The Demon Bard Greta von Lopp (a.k.a. Necrolopula)
She's not really a demon. then again, she's not that great as a bard, either. But it's the thought that counts, right?
Greta (Necrolopula) was born in a small village in the countryside of Baduhm near the border with Orsholon. Greta was one of 17 children (the Lagonyms are quite prolific in breeding and the von Lopps were no exception). Most of the children fell easily into the family business as exotic fruit merchants, but Greta had other interests. She was swayed into the life and adventures she heard was the bard's life. Rather than procuring and selling the fruit of the Quwi, Greta was far more interested in music and storytelling. This did not sit well with her hard-working parents, who saw the bard's life as frivolous and a waste of good bunbun energy. Nonetheless, Greta was determined to pursue her dream of becoming a bard. Unfortunately, for someone who was determined to be a bard, Greta was particularly unskilled at playing instruments. For example, there was the time she tried to play a lyre, and ended up accidentally summoning a banshee that managed to keep the village awake every night for a month as it berated Greta for her awful playing technique. Or the time she played an oboe, and the village was shortly overrun by rats. Great finally settled on the bagpipes. Mainly because it was hard to tell if she hit the wrong note. This however would lead down a dark path. Greta had been practicing a new tune intended to help those who needed uplift and healing. But her lakc of precision in the notes produced an unintended result. It literally raised the dead. Great had taken to practicing in the church cemetery. The monks there had taken a vow of silence and could not complain to her, and there was unlikley to be anyone else to hear. Or so she thought. Within minutes of playing the tune, the ground around her began to tremble, as the dead began to to rise. Not realizing it was her playing that was causing the corpses to surface, she tried playing another tune to dispel her fears and the now undead gathering that was growing around her. Bad choice. Her playing accelerated the rising, and they all stood around her, as if waiting for instruction. She stopped playing, and zombies now just stood there, looking at her, their hollow eyed gazes fixed on her. She was frozen, not knowing what to do. Just then, a pair of monks came out of the the chapel, and saw the gathering in the cemetery. Frightened nearly to death, they broke their vow and screamed "Demon! A demon bard that wakes the dead!" The zombies turned, and started shambling toward the monks. Greta, in her shock, simply yelled "NO, STOP!". And lo and behold, the zombies froze. The monks ran inside, and almost immediately, the church bells rang out in alarm, alerting the village to trouble. More monks appeared and began shouting at the "Demon Bard'. Greta realized quickly she would have to leave the village. They did not take kindly to "demons", and until she could clear things up, she would be hated. Better to leave town than to be run out. She began to run out of the cemetery and looked over her shoulder, to see the zombies following her, albeit at a much slower pace. She ran until she was out of breath, which thankfully meant, she couldn't play the bagpipes for awhile. She seemed to have left the zombies behind. Back in the village, no one had recognized Greta, but the story of the Demon Bard spread quickly, far faster than Great herself could travel. By the time she reached the next village, the stories of the Demon Bard, who now was being called Necrolopula, were common around the village well and the taverns. Greta knew these stories were about her. Saddened, she wondered how it could have happened. She sought out a quiet place to play to soothe her soul. Just outside of town she found a clearing in a small forest. The site was quiet, calm, peaceful. She set about to play a sad, mournful tune. Unbenknownst to Greta, the site was the location of a horrible, bloody battle, where hundreds died and the bodies were burnt on funeral pyres. As she played, wisps of smoke began rising from the grassy field. The wisps started to coalesce into the forms of the ancient warriors who were disposed of on this field. And the grass around them, began to spark into flame. This was not going to end well. Again. The warriors danced around Greta, waiting for her command. As they did, they created a circle of flames, the heat of which created its own wind currents, soon forming a fire tornado. The spirits protected Greta from harm, but the now rapidly spinning vortex of flames headed straight for the forest, igniting the stands of trees. Greta did the only thing she knew. Run. And so has Greta's life continued to transpire. She desperately needs to perform to be happy, but doing so regularly results in raising the dead and animating spirits best left alone. She has not taken the name of Necrolopula, but it nevertheless refers to her.
All Images created BY Kahuna the Elder, with source materials from Pixabay, Pexels, Unsplash, Artbreeder and public domain sources.