"Discord rules the man who cannot himself control." A fist came crashing down on the hard wooden table, the heavy steel gauntlet leaving a visible dent on the dense wood. "Where are my Dansers, Marksmen and Singers? My Maestros and my Instruments? Where are the Swordsingers?" demanded the gauntleted hand's owner. "Pray, tell, how many men and women did you see as you ascended the steps to my Eyrie?" The Choirmaster's gaze burned through his helm's visor and looked the Lord Courier in the eye. From the courtyard of the Citadel, the soft, pleasant sound of song and steel clashing against steel rose up to the Eyrie in the dead silence that followed. "There could not have been more than one or two hundred, my Lord. But I do not see what this has to do with the Crownsong's com--" "One or two hundred, my Lord Courier, one or two hundred! Back in the days of my youth as a Mockingbird in the Swordsingers, there were thousands." hissed the Choirmaster, distaste for the smaller man evident in the menace of his voice. "Do you hear the clash of sword and song in the courtyard, Lord Courier?" "Yes, my Lord Choirmaster, but the Crownsong insi--" "It's pleasant, soft and mellow, yes?" he pressed on, cutting the Lord Courier off. He would listen to talk of the Crownsong when he wished. The gods damn him and his enemies. "Yes, m'Lord, but please, listen to what the Cro--" "Shut the fuck up and listen to me, Lord Courier, I will hear no more of the Crownsong until I tell you that you can speak to me of him. You are in my Citadel and you would do good to not evoke my wrath." The Choirmaster cast a stern look at the Lord Courier, who at this time had shut his mouth. "Good. In the days of yore, the sound of combat from the courtyard was uproarious! These blasted windows of colored glass shook each day with the battles of song and sword. Now nothing but a puny whisper can be heard compared to the clangor that once was. And my Swordsingers, where do they go once they leave these halls of learning? Well, in time long past, they would go to serve the noble Houses, become sworn Voices for the King's Orchesgard, become gallant knights that saved princesses from the Flamesingers! But where do they go now? They become godsdamned sellswords, merchant guards! It's shameful, what this once glorious order has become in my rule." said the Choirmaster, almost mournfully. He walked to one of the windows and threw it open, uncaring of the colored glass or the intricate design. If they had been able to take the raucous uproar from the courtyard when it had once been filled with children learning the Art, they would be able to take slamming into the wall of the Eyrie. Staring out into the blue of the High Hour, he said to the Lord Courier, "What does the Crownsong want?" The small wiry man walked up to him and handed him a scroll sealed with the jay of House Skynne, the ruling family. "He wants you to rally the Swordsingers. The Wolfsong of Renala has declared war on us." With that, the Lord Courier walked out of the study, back stiff with anger. The man was probably unused to being told when to speak. "Damn you, Skynne. The gods damn you seven times to the Silence." Here's a new teaser for a new Malkuthe roleplay. I should really start murdering plot bunnies.