return


Room 5
The Sun and Moon Inn
Lancelyn Green


You stand in a small but comfortably furnished private room of the Inn. The bed
is made neatly with a plain but pleasant quilt, and several blankets can be
found in a small trunk at the foot of the bed, should the room grow cold. There
is a lit fireplace in one wall. A window looks out westward, revealing a
pleasant portrait of the road out in front of the inn. A nightstand sits beside
the bed, and a washstand beneath the window. There is a vase of dried flowers
beside the pitcher and bowl on the wash stand. A woven rug by the door
completes the cozy effect of the room.


Lanisen is asleep, flopped on his back with his left arm up over his head and his right hand on Nia.

Colin slips into the room and closes it quietly. He sits down on the floor and pulls his journal from his satchel and begins to go through it carefully.

Nia’s head raises, her ears lifted. She sniffs the air, and makes no greeting other than to flip her tail and let her tongue loll out.

Colin quirks a half smile at the dog and focuses on his book, paging through and reading thoroughly.

Lanisen begins to wake as Nia stirs. His forehead pulls down, and his eyes move beneath his eyelids for a moment before he opens them. He looks at the ceiling for a moment, orienting himself, until the sound of a page turning alerts him to Colin’s presence. He turns his head to look at him.

Colin says, “Morning, sunshine.”

Lanisen takes a deep breath and yawns, rubbing his eyes. “‘S it mornin’?” he asks, raspy with sleep. “It don’t look like mornin’.”

Colin hms. “It is a bit later in the day than morning.”

Lanisen shifts his hand to stroke Nia’s head and pushes himself up. He sits there for a moment, groggy and half-awake, his hair in a messy tangle around his head, and watches Colin. “What’re you doin’?” he asks finally.

Colin shakes his head and closes the book. “I am just trying to remember something…how you feeling?”

Lanisen considers this. He lifts his shoulders. “Fine. Kinda sore.” He rubs his eyes again.

Colin nods. “I bet so. They said you got pretty worked over.”

Lanisen adds, “‘S not bad, though. I still, I want to go home.”

Colin nods. “We’re going home. Today.”

Lanisen nods, satisfied by this. He yawns again and lifts the covers, heavier than what might be considered really necessary for late summer, and gets out of the bed. He stands for a moment, his hand on the bedpost, and crosses to the little table to pour himself a glass of water.

Colin watches him, his forehead creasing as he once again observes all of the bruises and the way Lanisen holds himself. “Home will be nice.” He says mildly. “Your own bed. All the food from the kitchens you want.”

Lanisen makes a vague noise of agreement, sipping at the water. He turns toward Colin and lowers himself stiffly to sit next to him, looking at the book’s cover.

Colin puts his journal back into his satchel. “Think you’re all right to travel? Sir Darrin’s trying to find a good wagon or cart that won’t toss you around too much.”

Lanisen’s eyes follow the journal. “Yeah,” he says, distracted.

Colin says, “We’ll stop and rest as long as you need whenever you need, too.”

Lanisen says, “All right.”

Colin sits on the floor with his satchel at his side, chit chatting with Lanisen.

Lanisen is sitting on the floor next to Colin, still sleep-mussed with a pillow wrinkle on his cheek, holding a cup of water.

Megren wraps the door three times with her knuckles.

Colin says, “Come on in, Meg.”

Lanisen raises his head to look at the door, already half-smiling a welcome.

Colin mutters something about still needing a secret knock of his own.

Megren peeks her head in first and then, having assessed the scene, steps inside and closes the door behind her. “Sir Quent’s got a carpenter inspecting the cart to be sure it’s sturdy. Maybe another hour or two.” She looks at Sir Colin uncertainly, as if for approval.

Colin gives the squire a nod. “Excellent.”

Lanisen’s mouth opens, and he looks a little overwhelmed for a second. He looks down at his cup of water.

Megren’s brow furrows. “You don’t want to go?”

Colin glances over at Lanisen and his forehead creases.

Lanisen shifts, looking back up. “No, no, I do,” he says hastily. “It’s–” He blows out a breath, and his face winces up as he tries to figure out how to articulate. “Everybody’s gone to, to so much trouble, it’s…”

Colin finishes, “And we’d all do it again. Ten times over to have you back safe with us.”

Megren nods in agreement to Sir Colin’s words.

Lanisen swallows a couple of times, not quite looking at either of them. “Thank you,” he says softly after a minute. “I’m– thank you.”

Colin gives Megren a glance and nods in response. “You’re welcome.” His voice is soft.

Megren plunks down next to him and shoves him gently. “Think you’d look a little happier about it,” she teases.

Lanisen lets out an unsteady little laugh and assures her, “I’m happy, I am.”

Colin slides into the teasing manner. “Oh good, I’ll make sure to get you my Christmas list.”

Megren says, “All I’m saying is, I’ve had no one to play cubes with in days.”

Lanisen asks, “Did you bring cubes?”

Megren pushes her mouth to the side. “Slipped my mind, somehow.”

Colin chuckles. “Playing cubes in a wagon sounds tricky anyway.”

Lanisen says, “If anybody could manage it, it’d be Meg.”

Megren grins at him.

Colin says, “If anyone could manage anything, it’d definitely be Red.”

Megren wrinkles her nose. “Now you’re making fun of me.”

Colin shakes his head. “Simply acknowledging your incredible abilities. And your red hair.”

Lanisen grins and takes another drink of his water, content to sit between his friends while he finishes the waking-up process.

Megren rolls her eyes amiably. “Yeah. All right.”

Colin asks, “You want any breakfast, Lanny?”

Lanisen scrubs the heel of his hand into his eyes. “Breakfast, yeah, I could eat.”

Colin hops to his feet. “What is it your heart – or rather, stomach – desires?”

Lanisen says, “Oh, um.” He frowns. “I dunno, um. Anything’s fine.”

Colin asks, “On a scale of a slice of bread to a freshly killed and roasted deer, what do you want to eat?”

Megren rubs her chin. “Cinnamon bread and blackberry tea, please,” she demands. She glances at Lanisen. “Oh, what, you meant him?”

Lanisen says hopefully, “Pie?”

Megren elbows Lanisen.

Lanisen elbows Megren BACK and says, “She didn’t say I couldn’t have pie!”

Colin snaps his fingers. “Blackberry tea and cinnamon bread for the lady squire.” He grins at Lanisen. “And pie for Lanisen. What kind? Any but blackberry, yes?”

Megren says, “Pretty sure he wants blackberry pie.”

Colin says, “You know, I had the best blackberry pie the other day, it really was divine. Blackberry pie is wonderful.”

Megren says, “Hold the crust.”
Megren says, “And the syrup.”
Megren says, “Just a big pile of blackberries.”

Lanisen thoroughly ignores this.

Colin says, “I think I want some blackberries now.”

Megren grins.

Lanisen remarks, “Somebody’ll have to eat ’em if you bring ’em in here, and it ain’t gonna be me.”

Colin says, “I’ll fight Red for them.”

Megren scrunches her nose.

Colin grins and ducks out into the hallway.


Colin raps on the door twice with two quick knocks.

Lanisen, tying his boots, raises his head and asks, “Who is it?”

Colin sticks his head in. “That’s my new secret knock.” He informs him.

Lanisen straightens. “That’s your secret knock?”

Colin asks, “Isn’t it great?”

Soon afterwards, there is a little tapping on the door.

Lanisen says, “It’s somethin’.” His eyes shift to the door at the second knock, and he hesitates uncertainly before asking again, “Who is it?”

“Cass.” The tone is gentle, if that is even possible.

Colin moves away from the door to make room for a new person.

Lanisen freezes up for a second with hope and apprehension. He has to start twice before he manages to say, “C’mon in.”

Cassandra enters, holding something in her hands. From the scent in the air, it smells like a freshly baked walnut muffin. She chews her lip, “I hope I’m not interrupting.”

Lanisen shakes his head quickly. He doesn’t seem to notice whatever it is she’s holding. “No, no, you’re not– you’re not.”

Colin gives her a nod. “Hey there, Cassandra.”

Cassandra looks at Colin, “Sir, can you give us a moment? I would like to speak with my brother.”

Colin nods as he moves for the door. “Of course.”

Lanisen stands up, holding onto the bedpost. His eyes dart between Colin and his sister.

Cassandra nods to him, “Thank you.”

Colin steps out into the hallway.

Lanisen shifts his weight.

Cassandra turns to Lanisen, still chewing her lip, looking for once, unsure of herself. “I, um, I.” She trails offs, mumbling to herself.
Cassandra mumbles “Curses, … … even … … …”, to Cassandra.

Lanisen doesn’t seem sure what to say either. He crosses one arm over his stomach and swallows.

Cassandra swallows, “I’m..I’m sorry for last night. It was awful of me. I just can’t seem to express, Well you know how I am. I never want to hurt you.”

Lanisen asks uncertainly, “You’re not– you’re not angry?”

Cassandra says, “Not at you.”

Lanisen pulls a small, relieved breath, and nods.

Cassandra looks down at the item in her hands, “I, uh, I made you something.”

Lanisen’s eyes shift to it. He opens his mouth, and lets out a small, breathless burst of disbelieving laughter. “How’d you?”

Cassandra grins, “It’s a secret. Now, I only brought you one but I made a baker’s dozen for the trip.” She hands it to him, “Careful, it is hot.”

Lanisen cups it in his hands like the precious gift it is, smiling a wobbly smile. “Thank you,” he whispers.

Cassandra holds his hands for a brief moment, “It is the least I could do.” She smirks a bit, “You might want to eat it before Colin comes back in. I didn’t make any for him.”

Lanisen laughs again and sniffs, sitting back down on the side of the bed. “Share it with me?”

Cassandra blinks, “Oh okay.” She sits down beside him.

Lanisen breaks it carefully in half, closing his eyes briefly in blissful appreciation of the smells rising up on a thin curl of steam from the muffin, and offers her one half.

Cassandra takes the half but doesn’t eat it right away.

Lanisen breaks off small bite-sized pieces and eats them one at a time, giving them each due appreciation.

Cassandra watches him, “Sorry if it doesn’t taste as good as normal. Prinn doesn’t have the best ingredients.”

Lanisen shakes his head slightly. “It’s, it’s wonderful.”

Cassandra pulls her braid, smiling, “I’m glad.”

Lanisen eats in silence, and brushes the crumbs away once it is gone. He takes a breath and holds it for a second, as if he knows he ought to be saying something but isn’t sure what it is.

Cassandra tips her head, “Should I call Colin back in?”

Lanisen says, “Oh– yeah, all right.”

Cassandra shrugs, “We don’t have to.”

Lanisen says, “No, no, yeah, he’s– it’s ok.”

Cassandra stands up and opens the door. She pokes her head outside, “You can come in.” She then goes back to sitting next to her brother.

Colin comes back in and sits comfortably down on the wooden floor. “Sounds like the cart will be ready soon.” He informs them.

Lanisen nods acknowledgement of this. He runs a hand through his hair, trying halfheartedly to put it to rights.

Cassandra side glances at Lanisen, “Megren told me that she would get me a bed in the castle if you want me to stick around.”

Lanisen looks surprised, but relieved. “You– are you okay with that?”

Cassandra nods, “I never have been in the castle before and I don’t mind the walk to the tavern.”

Colin says, “The castle has some nice quarters. It’ll be nice having you around. Close by.”

Lanisen nods and exhales. He looks like a weight has lifted off of him.

Cassandra notes this before looking at Colin. She takes a breath, clenching her fist before releasing it.

Colin returns Cassandra’s look and gives her an encouraging nod.

Lanisen doesn’t notice the looks passing between them.

Cassandra turns to Lanisen, “What is it like in the castle?”

Lanisen says, “Um?” He shrugs and rubs his arm. “You been in the outer parts, further in is just more of the same.”
Lanisen says, “Quieter, I guess. Some days.”

Colin chuckles. “Some days.”

Cassandra smirks a bit, “Maybe I shouldn’t come then.”

Megren’s knock sounds on the door.

Colin can’t resist commenting, “I like my secret knock better” sideways to Lanisen.

Lanisen says, “C’mon in, Meg.” He is sitting on the edge of the bed next to Cassandra, a few traitorous crumbs still clinging to his shirt. He has put his boots on in preparation to leave.

Cassandra stands to her feet.

Megren opens the door to take in the scene. “Cart’s ready.”

Colin gets up off the floor. “Well all right then.”

Lanisen nods and gets to his feet, holding onto the bedpost as he takes stock of his few belongings. Kairyn’s teas and tinctures are all packed up in his satchel, and his dagger is buckled at his side. He limps to the open window and unties a little wooden windchime from the frame.

Colin asks, “What can I help with?”

Cassandra glances around the room, looking also to help.

Megren nods at Lanisen with her eyes on Cass. “Someone’s going to want to watch him down the stairs.”

Cassandra nods, “I can do that.”

Lanisen reaches down to pick up his satchel. He slings it over his shoulder and staggers a little, but finds his balance and straightens, looking grimly determined.
Lanisen mumbles “Nobody’s carrying me down any stairs.”, to Lanisen.
Lanisen mumbles “… … … … any stairs.”, to Lanisen.

Colin moves to Lanisen’s side.

Megren gives Lanisen an apologetic look and opens the door fully. “I think that’s it?”

Cassandra exits first to get in the best position to help him down the stairs if he needs it.

Colin says, “I don’t see anything else. If we’ve forgotten anything Astor and Simetra will hold it for us.”

Lanisen asks, “Can somebody help Nia? She’s slow on stairs.”

Megren says, “I can do it.”

Cassandra stands outside the door, waiting.

Colin goes through to door to join her.

Lanisen nods gratefully. He takes a deep breath and glances around the room one more time just in case, and then follows Colin and Cassandra out.


Lancelyn Road
Lancelyn Green
Middle Archenland


The road wends gently along the edge of the open and scattered woodlands that
can be seen encroaching upon the eastern part of this region. To the west,
the more open country of the plains can be seen rolling gently in low hills,
and you can make out the telltale rooftops of the town of Lancelyn Green.
The road here turns toward it.

The Sun and Moon Inn can be seen to the east here, neatly nestled into the
trees. The structure looks to be quite old, but it has the proud gleam of a
structure reclaimed and refitted, and it appears to be a pleasant place to
pass the night. You can smell the pleasant aroma of something cooking in the
pub. The road continues north to the Northern Path here.


Megren brings up the rear with Nia. When they get outside, there is a clean, sturdy cart set up for them. It has a few bales of hay set at different levels to accommodate seating, and a lot of blankets meant for padding.

Cassandra dips back into the inn, “We can’t forget the muffins.”

Colin assigns himself to helping Lanisen into said cart and getting comfortable.

Lanisen is shaky and out of breath from this little exertion. He clenches his jaw and focuses fiercely getting to the cart.

Megren stands out of the way but ready to help if needed.

Cassandra comes back, muffins wrapped neatly in a bundle.

Colin uses every ounce of his strength to support, brace, lift where needed, and do what it takes to get Lanisen in without further injury.

Lanisen settles on the floor of the cart with a grunt. He sets aside his satchel and curls his arm around his stomach, trying to get his breath back.

Cassandra approaches the cart, chewing her lip. She turns to Megren, “I can help get Nia up on the cart.”

Megren blows out a breath. She nods when Cassandra addresses her, letting her take over the dog, and goes to fetch Swiftly herself.

Colin watches Lanisen carefully to make sure he’s all right before he does anything else. Instead of leaving Cass and Lanisen with the cart alone he asks one of his fellow knights to go with Meg to fetch Coalblack.

Cassandra sets the muffins down on the cart, shooting Colin a look, “Those are for Lanisen.” She rolls up her sleeves and calls to Nia, “Hey, girl. Come here.” The dog approaches and Cassandra pats her head, “Let’s get you up here.”

Colin doesn’t argue with Cassandra about the muffins. Some things are just not worth the fight.

Lanisen leans back against the side of the cart, closing his eyes briefly. He opens them again to watch Nia’s progress anxiously.

Megren returns with Swiftly and Coalblack, the other knight having taken up his own horse instead. She wrinkles her nose agreeably at Sir Colin.

The dog comes willing, giving Cassanrda a lick. The girl pats her and gently picks her up. She helps here into the cart before climbing up herself. She settles herself next to Lanisen.

Colin relieves Meg of Coalblack with a grateful nod and mounts, settling on the stallion’s back.

Lanisen reaches out for Nia, drawing her into his lap with relief. He glances around the cart, half apprehensive.

Megren takes Swiftly’s lead and ties him to the side of the cart, a sturdier packhorse having already been set at the cart’s head. For herself, she climbs up into the cart, shuts it, and moves to sit on the other side of Lanisen.

Colin looks over everyone inside the cart. “Everyone good? Comfortable?”

Cassandra nods, patting Nia who has curled up against Cassandra and Lanisen’s legs.

Megren says to Lanisen, “Tell us if you need a stop.”

Lanisen nods tightly, keeping his mouth closed.

Megren slips her hand around his. There is something hard and squarish between their clasped hands.

Colin moves ahead with one of the other knights to right a little ahead of the cart and keep an eye on the road. Occasionally he falls back to go behind the cart and look around before pulling Coalblack alongside to check on things, then moving ahead back to where he was.

Cassandra eyes the exchange but keeps petting Nia. She looks a bit exhausted, the week of sleepless nights finally catching up to her.

Lanisen looks down to see what it is.

Megren pulls her hand away enough to reveal a single cube.

Lanisen closes his eyes briefly and snorts out a faint breath of laughter. He gives her a grateful look.

Megren wrinkles her nose.

Cassandra attempts to see what all the fuss is about.

Lanisen murmurs to explain, “She did it, she found a cube.”

Cassandra blinks, looking confused, “Okay.”

Colin looks to the driver and the occupants of the cart. “Everyone all set?”

Lanisen nods that he is ready.

Cassandra nods.

Megren closes their hands up again. “Yes, Sir.”

Colin gives them all a tight-lipped smile, nods to the driver, and moves ahead with one of the other knights to ride a little ahead of the cart as it travels and keep an eye on the road. Occasionally he falls back to go behind the cart and look around before pulling Coalblack alongside to check on things, then moving ahead back to where he was, always watching.

Lanisen takes a small breath as the cart lurches into motion, and his lips go faintly white. He grips Megren’s hand tightly.

Cassandra jostles about as the cart moves but remains where she for most of the duration of the trip. She gives Lanisen a tight smile, placing her hand on his bad arm gently to let him know she is there before withdrawing it.

Megren mumbles “Tell us to stop and we’ll stop.”, to Lanisen.
Megren mumbles “Tell … to … … … …”, to Lanisen.

Lanisen shakes his head.
Lanisen mumbles “I want to go home.”, to Megren.
Lanisen mumbles “… want to go home.”, to Megren.

Megren nods.

Cassandra glances at them but says nothing.

Lanisen settles himself in, leaning back against the cart’s side, and watches the road.


Outer Ward
Castle Anvard


You stand in the busy outer ward of Castle Anvard, full of people seeing to the
needs of king and kingdom. There are market stalls along the outer wall,
bustling with merchants and shoppers. Grooms work in the stables, tending to
the horses there, and you hear the occasional bark of a dog from the kennels.
The sounds of hammer hitting iron rings out from the blacksmith shop. There are
stairs leading to the gate towers on the northern and southern corners of the
outer curtain. To the east is the outer gatehouse, and the road leading into
the realm of Archenland, and to the west another gate, leading to the inner
gatehouse, the inner ward, and the main keep of Anvard.


Tyren adjusts the strap of his quiver, on the outskirts of the ward, as he says, “Best to keep prepared, after all.”

Dalia nods.

Colin rides through the gates with another one of the knights. A cart follows directly behind them containing a driver and 3 occupants with a packhorse and another mount tied to the back of the cart to follow behind.

Lanisen is listing where he sits, swaying with every bump in the road but unwilling to lie down in the cart. He looks exhausted and unwell, but painfully on edge, watching every face they pass.

Megren sits on on side of him, holding his hand with her far one, her close arm around his back to absorb some of the impact whenever they hit a bump.

Cassandra is just waking up from what seems to have been a very uncomfortable nap. She clenches her teeth as she rubs feeling back in her arm, looking around at the ward. There is veiled suspicion as she observes the crowd.

Colin and his counterpart draw up the horses and dismount. Colin walks around the side of the cart when it stops and looks at Lanisen, his forehead creasing. “We’re home, Lanisen.” he says quietly.

Tyren’s attention, along with most everyone else’s in the ward, is drawn toward the entourage as they make their way through the gates, and his brows fly upward when recognition sets in.

Dalia looks up as she hears the clatter of hoofbeats, gasping softly as Sir Colin along with several knights and a cart enter the ward.

Lanisen nods, but his head is ducked to hide from the stares and he is breathing very quickly.

Megren leans up to talk to the driver, not dropping Lanisen’s hand.
Megren mumbles “… right … the …”, to Megren.

The driver nods and obliges. Colin leads Coalblack and walks along behind as they go in.

Cassandra gives a weak smile to Lanisen. She pulls herself up to face the crowd and begins to give death glares to anyone who gets too close.

Dalia begins to nibble her lip. Her other hand strays to a lose a piece of embroidery on her dress which she begins to play with.

Lanisen hangs onto the cart’s side as it begins to move again, his eyes darting briefly over the faces visible in the ward.

Tyren takes it upon himself to handle crowd control, once the initial surprise wears off. He strides through the crowd, ‘encouraging’ (via varying means, as proves necessary) them to keep their distance.


Stable
Castle Anvard


The stables of Anvard are not large, but they are well-ordered and tidy. The
wide alley runs parallel to the outside wall, with generously sized box
stalls on either side. Many hold permanent residents, with the horse’s name
on a wooden sign above the stall door, but several stand empty to receive
visitors. The hard-packed dirt floor is kept well swept, and the stalls are
clean, but there is a pervading smell of horse and hay that is not entirely
unpleasant.

There is a small paddock in the east corner of the stable, and the far
west end is devoted to tack storage and maintenance. A door in the
west wall, kept closed most of the time, leads to the smithy.
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Colin puts Coalblack up in his stall and asks for a stable boy to see to his care. He then once again moves to the side of the cart.

Megren rocks a little bit as they pass over the lip of the threshold to the stable.

Cassandra grunts a bit as the cart bounces. She mutters, “I like riding the actual horse better.”

Lanisen lets his eyes shut as the cart finally draws to a halt. He seems quite likely to just collapse where he’s at and stay there, if it’s allowed.

Colin looks at Meg and lowers his voice, asking a question.
Colin mumbles “Should we … him to … infirmary or to … … …”, to Megren.

Megren works her lips uncertainly before replying.
Megren mumbles “Maybe … let him … … bit before… … hang …”, to Colin.
Megren turns to Lanisen.
Megren mumbles “You want to just rest here for a little, or get in to your room or some place?”, to Lanisen.
Megren mumbles “You want … … … here for … … … get … to … room … … place?”, to Lanisen.

Cassandra glances between all of them.

Colin looks at Meg and Lanisen.

Lanisen mumbles “I don’t… I don’t know.”, to Megren.
Lanisen mumbles “… don’t… … don’t know.”, to Megren.

Megren looks up at Sir Colin. “Think maybe sit here until the ward clears out a little.”

Colin hms thoughtfully. “All right.”

Cassandra nods, settling back down in the cart.

Lanisen begins to slip sideways as the anxious tension that kept him alert for the last leg of the journey fades.

Megren shifts her arm around him a little to allow this.

Colin watches Lanisen for a few minutes before he walks over to check on Coalblack. After being over there, he walks back towards the doors. “I’ll go and see what I can help wrap up…clear some people out.”

Megren nods to Sir Colin. She speaks in a very low voice to Amon when he approaches them, giving him some quiet instructions regarding Swiftly.

Lanisen, by the rhythm of his breathing, seems not to be asleep, but he’s not properly awake either. His face turns toward Colin as he speaks, but his eyes have shut and they don’t seem to want to open again.

Cassandra pets Nia, watching her brother. She leans forward to speak to Megren.
Cassandra mumbles “Is there … I … … … …”, to Megren.

Megren releases a breath through her nose, pushing her mouth to the side cluelessly in answer.

Colin slips through the doors.

Lanisen rests for a while longer, then begins to try to rouse again, stirring and opening his eyes.

Cassandra looks between Megren and Lanisen, chewing her lip and yanking her braid.

Megren pokes him in the side. “Hey, lazybones.”

Lanisen’s face creases up with protest. “I’m up, ‘m up,” he mumbles.

Megren grins to show she’s teasing.

Cassandra smirks a bit, “Good, because I will need a guide in the castle.” She rubs his good arm, “Don’t want me to get lost, do you?”

Lanisen begins to push himself up, looking blearily around the stable. “‘K,” he says, and starts moving toward the back of the cart to get out.

Cassandra stays behind him to help support him when he gets out.

Megren moves a little ahead to the same purpose.

Lanisen drops his legs off the edge of the cart, and hesitates before sliding down.

Cassandra places her hands on his back to make sure he doesn’t bump against the cart when sliding down.

Megren stands in front of him with her arm ready to grab onto or catch him.

Lanisen staggers, but hangs onto the cart and manages to not go down. “‘K,” he says again, and begins drunkenly toward the door.

Megren makes a face at Cassandra behind his back and steps up after him, gesturing for one of the stablehands to join her so she can give him some more instructions.
Megren mumbles “… … things in … … … … them sent … Lanisen’s room? … … unassuming and female … …”, to Megren.

Cassandra slides down after him, calling Nia to her. She places a hand on the dog and helps her down before turning to Megren, frowning at her as well.

Lanisen has to take a moment to lean on the door before stepping out into the ward.

Cassandra keeps Nia by her side. She reaches Megren, whispering to her before coming along of Lanisen.
Cassandra mumbles “… … … … … … … in … castle if … Once we … him … who do … … … talk to about …”, to Megren.

Megren mumbles “Just get … … … to Lord Dar– … servant … … … … knights.”, to Cassandra.

Cassandra nods before making her way to her brother.

Lanisen stumbles blindly out into the ward, intent on getting to his room.


Staff Quarters
Castle Anvard


You stand in a circular tower which serves as a sort of corridor. In the
center is a stone pillar, around which stairs are placed, rising to the
Nobles’ Quarters above. To the south is the Sewing Room. All around are
small tidy rooms, the staff quarters. To the east is the Inner Ward.


Lanisen seems to recover some of his equilibrium as they get further into the castle, but he’s still swaying and exhausted by the time he reaches his door. He stops there, searching groggily for his key.

Megren waits for him patiently.

Cassandra casts glances at the castle briefly, glaring at the servants who stop and stare.

Lanisen hunts through all his pockets. “I dunno where it’s– where’s my… I don’t have my key.” He seems bewildered by this, and stares at the door to his room in a sort of betrayal.

Megren says, “I’ll go– I’ll get somebody.”

Lanisen tries the doorknob again and lets his forehead drop to rest on the door with a soft, dull /thunk/.

Cassandra takes Megren’s spot immediately, nodding to her. She chats with Lanisen, “Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us.

Megren gives Cass a worried look, then disappears back out into the ward. She returns not too long later, carrying Lanisen’s things and the key. “Got it! I got it.”

Lanisen says, “You– you got it, thank you, you found it…” He reaches for the key.

Megren hands it over a little clumsily around all his things.

Cassandra looks at Megren, her face very concerned.

Lanisen has some difficulty with the lock, but it clicks open after a minute and he pushes the door open, standing aside to let Megren go first.

Darrin comes down the stairs from the nobles quarters.


Lanisen’s Quarters
Castle Anvard


This chamber is a small, wedge-shaped room, completely unremarkable but very
clean. It’s small, with room for a bed and a little table and a wardrobe, but
not much else. There is a narrow window of thick, slightly warped glass in the
curving outer wall with a pleasant view of the castle pastures.

There is a letter unfolded on the table, and a sheet of rough paper ready for
the reply next to it, blank but for the date (5 Lionheart 1015) and the
salutation (for Megren). A thick slice of hearty brown bread with a piece torn
off sits at hand, abandoned and quite stale. All of Lanisen’s belongings seem
to be in place: his tinctures and teas for pain occupy space on the top shelf
of the wardrobe with an unusual pair of gloves, and the hilt of a small,
ordinary dagger sticks out from beneath the mattress.


Megren steps in ahead of him obligingly. She shifts his pack and chime onto his side table. The room is a little tossed about, evidence of her somewhat frantic search through it nigh on a week ago.

Cassandra stands next to Lanisen, ready to help him into the room.

Lanisen follows her in. He is having a hard time keeping his eyes open, but he mumbles, “Thanks, thank you both, I’m…”

Megren sorts his bed a little and takes up the stale bread from his side table.
Megren steps back. “Let you sleep?”

Darrin sees the commotion around Lanisen’s door and hurries over. He doesn’t enter right away, leaning against the doorjamb to peer in at the activity and assess whether or not he’ll be in the way.

Cassandra helps Lanisen to his bed. “Let’s get you into bed, Lanny.”

Colin silently appears by Darrin’s side and looks in to the activity in Lanisen’s chamber.

Lanisen squirms off her assistance. “I’m ok, I’m fine, it’s– thanks.” He sits down heavily on the side of the bed.

Cassandra takes a step back, yanking her braid once again.

Darrin glances over his shoulder and offers a smile and a nod to Sir Colin.

Colin claps a hand on Darrin’s shoulder and gives it a squeeze. “How’s the patient?”

Lanisen blinks several times, slightly unfocused. He crosses his arms over his stomach, trying to keep tabs on all the people present at once.

Megren moves toward the door.
Megren mumbles “… I think.”, to Colin and Darrin.

Cassandra looks around, unsure of what to do at the moment.

Darrin nods to Megren. He gives Lanisen a little wave and a small, warm grin before he steps away from the door and out of Lanisen’s sight.

Megren looks over her shoulder at Cass and gives her a little encouraging kind of smile, gesturing to Lanisen with her eyes in guidance.

Cassandra catches Megren’s glance. She turns to Lanisen, her tone gentle, “Hey, can I help you get your boots off?”

Colin moves unhappily away from the door.

Megren nods approval at Cass and then follows the knights out, shutting the door behind her.

Lanisen mumbles, “Boots…” He blinks again and bends down to unlace them.

Cassandra helps him take them off.

Lanisen makes an indistinct noise of gratitude. “You got… you got… where you sleepin’, we gotta figure out where you’re sleepin’,” he realizes.

Cassandra hushes him, “Megren went to go find that out. Just worry about you getting some sleep.”

Lanisen mumbles, “Meg…” He nods a little, and finally lays down on his bed, closing his eyes.

Cassandra tucks him into bed, giving him a gentle peck on the forehead, “You are safe now, Lanny. You aren’t going to be alone.”

Lanisen is too exhausted to protest. He pulls the blanket up to his chin and curls on his side. His breathing settles within a few minutes to the deep slow rhythm of sleep.

Cassandra slides down the wall, sitting with her back against it and her knees drawn up. She keeps her eyes trained on the door and her dagger within easy reach. She whispers, “I’ll take care of you, Lanny. By the Lion, I will.”

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