I Always Stand in the Rain on my Own Time

Inner Wall Walk

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You stand on Anvard’s Inner Wall Walk. From here you have a view of both the Inner and Outer Wards. 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. In the Inner Ward you see nobles and staff, mingling happily or going about their own business.
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Haft stands leaning on the wall, watching the outer ward. But it’s late in the day and there’s nothing to see. An unseasonable warm drizzle falls, and the guardsman looks morose.

Megren’s head pops up as she opens the trapdoor in the northern end of the walk and then pulls herself out onto it. Her voice is a little muffled by the rain and distance.

Megren mumbles “Oh, someone’s … I …”, to Darrin.

Haft turns in the direction of the voice.

Darrin follows after Megren a beat later. He tilts his head at her quiet words and peers through the rain, towards Haft.

Megren waits for him to get fully up on the wall and then starts striding toward the figure. “Haft!” she calls, peering through the rain.

 

Haft tilts his head, then approaches. He offers a bow to Darrin. “Did you need something, Sir?”

Darrin pushes his fingers through his hair, and then tucks his hands in his pockets, following his squire. “Good evening, Haft,” he says amicably. “Not particularly.”

Megren says, “We just thought we’d walk out.”

Haft says, “In the rain. Here I thought you were supposed to be the bright ones.”

Megren says, “Aww, that’s sweet.”

Haft says, “Well, you know me.”

Darrin says, “It’s a pleasant enough rain.”

Haft says, “Of course, Sir.”

Megren asks, “Are you on duty?”

Haft replies in a flat tone. “No, I always stand in the rain for three hours on my own time.”

Megren makes a face.

Darrin says, “Well, we all need a hobby.”

Haft says, “Gearn should be up here any minute. He’s welcome to it.”

Megren asks, “Want company?”

Haft says, “If you like.”

Darrin glances at Megren for confirmation and says brightly, “Our pleasure.”

Megren lifts her shoulder in agreement.

Haft returns to his spot on the wall.

Megren moves up beside him and looks out over the ward. “Anything interesting?”

Haft says, “No.”

Darrin settles in on Haft’s opposite side and leans on his elbows. “Alas.”

Megren hmmms. “Need a game of chess after this then?”

Haft says, “Yeah, that’d do. After I change my boots.”

Megren grins. “Good.”

Darrin gives a humming noise of approval.

Haft asks, “You two exhausted yourselves with sparring?”

Megren says, “We just finished cleaning tack for Gambol and all them.”

Darrin, leaning on his elbow, swivels towards Haft and Megren. “So, certainly not too exhausted for mental exercises.” He flashes a grin.

Haft raises a brow. “Can you provide one, Sir?”

Darrin says, “If you prefer chess with me to chess with Megren, certainly.”

Megren says, “I’d watch that.”

Haft says, “Aw, here I thought you might have a riddle ready while we wait for Gearn.”

Darrin looks briefly surprised. “A riddle? Hmm…”

Megren says, “You give us a riddle.”

Haft asks, “Me?”

Megren says, “Yes.”

Darrin grins.

Haft says, “Uh…all right. I might know one that would suit.”

Haft mutters under his breath for a moment, as if trying to remember the words.

Haft says, “Spawned without seed, produced in ways of wonder, I load my sweetened breast with floral plunder; kings’ honeyed fare grows gilded through my flair. Sharp spears of fearsome war are what I bear, and I beat – handless! – the craftsmen’s metalware.”

Megren screws up her face.

Darrin taps his uppper lip in thought, repeating some of the phrases under his breath.

Megren says, “Bee, I guess.”

Haft squints one eye. “You heard this one before?”

Megren lifts a shoulder. “Honey and flowers and sharp things.”

Haft purses his lips. “Fair enough. Suppose you’ll have to keep this one, Sir. She’s clever.”

Darrin smiles. “She is that.”

Megren makes even more of a face than before.

Haft asks, “That mean you won’t be giving her back then?”

Darrin glances at Megren. “That would imply a kind of ownership I don’t think a healthy relationship between squire and knight actually has, Haft,” he says, with a slight frown. “Though,” and he smiles again, “I don’t reckon she’ll have to be going back to the guards anytime soon.”

Haft says, “‘Have to?’ Sir, if she had any sense, she’d /want/ to.”

Darrin arches a brow sharply and looks to Meg again.

Megren asks, “Where’s Gearn when you need him?”

Haft says, “Elsewhere.”

Megren says, “Per usual.”

Darrin pushes his wet curls off his forehead and leans further back onto the wall with an exhalation too soft to be quite a sigh.

Haft says, “Ah well, I suppose being a guard is for the select few. The rest have to be squires.”

Megren grins. “A burden we bear as best we can.”

Darrin looks down over the Ward.

Haft says, “Be getting muddy down there soon, if this keeps up.”

Megren glances toward the stables as Gearn appears on the other end of the walk. “All that tack cleaning,” she mourns.

Darrin makes a face. “Might’ve been poor planning on our part.”

Haft says, “Always the way, isn’t it?”

He looks up and sees Gearn. “There you are. You’ve missed the riddles.”

Megren says, “I supposed it was bound to get muddy sooner or later.”

Darrin says, “Sounds like the perfect evening for a warm drink.”

OOC> Darrin says, “…unless it’s not evening. In which case, *time.”

Gearn looks the three over. “Haft looks like he’s already wearing one.”

He bow to Sir Darrin.

Haft says, “Funny.”

Darrin nods to Gearn, looking amused.

Megren rolls her eyes and punches Gearn in the arm. “You’re next.”

Haft says, “Which is the only reason I’m not challenging him to a retaliatory spar for his cheek.”

He gestures to the others. “Shall we?”

Megren says, “Yes, please.”

Darrin says, “After you.”

Haft leads the way toward the trap door.

 

Off-duty Mess

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This is the place where off duty soldiers and sailors can relax and eat. There is a small cookfire and hearth and a few tables set up nearby. On one wall is a dart board, and on a small table in the corner there is a chess set. Someone has left a pile of parchment with sketches of his fellow knights on another table. This is a comfortable, casual room.
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You can go: Out to the Northern Stairwell <S>

Darrin comes walking into the Off-duty Mess.

Haft pauses in the stairwell outside the mess. “I need to get into some dry things. Shouldn’t be too long. Maybe Megren can help you warm up with a game, Sir.”

Darrin is already halfway past Haft and to the sidebar, where a few glasses and some wine bottles are already set out, before he notices Haft’s pause. “Ah, right, I imagine you’d want to get dry, of course.”

He waves a hand at Haft flippantly.

A log on the fire shifts, sending a column of sparks flying upwards.

Megren says, “I’ll think of something in the meantime.”

Haft says, “All right. I’ll catch up in a bit.”

Haft turns and heads toward the barracks.

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