Astray

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>

 

Haft stands on duty by the gate with Deonyc.

Sehsis wanders among the stalls, not really paying too much attention, just killing time.

Nessa walks up to Half “Good morning. Sorry I was so quick to judge you a few days ago

Haft raises his brows in surprise at Nessa’s approach. “Pardon?”

Nessa says, “Dalia explained that you are normally a very nice person, and not just because Dalia thinks that everyone is a nice person, and that I just so happened to meet you at an inconvenient time. I am sorry that I yelled at you. Though I do maintain that Dalia is as fine as any lady.”

Sehsis doesn’t really seem to notice Haft et al as he approaches.

Deonyc glances at the woman and then haft before turning back to his bow wich he is carefully polishing with a small cloth.

Haft doesn’t seem to know how to take this statement. He glances at Deonyc, but seems to think he’ll find no help there. “Ah, it’s behind us then. Thank you,” he says stiffly.

Nessa says, “Good, because I’d rather it not be akward every time I have to get past you to visit.”

She looks at his fellow guard. “Hello, my name is Nessa. My sister livese in the castle so I’ll probably be seeing you more”

Sehsis now notices the guards, he pointedly ignores Haft and instead offers a greeting to Deonyc

Deonyc looks up from his bow and looks back and forth between sehsis and nessa before regaining his composure, “Oh hello, im Deonyc, nice meeting you Nessa.” He nods politley in greeting to Sehsis, and greets with a friendly, “Good Day.”

Haft says, “She’s Dalia’s sister.”

Nessa says, “It’s nice to meet you as well.”

She nods in agreement with Haft. “Yes, I moved here this week and I was going to let her know that I’m setting up my stall here so she can visit it”

Haft says, “We’ll…be seeing a lot of you then.”

Nessa says, “Yes. I was hoping to speak to the seamstress sometime as well about becoming a supplyer for the castle”

Sehsis pulls a candied fig from his pouch and eats it.

Haft asks, “What’s your line?”

Nessa says, “My line? Heavy wool mostly, I do a lot of patterend fabric.”

Haft asks, “You weave?”

Nessa says, “Yes, I weave. I made the cape I’m wearing, and that one that Dalia was holding when you bumped into her”

Deonyc looks to Nessa, “Im sure that the Armourers could use heavy wool as padding and such, you need that even if you are only wearing chain.”

Sehsis walks eastward toward the gatehouse.

Nessa says, “Thank you, I’ll be sure to talk to them about it. Any work is good right now”

Madeline is currently 27 minutes idle and may not get back to you soon.

Haft eyes the cloak. “It’s nicely done.

Nessa smiles and turns a little to show the fabric “It’s one of the first paterns I designed myselfDeonyc looks over the desing and nods in approval, “If I wouldn’t already have a good cloak id even consider getting one like that.”

Nessa says, “And I would try to sell you one, but I know the value of using what you have for as long as you can”

Deonyc turns to haft, “You want to get a bite to eat, I can check wich of the vendors are around.”

Haft frowns. “I’m still on duty.”

Deonyc nods, “Me too I was thinking i could run off quick and get something to eat here, or we could get one of the kids around here to go?”

Nessa exclaims, “It was nice meeting you gentlemen, but I need to go and get to my work. Have a good day!”

Nessa walks eastward toward the gatehouse.

Haft says, “Or you could ignore your stomach, stop fiddling with that bow and do what you’re paid for.”

Deonyc turns to haft, “They pay me to fiddle with my bow.”

Sehsis comes walking toward you from the Outer Gatehouse.

Haft sighs. “Do you see me sharpening my sword on duty?”

Deonyc shrugs, “Then again sharpening a sword requires concentration, polishing a bow not so much.”

Sehsis walks into the ward, taking a look around as though looking for something.

Haft mutters something under his breath.

Haft mumbles “It’s fine if you’re confident you can walk and think at the same time.”, to Haft.

Haft mumbles “It’s … … … confident you … … … … … the same …”, to Haft.

Deonyc shrugs, and puts away the cloth and straps the bow on the quiver, “Soo that’s Dalia’s sister.”

Sehsis spots the guards and walks over to them, after briefly glancing over at Haft he instead speaks to Deonyc, “Deonyc, Good day… By any chance have you seen Nasrin anywhere”

Haft says, “That’s right.”

He turns to Sehsis. “No.”

Deonyc says, “No, sorry I haven’t seen her anywhere in the market today.”

Sehsis pointedly ignores Haft, instead he keeps speaking to Deonyc, “Ah how irritating. This is getting beyond absurd”

Haft asks, “Misplaced her?”

Sehsis says, “Misplaced? You have a strange way of thinking.”

Deonyc says, “I’m sorry nothing much I can help you with at the moment.”

Sehsis says, “Ah, well. Never mind.”

Haft asks, “Do I? She’s either lost, stolen, or strayed, isn’t she?”

Deonyc nods, “Good luck finding her then, ill pass on that your looking for her if I see her.”

Sehsis says, “Thank you, that would be appreciated”

Haft says, “Not that knowing a guardian was looking has ever encouraged any young lady to hasten homeward.”

Sehsis says with a shrug, “Oh yes, I’m sure you know all about the habits of young ladies.”

Haft crosses his arms and looks smug. “I largely raised my little sister.”

Sehsis says dryly, “Congratulations”

Haft smiles tightly. “We both survived.”

Sehsis says in that same monotone, “By the gods, i am impressed, truly you have accomplished a great feat; survival, however did you manage it”

Deonyc goes and checks a wagon with goods before letting it pass.

Haft frowns. “Perfectly well, to be frank. She has a responsible husband and three fine children.”

Sehsis says, “I’m sure you had -so much- to do with that.”

Haft narrows his eyes. “I made sure she had a husband worthy of her. I’m sure to hear Jorgen tell it, winning my approval was no mean feat.

Haft asks, “Where are you staying, if she’s found?”

Sehsis asks, “Hm?”

Haft says, “I suppose you want her to run along to your lodgings, but if something has happened we’d need to know where you’re staying in order to inform you.”

Sehsis says, “I just need to tell her some important information.”

Haft says, “I meant if something has happened to /her./”

Sehsis says, “No. Nothing. I just cannot find it.”

Haft looks exasperated. “Find what?”

Haft asks, “Amd she’s been missing how long?”

Sehsis says, “She’s not missing, she’s doing this deliberately.”

Haft’s brows lift into his hairline, then retract. He seems to be having difficulty keeping his mouth in a straight line.

Sehsis stares impassively. His default expression when trying not to show any expression.

Haft says, “Imagine that.”

Sehsis says, “Hm.”

Haft asks, “You, uh, getting ready to head back to Calormen or something?”

Sehsis says, “Yes.”

Haft asks, “And…she doesn’t want to go?”

Sehsis shrugs.

Haft asks, “Well, this should be interesting. What would she do if she stays?”

Sehsis says, “That will not happen.”

Haft looks doubtful. “How many girls of your own do you have?

Sehsis says, “None.”

Haft says, “Yeah, as I was saying. Interesting.”

Sehsis asks, “How so?”

Haft says, “Young women can be fairly strong-willed when they know their minds.”

Haft says, “And downright irritating.”

Sehsis gives a brief grimace, it’s over quickly and he just says, “Really now.”

Haft says, “I imagine you’ll find out for yourself. If you find her.”

Deonyc turns to the two, “Soo how long has nasrin been missing?

Sehsis says, “She’s not missing. I just don’t know where she is.”

Deonyc asks, “Thats the same thing, how long has she been away then?”

Haft smirks. “No, you’re missing a subtle distinction, Deonyc.”

Haft says, “She’s not missing. She’s hiding.”

Deonyc shrugs, alright, “How long has she been hiding then?”

Sehsis says, “Midday”

Deonyc says, “So not all that long really, what is the worry then.”

Sehsis says slowly, “There is no worry, I just need to impart important information”

Haft scans the crowd.

Nasrin comes walking toward you from the Outer Gatehouse.

Nasrin wanders amongst the crowd, dressed in a fairly low-key and dark red dress for the day. She weaves in and out of the townspeople, before stopping to buy herself a quick sandwich. No sooner than that is she off again, strolling along.

Haft’s eye twitches slightly as he looks over the crowd, but if he sees anything unusual he makes no comment.

Sehsis looks around too, possibly to avoid being drawn into more conversation with haft or possibly to continue his search. As he looks over at a sandwich stall he catches a glimpse of red vanish into the crowd!

Deonyc glances at the two and then also looks around, but doesn’t catch anything unusual, he isn’t looking very hard either.

Nasrin munches on her sandwhich, taking in the beautiful day as she unknowingly nears the trio.

Sehsis now is sure that it’s her and walks over, “Nasrin.”

Haft follows with his eyes and presses his lips together.

Nasrin says, “tugs a hair-covering around her head a little tighter, before speaking. “Oh, hello there, young man.”

Deonyc turns to haft, “Why do you think Nas is “hiding” away?”

Nasrin exclaims, “Oh, you must be mistaken my good sir – why, I’m Nasira!”

Haft says, “Do you have wool between your ears? He said so. Besides…”

He nods in the direction of Nasrin and Sehsis.”

Sehsis says, “That… That is the worst attempt at hiding your name I have ever heard. Ever.”

Deonyc smiles as he watches the scene unfold.

Nasrin gives Sehsis a bemused smile indeed from under her hair-covering. “I’m sorry, sir? Why would I try and hide my name…?”

Sehsis sighs, “Nasrin enough of this”

Nasrin cants her head to the side. “Enough of what?”

Sehsis says in a sterner voice, “Nasrin enough. I need to tell you that at the end of this week we’re returning to Calormen”

Nasrin hands her sandwich to Sehsis as he speaks, and promptly speeds off.

Sehsis finds himself with a sandwich in his hand. He blinks in bemusement, “What..? Nasrin!”

He would try and persue her through the crowd

Haft frowns. “This could get unpleasant.”

Nasrin dashes, trying to blend within the crowd!

Deonyc looks to haft unsure what to do, and decides to just stand and straigten up at his post.

Sehsis tries to follow her, “Nasrin you can’t just run! You have to go back eventually”

Nasrin does run however, stopping only to avoid crashing into an cart in her way. She tries to sidestep around it, but by now Sehsis would have caught up.

Sehsis does indeed catch up, and he moves in front to block her path, “Nasrin. Why are you doing this?”

Nasrin blinks, before giving an innocent smile. “Oh hello there, uncle!”

Sehsis folds his arms, “Are you ready to stop this foolishness”

Nasrin asks, “What foolishness?”

Sehsis asks, “This… Look, why are you so reluctant to return home?”

Nasrin asks, “Why are you chasing me?”

Sehsis says, “Because I need to know that you will return, I cannot just leave you here.”

Nasrin says, “Certainly, you could leave me here. I’m old enough.”

Sehsis says, “Absolutley not. Your parents would kill me.”

Haft mumbles “We should be so lucky”, to Haft.

You mumble “We should be so lucky”, to Haft.

Haft mumbles “… … be … …”, to Haft.

Sehsis shakes his head, “And how exactly would that be kept hidden? As soon as it was discovered I was back they would want to see you”

Nasrin narrows her eyes slightly, before she shakes her head. “May I go?”

Sehsis asks, “Not until you explain why you do not wish to go back?”

Nasrin stares up at Sehsis momentarily before saying, “I’m afraid I’ve been ill recently.”

Sehsis says, “You have not mentioned it or shown any signs”

Nasrin says, “I thought it would pass, but it seems to be getting worse.”

Sehsis says, “That does not explain the fleeing. And foolishness.”

Nasrin says, “It was an instinctual reaction to being suddenly chased, and my parents have always said I was foolish.”

Sehsis sighs, “The ship sails on friday, even if you are ill you should be well enough to travel by then”

Nasrin says, “Hopefully…”

Deonyc turns to haft, “My shift is over, I ll send your relief over soon.”

Deonyc walks up the north stair.

Haft says, “Sure.”

 

Wouldn’t Want Master Haft to Eat You

Andale

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You stand in the heart of Andale where most of the folk who support Anvard live. Young children play here on nice days, skipping rope, or shooting marbles, and older ones can be seen reading scrolls. Adults hurry through on their way from home to where their business takes them. A well with a stone wall sits on the western edge of the road.

The road here widens and splits to run toward the shops to the east, North Andale to the north and the Crossroad to the south. Short paths lead to the two settlements here; Het Noorden to the northwest, and Zuiden to the southeast.

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You can go: Het Noorden <NW>, North Andale <N>, East Andale <E>, Andale

Crossroad <W>, Zuiden <SE>

 

Haft walks from the direction of the castle wearing a light cloak and plum scarf. He has one large parcel and two small ones in his hands.

Deonyc comes walking from the southern group of cottages like Haft he has his wollen scarf wrapped around his neck and is wearing a warm tunic, his hands are stuffed in his pockets.

Dalia is sitting on a bench outside one of the village cottages, a shawl around her shoulders watching some of the younger village children play.

Nasrin wanders from the direction of the tavern, an apple in her hand. She’s happily munching on it as she strolls along.

Sehsis wanders in, he’s writing a little something in a notebook.

Haft notes Dalia’s presence but makes no greeting.

Deonyc notices the children play as he passes by the cottage he walks over and sits down on the bench next to dalia he smiles and greets, “Hey Dalia, how are you?”

Dalia turns as Deonyc sits beside her, “Hello Deonyc! Very well, thanks! Fine day today isn’t it?”

Sehsis snaps the little notebook shut and tucks it away into a pocket before turning to face her, “Hello Nasrin.”

Nasrin gives Sehsis a delightfully innocent smile. “Uncle, I didn’t know you were in town either.”

Deonyc nods and leans against the backrest, “Yes it is really nice out, a bit colder than id like but still.”

Haft pauses to avoid a child who has run into his path after a leather ball.

Dalia calls after one of the children, “Careful love, you’ve run into master Haft’s path.”

Deonyc smiles and watches haft’s expression, he turns to Dalia, “Are you visiting Family?”

The guard across from him snorts, but agrees, “I’ve seen him with Sir Darrin. Good form. Hard to believe a year ago he was tying fishing net.”

Nasrin exclaims, “I was wanting a breath of fresh air. It’s a lovely day, look at the children playing about!”

Haft looks at Dalia askance, then the child. “Yes, we wouldn’t want Master Haft to eat you,” he says without humor.

Sehsis casts a glance to them, “Yes well as long as they don’t cause trouble their presence is fine.”

The boy’s eyes widen. He snatches up his ball and runs back to his playmates.

Nasrin tilts her head to the side. “Have they given you cause to believe they’ll cause trouble?”

Sehsis says, “No, and I hope it stays that way”

Dalia nods to Deonyc turning a questioning look back at Haft.

Dalia raises a hand in greeting to Nasrin and Sehsis

Haft avoids her eyes.

Nasrin shakes her head disappointedly. “You assume ever so much of them.”

She spots Dalia and waves on back, before wandering on over to the rest.

Sehsis walks along with her, “I assume nothing.”

Deonyc gets up to meet nasrin and sehsis, and returns with them to the bench.

Haft’s glum look deepens at the sight of Sehsis and Nasrin.

Nasrin asks, “Hello Deonyc, hello Haft. And how are you today?”

Nasrin directs a particularly bright smile towards Haft.

Haft eyes Nasrin as though she might catch fire.

Sehsis gives a polite nod to Deonyc, he totally ignores haft.

Deonyc looks back and forth between the two groups quite unsure what to say, he nods in greeting to haft.

Haft takes a breath. “Deonyc.”

Sehsis remains quiet, expression unreadable.

Deonyc quite neutrally answers, “Good day haft.”

Haft nods back. “Right.”

Deonyc moves to stand somewhere between haft and nasrin and Sehsis, “How are you all?”

Nasrin looks between the three, before speaking up. “Good afternoon everyone! I’m doing splendid today, how are you all on this fine and marvellous day?”

Haft edges away from Deonyc. “Fine. Was just heading to the courier. You’ll excuse me.”

Deonyc backs of a bit as well as he notices haft edging off, he turns to Nasrin, “Im doing well myself, you?”

Nasrin nods along to Deonyc and Haft alike. “I’m happy to hear. I’m doing excellent myself, thank you very much!”

Deonyc nods and smiles, “Thats good, have you figured out when about you’ll be leaving to Carlomene?”

Sehsis says, “Not yet.”

Nasrin translates for Deonyc. “Sadly not, but we’ll be sure to let you know the moment we’ve got an answer!”

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

Meeting Nasrin

Andale

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You stand in the heart of Andale where most of the folk who support Anvard live. Young children play here on nice days, skipping rope, or shooting marbles, and older ones can be seen reading scrolls. Adults hurry through on their way from home to where their business takes them. A well with a stone wall sits on the western edge of the road.

The road here widens and splits to run toward the shops to the east, North Andale to the north and the Crossroad to the south. Short paths lead to the two settlements here; Het Noorden to the northwest, and Zuiden to the southeast.

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You can go: Het Noorden , North Andale , East Andale , Andale Crossroad , Zuiden

Contents: Andale Well.

Sehsis comes walking down the lane from East Andale.

Nasrin comes walking down the lane from East Andale.

Nasrin arrives, following Sehsis.

Haft leans against the well, eyes fixed in the direction of Zuiden. He appears thoughtful.

Sehsis walks into the square accompanied by Nasrin, they seem mid conversation, “-But then I really don’t think they were in the right there at all..”

Nasrin strolls in after him, nodding along to his tale. “It only goes to show some customers know little.”

Haft pulls his gaze away and scans the townsfolk automatically. He stops in surprise at the sight of Sehsis accompanied by a young woman.

Sehsis spots haft, but doesn’t say anything to him, instead he answers Nasrin, “Of course but you just have to be polite even so, it’s tiring”

Haft leans back against the well, crossing his arms over his chest.

Nasrin says to Sehsis, “I would get fed up of that very quickly…” She looks on around, making eye contact with Haft for a second.

Haft frowns slightly at the girl.

Sehsis says, “Sometimes I do”

Nasrin blinks and draws her eyes away from the guardsman, shaking her head. “And do you lose your temper?”

Sehsis shakes his head, “Not unless they’re very rude”

Nasrin cocks her head to the side inquisitively. “Who’s the rudest you’ve ever met?”

Sehsis glances toward Haft for a brief fraction of a second, “Hm, that’s a tough one”

Haft catches this last echange. “No doubt,” he mutters.

Nasrin turns over to Haft, her eyes curious. “No doubt what?”

Haft says, “Nothing.” He glances over her garb and directs a question to Sehsis. “Your daughter?””

Sehsis looks utterly taken aback, “Do I look old enough to be her father? No she’s my niece”

Haft narrows his eyes. “I’m sure I couldn’t say.”

Nasrin has a small amused smirk, nudging Sehsis. “It’s either a testament to me looking young, or you looking old!”

Haft agrees. “Must be that.”

Sehsis just glowers.

Nasrin says, “I suppose it’s all in the beard.”

Haft scowls. “Are you saying that beards make men look old?”

Sehsis just folds his arms, clearly unimpressed by her comments.

Nasrin says, “I didn’t say anything about /yours/, just my uncle’s! Plenty of men can have nice youthful styles, like yours.” She smiles.

Sehsis frowns, words will be had later. Stern words.

Haft’s lips twitch at Sehsis’ reaction. “And what’s your name then?” he asks.

Nasrin asks, “I’m Nasrin, pleased to meet you. Who might you be?”

Haft says, “Haft. Guardsman at Anvard.”

Nasrin nods. “I take it you’re not on duty then, or…?”

Haft says, “No. We occasionally have duty in the township, but usually not. Of course if there were an incident in the town, any guardsman present would step up.”

Haft glances at Sehsis.

Nasrin follows Haft’s gaze as he glances on over at Sehsis. “…My uncle doesn’t get himself into bother like that, does he?”

Sehsis says, “I certainly do not.”

Haft says, “I was just recalling our first meeting.”

Sehsis says in a tone full of sarcasm, “Ah. Forgive me for existing, I forgot that merely being is a crime”

Nasrin raises an eyebrow. “Wait, what happened?”

Haft says, “An incident. Though I suppose the cause there of is open to interpretation.”

Nasrin asks, “What’s your interpretation of it all then?”

Haft glances at Sehsis. “I think I’ll let your uncle relay what he chooses.”

Nasrin pouts. “Hey, it’s no good if I can’t hear both sides of the story.”

Haft raise a brow and looks to Sehsis.

Sehsis does not seem to be about to speak.

Nasrin asks, “… No-one?”

Sehsis shakes his head, “I am not discussing this”

Haft shrugs.

Nasrin has a rather disappointed grimace. “Well, that was an interesting story.”

Haft says, “I’m sure certain people thought so.”

Sehsis frowns again. He really doesn’t like this topic, not one bit.

Nasrin pouts, glancing between the two.

Haft asks, “So what brings you back to Andale, and with family?”

Sehsis simply says, “Business.”

Haft eyes the girl doubtfully. “Business.”

Nasrin has a bright smile on her face.

Sehsis shifts, clearly uncomfortable in Haft’s presense, “I will be going” To Nasrin he says, “Are you coming or?”

Nasrin shakes her head. “I can make my own way back.”

Sehsis hesitates then nods, “Very well, I shall see you later then” and with that he leaves

Haft looks after Sehsis, then turns to Nasrin.”He’s just going to leave you in an unfamiliar town?”

Nasrin shakes her head. “I’ve been shown around the past few days. Slowly but surely getting used to things.”

Haft asks, “Why has your uncle brought you here?”

Nasrin says, “My parents said it’d be good for me to experience other countries, and here I am.”

Haft asks, “Why does everyone I meet want to see other countries?”

Nasrin tilts her head to the side. “Is that common?”

Haft says, “Seems to be. Doesn’t anyone feel satisfied where they are?”

Nasrin says, “I felt rather satisfied back at home, yes. ”

Haft asks, “So they sent you…why? We’re you causing trouble at home?”

Nasrin says, “What? No! Of course not.” She shakes her head. “Like I say, to become more worldly!”

Haft asks, “What does that mean?”

Nasrin says, “It’s a very different country up north from what I’m used to back home, so there’s all sorts of little… quirks, differences. My uncle talked about them before once or twice, but now I can really experience them.”

Haft snorts. “I can just imagine what your uncle says about our ‘quirks’.

Nasrin says, “It’s nothing /too/ bad. But I’ll let him relay his thoughts to you rather than say it myself.” She smiles.

Haft mumbles “There’s a conversation that’s likely to be pleasant.”, to Haft.

Haft mumbles “There’s a conversation that’s likely to be …”, to Haft.

Nasrin tilts her head, that curious look upon her face again. “Hm?”

You ask, “Nothing. I trust you’ll stay out of trouble while you’re here?”

Nasrin says, “I certainly hope so.”

You ask, “Glad to hear it. Where are you headed now?”

Nasrin says, “I’m sure you have more than enough on your plate as it is without me adding to your troubles!” She beams, before looking on around. “I was thinking of heading to the market.”

Haft asks, “I’m sure all the guard do. Oh? And what are you looking for?”

Nasrin asks, “Nothing in particular, if I’m honest. But a little browse can’t hurt, can it?”

Haft says, “Depends on the person doing the browsing, I suppose.” He glances back toward Zuiden. “Off with you then.””

Nasrin says, “I’ll see you later then. Have a marvellous day!” With one last friendly smile, she makes to walk off.

Haft sighs and turns back toward the castle. “Right.”

The Enemy’s Niece

Andale

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You stand in the heart of Andale where most of the folk who support Anvard

live. Young children play here on nice days, skipping rope, or shooting

marbles, and older ones can be seen reading scrolls. Adults hurry through on

their way from home to where their business takes them. A well with a stone

wall sits on the western edge of the road.

The road here widens and splits to run toward the shops to the east, North

Andale to the north and the Crossroad to the south. Short paths lead to the two

settlements here; Het Noorden to the northwest, and Zuiden to the southeast.

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You can go: Het Noorden <NW>, North Andale <N>, East Andale <E>, Andale

Crossroad <W>, Zuiden <SE>

Sehsis says in a tole full of sarcasm, “Ah. Forgive me for existing, I forgot that merely being is a crime”

Nasrin raises an eyebrow. “Wait, what happened?”

Haft says, “An incident, though I suppose the cause thereof is open to interpretation.”

Nasrin asks, “What’s your interpretation of it all then?”

Haft glances at Sehsis. “I think I’ll let your uncle relay what he chooses.”

Nasrin pouts. “Hey, it’s no good if I can’t hear both sides of the story.”

Haft raise a brow and looks to Sehsis.

Sehsis does not seem to be about to speak.

Nasrin asks, “… No-one?”

Sehsis shakes his head, “I am not discussing this”

Haft shrugs.

Nasrin has a rather disappointed grimace. “Well, that was an interesting story.”

Haft says, “i’m sure certain people thought so”

Sehsis frowns again. He really doesn’t like this topic, not one bit.

Nasrin pouts, glancing between the two.

Haft asks, “so what brings you back to Andale, and with family?”

Sehsis simply says, “Business.”

Haft eyes the girl doubtfully. “Business.”

Nasrin has a bright smile on her face.

Sehsis shifts, clearly uncomfortable in Haft’s presense, “I will be going” To Nasrin he says, “Are you coming or?:

Nasrin shakes her head. “I can make my own way back.”

Sehsis hesitates then nods, “Very well, I shall see you later then” and with that he leaves

Haft looks after stasis, then turns to Nasrin.”He’s just going to leave you in an unfamiliar town?”

Nasrin shakes her head. “I’ve been shown around the past few days. Slowly but surely getting used to things.”

Haft asks, “Why has your uncle brought you here?”

Nasrin says, “My parents said it’d be good for me to experience other countries, and here I am.”

Haft asks, “Why does everyone I meet want to see other countries?”

Nasrin tilts her head to the side. “Is that common?”

Haft asks, “Seems to be. Doesn’t anyone feel satisfied where they are?”

Nasrin says, “I felt rather satisfied back at home, yes. ”

Haft asks, “So they sent you…why? We’re you causing trouble at home?”

She shakes her head. “Like I say, to become more worldly!”

Haft asks, “What does that mean?”

Nasrin says, “It’s a very different country up north from what I’m used to back home, so there’s all sorts of little… quirks, differences. My uncle talked about them before once or twice, but now I can really experience them.”

Haft snorts. “I can just imagine what your uncle says about our ‘quirks’.Nasrin says, “It’s nothing /too/ bad. But I’ll let him relay his thoughts to you rather than say it myself.”

She smiles.

Haft mumbles “There’s a conversation that’s likely to be pleasant.”, to Haft.

Haft mumbles “There’s a conversation that’s likely to be …”, to Haft.

Nasrin tilts her head, that curious look upon her face again. “Hm?”

Haft asks, “Nothing. I trust you’ll stay out of trouble while you’re here?”

Nasrin says, “I certainly hope so.”

Haft asks, “Glad to hear it. Where are you headed now?”

 

Nasrin says, “I’m sure you have more than enough on your plate as it is without me adding to your troubles!”

She beams, before looking on around. “I was thinking of heading to the market.”

Haft asks, “I’m sure all the guard do. Oh? And what are you looking for?”

Nasrin asks, “Nothing in particular, if I’m honest. But a little browse can’t hurt, can it?”

Haft says, “Depends on the person doing the browsing, I suppose.”

He glances back toward Zuiden. “Off with you then.”

Nasrin says, “I’ll see you later then. Have a marvellous day!”

With one last friendly smile, she makes to walk off.

Haft sighs and turns back toward the castle. “Right.”

Deonyc

In which there is swordplay, discussion of Anvard employment opportunities, and a new face in town

Gatehouse

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-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
You stand in the Outer Gatehouse of Anvard. Its sturdy, iron-bound wooden gates loom to the east. Another pair stands open to the west. Within, you can see the busy Outer Ward, full of people coming and going from Anvard’s open air market.

Across the ward you see the inner gatehouse, Anvard’s second line of defense. To the east you can see the road leading away from the castle.
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]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[

You can go: Outside <E>, Outer Ward <W>

Contents: A son of adam with hunting gear.

Haft steps into the gatehouse, nodding to Perth and Gearn as he passes through.

Deonyc walks up to the guards and asks “Any new happenings in Anvard?  Haven’t been here for a while.”

Gearn looks at Deonyc while Perth attends to the business of the gatehouse.  “Depends how long you’ve been away, I guess.” He tilts his head inquiringly.

Deonyc says, “The last month, anything big since then?”

Gearn shrugs.  “Eh, not much since the fire.”  He gives a smirk at the older guardsman’s back as Haft almost succeeds in exiting the gatehouse toward the village.  “Why don’t you ask Haft here to catch you up?  Me and Perth are on duty, but he’s got time and plenty to spare, don’t you Haft?”

Haft turns, glaring at Gearn, then turning to glance over the newcomer.  “All the time in the world,” he mutters.  “I’m heading for town.  You want news, come on.”

Deonyc turns and walks over to Haft, “Got buisness in town?”

Haft grunts, “Gotta see the seamstress.”

Deonyc asks, “Lets go then, and what was the thing about the fire?”

They start walking toward the town.

Before the Gates of Anvard

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A flat green space at the foot of the mountains opens here, sheltered by the

slopes of the northern mountains. Stormness Head looms high to the northeast,

its peak nearly always in clouds, and the double-headed peak of Mount Pire

rises over the trees to the northwest. A steep ridge like the side of a bowl

curves around from the northwest to the east, and the ground descends into

dense forest to the south.

At the center of the clear area is a small turreted castle, facing east. Its

weathered walls are built of large blocks of red granite that glitter faintly

in the sunlight, and elegantly functional ironwork graces the front gates and

portcullis. A stone cobbled road wide enough to easily facilitate the passage

of carts and carriages crosses over the broad green lawns from the castle

gates, disappearing into the trees to the east.

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]-[]- ,%~ -[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[

You can go: Into the Castle <W>, Down the Castle Road <E>

Haft says, “You’ve been away longer than a month if you didn’t hear about that.””

Deonyc says, “Well mostly I come hunt a bit and leave again; I never stay very long and i don’t talk much with the townsfolk.”

Haft growls, “So why am I deserving of the privilege?”

Deonyc  says, “I can leave, too, if I’m intruding. Just trying to catch up a bit.”

Haft sighs.  “That was, oh, a month and a half ago now, I guess.  We’d had some funny fellow making a nuisance of himself around the castle.  One day he up and sets his house on fire.”

Deonyc asks, “His own house?? Why would he do that?”

Haft says, “Not quite sure, to be honest.  Maybe he hoped to set the whole village on fire, or injure someone in putting it out.  I thought at the time that maybe he meant to cause mischief elsewhere while the fire was burning, but if he did I never heard tell of it.”

Deonyc asks, “Seems the guards are having plenty of work. Did you join before the battle?”

Haft’s step falters and he gives Deonyc a hard look.  “After.”

Deonyc takes a step back, “Just asking, i thought about joining, but in the end I decided against it. Not the job for me.”

“I was just wondering,” Haft says slowly, “how you knew I wasn’t in the guard till recently.  You’re that familiar with everyone in Anvard?”

Deonyc says, “I used to live here, a while ago.”

Haft asks, “When was that then?”

Deonyc says, “A little less than a year ago.”

Haft grunts, “Lucky you, missing the battle.”

Deonyc says, “No, I was in the battle, can’t say I was of much use, got knocked out fairly early into the battle.”

Haft looks at Deonyc with renewed interest.  “Tell me about it.  The parts you remember.”

Deonyc says, “Well as the Narnians came and we left the castle to attack the Calormenes I was on the right flank and I and a burly Calormene exchanged some blows, but one with a mace struck me over the head, couldn’t raise my shield in time.”

Haft gapes.  “With a mace?  You’re blessed to still have a head.  Man musta been badly off balance.”

Deonyc says, “Yes, I really was lucky. I’m surprised they didn’t slit my throat right there. I woke up the day after the battle and that was just bad. I mean I’m not a bad soldier, but to get knocked out, well I should really practice more.”

Haft says, “A man fighting dozens doesn’t always take the time to make sure his downed opponent’s really finished.”  He pauses as though thinking of something, then shakes his head. “What sort of practice have you had?””

Deonyc says, “Well seeing as that I’m a ranger I normaly hunt, the occasional fox and boar, and sometimes finishing a deer.”

Haft says, “Aye, but that’s not sword fighting.  Some knife work, yes, but it’s two different things.  Learning to take down a boar might help with the fear, but it won’t teach you technique.”

Deonyc says, “It’s true, fighting animals is quite different from fighting men, seeing as they dont have tusks or horns, they still have armour though.”

Haft chuckles.  “Be glad you never faced an enemy in Narnia.  They got critters there with horns and armor.  Or used to.  Ain’t heard tell of a minotaur in a long year now.”

Deonyc says, “Well I still lay hope on trees and arrows, Not very honorable, but it works.”

Haft says, “Trees?  Oh, you mean taking cover while you shoot?  Yes, works in the forest.  Don’t work on an open field.”

Deonyc says, “Well seeing as that im a ranger trees aren’t usualy that hard to find for me, specialy when I work in a forest.”

Haft asks, “What do you mean by ‘ranger’?”

Deonyc says, “Well I hunt and take care of the forests.”

Deonyc says, “Sometimes the mountains.”

Haft asks, “They need taking care of?”

Deonyc says, “If there are to many boars they will come out of the forest and start ravaging the villages. The woods can only feed so many.”

Deonyc says, “And bears can be a threat haven’t killed one yet though.”

Haft says, “Hmm, I got one awhile back.  Still have the skin.  Makes for a nice extra cover in the barracks.”

Deonyc says, “Well I guess it cant hurt.  I still prefer a deer hide.  Not so heavy.”

Haft says, “True, but it was worth seeing the look on Gearn’s face when I brought it back.  Lotta the guard don’t have much experience with hunting.”

Deonyc says, “What do they do in their free time then?”

Haft frowns.  “Depends on the man.  Some of them sit around the mess most of the time and play cubes or chess or darts.  Nothin’ wrong with that.  Any man worth his salt spends an hour or two a day in the Practice Room working on swordsmanship or other skills, or just getting exercise.”

Deonyc says, “Well you can’t get all too far beating up straw puppets.”

Haft tsks.  “Of course not.  Far better to ‘beat up on’ each other.”

Deonyc says, “You fight with each other.”

Haft says, “Of course.  Can’t effectively practice what you’ll do against an opponent without an actual opponent.”

Deonyc says, “True.  I just hope we wont get that much practical exercise any time soon.”

Haft doesn’t look very impressed by this sentiment.  “If you don’t practice when you don’t need it, you won’t know it when you do.  As you learned the hard way.”

Deonyc says, “Well i mean that i hope we won’t need it. Its a waste of lives.”

Haft considers this, then answers, “Depends on what you’re fighting for.  We were fighting for our home.”

Deonyc says, “Well i would also not hesitate to defend my home i just hope i don’t have to any time soon”

Haft says, “Yes.  Well I spent forty-five years without ever seeing a battle like that, and I hope to spend the rest of my life without seeing one again.  But I was ready–or ready enough–when it came, and I mean to stay ready.”

Deonyc says, “Yes i aim to do the same.”

Haft asks, “So who do you practice with then?”

Deonyc says, “The foxes boars and deer of my forest, and my trusty bow.”

Haft nods.  “Probably best you stick to archery.”

Deonyc says, “Yes i guess so but id rather be prepared if i have to draw my sword.”

Haft stops walking and gives Deonyc an annoyed look.  “Then I ask again, who do you practice with?”

Deonyc says, “Well every now and then i go to the practice fields, but there isn’t really anybody to practice with in Coghill.”

Haft shakes his head.  “I had similar difficulties when I lived in Narnia…hard to find humans to practice against, for one thing, but then danger in Narnia wasn’t so likely to come from humans as other things.  But if you have no one to test yourself against, you’ll lose all you’ve learned, if you knew anything to begin with.”

Deonyc asks, “Are you harping on my skill with the sword?”

Haft smirks.  “You caught that, did you?”

Deonyc asks, “Are you challenging me?”

Haft tilts his head.  “Yes, I think so.  I imagine one of us will get a valuable lesson out of it.”

Deonyc says, “Well I certanly don’t mind if i get beaten, but of to the lists it is then.”

Haft says, “Hold.  I’ll not cross swords with a man without knowing first his name.”

Deonyc says, “if you must Deonyc Woodsbourogh to you.”

Haft nods curtly.  “Haft.”

Haft says, “Guess we should turn back to the castle and pick up a couple of wooden swords.  I’ll fetch my gambeson, too.”

Deonyc says, “Yes i guess so.”

They return to the castle where Haft grabs a practice sword and the gambeson he wears under his livery, and Deonyc purchases a wooden sword for himself.
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.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[

You can go: Kennels <N>, Northern Market <NE>, Outer Gatehouse <E>, Southern Market <SE>, Stables <S>, Blacksmith <SW>, Inner Gatehouse <W>, South Stair <US>, North Stair <UN>

Haft quirks a brow at Deonyc.  “You want to unload some of that meat before walking back to town, or will you be eating it yourself later?”

Deonyc asks, “Could i sell it somewhere?”

Haft grunts, “Fellow in the smokehouse buys meat.  I can sell it for you, if you like.”

Deonyc says, “Okay thanks then.”

Haft takes the meat and sells it in the smokehouse before returning.

Haft hands over the money from the sale.  “There you go.  Now, as for the lists, I rather think the Practice Grounds will do for now.”

Deonyc says, “Yes I think that would be better seeing as were not betting on anything.”

They walk to the practice grounds.
Ziel’s Practice Grounds

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You stand in another bit of cleared ground, just off Vechter’s Field, and obviously a part of it. Ziel, a young Son of Adam, sits on his chair, generally snoozing unless he’s pestered for a target. Behind him is a pile of straw targets, some new, some half-made, some completely destroyed, ready to be taken apart and remade, if only Ziel would wake up and get to work. There are several stands at different heights, scattered across the clearing. It appears that the targets are affixed to these, once purchased.

The only easy way to leave is to go through Vecter’s Field to the east. The rest of the area is hemmed in by conifers.

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You can go: Vechter’s Field <E>

Contents: Ziel.
Deonyc says, “Should we practice here.”

Haft glances at the sleeping Ziel.  “I don’t think he’ll mind.  Well, I gave the challenge, after a fashion, so I’ll allow you the first attempt.”  Haft takes the wooden sword and grips it firmly with both hands between hilt and pommel.

Deonyc says, “Well, here goes nothing ”

Haft winces as if he finds the very sentiment appalling.

Deonyc swings his sword in a wide arc and tries to bring it down with two hands.

Haft grunts, not fully deflecting the strike.  He keeps his own swordwork less grandiose and more controlled, striking toward Deonyc’s chest.

Deonyc staggers and takes a step back. He lunges forward trying to thrust his sword at haft.

Haft’s lips thin.  “Better,” he mutters, looking for an opening and lunging again.

Deonyc mutters, “Wish I had a shield,” while striking back.

Haft grunts at the impact.  “Useful things, but heavy to carry constantly,” he says as he circles.  “I didn’t have one in the Battle of Anvard and I made it through alive.  Learn to make do with what you have.”  He strikes at Deonyc’s forearm.

Deonyc rubs his arm but strikes back putting his full weight behind the blade.

Haft nearly gets a blow in while Deonyc is busy rubbing his arm, but isn’t quite fast enough.  He returns the blow with another of his own.

Ignoring the blow, Deonyc strikes back.

Haft grunts again as the sword connects, then moves quickly, aiming from the right.

Deonyc raises his sword above his head and tries to strike haft.

Haft leaps aside, avoiding most of the blow, then returns another, toward Deonyc’s heart.

Deonyc checks the cut but strikes back.

Haft makes an exasperated sound.  “Stop checking your injuries while you’re fighting.  You’ll get yourself killed that way.  If your hand’s cut off, you’ll know it.”  He stabs quickly.

Deonyc says, “Well you also don’t want to fall into a rage.”

Deonyc thrusts at Haft.

Haft deflects the majority of the blow, more distracted by Deonyc’s words than the actual pain.  He returns a strike of his own, grunting, “Rage?”

Deonyc says, “Well when you forget your  surroundings and forget the situation you’re in.”

Deonyc strikes at Haft.

Haft stares at the man in disbelief, then shakes his head as he absorbs the blow and returns it.

Deonyc raises his sword to deflect the blow but the blade nicks his shoulder

Deonyc tries to hit Haft’s shoulder.

Haft flinches, stepping to the right again to deliver another thrust.

Deonyc steps back and shakes his head but still strikes back.

Haft presses his advantage, ignoring the minor sting and swiftly stabbing at Deonyc’s side.

Deonyc steps side to side looking for a weak spot finding one he trys to stabb haft .

Haft nods his approval that the younger man found an opening, then strikes again from the right.
Deonyc says, “Well I guess I can see where this is going.”

“An intelligent man would,” Haft smiles.

Deonyc tries to strike at Haft’s legs.

Haft winces at the impact near his shin.  But the motion has opened up Deonyc’s shoulder, a fact Haft attempts to take advantage of.

Deonyc says, “Okay, I think we can stop now.”

Haft steps back, lowering his sword and nodding.

Deonyc says, “Can’t take much more of this.”

Deonyc goes over to his stuff and sits down

Deonyc says, “You hungry?”

Haft says, “Hmm, I’m all right.”  He chuckles.  “You know, you were better than I expected.””

Deonyc says, “Well I was not expecting to win… I mean you’re a guard and have a few years of experience more than me.”

Deonyc pulls Sourdough Bread from Knapsack.

Deonyc eats a slice of sourdough bread.

Deonyc holds out the bread to Haft. “made it myself.”

Haft folds his hands over his chest.  “Just a few.  You’re not bad though.  But you make too many large, sweeping motions.  Opens you up for an opponent with better form.  And you don’t move enough.”

Haft nods.  “I won’t refuse.”

Deonyc hands Sourdough Bread to Haft.

Haft eats a slice of sourdough bread. It is wholesome and filling, slightly tangy to the taste.

Haft tests the bread, chewing thoughtfully.  “Missed your calling, maybe, Ranger.”

Deonyc says, “Wild animals don’t really give you the time to move.”

Deonyc asks, “Meaning?”

Haft frowns.  “What do you do, just stand there and let them charge you straight on?”

Haft says, “Coulda been a baker.  This is good.”

Deonyc says, “Sometimes that’s not bad. If they run straight at you you just hold out your sword and they almost spit themselves up.”

Deonyc says, “Well I have to cook for myself so I make simple food until it tastes good enough as anyrhing else.”

Deonyc says, “Well for boars  you would use spears.”

Deonyc says, “I usually try to shoot down prey as well.”

Haft says, “Heh.  Yeah I cooked for myself for years.  My fellow guard doesn’t think much of it I guess.  Trying to learn me to cook.”

Haft nods.

Deonyc says, “Well if he wants to buy or eat gruel the whole time that’s fine by me.”

Haft leans on the wooden sword.  “She, actually.  And she’s not a bad cook herself.  Showed me something fancy with a stuffed quail that was right tasty.”

Deonyc says, “If she can cook quail she’s really good.”

Deonyc says, “I hardly get past soup and bread.”

Haft nods.  “Not real good with bread myself.  Can keep a perpetual stew going.  Hard to wreck that.”

Deonyc says, “Well sourdough is cheap and easy to make.”

Haft says, “If you say so.”

Deonyc counts on his fingers: “Flour, water , salt, and a starter.”

Haft says, “Huh.  Well, that doesn’t sound so bad…except…I live in the barracks.  Ain’t really got time to have bread rising in the kitchens and all that.  Gets in the way of other folk.”

Deonyc says, ” Well you just leave it in a bowl for a few hours and then bake it.”

Haft shrugs, looking uninterested.

Deonyc asks, “so heard of any jobs in the castle?”

Haft says, “Jobs?”  He frowns.  “Don’t rightly know….might be something come open in the kennels lately, but I’m not sure about that.  Think one of the scullery maids married and moved away.  Why?”

Deonyc says, “Well I thought about coming back to Andale. But if I will I’d need a good reason to, and an occupation.”

Haft asks, “You said being a guard wasn’t for you.  Why’s that?”

Deonyc says, “Well I don’t  enjoy standing around a lot.”

Haft’s lips twitch.  “Highly underrated.  But I suppose it’s not for everyone.”  His eyes narrow a little.  “You got much family?

Deonyc says, “No I have a brother in the mountains somewhere but other than that no family.”

Haft gives him a hard look.  “In the mountains somewhere?”

Deonyc says, “Well and my father but I haven’t seen him in a long time.”

Haft asks, “And he lives where?”

Deonyc says, “Me and my brother went separate ways quite early.”

Haft shakes his head disapprovingly.

Deonyc says, “Around Stormness Head ”

Haft asks, “Your father lives there?  Or your brother?”

Deonyc says, “Dont quite know.  Haven’t seen them in a while as I said.”

Haft asks, “And where you been living since?”

Deonyc says, “Coghill.”

Haft asks, “Lotta folks know you there?”

Deonyc says, “Well I know Sehsis, but we’re not really on a talking basis right now.”

Deonyc says, “Kind of called him out during the battle and he’s Calormene, so…”

Haft frowns.  “Sehsis.  His name comes up a lot.  What do you mean you ‘called him out’?”

Deonyc says, “Well I asked what we should do with him during the battle.”

Deonyc says, “See I was really surprised when the Calormenes attacked.”

Haft raises a brow.  “Yeah?  Who’d you ask?  One of the Guard?”

Deonyc says, “Well everybody at once kind of.”

Haft asks, “And what’d they say?”

Deonyc says, “Nothing, so we just left him alone.”

Haft asks, “They didn’t say anything?”

Deonyc says, “Well he’s a merchant and I trust that he didn’t have anything to do with the attack so we just left him alone.”

Haft narrows his eyes.  “I don’t think that’s quite so.  Wasn’t his weapon confiscated?”

Deonyc says, “He had a weapon? That really surprises me I took him hunting once and he threw up when I killed the animal.”

Haft says, “I saw the king return it, after the battle.  Or that was what it looked like.”

Deonyc says, “Maybe I’ll ask him about it when I go back, but I doubt he had a weapon.”

Haft snorts.  “I’m sure he’d just love to relive it.”

Deonyc says, “I mean that’s if he even talks to me but…”

“I wouldn’t,” Haft says flatly.

Deonyc says, “Didn’t you have business with the seamstress? ”

Haft tilts his head, smile not entirely pleasant.  “Want to be rid of me now?”

Deonyc shakes his head and says “No it’s just I don’t quite know what to think of him right now.”

Haft says, “Of Sehsis.”

Deonyc nods “Yes.”

Haft asks, “The king accepted him at the feast.  What leaves doubt in your mind?”

Deonyc says, “I’m not quite sure, I mean what you said about the weapon, what if you are right? Just why would he carry a weapon?  The road from Coghill to Anvard is not dangerous.”

Haft scowls.  “What is not dangerous one day may be dangerous another.  Bandits in Archenland are not unheard of.”  He considers.  “The road from Barfield to Sted Cair is not dangerous, and yet as a matter of principle my sword does not leave my side, and so was to hand when Narnia mustered to aid you, though I dare say another might have been found.”

Deonyc says, “I trust Sehsis and until anything happens I will continue to trust him even if he doesn’t trust me.”

Haft asks, “Did you know each other well before the battle?”

Deonyc says, “Yes, quite, we talked often.”

Haft says, “But you were not friends.”

Deonyc says, “Well something between friends and acquaintances. I must go now.  Farewell.”

Haft’s face is stony.  “I would never speak to you again, were I him.”  He clears his throat at the farewell.  “A word of advice, Deonyc?  If you seek a job in the castle, make sure there are people who can vouch that you are who you say you are.  Because if you aren’t…well, let’s just say that the last man to ask me about employment in Anvard set his house on fire.”

Deonyc says, “Well the only person that knows me well is Sehsis but I doubt he’ll vouch for me and I’d rather not burn down any houses.Thanks for the advice. I’ll take it to heart. Till we meet again.”

Haft says, “Good day.”

Deonyc says, “Good day to you too.”

Haft turns and walks from the Practice Grounds.