For many generations, the kiyrie did not have wings, or the ability to fly. They were traveled on the land in the many feline forms they had at the time. It wasn't until the 30 generations after the first appeared that new and different species started introducing themselves into the diversity of the Kiyrie race. Each new addition was chosen not by the Kiyrie, but by the Fates and the Earth, herself, for the best possible match to make the next generation stronger than the last and pass on those new abilities on to the future.
Because of all the different species of feline in the Kiyrie species; lion, tiger, leopard, cougar, lynx, even domestic cats, they were able to have any possible fur pattern, though most tended to have gray shade with rosettes similar to a leopard, making them rather distinct among the rest of the know furs. The Kiyrie the Fates chose to be the mother of the new generation had such a unique fur color, a shade of gray so deep it looked blue. Her eyes matched her fur perfectly, and so, her parents named her StormCloud, because her fur reminded them of the dark clouds of the summer storms. The father the Fates chose was an unlikely green dragon, one of the hyunitarri, Kiyrie hunters, the best of the best. He is known to history as only Drake, because no one could pronounce or spell his real name. Hunter and prey, together to form the next generation of Kiyrie, brought together under circumstance few could witness or understand for their pairing was rare, a life mating that endured till the end of Storm
It was late in the afternoon, StormCloud, tired from her recent hunt, and full from the fresh meat, remained in her hunting form a dark gray non-morphic cougar. She had dug a shallow burrow and curled up, covering herself with the fluffy expanse of her tail to keep the chill of the night from waking her from her much needed slumber, It is there she stayed until the following morning when the Fates made their call. StormCloud is rare, even among the Kiyrie, she was among the bravest of them, venturing to walk among the normal furs and experience their life for herself. This put her in danger many times, running from the hyunitarri and other furs for many reasons. Her natural speed and cunning kept her from being caught, though it was Drake that worried her the most.
Drake's skill in capturing the Kiyrie was unsurpassed among his peers. He could sense and smell them hiding among the savanna prides, in the deepest of snows and hottest of deserts with little effort. As the years passed, his catches became fewer as the Kiyrie learned his tricks and passed the knowledge through their collective mind link. It was by luck he stumbled upon StormCloud in the early light of day, when the morning mists had settled and left a sparkling dew covering everything. At first, he didn't notice her sleeping there in her shallow burrow, a single paw curled around a stripped bone from her kill. Only a tiny rodent scurrying past his feet drew his attention to her.
The opportunity couldn't be better for him, he raised his spear and prepared to embed it in her chest, so he could collect the reward from such a rare color of Kiyrie. She would bring a lot of gold to his treasury. As he stood there, his throwing arm poised with spear in hand, StormCloud stirred, her tail flicking slightly as she curled into a tighter ball of fluff, whimpering softly at something in her dreams. What ever she dreamt, it woke her up. Her gaze, blinking at the light filtering through the branches into her borrow, spies Drake's bared taloned feet then traveled upward over his body until she met his fierce gaze.
As their eyes met, something passed between them, a spark from the Fates. Neither could move, or wanted to move. The kiyrie's eyes were filled with fear, freezing her in place for the moment while Drake, held by the sudden confusion of what his senses were telling him. He kept his spear ready to throw and his gaze fierce, not about to give in to the fledgling feelings that were starting to bubble up from the depths of his soul. He hunted these creatures for the gold and prestige, nothing else.
StormCloud was feeling the same things, though she was still afraid of the dragon. Many times she had almost been caught by him, but managed to slip away. Now, she was caught, with no place to run or hide. Behind the fear, a calm acceptance to her impending death appeared. She had lived a while, though she was still young for a Kiyrie.
For many long moments, they stared into each other's eyes. Only the sound of something huge crashing through the forest broke the building tension. Drake turned to see what it was, and StormCloud took the diversion as her one chance to escape. She leaped from her burrow, leaving the remains of her kill behind without a backward glance and bounded deep into the forest. As soon as she was out of site of the dragon, she disappeared, joining the rest of the Kiyrie in their secret haven where they can rest and raise their young without fear. Deep inside, she didn't want to leave him, but her instincts screamed for her to get away as quickly as possible.
Drake turned in time to watch her bound through the underbrush in her escape. He stood there, watching the direction she had fled in, his spear still held tight in his hand, unused and almost forgotten. As he stood there, he contemplated why he didn't throw the spear, she would have made him richer beyond his wildest imaginings with her perfect fur. His hunter's spirit warred with his heart as he turned and made the trek back towards the town he was staying in. He long since passed the age where juvenile urges controlled him, though he was by no means a great wyrm. Still, the upwelling feelings confused him as much as his own greed drove him. Only when he reached the tavern did he start cursing himself for missing such a great opportunity for greater wealth.
StormCloud did not stop running until she was safely within the realm of the Kiyrie, and only then did she shift back to her natural form. She stayed at the outskirts, listening to the forming arguments of what just happened to her among the others. She hid her own confusion, but the elder approached her, a buff colored panther in long flowing white robes, and sat and talked to her for a while about what had happened. It took the older feline some time to explain to StormCloud what was going on, and the uproar of mental voices she heard was too much for her. Saddened and still fearful, she wandered off to be alone, half listening to shouts and arguments among her peers and family.
During the confusion of the many arguments, StormCloud left the realm of the Kiyrie and severed her mental link with them, knowing what it would mean to her in the end. Only the elder knew she had left and took herself from the collective link of their minds. No others would know she was gone until the arguments settled as they always do.
StormCloud wanted to be alone and in silence. She didn't want anyone to know what she was thinking. For many weeks, she lived alone in the deepest, darkest parts of the forest, hunting and gathering her own meals and avoiding the hunters. With each successive week she kept herself apart from the others and her link severed, she grew weaker, her hunts less successful. During this whole time, she couldn't stop thinking of Drake, the Fates wanted her to be with him, but he was hyunitarri, dangerous to her and the others. This pairing she couldn't live with, even if it meant the resulting kittens would be stronger and more cunning than the rest.
Two more months passed without either Drake or StormCloud seeing each other, or even glimpsing one another. Only chance brought them together again. The Kiyrie, weak from hunger and her severed mental link, lay unconscious on the forest floor, sprawled as if she fainted mid-leap. The Earth, always caring for the creatures she created, covered her with the underbrush until she awakened.
Drake, tracking a deer for his own meal, stumbled upon her. At first, all he could see was a single paw and the tip of her tail among the leaves and underbrush, laying unnaturally still. He moved the brush aside and gazed at her sleeping form. Her fur was dull, it no longer had that healthy glow that made the Kiyrie so prized, and she was thin, her breathing very shallow. Once again his hunter's spirit and his heart warred. He could kill her easily and collect a smaller reward for a less than perfect Kiyrie. But his own honor wouldn't let either side win. She was too weak for his heart to follow with what it wanted, and taking a defenseless prey brought no honor or challenge.
He looked around to see if anyone else was there who could take care of her. Finding no one, he gently picked her up, tilting his head at the weakened soft whimpers as she was lifted. He carefully carried her to a clearing then spread his wings and took to the air. He landed many miles away in a rocky area at the border of the country.
While he was unlocking the portal to his lair, StormCloud awakened, dull gray eyes gazing up at him. at first, she didn't recognize the area then realized who was holding her and thought surely she was going to die. When he looked down at her in his arms, their eyes met again, and once more, a spark jumped between them and the feelings both have been battling arose.
StormCloud shook as she looked into Drake's eyes then fainted once more, too weak to cope with it. Concerned, the dragon carried her into his lair and placed her gently on the simple bed he had, made sure she was comfortable then lit a fire to warm the chilled air. There was little he could do. He was a hunter after all, not a doctor or healer. While she slept, he ventured out to hunt. Many times over the weeks he kept her in his home, he'd hunt then spoon feed her the broth from his kills and the medicines he was advised to use, but she didn't grow stronger, only weaker. Within a month under his care, she started refusing the food and medicine then slipped into a coma brought on from lack of food and drink.
Concerned, he sat there for several days, trying to get water into her, then quietly, after making sure there won't be any disturbance, he slipped out in search of one of the great wyrm for advise on what to do. Just after he left, the Kiyrie elder appeared and sat down in the chair the dragon had used so many times while tending to StormCloud. The elder gently picked up the gaunt paw of the comatose Kiyrie then gently forged a link to her fading mind, catching the last unraveling threads as she slowly died. StormCloud had been so long with the mental link, her mind was shutting down, preparing her weakened body for death, but the elders attempt put a stop to that, preventing those last threads of her life from unraveling into death.
Behind the elder's thought, the concerned and worried minds of the rest appeared, like a golden glow behind her only StormCloud could see. The two spoke for a time while the other brought her back into the collective thought, apologizing to her and accepting her, no matter who the Fates paired her with. The elder stayed close to her young charge, watching over her while the bonds were reformed and gently feeding her medicines to make her strong again and some cool broth left behind by the dragon.
By the time Drake returned, the elder was gone and StormCloud's eyes were open, gazing weakly at the fire. He wasn't expecting to see her awake or even alive with how weak she was when he left, but his heart leapt for joy while his hunter's spirit started to fade, leaving him to the growing emotions inside him. He sat down in the chair and looked at her, wondering to himself what had happened while he was away for her to take such a turn for the better. For the moment, he didn't care, he was actually glad she was doing much better.
The great wyrm he spoke with advised him to let his heart guide him, it would never lead him wrong when it came to any female of any species. Drake couldn't argue with the wyrm, his heart, and his honor, led him to take the weakened Kiyrie into his care. He stayed there for the next several weeks, nursing her back to health and watching her return to the beautiful young lady she was months before, though many times his hunter's spirit tried to control once again.
It took many months before StormCloud was strong enough to get out of bed, getting up only when Drake was away so he wouldn't know how much progress she was making. She still feared him and thought he would kill her as soon as he knew she was strong again. But the time came when she knew, he would notice her being back to full health, so, while he slept in the chair, she climbed out of the bed then sat upon her knees in front of the fire, bowing her head as she waited for him to awaken.
When drake finally awakened, he first looked at the bed, expecting her to be there, but finding it empty, he stood and looked around. As he looked around, he picked up his spear then moved the chair aside, for once someone had entered his lair while he slept, but there was no one, just him, and StormCloud, who he found sitting in front of the fire, waiting for him to awaken. She hadn't moved, even when she saw him pick up his spear and move the chair back against the wall.
She was shaking with fear inside, thinking this would possibly be it. Out of the corner of her eye, she watched him raise the spear, then two it. Her ears flattened against her head, waiting for the lethal impact, but it never came, only a loud thunk as the point embedded itself in a wooden post by the door. StormCloud turned to look at the quivering shaft of the spear, blinking in surprise then slowly, turned to look at Drake, confused at why he'd throw his spear at a post and not her.
Drake couldn't believe it himself when he threw the spear at the door, then simply nodded and looks at the Kiyrie. He could read the confusion in her eyes, his reflecting the same. They both knew they were brought together for a reason, but how to approach one another, they didn't know.
Deep down, StormCloud knew the time was very near for them to join together to produce the next generation. While she looked up at him, she slowly stood, meeting his softening gaze. He took one small step towards her, then another when she didn't cringe away from him. She could only watch him, shaking still, but not from fear this time.
She knew the deep bass of his rumbling voice, and his very scent as well as her own now, and it awakened in her new and different feelings she had never felt for anyone before. Not even among her own kind had she felt this. This was a fated pairing, one needed to make her kind stronger, but would it last. She had so many questions. Drake could easily return to hunting the Kiyrie once his part was done, or could it become a life pairing, both ideas scared her in different ways. She was young, but she knew the ways of the world and experienced much of it for herself.
Drake was thinking the same things as StormCloud, but more afraid of hurting her than anything else. He knew, she was feared him, and knew it would hinder anything that could develop from them coming together. Though still very much a hunter he was afraid. The dragon berated himself for his little fear then gathered himself up and bowed, making the first move to show he wasn't going to harm her, then offered his taloned hand.
Unfamiliar with both action, the Kiyrie stood there watching him, but she had seen several while exploring the towns do much the same, so she decided to do it also, mimicking his motions. Drake chuckled softly as she extended her paw, then he gently grasped it and placed a small kiss to back of her paw, keeping his eyes on her to watch her reaction. She was curious by this and it showed in her eyes, but her shaking had eased finally, leaving just a little flicking of her tail.
With the tension broken, they both started to talk, introducing themselves and getting to know one another. StormCloud, as full of questions as she was, could only think of a few, but Drake answered them, and the rest she had over the next several days. He never asked her to leave his lair, but did she want to leave, but each evening, she'd venture out and disappear until dawn the following morning. Drake was curious, but he didn't want to intrude on her privacy and knew she'd return when she was ready.
The days passed and they slowly grew closer, letting their hearts guide them now that the Fates had them together. When the time came, they weren't surprised, but those that knew them were. their pairing could not be denied, and for many days they didn't leave each other's arms. Even after StormCloud's time passed, they stayed together, perhaps to ensure then next generation they were to form together.
Drake stayed with StormCloud during the months she carried his young, and was there when she gave birth to three pure white winged kittens. Only the tiny wings sprouting from just below their shoulders showed the dragon parentage they had, but as they grew, they showed the strength and many of the abilities of their father. Only for a while, was StormCloud afraid Drake would leave, but when saw he enjoyed the fast growing kittens as much as she did, her fear left her.
Together, they brought several litters into the world, ensuring that there were enough to strengthen future generations of the Kiyrie. Drake and StormCloud forged a strong life bond between them. A bond that was rare and true between two very unlikely beings. One a hunter of the highest degree, the other, his prey. Their children learned their story from their parents and the rest of the Kiyrie. No other pairing was like theirs, and few lasted as long.
When StormCloud finally reached the end of her days, her fur faded and grizzled with her great age, she was still very much in love with Drake. He was there when she finally died, holding her close and nursing her like he did when they first came together. No one saw him again after he buried her body, but all the Kiyrie could feel his grief and mourned with him until they could no longer feel his life presence. His children grew and made families of their own, and with each generation, he saw what he gave to the Kiyrie through his StormCloud, and was, deep in his heart, proud of them and of her.