In which there is frank conversation
============================================================================== A vast tunnel of roses which seem to have grown wild over the centuries create a wall, protecting the formal knot garden within. Wooden frames encase the growing plants, which appear to mainly consist of culinary herbs: marjoram, saffron, cubeb, and mace proliferate. A path, lined with small, white, stones, creates the outline of the design, only visible from above, which must take daily tending to maintain. The feeling of solitude in the garden is almost absolute; the only audible disruptions to the stillness are provided by the song of birds perched high above in the treetops. They are heard, but not seen. ==============================================================================
You can go: Inn Courtyard <S>
Contents: A Cherry Tree in Bloom.
Abrielle enters the garden, her tread nearly soundless on the soft earth.
Abrielle leans over a wooden frame encasing a plot of flowers. She picks a sprig of mint and smells it deeply.
Haft wanders into the garden somewhat aimlessly, glancing around at the unusual space. He does not notice that the other occupant is Abrielle.
Abrielle looks up at the sound of Haft’s boots and, not wanting to surprise him, she slowly gets up. “Hello Haft.”
Haft turns. “Oh. Hello again. Didn’t expect to find you here.”
Abrielle ahs and looks around uncertainly. “Did you want some time to yourself?”
Haft glances at her sharply. “I just thought I’d have a look at the garden. It’s different from anything at Anvard. Why would you ask that?”
Abrielle shrugs. “Folks come here for quiet…I was just asking.” She sighs and moves to a nearby bench.
Haft says, “Quiet’s no bad thing. Unless it gets too loud.”
Abrielle smiles weakly. “There is truth in that…”
Haft notices the faintness of the smile. “You all right?”
Abrielle shrugs. “I am…not sure.” She looks up to him. “Dinner with Megren and you gave me things to think about.”
Haft considers. “Perhaps you were the one seeking solitude. I can go.”
Abrielle shakes her head. “Not really.” She smiles up at him. “I am glad you are here actually. I have..kind of learned to find comfort in your presence.” After a pause, she laughs at herself. “That sounds silly….sorry.”
Haft’s eyes widen. “What on earth is…comforting…about me? I mean–” he add quickly “–I can defend you from most anything that could pose a threat, but other than that…”
Abrielle watches Haft while he talks without emotion before sighing. “I don’t need anyone to defend me. I just need someone who tells me the truth and you do that.” She crosses her arms and looks to the plants. “Other than that, I don’t really have a reason for why I feel that way.”
Haft raps his fingers on the hilt of his sword. “It’s not always pretty when I tell the truth, Abrielle. I’m not always kind.”
Abrielle nods. “I know.”
Haft looks troubled. “So what do you want the truth about?”
Abrielle looks up to Haft. “What are you thinking about in regards to Adrian and I? I know you dislike something…”
Haft looks at her a long moment. “I don’t know Adrian,” he says slowly. “We haven’t met, so I can’t speak to his better attributes. My opinions are, no doubt, unbalanced.”
Abrielle nods. “Yes. But I see that you disapprove everytime I talk about him.”
Haft says, “All right, since you ask. I show say that I’ve never been married and don’t expect I ever will be. But I /have/ seen what a good marriage looks like. My parents made a difficult situation work–It isn’t easy to be the wife of a guardsman. Your husband is constantly away. Sometimes, when he gets home, he’s dead on his feet. In my mother’s case, she was left to tend a high-spirited boy and later a daughter, and deal with the household business largely on her own. And yet they managed to raise us in a household of moderate peace. But they had to take certain steps.”
Abrielle listens and then nods. “What were the steps?
Haft says, “Well I’d say one of the primary ones was communication. They talked to each other. If he was going to be late one evening, visit the inn hall with his fellows, he would always tell her in advance. The only times she didn’t know where he was were when there was something urgent and unplanned at the castle. She’d fret so in those hours. I remember. Terrified something had happened. That’s the chief thing that’s worrying me about you and your young man, Abrielle. Apparently you haven’t seen him in weeks and have no idea where he is. And you haven’t spoken enough of your future to determine yet where you’re going to live. So help me if Brigid’s husband had come to me to ask to court her with no more thought than that I’d have tossed him out on his ear.”
Abrielle nods slowly, soaking it all in. “I just thought that we would talk about that…together. Later…”
Haft asks, “How long have you been courting?”
Abrielle doesn’t even have to think about it. “Seventy-nine days.”
Haft asks, “And how many of those days have the two of you had together?”
Abrielle doesn’t answer. She just stares at the ground.
Haft opens his mouth to ask something else, then seems to change his mind. “Why him?”
Abrielle looks around and, finally, to Haft. “There were other options…but when I thought about life without him…I couldn’t do it. He was, is, my other half. Without him here it is like half of my being is gone.” She sighs and continues on. “He sings with me, which seems silly but it wasn’t to me, and he is respectful to Lewis. He is there to support me and I am there to support him. I had never experienced that before him.”
Haft nods. “It’s a good start. And that he’s respectful to Lewis shows his character, as long as he’s not playing it up for your benefit. I’ve got nothing against singing either. There should be joy in a home. My father, now, he wasn’t big on talking about feelings, but there was joy. We always knew he loved us. But it’s that other part you need to measure Abrielle. Whether you need each other enough that you’re willing ta be without each other for long periods…he’s a journeyman, yes?
Abrielle nods. “Yes and I knew that stepping into it…I just didn’t think it would be this hard.” She smiles at the plants. “I always thought that I was tough and independent so I could handle it. Come to find out that I am a softy just like everyone else.”
Haft says, “Well, that’s the question then. Are you willing to wait for him? Because you’ll be doing a lot of it. And you’ll be doing it with children.”
Abrielle bites her lip, thinking for a moment. “Yes. I think I can.” She sits there for a moment more, taking in the surrounding garden, becoming more and more relaxed wih each breath. “Thank you.”
Haft asks, “Talk to him, when he gets back. Talk some of this out. All right?”
Abrielle nods. “Alright. I will. I need to.” She slaps her hands on her knees and gets up. “I think I would like some tea and music. Care to go to the tavern with me?”
Haft nods. “I wouldn’t mind.”
Abrielle comes to Haft and links her arm with his. “Then let’s go.”
The Bird and Baby’s Tavern
============================================================================== This room echoes with a nearly constant din as voices rise and fall in conversation. An atmosphere of warmth and cheer predominates, and the walls have been painted a dark red. There are several tables for diners; many line the wall to provide for more private discussions. A board hangs in a highly visible location; it pays tribute to the history of the dining room and includes sketches of some of its more well known denizens. A menu, written out by hand, indicates what selections are being served. If the aromas emanating from the kitchen beyond are any evidence, the food is certain to please. In the back is a smaller room where isolated gatherings can be held. ==============================================================================
You can go: Foyer <NE>, Kitchens <S>, Out to the Courtyard <SE>
Contents: Clift, the Tavernkeeper’s Assistant; Pricelist; and Wolves and Foxes
Haft enters the tavern with Abrielle on his arm and glances around the room, then selcts a corner table out of the way.
Abrielle comes to the table and sits herself down. “This is a nice spot. Not too loud.”
Haft says, “Well, you know me. I’d rather be the center of attention, but I wanted to make you comfortable.”
Abrielle smiles at Haft knowingly. “Well thank you. It is much appreciated.” She glances over to the musician seated over in the corner playing quietly. “That is one thing I wish I knew how to do…”
Haft glances at the player. “It’s a sort of fiddle, isn’t it?”
Abrielle nods. “Yes. I suppose so…I just think it would be nice to be able to make music with something other than my voice.”
Haft asks, “Looks expensive. You’d need to save awhile for something like that…and then lessons, I guess, to do it proper. You care what instrument you learn?”
Abrielle shakes her head. “Not really. Why?”
Haft asks, “I was thinkin’ of panpipes. They’re not real well-known in Archenland. You ever heard of ’em?”
Abrielle shakes her head. “No! Are they common in Narnia?” She says this last part quietly, so as not to embarrass him.
Haft asks, “The fauns like ’em. Seemed like they’d be easy ta make. You need some hollow wooden tubes…like thick-walled reeds, maybe?”
Haft says, “And they cut ’em to different lengths and tie ’em all together, and when they blow over the top, the tubes make different sounds.”
Abrielle smiles. “So..what you are telling me is that /I/ could make them?”
Haft frowns. “Yeah, maybe…cept I don’t know how long each one would have to be…or how ya blow over them exactly…I could draw you a picture, but I never really…ya know…examined one.
Abrielle gets up suddenly and walks over to Clift who is cleaning some tables in the corner. They chat for a bit, Abrielle smiling and him grumbling, till he throws down his rag and goes to the back. Abrielle skips back over. “He is getting some paper from the back.”
Haft says, “Uh, all right.”
Clift comes back and throws a piece of paper and a pencil down on the table. Abrielle calls to him, “Thank you, Clift! You are my hero!”
Haft mutters, “Here I thought I was your hero…”
Abrielle laughs and pats Haft’s hand. “You are! But only when Clift is not around.”
Haft says, “Oh. I see how it is.” He takes the pencil and begins making a drawing of a set of panpipes.”
Abrielle smiles at Haft before examining the drawing. “So do you reckon I can just tie them together with some string?”
Haft says, “Well I guess so, as long as they don’t wobble. They don’t look like much, and it’s a different sort of sound, but when you passed a valley full of fauns, all making music…well.”
Abrielle looks to Haft with a twinkle in her eyes. “It
Abrielle says, “It’s magic? ”
Haft says, “No, it’s…yeah, all right, it’s magic. They can make the fire dance, you know.”
Abrielle eyes widen. “Really?! How is that?”
Haft says, “Now I ain’t seen it too many times…I heard they could do it even to bonfires, but…I just saw it a couple of times in taverns and such. And they’re more outdoor people, but once in a while one of ’em would bring their pipes inside, and they’d start ta play, and you’d see the flames in the fireplace change to different shapes. Sometimes it’d be familiar things that matched the tune they was playin’ about, and sometimes…”
Abrielle puts her chin on her hands. “Sometimes….”
Haft says, “Sometimes the music would bring up old memories, and the images in the fire would match…I guess everyone saw something different then…”
Abrielle thinks for a moment. “I wonder what I would see…Do you think that the borders between the Archenland and Narnia will open up to allow travel between us more freely?”
Haft asks, “Well it’s never really been closed in the last fifteen years, except when there was that avalanche Bar’s people caused that blocked the pass. Why? You thinking of a visit?”
Abrielle shrugs. “Well…I would have to talk to Adrian about it and make it to the marriage part but I think that it would be a wonderful place to go see as a couple…especially if it is magical.” She laughs. “I think it would interesting to experience all the new things and to be scared together. Also, I would like to see my parents again.”
Haft says, “Oh. Yes, of course.”
Abrielle asks, “Do you think it would be safe?”
Haft asks, “Safe?”
Haft says, “Well, yes. It’s been a long time since anything truly dark or dangerous walked the country. You might should stay away from the northern borders–still giant problems up there, but in most of Narnia you’d be as safe as you’d be here.”
Abrielle smiles. “That is good to hear! Although it would be terrible to run into a giant…” She thinks about this for a moment before asking, “What was your favorite thing about being up there? Any good memories?”
Haft frowns. “Leaving.”
Abrielle tilts her head. “Sorry…I just was wondering if there was anything…I am always hoping that my parents are at least finding some happiness.”
Deonyc comes walking in from the courtyard.
Deonyc walks towards the Bird and Baby’s courtyard.
Haft lifts his hand in a helpless sort of gesture. “Sorry, it’s…it might be different for them. For me it was just a prison. No one loves a cage, no matter how big or beautiful it is.”
Abrielle nods. “Yeah. I understand.” She watches him for a moment longer with a touch of sadness.
Haft says, “That…doesn’t mean that they don’t like it. It’s a fair land, and it’s a giving one, not hard ta earn a living. And there’s places I’d go back to, now, and be glad ta see again. I couldn’t appreciate them then, is all.”
Abrielle gives him a small smile. “I think they would like the wide open spaces.”
Haft says, “If you ever go, you should visit Bergdale. That’s where most of the fauns live.”
Abrielle nods. “I will do that! I hear they are pretty happy too.”
Deonyc comes walking in from the courtyard.
Haft says, “Yes, they’re merry. You’d like their music. And you could see their panpipes. And the Stone Table’s not far from there.”
Abrielle pushes back some hair. “i think I would fit in then…maybe not today but usually.”
Deonyc walks into the tavern dropping of his gear in the corner as usual. Seeing Haft and the daughter of eve he walks over.
Haft looks up at the approaching son of adam, looking surprised and not entriely pleased. “Deonyc?”
Abrielle looks up and over to Haft.
Deonyc turns toward haft, “I thought id come back Home for a while, seeing as i have been away from home quite long.”
Haft asks, “You live here?”
Abrielle smiles at Deonyc. “I know how you feel.”
Deonyc says, “Yes I do live here, its a good place to fish and cook two things i do enjoy when im not hunting.”
Abrielle glances at Haft and then to Deonyc.
Deonyc glances around the room “Any of you seen Sehsis around?”
Abrielle shakes her head. “No…not in a couple of days.”
Haft’s lips form a thin line. “Not today. A few days ago.”
Deonyc looks surprised, “Normaly he is here alot, Ah well cant say were on the best of terms anyway.”
“I can’t imagine why,” Haft says sarcastically.
Abrielle raises an eyebrow and then something seems to hit her and her face darkens. “I don’t see why you should be looking for him.”
Deonyc says, “Not the best of times to be a Carlomene trader in Archenland.”
Haft says, “No, it’s not.”
Abrielle crosses her arms. “Well then why don’t you leave him alone?”
Deonyc asks, “Well it realy dosn’t matter anyways, So Haft how come your in coghill?”
Abrielle raises and eyebrow and shakes her head before getting up to get some tea.
Haft says, “I’m on a trip.”
Deonyc asks, “Where you going, just through Archenland or anywhere else?”
Haft narrows his eyes. “Where else would I be going?”
Deonyc puts up his hands in defence ‘Honestley Haft, its just a question.’
Abrielle comes back with her mug of tea and resumes her seat.
Haft says, “The only place I’d be leaving the country from Coghill would be to travel south, and if you think I have any interest in visiting Calormen, you’re quite mistaken.”
You leave the Dream Chat Channel.
Deonyc Turns to Abrielle “Anything happen in coghill Lately?”
Abrielle shakes her head. “Of course not.”
Deonyc says, ” So nothing out of the usual just plain old coghill slumbering on.”
Abrielle shakes her head.
Haft says, “That’s what she said.”
Deonyc turns to haft “Something happened?
Haft looks perplexed. “What?”
Deonyc says, “Im asking you.”
Haft says, “How would I know? I don’t live here.”
Deonyc says, “Well you kind of have been here for the past few days havent you.”
Haft frowns. “And you know that how?
Deonyc says, “Im assuming it.”
Abrielle shakes her head and drinks some of her tea
Haft says, “Maybe I got in this morning.”
Deonyc says, “In that case you don’t know more than i do.”
Haft looks exasperated. “I already told you that.”
Abrielle sighs and looks out the window.
Deonyc says, ” Pulls a small carving from his pocket that dosn’t look like anything in particular and works on it a bit with a small knife.”
Haft raises both brows. ‘You think that fellow will thank you for getting shaving all over his floor?”
Deonyc says, “I’ll pick them up later.”
Abrielle watches Deonyc with a disgusted look.
Haft asks, “What would you even say to the Calormene if you found him?”
Seeing everybody’s disdain with his carving, Deonyc picks up the shavins and walks to the fire and throws them in pocketing th knife and carving he comes back and sits down again.
Deonyc says, “Nothing much to say.”
Abrielle shakes her head. “Nothing much?
Deonyc says, “Well what should i realy say to him.”
Abrielle shrugs. “A sorry may be good.”
Deonyc says, “Yeah i tried to get that past him he didn’t think much of it, can’t blame him.”
Haft says, “You know I don’t much like the man, but I don’t blame him either.”
Abrielle shakes her head. “I don’t.”
Deonyc says, “Well its what happens when you think before you speak, in my case.”
Deonyc says, “Can’t say i have anything to hold against him.”
Haft says, “Well I reckon someone should have addressed it, but if I knew a man and he called me out that way, I’d not be too quick to extend my hand again.”
Deonyc says, “I can completely understand that, just the situation was getting a bit above my head.”
Abrielle nods to Haft. “He thought you were his friend.”
Haft asks, “Above your head?”
Deonyc says, “Well what do you think when you get attacked by carlomen and one of them is right with you even though he can’t have anything to do with it as far as you know, whic isn’t that much.”
Haft says, “You talk to a guard.”
Deonyc says, “In hindsight that would have been better, i agree.”
Haft says, “Or maybe, if the man’s your friend, you suggest to /him/ that he turn himself in to a guard.”
Deonyc says, “I think theres alot of things i could have done better in that situation concerning sehsis.”
Abrielle nods. “You betcha.”
Haft asks, “Abrielle, maybe you can clear something up between us. You were with Sehsis during the siege?”
Abrielle nods. “Yep. In the castle.”
Haft says, “Did he have a dagger? Only Deonyc thinks he didn’t, but I’m sure I saw the king return one to him.”
Abrielle shrugs. “I honestly connot remember but I think he may have mentioned getting a dagger back…maybe.”
Deonyc says, “Can’t blame him for carrying a dagger, doubt hed realy have the stomach to use it though.”
Haft looks grim. “You’d be surprised what a man can do in a desperate situation.”
Deonyc says, “Lets just hope there won’t be that much need for the use of daggers for anyone.”
Abrielle gives Deonyc the once over but keeps quiet.
Abrielle Oh no….where is the snooze?
Deonyc is confused
Haft just shakes his head, changing back to an earlier subject. “So, was in there anything in Narnia you particularly wanted to see, Abrielle?”
Abrielle looks back to Haft. “Well now I want to see fauns…but I wanted to see some wild nature. Adrian and I like to sleep outside so some good woods would be great.”
Deonyc looks interested “your going to Narnia?
Haft says, “A lot of the land is forest. Shouldn’t have any trouble there.”
Abrielle nods to Haft. “Good!” She shrugs to Deonyc. “Maybe.’
Deonyc looks out the window, “Wish i could go.
Haft asks, “Something keeping you?”
Abrielle looks at Deonyc questioningly.
Deonyc says, “Well i realy don’t think Dar would be happy if i leave before he can get back to me on my falconry apprenticeship.”
Haft frowns. “What apprenticeship?”
Abrielle actually seems to be interested in this topic.
Deonyc says, “About 1 1/2 weeks back i talked to lord Dar about applying for an aprenticeship with the Master of Mews, and now im waiting to see if it is ok.”
Haft asks, “You got any experience with birds?”
Deonyc says, “Not much, thats why i wan’t to learn. I know some of the rules and rughly how you go about handling the birds.”
Abrielle nods. “Well that sounds interesting.”
Haft grunts again.
Deonyc says, “It realy is interesting, but i will have to learn a bit more about the lords and whatnot so i don’t give them the wrong birds.”
Abrielle sighs and gets up. “Well…I am off. Lewis needs me to make more cobbler tonight.” She smiles at Haft. “If I don’t see you again, stay safe.”
Haft rises as well. “I should go find Megren. Excuse us, Deonyc.”
Deonyc says, ” Well have a good rest-of-day, I think i’ll probably also go home then.”
Abrielle nods once to Deonyc. “Well, good day.”
OOC> Deonyc says, “nice*”