You stand amid the busy northern half of Anvard’s open air market. These stalls and booths sit inside the outer curtain, and add to the commotion of the outer ward. People hurry back and forth to the Tanner’s Booth, Archery Equipment Shop and the Seamstess’ Shop, but stop to greet each other with a hearty hello, or a bit of gossip.
You can go: Outer Ward <SW>, Archery Equipment Shop <1>, Seamstress Shop <2>, Tanner’s Booth <3>, Potter’s Stall <4>
Dalia comes walking into the northern market from the outer ward.
In a corner of the market, a group of Coghill stonemasons has set up shop, selling small and medium sized stone scupltures. There are birdbaths and lawn ornaments set up next to a table, and small, detailed knickknacks on the table itself. A nearby wagon contains straw-filled crates and more of the same stoneworks. Lorcan, his brown hair reaching mid-back now and tied back in a low bun, oversees the sales, while a few of the younger journeyman and apprentices assist.
Dalia enters the northern market, already abuzz with merchants and customers alike. She makes her way carefully with many appologies through the press of people, her eyes lighting up when she sees the group from Coghill. Picking up her pace, she makes her way hurriedly towards the shop.
Lorcan points a customer to a few items on the table, nodding. “My apprentice, yes,” he can be heard to say, in answer to her question. The woman brushes a gnarled hand through white hair and picks up a palm-sized carving of a robin. She says something else and then pulls out a few coins. Lorcan lets one of the others wrap the robin up for her as he counts the coins and puts them away.
Dalia exclaims, “Cousin! You’ve arrived early!” Dalia calls. ”
Lorcan looks up at the sound of his name and gives a faint smile. “Dalia.” He comes around the table to greet her. “Aye, so we did. Made good time on the road and thought we’d get to selling right away.”
Dalia exclaims, “So I see! The market is fairly buzzing with activity. How have you been? And Aunt Adelaide?””
Lorcan looks about them and nods, his gaze resting on his guildmembers and their work with a quiet pride. “Busy,” he says, turning back to Dalia. “Well though. Mother is well, too, as ornery as ever. And you?”
Dalia laughs as Lorcan replies. “I’ve been well myself, busy as well. I’ve been meaning to get over to Coghill and see her again. Perhaps Milady will give me leave this christmas.”
Lorcan says, “She’d like that, for certain. You’re welcome as always.”
Dalia takes a deep breath. “It’s good too see you. It seems like it’s been such a while.
Dalia eats a chunk off of a really delicious-looking loaf of bread.
Lorcan says, “You too.” He steps to the side, out of the way of a few customers. “You know I’ll have to ask you for all the news, of course, or Mother will never let me hear the end of it.”
Dalia smiles, “Of course.”
Lorcan smiles a bit in return. “I’m obliged to you, then, cousin, for my future peace of mind.”
Dalia pauses thoughtfully. “There’s not much that I can think to tell. Unless you think Aunt would consider a new litter of puppies in the kennel exciting and a guardsman joining the guard. There was quite a bit of bother after the attack. But I believe those responsible are locked away and the lords have seen to them. I may have mentioned something about it in my letter. Though it seems sometime ago already.”
Lorcan says, “Ah, you know my mother. She considers every tiny detail of these things exciting.” He brushes a loose strand of hair behind his ear. “I’m just glad it’s all settled down around here, after that bother last year.”
Dalia nods, replying with a sigh. “As am I.”
Dalia says, “There was a small gathering in the village recently to refurbish some of the older homes, and I believe I heard the possibility of some new arrivals to the Andale.”
Lorcan motions back to the table. “Would you like to see what we’ve brought? None of it’s commissioned work, but every piece is unique.”
Lorcan nods at her added news. “Anyone exciting?”
Dalia says, “I’d love too.” She moves back towards towards the table, so Lorcan can show her what the craftsmen and apprentices have made. “Hmm, I’m not certain. I’ve not spoken with them much. After last year, I suppose anyone can be exciting who isn’t causing trouble.”
Lorcan says wryly, “I’m of a like mind on that, but all the time, not just after last year.”
Dalia chuckles. “Fair Point, Cousin.”
Dalia looks over some of the smaller carvings, picking up a faun. “And did you know we had Narnians here as well too?”
Lorcan’s mouth curves up on one side. He nods at the table. “We’ve brought a few examples from most in the guild to sell, idea being to spread the word about our work further than Coghill. I’ve some pieces from my apprentice, Bo, here.” He points them out.
Lorcan asks, “Narnians, eh?”
Dalia nods, “Talking Cats and Wolves, and their King and Queen were here. Or the younger ones, I think at least.”
Lorcan says, “Oh aye, after the battle. I did hear ’bout that.”
Dalia says, “I’ve always heard stories and them I never did think I’d get to meet them. The Queen was so kind and friendly.” She pauses, saying with a more somber manner. “And Aslan…. He was there too. Later, I mean. After the battle. I’ll never forget it.””
Lorcan listens silently, his expression serious. He rubs the back of his neck. “Not sure what one says about an experience like that. Sounds…once in a lifetime.”
Dalia nods solemnly. She turns back to the carving, turning it over in her hands. “This is quite good. Give Bo my compliments.”
Lorcan looks proud. “I’ll do that. He’s been improving steadily.”
Dalia asks, “How much is it?”
Lorcan shakes his head. “No charge for you, cousin, if you want it.” He motions at the wagon. “There’s plenty more to sell.”
Dalia smiles, “Thank you, Cousin. I shall be sure to spread the word of the good workmanship of the stone masons of Coghill.”
Lorcan says, “Well, I won’t say no to good word of mouth.”
Dalia looks down at her basket, “I should get these to the seamstress, not keep Milady waiting. Will you come to supper tonight? Mother would love to have you there.”
Lorcan nods, giving her a small smile. “I’d like that. Be along after we’ve cleaned up and the rest of this lot has settled in at the inn, then.” He nods at his fellow stonemasons.
Dalia nods, “I’ll tell mother. She’ll be glad. Aslan’s Blessings to you, Cousin.”
Lorcan says, “Till then.”
Dalia nods and smiles, giving a wave before heading towards the seamstress.