Name: Jukka (possibly her actual name)
Age: older than she looks, and she looks about 25
Rough description: dark blue hair, but not as dark as Kin’s, pale silver eyes, darker gray skin, 5’3”; willowy and fleet and almost never still
Jukka was young when her people perished in the Ascension, but unlike her companion, she’s lived the years since, watching the world change around her. At first in hiding, she soon began to follow the paths of the gargants, the last and heaviest mark her people had left on the land. Through the stone giants and the ley lines they tracked, she feels she’s gained a greater understanding of the cycles of the world and what happened in the disasters that killed the rest of her race.
Jukka watched the ley line behind them, the slender thread of light that kept the gargants on their path, and frowned slightly. The line hadn’t shifted, though she’d guessed that much already. A shift in the ley line would cause tremors throughout the earth itself.
She folded her arms, swaying easily with the movement of the old stone soldier whose shoulder she was using for a platform, and closed her eyes, opening them again when she heard her younger companion join her.
“I can’t get a sense of it,” she said in answer to his unspoken question. “The shift came from outside the ley line, but I don’t know where — or what. It didn’t leave a signature.”
He looked over his shoulder, toward the front of the line, where the first gargant had veered off course.
Well, veered. By fractions of a degree. But enough to alter their path entirely, given time.
There was no intelligence in the stone giants anymore. The ley lines were their source of power, simple survival dragging them along the thousand-mile paths, and Jukka watched them. Of all the things her people had left behind, they were the most active, if not necessarily the most dangerous.
She wondered briefly if there were records of aberrant behavior in one of the archives. Maybe it would do to spend some time on solid ground.
Beside her, Kin shifted.
“Not long,” she said. “Just enough to check. Will you come?”
He met her gaze and nodded after a slow second.
“We’re coming up on Phan Tor,” she said, crouching next to him. “It’s a good place to start.”
The city, nestled against the bones of the mountains, had one of the largest historical archives of any she recalled, barring the capital — and nothing was left of the capitol but dust and bones.
Kin nodded, reaching a hand down to pat the gargant’s shoulder. It didn’t react, at least not outwardly, but Jukka felt a faint surge of energy pool under her feet, and she grinned at him.
“They’ll be fine,” she said. “And even if they did shift, it’s not enough to push them off the path. Not yet.” She frowned again. “But we should look into this sooner than later.”
Another nod, and he settled into a sitting position with a low sigh. She smiled faintly and straightend, closing her eyes and casting her attention to the energy of the line.
Phan Tor was still a few days away, and they needed all the information they could get.