up is down

Staff Quarters
Castle Anvard

You stand in a circular tower which serves as a sort of corridor. In the center is a stone pillar, around which stairs are placed, rising to the Nobles’ Quarters above. To the south is the Sewing Room. All around are small tidy rooms, the staff quarters. To the east is the Inner Ward.

Lanisen is locking the door to his room. He tests the knob once, twice, and slips the key on its cord under his collar, where it hangs like a necklace.

Dalia slips out of her room, locking her own door with a soft click and slipping the key into a small pocket.

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Kennel Loft
Castle Anvard

An unfamiliar voice calls up to the loft. “Lanisen? Squire Lanisen, are you there?” There is a note of urgency in the tone.*

Lanisen peers down the steps after a brief pause. “I’m here?” he calls uneasily.

A young man Lanisen might have seen on watch patrols lately looks up. “Squire, you ain’t to eat anything.” He wrings his hands. “I mean, Sir Colin says you ain’t.”

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talking hounds

Castle Anvard

Lanisen is moving quietly about the kennel, finishing the evening’s tasks. The hounds are calm, settling in for the night, and the bones of their dinner have been gnawed clean.

Avery opens the door to the kennel and quietly slips through, closing it gently behind her. She whistles a few short notes, adjusting a leather-bound book in her hands. Her lips curve into a smile when she sees Lanisen. “Oh, hello, Squire Lanisen.”

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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

There is a small paddock on the northeast end of the stable, and the far
southwest 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 is in a stall with the gentle gray gelding who is his particular friend, currying his coat and generally making much of him. He seems quite absorbed, but there is a deep furrow between his eyebrows.

Megren leads a blue roan into the main stable from the paddock. Though she does hold the lead, the roan steps obligingly after her like a duckling.

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all that glitters

Outer Ward
Castle Anvard

Vinri glances at the nearby barrel, just a few away from where her goods are displayed on her own. “Good morning, Master Haft,” she greets him before responding to the Lady, “Aye, that’s a bit of amethyst, and well-cut, too.”

Greta gives Haft a little wave before saying to Vinri, “60 is ok then?”

Avery turns back to Vinri. “Ah, yes. Indeed.” She looks at the rest of the wares, but she directs a question to Haft. “It’s been some time since we’ve last crossed paths. How do you fare?”

Vinri smiles at Greta. “Who’m I to keep your mam from a gift? Sixty’s lovely. And shall I keep the pin around for a bit?” She gestures to a simple white hair pin, also on display with a few necklaces set with pretty, if not pricy, stones.

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[intensity intensifies]

Castle Anvard

Lanisen is in the back of the room with a slender brindle deerhound, putting her through her paces. He has a bowl of meat cuts on the table next to him, and he appears to be trying to teach her a new trick.

Dalia opens the door softly as is her way, and calls out “Lanisen?” before stepping inside.

Lanisen pauses what he’s doing, turning warily toward the door as it opens. He relaxes at Dalia’s voice and starts limping forward to greet her. “Hey–back here.”

Dalia slips into the kennels, and closing the door behind her, with a “thump”. “Hello again. Is now a good time?”

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snap judgment

Outer Ward
Castle Anvard

Abrielle smiles at Avery. “I doubt that.”

A daughter of eve with fair hair continues walking through the ward, dodging a bit of mud that threatens to wreck her sensible shoes. She watches the man go into the kennels, then notices the other in the red tunic by the stables before she nearly trods into a puddle. She skirts around that, gaze going up to the Lady and her companion sitting nearby.

Avery rolls her eyes. “It’s true.” She holds a finger to her lips. “But shh, let it not be heard that the this Lady of Chesterton has /flaws/…” Her voice holds a bit of a mocking tone.

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good luck, old chum; good health

Inner Ward of Anvard
Castle Anvard

Peridan is walking through the Ward. He seems to be looking for someone.

Lanisen passes through the gatehouse, rumpled and covered in dog hair. He’s still got his stick, but though he still limps, he seems to be relying on it far less.

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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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