Chapter 12

Day of Kinship

Humans and Peridots were no strangers to storms. Over the years, they adopted resilience and quick-mindedness on where to take shelter, on how to preserve food, and on how to watch out for everyone. But sometimes, rare events occurred that were catastrophic and, on one or two occasions, cataclysmic. Sometimes, a catastrophic event would presage a cataclysmic one. The following was such an event.

It had been several generations since Kee had traversed the raised stones never to be seen again. The campgrounds expanded to far reaches of the land. The Peridot species continued to diversify, and their numbers grew in abundance. The human population increased threefold and, in terms we might understand today, surpassed the population of a small city in a big country.

It was on the Night of Terivos, a celebration that occurs after a long-standing drought, when the rain overstayed its welcome. It brought with it thunder and lighting, for which everyone was prepared for, but heavier gusts of wind blew apart huts and habitats, for which no one was prepared. Humans and Peridots scurried to caves for shelter, but some were left out and had to fend for themselves. The rains lasted three straight days and decimated nearly all of the homes and shops and Tawnis posts. Some people were lost for days. Some were never to be found again.

Upon the first clear day, humans and Peridots rushed to their homes to see what they could salvage. Most came home to stubs of wood planted in the ground. Others came home to nothing at all. Crestfallen as they were, humans realized that if they did not rebuild what they lost right away, they would sleep outside in the cold, for there was only so much room in the caves. No one wanted to be left out in the rain or whatever else the clouds would descend upon them.

Everyone got to work post haste. For the assiduous ones, upon the completion of a basic shelter, they would help those around them. It was in a matter of days when everyone accounted for had a home. Not a perfect home, but a home nonetheless.

Then, the Elders gathered together and wondered if what they had was enough to survive another storm. How could they protect their villagers (in this case, both human and Peridot)? One Elder went a step further – How can we make life easy for everyone? They devoted an entire week to an exchange of ideas and invited the smartest person in the land to help them – Kaya Min Vesk, the surveyor of winds and sunlight. At last, she could share her many ideas and inventions to friendly ears.

Her ideas led to the creation of a watercourse, where excess water from rain would drain into a long excavated pathway to the nearest river. She devised a way to make homes from a foundation of rocks and to fashion the wood from the heartiest of trees in the forest into walls and a roof for a single hut. She had experimented with growing her own vegetables by planting seeds into dirt, supplying water around the buried husks (not too much, she learned), and allowing sunlight to draw sprouts from the ground over time until new veg were ready for the plucking. Such an experiment was now a fiat for all the villagers to heed. Everyone had to grow their own vegetables, and within weeks, everyone had something succulent upon which to feast.

Kaya’s ideas were adopted by all, and upon the next rainstorm, everyone had a dry roof over their head and excess water funneled through a sinuous path to the ocean. Civilization, as we know it today, was finally built.

Peridots had now outnumbered their keepers by a lofty sum. There was no threat of hibernation. The relationship between humans and Peridots was at its happiest. As such, whimsy was at its most plentiful. The Custodes Peridotorum relished this and set an annual day where keeper and Peridot were to honor their bond toward one another. The Custodes Peridotorum dubbed it The Day of Kinship.

While it happens once a year, everyone knows it is but a reminder that every day is a day of kinship.

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