Inner Ward
Castle Anvard

Tyren descends the south stairwell, accompanied by another knight. He makes a few gestures, which are mimicked by the other knight in a slightly different manner, suggested that perhaps the two of them are talking about various sword techniques.

Lanisen skirts the courtyard, making his way through in the unobtrusive manner that seems to be his norm, aiming for the gatehouse to the west. There is nothing unusual about his appearance – except that he is carrying a stack of what looks like rough blankets or gunny sacks, oddly enough.
Tyren seems to be making for the gatehouse himself, or at least his companion is, and Tyren accompanies for at least part of the way. The other knight departs through it, and he seems to be in a bit of a hurry, while Tyren remains in the ward.

Lanisen waits for the unnamed knight to pass through the gate, giving a respectful (if awkward) bow in his direction, then shifts the blankets and follows at a polite distance.

Tyren seems to note Lanisen at this point, starting to make his way that direction himself. “Ah, evening, Lanisen. Taking things to the kennels, I gather?”

Lanisen turns, steadying the precarious pile with his chin. “Evening, sir,” he answers, and somehow manages another bow. “Uh, yes, sir– Master Danall says it’s gonna be cold tonight.”

Tyren nods a little. “I wouldn’t be surprised, it /was/ a little nippy earlier today, and in any case one can’t be too careful. Perhaps I should pay Elek a visit, he usually seems to be in better spirits afterward, and that may help him with a cold night.” He pauses. “Or at least, I /think/ he does. Hard to tell with that hound of mine at times.”

Lanisen half-smiles awkwardly. “S’pose so, sir.”

Dar passes through the ward, bundled tightly in his cloak against the cold of outdoors. His expression is remote, even more somber than usual, which perhaps gives an insight into the nature of his thoughts for those who know him well.

Tyren says, “Well, whatever the case it probably wouldn’t hurt either of us.” He catches sight of his cousin at this point, brow furrowing slightly as he takes in his demeanor. He tries to catch his glance and beckon him over.

Lanisen answers with a politely vague agreement, following Tyren’s look.

Dar, for his part, seems to overlook his cousin’s presence. This is a mark of the level of his preoccupation.

Tyren lets out a short, huffy sort of sigh, apparently having made up his mind that Something Must be Done. He glances to Lanisen and jerks his head the direction he was going in the first place. “Go ahead and get those Danall. Best not to keep him or the hounds waiting… I’ll probably be in shortly.” Once he says this, he makes his way over to Dar.

Lanisen bows in reply, glancing again toward Dar, and turns toward the kennels.

Castle Anvard

Tyren, true to his word, makes his way into the kennels a short time later, his cousin in tow. He scans the room for Elek, who perks up his ears once he detects his owner.

Dar walks in silence by his cousin’s side. Durant, ever sensitive to his master’s mood, paces sedately over to greet him, and Dar absently pets the greyhound’s head.

Lanisen is crouched near the hearth, an iron poker in his hand. The fire itself is at the slower in-between stage just following the kindling: the logs have not caught properly, but it is gradually gaining in intensity. The pile of blankets seems to have disappeared, but the rough cloth lining the dogs’ beds looks familiar. He glances up as Tyren and Dar enter and stands immediately.

Tyren nods toward Lanisen again as Elek pads over to the younger of the two knights, following close after Durant.

Elek noses his owner before sitting, in his usual proper and dignified manner.

Dar also nods in Lanisen’s direction, his entire demeanor formal, though perhaps not as distant as previously. It is as if even the short time with Tyren has been enough to bring him out of his thoughts.

Lanisen bows to them both, hesitates, then crouches again by the hearth, prodding at the fire to turn one of the logs. An older black dog leans heavily against his leg, and he rubs her ears affectionately, to all appearances simply intending to keep his distance, though he is obviously watching to see if anything is needed of him.

Tyren drops to one knee as he scratches his hound’s head, chuckling a bit. “Ever the serious one, aren’t you Elek.”

Dar continues to stroke Durant’s ears. Durant is surprisingly subdued himself, and Dar turns to Lanisen. “Has aught been amiss with him lately? I find no fault with his care, I assure you.”

Lanisen shakes his head, standing again. “Not… that I’ve seen, sir. He’s just the same as usual, far’s I know– but you prob’ly know that better’n me.” He pauses, glances nervously at the dog in question, and asks, “Is he actin’ funny, my lord?”

Tyren continues to stroke Elek from his position on one knee, preferring to keep at a similar level as his hound for the time being. His glance shifts as well, though it rests on Dar rather than Durant.

Dar glances at the greyhound, who, instead of his usual energy (for he is, if anything, far less dignified than Elek), seems to have decided to curl up at Dar’s feet, his nose across his paw. Dar furrows his brow, then shakes his head. “Nothing of concern that I can see.” Even so, he kneels down and continues petting Durant, who rather lethargically accepts this attention.

Lanisen, watching, runs a hand through his hair. “Uhh… some of the dogs’ve been sleepin’ more,” he offers anxiously. “Think it’s ’cause of all the cold. They mostly just eat and sleep, you know, to keep warm. Is that…?”

Tyren keeps his thoughts to himself for the moment, as does Durant – though neither of those is probably all that surprising.

Dar shrugs, also not saying much. He glances at his cousin, quirking a brow faintly in an unspoken question, then replies, “Perhaps. I would appreciate it if you kept an eye on him and informed me if this continues.” He continues to remain close to his dog. “How are you finding life in the kennels, Lanisen? Do you feel that it suits you?”

Lanisen nods quick acknowledgement of the order. At the turn in the conversation, he shifts, nervous and wary, and his eyes flicker between the two men. “Yes, sir, thank you.”

Tyren hehs quietly, deciding to re-join conversation at this point. “Well that’s a good thing, I’d say. Elek hasn’t given you too much trouble, I hope? He can be rather… off-putting at times, I’m well aware.” Elek gives a bit of a snuffly snort at this, and Tyren chuckles. “Case in point, it seems.”

Dar keeps his gaze on Lanisen for a moment, almost as if he is weighing the lad’s words.

Lanisen’s eyes dart to Elek for a moment at Tyren’s words. “No, sir. No trouble.”

Tyren quirks a brow, pressing this a bit. “Something else then, perhaps?”

Elek turns his glance to Lanisen at this, holding himself perhaps just a /hair/ straighter as he does so.

Dar’s brow raises in mirror image of his cousin’s and, as he as stopped petting the greyhound, Durant picks up his head as well.

Lanisen rubs the back of his neck, looking more embarrassed than anything else. “Nothin’ worth mentionin’, sir.”

Tyren merely says, “I see.” He returns to generally showering attention on his hound, who looks quite content to accept it.

Dar frowns slightly, though he does not press the point. Durant nudges him, settling even closer to his master.

Lanisen relaxes as the general attention of the room leaves him and turns his attention to quietly combing through the fur of the massive dog leaning on his legs. The dog’s tail thwips lazily, her tongue hanging out in a canine grin.

Dar continues to watch Lanisen surreptitiously, while ostensibly focusing his attention on Durant, who seems grateful for it, for all that he is still subdued.

Tyren says, clearly to his hound, “In any case, you’re looking well, friend.” Elek responds with a small, nonchalant sort of tailwagging gesture.

Lanisen glances over at the knight’s hound, then back to the dog who seems to have adopted him. He doesn’t comment out loud, but the slight fond smile he gives to the black dog might be a hint as to which he prefers, fancy looks or not.

Tyren hehs. “Honestly, sometimes I wonder whether I’ve rubbed off too much on you, Elek.” The hound merely responds with more tailwagging – in as dignified a manner as he can manage, of course.

Dar remains quiet as the two discourse.

Tyren hehs, giving Elek another pat on the head as he stands again. “Still, I suppose that’s a good thing, in its own right. You remind me where I’ve been, after all.”

Dar rises when his cousin does, his own brow furrowing slightly.

Lanisen straightens attentively, glancing between them.

Tyren lifts his brows. “I seem to have started something.” He quirks a faint smirk.

Dar hehs as Durant, not wanting to be separated from him, rises as well. “So it would appear, Tyren.”

Tyren looks to his hound and waves a hand. “Well? You’ve got other loyalties than just me, unless I’ve misread you.”

Elek takes this opportunity to move over to Durant, nosing the other hound in a friendly sort of manner.

Dar bends down, telling Durant quietly, “It will be quite alright, my friend.” With this, Durant settles, padding over to meet Elek half way. He lets out a little snuffling noise, clear communication.

Tyren watches the hounds as Elek seems to attempt to convey a similar idea as Dar through various nosings and snuffling sounds. The knight glances toward his cousin with a quiet heh. “Seems familiar.”

Dar hehs. “Indeed it does.” He studies the two hounds as well. “Seems as if Durant will be in good paws with Elek around.”

Lanisen’s attention shifts from the dogs to their owners, assessing them quietly for a moment before returning to observing their canine counterparts. Whatever mental connections have been privately made remain unvoiced.

Tyren hehs again. “His loyalty is not easily gained. But those who manage it find it runs deep.”

Dar nods, saying lightly, “Sounds like someone else I know.”

Tyren rubs the back of his neck for a moment, this serving as his response.

Lanisen continues to be nothing more than a silent fixture in the room. After some time, he sinks quietly down to sit with his back to the hearth wall and closes his eyes. With a dog across his lap and a low fire at his back, he looks comfortable enough to fall asleep – and actually seems to be doing so.

Dar touches his cousin’s shoulder, drawing Tyren’s attention to this fact, and gestures towards the door.

Tyren looks over at Dar’s indication, and gives a small nod.

Tyren walks out of the Kennels to the Outer Ward.
Dar leaves, following Tyren.


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