Colin is walking through the Ward, newly-filled quiver in hand.
Lanisen is heading toward the kennels from the inner gatehouse, evidently having just been at the kitchens. His arms are full of rather unpleasant-looking bundles wrapped in brown paper – probably raw meat for the dogs. He skids on a patch of ice and nearly loses his balance, but manages to steady himself without losing a single packet.
Colin slings his quiver over his shoulder. The strap slips and he twists to adjust it, not looking where he is going. He jerks suddenly as a foot skids on ice, nearly sending him to the ground. Grappling for balance, he stays upright.
Lanisen adjusts his grip on the somewhat-slimy packets of meat enough to free one hand so he can blow on it and defrost it slightly. Predictably, he loses a bundle. It goes skidding across the ice like a bowling ball.
Colin notices a bundle of something that looks like it could be meat skittering towards him on the frost. He carefully bends over to pick it up, then looks around for it’s owner.
Lanisen scrambles after it, skidding and flailing over the ice. He manages to gain his balance and skates rather awkwardly to retrieve it, grinning like an idiot at his success.
Colin watches with amusement, chuckling as Lanisen nearly slides into him. “Looking for this?” he offers the bundle.
Lanisen halts himself with some difficulty. “Yessir! Thanks!” He takes the bundle.
Colin catches himself as he starts to slide a bit again. “Lunch?” he quips with a grin.
Lanisen rolls his eyes. “For the dogs. Trust me, you wouldn’t wanna eat this stuff.” He takes a step off the ice, standing on a patch of rougher ground where he is less likely to lose his balance, and offers a belated bow.
Colin shrugs. “As long as the dogs are happy with it, I won’t offer to be their food tester.”
Lanisen says, “Good plan.”
Colin chuckles a bit, carefully re-slinging his quiver onto his shoulder. “So. How have you been faring?”
Lanisen says, “Not bad, sir. You?” He glances at the quiver, looking a little envious.
Colin says, “I have been the same.”
Lanisen says, “‘S good. Oh,” he adds, as if remembering. “Did Lady Avery find you? ‘Cause she had… a package or a letter or somethin’ she wanted to give you, not sure exactly…”
Colin mms. “The package found me.”
Lanisen says, “‘K. Good?”
Colin rubs his hands together and shrugs noncommitally. “Let’s go inside. If I remember correctly don’t you have some hungry dogs wanting those?
Lanisen mehs. “They’ll survive. Not sure I’ll survive walkin’ in the door, but…” He grins and turns to pick his way back across the icy ward toward the kennels.
Colin snickers under his breath. “It’s worth a try. I’m sure they will be grateful.” he says wryly as he follows.
Lanisen makes it to the door and glances over his shoulder at Colin. “Brace yourself,” he advises, and heads in.
Colin follows Lanisen in, quirking an eyebrow at his comment. He braces himself, but unsure of what exactly to brace for.
Lanisen is a little ways in, plowing through a crowd of very excited dogs. “Shut the door!” he hollers to Colin over the baying and yapping, and makes his way toward the back, holding the packets of meat over his head to keep them from being snatched.
Colin shuts the door.
Colin raises his eyebrow at the din that sounds as Lanisen parades the meat in front of the dogs.
Lanisen, finally giving up on making it through, bellows, “QUIET!” Perhaps surprisingly, the dogs actually obey. Lanisen lets out a long-suffering huff and dumps the meat on the table in the back. “There.”
Colin turns his face away to hide his amused grin.
Lanisen sticks his head in the door of the huntsman’s chamber to announce that he’s back and returns to the main room, unwrapping the meat and portioning it out to the dogs. Very soon, the kennels are nearly silent as the dogs scarf their food, and Lanisen wipes his hands. “Oafs,” he says affectionately.
Colin chuckles. “They’re certainly enthusiastic.”
Lanisen says, “Puttin’ it mildly, at times. ‘Least they know enough to stay down when they’re told an’ such.”
Colin says, “This is true. They are trained well here.”
Lanisen says, “Danall does a good job with ’em. He’s gonna start showing me how to train when the new batch is old enough.”
Colin grins. “I’m glad to hear that. How are those pups doing?”
Lanisen grins and displays his hands, which look distinctly gnawed. “Growin’.”
Colin chuckles. “They were rather small the last time I saw them. How big are they now?”
Lanisen asks, “Wanna see?”
Colin nods. “I would.”
Lanisen grins again and nabs the last unopened parcel of meat from the table. “I gotta take hers up anyway.” He nods toward the stairs.
Lanisen offers to lead Colin.
Colin decides to follow Lanisen.
Colin follows Lanisen up the stairs, watching to see where the pups come barreling from.
Lanisen gestures for him to be quiet and heads for a large crate turned on its side near the back of the room. A black deerhound, younger than Lanisen’s blind friend, curled across the opening raises her head as they approach, her tail flipping in silent greeting.
Colin follows, trying to step quietly so his boots make as little noise as possible on the wooden floors.
Lanisen plops down on his knees next to the crate, unwrapping the meat, which is a significantly larger portion than the pieces given to the dogs in the room below. “Hey girl,” he whispers, and rubs her ears after dropping the meat in front of her. He indicates that Colin should look into the crate.
Colin drops to one knee in front of the crate and looks in.
It’s not immediately evident how many puppies are in the crate, as they’re all sort of tangled up, having evidently flopped and snoozed mid-tussle. However, about six are distinguishable. They are adorably chubby and clumsy-looking, and one yips in its sleep as Colin looks in. The mother keeps an eye on Colin as she begins to gnaw the meat.
Colin grins, refraining from reaching in as he glances at the mother. He leaves them undisturbed. “She looks tired.” he guestures to the mother.
Lanisen continues to rub the dog’s ears as she eats. “Prob’ly is,” he responds in a low tone. “They make a lot of noise.” One of the puppies stirs and raises its head, blinking out at them. It yawns, showing a row of tiny teeth, and begins to squirm, clambering over its littermates and mother to reach the human-sized chew-toys outside.
Colin chuckles. “Will I get attacked if I touch her pup?”
Lanisen says, “Uh-huh. But not by her.”
Colin decides to risk it and reaches into the crate.
The puppy, predictably, squirms and immediately attacks Colin, gnawing ferociously on his thumb.
Colin winces slightly when the needle-like teeth sink in. “All right you.” He gently seizes the pup.
Lanisen snickers. “Told you.”
Colin chuckles, holding the puppy around the middle so he can’t get Colin’s hands by turning his head.
Lanisen grins and reaches in to nab a puppy of his own, now that the rest are beginning to wake up. “They need names.”
Colin says, “I definitely agree.”
Lanisen scoots to lean up against the wall, cradling the pup. This one seems more bent on furthering the nap than killing anything and everything that it encounters and merely chews absently on his finger before flopping and uttering a tiny snore. “Well, /that’s/ not very much help,” he complains.
Colin holds his own wriggling ball of fur and laughs. “There’s three more lively ones if you want to trade.”
Lanisen grins and leans his head back against the wall, stretching out his legs and half-closing his eyes languidly. “I’m good, thanks.”
Colin chuckles and readjusts his hands so the yipping wiggle-worm in his hands can’t eat him. “Names. Ideas?”
Lanisen takes a deep breath and lets it out as a ‘hmmmm’. “Dunno. If they get owners, they’ll prob’ly end up with different names.” He continues to absently pet the snoozing pup draped over his arm.
Colin grunts as teeth sink into his forefinger. “Ah, right. This is true..ouch!”
Lanisen snickers. “Havin’ problems over there?”
Colin detaches the pup from his hand. “Oh no, got it under control.”
Lanisen raises an eyebrow, attempting to look grave. He nods slowly and drawls, “Clearly.”
Colin hms and pops that one back in the box, hunting for a calmer puppy.
The puppy immediately clambers back out, attacking Colin’s boot.
Colin peers down at him.
The puppy gnawwwwwwwwwws.
…growling and being fearsome all the while.
Colin extends his boot towards Lanisen, pup and all. “I think you should adopt this one.” he quips with a grin.
Lanisen watches the pup cling to Colin’s boot with tooth and nail. “Naw. Pretty sure he’s already adopted /you/.”
Colin nabs the pup again, rescuing his footwear. Peering at the pup, he suddenly grins deviously.
Lanisen eyes him.
Colin says, “I’m thinking Lady Avery needs a new friend.”
Lanisen raises both his eyebrows. “Man gives a woman a puppy,” he says slowly. “Oh, /that/ couldn’t be taken the wrong way at all.”
Colin raises the pup, quirking an eyebrow. “A mysterious person gives her a puppy that eats everything she owns.” he grins, clearly joking, but still enjoying the idea.
Lanisen snickers! “I’m sure one of the servants’d be /glad/ to sneak it into her suite.”
Colin laughs, sticking the pup back in the box. “If only.”
The pup turns its destructive attentions to one of its siblings, gnawing on a floppy ear. This soon turns into a full-out tussle.
Colin bursts out laughing as he watches.
A couple of the puppies clamber over their mother, taking the epic battle to the big world outside the box. And it is /very/ epic.
Lanisen merely grins, nudging the tussling pair with the toe of his boot, which immediately becomes Public Enemy #1. By the teeth-marks already in the leather, this is not the first time this has happened.
Colin snickers. He pulls his sleeve down over his hand and sticks his hand into the fray.
One puppy draws back a bit, growling in intimidating puppy-wrath. The other, the one who previously attempted to relieve Colin of his fingers, attempts to stand up on its hind legs and KILL the hand, tail wagging furiously.
Colin pokes the puppy’s belly.
The puppy falls over, still snapping and growling in an extremely fierce-ish manner.
Lanisen, observing, comments, “He likes you.”
Colin says, “Apparently.”
Lanisen hints, “You don’t got a dog.”
Colin yelps as the pup attacks him with more ferocity. “Yes, I know.”
Lanisen snickers. The other puppy toddles over to him, and he drags it up into his lap as well, looking thoroughly content.
Colin growls playfully under his breath at the pup, their tug of war getting more animated.
The pup growls BACK and succeeds in gnawing a hole in Colin’s sleeve.
Colin grins, and lowers himself to the floor to get a better advantage.
The puppy lets go and skitters back, dropping into a play-bow. It lets out a yip, its tail still swishing crazily.
Colin laughs at the pup and growls at him again, reaching out to get him.
The pup squirms and wriggles as he’s caught, attempting again to gnaw Colin’s hand. When he gets close enough, he lunges toward the knight’s face and gets in a wet slurpy puppy-lick.
Colin acks as his face is lick-attacked.
Lanisen laughs out loud at this and coughs, becoming mock-serious again. “Any questions?”
Colin pries the licking puppy off of his face. “About?” he sputters, laughing.
Lanisen snickers again, rolling his eyes. “About why you need a dog?”
Colin holds the puppy at arms length. “I’m not sure I want one in the dead of winter.”
Lanisen scratches his head. “How’s that a bad time to have a dog?”
Colin says, “As this little fellow gets bigger he’s going to need to run outside a lot.”
Lanisen says, “Well, yeah, but it’ll be spring by that time.”
Colin raises an eyebrow. “He’ll grow up a lot faster than that.”
Lanisen shrugs. “‘S not like you’d have to be the one to exercise him all the time. Me an’ Master Danall do that for everybody’s hounds, ‘less they come down to do it themselves.”
Colin snickers. “Right. I’ll make you and Danall run around outside in the freezing cold.”
Lanisen says, “Hey. We’re gonna have to do it whether he’s /your/ hound or just a hound who happens to live in the castle pack. So it doesn’t really make a difference either way, ‘s far as that goes.”
Colin holds the pup up and looks him in the eye. “Is that true?” he asks the wriggling mutt.
The pup just tries to lick him again.
Lanisen just smirks.
Colin gives the pup a rueful look and attempts to put him in the box again.
The pup whines, the sound thoroughly heartbreaking.
Colin eyes the pup. “Whining won’t get you anywhere.”
The pup merely regards Colin with big brown mournful puppy-eyes.
Colin solves the problem by closing his eyes. “Can’t see you.” he informs the pup.
Lanisen smacks his forehead with the palm of one hand. “Give it up,” he advises Colin helpfully.
Colin says, “I’m in denial.”
Lanisen snickers. “That what that is? Sounds like a good name…”
Colin raises an eyebrow at Lanisen. “Denial? For a dog?”
Lanisen reminds him, “You’re in denial /over/ a dog, ain’t you?”
Elek, a large wolfhound, pads up to the loft, nose to the ground and apparently following some Interesting Scent.
Colin says, “Nevertheless, that is a terrible name.”
Lanisen says, “You come up with somethin’ better, then!” He glances to the stairs as Elek approaches and shifts, looking vaguely uncomfortable.
Colin raises an eyebrow at Lanisen’s change in demeanor. “What’s wrong?”
Lanisen mehs. “Nothin’. He just don’t like me.” He gestures toward Elek.
Colin eyes the dog curiously. “What’s not to like?”
Elek lifts his head, and pads closer toward the box the puppies are in. The dog peers inside, his nose just barely over the edge of the box.
Lanisen watches the dog. “Dunno. Think I accidentally offended his dignity or somethin’ at some point.”
The puppies’ mother lets out a faint warning growl in Elek’s direction.
Colin chuckles at Lanisen, watching the dog with a little wariness as he approaches the pups.
Elek removes his nose from the box, clearly not wishing to incur the mother’s potential wrath. Instead he pads over to the unfamiliar figure.
Lanisen says, “Don’t, y’know, compare him to a pretty pink butterfly or anything.”
Colin eyes Lanisen. “Why on earth would I do that?”
Colin says, “He looks nothing like a pink butterfly.”
Elek approaches the knight, sniffing warily.
Lanisen says, “Well. You know. Just in case you’d decided you wanted to.”
Colin watches the dog, making no sudden movements. “Nice boy?”
Lanisen does watch the proceedings with interest, though he looks like he’d be on his feet if he wasn’t currently being slept on.
Elek continues sniffing, then steps back, sitting in a rather dignified manner. His tail wags a bit briefly.
Lanisen blinks, eyes the dog, then eyes Colin, then eyes the dog again. “You got some special smell that says ‘I’m noble’ or somethin’? He won’t have anythin’ to do with me!”
Colin laughs, tenatively reaching out to pat the dog on the head. “I guess I’m just that charming?” he offers with a grin.
Elek seems not to have any qualms with the arrangement, remaining as he is.
Lanisen snorts, looking rather disgruntled. “Unbelievable,” he grumps.
Colin snickers. “Well, what did you do to offend him?”
Lanisen shrugs. “Dunno. Might’ve stepped on his tail or somethin’.” He shifts a bit, scooting closer to Colin and Elek while trying not to disturb the puppies curled up on him, and extends an experimental hand toward the dignified dog.
Elek sniffs it warily, eyeing Lanisen with a ‘no-funny-business-now’ look. At least as best a dog can give one of those. He might even have a brow raised, if dogs were capable of such.
Lanisen withdraws the hand, looking a bit cowed. “Toldja.”
Colin tilts his head to the side. “Y’know…” he mock whispers. “This dog bears a distinct resemblance to Tyren.”
Elek’s ears perk slightly at the name.
Lanisen says, “He’s Sir Tyren’s hound, pretty sure…”
Colin says, “Yep. Something about the eyes…”
Lanisen eyes him. “You sayin’ Sir Tyren has dog eyes or that Elek has human eyes?”
Colin says, “I think it’s the latter.”
Elek glances around a bit, as if expecting the knight himself to show as his name is mentioned.
Lanisen eyes the dog consideringly. “…Not seeing it,” he says after a long silence.
Colin says “Tilt your head like this.” he demonstrates.
Elek cocks his head slightly as well.
Lanisen starts to do so, then gives Colin a Look. “You’re pullin’ my leg,” he accuses.
Colin holds up his hands in defense. “I swear, I’m not!”
Lanisen says, “Ok. You’re crazy.”
Colin says, “No. You know what people say about people and pets resembling each other.”
Lanisen asks, “What?”
Colin eyes Lanisen. “They…tend to resemble each other?”
Elek straightens his head again, still except for his tail which wags back and forth once or twice every now and again.
Lanisen eyes him, then eyes Elek again. “You’re barmy.”
Colin says, “Am not.”
Lanisen says, “Are too. Think somebody needs to tell Sir Tyren you think he looks like his dog.”
Colin says, “You do and I’ll feed you to him.”
Lanisen smirks. “To who?”
Colin gives him a Look. “To who else? The dog!”
Lanisen shudders dramatically and widens his eyes. “Ooohh.” He’s clearly very terrified. Clearly.
Elek pads off a short distance, settling to the ground though he keeps his head up. His focus shifts to the box with the puppies in it, then around the loft as a whole.
Colin folds his arms. “You’d rather I attempt to feed you to Sir Tyren?” he asks drolly.
Lanisen smacks his forehead with his palm again and stretches. “Barmy,” he repeats, yawning.
Colin asks, “What does that MEAN, anyway?”
Lanisen says, “Out of your mind.” He defines it further with a “loopy” gesture, drawing circles in the air with a forefinger pointed at his temple.
Colin folds his arms, smirking slightly. “At least you’re admitting to it.”
Lanisen raises his eyebrows, smirking right back. “Delusional,” he says to one of the puppies. “Poor soul.”
Colin kneels down by the box again. The puppy he had earlier comes bouncing over to great him. Colin points at Lanisen and whispers to the pup, “Might want to avoid that one. He’s a little crazy.”
Elek sits up again as Colin approaches the box, his glance moving to the knight.
Lanisen tells the pups in very serious tones, “/He/ thinks a /knight/ looks like a /dog/.” He shakes his head sadly. “If that ain’t self-explanatol… explanati… ex… if that don’t speak for itself, I don’t know what does.”
Colin offers, “Explanatory.”
Lanisen says, “Thank you. Explanatory.”
Colin’s face gets attacked by the puppy, cutting off his retort.
Lanisen informs the still-sleeping puppies, “I win.”
Colin pries the licking flurry away. “No, you didn’t.”
Elek glances to Lanisen, watching him warily.
Lanisen barely manages to hold back a snicker, but he says confidently to the puppies, “/You/ know I won, right?”
Colin’s puppy barks in protest and proceeds to lunge playfully at Lanisen.
Lanisen covers the puppy’s face with one hand and lightly musses his fur, making low growly noises.
Elek stands, padding back toward Colin and Lanisen again.
Colin laughs, and gently tugs on the pup’s tail to get his attention.
Lanisen definitely wins at keeping the pup’s attention. He rolls him onto his side, continuing with the gentle rough-housing and deftly avoiding the worst of the gnawing.
Elek watches the proceedings warily.
Colin keeps trying to get the puppy to come back to him.
Lanisen covers the pup’s face again, releases, covers, and releases several times in quick succession, with the overall effect that the puppy is quite determined to chew him to death. The puppies sleeping on Lanisen begin to wake up, evidently not so talented that they can sleep through such an epic battle.
Colin snickers, and catches hold of one of the other puppies.
…which immediately stretches, yawns, and resumes snoozing. Except on Colin instead of Lanisen.
Lanisen grrrrs at the Extremely Ferocious puppy and knocks him over again. The not-so-ferocious puppy finds a finger to chew on and settles down happily.
Colin trades his snoozer in for a more lively model.
Lanisen lets out an “OW” as the harrassed puppy’s noms get a little too sharp and withdraws his hand. “Mane. Tail. And whiskers. Why do they gotta be so sharp?”
Colin says, “So suckers like us can lament them.”
Lanisen grumbles something indistinct and wipes off the puppy-slobber, then inspects the bite. “It’s bleedin’!” he exclaims in tones of Great Indignance. “You,” he informs the puppy, beginning to pet rather than rough-house in an attempt to calm him down, “need to /not/ do that. Please.”
Colin smirks. “I don’t think he speaks English yet.”
Lanisen picks up the puppy, turns him toward Colin, and gives him a little shove. “Go chew on him.”
Colin says, “Hey now.”
Lanisen prods the puppy on. “Go ahead!”
Colin makes a face at Lanisen and looks at the puppy with a grin. “You like me best, don’t you. You don’t want to eat me!”
The puppy proves his affections by attempting to gnaw Colin’s boot to pieces.
Colin halfheartedly scolds him.
Danall can be heard hollering up the stairs for Lanisen to come complete some chore or another. Lanisen hollers back that he’ll be right there and reluctantly places the remaining sleepypuppy back in the crate, giving the mother a brief ear-rub. “Should get down there,” he says, standing and stretching. “Don’t let him eat you.”
Colin chuckles, and makes a grab for the pup, snagging him and sticking him in the box. “There. He can eat a sibling.”
Lanisen snickers, backing toward the stairs. He bows and starts heading down to the main level. “See you later, sir.”
Colin says, “Take care, Lanisen.”