Sirin and Alkonost. Birds of joy and sorrow by Viktor Vasnetsov, 1896
Alkonost and Sirin are creatures from Slavic folklore. Alongside with Gamayun, another bird-maiden, they play a significant role in Russian mythos. Their main duty is to ward the Tree of Life. They’re commonly believed to be a fusion of Greek legends, Pagan Slavic folk tales and Christian lore.
Sirin was initially based on Greek sirens, with possible addition of traits characteristic of Slavic water spirits, in particular that of wila. However, she later assumed more positive features, becoming a symbol of harmony, joy and beauty. Sirin descends into world of mortals, singing of incoming happiness. Even in later legends her voice is enticing to the point of being dangerous to humans and Siren can be associated with treachery, insanity and temptation. As bird-maiden is sensitive to loud noises, people would save themselves from her hypnotic song by ringing bells and shooting cannons.
Alkonost is possibly named after Alcyone, a Greek demigoddess transformed into a kingfisher. Her voice possess the same bewitching capacity as that of her sister. Alkonost is typically associated with Hors, the god of sun. Sometimes called the bird of dawn, she brings winds and lightnings on her wings. It is believed that on Koliada (a holiday in the middle of winter) Alkonost lays eggs on the seashore. For seven days after that sets good weather.
Sansa was so, so beautiful, and Tyrion still could not quite believe that she was sitting before him on their bed, currently clad in nothing more than a thin shift and smallclothes.
He himself had not yet moved to remove anything other than his doublet, not wishing to startle her or scare her - still, there was a small triangle of skin exposed by the dip of his tunic’s neckline, and he didn’t feel particularly overdressed.
His fingers skimmed up her arms, from wrists to forearms and upwards, before settling on her shoulders. Sansa’s skin was so soft and smooth, he couldn’t help but lean forward to kiss first one shoulder, then the other, smiling at her in a way he hoped was reassuring.
Gently his hands slid downwards again, skimming over the soft cloth of her shift until coming to a rest at the sides of her breasts.
He wanted nothing more than to kiss her lovely tits, but no, that would have to wait - this had to be slow, and gentle, and to his surprise Tyrion found he was having no trouble waiting; he was quite enjoying the moment.
With his hands cupping the sides of her breasts through the fabric of her shift, he rubbed his thumbs in gentle circles, enjoying the warmth of her skin (even through the material) before one hand moved to brush a lock of fiery red hair back from her shoulder.
“You’re beautiful, Sansa.” His voice, although quiet, had a tone to it which was more than a little gentle, and with a soft brush of fingers against her jawline, he pressed his lips to hers for a moment.
A Russian folklore has found its painter in the face of Viktor Vasnetsov. He was one of the first to find his way to the past, reflect it on the canvas and he has showed it to people, making them witnesses of the fairytales.
Samolet (Carpet) (1880), Bogatyrs (1881), The Unsmiling Tsarevna (1926), Snow Maiden (1899), A Knight At the Crossroads (1878), Gamaun, The prophetic bird (1897), The Frog Tsarevna(1918), Sirin and Alkonost The Birds of Joy and Sorrow (1896), Ivan Tsarevich Riding the Grey Wolf (1889)