Castle Anvard

Astera kneels on the ground in a plain green dress, stroking the head of a puppy.

Lanisen enters the building with a bang, the wind catching the door. He makes an odd ‘awk’ noise, reaching belatedly with his foot to keep it from slamming.

Astera gives a sharp cry jerking around while still kneeling to see what caused the commotion. The puppy gives a few harsh barks and scampers off.

Lanisen says, startled, “Lion!” He frowns at the woman, puzzled, then blinks in confused recognition and quickly offers a deep bow. “Sorry, my lady!”

Astera nods, looking back and softly clicking her tongue to coax the puppy over. “Quite all right. Though I must say, that was quite a large amount of noise for an entrance. Are you always so dramatic?” She smiles as her furry companion returns. Her tone is light.

Lanisen mumbles something difficult to hear about the wind, blushing. He bows again and backs away a few steps toward the back of the building.

Astera gives a vague nod. She scratches the puppy’s head just behind the ears.
Astera asks, “How have you found the job.–Lanisen, isn’t it?”

Lanisen, who has already started to turn away, halts the motion rather awkwardly. “That’s right, my lady,” he confirms, and rubs the back of his neck. “It’s, it’s been– it’s good, thanks.”

Astera looks over her shoulder and smiles. “Very good. Have you taught the puppies any tricks?”

Lanisen uhs. “Just… y’know, stay and stuff. Not… real tricks.”

Astera asks, “Do they listen?”

Lanisen squints one eye. “Sometimes?”

Astera asks, “How do you make them listen to you?”

Lanisen shifts from one foot to the other. “Uh… you don’t, my lady. You help ’em figure out what you mean and then give ’em treats and pet ’em when they get it right. So they want to, you know, and you don’t have to make ’em.” He shrugs a bit and adds, “‘Least… that’s how it works in theory, anyway.”

Astera gives a soft ‘ah’. “You must be very good with the dogs. Did you have one before?”

Lanisen is already shaking his head to negate Astera’s assumption, but his answer falters at the second question. He glances at her cautiously, then straightens, evidently deciding to ignore whatever is meant by ‘before’, and answers simply, “Yes, my lady.”

Astera smiles a little. “We had dogs all around the Manor when I was little. I always loved them. My favorite is Bruno. Though he’s quite old now.”

Lanisen only nods, though he can’t possibly have any idea who Bruno is.

Astera says, “He’s a very old hound now. What kind of dog did you have?”

Lanisen shrugs a bit, frowning at the floor. “I’m not sure, milady,” he answers, rather apologetically. “Big, a herder. One of my uncle’s sheepdog’s litter.”

Astera smiles. “What was his name?”

Lanisen says, “Her name was Moss, milady.”

Tyren comes walking into the Kennels from the Outer Ward.

Lanisen is standing a little ways away from Astera in respectful conversation, his posture indicative of thawing formality.

Astera is kneeling on the ground, puppy on her lap, foundly stroking the pup’s head.

Tyren makes his way into the kennels, looking fairly disheveled and somewhat winded but in a pleasant mood. Almost immediately a hound rather much larger than a puppy – Elek the wolfhound, of course – perks up his ears and pads over to the knight.

Lanisen notes Elek’s reaction to Tyren’s entrance before he notes the actual entrance. He bows quickly to the knight, glancing uncertainly at Astera.

Astera watches the dog move and follows it’s path. She stands and curtsies with a smile.

Tyren greets Elek with his customary ruffle of the hound’s fur, then bows to his wife and nods to Lanisen. He chuckles as he glances to Astera. “Wasn’t quite expecting to bump into you here.”

Astera says, “I was tired of spending the afternoon alone and I haven’t gotten to play with a dog in such a long time.”

Lanisen bows again, murmuring an excuse-me, and begins to step away, apparently to work elsewhere in the kennel.

Tyren hehs, moving over toward his wife, Elek close at his heels. “Does wonders at times, I will admit.” He gives a nod to Lanisen again.

Astera moves to meet her husband, eyes shining. “I should like to visit more often.”

Tyren glances to Elek. “Well, I can’t exactly say that’s unreasonable, seeing as I’ve been in here a decent amount myself lately.”

Lanisen heads for some unknown part of the building to perform some undefined task, thereby leaving them in privacy.


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