Kim Daehyun was born the first heir to the magister of his Initia tribe. From the moment he was born, all eyes were on Daehyun, wondering what person he would become having been born to such a charismatic father and a beautifully kind mother. Young Daehyun was a quiet and reserved child who preferred keeping to the sidelines and watching others, he learned quickly from what others did and emulated them to avoid making mistakes and to find progress.
Being raised in an Initia tribe, life was different than it was for those who were human, learning and studies revolved around fighting technique and understanding every aspect of the elements. As no Initia knew what element would claim them when they matured, the tribe wanted him to know everything about all of them. How earth was the living breathing representation of everything that surrounded them, under their feet, in the trees. How air made it possible for the earth to grow and strengthen, how it allowed the Initia to breathe. How water nourished the tribe and the plants alike, how it flowed ruthlessly without control and how fire, the only element which required human intervention, kept the Initia warm on cold nights and allowed them to cook their food.
At the age of three, Daehyun’s parents would announce to their son that he was to have a younger sister and nine months later little Mirae was born. Despite being a quiet and controlled child Daehyun developed an attachment to his sister quickly, wanting to teach her things and show her the beautiful world she would grow up in. For the most part Daehyun didn’t say much, not in his studies or to his parents but around his sister things felt different, he felt responsible for her in some way and held onto that feeling for most of his life.
By the time Daehyun turned 7 he knew everything there was to know about the person he would one day be if he was lucky enough to inherit the Initia gene. His tribe was made up of humans and Initia alike the gene choosing a lucky few. He’d always believed his parents and the people he had grown up alongside were pretty understanding but there was also a lot of pressure placed upon Daehyun’s shoulders as he was the son of the magister and therefore, should he have the gene, would likely succeed him one day.
One night, as the young boy slept soundlessly in his room her felt white hot heat around him, as he slept he found himself tossing and turning, moving erratically to get away from the white heat that burned around him and felt like it radiated through his chest. He started awake to find the covers of his bed engulfed in flames and yet while they touched his skin, the boy did not burn, not did the fire cause him pain. Panicking he moved away from the bed and the flames went out in an instant, like they had no place without him there.
Daehyun told himself it was a bad dream and climbed back in, squeezing his eyes shut and falling asleep to a calmer slumber. When he awoke in the morning the young male looked at himself in the mirror and was shocked to see traces of red lines all over his body. His mouth fell agape in confusion, he had never seen markings like this before in his textbooks. Daehyun being the quiet and private person he was threw on a long sleeve shirt that covered the markings and spoke about it to no one. No one needed to know until he figured out what this all meant.
Months passed and with time Daehyun learned he had control over fire. At first he simply thought that he must have gotten the fire Initia gene and this was a different way of it manifesting but something in him told him it was wise to keep his mouth shut about the markings, wait until he was old enough to really have been chosen by an element and then blend in with the other Initia in the tribe. This proved to be a harder feat that he imagined however as the fire he controlled would often manifest itself when he got emotional or exhausted, often it would spiral to a point he didn’t know how to control it.
Scared for his own safety and worried that he may set the house on fire one day the young boy confided in his mother about everything, the markings on his body, the way he had felt since he had gotten his element. She had instantly told him to stop talking, to never mention what he had found to anyone. She told him that he was a phoenix, a rare deviant species that made a fire Initia a whole new level of dangerous. Every Phoenix born to an Initia tribe was as good as marked to be executed.
Scared for her firstborn’s life, his mother had kept quiet about his secret too, covering for him whenever someone asked too many questions or helping him to feign illness in order to avoid going out when his powers were getting too out of control. His mother did everything she could to help him stay safe but she knew one day her help wouldn’t be enough and so she gave him a cuff to wear, on the inside were markings of numbers and told him if he ever had to leave, this would be his guide. Daehyun began to feel fear for his mother should it ever be found out that she had been hiding his true identity for so long and his fears came true just a few weeks after his fifteenth birthday.
For the most part people left Daehyun alone, while he was quiet and to some could seem shy, he had established somewhat of a reputation of being cold and all of his peers knew that his fire control ability out shone even the most experienced fire Initia in the tribe. One particular boy however had his mind set on causing a raise in Daehyun, not knowing when to back done an pressing every button he could to make him snap. For the most part, Daehyun had ignored him til now, uninterested in the power games the other male wanted to play but one day the other took it too far by dragging his sister into it.
The moment he had heard Mirae’s screams as she was dragged by the older and larger male over to where Daehyun was standing was the moment that something truly snapped in him, his anger uncontainable as he screamed at his antagonizer that if he laid another hand on his sister then he would regret it. Of course the other male didn’t know quite the danger he was in until he took things one step further and blazing gold wings cascaded from Daehyun’s back. He was confused at first but there wasn’t time to worry about it as he leaped forward getting between the jerk and his sister and then throwing a fireball at him which launched him across the clearing.
Daehyun hadn’t even thought about what he was doing until he found himself looking around, everyone staring at him like he was some kind of animal in the zoo. He heard the whispers, he knew he didn’t have a lot of time before everyone in the tribe knew what he was. He wanted to be worried for his own safety but the first thing that came to mind was to get his confused and concerned sister out of there and so he jumped, his blazing wings tearing them through the sky as he tried to get as far away as possible.
When he finally felt far enough away he came to land, letting his confused sister ask all the questions he was sure she had managed to gather by now. But instead of saying anything she simply reached down to the sleeve of her dress, peeling back the fabric to show the same swirled red lines that Daehyun had on his. It took a few moments for him to register what she was telling him. Mirae was like him, they were both phoenixes and now the entire tribe was going to hunt them down.
He felt panicked, he didn’t know which way to turn of what to do until he remembered the cuff his mother had given him. Turning it over he studied the numbers on the back of it before shaking his head, he had no idea what it could mean and he didn’t have time to figure that out. “We have to run” he told Mirae, though she didn’t want to leave, distraught by what may happen to their mother should the tribe figure out what she had done. She told him to go but that she wouldn’t go with him, the two argued but she was persistent and so Daehyun did something he didn’t even know he was capable of. With one swift movement he hit her hard across the back of the neck with his elbow as he had been taught before in his martial arts training. The blow, sharp and precise knocked Mirae to the ground, rendering her unconscious before he grabbed her and jumped towards the sky.
It took him several hours of pacing and worrying before he eventually figured out what the numbers on the back of the cuff meant, coordinates to some kind of destination. After getting himself a map he found that it lead to a cluster of mountains in the north. With full trust in the information he had been given by his mother he made the journey without question until he found himself on the doorstep of a phoenix clan.It took him several hours of pacing and worrying before he eventually figured out what the numbers on the back of the cuff meant, coordinates to some kind of destination. After getting himself a map he found that it lead to a cluster of mountains in the north. With full trust in the information he had been given by his mother he made the journey without question until he found himself on the doorstep of a phoenix clan.
Daehyun had nothing to offer this community but the leader, a man he would later come to refer to as Coldren, was a kind and understanding man, his community kept tucked away high in the mountains where the Initia didn’t dare roam. Without a word Daehyun and Mirae were accepted into the ranks, provided with a cave to make their own. Mirae however was angry at him, furious that he had taken her choice from her and refused to move past it. She often wondered what happened to their mother, worried for her fate at the mercy of the tribe and blamed both Daehyun and herself for what had happened.
Daehyun however was sure he had made the right decision, his mother had given him the power to live and if he had returned to her that night then all three of them would have faced the same fate. It hurt, never getting to say goodbye and knowing he could never return but for the most part he was thankful that he got a second chance and that the community he had found was so welcoming.
Daehyun and Mirae stayed with the phoenix clan, they integrated themselves into the community, became family with the others who resided there. They both learned to use their abilities to their fullest and became strong fighters. The two of them never fully repaired their relationship but they did grow closer once more, a mutual understanding for one another. Daehyun found his place in teaching the new phoenixes that came to join them and lending them an ear as they adapted to the new life they now lived.
The peaceful and passive clan however found they couldn’t live that way forever and eventually the Initia managed to catch up to them, chasing them from their home and killing Unyak, one of the most treasured member of the community and Coldren’s wife. It was that day he watched something break in the person he knew. Instead of fighting they had chosen to run, escaping across the ocean and flying for hours on end until they found a desolate island protruding from the sea.
Life in the tundra was hard. After taking many losses in the mountains there were less of them than before and everyone was grieving those they lost. Daehyun lost several close friends of his and found himself sinking back into the silence he had lived in a child. The only saving grace was that Mirae had managed to make it out alive with him, to adapt to this new life they were now thrown into.
Despite being some of the youngest members of the phoenix clan, Daehyun and Mirae proved resourceful in helping their people to survive and heal after the battle. They began to rebuild the life they had before in this new landscape. Daehyun was scared for what the cold might do to hinder their ability to fight but Coldren wanted to stay here and he trusted his leader without doubt.
It wasn’t until Coldren grew increasingly ill and weak that Daehyun would voice his concerns about the place they had chosen to reside, urging Coldren that they move on and find somewhere more suitable. The chief was however stubborn and stuck in his ways, he insisted that he wouldn’t leave Unyak, the name he had given to the isle the day they arrived. When Coldren passed they waited breathlessly for their leader to return, huddled around his body in the height of a snow storm.
When Coldren’s body was engulfed in flame however, it wasn’t the golden orange he had always been told the stories of from the other phoenixes, it was a sharp and bitter blue that sent a chill to his skin. As he burst into the sky he was returned to them but everything about him had changed, his body no longer spiralled with red marks, now replaced with blue. Coldren quickly figured out what he had become and saw a chance to seize revenge for what had happened to his late wife and so he urged the other phoenixes to become like him, to give themselves over to the ice.
Daehyun had been against the idea from the start. He had been ousted from his home and his family for being different and now Coldren was trying to take his new family away from him too. There was no way to know that all of them would come back, no certainty that he would still feel like the person he was when he did and so he had silently refused, choosing instead to leave and find a new life for himself. As he had turned his back on his old leader to leave however he had felt the sharp slice of a blade in the back of his chest “How could you” Daehyun had managed to say as he collapsed into the snow and faded into the black.
That same feeling again, though this time the dream was surrounded with a chill he couldn’t stand until he found himself slowly awaking. As the blue flames burned over his body he felt as though his veins were full of ice, cold as the blood pumped through his body. Instinctively he ran over to Mirae who was yet to arise before his gaze set on Coldren. He was angry beyond words at having his choice taken from him and now he had to learn to be a completely new person.
Daehyun quickly learned that Coldren had no intention of letting anyone go free from this island. Now they were all like him they were under his control, no one dared to step out of line for fear they would lose their wings and therefore the immortality that had been frozen into them. Daehyun was a quiet soldier, doing as he was asked in order to keep himself and Mirae safe but deep down he knew the truth, Coldren was slowly giving in to insanity and before long he would wage war against everyone who dared stand against him.
Daehyun did his best to distance himself from the man he was once close with, watching from afar as Coldren desperately tried to create the perfect species. His children acting the spitting image of what he wanted and falling for his lies. He dreamt of freedom throughout, remembering the way that the wind felt in his wings and just how far he could see as he flew over the ocean.
When the rebellions began, Daehyun was one of the first people to join, while he didn’t say much, he was very good at listening which made him an excellent spy for the resistance. With time he managed to create a list of people he believed could be swayed to the other side and provided it to Thomaz, one of the eldest and most trusted members of the clan. With every day the resistance began to build and finally there was hope for a better, freer future.
Daehyun found himself in two minds the day he watched Anivia lay out Coldren’s body on the ground and declared the war over. For one, he was glad that this would lead to a new future for him and for Mirae. But on the other hand he felt pain as he looked down at the person who had once been the only source of hope he had. That very hope now coming from the younger woman who stood before them. She was young and she was naive but she was everything Coldren had been before he had let the insanity taken over and she was the person he chose to lead them into a new future, with her promises of a new home and freedom.
Daehyun was one of the first few to go out on recon missions, the chance to soar through the skies again filling him with a sense of euphoria he hadn’t experienced in a long time. And when the decision to relocate to Evermore city was finally made, he felt excited and apprehensive to start anew, in a world that had moved so much further forward than he even imagined.