momentary escape


Kennel Loft
Castle Anvard


Lanisen is flopped against the wall at the far end of the room, a mostly-empty skin of something that smells distinctly alcoholic clutched in one hand. By his bloodshot, bleary look, he’s been at it for a while.

Colin comes up the stairs, having been directed up there. He looks towards the whelping box at the pups, and then spots Lanisen. His eyebrow puts Sir Tyren’s normal expression to shame. “What in the world…”

Lanisen mumbles something that sounds vaguely like it maybe should be a song, with the proper application of melody and coherent lyrics. He up-ends the skin again.

Colin frowns and grabs the skin from Lanisen, his proximity close enough to get a good whiff. “Good…grief. You’ve had enough.”

Lanisen makes a snatch for the container, his efforts somewhat thwarted by the fact that he seems to be trying to grab the wrong one. “Aw, Col’n,” he slurs. “Gimme back!”

Colin holds it out of his reach, a stern look wrinkling his brow. “Absolutely not.”

Lanisen makes another grab for it, actually succeeding in sort-of catching it this time – probably mostly by accident. “Getchur own!”

Colin yanks it away and tosses it to a corner where the inebriated ex-bandit most likely will never find it in this state.

Lanisen staggers up and lurches after it. He makes it about a step and a half before toppling over. “What’djoo do tha’ for?”

Colin catches him by the shoulder/collar area. “Because you’ve had enough.”

Lanisen sways, but is mostly steadied. “Ain’ no shuch thing!” he proclaims, and breaks into a loud, semi-coherent performance of a song that seems to mostly be declaring the excellence of beer.

Colin eyes him. “Uh huh. You’ve convinced me. Come along, you need something besides alcohol in your system…” he starts to pull Lanisen.

Lanisen is far too busy with his singing to notice boring things like the fact that he is moving. He gives a couple of odd, lopsided hops – apparently there’s a dance that commonly accompanies the song.

Colin drags him towards the stairs with some difficulty.

Lanisen keeps singing, the song reaching a pitch that sets the dogs in the kennels below howling.

Colin winces at the sound, eying Lanisen with a look that says he can’t decide whether to punch him or burst out laughing.

Lanisen remains happily oblivious, stagger-dance-hopping along. And singing.

Colin makes a face and hauls Lanisen down the stairs by his collar.

Lanisen’s singing (for lack of a better word) chokes off mid-lyric, and he blinks several times, beginning to struggle feebly. “Lemmego,” he protests. “Stop, stoppit, I don’… I don’ like that, Col’n–”

Colin tries to ignore him as he drags.


Kennels


Lanisen follows, not that he has much option, looking distinctly begrumpled and disgruntled. And extremely drunk.

Colin yanks the door open and starts to take him outside. The door starts to swing closed again, blocking their way. He kicks it open, slamming the door against the wall with a BANG.

Lanisen’s shoulders hunch up at the noise and he makes a noise like a whimper. “Don’ be mad, don’ be mad…”

Colin mutters something under his breath.

Lanisen takes a minute to register the icy wind blowing in through the open door. “The… th’ pups’ll get cold, they’ll get… shut the door, shut the…”

Colin takes both hands and latches onto Lanisen’s collar, fairly thrusting him out the door.


Outer Ward
Castle Anvard


Lanisen is definitely not happy with this turn of events. He grips Colin’s hands where they hold his collar and stares at his face in bleary, frightened confusion.

Colin still has a good hold on Lanisen’s collar, and with the full force of his strength he drags Lanisen over to the largest snowbank he can find and thrusts his head deep into the frozen stuff.

Lanisen says, “Nonono don’t–” and the rest is lost.

Colin yanks him out and then shoves him back in again.

A few wide-eyed spectators pause to stare.

Lanisen has time for a wheezing gulp of air, then he’s hollering his opinions into the snowbank again.

Colin, sensitive to the spectators, gives Lanisen another dose of snow, then hoists him up again. “Stand on your feet!” he hollers.

Lanisen stumbles up, still spluttering. Significantly sobered by the snow-treatment, he wipes the melting ice off his face. “S-s-sir!” he chatters, shivering. He still looks somewhat unsteady, but mostly woken-up.

Colin looks him over and gives a stiff, curt nod. He grabs Lanisen’s tunic by the back of his neck and hustles him towards the gates to get them out of the public eye. The spectators scurry out of the way as he strides through them.

Lanisen staggers in the direction Colin sends him, looking more scared than drunk. He is beginning to mumble apologies and excuses under his breath, darting glances around at the spectators.


Inner Ward of Anvard
Castle Anvard


Colin shoves Lanisen through the inner gates and takes him to the Inner Ward.

Lanisen just keeps moving wherever Colin directs him. A look at him would make it obvious that he’d really like to crawl into a dark hole right about now.

Colin directs him to the stairs. Up they go.


Northern Parapet
Castle Anvard


Here you stand on the upper reaches of the Northern watch tower.  From this dizzying height one can see for miles, off into the southern hills of Narnia, even.  There is a trapdoor in the floor, and the crenelations give some protection from the wind which buffets you from every side.


Lanisen climbs. At a glimpse of how far up they’ve come, he reels and tries to turn around, still a bit inebriated.

Colin keeps a firm hold on him and shoves him all the way onto the parapet. He lets the trapdoor slam shut behind him and he stamps one boot on it to emphasize there’s no escape. Turning Lanisen loose, he gives him a steely look. “What are you THINKING?”

Lanisen backs away and finds something to lean on. “I didn’… s-sorry…”

Colin lifts both hands. “What happened? What triggered this?”

Lanisen swallows and shakes his head. “What…?”

Colin gestures at him angrily. “This…drunkenness! Have you any idea what might happen if Lord Dar heard about your conduct?”

Lanisen hunches his shoulders. “Didn’ /do/ anything…”

Colin says, “You’re drunk.”

Lanisen blinks a couple of times, still bloodshot. Apparently the icy wind on the parapet is enough to keep him awake and coherent. He ducks his head in answer.

Colin says, “What happened? This is not like you.”

Lanisen mumbles, “Might be.”

Colin says, “If it is we all seriously underestimated you.”
Colin folds his arms. “Now…” he says in a quiet voice, then his volume increases.
Colin exclaims, “What happened!”

Lanisen swallows and shakes his head, looking like he’d very much like to be somewhere else. “Nothin’… /happened/…”

Colin sighs, rubbing the bridge of his nose. “Then why did you decide to randomly inebriate yourself?”

Lanisen begins to shiver, the wind getting to him. “Didn’t decide to…”

Colin raises an eyebrow at that. “Someone forced you?” he says sarcastically.

Lanisen grimaces. “Didn’t… didn’t /think/ about it…”

Colin takes a deep breath to fuel his patience. “Is there anything you’d like to tell me?”

Lanisen stares at his feet, swallowing again. He shakes his head mutely.

Colin folds his arms again. “What am I supposed to tell Lord Dar? Half of Anvard saw you. He’s going to hear about it.”

Lanisen cringes a little at this, his eyes not leaving the ground. He obviously doesn’t have an answer.

Colin looks frustrated. “Help me out here, Lanisen. Give me something to work with.”

Lanisen shifts his weight, looking a bit helpless. “I… don’t know, sir. I don’t… I’m /sorry/…”

Colin rubs his forehead and leans against the wall. “Look… I’ll try to explain to Lord Dar. But I cannot be anything but honest. I’ll do my best, if you promise me you will never allow this to happen again.”

Lanisen simply nods, still staring miserably at the ground.

Colin runs a hand through his hair, clearly frustrated.

Lanisen rubs his upper arms in an effort to warm up. He looks like he doesn’t know what to say, and after a moment just mumbles another apology, glancing up at Colin’s face.

Colin frowns.
Colin asks, “You’ve nothing to say in your own defense?”

Lanisen returns to studying the stones beneath his feet and mumbles, thoroughly shamed, “No, sir.”

Colin asks, “Do you realize the position you’ve put me in?”

Lanisen swallows, waiting for Colin to continue.

Colin runs a hand through his hair. “I’m going to have to talk to Lord Dar before he hears what happened from another source.”

Lanisen nods mutely. He shifts, hesitates a long moment, then shakes his head. “Didn’… I didn’t mean to… to make trouble. I’m sorry…”

Colin asks, “I know you didn’t. And I myself am not opposed to some wine as refreshment, but when the situation is as precarious as yours it might be best to not throw caution to the wind. What would you do if Lord Dar withdrew this chance he gave you?”

Lanisen twists the end of one of his sleeves, fidgeting unconsciously, and tries to explain, “I didn’ think anybody’d… I thought…”

Colin allows himself to fall silent in hopes Lanisen continues

Lanisen takes a minute to figure out what he wants to say. “I… my chores were done… I figured nobody’d prob’ly be… up there…” He apparently realizes he’s wringing his sleeve to death and drops his hands to his sides. “I just…”

Colin hehs. “All fine and dandy…but you made enough noise that the Huntsman know what was going on.”

Lanisen whispers, “/Really/?” He rubs his forehead, the gesture combining hiding-behind-his-hand and facepalming.

Colin nods. “He sent me up.” he says quietly.

Lanisen’s face is flushed, probably as much from humiliation as from the alcohol and cold. “I didn’t… I’m sorry, I’m…”

Colin involuntarily twitches a shudder as a cold breeze whips through, picking up speed. He sighs, and looks down.

Lanisen scrubs the heels of his hands into his temples, grimacing.

Colin takes note. With another sigh, he steps off the trapdoor and gestures for Lanisen to leave. “Go on. Sleep it off. We’ll deal with this later.”

Lanisen drops his hands. He glances at the trapdoor and hesitates. “What’s gonna happen?” he asks, teeth chattering mid-question and betraying his nervousness.

Colin hehs. “Lord Dar will be informed. I will talk to him. We’ll see what happens. I don’t exactly have much to offer in your defense.”

Lanisen hunches his shoulders a bit at this. “I’m sorry,” he says for the umpteenth time, something pleading in his voice. “Don’ know what else to say… I just…”

Colin nods. “I know you are.”

Lanisen is obviously cold, miserable, and probably on his way to a whopper of a hangover, but he is clearly reluctant to leave.

Colin waves his hand. “Go on, Lanisen. There’s nothing we can do about it now.”

Lanisen bows before he shuffles toward the trapdoor, bending down to open it. He stares down the ladder at the level below – a very long way below – and makes no move to climb down.

Colin watches him silently.

Lanisen sits awkwardly at the edge of the hole, his legs dangling off the edge. He doesn’t look away from the ladder. “I don’ feel so good, sir.”

Colin hehs, and lays a hand on his shoulder to prevent him from toppling down the ladder. “That’s what happens when you drink a full wineskin.”

Lanisen hehs. He waves one hand in front of his face, following it with his eyes. “That the… two of ’em, too?”

Colin asks, “TWO?”

Lanisen, missing Colin’s meaning, nods, then squeezes his eyes shut. “When I look at stuff, there’s… two.”

Colin says, “Oh.”
Colin says, “That two.”
Colin says, “Yes, that also happens when you drink an entire wineskin.”

Lanisen shuts his eyes. “Head’s, head’s fuzzy,” he remarks. “Real… bad. How come people do this?” He reaches out for a ladder rung with his foot, keeping his eyes closed.

Colin keeps a hold of his shoulder. “Why don’t you hang on for a minute…”

Lanisen lets the ladder-hunting foot swing back down. “‘K.” He opens his eyes, staring at the ladder(s) again.

Colin keeps a good eye on him. “Lower your head between your knees and see if that helps.”

Lanisen does so, nearly losing his balance and toppling down into the hole head-first.

Colin grabs his other shoulder and yanks him backwards. “Maybe not such a good idea.”

Lanisen flails until he realizes he’s /not/ plummeting down a story and a half to almost-certain death or some degree of squished-ness. He lets out a breath. “No, sir.”

Colin eyes Lanisen, then the ladder, trying to figure out how to get him down it.

Lanisen scoots back away from the hole. “I’ll just stay here until it’s… better…”

Colin says, “Good plan.”

Lanisen keeps scooting until he reaches the parapet wall. He leans his head back against the stone and closes his eyes, drawing his knees up to his chest.

Colin watches him carefully, keeping a safe distance just in case.

Lanisen doesn’t particularly look like he’s going to hurl or anything. He just looks tired and bedraggled and bleary, though he’s obviously trying not to fall asleep. “I’m sorry,” he says again, his voice somewhat more blurred now that he’s out of the sobering influence of the full-on icy wind.

Colin shakes his head. “Don’t worry about it right now.”

Lanisen shakes his head. “I didn’… you don’ have to wait up here for me. I can get down on my own. Just need a little… minute.”

Colin shakes his head. “It’s all right.”

Lanisen shivers and curls a little tighter.
Lanisen mumbles “Didn’ think it’d be like this…”, to Lanisen.
Lanisen mumbles “… think it’d … like …”, to Lanisen.

Colin glances at him. “Didn’t think what would be like what?”

Lanisen says, “Gettin’ drunk. Folks do it all the time, but it ain’t… it’s…”

Colin hehs. “Fun?” he offers.

Lanisen gives a half-shrug. “W-w-was at first,” he chatters.

Colin hehs. “I know. The aftermath, not so much.”

Lanisen squeezes his eyes shut again. “Maybe they’ll th-throw me out of the castle.”

Colin glances at him, puzzled. “Is that what you want?”

Lanisen says immediately, “No! I–” He pauses, then says again weakly, “No.”

Colin says, “Is that what you’re afraid of? If so, this was not smart…”

Lanisen doesn’t look at Colin, again twisting the cuffs of his sleeves absently. “I know, sir.”

Colin sighs. “Like I said. I’ll speak with Lord Dar. But…be prepared for some consequences. Do you feel up for going down the ladder now?” he says, changing the subject.

Lanisen lets out a breath, rubbing his temple with a shaky hand. He looks at the ladder for a moment, then nods once and stands to approach it.

Colin sticks with him, ready to help if and when he starts toppling.

Lanisen doesn’t wobble too terribly much. He leans a hand on the ladder for a moment and takes a deep breath, then swings a leg down to find a rung. He heads on down, taking it very slow.

Colin follows him after he makes it down.


North Watch Tower
Castle Anvard


You stand in a chamber at the top of the North Watch Tower.  Windows allow you to scan the countryside westward, into Archenland, northward, toward Narnia, and northeast toward the sea.  There is a door to the east, leading to the Knight’s Practice Room, and another leading south, to the Wall Walk.  Stairs lead down into the lower level of the tower.


Lanisen makes it to the lower level and pauses at the bottom of the ladder before making his way to the second one. “One more,” he mutters to himself, and takes a moment to steel himself. A few of the guards manning the tower glance his way with raised eyebrows.

Colin stands by, fairly ignoring the guards. He looks irritated, as though he could start pacing at any moment, but he holds himself in check, continuing to deal with the situation.

Lanisen grabs the last ladder, ready to make his way down, but glances at Colin first. He immediately looks away and steps back from the ladder. “Sorry, sir… didn’ mean to slow you down,” he mumbles.

Colin arches an eyebrow at him. “You’re not. Just making sure you don’t break your neck.”

Lanisen looks at him blankly.

Colin motions with a hand. “Keep going.”

Lanisen hesitates, but does so, using the same caution on this level as the last.


Inner Ward
Castle Anvard


Colin comes walking down the open stair on the south half of the Inner Curtain.
Colin follows him. “I’ll have some coffee sent to your quarters. It should help.”

Lanisen watches a few servants bustle through the ward and lowers his head, looking like he really wants to be hiding. “N-n… please don’t. I don’t want anyone to…” He trails off.

Colin glances at him, then gives a nod of understanding. “All right, then.”

Lanisen keeps quiet for a moment, then blurts, “I– I’m sorry, I… really. An’– and thanks, you… I’m sorry.”

Colin nods. “I know. It’s all right.”

Lanisen shoots a miserable look at him, bows, and glances across the ward toward the servant’s quarters. “Thanks.”

Colin runs a hand through his hair, at a loss. “You’re welcome. Now… go sleep this off.” he says quietly.

Lanisen hesitates, then nods. He rubs at his bloodshot eyes, then turns to head that direction. He keeps to the edge of the courtyard, still weaving a bit, to avoid the majority of the servants’ notice.

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