How to Offend Foreign Nobility

Library

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Chlamash unfolds the paper, flattening it. He seems to take his time re-reading it, mouthing some sort of bendiction over it before he tucks it away.

Haft enters the room. He looks surprised to see both Lanisen and Chlamash present, but offers a bow to the Tarkaan.

Chlamash glances up at the sound of footsteps of approching footsteps, running a hand through his hair. His posture straightens so that his noble bearing is more obvious. When Haft enters, he nods to him politely his face revealing nothing. Continue reading How to Offend Foreign Nobility

Something You Can Twirl In

Seamstress’ Shop

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You stand in the Seamstress’ Shop, where the finest clothes in Archenland are sold. Bolts of fabric lie in neat piles, some rough, and others soft or shimmering. Threads of various hues, even a few which appear to be gold or silver, sit wound on neatly-ordered spools. While the common traveler can find a serviceable tunic for a reasonable price here, there are also fine embroidered gowns and doublets for court functions. The sheer variety of merchandise in such a small space is a bit overwhelming, and gives you the impression of having fallen into the center of a rainbow.

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You can go: Market Entrance <O>

 

 

Megren stands between the doorway of the shop and Tess and Lanisen, who are discussing a lovely roll of blue and darker blue patterned fabric.

Haft steps inside, pausing to let his eyes adjust.

Lanisen stands at the counter, frowning down at the fabric while Tess explains to him about skirt lengths and how she can fix it so the fabric brushes the floor but doesn’t often get stepped on.

Megren screws up her mouth and crosses her arms, eyes flicking over the stacks of color lining the room.

Haft looks surprised to find anyone there. “Oh, good day.”

Megren turns, surprised, and her face colors a little. “Oh, Haft.”

Lanisen glances over his shoulder, distracted briefly by the newcomer.

Haft tilts his head to look at the cloth. “Pretty.”

Megren says, “We’re just looking.”

Tess, no fool, casts an appraising eye at Megren and turns away from the counter, reaching down bolts of fabric in tones that will compliment her hair and coloring.

Lanisen lifts his shoulders at Haft and turns back to the counter as Tess sets the first bolts down. He pauses, catching his lower lip between his teeth, and looks back at Megren.

Haft gives her a curious look. “Me too. Thought I might find something nice for Calla.”

Megren says, “Oh, that’s nice.”

Tess lays out a good selection, ranging from rich jewel tones to paler pastels. They seem to be mostly on the cooler end of the spectrum, blues and greens with a couple of violets.

Megren hesitates, and then steps toward the cloths. She reaches out to finger an airy bolt of teal.

Lanisen steps to the side, smiling silent thanks at Tess.

Haft steps over to Tess. “Got something a little girl might fancy?”

Megren fingers the fabric for a long moment and then releases a breath, dropping her shoulders, and moves on to something a little less nice.

Tess moves down the counter, leaving Megren to consider in more privacy, and asks, “Does this little girl like climbing trees or dancing, or both?”

Lanisen watches Megren’s process keenly, but doesn’t interfere.

Haft says, “Both, to be sure.”

Megren looks up to watch Haft’s conversation, lips turning upward at his reply.

Tess grins at this reply. “I have two of those,” she answers ruefully, and turns to face the wall of cloth. She pulls out several bolts halfway, sturdy fabric in colors that won’t show stains easily: midtoned blues and greens and soft fawn-colored browns. She steps back to survey these, tapping her lower lip with her thumb, and reaches up above the fabric to the shelf of trimmings and pulls down a spool of simple lace. “A short dress over leggings?” she suggests. “Less liable to get in the way and tear; still good for twirling.”

Haft nods his approval. “Something like that. In blue I think.”

Lanisen reaches out to investigate a soft pastel green with near-invisible patterns in slightly lighter green and a liquid drape.

Megren points to linen bolt with an indigo stain among Haft’s selection. “That one’s nice.”

Haft examines the indicated bolt.

Tess lifts it down to the counter and unwinds a bit so Haft can have a closer look. She tilts her head to consider it and unspools some of the lace to lay across it, where it contrasts very prettily with the dark blue.

Lanisen touches Megren’s elbow. “What do you think of these?” he asks quietly, gesturing at the fabrics she hasn’t really looked at yet.

Megren moves to look. “I don’t know,” she says a little hopelessly.

Haft glances at Megren. “What’s the occasion?”

Megren tucks her hair behind her ear. “It’s for the ceremony.”

Lanisen considers, then begins to sort the fabric into three piles by how they feel and hang.

Megren’s eyes shift to Lanisen with impressed alarm.

Tess lifts down a bolt of the fawn to set with the indigo and lace.

Haft says, “Ah. Well, get something you can twirl in so I can tell Calla all about it.”

Megren says, “There’s the kind of concrete advice I was looking for.”

Haft grins unapologetically.

Perhaps you should wait for the question before agreeing with it.

Lanisen prods gently, gesturing to the piles, “You want to pick which kind you like best?”

One pile holds the liquid, silky sort; another is richer and warmer and almost velvety; a third holds a light, airy fabric that will certainly be good for twirling.

Megren says, “They all look like something I would ruin.”

Haft says, “Did Sir Darrin offer any guidelines?”

Megren says, “We’re supposed to look together but I didn’t want to drag him around without any ideas.”

Haft grunts. “Isn’t exactly a lot of precedent. Can’t you just wear armor?”

Megren says, “I’m supposed to have a dress for the dancing.”

She glances at Lanisen and nods hesitantly.

Lanisen asks, “Light or dark, do you think?”

Haft eyes the choices. “I prefer the heavier one, in truth, but I’m afraid I’m pressed for time.”

He turns back to Tess and makes inquiry about the price of the bolts and the lace, frowning slightly at her answer. “I’ll think on it.”

Megren asks, “Um?”

Haft says, “Be spring before the day, won’t it? I don’t imagine it need be dark.”

Megren points to the minty green Lanisen was looking at earlier, and an aubergine. “I like this one, but I like that, too.”

Lanisen says thoughtfully, “There’s already snowdrops and crocuses, I bet there’ll be somethin’ good bloomin’ for you to wear by the time they’re done makin’ arrangements.”

Megren colors and looks a little overwhelmed by this prospect.

Tess says, moving back along the counter to join the conversation again, “Apple blossoms would be lovely against that dark purply blue.”

Megren asks, “Aren’t they just going to fall out?”

Haft glances at the fabric, then Megren’s hair, doubtfully.

Tess says dismissively, “Oh, I shouldn’t think so. They’re quite clever with flowers for wearing.”

Megren squints an eye doubtfully.

Tess lifts a shoulder apologetically. “I don’t know much about it, it’s not my trade. But I do know some of the ladies-in-waiting up in the castle who do some really lovely things for the spring and summer dances.”

Megren says, “Well, you’d know better than me.”

Haft snorts. “They can braid them in. It’d be fine.”

Megren says, “Oh.”

Tess lifts a corner of the pale green and holds it up to consider again. “This would be nice in the spring as well…”

Haft says, “Anyway, I gotta get. I’ll see you later.”

Megren’s eyes stray to the teal again.

Lanisen follows her glance. He reaches out and tugs the teal out of its pile to add to the short list, to an approving murmur from Tess.

Haft heads out the door.

Megren says, “I’ll ruin any of those.”

Lanisen says, “Shhh, don’t worry about that right now.”

Megren says, “No, it’s important.”

Lanisen says, “Yeah, but it’s, later, we’ll worry about it after we find a color and Tess can help figure out ways for you to work with it, yeah?”

Megren tucks her hair behind her ear.

Lanisen asks, “What colors do you like to wear when it’s just, just for goin’ about?”

Megren looks down at herself and her squire’s clothes.

Lanisen says, “You got dresses, I seen ’em. What’s your favorite?”

Megren says, “Um, the blue one, I guess.”

Lanisen says encouragingly, “That’s a good color, do you want a color that’s like that?”

You exit the shop.

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.

 

Bad News

Kennels

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Anvard’s kennel is a spacious room, longer than it is wide. It has two large windows in the north wall that serve well for light during the day, and lamps are suspended from the ceiling where they cannot be knocked over by rowdy hounds. A row of pens can be seen along the far wall, likely used to isolate dogs that are sick, injured, or in need of further training, but most of the castle pack is allowed to roam freely about the room. There is a door at the south end of the east wall with a hound-sized hinged flap on the bottom that leads out to the hounds’ yard. Behind a door in the back wall is a set of wooden steps that lead up to the second level, and a door in the west wallopens onto the private quarters of the master of hounds.

The room is kept very clean, and it has a comfortably shabby lived-in sort of feeling. The smell of dog, while present, is not overpowering, and small bundles of fragrant dried herbs are hung at intervals from the ceiling. There is an ancient, heavy wooden table across the room, and two overstuffed chairs face the enormous hearth on the east wall: all slightly gnawed and ragged, but sturdy. Cupboards and shelves on the west wall hold the sorts of liniments, herbs, and bandages used to treat the more common hound ailments, but they also hold tins of tea, dishes, a plate of biscuits or sweetbread, candles, books, and other accoutrements of pleasant evenings.

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You can go: Outer Ward <N>, Huntsman’s Chamber <W>, Up <U>

Lanisen is sitting with Megren at the table, an open bottle of wine and two cups between them. His face is slightly flushed, and he looks upset and desperately conflicted. He stares at Megren, then moistens his lips and leans his elbows on the table, folding his hands in front of his mouth.

Megren says, “He isn’t you, though, and I trust your instincts. Maybe you–” she pulls in her lips. “I, maybe the right thing to do is live there a couple months and see.”

Lanisen says, “You think I should–”

Haft opens the door and enters the kennel, loosening his scarf and then stilling in surprise at the sight of Megren and Lanisen.

Megren screws up her mouth, about to say something when the door opens. She looks up.

Lanisen glances up quickly, alert and guarded despite the wine.

Haft breaks into a smile. “You’re back.”

Megren stands up, her hand slipping from around Lanisen’s back to his near shoulder. “Hi — hi, Haft, hi. Oh, I’m sorry, I should have gone up and said hello right off.”

Lanisen gets up as well. He blinks a couple of times and puts his hand on the back of his chair.

Haft crosses his arms. “Agreed. When did you arrive?”

Megren glances over her shoulder at Lanisen. “About, maybe about an hour ago? Did you, have you seen Sir Darrin and the rest yet?”

Lanisen nods to confirm her estimate.

Haft says, “No, not yet.”

He frowns. “The /rest/?”

Megren says, “Um, we brought back Prince Cor and a couple people who’d gone out with him.”

Haft brightens at this news. “Be good to see him around again.”

Lanisen shifts his weight. He looks at Haft, frowning slightly, then glances at Megren.

Megren says, “It’s, um, here–” she pulls out a chair and glances at Lanisen again. “I don’t even know how to, how to say it.”

Haft asks, “Say what? Is His Highness all right?”

Lanisen takes a deep breath. He rubs the side of his face tiredly and nods. “C’mon, you’d, you should sit down.”

Megren says, “He’s, Prince Cor’s fine, or, it’s not him.”

Haft glances between Megren and Lanisen. He walks over and lowers himself to the bench. “Who?”

Lanisen goes to get another cup.

Megren runs her hand through her hair and sits down herself. She takes a drink from her cup. “Uh, um, their, the Narnian Kings and Queens.”

Her eyes skitter to Lanisen again. “It’s, it’s all so bizarre, I don’t even know how to tell it.”

Haft asks, “Try?”

Lanisen sets the cup down in front of Haft and slides the bottle over to him in silent invitation. He sits down next to Megren again.

Megren says, “There was, all right, there was a hunt, because there was a stag that, a white stag? That’s supposed to give wishes? And they all went after it.”

Haft nods slowly. “All right. And…what? One of their wishes went awry?”

Megren looks at Lanisen again.

Lanisen looks at Megren. He takes a deep breath. “No,” he answers, looking back at Haft. “It’s– I’m sorry, I’m sorry, they’re, they’ve gone.”

Megren provides, “Aslan, Aslan came, he said they’re gone.”

Haft asks, “Gone? Gone where?”

Lanisen shakes his head slightly. “I don’t, we don’t know. Aslan knows but he didn’t… he didn’t say.”

Megren says, “Out of the world, I think? We don’t really know.”

Haft says, “Out of the-” He stares. “You mean they’re not coming back?”

Lanisen nods mutely.

Megren takes a big breath and releases it. She ducks her head and rubs the heel of her hand over her brow, then looks back up at him. “He said, he said they’re not.”

Haft looks between the two again. “If you’re having me on…”

Lanisen assures him, a little desperately, “We wouldn’t, we wouldn’t.”

Megren says, “I know it’s, I told you, I don’t know how to tell it, it’s–”

Haft looks grim. “So who’s next in line?”

Megren shakes her head unknowingly.

Lanisen says, “It’s– They’re meant to look for somebody, I think.”

Haft asks, “Look for somebody? Was there a prophecy?”

Lanisen shakes his head.

Megren says, “Choose somebody, I tink.”

Haft rubs a finger along the grain of the wood. “Who’s in charge in the meantime?”

Megren says, “There’s a, they’ve got some kind of council that rules when they all travel places. And Lord Peridan, he’s been doing a lot.”

Lanisen watches Haft’s face to see how he’s taking the news.

Haft nods. “That’s good. He’s got sense.” He amends, “Sometimes. When Lady Avery’s not at hand, and when he doesn’t drive himself so hard he’s falling down.”

Megren says, “Prince Cor, Prince Cor was real good.”

Lanisen nods emphatically at this.

A smile plays around Haft’s mouth. “Tell me.”

Megren says, “He was, everyone was all scattered and arguing, and he didn’t shut them up, but he pulled them together and got them to organize and stop fighting and I think he, I think he tried to make sure everyone felt useful,” she glance at Lanisen for confirmation. “He gave them all jobs and made sure they ate.”

Lanisen nods. “It was– We were, everybody was scared and worried,” he says. “Him more than most, I think, they’re, they’re his friends. But he kept it together, he– he led.”

Haft inclines his head. “He’ll be a great king one day.”

Lanisen says softly, “Yeah.”

Megren’s mouth curves upward on one side.

Haft lets out a breath. “Which doesn’t solve the current problem.”

Megren says, “No.”

Lanisen curls his hand around his cup and looks down at the remainder of his wine.

Haft asks, “Do you think they’ll try to find ties to the old bloodlines?”

Megren lifts her shoulders. “Sir Darrin said we should get Prince Cor home and tell everyone here rather than interfere with a task that wasn’t ours when we hadn’t told the King yet. And Prince Cor said the same, because Aslan told them it was their task.”

She looks tired.

Lanisen nods silently.

Haft drums his fingers on the table. “It’s a two-edged sword. They need a king soon to maintain stability, but they need to be careful to choose wisely. Err to one side and Narnia could fall to outside forces. Err to the other and it will decay from within.

Megren rubs her temple.

Lanisen takes a drink of his wine. He looks exhausted.

Haft asks, “What about you two? Are you all right?”

Megren says, “It…was a long last couple of days.”

Lanisen looks down at the table.

Haft asks, “I can imagine. You rode straight from…where did they disappear? Why were you even nearby?”

Megren says, “Um, we wanted to see the lamp post.”

Haft asks, “The what?”

Lanisen lets out a small breath almost like laughter.

Haft asks, “Oh, of Lantern Waste?”

Megren nods.

Haft asks, “And you rode back all the way from there?”

Megren nods again, lips turning downward.

Haft asks, “And Sir Darrin and the prince are closeted with the king now?”

Megren says, “I think so. I’m not, that’s what they were saying.”

Lanisen nods.

Haft sighs and shakes his head, then pushes himself up. “I can’t stay. I want to hear the rest but it’s almost my watch. I only came in here to see the…” He glances at Lanisen. ” Well, anyway, I should go.”

Megren says, “I’m sorry I didn’t find you right away.”

Lanisen gets to his feet as Haft does, but he seems tired enough that he doesn’t notice anything odd in what he says.

Haft waves this away. “It’s all right. I imagine you’re both exhausted. Turn in soon?”

Megren says, “Yeah, we will. I’m, here–” she gets up and hugs him. “It’s good to see you again.”

Haft returns the hug. “I’m glad you’re safe.”

Lanisen stays quiet, reaching down to rub Tohol’s ears when he ambles over.

Megren just nods, stepping back. “Have a boring watch,” she quips.

Haft says, “I’ll try.”

Haft slips out the door.

Not the Cupbearer

Kitchen Yard

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The kitchen yard is surrounded on all sides by a high stone wall, covered in climbing ivy. Most of the space is taken up by vegetable gardens, full of carrot, bean, and potato plants. A neat flagstone path runs between the rows, leading to a gardener’s hut in the southwestern corner of the yard. Several spades and rakes are leaning against a wall. It’s mostly quiet here, except for the sounds of the wind over the walls and bees buzzing. It smells earthy and organic, and it is a pleasant place to work.

A thick iron-bound wooden door leads into the kitchen. The entire eastern wall is taken up by the smokehouse.

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You can go: Anvard Kitchen <N>, The Smokehouse <E>, Gardener’s Shed <SW>,

Apple Tree <U>

Lanisen has brought his soup out to the garden to eat in the cool evening air. He sits on a bench with his back to the outer wall.

The door to the gardener’s shed opens and Haft emerges, a pair of shears in one hand.

Lanisen glances up at the sound, but doesn’t call out or call attention to himself.

Haft is almost past before he notices Lanisen. “Oh, didn’t see you there.”

Lanisen shifts, keeping his soup carefully level. “Sorry.”

Haft says, “Nothing to be sorry about.”

He glances down at the shears in his hand, looking sheepish. “Sadie…wanted some shears. Couldn’t find a page and deemed I would do.”

Lanisen says, “Good of you.”

Haft snorts. “Not really. She’s just too terrifying to say no to.”

Lanisen lets out a small, unvoiced breath of laughter.

Haft asks, “She unnerve you at all?”

Lanisen asks, “Sadie? Nah. Maybe a little, at first.”

Haft raises a brow. “You’d tell her no?”

Lanisen frowns a little. “I mean– prob’ly not, somethin’ like that. Why would I?”

Haft shakes his head. “Never mind.”

He makes to move on, then pauses. “Did…Nathen come to see you yesterday?”

Lanisen glances at Haft quickly. His expression is hard to decipher, but he says after a small pause, “Yes.”

Haft rubs the back of his neck. “That might have been my fault. I hope he didn’t cause too much trouble?”

Lanisen shifts again, his posture straightening a little. “Why?”

Haft says, “Well, because I didn’t mean to make a problem.”

Lanisen asks, “How did you– what, what happened?”

Haft shifts. “He said the delivery boy asked him to bring some kitchen stuffs into the castle. The circumstance made me uncomfortable.”

Lanisen asks, “You told him to test it on my dogs?”

Haft winces. “No. Well, sort of. It was his idea, and I reckoned if there were something wrong, which I didn’t think really truly likely, well, I /would/ rather it be a dog than one of us. I told him to ask you or Kirby first and not go feeding it to the first beast he came across.”

Lanisen says, “He didn’t.”

Haft says, “He didn’t ask you?”

He grimaces. “Dare I even ask what happened?”

Lanisen’s face doesn’t have much expression, but the tension in his posture and the flat tone to his voice make it very clear that he is still furious. “He… ah, he came in, he picked a hound, he tried to feed the stuff to her. I objected, we had words. The hounds’re too well-mannered to eat somethin’ they’re told not to touch, otherwise he’d have got his way.”

His eyes flick to Haft, dark and angry. “Don’t send folk to the kennels with suspicious food again. They’re hounds, they’re not the ruddy cupbearer.”

Haft frowns. “I told you it wasn’t my–” He cuts himself off and considers for a second. “Understood.”

Lanisen nods a couple times and lowers his eyes.

Haft looks away, “Again I apologize for the intrusion,” he says, a bit stiffly, before heading into the kitchen.

Lanisen doesn’t stop him.

Gani

Library
]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
The Library of Anvard rises around you. Reddish wooden pillars like twisted
tree-trunks support the roof at even intervals, long bookcases in rows between
them. The room is warmly lit by a multitude of round hung lamps, like globular
fruit. The air is heavy with the sweet and musty smell of books, old and new.
Hundreds of volumes line the shelves, and a few spaces between trunks have
been left open for tables at which to reading and write. Thick pillar candles
can be used to bring a little more yellow light to late-night researchers in
these places.

The room appears to be well-dusted and well-kept, its contents carefully
maintained and repaired throughout the years.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[
You can go: Hallway <W>
Contents: A Row of Bookshelves.

Nathen wanders in and lifts one feathery white brow at the guard curiously. A small smear of blackberry jelly on his chin.

Haft enters the library and glances around to see if anyone is already occupied with reading.

Nathen asks, “Guardsman Haft. What brings you into my domain this day?”

Nathen settles into his ‘professional’ stance with his hands folded together in the small of his back.

Haft snaps his heels together as he turns. He hands over a small volume. “Returning one of your subjects to its place.”

Nathen asks, “Excellent. What did you thnk of it?”

Nathen eyes the volume in Haft’s hand critically.

Haft says, “To be honest, some of the entries fell a little flat.”

Nathen tilts his head slightly curiously.

Nathen says, “Not one for plebian humor and grossly obvious riddles? How odd.”

Haft’s own brow inches upward.

Nathen runs his long fingers over the book making note of every blemish.

Haft says,, “In one example a knight said to another, ‘I will defeat!’ To which the other replied, ‘I will de-leg you.’l”

Nathen asks, “However it seems to find an audience with the more easily amused among the castle’s population. Perhaps something a bit more intellectual?”

Nathen turns to see Lanisen enter.

Haft says, “I need something in reserve for riddles with Lord Darrin, as it turns out. So yes, something a bit more intellectual.”

Nathen sighs in a suffering manner.

Nathen says, “Lord Darrin. I suppose I might be able to locate a book of limericks that would amuse him. He has all the tact and grace of blacksmith’s hammer.”

Haft frowns at this.

Lanisen slips inside, closing the heavy doors behind him. He hesitates briefly at the door, then ducks his head to both Nathen and Haft politely and makes his way toward a shelf of histories.

Nathen tucks the books of Jokes and Riddles under his left arm then turns his attention to the young man he met earlier. Favoring him with a thin smile

Haft murmurs hello as Lanisen walks past.

Nathen exclaims, “Ah! I see my young stalker has tracked me down. Looking for a good book of jokes as well? ”

Lanisen crouches down a little stiffly to inspect the lower shelves. He glances back toward the two men at this to see who Nathen might be referring to.

Haft mutters.

You mumble “There’s no need to give me away.”, to Nathen.

Haft mumbles “There’s … … … give me away.”, to Nathen.

Nathen mumbles “Of course. I know you how much your image can mean to a guardsman. It shall be our little secret.”, to Haft.

Nathen mumbles “… course. I … you … … your image … mean … a guardsman. It … … our little secret.”, to Haft.

Lanisen looks between them curiously, raising his eyebrows.

Haft rolls his eyes heavenward.

Nathen says “So have you come to library to finally use that head for more than cracking walnuts master Gani?” as he turns to regard Lanisen.

You ask, “Master who?”

Lanisen looks briefly lost, but as Haft asks the question before he can, he doesn’t bother saying anything.

Nathen looks to Haft lifting his hand palm up toward the young man with the scarred throat.

Nathen says, “have you not met Gani yet? Here I thought a guardsmen were famous for their powers of observation.”

Lanisen stands up again, pulling his lips between his teeth. He glances at Haft a little helplessly and says, “It’s, um, my name’s Lanisen, sir.”

Haft says, “I trust it’s not the squirrel we extracted from the bookshelves some months ago.”

Nathen shudders at Hafts querry. Then eyes Lanisen suspiciously.

Lanisen shifts his weight self-consciously.

Nathen says, “No no. We did not get around to findiing out the nasty little vermin’s name. But if you do not recognize Gani… are you suppose to be in the castle boy?””

Haft crosses his arms, waiting to be enlightened.

Lanisen stiffens slightly, his eyes darting to Nathen’s face in surprise and confusion. “Um…”

Nathen exclaims, “Out with it Gani! If that is your real name. Are you a spy or thief?”

Haft’s eyes widen slightly and he glances at Lanisen.

Lanisen’s face goes slightly pale, then red. He shifts his weight. “My name’s Lanisen, sir, I been comin’ in here for years.”

Haft asks, “You’re feeling quite all right, I suppose? Haven’t been dipping into the Calormene epics again?”

Nathen fluffy white brows come together like a hunting owl’s wings. As he eyes the young man down his nose suspiciously.

Nathen asks, “Lanisen? Why did you tell me your name was Gani then?”

Lanisen says, “I never, I never– it’s, it’s a little close, I guess, maybe you misheard.”

Haft says, “It’s no such thing.”

Nathen purses his lips in thought then shrugs dissmissively. “Perhaps. Though if you didn’t mumble I might have heard you the first time.”

Lanisen’s ears flush a little darker red. He ducks his head. “Sorry, sir.”

Haft rubs his chin as if waiting for something more.

Nathen grunts softly. “Well I’m glad we cleared that up.”

Lanisen says, “Yes, sir.”

Nathen asks, “How may I help you Lanisen. Perhaps a book on lockpicking or skulking?”

Haft says, “I wouldn’t mind a book on skulking.”

Lanisen draws a small breath. He takes a step back, and then begins for the door, murmuring, “Beg pardon.”

Nathen looks at Haft increduously. “Oh yes. A man lawered in iron garments would find such a volume very useful I’m sure.” Looking back at Lanisen he frowned as he moved to leave.

Haft says, “It’s mostly maille.”

Lanisen slips out as quietly as he came in, careful not to look at either Haft or Nathen.

Haft leans against a bookshelf. “You unsettled him, good and proper, Master Librarian.”

Lanisen walks out to the Hallway.

Nathen taps his chin smearing the jelly there more. “Hmmm… that was not my intent. Oh bohter!” Moves with purpose after the retreating young man.

Haft says, “Ten to one he’s halfway to the kennels by now.”

Nathen stops dead and gives Haft a puzzled look. “Is that where he works? Careful of my books Guardman Haft! They should not be handled like one of your axes.” With that he steps through the door.

Nathen walks out to the Hallway.

Name Time On Idle Name Time On Idle Name Time On Idle

Deonyc 00:04 44s Nathen 08:35 7s Lydia 1d 01:51 1d

Haft 00:58 0s Melody 1d 01:42 5m Blackclaw 1d 14:46 23h

Zephyrwind 03:55 3m

7 players are connected.