Lanisen is just leaving the kitchen with a glass jar held carefully in one hand. The jar holds a little water at the bottom and a little bouquet of about every kind of flower one can find in early spring and a few you can’t: crocus, snowdrop, daffodil, cherry blossom, and several long sprigs of flowering herbs from the solarium.
Dalia makes her way into the kitchen, with her shawl around her, she looks quite a little bit better than the night before.
Continue reading dame megren
Lanisen makes his way between the market stalls. It’s the in-between time where midmorning turns into late morning and people start looking for lunch rather than breakfast, but Lanisen’s foragings look like they haven’t decided which to be. He pauses by the courier’s station and receives a letter with visible surprise. He shifts his purchases to be carried in one arm and unfolds the letter awkwardly to read.
Megren emerges from the stables and heads toward the market, making right for the pastry stall.
Lanisen reads the signature at the bottom of the letter first. He glances briefly around the immediate area, his eyes not rising above the level of peoples’ knees, and turns a little away from the general flow of traffic to skim the letter in relative privacy. His forehead knits, and he reads over it again before he folds it up and begins for the kennels.
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The garden at the top of the nobles’ tower is a wilder and less formal garden than the queen’s garden below. Mountain-hardy wildflowers such as columbine and aster are grouped in attractive clusters, growing in large planters of varying heights, and a large bank of lavender thrives on the west side of the tower, out of the shade of the solarium to the southeast. There is a small raised pool in the center of the garden, full of enormous orange-mottled carp grown fat and slow and tame with daily feeding.
A circular stairway winds around the exterior of the pool, leading down into the tower, and a break in the crenellated wall on the northwest side leads to the queen’s garden. Standing at the east wall, one can see down into the inner ward, and the curve of the wall on the west side from south to north overlooks the castle grounds below. The mountains of Archenland rise over the castle to the immediate north, the range stretching away into the west.
Megren sits on the edge of the pool and waits for a fish to venture close so that she can bop it gently with her fingers.
Lanisen climbs the stairs, a book tucked under one arm and his hands in his pockets. He hesitates briefly to identify the person in the garden, then grins and ascends the last few steps, coming around to join her.
Continue reading bop
Haft sits at a table, immersed in a large book.
Lanisen enters the library, shutting the heavy doors behind him with a soft ‘snick’. He crosses quietly to the shelves where books on Archenland’s nearest neighbors are kept, stripping off his gloves, and kneels to inspect a lower shelf before he finds what he’s looking for. He carries the book toward the fireplace and the deep armchairs there, his path bringing him near to where Haft is sitting.
Haft raises his eyes. “Afternoon.”
Lanisen veers away slightly in surprise, but to judge by the quick pleasant smile he offers a second later, this is only the mild wariness natural to him and not anything personal. “Afternoon,” he answers, ducking his head.
Continue reading history & natural science
Megren walks through the ward from out of the stables. She is well wrapped up against the winter chill, though it is not especially cold out today, just around freezing.
Dalia makes her way into the outer ward from the inner ward. Seeing Megren, she makes her way toward her. “Megren!”
Megren turns at the noise. “Evening Dalia! Got it off?”
Haft enters the ward from the north stair wearing his scarf.
Continue reading snowbattle
Lanisen has assembled a large number of the short, rectangular, blocky sort of haybale. They are stacked reasonably neatly near the door, and he is occupied with building them up into a large, semi-circular wall around the hearth, like last year.
Megren knocks triply and peeks her head in before pulling the rest of herself into the room. “Hibernation season already?”
Lanisen says cheerfully, “Oh, good, you can help me get the high ones.”
Continue reading building shelter
Lanisen dismounts in the outer ward and follows the general stream of knights and guards and servants who made up Prince Cor’s retinue on his visit to Narnia into the stables. He leads Maestro to his usual stall and begins the process of untacking and rubbing down. He’s almost gray with exhaustion and doesn’t use his right arm if he can avoid it.
Megren helps Sir Darrin dismount and get Dawn settled before relieving a stablehand of Swiftly’s rubdown.
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The kitchen yard is surrounded on all sides by a high stone wall, covered in climbing ivy. Most of the space is taken up by vegetable gardens, full of carrot, bean, and potato plants. A neat flagstone path runs between the rows, leading to a gardener’s hut in the southwestern corner of the yard. Several spades and rakes are leaning against a wall. It’s mostly quiet here, except for the sounds of the wind over the walls and bees buzzing. It smells earthy and organic, and it is a pleasant place to work.
A thick iron-bound wooden door leads into the kitchen. The entire eastern wall is taken up by the smokehouse.
Lanisen has brought his soup out to the garden to eat in the cool evening air. He sits on a bench with his back to the outer wall.
The door to the gardener’s shed opens and Haft emerges, a pair of shears in one hand.
Lanisen glances up at the sound, but doesn’t call out or call attention to himself.
Continue reading honesty
[A part of the log is missing here, in which Nathan asks Lanisen what he was doing in the library yesterday and Lanisen answers that he was there because it was cooler inside. Nathen is mildly aggressive and uses the wrong names; Lanisen is shifty and skittish and doesn’t like being in trouble, even if he’s not really.]
Nathen spears Lanisen with his eyes as they try to pin him in place with a look. “Do stop that! I’m not going to eat you.” Nathan sniffs then continues in a more mellow tone. “So you have a curious mind? I must say that is most… surprising. And welcome in this den of dullards and thick wits.”
Lanisen is being interrogated by Nathen and doesn’t look like he likes it much. He rubs his elbow and frowns a little uncertainly. “Um…”
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Haft exclaims, “In one example a knight said to another, ‘I will defeat!’ To which the other replied, ‘I will de-leg you.’l”
Nathen asks, “However it seems to find an audience with the more easily amused among the castle’s population. Perhaps something a bit more intellectual?”
Nathen turns to see Lanisen enter.
Haft says, “I need something in reserve for riddles with Lord Darrin, as it turns out. So yes, something a bit more intellectual.”
Continue reading skulking