In the Archenland Forest
A mountain forest surrounds you on every side. Gazing over the trees to the north and south, you see the snowcaps rising, though you can still continue a bit further before the foothills impede your progress. The wide valley you stand in runs east and west between them, a gently rolling, hilly place, covered mostly with grass and the rare flower.
Lanisen is very obviously not hunting at the moment, instead scuffing through the vegetation in search of berries, fresney, edible roots, fruit, what-have-you. He kneels by a rather pathetic-looking mulberry shrub and begins picking. Most of the berries don’t make it into his bag.
Colin moves down through the branches of the tree above, oblivious to the presence of ‘Cal’ down below. The branches creak and let loose leaves and bark. A pear drops down right on Cal’s head, then Colin appears above and grabs the lowest branch to swing down. His body drops and he dangles right in front of Cal, blinking in surprise as he forgets to let go of the branch.
Lanisen jumps, one hand flying to the top of his head. The few berries he has managed to pile up escape, and he swears creatively as he rolls out of kicking/stabbing/attacking range from Colin.
Colin lets go of the branch and drops to the ground. His own surprise is evident as he eyes Cal warily. “Interesting choice of words.” He comments.
Lanisen’s hand hovers over his dagger hilt. “Like to see you do better, somebody swings down on top of you,” he retorts.
Colin keeps one eye on Cal’s hand, shrugging slightly. “Couldn’t exactly be helped, you know.”
Lanisen snorts, evidently disagreeing.
Colin starts to step away from the tree, still keeping an eye on Cal. “At least I didn’t land /on/ you.” he offers.
Lanisen eyes the spilled mulberries regretfully. “Came pretty close,” he mutters. He hesitates briefly, shooting an uncertain glance at Colin, then kneels to quickly pick up the berries. And the pear.
Colin takes a step back to allow him more room, careful not to trod upon the berries. “My apologies, regardless.”
Lanisen finishes hastily and stands, backing away from Colin in a clear display of not-entirely-feigned wariness.
Colin’s wariness is fueled further by Cal’s. He faces the other man, keeping an eye on the dagger at his side. “So. Now you have your berries, no thanks to me.”
Lanisen’s hands are occupied by holding the fruit. “Uh. Yeah… um.” He glances down at the sad little handful of berries and single pear, then back at Colin. Curiosity seems to be winning out over his projected impulse to run. “There any more up there?” He indicates the pear and the tree.
Colin stands beneath the pear tree. He leans slightly against the tree trunk, still on guard. “Perhaps. I suppose since I took your rabbit last time I can let you have a few pears.”
Lanisen chuckles uneasily. “Your rabbit,” he replies, shrugging. He sets the fruit down and pauses a moment, obviously uncomfortable with the idea of climbing the tree with the other man right there.
Colin steps back to give him some space. He looks to the north, craning his head slightly, listening. He shrugs and dismisses it.
Lanisen glances at Colin, then swings up easily into one of the lower branches. He begins immediately to fill his pockets with pears.
Myrd sticks to the shadows. He crosses his arms and observes the other two with extreme wariness.
Colin asks, “Find any ripe ones?”
Myrd scratches the top of his head, considering. He has apparently already figured out what is transpiring, and his expression becomes calculating. He makes no indication of his presence yet.
Lanisen swings back down and nods, tossing a pear in one hand. “A couple,” he answers, then adds in a lower voice, “Thanks.”
Colin nods. “Don’t mention it.” He looks him over, apparently trying to gauge what to speak of next, considering the last meeting ended on a sour note.
Myrd scowls as Lanisen thanks the other man.
Lanisen rubs the back of his neck, evidently equally wrong-footed. “Um… you… live here now?”
Colin nods slightly, looking a bit wary at the question. “Nowhere else to go. Might as well try a pear tree for a bed for a time.” he says carefully.
Myrd rubs at his chin. He steps forward slightly, pretending to blink with nervousness from behind the thick and, frankly ugly, glasses he wears. “Who…who’s there?”
Lanisen winces and jokes lightly, “Your neck must be killing you.” He turns at the query, not immediately recognizing Myrd. It doesn’t take long for him to figure it out – his eyes widen slightly, but he gives no other sign of recognition.
Colin rubs his neck. “It and someplace else.” He quips, before the unknown man steps out. He takes a step back with increasing wariness (again). “Uh, hello there…” He says carefully, watching the man’s every movement.
Myrd jumps back a step, looking miserable and terrified when the man addresses him. “H…hello th…there…”
Lanisen takes a step toward the bespectacled man, moving slowly so as not to “scare” him. “Sir? Are you all right?” he asks, his tone fairly dripping with concern.
Myrd gulps, playing his part perfectly. “Not…not sure yet. Th…the nerves aren’t as strong as they on…once were, y’see…”
Colin watches, gauging the situation. “What brings you all the way out here, sir? Are you lost?”
Lanisen glances at Colin, his face showing nothing but worry. He takes another step toward Myrd and extends a hand cautiously. “Can we… help you?”
Myrd lifts his hands to his face in an alarmed gesture. “Oh, M…mercy. Wh…what if you’re…th…them?”
Colin asks, “Them?”
Lanisen blinks and lowers his hand. “Them?” He furrows his forehead, taking a step back toward Colin. “Oh, no… we’re not!” He pauses, glancing at Colin in a well-I-don’t-/think/-we-are sort of way. “It’s all right, sir, nobody’s gonna…”
Myrd shifts uneasily from one foot to the other. “I’d…I’d b…best be going. It…it isn’t s…afe here…”
Colin says “Well, /we/ won’t hurt you.” He glances at the other man before continuing. “But you’re right, the forest probably isn’t very safe.”
Lanisen asks, “Do you…” He hesitates, apparently trying to find a way to ask politely if Myrd is lost. “Can I help you get somewhere, sir? Back to the town?”
Myrd blinks again, “Th…thank you…y…young man.”
Colin says, “I’ll help you.”
Lanisen’s expression briefly shows deep relief at Colin’s offer, but it flickers past too quickly to be discerned. He offers his arm to Myrd to lead him.
Colin flanks the nervous man on the other side, ready to help guide the way if necessary.
The road wends gently along the edge of the open and scattered woodlands that can be seen encroaching upon the eastern part of this region. To the west, the more open country of the plains can be seen rolling gently in low hills, and you can make out the telltale rooftops of the town of Lancelyn Green. The road here turns toward it.
The Sun and Moon Inn can be seen to the east here, neatly nestled into the trees. The structure looks to be quite old, but it has the proud gleam of a structure reclaimed and refitted, and it appears to be a pleasant place to pass the night. You can smell the pleasant aroma of something cooking in the pub. The road continues north to the Northern Path here.
Myrd walks into the inn.
Colin pauses when they reach the Inn. “I…will depart here. You don’t need me in there.”
Lanisen halts as Myrd heads into the Inn, looking confused and /really/ not certain what to do. “Well, he… seems to be all right…” He looks hesitant to follow, and turns toward Colin.
Colin watches the man go without a goodbye and frowns slightly. He turns away from the inn, letting it go.
Lanisen looks at a loss as to what to do. He watches the door, forehead furrowed.
Colin turns abruptly. “Where do you live, Cal?”
Lanisen is caught off-guard by the question and blinks. “Me? Oh… just outside of the village.” He gestures west into Lancelyn Green.
Colin says, “Ah.”
Colin asks, “Everything all right there?”
Lanisen’s eyes flick to Colin’s face and away quickly. “Everything’s fine.”
Colin ahs knowingly. “How’s the hunting been?” he asks casually.
Lanisen replies shortly, “Fine.”
Lanisen says, “I can take care of myself.”
Colin nods amiably. “That’s good to hear.” he pauses, then looks him square in the eye. “And now about the truth?”
Lanisen flinches a bit. “Don’t see where it’s any of your business.”
Colin says, “I think it is.”
Lanisen raises a challenging eyebrow.
Colin arches his own right back.
Lanisen whirls on his heel and prepares to storm off. “Didn’t come out here just to find /another/ person to tell me how I’m s’posed to live my life. Ain’t any of your business.”
Colin says, “It is when I took one of your meals. Now stop acting like a child.”
Lanisen halts several paces away, shoulders stiff. It’s clear that the mention of the meal has caught his attention, though.
Colin folds his arms, facing him. “Now. How about we discuss this like adults, eh?”
Lanisen turns slowly to face Colin, expression tight. He crosses his own arms rebelliously, but shuts up to listen.
Colin asks, “All right. The real situation?”
Lanisen clenches his jaw and swallows, not meeting Colin’s eyes. “Can’t go back,” he mutters under his breath.
Colin asks, “Excuse me?”
Lanisen lets his arms drop to his sides. “I can’t go back, ok?” he repeats, voice rising angrily. “You wanted to know; now you know. Please just…” He grits his teeth and turns to stalk off.
You stand along the Northern Trail of Archenland. The vast plains of the country open up before you in a beautiful display of golden grasses and wildflowers. The sun glows softly, giving the scene a warm and comforting look. The trail itself winds slowly through the plains, going northeast and west from here. You can see the forest to the distant north.
Colin says, “Uh, don’t think so.”
Colin takes hold of his arm.
Lanisen starts and tries to pull away.
Colin is a little stronger than he appears, hanging fast. “You didn’t tell me /why/ you can’t go back.”
Lanisen stops struggling when it becomes apparent he’s not going anywhere. He stands still with his head lowered. “Neither did /you/,” he points out.
Colin asks, “Excuse me?”
Morrigan trips, flailing her arms as she attempts to sidle past.
Lanisen clenches his teeth and shuts up.
Colin blinks in surprise, and reaches out to catch the girl, turning ‘Cal”s arm loose in the process. “Hello there… you all right?”
Morrigan blinks stupidly when she is caught, quickly straightening up. “Uhm,” she starts, taking a moment to stare openly at the man who had not caught her. “Yes,” she finally says, embarrassed.
Lanisen steps quickly away from Colin as soon as he’s released. He returns the stare, eyes widening as he recognizes the woman. He breaks off the stare quickly, glancing to Colin.
Colin looks between them. Remembering himself he now turns the girl loose so she can right herself. “Oh. Right, then.”
Morrigan brushes her clothes off, looking distinctly awkward. “Uhm. Thank you. Sir.” It was obviously painful for her to talk in such a manner.
Lanisen’s expression flickers with distaste, then he resumes glowering at the ground.
Colin looks between the two again, trying to decide what to do next…hm, awkward!
Morrigan shakes her hair back off of her dark face before starting to walk again. “Uhm. I should be…going.” With that, she practically ran; obviously eager to ‘escape.’
Colin blinks after her, looking confused. He takes a moment to rub his temple, muttering something about ‘what a day’.
Lanisen takes the opportunity to slip off again.
Colin turns back to Cal and…he’s gone. “Hey!”
In the Archenland Forest
You stand on a well-worn path running through the trees. To the north and west, purple mountains separate Archenland from Narnia. The trees on either side of the path provide ample shade for an enjoyable outing. Alongside, you occasionally spot a small cluster of flowers in some delicate color. The path continues on through the forest to the south and the east, while to the west it begins to wind through the plains.
Colin gives chase. “Hold up!”
Lanisen groans audibly and rounds on Colin. “What do you /want/??”
Colin says, “You never answered my question, pal.”
Colin is looking rather indignant.
Lanisen answers, “Ain’t your business, is it? And I’m not your /pal/.”
Colin folds his arms. “I’m beginning to get the impression that you’re hiding something from me, /Cal/, if that really is your name.”
Lanisen eyes Colin derisively. “Said it was, didn’t I?”
Morrigan glances suspiciously at the pair, looking a tad irritated that she had again bumped into them.
Colin starts to retort, but holds it back when he hears someone approaching again. Seeing the girl, a brief look of exhasperation flickers in his eyes, too brief to be noticed.
Lanisen glances around the area, obviously giving thought to sneaking off again.
Morrigan crosses her arms over her chest, raising an eyebrow. “This IS suspicious, isn’t it?”
Colin folds his arms across his chest. “What, that two people are standing around talking?” He asks.
Lanisen snorts softly.
Morrigan says, “”Yes, when you stop talking in front of me. I’m not STUPID.” She’d obviously gotten her courage back, and was not a happy bunny.
Colin says, “Merely an oversight on our part. I have nothing to hide.”
Morrigan narrows her eyes – particularly at the one with shaggy hair. “And what’re you then?” she asks Colin, “A detective?”
Lanisen mumbles “Figured /she/ was the detective.”, to Colin.
Lanisen mumbles “… /she/ was the detective.”, to Colin.
Morrigan snaps her attention to Lanisen, glowering.
Lanisen raises his eyebrows at Shenzi.
Colin eyes ‘Cal’ before turning back to the girl. “Why? Is there something to detect?” He asks frankly.
Morrigan makes an odd choking noise, as she tries to think fast. “Uh. No. Well, I’m not the detective, am i?”
Colin shrugs. “You know more about that than I.”
Lanisen shifts his weight, the teenage petulance fading from his expression and being replaced with Concerned Citizen. He watches Shenzi warily.
Morrigan raises an eyebrow; “How so?”
Colin folds his arms, rather unconcerned. “I know you not, therefore you know better about yourself than I do, detective or not.”
Lanisen crosses his arms, mimicking Colin. He watches and listens quietly.
Morrigan seems out of her element, having to think faster than she was accustomed. “I meant him,” she muttered, motioning to Lanisen.
Colin says, “Oh, did you? Forgive me, I misunderstood.”
Lanisen blinks and raises an eyebrow. “I look like a detective?” he asks, and nearly struts.
Morrigan glowers, muttering a curt “Why not?”
Colin almost looks amused. “Apparently so.”
Lanisen is having a hard time not laughing.
Lanisen asks, “What, you scared of detectives?”
Morrigan looks at his strangely, as if he had lost his mind. “No? What are we even talking about anymore?”
Lanisen raises an eyebrow and makes a big show of backing away and holding up his hands defensively. “You brought it up!”
Colin’s hands go up too. “Don’t ask me! You lost me way back there.”
Lanisen looks at Colin and shakes his head, animosity forgotten. “Girls.”
Morrigan pushes her hands back through her hair, clearly confused, and exhasperated.
Colin shakes his own head, and refolds his arms. “So. How do you two know each other?”
Lanisen blinks. “…I don’t know her…” He pauses and looks at Shenzi’s face. “I think… I’m /pretty/ sure I don’t know her. Wait… were you in the Lancelyn Green tavern that one time, with the eggs…?”
Morrigan was about to say something – but Lanisen started. “Yeah,” she ended up agreeing, confidently even though she had no idea what he was talking.
Colin gives no indication if he believes them or not. He merely nods amiably. “Ah, I see.”
Lanisen brightens. “Oh! Then, yeah, I do know her,” he confirms to Colin. Then eyes Shenzi. “Not that I plan to admit it ever again…”
Morrigan promptly screws up her face, sticking her tongue out at Lanisen,
Colin looks faintly amused. “Might I inquire as to your name?” he addresses the girl, so as to stop thinking of her as the girl.
Lanisen promptly responds by sticking his thumbs on his temples and waggling his fingers at her.
Morrigan nods her head; “You may. Sharlene,” she supplies instantly, with a rare – if fake – smile.
Colin says, “A pleasure.”
Morrigan asks, “And you are…?”
Colin tenses very slightly, unnoticeably. “I am Colin.” He owns up to it, bracing himself and resigning to her inevitable reaction.
Morrigan, remarkably, simply, nods her head, smoothly. “Nice to meet you, sort of.”
Colin tries to hide his surprise.
Lanisen doesn’t look particularly surprised. He does look faintly tense, though he hides it well.
Morrigan seems to notice something odd; looking from Colin to Lanisen, and back again. “…what?”
Colin swallows his surprise. “I guess…nothing?”
Lanisen leans against a tree, crosses his arms, and (again) raises an eyebrow. “Somethin’ wrong?”
Morrigan says, “No…I guess not,” before falling mercifully silent.
Lanisen rolls his eyes and stands up from the tree. “‘Scuse me.” He mock-salutes Colin and Sharlene and turns to leave.
Colin wearily runs a hand through his hair and gives up, letting him go.