So the kawntradd day came, dawning bright and sunny
over all Orien, from Lastrocks to Kenedd,
from far Seradis to golden Wasthavan.
So it was on Alba, as throughout the islands:
a westward bearing breeze, and scattered silver clouds.
From the farms of Alba and all its narrow harbors
came free men of Alba to the hill of kawntradd,
to spread blankets on ground and set their standards up.
Men pitched tents for their lords, and adorned them with silks,
and set up broad banners, and laid out long tables
for the evening feasting. Sweet smoke rose from fires
and bubbling cauldrons. Bread smells came from ovens,
and merchants set their stalls on three sides of a square
offering many goods from all of Orien,
the fourth being the tent of Garman of Kemblis.
Two hundred ten spans long, striped in blue and crimson,
its roof adorned with flags, and banners at each pole,
planted by each tent stake, such was Garman’s palace
on those rare occasions when he came to Alba.
Ten guards stood before it, to keep the riff-raff out,
and two beside the doors, tent flaps of cloth of gold,
shaded by an awning with gold spears to hold it.
Inside were Barran rugs, and braziers of bronze,
Seradian hangings, and fine Tayan linens
on Garman’s wide bedstead. There was a gold tea service,
and an ebon table, and an ivory throne.
Kembirel kept all this hidden in his attic
except for kawntradd days, when he ordered it set,
for Garman’s arrival. But his lord never came.
Though he was Alba’s lord, Garman never appeared.
Kembirel served instead, and Kembrun beside him,
calling themselves masters, and declaring the law.
They kept a proper booth, a tent of crimson silk,
though smaller than Garman’s and with fewer banners.
Twenty could feast inside, fine for a kawntradd day,
though fewer than their halls where a hundred could sit.
Inside were walnut chairs and hangings of linen,
tea service of silver, and a brazier of bronze.
Four stood guard on this tent, on guard for Kembirel
to enhance his honor. The master gave order;
Before his pavillion was set a high standard,
and the bloody white shawl he hung upon that staff.
Men coming to kawntradd stopped by to see this thing,
and Kembirel met them, and gave out many gifts.
Many excused his act, and not a few praised it.