Charter of the College of Bards of Northshield

Amidst the splendour, peace, and plenty
Of Our MidRealm's year the fifth-and-twenty
We, King Jafar, and Catherine our Queen
Greet all by whom these words are seen.

Witting full well the worth of arts
That move and mellow all mortal hearts,
And holding among these in high regard
The ancient and honored craft of the Bard,

And mindful of many folk sent forth
Into Our region toward the north,
We charter the Northshield Bardic College
To take and teach this worthy knowledge.

Not only Bards but all deserve
To practice arts, and thus preserve
And pass them to posterity.
For this We grant authority

To foster Bardic Arts events
And bear its badge without hindrance
Its own officials to select
And all its members to protect.

Thus no other may demand
Punishment for verse ill-scanned
For meter mangled, rhymes mislaid
Or satires at the mighty made.

Members shall be answerable,
For such actions liable,
To the College of Bards alone;
The College answers to the Throne.

That skill in crafting all may seek,
Without ambition for a clique,
Be students 'rolled, and teachers named,
But let no other rank be claimed.

Though "Master" and "Prentice" some may use,
Only between a pair who choose
In apprenticeship to teach and learn,
No rank's conveyed by either term.

We charge the members let no fools
Administer the College rules,
But name a Council made of four
Whose terms shall last two years, no more.

Let them in turn appoint a Chief
Whose vote in ties provides relief;
Who shall for one year be their voice
In public, at the Council's choice.

Let all who seek to be a Bard
Beware, the duty can be hard --
To sing the praiseworthy to fame
And give the blameworthy their blame

A poet's justice must you give,
And by the ancient creed must live:
"Y Gwir yn erbyn y Byd", which says:
"The Truth Against the World" -- always.

In witness thereto We set Our seal
On this thirtieth day of the month Aprille
In the twenty-eighth year of the Society
At Our Court in Our Province of Tree-Girt-Sea.

Owen's Notes on the text:

These words were crafted by Lord Raven, C.M. Joserlin, and signed and sealed April 30th, 1994 by Jafar and Catherine, King and Queen of the Midrealm.

The College held its organizational meeting at Mermaid's Retreat on May 21st of that year and Ld. Raven was appointed the first Speaker.

The College holds its annual business meeting at Bardic Madness each year, to choose the new Council members and Speaker.

Our intention was to create an organization with a minimalistic structure, so that people could not get caught up in the "inner workings" of the college: The only purposes of the college are to encourage bardic performance and bardic activities by and among all people in Northshield, whether they be "professed performers" or not, and to support composers and performers in their work, whether or not they consider themselves "part of the college" or not.

This document is maintained by Owen Alun