In which Haft watches from the shadows
You stand in the most impressive room in Anvard, the Great Hall. It is hung with tapestries on every wall, lending warmth to the vast stone chamber. High windows allow a small amount of light in from the outside, but most of the illumination comes from decorative sconces hanging along each wall. At the northwestern end of the Hall you see a raised dais, where the High Table stands. The purple and gold banner of Archenland hangs over the dias.
You can go: Kitchen <E>, Inner Ward <NE>, Dais <NW>
Contents: A daughter of eve with a pulled back bun; A daughter of eve with a red streak in her brown hair; A daughter of eve with honey-colored ringlets; A son of adam wearing a tough leather apron; A son of adam with disheveled hair; A daughter of eve wearing a rough woven brown shawl on her shoulders; A daughter of eve with auburn hair in a milkmaid’s plait; A daughter of eve with chestnut curls; A son of adam around fourteen years of age (Corin); A son of adam of about 14 years of age; A son of adam wearing spectacles; A son of adam wearing well made clothes and a crown; A son of adam who is crowned and dressed in ceremonial robes (Edmund); A son of adam with a friendly smile; A son of adam with a strong build; A son of adam with a swarthy complexion; A son of adam with bright blue eyes and light brown hair (Darrin); A son of adam with curly hair; A wolf with untrusting and piercing eyes; and Lira, the Kitchen Maid.
Johan comes walking toward you from the Outer Ward.
Tyre has let those who were helping go off to gather their things as soon as the messenger came to tell them of victory. He, with a few servants who are unattached to family, work to clear away the mess of foodstuffs, candles, and the like. Never one to seem robust, he looks especially pallored just now.
Aryna only takes a moment to rejoice with her family before she sets to work helping to await the arrival of everyone.
Fionna gives a shout of “Praise Aslan!” as the news is delivered and hugs her daughter close
Sehsis’s expression takes on a mixture of shock, confusion and something else which could possibly be…Relief? How odd.
Corin enters the hall fairly glued to his father’s side, having been away from home for so long. His face is flush with triumph from the battlefield, as he recounts his exploits on the field to King Lune, featuring some choice moments of Shasta’s courage too.
Arael scrambles to her feet when the glad news arrives, and by the time those from the battlefield begin to arrive, she is busy doing what she can to help put the place back in order while corraling four energetic children.
Aliyah files in behind some of the others looking tired but relaxed. She sits by a wall, feeling quite awkward with so many people around.
Lune keeps an arm around the shoulders of each of his boys. He looks tired, and still rather disheveled from the battle, but a there is a broad smile on his face that does not look to be leaving anytime soon.
Colin enters the Great Hall side by side with Darrin. He is equally disheveled, dirt and bits of sticky blood still clinging to his armor. However, his demeanor is quite different from the night before as he sets an arm over Darrin’s shoulders while they laugh over something. He looks about the room, clearly searching for someone.
Johan puts his sword away.
Sehsis barley had time to register the news before those from the battlefield start streaming in. Men and beasts. He stares in shocked disbelief for a few moments but his nerves, frayed as they are, give out and he finds himself heading for the door, away from it all.
Colin puts his sword away.
Darrin trails in with the rest of the knights, still close to Colin. He looks dirty and bloody too, although the blood doesn’t really look like it’s his. On the whole he looks not much worse for wear than this morning. He snorts loudly at Colin, jabbing the other man in the side with an elbow, and then his gaze skims the hall, lingering on Lune and the two boys. He grins broadly at the sight.
Colin sheathes Sword in his Scabbard <WORN>.
Darrin sheathes Sword in his Scabbard <WORN>.
Johan enters the great hall quietly, he spots Sehsis as he walks towards the doors, he just peers at him with rather cold eyes.
Corin puts his sword away.
Tyre sees Sehsis’s movements, but is too far and too occupied to catch him, though there is a sign in his features that he would if he were able.
Fionna sees the Calomen pass on his way to the door and mutters under breath to him, “Guess you plan did not work after all spy.”
Shasta walks through the halls, the king’s heavy hand on his shoulder. He looks utterly confused: not sure what is going on, and especially not sure why he is so close at the king’s side.
Shar exchanges words with Dar, their glances seeming to indicate that they are discussing the King and the boys who accompany him.
Sehsis had been about to leave the hall when he is stopped short by the woman’s words. He turns to face her, ashen faced but frowning. “Spy?” He says, his voice shakes slightly but there is the shadow of an edge to his words that had not been there during the events, “I am not a spy, I was caught off guard by these events as much as anyone else.”
Aliyah watches the shaking man closely, rather confused.
Arael’s face breaks into a wide grin as the taller of the two boys beside her gives a gleeful shout and runs off toward one of the village men who is pressing his way eagerly through the crowd. The boy’s mother, brother, and small sister are hot on his heels. Arael hangs back, but clasps her hands together and rocks forward onto her toes as she watches the reunion.
Fionna eyes him back flintly, “That’s what they all say..” She looks as if to say more, when her daughter puts hand on her arm.
Aryna wilts with relief when a big burly man appears and scoops up their son, giving her a quick embrace.
Corin overhears the exchange between the Calormene and the daughter of eve, and blinks. “There was a spy too? How exciting! Where?”
Sehsis takes a couple of smaller steps back towards the door, his next words are spoken quickly, spurred on by the sense of dread that was overtaking him “I told you, I am no spy. I never asked to be trapped here! Do you think I wanted to be put in this situation!”
Haft cocks his head at the swarthy man, considering from his spot leaning against the wall in the shadow of an arch.
Aliyah stands, approaching the one near the door. She speaks in a hushed tone.
Lune watches the reunions with great pleasure, magnified by the presence of the skinny waif at his side. “Hush, my son,” he scolds Corin. “There is no spy.” He leaves his boys briefly and approaches the frightened merchant, drawing a curved dagger from within his clothing.
Aliyah mumbles “… would … … if I were you. … … leopards out … … … … not a … your best … … to … … and … on a … face.”, to Sehsis.
Edmund enters at the head of the group of Narnians who have chosen to attend the feast. As he passes among them, he speaks to each in turn, meeting their gazes and thanking them for their faithful service. His armor shows the marks from the battle, but he comports himself regally as he gives each of his subjects his attention, sending those who have been injured out to his sister to have their wounds addressed.
Shasta looks at Corin uncertainly.
Shasta mumbles “… … think … IS … spy, then?”, to Corin.
Tyre also moves in the direction of the merchant now.
Sehsis watches the approaching king fearfully so as he does not notice the wolf that approached him, but has she speaks he jumps backwards with a shout of fear.
Corin shrugs to Shasta.
Corin mumbles “… … … but … father … spot … … a … … …”, to Shasta.
Lune, with great restraint, does not smile at this. Instead, he extends the dagger hilt-out toward the man and says, “You have kept your word, master merchant. This belongs to you.”
Shasta nods, looking like he believes this. He adjusts the hauberk he still wears uncomfortably.
Tyre comes to a place where he can aid the king if necessary, but he does not interfere.
Sehsis now seemingly acting on auto-pilot accepts the dagger from the king with a shaky but respectful bow, “Thank you your majesty…” he manages weakly, his eyes darting occasionally to the demon wolf.
Aliyah looks up apologetically. “I did not mean to startle you.” She nudges his hand… Probably the wrong thing to do, but it’s all she knows.
Edmund is just close enough to Lune by this point to overhear the end of his speech with the merchant. “A just response”, the Narnian king observes, taking his place with the others. Corin, Edmund greets with a look that shows he is both well aware that the young prince failed to heed his instructions and fully understanding of why he did so.
Corin scratches the back of his neck, looking guilty even if a little pleased with himself, under Edmund’s gaze.
Sehsis’s hand draws back as if he was burned and he takes several steps away from the wolf, wide-eyed and stumbling slightly as he does.
Sigyn comes padding toward you from the Outer Ward.
Aliyah blinks. “I have never seen one of your kind act like I’m on fire. Hmmm. I usually get that reaction from wolves.” She smirks.
Lune reaches out quickly to steady the merchant as he stumbles. “Peace, friend, peace! Art safe.”
Sigyn pads quietly into the room with another leopard at her side. They keep themselves out of the way, joining some of their fellow Narnians off to the side.
Colin claps Darrin once on the back and starts moving through the room, looking at all the people gathered.
Darrin spares a smile to Sir Colin and glances about, then heads for his father and brother. He casts a curious look to the commotion around the merchant as he goes.
Aryna allows her husband to take their son and she moves to Arael’s side to help. She looks around at some of the creatures, wide-eyed.
Sehsis freezes, looking as if any bravery he may have left in him is about to escape at any moment (or may already have done so)
Edmund addresses the acting Alpha of Winterden in his turn. “At ease, Tempest of Winterden. We have passed through the battle and we will have peace this night. Are you not aware that you are as strange a sight to him as Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve were to you once?” Edmund speaks formally, but there is amusement in him as well.
Corin grins and calls out to the merchant, “The battle is over! There’s nothing to be afraid of here, the Narnians are our friends! If my father has welcomed you, then you are welcome by all.”
Edmund addresses the wolf in his turn. “At ease, Aliyah. We have passed through the battle and we will have peace this night. Are you not aware that you are as strange a sight to him as Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve were to you once?” Edmund speaks formally, but there is amusement in him as well.
Haft mumbles “Oh, is he?”, to Haft.
Haft mumbles “… is he?”, to Haft.
Lune releases the man, showing his hands and a reassuring smile in a gesture of friendship.
Arael’s attention is distracted from her cousins’ reunion with their father by the array of Narnian creatures who enter the hall among her countrymen. She stays frozen in place, but her eyes widen significantly and her jaw drops open.
Lune mumbles “… … … … … … no compulsion … you. But … are … should you wish …”, to Sehsis.
Shasta scratches his head.
Aryna pokes Arael when the big Cats enter, her brown eyes going wider. “Look.” She breathes, watching the big black panther.
Aliyah shakes her head. “My apologies Your Majesty. I meant no harm. I had heard stories from my father. When I came to Narnia, the first Son of Adam I met was quite friendly so I did not experience such as this. I was merely joking.”
Sehsis, though still tense says in a quavering voice, “My..Most sincere apologies, your majesty… I… This is all” he blinks, clearly overwhelmed by everything.
Arael doesn’t speak or look away, but nods slowly.
Colin finally happens upon Tad and Tadden’s family, greeting the boys jovially. Bending, he grabs young Tadden and swings him up onto his shoulders, grunting a bit as stiffness is setting in. “Lad, you’re growing like a weed, you are.”
Corin chuckles and darts over to join Aliyah and make a polite bow. “Aliyah, was it? It was good to fight at your side. Archenland is grateful for all Narnians who helped in our cause.” He seems to be making en effort at formality, although his beaming expression is genuine.
Shasta finds himself abandoned. He glances around for someone to tell him what to do, pushing at his ill-fitting hauberk again.
Darrin exchanges a few words with Dar and Shar, and then notices the boy standing alone. He claps his father on the shoulder and wanders over to him, casting a curious glance between Lune and the boy before he looks to Shasta and asks, “…Shasta, was’t?”
Lune claps the man on the shoulder and his broad smile returns. “For you and I both, friend,” he says, and glances back proudly at his boys. He nods to Sehsis, then turns away toward the rest of the hall. “Narnians!” he booms. “Countrymen!”
Aliyah’s tail wags as the young boy approaches. “Yes, it was a pleasure to meet you as well. It was an honor to be involved in this battle.”
Shasta asks, “Um, yes, hello.” He bows hesitantly. “Who’re you?”
Sehsis unfreezes as the king’s attention is drawn to something else, he takes the opportunity to slip out of the hall for some air.
Arael finally breaks out of her shocked silence as the King addresses the crowd. She squeals quietly, gripping Aryna’s arm and bouncing up and down on her toes. Her eyes shine with excitement.
Sehsis walks out to the Inner Ward.
Shasta jumps and looks at the king instead, shooting the man who has just approached him an apologetic look.
Darrin offers a half-bow. “Sir Darrin, at your service,” he says. “WI was with King Lune on the hunt yesterday, though I don’t expect you remember. Lots of new faces, hm?” He glances around the full room and back to the boy, taking the opportunity to study him closely anew.
Corin straightens at his father’s tone, standing by the wolf attentively.
Colin keeps the boy on his shoulders and moves behind Arael and Aryna so the boy can see when King Lune begins speaking. He watches the two women before him with a broad grin.
Shasta responds in a half whisper, not wanting to impolitely leave the question hanging.
Edmund gives Corin an approving look, bearing witness to his interaction with Aliyah. “Well said, Prince Corin. The friendship between our country and yours cannot but be cemented by the events of this day. Narnia will continue to stand Archenland’s ally.” He turns his attention to Lune when the King of Archenland speaks, signaling the Narnians with him to do likewise.
Johan suddenly holds his hand in front of his mouth, running out towards the inner ward.
Aryna grips Arael’s arm, equally excited. She claps a hand over her mouth to stay silent, listening curiously.
Aliyah falls silent, though her tail still moves slowly.
Shasta mumbles “… … … … It’s just … there’s been quite … …”, to Darrin.
Lune turns in place to face the entire hall of various types of people, beaming. “A most glorious victory has been secured this day! The Calormene force has been defeated utterly, and those who remain have laid down arms and pledged to never march again on the free North!” He pauses, beaming at his sons. “And were this not enough to celebrate, my sons have returned.” He gestures at the slighter version of Corin, and says, his voice breaking with emotion, “/Both/ my children have come home.”
Sigyn turns and faces the king of Archenland, sitting as regally as a feline does.
Haft s eyes follow the Lord Darrin and Shasta.
Johan walks out to the Inner Ward.
Corin’s face screws up a little in puzzlement as he follows his father’s gesture.
Shasta looks around, confused. He settles his eyes on Darrin. Maybe this fellow?
Darrin grips the boy’s shoulder briefly, a sympathetic expression on his face, and murmurs a soft, “I’m sure,” in response to Shasta before he straightens and falls silent as Lune continues speaking.
OOC> Lune says, “Hmm. I just realized I beamed too beamishly in my last pose. Note for the log to fix that!”
Tyre, who has by this time found his brother and stands beside him, glances between the young boy indicated and the prince.
Corin jaw drops into a gape as realization finally dawns. His eyes light up as he tears back across the room to grab Shasta by the shoulders and crush him in a hug that is half embrace and half armlock. “Of course! It *has* to be you! That’s why… it all makes sense!”
Shasta loses his footing entirely.
Arael spares an excited glance over her shoulder at Sir Colin as he draws near her, then turns her attention back to King Lune’s address. She gasps quietly and presses her hand over her mouth as he speaks of the two Princes.
Edmund is the next to break the hushed silence that Lune’s announcement creates. He looks intently between the two boys and answers, “It cannot be mistaken. To the Princes Cor and Corin of Archenland. What has been lost is now restored, and we of Narnia have double reason to celebrate with you. This is a day which will be long remembered indeed. We hardly knew what an illustrious messenger brought us word through the stag Chervy of what was coming to pass here.”
Colin shifts a bit to see around the women, looking at the two boys indicated. His eyes flicker with recognition when he sees the boy who alerted them. Eyebrow arching, he listens to Corin’s voice as it carries their way.
Darrin steps aside slightly, his fingers toying with the hilt of his sword, and looks between the twins and Lune. The expression on his face is complicated, part smile and part indignation. Perhaps he feels this public declaration is not the best way to break the news to the clearly befuddled boy.
Aliyah watches, mouth gaping, as the boy runs to his brother. She shakes her head trying to clear it.
Lune can’t continue for a moment, watching his sons. He takes a shuddering breath, smiling broadly, and says, gesturing toward the broad table. “There is hearty stew, hot from the kitchens! Please, everyone!” He breaks off there, a shorter speech than perhaps is meet, but he is very eager to rejoin his boys and it shows. He wastes no time crossing the hall back toward them.
Shasta mumbles “I’m not sure … … … … on?”, to Corin.
Corin rolls his eyes, despite his delighted expression. “Didn’t you ever wonder you don’t look like other Calormenes? Why you and I look the same? We’re brothers!”
Aliyah takes this as her cue to disappear for the evening. It’s finally time to nurse the one wound she managed to receive, and get fresh air away from the noise. She nods to a few before disappearing through the doors. Before she is completely gone, the wolf turns and waves a paw in Corin’s direction, a smile of congratulation on her muzzle.
Shasta gapes at him. “I’m not a prince.”
Aliyah trots out to the Inner Ward.
Shasta exclaims, “I fell off my own horse!”
Corin bursts out laughing. “Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it! I did.”
Lune utters a deep, joyful laugh as he rejoins them. “So might a king stumble, or a knight. He is no less what he is.”
Arael stretches up onto her toes, craning her neck to watch the reunion occurring across the hall.
Shasta turns to look at Lune, no less astonished for the confirmation. “But I grew up in Calormen.”
Tyre turns his gaze from the conversation, engaging instead his brother and sister to give the king and his sons some semblance of privacy.
Colin watches his uncle and cousins for a few minutes, unable to wipe the grin from his face as things continue to happen. He swings Tadden down to go join his brother and he taps Arael’s shoulder to get his friend’s attention.
Fionna pulls Rabbit Stew from Feasting Table.
Fionna eats a portion of stew; it looks and smells wonderful!
Fionna eats a portion of stew; it looks and smells wonderful!
Darrin edges away from the royal family, weaving through people, and eventually ends up over by his cousins.
Edmund joins his Narnians at the feasting table, engaging in low conversations with any of them who come up to him. He also gives the reunited family their space, surveying the scene benignly from his position at the table.
Lune agrees, “Thou wert lost to us, indeed.” He stares at Shasta, glad and fond and still just a little disbelieving. “And now art restored.”
Shasta looks at Corin for help.
Tyre cleans adjusts his glasses tiredly, smudging them with the oil from his fingers. Beside him, Tyren and Avery are in deep conversation regarding her joy that he has made it safely through. Tyre acknowledges his young cousin with a bow of his head. His eyes are rimmed with lack of sleep.
Arael tears her attention away from the King and his family as she feels Sir Colin’s hand on her shoulder. She turns around, and her happy grin grows no less broad as she faces him.
Haft pulls Rabbit Stew from Feasting Table.
Haft eats a portion of stew; it tastes as wonderful as it smells! The warm stew goes straight down into your stomach giving you a warm happy feeling, your tempted to try some more.
Corin explains, “When we were both very young, my brother was taken from us by a very bad man. He kidnapped you and took you away, off over the sea. Father tried to take the boat and rescue you, but even once he had you were nowhere to be found. We thought you had…”
Colin grins down at her and says something, his voice too low to carry throughout the room and noise.
Haft attends to what Corin is saying, his jaw clenched.
Colin mumbles “… going … … out … … … … … wanted … see him. … understand if … … … … …”, to Arael.
Corin trails off, looking to his dad for more.
Darrin nods to the three of them and surveys Tyre with an amused quirk of his lips. “You look quite as done in as the rest of us, Cousin,” he says, tone light but tinged sympathetic.
Shasta looks at the King for confirmation of this story. “There… there /was/ a boat. At least, that’s how Arsheesh tells it.”
Lune nods as Corin trails off. “Aye, we did,” he says gravely. “Those were terrible days, though your brother was too young to know. There’s no greater grief, the loss of a child.”
Arael nods eagerly in reply.
Arael mumbles “… … … … so!”, to Colin.
Lune asks, “Who is Arsheesh?”
Colin nods, motioning for her to follow him. They make their way through the great hall and out the doors.
Colin offers to lead Arael.
Shasta says, “Oh– uh…” He looks around at the crowd, seeming overwhelmed. “Well, he raised me, of a sort. I told Prince Corin about it a little.” He looks to Corin.
Edmund walks out to the Inner Ward.
Arael decides to follow Colin.
Arael glances at her family, still immersed in their reunion. She murmurs something to Aryna, who nods her agreement, before turning to follows Sir Colin out of the hall, weaving quickly in and out through the crowd.
Corin bobs his head. “He was raised by a fisherman in Calormen, father. Sounded like a nasty sort. But, at least he was dumb-witted enough that Shasta could escape.” He grins and then halts, correcting himself. “I mean, Prince Cor!” He watches Shasta’s reaction closely, grinning all over.
Colin walks out to the Inner Ward.
Arael leaves, following Colin.
Tyre says, “Ah,” he coughs. “A different sort of duty. Not so life-threatening.”
Darrin smirks. “Oh, I don’t know,” he says. “Very small children have always struck me as hazardous to the health.”
Dar comes walking toward you from the Outer Ward.
Lune follows Cor’s glance around the crowded hall. “We needn’t stay here,” he says gently, and nods to the great doors. “Come, both of you. We have much to discuss.”
Shasta looks a little baffled at the new name, and nods gratefully to Lune’s suggestion.
Sigyn pads around the room, taking everything in.
Tyre says, “That, I find myself, ah, unable to deny.”
Corin looks full of beans and readiness to celebrate, but he seems happy enough to go along with his father.
Darrin, at Tyre’s side, chuckles. He looks relaxed and rather pleased. “I rather thought not,” he says to his cousin.
Lune puts a hand on each of his sons’ shoulders and guides them from the hall.
Haft eats a portion of stew; it tastes as wonderful as it smells! The warm stew goes straight down into your stomach giving you a warm happy feeling, your tempted to try some more.
Tyre blinks wearily, not quite able to muster up conversation. Finally he manages, “Prince Cor?”
Dar approaches his cousin Tyre and his brother once his king has departed. He is easily able to see them over the heads of the other revelers. For once, the Steward of Anvard does not offer any words, his features as expressionless as ever but his long frame stretched as tautly as a bowstring with the accumulated changes of the day settling on him.
Darrin arches a brow, not understanding the question. “What about him?” He offers Dar a smile at his approach.
Tyre asks, “It’s ah– it’s really him, then?”
Dar hehs. He answers Tyre, “Can you question it, Cousin, when our king himself has confirmed it? Note the likeness between the boy and Prince Corin–I could point out at least twenty separate similarities. Archenland has its heir back safely again. It defies belief, and yet–and yet–”
Once Lune and his sons depart, Haft decides it’s time to face the music and accept the consequences of breaking his exile. The actions he takes follow on immediately from this scene in Placing Myself in Custody.