FOLKLORE


[ P ] Sparks to Start a Fire
#1


Fire Fraught With Flame



- Ilios Pack Meeting | No post order | Next Post: 6/21/19 -


Nassar stood before an assemblage of ten-odd wolves. Most bore the token flame of the Tiamat and—in the light of the setting sun—blazed. Their emblem was that of Ilios, a name taken from one of the founding matriarchs. Her fire had been fit to conquer the pine forest of their old home—and Nassar prayed that hers would be enough to conquer this one. Whilst it was cold it was secure and bountiful. Her kin could prosper here, they need only protect the tradition that had served them well for so many generations. And, in light of their tragedy, they would need to be flexible enough to adopt that which was new.

"I stand before you as the first matriarch of Ilios." Amber eyes blazed as she gazed into each of her kin in turn. Some bore the fading wounds from the caribou hunt, but most had healed. She too was on the road to recovery. Beyond bruising and soreness, her ribs did not trouble her. "And you stand here as the first to rebuild our empire." A strong breath filled her chest and then, in a moment's passion, she allowed a low howl to slip free of her lips. Her kin would ideally join, empowered by the ownership of land.

...

Come the song's end, Nassar turned to matters of business. "Both my children and Sinai's have been deprived of Agoge. In order to prove their mastery, my children shall train their cousins." Gray ears twitched. "Karnak, you shall care for Ismalia and Arsinoe." Her stomach twisted uncomfortably when her eyes searched his. She could not entirely ignore the unnerving sense of foreboding that surrounded him. "Cairo, you shall train Badari and Khusus." A pause. "And Ahkoris—" Nassar glanced at her son who had nearly healed from malnourishment. "You shall train Minya."

...

Once the comments had died down, she broached the last subject of their meeting: change. "Whilst Agoge is traditionally held in a camp separate from the main, we are currently too vulnerable to split our resources. Agoge shall remain in the commons." She paused briefly. "And henceforth, sisters of the matriarch may breed once the presiding crown princess has passed Agoge." Nassar's chin tilted up as she, in a few syllables, changed a long-standing tradition. By her verdict alone, the only sin against Sinai's name was that of the man she slept with.

"And—" Nassar sucked in a rallying breath. "We will be allied to the Fairfolk, a native pack to the southwest." Her passion and her will were the only armor she possessed. That, and the memory of her sister's comforting words. "I have taken their king as my mate." The truth of it, when laid bare, was exhilarating. When she gazed out into the audience, she dared a single soul to speak out against her choice.

"A Fairchild is now a friend—and should they give you reason to doubt their word, speak with me immediately."

"We are all young and naive still."
code by claerie , image by Michael Barth
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#2
KARNAK TIAMAT. Heeding the call of his mother – his Matriarch – Karnak came to her, awaiting her words to formalise the founding of Ilios in Cyrileth. Upon arrival, he offered her a slight tilt of his head and a small smile; he would not try to shatter her image as the ruler before the gathering audience. “My Queen,” The greeting was carried upon gentle tones, enriched with excitement and swelling pride. She was not his mother at this moment in time, and thus he would not approach her as her son, but as her subject. Eventually, more would gather and he would watch as each one trickled in, murmuring words of greeting. Eventually, once their number swelled, the rich assortment of their golden and russet pelts gave an illusion of a gathering wildfire in the forest, Nassar would begin:

"Both my children and Sinai's have been deprived of Agoge. In order to prove their mastery, my children shall train their cousins."

Slight hue of red tingled upon his cheeks as he recalled his failure to provide her sufficient information regarding his education. But here, the Matriarch was giving him an opportunity to bridge the gaps caused by their flight, one he would eagerly snatch. "Karnak, you shall care for Ismalia and Arsinoe." His eyes flickered to the crowd, finding Ismailia among the faces, and perhaps Arsinoe. He had not properly met the latter, but if he could recall correctly, the child was of pure ice. Winter had kissed him upon birth, cursing him with a pure white pelt and glittering eyes of glacier. His ebony lips curved into a small smile – polite as he looked upon each child’s face if they were present – while curiosity raged on within his mind: would Karnak’s fire melt Arsinoe’s ice? Again, pride would grow within his heart; Nassar had entrusted him with the most difficult of Sinai’s children, and he would not fail her. “I shall not disappoint you,” his voice bright with happiness.

Nassar spoke about the Agoge next, detailing a slight change to their tradition, due to insufficient resources. While this is unfortunate – some of his treasured memories were training away from the nexus of their empire, within their secluded camp with teachers – he understood the change. "And henceforth, sisters of the matriarch may breed once the presiding crown princess has passed Agoge." A shadow of a frown passed over his brow but this change, he understood as well. However much he coveted to keep their traditions unchanged, some had to be altered in order to survive.

"We will be allied to the Fairfolk, a native pack to the southwest." The shadow deepened, betraying questions that brimmed within. If he remembered correctly, the Fairfolk was a pack that thrived upon the religion of constellations. Thus far, they had not posed a threat to them, but the alliance stirred a spark of unease within Karnak.

Had they run away from a religion to befriend another?

Yet, the worst was yet to come.

"I have taken their king as my mate."

Karnak prided himself in his capacity to manipulate his expression to shield his true thoughts and feelings from the world. To deceive if he must. But at this very moment, this ability was lost; shock etched upon his expression, blazed within his dawn-hued eyes. “Mo–” His voice was nearly weightless, breathy with the shock, but he bit down on his tongue, so hard that he could taste blood washing in his mouth. Immediately, he bowed his head, a swift display of repentance. “I trust you, my Queen.” He would murmur softly, his tones sincere and apologetic, and his eyes, shielded from Nassar, darted to find Cairo’s to see what lurked within the heir’s golden gaze.

The political aspect of this affair aside, he could not quench a growing hurt and grief within his heart. It felt as though his father was being brushed aside for another man. Grief would soon turn into anger; she had not merely belittled his father’s presence in her life, she had also sullied his memory. Kohl had died while they were fleeing from a religion, and Nassar was merciless in her choosing, favouring her mating with the pious man over the life and death of Kohl.

"A Fairchild is now a friend—and should they give you reason to doubt their word, speak with me immediately."

Karnak closed his eyes as she concluded.


“Karnak Tiamat”

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#3

The meeting was called, and Ahkoris obediently heralded the call of his mother. He arrived along with scattered siblings and cousins and a few wolves he knew only superficially. There were not many of them, but it was more of a collective form than they had taken in quite a while. Quick on the heels of his brother, Ahkoris focused his attentions first on his Matriarch. "Matriarch," he murmured in greeting, his sunset gaze grazing her face and his head lowering in respect. He took his place among the assembled, and he nodded and greeted those around him that he knew. He did not greet Sinai's children, though he might nod in Ismailia's direction. Nassar took a few moments, and then she introduced them under their new moniker: Ilios. The word was proud and strong, and it rolled off of her tongue like a battle cry. Ahkoris was incredibly proud to be a part of something so new and so much like home. As Nassar's howl filled the air, Ahkoris added his own somber tune.

"Both my children and Sinai's have been deprived of Agoge. In order to prove their mastery, my children shall train their cousins." He listened quietly, without interruption. His instruction came last. And Ahkoris— You shall train Minya." He did not know a Minya, but he assumed she was the other female alongside Ismailia. His eyes connected with hers briefly, though he did not offer much expression beyond a slightly furrowed brow. "It shall be done," he stated in affirmation. Nassar moved then to other topics. "Whilst Agoge is traditionally held in a camp separate from the main, we are currently too vulnerable to split our resources. Agoge shall remain in the commons." Ahkoris agreed with this. They were too new, too fresh, in an unknown place. It was best they stuck together. "And henceforth, sisters of the matriarch may breed once the presiding crown princess has passed Agoge." This was somewhat surprising, but it was a political move. This afforded Nassar the right to claim Sinai's children as her own. He did not disagree, but he found a slight twinge in his heart at the prospect. He did not yet believe they were worthy. He supposed time would tell.

Next came the most surprising news. Ahkoris sensed his mother's tension in the moments before her words rang in the air. "We will be allied to the Fairfolk, a native pack to the southwest." He blinked, once, and this was mostly the only sign of his surprise. He did not know these Fairfolk, but he understood what a native pack would mean: they had native beliefs, in the stars and the gods, starkly against those of the Tiamats. "I have taken their king as my mate." The Matriarch leveled her gaze on them, daring one of them to challenge her, and Karnak did, by way of a sputtered syllable and a quick retreat. Ahkoris' sunset eyes moved briefly to his brother's face. He was unsurprised Karnak had spoken out, but he did not think Karnak would be the only one. Cairo had also shown him her propensity to lash out. The injuries had healed on his cheeks, but they remained fresh in his mind.

What did this mean? Mates implied children. An alliance was a bold move, especially with a native pack. Ahkoris knew nothing of the Fairfolk; clearly Nassar did. He was again reminded how long of a time he had been gone. Would this have been less surprising had he not been pulled away by Evanora's disappearance? His mind worked quickly, and he found he did not know what to think. He did not trust natives, but he had met some ones worth saving -- Sinead, namely. He supposed it was wrong to distrust them simply because they believed in gods he found preposterous. And who was he to trust, if not his mother? "A Fairchild is now a friend—and should they give you reason to doubt their word, speak with me immediately." Ahkoris did not speak, but merely nodded, and waited for his mother to explain the inevitable: how far would her mate-ship, and this alliance, carry Ilios?

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#4



The blind man had not been given the pleasure of introduction to the rest of those who burned, or those of whom stood as frigid ice. None but their name bore a similarity to one another and so Anubis did not lay the blame with Nassar's sister nor her illegitimate brood for he could not see either and would welcome them all the same. Though transgressions were hardened follies to smooth over, and of one such empowered by these unspoken rules, forgiveness would be hard won by those whom Nassar did not call upon as niece and nephew.

This was only one of many thoughts of his, bountiful upon the laden brow as he trekked from the outskirts of the territory towards the summoned place, heeding the call of the matriarch. He fumbled in amusement as, with none but himself to lead himself, the once wanderer decided to use a lengthy stick as a sort of walking device to help him around the trees of the forest grove. He fell like a golden dune across the greenery with his "device" sitting comfortably between his jaws, lightly thwacking the branch against each ancient trunk as he passed by. To say that he felt funny using such unorthodox methods was an understatement, for his place had been to the open fields and valleys, eloping with his legs from the entwined woods for reasons of practicality, though he found himself welcomed alongside these wolves built of fire and brimstone, and so he had stayed.

Voices of greeting and acknowledgements came with ease within the quiet of the forest, the trickling of syllables caught as he moved closer to the gathering. Tireless paws slowed to a halt as he listened intently, ears ever moving in lieu of his sights as his jaws dropped the walking stick to the ground at his paws. He preferred to stay at the edge of the main part of the forest to allow others to take in the opening and so that he did not crowd too close to another, for many in a group confused him greatly; too many words garbled.

Careening his ears to turn lightly towards Nassar's familiar voice he gave her only a small greeting gathered in a cordial dip of his head in respect. And then, he listened, saying little as she went through the foundation of their new pack and words of a tradition ignited anew. He hadn't the slightest of what this "Agoge" meant, but his mind categorized it as a rite of passage, or something to that likeness, and suddenly he understood her assigning of children to other children, the need for one to teach many. It was something new and yet old to him, as his siblings had done something similar in years past, while he refrained from doing so. Or rather, was banned by his mother. Another slight caused by his born blindness.

And— a pause, answered by an ear turning with ease, We will be allied to the Fairfolk, a native pack to the southwest. If that had been all, then he would have allowed the thought to pass over his head, the question of who or why the Fairfolk to settle like dust beneath his feet, but, I have taken their king as my mate. A brow quirked. Again, his ear turned to hear the fading outcry within one of her own children's vocals, cut short by the diplomatic response almost systematically spoken. A Fairchild is now a friend—and should they give you reason to doubt their word, speak with me immediately. An expression came over the man's face; an unreadable veil of feeling that could not be placed as his heart fumbled and then constricted in his chest. His head turned downwards and away, if for but a moment of collection.

His eyes, blind, could not find her directly. He instead looked to the ground in his darkness as he spoke;

What is his name?

The inflection of wonder was monotonous in tune.


Speaking

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#5

The wolves gathered, kissed by flame. Forged by fire. Ismailia felt the weight of each gaze upon her. Now, she was at the mercy of her kin. The Tiamat's did not appreciate weakness. No matter what she felt inside, Ismailia had made a choice. She stood perfectly proud, chest slightly puffed outwards; shoulders rolled back, every paw placed perfectly, evenly upon moss and earth. Though she reminded herself that Minya was beside her, Badari close to her. Arsinoe just a few paw-steps away. Yet still no sign of Khusus? The thought of her brother out there, all alone made the sparks flicker within her chest and touch her heart... Not all ice bends to fire. Her gaze flickered momentarily to her Mother; giving a some what warming glance.

"I stand before you as the first matriarch of Ilios." Nassar's voice demanded her full attention. With ash-tipped ears perked, Ismailia met the Matriarch's gaze head on with some new-found strength. Perhaps it was the presence of her siblings that made her feel stronger? Either way, she appreciated the feeling. Ilios was their name. Apt. Perfectly sounding for the wolves of fire. "And you stand here as the first to rebuild our empire." How Nassar stood so proud, so tall even with the wounds upon her chest... pride and envy were funny emotions that clashed within her. Swirling like the fire and ice that melded her. Yet she was one of the first to join in the howl. So brazen, she felt, yet her tune was melodic and sad. Beautiful and tainted.

Next, Nassar spoke of the bastard born Tiamat's... trained by her own children? A double edged sword in its self. "Karnak, you shall care for Ismalia and Arsinoe." Ismailia's gut wrenched at the thought of Karnak... though he had done nothing wrong, per say to Ismailia, he had a way of being bitterly true. His mind was a wonder that she was scared to be exposed to. Yet, she took in a deep breath and met the rosate gaze of her Cousin as he smiled. I shall not disappoint you,” Happiness in his tone felt laced with bitter sweet poison. Part of her wanted to be under Ahkrois; he was logical and calm. A fan to her flames perhaps... but she was forced to find some good about her situation-at least she was with her brother. Momentarily, her gaze flickered to the only wolf that stuck out like a sore-thumb in comparison to the rest... and offered a warming smile. "Cairo, you shall train Badari and Khusus." Oh that set a splinter to dig right into her chest. Of course, put the phoenix with the flame. The Heir to Ilios... how apt. Ismailia quickly pushed down those feelings, glaring at the shrubbery that danced in the soft winds just past The Matriarch.


"We will be allied to the Fairfolk, a native pack to the southwest." The weight of Nassar's flame burned bright. As she looked upon the fire-kissed face of Nassar, she saw the unbridled passion that made her perfect for the Matriarch role. "I have taken their king as my mate." This came as a surprise; she could sense the quiet distension ripple among them. Her gaze flickered momentarily to Badari; wandering what she would make of his announcement? Yet Ismailia fought away the urge to smile. This was a political move, surely? To keep their standing strong. An Empire was not just built by its self, but the support around it. Nassar never did anything without logic or reason... in the end, she felt like it did not matter. All that mattered to Ismailia was her families happiness, survival and her own acceptance into the Tiamat fold. As the Matriarch ended her speech; she wondered who exactly were the Fairchild's? She knew nothing of Cyrileth's land and culture... perhaps she was at fault for not finding out more sooner.

What is his name? The unknown golden male spoke. His eyes were hazed over, but a beautiful molten silver. Though her expression remained neutral, curiosity sparked her heart.



"we're all young and naive still"
table ▶▶claerie. manip ▶▶ raven
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#6

khepri
all i wanna do is die for you

Khepri appeared on the edge of the gathering, unsure of where to go. He noticed a few familiar faces. Primarily Nassar and those of her brood. Other faces appeared, and names were spoken and slowly he slunk from the shadows. He seated himself next to Ismailia and offered her a weak smile. He had nothing to say as he listened to the Matriach speak of Agoge and of an alliance. He was only mildly surprised to hear of her courtship with another man, from a native pack that called themselves the Fairfolk. Her romantic affairs were none of his business, but he could see the looks of shock on the faces of his children. Khepri's brow rose and though acceptance fell from their lips he knew denial burned in their hearts. Were they not happy for their mother? He glanced at Ismailia, who remained silent but curious. A question was spoken aloud, from the nameless man. Who was he? Khepri was curious too. He knew nothing of these Fairfolk, or what to expect from them.

"Where do they reside?" he asked quietly. The rest of them might know, but he was rather knew here and had not yet gotten a chance to explore much.

He had no qualms with the alliance, so long as they remained true to it so would he. It seemed like a good idea. If they were so new, aligning themselves with a native and established pack was smart. There were probably other packs in Cyrileth, ones that might not take kindly to them and might wish to seek harm. There were also loners and dangers from other predators.

It was always wise to build relationships and create bonds that might help to protect you from all those dangers out there in the world.

TABLE BY SOAR
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#7
From the east, the call came a shutter upon the veil of mist and silence, in this world where fire had ignited as a spark from whetstone. Theirs was a sword reforged, the embers fanned to light the flames anew. It was a pretty thought, the sort that began legends, that would one day be the dreams of children who yearned for belonging, for a chance to prove themselves. To be more than the name given them. How long had that thought lingered, a metal shaving lodged in her heart, of the fantasies of joining the Tiamat in their great sept, feel the sun hot and unyielding upon her back as she was given the name truly and wholly? That thought had fallen as ash upon her tongue, a heavy truth, soured by the vindication of a family who did not want them, did not believe her or her siblings worthy of the name; as if being born from the womb of a first daughter made them something beyond reach. Tradition had given them a shield, a heavy, iron weight that both sheltering their name from change, but also had spelled the ruin in the dunes of east, there where gold and fire were the only truths. It was a monster, that notion, one she so wished to vanquish, yet, at the same time, she could not help but wish to succumb to its siren song. It is difficult, to let go of lessons that had shaped her, had been what they had looked to earn when the quiet of dawn was their only company in the shadows of that cold, silent den.

It was perhaps this fleeting memory that drew her to the call, a brass bell clear and bright, kindling to the inferno within her chest that could not be conquered. Whether they wanted her there or not, Badari came, finding herself united amongst the familiar scents of her family; of quiet Arsinoe, Minya unable to keep still, and Ismailia, resolute in her growing confidence. At times, the Phoenix could not discern whether coming to face the heat of their aunt had done the girl good, for just as she grew in mind and body, pieces of that innocence that had made her a beloved sister seemed to fade. She was not the same, and Badari, was uncertain what that outcome would be.

But she was not a spark that wavered in shadow, only growing more untamed the longer she was left unattended. There was a distance between them and their cousins, but she could care less for what they truly thought, only meeting their cool, gauging glances in turn, from the depths of thought that crowded Karnak's crimson stare, to the dismissive nature of the quiet son. Her gaze however, orbited towards Nassar, the eternal flame that refused to fade, rising anew upon her throne, returned again. She called their name; Ilios, and Badari wondered what that meant, a pack without the tether of the past they had clung upon for so long. Her words spoke of this change, drawing upon the past, but bending its story, naming their cousins mentors, teachers, judges. The Phoenix flickered, then, turned to look upon the heir, Cairos. She would be responsible for her future, and part of her wandered just what heat thrived beneath that golden flame? She had yet to have a chance to speak with her, interact with her, seeming to come and go with that dark man at her heels. Her words came to her, in the frank care that had taken shape beneath her temperamental ambition, and the coaching of her family. "I will rise to the task." She would not remain silent.

But it was perhaps her next statement, that gave Badari pause, dowsed the yearling in agonizing questions. To announce such a change in their traditions, was to forgive Sinai in her transgressions, was in some way, a show of the matriarch's willingness to allow the shame of her house to rise from the bottom. It was a careful maneuver, she knew this, she knew just as the marriage to a king of another people was, strengthening those flaws in the Tiamat so that it may never become a poisoned dagger. It was infuriating. Perhaps her siblings may find relief in it, this easing to the goal, but Badari found it only seemed to... cheapen her resolve. No... this was not how she would let it be. She would face any task the heir chose to throw at her, she could conquer it, and she would leave no question to who she was, and what she was capable of.

"What are their alliance terms?" She didn't care what the kings name was, she didn't care where they lived. Clearly Nassar believed they had something to offer to the burgeoning Ilios, be it allies and security, or the chance to tie themselves to the story of Cyrileth. Marriage between a King and Queen, it was never for love.

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#8
“I stand before you as the first matriarch of Ilios. And you stand here as the first to rebuild our empire.” Her mother’s eyes flicked amongst the crowd, burning and passionate. Cairo stood amongst her kin— and though her opinions on her aunt and her cousins were still undecided and rocky, she couldn’t help but feel the pride puff her chest. Regardless of technical standing within the Tiamats, they were all here, standing together and strong, to rebuild what was once theirs. It was an exhilarating moment, a moment of empowerment— and so when her mother tilted her head to the skies, Cairo tossed her own back, releasing a prideful and jubilant cry into the air.

“Both my children and Sinai’s have been deprived of Agoge. In order to prove their mastery, my children shall train their cousins.” Cairo blinked, stiffening slightly to attention. “Karnak, you shall care for Ismailia and Arisnoe. Cairo, you shall train Badari and Khusis. And Hakoris— you shall train Minya.” Their assignments were given. The girl’s golden gaze flicked to the brood of bastard Tiamats, not knowing which of them were the ones ‘Badari’ and ‘Khusis’. A girl clad in fiery red and startling white met her gaze to answer the question with flame and boldness. “I will rise to the task.” she assured Cairo. The girl gave a dip of her head in acknowledgement, and nothing more. We’ll have to see, she mused inwardly. She had to admit though— of all Sinai’s children, this one was the only one who could pass as a true blood, at least in her armor. Would her soul shine just as brightly?

“While Agoge is traditionally held in a camp separate from the main, we are currently too vulnerable to split our resources. Agoge shall remain in the commons.” The girl turned her attention back to her mother, frowning slightly but remaining silent. It’s temporary, she reassured herself. Once they were strong enough, they’d re-establish the tradition. “And henceforth, sisters of the matriarch may breed once the presiding crown princess has passed Agoge.” Her lips pursed. In those few words, she pardoned Aunt Sinai. She was no longer a break of laws and tradition— well, she had been. But future generations would not remember her as such.

“And— We will be allied to the Fairfolk, a native pack to the southwest.” The girl blinked with surprise at the news. “I have taken their king as my mate.” Cairo’s mouth parted in silence, eyes round as suns— to call it ‘shock’ would be a gross understatement. Her eyes flicked instinctively to Karnak for the briefest of moments before she let them fall to the ground, shielding whatever emotions she was certain were shining vividly through. A mate? Her mind spun, questions sprouting forth— motives, intentions, emotions— what was her mother thinking? She wanted to know— to truly know. Was it purely a strategic, political move? Or was there something else…? Cairo dragged her gaze back up to Nassar— but if she was going to speak, her words died on her tongue under the intense stare of their Matriarch. “A Fairchild is now a friend — and should they give you reason to doubt their word, speak with me immediately.” Fairchild. Cairo’s body was stiff as she stood in her uncharacteristic silence. She waited for her mother to answer the several questions that had bubbled forth from the crowd.

“my sin, my soul.”


ART ➤Andiliion CODE➤ twisty
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#9
(OOC: I’m so sorry and will go through and edit this bare bones phone post first thing in the morning, everyone forgive me)

It hadn’t been long since her last meeting with Nassar, so it came as no shock when the alpha called Ilios to assemble. Watching as her sister stood before the assembled wolves, Sinai felt pride blossom in her chest. It had been too long since the glow of power shone in her sisters coat, this was her rightful place. Though the two were still on difficult terms, Sinai would never turn her back on Nassar or the rest of their grafted family. Looking around at the faces that surrounded her, the woman felt a wave of emotions. All those months ago leaving the Tiamat clan, she never dreamed she would feel comfortable in these new lands. Though here, standing among her pack mates, the noble felt profoundly right.

The announcements her sister made did not come as a shock to her, their previous conversation had told her enough about her sisters alliance to the Fairfolk, however talk of Agoge for her family sent a jolt through her body. The woman gazed up at her sister, no signs of foul play lay inside the Matriarchs eyes. Besides, this would be too cruel of a joke. Emotions swam in the dilute wolfs eyes, however she remained regal. Agoge was a sacred right for the young of the Tiamats, if her children were allowed to participate, that meant they were one step closer to acceptance. Bowing her head, she hoped her sister understood what this meant to her. Idle words said in public were not enough, she would seek her sister out after the meeting to show her gratitude. Raising her head once more, she looked to Nassar to continue the meeting.
[Image: kenny_group_by_vanillun-dcnod27.png]
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#10


Fire Fraught With Flame



- Ilios Pack Meeting | No post order | Exit Round -


It was both euphoric and nauseating to stand before the whole of Ilios. Nassar was emboldened by the crown upon her brow—but this was no legion of trained Tiamats and vassal lords. Rather, this was a motley assortment of true-blood fires and muddled flames. Though she knew that her words still commanded them, a part of her worried over their obedience. Of all to break tradition, it had been she to be the first. She had gone against her mother's wishes and led them here. The fact that Sinai had followed suite had become less and less surprising with each sunrise. Similarly, her children had grown more restless and haphazard. Cairo had taken to bear hunting and nearly lost her life. Karnak had taken to a loose tongue and spoken against her twice now: once over their flight and once over the mercenary's life. Evanora had abandoned them and Ahkoris, bless his heart, had chased her without a second thought. Sinai's children were all flights of fancy that were riddled with the mark of sin. Most, however, had shown the desire to redeem their muddied blood.

... There was hope for them still. All that was left was to buckle down and rebuild aggressively.

As news of the pairings filled the air, so too did she hear mutters of approval. Karnak was quick to accept his post. Ismailia was elegant and poised. She knew that Karnak would not offer a moment's rest to the young wolf, and so she awaited their progress eagerly. Ahkoris was dutiful as always but, alas, Minya was not within the crowd. A gray ear flicked with annoyance as her absence—along with Khusus and Arsinoe—was noted.

The twin flames accepted one another as well and Nassar felt warmth curl in her belly. This was the pair that most intrigued her.

With logistics having been solved, she granted her pack news of her courtship. She felt tension fill the space wear fire had once burned. Smoke clogged her throat and, for a moment, she was uncertain whether to take the decree back or assert herself further.

Karnak's trust was offered but not without shock plain within his gaze. Ahkoris was dutiful if not mildly surprised as well. Ismailia appeared eager and inquisitive. Badari, bold as ever, asked for the terms of this alliance. Cairo—Nassar noted with faint surprise—was silent. Did the heir truly wish to remain quiet whilst Sinai's prized flame spoke?

"Should one pack go to war, the other will follow. In times of hardship, resources will be shared." This much Nassar understood. "The Fairfolk covet the stars and seem to have named them divine." A frown formed on her lips and a furrow touched her brow. "Their religion is to stay their own. We will not touch nor take it." In this, Nassar was firm. They were to remain separate entities. Even should her and Oberon become one in the form of children, even those souls would be forced to choose eventually.

A pause and then, quietly, she heard Anubis. "What is his name?"
She did not know why, but her stomach twisted. A sense of guilt washed over her thought she knew not why.

"Oberon, Father of the Fairchildren."

Speaking his name aloud made it all so much more surreal.

"Should the Fairfolk provoke us in any way, the rivers of the Maiden's Tears will run red with their blood—no matter what affections you may come to hold for them." Her teeth grit slightly as the image of war filled the back of her mind. Though she was loathe for such a campaign to begin, she knew it was a real possibility. Her pack would have to likewise hold the same conviction as she.

"The meeting is adjourned. All who have questions may join me on patrol."

[ Exit Nassar ]


"We are all young and naive still."
code by claerie , image by Michael Barth
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