travel prep

Staff Quarters
Castle Anvard

Colin descends the stairs, juggling a couple things in his arms.

Lanisen is in his room. The door is propped open for the breeze, and he’s tucking a few belongings into a bag.

Colin pops into Lanisen’s doorway. “Perfect timing. Hey question.”

Lanisen says, startled, “Whoa!” He dips a quick bow and raises his eyebrows.

Colin gives him a cheeky grin. “Afternoon! Do you want to learn archery at all?”

Lanisen says blankly, “Do I what now?”

Colin motions with his arms and pretends to shoot Lanisen with an invisible bow and arrow. “I train off and on, particularly when I’m in Lancelyn Green. I have an extra bow and quiver. We can bring it if you want to learn too.”

Lanisen says, “Um. I don’t– maybe? Sure? If you… think I should?”

Colin nods. “If you want. You can carry the quiver and I’ll start showing you when we get there.” He then drops a quiver with arrows and a bow onto Lanisen’s bed.

Lanisen looks mildly alarmed and glances from the weapons on his bed to the corridor outside.

Colin grins at him reassuringly. “You’re fine. Anyone says anything, tell ’em that odd Colin fellow didn’t want a useless companion in his line of work. Better yet send them to me.”

Lanisen says, “Right. Sure, yeah. Sorry.” But he casually picks up the bag from the floor and sets it on his bed instead, positioned to block the view of the quiver from the door.

Colin fishes in his pocket. “I also have an extra flint for you, just in case. Now that autumn is knocking on our door, I want us to always have an extra.” He hands it to him.

Lanisen takes the flint. “Oh! I forgot that, thank you, sir.” He glances at the little table by the window, cluttered with random travel paraphernalia, and says, “I think I got ….ehh, most everything else?”

Colin asks, “Got a couple changes of clothes? And a waterskin?”

Lanisen nods.

Colin motions to the blankets on Lanisen’s bed. “Let me show you how to roll and tie those up under your pack. If we end up spending nights under the stars, you’ll be glad to have them.”

Lanisen pauses. “Are we leaving today?”

Colin shrugs. “We can. I don’t have any business keeping me here. What do you want to do?”

Lanisen backtracks. “Oh, no, I– whatever you want to do, but if I’m gonna tear up my bed…”

Colin ahs. “Makes sense. I’m used to not thinking about that by now.”

Lanisen says, “So…”

Colin hms thoughtfully. “Let’s not head out today. They may want you to show the new boys the ropes at the kennels, and I need to let Coalblack rest and find a mount for you as well.”

Lanisen says, “…We’re riding.”

Colin rubs his chin. “I didn’t think about that…. do you know how to ride?”

Lanisen says, “Yeah, I’ve ridden. Rode.”

Colin nods, looking relieved. “Right. I don’t ride all the time, I just don’t like leaving Coalblack in Anvard.”

Lanisen looks plenty relieved himself. “Last time I rode was when Lord Dar took me with him to Carmichael.”

Colin asks, “When was that?”

Lanisen says, “Um. I dunno. Four or five years ago?”

Colin says, “It’ll come back to you.”

Lanisen says darkly, “That’s what I’m afraid of.”

Colin keeps a straight face. “That bad, huh?”

Lanisen says, “You better believe it.”

Colin grimaces to hide a smile. “I’ll make sure you have a really good horse?” He offers.

Lanisen says, “Don’t think it’s the horse’s fault, sir.”

Colin asks, “Oh?”

Lanisen gives him an exasperated look. “Really? It’s been so long since you learned ridin’ you don’t remember how achy it makes a body?”

Realization dawns on Colin’s face. “Oh… That. The way you were talking I thought you’d fallen or something.”

Lanisen snorts out loud. “I mean. That too.”

Colin hehs. “Well…we’ll take it slow. We won’t be riding all over Archenland at one time. It won’t be as bad as that.”

Lanisen says, “Good, ’cause it took me about a week to get to walkin’ normal again last time.”

Colin says, “Yeah, it definitely won’t be that bad this time around. Sure, you’ll be a bit stiff and sore for a couple of days but not that bad.”

Lanisen says fervently, “Thank goodness.”

Colin grins. “I’ll try to be nice to ya.”

Lanisen considers his bag. “Tomorrow, or day after, then?”

Colin nods. “That should give us plenty of time.”

Lanisen says, “No, which one, I meant.”

Colin ers. “Uh….tomorrow?”

Lanisen nods and takes a couple things out of his bag that he’ll likely need before then. “Where are we headed?”

Colin says, “Lancelyn Green, I should think. I want to check in on things there, do a bit of training while I wait to hear back from the inquiries I sent out to the other regions.”

Lanisen raises his eyebrows briefly. “Lancelyn Green, all right.”

Colin asks, “How does that sound to you?”

Lanisen says, “Fine? Anything’s fine.”

Colin chuckles briefly and nods. “All right, then.”

Lanisen says, “I didn’t get a knife yet.”

Colin says, “I can get you one. I either have an extra or I can go find one.”

Lanisen says, “Oh. I meant. Sorry, I meant I figured I could get one wherever we’re going first.”

Colin nods. “I’ll check to see if I have an extra laying around, and if not, we can pick one up when we pass through Coghill.”

Lanisen asks, furrowing his forehead, “We’re going by way of Coghill?”

Colin nods. “We pass through there. I don’t think we’ll stay long. Just overnight, in the inn or out in the woods if it’s nice.”

Lanisen says, “Sounds good. Coghill’s nice.”

Colin nods once more. “I like it, it’s a nice area.”

Lanisen admits, “Haven’t been there since I was real little. Except for once we went through in the middle of the night, when– um.” He loses momentum for a second. “I remember thinking it smelled nice there?”

Colin nods, not batting an eye. “It does. You’ll get to see more of it this time.”

Lanisen says, “That’ll be… nice. I’m glad.”

Colin says, “I’m excited, this will make things much less boring for me.”

Lanisen gives him a skeptical look.

Colin says, “Not that that’s selfish or anything.”

Lanisen asks, “Not to be rude or anything but how could it be boring, sir?”

Colin says, “There are times I talk to myself…. a lot.”

Lanisen gives him an odd look. “I see.”

Colin shrugs at him.

Lanisen says, “Do you ever answer yourself, sir?”

Colin coughs.

Lanisen makes a just-asking kind of gesture, hands up.

Colin says, “Enjoy your packing, Lanisen.”

Lanisen laughs out loud, looking quite pleased with himself.

Colin makes a face at him and vacates the doorway.

Lanisen returns to packing, still chortling.


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