OOC Thread "Discord is where all things impure lead" Men and women crossed the streets, attending to their daily affairs; the birds continued trilling in the forests nearby; the Crownsong held his court; the banners of Dovry and House Skynne snapped in the wind; and the inns rang with the raucous laughter of patrons. Yet that day was no ordinary day, despite all its appearances. Deep underneath the bowels of the great Cataline Palace of Dovry, the war generals gathered, setting out plans against Renala. In the outskirts of the city, camps were being struck up for soldiers that had readied themselves for the coming march. For the first time in 300 years, Dovry was about to enter a massive conflict. Its fertile soils guarded by the Edge of the World to the north were about to be sowed with the seeds of battle and watered with the blood of men. And for certain, before the war was over, the strains of the Song will be heard far and wide from both sides. Before the war was over, there would be much wailing and gnashing of teeth. As the sun fell from its high seat and the silence of evenfall was draped across the land, there was a sinister chord in the Song that everyone could 'feel' but could not comprehend. The once-carefree citizens of the land's mightiest kingdom quivered in an inexplicable fear as they prepared their dinners and finished up the day's work. In the Cataline Palace, there was an unmistakable stench of "wrongness" that hung in the air, just like the ghastly pale bars of the even sun's light. The unnaturally pale white beams of light were caught by the icy claymore that hung behind the golden throne. It danced across the blade, casting a mesmerizing dance of lights and shadows across the room. The gilded doors swung open and decked in the royal robes with the sky-blue of house Skynne and the gold trim of Dovry, Feltaniel Skynne, Crownsong of Dovry, Lord of the Cataline, Hand of Gold, the Great Conductor's Mandate, strode inside the throne room. It was the only deserted part of the palace at this time of the day, long after the King's Court had ceased, three hours after High Hour. Behind him entered the flustered Lord Courier and the King's newest, most influential adviser, Agnor. "Your Grace, the Swordsingers refuse to fight for Dovry..." said the Lord Courier, panting. When he had received word of a response from the choirmaster, he had ridden all the way back to Cataline, driving his horse nearly to death. Many a day on that long journey had he cursed the lack of an airship. They were all being conscripted into the army and even his courier ship was in one of the large fields near the southern border, awaiting commands. "Your majesty, if I may--" said Agnor, his voice carrying the thick drawl of the Soranin. "--the swordsingers entered into a treaty with you. They have been signed into your service, yet now they refuse to aid your plight. It is treason, your majesty. Treason!" The Crownsong hesitated for a moment. But then it seemed as though a light came on inside him. "Yes. Treason. For this they must be executed. Gather the Sentinels!" he yelled at the Lord Courier. "I want every Swordsinger within the Cataline walls to be rounded up before the Even High Hour!" The Lord Courier rushed out the door. When he was gone, Agnor strode to the king and said "Your majesty, we must not execute them. I have a plan..." He leaned in and whispered in the king's ear, and the blazing anger that had been in the Crownsong's eyes just moments before was replaced with something more sinister. Behind him, black flames danced on the sword of ice. Tittering. Fluttering. One by one, as a large flock, the songbirds took wing, angling north, carrying with them not good, not evil, but tidings of a new melody in the Song. As one they flew across plain and forest and river and lake, seeking refuge in the one place they knew Harmony still ruled. From all over Dovry and Renala entire flocks of jays, mockingbirds, nightingales, larks, robins, lyrebirds, and many more fled to the Citadel. Upon their backs, terrible news: Discord was rising. GWYNE KORTAN <hr> <div style="float:right;"><iframe width="400" height="225" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/S7SVUHFKdYk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="0"></iframe></div>It was a harrowing experience, one that Gwyne had never thought he would experience in Cataline. Sure, House Kortan had once been an enemy of the Crownsong, and they had once been kept under watchful eye. Since then it had fallen out of grace and was now nothing but a shadow of its former self, far too puny to be considered a worthy enemy of the Crownsong. Be that as it may, the young Nightingale Instrument, yet to find a partner to earn his Adryn with, had never even in his darkest dreams thought that he would be fleeing the Dovryn capital for his life. When the order had come to capture all Swordsingers in the capital, Gwyne and his preceptor both had the fortune and misfortune to be outdoors, on the way to visit one of the more scholarly Swordsingers that the older of the two had befriended over the years. The city guard had descended upon them almost instantly, and the only warning they had was a brilliant flash of green light from the emerald pendant that graced his preceptor's neck. It was a stone enchanted to be sensitive to nefarious intentions, but it was too slow to help them much at all. His preceptor's sword had barely left its scabbard when the sun-emblazoned chestplates of the city guard rounded the corner. They were surrounded. Something heavy was placed in Gwyne's hand, a hunting knife. He had protested. After all, Instruments were not allowed the use of weapons. "No time to be squeamish, boy. You live or you die. Forget being allowed" the preceptor had said. It was a good point. He awkwardly held the dagger and he felt a blaze of power come alight within the preceptor. The next moment, the man's sword had come alight with blue flames. More city guards rounded the corner. Realizing that fighting would be fruitless, the Preceptor told him "Run, Gwyne. Run and make our plight known to the Choirmaster." Never before had such guilt and terror seized him. Before he knew it, he was dashing the other way, frantically making his way out of the city. He stabbed a number of city guards, but only enough to incapacitate them. The blood made him grimace and, had circumstances been different, he would've fallen to his knees and retched. However, fear kept him running, his blood running cold in his veins and his heartbeat pounding like thunder in his ears. He would've escaped unscathed, if not for a guard that had caught him unawares and left him with a gash from his collarbone to his shoulder. When he finally stopped running in the woods a little ways away from the city, he felt like his legs were burning and his breath came in ragged gasps. The would he had acquired was stinging and the blood was flowing freely. Embracing the Song, channeling it through the healing charm, and singing a simple tune softly, he at least managed to close the wound and stem the blood before he felt too faint to do magic. Shrouded by the dark of night, he shivered in his place at the bottom of a tree in the middle of the woods. He knew only one thing, he had to get to the Citadel. Praying to the Great Conductor for strength, aid and maybe a companion or two, he staggered to his feet and began to limp through the woods, never once noticing the eerie silence that had once been filled by the numerous songbirds of Dovry.