Inner Wall Walk
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.
You can go: Toward the Trapdoor Opening , Southern Watchtower
Haft stands on duty on the wall walk.
Megren comes up through the north trapdoor and walks along down the length of the wall.
Haft turns. “Didn’t expect you up here.
Megren says, “I told Perth I’d cover his shift. Figured it would make good practice.”
Haft asks, “What’s Perth doing?”
Megren says, “Probably beating Geard at darts.”
Haft says, “Sounds like a good use of his time.”
Megren asks, “There’s little better. How’s the watch?”
Haft asks, “Pleasantly dull. How’re your last days as a squire?”
Megren says, “Fast.”
Haft asks, “The squires as eager to be quit of you as the guard was?”
Megren makes a face at him. “I loved being a guard.”
Haft says, “We loved having you. Can’t think why you left.”
Megren pushes her mouth to the side gratefully and nods her thanks. “Even with the cartwheels?”
Haft puts on a mournful face. “Twas a stain upon our honor, to be sure. We do not speak of it.”
Megren hits him lightly in the arm.
Megren says, “Sir Darrin and I talked about it a little. It’ll be different. I’ll miss it, I think, but I’ll also be glad to be done with it.”
Haft says, “Seems like you’re always moving about and progressing while I fight to just stand still.”
Megren’s brows draw together. “You feel that way?”
Haft says, “It’s not necessarily a complaint. I might have hoped in my youth to be a captain one day, and I’ll be glad of any promotions I achieve, but…I don’t know.”
Megren asks, “Is that what you’d like?”
Megren says, “To move up? I always sort of thought you were just where you wanted to be.”
Haft says, “Well, that’s what I mean, at least, well, in a way.”
He looks slightly flustered. “I’m grateful to be here at all. You know that.”
Megren nods. “I do.”
Haft says, “But I’ve always wanted to be the best at what I do. I study and train hard, and my duties have expanded since I came. I’m glad of it.”
Megren nods again, her lips turning upward a little now.
Megren says, “That’s good.”
Haft says, “Yeah.”
Megren watches the quiet ward. “You’re a good guard,” she assesses.
Haft follows her gaze. “Well, everyone started behaving after the first few fiery acorns sped their way.”
Megren snorts softly.
Haft says, “But thanks.”
Megren says, “You’re welcome.”
Haft drums his fingers on the parapet.
Megren glances at him.
Haft asks, “How’d the cubes game end the other night?”
Megren says, “Oh, we stopped when you left.”
Haft asks, “Why?”
Megren lifts her shoulders. “It’s more fun when it’s more than two.”
Haft says, “Coulda asked Owin.”
Megren says, “That’s true.”
Haft says, “Course that might also have terrified him.”
Megren says, “Almost definitely.”
Haft says, “Poor chap does try though.”
Megren says, “Sir Darrin would have comforted him.”
Haft grins. “So…you still owe me a question, don’t you?
Megren says, “Right, yes.”
Haft pauses a moment, takes a breath, then asks. “So why did Suir Darrin stiffen up like a fireplace poker when I asked about your dance partner?”
Megren tilts her head and is quiet for a moment. “Did he?”
She finally asks.
Haft says, “Yes.”
Megren says, “Well.”
She pauses again, and then says, “I guess maybe I haven’t been hiding it as well as I might have liked.”
Haft looks at her sharply. “Hiding what?”
Megren’s lips purse together and she lifts a shoulder.
Megren looks at him with a disbelieving expression.
Megren says, as if she thinks it should be obvious, “It’s Sir Darrin.”
Haft just stares at her.
Megren frowns and looks back at the ward. “It’s, not appropriate or sensible, obviously, so you needn’t be sore with me about all that; I already know. I’d hoped I was addressing it a little better, though.”
Haft blinks at her, as though he’s still catching up. “Addressing it? You haven’t addressed anything at all.”
Megren asks, “Um, hide it and not let it get in the way, then?”
Haft says, “You’re…you /love/ Sir Darrin?”
He blinks again as the rest of the pieces begin to coalesce. “And he /knows/.”
Megren screws up her mouth. “That’s pretty strong words,” she argues.
Haft says, “What, ‘love’? So you just stumble while dancing with him then.”
Megren says, “On occasion.”
Haft asks, “And what does he think about all this? Does he…stumble back?”
Megren says, “I don’t think that’s a thing.”
Haft looks frustrated. “You know what I mean.”
Megren pushes her mouth to the side, lips pressed together, and says after a moment, “You would have to ask him.”
Haft’s voice sparks. “I can’t very well do that, Meg. He’s one of my commanding officers.
Megren says with a touch of reprimand in her voice, “Mine too.”
Haft throws up his hands and stomps away to the other end of the wall.
Megren’s shoulders drop and she calls after him, “Haft–”
Haft ignores her and leans on the stone, perusing the ward.
Megren sighs and tries to close the distance between them. “I have just told you one of my hardest secrets, you know.”
Haft glowers at the ward. “Did you?”
He takes a breath. “Because what you’ve told me is a tangle and I can’t make heads or tails of it.”
Megren’s brows draw together.
Haft says, “Well, from what you’ve said, you’ve taken a shine to Sir Darrin, despite his station. And to judge by his reaction at cubes, he knows about it. But you don’t want to tell me what he thinks of it, so I don’t know how much trouble you may be in or not.”
Megren says, “I don’t know why you think I’ve told him about it.”
Haft asks, “Have you?”
Megren’s lips press together.
Haft makes a face. “You have. If you hadn’t you could tell me. But you don’t want to speak for him I guess.”
Megren’s mouth pushes to the side and she clasps her elbows. “He’s my superior, Haft.”
Haft snaps. “Yes, I haven’t missed that, but what aspect of it you’re trying to drive home escapes me.”
Megren says, “It’s not appropriate for me to hold an interest, and it’s not fair for you to ask.”
Haft makes a noise of frustration and grips the stones, silent for a moment. “Agreed,” he says at length. “But you say you’ve told me a hard secret and I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with it.
Megren says, “You /asked/.”
Haft runs a hand over his face.
Megren asks, in a quieter voice, “Would you have rather I lied?”
Haft sighs and looks back at her. “I would rather you had more sense than the Lion gave a Mouse, Meg. I don’t want you hurt.
Megren says, “I’ll — I know.”
Haft takes her by the shoulders. He sounds older, his voice more fatherly than usual in speaking to her. “What I mean is, the Mice–I don’t know if you met any–they are an honorable small folk. Their thoughts and goals are high and lofty, but too often beyond their measure to achieve. Do you…am I permitted to ask if this is more than a passing folly on your part?
Megren’s eyes skitter away. “It’s — you needn’t worry over it. And I haven’t let it get in the way of my training.”
Haft searches her face. “Lord Darrin is a good man, but few nobles can make the choice of Sir Colin, even if they would. You know this.”
Megren says, “I know.”
Haft nods solemnly. “Guard your heart then.”
He gives her shoulders a light squeeze and releases them.
Megren says, “I, thanks. I will.”
Haft still looks concerned, but says no more for the moment. “How are preparations coming for the vigil?”
Megren says, “We got the dress picked, and I’ve got everything polished, and Sir Darrin and I went over the schedule.”
Haft attempts a half smile. “What sort of dress did you settle on then?”
Megren says, “Tess came up with one I could wear armor with for the ceremony and then dress down for the dancing after.”
Haft says, “Impressive.”
Megren says, “It’s nice.”
Haft asks, “Color?”
Megren says, “Blue/mulberry.”
OOC> Megren says, “ooc That RP is ongoing and we haven’t chosen mulberry or blue yet*.”
Haft asks, “Not Archen purple?”
Megren makes a soft sound of laughter. “I wish.”
OOC> Haft says, “Archen *”
Haft says, “Some of us can’t pull it off.”
Megren gives him an offended look, only half serious.
Haft shrugs at his weak attempt at humor.
Megren says loftily, “Archenland’s colors would look good on anyone.”
Haft purses his lips. “I could name a fair few upon whom they would not look so well, but then Darius and Rabadash are not applying for the honor.”
Megren screws up her mouth but admits, “Fair.”
Haft nods in acknowledgment of her agreement.
Megren blows out a breath.
Haft asks, “Nervous?”
Megren admits, “Yeah.”
Haft says, “So would I be.”
Megren asks, “Yeah?”
Haft says, “Sure. I’d probably be like Agnalin the Unknighted.”
Megren snorts. “You would not.”
Haft considers. “Alright, I admit I’m not likely to knock over a candlestick and burn half the chamber down, but no doubt /something/ would go wrong.”
Megren says, “I don’t know how I’m supposed to get used to people bowing and calling me dame.”
Haft says, “I’ll call you Fritter if you’d rather.”
Megren says, “I’ll accept that.”
Haft says, “Just don’t step on anyone’s toes during the dancing. The rest will fall into place.”
Megren nods. “All right.”
Haft says, “As for the bowing and all, there’s nothing for it.”
Megren says, “Yeah.”
Haft says, “Just look down your nose as loftily as possible.”
Megren tries this now.
Haft says, “Effective.”
Megren breaks into a grin.
Haft smirks. “And now you’ve gone and spoilt it.”
Megren says, “Well, I prefer this.”
Haft says, “Aye.”
Megren wrinkles her nose happily at him.
“You needn’t look so pleased with yourself,” he grumbles.
Megren pulls a frowning face.
Haft wrinkles his nose in a good approximation of hers.
Megren laughs, covering her mouth.
Haft says, “You’ll do just fine Meg.”
Megren smiles at him, and looks back out over the ward. “Thanks. I hope so.”