Master Breton has reminded me that I am remiss in my journal entries, so today I will talk at some length about where I live. I am what is referred to as a keepling. That means I live on an agricultural keep. I’m going to tell you about our house, and the land upon which it sits.
History: Roughly ten thousand years ago at the time of The Equi Awakening, much of the continent of Viridia was divided into agricultural keeps for the purpose of feeding the population consistently and well. Each keep was two hundred by four hundred furlongs in size. (If I am telling this to someone who is not familiar with furlongs I will tell them that a furlong is 220 yards, and that there are eight furlongs to a mile.) That figures out to be twenty-five miles wide by fifty miles long, or eight hundred thousand acres. Tens of thousands of keeps were granted to those Equi who pledged to farm, and tens of thousands of identical homes were built on those keeps. They were grouped into sets of four, called keep naves, and the houses were all built where the four corners connected, so people would have family and neighbors close by.
My grandsire’s ancestors were granted four keeps – Lea keep, Canyon keep, Sea keep and Upland keep. Upland keep stands empty, because my parents and my uncle Ardenai decided to live together at Canyon keep. Sea keep is where my grandparents, Krush and Ah’rane live. Lea keep is being used by Ah’brianne and her family, though they do not own it nor can they buy it. Keeps cannot be bought or sold. They can be handed down, or given away if the family dies out. Period. We do not buy, sell, lease or rent land on Equus.
Each keep has a big house, several smaller ones, and a huge set of barns and corrals, plus pastures and meadows where we raise the feed for our horses, and crops for the Great House of Equus and the citizens of our planet. On our keep, we have a big orchard with several hundred trees, berry vines that seem to go on forever, and an expansive garden that occupies a good deal of our time during the growing season.
The main houses are no more than a few furlongs apart, but we do have a river called the Little Sister that divides us, with two keeps on each side, and we are centered over a large set of thermal springs which heat our homes and power our cook stoves. They also provide each house with the luxury of a huge family bathing pool, which is constructed amongst the boulders under the house and cooled with water from the Little Sister. It is traditional to bathe as a family, and we spend time each evening soaking in the big thermal pools, visiting and giving each other a bath before bed. I am being summoned for crossbow training. I will write more as time permits.
The word BIG comes to mind!