diplomatic babysitting

The Satyr’s Hoof Tavern
Sted Cair
Eastern Narnia

You stand inside the Satyr’s Hoof Tavern, a lively and warm social gathering place that is always patonized by many of Sted Cair’s good citizens. The room is brightly lit with dwarven-wrought lanterns, and the walls are adorned with maps, ropes and other adventurer’s gear. Tables are scattered around in no particular fashion, and serving wenches casually stroll among them, taking orders. A large menu on the wall behind the bar lists the current fare.

There is also a long bar along the southwest wall, with crude wooden stools set in front of it. Behind, a tall, handsome-looking Satyr is serving beverages to the patrons seated there. The northeast door leads out onto the square.

A cat with long, grey tabby fur (Trim) is sat on the bar. Not on a stool, on the bar. Any and all cups have been moved far away from him and he is currently engrossed in a small, cat-sized plate of roast chicken.

Haft and Lanisen enter, pausing for a moment to let their eyes adjust to the light before settling on a table a bit to the side of the main area.

Trim looks up from the chicken and towards the humans, “Hullo there, you lot with the duke or the lady?”

Haft looks up. “News travels fast. We’re with the lady.”

Trim says, “Met another chap that was with her not so long ago!” He peers at Haft. “I say, have we met?”

Haft squints at the Cat. “Have we? I’ve been in Narnia before, but I can’t recall.”

Trim blinks slowly at the human, “I thought you looked a little familiar that’s all, could be wrong, humans all look rather alike!”

Lanisen follows a little behind Haft and takes his seat, regarding the Cat with open interest.

Haft stacks his brain. “Wait…perhaps. What was your name?”

Trim says, “Trim, Trim’s the name.”

Lanisen asks curiously, “Are you related to Glora?”

Trim turns his gaze to the other human and shakes his head, “Good grief, no”

Lanisen pulls his chin back in surprise. “I didn’t mean to offend, I’m sorry.”

Haft snaps his fingers. “That’s it. Yes, we’ve met. You caught a mouse in the fruit market when I was escorting Lady Avery.

Trim peers at Haft, “Oh yes, I think I remember now!” He nods, satisfied, then turns back to Lanisen, “Quite alright, who’re you then?”

Lanisen says, “Lanisen. I came with Lady Avery as well.”

Trim asks, “Other chap said you chaps are all concerned about the duke or some such, what’s going on then?”

Lanisen looks slightly startled. He hesitates and glances at Haft.

Trim watches the reaction with unblinking interest.

Haft frowns. “What other fellow?”

Trim exclaims, “Oh what was his name again, deary me I talked to him not so long ago as well! …Deonyc that was his name!”

Lanisen narrows one eye, processing this with another brief glance at Haft. “Nothin’s happened that I know of,” he answers the cat, offering a small apologetic smile. “We’re just here as friends. Followin’ friends, for my part.”

Deonyc comes walking in the Tavern and looks around, his face flushed. He spots the others and walks over, relieved. “Oh, hello, Haft, Lanisen.” He nods to the cat. “Hello Trim.”

Trim says in a slightly unconvinced tone, “Oh well that’s alright then” he turns to stare at Deonyc as he enters, “Hullo again!”

Haft presses his lips together.

Deonyc looks to the two humans, “How’s you too been so far?”

“Just got here,” Haft grits out.

Lanisen ducks his head to acknowledge Deonyc, murmuring, “Guardsman.” He doesn’t quite make eye contact, and his mouth is a little tight.

Trim now watches the two with great interest, ears perked.

Deonyc glances at haft before sitting down, he doesn’t seem so relieved anymore and looks at Trim for a second.

Trim gives him a slow, totally innocent blink.

Haft speaks lowly to Deonyc.

Lanisen clears his throat and looks back at the Cat as Haft speaks to Deonyc. “Do you live around here?”

Haft mumbles “… wrong? Your face … flushed.”, to Deonyc.

Deonyc mumbles “… … is … I didn’t … …”, to Haft.

Trim nods to Lanisen, though he keeps an eye on the two other humans, “Oh yes, I sure do”

Lanisen asks, “In the town, or do you work at the castle?”

Haft mumbles “Why … … look so … when … … in?”, to Deonyc.

Trim says, “Just the town, I work on board the ships”

Deonyc mumbles “… was … looking … you, wasn’t … how … time … … … getting the lay … the place.”, to Haft.

Lanisen asks with interest, “Really!”

Trim nods, “Ships cat, It’s a good life you know? Adventure and all the mice I can catch”

Haft mumbles “… … … …”, to Deonyc.

Lanisen says, “Oh, I suppose! How long have you been doin’ that?”

Trim stares up at the ceiling, “Ooooh, good few years now!”

Lanisen asks, “What ship?”

Deonyc mumbles “Well /I/ wasn’t signed … her … morning, … … … … … if anything?”, to Haft.

Trim says, “Currently I’m with The Greyhawke, she’s a merchant ship that goes between here and the islands.”

Lanisen asks, “Which islands?”

Trim asks, “All them up the way to the Lone Islands, so that’s there, Terebinthia, Galma, the Seven Isles, you know?”

Lanisen mms, a little bit longingly. “What’re they like?”

Trim asks, “Oh they’re beautiful I’ll tell you that, mostly stay in port so I don’t see much of the islands properly but they’ve some lovely scenery, dramatic cliffs, sunny beaches you know?”

Lanisen says, “I never been on a ship.”

Trim tilts his head and blinks at Lanisen, “However did you get here then?”

Haft runs a hand over his face, still speaking low. “We need to coordinate.” He’s fair enough not to blame the other man outright for the confusion. “One of us should be available at all times in case she has a desire to leave the castle.

Lanisen says, “On a horse?”

Haft mumbles “… in earshot within, until … see how … lie. … … be a … … …”, to Deonyc.

Deonyc nods
Deonyc mumbles “… … … about this … … …”, to Haft.

Haft drains his just-arrived cider in one go, glances toward Lanisen, who seems to have his conversation well in hand.
Haft nods.
Haft says, “I’ll go. See you in a few hours.”

Trim says, “Oh, yes, I forgot you lot ride the dumb ones.”

Deonyc looks to haft, “Is the cider as good as in Archenland?”

Haft grins. “Should be. It’s ours they import.”

Lanisen glances at Haft with a quick searching look.

Deonyc nods, “Well then.” he waves to a passing wench ordering some.

Haft gives Lanisen a brief, encouraging smile before heading out the door.

Trim exclaims, “What was that all about!”

Lanisen doesn’t seem terribly encouraged. His eyes shift to Deonyc briefly, then back to Trim. “Sounded like trading guard shifts,” he says, before Deonyc can answer.

Deonyc glances at the cat taking a sip, “All what?”

Trim exclaims, “All that sinister muttering, I sense a conspiracy! ”

Lanisen squints doubtfully.

Deonyc laughs and winks at Trim, “Perhaps, perhaps.”

Trim exclaims, “Oh well that’s dull!”

Lanisen snorts.

Trim decides that the chicken is far more interesting and takes a bite.

Lanisen is sitting at a table with Deonyc, near enough to where Trim is eating on the bar to converse easily.

Aliyah pads into the tavern, head tilted curiously having smelled a new scent mingled with familiar ones outside. A frown appears on her muzzle but vanishes as she walks to where the Archenlanders are talking. She sits nearby and nods to them. “Lanisen, Trim… And…” She looks the one she does not know and offers a nod in greeting.

Lanisen glances up at his name. “Aliyah,” he answers, grinning. “You do get around!”

Deonyc glances at lanisen and then at the wolf a bit unsure, “Hello.” he greets

Trim says, “Hullo there wolf”

Aliyah laughs. “Well, the pack is in the Great Woods so not too far from here. I’ve been around the city since we left Lantern Waste though.” She tilts her head. “You seem to get around as well. Everything going okay in Archenland?”

Lanisen turns his chair so he can talk with her more easily. “Oh, yeah. We’re here with Lady Avery, just visitin’. Some of my friends are in the retinue, so I tagged along.”

Aliyah is speaking with Lanisen and the others near the table. Her ears perk, and her tail wags slowly. “Lady Avery is here? It’s been so long since I have seen her.” She forgets herself a moment before turning to the other man. “Apologies. I forgot my manners. I am Aliyah of Winterden.”

Deonyc nods, “Deonyc, Guard of Anvard.”

Trim finishes off the chicken and watches everyone with an unblinking stare.

Petria makes her way into the tavern, heading towards bar-kitchen area.

Lanisen, while Aliyah and Deonyc speak, considers the pricelist posted on the wall.

Aliyah nods. “Yet another guard. Keeping note of all you guards.” She laughs.

Deonyc laughs, “There’s only two of us you know.”

Aliyah grins. “For one little noble? How much trouble can she be?”

Trim exclaims, “Nobles can cause all manner of trouble!”

Deonyc shrugs, “Nobles are nobles, she’s important.”

Lanisen glances sidelong at Deonyc, frowning.

Aliyah frowns in Trim’s direction before returning her attention to Deonyc. “I know she is. Last time, she came with just one guard.” She’s still laughing a bit.

Trim gives Aliyah a slow blink.

Petria barks to get the attention of the Satyr server, ordering some meat when she gets his attention.

Deonyc takes a sip of his cider taking in all the talking beasts around him, he doesn’t seem terribly comfortable.

Lanisen straightens slightly, peering over the tables. “Excuse me,” he murmurs to those in close proximity. He gets up and crosses the tavern, limping slightly, and says, “Hello, Petria!”

Aliyah’s ear flicks in the direction of the bark. She glances in Petria’s… and now Lanisen’s direction and nods.

Trim notes Deonyc’s discomfort, “Are you alright there?”

Deonyc glances back at trim, and nods, “Oh It’s alright, it’s new is all.” he glances to the wolf, “Where i grew up they were a problem.”

Trim exclaims, “Oh no need to worry about Aliyah! ”

Aliyah asks, “A problem?”

Trim says in a contemplative tone, “Oh you know… Waylaying travellers, stealing chickens, eating grandmothers”

Deonyc looks at her, quite honestly, “They kill livestock, if they become a problem we hunt them.” he nods after trims comment.

Petria looks up as a familiar voice calls her name and she turns to see Lanisen. “Oh hello again!” She greets him and also waves a paw to Aliyah.

Lanisen glances back over his shoulder at Deonyc, with an urgent ‘/stop that/’ look. “Hey, hi,” he says, turning back toward Petria. “How are you?”

Aliyah looks shocked. “Well, I sure hope there is no eating of grandmothers at least. The wolves here are kind…” She pauses. “For the most part. You should be fine.”

Deonyc nods and smiles weakly, “I’ve heard as much, It just takes getting used to if you understand.”

Lanisen closes his eyes briefly at what he overhears from Deonyc and rubs his forehead.

Aliyah nods. “I do. I was one of those in Archenland during the battle. How well I remember the stares.”

Petria wags her tail, “I’ve been good. And you?” She bumps her nose softly against his hand when he closes his eyes and rubs his forehead. “Are you alright?”

Deonyc nods to the wolf, “We were all gratefull for that, it was uhm unexpected.”

Lanisen says, “Yeah– yeah, sorry. Been better.”

Aliyah nods again.

Deonyc thinks for a moment, he pauses, “How is the hunting in narnia?”

Aliyah grins. “You like hunting? In this area, it’s great. Lots of deer and foxes.”

Lanisen pushes his mouth to the side.

Deonyc nods, “Im a huntsman, well I was.” he smiles, “Deer are good, no boar?”

Aliyah tilts her head curiously. “You had to stop hunting when you became a guard?” This thought makes her frown. “That would be difficult I think… No, there are not any boar here unfortunately.”

Deonyc shakes his head, “No well, I do still hunt, I go hawking too but not very often.”

Petria lets out a small whimper when Lanisen says he has been better, “You aren’t unwell I hope?”

Aliyah blinks. “Hawking? what in the world is that?”

Deonyc looks a bit confused, “Hunting with a hawk?”

Aliyah asks, “But don’t you have weapons? Why use a hawk?”

Lanisen says, still listening with half a worried ear to the conversation behind him. “I’m fine, I’m fine, sorry– how’ve you been? Lots of messages?”

Deonyc smiles and shakes his head, “Hawks are far better at hunting rabbits and birds.”

The door to the tavern swings open and Avery steps through, followed by a Faun. She points toward Deonyc, speaking quietly and the Faun nods. With a little bow, he closes the door behind her and departs.

Trim peers down at the dog, “Oh, hullo I didn’t notice you there” he says against all logical odds.

Aliyah nods, understanding. “Ah, that makes perfect sense. If you and the horses can’t get into tight places, then this seems like a good thing. Do the dogs not help with the rabbits as well?” Before he can respond, she turns as the door opens and barely manages to keep herself in a dignified pose. Her tail hits the ground.

Petria tilts her head, looking concerned like only a dog can as Lanisen replies, but her manner is enthusiastic as she replies to his question. “Yes. Yes, lots of messages. More with the new visitors too!”

Lanisen asks, interested, “Yeah? You met ’em?”

Deonyc glances at the wolves reaction, he frowns

Petria shakes her head, “No. Not really. But I saw them arrive! Quite a message to take up to the Cair.”

Avery sees Aliyah and grins. “Aliyah, my dear friend!” She weaves through a few tables and chairs to get closer.

Deonyc thinks it best to take a sip of cider while he still can,

Aliyah nudges Avery’s hand. “How are you? it’s been a while! I hope all is well with your family?”

Lanisen, his attention drawn by Avery’s entrance, bows. “Hey,” he says, turning back to Petria. “Excuse me a minute?”

Petria bobs her head in reply to Lanisen, looking up to see the cat. “Oh Hello!”

Avery sits in a vacant chair close by. “My family is very well, thank you. And you, how do you fare? How are the Wolves of Winterden? All well, I hope.”

Trim peers down at the dog, “Oh hullo I didn’t notice you there” he says against all logic.

Deonyc notices that the guardsfaun is not returning anytime soon he heads over to avery bows, and greets flatly, “m’Lady.” before going to stand off to the side but near enough.

Lanisen skirts tables to approach Lady Avery. He bows again and waits to be acknowledged.

Aliyah sits near Avery. “I am well as is the pack. A few of us recently returned from Lantern Waste. One of the others was in a… bad frame of mind for a bit, so I ended up staying with him until he got of of that mindset and was willing to travel.”

Avery frowns at this news. “Oh, I am sorry to hear that, but it sounds as if he’s on the mend?” She turns toward Lanisen and Deonyc, offering a nod of greeting and a light smile.

Lanisen shifts and asks Avery something in a low voice.
Lanisen mumbles “Can I have a word, my lady?”, to Avery.
Lanisen mumbles “… I … … word, my lady?”, to Avery.

Aliyah nods. “Fine now. he just needed time to get over everything that happened… We all did.”

Trim says to the Lady, “Hullo there”

Avery listens to Lanisen, blinking a bit in surprise. “Oh. Of course. Please excuse me, Aliyah.” She stands and motions for Lanisen to lead the way to a more quiet spot.

Petria looks up at the cat, “What’s your name? I don’t remember if we’ve met

Trim exclaims, “Trim, fellow before said we did!”

Lanisen hesitates, then gestures toward the door to outside, glancing back at her questioningly.

Avery nods her approval and walks toward the door.

Lanisen reaches to open it for her, glancing back over his shoulder toward Deonyc.

Sted Cair Town Square
Eastern Narnia

Lanisen follows her out. He takes a deep breath, glancing about the immediate area, and steps toward a little space that would be like a blind alley, if it were not as grassy and parklike as the rest of the square. It is a space where they are not likely to be overheard.

Avery follows him, looking slightly concerned. “Is everything alright, Lanisen?”

Lanisen says, “Um,” and hesitates again. “I don’t– I don’t want to bear tales, my lady, but it’s…” He takes a deep breath. “It’s Deonyc, he’s been tellin’ Narnians we’re here ’cause we’re worried about the Duke.”

Avery nods slowly, “I see.” She purses her lips to the side. “This is not a good thing, but I do thank you for telling me. Did the conversation go on for long or was it just a quick remark?”

Lanisen says, “I don’t– I don’t know, I didn’t hear it, um… The only reason I know about it is, um, there’s a Cat in there, his name’s Trim, he was askin’ me and Haft to clarify what he heard from Deonyc.”

Avery hmms. “I am familiar with Trim. I met him during my last stay in Narnia. What did Haft say to him? Or even yourself?”

Lanisen says, “Um– He asked, he asked what was goin’ on, that we were concerned about the Duke and here, and– Haft didn’t say anything, I said we were just here on a friendly visit.”

Avery nods. “If the opportunity arises, I will speak to Trim and assure him that we do not come in fear or with the intent to examine the Duke with any dislike. But perhaps your words have put the Cat at ease now.”

Lanisen says, “He’s stopped askin’, it’s just–” He looks over his shoulder toward the inn door briefly and shakes his head. “He ain’t– my lady, he ain’t thinkin’ about what he’s sayin’– Deonyc, that is. He’s just told Aliyah we hunt wolves in Archenland. She didn’t take it ill, but another might have. I’m afraid to leave him alone, talkin’ to folk.”

Avery rubs her forehead. “Oh my. I see your cause for concern. Perhaps it is not my responsibility, but I will address his lack of tact and remind him that his job here in Narnia is to protect me, and that includes my reason for being in this country. We cannot have any sort of ill feeling between us and the Duke, especially before any of us have made his acquaintance.”

Lanisen says, “I’m sorry, my lady, it– I didn’t want to leave him and come find somebody. Haft was goin’ to find you, I thought he might… You must have just missed each other.”

Deonyc walks out of the inn. He doesn’t seem all too glad but obviously doesn’t want to intrude he glances at avery and lanisen but stands a few paces off.

Trim slips out of the tavern and pads into the square, he’s not nosy oh no!

Aliyah follows behind Deonyc, keeping to the shadows so as not to intrude.

Avery hears the door to the tavern open and turns slightly. Seeing Deonyc, she sighs. In a lowered voice, she speaks to Lanisen.
Avery mumbles “I do appreciate you coming to me and speaking up. It’s very important that you did, actually, and I thank you.”, to Lanisen.
Avery mumbles “… … appreciate you … to … … … up. … … … that … did, actually, and I thank …”, to Lanisen.

Lanisen glances past Avery’s shoulder at the door as it opens. He focuses on her again and nods.
Lanisen mumbles “Thank you, my lady.”, to Avery.
Lanisen mumbles “… you, … lady.”, to Avery.

Avery bows her head. “Please, excuse me.”

Lanisen nods quickly and bows again. His eyes slip past her to Deonyc, and quickly avert.

Deonyc straightens and folds his arms behind his back.

Trim’s eyes go from one human to another.

Avery turns and says, “Ah, Deonyc.” She glances at Aliyah and Trim, but her eyes soon land on Deonyc again. “I should very much like to go through the fruit market, if you are all done here at the tavern?”

Deonyc nods, “If m’lady wishes.” he falls in next to her half a pace back.

Lanisen stays where he is. He rubs his elbow.

Trim tilts his head at all the conspiratorial goings on.

Avery says, “Trim, Aliyah, it was very nice to see you again. I do hope we can speak again soon.”

Trim says, “Yes of course”

Deonyc glances from Avery to the wolf and cat, but he’s behind her.

Aliyah nods. “that would be great.” She offers a sympathetic smile to Deonyc.

Avery walks toward the fruit market.

Lanisen watches them go.

Trim comments wryly, “With all the discord and conspiring among the Archenlanders, that duke chap’s looking ever more appealing”

Aliyah glares at the cat. “We know nothing about the man.”

Trim says, “I know nothing about them either so it’s all one to me”

Lanisen shuts his eyes briefly, overhearing, and rubs his hands over his face.

Aliyah says, “We know more of them than others. They are friends.”

Trim says, “Speak for yourself, I can only comment on what -I- know”

Lanisen takes a deep breath and steps out to cross the square.

Aliyah tries to keep a low growl from escaping her throat. Shaking her head, she pads quickly in the opposite direction.

Trim flops into a patch of sunlight, he does’t see the issue with what he just said.

Lanisen’s eyes dart toward the growl.

Trim says from his patch of light, “Wolves, tsh”

Lanisen makes his way through the square toward the castle.


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