I slipped away from Yew to Carbaugh’s Keep and there I tarried the whole spring, reacquainting myself with the ways of my people. Or something like them, anyhow.
I had vague memories of riding out as a young child to meet the clans. My father’s farm and inn were right by a main caravan route, so we stayed in touch. After the Doom, and after we moved in with my uncle, though, there was little contact with my culture. Our foods, our ciders and wines, our stories mother and Da shared with me and my sibs as best they could. Still, we were a small collection of littlelings living among the big people. Once Da died, and mother joined with Uncle Sisko and Aunt Kiyra, there were fewer tales of heroes and wise men, more instruction in running a shop.
So I was glad to find a group of littlelings keeping traditions alive. Only, they were somewhat off from the ways of the clans that I remembered. And even a bit off from the way mother kept house and farm and inn, too. More regimented than the clans, a touch more attuned to nature and balance than my family had practiced, and then this devotion to Orlando and his secret writings.
Fun folk to spend time with, and I will treasure this season and the lessons learned – but I never quite bonded. Unless I joined their order, I could not know the teachings of Orlando – and unless I knew the teachings, I was not willing to join! At an impasse, I was relieved to receive a message from Old Fawn, summoning Belaldur to the priest who had raised him from the dead. I made my goodbyes and rode for Yew.