In which Haft and Peridan discuss the fallout of the hearing and part ways
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 <N>, Southern Watchtower <S>
Haft stands with his arms resting on the rampart, looking out over the Outer Ward. His hair looks disheveled and his eyes slightly red.
Peridan comes walking along the walk, a book underneath his arm. He stops as he sees Haft calling out to him, “Hail, Haft.”
Haft turns and steps to attention. “Commander,” he says quietly.
Peridan waves his free hand, “As you were, Haft.” He assesses the man, “Are you alright?”
Haft relaxes, leaning against the battlement. “No. But I reckon I will be.”
Peridan joins him at the wall, also looking out over the Ward. “You reckon you will be?”
Haft nods. “I…wasn’t prepared for this. Was prepared for almost anything but this, I guess. Course it’s been on my mind most all the time. Even sleeping. Ain’t had nightmares so bad in years…” He seems to realize he’s rambling and trails off.
Peridan glances at Haft, “I can imagine. Anticipation can drive a man mad with worry.”
Haft says, “Sounds ridiculous now, doesn’t it? And I misjudged him all these years, even if I did so without malice…and all the time I could have been home…and why would the Emperor allow this…my thoughts fly apart, Commander.” He digs the heels of his hand into his eye sockets for a moment, as though fighting a headache.”
Haft sighs. “I must sound like the most ungrateful man alive. Please don’t think it.”
Peridan turns to Haft, his tone a bit gentle but still a bit authoritative, “Look at me, Soldier.”
Haft straightens a little and does so.
Peridan assesses the man in front of him. “Haft, the past is the past. There is no changing it and dwelling on it can drive a man insane. I understand the feelings of ‘How could this happen?’ or ‘Why this?’ but I have found that you need to accept the past, do not let it define you, and move on towards the future. You are a good man, Haft.”
“Is it insubordination if I disagree, Sir?” he says softly. “I am not a better man for all the wasted years. I am no wiser and less kind.” He turns to Peridan. “I spent the past fourteen years in self-hatred, showing contempt for any Creature to draw near me.”
Peridan shakes his head, “It is not insubordination, Haft, you are entitled to your opinions. As for the wasted years…they are over and done with. You have a new life ahead of you. Learn to be proud in yourself again. Everyone has forgiven you, except yourself.”
Haft says, “So it would seem. Well, in any event, I must learn to be better now than either man I have been, I suppose. I will not do less in the king’s service.”
Peridan smiles faintly, “I am glad to hear it, Haft. You will do well.”
Haft smiles too–a true smile. “Thank you Commander. I hope you understand why I could not accept your commission.”
Peridan nods, “I completely understand, Haft. It was pleasure serving with you in the battle.”
Haft says, “And after. I regret that I was not in your service longer my lord. I owe you much. More than that, you have my respect.”
Peridan shakes his head, “You owe me nothing, Haft. I mean when I say that I look out for my soldiers, enlisted or volunteered. I am very glad that everything worked out and I do mean it when I wish you the best of luck as a soldier of Archenland. You will serve her well, I have no doubt.”
Haft acknowledges the words and changes the subject. “Do you think that you will stay in Anvard much longer, Sir?”
Peridan rubs the back of his neck, “Unfortunately not. The most wounded of us had finally healed enough to travel back and as you well know, it is hard to keep a Narnian from the North for a very long period of time. I will start making preparation for travel tomorrow.” He turns to look out over the wall, “I like Archenland, but Narnia is my home.”
Haft nods. “I wonder…”
Peridan turns to him, eyebrow raised, “Hmm?”
Haft says, “I was just thinking of Aaron. The change in my position opens up some interesting…possibilities.”
Peridan nods, “I guess it does. However, it will be best if you report the matter to whoever is your new commander.”
Haft asks, “Yes. I will be reporting to Garian tomorrow to receive my orders. Is he the appropriate person?”
Peridan says, “If that is who you were told to report too then I assume that is the appropriate person.”
Haft nods. “I shall miss you, Sir. But then, unless I miss my guess, you’ll not be away from Anvard so very long this time.”
Peridan hehs, rubbing the back of his neck, “I do hope to come to Anvard more. Fourteen years is too long of a time for me to be away.”
Haft smiles and falls into an easy silence, looking out over the battlements again.
Peridan says, “Well, I should attend to my duties.” He turns to the man, “Good bye Haft. It was a pleasure to know you, sir. If you ever need anything, well you know the last part.”
Haft says, “Goodbye Commander. You as well. If you have need, send word, and I will come as my duty allows.”
Peridan nods once to him, “Thank you, Haft.” He turns on his heel and leaves the man to his thoughts.