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.
Perched on the edge of the building next door was a large barn owl, staring down at them silently.
"Shit," Hawk said, "It's that fuckin' bird again. We gotta go."
Teige looked up at the edge of the building next door, shading his eyes, and said curiously, "What bird?"
"C'mon," Hawk insisted, and Teige reluctantly changed shape into a stoat, keeping his headlamp eyes on the spot where the owl was.
"A'right, a'right," he said, "what bird, though?"
Hawk didn't answer--he leapt to his feet, shouldering his bag, and plucked Teige off the ground with one hand. The stoat squirmed angrily as Hawk took off laboriously into the blazing evening sky, leaving the faun alone on the rooftop.
"OI," Teige barked, "Watch where you're grabbing, feathers!"