FOLKLORE


[ P ] Of Ice and Fire
#1

The day had dawned a'new. From the small den that the siblings shared; Ismailia, for once, rose first. She awoke to the sounds of birds chirping from the emerald spikes of Pines. To the air crisp, yet not chilling to the bone-though she craved that now. The sting of snow upon her paws.. to soothe the burning she felt within her limbs.

Slowly, did bright eyes open. Her muscles felt taught and tired, aching from the day before. Nassar had spent the rest of the day helping train Ismailia, she tried and failed again and again. Never letting the harsh words get the better of her-until finally Nassar had had enough. It was then that she had met Karnak; moments before expelling the bottled up emotions. It had been a rough day. One that made her head hurt thinking about.

Slowly rising to emerge from the dark cavern; Ismailia was thankful for the crisp air that whistled around her, drinking it in to soothe her body. Front paws streached with her slender limbs to shake out tension from her spine and shoulders, she streached until her legs shook. Then the same with her back legs; beautiful, fluffy tail curling over her fiery spine. A yawn, quaint and quiet as to not wake the others; whispered into the cool air and into the cloudless skies above. Finally, a shake of her bi-toned pelt to rid of any debris collected.

She took a moment, then to bask in the sun. Allowing a sense of calm and pushing away the rather... traumatic encounters she had yesterday. Today was a new day! A new day to be better. To prove herself to Nassar. The road ahead was long and probably as tiresome as yesterday. But she would prevail. A Tiamat never broke a promise.



"we're all young and naive still"
table ▶▶claerie. manip ▶▶ raven


@Sinai
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#2

It was time. Time for her to come back. Time for her to kindle the gentle flame within her to onto a fierce blaze. She had spent months wallowing, no longer. Though she hadn’t completely left, she hadn’t been herself. The queen had retired her crown and had begun to slink around. Whipped into submission like a common slave. No longer. With each day she watched her children grow stronger. With each day she watched as they grew further and further from her. Their independence was admirable, and proved that she had done her job in raising them in the Tiamat fashion. What was her own excuse?

Why was she acting as if her flame had been drowned? The same fire that leapt in the veins of her sister pounded in her own. No longer would she suffocated them, starve them of oxygen as a feigned excuse to keep the peace. What peace? She had shattered that long ago. Though her heart ached for the warmth and support of her sister, she knew that one day the matriarch and the sovereign would find their way back to each other. Flames rarely burned alone. However, her actions had severely wounded her sister. She had taken from her the right that was hers alone. Nassar alone had the right to breed. The right to produce an heir.

Anything that came from Sinai’s womb was blasphemous, not to mention the seed of her chosen bedmate. The weight of this realization had been suffocating these past few months. Sinai couldn't believe what she had done to her sister and she didn't know if she would ever be able to make it up to her. Originally, Sinai had been determined that her suffering would make it up to her sister. If she lived in shame for the rest of her life that that would appease her sister. That she could manage to mend their relationship that way. Though in every sense that life screamed out in wrongness.

Her only relief was watching her children. From the shadows she lingered, each moment left her lungs feeling less and less constricted. These weren’t abominations they were hers these beings were hers to protect, hers to cherish, and hers to grantee their success. It was her shoulder that were responsible for them… So far, they had only seen her fall flat, crushed under her sisters shadow. Dipping into a stretch, she felt her chest brush the ground and her tail curled over her back. Shaking herself, Sinai rid herself of these thoughts. Each leg held her mass, but unlike before, they held strong. Four pillars that would support her bloodline. Just as her sister ruled with fire, she ruled with ice. Its cold touch raced through her body.

She had been raised to be a ruler, one of the noble. She was a Tiamat princess, she was born to fight, to never back down, to protect what she believed in, and to win. Throwing her head back, she let out a howl. It was short and demanding. Come to me. It screamed with authority. The queen of verglas had returned, and blue flames burned in her belly. It was time she accepted responsibility for her actions. It was time she acted as a shield to her children. It was time she truly was their mother

“A mother's heart is always with her children.”

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#3

As the moments passed, the slurry of slumber slowly faded away. With every crisp intake of cold air; Ismailia awoke. Yet her mind was already at work. Perfect cogs churning; pushing away the horrible memories of the day before. Today, she would train. Train until she could no longer, 'till her limbs shook and felt weak. Then, she would be able to stand up to the fury of the Matriarch. Stand proudly and show rather than speak idle promises.

She took one, slender paw-step when suddenly a howl summoned her. Beckoned. She recognized it quickly. Immidatley she was filled with anger. But also hope. Mother. Before she could stop herself; ivory paws travelled to the location. Gracefully, her gait made quick work of the uneaven terrain. Ismailia moved with the air and grace of a noble Princess; with her head held high and eyes infront. Yet as of late, she felt like nothing but a silly, emotional child who could cry at the flick of a switch. No more. Nassar was kind enough to give her a chance; a chance to prove herself worthy of the name she bore so highly; Tiamat.

"Mother..." Ismailia's tone felt foreign and cold upon her tongue; oceanic pools quickly found the muted flames of Sinai. It was a comfort to see her again, yet at the same time she couldn't help but restrain herself so. "You are back." Where had she been? They had all needed her now more than ever... Ismailia needed her more than she would like to admit. But she was family. More than that; she was the woman that gave her life. With a soft sigh; a small smile crept upon her delicate features, plush tail swaying slowly behind her. Part of her wanted to run and embrace her mother; to cry and weep her troubles away in her comfort. Yet... she stood still, almost like stone. Ice crept into her heart and for the first time, Ismailia felt a true discconection... She had abandoned them. In their time of need. And even worse; they had taken the brunt of Nassar's fury without her support.

So a welcoming face she had, but a stony embrace she would give.


"we're all young and naive still"
table ▶▶claerie. manip ▶▶ raven


@Sinai
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#4

Out of the trees emerged a vision of beauty. Sinai felt her gaze soften as it rested on her daughter’s face. How long had it been that they had stood like this? With a blink of the eye she sealed all these feelings away. It would be no help to Ismailia for her to return to her soft ways, she had to grow tough for the sake of their joint future. It was no one’s fault but her own that her children were on this earth. Unfortunately, the pups would face the wrath of their family alongside her. They had no choice of parents, and Sinai knew she needed to do her best in order for their eventual acceptance. The road there would not be easy, so until then she would take a page out of her sisters book.

A matriarch. Though she wasn’t the matriarch, she was the leader of her tribe. She was the leader of these tainted Tiamat’s, and they would look to her to guide them to success. The earthen toned female stood proudly, banner raised, and head inclined. She could only imagine the transformation in the eyes of her daughter. Flames met the ocean as Ismailia finally came to a halt before her. “mother... you’re back”. Emotions swirled in her daughters’ eyes, but like a true princess, they didn’t breach the surface. Her thoughts were a mystery to her mother. The words she spoke sent a shiver down Sinai’s spine, but she helps firm. Yes, she had abandoned them. Removing herself from the forefront in hopes it would better their chances with their aunt. She could still taste the blood of the small prey animals she left in front of their den in the earliest moments of the day.

Dawn was always her relief, back home and here in this foreign country. Dawn was when she let herself hunt, let the world see she had not forgotten who she was, a warrior, capable of killing blows. Her body possessed the power of the Tiamat armies, she was their sword. Dawn had been the only time she allowed herself to feel like a wolf again. The scent of her daughter brought her mind back to the present. A ghost of a smile lined her face, how much warmth was too much? “Have you all settled in nicely?”

There was no excuse for her absence so she offered none. The past was over, it was time they started to face new demons. She understood that her daughter would have feelings about her leave, and they would work through them together. “How has it been finally meeting the rest of your kin?” A test. She knew little of their engagements these past months. How had they been met by Nassar’s brood? She couldn’t imagine many of them would accept their cousins until their mother did. What she said would go. Nassar was the first priority on her list. Win the matriarch and no one can disagree.


“A mother's heart is always with her children.”

table made by soar
[Image: kenny_group_by_vanillun-dcnod27.png]
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#5

Ah, the softened flamed gaze of her Mother brought some peace to the rage within her heart. How could she stay mad to the woman that bore her? That gave her this life? Yes, it was hard. Yes, she would struggle... but it was her life. Ismailia had decided to stay with her family.. when she could have easily made a different choice and be a different wolf all together. The soft smile brought back memories of her short childhood... how she had grown since then.

Yet, much like herself, Ismailia could see something Sinai desperately tried to hide. She could not figure out what-but there was a flicker of something. Sorrow? Regret? Pride? No... there was a struggle. A muted silence that, for once, Ismailia could connect with. Did the same fire and ice clash within? She was unsure... but, at least she was back; home and safe. But would it be permanent?

Have you all settled in nicely?” The first question posed got straight to the matter at hand. Triangular-shaped ears flickered at her question; a soft sigh dare spill from her ebony nostrils. "I am... not sure," She began; slowly she could feel her perfect mask begin to break. "Khusus and Badari have been... distant. We... cannot find Arsinoe." She said this with a heavy heart as she battled the well of emotions that began to boil under the surface. "Minya and I have been worried..." A hiss slithered from her jaws as she shook her head. Trying to maintain the mask. It was not working. "However, at least you are home now?" It was a rhetorical question she did not want to know the answer to.

“How has it been finally meeting the rest of your kin?” A shaky laugh and that was all it took. Tears formed within Ismailia's eyes as she forbid them to slide from her cheeks.
"Mother, they hate us!" Her voice cracked and the walls broke. Ismailia stood for the first time feeling like a vulnerable child. Here, in the moment mother and daughter shared; she was. Desperate for affection and acceptance.

And she hated herself for it. Every single tear that fell stoked a fire that could not be tamed.

"we're all young and naive still"
table ▶▶claerie. manip ▶▶ raven


@Sinai
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#6

Slowly, ever so slowly, Sinai could see the ice between them melting. Ismalia’s gaze softened and for once, she recognized the look in her daughters eyes. Sympathy. The emotion hit her harshly. What was it in her own eyes that her daughter could relate with? Perhaps it was their situation. Currently they were both toeing the line in their family’s graces. One, born into the scorn, the other fell to it in with the blaze of a traitor. It was her own shoulders that the grief of both their situations rested on. It was all her fault.

Sinai felt her demeanor slipping, ever so slightly. Compassion was her fatal flaw. It was what would have made her a terrible matriarch. Her ability to relate, to see herself in someone else’s position and feel sorrow for them... It made her weak and she knew it. But part of her wondered, how could kindness translate to weakness? Why was it that benevolence was less valuable than severity? In an instant all these thoughts were banished from her mind.

”I am... not sure Khusus and Badari have been... distant. We... cannot find Arsinoe. Minya and I have been worried... however, at least you are home now?"

Finally, emotions blazed across her daughter’s face. The miles of ice between them shattered, and finally they could see each other clearly again. It was then that Sinai vowed to be stronger, to be unbending, unyielding.

“I am here now, we will find him.”

She said the words quietly, but there was no denying her confidence and resolve on the matter. The words were tender, but in her veins she could feel the ice of dread beginning to crystalize. Cyrileth was large. Larger than she cared to think about in this moment. The things that could have happened to her son in this harsh environment... she didn’t dare think about. Suddenly, Ismailia cried out, snapping Sinai back to the present situation. Tears fell slowly from cerulean eyes. How had she not noticed things had gotten this bad? How had she not realized the stress her children were under? With each tear that fell from her daughters’ eyes, Sinai felt the cool touch of steel. Warping and wrapping around each vertebra, the strength slowly flowed into her.

Slowly the feeling grew, plates covering from atlas to the last coccyx bone, transitioning from transverse to spinous processes, the icy hot metal flowed easily over each bone. In this moment her children needed her to be strong. It was time she took a page out of her sisters’ book. Finally, she would embrace her Tiamat nature. This was the first battle she would undertake, the fight for their acceptance. Success was the only option, or she would be returned to her children on her shield.

Striding forward she brushed her cheek to Ismailia’s, wiping the tears from her daughters’ fur to her own. She allowed herself only a moment to cherish the touch before pulling back.

“They hate you because of me. They hate you because, in their eyes, you all are only the result of my failure, not their kin. Our family is cold, but they are not stupid. They will yield once we show them your value. They will yield when they see the strength each and every one of my children carry. Our family might be tainted by ice, but we will show them that not all ice bends to fire. We will show them that their flames cannot melt us.”


“A mother's heart is always with her children.”

table made by soar
[Image: kenny_group_by_vanillun-dcnod27.png]
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#7

The ice had betrayed her, splintering and shattering. Cracking and turning into dust. Now, fire reigned and it was oh so painful. Tight and furious within her chest. Raw and untamed, it spread through her limbs like a wildfire. For once, she had let it happen. Or at least, simply by her Mother's presence; the fury had unleashed with a barrage of flames.

"I am here now, we will find him.” Like Nassar had demanded her gaze, Ismailia was forced to look upon her Mother. But she did not see a softened gaze, now she saw determination. A frosty reception that clasped her muted-flame features. It quelled some of the panic within Ismailia, but it would not suffice for long. Ever determined and much like her trueborn kin, Ismailia's jaws clasped in dead set determination. They will all be reunited. That much she vowed.

Her Mother's touch was short but sweet, with the small linger of affection; the determination sparked the clash of fire and ice to return. Slowly, she could feel the tendrils quell some flames. Starting from her tear-stained eyes that shone with childish innocence. Ismailia was an affectionate soul, but to Sinai; that relationship had always been strained and difficult. Always met with a cold and short embrace. But it was something she had craved. For she was still a child; a child only soothed by a Mother's love and devotion.
“They hate you because of me. They hate you because, in their eyes, you all are only the result of my failure, not their kin. Our family is cold, but they are not stupid. They will yield once we show them your value. They will yield when they see the strength each and every one of my children carry. Our family might be tainted by ice, but we will show them that not all ice bends to fire. We will show them that their flames cannot melt us.”
The speech was inspiring, with every word spoken and intake of breath Ismailia was able to regain control. The tears froze and the mask would slowly, surely fix back into place. Even in such emotional turmoil, would Ismailia still regain a regal posture. Not all ice bends to fire. "You are right."She looked upon her Mother with a newfound determination."We should not be held accountable for your mistake. Yet we are scorned for our very existence; because we are different." Every syllable spoken, she felt more and more in control. "Yet I tried to stand against Nassar's flames, unyielding..." Still to this day, she did not know how she did not crack under that burning gaze. "And I promised to help rebuild her-our Empire... but I cannot help but feel I am fighting a war we cannot win."

Because of you.


"we're all young and naive still"
table ▶▶claerie. manip ▶▶ raven


@Sinai
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#8

SINAI TIAMAT



It seemed she did not know her daughter at all. At her touch, Ismailia grew stronger, the tears in her eyes dried up, but with them went the affection. Her gaze grew colder as the embrace was cut short. Bitter bile crawled up the back of her throat. She was trying to be strong for her, she was trying so desperately hard to be their strength in these moments, but perhaps what they really needed was a mother. How could she have lost sight of that? How could her own desires have blinded her to their needs. For the millionth time, she felt like an utter failure.

You are right.

The words cut through these thoughts. While the mother had waged war in her mind, she didn’t allow the feelings to breach her exterior. For this interaction, she had chosen her mask and it seemed there was no going back.

We should not be held accountable for your mistake. Yet we are scorned for our very existence; because we are different. Yet I tried to stand against Nassar's flames, unyielding... and I promised to help rebuild her-our empire... but I cannot help but feel I am fighting a war we cannot win.

Her daughter spoke like a true Tiamat. She was already more of a warrior than her mother had ever been, she took after Nassar in that way. It seemed her time to apologize for her cold actions was up, the only way to move forward was to support Ismailia and to guide her on her endeavor. Burning accusation flashed across the young woman’s face. I deserve this. She deserved the hatred of her family, it wasn’t something she tried to hide from. Like she stated before, it was her duty to fix this. She would remain strong for her children.

“It isn’t the war we have to win right now. Small battles are what we should aim for. Lighting little fires will help spark the blaze.”


It was true, there was no way they would gain Nassar’s good grace all at once. Her sister was fair, once she saw the strength they could offer, there was no way she would turn her back on the children. Their mother on the other hand, would fight tooth and nail after them to regain her own footing in the Tiamat clan. For now, it was their battle she would fight.

“I know I haven’t said it yet, but I am glad you are here. I haven’t ever been a constant in your life, but I am hoping I can earn a place in it eventually.”


The words were honest, and they were soft. The first time she let her true personality shine through to Ismailia. No matter how it may seem to them now, she loved them. She loved them so fiercely it made her heart burn. It felt as if the fire in her chest would erupt each time she saw them. They were everything she could have ever dreamed of, even if right now they hated her.

Rising to her feet, she watched her daughters eyes soften. Nodding to their surroundings, she dared to show a light smile. “How about we go on a walk?” She yearned to be closer to Ismalia, to behave as normal families do. To run and play and joke, she knew that this would take time and perhaps after her betrayal it never would be the case. She figured a walk would be innocent enough. "It's time I properly educated you on the events of our past.” It was something she had decided long ago, that if her children cared to hear it, she would tell them of their past. They were no longer the squirming pups of her memories, she had faith that they could handle it now. Gazing at the face of her daughter, she admired how beautiful the clashing of elements was. What would the young girl decide? Hope flashed in her mother's eyes, but was their relationship ready for this? She believed it was.

-Exit Sinai hopefully with Ismalia-


“I am speaking”

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#9

The fire that had unleashed was chaotic. Unyielding. But it felt pure. Seething through ice-laden veins. For a moment, she became as bold as Badari; burning bright like a phoenix. Yet her eyes betrayed her, they shone a bright, icy blue. And with every tender touch from her Mother, her fires burned brighter.

Ismailia did not see the damage done until her final words. Tenderness, shock flashed before her Mother. Her burning gaze wide. Only then, when the ice slowly curled back, did she feel mildly guilty. But there had always been that strain of anger, that chip on Ismailia's ice-stained shoulders... It was a hard thing to brush past, to forgive, when it had effected all of the bastard-born Tiamat's. Made them grovel at the paws of the Matriarch; simply for acceptance.

“It isn’t the war we have to win right now. Small battles are what we should aim for. Lighting little fires will help spark the blaze.” Ismailia saw turth within those words; once she had naievely thought that one big deed would set her free from the Matriarch's shackles. But now she realized that it was a war they must win and not just one battle. "It is a war we are fighting now..." Her voice was softer, a whisper as realization dawned upon her.

But she was born to be a Tiamat; a warrior.

Now came the moments of sincerity and faced with it, Ismailia found herself craving more. More of the tender touches and soothing words. But much like her own Mother; the mask she placed upon her features hid what lay beneath. “I know I haven’t said it yet, but I am glad you are here. I haven’t ever been a constant in your life, but I am hoping I can earn a place in it eventually.” Azure eyes dared to soften, her rigid posture slowly deflating as a sigh flared through onyx nostrils. "I am glad we are all reunited." Oh it would painful to admit. To open up. But there was a small part of her that gnawed away the anger, the love for her family always over-ruled and Sinai, after everything, was and always will be her Mother."I...we need you." Ismailia could not win this war without her.

“How about we go on a walk?” Ash-tipped ears flickered at her Mother's question. "It's time I properly educated you on the events of our past. A spark ignited within her chest, then. When she was younger; she used to love the tales Sinai often told. Lived for them, imagined that one day, she would create similar stories of her own. "...Okay." Her voice was quiet, inclining her head and waiting for the muted flames of her Mother to take the lead.

-Exit Ismailia with Sinai, end thread.-


"we're all young and naive still"
table ▶▶claerie. manip ▶▶ raven


@Sinai
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