OSPREY (forum version) by @Blood-And-Burn and @smallBMScreator
Hi guys! This is just the forum version of OSPREY, a book I'm writing with @smallBMSceator. You can also go to the studio, where we have compiled all of the chapters in project format, have character profiles and where you can suggest to add a new character in the comments! (All the chapters from Aíma's POV are by me and every Chapter in Obsidian's POV is by @smallBMScreator )
Here's the link to the studio, where you can find all of the chapters: https://scratch.mit.edu/studios/4771534/
OSPREY: Chapter One (Aíma's POV)
“You have proven your strength, courage and loyalty in the midst of the war. Do you promise to do so until your retirement or death in battle?” It was a jet black osprey – a true rarity amongst our kind– that spoke. His breast was speckled white and his right eye was all but a charred scar, and he is our leader. They call him Ash.
“I promise to do so with the strength of Áin backing me.” This is not the standard reply, as Áin is the guardian spirit of courageous females.
“Aíma, under the guidance of the great Áin, I name you the commanding warrior of The House of Ash.”Ash’s unforgiving yellow stare locks onto my own gaze, which is very much similar to his.
While others call him Ash, I call him father, but that doesn’t matter because I have been named commanding warrior of my House. It’s a great honor to be bestowed, and it’s almost impossible for a female like myself to achieve. In a dominating male run society, I was lucky to be part of The House of Ash, which treats there females kindly. If the didn’t, I myself would make them, but it makes it easier for everyone that they have common sense to begin with.
Around me, cheers rise up as my siblings, mother, and an array of relatives chant my name up to the heavens above. Almost the entire House of Ash is required to attend such an occasion, so our entire meeting tree grove is filled close to its maximum capacity to hold over one hundred ospreys.
When the cheers die down, Ash flutters down from his perch at the top of the tallest spruce and lands beside me on my new branch, the branch reserved for the current commanding warrior. While his muscle and size tends to dwarf the other ospreys of this House, I stand level with him in height and surpass him in strength, which is no small feat. He probably would have been annoyed to have such a competitor in the other Houses, but I am his child and his daughter and therefore provide no challenge for his authority.
“Thank you, Dad,” were the only words I could muster as Ash turned to face me.
“You’re my daughter,” he replied, “and the greatest warrior in this entire House. There’s no need to thank me. I should be thanking you, my dear, for being such a good person.”
Then there came the shouting.
“The House of Vulcan is attacking! The House of Vulcan is attacking!” Shouts came along in hordes as the sentries streamed into the meeting tree. Warriors rushed to adorn any armor they owned and come forward to Ash and me to await commands, whilst parents hurried kits into their cliffside nests all along the territory of The House of Ash. I rushed to my own nest and quickly flew back to the meeting tree to address the warriors that were now under my command, dressed in battle armor that consisted of a helmet, a breast plate and little sharp “claws” that are put over talons that make them ten times more deadly, which are known as Taós.
“What are we to do, Aíma?” the warriors that stood before me patiently awaited their orders. The ospreys among these ranks mostly consisted of young, recently mated males, though there were some seasoned warriors sprinkled into the mix.
“Fly above the clouds to where The House of Vulcan is, and then dive bomb them from the sides and in the middle. Take down the strongest warriors first and try to work in pairs if possible. Remember, talons up, beaks ready, and prepare yourself for blood!” My speech was enough for the warriors as they flew out – Ash and me included– to fight against our rivals.
For decades, the Houses of the Brackish Cliffs were warring over everything. Food, territory, materials and anything else an osprey could ever want or need was at stake in the war, which was known as The War of Red Cliffs, because entire Houses had been wiped out in it, straining what used to be their home cliffs red with blood.
The House of Vulcan was known especially for daring, violent raids to steal more territory. But on my watch, that wasn’t going to happen to the House of Ash.
OSPREY: Chapter Two (Obsidian’s POV)
Obsidian looked down at the ocean below him and gulped.
His father, Raptor, glanced back and said, “Get a move on, son, if you’re going to fight in the War of the Red Cliffs you have to act strong. Now, I know you’re afraid of the water. If you don’t want to scare yourself just don’t look down.”
“Okay…” said Obsidian. He snapped his head back up, spreading his giant black wings to catch the wind. He soared higher and higher, then tucked into a dive to land next to his father on a tree branch.
“I’m proud of you, son,” said his father as they looked out towards the Brackish cliff, where their House, The House of Raptor, was. “Soon, you’ll have a mate of your own and little chicks of your own, and a House of your own on these cliffs, and it will be called The House of Obsidian.” His father sighed happily. “I’m happy you were born a boy, Obsidian. And I’m proud to be your dad.”
Obsidian had always been treated to this kind of praise. He had been the firstborn chick in his mother’s first set of eggs, and he was the only one who had survived. If he’d been a girl, his parents probably would not give him the son-I’m-so-proud-of-you stuff.
But he was proud of himself too. He’d shown natural excellence in fighting when he had barely been hatched. So his father had been very excited. Obsidian was almost of age to go fight in the War of the Red Cliffs.
And now, it was time.
“Welp, we better get a move on, son,” said Raptor. “The House of Vulcan is attacking the House of Ash, and since we are allied with The House of Vulcan, as you very well know, we have to help them win their battle. Of course, they’ll give us some of their newly gained resources,” hsi father explained. “The business of war is difficult, but it will all be worth it. Once you inherit this House, you will understand.
Obsidian nodded eagerly. “Let’s go!” he said, and they took off toward the sun, flying towards the west side of the Brackish Cliffs.
OSPREY: Chapter Three (Aíma’s POV)
Flesh and feathers were torn in half as my Taós connected to the wing of a rival osprey, and I glimpsed just a flash of the surprise on his face as he plummeted to what was sure to be his death on the rock-strewn cliffs below. He was just one of many osprey who had died during the difficult battle, which included the members of both The House Of Vulcan and The House of Ash. Of the osprey that were from The House of Vulcan, I had killed six, and the battle had only lasted for two or three hours. Of course, this count did not include the many, many birds who had taken serious injury and fled from the fatal grasp of my Taós.
All was working out well– the numbers of fatalities for my House was low and The House of Vulcan’s numbers were rapidly depleting. Cheering and drenched in the blood of our enemies, The House of Ash closed in for the last kills and a quick victory. But this idea was cut short by the arrival of a new, rival House. The House of Raptor.
Leading the massive battle patrol was Raptor himself, notorious for the large amounts of Houses he had absorbed and stolen into his own and the amount of territory he had amassed over the years. Next to him flew his son Obsidian, who Ash said would have been a candidate for me to mate if the war hadn’t started all those generations ago.
Not that I wanted to mate, though. My whole life plan was to be a great warrior of the House of Ash until the day I died. A part of this glorious life plan was to kill as many important ospreys in the other houses as possible, so that they wouldn’t be stable enough to attack, or at least eliminate a powerful warrior. Today, my target was Obsidian.
Like Ash, his plumage was the color of the darkest of nights, but he came from a different background than Ash. No one knows how he got such shocking feathers, except maybe him and his father. But it didn’t matter anyway, because he wouldn’t live to tell the tale if my talons get a hold of him.
Screaming a harsh battle cry, I launch myself at Obsidian and scratch his flanks with my Taós, leaving a trail of blood. He shrieks in response and then flares his wings to unbalance me. Ducking under them, I twirl around and jab my beak at his back. It was a dirty move if it was meant for the kill, but it was meant to taunt him instead, to show him my control in this fight.
Obsidian spins around fast and grapples at me with his talons, and we start to fall as we wrestle in mid air. We are pretty evenly matched, but I eventually strike a blow to the side of his head that gives me the lead. I see it that he has lost hope now. This is it. It’s time for the killing blow.
But one last glance at him stops me.
OSPREY: Chapter Four (Obsidian’s POV)
Obsidian and his father arrive at the scene. He spots Aíma, who was supposed to be his ideal mate, if the war hadn’t started. He isn’t surprised that she’s clearly been named commanding warrior of The House of Ash.
She spies him and flies over, slashing at him with her talons. He flares his wings, hoping to unbalance her and throw her off. It doesn’t work. She peeks at him with her beak, and then Obsidian knows he’s a goner.
As she is about to strike the fatal blow, she hesitates, and Obsidian’s sapphire eyes lock onto hers. Slowly, she flutters to the ground.
This is a gesture that she’s sparing his life.
The fighting continues all around them, and Aíma and Obsidian stare at each other. Then Aíma turns away, to target some other poor osprey.
He can’t get Aíma out of his mind.
OSPREY: Chapter Five (Aíma’s POV)
His eyes. They were different than those of all the others- while all the other battling ospreys had looks of anger and a will for the kill, Obsidian’s sapphire blue eyes had a completely different emotion hidden in their depths. I don’t know what, but it wasn’t anger or a longing to kill.
I don’t know why I let him go. Even if he is better than the rest, he is my House’s enemy and the only good enemy is a dead one.
Houses. I don’t know how or why some ospreys just decided “Hey, let’s make family groups that are led by the oldest mated male and make life miserable for every osprey who isn’t the leader!” And who thought that the leader should have his House named after him! All the males could stay in their House for their life, but all mated females had to go to the House of their mate. It just wasn’t fair! I wish I could just have a flock that I led on my own. Not a House- a flock. Where it doesn’t matter if you’re female or male or mated or not. Sadly, I knew it couldn’t happen. Well, not if I kept myself trapped in my own House. Ash was a great father, and a good leader, but I can’t just bow down to him anymore.
I’ll run away, I decide, I’ll leave and make a flock of my own where all ospreys will be free. I’m sure Ash will understand.
While I was lost in the sea of my thoughts, two ospreys from the House of Raptor had double teamed me. One circled on a leftward slant above me, and the other on a rightward slant below me. It was great strategy. It’s a great formation… I should use it. Of course, I couldn't use it now. Not when I was alone.
Eyeing the two ospreys above me, I dived downard, getting down faster than the osprey below me could catch me because of the sheer force of gravity, and I rightned myself to face my enemies. They had followed my downward fall, and had lost the ability to reform their strategy. Let’s just say their lives ended quickly.
In the end, the battle was won by no single House. The House of Ash lost many great warriors, and so did The House of Raptor. The House of Vulcan was gone for all but a single survivor, who had edged himself into the ranks of The House of Raptor.
As the rest of our House left to return to our cliffside nests, Ash flew to my side. “You fought amazingly well, my dear.” I could tell from his tone that he meant it. I guess he didn’t see me let Obsidian go.
“Thanks, Dad.” Even though I thought of him as Ash, Ash made me call him Dad. Probably for show. I don’t know, and If my plan works out, I don’t care.
“You’re welcome.” He departed on almost silent wings to see which warriors of his House had survived the battle. Including me and him, seventeen of the original warriors had left with their lives.
Tomorrow, it would be sixteen.
OSPREY: Chapter Six (Osprey’s POV)
Obsidian and Raptor returned to their house. Obsidian couldn’t get Aíma out of his mind.
“You’re quiet, son,” said Raptor. “What’s on your mind?”
Obsidian shook his head. “I’m fine.”
The Brackish Cliffs came into view. “Well, your mother will make a nice, hot mouse broth and you can settle down to sleep after a long day of fighting.”
“Who am I going to mate?” asked Obsidian suddenly.
“Well, Aíma would have been a great choice if she wasn’t in The House of Ash… But there are plenty of lady ospreys in the House of Vulcan and some other Houses too.” He gave a little chuckle. “Started considering, eh?”
Obsdian reddened. “Not exactly, just…”
“Just… nothing.” They had reached The House of Raptor.
“Come on, son, let’s go have some soup.”
And the matter was forgotten by Raptor, but not by Obsidian.
OSPREY: Chapter Seven (Aíma’s POV)
Dusk had fallen, with the moon casting an unearthly glow upon the cliffs, some of which ran red with blood. Long into the night, the noises of filthy scavengers feasting upon the corpses of fallen osprey blended with the chirps of crickets. But on others the members of the House of Ash made their nests and slept, and from there not a sound was to be heard. Everyone was asleep. Well, everyone except me.
I slowly, diligently, powerfully and suprisingly patiently lifted from my nest and glided towards Ash’s nest, which was at the bottom of the cliff. It turns out I was wrong- another osprey was up. When I entered the nest, he was staring into a distant day dream.
Once I landed, the vibration of my talons hitting the sticks jolted Ash from his fantasies or nightmares, as I couldn’t tell which one it was. “AHh- oh, it’s just you.” He ruffled his feathers in the embarassment for besing so easily suprised.
“Yup, just me.”
“Okay…” he responded, confusion creeping into his tone.
“Wanna know why?” My flight feathers were quivering.
“Sure…?” He still didn’t understand why I was visiting him in the dead of the night.
“Oh, you found a mate, now did you? And now you’re leavng me? When did this happen?” His voice rose high as he grew aggravated.
“No, no… at least, not really. I don’t have a mate or anything like that. I just, uh, am leaving.”
“Why? You know what, I DON’T CARE WHY! You CAN’T leave! He’ll find YOU! He’ll kill ME!” Suddenly, Ash seemed to wake up. His talons quickly found the way to my throat and squeezed tightly.
“Stop! You can’t do thi-” My vocie left me as my windpipe was squeezed to the point where I could barely breathe.
“I can and I will. Now, cooperate or some unfortunate thinsg could happen.”
No. They won’t. I’m stronger than you and you know it. Of course, these words went unspoken. I lowered my head in an act of submission.
“Good. Saty quiet and come with-”
He was cut off by a powerful jab I aimed at his throat. I guess I hit him harder than I meant to, because he released me and started choking. Blood trickled down his face next to where he was violently coughing it up. It then hit me in the rapid way I had hit him. I had hit his artery. He was a goner, whether I liked it or not.
It took a second for this to sink in. I had killed my father. I really had. But now I was questioning everything- who had been my mother? Why was Ash so scared about me leaving? And why was he so desperate for me to stay?
But there was something even more important. Now that he was gone, a new male would take over. Based on age, that osprey would be Slit. He hated females. And once he came to power, he would strip me of my new rank. I knew it. Plus, he had a small feud with my father. So, besides the fact that I’m female, he would do his absoulute hardest to make my life hell. Great.
With that logic in mind, I decided to leave and create my own flock. And maybe, just maybe, I could create peace within the Houses (using some violence, of course).
Last edited by Blood-And-Burn (Feb. 15, 2018 22:06:43)