In which Haft learns more about the capture of Darius

North Royal Garden
You stand in a corner of the gardens where the courtyard meets the castle’s
walls, just outside the door to the Castle Apothecary.  The Royal Garden here
is dominated by a variety of plants known for their healing properties,
including small shrubs of blackberries, various wildflowers and assorted herbs.

The plants are well-tended and the walk is quite aromatic! Beneath your feet is
a decorative path which leads south and west away from the walls. South leads
to the door to the Great Hall, West leads along the wall and further into the
garden, in the general direction of the main gates of Cair Paravel.
You can go: Into the Infirmary <E>, North Side of the Courtyard <W>, Stroll
along the path <S>
Contents: A son of adam walking with a limp (Colin) and A Castle Guard.

Colin sits on a bench by one of the blackberry bushes, perusing through a book absently as if he’s not really reading the contents.

Haft emerges from the infirmary, looking as though he’s been exercising in the yard. He glances back over his shoulder as though wondering if he’s truly escaped the healer, then heads into the garden.

Colin turns a few pages, then blinks, shaking his head as he turns back the few pages to try and read them over again.

Haft notes Colin ahead and hesitates, considering. Finally, he approaches, giving a slight cough to announce his presence.

Colin lifts his head. “Ah, good day Haft.”

Haft bows. “Sir.” He straightens. “I wondered if I might have a moment. I wanted to ask you something the other day, but didn’t think it appropriate in front of the Tarkaan and Lady Avery.

Colin nods, motioning with his hand for him to continue. “Of course.”

You ask, “Well, I was curious about your injuries. I know you hurt your eyes when you apprehended Aaron, but some of this seems fresher. Was there another disturbance at home?”

Colin ers uncertainly, rubbing the back of his neck. “Not really…”

Haft frowns, looking confused. “This happened in Narnia?”

Colin shakes his head. “No, Anvard.”

Haft tilts his head, trying to read Colin’s response. He apparently decides not to press. “Well, how is everyone at home, if I could inquire? I heard Squire Lanisen had an injured rib and Squire Megren was struck in the face.”

Colin’s brow furrows slightly. “An injured rib, among other things. He was physically improving when I left. As for Squire Megren, to my knowledge also much improved.”

You ask, “Good, that’s good. Did he break her nose?”

Colin replies uncertainly, “I’m not sure. I don’t think so, I think just a concussion.”

Haft shakes his head, looking angry. “Disgusting. Well, I’m sure she acquitted herself well.”

Colin’s lips tuck in just slightly as if he is refraining from saying something. He just chooses to nod, glancing out over the gardens.

Haft’s eyes flicker to Colin’s neck. “How did he manage to…?” he asks, indicating the spot on his own throat.

Colin coughs a little. “Threw pepper in my eyes and when I hit the ground he jumped on top of me and put the sword to my neck. I haven’t made sense of what happened after but the squire jumped him and Sir Tyren shot him with an arrow and that’s when I felt the pain. They got him off me and Darrin kept me alive til we got to the castle.”

Haft’s eyes widen. “They attacked him while he was holding you?”

Colin nods.

Colin adds with a sarcastic smile, “Nice to know how appreciated you are, isn’t it?”

Haft looks rather horrified, both by the story and Colin’s comment. “I wasn’t there,” he says carefully. “I can’t judge their decisions. But I’m glad you survived. The king has lost enough family.”

Colin looks slightly uncomfortable at that last bit. “Yes.”

Colin adds, “Thank you, Haft.”

Haft frowns. “I’m sorry, that didn’t come out right. I’m a guard and I tend to think of the king first. I don’t mean to say you’re not worth saving in your own right.”

Colin waves a hand. “No, it’s fine. I knew what you meant.”

Haft nods in response.

Colin fiddles with the book in his hands. “I got these new injuries when I visited Darius in the dungeons.” He finally spits out, watching Haft’s reaction but also not appearing as if he cares much.

Haft gives a sharp intake of breath. “He /attacked/ you?”

Colin says, “You could call it that.”

Haft’s brow furrows at the response. “What else would you call it…Sir?”

Colin rubs the bridge of his nose. “I had untied his hands as part of an agreement to him answering questions. He didn’t answer them, so I went to tie him back up, he struggled, then got his arm free and hit me in the head. Stunned me, and he got the upper hand.”

You ask, “Yeah, in the guard we call that attacking. Did he dislocate your knee?”

Colin shakes his head. “Just severely bruised it, maybe messed up the muscles a little. I’m not quite sure.” He glances at Haft, as if waiting for something.

Haft provides it. “And where was the attendant guard? Surely someone went in with you, if Aaron–Darius–was making demands like that.

Colin answers. “Outside the door.”

You say, “Outside? But where was the second? There should have been one inside and one out, if he was to be loosed..” His eyes widen in comprehension. “You didn’t tell them? Didn’t call anyone when he made his demands?”

Colin just looks at him steadily.

Haft winces slightly, but offers no reproach. “Did you get what you were looking for? You said he wouldn’t answer your questions. Did you find out why he went after Lanisen?”

Colin’s voice grows dull. “I didn’t gain many answers at all. It was a waste of time.”

“I’m sorry,” Haft replies. He frowns a little. “You rode here in a great hurry. Adrian must be having fits.”

Colin says, “Probably.”

Haft straightens slightly, taking this to mean the subject is closed. “I hope your journey is profitable, then.”

Colin nods a little. “Not in the way I’d hoped, but perhaps that is best.”

Haft grimaces. “That happens.”

Colin pushes himself up off the bench. “Life never works out the way we want it to, Haft.”

Haft gives Colin a searching look, as if unsure whether he’s referring to something beyond the general. “No. Life doesn’t. I guess we just…keep adjusting course, like a ship when it’s buffeted.  Or we don’t and we founder.”

Colin nods a little, looking uncomfortable. “Yes…well, I must be off. Talk to you later, Haft.”

Colin strolls south along the path.


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