In which a barrier is lifted and counsel is given
This is the barracks belonging to the officers of the Army and Navy of Archenland. While it is smaller the the other barracks, the items here are of a higher quality. As well as bunks and lockers, there are also several desks, covered in maps and journals.
You can go: Naval Barracks <S>, Army Barracks <N>
Garian sits at his desk with a cup of tea and a kettle. He works quietly.
Haft steps into the barracks. “Captain, do you have a moment?”
Garian looks up and nods, “I do, guardsman.”
Garian motions to a chair across the desk.
Haft steps inside and takes a seat. He pauses for a moment, as though gathering himself. “I wanted to speak to you sir on the matter of Lanisen–not recent events,” he clarifies, “–I mean my interaction with him last year.”
Garian almost seems relieved. He nods.
Haft says, “I’d like to ask you to lift the ban on my approaching him.” He looks a little uncomfortable. “I’ve already spoken to Sir Colin on the matter, and he is agreeable. I hope you’ll pardon me for speaking to him first. It wasn’t my intent to go over your head, but I found myself in conversation with him and…the timing seemed right.” He rushes on. “I’ll abide by whatever you decide, regardless, but I’d like the chance to make amends to him, and even if that proves impossible, being forced to avoid him is making the situation worse, I think.”
Garian looks confused, “I did not impose a ban, guardsman. I merely asked for you to abide by Sir Colin’s wishes, which in my understanding for you to give the Squire some space at the time.”
Haft nods, not arguing the point. “I know you were merely backing up what he said. Even so, I thought it best to…check.”
Garian smiles, “I am pleased you wish to reconcile yourself with him.”
Haft says, “The…desire to do so isn’t new, sir. I spoke of it when His Majesty addressed the issue with me, and he cautioned me not to make things worse by pushing the issue. But it was really Sir Colin’s command that kept me from it, and then his absence from court. It’s become clear to me that Lanisen is incredibly uncomfortable in my presence, especially since he was promoted to squire and our paths crossed more often. In any case, I don’t think things could be made much worse by an apology at this point.”
Garian says gently, “Well… the effort is what counts. He’s got… other more pressing matters on his mind now.”
Haft breathes out heavily. “Yes. I’m not sure when the moment will be right for me to approach him. I don’t want to cause further distress in light of all he’s gone through. But at least not having to leave any area he enters may alleviate some of the awkwardness.”
Garian gives a small nod.
Haft says, “Well, I appreciate it, sir.” He rises, then asks. “How’s Reina?”
Garian sighs, “On the slow road to recovery. This whole business with Miss Maire has shaken her quite a bit.”
Haft says, “Yes, that situation seems rather…complicated.” He frowns slightly, as if something has occurred to him.
Garian looks reluctant, “Something the matter, guardsman?”
Haft says, “A conversation I had with Megren earlier.” He lowers himself back into the chair. “Perhaps you could advise me on it. Or possibly you’re the person I should address it to anyway.””
Garian shifts his position, leaning forward a little. “Oh?”
Haft says, “It’s regarding the poisoning. Sir Colin told me yesterday–and I do not know whether this is common knowledge, but I think not–that another suspect has been found. It seems that Maire is likely to be cleared in the matter, eventually…though I am not sure she will be keeping her post given some of what I saw when I accompanied Lord Peridan to speak with her last night.” He looks disturbed by this admission.
Garian sighs heavily, not looking at all surprised. His voice is flat, “I see.–What did she do /now/.”
Haft says, “She seems to have consistently interfered in the investigation, though I don’t think she did so maliciously. Last night she proposed some attempt to get into Darius’ good graces. Lords Colin and Peridan were severely displeased. I didn’t fully understand all of it.”
Garian claps a hand to his face, with an audible groan.
Haft says, “I gather you are familiar with her…past behavior. I’ve only spoken with her a few times myself.”
Garian says, “She…. always means well. It’s just…”
Haft says, “Yes…well, I hope they can find some amiable solution. I know she has family here–her cousin at least. To be forced to leave…” He shakes himself. “In any case, it wasn’t really Maire I wanted to speak about. It’s Cassandra.” He hesitates. “Lanisen’s sister.”
Garian’s expression notably darkens with displeasure. “Ah.”
Haft notes the change. “Sir?”
Garian rubs the bridge of his nose. “Forgive me.”
Garian says, “My experiences with the child have been most unpleasant and I do not hold a high opinion of her–or her disregard and disrespect for authority.”
Haft says, “Oh…I’m afraid I wouldn’t know. Like Maire, I’ve only spoken to her once or twice.”
Garian says, “I cannot have spoken to her on more than three occasions but each left me with a profound distaste for her attitude.”
Haft says, “In any event, I’ve been wondering a couple of things concerning her since the poisoning. Megren thought I should mention it to Sir Colin, as it’s his investigation, but I wasn’t sure if that would be appropriate, as he’s already got a suspect. And also because of my history with her brother. Makes it seem like I’ve got it out for that family.”
Garian’s brow furrows, “I don’t follow.”
Haft says, “Cassandra was present when Sir Colin was poisoned. She was there when Maire was making the pie, though she said she was only instructing. Yet Sir Tyren let her leave almost at once while he questioned Maire on the night. Adrian and I hadn’t even reached the infirmary with Sir Colin before she was in the inner ward. I don’t wish to presume that he erred, but I was shocked at the rapidity.”
Garian blinks at this revelation. “Was she now?”
Haft nods. “It’s possible that she’s the person Sir Colin suspects already. He didn’t say. Do you know if she’s still working in the kitchen? Owin said she was hired on there after her brother’s rescue?”
Garian frowns deeply. “I believe she is.”
Haft’s brow furrows with worry. “Only…that’s the same kitchen that feeds the high table as feeds the mess, sir.”
Garian sighs. “And you will see Sir Colin on this?”
Haft asks, “Well, that’s what I’m not sure about. Is it a good idea to go to him and say that Sir Tyren might not have been thorough when he’s apparently found a new suspect already? Or for me to be the one to speak on it, considering my history with her brother?”
Garian says, “And if you left this alone and discovered later she was involved?”
Haft chews his lip for a moment, then sighs. “Then someone else might end up where Maire’s been, and additional poisonings or her escape could occur in the meantime.”
Garian says gently, “Relay the information as delicately as possible to Colin. Perhaps with a ‘for what it’s worth’. If he has suspicions of her, it may confirm them.”
Haft nods. “I’ll do so.” He shakes his head. “Been one thing after another, the last couple of months. Can’t say I’m sorry to have missed some of it.”
Garian grunt softly and looks very much as if he’s inclined to agree. “I am sorry you returned to this.”
Haft waves it away. “Coming home’s no burden, whatever state it’s in. Can’t imagine you’ve had an easy time of it though.”
Garian hehs and says, “Others have had it far worse.”
Haft says, “At least you’re handling it well. Tensions ran awfully high in that meeting in the council chamber.”
Garian says quietly, “I am working hard to keep my head precisely for that reason.”
Haft rises. “I’m sure a lot of people appreciate that. Thank you for seeing me.”
Garian nods, “If you wish to speak more later, my door’s always open.”
Haft says, “I’ll keep it in mind. Good day, sir.”