In Kynall: Segnbora and Hasai

The Five:


Last-born dragonet of the Great Journey. Set apart for having the wrong shape of soul. Stranger in a strange world... until his true family finds him.

Hasai ehs'Pheress was hardly out of the egg by his people's standards—barely a century old—when the distant world on which Dragonkind was born was swallowed by its dying, hungry star. But even before they fled their world, he had already been left alone in ways no other Dragon had been in living (or nonliving) memory. And indeed, memory was the problem... for he could not remember what was going to happen to him after he died.

This lack seemed to count for little in the timeless journey that followed—when the whole Dracon people journeyed through the houseless, seemingly endless night that lay between their dead world and everything else. One by one even the Dracon elders were beginning to die in the long dark, becoming immaterial voices in almost all the survivors' minds... but not Hasai's.

Then everything changes for his people as the Dragon whose ahead-memory has been leading them makes a final change of direction that orients the migration toward a small, insignificant-looking yellow star. It looks like the promise of home... until they get close enough to find a darkness holding this system against them.

Desperate at the sight of the memory-prophesied home awaiting them, desperate at the thought of its loss after centuries of journeying, the Dragons attack the Darkness with their fire -- to no avail. The Dark threatens to swallow them. At the end of hope, their Guide sacrifices himself in calling upon the Immanence to save them. And he is heard. The Messenger comes, shaped like a Dragon but burning like a star, and destroys the Dark, leaving them free to descend into the small green-and-blue jewel of a little world they’ve found...or been sent to.

The Dragons land there and burrow into the welcoming stone, far from dwellings of the strange frail unwinged species now coming out of hiding into the light again. Hasai, though, finds a cavern far from his people and waits for the death he now recognizes as close. And when one of the strange frail human creatures stumbles into the place where he waits for his life to end, she unexpectedly offers Hasai the refuge-in-mind that none of his people ever would...

In the wake of this bizarre reprieve, Hasai's life turns extremely strange. The woman-creature, already on an errand that threatens her own life, tries desperately to unhouse Hasai from her mind. But after everything he's been though, he absolutely refuses to be unhoused. He clings close to her, hoping that he may yet render her Dracon enough to coexist with him. But Hasai is shocked to discover that, instead of that, he seems in danger of her turning him human... and (as his sudden new ahead-memory now suggests) destroying him.

Desperate to survive, Hasai works to learn from the human Segnbora what this new life will require of him. Soon he finds himself caught up in the struggle to make a "king" of another human Segnbora cares for... so much that she appears willing to give up her life for him. Hasai discovers how peculiar it is to slowly come to be cared for himself by an alien, when no one of his own kind has ever done so before. And he finds himself learning how to fight for his own new world, and the beings becoming his new family, in ways he could never before have imagined...

Hasai's experience of his (and his people's) part in the events of the Great War appears in The Door Into Shadow.

Human-watching  Oh Goddess, what's he said *now*...?  In the dark of the mind  High flight