I was out very early this morning helping my grandsire deliver a foal, and the stiff breeze sweeping up the canyon from the North Viridian Sea was a little milder than it has been. Our weather is beginning to warm at last. Soon we will be able to move our polo matches outside!
I live on the continent of Viridia, which shows the oldest life-signs so far found on our planet. Canyon keep is located just about in the middle of the continent east to west, and butts up to the North Viridian Sea, so we are far to the north in that direction. Because we are so far north, the warm weather takes a little longer to find us. The snow is a little more hesitant to melt, and finds us faster as the seasons turn.
The canyon which gives our keep its name begins where the Three Sisters form their confluence near the border of Upland keep, far to the south at the base of the mountains. It runs all the way to the sea, getting ever deeper and wider as it goes. On the canyon’s floor there are beautiful trees and long, narrow meadows edged with azure bushes, which are loaded in Oporens with sweet purple berries. The fleeters love the tall grasses, and on very rare occasions a herd of mighty gaknars, with their humped backs, shaggy manes and long curling horns, can be seen meandering down from the higher reaches to the river for a drink. People who have seen them on the move are amongst the fortunate few.
High on the canyon’s stony sides are many caves, and in those caves there are signs of ancient fires, black against the walls. There are paintings, and even the pots in which those early artists mixed the paints, and the brushes they made from pounded willow twigs. They provide a fascinating glimpse into our distant past, and many scholars go there with their students to observe. Some of the caves were never occupied, and we are allowed to camp in there. I go sometimes with my friends, and we gather food, and build a fire in the old manner and cook what we have gathered. I’m sure we’re not completely authentic, but we do try. When we have eaten we sit around the fire listening to the sounds of the night and telling spooky stories until none of us is able to sleep.
Once my father and Uncle Ardenai dressed in ancient costumes and came gliding into the cave dancing and chanting like ghosts and scared us half to death, but then we all laughed, and they stayed and taught us an ancient song and the dance that went with it. I think those caves are one of the reasons I love old things. They can teach us so much about where we came from, and how we became who we are today.