Melnic pondered as he trudged down the road, his lute strapped securely to his back and his meagre posessions carried about him. His last 'gig' had been eventful, to say the least - a friendly tavern that had turned into a war zone, although for a self-confessed coward he felt that he had carried himself quite well. The various clientele had been friendly - if naturally preoccupied by the unfolding events! - and he had gathered in more than the usual haul of coin for his music (and been enlisted as a temporary nurse by a particularly terrifying member of the clergy).
However, after the encounter something had changed in his life. A previous life of wanton debauchery, excessive eating, drinking, wenching and generally looking no further ahead than his next meal now seemed petty. He had become aware of a larger world, and of (he now silently admitted) his own vices and lack of ambition. Maybe this had something to do with that strange ceremony of touching him with various weapons when he first entered the tavern, he mused.
In any case, Melnic vowed that he would make something more of himself from now on. He may be poor, and his semi-joke of 'making up for in volume what he lacked in talent' sadly held more than a grain of truth - still, he had a measure of skill, a warped sense of humour, and a plan. He would follow the group towards this castle they spoke of, and see what transpired. If nothing else, his music would help to entertain (he knew he was not, and never would be, a combatant of any stature). And, one of them had mentioned about bards being able to have ... other effects ... when playing. Maybe he could find out about that. From now on , his life would be 'No holds bard'.
He smiled to himself. Whatever else had changed, his puns were still as bad as ever.