• Published 11th May 2022
  • 1,148 Views, 85 Comments

Radiance - LSTS Connor



A failed invasion. A Race scattered. A Queen dead. From the ashes, their last cry of vengeance rises.

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Chapter Three | Life

I had found the road shortly after my…encounter with that predator and the awakening of my Light. Even now I could still feel its comforting warmth flowing through my veins. Deciding to pick a direction at random I began to follow the slight dirt road that cut through the forest.

The sounds of birdsong had since returned and they even seemed to be following me as If I radiated some aura of safety for these birds. The song was soothing background noise as my mind kept on returning to this power I now wielded.

“Atarah? Now that I have awakened my Light…is it possible to learn more about it?”

With a flash of light, Atarah emerged. “There is! Although it will be time-consuming and hard to accomplish from what I could gather from other ghosts. So take what I’m about to say with a little grain of salt.”

“Atarah, I know literally nothing about any of this. Anything you can tell me would help.”

“Oh, right hehe.” The Ghost responded cheekily. “So anyway from what I know it involves quite a bit of meditation of the nature of the light itself. It's then up to you to discover its other aspects. Right now you are a Sunsinger and your light burns like the sun itself. Currently, your Light is attuned to the aspect of flame, hence your earlier form.” Atarah explained as I listened along intently, taking mental notes wherever possible.

“There are more attunements to your light you have yet to experience but as you grow more connected with your light those attunements will come naturally.”

“What are these other attunements? Can you tell me their names?”

“Yep! They’re the attunements of Grace and Sky and all together they represent the various aspects of fire.” Interesting…very interesting.

“Is that all?” Atarah laughed at my question.

“No, not at all, my dear Queen. There are more elements of the light to discover but you’ll find them yourself in time. I can’t overwhelm you now can I?” She did have a point. As much as I would love to see what else I could do with the Light it would be prudent to focus on this one aspect, this one ‘Element’ for now.

The rest of the journey continued in silence down the road with only the sounds of birdsong filling the cool air. The Sun stood at its zenith when civilization came into view on the horizon.

From where I stood it looked like a simple village. Wooden homes, brick buildings, and the distinct backdrop of chimney smoke rising into the deep blue sky. I could see small silhouettes flying above and through the various homes, their forms too large at this distance to be any reasonably sized avian.

As I began to close the distance I could begin to grasp more detail of those ‘birds’ I could see. They appeared to either be of the same species or some close relative of that predator I had dealt with earlier but these creatures seemed a lot more civilized than their counterpart.

Their bodies were covered in feathers of various shades of brown and white with a distinct line separating the two colors across the sides of their head and neck. A golden, or yellowish, beak protruded from their faces as large feathery wings sprouted from their back.

Their limbs, however, is where it got interesting. Their front limbs looked like that of any other bird with sharp talons and golden leathery skin. Their back legs however were the opposite with them more resembling that of a furred mammalian predator with paws instead of talons. The same appeared to go for their tail which was long and thin with a tuft of fur at the end.

A quite unique fusion of biology I had to admit, let’s just hope my insectile look won’t make me their prey. I mean if it did it really didn’t mean much, if they killed me Atarah would just bring me back.

Wow, I just realized how weird that is to say. I have really got to get used to this idea that death really doesn't…mean much, if anything, to me anymore. If, no…When I die it's just a minor inconvenience to me as I wait for Atarah to revive me so why shouldn’t I just stroll into town and say hello? The only thing I would lose, if they are indeed hostile, is my time.

So with confidence that only realizing that death was meaningless could provide I held my chin up high and entered the outskirts of town.

Almost instantly I could feel a change in the air as I was spotted by passersby but it was not the change I had anticipated. Instead of the hostility, I expected all I got was…curiosity. But not some type of fearful curiosity that made them watch from behind closed curtains or shut doors. It was more…cordial would be the best way to put it.

Of course, it could all be a trick and it was to lure me into a false sense of security but that's why I had Atarah. Moving deeper into the town I could most definitely tell I had made myself known. A certain silence descended upon the normally bustling town square.

The loud conversation stopped as more and more eyes began to watch me with only minor whispers audible now.

“Ahem, hello?” I greet the now-silent crowd with a small wave of my holed hoof.

“Hello!” Came a small shout from somewhere within the crowd, its origin most definitely a child of some sort. Then it seemed as if some switch had been flipped on the populous as their normal conversations resumed and their staring ceased.

“Well, that was…interesting,” I say to myself quietly as I sit down on a nearby empty bench.

‘You're telling me. I was standing by for resurrection that entire time!’

“Ah don’t mind em, ma’am, it is ma’am right? We jus’ don’t get many visitors round ‘ere.” An elder member of their species spoke as they took a seat next to me with an old cane in talon. “Them griff’s jus’ needed ta’ see if ya was some wild animal by hearing you’s speak.” He held out one of his talons. “Ya passed tha’ test. Welcome to Grifton, tha’ town at tha’ end of tha’ world, names Claw Ironbelt.”

I took his talon and shook it. “Queen” I respond

“Now is that yer’ title or yer’ name?” He asked, gaze rising to the crown growing out of my head

“Name, I came here looking to find my actual one since I woke up in the desert not too far from here without any memories at all.”

“Yer woke up in tha’ Deathlands'?! By my great uncles' feathers, you must be one crazy lady, that place is crawling with monsters that’ll tear yer head off if yous’ not careful! Let alone without yer memories!” I brought my hoof up to my neck in reflex.

“Yeah, I’ve noticed. Current theory is that I was attacked by one of those creatures and they left me for dead. Do you maybe know someone who could help me find out who I am?” I lied, if I told him what actually happened he might write me off as crazy and I’ll be back at square one.

“With a face like yous’ it won’t be hard!” The old Claw laughed. “ But in all seriousness, I know that a caravan comes through here on their trip through the mountains to and from the Capital every few weeks. If anyone knows yer face they’ll be there. Their toll to ride along however is quite expensive. And I doubt you got any talons stashed away in those holes of yours.”

“Talons?”

“Money yer nincompoop!” Claw exclaimed as he pulled out a small silver coin and showed it to me. Ah.. right… I’m broke here. But hey! On the bright side, I’ve got a lead! If anyone knew who I was it would be there, and if not I’m certain there would be something that would point me in the right direction.

The first order of business then would be money to pay for that ride. I probably could have just left town then and attempted the trek by hoof but that would take way too long. From where I was sitting I could see the mountains Claw was referencing and yeah, they did not look like fun to climb.

“Oh, sorry…Do you maybe know somewhere in town where I can earn some Talons then?” Getting somewhere to sleep for the night would also be nice even if I didn’t feel at all tired after this day I’ve had.

“Well…yer face ain’t the best for waitin’ tables.” Ouch, but understandable. “ And yer say yer came from the Deathlands… Try the Hunters Lodge, it’s the third left down the main street. Big sword hanging by the door, yer can’t miss it. I think you'll find yourself right at home with young Taris down there.” Claw pointed with a wing down the main road and for some reason a smirk was growing on his face.

“Thank you Claw, you’ve been a massive help.” I smile in thanks as I make to stand up.

“Don’t mention it. No, seriously, don’t. I got a reputation to keep. Can’t have young ladies saying I’ve gone soft.” I just smirked back at the old bird and left him to his devices.

Following Claw’s directions, I found the building in no time. It seems word about my arrival spread quickly as no one on the surprisingly barren street paid me any mind. A feeling I preferred now that I thought about it. Hiding in plain sight. Another vestige of my old personality it seemed. Could I have been some type of royal in exile, hiding from usurpers to my throne?

I couldn’t be sure unless the truth of my identity was found, all I had was theories for now. Or at least I would have until I opened that door to the Hunters lodge because sitting atop a ladder on the far wall, their back towards me and wings buzzing up a storm was a little equine-shaped from that looked just…like…me.

‘Well, that certainly simplified things, doesn’t it Queen?’

Author's Note:

Civilization was found and a lead has been located. But what of her newest acquaintance to be? And why did old Claw Ironbelt send her here? But most importantly: Why didn't Queen see the sign that said 'We are closed for the day'?