Staff Quarters
Castle Anvard

Lanisen passes through the tower corridor, aiming for his room. He looks exhausted, with shadows under his eyes.

Cassandra is at his door, knocking quietly on the door.

Lanisen pauses a few steps back. “Here.”

Cassandra looks up, not moving towards him, “Hey.”

Lanisen answers, “Hey.”

Cassandra bites her lip, not knowing how to start.

Lanisen asks, “You heard, I guess?”

Cassandra tips her head, “Heard?”

Lanisen says, “‘Bout Sir Colin.”

Cassandra shifts, clutching her sleeve, “Yeah…um…I was there…”

Lanisen blinks. “You were?”

Cassandra looks down at the ground, “Yeah….I was with…Um…I was with Maire when it…um happened.”

Lanisen asks, “Are you all right?”

Cassandra snorts a little, “Of course, I’m alright. I wasn’t the one poisoned.”

Lanisen asks, “You didn’t– you didn’t eat the…?”

Cassandra shakes her head, “No.” She frowns, “I was there….Why didn’t I catch it?”

Lanisen asks, watching her anxiously, “You’re sure you didn’t?”

Cassandra asks, “Didn’t what?”

Lanisen says, “Get any of it. You didn’t… eat anything, drink anything?”

Cassandra shakes her head, “No. I haven’t eaten anything that I haven’t made.”

Lanisen nods, relieved. He rubs his hands over his face, looking haggard.

Cassandra goes towards him, “You, you okay?” She does look sincerely concerned. Well, as sincerely as she can look.

Lanisen drops his hands. “I dunno,” he admits.

Cassandra mutters to him.
Cassandra mumbles “Want to run away?”, to Lanisen.
Cassandra mumbles “Want to … away?”, to Lanisen.

Kairyn slips out of her room, shutting the door behind herself. Seeing Cassandra and Lanisen, she pauses uncertainly.

Lanisen lets out a little snort. He rubs his forehead and glances sidelong at her.
Lanisen mumbles “You comin’?”, to Cassandra.
Lanisen mumbles something incomprehensible to Cassandra.

The door to Maire’s room opens, and Tyren catches the glance of the guard nearby, jerking his head slightly in an indication to follow.

Cassandra goes to respond when the door to Maire’s door opens. She goes quiet.

Maire steps out of her room, her face blank and unreadable.

Lanisen turns at the sound, and straightens quickly, watching with alert eyes.

Tyren directs the guard to Maire’s other side with a gesture, and the trio head downward, the knight’s face forged from steel.

Kairyn hears the door open and turns her head quickly, surprised. Her blue eyes widen as she watches what begins to unfold.

Maire’s eyes take in the people in the hall, and her step falters a bit. But then turns her attention forward, allowing the knight and Tyren to escort her away.

Kairyn takes a step towards them, her mouth going slack and the color draining from her face.

Tyren walks down the circular stair toward the dungeon.

Maire leaves, following Tyren.

Kairyn breaks into a slow run and dashes down the stairs after them.

Cassandra watches them leave, blinking.

Lanisen watches Tyren and Maire in silence, his face expressionless.

Colin emerges from Maire’s room with the other guard. His movements are slow and his face is drawn. At the sight of people in the staff quarters, he gives a little nod, not really comprehending. He and the guard turn and lock the kitchen maid’s door.

Cassandra glances at Lanisen before darting down the steps after Kairyn.

Colin turns just in time to notice Cass darting down the stairs and he frowns.

Lanisen’s eyes shift to Colin as he emerges. He hesitates, then bows.

Colin’s eyes flick to the movement out of the corner of his eye and when he sees his squire, he offers a weary nod.

Lanisen doesn’t move from his place by the door, or say anything. He keeps his eyes on the ground between them.

Colin lethargically rakes a hand through his hair. “You doing okay, Lanisen?”

Lanisen answers, “Yes, sir.”

Colin takes one limping step. “You need anything?”

Lanisen shakes his head slightly. “You, sir?”

Colin shakes his head a little. “‘M good. Adrian figured it out.”

Lanisen asks, carefully conversational, “What was it?”

Colin rubs his forehead. “Fox something. Gave me rose tea and tincture…tasted like flowers.”

Lanisen’s eyes flicker briefly to Colin’s face. He hesitates, then says, “Good to see you on your feet, sir.”

Colin nods a little. “Thanks.” He pauses a beat before saying, “You too. For what it’s worth.”

Lanisen gives him an inscrutable look at this. He bows his head.

Colin fiddles with the sleeve of his tunic. “How’re the kennels?”

Lanisen says, “Fine, sir. Business as usual.”

Colin nods a little. “That’s good to hear.”

Lanisen rubs his elbow and glances at Colin again, guarded.

Colin closes his eyes, clearly torn about something. Finally he makes a decision and speaks. “Hey…do you know how to find Vinri?”

Lanisen shifts. “Um,” he says, and shakes his head a little. “The ward, she’s got– her stall’s next to the woman with the meat pies. Or you could leave a message at the tavern in town.”

Colin clarifies, “The Narrow Gate?”

Lanisen nods once in confirmation.

Colin asks, “You friends with her at all?”

Lanisen lifts a shoulder. “We talk. She’s nice.”

Colin asks another question, his tone quiet. “You see her often?”

Lanisen says, “Just– about the ward, in the tavern sometimes.”

Colin nods a little. “Sounds like she’s fairly easy to find.”

Lanisen nods slightly. He gives Colin a questioning, wary look.

Kairyn emerges from the stairs and quickly makes her way through, her head down.

Colin starts to say something when he sees the look on Lanisen’s face, but he stops when people return from the dungeon. He looks at Lanisen and gives a very faint shake of his head.

Cassandra returns with a blank expression. She curtsies to Colin before heading into her room.

Colin’s eyes follow Cass, his face troubled.

Lanisen shifts, his eyes following Kairyn as she passes through, and his sister. He looks back at Colin.

Tyren makes his way back into the servent’s quarters, rubbing briefly at a temple.

Colin asks the other knight quietly, “How’d that go?”

Lanisen straightens slightly, then bows silently to Tyren.

Tyren nods to Lanisen, then glances back to Colin with a quiet ‘heh.’ “Never gets easier. But that was one of the… simpler ones, as these things go.”

Colin nods a little. He falls listlessly quiet as his gaze moves back and forth between the two men who happen to be his closest friends.

Lanisen keeps quiet and doesn’t ask.

Tyren turns to the squire, asking simply – and quite sincerely – “How are you holding up, these days?”

Colin looks to Lanisen for his response.

Lanisen says, “Well enough, sir, thank you.”

Tyren nods, with a faint smile. “I’m glad to hear it.”

Colin nods his own agreement before looking to the squire. “So… in case you haven’t figured it out, Maire’s been arrested for the time being while the investigation continues. She wouldn’t defend herself and the evidence is too stacked against her to ignore.” his voice sounds tired as he briefs the incident.

Lanisen says, “She’s been bringin’ me pies, sir.”

Colin’s brow furrows and he glances at Tyren. “You too?”

Tyren frowns slightly, returning Colin’s glance with one of his own.

Lanisen says, “I didn’t eat them.”

Colin’s face clears with relief. “Good…good. I didn’t eat the first one…but she’s been leaving them for me, too. Second one didn’t have anything.”

Tyren’s brow knits together, and he taps a finger to his chin, thoughtful.

Lanisen is silent for a moment. “Was there anythin’ in her room?”

Colin looks to Tyren at this. “You still have it?”

Tyren opens his hand to reveal an amber necklace among the folds of a small cloth, in response.

Lanisen shifts closer to look. He frowns, confused, and looks up into the knights’ faces. “That’s… all?”

Tyren tucks it back into the cloth as he says, “That’s all that stood out.”

Colin explains, “It was taken from Vinri’s stall.”

Lanisen glances at Colin, comprehension showing in his face. “But– no bottles, no poisons?” he persists.

Colin says, “If there were any they were long gone. Was there anything when you did a precursory search last night, Sir Tyren?”

Tyren shakes his head. “None that caught my eye.” After a brief beat, he says, “While the necklace is rather more concrete evidence of something else, as far as the poisoning itself goes – it should be noted that everything has been circumstantial at best.”

Lanisen asks, “Was there anything in the kitchen?”

Colin nods a little. “I can’t understand why she offers no defense, or explanation of any kind… I think there’s more to this than meets the eye.” He hesitates, holding another thought back.

Tyren nods a bit to Colin. “I strongly suspsect the same.” To Lanisen, he shakes his head. “Nothing out of the ordinary.”

Colin says, “Something is not adding up…but until such time that it does so, for her safety and for everyone else’s safety she’ll be kept in a cell. We’ll keep her comfortable and treat her well… If she’s been set up then that’s the safest place she can be. If she’s truly not the culprit and her addled brain will move into functioning again then we’ve done what we were supposed to and if she /is/ the culprit, we’ve done what we were supposed to.”

Lanisen rubs his elbow, anxious and silent.

Tyren nods a bit. “Until more evidence comes to light, it’s the best we can do.”

Colin watches Lanisen. “What are you thinking, Lanny?” He asks, his tone considerate.

Lanisen says, “I don’t know, sir.” He hesitates, as if he’s about to say something else, but he makes a small unsatisfied grimace and says nothing.

Colin says, “It’s okay…you can contribute your thoughts.”

Tyren nods his agreement.

Lanisen glances at Tyren. He shifts. “I don’t, I don’t know, sir, I’m sorry.”

Colin nods a little. “All right.”

Tyren nods a bit himself. “Let one of us know if something /does/ come to mind. The more we have to go off of, the better a picture we can build.”

Lanisen says, “I don’t know her, sir.”

Colin’s hand goes to his forehead and he releases a quiet, weary sigh. “It’s all right…it still stands, if you want to mention anything. I’m sorry…I’m exhausted. Tonight was rather taxing.”

Tyren nods slightly. “For you and me both, in its own ways. What say we call it a night?”

Lanisen takes a step back and bows silently.

Colin nods a little. His gaze falls to Lanisen a moment and he gives another nod to his squire.

Lanisen meets his eyes briefly and looks away.

Tyren nods as well, then glances to Colin. “Your room or back to the infirmary? Preferably the one that gets me less glares from Adrian.”

Colin’s shoulders droop a little when Lanisen looks away. “My room is fine.” He says, his voice resigned.

Tyren nods, and begins the ascent.

Lanisen stays quiet as they go, watching alertly as Colin ascends the stairs. He rubs his shoulder and looks away once they are gone, turning to go into his room.


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