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Sofia

Re-posting time! (Sorry I didn't have time to reply to all the wonderful comments!)

Summary of what's happened until this chapter:

After a terrible sandstorm Jarrah goes in search for her lost lifemate Ingen. When she finally finds him, it is in the Passage from the Green Growing Place of legends. There she gives birth to their son, Rayek.

To find food for the travel back to the village, they leave the open plains and go into the forest. There they are attacked by an unknown monster. Ingen attempts to distract it while Jarrah flees with Rayek. Ingen can't hold the monster at bay for long and Jarrah becomes its prey.

In a last attempt to protect her son, Jarrah hangs his sling on a branch and then tries to lure the monster away from him. She doesn't get far before she is struck down and killed.

Meanwhile Aroree is out hunting. Her bond spots a bear and prepares to attack. Aroree stops him - she has seen the bear already has a kill of its own; something that to her looks like a young human.

Disturbed by this sight of violence against something vaguely elfin-like, Aroree seeks a distraction and quickly finds one. Hearing a child crying, she mistakes its source for a human baby and flies in its direction. When the infant shows to be an elf, Aroree is shocked.

In her confusion she sends and gets a reply from Ingen, who's pushed himself to send through fear for his child and mate. He lives long enough to tell her Rayek's name and warn her of the monster.

Aroree, traumatized by feeling the death of another elf, rushes back to Blue Mountain, where she believes the baby will be safe. She hands Rayek over to Lord Voll and after having told him how she came to find him, she flies off to her chambers, while the others celebrate Rayek's arrival.

Winnowill is the last to arrive at the celebration in the Throne Chamber. She, unlike the rest of the Gliders, does not rejoice at the news of Rayek. Still she quickly finds a way of using him as a tool in handling the Blue Mountain hierarchy, through giving chosen female Gliders the possibility to breast-feed the child. She also shapechanges him to grow more like a Glider, thinking it to be useful later on.

Raising a child in Blue Mountain is no easy task. Few of the Gliders have ever been parents and those who have, have more or less forgotten what it was like. Only Lord Voll manages to keep calm during any and all mishaps and answers all the child's questions, no matter how senseless they might seem to others.

The majority of the mountain adores Rayek and everyone tries to get to spend as much time with him as possible. Only Aroree avoids him, his mere presence an instant reminder of his father's death. Winnowill too only approaches the child at rare occasions, preferring to keep to herself in her underground chambers. She gives him magic lessons, which Tyldak, whom she now seldom calls upon, finds curious.

Tyldak, though as fascinated by Rayek as most of the others, prefers to observe rather than talk. Rayek seems interested in Tyldak as well and does not hesitate to approach and talk to him.

Two-Edge too takes notice of Rayek. He is at first confused and enraged by the child's presence, then decides he must be a new part of Winnowill and his Game and begins plotting.

Rayek is now eight-and-two years old and is stargazing in the Aeries...