Kiyrie Creation Myth
It is said that in the beginning, there was only the darkness. From the darkness came the light. Out of the light came the twin suns. Life did not begin until those twin suns decided to form between them a spirit. that spirit grew and died, multiplied and thrived as it lived and died. Each passing made more until the earth and mountains were formed. The light blessed the mountains and made the forests. In turn, the mountains cried with joy for the gift they were given and the seas were born.
The earth was lonely with only the green plants to commune with. From the green, the earth made the creatures of the sea, air, and land. Then, she created the tribes.
The tribes were once one people living in her vast central plain. We lived together as one until the First One arrived. At his bidding, we ventured forth in the world to seek new places. All directions were sought and none returned the heart of the land.
The cold of the mountains called the to the hearts of the People, bathing their thick pelts with cold air to relieve the heat of the heartland. There, the first People settled and called themselves Kiyrie, People of the Northeast Mountains.
For a time, the Kiyrie thrived and grew until the darkness returned and stole away the thoughts and dreams of the tribe. A mind sickness came and began to eat away at the heart of the Kiyrie until they no longer wished to hunt the forests or fish the river. No one would believe that the darkness would ever leave until one day, the very heart and mind of the tribe cleared and they saw with new eyes.
None of the Kiyrie had left the mountains since the first settling, losing knowledge of the other tribes except only as legend. What had happened to clear their minds was learned after when a strange woman with wings of finest leather and softest down appeared with the morning ritual to greet the twin suns.
With her came a new light into the cold mountains. She learned the language of the Kiyrie and taught them the ways of Nature and order. With her, the suns seems brighter and more forgiving when she was awake, and listless and dark when she slept.
She called herself Kree Sah'la and to the Kiyrie, she was the girl child of the Twin Suns. With her came a new change to the tribe. Her touch blessed the Kiyrie, making them like herself as they learned the ways of nature. With each new change to the Kiyrie that happened, she spoke of Balance and truth and assured each one that there was nothing to fear.
The Kiyrie became her warriors, proud and strong in her favor as the Blessed of the Sun. The Kiyrie have pledged their hearts to this gentle goddess who claims to not be a goddess. We have watched her create others and guide them to learn from us so that they know what it means to be among the Suntouched.
The Kiyrie race are the warriors from the Arctic Mountains in Giai'shar. They are a feline race altered from their more mixed original form. Fur color and markings vary from the gray-brown of the Lynx to the tawny colors of lions. Those born with white fur are favored among the tribes with the family treated with respect. They are born with wings and must learn to fly once they're wings are fully matured at about the age of 6 or 8. They are very long lived, believed to be immortal. As a race, they can heal faster than average. They believe themselves to be the favored of their goddess. Inherently, they are strong and have a firm belief in their goddess and Nature.
Known fur patters like those found on any normal feline. Stripes, spots, solid colors, patchwork, melonistic versions of wild cat patterns, and albino are considered normal.
Kiyrie born with black fur are considered special due to their ability to hunt unnoticed during the night and their perceived prowess at tracking and hunting. it is thought that black fur places the kiyrie closer to the spirit realm so they are normally taught to be shamans.
Those born with white fur are thought to be the chosen of the goddess Kree Sah'la. These children are given special treatment with a high honor place on the family for bearing such a rare color.
Albino kiyrie, while special for being born with white fur, are considered too weak to survive long in the tribe. Their weakness to the suns' rays makes them unable to hunt or work well. Though an albino baby is not put to death at birth, they are cared for like any other until such time as they pass on due to the illnesses and problems albinism comes with.
Birth to 5 years - The Ferril stage. A child too small to be left without supervision of any kind. Ferril rarely leave their mother's side and spend their time learning from their parents and grandparents. Wings are small and under-developed until the end of the 5th year.
Age 6 to 9 years - Fledgling During this stage, the ferril is allowed to move about without the constant watch of their parents and grandparents. This is the stage they learn to use their wings and attempt flight for the first time. Wings have reached a size nearly twice that of their arm span and have developed enough muscle to be properly used. Lessons in hunting are started once the ferril has flown on their own for the first time.
Age 10 to ?? years - Adolescent Young females are called Sal'ya and young males are known as Teh'ril. Adolescent kiyrie spend their time learning to hunt and gather, and find which trade they wish to pursue; weaving, tanning, leather working, weapon making to name a few. Adolescent kiyrie remain in this stage until such time as they prove themselves or, in the case of females their menses begin. During this stage, the young kiyrie learns about the Path of Nature and the realm of spirits and their role in their life.
?? to 100 years - Adult the kiyrie has proven themselves at hunting and has become proficient in flight. Many have begun learning to use their transformation ability. Early in adulthood, many have found their place within the tribe or clan.
101 years and up - Elder The elder kiyrie can continue to hunt until they decide they ready to 'retire' so the younger kiyrie can move up in ranks within the tribe. When the elder is ready, they assume the role as teacher to the young learning to fly or keep watch over the smaller children so parents may hunt, travel, or just have some time to themselves.
The male Kiyrie stands, on average, between 5'9" and 5'11" though on occasion, there are those who reach the height of 6'2. Weight for the average male is between 190 and 210 pounds with the heaviest being approximately 235 pounds. Males are more muscular than the females females with a lean build to allow them to achieve flight without being too heavy for their wings. Ears, tail, and eyes are larger than those of the female. It is not out of the ordinary for the male kiyrie to have scars from both hunting and ceremonial fights on their bodies and wings. Adult males have one scar in common at the base of the throat which is given to them when they have proven themselves to be worthy providers for the clan and tribe. This scar is always in the shape of a circle with four radiating chevrons to represent the sun.
Female Kiyrie are smaller than their male counterparts. Average height is between 5'2" and 5'5" but no taller than 5'9". Average weight ranges from 110 to 130 pounds but no more than 140 pounds. Physically, they are petite in build, tending toward the lithe end of athletic. Until they have their first child, the female kiyrie will resemble a juvenile with a slight figure built for speed in flight. Arms, legs, and wings tend to be noticeably larger on the female. A female is not considered an adult until after her first menses then she must pass through a right of passage which introduces her to the secrets of of creating life. The females posses a common scar; a wavy line to represent water and air on the right thigh which is not given until after the birth of their first child when she has proven, physically, that she is strong enough to survive the rigors of childbirth. Each progressive pregnancy she receives a new scar on her right thigh.
The kiyrie take naming a child seriously. It is what gives them strength to ward off evil spirits when illness strikes and makes them unique among their peers.
A kiyrie has two names. Their first name is given to them at birth so they can counted among the clan and tribe as a person with their own special mark on the Generation Stone the Holy Shaman maintains. This name is simple and carries some special meaning to the parents. With it being their first name, it is commonly used by their family and those they consider close enough to be a sibling. To be given this all important name is considered a sign of great honor and trust from the kiyrie in question.
The second name is their tribal name. This one is given to them at their naming ceremony when the babe has survived the first six weeks of life and the mother has recovered from giving birth. This second name is the one most commonly heard and, as the child grows, it can change. What one is called as a child is rarely ever the same when they have grown and proven themselves. It is a descriptive word that they carry for their tribal name.
examples: Darlon Stonefist (male) Mira Lightpaw (female) Keer Skywanderer (neutral)
The kiyrie race has only one true magic that is known; the ability to transform. The shape-change magic is believed to allow them to be able to hunt more efficiently and carry heavier loads than in their normal shape. This is not an easy magic for them to master so there are few can achieve more than one form in their lives.
The second power is what allows them to fly. Flight comes naturally to them, allowing them to soar effortlessly on air currents high above the land. Since their change completed, many have discovered flight to be better than traveling on foot to their hunting ground or scouting ahead for prey.
The wings, however, do pose a drawback in that they do tend to get in the way and not let them get through smaller spaces like they used to. Young kiyrie born into this new, natural, form have discovered ways around this drawback before they begin their first lessons in flight.
Immortality among kiyrie is not common. At least not yet. Being long lived, they do learn how to survive in their native environment.
Religion and Beliefs
Kiyrie religion centers around Nature and the belief that everything has a spirit and is connected in some fashion. Coming from a time when there was no darkness to define night, much of their religion centers around light and the subtle changes of the seasons. The coming of Kree Sah'la only enforced this and gave the tribe someone to focus their prayers and ceremonies around; believing her to be the child of the twin suns illumination their world. What changes she brought and talk of balance have changed some of their ways, ceremonies, and rituals.
The two primary ceremonies which encompass the entire tribe are at the height of summer when the days are at their longest and the twin suns reach their zenith together; known as the Ceremony of the Suns, and at the longest night of the year when the moon seems to circle the arctic mountains instead of rising and setting; known as the Ritual of Long Moon. These two ceremonies mark the central points of the kiyrie year and last several days.
In the Ceremony of the Suns, the kiyrie celebrate with a feast of fresh meat and food gathered from the forest with the entire 'ceremony' lasting several days. During this time, they praise the suns and their goddess for the life giving rays and give offerings for a bountiful year and successful hunts to get them through the next winter. It is a time of celebration for the tribe. During this ceremony, the babies born during the spring that have survived their first weeks are given their tribal names. Many other rituals are also performed during this time as a belief that if they are held during this special time, they would be further blessed by their goddess and the nature spirits.
The Ceremony of the Long Moon is a time of deep prayer for the tribe, asking the spirits to help them survive the winter and bless them with the first rays of the suns. While this ceremony is only two long, the kiyrie fast until the moon sets once again. It is a harsh ceremony that does not meet with the approval of Kree Sah'la but they believe it so she can remain strong that they fast and pray until the first signs of the change toward spring.
There are other, smaller ceremonies throughout the year, such as the New Green Ritual and the Leaf Fall Festival. Each are marked according the position of the suns and moon to ensure they are done at the proper time.
Mateship ceremonies are held only during the spring in summer with the belief that the time of birth and growth ensures a strong bond and many children for the new couple. Those who hold their mateship ceremony during the Ceremony of the Suns are considered to be the luckiest and most fertile of pairings.
To many outsiders, the kiyrie habit of thanking the animal they just killed or the plant they just harvest seems strange, but this is an ingrained belief that the spirit of that animal or plant will carry their thanks to the spirit of the earth and bring blessings from their goddess. To not thank the spirits could invite disaster on the hunter or gatherer on their next foray or bring sickness on themselves or the tribe.
It is their belief that the spirits are neither good or evil. How they act toward you is determined by how you act toward them and if they are showed proper respect. Certain animals are not hunted, believed they carry the messages from the living to the spirits. To kill these special animals could mean the end of the tribe.
These same beliefs toward the spirits extend to the kiyrie themselves. In order for them to survive each winter, they must work together. No one kiyrie does more than the other. Each must do their part to ensure survival. They hunt and gather only what they need. What they have, they share with the rest. If one no longer has a need for something, they look to see if another may be able to use it. It is believed that everyone can give to the tribe in some form or another whether it is hunting, gathering, weapon making, weaving, leather working, crafting, or even teaching and tending the young.
Because tensions can arise regardless of beliefs, there are ritualistic matches where one kiyrie will pit themselves against another. The combatants wrestle, match skills, or race to determine the victor of the argument in question. Fights which result in the bodily harm or death of another are brought to the tribal chiefs and shamans to determine their fate. Depending on how bad the act was, the offending kiyrie can be ostracized, their wings shredded, or rights within the tribe revoked until such time as they are properly chastised in the eyes of the offended party and the meet the approval of the shaman. Banishment rarely happens and is reserved for the worst of punishments.
For a kiyrie to choose not to share with the tribe and their family takes great effort. Greed is frowned upon. Those who prove themselves to be lazy and greedy are marked with the symbol of darkness to show they no longer stand within the light of their goddess or beliefs. They will wear this mark until they can find their way back into the light by carrying their weight in work and not let greed guide them.
The home of the kiyrie is in the northeastern part of Nimby in the arctic mountains. The tribe's territories cover several mountains from foothills to just above the tree line. Though not nomadic, they do move up and down the mountainside according to the time of year. Early fall through mid spring, they are found at the lower reaches and foothills of the Giai'shar mountains where hunting is easier due to the protection of the forests and the nearby plains. From late sprint to the end of summer, they live closer to the tree line where it is cooler and they can find the air currents much more easily for flight.
The traditional hunting grounds are in the plains at the base of the mountains. There, a large river flows through carrying fish and a rich diversity of plant life at the edges to diversify their normal diet of meat and dried fruit. Though they can hunt the open plains for larger game and fish the river they prefer the forested mountains to find the prey they prefer most.