Rite of the Hatching

A key rite in the training of all Talons is to steal an egg from The Eyries of Aetora and then successfully raise the vulture themselves through its hatching and maturity.   The rite is highly dangerous, with many young Talons dying during the attempt - either through falls during the arduous climb, or by being attacked by the giant birds defending their nests. Once successful, the Talon must then raise the egg and hatchling, bonding and training with it until it reaches maturity - a process that takes nearly a decade.   The process ensures that the natural tendency of the the bird to form a lifelong bond with its partner, is to bond instead with the Goblin handler. Once bonded, the bird transfers its undying loyalty and devotion to its rider. The bond is unbreakable, and cannot be transferred to any other.

Bonding through domination

Another, and much quicker method of bonding with young-adult birds is possible, as long as it occurs before the vulture has bonded with another partner. This method involves the domination of the vulture in a one-on-one battle. If the would-be-rider can subdue the Vulture without any help from others, then it will submit its wil.   This form of bond is highly unstable however, as any show of weakness in its master can trigger the bird to fight back and seek its freedom.

History

The origins of the rite are lost in time, and the myths  of Aetora and her steed Hela are imbued throughout the culture of the Motu.    It is believed that the original monks had less disruptive methods for bonding with the birds, and the temple ruins that sit within the The Eyries of Aetora seem to indicate that the monks may well have cohabited with the Vultures in times past.   Taktuk Roostwarden currently runs the roost at Talon's Reach and is the only known Motu who appears to able to bond with any vultures she meets and can enter the Eyrie without fear of being attacked. Many believe she has learnt the lost skills that allowed the original Monks of Aetora to live at peace with their avian family.
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Cover image: by Midjourney

Comments

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Sage eccbooks
E. Christopher Clark
16 Jan, 2022 16:25

You had me from the first sentence, from "steal an egg." This is a fantastic insight into your world, in a concise and beautiful package. Excellent work!

Check out the Bekiskpan — originators of the chain mail bikini and my entry for “On the Shoulders of Giants.”