by Zentara Shadowsoul
There were things I wished to do, I decided, whilst I groomed and fed Ghost the next morning. One was to look through my notes and sketches that I had made on my journey, to put them into some sort of order; another was to do some art. The latter had been sorely neglected in the last few days and weeks. It was something I felt an urge to do: to create, to have art worthy of giving to the Guild. I also wanted – no, needed, I realised – to think on my months away and to take stock of where I stood.
How did I feel now? I mused. Was I at a point where I knew who I was? In some ways I realised that yes, at least in part. I was more shay than human, I knew now. I’d come a long way since the day I entered the Guild Halls for the first time. I knew my origins – my grandparents were alive and I knew them both. But there was still a huge gap. My mother, Jameela. What had she been like? I had accounts from Isolda of her birth, and from Ferantu of her death. But what about her life in between? If I could find my father would he tell me? Would he even want to talk to me?
But first I had to find him. If he still lived. If any of the shay who had left Whittan Forest lived. My quest wasn’t over yet. If I wanted to find my father, that was. Did I? Now that I knew, had some idea, of what he was? He hadn’t sounded as if he wanted me or would welcome me. And what else did I want? To learn more of the shay, certainly. To discover more about my inherited magic, or talent, or whatever it was that lurked within me.
I felt it. Within this place, within Alvin Copse, it stirred. I needed a teacher. Ferantu had taught me some of what I needed, as had Anshiana-kuftir. And I had learned much from the scrolls and books within Ferantu’s home. But there were gaps in my knowledge. The Tower of Knowledge was where I needed to go. But where was that? Did I need the Pathways to find my way there?
At that thought, I realised I needed to go. The meeting with Grunthrin and Isolda that had been arranged last night was scheduled for just after breakfast. My stomach and the sun rising above the walls surrounding the copse told me that the time had come to eat. So I patted Ghost, gave him a hug and made my way toward the dining hall within the Guild, my mind still whirring with plans and ideas and thoughts of who was I, unbeckoned, yet there. Always there.