As soon as Rainflight fell asleep, she was pulled into a nightmare.
“Hurry,” warned a stallion next to her. Cold, terrified, and only two days old, she stumbled after the large silver pegasus, following him into an open meadow inbetween the five territories. The stallion pointed his wing at a small dip in the field. “Wait there,” he ordered. Then he glided into the sky, and Rain, her name at the time, watched him until he disappeared. That stallion never returned. Rain wandered the meadow for three days, unable to eat the coarse, bitter grass and longing for her mother and her delicious milk.
On the third night, when she was sick with hunger and exhaustion, she opened her eyes to find six full-grown stallions standing around her. Confused, she sprang to her hooves but immediately collapsed again.
“The black foal!” she heard them whispering. “She should be dead!”
The youngest of the pegasi piped up, “Didn’t a bear kill her?” There was an excited chattering between five of the pegasi, until the oldest spoke up.
“Since we discovered her on our border, and Snow Herd clearly has not cared for her, we will take her to Thornwing to decide her fate,” he declared. The other stallions didn’t protest, and followed the oldest into the sky. Two grabbed Rain’s wings and carried her with them. Rain blacked out.
Rainflight woke up, shivering. That was how she had come to Star Herd. When she was older, Bluerain, the medicine mare who was still only a yearling, pulled her aside and filled in the gaps for her.
She had been born to Snow Herd. Secretly, Mothwing had ordered a stallion named Winterblaze to steal her from the herd in the night and kill her deep in the wilderness. Winterblaze had obeyed and taken her out to the meadow inbetween the herds. But unlike Mothwing, he had faith the black foal was the healer, and spared her.
Mothwing, not aware of Winterblaze’s change of heart, sent out messengers reporting that the black foal had been killed by a bear.
A few days later, one of Star Herd’s captains, Froststorm, and his patrol had found her and taken her to Thornwing. The over-stallion agreed to keep her, but he couldn’t make up his mind with what to do with her.
Winterblaze, the Snow Herd stallion who betrayed Mothwing, was killed by a Snow Herd envoy while hiding in the Vein.
Fogflight, one of the foals she played with, woke up when Rainflight accidentally brushed her with her wing. “What is it?” she asked sleepily.
“Nothing. Go back to sleep,” Rainflight said quietly. The filly didn’t hesitate and was soon deeply asleep.
Rainflight curled up against a young tree and tried to sleep until morning.