Historical setting: 589 C.E. when Brittany was forest
The leftovers of a huge feast with visitors and long nights of parties is old food, empty barrels, and contentious divisions between the tribes. The withering greens are set outside. The ashes are swept from the hearthstones and new wood is stacked. Ordinary tidiness is the best anyone can hope for, that, and the longer hours of daylight though any warmth from sun seems far in the future.
Guldilyn speaks to Druid Balfour the priest of their tribe regarding the news that Thole won’t be joining them. She doesn’t even use the possible off-set of good news that I will be going with them. He is livid. He takes Druid Largin away to a distance out of earshot, but we can all see it is an animated discussion. I try to ease the situation mentioning to Guldilyn that I don’t think Thole is a good hunter, and I know he doesn’t know how to swim.
Guldilyn is serious and I’m making light of Thole’s flaws.
“Swimming, why would you measure a man by swimming?”
“I’m just thinking he was nearly lost to the river which would make this whole problem moot. And your priest might want to know that I happen to be a very fine swimmer. So it’s not all a loss for your tribe, you know.”
“Swimming has nothing to do with it.”
“Well, maybe not, at least until the river rises; I mean, I happen to be a useful human being also. It’s not like your tribe is getting nothing.”
“This is not about you. This is between our priests. It’s a tribal power thing. Lust for power is mindless. If there was ever any sense to a man’s need for personal power no one would ever have to die in a war. We would all just settle things like wise women chanting and dancing in the firelight.”
They seem to have reached an agreement here with no blows between them.
I help prepare as the tribe that I will travel with readies for the journey.
Druid Largin gives me a gift of one of the fleeces Thole and I had borrowed when we were camping. And he offers his gratitude for rescuing the woman from plague. I assure him it wasn’t plague but that goes unheard.
Tonight the Celtic blessings for our journey will be chanted at a bonfire with both tribes together in a parting peace.