On Duty, Spar, Family, Goat

In which Haft has uneventful guard duty in the Outer Ward; and he and Captain Garian spar, discuss family, and lay plans

Outer Ward

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roland_in_combatYou 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 with a red streak in her brown hair (Abrielle).

Haft enters the ward and strides across to the base of the south tower, where he greets a fellow guard.

Abrielle wanders into the Ward looking worried and distracted.

Haft speaks to the guard on duty.  “Anything before Gearn and I take over?”

The other guard shakes his head.  “Quiet day.”

Abrielle still doesn’t seem to notice Haft (or anyone else for that matter) as she moves along the wall.

Haft nods.  “Right.  Well, Gearn should be along any–ah, there he is.”  He raises a hand as hid guardmate hurries across the ward from the base of the north gate tower.”

Abrielle ends up sitting on a barrel along the wall. She doesn’t do anything, however, her nose looks red.

Gearn joins Haft at the base of the tower.  They exchange a few more words before the other guard turns to go inside.  Then the two men begin scanning the ward.

Contents: A daughter of eve with a red streak in her brown hair (Abrielle).

Haft looks toward the outer gatehouse, noting Abrielle among the crowd, but his gaze moves on.

Abrielle glances up and sees Haft but a sudden cough forces her to look back down.

Haft catches a glimpse of a brown-haired man in the ward and shifts to get a better view, then straightens and continues perusing the crowd.

Abrielle suddenly falls asleep on the barrels with her head against the wall.

Haft returns his gaze to the outer wall, a little surprised to see the girl nodding.  “Half a moment Gearn.”  He walks toward her, stops in front of the barrel, and coughs.”

Abrielle jumps awake at the cough. “Geez Haft! What?” She goes into another coughing fit.

Haft says, “Sorry.  It’s just…this isn’t the best place to sleep.  Someone will bump you sooner or later.  You might should ge back to the inn, or wherever it is you’re staying.”

Abrielle sighs and stands up to her full height. “Fine. I am heading back to Cohill…I have no idea why I am here anyways.”

Abrielle coughs.

Haft says, “Ah…” He looks rather confused.  “I see.  Well, um, safe journey then.”

Abrielle looks determinded for a moment more before falling back onto the barrel, defeated.

Haft looks thoroughly puzzled.  “Uh…you sure you’re all right?  I do have to get back to duty if nothing is wrong.”

Abrielle gives Haft a look but then waves it off. “It is nothing you can help with….have a good day.”

Haft says, “I…see.  Well, I hope it all works out.  Excuse me.”  He walks back to Gearn’s side, glancing back at Abrielle before resuming his watch on the ward.  Gearn asks him something in a low voice, looking at Abrielle, which Haft responds to with a scatching look before turning away from his guardmate.

Abrielle sighs and pulls out some paper and pencils from her knapsack.

Abrielle continues sketching, the scene in the Ward, looking more frazzled as time passes.

Haft stands on duty next to Gearn at the base of the south gate tower.  For the most part the two men stand in watchful silence.

Lanisen passes through on his way back from the market, carrying a tunic and inspecting a mended section on the sleeve.

Abrielle glances up as Lanisen passes but doesn’t do much else.

Haft scans the crowd for any signs of trouble, but there doesn’t seem to be much going on beyond a slight dispute about the price of eggs.

Lanisen detours to avoid the egg debate, glancing at the irate customer uncertainly. He ducks his head politely in Abrielle’s direction as he passes.

Abrielle gives Lanisen a small smile and then quickly adds a woman (in the shape of an angry, clucking, hen) to her paper.

Haft notes Lanisen’s exchange with Abrielle as he eyes the discussion in that part of the ward, then continues to survey the area.

Lanisen makes his way on through, watching faces as he goes. He looks to have lost weight, and his eyes are rather bloodshot, as if he hasn’t been sleeping so well.

Adeliha comes walking toward you from the Outer Gatehouse.

Abrielle does a double take at Lanisen, actually putting down her work for a moment.

Haft searches the ward as the discussion about the eggs is finally resolved and the customer moves on.

Adeliha comes walking into the ward, her faithful dog by her side. She carries some cloth though her gaze is more focused on the people passing by.

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

Lanisen stays carefully out of peoples’ way, keeping his head down. He carries a folded tunic from the seamstress under his arm and makes his way toward the kennels.

Haft stands on duty next to Gearn by the base of the South Gate Tower.

Abrielle finishes up the clucking lady and sets her work completely aside as the dog enters the Ward.

Colin steps out into the ward, making a cursory glance around the area before heading toward the kennels.

The people seem to be thick where Adeliha is walking and soon she is jostled, dropping her cloth on the ground. She lets out an exasperated sigh, bending down to pick up her cloth.

Lanisen opens the door to the kennels, shoving aside an excited deerhound, and passes through.

Haft’s eyes pass over Sir Colin before moving on to rest on Adeliha.

Lanisen walks into the Kennels.

Colin sees Lanisen up ahead of him and breaks into a run, catching the door before it shuts and following him inside before the dog gets out.

Colin walks into the Kennels.

Abrielle gets up, seeing Adeliha’s things on the floor, to help.

Although the two men enter the kennels, Adeliha’s dog remains at her master’s side. The woman jerks up as Abrielle is suddenly there helping. She smiles at her a bit, “Thank you.” She continues to pick up her cloth.

Abrielle continues helping and smiles at Adeliha in return. “Your welcome.”

Haft watches the exchange between the two women.

Adeliha finishes picking up the cloth, standing up right. “It is nice to see you, Abrielle.”

Abrielle also straightens up and dips her head politely. “And you, Adeliha. How is your sister?”

Adeliha nods, “She is well. They are still in coghill for now. What brings you up here?”

Haft shifts his weight from one foot to the next.  His expression doesn’t change, but his eyes keep moving.

Abrielle nods and smiles. “Good to hear. I haven’t been back for any substantial lenght of time lately….” She sighs. “I am just passing some time and I didn’t want to be bored in Coghill while I did it.”

Adeliha tips her head, peering intently in Abrielle’s face, “Oh, are you looking for a new line of work?”

Abrielle shakes her head. “No but since it is winter, the plants don’t need much work.”

Adeliha shifts her cloth, nodding a bit. “That makes sense. Do you have family here?”

Garian comes walking down the stairs to the Outer Ward.

Haft stands on duty with Gearn at the base of the south gate tower.

Abrielle frowns. “No. Lewis and Adrian are in Coghill still…” She looks to the things Adeliha is holding and asks, “Need any help with that?”

Garian is currently online.

Garian is already in your permanent watchforlist.

Adeliha shakes her head. “No I am fine. Thank you.”

Abrielle nods and puts her hands behind her back. “So what brings /you/ here?”

Garian enters the ward from the steps in the guard’s uniform, moving at a leisurely pace.

Adeliha can’t help a bit of pride in her voice. “I was coming to talk to a new business partner of mine.”

Abrielle smiles brightly. “Oh really? That sounds like a good thing! I hope it goes well for you.”

Gearn says something to Haft, nodding in the Captain’s direction.  Haft’s expression doesn’t change much.

Garian spies his fellow guards and makes his way over.

Adeliha nods, “In fact, I should be on my way. It was nice speaking with you, Abrielle.”

Abrielle smiles. “Nice speaking with you too, Adeliha.”

Haft inclines his head toward his commanding officer.  “Captain.”

Garian nods, “Guardsman.”

Adeliha gives a small wave before heading towards the markets.

Adeliha walks eastward toward the gatehouse.

Gearn also nods toward the captain.

Abrielle watches Adeliha leave with a sigh and goes back to her drawing.

Garian asks, “How are things?”

Haft says, “Nothing of note to report in the ward this watch, sir.  Lord Cole did ask me to follow up on some information related to Aaron’s whereabouts.”

Abrielle starts drawing in some guardsmen.

Garian gives a small nod.

Haft continues.  “According to Eston, he planned to be away in Coghill for some time–long enough Eston should not continue helping him look for employment in Andale.  That’s all I was able to find out, I fear.”

Garian’s expression darkens somewhat. “I see..”

Abrielle smiles at her final drawing and puts it into her knapsack, getting up. She waves up to Haft and walks out of the Ward.

There is a pull at the left corner of Haft’s mouth as though he doesn’t think much of the lead either.  He just catches sight of Abrielle’s wave and nods to her before returning his attention to Garian.

Abrielle approaches the iron gates of the Inner Gatehouse, but finds that they are closed and locked.

Abrielle walks eastward toward the gatehouse.

Garian asks, “Has anyone followed through with this?”

Haft says, “I don’t know sir.  Lord Cole seemed very keen to get the information.  I gave him my report yesterday.”

Garian gives a nod, “Very good. The matter is now out of our hands and in those of the Lords.”

Haft says, “Yes, sir.”

Garian turns to see the next shift entering the ward. He nods to them.

Gearn says, “Looks like that’s us off, then.  Anything else, Captain?”

Haft waits for Garian’s response.

Garian shakes his head.

Haft nods.  “Something to eat then, Gearn, and then maybe over to the Practice Yard?”

Gearn shakes his head.  “Gotta see a friend in town.  Maybe later.”

Haft nods and heads for the stair.

Garian asks with a half smile, “Still itching for a spar Haft?”

Haft turns back.  “Well, I’ve taken in a fair few, sir, but nothing in the past couple of days since the fire.  Pretty sure I’m in better shape than I was a month ago, though, at any rate.”

Garian says, “We could always test that.”

Haft raises an eyebrow.  “I’d like that.”

Garian gives a small nod. “Well, let’s head to the Practice Room.”

Haft nods.  “I’ll change out of my livery and meet you there.”

Garian nods.

Garian walks up the north stair.

Haft walks up the north stair.

Haft walks into the Practice Room.

Knights’ Practice Room

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You stand on the chamber which serves the Knights’ Practice Room. One part is dedicated to hand to hand combat, and the rest of the area has stands for straw dummies. You can also see much of the countryside from here. On a chair near the door sits the old sergeant, Doel, who maintains the equipment.
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You can go: Equipment Room <E>

Contents: A son of adam with a scar running over his left eye and cheek

(Garian); Doel, the Trainer; Straw Target; and Straw Target.

Garian draws Sword from his Scabbard <WORN>.

Haft draws Sword from his Scabbard <WORN>.

Haft takes out your sword and stand ready for attack.

Garian takes off his satchel.

Garian takes out his sword, standing ready for combat.

Garian sets down a leather satchel.

Garian speaks with Doel in a friendly manner.

Haft enters the room, then walks toward Garian and the sergeant.

Garian turns and grins, “It’s been a while since I last sparred Haft. Go easy on me.”

Haft smiles faintly.  “I’ll try, sir, but I’m fairly sure it oughta be me making that request.

Garian takes out his sword and moves to the center.

Haft draws his own blade and stands opposite Garian, taking up a traditional stance.

Garian begins to circle, watching Haft carefully. He strikes at Haft’s arm.

Haft shifts his stance, using an economy of movement, then brings his blade around toward the captain’s elbow.

Garian steps back after the blow, allowing the sting to subside, his mouth in a tight line. He maintains his focus and swipes at Haft’s side.

Haft is not smiling any longer either, face set in concentration.  He winces at the blow, then brings his sword overhand toward Garian’s shoulder.

Garian grunts and returns it with a blow toward Haft’s arm.

Haft’s mouth twitches unhappily at the blow, then he comes round lower toward the captain’s left thigh.

Garian sees the move and steps back, meeting the blade to avoid most of the blow. He swings it back and strikes at Haft’s side.

Haft sighs in exasperation as Garian gets in another solid blow, then returns it, attempting to strike his opponent’s forearm.

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You see a man in his mid-forties, though a few lines on his face make him seem

Garian grunts again, his face twitching but quickly masking any pain felt. He strikes again.

Haft dodges, blocking most of the strike with his sword, then twists his weapon to catch at Garian’s upper arm.

Garian meets the blade halfway, avoiding a stronger attack. He pushes off and strikes at Haft’s forearm.

Haft grunts at the impact, and returns a blow toward Garian’s side.

Garian again meets the blade, grimacing slightly. He swings back.

Haft hisses at the smack before thrusting toward the captain’s torso.

Garian grunts loudly at this and jabs at Haft’s shoulder.

Haft shakes the sting off before retaliating.

Garian parries and then goes for Haft’s side.

Haft’s lips thin at the blow.  He takes one step to the side before bringing his into a forward thrust.

Garian grunts and is unable to deflect the main force. He twists to the side and strikes sharply at the exposed wrist.

Haft flinches, bringing his left hand onto the hilt to steady the stinging right hand before striking back.

Garian narrowly avoids the blow and deflects the blade. He goes for Haft’s shoulder.

Haft steps out of the way just in time, bringing the sword around to aim at Garian’s right arm.

Garian grunts, swinging at Haft’s side.

Haft lets out a sharp breath through his nose, adjusting his footword before returning the blow.

Garian meets the blade, deflecting it. He strikes at Haft’s arm.

Haft barely registers the pain.  His breathing is coming a little heavier now, but his movements are still steady as he thrusts toward Garian’s knee.

Garian’s own breathing is heavier and if one looks close they can see sweat. Garian’s face, however, remains stoic as he slices at Haft’s side.

Haft stumbles at the last blow, and he takes stock of himself, lowering his sword.  “I yield, sir.”

You see a middle aged man before you. His features are stern but not unkind. He has a rugged scar running over his left eye and down most of his cheek. He carries himself with an air of authority and when he speaks, his tone has a pleasant, earthy and baritone qaulity.

Carrying: Gambeson <WORN>; Scabbard <WORN>; and Sword <WIELDED>.

Garian draws back, letting the signs of wear show. He puts his weapon away and moves to lean against a wall. “Well fought Haft. Well fought.”

Garian puts his sword away.

Garian sheathes Sword in his Scabbard <WORN>.

You put your sword away.

Haft sheathes Sword in his Scabbard <WORN>.

Garian picks up a leather satchel.

Haft leans a few feet away.  “Thank you, sir.”

Garian says, “You did a fine job.”

Haft nods.  “I’m reasonably pleased.  A few more months, I think, to regain what’s gone to seed.”

Haft says, “Your own technique is very good, sir.”

Garian gives a faint smile, “Thank you. I don’t make use of it as oft as I should.”

Haft nods.  “It’s too easy to let a skill grow stagnant.  I fought in the arenas in Narnia, sometimes, as I said, but spent more time fishing, hunting, or sitting at home than worrying about keeping in shape.

Garian says, “You are not as out of practice as you think.”

Haft folds his arms across his chest.  “No, perhaps not.  Was a time I could have taken almost any man on the guard.  Still, as I said, I’m pleased.”

Garian says, “It is not about strength but endurance and wit that gives victory.”

Haft nods.  “Yes.  Particularly when fighting more than one man.  I’m still wondering about a few of the soldiers Rabadash threw at us.  So help me if one of them didn’t run right onto my sword.  He had me down, too.”

Garian grunts and shudders a little. “They are… a very interesting lot. Those Calormene.”

“Yes,” Haft says quietly.  “I caught sight of their prince briefly from the wall the other day.  Have you encountered any of the embassy?”

Garian shakes his head, “No–nor do I really care to, if I must be honest.”

Haft grunts.  “Short straw duty, sir.”

Garian chuckles softly.

Haft asks, “So your father, did he teach you swordsmanship?”

Garian stops chuckling and falls quiet. He gives a small nod. “Some.” He grunts.

Haft catches the reticence, but doesn’t comment on it.  “My mother said mine had a sword in my hand before she first got me swaddled.”

Garian smiles a little. “I wasn’t allowed to play with swords and such when I was young. I had to make do with sticks and long pieces of wood. My mother never liked it.”

Haft snorts lightly.  “Think mine accepted it as my portion from the outset.  Reckon she was glad to get a girl though.  I was round ten before she came along.”

Garian says, “My mother always felt my father spent too much time wrapped up in his duties. I was their only child and she wanted better for me. She always said if I followed in my father’s footsteps I’d end up alone.” He shrugs. “I’ll never forget the look on her face the day I came home in my uniform.”

Haft tips his chin toward Garian for a moment, as if not sure how to respond to the different experience.  In the end he simply asks, “What’s ‘better’?”

Garian shrugs, “I don’t know. Some village job I suppose. She always thought me short sighted for not trying hard enough. At least she didn’t nag me once my mind was set. She settle for a ‘well then’ and never mentioned it again. But then… a woman don’t always need to say something to convey, does she?” He gives a mirthless smile. “She let me know every day I made a mistake. I don’t think she’d be pleased, even now.”

Haft shakes his head.  “Yeah, I suppose they do have a way.  But in my opinion…ain’t anything better.  We’re called to serve and protect.  And if duty on the wall is a little dry sometimes, well, ain’t no one in the country got a better view of the stars.”

Garian nods in agreement. “I didn’t join for so called excitment or glory or any of that nonsense that so often is assocaited with the job…. there was just something–appealing about the job. Something about looking out for the defenseless and makin’ sure there’s justice for all good folk. It’s long and it’s hard and sometimes not very gratifyin… but I wouldn’t take another job if it were offered on a platter.”

Haft nods.  “That’s about the sum of it.”

Garian says, “I think perhaps the only fault is that it may not always lend itself to family life. I do believe my mother wanted grandchild and never forgave me for… choosing a path that deprived her of that.”

Haft says, “Aye, that’s true enough.  My father managed it, but the hours were long, at least until his injury.  Retired on a pension, meant he was home for my sister more than he had been for me.  It was always all right though.”

Garian nods to this, falling quiet again.

Haft lets the silence continue.

Garian finally says, “The job requires some sacrifice, but then, what job doesn’t? It’s a good deal safer then some jobs–I’ve heard terrible stories about fallen trees or rockslides or mines collapsing… or what a horse can do to a trainer when it goes wild.”

Haft shakes his head.  “I reckon no man’s life is perfectly safe.  Take Eston.  A thatcher.  All he has to mind is that he doesn’t fall off a roof.  Then Rabadash attacks and he’s got a sword put in his hand and no idea which direction the point of it goes.  Then he’s injured and his life’s changed anyway.”

Garian nods to this. He asks, “Was the nature of the injury one that will prevent him from completing his tasks as a thacther?”

Haft nods.  “For this winter, anyway.  He’s on a crutch.  Not sure about later.  He’s got a little one.  Adeliha just fetched her from Carmichael.  She’d been with the sister, but the sister’s sick.”

Garian says, “I

Garian says, “If they are in want of anything, let me know. I will help provide for anything they might need, whether it be blankets or food or some small task for a few coins.”

Haft looks at Garian approvingly.  “My father always said soldiers take care of their own.  Reckon he stood with us in the battle, makes him a soldier, even if he didn’t know where to put his sword.  I’ve offered my back already, if he needs help around the cottage.  But I’ll keep an eye out for what else they might need.  The child’s a bit thinner than she ought to be, to my eyes, and she can’t be a year yet.”

Garian frowns deeply at this and asks, “What does a child of that age need?”

Haft says, “Milk, I’d say.  Her mother’s dead, so he’ll be buying that elsewhere if he doesn’t have a goat.  But…not sure when they start eating mashed things.  Pretty soon now, if not already.”

Garian pauses, then rummages around in his satchel. He pulls out some coins and walks over to half. “There’s a man on the outskirts of town with some animals. This will be enough for a small goat. Please ensure Eston will have it by the morrow.–The animal should be able to provide cheese and milk for the entire family, which will go quite a ways.”

OOC> Haft says, “Haft*”

Haft accepts the coins.  “I’ll see to it.  It’s just the two of them, but the cheese’ll be good.  He may even be able to sell some of that to earn a little extra.”

Garian nods. “Anything to help him in this time. how are they set for blankets and supplies?”

Haft says, “I’ll ask.  I’m happy to pay for some of that from my own pocket.  I should warn you though, he’s not overly fond of other folks helping him out.  I’ve tried to explain to him that we’re indebted to him for his service and it’s not the same as begging, but I don’t think he really sees it, sir.  He’ll feel like he owes it back.”

Garian says, “Say that this is for his service. No need to mention who it’s from. If the woman looking after the babe is easier to sway, then by all means employ her in this venture.”

Haft says, “I’ll do that.  Adeliha’s not minding the child now.  Eston’s doing it himself.  She just made the trip to Carmichael.  I had to convince him he was in no shape to fetch Lecie himself.”

Garian nods, “Well. Keep me updated on this.”

Haft says, “Yes, sir.”  He pushes himself away from the wall.  “Well, I should probably see about supper.  Thank you for the spar.””

Garian nods, “Good day Haft.”

Haft says, “Good day, sir.”  With that he turns and departs the practice room.

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