I have to find her…That Hagraven of birthmother had to be here somewhere. I could barely contain my hatred for the woman but for Daya I would do anything…
Daya was the woman who raised me and gave up her wings for me. She didn’t have to. It would have been so much easier to leave me in one of the human villages like the rest of our kind do when there child is malformed like me. She could have gone back to her life as the cherished beauty of the city. But Daya chose to give up her family, her riches, her beauty, and her lover for a chick that wasn’t even hers by blood. I can never truly repay her.
Now she doesn’t even remember who I am. The mind-wasting sickness has come too far along. She doesn’t remember why she gave up her world for me. I have nothing to tell her. I honestly don’t know why she did what she did. Now all she remembers is Razha, her old lover, my birthmother who abandoned me when she found out I would never fly.
If I had it my way I would never see that woman again. Blood does not mean anything to me. People who act like family are family not stuck up, cold, and nasty pieces of work like Razha. Despite my feelings, Daya called for her and her alone.
I will not leave without that fickle crone, even if I had to tie her up, put her over my shoulder and carry her all the way back. Daya would see her love one more time before she died that’s the least I could do for her.
* * *
Razha wasn’t here yet. How had I made it here before the one with the functioning wings? Sigh. Sneaking passed the “guards” was a joke and I was soon sheltered in the shadows of tiny ally. It seemed the only Aven here was a Strix wandering through the empty vendor stalls. I didn’t recognize him but I didn’t know all the featherbrained cronies my birthmother used. He could easily be one of her group arriving early.
By noon more visitors were flooding in. Quite the variety. I found myself wondering what this meeting was actually about but I immediately pushed the thought away. It didn’t matter. The only thing that mattered was finding Razha and getting her back to Daya. Despite my own thoughts, I couldn’t help picking up the rumors drifting on the wind. The information might be useful in tracking Razha down I tried to justify to the other nagging voice in my head.
“….the rice crop just hasn’t been healthy….
…did you hear what happened in the near by village someone said they….
…wicked things and black magic….
…..unrest in the east….
….shouldn’t have invited these strangers here…..”
* * *
There! A golden mane of feathers towered over the regular humans and entered the meeting house. It had to be her! This was my only chance.
* * *
All the frustration came pouring out of me. What could I possibly say to get this horrible woman to listen to me? I let my anger boil over and reached my hands up to shake some sense into her.
I had never seen such utter disgust in any creatures eyes as Razha pushed me away from her. It sent ice through my veins and I could finally pull myself together long enough to think. I realized I had made this about me with out even thinking. I truthfully had been trying to get her to accept me as her daughter not Daya. I gripped my emotions and tucked them far from my heart. This was not the way to convince Razha to go back.
Kek had once told me I could talk a monk away from his religion if I tried hard enough. An idea sparked in my mind. I opened my beak to try a new tactic with the fool Aven when sound like lightning striking shook the land. The ceiling started to creak and pieces broke inward.
Belathor’s fiery balls! I grabbed the cranky puss-bucket and tossed her towards the door. There was no way I could convince her if she was dead.
* * *
On the outside I realized that some of the buildings had collapsed and the headman was talking to some fancy outfitted noble human about siege equipment. Yeah right. That couldn’t have been anything man made. No time to sound my opinion though, the Strix from before was already trying to get my mother and another Aven to scout for danger with him.
Like Razha would be able to escape that easily. I didn’t care if the world was ending she had to get her uppity tail feathers back to Daya. I tried to approach her again. This time with only Daya in mind.
* * *
Mirelia’s mangey spit-snails. What had I been THINKING?! The boom must have caused my brain to split into another personality entirely! One with MORALS and a sense of NOBILITY!
As I trekked up this dragon-dung heap of a mountain the words still rung in my mind.
“I will protect you stupid PEOPLE!”
Not the most eloquent of phrasing but a promise none-the-less. Protect the pretentious, piss-pot Avens that have treated you like an animal since you were born? Yeah, good one Shi’eera. That’s exactly what you should be doing as the only person who ever loved you is laying on her death bed!
But there had been a glimmer of something in Razha’s eyes as I had turned my back on her. Something, I hoped that would lead her back to Daya’s side. Maybe my poor excuse of a lecture finally knocked some sense into that proud prissy-pants.
* * *
Wonderful, just wonderful. It looks like I had company. Master Fancy Robes from before had tagged a long with his ridiculous amount of weapons that he probably couldn’t use. A weasel masquerading as a ninja. A tiny crazy human girl with giant bow for a head and an equally large hammer. Another baldie, this one tall, with muscles that went on for miles and a obsession with smithing. A petal princess from the Sylvans who specializes in rabbits and sparkles. Oh and a fishie from the Fairgeans who loves sticking her nose in all the wrong places. And guess who’s at the very end of pack struggling to keep up? Well it sure as Shadowlands taint, isn’t the Strix flying over head of them all with his precious working wings. Maybe he should be the one to protect my birthmother’s pompous people. Because our lovely Aven legs aren’t really meant for all this mountain climbing.
* * *
No mountain hike can really be complete with out wolves, right? Not that normally wolves would attack a group this size. As I am stringing up my bow to put an arrow in one of their eyes they suddenly stop and are looking around in confusion. They let out a couple of disappointed whimpers and then turned tail running off into the woods. Huh? Now that was new.
* * *
We finally get to the temple and the little Radish-wielder (—or was it a Daikon—nah) makes quick work of the door. Definitely useful, for a baldie.
As we enter I try and teach the ferret to keep the shiny things when she’s rifling around, but she gets all defensive. Sigh, must be all those balled up rodent instincts which depending on who you ask I may or may not have taken advantage of in the Zen garden.
How was I supposed to know she’d actually do it? It’s barely my fault that she dragged her butt through the sand patterns. The others seemed to get bothered by this for some reason. Who knew sand could be such a sensitive subject?
Poor little Cotten-head tried to fix it and everything. I lead the way to the right thinking the sensitive ones needed some time to cool off as they went left. The weasel and Radish-wielder tagged along. As we made our way down the corridor the shadow of a figure stood a ways off.
“Hello?!” Oh Cotten-head. Lesson one I would have to teach the little chick: do not call greetings to ominous figures in the shadowy hallways of abandoned, ancient tomes.
My mind raced maybe I could use her call as a distraction to sneak up behind it and put an arrow in its back but if I went I would be leaving them both to the attacks of this thing.
Then I wouldn’t miss. I would take this thing out before it had a chance to attack her.
My heart sank to the pit of my stomach as my first arrow zipped right through the creature’s head. What was it made of?!
Before I could launch another arrow she swung her hammer faster than I could see and the creature was gone. The lanterns that riddled this temple came alight, shedding a soft warm light through out the building….
Aven race saved? Wrongs righted? And I could go back to Daya’s side? Sigh, some how I didn’t think so…