On Needlework

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Avery sits at a smaller table near one of the windows. There is a stack of letters beside a hot cup of tea.

Haft steps into the library, having been within call for some time outside. “Is there anything I can send for, Lady Avery?”

Avery looks up at the sound of Haft’s voice, pausing her letter-writing. She gently shakes her head. “No, I am quite content, thank you.” She sets the quill down and smiles. “Have you had a pleasant afternoon?”

Haft returns the smile. “Nothing could be more pleasant than watching over Your Ladyship.”

Avery chuckles. “Well, I’m sure that’s not /always/ true, but I thank you for the compliment.”

Haft asks, “You are most welcome. How do you find your reading?”

Avery says, “Not very exciting at the moment. Mostly about some renovations my mother is planning for the manor.” She sets the paper aside. “I am somewhat torn. Excited for change, but a little sad, too. Although, I don’t suppose it matters much, considering I won’t be spending much more time there anyway…”

“It isn’t exactly as though you’re being exiled here,” Haft says, then stops as if caught by the turn of phrase before continuing. “I’m sure you’ll be able to visit Chesterton often.”

Avery says, “Of course I will visit. Often, too.” She shrugs. “I just don’t want it to be so different when I do.”

Haft says, “Begging my lady’s pardon, but I’m not sure you can help the difference. You will find that things have changed, because you have changed yourself.”

Avery considers this and then nods. “That is true.” She picks up the stack of letters and looks through them. One catches her eye and she smiles. “Oh, how did I miss this one?”

Haft says, “You seem to have a great many correspondents. Hopefully nothing that demanded a hasty answer.”

Avery laughs. “Not all of them are pleasant. Some are filled with gossip from ladies of Court. I try my best not to encourage it, but they still write.” She taps the letter. “This is from my friend Abrielle, though. Merely a response to some news I shared with her, I’m sure.”

Haft says, “Abrielle? That should be nice.” He chuckles. “Some folks would be surprised to know just how little truth lies in most court gossip.””

Avery grins. “The things they report are rather ridiculous, too. What does it matter if this lady or that added an extra two spoonfuls of sugar to her tea? I don’t care to know if she added two or even four.” She rolls her eyes and opens the folded letter.

Haft looks impressed. “If they notice such minutiae they have exceeded even the guards of Anvard in their efforts. We should put them to use as diplomats.”

Avery laughs and picks up her teacup. “They notice everything…The maids too. I’ve been the subject of their gossip too many times to count…” A faint blush creeps into her features. “But they forget as soon as something more interesting comes up.”

Haft makes a rueful expression. “I can testify to that.”

Avery nods. She motions to a comfortable seat near her. “Care to do a bit of reading while I finish up here? I’m almost done. And then maybe we could take a walk into town?”

Haft glances toward the door, then nods. He pulls a book at random from the shelf and sits down to stare at it.

Avery watches him choose a book before glancing down at the open letter in her hands. She sips her tea as she begins to read.

Avery’s expression is pleasant as she reads, but then her brow furrows. Eyes still focused on the letter, she moves to set her teacup down and it rattles against the saucer.

Haft glances over at the sound, but he makes no inquiry.

Avery mumbles to herself, her face a mixture of surprise and confusion.

Avery mumbles “… and Abrielle? … did this…No, … cannot … …”, to Avery.

Haft turns a page in his book.

Avery sets the letter down, tugging thoughtfully tugging on a ringlet. She picks up the letter and folds it, sitting in silence for a few minutes. “Haft?”

Haft closes his book and sits up straight, laying it on the table. “My Lady?”

Avery picks up her teacup again. “How well do you know Deonyc?”

Haft says, “Deonyc? Not well. We sleep in the same barracks.”

Avery hmms. “I admit, despite the time he spent as my guard, I don’t know him very well either. There were some…unfortunate circumstances, but I don’t think it would be right to make an opinion of him based on them…”

Haft’s brow moves upward fractionally. “Better to form an opinion based on experience than hearsay.”

Avery says, “Yes, that’s true.” She sips her tea, glancing toward the window. “He seemed arrogant and hasty with his opinions on certain topics, but that doesn’t mean he’s not kind or a good man. But even after a warning or two, he did not change his behavior or take more care with what he said. I admit, I don’t know what to think of him at all.””

Haft speaks slowly. “I would venture that that is an accurate assessment, if it’s my opinion you’re wanting.”

Avery continues to stare out the window. “But if someone you trust spoke highly of him, would that not give you pause to consider there is more to him than you’ve already seen? That he is perhaps different than what you’ve known him to be? Or could they be blinded by an emotion of their own?”

Haft says, “I guess either could be true.”

Avery asks, “You’ve never really talked to him before?”

Haft says, “I…have. I am also aware of the circumstances under which he was sent back to Anvard.”

Avery asks, “Did they change your opinion of him?”

Haft says, “I’m afraid they rather confirmed it.”

Avery turns to look at him. “I see.” She nods.

Haft tilts his head to the letter. “Abrielle is well, I hope?”

Avery looks at the folded letter and smiles lightly. “Yes. She seems very well.”

Haft says, “Good.” He glances back at his book as if wondering whether the conversation is over.”

Avery starts to organize her things. “I don’t think I’m ready to write a reply just now. There are some things I need to consider. So I am all finished here.”

Haft’s expression brightens. He rises and goes to place his book back on the shelf, finally noticing the title. He starts and glances quickly at Avery before stuffing it back with other books on needlework. “Then I’ll be happy to escort you on that walk.”

Avery nods. “I suppose we could.” She glances at the bookshelf and smiles mischievously. “Unless you wanted to return to your embroidery? I wouldn’t want to keep you…”

Haft descends into a hacking cough. “I–ahem–I may have selected my reading material hastily.

Avery grins. “I’ve done that before too.” She picks up the stack of letters and stands. “Shall we?”

Haft bows slightly. “After you, my lady.”

Avery walks toward the library doors. “I could show you some flower stitches when we return to the castle. They’re lovely.”

Haft sets his face into a mask of polite disinterest. “Of course, my lady.”

Avery laughs as she steps through the door.

Of Tarkaans, Dukes and Badgers

The Beach near Sted Cair


Megren sits on the end of the harbor dock, legs swinging over the edge.

Haft strolls down the dock toward her. “Don’t fall in. You’ll get your boots wet.”

Megren tilts her head back far enough to see who’s coming. “That would be a disappointment,” she agrees. Continue reading Of Tarkaans, Dukes and Badgers

How to Offend Foreign Nobility


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Chlamash unfolds the paper, flattening it. He seems to take his time re-reading it, mouthing some sort of bendiction over it before he tucks it away.

Haft enters the room. He looks surprised to see both Lanisen and Chlamash present, but offers a bow to the Tarkaan.

Chlamash glances up at the sound of footsteps of approching footsteps, running a hand through his hair. His posture straightens so that his noble bearing is more obvious. When Haft enters, he nods to him politely his face revealing nothing. Continue reading How to Offend Foreign Nobility

Cubes With Dalia and Megren

Off-duty Mess



This is the place where off duty soldiers and sailors can relax and eat. There is a small cookfire and hearth and a few tables set up nearby. On one wall is a dart board, and on a small table in the corner there is a chess set. Someone has left a pile of parchment with sketches of his fellow knights on another table. This is a comfortable, casual room.



You can go: Out to the Northern Stairwell <S>

Haft has his feet propped up before the fire.

Megren walks into the room and surveys it for potential victims before her eyes fall on Haft. She corners him. “Hello, guardsman!”

Haft rises warily at her tone and gives a small bow. “Did you need something Dame Megren?”

Megren says, “A cubes partner.”

The fire flickers, casting dancing shadows all over the walls.

Haft grimaces. “Gearn?” he suggests.

Megren says, “Mmmmm…..”


Haft says, “No? What’s so fascinating about cubes with me? You already know my darkest secrets.”

Megren says, “Maybe I want to know your lightest secrets.”

Haft rolls his eyes. “You know there’s a normal way to play cubes, yes? With nice, orderly rules.”

Megren pushes her mouth to the side. “Well, I suppose we could play it that way if you really wanted.”

Dalia pauses by the doorway, panting a little from the steps.

Haft catches sight of her. “What’s she doin’ here?”

Megren takes a moment to figure out who he’s talking about, and then lifts her brows a little, surprised. “I don’t know!”

Haft raise his voice. “Eh, Dalia, you need something?

Perth also seems to spot her and makes his way towards her. She offers him a parcel which may or may not look like a mended shirt and lifts the covering over the basket, she’s carrying offering Perth a cookie and sharing a comment which causes Dalia to chuckle. She turns a little shyly at Haft’s question. “New Help at the Kitchen insisted I bring these cookies up. Wouldn’t take no for an answer.”

Haft glances at Megren.

Megren gets a big grin.

Haft mumbles “Perth got an admirer?”, to Megren.

Haft mumbles “… got … …”, to Megren.

Megren lifts her shoulders up around her ears.

Dalia says, “I think they might have confused me with one of the kitchen maids, but I thought these would be appreciated. ”

Megren asks, “Are they all for Perth or the mess at large?” she says, lifting the towel to reveal the cookies beneath

Dalia curtsys when Megen speaks to her, “For the mess at Large, I believe Ma’am.”

Megren grins. “Well, then, can we tempt you to stay and eat a few with us and join a game of cubes?”

Haft says, “And by cubes she means a perilous game of humiliation and soul searching.”

Megren grins temptingly. “You know you wanna search Haft’s soul!”

Haft makes a face.

Dalia glance between both trying to gauge the offer, the back and forth humoring her and causing a smile to break out. “I have a little while, Ma’am. Only I hope you’ll go easy on a beginer.”

A log on the fire shifts, sending a column of sparks flying upwards.

Megren drags overs a small table and two chairs. “We’ll do our best.”

Haft takes a seat.

Dalia seats herself as well, setting the basket of cookies nearby, and looks to Megren expectantly.

Megren drops one cube onto the table. “So if the roller rolls red, she asks me a question. Yellow is for Haft, green for Dalia. If she rolls blue, I get to ask anyone a question, and violet Haft does, and white Dalia.”

Dalia says, “So White and Yellow then, got it.”

Haft says, “And they have to answer the question or do something embarrassing.”

Dalia pinks a little at the thought of doing something embaressing. “Oh dear. What sort of things have been done?”

Megren says, “Mostly singing songs, hand stands, that sort of thing.”

Haft says, “Dancing in the ward.”

Megren pushes the piece toward her. “You can roll first.”

Dalia nods, “Alright.”

She takes the dice and rolls them.

The dice lands on white, and Dalia considers this looking from Megren to Haft. “Haft…Which do you like better, Cookies or Muffins?”

Haft looks surprised. “Cookies.”

Megren taps her lip like she finds this VERY intriguing.

Dalia pauses the dice over to Megren, trying not to grin and failing.

Megren rolls and lands on violet. She looks at Haft expectantly.

Haft asks, “What’s yer favorite family recipe, Dalia?”

Dalia pauses, looking thoughtful. ” Mother’s apple cobbler.”

Megren says, “Mm.”

Haft says, “I approve.”

Megren passes the gamepiece to Haft.

Dalia smiles, “I don’t know how she always makes it taste so good and full of love.”

Haft rolls yellow and looks at Megren questioning my.

Megren asks, “Hmm, I think that gives you a free round?”

Megren says, “Or, I know, it means you have to eat a cookie.”


Haft smiles and takes one from the basket, passing the cube.

Dalia takes the cube and rolls again.

Dalia asks, “Hmm. I suppose what was your favorite part of Narnia?”

Megren exclaims, “Oh! Hmm. I liked the centaurs.”

Haft asks, “Why so?”

Dalia says, “Oh really?”

She looks eagerly at Megren, like this a story she wants to hear sometime.”

Megren says, “Because I don’t understand how they work.”

Haft chuckles. “You know they eat most meals twice?”

Megren asks, “But how do they stay upright?”

Haft asks, “How do you?”

Megren says, “I don’t have a back end. They’ve got to have stomach muscles like rocks.”

Dalia listens rapt attention To Haft and Megren discusse centaurs.

Haft says, “Yeah, well the ones I saw at Cair Paravel probably had.”

He rolls the cube which comes up blue.

Megren says, “Oh, blue. Hmmm. Dalia, favorite childhood spring.”

The fire flickers, casting dancing shadows all over the walls.

Sir Chal enters the mess and beelines for Megren. He acknowledges her companions briefly, and then exchanges a few quiet words with her. She turns to the others with a regretful expression, already rising. “That’s all the games for me, I’m afraid.”

Haft rises. “Everything all right?”

Megren says, “Just got called in to council, that’s all.”

Haft says, “Right. We’ll see you later then.”

He bows to both knights.

Megren calls, walking backward, “Thank you for the game!”

Early Knighthood

Off-duty Mess



This is the place where off duty soldiers and sailors can relax and eat. There is a small cookfire and hearth and a few tables set up nearby. On one wall is a dart board, and on a small table in the corner there is a chess set. Someone has left a pile of parchment with sketches of his fellow knights on another table. This is a comfortable, casual room.



You can go: Out to the Northern Stairwell <S>

The mess is fairly quiet. Haft sits with his feet propped up in front of the fire.

Megren walks into the room and hangs back in the doorway to survey it. Seeing Haft, she gets a cup of tea and goes to sit in the chair beside his.

Haft looks up and smiles, rising and offering a small bow. “Dame Megren.”

Megren wrinkles her nose at him. “Hello.”

Haft reseats himself. “How goes your beginning as a knight?”

Megren says, “About how you’d expect. Sleepier.” Continue reading Early Knighthood

The Knighting of Megren

Knights’ and Officers’ Barracks(#12955R/AHKM)



This is the barracks belonging to the officers of the Army and Navy of

Archenland, as well as to the knights of Anvard. While it is smaller than the

other two barracks, the items here are of a higher quality. In addition to

bunks and lockers, there are also several desks covered in maps and journals.



You can go: Naval Barracks <S>, Army Barracks <N>

There are a lot of characters here! Type ‘glance’ to glance at them all.

Lanisen ignores her loftily, but his ears are red again.

Dalia thanks lanisen and takes one of the snowdrops to braid in, reaching not long after for another spring.

Lanisen is sitting sideways in a chair by a window, which is open to let in the cool breeze. There is a hearty supply of fresh flowers in a jar on the table next to Megren and Dalia. Dalia is drawing from a little heap of white blossoms to braid into Megren’s hair.

Myles sets down his polishing rag and puts his second boot on, then stands and reaches for his sword-belt.

Megren fidgets nervously and tries to see if she can see Lanisen.

Lanisen continues choosing and drying flowers, but glances up frequently to check in. He offers her a small encouraging smile.

Haft enters and leans against the door jamb.

Dalia continues braiding, crossing strand over strand and slipping in herb or flower in depending on what she thinks will suit best. Catching Megren’s fidgets in a subtle glance, she holds the braid so that Megren can glance at Lanisen.

Megren makes a silly face at Lanisen to try to hide her nervousness.

Lanisen dimples up, but tips his head to the side knowingly. He glances over his shoulder as Haft comes into sight.

Megren’s eyes skip past Lanisen to Haft and she lifts her brows in greeting. “Almost ready,” she tells him.

Dalia finishes the braid slipping the last few flowers and such in. “There. How does that look?”

Lanisen draws and releases a deep breath approvingly.

Megren picks up the mirror and looks into it. “Oh, it’s, thank you Dalia, it’s, that’s perfect.”

Myles gets his sword-belt fastened in place. He grins.

Lanisen stays quiet, but he gives Dalia a grateful look.

Dalia simply grins, extremely pleased.

Megren gets up and straps on her cuirass, followed by her belt and sword. She takes a breath.

Haft smiles in approval.

Lanisen pulls his lips between his teeth, quietly getting to his feet.

Megren asks, “So, I think I go, then?”

Lanisen’s eyes flit to Myles and Haft. “I think it’s about time,” he agrees softly, clasping his elbow. “You ready?”

Myles joins Haft near the door, waiting for the others.

Megren blows out a breath and nods uncertainly.

Lanisen swallows, and smiles, and lets his eyes slip from her face to the door.

Dalia offers Meg a smile, giving her shoulder a reassuring squeeze.

Myles jokes, “Don’t worry, I made sure everyone knows not to trip you until after.”

Megren gives Myles a horrified look, not apparently having thought of this.

Lanisen grins, looking down.

Myles laughs and waves the group toward the door.

Megren’s expression melts into a nervously confident one, and she strides through the door.


Lanisen trails after them, his expression going a bit distant.


Great Hall



More than any other part of the castle, the Great Hall gives the impression of

age and enduring strength. It is a long, rectangular room, spacious enough to

accommodate several long tables on feast days, with high walls built of massive

blocks of red stone and two rows of matching pillars to support the arching

roof. There is an enormous fireplace in the middle of the southwest wall,

directly across from the intricately carved double doors that lead out into the

inner ward. A wicker screen blocks the door to the kitchen in the southeast

wall from sight. Six tall, narrow windows on the northeast wall let in a fair

amount of sunlight in the morning and early afternoon, but decorative iron

sconces that hang at functional intervals along each wall provide most of the

hall’s illumination.

At the far northwest end of the hall, three steps lead upto the dais, where

the high table sits beneath the banners of the noble houses: Coghill’s eagle,

Carmichael’s stag, Chesterton’s dragon, Lancelyn Green’s horse, Neiklot’s tree,

and the crown and mountains of Anvard’s standard.



You can go: Kitchen <SE>, Inner Ward <NE>, Dais <NW>

There are a lot of characters here! Type ‘glance’ to glance at them all.

The Great Hall is at its finest today: the great drapes on the northeast windows are drawn wide and the room is filled with light. Several benches are set in rows facing the dais, with an aisle up the center clear. Those assembled–many members of the guard, most of the knights in residence, and several of Megren’s friends and family–wait in silence.

Lune is seated on his throne, attended by Darrin on his left and the two princes on his right.

Darrin stands tall, with his hands clasped behind his back. He wears a formal blue tabard emblazoned with his personal crest over his suit of chainmail.

Megren enters the hall and hangs backs close to the doorway for a moment, taking in the decor with wide eyes. She makes a smoothing motion over her armor, glancing at Lanisen nervously, and then drops her hands, resting one of the pommel of her sword, and begins to stride down the long aisle.

Lanisen gives her a small encouraging nod when she looks his way. He hangs back with the others until she has gone some distance alone, then follows and takes a seat on one of the benches.

Myles takes his place among the others gathered in the hall.

Dalia follows taking a seat nearby

There is a low murmur as Megren passes toward the dais, a sound which does not quite edge over into cheering, but is close. The faces that look toward her are encouraging and glad.

Deonyc follows his fellow guards and sits down with the more junior ones, smiling.

Megren colors as the murmuring reaches her ears, but her lips curve.


Lune’s face is stern but somehow lighter around the eyes as he waits for Megren to reach the dais.

Nessa comes walking toward you from the Outer Ward.

Darrin smiles, his eyes roaming the crowd, and may be noticed to bounce very slightly on the balls of his feet.

Dalia looks to her sister beside her grinning, before turning back to watch Megren progress towards the the dais.

Megren reaches the steps and ascends them slowly.

Darrin dips his head to Megren as she reaches the dais.

Lune allows a very small smile to ease the gravity of his expression as she nears.

Megren bows to the king, then the princes, and last Sir Darrin.

Lune waits a moment until she has done this obeisance. The hall is utterly quiet, even the little shiftings and rustlings of small movements through the crowd settling, and his voice, when he speaks, carries easily even to the farthest corners. “The Knights of Anvard have long been established as an office of the highest order, serving at the discretion of the King and in the service of the people. The title of knight is bestowed only upon those who have attained those skills and virtues of character which are required by the Crown. Today, we consider the suit of one Megren, squire to Sir Darrin, who has been recommended as fit to receive the oath of her office.”

Megren bows her head a little.

Lune turns to Darrin. “Sir Darrin, has the squire proven to have mastered all the tasks and skills set before her by your person?”

Darrin bows. “She has, Your Majesty. She has excelled in every area.”

Lune inclines his head in acceptance and acknowledgement of this. He looks toward where the members of the guard in attendance are seated. “And of her time as a Guard of Anvard, who can speak to her competence?”

Deonyc looks to the older guards who are nodding in agreement.

Nessa watches, as amazed at getting to see all of the royals as in the ceramony itself

Haft Haft rises and bows. “I will, by your leave. I served with Megren for a year in the guard before Sir Darrin took her as his squire. I found her vigilant and earnest in her desire to serve and protect the people and effective in doing so, to a degree not often found in newer guards. She has often demonstrated an ability to resolve conflicts through earnest speech with the parties involved, and also shows an aptitude with weaponry that will serve her well should it be called upon. Moreover she serves with a merry heart and goodwill toward her fellows that is a boon whether one be guard or knight., and she upholds the ideals of honor, justice, and friendship. I can offer no higher praise.”

He steps back.

Lune nods again. “It is well spoken,” he says. “And has she proven, by quest or deed, heroism and leadership of the highest standard?”

Megren wets her lower lip.

Lanisen stands up. He quails slightly from the attention suddenly directed his way, but he bows to the king and keeps his eyes on him. “She saved my life, your majesty,” he says, and if his voice is shaky, it carries nevertheless. “She, she found me, when I was a prisoner, and then she helped me after. She never let me feel that I was alone. I wouldn’t have made it if it weren’t for her.”

His eyes shift briefly to Megren at this last, then he bows again and slips quickly back into his seat.

Darrin gives a small, warm smile, and bows his head to Lanisen as he sits back down.

Megren gives a miniscule shake of her head and blinks at the ground a few times.

Lanisen glances from side to side as the silence stretches.

Lune waits patiently for a moment, then lowers his head to regard Megren. “Knowst thou, Squire Megren, any just cause why the rank of knight should not be conferred upon thee?”

Lune’s eyes crinkle up faintly at the corners. “Megren, squire to Sir Darrin, thou hast been deemed fit for this high echelon by thy superiors and thy peers, and hast indicated thy willingness to accept this honour from Our hands.”

He stands from his throne, and the movement is echoed by a soft wave of rustling from all around the Hall as those assembled follow suit. “Kneel.”

Darrin nods encouragingly at Megren at her answer and then grins to himself when the King announces Megren’s fitness for knighthhood and rises.

Megren kneels, and only those near her will see the tremble in her hands.

Lanisen gets to his feet, shifting slightly to the side so he can see where Megren kneels. He bites his lower lip hard.

Lune’s voice is quiet and solemn, but still fills the whole Hall. “Swearest thou by the name of Aslan to honour and defend the Crown against all who would wish Us harm?”

Megren says, “I swear it.”

Dalia beam with excitement and some other unreadable emotion as she watches Megren kneel and speak her oaths of fealty.

Lune asks, “And swearest thou to act in accordance with the virtues of thine office, to respect and pity the weak and steadfastly defend them, and to pursue justice on their behalf?”

Megren says, “I swear it.”

Lune asks, “Swearest thou to be charitable to all, and to be generous in thy giving to those who have need?”

Darrin watches Megren’s face from where he stands just behind the King as she swears the vows of knighthood.

Megren says, “I swear it.”

Lune asks, “Swearest thou, in the battles that are to come, both bravery and hope in the face of adversity, and grace and wisdom in defeat? Swearest thou to forbear from the creation of an unequal battle, that those engaged upon the field may be assured a fair chance of victory?”

Lanisen’s eyes are damp as he watches.

Megren says, “I swear myself to it.”

Haft’s expression remains solemn, but fond pride sparks in his eyes.

Lune asks, “Swearest thou, as a knight, to champion all that is right and good and reject that which is evil? Swearest thou humility in thine actions and demeanor, good fellowship with those around thee, and a free willingness to hear offered council, regardless of whence it comes?”

Megren nods slightly, and her voice breaks a little as she confirms, “I swear it.”

Lune asks, “Swearest thou to pursue and uphold the truth, and to be loyal to the oaths you have given here today?”

Megren says, “By my heart and life, I swear it.”

Lune’s smile does not diminish the solemnity of his words. “We accept thy fealty.”

Megren swallows.

Darrin bites the inside of his lower lip, looking more and more proud as the ceremony proceeds.

Lune says, “And for Our part, we pledge to thee that from this day forward until the end of Our Reign, we will honor thine Order and defend thy rights as a peer. We pledge to protect the trust that thou hast placed in us, to learn from thee what thou hast to teach and to teach what thou desirest to learn from us. We pledge always to conduct ourselves with honour and justice, holding Ourself as an example to the vows you have sworn here today.”

Megren nods, her head still bowed.

Lune turns aside, extending a hand to Sir Darrin. “Bring forth the shield.”

Darrin turns to his left and takes a steel shield from the page who has slipped to his side unnoticed in the last few minutes. It has the design Megren has chosen for her own standard as a knight emblazoned upon it, a white rose and a brown wren on a field of azure. He steps forward and presents the shield to Megren, emblem first, so that she and everyone in the hall can see its design.

Darrin hands Megren’s Shield to Megren.

Lanisen covers his mouth, smiling helplessly.

Megren takes a great breath, and lifts her arm to accept the shield.

Darrin fits it onto her shield arm.

Lune says, as this is done, “Let this shield be a symbol of thine office as a Knight of Anvard to all who behold it. Wear it with honor and with pride.”

Darrin takes a step back.

Megren inclines her head.

Lune draws his greatsword silently from its scabbard. It gleams in the slanting sunlight from the window. “By Our authority as King, and in the name of the Lion and of his father the Emperor Beyond the Sea, We do dub thee a Knight of Anvard.”

Using the flat of the blade, he strikes a single light blow on each of Megren’s shoulders. “Now rise, Dame Megren.”

Megren rises slowly, unbowing her head and letting her shoulders fall straight.

Darrin calls out, “Three cheers for Dame Megren!”

Lanisen joins in the ensuing clamor with spirit.

Dalia calls out her own cheers with vigor!

Deonyc Cheers with the guards. Wich are making sure that they are the loudest.

Lune claps Megren on the shoulder, murmuring for only those near to hear, “Well done.”

He smiles at her fully, then sheathes his greatsword and steps back, gesturing out to the cheering people.

Megren nods gratefully to the King, her face and ears taking on a bright shade at the cries echoing through the hall. She turns to meet the people gathered there, and descends the dais.

Lanisen keeps well back as the people begin to mill about, stepping out of the way of the servants stepping in to move the benches and haul in the long tables for the feast. He finds a place near the wall where his presence seems not to be inconveniencing anybody and settles in.

Dalia pulls a candied fig from her pouch and eats it.

Darrin clasps hands with King Lune, a bright smile on his face, as Megren joins her supporters.

Lune thumps Darrin heartily on the shoulder before he moves off, booming jolly orders regarding the availability of wine and ale. His sons trail along behind him, eventually breaking off to mingle as well.

Lune walks out to the Inner Ward.

Megren passes through the crowd as quickly as she can, which is not especially so, and disappears for a very brief time, returning without her armor or shield, though her sword is still belted at her waist.

Dalia looks about for Megren for in the milling crowd, making her way towards her when she sees her again.

Lanisen stays where he is, watching the musicians set up for the dancing with a small, absent smile. He seems a bit out of his element, standing with one arm crossed over his stomach, but not overly so.

Nessa starts to follow Dalia, but breaks off at the last second after seeing Lanisen over in the corner and goes over to him. “Hello! I believe we met a couple of days ago and I was unable to stay and talk for long, I’m sorry for dahing off so quickly”

Darrin looks out over the crowd before he too descends the dais, and after a moment he makes his way over to Lanisen and leans against the wall beside him.

Megren stands in the doorway when she returns, her cuirass exchanged for a fitted, comfortable bodice, the rest of the dress the same. She hangs back there, searching with her eyes for her friends.

Lanisen says, “Oh! Oh, er–” He pauses, briefly distracted, and bows as Sir Darrin joins them. “It’s, it’s quite all right,” he says to Nessa, offering a small genuine smile, though he doesn’t meet her eyes for long. “Duties have to be seen to at inconvenient times, sometimes.”

Nessa says, “Indeed” Nessa replied, turning her eyes to the incoming knights and dropping into a curtsy her sister taught her to be proper”

Darrin grins at Lanisen and bows his head politely to the stranger when she curtseys to him as well. “Hello,” he says to both, his tone jovial.

Dalia can possibly be seen making her way in the direction she saw Megren last.

Megren catches sight of Dalia coming toward her and closes the distance between them.

Lanisen rubs his wrists absently and glances at Sir Darrin, lifting his eyebrows and the corners of his mouth.

Nessa looks slightly unsure as to what the ettiquette of the situation demanded and then drops to another very slight curtsy. “It is an honor to meet a knight, sir”

Darrin’s grin turns crooked and he winks at Lanisen, and then turns his attention back to the woman. “The pleasure is mine. I don’t believe I’ve made your acquaintance before. Sir Darrin, at your service.”

Lanisen dimples up and looks away, seeking out Megren in the crowd. He leans back against the wall tiredly.

Dalia smiles and drops a small curtsy, “Dame Megren, may I introduce my sister…”

She turns, around looking for her sister who had been following her.

Nessa says, “Nessa at yours, Sir Darrin. My sister Dalia insisted that I attend the knighting, and it was a lovely ceremony. His Majesty is a joy to behold”

Megren colors, and her lips curve at the first use of her title. She nods. “Yes, of course, I’d love to meet her.”

Darrin agrees, “The King is quite jovial, it’s true. But the occasion calls for it!”

He glows proudly.

Nessa says, “Oh, yes, Dalia said that Dame Megren was your squire. I can’t imagine how proud you must be of her with all of the acts of bravery people were testifying about.”

Dalia colors a bit in response to the empty space, looking for the said sister. She looks a little uncertain at having spoken her friend’s title instead of just her name. She looks about trying to find the said sister. “Um…oh! There she is, looks like. By Lanisen and Sir Darrin.”

Lanisen folds his other arm across his middle.

Megren’s smile broadens. “Oh, perfect. Shall we go?”

Darrin confides, “I could not have asked for a better first squire.”

Nessa says, “I hope that when I am able to take on an apprentice I will be given someone as capible.”

Dalia nods, a small smile creeping back at Megren’s words and smile.

Lanisen stays quiet, though he smiles faintly at Darrin’s praise of Megren.

Megren seeks out her friends in the direction Dalia has indicated and starts that way once she’s found them.

Darrin asks, “Oh, and what do you do, Nessa?”

Nessa fingers the edge of her cloak. “I’m a weaver, Sir. I just recently started supplying some of the wool cloth for the castle.

Darrin smiles. “I shall have to look for signs of your work about the castle in the future, then.”

Dalia allows Megren to lead following along behind, she waves to Nessa to get her her attention as they approach.

Lanisen straightens slightly as Megren approaches, letting his arms fall to his sides. He says nothing, but his face is written all over with quiet pride and affection. When she is near enough, he bends his head and performs a simple, respectful bow.

Nessa says, “You should be seeing them soon, I just finished several bolts for the newest guard’s winter gear”

Haft makes his way toward Megren.

Darrin is nodding to Nessa but gets entirely distracted by Lanisen’s bow. He starts beaming proudly all over again.

Nessa waves back at Dalia and edges toward her. “I’m sorry that I was seperated from you, I saw Lanisen and wanted to appologise for leaving in such a rush when we first met.”

She glances over at the aformentioned son of Adam, noticing his marked change in demeanor. “Though I can see that he has much more important things on his mind tonight”

Dalia smiles, “That’s alright. I wanted to introduce you to Dame Megren.”

There may be something in the way the title is said that might imply the speaker is unused to it.

Megren smiles at the other girl. “Hello.”

Lanisen looks startled by Nessa’s words and he glances between her and Darrin in confusion.

Nessa mumbles “New Titles are tricky. … took … quite … to get used … … … …”, to Dalia.

Nessa looks up at the new Knight. “Hello, it’s a pleasure to me you….sir?”

Haft steps near, lips twisting in amusement at Nessa’s words.

Megren’s grin broadens. “You, too. I’m sorry I didn’t catch your name?”

Lanisen tilts his head, looking at Megren’s immaculately braided hair, and then winks at Dalia.

Nessa says, “Nessa at your service, Dame Megran.”

Nessa adds with a slight curtsy. “It was a lovely ceremony today”

Dalia smiles in reply to Nessa’s offered encouragement. She was guardswomen Megren when I first met her..”

Catching Lanisen’s wink, she grins back.

Haft approaches and offers a bow and a smile. “Congratulations, Dame Megren.”

Megren nods. “I was, that’s true.”

Lanisen shifts back against the wall again, content to watch and listen as Megren receives her due congratulations.

Megren smiles at Haft, her nose wrinkling a little, and nods her head. “Thanks.”

Haft asks, “I suppose this spoils any chance of us having you back on the guard?”

Megren says, “More guard shifts, though.”

Lanisen grins.

Haft says, “Well, that’s something then.”

Megren grins, and then looks around. “So is there food at this thing?”

Nessa laughs slightly “I was wondering that myself. Not to take away from the ceremony of course…

Darrin puts in, “Well, there’s certainly alcohol, if I overheard the King correctly.” He laughs.

Megren says, “Right, I want some of that, too.”

Nessa says, “I would not shy away from finding out what wine served in the castle tasted like”

Haft chuckles.

Lanisen looks with interest toward the tables being loaded with food by kitchen workers, Ren directing the placement of a beautifully constructed pastry structure that looks rather like the castle, if the castle were made out of puff-pastry and whipped cream, but his eyes shift to the open door to the ward instead after a moment.

Megren crosses nearer Lanisen and says something quietly to him.

Megren mumbles “… can … … if … want.”, to Lanisen.

Lanisen’s shoulders sag gratefully, but he looks at her with some doubt.

Lanisen mumbles “Will you be all … … … be … …”, to Megren.

Megren nods.

Megren mumbles “I’m … … … we didn’t unwrap the bread …”, to Lanisen.

Nessa looks away from the couple obviously having a private moment. “Would you like to go sample some of that wine, Haft?

Lanisen takes a moment to figure out what she means, but his face lights up with pleasure.

Lanisen mumbles “… … … … … … … it good?”, to Megren.

Darrin steps away to give Megren and Lanisen some privacy, and speaks to Nessa. “I’m all for it.”

Megren mumbles “It … perfect.”, to Lanisen.

Nessa steps over to the table with the food and pours a glass of wine and hands it to Darrin before pouring one for herself “Sir Darrin, how does one become an acomplished knight with a squire that has joined his ranks so young?

Lanisen glows. He glances past her briefly at where Darrin and Nessa are investigating the table.

Lanisen mumbles “Is … … you …”, to Megren., to Megren.

Haft glances at Megren, but follows Nessa amiably.

Megren shakes her head. “Go.”

Darrin follows Nessa, taking a sip of wine and then almost coughing on it. He colors. “Ah, hm, well. I had a leg up there, you know, my parents sent me off to squire under Lord Ast at a rather young age.”

Lanisen accepts this with a nod, but still seems reluctant to go. “Congratulations, Dame Megren,” he says quietly, half-grinning.

Darrin adds, “And Megren was a very particular case, in that I took her on as a squire when she was much older than many other squires start. But she was already an experienced guard, well-trained in martial arts, so her training did not take nearly as long as that of a squire with no experience would have.”

Megren wrinkles her nose again and pulls him into a full hug.

Nessa Figures that there’s more to the story, but decides not to press. “Of course, I forgot that some knights start younger than others. Do you plan on taking on another squire now?

Lanisen startles up briefly, but hugs her tightly in return, squeezing his eyes shut.

Megren steps back with her hands on his shoulders and looks into his eyes to command, “Go sleep.”

Darrin shakes his head, taking another drink of wine but this time more carefully. “I wouldn’t rule out the possibility eventually, of course, but I chose Megren as a squire because of the potential I saw in her rather than my own desire or need to have a squire.”

He shifts to open his stance and include Haft in their conversation, and continues, “I don’t see myself taking another unless I found another person in whom I’d like to invest.”

Lanisen ducks his head obediently, the little half-grin still in place. “I’ll see you soon,” he promises, and turns to go.

Nessa Nods “I like the sound of that, I would like to be able to see anyone that I trained as a friend as well as a pupil

Megren nods, and shoos him off.

Lanisen walks out to the Inner Ward.

Megren blows out a breath as Lanisen departs and wanders off in the direction the rest of her friends have gone. She seeks out the wine and pours herself a cup.

Darrin nods. “That has been a good method, in my experience.”

He nabs a piece of bread off a platter on the table. “Are you looking for an apprentice currently?”

Nessa shakes head “Someday, but not quite yet. I wouldn’t want to take on a great responsibility until I am well established in town. But the idea of watching someone grow from stinging threads on a loom to drawing up their own patterns is very appealing to me

Darrin says, “Still, sensible of you to wait till you’re in a prosperous enough place to take on that responsibility.”

Megren hesitates in joining her friends to talk to her family. There is a great deal of hugging and shoulder smacking and merry words, and one older man who looks of an age to be Megren’s father looks in danger of not letting her go when it is his turn.”


Haft’s eyes follow Megren and he smiles at this interaction.


Nessa takes a piece of bread off a plate and spreads strawberry jam on it and nibbles on it before yawning. “This has been a lovely celebration, and I am truly happy to have met so many of you, but I really ought to get back home soon.”

Darrin inclines his head. “Well, it was good to meet you, Nessa.”

Megren leads the gaggle of people over toward the food and gets them to admire the pastry castle. After a little more chatter and a lot of practicing to visit within the week, she extracts herself to rejoin Haft and Sir Darrin.

Nessa Finishes off her glass of wine. “I hope that I run into you again, either in the outer ward or in the viliage. Dalia’s descriptions of finding kind friends were not an exageration.” she gave a wink at Haft “Even if Haft and I don’t always see eye to eye”

Haft raises a brow and looks at her slantwise, but makes no answer to this.

Nessa walks out to the Inner Ward.

Darrin raises an eyebrow at Haft. “Now, I can’t help but feel there’s a story there.”

Megren comes up just as Nessa is leaving. “Hi, hello.”

Haft says, “I’m sure it’s not worth telling, Sir.”

Darrin pouts and then brightens immediately when Megren appears. “Hello!”

Megren smiles softly. “Hello.”

Haft says, “A fine evening.”

Megren asks, “Yeah?”

Darrin snerks, shaking his head at this oversimplification.

Haft asks, “And a well-laid table. What’s the occasion?”

Megren shoves him gently in the shoulder.

Haft says, “Well, I behaved for a little while.”

Darrin holds his pointer finger and thumb very close together to indicate how long this lasted.

Megren replies sincerely, “Thank you for speaking.”

Haft says, “I meant every word.”

Megren says, “I know.”

Darrin says, “Well, congratulations, Dame Megren, since I don’t think I’ve said that officially.”

He raises his wineglass.

Megren colors and pulls a face.


Darrin chortles, having expected as much.

Haft snorts.

Megren asks, “Should we join the dancing?”


Darrin says, “Oooh, yes.”

Megren grins.

Haft says, “I can see no reason why not.”

Darrin sets his now empty glass down on the table.

Megren takes each of their hands and pulls them toward where the dancers have gathered.

Haft follows her lead.


Inner Wall Walk



You stand on Anvard’s Inner Wall Walk. From here you have a view of both the Inner and Outer Wards. A cool wind ruffles your clothes. A glance down into the Outer Ward reveals the bustle of people going to and from the market stalls, or off to various duties throughout the castle. In the Inner Ward you see nobles and staff, mingling happily or going about their own business.



You can go: Toward the Trapdoor Opening , Southern Watchtower

Haft stands on duty on the wall walk.

Megren comes up through the north trapdoor and walks along down the length of the wall.

Haft turns. “Didn’t expect you up here.

Megren says, “I told Perth I’d cover his shift. Figured it would make good practice.”

Haft asks, “What’s Perth doing?”

Megren says, “Probably beating Geard at darts.”

Haft says, “Sounds like a good use of his time.”

Megren asks, “There’s little better. How’s the watch?”

Haft asks, “Pleasantly dull. How’re your last days as a squire?”

Megren says, “Fast.”

Haft asks, “The squires as eager to be quit of you as the guard was?”

Megren makes a face at him. “I loved being a guard.”

Haft says, “We loved having you. Can’t think why you left.”

Megren pushes her mouth to the side gratefully and nods her thanks. “Even with the cartwheels?”

Haft puts on a mournful face. “Twas a stain upon our honor, to be sure. We do not speak of it.”

Megren hits him lightly in the arm.

Haft chuckles.

Megren says, “Sir Darrin and I talked about it a little. It’ll be different. I’ll miss it, I think, but I’ll also be glad to be done with it.”

Haft says, “Seems like you’re always moving about and progressing while I fight to just stand still.”

Megren’s brows draw together. “You feel that way?”

Haft says, “It’s not necessarily a complaint. I might have hoped in my youth to be a captain one day, and I’ll be glad of any promotions I achieve, but…I don’t know.”

Megren asks, “Is that what you’d like?”

Megren says, “To move up? I always sort of thought you were just where you wanted to be.”

Haft says, “Well, that’s what I mean, at least, well, in a way.”

He looks slightly flustered. “I’m grateful to be here at all. You know that.”

Megren nods. “I do.”

Haft says, “But I’ve always wanted to be the best at what I do. I study and train hard, and my duties have expanded since I came. I’m glad of it.”

Megren nods again, her lips turning upward a little now.

Megren says, “That’s good.”

Haft says, “Yeah.”

Megren watches the quiet ward. “You’re a good guard,” she assesses.

Haft follows her gaze. “Well, everyone started behaving after the first few fiery acorns sped their way.”

Megren snorts softly.

Haft says, “But thanks.”

Megren says, “You’re welcome.”

Haft drums his fingers on the parapet.

Megren glances at him.

Haft asks, “How’d the cubes game end the other night?”

Megren says, “Oh, we stopped when you left.”

Haft asks, “Why?”

Megren lifts her shoulders. “It’s more fun when it’s more than two.”

Haft says, “Coulda asked Owin.”

Megren says, “That’s true.”

Haft says, “Course that might also have terrified him.”

Megren says, “Almost definitely.”

Haft says, “Poor chap does try though.”

Megren says, “Sir Darrin would have comforted him.”

Haft grins. “So…you still owe me a question, don’t you?

Megren says, “Right, yes.”

Haft pauses a moment, takes a breath, then asks. “So why did Suir Darrin stiffen up like a fireplace poker when I asked about your dance partner?”

Megren tilts her head and is quiet for a moment. “Did he?”

She finally asks.

Haft says, “Yes.”

Megren says, “Well.”

She pauses again, and then says, “I guess maybe I haven’t been hiding it as well as I might have liked.”

Haft looks at her sharply. “Hiding what?”

Megren’s lips purse together and she lifts a shoulder.

Megren looks at him with a disbelieving expression.

Haft shrugs.

Megren says, as if she thinks it should be obvious, “It’s Sir Darrin.”

Haft just stares at her.

Megren frowns and looks back at the ward. “It’s, not appropriate or sensible, obviously, so you needn’t be sore with me about all that; I already know. I’d hoped I was addressing it a little better, though.”

Haft blinks at her, as though he’s still catching up. “Addressing it? You haven’t addressed anything at all.”

Megren asks, “Um, hide it and not let it get in the way, then?”

Haft says, “You’re…you /love/ Sir Darrin?”

He blinks again as the rest of the pieces begin to coalesce. “And he /knows/.”

Megren screws up her mouth. “That’s pretty strong words,” she argues.

Haft says, “What, ‘love’? So you just stumble while dancing with him then.”

Megren says, “On occasion.”

Haft asks, “And what does he think about all this? Does he…stumble back?”

Megren says, “I don’t think that’s a thing.”

Haft looks frustrated. “You know what I mean.”

Megren pushes her mouth to the side, lips pressed together, and says after a moment, “You would have to ask him.”

Haft’s voice sparks. “I can’t very well do that, Meg. He’s one of my commanding officers.

Megren says with a touch of reprimand in her voice, “Mine too.”

Haft throws up his hands and stomps away to the other end of the wall.

Megren’s shoulders drop and she calls after him, “Haft–”

Haft ignores her and leans on the stone, perusing the ward.

Megren sighs and tries to close the distance between them. “I have just told you one of my hardest secrets, you know.”

Haft glowers at the ward. “Did you?”

He takes a breath. “Because what you’ve told me is a tangle and I can’t make heads or tails of it.”

Megren’s brows draw together.

Haft says, “Well, from what you’ve said, you’ve taken a shine to Sir Darrin, despite his station. And to judge by his reaction at cubes, he knows about it. But you don’t want to tell me what he thinks of it, so I don’t know how much trouble you may be in or not.”

Megren says, “I don’t know why you think I’ve told him about it.”

Haft asks, “Have you?”

Megren’s lips press together.

Haft makes a face. “You have. If you hadn’t you could tell me. But you don’t want to speak for him I guess.”

Megren’s mouth pushes to the side and she clasps her elbows. “He’s my superior, Haft.”

Haft snaps. “Yes, I haven’t missed that, but what aspect of it you’re trying to drive home escapes me.”

Megren says, “It’s not appropriate for me to hold an interest, and it’s not fair for you to ask.”

Haft makes a noise of frustration and grips the stones, silent for a moment. “Agreed,” he says at length. “But you say you’ve told me a hard secret and I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with it.

Megren says, “You /asked/.”

Haft runs a hand over his face.

Megren asks, in a quieter voice, “Would you have rather I lied?”

Haft sighs and looks back at her. “I would rather you had more sense than the Lion gave a Mouse, Meg. I don’t want you hurt.

Megren says, “I’ll — I know.”

Haft takes her by the shoulders. He sounds older, his voice more fatherly than usual in speaking to her. “What I mean is, the Mice–I don’t know if you met any–they are an honorable small folk. Their thoughts and goals are high and lofty, but too often beyond their measure to achieve. Do you…am I permitted to ask if this is more than a passing folly on your part?

Megren’s eyes skitter away. “It’s — you needn’t worry over it. And I haven’t let it get in the way of my training.”

Haft searches her face. “Lord Darrin is a good man, but few nobles can make the choice of Sir Colin, even if they would. You know this.”

Megren says, “I know.”

Haft nods solemnly. “Guard your heart then.”

He gives her shoulders a light squeeze and releases them.

Megren says, “I, thanks. I will.”

Haft still looks concerned, but says no more for the moment. “How are preparations coming for the vigil?”

Megren says, “We got the dress picked, and I’ve got everything polished, and Sir Darrin and I went over the schedule.”

Haft attempts a half smile. “What sort of dress did you settle on then?”

Megren says, “Tess came up with one I could wear armor with for the ceremony and then dress down for the dancing after.”

Haft says, “Impressive.”

Megren says, “It’s nice.”

Haft asks, “Color?”

Megren says, “Blue/mulberry.”

OOC> Megren says, “ooc That RP is ongoing and we haven’t chosen mulberry or blue yet*.”

Haft asks, “Not Archen purple?”

Megren makes a soft sound of laughter. “I wish.”

OOC> Haft says, “Archen *”

Haft says, “Some of us can’t pull it off.”

Megren gives him an offended look, only half serious.

Haft shrugs at his weak attempt at humor.

Megren says loftily, “Archenland’s colors would look good on anyone.”

Haft purses his lips. “I could name a fair few upon whom they would not look so well, but then Darius and Rabadash are not applying for the honor.”

Megren screws up her mouth but admits, “Fair.”

Haft nods in acknowledgment of her agreement.

Megren blows out a breath.

Haft asks, “Nervous?”

Megren admits, “Yeah.”

Haft says, “So would I be.”

Megren asks, “Yeah?”

Haft says, “Sure. I’d probably be like Agnalin the Unknighted.”

Megren snorts. “You would not.”

Haft considers. “Alright, I admit I’m not likely to knock over a candlestick and burn half the chamber down, but no doubt /something/ would go wrong.”

Megren says, “I don’t know how I’m supposed to get used to people bowing and calling me dame.”

Haft says, “I’ll call you Fritter if you’d rather.”

Megren says, “I’ll accept that.”

Haft says, “Just don’t step on anyone’s toes during the dancing. The rest will fall into place.”

Megren nods. “All right.”

Haft says, “As for the bowing and all, there’s nothing for it.”

Megren says, “Yeah.”

Haft says, “Just look down your nose as loftily as possible.”

Megren tries this now.

Haft says, “Effective.”

Megren breaks into a grin.

Haft smirks. “And now you’ve gone and spoilt it.”

Megren says, “Well, I prefer this.”

Haft says, “Aye.”

Megren wrinkles her nose happily at him.

“You needn’t look so pleased with yourself,” he grumbles.

Megren pulls a frowning face.

Haft wrinkles his nose in a good approximation of hers.

Megren laughs, covering her mouth.

Haft says, “You’ll do just fine Meg.”

Megren smiles at him, and looks back out over the ward. “Thanks. I hope so.”