The Fleabirds are a group of people indigenous to North America who have rejected the collectivism and sedentary lifestyle inherent in the Cosmic Era. Rather than living in the gleaming arcologies, steaming geofronts, or the great heaps of the urban rims and favelas. Rather, they live in caravans that travel the countryside of the continent.
In the inaccessible plateau of Hor-Nushan, there was always little crime. But in late autumn comes a maddening wind, that can drive the best man crazy, if only for a short time, make him turn on himself or others. For murder, the locals have devised a special punishment: the murderer has to dig a well for the family of his victim. The area is very dry, and having a good well is a source of wealth and prestige. In this way, the murderer atones for his deed and repays the family; perhaps they even find peace.