How Adagio Dazzle almost never came to be. Picture

For sirenkind on Equis, life is half paradise and half near death experiences for every member of the pack or pod. When not on guard against a massive oceanic predator, male sirens also known as Sirons contest one another in practice duels to keep their skills up to par. However these mock battles become something all else entirely when a female siren has found a potential mate, this heralds contenders who'd want the siren themselves and thus the bulls engage in actual violent conflicts.

Adagio's father had his odds stacked against him with Dying Sun defying the new union between her parents, a much stockier and heavily built male who served as the primary muscle for the pod. His bladed tusks far outmatched her father's own blunt protrusions mainly used for bashing rather than stabbing. In fights like these, the Matriarch holds an audience and referees the match in the ritual known as Geraemas or 'Battle of the Fittest', as with sirens the best genes are the ones to be passed on to the next generation whether it was brawns or brains she'd ensure no cheating or short cuts were taken by either contenders.

In the initial action to commence Geraemas, the intruder offers the challenge which has to be accepted much in the same manner as alligators sing to attract females. The only difference in this was that the low frequency hum was the only semblance of singing male sirens had, and only sirenkind could hear. It was the call to fight, which if the chosen male does not give in then the two begin to circle each other until the Matriarch finally arrives to oversee the event. Her arrival and a short song to begin the ritual initiates the battle to which an audience forms from others of the pod to watch on, the males then begin ramming into each other like Ibex bucks duking it out on a mountain side. Their reinforced craniums never giving as this would only be the first half of the fight, it simply served as a gauging the strength of the other before the next life threatening phase started.

Then came the use of fangs and jaw pressure, like enormous elephant seals, sirons try to overpower the other and gouge into the other after a few hours of working through the heavily armored scales that saved them from natural enemies. Scales would grow back, yet if a major blood vessel was struck then the fight was won. Adagio's father managed to use his swiftness to avoid the bone crushing maw of his rival, Dying Sun more slow and cumbersome suffered from the agility of the supposedly lesser male lost his protective plating far faster. Blood would be spilled and flesh would be lacerated, but sirons were known for fast healing abilities and dexterity. What came next was the conclusion of Geraemas, the Death Role which was the real prize to stop the deadly encounter.

Whichever male tore a chunk of flesh off the other was declared the winner, proving once and for all they were the better of the two and earned the reproductive rights and life long mate. Of course, if the siren in question accepted him and if she did not then immediately after the ritual she'd offer one last test before accepting. After so long of heavy combat, both potential partners were to engage in a race in the ocean where the male would need to keep up with the siren the whole time. Failing meant they could not claim the female even if the other contestant ended up committed to Poseidon's open arms.

Thankfully, Adagio's father scored the first roll and simply broke off a shoulder plate exterior layer and that had counted as a win, Dying Sun would leave in defeat and her parents would enjoy the first moments of forming a union with the Matriarch's blessings. The union of the Hearts, in which both were to share their first meal as one while other sirens joined around them determining their compatibility and potential offspring to come of their bond.
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