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.
"Really," Hawk said, frowning, "Then why's it sound so negative when you bring it up?"
Teige rubbed the back of his neck self-consciously. "Well, er...sometimes I forget how little you know about the world, sunshine." He grinned sheepishly, and continued, "Some people find the idea of fucking outside your own species to be, er, gross."
Hawk blinked. "Ohhh," he said, somewhat embarrassed, "right."
"Don't fucken blush, feathers," Teige said placatingly, moving to plonk himself down on the other side of their small campfire, "Interspecies buggery is older'n coal. There's whole myths about it! And we're all intelligent and consenting monsters here, eh? There's been thousands a' halfbreeds like you as the result of such unions. I wouldn't put any stock into anyone who held that against you."
He dreamed of the black shapes of big, heavy birds wheeling over his head, outlined against the sun. They were saying something, between them, but he did not know or could not remember what.