Year 760 of the New Age, Winter
Featuring Eleanor and Ruibh
The Winterflame, Silverthorne
The filly bounced around the thicket, attempting to catch snowflakes on her tongue. Momma had said Daddy would be home soon. Well soon was nooooowwww! Where was he? Stomping a little hoof impatiently, with a little snort, Ellie looked around. It was almost dark. Pouting to herself, curly baby down tail lashing, she skulked back into the thicket. Momma was showing Big Brother how to make some yucky gooey stuff that smelled funny. Wiggling her little tail in the air, crouching as she inched forward slowly, focusing on her next victim. Pharaoh was listening attentively, lying alongside Momma, unaware completely.
Just a little bit farther.. almost there.. Now! Screeching a baby battle cry, the filly launched forward- and completely missed, launching over big brother as he ducked, and landing amongst the ashes. Rolling around in the ash, dust and soot for a moment while Momma’s blue eyes widened in surprise, watching Ellie with an amused sigh. Tsking softly, Momma towered over Ellie who tried to wiggle away before a fluffy leg wrapped around her belly and pulled her towards Momma’s tongue. Squirming, with a belligerent, “Mommmmmaa!” Yelp, looking desperately to her older brother only to find him chuckling as he worked on his own yucky stuff. “If you aren’t all clean you can’t go with Daddy tonight... Do you wanna stay home with Raoh and I?” Momma asked. Turning terrified, big brown eyes up to her mother, bleating as she stomped her little hooves. “I gunna go with Daddy!” Ellie insisted stubbornly. “Then hold still!” The doe laughed as she licked away at the sooty fawn’s face. Ears drooping, the filly made faces but held still until her face was all clean before wiggling away.
Prancing to plop alongside her big brother dramatically, bleating up at Momma, “When is Daddy gun be here?” She whined impatiently. The speckled filly was known for her dramatics, but she was sweet and energetic, and certainly a daddy’s girl. He had been on patrol all day- at least it was easier to explain it as such to the fawn for Fel than saying he might have been checking on his harem. Raoh rolled his eyes, “Be patient.” The colt snorted, while Ellie pouted grumpily, tail slapping against the ground as she watched him making the yucky goo stuff.
After the incident, Felina had agreed with him that Pharaoh needed to be kept from the fire, at all costs. They would split their time with the children equally. Ruibh would train Pharaoh, help him learn to protect himself since he lacked the ability to conjure magics and Felina would teach him to use herbs, a skill that could be helpful in trading if needed. They both agreed that Eleanor still required to be around the fire. She was pure, the flames were present inside of her, it would be cruel to deny her what all Silverthorne fawns were born with. The couple would take turns showing her magic while the other was working with their son.
This would be the first night in many that he would teach his daughter of their ways. Tell her of the legends that built their great herd, as his mother had done with him. This night would be special. As his father had done with him, he would take his daughter to the winterflame. It would be her first trip. Felina tried to avoid wandering too close to the flame, out of fear the Raoh would have an accident. The young filly hadn’t had the pleasure to see the great fire up close. Tonight she would.
Walking through the entry of their thicket, he was met by the roan fillies, impatient whining, “When is Daddy gun he here?”
“Be patient,” the golden colt frowned at his eager sister.
He couldn’t help but smile at their bickering, a sound that had become welcome and when he was away from home for too long, missed, “Eleanor, what had I told you have about your feverish behavior?” He questioned the filly in a light hearted tone, nuzzling his mate as he entered their home.
The little filly bounced excitedly, bouncing right over to her father, gleefully bleating as she balanced on her hind legs, bracing her forelegs against his shoulder. “Daddy!” She exclaimed, little tail swishing. Momma smiled as she nuzzled Daddy, “She’s fussy all day, but excited to spend quality time with you.” Fel laughed lovingly, a patient smile across the doe’s maw. The little speckled baby teetered before giggling, prancing into a trot, tail flagged out behind her, waiting at the entrance of the thicket. “Com’on!” Ellie insisted, bright brown eyes happily gazing up at her father, rounded ears perked excitedly.
There was so much to do! Daddy had promised a big surprise for tonight. And Ruibh’s daughter could barely contain herself. Wanting to run and play and explore, the roan fawn smiled gleefully, bright brown eyes staring up hopefully. Maybe they were gonna go make new friends, or they could go adventuring, or play chase, or hide and go seek, or oh! they could always play with the flames! Ellie liked the flames, they always tickled! Tail swishing, practically bouncing with energy, the youngster stood impatiently, head held high, tail twitching out behind her.
His daughter jumped forward, hugging her small body against his. Felina nuzzled him with a cheerful smile and laughter in her tone. It was nice to be home. Quickly, the filly was at the entrance of the thicket readily waiting for him. “Com’on!” The filly exclaimed impatiently.
He smiled back to his mate, “I guess we better be going.” He touched his nose to his mates before proceeding forward, “We’ll be back before bedtime.”
Stepping forward, he looking around outside first before allowing his daughter to follow. He found himself being very protective of his children, even though he had one first, he found the urge to protect his girls more than he thought he’d ever have to. They walked forward in silence for a moment before he spoke softly, “We are going to some place very special. A place that long introduced us to the fire. A gift given to use from Grian herself.”
He glanced down at his daughter still moving forward, “It’s a right of passage for young fawnlings, blessed with the flame. My mother brought me when I was your age and now it’s my turn to take you and your siblings.”
It did not take long for them to reach the great brightness of the Winterflame, “Eleanor, this place is to be protected. The flames must never burn out, for if they had, we might parish.” He spoke gently, he knew the impact of his words. He had high hopes for all his children. That they would become healers or firebringers… or something he never thoughts he would hope for any of his daughter, soldiers.
The little speckled roan pranced alongside her large, dark father gleefully, listening to him. Big ears perked as he spoke of a special place, delicate chest puffing up with pride at the mentions of her gift. Momma said one day she would be able to control the pretty orange and yellow flames that were so fun! Daddy sounded so serious, speaking of this place.. So focused on listening, Ellie practically jumped at the sight of the massive flames flickering so high. Blinking at it in awe, the fawn began to take a few strides towards it in delight before skidding to a halt.
Tail flagged out behind her, the very image of eager anticipation and awe, Eleanor turned to look back at her father, nodding soberly at the thought of the massive, living fire ever going out. To the filly, it seemed an impossible task for this massive wall of fire to ever cease burning. “Yes, Daddy.” she murmured, almost somberly for a moment, before promptly venturing closer, investigating. It was so big! Bouncing excitedly near the edges of it, bright brown eyes wide with astonishment, the flames reflecting in them before turning and bounding back towards her father. Playfully, the filly pranced around him, smiling. “Story?” She asked, innocently. Ellie had an uncanny ability to predict when a story might be approaching- particularly those about Grian. The youngster always loved to listen to the dark soldier telling her such stories, and loved every moment spent with him. It filled her heart with pride to know her daddy was not only a soldier- but well, he was her Daddy! It didn’t need any more explanation than that to her.
Little tail curling around his big one as they walked, the filly looked up hopefully. One day- maybe she could be strong and know all the stories like her father did! Momma always spoke so highly of her Daddy. And Raoh always got to spend time with him- Ellie loved being able to have the moment where she could have all of Ru’s attention. Momma often encouraged it, and always asked about the times and tales of the father-daughter adventures.
His daughter eagerly waited for him to tell her the tale. He would tell her the same tale that his mother had told him, of Aeveen. The tale helped him through his childhood, knowing that the dark doe was the giver of the flame they were responsible for protecting. He laid down beside the wall of flames and offered his tail, allowing the filly to curl herself beside him.
“The story of Aeveen is a tale of both inspiration and that of caution. Born of our sun goddess herself, Aeveen was a demi-goddess.” He paused, “Born from the goddess mother, Grian, and a mortal father.” He explained before continuing, “Unlike her siblings, she was born black as coal. Darker than my own. She was very powerful and brave despite her coat.
“Many in the kingdom believe she was foolish, which, in some way she was. She was young and had more magic than she could harness. She is responsible for the washed Ash plains… but where there is death, there is light. With the destruction of the Ash plains, came the Winterflame and with it, our link to the Sun.”
He looked to his daughter, “You have the same fire inside of you. As your mother and I do, as our parents before us and as your children will have in them. The flame isn’t to be tarnished. It must be protected. It is to be keep pure and with purity comes our power.”
Seeing the opportunity to snuggle up, the little filly bolted and curled, wiggling her little body until she was curled perfectly alongside her father, his tail draped around her and lying across her forelegs. Listening, the brown eyed daughter turned to blink up at him. “Pure?” She asked. Ellie wasn’t quite sure what purity meant- but keeping the flame was important! Right?
Ears swivelling as she watched the fire, the speckled roan looked up at her father curiously, in a way of seeing that only a youngster could seem to have, without noticing the darkness of her father in the least. He was her Dad- and no coat color would change what she thought of him. Smiling as she leaned into the warm body of her father, the speckled fawn blinked up at him, before turning to gaze at the Winterflame in awe, then back to the father she shared her roan coloration with. “I can make when big like you?” Struggling to form the right words, her sweet voice clipped some words, but for a youngster, Eleanor already showed signs of intelligence. Felina nurtured and encouraged the filly to speak as much as possible, helping to teach her new words and coax her into voicing thoughts.
More often than not, the little sentences weren’t perfect- but it didn’t stop her from trying. Smiling up at her father hopefully, “Teach me?” She asked, already excited by the prospect of being as powerful as her father when it came to her magic, as well as having the ability to use it like her mother. The pair were strong when it came to their magics, and it brought her great joy to think of being able to be like them- especially her father. Even Raoh looked up to him! Daddy was a soldier, and he was strong! Nothing would ever go wrong as long as he was there to keep them safe.
Though his daughter was young and couldn’t speak as well as some of the children older than her, he could still understand her in so few words. She questioned the word pure, and sometimes forgot that these things had to be explained to small fawns. “Yes, pure.” He cleared his throat, “There are some in our herd, that aren’t born with fire. They have father’s from other herds and Adhar doesn’t feel that they are worthy of his gifts.” He knew the words sounded harsh, especially know what he knew of her brother but the matter of the fact wasn’t easy to explain, “You will find when you are older, that not all fawns are able to sit in the flames. Some, others from different places, will burn.”
He smiled at his daughter’s intrigue in the flames. The small hind reminded him much of himself at her age, he nodded before speaking, “Yes. When you are older, you will be able to make flames. Maybe even help keep the Winterflame strong.” He paused, “Your mother and I will help you learn to control your fire when it comes time to learn how.”
He stood and help his daughter to her feet. It was growing late and he could see by the sag in his daughter’s eyes that the young one was tired, “I think that’s enough for tonight. It’s time we make our way back home.” He licked at his daughter’s forehead, “When you are old enough, I will teach you everything that I know. And someday, you will teach your children.
The filly tilted her head at the thought of other fawns who were incapable of sitting in the flames or playing with them. However- Ellie quickly brightened as her father intoned that she would be able to control the flames with the help of her mother and father as she grew older. “I wanna!” She exclaimed at the thought of helping the beautiful, massive flames dancing alongside them. Blinking tired eyes however, the speckled roan obediently got to her hooves.
Little tail swishing, the fawn wobbled to her hooves with a big yawn, nodding and twining her tail around her father’s, before beginning to trudge after him back to their home happily. The thoughts of the future brightened, and all of the knowledge seemed so wonderful to her. Eleanor couldn’t imagine having a better Daddy or Momma, and was certainly thrilled by the prospect of all things fire so far.
He did not miss the yawn as his fawn followed behind him slowly. The walk wasn’t to far back to the thicket and there wasn’t much for the pair to speak of. His mate welcomed them in with a smile, nudging his daughter forward towards her mother. He couldn’t stay the night, he had other responsibilities elsewhere, despite wanting to be there. His mate knew this and called their daughter to her. She quickly settled beside her pale mother, eyes fluttering open and shut, fighting sleep that was quickly taking her over.
The dark stag touched the filly with his nose and then his mate, “Until another time my sweet little flame.”