Closed Cometh (Solstice)

Comet's arrival to Mizahar and Wind Reach

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The westernmost tip of Kalea, Wind Reach is home to an amazing group of people and their giant eagle mounts. [Lore]

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Cometh (Solstice)

Postby Comet on April 12th, 2019, 11:06 pm

The 5th of Spring, 519 AV
11th Bell




There was this feeling of distress that crept up her spine and made her hairs stand on end as her eyes struggled to adjust against the bashing winds. Soon enough, she was able to properly feel the friction upon her skin and the buzzing, almost whistling, in her ears. Even with her stupor slowly fading, her mind would not, could not comprehend. It felt corporeal. It felt wrong.
She might have screamed at some point, but even that sound was quickly eaten by the wind. Each moment felt like a child's first memory only to be broken and eaten up by the next one. Whenever her arms would attempt movement away from her body, the wind would violently flail them before pushing them back. Her head did manage to turn towards the light, and for a moment there was some comfort. The feeling could not persist, as the next flailing of her arm put into perspective just how far away the lights of her home were. Too distant to soothe, and instead they only aggravated the feeling of abandonment that was growing from her chest. As her body dropped further down, the fall started to incorporate rotation. At first it felt mildly disorienting, but soon enough it was violent enough to cause her stomach to express itself – some she could brave back down, but parts still eluded her strength and escaped in a cough. Through all the nausea and tears, she thought she had caught a glimpse of water below, but there wasn't enough time to process the information.

CRASH


Her back immediately arched from the pain of contact. It felt almost as if a million tiny fists were pinching and scratching and punching and hurting all that they could touch. And the next moment, either from shock or overwhelming stimuli, was numb. She did not have the Kelwyn on her side, as her mouth opening to voice pain invited the cool pressure of water down her throat. As she half ate and half breathed the liquid, her lead limbs struggled to push themselves away from the depths and closer to the surface and light. A bitter thought occurred – this life, all her lives, were but the chasing of light and its reflection. As her arms moved coherently in a breaststroke, she felt dim. What little air had not been punched out of her was close to being completely consumed. The lack of practice made her movements unequal and the pronounced strength of her right arm had pushed her more to the side than upwards. Still, once her anchoring legs finally started kicking back the greedy water, she was on her way up. A moment ago she felt fulfilled, but shortly after the world was trying to crush her between the elements.

The first breath was too voracious, and it gulped down air and water in equal measure. Between the coughing and the loss of focus, her arms and legs started flailing again much in the same way they did in the air, but slower. As the movements of her lungs could finally be called breathing, the rest of her became coordinated and paddled in unison. Her illusion of deliverance broke with the sound of rapids, but stronger, louder. The unmistakable proximity of a waterfall drove her to grab towards the nearby shore. Thinking of it, this body of water wasn't very large. It must have taken all of her luck simply to avoid crashing on the rock. No wonder the twins weren't with her, they had better things to do.

Her movements were taking her forward with the same certainty that the current used to pull her to the right. Doing her best to counter the rightward drift, she started using her right arm more in hopes of pushing herself to the left. Some of her muscles ached due to her abrupt landing and some chose to object their repeated use, but regardless of the motivation, they were all in agreement. Just as she felt her strength failing her, she was able to get within reach of shore. Taken in by the greed of water, she too overreached. As her hand slid back down the bank towards an unnatural handhold, it scraped against the stone producing a new note of pain to break the established tempo. One was soon followed by another, and with what felt like the strength of ten men, she slowly slid her body up the shore and onto solid ground.

Without the noise of swimming, she could finally judge her breath for the gasping mess it was. Rolling onto her back, she let her left hand rest on her chest and appreciate the rhythm returning to it. The other hand kept touching against the earth, making sure they weren't to sink again. It finally clasped around a soft, familiar object. As she brought it closer to her face, she remembered another woman and another prayer.
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Cometh (Solstice)

Postby Solstice on April 13th, 2019, 9:17 pm


The warm sun and subsiding storms had breathed new life into Wind Reach and its surrounding lands. The darkness and clouds of the previous season had given way to gentle breezes and fair temperatures. Just about out any Inarta who was capable of leaving the confines of the mountain had. The flood waters still had not subsided from the previous season, and with Thunder Bay still closed the restless Inarta had fled to the peak and plateaus of the mountain and, of course, the sky.

No matter how delightful the weather and how restless the spirit, an Endal still had to work. Narth, Flightleader of the White Owls, drifted lazily in the air atop his eagle, soaking in the sun. Below him he watched with a smile as two members of his Flight chased each other through a bank of mist rising from the Twin Lakes in the crater below.

Chicks, Evek chuckled. The past five days of flight had worked all the nerves and tension out of the Wind Eagle's body, and now Narth's massive companion was in a fair mood. The pair were not unknown to join in their subordinates play from time to time, but for now they were content to simply ride the wind, and breath the clear and cool air. The weather was simply too good to avoid a bit of lounging, and patrol was a good excuse to enjoy the weather. The circling of the eagle was almost hypnotic, and were it not for Evek's occasional mental nudges and the ever persistent wind, Narth might have found himself drifting to sleep.

Look down there, Evek said thoughtfully. Do you see that? The bird's lazy, meandering thoughts had sharpened to a spike of curiosity, and Narth found his daze lifted as a result of it.

You know you have better eyes than me, Narth replied. What do you see?

There's something in the water, Evek replied.

Narth tried to focus his eyes on the waters below, but through the distance and with the mist obscuring the lakes the man couldn't see any details aside from the movement of waves towards the plunging falls.

Hang tight, Evek said. Narth felt the subtle shift of movement underneath him, grabbed onto the saddle's handholds and tightened his legs around Evek's back. The eagle gave one hard beat of his wings to lift him up into the air, then leaned forward into a plunge towards the lakes. The wind shuddered and screamed around them, and Narth’s heart plunged into his stomach as Evek's heart rose to his throat, the pure joy and thrill seeking fear of an Endal and his companion in flight, emotions harmonizing to a pure bliss. As the pair plunged towards the crater, the surroundings of the Lakes rapidly came into view. A group of Avora were staring and pointing at the lake, shouting words that were tossed into the air and lost to the wind. Several of the wild mountain goats that lingered in the area to be milked, sheared and cleaned had fled up the side of the crater. An Avora had half climbed up below them, gently waving a bundle of grasses that the goats seemed content to ignore. Another handful of Avora had approached the lake and were hiding behind a rock, peering nervously at the shore line.

All this view came in a flash, and then Evek was breaking hard, his wings flaring up to catch the air. Narth jolted from the whiplash, but recovered quickly as Evek dropped onto the sandy beach, talons raking gashes into the sand. Narth's eyes found the figure causing all the commotion, a sodden figure gasping on the shore and body shuddering.

What on Mizahar…?

Narth's fascinated query was answered by a scream from Evek. The bird's feathers puffed up, and Evek glared in the direction of the strange figure, beak clicking furiously in place and wings drumming against the air.

“Wait, Evek!” Narth said aloud. The girl, whatever she was, was naked, gasping, and absolutely no threat. He hadn't the faintest idea how she'd gotten here, but she was hardly a Zith or Symenstra. The massive eagle still clicked his beak furiously, but settled with one final hiss before simply glaring. Narth dismounted in one swift and graceful movement, and his eyes looked the girl up and down. She was beautiful indeed, but so strange! What kind of creature on Mizahar had horns like a goat? Not any that Narth had known. He thought, for a weary moment, that it was lucky he had found her first instead of a different Flight. Hinto or Yanna would have torn her apart before asking questions, never mind her beauty.

“Where did you come from?” Narth laughed, speaking in the chirping intonation of Nari. “Did you swim up from the depths of the lake? Were you born from the steam of Kanti?” Narth's voice had taken on a jovial tone, but hidden underneath was a twinge of concern. Where had she come from? The man could only suspect magic. Thoughtfully, Narth discarded his katinu and draped it over the girl's shivering form. It was a lighter coat than usual thanks to the warm weather, but ideally it would take some of the chill off of her. Evek clicked his beak again but, for the moment, remained silent.
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Cometh (Solstice)

Postby Comet on April 14th, 2019, 12:37 am

Her mind completely settled on the feather, she had not seen the goats or the men safely tucked behind the nearby boulder. Her hand trembled as she felt what the other woman had prayed for, but despite the shadow of empathy, a complete memory eluded her. Suddenly, the painted feather felt heavier than water, wind, or stone. The sudden overhead shade was soon followed by a thud uncomfortably close to her. As the thud abated into scratches, she felt some of Zulrav's breath reach her even while safely tucked against the ground. Not waiting idly, she tried to push herself up into a crouch, but her wounded hand failed her. As she was met with the wind eagle's shriek, the best she could manage was very close to a fetal position. The only distinction was the elbow of the healthy hand propping her up into the half-curled and half-sitting mess that she was. In her mind, she was faster than this, but this body wouldn't listen.

The clearly hostile bird was glaring at her, and she felt extremely overmatched. You don't fight the eagles, a part of her knew – you ride them, or hide behind them. The rider atop called it to a stop – Evek. Even after being told to wait, she could feel the preparation of violence stir inside Evek. The predator's gaze made her feel smaller and even more exposed. Her attention scattered between the mount and the rider, her head shifted quickly to the side where the Inarta dismounted. The sudden movement caused a whip of pain down her spine, but she held her gaze fixed on both of them. She shifted uncomfortably more upwards as the man approached. She disliked this, as it blocked her sight of Evek. As he came closer, a most foreign instinct almost took over.

Kick him low! Grab the sand, go for the eyes! And then reach for your bow... – one of her hands clasped around the feather and other nothingness. She had no bow, only sand. She had no fletching, but a single painted and heavy feather. She wanted to do her best to stand up as the man grew closer, but the higher up she was, the stronger the wind was felt and her skin rippled in reflexive shivers.
Luckily the man did not come bearing arms, but warmth. With the pleasant feeling of shelter came questions – but nothing in life was free. The question was so absurd that it cracked her open like an egg. A maniacal, hollow laugh erupted from her before turning into an episode of coughing. When she spoke, her raspy voice barely held together. Nari was not the language of the weary and beaten.

„Shivias, En Dal“ his mention of the bigger twin called the other name into her mind. The missed accent felt bitter on her tongue, but she pressed on „Swim from mouth Shivias“ she winced at what she knew was broken, but couldn't fix „...But first fly. First fall“ she gestured slowly upwards with her right hand before pulling both feather and katinu to her breast like a babe. In other circumstances she might have felt guilt for staining his gift with her bloodied arm, but today she just hugged the warmth more fiercely. The eagle had been out of her sight too long, and the pit in her stomach kept increasing, she needed sight on it. Trying to maintain the guise of calm, she tried to posture her body further up, trying to get a glance over the man's shoulder. Shaking the hand holding the feather, she rubbed it nervously „Another day I pray“ uncomfortably shifting, she was close to peering over the surprisingly short bearded man „...to father En Dals“ she winced as her knees locked together like a fawn's, but she managed to stay upright. „..another life I spend to wait. No say, no answer“ she could not control or envision the spring of broken images seeping from her. Finally she managed to half stand at an awkward angle and cast a glance behind the man, and she immediately wished she didn't. It was so difficult not to quake at the sight of the still displeased wind eagle. She could've sworn Evek was eyeing her angrily, but with how much she swayed, she probably took up half the horizon.

„Today I no yet pray, and one come, you come“ her voice shivered, but she hoped the man would attribute it to the cold and wind, and the lack of language. It took all of her not to stumble with the first harder breeze, but she stayed in the awkward, almost standing position. Never weak – this place ate the weak, she knew somehow.
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Cometh (Solstice)

Postby Solstice on April 20th, 2019, 12:55 am


Narth shook his head wordlessly and glanced over towards Evek, hoping his partner might have made some sense of what the girl's broken Nari had meant. She might have well been speaking common for all that he understood. Evek's head was tilted inquisitively, and Narth could feel the hostility in his companion slowly draining to be replaced by a mild bemusement. The Wind Eagle's gold eyes had a twinge of humor in them that was rare for the bird to express except in privacy between eagle and rider, and his puffed up feathers had returned to their normal sheen. Narth couldn't help but agree. What in the Reach had the two of them flown into?

The girl's arrival was drawing attention. With the arrival of an Endal to offer protection, the Avora hiding behind the rocks had drawn close enough to make out the girl's appearance, and their gossip was swelling in rapid chirps. Even the goats had grown more curious than afraid, although they still hadn't descended from their spot on the cliff, much to their caretaker's dismay. But the most curious of interests came from the sky. One by one, the wind eagles who had been circling high above glided down towards the crater. Nearly a dozen of the birds found places to rest in the grass and sand, or on the perches carved into the side of the mountain specifically for them. Some held riders, others did not. Golden eyes turned their intense gazes towards the strange, ethereal girl and among them rose a strange hum, indistinguishable to a casual outsider but just loud enough for an Inarta to pick up on. The eagles were gossiping, just as obnoxiously as the Avora were, but privately among themselves. This was not so unusual; the Wind Eagle's kept many secrets.

Ah, said Evek, then nothing.

Ah, what?, Narth asked.

Evek merely gave Narth a wry glance. Secrets, secrets and more secrets. Narth was sure the bird knew exactly who and what this girl was. Just as he was trying to come up with a way to get his friend to spill his secrets, a huge eagle landed beside them.

Narth blanched when he recognized the bird, and even the proud Evek tilted his head downwards and flared his wings respectfully.

My my! What do we have here? Has a little child of Syna fallen among us?

In her prime the Wind Eagle had born a beautiful sheen of russet feathers, but time and age had bleached the color out of her feathers until she was nearly completely white. The venerable Astrid was bonded to the Tavina, the highest ranked woman in the city. Astrid's golden eyes had seen many things, and her mind carried the wisdom of many years. Add to that her jovial nature, and Astrid was among the most well liked of the Wind Eagles. Narth inclined his head respectfully as well, and Astrid turned her head to give him a merry look before turning back towards the near-drowned girl.

It's not every day one of your kind falls among us, Astrid noted. The eagle's clear, crisp thoughts could be heard even by the shivering Ethafael, and indeed those thoughts were directly precisely at her.

You must be very confused. Astrid's beak clicked together sympathetically. You should go see the Valintar, dear. He'll take care of you. I expect he'll be delighted you fell among us. Why, in the twin lakes, no less! What astounding fortune!

Narth shook his head with disbelief while Evek chuckled. It was a rare sight to see the eagles involved in anything that didn't represent immediate danger. They certainly didn't seem to find this girl a threat… although, now that he was thinking about it, that solitary eagle currently circling the lake did look a lot like Koyl, Astrid's mate. So perhaps they were being a bit more cautious than the Endal had originally thought.
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Cometh (Solstice)

Postby Comet on April 25th, 2019, 2:28 pm

As time went on, what little fear she still held was slowly drained. First she was flinching at Evek’s gaze, but it seemed to soften. Second thing that scraped against her attention were the surrounding people – all watching, staring – yet none rendered aid. Somehow she knew this last observation would stick with her the longest. Humming filled the air as the number of Wind eagles present slowly rose – one, two, three... and she’d lost her count when an enormous presence landed in their midst. The small man and his eagle seemed calm enough, but she urged her body backwards so quickly that the nails of her right hand dug deep enough to drink of her opposite forearm. The echo of a whiplash kept her left tight as she steadied her pressence once more.

The newcomer seemed huge, even by the maniacal proportions present in all Wind eagles. When the others bowed their heads to the large bird, she immediately felt inclined to do the same. She straightened herself fully, before bowing as low as she could without losing the eagle’s eyes from her sight. She kept the submissive posture as long as her screaming spine would allow. The movement also allowed her a more deliberate glance at the creature before her, and she could realize the difference between it and Evek wasn’t purely size. What little color still crept around the massive frame seemed white and close to monotone, bleached almost. Some deep part of her assumed there was an age gap present as well, but much like with the constant instincts to fight or flee, she repressed any further analysis.

There was a stream of thought that flowed through her core, but strangely this didn’t cause her surprise.The power of the inner words woke a feeling of familiarity, even if their current tone was wrong somehow. She had remembered a wealth of words of her own, but not of the tiny man’s language. There were other voices inside her, but only one of them seemed confident enough to become living word. She was unaware whether the eagle could hear her thoughts, so each word would be audible to all things capable of hearing.

„So there are more of us“ she caught on the mention of her kind. Even with the hoarseness it carried, she was much more at home in this language than she could ever be in Nari. „The thought frightens me, Elder“ she coughed and let more of her words weave together „That you have a word for us. That this happened by my mother’s hand“ she’d spare a brief look to the small body of water next to her, before meeting the eagle’s eyes again. Such astounding fortune! Indeed. A part of her still thought that the rocks would have been a kindness, but she dared not voice such treachery.

She’d nod her head at the sympathy she received, even if it did feel hollow. Valintar. She knew that word – no, not her – not this one. Someone knew that word, a long time ago. „Valintar, I go, please“ she’d pull herself back to her out of tune Nari, unsure who they were really for.
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Cometh (Solstice)

Postby Solstice on May 12th, 2019, 8:26 pm


Astrid's eyes glittered brightly as the Ethaefal spoke to her. As with all Wind Eagles, an air of mystery and deep wisdom seemed to linger in those golden orbs. Wind Eagles knew much, but a great deal of the things they knew they never spoke to the world. Secrets were spoken to them through the rhythms and song of the wind and trees, or long kept ancestral memories. Even to those they loved most, their beloved Endals, hidden things were a second nature to them; to know and keep until the world needed them. So when Astrid clipped her beak together and let out a cheerful chirp, the words that entered the minds of those present did not come as much of a surprise.

Oh, who's to say what happened? The Gods are mysterious. The falls of your kind are rare, but far from unheard of.

If Astrid knew why or how it was that the girl had come to be here and not there, she would not speak it. Regardless, the chirp that the eagle uttered in response to the the Eth's agreement was cheerful.

There's a good girl, Astrid said, thoughts tinted with the motherly sort of affection that the Endals dealing with her had come to know and love. The Valintar won't be able to answer all your questions...some things need to be discovered yourself I think. But he will help you get settled here.

Astrid blinked her huge golden eyes and slowly turned her head towards Narth and Evek. The pair had been watching the conversation unfold with a fierce interest, as had the lingering Avora and the goats.

Narth Evek, said Astrid, formally invoking Narth's full name. Take this girl to the Valintar. She's no threat, but she deserves an escort. Can't have her getting lost in the tunnels. Astrid winked at Narth cheerfully, but despite the informal tone and manner the Endal took the words for what they were: a command.

"Gladly, Astrid," Narth replied. The ginger man walked over to the girl's side and carefully took hold of her hand. "I'll take you to the Valintar," Narth said. He glanced at his wind eagle for confirmation and the bird chuckled. I suppose I'll be taking over the patrol then? Hurry back brother or I'll be lonely. With a laugh Evek extended his wings and launched himself into the sky. In silent command, all the Wind Eagle's surrounding them launched themselves into the sky, save Astrid. She tilted her white head upwards and watched her siblings take flight, their cries filling the sky above. Finally, she returned her gaze to Narth and the Ethaefal girl.

Run along now, Astrid said. The Valintar already knows of your arrival. Don't keep him waiting. With that, Astrid extended her own white wings and launched herself forcefully into the sky.

Beneath the shadows of dozens of wings, Narth led the woman towards an opening in the side of the mountain. The pair still had witnesses in the form Avora and goats, but the group seemed more curious than wary now. A small cheer came from one of the shepherds as he finally managed to coax one of the goats off the cliff edge. The Avora watched but didn't follow as Narth and the Ethaefal girl vanished into the darkness of the caverns.

The tunnels of Wind Reach were dark and confining compared to the bright open air of the lakeside, but for the Inarta there was also a sort of comfort to it. Within mother Skyinarta, there was no buffeting of wind or fear of rain or storms. Even before Morwen had abandoned her winter duties, the interior of the mountain was always warm regardless of season. And the enclosed walls, though confining, also sheltered.

"Do you have a name?" Narth asked the girl. The winding corridors would be a mystery to a stranger, but any who lived here knew the pathways by heart and Narth showed no hesitation. The pair's travel was marked by open looks of curiosity, and occasional shocked gasps followed by chirping gossip. The further the pair descended, the louder the noise became until they were soon being openly followed and pointed at. Narth ignored them. The Inarta loved gossip.

Finally, the pair reached the Valintar's office, marked by a beautiful door decorated in bright stained glass. Narth opened the door and without hesitation proceeded inside. The Valintar's office was furnished with cozy, sunken in couches ideal for those waiting for an audience, but today such a thing was not necessary. Kaden Avin stood in the center of the room, a look of restrained curiosity lingering on his face. There were several Endal in the room as well, and their gazes were far more openly curious.

"It's been a long time since an Ethaefal came here," Kaden said. "Welcome. My name is Kaden Akvin, I am the Valintar, the leader of Wind Reach."
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