A Wooden Cave [cont’d]
The Vultress takes a moment to feel all this out. ‘And you’ll remain on Monksville?’
‘Of course,’ they send in unison. Then, from the mind of Lysandra, ‘We wouldn’t dream of leaving the Reservoir, we’ve too much history here. History and friends; ‘twould be a shame to leave either behind.’
The Vultress smiles faintly, as much as her beak will allow. The fog is beginning to clear now, but not all of it; a tunnel emerges through the haze, similar to the giants’ footpath through the western Minelands. At the end of this prophetic tunnel lies a long and jubilant life for The Vultress, a life of much renewal and a strong, able flock. This new future does not include The Sticks in any way, shape, or form; too does it lack a scaled threat constantly hidden below a wet and murky veil. This tunnel vision is novel, she has never conceived of it before and it disturbs The Vultress, yes, it disturbs the mystic very greatly, but she supposes she sees what’s meant to be seen.
‘Where will you build your fortress, pair eagles? The giants have colonized much of the forests already; surely you don’t mean to share space with them.’
‘No’no, decidedly not,’ sends Lysander, with a nod of approval from Lysandra. ‘We do not yet know, but we will figure it out. And soon, if Mother Monksville is willing. In truth we’d like to shove off when this storm relents.’
In truth he hadn’t mentioned this last to Lysandra, but she has no qualms. Lysandra loves the vulture flock, but their nesting grounds never emanated the most pleasant of odors, and having the scavengers congregated within such an enclosed space only makes the decision easier.
‘The clouds have already shed their blackness; soon the skies will be blue once more. The sooner we go the better, I think, as we do not know what the hawks might be planning next.’
‘Oh, I wouldn’t worry about them,’ sends The Vultress, and finally she turns to face them. Tunnel vision or not, there is one lone detail which has never been a concern regarding the Monksvillian future of the vulture flock and its cohorts, and that detail is the red-tailed hawks. ‘You have no idea where you may take your permanent roost?’
The pair bald eagles offer one another a look, as if to thoughtlessly send You got anything?
Then, from the mind of Lysandra, ‘No Vultress, we do not. We’d like to stay in the Northern Leg, buh–’
‘You shall go to The Crater, high pair eagles.’
‘The Crater?’ asks Lysander, gazing out to the north. ‘You told us to avoid that chasm at all costs, did you not?’
‘Aye, but only on your journey here. In truth, high pair eagles… in truth I wanted you to come here. No, I needed you to come here, I needed to be sure you survived the great folly of the Sea Hawk. There was something else, but…’ She trails off, grasping at a memory that only fades at each clutch of her astral talons. ‘Perhaps there wasn’t. Regardless, I warned you of The Crater because I knew if you found it before you came here, you would not have taken shelter and shared in a Rite of Renewal with us. Plus, High Choridae requested you make an appearance. I didn’t want to disappoint the great and powerful captain of the dayguard.’
The eagles glance back into the wooden cave and see Choridae standing on the back of a crouching vulture, flapping his wings as he sends to the flock the tale of his narrow escape from the clutches of a trio of hawks, the very same trio the pair eagles vanquished after aiding in his escape. He drops the eagles a sly wink and then goes on sending. The vulture flock swoons at his suavity.
‘What waits for us at The Crater, then?’ receives The Vultress from the mind of Lysander.
Then, from Lysandra, ‘Yes, Vultress, what could be so great that we would flap there before regrouping with you flock here?’
The Vultress smiles again, this one as vibrant as the great shine in summertime. ‘All will be revealed, highest pair eagles. For now I shall send only this: many things change as the seasons do, but one thing always remains constant.’ She pauses, adjusts her wings, then, ‘That one thing awaits you, as it does all of us at one time or another, though this time ‘twill not be egregious.’
‘What is it, then?’ sends Lysandra, looking rapidly from soulgroom to mystic. ‘What is that one thing?’
‘I shall send no more – come, pair eagles, join me in receiving Choridae’s tale. The blizzard will be a mere squall soon, and then you shall take flight.’
The pair eagles venture deep into the wooden cave on the tailfeathers of The Vultress to receive High Choridae’s tale; ‘tis a fine tale indeed, a yarn spun of bravery, courage, and undying loyalty, a high and spectacular tale to be sent and received by Birds of Monksville for cycles to come, long after its original teller has passed on. Life does not end when the long curtain is drawn, as you may or may not have been sent; there is merely a great transition, a passing through of sorts. Mayhap one day you shall wake as a turkey vulture under the perch of The Vultress – or maybe as a turkeygull in the Southern Expanse – and you too shall receive the great tale of High Choridae. Mayhap you will, small giants. Mayhap you will.
This has been the end of the ninth subchapter of the third chapter of the book The Monksville Chronicles. Here is everything you need to know about it:
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