The Clan (Cryptogriff Chronicles Pt. 4)

Submitted into Contest #92 in response to: End your story with a truth coming to light.... view prompt

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Fiction Fantasy Adventure

“So, where exactly are we going?” I ask Astri as she soars high above the realm of Tyren with me riding on her back.

Considering you have been living here for as long as you can remember, you may not like the answer, the griffin replies. I detect a hint of an amused tone in her mental voice.

I sigh impatiently, my lips twitching as I fight off a smile. “Come on, just tell me.”

All right, then. We are going to Valeron.

“What?!”

I knew you would not like it.

 “Please tell me you’re kidding,” I beg.

I am not a kidder.

“Why, though? Out of all the other realms in Legendaria to choose from, why do we have to go there?” I whine.

Maybe I’m acting a tiny bit immature. But it’s no secret that Tyrenians and Valeronians don’t get along. It has to do with some mysterious thing that happened between our realms a really long time ago, and I guess neither one has gotten over it. So we’re still enemies, especially since our cultures are so different.

You will find out why once we get there, Kora, Astri replies. And I am sure you will soon realize that Valeron is not as bad as you were taught to believe.

“I doubt it,” I grumble.

Astri pauses mid-flight, flapping her powerful, golden-brown wings as she hovers in the air. Now, brace yourself, she commands. We are about to portal.

“Wait, wha—” I barely have time to tighten my grip on the thick fur of Astri’s neck before she starts flying at lightning speed. I’m pretty sure I’m screaming, but it’s hard to hear myself over the wind rushing past my ears. Just when I feel like I’m going to lose my grip and fall off Astri’s back, there’s a blinding flash of light, and a change of scenery. Instead of a drab landscape and dusty streets, we’re now flying over rainbow-colored forests and sparkling mountains.

Clearly we’re no longer in Tyren.

Welcome to Valeron, Astri says as I take in the aerial view.

This is Valeron?” I whisper in awe.

What do you think of it so far? Astri asks.

I hate to admit it, but I think it’s beautiful. Still, I don’t want to give her the satisfaction of seeming too enthusiastic, so I reply, “It's definitely...different.” Then I change the subject. “What was that you said about portaling? Is that how we got here so quickly?”

Yes. It is another natural ability griffins have. We use the solar energy stored in our bodies to create portals and travel anywhere we wish to go, Astri explains.

“So you’re basically a living transportal,” I say, referring to the vehicles we fairies use to travel between realms.

Exactly. Soon I will help you learn how to do it as well.

“What makes you think I can?” I ask, even though I can probably guess what she’s going to say.

You are a griffin, too, Kora. I know you can.

Yep, right on cue. “If you say so.”

Suddenly, I remember a question that I was wondering ever since Astri first revealed to me who she was during the Sun Festival battle. “So...if you’re my mother, then who’s my father?”

She stays silent for so long that I start to think she’s not going to answer. But then she says quietly, I cannot speak of him.

I probably shouldn’t be pushing it, but my curiosity gets the better of me and I can’t resist asking, “Why not? Did something happen to him? Did he...die?”

He was banished from the Clan shortly after I gave birth to you, and I do not know what has become of him since. I am forbidden from any and all contact with him.

“What did he do?”

Something so terrible that neither I nor the rest of the Clan is allowed to speak of him or his betrayal. However, to answer your question from a few days earlier, I will tell you that it has to do with why you grew up in Tyren by yourself for twelve years. And that is all I will say about your father for now.

Of course, now I have even more questions, but I settle on the one that Astri is most likely to actually answer. “What’s the Clan?”

A clan is a society of griffins, often made up of extended family but not always. Clan members do not all live together, but we frequently gather to check in with one another. There are several clans in Valeron, and every griffin refers to the clan they belong to as “The Clan.” In this case, “The Clan”—our clan—is the Thunderfeather Clan. I am excited for you to meet them.

“Wait, is that where we’re going right now?” I ask.

Somehow the thought of being introduced to an entire society of griffins intimidates me. I know I’m supposedly a griffin myself, and Astri’s daughter, but what if they don’t think I’m one of them? What if I seem like too much of a fairy to really belong? Actually, do I even want to be one of them? Being a fairy is all I’ve ever known—would I really want to give that up? Would I have to choose between my griffin side and my fairy side?

Astri glances at me over her shoulder. I know what you are thinking, and you are getting ahead of yourself. Everything will be sorted out eventually, but just take it one step at a time. We are just going to meet the Clan, and that is all you need to know for now.

“So where is this Clan, exactly?” I ask.

Right here. Astri tucks in her wings and dives. A few feet before the ground, she spreads her wings again, softening the landing. She crouches down, allowing me to slide off her back.

“Where are we?” I wonder, staring up at the enormous dark cave before us.

This is the entrance to the meeting place of the Clan, Astri replies, padding into the cave.

I follow her into the darkness.

* * * * *

“Wow,” I gasp as we emerge from the other side. We’re now standing in a beautiful underground forest, with plants and trees of various colors: red, blue, purple, pink, green, yellow, and every shade in between. Sunlight streams in from a hole above, casting beams of light over the trees. Some distance away I can hear the roar of a cascading waterfall.

This place is just so...peaceful.

But something’s missing. “So, where’s the Clan?” I ask.

They are here. I will gather them together. Astri lifts her head and makes a strange calling sound, which I can best describe as a roar with a trilling chirp at the end. I hear several similar calls in return, and then a whole bunch of griffins land and gather around us. They all spread their wings slightly and dip their heads toward Astri, almost like they’re...bowing?

Welcome back, my queen, a tawny-colored griffin says in a deep mental voice. I am glad you have returned home safely.

“Wait—queen?” I stare at Astri in shock.

Yes, she replies, smiling at me. Or at least I think she’s smiling; griffin facial expressions are kind of hard for me to read. I am the queen, the leader of the Thunderfeather Clan.

My eyes widen as the realization hits me. I don’t really know how the hierarchy of a griffin clan works, but if she’s the queen, does this mean I’m—

Yes, Astri says again, apparently reading my mind. Welcome home, Princess Kora Joltaire.

May 08, 2021 03:17

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61 comments

03:29 May 08, 2021

Yesss! For the first time ever I have finally done it: TWO stories in one week! 🙌🎉 You guys just don't understand, with my busy life and serious cases of writer's block, this is a big win for me 🤣 Enjoy! And as always, feedback is much appreciated! 😉

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02:08 May 10, 2021

🐾 🐶

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02:15 May 10, 2021

Oh, okay! :) Hi, how are you?

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02:26 May 10, 2021

I'm the definition of alive. In other words healthy and okay XD Did I catch you by surprise with my comment:)

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02:30 May 10, 2021

That’s good! :) Actually to be honest, yes, I wasn’t really sure who would actually do it XDD But thanks, it’s nice to meet you! :)))

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02:35 May 10, 2021

The pleasure is mine:) The reason why I wrote that comment was because I was I felt a connection because we share a similar faith. Oh, and I will read and comment about the story you posted, so don't worry;) I'm sure I'm going to like it:)

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02:40 May 10, 2021

Oh wow, are you a Christian too? That’s great, it’s so cool to see how many are on here! Thanks so much, I do hope you like my story! :)

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TJ Squared
14:43 May 09, 2021

TLO part 2 is out :) how have you been?

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17:27 May 09, 2021

Yay! I’ll check it out :))) I’m doing great, went to church this morning and now about to go out to lunch with my family for Mother’s Day :) What about you?

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TJ Squared
19:30 May 09, 2021

:) yeah same, just gonna have lunch in a bit. I took her to tea on Friday so that was fun :)

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20:13 May 09, 2021

Ooh nice!

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TJ Squared
22:03 May 09, 2021

yeah. read anything lately?

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22:21 May 09, 2021

For once, no not really XD But I’m always looking for something new! You?

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Ed .
05:24 May 08, 2021

WOW! This story is so amazing! I am glad I came across a writer like you!

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14:14 May 08, 2021

Aw, thank you so much, Ed! :)

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TJ Squared
15:48 May 08, 2021

hehehehe very nice! That ending was spectacular :))))))This is a fun series you have here!

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19:14 May 08, 2021

Thanks! :DDD

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TJ Squared
00:13 May 09, 2021

you're very welcome :)

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Arwen Dove
06:25 May 08, 2021

Wow!

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15:10 May 08, 2021

:)))

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Unknown User
03:10 May 22, 2021

<removed by user>

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14:42 May 22, 2021

Ikr it’s the best :))))

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Unknown User
20:49 May 22, 2021

<removed by user>

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23:27 May 22, 2021

Yeah, I know how that feels :| I’m actually reading book seven right now!

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Unknown User
02:35 May 23, 2021

<removed by user>

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16:17 May 23, 2021

Ooh nice! I just finished it last night, and I think it’s the best one so far. Even though I felt like screaming at the author for the ending XD

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