Of Birds and Beasts

In which Haft, Tyren and Megren compare the residents of Anvard to various types of Narnians

Off-duty Mess


This is the place where off duty soldiers and sailors can relax and eat. There is a small cookfire and hearth and a few tables set up nearby. On one wall is a dart board, and on a small table in the corner there is a chess set. Someone has left a pile of parchment with sketches of his fellow knights on another table. This is a comfortable, casual room.


You can go: Out to the Northern Stairwell <S>

Contents: A son of adam with a scarred face and sharp features (Tyren).

Haft sits with his boots propped up by the fire, examining some papers in his lap.

Tyren walks into the mess with another knight, the both of them breathing somewhat heavily and looking quite rumpled. “I don’t,” says Tyren between breaths, “remember your parry being quite that effective. Either my memory’s faltering or you’ve improved.”

Haft glances up to see who’s entered, then returns to his papers.

The other knight winces as he rotates a shoulder, replying, “I do hope it’s the latter. I was hoping I’d been misremembering a few things, but it appears I was wrong.” Tyren smirks faintly. “Hence why I thought a few reminders were in order. Maybe you’d best have Adrian take a look?”

Haft looks over at the two knights with mild interest, trying to determine from their talk which one of them bested the other.

Tyren gestures toward the door at an uncertain expression from the other. “Oh, you know somebody’s going to drag you down there eventually. Best get it over with on your terms, hm?” “You’ve a point, sir,” says the other. “Until tomorrow, then.” The two exchange their farewells, and the other departs the room, while Tyren plunks himself into a chair with an unceremonious grunt. It’s then that he realizes the one just over from him is currently occupied, and he nods. “Ah, hello, Haft.”

Haft rises, offering a bow before reseating himself.  “Good day, Sir.  Just finished a spar?”

Tyren nods, with a slight grin. “Been a while since Sir Quent and I had a go at it.”

Haft asks, “Who won, Sir?”

Tyren laughs. “You know, I’m not exactly sure. I suppose technically speaking I did, as he’s the one who conceded, but considering I was just about to myself I do believe it’s better declared a draw.”

Haft smiles.  “Fair enough.  At least you talked him into going to the infirmary.  Ain’t seen so many folk whinging about taking proper care of themselves in years.”

Haft smiles.  “Fair enough.  At least you talked him into going to the infirmary.  Ain’t seen so many folk whinging about taking proper care of themselves in years.”

Tyren lifts a brow, in proper family fashion. “No? Can’t really remember it ever being otherwise, myself, although Sir Quent’s never really been one to complain about it. He’s long acknowledged the wisdom of making sure one keeps themselves cared for.”

Haft hehs.  “Well, ain’t been around so many folk with injuries in years; let’s be fair.”

Tyren says, “I suppose there is that. Sparring does seem to be rather a different affair up north. Or at least, in what parts of it I passed through. I suppose with so many different Beasts, they’ve all got their own preferred approach to it.”

Haft asks, “To sparring or mending, Sir?”

Tyren says, “Both, when it comes down to it, I suppose.”

Haft nods.  “Aye.  Well, the plants are different up there, for one.  Easier to make tonics and balms that we don’t use here.  Never learned too much about those myself.  And even some of the waters and treefolk had ways of speeding recovery along.”

Tyren shakes his head slightly. “I can only imagine. Never had opportunity to meet any of them when I was up there… although perhaps that was a good thing, there was rather a good deal to take in as it was.”

Haft says, “It’s a learning experience, and that’s a fact.  What was the oddest thing to saw, to your way of thinking?”

Tyren chuckles. “Truthfully? Myself. More specifically, the image of myself whiling away a couple hours making sand castles with an Otter. Although it did seem rather the natural thing to do at the time.”

Haft laughs.  “Can’t say as I ever tried that.  Did go to a faun’s birthday party once.  She wanted me to dance and play the tambourine.”

Tyren says, “Oh, now that’s something Astera would love to see, I’m sure… though I’m not sure who’d be trying to rope me into doing just that harder, if we found ourselves in such a circumstance, the Fauns or her.”

Haft says, “They’re a merry lot.  I wasn’t a very lively guest.  Couple of fauns, an Eagle…not quite sure how the Eagle was planning to dance, but he seemed keen on it.”

Tyren nods. “Met a fair few fauns, pleasant bunch, all of them.” He chuckles. “An Eagle, though… they strike me as such stately sorts, I can only imagine how that would have meshed with a faun dance.”

Haft says, “Yeah, most of ’em.”  He gives a light snort.  “I sometimes wonder, looking around here, what sorts of Narnians the critters of the castle remind me of.  Proof I was in Narnia far too long, if I’m looking for it.””

Tyren’s brow lifts again, interest registering on his face. “Well, you’ve certainly got me curious, myself.”

Haft strums his fingers on the armrest of the chair.  “Megren’s a bit faun-like.  Otter-y too.”

Tyren considers this for a moment, then nods. “I can see that.”

Haft says, “Gearn, he’s a Fox.  Easygoing, genial for the most part.  The Captain: now he might be a Badger.  Easygoing and pleasant, but tough in a fight.”

Tyren nods again. “Never met a Badger, I’m afraid, though if that’s how they are, I can easily see that applied to the Captain.”

Haft considers further.  “Sir Darrin’s got a good sense of humor.  Bit of the Otter there, but that doesn’t seem right to say of a knight.  Perhaps a merry Hound.”

Haft considers further.  “Sir Darrin’s got a good sense of humor.  Bit of the Otter there, but that doesn’t seem right to say of a knight.  Perhaps a merry Hound.”

Tyren chuckles at this. “I like that one. Seems fitting.”

Haft nods.  “Some folks are harder to pin down.  Gal I know, from Coghill, Abrielle…beginning to suspect she’s a Lioness.  And there’s one or two in the castle I won’t name who are chittery, gossipy Birds.

Tyren says, “Always going to have a few of those at court.”

Haft says, “Aye, that doesn’t change.”

Tyren asks, “What of yourself, do you think?”

Haft grunts.  “I have a tendency to refer to myself as an old bear, but that’s mostly because I growl too much.  A true Bear probably wouldn’t appreciate the comparison; most of them get along with everyone and go drowsy during the winter.  Think I’m more like Garian: a Badger when it comes down to it.  But the temper and the pride…they’re more Wolf or Dwarf-like, I guess.”

Megren comes walking into the Off-duty Mess.

Tyren considers this for a few moments. “I like Wolf, I think. Had the opportunity to spend some time with the members of one of the packs there… Winterden. I liked them, a good deal.”

Haft asks, “For me, or yourself?”

Tyren says, “For you.”

Haft says “Ah.  Yes, perhaps.”  He looks like he’d like to say more, but does not.

Megren traipses into the mess. Seeing Haft and Sir Tyren, she grins, but moves to get herself something to drink first.

Tyren shrugs a shoulder. “Me, I don’t think my knowledge is quite extensive enough to give a definitive answer there.”

Haft says, “Always harder to put a name to ourselves than to others.”  He seems to get up his nerve.  “Still, I might offer a suggestion for you.”  He makes a great show of looking over his shoulder to check his exit.  “You’d not make a bad Mouse.””

Tyren’s brow flies upward in a manner very reminiscent of his mother at this, though he grins just slightly at this. “Now there’s an explanation I can’t wait to hear.”

Megren slips between tables to take up one of her customary positions near Haft’s chair by the fireplace. She bows to Sir Tyren, “Could I join you or were you having a personal conversation?” she says, addressing them both.

Haft looks up at her, then shrugs, nodding.

Tyren nods to Megren. “Ah, good day. I’ve no qualms with it, myself.”

Haft explains, “We were just, um, comparing some people we know to creatures we met in Narnia.  We’d…” He glances at Tyren a little uneasily. “…just gotten round to Sir Tyren here.”  He coughs.

Megren sits in a cross-legged position near Haft’s chair. She raises her brows with delight. “Had we?”

Haft says, “I…said he might make a fine Mouse.”

Tyren says, “Yes, and I was eagerly anticipating the logic behind the statement.”

Megren sets her cup on the ground beside her and gathers her hands eagerly in her lap. “Do tell.”

Haft attempts to maintain a straight face, but really can’t master it.  “If you’d ever met a Mouse, you’d understand.  Proud, fierce.  Masterful swordsfolk, courteous and highly concerned with honor.  Course it’s all a lot to fit in such a small form…think it looks rather less amusing on you, Sir.”

Tyren laughs at this, grinning. “A dragon that’s a Mouse, eh… or a Mouse that’s a dragon, perhaps. You know, I think I rather like that image.” He smirks as he says, “And compared to Lord Dar, I’d say I’m still something of a small form. If a slightly stocky one.”

Megren squints an eye at Sir Tyren, who is quite a lot bigger than her, after all.

Haft asks, “Yes, well, aren’t we all?   There /are/ other species I could name for you.  An Eagle, or perhaps a Unicorn.  Lord Dar now, I wonder what he would be?”

Tyren says, “Unicorn, hm? Never /did/ get the chance to meet any of those, which I admit I was slightly disappointed over. I think I’d rather like their company. Them and the Centaurs. At least from what I hear of the both of them. Lord Dar, though… oh, he’d be an Eagle, most definitely, and not just because that’s his house’s crest. Stately, well-spoken, a tendency to see the big picture… it’s fitting.”

Megren asks, “Not a centaur? Aren’t they both clever and very tall?”

Haft says, “I could see it either way, I think, though I really don’t know Lord Dar very well.  But yes, centaurs are tall.  You’d be tall too if we stuck you atop a horse.”

Megren wrinkles her nose.

Carrying: Anvard Guard’s Uniform <WORN> and Scabbard <WORN>.

Tyren chuckles. “Still can’t beat the height an Eagle can get. On account of flying and all.”

Haft says, “A good point.”

Megren looks like she prefers her own suggestion, but does not further argue the point.

Tyren says, “Although I suppose I can see him as a Centaur as well. In any case I’d expect he’d get along famously with them.”

Haft says, “Yeah, probably.  I didn’t talk to a great many.”

Megren lifts her knees and wraps her arms around them. “Who else have you considered?”

Haft says, “Um…”

Tyren asks, “A fair few, by this point. Any one in particular you were curious about?”

Megren taps her lip thoughtfully. “Your family, Sir?”

Haft says, “You know, we actually hadn’t really covered the rest of Chesterton.”

Megren asks, “No?”

Deonyc is currently asleep.

Tyren’s brow arches a hair as he glances to Megren. “Is this your way of trying to glean exactly what I think of my family?” The corner of his mouth tugs slightly as he asks the question.

Haft waves a hand.  “Proof that Megren is braver than I.”

Megren grins with her tongue between her teeth. “My intentions are only as they seem, Sir.”

Tyren remarks simply, “I see.” After a moment, he says, “I’ll have to give that one some good long consideration.”

Megren asks, “Fair enough. Someone else, then. Sir Darrin?”

Haft says, “Hound.”

Megren nods in full agreement. “Scent hound.”

Tyren says, “No argument from this corner.”

Haft asks, “Why a scent hound as opposed to other kinds?”

Megren states the obvious: “The floppy ears.”

Haft says, “Uh…right.”

Tyren stifles a guffaw. Barely.

“We were thinking more of the cheerfulness,” Haft grins, “but whatever you say.”

Megren looks abundantly satisfied with her analysis. “Who else. Sir Colin?”

Haft looks slightly uncomfortable.  “Hadn’t equated him with anything.”

Tyren says, “No, hadn’t got that far yet… hm.”

Megren taps her chin. “I think… a dog as well, but not Sir Darrin’s kind. The sort some folk have to keep their property safe.”

Haft says, “Yeah, but you’re breaking the rules.  We were comparing folk to Narnian critters.”

Megren protests, “Well, but I’ve never been to Narnia!”

Tyren says, “Maybe it’s just the knight in me, but I’m inclined to say a Horse, myself. Not completely sure why, but there you are, I suppose.”

Haft says, “Eh, it’s all right.  They do have different sorts of Dogs, and we know what you meant.”

Haft says, “Horse?  Huh, not sure about that one.”

Haft says, “He reminds me…”

Haft shakes his head.

Megren asks, “Are Narnian Horses typically of a particular disposition?”

Tyren says, “I’ve only met a few of them myself, and I’m not sure how… representative they were of the whole, but I could see it.”

Haft says, “Pretty even-tempered.  Wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of the hooves, but they’re not quick to offense, so not too much chance of that.”

Megren nods thoughtfully. “Well, our horses seem each of their own distinct personality more or less, but when they aren’t being put to use most of them sort of… somewhere half between play and solemnity. Which works for Sir Colin, certainly.”

Tyren nods a bit. “Maybe it’s me conflating my experiences with horses here, too. But they’ve got their strengths and their idiosyncracies, which strike me as rather similar to Sir Colin’s.”

Megren nods. “I wouldn’t have come up with it myself, but I see it.”

Haft says, “Perhaps.”

Megren asks, “And have you done me, then?”

Tyren glances to Haft, leaving it to him to field the question.

Haft smiles.  “Course, first thing.  We were talking about fauns to start with, and the rest of the conversation sort of…followed after.”

Megren’s brows lift. “What does that mean? I’m a faun?”

Tyren grins a bit himself. “We both agreed it seemed fitting.”

“Or an Otter,” Haft adds.  He smirks.  “The way your mouth opens when I surprise you with a joke?  Pure Otter.  Never seen a faun do that.”

Megren looks very skeptical.

Tyren says, “What? They’re both very fine folk, you know.”

Haft says, “Yes, and it was a faun who last tried to get me to dance.”

Megren points out, “Aren’t fauns scholars and musicians?”

Tyren says, “It’s the principle of the thing, rather than the choice of profession. You’d see it once you met one.”

Haft says, “Some of them are scholars.  But then you’re brighter than most folk I know, far as sheer knowing how to handle people.  Not sure what critter I’d liken that to.””

Megren taps her lip again. “Crow. Or magpie. Megpie.”

Tyren says, “I wasn’t aware you had such an irresistible affinity for things of a shiny persuasion.”

“She likes bells,” Haft mutters.

Megren gestures to Haft, as if this is proof enough.

Tyren says, “Well, so do Otters. At least the one I knew.”

Megren says, “Maybe an otter. I’ve never seen one.”

Haft says, “I may call you ‘Megpie’ anyway, as Sir Darrin has appropriated ‘Fritter’.”

Tyren quirks his brow somewhat quizzically.

Megren says, “It comes to the same. I am not an animal at all, I am a pastry.”

Haft decides not to elaborate on Megren’s nicknames.  “Just don’t try to cook yourself.”

Tyren says, “Says the man considering a nickname for her that includes ‘pie.'”

Haft grumbles, “Was a bird when this conversation started.”

Megren says, “Perhaps it is a magpie megpie.”

Tyren glances to Haft with a grin. “Funny things, words, sometimes.”

Haft says, “Making my head hurt.”

Tyren says, “Then my work here is done.”

Megren giggles. “Easy work, though. How often don’t you have a headache, Haft?”

Haft glowers.  “I do not recall once complaining of a headache to you.”

Megren says, “If only you could school your features well enough to hide it.”

Tyren assures Haft, “We can work on that.”

Haft says, “I’m sure that would be far easier if I didn’t work with lunatic faun-otter-magpies.”  He glances at Tyren.  “Be glad to take lessons.””

Megren agrees, “I’m quite difficult to endure. Anyone would fall sick of having to spend so much time with me as you. Perth looked quite green the other day.”

Haft says, “Yeah, well, I suspect he’s part Marsh-wiggle…deep down.”

Tyren says, “If they’re truly as morose as I hear tell, there’s a fair few of them among the ranks, I shouldn’t wonder.”

Megren lifts her brows. “Perth? Never. He’s thoroughly the sweetest kind of bear.”

Haft says, “You may have a point.”

Tyren says, “Afraid I can’t much vouch one way or the other, don’t know the man that well yet myself.”

Haft says, “Eh, he’s a good man.  Quiet, don’t talk a lot, but does his duty well.”

Megren nods. “And he’s smart enough, when you get him talking. Sees the good in folks better than most, even though being quiet he sees more of folks, too.”

Tyren smiles slightly at this. “Much to be said for a man like that.”

Haft says, “Aye.”

Megren smiles. “I like him quite a lot.” She glances at her now empty glass. “Speaking of, though, I told him I’d stand with him part of his shift tonight once I’d had a rest here. The single guard night walks get dull.”

Haft rises.  “See you later then.”

Tyren says, “That they do. And I suppose I should be paying Adrian a visit, myself. Sir Quent had the right idea.”

Haft hehs, bowing and returning to his seat and his papers.  “Pleasant evening, Sir.”

Megren rises, bowing to Sir Tyren. “Had a spar?” she concludes.

Tyren nods, with a grin. “I did indeed. And it was rather a good one. Good enough that Astera will likely have a few words for me when I get home unless I can assure her I dropped by the infirmary.”

Megren grins. “Well then, speed to you, Sir.”

Haft says, “Always best not to upset one’s lady.  My father had the same concerns.”

Megren notes, “Not bad to take care of yourself, on top of that.”

Tyren says, “My thoughts exactly. As such, a good eve to the both of you.”

Haft nods to the knight.

Tyren walks into the eastern stairwell.

Megren gives another smaller bow, then turns to Haft. “See you next shift.”

Haft says, “Right.  See you then, Megpie.”

Megren wrinkles her nose, but not with too great a displeasure, and turns to follow after the knight and ascend to the wall.


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