Long years ago, in an unassuming high school classroom where US History was taught by a balding and beloved liberal, a girl invited another girl into a fantasy world. This world was unlike any the second girl had visited before, for it was known as a Shared Universe with myriad characters and countries already established, and yet plenty of room for more and more and more. And the girl thought, How cool! How fun! How rad!
There were several royals in this world, each with her own nation. Strong women with power and responsibility. And there were fabulous names to the nations where they dwelled. Names like Zephren, Ifstael, and Glengannoch. The girl looked at these royal women in their respective countries and thought, You need some ordinary people in this world. And you need some men. But these "ordinary people" needed to have access to the royal courts, otherwise the girl's characters couldn't play with the others' characters. How to achieve this? Who to create? What to do?
Thus was born the Sect of the Wand'ring Minstrels. Ordinary people with extraordinary training. Ordinary people with the facility to travel anywhere they need to go. Ordinary people with the authority to work with rulers and the accessibility to address common folk all at the same time. Handy that, don't you think?
Of course not just anyone can become a Wand'ring Minstrel. Individuals must first be found and found worthy. Wand'ring Minstrels are always on the lookout for talented youths with great potential. Some are never discovered. Some who are chosen to study do not choose to go or do not complete the training. It's hard work becoming a Wand'ring Minstrel and even harder work being one.
The girl liked this Sect she had created and so created her first Wand'ring Minstrel. Next she created his mentor, and then the Headmaster, and finally his roommate and best friend: Jimothy Redwing. Zephreni by birth, Wand'ring Minstrel by vocation. Educated in music and poetry, statesmanship and survival. Ultimately bound only by the laws of the Sect that trained him. His professional imperatives are simple: travel, seek, learn, inform, entertain, and always get the mail through. His personal imperatives are a great deal more complex. But that is another story.
And you can read that story in The Ballad of Jimothy Redwing, available on 10 June from Samhain Publishing and My Bookstore and More. :D