-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= 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>
Contents: Dalia; Edana; Lanisen; and Megren.
Edana walks toward the kennels, spotting Lanisen, and gives him a wave in greeting. “Lanisen!”
Lanisen pauses, taking a moment to find the source of the call. “Evenin’, Mistress,” he answers, turning to meet her.
Edana smiles. “Evening. Do you have a moment? I have a question.”
Lanisen shifts his weight. “Sure, yeah, what can I, how can I help?”
Edana points to the puppy who has begun running around, trying to chase it’s tail. “I was wondering if you know how to train dogs. I want to teach this one how to sit in hopes that someday he might, you know, do that.”
Lanisen’s attention shifts to the puppy and his face relaxes immediately into a smile. “Hey, buddy,” he says, and steps to the side to set his tea and bread down on top of a barrel. He takes a knee, reaching out one hand to say hello to the pup.
Megren comes skipping down the steps that lead up to the barracks and wall walks.
The puppy comes right up to Lanisen and immediately begins licking him anywhere there is skin showing.
Haft follows Megren down the steps at a more leisurely and stoic pace.
Lanisen laughs and tousles the pup’s ears, stroking his neck and back. “You got any… mm, bacon is good, little bits of meat, or if there’s any food he particularly likes? I’ve had hounds go wild for slices of apples before, cheese?”
Edana shakes her head at the puppy. “We have some of that…what do I do with it then? Do I have to hold me hand a certain way or speak a certain way?” The puppy rolls onto his back happily.
Megren’s eyes catch the playful puppy pretty immediately, and her face breaks into one of its easy grins when she spies Lanisen with the dog. She skirts a pair of arguing children to approach the place her friend is.
Lanisen says, “Oh,” and checks his pocket. He makes a face and straightens, breaking a small piece off his slice of bread. “Bread’s not the best thing for dogs, but it’s not gonna hurt him. Just so he’s interested.” He lets the puppy see and sniff the bread, but doesn’t let him have it just yet.
Edana watches quietly, observing everything he does with interest. The puppy instantly seems to be paying more attention to Lanisen.
Haft trails Megren, pausing to clear his throat at the two children, who duck their heads and look sheepish and terrified in equal measure.
Megren hangs back when she gathers what Lanisen is doing, trying to keep out of his way.
Lanisen shifts to sit cross-legged on the ground, holding the bread just out of the pup’s reach. “Can you siddown?” he asks politely, and pushes gently down on the puppy’s tail end so the direction is clear. “Siddown?”
The puppy (Finn) circles around to try and get Lanisen’s hand and ends up going around in circles for a couple of seconds.
Lanisen keeps the bread out of reach and just keeps gently and persistently working to get his point across, repeating variations on “Siddown, please,” all the while.
Finn tilts his head comically for a moment and then carefully sits down.
Lanisen immediately lets him have the bread. “Good boy,” he praises. “Good job, what a clever pup, good dog.”
Edana nods. “So you just encourage him and give him treats?” She shakes her head. “It seems too easy!”
Haft reaches the group and watches the proceedings. “Works for most critters,” he says, folding his arms over his chest.
Lanisen says mildly, still petting the puppy, “He’s smart, and he wants to make you happy. Just show him how.”
Edana looks over her shoulder at Haft and then spots Megren. “Oh hello!” To Lanisen she nods. “It is good to see how to do it properly. I want to do things right for him. Thank you for taking your time.”
Finn eats his bread bit happily and then jumps back up again to chase the tail end of someone’s dress.
Megren wrinkles her nose at the sweet scene, offering Edana a smile when she looks at her. “Lanisen’s pretty good for that.”
Lanisen stands up, wincing a little on his left leg. He grins to Megren and Haft, straightening his shirt. “No trouble,” he says to Edana. “Any time. He looks like a sweet one. Seri’s litter?”
Edana smiles. “I agree! I knew that nobody else would do the job better.” She shakes her head at Lanisen’s question and frowns, putting her hands on her hips. “I have no idea actually. My husband came back from Coghill with him.”
Haft asks, “You’re importing trouble from Coghill when it’s so readily available round here? Didn’t the Butcher’s dog just have her own brood?”
Lanisen says, “Definitely not Seri, then.”
Megren asks, “Is your family from Coghill?”
Edana nods to Lanisen and then turns to Haft. “I know right! I told my husband the same thing but men always have to do their own thing.” She rolls her eyes dramatically and then smiles at the woman. “No we are actually from Carmichael.”
Lanisen looks at Edana at this, surprised.
Megren says, “Oh, Carmichael. I’ve never been.”
Edana smiles. “Oh you should go sometime. I really love it there!”
Megren asks, “I’d like to. What was your husband doing in Coghill?”
Lanisen rubs his elbow absently and glances at Haft. He picks up his mug for something to hold.
Edana waves a hand. “Well he is always moving around, he is a hunter, so he was just passing through on the way back home.”
Megren’s brows lift. “Oh, my da’s a hunter.”
Edana puts a finger to her lips. “Have we talked about this before?” She pauses to think about this for a moment before smiling again. “Whereabouts?”
Lanisen sets his tea down again and crouches down to talk to the puppy.
Megren says, “I think you were there when I was talking with Deonyc — could be you mentioned it and I forgot. Da sells to the butcher and the tanner here in town. He’s got a cottage about half a day off, for the times he’s settled in instead of out working.”
Edana smiles widely. “Really? I am sure he would know my husband then, or the other way around. That is fascinating! I love the hunting community.” Finn comes to Lanisen and rests his head in Lanisen’s hand.
Edana laughs once and adds, “I bet he is the one that G is always going on about being the best in the buisness.”
Megren wrinkles her nose in thanks for the compliment. She glances at Lanisen. “I was just going to swing by on my way to dinner and ask if you wanted to get something to eat.” She returns her attention to Edana. “I’d stay to talk, only I’ve got to fit a fitting somewhere between defense lessons and seeing to the horses, and Haft’ll tease me if I skip food to do it.”
Edana laughs. “I know a few men who would say the same thing! You had better get going.”
Lanisen straightens again obligingly, giving Finn one last pat.
Finn licks Lanisen happily one last time before bounding off.
Megren says to Lanisen, “You can stay if you’re not hungry.”
Lanisen lifts his shoulders. “I’ll come.”
Edana smiles one last time at Lanisen. “Thank you so much again. I really do appreciate it.”
Haft says, “Why should I tease you about skipping meals? You skip everywhere else.”
Finn tips on his paws and falls down only to quickly jump up and run to Edana, tail between his legs.
Megren sticks her tongue out at Haft.
Lanisen ducks his head to Edana, looking both pleased and embarrassed. “Glad to help. He’s, he’s a smart one, he’ll be good for you.”
Haft shrugs, supremely unruffled. “Ain’t a lie.”
Edana smiles. “He already is.” Finn brushes up against her leg and then runs off. “I think I had better be off too….got to get this one back to his brother. Bye you all. Have a wonderful day!” At that she turns and leaves.
Megren nudges Lanisen in the side. “Should we go?” She looks over her shoulder at Haft. “Come too, if you want. The servant’s hall.”
Edana walks eastward toward the gatehouse.
Lanisen startles slightly from the nudge, but nods. He glances at Haft to see what he’ll do.
Haft shakes his head. “Sorry. I’d like to, but gotta get a message to the courier. I’ll trust Lanisen to make sure you eat.”
Lanisen narrows one eye at Megren at this last.
Megren opens her mouth, offended.
Haft says, “Though she is apparently hungry enough to catch flies.”
Haft waves, then turns to head toward the village.