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.”

 

Snowball Fight

Outer Ward

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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.

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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>

Megren walks through the ward from out of the stables. She is well wrapped up against the winter chill, though it is not especially cold out today, just around freezing.

Dalia makes her way into the outer ward from the inner ward. Seeing Megren, she makes her way toward her. “Megren!” The blue bead on her necklace bouncing up and down as she does.

Megren turns at the noise. “Evening Dalia! Got it off?”

Haft enters the ward from the north stair wearing his scarf.

Dalia grins. “Evening! Yes, I’m quite free.”

Megren asks, “How nice. Any plans?”

Lanisen passes through the inner gate, a half-eaten handpie in one hand, and heads for the kennels. He treads gingerly to avoid slipping on packed snow.

Haft makes a beeline for Megren.

Dalia is thoughtful, “No, I don’t think so. How about you?”

Megren shakes her head. “Sir Darrin was supposed to meet me, but the king asked for him.”

Haft says, “The indispensable man. Not a bad title.”

Lanisen wobbles a bit, corrects, and continues on his way. He takes a bite of his pie mid-slide.

Megren whistles for Lanisen’s attention. “It does make for some inconvenient rescheduling, though.”

Dalia nods, making a sort of frowning disappointed face for her friends sake. I’ve heard there’s a standing challenge between Guards and Knights. Had any snowball fights yet?”

Megren glances at Haft. “Not recently.”

Lanisen pauses at the whistle, and then begins picking his way toward Megren and the rest.

Haft says, “Idle threats keep making their way back and forth.”

 

Dalia looks around as Megren whistles, waving to Lanisen. “Is there any challenge for the castle staff of Anvard?”

Megren lifts her shoulders. “Did you want to make one?

Haft asks, “How would we reckon each side?”

Lanisen asks, coming into earshot, “Make one what?”

Megren says, “Hey, hello. A snowball challenge.”

Dalia laughs reaching down to grasp some snow and start molding it. “The Snow is quite fresh still, would be a shame to waste it.”

Haft says, “Better declare a side, Dalia.”

Lanisen looks alarmed.

Megren ducks behind Lanisen.

Haft glances at Megren. “So is he your teammate or a handy barrier?”

Dalia looks to Lanisen as if to gauge wether or not he really want to be in the middle of snowball war.

Lanisen raises his eyebrows and his hands.

Megren says, “Whatever keeps me from getting hit.”

Dalia turns to Haft, “It would seem the teams are already drawn up.”

Haft shrugs and stoops to gather some snow.

The Snowball Dalia’s hands looks pretty ready to throw.

Lanisen half-turns to the side to present a smaller target, providing less shelter for Megren.

Megren pulls him backward, glancing behind her in search of a crate.

Dalia tosses her snowball towards Megren, turning and fleeing for her own shelter.

Megren gets smacked in the shoulder while she’s looking for a good place to hide.

Haft grins, forming his own ball. “Well-cast!”

Lanisen skids a little on the slippery ground, ducking his head and shoulders when snowballs start flying.

Megren tugs him down behind a cart someone’s left behind.

Dalia grins, bending down make more snowballs.

Haft exclaims, “Carts aren’t like castle walls! You’re stuck without room to maneuver and you haven’t got the high ground.”

Megren exclaims, “No walls!”

Lanisen looks like he’s not entirely sure how he got caught up in this. He hangs on to his pie.

Dalia spies a barrel and ducks behind it.

Haft neatly sprints to the carts and lobs his snowball over it before retreating.

Megren exclaims, “Ah!”

Dalia laughs, offering Haft one when he returns.

Lanisen looks sadly at his snow-covered pie.

Megren looks down at his hand, then places her hand bravely on his shoulder and rises.

Lanisen blows hopefully at the pie to try to dislodge the snow before his lunch is ruined.

Dalia tosses a snowball towards Megren and Lanisen’s hideout. It probably sails way off course, due to her hiding.

Haft puts some distance between himself and the cart but stays more or less in the open, stopping for more snow.

Megren scoops up a second snowball to that she had been forming during Haft’s attack and she books it across the square., lobbing one in Dalia’s direction and saving the second for when she’s closer to Haft.”

Dalia makes a muffled sound of surprise as she’s hit by Megren’s snowball.

Lanisen stays where he is, though he peeks up over the top of the cart to follow Megren’s progress.

Haft sees Megren approaching and is forced to abandon his snowball in favor of flight.

Dalia gathers more snow to provide cover for HaftMegren ducks her head to catch up to him better.

Dalia gathers more snow to provide cover for Haft

Megren ducks her head to catch up to him better.

Haft looks over his shoulder.

Megren pelts him in the back.

Lanisen looks at the kennel door consideringly, gauging the distance between it and himself, and glances over the top of the cart toward Dalia.

Haft laughs and, as Megren is now unarmed, crouches to scoop together some ammunition, rising again to hurl it, not fully packed, at her.

Megren crouches at the same time, but still takes a full face of it.

Dalia has been ambitiously working and now has a few snowballs

Megren curls into a ball. “I surrender–!”

Haft looks mistrustful of this capitulation, but pauses to brush snow from his hair and shoulder.

Lanisen stands up quietly and carefully while Dalia is distracted and slips out of the cart’s shelter, making for the kennels.

Dalia peers out from her hiding spot to check on Megren, “I accept.”

Megren glances up just long enough to see Lanisen slip into the kennel with his pie mostly intact and looks smug.

Haft catches sight of Lanisen. “Is it deserting if an accord has been reached?”

Dalia sneezes.

Megren says, “I’m left to do the bidding of the winners, but Lanisen’s home free.”

Haft snorts. “I bid you fetch us cider. What say you?”

Megren extends a hand. “Fair punishment.”

Haft takes it and helps her up. “I’ll go with you. I ain’t drinkin’ it standing in the snow.”

Megren starts that way, gesturing for Dalia to join them.

Dalia raises dusting herself off and joins them.

 

Once Every Ten Years

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 walking towards their quarters seeing to other business. A guarded gatehouse curtain wall, climbing tothe 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>

Dalia walks toward you from the Staff Quarters.

Deonyc comes walking down the open stair on the north side of the inner ward.

Haft sits on a stool, leaning against one wall, whittling on a piece of wood.

Haft looks up. “You been training?”

Deonyc nods, “Well Garian put me on gooing throught the armoury and cleaning the chain mail the past few weeks, thats alot of work, next to the training.”

Haft’s lips twitch. “What did you do to deserve that?”

Deonyc shrugs, “It had to be done, something to do when im not on duty I suppose”

Haft actually smiles. “I seem to recall a similar initiation. Enjoy being the newest recruit.

Deonyc smiles, “Ill be glad once it’s done, How often do the polish the chain mail properly? Or when might I have to clean them again?”

Dalia makes her way into the inner ward.

Haft says, “Once about every ten years.”

Deonyc looks at haft clearly not buying the answer, “You’re kidding.” he states.

Haft says, “Put it this way. If I were serious we’d have lost the battle for Anvard.”

Deonyc looks to Haft, “Well I’ll notice when it’s time again, I’ve heard a rumor about field exercise or is that just Gearn pulling my leg again?”

Haft asks, “Why? Don’t feel like it?”

Deonyc shakes his head, “No, no thats not it, im just curious if we will.”

Haft rolls his shoulders. “Aye, from time to time, though frankly if you’re of a mind to do your best you will engage in exercises of your own when you’re off duty.

Deonyc nods, “Thats easy to do I could ask for a few days of leave and go on a hunting trip in the foothills.”

Haft makes a face as though Deonyc has completely missed the point.

Deonyc looks a bit confused seeing Haft’s expression, “What?” he asks.

Haft says, “Not a holiday. Regular exercise. Almost every day. In the practice room with your sword and building your strength. Runs down to the village or the beach for your stamina.”

Deonyc says, “Well hunting trips on your own on foot aren’t what I would call a holiday.”

Dalia makes her way to the seemstress and after a short time comes out

Haft looks irritated. “You want to take /time off/ from the guard to keep you fit for the guard? I said regular.

Deonyc nods, “Ok alright, regular practice, it’s cold out im sure I can find enough to do

Haft says, “That’s what mufflers are for.”

He pauses, considering. “Course there’s usually tactical maneuvers once winter hits.”

Deonyc sighs, “Well alright, I need to get to the Smithy I asked Aisen to grind my sword down to make it a bit shrper.”

Haft looks taken aback. “How dull was it?”

Deonyc shakes his head, “No not dull i want the edge ground down so i can make the blade sharper, I think the taper was just a bit to thick.”

Haft says, “Well we’ll see what Aisen can make of it then. He’s as good a smith as we can boast near here.”

Deonyc says, “I already brought my sword to him a few days back so I think he might be done by now, it isn’t a doubble sided blade either.”

Haft says, “Well, good luck then.”

Haft goes back to his carving.

Dalia comes out of the seamstress shop sometime later her path taking her close to haft and deonyc

Haft continues working on his carving.

Dalia looks up and waves to Haft and Deonyc

Haft doesn’t notice the gesture, focused on his work.

Dalia draws close curious to see what Haft is working on.

Haft holds a misshapen game piece.

Dalia asks, “What are you carving?”

Haft looks up. “Chess knight…in theory.”

 

Dalia nods. “Do you play chess much?”

Haft says, “A fair amount. Meg can beat me sometimes now. Not often.”

Dalia says, “I’ve never played myself. It often seemed to complicated ”

 

Haft asks, “You know the rules?”

 

Dalia shakes her head, “No. Father tried to descibe it to me once though.”

“Can teach you if you want,” he says, not looking up.

 

Dalia nods, “I’d like that sometime, I ought to go take this to milady.” She gestures to her basket.

Haft nods and continues his project.

Apology Accepted

Servant’s Hall

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You stand in the warm and busy servants’ hall. Most of the floor is taken up by long trestle tables and benches. Candles in sconces on the wall light the room with a friendly glow. At the back of the hall, a staircase leads down into the storeroom. The only other object of note is a large wood and leather chair, where the head cook often rests between meals.

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You can go: Kitchen <W>, Storeroom <D>

Dalia is sitting at a table, her dishes pushed a little to the side and a letter held before her. There is a smile on her face and she looks like she might like to laugh.

Haft carries a large bag of flour over his shoulder, trailed by two children. He heads toward the storeroom.

Dalia looks up from her letter as she notices movement out of the corner of her eye and nods to Haft as he passes by.

Haft doesn’t notice her, depositing the flour down in the storeroom and shooing the children, who grin their thanks and run off.

Dalia turns back to the letter she’s reading, laughing a little at one part.

Haft glances at Dalia, but starts to head past, apparently unwilling to intrude.

 

Haft glances at Dalia, but starts to head past, apparently unwilling to intrude.

Dalia looks up as Haft seems to head past. “Haft?” she calls softly.

Haft pauses and pivots. “Yes?”

Dalia says, “Are you angry with me?”

Dalia says, “The other day in the square, while I was minding the little ones. You seemed quite cross.”

Haft frowns, trying to recall the moment. “Oh, that.”

He colors a little. “That weren’t nothing to do with you. I was just–” He catches himself. “I owe you an apology.”

Dalia smiles, “Apology accepted.”

She waves the letter in her hand, “Megren wrote me. She says to tell you they’ve been invited to Cair Paravel.”

Her whole face lights up with excitement.

Haft smiles faintly. “Yes, she’s quite enthusiastic.”

Dalia says, “Looks down at the letter in her hand that she’s been waving. “Oh. I suppose… would you like a look?”

Haft says, “If you like.”

Deonyc comes into the servants hall with a piece of bread and a bowl of stew, seeing the two others he walks over to the table, “Hello Haft, Dalia. Mind i f i join you?”

Dalia says, “Hello Deonyc, not at all. Haft and I were disucssing Megren’s letter from Narnia.”

Deonyc sits down, placing his food near the corner away from the writing, “Oh how are they doing?” he inquires.

Dalia offers the letter to Haft if he would like a look.

Haft takes the letter to look over.

Dalia turns to Deonyc, “Well I think. Enjoying Narnia.”

Deonyc eats some of his stew, “Well I would hope they are, its a pretty country right haft?”

 

Deonyc asks, “Aren’t they staying at what was it Cair Paravel, their castle?”

Haft says, “That’s right.”

Deonyc says, “Anything else they talked about, the Wolves maybe?”

Haft asks, “Why would they talk about Wolves?”

Deonyc asks, “Well the talking Wolves are interesting are they not?”

Haft says, “How many do you think I’ve conversed with at length? There aren’t any dens in Barfield.”

Deonyc shrugs, “Well I met one or two after the battle, they were nice enough.”

Haft snorts. “I was preoccupied.”

Wouldn’t Want Master Haft to Eat You

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>

 

Haft walks from the direction of the castle wearing a light cloak and plum scarf. He has one large parcel and two small ones in his hands.

Deonyc comes walking from the southern group of cottages like Haft he has his wollen scarf wrapped around his neck and is wearing a warm tunic, his hands are stuffed in his pockets.

Dalia is sitting on a bench outside one of the village cottages, a shawl around her shoulders watching some of the younger village children play.

Nasrin wanders from the direction of the tavern, an apple in her hand. She’s happily munching on it as she strolls along.

Sehsis wanders in, he’s writing a little something in a notebook.

Haft notes Dalia’s presence but makes no greeting.

Deonyc notices the children play as he passes by the cottage he walks over and sits down on the bench next to dalia he smiles and greets, “Hey Dalia, how are you?”

Dalia turns as Deonyc sits beside her, “Hello Deonyc! Very well, thanks! Fine day today isn’t it?”

Sehsis snaps the little notebook shut and tucks it away into a pocket before turning to face her, “Hello Nasrin.”

Nasrin gives Sehsis a delightfully innocent smile. “Uncle, I didn’t know you were in town either.”

Deonyc nods and leans against the backrest, “Yes it is really nice out, a bit colder than id like but still.”

Haft pauses to avoid a child who has run into his path after a leather ball.

Dalia calls after one of the children, “Careful love, you’ve run into master Haft’s path.”

Deonyc smiles and watches haft’s expression, he turns to Dalia, “Are you visiting Family?”

The guard across from him snorts, but agrees, “I’ve seen him with Sir Darrin. Good form. Hard to believe a year ago he was tying fishing net.”

Nasrin exclaims, “I was wanting a breath of fresh air. It’s a lovely day, look at the children playing about!”

Haft looks at Dalia askance, then the child. “Yes, we wouldn’t want Master Haft to eat you,” he says without humor.

Sehsis casts a glance to them, “Yes well as long as they don’t cause trouble their presence is fine.”

The boy’s eyes widen. He snatches up his ball and runs back to his playmates.

Nasrin tilts her head to the side. “Have they given you cause to believe they’ll cause trouble?”

Sehsis says, “No, and I hope it stays that way”

Dalia nods to Deonyc turning a questioning look back at Haft.

Dalia raises a hand in greeting to Nasrin and Sehsis

Haft avoids her eyes.

Nasrin shakes her head disappointedly. “You assume ever so much of them.”

She spots Dalia and waves on back, before wandering on over to the rest.

Sehsis walks along with her, “I assume nothing.”

Deonyc gets up to meet nasrin and sehsis, and returns with them to the bench.

Haft’s glum look deepens at the sight of Sehsis and Nasrin.

Nasrin asks, “Hello Deonyc, hello Haft. And how are you today?”

Nasrin directs a particularly bright smile towards Haft.

Haft eyes Nasrin as though she might catch fire.

Sehsis gives a polite nod to Deonyc, he totally ignores haft.

Deonyc looks back and forth between the two groups quite unsure what to say, he nods in greeting to haft.

Haft takes a breath. “Deonyc.”

Sehsis remains quiet, expression unreadable.

Deonyc quite neutrally answers, “Good day haft.”

Haft nods back. “Right.”

Deonyc moves to stand somewhere between haft and nasrin and Sehsis, “How are you all?”

Nasrin looks between the three, before speaking up. “Good afternoon everyone! I’m doing splendid today, how are you all on this fine and marvellous day?”

Haft edges away from Deonyc. “Fine. Was just heading to the courier. You’ll excuse me.”

Deonyc backs of a bit as well as he notices haft edging off, he turns to Nasrin, “Im doing well myself, you?”

Nasrin nods along to Deonyc and Haft alike. “I’m happy to hear. I’m doing excellent myself, thank you very much!”

Deonyc nods and smiles, “Thats good, have you figured out when about you’ll be leaving to Carlomene?”

Sehsis says, “Not yet.”

Nasrin translates for Deonyc. “Sadly not, but we’ll be sure to let you know the moment we’ve got an answer!”

What Befits a Lady’s Maid

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 walking towards their quarters seeing to other business. A guarded gatehouse 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 strolls through the ward. He doesn’t seem to be in any particular hurry.

Dalia comes out from the kitchen and looks about, spotting Haft she heads his way.

As you pass through the forest, something white catches the corner of your eye. <Saving>

Haft notices her and slows down. “Mornin’, Dalia. You need somethin’?”

Dalia says, “Good Morning, Haft. I Looing for Guardsman Owin.”

Haft says, “Owin? He’s still up at breakfast in the mess. I’ve never seen a man pick at a meal slow as he does. You might be good few hours waiting.”

Dalia quirks a small smile. “Would you mind giving this to him?”

She hands parcel to Haft, “It’s the shirt wanted mended.”

Haft takes the package. “You hiring out as a seamstress now?”

Dalia laughs. “No, I’ve plenty of work as it is for milady.”

She smiles. But I don’t mind offering a hand here and there.”

Haft says, “I’ll remember that next time I can’t afford Adeliha.”

He looks down at the package. “You’re allowed in the mess, you know. Not that I mind taking it, but I’m headed toward the library just now.”

Dalia says, “If it’s any trouble I can just give it to him when he’s on duty”

Haft says, “It’s no trouble. Besides, the lads’ll rib him through his shift if you walk up to him and then he has to tuck it under his arm for three hours.”

Dalia shakes her head. “I wouldn’t like that. He seemed a kindly soul. Quiet though, and I’d not like a bit of help to be turned against him.”

Haft says, “Yeah, he’s a good lad. Man, I should say. Now if you want to embarrass Gearn I’m sure I’d be happy to come up with ideas.”

Dalia laughs, her eyes twinkling with some mischief behind them.

Haft raises a brow. “Or perhaps you have ideas of your own.”

Dalia says, “I am afraid regretfully decline. My Mother would say it does not befit a lady to be involved in a despute.”

She says with good humor. “But perhaps Master Haft,” lowering her voice “you should put the garland on his head next spring fest.”

Haft says, “Ah, but nobody said anything about the lady’s maid. Besides, that would require me weaving the garland. I nominate you.”

Dalia smiles, eyes twinkling, yet not saying anything in reply “I must see to Milady. Good day to you.”

Haft says, “Hmm. Good day then.”

He tucks the parcel under one arm and resumes crossing the ward.