I really enjoy writing ballads and epic poems for my D&D campaigns. They really add richness, folklore, and history to a fantasy world, and are a fun way to impart information, puzzle clues, and story hints to players in your game. They can hide clues to the location of hidden objects, reveal magical places, or help players learn about a historical figure or event. Here are a few from recent campaigns. Enjoy!
Systin Dreymir: Part of a larger epic in progress, this is a sad song based on the oldest known piece of Nordic music as recorded in Old Norse in the Codex Runicus. Midi version of the composition below while I learn to play it on my harp (second version with me mediocrely singing the words).
Scarborough Fair: The original lyrics are sexist and patriarchal, so I re-wrote them to be about sisterhood and/or witches. My own harp recording is below.
The Ballad of Aedla Ironheart: The story of how a warrior and her magic sword save the dwarven realm from a demon’s wrath.
The Dragon Singer’s Song: The story of Menolly, a dragonborn adventurer and the first Bard, who collected songs from all over the world to record in her Book of Silent Songs.
The Ballad of Fairn and Veridane: The tragic story of two lovers who gave up everything for each other.
The Song of Serpenthelm: The story of the greed of the king led to the fall of the great city of Serpenthelm.
Note: I’m missing an image credit citation in one of the poems, if you recognize the art please get in touch!