Needling

In which there is more trouble than two teenage boys

Dungeon

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The lowest level of the royal tower is a large, semi-circular room, dimly lit with a slight smell of must. The ceiling is fairly low, giving it a slightly claustrophobic feeling. Iron sconces are fixed to the walls to hold lanterns, and a small barred window near the ceiling on the south side of the chamber offers a warped view of the inner ward at boot-level. There is a wooden table and two chairs for the guards on duty.

There are three heavy wooden doors on the northwest side of the room, each iron-bound with a barred window cut at the top. Another door, just as heavily reinforced, leads out into the corridor. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

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You can go: Dungeon Corridor <SW>, Cell 1 <1>, Cell 2 <2>, Cell 3 <3>

In cell two, Darius is sitting on his bed, his arms are crossed and eyes are closed.

There is a change in the tenor of conversation outside the cells as the previous three guards are relieved by Haft, Perth, and Owin.

In cell two, Darius remains silent, his chest rising and falling softly. Honestly, it looks like he is sound asleep.

Perth asks, “So, what are you two doing after shift?”

Owin replies, “Gotta darn a hole in my stocking.”

Haft says, “Chess with Megren, if she’s got the time.  Haven’t played in ages.”

In cell two, Darius’s eyes open at the last man’s voice. A smile creeping along his face, he slowly stands and makes his way over to the opening in his door. “Come to visit your old friend again, Haft?” His voice is light.

Haft responds mildly, “Drew the short straw in the rotation, what can I say?

In cell two, Darius chuckles, leaning into the door. “Too bad really… I /was/ hoping for the guard more easily bribed. ”

Haft asks, “And I suppose you’d like to stir things up by giving us a name for that one?”

In cell two, Darius snorts. “And murder my chances of having yet another brisk jog through the Castle? Hah! I think not! ” his brow raises and he tilts his head to get a better angle of Haft. “You really haven’t identified the guard whom got knocked out cold by a /kitchen/ girl?”

Haft rolls his eyes.  “Oh that.  No, he was hard to miss. But if you want to accuse him of something you’d do better to take it up with the Captain than me.”

In cell two, Darius hehs. “Ya know, it really makes a man wonder. A mere kitchen made took that guard out in one swift hit… ” he pauses, eyes gleaming thoughtfully. “Yet I had little trouble with her. What does that say of the Castle Guard, eh?”

Haft doesn’t reply.

Perth speaks up.  “Presumably that every one of us has off days.”

In cell two, Darius laughs heartily at this. “That so? /Well/ then, for your sakes, I certainly hope you all don’t decide to have off days on the same day.

Haft says, “That /would/ be a shame, but at least with three of us you don’t have to worry about bribery.”

In cell two, Darius sighs. “Tis true, tis true… ” he stretches. “Ah, Haft I hate beating a dead– Oh who am I kidding, I /do/ enjoy beating a dead horse! ” he laughs. “How’s your door-opening skills my friend?”

Haft’s jaw clenches and he glares daggers at Darius.

In cell two, Darius locks eyes with Haft, a challenging gleam entering his gaze. “Oh come now, Haft. Don’t tell me you have forgotten how! ” He laughs. “It is as simple as the turn of a key and whatever children are beyond that door are up for the taking eh? ”

Haft stands utterly still, looking somewhat ill but also furious.

Perth says, “If there is no point to your speech, Darius, then keep your words to yourself.”

Owin merely looks lost.

In cell two, Darius pays no mind to the guards beside Haft, his attention solely on the man. “That right Haft?”

Haft snaps, “Be silent.”

In cell two, Darius chuckles devilishly. “What, my friend? Is that not so?! ”

“No,” Haft says in a soft, dangerous voice, “It’s not.”

In cell two, Darius laughs once more. “What is it then man?! Did a /ghost/ open the door for the traitor? ” His eyes take on a new glint. “Or, goodness Haft, were you in /league/ with the man? ”

Owin tilts his head to one side.  “What man?  I thought the one that was working with you was a woman?”

Perth mutters, “Don’t encourage him, Owin. He’s making trouble as usual.”

Haft clenches his fists.

In cell two, Darius snorts, shooting a frown in Owin’s direction. “No, you dolt, the Lord Bar! ” Seeing Haft’s fist clench, his smile seems to grow. “Honestly… I knew you were many things, angry being one of them- ” he snorts. ” But, my dear friend, I did /not/ think you a traitor to their Majesties! ”

Haft crosses his arms over his chest.  “Because I ain’t one,” he growls.

Perth says, “There’s not a man here who thinks that, Haft.”

In cell two, Darius awws. “Well, aint that just the nicest thing I ever saw. ” he directs to Perth, then refocusing his attention on Haft. “Well, it is /good/ to see you have support within your ranks! ” he chuckles. “But, you and I both know that you opened that door. Whether or not they think your a traitor matters little to me… you know what you are Haft. ”

Haft stares at Darius for a minute, jaw clenching and unclenching, before finally answering, “I am a king’s guard.”

In cell two, Darius tilts his head, looking confused. “If I am not mistaken I thought you /were/ the King’s guard. ” he glances around his cell. “Now it just looks like you are pawn. ”

Haft says, “I don’t follow.”

In cell two, Darius rolls his eyes. “Well, let me spell it out for you. You /were/ a guard to the King himself… NOW you are a guard to me. ” he chuckles, though it sounds more like a crazed giggle. “It is quite amusing in fact. Instead of being entrusted to guard royalty, you are in charge of guarding me! ” he laughs.

Haft tilts his head back, examining the ceiling, but when he lowers it, there is a slight smile on his face.  “Ah.  I see how that might confuse someone like you, yes.  But you see, I became a guard in order to serve and protect.  I guarded the nursery, and tonight I am guarding you.  And which is more needful right now?  It seems to me that you have managed to create more trouble of late than our princes–and that is saying something, seeing as they are a pair of teenage boys.”

In cell two, Darius bursts into laughter once more. “Ah, correction friend, /attempted/ to guard the nursery. ” his brow raises. “/I/ have caused more trouble eh? Well, it would seem to me that your Kitchens have caused more trouble than I have, eh?”

Haft says, “One person.  It’s being dealt with.”

In cell two, Darius tilts his head again. “One? I distinctly remember two. ” He pauses, as if checking his numbers. “Yes, I am certain of it… considering one of them attempted to take my life. ”

Haft asks, “And the other?”

In cell two, Darius smiles. “A feisty little neighbor. ”

Haft says, “Maire.”

In cell two, Darius nods.

Haft shrugs.  “You missing her company?”

In cell two, Darius shrugs. “I have yours now. ” he smiles. “I hear you are a fan of chess.”

Haft asks, “Yes.  So?”

In cell two, Darius grins. “We should play sometime. ”

In cell two, OOC> Darius says, “sometime*”

Haft asks, “And why is that?”

In cell two, Darius says, “I imagine it would be /fun/”

Haft makes a face.  “I imagine it would be about as enjoyable as a tooth extraction.”

In cell two, Darius laughs. “Ah, I always like that about you Haft! Always one for a good jest. ”

Haft says, “And how do you imagine we would play this game anyhow?  If you think I’m unlocking that door for the purposes of bringing a chess set inside, you’re sorely mistaken.”

In cell two, Darius smirks. “You’ve opened the door before Haft. How hard would it be for you to do so /once/ more?”

“Not hard at all,” Haft answers.  “I have a key.  You, however, do not, and we mean to keep it that way.”

In cell two, Darius snorts. “We shall see my friend. ” he grins. “We shall see. ” At that, he moves away from the door and over to his bed.

Haft frowns slightly.

Owin looks to Haft.  “So you…?”

Haft stares at the cell door.  “We’ll talk about it later.”

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