dinner invitation

Carmichael Village Square
Western Archenland

You stand in the center of a quaint little country village, nestled in the
foothills of the Western Mountains. There are a few shops surrounding the
square, including Isfar’s blacksmith shop to the east, which is ringing with
the sound of iron-on-iron. To the southwest is a small tavern, which smells
of good home-cooked food. There is a traveller’s shelter to the northwest
with a sign over the door that reads “Carmichael Lodge”. There is also a
shop to the northeast, and two others, to the southeast and to the west,
respectively. In the midst of the square stands a a stone well.

The main road heads south toward the settlement, a collection of humble,
neatly-kept homes to the southwest of the main town.

Lanisen leaves the lodge in the early evening and makes his way toward the tavern for supper.

Freya is leaving the tavern, having already eaten. Looking up, she sees Lanisen and hails him, “Good eve! I was jus’ looking for ye!”

Lanisen blinks and slows, halfway wary. “Oh,” he says. “I was–I been lookin’ for you, too, so that’s a funny coincidence.”

Freya reaches into her satchel. “I brought ye t’ money fer t’ ale.”. She grins. ” I remembered it today, although I was hoping ye’d come fer a visit.”

Cassandra comes out from the inn, her left wrist still bandaged tight. She makes her way to the well, pausing when she sees Lanisen and Freya.

Lanisen takes a step back, shaking his head. “No, no, that’s– it’s fine, really, it was just an ale, you don’t gotta… um.” He rubs the back of his neck.

Freya squints at him, her smile fading. “In case ye fergot, I be a Narnian dwarf and our word be our bond. I promised ye t’ money and I brought it.”

Lanisen seems to realize he’s misstepped. “I’m sorry,” he says meekly. “Didn’t mean to offend.”

Cassandra makes her way towards the two, clearing her throat softly, “Hello Lanisen, Freya.”

Freya shrugs easily, “So ye ken fer t’ future. I dinnae hold grudges like t’ black dwarves.”. She hands the coins up to him. Hearing Cassandra, she nods to her. ” Good eve, lass. How’s the hand? One o’ t’ lads told me about ye, but I was delivering a wee one at t’ time. I meant t’ check on ye.”

Lanisen turns toward Cassandra as she approaches. “Hey, you,” he greets her. Freya’s words seem to surprise him, but he looks relieved.

Cassandra pulls on her sleeve, “It’s fine. The baby is more important than my wrist.”

Freya raises an eyebrow. “Iffen ye have a minute ‘r two, I could give it a glance. Does it hurt, lass?”

Cassandra holds it out for Freya to look at. The wrapping seems a bit old like it hasn’t been changed in a day or so. “Only when I move it.”

Lanisen hovers, watching.

Freya observes the wrappings and hmms. She gently supports the hand and wrist as she goes through limited range of motion, testing the wrist with light circles, watching the lass for first sign of pain. When the threshold of pain is reached, she stops the motion. “Yer fortunate. Should heal fairly soon iffen ye don’t hurt it further. Could use a new wrapping so as t’ not irritate t’ skin and iffen ye need it, I have a few herbs for pain.”

Cassandra puts on a brave front at first but as the Dwarf keeps moving her wrist, she slowly begins to wince and bite her lip. Once Freya is done, she drops her arm to her side, “Thank you.”

Lanisen watches anxiously, making an unhappy face on Cass’s behalf when it starts hurting.

Freya offers, “I can head home and bring both. Iffen yer not here, shall I bring it t’ t’ lodge?”

Cassandra nods, “Yeah, just bring it there. Thank you again.”

Lanisen echoes, “Thank you.”

Freya nods to the siblings and heads back to the mines.

Lanisen glances at Cassandra. “Well,” he says, relieved, “That’s good to know, at least.”

Cassandra bites her lip, “Yeah.” She looks up at him, “I hope it gets better sooner rather than later.”

Lanisen says encouragingly, “It will. Faster’n you think.”

Cassandra asks, “Whatcha you up too?”

Lanisen puts his hands in his pockets. “Nothin’. Thought I’d get some supper.” He looks unaccountably sheepish.

Cassandra smiles, “Is that an invitation?”

Lanisen asks, “Hmm? Sure, if you like.”

Cassandra raises her eyebrow, “I don’t want to be a bother, if you rather eat by yourself.”

Lanisen says, “What, no. It’s no bother, I don’t much care.”

Cassandra slips her arm into his good arm, “Well, then. Let’s go.” She frowns slightly as she looks at the tavern.

Lanisen pauses, tilting his head at her. “If you want I can go in and get somethin’ for us to eat someplace else.”

Cassandra shakes her head, “No, we can go in.”

Lanisen says, “All right. If you’re sure.”

Cassandra nods, “I’m sure.”

Lanisen heads that direction.

Fischer’s Tavern
Western Archenland

Cassandra slips into the tavern, grabbing a seat away from the bar.

Lanisen turns to ask what she wants, but she’s already sitting. So he defaults to pie.

Cassandra watches Lanisen order pie, looking hungry.

Lanisen carries back two generous slices of plum and blackberry, and sets the blackberry in front of her. “So what’d you do today?”

Cassandra grins as he brings the pie, “I went and asked the potter if I could watch him for a few.”

Lanisen asks, “Yeah? What’d he say?”

Cassandra looks excited, “He said he didn’t mind and that he could even show me a few things when my wrist gets better.”

Lanisen raises his eyebrows, picking up his fork. “That sounds like a good start!”

Cassandra begins to her slice, “Yes.” She pauses and then causally asks, “So, what do you think of Renand?”

Lanisen is thrown by the subject change for a second. “I dunno,” he answers. “I don’t know him.”

Cassandra hmms, “He is nice.”

Lanisen makes a vague noise around a bite of his pie.

Cassandra raises her eyebrow at the noise.

Lanisen chews and swallows. “Nice ain’t the same as good all the time is all.”

Cassandra shrugs, “Can someone be good all the time?” She mutters to herself.
Cassandra mumbles “… … … an …”, to Cassandra.

Lanisen doesn’t answer.

Cassandra takes his silence as agreement and continues to eat her pie.

Lanisen asks, “What do /you/ think of him?”

Cassandra stops eating her pie to consider this, “He is nice and I can’t figure out why.”

Lanisen tilts his head a little, inviting her to continue.

Cassandra shrugs, “People aren’t nice to you without a reason. I am still trying to figure out the reason.”

Lanisen is quiet for a little while, thinking. “Was everything… the other day, was somethin’ wrong? With you and him?”

Cassandra looks immediately embarrassed and she goes quiet, just eating her pie. After a minute, “Everything is fine now.”

Lanisen glances at her. “Well,” he says after a minute. “If you need to… I dunno, talk. Or anything.”

Cassandra sets down her fork, “We have already talked about it. It is my /ruddy/ temper.” She sighs, rubbing her temples.

Lanisen asks, alarmed, “Did you hit him too?”

Cassandra doesn’t look at him, “Well no, not with my fist.”

Lanisen is sitting at a table with Cassandra, talking over pie. “What’s that supposed to mean?” he asks warily.

Cassandra answers a bit vaguely, “That I didn’t hit him with my fist?”

Lanisen says, “Well, what did you hit him with? A hammer?”

Cassandra snorts, “Of course not.”

Lanisen says, “Cass, come on.”

Cassandra sighs, “Fine, I tried to hit him with a pie. There, are you happy?”

Lanisen stares at her. “…Pie,” he repeats.

Freya enters the tavern, carrying a neatly wrapped bundle.

Cassandra catches movement from the door, waving to Freya.

Lanisen half-turns to see who she’s waving at. “We’ll talk about this later,” he mutters to Cass.

Freya brings the bundle over, standing in tiptoe to put the small bundle on the table. “Clean cloth wraps and some willow bark tea for pain. There’s enough to share for a little while.”. Her eyes flick to Lanisen before settling on Cassandra again.

Cassandra doesn’t respond to Lanisen. She smiles at Freya, “Thank you, Freya. I really do appreciate it.”

Lanisen looks confused, then embarrassed. He looks down at the tabletop.

Freya smiles in turn, nodding slightly. “At yer service, lass. I’ve t’ say I was pleasantly surprised that yer wrist was wrapped so well. Did ye do it lass or did someone else?”

Cassandra says, “Sir Colin, ma’am. He said that he has had experience in wrapping sprained wrists.”

Lanisen nods silently to confirm this.

Freya hehs with both eyebrows raised, “Thumbs and thimbles, colour me surprised! I’ve not met too many nobles who were practical folk.”. Then realizing she may have crossed a line, her cheeks blush. ” But beggin’ yer pardon, then I ne’er met ’em all.”

Cassandra snorts a bit under her breath, “Yes, Sir Colin is an interesting character.”

Lanisen grins at this, his eyes glinting. But he ventures in the nobility’s defense, “I heard Lady Elriya knows about herbs.”

Freya smiles at this, “Perhaps there’s hope fer t’ nobility, hey? There’re many herbs out there. Only ones I heard mastered herbs are Narnian centaurs.”

Lanisen says, “Oh, I read somethin’ about that. All of ’em do, or just some of ’em?”

Cassandra listens quietly, very interested.

Freya shrugs, “They’re mystic folks that keep t’ themselves unless there’s danger t’ Narnia or t’ Lion comes t’ visit. So who can ken? Rumors say they watch t’ stars an’ tell t’ future. Lil spooky iffen ye ask me.”

Cassandra says, “I would like to visit Narnia some day.”

Lanisen glances at Cassandra with an odd expression at this.

Freya smiles fondly. “Aye, it be home, fer us dwarves anyway. Not too many sons of adam ‘r daughters of eve, e’en w’ t’ royals there.”

Cassandra hmms, “Perhaps, I should move there.” She looks at Lanisen, “What do you say, Lanisen?”

Lanisen just shrugs, as if it doesn’t matter much to him either way.

Freya puts her hand over her mouth to cough/laugh. Still, she can’t hide the mirth in her eyes. “As ye say, lass. Some folks go an’ can’t feel at home with few o’ their own folks there. I imagine it’d be harder t’ find dresses yer size.”

Cassandra shrugs, “Just an idea.”

Lanisen clears his throat and pulls out his little coinpurse, glancing to Freya. “How much for…?”

Cassandra looks down at the table, looking a bit embarrassed as Lanisen asked about the price.

Freya waves it off, “It’s stuff I already had on hand, ‘n her wrist was already wrapped.”. A glint comes to an eye as she adds, ” Howe’er I would accept yer company- both of ye- fer a visit. I wonder iffen folks ‘re makin’ rumors that I eat bad children fer luncheon or surface folks think they’re too good t’ visit.”

Cassandra looks breifly relieved before looking at Freya, “Yeah, Loc told me that you wanted to have luncheon with me.”

Lanisen glances between them uncertainly.

Freya nods. “He’s a good messenger. I figur’d at t’ time ye were on good terms an’ might be more comfortable iffen ye knew a friend was nearby. Now that I know, he needn’t be present. Unless, ye want him there…?”

Cassandra shakes her head, “Not particularly.”

Lanisen keeps quiet and bows his head to look at the tabletop.

Freya holds her hands up, “I’m not gettin’ involved in whate’er squabbles ‘r cooked up. Dwarves and surface folks don’t get along as is. Howe’er, iffen my lad is attacked again, I will take offense. I’ve already gi’en him a piece of my mind. I expect he will apologize iffen he hasn’t already.”

Lanisen carefully doesn’t look at Cassandra at this.

Cassandra doesn’t look at Lanisen at all. She simply says, “Understood.”

Freya looks between them and nods, “Then no more needs t’ be said on t’ matter. It’s fergotten and all parties move on t’ more pleasant things, hey?”

Lanisen doesn’t answer, but something around his mouth tightens. He pushes back his chair and stands up. “Thank you for your help, Mistress Freya,” he says politely, dipping his head to her.

Cassandra also stands, “Yes, Thank you for your help.” She looks slightly concerned at Lanisen but it is brief.

Freya nods in farewell to both. “I wish ye both a good night and good health. Send word iffen ye need me or more supplies.”
Freya heads for the door, leaving the small parcel on the table.

Lanisen says, glancing at Cassandra, “We will. Thank you.”

Cassandra picks up the parcel and follows Lanisen out the door towards the inn.


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