Disclaimer: This is a story of pure fiction. If you are not allowed to read this in whatever part of the world you are living, then try not to get caught, and legally you shouldn't be reading this. If you are not 18 or older then again, do not read, lastly, this will contain gay sex between consenting people and if this offends you, then click back and ask why you're on here in the first place.
This story is property of myself, the author and may not be copied or used on other sites without my express permission. All characters are fictional.
Note: Each line break denotes going to the perspective of a different character.
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Kale had been tracking Kiri for a week. The beast was in control and proving elusive. In fact, the beast had given Kale the slip a few times with tricks that Kale himself had taught Kiri. It was this fact that gave Kale hope. It meant that the beast had not gone completely feral. Once in that state, the only way to bring it down would be to kill it and Kale wanted to get to Kiri before that happened.
Kale looked down on the ground and sent his power spilling through the earth. The land whispered to him of the creatures that had walked upon it. `Find Kiri' he projected mentally. Producing an image of Kiri in his beast form, the grass and soil whispered to each other and spread out further.
`Over here,' some trees whispered. He got up and walked east. It was draining work, and he was still recovering from the beating, while also being hungry and tired. He touched the trees that had whispered and got the image of Kiri rubbing against its bark before running off.
He cursed roundly at the direction the trees pointed. Trevailier Forest was the homeland to the Eastern Fey. One never knew how the Fey Elder would react to a hybrid crossbred, which was possibly turning feral, entering his lands. Remembering how feral made Kale shudder. Even a week after the incident, he recalled everything vividly.
Kale and Kiri had been sleeping deeply when Cain came upon them. Kale didn't know what hit him as Cain's men trussed and gagged him. He cursed furiously at how lax he had become the older he got.
"Did you think you could escape the Panther Clan?" a voice whispered right after the beating began.
He tried to draw power around him as his body was bruised and gasped for breath. Upon Cain's forehead, the royal Sigil sparkled and glittered with a queer light. Kale felt the familiar cotton wool sensation as his powers faded from his grasp. Pain splashed across his senses and colour flared through the inside of his eyes as another kick connected with his head.
When the pain receded enough for Kale to open his eyes, Cain was lying on top of his sleeping son, forehead to forehead. A snarl ripped from Cain's mouth, and within the blink of an eye, a large silver streaked panther lay half crushing the boy. A moan escaped from Kiri's sleeping form. A premonition of dread filled Kale. The air felt heavy and, as if it had been decompressed, Kales ears popped. Power rose along his senses as he watched Kiri struggle under the panther. With an in human scream, Kiri threw his father off him.
Unseeing eyes opened as Kiri crawled onto hands and knees. Cain pounced back in human form completely nude. He jumped on Kiri's back and bit down. Rage filled Kales heart and he struggled against his bonds as he watched Cain draw his barbed penis out and pierce Kiri with it.
Everything happened so fast afterwards that Kale was still tyring to process it a week later. He watched as Kiri transformed into a hybrid of panther and bird. The body and face was panther, but the ears were tufts of feathers instead of pointed. And it was the large wings that made Kale gasp. Their wing span filled the camping space.
Kiri roared, and it sounded two toned, as both panther and bird screamed their defiance. Auburn feathers instead of fur covered Kiri's back and wings, while silver white down graced his chest and sides beneath the spread wings. Cain seemed frozen in place and the Sigil on his forehead glimmered before fading. Shock shone strong and bright in Cain's eyes as he realized the Sigil was not responding to the use of magic, and Kiri reeked of magic. Powerful ancient magic.
Cain tried to move his mouth and even that was impossible. Then his eyes went blank. A burnt flesh smell wafted over to Kale who was still on his side and bound. He gagged when he followed the scent to its destination. What was left of Cain's penis was a melted piece of unrecognisable flesh. A red slashing paw ripped out Cain's throat before blurring around toward the men who had tried to help.
Kale gasped. Kiri was using witch time, an ability that meant the user could slow time down or even slip through dimensions, disappearing from sight; a magic skill that was considered lost to the Prey Clans. Cain's men never knew what hit them. It was all over in seconds. The camp now smelt like shredded meat and spilt intestines.
Kiri walked up to the bound and gagged Kale. His muzzle covered in viscera and blood. A snarl curled his lips as he stared into Kales one good eye. The other had swollen shut and his good one was on the verge of puffing up too. Bending down, Kiri opened his mouth. A white mist flowed out and covered Kale, his aches and pains eased a little and the internal bleeding and broken ribs realigned. Kale groaned in pain. He felt his bonds around mouth and hands slither away like dust and he let out a heartfelt sigh as he rubbed circulation back into numb limbs. Kale stared into the eyes of Kiri, they were silver around the iris, but the pupils were a pure red. He felt vertigo and sank into a deep sleep.
Now, staring at the outskirts of Trevailier Forest, Kale straightened his shoulders and walked forward. He had turned his back on this forest, and in turn the residents in the forest had turned their backs on him, and physically altered him for his decision. But he would go through the seven hells if it meant getting Kiri back. And hell seemed sweeter with every step he took.
Every young person from all the Cat Clans, ready to take their quest journey, had finally made it to the gathering point in the Panther lands. Turning around, Sonny walked towards the edge of the clearing. Part of the challenges to come in the Trobal Forest was Clan History, yet Sonny knew something that was either kept quiet, erased from the scrolls, or forgotten: The origins of the Royal Sigil, and the true history of Predator Society.
Everyone knew it was the essence of the Panther Lands and the forest that protected the village. It was within the trees, soil, earth, and animals that walked upon it. In a way the forest was sentient, for it gifted its Sigil to those with a certain characteristic. The ability to shift shape. This ensured those granted with it, could walk through a world of magic unmolested, and extend their power to any who followed them.
Sonny and his Cousin Kiri were the physical representations of the Royal Sigil with the diamond on their foreheads as confirmation. It was also with the help from the Ancients, a technological society long gone, that the Sigil had stood the test of time. Or so the history books claimed.
However, acquisition of the Sigil had been a turning point in history for those in the Predator clans. What had once been an evenly balanced system between the two cultures of Predator and Prey had been tipped in favour of the Predator Clans. That was the story book version, but there was more.
Sonny had discovered the truth a month ago. On the exact same day that he followed Kiri one year earlier, Kiri snuck out of the village once more. Sonny goaded himself and followed, just like he had done the previous year. What frustrated him was all the times he had secretly tried to find this place, without Kiri. The location was right, but there had been no grotto, just foliage. It was as if it had never existed. Yet Kiri retraced the exact same steps as he had before, and at the end stood the entry way to the grotto.
Now, Sonny waited until Kiri had entered and then had followed. A Wild Fey appeared out of the air. Sonny jumped and back pedalled from the entrance.
`Do not enter' the Fey projected into his mind. `Elder Wind wishes to speak with you and you must not interrupt the ceremony this time'. Pointing to his right, the Fey began to shimmer and disappear, with his pointing finger the direction, the last to fade. Sonny followed a trodden path that had not been there a few seconds ago.
Another clearing came into sight, and with it was a panoramic view of a pristine lake. Cranes and swans glided on its surface. He felt disconcerted that two animal totems of the Prey Clans were found within Panther Lands, for they knew the scent of predator, and this land held a nest of them. Yet they flew and played. Then it hit him. He was no longer in Panther lands. He had never seen a lake as large as this one anywhere near the village or forest, and the tingle in his feet that told him he was home had stopped humming the moment he walked into the clearing.
Sitting on an outcrop, a Wild Fey dipped his feet into the chill water. Like all this brethren, he looked like a child. Yet the eyes spoke of wisdom beyond a child's comprehension. His silver hair was long and plaited. Looking up, the Fey had startling bright eyes, almost silver if Sonny didn't have Kiri's eyes to compare them with.
"There is something that you must see young Prince." The Fey spoke into his mind. "Come closer" he beckoned. Sonny edged forward sitting beside the Fey as directed. Like a magnet, his eyes were drawn to the prey birds, swimming on the lake. "Ah young Prince, your beast hungers for the prey?"
Sonny shook his head in the negative. "I watch them swim gracefully even though they are animals of air, and yet, I sense a pocket of deep water where they swim and the beast within me shudders at the depth they casually glide over. But from this distance I can admire them for the beauty that they hold." Giving a cheeky grin he continued. "However, if they came closer and were snatched from the water, well..." a quick shrug of his shoulders gave indication of the consequences.
"And what about Kiri, do you see him as Prey?"
"No I don't," Sonny replied emphatically. "But others see him that way because his predator skills have not yet matured. I just see him as someone I would... he is my cousin," he finished lamely.
The Fey Elder spoke out loud in the old tongue. Although Sonny couldn't understand what it meant, his gut reacted strongly to it. "Speak truly Prince, for a time of change is on the wind and soon Kiri may need all the help he can get. Now, how do you feel about Kiri?"
A compulsion was upon him. Self doubts and recriminations were pushed to the back of his mind, as his subconscious was allowed free reign. "I love him," he stated simply. "Had he been born female I would have declared my love for him to the entire predator clan, regardless that he is blood. He has more nurturing in his one small finger than the entire panther clan." The compulsion broke and Sonny was left panting. He was euphoric with the realization that he loved his cousin, and wanted to rush out of the clearing to confess his love right then and there. Then his old doubts and fears smothered the thought and his euphoria sank into depression.
The Elder shook his head in disappointment. "If you can not hold to your convictions, then the path that Kiri must walk will be made harder because you lack inner strength." Sonny smarted at the reprimand. No one had ever stated he lacked in strength of any kind. As if reading his mind, the Elder continued, now in a mocking tone. "There is more than just one type of strength young Prince, and the predator society has forgotten that. I have seen how your society treats those weaker in physical strength; they are abused and then treated as slaves."
"So are you saying that the Prey Society have the right of things then, Elder? To use sorcerous methods to meet their own ends?"
The Fey gave a hard stare for being interrupted but answered the question. "No, for they, too, have lost what it means to be what they were truly supposed to be." Shifting his position, he dipped his finger into the water; ripples rolled away from his finger and grew larger the further they travelled. The birds took flight as the ripples turned into miniature waves. "My people have been to Trobal Forest. We have read what you consider to be the history of your culture, and we have found the knowledge lacking and biased. We normally don't interfere in the lives of predator or prey, but things have come to our attention; that you have all forgotten your duties. Those temples were designed to teach the truth of the ancestry of all races. Now that the Prey have been cut of from this font of knowledge, they too have forgotten. Only in dance and song does their part in the cycle still live on. If you don't correct this matter, then it may unravel the design of the Architect. Should that come to pass, say good bye to half this continent, and we will be forced to take over your duties. There are many of my people who would consider both your societies pests to be exterminated. And I am sure you don't want that," he finished sternly.
Cold shivered down Sonny's back. Everyone knew that the Great Architect was the creator of the world, and that she had passed on the old tongue to her first born, the Fey. But he had never heard of the Predator or Prey Societies having a duty to the Architect outside of Clan business. And yet the Fey spoke as if the annihilation of two races was like a walk in the park, and that confidence and assurance made him believe it would be done. For the first time, Sonny understood how it felt to be prey.
"Remember this Prince; in both societies there are those who are prey and those who are predator. It is necessary. But you both have lost your balance. Regain it. Enough. Look into the water and tell me what you see."
Where the Elder had dipped his finger, the ripples continued spreading out from a centre of calm. Within that centre a picture began to form. Men and Woman with blue ridges etched across their faces in a tribal design, walked out of the sea. "They are the Ciaran or what you call Ancients," the Elder whispered in his mind. They seemed tired and scared and relieved to be on land. A large boom echoed and waves rushed towards the stragglers as in the distance a mushroom of water exploded into the air. The people ran screaming as waves and water rushed and swallowed some of the slower runners. But many made it into the trees before the water was broken up and dispersed by the tree trunks. Two people stayed back to assist the stragglers to escape. Hands extended, they had a box like object on their wrists. The air in front of them seemed to waiver like water and a frequency that could be felt more than heard, resonated. A second round of waves was building momentum, bigger than the first, and the two people shot out invisible shells of energy. It distorted the air in its passing. It expanded and met the waves head on twenty metres away from the two left behind as rear guard.
Water rushed up against the invisible shield, it shuddered and then began to grow higher and wider. Waves crashed and frothed against it before rebounding back into other oncoming waves. The two ran after those fleeing as fast as possible. Sonny watched as the invisible wall disappeared. Water rushed forwards like a furious child, smashing everything in its wake. Including the trees that the two rear guard had stood beneath.
The Elder Fey put his finger into the water and another scene appeared. In it the same two who had stayed behind to protect the rest of the escapees were in negotiation with the Lion Clan. A Syringe was injected into the Leader of the Lion Clan. Sonny watched as the Lion Leader's men were suddenly dropping to the ground and transforming back into their human shapes. The leader remained untouched by the strange happenings around him, but a moment later he was screaming as a silver diamond formed upon his head, steam rising where it marked him.
The scene cut once again, and this time it was one of war. The Lion Leader was touching his people and those of the predator clans under his banner. They were fighting against one of the prey clans. Lightning bolts sparkled and showered over the predators as they attacked, but it seemed to brush off their skin like water. The prey screamed as one as the Lion Leader roared a challenge, and all the magic constructs that had been built to attack the predators turned to dust.
It flashed to another scene; a large ceremony was taking place as the Lion Leader was lowered into the ground. A pine tree was placed over the burial site. Time seemed to fast forward as the Pine grew until it was one hundred feet tall. Like the way his night vision switched on, the tree became transparent. Within it, he watched as little golden lights from the tree spread around the forest. He watched as insects and animals became infected with the gold light. He also saw those animals and insects that left the forest die without the influence of the energy that now ran through the forest and its inhabitants.
"You have seen enough," the Elder said, waving his hand over the picture allowing it to fade from view. "That is what your land is now upon. That was two thousand years ago. Since then your people and the forest have adapted, but in the process, there has been a sacrifice of sorts. The Lions lost their complete ability to transform, now only half of the predator population can partially transform, while you and what remains of the royal family of panthers are the last real shape shifters. In return for the protection of the Sigil, your family has been loosing a fertility battle."
"Why have we not known about this part of our history? Surely there were too many people back then to keep something as big as this a secret?" Sonny asked confusedly.
"Those who had been given the duty of preserving the knowledge of the past had been killed and replaced by the Lion Clan to keep things under wraps, and the rest of the Predators were too scared to attack the Lion Clan. It was the power of the Sigil that was now keeping the wrath of the Prey Clans from falling on their heads, especially since most of the Predator clans had lost the ability to change fully and therefore access their full power."
Sonny started at this. Raised to believe that the Predators were the kings and queens of the jungle, it was hard to conceive that the prey were formidable foes. Intellectually, he understood, but centuries of maintaining power in the Panther Lands with their allies had left a different impression. Although some Prey clans had won skirmishes, they had great magic to call upon and therefore their power base was naturally further away from the Panther Clans and the royal sigil, and no threat.
"So what do you want me to do with this knowledge, and what does this have to do with whatever `thing' that Kiri has to do?" Sonny asked.
"We are running out of time to correct things. I see a lot of potential in the two societies of predator and prey. You have much to offer to each other and the design of the Architect. But that will all disappear if the Architect sees her design being manipulated." Pointing to Sonny's forehead where the silver Sigil rested, he continued, "That design and energy was created from something not of this world and therefore anathema to her plans. Kiri has an important part to play and you will help him achieve it."
"So why have you not corrected this problem earlier, why wait until it is almost too late?" Sonny interrupted. He felt his face tighten as a profound cold raced around his body.
"Do not dare to judge me, you impudent cub. It is I that stopped the hands of my brethren from annihilating your lot over two thousand years ago when it first started. Over the centuries, I have given your people the chance to redeem themselves. This is my last concerted effort before I let the hand of the Architect herself deal with you!"
Sonny cowered in front of the Fey Elder. "Forgive me Elder; my tongue races away with me sometimes." Although most of his clan could not feel the cold, there bodies ran towards hotter temperatures than normal, he shivered uncontrollably. He watched as his hands began to turn white with frostbite. The cold stopped as suddenly as it came. Heat rushed in to replace it, making Sonny gasp as his body attempted to adjust to the temperature change. He had one last question and, although he didn't want to ask in fear of what the Elder might do, he needed to ask it. Goading himself by reminding himself he was a Prince of the Panther Clan, he opened his mouth "What must Kiri and I do?"
Silence met with his question before the Elder spoke with a quieter tone into his mind. "Find the old scrolls that hold the answers to your true history and break the hypocrisy that has risen within the temples at Trobal Forest".
"He is of no concern to you right now; he will be taken care of. Just remember that a time will come when your help and support of Kiri maybe the only thing that will either save your people or destroy them." With a curt dismissal the Elder bade Sonny leave.
Another Fey appeared beside the Elder as Sonny disappeared from sight. He had a dark blue tint to his eyes, but still had the similar features of all those of his kind. Massaging the tension that still flowed through the Elder; he dug his fingers into his shoulders and heard him rumble with pleasure. A small smile lit his face as he continued his ministrations. "Is it enough beloved?"
A sigh escaped the Elder's lips as he felt a particularly tight knot loosen under his lover's fingers. "It will have to be. Our Kiri has enough on his plate. Giving duties to others that love him will ease the burden he will be facing at the end of this journey. But enough of that. There is something more pressing that needs attending". And with that he placed his lover's hand on his growing cock. A seductive laugh echoed around the clearing as the Elder watched his lover draw him into his mouth and swallow.
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Thanks as always goes to Richard for his fine work in editing!