onset of Acute Academia

Outer Ward
Castle Anvard

Lanisen is plopped outside the kennel, leaning against the wall next to the door with one knee updrawn. He watches the traffic absently, picking at a hunk of bread.

Aren steps out of the forge closing and locking the door behind him.

Lanisen glances without much interest in the direction of the smithy at the sound, watching, and takes another bite of his bread.

Aren turns from the door, spotting the kennel-boy, he nods, “Evening.”

Lanisen nods in return, though his eyes skitter away from the other man’s. “Nice out,” he adds on impulse.

Aren says, “Indeed it is. We’ve had wonderful weather lately.”

Lanisen nods vaguely, glancing up at the cloudless sky.

Aren walks closer, “I trust everything is well at the kennels?”

Lanisen, as the blacksmith approaches, sets aside his bread and stands. “Uh, yes sir, thanks.”

Aren asks, “Good. Do you enjoy your work at the kennels?”

Lanisen uhs again, glancing behind him nervously. “Yeah, mostly.” He rubs the back of his neck, looking somewhat awkward, and fumbles a bit. “Uh… do you…” He gives up, gestures behind him to the kennels, and asks, “Can I help you with somethin’?”

Aren chuckles, “No.”

Lanisen ohs. He looks away, something in the ward beyond evidently capturing his attention, then studies the ground, keeping Aren in his peripheral vision.

Aren says, “Well, it was nice talking. Enjoy your evening.”

Lanisen shifts his weight. “You too.”

Aren turns from Lanisen and heads toward the gates.

Tyren makes his way into the ward proper from the northwest, carrying a small sheaf of parchment with him. Chances are he’s just come from the scribe’s shop.

Lanisen stands near the kennel doorway, watching the blacksmith leave. As Aren reaches the gates, his expression grows a bit bitter, and he turns away abruptly, retrieving his bread and plopping down against the wall of the building behind him.

Tyren moves toward the gates, and catches Lanisen out of the corner of his eye. He pauses momentarily.

Lanisen is working through his portion of bread with unwarranted vehemence, ripping off each bite with his fingers rather than gnawing it straight. He gives the outer gates another long look, possibly a clue to the direction of his thoughts. In the general traffic and bustle of the ward in late afternoon, he misses Tyren.

Tyren simply says, “Lanisen.”

Lanisen startles and looks up. “Sir,” he answers immediately, scrambling to his feet to bow.

Tyren gives a small, amiable-looking nod in greeting. “Everything all right?”

Lanisen’s eyes flit again to the open, guarded gates, but he nods quickly. “Yes, sir, fine. You?”

Tyren doesn’t quite seem convinced, though he makes no further mention. “Faring well enough myself.”

Lanisen nods. “‘S good, sir.” He glances at the parchment, forehead furrowing in curiousity.

Tyren glances to them himself, following Lanisen’s attentions. “Oh, found myself running short. Been using more than I expected these days.”

Lanisen ohs. “Letters and stuff?” he guesses.

Tyren hehs. “Not entirely.”

Lanisen’s forehead crinkles further. “Drawin’?”

Tyren shakes his head. “That’s my sister.”

Lanisen ohs. He doesn’t ask any further, though it appears he’d like to.

Tyren runs his free hand through his hair. “Been… working on a treatise of sorts, lately.”

Lanisen asks, “Treatise?”

Tyren says, “Er, I suppose ‘essay’ works just as well.”

Lanisen is obviously not following this, one eye squinting in focused incomprehension.

Tyren hehs. “Seems I’ve become something of an academic lately.”

Lanisen says, “Congratulations?”

Tyren chuckles. “Not quite sure that’s what most would say, but thanks, regardless.”

Lanisen offers a rather helplessly confused half-grin.

Tyren pauses a moment, then says, “You’ve seen the castle library?”

Lanisen hesitates. “No… heard about it, though.”

Tyren hehs. “No matter, I suppose. Suffice it to say I’m working on something that… might be added to the stacks, one day.”

Lanisen raises his eyebrows, looking in somewhat awed incredulity from Tyren to the stack of paper and back again. “Really?”

Tyren hehs again. “Well, in theory, at least…”

Lanisen seems, theory or not, to be suitably impressed. “You’re writin’ a story, sir?”

Tyren shakes his head. “More like… organizing my thoughts on a particular subject.”

Lanisen asks, “What subject?”

Tyren hehs. “The one I know the best, I suppose… or at least, considering. Chivalry.”

Lanisen looks a little blank on this. “Oh.” The fact that he doesn’t ask this time can probably be attributed to the fact that he’s so unfamiliar with the subject that he doesn’t know /what/ to ask.

Tyren can’t quite manage to stifle a chuckle at Lanisen’s expression.

Lanisen flushes and looks away.

Tyren chuckles again, saying simply, “Essentially, how a knight should conduct himself.”

Lanisen ohs again, obviously out of his depth. He plows on anyway. “An’… how’s that?”

Tyren hehs. “That depends on which knight you’re asking. I’ve been reading a fair few essays on the subject by several different knights from a few different time periods, attempting to get a good flavor of what others have thought… I doubt I’m saying anything in my own that hasn’t been said before, really, but I suppose that’s no reason not to add another drop to the bucket, so to speak…” His tone as he says this starts to get a bit more animated.

Lanisen doesn’t attempt to interrupt, his forehead furrowing at this non-answer.

Tyren rifles through his stack of parchments, apparently having momentarily forgotten they’re the fresh ones he’s just purchased and expecting to find his notes somewhere among them. “I’ve been taking notes and comparing, trying to match them up with what I’ve learned myself on the job, and… where /are/ they… oh. Right.”

Lanisen lifts his eyebrows, a grin spreading across his face.

Tyren chuckles a bit himself. “I’m getting carried away, aren’t I.”

Lanisen snickers. “I’m followin’, so far,” he offers.

Tyren hehs. “Now it’s just getting everything organized.”

Lanisen ohs. He looks briefly disappointed, then says, “Good luck.”

Tyren chuckles again. “Thanks. Something tells me I can use it.”

Lanisen asks, “How long’s it gonna take?”

Tyren says, “That’s a good question.”

Lanisen chuckles under his breath. “‘S long as it takes to fill all that up?” He gestures to the sheaf of parchment.

Tyren shrugs a shoulder. “Possibly.”

Lanisen observes matter-of-factly, “Looks like a lot.”

Tyren hehs. “I don’t deny that it’s a daunting task.”

Lanisen raises both eyebrows briefly in agreement.

Tyren says, “But then again, I’m not one to often back down from a challenge.”

Lanisen says, “Good luck with it, sir.” He pauses, eyes resting thoughtfully on the paper, and takes a breath for a question– and then makes a face and lets it go.

Tyren quirks a brow slightly, in a curious sort of fashion.

Lanisen ignores the brow.

Tyren shrugs a shoulder and lets it pass. He nods toward the kennels. “I’ve been meaning to pay Elek a visit.”

Lanisen nods his assent and stands aside to let the knight precede him in.

Castle Anvard

As they enter, Puck nearly tumbles over his oversized paws in his haste to reach the Humans Who Smell Like Outside And Other Wunnerfulnesses. He scampers across the room at top speed, leaping nearly twice his height to slurp enthusiastically at Tyren’s hand, and drops into a play-bow, tail wagging wildly.

Tyren chuckles, dropping to a knee and scratching Puck behind the ears with his free hand. It isn’t long before Elek pads over and joins them, sniffing around at something.

Puck, who almost certainly has springs for feet, leaps to nab Tyren’s nose with a puppy-kiss, wiggling happily the whole while. Lanisen scolds him from the doorway.

Tyren apparently isn’t /too/ shabby in the reflex department, as he manages to keep from dropping anything or falling over in the shifting, but he still isn’t quick enough to avoid Puck’s tongue entirely.

Lanisen snickers quietly and ambles around to take a seat at the unlit hearth. He waits a moment, then calls authoritatively, “Puck! Here!” The pup obediently stops harassing Tyren and toddles over to his next victim.

Elek makes his way over once Puck’s out of the way, and greets his master in a less emphatic sort of way, merely nosing Tyren’s hand.

Lanisen hauls Puck into his lap and proceeds to rough-house, watching Elek and Tyren from the corner of his eye.

Tyren scratches Elek’s head obligingly, but this doesn’t seem to be enough for the hound. Elek continues to sniff about Tyren’s hand, eventually managing to push Tyren’s sleeve up and find what he seems to be looking for – a simple linen binding around the knight’s wrist. Tyren rolls his eyes a bit, though he grins slightly. “All right, you’ve got me. Too observant for your own good, you know that?”

Lanisen pauses fighting the fierce fearsome pup for a moment to watch, frowning slightly. Puck takes offense to the shifting of attentions and sinks a row of needles into the most handy finger. Lanisen yelps.

Tyren continues to scratch Elek’s head, as Elek attempts to lick the knight’s wrist, which presents a rather amusing chase of sorts. “Nothing to worry about, my friend, just a minor sprain. Be right as rain soon enough. Honestly, I can’t get so much as a bruise without half of Anvard fussing over me…”

Lanisen flicks Puck’s nose in retribution for the bite, settling a hand on his back to start him calming down, and glances back to Tyren. “What’d you do, sir?”

Tyren glances over to Lanisen. “Had a spar with one of the younger knights earlier today. Was attempting to demonstrate a few proper shield techniques, and, well, my opponent executed a stroke rather better than I expected him to.”

Lanisen grimaces, peering at the wrist in fascination. “‘S it hurt?”

Tyren says, “Not much anymore. Then again, I suppose I’ve become desensitized to minor pains a bit, too.”

Lanisen’s eyes dart to Tyren’s face, almost skeptical, but all he says is, “S’pose you can get used to anythin’.” He lets out another indignant yowl and picks up the pup in two hands, holding him up at eye level. “Except – being – chewed-on. Calm down, you little menace.”

Tyren chuckles. “Still haven’t grown accustomed?”

Lanisen growls, “If he ain’t trained out of chewin’ on people before I get accustomed to bein’ chewed on, I got more problems than puppy teeth.”

Tyren says, “Good point.”

Lanisen’s irritable growlings subside to a steady stream of unintelligible mutterings. “That’s better,” he adds, as Puck licks his hand apologetically and settles to gnawing a bit of bone instead. “That’s my good boy. We’re learnin’, aren’t we?”

Elek seems to have given up on trying to lick at Tyren’s wrist, and contents himself with simply being petted.

Lanisen sets the pup down on the floor, glancing toward the window. “Oughta get their scraps from the kitchen before it gets too dark. ‘Scuse me, sir.”

Tyren nods. “Of course.”

Lanisen stands, stretching, and dips a quick bow to the knight. He heads for the door, shoving aside a harrier with ambitions of escape with his knee. “Evenin’, sir.”


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