Proud and loyal, gentle but firm, fierce and unmovable, Fires are said to be the proudest of all aershaa breeds, with some exceptions. Extremely family- and pack-oriented, they do not take as well to outsiders as the other two Sunborn breeds, tending to stick with their own kind. Their racial pride often makes them slightly racist, particularly towards the Moonborn breeds, but not necessarily to a hateful extent.
Physique & Appearance
Fires come in two variations: Forestrunners and Plainswalkers. Forestrunners tend to be smaller (about 3.5 ft at the shoulder), lighter, and much quicker than their Plainswalker cousins, made to be nimble in the dense Dreyrullian forests, their wings built only to assist leaping over obstacles and across rivers. Plainswalker is the catch-all term for all other types of Fire, born in the mountains, valleys, plains, and deserts of the world. They are larger (about 5 ft), bulkier, and can fly slightly longer distances. Their greater muscle mass also makes them much slower than their Forestrunner cousins. When threatened, the Plainswalker will typically choose fight over flight.
The mane of a Fire is both a source of warmth in the winter season (though not warm enough for year-round living in Siyari) and a personal display. A thick, healthy mane is a desirable sign of health, strength, and beauty to a potential mate, so maneless Fires are less likely to find a suitor.
Coloration can vary slightly from the standard, within reason. Below are basic examples of the color allowed for different sections of the aershaa; these can be varied in saturation and lightness.
Fires are most commonly tribally marked and striped; beauty amongst their breed is judged by how striking their markings are. Manes, however, are typically unmarked, containing only a single color or a gradient.
Fires typically vary from natural, low-saturation colors to highly saturated colors, and are rarely found in light shades.
Fires have only a single tailblade, thick, strong, and sharp-edged like a carving knife. They can be flat, with only a small mountain ridge and a single point, or they may have a sickle-shaped curve in the center, adding extra ripping force to the blade. Tailblade characteristics vary from individual to individual. Like most aershaa tailblades, Fire blades are flexible.
Without tailfeathers, Fires are heavy wing-beaters, and can neither glide nor fly great distances. Their wings are primarily used in hunting and as assistance in leaping, giving them a massively high jumping range, either across great distances in single leaps, or leaping straight into the air and diving down on their prey with more force than most other aershaa can achieve. Often, a Fire will travel in a combination of running and leaping, giving the winged types a greater advantage in speed, as they can cover a greater distance with the force of their wings behind them than by running alone. However, a wingless Fire can run far faster on foot than a normal Fire; if a normal Fire's wings were injured and they could only run on foot, a wingless Fire would easily outrun them.
Normal landspeed: 60mph
Wingless landspeed: 40mph
Normal landspeed without use of wings: 30mph
Flight distance capable: <1 Mile
Fires see well both during the daytime and in moonlight, their eyes holding reflective properties much like the felines and many species of dragon in this world that allow the capture of even the smallest amount of light during the night.
Fires, either purebred or mixed with other breeds, have often been found to grow a tail nearly twice the length of the average Fire tail. This is not a thing of beauty, nor an oddity without its downfalls: Fires with drastically longer tails tend to have more difficulty balancing and using their tailblades, as there is added weight where their bodies are not built to support it. It is also found that tailblades on longer tails can dislodge themselves in their later years, the attachment weaker on the thinner tail ends.
A more common oddity is the scaling defect that is also found on Waters. The extreme temperatures of their flames and higher body temperature, even with ample shielding, can cause the thick skin to flake and overlap, creating a scale-like effect. These scales are not made of a shiny surface like the scales of a fish, but are uneven and made of calloused skin.
The maned trait of Fires is often lost when mixed with other breeds – that is, when two maned breeds mix, they occasionally lose their manes entirely. This happens most often when mixed with Airs.
Loyal, confident, and proud, Fires are rumored to make the strongest leaders amongst aerkind. The typical Fire is fiercely loyal – it is said that nothing short of the gods themselves can break the bonds of family between a pack of Fires. Quite often, Fireborn offspring will remain with their family's pack, and if not, will build a pack near their territory and remain close allies. These same traits that make them so loyal and proud, however, can sometimes lead to arrogance, selfishness, and even narcissism rivaling the worst of the darks, depending on the individual's upbringing. Such greed and selfishness can be a Fire's greatest downfall – those that are raised poorly or turn to a destructive path will be thrown to the low ranks of a pack or never run with a pack at all, running away at an early age.
Out of all the aershaa the world once called Sunborn – Fires, Waters, and Airs – the Fire breed stands as the strongest, most dedicated worshippers of S'feena to this day, in an age where traditional religion has begun to falter in favor of newer ideas. In this, they tend to be fairly racist, particularly towards the Moonborn breeds of Dark, Stone, and Ice, believing themselves to be stronger, purer, and greater in the eyes of their goddess.
Fires are highly adaptable to most regions and climates, however the cold climate deteriorates their ability to produce fire altogether. For this reason, most Fires prefer warm climates, many packs migrating in the winter to warmer areas.
Culture & Religion
Mages through and through, Fires are the keepers of the quarterly elemental tournaments that kick off at the start of every season, where elemental performances anywhere from tests of strength, to elemental creative creation are performed. They are highly proud of their command of the elements, and train their pups at a very young age to manipulate flame, in comparison to the moonling stage of most other aershaa. Pack alphas are usually chosen through feats of skill, speed, and strength in firey demonstrations, a challenge that often coencides with the tournaments.
Though Fires are traditionally loyal worshippers of S'feena, they also have strong beliefs tied to the power and spirit of fire itself. To the Fires, the soul itself is an eternal flame, one that cannot be extinguised by the blood that takes life from a form, nor from the rains that fall from S'feena's tears. Fires, however, only believe "that which truly lives kindles the flame;" that only sentient beings carry the flame of a soul, and so things like prey animals, trees, and insects are not "truly" alive. This is an older belief, however, and is fading with the newer generations of Fire.
Fires are known to use a similar ritual to manyspecies of furr and humans of the planes. The body is laid upon a large nest of dry timber, and the timber is traditionally lit by the mate, or if no mate, by the alpha or the closest companion if not in a formal pack. Fire funerals are silent, unsung and unspoken. The crackle of the flames are said to hold the final words of the fallen.
Fires are known to be extremely picky, and often racist, when choosing a mate. It is rare to find a Fire mating with another breed, and in the cases that they do, it's often of another Sunborn-allied aershaa, or of the neutral Light breed. In the long run, however, Fires are compatible with all breeds but the natural-breeding Barren.
Incompatible with: Barren
Fires, like Airs, are prized for their hunting capabilities. Winged Fires can bring more force behind their attacks than wingless hunters, and are considered more powerful. Plainswalker Fires, capable of taking down large prey on their own, are physically stronger than their smaller Forestrunner counterparts. Both Fires and various Fire mixes, particularly Firewater and Waterfire, are preferred as family Airla, due to their size and strong sense of loyalty. Even the first of the Bladehunters were all Fires for that reason.
Fires are also popular showla (show-airla), prized for their long, silky manes and vivid pelts. Maneless Fires are often unpopular or outright banned in showing circles, seen as a "defective" variation of the breed. The smaller Forestrunner Fires are typically used in showing, as the large Plainswalkers are often too bulky and less desirable for showing. Accepted alterations in most show circles are wing cropping and ear taping.
A Fire believes that a name is heard in the crackling flames of the soul. Their names are typically short and to the point, containing an average of two syllables, and no more than three. Fires are very rarely named anything outside of the Dreyrullian Standard, so Tribalistic is rarely heard of for a Fire, unless their family has adapted it from an alliance or history with Listhrean Waters.
Growth & Aging
Fires grow much like any aershaa does, although they are one of the hardiest aershaa in terms of longetivity. The only great difference between Fires and other breeds of aershaa is that their pups start to learn basic structures of magic (particularly, F.I.R.E.,) and minor practices, while other aershaa will not start magical practices until the moonling age.
Read more about aershaa aging here.
Fires are like most aershaa - they can specialize in magics, or in physical strength, or another skill they hold. However, out of all aerkind, Fires are most proud of the magics they hold, seeing fire as not only a skill, but a way to reveal the true potential of their very souls, displaying their "soul flames" for all to see in its truest glory.
As for the technicalities of fire magics, Fires typically specialize in a certain style or technique of using the flames. This can range from breathing fire, a thick-skinned muzzle and protected tongue allowing for such a feat, to twisting the fire from the heat of the air, either before them or from the wind from their wings, and any other number of combinations one can think of.
The fur of a Fire is generally fire-proof, and their skin is thick, but they aren't entirely immune to their own flames. Thus, a Fire must first and foremost learn to keep their bodies protected when using magic. This is most commonly done by a shielding technique that creates something of an "air pocket" between themselves and their own flames, in which the outer shell is intensely flammable, but the inside does not contain enough oxygen for flames to burn within. Their faces and muzzles are well-protected enough that the same isn't required where clean oxygen is needed - all that's required is their strong capacity to hold their breath so as to not breathe a large amount of the heat and smoke from their own flames.
Ostrydeo 23:09, August 28, 2012 (UTC)
Edits: Candle at 19:41, Sep 9, 2013 (UTC)