Everyone Else’s Business

In which Greta opens her mouth.  Introducing Cantil!

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 a freckled face (Greta); A son of adam in

coghill livery; and Well.

Greta comes walking out of the kitchens with a bunch of other maids, the sounds of chatter and giggling can be heard from the group with the odd “He didn’t!” and “Really? Never!” thrown in for good measure. When the group reaches about the middle of the ward they disperse, each going their own way.

Cantil is leaning unobtrusively against the stout tower to the west of the ward, eating an apple and watching the comings and goings of servants, guards, and nobles with quiet, unhurried interest.

Haft enters the Ward from the gatehouse, glancing around and heading in the direction of the kitchens.

Greta waves Haft a cheery little wave as she passes him, “Hello, mister.”

Haft inclines his head toward her, looking slightly less cheery.  “Greta.”

Cantil turns his apple to get at the uneaten side, watching the conversation idly, not so much eavesdropping as bored and otherwise unoccupied.

Greta gives one of her brightest smiles and asks in a perfectly innocent tone, “You still all grumpy and such?”

Haft’s face, if neutral before, all at once does become rather bearish.  “Yes,” he growls.

Greta doesn’t seem fazed by this and carries on in her cheery manner, “You ought to work on that, our mam says that anger’s bad for your health and will wear a man down quick as anything, that’s what our mam says.”

Cantil’s eyebrows raise as the conversation in front of him becomes more entertaining. He ducks his head to hide an unvoiced snicker.

Haft snorts.  “Reckon yer mam’s right.  You know what my mam used to say?”

Greta shakes her head and smiles curiously, “What’s she said?”

Haft says, “Don’t sass yer elders.””

Cantil’s eyes positively glint at this.

Greta’s eyes widen and a look of perfect innocence crosses her face, “I wasn’t doing no sassing mister.”

Haft crosses his arms over his chest.  “Oh weren’t you?”

Greta shakes her head, “Not at all!”

Cantil crunches his apple, still watching quietly from the side of the tower.

Haft snorts again.  “You weren’t sassing like the lad weren’t eavesdropping.”  He jerks a thumb at Cantil, then turns to give him a pointed stare.

Cantil blinks at Haft, still chewing.

Greta peers around at the boy in livery and says to Haft, “I’m sure he’s just eating his apple perfectly innocent like.”

Haft shrugs.  “As one who’s more or less paid to pay attention, I’ll not chastise him–this time.”. He walks to Cantil and extends his hand.  “Haft, of the guard.  Don’t think we’ve met.”

Cantil observes, “T’be sure I been standing here longer than you’ve been arguing.” He shakes Haft’s hand willingly and meets his eyes with easy confidence. “Cantil, squire to Lord Dar.”

Greta, having tagged behind Haft the better to hear the exchange, gives him a cheery wave and says, “Hello Cantil.”

Dalia comes walking toward you from the inner gatehouse.

Haft says, “Ah, very good.  I’m surprised I haven’t noticed you these past weeks.”

Cantil says, “I only came with Lord Shar and Lady Elriya a couple of days ago. Good show, you two,” he adds, one side of his mouth quirking up. “I’d throw a copper only you haven’t set out a hat.”

Haft winces.

Greta covers her mouth to stifle a laugh though she doesn’t have much success.

Cantil’s eyes glint wickedly, and he glances from Greta to Haft with one eyebrow raised to invite him to join in the joke.

Haft refuses the invitation with some effort, ultimately forcing his face into a scowl.

Greta’s hand is still covering her mouth, though her eyes glint mischievously as she nods towards Haft, “There’s just no cheering this one up you know.”

Cantil’s grin only widens at this, easily guessing what Haft’s face actually wants to do. “That’s a shame.”

Dalia makes her way quietly into the inner ward. She spies a small gathering as she does so.

Haft says, “I’m perfectly cheerful when there’s something amusing.”

Cantil looks like he finds this amusing, but rather than torment the poor man further he changes the subject. “I don’t think I’ve seen you around here before.”

Haft straightens–or stiffens–marginally.  “No.  I was away for some years and have rejoined the guard just recently.”

Cantil hesitates very briefly, perhaps picking up on the stiffness. “Yeah?” he asks. “Since the battle, that’d be?”

Haft says, “Correct.”

Greta pipes up, “Freya says he was in Narnia for some crime or other, don’t know what to make of it myself but you never can tell.”

Cantil blinks. He glances from the girl to Haft.

Haft gapes at Greta.

Dalia passes close enough to the gathering to discern friendly faces, “Oh Hello Greta, Master Haft, Cantil.”

Greta gives Dalia a cheery wave, “Hello, miss.”

Cantil says reasonably, after an uncertain pause, “Can’t have been anything so bad as all that or he wouldn’t be on the guard, would he?” But he gives Haft another curious look before he shifts his attention to the new arrival. “Hey, Dalia,” he says, grinning.

Haft’s face grows hard.  “Suppose that depends on what you mean by ‘bad’. don’t it?”

Greta asks, “What was it then?”

Haft says, “Shocking though this might be, I think that not everyone else’s business is your own, girl.”

Greta shrugs and tilts her head, “Just curious mister,” she says, making a mental note to just ask someone else.

Cantil stays quiet and watchful, chewing on his lower lip.

Haft glances at the boy.  “It’s dealt with and done.  Your master knows, and he’s over me. I reckon that’s enough for you.”

Cantil says, almost gently, “I’m not asking, friend.”

Haft gives the boy an appraising look, then a nod of respect.

Dalia opens her mouth to give a cheery greeting to Greta and Cantil, but stops, sensing the tense air. “I’m sure His Majesty has it all in hand,” she says, a bit of older sister coming through in her tone.

Haft’s eyes shift to Dalia.

Cantil shrugs and returns to his apple.

Greta gives Dalia a smile and says, “Alright, miss.”

Haft looks between the three, then seems to give up on staying.  “If you’ll excuse me,” he says, striding in the direction of the North stair.

Cantil watches him go, thoughtful.

Dalia nods. “Aslan keep you Master Haft.”

Greta waves him off, “Bye, mister!”

Haft climbs the open stair which rises up the northern half of the inner curtain.

Haft goes up to the Inner Wall Walk where he gazes out on the three, though he can’t hear their conversation.

Inner Wall Walk

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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.

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You can go: Toward the Trapdoor Opening <N>, Southern Watchtower <S>

Inner Ward of Anvard> Cantil glances at Greta. “Don’t think I’ve seen you about either, miss.”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Greta gives her forehead a little slap with the palm of her hand and smiles apologetically, “I forgot to say my name! I’m Greta, I’m maid to lady Avery.”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Cantil dips a polite little bow. “Pleased to meet you. We must’ve not been at court at the same time before.”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Greta smiles and bobs a polite little curtsey in return, “Was only recently given the job, came up here with Lady Paige after the battle.”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Dalia glances curiously from Cantil to Greta as Haft leaves but says nothing on the matter for now.

Inner Ward of Anvard> Cantil ahhs, understanding. “I went straight home to Coghill after the battle, that must be why.”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Greta’s eyes widen and her mouth forms an ‘o’ of surprise, “You was there?”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Cantil nods. “There was a king’s hunt before, see, and milord Dar was part of it so I was along.”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Greta’s eyes widen even further, “What was it like?”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Cantil asks, rather deliberately innocent, “The hunt? Oh, you know. Dogs, horses. They almost got a hart.”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Greta pouts, “Not the hunt, the battle”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Cantil grins at her reaction. “I didn’t see it, mostly,” he says apologetically. “Wasn’t allowed.”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Greta gives a little ‘ooooh’ and says, “I reckon it must have been proper scary.”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Dalia clears her throat quietly. “If I may?”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Cantil glances at Dalia.

Inner Ward of Anvard> Greta gives Dalia an encouraging smile.

Inner Ward of Anvard> Dalia says, “How is you father, Master Cantil?” she says, “Is he well? I have not seen either of you around in some time.”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Dalia says, “”And You? Have you been well?””

Inner Ward of Anvard> Cantil hmms? “We’re both well, thanks. We were busy there for a while with winter, seems like everybody was finding they needed new boots. Snow’s good for business. You?”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Greta looks towards the windows of the Noble’s quarters, “I ought to go checking on m’lady Avery, nice seeing you both!”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Greta gives them both a cheery wave and makes her way back into the castle proper.

Inner Ward of Anvard> Greta walks west toward the staff quarters.

Inner Ward of Anvard> Dalia waves to Greta, “Aslan keep you!”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Cantil nods toward Greta as she goes and glances back at Dalia.

Inner Ward of Anvard> Dalia returns her gaze to Cantil as greta leaves as well. “I have been well, Thank you.”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Cantil says, “Good to hear it. You been here since the battle too?”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Dalia nods, “Lady Astera and Lord Tyren came before.”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Cantil blinks, mentally reconstructing this. “Right!” he says. “‘Cause he was on the hunt, I remember.”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Dalia nods, “I believe so, yes.”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Dalia glances back the way Greta has gone, and quietly says, “If I may ask? What was that all about?”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Cantil shifts, uncomfortable. “Um,” he says, quiet as well. “I’m not sure, to be honest.”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Dalia nods. “Best to leave it alone then I suppose.

Inner Ward of Anvard> Dalia frowns worriedly.

Inner Ward of Anvard> Cantil says, “Yeah. ‘Spect so.” He shrugs, then says matter-of-factly, “If it was our business, we’d already know.”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Dalia nods.

Inner Ward of Anvard> Dalia changes the subject. “Where is your faithful companion, Cricket? Is he back in Coghill?”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Cantil considers his apple, rather brown by now, then pitches it with rather remarkable aim into the rubbish cart outside the kitchen, halfway across the ward. He looks pleased with himself. “Cricket’s at home, yeah,” he says.

“Somebody’s gotta keep Dad company until I get back.”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Dalia smiles and nods, clapping for Cantil’s good shot.

Inner Ward of Anvard> Cantil gives the wall walk above a considering look.

Haft swiftly steps back and out of sight.

Inner Ward of Anvard> Dalia says, “Do you know Lanisen? I believe he works in the kennels? I do believe he said, they had just had a litter of new pups.” She tilts her head thoughtfully, “How old is Cricket now?”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Cantil squints one eye thoughtfully. “Couple years, now? Yeah, two years it’s been, I think.”
Inner Ward of Anvard> Cantil adds, “Don’t think I know Lanisen.”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Dalia looks a mite bit surprised, “Has it really been too years?”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Cantil says, “Yep, pretty sure.”
Inner Ward of Anvard> Dalia nods, “And being a Squire? It suits you well?”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Cantil says, “Well enough, yeah.”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Dalia nods, “Well it’s good to see you, Cantil!” She smiles. “I don’t know if you’d be interested, but You might enjoy looking into the kennels at your leisure.”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Cantil considers, putting his head on one side. “Might do that,” he agrees. “You don’t think this Lanisen would mind?”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Dalia says, “I don’t suppose so. He didn’t mind showing them to me.””

Inner Ward of Anvard> Cantil says, “Huh. I’ll have to stop by. Thanks for telling me about them.”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Dalia nods.

Inner Ward of Anvard> Dalia says, “You’re welcome.”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Cantil asks, “The kennels are off the outer ward, right?”

Outer Ward> Vinri comes walking toward you from the Outer Gatehouse.

Inner Ward of Anvard> Dalia nods. “Yes.”  She thinks a moment, “The guard, Haft. I do believe he’s a good sort. He must be if King Lune has appointed him to the guard. However….if you meet Lady Avery’s maid again…you might bid her not to go waking the ghosts in other’s pasts…or somelike.”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Cantil frowns a little. “Dunno that that’s my place either, miss. I mean, I just met her today. You might, if you know her.”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Dalia frowns, “You’re right, Cantil. I’m sorry I said such a thing. It is good to see you again. This winter has been so busy, I’ve hardly seen anyone about the village to speak too.

Inner Ward of Anvard> Cantil says, “Yeah, good to see you too.”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Dalia says, “Well I should check in on Lady Astera. Take care of yourself, okay? Maybe I’ll see you around again?””
Inner Ward of Anvard> Cantil says, “Yeah, I should be around a while. I’ll see you around.”

Inner Ward of Anvard> Dalia nods “Okay. See you around then. Aslan’s Blessings.” She waves before heading to the nobles quarters to check on Lady Astera.

Inner Ward of Anvard> Cantil waves back. He wanders off across the ward, pulling another apple from his pocket.

Inner Ward of Anvard> Cantil climbs up the open stair which rises up the southern half of the inner curtain.

Inner Ward of Anvard> Cantil comes walking down the open stair on the west side of the inner ward.

Inner Ward of Anvard> Cantil climbs up the open stair which rises up the northern half of the inner curtain.

Cantil comes walking toward you from the trapdoor opening.

Inner Wall Walk
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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.
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You can go: Toward the Trapdoor Opening <N>, Southern Watchtower <S>
Contents: A son of adam in coghill livery (Cantil).

Haft is leaning on the wall overlooking the Inner Ward, far enough back that he can’t be seen from below.  He stares out toward the beginning of sunset.

Cantil emerges from the southern watchtower, another apple in his hand. He wanders along the wall walk, taking his time, giving everything a long look. He leans on the east wall between two crenelations and peers straight down into the outer ward.

Haft glances behind him at the sound of movement, grimacing when he sees the boy and turning away again.

Cantil doesn’t seem to notice. He stands on his tiptoes for a better view down the east side of the wall, then draws away and continues his slow meander across the curtain wall, coming inevitably closer to the surly guard.

Haft stands quite still, as though hoping he won’t be noticed.

Inner Ward of Anvard> Dalia walks west toward the staff quarters.

Cantil gives him a careful look, vaguely curious, and keeps walking.

“Looking for someone?” Haft asks, a slight edge to his voice.

Cantil shakes his head. “Just wandering a little,” he answers mildly.

Haft nods, still gazing westward.

Cantil pushes his mouth to the side, watching him, then turns toward the northern watchtower.

You say, “You got a question, ask.”

Cantil turns back, narrowing one eye at him thoughtfully, as if considering whether or not he should.

Haft doesn’t turn.

Cantil says, “‘S all right.”

Haft nods.  “Evening, then.”

Cantil turns away, continuing his slow, interested circuit of the walls.

Haft remains as he is, not looking back.

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