the view from the kennels

Castle Anvard

Lanisen is sitting in the doorway at the back of the kennel building, frowning deeply down at an open book braced on his knees. One index finger follows the lines of script on the page, pausing about every three words.

Tyren tucks a piece of parchment away in the folds of his tunic as he makes his way into the kennels. Elek, who has been apparently been keeping company with Durant in some nebulous part of the kennels, pads over once he picked up his master’s scent.

Lanisen is too deeply focused on the book in front of him to notice any happenings in the outside world. His lips are moving soundlessly as he attempts to pile the individual letters into words and meanings.

Tyren bends down to ruffle the fur on Elek’s head as the wolfhound makes his way over, who greets Tyren with a pleasant sort of bark.

Lanisen’s forehead furrows with increasing frustration, evidently stuck on one word. He keeps at it for several minutes, then mutters something foul and tosses it aside. It lands spine-down on the floor, the pages fluttering innocently in the breeze from the open windows.

Both knight and hound glance over at the sound.

Lanisen sighs, rubbing his forehead, and runs a hand through his hair, leaving it sticking up oddly. Aaaand then he realizes he has an audience. He scrambles up immediately.

Tyren chuckles quietly, and gives a small nod. “Evening, Lanisen.”

Lanisen, seeming relieved to not be scolded, replies, “Evening, sir.” He bows – surreptitiously grabbing the discarded book from the floor while he’s down there.

Tyren continues to idly stroke Elek, who wags his tail as he stands in his usual proper manner at Tyren’s side. “Making any progress?”

Lanisen just scowls, setting the book on a table.

Tyren says, “I suppose I can take that as a ‘no.'”

Lanisen gives a noncommittal grunt – probably sufficient confirmation of Tyren’s supposal.

Tyren says, “One step at a time, I suppose.”

Lanisen exhales through his nose. “Guess so, sir.”

Tyren says, “One doesn’t become an expert all at once, after all.”

Lanisen says, “I’ll keep that in mind, sir.”

Tyren nods a little and leaves the subject there.

Lanisen rubs the back of his neck, glancing at Elek briefly. “Sorry,” he says a moment later, his tone rather more subdued.

Tyren asks, “What for?”

Lanisen lifts his shoulders a degree. “Bein’ snippy. Got no call.”

Tyren hehs. “Happens to the best of us. I know /I/ can get rather short with people for no good reason at times, at any rate.”

Lanisen merely shrugs again.

Tyren says, “Everyone has bad days every now and again. Better to understand it and keep it in mind rather than let it set you off too.”

Lanisen says, “Sounds so simple.”

Tyren says, “Well, easier said than done, of course. Then again, a good deal of things are like that.”

Lanisen raises one eyebrow briefly in a vague expression of agreement, his eyes on the floor, and muses, “An’ just ’cause somebody says somethin’ don’t mean it can be done.”

Tyren says, “Doesn’t mean it can’t, either.”

Lanisen says, “Don’t mean anythin’ at all, comes right down to it.”

Tyren hehs. “Actions say more than words ever do.”

Lanisen glances at the knight for a longish moment, his face unreadable, then shifts and looks away, saying only, “I’ll try, sir.”

Tyren says, “All that can be expected, really.”

Lanisen turns toward the window at the noise of some sort of commotion in the ward outside. A few men on horses, Danall among them, can be seen clattering in and dismounting, heading for the stables. An extra horse with a stag’s carcass slung across its back is lead further into the castle in the direction of the kitchens. Lanisen watches, his eyes lingering on the still-open outer gate visible through the windows, and says softly, “Hunt’s back.”

Tyren says, “So it seems. Medon would have enjoyed the exercise, I daresay…”
Tyren says, “To say nothing of Elek here.”

Lanisen shifts, turning away from the window with difficulty, and glances down at Elek. “‘M sure they would’ve, sir,” he says tonelessly.

Tyren quirks a brow faintly.

Lanisen steps back from the door as a dozen breathless, muddy, slobbering, happy hounds tumble in, filling the building with their triumphant yammering. One hound bounds up to him and plants its front paws on his chest without ceremony – and since it is definitely not one of the smaller breeds, Lanisen is forced to stagger back and raise one arm, already laughing and distracted, to defend himself from the slurp-attack. “Gahh! Down! Down, you idiot!”

Tyren exchanges a glance with his hound at this. Both look rather amused.

Lanisen hits the ground and curls up in self-defense against the enthusiastic lick-attack. “Owmph!”

Tyren laughs at this. “Emphatic on both ends, it seems.”

Lanisen sits up and shoves the hound in Tyren’s direction. “Get /him/!”

Tyren gestures toward the wolfhound by him. “And get mauled by /him/ in the process?”

Lanisen scoffs, “Elek wouldn’t hurt a smaller dog.”

Tyren smirks a bit. “Nor would he stand idly by and let something happen to /me/. Which would win out, I wonder.”

Lanisen glances skeptically after the un-named hound, who seems to have lost interest in tackling humans and wandered off, down at himself, and back to Elek. “Pretty sure he knows the difference between… uh, /emphatic/ and /serious/.”

Tyren says, “Well, yes. Doesn’t mean he wouldn’t leap to my defense anyway.”

Lanisen adds, almost mischievously, “Unless he was the one doin’ the emphatic leapin’ to begin with.”

Tyren glances to Elek at this. “I’ll have to give you that one. Though I daresay he thinks himself far too refined for that.”

Lanisen grins. “Only when you’re around, sir.”

Tyren lifts a brow. “That true?” Elek simply wags his tail placidly, maintaining his usual demeanor.

Lanisen smirks.

Tyren says, “Somehow I have a hard time believing that. When he’s with Durant, I can understand it. With the rest? Not quite so much.”

Lanisen just shrugs. “Pretty sure he’s mostly only serious-like when you’re around. Prob’ly ’cause you’re his job and he knows it, figures he’s got to pay attention and be all guard-dog and stuff. That’s the way it is with most of the other dogs and their owners. ‘Cept Puck, so far.”

Tyren hehs. “Danall’s told me otherwise, at least in regard to Elek. Though I’m not surprised to hear it about Puck.”

Lanisen glances across to where the pup in question is tussling with one of his littermates over a piece of knotted rope. “He hasn’t figured out Sir Colin’s anythin’ more than just somebody else to chew on yet,” he says, grinning. “We’ll get there.”

Tyren chuckles. “I’m betting you’re in no hurry on /that/ one, though.”

Lanisen says gravely, “Gotta say, there’s somethin’ entertainin’ ’bout Sir Colin gettin’ bossed around by a six pound pup.”

Tyren smirks. “Between you and me, I can’t argue with that one myself.”

Lanisen grins.

Tyren looks to his hound again. “Although I’m not sure I can say the same for Elek here.”

Lanisen straightens. “Puck’s /learnin’/. He’s got a ways to go before he’s a real duty-hound, like Elek, or full-grown either. Ain’t fair to expect him to be either yet.”

Tyren chuckles. “Well /I/ know that. Elek’s another story, though. Though I’m sure he tries.”

Lanisen glances back over at the pup. “Knowin’ Colin, I’d bet they’ll still tussle a bit for fun even when Puck’s Elek’s age. Don’t think it’s somethin’ Puck’ll grow out of unless it’s stamped out of him, and I don’t think Colin’s the sort to train him out of it. ‘S good.”

Tyren nods a little. “I must admit I know more when it comes to horses than hounds, but I’m inclined to agree.”

Lanisen asks, a little uncertainly, “Medon’s your horse, sir?”

Tyren nods. “That he is.”

Lanisen ohs and adds politely, “He’s beautiful.”

Tyren hehs. “Thank you. He makes a fine mount and a better companion.” Elek nudges Tyren at this, and the knight chuckles as he ruffles the hound’s fur. “As do you. Of course, that’s not saying /quite/ as much, as you don’t exactly make the best of mounts.”

Lanisen eyes Elek’s height speculatively. “Dunno, sir. You ever find yourself with a kid, he might end up as a temporary pony.”

Tyren chuckles again, expression shifting slightly for /just/ a moment. “Possible.”

Lanisen, catching the flicker, sharpens his regard and tilts his head in the usual not-quite-asking silent question.

Tyren says, “When the time comes.”

Lanisen ahs quietly, looking again to Elek.

Tyren says, “In the meantime, I think Elek can rest easy.”

Lanisen nods once. For a moment, he looks like he wants to say something, but he lets it go, instead leaning foward to stroke Elek’s neck.

Elek doesn’t seem to mind the extra attention, merely continuing to wag his tail.

Lanisen sighs and leans back, glancing around the room at the various mud-splattered dogs and the messes they have made of the beds and floor. “Should prob’ly get some of this cleaned up before Danall gets back.”

Tyren hehs. “Probably not a bad idea. I won’t keep you.”

Lanisen, standing, says a bit wryly, “Sure? ‘Cause I’m pretty sure that would be a good excuse for not finishing my chores…”

Tyren hehs again. “I’m not generally one to keep anyone from their duties, if I can help it.”

Lanisen says, “Yeah, well. Figured I’d try. Evenin’, sir.” He bobs a bow and goes about the business of cleaning up the dogs’ muddy mess.

Tyren nods in return. “Evening.” He makes a gesture to Elek. “Come on. Best we keep out of the way.” Knight and hound then make their way out.


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