moving on

Army Barracks
Castle Anvard

Drune is in between two bunks, in the process of attempting to stand up fully.

Lanisen is halfway curled up, trying unsuccessfully to sleep. He finally opens his eyes and stares at the ceiling.

Aliyah is curled in a corner, lightly snoring.

Drune finally stands up fully, taking a deep breath and looking around the room. Seeing others sleeping, he gingerly pads forward, testing his strength.

Lanisen, at the quiet click of the wolf’s claws on the floor, turns his head automatically. He goes still, watching his progress.

The door to the south opens and out steps a Son of Adam. He is moderately dressed as he walks slowly through the barracks. He too also watches the Wolf walk before calling out to him quietly, “How do you fare, friend?”

Drune rolls his shoulders, slowly stretching and testing his range of movement as the son of adam walks in. Letting out a soft grunt, he give him a nod. “Fair enough… ” he hehs, sitting. “Give me another day or so and I will be begging to lend a paw /somewhere/. Can’t stand all this rest… ” he adds, seemingly to himself.

Aliyah wakes with a jolt at the voices. She sits up and glances around before rubbing her eye with a paw.
Aliyah says, “Glad to see you are on your feet again, Drune.”

Lanisen watches the wolves, then gingerly sits up for a better view, favoring his injured shoulder and leg.

A son of adam with blue eyes (Peridan) raises his eyebrow as the Wolf is addressed. He takes another look at the male-Wolf, eyes narrowing in thought, “You are Drune? Of the Northern Guard?”

Drune’s ears go back a little and he offers a soft ‘heh’, glancing over to his sleeping Alpha. “I am Drune… Though, no longer a member of the Guard I am afraid. ” then looking back to the man. “I heard the call of my own pack and answered it. ”

Peridan says, “I understand that, my friend.” He glances around the room, finding a bunk that is not occupied, grimacing as he does. “Though I have resided in Narnia for a matter of years, I will always answer the call of my homeland. ”

Lanisen leans himself back against the wall, glancing at the stranger curiously.

Tempest quietly pads into the barracks, approaching her packmate.

Drune nods. “Impossible to resist such a call… ” he repeats, pausing and eyeing the man. “I don’t believe I caught your name?”

Peridan does a quick bow, “I am Lord Peridan, Advisor to the Kings and Queens of Narnia and Commander of the Narnia Army.”

Drune’s brow raises a bit as he dips his head. “It is a pleasure to meet you Lord Peridan. Consider me at your service. ”

Lanisen blinks, impressed.

Tempest watches the exchange quietly, bowing her head in greeting to all present.

Peridan asks, “Thank you, Drune. I shall remember it but for now, all I want you to do is rest. You and your pack,” He glances at the other wolves in the barrack, “fought bravely and have earned rest.” Peridan then turns to the other man, “And you, friend? How did you fare?”

Drune makes a slight face at the word ‘rest’ but quickly turns his attention over to Tempest as she approaches. “Alpha. ”

Aliyah takes note of Peridan’s words but just shakes her head at the pack bit… otherwise remaining motionless and quiet.

Tempest replies, “Guardian.”, her blue eyes twinkling at him.

Drune tries standing again and does so with more ease this time. “How are you faring?”

Lanisen looks startled to be addressed. He offers a self-deprecating grin. “Ahh—ummm. I lasted about five minutes.”

Peridan laughs good naturedly, “What is your name, Soldier?”

Lanisen says, “Lanisen, sir. Uhh–sorry, I’m not a soldier, sir.”

Peridan looks at Lanisen, eyes bright, “Well Lanisen, the fact that you lasted five minutes could have meant the life or death of Anvard. Be proud that you too answered the call and helped us achieved victory.”

Tempest nods a reply to Drune. “Better than you, probably. How are you feeling?”

Lanisen looks uncomfortable. “I don’t think so, sir. I was on the walls, you see.”

Drune hehs. “Give me a day or so and I will be out patrolling again. ” he grins

Tempest says, “Sure you will. I remember how long it took you to recover when that buck sliced your side open.”

Peridan shakes his head, “All service is important, whether you were on the wall or in the fray. You do well, Lanisen and do not let anyone think otherwise.” He does tip his head as he hears the conversation between the Wolves.

Aliyah tries to hide the flicker of the smile that crosses her muzzle at Tempest’s comment.

Lanisen looks even more uncomfortable at this, and he glances around the barracks for somebody who can back him up. Finding nobody, he goes quiet.

Drune snorts. “Few days… just like this will. ” his voice lowers a hair. “If I have to keep from moving another day I may just lose my mind.. ”

Tempest’s smile is kind but her expression is ornery, as is her reply. “Oh don’t worry, you won’t notice a difference then.”

Peridan grins at the words of the Wolf. “I should think those in Winterden must be a bit insane or else you would not be here.” He eyes her, “Forgive me for interrupting but did I hear that you were the Alpha?”

Tempest turns to get a better look at Lord Peridan, nodding her head. “You’re not interrupting… and yes, you heard correctly. Acting Alpha.”

Drune looks like he is about to retort, but his ears perk up at Peridan’s words and his muzzle twitches in a small grin as he resorts to listening.

Aliyah stands, padding gingerly towards the exit. “If you will excuse me… I need to get a bit of air…”

Tempest glances at the rogue absently as she leaves the room.

Peridan bows his head to the she-wolf, “Ah, it is a pleasure to meet you, Alpha -?” His eyes glances towards the Wolf who left.

Tempest chuckles. “Terribly sorry, I am Tempest.”

Peridan raises an hand, “No need to apologize, it is a pleasure to meet you, Alpha Tempest.” His eyes narrow in thought, leaning in closer to the Wolves, “I have a question of you two.”

Tempest tilts her head, curiousity on her face. “Go on, Lord Peridan.”

Drune’s ears perk up at this and his head tilts in a question.

Peridan says, “I am afraid that the wars with Giants in the North has caused the Narnian Court to be preoccupied. However, I do not want the good beasts of Narnia to feel that the Court is ignoring them. I was hoping, as members of a influential pack, you could tell me of any occurrences or compliants that the Court should know.”

Tempest’s ears flick as she considers this question, glancing at her Guardian. “There have been some recent incidences and situations we’ve been unable to bring before their Majesties as of yet…”

Drune mirrors the glance, sucking in a small breath and nodding. “Indeed… ”

Peridan becomes serious, “Oh?” His demeanor turns into that one of a Lord.

Tempest nods, her own demeanor becoming more businesslike. “Several weeks ago, I was near the Lowlands when I happened upon an abandoned wolf pup on the river bank. We’ve taken him into our den and cared for him since, and we’ve been searching high and low for his family. They’ve completely vanished, with no signs of trouble or struggle. It’s a most puzzling situation and as we hadn’t heard of any…deaths or attacks in that area, we don’t know what to make of it.”

Peridan strokes his chin, “Interesting. And you did not find anything at all?”

Drune looks a bit thoughtful of his own answer, but lets the two continue for now.

Tempest shakes her head. “I happened upon him right after a fresh rain. The river was swollen and he fell in. The rain washed away most scents and tracks, and the more time that passes, the further I feel we are away from an answer.”

Peridan stands up, beginning to pace. If his wounds are bothering, he doesn’t show it. “This is most strange. I do not think an evil would enter this far into Narnian but anything is possible.” He gazes at the Wolf, meeting her eye for eye, “Has the pup said anything about the incident?”

Tempest’s blue eyes are unblinking as she shakes her head. “He’s quite young and doesn’t talk much…”

Drune lets out a soft ‘hmm’ at this.

Peridan hmms as well, “I shall consider this. If you believe that the good beasts of Narnia are safe, I will not send out a group to investigate.”

Tempest looks to Drune at this one, flicking her ear in a silent question.

Peridan turns to Drune, “Is there anything you would like to add, Drune?”

Drune nods at this. “There is actually… A few months ago we had an incident with a wolf that I am sure you know of. Tainn. She… and a few of Winterden’s wolves had an… altercation of sorts. ”

Tempest nods her confirmation. “Tainn is also one our den has repeatedly had trouble with….”

Peridan’s eyes widen a hair, before settling into a more calm expression, “I have heard of her yes, Though I am afraid that I don’t know fact from rumor regarding her actions. If you would be so kind as to recap them for me?”

Drune frowns slightly. “I know little of her past beyond what I know of her interaction with Winterden. But… ” he glances at his Alpha. “She was directly involved in the kidnapping and holding of our current Alpha. Beyond that, this last altercation left a quiet and gentle resident of the woods injured pretty badly. We attempted to track her but lost her scent at the moors edge. ”

Peridan stokes his chin, “Oh yes, I remember her now, Lady Raistlanna was involved in the rescue.” He stares at the two Wolves, “Do you think she will remain in the Moors?”

Tempest hehs. “Tainn and I have…a strange relationship, to put it mildly. I think she listens to me. I told her to stay away, and so far she has. However, I do not know if I can guarantee she will listen to my orders forever…”

Drune remains silent for a moment, jaw clenching. “I don’t have any reason, myself, to believe she will stay away. ”

Peridan nods once, “Alpha Tempest, if she comes back, I request that you alert the court immediately. It is foolish to send a group to track her down in the moors, but she must be held for trial if she comes into our borders.” His gaze takes in the Wolves, “Since High King Peter is off in the war and King Edmund is preoccupied, I have taken it upon myself to listen to the needs of the people. I want to increase the relationship between Wintereden and the Court. You provide a great service to us by guarding the southern border.”

Tempest offers a quick smile, despite the seriousness of their topic. “I thank you for that, and it is greatly appreciated. Lord Peridan….If she does come to our borders, do you want us to do anything outside of alerting you? Do you want us to try to capture her? Track her? I will need specific..boundaries to apply to my wolves.”

Drune looks down at this, awaiting the Lord’s reply.

Peridan hmms, looking thoughtful, “I will leave that your discretion as I do not know the ability of your Wolves. If you can capture her, that would be beneficial however, I do not want her killed unless it is necessary to do so. She must stand a trial. I also do not want your Wolves to get killed.”

Tempest nods quickly. “That is a concern of mine, Tainn is quite strong and only two of us together would be a match for her. Since our last encounter I have ordered all of my wolves into a serious training regimen but her kind of strength only comes after years of experience.”

Drune shifts on his paws, remaining stoic, for the moment.

Peridan nods, “Excellent.” He glances out a window into the inner ward. “Ah, if you excuse me, I must attend to a few things.” He gives a friendly smile and a stately bow to the Wolves. “It was a pleasure to meet you, Alpha Tempest and Guardian Drune. I do mean that I would like Winterden and the Court to have good relations. If anything is amiss, please do not hesitant to contact me.”

Tempest bows her head low. “You are most kind and gracious, Lord Peridan. You have my word, we shall not hesitate.”

Drune dips his head to the Lord. “Our thanks, Lord Peridan. ”

Peridan bows stately, glancing at the Male Wolf, “As for you going insane, I recommend some fresh air if you are able to make it that far. Good day to the both of you.” The man walks out of the barracks, looking thoughtful.

Tempest watches the man go, her head slightly tilted. “I like him.” She declares.

Drune watches him walk off, nodding after a moment. “As do I…”

Tempest looks at him. “Are you glad we talked to him?”

Drune sucks in a breath. “I am… gives us an direct line into Narnia’s court. ”

Tempest nods. “I agree…this is very good news indeed.”

Drune says, “Seems like he will be easy to talk with as well…”

Tempest nods, her ears flicking as she thinks. “I’m excited about this…I think he will be a great help. And–Drune. He wants to put Tainn to trial.”

Drune smiles, a bit impishly in fact, at this. “Just a matter of capturing her… ”

Tempest gives him an Alpha look to beat all Alpha looks. “You heard what he said though.”

Lanisen pulls up his good knee and rests his uninjured arm across it, looking a little overwhelmed by all this new Narnian information. He watches the two wolves discreetly, curious.

Drune chuckles softly. “I heard… No moors trips. ” he sighs softly, catching the movement and looking over to the Son of Adam. Eyeing him a moment, almost as if he is sizing him up, he tilts his head. “I don’t believe I got your name. ”

Tempest turns and watches the injured Son of Adam, her ears pricking curiously.

Lanisen reacts automatically to the wolf’s stare, averting his eyes to avoid giving the impression of a challenge. “Uh, sorry. It’s Lanisen.”

Drune grins at the reaction, nodding to him. “Well met, Lanisen. I am Drune, Guardian of Winterden. ” he then looks to his Alpha, allowing her own introduction.

Tempest dips her head in a bow. “And I am Tempest of Winterden. A pleasure to officially meet you, Son of Adam. I apologize for scaring you out of your wits the other day.”

Lanisen turns quite red. “Ahh. Sorry about that.”

Drune’s brow raises curiously at this, eyes darting between the two in an unspoken question.

Tempest tilts her head to the side. “Why are you sorry for me scaring you?” She asks, confused.

Lanisen says, “It’s only cause I was still half-asleep, is all.”

Drune continues watching quietly, looking amused.

Tempest’s head goes further sideways. “You shouldn’t apologize for that.” She grins toothily.

Lanisen rubs the back of his neck. “Er, sorry.”

Drune can’t help but snort at this, grin never leaving his muzzle. “I think you should just forget apologizing to the likes of us Lanisen. ” he chuckles, glancing at his Alpha.

Tempest nods her agreement and pads closer to him, moving slowly on the hopes she doesn’t give him another heart attack. “How are your wounds healing?”

Lanisen says, “What? Oh, they’re– the healer says they’re fine. I didn’t even get hit anywhere bad. What about you?” he asks, looking at Drune.

Drune moves a bit closer himself, letting out a soft grunt. “Ah, give it a day or so… I will be fine. ”

Lanisen watches him with sharp eyes, taking note of the way he moves. “You oughta give it longer’n that,” he says. “Don’t push yourself.”

Tempest’s blue eyes look with concern at her packmate. “I think the humans here are quite intelligent.”

Drune shrugs, as best a wolf can. “Fine… another two days. ” he returns, in only half jest. “At the very least, I wouldn’t mind getting out and patrolling a bit. Though, I suppose that is up their Majesties. ”

Tempest peers at him. “What about just plain old exploring?”

Haft sits up.

Lanisen hesitates before he says, “Uh, sorry if it’s– you oughta give it a week. At least. Before you try anything more’n short bits of walkin’.”

Haft glances around the room before heading out.

Drune looks a bit downcast at this, letting out a soft sigh. “I see… ” His ears perk at the sound of the other man leaving, eyes trailing him.

Tempest hms, tilting her head to the side. “Traveling back home may not be an option for a while…”

Lanisen goes quiet again, though he shows no less interest in the wolves’ conversation.

Drune sits, releasing another soft sigh. “Fine… you all win. ” he snorts. “I will take it easy.”

Tempest adds, “Well, not just that. I’m going to speak to your healer, I’m quite curious as to how long we’ll actually need to be here.”

Lanisen asks, “Is Master Adrian lookin’ after you too?”

Drune looks between the two, looking lost. “Unfortunately, I don’t know… Didn’t catch the name of the person whom attended to me. ”

Tempest squints in thought. “I think that’s what he said his name was.”

Lanisen says, “Didn’t know he knew about wolves.”

Tempest makes a ‘hem’ sound. “Well… we all bleed similarly so I imagine he could apply some of the same knowledge.”

Drune hehs. “Well, I thank the Lion he did… ”

Lanisen asks, “What happened to you, anyway?”

Tempest looks to Drune for his answer.

Drune shakes his head. “I had just finished taking down another Calormene and… was turning to engage another when one of them caught me off guard. Really, I felt his blade before I realized he was coming in for the attack. ” He frowns, looking somewhat frustrated. “Next thing I knew, my side felt like it was on fire and things began to spin.”

Tempest winces.

Lanisen does as well, looking slightly awed.

Tempest says, “What kind of swords were they carrying…they didn’t look /normal/. Brutal.”

Drune hehs. “Curved blades… ” he pauses. “Kinda like our claws… but, backwards. ” he muses.

Lanisen asks, “Scimitars?”

Tempest downright scowls. “I don’t like weapons…”

Drune mirrors the frown, nodding. “Couldn’t agree more. ”

Lanisen’s forehead furrows a little, but he says nothing. He flicks a fingernail at the palm of his right hand distantly.

Tempest moves restlessly across the floor. “Is it normal to be constantly exhausted after a battle?” She asks, only half-joking.

Drune snorts. “I have the opposite problem. ” he yawns. “But, I think now would be the one exception. ”

Lanisen looks envious. “I can’t get to sleep.”

Tempest tilts her head at the Son of Adam. “Really? I’ve barely been able to keep awake these past two days…”

Lanisen suggests, “Maybe ’cause you were in the actual battle?”

Tempest peers at him. “Weren’t you? Oh but wait…you were injured in the siege. Sorry, it’s hard to keep all of the stories straight.”

Drune moves over to the bunk he has been sleeping under. “Well, Lanisen, hopefully you can get a good night’s sleep tonight. ” he yawns once more, carefully easing himself down.

Lanisen grins faintly. “I don’t blame you. I’m still kind of muddled about it all too.”

Tempest chuckles and pads over to her packmate to join him on the floor. “There’s certainly a lot to keep track of.”

Drune shuffles under the bed, sucking in a deep breath before slowly falling into a deep slumber.

Lanisen watches the wolf sleep, chewing his lip in concern.

Tempest tilts her head at his expression. “Is everything all right?”

Lanisen says, “No, yeah, sorry– he gonna be all right?”

Tempest nods her head in response. “Yes…he will be. It may take a while for him to heal fully, but he will be all right.”

Lanisen nods again. “Looked like he was hurting a lot,” he says, quiet enough to not disturb the sleeping wolf. He is sitting on his cot against the wall, one knee drawn up, talking to Tempest.

Tempest nods her head slowly. “Battle wounds… you both seem to be hurting a lot. I wish there was more I could do. The healer man won’t us lick the wounds too much, they’re too severe. He puts special things on them.”
Tempest adds musingly, “Much like Penny…our healer back home makes us eat or put on some of the strangest things.”

Lanisen asks, “Penny?”

Colin enters the barracks with Arael in tow.

Tempest’s tail thumps the floor in greeting when the other two humans come in. “Penny’s a brilliant healer back home…she’s a faun of Bergdale, I’ve known her since I was born. She’s often taken care of us in Winterden. She’s even training one of my scouts in the art of healing, it’s quite useful knowledge.” she explains.

Lanisen takes a second to process this. “Huh. Okay.”

Colin approaches Lanisen and Tempest with a grin on his face as he hands another book to Lanisen. “How you feeling?” he asks.

Lanisen takes the book, his eyes widening hungrily. “What’s this one?”

Colin says, “That’s one of the best ones about Calormene.”

Arael comes in behind Colin, flashing a grin as she sees Lanisen conversing with the wolf. She sticks close to Colin, watching eagerly as the book changes hands.

Lanisen begins flipping through the pages immediately. “/Thank/ you,” he says with feeling.

Tempest smiles at the exchange and lays her head down, ears flicking as she listens. Soon her blue eyes drift closed.

Colin nods. “Any time. I’ll keep bringing you more. Though, things will be a bit easier. I have good news.”

Lanisen glances up. “Yeah?”

Colin grins at him. “Adrian says you can go to your room this morning. Ara’s going to help keep you company when I can’t be around so you don’t drive the servants mad.”

Arael bounces in place a little, watching him closely for his reaction.

Lanisen closes his eyes and sags against the wall in exaggerated relief. “Thank. Goodness.”

Colin laughs outright, looking at Arael with a pleased expression. “Want to go now? I have your stick done but…since it’s such a long way, I could carry ya.”

Arael giggles at Lanisen.

Lanisen looks extremely indignant. “You will /not/.”

Haft pauses on entering, wondering what Lanisen’s outburst idicates.

Arael laughs harder, looking perhaps more gleeful than is entirely kind.

Colin lifts both hands. “It was just a suggestion, sheesh.” One of the assistants approaches, handing over the completed walking stick, which Colin then taps Lanisen on the shoulder with before handing over. “I dub thee Sir Gimps-A-Lot.”

Lanisen snatches the stick and swats at Colin with it. “Yeah, yeah. Laugh it up.”

Colin yelps when Lanisen whacks him with the stick. He takes hold of Arael’s hand and positions her in front of him as protection.

Arael squawks in protest and holds her hands up palms-out to ward off any stray blows.

Lanisen complains loudly about this injustice, then thumps the stick a couple times on the floor to test it out. Holding onto it, he hauls himself into a standing position and nods, satisfied.

Colin grins and moves to stand by Lanisen’s injured side in case something fails. “Ready?”

Haft asks, “Decided to venture forth for a view of our northern neighbors?”

Arael positions herself at the ready behind Lanisen and to his other side, just far enough away to dodge stray elbows.

Lanisen says, “Um.” He gulps. “Not really sure–um…” He positions the stick carefully, leaning his weight on it, then puts his injured leg down and takes a limping step forward.

Colin answers Haft, “Adrian’s given permission for Lanisen to go back to his own room today.” He watches his friend like a hawk, ready to move if necessary.

Haft asks, “Adrian’s the Chief Physician?”

Colin nods. “That he is.”

Lanisen gimps about a bit more, trying to get the hang of the stick. He accidentally puts a little too much weight on his leg and stops short where he is, frozen.

Arael cringes in sympathy and hovers her hands near his shoulder, waiting.

Haft watches, leaning next to the doorframe.

Colin’s hand goes to Lanisen’s good arm. “Take your time…”

Lanisen nods quickly. His forehead is shiny with perspiration. He takes a deep breath and another step.

Arael bites her lip as she watches his progress. She shoots Colin a doubtful look behind Lanisen’s back.

Colin returns the glance and stays with Lanisen every step of the way.

Lanisen doesn’t waste any more steps. He heads straight for the door, his face blank with concentration.

Colin holds the door open so Lanisen doesn’t have to mess with it. “You’re doing great.”

Lanisen doesn’t spare Colin a glance, but he puffs out a little breath and grins briefly in acknowledgement.

Inner Ward of Anvard

Colin gives Lanisen a hand with the stairs on the way to the ward, pausing at the bottom to let him rest.

Arael continues to flutter her hands uselessly from time to time.

Lanisen has a hard time on the stairs and is white-faced and hurting by the time they reach the ward. He takes it slow, hissing out indistinct things that sound like cusses every few steps.

Haft follows after.
Haft mumbles “Not sure I have a very high opinion of this healer.”, to Haft.
Haft mumbles “Not … … … a … … opinion … … healer.”, to Haft.

As the group passes through, a page approaches and bows to Sir Colin. “My Lord, if it please you, your uncle the king covets your presence at his table this noon.”

Colin looks at the page. “Er….is it that time already?” He looks at Lanisen and Arael, narrowing his eyes as an idea comes. “Those who were wounded in the battle…they are to be there as well, yes? And those attending them?” He looks at the page pointedly.

Lanisen looks rather panicked and loses his balance.

Arael gasps and darts forward to slip a steadying arm around his waist.

Colin’s hand shoots out to steady Lanisen.

Haft is attending to Colin’s words, and misses Lanisen’s stumble.

The page dips his head in acquiescence. “His Majesty desires that they be shown all courtesy.”

Lanisen finds his footing again, hissing, “What are you /doing/?” in Colin’s ear.

Haft says, “Honoring the wounded. Tis meet.”

Colin’s mouth lifts with a grin. “Excellent.” He replies to Lanisen, “We’re going to go eat. Follow me.” He directs. “Ara, you too. Lanisen will need your help.”

Arael keeps her arm around Lanisen’s back, watching Colin in confusion, but doing as she’s told.

Lanisen puts a couple dots together in his head. “You did this on /purpose/!”

Haft smirks at Lanisen. “Enjoy your meal, lad.”

Arael giggles in response to Lanisen’s indignation, though she makes an attempt not to jostle him too much.

Colin sighs patiently. “As much as you would like to believe so, this time I did not trick you into anything.” He nods to Haft as they move across the ward. “See you later, Haft. Come, you two. The king’s table awaits!”

Haft nods back.

Lanisen balks. “Sir–”

Colin stops Haft from walking with him.

Arael tosses a little grin and wave over her shoulder at Haft as she helps a protesting Lanisen along.

Colin makes an attempt to reassure him. “It’ll be all right.”

Colin helps him up the next staircase.

Nobles’ Quarters
Castle Anvard

You stand on the second story of a circular tower. In the center of the
chamber is a large stone pillar, around which stairs are placed, rising from
the Staff Quarters below, and continuing upward to the Tower Garden. The
Chancellor’s Suite sits to the southeast, and to the south are several
chambers for guests. All around the rest of the perimeter are rooms assigned
to the nobility of Archenland to use on their visits to Anvard.

Colin pauses at the top of the stairs, watching Lanisen closely. “Doing all right?”

Lanisen limps along where he’s led, unhappy, but too focused on the task of walking to complain much. He nods, out of breath.

Colin allows him to rest and catch a breath. “We have plenty of time.”

Lanisen leans on his stick, shaky. “Why’re you draggin’ me into this?”

Colin protests. “You won’t be the only one! I think you’ll enjoy it. I mean, how could you not? Ara and I will both be there.” He gives him a devilish grin, trying to distract him from his distress.

Arael backs up a little way to stand at his elbow, giving him a bit more space. At Colin’s quip, she chimes in, “Aye, and I’ll keep your stick right with me. If the food is so /very/ bad, we’ll manage an escape.” Her eyes twinkle teasingly.

Lanisen swipes at his forehead, wiping away the sweat beaded there. He looks at the door leading into the great chamber as if he suspects it might actually lead to a den of lions, and his face contorts a bit with dread. Finally, he moistens his lips and nods reluctantly.

Colin watches Lanisen’s face. “This’ll give you something to do for a bit anyway…and like Ara said…if the food’s terrible or you start feeling weird, you can make your escape.” He gives him a quick smile before helping him into the great chamber.


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