definitely kill the messenger

Inner Ward
Castle Anvard

Avery is walking through the Ward, an open book in her hands. She is looking at it, but it does not block her vision.

Lanisen is heading through the ward in the direction of the kitchens. He pauses at the well for a brief drink, shivering slightly – the water is likely near-freezing – then hurries on. Nothing about him looks particularly out-of-place.

Avery glances up at the young man at the well. She clears her throat and asks, “Were you the one that knocked over the platter of fruit?” She doesn’t worry about other people hearing, considering that the ward is nearly empty.

Lanisen glances blankly toward Avery, his forehead wrinkling. “Wha-… uh.” He bows deeply, lowering his head. “Uh… yes, my lady. I’m very sorry. Didn’t mean to cause any problems, was just an accident.”

Avery snaps her book shut and crosses her arms. “Oh, yes, I know it was an accident. You don’t have to tell me that again.”

Lanisen straightens, keeping his head slightly bowed and his hands at his sides. “Yes, my lady,” he replies simply.

Avery chuckles. “Relax. You’re not in trouble. I actually came to ask you a favor…”

Lanisen does look slightly relieved at this. “Yes, my lady?” he asks.

Avery nods. “Stay here. Alright?”

Lanisen blinks, glancing around the ward. “Uhm… all right.”

Avery leaves the inner ward. A few minutes later, she returns with a flat package and a note. She holds them out to the servant. “Would you give these to Sir Colin, please?”

Lanisen takes the package and the note, blinking at them uncertainly. “To C-… to Sir Colin?” The slip is notable.

Avery arches a brow. “Yes…Sir Colin.” She smiles. “I would deliver them myself…but…Well, it would be better if you did it.”

Lanisen looks slightly confused. “I don’t see Sir Colin very often,” he says cautiously.

Avery looks slightly shocked. “You don’t?”

Lanisen gulps. “Um. No, my lady?”

Avery says, “Hmm.” She frowns. “That’s strange.””

Lanisen looks slightly nervous, shifting his weight. “Why’s that?”

Avery shakes her head. “Well, I just thought that you and he know one another well.”

Lanisen ohs. He glances at the ground and makes a vague gesture with the note. “I’ll… get it to him as soon as I can, my lady.”

Avery shakes her head. “No, it’s alright. I’ll give it to him.” She holds her hands out. “But thank you.”

Lanisen returns the note, though with some reluctance. “I /can/ give it to him if you’d like…”

Avery says, “No, it’s quite alright.”

Lanisen bites his lip and nods. “I’m sorry, my lady…”

Avery chuckles. “Honestly, it’s alright.” She fingers the corner of the note and says, “If you /do/ see him, please tell him that I have something for him.”

Lanisen says, “Of course, my lady.”

Avery smiles. “Thank you…” She tilts her head. “What’s your name?”

Lanisen hesitates briefly, and when he answers, his tone is almost resigned. “Lanisen, my lady.”

Avery nods. “Lanisen.” She chuckles. “I’m sure you know my name, but it probably wouldn’t matter since you call me ‘my lady’, anyway…”

Lanisen cracks a wry half-smile and responds, “Yes, my lady.”

Avery nods. “Yes, well…I should probably let you get back to your duties…”

Lanisen bows quickly. “Thanks, my lady. And ‘m sorry…”

Avery exhales and nods. “Yes, I know you are.”

Lanisen flushes slightly and looks about to apologize for apologizing, but catches himself in time. He takes an uncertain step toward the kitchens.

Avery chuckles as Lanisen walks away. She walks toward the staff quarters, shaking her head and smiling.


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