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.

Continue reading up is down

cryptic


Kennels
Castle Anvard


Garian enters the Kennels, his expression hard to read. He carries himself with an unusual air of uncertainity.

Lanisen comes down the stairs, taking them one at a time to favor his left leg, as is usual for him. He carries in his arms a stack of heavy woolen blankets, and he does not see Garian around them for a moment. He halts once he does, halfway down the steps, and gives him an uncertain look.

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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.

Continue reading loose ends

aftermath


Infirmary
Castle Anvard


The infirmary of Anvard is a long, bright room, a little over half the length of the Great Hall. It is shaped oddly, the northeast and southwest walls curving inward to accommodate the towers on either side. A partition that faces the door out to the inner ward bisects the room, separating the front area where the castle healers work from the back.

Three windows on either side of the door in the southeast wall let in a good amount of sunlight, especially in the late morning, and their sills are cluttered with the pots of several frequently used plants. To the left of the door stands a large cabinet, and bundles of herbs in various stages of drying hang from the ceiling. There is a long oak worktable to the right of the door, and a desk in the east corner is piled high with half-completed notes and books and other useful documents.


Colin stirs on his cot as he begins to pull from wakefulness and the movement jostles his neck. He winces and wakes from the twinge, a hand going to his neck. His red eyes open and he blinks rapidly quite a few times.

Lanisen has fallen asleep in the most uncomfortable-looking position. He’s still sitting in the chair next to Colin’s bed, but he seems to have slumped forward sometime in the night. His head is resting on his arms on Colin’s mattress.

Continue reading aftermath

beginning resolution


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.

Several herb-packets and bottles share space on the top shelf of the wardrobe with a pair of unusual gloves, and a rather battered leather satchel hangs over the back of the chair.


Reina taps tentatively on Lanisen’s door, glancing over her shoulder as she does so. “Lanny? It’s Reina. May I come in? I won’t stay long,” a small voice calls.

There is silence from Lanisen’s room for a moment. Then the lock clicks, and the door opens a little, enough for him to look out.

Reina glances surreptitiously over her shoulder, then gives him a tentative smile. “May I come in?” She holds up a sheet of paper. “I think we’re long overdue for a game, don’t you?” She gazes at his face, but her expression does not change at the sight of his fading bruises. She does not seem uncomfortable or pitying in the least, or so she hopes.

Continue reading beginning resolution

two steps back


Inner Ward of Anvard
Castle Anvard


A daughter of eve with large, expressive blue eyes enters the ward, a large water bucket in hand. Her hair is plaited loosely, draped over her shoulder. She lifts one edge of her hem to prevent it from gathering dust and approaches the well. She sets the bucket down and reaches begins drawing up water from the well, she raises her gaze upward, relishing the warmth of the morning sun.

Lanisen slips out of the servant’s quarters, closing the door quietly behind him. He casts a quick, watchful glance around the inner ward, taking note of the few people milling about on their own business before he releases the handle of the door and begins the trek across to the infirmary.

Continue reading two steps back

fickle fury


Andale Crossroad
Eastern Archenland


You stand at a busy crossroad outside Andale. The main road curves up from the
forest to the southwest, heading into the town to the east. A less-traveled
road winds up into the mountains to the west, and a smaller track descends into
a canyon to the north.

South of the crossroads is heavily forested, the main path disappearing into
the trees to the southwest. At the southeast corner of the crossroads stands a
tall walnut tree.


Sehsis does not seem moved by this, “Quite frankly I am not surprised, a stubborn child like you, it is said after all that as a single withered tree, if set aflame, causes a whole forest to burn, so does a rascal child destroy a whole family.”

Reina gasps, stumbling back a step, eyes wide. “So does a rascal child destroy a whole family? I have not… how dare… I never destroyed… that would be my father, you… you… you… aaaaaaaaaarrrrrgh!” A shriek of fury erupts from the girl before him, and without another word, eyes wild with a hurt and rage so profound as to be far too old for her, she launches herself toward him, one arm coming up, fist balled.
>>> Reina swings awkwardly at Sehsis with her fist barely making contact. Sehsis doesn’t appear to be too hurt by the blow.

Lanisen comes up the road from the direction of the town, limping slightly, red-faced with the heat. He keeps to the side of the road with the most shade, and it takes a moment for him to register the altercation going on up ahead. When he does, he pulls a quick breath and picks up his pace, hurrying toward them.

Continue reading fickle fury

the art of conversation


Outer Ward
Castle Anvard


Garian is in the Outer Ward, speaking to one of the guards on duty.

Reina comes walking in through the outer gates, leading a gray horse by the bridle, the steed, a plow horse by the looks of him, limping badly. Without looking around, she makes her way toward the stables.

Lanisen is making the rounds in the market, taking a good long look at everything as he considers the wares.

Continue reading the art of conversation

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.

Continue reading peculiar portrait

settling in


Infirmary
Castle Anvard


The infirmary of Anvard is a long, bright room, a little over half the length
of the Great Hall. It is shaped oddly, the northeast and southwest walls
curving inward to accommodate the towers on either side. A partition that faces
the door out to the inner ward bisects the room, separating the front area
where the castle healers work from the back.

Three windows on either side of the door in the southeast wall let in a good
amount of sunlight, especially in the late morning, and their sills are
cluttered with the pots of several frequently used plants. To the left of the
door stands a large cabinet, and bundles of herbs in various stages of drying
hang from the ceiling. There is a long oak worktable to the right of the door,
and a desk in the east corner is piled high with half-completed notes and books
and other useful documents.


Kairyn sits in the east corner of the infirmary, working at the desk stationed there. Glasses perch on her nose and she scribbles furiously on several pieces of paper scattered on top of the rest of her clutter.

Lanisen opens the door from the inner ward and peeks in. He steps tentatively inside and closes the door quietly behind him. “Um… ‘scuse me?”

Continue reading settling in