Divad the Singer
By Destri Melarg
Divad The Singer is in one body, two unique and distinct people. Divad is the most well known of the Redguard heroes. Frandar Hunding's son, probably the most accomplished Ansei who ever lived. Yet early in his life, Divad appeared to thoroughly have rejected The Way of the Sword.
Divad was the only son of Frandar Hunding, and was born late in Hunding's life (2396 in the old way of reckoning, probably about 1E 760 by the Tamrielic calendar), when he was away most of the time fighting the last of his duels and engaging in the many battles and insurrections of the period. At eleven, Divad entered the Hall of the Virtues of War and began training, but at 16, he finally let his anger at growing up essentially fatherless get the better of him. Divad broke his swords and left the Hall to become an acrobat in a traveling circus.
The life in the circus was unsatisfying to Divad, and after two years, his innate artisan heritage drove him to become a musician and finally a Bard. For two more years he traveled, singing in the cities of the empire -- gaining no small amount of fame and recognition for his stirring and popular songs and music.
Although Divad had publicly forsaken the Way of the sword, it would appear that he continued to practice the compulsory forms of training he was taught in the Hall. He carried no sword, but in the late evening, bright lights could be often be seen in his tent (my source says nothing more about this, but it may be assumed that the writer was suggesting that Divad was practicing the form of the Way known as Shehai Shen She Ru -- the Way of the Spirit Sword, or simply the Shehai).
Divad was very popular with the people of the empire, and his music and concerts were well attended. Still he could not escape his heritage of the sword. When the Last Emperor ascended to power and began to persecute the sword-singers, Divad was among the first to attract his attention.
Once the Emperor Hira and his consort decided to go to war with the Singers for control of the empire, he moved swiftly against those Singers who were visibly a part of empire society. Most he had killed, but Divad's music and fame were so wide spread that he sent a team of his personal guards to arrest him.
The Emperor's men were either very lucky or very unlucky depending on how you choose to view it. Being no fool, Hira sent 100 of his best guards, for even an unarmed Singer was a very dangerous foe. The luck was that they were able to capture Divad and place him in chains, for they came at him as he sat dining with his elderly mother. The disaster was that as he surrendered, they rashly struck the pleading old woman. Too hard, it would seem, for she fell dead with that single blow.
That single thoughtless deed, as is often the case in war, was the one pivotal factor causing their eventual defeat. That act ignited in Divad the spirit of the Way. Up until that careless stroke, Divad was an ordinary artisan, no, an artist, a great artist, but no warrior.
The moment of her death, Divad rose from his seat, took his chains between his two hands and began swinging the heavy chain in a deadly arc. He slew four of the guards, gaining enough space to run and dive through the window and into the river He disappeared into the night.
From that point, Divad was spotted many times and told of in many more rumors all across the empire -- far more places than a mere mortal man could have ever been. At every point where Hira's men gathered to do mischief, the resistance was attributed to Divad.
As Hira moved against the Singers and began forming his army to invade High Desert, it was Divad who carried the news to the Singers. Divad was among those who climbed Hattu to find Hunding in his cave. What is not well known is that Hunding, at first refused to take leadership of the Singers. The first attempt to interrupt him at his death poem cause him to drive the elders from his cave, he even formed the Shehai in his anger. It was Divad who reentered the cave alone to speak with Hunding. To this day, no one knows what was said, what happened in that cave. Scribes of the time reported bright flashes of light and angry voices. Five long hours came and went, then both emerged from the cave, Divad, at Hunding's side. The rest, as they say, is history ...
Divad, who had not completed training in the Hall of the Virtues of War, became an adviser to Hunding and spent his time reading the newly completed Book of Circles, but his role in the Hammer and Anvil strategy was as a simple sword-singer and fighter. It was not till the Singers fled their native empire and landed In New Land that his story truly begins.