day’s end

Southwestern Archenland

Arael walks along one of the garden rows with a bouquet of late summer flowers tucked into her arm.

Lanisen and Colin can be seen walking in the vineyard down in the valley in the early evening, strolling between the rows in no particular hurry, talking. It’s still enough that their voices can be heard for some distance, but the words are unclear.

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Outer Ward
Castle Anvard

The outer ward of Castle Anvard is a busy, bustling place, with market stalls and the smithy, stables, and kennels lining the outer walls. There are stairs leading to the gate towers on the northern and southern corners of the outer curtain. To the east are the outer gatehouse and the road leading into the realm of Archenland, and to the west another gate leads to the the inner ward and the main keep of Anvard.

The snow has been mostly cleared out of the center of the ward and gathered into several waist-deep piles up against the walls. A large bonfire of fragrant wood, kept burning bright and hot at all hours of the day and night, occupies the open space. Festive greenery hangs all around, amid the icicles.

Myles leads his horse, saddled and geared for the hunt, out of the stable. His squire comes behind him, leading his own horse. Both are dressed warmly, and Myles calls out some high-spirited jest over his shoulder as they approach the bonfire.

Arael walks in beside Lord Sten, very well bundled up. Her cheeks are rosy and her expression is animated as she replies to him.

Aravis leads a dark grey hunting horse from the stables, dressed lightly enough to ride swiftly but still stay warm. A red scarf is draped over her shoulders and over the lower half of her face.

Lune stands near the bonfire with a group of his attendants, dressed warmly for the hunt. He seems in high spirits, chatting with everybody, and his loud, booming laugh rings out frequently.

Continue reading yuletide


Castle Anvard

The Library of Anvard rises around you. Reddish wooden pillars like twisted tree-trunks support the roof at even intervals, long bookcases in rows between them. The room is warmly lit by a multitude of round hung lamps, like globular fruit. The air is heavy with the sweet and musty smell of books, old and new. Hundreds of volumes line the shelves, and a few spaces between trunks have been left open for tables at which to reading and write. Thick pillar candles can be used to bring a little more yellow light to late-night researchers in these places.

The room appears to be well-dusted and well-kept, its contents carefully maintained and repaired throughout the years.

Lanisen has hidden himself away in one of the high-backed overstuffed chairs by the fireplace. He has a book, but keeps nodding over it.

Arael enters from the hallway and then pauses inside the door as she looks back and forth at the rows of bookshelves. After a moment, she fixes on one shelf and makes her way toward it.

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kittens and tea parties

Cassandra’s Quarters
Castle Anvard

Cassandra is sitting in her bed, looking still listless. Her food is barely touched.

Lanisen knocks on the door in the early afternoon.

Cassandra doesn’t call or anything. There is just silence.

Lanisen calls through the door after a moment, “Cass? It’s Lanisen, is it– can I come in?”

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In the Archenland Forest
Middle Archenland

A mountain forest surrounds you on every side. Gazing over the trees to the north and south, you see the snowcaps rising, though you can still continue a bit further before the foothills impede your progress. The wide valley you stand in runs east and west between them, a gently rolling, hilly place, covered mostly with grass and the rare flower.

It is an crisp early morning, the type that makes you want to just stay in bed. Everything is peaceful except Cass is no where to be found.

Colin rolls over, slowly waking up. He rubs his eyes and starts to sit up, glancing at the dying embers of the fire.

Lanisen is fast asleep, his blanket over his head.

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what’s next

Colin’s Suite
Castle Anvard

Arael sits in a chair near the window. One foot is tucked up under her, and she is squinting at the page of a book that is open in her hands.

Lanisen is quite still, curled up on his side on the floor near the hearth. He is cocooned in a vast warm blanket, even his face covered, and has taken a cushion from a chair for a pillow. As the morning passes, he begins to shift and stir, restless.

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foggy morning

Inner Ward of Anvard
Castle Anvard

Lanisen leaves the kitchen in the early morning, a hunk of buttered brown bread in his hand. His limp is more pronounced than usual, either because it is exacerbated by the chill or because the ward is still too quiet for him to bother hiding it. It is very foggy.

Arael comes walking out of the hallway that leads to the library. She holds a book in her hands, and a light wrap is thrown across her shoulders. Her pace is brisk, but then she pauses for a moment and squints as she peers right and left through the fog.

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relief troops

Castle Anvard

Lanisen is cleaning. The kennels look astonishingly clean already, literally gleaming in places where the soap-water hasn’t dried, but he’s standing on a chair with a damp rag hanging out of his back pocket, dusting and re-ordering the top shelves along the west wall.

Arael opens the door and peers inside. Upon spotting Lanisen, she turns and murmurs something to someone standing outside, then slips inside and shuts the door behind her. She looks tired, and probably a little disheveled, but is dressed relatively respectably.

Continue reading relief troops

never joke about pie

Carmichael Lodge
Western Archenland

The Carmichael Lodge is not an ostentatious building. The focal point appears to be a small woodburning stove, which lends light and warmth to the room. The wooden walls are whitewashed and bare, but for several sconces. The woodplank floor is swept clean and there is a fairly tidy desk sitting beside a doorway that appears to open into a hallway. Sitting at the desk is a young man with blonde hair.

Lanisen is kneeling by the stove, holding one of his boots open to the heat.

Colin comes in from outside, stamping his feet to knock snow from his boots. “Oh hey, morning Lanisen. Sleep well?”

Lanisen sticks his hand into the boot, makes a face, and holds it up to the heat again. “Oh, hey,” he says as Colin enters. “Yeah, how ’bout you?”

Continue reading never joke about pie