by Josh Langston
In its forty-six hundred million years of existence, the blue orb had been host to life of unimaginable variety. Of all these living things, the most patient, and yet most passionate, were the mountains.
Appala stretched in mist-clad splendor from south to north along the eastern edge of a great, rambling land mass called Noram. Though outwardly calm, inside she seethed with grief at being separated from her twin sister, Pyrenalp, by an ever-expanding ocean. Though they could still communicate, the distance between them grew with each passing eon.
Unlike the odd, new animals which had recently crawled from the sea — and about which they knew nothing — Appala and Pyrenalp had only rudimentary senses of sight, sound, taste, and smell. Their world was defined by touch, the special province of the gigantic, who only seem to live immobile and forever.