The College began as a group of musician friends of Alasdair MacInnes, now chief bard to Queen Glynis of Three Hills. As the artists learned from each other and from the heritage of the bard, they decided to meet more frequently and formally. They chose Skye to honor the McCrimmon pipers of old and because they thought Bethag to be a likely ally, if needed.
There is no set path for a bard. They do not fit into one mold. Human members are pipers, singers and fiddle players from all walks of life. They all share some tie to the Caledonii, the fae word for magical beings: Garou, mages and fae. All are Acolytes, Kinfolk or Kinain. Sometimes unruly but fun, bards "borrow" (kidnap) and enchant human master musicians for wild jam sessions. (No, the bards are not hiding Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix or Elvis!)
The Caledonii follow many bardic conventions. Possibly the oldest is of the fae minstrel. Seelie musicians play to instruct and entertain, but there is an equally strong tradition of the Unseelie's use of musical powers to entrap and misguide.
Many of the Verbenic bards follow the lessons of the Celtic harpists. They divide their interests between philosophy, folklore and music. Their main purposes are to question and to teach.
The Ecstatics revel in Celtic culture and lore. The Cult of Ecstasy produces some of the best pipers in Scotland. This has led to an unusual branch of Ecstatics who crave the experience of Mircath (the joyous frenzy of battle) or Crith-gaisge (quiverings of valor) by performing their music and magick. Their purpose is to inflame or create passion on the battlefield or in the sports arena.
The member select a Nadurrachd (NAD-urr-uch), Gaelic for natural instinct, to preside over their meetings. This officer also oversees the applications of journeymen who are to become masters of the college. These artists must compose and perform masterpieces to be accepted. If even one of the current masters disapproves of a piece, it must be discarded, not mended. Fortunately, there is no limit to the number of applications. Journeymen enter the college when a master submits their names for membership. Some of the masters are quite paranoid. As Garou, mage and fae masters attempt to ferret out spies in the college, the poor journeyman's life and deeds are soon known to all.
Originally, the group kept its political views quiet, but as members have grown to know each other's music, so have they also learned to understand each other's backgrounds and views. Fae bards have expressed their worries as they learn about the Technocracy and the Wyrm. Mages have grown excited about what they call the "fae paradigm" and their hopes for a new world. Garou have hungered for the wyld of the fae and the chance to fight the Wyrm and Weaver-ridden Technocracy. The few humans of the college have marveled at the larger world revealed to them. But as members' knowledge has grown, the dynamism of the Bardic College has naturally brought the group to the precipice. Will the bards remain individual masters of lore!
Alasdair, an Ecstatic fiddler, a Fianna and a sidhe have set out to produce a new Domesday Book for Caledonia. It is a listing of mystical places, fae freeholds, Garou septs, Tradition cabals and whatever other information that can be found concerning the Technocracy.