2: A Stranger at the Festival - Part Ten
As they passed the Slumbering Dragon they could hear the raucous sounds within: a snatch of singing and much laughing and clattering of cutlery. They walked on past the houses and cottages at the edge of town and then up the little hill and into the woods. These were just an isolated patch of trees on the fringes of the great Heatherwood. Shortly beyond this lay the vast reaches of the woods, stretching nearly fifteen leagues from west to east.
Twilight was upon them by the time they reached their house. It was a simple house, typical for the area. Built of limestone bricks with a tile sloping roof, it had a solid, homey feel. Tilled green grass and gardens, both food and flower, surrounded it. Green ivy climbed the walls of the home, matching the green of the windowsills and front door.
The children hurried inside and placed their packages on the kitchen table. It was time for dinner preparations and Sera got to work. A fire was started in the fireplace and soon the family sat down for their meal, tired out from their day’s activities but satisfied. The fire crackled and kept out the encroaching coolness of the outside air. The autumn days were getting shorter and the nights colder. A fire felt good and drew the family around it. Chafrar had his mug of ale and the boys sipped hot cider.
Normally the children would go outside to play. In colder weather, however, they would usually read or play games by candlelight while the parents talked together. Sometimes Chafrar would go to his workshop to fix some tools and fishing gear. Tomorrow was a fishing day as usual. Chafrar and Alak would rise before the sun and spend all day on the water. As a result, it was soon bedtime for the children.