Catherine has rarely been allowed outside for the past twelve years, and has even more rarely been allowed to visit any truly natural place. She is only allowed today because the Emperor is visiting another court, and is much too busy with whatever diplomatic matters he came here for to notice or object when she attaches herself to a party of about half a dozen women gathering nuts and wildflowers in the forest. They trade histories and gossip as they walk, the line between the two not always clear. Ingolfr toddles along the path contentedly with a stick he's found. Ragna sleeps in her arms.
It's a beautiful day. She doesn't know how long it will be before she's allowed to do something like this again, but she thanks God for being allowed it today.