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.
The red-headed man's voice is what brought Liya, finally, back down to the ground.
"You're on the wrong side of this fight!" he barked, and it took her a second to realize that he was talking to her, and no one else. He struggled against the grip of the griffin, who was now pushing him down with the help of one of the other soldiers. In front of her, Yoshi seemed to settle very slowly, lips pursed. "The Archipelago is goin' to be free! You'll regret siding with these monsters, you--"
"Shut him up," General Russett ordered. "Someone reach Helly, make sure the real Cynn is safe."
All the fierce composure Yoshi had just had seemed to fly to pieces as the general leaned in towards him.
<Two weeks's training and you still showed them up,> she said longsufferingly, her voice less accented in her native language. < I told you, you're wasted on the stables.>
<Th-thank you,> Yoshi answered, rather uncomfortable at what amounted to a compliment from the general.
Russett didn't seem to notice his discomfort. She turned slightly to look behind him. <Your little friend, though...>
<Oh,> Yoshi said, turning as well, <This is Helly's new stu-->
He paused. Liya was gone. He hadn't even heard her go. He peered across the dark field with the floating lanterns scattered over it; she was nowhere to be seen in the pools of light.