Fire!

In which Haft delivers a letter for Darius just before a fire begins in the village.  Featuring King Lune!

The Narrow Gate Hall

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5663dc2f97fceb360e358b47fd4a7f34The 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 wearing a red tunic (Darius); A son of adam with curly

hair (Eston); Dranken, the Barman; Pricelist; Sign — Rooms, 500 coins per

day; and Wolves and Foxes Game Set.

Darius chuckles, expression rather sober. “And some of her father, from what I can see. ” he grins.

Eston carefully adjusts his hold on the child, mindful not to wake her from her sleep and nods.

Haft walks into the inn, hesitating by the door.  He catches sight of Eston’s fair hair and the infant in his arms first and takes a step in his direction before realizing who his companion is and stopping.

Darius hehs, looking up as he catches movement out of the corner of his eyes. “Haft! ” he calls out, smile friendly and perhaps not as large as it normally might be.

Dalia comes walking into the Hall of the Narrow Gate from the Anteroom.

Eston looks around as Aaron calls out and gives Haft a wave and smile of his own, “Haft look, she’s here.”

Haft’s gaze flickers from Darius to the babe in Eston’s arms.  “Yes, I see that.  If you’ll excuse me, I’ve just remembered something.  I’ll see you later Eston.”  He turns back toward the door.

Dalia walks into the Anteroom of the Narrow Gate.

Eston raises an eyebrow, his gaze flickering between Aaron and Haft, “Well, I guess I’ll catch ya later then”

Darius raises a hand, standing quickly and moving towards Haft. “Haft, if you will hold on for one moment. ”

Haft hesitates, then pauses, not turning back around.  He cants his head to the side to show he’s listening.

Eston watches the exchange with some curiosity.

Darius comes up to the man, standing a foot away from him. “Could I have a moment to talk with you?”

Haft says, “I’m afraid I’m in a hurry.  You’ll excuse me.”  He walks out of the hall.

Haft strides out of the inn onto the road.

Darius jogs out of the door after haft. “Haft… haft!”

Haft keeps walking.

Darius jogs up beside the man. “Please hold… Haft. ” His expression serious

Haft doesn’t break stride.  “I’ve got someplace to be.”

Darius puts up both hands. “I assure you, it will only take but a moment. ”

Haft still doesn’t stop.  “Then you’d better talk fast.”

Darius comes walking down the lane from the Herberg Road.

Darius jogs a bit ahead of him, turning to face him. “I am leaving to visit some family in Coghill and would greatly appreciate if you would deliver a message to Sir Colin for me. ”

Haft grunts.

Darius gains an exasperated look. “Listen! I know things have been quite tense regarding my presence as of late, but I am looking to make amends. I assure you!”

Haft shrugs.  “So talk.”

Darius he gestures towards the heart of Andale. “Mind if we stop by my cottage? It will take the briefest of moments. ”

“I mind,” Haft says,  continuing down the road.

Haft walks down the lane to Andale.

Darius begins looking frustrated. “Haft, it is a simple letter for him! ” he extends both hands out. “Please!”

Haft says, “There’s a gatehouse.  Anyone there can deliver a letter.”

Darius continues. “I had hopes that you would take it. It isn’t exactly -just- a letter. It holds a sign of good faith, please… ” he waves a hand towards Het Noorden. “We are but a few yards away from my cottage. Wait here, I will retrieve it. ” he turns and without letting Haft utter another word, he sprints off towards his cottage.

Darius walks up the path toward the Het Noorden settlement.

Darius comes walking down the path from Het Noorden.

Haft walks toward the crossroad.

Darius comes walking down the road from Andale.

Darius arrives, following Haft.

Haft shakes his head and continues down the road.

Darius sprints up behind Haft, clutching something at his side. “Haft!” he exclaims, quite nearly out of breath. “Wait up…”

Haft’s lips twitch, though Darius probably misses it from behind.

Darius circles around him, panting heavily before standing up straight. In his hands he holds a rolled up parchment that is skewered through the middle by his dagger. ” I had hop– ” he pauses, sucking in a deep breath. “I had hoped he would receive this before I left to visit my family. ” he holds the parchment up a bit higher. “Simply put, I have come to understand the error of my ways and had hopes that both this letter of apology and my dagger, as a sign of good faith, would help to repair some of the damage I have done. ”

Haft comes to a stop at the unusual form the message has taken.  He stares at it for a moment, then reaches for the hilt.

Darius extends his hands further. “I understand it is custom to seal a letter with something other than a dagger, but… I had little else. ”

Haft snorts.  “That all?”

Darius nods. “Indeed, that is all. Please… make sure it gets to him. ” he returns, expression serious.

“Fine,” Haft says flatly.  He turns and strides up the road toward the castle.

Haft walks back to Anvard, then inquires with a page and learns that Sir Colin is in the library.

Haft walks east into the library.

Library

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

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You can go: Hallway <W>

Contents: Cole; A son of adam with a strong

build (Colin); and A Row of Bookshelves.

Cole hehs, nodding. ” I completely understand… Believe me. ” he places his head in his hands.

Colin sits sideways in a chair with his legs draped over the arm, having a talk with his brother at one of the tables.

Haft sticks his head into the library, searching for someone.  Upon seeing Sir Colin he enters, a bit hesitantly, and approaches.  He has a curious object in his hands, a rolled up letter with a dagger through it.

Cole releases another sigh, shaking his head as he sees Haft enter. His brow shoots up as he notes the dagger in his hand. “Something I can help you with Haft?”

Haft says, “Forgive the intrusion, Sir Colin.”  His voice is quiet and respectful.  “I just encountered Aaron at the inn.  Chased me halfway through the town, insisting I deliver this.”

Colin twists around to see Haft, his face confused. “What happened?”

Cole’s brow instantly furrows in concern at mention of Aaron, stealing a glance at his brother and allowing the guard to continue.

Haft looks uncomfortable.  “Well, the Captain asked me to avoid him, and I saw him in the hall soon as I went in, so I turned to go.  He followed me through the town, and asked that I give this to you.”  Haft offers the letter.  “He said it was by way of an apology and sign of good faith,” he adds.  He doesn’t sound particularly convinced.

Colin reaches out slowly to take the letter.

Cole watches as his brother quietly as he takes the letter, his expression turning curious. “What does it read?”

Colin pulls the dagger out of the letter, careful not to cut himself on it. He looks at it with scrutiny before looking at the letter.

Haft watches silently.

Colin says, “You may leave, Haft.”

Cole glances at the guard, nodding to him in dismissal before standing and moving towards his brother, eyes narrow.

Haft nods.  “Yes, Sir.”  He bows and departs.

Haft is on his way toward the Army Barracks when he hears the town bells start to ring.  Rapidly he climbs up to the Northern Watchtower where he looks out to see an orange glow coming from the village.  He runs back down the stairs.

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 daughter of eve of rather short stature.

Haft runs down the stairs from the North Gate Tower.

Cole comes charging out of the Kennels, eyes scanning the outer ward frantically. Sighting the guard, he calls out, voice commanding. “Guardsman! What is going on?!”

Vinri is looking around, eyes wide with shock, at the sound of the alarm bell.

Haft exclaims, “Fire, Sir!  Het Noorden, I think!”

Tyren dashes out of the stables just in time to hear this (very brief) report delivered, and he grimaces.

Avery follows her brother closely. Her eyes widen at the report from Haft, but she stays quiet.

Megren bursts out of the kennels, looking for a guard to give her a run-down of the situation.

Vinri hears just enough from the guard to blink once, mouthing the name ‘Het Noorden’ to herself before backing up towards a building away from the charging guards and nobles.

Cole’s eyes widen and he looks to the outer gate. “You and a few of the guards gather some buckets and head for Andale as fast as your feet can take you. ” He catches sight of Tyren from across the ward and calls out “Tyren! With me! ” Then, he quickly makes his way out towards the road.

Tyren nods once, waiting only long enough to tell his sister, “Tell the healers to be on the alert. Stay to the wards,” before he rushes over to the Chancellor’s side.

Haft says, “C’mon Meg,” before heading toward the inner ward.

Cole walks eastward toward the gatehouse.

Tyren leaves, following Cole.

Haft and Megren rush to the kitchen.

Kitchen

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You stand in the busy kitchen of Anvard. There is a large hearth with a blazing fire. Over the fire there is an iron pot hanging on the hearth hook.

There is one long table, stacked with bowls and platters and pitchers, used for preparation and serving. There is a large door into the Inner Ward to the north and a set of swinging, double doors leading to the Great Hall. To the east is the Servant’s Hall, and a door in the center of the south wall leads out to the Kitchen Yard.

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You can go: Inner Ward <N>, Servants’ Hall <E>, Kitchen Yard <S>, Great Hall <W>

Haft rushes into the kitchen followed by some other guards and begins appropriating buckets before heading back outside.

Megren asks after pitchers as well.
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 daughter of eve of rather short stature and A daughter of eve with

honey-colored ringlets (Avery).

Several guards run through the Outer Ward, carrying buckets, pitchers, and other sundry objects.
Haft walks up the road to the east, toward Andale.

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>

Contents: Cole; A son of adam with a scarred

face and sharp features (Tyren); and Andale Well.

A number of soldiers, including Haft and Megren, run into the town and toward the well.

Tyren nods, calling back, “Take the right and work out, I’ll take the left!”

Gearn takes the lead organizing the drawing of the water as the soldiers line up to have their buckets filled.

Cole nods, shooting a quick glance back. Seeing the soldiers arriving, he quickly follow after Tyren.

Cole walks up the path toward the Het Noorden settlement.

Tyren leaves, following Cole.

Tyren walks up the path toward the Het Noorden settlement.

Colin comes walking up the road from the crossroad.

Megren begins handing buckets to Gearn to fill.

Haft gets his bucket filled and hurries off in the direction of the village.

Colin moves past the guards and goes directly toward the area of the blaze.

Colin walks up the path toward the Het Noorden settlement.

Haft walks up the path toward the Het Noorden settlement.

Het Noorden

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You stand inside a circle of cottages, mostly in good repair, with thatched roofs and solid looking, white-washed walls. Each one has a tidy path leading to the front door, and a small garden at the rear. In the center of the circle is a firepit, used by all in the community. In this settlement live many of the citizens of Andale, serving the needs of King and Castle.

A path to the southeast leads out to Andale, and is well traveled by those on their way to and from the well, or the castle, or the shops.

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You can go: Andale <SE>, Aren <1>, Tran <2>, Aileen <3>, Rothril <4>, Frida <5>, Coalesce <6>, Eleanor <7>, Arryn <8>, Eston <9>, Darius <10>

Contents: Cole; A son of adam with a scarred

face and sharp features (Tyren); A son of adam with a strong build (Colin);

and OOC Sign.

Megren arrives, following Haft.

Tyren grimaces in the glow of the flames pouring from one of the cottages, and even as he makes his way toward the cottage immediately to its left, he calls over to Cole, “You don’t… suppose anyone’s in there, do you?”

Colin comes running down the road and goes directly to his brother and fellow knights. He says nothing, just stares at the blaze in shock.

Haft stumbles in surprise, then runs forward to throw his contribution on the fire.  He then proceeds rapidly toward Sir Colin.

Lune comes walking down the path toward the Het Noorden settlement.

Haft addresses Sir Colin.  “Sir, that’s Aaron’s house.”  He then turns and rejoins the other soldiers running back and forth to the well.

Megren, once she has finished distributing buckets, hurries into the neighborhood. Seeing that Sir Tyren has taken charge of the houses nearest the burning one, she moves to those further away, knocking on and then immediately opening doors to warn any stragglers to vacate the area or help with the water.

Cole halts just shy of the cottage to the right as he hears Tyren’s question. A terrible question comes over his face as he looks quite ready to find out if there are any in there. Standing there a brief second, he decides and adjusts his course towards the flames. Raising an arm in a futile attempt to shield himself from the heat, he slowly attempts to make his way towards the door.

Lune arrives with his guard, taking in the scene in an instant. “Form a line!” he bellows. “Pass the water down the line!”

Haft moves to follow the king’s command, passing buckets to the next man in line.

Colin blanches when he sees his brother attempting to go into the engulfed building. “/COLE!/ /NO!/” He dives forward, blocking his brother and seizing his arm.

Tyren emerges from one of the nearby cottages assisting an elderly man out, before passing him over to another villager to continue his work. He frowns as he catches sight of Cole’s approach toward the blaze, brow furrowed deeply even as he pounds on the next door.

Cole doesn’t have much resistance in him as the heat was already starting to become unbearable. He stumbles back as his brother seizes his arm.

Megren goes through a few empty houses before finding a pair of young girls, which she leads out of their house, kneeling to give them a brief list of instructions. She faces the fire so that they face away from it. As she starts to lead them toward town, another woman, similar of face and hair to the children, comes rushing up to her. Moments later, the women is hustling the girls away, and Megren is back to the houses.

Lune takes his own place in the line, drawing up bucket after bucket of water and shouting encouragement to the men and women on either side. As Colin shouts, he looks toward his nephews.

Colin shoves his brother further from the blaze. “Too bad…it’s too bad.” he says, staring mesmerized at the flames.

Colin mumbles “I did …”, to Colin.

Tyren’s path eventually intersects with Megren’s, and he pauses just long enough to tell her, “If any seem to be in need of care, send them to the ward. Lady Avery is there, and the healers should be on the alert,” before he continues his circuit – and even at this distance the heat is enough to make the sweat pour off his brow.

Megren nods to indicate her understanding of the instruction and moves on.

Haft continues passing buckets, his eyes alternating between the blaze and the king.

Abrielle comes walking down the path toward the Het Noorden settlement.

Lune, between buckets, shouts to Haft, “Whose cottage?”

Cole finally begins to protest, finding his footing and grabbing his brother’s arm in a vice-like grip. “/COLIN/ there could be /PEOPLE/ in there!” he shouts over the blaze, eyes wide.

Abrielle walks down the path toward Andale.

Abrielle comes walking down the path toward the Het Noorden settlement.

Haft shouts back, “Aaron’s, Your Majesty!”

Abrielle walks down the path toward Andale.

Lune casts a quick glance around those assembled. “Has he been seen?” he calls out to the assembly at large.

Haft exclaims, “I saw him not half an hour before the fire, but not since, Sire!”

Colin grabs his brother’s arm. “He’s /NOT/ in there, Cole! SMOKE SIGNALS! This is for /me/! He is /not/ in there! This is for ME.” he chokes.

A small family hurries out of another cottage, Tyren following behind them with a boy who can’t be more than four in his arms, face buried in the knight’s tunic. After reaching a safe distance, he says a few words in a tone too low to be heard over the crackle of the fire save for those near him as he passes the boy over to his mother. He calls over to his liege, “None, Your Majesty!”

Megren, when she is sure the houses have been cleared of people, recruits a young onlooker to help her go through and herd pets and livestock into the furthest house from the flames, or at least to be retied to the fence there.

Cole’s mouth opens, eyes widening even further as Colin forces this information to sink in. He looks back to the fire and slowly releases his brother’s arm. “For you. ” he echoes, breathing out these words. Shaking his head to clear the shock, he quickly takes in the scene around them and looks back to his brother. “Help the others. ”

Lune continues hauling bucket after bucket, unflagging, and watches the evacuation progress. “Sir Colin, to me!”

Colin stumbles away from his brother and answers the king’s call, moving to his side. “Your Majesty.” He says.

Lune says, handing another bucket off to the first man in line and hauling up the next, “The night is too cold for some of these little ones. Take them to the castle and see that there is a fire lit while this is resolved.”

Colin bows and moves to obey. “At once, Your Majesty.” he begins to gather some of the older children to aid him with the smaller ones.
Cole steals one final glance at the fire before turning and scanning the crowd. “Tyren!” he calls out, eyes searching as he begins moving to find him.

Tyren finishes his own rounds of evacuation, and that seen to, makes his way through the crowd to Cole. “Here!” he calls out, or at least half of it, the other half cut off by a sharp cough into the crook of his elbow.

Cole’s eyes dart to the response, moving to intercept him in the crowd. “Is everyone out?!”

Lune shouts, as the flames begin to lick out greedily for the next thatched roof, “Get that corner!”

Tyren nods, breathing a bit hard. “Every cottage checked and cleared out, yes.”

Megren carries a cat who is expressing its unhappiness in sharp dangerous wiggles at arm’s length to the designated animal safe-house, tosses it in, and shuts the door firmly and swiftly after it.

Colin picks up a small boy and leads the little group back to the castle.

Colin walks down the path toward Andale.

One of the soldiers at the end of the line moves to obey the king’s order.

Cole nods, finally taking a moment to catch his breath and take in the full scene. His expression is ashen as he once again locks his gaze on the cottage. “Who’s house was that Tyren..?”

Lune’s eyes scan the crowd and settle on a guard who is doubled over coughing. “Perth! Come out of the smoke!” He glances around, still hauling buckets, and looks to Haft. “Rags, are there rags?”

Haft says, “No, Your Majesty.  We didn’t bring any.  We can ask the villagers.”

Lune says, “Do so, quickly.”

Tyren gives Cole a gentle push, beginning to guide him further out from the cottage in question, as he replies, “Aaron’s, according to the guardsmen.”

Haft leaves the line as the two men next to him close the gap.  He jogs down the street beyond the reach of the blaze and then changes direction, running behind the nearest house.

Cole follows without resistance. “Any clue what started the fire?! ”

Megren taps out one of the guards near the house so that he can get away from the smoky air. The young man who has been helping her begins to help running empty buckets and pitchers back to the well.

Haft runs back up the street, arms full of some woman’s washing.  “Rags, Sire!”

Tyren replies, “None that met my eyes.” He turns aside to loose another cough before he continues, “We shall have to hope we may find some answers when the blaze is out.”

Lune says, “Good!” He hands off the duty of hauling up buckets to the next man in line and seizes a raggedy-looking tunic from the top of the pile. This he begins methodically ripping into long strips. He dips the first into the nearest bucket of water and hands it to the unfortunate Perth. “Across your face, friend,” he orders. “It will block the worst of the smoke.” He dampens another and passes it to Tyren with the same orders.

Haft catches on at once and joins the king in tearing and passing out strips of cloth.

Cole nods, frowning deeply. “That we shall. “As the rags are begin passed out, he grabs one from Haft and places it over his mouth.

Tyren nods as he does as instructed, making the “Thank you, Sire,” come out slightly muffled.

Megren pulls her tunic up over her nose until such time as a rag can be brought to her.

Lune destroys the rest of the tunic for masks, handing them out to those nearest the blaze first. Once everybody has received a makeshift smoke-mask, he ties one across his own face and turns toward the burning cottage.

Haft follows suit, then returns to his place in the bucket line, leaving the remainder of the wash on the ground.

Cole proceeds to join in the line himself as he continues holding the cloth over his mouth.

Tyren ties the cloth over his nose and mouth, then taps the shoulder of a man beginning to visibly flag, taking his place in the line.

Megren ties her rag behind her neck and pulls it up over her face, helping to dampen the grass and adjacent roofs in order that the fire not catch elsewhere while their concentration is on the already burning house.

Lune takes his turn at the end of the line, taking buckets and carrying them the last several yards to fling on the burning house. “Everybody back!” he shouts as the flame-weakened structure begins to fold in on itself. “Get back!”

Haft and the others with him fall back at the king’s command, watching the blaze.

Tyren does so as well, instinctually flinging an arm up to shield himself.

Cole drops his bucket instantly. Falling back and dropping to a knee, he puts up both arms and ducks his head behind them as the building begins to crumble.

Megren and the others working on the houses nearby scatter, their movement somewhat inhibited by being trapped between buildings. Most of them end up diving out of the way of the burning debris just in the time. Megren lands on her hands and knees and covers her head.

Lune lurches toward a man standing in the path of a falling segment of wall and drags him back by his collar. A spray of sparks flies up where the wall lands, and Lune flings up his arm to shield his face.

Haft leaps forward, seeing the king in peril, but he’s too far away to intervene.

Tyren exclaims, “Your Majesty!!”

Cole catches sight of the wall collapsing near the King, his eyes widening in horror. Forgetting his own danger, he leaps up and begins sprinting towards Lune. “/MAJESTY!/” He roars.

Megren gets up with the few men and women near her, taking up a blanket from a laundry line. The house has leant to their near side, and the debris still burns, dangerously near the closest cottage. Megren hands the blanket off to someone to soak at the well and try to smother the flames.

Lune and the man regain their balance, unharmed but breathless. “Peace,” Lune gasps to Cole. “More water!”

Haft grabs up his dropped bucket.

The soldiers and villagers reform the line.

Cole halts just shy of his uncle, giving him a once over before nodding and turning to the others. “More water! ” he shouts. “Bring more water! ”

Tyren complies immediately, taking his place again and passing the shout down the line. “Keep it up!” he adds. “Nearly there!”

Megren urges a man who has been, probably not permanently but still dangerously, burned in the collapse to make off to the healers back at the castle. She sends a weary-looking teenaged girl to make sure he makes it.

Lune, whose beard was rather frizzled by the blast when the walls collapsed, directs the line to shift toward Megren’s side of the house.

The men and women in the line move at the king’s order, continuing to pass buckets and throw them upon the flames.

Cole watches the line adjust before turning back to the King, examining him once again. “Are you sure you are alright, your Majesty?” he asks, eyes filled with concern.

Tyren casts a glance over to his king and Cole, then moves to a spot closer toward the front of the line, the better to call out toward Megren, “All well over there?”

Lune says, “Quite all right, Chancellor.” He surveys the wreckage of the house, then adjusts his mask and carries the next bucket nearer to Megren. Slowly but surely, the blaze is beginning to subside.

Haft wipes his brow with his sleeve in between buckets.

Megren calls back from across the wreckage. “We could use more wet blankets, Sir. I can manage the injured if you can gather those?”

Tyren relays this response to those near him, and once replaced in the line, he and a few others move to gather a few more blankets and soak them in further attempts to smother the flames.

Cole nods at the King’s response, accepting it. Running a hand with his hair, he eyes the house as the flames begin to come under control.

Lune carries bucket after bucket alongside villagers and soldiers and guards, pausing to wipe his forehead once it is clear that the fire cannot progress outside the damp boundary they have made for it.

Haft continues passing buckets methodically, eyes straying to the fallen house and the others working to douse or stamp out the remainder of the flames.

Megren checks through the others who were standing with her, sending those with injuries to the castle. What skin she has bare is very red from the heat, and there is a black spot on her livery where something has glanced off of her, but she seems otherwise uninjured. When she is satisfied her companions have been taken care of, she returns to aid in the containment of the fire.

Lune backs toward Cole, continuing to watch the fire. “It will continue to smolder through the night, I should think,” he says, “but I believe it can spread no further.”

Tyren passes a few of the wet blankets to Megren, and sets to work himself with the ones he keeps in his possession.

Cole’s brow is furrowed, expression grave as he nods once more. “It might be prudent to leave a couple guards posted here overnight. ” he pauses, jaw clenching as he leans in towards the King, keeping his voice low.

Cole mumbles “I have … … … … … was … …”, to Lune.

Haft looks down the line toward the remnants of the fire.  He’s got some soot on his nose, though less than men like Perth, who were further down the line.

Lune bends his head near to listen. His face darkens, and he does not answer for a moment. “Yes,” he says finally. “Guards tonight, and perhaps after as well.”

Megren muses as she aids Tyren, “We will need to find a way to keep warm the people whose blankets we have taken.”

Tyren nods in response, stifling another cough in the process. “We shall see what spares we can find and distribute.”

Cole nods firmly, expression growing harder as he surveys the fire once more. “By your leave, you highness, I would like to see to a few things at the Castle. ”

Lune says, “Very well, Lord Cole. You may tell the children in the hall that all is well and their parents will collect them shortly.”

The men in the bucket line begin to slow their pace, looking for direction.

Cole nods once more. “Consider it done, your Majesty. ” He gives him a short bow, turning quickly and moving towards Andale, eyes flashing with anger.

Megren inquires to another guard whether anyone has gone looking for the arsonist. He seems not to know.

Lune turns away from the house, looking tired and disheveled and very sooty. He takes off his smoke-mask to speak. “Well done, friends,” he calls hoarsely. “It is contained, but we need men to stand watch to ensure that it does not return to life in the night.” He glances around for volunteers.

Cole walks down the path toward Andale.

Perth and a couple of other guards by him raise hands, as do a few villagers.

Megren steps forward with Perth.

Tyren tugs down his mask as he makes his way to his king’s side, and after another cough, says, “I will stand wherever you see fit, Your Majesty.”

Haft makes a movement forward, then seems to change his mind.

Haft pulls the rag from his own face.

Lune purses his lips at Tyren and Perth and others who suffered from the smoke. He gives Megren a considering look, then points at two village men and one of his personal guard who kept far enough away from the blaze as to be entirely unaffected. “Thou, thou. Thou. Watch the fire, I charge thee, and sound the bell should it look to spread again. And keep watch for this man Aaron.”

Tyren gives a small nod in acceptance of the king’s decision – and, perhaps, gratitude as well.

Megren bows her head, gathering her hands behind her back to await any further orders for those not assigned to watch the fire.

Haft steps forward, approaching the king.  “Your Majesty, I saw Aaron not long before the alarm went up.  There was no smoke then that I saw.  I think perhaps Sir Colin will wish for additional details from me.”

Lune nods to Haft. “Art dismissed to report to him, then, guardsman.” He scans the crowd. “As for the rest of thee… good work was done here tonight. Return to thy homes, or to the castle. If thou hast had belongings destroyed–” he looks rather ruefully at the scrap of tunic fabric in his hand. “Then we will replace them from our own purse. If art burned or injured, thou mayst receive treatment from Master Adrian at the castle.”

Haft bows and departs swiftly in the direction of Anvard.

Outer Ward

]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

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

]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[

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 daughter of eve of rather short stature and A daughter of eve with a red streak in her brown hair (Abrielle).

Haft strides swiftly into the Outer Ward from the gatehouse.  He seems to be in a bit of a hurry, though he scans the crowd, and a small look that might be relief crosses his face when he sees Abrielle.  He doesn’t pause to greet her, but continues on his way toward the inner ward.

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