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.
Teige's brow scrunched together. "I kin tell," he said pointedly, knocking Hawk's hands from his shoulders, "Stop doing that. Relax."
"That's it?!" Hawk barked, as Teige started to get to his feet, "That's your advice?"
Teige looked at him scornfully. "What," he said, "are you suggesting I don't know about shape-changing?"
He offered Hawk a hand. "It's just a surface change. Everyone learning t'shift does it on accident at least once. It's just extra feathers and skin. A hot shower, and it'll peel straight off. You'll be just fine."
Hawk paused, and then took the offered hand, allowing Teige to haul him to his feet. Teige kept a loose grip on his feathered arm, guiding him swiftly away, up the road, away from the 'Drive Safe' sign with its dried flowers and its worn, forlorn stuffed bear sitting at its base.
"Exorcising ghosts with your feathers, though, that's a new one," Teige remarked, with a stab at lightheartedness, "Where'd you ever get the idea that they're magic fucken charms?"
"Huh?" Hawk asked, for a second forgetting what Teige was referring to. "Oh. I know they ent magic. That's just somethin' I used to tell my little sister, whenever she was scared of bein' alone."