1 Race to safety
My ears ring and a flash of of what's about to happen, comes into my mind. I can see no faces or people. Though I can see the location, the south dam and the disaster that's about to befall.
My heart begins to race, I need to get to safety and fast.
Think Altaira! Think!
I am at Raynak Ridge
THE CONGREGATION LODGE!
It's high enough up with good facilities and closest. I race to the forest edge to take flight and begin my ascent of the mountain side.
Luckily for me nobody knows of the emergency alert that has been sent to me, without it, I could have been caught unawares.
It's the first time since becoming Queen that I am happy for my role. I was never supposed to be in this position. My life was carefree days spent in the woods and flying about with not a trouble. That was how it was ment to continue.
Until that faithful day when my world came crashing down, my family torn from me and my carefree days died.
Life has that funny way of playing tricks. You know? when you feel your happiest, like life couldn't get any better then it fucks you over. It stamps on you taking all the joy out of your life to a point where you forget what joy is altogether.
That's me! Queen Altaira of the Wings of Clore.
The try hard, clumsy failure of a immatation Queen.
Thrown into a position that was never meant for me. My father the king descendant of the blood of the Phoenix had spent his later years training my older brother for the position. He was to be king, true ruler of the Wings, skies and protector of the land of Yegunday. Yet here I am a poor poor substitute.
If not for my blood I would have been cast out of this position years ago. Though blood is the reason I refuse to abdicate the throne. The blood of my family, they should be here my brother was so worthy of the position.
He was beloved by all and would have made an amazing ruler. It's for them that I fight every day, even when I mess up. It's the only way I can happily meet them in the afterlife, to give my all to the clan that they left to me.
Family is my life, love and happiness.
My Clan is my family now.
So I will give myself, my everything for the clan.
Low and behold the one day I take for myself in the four years since my coronation it becomes at total shit show.
"Ahh" I yell out, I cannot help it, I need to let out some of my frustrations.
Nearing the Tree line the outer boundary of the forest about to go into flight, I am suddenly hit with acute stinging pain on my left shoulder blades. Jerking my head to see what's the cause, I grab and pull out the arrow that has hit its target. Running into the cover of the trees hoping my attacker will flee.
Gods and Godess what and who could have done such a thing?
The dam break was at the south gate. Wings territory. There could only be two reasons that the dam has burst. First an infiltartor from one of the other clans. Second being we have a traitor amongst our ranks.
The most likely and most terrifying is the second. I only hope it isn't someone from my inner circle, it being minuscule as it is. I already have trouble trusting people since the death of my beloved family. I am not sure I could trust again if I was to be betrayed in such a manner.
I stop, lean on a tree trying to shift my wings away. I fear that flying right now would make me any easy target for my pursuer, whoever they may be. Panic rises within as my wings refuse to shift away. Then the realisation that the arrow that hit me must have been laced with some form of poison, dawns on me.
Pain is radiating from the entry point and I can feel blood drip down my shoulder and back. It's not life threatening as such. Us Clore are strong not much can put us down. Though having my wings out and trying to navigate this thicket of forest before me, is absolutely going to hinder my speed.
I will just have to push myself I can do this!
You can do this Altaira.
You are Queen.
Blood of the Phoenix runs within your veins.
I roar within myself in need of the pep talk. Racing through and up, the forest is quite overgrown and untouched. Hopping over and under fallen trees. Grabbing onto anything and everything that can help propell me forward.
My wings are dragging catching and snagging on all ensundry but I cannot waste time on being careful. Falling and hitting myself multiple times. I have to push on I cannot delay or it will be the death of me.
I can deal with the pain when I have made it to safety. Luckily I am alone, I have been known to scold the younglings for such careless behaviour. As tough as we Clore are damage to our wings can be devastating and I for one will be inconsolable if such a thing were to happen.
The cries of the creatures of the forest have come alive they too now aware of the dangers we face. A deathly noise it shudders me to the bone. They have joined me on my race to the top.
The idea that so many will flounder is absolutely heart wrenching for me. I live for the earth for the life that it nourishes. How anyone can commit such a heinous crime is so infuriating to me.
"Ahh" I roar out my sorrow for all the lives lost. I love the harmony of this place it is why I came here, my first day off in 4 years and here I am with confidence that the Instigator of this was targeting me. In that way I am responsible for their demise, it breaks my already broken heart.
Surprisingly as I go further up the mountainside the ground has become more wet and muddy. The clothes on my back tattered, torn and filthy from my fight for survival. My senses overwrought with the smells tumbling about me in this woodland.
The feel of the mulch and wet soil squelching through my toes and up my legs is not my favourite that is for sure, but nothing in the whole scheme of things.
Pushing myself ahead, further than I ever have before. My muscles begin to burn from the sheer pressure I am demanding from them. I need to stay on track focused so I begin to chant.
I will fight...
I will live...
I will survive...
Fight live survive... fight live survive...
Over and over. I swear this will be my mantra if I manage to survive this. And when I get my hands on the person or persons that created this clusterfuck they are in for a whole world of pain. These poor creatures need retribution, if I am the one to grant it, it will be my honour.
Wildlife is swarming me now, the ground around thruming with life. When icy blue eyes of a wolf catch me unawares. Icy like the blue hue of an icicle, not cold though there is something almost charming about them. Somewhat startled to see such a large animal here with such captivating orbs I stare momentarily until it continues on its journey to safety.
Theres a gully ahead with a large cliff face and I can see the wolf has made the same assessment as me on the best route ahead. I veer left in the same direction until I hit the bottom of the cliff.
Pulling myself up I grab on protruding vines and roots from trees that lay above. Jumping, swinging and leaping up as fast as I can. My breath is hitched my wings damaged, I couldn't fly now even if I wanted and I feel my energy begin to drain. Running on pure adrenaline, I'm over half way now with my next leap up I grab a vine but it drops suddenly, swinging me a few feet down.
Fate must be on my side because I manage to stop my fall by grabbing a rock crevice haulting me from plummeting to the gully below. I begin hiking myself up again, looking to see how far I have come when I am met by the icy blue eyes of the wolf I had seen below. Clearly very cunning as he has already bet me to the summit of this cliff. He stares at me and I find myself mesmerized by him once again.
Is he trying to help?
Haha your truly loosing it now, it's a wolf Altaira how is a wolf going to help you up a cliff?
Scoffing at myself for such a ridiculous thought. Then it lifts its head and turns away almost arrogantly, disappearing behind the surface.
Ten more feet that is all it will take to get me above this torture. I love nature the wilderness but climbing was never a favoured pass time for me, my wings having always been available in the past. I never needed or desired to improve such a skill, though now I can see what the benefits would have been if I had.
Would've could've should've.
Goodness my bitchcy innerself is out in full force tonight. Please give me a break I am only...
ENOUGH! I scold myself again I need to stay focused my mental health taking a hit, the pain and exhaustion getting to me. I go back to my mantra.
Fight... Live... Survive. On repeat!
I'm about to put my head above the precipice of the cliff when a torrent of water and sludge comes flowing over the edge. This increases my level of fear, boosting me to push myself up and over the edge.
Clutching to the ground above I feel the rumbling of the earth, when I see a landslide coming my way with soil, rock and stone all tumbling down in my direction.
Is it not enough that I am being assaulted from one direction, now another. Gods and Godess please give me strength!.
Suddenly I am hit.
A rock whacks my head close to the temple and I loose my grip on the ground, startled by the shocking hit. My eyes become a blurry mess as I fall to the chasm below.
Resigned to my fate. Closing my eyes, a single tear rolls down my cheek. I fought hard, I pushed myself to my limit, I can die free of regret. Then abruptly without any warning I feel a tight hold on my arm. Stopping my death, opening my eyes I see a large hand attached to a tattooed muscular arm. Hauling me up and over the cliff edge.
Wings of Clore A bird clan, living in the south. Royals are said to be descended from the blood of a Phoenix. Humans that can shift to have wings. All born with the stamp of the Phoenix, a tattoo like birth mark that appear on the upper back, varies in shape and size. From as small as a coin to large enough to cover both shoulder blades. The royals having the most distinctive, darkest and largest with the cleanest lines of definition. They have the ability to call on the gods and godesses for guidance in times of need. Known as the guardians throughout the land. Many call them earthly angels.
Hyperion Wolves Clan Wolf shifter clan. They live in the north west of Yeguday. Largest of the wolf clans. Living in packs with one large pack to the northern most part of their territory. Ruled by the king Alfa and his Luna. They are blessed with fated mates amongst their own kind.
Ostrakon Woles Clan Wolf shifter clan. Living in the south west of Yegundy. Once part of Hyperion Wolves this clan was ousted many generations ago and believed to be cursed. It is said that because of a heinous crime they were stripped of the joy of having a fated mate, now relying on a mating ritual and choosing a mate instead. Any males from the Hyperion Wolves who discover they are without a fated are still banished to the Ostrakon wolves, the Hyperion still believing that they are cursed.
Kaliyah Doryu Clan It is said that the Kaliyah are both the slayers of dragons and also they are dragons themselves, which is the case has been lost in fokelore. They are very secluded and not much is known of them. Though they have a strong alliance with the wings of Clore. Many of the other clan fear them even though dragons have not been seen in the Lands of Yegunday in millennia.
The Larken clan. Witches and warlocks are known as the Larken. Keeping to themselves most of the time. Though their skills are highly demanded amongst the clans they can be seen as tricksters and troublemakers.
Wayfarer Vaga. Humans. Without any power they live amongst all the clans in peace. They travel between and live amongst the tribes, many with no set abode. Some marry or mate into a clan. The human bodies capable of procreation with other species, the dominant beings DNA more powerful, allowing the offspring to be healthy. They are the only beings capable of inter-spieces procreation, all others are thought to be incapable, so relationships between the clans are forbidden and taboo.