Planting new seeds
Accepting Count Jonathel’s invitation to come visit him in Dorchester during autumn was probably a mistake. Both him and his wife insisted though, so saying “no” turned out to be rather hard.
So, there I went riding south-west to Dorchester and as usual, especially now that we have a proper king, the town was bustling with commerce. Hawkers and merchants once again selling fine wares from the continent, things I haven’t seen in many a year. The increase in wealth was certainly noticeable at court. The praetor’s court has always been opulent but during the interregnum even the rich romans of Dorsette had to cut back on the feasts and spend more on their soldiers. New tapestries hung beside old, honoured ones depicting the history on the reigning family. The servants wore newer clothes and the nobles and knights themselves were dressed in the latest fashions from the King’s court at Carlion. Everyone seemed to harbour a newfound hope and joy thanks to the arrival of the new high King. There were feast and dances almost every night and during the days we hunted, jousted and fought. So far, so good.
Things grew rather interesting a week into my stay a court though. Some of the nights I spent in the praetor’s private chamber and I must say the age hasn’t dulled neither his nor my vigour and appetite for the pleasures of the flesh. I am well aware that he prefers younger men but there is something to be said for experience and there is a special charm to power and glory that both him and I appreciate. The other night’s when he didn’t ask for me I expected to be able sleep in my own room or perhaps together with one of the serving girls. To my surprise a hidden door opened up behind one of the tapestries. Never would I have guessed that the countess herself would step out of the hidden door. It turned out that Countess Teleri was a rather jealous woman who envied her husband’s affairs while she herself was denied such pleasures. To me it seemed like she was a rather lonely and unsatisfied woman. She told me that other than their wedding night and a few times each year when she and her husband tried to conceive an heir she was left alone in her bed. She also told me that her husband had spoken of me often with admiration in his voice. He hadn’t flat out stated that he had taken me to bed but the countess could most certainly read between the lines. Wanting something of her own, Teleri in no uncertain terms made it clear what she wanted when she undressed and crawled into my bed. Having made sure to bar the door, I returned to my bed to try to make the countess a happy woman. The rest of my stay in Dorchester was spent with very little sleep. It is a good thing indeed to be vigorous even at my age.
The lands around Tisbury have seen several renewals in my life time. Some of my kin likes to grumble about “Things not being the way they used to” yet they seem all to happy to drink my beer and eat my meat in a bigger and warmer hall, the likes have never been seen by my ancestors.
During autumn, more specifically during Samhain the most honoured elders of the family were summoned and they were given the sad and solemn duty of cutting down the Old Oak, now blackened and dead. It took them a long time, even when they were assisted by younger kinsmen, since the oak was as though as the stubbornness of our family. I decreed that the remains of the tree should not go to waste but should rather be honoured and salvaged. The lumber that was salvaged would be turned into a new entrance into my new great hall so that the old tree could keep watching over my family.
Things proceeded as planned and the remains of the roots were dug up. That was when things turned strange. When the last parts of the roots were removed one of the peasants discovered something, something that turned out to be a shard of the Iron Crown, more or less untouched by age and decay. No one had even heard any legends that told about it being buried there. Considering that the old tree was planted the year after the Menai massacre, it must have rested there since the arrival of the romans at least. No matter what, my priestess Lynne told me that it was an auspicious discovery and that this boded well for planting the new acorn next spring.
And here we are now, during spring, when everything is born anew. The rituals have been ongoing for the last three days and they are about to end with my youngest daughter planting the acorn in the ground where the old oak stood. Once this is done, I have arranged for a lavish feast and celebration to be held and in another three days under the light of the first rays of the sun we will start building the new home of the Cellydon family.