Bardic magic has always had an allure for the powerful and mad. Unlike other magics, whose powers scale geometrically with the number of casters, bardic magic scales exponentially. A quartet of magic users in any form can unleash hazards dangerous and uncontrollable - a threat to societies and countries, but an orchestra of bards could end the world.
The epitome of bardic music-magic is, and always will be, the choral symphony - scores of bards accompanied by musicians bearing instruments both common and strange.
It's said the Fated Symphonies were composed by the very first person to be cast into Hell - one of the first immortal humans of the prehistorical golden age, before mankind was given its present form, or violence took the earth.
They were cursed by the gods for their transgressive harmonies in their world of their pure monotones. And in the spite of their exile, they crafted songs which must be played - songs which would shake the earth and undo all of creation in due time. There is a prophecy, engraved still upon the mountains of the world, that each Fated Symphony must be played at least once over the course of all creation, and that when the final ring of the final Symphony is concluded the world shall end.
THE FATED SYMPHONIES
The symphonic requirements of these songs can be waived if the song is played upon the Pipe Organ of Bones, or a similar polyphonic instrument of sufficient power, such as the Balafon of the Sorcerer King, or Danny's Golden Cello. Doing so entails assuming terrible risk, however, and only the most legendary of musicians should even consider attempting such feats.
The Song of Centuries
Requirements: 34 sons and daughters, playing on instruments made of petrified bones. At the symphony's conclusion all of the players are to be sacrificed.
When this symphony is played, all who can hear its entirety will not age for a period of approximately 100 years either by magical or natural means. A well-kept secret to elves' immortality myth. Those sacrificed to the Song are rarely discussed, as any mention of the deceased risks exposing the ritual to those who might attempt to sabotage it.
The Song to Undeafen the Earthen Ear
Requirements: 20 musicians minimum, bearing instruments of stone and glass.
Uncorks the hidden block within the inner ear for all who listen, causing them to hear the unfettered voices of the earth, which constantly mutters ancient curses wide in scope and terrible in time. Humans will be driven to madness mere minutes after having heard the song.
The Song of Creation
Requirements: 88 musicians, each bearing one instrument utilizing one unique naturally occurring atomic element. If anyone fouls up the symphony then the creations made will become monstrous.
Allows the conductor of the arrangement to create from nothing whatever their skill can allow. The symphony creates new matter and energy. It can create riches, magnificent arts, seemingly impossible structures, or even people.
It's rumored that the Dread Conductor Matthol Corvin once attempted to use this Song to make a proto-human of the golden age, but at the symphony's final measure the Cesium player misfired, causing the creation of horrendously warp in its final moments, slaying all present. If that were true, though, then where would the story come from?
The Unremembered Song
Requirements: Three players, one of which must be a demon.
The greatest song in the world. Cannot be remembered or written down. Said to happen spontaneously under duress.
The Song of Freedom From Flesh
Requirements: 8 choral singers and 13 musicians bearing instruments crafted from human bones.
During the first third choral interlude, the singers will strip down to their bones and dance with each other. A similar effect happens at the two-thirds interlude for the musicians.
This song coaxes bones from their prisons of meat, instantly killing all who listen and converting them into skeletons. Foul-ups produces partial exeunt - an excruciatingly painful situation.
The Song to Commune with the Red Planet
Requirements: A band of at least seven members, bearing special stringed instruments made from meteoric metals. Must be performed under an open sky facing the distant Red Planet.
The song contains improvisational sections, which are used by a skilled linguist in planetary languages to project their intention. It has been attempted by many ambitious priest-scholars, who believed that the Red Planet would grant them terrible powers. They were, of course, correct.
The Red Planet will respond in 7 minutes. Strange beams and trumpets like those at the end of the world envelope the priest, transforming them into a monstrous fiend. This form is never the same thing twice, and all of them have acquired terrible names: Tongue Eater, Scrivener of Suffering, Black Day, Demi-Lich.
The Song to Give Nightmares Fear
Requirements: Trio of voices under the moonlight, perfectly synced.
To give fear to the unfearable. To Turn the unturnable. Dreams had when the song is being recited will always be pleasant, and any manifestations of fear will become afraid.
The Song to End the World
Requirements: 66 musicians and 33 choral singers, all of which must be over the age of 99 (having experienced three full 33-year lunar-solar cycles). During the course of the symphony every kind of instrument that has ever been played must be played at least once, and the full range of human voice must be sung.
When the symphony is over, and the final note has ceased its final vibration, the world will end. From the time of the symphony's conclusion this will take approximately 1200 years for the last note to finally die out.