Emerson Berengar, Thane of Northwich was saddled with responsibility.
Life on the farm with his father, Emery Berengar, had been tough, but it prepared him for life’s challenges.
The discipline of getting up early and working late prepared him for the soldiering he had done for the king. His ability to enforce order made him uniquely equipped to oversee the 16 and keep the Heron in line. His knowledge of farming kept the village from starvation.
New residents were settling in Northwich every day. The burned out ruins of the original town were merely speculation as buildings were coming up every day it seemed. Several blacksmiths had taken residence and there was no end of work for them.
Taxes were lower in Northwich than many settlements but the tithe evened it out.
This was of great benefit to families with children as the tithe supported the church and free schooling. The literacy in La Longi was low, and this proved beneficial to the citizens of Northwich.
Brother blew steadily on the embers of the Campfire and summoned bitter death in a percolator.
He looked longingly north and west.
Deep within him was a desire to explore and tackle the unknown.
Unfortunately, that was not an option. There was too much to be done.
Jeptha, seemingly out of nowhere came and sat down. ” Hello, Jeptha, what brings you here?”
Jeptha tried hard not to raise his voice.
“I met a Gypsy named Romanchal north of Silverfinch. I walked her back to her caravan.”
(In the comments of Journal of Jeptha)
“She sang new songs and predicted my future with cards. I am going to follow her when she leaves!”
Brother laughed. “Beast, you are caught up in self pity and searching for acceptance. It’s time you pulled yourself up by the bootstraps and make a mark on the world.”
Brother looked Beast dead in the eye. “You cannot control your spirit, Jeptha. Beast must go to battle with Beast. You are like a child, Jeptha, following women. It is time for you to lead.”
Jeptha stood to his full stature. He was fearsome. Pequin hides covered the suit made by John’s mother. He balled his fists. ” YOU WILL NOT CALL ME A CHILD! I AM BEAST!
Brother smiled, but there was menace in his eyes. “Jeptha, if you do not sit down, I will turn you into a rug. I am not the one.”
Jeptha sat down. It wasn’t out of fear. He respected and trusted Brother .
“What should I do?”
“Jeptha, you have a place here, and you always will. Northwich would never have been rebuilt had it not been for you. But look at you, you are a man of the outdoors, a woodsman.”
Brother motioned to the hills.
“You should take to the backcountry and explore yonder. I always wanted to and you have the opportunity.”
“What about Moonshine, my cat?”
“Leave her here.” He reached over and pointed a shell attached to his clothing.
Brother smiled sincerely. ” truer words never spoken. What is a snail without his shell, or a Beast without his forest?”