but the bard cannot move or take any other action while singing.|
- Leliana can teach you the bard specialization. Once "I heard that in Orlais, minstrels are often spies" conversation is complete, the dialogue option for learning Bard specialization will be available and she will teach once you ask of it.
- Alternatively, you can purchase the Manual: Bard from Alimar at his shop in Dust Town for 000014000014 0 0.
Known bards Edit
- Jeshavis, "Mother of Orlais," and considered the originator of the Grand Game.
- Dowager Lady Mantillon, possible lover and assassin of Emperor Florian.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 63
- ↑ Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 60
- ↑ "Bard" on the official wiki. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
- ↑ David Gaider. Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne, page 315.
- ↑ The defection of bards like Leliana and Katriel from their given assignments and bardmasters gives evidence that bardic training is not always impenetrable.
- ↑ Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne, page 348.
- ↑ Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne, page 298.
- ↑ As evidenced by the appearance of Sketch and Tug as Leliana's partners in Leliana's Song DLC.
- ↑ Item description of Trickster's Tunic
- ↑ Codex entry: Portrait of the Dowager
- ↑ Codex entry: The Crown and Lion
- ↑ Dragon Age: The Masked Empire, pg. 22 and 23.