Before She Ignites (Fallen Isles Trilogy #1)

Before She Ignites (Fallen Isles Trilogy #1)

Jodi Meadows


the second day

of the month of Moracan in the 2187th year

of the Fallen Gods


The following agreement, between the six island-nations of the Fallen Isles, who are our gods Anahera, the Destroyer

Bopha, the Shadow

Damyan and Darina, the Lovers Harta, the Daughter

Idris, the Silent

Khulan, the Warrior represents peace and unity among all who follow the Fallen Gods, equality among the people, and a renewed devotion to the children of the gods.

On this day, as a collection of nations, we, the representatives of the people of the Fallen Isles, bow to the one true authority, the light of Noore, and acknowledge our devotion.

For we have too long permitted imbalance and suffering, the exploitation of our resources, and the folly of inaction. We have denied intrinsic freedoms and abused what should be protected. We have ignored the sacrosanct laws between mortal and divine, and have put ourselves at risk for abandonment by the gods we should most honor and protect.

This decree signifies our conviction to make the Fallen Isles into a good and holy place, with respect to the Upper Gods and the Fallen Gods. It signifies our acceptance of the peril of unforgivable conflict, should any party fail to uphold these tenets. It signifies our willingness to enforce the terms by actions deemed appropriate within the text of this covenant.

In the name of a child born this day, who shall be the bearer of our hopes, and with understanding that we sign this agreement for her and all the future of the Fallen Isles, we make this pledge.


Article 1: Trade among the islands Article 2: Borders and neutral international waters Article 3: Assurance of assistance PART 2: DRAGONS

Article 4: Cease of ownership Article 5: Drakon Warrior disbandment Article 6: Relocation to sanctuaries Article 7: Study, observation, and breeding PART 3: EQUALITY

Article 8: Harta as an independently governed island Article 9: Hartan exports and tariffs Article 10: Economic stabilization PART 4: MISCELLANEOUS ARTICLES

Article 11: Reparations

Article 12: Prohibited acts Article 13: Failure to uphold the treaty

I shouldn’t have told the truth.

But I did.


Sarai 15, 2204 FG


The ground gave a brief jerk, and everything shifted: a glass of water, the large family portrait, and my soul when I thought about all the lives affected by the abrupt movement of the world.

Less than an hour after the incident, I was placed before a crowd assembled outside the white-columned council house, a sheet of paper clutched in my hands. Councilors Elbena and Bilyana stood at my sides, two pillars of strength and authority, but every eye was trained on me.

“There she is.” A woman lifted a small girl to see. “Hopebearer.”

“Mira Minkoba. The Mira.”

“She looks beautiful.”

I tried not to smile, though the compliment pleased me. Immediately after the tremor, Mother had sent me upstairs to don a coral-colored dress, with thin straps that left my shoulders bare to the summer sun; already, my skin prickled and warmed into a deeper shade of brown. My maid had unpinned my hair so that it fell in long, loose waves, then crowned me with a wreath of lala flowers that Mother said reminded everyone of my youth and innocence. The effort to straighten my hair was wasted, though; humidity was already bringing the curls back to life.

Then another girl said, “I want to be her.”

My expression of detached pleasantness faltered and I dropped my eyes to the paper I’d been given. The words were there. All I had to do was use them.

I drew a steadying breath and counted. Twenty people in the front row. Twice that in the second. Twelve columns on this face of the council house. At last, my thoughts calmed.

“People of Crescent Prominence.” I cleared my expression of everything but what was appropriate for the occasion of delivering distantly upsetting news. “The tremor you felt earlier is reported to have come from Idris. We felt it here; it must have been incredibly disrupting there.”

Most people glanced westward, probably thinking of the immense space between our islands. Idris was on the far side of the Fallen Isles, shaped like a man bent over in prayer or anguish. The Silent Brothers ruled there, keeping the people almost completely isolated. They traded little. They traveled less. I couldn’t imagine how they’d recover from an earthquake that big.

“Is there a landslide threat?” A woman held her palms against her chest as if to ease the pounding of her heart.

I glanced at the paper, even though I’d read it already. “It’s the rainy season there, so a landslide is likely. There’s a wave threat as well. All the western islands are under watch.” That excluded us. Damina was the easternmost Fallen Isle.

“Is there anything we can do for them?” a man asked.

The Mira Treaty meant all islands were required to provide aid in times of crisis, but it was the way of our gods to offer help without being asked.

“That’s uncertain.” I consulted the paper again. The words written there fit easily into my mouth. “The Silent Brothers may decline assistance, as they have in the past.”

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