8 Ides Bear, rising moon, fourth year, second lustre.
From the Almanac: rough winds herald thunderstorms at dusk: // sunken ships & dangerous currents.
I, Awan, take up the chronicle of Alkone.
Ten days past, Haugh Nartenson was gathered to his fathers, and sent to rest in Grandmother Ocean with two nets, a spear, and the cloak-pins he won when a-viking in Peradis, forty years ago. Jassë Haughson sang the lament. May Haugh’s shif find safe harbor in Ardalis.
These terms Haugh made in his death-bed: to his son Jassë the farms, fields and the house at Alkone, the six slaves, the ring he got from the king and the armband, the two chests in the strong-room, and the Black Cloak; to his son Piars, the longship and the sword that was his father Narten’s, the Crimson Hood, and half the next three years of woolens from the looms of Alkone; To his son Daeker the knarr, a sealskin bag filled with silver, and half the apple crop for the next three years whether in apples or cider, at his choice; to his daughter, Kissa, two sealskin bags of gold for her dowry and tuition to the White Shawl school; to his son Awan, the curragh, the drum and the guitar, such books as he has copied, an otter skin bag of silver, all the washé Alkone made last year, four sheets of parchment, and the Jade Sash that was his great-grandmother’s.
2 Kalends Bear, falling moon, fourth year, second lustre
From the Almanac:: tides running faster now; plant barley, // start shearing sheep and carding wool.
Daeker Haughson left Alkone today, taking his sister Kissa to the White Shawl school. Piars Haughson left two days ago (4 Kalends Bear), sailing to Alinas, hoping to join a fleet a-viking in Barra or Peradis.
Jassë wants me gone. He’s been ’round the tenants twice, collecting spring rents, proving himself his father’s son. We’ve waited almost two lustres for the old man to die, living in this narrow house, and Piars and Daeker nearly killed one another more than once, and they almost killed Jassë this winter after father made the will. They may yet; father’s last wishes will bring the boys back here three times before they are quit of this place. Jassë may have the king’s ring and the Black Cloak, but Piars wears Crimson now, and Daeker will too, likely before the lustre is done.
And I have the Jade.
It’s a shimmering green color. To me, it looks like springtime — it’s beautiful. Jassë thinks it looks poisonous. After dad told us where to find it, we stared at it on the table for a long time. No one knew it was still in the house; we thought it had been lost. I still haven’t put it on yet. Jassë told me not to until Alkone was behind me. He’s afraid the tenants know it’s here. He’s let me have the run of the larder, and the curragh is ready to put to sea, laden with enough food to take me to Lasfell, maybe even all the way to Barra. I have my books, too, and the washe is wrapped and waxed.
I’ve delayed long enough, yet I’m finding it hard to leave. I am going to miss Nasrel and Gorsath, the snowfells and the lake, caring for the sheep in the high fields, fishing in summer, and stories at the hearth in winter. Though I suppose I’m the storyteller now. How strange to think — I’m going to miss Alkone! it’s hardly believable, but it’s true.
I’ve told Jassë I’ll leave on the first of Heron.