In which Haft needs to learn to keep his mouth shut. I mean, really now…
Inner Ward of Anvard
You stand in the Inner Ward of Anvard. The ground is hard-packed earth, and it is open to the sky above. Wonderful aromas come wafting out from the Kitchen to the south, near the well. Huge, impressive, intricately carved doors lead to the Great Hall. Staff hurry about, in and out of their quarters, serving the Great Hall and the Council Chamber. A quieter corridor to the northeast leads to the library and schoolroom. Noble lords and ladies also pass through, walking towards their quarters seeing to other business. A guarded gatehouse to the east stands between the inner and outer wards. Two stairways line the curtain wall, climbing to the upper reaches of the castle.
You can go: Council Chamber <N>, Northeast Hallway <NE>, Inner
Gatehouse <E>, Kitchen <S>, Great Hall <SW>, Staff Quarters <W>,
Infirmary <NW>, Southern Stairwell <US>, Northern Stairwell <UN>
Avery giggles lightly, but composes herself before asking, “How is your wrist, Peridan?”
Peridan sighs, “You never realize how much you use your wrist until it is broken.”
Haft comes down the southern stairwell and begins to cross the ward. He is in uniform.
Avery asks, “Have you been to see Kairyn again?”
Peridan shakes his head, “Not yet.”
Haft observes Peridan and Avery as he walks.
Avery says, “We can go together…?” She smiles towards Haft as he comes closer. “Hello, Haft.””
Peridan smiles, “Greetings, Haft.”
Haft turns to approach the two, offering a bow. “Lord Peridan, Lady Avery.”
Avery dips her head. She glances between the two men and chuckles lightly. “You know…I shouldn’t laugh, but you two are really quite a sight…”
Peridan looks down at his sling and then Haft’s sling, “Job hazards, I am afraid, Milady.”
Haft squints at Peridan, tilting his head. “Exactly what job were you doing at the time, Sir?”
Peridan coughs, “Helping guard our party, Haft.”
Haft looks like he might be struggling a little with his expression. His tone in any case is quite bland. “Oh. Of course.”
Peridan shoots Haft a look of “Do not go there.”
Haft returns the look with one of perfect innocence. “How’s it mending?”
Avery glances between them, a bit of a grin playing on her lips. She clasps her hands together and says nothing.
Peridan snorts faintly, “It is alright. How is yours mending?”
Haft says, “I think Kairyn expected it to be worse. Reckon I was fortunate the blow was only glancing or I mighta had a bruised collarbone. I should have this off in less than a week. It was optional, really, but she thought it might have its benefits, so I didn’t see the harm.”
Peridan smiles, “That is wonderful.”
Avery nods. “It is.”
Haft nods. “Won’t be fully mended then, but it’s a start. Meantime I get to take her tea. She’s put some appalling raspberries in. Thought that would make it taste better.
Peridan hehs, “Yes…I am not a huge fan of medicine teas.”
Haft says, “Well, the tea I could handle. It’s supposed to taste bad. Mother used to make something like it. But this tastes like medicine covered with raspberry, and I ain’t a fan of raspberry if I’m honest. Went up earlier to see if she had the old blend, but she wasn’t there. Ran into a couple new residents instead.”
Avery asks, “New residents?”
Haft says, “Of Anvard. New guard trainee and a kitchen worker.”
Avery asks, “Was Maire one of them?”
Haft says, “Yeah. You know her? Stood blocking the door for some reason.”
Peridan tips his head, “Blocking the door?”
Avery grins. “Ah. Sounds like her.” She shrugs. “I’ve spoken to her a few times, but I wouldn’t say I know her.”
Haft shrugs his good shoulder. “Like she didn’t want me to leave. Asked some questions, we made introductions, and I had to remind her to move.”
Peridan says, “How odd.”
Haft says, “I thought so. Some folks are just funny I guess.”
Avery hmms. “She seems a bit…lost at Court…”
Peridan dips his head, “It can be difficult to learn when you are new. It seems that her cousin will take good care of her though.”
Haft says, “Yeah, I suppose. I grew up with Pa drilling etiquette into me, and worked here thirteen years before Narnia. Guess it’s all pretty natural.”
Avery nods in agreement. “It just takes time to learn and remember. She’ll catch on soon.”
Peridan says, “Well, those with parents who are familiar with Court and all around etiquette do have an easier time adapting. But we all learn in time.” He hehs, “Even I can struggle with it sometimes.”
Haft asks, “I noticed the Narnian Court was less formal. Or am I just not picking up on the little distinctions between how a Bird shows deference versus an Otter?”
Peridan hmms, “We are less formal. In fact, there is not too many outright Lords and Ladies in the court. Most are put into power by their packs or herds or elected by their counsels to serve the court. Of course, you have people such as myself and High Curiate Tummus and other High Curirate that were entrusted with the governance of difference parts of the country in order to help their Majesties manage the various needs of their subjects.”
Haft nods. “Seems confusing, but if it works…”
Avery listens with interest.
Peridan tips his head at Haft, “Is not that what the various Lords do? For example, Lord Tyre runs Chesterton and reports on the activities there to his Majesty, King Lune, correct?”
Avery nods lightly. “Yes, that’s right.”
Haft says, “Yeah, but here they’re mostly born to it. Though there’s some of that in the herds and packs, I think.”
Peridan nods, “Most herds and packs do have that structure. But for example, the counsel Ring of Centaurs choose a representative for our court.” Peridan points to himself, “I am High Curiate, not because I necessarily was born into it but the Majesties decided it would be good for me to join their counsel. Same with High Curiate Tummus. He has lived in the Waste all of his life so he knows the area and is very close to their Majesties.”
Haft says, “It seems to have served you well so far.”
Avery says, “It does.”
Peridan tips his head, sounding a bit confused, “What serve me well?”
Haft’s brow furrows. “The system. It seems to have served Narnia well these last years.”
Peridan chuckles, “Well, I should hope so. It took a lot of time and thought to implement it.”
Haft asks, “Was some of that your idea, Sir?”
Peridan nods, not bragging, just stating a fact, “One of the reasons I moved to Narnia. I felt called by Aslan to to lend aid in driving out the remnants of the White Witch’s army and help their Majesties set up a suitable government.”
Avery looks up at Peridan, smiling lightly.
A small muscle in Haft’s jaw works at mention of the Witch’s army, but he simply says, “An honorable charge.”
Peridan dips his head, “It is the duty of those who have the skill to follow where the Lion leads them. It is a matter of duty and loyalty to Him.”
Avery smooths her skirt with one hand, considering Peridan’s words.
Haft says, “Yes, I suppose it is.”
Peridan smiles, “Such as your duty to Archenland is loyalty to the Lion as well, Guardsman Haft.”
Haft inclines his head. “It’s good to be home.”
Avery says, “I hope you’re settling back into your work well.”
Haft says, “Yes, just had duty on the wall actually. I won’t be much use in the wards until this wretched shoulder heals. Between the work I did in Narnia and what’s being asked of me now, I rather feel like I’m on leave.”
Peridan grins, “Leave is good to have as well.”
Haft shakes his head ruefully. “Think I was ‘on leave’ long enough.”
Avery smiles. “Well, it’s important for your shoulder to heal. Taking it easy is a good course of action for now.”
Peridan says, “Agreed.”
Haft says, “True enough. I’ve never understood fellows who don’t take care of their injuries.”
Avery nods. “Nothing good ever comes from neglecting an injury.”
Peridan hehs, rubbing the back of his neck.
Haft studiously avoids looking at Peridan.
Avery waves a hand. “Anyway…I hope you will both check in with Kairyn at some point.”
Peridan glances at Haft, “We will be sure to do that.”
Haft says, “Might do that next. See if I can’t get those berries out of my tea.” He returns the glance. “Care to come along, Sir?”
Peridan looks between the two. “I suppose I can join you, Haft.”
Haft nods and turns toward the infirmary.
Avery nods approvingly.
Peridan gives Lady Avery a look, offering his arm in case she wants to join.
The infirmary of Anvard is a long, bright room, a little over half the length
of the Great Hall. It is shaped oddly, the northeast and southwest walls
curving inward to accommodate the towers on either side. A partition that faces
the door out to the inner ward bisects the room, separating the front area
where the castle healers work from the back.
Three windows on either side of the door in the southeast wall let in a good
amount of sunlight, especially in the late morning, and their sills are
cluttered with the pots of several frequently used plants. To the left of the
door stands a large cabinet, and bundles of herbs in various stages of drying
hang from the ceiling. There is a long oak worktable to the right of the door,
and adesk in the east corner is piled high with half-completed notes and books
and other useful documents.
You can go: Inner Ward <SE>, Past the Partition <NE>
Cassandra turns back towards the door, “Let me know if you want lessons.”
Maire eyes Cassandra, and moves to follow her. She gives Kairyn a “I’ll be right back” look.
Kairyn watches the girl go, confusion passing over her face once more. As Maire darts off her eyes narrow and with a sigh she turns back to her pile of herbs.
Cassandra walks out of the Infirmary, heading for the Inner Ward.
Maire walks out of the Infirmary, heading for the Inner Ward.
Haft leads the way into the infirmary, looking around till his eyes light on Kairyn.
Peridan follows after him, leading Lady Avery into the infirmary.
Kairyn ties a bunch of flowers with a little piece of string and sets it aside on the worktable. When the door opens again she looks up, her expression pensive. When she sees it’s her relatively normal patients, she breaths a sigh of relief. “Hello! Are you both here for a check up?” She curtsies to the lord and lady.
Avery follows Haft and Peridan, smiling at Kairyn. “Indeed, they are.”
Peridan hehs, “Please look at Haft first, Miss Kairyn.”Kairyn goes into healer mode almost immediately and she peers at the two men. “What did you do, Haft?”
Haft says, “Well, I don’t know that it needs lookin’ at. Hasn’t been a week. I just had a question about the tea.” He pauses. “You can look if you like I guess.”
Kairyn nods, motioning for him to have a seat on a stool. “Might as well since you’re here. What’s your question about the tea?”
Peridan stands to the side, muttering to Lady Avery.
Haft shifts, looking slightly embarrassed. “You ain’t got the normal stuff, have you, without the raspberries?”
Peridan mumbles “… … … … fear of medicine.”, to Avery.
Kairyn ers faintly, looking at him with faint surprise. “I–yes.” she pauses, then asks quietly, “That terrible?”
Avery mumbles “You … the … one…”, to Peridan.
Peridan laughs, responding to her.
Peridan mumbles “… … … have another … in … …”, to Avery.
Haft coughs. “Well, no…I’m not sure, really. To someone else it might taste fine. But, uh, I’m used to the taste of the old stuff since I was younger, and I’ve never had much of a liking for raspberries.”
Kairyn looks at the guard a moment then plants both hands on her hips. “You could have told me that when I gave it to you and saved yourself the trouble.” she huffs, somewhat good naturedly.
Maire re-enters the infirmary, blinking at the plethora of people.
Haft looks at his shoes a little awkwardly. “If it’s a bother I’ll keep on with what I got.”
Avery nods to Peridan, smiling. When the door opens and Maire comes in, she says, “Ah, Maire. Hello.”
Kairyn mutters at the guard and goes to her medicine cupboard, rummaging through jars until she pulls out a couple of small pouches. “Here you go.” She peers at him skeptically. “Meg’s right, you really are an ol’ grandpa.” She declares.
Maire blinks hearing her cousin speak, then dips in a little curtsy to Lady Avery and Lord Peridan. “Hello,” she smiles. She makes her way towards the group.
Peridan dips his head, “Hello Maire.”
Haft fishes awkwardly in his pouch for the herbs she had given him previously. “I’m obliged.”
Kairyn accepts the herbs with a wry smile. “Has your shoulder been giving you any trouble?”
Maire says to Lord Peridan and Lady Avery, “I trust you are both well?” she eyes Haft out of the corner of her eye and the conversation happening there.
Avery nods. “Yes, thank you.” She smiles, keeping her hand tucked in the crook of Peridan’s right arm. “And you?”
Haft says, “Uh, not really. Aches when I lie down and try to find a good position to sleep in. Twinges if I jar it or turn over without thinking.”
Peridan nods in agreement with Lady Avery’s words.
Kairyn nods a little, moving to have a look at said shoulder and prod it a little, inspecting the bruise. “It’s a very deep bruise..now that you’ve got some tea you’ll actually /drink/, that might help at night. Laying on your other side with no pressure on that shoulder will help, too.” She glances over at Maire where she converses with the lord and lady.
Maire smiles, her dimple showing in her cheek. “Well, thank you for asking.”
Haft looks insulted. “I drank it.”
Kairyn blinks at him skeptically. “You just told me you didn’t.”
Peridan says, “Maire, Forgive me, I do not think I have asked you what your occupation is?”
Haft says, “I said I didn’t like it. Never said I didn’t drink it.”
Haft says, “I ain’t six.”
He sounds rather petulant.
Maire smiles, “I work in the kitchens, sir.” she tucks her hands in the folds of her skirts.
Kairyn stops smiling and just nods her head a little. She averts her eyes and approaches Lord Peridan, her expression now sober. “Your turn, my lord.” she says quietly.
Avery glances toward Haft and Kairyn, but says, “Maire makes a beautiful lavender tea.”
Peridan’s eyes brigthen, “Ah, so I thank you for the wonderful food I have encountered so far.” As the healer approaches, he sighs, “Yes, Ma’am.”
Haft turns to follow Kairyn’s progress toward Peridan. Catching sight of Maire, he gives her a nod.
Kairyn pinches the bridge of her nose momentarily before she asks him quietly. “If you’d like to have a seat on the stool…or not. Your preference.”
Peridan disengages from Lady Avery’s arm and sits down on the stool. He smiles kindly at her, “Whatever you need me to do, miss.”
Maire grins at the both of them, “Well, it is not just myself, of course… and I seem to struggle quite a bit with the larger ovens here…haven’t made a decent loaf of bread or anything out of the oven as of yet.” she catches Haft’s nod, and shifts a little, but returns the nod.
Kairyn nods a little, not meeting his eyes. “How has your wrist been feeling, Lord Peridan?”
Peridan says, “A bit sore but manageable. ”
Avery lets go of Peridan’s arm, folding her hands in front of her. She watches him and Kairyn for a few seconds before looking at Maire. “But you’ll learn to use them. Everything takes practice.”
Kairyn reaches to inspect the wrist. “I’ll change your bandages while you’re here? I can look at the swelling and bruising…”
Peridan lets out a soft grunt of pain as she touches him. “Yes, please. I was wondering if you think I might be able to ride?”
Maire replies, “Yes, this is true, and I hope soon.” she smiles to Lady Avery.
Kairyn winces a little as she carefully unwraps the wrist and inspects it. “It was a clean break…but it still needs more time to heal. If your horse jerks the reins or you fall again, or even twinge it the wrong way you could have trouble for life.”
Avery’s eyes, filled with concern, return to Peridan though she still speaks to Maire. “Yes. Hopefully.”
Peridan lets out a faint sigh, “Of course, I shall wait until you give me the all clear, miss.”
Kairyn offers a half smile. “I’m very sorry, sir…”
Haft asks, “Thinking of leaving so soon, Sir?”
Maire takes a moment to gather a few of her things, which consists of sewing supplies, by Reina’s bedside. She puts a chair she previously occupied back against the wall.
Peridan smiles, “Thank you, Kairyn.” He turns to Haft, giving a subtle glance to Lady Avery, “I believe we wish to continue on our way to Chesterton as soon as able.”
Haft raises his brows slightly, simply saying, “Oh.”
Kairyn moves for the folded pile of bandages and sets to rewrapping the offending wrist while they converse.
Avery moves closer to Peridan, watching Kairyn wrap his wrist. She smiles at him. “We can wait for your wrist to heal, Lord Peridan.”
Peridan looks like he very much does not like waiting, “Of course, Lady Avery. A few more weeks would not hurt.”
Kairyn finishes and replaces the arm in the sling, stepping back and quietly going to clean up her mess.
Haft says, “Waiting’s the worst part.” He frowns. “Have we had this conversation before?””
Maire crosses her satchel across her shoulder and rejoins the group. “It was a pleasure seeing you again, Lady Avery, Lord Peridan.” she angles an eye toward Haft and clears her throat. “… and you as well.” she bites the inside of her cheek.
Peridan grins at Haft, “Probably.” He stands to his feet and dips his head to the healer, “Thank you, Miss Kairyn. I apologize but I must go attend to some things.”
Kairyn finishes cleaning up and curtsies to her patients and the lady. “Come see us if you need anything else.” She says quietly, not able to bring herself to look Haft in the eye. She falls in step beside Maire, motioning for her cousin to follow her out.
Haft blinks after the pair.
Avery says, “Thank you, Kairyn.”
Peridan smiles before taking his leave. “Good day to you all.”
Maire follows her cousin out of the infirmary, glancing once over her shoulder, catching Haft’s expression before slipping out the door.
Avery watches Peridan go, glancing at Haft. “Well, I suppose I’ll let you get some rest, Haft.”
Haft says, “Don’t know that I need rest just yet my lady, but I wouldn’t mind a hot meal.” He bows.
Avery dips her head. “Then enjoy your meal.”