In which a practical joke is misconstrued
Haft takes an afternoon nap before going on duty with Gearn. When he awakes, his scabbard has been bedecked with bells tied with really superior knots.
Inner Wall Walk
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. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
You can go: Toward the Trapdoor Opening <N>, Southern Watchtower <S>
Haft stands on duty at the wall, looking out over the inner ward. His expression is rather sour. Gearn stands near him, but not too close. In fact he looks mildly alarmed.
Megren walks down the wall from the northern walk, running her hand along the stonework.
Haft glances in Megren’s direction, giving a curt nod and staring back over the ward.
Gearn grimaces at Megren behind Haft’s back.
Megren pushes her lips over to one side, slowing her step. She comes up to stand next to Haft and says regretfully, “Didn’t like the bells?”
Haft turns to look at her, eyes glinting. “Is there anyone in the barracks who didn’t hear that? Who filled you in? Owin?” He growls, “As if I needed one more thing.”
Megren makes a face at him. “As if someone not me’d be the culprit. Nobody’s talking about it, silly.”
Haft’s face turns from angry to puzzled.
Gearn says, “Well thank goodness. He was sure one of us had done it. Thought he was gonna take a swing if he’d only known who to blame.”
Megren pouts her lips. “Sorry.”
Haft casts Gearn a disparaging look. “I do not brawl in the barracks like a ruffian.” He turns back to Megren. “I…it’s fine. I thought–never mind what I thought.” He shifts uncomfortably.
Gearn grins. “It was very effective. Perth fell off his bunk at the noise and it took Haft here a full five minutes to unwork the knots.”
Megren covers her mouth at Gearn’s remark. “I’m sorry,” she says again, not quite in a straight voice.
Haft pinkens a little. He straightens, away from the wall. “Yeah…well, I didn’t know it was you.” He glances at Gearn again, with less antagonism. “Five? Felt like fifteen.”
Megren says, “I’m sure I don’t know who you thought it was or what you figured their aim was.”
Gearn says, “Yeah, he wasn’t very clear on that. Bit of an overreaction. Not like we’ve been at him for the last month or anything. I’ve seen a couple of new recruits take a joke or two when they first settle in, be we figured we’d give the old man a break.”
Haft slants his eyes toward Gearn at the expression “old man”, then replies, “Yes. It was an overreaction.”
Megren grins at the epithet, then nudges Haft. “No more pranks, I promise.”
Haft tilts his head at her, considering. “I don’t think I’ll hold you to that.” He continues, as though changing subjects. “You know how, in a sword fight, a contender must keep a variety of moves and counterattacks open to him?”
Inner Ward of Anvard> Colin comes walking toward you from the inner gatehouse.
Haft frowns a little as he sees Sir Colin pass below.
Megren says, “Sure…”
Haft says, “Yes, well, you don’t know your opponent very well Megren.” He offers an affable smile. “You may be needing counterattacks.””
Inner Ward of Anvard> Colin walks west toward the staff quarters.
Megren raises her brows at him. “I’ll… keep that in mind.”
Haft says, “Hm.” He glances at Gearn. “Could you give us a moment?”
Gearn shrugs and steps further down the wall.
Haft turns back to Megren. “I wanted to ask you…about Eston…?”
Megren says, “Oh.” She leans against the wall. “Sir Colin asked around. He says he’s already left.”
Haft’s face falls. He slaps the top of the stone wall in frustration. “Pigheaded man. Did he take Lecie?”
Megren shakes her head. “I don’t know for sure.”
Haft sighs. “I’ll ask in the town. Maybe he had sense and left her with Adeliha. Did Sir Colin say what kind of transport he had? I guess it doesn’t matter so much if they were going all the way. Only before, when he needed to get Lecie from Carmichael, he meant to take a cart to Lancelyn Green and walk the rest.”
Megren says, “Only that he’d already gone.”
Haft stares out over the ward. “Well, it’s out of our hands.” He pauses. “Sir Colin was willing to take him though?”
Megren lifts a shoulder. “I talked to Lanisen; he talked to Sir Colin… all I know is the man’s gone already.”
Haft nods. “Well, thanks…you, uh, didn’t mention me, did you?”
Megren raises her brows at him uncertainly. “Just said a guard.”
Haft says, “Good. That’s probably best. Doesn’t matter anyhow, now. We’ll just have to hope it all comes out all right, with Eston.”
Megren asks, “Where is your sister, again?”
Haft says, “Chesterton.”
Megren says, “Maybe you could make a detour on the way and check on him.”
Haft hesitates. “Checking on Eston has merit. The rest of it…I don’t think I should drop in unannounced, till she’s had time to respond to my letter. I’m…well, probably dead, far as she knows.”
Megren looks rather grave at the idea. “Have you sent it, then?”
Haft shakes his head. “Not yet. I’ve written it, and the scribe was able to tell me where to hire a courier. I have a couple other parcels to prepare. Then I’ll send it out. But I shan’t expect her answer for some weeks. If it even reaches her…I…must assume they live in the same place I helped them move into before…”
Megren says, “Perhaps you could send it to her in care of the noble family at Chesterton. Surely they will know of their subjects whereabouts, or at least whom to ask.”
Haft says, “I may try that if the first try goes astray.”
Haft straightens. “Well, I’d better go rejoin Gearn. Have a good evening.”
Megren says, “Sure. Hope you get to hear from your sister soon.”
Haft nods and heads back down the walk.
Megren walks south into the Southern Watchtower.