Chapter one: Traitor

Definition: traitor n.
One who betrays one's country, a cause, or a trust, especially one who commits treason.
Definition: treason n.
1. Violation of allegiance toward one's country or sovereign, especially the betrayal of one's country by waging war against it or by consciously and purposely acting to aid its enemies.
2. A betrayal of trust or confidence.

Despite what the K'nairi thought about him, Ryraso had never intended to commit treason. He was a healer. Someone who was trained to help and protect life. Not to hurt and destroy, like the term traitor implied. However in many ways, from their twisted view of the world, that was what he had done. Even if he was not actually bound by K'nairi law. Not bound to follow their Winglord's decisions, but if they ever captured him, he would be treated as a traitor. But there were a few things holding the Winglord back from hunting him down like he normally would.

Ryraso was human, not K'nairi.

No matter how the K'nairi felt about him. About his actions and about the actions of others like him, he was not one of them. He may act K'nairi. He may have gained a few of their tendencies, but so would anyone else who lived around the winged people for most of their adult life. You had too; otherwise you had no hope of surviving around them. Or of getting your job done, for that matter. But as a human he was not bound to follow their laws beyond politeness. He was there of his own free will and could leave just as easily. Not to say he didn't feel regret or guilt for leaving them. But as long as they fought on the side they did, he would not work for them.

But you are likely confused at the moment. Having no previous knowledge of the world I talk about. Personally I am known as a bard. Someone who travels from land to land collecting the stories of various worlds. This particular story is set on a war torn continent called Awacia . The war is of a civil nature with two main sides, the D'mar and the Namya.

You see, on this land lived four races and for the most part, they all coexisted. Living according to the rules and laws set out thousands of years ago. The K'nairi lived in the forests and mountains of the north, the humans in the plains and meadows of the south. No one lived in the harsh deserts of the east, except for the outcasts and the runaways. The west was inhabited by the fourth race, one which no longer existed due to the war. The third lived among the humans.

But then a human came along. Gifted with magic and strength beyond that of a normal human. But also with a tongue which could charm the wings off a bird. He said no to the old ways and started a rebellion. Saying it was time things changed. That it was time the lower races bowed to the ones with power and that those with power should be given the respect they deserved.

I have generalized it quite a bit. You see, the old ways stated that a person had the right to power if they were born into a powerful clan. So even if a person had no power, if their father or mother had been a ruler, the child would have the right to rule to. At the same time, those who were born without power, had no right to seek it. A cast system. One which was flawed and so Loror gained many followers.

His idea was complicated, but in many ways ingenious. The idea of lower and higher races were not based on just 'human' and 'K'nairi' but rather on the abilities of the person. His view was that those with magic or who were truly skilled at something were higher. Those who were healers, engineers, scientist and more, they were a middle group. People who were needed, who were clever and earned their skills compared to those who simply had skills. He said they deserved more respect than the average person.

The K'nairi were impressed. In their culture, something like this was already engrained in them. The stronger, more dominants were the ones who led. The submissives followed their Alpha. Not to say the submissives acted submissive. Anything but. They were just as dangerous and as lethal as the dominants. The dominants had to prove themselves to their submissives. It was a complicated society of people. Loyal yet at the same time cut-throat. Led by their Winglord, Tai'ray.

Tai'ray was the embodiment of the perfect K'nairi. He was clever, strong and fast. He knew science like the back of his hand. Knew how to combine both magic and science into truly amazing creations. He was the best fighter and the fastest flyer. He was stunning to look at too. Long flowing blonde hair, blue eyes. Few scars. His only flaw was his voice, it was scratchy and coarse. Damaged from when he was young, but no leader could be without a flaw. He was the centre of the great link that connected every K'nairi. He could stand being the one to filter though all the voices and still do his job to protect his people.

He had two loyal and well loved mates, Dyn'ad and Nal'os. They were just as talented. They were the essence of K'nairi. One dominant, one submissive, and one who was dominant enough to protect the submissive in bad times but who submitted to the dominant as well. Dyn'ad was strong enough, powerful enough, to be an Alpha, but he chose to be Tai'ray's mate. He accepted the courting. This really showed how complicated the K'nairi were. Dyn'ad was respected for his choice. Not mocked as a society based solely on power and bloodshed would.

The point of this all being, the K'nairi were more than most first thought. So when Loror defeated Tai'ray in a duel, it meant something. He was given the respect deserved and the K'nairi would follow him into battle.

The K'nairi dominants and even a fair few of their submissives were classed by Loror as 'higher'. Only those who were actually submissive were lesser, and protected fiercely by their Alphas. Something that Loror respected greatly. Despite his apparent love for bloodshed, he did not wish to harm the weak. His ideas were that lessers obeyed their masters, but he also made it clear he would not stand for anyone abusing that power. Loror had been from the slave caste. He knew what it was like to be beaten for no reason. He did not wish that on anyone. Not even his rival who led the opposing Namya.

The K'nairi were a powerful and beautiful race. Humanoid in figure, what really made them special was the wings on their shoulder blades. Giving them the gift of flight. One of the many things which made them demand the highest respect from 'earthwalkers'. They moved with unparalleled grace. With this came a strong form of a magic. Unlike the other races, every K'nairi had magic, weak as it may be. It was literally part of them. It bound them together in a link.

It also made them very possessive over the few humans granted into the link. To them 'earthwalkers' were lesser. Useful, occasionally entertaining, but in the end a tool. Replaceable. So anyone who was deemed useful enough, valued enough to be allowed a bond was named as K'nairi. Expected to follow their rules. Those without wings should worship the ground they allow themselves to walk on.

This is a race strict on values and actions. One which Ryraso had grown fond of, if not used to during his stay with them. As a healer he had to force their respect. Had to, or else he wouldn't be able to get his job done. The K'nairi did not listen to suggestions or advice. You had to order and force them to take their medication. Tie them down to make them rest. They would not listen to anyone lesser then them. Ryraso was one of the few doctors able to deal with them. They yelled at him, he yelled straight back.

By doing so he had gained their respect and was protected fiercely. He wasn't treated like glass or like a prized possession like some, but he was kept a close eye on and guarded. They weren't going to risk their prized doctor. Too few would heal a K'nairi and most K'nair did not have the mental aptitude to learn such a discipline.

Which is why when Tai'ray was defeated, he knew he had leave that night, or else he wouldn't be able to leave at all. He still remembered leaving. He had only remained long enough to patch the Winglord up. He owed the Lord that much. Owed him more, which was the main cause of the guilt he carried for returning to his own people.

"Where are you going?" Tai'ray had growled, his talons reaching out and grabbing his arm roughly. His wings flared angrily. He could sense Ryraso's intentions though the link they had.