Chapter 3

4. The Second Bardic War

Time: ~8 AC - ~12 AC
Post Guide:
Arguably, All the fun gone, huh?
What The Spoon ?!
Spoony Bard Thread Continues Here

In her brief appearance in the Eidolon Saga, Daryl encountered her nemesis, Valen of Discord; one should not be surprised as to what followed. In comparison, the Second Bardic War was far grander in scale and destruction than the first, for this time it was a war between gods, and one to the death. Scores of NPCs would be introduced, killed, resurrected, and killed again. And in an ironic connection to the First Bardic War, this one would be ended by a single dissenting voice.

4a. The Rallying Cries

At Gaia's Ridge, Daryl encountered her arch-nemesis, Lord Valen of Discord, and the Second Bardic War ensued. Krono was the first to assist Daryl. Valen disabled him with a crippling blast of Middle English, and flew off, taunting Daryl to follow if she valued the life of her most loyal worshipper, Edward the Spoony Bard.

After the planet exploded (see Eidolon Saga, section 3b), the fight began. The initial duel between Daryl and Valen was short: Daryl received minor wounds, and Valen was slapped into the BDRPG.

[note: some Excal [alternate] history here)
[note: Valen helped make the BDRPG, minus the bonus level

Both sides quickly established armies of followers. Reako arrived from the Eidolon Saga (section 3) to assist Daryl, as did Liquid X, and Ace too, of course (presumably he held her drinks). Milidi and Aosloidion joined her at the Valley of the Bards. The bards (and like professionals and friends) of legend were summoned to her side: Link, Edward (mysteriously rescued), Rydia, Mog, Mallow, Glidward, Siren, Kuja, and Elvis [Ed: no comment]. Excal [alternate] arrived from the Eidolon Saga (section 3) and guided Valen out of the BDRPG. The Vigilante rallied the bards/bard-haters of evil: Dan the Disgruntled, Dirlend the Lesser Bard, Tellah the Sage, Locke the Thief, Alex the Dragonmaster, Garland, Zande, Vormav, Celes, and Luna (AKA the Goddess Athena). Note that not all of these figures were involved at once due to defections, death, and late recruitment.

At some point here, Excal [alternate] traveled forward in time to ~111 AC to retrieve the Aurora Helm, a Canuck Artifact, from Lloyd (see Wingly War, section 5a).

The history of this Bardic War is the history of its leaders, Daryl and Valen. Both were demi-humans, children of eternally horny deities and clever mortals whom knew a good deal when they saw one. Daryl's parents were the legendary bard Orpheus and the obscure goddess Chocolate Song (presides over harmony and kitten fetishes). Valen was born of Pandora and the god of infinite darkness (a minor position), Hellmaster Phebrizo. The two deities deigned to join their houses via marriage, so they railroaded the kids into the Double-Bite-Three ritual. The fates and health of the two demi-gods became permanently intertwined. Neither Valen nor Daryl considered the end of this process (marriage) palatable, so both attempted to break this bond. Daryl's goal in this conflict was to assemble 30 000 acolytes who's combined force of belief would make her human negate the ritual. Valen aimed to strip Daryl of her powers, hoping his father would become embarrassed and call off the engagement. Technically, as both of these techniques would result in the same goal, it would have been logical for the two of them to pick one goal and work towards it together. But logic is rare in those of divine blood [Ed: *snickers*]

4b. The Cacophonous Combat
These two leaders and their followers first clashed at the Battle of the Valley of the Bards. Valen's forces murdered 37 000 resident bards as a first strike, then torched the Valley itself. Intense combat broke out, involving much more maiming and bloodshed than one would expect from bards. Much of this occurred above the Valley onboard the airship Whale. Notable were the fights between Daryl and Luna over the title "Goddess of Song" and the curious rivalry between Excal [alternate] and Reako. No clear winners emerged in any of the battles, although the Bardic forces did have the numerical advantage. Liquid X ended this skirmish when he destroyed the airship.

Elsewhere, the third side of the Second Bardic War, the Peace Force, was hard at work. Section Yea Eighth, warned by the Living Tribunal that the coming clash of harmony and discord could have grave consequences for the universe, sought out The Orchestra, an otherworldly dimension where every instrument was represented. Eighth planned to play the Doomsday Song in hopes that Daryl and Valen would realize their fight was pointless, they were stronger together, and everyone would be happier if they Gave Peace A Chance. Seconds before he could raise his baton, however, the Living Tribunal informed him he'd miscalculated, and none of his efforts were needed. Eighth's new job (drinks vendor) shortly drove him mad.

The next and last phase of this war was the Battle of Dry Dry Desert. Daryl nearly realized her goal when she located the fabled Bardic Palace, home to 29 900 bards. But it was not to be. A Lawyer of Fate arrived and explained the ritual could only be broken if Daryl had 30 000 followers, no more, no less. Reako used his dimensional abilities to try and hit this number, but was soon distracted as anti-Bardic forces launched a full assault. Reako and Excal [alternate] fought a titanic duel in the gap between dimensions (because it's such a cool background). Reako trapped Excal [alternate] in the gap, and gated the correct number of bards into reality. Valen's forces, horribly outnumbered, were utterly decimated, and Daryl successfully broke her connection to him. Within the gap, Milidi came to Excal [alternate]'s aid. She explained Eidolon X used his messengers to settle any old quarrels he had. The amnesiac messenger to Daryl originally bore a message honorably releasing Eidolon X from his Bardic allegiance, effectively making him neutral. Excal [alternate] escaped the gap to continue his duel with Reako, but Milidi was trapped, apparently for all eternity. Section Yea Eighth, driven mad by the pointless nature of the conflict, attempted to assemble a Stereotypical Doomsday Device to nuke everyone, but was stopped by Bob the Cat. Daryl and Valen then faced each other in mortal combat

4c. Deux Est Liquid X

Liquid X, after recovering from wounds sustained in the crash of the Whale, finally acted to end the conflict. First, with his new companion the amnesiac bird Zero, he rescued Milidi, nearly dead from the pounding nothingness, from the dimensional gap. Liquid X, furious his actions on the Whale had caused harm to the ones he sought to protect (he apparently blamed the entire conflict on himself), teleported to the Palace and quelled both sides through sheer power. He denounced the conflict as a pointless endeavor that caused naught but pain and suffering to everyone. The maddened Section Yea Eighth enthusiastically agreed. Liquid X dispatched him with a punch, and walked off into the sunset.

But soon would come a new adventure. As Reako used his powers to return everyone to their proper places, a Mysterious Force seized control of the dimensional gate and pulled Excal [alternate], Reako, and Link into another world. This began the Infinijia Incident (see section 6).

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