Ruined Storeroom
Middle Archenland

The noise of the river tumbling over the rocks is nearly deafening here, cutting off most other sounds. The way ahead is partially blocked by a pile of fallen stones from an earlier collapse. This stair to the cavity below is slick with moss and the ever-present spew of water. The floor oozes with a thick coating of mud, making it necessary for the original occupant to hollow out a series of long, earthen shelves several feet above the floor. These still contain the remains of what must have been an impressive storeroom, now completely ruined by dankness and mold. A few tarnished disks of metal have been left behind, and shreds of what once might have been a fine bolt of cloth. Brackets where torches might once have stood are still affixed in place, but they are black with rust.

The path comes to an abrupt dead end, with no other visible means of escape than the same, slippery fall of rocks used to arrive here.

Jana sits in an isolated corner of the storeroom, where she is unlikely to be seen unless someone were lucky enough to glance right where she is.

Lanisen slips into the storeroom with the unmistakeable air of someone sneaking off from an uncomfortable situation. He pauses, then heads for the boulders nearest the waterfall, likely intent on finding a seat. His attention is apparently not on the storeroom and its contents, so he misses the slight detail of Jana’s presence.

Jana stirs at the presence of Lanisen. She look uncharacteristically tired. But she also looks characteristically peeved. Probably because Lanisen has just disturbed her.

Lanisen hoists himself onto one boulder, finds it unsatisfactory, and clambers awkwardly to another. He settles into his customary position with his arms looped around his knees and sighs, only then catching sight of Jana. He sits up straight immediately, wary of her peeved expression.

Jana observes, “You been sneaking around.”

Lanisen protests, “Have not!” He glances back to the main chamber.

Jana raises a skeptical brow.

Lanisen spreads his hands and shrugs in a so-what-if-I-have manner.

Jana mms with displeasure and leans back, crossing her arms but apparently willing to let the matter be.

Lanisen draws his knees back and says, faintly defensive, “He’s different.”

Jana frowns just a little. “Who?”

Lanisen says, as if it should be obvious, “Loc.”

Jana says, “How.”

Lanisen shrugs. “Quieter. Acts different. All… gloomy and thoughtful and stuff. Think he’s sick?”

Jana shakes her head. “Nah. That’s how he is normal. You just never got to see that side cause you two was always fighting.”

Lanisen scowls slightly, clearly not convinced. “Weren’t /always/,” he mutters.

Jana asks, “Then what do you think’s making him so different?”

Lanisen only shoots her an aggrieved look, as if he expects /her/ to be the one with the explanation.

Jana says, “I don’t think he is different, so don’t expect help from me unless you get a little more specific.”

Lanisen angles himself away from Jana and settles to mulling over Things and watching the waterfall in silence.


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