In which Haft gives Peridan the second portion of his report
Haft comes down the stairwell and scans the inner ward. Seeing Lord Peridan talking to Colin and Lanisen, he leans against the wall next to the stairwell and gets to work cleaning his nails.
Peridan continues to lean against the well, talking with Colin and Lanisen. “It is a big area and most trees look the same, at least to me. The Wolves and creatures who live there have my respect in not being lost all the time.” He happens to look up and seeing the man in the shadows, he pauses.
Lanisen’s forehead furrows slightly. “Oh,” he says. He follows Peridan’s glance, and his stance shifts just slightly as he recognizes Haft.
Haft glances up and sees that the other men have noticed him. He straightens, but does not approach.
Peridan assesses the man before turning towards the others, “Please excuse me.” He walks over to Haft, speaking in hushed tones.
Peridan mumbles “I would like to hear the rest of that report if you are able.”, to Haft.
Peridan mumbles “… would like … hear the … … … … … you are …”, to Haft.
Haft snaps to attention. “Certainly, sir.”
Lanisen looks away politely, glancing up at Colin. He shifts his weight, wincing.
Peridan nods once before turning towards the other two men. He calls out to them, “Please excuse me. Sir Colin, good luck on your trip sir. Lanisen, I am gald to see you able to walk on that leg. Don’t over work it.” With that, he leads Haft away towards a more private location.
Peridan’s Suite [Nobles Quarters]
-This is a well-appointed suite on the second level of Anvard. A curtained, canopied bed sits opposite the door. An armoire of some dark wood is provided for clothing, and a small desk holds other personal items. Two windows allow sunlight to come streaming in, and also provide a breath-taking views of the countryside. It’s a nice place for Peridan to stay in during visits to Anvard.
You can go: Out <O>
Contents: A son of adam with blue eyes (Peridan); A Leather Satchel; Chainmail
Hauberk; and Goblet of Spiced Wine.
Peridan and Haft enter the chamber.
Haft waits for his commander to speak.
Peridan leads Haft into his chambers. “This way, there will be no rumors of what we will speak out.” He turns around, facing the man, “I apologize for earlier. Can you finish the report? The last thing you told me is that Aaron was saying that my soldiers must be paid more.”
Haft nods. “Yes. After he questioned the pay of the army, we spoke briefly of family. He claims to have none and says that he travels a lot. He began eyeing the entrance to the Inner Ward again. I commented that the castle was well-built and he said–how did he put it…”What I wouldn’t give to see the inside of those walls.”
Peridan’s eyebrow raises as high as it will go, “Did he now?”
Haft scowls. “Yes. At that point I decided to put out a bit more line and see if he bit.
Peridan sits down with his arms crossed, listening intently. “Please continue.”
Haft says, “I told him some trivial things about the inside of the castle: the gardens, the library, the carving on the doors. And then I mentioned that I had been among the royal guard.”
Haft says, “Well, he was /very/ interested in that. Asked me how it was. Told him it was hard work. He said it must have been worth it though, to see everything that I saw. To have /access to the royal family/.”
Haft’s face is grim.
A muscle in Peridan’s face twitches, but beside that, he remains calm looking. “I see. Go on.”
Haft says, “Well, if I hadn’t been suspicious before, I was certainly troubled now. I told him what happened when I was exiled–to see what he would do with it–only I made it seem that I was bitter toward the king for my dismissal.” He pauses. “That is why I felt it necessary to leave the note last night. If the man had told tales out of school, he might have done me serious damage repeating that detail before I explained myself.””
Peridan says, “Yes, you were wise to do that. ”
Haft continues. “He acted as though I had every right to be angry. He was ingratiating himself. He chose to leave then, but did give his name as Aaron before going.” He wrinkles his nose. “He shook my /hand/.”
Haft asks, “That is my report, sir. Might I be permitted to offer an opinion?”
Peridan leans back in his chair, thinking. “Yes, Please tell me our mind.”
Haft says, “Sir I fear this man means harm to the royal family. If he were just a merchant seeking…”access” as he put it, he would not also feel the need to question the soldiers’ pay–nor to ingratiate himself to me, of all people, after I told him I was one of the most hated men in Archenland. If he is not interested for profit of that sort, then his aim is something. I…was strongly tempted to take some action against him, but didn’t think you’d thank me for it. And I haven’t the authority to have a man imprisoned anyway.”
Peridan strokes his chin, still thinking, “It sure sounds like it…”
Haft stands silently, waiting for his commander’s response.
Peridan looks up at Haft assessing him, “You have done good work, Haft. I will make sure this information is passed to Lord Dar and King Lune.”
Haft asks, “Thank you sir. Is there anything else I can do to assist?”
Peridan shakes his head, “No, not at the moment. Is there anything else?”
Haft starts to shake his head, then reconsiders. “Actually, there was one thing…I hope it is trivial…but perhaps it should be mentioned.”
Peridan’s signature eyebrow raises. “Oh?”
Haft says, “I spoke to your l–” He catches himself and quickly edits his phrasing, “–to Lady Avery’s friend, Abrielle the other night.”
Peridan stiffens a bit as Haft avoids the touchy subject. “Yes, What of Ms. Abrielle?”
Haft asks, “It was a private conversation, but she mentioned that her parents were exiled from Archenland, though they tried to stay in the country in hiding for some time before finally leaving for Narnia. I know you are likely not familiar with their case, and she did not elaborate…but I suppose a more knowledgable person would know whether her loyalties are secure?”
Peridan blinks at this, “I do not know of this. However, I can bring it up with Lord Dar as well.” He frowns, “Now Haft, I don’t want you to go around accusing everyone of being a traitor. Aaron has caused myself and Sir Colin to question his intentions, where as Ms. Abrielle has not acted in a way that is suspicious. I do not hold a person to the actions of others, only their own.”
Haft says, “I understand sir. As I said I hope the matter is of no import, but as I was unsure…anyway, for my part, the girl seems kind.”
Peridan nods, “As always we can keep an eye open, but I do not think there are grounds for any kind of doubt regarding Ms. Abrielle.”
Peridan adds, “She has not tried to get any kind of information or tried to get into the castle, correct?”
Haft says, “No sir. None. In truth I detected no bitterness in her words; only sadness.”
Peridan says, “We often regret the actions of others as much as our own.” He assess the man in front of him, “Haft, I admire your dedication and therefore I wish to offer you a job.””
Haft starts visibly. “Sir?”
Peridan stands, “I know you have a difficult past and it will depend on what my uncle will decide. But if you are pardoned and wish to return to Narnia, I will offer you a job as an official soldier of the Narnian Army. In fact, one who will be directly under me.”
Haft listens intently, but looks shocked. “But why–” He seems to reconsider the question and holds his peace for a long moment. Then, “Sir, what would such duties entail?”
Peridan watches him closely, “Not much than what you are already doing. Keeping an eye on things, riding out with me if duty calls me to a different region. Maybe even be a messenger if the situation calls for it.”
Haft’s chest rises and falls a little more rapidly than usual, and his eyes seem brighter. “I would consider it a privilege to enter your service should my king tell me to return to Narnia, sir. You have dealt with me honorably these past days, despite my…willfulness, and you have my gratitude.” He smiles. “It would be good to wear a sword again and ride in service to another. I had almost forgotten during the long years.
Peridan smiles a bit, “I am glad to hear it. You may think about it if you wish. And as always, it will depend on the King’s decision. Now, if you have nothing else to add, I have some papers that I need to write.”
Haft says, “Yes, sir.” He raises a knuckle to his temple in salute and exits the room.