Dance of the Fi-Nix (A Thread of Stories from FiHami)

Ha’Hani Residence

Vitriol. Absolute pure disgust, revolting in every corner of her mind.

This is what Hana felt from hearing Puani Kokostali’s comments on the death of her mentor and mother figure. It infected her mind, rotting her brain thoroughly from the innermost neuron, spreading throughout her entire body.

What she had seen was not a simple case of old age. Shi’a was extinguished in such a cruel manner. Her face was twisted and warped with anguish that Hana could not even be able to comprehend. The apparent stabs faintly throbbed exactly where she had seen them on Shi’a this morning.

Hana had witnessed her own fair share of horrific encounters, as had many Finixi people for many years. She was a medic during the revolution who would try to heal many wounded warriors, or she would do her best to gently guide them to the sun. Many of them toiled in despair, groaning and screaming from their suffering. She even witnessed her own parents, fellow revolutionaries, tortured for weeks until their Antarchi captors decided they had enough fun and violently sent her parents to the sun. She was 14 at the time.

Nothing could prepare her for the scene she walked in on.

Now to hear that this supposed “chief” was trying to downplay what happened…

Hana took a deep breath, walking out of the kitchen and into her garden. She grew plenty of beautiful flowers here, all of them native to the soil. Plenty of fine tea plants surrounded the space, creating a fragrant throne for the nose. It was here that Hana would let out an anguished scream to the sky. She hoped the Great Chief herself would hear and come down to comfort. In her imagination, Shi’a was coming to the Great Chief and begging her to fly down on her golden wings and give comfort to Hana’s soul… and exact revenge on the people who would hurt such a gentle soul as Shi’a.

A fire falcon landed right in front of Hana, holding its torch in its beak. It hopped up to Hana’s knees, chirping quietly.

“Sorry, little one.” Hana looked down at the falcon, moving her left hand in to pet the bird. The falcon seemed to allow it, even seemingly trying to exercise caution with the torch. Her sobs would gradually become sniffles, and the bird would fly into the evening sky.

Luthor Homestead, Ha’Hani, FiHami

Layla Fi’Shi had a tomultuous 36 years alive. She was born in a tiny village, taken by Antarchi soldiers when she was 6, and passed around until she ended up working for the Luthor household.

Kylie, Layla’s captor, was your typical run of the mill Antarchi supremacist; she would berate her “servants” that she continued to hold illegally. The Luthors were just one of the remaining bastions of the old empire that refuses to shrivel up and die, except it was all underground now. There were others like Kylie and James, who lived completely normal, isolated lives in the public, but did atrocities to those they deemed inferior underground.

Layla had a daughter, who is now just over a year old. This child would be raised separately from Layla, and would eventually be sold to Kylie’s best friend once the child turned 5. These two would be the last “true” members of the Fi’Shi tribe, who is currently thought to be entirely gone.

Layla was every bit as headstrong and unconquerable as her distant cousin, the late Finix Fi’Shi. Every night there was an attempt at a revolt, always lead by Layla. Kylie would punish her as much as she could, but Layla would just take it, with that same glare Finix had that could silence rooms.

Tonight, Kylie made a fatal mistake. Kylie forgot to properly lock Layla and her cage down. Tonight would be the night that Layla would revolt.

As soon as the Luthors went to bed, Layla snuck out of the poorly-fastened door. She made her way quietly to the room that the other captives told her that the child was being kept, setting them free as she went.

Quickly she picked the lock to the child’s door and made her way to the makeshift crib where the child lay awake, completely silent. Layla picked up the child, and bolted.

There was shouting behind her, then gunshots. Layla kept running, using her back to ram open the door to the outside. Here she got a glimpse of her captors yelling obscenities and shooting at her. At a critical moment, another captive, by the name of Leah, tackled the older Antarchi couple.

“Layla, run. Get out of here, I’ll catch up to you.” Leah shouted over the sound of gunshots firing at random. One second later and Layla knew that Leah would not, in fact, be catching up.

A few minutes later, Layla made it to the jungle’s edge with the baby in her arms. She looked back one last tome to see the entire house on fire.

Tonight, Layla succeeded. Tonight, Layla would report as much as she could about the underground operations of the last Antarchi supremacists. Today, Layla achieved freedom.

“They did not let me give you a name.” Layla would hug her daughter, allowing herself to cry. She would take a few seconds to think. “You are my hope, Ha’fi. And I am no longer Layla for I am free. I am Mi’a’ani. Freedom.”

Chief’s Palace, Ha’Hani

Puani lay awake tonight, staring at the ceiling of the room she was in. Her wife was asleep next to her, snoring softly. But Puani’s mind was occupied tonight, or she would join her wife in slumber.

No, she would end up thinking about having to pick a new high priestess. All the priests she talked to today were very distant towards her already, but one priestess especially stuck with her. This priestess really laid into Puani, berating her for her lack of leadership in FiHami. After Puani commented on the late high priestess’ death, all the priests in the room turned their backs to her.

She was afraid that all this business with the fire falcons were real and the priests would catch on that she faked being set on fire.

They already called into question the lack of scar tissue on Puani. Finix had the giant, ugly scars on her neck and shoulder that never seemed to heal properly, and Finixi people would marvel at it when the late chief was still among the living. Various artists would prominently display the scars that previous chiefs seemed to wear with pride. Puani would make the excuse that her scar was just on an unfortunate area.

Puani would think some more, then sigh. She needed to make herself untouchable, so her friend Texeteti’ could have a shot at becoming the prime minister. Once he’s Prime Minister, he would enact laws to hunt down the Antarchi and sacrifice them to the volcano. However, should the priesthood call her farse, it all comes crumbling down.

She decided then that she would declare herself the High Priestess next Wednesday.


February 12th, 2019
Temple of the Sun, Ha’Hani, FiHami

The High Priestess was climbing up there in years. Her joints were no longer as fluid as they once were, her muscles not as lithe as they once were. But still, she danced to the birds chirping and the breeze rustling the tree leaves. This was the Garden of the Sun, dedicated to Ha’Fi-Nix, the great guiding bird. FiHami was free only a few days now, and this garden was just a baby at this point.

Ki Ha’ha’une, I request audience.”

“My chief.” Shi’a bowed low to the ground as a short teenager walked into the room. “What is it you seek, child?”

“Do I actually have to lead the tribes now?” Finix sat down in front of the high priestess, who in turn went from her bowing position to sitting right in front of the chief.

“This is your destiny, Finix. You certainly are… younger… than most other chiefs when they take power, but yes. Your story is far from over.”

Shi’a would rise again, extending a hand for the chief to rise as well. She led Finix deeper into the garden, grabbing one of the seeds she was planting earlier.

“Winning the freedom of the nation was just planting a seed. There is far more for you to do. The way I see things right now, you are forever ingrained as the savior of FiHami, in fact, I would not be surprised if I was dedicating this garden to you as I plant. But, weeds will threaten to overtake the garden and run it aground. Some weeds may look like blossoms at first, but they are there only to destroy.”

“I merely wish for rest at this point.”

“Perhaps setting up a division of power. Someone else can take care of the day-to -day duties of running a nation, while you do the important work of leading this community.”


“I see that you are stressed about things. Allow me to teach you about dancing?”

June 4th, 1956
Kay Village, New Antarcha

“Can my children please gather around?” A tired-looking woman sighed, cradling an infant in her arms. Quickly, she shouted to the eldest to gather a couple other children from the ocean, who swiftly ran to fetch his siblings.

The family was hungry and tired, but who wasn’t these days since the Antarchi exiled them all from their homes and split them among the micro-tribes into tiny villages? There was no communication except by sneaking out between Antarchi patrols and hoping to avoid getting caught.

Mara set the infant down onto the ground and began portioning off the day’s catch for the large family.

“Wait, is Shi’a with Mother Kaisifi? Eri, please go see if Shi’a is with Mother Kaisifi.”

One of the older daughters nodded her head and ran down the dirt road to the hut where Mother Kaisifi typically stays. Instead, Eri found the village’s matriarch dancing with the teenaged girl.

“Shi’a, never forget that music is the heartbeat of our culture, and dance is the blood. They may attempt to strike the Finixi people down, but as long as you can still hear the music in the wind and move to its beat, the Finixi are still alive.” The matriarch smiled as she led the teenager in dance.

Hai, Mother Kaisifi. I will not forget.” Shi’a responded. “Will you teach me to see the future like you do?”

“All in due time, child. It looks like your mother is ready for dinner.” Mother Kaisifi gracefully finished her dance. She reached around her own neck, removing one of the necklaces she wore and dropping it into Shi’a’s hand.

“What’s this?” Shi’a admired the golden chain with the embossed charm hanging off of it. The charm was molded into the shape of a feather, with various red, orange, and yellow gemstones all over the intricate feather.

“I do not believe I will see freedom in my lifetime. But, I hope that you do. I may be taking my voyage to the sun soon, and I do not want this getting lost. I trust you to find the rightful owner of this necklace, ok?”

“But Mother Kaisifi, why do you think I could find it?”

“None of my predecessors were able to. And you may end up having to pass it along to the next person, until the rightful owner frees the Finixi people. Now, run along, do not make your mother worry more. there will be time for lessons in mysticism after you eat, if you get permission from your mother.”

Shi’a nodded, slipping the gemstone into her pouch and running after Eri. Mother Kaisifi would smile once more, then resume her dance.

February 12th, 2019
Temple of the Sun, Ha’Hani, FiHami

“What happened to Eri, your mother, and Mother Kaisifi?” Finix was wide-eyed as the High Priestess poured a cup of tea for the pair.

“Eri was captured by Antarchi forces and likely either killed or taken to Cancriton. My mother would die as the Matriarch of Kay village, and my eldest sister Mari became the matriarch. Mari would die to the Antarchi when they razed the Kay and Sami villages in 2005. Mother Kaisifi did teach me all that I know before she passed 20 years later. She strongly believed that I would find myself among the Fi-Nix, and I know now that she was right.”

“And the necklace that Mother Kaisifi gave you?”

Shi’a chuckled, removing the golden necklace from her pouch.

“I am thankful you reminded me that I had a gift for you that was long overdue. Do you know what this is?”

Finix shook her head, gazing upon the necklace with the curiosity that killed the cat.

Late dry season, circa 200 C.E.
Early Morning

“*Ki Ha’Coron’, welcome to my humble abode.” A short, stout man bowed to the woman who just entered his hut. This woman was fairly strong and tall, wearing a headdress made from the feathers of the richly-colored Fi-Nix, who danced around the skies with grace, carrying their torches proudly. Her poncho was finely woven out of the wool of the pack animals that were native to the northern island, called Fr’aia (OOC: think of a large-ish cat but with super thick tan wool rather than normal fur. They also really, really like diving into the water, resembling sea serpents when they’re swimming. They are sadly extinct in the modern day, but a distantly related creature still lives that also produces wool, but their wool is nowhere near as majestic).

This poncho told the story of the first settlers on the island. It depicted the sky as one big sun around the neck, on one side is the grand ocean with boats, and on the other side is the island.

“Get up, no need for the formalities. You said you had a gift for me?” The chief’s voice was strong and proud, yet warm and friendly. When the man stood up, she put one arm around his shoulder and started following his steps.

“Yes, I do. I crafted it for you. I found a massive vein of gold around the volcano, and little pieces of gold everywhere! I also found a lovely cavern with gemstones of all kinds in it. Of course, I made an offering to Ha’Fi-Nix, but I truly believe you are the great bird itself. You truly proved it to me when you defeated the Kari’Kari tribe single-handedly.” The ancient Finixi jeweler revealed a fine golden necklace with a golden feather charm at the bottom. He placed it around her neck and smiled. “What do you think?”

“I definitely appreciate this act of kindness, Ru. Your work is the top of the line, I believe this quality piece shall last for generations.”

“Your words are far too kind, ki Ha’Coron’. But, I do hope it passes down from chief to chief. I hope that this necklace continues to be passed down from chief to chief when your name is nothing but a whisper in the wind, many, many generations from now.”

“I wish it to be so as well.”

The chief bowed to the jeweler, and then left his hut. She was weary from her journey to ensure the safety of the Fi’Shi-Kuri-Kaisifi nation, and looked forward to a hearty meal of sea oats, fish, and a fine cup of tea.

November 17th, 2022
Ha’Hani, FiHami

“Hm, someone seems to have lost their necklace…” Mi’a’ani grabbed a necklace from the ground of the streets she walked. Nearby was a sign that was raised when the Matriarchy Fundamentalists, now the Finixi Nationalists, traumatized the nation and killed the beloved chief. The infant in her opposite arm remained silent, though she kept an eye on the golden necklace. Ha’fi reached out one of her stubby little arms, trying to grab the golden feather.

Mi’a’ani shook her head gently, using her one free hand to put the necklace around Ha’fi’s neck. It was a little big on the two-year-old’s neck, but it satisfied Mi’a’ani.

“Maybe you’ll be rich one day, Ha’fi. You could be rich, happy, and comfortable. But right now mommy needs to find us a warm meal, ok?”

Ha’fi seemed to nod, and they both disappeared into the shadows on the lonely street.


November 18, 2022
Chief’s Residence, Ha’Hani, FiHami

“Sara, what am I going to do? That old codger was killed by whatever loons Texeteti’ hired, that Hana girl is going to get people to investigate… that’s going to hurt the Finixi nationalist people.”

“My love, your life is on the line and all you care about is the nationalists? Let’s just run away. We can go back to how we lived, hidden away in another country. It’ll be much easier.”

Puani sighed, leaning against her wife sorrowfully. The visions of future wealth and freedom to do whatever she wanted were slipping away rapidly. Sure, running away would ensure her life, but then there would be no money for shopping sprees, nails, hair stylists, or modern luxuries from afar.

“No, dear. I will need to convince them. I am amazing with make-up, but am I amazing enough to fool the priests?”

“You did it once before.” Sara ran her fingers through Puani’s hair gently. “I believe you can do it again.”

“Yes, but at that time the high priestess who talked to me was super old and had bad eyesight! I’m going up against like 10 young to middle aged people with good eyesight.”

Temple of the Sun, Ha’Hani, FiHami

The priests all gathered around the center of the garden, awaiting the supposed chief to arrive. Her deadline to show up was soon, and the priests each seemed restless at this point.

“So, how did you learn about that super obscure rule, Hana?” One of the younger priestesses asked, her hands continuing to dig at the ground gently.

“Well, I did some reading to calm me down, about our island’s history. That’s where I found the story of Kairu of Kikuri. I have had so many doubts in my mind as to whether Puani is truly chosen by the Fi-Nix but now we can verify if hatred and incompetence is truly the will of Ha’Fi-Nix, or if we have been deceived.”

Hana brought the old book out from behind her, showing the rest of the priests.

“Additionally, law enforcement will be going up to the residence to gather any evidence for Puani truly being a traitor to FiHami, or if she really is just stupid.”

“My bet is that she is just stupid.” One of the younger priests chimed in. “I mean, some of the things she said about fish, world politics, that sort of thing just really make you scratch your head.”

“Like, she subscribes to Texeteti’ and his philosophy doesn’t she?” Yet another priestess interjected, fiddling with the flower in her hand.

House of Parliament, Ha’Hani, FiHami

“Violent protestors have been blockading the streets of Ha’Hani since the news about Puani came out. I gather you all here today to discuss immediate remedies to the situation, before anyone is killed.” Kilaui stood before her cabinet, manning the projector. The video on the screen showed the protestors breaking windows, wrecking cars, and brutally hurting peacekeeping forces."

The minister of defense was first to speak. He stood up slowly and spoke softly.

“Do we know the occupied parameters? From the looks of it, we can no longer utilize the peace keepers, we may need to send the militia out.”

“Hold on, we do not need to resort to violence. You men are all the same.” Stood another member of the cabinet, the minister of education. “Have we actually tried talking-”

“With all due respect, minister Kia, did you not see the protestors punch that peace keeper? We tried the nonviolent way.” The minister of trade sighed.

“Order.” Kilaui clapped her hands together, bringing the ministers who stood up back to their seats. “The situation is bad. We do not need to start fighting here too. Minister Kia, we tried to speak to the protestors to no avail. Law enforcement is going out now to stop the protest.”

“It’s because of the unlawful execution, prime minister Kuri. This is the reason for the protests. I say we stop this execution, and the protests will die down.”

“That is my next meeting, with the Parliament. We need to fix this obscure little religious law.”

Temple of the Sun, Ha’Hani, FiHami

Puani entered the garden slowly, taking deep breaths as she approached. She and her wife had taken time to meticulously create scars on her thigh with all the makeup she owned. As far as she could tell, it looked realistic enough to pass. However, if they were to touch it, the illusion could be broken very easily.

The priests of FiHami all stood up, each wearing an equally annoyed expression on their face.

“Puani.” Hana stepped forward from the rest of her peers. “Please show us the scar.”

Puani raised her skirt just enough to see some of the “scars” that were painted on. Puani took another deep breath, trying to prevent herself from appearing nervous. However, as Hana and the other priests grew closer, Puani couldn’t help but shake.

Hana reached out and felt the lowest portion of the “scar” that sat just above her knee, suddenly looking shocked.

“This is your scar?” Hana looked at her fingers now, wiping off the powdery makeup.


“Wow, what an interesting scar, it feels just like normal skin!”

It was clear that Hana knew. At this point, Hana was a cat and Puani was a simple little fish out of water.

“I healed pretty well.”

“Cut the act, Puani. I know this is makeup. Tell me the truth right now, and we can make a deal. You can leave FiHami with your life, we can say that you never showed up, you fled the nation.”

The temptation was very strong, and Puani had to use the single braincell that she had for the first time in her life. To leave FiHami and live a quiet life with Sara for the rest of their lives was tempting at this point, but then she thought about Texeteti’ and his holy war. All the harm the waves of modern thought on equality was causing, helping the nationalists get rid of the Antarchi, and how many Finixi people were misguided by the media and popular culture.

She could die for them, cleanse them from their sins, be a martyr for the cause. And when Texeteti’ comes into power, she could be remembered a hero.

“I am Jesus.” Puani mumbled.

“This is your last chance.” Hana brought out the rope from her bag, taking care to show Puani. “This doesn’t have to actually happen, I am willing to strike a deal with you.”

“I am Jesus so that way the matriarchs can win.”


The Ha’Hani News Network (HHNN)

Kirifi, FiHami! This is Ai’ Sisuni with the HHNN, your source for breaking news home and abroad.”

The journalist gestured over to the screen behind her, showing a panel that reads “FIHAMI INVESTIGATIVE FORCES” and then smiles at the camera.

“This evening, the FIF raided the chief’s residence and uncovered some devastating news. Ha’Coron’ Puani Kokostali has been hiding some secret partnerships with the Finixi Nationalists. Based on the correspondence with Texeteti’, it is now known that Ha’Coron’ Puani has been planning to instill the Finixi Nationalists into every aspect of FiHami government. She has been responsible for the planning and execution of crimes committed by the nationalists. And, in one letter…”

The screen now shows a crumpled letter that reads:

"Ha’Coron’ Puani,

Your plan to assassinate Finix may backfire if Paneia is among the protestors. Would it not be easier for her to fire from one of the buildings?


PS: When she dies, do not install me as Prime Minister, it may look suspicious. Let the people wake up and vote for me in the next election."

“… and among other papers discovered, shows that she is complicit in the death of Ha’Coron’ Finix.”

The screen returns to the journalist.

“Prime Minister Kilaui Kuri is to decide whether to continue the execution as planned or postpone it for further interrogation.”

“Next up…”

November 20th, 2022
Ri-Ha’Fi-Nix National Park, FiHami

The Finixi musicians have already gathered and breathed a sigh of relief as the Prime Minister fave the green light for the execution. They would get to perform, which is all they wanted to do. They would ensure their instruments were in working order, tuned, and ready for people.

The dancers rehearsed their parts, chatting gleefully during breaks. Slowly but surely chefs brought in all sorts of dishes and set them at the tables. Important figures in FiHami began trickling in, socializing among themselves. Then the priests entered, and Hana followed behind. A couple law enforcement officers came in behind Hana, escorting Puani.

Soon, civilians began arriving, partaking in the vast amounts of food present. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, watching the various dance routines, sharing art, and listening to the music.

Then, Texeteti’ stepped in. He was quickly followed by a wave of rioters, who quickly began destroying everything in sight.

“Enough of this madness. Release Puani now!” Texeteti’ roared over the commotion. “You have all been brainwashed by this fake prophet!”

Hana walked from where she originally stood, close to the caldera with Puani and the guards, glaring right through Texeteti’ with as much fury as she can gather.

“Who do you think you are, declaring me a false prophet?”

One of the protestors flung a stone at one of the falcons sitting in the nearby tree. In the next second, an entire flock of angered fire falcons erupted from the volcano and nearby vegetation, swooping down to attack everyone at will. People started screaming as torches started falling from the sky.

Mi’a’ani had really only come for the free food. She was nervous over the few Antarchi that were present, and had mostly stuck to the shadows as a response. Meanwhile, Ha’fi would eat joyfully in her mother’s arms, from the little bits of bread to the bigger fish Mi’a’ani was able to grab hold of.

She was totally unaware of whatever happened to anger the fire falcons, all she knew is that suddenly she was burning. She would attempt to throw her child into one of the water bowls before fading away.

Hana frantically helped people escape the area, trying to look for anyone in danger around the premises. The one thing Hana did not expect, out of all the commotion, is for a toddler to fall out of the sky and into a bowl of water.

The toddler was crying, loudly. No matter, another falcon was swooping down now. Hana grabbed the child and ran, trying not to drop the writhing, screaming child.

Temple of the Sun

“What could this mean? A burning toddler falling from the sky?” The eldest priest circled around Hana and the child, watching the child carefully.

“She bears no name as far as I can tell.” Hana sighed, cradling the sleeping toddler in her arms. “I mean, the message as far as I am aware is clear as day but, this is highly unusual. As far as I’m aware, this has never happened before.”

“In my 56 years of studying historical texts, I have never seen anything like it.” The man crossed his arms, turning around to face the giant golden bird inside the temple. “The attack was unprovoked. A baby falls from the skies. This child is absolutely important.”

“Hey, look at what’s around her neck?” Hana grabbed the golden necklace hanging around the toddler’s neck, holding the feather charm in her hand. “You know what this is, right, Huahasi?”

Huahasi took a look as well and smiled.

“This was Finix’ necklace. It was lost during the commotion with the Matriarchy Fundamentalists.”

“That means… this child that fell from the sky… is Finix! Ha’fi-nix returned her to us! This is the Great Chief of FiHami!”

“Yes, and Ha’fi-nix chose you to raise this child, someone who never wanted to be a mother.”

“Thanks, Huahasi.” Hana sighed, standing up carefully. “You mean that the child is on me?”

“You are the interim chief, and the child is the Great Chief. It is your duty to ensure that she can properly take the chiefdom when she is of age.”

“Me? Not someone who actually likes children?”

“Yes, you are to raise her. Now, I must pray.”

“Ok, Huahasi.”


February 24th, 2022
University of Ha’Hani Residential Dorms

A young person strummed a guitar excitedly, singing a song they had written for themself. They sat in the courtyard of the university dorms, their joyous song audible to those who cared to listen.

In fact, they declared this their own birthday gift. Ray’s first “public” performance. A reward for overcoming anxiety and helping themself and others heal from nationwide trauma. It wasn’t really much, but something is something.

What Ray didn’t know is that their little birthday present would change their life.

People were recording the person singing their heart out while playing guitar. They posted it all over social media. Eventually, record labels began to take note and threw deals in hopes that Ray would bite and make music for them. Ray would end up choosing the FiHami based label, known as Fikona Records.

November 24th 2022

Artist: Embers and Ash
Song: Radiate
Album: Soar

The music video starts, fading in to focus on the sun shining in the sky. The camera pans down to reveal Ray letting their long hair free in a strong breeze. They are wearing what looks to be a mix of modern and ancient tradition. Modern long tank top, black in color, over ripped jeans. They wear feather earrings and rather than the typical poncho, a fiery cape flaps behind them. Their boots, modern in construction, have the Finixi flare in the coloration, matching their cape.

Ray reaches for the sky and the music starts. It’s pretty modern rock, though there are certainly elements of Finixi music in there. After the lead guitar, Ray opens their mouth. Their voice falls well into the soprano range, but they can hit lower notes very confidently as well.

Tell me, who told you
To #### the world before you died
Tell me, who said you
Owned us all, until we tried

The video is of a man sitting on a silver throne now, cracking a whip while the musicians scrubbed the floor. It cuts to Ray, who stands up and chucks the sponge into the man’s face. The pre chorus would start building up tension in the song at this point.

to tear down your throne
Take the sword and execute
Make you watch your tone
Before we rise become the brute

The screen now shows a projected video of Ray, singing the extremely high steady note that only changes with the chord progression. The main Ray is singing the chorus, backed up by the band, who all don swords, axes, lances, that sort of thing. Queue an epic battle here.

Kingdoms rise and fall and so did yours
Time to back down can’t even keep up with us
Your head on the ground yet you still try to fight

For the second part of the chorus, the projection’s vocals are moving around more, singing “Radiate”.

*Like the blazing fire inside roars
Your weak resistance can’t even make a fuss
Surrender now to our brazen holy might

We radiate, radiate, radiate*

At this point, the man on the throne seems to have the upper hand, the band’s bassist lays dead on the ground. Ray sings softly, mourning their fallen comrade.

One lone flower in the wilting field
The moon eaten once again
Is there no more light in this cold world?

Ray stands up, charging the man on the throne.

*Tell me, who told you
That you had the right
Tell me, who said you
Were worth more than a #### ?

Tell me, who made you
Grow that massive arrogance that you call ego?
Tell me, who will make you
Pay for all the things that you’ve DONE???*

There is a very djenty breakdown here, followed by another shift in tone. The man on throne knocks Ray to the ground, only for the lead guitarist to take over during his solo. He is fighting the man on the throne alone by the middle of the solo, as the rest of the band is dead.

At the end of the solo, the guitarist is knocked down. Music is still for a second, but starts fading in, leading to a giant, hype chorus, repeating 3 times, each time bringing additional layers to the fold. The band is revived and unites to literally become the sun, incinerating the man on the throne. They all sit on the throne together as the outro solo plays, the land revives.

Within a few hours of release, the song is an instant hit in FiHami, absolutely smashing the billboards in FiHami, the quickest rise to the top for FiHami’s fledgling music industry.

The band Embers and Ash is composed of:
Lead Vocals/rhythm guitarist Raiki “Ray” Kokostali
Lead Guitarist Texumati’a Kuri
Bassist Kaili Shi
Drummer Hakunoeto Kokostali
Keyboardist Miari “Mimi” Ifi’ikuri

The end of the music video contained an album teaser, with only “January 2023” written over a starry sky.


November 27th 2022
Chief’s Residence, Ha’Hani, FiHami

Days after the investigation ended, Ha’Hani law enforcement cleared the residence to be used again. In Ha’Coron’ Finix’ time, this was nothing more but a simple shack. After insistence from literally everyone around, the Great Chief allowed for renovators to secure the shack better, but still resembled an average house in the village. Compared to other houses in the city and the buildings, it was an absolute eyesore. In Puani’s time, she remodeled to offer all the luxuries anyone could ever dream of. In Hana’s eyes, it was still an eyesore. In fact, the place reminded Hana of the old empire’s fancy palace.

“This will not do at all.” Hana spoke to the toddler in her arms, who seemed to look at the house in horror. “I won’t make a simple little shack like you had it back in the day, but it will not be this at all.”

Hana stepped in, marveling at the empty space. However, her mind was already set on demolishing everything and going back to an older type architecture. Definitely something more than just a shack. In fact, Hana’s mind was set on going back to the Finixi golden age, before the Antarchi went on and destroyed things.

Spring Equinox (known as ha’ali, 1492
Ha’Hani City

The Hika’ioni• were already at the university this morning, the first day of the year. Many people would make the journey from all corners of the islands for the celebrations taking hold today, the finest crafters on the island would show off and share their wares, agriculturalists and fishers would show off their produce, there were many fine Finixi fabrics available, especially the incredibly luxurious Fr’aia wool, which was also incredibly expensive and hard to obtain. There would be an enormous feast at the end of the night, and then performers would put on a show for those who were not drunk or asleep.

This was Ha’Coron’ Utu’okomene’s 98th equinox as well. It was during his rule that Finixi society would see so much advancement, though he was not the great chief that united the tribes. Though he was very old and very tired, his mind was still as sharp as the day the giant fire falcon nearly consumed him alive. The wonder of the first day of the year never faded, however.

His wife had passed the year before, in her sleep as peaceful as the night. His children were grandparents themselves, he already outlived his eldest daughter even. Still, the year kept moving. He still led the people, who were numbering over 1 million in the latest census. And he would continue to lead them forward until the very end of his life.

Utu’okomene slowly stood up, leaning heavily on his cane. He was already dressed, wearing the chief’s necklace around his neck and a feathery skirt around his waist. He just needed breakfast now, and he would be ready for the day.

The typical breakfast was a helping of all kinds of fruit wrapped in sweet seaweed. Anything from the smallest Koko berry to the giant bananas and coconuts, all wrapped in deliciously sweet seaweed. This would be what the old chief eats, all while sipping on some tea his son brewed that morning.

“Utuamu, thank you for the tea.”

“Of course, father.”

Huah-Huah City

Ha’Fi had always been curious about the ships coming and going from the ports. In fact, she dreamed of setting sail in a ship of her own design, feeling the sea push her forward to the great beyond. For now, though, she would settle on selling sails and clothing to people coming through.

In her many journals she kept sketches of various ships from different nations around the world. She would meticulously capture the finest detail on the paper, then hide them from the rest of her family.

This morning was quite the same.

There is a Sedunnic ship there this morning. Probably has barrels of cool stuff there. Ha’Fi thought to herself while sketching each individual rope.

“Hey, boat-nose. Where is my ship?” A teenaged boy snickered, dumping the contents of his drink over her journal. Ha’Fi stood up, slowly turning to face the boy.

“One hundred flamethrowers.”

The boy took a step backwards, a smirk on his face.


“You will pay for the fine paper I purchased from the merchants. It cost me one hundred flamethrowers.”

“You’re joking.” The smirk slowly left his face when Ha’Fi took a step towards the boy. “I don’t have that sort of money.”

“Then you will pay another way.” Ha’Fi grabbed the boy, throwing him into the ocean before he could react. He rose to the surface, gasping for air.

“Hey! My mom paid a pretty flamethrower for the clothes I’m wearing!”

“Then we are even.” Ha’Fi turned around, grabbing her ruined journal and writing utensil, and left the pier.

Ha’Hani University, Ha’Hani City

Sami was the child of Kami, who was the child of Siami, the mother of the Fi’Shi tribe before the Great Unification. Thanks to the unification, Sami didn’t have to follow her grandmother’s footsteps and be a leader figure, but she could be a scholar at the university, learning everything she possibly could about the world. Due to her tenure in the university, she was both a professor of various subjects, gleefully imparting the things she had learned upon anyone who entered her classes. When she wasn’t teaching, she was learning from the others about their subjects.

Her special interest was in the myths and legends of the various Finixi tribes. She longed to strike out into the jungles and search out various treasures left behind by various historical figures, but there was already so much to do between her teaching and her private studies. The good news is that she felt she had gained sufficient fluency in Spaninol to take on the next language. Maybe rather than learn the next language, she could take a leave of absence at the university and strike out in search of treasure. There is said to be a great sword used by the Great Chief Finix during the battle that she was deemed Chief of the United Finixi tribes. It is buried under the base of Ri-Ha’Fi-Nix, but no one had been able to locate it quite yet.

•note: star-watchers. In ancient Finixi culture these people lived to watch the stars and had extensive knowledge on the movements and trajectories of the skies. In 1414 they created a calendar which starts the year on the Spring Equinox, which also marked the beginning of the rainy season in FiHami.


Ha’ali, 1492
4:00 pm
Ha’Hani’ University


Kirifi, Huma. How is it going?” Sami approached a woman who was furiously writing on a sheet of paper. The woman put the paper down when she heard Sami approach, smiling gently. She did not stop writing, however.

Kirifi, Sami.” Huma did not look up from the paper, continuing to write. “I am well, just finishing my observations from the past year. I need to cross reference with knowledge from abroad, but I think my observations may show that certain stars in the sky do not orbit Pacifica at all. And another thing I noticed, the stars move over time from their positions. With a little bit more complicated math…”

“You may be able to figure out of your guess is logical!”

“Yes! I just need further study, and perhaps better equipment.” Huma finally put her quill down. Usuamato is over in the library, I believe he is nervous about tonight. You should talk with him."

“Usuamato? The man that keeps staring at me?” Sami shook her head. “You know the only touch I crave-”

“… is the touch of the head instructors hand on your shoulder as she hands you your next degree. How many do you have at this point? At some point you are going to need a physical partner that can provide comfort better than a piece of paper.” Huma rolled her eyes, laying a hand on Sami’s shoulder.

“You know Usuamato likes you.”

“I will talk to him. But please stop with the partner nonsense.” Sami turned around, leaving Huma’s office and heading towards the library.

She did not want to admit it, but Usuamato tended to occupy the 2nd most room in her mind. He was crazy intelligent, funny, and one of the gentlest men on the planet. In fact, she did fancy him quite a bit, before Huma had started suggesting that they hang out. But she spent her entire life in academia, and socializing with others was very difficult, let alone matters of the heart.

Sami was in a daze, fretting over what she would say. What would happen next, is history.


The journal with all her ships was ruined. The boys from the nearby village often teased her about her fondness of the ships, but today they took it too far. Ha’Fi was livid.

She was still livid after her march to Ha’Hani, on her way to the University. She decided it could be wise to research all the library had to offer on boats. She was so livid that she failed to hear the shouting rapidly approach her from above. In fact, impact failed to register.


It was his custom to visit the Hika’ioni who was going to speak at the festivities on Ha’ali to get an understanding of what they would speak about. Last year, the speaker was an older woman by the name of Ika’ami who spoke about the sun and its significance in Finixi culture. This year is was a young man by the name of Usuamato.

Of all the things to happen, Utu’okomene did not expect to be a bowling pin today, much less to the bowling ball of several shouting people.


Just underneath the university’s library was a relatively wide walkway to other parts of the university. However, just a few feet away is a steep drop into a giant cavern system underneath. There was a large rushing river in this cavern, which twisted around the cavern system until it came to an opening on the northernmost beach on the southern island. It was a large cave entrance with a calm, shallow pool in the center.

Usuamato was the first to come to, rubbing his bruised arm with his other hand, groaning from the movement. He opened his eyes, blinking slowly to help everything come to focus. One minute he was preparing his speech for a cultural festival. The next minute he’s waking up in a cave hours later, with a few others.

Immediately he recognized Sami, who was hanging limply to a broken log. She did not seem very hurt, so he picked her up gently and placed her on solid ground. He then saw the strange woman and a very old man, both seemingly alive, just banged up a bit.

When he helped the old man to the dry land, he gasped.

Ki Ha’Coron’!

The old man was still very strong, but he was also very old. Such rough treatment would not bode well at all.

“What… happened?” The next to wake up was Ha’Fi. She slowly stood up and looked around. “What is this place?”

“No clue.” Usuamato shook his head, helping Sami up now that she was waking up as well. “I was just looking over my notes…”

“And I was looking for you, Usuamato.” Sami kneeled to help the elderly chief up.

“As was I.” The chief spoke quietly, taking in his surroundings.

“I was just heading to the library to read.” Ha’Fi stepped out of the cave. “I have no clue where we are now.”

“Well, I don’t think we can be too far from the University.” Sami followed Ha’Fi out of the cave, gasping once she registered what had happened. “I take back my previous statement.”

“This is the unmistakeable song of the ocean, young one. We are very far from Ha’Hani and it is very late.” Utu’okomene leaned on the younger man for support, walking slowly to the entrance.

“Now that I think about it… this cave seems familiar.” Sami surveyed the surroundings in closer detail. “If we are on the northern beach of the southern island, then this just might be the fabled cave where The Great Chief was put to rest. Her final battle would have taken place in a clearing of the jungles where cats nap.”

“That is just an old myth, young one.” Utu’okomene shook his head. “Let us take shelter in the cave overnight, then we travel by day. We could see if we spot any of the fi-nix flying back to the volcano, and follow them back to Ha’Hani.”

“We’re already out here, I’m going to explore in the morning.” Sami retreated back into the cave, followed by Ha’Fi.

The group set up a makeshift camp for the night, doing their best to all stay warm before drifting off to sleep.

December 4th, 2022
6:30 am
Sami Village National Park, FiHami

After the revolution concluded, the ruins of the Sami village converted to an extensive park and shelter for wildlife. It is a symbol of FiHami’s undying spirit, a trait innate to those who experienced the island. It is the spark the ignited the Finixi revolution. It is also a historic village, dating back to the 1500s. In legends, it was said that a great explorer settled here after uncovering many of FiHami’s most ancient secrets.

The aura of the park maintained a haunting feel, especially as one approached the village itself. Everything was run down, ash still littered the ground. The jungle had begun reclaiming the area, starting with the less hardy greens.

This park would be the birthplace of the true Finixi nation.

Many armed men slipped into the park in the middle of the night, out of sight from the rangers who had made their homes here. By the time they were alerted to the hostile presence taking over the village, it was too late.

“Join the true Finixi nation of Ri Hani Finixi! Let us make this nation truly great!” A woman’s voice was heard over waves of gunfire that knocked down park rangers and law enforcement alike. Her voice is familiar to the nation already.

“This is your real and true chief, Ha’Coron’ Puani!”


2nd Day of the Rainy Season, 1492
Unidentified Cave

Dawn rose over the island, confirming that they were on one of the northern shores of the Finixi islands. It was unclear if they were still on Rinixi or Pa’auni, but the cave entrance was facing north for sure.

Usuamato fashioned a spear out of some of the driftwood and quickly got to work fishing for breakfast. Sami kindled a fire outside the cave, walking around the shore once the flames were self-sufficient. Ha’Fi tended to the old chief, making sure he stood up ok, keeping an eye on him even after.

After the group had broken their nightly fast, Sami got up, surveying the cave. Something in the back of her mind decided that this cave was familiar, as if she had studied it before. Her suspicions were confirmed when she ran her fingers across fine grooves on the cave wall, identifying them to be writing after dusting it off a bit.

“Here lies Ha’Coron’ Ha’Finix, the chief who sacrificed herself for the United Finixi Tribes.”

A few seconds of processing passed, when it hit.

“Guys we found the grave! We found the grave!” Sami motioned for the rest of the group to join her, pointing excitedly at the wall.

“Sami, we don’t even know where we are.” Usuamato shook his head as he finished cleaning up the breakfast area. “We need to focus on getting home. The rest of the people are probably extremely worried for the chief’s sudden disappearance. Your students are probably wondering where you are.”

“You don’t get it. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to find the hidden treasure, heirlooms of the Great Chief!”

“I am taking the chief home.” Usuamato shook his head, walking away from Sami. He and the chief would soon disappear from sight.

Sami sighed, heading deeper in the cave, leaving Ha’Fi alone. On one hand, getting home would mean being able to observe the boats once more. But, her curiosity over Sami’s treasure was far too great, and she would feel bad leaving Sami all alone.

“Aren’t you going to follow them, stranger?” Sami would not even look at Ha’Fi as she approached.

“No. I am pretty curious about what you’re talking about honestly.”

“You have a bit more of an adventurous spirit, don’t you? What is your name?”

“Ha’Fi. And you are Sami, if that man had your name correct.”

“Yes, I’m Sami. I’m a professor of basic physical sciences at Ha’Hani’s university.”

“I’m just someone that works with fabrics for a living. I do specialize in sails, for boats.” Ha’Fi took Sami’s silence as a sign to continue chatting, going on about her work with boats.

December 7th, 2022
FiHami Executive Building, Ha’Hani, FiHami

The newly-constructed executive building was designed by the joint effort of the University of Ha’Hani’s art and architecture students a few years ago. As such, the building was a fine piece of art itself. The central dome was painted in vivid flames of different colors, and the construction itself was very open, as is all Finixi-style architecture. The property was filled with all sorts of native FiHami flora, with the famous Panua flower adorning the walkway to the main building.

Inside the central office was Kilaui, who was devoting all her attention to the reports from the militia. They were being pushed back as of the last reports, which absolutely concerned Kilaui. Her defense minister for this term, Bernard Skyak’shi, walked into the room, sitting himself down in front of Kilaui.

“Kilaui, I have bad news.” Bernard sighed, putting down a packet on the desk. “A lot of people in the nearby villages are joining the ranks of the rebels, general Toa’a and his band have been pushed to the edge of the park grounds. They estimate that the rebels might cut off access to Panua Road by tomorrow at this rate.”

“Have we tried to negotiate something?” Hana had snuck in quietly, carrying Finix in her arms.

Ki Ha’Coron’, we can’t negotiate with terrorists.” Bernard shook his head.

“We might have to. We can try to at least diffuse the situation and come to a mutual understanding.” Hana retorted, putting her free hand on her hip. “Do you want to allow this to drag on for who knows how long?”

“Hana, are you unaware of the rhetoric that Texeteti’ had been employing to rally his supporters? The sheer treason Puani committed?”

“I’m way too aware. I am also aware that we are losing ground in this spat and the vast majority of the supporters are reacting due to our nations history that Texeteti’ is using for his propaganda.”

“Hana is right. We don’t want to continue to alienate innocent people.” Kilaui finally stood up, her head hanging low. “Tell them that I am willing to strike some sort of deal.”

January 1st, 2043
Chief’s Residence, Ha’Hani, FiHami

Who is one to judge
When the stars in the sky come crashing down?
Will you even budge
If the world decides to face you with a frown?

Are you truly the arbiter of justice?
Are you truly descended from the sun?
Are you willing to depart this world with a kiss?
Or are you hanging on until we consider your job done?

Do you want the job done quick?
Or shall we extend the job to make you sick,
To your stomach? Or to your brain?
You as well as I know that innocence you cannot feign.

Heed this word of warning well,
Or like a forest, to you we shall fell.

-the Ghost of Redemption

To the Esteemed Ghost of Redemption,

While you may conceal your identity and intent behind flowery poetry, I am frankly much more straightforward. I am interpreting your stanzas as a threat. May my wrath consume you as the sun shall one day consume Pacifica. So that we are clear, THIS IS A THREAT.

FiHami and the Finixi Nation has endured lifetimes of abuse caused by extremists, from the Silumi Tribe in the ancient days, to the Antarchi, to the Finixi Nationalists. Do you wish to add yourself to the list of vanquished extremist groups FiHami has triumphed over?

I am coming for you. I have walked through many fires in all my lifetimes. I am immune to what you may throw at me. Your hand will not harm my people. Do you dare challenge your goddess on Pacifica?

- Ha’Coron’ Finix Fi’Shi V, Reincarnated Chief of the Finixi Nation and Head of State of FiHami, Physical Incarnation of Ha’Fi-Nix, Honorary General of the FiHami Military, Warrior of the Volcano as deemed by High Priestess Etani Katoana, Goddess on Pacifica.


Unknown time
Unidentified Caverns, FiHami

It was hard to tell what day it was from how long the two women had been adventuring in the caves. They were hungry and tired, and always on the verge of giving up and turning around, then Sami would find some other hint, which would reignite the adventurous spark in their hearts. However, after what felt like hours, that spark would dwindle again.

At this point in their journey, the caverns were enormous, filled with all kinds of precious minerals and gemstones along the walls. There was a continuous river underneath, at some points they would fight the current just to advance a little further. The pair would then rest on the dry floor, using each other’s body warmth to stay warm.

The pair came across a small cavern that opened up to the outside after a while. In the center was an ancient tablet made of weathered gold. The inscriptions at this point were too weathered to read, apart from a couple of words, and most notably, a name. As soon as Sami’s weary eyes rested upon the tablet, it was as if a jolt of electricity shocked her awake.

“Ha’Fi! It’s a tablet! I think we found the grave!”

Ha’Fi blinked, watching Sami run into the lightly flooded cavern, kicking up water behind her. Ha’Fi would follow slowly, trying to ignore her stomach crying out for food.

“Sami, is there a way out?”

Sami picked up the tablet carefully, looking over the little she could make out.

“Here… rest… Finix… the United… Hastofi…”

“Wait, Hastofi? Wasn’t the Great Chief from the Fi’Shi? What are the Hastofi doing on the epitaph?” Ha’Fi leaned on Sami’s shoulder, observing the tablet.

“The Hastofi tribe was an offshoot of the Puapuana tribe, which is an offshoot of the Kokostali tribe. They had good relations with the Fi’Shi tribe and often intermingled, which is why the misconception formed-”

“Sami. The legend says that Finix of the tribe Fi’Shi was the chosen one by Ha’Fi-nix. Not Finix of the tribe Hastofi.”

"We do not have the full inscription. The nature of epitaphs in ancient society are very predictable. “Here is the place of rest for insert-life-story-here of insert-name-followed-by-titles-followed-by-tribe-affiliation-here. Then the next line goes over names and tribal affiliations for important friends and family as a way to honor the connections the dead made before returning to the sun.”

“You’re saying that it could be the name or tribe of a friend?” Ha’Fi looked at the worn tablet closer, running her fingers over the rough gold.

“Exactly. Unfortunately there is no real way to know. But, the swords should be in here somewhere. Those could hold more information regarding the Great Chief’s Pacifica origins.”

“How so?”

Sami smiled, handing over the tablet to Ha’Fi. As soon as the weight was off Sami’s arms, she immediately began digging around in the water, overturning all the smooth stones she could. After a little while of searching, Sami felt a gentle hand on her back.

“Look, we need food more than swords. Let’s try to climb out of the cave through that hole and find our way to Ha’Hani.”

“Ok.” Sami grumbled. She had to admit that it was difficult work ignoring her hunger despite the excitement of discovery.

December 10th, 2022
12:00 pm
Temple of the Sun, Ha’Hani, FiHami

“Hana, I recommend you start helping Finix regain her old memories. I can help for sure if you allow me.”

“I know. I just also wish for her to be able to enjoy her 2nd chance at a childhood. She should enjoy herself at least…”

“Who said that she would be unable to enjoy her childhood? I am merely making sure she can remember who she is.” The high priest smiled, his eyes resting on the toddler, who was busy observing the temple room. “Besides, she’s had several other childhoods. This would be her fifth childhood. FiHami needs their goddess.”

“I understand.” Hana sighed. “I shall entrust you to educate her.”

“Thank you, Hana.”

Hana turned to the toddler, tapping her on the shoulder. Finix turned to face Hana with her wide, curious eyes.

“Hello Finix, this is Huahasi, he is the high priest of FiHami currently. He is going to help you with your memories, ok?”

“Ok!” Finix nodded excitedly.

January 12th, 2043
2:00 pm
Executive Building, Ha’Hani, FiHami

Ever since she could remember, Finix had been bored to death over all the political stuff and her official duties. She longed to do anything else. She longed to stop feeling like a scared child in the shoes of a goddess, and learn who she was. Unfortunately, all day Finix endured meeting after meeting, every day. After a while, she learned to tune everything out, and with time, no one seemed to be able to tell that Finix had mentally checked out a while ago.

In Finix’ stead was the Finix that everyone expected, the selfless hero of FiHami. This Finix was confident and decisive. This Finix was a natural leader, headstrong, and very heroic.

Ki Ha’Coron’, I would like to present the plans for the new mall. Are you ready?”

“Present it.” Finix glared at the Minister of the Interior, tapping a finger against the arm rest. The minister seemed to shiver, unable to meet her eye.

“Yes, thank you…” The minister stared into his paperwork, turning pages around so that Finix could see. “So the building designs would ensure that energy costs stay down. It is an outdoor mall, and there are already a few interested international vendors.”

“This seems well thought out. I am very impressed.” Finix laid a hand on the minister’s shoulder after she finished looking through the extensive plans. “As long as local businesses are prominent in the mall I am happy.”

“Thank you, Ki Ha’Coron’. I will ensure I make you proud.”

Once the minister left, Finix seemed to snap back to herself, staring despondently outside the window, towards the sea.

1 Like

1493, about a month later, still into the rainy season.

“As the dean of Ha’Hani’s university, I would like to present this award to professor Sami of tribe Hastofi and guest Ha’Fi of tribe Kokostali for the important discovery of the northern caverns. Not only was this cavern of extreme historic and cultural importance, but the Great Chief’s tombstone can be studied and analyzed.”

Sami may not have found the swords rumored to be in the location, but she stood tall and proud in the university’s great hall, behind the dean of the university. She held Ha’Fi’s sweaty palm, occasionally squeezing a little tighter when Ha’Fi’s hand was uneasier than usual. Though they got lost in the cave and then later the dense jungle, the pair made it home safe and sound. Upon their arrival they learned that Usuamato and the Chief were lost to the returning fire falcons, and there had been a celebration of life for the Chief the week before Sami and Ha’Fi returned. Usuamato had his family privately celebrate his life that same week.

All of the university’s 14 councilors were present to the other side, each holding two bags of tea, one in each hand.

“… professor Sami, please step up now.”

Sami let go of Ha’Fi’s hand and deliberately walked up to the dean. The old woman smiled, passing a scroll into FiHami’s left hand. She would then take Sami’s right hand in between both of her weathered hands, holding it for a few seconds, then letting go. Sami began walking to the councilors, receiving one tea bag from each of them while the dean repeated the process for Ha’Fi.

“… I thank Ha’Fi-Nix for your safe return and pray for more academic success for the both of you.”

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the university’s dean and councilors walked away from the hall and the attendees began meandering away.

“Sami, I wish to return home now.” Ha’Fi slowly approached Sami, a faint sorrowful smile on her face. “I thank Ha’Fi-Nix for allowing our paths to cross.”

“My classes are halted until the beginning of the dry season. Perhaps I shall go with you?”

“Sure.” Ha’Fi dipped her head, and began exiting the university, followed closely by Sami. Neither said anything to the other until they were alone on the open road.

“I have to tell you. I think our adventure inspired me to make the leap I’ve always wanted to make.”

“What do you mean, Ha’Fi?”

“I am going to sell everything I own and purchase a boat. I wish to sail on the open sea and see the whole world.”

“You’re going to leave this island?” Sami sounded somewhat saddened.

“I love the Finixi isles. This will always be home. But, I have always wanted to go to sea. I’ve always wanted to do more than just watch the ships enter and exit the port.” Ha’Fi grabbed Sami’s hand, squeezing her hand a bit. “And I was wondering if you wanted to come with. We could see Huawan, or Sedunn, or Gianatla, or Stoinia? You can see whatever universities they have there, and study there. Perhaps we can get treasures no one back home could believe.”

“It takes a crew to run a ship strong enough to withstand the sea.” Sami at this point seemed lost in thought. “The Finixi Isles is my home, I will be sad to leave it behind. But the prospect of adventure and knowledge is far too grand to throw away. Plus, I would spend this time with you…”

Both Sami and Ha’Fi seemed to turn a few shades of red.

“… if only Usuamato could have also been here to join the adventure…”

“Yeah. From what you’ve told me I feel like he would have loved to join.” Ha’Fi turned her face away from Sami, fixing her eyes instead on the jungle. “How would we even get a crew?”

“Well, we could hire people… or just join a crew.”

“Well with our combined equity we should be able to afford a crew…”. Ha’Fi paused to think. “That, the boat, and then my cloth trade and merchantry, perhaps you can do something with all your university knowledge as well for a few flamethrowers…”

“We could sustain this long term.”

January 4th, 2023

The city was bustling with activity on the glorious sunny day. Not a single cloud permeated the sky, allowing the FiHami sun to illuminate the entire island.

In the city, plenty of buildings constructed by the Antarchi regime were being torn down, with the exception of what has been deemed the future location of the White Museum, purchased by Leo Miller just a few short weeks ago. He had taken photos of the important Antarchi buildings, and started setting up different exhibits.

“I want to highlight just how brutal the Antarchi Empire was to FiHami, but I want visitors to leave on a high note.” Leo told the press who interviewed him. “Visitors leave with a vision of the future, where both Antarchi and Finixi work together in unison. The final exhibit being a collage of photographs of happy people. I have even secured images of Ha’Fi-Nix and Chief Hana working on projects with both people of Finixi and Antarchi descent. People painting, dancing, sharing meals together. It’s the crown jewel in my museum, and it shows that we can share each other’s cultures without trying to eliminate one.”

In the stead of the old buildings, new ones were being constructed. They were being built with FiHami in mind, with impressive slanted roofs of many different colors, more open and inviting layouts, sturdy stilts that almost resembled colorful palm trees, and native flowers where there weren’t walkways, roads, or buildings.

If one were to walk through the city, you could spot many artists painting intricate things on public-owned buildings and walkways. Many drew all kinds of flowers, there were recreations of Finixi myths and legends. But most notably were the presence of Antarchi cultural influences, such as the veneration of starry gods who imparted knowledge on piles of snow, who would go on to become people. There were plenty of starry walkways, and even artists choosing to blend the Antarchi culture with the Finixi culture, with the most notable example being what had become known as the “Starflower Walkway.”

Today is a special day in FiHami, however. Today is when the Independence Day celebrations would be announced to the world. Now that the Finixi Nationalist movement was effectively dead, there would be so much more to celebrate, and the general energy of the nation seemed to reflect that. With every Kirifi was a hug, even to strangers who approached close enough to one another. People helped each other hang intricate tapestries between each other’s home, stringing lantern chains wherever they could be hung.

The Acting Chief had organized many catering companies to come together, going as far as to announce to the entirety of Pacifica that there is a grand celebration, and all are invited to attend. In fact, Hana had secretly pleaded to the FiHami airlines, requesting dirt-cheap travels for round-trip flights to FiHami and back. And they certainly did comply, making the prices of these flights a mere equivalent $15 per ticket.

Hana could not wait, as she looked to the child in her arms with a warm smile on her face. The child was fast asleep, with one hand in her mouth and the other over Hana’s shoulder.

Finix, you should be proud of yourself.


January 9th, 2023
9:30 am
FiHami Parliament, Ha’Hani

“And I declare this session open.”

Kilaui stood at her podium, surveying the members of parliament carefully. While more than a few members were absent due to involvement with the Nationalist Movement, there were still a good portion of congress left. Most of them were affiliated with left-winged parties, several independents, but there were more conservative-affiliated people present.

Up came member Ao’i Sira from FiHami’s 3rd district, member of the Ai’i-i party. She was the primary author of the bill she was about to present.

“Hello, fellow members of FiHami’s parliament. I have authored a bill with Kira Panupa and Jackson Dean of the Finixli’i and Ai’i-i parties, respectively.” Ao’i bows a bit, adjusting the paper she held in her hands. “The intent of this bill is to preserve the unique ecology of the island for the future generations to enjoy. The plan involves designating FiHami’s mining industry to one specific portion of the island and creating a new national park around Origin Cave’s associated areas.”

Jason Schneider of the Industri party stands up. He stares at Kilaui intently, until she dips her head, granting him permission to speak.

“Mrs. Sira, are you intending to roll back FiHami’s mining industry on such a large scale? 55% of FiHami’s exports are from the mining industry. If such a large rollback occurs, the economy would suffer more than it already is.”

“While yes, mining makes a large portion of our exports, especially from precious stones and minerals, if we want FiHami’s ecology to survive, we must make drastic changes for our children.” Ao’i seems unphased by Jason’s question, slowly blinking in Jason’s general direction.

“What would FiHami’s main export be, then?”

“FiHami’s agriculture, of course. We can bolster our tea industry and offer incentives to farmers who produce food in a sustainable way. Our sea oats industry is essentially nonperishable and a viable gluten-free alternative that is cheaper than, say, quinoa grains. Coconuts are a wildly popular fruit, as are our mangoes, starfruit, dragonfruit, bananas, and so on.”

“So you’re saying that we should start exporting more than FiHami’s fish?” Jason thinks for a minute, then nods his head. “As long as the exportation of FiHami agriculture is codified in your bill, I will support this bill. As much as FiHami’s industry is important, so is the unique ecosystem here and ideally both should be supported.”

After a few more seconds of silence, Ao’i and Jason sat back down. Kilaui stepped back up to the podium.

“Does anyone else have questions, comments, or concerns?”

After a few more seconds of silence, Kilaui pushed a button. On the screen behind her was a vote counter with 3 options. A minute passed by and the vote was overwhelmingly for, only 2 votes for no and 4 abstains.

“And the next bill is one that I co-authored with chief Hana and representative Mimi Sifi. It is the Ban on the Death Penalty.”

Immediately half the senators stood up, drawing a sigh from Kilaui.

“Representative Kirafo, you first.”

“With all due respect, Ms. speaker. This is a horrible idea. We need the option to execute when it comes to things like treason, or the unspeakable crimes!”

This response caused even more people to stand.

“Representative Ifi’ikuri… no, not you. Naomi. Naomi Iki’ikuri.” Kilaui felt herself tense up, sensing a familiar chaos returning to the room.

“I am going to say, especially with representative Kirafo’s words, that the death penalty is barbaric. There is a reason ehy there hasn’t been an execution since the 1500s. Because we are civilized!”

“Representative Amaia Kokostali.”

“What are we to do about the unspeakable crimes, or things like treason where the option is prison for life? Their life will be paid for by the FiHami taxpayer! Execute them instead, it’s cheaper!”

“YOU’RE DESPICABLE!” Another representative stood up from the back of the room, storming to where Amaia stood, and yelling in her face. A few more red-faced representatives stood up and yelled their arguments without regard for orderly conduct.

“Order, order!” Kilaui tried to get the attention of everyone in the room to no avail. She raised her voice a bit, incrementally until she felt she could not get any louder. “ORDER!!!”

No one seemed to listen over the literal fist fight.


January 31st 2023
Central Ha’Hani, FiHami

Though the project was only beginning to sprout, the city of Ha’Hani felt more revitalized, more lively. People seemed happier, a symphony of kirifi! rose through the streets, young people struck up conversation with strangers, several minor news stories cropped up of “pay it forward” chains lasting for several days, only to be picked back up soon after.

The dry January air seemed to energize the air around them. In fact, the delayed Liberation Day celebrations would be celebrated that night, to be hosted right here, showing off just how much FiHami has come. Many caterers were setting up already, having requested to put in tons of work to feeding the masses for nothing at all. Of course, Hana would never let that stand, these people working for “free” would receive a very generous tip from the government in the morning.

Just a few short feet from where Hana was, Finix was “helping” an artist set up a large communal mural for everyone to draw a little something on. The artist didn’t seem to mind, in fact, she helped Finix paint the bottom corner with her hands, even putting a couple folded flowers into the toddler’s hands.


The first people arrived at the central square, chatting among one another with smiles on their faces. Kilaui arrived fairly early, having slapped together a random dress and shoes to go to this event with the chiefs. Hana looked more like she spent nearly all her time on Finix, taming the toddler’s wild curls in a fairly formal style. Meanwhile, Hana’s own hair was in a very simple updo, as if maybe only done as an afterthought. Likewise, Finix’ traditional-style dress was intricately thought out down to the placement of the flowers. The shoes the toddler wore even matched her dress, while Hana only bothered to throw on simple clothing.

Perhaps the decision was intentional, it was a well-known secret that Hana finds joy in dressing Finix up as much as the toddler would let her, and Finix wasn’t particularly fussy. Hana was never known to go beyond the bare minimum for her own presentation unless absolutely necessary. Kilaui couldn’t judge either, she was very much the same way.

“Oh, Kilaui. It is good to see you!” Hana waved for Kilaui, holding Finix in her other arm. “I heard you were fairly busy today.”

“Yes, I had to stop a literal fist fight over establishing the Militia as FiHami’s official military force.” Kilaui couldn’t help but chuckle at the thought. The fact that grown adults literally act worse than children was hilarious, if not very sad.

“Why do adults be bad?” Finix innocently mumbled her question. Her voice certainly surprised Hana and Kilaui, as Hana had assumed that at this point the child was uninterested in talking at all.

“Sometimes adults lose their temper too.” Hana would respond to the child gently. “It can be hard to argue with people in a nice way without getting very mad.”

“Well they need to learn to breathe like you tell me to when I get super mad.”

Kilaui turns around, doubling over in silent laughter. This literal toddler had much better emotional intelligence than full grown adults.

Kilaui would bid her farewells then walk towards one of the tables, sampling one of the skewered roasted fish on an intricately-woven mat. Soon to follow was none other than a rockstar in the flesh, moving their styled bangs out of their face as they took a chunk out of skewered shrimp.

“Aren’t you Ray from Embers and Ash?” Kilaui asked the person before her with a soft voice.

The person wiped their hands on the fiery dress they wore and pushed aside a stray orange bang with a smile. They nodded as they finished chewing the bite they held in their mouth, swallowing as quickly as possible.

“Yes! And you are Kilaui Kuri! I would never forget your face, you’re a war hero after all!”

“… War hero…?” Kilaui tilted her head, squinting her eyes at Ray.

“Well, you might be better known for politics stuff but I was there in Kialasi Village.”

The battle in Kialasi village was etched in Kilaui’s mind specifically due to just how far the Antarchi were willing to go…

April 4th, 2005
Kialasi Village, FiHami

With swords in their hands, the young Finixi rebels stormed the village as the Antarchi forces began their onslaught. The clash of metal and the rain of bullets was enough to drive the more experienced fighters insane, but these civilians who were going about their business just earlier today were driven to tears.

Kilaui stole the gun off one of the soldiers she killed, shooting down as many others as she could, especially the ones trying to slaughter civilians.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a small child frantically shaking a dead woman’s body, pleading with the fire falcons to return their mother’s life. Another child sobbed, clutching their toy tightly while the Antarchi raiding their shack. And a mother sobbing frantically as she loses her entire family, only to join them shortly after.

Nothing here was new to Kilaui, even the emotional stabbing feeling had dulled over time, to the point that when she fought, she was a mere robot.

An Antarchi soldier grabbed a child with hideous laughter. Kilaui’s eyes met the child’s light brown eyes for a brief second, almost as if they were both suspended in that very moment in time. The next second, the man who grabbed the child crumpled to the ground, and the child tries to run, only to be cornered by three more men.

Kilaui dashes in, taking the blade and then standing as the men drop. The child looks at Kilaui once more, running into the jungle with fear in their eyes.

You stop you die. Keep going until every last one of them is gone.

January 31st, 2023

“I do not remember much from that whole era.” Kilaui shrugged, hoping the young person before them would drop the subject.

“Oh. I suppose it’s for the best you don’t remember.” Ray seemed a bit crestfallen, but shrugged it off easily enough. “It’s good to meet you anyhow!”

“Likewise. Is Embers and Ash going to perform tonight?”

The abrupt change in topic didn’t seem to phase either party, though Ray shook their head.

“Kaili’s not feeling the greatest, Texumati’a is recovering from food poisoning, Hakunoeto’s wife is actually having a child as we speak so he’s at the hospital right now, and Mimi is with her sister AKA Hakunoeto’s wife who is having a child as we speak so it’s just me tonight, singing songs acoustic style.”

Kilaui had no idea whether to apologize or congratulate everyone at the moment, so she opted to smile and nod.

“Well, good luck then!”

Ray smiled and waved before darting away, leaving Kilaui to return to sampling the wide variety of foods available to the public.


Some stars are born in a gentle cradle, given all the nutrients they need to be born into a life-giving orb of warmth for those surrounding it. Other stars are born in cosmic calamity, gobbling all the energy they can in order to burst forward and inspire countless others. The rest, however, are destined to fade away, starved right from birth into cold, inhospitable lands.

FiHami is certainly no powerhouse of the world, just one small, insignificant island in the middle of a vast ocean of rainbows. The ancient Finixi people long ago, the children of Wati Finix+, settled on the land, cherishing the gifts of food, water, shelter, and light freely given to them. In turn, they created beautiful clothes, jewelry, dances, and artworks for one another and for their homes. These gifts became more prolific, as the Finixi people grew, learning as much as they could about their world and more. Yet, these accomplishments held no real impact on the world at large. In fact, even at the height of the nation’s relevance, who outside of FiHami ever heard of the tiny little island?

Aikafi didn’t know if her existential spiral was because of her home country, or if it was related to her own internal strife.

She had lived in this island since she was born, a resident of the north island, in a village that had remained untouched since the 1940s. Her mother also lived here all her life, as did her mother before her. They were aware of all the inhumanities that befell their friends after the Antarchi took power, from the vantage point of one incredibly ancient village that escaped Antarchi sight. But, they could do nothing, powerless to stop the evil from rounding up their friends into artificial walled-in villages and killed for daring to spread rumors of revolution. All they could do was shelter in runaways, steal as many ancient texts, artifacts, and artworks before the Empire could destroy them. However, the small village of Risai’ixi, the people of the land where rice grows tall, seemed to have been forgotten. That is, until 4 months ago, when some jolly hikers came upon the village. After a fine greeting, feast, and dance, the hikers shared the news of the defeat of the Antarchi. They told the story of revolution, a new great chief, her untimely death, and the country’s newfound prosperity. Everyone seemed to celebrate together, for it was a tremendous accomplishment to be free of tyrannical overlords.

The chief of the village, Anonaka, requested audience with the current presiding chief of FiHami.

After the meeting, work began on a train station, designed beautifully as all the other golden-era-aged buildings present. The makeshift university/library undertook a new purpose, that of a museum. And the internet came into being shortly after. Construction began on another train track to the station, available for easier access to the rest of FiHami.

Aikafi relished the internet. Online, she consumed FiHami’s wider artists, finding envy when access to streaming platforms resulted in voracious consumption of Idola FiHami, Rise!, and many other specific shows.

The young woman adopted the moniker “Alani”, and began posting traditional Finixi song and dance. Her content was viral in FiHami, but consumption abroad was… minimal.

The next video she posted was in two parts. There was a FiHami release, with all the colorful interjections of Finixi’s elaborate culture woven together in a modern setting. This version featured all the dancing she could do, the complex, percussive instrumentals supporting the melodies and countermelodies woven together with both the old and the new instruments. The other release is the one that would hopefully set international audiences alight, using less Finixi influence, but more modern, short form song structures. The kind that had the potential to go viral.

The song was an absolute original, too. It was a love letter from the people to the land, talking about the nature that makes FiHami a real home.

Alani didn’t just want to captivate FiHami, she wanted the entire world. She was determined to win next year’s iteration of Idola FiHami. She was dead-set on touring the entirety of Pacifica, seeing all there is to see, all the wonders. And maybe, FiHami could be relevant for once. Because of her.

  • Watai’i means “Mother” in Finixi. There are several forms of the word with different meanings, however. You may find children refer to their mothers as “Wa”, a motherly figure outside of their actual mother as “Tai”, general female ancestors as “Taili”, and a great mother figure as “Wati”. Wati Finix specifically refers to the mythological mother of the tribes of FiHami. Her actual name is unknown, but called Finix due to the belief she is of the same soul as the great chief that united the Finixi tribes and the great chief that liberated FiHami from the Antarchi Empire.

In the years since FiHami won its freedom, many things have changed. The songs that the Finixi used to sing centuries ago were meshed together with the sudden influx of modern instruments from around the world. This lead to the creation of something that still sounded very Finixi, but modernized.

Modern fashions blended with the old clothes, created by hands that learned the old way. The creators of Finixi fashion adapted to modern technology, allowing them to keep small stores stocked with their designs. A few specially-talented designers even hired help, taking advantage of the internet for the convenience of every FiHami citizen.

Artists thrived on the fresh inspiration from abroad, creating a uniquely-FiHami animation style for their favorite story-telling medium. Graffiti artists took inspiration from the world and their own classical art to create blossoms of beauty all over the city, earning quite a few Fihuahe as a result. Sculptures had been erected all over the place, congregating around a specific few blocks in Ha’Hani that had been dubbed Kantuho Hani, or “Sculpture Neighborhood” by residents enjoying the sites.

As promised, many public buildings were torn down, save for a few historic buildings. In their place arose many buildings. These new buildings were concrete, brick, and stone, using the ever-present spectacle of the honorable Ahuahuana tree where wood was needed. Buildings were painted by artists of all kinds, working together to create a true garden of colors on every wall and roof.

There was one spot in the city, closer to the great volcano, that Ha’Coron’ Hana requested specific work to be done. Right next to the statue of the Great Chief, her golden hand reaching to the summer solstice’s sun, a garden was raised. This wasn’t just any normal garden, though. These plants were all sculptures themselves, faithful renditions of plants found around central Cordilia, especially those found in Huawan. In the very center of this garden was a giant covered basket. There was no way to remove the heavy cover, but many people had begun the tradition of leaving teas, flower cuttings, and many other things around the basket.

Hana had marched her way up to this spot with the toddler in tow, away from the commotion of the small family’s daily life. Over the months since the child arrived in Hana’s home, she had grown attached to the child, more than she ever thought it was possible to tolerate any child. She could hardly believe it sometimes, if it weren’t for the child’s playful babbling in her ear.

Though, this child really wasn’t much of a toddler anymore. She had really learned to talk, and had very quickly become proficient in reading Finixi and Austral scripts. Hell, the child had even managed to pick up on Aikirani, who knew what else the child had picked up on. She was highly active, showing off her knowledge of traditional Finixi dance when she wasn’t busy reading, causing disasters, studying with the High Priest, or playing football with other kids around her ability. Her Primary School teachers had commented on just how quickly Finix seemed to pick up on things.

Hana set the small child down in front of the statue, with the garden to their back.

“She has my name!” The small child pointed to the statue. “I learned about her in school!”

“Yes, I know.” Hana sighed as if she were reuniting with an old friend.

“Huahasi says that she is me but I don’t remember.”

The small child’s eyes were nearly the same exact shade of the ancient tree bark as Finix way back when. However, her eyes sparkled with a light that the Great Chief never had, whispering of pure hope and happiness unlike the eyes dulled by war, tragedy, and poor health. The child’s hair was just as wild and untamed as the Great Chief, strung in hundreds of ringlets that bounced with every movement. The child’s nose was similar, even. But, the similarities died with the eyes.

“You are not the Ha’Ha’Coron’, my dear. You are your own being, filled with hope and energy. While you bear the necklace, you are not her.”

The small child seemed to settle down from her endless wealth of energy, furrowing her brows to the ground.

“But Huahasi-”

“It’s ok. It just means you are going to be great in your own way. Huahasi has his reasons for insisting you are Finix. But, you are Ao’afinix. A kindred spirit that shines in her own way.”

“Will Huahasi know?”

Hana simply shook her head.

“Huahasi is old. He will go soon, and so too shall your classes with Huahasi go too.”


“I don’t get it.” A portly man chewed on a stick of Ahahai’^1 while looking through a few photographs. “There’s an obvious commonality with these cases so far. The victims are all young women between 16 and 25. They are all vocalists. All found the exact same way. And no obvious suspect.”

“No fingerprints either. Not even a speck of skin we can analyze. Like the killer’s a phantom.” The much smaller man seemed to muse while he thumbed through the papers in his hands. He seemed to stare hard at one of the pages, as if expecting something to leap out at him. “There’s not much we can do to narrow things down.”

“Atauhutafu, there are a few obvious things off the bat you are missing.” An elderly man walked into the room, accompanied by a young boy who couldn’t have been older than 5 years old. “There are the new phones and internet all the young people use these days. One of the victims was in her own home, it had to have been someone who knew where her home is. Either a stalker, or a person close to her. And it’s all the same person too. Handwriting on the notes is typical of a man rather than a woman. Left-handed.”

The elderly man heaved himself onto one of the chairs. Once he was situated, he ruffled the boys’ hair with a smile, watching the child run off as he pleased. The elder shook his head, then turned to face his audience.

“I suggest hiring a stalker. Have someone stalk a potential victim, or a few potential victims. In the meantime, monitor the internet. We can identify suspects that way.”

“We’ll… work on it.”

“Oh by the way, the parliament just dissolved itself.”

Hana was silent on the phone for a solid minute. She took a deep breath, resisting the urge to scream her response to the poor person on the phone.

“They did what?” Hana asked with the calmest voice she could muster.

“There was like, 3 votes against the measure and 47 for. Kilaui was a mess. It was kinda funny-”

“So like, what? We’re throwing away the hard work Finix put in to-”

“Hana calm down, it’s not that big of a deal, I’m sure there-”


The ever-inquisitive child approached Hana with a newspaper and a soft expression on her face. The headlines were all about the latest wars across the planet, basically materials that a four year old couldn’t possibly understand. Hana stared at the child with absolute bewilderment, only allowing herself a small smile after a second.

Wa, they’re gonna have peace talks in… kereenfeel. What does that mean?”

Shifi that’s not something you-”

“I want to do something nice for… Romortia and that other place that is too long to say!”

“Has Huahashi been talking to you about politics again?”

Finix nodded enthusiastically, eyes bright with sheer excitement.

“Huahasi taught me a lot about all the different places! And the wars! He told me that I need to fix it!”

“No no no Shifi you’re a child your job right now is to learn and have fun, not solve all the world’s problems.” With a gentle shake of her head, Hana took the newspaper out of the childs’ hands.

“But I still want to do something for the world. Maybe… if we had a big feast with all the countries in the world then no one would want to war each other anymore!”

Shifi do you even know what war is?”

Finix shook her head, giggling just a tiny bit.

“There will be time-”

Hana couldn’t help but sigh as soon as Finix ran off to her room, shouting something about a giant feast. All the “training” and “memory recovery” the high priest of FiHami was subjecting to the tiny child scared Hana. The late Great Chief’s shy, shell-shocked nature served as a massive contrast to this child’s excitable, extremely extraverted self, banishing any suspicion of reincarnation from Hana’s mind. As to why Huahashi continued insisting on the child’s “divine” origins was beyond her.

The tumbling of the colored pencils startled Hana out of her thoughts and right back to the fact that FiHami’s parliament decided to delete itself. With a groan, Hana simply smacked her head against the wall.

“Auwamata^2, Wa!” The tiniest voice shouted from her room.

1: Ahahai’ is a cinnamon-like tree that is highly popular in FiHami for chewing and as a spice. Finixi folk remedies believe that chewing on the stick will get rid of headaches.

2: Auwamata simply means “sorry” when it comes to accidents. Can be seen as dismissive if used for more serious matters.