To a bard, I figured the worst (yet realistically probable) fate would be to be in a setting where there was no civilization, no sophistication, no appreciation nor respect for anything. Historically, I know that standard bearers and bugle corps were a very real part of armies throughout the centuries in many societies. Still, am I the only one who thinks a bard is just begging for the nearest bully to take his/her lunch money? In roleplaying or in court intrigue, having a bard in the party is what makes the game worth playing every weekend with your friends. Bards tend to be the members of the party who are the sexiest, the most fun to be around, the ones who can talk the party into and out of any stronghold. Bards epitomize finesse. Bards come up with the best one-liners. Bards make the grumpy fighters and dour assassins burst out laughing. Who wants to play D&D with a party full of burly and humorless tanks that pick their noses? Still, how on Faerun would even a really famous bard be able to last one day outside of a city or town? How do you convey the value of muscial composition and playwriting to an illiterate band of ogres who take one look at you and decide, 'Little man has shiny stuff. Grok want shiny stuff! Little man all alone...'