This is the story of the island of the sparrows.

In the middle of the Greatest Water, over which only the greatest of the great fliers can soar, a land once arose. Completely new to the World Beneath, it was not connected to any other land, and it was too far for any strider or any llew, any predator, to reach. And it was a bountiful land, full of food and good nesting.

Only those with wings could make the trip. So came the segmented scuttlers, the insects; so came the furry gliders, the night-mice; and so too came the sparrows. Though the scuttlers and the night-mice were clever and grew large, the sparrows were far cleverer and grew far larger.

In fact, the nesting and the food was so good that the sparrows grew powerful, almost as large and powerful as the ones who had once upset the Great One. But, knowing as they did the story, they did not make the same mistakes. Instead, they made different ones.

With so many years having passed since llew had feasted upon them, the sparrows grew fat and complacent. They lost their ability to spot llew, to run from llew, to hide from llew, and in direst need to fight llew. So when the striders learned of the great island of birds and swum to it…there was nothing the sparrows there could do.

The striders and the llew they brought killed all but the smallest sparrows on the island of birds and wore their feathers upon their bodies as trophies.

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