1. Where We Dare
I cock my head to one side, watching the gathering below me with a growing sense of disdain in my belly.
Too much talk. Not enough action.
Always it is the way with the Earthbound; always it has been and always it shall be.
One of the shortlings finally makes a decision, and I see it in his heartbeat before even he does.
He takes a step forward, and in that foolish, faltering tongue they all use says what I have known all along.
The men applaud him, then the beardling, then the elf- though all with differing degrees of dedication, I notice, cocking my head to the other side.
The other shortlings are swift to follow, of course.
Rabbits always run before the storm.
Then the Wizard joins the throng, and my interest is piqued. Long have he and his brothers been friend to my folk; long have we warred against...
Too much talk! Not enough action!
I cry out, and all the assembly cower at my voice, all save the Wizard and the old Elf- only they have learned my tongue, after all.
The Wizard smiles.
"You would walk with us then, Wind-Lord?"
I shake my head and puff out my feathers proudly.
"You will walk with me, Earthbound, and I shall guide you to victory!"
A flap of my wings sends the shortlings cowering and sparks flying from the old Elf's fire- a second flap sends me to the air with a joyful scream.
The Earthbound say that this is the Age of Men.
I say that I fly where they fear to tread.