Claim

In which Haft tries to help Eston

Andale

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You stand in the heart of Andale where most of the folk who support Anvard live. Young children play here on nice days, skipping rope, or shooting marbles, and older ones can be seen reading scrolls. Adults hurry through on their way from home to where their business takes them. A well with a stone wall sits on the western edge of the road.

The road here widens and splits to run toward the shops to the east, North Andale to the north and the Crossroad to the south. Short paths lead to the two settlements here; Het Noorden to the northwest, and Zuiden to the southeast.

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You can go: Het Noorden <NW>, North Andale <N>, East Andale <E>, Andale Crossroad <W>, Zuiden <SE>

Darius stands a couple feet away from Eston whom is leaning against the well.

Haft walks into the square, not appearing to be in any particular hurry.  He catches sight of the two men and changes course to head their way. “Greetings, Eston,” he says pleasantly.  “Aaron.”

Eston waves, ‘Wotcher Haft”

Darius eyes flicker to the newcomer, his eyes brightening once more. “Haft! ” he calls out, grinning. “How goes it?”

Haft says, “Well enough.  Was thinking of wandering over to the inn, but company is better.”

Eston looks down the road towards where the inn is, “Wouldn’t mind going there myself”

Darius nods. “Sounds like a great time. ”

Haft waves his hand in the direction of the inn.  “After you.”

Eston catches up his stick and slips off the well, nodding towards the other two.

Darius hesitates, looking to the two before shaking his head. “Actually… I need to be off. ” he nods to them before moving towards Het Noorden

Haft glances after the man, then shrugs.  “Just us then, Eston?”

Eston watches after him, “Well alright then, aye looks like it’s just us”

The Narrow Gate Hall

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The Hall of the Narrow Gate is brightly lit by a large chandelier, and by torches on the walls. A bar runs along the length of the south wall. Behind the bar stands Dranken, the Barman, polishing a glass. The wall behind him holds several bottles, and racks of glasses. There is also a menu offering drinks and food. The north wall is dominated by a cheerful stone fireplace.

The rest of the room is filled with tables and stools, in little clusters all over the scuffed wooden floor. An arch leads to the Anteroom to the south.

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You can go: The Anteroom <S>

Contents: A son of adam with curly hair (Eston); Dranken, the Barman;

Pricelist; Sign — Rooms, 500 coins per day; and Wolves and Foxes Game Set.

Haft leads them to his customary corner table, then orders some cider.

Haft calls to Dranken for a mug of mulled cider.  Dranken stops cleaning his glass, and serves it up directly.

Eston orders some ale and joins Haft at the table.

“So,” Haft says, “what were you two talking about?”

Eston leans back in his seat, taking a swig of his ale, “Not too much really, life and all”

Haft asks, “Life?”

Eston says, “Aye, life, life and it’s issues, nothing too major”

Haft asks, “Issues?  Has he been having some trouble?”

Eston shakes his head, “None more so than usual”

Haft looks puzzled.  “I…don’t understand.  What’s ‘usual’?”

Eston waves to the stick, “Injury continuing and not being able to work, worries about my daughter. That’s usual”

Haft asks, “Ah.  He seemed…concerned about that?”

Eston says, “Says he likes to help a friend, told him I couldn’t be helped lessing he knew any thatching. Course he didn’t.”

Haft chuckles.  “Did he say what he /does/ do?  I still haven’t figured it out.”

Eston swirls his ale looking thoughtful, “Aint got a clue, from what I figure some sort of woodsman?”

Haft furrows.  “Really?  I’ve never seen him with an axe, or even a woodchip on that tunic, from what I can recall.”

Eston shrugs, sipping the ale, “He says he wandered and lived off of the land. I don’t know what to think, so he’s either a woodsman of some sort or a vagabond”

Haft says, “Hmm.  Perhaps.”  He changes the subject.  “You said you were worried about your daughter?””

Eston asks, “‘course I’m worried, wouldn’t you be, trusting someone else to go fetch her what if somethign was to happen to them?”

Haft says, “Yes.  Of course.  But I reckon Adeliha’s got a good head on her shoulders.  You can see it when she’s talking business.  And I don’t reckon she’d make much target for thieves or anything like that.”

Eston nods, “I don’t doubt that, but I can’t help worry”

Haft nods.  “That’s only natural.  What about your own roof?  Reckon you’ve got what you need to keep you through the winter?”

Eston scratches the back of his neck, “Reckon I do…”

Haft says, “Enough for the babe?  She’ll be needing milk and…” he waves his hand vaguely, as if not entirely certain what is required, “other things.””

Eston nods slowly, looking glumly into his ale, “I reckon so, been preparing and such like…”

Haft asks, “You said the leg’s been slow in mending?”

Eston says, “I’m sure it’ll be fine”

“Course,” Haft says, sounding unconvinced.

Eston takes another swig of his ale, by his expression he is not convinced either.

Haft says, “Your neighbors aren’t gonna let you starve.  You know that, right?  I didn’t even have to pay Adeliha to go for the child.  Gave her a little advance on my sewing order, just for incidentals, but she was willing ta go on her own.”

Eston shifts in his seat, “So they say”

Haft replies slowly.  “But you don’t believe it.”

Eston swirls the content of the tankard, “Not for me to say, everyones got their issues and I ain’t one to ask for favours”

Haft looks down at his mug, his tone earnest.  “I may have said this before.  I’ll say it again:  You fought for this land, and there is no man, woman, or child of good character who is not grateful for what you did on the field that day.  Don’t confuse asking for help when you’ve earned it with begging.”

Eston doesn’t catch Haft’s eye when he says, “Was always brought up not to own noone nothing…”

Haft nods.  “Rightly so.  My father taught me the same.  He also taught me that soldiers care for their own.  You have a claim on us for your service.  It’s not charity–though there’s no shame in that either, when a man cannot work.”

You leave the Dream Chat Channel.

Eston shifts, “Don’t feel right”

“No,” Haft says quietly.  “But it is.”

Eston falls silent, turning his attention to his drink.

Haft allows the silence.

Eston says, “We’ll see…” By the sound of it he is very unconvinced

Haft says, “Well, if you won’t ask anyone else, ask me.  I’ll do what I can, and I’ve still got a strong back if there’s anything around the place needs mending.””

Haft rises.

Eston nods slowly, “Not got anything needs doing”

Haft nods.

Haft nods.  “Right, well, you let me know.”  He turns and heads for the door.

Eston says, “Bye then”

Haft says, “Goodbye.”

Haft walks into the Anteroom of the Narrow Gate.

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