It’s been a few days since that awful incident at the shack. They’d left some people dead, with just piles of stones on them and then moved on to the west. Crazy Rohan cast his lot with the escaped goliath Piyu. Teegan was not going to abandon her brother and Master Kellamon could be guilty too.
Estrella thought about leaving, but it would be her and Ashley in this rough wilderness. A glassblower and a messenger pigeon alone in the rough mountains of Western Kirtin would be doomed. She can repair things, but that isn’t useful if you don’t have things. Plus where would she go? How would she find it?
Ha-Lim slows them down. Everyone deals with it. He’s as much one of them as the rest. It’s an odd group. Two dogs, a terrier that never stops barking and a hound without a sent to follow. Ashley is her pigeon. He could find Korlott, Kirtin-in-the-Sky and home no matter where he is. He’s so smart. But if she sends him off to let the family know what’s happened he’s gone. The group is going to keep moving.
She’d never met a bonded ram before Ha-Lim. Then there’s the heron Fani. What a magnificent creature. It just soars and soars on those huge wings. Can I teach a heron messaging? That might be fun.
They’re also kind of lost – again. It’s easy to think “head west” and know that Sheljar is that way. The Land of Two Rivers is always fascinating, but constantly embroiled in internal strife. Sheljar never offered to help Kirtin, and only one trade family from Qin responded to requests for aid. Estrella doesn’t hate Sheljar for this, but she certainly isn’t excited about the Empire with its guilds, families, companies all competing for power.
“‘Strella, come here!” It’s Rohan. The boy is fascinating. He keeps learning how to apply these funky powers. She runs across the camp.
“Look, look” and a he makes a flower unbloom. “Now watch” and it blooms again. He plucks it and puts it behind her ear.
“Get ready to move children,” Master Kellamon says with a smile. A tiny moment of pleasure is necessary. These kids have been away from home for about a week. “Fani indicates to Piyu that the Norther River Everflow is just over that rise and downslope. There’s a town there. We’ll be in the Sheljar Empire tonight. Once we get there we have the protection of the Emperor, but will need to find a guild or family to take us as members.”
Teegan asks, “Which guild is going to take us?”
“I do not know. There are guilds and families based on craft, or trade, or faith, or location. Piyu’s skills with Fani will likely get him attention. Sheljar City has need for birds. He’ll try to connect with a goliath family that raises waterfowl.”
Estrella is happy. Any decent village of Kin needs a messenger. She’s seen dogs do this, but really, nothing is better than a pigeon. She’d find a place, then she’d tell her parents where she was. Maybe Rohan would be in the same town.
The youngsters strike camp. Piyu returns with the weather above his head, another dry day with light clouds. It’s like that massive storm emptied all the waters from the skies. Kell likes that. They should be in that town tonight.