Alasdair prayed to the sun goddess to bring her people out of misery and suffering, and to propriety and wealth. The results of her prayers were the beautiful set of wings that each Avian man, woman, and child has, and also our second form. Which could be many forms of majestic birds. All forms can appear in the Keep except for one – the falcon.

Though their form is quite similar to my own – that of a hawk – falcons think themselves superior to all around them. Even while in my presence, they always have a sense of superiority around them. (And it's sad enough to say that even I, the Tuuli Thea, dare not say anything against them for acting as though I am inferior.)

My distain for dealing with them is as equal to my hate for them, but I must continue my dealings with them for they are our suppliers for us to survive in the war against the Serpiente. As much as I hate dealing and working with them, I could not stand to watch my people die needless deaths because their own Tuuli Thea lacked the capacity to deal with the falcons, even though it is necessary.

But…lately, there has been one falcon – a supplier of the special poison we use named Wyk – that has taken more time than any other falcon to get to know me. It's a little unsettling for a falcon to want to "get to know" the leader of the Avian people, but at the same time, it's a relief. I had begun to think that the falcons possessed no humanity at all, and Wyk's talking to me has made me realize they do possess it.

More recently, though, there has been one thing that has been even more unsettling than him just talking to me. Only yesterday did the seemingly reserved falcon take my hand and kiss the top of it gently. I was very…disturbed by this gesture to say the least. I'm not sure if that is a sign of friendship in the falcon court at Ahnmik, but here, in the Avian court, that's a…bad sign – at least for me.

I have ruled for ten years – ever since I was twelve and my mother passed – and have never once considered someone as my Alistair since my original one died in the war a year ago. Besides, I don't think I could ever take a mate from a race as terrifying as the falcons – the only other race I would never take a mate from is the Serpiente, but there's logical reasoning for that.

Though Wyk is my friend, I could never even consider him for an Alistair even if I wanted. It's just so unlikely that I would be able to be in the same room with him long enough to talk with him about our people, let alone be bound to him. Also, it's unheard of; my people would be outraged. I must do what I can for the good of the people, which means finding an Avian Alistair soon so that I can have an heir of pureblood.

Well, better start looking…

Emma Shardae

Tuuli Thea