In the early 1900s, the nation of Aetheri came out of its long interdimensional isolation and revealed to the humans of the Symphony Archipelago that they were not alone in the multiverse. Things swiftly got ugly after that.
In the early 1990s, Aetheri's leadership changed, and in the Archipelago, a tiny broken family of half-siblings banded together in the face of the bile and hate that was boiling up between the humans and the non-humans.
In the early 2000s, that family was split apart. Hawk Press and his sister Liya Kiski both begin a long and exhaustive journey towards understanding the difference between friend and enemy--and between the family you're given, and the family you make.
"Are they bugs?" Liya asked quietly, unwilling to break the peace of the evening, but curious about the silent blue lights drifting over the dark leaves.
"Bugs--?" Yoshi seemed to have to stop a moment to recall what the word meant. "No, I don't think so. They look like, er, shrimp, up close."
"Oh," Liya murmured, and then, "Oh!"
They'd found a stone bench to sit on just off the ashy pathway, surrounded by dark trees. The whole garden was more like an unmanicured copse of some kind of evergreen and many thick, low bushes; mist had already gathered at the tops of the trees in the cool evening, smudging out the leaves.
Above them, just visible through the screen of low, smooth clouds, were two moons. One was bright orange, glowing gently over the trees--the other sat behind it like a thin blue shadow. Liya looked up at them, eyes huge.
"Two moons, huh?" she remarked.
"Yes," Yoshi agreed, "they are Suuhl and Yil."
Liya went quiet, taking in the dusk. It wasn't warm or humid or alive with the sound of mosquitos and mole crickets. It was almost chill with the end of a definite summer, windless and silent, with only the ghostly blue lights and the two moons overhead to let her know she wasn't on Ardh anymore.
She closed her eyes and sighed, and something seemed to ease up some in her chest.
"Thanks," she said after a while, and Yoshi glanced at her. She rubbed one wrist, not looking at him. "For, um, showing me around. Think I can get a hold on all this now."
Yoshi actually smiled, shyly. He looked back down quickly. "Well--"
Without warning something exploded over the treetops behind them, lighting the night air up bright orange. Liya jumped out of her skin.