In which an international incident is averted




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

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


You can go: Hallway <W>

Contents: A Row of Bookshelves.

Haft sits at one of the tables, not the center-most, carefully perusing a book with several illustrations.  He wears his plain brown shirt and no livery.

Roshan enters the library and makes his way to one of the shelves. He is not alone, following him is an Archenlandish servant who has been tasked with keeping an eye on him, and one of his own slaves.

Haft doesn’t look up as the prince enters the library, but turns a page quietly, his chin resting in his other hand.

Roshan walks past the stranger, a flicker of disdain crossing his face as he takes in the common attire. Clearly he does not see the man as being worth his time as he proceeds to ignore him completely, instead focusing on the shelves of books.

Haft squints at a passage in the book, peering closer to make out some faded letters.  As he does so he inhales a bit of dust and releases an explosive sneeze.

Roshan looks around at the sound, giving a little ‘tch’ of disgust and disapproval.

Roshan mumbles “… … of castle is … … they will … … rabble into … …”, to Roshan.

Haft glances guiltily toward the librarian at the same time the Prince starts muttering.  Haft doesn’t catch much except the word ‘rabble’, but he takes in the Prince and swiftly rises to his feet, offering a bow.  He hesitates a moment, then adds.  “My apologies, Your Highness.”

Roshan casts the man an appraising look, his expression changing from one of disapproval to the perfect mask of neutrality, “Are you supposed to be in here?” his tone suggests that he very much thinks the man is not supposed to be in here.

Haft pauses a moment before replying in a respectful, even tone.  “All residents of the castle are welcome in the library, Your Highness.” He continues, “If my presence is distracting, I can return another time.”

Roshan’s expression remains completely impassive though his tone still maintains that slightly cold edge, “That would be for the best, yes.”

Haft keeps his expression pleasantly neutral.  He bows to Roshan again.  “Of course, Your Highness.” He reaches to close his book, replaces it on a nearby shelf, then makes for the door.

Roshan turns his attention back to the books, taking one from the shelf and flicking through the first few pages. As Haft leaves, the Archenlander gives him an apologetic look that still somehow manages to convey the feeling that at least Haft has the option of leaving.

Haft catches the servant’s glance and offers him a commiserative grimace behind the prince’s back before leaving the room.


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