Birth of the Firebird

They say that when Kal made the world, and Kaedon raced across the heavens, his hooves tore into the earth and carved out the mountains. Well, one mountain was not of his making. Some say the pebble that caught in Kal’s hoof was not a pebble at all, but an egg, an ancient, mysterious egg that slept at the center of the world. When the great beast inside finally awoke and hatched free, it tore the earth asunder, for this beast was born of primordial elements, fire and brimstone, molten and churning like the sun; it nearly destroyed the earth-mother giving birth to it. Free at last, it unfurled its wings: a great bird within whose feather shone each a tiny burning sun, and everything those wings touched burned, blurred, and fell away to dust. When it flew, fire rained across the sky and ash plunged the heavens into darkness.

The leaders who made up the Council of Worlds gathered to deal with this monster. Many said such a beast had no place among them, that it would destroy everything if left unchecked, that it was a demon and should not be allowed to exist at all. It was Kal who came to the beast’s defense. Not beast, she said, but child-like, untempered, unguided, and untamed. She pled her case valiantly, and when she was done, the Council conceded that if one other person would agree, then the firebird would earn a stay.

There was a silence that stretched long like the first night. And then the Dragon Aeon stepped forward. For the Dragon had been born from the chaos with the gift of Creation and Destruction both, and knew what Kal said was true.

“To kill the Firebird would be to kill that part of ourselves that too is untempered and untried. We all hold the potential for great darkness, and great destruction, and from that same fire comes passion – passion to learn, passion to grow, to create; unguided a song is but a dissonance of conflicting notes wrought against our finer senses; strung together they are symphonies of unmeasured and inexplicable beauty.”

And so the council conferred, and the beast was spared – but on the condition it was contained until its reckless force could be controlled. So Kal and the Dragon Aeon went to the beast, flying, feathers blotting the stars as it passed, and Kal began to sing.

The song wound itself through the stars and filled the air, dancing among the ashes. It was a quiet song, a lullaby, and soothed the heart of the beast. Bit by bit the fiery glow shed from each feather, darkening, until they were just the warm glow of embers. Aeon flew with Kal upon his back as she sung, and the bird followed. When it came again to its nest, it tucked its head beneath its wing and went sleep. Aeon pulled over a blanket of mountains so that none might upset its slumbers, and Kal sung them deep into the earth where the bird might sleep undisturbed.

Thus Ka’shus marks the spot the firebird came into the world, and where it went back into slumber again. Some say it is there still, at the center of the earth, sleeping, until it is time to wake again when the world is to end…

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