He crossed the distance in great loping strides, sending out a Call for all his kind to converge on the Grey Qishir’s old cabin. Reached out to all those he had spoken to and touched when his kè had ordered him to get the energy Xefras needed to save Rhyshladlyn when the Forest had released its denizens across the Worlds. And he heard them Answer just as they had promised they would. Felt them leave their posts, leave their , and race to join him.

For the first time in eons his kind was gathering en masse with a single goal in mind. He just wished it was for a reason that was happier. But if any Dhaoine could bring the Worlds’ Otherborn together under a common goal, it would be the Grey Qishir. Now whether thousands of Otherborn gathered in one space would be enough to take down Iköl’s pets, he didn’t know but he prayed it was. Prayed that in this he wouldn’t fail his , wouldn’t fail the Qishir Xefras had come to respect and care deeply for.

He may not have decided whether he accepted Rhyshladlyn or not, whether he considered the Grey Qishir worthy of respect and praise, but he knew his  saw the Qishir in that manner. Knew that as time continued on that Xefras saw Rhyshladlyn with the gaze one only had when love filled them and probably more as was usual when one cared deeply for a Qishir. And it was for that alone he would make sure he did everything he could to keep Nhulynolyn Otherborn, and therefore the Grey Qishir, alive.

He loosed a war howl and heard thousands of voices echo it back to him, their native tongue making the air fill with sparks, as he leapt over the last sand dune that stood between him and the cabin and the fight that surrounded it. The horizon darkened despite it being mid-afternoon without a cloud in sight. Darkened with the approach of his fellows, of his kind, and then they all landed atop the retaining wall in a rippling mass of half corporeal forms, fully fleshed Dhaoine, monstrous true faces on full display, chittering mouths that spoke a language none but they could hear without pain.

They looked down onto the battlefield that had become of the grounds within that wall. Looked down as hundreds, nearly thousands, of eyes lifted to stare at them with an apprehension that made their chittering mouths spread wider around grins and smiles and laughter that sounded like the roaring sea. For a moment every last one of those things stopped moving and stared.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe–

As one they descended on the abominations that never should have seen the light of stars, moon, or sun with a thunderous cry that shook the ground and made the air burn.


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