Grand Chancellor Harkott gave a small cry when his majordomo burst into the room. Pressing a lace handkerchief to his lips, Harkott tried to calm himself. "An update?"
The majordomo lowered his eyes, wringing his hands together. "It's the Six Winds, Sire. They're here."
"Say it isn't so," Harkott whimpered, collapsing into a delicate chair. "Not...not them."
"I wish it were otherwise."
The grand chancellor blotted at the sheen of sweat on his brow. "Are the praetorians making any difference?"
"Not in the least."
"They're just singers," he complained. "Just bards. Bards can't do this."
"Bards are neutral. But they-" The majordomo wet to the window, but the view quickly made him pull away. "That celestial diva has them all entranced."
Grand Chancellor Harkott sobbed and bit his rouged lower lip. "They can't be killers. This isn't possible." His bladder threatened to drain. "I've done nothing to deserve their attention."
Outside, the dragon leader of Six Winds roared, his voice enhancing that of the diva's. Walls shook beneath the auditory onslaught. Both men covered their ears and cringed in pain.
"No escape," the diva sang out. "Death to betrayers of Balance." Harkott whimpered as his bladder let go. The chill of death accompanied her song, and the grand chancellor felt the end of his days.