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Quick bit of backstory for my newest boy Krypton, featuring a couple others and a brief appearance from Krypton's mother, Stargazer, but her name's not mentioned.
“He won’t be coming back.”
Krypton turned to the Harpia next to him, the one he’d just spilled his story to with an open heart.
“What do you mean?” He asked, feeling anger bubble up inside of him.
“He’s gone. Left this place a long time ago.” The larger Harpia replied, ignoring Krypton’s tone.
Krypton opened his beak to say something, but was cut off.
“I don’t get why you’re even looking for him, you’d be better off finding your mother. Wherever she disappeared to. Seems like a little someone wasn’t exactly what they had hoped for.”
Krypton felt the anger in his body begin to fester into rage. Who the hell did this guy think he was?
“I’ll be going now, I’ve got better things to do with my time. You figure out your... situation on your own.” The other turned to leave, but was stopped by something grabbing his tail and trying to yank him back. He turned back around to see Krypton with his tail between his teeth, glaring at him. The larger Harpia took a moment to pause, causing Krypton to drop his tail. Before Krypton could say anything however, the larger lunged at him, knocking him to the ground. A talon was placed firmly on Krypton’s chest, preventing him from moving.
“Don’t push your luck, kid. Do you have any idea who you’re messing with?”
“Some asshole who can’t be bothered to help anyone but himself, that’s who!” Krypton spat, receiving a whack across the face.
“Morkeleb. That ring a bell?” The larger hissed.
“As if! Who’d want to talk about you enough that I’d know who the hell you are?” Krypton received another smack.
“Let me tell you, little brat,” The larger Harpia, apparently known as Morkeleb, leaned in close to Krypton’s ear and hissed, “I’m someone you really, really don’t want to piss off. Got it?”
Krypton, who had previously been struggling to wiggle out of Morkeleb’s grip, grunted as the talon on his chest pressed tighter, forcing him to be still. “Yeah yeah, I get it! Get the hell off of me already!”
Morkeleb loosened his grip, allowing Krypton to struggle to his feet. Morkeleb continued to glare at him while he regrouped.
“What?” Krypton snarled.
“You’d better watch yourself, kid. I’d be surprised if you last until next week out there.” Morkeleb rolled his eyes, turning away from Krypton. “Now I’ll be leaving. Don’t follow me, for your own safety. Mercy won’t be an option next time.”
Krypton lashed his tail, but kept his beak shut. He was smart enough to know when to draw the line. He merely watched, still fuming, as Morkeleb turned and left.
3 years later
Krypton slashed at the vines blocking his path with his talons. Was this Stryx even a prophet? Or was he just going to get lied to again? Why are they even so far out of the way if they want people to believe them? Shouldn’t they just stick close to town if they truly cared about the good of this place?
The forest was dark, night having fallen a few hours ago. Krypton had entered the forest after catching word of a strange prophet (well, one who claimed to be a prophet) who lived out here, but no one knew where. Now here he was, about an hour and a half into the forest, looking for this so-called fortune-teller.
Krypton stopped for a breather, suddenly noticing something shiny hanging on the branches of a tree nearby. He approached it with caution, thinking it was a trap. After inspecting the nearby area, he deemed it safe to get closer. Upon further inspection, the shiny object appeared to be a small gem of sorts, held on a necklace type thing. Looking around again, Krypton noticed another small gem necklace tied to a tree further ahead. Then another. And then another. He followed this strange trail with great interest, but caution as well. What if this was leading to a trap?
Krypton followed this trail for a few more minutes, finally reaching its end. Although, this end wasn’t anything spectacular, just a large series of rocks covered in moss and vines. Krypton sighed. Maybe he wasn’t going to find this prophet after all, his last hope. At least he could steal these necklaces, maybe they’d be worth something to the local merchants. He motioned to turn around, but he stopped after hearing rustling nearby. He froze, feathers beginning to fluff up in defense.
“Who’s there?” He shouted into the dark forest. The rustling stopped. Before he could call out again, a small Chiro crept out from behind the rock formation, turning her head to look at him.
“Ah, and who might you be?” She asked, beginning to approach.
“I’m Krypton, I’m out here looking for this supposed ‘prophet’ this town nearby knows, but I haven’t been able to find them for almost 2 hours. Do you know anything?”
The Chiro chuckled, smiling at him.
“Oh, that’d be me. Come here, we can talk inside. It’s going to rain tonight.”
Krypton looked to the sky. Not a cloud in sight. Oh boy, this is sure to be interesting.
On the other side of the rock formation was a small cave area, most likely leading to the Chiro’s home. Krypton followed her inside, stepping down into a large underground burrow, full of different items, trinkets, herbs, and other things. It was actually quite large for one Chiro, but small for a Harpia. Krypton had to lean down to avoid scraping his head on the root-infused dirt ceiling. The Chiro made her way over to a small hammock, suspended between two large tree roots. She pulled herself up into it and looked down at Krypton, motioning for him to take a seat on the opposite side of the burrow. Krypton did as she instructed, setting himself on a bed of straw, supposedly for guests to sit on.
“So, what brings you here? Anything particular?” The Chiro cocked her head to one side.
“Uhh, I’m here to ask a few questions, hopefully get them answered too, miss uhh…” Krypton trailed off, realizing he didn’t know her name.”
“Oh, pardon me, I’ve yet to introduce myself! My name’s Nexus, Nex if you prefer.” The Chiro responded.
“Ah, right. So, Nexus, I have a few questions to ask you. About my father.” Krypton’s voice became quieter as he mentioned his father.
3 years earlier
“Krypton, stay here. Your father will be here to retrieve you shortly.”
Krypton looked up at his teary-eyed mother, feeling his own tears begin to well behind his eyes.
“But… Where are you going? Why can’t you stay here? Why can’t I go with you?” Krypton whined, sniffling.
“It’ll be alright, we’ll be able to see each other again soon. For now you’ll be with your father. I met with him to let him know a few days ago, he said he’d be here for you.”
Krypton looked down to try and hide his falling tears.
“It’s alright dear, you’ll be fine on your own. You’ll get to see me again sometime, I promise. Just wait here for your father, I’ve really got to go now.”
She nuzzled his cheek, turned, and took off.
Krypton ran up to the edge of his nest, crying out for her to stay. She didn’t look back.
Krypton, having spent the last few hours sulking in the back of the nest, had finally run dry of tears. He now just lay there, waiting to hear his father’s wingbeats approaching the nest. They didn’t come.
Krypton sat up, looking outside, met only with the darkness of the night. No sign of any living things that would come to rescue him. He wandered to the edge of the nest, looking out further. Nothing. Just the quiet ambiance of the night.
Krypton had been taught to glide recently by his mother, but had yet to learn flight. He opened his wings and leapt off of the nest’s edge, landing wobbly on the branches below. Looking up, he saw a shadow circling above him. This had to be his father. Who else would be here if not for him?
“Dad! Down here!” He called up to the figure.
The figure hovered for a moment, before descending. As they drew nearer, Krypton felt a sense of dread crawl up his spine.
The flying figure landed on a branch nearby, giving Krypton a better look at him. This looked… nothing like how his mother had described his father. This Harpia was darker, and missing the white specks all over his body, like his father was said to have. He also had grey eyes, unlike the icy blue eyes his mother had spoken about.
“Dad?” Krypton asked, quieter this time. “Dad, I haven’t seen you practically at all, where have you been? Mom’s been worried about you, I barely knew who you were, save for the tales mom told me.”
The other paused to look menacingly at Krypton, then spoke.
“He won’t be coming back.”
Nexus looked apologetically at Krypton, who had gone silent.
“I’m so sorry that happened to you Krypton, I may need a moment to process this information before I can give you any readings.”
Krypton nodded. He tried desperately to keep the tears from rolling down his face. Luckily he was succeeding so far.
Nexus left her hammock, heading into a smaller burrow sectioned off from the main room. Krypton was left to wait for a while, on his own.
After a little while, Krypton had nearly drifted off when Nexus emerged, looking very tired.
“Are you alright? You look… sleepy.” Krypton asked.
“Oh I’m alright, just takes a lot out of someone, predicting something.” Nexus assured him. She walked over and climbed into her hammock again, settling back down. Krypton waited eagerly to hear her words, but still had a sliver of doubt in the back of his mind about her credibility.
“In the midst of a sanctuary, your search will end.”
She said no more.
Krypton blinked. “That’s it..? That’s all you’ve got for me?” He began to get angry.
“I came all this way, went through all this trouble of finding you, just to hear some bullshit excuse of a prediction? I bet you’re not even a real prophet! Just some lousy freeloader trying to get some popularity, that or you find joy in messing with people in need.” Krypton shouted, approaching Nexus.
Nexus snarled, baring her fangs. “If you’re so sure that I’m no prophet, then why did you seek me out? You were that desperate? I spent my time- my energy- giving you my insight, just to have such an ungrateful boy tell me who I am? I don’t think so. See yourself out.” Nexus had raised her voice, but had not shouted. Nor had she moved or flinched as Krypton drew closer, eyes burning with rage. She pointed her wing at the burrow’s entrance.
Krypton, with nothing more to say, stormed away, purposefully knocking down a string of herbs hanging from the ceiling.
As soon as he was as far away from that damned burrow as he could get, he shrieked in anger. The sun was already beginning to rise, making him realize how much time he’d wasted with that witch. He kicked at a small clump of grass, hissing as it didn’t budge. It was a moss-covered rock. He slumped against a tree, cradling his foot. He began to cry.
So much wasted time… and for what? All these years searching, finally finding a smidge of hope, only to have it crushed in an instant. Why couldn’t he have just come and gotten me on that night?
He felt sleep creep up behind his closed eyelids, but struggled against it. If he wanted to continue his search eventually, he’d have to make it out of this forest first, or be eaten by something lurking in the dark.
He reluctantly stood up, ignoring the throbbing pain in his talons, and trekked onwards, back on the path he had entered from.
2014 words-40 AP
Total= 43 AP
446 words-8 AP
Total= 11 AP
660 words-12 AP
Total= 15 AP
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