A golden raven flew from the castle of ice, unnoticed by the heroes in the chaos of battle and then the delirium of triumph. Too absorbed in kissing and congratulating themselves to finish the job properly.
Ravenna flew. Only a sliver of her usual consciousness remained to her in this form with the rest of her shattered with her mirror, but it guided her unerringly.
She flew for a fortnight, not stopping to eat or rest, things she did not require. What sustained her was magic. Some object’s. Her own.
At last she reached her destination, far from her sister’s kingdom of snow. A land of gleaming black sand and molten lava.
A short distance from the oozing volcanoes, far enough that plants could grow and man and beasts endure, a mass of people knelt before a dais. On the dais stood a young woman of great beauty, her crown made of polished copper the precise shade of her hair, studded with topaz the exact hue of her eyes and rubies that were dimmed by her lips.
Sinmara’s beauty was marred only by the burn scar that covered her entire left cheek.
Ravenna came to perch on the youthful queen’s shoulder.
Sinmara turned her head to smile, reached up to stroke Ravenna’s metallic wings.
“Welcome, aunt,” she said.