Unofficial Duty

Outer Ward

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You stand in the busy outer ward of Castle Anvard, full of people seeing to the needs of king and kingdom. There are market stalls along the outer wall, bustling with merchants and shoppers. Grooms work in the stables, tending to the horses there, and you hear the occasional bark of a dog from the kennels. The sounds of hammer hitting iron rings out from the blacksmith shop. There are stairs leading to the gate towers on the northern and southern corners of the outer curtain. To the east is the outer gatehouse, and the road leading into the realm of Archenland, and to the west another gate, leading to the inner gatehouse, the inner ward, and the main keep of Anvard.

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You can go: Kennels <N>, Northern Market <NE>, Outer Gatehouse <E>, Southern Market <SE>, Stables <S>, Blacksmith <SW>, Inner Gatehouse <W>, South Stair <US>, North Stair <UN>

Contents: A son of adam wearing a red tunic.

Haft comes striding into the Outer Ward from the northern stairwell, still in his uniform.

Darius strolls into the outer ward, eyes, as per usual, instantly locking onto the Inner Ward’s gate.

Catching sight of Darius, Haft alters his course, greeting him with a smile.  “Hullo neighbor.”

Darius blinks as he finally notices the man approaching. Scanning the area quickly, he gives him a brief nod. “Haft… ” He leans back against the outer wall. “How are you?” He asks, now smiling.

Haft says, “Oh all right.  Forgot what stiff work it can be, standing so long.”  He cracks him neck.  “Good to be back on duty though.”

Cor comes walking into the outer ward past the iron gates.

Darius chuckles. “Glad to hear it. ” He stands up once more, shifting as he seems to catch sight of something or someone in the outer Ward. Frowning deeply, he turns quickly and begins making his way out, only offering Haft a brief. “Excuse me.” before disappearing from sight,.

Haft frowns after Darius.

Cor appears in the crowd as if out of a mist, his unassuming demeanor calling little attention to his presence despite the familiarity of his face and the regality of his clothing.

This young fair-skinned Son of Adam seems to be just entering his teenage years. He is clean, and dressed in the fine apparel of the Archenland nobility. He has a bright, interested gaze, but his demeanor is unassuming, entirely devoid of bravado.

Lanisen comes walking into the outer ward past the iron gates.

Haft turns his gaze from the Outer Gatehouse once Darius has left, the makes a cursory scan of the crowd.  Catching sight of Cor during his inspection, he starts slightly, glancing again at the gatehouse.  He leans against the wall that Darius has just vacated, keeping an eye on the boy but making no move to approach.

Haft leans against the wall that Darius has just vacated, trying to keep an eye on the man amidst the bustle, and then makes a cursory scan of others in the crowd.  Catching sight of Cor during his inspection, he starts slightly, glancing again in the direction in which Darius has disappeared.  He rests his hand out of habit on his sword hilt–more to reassure himself it’s there than anything else–and keeps an eye on the boy, though he makes no move to approach.

Cor does not seem to take note of any gazes upon him, far too concentrated on enjoying a fluffy buttery kind of bread he has procured from no-one-can-quite-be-sure-where and observing the crowd around him. On a second look, his clothing seems not as nice as it probably ought to be, and his hair has been mussed so that it falls into his eyes. He is perhaps doing a rather bad job of attempting to go incognito.

Lanisen makes his way out of the inner gatehouse, limping but moving with minimal dependence on his cane. He glances briefly at and is ignored by the guard on duty at the inner gate, and makes his way toward the kennels.

Haft notes Lanisen’s entrance to the ward before searching again for Darius–fruitlessly–and returning his gaze briefly to Cor.  Guessing at the boy’s attempt to blend in, he smiles slightly.

Cor also seems to be moving toward the kennels, which brings him in sight of Lanisen. He stops moving when he sees the injured man, his face reflecting an uncertainty that causes him unconsciously to consume the rest of the bread with less revel than before.

Lanisen does not seem to be particularly bothered by his injury today. There’s something close to a spring in his step as he approaches the kennel’s door.

Haft’s mouth twitches unhappily as he notes Cor’s glance and wonders if he’ll be spending the next hour or so keeping watch on the kennel door.  He scans the ward for Darius again.

Cor observes Lanisen’s movement and seems to find joy in his joy, as well as a decision. He follows the other man, hustling a little to catch up with him.

Lanisen’s head raises at the sound of hurried footsteps behind him. He turns around quickly, wary. “Oh,” he says, letting out a breath, and bows. “Afternoon, your highness.”

Haft only barely notes the exchange, frustrated in his attempts to catch sight of his quarry.

Cor exclaims, “Hello! Are you going to see the dogs?”

Lanisen rubs the back of his neck. “Er, um, yes, your highness. One of the new boys had to go home, family thing I guess, so they need an extra hand this week, and I’m, uh, here, so it… works out.”

Haft smiles faintly in spite of himself at the sound of Cor’s cheerful voice, but he makes no other movement other than to scan the ward.

Cor glances over his shoulder at the crowd, then back to Lanisen. “Can I help?”

Lanisen says, “Uhhhmm…”

Haft blinks a little at Lanisen’s hesitancy, though he maintains his focus.

Cor says, “Oh, I don’t– it’s all right if you’d rather not.”

Lanisen says quickly, “No, no, your highness, I meant, um–” He rubs the back of his neck, glancing helplessly around the ward. “Um. It ain’t work for a prince is what I’m meanin’, cleanin’ up after hounds.”

Haft listens attentively, but he doesn’t turn his head.

Cor shakes his head and puts a finger to his lips, lowering his voice.

Cor mumbles “… … not … anybody!”, to Lanisen.

Lanisen gives the prince a doubtful, incredulous grin, coughing to cover a laugh. He shakes his head, more in disbelief than outright saying ‘no’.

Lanisen mumbles “Um. … I … … no … … …”, to Cor.

Haft eyes crinkle a little at what he thinks the prince has said, though he can’t make out Lanisen’s response.

Cor grins back, unabashedly pleased.

Cor mumbles something incomprehensible to Lanisen.

Lanisen, looking like he’s not entirely sure what is happening and how he got caught up in it, shrugs and grins helplessly, stepping aside to let Cor precede him into the kennels.

Haft crosses his arms over his chest, settling in for what looks like a long wait.

Cor goes on in ahead of him, looking over his shoulder like some kind of very pleased, very poor thief.

Lanisen rubs the back of his neck and follows.

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