The skystreams are known to very few. High above the clouds, beyond the sight of the creatures on the ground, is a network of currents that link up the distant lands of Arethil.

They are narrow channels that carry winds at great speeds. A few birds, large and stable enough to enter the skystreams might still use them to migrate.

No printed map exists in the hands of men, dwarves or orcs to show where they lead. No airship made in the Age of Wonders could survive their currents. The sky whales that once used them to migrate have long become extinct. Even the Sky Elves have forgotten where they lead.


The origins of the skystreams high above the realms of Arethil were much a mystery to all, even to herself. Were they remnants of the Gods? Were they natural amalgamations of the magic that saturated the world below? Where they created by an unseen creature?

Velaeri had her own hypothesis.

Long ago, in her fledgling years of entering the mortal planes from the Vale, a memory so clear to her played in her mind at every opportunity she had at altitude. Massive beasts, far grander in scale than herself, defeating all thought of sensical nature, had once roamed the skies with her and all other air-bound creatures. Whales. Sky whales. Floating serenely through the clouds, pushing and pulling the beastly nature of the winds and rains. They commanded the storms, brought floods and caused droughts. In a time eons ago before the days of the people and races that currently inhabited the world, there was technology. Gears and wheels, flying contraptions, and the people making them keen with a drive to bring the command of the skies to their own heel.

They hunted the skywhales to extinction using their flying contraptions - airships, they called them. Now nature belonged to nothing and no one but itself.

But in those treacherous days of maelstroms and hurricanes as the whales attempted escape, Velaeri believed they created the skystreams to move about more quickly. She had no proof, of course. Her witness to these things had been from a distance as it was not her place to interfere. Not to take sides.

Clouds engulfed them both, a cold wind snatching at feathers and cloth alike. Veleari's ears pinned and swiveled in-tune to the currents of magic high in the heavens. The air currents suddenly shifted, grew warmer, and then seemed to pause and still. The Dawnbringer broke through the clouded fog and crested a rise of brilliant white and gold beneath the gleam of the sun, a sea of clouds beneath them as if Arethil never existed. Then she tucked her wings into an arch, and dove headlong into a mass of roiling grey at the pit of the sea. The still air suddenly blasted around them, sucking outwards into the circular vortex of the skystream.

It was wide enough to swallow even the biggest naval ship, broad enough to welcome the massive expanse of Velaeri's wings. As they cleared the edges, the air stilled save for that which rushed past their figures. The center a quiet realm surrounded by the swirling chaos of air and grey clouds. The gryphon's wings ceased to pump and, instead, remained stretched open and flat to ride the current, dipping and yawing gently from one side to the other as they rode the skystream's bends and turns, rises and falls.


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