Not Dragon Eggs

Inner Ward of Anvard

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-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= 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. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

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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>

Haft stands on duty beside the Inner Gatehouse.

Dalia enters the inner ward, humming thoughtfully. She has a shawl around her against the spring chill, but it has fallen down to hang over her arms instead. She seems thoughtful and not quite present at the moment.

Gearn enters the ward through the gatehouse, spies Haft, then leans against the opposite side of the archway.

Haft rolls his eyes.

Dalia continues humming, glancing up every so often to maake sure she doesn’t trip,

Gearn grins.  “Got at least three minutes til I’m on duty.  Might as well enjoy watching you.”

Haft asks, “Can’t you change shifts like a normal person?”

Dalia glances up at the sound of voices, looking around for the speaker.

Gearn shrugs.  “Where’s the fun in that?  Good afternoon, Dalia.”

Dalia spots the two smiles and waves. “Good Afternoon. Gearn, Haft.”

Haft nods his head.  “Dalia.  You warm enough?”

Dalia nods, “The was quite warm this morning, I almost though perhaps we might have summer soon.”

Gearn’s lips twitch.  “Maybe you’re feeling chilly yourself, gramps.”

Haft growls, “When you’re a redheaded squire, you can call me that.  Not before.”

Gearn says, “Or what?”

Haft says, “Or I’ll humiliate you during arms practice.  Again.”

Gearn raises his hands in mock-defense. The right one is stained blue.

Dalia’s lips twitch as she tries to hide her amusement. At the sight of Gearn’s blue hand, an eyebrow raises slightly with curiosity.

Gearn notices her expression and glances at his hand.

Haft folds his arms across his chest.

Edana walks into the outer ward, her son pulling at her dress talking excitedly. She laughs at his chatter but keeps walking, head held high.

Gearn says, “It was an egg.”

Dalia asks, “An egg?”

Gearn says, “Blue egg.  There are a bunch of ’em in the mess.”

Dalia ohs!

Haft glances at Gearn but says nothing.

Gearn says, “Ain’t got the foggiest who put ’em there.  They smelled alright, so I’ve been eating ’em.  No one else seemed to want to.”

Kaie stops chatting and looks around. He grins widely when he sees Dalia and runs over to her, completely interrupting he shouts up at her. “Miss Dalia! I got a puppy!” Edana shakes her head and comes over apologizing.

Dalia glances at Haft for his thoughts, turning when she hears Kaie. She waves to Edana and bends down to Kaie’s level. “Did you? And what did you name your puppy?”

Edana smiles to the others. “Good day. I am sorry for my son.” She shoots him a warning glance before he answers Dalia with a small squeek. “Finn.” He places his hands behind his back and looks up to the others with wide eyes.

Haft just watches, glancing about the ward now and then.

Dalia smiles up at Edana, before turning back to Kaie. “Finn is a nice name. What does He look like?”

Edana smiles at Dalia and then turns to the guardsmen. “How are you gentlemen?” Kaie answers Dalia. “He is a sheepdog from Coghill. He is white with black spots.”

Dalia nods, listening intently to Kaie.

Haft says, “Just fine, thank you.”

Gearn says, “I’m all right.  Just telling Dalia about some dead curious eggs I found in the mess.  They’re blue!”

Edana smiles. “Oh really.” She raises an eyebrow and Kaie looks at Gearn. “Curious eggs? Why are they blue?”

Dalia asks, “have you seen them, Haft?”

Haft blinks.  “What?”

Dalia asks, “The eggs?”

Edana waits for Haft’s answer with Kaie under her hand.

Haft says, “I…well, yes.”

Haft says, “They are certainly blue.”

Kaie puts his hands on his hips. “Did you make the eggs blue?”

Haft coughs uncomfortably.

Gearn gapes.  “You did!”

Haft pulls a face at Gearn, then looks at Kaie.  “Perhaps they’re dragon eggs.”

Dalia tries to surpress a smile.

Edana smiles and looks down to Kaie who is grinning widely, cheeks all pushed up. “Where is the Dragon?”

Haft shrugs.  “Don’t know, but I wouldn’t want to be Gearn when it shows up.”

Dalia says, “Perhaps I should go see these eggs for myself…””

Gearn shakes his head.  “Ain’t dragon eggs.  Those’d be huge.”

Edana looks to Gearn. “How do you know? Have you ever seen a dragon?”

Dalia says, “”Perhaps I should go see these eggs for myself…”””

Haft waves a hand.  “Be my guest.  Must be a couple still in the mess if Gearn ain’t finished them off.”

Edana smiles as Kaie asks in a serious tone. “May I see the dragon?”

Gearn looks exasperated.  “They aren’t dragon eggs!  Why’d you tell him that?”

Haft looks innocent.

Haft mumbles “Why didn’t you just tell him they were laid by a pink rabbit? Would have been less trouble.”, to Haft.

Haft mumbles “Why didn’t you just tell him they were laid by a pink rabbit? Would have been less trouble.”, to Haft.

Haft mumbles “Why didn’t … … … him they were … … … … rabbit? Would … been … trouble.”, to Haft.

Haft says, “Aren’t you on duty now, Gearn?  I’m sure your three minutes are up.”

Gearn glowers but straightens and eyes the ward.

Kaie looks to Gearn and frowns and shouts in an exasperated tone. “Are you against imagination!” He sighs and turns to Haft. “Can you take me?”

Haft asks, “To the dragon?”

Kaie nods once. “Yes.” Edana tries to hide her smile behind her hand.

Haft looks at the sky.  “Getting a bit late in the day for dragon hunting.  I reckon if you find one, they’ll be along the beaches, but I wouldn’t want to disturb one that was getting ready to sleep.”

Kaie looks to his mother and starts pulling her hand. “I am brave! I want to go!” Edana looks to Kaie and laughs. “Didn’t you hear Haft? They are going to sleep. It would be rude.” Kaie keeps pulling on her arm.

Haft says, “I can show you the spots I used to hunt them, Kaie, when I was your age, but not tonight.  Perhaps you’d like to see one of the eggs, though.”

Stops pulling to listen. After a moment of consideration he nods and puts his hands behind his back. “I would like that very much, And you will show me the spots soon?”

Haft says, “I will.  Give me five minutes and I’ll be back with an egg.”

Haft strides to the northern stairwell and disappears up it for a few minutes before he returns, carrying and object in his hand.  He holds it out to Kaie.  “Gearn is right, they turn your hands blue.”

Edana sighs as Kaie carefully takes the egg, examining every angle. “It is so magical!”

Haft says, “You may have it if you like, but I don’t think it will keep very much longer.”

Edana smiles and Kaie holds the egg to his chest, turning his shirt blue. “I will watch it carefully, sir.” Edana grimaces as the egg dyes his shirt. “We had better go Kaie. We are being a distraction.” She looks to Haft and mouths a thank you.

Haft mouths back, “You’ll want to wash that soon.”

Edana nods and moves her son along towards the market.

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