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Bladesinger

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The Bladesinger prestige class is comprised of Tel'Quessir ("The People" in the elven language) who have blended art, swordplay, and arcane magic into a seamless whole. They use very discrete tactics and precise movement in battle to maintain a highly effective combat defense. Using a mixture of arcane and martial abilities, Bladesingers act as roving guardians of surface Tel'Quessir culture, seeking to promote Tel'Quessir ideals, and as protectors and champions of the eladrin and elven communities.[1]

Bladesingers have a prominent place in the society of the Tel'Quessir of Faerûn, being renowned as heroes of the Tel'Quessir race, and welcomed in Tel'Quessir communities. Bladesingers are taught in a single master-apprentice tutelage system, with a master taking on a single apprentice to carry on the work of defending the Tel-Quessir and promoting their principals and way of life.[1]

Bladesinger AbilitiesEdit

BladesongEdit

The bladesong itself is an extremely demanding martial art, the epitome of Tel'Quessir mastery of the sword, almost never taught to those not of Tel'Quessir blood. The bladesong is a primarily defensive style of combat, with devastating strikes considered less important than a superior guard position. From this superior defensive posture, magical attacks and spells may be used without fear of successful counter-attack, when performed by a Tel'Quessir fully proficient in the style. In addition to the violent purpose inherent to all martial arts, the bladesong is uniquely Tel'Quessir in the fact that the aesthetic components of the style are as important as its martial efficacy, with its dance-like movements and the haunting whistling sounds produced by the sword blade cutting through the air being the source of the name bladesong.[citation needed]

These dedicated elf warriors take their craft seriously enough to have created a uniquely elven fighting style. Unlike the martial arts of other races, the elven fighting style, also known as the bladesong, emphasizes beauty and economy of movement over sheer destructive power. However, the elven bladesong is deceptively dangerous, for all its seeming gentleness and apparent grace.[citation needed]

Bladesong is so named for several reasons. The first and most obvious is because of the whistling of the blade as it slices through the air when this style of fighting is used. The second, according to some, is for the haunting, wordless tune many of its practitioners are said to sing as they fight. Other sources indicate that Bladesingers practice an ancient elven variant of the art of Spellsong which they have adapted to suit their uniquely elven arcane-martial style.[citation needed]

Those who practice the bladesong appear as if they are dancing when they fight. Their movements seem misleadingly slow and elegant, deflecting opponents' blades while lazily drifting back to score hits themselves. The technique requires, above all, misdirection and subtlety. The bladesingers do not believe in smashing blows or strong and crushing offense, but rather in guiding their opponents to anticipate a different attack entirely, thus overbalancing the foe and making him seem clumsy.[2]

Organization and SocietyEdit

Bladesingers are terrifying weapons experts and spellcasters. On Evermeet they are organized into small warrior lodges, each specializing in a different weapon. They often tattoo themselves with old runes, and each lodge has a special symbol it's members tattoo themselves with to identify their membership. Their armor and weapons are all of great antiquity and beautiful craftsmanship, even more so than other elven warriors, representing their special dedication to and pride in the weapon they have dedicated their lives to mastering. They shower precise detail and decoration on their swords, dedicating themselves to making a thing of beauty out of an object which would otherwise be an ugly weapon of war.[3]

On Evermeet and in other homelands of the Tel'Quessir, such as Evereska, there exists an order of knights dedicated to Corellon Larethian; the Weavers of Bladesong, of which the membership is comprised exclusively of dedicated Bladesingers or those who have learned the basics of the bladesong style as a supplementary skill-set to their own style.[citation needed]

Bladesingers usually work alone, sufficient unto themselves, but in larger communities they sometimes have the opportunity to fight together in combat. Bladesingers are normally trained singly by another Bladesinger, and the concept of anything as formalized as a Bladesinger school is an absurd notion to them.[4]

While the Bladesingers group themselves into overlapping Lodges and Knighthoods as an institution, they normally do not travel together in groups, but instead wander separately to better spread the ways of the Tel'Quessir and defend the ways of elvenkind, roving from one elven settlement to the next as troubleshooters, and dealing with whatever problems they come across, honor-bound to come to the aid of any elf in distress they come across. In their travels they are treated with the utmost respect and admiration by the elves they meet, being treated as heroes in the communities they enter, much as a human Paladin would be in a human village. They are the champions of the Tel'Quessir, the Knights of The People and defenders of the elven way of life, practicing an ancient and honored elven art and giving their lives if necessary to defend elven society, and they are accorded status of heroes and the respect such due such a station whenever they are encountered.[citation needed]

In the Arcane Ages, Myth Drannan bladesingers served in the both as armathors, the magical knights of Myth Drannor, and as a special unit within the Ahk'Velahrn known as the Protectors, which acted as both an elite unit within the army and as a special bodyguard unit to the nobility. They specialized in their realm's defense against magical monsters such as demons and dragons. In the ancient texts it is mentioned they invented spells such as creating an immense freezing space thus limiting their enemies' movement (often used against dragon's wings.) [5]

Notable bladesingersEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 179–180. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  2. Colin McComb (1993). The Complete Book of Elves. (TSR, Inc), pp. 70,91–93. ISBN 1-56076-376-0.
  3. Anne Gray McCready et al. (March 1994). Elves of Evermeet. (TSR, Inc), p. 111. ISBN 1-5607-6829-0.
  4. Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 179. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  5. Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. (TSR, Inc), p. 49. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.

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