The lute is the quintessential instrument of the bard.

That might seem a little biased to some, but it's my catalog and I'll be biased if I wanna be. So there!

Anyway... Lutes were an Arabic instrument. The word lute is derived from the Arabic "," meaning "stringed instrument." There's that quintessential thing coming up again, so it's not just me.

The lute was first introduced to European ears with the conquering of Spain by the Moors, around 711 AD, which goes a ways as to explaining the famed skills of the Spanish Guitarists. The history of the instrument goes back far further, but with the Moorish invasion, the later Crusades, and the spread of trade, the lute was carried and then adopted throughout Europe.

The lute was the principle instrument of bards for centuries, up into the 1800s when it was eventually replaced by the guitar. At it's peak, it was primarily a six-string instrument. The most distinctive feature of the lute is it's almost ninety degree turned back tuning board of the neck.

Unfortunately, only two music shops currently craft lutes; True Bard D'Or's Fine Instruments, located in central Crossing, Zoluren, and The House of Bardic Blues of central RiverHaven, Therengia.

Lutes currently have the following options for customization:

D'Or's Fine Instruments, Crossing, offers the following woods for customization:

Oak+250K Deobar+375K Rosewood+1875K
Lunat+2500K Ivory-inlaid+1875K Ebonwood+2500K
Black ironwood+12500K Ash+250K White ironwood+9375K
Maple+125K Pine+62K Silverwillow+6250K
Crude-125K Unfinished+37K Wyndewood+9375K

The House of Bardic Blues, RiverHaven, will customize with the following woods:
Rosewood 4875L Ebonwood 5625LCedar 10500L Cherry 7800L
Spruce 3000L Oak 975L Ash 1050L Walnut 3375L
Mahogany 6900L Maple 750L Pine 37L  

Instrument Home -- Stringed Instruments