So presented is the Archtome of Haoaera, the chronicle of our race.
Translated to Common by Dithrak the Wise for the benefit of those who travel here and wish to understand our ways.
(From the Book of Ukan)
…. As Rokan the Elder considered the differences between the fish and the mammals of the sea, he beheld the land animals and learned of the ones who sprang not from eggs. Then Reveskius appeared and showed him which of these were fit to be hunted and eaten, and which were to be ignored. Small game that crawled on four legs without shells might be eaten freely by a single spiroc, whereas game that walked rather than crawled might be hunted by more than one spiroc, especially if they moved in packs. Reveskius did then commune with Rokan for a time and showed him the many rules of hunting which he was to pass on to his children, and they to their own children, so that the chosen of Reveskius need not appeal directly to him for food.
(From the Book of Bargrak)
‘…All threats to your rookeries, eyries, and villages are to be destroyed’, Reveskius said. ‘The beings of other lands must not harm you, and many will try to appeal to your noble natures in order to insinuate themselves within your trust. Know a living being by its nature. If it makes war upon you, if it disturbs these quiet lands and the peace you require to spawn new eggs, if it does not ignore your eggs but instead abuses them, or if it eats more than the portion of food that a grown spiroc may eat, and helps itself to food and game that have been set aside for the children of Haoaera and returns less food than it is consuming, then that creature must be sent away and warned never to return.
If these creatures refuse such warnings and return to your lands, then you must slay them without mercy, lest their ways interfere with your own, lest they breed in greater numbers then shall you, lest they drive you out of your own lands and ruin all that you have made…’
(From the Legend of Eagrik)
…Then Reveskius, taking pity on Eagrik for having fulfilled all but the lsat of his challenges, spoke to him these words: ‘Eagrik, Champion of the Haoaerans, who has fought so hard for his people, who has accepted my challenges yet has failed the last of these, I do pity you. Your challenge to me has proven fruitless.’ Eagrik looked upon Reveskius with weariness and said, ‘I, like the rest of my kin, tire of your games. We have long revered you, Reveskius, but we need you no longer. We must be free to roam where we will without fetter.’
Reveskius smiled upon his former champion and said, ‘Eagrik, your impudence is the curse of your race. You dare to defy me? See what becomes of those who earn my wrath!’ Then did Reveskius pick Eagrik up in his mighty taloned claws, and slowly squeezed the life from his body. But even as Eagrik’s friends cried out in horror, so did Eagrik find the heart of Reveskius with his spear, and this the great and ancient roc who had long protected the Haoaerans was slain.
‘Behold, Reveskius has been killed,’ said the priests, who became unnerved and began to wail and cry. Eagrik stood then among them and said, ‘It is no longer necessary to submit to the whims of this creature, which is now dead,’ Eagrik declared. ‘But what will become of us now?’ whispered the high priest. ‘The teachings of Reveskius were the foundation of our culture!’ Eagrik looked at them and replied, ‘And so shall they remain, for his teachings remained sound even if his motives did not…’
(From the Trials of Shoshak)
…So the elders of Haoaera and Gorowyn did see the need for archivists to live among them, writing down all that was seen and done and talked about, in the manner of the wingless ones from distant shores. This occupied the archivists with activity and made them happy; the leaders of the village had records of their words written down to help them avoid a great many arguments later and they too were made happy;
the artisans of Gorowyn no longer needed to occupy their time with verbally passing down their wisdom to their fledgling apprentices but could make them read parchments of instructions instead, and were also happy. Shoshak determined to write down the most important legends and sayings and beliefs of the Haoaerans into a great bundle, an Archtome which would preserve the essence of the people for eons…
(From the Tale of Whitefeathers)
…Then did Whitefeathers throw his head back and cry out to the gods, saying ‘That you shall not forsake us, we shall make our mark upon this land!’ All then donned a stonepick and followed him to the great greystone plinth of Chrykori, and proceeded to carve it into a great statue in the image of their champion, the people found new purpose and threw themselves beak and claw at this for thirty fortnights, whereupon the work was done and Eagrik stood above them once more, his stone likeness proudly facing southward, as if watching over the seas for signs of invaders…
(From the Thoughts of Korryk Shortbeak)
‘…This day of wonders, of the opening of an ancient chamber hitherto unknown to us deep within the wall of the volcano, saw our excitement give way to concern as we tried to think of what we should do with the creatures found in the strange glass tubes. We do not know what dark magic set these devices here within our sacred mountain, but perhaps they are meant as a gift from the gods? If so I fail to comprehend this divine caprice… these scaly creatures seem unfit for anything but brutish labor. Perhaps after we have released them from the glass tubes we can learn more about them…’
(From the Thoughts of Korryk Shortbeak)
‘The first of the creatures released from the glass cylinders failed to respire and soon died. We worried over this a bit and decided to bury its body in the ground in the manner of the flighless tool-users. The second attempt to open a glass tube went better. We were able to revive it and get it to talk. It knew nothing but gibberish so it was necessary to spend some time working on communication… I fail to see why the creator of these beings did not provide a single thing for their sustenance, forcing us to feed the creatures with our own rookery stuff…’
(From the Thoughts of Korryk Shortbeak)
‘… that after the incident in Timorous Maw it is clear to all that the Sar’Nak are unworthy to be called friends, are unfit for labor, and are undesirable even as pets. We notice that even the gentlest of them eats more than his weight twice over in a month, making their appetites unsustainable in Gorowyn or anywhere else nearby. They seem to be bred for battle, they think only of their honor and spend their time chattering about rules of warfare and the manner of rule they should like to see us Haoaerans adopt.
Further, they never seem to tire of picking duels with us. The village council has decided that the creatures are to be destroyed. The teachings of Reveskius are clear on this matter, as are the tribal laws, but even without them we can see there can be no co-existence. We shall put them to death tomorrow night, as they sleep. As I write this I feel the chill of destiny upon me, for I shall be one of the ones bearing a dagger and wielding it with malice. My sadness and frustration at wasting a whole year attempting in vain to coexist with these creatures is matched only by my fervent desire to be rid of them forever…’
(From the Thoughts of Kraw Lockbeak)
‘…would not have had us make the attack last night, and we should have listened. We might then have devised a better plan. As it was, when we crept into the sleeping chamber where the Sar’Nak were gathered, a torchfire was lit by one of them, who cried out. Of the few dozen Sar’Nak in the room, nearly all came awake at once and attacked us, for we had entered their sleeping quarters unannounced with weapons drawn. All hope of killing them quietly in their sleep had gone, and even our plan to escape with all of our feathers intact was now in some doubt.
A fight immediately broke out, and the room filled with the sounds of battle. I swear by Eagrik’s statue, the Sarnaks were enjoying themselves, though they howled angrily of our betrayal. As we fought our way back to the main chamber I noticed that both Korryk Shortbeak and Swak Pettyfeathers had fallen. Perhaps eight or nine Sar’Nak fell in battle as well, but that is poor payment for the sacrifice of both Korryk and Swak. Having escaped, we have spread warnings and hope to keep the Sar’Nak at bay in the tunnels of the lower city. With good use of archers we might keep them from threatening the rookery levels…’