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YuleTide story from Caer Mariot chapter 1

Started by Laurna, December 23, 2020, 12:40:43 PM

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DerynifanK

I love your reply Jerusha. Now why would the king think Aliset a bit wayward. Just wait until Fiona reaches court.  And I am sure Darcy and Aliset will have Caer Meriot up and running successfully.   
"Thanks be to God there are still, as there always have been and always will be, more good men than evil in this world, and their cause will prevail." Brother Cadfael's Penance

Laurna

Wonderful Derynifank! So happy to see a little bounce in our strong willed Fiona. haha. This should be a warm Yule tide feast.
May your horses have wings and fly!

Jerusha

From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany

Laurna

#18
"That is a lot of pieces," the lord of the castle commented as he entered his and his lady's sleeping room on the second floor. Their servants, Tommy and Dean, were placing the last carved Lendour Ash wood boards on the second pile that Washburn indicated. Sir Washburn had been very particular about the unpacking of the wagon and the two separate piles where each board of wood was placed. The canopy pieces were placed in the far corner. The four narrow longboards were ornately carved from one length of wood each. The carving in relief was of twisted rope across the top and bottom edge and a center shield curving both upward and down with the emblem of two flying eagles rampant with both eagles talons entwined with the other. In the larger main pile of stacked wood boards Darcy could see three ornately carved panels eight feet long and two feet wide each. The two outer panels were the mirrored image of ships under sail and the center panel was again the shield of the two flying eagles with talons entwined but this shield was much larger and the carving here was more ornate; the feathers of the eagles well defined and the two birds of prey were seen to be of two different species. If one knew their birds one would know the larger was the Sea Eagle of Isles and the other by no means much smaller carved bird was the golden Eagle of Mariot. Wash had been very proud of his master craftsmen of Lendour for their workmanship on his own design, the shield might not be proper for the Caer Mariot, but it was what Wash felt it should be after his dream of being protected by his friends in the visage of two eagles. Maybe Darcy would take up the design for his crest when he was knighted. Washburn had sent a petition to Kelson on that score, though he kept this to himself.

Darcy ran his fingers over the carving of the headboard panels. "This is amazing." He looked over the mass of pieces like it was a huge jumbled puzzle and reality sunk in. "How by the north winds are we ever going to put this together. I think I better call for Master Jacob in the village."

"No, no," Wash said with his charming smile. "We can do this, I was given instructions from my craftsmen. The three of us can do this." He looked at lord Darcy and Squire Robert inclusive. Tommy and Dean looked on in dismay, they certainly didn't want to be responsible for putting together such an elaborate piece of furniture. If something went wrong, as it always does, they would be blamed. When Darcy dismissed them they were both greatly relieved. "But don't go too far," Darcy said to them in a whisper to his men as he shut the door behind them.

Robert shook his head, but then jumped to as Wash pulled up the first long base skirt boards and a mallet. Robert turned over a bag of wooden pegs two sizes, the larger for the pegging the the side boards to the heavy columns. The side boards had the rope work carvings but no other fancy work other than the holes every six inches to hold the rope netting for the mattress. The columns to brace the base and hold up the canopy where massive; square at the lower third and then carved in rope design going up to the top.

"Master Kinard walked me through this, it is not hard at all. He made everything so it will fit perfectly. We just have to slide the pieces together and peg them up. I have a jug of hide glue as well, but he said to make sure we had the pieces right before we used that and use it sparingly. We will have to heat the joints if we do it wrong and that might warp the wood. So that's incentive to do it right the first time."

"Wash, you are a knight and I am a master navigator. I am not sure we can do this."

Wash laughed merrily, "Of course we can! Tonight you will be warm and cuddled with your loving wife in your new bed."

And so, Sir Washburn Morgan started with the four massive columns and the skirt boards.

                                                             *****

"Haw lang hae they bin up thaur?" Father Columcil asked of the lady sitting in the window alcove opposite him. He had been lost in his reading and had lost track of time. And Lady Aliset across from him was embroidering on a linen baby gown set in her hoop.

Her smile shone in the sunlight. "Long enough for them to get really frustrated with each other, but it has been amazingly silent of late. Maybe I should go up there."

"Oh nae, my lady, 'at wulds nae dae. Lit th' men wark it out." Just as he had returned to reading, there came a loud bang and crash and a howl, which made Aliset stand up. But the good priest put out his hand to hold her from rushing upstairs and he gave her a big smile.

"I jist may have won ta wager after aw."

"Wager?"

"Oh, aye lass, mah coosin an' Ah gart a wee bet."  Just then Dean was seen racing down the stairs and then out the servant's doors.

"Wager or no, I need to go see what's going on."

"Lady Aliset, don't be worryin' yer sweit soul abit thes. It will be rightly taken caur ay, nae worries." Columcil laughed from the center of his tummy giving his belt a good bounce. "I am so looking forward to the taste of Vezaire Port."

                                                               *****

"I was so looking forward to Old Ballymar for Christmas Eve," Washburn said through a harsh intake of air as he pulled his dislocated finger back into place. He sat down on a chair but waved Darcy and Robert back. With a second deep breath he closed his eyes and focused his mind down and away from the near catastrophe that his finger had managed to stop when the head board started to tumble backward. He and Darcy had saved the carvings, at least there was that.

Another breath and he found his focus and centered his energy on his fighting hand. A warm tingle spreadd from palm to fingertips and he knew at least his hand would be well. Not so much his pride. But then what else was new. "Ah well," he finally said in defeat. "At least we got the base nice and strong. As I wagered with Columcil, I will pay your master woodworker double for pulling him away from his work this sudden-like. But oh, how I wanted Father Columcil's bottle of Old Ballymar." Washburn flexed his fingers and they felt renewed. That healing talent sure came in handy.

"You wagered with a priest?" Darcy said with a laugh that overcame his earlier frustration. "A priest? You don't tempt the heavens when it comes to my sanity and my wife's good sleep!" Darcy nodded in disbelief. "So if you could put our bed together, Columcil would give you a bottle of Old Ballymar? Are you daft? He still has not forgiven you for pouring a whole skin of Ballymar into the dirt. After you stole a sip and didn't offer him the same." Darcy sat down in the chair next to Wash and stifled his mirth, "No wonder." As everyone relaxed, he finally asked. "So what do you give up for your loss?"

"A bottle of Vezaire Port that was a gift from Duke Kelric against a bottle of Old Ballymar that was a gift from Archbishop Duncan."

"So the Old Ballymar had even been blessed by the archbishop, I presume. You might as well have handed Columcil your bottle of port early on and saved ourselves a couple hours of hassle."

"It was worth a try," Wash said. "Who knew building a bed would be so difficult?"

"Not difficult," said a new man from the doorway. He and two of his craftsmen bowed before Lord Darcy as they came into the room. "We are here as you requested, Lord Darcy."

"Can you do anything to make this right?" Darcy pointed to the half constructed head board for the bed.

The master carpenter walked around the large bed base surveying the pieces. "You forgot the second back brace that is why the three panels did not hold together. We will have this together for you before the sunsets."

"I thank you most graciously," said the lady of the castle as she entered the room, Father Columcil walked in behind her with a pleased grin. "You will be rewarded for your quick response," the lady added, eyeing Wash and Darcy apiece. "Robert, why don't you go down to the kitchens and reward yourself for your forbearance." Robert didn't have to be asked twice by his hostess, he bowed and disappeared out the door.

The three long carved panels went together, becoming a well fit, solid appearing headboard the height of a man's reach. It took all the men to raise the canopy up onto the columns to which Washburn, Darcy, and Columcil were happy to assist. Then Darcy helped with the rope crossings to hold the mattress, he knew better knots than a simple half-hitch to hold the rope ends and with Washburn's strength they had the ropes well taught before doing the final tie off in a weaved knot.

Before the mattress of goose down feathers was pulled out of it's protective canvas wrapping, Washburn handed Lady Aliset a smaller canvas package. "This, my lady, is a gift from her majesty, Queen Araxie. She and her ladies said they felt remorse that they had not been able to sew and embroider your wedding gown. So they spent many hours embroidering this."

A little taken back, Aliset's hand first paused over the package, uncertain. But at a nod from Father Columcil, she quickly released the ribbons holding the canvas closed. A tumble of sky blue silk fell over her fingers. The fabric was full and luxurious with embroideries of silver thread throughout it. "It is beautiful." She touched it to her cheek. "There is magic here," she said with a little awe.

"So I am told there is, my lady. Yet the queen did not confide in me what the magic was. She said that was only for the Lord and Lady of Caer Mariot." Wash gave a lopsided smile. But then subdued his pleasure at seeing Aliset happy when master Jacob came forward.

"Is that the canopy fabric? We need to place this over the curved cross beams before we put the corner finials on. And the curtains should go on at this time as well." He said, waiting for the lady to hand the fine fabric panels over to him. Aliset's smile widened as she handed over the fabric and looked at the stunning bed that was fit for a queen.  The men again stood to help to settle the last parts of the bedding together. When it was time to put the bed linens on the mattress and pillows, Aliset shooed all the men out of her room, declaring the men were done and the rest was women's work.

The serving girls came in followed by Dean, who had an announcement to make. "There are riders approaching from the south, my lord. They have just crossed the bridge."

"My brother always has good timing," Darcy declared.
May your horses have wings and fly!

DerynifanK

This was delightful! I am sure that the story of the bed and its assembly will become a family story to be told and retold and its beauty will be long appreciated. As for the bet, I do believe that priests are not supposed to engage in wagers. Perhaps the Old Ballymar and the Vezaire port can be shared among them. And Iain's timing of his party's arrival does appear to be impeccable. I think this will be a most merry celebration.

Wish we had a picture of the bed.
"Thanks be to God there are still, as there always have been and always will be, more good men than evil in this world, and their cause will prevail." Brother Cadfael's Penance

Nezz

So nice to have a GotP story that doesn't require a three-day commitment. :)
Now is life, and life is always better.
-Wolfself

Laurna

Quote from: DerynifanK on December 27, 2020, 04:53:29 PM
... As for the bet, I do believe that priests are not supposed to engage in wagers. Perhaps the Old Ballymar and the Vezaire port can be shared among them...


I presume the same, but think of this a challenge between cousins more than a wager. Washburn might have been a little boastful that he could put the bed together while on their travels to Meara, and Columcil was a bit skeptical. The liquor was always meant to be shared with everyone. It was just a matter who got to open the bottles and take the first sip. LOL.
May your horses have wings and fly!

Jerusha

Trust Sir Iain to get there in time for the port!

Nicely done, Laurna.  Enjoyed it!
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany

revanne

#23
Quote from: Laurna on December 27, 2020, 06:05:11 PM
Quote from: DerynifanK on December 27, 2020, 04:53:29 PM... As for the bet, I do believe that priests are not supposed to engage in wagers. Perhaps the Old Ballymar and the Vezaire port can be shared among them...


I presume the same, but think of this a challenge between cousins more than a wager. Washburn might have been a little boastful that he could put the bed together while on their travels to Meara, and Columcil was a bit skeptical. The liquor was always meant to be shared with everyone. It was just a matter who got to open the bottles and take the first sip. LOL.
I agree Laurna, this is a challenge rather than a wager. However Columcil fully intends to keep a close eye on that bottle of Ballymar to make sure that no more libations are offered to the earth.



Our Yule story continues with chapter Two  https://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php/topic,2684.0.html
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
(Psalm 46 v1)