Story for the day: Sethshire Cottage
The Cottage in Sethshire
Holidays were not an object for two commanders of influence as the Den Asaan and his mate. The notion of a reprieve from their most important work as leaders of the Frewyn armed forces was ridiculous. They enjoyed their days training the young men of capital, much to the chagrin of those in the Den Asaan’s regiment, and seldom required a respite more than what a few hours of sleep every few days could convey but there had been a suggestion made by the Den Amhadhri for a retreat for Kai Linaa’s sake. She had made many allusions on the subject of a small venture, something that would divert for the space of no more than three days, as she knew that Unghaahi could not be replaced in his duties. The castle keep contained many places that gave secrecy and recreation but Unghaahi wished to give his mate the benefit of a hideaway where they could go whenever they so wished.
Although the Haanta had no conception of something as foreign to them as a short holiday, Unghaahi was conscious of many recruits, servants and nobles of the keep making excursions to see family, visit the reaches of the kingdom or journey to the northern continent. He assumed this was a common occurrence for those who may have felt the slightest displeasure in their work or who perhaps require relief from a forced occupation and though Unghaahi knew Kai Linaa to be the happiest of creatures merely to be sitting in the kitchen and drawing to her heart’s content, he thought that this pastime of making an excursion somewhere else would be one enjoyed by her. He asked the commander where people usually went on these holidays and they protocol was for reporting for duty while away, but when he was told the point of a retreat was to forget about one’s obligations, the Den Amhadhri was mildly horrified.
“And many of your people are expected to perform this custom?” he asked the commander with a dreadful tone.
The commander laughed and placed her hand on the giant’s arm to calm him. “It’s not expected, Unghaahi,” she said warmly. “Many people who are busy or who are perfectly happy with their situations have no notion of ever going on a holiday. I’ve never taken one, but that’s partly because I believe I’d be so horridly bored. For those whom require activity in their day, sitting by the seaside cannot excite much interest. Families in Frewyn are seldom together in a pleasant environment. Children are often at Church or at their apprenticeships, fathers are working or at the taverns, mothers are doing the work of the home or helping run the family business, and therefore a planned holiday presents a time in which everyone can convene and enjoy one another’s company.”
“Your people do not do this when they have not planned one of these events?” Unghaahi warily asked.
“Not as much as they should like. I know the Haanta have little concept of familial units, as you all simply seem to love and respect one another, but these holidays are not only for one’s family. Many of the nobles will go to a warmer place for the winter. They will often have cottages or estates as holiday homes that they can visit whenever they wish. As well, traders and merchants may use these liberal days as a means to increase their business, scouting prospective places for further investments.”
Unghaahi anxiety on the matter ceased when he realized the potential usefulness of such a day. “You have said there are small homes your people have for these events?”
“Cottages, actually,” the commander said with a smile. “I always wanted to have one when I was young. There was something about them that always seemed magical, in the unknown sense not in the destructive power meaning of the word. Many of our tales and legends have to do with godly children and thatched cottages. Of course, there aren’t many of these cottages left in Frewyn. They’re our traditional sort of homes, but they are difficult to maintain. One must know a great deal about thatching to keep the roof in excellent shape. Fortunately, you know a farmer who can assist you with such things.” The commander gave Unghaahi a sly wink and the grey giant responded with an amiable smile.
“My Ghaala would know these legends your people recall?”
“Well, she isn’t from Frewyn but you know how she enjoys our more thrilling histories. I’m certain Lucentia has its own tales with its own traditions but there is a romantic nature about cottages that all women seem to enjoy, if that is why you should ask.”
“My people are often concerned for the Ghiosa who join us,” Unghaahi said with a caring tenor. “We wish to make certain that they are not deficient in any respect. We understand it is difficult for them to leave their people and customs, and we always wish to know of their comfort. They honour us by joining us and we as Haanta must make certain they are always well. My Ghaala is no exception. She was happy to become one of us. However, I am always aware of how she may perceive her life. She is in Frewyn now, and while not being on the islands it is not easy for her to perform her Mivaala. I wish to make certain she does not feel she is lacking. She is most generous with me. She allows me to train with my brothers during the evenings whenever I wish and she prepares rations for me and my brothers. I could not have received a more compassionate mate and I wish to do something equal for her to show my appreciation.”
“Such a speech to ask me whether or not she would like to visit a cottage,” the commander simpered “Unghaahi, your anxiousness makes you ever so charming. I think she would like it very well. I’ve never seen anyone so enamored with romance and cottages certainly have a romantic quality to them.”
“Amhadhri Bhudhiika Anonnaa,” Unghaahi entreated her with a bow, “Will you honour me and explain how to obtain and care for one of these homes?”
The commander agreed to discuss the purchasing of land and the overtaking of deeds with the amiable giant, and as well agreed to assist him in his search for the perfect plot that would give all the advantages of the sea while maintaining the benefits of seclusion. Unghaahi mentioned that he would prefer if the cottage were on of substantial size, guaranteeing the commander that money was no object in the circumstance, as he wished for her and his brothers to accompany them and share his newfound home. She then made the suggestion of assisting in payment, assuring Unghaahi that through all of the iterations of the Den Asaan’s dark chocolate fund she had managed to save much of her compensation over the short while they had been commanding officers of the Frewyn armed forces. Unghaahi agreed upon the offer and left the place of the cottage to her choosing.
There was a frequented plot in Sethshire in the southeast of the kingdom that was known for its excellent hunting grounds. The small town was situated on the edge of the Eastern Sea and the Southern Road leading out of Diras would convey anyone from the capital to Sethshire in less than a day’s travel. When the property being considered required scouting, the commander commissioned the Den Asaan to be the judge and surveyor of their prospect. They took an evening to journey one cottage in particular and with the Den Asaan’s masterful and hastened traveling abilities, he and the commander were able to reach Sethshire by nightfall of the same day.
The property was a good distance away from the town, which Rautu found favorable, and though the front faced the sea, the back of the land was bordering the Sethshire Forest, woodland of dense trees and good consequence, one enough in which to lead many hunts if desired. The house itself had much character. The heather and rushes of the thatched roof were in excellent condition, the two windows on the first floor were large and able to let in the morning light, the sectional on the second floor mirrored the layout of the commons in the keep, the kitchen was large, the front of the yard was steep and suitable for training, vines and nettled lined fortified the stone walls of the exterior, and the two chimneys at the top suggested the warmth that could be spread throughout the house. The rooms were cleaned and prepared and they had only to give their opinion to Unghaahi to obtain it.
The Den Asaan sent a report back to Diras of the cottage recommending its uses whenever his brother was desirous of doing so. Rautu believed his brother, upon receiving the correspondence, would be eager to join them immediately. He therefore made the proposal so remaining at the cottage until Unghaahi and Kai Linaa came to join them. The commander agreed to the suggestion, wishing to take rest under the canopy of stars. It would be good to feel the sunrise, as there were no windows in their bedchamber at the commons, and they would enjoy being awakened by the morning warmth of the sun.
It was settled. The commander and Den Asaan would sleep on the cool grass of the front yard and wait for the Den Amhadhri’s arrival to see Kai Linaa’s astonishment. Rautu placed his furs along the ground for comfort. He bid his mate to lie first and when she was in an advantageous position, he tucked in beside her, pulling his trappings over them for comfort and wrapping himself around the commander’s warm body. His legs encased the curve of her hips and his hands enjoyed molding around her large chest. He growled in comfort, nestling his nose behind her ear, and forbade her from moving until the morning.
The commander could only slightly turn her head from her trapped position. She was going to ask if he had planned a hunt for the morning when her thoughts of a meal overcame her. Loud rumbling sounds were heard and since she had not felt the forces of such thunderous noises, she looked to her mate for an explanation. “Was that you?” she asked, looking at her mate.
“I would be louder,” the giant asserted. “You are hungry.”
“A bit but I can wait until morning. I’m certain you would enjoy hunting and having meat for breakfast.”
“I suppose I shall have to bear it for one day,” the commander laughed. “It will be change for your decided morning palate, I’m certain. I was forever searching for sweets in the morning when I was young. Given your tastes, I don’t know how you survived on the islands. How you were not emaciated when you arrived to the mainland is a wonder.”
“I was not able to eat anything other than what I was given, Traala. Amghari must eat certain rations to grow correctly.”
“Couldn’t the Mhojhudenri have made you something different once in a while?”
“She has much to prepare in a day,” the giant said sincerely. He paused and recollected something on the subject of survival on the islands. “Otenohi would ask for certain provisions when he could no longer tolerate Phoraas,” Rautu hummed. “He would bring some to us on the shore when we would take our meals together.”
“Why do I gain the suspicion that your brother asked in a less than prudent manner?”
The Den Asaan bellowed in laughter for the memory of Otenohi enjoying his visits to the Sanhedhran Mhojhudenri and he wondered how long it would be until his wily brother found their new hideaway.