Part 2 – Prologue
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Part 2 lets goooo! Spent a good chunk of time this week planning the part and characters since the ensemble is growing. But having such a tiny release doesn’t feel right, so since this is only a prologue, this week might just need a second release ^^. For now, please enjoy the part 2 intro!



In the recent centuries of Hesht society, politicking only ever really occurred around the end of the chief’s life, even if that end was hastened at the end of a spear. “Chief” was both a lifetime appointment and selected. Now, on top of the northern canyon wall, a small gathering between the chief and three of the eldest Hesht in the village was taking place.

A Hesht woman with thin brown and grey feathers, “It’s not like you to call on us Getra. Usually takes all three of us pounding on the door to get you to open it. So, what’s got you asking our clutch for help?”

The Hesht chief scoffed, “Gods above and below Fray, ‘Your clutch.’ Can’t believe there are still three of you flapping around.”

“Please tell me you didn’t send your little disciple for us just to hear you whine. I wouldn’t blame her for growing tired of your screeching,” one of Fray’s clutchmates, Oiwe said.

“Enough both of you,” Fray was pinching her brow, “What is it Getra?”

The Chief sighed, “Scouts sent word. Jiju is coming back, and not empty handed. She’s got the Lightblessed, and two humans in tow.”

“Well, at least they got some spoils for the trouble they are bringing back with them,” Fray and Oiwe’s other clutchmate, Na, said with a hint of glee.

“I wouldn’t count on it,” the chief wouldn’t let any optimism take hold. “The scout said the humans are small, injured. They should be back before the sun goes down… Cee!” the chief called.

A moment later a young Hesht entered the room and sat on her feet looking down in front of the Chief. Her plumage was that of varying greys and blacks—appearing silvery when the light hit just right. “Yes Chief,” Cee answered briefly.

Chief Getra eyed her protégé with a measure of pride, she was a cut above the rest of her clutch, blessing or no. She’d been tested, tempted by the talking human—and the chief was proud to say Cee had put her flock above her clutch. “Wait for Guardian Jiju and her group at the edge of the Redwood, and make sure they come straight here. I don’t want anything or anyone coming into the village without my say so.”

Cee’s feathers ruffled slightly. Her clutchmates were coming back, Kelz included. Cee hadn’t spoken to Kelz even in the weeks leading to her departure from the village. Not for lack of trying, but Kelz was stubborn, and held grudges. Caught in her own world, not even thinking of the rest of the clutch, the rest of flock.

“And make sure the Lightblessed doesn’t try and slink away this time. I want you to make sure she gets here,” the Chief continued.

Cee looked up, mouth slightly agape, “They found her… Talivi is actually alive?”

The Chief stern but prideful expression soured a measure. “Know your place Cee. Know it now, and you’ll know it when you are chief.” Oiwe scoffed—to Getra’s amusement—but the chief kept her expressions steady.

“Y-yes. Chief Getra,” Cee answered dutifully. With that, the young Hesht exited the chambers.

The three other Hesht watched the girl go, then turned their attention back to the Chief. Getra nodded to Fray, Oiwe, and Na in turn. “We’ve had our share of disagreements before, but no more, we’re tightening ranks. I will not have Jiju or the Lightblessed forget we’re the ones who have kept this village going for decades.”