“Are You Happy?”

In which Haft is confused and Gearn is to blame (not for the confusion)

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 mid-back length hair (Dalia).

Haft sits by the wall in the Outer Ward, unobtrusively carving at a small item.

Dalia slips out of the inner ward, glancing about.

Haft holds up the wood, eying it and scowling in frustration.

Dalia glances about; she spies Haft and frowns thoughtfully, glancing away and finally shaking her head to some inner discussion. She moves towards the Kennels.

Haft returns to his carving, not paying any attention to the ward.

Dalia knocks on the door to the kennels, seeing Kirby and asks him a question. He disappers momentarily, returning and shaking his head. Dalia thanks him.

Haft whittles a bit more, then holds the piece up again.

Dalia wanders back through the market of the outer ward, admiring a few things. She glances at Haft making a nervious face and once again glances away. She pauses, seemly frozen in place as she begins continues to consider the idea inside her head.

Haft reaches into his pocket, pulling out another item about the size of the first and comparing them. He shakes his head, dissatisfied.

Dalia breaths out slowly as if exhausted or preparing oneself, and sets the item down thanking and complementing the vender. She begins wandering over in Haft’s direction.

Haft sticks the second item back in his pocket, taking up the knife again.

Dalia finally makes her way over to Haft.

Haft doesn’t notice her until her feet come into view, at which point he looks up. “Dalia?”

Dalia says, “Master Haft, I was wondering… If I …may I could ask you a question?” She looks rather nervious as she says this and it shows in the way she plays with her hands.”

Haft frowns, noting the worry in her aspect. “Of course. Is something wrong?”

Dalia asks, “Um…no. At least..I don’t know….” she seems to trail off. Regaining her confidence, she starts again. “I was wondering… I mean certainly you must have a good vantage point from there… I.. I was wondering if you’d seen Lanisen about?”

Dalia says, “I wanted to speak to him but Kirby informed me he wasn’t at the kennels.”

Haft’s brow furrows. He looks rather confused by the show of nerves preceding such a simple question.  “I haven’t seen Lanisen today,” he answers. “You might try the off-duty mess. He eats up there now.”

Dalia nods, “Ah. I see. T-thank you.”

You ask, “You need him urgently?”

Dalia says, “Oh.. um . no.no. I just wished to speak with him is all.””

You say, “Well, you can go up and check if you like. I don’t imagine anyone would mind.  If he ain’t there…I don’t know.  I saw him in the infirmary, but that’s been a few weeks back.  Might be he needed something there though.””Dalia nods, seemly easing a bit as Haft continues to speak. She glances down at the carving, “that’s pretty carving.”

Haft looks down to his lap, then holds the thing up.  It’s a little smaller than his thumb and its intended form is indistinguishable.

Dalia says, “um, good luck with your carving.” she turns to as if to go.”

“It’s supposed to be a pawn,” Haft mutters.  “Gearn dropped one and broke the head off.”

Dalia nods, turning to go. She takes several steps toward the doorway. But turn back, “Master Haft, m-may I ask? A-are you happy?”

Haft looks up sharply. “What?”

Dalia says, “Forgive me. It’s n-not my place.” She backs away.

Haft asks, “What on earth are you talking about?”

Dalia takes a deep breath, “I a-asked, “Are you happy?” but I ask your pardon. It ain’t my business.”

Haft looks at her oddly. “Why wouldn’t I be?”

Dalia nods, muttering, “Beg pardon,” backing up and turning to head towards the inner ward. She pauses for a timid, tentative “Aslan’s blessings.” Her voice slightly wobbles, before she heads that way for certain.

Haft frowns at her back. “Uh, you too,” he calls.


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