Lullaby grunted a little as she finished her morning push ups. The brisk mountain air cooled her down after her workout. After a few minutes of catching her breath, she went into the different forms of her training. A larger person stood next to her, leading with the correct motions. Her master, Master Gumzakk, moved seamlessly through the forms as Lullaby kept up a slightly less graceful pace. There were stark differences between the two people on the topmost tower of their monastery.
The master was a burly minotaur with strong features. His muscles bulged out of his simple monk robes as he moved. Lullaby was quite different. She was a bird for one. A kenku with an array of feathers that burst out of her in patches. The space in between the feathers was irritated with a nasty red color to it. She was several feet shorter than her master. While she moved a few of her feathers came loose and were whisked away by the savage mountain wind. After their morning exercises were done the master spoke to her of her life. She had been found fifteen years ago as a hatchling in the unforgiving environment of the mountains. He told her he had had a vision. The vision was of her and the power she could, one day, wield. If she did harness that power, she would be a force to be reckoned with, one of the strongest he had ever seen. But she needed to seek out help to become such a strong monk.
He spoke of a far away land where there had once been another master. That monk had been a master of the four winds and had complete control over his body, mind and soul. Her master thought that perhaps this could help with her curse. As a kenku she was forever cursed to mimic speech but never have her own and to be flightless. Even the small joy of flight that a bird had was beyond her capabilities. Her master asked for space and showed her what she could achieve if she mastered her chi and broke the curse. Flexing his muscles, his flesh rippled and above him a green haze solidified into a giant bull with huge, curling horns. As he moved through a new set of forms, the green bull above moved with him. It seemed as if the master was moving as normal but where his hits met the empty air, ripples of power flared out from where his hands ended. Lullaby was in awe of the strength that he projected.
Afterwards he explained that with complete control she could enhance her natural abilities. Since he was already a powerful person, his strength was magnified by his other self. Whenever he used his power the strength in his body increased exponentially. Master Gumzakk told her to go seek out this master and learn to control her chi so well that it was seamless. He had already arranged her transport to the city of Waterdeep where she would board a ship to take her to the far away island where the Wind Master was said to reside. Walking back to the bottom of the monastery, Lullaby was handed a travel satchel full of rations and supplies for the road. She also received a small portion of money to buy food and passage should she need it. She was nervous about the long lonely road ahead of her but was anxious to finally break the curse that kept her from the vast sky above. Outside the monastery gates was a small cart being drawn by a worn out looking mule. In the driver’s chair sat an old man, one of the merchant farmers from the surrounding countryside.
Lullaby climbed onto the cart, hoisting her meager luggage with her and sat up, eager to go on her journey to break the curse. As she rode off, her best friend and novice monk, Belhala Trelenus, ran along the cart for a moment. She wished her well as tears streamed behind her and Lullaby squawked a sad sound before the cart outstripped her friend. She was once more alone with her thoughts. The old farmer beside her on the cart was quiet and only spoke when he needed her to do something like help hoist the cart out of a rut in the road. It wasn’t until they were almost to the big city she was headed to that something exciting happened. They were still riding for the city as dusk swept across the mountains and enveloped the land. As darkness fell, a tumbling figure came crashing down the mountain, landing in a crumpled heap in the middle of the road.
With the help of the old farmer, Lullaby hoisted the unconscious stranger into the rickety cart. It groaned under the weight of his body and, when his face was revealed, she saw that he was a dwarf. The dwarf needed the help of a healer and they were too close to stop now.Once he was secure, they set off once more under the light of the rising moon towards the great city.