In one hand, he held what appeared to be a heavily decorated gourd. In the other, a long walking stick with a bulbous end to it, feathers tied at the base of the protrusion.
“Wha’s Impundulu?” Fearchar asked, aware of the tingle of fear rippling up his skin as Eoin battled with his emotions once more. Eoin allowed the costume to melt away to his regular clothing.
“It’s based off a legend from Amina, Tau, and Baba’s old tribe. A massive bird that lives in the clouds of storms. He is the size of a human, a grand white and black beast. When he lands, he brings down lightning upon the land. It is thought to be a bad omen and drinks blood, which I could have done without knowing. Baba said that I must be the lightning bird’s human form. The villagers thought that I must be a protective spirit. Maybe bad omen should have been considered more. Not like it did much good,” he twisted a metal stick in his fingers, looking back on the night, his ceremonial garb evaporating. The stick flashed silver.
“Your hairstick,” Seonaid motioned to the instrument. He handed it to her, ginger with it in his thoughts. She gently took it from him to look it over. It was graciously carved with tiny animals that led up to the head of the stick, a fan shape with a bird carved in it. The animal’s wings opened wide, little lines zig zagging away from it. “It wasn’t always a hairstick. It had been a bracelet. Later I had the metal straitened to use as a hairstick,” he explained, looking down at his bare wrists.
“The bracers?” Fearchar guessed.
“They came later,” Eoin nodded.
“Is this where Albin and Callum are now?” Seonaid asked, wandering down the center lane of the village as the sun rose to dispell the night. Eoin stopped short, watching the children play in his dreams. Seonaid flinched at a squeezing unease in her chest. “Eoin?” she turned back to him. He looked up at the woman, flicked a glance past her to rising smoke and dust at the edge of the treeline. She turned to see what he was staring at.
“The villagers called this place Egret Nest. Massive, beautiful birds they are. Egrets that is. They congregate in great colonies with other birds of the rivers in trees. In this way they protect each other,” he looked around at the village again, a sad happiness masking his emotions. Fearchar stood next to him, watched as the scene in the village shifted.
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