Inner Ward of Anvard
Lanisen seems to be following the general drift of servants whose duties do not keep them elsewhere toward the servant’s hall for a midday meal. He actively scans the faces of those in the fairly-busy ward, however, walking somewhat slower than necessary.
Tyren descends the southern stairwell with another knight, though it seems this other knight is the one doing most of the talking. As they reach the foot, the other bows toward Tyren and heads for the gatehouse, while Tyren himself starts to head for the library.
Lanisen catches a glimpse of him and checks himself midstep. He looks suddenly uncertain and hesitates, glancing between the door to the kitchen and Tyren. He shuts his eyes briefly and takes a breath, then wheels and jogs toward the knight, calling to get his attention.
Tyren pauses at this, turning. As he does so, he reveals a somewhat tired, haggard expression – only somewhat as it seems he’s attempting to mask such. He dips a nod. “Ah, Lanisen. Afternoon.”
Lanisen stops in front of him, slightly out-of-breath from the brief sprint. “Sir, uh,” he says, performing a respectful bow. “If you got a minute…”
Tyren nods a little again. “I do.”
Lanisen looks like he was almost hoping for the contrary, but he nods quickly and swallows, crossing one arm across his middle. “I, uh… wanted to apologize for– for talkin’ to you that way, sir, not sure what I was thinkin’.” His entire posture is respectful and contrite: head bowed, eyes down, hands clasped behind his back. “So I– uh, I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.”
Tyren takes a moment to absorb the words, then gives a small nod, along with a sigh of what might be relief. “You are forgiven. There is… a bit more to be said here, I believe, but I do not think the middle of a busy ward is the best place for it.”
Tyren offers to lead Lanisen.
Lanisen also lets out a breath at Tyren’s reply, though he glances to the knight’s face with trepidation at this last. Nodding acceptance, he waits to follow Tyren.
Lanisen decides to follow Tyren.
Tyren glances around the ward a moment, trying to decide on a direction, and eventually settles on the one he was previously taking.
The Library of Anvard rises around you. Reddish wooden pillars like twisted tree-trunks support the roof at even intervals, long bookcases in rows between them. The room is warmly lit by a multitude of round hung lamps, like globular fruit. The air is heavy with the sweet and musty smell of books, old and new. Hundreds of volumes line the shelves, and a few spaces between trunks have been left open for tables at which to reading and write. Thick pillar candles can be used to bring a little more yellow light to late-night researchers in these places.
The room appears to be well-dusted and well-kept, its contents carefully maintained and repaired throughout the years.
Tyren gives a small nod as he enters the library, which is quite empty at the moment. He gestures toward a place in the back, slipping into a chair and motioning for Lanisen to do the same.
Lanisen stops involuntarily at the doorway, staggered by the room’s contents. He pauses only a moment, then jogs a couple steps to catch up to Tyren. He eyes the chair uncertainly, glances at Tyren, and sits down on the very edge, as if afraid of breaking it.
Tyren steeples his fingers, taking a moment to collect his thoughts. His tone is quiet as he speaks. “I believe there is only one way for me to start this out properly. And that is to say that I regret my actions of the other day. I let my temper get the better of me, and to be defined by temper is not becoming for a knight. However justified it may be, he must always keep control over his anger and frustration. I do my best to, but I am far from perfect, and I let that slip.”
Lanisen looks somewhat taken aback by this. He squirms uncomfortably in his chair and doesn’t look at Tyren, mumbling something about how he was probably askin’ for it.
Tyren hehs. “Asking for it, perhaps. That does not mean it is the obligatory choice – or the best one.” He shifts a little in his chair before he continues. “In any case, I wanted you to know that. I also tend to lose… clarity when I lose my temper. I suppose I want to make sure you understand the bigger picture, as I did a poor job of it in the heat of the moment. It was not the disrespect that set me off. At least, not completely.”
Lanisen glances up, twisting his fingers absently. His expression is watchful and resigned: he’s already obviously accepted that he’s been very much in the wrong, but is waiting to see where Tyren is going.
Tyren draws another breath. “The truth of the matter is that I still don’t know to what extent you can be trusted. I hardly ever receive a straight answer from you. When you tell me you don’t know what I’m taking about, I can never tell if you’re simply trying to dodge the matter or whether you truly /don’t/ know. I understand you have your reservations and habits due to your past experiences – and they are entirely reasonable. I can’t say I wouldn’t be the same way were I in your place. But that needs to be weighed against your position here in the castle – if we here at Anvard do not know whether we can trust the servants or not, what are we to do?”
Lanisen shifts uneasily, almost shrinking in his chair. “I– I do my job, sir…”
Tyren nods once. “You do. And that says something to your favor But as I said, you seem to prefer to be evasive over giving a straight answer when asked a question. As a result, it makes it rather difficult to know when you’re speaking the truth or simply trying to skirt around it.” He shakes his head a bit. “That is not to say I or others will demand answers from you every time. A respectful admission that you’d rather not speak of a matter at the time will likely do more than insisting you don’t know what’s going on – even when it’s plain that you do. Evasion, after all, usually only serves to increase suspicion, intentional or not.”
Lanisen seems to have no idea what he’s expected to say to this, so he settles for a nod and a subdued, “Yes, sir.”
Tyren says, “The fact you are here in the position you are is due to a modicum of trust, trust that you wished to turn from your previous actions, and to learn and grow from them – both from His Majesty who saw fit to place you there and from those who advocated his doing so. I know that your experiences has made trust more difficult, but we need to see that the trust given you was well placed. Although I /will/ say something has happened recently to build that up, at least in my own eyes.”
Lanisen nods again, keeping his head lowered.
Tyren continues on, seeing as Lanisen remains silent. “You sought to apologize for it – even more, /actively/ sought me out rather than wait for me to drop by the kennels again, rather than hide and hope it all blew over. I’d say that speaks a good deal in your favor, at least in my book.”
Lanisen flushes, though his head remains ducked and he stays silent.
Tyren says simply, “You need not live by fear anymore, Lanisen… but the choice to do so is yours. That is… what I attempted to convey the other day. I gather it was miscontrued, however.”
Lanisen stirs and sits up straighter. He keeps his eyes resolutely fixed on the tabletop, but from the sudden quiet almost-stoniness in his demeanor, it’s for a rather different reason than shame. “Wouldn’t know, sir.” His tone is calm and absolutely respectful.
Tyren’s brow shoots up at this, clearly not convinced. “I believe you /would/. Either you took it that way or you did not. Of course you would know which of the two you settled on.”
Lanisen is silent for a moment, becoming still-more rigid. “‘Course I know what I settled on, sir,” he says, even more quiet and formal than previously. He pauses, finally raising his head to look Tyren in the eye. “Just ain’t sure, with what was happenin’ then and what you said and how you said it, how I could possibly have settled on anythin’ else.”
Tyren frowns slightly, brow still raised. “And as I have just explained, that was not my intention. Is there any reason to get defensive about it, then?”
Lanisen lets out a breath, withdrawing again to stare down at his hands. “I’m sorry, sir.”
Tyren sighs and stands. “I have said it before, and I will say it again, Lanisen… I truly /do/ have your interest at heart, and have tried to act as such. I would hope that, even despite your troubles in trusting others, at least something of that has shown through. If not… well. Then I have clearly failed.”
Lanisen stands when the knight does, not answering this or even looking at him directly. His expression is impossible to read. “Thank you for talkin’ with me, sir.”
Tyren says, “Lord Dar will probably do the same with you at some point.”
Lanisen’s eyes do dart to him briefly at this, a quick flash of fear, though he doesn’t look terribly surprised. He nods once, bows, then stands at respectful attention, waiting to be dismissed.
Tyren gives a nod toward the door of the library. “Good day, Lanisen. Take care.”
Lanisen replies, “Good day, sir,” and departs.