Who Are The Firstbloods?
In the Desert of Vast there is a legend that tells of the six original species to inhabit the Desert before all others. It is believed that meerkats, wildcats, eagle owls, goshawks, bat-eared foxes, and king cobras were the first species to call the Desert their home. Their legend is this….
The Desert was empty, but for the stars and the moon and the sand. One of those stars felt pity for the desolate landscape and took it upon itself to change the Desert from a wasteland to a haven. That star fell from the night sky and carved a hole deep into a sand dune. Just as the first rays of dawn were touching wispy fingers to the horizon, a small figure emerged from the hole with a tawny pelt that glimmered with starlight. It was a meerkat and his name was Star.
Star was not alone for long. The night after his arrival there was a great fire that raged across the Desert. From the heart of the flames emerged a mighty bird with stunning amber tipped wings. His name was Greatwing and he was the first of the eagle owls.
Once the fire had simmered and faded, a canid pure and black rose from the dying embers and dark ashes. He pricked his large ears and listened to the silence of the night before diving into the bushes. He was Listener, the first of the bat-eared foxes.
On the third night, a tumultuous storm rolled across the Desert. It pelted the sand with brutal drops and shook the trees with loud booms of thunder. While the other animals hid from the violence, a graceful gray hawk flew in the eye of the storm. She used the wind to carry and shield her until she was able to land unharmed. She was named Storm, the first goshawk to set talon in the Desert.
Just as the storm was calming, one last fork of lightning struck a smooth, flat stone. As the bolt receded and the darkness crept back in, a figure could be seen sitting on the stone. It lifted a delicate, but deadly, paw to its mouth as it whisked its flexible tail in thought. She was the first wildcat, Claw.
The following night was calm, there were no changes. It wasn’t until the fifth night that the last Firstblood emerged. From deep within the earth a reptile awoke. With a flicker of his forked tongue he scented the dusty air. He could smell it even so far below the surface. There was life in the Desert at last. Black scales rippled along his lengthy body as he undulated through the narrow space, forcing his way up the shallow incline. It took him a full day to emerge from the hole, the same hole that the fallen star had created on impact. He lifted his ebony head under the full moon and raised himself to his full height. He was a highly venomous king cobra. He was the herald of death. He was Death Bringer.
The six soon became known as the Firstbloods, and because of this signalization they became quiet close. Close enough to call each other friends. They decided that in order to keep the peace between their species that they would make an oath. An oath never to harm one another or a member of their species. All agreed to it.
The seasons passed and the oath was not broken. The meerkats referred to themselves as meer, the bat-eared foxes as black foxes due to their pelt color, the eagle owls called themselves greatwings after their leader, and the goshawks differentiated themselves by doing the distinct name of rainbirds. The wildcats rather took a liking to their nickname as ‘clawbeasts’, it is though that Claw herself approved of it. All of the Firstbloods had families and were happy. All the other animals of the Desert either treated them with prestige or indifference. No one seemed to harbor any disdain for the Firstbloods. Well, all except the jackals who were jealous of the Firstblood’s reputation.
For some time all the Firstbloods were content, until the day that the oath was broken.
Star found the body of his youngest daughter Comet with rainbird feathers scattered all about her. With Greatwing’s support Star accused one of Storm’s family of being the culprit. Outraged that her friend believed that she would allow this to happen, Storm turned them away and sought out Claw for advice. Bringer approached Claw and Storm as they were discussing the incident and convinced them that Star and Greatwing had formed an alliance to try and steal their power. He said that they wanted to rule the Desert themselves. Claw and Storm then asked for a meeting of the six Firstbloods. When all but Listener arrived, they launched an attack against Star and Greatwing. Claw, Rain, and Greatwing are all killed in the battle. Despite his wounds Star manages to survive and put the pieces together.
He realized that Bringer had framed Storm for his daughters death and orchestrated all the animosity between the Firstbloods. Sadly, it was too late. Bringer struck Sand from the shadows and killed him with his poisonous bite. With his last breath Star cursed the descendants of Bringer never to see light again once they die. Bringer was able to take control of the Desert after the others deaths. It is rumored that Listener observed the battle but disappeared soon afterwards. No one knows where he went or why to this day.
Some moons later a young meer from Star’s family managed to slay Bringer, but the damage had already been done. With their leaders dead and the oath broken, the descendants of the Firstbloods turned on each other. The meer, being the smallest, became prey to all the others. Except for the foxes, who prefer insects to meat. To this day, there is little to no contact between the Firstblood species and they live in alternating states of fear and competition with one another.
There’s Always More To The Story….
That is the version of the legend that meer tell their pups, as a tradition, on the night of their first foraging expedition. They use it as a warning relaying that a meer can trust no one besides their family. But there is always more to a story then what is told and there are many questions left unanswered. Such as:
Why did Bringer break the oath?
How did he convince the Firstbloods to turn on each other so quickly?
Why did Star rush to accuse Storm and her family?
Where did Listener go and why didn’t he help?
Who defeated the greatest enemy that the meer have ever known?
Why were the jackals so bitter towards the Firstbloods?
What happened to Star’s family after he died?
All of these questions and more will be answered in ‘The Broken Oath’ serial and ‘The Shifting World’ serial. Each saga will have six parts and will explain the legend of the Firstbloods in more detail and from the Firstbloods own perspectives. Part one of ‘The Broken Oath’ will be posted on Wednesday.
For character descriptions, maps of the territories, and insight into the world of The Meer, visit any of these pages: