In which there is interpretive art

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 a red streak in her brown hair (Abrielle).

Abrielle sits alongside the wall in the Ward, drawing.

Haft leaves the blacksmith’s shop, out of uniform, heading in the direction of the Outer Gatehouse.  As he walks he notices Abrielle, but hesitates and then continues walking past.

Abrielle looks up to observe the scene again and spots Haft. “Haft!” She gets up and sets her drawing down. “Wait up.”

Haft pauses and turns toward her, blinking.  “Yes?”

Abrielle comes closer, a bit hesitantly now that she has his attention. “How are you?”

Haft says, “I’m…” He looks like he’s about to say one thing, then changes his mind and shrugs, speaking quietly.  “Bit raw, still, I guess.  How’re you?”

Abrielle bits her bottom lip. “From the other day?” She nods to this. “I am fine.” She grabs her elbow with her other arm and pulls it tight.

Haft looks into her face.  “Yeah.  We’re both fine.”

Abrielle looks back. “We are. I just don’t want you to feel bad.”

Haft sighs.  “Why don’t you show me what you were working on?”

Abrielle watches Haft for a moment longer before getting her drawing. “It is…a work in progress.” She says this a bit awkwardly. On the page there is a outline of two men, one has his back to the viewer and the other stares directly out at the world. The image has a sad and confused sort of feeling that is reflected in Abrielle’s eyes as she views the image with Haft.

Haft says, “It’s…your drawing has improved,” he offers.  “Who are they?””

Abrielle shrugs. “They are the same person…one is revealing himself while the other is not…” She sighs at this and pulls the paper back. “Thank you…I was inspired to draw something that wasn’t a joke.”

Haft murmurs.  “Maybe I was wrong.  Doesn’t look a thing like me.”

Abrielle looks back to Haft. “You still got the point…”

Haft says, “Just cause I ain’t as book-learned as a lord don’t mean I can’t see a lit torch in the dark.”

Abrielle shrugs. “I wasn’t trying to be secretive or make you mad…I was just drawing.”

Haft says, “I wasn’t accusing you.”

Abrielle puts her drawing in her book and pushes back her hair. “What are you up to?”

Haft says, “Nothing really.  Just bought a new whetstone.  Was thinking I might walk down to the forest for a bit.  It’s a nice day for a stroll.”

Abrielle tilts her head. “Whetstone? Care if I join you?”

Haft pauses.  “Course not.  You’re not in town near enough anyway.”  He starts walking.  “A whetstone’s what you use to keep your sword edge keen between sharpenings by the smith.

Abrielle gives him a small smile and walks alongside. “Interesting…how did I not know that?”

Haft asks, “Is there any reason you should?”

Abrielle shrugs. “Just seems like something that would have come up.”

In the Archenland Forest


You stand in the middle of a forest. The trees are broadly spaced, the ground beneath you uncluttered by underbrush, giving the gently rolling landscape an almost parklike feel. Dappled light filters down through the branches, leaves shimmering and translucent against the sunlight. A few birds flit by overhead while others sing in the trees, providing a merry counterpoint to the whispering of the wind. To the south, mountains separate Archenland from the Southern Desert. The forest continues in all other directions.


You can go: A Wide Glade <S>, North <N>, West <W>, East <E>

Haft says, “Well, if you’d sharperned your own knives…I’m surprised you haven’t.  Blacksmith must be making his fortune off of you.”

Abrielle raises an eyebrow at Haft. “You know it.”

Haft asks, “I’ll have to show you how.  Don’t got a knife on ya, do you?”

Haft says, “Ya know, scratch that.  It takes water, and I ain’t got my skin on me.”

Abrielle ahs. “Well I do!”

Abrielle pulls her waterskin from her knapsack. “Always be prepared Haft.”

Haft says, “Alright, well you’ll need ta cup your hands or something.  Stone needs to set in it for a bit till it’s good and absorbed.”

Haft pulls a whetstone from his pouch.

Abrielle sets her waterskin on the ground and cups her hands tightly (so little water will escape) in front of herself.

Haft places the whetstone in her hands, righting and sealing the waterskin.  “You hold that about ten minutes.”

Abrielle nods, looking very focused on the task at hand. “I hope I do not get tired.”

Haft smirks.  “I hope you’re made of sterner stuff than that.”

Abrielle smiles. “Me too…” She playfully shakes her hands, as if she may be too weak to hold it.

Haft takes a seat nearby.  “My pa used to take me out in the woods, show me how to find good berries and things to eat when berries weren’t around.  Weren’t near as many of those times as I’d have liked, with his schedule, but they were always special.  Taught me to do this when I was seven or eight I guess.”

Abrielle smiles at the recollection. “My parents taught me how to tie knots.”

Haft brightens.  “You must have been clever, to have learned so young.”

Abrielle shrugs. “I like to think I still am.”

Haft asks, “Guess that depends.  Can you still make the knots?”

Abrielle smiles. “Yes. I do!”

Haft asks, “Care to show me now?”

Abrielle looks around. “Got any rope?”

Haft says, “No.”

Abrielle sighs. “In my knapsack I have some.” She looks at her hands. “Maybe we should focus on this first?”

Haft’s lips twitch.  “You’re right.  Still clever.  I was trying to see if I could get you to spill the water.”

Abrielle raises an eyebrow. “You cannot trick this.”

Haft says, “I can try.”

Abrielle shrugs. “Try.”

Haft taps his lower lip consideringly before pulling a quite ridiculous face.

Abrielle lips twitch but she does not smile, she only tries to copy his face.

Haft relaxes his expression and shakes his head.  “I’m told Prince Rabadash made a face like that just before he turned into a donkey.”

Abrielle sighs and looks down at the water in her hands. “That is interesting.”

Haft frowns.  “What’s wrong?”

Abrielle smiles. “I just don’t know if I can trust you now…you are trying to trick me and I don’t know what to believe anymore.”

Haft says, “That, to the best of my knowledge, is true.  Though I’ll admit the facemaking is barracks gossip.  The part about Rabadash turning into a beast I had from Lord Peridan himself, who was there.”

Abrielle ahs. “I bet he did make that face then!” She smiles. “I would make a crazy face if I was turning into an animal.”

Haft says, “Story was he made the face before he turned into an animal, then changed to resemble the face he was making.  Guess it’s like our parents used to tell us ‘If you pull a face, it’ll get stuck like that.'”

Abrielle smiles. “Did your parents really tell you that? That is frightening…”

Haft says, “Occasionally.  They were right, too.”

Abrielle nods. “I guess in the case of Rabadash…and my eyebrow…It is always lifting.” She sighs and blows some hair out of her eyes.

Haft says, “In my case too.  I’d have fewer lines if I’d spent less time scowling.  We all earn our faces, I guess.”

Abrielle thinks about that for a moment. “That is a beautiful line.”

Haft says, “Is it?  I think the stone’s soaked enough now.”

Abrielle ahs.

Abrielle laughs. “So where do I put it?”

Haft says, “You can hand it ta me.  And let the water out.  You’re plainly impossible to trick.”

Abrielle smiles and drops the water onto the ground.

Haft asks, “So, did you say you had a knife?”

Abrielle nods. “Yeah! I do!”

Abrielle takes off her knapsack.

Abrielle pulls Dwarven Flaying Knife from Knapsack.

Abrielle holds the knife out

Haft accepts the knife from Abrielle and demonstrates the angle at which to hold it while dragging the stone along the edge of the blade in smooth strokes.

Abrielle watches closely.

Haft asks, “You want to try?”

Abrielle nods. “Yes.”

Haft passes her the knife and tools, watching her attempt and offering suggestions.

Abrielle takes the knife and gives it a try.

Haft says, “You need to do it in long sweeps, not little shuffles.  Ain’t like sanding a piece of wood.  And hold it like I showed you, so you don’t cut yourself.”

Abrielle properly adjusts the knife to hold it properly. “Okay.” She guides the knife slowly and smoothly across the stone.

Haft says, “Better.  You can keep that one if you like.  I can purchase another.  Mustn’t have you taken advantage of by anymore blacksmiths.”

Abrielle laughs quietly. “I can handle myself…I think….”

Haft says, “The history of this matter would seem to indicate otherwise.”

Abrielle tilts her head. “When was I ever taken advantage of by a blacksmith?”

Haft says, “Well somebody’s been taking money for sharpening your knife without ever telling you you could do it yourself.”

Abrielle shrugs. “I only just got a knife a couple of months ago…”

Haft says, “Ah, that explains it then.”  He rises.  “I’m sorry.  I do have a shift coming up.  I only meant to take a short walk.””

Abrielle smiles. “But it was so beautiful outside…and a fair maiden needed assistance.”

Haft replies, “She can handle herself…I think.”

Abrielle shrugs. “I hope so.”

Haft says, “Well, I will see you some other time. Good afternoon, Abrielle.”

Abrielle nods. “Good afternoon.”

Haft turns and heads back toward the castle.


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