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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double whammy


Cell 2
Castle Anvard


This cell is small, but not unreasonably so, wedge-shaped with a curving outer wall. It is livable but spare, a bed and a small table the only furnishings. These are both sturdily built of thick oak, too heavy to easily move, and fixed to the stone walls and floor with iron bolts.

The door is iron-bound oak with a small barred opening at the top to let in noise and air from the outside. Across the cell from the door is a very small window, fitted with glass so thick and warped and wavy that it is impossible to see anything clearly out-of-doors except for a general impression of ‘green’. On either side of the pane are iron bars the width of a child’s wrist, spaced regularly a few inches apart.


There is a knock on the door, and the voice of a guard from the morning shift echoes a little hollow, “Visitors.” Then the sound of keys in the lock.

Darius is laying on the floor, his legs arched and feet flat on the floor. Through gritted teeth and painful grunts, he slowly but persistently does sit ups. Sweat is beading his forehead. At the sound of the guard, he drops back to the floor and lays there, breathing hard.

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loose ends


Officers’ Barracks
Castle Anvard


This is the barracks belonging to the officers of the Army and Navy of Archenland. While it is smaller the the other barracks, the items here are of a higher quality. As well as bunks and lockers, there are also several desks, covered in maps and journals.


Garian is at his desk working, although his mind seems elsewhere.

Lanisen comes to the door, but stops there, hesitating when he sees Garian at work.

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waking up


Root Cellar
Middle Archenland


There is a gray, dusty smell to this space. It is not large: five steps long and four steps wide with a low ceiling. The walls are built of irregular stone blocks, and there are empty shelves fixed to them at intervals. Sounds seem muffled, and there is a smothering, velvet quality to the darkness.


Lanisen is lying motionless on the floor with his face to the door. The bowl of water is empty, but he seems to have not been able to eat the bread.

Darius’s footsteps are quick as he enters the cottage. Moments later the trapdoor swings open and Darius makes his way down the ladder. Upon reaching the floor, he turns and sees his captive lying on the floor. “Thirsty one… aren’t you,” he mutters, eyes falling on the empty water bowl.

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how to change the setting


Northern Trail
Middle Archenland


The forest here is beginning to thin out. The ground is dry and slopes off to the south. The trail winds among the crags at the base of the mountains. To the east the forest continues getting thinner. To the north the mountains rise up forming a forbidding boundary to Narnia in the north.

The trail continues to the east and west.


Darius directs the horse down the trail at a brisk pace before suddenly yanking the reins back, causing the horse to halt. Darius hops off of the cart and moves around to the side, flipping open the cloth.

Lanisen flinches from the sunlight, moaning. He seems barely conscious, and looks very ill. He has been sick in a corner of the wagon, but as there was not much in his stomach to begin with, there is not much of a mess.

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how not to wake up from a nightmare


Sepulcher
Eastern Archenland


This is a small dark room of dark red stone, with no windows or furnishings. Ragged remnants of once-fine tapestries hang on the walls, and grime dulls the fine marble paving. There is a smell of must and decay, though faint with age, and a few dead leaves lie colorless and desiccated in a corner.

A stone sarcophagus sits in the center of the room, its polished cover engraved with the name of some long-dead king.


Lanisen lies still on the stone floor, breathing shallowly. He seems to be awake, but he is not moving.

Darius slips into the Sepulcher and lights the lantern in his hand, closing the door quietly. Turning back to where he left his captive, his face shows some pretty heavy bruising around his nose and there seems to be a permanent scowl etched into his expression. He stands there for a moment, eyes darting between each bound limb.

Continue reading how not to wake up from a nightmare

how not to escape


Sepulcher
Eastern Archenland


The darkness here is complete and stifling. There is an echoing quality to the space, and any footfall or breath seems loud. The floor is stone, and there is a faint smell of must and decay.

A few steps in is a stone structure, about waist-high. The top is glassy-smooth, carved with ridges that seem to be letters or ornamentation.


Lanisen has not been idle in the last several days. He has somehow managed to get his legs untied, and he is picking methodically at the rope connecting his wrists to the sepulcher, breaking it apart one filament at a time.

Darius slips into the sepulcher, closing the door quickly behind him. “My friend! ” he calls out, maybe a little louder than he should. “How fare thee?” He chuckles, a twisted joy emanating from his words.

Continue reading how not to escape

how not to trust your gut


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.


Darius strolls easily along the lane, satchel slung over his shoulder and sword still hanging loose at his side. His eyes bore into the ground as he looks lost in thought.

Lanisen passes through the town, headed for the tavern on the east side. He catches sight of Darius and gives him a second searching look, a confused, uncertain expression on his face.

Vinri is walking somewhat behind Lanisen, a large satchel tucked securely against her side.

Continue reading how not to trust your gut

darius


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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[intensity intensifies]


Kennels
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?”

Continue reading [intensity intensifies]