Prologue

"Sir, there's something you should see…" A large bird of prey, a red-tailed hawk landed next to a great horned owl. The owl narrowed his eyes, angry at being woken up by the hawk.

"What is it, Boreal?" the owl snapped. "Can't you see I was sleeping?'

"Adonis… The prey… It seems as if they don't want to be sacrificed."

"How dare they?" A snarl came from his beak. "Wait… What do you mean?"

"They're retaliating." Boreal's eyes were wide with fear. "Several nuthatches and woodpeckers have pecked Rustica to death." His bill began to clatter together. He gripped a branch so hard that his talons broke it. He started falling. He recovered just a few talontips before the ground. He flew off, as fast as possible.

He needed to get away from this place.


A/N: Talontip: about an inch (or more, depending on the size of the bird).