Chapter Four - Tidings.2Mature

          They wound their way down the rocky terrain of the mount. "What's all this about?" Jacoby asked. There was no reply. He trod on several fallen pine-cones, jagged pebbles, twisted dead branches, all which would have torn the soles of a normal man. Yet Jacoby disdained footwear. Years of exposure had turned the bottoms of his feet to rough leather. Eventually they came upon a converging of trickling waterways dubbed Swiftstreams and followed its winding path towards the northern face of Eaglerock. 

         A cavern was hewn from this side of the mountain, as if a giant had struck Eaglerock with a great axe in his wroth during the dawn of days. The Nest had been settled within this cleft, a mottled assortment of wooden, mudbrick, and stone buildings, with a criss-crossed assortment of irrigation channels carved into the gravelly ground.

          They entered through the eastern opening, through two worn and withered posts which were once a great archway gate. At first, silence greeted them. Instantly, Jacoby knew much was amiss. Harvest feast was nigh three nights away, yet the timber Feast Hall was desolate. In place of running children hastily preparing and going about a hundred chores, an eerie stillness accompanied the fog and shadow. 

          Darkness gathered as they neared the village center, eyes slowly adjusting to the gloom. A vague suggestion of form in the distance slowly emerged as a massive slate-grey eagle, wings spread nearly twenty feet. The monument was perched on a platform of granite steps, at the base was a dais used for entertainment and politics alike. All seven Elders stood on stage, each bedecked in robes of plumage of vibrant shades, yet in the murk of the sunless dawn beneath the mountain's cleft, all looked a washed-out grey.

          Below gathered the entire village murmuring, whispering, gossiping, they buzzed and fretted, sounding not unlike a nest of wasps. Most looked disheveled, as if an urgent call had awoken them from the pleasantry of yesternight's dreams. Fear hung palpably in the air as the final stragglers of the Nest arrived to hear the pigeon's words. 

The End

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