Any Freeman who rents their living quarters, but earns his own living, is a cotter. In the Kingdom of Iron Claw, cotters are the common folk since serfdom was mostly done away with.

Cotter

A Typical Day in the Life of a Commoner

Awake around dawn to have a brief bucket bath from the local well. The fire will be stoked alight from the coals, in winter it is kept at a low level overnight, and the morning meal heated on this.  In the cooler months they might heat their water for a morning wash of hands and face once the fire is stoked again. Water has to be gathered and it is stored in their own cistern for the day (if they have one). Breakfast of yesterday’s potage (a kind of everything you can find stew) and left-over bread topped of with some herbal tea in the spring. If there is some ham or smoked meat that will be added to the morning meal in small amounts as this is expensive and must last for winter. Bread-baking will be undertaken or bread will be acquired. Children are fed and when old enough set to work on simple chores. In tradesman’s families they will take lessons in the middle of the day so they can learn their parent’s trade. Farmers will be out on the field tending the crop, turning compost piles, looking after livestock, and repairing buildings. Everyone who has access to trees cuts wood. Winter requires a few tons for a family to survive so this chore is done whilst weather allows. For those in long-settled and cleared areas they will purchase the wood or be drying animal (horse, cow, ox) dung in summer for later burning in winter, and in the large towns and cities they have to stock up on hardwood, peat and even coal. Wood is stacked to receive summer winds and help it dry. Lunch is taken from the mornings preparations, preserves, larder and whatever is seasonal – usually with bread. More work is performed after lunch until close to sunset when tools and animals are rounded up to be put away for the night. If the commoner has some spare change or harvest has just been completed there will be socialisation down at the local tavern or town hall (often the same building in effect at smaller settlements, where taverns are neighbour’s houses who have their beer ready to drink). From there the adults will head home and finish the day with a meal and some music, or story telling, before turning in for the night.

 

cotter

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