Origin of the Atavians

16.3.1 Origin of the Atavians

As told by Orechnai:

In the time of ignorance and of harsh lessons we did not think, but to know 
our bodies and our world better, imitated the world around us. Like animals 
did we live, and like animals did we die. In our ten thousand imitations, 
there was one that changed history forever.

They saw the blue of the sky and could not comprehend it, but could see the 
feathered creatures that wheeled, dark against the sun and moon. Together, 
five sat upon the cliffs, well-fed and well-rested yet dissatisfied. They 
watched the birds of dawn flit and flutter among the clouds, and a longing 
filled them that they could not understand. Without knowing what he did, one 
among them walked to the edge of the cliff, looking down the leagues.

The most learned of the five came to him and indicated his position was 
precarious, that there was hidden danger in the empty air beyond the cliff. 
She tugged at him, urging him wordlessly to return to safety with the others. 
Yet still he stared, entranced by the sky-wandering birds.

As he gazed, forlorn without knowing truly the nature of his longing, a 
Divine-borne breeze stirred his hair. He felt the winds, soft and cool, and 
saw it play upon the birds he watched. Without thought or hesitation, he 
moved his arms as if they were wings and leapt daringly from the top of the 
cliff in imitation. The four he had left on the cliff-face were puzzled, but 
they heard the laughter of their companion, rising from where he had fallen.

We cannot know why the wisest of the five leapt after him, then. She followed 
the sound of his laughter, though she knew it would mean her death. Being the 
creatures of imitation we were then, the final three of the five followed. 
All of the companions threw themselves from the cliff, finding laughter as 
they fell.

To them all whispered a Divine Voice in the winds. "You have loved Me and My 
creatures, and so too shall I reward you. You may dart among the clouds and 
sing upon the breezes forevermore, for you are the children of the winds. 
You are the flock."

Painless was the transformation, or so they say. With the grace and splendour 
of a sunrise did they gain plumage and hard, curved beaks, and wings with 
which to soar. The five flew together as one, diving and gliding upon the 
currents and inseparable from them.