The first half of chapter 2 is very
equinoctic episodic. So, here are some snapshots of what's going on. Apart from a few nightmares about his mummy, Medraut seems to settle in to life at Camlan.
Spring did not come gradually, with indistinct changes in the air and earth, but all at once.
(Mark made spring. It DID come all at once. He did this set-up all by himself, so I figured I'd post a landscape view of the whole thing to make him happy. He and I have added a Great Hall... that would be the thatched A-frame.)
One morning the snow was gone.
I also thought it might also amuse you to see where the snow went… it's just temporarily piled in a corner of the living room:
Anyway… Artos comes back, too.
All Camlan was cheered when he returned, and Ginevra held a mock banquet in his honor. We dressed in our finest clothes and brightened the dark beams of the Great Hall with garlands of holly that Goewin told me had never gone up at Christmas; the small ration of bread for the meal was twisted into individual loaves in the shapes of birds, flowers, and fish.
In the evening before the feast Artos took me into his study as he used to do, to talk with me in earnest and in private. When I was younger the hours spent there had been a privilege and an honor, and the room itself still seemed to offer me the promise of authority and fulfilled ambition… unique to Artos himself is the clay model of the city wall at Deva.
Oh, man, I was so excited when I realized we had a model city wall to put in there!
Well, anyway, Artos and Medraut have quite a long conversation, the gist of which is that Artos 1) gives Medraut a job, 2) asks him to keep an eye out for Lleu, and 3) tells him he is going to make Lleu his heir and Medraut his regent. Medraut doesn't say much except to warn Artos to send the social services in to take care of Morgause's other children. Which Artos agrees to do.
The weeks that followed were full with new work and knowledge. Artos made me one of his Comrades, gracefully bringing me into his select band of warriors and counselors an entire year before his heir would become one of them.
The dude in green is the Aksumite ambassador, BTW. The guy with the hook is Bedwyr, who is supposed to be missing a hand.
The mining too was a joy and a consolation to me. The mines at Elder Field are not large, though some of the natural tunnels go very deep; anyone looking for work can help in the less dangerous shafts and surface quarries. I had, when I was younger. Now I shared supervision of one of the deeper shafts with a man called Cado, each of us usually working only half the day.
I know, I know. I hadn't really counted them up before, but he has seven guys under his command (six minions and a jobshare). So it's SNOW WHITE AND… never mind. Suffice it to say that I could not help singing "Heigh ho heigh ho" as I put this scene together.
My small room was stacked with boxes I had sent from Byzantium and Africa, six years' worth of books, tools, clothes, ornaments, and gifts that I had not seen since I acquired them. I unpacked these things slowly; sometimes Lleu and Goewin helped or watched, fascinated by the mysterious assortment of foreign goods. The twins coaxed me to read to them, or to tell them stories of the distant lands I had seen.
Here he is unpacking his African souvenirs with Lleu and Goewin. There is an object in my own illustration of this scene (here: warning for big, i.e. 4.85 MB) which I mistakenly once took for an Ethiopian coffee pot, so I couldn't resist sticking a coffee pot in his trunk.