In the Archenland Forest
Eastern Archenland

You stand in the middle of a forest.  The trees are broadly spaced, the ground beneath you uncluttered by underbrush, giving the gently rolling landscape an almost parklike feel.  Dappled light filters down through the branches, leaves shimmering and translucent against the sunlight. A few birds flit by overhead while others sing in the trees, providing a merry counterpoint to the whispering of the wind.  To the south, you can see the mountains that separate Archenland from the Southern Desert.

Jana saunters through the trees, her expression particularly sour this evening.

Lanisen makes his way with some difficulty through the trees, a dead doe slung over his shoulders. He appears to be having quite a time of it, tripping frequently, but his expression is distinctly smug.

Jana pauses on sight of him and leans against a tree, crossing her arms. “What’ve you got there?”

Lanisen amends his course to join her, dropping the doe. Well, more like squirming out from under the doe, but let’s not get technical. He gestures to the deer in a well-duh manner, beaming proudly.

Jana looks the deer over appraisingly and nods. “Myrd will be pleased.”

Lanisen grins. “‘S good,” he says. “Sure took long enough.”

Jana leans back up against the tree. “I’ll bet.”

Lanisen eyes her suspiciously at this, then finds a seat against a tree. “Where’s everybody?”

Jana says, “Myrd and Loc are handling a new acquisition of sorts. Dunno where Zan and the woman are.”

Lanisen grimaces. “Shenzi? She’s staying around, then?”

Jana smirks menacingly. “Oh yes.”

Lanisen raises an eyebrow, looking a bit ill/grumpy. “Yeah?”

Jana examines her nails. “So… you won’t be wearing that dress after all.”

Lanisen raises his head. “Yeah?” he asks again, visibly cheerier.

Jana says, “But you may need to learn how to kiss a little better.”

Lanisen blinks. “…What?”

Jana smirks again.

Lanisen scowls at her and asks, “Kiss who?”

Jana shrugs. “Maybe nobody. Thihnk Myrd’s got it in his had that you and the Calormene wench’ll play a couple, though.”

Lanisen lets his head fall back against the trunk of the tree. “No.”

Jana shrugs. “If it were up to me, we’d kill her.”

Lanisen broods for a minute. “What acquisition?” he asks suddenly.

Jana says, “The artist we mugged in Lancelyn Green came back for another round.”

Lanisen snorts. “Lovely.”

Jana says, “Myrd’s got him locked in the inn with Loc to guard.”

Lanisen blinks. “In the inn?”

Jana nods with another shrug.

Lanisen frowns, puzzling over this. “…Why?”

Jana says, “Heard some stuff he shouldn’t’ve. Think Myrd just don’t know where to stow a body if we killed him.”

Lanisen asks warily, “What’d he hear?”

Jana says, “Heard we were gonna disguise ourselves.”

Lanisen says, “Coulda been worse, I guess. How’d you get him into the inn?”

Jana says, “Tied him up and went by the back roads.”

Lanisen asks, “And nobody noticed when you went in carrying some tied-up man?”

Jana says, “You /are/ an idiot.”

Lanisen flinches slightly at the words and shrugs. “‘Less you shoved him in down the chimney,” he says defensively.

Jana says, “Back door.”

Lanisen ohs and shifts, mumbling rebelliously to himself. “How long’s Myrd gonna keep him in there? Won’t the owner start asking questions?”

Jana shrugs. “It’s Myrd. I’m sure he knows what he’s doing.”

Lanisen says, doubtful and uneasy, “S’pose so.”

Jana says, “Don’t ask me for his motivations. I don’t understand the man a whit.”

Lanisen says, “Me neither, most times.” He stands and stretches, popping his back. “Should prob’ly get this someplace bears and such won’t get it,” he says, and shoulders the doe with an effort.

Jana blinks at him. “Such as?”

Lanisen uhhs. “Someplace… not on the ground and out in the open?”

Jana says, “Tree. If you can lift it.”

Lanisen ughs, clearly not relishing the thought of lugging the deadweight up several feet. “‘K.” He pauses, eying a tallish tree. “Got any rope? I could hang it…”

Jana says, “Used the rope on Armel.”

Lanisen asks, “That the painter?”

Jana nods.

Lanisen groans and shifts the deer, muttering venemously about stupid prisoners that take up rope. “‘K… I’ll figure somethin’ out, then…” He heads toward the tree, scowling.

Jana smirks and goes on about her own business.


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