Oko needed to remember his real name.
With his real name, his power would be his once more. With his name, he would be able to shape shift out of the bird form he held, and become human again. The archmage had done a good job of erasing his memory, of erasing records, but he knew there had to be a written piece of parchment somewhere that bore his name. The armour was moving slowly, and seemed to be centered around one group of people. He was impatient. He wanted to do more than watch, and wait.
The portal between Bezbran and the other world was bright and silver, it took a single word – in the old tongue – to open. His falcon’s voice could not produce the sounds, but he could scratch the rune into the dust. On a rooftop not far above the umbrella, Oko clawed the portal rune into the gravel. The bright light flashed and a wide circle opened in ground. He fluttered his wings and shot through it.
The new archmage was far too young, far too inexperienced. He would not know how to detect a portal, even if he realized that it might be important. He swept in a wide arc, skirting the castle, avoiding it. Instead he skirted the great forest and soared above it for a few hours, the glint of the river guiding his flight.
The river dropped in a roaring waterfall, and Oko followed the water down the steep cliff. Then he darted behind the cascade of water, into a cave. The cave had been a retreat of his in his human form. There was little left here that had not decayed or fallen to ruin in the twenty years since he held the shape of a man, but perhaps. Perhaps there would be some scrap of knowledge. Some way of understanding his human name, and recapturing all of his prior glory.
- 140 Characters: The Coin and the Singing Truck (authorakanderson.wordpress.com)