Dousing

Northern Wall Walk

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-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= You stand on Anvard’s Northern Wall Walk. From here you have a view of travellers approaching from the north and northeast. A cool wind ruffles your clothes. A glance down into the Outer Ward reveals the bustle of people going to and from the market stalls, or off to various duties throughout the castle. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

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You can go: Gate Tower <E>, Outer Wall Walk <S>, Watchtower <W>

Megren hops up the last few steps and onto the walk. She has her arms crossed against the wind, but looks chipper enough. She seems to have sought Haft out, as she heads toward him in a purposeful kind of way.

Haft asks, “Here comes trouble.  What’ve I done now?”

Megren exclaims, “Hey! Who’s spreading it around that I’m trouble?”

Haft says, “I suppose that would be me.”

Megren clicks her tongue.

Haft says, “Gotta keep things interesting.”

Megren asks, “How’s the watch?”

Haft answers, “Cold, long, and I think the wind has frozen my knees in place.” He grins.

Megren says, “So, better than usual.”

Haft asks, “You know me too well.  How’s squiring?”

Megren says, “Full of polishing metal, it turns out.”

Haft says, “So just about the same, then…only I don’t have to deal with horses.”

Megren says, “Started shield training around yule, too.”

Haft asks, “Oh?  How’s that coming?  Arm aching?”

Megren says, “A bit. I’ve been training off-hand swords with Lanisen, so it’s better than it might be.”

Haft asks, “How’s his training coming?”

Megren exclaims, “Good! He’s getting better. It’s not easy, going wrong-handed.”

Haft asks, “No, it isn’t.  How’s his other hand?”

Megren lifts her shoulders. “Far as I can tell the last two fingers aren’t ever going to work right. It doesn’t seem to pain him much anymore, except if it’s real cold.”

Haft says, “Ah, that’s a pity.  But good that he’s willing to train left-handed.”

Megren says, “Speaking of Lanisen, that’s what I came out looking for you for.”

Haft doesn’t look particularly pleased to hear this.  “Yes?”

Megren says, “He’s been a bit down about Sir Colin heading home to Neiklot, so I’ve invited him out to my da’s hunting hut for a couple days. I wondered if you’d be willing to help Perth keep an eye on Tiny.”

Haft raises a brow.  “You’re paying us how much to look after the little miscreant?”

Megren says, “I’m paying you three full days of fluffy cuddles.”

Haft pulls a face.

Megren asks, “Not enough?”

Haft lets out a long-suffering sigh.  “The things I do for you.”

Megren says, “A cider at the Narrow Gate, then.”

Haft purses his lips, then nods.  “Fair.”

Megren says, “My hero.”

Haft leans on the wall.  “So Lanisen and Sir Colin still haven’t mended things?”

Megren blinks, and her brows lift. “Oh. Um…” She pushes her mouth to the side. “I, you’d have to ask them; I don’t know how to say what ‘mended’ means. Lanisen’s still here because of his job in the kennels, I think. He’s still Sir Colin’s squire.”

Haft says, “That’s good anyway.”

Megren says, “Yeah. I — well, I’m glad he’s still here. He’s real good with the dogs.”

Haft says, “I’m real good with arena fighting.  Doesn’t mean I’d rather be back in Narnia.”

Megren’s brows draw together. “…Arena fighting?”

Haft turns his head.  “I didn’t tell you that?”

Megren says, “There an arena here.”

Haft says, “Don’t need the money here.”

Megren squints an eye.

Haft shifts.  “I didn’t earn all my living from hunting.  There’s prize money to be won at the arena in Beruna.  I took advantage of that.”  He pauses.  “Good thing too or I might not have remembered how to use a sword by the time Rabadash attacked.”

Megren says, “Oh, I –” she nods. “Sorry, I was just trying to figure out the analogy.”

Haft exclaims, “What?  Oh!  I meant…I’m glad he’s still recognized as a squire.  It’s hard on a man to lose his position, even if he’s good at other things.”

Megren says, “Oh, I see.” She nods. “That’s good, too.”

Haft looks confused.  “What’s good too?”

Megren says, “Staying a squire.”

Haft says, “Oh.  Yes.  And at least he’s still training with you.”

Megren says, “And Sir Darrin, since Sir Darrin’s left-handed already.”

Haft says, “Knew there was something odd about him.”

Megren says, “I’ll let him know you said.”

Haft says, “Please do.”

Megren wrinkles her nose. “How long’ve you got left on this shift?”

Haft asks, “Maybe another quarter hour.  Why?”

Megren says, “Cider after, if you like.”

Haft asks, “Oh, you mean to pay in advance?”

Megren says, “Of course. Got to get you feeling indebted.”

Haft says, “If yout think it means I’ll let the little furball claw my boots without a dousing, you’re sorely mistaken.”

Megren asks, “A /dousing/?”

Haft nods.  “Dousing.  It’s when you upend your water jug on the miscreant.”

Megren punches him lightly on the shoulder.

Haft says, “I find it to be a very effective deterrent.”  He reaches for the waterskin at his side and waves it at Megren threateningly.

Megren opens her mouth, aghast at the threat. “It’s /cold/!”

Haft’s eyes sparkle.  “Yes, well, that’s why it’s such a good deterrant.  In your case, however, I think I shall show mercy–just this once.”  He lowers the skin.

Megren screws up her mouth.

Haft says, “It /is/ an awfully long walk into Andale.  Wouldn’t want to getting a chill.”

Megren asks, “No?”

Haft says, “Unless you want one so you can get out of armor polishing for the next few days…if so, I can still oblge.”

Megren says, “Somehow I think I’d end up feeling like I landed on the wrong side of that decision.”

Haft says, “I would think so.  Given the choice, I’d always rather take a couple of bruises in the practice room than be sick, myself.”

Megren says, “Good to know.”

Haft asks, “So when do you reckon you’ll be taking this little trip?”

Megren says, “Set to leave in two days.”

Haft asks, “How long you planning to be gone?”

Megren says, “Just two nights. Might be one, depending how it goes.”

Haft says, “Sounds like a nice break.  Hope it does him good.”

Megren says, “I hope so. It’ll be nice for me, too. I miss it, sometimes.”

Haft says, “Do you?  Your father will be pleased to have you.”

Megren says, “Oh, he doesn’t stay out there in winter.”

Haft asks, “Oh?”

Megren says, “It’s just for hunting trips, so he doesn’t have to troop out home every time, you know. He tries not to hunt so much in winter any more, now I’m helping with the money. The cold’s hard on his knee.”

Haft asks, “Oh, so it’s not just /my/ knees?”

Megren says, “All old men, it would seem.”

Haft presses his lips together.  “I walked into that one.”

Megren grins. “Seems so.”

Gearn steps onto the wall walk from the gate tower, walking toward the pair.  He smiles at Megren, and addresses Haft.  “Anything to report?”

Haft says, “Megren’s foisting her pets off on other people.  Otherwise, it’s been a quiet shift.”

Megren exclaims, “Hardly! It’s only, I think Tiny will pitch a fit if I try to take her out of her castle.”

Gearn asks, “Why’s that?”

Megren asks, “Have you tried taking her past the outer ward?”

Gearn shrugs.  “No…”

Megren says, “I don’t recommend it.”

Haft folds his arms.  “Were you going to warn me about this before leaving her in my care?”

Megren asks, “Were you planning on taking her for a jaunt about town?”

Haft says, “Might’ve done.  See what Eston’s Lecie would make of her.”

Megren says, “Sir Darrin says most cats are like wild beasts; they don’t like going outside their own space, particularly if they aren’t choosing it.”

Haft says, “I’ll keep it in mind.”  He raises a hand in farewell to Gearn, then turns back.  “Come on, let’s see about that cider.””

Megren hops off toward the gate tower. “Last one there has to buy the other’s meal.”

Haft says, “Knew I’d get the short end of the deal somehow.”

Megren grins, walking backward.

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