absence of courage

Castle Anvard

Lanisen can be seen through the slats of one of the pens in the back, kneeling in front of the canine occupant with a brush.

Tyren enters the kennels – more like half-falls in, really – in what seems to be a fairly exhausted state. Despite the rumpled demanor and evident fatigue, however, the knight seems to be in rather a good mood as he lets out a low whistle. Elek responds quickly, padding over.

Lanisen glances toward the door and raises his eyebrows slightly at Tyren’s apparent state, not ceasing his combing of the wolfhound facing him – who, if one took the time to notice, might be recognized as the same from the scuffle the previous week.

Tyren ruffles Elek’s fur with a grin, the end result making the hound’s head look rather much like his master’s own mussed hair. “Hello, my friend.” He gives a nod to Lanisen, saying simply, “Evening,” to him.

Lanisen replies through the pen wall, “Evening, sir,” and stands briefly to bow.

Elek breaks his dignified demeanor for a moment, trying to de-ruffle his fur with a paw – which doesn’t really work very well. Tyren chuckles a bit as he observes this. “How are you faring, Lanisen? Arm doing better?”

Lanisen answers, kneeling again to resume grooming the wolfhound, “‘S fine, sir.”

Tyren nods. “Glad to hear it.” He furrows his brow just slightly as he finally recognizes the recipient of Lanisen’s attention. “And as for him? And the other hound?”

Lanisen gives Tyren an oblique glance. “They’re both healin’ well.”

Tyren nods a little again. “Glad to hear that as well.”

Lanisen continues methodically brushing clumps of fur from the wolfhound’s shaggy coat. He seems comfortable even in such close proximity to the dog, however, and Tohol appears to be enjoying the attention, his tongue hanging out. “You look a little bushed, sir,” Lanisen comments.

Tyren hehs. “Been burning off rather a lot of energy today. Think I needed it.”

Lanisen asks, “Doin’ what?”

Tyren shrugs a shoulder. “What a knight tends to do to burn off energy. A spar this morning, a good ride, a practice joust of sorts.”

Lanisen raises his eyebrows slightly, not looking away from the hound’s fur. “How do you practice gallopin’ at each other with pointy sticks without killin’ each other?”

Tyren says, “Very carefully. And refraining from going full speed.”

Lanisen just snorts at this, giving the knight a look that may or may not be questioning his sanity.

Tyren quirks his brow at this.

Lanisen shakes his head a degree and blows a wispy clump of hair off his shoulder.

Tyren merely says, “One must learn the technique somehow. Preferably before it is necessary to /use/ it.” He returns his attentions to Elek.

Lanisen frowns down at the wolfhound’s back for a moment, working in silence. Finally, he blurts, “When /would/ you use it? ‘Cept at one of those… turnythings?”

Tyren’s brow shoots up at this. “On an honest-to-goodness battlefield, perhaps?”

Lanisen scratches his head, genuinely puzzled. “What happens if you lose the, the stick-thing, the lance?”

Tyren pats his scabbard. “Then you resort to this. Failing that, you improvise. Which is precisely why it’s advantageous to learn to deal with such things /before/ it’s necessary.”

Lanisen frowns again, peering closely at a clump of badly-tangled fur on Tohol’s shoulder. “Just don’t seem all that efficient to carry it in in the first place…”

Tyren says, “They reach a lot farther than blades do. Rather useless to brandish a sword about if you’re lanced before you’re close enough to use it.”

Lanisen asks, “Yeah, but don’t they just break the first time you get somebody? Or… stick? Why not just shoot ’em?”

Tyren says, “The circumstances are not always conducive to that. Nor is it wise to be so sure of one tactic’s effectiveness that you shun an alternative.”

Lanisen considers this, working gently at the knot. “Don’t think I’d want to mess with it,” he decides after a moment.

Tyren says, “It /is/ rather a complicated affair.”

Lanisen makes a skeptical grimace, glancing up at the knight. At the same time, the brush tugs too hard on the wolfhound’s tangled fur, and Tohol reacts to the pain with a flinch and a rumbling snarl. Lanisen, apparently not as at ease as he looks with the hound, immediately jumps back in alarm, dropping the brush.

Tyren idly scratches Elek as he says, “Not particularly fond of it myself. But I do what I must.”

Lanisen retrieves the brush as Tohol settles, eyeing the hound ruefully and murmuring quiet apologies.

Tyren furrows his brow as he observes this.

Lanisen tries again to work out the snarls, this time with markedly more caution than before, keeping a wary eye on the dog.

Tyren lifts a brow a little as he continues to observe, his glance shifting from Lanisen to the hound.

Lanisen rubs the wolfhound’s ears soothingly as he continues, though still visibly on edge. The hound evidently senses this, making uneasy comments to himself in low growls and rumbles, and Lanisen finally stands and lets himself out of the pen, leaving the knot for another time.

Tyren says simply, “He might not be so aggressive if you didn’t make your apprehension so evident, you know.”

Lanisen latches the pen closed. He doesn’t see it necessary to remark.

Tyren says, “That /is/ what courage is, after all. Pressing on in the face of fear, rather than letting it take control.”

Lanisen’s shoulders tense visibly. That his face is politely bland despite this when he turns around to face Tyren might be an indication of how the knight’s words have struck him.

Tyren does not add anything further.

Lanisen looks at Tyren for a long moment, maintaining the unreadable expression, though he is still stiff and furious.

Tyren gives Elek one last pat as he says, “The truth is not always pleasant nor comfortable. That is no reason to shy from it, however.” He dips his head in a small nod. “I have a few more duties to see to this evening. Good eve, Lanisen.”

Lanisen’s face, at this, turns white with startled anger. Though he’d clearly like nothing more than to make a retort, he closes his mouth and lowers his head, bowing curtly.

Tyren gives no visible reaction to this, merely dipping another nod and heading out.


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