"The sword and the harp," said Dafydd. "The true bard must wield both. And where would one be without the other?"
"The sword can live without the harp," Aedan said.
"Can it? The harp cannot live without the sword, no. Of what would it sing, if not of the struggle of princes, the blood and dust of battle? But the reverse is just as true. The monk that sits in dusty, ill-lit scriptoriums, faithfully entrusting his histories to rolls of parchment, what, in the end, does he do? He only produces more dust as those faithfully recorded histories crumble and are forgotten. The harp that fills the halls and the hearts, that takes the dust and blood of battles and turns it into glory – the harp means immortality."
As you can see, I am fully embracing that new idea of Bard!Aedan.
The snippet is not from the actual novel, but is a dialogue that might have occurred sometime during Aedan's training. [link]
Inspiration: "The Mabinogion" illustrated by Alan Lee. This man is awe-inspiring. And plain inspiring.
Very loose reference (moved further and further away from it when I incorporated the harp): [link]
Harp loosely referenced from the 15th century harp of Brian Boru [link]
(probably not accurate for the time I'm writing about, but what the heck, it looked so damn cool).
Watercolour, pencil. Harp strings touched up in Photoshop.
Tutorial for the painting process is here:
EDIT: Thank you guys so much for the DD!
It's not my first, but it's the first I feel that truly and thoroughly deserves it.