rabbit stew

In the Archenland Forest
Middle Archenland

You are surrounded on all sides by green forest and grassy lawn.  A light wind blows softly, rustling the leaves and refreshing you as you pass by.  Every now and then, you catch a glimpse of some small forest creature, or hear the singing of a bird.  The trees don’t grow very close together, which makes walking here fairly easy, though it’s not the sort of place to rush through if you have plenty of time.

Lanisen is sitting, nearly frozen, against the bole of one tree. His attention is completely focused on a rabbit some distance away, and he grips a dagger by the blade in his right hand. He raises it very slowly, preparing to throw…

An arrow zips towards the rabbit and hits the target with a pfft.

Lanisen halts mid-throw, looking confusedly at the arrow. He sighs in exasperation and stands noiselessly, still obscured by the trunk of the tree to the source of the arrow, and waits.

Colin steps quietly from the trees, having been back lying in wait for some such target as the rabbit now skewered on the ground. He approaches the kill, a satisfied look on his face.

Lanisen tenses at the sound of footsteps, waiting for the man to come into sight. As Colin comes past the tree, he freezes, his eyes going wide. He takes a breath and glances around the clearing, apparently deciding that he won’t be able to sneak out. He composes his features and waits.

Colin almost notices the slight movement of freezing out of the corner of his eye. He looks around and not seeing the other man yet, shrugs it off as wind in the leaves. He takes his pack off and pulls a knife out, looking like he’s going to take his time and just skin the rabbit right then and there. Carefully removing the arrow and replacing it in his quiver, he sets to work, taking his time as he has no place else to be and no obligations.

Lanisen settles into character, leaning against the tree and crossing his arms, an annoyed look on his face.

Colin skins carefully, removing the hair and some of the white fat from the carcass. He takes care as he flays the rabbit, clearly having done the task before.

Lanisen just waits. Only the slight tension lining his frame betrays his nervousness.

Colin starts looking around for a good straight stick to use for roasting the rabbit. He looks to both sides, then turns and looks behind himself. Spying a branch somewhat off to the side, he stretches for it. Looking up in just the right direction, he sees the man leaning against the tree and freezes, hand still outstretched for the branch.

Lanisen smirks back at Colin and shoves himself off the tree he’s leaning on. “Well, hello there,” he says, his tone overly polite – almost to the point of patronizing sarcasm.

Colin leans back and stands quickly, carefully guarded. At the sarcasm his brow furrows and a hand unconsciously goes to his side – where nothing is -. With a resigned look he decides to make the best of it. “Hello yourself.” he says cautiously.

Lanisen flips the dagger still in his hand so that the hilt lands in his palm. He sheaths it in one smooth motion and ambles toward the north end of the clearing. “Didn’t actually intend to disturb you. Guess I’ll go find another rabbit.”

Colin’s eyes flick to the dagger before back to the man’s face. “Oh, were you stalking that one too? Apologies.” he doesn’t sound exactly sorry but at least it’s geniunely polite.

Lanisen says, “Was. But you hit it. It’s /rightfully/ yours. I’ll go off and find another one… probably take a couple hours, but that’s the way of these things…” He makes a mock-salute toward Colin and starts heading off.

Colin shrugs. Still remaining on guard, he says “Hold on. I don’t eat much these days. I’m willing to split it with you.”

Lanisen’s insouciant expression flickers briefly – too briefly to be defined – at the offer, then reasserts itself. “Oh, /I/ wouldn’t do that. Terrible thing, to take a meal right from under somebody’s nose.”

Colin says, “Like I said, I haven’t been eating as much these days. There’s plenty. It was a fat one.”

Lanisen says dismissively, “It’s a rabbit. There ain’t much meat on any rabbit.”

Colin shrugs amiably. “I’m getting the feeling if I insist or not you still won’t take it.”

Lanisen cracks a lopsided grin.

Colin returns the grin slightly. He runs a hand through his hair and picks up the carcass. “Might I inquire your name? If I ever encounter more game than I can handle I’ll at least know who to pass it on to.”

Lanisen says shortly, “Cal. You?”

Colin says, “Colin.”

Lanisen’s eyes flicker in recognition of the name. “You’re…?”

A muscle in Colin’s jaw clenches slightly and the guard starts to go back up. “Yes.” he says, bracing himself for yet another rejection.

Lanisen merely looks interested and a little wary. “Oh. Good to have a face to put with the name.”

Colin sighs slightly. “I’m sure it is.”

Lanisen hesitates. He shifts his weight, glancing behind him nervously. “Did… did you really betray the Crown?”

Colin looks resigned to his fate. “Everyone seems to think so.”

Lanisen turns more fully toward Colin, looking simultaneously intrigued and on the verge of flight. “I see…” He waits, obviously hoping for the ex-knight to continue.

Colin runs a hand through his hair, looking frustrated and quite possibly shamed. “Yes, I did perform an act worthy of my banishment. Do you wish to leave my presence now for your safety?”

Lanisen shifts again. “Sorry,” he mutters, and backs away. His steps quicken a bit as he retreats.

Colin mutters “Understandable” and turns back to his small kill.


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