The Narrow Gate Hall
The Hall of the Narrow Gate is brightly lit by a large chandelier, and by torches on the walls. A bar runs along the length of the south wall. Behind the bar stands Dranken, the Barman, polishing a glass. The wall behind him holds several bottles, and racks of glasses. There is also a menu offering drinks and food. The north wall is dominated by a cheerful stone fireplace. The rest of the room is filled with tables and stools, in little clusters all over the scuffed wooden floor. An arch leads to the Anteroom to the south.
Jana rolls her eyes and scowls.
Myrd looks increasingly impatient as he rolls a coin between two fingers. From the look he gives the barman, he’s obviously contemplating another round.
Jana’accidentally’ knocks his hand and sends to coins rolling into some unknown region of the floor.
Myrd slams his fist down on the table. “Confound it, woman.”
Lanisen slips in through the door, frowning down at a well-wrapped package he has tucked inconspicuously in the crook of one elbow. He stays near the door and stands against the wall while he peers around for Myrd and Jana.
Jana blinks innocently at him.
Myrd lets loose with a single, unrepeatable word. He’s not buying it.
Lanisen follows the source of the unrepeatable word back to Myrd. He smirks at the other man’s annoyance, though the expression is slightly uneasy, and crosses to stand where he is more easily visible.
Jana takes the opportunity that is given her, and looks up as she spies Lanisen out of the corner of her eye.
Myrd doesn’t hesitate to latch on to this new target. “Well, boy, about time you showed up.”
Lanisen, taking this as permission, approaches the table. “The grocer had this for you,” he says in an undertone, holding the package toward Myrd. “‘S not gonna bite, is it? Not like that other time?”
Jana gives Myrd a disbelieving glance.
Myrd smirks. “Guess there’s only one way to find out. Not here, though. Knew Badger would come through with what we needed.”
Lanisen doesn’t look reassured. He glances nervously around the hall and shifts uncomfortably, apparently deciding not to ask them to scoot down so he can sit. “Gonna take it?” he asks, gesturing with the package.
Jana gets up, perfectly willing to sacrifice the little seat she has.
Myrd takes the packet from Lanisen, a sneer forming.
Lanisen rocks back on his heels.
Lanisen mumbles “NOT the biting variety, then.”, to Lanisen.
Lanisen mumbles “… … … … then.”, to Lanisen.
Jana gives Lanisen a little push into her seat.
Lanisen stumbles and lands in the seat with a thud. He gives Jana a slightly betrayed look.
Jana raises her brows at him and gives him a little half shrug.
Myrd glances shiftily around the tavern. “Outside.”
Lanisen stands up from his seat with a so-there expression and waits to follow Myrd.
The Beach Road
The road-side plants are low, and thin, in the sandy soil beneath your feet. From here, you can see the beach and the ocean to the east, and you can hear the screams of seagulls in the distance. The eastern leg of the path leads down a slope to the Beach below, and the west continues back toward town.
Myrd leads them several miles outside of town, not satisfied until the dunes conceal them from any possible prying eyes.
Jana continues to look vaguely sulky as she follows Myrd onto the beach.
Lanisen follows behind them both, trying to not look interested in the contents of the not-biting package and failing. He peers over Myrd’s shoulder.
Myrd peels back a corner of the wrapping, revealing cloth of fine make.
Jana looks a little excited despite herself.
Myrd turns slightly, making certain she can’t see any more of it.
Jana takes a step around so that she can see it.
Lanisen peers around the other side, frowning as he tries to make out what it is.
Myrd says, “Ain’t going to make me open it any faster crowding me like that. ”
Lanisen takes a step back, making sure he’s still at an angle to see it.
Jana remains where she is.
Myrd glares at her.
Jana remains silent and waits.
Myrd tucks the packet under his arm.
Jana frowns and moves half a step back.
Myrd, satisfied, removes the rest of the paper, revealing the livery of a kitchen servant as well as a fine tunic and a gown. The last item he takes out is a dress that would most certainly belong to a lady’s maid.
Jana withholds her glee with only a mild struggle at the quality of clothing.
Lanisen looks slightly disappointed at the contents of the package, but he keeps it to himself.
Myrd looks, as usual, pretty pleased with himself. He bundles it back together and tosses it in Jana’s direction.
Jana catches them. “For all of us, then?”
Myrd asks, “Who do you think they’re for, woman? The seagulls?”
Jana gets a wicked look on her face and opens her mouth, then quickly closes it, expression changing to mild innocence with a shrug.
Lanisen perks up and joins Jana to look through the clothes. He tugs at the sleeve of the kitchen livery and inspects the insignia with interest. “Huh.”
Myrd says, “You have something to say, Woman? ”
Jana says, “Not that you want to hear. So who gets what?”
Myrd snorts. “Pink ain’t my color, if that’s any hint.”
Lanisen snickers quietly.
Myrd glares at him. “But maybe it’s yours, boy.”
Myrd picks up the tunic for himself. “It needs to be soon, if we’re going to get away with it.”
Lanisen says, “Ha.” He does a double-take, eying Myrd apprehensively. “You’re not… you’re kidding, right?”
Myrd says, “Don’t look like I’m kidding. ”
Lanisen appears to be speechless. He looks at Jana for help.
Jana says, “Oh, don’t worry, honey. It’ll bring out the blush in your cheeks. Make you looks much less prettier.”
Myrd says, “Look on the bright side, boy. Nobody’s going to look twice at you in that getup, and that’s what we want.”
Jana really does appear to try not to smirk at that.
Lanisen’s adam’s apple bobs. “No… no no no no, I’m not gonna be caught /dead/ in that!”
Myrd says coldly, “That can be arranged, boy.”
Lanisen’s color drains. He steals another horrified glance at the pink fabric and shuffles his feet. “Make Zan wear it! Or Loc!”
Jana says, “Zan wouldn’t fit in that no matter how I tried to let it out.”
Lanisen asks, losing hope, “Loc?”
Myrd is brief and to the point. “You.”
Lanisen scowls. “Why can’t Jana wear it?” he tries one more time.
Myrd snorts. “Cause you’ll break way more hearts in it. Any other stupid questions?”
Lanisen glances between Myrd and the pink dress and apparently decides the pink dress is worse. “Uh. How come’d you get two sets of girl’s clothes?”
Myrd snarls as he whips out his dagger, “How come you’re not using the half a brain you have?”
Lanisen takes an involuntary step back. “It’s just a question!”
Myrd says with evenness that is almost chilling, given the fact that he’s still holding the dagger. “So was mine.”
Lanisen takes a good look at Myrd and the dagger, then glances at the dress again. He grimaces and glares down at the sand in obvious defeat.
Myrd resheaths his dagger. “Good.”
Jana aws. “Buck up. You know if you can play a girl you can play anything. We’re very difficult.”
Myrd snorts faintly at this.
Jana looks at Myrd. “That you volunteering?”
Lanisen scowls. “You said that last time.” He narrows his eyes, struck by a sudden thought. “Was that /your/ idea??”
Myrd says contemptuously, “Think the beard might give me away.”
Jana ha’s. “Darling, my idea would be to leave Myrd to his blooming plan and stay out of it.”
Lanisen gives Myrd a very brief skeptical side-eye, evidently agreeing.
Myrd’s eyes narrow slightly. “Told you before, woman. You’re more than free to go.”
Jana says, “I ain’t going nowhere. You’re stuck with me.”
Myrd accepts this with a grunt. “That’s your choice, Darlin’.”
Lanisen tries one more time, “What if it don’t fit?”
Myrd snorts, “Then we shrink you down, boy. If you don’t mess up too badly tomorrow, I might think about letting you be the kitchen help.”
Lanisen pounces on this. “Tomorrow? What’s tomorrow?”
Myrd gives him a shove in the direction of town. “Go find some way of making yourself useful, boy.”
Lanisen jumps and goes without protest.