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Hello! I started this story on the Happy Feet Fanon Wiki (Originally intended to write a different story than came out) and I decided to attempt to transfer it to here. It's still a work in progress, though I hope its still enjoyable. Thanks.

The Vow of Silence Edit

Prologue Edit

Off the minute Firth of Rutenspyrr deep in the Firth of Fangs lived one lone owl, nearly secluded from the relatively civilized world of the Northern Kingdoms. When others preferred to live in a community, he enjoyed the chance to be away from the bustle, and to lead a life of his own making. This owl lived simply, but was by no stretch of the imagination one to be idle. Daily, down would he fly from his mountain hollow home to catch himself a lemming, and enjoy the frigid air that constantly whistled through his own firth, through his own sky. He would survey the landscape, each time, just as he remembered it, and carry on with daily tasks, which ranged from fishing to writing observations of a few small whitefir tree saplings he had planted only a few moons before. His days went on, uninterrupted, this way for many happy seasons, until the night he discovered two new inhabitants in another outcropping, not twenty wingspans from his own.

• • • Ch. 1 Edit

"Byootful day out today, eh, Ragnar? I hear a kitibits been through an' cleared them clouds right up. Great fun flyin' em'." Wik shook himself awake from his half-sleep and looked bleary-eyed around the grog tree hollow. He recognized his old friends, Grast, Ragnar, and Otto all telling stories on an exterior branch. Wik prodded his memory to fish out why he was here, and not in his own hollow, just up the coast on the H'rathghar Glacier. Right, He thought, Otto bet I couldn't stay sober for the whole night. He looked around himself, at the nut cups strewn at random around where he slept. I guess he won. Wik was a stocky Boreal Owl, streaked in brown and white stripes with white dots speckled on his head, and his yellow eyes were dull with grog. He had never been very tidy and never much cared for his appearance to others, so he normally did not take the time to preen himself regularly, to realign the barbules on his feathers, which gave owls their renown smooth and silent flight. Wik saw the daylight streaming into the hollow from the opening, and could see the grog seller beginning to close up shop for the day. "Eh, Wik, you mind movin' off those nut cups? I need to gather my wares for the next night. You can come back at tween time if you'd like."

"Hmm? Oh, Yeah, sorry," Wik replied, still groggy from his unrestful slumber, "I'll see you then, but I'll first need to yarp a mountain. You need to tone down that juice a little next time."

"Oh, I did, when I saw how many cups you'd already downed before Twixt time."

"Right... I'll just need to be more... prudent with it all." Wik replied more to himself than to the seller.

"Hah! Now that's a thought! Wik being prudent with his bingle drinking! I'll believe that when chipmunks sprout wings and take to the skies," The seller guffawed as he went on with his business, "Now let me finish my cleaning."

"All right. I'll see you later then." Said Wik as he began his attempt to hobble out of the hollow and onto the branch outside. As he inched out onto the branch, careful not to pitch forward, Otto called out to him from another branch where he perched with Ragnar and Grast.

"Wik! You owe me a moon cycle's worth of bingle now! I'm surprised you didn't sleep longer, with the, what shall we call it... relapse last night?"

"Oh, for Glaux's sake, Otto... I ain't feeling too well. Can you save this for later?" Wik replied, starting to feel another pellet coming up.

"Ooh, sure, you've gotta be feelin' somethin' after that show last night. Ten cups, would you believe? Why, I'd be surprised if you can e'en remember anythin' now." Added Grast.

After he had yarped up a miserable little pellet, Wik turned to his friends, "Well, I think I'll go for now. I have to finish a few important studies in the old hollow of mine, all of them time consuming. I don't know if I'll come back tonight... it seems I've had my fill for a while of the juice."

"Aighty then Wik," Ragnar spoke up, "We'll be seeing you later, chap. And don't forget Otto's bet!" he added as Wik took wing slowly and started to fly back to his own hollow.

• • • Ch. 2 Edit

During the warm moons of issen frahmm, the region on the H'rathghar glacier where Wik had made his nost began to drip with water as the glacier slunk back from the suns rays, only then to be refrozen by the cool temperatures of the short nights. Wik enjoyed this time, as there were no furious storm winds or flurries to interrupt in his exploration of the glacier. He had always been an inhabitant of the H'rathghar Glacier, ever since he arrived with his mum and da many seasons ago. He loved the way the ice reflected sunlight, and how the occasional gust would whistle lightly through the cracks in the ice. Wik, however, would always remember the night he lost his mum and da most strongly of any night he had lived. But he could not think of them now. I need to think of whats next, he chided himself, what I am to do now, and how to go about doing whatever it is I want to. That was just the problem, Wik knew he had no visions of the future; of him joining the fierce battle against the Crowls, which had raged for years as many of his family had done, or of him settling down with a family of his own. He had taken to Bingle juice as a way to escape the thoughts that constantly battered his mind, though that had only helped temporarily, and left him feeling worse than when he began. And now, he had decided to give up on even the drink. Like Grast and Ragnar ever really cared about my health, Wik thought, Yes, time to move on... but move on to what? What more is there left in this Glaux forsaken world that can help an owl in my situation? These thoughts circulated in Wik's head as he perched at the edge of his nost that looked out over the Bitter Sea. Perhaps the only way to find solace in his life would be to end it, and all the complications, problems and worries would simply vanish, as if swept away by Glaux himself.

• • • Ch. 3 Edit

"Eroe, have you left your perch at all tonight? For Glaux's sake, its nearly twixt time!"

Eroe sighed as he lay down his quill and began to tidy up his study. "Yes, I can clearly see what time it is, thank you Marina."

"Well then, would you kindly get your butt feathers off that perch and fetch a lemming or two for breaklight? You know, stretching your wings is good for your health." Marina added, coming into the study. Eroe turned to see her pure white face and preen her shoulder with his beak.

"Well, I suppose I could use a meal right about now. Really, I don't know how I would manage without you."

"Not well, I would imagine," Marina replied, happily returning his gesture. "Now, off with you."

As Eroe turned to leave, he caught his talon on a Bhag that lay on the ground and stumbled. "I'd better tidy this place up as well, if I'm to remain in good health." He murmured to himself. The night had begun to turn to day, and the sun was just peeking over the horizon when he set off. Perhaps I should try a new area this time, He thought to himself. The glacier would be beautiful during this time of day. He turned from the coastline of Stormfast and set his course toward the looming white of the glacier in the distance. This Glaux given world can be absolutely beautiful. If only the two sides of this war could see it.

As Eroe arrived at his unplanned hunting location, he began scanning for any sounds of a heartbeat under the snow. Since he himself was a Barn Owl, he possessed the extraordinary capacity to hear and pinpoint the location of something so minute as a mouses heartbeat from underneath a snowbank. Though now, as he was scanning, he did not hear a mouse, but instead, it seemed, another owl. To him, it sounded like a soft sigh in the wind, though as he located where the sound was coming from, his gizzard gave a mighty lurch. There beneath an ice ridge stood a lone Boreal owl looking down at the sea, and as Eroe watched on with ever mounting distress, the sound of soft whispering turned to the sound of splitting ice. Does this owl know what is happening!? The whole frinkin' ridge is breaking off! Thought Eroe. He hasn't even looked up at the sound! In fact, the owl looked more defeated, as if it was inevitable that the ridge would crush him. I must do something! Eroe began quick a spiral down, and at that moment, a chunk of the ridge broke off and began to fall. Eroe saw that he was only a few wingspans ahead of it as he and the chunk plummeted at blistering speed down towards the owl. With his eyes slits against the wind, he extended his talons, and with fractions of a second between him and the chunk of ice, scooped the owl out of the way, barely managing to keep them both from tumbling into the sea. There was a resonant boom when the ice hit where the owl had perched seconds before, and the ridge was pulverized against the rocks next to the sea.

• • • Ch. 4 Edit

"Racdrops! Can't anyone leave me be? I can't even take charge of my death, let alone my life!"

These were the first words Eroe heard the owl say, only moments after he had risked his own life to save him. "Pardon, Leave you be!? You would be dead if I had not decided to dive down to help you. Could you not hear the ice breaking?"

"Of course I could, and that's the whole point, isn't it? I have nothing left to look forward to in life, not a family, not a future, and now no control over when to end it all!" The owl collapsed with a sob.

This was an owl in desperate need of consolation, Eroe realized. He needed to know the owl's full story and convince him life could get better. Eroe knew in those few seconds that this would be a challenge, though he believed he could do it, with Glaux at his side, and revitalize this owl who so much wanted to end his life.

"Now, now, I'm sure everything can't be that bad. After all, you did have a stroke of luck that I happened to be here for you," Eroe began, "And I believe that anything can get better with a little help from the outside." Eroe paused, looking down at the still sobbing pile of feathers, and sighed. "Please, can you tell me your name?"

"Wik, and I don't want anyone feeling sorry for my life." came the muffled answer.

"Ah, well. Pleased to meet you, Wik. I am Eroe, and I would like to help you, though I would not want to help any owl who thought he deserved the pity of the world. I can see you know you can do better because of it."

Wik had stopped his lamenting and had dragged himself slowly to his talons. Still looking down he asked, "And what exactly do you see in me that could possibly do any good in this world?"

This, Eroe realized, was what the owl needed: a purpose. If he could find some way to rebuild the sense of purpose in Wik, he would be saved, and no longer would he feel as if the world did not need him. Eroe would need to raise up the spirit in this owl and give him the fortitude to go on, no matter how long or hard the journey was.

• • • Ch. 5 Edit

The harsh winds buffeted the lone owl in the Firth of Rutenspyrr. His eyes were slits against the sleet that the early storm had produced, and he meditated more on his own time alone in his hollow. The firth was not as secluded as it had once been, a perfect place for some owl of a quiet and studious nature, but instead had been inhabited by a small family of Spotted Owls. Now that he was not alone, many of his previous experiments had to be put on hold until a more solitary spot could be found.

–––

(TBC)

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