Botched Sneakery

In which Haft tries to avoid Lanisen, per his orders

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 (Vinri); A daughter of eve with a freckled face; and A daughter of eve with honey-colored ringlets (Avery).

A daughter of eve with a freckled face says cheerfully, “Miss Vinri was just showing me a brooch she sells”

Vinri looks a little bit abashed. “As it happens, M’lady… I should’ve known, I’m of Chesterton myself.” With a chagrinned smile, she curtsies again. “My name’s Vinri, M’lady.”

Avery grins. “Ah, very well! I am glad to meet you.” She looks at the brooch. “This is very beautiful! Is it for your mother?”

Haft enters the Ward through the outer gatehouse, some animal pelts dangling at his side.

Greta nods with a smile, “I thought she’d like it.”

Vinri smiles, watching both Greta and Lady Avery quietly for the moment and tapping one finger against her mouth.

Haft looks a bit weary and settles himself on a barrel to catch his breath.

Avery picks up another, holding it up. “This one is nice too. See the way the stone catches the–Oh, Master Haft.” She lowers her hand as she sees the Guardsman. “Didn’t see you there before.”

Haft pauses in the process of reaching to remove his boot.  He pinkens a little, then stands and bows.  “Lady Avery.” He nods to Vinri and Greta.

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

Vinri glances at the nearby barrel, just a few away from where her goods are displayed on her own. “Good morning, Master Haft,” she greets him before responding to the Lady, “Aye, that’s a bit of amethyst, and well-cut, too.”

Greta gives Haft a little wave before saying to Vinri, “60 is ok then?”

Avery turns back to Vinri. “Ah, yes. Indeed.” She looks at the rest of the wares, but she directs a question to Haft. “It’s been some time since we’ve last crossed paths. How do you fare?”

Vinri smiles at Greta. “Who’m I to keep your mam from a gift? Sixty’s lovely. And shall I keep the pin around for a bit?” She gestures to a simple white hair pin, also on display with a few necklaces set with pretty, if not pricy, stones.

Greta fumbles around in her knapsack and pulls out a simple pouch, “It’s ok, the brooch is enough!”

Haft replies, “I, uh, quite well my lady.”. He lowers his voice.

Haft mumbles “I am glad to see you feel confident to visit the outer Ward again.”, to Avery.

Haft mumbles “… … glad … … … feel … to … the … Ward again.”, to Avery.

Lanisen leaves the kennels with a spring in his step, wrapping a scarf around his neck as he goes. He casts a quick glance around the ward, pausing, then changes direction to pass by the market stalls instead of heading directly for the inner gatehouse.

Vinri grins. “Lovely choice.” She holds out her hand, though the coins haven’t been extracted yet. “Here, I’ll wrap it up nice for you, shall I?”

Avery looks up at him, but then nods, smiling gently. “Yes, so am I…” She picks up the hair pin and hands it to Vinri, casting a glance toward Greta. “She’ll take this one, too. If you would, send a note of charges to my suite for both of the items, please?”

Greta  says, “If it’s no bother” She pulls out the coins and hands them to her.

Greta’s eyes widen in surprise and she almost drops the coin purse, “M’lady?”

Haft smiles faintly at Avery’s generosity.  “Your brother passed on the likeness you drew to the Captain.  Very accurate.”

Vinri’s eyebrows lift and she grins, accepting both of the trinkets despite Greta’s hesitation. “Quite kind of you, M’lady,” she replies, beginning to wrap each of the trinkets up in a snippet of fabric.

Avery smiles at Greta, but then looks to Haft. “Has he? I wasn’t quite finished with it, but I think I got most of the important details finished. Things he cannot change. I feel it is very important for all of the guards to recognize him…”

Haft nods.  “Well, as I said, it seemed quite accurate.” He hesitates half a beat.  “Though there was some question about whether additional nose hairs or a forked tongue ought to have been included.”

Lanisen makes his way along the outside walls, looking at the stalls and wares laid out with bright-eyed interest. He doesn’t seem to be looking for anything in particular, just wandering for the pleasure of it. His path brings him fairly close to Vinri’s barrel.

Avery arches a brow, pursing her lips against a smile. “Certainly the latter, if I had more time.” She takes a step back as another customer approaches, but then she realizes it is Lanisen. “Lanisen, pardon me.”

Vinri reaches back into her satchel (really, it’s rather impressive how much she had crammed in there) and feels around for a moment, quirking a brow. Then she smiles, and pulls out a length of slender ribbon. As she ties the two trinkets together, she glances up and sees a vaguely familiar face. “Oh, good morning! Lanisen, wasn’t it?”

Haft stiffens upon seeing Lanisen, and his eyes flicker deeper into the market, as if pondering escape routes.

Lanisen says, “Oh! Sorry, my lady!” He takes a step back, bowing to Avery. His glance shifts to Vinri, and he gives her a grin of recognition. “Yeah, that’s right–um… Mistress Vinri?” He doesn’t seem to notice Haft.

Greta gives Avery a very bright smile and says, “A-are you really sure m’lady, I mean, really?”

Vinri flashes a grin and then blinks, glancing down at her hands. The ribbon is tied right around one of her fingers. “Mhm, that’s me…” she replies as she loosens the ribbon again.

Avery smiles. “You are quite fine, Lanisen. It was I who almost bumped into you.” She looks to Greta and nods, “Yes, yes, I am quite sure. But I really should go check on my Mother…”

Haft begins to edge away.

Greta  bobs a curtsey, “Thank you so much, I hope m’lady Paige is okay”

Lanisen follows Vinri’s glance down to her hand and laughs out loud. “How’d you manage that?”

Avery says, “She’s quite fine.” To Vinri, she says, “Please, send me what I owe and it will be paid directly.”

Vinri glances up with a chagrined smile. “Serves me right, trying to make a fancy bow without looking…” Her escape is limited with one hand tied in, but it looks like she’s making progress. “Wait… ha!” She holds up her now-free hand. Looking back to the Lady, she nods. “I’ll do that, M’lady. Thank you.”

Avery nods to them all and makes her way toward the Gatehouse.

Avery walks west toward the inner gatehouse.

Lanisen bows to Avery as she departs.

Haft notes Lanisen’s good humor and continues to move quietly away from the group.

Greta stands rather stunned, her purse still in hand, as if she can’t quite believe what just happened just happened.

Vinri reties the bow, this time actually paying close attention, then proffers the small, nicely wrapped parcel to Greta. “Here you are, Miss Greta. I’m sure your mam will love them both.”

Haft attempts to slip into the market unnoticed.

Haft sneaks northeast, unnoticed by the small group in the ward.  He proceeds to the tannery to sell his pelts and then to the archery shop.

A little while later…

Lanisen listens, quiet and interested. He casts a cursory glance over Vinri’s wares.

The last of said wares are just getting packed away as he glances. Pretty trinkets, essentially. Holding the cloth against herself, she smiles. “That’s lovely. I’d love to talk more, but I’m ‘fraid I need to go meet with Miss Adeliha. Lovely to see you both!” With another bright smile, she’s off.

Lanisen says, with some surprise, “Oh, all right. G’day.”

Haft comes out of the northern market, attempting to pass by the group discreetly.

Greta waves as she leaves, “Bye then miss!” She turns a smile to Lanisen, “I don’t know if I caught your name, I’m Greta!”

Lanisen’s attention is drawn by the guardsman’s attempted covert movements. He wrinkles his nose a little, unimpressed. “Oh, sorry,” he says, looking back toward Greta. “I’m Lanisen, I work in the kennels.” He indicates the door with a vague gesture of one hand.

Greta leans slightly as she peers around towards the kennels, “That must be fun working with all dogs and such”

Haft sighs at the futility of the whole thing and makes his way toward the stairwell.

Lanisen says, “I like it all right!” He watches Haft, his forehead furrowing.

Greta follows Lanisen’s gaze towards Haft, “Is everything alright?”

Lanisen says frankly, “No idea.”

Haft turns, not expecting the question. His gaze flicks to Lanisen before returning to Greta. “Yes, ah, fine Miss, thank you.”

Greta says, “Only you’re kind of sneaking around like you’re trying to avoid people”

Lanisen tilts his head, giving Haft an assessing look that is neither friendly or hostile.

Haft regards Greta for a moment, as if taken aback by her straightforwardness, but he turns to address his response to Lanisen, not her. “I have my orders,” he says quietly. “If you will both excuse me.” He turns and continues toward the stairs.

Greta raises an eyebrow, “Pardon me I’m sure.”

Lanisen snorts under his breath and looks away.

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