Beggars and Bards

In which Haft and Dalia discuss her father’s profession

Outer Ward



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.



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 with mid-back length hair (Dalia).


Haft strides out of the Southern Market, a small package in his hand.

Dalia is just standing leaning against the wall taking a deep breath of air.

Haft heads toward the base of the North Tower, nodding to Dalia in passing.

Dalia raises her hand in greeting! “Hello Master Haft!”

Dalia rises from her place coming towards him.

Haft pauses.  “Dalia.”

Dalia says, “”Are you well? I hope I am not detaining you from your duty?””

Haft shakes his head gruffly.  “Nah, just picking up some ink from the scribe’s.  Heading back up to the barracks for awhile.  You, uh, enjoying your day?”

Dalia nods, “It is very pleasant.”

Haft asks, “Uh, well, that’s good.  You work for Sir Tyren’s wife, right?  She send you out to get summat?”

Dalia nods. “She is fine the moment so…” she gestures to the ward. “Just taking a breath of fresh air.”

“So the air is stale while you’re working then?” Haft smirks.  “Me, I don’t have that problem…specially on the walls.”

Dalia chuckles

Dalia says, “Milady is good to me. Still there is nothing like the outdoors.”

Haft says, “No…cause then it would be indoors.”

Dalia snorts. “I suppose I left myself open for that one.”

Haft tilts his head in acknowledgement.

Haft says, “My mouth does tend to run away with itself.”

Dalia shakes her head smiling. “I think not. It seems to show a quickness of mind.”

Haft snorts.  “Yeah, we’ll go with that.  Sounds better.”

Dalia smiles.

Haft asks, “So do you like being here at the castle?”

Dalia nods, “Yes. I believe I do. At least more than the Chesterton manor. I My family lives outside, here in the village. Do you?”

Haft says, “Aye.  I grew up in Zuiden, but lived a lot of my adult life in the barracks.  Good place to be.  Got your fellow guards, decent meals, a job to do.  Man couldn’t ask for more.”

Dalia nods.

Dalia says, “Was your father a guard? That is, if you not mind me asking, Master Haft?””

Dalia says, “I do not wish to pry.”

Haft says, “It’s fine.  Yes, my father was, and his father.”

Dalia nods. “An honorable position to be sure. I’m sure you follow honorably in their footsteps.”

The corners of Haft’s eyes tighten.  “I try.”

Haft asks, “You, uh…your family, were they servants?”

Dalia shakes her head, “No.. not so much…My Father… I believe you met him?

Dalia says, “he… he travels… as a minstrel.”

Haft asks, “Ah.  Yes, that’s right.  Is he highly regarded?”

Dalia says, “I suppose he is, it depends I guess on whom you speak too. I…I have others speak not so well of …of bards and minstrels that is,”

Haft asks, “Huh. That’s a shame.  I’ve no great ear for music, but I’ve been known to belt out a carol at Christmastide.  Seems the world would be a poorer place without it.  What is it people say?”

Dalia glances around the ward,  “I” she says nervously, “… I believe some feel  it isn’t a reputable employment, not honest work…some go as far to call them ne’er do wells.”

Dalia says, “As such happened to a friend of mine, and in the end he was turned away from an inn by a lord of the town of his residence.””

Haft cocks a brow.  “Well, does he manage to earn a decent living with his songs?”

Haft raises a brow.  “Your friend is a musician also?  Or was he only begging?”

Dalia shakes her head, “He was a fine musician. I never heard Master Astor or Miss Simetra voice a word of complaint while he was employed at their inn.”

Haft cocks his head.  “There are a fair number of vagabonds who go about claiming to be musicians only so they can have an excuse to beg, but when asked to perform have no skill worth speaking of.  I…did you say Master Astor?  Isn’t he part of the Lancelyn Green nobility?  He’s come of age by now and ought to be Lord Astor, unless you mean another man.”

Dalia frowns, “I do not believe he is Lord Astor. At least, I’ve never heard him called such. He and Miss Simetra, they run an inn in Lancelyn Green.”

Haft shrugs.  “Must just be a man of the same name.  But I imagine if the lord turned your friend away, he had a good reason.”

Dalia hmms, “Perhaps. This one is kin to Milady Astera.”

Haft asks, “Her father, right?”

Dalia shakes her head frowning, “I believe a brother.”

Haft scrunches up his face.  “That’d be…Lord Ast?”

Dalia says, “No, he and Milady Priya live in Carmichael I believe.” she looks as if the name of the town pains her, bu tries to hide it.”

Haft asks, “Somethin’ wrong with Carmichael?”

Dalia swallows, “I…I…had a difficult experience some years back.”

Dalia looks away watching the going about of the outer ward.

Haft shifts uneasily.  “Uh, sorry to hear it,” he says, glancing around.

Dalia says, “Milady has been more than gracious to me through my….troubles.”

Haft says, “Well, that’s good.  Always…good to have someone to help.”

Dalia looks about to say something when a page arrives. “You are wanted inside, Miss Dalia.”

Haft say, “I should probably get going as well.”

Dalia says, “Aslan’s blessings, Master Haft.”

Haft nods and makes his way to the North Gate Tower.


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