walk in the woods


Outer Ward
Castle Anvard


Megren sits on an overturned crate near the outer gate, dressed warmly with a small pack slung over her shoulder. She chats cheerily with Owin, who stands guard, stomping his boots occasionally against the cold. He is holding a steaming mug of something and seems grateful for the company — probably the mug and the company are related.

Maire comes out into the ward, wearing her cloak and her satchel crossed over her chest. She slips her journal inside as she walks. She glances up and catches sight of Megren and hastens her pace. “Good afternoon!” she greets Megren and Owin, a wide smile on her face.

Lanisen leaves the kennels, shutting the door behind him and jiggling it to make sure it latched. He jams his hands into his pockets, hunches his shoulders, and begins for the inner gate.

Continue reading walk in the woods

building bridges


Stable
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 unpleasant.

There is a small paddock in the east corner of the stable, and the far west 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 giving attention to a handsome chestnut gelding over the door of its stall. He quietly strokes the horse’s broad forehead and offers half an apple, which is accepted with good grace.

The door to the stable swings open and Haft enters, carrying a large sack of oats over his shoulder with a young child hanging off of the sack and shrieking with delight at the ride. Haft himself is grinning rather broadly.

Continue reading building bridges

bystander


Staff Quarters
Castle Anvard


Lanisen passes through the tower corridor, aiming for his room. He looks exhausted, with shadows under his eyes.

Cassandra is at his door, knocking quietly on the door.

Lanisen pauses a few steps back. “Here.”

Cassandra looks up, not moving towards him, “Hey.”

Lanisen answers, “Hey.”

Continue reading bystander

barriers


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.”

Continue reading barriers

unconstructive


Knights’ Practice Room
Castle Anvard


You stand on the chamber which serves the Knights’ Practice Room. One part is dedicated to hand to hand combat, and the rest of the area has stands for straw dummies. You can also see much of the countryside from here. On a chair near the door sits the old sergeant, Doel, who maintains the equipment.


In the early morning hours, the castle seems still quiet. However, there is one person up and she is attacked a target with great force.

Lanisen pauses at the door, listening with some trepidation, and peers in. He blinks. Continue reading unconstructive

social encounters


Kitchen
Castle Anvard


Maire leans a hand on the table her eyes drifting to where Cassandra is making bread. She sets another pot of water to boil over the fire.

Again, Cass doesn’t look up when she says, “Maire, I /know/ I’m pretty but stop staring at me.”

Maire scrunches her nose in Cassandra’s direction. “A smile would go a long ways with that.” she teases.

Continue reading social encounters

a series of unfortunate trainwrecks


Outer Ward
Castle Anvard


Lanisen leaves the kennel, heading toward the inner gatehouse. He looks exhausted.

Maire enters the ward, her hair completely undone, and her skirts covered in sand. She also looks tired. She sees Lanisen exit the kennels and she comes alongside him, careful to keep healthy distance between them.

Lanisen does not see her for a moment, but he starts slightly when she comes enough into his peripheral vision that he can see her, and gives her a quick guarded look.

Continue reading a series of unfortunate trainwrecks

blackberry pie


A dish covered with a lid is outside Lanisen’s quarters. When he opens the lid, he finds a slice of blackberry pie, the crust looking a little burnt. Next to the slice is a simple note. The handwriting is clearly feminine, all loops and whirls. The note simply says. “It is so good to see you out and about -Maire” The name is signed with a flourish.

distrust


Anvard Pastures
Castle Anvard


Maire remains quiet, not pushing the issue. Her lips press in a grim line and she watches a few of the horses. “On a day like today, I wish I could just mount up and ride away.” her words are quiet, almost as if she doesn’t realize she said the words aloud.

Cassandra smirks, “Running away is only good in theory. It is a hassle in real life.”

Maire glances at Cassandra, blinking once in surprise. She considers her words. “And in theory, I couldn’t stay away for long.” her lips tip in a tiny smile. “I’m far too stubborn to stay away.” she turns her attention back to the horses. She twists her hands in front of her. “To be honest, Cassandra, I think I am beginning to feel what you feel.” She doesn’t meet Cassandra’s eyes.

Lanisen leaves the stable, beginning down the path to the cave behind the waterfall. He slows and changes his direction when he finds Cassandra, but on recognizing Maire he stops uncertainly.

Continue reading distrust

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