The Wraith's Lament - The camp - Chapter 1

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The Wraith's Lament - The camp

by Twimper

Libraries: Fantasy, OriginalFiction

Published on / 1 Chapter(s) / 0 Review(s)

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The Taura-Naji camp was a bustling colourful place. Firstly because of the ever cheerful people going to and throw about their daily tasks and secondly because of their patchwork tents. For each tent wasn't just a home or even an artwork, it was the history and story of the generations who had slept under its shelter. Woven panels depicted folktales and Heros. Representations of the occupant's skills as a waver, a potter or herdsman ran riot across the walls. Maps of rivers, mountains and other landscapes Thron didn't even recognise were all recorded in fabric and thread, not a single inch was left undecorating in the history of the Taura-Naji. It was breathtaking in both complexity and beauty. In fact, Thorn often found himself staring at the walls instead of finishing the tasks he had been assigned. Pulling his gaze from a green panel showing a horned man with lanterns hanging from his horns Thorn glanced over to the smoking wracks hanging by the fire. 
 
Valiant was sat staring intently at the curing sides of fish but Thorn knew the piebald tyto was far too polite mannered to just help himself. It was some of the other stryx that he had to look out for. Typically a small colourful corva named Tiki. He had stolen not one but two rabbits right off Thorn's chopping board the day before. Though thankfully that colourful terror had been picked for a patrol duty that morning. Today it was a little iridescent pink and peach coloured hawk that was eyeing up the fish alongside Valliant. She was doing her best not to look too interested but slowly edging her way closer and closer and was getting more and more disapproving looks from valiant. The tyto clicked his beak and even started to puff his feathers. She still crept closer till valiant came to his feet. He didn't hiss at the female but in no uncertain terms did he shake out his wings to show his size and very deliberately cross to the other side of the fire to put himself between her and the food. A small smile curled Throne's lips at the pink dragoness clear dissapointment, she would get her share of mash and fish trimmings later Though a second later but the way some stryx acted you'd think they were never fed. The hawk ruffled her feathers and sat down to start preening her long pointed wing feathers like that had been the plan the whole time. No one was fooled. Valiant watch her with his intense miss-matched stairs. 
 
Turning back to the pile of fish still to be filleted and salted Thorn whistled an old folk song Gramma Rose use to sing to him as a child. He had long forgotten the words, something about spotting a wisp by dawn bringing good luck and by dusk bad. Even though the words escaped him he remembered the tune well enough. By the fireside, Valiant turned his head and started to hoot softly, not quite in time with Thorn's tune but certainly in response. The little pink and peach hawk paused in her preening to give the pair a quizzical look, tilting her head one way then the other as though that would help her understand the strange communication better. Thorn was about to try to mimic a hawk call to her when her eyes snapped to the drying wracks. Thorn's whistle died in his throat. 
"Don't you even think-" It was too late. Valiant gave a yelp as the little hawk darted around him and stepped on his tail by accident. It turned into a screech of outrage as the hawk grabbed a hold of the top rung of a drying rack and tried to fly off with it. The posts were driven into the ground and lashed together tight. It was more study than Thron would have given it credit for but still wood creaked and then snapped. Valiant gave another indignant screech as a part almost dropped on him. "Oi! NO! bad Stryx! get off! put it down!" The hawk ignored Thorns shouting and arm-waving. It twisted awkwardly mid-air unwilling to let go of its prize. Vilant gurgled a warning his feathers stood on end, slowly he extended his wings. The hawk's eyes darted quickly to the tyto, then thorn and back again. Then something gave, there was another loud snap then dragoness and the majority of the drying wrack was shooting towards the sky. Valiant looked about to leap after her till Thorned yelled his name in a stern voice. 
"NO Val! Stay!" The tyto looked at him and then back to the steadily climbing hawk. "No fight Valiant. Good boy. let her be...even if she is a little-" Valiant gave another screech before folding his wings and shaking his feathers into order. "Yeah exactly" Thorn sighed deeply looking at the scattering of half-cooked fish and broken smoking wrack on the ground. It wasn't ideal but then that was life with stryx. They would only ever be as tame as they chose to be.

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