Telling Tales

"Sit down, son. Today I tell you the most important tale. The tale of how to Tell."
Anyone can recite a story, recount an event. A messenger can tell a king how a battle went. A child can tell his mother how he and his friends played on a summer day. A tavern bard can sing about the great deeds of ancient heroes. Anyone can talk.
A Teller's job differs. We hold a job as old as stone, older than writing and reading. We do not merely entertain or inform. We enlighten. And we've honed our methods over centuries. Over eons."
"Hw! I knew you were old, but that's pushing it!"
"Hilarious. The point I mean to make is this. Minstrels and messengers have their tales, and we have ours.
Today I show you how I tell our tales. Today I show you how I tell a real tale. A Teller's Tale."

The Beginning

"I begin with the type. Every tale fits a type.
Some tales are realistic, whether or not they are true. We call these ones Bronze Tales.
Some tales are dramatic, taking a stylized approach to reality. We call these ones Silver Tales.
Some tales are light, and lighthearted or even comical. We call these ones Gold Tales.
Some tales are dark, as the world is often thus. We call these ones Iron Tales.
I say the type first, so my listeners know the mood they should adopt. Many novice tellers have the roots burnt out of their Iron Tales from a few misguided laughs. I make myself clear, so that a serious tale will remain serious, and a comical tale, comical. Your listeners aren't sheep, son. They don't always do what you want, or what you expect."

"Next, I introduce a premise. Sometimes I will invent a situation, or create letters or journals from a character in the tale. Sometimes I will use real events, from history or current news. Sometimes a premise will be very, very simple. Sometimes you will not fully understand the background until the tale advances."

"And sometimes even you won't understand the tale, because you're making it all up as you go. Isn't that right, old man?"
"…Shut up."

"With the type and premise established, I begin the tale itself."

The Tale

The End

"Some tales don't end at the end."
"You mean some tales seem like they end, but don't?"
"I meant what I said. And I said what I meant. Now shut up, or you won't get dinner."
"Occasionally, a tale will end the travels of a group, or the arc of a story within will not clarify a greater event. Sometimes this does not matter, but there are times when I see fit to wrap things up with an epilogue. Like a backwards premise. This can nicely bookend a tale that would not otherwise feel complete."

"Is that it?"
"Is that it? That's it, alright! That's it, you're not eating tonight! Go recite the Fourth Tale of Zhen-Shao-rae!"
"I already ate. It's almost sundown, old man."
"Oh, piss off."