In the beginning of time, when the inhabitants of the world shared the same skin and wandered in their meager tribes, the great animal gods descended from the heavens, and asked help from the beings to shape the world. In exchange, the creatures would devote themselves to their gods, and obtain their traits for their own. As such, the people now shared varying skins, some with the tails of cats, others the beaks of birds, and every creature in between soon decorated the bodies of the people. Only then did they see each other as different, and the gods regretted their decision. But it was too late, and they were forced back in to the heavens, to wait out the chaos they had created. Two groups in particular created the most violence. The children of foxes and of wolves became bitter enemies, attacking and stealing and pillaging from one another for generations. However, the gods grew tired of the feud, and did something to change the tides - helped a fox and a wolf fall in love. The romance lasted only a short time, but it was all the gods needed, and the wolf princess gave birth to a pair of twins, the likes none had ever seen before. Hybrid creatures, a prince and princess, both wolf and fox in their blood. For fear of the prosecution of their children, their parents would send them away to Nurine, a country filled with people of all kinds, where perhaps their children could grow strong... And love bloomed again between fox and wolf, this time with the caretakers charged with escorting the prince and princess across treacherous lands, but alas, it would be brief once more, as calamity separates not only the couple, but the children as well. Believing the others dead and gone, each "parent" raised the children apart, never telling them of the other. But one fateful day, the gods would play their hand again, and bring the twins back together in the land of Nurine, tied together by fate, family, love, and a mysterious, golden locket they both share... And this, my friends, is where our story begins... *** It's the Star Blossom Festival, everyone! For a recap, lets see what that means, shall we? As for Nurine itself, the country was built upon the legend of a brother and sister, separated by war. While the sister is left behind, she cares for and helps build a life for the poor, down-trodden refugees forced from their homes, praying for her brother's eventual return. However, war reaches the refugees, and just as the brother rushes in to save them and his sister, he watches as she is slain. It is said that the gods granted him the ability to destroy the armies if he so chose, but instead of using his power to kill, he stood up to the warring nations, and with tears in his eyes, managed to convince them of their foolish actions, and to lay down their weapons. With the war ended, the brother buried his beloved sister, and when his tears fell upon the grave, the gods rewarded the siblings' efforts, kind hearts, and wise minds with a beautiful tree that grew upon the sight. This tree is said to be the very giant that stands in the middle of Nurine's capitol, Yula, its seeds having been sewn across the country, and every year the people celebrate this legend with the Star Blossom Festival. This name was given due to the peculiar trees giving off star shaped blossoms every spring, which bloom only during the night, and glow with a pure, white light. During the summer, the trees bear sweet, nutritious, tear-shaped fruit. Thus far, the trees only grow in Nurine soils. *** It was evening. The great star blossom tree that towered over Yula, Nurine's grand capitol, was in full bloom, the star-shaped flowers glowing and lighting the town, as they had for countless centuries. It was the middle of the Star Blossom Festival, a week long celebration honoring Nurine's unique past, and the legend of the siblings that brought prosperity and peace to the land. But peace was the last thing on Kaleb's mind that night. He and his patrol had caught a group of thieves in the middle of a job, and were in hot pursuit. At least, that would be the report. Kaleb was chasing the girl for a completely different reason. In particular, it involved the right half of a heart locket dangling from her neck, and the unusual features that had left Kaleb's comrades dropping their jaws. She was fast, probably faster than Kaleb, who had a reputation of being able to outrun any of the guards in his division. It was only because of his knowledge of the city and the way the roads wound that he'd been able to keep up. If he could just manage to corner her at the temple, then maybe...maybe he would get some answers... Back and forth they went, up and down alleys, far away from the rest of Kaleb's group as well as the young woman's accomplices, and finally he was able to chase his prey to the desired location. The temple was the largest in the city, and for good reason, as it stood to honor all of the known gods, from the predators to the prey animals. Their statues stood tall, proud, and menacing in the sacred circles, the outer ring containing the predators, and the inner, prey. Waterfalls cascaded in between each statue, falling in to small rivers, representing the connection each god held to one another. And, inevitably, the connection every person had, as well. But Kaleb wasn't there to consider religion, or his connection to the gods. He was here for more immediate answers, and when the thief paused before the waterfalls, Kaleb took his chance, tackling her to the ground. The pair rolled and tumbled until they reached the middle of the innermost ring, and in the process, Kaleb's disguise charm snapped from his wrist as he struggled to keep hold of his captive. "Stop! STOP!" he shouted, and only then did Sylyett stop her struggling to stare in to the face of the young guard. For a moment, she thought she was staring in to a mirror. Kaleb shared her face, her hair, the brown wolf ears, the tan skin, the red fox tail. More importantly, he shared her locket. The missing half of the heart... Stumbling back in shock, Sylyett thought for a moment that she was seeing things. No, it couldn't be...she was the only one, her mother had said so... The only child, born between the wolf and the fox... "Please," Kaleb begged, reaching out for her, more gently this time. "I just...I just need to know..." Sylyett's eyes widened, her heart fluttering in her chest as the two spoke in unison. "Are you the same as me...?"