The Glorious History of Aathenaar, Part Six: The Seed of Peace
Bax was a wise and visionary leader, and his peace proposal was almost undoubtedly the single most beneficial moment in Coventra’s history. As magnificent as his idea was, however, he was still a single man, and even though all Twelve tribes agreed to it, he would be unable to carry it out singlehandedly.
Great men and women realize their limitations and take steps to counter them. So Bax knew that he must institute a system of advisors and deputies to lead the peace. Each of the Twelve tribes had by this point, developed some rudiments of modern aristocracy, with Courts and therefore courtiers, as well as basic bureaucracies, with regulations and administrators.
Bax considered these assets, and wisely dismissed them as inappropriate for the job. Courtiers, after all, are unreliable, willing to bend any principle in their desperate attempt to curry favor with their rulers. Bureaucrats, on the other hand, are far too rigid, petty tyrants over their tiny, tiny policies, and far too slow in any event. And administrators are treacherous, with hundreds of private agendas and rivalries waiting at any juncture to sabotage peace.
Seeing that the tools he had to face the problem were insufficient, Bax took what is undoubtedly the second greatest act of Coventra’s history: He developed a new tool, one that could inspire the populace towards the cause of peace, one beholden to nothing other than that cause, and one that could move nimbly to serve that cause.
That tool was the Bard’s Guild.
It was headquartered on the western shore, in the village of Coral. (This was, as you will recall, the territory of Cavin’s descendents; in the Very Bad War they were completely without allies and therefore needed the Guild most of all.) Lest any other region grow jealous, however, Bax decreed that bardhood would be a profession of travelers. “The bards shall travel throughout the land,” he declared, “and through their magnificent tales shall they spread the word of peace directly to the peoples of the world.”
This notion could hardly have been more successful. Those first bards attacked their mission with the industry of an apple-bug preparing for the winter. They crisscrossed the land, and wherever they traveled, crowds would assemble to hear their stories. Invariably those crowds would be delighted, and inspired, and leave with hearts committed to the cause of peace.
And so it was that within a year, through the efforts of these traveling heroes, peace was achieved throughout the land.