Ravensha's body twitched as she slept. She whimpered quietly. One of the women tending the fledglings nudged her with her foot. “Wake up, child.”
Ravensha opened her eyes with a gasp. “Red eyes,” she whispered. “The red eyes are coming.”
“Be silent.” The foot struck her wing harder and Ravensha cried out in pain.
“What goes on here?” Ersa, favored mate of the Sky-Lord, walked into the cavern.
“Just an unruly fledgling, my lady,” the woman said, kicking at Ravensha again. “My apologies if her cries disturbed you.”
“What's disturbing me is your abuse of the Sky-Lord's daughter,” Ersa said coldly. “Ravensha was recognized as his child. You have been told to treat her well, and I find you striking her with the intent to harm. Shall I speak to the Sky-Lord about your actions?”
The woman blanched. “No, my lady.”
“Then I suggest you moderate your treatment of his daughter,” Ersa said. She looked down at Ravensha. “Now, what disturbed your sleep?”
“Red eyes,” Ravensha said again. “The red eyes are coming.”
Ersa raised an eyebrow. “Red eyes? Coming here?”
Ravensha nodded. “I saw them. They crawled down the stone like the rock creepers. They're coming here. They're bad people. They're going to hurt us.”
“It was just a dream, Ravensha,” Ersa said. “You know no one comes down the cliff. Go back to sleep.”
“Yes, mama,” Ravensha said. She wrapped her wings back around her and closed her eyes.
“My lady, I understand that she is the only female the Sky-Lord has claimed out of the many he has sired, but should we really be treating her any differently from the rest of the fledglings?” the woman asked.
“It is rare for a Sky-Lord to recognize a female,” Ersa said. “You know this. He must see some value in her, and I will not see her harmed just when the Sky-Lord finds favor with her. He could summon her to his presence at any time. Do you want him to see her bruised?”
“No,” the woman said. “But I also do not want to have him see her undisciplined.”
“Chastise her if you wish, but moderate your blows,” Ersa said.
“Yes, my lady,” the woman said. Ersa left.