The silver hawk soared over the dense forest below it. Surprisingly, its keen eyes barely acknowledged the various wildlife cowering in fear that its species so often preyed on.
But this isn't surprising, because the hawk wasn't a hawk. It, or rather, she, was an ancient timeless being who was one of the five last remaining links to a race known as the grey folk, who had long been thought extinct. But they weren't, not really. There was one left, and just so happened to be the person the hawk-who-wasn't-a-hawk was looking for.
So the not-hawk continued her search for reasons only she knew of. The forest, commonly known as the Spine, passed in a blur of green, but a flash of silver caused her to spiral down from the height she was flying and land in a small clearing.
As she touched down, the not-hawk blurred into the form of a young woman. She had completely silver hair, that would have reached all the way down her back had it not been braided. Her light blue eyes surrounded slit-shaped pupils, much like a cats. She would have been called beautiful, had her face not been marred with many disfiguring scars. She had dual long swords at her sides, with various feathers tied to the hilts. She wore a very simple blue shirt with white leggings. Her most prominent feature, however, were the large white wings sprouting from her back.
"Serenala!" She called, glancing around her, "Serenala, I know you are there. I must speak with you!"
After a couple of minutes of waiting, a second woman stepped out from the shadows the trees provided. She could not have looked more different from the first. Although they shared the same silver hair and slit pupils, that was where the similarities ended.
Her shoulder length hair hung loose, and framed her face like a mane. Her eyes were dark green, her face unblemished and tanned. A pointed ear poked through her mane, showing a tuft of fur at the tip. Her lips were parted, as she panted slightly, showing pointed teeth. Her nails were sharpened to points. She was short, and had toned muscles, the result of swinging through trees day after day. Her cloak was made of fur that had been combed out of the coats of wildcats, and had two long knifes attached to her belt, this time with white fur tied to the hilts. Under her cloak, she wore a green shirt and brown leggings. The perfect camouflage for forest living. Serenala had a feral air about her, like she herself was a wild animal.
As mentioned before, she was one of the last of the grey-folk; others were scattered around, memories of a time long past. None though, were as old as this one. However, that is not to say all of them looked this wild. No, Serenala was one of a kind.
"What is it Naiur? What has happened?" Asked Serenala.
"They have Telcan,"
Serenala paled. She said, "Who? Who has her?"
"Galbatorix's servants, the Ra'zac," pulling out two war hammers, she continued, "I found these near Helgrind. She never leaves them behind,"
"Have you checked Helgrind?"
"Of course I have!" Naiur protested, scowling, "They've warded the place specifically against us- or rather, Galbatorix himself has, using Telcan's power signature as the anchor to the wards. I wouldn't be here if I could,"
Serenala's brows furrowed and she started to pace, an action making her seem even more catlike.
"Serenala, what do we do?"
Turning back to her youngest sister, Serenala replied, "We must call the others to a meeting. I think it might be time to involve ourselves in the affairs of mortals once more,"
Deep in the spine, a river flowed past a large clearing, where three figures sat in a circle. Two places were empty. In front of each of them were small podiums, about a foot in height. The podium in front of Serenala seemed to be made of vines and leaves, compacted so it could easily be stood on. In front of Naiur was what seemed to be a cloud; it moved constantly within a certain area, as if some force were keeping it from moving too far. In front of the other, a man, was a mound of sand. They seemed to be waiting for someone, with patience only immortals have.
The man, like Serenala and Naiur, had silver hair and slit pupils. However, his eyes were the colour of sand, and he seemed more withdrawn and hostile that his sisters; for siblings they were. His skin, if it could be called that, was dark and scaly. He dressed all in black, including a large cloak, with the hook thrown back. He seemed uncomfortable without it covering his face. He carried a long, steel tipped whip at his belt, as well as a poisoned dagger and countless throwing knives concealed about his person. All were, without a doubt, had been dipped in snakes venom.
Of the other two podiums, one was made entirely of stone and another was a gurgling fountain, the water to be absorbed into the earth, only to be pumped out again.
A soft splashing came from the river, and Serenala's head snapped towards the sounds origin. A silver otter had jumped out of the river onto that land, and transformed into a second man mid-jump.
Once again, he had silver hair and slit pupils. This time, he had blue-green eye, and staring into them was like staring into the sea. He was bare-footed, but wore tight leather armour with a large trident strapped across his back, with the three points emerging over his right shoulder. His skin was a pale green hue; his hair reached past his shoulders and was tied back by a strip of worn leather.
Moving with an inhuman grace, he strode over to the water pedestal and took his place in the circle. There was still one place empty.
Shifting position, Serenala said, "Now we are here-"
"But what about Telcan?" Queried the snake-man, cutting of Serenala.
With an exasperated sigh, Serenala replied, "Zania, if you could just let me speak, I would explain it to you. Telcan is…inaccessible at the moment,"
"Well that's one way to put it," mumbled Naiur.
At Serenala's response, Zania began muttering mutinously, however when the implications of her words hit him, he began to look very worried, and the water lord mirrored his concerned look.
"As I was saying before I was rudely interrupted," Serenala said, shooting a glare at the person in question, who then looked everywhere but the shaggy haired woman, "Now we are here, I have some bad news,"
The tension was so thick in the clearing you could have cut it like butter. Gathering a deep breath, Serenala continued, "The Ra'zac have managed to capture Telcan,"
The silence was penetrating. It was unnatural. All in the clearing was filled with deep concern for their missing sister. Finally, the water-dweller spoke up softly, "How?"
"Yes Balon, I would like to know that too," added Zania
"Naiur, could you explain to them what you have told me," requested Serenala.
"Well, I was traveling past Helgrind, when a robin flew up and warned me that Telcan was in trouble, and I followed him down, but I was too late. When I arrived, there were signs of a struggle, but no Telcan. It seemed that she had been caught unawares, and outnumbered. I searched for her, but I had no luck. All I found were these," At this Naiur walked forward and placed the hammers in the centre of the circle, the other three's eyes following her progress. She took a deep breath, before continuing, "Then I knew for certain something was wrong; Telcan never goes anywhere without her hammers. Immediately I decided to search the Helgrind, for it was close and long have the Ra'zac and their steeds lived there.
"Upon reaching the mountains, I found that they had been warded against specifically us, and by Galbatorix himself! I knew then that anything more would be pointless, and would only exhaust myself. It was then that I went to find Serenala, for I knew this was a problem we could only solve together. This was two days ago,"
Silence fell once more over the small gathering, with only the sounds of the gurgling river for company.
"What…can we do? Even together Galbatorix is stronger than us!" Said Zania, after growing board of the silence.
"He is right Seren, It is hopeless," admitted Naiur glumly.
"You would have us give up on our sister?" Asked Serenala, her eyes piercing disbelievingly into that of her brother and sister.
"No…of course not. It's just…"
"It's just, that there seems to be no solution to this," finished Zania.
"Yes," agreed Naiur.
"Well…" started Balon quietly, "I have a friend in the Varden…she says that Shadeslayer and his cousin are going to Helgrind to rescue Stronghammers fiancé. They might be able to get Telcan out at the same time."
"But how can they, two mortals, hope to defeat an enemy that even Telcan, who has thousands of years' experience, could not," protested Zania.
"It…has merit. You have not been paying much attention to the world, brother. Eragon is no longer fully human; he looks more like an elf now than ever before. And you seem to forget, they have his dragon, Saphira helping also. To add to that, they will take the Ra'zac by surprise, much like they did to Telcan," contributed Naiur.
"Angela speaks very highly of the young Shur'tugul," added Balon.
"Angela? The witch that always seems to be where anything remotely interesting is happening?" Asked Serenala.
"Yes. You know her?"
"We met briefly a while ago. She provided some…interesting conversation,"
"Well, if everyone is agreeable, then that is the course of action we will take," Said Serenala.
A chorus of Yes, We must at least try, and I suppose so (the latter from the still pessimistic Zania) followed.
"I guess that is settled," Serenala concluded, "Eragon it is,"