In which Haft inspects a suspicious loaf.
You stand in the busy outer ward of Castle Anvard, full of people seeing to the needs of king and kingdom. There are market stalls along the outer wall, bustling with merchants and shoppers. Grooms work in the stables, tending to the horses there, and you hear the occasional bark of a dog from the kennels.
The sounds of hammer hitting iron rings out from the blacksmith shop. There are stairs leading to the gate towers on the northern and southern corners of the outer curtain. To the east is the outer gatehouse, and the road leading into the realm of Archenland, and to the west another gate, leading to the inner gatehouse, the inner ward, and the main keep of Anvard.
You can go: Stables <N>, Northern Market <NE>, Outer Gatehouse <E>,
Southern Market <SE>, Kennels <S>, Inner Gatehouse <W>, Blacksmith
<NW>, South Stair <US>, North Stair <UN>
Dalia smiles. “Good.”
Dalia says, “And you? You’re good? I’ve been so busy with Milady.” She finishes by way of explanation. ”
Megren clasps her hands behind her back. “Run a bit ragged, but otherwise good. You?”
Dalia says, “Pretty well, myself.”
Haft detaches himself from a shadow where he’s been leaning unnoticed. “Ragged? That’s not meant to explain the state of your hair?”
Megren gives Haft an impressive scowl.
Haft says, “I…imagine you’ve been running. Or training. Or working with the horses. Hair comes after.”
Dalia gives a little ‘heh’ of surprise upon hearing and seeing Haft suddenly.
Megren hmms, unimpressed.*”
Dalia says, “Good Morning Haft.”
Haft asks, “Good morning, Dalia. On an errand or at leisure?”
Dalia says, “Currently, at leisure. I had an errand, but that’s alright now.”
Haft asks, “Oh, so that basket on your arm isn’t for Lady Astera then?”
Megren says, “Hey, me too. For an hour or so.”
Dalia wafts the smell of fresh bread towards Haft from the basket
Haft appears very solemn. “You realize that as a guardsman it is my duty to investigate suspicious packages?”
Dalia shakes her head, “No it’s not for Milady.” And tilts her head quizically. “Of course…”
Haft chuckles. “I’m teasing, Dalia.”
Lanisen steps out of the kennels, empty water-bucket in hand, and begins for the inner gate.
Dalia grins, laughing a little and pulls back the cloth so that the scent of fresh bread is releashed. “Investigate then, good guardsman”
Haft exclaims, “Aha! As I suspected, a most suspicious loaf of bread.”
This prompts more laughter. “I am afraid I have been found out.”
Haft says, “Best cover it up quick before anyone sees.”
Dalia nods and pulls back the cloth, coverning it again to keep the heat in. “Though if you felt the need to take a piece for investigation, I wouldn’t hold it against you.”
Haft’s mouth twitches to one side, as though he’s tempted. “I fear that would be an abuse of power. Though should the urge to bake strike you in the future, a guardsman might be hard-pressed to say nay.”
Dalia grins. “Perhaps it shall.”
She glances, and waves to Lanisen.
Haft follows her gaze, but doesn’t stare.
Megren says, “Ah, that smells amazing. Hide it from Lanisen.”
Haft asks, “Are you suggesting that poor Lanisen doesn’t deserve some of this dubious bread?”
Megren lifts her shoulders mysteriously.
Dalia grins, her face alight and cheeks pink either from laughter or mild embarrassment. “It’s fresh baked bread.”she says hoping to alleviate Lanisen’s confusion.
Haft says, “Probably contains a hollow cavity in the middle concealing a Talking Mouse.”
Haft says, “I have no idea. I’m making this up as I go along.”
Dalia bursts out laughing again.
Lanisen peers at Dalia’s basket and reaches out to rap on the side with his knuckles. “Hello in there?”
Megren says in an high pitched voice, “Hi Lanisen!”
Lanisen lets out an explosive breath of laughter.
Haft arches a brow as though he had not anticipated this turn of events.
Dalia doubles over so that the bread is in peril of being dropped. “Oh Dear…Oh Dear…”
she says through gasps of air. “This is more serious than I thought…now my bread is /talking/.
Haft says, “Speaking for myself I’m glad you’re not bringing it to Lady Astera.”
Megren says, “Perhaps that’s how she prefers her bread.”
Haft deadpans, “Gnawed-on from the inside or slightly squeaky?
Lanisen says, “Oh no,” and covers his face with one hand, wheezing a little.
Megren asks, “Who are we to judge a lady’s taste?”
Dalia tries to regain her composure, “I shall ha-have to ask her.”
Haft says, “Make sure she reports any minute visitors as well.”
Dalia nods, covering her mouth, to try stiffle her laughter She holds up the basket, “Perhaps we ought to investigate.”
Lanisen says, “Sounds like a story, don’t it. The Mouse who spied on dinner.”
Haft says, “Espionage will spoil one’s appetite like nothing else.”
Megren says, “Hm, I’d think it’d make a better appetite.”
Lanisen says, “Or dinner spoils your espionage, I guess.”
Megren says, “That’s almost always true.”
Lanisen says, “I’d fall asleep, I think.”
Haft asks, “If you were trapped inside a loaf of bread?”
Lanisen says lightly, “Nobody said anything about /trapped/.”
Dalia glances towards the inner gate where a page can be seen standing. He motions to her.
Dalia offers the bread to Megren, “I will leave it to you three to discover the secret
Dalia offers the bread to Megren, “I will leave it to you three to investigate, it looks like I am being called by Milady.”
Megren asks, “Oh, you don’t want to eat it later?”