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Hortense
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Description
Species: Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis)
Gender: Female
Family
Family and Relatives: N/A
Book Appearances
Appears in: Book Appearances
Details
N/A
"For this was an owl who wanted only to do good, who clung to dreams of freedom while giving up her own and, from a stony perch in a lawless place, she did find a way to wage her own war."
Soren, The Capture, page 129

Hortense, later know as Mist, is a female Spotted Owl, or Strix occidentalis originating from the Southern Kingdoms, more specifically the kingdom of Ambala. She met Soren and Gylfie when they were just owlets at St. Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls. She met up with them once more in The Siege when they were on their way to The Great Ga'Hoole Tree after having been on a mission at the place where they first met.



History

Before the Books

Hortense is born in Ambala near a stream full of small bits of an ironlike metal, called "flecks." These flecks have the ability to give owls special abilities, as in the case of her father, who could see through rock. In her case, she is small and makes her impervious to being moon blinked, which is caused by an owl sleeping at night under the full moon instead of during daylight. Moon blinking leads to a loss of individuality and can make an owl a mindless and perfectly obediant slave.

Hortense grows feathers slowly, and remains the size of an owlet even as she turns four years of age because of flecks as well as remaining unable to fly. This becomes to her advantage when she volunteers to go on an inside mission to St. Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls, who are snatching young owlets and eggs and moon blinking them to amass an army to control the owl world. Two Snowy Owls place her close outside the entrance to the canyons, with the promise of bringing her home soon. And soon, she was found and brought in where she began her mission.

The Capture

Hortense pretends to be excited to receive her number name, and appears to all the other owls to be "perfect" in her duties, but she is, in reality, taking snatched eggs and giving them to eagles for them to bring to Ambala. Gylfie, a young Elf Owl who has escaped moon blinking as well, sees her one occasion and tells her friend Soren. They confront her and she tells them of her past.

The next time she delivers an egg, Soren and Gylfie watch. However, some St. Aggie's owls catch her and they battle with the eagle come to retrieve the egg, whose name is Zan. Zan's tongue is ripped out and Hortense is pushed off a cliff by Finny. All presume her dead, but in fact she is caught by Zan's mate, Streak. However, after that her feathers turn grey and misty due to natural old age, making her almost invisible, and when she returns to Ambala she assumes the name Mist.

The Siege

Mist, formerly known as Hortense, saw the pilgrim, Simon who nursed Kludd to health. Kludd then mudered him shortly. He didn't notice Mist who was watching.

When news came from another owl named Hortense, that Soren was injured after a mission to St. Aggies, she, along with her eagles, Zan and Streak, and the flying snake, Slynella, went to the hollow where the Chaw of Chaws were staying.

Trivia

  • Hortense has become a common name in Ambala, even for males, so as to honor her past deeds at St. Aegolius.
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