"A Wake of Vultures" is the fourth story in my mini-series of stories in Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar anthologies about people with Animal Mindspeech. Lena, the protagonist of this story, first appeared in "A Charm of Finches" (published in 2010) as a ten-year-old orphan being fostered at the Temple of Thenoth, Lord of the Beasts. The next year I wrote "A Leash of Greyhounds" where Lena is sent off to spend the summer with a friend of her late mother.
The way I start my Valdemar stories is to take a list of collective animal names, read it to Misty, and ask her which one she wants next, so the title is my starting point. I had the title and was all set to start writing the story when a real-life death, followed by some sort of legal snafu intervened, and for the next two years we did Elemental Master anthologies instead. So it wasn't until 2014 that my story about the wake of vultures guarding a body that would kill anyone who touched it was finally published in NO TRUE WAY.