Mellia — Home With Venlar Vi
1627, Sea Season, Disorder Week
Sea Season, Disorder Week, Windsday. [[[s02:session-31|Session 31]]]
Thenaya is by now in the kitchen, checking jars and herb bundles. It smells of dust and old greenery and new onions. She has exchanged her dress for a short-sleeved tunic and simple skirt, for the process of cleaning out the shelves and jars is a messy one.
“Excuse me, Mother. Would you please help me with something?”
Mellia is looking for a good place for the statue, just in case she needs to help clean.
“I would love to. Can it wait until this evening? Otherwise I should do it now.” Thenaya glances at the statue but does not ask.
“It can wait. I was going to take the statue to Greyrocks, but now I’m needed elsewhere. Could you please send someone there with the statue?”
Thenaya nods. “Of course. To whom?” Her speech is accented like a noble’s sometimes, especially when asking for precise details.
“To the thane of Greyrocks,please. He’ll know where to put it.”
“I will. That will need a herald, I think.” Thenaya looks at Mellia, and then at the statue. “She’s a beautiful bit of carving.”
“It’s from the Paps,” Mellia explains. “Thanks.” She looks around; is anyone else in the kitchen?
There are a few people there, helping with the scrubbing and the counting. Women are drifting in and out as the kitchen gets cleaned for the spring foods coming in.
Instead of explaining further, Mellia asks, “Shall I help?”
“Please do,” Thenaya smiles. “We need everything to be ready. The last of the dry herbs go back to Mahome this week, which is everything on these shelves, if you want a simpler job. One thing at a time though, so she knows where to put it in her own kitchen.”
Mellia smiles and gets to work on the dried herbs. She would ask what to put them in and how to label them.
Most of them are nothing but tag ends, and they get burned. Others, fuller jars, have a pinch given to the hearth goddess and then Mellia is sent out to cut a new bit of each to remind the jar what it should be doing. Someone explains to her that the older tastes will be sprinkled on pans for the next feasts, so that the room smells of cooking herbs. Someone else opines that it was better when they used water-soaking and then used the water for clothes-washing, that one time. Once the herbs are done, and it turns out to be a couple of hours after she began, Thenaya asks Mellia to choose a few of the plants from outside to send to the Greyrock Tula.
Mellia goes outside to choose plants for Greyrocks. Mellia chooses abundant plants Thenaya can spare some of. If that’s too much, Mellia would go for healing herbs. Nothing poisonous!
There are plenty there, and the day passes with digging, wrapping rootballs in cloth, and packing into baskets of straw. Thralls set out a canvas to keep her dry, and stand around waiting to be told what to do.
Mellia isn’t used to thralls these days. Mellia would try to supervise and get the thralls to dig up and pack the plants.
They do that work, and after a while Venlar comes out to join Mellia. “Mama says we should probably put a lot of new things in. Fera would like to come to Boldhome.”
“Fera is welcome to come to Boldhome. What did your mother want put in?”
“She likes to move the herbs around, so the ground does not tire of them,” he says, “But I do not know what we will be putting in. That’s women’s work, if it’s planting in the courtyard. I think I will suggest raising a bed, though. The back wall looks like it is hard to reach and more earth there might do well. Even just stones to raise and build…” His mind is off again, planning ways to change things for the better.
Mellia patiently waits for Venlar to sort out his thoughts. Mellia eventually says, “I don’t know what your mother wants or where to find it. Why don’t you make a raised bed while I ask her?”
“It would take a few days,” he replies, unsure. “But the planting is not for you to plan, don’t worry. She will have such a good time moving the greenery around, and getting soil on her clothes.”
“Then I think we are done for the morning.”
It is not until a couple of days later that Yamia is available for talking. She spends a day out travelling and then comes back late the next evening, but just as it looks like they will have to go and see if Silor has learned anything about Varanis yet, Yamia is there, eating in the painted hall, two seats down from where Mellia would sit.
Venlar takes the high seat here, and ordinarily it would be his mother on his left, but she has moved over to let Mellia sit there, where she belongs. Yamia is on Venlar’s right, when they eat as a community. She is in her seat now, although it is too early for everyone else to be sitting down. It looks like she is catching a quick snack between tasks.
Before everyone else gets there, Mellia will sit in her chair. “Hello, Yamia. Have you been getting checked out every few weeks?”
“Of course not,” Yamia says. “But if you want to come and tell me I should have been, I tell mama that she has to bring something to do while she talks.”
Mellia replies, ” You should have been. I advise you to see someone at least every four weeks. I will see you if you want.”
“You can see me perfectly well right now,” Yamia replies, “But I suppose it will ease your mind. However, it is pointless. I am in good health. I know this.”
Mellia says, “It’s a good idea to be careful when pregnant. You seem to be flourishing, but I want to make sure.”
“It’s a good idea to be careful, and I am a careful person. But this too is care.” Yamia finishes her bowl of bread soaked in milk and spices, and stands up. “My room, then.”
Mellia nods, grabs her kit and follows Yamia.
Yamia takes her to a small room next to Venlar’s. It is utterly unlike his. The only colours are white, and wood, and wool. A simple single bed, a chest for clothes, and an armour stand are there, along with two Runes, Humakt’s, on the wall. Even those are not painted, but are areas where the whitewash has been left off, exposing the dark cob used for building.
She strips off her dress without embarrassment, once she has latched the door with a wooden bar from a shelf next to it. It is clear to Mellia she is taking care not to move her hips in a way that hurts. Her muscles are solid, but cannot keep the slight swell hidden.
Mellia gets right to work. “Have you been having hip trouble?”
“They hurt,” she says. “About as much as would be expected. Also, the lower back.” Her pulse is strong and even, her colour good.
Mellia nods. “It’s a little early for that. With your strong Death Rune, you should perform rituals. Any priestess of Ernalda can advise you.”
“Most of what is needed has already been written down, and I am literate,” she says with a smile. “So thank you. All is well.”
Mellia agrees, “So far, you’re doing well. Don’t hesitate to call me if that changes and see someone in four weeks. Thanks.”
“I may be with you in four weeks. If that is the case, I shall not hesitate to ask directly.” Yamia dresses with her usual efficiency. “I can leave for what will be Venlar’s lands in the Colymar at any time.”
Mellia says, “We may be leaving very soon. “
“As I say, at any time.” Yamia goes to her door, unlatches it, and pauses as she opens it. “Shall we go to dine?”
Mellia nods and leads the way back to the hall.