Unlike Armenelos, where heat was abated by streams, breezes and woods, the first year at Emerië was maddening. Sheep-shearing in midsummer was taxing work even for such a strong woman as Erendis, and the stink of manure made it worse.

Domestic preparations, too, were not without incident. To her chagrin, she found weevils in the flour, and ants devouring honey which had been weeks in the making.

This industry was a mixed blessing. It kept her mind from anger at Aldarion; the chatter of women and the innocent attentions of little Ancalimë reminded her that a husband was not all-consuming.