“I have to go far north, to the north woods,” Adam’s father had said, sitting him down in the hall. “An alderman is true to his word. I and the king have sworn oaths to support the Waswagoning, and they have called for our aid. So I must go and lead the king’s army. Listen to your brother; he will be Alderman while I am gone.” With those words, and a loving cuff to the side of the head, his father went north with two dozen good warriors, each mounted on a valuable horse and armored with the best armor the blacksmiths can fashion, following the call of honor. They took with them a priest of Christ, the god of healing, wagons full of provisions, and the castle’s only rifle.
It was early spring, and the farmers were beginning to ready their fields for planting, the fishermen scraped their hulls and mended their nets for the great lake’s summer calm. “Those aren’t rocks, you know,” said Adam’s tutor in an amused tone.