Adira makes her way toward the fields but today, her goal is to stop by the nomads wagon and take them some fish chowder and larma fruit. The Jarl wanted to extend his hospitality the the wagon people and though Adira did not know that connection between he and the women that camped between the fields and the house, she accepted them and smiled as she approached.
The dark haired slave was out tending to the chores as normal and glanced up as Adira approached. She lifted her chin, green eyes blazing assessing Adira with a haughty pride. Those emerald eyes narrowed suspiciously and Adira found herself affronted by the slaves reaction to her presence in their camp. She smiled as sweetly as she could muster, fighting back the urge to preen back at the women and held out the basket full of muffins to the slave.
“My Jarl would have me give these to you and your mistress, girl.” she said attempting to keep the disdain from her voice.
The slaves black hair hung wildly about her face and trailed down to the top of her buttocks. She wore a black leather vest and a thong of red and black leather about her groin. She was less dressed, Adira took notice, then some of the Kajira she had seen in the past but she was also not required to disrobe in the hall. Sometimes in the chilly morning, she had seen the girl in boots and full cloak, her loose hair the only thing given away her station. Her mistress wore her red locks braided back.
The slave took the basket, her gaze softening a bit, a slight smile reaching her lips. Adira noticed the fine gold ring that pierced the middle of her nose, like that of a bosk ring but much more delicate and beautiful. About her throat, her collar was a round bar that hung loose making it easy for her master to grasp if there was need.
“I am called Adira by my Jarl.” she politely introduced herself waiting to see if the slave reciprocates.
After a moment the girl speaks, her voice husky with an air of one who has seen far too much in her life. “My mistress simply calls me Bri.” she states flatly her lips curl into the briefest of smiles before she continues brushing one of the bosks that Adira had seen pulling the wagon.
“What is it called?” she asks the slave girl. Perking up at the interest in the animal and B smiled. “Just beast” she cocks her head to the side and gazes at the animal with reverence.
Stepping forward, Adira reaches for a second brush, “May I help?” she questions. Bri looks a bit shocked but then give a nod. Adira croons at the beast as she begins to stroke the beasts fur.
They work in silence for a few moments before Adira remember the muffin in the basket.
“Oh, I almost forgot. There is a muffin the basket for you.” she nods towards the basket with an inclination of her head.
Bri looks at her strangely and stoops, reaching into the basket and producing the muffin. She holds it up and regards it with a grimace.
“What is in it?” she asks.
“Milk, cream, fruit, flour…..” Adira trails off seeing Bri slowly nodding her head and handing it back to her. Adira takes it slowly looking at Bri in confusion. The nomad smiles kindly and smiling she states, “I can not eat this. We do not eat that which grows in the ground….flour. It is made from grain, yes?”
“Yes it is……nothing that grows in the ground?” Adira asks surprised.
“No, nothing, not suls, or grain or any of your ‘vegetables’” she pushes the word strange to her from her lips.
“What do you eat?” she says attempting to keep the shock from her voice.
Bri stoops again picking up the covered bowl of fish chowder, “This, meat, milk, cheese, some fruits as long as they grow on trees.” she stated matter of factually.
Adira gives a resigned “hmmm” and sticks the muffin in her apron pocket. “Good thing I brought you fish then.” she says with a hint of laughter in her voice.
“Yes, it is.” Bri’s voice flat but with a note of humor. The pair go back to brushing the bosk. Adira noticed the ring similar to Bri’s but larger in the snot of the great beast.
After a bit, Adira asks again. “Your people think very highly of the bosk, don’t they?”
“Oh, very much so, Adira. The bosk is the Mother of the Wagon people and our lifeblood. We never kill one without purpose and we use everything; the meat, skin, horns, organs……you must join us for spiced brains one evening.”
Adira screwed up her face at the thought of spiced bosk brains but politely nods her head at the invitation.
“I would you wager you something that you would find them delicious had I anything to wager.” Bri laughs.
Adira had heard her Jarl speak of the wagon people weakness for wagering and had heard some of the Jarls grumbling over lost bets with the Free women of the Tuchuks. “Might as well just hand over the coin as soon as the wager is made.” one man complained.
Adira spent the better part of the morning helping Bri with her chores learning about the the wagon people; the fierce warriors, the fact that they don’t bother naming children until a coming of age so to speak, the scarring that is so respected among the warriors. She also learned that the slaves of the wagon people were much like the bonds of the north. They worked hard and were rewarded greatly being allowed a freedom of expression that the bonds also shared. When asked about her mistress, Bri smiled and looked in the direction of the Tuchuk women in green leathers. “The women of the wagon people are fierce and proud. The are allowed thing that I have not seen in other cultures. The may fight to protect the wagons and the children. But like the slaves, they can be ordered to a man’s furs if they are not mated. They are loved and protected by all of the men in the caravan.” It was obvious by her tone that she adored the free woman that owned her.
Looking to the sky and noting the time, Adira jumps realizing the amount of time spent there was much longer than she intended. “I have to get back to my own chores. Kat is going to kill me.” she exclaims as she gathers herself to leave.
“Wait.” calls Bri as she bends and scoops a handful of dirt and grass from the ground and places in Adira’s hands clasping them in her own hands. “We together have shared dirt and grass.” she smiles broadly.
Adira smiles back at her not understanding the importance of the gesture but recognizing it at a honor of some kind. “Thank you Bri.”