First Impressions

Andale

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You stand in the heart of Andale where most of the folk who support Anvard live. Young children play here on nice days, skipping rope, or shooting marbles, and older ones can be seen reading scrolls. Adults hurry through on their way from home to where their business takes them. A well with a stone wall sits on the western edge of the road.

The road here widens and splits to run toward the shops to the east, North Andale to the north and the Crossroad to the south. Short paths lead to the two settlements here; Het Noorden to the northwest, and Zuiden to the southeast.

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You can go: Het Noorden <NW>, North Andale <N>, East Andale <E>, Andale

Crossroad <W>, Zuiden <SE>

Nessa comes walking down the lane from East Andale.

Haft walks through the down, bundled against the chill. He carries a couple of small parcels in one hand.

Nessa exclaims, “Hello! Are you a guard at the castle? I just moved in to town and I wanted to visit my sister there.”

Nessa wanders through the town carrying a somewhat large parcel, looking loost

Nessa says, “Sir, I’m sorry to bother you, but I seem to be unable to find the road to Anvard. Or the road back to my shop for that matter”

Haft turns and looks her over. “You talking to me?”

Nessa looks down at the ground nervously “I suppose I am. You just looked like you knew were you were going”

Haft says, “Yeah, I do. Don’t know you though.”

Nessa says, “My name is Nessa, I just moved here this week. My sister is on staff at the castle and I thought that I would be able to pick up more weaving work here.”

Haft asks, “Oh. Who’s your sister?”

Nessa says, “Her name is Dalia, sir. She’s a maid to one of the ladies at Anvard.”

Haft says, “Yeah, I know her. Good baking. Lady Astera’s maid. I’ve met yer pa, too, once or twice.”

Nessa smiles and nods a little “She does make the best bread, I dare say she’s surpassed our Ma. And papa does get around, I wouldn’t be supprised if he’s met everyone in Archenland by now”

Dalia comes walking up the road from the crossroad.

Haft says, “Yeah, well, the castle’s down that way.”

He jerks a thumb westward. “Veer a little southwest when you hit the crossroad.”

Nessa exclaims, “Thank you very much for your help sir!”

Pose turns around towards the cross road and then smiles brightly and runs toward the newcoming daughter of Eve “Dalia, you found me! And here I was going to try and surprise you.”

She?s a trophy. If you replaced your female character with a sexy lamp, would the plot change? If not, you need to rethink your character. “”

Haft has already turned his back, and heads of toward the couriers’.

Dalia grins as her Sister runs up to her. “Nessa!”

Nessa drops the sack she was holding and hugs the girl in front of her “You look like Anvard has treated you well.”

Dalia hugs back “It is so good to see you! Why it seems like forever!”

Dalia smiles and steps back, “Lady Astera is very good to me.”

Nessa says, “It’s almost been forever. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to be with you at Christmas, I had to finish the last order at the shop I was at in order to be able to move here”

 

Dalia nods, “I understand. I’m just so glad you’re here.”

Dalia looks around calling a greeting to Haft. “Good Afternoon, Haft!”

Nessa says, “Is Haft your name? I’m sorry I never asked. He was just pointing me to the road to Anvard.”

Haft lifts a hand and turns his head briefly, but continues on and doesn’t hear Nessa.

Dalia turns back to her sister, “Ah you’ve already met? Yes, that’s Haft, one of the castle’s dependable guardsmen.”

Nessa waves and then turns her attention back to Dalia. “I’m glad to hear that the guardsmen are dependable, ever since that attack on Anvard a couple of years back I’ve been a little extra worried about you in that castle.”

Nessa says, “Then again, knowing you, you would find something good to say about the guards even if they were just there for show.”

Dalia smiles. “They are all very good as far as I have seen.”

Nessa says, “Is there anyone you don’t think is very good, dear sister?”

Dalia frowns, “A few…but it wouldn’t be very good to discuss them out here in public. Maybe… maybe when we’re at home.”

Nessa says, “Of course. I would love to hear about someone who is so much of a scoundrel that he or she has earned the scorn of my ever loving sister”

A raised voice, presumably Haft’s, can be heard from the direction of the couriers’.

Dalia makes a little laughing sound, turning at the raised voice. “I hope nothing is the matter.”

Nessa Nessa looks in the direction. “Perhaps I should go see what it is…or we could just let the guard take care of it”

Dalia nibbles her lip, looking caught between staying and going.

Haft glances over at Nessa. “Nothing.”

Nessa looks at him sideways “Then why were you yelling?”

The dispatcher looks harried. “We haven’t any couriers available at the moment. You’ll have to come again.”

Haft says, “I did come again. Twice. You said you’d hold one for me.”

Nessa says, “Oh, I see, a personal dispute.” She turns back to Dalia. “That package is for you by the way. It’s cold and you always need more warm clothing. Besides, I want my work seen in the palace.”

She pulls the cloak out bag and tries it on. Why it’s beautiful, Nessa. Thank you!”

The dispatcher mutters something unintelligible and Haft turns away, muttering imprecations under his breath.

Nessa says, “I’m glad you like it, it was one of the first complex designs I drew myself instead of doing pattern work”

Haft stamps away, accidentally bumping Dalia as he passes.

Nessa exclaims, “Haft! Watch where you’re going”

Dalia oofs softly, taking a stumbling step out of the way.

Haft turns a frustrated look on this woman who apparently knows his name.

Nessa says, “Dalia told me who you were and that you were a decent guard. Decent guards do not almost knock over ladies”

Haft gives her an odd look. “She ain’t no lady.”

Nessa says, “Perhaps not by birth, but she is just as fine as one.”

Dalia takes a deep breath putting her hand out as if to stay the matter. “Haft, this is my Sister, Nessa. It seems you’ve already met. She said you’d given her directions to the castle.”

She tries for a smile, “Nessa, this is Haft. One of the castle’s excellent guardmen.”

Nessa says, “If we had been introduced five minutes ago I would have said it was a pleasure”

Haft presses his lips together. “You all right, Dalia?” he asks tightly.

Dalia nods acquiescently “I’m fine, Thank you, Haft.”

Nessa holds out a hand defiantly “Then pleased to meet you.”

Haft stares at the hand, perplexed. “I don’t require your instruction in courtesy. I’ll thank you to keep them to yourself.”

Nessa lowers hand. “I don’t care how your courtesy is in general, only in regards to my sister.”

Dalia says, “It…It was a an accident, Nessie.” She puts a hand on her sister’s arm. “C’mon, Mom will probably wanting to tell you all the lastest news.”

Nessa says, “Of course, I wouldn’t want to keep Mom waiting.” She glares at Haft and then takes Dalia’s hand. ”

Haft says, “I do not recall you giving me time to apologize before offering your scolding.”

He turns to Dalia, perhaps to offer something more, then shakes his head and starts away.”

 

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