A Tale of Griffins and Half-Bloods

Being a monster is hard enough. Being a monster who needs demigods to help you is even worse. Being a monster who needs help from demigods against other monsters is living hell.
And you thought being human was hard.

(Okay so I'm now realising my huuuuuge mistakes in consistency with the actual books so please bear with me that will be fixed I swear.)


23. Armour? Girl have you seen me? I don't need no armour! - Cinder

We followed the other team at first, stopping, like them, at the cabins and armoury. I trailed behind, watching the humans hurrying inside various cabins and picking up their pointy objects.

I was mostly ignored, left to mind my own business and wait for the rest of them to prepare. It was only when we reached the armoury that they decided I needed interfering with. I had noticed a small group of demigods standing a few feet from the others, the two flag-bearers and a couple of the meaner-looking godlings. Not that that meant much though, most of the demigods looked mean.

I wouldn’t have noticed them had they not kept glancing back at me with a mixture of glares and fear. I watched them, meeting their gaze whenever they looked over. Eventually, one split off from the rest- an especially large girl glad in bronze armour. I took mild pleasure in the knowledge that I was taller than her, even if it was only by an inch.

“Griffin,” she said curtly, having to look up a little to meet my gaze. “You are to scout for the enemy flag from above, and report back to us the moment you find it.”

My eyes narrowed, and I looked at her curiously. I didn’t much like being given orders- it was one of my few flaws, and one of the reasons I often got into trouble with the Elder of my particular flock. He said go one way, and I would fly the other. Of course being given orders by a demigod was worse. It was my natural instinct to do the exact opposite of what she was telling me. It took all I had to force out one word- “Alright.”

She stood there for a few moments more, her eyes barely visible through the slit of her helmet. Finally she turned, having decided my response was satisfactory. She was halfway back to her group of co-conspirators when she turned back. “You might want some armour, bird. Maybe a sword, too. Chiron didn’t say you couldn’t use our weapons.”

A shudder ran down my spine at the thought of the celestial bronze and Stygian iron. Even touching that stuff was sometimes enough to make your skin burn. “Unless you have it in plain metal,” I yelled back, shaking the sensation of from my mind, “I’ll make do with the skin I was given.”

I switched forms as I finished, stretching out my wings to accentuate my point. I saw a couple of the demigods nearest me flinch, some even going as far as to take a few steps back. I would have smiled if that was physically possible with a beak. Sometimes it just felt good to surprise someone, y’know?


It turns out they didn’t have anything in plain mortal metal. The demigod who informed me mumbled something about only fighting monsters before he hurried off to join the others. Ah well, I’d managed this long without using any human creations. I could last a while longer.

The demigods led the way into the forest, talking excitedly the entire time. On more then one occasion I caught one of the buggers glancing back at me. I was flying at the moment- they were moving too slowly for it to be of any benefit. I’d only be flying back and forth. So instead I hung back, keeping a distance between us and trying to figure out how I could be of more use without using any of my Gods-given weapons.

I was slowly learning the layout of the forest. My explorations the previous night were proving useful. So far I’d discovered the woods had slight traces of magic- Time and Distance were deceptive here. We were headed toward the eastern side of the forest, toward, if memory served, an area where a hill dropped off in a sort of mini-cliff. At the very least the drop from the top to the bottom was a tad more sudden than other areas. I guessed this had something to do with the ever-present fact that humans can’t fly.

I didn’t actually get to find out where our flag was- the tall girl from before stopped me before we reached our final destination, turning to the western side of the forest and pointing vaguely.

“Their flag will be somewhere over there,” she explained. She sounded like she was talking to a toddler, doing her best to enunciate her words with patronising clarity. “When you’ve found it find the nearest demigod on our side and tell them. Caw or something so the rest of us know.”

I was very quickly coming to the realisation that I despised this particular demigod. Now don’t get me wrong, I hate most demigods equally, just about as much as they hate me, but this one just ticked me off.

“I don’t ‘caw’,” I said, lifting my head proudly. I was part raven, not part crow. I didn’t much like crows, and often took it as an insult when I was referred to as such a bird. I couldn’t quite see her eyes through the helmet, but I could tell she was glaring at me.

“Whatever,” she growled, pointing toward the other side of the forest again. The hunting horn sounded somewhere near the middle of the forest. “Go,” she barked, brandishing her weapon.

If I weren’t so concerned with my own safety I would have stayed put and been a tad more defiant. As it was we seemed to have little time to lose, so I settled for flicking my tail angrily. I spread my wings, the evening light catching my feathers rather beautifully if I do say so myself, and took off. I got a little consolation knowing that the resulting rush of air knocked her and the two demigods behind her to the ground.

We had been standing in a clearing, wide enough for me to get off the ground with little trouble. Navigating trees was difficult, after all. It involved an awful lot of aerial acrobatics, that were difficult to perform as you were taking off.

I lifted into the air, waiting until I was about my height from the ground, before I shifted my wings slightly, and flew forward. I twisted in the air, slipping between two tree trunks with barely a centimetre between my wingtips and the bark. I glanced back at the demigods I had left, quite literally, in the dust, seeing them pick themselves up and watching me go. I refocused my attention to the task at hand, gliding over my red-plumed teammates and slipping between another set of trunks.

Toward the west, huh?

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