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Tale of Winds

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In the village of Kar'aan, in the Mountains of Tall Winds, there lived a young Alatien woman named Iuana. Iuana had one desire above all others -- to soar higher and farther than anyone else... and even though her wings were no broader, nor her body sleeker than anyone else's, she pursued this foolish desire without rest. And as time passed, she did soar higher and she did fly farther... than the other young Alatien in her village. And her name became known far and wide amongst the tribes of the Mountains of Tall Winds.

But still Iuana was not happy. She was not happy because, in her vanity -- even though she was a better flyer than almost everyone else -- and to her eyes, she was still not good enough. She wanted to be so much better than anyone else that she would be remembered for all time as the best flyer amongst all the Alatien. And so one day, Iuana decided to climb to the top of Mount Bak'ta'ana, the Tower of Light, and to soar from those giddy heights to the ends of the world.

Her friends and her family pleaded with her not to, because every Alatien knew that to soar from such heights was dangerous -- that, at such heights, the air was thin and the winds treacherous. But Iuana would not listen, and on a cold and clear morning, she climbed up the Tower of Light, to the rock and the ice at the very top. From there, she could see to the ends of the world... and it brought tears to her eyes to know that now, finally, she would be greater and better than any Alatien before her. And so Iuana spread her wings and leaped off the mountain...

Those who watched her from far below said that, for a split moment, Iuana soared, and she soared higher and farther than any Alatien before or since. But then the treacherous winds caught a hold of her... ...and the thin air made her plummet towards the ground, and to fall to her death amongst the rocks at the base of the mountain. In her vanity, Iuana could not see beyond her desire to be the best... and vanity always stands to fall.

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