She was a little bewildered.
Not that bewildered was a bad thing. But after a month or so in a tiny prison cell, things were moving incredibly fast. The Primarch himself had come to her rescue. She'd flown out of the pit with her very own pair of wings. An angel of Elona congratulated her. And now she was on the back of a gigantic bird - who had been one of the Primarch's friends not a moment ago, a lizard with wounds he hadn't wanted healed - and was heading towards Myronment. The Tree was about to become a god and it was in danger of becoming a god of evil unless something was done.
It was a bit much to think about all at once.
Tawny glanced sideways, to where the hawk-like form of a transformed Surd was silently struggling to keeping pace with the massive sweeping wingbeats of the bird Tawny was riding. Too proud to accept help, the orc had decided to fly himself to Myronment. Surd's scowl was evident even on the hawk's face. Tawny stifled a small laugh, and then marvelled at the fact she still remembered how to.
She threw her head back, focusing on the wind in her hair, distracting herself from the darker thoughts that threatened to wash over her. She was free, and the wind was cold and invigorating, and the height provided more adrenaline than vertigo. The nightmare of the Tower was behind her.
Ahead, though, there was that small problem of her banishment.
She shouted over the roar of the wind, trying to remember the name of the shapeshifter friend of the Primarch's. "Kukulkan! Can you drop me off outside the city walls?" She gave a small shrug, an old habit. "I don't want to cause trouble."
The shapeshifter craned back to look at her for a moment, then turned its gaze back to the sky. "There may be no time for that, and I would not leave any." Its voice was strangely soft for such a large animal, with a faint hiss echoing the words that no beak could form. "Hold on."
A low, mournful cry pierced the air, and Tawny clung as tight as she could, her stomach leaping into her mouth at the unexpected drop. She nearly laughed again.
The landing just as graceful as the flight had been: precise and with no movement wasted, despite the fact Tawny was certain her stomach was left about three feet behind her. She ducked her head, aware that every wall guard had their bows trained on the landed shapeshifter, and even more guards were forming a circle of swords and bows around them. Warily, true enough, but they were still brandishing weapons.
"I need to sspeak to Lord Jaakkima! Now, if at all posssible!" Even while larger than the guards, the shapeshifter was still very polite.
Tawny glanced sidelong and watched as Surd touched down. She could only hope that when the Orc emerged from Wildshape, he would not be brandishing Angus' sword in a threatening manner. The last thing either of them needed now was incarceration. Not after all they time they'd been prisoners in the Tower.
Of course, on the heel of that thought, Tawny looked across the distance, and remembered the nooses that had hung from the Tree's branches the last time she was here, and a hand went to her throat, almost unconciously.
"So, Liz'ard," Surd offered, now that he was back to his orcky self (bar the fact his colouring was closer to brown after all that time out of the sun), "Do you 'ave 'ny smart words? Dey ain't lookin' partic-ularly 'appy." He looked around at the guars, and added with a mutter, "Damn 'umie politics."
Tawny slid off of Kukulkan's back as his form rippled and shrank. The now-lizardlike creature - tiny compared to the form he'd taken not long ago! - hissed impatiently at the guards, ignoring Surd completely. "Good, you heard me. I have neither the time nor the patience for delayss. Tell him that Kukulkan needss to sspeak him now." The strange creature's eyes narrowed slightly, almost daring the guards to do something stupid. As one of the guards ran to fetch someone, Kukulkan glanced around to glare at the Orc, and he said something in Orcish that made Surd's brow burrow further.
"Surd, please…" Tawny sighed. "Don't antagonise these people. They're just trying to protect their homes."
"Hrmph." Surd folded his arms. "I ain't got no problem wi' dem… unless dey has one with me."
Tawny sighed, but it was better than nothing.
A Silverstari man, garbed simply and with unkempt hair, walked into the circle formed by the guards. He smiled broadly at Kukulkan, and bowed with his palms pressed. "It's been awhile, Master." He said in heavily-accented Dimrosian.
Tawny blinked. Master? She looked at Kukulkan, curious. Just who, exactly, are you? Who were any of those people who were friends with the Primarch? I wasn't really paying attention… She wondered if she would be needed to speak, but the words of Elona spoken a month ago still rang in her ears: Be like the mountain, not the tree. So the healer decided to wait, watching the conversation between the shapeshifter and the Silverstari.
"Yosshi. Good to ssee you alive." He made a bow that was little more than a dip of the head, but seemed less agitated than before. "Unfortunately, I have little time to wasste… again. I need to get back to the Wound ssoon. I take it you are prepared for war?"
"We are, but if you must leave, you had best go. There will be time later for reunions."
Leaving? If he leaves and there's no explanation as to why I'm here… Tawny stepped forward. "Pardon me… I don't mean to interrupt, but… we need to see Lord Jaakkima." She made a small bow to the Silverstari man. "I am Thais Akakios, cleric of Elona. This," she gestured, "Is Surd, a druid… and my friend." Surd acknowledged this introduction with a grunt and a curt nod.
"I greet you, Surd and Tawny. May the Tree shade you in it's branches." the man said, with a deep bow. Tawny bowed again.
Kukulkan nodded. "Ah yesss. Young Thaisss…" He switched into Silverstari as though it were the most natural thing in the world to change languages mid-sentence. "… hasss apparently been exiled. I sshould make ssure thiss will not be an isssue before I leave." He switched back to Dimrosian, and Tawny wondered whether Kukulkan meant for her to hear those words about her. She knew Silverstari, after all, but it wasn't exactly common knowledge to know what other people spoke… "After all, under the circumsstancess, Myronment will need all the help it can get."
The man bowed again. "My standing here is tenuous - the previous druids resent my sudden rise. Still, I have enough influence with Jaakkima to have her banishment revoked. Is that enough? Or do you still want to speak with him?"
"Politicss." The word was spat with no attempt to disguse the vehemence behind it. Even in Silverstari, Tawny noticed the word sounded like a cuss. "I had besst sstill speak to Jakkima in persson. Thaiss was not given much choice in coming here." Again, he switched from Silverstari to Dimrosian. "Bessidess, there iss some newss he should hear from the ssource." Kukulkan shook himself once. "I can ssprint back."
Yoshi bowed respectfully. "If you insist, Master." He turned, making a waving gesture with one hand. "This way."
Tawny glanced to Surd, then followed the Silverstari man across the green.