“Beastmaster Johly! Beastmaster Johly!” slowly the tall woman turned to the emissary calling for her. A young man ran the long winding path through the garden up to her house. Short on breath he stopped a few meters from her position, stretching forth his hand with a scroll in it. “Praethon, didn’t I tell you that you shouldn’t run unless you breathed with your entire body?” the man nodded while his smile only hid a part of his pain. “The older priests and priestesses tell me I have terrible breathing, hence my meditation is never as deep as it should.” with a calming smile Johly opened the scroll and read through the writing, that had been scribbled in a haste. Immediately after finishing her read she let the scroll sink, a wrinkle formed on her forehead while she stared at Praethon. “Terrible news I gather?” the young man had regained some breath studied the Beastmasters expression. “Confirmation of suspicions. Come!” she waved her guest to follow her.

The two wandered into the backyard of Johlys home, a dense forest with several animals in them, in the far back a relatively new shed rose out of the dense green. The shed had large open windows, which were barred.

Praethon peeked inside. Perched on a horizontal pole sat a stately bird, his eyes pierced Praethons flesh, gazing directly at his soul. It’s colorful feathers extended into even more colorful ethereal ends. “A phoenix Praethon, the most ethereal being we know of. Self aware, intelligent and capable of much good.” Johly sighed while they stood in front of the bars. She turned to her younger guest. “He’s the last one, the others flew away and didn’t return.” while speaking she slowly lifted the scroll he had brought to her. “Right about the same time your tragedy started.” she handed him the scroll, thinking he already knew what was happening.

“The waning of our weavery.” Praethon did not need to look at the scroll. Though he was only a novice at the temple, he was a weaver bereft of his powers. Sunken in thought Johly nodded. “It says there that other races’ weavers had suffered the same fate.” with a sigh she opened the shed while explaining that the Phoenix inside had not flown away due to a broken wing, but she knew he would’ve followed his brethren after it healed, hence the cage.

Once inside she slipped her hand into a thick leather glove, also took out a chain and shackles that fitted the bird. “I’m sorry, but we need your assistance, you above all creatures under the heavens can lead us to where we find the weavery we’ve lost.” she gently caressed the Phoenix’ head. It replied with a guttural croak, inching away from Johly, who was clearly crying.

“Beastmaster!” Praethon also had entered the cage, leaning against the door. “I know the high priestess, she wouldn’t approve of using this bird as a navigator, unless the bird would agree to it.” saddened Johly turned to him. “Do you have a better plan?”

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