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In the new Sword Coast Adventure Guide for 5e, there is a small blurb about the Snake style of bladesingers who use a whip, and focus their magic on poison and disease.

Normally this would be enough information for me, but the current list of spells only has about 6 spell which have a damage type of poison or are related to disease in some way.

To better pick my spells, and understand this style of bladesinger (and why it's not using a blade), I'd like to read up on this style and understand the culture behind it a bit more. That is, which type of elves started it, which cities or forests it's from, etc.

What book can I find this information in, and if it's scattered across multiple books from multiple editions, where can I find a summary?

The only relevant thing I was able to find on Google was this (from one of the splat books on elves of 2nd edition):

The Bladesinger is always identifiable by his weapon of choice. Such an item is always ornate and beautiful, enhancing the Bladesinger's appearance in battle. not only are they easily identifiable by their weapon of choice and catlike grace, Bladesingers are decorated with their weapon guild's distinctive tattoo. each guild has a separate and unique tattoo depicting its style of weapon through an animal representation. Long swords are often represented by great cats such as lions or panthers, a whip would be shown as a striking snake, and so forth.

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All mentions, that I am aware of, regarding Bladesingers are below:

  • AD&D 2nd Edition / Complete Book of Elves

    Distinctive Appearance. Not only are they easily identifiable by their weapon of choice and catlike grace, Bladesingers are decorated with their weapon guild's distinctive tattoo. Each guild has a separate and unique tattoo depicting its style of weapon through an animal representation. Long swords are often represented by great cats such as lions or panthers, a whip would be shown as a striking snake, and so forth.

  • AD&D 2nd Edition / Elves of Evermeet

    On Evermeet they are organized into small warrior lodges, each specializing in a different weapon. They often tattoo themselves with old runes, and each lodge has a special symbol it's members tattoo themselves with to identify their membership.

Bladesingers are mentioned in the edition after AD&D 2nd Edition, and despite its contradiction to 'guilds' or 'schools' there is no mention of any particular weapon (besides blades) to be in use.

  • D&D 3rd Edition / Races of Faerun

    Most bladesingers work alone, sufficient unto themselves, but in larger communities they sometimes have the opportunity to fight together in the same combat. Bladesingers are normally trained singly by another bladesinger, and the concept of anything as formalized as a bladesinger school is an absurd notion to them.

What that means, in that edition, is a school representing animals went to the way side. in the revised edition, D&D 3.5 Edition, Bladesingers were mentioned as well.

  • D&D 3.5 Edition / Complete Warrior

    Bladesingers are elves who have blended art, swordplay, and arcane magic into a harmonious whole.

It is essentially a copy paste, with a lot omitted, from Races of Faerun. Only "swordplay" and "any martial weapon" is mentioned. Nothing about schools guilds at all. There is another book the Bladesinger is mentioned, but its essentially only a blurb.

  • D&D 3.5 Edition / Races of the Wild

    Bladesinger (Complete Warrior): Practitioner of the quintessential elven martial art, the bladesinger is both a skilled mage and a deadly swordmaster.

Once again, only sword is mentioned; probably due to racial sword proficiency - and the implication of blade in the name Bladesinger. Eventually, near the end of this edition, Bladesingers became Duskblades, and lost its 'elf-only' motif.

  • D&D 3.5 Edition / Player's Handbook II

    While the ability to cast arcane spells in armor originated with the elves, over the millennia the secrets of the duskblade have been disseminated to the other races, and today members of any race can become a duskblade.

No mention of guilds or schools, or even preferred weapons were mentioned. Any martial weapon it appeared to be - but spending a feat to use a whip...most people would say, "no thank you." Bladesingers were included in the edition after this one, much to my surprise. But, it discredits the 'different weapons' aspect entirely.

  • D&D 4th Edition / Neverwinter Campaign Guide

    Benefit: Choose a one-handed melee weapon with which you have proficiency, and that is a light blade or a heavy blade.

Now we come to D&D 5th Edition, and you already have the published information on them thus far. Since, to my knowledge, that edition is to harken back to the days of simpler game-play and more intrinsic role-play; rather than the vice versa, take this opportunity to "Create Your Own" schools, guilds, and organizations.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ There are no mentions of different schools or styles in Bladesinger (novel) either. It is so... idk... non-canonical I didn't it bother mentioning it in this answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Ruut Nov 9 '15 at 3:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ The answer looks correct. So I'll give it a week for somebody else to come by and say that there is a rare book or interview that has more info. \$\endgroup\$ – GMNoob Nov 9 '15 at 9:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GMNoob Found any information that I have missed? \$\endgroup\$ – Ruut Dec 5 '15 at 7:52

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