And so Firecracker brought you to the copse. The trees were green and lush and birdsong filled the air. Firecracker began to speak of the creatures that lived within these woods.
*They are called the Miwenday. The appear as a kind of equine mixed together with canine traits, and with something extra you just can't put your finger, or hoof, on. Legend has it, they were native to Atlantis, Azrielen's homeland.* Firecracker nods at your surprise. *Yes, even the humans seem to have heard of the great Atlantis. It was a great trajedy when it sank after a volcanic eruption. Much wonders were lost, as the Miwen almost were if Azrielen had not saved as many as she could.*
You looked about from side to side. You could swear someone was following you. Firecracker looked at you strangely then laughed. *Come out, you silly creature!*
A strange and beautiful green animal stepped forth. She seemed quite shy and nervous to be around a stranger. Firecracker does the introductions, telling you that her name is Nyrka. She does a small bow.
The three of you now travel amongst the trees and Firecracker continues his tale. *Azrielen raised them in a captive breeding program within her Hold. She kept them hidden from human eyes for a long time to make sure that they would not be harmed while they were still so vulnerable. Finally, when their numbers were strong enough, she let the free through her Realm for others to find. Only those who are truly willing and determined will ever find them. But what a wonder it is for those so fortunate!*
The was a rustling the in the bushes followed by a brown and gold streak. A second Miwen shot forth from the shadows right across you path. *That's Chir. I wonder why he's in such a rush?* Moments later he reappears futher along the path and once again streaks across it. Firecracker gives you a strange look and shrugs his shoulders. A moment later Chir appears again, but this time a distance behind you and once again, he runs right across the path into the trees on the other side. Finally he appears one last time, bursting out right beside you. He stops, panting.
If you had been worried that something had been chasing him, your mind was soon set to ease as you looked at the big grin on his face. Though he seemed much more outgoing than Nyrka, he never let you actually lay a hand on him the whole time he was around.
Once again, your growing bunch started off along the meandering path. *SunBlind searched many hours for the Miwen, eager to give some of them a home here, to help Azrielen in her task in keeping these wonderful creatures alive. She was greatly surprised to find out that a Miwen, when found, will imprint itself on you and your mind. They cannot communicate very will in words with their bondmates, they are mentally not capable of such complexity, but send images and feelings instead......*
He stopped because you had come across another Miwen. This one lay lazily underneath a large oak tree, enjoying what sunlight filtered through and the scent of the forest's flowers. A butterfly landed on his nose, and without even waking he gently shook his head and smacked his lips, getting himself comfortable again. Chir bounded right over him, making the lazy one slowly open one eye. Noticing you, he decides that the afternnoon would acutally be a good time to wake up today. Stretching and yawning, he joins your group.
*Good morning Asteni. Wouldn't want you to get up to early,* Firecracker mocked. Asteni just yawned and fell in behind the rest of you. *The Miwen also have the strange characteristic of picking up on their bondmates personalities, likes and disklikes. They become perfect partners to their bonders. As SunBlind found so many, each only took one of her traits. Nyrka is the shy one. Chir is the one who seems to live in his own little world, no one is able to figure out what goes on in his mind. Asteni the the lazy one, a good one to have around when SunBlind decides she's much rather sleep in. Which is as often as she can get away with it!*
As if on cue, you came across another of SunBlind's Miwens. This one was watching an insect crawl over a flower petal with complete fascination. *Shere!* Firecracker called out. She just flicked her tail and continued watching the bug till it flew away. Obviously SunBlind fell under the category of curious, if this Miwen had anything to say about it. The moment she noticed you she came up and sniffed and touched and tasted you all over. She looked at you up and down, from the front and the back. Then she focused on Firecracker. He just started walking again, Shere followed without hesitation.
*It is said that when the bondmate dies, the Miwen dies as well, but not vice versa. The bondmate whose Miwen dies experiences a great loss from which they will eventually recover, but they can never be truely whole again. They lose the presence of these gentle creatures, its like suddenly waking up one morning without being able to hear a single sound.*
Everyone just stopped when this Miwen stepped forwards. A much more heavy set creatures, it looked like it could take on anything. And if it didn't want to move, nothing in the world was going to make it change its mind. It was stubborn as a rock. *That's Gwengwen. She can be pretty tough to convince sometimes, especially when she knows she's right. She's usually pretty open minded but don't get her going about certain things. She'll just stand in the road and you'll have more chance of moving Dragon Mountain than her.*
It seems like the mood was with her to be open minded and she added herself to the number of your herd. Firecracker continued in his lecture, *The Miwen most like to live where their bondmate most likes to live. SunBlind loves her Realm and so the Miwen pretty well travel whever they please. Nothing would harm them here. As for what they eat, they do not eat very much at all, and when they do, it is whatever green that is available. They have ironclad, but inefficient stomaches and even have been known to eat rocks, like birds do, to help along the digestive process. You should have seen the look on SunBlind's face when she saw one of them do that. She thought they were going to make themselves sick!*
You watched as Gwengwen kept looking behind her. Every time you looked you saw nothing but trees and birds and buzzing bees hovering over colourful flowers. The sunlight just barely making its way through to the ground, lighting a few rare spots in a dazzling gold.
That's when something else of a dazzling gold appeared before your eyes. Once of the fastest creatures you had ever seen. Long legs moved so quickly they were little more than a blur. Ears tightly back, the Miwen ran in a nervous circle around your group. Apparently worried about some pointless thing but was enough to make him all uptight. Finally he seemed to settle down as the completely sedate Asteni and the heavy Gwengwen stood side by side and blocked his path.
Firecracker said, *Don't mind him, he's just a worry-wort built for speed. His name is Inesh and its hard to get him to keep still for a moment. He always seems to have so much to do, so much to keep track of. Though, no one has yet to figure out what those things are. There's only so much a Miwen can have to worry about.* Inesh hears this and glares at Firecracker. As if to prove him wrong, he slows his lighthing legs and continues at a walk with the rest of your band.
*Ah, here is the she is. This is Yshara, the fun loving one.* The tiger stripped Miwen bounds up to cheerfully, looking like she just heard a really good joke. Firecracker finishes his tale of the Miwens as Yshara runs to greet her friends. *Each type of Miwenday has a different subspecies name. Nyrka is an Achkan, Chir is a Hol'Esere, the Tosh-Piel is the sleepy one, Shere is the curious Shen-rashet, Gwengwen is the Leamet while Inesh is the swift Cha'A'Cach. Last but not least, Yshara is the happy Gryn'merel.*
*So, you finally know all that I know of the Miwens. Even SunBlind knows nothing about the specifics of the separate subspecies and what makes them different from each other. She doesn't really care either, she likes them all. They are a fun bunch to be around aren't they! Now, I can see it in your eyes, besides, I can read it in your mind. You'd like a Miwenday of your own. Well, I'll wish you the best of luck in your search. I can give you no clues as I wasn't there when they were found, though I've heard that Azrielen will, but in the end, its up to you to figure out what they mean. Ah, there's the portal I was looking for.*
You may enter the portal.
Just as you were about to step into the glowing portal, a Miwen flew over the top of it. Her bright blue wings beating rapidly as she changed course to land close to your travelling party. She first went to each Miwen and snorted gently at them. Then she met noses with Firecracker. At last she turned her attention to you. She looked you up and down with a critical eye, inspecting every inch of you. Apparently you seemed to pass whatever criteria she had for you because she then returned to talk with the others.
*That is Anisha, a Viel. She is the closest to a scientist you would find the in the group. She is extremely logical, or at least as far as her intellect permits her. Though she has wings she is not prone to flights of fancy!* He stops as she trots back to you. Looking at the both of you, she starts to carefully tap her hoof fourteen times on the ground. Then she turns and trots off again, her wings fluttering by her sides.
*I think she just reminded me to tell you that there are 14 subspecies in total. That way if you decided to go looking yourself you'll know when to stop. But trust me, SunBlind spent quite a few hours at her search. You have to look *very* closely at every rock, tree and creature. As you can see, even she has yet to come across them all. Though I believe there should be one more lying about somewhere......*
Just as Firecracker mentions it, the Miwen appeared lying next to the path. The others gathered around excitedly, exchanging greetings and grunts.
*That whiskered blue one is Solenesh, the Han'Dere. He's a bit of a dreamer. He likes to lie outside at night and stare at the stars. Other times he'll be found lost in the swirling snow of a winter storm. He loves to watch the patterns in the snow. He's also been know to sit by the river and look at absolutely nothing at all. And when you try to get him to come back to the real world, you can see how he hates to leave his dream one.*
As if to drive that point home, Solenesh looks at you, his large eyes blink slowly. But you were certain he had not even noticed you. It was a strange feeling. You wonder how often someone he knows has passed by him and said "Hello" without getting a response, so far had his mind wandered.
Your troop took off once more along the path. Not surprisingly, another Miwenday showed herself. The green female reared up as she saw the others approached. This was the first you had encountered which had any form of jewelry or other adornement.
*This is Merira, a Scaara. She likes to get dressed up sometimes, to put on something fancy from time to time." She pranced about, the beads in her hair tinkling with every movement. She went up to every Miwen before meeting with Firecracker and finally with you. She wasn't quite sure what to make of you.
Putting your hand in your pocket you fingers find something near the bottom. Pulling it out you discover a necklace. You couldn't remember where you found it, but you had been so many places and so many strange things had happened that it wasn't surprising to find it there. Immediately Merira brightnened. Shere also trotted over to inspect the interesting new discovery.
You offered it to the green Miwen you excited tried to stand still as you placed it around her neck. It was hard as it kept getting stuck on her horns and her eager wiggling didn't help. The moment she felt it land just above her shoulders she rushed around showing it off. Some were very interested to look, others barely even glanced. Some didn't even notice that she had gone by. But she didn't care. She could be a princess now if she liked.
Finally she trotted back to you and gave you a nuzzle to thank you for the gift. You just secretly hoped it didn't belong to someone and you were had to return it. You really couldn't remember how you got a hold of it.......