image-right This story is an homage to the bards of Second Edition AD&D. The Complete Bard’s Handbook opened up new possibilities for Forgotten Realms bards, and Elfsong explores most of them–skalds, minstrels, a riddlemaster–and adds a newly invented class: political cartoonist, in the form of the dwarf maiden Morgalla and her satirical and sometimes scathing depictions of the rich and powerful.

The Harpers were founded for two purposes: to maintain the balance and to preserve knowledge of great deeds. But it seemed to me that for an organization dedicated toward balance, they were doing a pretty crappy job with their own two objectives. Adventure and intrigue?  Check.  Acting as custodians of lore?  Not so much. The barding colleges closed their doors many years ago, Harper leaders focused more on politics than poetry.

I’m a musician and history geek, so this state of affairs bothered me. And I figured that there had to be people in the Realms who took this deviation from the Harper code very seriously indeed. One of them is Garnet, a half-elven bard, who set out to make a point in a very big way.

The old songs and tales, traditional bardic lore passed down for centuries, are suddenly changed or forgotten, and none of  the northland’s bards seem to notice. Khelben Arunsun sends Danilo Thann to investigate. Danilo is not a bard, so he isn’t affected by this mysterious spell, but he has had extensive musical training. He’ll need every bit of it to unravel the puzzle.  But the key to his success–an ancient elven harp–is in the possession of a green dragon. To further complicate matters, Danilo isn’t the only person seeking the harp. Elaith Craulnober, a deadly elven crime lord, wants it for reasons of his own.

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Sample chapters

Purchase the book:


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Audio book: Available through Amazon.com

Paperback: Currently out of print. See this page on Amazon.com for used copies.

Even more info:

Go to the info page for Elfshadow to see a list of novels and short stories featuring Danilo, Elaith, and Arilyn.