Feats of Strength

North Andale

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This quiet area is known as North Andale. To one side of the gravel road is a glade of trees, mostly hardwoods, dominated by a huge White Oak. To the other side of the road is a small meadow, full of wild-flowers and there in the middle someone has placed a table and two benches, much weathered, but still sturdy. This is a favorite place for young sweethearts to pass time together.

To the south is the village of Andale and off to the east is the Range Road.

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You can go: Range Road <E>, Andale <S>, Climb <U>

Haft stands by a table laden with food, examining his options.

Nasrin strolls on into the meadow where the festival is being held, dragging along Sehsis. “It’s very lovely up here. I can’t believe you’ve never shown me before.”

Sehsis walks along with her, “I haven’t? I could have sworn I did”

Deonyc rushes in towards the table with a last loaf of bread and sets it on the table.

Nasrin shakes her head. “Never before, no.”

Sehsis says, “Oh. I apologise then.”

Nasrin says, “All is forgiven then.” She takes a look around before walking on over to the table.

Deonyc is standing at the table, and cuts himself a slice of fruit bread, he sees Sehsis and Nasrin, “Hey glad that you could make it!”

Haft turns at Deonyc’s expression and makes a small frown of displeasure. Clearly he is /not/ pleased that the two could make it.

Continue reading Feats of Strength

Obedience Training

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>

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.

Not Dragon Eggs

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 to the library and schoolroom. Noble lords and ladies also pass through, walking towards their quarters seeing to other business. A guarded gatehouse to the east stands between the inner and outer wards. Two stairways line the 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 stands on duty beside the Inner Gatehouse.

Dalia enters the inner ward, humming thoughtfully. She has a shawl around her against the spring chill, but it has fallen down to hang over her arms instead. She seems thoughtful and not quite present at the moment.

Gearn enters the ward through the gatehouse, spies Haft, then leans against the opposite side of the archway.

Haft rolls his eyes.

Dalia continues humming, glancing up every so often to maake sure she doesn’t trip,

Gearn grins.  “Got at least three minutes til I’m on duty.  Might as well enjoy watching you.”

Haft asks, “Can’t you change shifts like a normal person?”

Dalia glances up at the sound of voices, looking around for the speaker.

Gearn shrugs.  “Where’s the fun in that?  Good afternoon, Dalia.”

Dalia spots the two smiles and waves. “Good Afternoon. Gearn, Haft.”

Haft nods his head.  “Dalia.  You warm enough?”

Dalia nods, “The was quite warm this morning, I almost though perhaps we might have summer soon.”

Gearn’s lips twitch.  “Maybe you’re feeling chilly yourself, gramps.”

Haft growls, “When you’re a redheaded squire, you can call me that.  Not before.”

Gearn says, “Or what?”

Haft says, “Or I’ll humiliate you during arms practice.  Again.”

Gearn raises his hands in mock-defense. The right one is stained blue.

Dalia’s lips twitch as she tries to hide her amusement. At the sight of Gearn’s blue hand, an eyebrow raises slightly with curiosity.

Gearn notices her expression and glances at his hand.

Haft folds his arms across his chest.

Edana walks into the outer ward, her son pulling at her dress talking excitedly. She laughs at his chatter but keeps walking, head held high.

Gearn says, “It was an egg.”

Dalia asks, “An egg?”

Gearn says, “Blue egg.  There are a bunch of ’em in the mess.”

Dalia ohs!

Haft glances at Gearn but says nothing.

Gearn says, “Ain’t got the foggiest who put ’em there.  They smelled alright, so I’ve been eating ’em.  No one else seemed to want to.”

Kaie stops chatting and looks around. He grins widely when he sees Dalia and runs over to her, completely interrupting he shouts up at her. “Miss Dalia! I got a puppy!” Edana shakes her head and comes over apologizing.

Dalia glances at Haft for his thoughts, turning when she hears Kaie. She waves to Edana and bends down to Kaie’s level. “Did you? And what did you name your puppy?”

Edana smiles to the others. “Good day. I am sorry for my son.” She shoots him a warning glance before he answers Dalia with a small squeek. “Finn.” He places his hands behind his back and looks up to the others with wide eyes.

Haft just watches, glancing about the ward now and then.

Dalia smiles up at Edana, before turning back to Kaie. “Finn is a nice name. What does He look like?”

Edana smiles at Dalia and then turns to the guardsmen. “How are you gentlemen?” Kaie answers Dalia. “He is a sheepdog from Coghill. He is white with black spots.”

Dalia nods, listening intently to Kaie.

Haft says, “Just fine, thank you.”

Gearn says, “I’m all right.  Just telling Dalia about some dead curious eggs I found in the mess.  They’re blue!”

Edana smiles. “Oh really.” She raises an eyebrow and Kaie looks at Gearn. “Curious eggs? Why are they blue?”

Dalia asks, “have you seen them, Haft?”

Haft blinks.  “What?”

Dalia asks, “The eggs?”

Edana waits for Haft’s answer with Kaie under her hand.

Haft says, “I…well, yes.”

Haft says, “They are certainly blue.”

Kaie puts his hands on his hips. “Did you make the eggs blue?”

Haft coughs uncomfortably.

Gearn gapes.  “You did!”

Haft pulls a face at Gearn, then looks at Kaie.  “Perhaps they’re dragon eggs.”

Dalia tries to surpress a smile.

Edana smiles and looks down to Kaie who is grinning widely, cheeks all pushed up. “Where is the Dragon?”

Haft shrugs.  “Don’t know, but I wouldn’t want to be Gearn when it shows up.”

Dalia says, “Perhaps I should go see these eggs for myself…””

Gearn shakes his head.  “Ain’t dragon eggs.  Those’d be huge.”

Edana looks to Gearn. “How do you know? Have you ever seen a dragon?”

Dalia says, “”Perhaps I should go see these eggs for myself…”””

Haft waves a hand.  “Be my guest.  Must be a couple still in the mess if Gearn ain’t finished them off.”

Edana smiles as Kaie asks in a serious tone. “May I see the dragon?”

Gearn looks exasperated.  “They aren’t dragon eggs!  Why’d you tell him that?”

Haft looks innocent.

Haft mumbles “Why didn’t you just tell him they were laid by a pink rabbit? Would have been less trouble.”, to Haft.

Haft mumbles “Why didn’t you just tell him they were laid by a pink rabbit? Would have been less trouble.”, to Haft.

Haft mumbles “Why didn’t … … … him they were … … … … rabbit? Would … been … trouble.”, to Haft.

Haft says, “Aren’t you on duty now, Gearn?  I’m sure your three minutes are up.”

Gearn glowers but straightens and eyes the ward.

Kaie looks to Gearn and frowns and shouts in an exasperated tone. “Are you against imagination!” He sighs and turns to Haft. “Can you take me?”

Haft asks, “To the dragon?”

Kaie nods once. “Yes.” Edana tries to hide her smile behind her hand.

Haft looks at the sky.  “Getting a bit late in the day for dragon hunting.  I reckon if you find one, they’ll be along the beaches, but I wouldn’t want to disturb one that was getting ready to sleep.”

Kaie looks to his mother and starts pulling her hand. “I am brave! I want to go!” Edana looks to Kaie and laughs. “Didn’t you hear Haft? They are going to sleep. It would be rude.” Kaie keeps pulling on her arm.

Haft says, “I can show you the spots I used to hunt them, Kaie, when I was your age, but not tonight.  Perhaps you’d like to see one of the eggs, though.”

Stops pulling to listen. After a moment of consideration he nods and puts his hands behind his back. “I would like that very much, And you will show me the spots soon?”

Haft says, “I will.  Give me five minutes and I’ll be back with an egg.”

Haft strides to the northern stairwell and disappears up it for a few minutes before he returns, carrying and object in his hand.  He holds it out to Kaie.  “Gearn is right, they turn your hands blue.”

Edana sighs as Kaie carefully takes the egg, examining every angle. “It is so magical!”

Haft says, “You may have it if you like, but I don’t think it will keep very much longer.”

Edana smiles and Kaie holds the egg to his chest, turning his shirt blue. “I will watch it carefully, sir.” Edana grimaces as the egg dyes his shirt. “We had better go Kaie. We are being a distraction.” She looks to Haft and mouths a thank you.

Haft mouths back, “You’ll want to wash that soon.”

Edana nods and moves her son along towards the market.

Assault

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>

Contents: A daughter of eve wearing a blue work dress (Edana).

Haft stands on duty near the inner gatehouse.

Edana leads a heavily bundles d Kaie out into the Outer Ward as he giggles and wiggles, pulling his hand out of hers as he falls into the freshly fallen snow.

Edana, a little less bundled, goes down and starts making a ball with the snow.

Haft remains as he is, hands clasped behind his back, surveying the area.  His eyes flicker over the mother and son without much interest.

Edana throws her snowball at Kaie softly but he gets over excited and throws his snowball at her feet. She laughs and makes another, only to misfire as someone bumps her as they pass by. The ball flies towards Haft.

Haft dodges expertly, shifting his torso to one side.  His feet barely move.  “No assault without declaration of war, Madam!”

Edana gasps and puts her hand on her mouth. “I am so sorry, Sir.” She genuinely seems worried and comes over. “Any damage?” Kaie waddles after his mother, curls bouncing.

Haft shakes his head.  “I’ve taken worse.”  He eyes the boy and waggles his eyebrows over a mock-scowl.

Edana smiles. “I am sure you have.” She looks over her shoulder and waits as Kaie comes closer. “Kaie, I am afraid your mum got you in trouble again.”

Kaie puts his hands on his hips and looks up at her with disappointment.

Haft says, “Aye, there’s a penalty for attacking an officer of the crown.  The exact sentence for ‘snowball as weapon’ eludes me though.”

Edana puts her hands behind her back and smirks. “I am sure you will remember it soon and let me know.” Kaie taps his foot for a moment before running off again. Edana watches him leave for a moment and turns back to Haft. “I hope it is not against the rules to ask how you are.”

Haft asks, “I am well.  It looks to be a fine start to winter.  And yourself?”

Edana crosses her arms and nods. “I am well. I don’t really enjoy the snow but…Kaie does.” She smiles. “Any news about town?”

Haft says, “Wouldn’t know.  Don’t live in town.”

Edana ahs. “Oh…how could I.” She shrugs. “I suppose it doesn’t matter.” She bows her head. “It was…nice….talking to you.” Her eyes dart to Kaie. “Have a good day.” She moves away from him and to Kaie as he plays.

Haft looks confused.  “How could you what, madam?”

Edana looks back and gives him a small smile. “As about town…when you clearly do not live in town.” Kaie throws another snowball at her but she ignores it for a moment, watching Haft for a half second more before leaning down and making another ball to throw at her son.

Haft calls after here.  ‘”Oh that.  You had no way to know.  Some of the guard do.  My father did.

Edana glances up. “Ah…well…I never asked.”

Haft says, “No matter.  Enjoy your day.”

Edana nods, smiling and still making her snowball. “You too.”