Chapter 1, The Song of the Summer King~ 1 ~The Red KingFresh morning air lifted clouds and gulls above the glimmering sea, and drew one young gryfon early from his den. Too early, just before sunrise when forbidden darkness still blanketed the islands. The sun rose unhurriedly from the sea, and Shard strained against the steep sky, breathing deep, challenging himself to the highest possible dive. The sea spun below him. His mind flickered lightly in the thin air and he shoved down panic. Some would call it too high. His wings drew in and flapped out sluggishly, feeling separate from his body. He had to bank, to get lower, breathe the deeper air.Night sparked at the edge of his mind. His dreams flocked up from the night before. Nightmares of the impending initiation hunt.The hunt! Shard thought wildly. What's the sunmark? Dreams scattered like crows from Shard's mind.