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.
Hawk rocked back slightly, suddenly very tired. The noise formed strange shapes around his head--a pair of ghostly jaws with jagged teeth, which opened and shut as Hawk spoke.
"I'm just tryin' to stop the bleeding," he said.
"Not that," the woman said, and passed Hawk a roll of athletic tape. "The magic shit you're doing, what's that?"
Before Hawk could answer, Abi had stormed back into the trailer with an armful of white cloths. "Look, it wasn't my idea!" she shouted towards the open door behind her, and for an instant her shadow leapt onto the wall behind her full of teeth, "Yell at Parker!"
Another woman appeared--this one with billowing red hair and large glasses and a severe jawline.
"Y'coulda just told 'em to stick a tampon in it!" she barked after Abi, who made a rude gesture in response. The striped woman--Parker, presumably--straightened up. Abi thrust a fistful of what looked like shop cloths at Hawk.
"Here. These're clean."
"Thanks," Hawk mumbled.
"Minnie," Parker said calmly, as the woman stopped to stare at Hawk and Teige, seething.
"Parker, what the hell?!" she exploded. The wound in Teige's back was spilling little drops of green fire and ribbons of blue noise--Hawk folded up a cloth and pressed it over the wound.
"Minnie." Parker tried to interrupted.
"Some smelly rioters come up to you and you just let 'em in?!"
"Minnie, shut up."
It was quick work now that he had the materials--he padded both ends of the bullet wound with clean cloth, then began wrapping it over with the tape. Teige had finally gone totally silent, his eyes shut.
"See?" Hawk told him, struggling to hold himself up as he looped the tape over Teige's shoulder again and again, "You're gonna be fine. You're just leakin' some."
"No, you shut up!" Minnie said furiously. "Bring a crazy necromancer in here, why--"
Parker grabbed her shoulders, and said, very calmly and firmly, "Minnie. I think we should bring them with us."