Talking with Avery in the Library

In which there is a critical discussion of fine art…and livestock




The Library of Anvard rises around you. Reddish wooden pillars like twisted tree-trunks support the roof at even intervals, long bookcases in rows between them. The room is warmly lit by a multitude of round hung lamps, like globular fruit. The air is heavy with the sweet and musty smell of books, old and new. Hundreds of volumes line the shelves, and a few spaces between trunks have been left open for tables at which to reading and write. Thick pillar candles can be used to bring a little more yellow light to late-night researchers in these places.

The room appears to be well-dusted and well-kept, its contents carefully maintained and repaired throughout the years. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


You can go: Hallway <W>

Contents: A daughter of eve with honey-colored ringlets (Avery) and A Row of Bookshelves.

Avery is sitting at a table in a particularly well-lit area. There is a small plate of finger foods beside her, but it appears untouched. Next to that is an empty goblet of spiced wine. Her head is bent over, resting on her palm. She holds a quill pen in her other hand, but has only been successful in drawing shapes instead of actual words.

Haft enters the library and, noting the lady, moves quietly to peruse the shelves.  He is dressed in his guardsman uniform.  After a moment he finds a volume that looks promising and pulls it out, starting a small cascade of two or three others.  He mutters a mild oath under his breath as he attempts to prevent the precious volumes from tumbling to the floor.

Avery jumps, her hand knocking the goblet. It tips and rolls across the table. “Oh–” She stands to reach for it, glancing at the shelves. “Haft.”

Haft goes scarlet as his head catches up with his mouth.  He stuffs the books quickly back on the shelf and turns to face her.  “My lady.  I apologize.”

Avery resumes her seat, sliding the goblet to the side, as well as the plate. “No, you are quite alright. I just…didn’t hear you come in.” She glances at the librarian who is also now aware of Haft’s presence.

Haft glances at the librarian sheepishly.  His eyes wander to the parchment.  “Ah, you are an artist.  Your figures are rather more recognizable than Miss Abrielle’s if I may say so.”

Avery blinks, looking at her parchment. “Oh…I…” She blushes. “It helps me clear my head, but thank you.”

Haft nods, still rather pink.    He turns back to his shelf and withdraws the book with greater care, leafing through the pages gently.

Avery picks up her quill. “Abrielle has shown great improvement in her work.”

Haft’s lips twitch.  “Has she?  Perhaps I was being unjust when I compared her drawing of a mother and son to a pig and a goat.”

Avery quickly looks up, covering her mouth. “You didn’t…”

Haft looks very serious.  “My lady, they were a very fine pig and goat.  No farmer would renounce such livestock.”

Avery lifts both of her eyebrows, nodding her head. “Oh, I see…I should like to see this particular drawing…”

Haft says, “Yes, I haven’t seen her about since I rejoined the guard.  I suppose she’s left town.”

Avery asks, “Rejoined the guard?”

Haft nods.  “Yes, thanks in part to the Lord Peridan’s recommendation.  I serve under Captain Garian now.” He allows himself a rare smile.

Avery looks away at the mention of Lord Peridan, but then she glances back and catches his smile. “That’s wonderful. You are enjoying your position, then?”

Haft catches the look, then answers, “I have not enjoyed anything so much in years.”

Avery nods, smiling. “That’s good.” She smooths the feathered quill, looking back to her paper.

Haft nods and turns back to his book, scanning a page once more before returning it carefully to the shelf.  “Well, I’ve got duty in a quarter hour.  It was a pleasure to speak to you my lady.”

Avery nods. “You too, Haft.”

Haft bows and heads out into the corridor.


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