Vala and Corvo made it safely back to the Crowmaran city. By now it was early morning. The elders had just awakened to find the two adventurers waiting in the meeting hall. Both seemed exhausted from the long flight. They brought the news of the towers being built by humans. The elders were not surprised, for some time they suspected that humans would eventually try to reach their lands.
“Our suspicions are proven true. We held back on investigating previous rumors and now the humans are closer than ever”, said elder Cairos. “We will have to keep an eye on them. If they discover a method of flight, they will surely come for us and our lands. Corvo, since you were the first to find this tower you will lead the survey team to where it is located. Starting tomorrow night and continuing for the next few months”, he continued.
“Yes, Elder Cairos. Vala, what will you do?”, asked Corvo.
“Whatever I can to help”
“We must convene with the rest of the Crowmaran. They must know and must prepare for what may come”, said elder Villia, her voice conveyed determination. “Although conflict has avoided us for many years, I feel it is time to return some of the old sparring traditions and combat training.”
“The old magic will be important as well”, elder Kallis mentioned. He is the oldest of the elders and also the wisest. His skill with magic is unparalleled among the Crowmaran. He continued, “Find those who are skilled and disciplined and I will teach them to wield the elements.”
“I can gather the people and help with those preparations”, Vala was excited to see the Crowmaran working for such an important task, but also worried of the possible conflict looming over the horizon.
Elder Villia stepped close to Vala and reassured her, “Our city has been here for centuries. We have seen conflict many times before and still it stands. Do not worry dear Vala.”
Corvo and Vala left the meeting hall. They talked for a while before splitting up to prepare for their tasks.
“Can you believe this? It has been so long, the city will be bustling with movement”, said Corvo.
“Yes, it will be an interesting sight. Elder Villia mentioned past conflicts and I’m reminded of that time when half the city burned”
“Those events were truly horrid, but the Crowmaran rose to be better people from it. We learned to appreciate our peace and our freedom more than anything”
“I should get going, father will want to hear everything”
“Alright, I’ll begin preparations for the flight tomorrow. I should also pick who is coming with me, can’t say that will be easy”
“Hah, well, you can always count on Lenna or Galli. You are aware that you’re one of the most popular crows in the city?”
“Am I really? Regardless, good luck with everything”
“You too, and be careful, humans are not to be trusted”
“I’ll keep it in mind, see you later!”
The two parted ways. Corvo flew off back to his home to rest for a while. Meanwhile Vala remained thoughtful while gliding her way to meet with her father, Acarius. Corvo and Vala’s friendship had withstood the test of time. They have known each other since they were hatchlings. Sadly for Corvo he never met his parents. The elders say they left the city to far off regions and never returned. It is said that this is the reason why Corvo was so adventurous, it was in his blood. Despite not having a direct family to call his own, the crows around him were always supportive. Corvo’s teachers were particularly kind to him. He learned about bravery and trust from them. In one of the conflicts of old, part of the city was set aflame. The young crow risked his life to save a number of hatchlings trapped in a cavern. He managed to fly around and find an escape route. While Corvo was adventurous and sometimes mischievous, Vala was disciplined and reserved. Acarius was overprotective of her, she was his only daughter. Her mother passed away some years ago and old Acarius tried his best to keep his daughter safe. This is why he would sometimes resent Corvo’s risk taking and adventurous spirit. In the old crow’s eyes he was a danger to everyone around him.
Acarius was perched on the branch of his favorite tree, overlooking the valley below. His daughter arrived and landed on a branch near him.
“Hello father. It seems you were right to worry. Looks like the humans are seeking to learn about the floating mountains”
“I knew it! Did you inform the elders?”
“I did. Corvo was tasked to lead a survey team tomorrow night, while I was tasked with other preparations.”
“I see. Is there anything I can help you with, my dear?”
“Yes, the elders mentioned we would have to return to practicing old combat routines and even magic”
“Ah, I know some combat myself. As for magic, your mother kept a book with her. It teaches almost everything you would need to command the elements. Elder Kallis knows much, he can help”
“I need to find others who are skilled with magic and disciplined to learn it. He said he would help train those I found”
“Then let us depart, a quick flight around the city will help to find what you seek”
Despite Acarius’ age he could still help teach some old combat techniques. Thankfully he was not the only instructor left in the city, so he gathered those he remembered from previous years and asked for their aid. They all answered the call. Acarius is highly respected. It was well known that he once fought in the wars of ages past. With the groups assembled into practice and study groups, preparations for the eventual meeting with humans have commenced.