In which there is a spar
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
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 , South End of the Courtyard
Royal Gardens , To the west courtyard
Avery is sitting on a bench, her nose buried in a large, red book.
Haft enters the courtyard, dressed down and out of uniform. He strides over to Avery. “Interesting reading?” he asks with a bow.
Chlamash strolls into the courtyard, a book in hand as well.
Avery says, “Mm-hmm.” Her focus stays on the page for a few more seconds before she lifts her gaze to him, setting the book aside. “I’m reading about the ‘Wild People.'”
Haft crosses his arms. “Indeed? Finding out everything I said was wrong, no doubt.”
Avery gives a little shrug. “I think everything you’ve said was true. But I’ll let you know if I find out anything else.”
You ask, “Were you trying to learn anything in particular?”
Chlamash makes his way down the courtyard path and seeing Avery and Haft he pauses to observe them.
Avery says, “No, not really. Just curious.” She looks up to see Chlamash, bowing her head. “Tarkaan.”
Haft turns and bows.
Chlamash bows, “Milady. Guardsman.”
Avery asks, “How do you fare?”
Chlamash says, “Very well, thank you Milady.”
You ask, “Reading, Tarkaan Chlamash?”
Avery picks up her own book once more.
Chlamash nods, “I had a mind too, yes.”
Haft looks him over. “Perhaps I could distract you with a more active pursuit? I was just heading to the practice yard.”
Avery glances between them.
Chlamash nods, “I should be glad of it, allow me to return my things to my room, and I shall be ready.”
Haft says, “Of course. I’ll meet you there.”
Avery smiles lightly. “You two have fun.”
Haft turns to Avery, giving her a curious look. “Fun?”
Avery shrugs. “I always assumed practice must be a little fun?”
Chlamash makes his way back towards the castle.
Haft puts on his sourest face. “It’s hot and grueling and you mostly end up bruised or devoid of dignity. What’s not to like?”
Avery makes a face. “That sounds…lovely.”
Haft clasps his hands in front of his stomach. “Oh, indeed.” He raises a brow. “Perhaps you should join us. Mustn’t let the Calormene and me have all the fun.”
Avery hides behind her book. “Join you?”
Haft says, “Yes. To observe, of course. You’ll likely see a few Wild People training, too. There’s plenty in the army and guard.”
Avery closes her book with a snapping sound. “Alright. I suppose I could watch for a bit.”
Haft’s lip twitches in triumph, and he sweeps his arm ahead of him to indicate the direction. “Right this way.”
Haft offers to lead Avery.
Avery decides to follow Haft.
You find yourself on a pretty, grassy lawn that runs along the north side of
Cair Paravel’s main tower. Most of it has been trampled quite a bit by feet
and hooves of various sizes, as it’s been used as a training field for Cair
Paravel’s resident knights. There are a number of flagstone paths, though,
that run around the perimeter toward some outbuildings. There is a stable to
the north, a wide, stocky watchtower to the northeast, and to the distant east
at the end of the peninsula, the naval pier is being constructed. You can see
the ocean beyond, stretching out in its twinkly blueness toward the horizon.
There isn’t much of a beach that you can detect from here, though.
A door in the north tower leads back into the castle.
You can go: Enter the Tower Yard , Toward the Stable , Enter the North
Haft escorts Avery out onto the Practice Yard where a number of Beasts and Beings are already sparring or engaged in target practice.
Avery looks around, a bit of excitement in her eyes as she watches some of the sparring. “Do you wait your turn? Or…do you just jump in with any partner you choose?”
Chlamash enters not long after, his brows raises slightly upon seeing Lady Avery, but he regains a neutral expression before drawing close.Several of the guards call out greetings both to Haft and Avery.
Avery raises her hand a bit, waving as she smiles at the guards.
Haft shakes his head. “You never jump into a spat in progress, if that’s what you mean. You choose a partner who isn’t too winded and as long as there’s a reasonable amount of space on the field, you can start.” Haft tips his head to acknowledge the greetings. “If it’s crowded, you wait.”
Avery hmms. “Is it too crowded now? Will you have to wait?” She tilts her head. “Though, I suppose there’s which space for you and the Tarkaan…”
A Badger looks up from where he’s examining the shape of his weapon. He looks Avery over with interest. “And who’s this then, Guardsman? Mite too fancy for you, I warrant.”
Haft coughs. “Lady Avery of Chesterton, my charge at the moment.”
The Badger snuffles up to Avery. “Pleased ta meet ya Miss, mighty pleased.”
Avery can’t help but laugh a little. “And you…What do they call you?”
“Branton, Miss,” says the Badger. “Of Their Majesties infantry.”
Avery dips her head. “A pleasure, Branton.”
Haft looks around. “Yes, there’s room here. Are you ready, Tarkaan?”
Branton snorts. “After him again?”
Haft ignores this.
Avery moves toward the edge of the grounds where she can watch.Chlamash nods to show that he is, a light in his eyes. “And may the the best man win.”
Chlamash takes out his wooden sword.
Haft raises a brow, then raises his sword.
Chlamash pulls a candied fig from his pouch and eats it.
The Badger follows her. “You shoulda seen the first few times…that Calormene knocked the stuffing clean outta yer knight.”
Chlamash raises his sword as well and stands ready.
Avery grins when the Badger follows her, but she blinks at his words. “My knight…?”
Chlamash raises his sword and stands ready.
Branton says, “Haft. He’s yer knight, right?”
Peridan walks onto the practice grounds, Colin following behind him. He seems slightly excited.
Branton says, “The one that growls like a Badger.” He grins.
Colin is eyeing his cousin with an amused look on his face.
Avery chuckles. “He’s my Guard, actually. He is like a Badger, isn’t he?” She watches Chlamash and Haft. “I am sure they both have good days and bad days.”
The two men circle each other, each searching for an opening as they trade blows that are largely ineffectual due to the other’s defense. They seem to be fairly evenly matched in skill, and at one point Chlamash tries something fancy with his sword that Haft is only just able to block. In the end, though, Haft finds his opening and strikes a winning hit. Both men step back, breathing hard.
Peridan surveys the grounds, eyebrows going up briefly at the scene before him. He calls out to them, “Looks like I missed a good spar, gentlemen.”
Colin observes the scene but doesn’t say anything.
Haft turns, raising his sword in salute and offering a small bow to the two lords.
Avery claps her hands together. “Well done, Haft! And you too, Tarkaan!”
Haft’s lips twitch, as if he’s trying to mask a smile. “Thank you Lady.”
Chlamash frowns something tightening in his cheek, but it quickly vanishes from his face as soon as it came. He bows to Haft before turning to bow to Peridan and Sir Colin. “It was well fought, Guardsman.”
Peridan approaches the group, “Indeed, Tarkaan. It appears both sides put up a good fight.”
Haft nods in return. “And you,” he says rather perfunctorily.
Avery turns to the Badger. “See? Good days and bad days. No stuffing from my Guard today.” She grins as she walks toward the group. She curtsies. “Lord Peridan, Sir Colin.”
Branton turns. “Stuffing, Miss? What do you stuff him with?”
Chlamash says, “He turns to Lady Avery, “Thank you, Milady.” He then turns to Peridan, “Thank you, My Lord. I have endeavored to learn the ways of the north, and am never above learning from a worthy opponent.”
Peridan smiles, “Aye, Guardsman Haft is a very worthy opponent.”
Haft looks pleased. “Thank you, Commander.”
Avery pulls a candied fig from her pouch and eats it.Chlamash says, “Milord is also an excellent Swordsman.” “Colin listens to the conversation absently. Oddly enough there is a slight smirk on his face.Peridan lifts a hand, “As you are as well, Tarkaan.” He turns to Lady Avery and smiles, “Lady Avery, I was hoping to speak with you.”
Avery looks at Peridan. “Oh?”
Branton salutes the Commander smartly, then returns to his own practice.
Peridan shifts a bit on his feet, “More of a request actually.” He nods to Branton as he salutes.
Avery nods, looking curious. “Ah, alright.”
Chlamash seems pleased by Peridan’s words, surrendering his practice sword to the attendant who comes to retrieve it. He unclenches it and presents it to him with thanks.
Haft leans his sword against a target.
Peridan’s eyes sparkle, “When you wish to return home, may I accompany you?” He glances at Colin, “Sir Colin has made me miss Anvard and Archenland and well, I should like to visit family.”
Haft raises his brows in surprise.
Colin glances at Peridan, saying nothing. He shifts most of his weight to his right leg as they stand there chatting. Or listening, in his case.
Chlamash glances towards Peridan an unreadable expression on his face, one hand falling to rest on the other and twisting the golden band on his finger.
Avery’s face lights up and she grins. “Yes, absolutely!”
Peridan grins, “Wonderful.”
Colin notes the Tarkaan’s expression and his brows furrow with a moment’s confusion and curiosity before it passes. The corners of his mouth turn upwards a little. “It’ll be nice to have you back for a visit.” He says, his tone mild.
Haft keeps his expression pleasantly neutral.
Avery blushes slightly, taking a deep breath, but her smile stays in place.
Peridan says, “If you desire, once you are ready to depart, we can first go to Bergdale and travel to Archenland.”
Haft opens his mouth as if he’d like to asks a question, then closes it again.
Avery considers this, glancing at Haft. “What do you think, Haft?”
Haft says, “It sounds like an admirable plan, now that that villain has been caught. It should be safe to travel.” He addresses Peridan. “When were you thinking of leaving, my lord?” His eyes flick to Colin with some concern.
Peridan tips his head, “That is more up to Lady Avery and you, Haft. I simply wish to accompany you since in a group is much more fun.”
Colin’s eyes shadow at the mention of the villain and he glances at Peridan, unsure of how to respond.
Haft looks to Avery.
Chlamash observes the group quietly.
Avery nods, her head tipping slightly. “Perhaps we should discuss it after some thought.” Her gaze lands on Colin. “There are a few things to consider before we go.”
Haft nods. “Yes.”
Peridan smiles, “There is no rush at all. You both are free to stay as long as you wish.”
Chlamash observes the group quietly, his face can be seen to have taken on somewhat of a wistful look.
Avery nods. “Thank you, Lord Peridan.”
Peridan nods, “Now, if you excuse me, I must return.”
Colin stops following Peridan.
Haft offers a bow.
Colin glances at his cousin and nods, then bows.
Avery curtsies. “Good day, Milord.”
Chlamash offers Peridan a bow.Peridan dips his head once more before departing.
Colin watches his cousin go, his expression turning an interesting combination of amused and perhaps wistful.
Haft turns to Colin. “Are you intending to accompany us through Bergdale, my lord?”
Colin blinks at the question, then shakes his head. “I wasn’t planning on it, no.”
Avery listens quietly.
Haft nods. “How are you faring?”
Colin nods in response. “Better, thanks for asking. My head isn’t giving me any more pain and most of my bruises are healing. My knee is still giving me trouble but I assume it will heal in time. All that riding I did right after acquiring the injury probably didn’t help.”
Haft frowns. “I’d guess not.” He looks like he’d like to ask more, but refrains.
Colin notes the expression. “It’s all right, Haft. Speak your mind.”
Haft glances at Chlamash, none too subtly. “Perhaps another time, Sir.”
Colin inclines his head.
Avery clasps her hands together. “Well, Haft, thank you for inviting me out to see all this. It’s an interesting change of scenery for sure. But exciting, too.”
Haft says, “I am glad you enjoyed it, Lady.”
Colin’s gaze slides to Lady Avery and once again his expression looks mildly impressed, and perhaps a bit nostalgic.
Avery nods. “I did. It was nice to meet Branton, too.” She chuckles as she looks around for the Badger, but then turns back to Haft and Chlamash. “You both fought very well.”
Haft says, “Thank you, Lady Avery.”
Colin rubs the bridge of his nose thoughtfully before he bows to the group. “Excuse me…” he says, completely distracted by his thoughts.
Haft bows to Colin.
Chlamash bows to Sir Colin.
Avery frowns slightly. “Sir Colin? May I walk back with you?”
Colin nods. “Of course, Lady Avery.”
Chlamash makes a quick bow to all present. “If you will excuse me.”
Haft bows in response.
Avery nods to others. “Good day, Tarkaan, Haft.” She falls into step with Colin as they walk.
Colin’s gait is slow for her to keep up as he limps down the path.