strange things you do hear passing through

Outer Ward
Castle Anvard

Haft is sitting on a barrel in a quiet corner, well out of sight of most of the yard. He’s got a good view of the gate.

Peridan is speaking to a couple of Guards. By his stance, he is simply chatting with them. Occasionally, one of the guards or Peridan laughs.

Lanisen makes his way through the gatehouse from the inner ward, nodding politely to the guard on duty as he passes. He glances around the outer ward, then heads toward the kennels.

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how to spook a handful of grown men

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.

Lanisen sits on the ground outside the kennels, a book in his lap and his arm in a sling, people-watching between paragraphs.

Darius strolls into the outer ward, a /wide/ smile gracing his expression as he takes in his surroundings. Moving towards the middle, his eyes flicker between all of the merchants until his attention finally comes to rest on the gate leading to the inner ward. His eyes narrowing a hair, he sucks in a deep breath and just… stops.

Lanisen glances up at a minor commotion down the ward involving a balky cart-donkey. When it proves to be less interesting than the noise suggested, he casts a casual look over the rest of the people milling about, pausing on the vaguely familiar man staring at the gates.

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equine therapy

Castle Anvard

You stand in the Anvard Stable. All around you are stalls and equipment. There are horses of all colors, but all are high caliber. The far wall is hung with saddles, bridles, stirrups and other tack. There is fresh straw in every stall and buckets for water are hung on hooks. There are several special stalls for visiting talking horses. The floor is hardpacked dirt.

Dar’s tall, lanky frame can be seen through one of the open stall doors. He is grooming a grey stallion, tall enough to be a good height for him. Dar’s back is to the door and he is focused on his work, using the curry comb to rid the horse’s coat of any traces of dirt.

Lanisen makes his clumsy, thumping way down the stable’s alley and turns to one of the stalls close to the door. The latch gives him some trouble, but he at last lets himself inside without letting the big dappled-gray gelding out, and closes the half-door behind him.

Dar, alerted by Lanisen’s halting progress, peers over the divide between the stalls, his height making this rather easier than it might otherwise be. He sets the comb aside. “Ah-”

Lanisen has already sagged against the gelding’s warm bulk, obviously thinking himself alone. At Dar’s voice, he straightens immediately, turning toward the source of the sound. “My lord,” he says after a beat, and bows, steadying himself on the horse’s shoulder.

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tectonic shift

Lanisen’s Quarters
Castle Anvard

You stand in a cozy room. A small arched window adorns the curving outer wall. One corner of the space holds a narrow bed with warm woolen blankets. Nearby are a basin and pitcher for cleaning up. A rug covers part of the floor, adding warmth. It looks like a comfortable place for Lanisen to live.

Someone starts pounding on Lanisen’s door.

There’s a bit of a scuffle from inside, then wary silence. After a moment there’s a tapping noise crossing the room, then the door opens a crack and Lanisen looks out.

Colin stands outside, tapping his thighs nervously. He takes one look at Lanisen. “You coulda just called out…”

Lanisen lets out a breath, standing aside to let Colin in. “Landsakes,” he says, exasperated and shaken despite himself. “Where’s the fire.”

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proper introduction

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.

Lanisen sits outside Maestro’s stall with his back to the door and his stick at his side. His sling is off, and he has the book about Narnia open in his lap, braced against his updrawn right knee. On one page, if one is close enough to see, is a beautifully illumined painting of Aslan.

Colin slips inside the stables, looking over his shoulder for a brief moment before relaxing and striding down the aisle between the stalls. Coalblack whinnies a greeting to him as he approaches.

Lanisen glances up quickly as the horses start making happy greeting noises. He relaxes on seeing that it’s only Colin. “Hey.”

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world upside-down

Lanisen’s Quarters
Castle Anvard

This chamber is a little 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: rolling green, with a glimpse of the lake and waterfall beyond.

Colin holds open the door for Lanisen, helping him hobble in. There’s a grin on his face but quite unlike any grin he’s ever had before, one of wonderment and awe.

Lanisen isn’t the steadiest on his feet at the moment. There’s a dazed, incomprehending look to his face, and he’s still trembling faintly. His leg gives out about three steps into the room and he slides down to sit on the floor.

Arael stays close at Lanisen’s side as they enter the room, with her arm lightly wrapped behind his back to support him. Her eyes are wide and shining, and her face is serene, with just the littlest smile. She tightens her hold when Lanisen’s leg gives out, and while she isn’t able to keep him on his feet, she slows him enough to keep him from falling outright.

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Army Barracks
Castle Anvard

Lanisen is sitting up in his bunk, looking tired and bad-tempered and very very bored.

Colin enters the barracks, looking freshly washed and laundered with a clean tunic belted at the waist. Now that the dirt and blood have all vanished, there are various scrapes and bruises to be seen but nothing too serious. “Good mooorrrrrning, sunshine!” He crows, well aware of the fact that it is evening.

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the sun comes out again

Army Barracks
Castle Anvard

A wolf with thick black fur and tired blue eyes (Tempest) follows two soldiers closely as they help her wounded packmate into the area. A healer sees to the wound in his side and gives him a sleeping draft. She lays down beside him, still panting a little from the battle. She lays her head between her paws and huffs out a huge breath. Her fur is dirty and matted, sticky in spots.

Lanisen sleeps fitfully on one of the cots about halfway down the room, heavily bandaged around the leg and shoulder, and heavily drugged. He seems to be trying to wake up, low noises of pain escaping him.

Tempest lifts her head when one of the wounded sons of adam starts fussing. She drags herself to her paws once more and pads over to him, peering at him anxiously. She sniffs him carefully. Not smelling death, she places her cold nose in his hand, trying to help him.

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king’s council

Army Barracks
Castle Anvard

You stand in the barracks belonging to the Army of Archenland. Here is where the men reside when not on campaign. There are many bunks along the walls and at the foot of each bunk is a foot locker. The barracks is neat and tidy. Arrow slot windows facing out allow for defense and provide light.

Colin enters with another one of the men, who is helping him carry a wounded but very much awake Lanisen into the barracks.

Lune is working alongside several soldiers to tend to the wounded and get them situated comfortably. There are comparatively few wounded, all things considered, and the castle healer and his underlings exude quiet competence. The room is an urgent bustle, but orderly.

Lanisen has his jaw clenched tight and his eyes squeezed shut, trying to distance himself from the pain as Colin and the other soldier carry him in. His breathing is ragged, and he is deathly pale.

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