A Gift and a Horse

In which Haft asks about something that’s been bothering him


Herberg Road

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The Herberg Road leads to Herberg’s public house, The Narrow Gate, a huge building that sits in a clearing to the east of the road. It’s obvious that rooms on the eastern side of the building overlook the beach and ocean. Clumps yellow of fruit trees shade the walls of the Public House and hardwoods line the lane.

The lane to the west leads the shops of East Andale, and continues north toward the Beach Road.

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You can go: Beach Road <N>, East Andale <W>, The Narrow Gate <E>

Contents: A daughter of eve with a red streak in her brown hair (Abrielle).

The road is empty this evening as Abrielle walks to the beach, a book in one hand and a blanket in the other. She sings to herself quietly as she goes.

Haft walks down the road toward the inn, but the sound of singing attracts his attention.  He calls out, “Abrielle!”

Abrielle turns as she hears her name called out. “Oh hello!”

Haft walks quickly to catch up to her.  “Hello.  How are you?”

Abrielle shrugs. “Still working things out but, generally, happy. You?”

Haft asks, “I’m…all right.  Everything straightened out with the captain and Lord Dar then?”

Abrielle shakes her head. “Neither of them have contacted me with anymore information.” She shuffles her feet a little and puts her blanket onto her other arm. “Only all right?”

Haft shrugs.  “Bit of an awkward situation came up the other day.  Nothing I can’t navigate through.”

Abrielle raises an eyebrow. “Anything I can do to help?”

Haft smiles faintly.  “Not a thing.  Where you headed?”

Abrielle nods once. “Well you let me know if anything comes up.” She gives him a hard stare before pointing to the beach. “I just thought I would catch up on some reading down at the beach before the sun goes down.”

Abrielle says, “Care to join? ”

Haft says, “Yes, if you don’t mind.  I had one or two things I wanted to speak to you about.”

Abrielle nods. “Okay…” She starts walking towards the beach.

Andale Beach

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At the bottom of the slope, the beach spreads, a mixture of sand and gravel. Seagulls scream overhead, and small crabs scuttle about between pools and bits of driftwood. There are a few larger rocks as well, slowly being eroded by wind and water. The Eastern Ocean seems to go on forever, the gray green waves stretching out to the horizon.

A path leads up the slope to the west toward the Beach Road.

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You can go: The Beach Road <W>

Contents: A daughter of eve with a red streak in her brown hair (Abrielle).

Abrielle walks onto the sand and lays out her blanket to sit on. She rests herself there quietly and places her book to her side.

Haft follows, taking a seat beside her.  “What are you reading?”

Abrielle looks to the book. “It is a book on herb lore…I thought I might some interesting tidbits.”

Haft asks, “About healing?”

Abrielle nods. “Yes. Lady Elriya was teaching me a few things awhile ago and I thought it was interesting…” She shrugs. “So what is it you wanted to talk to me about?”

Haft frowns, looking out toward the horizon.  “Well, since you mention Lady Elriya, there’s something that’s been troubling me for a while.”

Abrielle tilts her head. “Yes.”

Haft says, “The week we met, you told me you were in the habit of ‘borrowing’ one of your masters’ mares.”  He turns to look at her levelly.  “You do realize that the only difference between borrowing a horse and stealing one is whether you are caught doing it?”

Abrielle raises and eyebrow. “It was not one of the masters’ mares. It was one from the town stable that Adrian was helping restore.” She sighs. “When we would take it out he paid for it…If I said borrowing it must have been in jest. We were helping, Adrian was put in charge of helping it heal.”

Haft’s brow furrows.  “By the owner?”

Abrielle nods. “From what I understand.”

Haft looks relieved.  “Check with Adrian the next time you see him.  And never jest with a guardsman like that.  I never want to be put in a position like that of a few weeks ago.”

Abrielle puts her head to the side. “I know I haven’t shown to be the most trustworthy person but…” She sighs. “I am sorry.”

Haft says, “It’s done.  It’s just…I can’t look the other way, Abrielle.  It’s not who I am.”  He opens the pouch at his side.  “I got somethin’ for you.””

Abrielle nods understandingly. “I know.” She looks surprised at his second comment. “You do?”

Haft holds out a smallish parcel wrapped in parchment.  “Thought it might cheer you up.  Meant to give it to you a few days ago, but I forgot.”

Abrielle takes the parcel and opens it up. “Charcoal sticks.” She looks up at him. “Thank you! These are going to make wonderful drawings! I have never had new ones before…” She looks down at them and her eyes get a little misty. “Thank you…it means a lot to me that you were thinking of my feelings.”

Haft shifts awkwardly.  “You’re welcome.  I was, uh, getting something for Ash, and I thought…well, you’ve had a rough time of it, lately.”

Abrielle nods. “A bit…but I know it will get better.” She looks determined at this last part. “I know it will. I don’t even know why you hang around me anymore…I am so dreary lately.”

Haft asks, “It was your confiding in me that exposed the matter.  Should I have let you face it alone?”

Abrielle shrugs. “You could have.”

Haft shakes his head.  “No, I couldn’t.  I know what it’s like to wait alone for a verdict.”  He changes the subject.  “Lewis?”

Abrielle nods for a moment before answering with a sigh. “I forgive him…I just…” She shrugs. “I don’t know.”

Haft says, “Have you…made arrangements for his care?  I don’t know what you had planned once you married.”

Abrielle looks out the distance. “I thought he would live with Adrian and I…but as you know we didn’t really get a chance to talk about all those details.”

Haft asks, “What do you plan until then?”

Abrielle looks down at her hands. “I haven’t really been able to think that far.”

Haft asks, “I mean about Lewis.  Are you staying with him for now?”

Abrielle nods. “I was crazy the other day when I said I could leave him. I think I will have to stay.”

Haft nods.  “Have you sought help from the healers for his condition?  I don’t know if there’s much that can be done, but then my own knowledge of medicinal herbs only extend to the most basic balms for injuries.”

Abrielle nods. “Of course…I did that awhile ago. I think he may just need some very close watch.”

Haft says, “Good.  It sounds like you have matters well in hand.”

Abrielle laughs. “Does it?”

Haft says, “Yes.  It does.”

Abrielle shakes her head. “I am glad you think so.” She gives him a small smile.

Haft rises.  “Well, I suppose I should leave you to your reading.”

Abrielle nods. “Thank you for the Charcoal…I am sorry I made you anxious, yet again.”

Haft’s lips twitch.  “Why would I be anxious?  You’re not planning more drawings of the back of my head, are you?”

Abrielle smiles. “Maybe…it is so pretty! How can I deny myself the pleasure of replicating such a beautiful head.”

Haft scowls.  “I suppose I can at least be grateful it is not yet shiny.”

Abrielle laughs. “But that would be lovely too…I could draw a reflection of the moon onto it!” She picks up her book. “I will see you later Haft.”

Haft says, “Enjoy your reading.”  He then turns and heads back up the beach.

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