“Whoever digs a pit may fall into it, whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake.”
- Ecclestiastes 10:8
The deepest parts of the tectonic chasms will of course accumulate water in them. Nourished by the decay of leaf litter, rotting carcasses, gnawed bones and scavenger excrements, these ponds have turned into the most fetid of swamps. In the murky waters swim horrific creatures, often the descendants of marooned gut parasites and the most lowly and dreadful of scavengers.
Among the latter, species of Carnoconodon tend to be the most pugnacious. As the name suggests, these are living members of the conodonts, a group of jawless fish, vaguely reminiscent of the lamprey, with a bizarrely intricate tooth-apparatus. Having populated the seas from the Cambrian until the end of the Triassic they have proven themselves to be tenacious, but Ryl Madol is now the only place on Earth where they survive.
Carnoconodon has in some ways evolved a simpler mouth than its ancestors, it just being a yawning gape that opens up like a zipper. It is adorned by multiple rasping teeth on the inside with eight-to-ten large slicing teeth ringing its edge. Where it surpasses its ancestors is of course its size, growing up to a metre or two in length.
Carnoconodon is often characterised as a scavenger, scraping flesh off the carcasses of animals that have fallen down the deep chasms and died from the impact. This is not entirely accurate. If a poor victim survives its fall, these eels from hell have no qualms about finishing the job themselves, often attacking in swarms and slicing deep wounds into the flesh until it bleeds to death. Our dinocephalian here is finding this out the hard way.