General History and Description | Shen's Vision | Eyrien War
General History and Description
Shen was taken to see the Wind-Seer, Ilie's mother Arissa, in session 7. She sent him to take pahren with Leiko, a wingless, tongueless Eyrien about Shen's age. This is what he saw:
You are seeing Leiko's life as though through his memories; there are parts that are relived, and parts that are fast-forwarded through.
There is a short, idyllic time where Leiko lives with his family. He is well-loved by his father and mother and sisters. They live in an Eyrie that is not the one you have seen. You get the impression that it's a totally different climate-- mountains near a desert rather than mountains near lush, fertile plains. The mountains here are smaller and older, more worn with the centuries of wind and rain.
You experience the joy of flying through Leiko's eyes, as he learns the tricks of it. You experience the joy of singing; Leiko's family was very musical.
Leiko's father was the Warlord of the Eyrie. His mother was a Wind-seer, like Arrissa, but not like her as well. Leiko's mother was much younger, and she had her regular sight as well. She was more down-to-earth, more involved with daily life-- and perhaps she was not as great a Wind-seer as Arrissa because of it, on a day-to-day basis. But when it counted, she could read the winds.
Leiko's Eyrie was one of ten, all very close to one another-- within sight distance. There were beacons at each Eyrie, high on the mountains, and each Eyrie was within signalling distance of at least two others.
Altogether, the population of the ten Eyries was about three thousand. This is well over ten times the number of Eyriens at Dragos' Eyrie. Through Leiko's, you understand why. Leiko's Eyrie was one of the ones guarding the Pit-- the entrance of the great underworld where demonkind are spawned. Sometimes, demons leave the Pit and go marauding out into shadow. The Eyriens were created by the Winds to guard the Worlds from demon kind.
Eyrien legend (which you briefly feel that you fully know-- "I know kung fu," though it will not infect you past this parhen-- you will be able to summon up Eyrien legends from memories of this experience at will, but it will be like you read a book of them-- they do not become part of Shen's personal folklore, necessarily) tells of past battles with demons, when they have erupted from the Pit in large groups. Always, the Eyriens beat them back, sometimes with great losses amongst the Eyriens.
All of this is background knowledge, transmitted in bare seconds.
Then, a long detailed sequence.
The Eyriens are attacked by night. They are not attacked by demons, but by wingless men, with demons fighting among them. All of the men and women in the Eyries are killed; the children are stripped of their wings and tongues and forced to serve as slaves in a sprawling city. It's a city where men and demons have forged an unnatural alliance. Where men sometimes *become* demons. All of the horrors of the attack and the early part of Leiko's enslavement are relived.
But Leiko is a fighter, and he escapes constantly-- is recaptured, beaten and brought back.
The demons and men of the city eventually go to war again, this time with another race of people-- men from the Meeting of the Winds that Arrissa spoke of. The true Meeting. Leiko uses the great battles as cover for his escape. He runs for many days and many nights, until he reaches the Eyrie where he was born. There is nothing there anymore; demons that have escaped from the Pit periodically, now that there is no one to guard it, have taken everything of value and interest. There is nothing except a secret that Leiko was told when he was very young...
Some of the caves do not end. Some of the caves keep going, deeper and deeper into the mountains, until they pass through into other worlds. Leiko had nothing to carry with him. He drank as much water as he could hold in his stomach, and then went into the caves. It was a dark and terrifying time. Eyriens live in caves, but fear being lost in them, lost underground, where they can't stretch their wings to the healing winds; without the Winds, without stretching the membranes of the wings, molds and viruses attack the wings and eat away the skin.
Leiko can only bear the tunnels because he knows the worst has already happened; he has no wings. He goes into the tunnel because he hopes to find other Eyriens. He wants to warn them of the men who become demons and the men who live with demons; he wants to convince them to build up their strength, and when the prophesied Wind-Speaker is born, Leiko will lead the Eyriens back to the city of demons and slay all those who live there.
However, when Leiko finally comes out of the caves, many countless days later, starving and dehydrated, and falls into the arms of a very surprised young Warlord, Leiko finds that he doesn't know how to communicate any of this. But Leiko has learned patience. Patience and persistence. Someday, someone will come who can hear the silent words that Leiko speaks.
Now you see Shen as Leiko sees him. Leiko knew as soon as he saw Shen that Shen would be able to hear him. Leiko sees Shen as though Shen has great, furry wings. Leiko knows this is not true, and yet he likes the picture. He has, for the first time, great hope for the future.