Genetic Elevation and Manipulation
The Genetic Elevation and Manipulation (GEM) process is an Edenian technology shrouded in mystery. Using techniques developed by a think-tank of dwarven and kíndallan engineers, non-sapient animals and plants are elevated to higher states of consciousness and made all anthropomorphic and stuff.
Or, well, sometimes they give up and stop when they’ve managed to create a cute crossbreed. Sometimes that happens, too.
New species created through the GEM process include the winged moose (trusty steeds of the yeti), the mystifying splash panda, the horrifying amblewort, the carrot-powered snowfolk, the wonderfully orange pumpkinhead, the dark and mysterious fungifolk, and the wacky wolaríxkín—who are just ducky, thank you very much.
The primary purpose of the GEM process is to populate Eden with an array of species the land can call its own, to kickstart evolution in this place that is mostly a dumping ground for reality’s refugees.
The GEM process is a closely guarded secret. Though the general concept is easy enough to understand—splice kíndallan DNA with that of another species—the precise amounts of DNA to be used are a mystery, as is any information about when in the development cycle of a lifeform to introduce the new genetic material.
Attempts have been made by industrious Winkies and spell-casting Priestesses of the First Mother to replicate the process, but there have been no successes to date.
And there have been horrifying failures.
Dwarven refugees from the third iteration of the universe, struck by the comparable lack of biodiversity in Eden, sought to create a world teeming with life. In the days before The Calamity brought their universe to an end, they had been rightly called the most technologically advanced species in the universe—and they’d traveled almost the whole length of it, as a result. The dwarves longed to live in a world like that again, and they saw it as their sacred duty to make their dreams a reality.
A small group of kíndallan scientists, happy with their previous collaborations with the dwarves (on the symbiotic species the Ríxtahn), volunteered to donate their shape-shifting DNA to the project. And the rest, as they say, is history.