The Tale of the Seven Scales
Long ago, there once lived a man in the Kingdom of Melodica, where all music consisted of single-note drones. One day, the man went out to a field to hide from the dreadful noises of his neighbors (he hated this music very much), and stumbled upon what appeared to be a reptilian plate of armor, about the size of his head. He picked it up from the ground and dusted it off.
Suddenly, a mist emerged from the plate, and a human form materialized before him; a slender figure with hair like the sun.
"I am Ionia, one of the seven spirits of Song," the figure said, in a tone bright and melodious, unlike anything the man had ever heard before. "I have been trapped inside this scale for millennia. My sisters have been scattered throughout this land, all of us banished by an evil king from long ago. If reunited, we can free the Song from its seal, and release it, so it may preside once more over this kingdom."
"But where are they?" asked the man.
"Listen to the Song," said the spirit. "It will guide you." She sang a short melody, and at once, the man felt as though he had known it all his life. "We are counting on you," said the spirit.
The figure returned to the scale; and the man, after processing what had just occurred, understood that this was his true calling. Not one to disobey the orders of Destiny, he prepared supplies and sharpened his sword, heading out at the break of dawn.
The man rode to the outskirts of town. Unsure how to proceed, he stopped his horse. He closed his eyes, and began to listen intently to every little sound around him. The wind began to blow east of north, carrying with it a somber, reflective tune. Opening his eyes, the man knew where he must go; and rode off at once in the direction of the wind.
Deep in the heart of a dark and thick forest, the man reached a swamp. He left his horse behind and began to tread carefully through it, he spied a scale like the one he carried hiding by a tree. He picked it up, and once again, a human form materialized in front of him; this one with an aura of blue.
"I am Doris," said the figure, "one of the seven spirits of Song." Her voice was soothing and gentle. "Thanks to you, I have been freed. Please, find my sisters, so we may be whole once more."
The spirit returned to the scale, and the man placed it with the other in his pack.
The man continued onwards tirelessly. In the hostile desert, he found Phrygia; high in the snow-capped mountains, Lydia; on his return near the base of the mountain, Mixolydia; deep in the caves, Aeolia; and within a sacred cemetery, Locris. After collecting the seven spirits, the man traveled to an ancient shrine located in the capital town of the kingdom.
The shrine held a deep wishing well at its center. The man looked into the well, and, praying for the Song's protection, took the seven scales from his pack, and threw them down; shattering them on the sacred ground. The seven spirits were freed from the constraints which bound them, forming a rainbow in the sky above the shrine.
Before the man had a chance to gaze upon it, he heard a great and terrible roar. The ground shook violently, and out from the well, a fierce dragon emerged. At once, the man heard a deep voice came from all directions; a voice both commanding and comforting.
"That is the Dragon of Atonality," said the voice. "The Spirits were sealed away to placate it, but now that the Spirits have reawakened, the Dragon seeks its revenge. You must send it back to the realm from which it came. Your sword will not do; it can only be harmed by the scales of the Dragon of Tonality."
The man reached for his sword, and to his surprise, found that the scales from which he freed the spirits had fused to it. Sensing the immense power within it, the man gained a newfound confidence, and faced the beast before him. The Dragon breathed its great Fire at the man, but the man stood his ground, holding his blade out before him. As the Fire met the blade, it was absorbed; as the rainbow above came shining down on the sword itself. The man struck back at the Dragon, and a burst of transformed white light came forth from his sword. The Dragon screamed in agony, and returned to the well.
Several moments of silence passed. The man breathed heavily, dropping his sword to the ground. Suddenly, an aged figure with a white beard appeared before him.
"You have done well, sir," the figure said; in the same deep, melodious voice the man had heard previously. "The Dragon has returned to its realm, and so long as one survives to guard this shrine, it shall not return. I bestow upon you a title I have not given for thousands of years..."
The Song (for the man knew this voice could belong to no other) picked up the sword, and the man knelt as the Song tapped his shoulder with it.
"I dub thee... Composer of the Diatonic Modes." The Song removed the sword from the man's shoulder.
The man stood. The Song handed him the sword.
"You have accomplished something of infinite value," said the Song. Guard this shrine with your life; and when you grow old, train a new Composer in your stead.”
And so, the Song finally returned to the land of Melodica; and as the spirits were now free, melodies of all sorts filled the air once again.