Page 306: A Knight's Mettle
A Knight's Mettle
Summary: Hardwicke and Justin have a sparring match while other discuss exactly what it is that makes a knight.
Date: May 21, 2012
Related Logs: Tourney and Rowenna's knighthood logs
Justin Hardwicke Rowenna Anais Jarod Benedict Kell Jocelyn Saffron 
Tourney Grounds — The Twins
Grass and horses! Lots of knights!
May 21, 289

-Somebody- got distracted by his morning walk with a certain woman. It drew Justin away from his arms practice with the waster. So, since Ser Kamron had said he would spar with the young Terrick Lord, Justin has donned his armour and has gone looking for the Mallister knight. Though he's geared, he carries two long hardwood wasters tucked under his left arm and his steal cap under his right.

Hardwicke has only just recently dragged himself out of bed, looking a bit worn out from yesterday's victory and the night of celebration that followed. He's seated on the green amidst the Terrick tents, out of his armor with only breeches and tunic on, making his way through some breakfast. He glances up as Justin returns back to the area from his walk and jerks his chin in greeting.

The scandalous creature now known as Rowenna Nayland is already in the practice field, wearing a suit of fine maile, beating the literal and metaphorical stuffing out of a practice dummy. Having perforated the hapless straw man to resemble something more like a sieve, she ends the contest with a rather unsportsmanlike elbow to its face — knocking its head clean off. Behold, for she is mighty.

Anais seems to be in fairly good spirits, given the showing the Terrick knights made in the joust the day before. So long as she doesn't dwell on certain things, it's all too easy to keep her smile in place as she ducks out of her own tent, followed by the usual pair of Nina and Kincaid. "I think it's probably best if we leave some of them alone today," she says to the pair, starting toward where Terrick men and Nayland women are gathering. She doesn't place Rowenna just yet, but Hardwicke gets a broad smile as she skips a few steps to catch up to the man. "Ser Hardwicke!" she carols cheerfully. "You were /wonderful/ yesterday!"

Justin stops when he sees Hardwicke sitting over there eating, "Ser, I didn't see you ride, alas. But I hear you did us proud. I'm not surprised to hear it." And stepping over from his former path, Justin adds low, "Wanted to congratulate you on your victory." Rowena's whacking away on the pell set out into the field draws his gaze to watching her, distracted for a moment before he adds low to Hardwicke, "Have you seen Ser Kamron?"

The faintest of smiles crosses Hardwicke's lips before it fades away. "Thank you, my lady," he says, ducking his head respectfully to Anais. And again with a shorter dip to Justin. "Ser Kamron? I've not seen him since last night. I imagine he's not like to enjoy this morn."

The Lady Rowenna must have some sort of personal vendetta against this particular pell, for she gives the disemdummied head a kick for good measure, sending it sailing. Heaving a sigh of discontent, she pulls down her coif and wipes sweat from her eyes, only now noting the folks nearby. "Annie! Justin! Lovely to see you!" She bows her head to Hardwicke. "Captain, Ser, I heard your tilt was right legendary. Congratulations."

Anais almost skids to a stop when Hardwicke /smiles/. That's just…unfathomable, right there. But after that brief stop, she only smiles more broadly for the encouragement. "Heroic, even," she allows, humor twinkling in her eyes. "I hope Belle was happy." And then she'll let Hardwicke recover with some grumbling or blushing, whichever he prefers, while she turns to see Rowenna. "Rowan! Or- Oh, hells," she curses absently. "I'm sorry, it's just…set in my head that way, is all." She moves toward the other woman, taking in the armor, the practice, and the time with a faint arch of her brow. "Are you planning on joining in the melee?"

There's a hint of a smile and an inclination of his head for Anais, "Good morning, Lady Anais." Justin glances aside back to Hardwicke, "Indeed, I rather was surprised to see you upright yourself, and not hung over sick as a dead cat, Ser." Amusement is in his pale eyes, Justin not having stayed up drinking his weight in wine or anything else. "He said he would spar with me, is why I was looking for him." As if him being in maile and carrying around two wasters wasn't obvious enough.

Rowenna's greeting turns Justin's head back to her direction. He frowns when he realizes who it is, now that she's skimmed back her coif, "Ehm.. Lady Rowenna." Justin tries to make his disapproval less than obvious but it's there, in the flatness of his tone as he raises a dark brow at her .. antics.

"Very happy, my lady," Hardwicke says gruffly. He frowns a bit at Rowenna as she congratulates him and jerks his chin in a rather brisk acknowledgment that rather — lacks warmth. He is probably more obvious than Justin. "I'm a good deal older than Ser Kamron," he tells Justin dryly. "And more able to hold my liquor." This is probably not actually an accurate reflection of Kamron's alcohol tolerance.

Rowenna strolls over to the fence, her smile for Anais wide and warm. "I'll answer to either one, my darling goodsister. And a few less flattering things, besides." She slides a wry look at Justin's Rygar impression — Hardwicke she's quite used to, in the disapproval department. "Here to practice, goodbrother, darling?"

The young Terrick would probably not appreciate being compared to Rygar Nayland, even if he hardly knows the man. Justin only raises a dark brow a bit further at being called 'darling' by his half brother's wife, whom he really knows no better than Rygar himself, "Surely they would not allow you to compete in the melee, Lady Rowenna." Justin hasn't decided if he'll call her goodsister, yet. Jury's still out even on that one. His mouth is a bit thinned before he looks back to Ser Hardwicke, "I remember you beating the stuffings out of me when I was a lad. You up for it now, old man?" One side of his mouth curls as Justin goads Hardwicke, "You said yourself that you are a lot older than Ser Kamron. You used to teach me a lot."

The sound of whistling precedes Ser Jarod. As it often does. It's a battle march today, though slowed down to be make rather dirge-like. He's spent his day wandering the camp at the Twins, making some old acquaintances, though he's rolled back this direction. Likely in search of his wife. Or perhaps half-brother, or goodsister. Someone in this collective may be the object of his search, at least.

"Rowenna took part in the melee at my wedding tournament," Anais defends her goodsister with an upward tilt of her chin, challenging. "Granted, it didn't end well, but she still made a good showing." Turning back to Rowenna, she wrinkles her nose a bit, making a face at the boys where they can't see it. "You earned it, fair and square," she says quietly. "No one did you any favors."

"People are entitled to their opinion about my knighthood, fair goodbrother," says Rowenna with a patient smile, leaning on the fence. "But there's no rule which says a one must be a knight to compete. I championed my first joust as a squire, after all." She grins at Anais, laughing. "And then there was the melee, aye. Not quite so glorious."

"The rules are whatever the host wishes them to be," Hardwicke says in a low, grouchy grumble in reply to Rowenna before turning his attention back to Justin. "If you particularly care for a thrashing, my lord."

Justin eyes Anais, then says flatly to Rowenna, "What knighthood? You are not and never will be a knight, Lady Rowenna. Nor are you a Squire - certainly none of that in truth, only in falsehood." And knowing full well he's sure to make her wroth with him, Justin holds up a hand to add, "Not saying you aren't capable, to a point. But it /is/ a matter of honor and you have disrespected it." He turns, unaware that his half brother has arrived and might overhear him. To Hardwicke, Justin says, "Actually I hoped for a lesson, more than a thrashing. Though I'll gladly endure some of the latter if you'll give me the former, Captain."

"Who's getting thrashed now?" Jarod asked it a touch wry as he comes upon the group. On this particular point of the conversation. He grimaces. "All and sundry. Lovely."

"If Lord Frey wishes to spare his boys further humiliation at the hands of a woman," allows with a shrug, "I certainly won't be so ungracious as to argue." She frowns slightly, asking Anais, "Was it one of his sons I unhorsed at your wedding, Annie? My memory fails." She smiles thinly at Justin. "I served. I fought. I was knighted. I sat vigil with the Seven and took my vows. If concealing my gender makes me unfit and without honor, then I am in awe of all men who hold the title you deny me, good brother. Including yourself. You are holier than the Seven themselves."

"/Justin/." Anais shoots her best Erik Banefort look at that goodbrother, warning, before turning back to Rowenna. And tipping her chin up again. In that way that everyone should be wary of by now. "You know, Rowenna, I was just saying yesterday that if you'd ridden in the joust, I'd have given you a favor. The offer stands if you want to take part in the melee."

"He's right, my lady," Hardwicke says to Anais in a low voice. He looks rather pained at her offer to Rowenna, but he just shakes his head and looks back to Justin. "Well, I suppose you're dressed for it. I suppose I'll have to rouse myself enough to put on my leathers and breastplate." He stands slowly, scrubbing his fingers against his scalp and turning to duck back into his tent.

One more of the sundry joins the little collection of people on the green: one Benedict Lawson, hedge knight unseated by Andrey Charlton in the joust the day before. Whether or not he's managed to ransom back his horse and armor, he hasn't got either with him presently. Only a leather jerkin over his shirt and his sword belted at his hip. Benedict slows as he takes note of the grouping of (mostly) Terricks, brows lifting as each are identified. He slows, either because of courtesy or curiosity, and offers a bow. "Good day, sers, lords, ladies. Did I hear mention of the upcoming melee?"

What did Rowenna just say? It turns Justin's head around slowly, his eyes to narrow at her. He doesn't pay the slightest attention to Anais's speaking his name even in that tone, "I do /not/ hold myself holier than the Seven. Your words are blasphemy. Because my half brother chose to do what he -knew- was wrong does not dictate that the Seven favour it." Justin's tone has dropped cold. "No matter how good you may be at blade or lance, it doesn't make you a knight." Anger roused a little bit, Justin turns his back on the women to ignore such foolishness but he nods to Hardwicke and steps aside to await the older man's preparations.

Jarod eyes Justin long. Long enough that it's probable he has some rejoinder to all this he's stumbled into on the tip of his tongue. But to the trueborn Terrick he simply offers a somewhat formal, after clearing his throat, "How goes the day, my lord brother? Good to know what I think is wrong. Glad I arrived in time for that." The pair of ladies - some more than others - earn a slight grin. "Didn't miss a good show, did I?" He turns in Benedict's direction, faint recognition sparking in his eyes, but only faint. "Ser. A good day."

Rowenna reaches out a hand for Jarod's, though it's to Anais she speaks. "I'd carry your favor with honor and pride — though I hope you won't think it amiss if I carry my husband's token, as well. I've worn it beside my heart from my first battle and mean to do so in my last." She glances at Justin. "Calm yourself, good brother. You said because I told a lie that I don't deserve to be a knight. That I have no honor. I was only reflecting the standard your own logic set — and assuming, naturally, that you lived up to it. Your logic's flawed, but there's no reason to get huffy."

Justin is not apparently continuing that conversation with Rowenna. He ignores her for the moment, putting his own gloves on and then drawing up his steal cap to make ready for arms practice with a man he's not sparred with in some years. He glances aside to Jarod and gives him a nod but says nothing, in no mood for it. There's a lift of his chin for greeting of Benedict also, whom he doesn't really know.

Benedict offers Jarod a nod for the other man's greeting. "Ser Rivers. Or…" he flicks his gaze briefly towards the man's wife, "is it something else, now?" Glancing over at Justin for the man's heated words, the hedge knight tips his head a little to the side, thoughtful. "If it is not skill at blade or lance that makes a knight, nor strength in battle, nor the vow spoken nor the vigil sat, what is the ephemeral quality that makes one worthy? I hope it is more than a cock." He glances quickly towards Anais and offers a bow. "Begging your pardon for the crudeness, my lady."

Hardwicke emerges again soon enough, dragging on his leather jerkin with his breastplate hooked under one arm. He starts securing the breastplate, frowning at the lingering topic of conversation.

"I certainly wouldn't expect you to give up your husband's favor, no," Anais assures Rowenna with a wry smile. At Benedict's words and apologies, that smile quirks. "Oh no, no apologies needed, Ser," she shakes her head, propping her chin up on a fist as she watches over the fence. "Someone had to say it, and my mother would wash my mouth out with soap if she heard it was me, married woman or no."

"Tell Jace I miss him," Jarod says wry to Anais, leaving Justin be on that note. As for the melee, "We'll see how it plays. I'd count on gaining little openly on the Late Lord's field. I don't plan to participate myself. Perhaps in a year. I'd feel strange doing it wearing the harpy-and-crane, in any case. Still, sweet of you to hold my favor." He leans in to give Rowenna a quick kiss. As for the banter about what makes a knight, he shrugs. "The world is full of unworthy knights. Mostly excessively noble cocks. And Rivers'll do. It's…Ser Lawson, aye? I recall you a little, from Lord Tully's men during the war."

Rowenna laughs brightly, grinning at Benedict. "Hallo! Also a lady over here, you bung-tonguing twat — better fucking well beg my forgiveness, too!" And yes, she kisses her husband with that mouth. After, she steps forward to offer the hedge knight a hearty clasp of the forearm. "Rowenna Nayland. And you are?"

Ser Benedict's question, Justin deems to answer. He says quietly as he finishes adjusting his own gear as he awaits Ser Hardwicke, "All those things and more - but most of all, Honor. Honesty, fairness, integrity in one's beliefs and actions, not selfishness and deceit, Ser. And while I agree that many a man is called Knight who do not deserve it, others who claim it are not necessarily more deserving. We each have to decide for ourselves unless the Seven show us we are wrong."

"All right, my lord," Hardwicke says, ignoring the discussion of knights. He secures the last fastening of his breastplate and approaches Justin to reach for one of the wasters and put some distance between him and the main group, giving room for the sparring.

Since the melee wasn't planned for today, Kell decided to take some extra time to rest up his sore and stiff muscles. Seven rounds jousting against a champion of Ser Riordan's caliber and losing will do that to a body. He has decided to venture out of his tent in the Terrick's camp though, minus his armor, wearing only his sword, sheathed at his side.

Of course Justin gives over one of the well used wasters to Ser Hardwicke. He settles his own helm before he takes up the second waster and walks out to follow the older man's lead and set them apart a space. Now is no longer the time for talking so much as for him to be paying close attention to Hardwicke, what the man does, or what he says that is useful to know. Justin lifts his mock blade to salute the older man and await his signal to start, focusing.

"Aye, ser, it's Lawson," Benedict says to Jarod. "Fine memory." He quirks a smile as Rowenna comes forward to clasp his arm, and that clasp is gently returned. "Ser Benedict Lawson, my lady. But I beg no forgiveness from you. You played at being a man for how many years? If you're not accustomed to worse than I've said, then I haven't got one." Looking to Justin, the hedge knight nods. "My lord, I do not disagree with any of what you've said. But, if men may be knighted who do not deserve it, why not a woman who does?" He shrugs. "I saw Lady Nayland fight on Pyke. But for her sex, she was no less than any other knight, there."

Anais doesn't seem much bothered by the words flying around her head. Given that she grew up at the Banefort, surrounded by a small and decidedly unrefined port, it can't really be much of a surprise. In fact, she seems somewhat content, folding her arms over the fence rail and resting her chin on them to watch the fighting. "I'll be sure to let him know," she nods to Jarod with a small smile. "I'll be returning home through the Mire. Maybe you could visit him in the interim? I'm sure he'd like a chance to speak with you again."

Rowenna inclines her head to Benedict, looking rather touched. "Thank you, Ser." Then, smiling lopsidedly, she says to the hedge knight, "In that case, I don't suppose you'd care to dance?"

A bit apart from the main group, Hardwicke salutes Justin in turn. And then it begins.

<COMBAT> Justin attacks Hardwicke with Waster - Light wound to Right Leg.

<COMBAT> Hardwicke attacks Justin with Waster - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

Benedict considers this offer a moment, glancing towards Jarod and then back to Rowenna. "I admit," he begins thoughtfully, "I've never really thought about the etiquette when it comes to accepting the sparring invitation of another man's wife…"

"I think some space between myself and Four Eagles for awhile would make things easier for my lord father," Jarod replies to Anais. Unable to keep from sounding sad over it. "Though I'll write him. Perhaps he can come join me for a drink at the Rockcliff sometime. I do miss the town. Or to Stonebridge, if his leg feels up for it. In time I hope to rebuild myself enough that things won't be so raw at home." He still calls it 'home', out of living there though he may be. "We'll likely be in the Mire for a time before returning to Stonebridge, come to it." His tone's a touch curious, and he tilts his head at Anais, though the interplay between Rowenna and Benedict is of more interest. He snorts, but he does not make any move to halt that particular carriage. "Hardly for me to protest, Ser, just keep the armor on and I'll be satisfied." Instead he raises a hand, almost tentatively, to offer a wave to Ser Kell. Along with a high-pitched whistle, to compliment his greeting.

Hardwicke's main method of teaching is experience. That is: he hits his pupils repeatedly and expects them to learn from it. It's totally a valid method of teaching! Justin gets lucky for his first blow, though: he manages a solid swipe to the chest, but the Terrick son's armor does much to absorb the strike.

Jocelyn steps out from amidst the tents and leisurely walks towards the crowds and the fighting. Her maid just beside her and her guard a few steps back, giving her at least some privacy. When she reaches the fence line, she sets a hand on it and leans to watch the going ons.

Kell's wandering doesn't take him far or long before he finds the group of people he recognizes, including two who are apparently having a mock practice bout. As he begins to make his way towards the group, the Terrick Knight spots Jarod's wave and raises his own hand in return, a grin appearing at the whistling. Once the distance between himself and others have closed does he voice a greeting, "Greetings, Ser Rivers." He says in a rather good mood before bowing his head respectfully to Anais, "Lady Anais." A respectful nod is also given to Rowenna and then Benedict, "Lady. Ser." Finally, Kell turns his eyes to Justin and Hardwicke, not greeting the pair for the time being, not wanting to distract their practice.

The young, dark haired Terrick is well aware that Hardwicke is a seasoned fighter and Justin's going to take some bruises. But he's not afraid of it, watching the older man he hasn't sparred with in at least a handful of years. Justin does glance back once to Benedict, briefly having considered making a reply but it'll have to wait. He requires his attention upon Hardwicke or he'll be caught off guard for certain. Justin keeps his waster in the ox guard position as he steps to the side, starting as though to circle, but then he steps in and sweeps the tip in low and makes for the leg, to which he has contact. Hardwicke apparently does nothing to try and block and instead goes right for his chest, Justin's maile deflecting the blow even as he twists to not provide a head on 90 degree surface to strike. He side steps and tries the older man again, eyes watching the knight's eyes and what Hardwicke is looking at, and the older man's shoulders peripherally to telegraph his intent if Justin can catch it before the man's waster follows through.

Anais smiles faintly to the curiosity in Jarod's voice, lifting one shoulder. "Making nice with Lord Rickart," she offers in explanation. "I'm determined to make a peace out of this. I may not think much of Lady Danae's little ploy, but it's the perfect chance to try to convince your lord father and Lord Rickart that they can have goals in common and work together." She pauses, then wrinkles her nose. "To be fair, I probably shouldn't expect too much, since the /war/ didn't quite manage it, but I've never been one for surrender." She perks up as Kell approaches, smile easing. "Ser Drakmoor," she says warmly. "You rode beautifully yesterday. I trust Lord Riordan respected your prowess as well?" I.e. didn't charge you an arm and a leg.

<COMBAT> Justin attacks Hardwicke with Waster and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Hardwicke attacks Justin with Waster - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

Hardwicke is surprisingly light on his feet and difficult to read. He manages to sidestep a blow, but another swipe to Justin's chest doesn't land hard enough through the armor.

And it is at this point that Saffron Banefort hones in upon her cousin with the kind of keenness of a bloodhound. With stealthy steps, she approaches Anais and her gathering. It looks as if the girl will never be seen in mourning black again, and she is overdoing it now with a lemony silk dress and orange accents that, with her red hair, makes her look like a captured bit of dawn light. She pauses a few strides away from the Terrick lady, making herself known with a small cough and polite, "Lady Terrick."

Still, Hardwicke /is/ making contact and if it was a real blade, it would perhaps be more notable hits than a waster's bruising will do through his maile. Justin still thins his mouth, his thrust having skimmed past and under the older man's arm, missing the abdomin and making him move again to not be hit more soundly than the small contact made. Justin wets his lips, his left knee yet a bit stiff from his horse having dumped him down a muddy slope the day before. Hardwicke may not be telegraphing much but Justin's watching for any clues he can get.

<COMBAT> Justin attacks Hardwicke with Waster but Hardwicke DODGES!

<COMBAT> Hardwicke attacks Justin with Waster - ARMOR on Left Leg stops the attack!

"Ser Drakmoor," Benedict greets as Kell joins the little cluster observing Justin and Hardwicke spar. "That was impressively done, yesterday. Perhaps next joust, you'll be the one unseating the fabled Ser Nayland. Seven passes." His own whistle is low and appreciative. To Rowenna he adds,once Jarod hives his 'permission', "I'll accept your 'dance' then, my lady, though let us not crowd the field." He nods toward the Lord Terrick and Ser Blayne.

Look at him go: again Hardwicke dodges Justin's thrust, even if his own attempt doesn't land as hard across the younger man's leg as he might like. "Pay attention," is his instruction for the day. Helpful.

As Jocelyn watches the fighting, her eyes move from one member to the other. Her face gives away nothing to the outcome of the matches. Instead, her body jars a little when someone gets receives a blow, even if it is minor.

"Well, we can spend some time together when you're at the Mire, then. I know the place little myself, but I'll be happy to be among your escorts while you're there," Jarod says to Anais. If he's a little insistent on the point, he nods at the rest. "I just want it all done." He doesn't specify what he means. Just all. "Too much to hope to end it right off, but at least we're all talking now, I figure." He offers a flourishing bow and sweeping, "My lady" to Saffron, though it's still Kell that takes up the majority of his attention. The grin from the former hedge knight makes him smile in kind. "Ser Drakmoor. Well met. I heard the good tidings you'd sworn to Four Eagles. I'm just sorry I wasn't there to see it. I did watch your tilt against Lord Riordan yesterday. Best match of the day, easily, even if you weren't the victor. Seven passes, hells!" He watches the little match between Justin and Hardwicke out of the corner of his eye, though he's clearly more interested in what passes between Row and Benedict.

Justin felt the touch to his leg, making him frown, "Three touches to my one," so he's well aware of the older man's prowess. It's his only comment as he tries to stay focused on what he's learned and react quickly, without too much hesitation, yet also watching the other man to try and learn or refresh himself on how Hardwicke fights. Justin isn't getting flustered so far, making a bolder move suddenly for Hardwicke's face that drops the tip at the last in a feint.

<COMBAT> Justin attacks Hardwicke with Waster - ARMOR on Right Hand stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Hardwicke attacks Justin with Waster - Critical wound to Neck.

The first successful strike by Justin is noted by Kell and after watching the second exchange, he turns his eyes back to the others. "You are too kind, M'Lady." He answers with a grin for Anais, dipping his head again at her words, "I just wanted to make sure I did the House colors proud and not fall off my horse right from the start." Luckily no one dug pits on the jousting grounds. "I have sent the Lord Regent a message letting him know I would like to speak with him at his earliest convenience, I am sure he has a lot to attend to. He promised drinks after our seventh exchange so I assume he noticed."

The Banefort Lady joining the group is given a nod by Kell as well, "Lady Banefort." The Terrick Knight then chuckles at Benedict's words, shaking his head, "I highly doubt that, Ser. This time I think I was both lucky and blessed by the Warrior, I never thought I would have done so well against the Lord Regent." His eyes do catch Jocelyn watching off to the side but since she has decided to linger on the outskirts, Kell doesn't greet the Lady he doesn't recognize, not yet at least.

Kell finally turns back to Jarod and grins once more, "It just seemed right, after fighting next to the men for so long." Since the start of the Ironborn Invasion. "I am sorry I didn't have the chance to see you off before you left the Roost. And thank you, it seems rather unreal hearing about it, I don't think I even realized it was seven when it ended."

"I'd be glad to have you," Anais assures Jarod, straightening a little more still when she hears Saffron. Her smile is a little more gentle then, though there's some relief at seeing her cousin out of mourning garb. "Saffron," she greets, offering out a hand. "Rowenna, this is my cousin, Lady Saffron Banefort. Saffron, this is Lady Ser Rowenna Nayland. I told you about her, didn't I? The mystery knight who saved the day at my wedding tournament. More of a mystery knight than we knew."

Hardwicke is not taken in by the feint: Justin's blow does knock hard against his sword hand, leaving his knuckles stinging, but he follows it up with a solid strike to the neck. His expression is grimly disapproving. "Dead several times over."

Son of a bitch, that nailed him! Justin is startled by the blow that Hardwicke delivers, living up to the knight's given name aptly. The older man's waster catches him soundly in the neck and makes Justin stagger off balance as his wits are soundly rattled by the blow - luckily it is only the wooden waster or by the Seven, that could have killed him. "Shyte," he hisses, putting a hand up to the base of his neck on one side, then stiffly nods, "Aye," A quick breath, staying back and keeping a guard up even one handed until he's got both hands back on the waster, "Tell me how I could have prevented that, besides … paying more attention." A little sarcasm there, yes. And the moment he's asked, Justin moves in to use the distraction to try and land an attack upon Hardwicke ere the man can yet answer him.

Garbed as she presently is in maile, though with the coif drawn down, Rowenna opts to clasp and bow over Saffron's hand rather than curtsy. "Lady Saffron — what a pleasure to meet another of Annie's family. Your cousin is my goodsister, you know, so I imagine that makes us cousins as well, somehow. Though the genealogy does boggle the mind."

<COMBAT> Justin attacks Hardwicke with Waster but Hardwicke DODGES!

<COMBAT> Hardwicke attacks Justin with Waster - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

"Move faster," Hardwicke suggests. He sidesteps Justin's attempted strike, turning out even as he slices another blow across the chest of the other man's armor. A touch, really, rather than a blow.

Jocelyn's lips turns up into a slight smile when she notes Justin's knock against Hardwicks hand, then then Hardwicke's retaliation on the matter. Enjoying the training between the two. Taking a break from that sight, she glances over at the group that had formed not too far from her. She squints at the bodies, trying to make out if she knows any of them.

"My lady," Ser Benedict offers, dipping a bow towards Lady Saffron. He glances back to the spar in time to catch Hardwicke's smack to Justin's neck, and there is a small, sympathetic wince from the hedge knight.

Saffron turns her eyes first to Ser Jarod, and she smiles toward him as she bobs her head gently. "Good day, Ser Jarod." And her gaze sweeps toward Ser Kell, and she continues to smile. "Ser Kell, I wasn't able to congratulate you on your wonderful ride. You did amazingly well. You should be most proud." And now, her gaze settles on Rowenna. There is a mix of reactions in those pale eyes, and she clasps her hands behind her back with a bob of her head. "So far from home, I will take whatever family comes my way." Instinct draws her eyes down to the blade that is weighted on Rowenna's hip, and there is a flicker of interest across her face. Another new face captures her attention momentarily, and she bobs her head. "Ser Benedict."

"I'm sorry I left the Roost, Ser, and that we won't be able to serve together as Terrick knights," Jarod says to Kell. "But, such is the world, and I'll make of it what I can." At Rowenna words he chuckles. "I've family in all corners, I find. And mostly I'm glad of it." The blow to Justin's neck earns a wince. "That'll bruise. Down to the wind pipe, mayhaps." Of Benedict he asks, "Are you still with Lord Tully, Ser? Now that I think on it, I think I glimpsed your face in the common house, when his man was down in Stonebridge a bit ago."

Justin's pale grey eyes narrow a touch, "I'm fast," he says between gritted teeth, evading getting a sound cracking of his ribs and Hardwicke evading his own blow entirely. "It wasn't what I was asking." He may be remembering how much he dedested his lessons with Hardwicke when he was a boy, and how unhelpful they seemed, frustrating. It's no time to be distracted by that just now. Justin's eyes are sharp and he doesn't press the older man this time, letting Hardwicke come at him that he can try and watch better.

<COMBAT> Justin attacks Hardwicke with Waster but Hardwicke DODGES!

<COMBAT> Hardwicke attacks Justin with Waster - ARMOR on Right Hand stops the attack!

"You asked for something you could do other than pay more attention," Hardwicke says flatly. He raps his waster smartly against Justin's hand pointedly and refuses to be hit.

"Thank you, Lady Banefort, it was as much my steed's abilities as was mine." Kell says with an appreciative smile and nod to Saffron, admitting that the horse gifted to him by Lord Jerold is certainly one more fit for jousting than the one he use to have. As for Jarod's apology, the Terrick Knight shakes his head, "No need to apologize, Ser. Sometimes things aren't just meant to be, but whether you wear the colors or not, does not make you a different man than the one I've fought beside many atimes."

He does manage to brush off the blow mostly with his arm guard and hand rather than get his hand stunned hard enough to drop the waster. Justin's right hand already has a scrape along the side of it when he landed hard from his horse going down. "Yeah," Very helpful, Hardwicke, as always. Justin prefers not to talk much, but go for the legs this time! Unless it's another attempt at a feint.

<COMBAT> Justin attacks Hardwicke with Waster - ARMOR on Left Arm stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Hardwicke attacks Justin with Waster - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

"No longer, ser," Benedict answers Jarod's query. "My squire and I served as escort to Lord Blackwood on his way to Stonebridge, but that was the conclusion of my contract with House Tully. Now I am adrift, again. It is the way of things." With a nod towards Kell he adds, with a wry smile, "As I am sure you remember from your own freelance days, ser."

Anais notes that look at Rowenna's sword, a faint smile quirking, before she shifts a bit to shield the next conversation from the others, voice low as she speaks quietly with Saffron.

Hardwicke just smiles in that grim, merciless sort of way that is entirely unbothered by Justin's aggravation. He doesn't manage to dodge yet another thrust of the waster, though his arm doesn't take more than a light bruising, and he gives as good as he gets with another strike against Justin's chest.

He still doesn't quite evade Hardwicke's attack, but Justin does brush some contact - not solid enough, though. His breathing up with the exertions, the younger man doesn't hesitate the slightest as they engage and follows up at once with an attempt at an aggressive move to try and give Hardwicke a good knock to the head while he's in close rather than disengaging and guarding for a new attack. Justin doesn't even try to hit the Knight with the blade, but uses the cross piece thrust right at Hardwicke's head like a hammer!

<COMBAT> Justin attacks Hardwicke with Waster but Hardwicke DODGES!

<COMBAT> Hardwicke attacks Justin with Waster - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

Jocelyn shields her eyes with a raises of her hand, But she cant make out if she knows anyone from the group. So, she turns back to the fighting in front of her, leaning against the fence. "M'Lady…" her maid starts and moves in closer to say something quietly to her. Inclining her head she nods her head again and glances back at the group once more, then back at the fighting. "It is entirely possible." she says to her maid.

"Indeed, Ser. Life of a Hedge Knight wasn't easy, but easy or not, you still have a choice on how you live it, no matter what others may think of you." Kell says in response to Benedict's words. Some would call Hedge Knights in more degrading fashion, like Robber Knight, but to him, a knight is a knight, highborn or low.

The strawberry-haired Banefort quirks up a bit at the whisper that comes to her ear, and she tilts her head to shield the whisper. She then meets her cousin's eyes, and she offers a small shrug of her shoulders. "Hope is not lost, Annie." Though, there is something in her tone that has that steely Banefort quality that suggests she's also not going to give in quite so easily either. Then her eyes shift back to Lady Rowenna. "You should be careful, Lady Rowenna… you are going to start a fashion statement with that sword belt of yours." And indeed, there is something of small envy in her words though she continues to smile good naturedly.

Hardwicke just barely manages to evade the knock against his head, though it grazes off his shoulder. He snorts, thick and dry, at Justin's boldness, and presses in again with sudden speed to strike.

The blow to his neck is not forgotten and it hurts, aching with a throbbing that is distracting. Justin tries to ignore it and the pain that leaches from it all the way down his back and to his gut. His sudden little trick didn't work though, Hardwicke is apparently too seasoned a fighter to not to see it coming, or something, ducking and thumping Justin's mail in his chest, even if it's not a sound hit either. At least Justin's not taking a total thrashing every time, just that hit to his neck and collar so far. Whatever the conversations going on around them by those who are watching, Justin' isn't paying attention.

Sweat stings his eyes. Sucking in breath, he half steps back to bring up his guard and watch Hardwicke more warily.

<COMBAT> Justin attacks Hardwicke with Waster but Hardwicke DODGES!

<COMBAT> Hardwicke attacks Justin with Waster - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

Rowenna chuckles, smiling wryly at Saffron. "You're kind, Lady Saffron, but I hardly think so. I'm not sporting the entire ensemble today — which usually involves a great many scrapes, cuts, and swollen bruises."

"He needs to keep his guard up," Jarod mutters, eyes narrowing as he watches the match between Justin and Hardwicke with a more studious eye. And a sympathetic one. He's taken a few beatings from Ser Blayne himself, in his day. The muttering between the Banefort girls is missed, though perhaps that's for the best. Though Saffron's comment about 'fashion statements' draws a frown. "A sword is not an accessory, my lady. It is a tool, and very dangerous in the hands of one who's un or under-trained. More to themselves than anyone else." His approval of warrior women is, apparently, very specific and limited. To Benedict he says, "I would say Lord Terrick is probably looking for good men, but he has little coin to afford them. Perhaps you might find employ with the Mallisters, or the men of the Groves." Kell's words earn a smile, a grateful one. "In some ways I almost miss the armies. Honorable friends and even honorable enemies, if you were lucky some days. Peace makes it harder to trust some men. Though not you, of course, Ser Drakmoor."

<COMBAT> Justin attacks Hardwicke with Waster - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Hardwicke attacks Justin with Waster - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Justin attacks Hardwicke with Waster - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Hardwicke attacks Justin with Waster - ARMOR on Right Leg stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Justin attacks Hardwicke with Waster - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Hardwicke attacks Justin with Waster - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Justin attacks Hardwicke with Waster and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Hardwicke attacks Justin with Waster - ARMOR on Right Arm stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Justin attacks Hardwicke with Waster but Hardwicke DODGES!

<COMBAT> Hardwicke attacks Justin with Waster and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Justin attacks Hardwicke with Waster but Hardwicke DODGES!

<COMBAT> Hardwicke attacks Justin with Waster - Moderate wound to Neck.

Jocelyn turns her head once more when she hears a name being spoke. "Well, Gilda, you may have been right after all." she murmurs to her maid and turns for the group. Walking slowly towards them she comes around to stop not far from, Rowenna, "Lady Rowenna?" She asks, her eyes lift in question, "Lady Rowenna Nayland? Yes?" A small smile forms on the girls lips.

Blows exchange between the men, and Hardwicke continues to prove himself more a teacher through action than speaking. They trade some bruises, to be sure, but in the end, the knight gets another solid blow against the younger man's neck. "Enough," he says. "I think that's enough dying for you for one day."

"Aye, perhaps," Benedict agrees with a small nod, leaving Jarod's words to chastise Saffron but keeping himself wholly out of doing so. "Lord Terrick doesn't fight poorly. Just impatiently," is his opinion on the sparring session. "I had considered presenting myself to the Groves, Ser Rivers. I served them once when I was newly knighted. Perhaps they'd see value in having me back."

Anais may be glad that Saffron hasn't given hope…but she also seems more than a little wary of just what that may mean. "Good," is all she says, though. Even if Saffron gets the eye afterwards. Luckily for her, though, Jocelyn approaches, and Anais is easily distracted by new people. The polite, friendly smile is a conditioned response, apparently.

Well, if nothing else, Justin's getting a serious workout! He's sore, and it's starting to show that he's not at his best as the sparring continues. He is managing to hold the older man off, but consistently Hardwicke grazes him and Justin is unable to nail a sound hit. And he's having some trouble with that left side, be it the deep wound he took by the Ironborn in months back or his strained knee from yesterday, Justin doesn't get his waster up fast enough to block Hardwicke's aggressive attack, landing another hit to his neck.

This time, even if the hit isn't quite as hard as the first, it's to the same area on the same side! Justin's left knee buckles and he goes down into the grass, still managing to keep his blade up to try to block or foul Hardwicke's legs and not giving up - well, at least until the older man calls a halt.

Then, and only then, does Justin lower his waster and tip his head back to suck for breaths, half stunned out of his wits with pain. No, he's not saying a thing. Not until his head clears a bit.

The tall, dark-haired woman in maile blinks a few times as she's addressed, as though trying to place Jocelyn, but smiles readily and inclines her head. "For good or ill," she affirms. "Please forgive me… have we met?"

Kell also remains silent as Jarod speaks his words of wisdom and safety or Saffron, not wanting to add words on what he feels himself though from the looks of it, the Terrick Knight appears to be in full agreement about how dangerous swords can be. When Jocelyn approaches, Kell studies the Lady for a moment and inclines his head respectfully in her direction, though not saying much since she is here for a specific someone.

The Banefort raises a hand gently at Jarod's words, and she nods her head. "You are quite right, Ser Jarod… my father said something quite similar in tone and meaning when he caught me swinging about one of his training blanks. My words were meant to be a lighter way to comment that others may try to follow in your Lady wife's footsteps." And she glances toward Rowenna, her smile softening a bit. "You would not turn down a young girl wishing to be your squire, would you?" The question is given in earnest. Then her gaze glances toward Jocelyn.

Jarod's jaw sets at Saffron's question to Rowenna. He says nothing, but he does frown with feeling. Jocelyn, at least, is a distraction. "My lady," the Rivers knight says, flourishing her a deep bow. Presuming she's of noble birth, perhaps, but it's a tourney. One can't go wrong bowing.

Justin lays flat on his back for a long moment, his left leg twisted a bit underneath himself. When he can blink his vision clear, he carefully rolls over and pushes himself to sit up, "That's … about how I remember sparring with you, Ser." Justin's voice is a little rough.

Hardwicke doesn't seem too bothered by Justin's quiet. He looks the young man over one last time before finally reaching to offer a hand to help him up. "Aye, well," he says gruffly.

Jocelyn glances at each member around Rowenna separately, offering a small curtsy in introduction, smiling as she raises completely once more, "It was many years ago, My Lady. We are cousins." she responds Rowenna, allowing for a pause before she continues, "I apologize for the intrusion. Although, I had to see for myself if it was indeed you. I am Ser Rygars youngest sibling, Jocelyn."

The hand up is accepted, though Justin is careful to make certain he accepts Hardwicke's offer with his own arm not on the injured side of his neck. "Thank you, Captain." Justin twists his mouth wryly, "Clearly I am leaving my neck open to attack, among other things. I must practice or watch, to improve." The waster tucked back beneath his left arm, Justin carefully pulls off his helm and skims back his coif. His dark hair is very sweaty from their efforts. He's going to be very sore by tomorrow.

"I'd turn away no young person, regardless of their sex, who earnestly wished to earn their knighthood under my guidance," says Rowenna, considering Saffron with a gentle frown — not of disapproval, but of concern. "Though I'd want to make very sure they understood what they were undertaking." She gasps as Jocelyn makes her identity known, beaming. "Cousin! Of course, it's been ages, how are you?" She steps forward to kiss her kinswoman on both cheeks. "You're not intruding in the slightest — well met, indeed."

"A pleasure, Lady Jocelyn," Anais nods politely to the Nayland woman, smile easy. "I'm Lady Anais Terrick, and this is my cousin, Lady Saffron Banefort. Recently betrothed to Lord Walden Frey." And if that last comes with a little bit of a pointed look for the lady in question, well. At least she isn't throttling her cousin?

"My lady," Benedict greets politely as Jocelyn approaches and speaks to Rowenna. Though Saffron's question and Lady Nayland's reply has Ser Lawson arching one brow waaay upwards before he glances over at Jarod. GOOD JOB, GUY. LOOK WHAT YOU STARTED.

"It's a tempting target for any opponent," Hardwicke says of necks in general as he helps hoist Justin to his feet before looking back to the group to see how it's changed.

"Lady Jocelyn!" Jarod says the name half-triumphantly. Like, it's a thing he has remembered. "I think your brother, Lord Riordan's, mentioned you. I've met your brother Ser Rygar but, if I may say, you look like you got the better of the blood on that side of the family." He crooks a boyish grin at the Nayland girl, green eyes bright. Though he's not really flirting, and even puts an arm around Rowenna's waist. "For my part, I am going to concentrate on regaining my honor. I doubt anyone would take a knighthood I bestowed seriously at present, but perhaps in time that shall change. I merely seek to serve with honor, best I can, where I can."

Saffron does not seem to be oblivious to the looks she is being given, and she glances toward Anais before looking back toward Rowenna with a nod of her head in acceptance and understanding. "And you may, My Lady… you have proven that a woman can be knighted and sworn, and can fight at the side of her lord." And Jarod is given a small glance now before she looks back to the woman with a softening smile. "I commend you for that." Though she does give Anais a small glance and promptly clasps her hands behind her back, though its hard to hide the threat of smile at her lips.

Kell also remains rather silent with the particular subject being discussed between Saffron and Rowenna, not exactly sure how to take in what is actually being asked. His best course of action would of course to not poke it with a stick, unless one wants a swarm of bees in their face. The Terrick Knight does turn his attention towards Jocelyn who has introduced herself as Rygar's sister, certainly thinking what Jarod just said about the better side of the blood. "Lady Nayland." He greets her again, this time with the proper name attached.

Hardwicke gains a nod from Justin, "Aye, though was an axe to my ribs that nearly dropped me, when we fought the Ironborn." If they'd hit him in the neck, Justin probably wouldn't have made it to Seagard. Lucky him. getting his wind back enough, he adds, "I won't forget the lesson quickly, Ser. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go and see if I can find something …. stronger than wine to keep me company." Yes, dull the pain.

Clasping her cousins forearms, Jocelyn leans in and kisses Rowenna's cheeks in kind. The reaction only seems to brighten her mood, "I'm well. Thank you." she glances over Rowenna, "I hope the same can be said for you. I'm delighted to see you once more." Her eyes shift to Anais at her introduction, inclining her head once more. "My Lady." she says to both Anias and Saffron. The reaction from Jarod has her lifting a hand to her mouth as a small laugh spill out from it, "I do wish someone would tell me why they keep saying that, but I'm not in the least disapproving of it." she says when he mentions she's gotten the looks compared to Rygar. One more her eyes are settled in Kell and she inclines her head to him.

Rowenna blushes faintly at Saffron's commendation. "I have at least proven a woman can do what a man can do, that much is true — including lie, and disappoint, and make a big clusterfuck from the best of intentions." She smiles wryly. "But hopefully, having proven a woman can be strong and skilled and brave in battle… the whole lying and disappointing part won't be necessary for the next girls."

"As you will." Hardwicke tugs at the collar of his jerkin as he heads back towards the camp. His face creases in a distinct scowl as he catches bits of Rowenna's conversations, his expression darkening, but strides on past without further comment towards his tent.

"Oh, well, yes… its important to be able to meet men equally on all playing fields… including the lies, disappointments, and — to use your term — clusterfucks." And because Lady Rowenna said it first, she's not apologizing for that one! Before she does end up getting throttled by her cousin, she turns to other conversation points. Saffron takes in a deep breath and casts a glance toward Anais. "I've received word today that I'm being moved to Stonebridge to be closer to Lord Walden during these… delighful" And the word is said with a kind of trying breathlessness. "times." There is a bit of a half-heartedness in her smile now. "If things go well, I might even be staying in the Tordane Tower."

Anais's lips quirk as she looks to Jocelyn. "Well, you do seem not only capable of smiling, but inclined to it," she offers in possible explanation. "Personally, I take it as a compliment when people say I look nothing like my brother Torsten. He's a miserable cuss. Though we love him." There's one in every family, isn't there? "Stonebridge?" she echoes Saffron, smile fading away. "Oh. That's." NOT FAIR. "Well. It's not so very far away, is it? And Jarod and Rowenna are staying there, aren't you?" she asks the knights.

Justin doesn't bother the others in their conversation. He gets Hardwicke's dismissal from his lesson and he turns to go and find something to drink. A nice pine tree should do to lay himself under and try to rest in peace and quiet away from so much gabbing.

"We're still figuring out how to live honest with all of it, for our own parts, my lady," Jarod says to Saffron. Still a hint of disapproval in his tone. "We'll see how that plays." Though mention of Tordane Tower seems to please him. "But perhaps you and Rowenna can get to know one another better. We're in Stonebridge as well now. I'm hoping to find lodging outside the tower, for our part, when we get settled. A place of our own, even just a room or two." He grins, rather doofily, at Rowenna. "If I can manage it. But I'm sworn to the Lord Regent's service, so I'll be about."

"Yes, well, I did not spend much time with my brother during my growing years. Perhaps that is the reason I smile more than he does." Jocelyn suggests to Anais. Was it a joke? Perhaps. As the conversation takes a turn, her eyes seem to focus on Saffron and her words and announcement of being moved to Stonebridge. She says nothing, just silently listens.

"It sounds as if you will at least have friends in your travels, my lady," Ser Benedict offers for Saffron's trip to Stonebridge. "May we all be so fortunate."

Further discussion on Stonebridge takes a momentary delay as she offhandedly comments, "Wait, didn't you always say that Torsten looked like my father?" And there is a small glimmer of amusement in her pale eyes even as she gives her cousin's hand a gentle squeeze. It isn't fair. Then she glances toward Jarod, accepting the disapproval with a slightly sheepish smile that doesn't necessarily need words to echo an apology — but maybe she will give them all the same when the crowds about aren't so numerous. She then looks back toward Rowenna with a small smile before answering Jarod. "As I said, so far from home, and now further still, I will be happy to take whatever family is offered my way." Then she looks toward Benedict, and she gives the knight a warming smile. "It will be better than traveling with Ser Sterling Sharpe," Saffron notes in casual humor. "He is about as entertaining as a sack of potatoes in a saddle."

"Yes, dear, but you look like your mother," Anais volleys back to Saffron with an easy smile and a glint of humor, reaching out to giver her shoulder a pat. Just then, a page scampers up to the Terrick lady, waiting patiently to deliver a message. Anais leans down to take it, then nods, smile faint. "If you'll all excuse me, though," she says, taking a step back. "I've a meeting with a Piper I really must keep."

Rowenna listens as Jarod speaks, catching his doofy smile like a contagion. "A place of our own," she echoes in a murmur, as though she rather likes the sound of that. "You know, we needn't just have rooms, somewhere. I mean… if Rio might see his way to granting us a tiny bit of land. We could build. Something with our own hands."

"And, I should go check back in at the tents… Mistress Morla can't be left alone too long or she'll start making the maidservants cry." Saffron curtsies to all present and gives general, but polite farewells before she starts to head back toward the pavilions. Appearing quickly into her shadow as she departs, her two guards — complete studies in contrast — bound after her. The pair engage in a brief, hushed conversation: "Do you think they noticed us?" Punbah says to Timmen. "Naw, s'good too… someone mighta noticed you wantin' to give Lady Rowenna your bloody favor," Timmen says. And the trio disappear around a corner.

"A landed de-spurred knight?" Jarod laughs. Though the idea seems to appeal to him. "We'll see what the Lord Regent says. If not now…I do like the sound of that, someday." He grins doofily some more, then clears his throat to the general populace. Trying to look vaguely dignified. "I should be seeing to my gear, actually. I've got a bit now, though just a guard's kit. It's something to build on. Pleasure all around, ladies, Sers." And off he will go.

"Lovely to have met you, Lady Anais." Jocelyn murmurs as the woman is called away by her note. "And to you, Lady Saffron." Watching as the two depart and turning her attention back to Rowenna and Jarod, offering a curtsy to Jarod as he leave the group as well.

"You know, paint an amusing enough face on a sack of potatoes, plunking them in a saddle might be considerably entertaining," Benedict muses before he bows and offers his farewells as the Lady Saffron departs along with the Lady Anais. Jarod gets a nod, as he seems to be on his way, as well. "I expect that means you must be on your way as well, my lady. Perhaps we shall 'dance' another time."

"Cousins. Goodsister. Everyone," Rowenna smiles at the assembly as well, taking a step backward. "I'm going to — help. With Jarod's gear." Is that what they're calling it these days? And off she goes, as well.

Jarod drops another flourishy bow to the ladies before he leaves. Jocelyn in particular, for her curtsy. He seems to enjoy the pseudo-performing. He actually twirls some as he turns to stride off, grinning broad as he goes.

The subject shifting to duty and such, even for a Lady, has Kell looking away from the group at hand as his mind strays off to somewhere else. He finally catches himself, pulling his attention back to the present, which seems to have the group slowly splitting up to their own tasks. The Terrick Knight nods to each of those that are departing, adding the proper respectful title to each person. It seems to be his turn to return to the Terrick Camp but before doing so, he dips his head to Jocelyn and then Benedict, "Lady Nayland, Ser Lawson, I should take my leave as well."

Jocelyn lowers herself into a curtsy once more as Kell says his farewell, rising with a small smile on her lips toward him before she moves to leave with the rest of the crowd. Glancing around her she notes the group has all but disappeared.

So it has, and Ser Lawson, noting the same, offers Jocelyn a bow. "I had bes be on my way, as well. See what my squire's gotten himself up to. Good day, lady Nayland." Courtesy so obliged, the hedge knight takes his leave.