midsummer’s eve

Castle Anvard

Lanisen is kneeling on the rug in front of the empty fireplace with an enormous wolfhound, brushing out the dog’s thick fur. Tufts of black fur have begun to accumulate in piles around them, and the hound looks extremely content, his tongue lolling out the side of his mouth.

Haft raps on the door, sticking his head in and seeking out Lanisen as his eyes adjust to the light in the room.

Lanisen glances up. He gets quickly to his feet, brushing fur off his shirt.

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breakfast buds

Lanisen’s Quarters
Castle Anvard

Megren can be heard bustling quietly around Lanisen’s room in the early hours.

Lanisen slips into the tower, shutting the door quietly behind him to avoid waking anybody up with the noise. He hesitates outside the door to his room, listening, then knocks softly.

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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.

Dar is seated at a table in the back with the ubiquitous stack of paperwork. The library is mostly deserted.

Lanisen stops at the door to speak to the librarian, asking directions in a low murmur. This done, he makes his way through the room, past the maze of shelves, into the back area where Dar is encamped. The uneven scuff of his left foot against the floor as he walks is the only sound.

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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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East Andale
Eastern Archenland

The lane here widens to form a square of sorts and has several carts sitting at nearby buildings. People hurry back and forth between the two busy shops. Handel’s Mercantile dominates the north half of the square, and the smaller shop, Verloren’s Found and Lost, sits to the south. There are several benches here for those waiting on shoppers and horses hitched to posts. toward the Herberg Road.

Lanisen passes through the town in the late evening, his limp evident in the gloaming. He keeps to the side of the road, nodding to the people he meets as he heads west but not initiating conversation.

Darius walks with his head down and sword strapped loosely at his side. One of the straps of the pack is slung over his right shoulder and both hands clasp it. Though his head is down, if one were extremely observent, they might notice their constant shifting as he attempts keep his surroundings in check.

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peculiar portrait

Servant’s Hall
Castle Anvard

You stand in the warm and busy servants’ hall. Most of the floor is taken up
by long trestle tables and benches. Candles in sconces on the wall light the
room with a friendly glow. At the back of the hall, a staircase leads down into
the storeroom. The only other object of note is a large wood and leather chair,
where the head cook often rests between meals.

The Captain is sitting at a side table on the far side of the Servant’s Hall with Reina. There is some salt on the table around a frying pan that has a variety of charred things in it. A bowl of salt, some various bits of this and that in a bowl, and a small bowl of salt, as well as a rag. There is a dry stench of charred items in the air, as if something has cooked too long and burned.

Lanisen enters the servants’ hall with a plate full of the sorts of things one might scrounge up from a large kitchen between meals: a piece of bread, a mottled red-and-yellow apple, and a slice of cold ham. He hesitates briefly on not finding the room completely empty, but nods toward the captain and Reina, and takes a seat at a table on the other side of the room.

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apples and oranges

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.

Lanisen makes his way up the stable’s alley with the aid of a stout stick, heading for a stall containing a tall gray gelding. He’s limping and leaning heavily on the cane, but seems to be getting along quite well. Once he reaches the stall, he transfers his weight to the stall door and sets his cane aside, murmuring quietly to the horse inside, which is really more interested in whether or not he’s got any apples.

Tyren slips into the stable with a hand behind his back – it could be presumed that whether Lanisen does or not, /Tyren/ certainly has apples – and moves to greet his horse with a pat, which is returned by a pleasant whicker. “Well hello, old friend.”

Lanisen starts slightly at the voice and turns to look for the source. He settles his weight carefully and dips a bow, holding to the stall door with his left hand.

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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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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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