Story for the Day: The Hunting Lodge

In time for Frewyn's Mean Fomhair, the last harvest of the year, the hunting lodge at Westren begins their hunting season, inviting men and women from all over the kingdom to partake in the grand event:
This is a photo from Chateau Montabello, the inspiration for the text below.
Three hundred Frewyn hunters were gathered, all of them engaged in conversation over the impending event, exchanging pleasantries and inspecting one another’s new pelts, talking of the season, of the harvest, of Mean Fomhair and Seamhir, everything to do with the end of Frewyn’s autumn that could interest, their amiable aspects and good spirits inundating the great hall. Upon entering the lodge, Dirrald and Bhaunbher had expected to be met with one large dining room, fitted up with all the necessary accoutrements, with a few smaller rooms to the side, a state room or an office, but there were no such chambers here: the whole of the interior was one prodigious hall, a spacious cavern decapitated by an impossible ceiling, the walls fashioned from gargantuan brick and dry mortar, whitewashed over and carefully smoothed, the back wall an accomplishment of Westren’s glassworks, large standing panes of double sided glass, opening the prospect of the slope leading to the woods, the line of trees leading to the hunting area just within view, inviting the sunlight and offering a comprehensive view of the sky. The door leading to the kitchen was situated at the far end, its one pane-less window glowing with warmth, the scented smoke of baked pies frothing from iron stoves and billowing forth, mounting the winding stair just beside which lead to the upper floor, where men and women stood on the landing, perched over the railing of a bowed balcony, metalworked and prettily done, and above them within the wall was a bay window, where the nobles from eastern Westren on feriation sat, presiding over the hall entire from their position at the bottom of the spire, which could only be reached by way of the corridor on the upper landing. The dining hall, which claimed the chief of the space, was well furnished with row after row of tables and benches, carved from aged oak, varnished in a deep mahogany hue, complementing the wall of honours to the left as they stepped in, a standing exposition of accomplishment and triumph, plaques tiling the wall, decorated with the names of Frewyn’s premiere hunters, venerating  the kingdom’s ancient huntsmen, like Tirlough and Mharacabhi, and their more recent rivals, Eadmhaird’s name being everywhere that a hart’s antlers were mounted, etched in gold plating, the gilded names of many shimmering lutescent against the rays penetrating the hall from the glass wall beside. Sconces roosted along the close wall, their luminescent counterparts hanging down from the high ceiling, decorated round with unlit candles, the top of the chandelier wreathed with elaborate plageting. Every corner of the hall was adorned with stunning artistry, and every row between the tables were garlanded by hunters, their rural and rugged appearances and animated characters in contrast to quiet elegance of so wondrous an accommodation. Various parties formed, hunters came and went amongst them, joining one table for some minutes and then leaving to join another, all of them exchanging discourse and designs on where their hunt would begin and by what method they should scour the woods, debating their points with fervent animation, inviting their friends to see how wrong their approach was by inviting their their tables to take their meal with them, those in the part already sitting attacking the communal platters of roasted meats and steamed potatoes. Someone called out for more stewed carrots, a cry went up for tea, which garnered its due aspersions for hunters having anything to do with tea when there was grog to be got, a rasping laugh succeeded and surrendered into a ripple of mirth, a symphony of raucous raillery rising and falling in choral undulations of hardy guffaws, their cacchinations of sanguine insobriety pervading the hall, while they leant on one another, embracing each other with a few stout pats on the back, their voices baying in joyous propination, raising their drinks to their fellow huntsmen before calling out for another round.  The serving girls, dressed in their traditional hunting dresses, with ruffled low blouses and corseted pinafores, the tops of their bare breasts bobbing up and down as they conveyed stout and cider from the bar and pasties from the kitchen, their arms laden with treys, their hands furnished with bouquets of full thurindales, their agreeable aspects admired by all those they served, their kind remarks of listening sympathy earning them many a copper, weaving in and out of the crowds on light feet, whilst endeavouring to avoid the  children who were scampering about, hastening in and out of side corridor in a blaze of juvenile excitement, racing to the chapel to beg the Brother for stories and sweetcake, and hurrying toward the farm, to plead the farmer’s permission to ride the new ram just brought in for tupping. The clucks of chickens and neighs of horses echoed down the corridor leading to the coop and stables, and the farmer and farrier talked of crop yields and horses needing to be shod, whilst the groom cleaned his brushes and whispered to new arrivals just bringing in from outside. Men and women issued forth from the corridor to the front desk, where registration slips and hunting licenses were giving away, where keys to the many rooms upstairs hung pendulous from iron hooks, where the proprietor and groundskeeper, dressed in their pristine suits, moved about in a quiet bustle, exchanging salutations and addressing everyone by name, asking visitors if they might not take their coats and hats, greeting everyone hunter with convivial assurances of their usual rooms being just ready for them. To the side of the front desk were the post boxes, some empty and some packed with letters, where the Scoaleigh for the lodge stood, delivering all the messages he had conveyed hither from town, accepting parcels and packages to take on his journey back from the passing gentry, who would have their messages delivered directly, that they might tell everyone on their estate how they all were and that they were all arrived in time for the hunt.  The Scoaligh soon quitted the lodge, passing large vestibule in his way, where pelts and mantles were hung up and swaying with each opening of the door, concealing a small side door, through which the farmhands came and went to reach the back of the lodge, some of them just coming in from having turned the silage, eager to enjoy some of the ale on tap, their stomachs wambling violently as the cook passed by with bowls of bolaig, conveying her trey to the centre of the great hall as quickly as the ravening hunters following in her train would admit. She stopped at the large firepit, lined with stone and piled high with pieces of oak, split and dried, stacked in stooks, the flames from the bonfire waving to everyone as they passed, the smoke from the fire weltering up in black curls and leaving the lodge through the ceiling, by way of a gap in the open fenestration, the hall being well heated by the uncovered and unhindered flame, acting its part and transforming the dining hall into a kiln, warming every huntsman, every visitor, every worker, and proffering cheer to all those who stood about its boundaries and exulted in its amber saltation.The nidor of braised beef, the mellifluous scent of mead, the gaiety of visitors arriving from the village, the aubade of hymns from the church, the crepitation of the fire, the petrichor of the grass still damp with dew—every sound and scent associated with the end of Frewyn’s fruitful year permeated the lodge, and Dirrald and Baunbher stood for some time in awe of the place, glorying in all its minutiae, its garnishings, its trappings and trimmings, its inhabitants and its workers, its main area a paracosm of life regaled, its corridors a trove of spirit and activity.