Truth or Dare

In which Haft and Darius have a brief encounter, Darrin and Megren meet Darius for the first time, and there is unexpected dancing

Outer Ward

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dancersYou 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>

Darius is leaning with his back against the outer wall. His arms are crossed and head on a swivel as he scans the Ward.

Haft walks into the Outer Ward in ordinary dress.  He scans the ward once, almost missing the all-too-familiar flash of crimson, due to the angle.  He heaves a deep sigh, then continues toward the North Stair.

Darius’s eyes catch Haft as he walks into the ward, his gaze follows him as he heads towards the stair. A grin tugging at his mouth, he makes no move forward.

Haft hesitates at the base of the tower, then walks wearily upwards.  He stops and looks out from the North Gate Tower.

North Gate Tower

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-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= You stand in the North Gate Tower, and through the narrow windows you can see off into the distance of Archenland. Here soldiers and knights can defend Anvard, raining arrows down on any enemy who should approach the gate. There are stairs leading down to the outer ward, and a door into the Army Barracks.

Narrow stairs continue up to the higher reaches of the tower. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

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You can go: Army Barracks <W>, Upstairs <U>, Outer Ward <D>

You look down the stairs to the Outer Ward.

Outer Ward> Darius shrugs off of the wall as he sees Haft enter the stair. Making no effort to hide his movements, he makes his way over and walks into the Kennels.

Haft heaves a deep sigh and descends back into the Inner Ward.  Maybe he can listen at the door and see how Darius actually behaves toward Lanisen.

Kennels

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-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= The kennel of Anvard is a fairly spacious room, well-lit by the windows in the south wall looking toward the Outer Ward. It is immediately obvious that the hounds housed here are quite well-treated: the floor is kept clean-swept; the blankets padding the dogs’ wooden beds are thick and warm; and the hounds themselves have a certain sleek, well-fed look. Several pens can be seen toward the back of the room, likely used to isolate dogs that are sick, injured, or in need of further training, but the majority of the castle hounds are allowed to roam freely about the room.

A fireplace, lit on cold days, is set into the east wall, opposite the door to the quarters of Danall, the Master of Hounds. A set of wooden stairs leads up to a second level. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

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You can go: Up <U>, Outer Ward <S>, Huntsman’s Chamber <W>

Contents: A son of adam wearing a red tunic (Darius) and Kirby the Houndkeeper.

Haft attempts to lift the latch quietly.

Darius is at one of the pens, observing a number of snoozing pups. Out of the corner of his eye, he spots the door open quietly. “Haft. ” he greets, not looking up from the pen. “So nice of you to visit. ” he adds mildly.

Haft pauses, letting this register.  “You knew I would,” he says quietly, coming to stand beside the man., after latching the door behind him.

Darius holds his position. “I did?” he chuckles. “And how ever would I have known such a thing?”

Haft stares down at the pups for a good long time.  “You know how to read people.  It’s a useful skill.”

Darius finally turns to the man, leaning his side against the stall. “And what makes you say this?” His voice has now become quite curious.

Haft shakes his head, offering no answer.  “What brings you here today?”

Darius shoves himself off of the pen, shrugging as he begins pacing the room. “I was bored.”

Haft snorts.  “You’re entirely too ‘bored’ for anyone else’s good–you know that?”  He steps to offer his palm to one of the dogs, but it growls softly and he withdraws it.

Darius chuckles wryly. “Too bored?! I resent that accusation my friend… For I, in fact, am quite often -NOT- bored. ”

You ask, “Well, what do you do with yourself then, when not bored?  You said you were interested in joining the guard.  But what about the meantime?”

Darius spreads his arms in to a wide shrug. “Oh, I don’t know Haft… ” he smiles brightly, letting his arms fall. “A little exploration here and there never hurt. ” He begins walking back towards the man. “Besides, if all else fails, I suppose I shall simply vanish. ”

Haft’s brow lowers slightly.  “Meaning?”

Darius says, “I think the meaning is quite clear”

Haft snorts mildly, then starts stroking a more agreeable hound.  He waves around the room.  “He’s not here, obviously. Lanisen.  I think you’ve wasted a trip.”

Megren arrives, following Darrin.

Darius stands a few feet away from Haft. He crosses his arms at this, looking a little -too- confused. “I don’t have a -clue- what you mean! I came in here to see the new litter! ” he returns, smiling brightly.

Haft is standing stroking a hound.

Darrin enters the Kennels with Megren in tow, his hands loose by his sides and a casual set to his shoulders. He laughs at something she said.

Megren has a small smile on her face, left over from whatever the conversation had been, but it falls away into a slightly more serious, if nonthreatening, expression as they enter the kennel. She gives Haft a small nod.

Haft nods back, then bows to the knight.

Darius spins on one heel to face the two as he hears the laughter. Sizing them both up quickly, he chooses silence for the moment, taking a couple steps back.

Darrin gives a half-bow to Haft in return, including the other man in the greeting. “Good day, folks,” he drawls cheerfully.

Megren moves to sit on a chair, calling one of the hounds to her with a certain familiarity. The dog comes running and she rubs between its ears. “Didn’t expect to find the kennels so full,” she smiles, then corrects, “of people, anyway.”

Haft chuckles.  “Indeed not.  Well, I don’t often spend much time here myself.  I was curious to see whether Lanisen was about.”

Darius looks between the three before nodding back to Darrin. “Aye, I do believe it is a -good- day. ” he returns, now smiling wide. “But! I do believe it would be a better one if I was granted the privlage of knowing both of your names!”

Darrin squats near Megren, shifting his sword so it doesn’t drag too much on the ground in its sheath, and then holds out his hands palm first to the hounds sniffing around his boots in friendly fashion. Once licked, he sets about petting the nearest. He looks up. “Oh! Your pardon. I am Sir Darrin, of Coghill.” He bows his head. “And your name?”

Megren holds out a doggy hand for the fellow to shake. “Megren,” she says, not elaborating further so that he may reply to the knight’s question.

You say, “Sir Darrin, I don’t believe we have been properly introduced either.  Haft, of the guard.”

Darius takes a few purposeful steps forward before clapping his hand to Megran’s, grasping it firmly and giving it a good shake. “A true pleasure! ” Then looking back to Darrin, his eyes widen a bit, brightness in his eyes increasing – if it were even possible. “Sir you say? Well! ” He crosses his arm over his torse and lets the other hang down as he gives the man a short bow. “Aaron is the name! ”

Darrin gives a quick nod to Haft. “A pleasure, Haft. Believe I’ve seen you about.” He turns to Aaron, arching a brow severely. “Good to meet you, Aaron,” he says, lips quirking just the smallest bit. “Though I’m afraid I’m hardly so glamorous as your enthusiasm might indicate.” He smirks.

Megren grins easily at Sir Darrin’s remark. “If you want to hero-worship me, on the other hand–,” she quips. “Where are you from, Aaron?”

Haft leans back against the wall, resuming stroking the dog’s head.

Darius is currently online.

Adding Darius to your permanent watchfor list.

Darius laughs at Megren’s response, crossing his arms. “Here… there, a bit of everywhere I suppose. ” he grins, looking amused at his response. “More here currently than anywhere else though.”

Darrin scritches behind his hound’s ears and chuckles at Megren’s comment. “Yes, by all means, worship the ground she walks on. We all do,” he says with a smirk. The look he gives Aaron is rather a bit more directly assessing, though amusement still clings to his features.

Megren raises her brows at Sir Darrin, not looking unflattered. “What sort of business leaves a man without a place to call his home?” she asks Aaron.

Haft gives his attention to the hound.

Darius shrugs. “I imagine it is a wanderers heart that keeps me from clinging to any place one might call home.  The only thing that keeps me here is the opportunity for work. ” he chuckles. “Wanderer may be what my heart wants, but my stomach certainly needs a bit more to survive. Plus! ” he gestures towards Haft. “I have had the -immense- pleasure of getting to know a few of the incredibly hospitable residents of Andale. All said, it is enough to keep me around for some time. ”

Darrin grins openly at Megren and slides down into a cross-legged position, the over-enthusiastic hound climbing into his lap. To Aaron, he says in a dry, sarcastic tone, “We aim to please.”

Megren seems to find amusement in the movements of the hound. “I understand perhaps more than some the need to find a stable income,” she says sympathetically. “It is good you have found something for the time you are here.”

Haft scratches his dog under her chin, then says, “Nice that you’re settling in well for now, yes.”

Darius chuckles, nodding. “It is indeed nice! ” he returns, waving a hand. “But, alas, you all will need to excuse me. I need to be off. ” he smiles and before any can answer of stop him, he is at the door and on his way out.

Darrin watches him go, still roughing up the dog squirming in his lap. “Hmm.”

Megren’s brows rises a little as the man abruptly departs.

Haft cocks his head, heaves a deep sigh, and meets Megren’s eyes as if to say, “And there you have it.”

Darrin pats the hound one last time and rises to his feet. “I see what you mean, Megren,” he observes.

Megren releases her hound as well, although the dog is reluctant to lose attention. “He certainly implies a number of things.”

Haft’s mouth goes into a grim line.  “He likes to stir up trouble, if he can, from what I’ve seen.  And he spends quite a bit of time in here.

Darrin says, “And yet without saying anything of substance. ”

Megren nods to Darrin.

Darrin looks to Haft. “What kinds of trouble? And I’ve heard he seems to have an interest in Lanisen?”

You say, “When first we met Sir Colin and Lord Peridan were already concerned about him.  I let him think me an idiot and tried to draw him out.  He kept going on about how the volunteers from Narnia weren’t properly paid.  Ridiculous notions.”  He hesitates at the mention of Lanisen.”

Megren blinks. “Paid?”

Darrin rubs his hands down his legs to get the hound hair off them and then rubs at the back of his neck. He arches a brow at this statement, glancing to Megren at her question. It seems his confusion centers around the same idea.

Haft shrugs.  “He was trying to stir up malcontent, or find someone already discontented, in my opinion.”

Megren says, “I can’t say I don’t… well, it seems likely he pinches a little coin on the side, with the traveling life he professes and the quality of his clothes.”

Darrin thinks about this. “But what would be the point of stirring up such discontent, if he’s a cutpurse on the side? You’d think anonymity would benefit him.”

You say, “I was told by a man in the village that a woman’s brooch has gone missing, but she’s mislaid it before.  He didn’t seem to think anything else was amiss.”

Megren asks, “Perhaps he simply… takes joy in mischief?”

Darrin taps his lip. “Feasible. Which makes him more harmless than he…well, feels.”

Haft presses his lips together.

Megren nods a kind of agreement to this assessment.

The dog at Haft’s side whines, forgotten.

Darrin crosses his arms across his chest. “He bears more watching until we have something more…concrete, to go on, I think.”

Haft nods.  “Regarding Lanisen, I am personally concerned.  Aaron comes here often…I find a grown man so obsessed with seeing a litter of puppies…well, he is being disingenous, shall we say?”

Megren says, “Were it the only thing in which he took great interest I might disagree, but given his other behavior–”

Darrin looks down as the hound he was petting butts under his hand insistently. He grins, reaching down to muss up the dog’s ears, momentarily distracted from the conversation.

Haft lets out a breath.  “Do either of you know the names of the dogs?”

Megren points out two dogs. “Auryon and Pire are His Majesties and Prince Corin’s.”

Darrin takes note of the two. “I know I’ve been properly introduced to a few of them, but for the life of me, I can’t remember any names at the moment.” He looks down at the hound he’s petting and says in a softer tone that he would vehemently deny being a coo, “Terribly sorry, mate. Yes, I know, it’s very rude of me.”

You say, “And which one is Sorrel?  Lanisen told me she has…good taste in humans.”

Megren shakes her head. “I only know the others because of their owners. I’m sorry.”

Darrin continues petting the hound.

Haft shrugs.  “Doesn’t matter.”  He quips, “Perhaps we could’ve given her a whiff of Aaron and see what she did.”

Megren’s brows lift. “Sounds unpleasant,” she muses.

Darrin chuckles. “While I’m sure the dogs are an excellent judge of character, that still doesn’t give us any real proof of him doing anything wrong, even if she had reacted poorly.”

You say, “No.  Actually I am told she favors Prince Cor.  I was curious.”  He considers something for a moment.  “I should go.  I have an…obligation to fulfill.”

Megren glances at Darrin. “I suppose we should, too, now that the hounds are safe from ill humors.”

Darrin pats the hilt of his sword. “A success, then. Ill humors should be terrified when we are on the job.” He winks, then gives a bow to Haft. “Very good. A pleasure to make your acquaintance officially, Haft.”

“Yours as well, sir,” Haft says, returning the courtesy.  “If you will both excuse me.”  He turns and makes his way to the door.

Inner Wall Walk

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-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= 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. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

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You can go: Toward the Trapdoor Opening <N>, Southern Watchtower <S>

Mindful of Lanisen’s desire for him to stay away from the kennels without a good reason, Haft climbs up to the Inner Wall Walk.

After awhile, Haft sees Darrin and Megren leave the kennels.  They clumb up to the wall walk.

Haft is standing by the wall, looking out over the Outer Ward, still dressed in his casual clothes.

Darrin stops Megren from walking with him.

Megren ascends the staircase of the southern tower slightly ahead of Sir Darrin, making her way back to the inner wall. She smiles at the sight of Haft there, and steps out of the way so that Sir Darrin can see. “We meet again, Haft,” she says with a certain delight.

Haft turns.  “Ah, yes,” he says pleasantly.

Darrin gives a boyish grin. “What a pleasant coincidence,” he says with perhaps too much enthusiasm, drawing out the word ‘pleasant’.

Outer Ward> Darius comes walking toward your from the Kennels.

Outer Ward> Darius walks eastward toward the gatehouse.

Megren asks, “Thinking again?”

Haft gives Darrin an inquiring glance, then turns to address Megren’s question.  “Constantly.  It’s very tiring, if you want to know. I think I might like to give it up.”

Darrin says, “The secret is, whenever you get tempted to think too much, you go and dismantle a training dummy, see.”

Megren taps her lip. “Violence, violence, violence, Sir Darrin!” She tsks and reprimands, “Training’s daily fare, it’s not to be controlled by the whim of personal reflection. No, I prescribe…” she thinks. “A game with your guardmates. And maybe a drink, but only if it’s fine enough.”

Haft purses his lips.  “I’m with Sir Darrin on this one, but I fear I rather wore out my welcome with Doel when I first came back.  But I’d not say no a game.”

Darrin straightens until he’s standing at loose attention, both eyebrows lifting just slightly in an expression that says he is impressed. “I stand corrected, ma’am,” he says, lips twitching.

Megren grins at the acceptance, and even more at Sir Darrin’s concession. “Where to, then? The barracks or the mess?”

You say, “Mess, I suppose.”

Darrin says, “That was going to be my suggestion, as well.”

Megren gestures with her hand to the tower, bowing a very little over it and saying, “Sirs?”

You say, “Ladies first.”

Darrin asks, “Who am I to argue with such reasoning?”

Megren cants her head. “As you wish.”

Northern Stairwell

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-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= You stand in a small tower room, really nothing more than an intersection of stairs and doorways. To the south is a door leading to the curtain stair. The stair continues upward inside this tower to a trap door above. To the north is a door to the Off Duty Mess, and to the east is the Army Barracks. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

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You can go: Armory <W>, Army Barracks <E>, Off-Duty Mess <N>, Trapdoor Opening <U>, Inner Ward <D>

Haft eyes the room for a quiet table.  “So, what’re you looking to play then?”

Megren says, “I chose the activity; I led the group– one of you must take this one.”

Darrin looks about. “Well, ordinarily I would suggest chess, but as there are three of us…” he motions at the dart board. “Darts?” His blue eyes light up. “Losers required to submit to a dare or question each round?”

Haft looks doubtful.  “I…suppose.”

Megren breaks into a grin. “I’m up for it.

Darrin says, “Drinks first? ”

Darrin rings for a page.

Darrin rings the kitchen.  Moments later, a page arrives and bows respectfully, presenting Darrin with a list.

Darrin indicates what he wants to the page, who accepts the list, bows, and quickly hurries away to the kitchen.

The page returns, carrying with him a tray.  He places the contents of the tray before Darrin.

The page places a Goblet of Spiced Wine before Darrin.

The page bows and quietly leaves.

Megren nods, and sits on a nearby bench. “Haft first.”

Haft stands up.  “Right.”  He takes aim and the dart flies straight into the bull’s eye.  He has the decency to look mildly surprised.  “Glad to see I can still do that.”

Darrin takes a goblet of wine when the page returns and sips at it while Haft throws. He looks impressed. “Nicely done,” he says, stepping up to throw next. His dart lands a hair away from Haft’s, also in the bulls-eye.

Megren toasts them both, taking a drink before she rises to throw. Her mark is less good, and she hits the line between the outermost and second ring.

Megren drinks some spiced wine.

Haft grins at Darrin’s throw and shrugs at Megren’s.  “Let’s see then…you can tell us the worst nickname you ever had as a child or…” he casts around for an idea, then gestures for Darrin to make a suggestion.

Darrin hms, tapping a finger against the outside of his goblet. “Or…I don’t know, sing the most ridiculous song you can think of.”

Haft says, “Loudly.”

Darrin grins. “Loudly.”

Megren squints one eye at Sir Darrin. “As if I wouldn’t do that of my own accord. The nickname is easy, though, since it was only my father and me most of the time.” She smirks and lifts her chin. “Your choice: Little Fritter, Meggy-Bird, or Nutmeg.”

You say, “Oh ‘Fritter’, definitely.”

Darrin says, “Where does Little Fritter even come from? I get the other two, but that one…”

Darrin shakes his head.

Megren lifts a shoulder. “Pet names, who knows.”

Haft rises again to take aim at the dart board.  He manages to land just outside the center, gives a nod of satisfaction, and sits down.

Darrin takes Haft’s place and throws more carelessly this time, perhaps overconfident from his last hit. His dart lands on the outermost ring. He tsks, shaking his head mournfully, and steps aside.

Megren clicks her tongue. “Sharp, Haft.” Her toss lands similarly close, on the other side. She twirls, a big grin ready for the victim. “Sir Darrin, hard luck.”

Haft gestures for Megren to offer the question.

Darrin spreads his hands. “Have at me, then,” he says, eyes twinkling.

Megren comes to sit back down and strokes her chin studiously. “Hmm… traditional this early in the game, I think. Most embarrassing thing you’ve done.”

Haft tries to think of something for a dare.  “Ah…you have to take off your shoes?” he offers.

Darrin laughs. “Oh, but Megren, there are *so many*. How to choose just one?” He smirks. “I would take off my shoes and gladly but I fear the stench would overwhelm us all, therefore…” He pauses to think. “Ohhhh, there was that one time as a boy when I apparently was sleepwalking in, ahem, rather less than suitable attire. Frightened the poor wits out of my Aunt Paige. Well, frightened is rather not the correct word.” He winces. “I belive the more embarassing part of all that was the dressing down I received from her nearly every waking moment for the rest of her visit. Embarassing oneself in front of my aunt? Not recommended, I can tell you that much.”

Megren claps her hand over her mouth, shoulders hunching up with laughter.

Haft smiles, possibly indulging his own memory of Lady Paige.

Darrin says, “Oh yes, laugh it up. It’s funny NOW. I was rather not amused at the time.”

Haft walks up to the board and removes the thrown darts, aims with confidence from his first two tosses-and manages to strike the outermost edge.

Haft grimaces and resumes his seat, passing on the darts.

Megren keeps giggling well into Haft’s toss.

Darrin shakes his head at her in irritation, the lie of which is given away by the way his lips twitch in amusement. He takes a dart and manages to make it only just slightly closer to the center than Haft.

Megren’s dart lands near Darrin’s, not a good toss, but enough to keep her in safety.  “Look at us, taking turns.”

Haft spreads his hands, inviting the inquiry.

Megren looks at Darrin for the question.

Darrin thinks briefly. “Oh! Describe the strangest dream you ever had.”

Haft tenses slightly.

Megren squints one eye at the knight, not seeming to think this particularly interesting. “Or… dance a jig out in the ward.”

Darrin gives Megran a challenging look, planting his hands on his hips and raising a brow.

Haft winces.  “My strangest dreams don’t bear repeating,” he says grimly, rising from the table.  “Will you join me in the jig Megren, or must I look a right idiot all on my own?”

Megren’s face falls a little, and she gives Sir Darrin a glance. She nods. “Sure, I’ll dance with you.”

Haft’s lips twist wryly.  “Right then.”  He offers his arm.

Darrin’s expression dances between smug and a bit sympathetic.  He gives Haft a scrutinizing look.

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>

Megren takes his arm gaily enough and walks with him out into the ward.

Lanisen leaves the kennel building, shoving back an overly enthusiastic deerhound who really really wants to come with him. He turns to cross the ward toward the inner gatehouse.

Darrin follows along behind the arm-in-arm Haft and Megren, blue eyes dancing.

Haft glances around the ward, which is mostly empty, but he doesn’t really take note of faces, just the number of people likely to see.  “Well, you’ll have to keep time for us, Sir Darrin.”  He takes a deep breath, bows to his partner, and takes her hands.

Megren curtsies neatly.

Lanisen limps along the outskirts of the ward, watching faces and keeping his head down.

Sir Darrin keeps time
Sir Darrin keeps time

Darrin grins. “Right,” he starts tapping his foot until he gets a good rhythm going and then eventually he adds in clapping his hands. “Whenever you two are ready, then.”

Haft taps his foot a few times in rhythm with Darrin, then begins a rollicking jig, humming a common tune.

Megren follows along, not very good, but making up for lack of skill in dedication.

Lanisen glances toward the source of the music. He pauses midstep, looking like he’s not entirely sure he believes what he’s seeing.

Darrin hums along with Haft, though it looks like he’s barely restraining himself from bursting into laughter. His keeping time falters momentarily and then resumes.

Megren, not a very good follower, puts a few extra leaps in there for good measure.

Haft leads Megren through the steps of the jig a for another couple of turns, then releases her hand and bows to her with a good-humored smile.  As he rises his eyes catch Lanisen across the ward and his expression fades.  He straightens quickly and turns toward Darrin.

Megren smiles, giving him a deep, polite sort of curtsy, followed by a hard pat on the shoulder. “Sign of a good soldier,” she says.

Darrin bursts into loud applause. “Bravo, bravo, an exceptionally well-danced jig, you two.”

Megren curtsies to Sir Darrin as well.

Haft coughs.  “Ah…yes.  Thank you.”

Lanisen scratches his head and continues on.

Lanisen walks west toward the inner gatehouse.

Darrin grins widely.

Megren nods encouragingly at the older man. “It was well done.”

You say, “Yes…well, I think perhaps I’ll retire for the evening.  I enjoyed the company.” His smiles, though his eyes look vaguely troubled.

Darrin offers him a bow. “As did I. A good night to you, Haft.”

Megren’s brows draw together a little, and then she nods. “Get some rest, then,” she smiles.

Haft nods and heads for the stairwell.

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