And it's not like they can't appreciate our profession. The performer and oral traditions are deeply rooted within Breminor. For much of history the oral tradition was the only means of remembrance, used to retain lengthy lineages by families and news from one village to another by messengers. I hadn't thought that this would have been any different up here.
I have to say that when we don't get the applause we deserve I get annoyed. We are, after all, recognized as one of the best troupes around. Our families have been traveling the lands and telling stories, performing plays and making music for millennia. Don't want to brag, but we've won more story telling contests than any of our competition - our descriptions of battles, heroic deeds, and magnificent beauties are unparalleled (as are some of our actors' abundant assets). And I am a Master Performer!
We've got qualifications too. Damn that Ishyri court scribe for asking what our credentials were. Some nerve - I had to swallow my pride I tell you. I explained that we had been trained in the best Academies (only yours truly), and that we had a thorough knowledge of the arts of rhetoric and persuasion, poetry and speech, acting and presentation (not that he would know). I even let slip that I had been shortlisted for the King's Performer position in Valithra. You know this is some achievement - only Academy-trained Novar, learned historians in the oral tradition such as myself, are put forward as candidates for the role of King's Performer. The position is of considerable importance as the incumbent decides what the ruler sees in the way of entertainment and travels with the ruler at all times.
At the end of our play, The Rise and Fall of the Bishop's Tool, I had to step in and weave a little magic. I don't like to, but things were going poorly and I wondered if we were going to be able to pay for the hay for our trusty horses. I never intervene overtly, for good reason. I have a reputation to uphold and don't want to get chased out of town. And anyway, if the troupe knew, they might not try as hard. The magic that we weave as guild members is a volatile one. Sound is at the heart of all the Mysteries. It is the power that controls persuasion, memory, and amusement. It is at the heart of enchantment, a power which can sooth and please and yet confuse and deceive. This power is at the heart of the Novar.
I am the only one of the Guild in our troupe. Those of us that graduate the Academy are a competitive lot and I wouldn't want any sedition you understand.
I use the skills the Guild gave me to train performers of all sorts to expand and display the oral tradition in Breminor, and of course, to earn myself a decent standard of living. One or two of those in my troupe I consider worthy of proposing to one of our Academies, as long as openings exist. The drawback, of course, is that I would have to sponsor them and pay for their training and living costs. Usually, a local Lord would pay for the initiate's expenses on the condition that the Performer remain in the lord's service for at least seven years after the completion of training.
I remember my initiation well. Before being accepted into the Guild, I had to perform a piece of my own creation and present it to a lord of the Guild's choosing. That's where Rise and Fall got its first, albeit primitive, showing. I'm proud to say that the lord was doubled over with laughter - there was no question of my admission to the Guild.
My Academy was one of the stronger within the Guild. Competition is intense between the many Academies of the Guild. Each year, the Academies of the Order send their best members to a competition before the ruler of Breminor. At its conclusion, the ruler chooses the best Performer, who becomes the King's Performer for that year. My Academy was sure that I had it wrapped upů Unfortunately, I was betrayed by my lusty youth: an indiscretion or two with a local Lord's daughter was my undoing.
At the end of this year I return to Laladen to compete for the position of Academy Master of my old halls. I'll have to win that one on merit alone.