"He Wears Black and Has a Beard"

A brief History of Techies: Part 1

Toby Roworth

Aug 9, 2012

I've recently been conducting some research into the origins of techies. It's a little known fact that we've actually been around as long as the pyramids, in one form or another. However, the bulk of my research begins in the middles ages. This week I look at the first documented discovery of what are now referred to by historians as "cave-techs".
Back in the olden days, before class D amplifiers, the world was a simpler place. A 'gig' back then involved going down tavern and having a good pint of ale, whilst a pretty maiden called Elsie would sing, basked in the light of her friend the unicorn. A big gig was a similar affair, except a phoenix would provide a nice harmony and occasional pyrotechnics.

But then Elsie became more popular, and more people would fill the tavern to bursting. The mead-induced shouting began to drown out Elsie, such that her singing could hardly be heard, and the poor unicorn had to stay in the stable, for lack of space. The gigs became dingy, inaudible and the less said about the smell the better. Elsie began to get upset, and threatened to stop singing until she could hear herself again. The final straw came when the phoenix accidentally set fire the a keg of rum in the basement, and The Silver Goose went up in flames.
As more and more pubs burnt to the ground in phoenix accidents, the king decreed that a new order or wizards was required. This order were to find ways of making the maidens seen and heard.
The king's scouts were sent out to find suitable magicians, searching high and low. After months of searching a group of them walked past a small cave, coming from which was a sound not unlike a lyre, except with a crunchy-gritty-epic sound to it, mixed with that of drums. But this was no ordinary sound - the clarity was something yet unheard, the frequency spectrum completely flat.
They walked inside the cave, expecting finely groomed warlocks dressed in majestic ermines. Instead they found men dressed entirely in black, with hair down past their shoulders and facial hair to match. From their scruffy look, one could assume they smelled awful, but any smell was masked by the aroma of freshly-brewed coffee. As the scouts walked in this new music faded gently to silence, and loud voice came from the ceiling:
"HELLO SQUIRES. What bringeth thee here?"
The scouts looked up, but couldn't see who the voice had come from, only a few black boxes. They began to suspect that they'd found the wizards they were looking for, and so answered:
"A great tragedy has availed us - fair ladies sing in our taverns, but cannot be heard over the noise of those who go to hear them. The king has sent us to find those who could form a college of magic, one dedicated solely to serving those who perform. Are you the mighty mages we've been looking for?"
One of the men in black walked over to them. He had a patch over one of his eyes, and his beard was much longer than that of the others. His walk was by no means straight, and involved the occasional stop, punctuated by a slight cocking of his head, as though listening for something. After several minutes, he was standing next to the captain. Whilst stroking his beard and looking thoughtful, he finally spoke.
"Testing: one, two, one, two".
The scouts looked puzzled. One of them tentatively inquired "three?". Before he knew it, the man reached for his belt, pulled out small knife and dispatched him, in one swift cut.
"We shall submit to your king's will. My name is Andy, the sound engineer".
Next week, I'll publish my findings on the resulting "Order of Techies".