More Than Honor Required

In which Haft and Lady Avery discuss Lord Peridan

Inner Gatehouse

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You stand in the inner gatehouse, the last barrier to entry to the inner ward of Anvard. To the east are wrought iron gates, capable of barring entry to the castle. Knights stand guard here ensuring the safety of those within.

To the west is an arch leading into the inner ward. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

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You can go: Outer Ward <E>, Inner Ward <W>

Contents: A daughter of eve with honey-colored ringlets (Avery).

Haft stands on duty in the Inner Gatehouse with Perth.

Avery comes from the Inner Ward, wrapped in a cloak. She approaches a guard on the other side of the Gatehouse. He bows and she speaks a few quiet words to him. The Guard shakes his head and Avery nods, stepping away. She looks towards the Gates, as if waiting for something or someone.

Haft notes Avery’s presence but doesn’t seem to make much of it.

Avery bites the tip of her finger, leaning against the archway. She scans the Gatehouse, eyes landing on Haft for a split second, but then she looks up as a courier comes through the Gate.

Perth leans over and says something quietly to Haft.

Haft shakes his head.  “Not sure.  Probably tomorrow.”

Haft greets the courier.  “Business, please?”

The courier looks up as fiddles through his bag. “Messages for the family of Chesterton, sir.” He pulls a bundle of letters out.

Avery steps forward just then, smiling when she sees the letters. “I can take them.”

Haft bows, as does Perth.

The courier bows respectfully, “Milady.” He glances at the Guard and then hands her the letters.

Avery takes the letters with a nod of her head, offering him a few coins from a small bag hanging from her wrist. “Thank you. I am sure we will have replies ready soon.” He nods, bowing once more, and then leaves.

Haft turns back toward Perth.

Avery flips through the letters, muttering to herself. “Mother, Mother, Mother, Tyre, Astera, Tyren, Tyre…Mother…” She sighs and looks through them again, looking disappointed.

Haft looks at her.  “Has something gone astray milady?  I could see if the courier has forgotten something.”

Avery is startled by his voice and she drops one. “No, no…” She crouches to pick up the letter. “I was just…ah, hoping…” Her words trail off, cheeks turning red.

Haft says, “Oh, my apologies.”

Avery shakes her head gently, organizing the letters by their recipients. “No, it is quite alright. I thank you for your concern.” She smiles. “My, uh…friend is usually very quick to reply…I am surprised I haven’t received a letter yet. Though, it /is/ coming from Narnia…”

Haft chuckles.  “I have some, ah, experience with sending correspondence from Narnia.  Finding a reliable messenger can be tricky at the best of times.  Some of the smaller creatures who run deliveries are a bit…flighty.  The letter in question may only be delayed.”

Avery considers this and nods. “Perhaps you are right, although…” She shrugs. “It’s coming from Cair Paravel or thereabout, so I am sure the messengers are very focused and careful with their deliveries, no?”

Haft says, “Well, yes, I should think so my lady.  I’m afraid my experience does not extend much in that way, but if it’s coming directly from the castle I should assume the sender could hire someone reliable.”

Avery says, “I am sure he has. Just as we do here.” She fiddles with the corner of one of the letters. “I am sure it will be here tomorrow or the next day…”

Haft says, “I’m sure it will.  Or, perhaps your friend is simply forgetful.  I imagine there is a great deal at the Cair to keep one occupied.”

Avery arches a brow. “Forgetful? No, quite the opposite.”

Haft says, “Well.  Then I’m sure it must be the courier.”

Perth looks around, politely disinterested.

Avery nods. “You may be right. It’s not an important letter at all, but I must admit, patience is not a quality I possess…” She grins.

“Really?” Haft says with a small, self-deprecating smile.  “Here I thought I was the only one, my lady.”

Avery chuckles. “No, you are not alone in that.” She motions to the Gatehouse with her free hand. “Are you enjoying your position as one of the King’s Guards?”

Haft says, “More than I have enjoyed anything in years.”

Gearn walks into the gatehouse with Owin, catching Haft’s answer.  “Oh, now that’s the truth.  Doesn’t even complain about standing the long hours.  Makes us all look bad.”

One side of Avery’s lips lifts, looking amused. “Ah, I see. Try getting a gown fitted and your standing here all day will seem like a stroll through the woods.”

Haft says, “I think the lady’s bested us there, Gearn.”

Perth nods to the new arrivals, then bows, turns and exits the gatehouse.

Avery waves a hand. “I do not mean to make light of your duties. I understand what you do is very important and I am ever grateful to you all for keeping such a watchful eye.”

Haft asks, “That’s what we’re here for my lady.  But it’s kind of you to say.”  He nods to Gearn and Owin.  “Well, my watch is ended for today.  I wonder my lady, might I have a word?”

Haft waves his hand in the direction of the inner ward.

Avery nods. “Oh, yes, certainly.” She walks toward the Inner Ward.

Avery walks west into the inner ward.

Haft walks into the inner ward.

Inner Ward of Anvard

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You stand in the Inner Ward of Anvard. The ground is hard-packed earth, and it is open to the sky above. Wonderful aromas come wafting out from the Kitchen to the south, near the well. Huge, impressive, intricately carved doors lead to the Great Hall. Staff hurry about, in and out of their quarters, serving the Great Hall and the Council Chamber. A quieter corridor to the northeast leads to the library and schoolroom. Noble lords and ladies also pass through, walking towards their quarters seeing to other business. A guarded gatehouse to the east stands between the inner and outer wards. Two stairways line the curtain wall, climbing to the upper reaches of the castle. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

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You can go: Council Chamber <N>, Northeast Hallway <NE>, Inner Gatehouse <E>, Kitchen <S>, Great Hall <SW>, Staff Quarters <W>, Infirmary <NW>, Southern Stairwell <US>, Northern Stairwell <UN>

Contents: A daughter of eve with honey-colored ringlets (Avery) and Well.

Haft follows.  “I was wondering, my lady, what might be the best way to address a letter to Cair Paravel?  There are couriers I can use, but I wasn’t sure precisely how to address a letter to Sir Peridan.  I wish to thank him for his recommendation, you see.”

Avery’s eyes widen slightly. “Oh. I see.” She looks down at the letters. “You could send it by way of the hired courier my family and I are connected with. He has made his fair share of trips to Narnia…He could most certainly get a letter to Lord Peridan for you.”

Haft looks a bit awkward.  “I couldn’t possibly impose.”

Avery quickly shakes her head. “No, don’t be silly. You’re not imposing.”

Haft says, “Well…thank you.  I’ll prepare something.”

Avery nods, holding up the letters. “Lady Astera has many friends in Narnia, so she will likely write a reply before tomorrow is out and the courier will take it. I will see to it that your letter is included on that trip, if you wish it?”

Haft shifts his weight.  “I am not sure I will have it composed by then.  Perhaps on a future trip?”

Avery nods. “Of course. You are quite busy.” She smiles. “Lord Peridan will be very glad to receive it, either way.”

Haft says, “Yes, I hope so.  I owe him a great deal.”

Avery hmms, nodding. “Do you two know each other very well?”

Haft shakes his head.  “Not very, no.  I only knew him for a short time, in fact.”

Avery tips her head. “Oh. I had assumed otherwise. You seemed…close. Or at least I thought you did.”

Haft bites his lower lip, looking at Avery as if deciding how frank he wants to be.  Eventually he says, “I lived in Narnia a long time, my lady, largely keeping my own company.  If we seemed so, it is likely because he was the first Man I’d been in contact with in some time, and he reminded me what it was like to be a soldier.  The relationship between a soldier and his commanding officer is something I understand well.”

Avery nods slowly. “Oh…I cannot claim to understand that bond, but I am sure its bring you closer, which is a good thing.”

Haft explains, “It means that I was answerable to him, but he was also responsible for me.  In all honesty, I had not met him before the muster of Narnia. We never spoke until after the battle.”

Avery says, “I haven’t known him long either, but…” She shrugs, searching for the right words. “He is very attentive and caring towards others.”

Haft watches the lady closely.  He nods.  “I can confirm that.  In all honesty, I was rather a problem for him, one he could have ignored given that I was a volunteer.  He chose to recognize me as his subordinate and speak on my behalf, the relationship of responsibility I have just mentioned.  He could as easily have turned aside and left that problem to others.

Avery looks away for a second. “That was very kind of him.”

Haft says, “It was.  It was…more than honor required.”

Avery looks back to Haft, smiling. “I am sure he would be happy to see you so well-settled into your new role.”

Haft’s face falls slightly.  “Yes, well, I’ve made some mistakes since coming back I’m afraid.  I’d like to write him when I can give a better account of myself.  But I am grateful for what he’s done and he should know that.”

Avery says, “Mistakes help us become the best version of ourselves, if we are willing to learn from them.”

Haft shakes his head.  “Goodness knows I’m willing.”

Avery nods. “Of course. And I agree, he should know.”

Haft takes a breath.  “Perhaps I can arrange at least a brief letter by tomorrow.  His help ought not go unrecognized for…much longer.  I’ve waited too long already.”

Avery says, “Whatever you like.”

Haft nods.  “I’ll have something prepared by morning, or this evening if you prefer.  Where ought I to bring it?

Avery smiles. “You may have it sent to my chambers. I will take the utmost care in making sure it is delivered.”

Haft says, “Thank you my lady.  Hopefully your own friend’s response will arrive on the morrow.”

Avery looks away and then back again. “It is my hope as well.”

Haft bows.  “Thank you for your help my lady.”  He turns and heads up the stairs.

Avery nods, bowing her head.

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