The dog padded toward the door but stopped several yards away and sat down. The guardsmen stared in suprise, then glanced at each other. An evil grin passed over their faces as they considered the possibilities. It was obviously not one of the Lord's dogs, they were always kept kennelled except when the he wanted to hunt, they bothered the ladies' cats. This was a fine specimen, they could get a good price for it alive and plenty of meat dead. It cocked its head on one side and regarded them. Slowly one started toward it, crouching and extending one hand toward it. The other hand he kept behind his back, clutching a heavy cudgel. The other man leered and took a pace forward as well. They never saw the dark shapes that detached themselves from the shadow of the wall behind them, only felt their steel in their throats. Easing the corpse back against the wall he glanced over at the boy. He was a quick study, althoughstill a trifle unsure with the heavy bladed knife he had been given, throwing knives were little use in close work. In the near dark his form could only be made out by the dim light of the flickering torch, a few rolls through the leaf-mulch had rendered the clothing drab and concealing. They had needed to be. Just after they had emerged from the treeline the two men he had noted earlier had come riding back into view. He had had to throw himself to the turf, dragging the boy with him, and lie motionless, his great bearskin looking just like a mound of earth or manure in the fading light. They had watched as they rode up to the gates and were ushered inside. They already knew that the guards were Darkfriends, the reappearance of these two seemed to confirm their status too. Two visitors instantly received by the lord of the manor after they had already stopped there earlier. They must have refused an invitation to stay and reconsidered once they were back on the road. That tickled something in his memory. Something about how they had arrived initially. It would come back to him in time. For now anyway it was likely that they were also Darkfriends, likely higher than the Lord himself. When they had entered and the compound grown silent, they rose and made their way cautiously toward the wall. On the far side they found an area more neglected than the rest, a crumbling hole from some ancient conflict let them through with ease. In the courtyard around the house proper there was little activity now that the sun was down, servants scurrying along trying to finish tasks before full-dark mostly. They hid behind a haywain until they settled for the night and made their way to the dog gate by the middens. It was suprisingly heavily guarded, if you were unaware of the nature of the master of the house. Having propped the men up and left the Hounds to guard their retreat they made their way in, glad they had left Seiera back among the trees, she lacked the grace to negotiate stairs comfortably.