Ribbons

In which there is shopping

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).

Vinri is sitting at her stall, watching people flow past. She calls out greetings now and then, though she doesn’t seem to be getting much actual business at the moment.

Haft wanders through the market, stopping at various stalls and occasionally examining an item or asking a question.  He spends several minutes conversing with the sweets seller before buying a bag of treats that looks rather too large for one person.  This transaction completed, he proceeds toward Vinri’s stall.  He nods to her in greeting.  “Ma’am.”

Vinri focuses on Haft and offers a bright smile. “Good day, Master Guard. The day’s been fair to you, I hope?”

Haft says, “Yes, thank you.  I was looking for something that might serve as a gift for a woman.”

Vinri’s brow raises a little. “Are you now? I likely have somethin’ that’d serve, but you may need to be a touch more specific. What sort of gift and to what sort of woman?”

Haft says, “Uh…the kind who likes pretty things, I guess.”

Vinri tips her head with a grin. “Most people like pretty things. They just have different ideas of what’s pretty. Have somethin’ particular in mind?”

Haft says, “Ribbons, maybe?  My friend thought ribbons might be a good idea.”

Vinri hms and looks down towards her stall. There are several strips of different sorts of fabrics, a few pieces of jewelry, what appears to be a few books, and some delicately worked bottles, carefully stoppered. “I have a few, though I can’t say as ribbons are my specialty. Any thought of color?” She glances up, a quirk in her mouth less than expecting.

Haft asks, “Um, she has light hair, so something cheerful.  Blue or green maybe?”

Vinri plucks a ribbon out from among the fabric. It’s a shimmery teal, and looks to be silk. “Or perhaps right between,” she suggests. “I’ve a sky and forest as well, if you think they’d suit better. Might I have seen her about? I could match better if I knew her shade, maybe eye color.”

Haft says, “Blue eyes.  You won’t have seen her.  Lives in Chesterton.”  He examines the ribbons.  “How much?”

Vinri blinks. “Chesterton, hm? A decent trip, that. And forty, for each. Quite nice silk in them, stronger than it feels, and won’t succumb to moths and the like nearly as quick.”

Haft considers, the cost not being trivial.  “They might serve.  Anything else you might suggest?”

Vinri considers him for a moment. “What sort of things does this woman of yours do? I’ve some fine silver pieces here, or some journals, if she can write.” She places a hand lightly on one of the small books. “Perfect for recordin’ thoughts or pressin’ flowers.” Then gesturing towards the bottles: “A few scents, too, if for times she’d like to dress herself up.”

Haft says, “No, she can’t write.  Likes to draw sometimes, or used to.  Likes flowers.  The silver’s beyond my means, though I’m sure they’re very nice.”

Vinri nods, tapping her lips with a finger. “The journal’s aren’t as perfect as an easel for sketchin’, but you can get some lovely pictures in there, should you want. Press a few flowers in there along the trip, make sure to move them about a bit when you stop for the day, then you’ll have them all ready when you get there.” She grins. “Bit of ribbon would be perfect to mark her place with the sketches, too.”

The corner of Haft’s mouth twitches in amusement as he notes what she just did there.  “And the cost of a journal?”

Vinri holds up one, a fairly slim volume with a delicately tooled iris blossoming across the leather of the cover. “They’re a pretty coin, but this book here isn’t going to fall apart for less than a storm.” She names the price, which is significantly less than a written-in book.

Haft gazes at the book for a long moment, then shakes his head.  “Just the ribbons.  I’ll take all three.”  He fishes the coins out of the pouch at his side and hands them to Vinri.

Vinri examines him for a moment, then takes the coins and reaches below her stall. She comes up with a few dried, yellow-gold flowers, which she ties the sky blue ribbon around before folding the others up and wrapping them in a snippet of brown paper. “Here you are, then. If you change your mind, I usually have a journal or two on hand.”

Haft says, “Uh, thanks.  Maybe at Christmas.”  He takes the flowers and parcel a bit gingerly and heads away from the stall.

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