Falling All Over Myself

Which contains a very awkward situation

Outer Ward

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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. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

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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 wearing a braid (Cassandra) and A son of adam who

walks with a limp (Lanisen).

Haft stands on guard with Owin near the outer gatehouse.

Cassandra sprints through the Ward, dodging people and carts. She leaps onto the nearest barrel, looking over the heads of the crowd. She seems very excited.

Owin is distracted by a man with a stubborn donkey, so it’s left to Haft to remind Cassandra that she’s leapt on the same unsound barrel he’s warned her off before.  He strides quickly toward her perch. “Cassandra?  Miss?”

Cassandra turns when someone says her name. Before she can say anything, there is a loud crack! She tumbles head over heels, directly onto the approaching guardsman.

Haft raises his arms automatically, catching her, but he stumbles back few steps, off-balance, and ends up in a sort of rolling fall onto his back, clutching the girl close protectively until they land.Cassandra is about as graceful as a anvil as she lands on top of Haft though she is unharmed due to his protective grasp.

Haft lets out a loud ‘oof.’

Lanisen emerges from the inner gatehouse, heading for the kennels. He rubs his shoulder with his left hand, and seems distracted, but he slows and raises his head at the small commotion across the ward. His mouth opens slightly, and he begins to jog that direction, dodging market-goers and other castle staff.

Cassandra tries to disentangle herself from Haft, muttering an apology.

Haft attempts to sit up, blinking. “You all right?”

Lanisen calls as he nears, “Cass? Cass, you okay?”

Cassandra rolls to her feet, dusting her dress off. She answers Haft, “Yes, I’m fine. Are you okay?” As Lanisen calls to her, she turns, looking annoyed that he was a witness to her fall, “Yes, Lanny I’m fine. Thank goodness,” She indicates Haft, “he was here to catch me.”

Haft’s eyes widen as he realizes who’s there.  He stares for a minute, as though forgetting she’s asked him a question.  Then he shakes himself and turns to her.  “I’m all right,” he says.  “I’ll get someone to drag that out to the rubbish heap.”Lanisen draws to an abrupt halt as he realizes who the ‘he’ in this situation is. He recoils slightly, his shoulders stiffening up, and his eyes flit quickly down and away from Haft.

Cassandra catches all the reactions between the two men. Her eyes dart between the two as she crosses her arms. She taps a foot before responding to Haft, “I’m sorry if I broke someone’s barrel. I can replace it.”

Haft’s mouth tightens as he takes in Lanisen’s posture. “That won’t be necessary.  It was careless, but the barrel was broken already.  Looks to be empty anyhow. if you’re unhurt, there’s no more to be said.”

Cassandra turns to Haft, her eyebrow lifting. She mutters, “Careless?” before just shaking her head, “Alright. Thank you for catching me, Mister…Haft, right?”

Lanisen darts a quick, uneasy look at Cassandra.

Haft glances at Lanisen. “Careless of your own safety,” he says quietly.  “And yes.”

Cassandra stands straight and tall. “I do have a question for you than, Haft. Why do you stare at me every time I come into the ward?”

Lanisen takes a quick breath, reaching out to take hold of her sleeve lightly, less in restraint than in appeal.

Haft looks taken aback. “Wh-what?”

Cassandra looks to her side, staring at Lanisen. She takes a deep breath, obviously counting quietly. After she finishes, she looks at Haft with an almost friendly smile, “No matter. Thank you for catching me again.”

Lanisen relaxes visibly. He gives Haft a brief, apprehensive glance.

Haft’s brow furrows, and he looks worried. He doesn’t seem to dare look at Lanisen. “You’re welcome.  I’d…best get back to my other duties.” He turns to head back toward Owin.

Cassandra watches the guardsman leave before turning to Lanny. All anger is gone, replaced with excitement. “Guess what? Guess What? Guess What?”

Lanisen watches Haft go and takes a deep breath. “What’s up?” he asks, turning back to Cassandra.

Cassandra dances a bit, “I got a job!” She grins from ear to ear. “At the tavern no less.”

Lanisen’s eyebrows go up in surprise. “You did?”OOC> Lanisen says, “i can’t even handle this i love being an aunt”Cassandra nods before biting her lip, “Oh! What time is it? I need to get back. I can’t get fired the same day I got hired.” She gives Lanisen a quick hug of happiness, “Come visit me, soon.” With that, she darts off.OOC> Lanisen says, “aaaahhh”OOC> Cassandra grins

Owin, having cleared away the stubborn donkey, asks Haft a question about the incident, but Haft waves him away, turning to face the ward at large but eyes still on Lanisen and his sister.

Lanisen looks baffled, but says, “All right, I’ll– bye? Congratulations!”

Cassandra has always disappeared in the crowd. She darts a look to Haft as she passes the gatehouse before heading to town.

Haft looks carefully anywhere but Cassandra as she passes by.

Lanisen watches his sister until she vanishes in the crowd, confused but relieved. His eyes shift to Haft for a beat, and he ducks his head and turns aside.

The corner of Haft’s mouth tightens as he notes the action.  Then he heaves a deep breath and resumes his watch.

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