Until the Celebration
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|Author||Zilpha Keatley Snyder|
|Series||Green Sky Trilogy|
|Media type||Print (hardback & paperback)|
|Preceded by||And All Between|
Now that the Geets-kel have decided to reveal their secrets and integrate Erdlings with Kindar, there is much concern over how to do it properly. A lifetime of beliefs will not be converted easily and there are numerous logistical issues to consider. The Ol-zhaan have different concerns, such as why they had been left out of the secrets and how their lofty place in society will be diminished. Some think it would be best to exile themselves into an uninhabited tree as D'ol Regle has done, while others are eager to help with D'ol Falla's agenda.
Food starts being delivered to the Erdlings and their leaders begin talks of how to integrate with the Kindar. The initial plan is to not release Erdlings into the open air immediately, but they soon catch word of the way out and start building crude dwellings on the forest floor. The two societies begin to integrate with some difficulty. An Erdling group led by Axon Befal has sworn vengeance against the Geets-kel for imprisoning the Erdlings and attacks an Ol-zhaan, violence unheard of in Kindar society.
More bad news follows. D'ol Falla finds that the tool-of-violence is missing from its hiding place and Axon Befal sends a message that he has kidnapped Pomma and Teera and will kill them unless Orbora is turned over to his control. Then, just as a Council meeting is getting underway, in walks a servant in the Vine Palace with the weapon. She tells how she was instructed by D'ol Regle to steal the tool-of-violence, but then became disenchanted with him when she thought he had kidnapped the children. The Council decides the weapon must be destroyed as soon as possible by taking it down to the Erdling cavern and dropping it into the Bottomless Lake.
Raamo leads the procession, carrying the tool-of-violence inside a metal urn. The urn is placed before an opening in the barrier around the Bottomless Lake, but all are afraid to touch the evil object. Raamo eventually steps forward and carries it to the edge of a precipice. He tries to drop the urn, but its power prevents him from doing so and he tumbles into the lake with it. After the initial shock has worn off, a young man lets out a cry and throws a weapon into the lake. He reveals that he was recruited by Axon Befal to kill Raamo, but was not able to do so when he saw the goodness in him. He reports that Befal does not have possession of the children or any more followers and that his message was simply a bluff.
A celebration had been planned for the one year anniversary of the Rejoyning, but with Pomma and Teera still missing there doesn't seem to be anything to celebrate about. D'ol Falla is asked to speak, but is nearly lost for words. The first thing that comes to her mind is that the Kindar should celebrate indeed, for they have managed to free the Erdlings and largely come together as a united society. Suddenly, a figure glides down from above, bringing news that the children have been found. To the great relief of the crowd, they appear shortly thereafter.
As Hiro gives one last speech to the people of Orbora, D'ol Falla finds the back room where the children are playing. Off to the side, two little boys raise their arms up as a marble urn lifts off the shelf and floats gently to the floor. Teera smiles at D'ol Falla, telling her they've been teaching the other children their "game."