Kicking the door shut behind her, Astryyd steps into the brewery, arms carrying the heavy buckets of water. She sets them on the floor their contents sloshing droplets on the rough wooden floor of the hut. She leans heavily against the door and rubs her sore arms. The four trips to the river and back to retrieve the water for a bath on top of all else she had done this day had exhausted her. She reached up tussling her hair, shaking most of the snow off of the blond curls. As she lifted the last of the buckets and carrying them to the stove, her arms protested the action. It had been a long and arduous day to say the least. The tasks she undertook this day were not difficult but the snow that insisted on falling that day made even the simplest of tasks monumental. She had managed to find the herb she was searching for in a grove of trees just before the snow thickened, covering area completely. She was happy to have found it all and it would be just the flavoring she wanted for the mead she was concocting.
She also spent the later part of the morning cleaning the mead vat. She did not wish to cross contaminate the flavors and planned on making the last batch of Peppermint mead before the season’s end. She pours the water into the kettle over the fire to heat the last of the water. Her mind wanders to the events of the last several days and smiles. The village was growing and that was a good thing, more Axes the safer they all were, the more tradesman and woman the more appealing the village would be for trade. She had had a wonderful conversation with the blacksmith and had invited him to the brewery to discuss some things concerning the bonds in the village. Soon, Astryyd was going to have to have help in the brewery, someone that she could trust to help with the brewing and to help take some of the load. Maybe the Jarl Ran would have some suggestions for her though it did not matter of what they talked about, she would be happy just to have is company. She finds herself grinning like a teen and turns back to water. Once it is all hot, she looks at the ladder to the loft and sighs with resignation.
One by one she hauls the buckets up the ladder and pours them into the tub that the High Jarl had given her. She dips a finger and pleased with the temperature, she begins to slip off her clothing. She sits herself down on the floor of the loft dangling her feet over the edge and pulling at her boots letting them drop to the floor below with a ‘thunk’. She then removes her brooches and beads and sets them on the table beside the tub. The apron with intricately embroidered knot work comes off next then the rough woolen under dress. The linen chemise was the last to slip over her head, the hem cold and wet from a day spent in the weather. She shivers as the hem brushes past her skin. Leaving the wet clothing in a pile on the floor, she lowers herself into the tub of hot water. She tugs at the cording holding her hair back loosening it letting her locks fall down and rest about her shoulders and down her back. Easing back in the water, she lets the warmth fill her, her toes tingling from the sharp temperature change. Slowly her muscles relax. She closes her eyes and thinks to herself that she will have to remember to make the High Jarl a special gift. This was quite heavenly. Being able to bath in the privacy of her home was priceless to her. She lowers herself up to the chin in the water and soaks until the water is almost cold dozing off and on.
She reluctantly pulls herself from the tub wrapping a length of woven felted wool around her. Quickly climbing down the ladder, she then plops on the fur in front of the fire to dry. She runs her fingers through her wet curls fighting with the tangles and silently cursing the damned curls. ‘Always an unruly mess’ she thinks. Her mind wanders for a moment to the blacksmith to a certain Jarl. A slight smile curls her lips as she stares into the fire and sees his muscular form in her mind. Sweat beading on finely tuned muscles, his hair damp and pulled from his face tied back. She draws in a breath holding for a moment then letting it out with a sigh. A log shifts in the fireplace shooting sparks pulling her from her musings.
She rises letting the wool just drop on the rug, enjoying the feel of the fire on her bare skin. While her front was warmed by the fire, her back felt the sharp cold in the hut. She grabs her fur cloak and wraps it around her naked body and climbs back to the loft. Crawling across to the warm furs, she wraps herself tightly in the cloak, her body pressing against the fur, the hairs tickling her face and body. Tucking her feet in under the cloak she closes her eyes and drifts off to sleep.