Winch brought Blueridge in for a landing in the town of Millwood. He and Ethan rode the tired griffin in to the paddock and the gates were closed behind them. Dismounting, Winch picked up Ethan and carried him to a bale of hay. He set Ethan down and waved off the stable hands as they came to help. Ethan didn’t bother to look up, just sat on the bale and looked down. Winch started to say something, then shook his head and patted Ethan on the shoulder before going about removing the harness and saddle from Blueridge. Pulling off the saddlebags, Winch set them down beside Ethan.
“Ethan I need you to watch the bags, they’re important.” He said. Ethan just nodded. All of a sudden, a blue cloud appeared in the paddock and startled the griffons resting there, including Blueridge. The stable hands shouted and tried pulling away Ethan, but the boy had already been snatched up by the cloud and suspended in the air. A yellow cloud joined in with the blue and they swirled fast around the child hanging in the center of the storm. Ethan tried to struggle against the invisible bonds, shouting in pain as lances of white light flew through him. That’s when the red cloud appeared. Ethan’s head snapped back and his eyes went wide, the sight terrifying all those within the griffin roost and paddock area. More shouting went up as the red cloud funneled in to Ethan through his eyes and mouth. When the red cloud vanished, the blue and yellow clouds that had mixed together followed the red cloud in to Ethan. It took less than five minutes for the clouds to vanish. Ethan hovered in the air and just as he dropped, Winch launched himself at the boy and caught him.
“Bring Lady Moriah!” Winch yelled at the stable hands. “Bring her here now!” The stable hands scattered and ran off in different directions as Winch laid Ethan down on the bale he had been sitting on. Winch knew what those clouds meant. He prayed that it wouldn’t happen, but it looked like the goddess was not listing to his prayers and had other plans for little Ethan.
“Where the hell is Lady Moriah?!” Winch shouted. A hand on his shoulder startled him.
“I’m here, Beau.” Lady Moriah said to Winch as she knelt down. Her black hair hung like a curtain as she turned her face to him and smiled at him. Winch stared in to her violet eyes and was at peace for a few brief seconds, before he shook his head.
“The boy just inherited his family’s magic. All of it at once.” Winch said.
“I know. I saw the clouds chasing you as you landed. The poor thing,” she murmured the last part. “so much loss in one day.” Winch nodded.
“He cannot stay with me, before you ask me.” Winch started to protest, but Moriah held up a hand. “Don’t. I received a vision before your arrival. The Goddess has plans for him and he has to go to the capital.” Winch nodded and looked down at Ethan.
“May we stay the night?” He asked. Moriah laughed.
“You ask that which you already know, Beau.” Moriah kissed Winch’s forehead and picked up Ethan herself. “You know where to find me. I’ll take him there so he’ll be safe tonight.” Winch said nothing, just nodded as she walked off toward the tower at the edge of the town.