Emerson, also known as Brother shivered.
He felt he was getting soft sleeping in Northwich Keep. It was just so comfortable having Netty in his arms.
He dressed in layers and pulled on his boots. Netty had turned the abandoned keep into a home in a matter of a few short days.
He was a man of war. It was not in his mind to hold court or put on airs. The campfire would be the central meeting place for council.
He chucked to himself. Council was a word used by the Heron. He walked to the campfire and added kindling. In a few practiced motions, the fire was blazing.
As he sipped his freshly made coffee, he reminisced about the last year. Out of nowhere it would seem, a community built by convicts surrounded him. They had worked hard building homes and planting crops in the ground.
As a freedman, Brother had always been a hard worker. A childhood of working his father’s farm, earning extra notes at the docks, fighting a few battles for the king and training guards to pay taxes had prepared him for the harsh lifestyle in Northwich. For a solid year, he had mediated disputes, fortified the village and fought brigands, pequin, and rowdy Heron.
Nothing prepared him to be a King’s Thane. Apparently there was much to do with politics and such. Hopefully Netty would help him navigate such things.
There would be no drill today. Emerson had scaled back the frequency of it. They would meet once a week to practice.
Baldwin Mailer, the scribe and Leonard Sasaki the mapmaker came to the fire.
Baldwin was a prankster. ” Lord Northwich, greetings. I hope your day is as nice as you are and filled with people just like you!”
Humor was not Brother’s strong point. He was learning. “Good morning Baldwin, I envy those that have never met you!”
Baldwin laughed. “Good one. I will have to ask, what are you thaneking?
Brother didn’t get it. ” what brings you here today?”
Leonard spoke up. “Grapes, Brother.
” uh oh, is this another joke?”
” No sir, I would like to explain an acronym.”
Brother raised an eyebrow? ” Is this a vile creature that needs removed from the forest?”
“It is a word that means something else. The letters represent something. It is speaking in shorthand. In this instance, GRAPES stands for geography, religion, achievements, politics, economics and social structure. We would like to help you implement this in your record keeping.”
Brother agreed. He was happy that his people were invested in the success of the village.