Arundel woke. The smell of burning wood and the aromas of bubbling stock filled his nostrils.
He heard his mother, Arethusa, clattering in the cauldron and chopping vegetables below. She sung a song in her sweet, silken voice: Praise the maker, whose fire burns eternally...
"She must be making the evening meal," Arundel thought to himself, standing, stretching. Outside, stars blanketed the dome, and he could see them through cracks in the planks.
Arundel rose from his sleeping cot, brushed the straw from his leggings. The dormer he slept in was also a place where his mother dried herbs and stored tubers, and so he brushed away onions and tangles of dried flowers hung in the rafters to make his way to the ladder.
Despite his brief rest, Arundel was very tired. He had worked the fields this morning. At sunrise, he tacked up the team of mules. He used a beautiful leather harness he had borrowed from Farmer Cadby, and a plow, its steel chisel and share newly forged by Smith Garraway. He worked the mules the entire morning, through the hot midday, and until sunset, when he finally collapsed in the dormer. He had not even untacked the mules. They were no doubt munching corn in the tack shed, where he left them.