FOLKLORE


Snow on Fire
#1
Mountains were the borders of the world, great and mighty shields that stood strong and enduring against even the most ambitious of intruders. It was the mountains that had kept this land secret for so long, that protected the heathens from falling to order and greed of the empires to the east. It was mountains, that offered a place for her family, exhiled from a throne that no longer held a great fire shadow upon it. For generations, her family had ruled those lands, though while she had never walked the halls of her ancestors, Badari had been nursed on their conquest, and shaped into something that one day would hail her as Tiamat, regardless as to whether her kin wanted her or not.

But now, all they had ever known was taken from them, covered in the dark and cold of the unforgiving desert night, as one by one, the pups of the second daughter were swept away from those hidden hollows, places meant to keep them safe. But, even the pale flame could birth true raging fire; it would be only a matter of time before loose lips uncovered the embers in the brush. Now, they followed after a mother they seen far too little of, spanning leagues and time, for their guardian, quiet and loathesome though he may be, revealed he had broken off from the war, a solider hidden in rags to protect his queens land, had found hints to their existence. Perhaps it was stupid to follow this stranger, but there was no other choice. She hated him through, hated him not for his silence, but for the truth he carried. They had been left behind. Part of her yearned to hate them, hate the cousins she had never met, hate the mother who had chosen to hide them away. But... she could not, she could not find anger to the wolves who didn't know of their existence, and a woman trying her best in the circumstances arisen. She would continue to love Sinai, regardless for all her faults.

The treck through the pass had been cruel, the sort of travel many pups would not have survived. But Badari... her siblings, they were not so weak anymore. The long journey had melted away the soft edges to them, breeding gaunt, lithe creatures, hardened from their struggles. The hunger never quite went away. They were not the same as when they first left, left the sweet smells of dates, and the brilliant emerald against a crimson sea of sand. Now, the daughter of fire, ash, and ice pushed forward, her limbs not quite long enough to pass over the snow. She had yet to reach her final growth spurt.
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#2

KHUSUS


Lanky limbs carried the prince through the snow in an ungainly stride as paws lifted higher and higher to free themselves from the drifts. In a strange frozen land he was remarkably able to adapt, to become one with the harsh element. For he carried ice upon his smoldering shoulders although a fire burned within his chest. A flame that danced delicately behind the barred constraints of his rib cage. It longed to be ignited, it yearned for kindling. The blaze that encircled him since he was a pup not quite strong enough to engulf him.

Khusus, the son of fire and ice, glanced about. Those hazy ruby eyes a testament to the conflagration inside regardless of those optics which never learned how to focus. The blurred outlines of two of his sisters were all he could make out amongst the vast expanse of white.

Badari, the phoenix, ever rising from the flames as the rightful princess, the heir in both coat and coloration of her orbs. So too was she the eldest and just as much their make shift alpha, if even in her own mind.

Minya, the molten tiara, a proper princess in constitution alone. Her good tempered nature as much a testament to their beautiful mother Sinai as her subdued pelt. The one to find comfort from in any situation, even if she was struggling inside.

The Tiamat prince struggled to know which of his sisters to speak with, to interact with. Surely Badari would bolster him with strength, would renew him from exhaustion with no more than a snide remark or a challenge. Just as definitive, Minya would encourage his mental fortitude, would refresh his tumultuous state of mind with little more than a comforting word or an encouragement.

Yet Khusus couldn't help but feel as if the physical strain of their journey was perhaps somewhat minimized by the emotional onslaught of what this pilgrimage truly meant. For no longer would he and his siblings be the forsaken secret bastards of the Tiamat empire. That small wriggling pile of pups had grown, emerged from the hidden shrubbery as a brush fire. They were ablaze. They were blazing a path through the snow, carving the ice, and melting the rest as they finally made their way home.

"Careful Minya..."


Perhaps it was up to him, to the prince to ensure that his sisters were prepared for what was to come. Khusus would gently goad the molten tiara to keep her thoughts from straying whilst simply appearing as if he yipped for her to watch her step. He knew she would understand the duel meaning.

"Come Badari... our destiny awaits..."


Several more high pitched vocalizations would erupt as he playfully taunted the phoenix to keep going, to keep moving, to not give up in the face of all this adversity. All this snow could not dampen her fiery spirit nor her fiery feathers, he knew this. For deep within she too ran with ice.

He would charge ahead, past them into the blurry horizon. Yet Khusus was not afraid. The Tiamat prince had been born all but blind. However for perhaps the very first time in their short lives, he thought that just maybe, the uncertain future looked the same for all of them.


@Badari
@Minya
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#3
Minya struggled to push through the snow, but not a single complaint could be heard passing her lips. She trudged on, always trailing behind her older sister like an afterthought, though she knew that was never the case. Her siblings were always looking out for her, no matter if she was behind them or in front, whether she was distracted by the bright red caw of a red-tailed hawk flying overhead or the menacing yellow zig-zag of a turkey vulture's hiss as it hunches over a mound of baking desert flesh. The small troupe had made it over the hot sands and through bitterly cold desert nights. And now, they were in an entirely different world. Minya had never seen so much white before. The pads of her paws were nearly numb with it, and some of the drifts were high enough to graze her belly. Unbalanced, she stumbled and caught herself before tumbling forward. Even so, a cloud of snow blew out from beneath her kicking limbs and dusted the snow around her.

Her brother's voice came to her then, the familiar blush of lilac appearing in the peripherals of her vision. "Careful Minya..." he called.

Minya licked her nose and could practically taste the cold, though she knew it was just water. Practically tasteless. "Don't worry about me," she chirped. She smiled at him toothily and blew at the snow in front of her. Crystals danced into the air before landing gently on his coat. His light coloration practically sparkled with the frozen snow, and Minya's grin widened.
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#4

ISMAILIA TIAMAT



The snows fell hard on them that day. Flurries of blinding white slanted their vision and dulled the fire burning upon their coats. It was a miracle how they had managed to all stay together; through the darkest nights and thick storms. The fire that shone within all of them had been sparked the day they had left; left the comfort of their own home, left the safe haven their mother had fashioned for them. But they knew it was only temporary. They had been spun tales of a dynasty; the legacy that lived on through them. Their life waited beyond the shelter of the towering Mountains; their path lay in Cyrileth... with their family.

But no matter how hard the journey had been, or would get, it did not dampen their spirits. No, the spark still flickered on. Lead by Badari; the blazing light somehow all four of them had managed to survive.

Arsione.

Bright, blue pools quickly darted to check behind; yet no sign of the silver wraith of her brother, no blazing eyes to break his monochromatic form. With furrowed icy brows, the young girl gasped and bounded through the snow towards her siblings.
“Wait,”
Her smooth, airy voice called out against the winds; in the distance she could see Khusus bound away; ready to face the future head on.
“Wait!”
Her voice was stronger now, sharper. Even out of breath, she would hide the weakness. Her head uplifted; paws delicatley stroking the snow as she strode up towards Badari and Minya.
“We have lost Arsinoe. I cannot see him.”
Her fiery crown turned back towards the delicate paw-prints made; eyes squinting and hoping to see his slender figure come into view.
“We must not leave him behind.”


“I am speaking”

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@Badari
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#5
She was uncertain where they were heading, what the final destination was, how far beyond the mountains they must track until at last they found the new haven. The fire that had burned for so long in the embers of the East had fled, smoldering and yet, surviving the vast distance to take root anew. All they knew was, somewhere, out here in this strange new world their mother awaited. Badari was... cautious in her hope, in that soft warm feeling that always came to burn in her breast when the woman was mentioned. She was precious, a feeble memory that promised something more than their insignificant life, outcasted and hidden, shamed. She wanted to know her, to become something important, not just as a child born of her body, but as someone that held an irreplaceable hold in her life. Sinai was a ghost, a story of old that they all huddled around, covetting as something they all wished to see, but, feared what might come of it. What was a fantasy when suddenly it became real? Another part of her, that volatile, angry spark rebelled against getting her hopes up. Why hadn't she come herself to get them? Were they not worth the effort? What awaited them at the end, when they finally found this new place, amongst their family who they had never met, only heard of in passing.

She was angry, so terribly angry, not just with her mother, but with laws of the Tiamats, that simple command that made them shameful, wrong. Maybe, had she been slightly younger, in those moons when she was yet naive to what their circumstances truly were, she would have been excited with the idea of meeting her family. An aunt, cousins, perhaps friends to join that secret, precious circle that had always been just for her and her siblings. But she was not so ignorant anymore. Badari was very aware of what position they had, and there were times where she wondered exactly what would await them. She thought of Minya, gentle, kind Minya, and her teeth gnashed at the idea of her shrinking back at the harsh fall of rejection. She of Khusus, quiet and calm, the center to the storm to their little pack; would he stumble in his steadiness, hesitant, doubt? And Ismailia, so like her in fire, but, she perhaps wanted to belong most of all. And Arsinoë, so unlike all of them, taking after a father they had never known. What would the Tiamats think of him, more ice than fire?

The idea of any of them suffering for opinions of others, of people who could, but shouldn't matter, made Badari burn. Molten eyes, brighter then the sun looked up at Khusus' words, catching the hazel tones of his back dart passed. Puffing up, indignant, always so fast to feel so much, the young phoenix darted forward, a spark along ice, until she bowled into him. "You don't need to tell me that Khusus," she huffed, gnawing on his cheek with sharpened kisses, her tail waving over her back as a tongue of flames reaching ever higher. Behind them, Minya's carmelized fur shown as a beacon of gold, and haughty, the girl tossed her head "Keep up Minya."

'Wait!'

The sound was abrupt, and Badari, whirled around, seeking out the worry that colored fear in her heart. Ismailia approached from the back, trailing along the path they had cut into the snow... and she was alone. 'We have lost Arsinoe. I cannot see him.' Thoughts swirled in her mind, of all the terrible things that could befall a lone wolf pup. She never doubted his cunning, but, he was weak, just as they were, the long track taking much from all of them. Had he suffered more then he had let on? "When was the last you saw him?" Her words were sharp then, stepping forward to close the distance between them, eyes of fire dancing amongst the shadows of the trees, peering down the path, looking for familiar blue eyes. "We should backtrack."

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#6
pls delete
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#7

arsinoë tiamat



arsinoë had no doubt that their mother was close. his faith in her had never wavered; even through the fires that engulfed the east, through their perceived abandonment, and even now as he trudged after his siblings in the snow. he could just make out their shapes against the stark white of the sky. badari and khusus took the forefront, leading minya and ismailia. he lingered behind them all, falling back until he was barely in sight.

he wasn’t like them.

they burned in brilliant golds and reds; they burned with the greatness of the tiamats. he blended in with the snow and the ice. he was the blemish on his sibling’s greatness. he would still do anything for them, no matter the cost, because that is what he was made for.

that was when he heard ismailia: wait, wait! we have lost arsinoë. i cannot see him. we must not leave him behind. he felt his heart warm at the sound of her voice, and with one last check over their tracks he pushed forward to reach them.

when was the last time you saw him? badari questions, her tone sharp like the edge of a knife. we should backtrack. he instead emerged from the cover of a snow laden tree as she turned back on the path, meeting her blazing gaze with his own.

“i'm here, no need to worry.” he said instead as he approached ismailia’s side. “lead on, badari.”

“I am speaking”

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#8
Minya knew a storm brewed in her siblings' hearts, stronger than any winter gale, stronger even then the love that bound them all together. They were each conflicted with their own desires and struggle to defy what it meant to be a Tiamat—what it simply meant to be themselves. To Minya, there was no push and pull in her chest. No burn. No fury to be found deep within the flexing muscles as she trudged through the thick blanket that covered the landscape. There was only a certainty far wiser than should be found within her young soul. She was certain she was already exactly what she was meant to be... and if that was a lithe, crystalline beauty of a she-wolf, a defender of her siblings and her mother, and nothing more, so be it. She had no drive to prove what was in a name unless it protected those she loved.

She was Minya. That's all she knew. That's all she cared.

Minya knew her siblings were different, though. She loved them for them. Fire licked their souls like dark, smooth coals, turning them red-hot. Untouchable. She admired that fury and that strength. Especially in her sister Badari. She was the lantern that lead them on, calling out even as Arsinoë fall behind. "I'm here, no need to worry," the lightest of the siblings said as he brushed up between them, rejoining the worried group. "Lead on, Badari."

Minya let her soft blue eyes fall on her brother as the lilac color of his voice faded from her vision like dissipating smoke. The group moved on—in a tighter line now—almost nose to tail, and Minya let Arsinoë go ahead of her. She stayed quiet, preferring her thoughts over noise in the winter landscape.
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#9

SINAI TIAMAT



One by one they made their way across the snowy landscape. Leaving a blaze of foot prints in their path, her children marched toward her. She told them she would meet them here. Leaving them in the guidance of Roan, she had blazed ahead. She had wanted to return to her family here in Cyrileth before her children made the journey as she wasn’t sure what kind of a welcome they would receive here. Worry still swirled in the back of her mind but she pushed it aside. Narrowing her eyes, she noticed that Badari lead the group. It wasn’t unnatural, her first born was born to rule and rivaled her cousin Cario... She would have to redirect that energy to ensure her safety. It was the absence of that aforementioned male that concerned her. Perhaps he wasn’t the man she thought him to be.

Locking these feelings away, she let her gaze move from one child to the next. Badari. One look and you couldn’t question her familial ties. Orange eyes that burned deeper than her own blazed through the snowstorm. Her might had not dimmed since Sinai had last laid eyes on her. Even as a young pup her bravery and strength had been resounding.

Khusus quickly followed his sister. His muted form was most similar to her own. She was glad to see he was keeping up with the rest. The woman had had her worries when he first entered the world. Even when he was able to open his eyes, it was as if he saw the world through a foggy window. His fire, while not as bright as his sisters, burned slowly and told her he might outlast them all.

Minya was right on his heals. His words of warning were lost on her as she bounded through the snow, playing as only she could. Sinai felt her heart soar watching her. She, like Khusus, had adopted her muted flames. Just like her spirit, her coat was full of vibrant hues. Time and time again Sinai had tried to understand the colors that danced through her head, and each time her adoration for the girl grew.

Ismailia came next. Where her oldest sister was the princess of fire, she was the princess of ice. Blue eyes shining brightly, she suddenly stilled. Her actions were true to her character, her concern for her brother was encouraging. It seemed that she had not lost her love for her family. Ismailia would pose the hardest challenge for Sinai, though she had agreed to come to these lands, Sinai knew she would not easily trust the mother that had abandoned them, regardless of how strong their love for each other burned.

Arsinoë brought up the rear. Despite his sister’s panic he had never left their side, from her vantage point Sinai could see his bright eyes shining several steps behind the group. Once he caught wind of their worry he blazed on. His snowy pelt helped him blend in with the thick blanket winter had provided them. He was the most like his father. Clade in ice at every angle, he was the one that Nassar would hope to destroy. He was at the most risk here, Sinai knew he would demand the most attention.

Sighing in relief as she saw they all were healthy, she began to make her way toward the group. Leaping through the deep snow, she closed the distance quickly and padded softly up to them.

“You made it.”


She said the words warmly. Not quite sure how to react. She had dreamed of the day she could welcome them with open arms since they were born. It seemed she was finally getting her wish.

“Follow me, let’s get to the warmth.”


Though they were born of ice, that didn’t mean they should freeze. Stealing once last glance at each of them, she turned back toward where she came from. It was time Cyrileth welcomed her kids.

-exit Sinai hopefully with her kiddos-


“I am speaking”

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