29 May, 2012

At Tourney! or This is a REALLY Long Entry

Neffydd filed her talons as she waited. That's right, more waiting. This time it was waiting for Aine to get replacement transportation as the transport she had scheduled last week fell through, last minute. Every thing was packed into trunks and satchels; organized into piles for quickest loading and some of it already loaded into the conveyance that Neffydd had arranged.

Her boys had no classes today so they were running amok and playing with the girls while Neffydd had run out of things to pack and organize and had taken to drumming her fingers on the table top. 'That one's uneven' she thought of another talon and rubbed at it with her file.

The door to the lair breezed open announcing that Aine had arrived home. One look at her face and Neffyd knew that Aine had not had luck with her conveyance.

Neffydd heaved a mental sigh and went to talk to their flat-mate. After a short amount of haggling she was able to rent the vehicle for the weekend, but now they were half a day late getting started.

The second conveyance got packed in record time but the Minions were beginning to get cranky. The trip took over two hours, all the while Neffydd was thankful that the vibrations of travel had put all but the two oldest Minions to sleep.

Their late departure had them at the gates, waiting to speak to the occupants of the Troll booth just as the night beat the light away with a stick. Neffydd looked down at her niece, Lilly who had her little hands clamped firmly over her pointed filigree ears.

"What's wrong, Lilly?" She asked the little elf-child as they stood in the warm, quiet, late spring night.

"It's too loud!" Lilly hissed.

"What is?" Neffydd was completely confused, but she listened for sounds anyhow, only hearing the peeper toads from the pond down the path.

"The noise!" Neffydd still could hear nothing as Warder Sullens joined them to listen for the sound.

"There's nothing, Lilly..." He tried to reassure her, but the child became even more agitated.

Neffydd had an idea: "SHHH!" She pressed her fingers to her lips. "Can you hear the beeping noise?"

Lilly took her hands off her ears. "What?" She listened for a few moments. "Yes! I hear it!"

"Those are peeping toads! Do you know what toads are?"

"YEAHS!!!" The child trilled at the top of her lungs. "PEEP! PEEP! PEEP! I'M A TOAD!!!!!" crisis averted

They received their entitlement tokens from the trolls after paying the modest entrance fees then chose a spot way in the back of the site to set up their camp. It was quickly decided that only the most pertinent tents would be set up that night so the Minions could get to sleep.

Tomoe had her small tent up very quickly so she set about making hearty sandwiches for the rest of the family as they set up their own temporary domiciles. Neffydd barely remembers eating the meat, cheese and vegetable sandwich as she drove spikes into the ground around her simple, round, canvas yurt with her foot and pulled on guy lines making sure they were taut.

Falling into bed wasn't very memorable either.

Some time just after dawn Mini started sobbing. It's not very uncommon for her to wake up and cry for a minute or two before falling back to sleep, but that morning she didn't return to slumber.

After a few minutes, Neffydd called out to her. "Mini... come here, love." She repeated a couple of times before the child woke up enough to wander out of her brothers' tent, where she had been put to sleep after the adults had decided that raising the girls' tent would just be too much for the night, and into her parents'.

"I had a bad dream..." Mini whined, "I can't sleep."

"OK, baby." Neffydd flipped back the covers and invited her child into their warm bed. "Come cuddle for a minute and then we'll make breakfast." Mini snuggled against her mother and promptly fell back to sleep.

A couple more hours of sleep had her fully recharged and waking her groggy parents. "Can I have brekkist now? I'm hungry..." She chanted until her mother was awake.

Breakfast, for the Minions, was light snacks while Warder Sullens and Neffydd set up the large common pavilion. After breakfast Sebock and Zennaton ran off to find their friends while Sullens and Neffydd took Mini and Tomoe to stash the vehicle and browse the shops.

They stopped by the List Fields for a moment to view a couple spectacular sets in the fencing tournaments then continued on at Mini's insistence.

The Market square was a chipper, sunny place full of good smells and pretty things to look at and buy. They walked from vendor to vendor searching the stalls for something interesting. They bought several lengths of cloth and a book for Tomoe between chatting with friends then returned to camp to have a light lunch.

As they were sitting in camp, eating and chatting, the wind picked up. The light, warm breeze became a gusting blast that threatened to knock the large pavilion over. Neffydd clung to one of the legs of the tent while Sullens tried tieing up the sides. They thought it would decrease the amount of tent the winds could push on but it only succeeded in allowing the wily gale to draft up inside the tent billowing the top and lifting it from the ground. They quickly dropped the sides of the tent and took to begging the winds to calm and fretting about the ripped wall fastenings.

That evening the winds finally died down. Tomoe made marinaded poultry, grilled and fried vegetables in gravy, served over white sweet grains. They ate and talked, put the minions to bed, then drank and laughed about silly things for a few hours before taking to bed as well.

Breakfast the next morning was a huge afair. Toast dipped in egg custard and pan fried, sausage and bacon with fruit.

They chatted with friends and shopped some more in the morning, picking up a pair of goblets, a set of swords for the boys and a metal head band for Mini.

After a quick lunch where Tomoe regailed them with her experiences at the archery range, she sat with the minions while Sullens and Neffydd walked to a wonderful beer making class. The three hours long class was full of information, including a lengthy demonstration on how to boil grains to start the beer brewing process. There wasn't a lot of work to do during the demo, as it was mostly waiting for water to boil, but during the times the class was waiting the instructor gave a detailed history, interesting factoids, some idyll chatter and even a sample of one of his previous brews that made the time pass quickly as time well enjoyed tends to do.

A couple friends joined them for a supper of fire roasted meats with salad and bread then stayed for beers and stories after. The children roasted sweets over the fire to make gooey, sticky treats and they all stayed up way too late that night the next morning they had to pack up to leave.

Exhausted from all the fun and more at peace, as a family, they made the journey home.