The Splintered Axe Tavern
The Great Woods
You find yourself standing in a rustic tavern nestled deep in the Great Woods of Narnia. It appears to be much what you’d expect of such a tavern. It is not large, but there are several tables scattered about. They are rough-hewn, but clean. A beardless, young-looking dwarf can be seen behind the bar along the south wall, washing out mugs and taking orders from the patrons. The tavern appears to have a small but loyal clientele, made up mostly of talking woodland beasts.
There is a door behind the bar, but that appears to lead to private quarters.
A door to the west leads to the Inn, where travellers can stay for brief periods as they make their way from Archenland into Narnia or vice versa. The door leading out is north.
Lanisen is tucked away in a corner, trying to be invisible. This is made difficult by the massive black hound sitting on his haunches next to him, and also by the odd collection of walking sticks leaned up against the wall.
Crenna comes trotting into the inn, head to the ground. She seems like she is on a mission,
Lanisen sighs and reaches down to dig through the pack on the floor next to him. He surfaces with a notebook, which he flips through until he comes to a blank page. When the door opens, he glances up.
Crenna looks around the room and spies her target, “I thought I caught your scent!” She grins as she trots forward, “Hello Lanisen, how are you?”
The hound next to him gets to his feet, snarling low in his throat at the Wolf’s approach.
Lanisen says, lurching forward to catch the hound around the neck before he gets himself into trouble, “Tohol, Tohol, no, settle down, please. Settle down.” He looks up at Crenna once this is done, offering an anxious, apologetic smile that is a little bit peaky around the edges, “Hi, Crenna.”
Crenna stops when Tohol grows at her. She stands up straight, “There is no need for that.” She sounds like a mother addressing a naughty pup. She takes in Lanisen’s appearance, sniffing out his scent, “Are you well?”
Lanisen keeps hold of Tohol, and at the same time discreetly moves his left foot so it is entirely hidden behind the bulk of his pack. “I’m all right, thanks,” he answers, smiling again. He looks down at Tohol. “Um– I took a tumble earlier, is all, he reckons he’s got to fight everybody. I’m sorry, he’s usually scared of wolves.”
Crenna smiles, “A mark of a true companion.” She sits down, not wanting to crowd the dog, “Tohol, I am not going to hurt you.”
Lanisen smooths his hand over the hound’s head as she speaks. “She’s friendly, see? You know her. You’re okay, you don’t gotta fight.”
Lanisen is sitting at a table in the corner, talking down a bristly wolfhound. His left foot is hidden behind a bulky pack; his left shoe, oddly, is not, though it’s been knocked mostly out of sight under his bench. There is a mostly-empty brown bottle of some dark liquid on the table.
Crenna looks at Lanisen, “What can I do to help calm him down?” She stands off to the side of the man, trying not to crowd him. She is pretty small for a Narnian Wolf and does really look non threatening.
Lanisen says, “Just, just what you’re doin’, I’m sorry, it’s been a bit of a day for him, we just arrived and he’s meetin’ lots of new people. He’s all right, he’s just a little scared.”
A marsh wiggle with two long braids (Sombersigh) meanders into the inn, a satchel slung over her back and walking staff in hand.
Crenna tips her head, “Oh you must be tired. Can I assist you with anything?” At the entrance of the newcomer, the Wolf turns her head and blinks, a bit surprised to see a March Wiggle in the Inn.
Lanisen says quickly, “Oh no. We’re fine, thanks, thanks for askin’.” He follows her glance.
Sombersigh appears oblivious to the curious stares and walks over to have a few words with the innkeeper.
Crenna moves a chair and decides to lay down. After all, this seems to work with smaller creatures. She strikes up a conversation, “So are you headed home?”
Lanisen says, “Um,” and pauses. “Um, I reckon we’ll stay a bit.”
Crenna smiles at that, “Oh wonderful! I know the pack will be delighted to see you. The Woods are quite different then the Waste. “How long do you plan to stay?”
Lanisen hazards, “A week?”
Sombersigh glances over.
Crenna chuckles, “You don’t have to be nervous. I was just curious at your plans. It is okay if you don’t have any.” She eyes him again, “You must be tired from the travel. Are you sure I can’t get you anything?”
Lanisen says, “I’m not, I’m not nervous, sorry, I’m just– not very sure what we’ll be doin’.” He does look very tired, and pale, especially around the mouth.
Crenna’s eyes narrow in thought, “Lanisen, are you sure you are well? You look pale.”
Lanisen says, “Well, we been travelin’ for four days.”
Hergel perks up, following the Marsh-wiggle’s gaze and slapping her forehead. “Now what am I thinking. Why, you’re just what we need. That fellow’s just done a bad turn on his leg.”
Sombersigh straightens a bit. “Eh, what’s that?”
Crenna is about to respond to Lanisen when she overhears Hergel’s comment. She frowns and stands up, looking very much like a mother now and says in a matter of face voice. “You are hurt.” She pads forward, “Can I see, please?”
Sombersigh steps forward, eyeing the pair.
Lanisen says, shifting anxiously, “It’s not– it’s not bad, Meg did worse last year and… um, I know to, to keep off it, and I got willow bark, and three different walking sticks they brought me, look.” He points at the sticks, which are varying sizes and materials.
Crenna moves closer, “I still would like to see. If it is broken, we will need to set it. You don’t want something to heal incorrectly.”
Sombersigh says, “Always a good idea to have a variety.”
Lanisen looks up as the Marsh-Wiggle comes nearer and shifts again. “No, it’s– I don’t think it’s…”
Crenna looks at the Marsh Wiggle more closely, “You are also a Healer?”
Sombersigh says, “I am. I’m Sombersigh.”
Crenna blinks as realization sets in. “Oh, Sombersigh. It is good to meet you. I will defer to your medical expertise.” She takes a polite step back.
Sombersigh says, “Oh, well now I don’t know about expertise. I know a bit. That’s a fact and there’s no denying it, but likely what I know isn’t very good.”
Lanisen stays quiet, his eyes flicking watchfully between them. He keeps his hands on Tohol, though less for restraint and more for comfort, it seems.
Crenna smiles at the Marsh Wiggle, “Nonsense.” As an after thought, “I am Crenna, healer of Winterden.” She then turns to her patient, “Please, can we see your leg?”
Sombersigh shifts, looking uncomfortable that someone actually recognized her name.
Lanisen hesitates. His eyes go briefly to the door, and he moistens his lips, but he takes a deep breath and gingerly moves his bare left foot around to where it is visible to both healers. It’s swollen and puffy around the ankle, beginning to discolor and bruise.
Crenna makes a soft noise, “Oh Lanisen. That must hurt terribly.” She moves to gently nose his leg before looking up at him with soft eyes, “How much pain are you?”
Lanisen pulls his foot back in a flinch when Crenna noses at it, but the movement seems to hurt more than the contact. He takes a breath and swallows, white-lipped. “Um– I took, I took willow bark an hour ago, it’s gotten better since then. I think it’s not as puffy, either.”
Sombersigh goes down on one knee next to the Wolf, looking at the limb skeptically. “Give it time. It’s the only way to tell if it’ll putrefy.”
Lanisen looks alarmed. “Putre– What?”
Sombersigh says, “Putrefy. Doesn’t happen everytime, but it’s best to prepare for the worst, I always say. Then, if you don’t lose the foot, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.”
Crenna looks a bit startled herself but recovers. “But now you have us so that will not happen.” She smiles reassuringly at Lanisen.
Lanisen stares at Sombersigh, his eyes gone wide.
Sombersigh asks, “See? Don’t you feel much better already, knowing the worst?”
Crenna lets out a breath, “Sombersigh, do you think it is broken or just sprained?” She tries to redirect the conversation.
Lanisen opens his mouth and says a little faintly, “Um.”
Sombersigh reaches for the ankle, probing it gently. “Sprained, I should say.”
Crenna reaches around to her satchel, nosing it open, “I wonder if I have anything for the pain…” She mutters to herself.
Lanisen draws a deep shaky breath and holds it. At his side, Tohol snarls again softly.
“Quiet, you,” Sombersigh says sternly. “She’s just a Wolf.”
Lanisen leans forward and wraps an arm around the dog just to be safe.
The two healers fuss and tut over Lanisen for the next few minutes, offering various suggestions, then wrap his leg and send him off with strict instructions to go to bed and elevate his leg.
Lanisen is nervous and withdrawn and prone to flinching through the process, but he agrees to do as they say. He picks the tallest walking stick, which is still a little short for him, and makes his way to the stairs.