Origin of Species (on Kylrock)
So, how did they come to be? Where from came hoporils and buffalo and crozards and Riotori? Obviously they must have been put on Kylrock by the most powerful and untouchable of creatures.
That description fit the seldom seen condawk. A full-grown condawk could carry off a Riotori child with no difficulty. They flew to great heights and nested solely on the tops of the Great Mountains far to the west. Those peaks dwarfed the highest spars of the Ironcut Mountains and no creature could threaten them.
Obviously the creator of all plant and animal life was the greatest and oldest of these wonderful and fearsome birds. Kylrock had been spit out by Shul uncounted centuries before. But as it cooled it hardened into the rocky ball it was. And far beneath the surface the ultimate gift of the sun slept and grew.
Water pushed its way upward and spotted the world with lakes and streams. Clouds also wept their tears upon the ground, for there was no life.
Eventually the final gift of Shul emerged from the land. It struggled upward, its beak cracking and pushing, digging upward until it fought its way completely out of the dirt and sat stunned upon the land, and looked around. The expanse of its wings was nearly forty yards, tip to tip. When it managed to stand upon its feet the head with its massive deadly beak and piercing eyes, one black and one silver, was over fifteen yards above the ground.
Understanding its purpose and its gifts it flew over the world, but found nothing. There was rock and dirt and water, but nothing alive.
It swept low to the ground and the Great Condawk laid eggs—thousands of eggs across the lands and waters of the whole world. And wherever the eggs landed they opened and revealed the different species of vegetation and animal life. And these creations spread. And reproduced and developed until finally, after uncounted centuries, the world was occupied by beasts and birds and fish of many different kinds, and the Riotori.
But the Great Condawk had no name, and no helpers or servants to attend it. So few Riotori ever called upon it in time of need nor thanked it in time of gratitude or cursed it in time of sorrow. It had fulfilled its function. Occasionally it would fly over the world and observe its creations for its own amusement. Many swore over the course of centuries that they had seen it there, high above the ground, so far up that its size seemed that of a normal condawk. Others scoffed at these claims.
In Groakpod creation was simply accepted as an accomplished fact and the Great Condawk was not spoken of, or too. It was considered blasphemy to dare to address or reference the Creator.
Pyrite and his daughter Amethyst, the two Riotori rescued by the twins, were from the village the twins had defined on the map as their immediate goal. It was named Krakold. It was one of the exceptions to the general rule. It had an actual church (!) and even priests (!!) dedicated to the reverence of the Great Condawk.
After waking and thanking the twins for their recue the two knelt upon the turf and prayed their gratitude to the Creator. Feldspar and Gypsum exchanged uneasy glances. The whole ceremony made them feel uncomfortable, but they maintained a polite silence for the duration of the prayers. Feldspar grumbled to Gypsum later when the others were out of earshot that the span of prayer had been the longest fifteen minutes of his life. Gypsum replied that already he wondered about their compatibility with the population of the village they were approaching. Feldspar agreed and they both decided that this village was a mere stopping point on their journey. They would stay a night or two at most and then be on their way.
It would not be quite that easy.