familiar faces

Practice Pavilion
Lancelyn Green — Middle Archenland

The Practice Pavilion is the perfect architectural blend between man and nature. A large awning extends over the hard packed dirt floor. It is supported by plain dark wood columns. The awning provides protection from most of the elements. Bits of straw are scattered about, but the floor is kept fairly clean by Nes, who constructs the targets and attends to the area. The lack of walls reveals a magnificent view of the rolling hills and various wildlife of the countryside, providing a stunning back drop for training. For a small fee, Nes will set up a target.

Lanisen is facing a target in an out of the way area of the pavilion, working on battering it with his fists. His attention is fully on the task in front of him.

Loc enters the Pavilion with a dwarf, mid argument about produce the dwarf refers to as ruffage. “I’m telling you, it’ll do the miners some good. They need a bit a green down there!”

Lanisen spares the newcomers a glance, pausing to wipe his forehead. His attention goes more to the dwarf than to the man, however, and the odd angle is such that he doesn’t have a clear view of Loc’s face. He returns to his target.

The dwarf stiffens indignantly, “We don’t need no foliage down there boy! What we need is more meat! I don’t know why Chief let ya talk him into such nonsense!”

Loc rolls his eyes, “Because Chief likes me and knows I got a brain.” He looks out over the view, for the moment over looking the patron. He brightens a little, drawing a deep breath. “I mean, it ain’t all that bad! Look at the view!” He gestures. “That’s as much value as those stone you dig.”

Lanisen steps up his attacks and tunes them out.

The dwarf snorts. “Rubbish. Thought you were a man who knew a thing or two about the value of rocks and other shiny things.”

Loc gives the dwarf a sharp look, “Watch your words, Gimbor.” He nods to the man training and hisses under his breath, “We got company and I ain’t too keen on every body in my business. ‘sides, the old man said the boy knew a thing or two about the things we’d be interested in.”

Lanisen is methodically beating up a target in an out of the way corner of the training pavilion. His back is to the dwarf and the man, and he doesn’t seem to be paying attention to them.

Colin strides into the training area and heads over toward Lanisen. His gaze just glances over all other occupants without registering much. He stands where Lanisen can see him.

Loc’s eyes flick to the newcomer and he immediately stiffens. Despite a few years around the eyes, paler skin, and goatee, his appearence wouldn’t be terribly different than before. He abruptly gestures to the dwarf to keep his mouth shut and stomps toward the boy, attempting to keep his back to the nobleman. “You boy, Nes? A word with you about the crops around here and ponies.”

Gimbor blinks and hurries after sounding disgruntled, “What’s a matter lad, seen a ghost or something?” He makes no effort to keep his voice down.

Lanisen has been ignoring people all day and isn’t about to stop now. He gets in a few more punches before he realizes his personal bubble has been invaded. He takes a few skittering steps away, instantly on his guard.

Colin holds up a hand. “It’s just me. Sorry.” He says apologetically.

Loc just gives his companion a sharp look, keeping his back to the two other men and continues making pleasant conversation with Nes on the land. His bearing remains tense and despite a friendly tone, there is an edge underlying it.

Lanisen lets out a breath and wipes his forehead. He is flushed red from training in the sun. “Could’ve said,” he mutters. His eyes drift briefly to the dwarf again, then back to Colin. “Hi.”

Colin shrugs and apologizes again. “You been here all day?” He comments, noting the redness.

Gimbor frowns as he is dismissed by his companion. He joins the man at his side and grumbles to anyone who will listen, “T’ain’t my fault ye get all skittery ’round decent folk. If any human be decent. I don’t like this place any more than Carmichael. We lot outta head right back te Narnia–as I always say, the dwarves is fer the–”

Loc turns sharply to his companion, “Hold your tongue fool!” His tone is acid and louder than he intends, eyes flicking to Colin.

Lanisen shakes his head. “Last couple hours,” he says, then glances up to gauge the angle of the sun. “Couple three, maybe,” he amends. “Got antsy.” He glances again toward the chatty dwarf, this time getting his first good look at the man’s face. He does a double-take, then stares.

Colin gives a confused start at Lanisen’s reaction and follows his gaze. He himself looks the dwarf and companions over, going slightly rigid as familiarity dawns on him.

Loc’s jaw tightens and he lowers his gaze quickly. He bows stiffly and says in a faltering voice, “Lord Colin.” He smacks the dwarf’s arm and says roughly, “Bow ye idiot.” When the dwarf goes to protest Loc cuts him off, “This is the nephew of the King.” Gimbor blinks, claps his mouth shut and hastily bows.

Lanisen swallows, shifts his weight, and glances from Loc to Colin. He doesn’t seem to know what to do.

Colin’s eyes glance heavenward as if pleading for patience and he glances at Lanisen with a very longsuffering gaze before nodding his head in greeting to the group. “Sir.” He gently corrects, then nods once more before turning to face Lanisen, his face turned away from Loc and his companions. He looks at Lanisen and mouths, “All right?”

Lanisen nods quickly, eyes still wide. He glances back at Loc.

Loc seems to relax just a hair as Colin turns around–until he observes who Colin is with. He blinks and stares at Lanisen and open his mouth, then snaps it shut. Several emotions cross his face bfore he settles it into a more nuetral one of composure.

Colin happens to glance back Loc’s way and pauses at his expression, glancing at Lanisen again. He says something under his breath to him.
Colin mumbles “Should we leave?”, to Lanisen.
Colin mumbles “… we leave?”, to Lanisen.

Lanisen hesitates for a long moment. “Hey,” he says finally, looking at Loc.

Loc flushes deeply at Colin’s remark and for a moment it looks as though he might run. At Lanisen’s greeting, he looks back to his old companion and gives a small nod, with a reluctant, “Hey Lanny.” He gives a feeble grin.

Gimbor looks between them, “You know this lad?” Realization begins to dawn on his face.

Colin stays at Lanisen’s side, allowing him to take the lead for the moment. He eyes the dwarf with an expressionless face.

Lanisen’s eyes dart to the dwarf, and he freezes up. He rallies after a second, turning his attention back to Loc with an effort. “You… doin’ all right, then?”

Loc hehs and genuinely grins, one of his usual, and nods. “Yeah… they… keep me busy.” He pauses, before offering relucantly, “And you?”

Colin stays quiet for now, merely a presence.

Lanisen relaxes a little and returns a grin of his own, glancing at Colin briefly. “Good,” he says. “Real good. Yeah.”

Loc grins a little broader at this, the tension slowly melting away. “Ye look good.–Still can’t hit the broad side of a barn,” he teases in a light and friendly manner.

Lanisen retorts, “Yeah, you can shut up.”

Colin rubs his nose thoughtfully, glancing at Lanisen with a knowing smirk.

Loc gives a hearty, good natured laugh. His features soften. “I’d say make me, but then that might be unfair.” He teases and beams at Lanisen. “But maybe after a few more targets you’ll be able to pack a punch.”

Gimbor falls quiet, observing the interactions. He gives Loc a look at the last comment.

Lanisen lets out a little scoff, turning to look pointedly at the target, which would be on its last legs if it had any, then back at Loc. “Tell that to this fellow!”

Colin finally helps the conversation along. “Or my nose.”

Loc laughs again, shaking his head. “Aw come on Lanny, a straw man don’t got any real bite.” He winks and nods to Colin, “Now that’s a fine word a recommendation there!–Though you might not want to be boppin’ the noses that feed ya.”

Lanisen gives Colin a startled look. He glances between Loc and Colin and ducks his head, laughing uncomfortably.

Colin shrugs in his easy going manner. “This nose isn’t too offended about it. The ladies think it adds character.”

Loc chuckles and grins, “That they do.” Suddenly his smile disappears and his expression twitches, as if he’s been hit. He looks down and coughs, “Ladies apparently like men with scars… never quite understood why.”

Lanisen, watching Loc, hesitates. “Couldn’t tell you,” he says, trying for a light tone. “Ain’t somethin’ I’ve ever observed my own self.”

Colin shrugs slightly as if to say he doesn’t know either and leaves it at that.

Loc grunts softly and searches for another topic, “So are ya stationed here then?”

Lanisen makes an uncertain face and glances at Colin for this one.

Colin replies, “We’re just here for a week or two, weather permitting.”

Loc gives a small nod, gesturing to the dwarf. “Yeah… about the same. You still at Anvard?”

Lanisen glances at the dwarf, then quickly away.

Colin shakes his head. “I’m everywhere these days it seems.” He says pleasantly.

Loc perks up a little, “Maybe ye can visit the mines. They ain’t bad fer bein’ holes in the ground.”

Gimbor looks at Loc sharply, “What ya callin’ holes in the groudn boy! Those are masterpieces!”

Lanisen blinks, startled into a laugh.

Colin’s reply is mild, “We’ll see what we can do when we’re in Carmichael.”

Loc almost seems excited by the prospect, “Great!–But ye certainly have to do the tavern. Nicest keep ye’ll ever have. Great fish stew too.”

Gimbor grumps quietly, still put out about the mines.

Lanisen raises his eyebrows, pursing up his lips in skeptical distaste. “You like that sludge?”

Loc chuckles, “Well, it ain’t /that/ bad.” He smirks, “Or maybe I just got used ta it.”

Gimbor seems to agree with Lanisen, wrinking his nose. “Only ale and meat for me!”

Colin rubs the back of his neck. “I have found a better place to partake instead of the inn, after a while I couldn’t stomach their food anymore.”

Lanisen looks confused, but only for a second. He ducks his head to hide a smirk.

Loc looks confused, “In Carmichael? The tavern and inn are across the way from each other.”

Colin ers. “I meant the tavern. See? Haven’t eaten there in so long I forgot.”

Loc ahs. He gives a small chuckle, “Well, maybe after a break the food won’t seem so bad.”

Lanisen snorts, muttering under his breath, “/That/’s likely.”

Colin shakes his head. “No, I prefer my newfound haven.” He chuckles.

Loc glances at Lanisen, “Suppose you won’t be goin’ by either then.” The disappointment is evident.

Lanisen asks, “To the tavern? Not if I can help it!”

Colin rubs his hand over his mouth, hiding a laugh.

Loc glances at Colin, “Suppose you’ll both be enjoyin’ the hospitality of Lady Priya and Lord Ast… Bet the manor’s got all kinds a nice stuff. Every fall there’s a festival for the town and the Manor cooks… they make quite a meal.”

Lanisen looks rather taken aback. His forehead furrows and he glances at Colin, suddenly puzzled.

Colin hms thoughtfully. “I haven’t eaten with them in years….I probably should pay my respects for once or they’ll think me quite rude.”

Loc says genuinely, “I think they wouldn’t mind some company. They haven’t had a visit from castle folk in a while. And while the twon folk are nice…. it just ain’t the same as seein’ your own people again.” His gaze moves back to Lanisen with his final comment.

Colin’s reply continues to remain in the vague arena. “I make it to Carmichael a couple times a year but generally am busy with other things. I’ll have to stop in to the manor.”

Lanisen grins faintly in response to Loc.

Loc grins back and then register’s Colin’s comment. “Ah.” He pauses, then asks, “Don’t suppose Ty–Lord Tyren will be stoppin’ by any time soon.”

Colin lifts his shoulders. “No idea, I don’t keep track of Sir Tyren these days.”

Lanisen looks confused. “You …talk?” he asks Loc, cautious.

Loc grins and laughs, “With anyone who’ll listen. Can be lonely sometimes.” He glances at Lanisen and there’s a look of reluctance. “But he hasn’t been there for a while. So…”

Colin frowns thoughtfully and makes no comment.

Lanisen frowns uncertainly, looking at Loc sidelong.

Loc says slowly, “It’d be nice to show him that…. I’ve tried to make something… of myself. I suppose.”

Colin comments, “You don’t need to prove anything to Tyren.”

Lanisen stays quiet, watching Loc.

Loc blushes a little, then says, “Well… not so much provin’ as just… showin’. I’d like to be a man of my word–and while I have been most a my life… there’s a difference between being a man of your word and one whose /good/ as well.”

Colin nods slowly. “Yes..and as Tyren is not both of those then you shouldn’t concern yourself with him. You take care of yourself for yourself, Loc. Both you and Lanisen are better men than some nobles I know and worth twice as much. You take care of yourself so you can enjoy life when you can.”

Lanisen stares at Colin in some alarm, then quickly glances around the pavilion to see who heard.

Loc turns a deep shade of red and lowers his gaze, although the pride from that sort of praise is evident. He manages a smile and says softly, “Yessir.”

Gimbor looks shocked and then politely turns away to admire the scenery he so easily dismissed before. He does however, give a brief pat to Loc’s back and an approving nod.

Colin nods. “From what I can see you’ve been working quite hard, and hard work never let anyone down.” He nods his approval and looks to Lanisen. “Speaking of hard work….we have two hungry horses demanding our attention.”

Loc says genuinely, in a surprisingly meek manner, “Thank you.”

Lanisen says, “They will be by now, won’t they.” He doesn’t quite look at Colin, and looks uncomfortable.

Loc glances at the dwarf, “Yeah… and Gimbor and I should get the information we came for….”

Gimbor chuckles, “Well, you do most of the talkin’ lad, as you got a tongue that might as well be coated in silver.”

Colin claps Lanisen’s shoulder in a friendly manner. “Come along, mate.” He glances at Loc and nods. “Good luck to you.”

Loc steps forward and gestures to Colin, “Before you go sir… might I ask something?”
Loc gives the dwarf a brief dirty look for the comment.

Lanisen glances curiously at Loc.

Colin halts his step and nods. “Yes?”

Loc hesitates, then lowers his voice.
Loc mumbles “… girl… … were… … they ever able to help her? … tried to intercede … … wasn’t fair … … the … … … … … news …”, to Colin.

Colin’s face quirks in a small frown and he replies, his tone apologetic.
Colin mumbles “… … As far as … … … … still imprisoned.”, to Loc.

Loc gives a small nod and sighs. He musters a small smile, “Well… thanks for lettin me know.”

Lanisen watches silently, the look on his face indicating he heard enough.

Colin nods. “Good day to you both.” He nods to Loc and the dwarf.
Colin offers to lead Lanisen.

Lanisen hesitates before following Colin. “Hey,” he says to Loc. “‘S… good to see you. Maybe see you in Carmichael, yeah?”

Loc smiles a little and says, “That’d be nice.” He gives a small bow to Colin and steps back.

Lanisen nods, hesitates, then follows the knight.

Colin nods once more and leads Lanisen out, walking in step with him.

Lancelyn Green — Middle Archenland

You find yourself in a well built, fairly large loft. The wood planks comprising the floor are almost completely covered in hay. There are several piles of hay as well as a few bales to provide makeshift seating. Extra tools and equipment have also managed to find their way here. As you move a soft
crunch, as well as the occasional squeak of wood greets your ears. There is a small window open to the road to the south. 

As the loft extends back there are openings for the hay to be thrown down. A small gray kitten perches atop one of the bales grooming herself. With the smell of fresh hay and a rather cozy arrangement it is one of the more pleasant areas of the stable to be.

Lanisen is quiet the entire way back, and tends Maestro in silence.

Colin glances at Lanisen as they get the horses settled. “You all right?”

Lanisen looks up from Maestro’s bran bucket. “Yeah. Sorry.” He pauses. “Wasn’t expecting to see him.”

Colin shakes his head. “Don’t apologize, I didn’t think I’d see him either.”

Lanisen is quiet for another few minutes, finishing up. He strokes Maestro’s neck, bumping his forehead affectionately to the horse’s forehead, then lets himself out of the stall. “Why’d you say that about Sir Tyren?” he finally asks.

Colin releases a sigh and leans his forehead against Coalblack’s stall door. “I shouldn’t have been so frank, for that I apologize. No matter my feelings it is not in good form to badmouth anyone.”

Lanisen nods, looking down. He doesn’t pursue the subject further.

Colin leans out of the stall, placing his arms on the low wall. “You know he and I used to be really good friends, right?”

Lanisen casts a quick glance up and down the alley of the stable to make sure nobody is within eavesdropping distance. He sits down on a haybale outside the stall. “Yeah.”

Colin also looks around to make sure they are completely alone. “Well…sometimes when you are that close to a person, you get to see through the facade and see their true character. Sir Tyren does have some good qualities but there is enough there that makes him…not the best person to have in your life, I suppose is the best way to put it.”

Lanisen rubs his palms on his trouser knees. “I know,” he says after a pause.

Colin looks Lanisen square in the eye. “Even with everything I was trying to do to help keep things smooth and keep you from getting in anymore trouble with anyone, it never sat well with me how Tyren treated you. Ever. And I’m sorry things turned out the way they did for a while. I should have..done more.”

Lanisen won’t meet Colin’s eyes. “He never hurt me.”

Colin’s reply is rather mild. “Words can be more vicious than fists in my experience.”

Lanisen shrugs.

Colin lets himself out of Coalblack’s stall and makes sure the door is latched properly.

Lanisen gets to his feet, brushing straw and bran and horse feathers off his shirt. He glances at Colin.

Colin returns the look and offers him a faint smile.

Lanisen asks, “Where to?”

Colin asks, “You tired?”

Lanisen says, “A little. Not really.”

Colin says, “Think I am. I’m gonna try to sleep, you can do whatever if you don’t want to go to bed now.”

Lanisen says, “All right.” He glances at the door. “You going to the inn?”

Colin glances upstairs. “I’m thinking loft.”

Lanisen pauses, taking a breath as if he is about to say something. Whatever it is doesn’t quite make it out.

Colin glances at him. “Yeah?”

Lanisen shakes his head. “Nah. Never mind.”

Colin starts to say something when his stomach chimes into the conversation and he looks at Lanisen with a wry expression. “I forgot to eat dinner.”

Lanisen says, “Better do that, then. Don’t want to waste away in your sleep.”

Colin asks, “Wanna go with?”

Lanisen asks, “Where you going?”

Colin says, “Let’s go into town and look around.”

Lanisen shrugs and nods. “Fine by me.”

Colin leads the way out of the stables.

Lancelyn Green
Middle Archenland

You find yourself in the charming hamlet called Lancelyn Green. It’s a busy town, evidenced by the worn ruts in the road and the villagers who bustle past you, nodding a pleasant hello as they continue on about their business.

The area you stand in appears to be the town center, as the roads form a roundabout encircling a round, grassy lawn with a large well at the center. The main road runs east and west through the town, with a smaller track running south toward a cluster of straw-roofed cottages. A good-sized manor house sits amidst an ample lawn to the north, and the green is hemmed with shops. A blacksmith’s workshop can be seen to the northeast, some sort of tailor to the northwest, a dry goods’ shop to the southeast, and an open-air market to the southwest. The whole is marked with well-tended trees and even a few beds of cultivated flowers.

The westgoing road leads toward the Inn and wends its way out of town. To the east, the road curves past some larger structures.

Simetra crosses the town square from the direction of the general story and toward the road, carrying a number of parcels, almost too many for her to carry.

Colin leads Lanisen into town, looking around. They reach the well and Colin stops them for a drink before they continue on.

Lanisen takes the bucket, drinks deeply, and dumps the rest over his head despite the slight chill in the air.

Simetra spies the nobleman over her packages and attempts a curtsey as she passes, which of course causes one of the items to topple off the precarious pile.

Colin stares at Lanisen, blinking. “Well, you did need a bath I guess…” He then hears the clunk and looks up to recognize Simetra. He brightens and goes to her rescue, retrieving the package and catching another one about to fall. “Hello, Simetra!” He greets.

Simetra attempts a better curtsy. “Good evening, sir Colin. I didn’t realize you were in town.”

Lanisen flicks water at him good-naturedly. He turns to follow Colin’s attention as it shifts, and instantly goes still as he recognizes Simetra.

Colin smiles at her and waves his hand at the curtsy. “Don’t trouble yourself, please. It’s good to see you. We’ve only just arrived yesterday. How are you?”

Simetra gives him a harried smile. “Oh, good, good. Business is picking up quite a lot. Harvest season.” Her eyes uncertainly travel to the young man who seems to be accompanying him.

Lanisen’s eyes skitter away quickly. He nearly fumbles the bucket, then sets it back down with undue care.

Colin gestures to Lanisen. “I have a friend working with me now. Have you met Lanisen?”

Simetra says, “Uh—–”

Lanisen says to the ground, “Yeah, we’ve met.”

Colin’s hand goes to run through his hair like he is often doing and currently smacks himself in the forehead. “Excellent. Now, how is Astor doing? I didn’t get to see him last time I was in town.”

Simetra says, “”Good, yeah, ah, getting along. The same, you know, with, the, uh, harvest. Good.”

Colin nods. “Glad to hear it. How have things been at the inn?”

Lanisen stands awkwardly, trying to be invisible.

Simetra nods, “Mhm, mhm, lots of people coming through, uh, lots of merchant traffic, mhm.”

Colin looks down at the two items he’s holding. “Can I help you get these back to the inn?

Lanisen gives Colin a pleading look and gestures with his eyes toward the stables.

Simetra says, “Oh, I don’t — uh, if you like, that’s very kind–”

Colin notices Lanisen’s look and gives him a nod before replying to Simetra. “No trouble, it won’t take long. May I help carry something else?”

Lanisen ducks a formal bow, nods to Simetra without quite looking at her, and scurries off gratefully.

Simetra offers him one more. Her eyes follow Lanisen’s departure.

Colin takes it readily and falls in step beside Simetra.

Simetra repeats her thanks, walking carefully toward the inn.

Colin opens the door when they arrive so she can go in with her laden arms.

Simetra sort of curtsies thanks on her way in.

Once inside Colin asks her, “Where would you like me to put these?”

Simetra sets hers on the receptionist’s counter. “This is fine.”

Colin sets his beside the others and takes care not to knock any to the ground.

Simetra says, “Thank you, you didn’t need to go to that trouble.”

Colin waves his hand. “It’s no trouble at all, I like helping where I can.”

Simetra says, “Well, you didn’t have to, and I do appreciate the thought.”

Colin nods. “Any time.” he says.

Simetra says, “Did you…ah, would you like something to eat, or, uh, did you have a place to stay?”

Colin replies, “Oh, I’m all right, thank you. I plan on staying at the inn for most of our time here so no doubt you’ll have to deal with me again.”

Simetra say, “Oh. Oh, mhm, all right, very good.”

Colin touches both fingers to his forehead. “You have a good evening. It was good seeing you again.”

Simetra curtsies. “You too, Sir Colin.”

Colin heads out the door and onto the road back to the stables.


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