Duty

In which Haft makes an unpleasant report

Officers’ Barracks(#12955R/AHKM)

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This is the barracks belonging to the officers of the Army and Navy of Archenland. While it is smaller the the other barracks, the items here are of a higher quality. As well as bunks and lockers, there are also several desks, covered in maps and journals.

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You can go: Naval Barracks <S>, Army Barracks <N>

Contents: A son of adam with a scar running over his left eye and cheek

(Garian) and Garian’s Trunk.

Garian works at his desk intently, reviewing some paperwork.

Haft knocks on the door.

Garian looks up and calls out amiably, “Come in”.

Haft steps into the room.  “Captain, is this a good time?”

Garian nods and motions for him to take a seat, “As good as ever.”

Haft hesitates, as if he’d been planning to stand in front of the desk, but then sits down as indicated.  “Sir, I need to make a report involving some fugitives possibly abroad in Archenland,” he says without preamble.

Garian blinks and looks surprised by this information, “Oh?”

Haft spreads his hands.  “It’s a bit of an awkward situation, sir.  I don’t know the extent of their crimes or whether they were formally accused.”  He frowns.  “I think I’d best explain to you the way I heard it.  It might make more sense then.”

Garian gives a small nod, “Go on then.”

Haft says, “The information came from a young woman of my acquaintance named Abrielle.  She works at the manor in Coghill and is currently visiting Andale at the request of Lady Avery.  Abrielle lives with her uncle, whom she cares for, and has lived with him since she was five.  She was left with him by her parents when she was five.  She told me they were in exile in Narnia after trying to remain in Archenland for a time, and she had told me they were pirates.  As far as that went I thought the matter dealt with and beyond our concern.”

Garian says thoughtfully, “I see.”

Haft presses his lips together.  “The other night that changed.  We were speaking and she let slip that she had seen her parents in Carmichael last year.”

Garian hms softly. He indicates for haft to go on, “So…”

Haft says, “So if they were truly exiled, they didn’t abide by the terms.  And if they weren’t–Abrielle doesn’t seem to know whether the exile was official or self-imposed–then there we still have two potentially dangerous criminals at large in Archenland…she defined them as thieves and murderers.”  Haft frowns.  “She said they told her they were returning to Narnia, but I cannot confirm or deny that.”

Garian rubs his chin thoughtfully, “That… is something we’d have to question the girl about and look into the records. However, I am afraid that is beyond my jurisdiction. I can bring it up with Lords Dar and Cole. At that point it would fall to Lord Ast as it is his domain and the knights of Anvard.”

Haft nods, looking unhappy.  “She’s terrified that she and her uncle–and I suppose her betrothed too, as he escorted her to Carmichael–are going to be arrested for failing to report her parents to the authorities.  I tried to reassure her, but…well, can I reassure her, sir?”

Garian says, “Well, only if they are indeed criminals and this exile has been imposed. There’s a lot more to consider. Thus far I am aware of several banishments–but it is a very harsh punishment and used sparingly.”

Haft nods, face grim.  “Their names are Cerine and Acostas, if those mean anything to you.  She told me that when she was little they lived on a boat with others, pirating, I assume.  And one of them is half-Calormene.  I’m afraid I can’t tell you much else about them.”

Garian frowns thoughtfully, “Those names are not familiar to me.”

Haft says, “Her uncle will probably need to be spoken to as well, since most of what she knows about her parents she has from him.  Lewis–he’s not quite right in the head, sir, and I can’t say how much they’ll be able to learn.  It’s him I think she’s chiefly worried about.”

Garian gives a slow nod, “Yes. He should be called immediately.–Not right in the head you say?”

Haft says, “Eccentric.  And a bit more than that.  I’m fairly sure I caught him conversing with a seagull the other day by the beach, and after that he told Abrielle he had just seen her father.”

Garian frowns again, “He speaks to birds–and he said he saw her father?”

Haft says, “Lewis spoke of him as if the man were standing right there, and wondered if Abrielle could see him too.  Abrielle seemed to think it was…I don’t know what she thought, exactly.  An ill omen about her parents?  I know some hermits can see shadows in pools and things of that sort, but as best I can gather, the man is unwell.”

Garian says, “And some minds have become broken. It is true some have a mystic gift, but that is few and far between. It sounds as if the man’s lost his mind.”

Garian pauses, “Or is haunted by some memory.”

Haft says, “Perhaps.  Megren and I dine with them, in Coghill.  I should say that he is generally pleasant and harmless.  And most of the time he seems fairly normal, but…well, you should know before someone tries to question him.”

Garian ahs, “I see.”

Haft sighs, sitting back in the chair.  “Could I…be there with her when they are questioned, sir?  As a friend?  Or be the one sent to fetch them?  I don’t know if that would be asking too much of Lords Dar or Cole, but I would like to help her as I may.”

Garian says, “I…. can mention the request.”

Haft nods. “Thank you, sir.  I appreciate it.” He sighs.  “I suppose this won’t reflect very well on her employment with Lord Dar’s family, whatever happens, but it can’t be helped.  She and her uncle are staying in inn in Andale for the time being, and I advised her not to return to Coghill until the matter was addressed.  I’ll probably visit her on the morrow to tell her the matter will be turned over to the knights.”  He rises.  “Is there aught more you need from me?”

Garian pauses, then says, “No. I think that will suffice–” He thinks better of it, “Does the Lord know her family?”

Haft’s brow furrows.  “I don’t really know.  I know that Abrielle mentioned a grandmother living, but other than that I’m not certain what other family she has or where they live.”

Garian says, “If she has a grandmother living, I should like to know where–and any other family alive in Archenland.”

Haft makes an expression of concentration.  “She told me her grandmother was Calormene…her betrothed is a man named Adrian, a tinker who travels a great deal.  I couldn’t give you an accounting for where he is at the moment.”

Garian looks surprised, “Is she now? Well, if the woman is living I should like to speak with her.”

Haft says, “Well, I assume she is…It was only the week I met Abrielle, but I think she said that she’d met her grandmother…of course that might have been years ago.  It’s possible the woman has passed.”

Garian rubs the bridge of his nose, “I see.”

Haft says, “I’m sorry.  None of this is easy or clear.  If they were exiled it should be in the records, shouldn’t it?  But if not then the information as it stands is very confusing.  I do know they earned their living in Narnia as hunters, and wandered about a great deal…it sounds as if either her letters didn’t reach them or they didn’t bother to return most, if any.” His face twists in disdain.

Garian says, “There would indeed be a record of their exile–how old is the girl?”

Haft says, “Her early twenties.  Possibly younger.”

Garian says, “She’d have to be young indeed if her parents hunted in Narnia–the Royal Family there has only reigned about a decade and a half.”

Garian says, “If that.”

Haft says, “Correct.  As I said, she told me that they tried to remain in Archenland for a time after they left her.”

Garian asks, “And when did they leave her?”

Haft says, “When she was five.”

Garian says, “I will talk to my superiors on the matter.”

Haft nods.  “Anything else, sir?”

Garian shakes his head.

Haft says, “Thank you for your time,” before saluting and heading from the room.

Garian nods, “Have a good day guardsman.”

Haft hesitates in the doorway, then nods and continues on.

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