Of Wild Sheep

In the Center of the Courtyard
You can easily discern this as the center of the royal gardens – a great
fountain decorates the courtyard’s center point. It is a scuplture of a grand
lion, standing over the water’s edge. This lion is not insignifigant though –
it is an artist’s tribute to the ruler of all Narnia, and a portrait of a
noble character.

At all four points of the compass a paved path leads to the corners of the
courtyard, North, East, South and West. To the east lies the entrance to the
grand hall of Cair Paravel, and to the west, the gates of the castle. North
and South lead to flower gardens, where one might sit for a spell.

The sides of the paths here are lines with decorative posts and ribbons,
leading from east to west to form an aisle (going delicately around the
fountain). It appears that the garden to the east has been set up for some
kind of ceremony.
You can go: North End of the Courtyard <N>, South End of the Courtyard <S>,
Royal Gardens <E>, To the west courtyard <W>
Contents: A daughter of eve with honey-colored ringlets (Avery) and Fountain.

Avery sits on a bench beside the path, a piece of parchment in her hands. There is a maid beside her, leaning in towards the paper. The two converse in low tones, the Lady nodding with approval a few times.

Haft strolls unhurriedly through the courtyard, a book under one arm.

Avery hands the parchment to the maid with a smile. “Everything looks perfect. Thank you.” As the maid curtsies and departs, Avery steps onto the pathway and walks toward Haft. “Oh, there you are, Haft. I was hoping to find you.”

Haft stops at the sound of his name, then straightens and steps smartly toward Lady Avery, all business. “My lady. How may I be of service?”

Avery motions down the path. “Shall we walk and talk?”

Haft indicates his assent. “As it pleases you.”

Avery falls into step with him. “I am not sure if you have spoken with my brother or not recently, but I am assuming he’s left this up to me…Lord Peridan has kindly offered to take us to Bergdale for a few days. However, my brother has declined. He does not wish to travel more than he has to.” She looks up at him. “Lord Tyre made it clear that I may still go, as long as you are with me.”

Haft nods. “I see.”

Avery arches a brow slightly, but continues. “Lord Peridan is still working through some travel details, so I’m not sure when we’ll be departing…”

Haft says, “Well, I shall look forward to it. I had begun to think you had only brought me along so I could spend my time reading and getting fat off the cooking of that perky Weasel. It’ll be pleasant to defend you from a horde of warrior fauns.”

Avery laughs lightly. “A horde of warrior fauns? I really hope we don’t run into anything like that.”

Haft says, “Hmm, perhaps not. Wild sheep, perhaps? I hear they like to gobble up fair maidens. I wouldn’t say no to a nice woolen coat.”

Avery crosses her arms across her chest in mock irritation. “I don’t think I’d appreciate being gobbled up. And neither would my Mother.” She sends him a sideways glance. “Are there any other dangers I should worry about?”

Haft raise a brow. “I didn’t realize we were bringing your mother. Might need an extra guard.

Avery grins. “No, but surely she’d hear about it before you finished sewing the buttons onto your new coat.”

Haft looks affronted. “I was planning to acquire the coat after saving you from the ferocious beast, not letting it gobble you. Is that all you think of my skills?

Avery bows her head slightly. “My apologies, Haft. I think very highly of your skills…But I don’t want to be nearly gobbled up either. I think I’d much rather be kidnapped by a horde of Fauns than chewed on by a wild sheep, to be perfectly honest.”

Haft lifts a brow in amusement. “Would you?”

Avery shrugs. “It would make for a better story when I get home.”

You say, “Possibly. Don’t know if you can find many warrior fauns these days. They’re mainly bards and scholars.”

Avery smiles. “Bards and scholars will do just fine.”

You say, “Well, then I think you’ll enjoy the trip.”

Avery nods. “Oh, I am sure that I will and I hope you will too.”

Haft lifts a shoulder. “I see no reason why I shouldn’t.

Avery turns as the path does. “How many times have you been there yourself?

You say, “Several. It’s not far from Barfield, where I used to live. It’s adjacent to some fair hunting spots, and near the Table.”

Peridan walks down the path, reading and rereading a crumpled letter. Though his demeanor is calm, there is something about the way he walks that might suggest he is agitated.

Avery looks up as she hears the extra set of footsteps. She smiles at first, but it soon becomes a frown. “Lord Peridan? Is everthing alright?”

Haft turns.

Peridan stops, looking up at the voice. He smiles, but it doesn’t quite reach his eyes. “Good day, Lady Avery, Haft.”

Avery curtsies, but her eyes stay focused on him, her gaze questioning. “Good day.”
You say, “Commander.”

Peridan returns the letter to his pocket. “You two have not seen Lieutenant Bracken by chance?”

Avery shakes her head lightly. “No, not today.”

You say, “Can’t say that I have.”

Peridan nods, “I am sure I will run into him soon.” He turns to Avery, trying to keep a light tone, “I have been making preparations to visit Bergdale.”

Avery smiles at this and nods. “I’m glad to hear that. Haft and I have just been discussing the upcoming trip.”

You say, “Yes. The lady has decided that she would prefer, on the whole, not to be eaten by a sheep.”

Peridan blinks, “Is that so?”

Avery shrugs one shoulder. “I think most would agree with me.”

Haft explains, “I tried to tell her I was more than capable of dealing with any wild sheep we should encounter, but I am not convinced the lady believes me.”

Peridan smiles faintly, “I can assure you both that I have never heard about a man eating sheep.”

Chlamash enters the courtyard, through the gate followed by a powerful centaur guard.

Haft whips back. “Really, Sir? Not fond of a good leg of lamb yourself?”

Avery laughs lightly, lifting a hand to her mouth.

Peridan gives Haft a look, clearly not in a joking mood, “I do like meat.”

Haft’s face goes neutral as he picks up on the other man’s attitude.

Avery glances at Haft and then back at Peridan. “How are you today, Lord Peridan?”

Peridan clears his throat, “A bit preoccupied I am afraid.” He nods to the approaching Tarkaan. “Good Day.”

Haft turns to regard Chlamash, offering the requisite bow.

Avery bows her heard toward Chlamash, before addressing the Lord once more. “Preoccupied? I hope we are not taking up your time if you have other matters to see to…”

Chlamash bows to Peridan, Avery and Haft. “Good day, Lord Peridan. Lady Avery. Guardsman Haft.”

Peridan turns to Lady Avery, “You never take up my time, milady.”

Haft glances between the two.

Avery nods, smiling lightly. “Oh.”

A page comes through the courtyard. She bows respectively to group. “Milady,” she says to Avery. “Your brother requests your presence in the library.”

Avery nods to the page and say to the others, “He’s probably received a letter from home.” She curtsies. “I should go to him. Good day, all.”

Peridan bows, “Good day, Milady.”

Chlamash bows to Avery as well.

Haft bows in his turn.

Avery walks to the eastern end of the garden.

Peridan watches her walk before turn to Chlamash, “You doing well today?”

Chlamash says, “Very well, Milord. Twas a most refreshing walk.”

Peridan nods, “I’m glad.”

Chlamash says, “And yourself, Milord?”

[Missing a bit here.]

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