Brothers Campfire Details Details-An Ongoing Tale Chapter 59

Netty Berengar was practical about her business. There was a real game with real outcomes. She knew who the big players were and could break it down.

 Emerson Berengar was looking after his subjects which was beautiful, but there was so much that needed to be done. She would help her husband.

Netty wasted no daylight in having the ladies of Northwich and the children attend to the sprucing of Northwich Keep. She started with the basest of tasks. The garderobe would be attended to with haste. Chamber pots and wash basins were thoroughly cleaned.

There were cobwebs to dust and stone floors to be scrubbed. The kitchen was put in order and the larder and pantries filled with supplies that had been brought by donkey.

Netty did not accept no for an answer. By late afternoon she and the ladies were exhausted. She insisted they be back at sunrise.

It was her intention to establish order of the mundane inner workings of Northwich and the keep.

In like manner, Emerson rose early and boiled a large pot of coffee.

A meeting was called for the 16 and those that moved to Northwich during and after the bandit harassment months ago.

All were compelled to commit their allegiance to the Berengar estate or expel themselves from Northwich and the surrounding countryside.

The Man With the Shepherd’s Crook was in attendance, but not compelled as his allegiance was to the affairs of God.

Emerson was comfortable in the role of leadership, but was not in the mindset to lord over anything with a haughty air. He was humbled by the positive response he received from the majority of residents at his order. 

They were entrusting their lives to him and putting it on public record without hesitation. 

For taxation, the 16 plots of land that were awarded for a year of hard labor and service to Lord Berengar were recorded. Inability to pay taxes or appear for a levy would result in forfeiture of the land. 

At this time, all males over the age of 20 could be compelled to go to war or pay additional tax to avoid it. The levy was expected of Emerson by the king and so it was for his people. 

Emerson asked Baldwin Mailer, one of the 16 to assist in documentation of Northwich.

The annotations were simple and to the point.

In total, 25 men were accounted for. 21 men with holdings were considered taxable and able bodied for armed service to the king.

On this day, the population of Northwich was totaled at 91 and did not include the surrounding countryside.

Brief details were written:

Royal household:

Emerson Berengar, (King’s Thane, Lord of Northwich)

Jeptha Berengar. (No courtesy title due to adoption.)

Galvin Rodion (Fool/ Bard)

The Plots Granted:

  1. Wuldric Lanzarotta
  2. Baldwin Mailer (Scribe)
  3. Nicholas Peralta (Town Watch)
  4. Leonard Sasaki
  5. Adam Oetinger
  6. Eacharn Heckalman
  7. Ruairidh Purcell
  8. Lulach (no surname)
  9. Heahfrith ( no surname)
  10. Gisbert ( no surname)
  11. Herman Forstnerg
  12. Oscar Hardish
  13. Haldor Finnegani
  14. Hugleikr Loudenslager
  15. Wyot Lamalfort
  16. Sanford Vance

Additional accounting was made for the other families that had moved to Northwich.

Jeremiah Fugeiliasant 

(Pastor of the Northwich Congregation)

Brandyn Summers

(The Dragon Tether Bed and Breakfast)

Ardwin Crespin


Niles Ephus


Skip Maxwell

(Mercer and part owner of Penelopes, a small general market.)

Fordham Carver


The Meeting Continued.

Nicholas Peralta was a former soldier for the king before the incarceration. The square jawed man with green eyes and light colored hair possessed a command presence that made you think twice. He had several tattoos of questionable nature that he had taken to covering up.

 He was chosen to take charge of the town watch and authorized to enforce rules and laws within Northwich. 

Objections were raised by Skip Maxwell, part owner of Penelope’s shop. 

His voice was shrill.  ” he will steal from us in the night.”

Nicholas’ jaw clenched. Flatly, he said, “I don’t steal, I have never stolen. I kill people.”

Emerson would need to work closely with Nicholas to foster good relations with the townspeople. He responded to Skip’s concern with a little diplomacy.

“We have had pretty low instances of theft in Northwich.

 James of the House of Rainport, who was in the king’s service has been recalled to La Longi.

 The king’s men whom he led on my direction have been dismissed. We will have to work together to stay safe.”

Baldwin Mailer was a pleasant convict with a sense of humor. His bright blue eyes were alive with a devilish twinkle. His orange hair and beard were a distraction. “with everything being official now, do we still address you as Brother, or perhaps, Lord Emerwitch?” 

Emerson consented raised his eyebrow. “Brother will be fine, Baldmale.” Everyone laughed.

Emerson felt a kinship toward his people and actually liked the title of Brother even though it’s origin was not completely positive.  

Adam Oetinger was a thoughtful man, and had likely been accused falsely. 

There was no telling. “What about the Campfire?”

Brother replied, ” Administrative tasks and official business with other areas will take place in the Keep. We will handle our business as a community here at the Campfire.”

Skip Maxwell crossed his arms. He was noticeably unhappy with the course of events. He was not  “what rate will the taxes be?”

Brother replied, “a tithe will be paid to the church and taxes will be 5 percent. A levy of soldiers may be called for by the king.” 

The men of Northwich became upset unanimously at the tithe. Most present were not affiliated with a specific religion. 

Skip angrily exclaimed in his high pitched voice, “There is no mandatory tithe in the entire Kingdom of La Longi!” 

Brother asked, ” you have children, Skip. They attend the school built by the Man with the Shepherd’s Crook. 

All will pay a tithe to support the education of our children when they are not helping at the shop or in the fields. 

Tax is low in Northwich. I will appropriate funds as I see fit, Skip Maxwell. 

Skip Maxwell was not through voicing his opinion. ” the church will have more power than you this way!” 

Brother pointed to one of the 16. ” whose payroll are you on?” 

The man replied, “Yours, Brother. You also provided the seed for my field.” 

Brother was stern. ” Skip Maxwell, if I am paying 16 payrolls of my own treasury, what benefit is a tax from it? I suggest if you run a shop with Penelope, you look into learning arithmetic. I am fully capable of handling my finances. The church will run the school by tithe, which at this time is a pittance.”

Brother changed the subject.

“Nicholas Peralta will be leading us in drill today. The protection and preservation of Northwich is the obligation of all it’s members.”

Nicholas  brought brought forward stout arm length sticks and began passing them out. 

Niles Ephus was alarmed. “I do not believe I am fit for this type of drill. I repair shoes.”

Brother would have none of it. 

Nicholas proceeded with the drill. It included basic weapon familiarity and unified movement. By the completion of drill, little was learned and everyone was exhausted. 

There would be drill in the morning.

Author: The Storyteller

Benjamin Thiel is a husband, father, correctional professional and author of The Ongoing Tale at Brothers Campfire.

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