Kingdoms of Steel is a fanfiction by OdelayOwl, currently being written. It follows several owls as they journey past the known owl kingdoms and across a vast sea.
The story places the kingdoms of Ga'hoole on an island near the mouth of the North Sea, coordinates 58°28'45.2"N 0°24'41.1"W
Summary (subject to change) Edit
Jascon, a young Bay Owl, is intrigued by the culture of the Others, a race of intelligent beings thought to be long extinct. He often visits the Palace of Mists, learning about the Others from Bess. Of all the Other stories she's translated, his favourite is the Voyage of St. Brendan, a story detailing a journey through strange and magical lands. Jascon believes there's truth to these stories, and along with his best friend Edda, a snowy owl, and Sturla, the son of Otulissa and Cleve, he sets out to find the land as St. Brendan did.
Jascon - male Bay Owl
Edda - female snowy
Sturla - male Spotted Owl, son of Otulissa and Cleve
Theodore - Nephew of Bubo and blacksmith in training
The season of the Copper-rose Rain was upon the Great Ga'hoole tree, and a warm drizzle fell from the clouds. The colour of the tree's berries and leaves seemed to shimmer and reflect through the night sky, giving the clouds a warm amber tinge. This was Jascon's favourite weather.
The young Oriental Bay Owl slowly made his way down the tree, drifting through the dripping branches. Chaw practices were done, and he still had a few hours before tweener. He was going to meet one of his friends. He spiralled parallel to the trunk of the tree, passing the hanging gardens, ripe with nuts and fruits. In recent months the guardians had learned the rewards of agriculture, and had begun planting their own nuts and berries. They had recently discovered that millet could be ground into flour to be used in cakes, and had started growing a field of it on the southwest side of the island.
All seemed good in the owl kindgoms. Peace had reigned for quite some time, letting the owls of the Great Tree explore and experiment with their surroundings. A technological revolution was underway; millet flour, glassmaking, and the harvesting of honey were just some of the advancements the owls had made.
The young Bay Owl reflected that many of these technologies had come from the study of the Others. The Palace of Mists, while still a secret to many of the owl kingdoms, had been opened up for study. With the help of dedicated scholars from the Great Tree and the Glauxian Brothers Retreat, Bess had been translating more and more of the Other manuscripts into Hoolian, with copies being printed for libraries.
The young Bay Owl, Jascon, had always been fascinated by the Others. They were so advanced in their technology. Had they also invented blacksmithing?
Jascon landed at the mouth of a cave at the bottom of the tree. Loud clanging came from inside. Jascon walked in.
"Theo?!" he yelled over the din. The banging stopped.
"What? Oh, hi Jascon!" an adolescent Great Horned Owl, facial disc brimmed with soot, turned around.
"Whatchya working on?"
"Some fire grate bars... Boring if you ask me."
A raspy hoot came from farther back in the cave. "It's good practice, lad! Once you known how to make a perfectly straight bar, every other trick will be twice as easy."
"Whatever you say, Pops..."
Bubo, now one of the oldest owls in the tree, had retired from being the main blacksmith, instead teaching new apprentices. He now spent most of his days experimenting, trying to make more efficient lamps, kitchen knives, and even more artistic ornate pieces. Bubo often laughed at that. Imagine him, the rough and tumble fowl-beaked Bubo, creating art. He must have gotten it from Plonk, Jascon thought.
One of his apprentices was his nephew, Theodore. One might say the profession had his name on it. While Theodore did have an interest in metals, he often rushed to complete his projects, eager to see what he pictured in his head. Unlike his uncle, who had firey russet feathers, Theo had dull, ashen feathers, almost the colour of grey metal.
"Say, it's almost tweener, innit?" said Theo, hammering the hardening metal in his talons.
"Yeah, I was about to go up."
"If they got any bat wings, could you bring some down for me?"
"Sure. What if they don't?"
"Eh, don't bother, then. I'll get something meself."
Jascon sailed up on the drafts caused by the evaporating rain and glided through the entrance of the dining hollow. He looked around for Roselyn, the snake he and his friends usually ate at. Ah, there she was.
"Good evening, Roselyn." he said, walking up to her.
"Good evening." she replied cheerily. Roselyn had light pink scales, but they shimmered with an almost purple glint.
"Ek, you smell like burnt pellets!"
Jascon held back a churr. Nothing like Edda to break the silence. Edda, a Snowy Owl, was one of Jascon's best friends. She was kind and caring, but a bit brash. She claimed to be descended from the Plonk family, but Jascon had his doubts. The tree had recently acquired a new plonk singer, Bianca Plonk, a niece of Brunwella. She was often accompanied in her singing by Blythe, the king's daughter. The Plonk family was a long and distinguished one, but its etiquette didn't appear to be hereditary. There were three other owls at the table - Rasia, a long-eared owl, Guto, a sooty owl, and Edom, a powerful owl, all good friends.
"You've been hanging out in that forge again, haven't you?"
"Yeah, I was saying hi to Theo."
"Theo? What's so great about Theo? I mean, he's pretty good looking, but he smells like a burnt up slug."
Rasia almost spit out her milkberry tea laughing. The teacups rattled.
"Indoor voice, Edda. You talk about that subject matter on your own time." Roselyn said in a testy voice.
The four owls continued eating, making small talk, but Edda inevitably spoke up again.
"Hey, look at those guys." She pointed to a snake with four spotted owls and a burrowing owl eating around it. The four spotted owls were siblings.
"What were their names again?" asked Edda.
"Valka, Sturla, Cleveland and Emerilla." said Rasia.
"Pfft, dweebs. They always sit together. Looks like they never left the nest. They're so scholarly, they even know Krakish. Do they ever tell wet poop jokes?"
"Your brother Geth is a scholarly type, isn't he?" Edom asked Guto.
"Yup, he wants to be in Ga'hooleology of all things. He hates it when owls call him Geth, it has to be Gethsemane."
"Gethsemane. Too wordy." said Edom.
"So, break cycle is coming up, what are you planning on doing?" asked Rasia. Break cycle came in the early fall, where there were no chaw practises for a moon cycle.
"Well," said Jascon "I suppose I could study so I don't forget everything I've learned in tracking... but I think I'll go to the Palace of Mists."
"Again?" asked Edda. "You've been there, like, a million times already. I bet you've read everything in there."
"Bess is always translating new stuff, and discovering new scrolls and things. It's interesting. You should come, Edda. It looks amazing there."
Edda thought for a while. "Hm.. eeh, guess I could... I haven't got anything better to do."
After their meal, all the owls were really to go to their hollows and get some sleep, but Jascon and Edda perched outside the dining hollow, talking.
"There's these bell towers, you see, and deep within a cave is the library, filled with books by the Others. Bess translates them. There's pictures the Others drew of houses, castles, kings, it's amazing."
"Others, Others, Others, you're obsessed with the Others. I don't see what's so interesting about the Others. They seem weird."
"They just lived differently, and were smarter than us. We can learn a lot from them."
"Yeah, I guess... But haven't you heard what happened during the time of the Golden Tree? The guardians here worshiped the Ember like Others did, and went totally yoicks from it."
"Yeah... I suppose not all things Other are good.. but some stuff is helpful."
"Yeah, I guess." said Edda.