foxes and wolves and hounds and hawks

Outer Ward
Castle Anvard

Lanisen sits alone on a crate outside the kennel, his back against the wall. His seat is tucked comfortably between a large barrel and a wheel-barrow, but fully in the warm sunshine. He has a book open on his knees, and there is a gently steaming cup of tea sitting next to him on top of the barrel.

Edana comes from out of the Northern Market, rubbing her hands together, sometimes taking the time to examine her nails before walking on. At a certain point, while looking up, she spots Lanisen on the crate and makes her way over.

Lanisen turns the page, glancing up and around as he does so with the casual wariness of one who likes to keep tabs on who is around and what they are doing. He watches Edana from the corner of his eye to see if she’s actually walking toward him or not.

Edana notes his glance and smiles. Once nearby she starts off. “Hello Lanisen. How is your book?”

Lanisen gets a little awkwardly to his feet, dipping his head to her respectfully. “It’s, ah, it’s fine, thank you, ma’am.”

Edana smile. “You don’t need to get up. I just–” She laughs lightly. “Well, I wanted to thank you for letting us interrupt you at work the other day…and now I feel as though I must apologize again.”

Lanisen looks confused and a little flustered. “Oh– I wasn’t– I wasn’t workin’, it wasn’t– you weren’t interruptin’, ma’am.”

Edana smile slackens and she nods. “Well anyways, I was hoping if you might have any idea of where I might find a dog…not one of the royal hounds of course but–Well you know.”

Lanisen asks, “Now?”

Edana shakes her head. “No..not now necessarily….I just wanted to see if that was even an option.”

Lanisen says, “Um…” His eyes stray past her briefly, where across the ward somebody in a red shirt is pausing to consider a chandler’s wares. “The, um. If you’re willin’ to wait for the fall there’ll be some castle-trained pups, I’m sure. Danall don’t keep ’em all, he sells some of ’em to farms, hunters.”

Edana crosses her arms in thought. “i suppose I could wait till then…” She thinks on it for a moment more before nodding. “That would certainly give me more time to think about it.” She smiles at Lanisen. “Thank you! Now I have something more to look forward to.”
Edana says, “Kaie hasn’t stopped talking about the puppies. ”

Lanisen says, “If he’s– if it’s puppies he’s wantin’, I know there’s a new litter, um, one of the herdin’ dogs just whelped.” He gestures toward the pastures. “Could be they’d be willin’ to let a pup go.”

Edana looks toward the pasture and smiles. “It is good to have options. Perhaps I will go and see them later.” She uncrosses her arms and asks, “Mind if I sit for a moment?”

Lanisen says, “Um, if, if you like.” He steps to the side and turns another empty crate over for her, dusting it off a little apologetically.

Edana smiles and takes a seat after he is done dusting it off. “Thank you.” She then sighs, looking around at the people as they move around the ward.

Lanisen says, “There’s, I’ve got, the tea’s still hot, would you like…?”

Edana looks over and nods, smiling. “That would be lovely.” She then goes quiet again.

Lanisen disappears inside for a moment, and returns with a mug that doesn’t quite match his own. He offers it to her.

Edana takes the mug and then looks up at him. “Do you play the game wolves and foxes?”

Lanisen says, “Ahh, heh. It’s been a while.” He picks up his own mug and sits back down on his crate.

Edana nods and wraps her hands around her mug. “I have only started playing again recently as well…Deonyc, do you know him?” She shakes her head, “I am sure you do…anyways, he told me I should start making boards for the game. It is a lot harder than I expected.”

Lanisen looks puzzled. “Is– are you a, a woodworker, then?”

Edana shakes her head and takes a sip of tea. “No.” She swallows. “I work in the pottery stall.”

Lanisen says, “Oh! Ohh, so a– I see.”

Edana nods and takes another sip before answering. “I am trying to make the pieces have these tiny details…it is tedious.”

Lanisen looks startled and impressed. “You’re makin’ actual wolves and foxes, then? Instead of the little colored pebbles?”

Edana smiles and puts a finger to her lips. “Yes. But it is a secret. I want it to sell well…otherwise it will have been a waste of time.”

Lanisen says, “I won’t tell.” He tips his head at her. “How long’s it take, the pieces?”

Edana laughs. “I am on the first one…and has taken me three days so far…mostly working at home.”

Deonyc walks into the outer ward, he has a small bundle of furs in his hands and is heading straight towards the tanners stall.

Lanisen asks, “Can you–” He pauses and squints his eyes. “Um, the thing– a cast, a mold, can you make a mold, once you’ve got one done? Or are you gonna make ’em all different?”

Edana shrugs. “I suppose I could but the plan was to make them all different.”

Deonyc sells his furs to the tanner, and turns around to head back home.

Lanisen suggests, “You could make a mold of the first set, with all the different pieces, maybe?”

Edana smiles. “For the next one you mean?” It is at this moment that she spots Deonyc and gives him a wave.

Deonyc sells his furs to the tanner, and turns around to head back home, he scans the outer ward, glimpsing Edana and Lanisen, he pauses, and the walks over smiling he says, “Hello.”

Lanisen says, “Yeah, that’s what I mean.” Deonyc’s approach catches him off his guard, and he glances up quickly at the new voice.

Edana smiles at Deonyc. “Hello Deonyc.”

Deonyc settles off to the side a bit, “Hi Lanisen, Edana, how are you guys?”

Lanisen shifts slightly, cupping his hands around his tea. He glances at Edana and answers, “Well, thanks.”

Edana nods in agreement and drinks some more tea.

Deonyc looks glances around at the two, and remains silent, playing around with something in his hand.

Lanisen asks, “You?” His eyes follow the movement of whatever Deonyc is playing with.

Deonyc looks up, “I’m doing pretty good, not much happening though.”

Edana drinks some more tea. “How is Aria?”

Deonyc smiles, “She’s great, I’m training her for next season, she needs to get stronger, and a bit faster too.”

Lanisen glances between them, evidently not following, but he doesn’t ask.

Edana smiles. “I believe she will be a great bird under your watch!”

Lanisen looks even more confused.

Deonyc nods, “I really hope so, I haven’t thought of where to get her used to hunting though, maybe in the fields, somewhere open for now.

Lanisen ‘ahhhs’ under his breath.

Deonyc realizes, when Lanisen ahhs, “Oh Aria, is my Goshawk, have you ever gone hunting with raptors?”

Lanisen says, “Er, no, I– sorry, ‘fraid not.”

Edana looks to Lanisen. “I haven’t heard of many who have.”

Lanisen says, “I don’t, I don’t hunt.”

Deonyc asks, “Is it just that you don’t like handling the birds, or just haven’t had the chance to?”

Lanisen shakes his head a little, shifting. “It’s, I only ever been on, on the one, and it– we didn’t really… get to the huntin’ part.”

It is Edana’s turn to look confused, but she also doesn’t ask. Instead she takes a sip of her tea.

Deonyc says, “Tell me if you’d ever like to. You’re good with animals right? And its quite a calm sport, walking and stuff.”

Lanisen asks, “Hunting’s… calm?”

Deonyc says, “Most of it yes.”

Lanisen says, “Oh.”

Edana laughs. “I have never had a calming experience.”

Megren comes thunking down the stairs two at a time.

Deonyc looks over, his face brightens, “Lanisen, you’re good with dogs, no?”

Lanisen says, “Er, I guess so.” He’s sitting on a crate outside the kennel door, tucked between a barrel and a wheelbarrow, holding a cup of tea on his knees.

Deonyc is standing off to the side facing the kennels, “That would make a great hawking team…” he trails off, “We should talk another time about it.”

Megren traipses through the ward, stopping to chat with this and that person.

Lanisen looks a little uncomfortable, but he doesn’t object out loud. He lifts his shoulders in a shrug.

Edana looks to Lanisen and then to Deonyc, sipping her tea.

Deonyc smiles, and continues fiddling around again.

Edana looks at Deonyc. “What are you playing with?”

Megren manages to cross the ward in her own sweet time, and it eventually becomes apparent that she is headed toward the kennels. In fact, her face brightens at the sight of Lanisen already outside.

Deonyc holds out his hand to reveal a smooth dark blue stone, he shrougs, “Just a stone.”

Lanisen’s eyes skitter over the ward and markets again, catching on Megren. His face lights up as well, and he grins to her before she is in easy speaking distance.

Edana ahs. “You are going to smooth it down.”

Deonyc holds the stone out to Edana, “It already is, I just like playing with it.”

Edana takes the stone in her hand, looks at it for a beat and hands it back to Deonyc.

Megren joins in the group gathered outside the kennels. “Hello, everyone! What am I interrupting here?” she asks, hands grasping her elbows behind her back.

Deonyc looks at Megren, and smiles, “Nothing.”

Lanisen says, gesturing slightly to Deonyc, “We were just talkin’ about hunting.”

Edana smiles at Megren warmly and takes another sip of her tea.

Megren exclaims, “Oh!” She lifts her brows at Lanisen, looking a little surprised by this, then says, addressing him in particular but opening her stance to the group at large, “Danall’s more the hunting expert, I think?””

Deonyc says, “Well its more about Hawking actually, and the two are very different.”

Lanisen says apologetically, “I don’t know a thing about either.”

Deonyc points out, “You know how to work with dogs, and animals, Thats an important, if not the important part.”

Megren screws up an eye like she’s not sure what she thinks of this, but says, “I’ve never been hawking.”

Edana shrugs, finishing off her tea. “Perhaps hawking is more peaceful…” She says this more to herself than anyone else.

Lanisen takes a drink of his tea as well, glancing at Megren.

Deonyc shrougs, “I guess its not for everyone. ”

Edana looks to Deonyc. “I was asking Lanisen where I might find a dog.”

Deonyc smiles and looks around everywhere except the kennels, “I wonder?”

Edana laughs. “Not there…I wanted other options.”

Megren asks, “Find like your family’s needing something to defend your land or — ?”

Deonyc looks to Lanisen, “Huh, a peddler maybe?”

Lanisen says, “There’s– Seri’s just whelped, one of the herdin’ dogs, I was thinkin’ she might ask the herdsmen for one once they’re weaned.”

Edana nods. “See…options.” To Megren she shakes her head. “No my son has not stopped talking about the puppies in the kennel and my husband is a hunter.”

Deonyc looks pleasantly surprised, but says nothing.

Lanisen asks, a little worried, “He’ll be usin’ the hound to hunt?”

Megren also looks a bit surprised, but she lets Lanisen ask his question before she gets her own in.

Edana shakes her head. “No. I was thinking more of a travel companion. I don’t really enjoy the idea of him taking Kaie anymore until he is a bit older. Gallagher is wanting to hunt bigger game right now so Kaie being out there…it just worries me. Little things it is fine. And Gallagher could take care of it but….”

Lanisen looks relieved.

Deonyc notices Lanisen’s change in demeanor, and looks a bit confused but says nothing.

Megren says, “Da’s got one of the mutts from the kennels now and they get along pretty well. Might find something less spendy if you head out to a farm with dogs more meant for that purpose, though.”

Lanisen says, “Herdin’ dogs are good with little ones usually anyway.”

Edana nods. “I am going to look into that.”

Deonyc sits back listening to the conversation.

Megren says, “There’s a farm out toward Lancelyn Green with herding dogs; they might have a litter this time of year.”

Edana nods. “Well….there is a lot to consider. I need a very friendly dog.”

Lanisen says, “I was sayin’ earlier, Seri who works for– I forget his name, out in the pasture with the king’s sheep– she just whelped. Six in the litter, healthy lot.”

Megren exclaims, “Oh! /That’s/ Seri. Sure, that’s easier.”

Lanisen begins to get to his feet, a little stiffly, and grabs his book from where it’s been sitting on top of the barrel.

Megren says, “Are you going in? I’ll go with you.”

Lanisen gestures at the inner gate. “Thought I’d go find some supper.”

Megren says, “Even better.”

Edana smiles. “It was nice talking to you two.”

Deonyc nods, “See you around.”

Lanisen says, “You too.” He dips his head to them both, tucks his book under his arm, and steps toward the gate, pausing in case Megren isn’t ready to go just yet.

Megren hops over to his side. “Good to see you both. You’ll have to tell me whether you find a good dog, Edana.”

Edana nods. “Will do.”

Lanisen offers Megren his arm.

Megren wrinkles her nose at him, but takes it willingly enough.

Lanisen does an exaggerated drunken sway right into her, bumps shoulders affably, and straightens up to walk properly like a normal person.

Megren sticks out her tongue.

Edana watches them with a small smirk.


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