Page 339: A Melee Of Squires
A Melee Of Squires
Summary: It is a bout of less than perfect skill. It's full of foul language. It's the Squire's Melee!
Date: 06/25/2012
Related Logs: Tourney at Seagard Logs.
Hugh Brynner Locke Wesly Veris Mystery Patrek Nicodemus Kittridge Tommas Rosanna Hardwicke Jarod Riordan Jocelyn Otto Rowenna Kell Lark Laurel Devra Nedra Martyn Anais Alys 
The Field — Seagard
The lists are prepared for a great number of both knights and spectators, the flat field already marked by the hooves of many practice-runs. It is surrounded by a rail, most of which borders only empty grass, where the commoners might stand and watch. On one side are stands built for the nobles, wooden bleachers topped with billowing silk awnings to help shade the ladies from the sun. At the centerpoint there is a raised platform, painted, shaded, and set with sumptuous-looking chairs for the most noble of noble guests. It is hung with the banners of House Mallister and House Redwyne, and many more are studded about the lists as well, to make sure everyone remembers who this grand affair is meant to honor and at whose pleasure they enjoy it.
Sun Jun 24, 289

Banners wave and trumpets chorus to announce the Squire's Melee; it is time for the combatants to take the field. The crowd is slightly smaller for this event, but there is a keen avidness to the betting pools. The smaller skill of the boys who are not yet knights, leading to greater upsets and more interesting stakes. The pitch has been raked clean and packed down once more.

Raymond Nayland is later than he should be arriving to the lists. There's what sounds like a high-pitched, feminine squawk, and the sound of a slap from behind one of the pavilions, before he emerges. Cradling a red mark on his chin and muttering to himself. "Riverlands girls are damned prudes…"

Jarod is on hand, attending Hugh for this, rather than the other way around. He hangs about on the sidelines, still wearing his bastard gold-winged heraldry rather than Nayland colors. He still moves stiff from his adventures in the melee - or perhaps from a hang over - but neither has done damage lasting enough to keep him from coming out for this.

Wesly is sitting, almost meditatively, on the grass. He's signed up, he's dressed and armored in his maile, and now stares at a thick, burning candle. He uses his fingertips to touch the melting wax, and examines how it runs down the candlestick with interest.

Ser Kittridge Groves stands with his squire around the sidelines, not heading up to the stands just yet. "Alright," he tells Brynner, "You've double-checked your armor? You've checked your weapon. You remember what we practiced. Just remember you haven't got maile on your arms, and neither do they. Get hacked at too many times and you're liable to drop your weapon. You'll do well," he grins, "And we'll go have a drink after to celebrate your first melee, however it goes. Right?"

Hugh steps out into the area with a roll of his lanky shoulders. He hefts the sword in his hand and grins. None of this meditation crap for him. He is ready…he thinks. Maybe.

Riordan is also here, and is also attending Hugh. And, though he was not out with the boys, he looks perhaps a touch hung over himself. "Just remember what we practiced this morning, Hugh," he is telling the lad. Which is ridiculous, he is so not a melee fighter. But hey, he's trying, ok? The slap turns his attention, and then he sees… "Raymond?" Without pausing, he strides over across to the Reach Squire, and scoops up Nayland in a big bear hug. "Damn, lad, but you're BIG!"

Moving with another squire clad in maile and the deep purple of tabard and tree of House Groves, is a rather tall and broad youth. Running a vambraced hand over his nose, Locke's eyes are focused in on the crowd for a moment, before he's turning and looking back to Kittridge and Brynner. "Oi. Brynner.." the gruff voice calls out. "I'll watch yer back, if you want. Figger we should stick together.." and there he's plucking up his helmet to place it on." There is a brief raise of a brow given to Kittridge, as if the other knight has anything to say to him.

Despite all the trash-talking and confident bragging, Veris looks nervous before he takes to the field. The blunted glaive held across his shoulders with his arms hooked over it, he twists from side to side a few times, stretching out, then down to his feet on either side. Deep breath in. Deep breath out. The polearm comes down and he taps the butt of the staff on the ground seven times, then it's time to go. No, one last thing. He pulls out a small stone necklace he wears around his neck - a jade, from the look of it - and holds it to his lips for a moment before he heads out. Whew.

At least he can be up and about a little now. Martyn has managed to make his way to the stands, although he's moving rather slowly. Stopping every now and then to let out a few deep breaths now, as he shakes his head. "Why did I come out today, again?" Moving to climb up into the stand now.

Attendance for the squire's melee isn't quite what it is for the other events, but Lark (and Alona) have made certain to get their place on the rail, front and center. Alona looks a little bored, but Lark is peering about, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, even more excited today than she had been for the 'grownup' melees.

"Because the event is likely to be interesting," Nedra says as she moves at Martyn's side, keeping her pace even with his every step of the way. "And, you remember being a squire, I'm sure you loved having the crowd cheering for you then, too," she suggests with a glimpse of a smile.

Well, better late than never, right? Pushing through the crowd to reach where the squires are readying themselves is the other Groves knight. Nicodemus mutters 'excuse me's' and 'pardon me's as he heads over towards Kittridge, Brynner and Locke. "Sorry," he says, a little out of breath, "Sorry." Offering Locke a faint smile he asks, "You ready?"

"Warrior with you, lad," Jarod says to Hugh. "Keep your guard high. Remember, if you're fighting two-handed, the sword's as much your shield as it is your blade. And don't be afraid to dive in their and knock some heads. Best way to learn is to get knocked down. Or, hopefully, knock somebody else down with you." The Half-Eagle has a particular fondness for the melee. He looks over at Raymond Nayland curiously, but he leaves the two brothers to get reacquainted.

Hugh nods to Riordan. This morning…when was that? What was he doing this morning? He has a blank look on his face as he sees the other squires. He is tall enough here to be with them, but he just doesn't quite seem wide enough. He sees Veris and lifts a hand to him. Also a greeting for Brynner.

Brynner gives a solid nod to his knight's words, eyes wide with concentration as he mentally checks everything off. "Checked my armor, Ser, checked my weapon," he agrees, sucking in a deep breath after and flashing a grin. A familiar voice calling his name turns his head, and the lad's expression shades surprised. "Oh! Tha'd be… tha'd be tops, ay? Show em what the Groves squires're made of an' all!" He's nothing if not enthusiastic, jumping up and down a few times under the guise of 'warming up'.

Rowenna Nayland, in a surcoat and breeches for this event, stops by Hugh's corner to clap the boy on the shoulders and ruffle his hair vigorously. "Make 'em rue the day you were born, cous." She flashes him an encouraging grin.

"What in the hells…!" Raymond is caught off-guard by the hug, too much so to really return it. "Easy with the hands there, m'lord. I prefer the ladies." He blinks at Riordan. "Is that…Rutger…?" He's plainly guessing. It's been many years since he's seen his brothers.

A smile breaks on Locke's face as he spies Nicodemus coming over to their little section. "Though you weren't gonna make it. " Dad. "Ser." he states. "Aye. I checked my maile..Got a helm that fits..I jes need." and he offers his sword out to Nicodemus, as he pulls a piece of green hair ribbon out of his belt. "Need to tie this on th' pommel, Ser."

Wesly finishes reading the candle, and then rises. He lifts his sword, and walks confidently out onto the field. He looks around, at the other squires being encouraged by their knights, and he purses his lips. There is no knight bearing him well wishes. He ties his hair back, and readies himself.

"Riordan, you twit," Riordan says, grinning from ear to ear as he gives his brother Raymond a last big hug before he steps back. And if you thought he was bad… "Rowenna! Come see who I've found!!!" He grins back at Raymond. "Glad to see you, Raymond. Enjoying the Reach? Or just the women?"

Kittridge smiles reassuringly at his squire, and then even smiles at Locke at that offer. "Aye, boys of House Groves should stick together," he agrees. He turns to look at Nicodemus as his twin arrives, and nods, "Sounds like they're ready to me. Glad we were able to dig you up some of our old maile, Locke. Wasn't sure it'd fit." He stretches his arms, and lifts a brow at Locke's ribbon-favor, before chuckling, "Alright, well, good luck, lads. We'll be cheering for you." He gives Brynner a slap on the shoulder in encouragement, and then makes to head off. On the way, he passes Veris, and makes an 'I'm watching you' gesture at the Terrick squire.

Hugh smiles in return to Rowenna and Jarod's encouragement. Then he leans over to Jarod and says in an overly loud whisper, "The others are fucking huge!" He looks over at Raymond now, realizing who he is.

"And miss this?" Nicodemus scoffs softly. "Course I made it." His brow arches as that green ribbon appears and the Groves twin accepts Locke's sword, holding it out so that the ribbon can be tied on. "Is this from who I think it's from?" Smirking at Kittridge he adds, for the maile, "We started out smaller." Not, really, that Locke is all that small, these days.

Making her way into the stands, Jocelyn glances between her steps and out towards the fields. Doing her best not to trip over something in her efforts to slip into a seat. She grips her companions arm once already to keep herself from tripping. Lifting a hand to her mouth she stiffles a laugh at her own movements and finally just settles into a seat in the stands.

"The Reach women are right fun, brother," Raymond Nayland agrees enthusiastically. "Think I met a girl here who fancies me as well. She just needs a little convincing. And you know what they say. No sounds like Go through a scarf, eh?" He elbows Riordan, clearly thinking everyone will find his joke the height of comedy.

"Oy!!" Brynner exclaims, leeeeeeaning over to peer at Locke. "You got a favor? Aw, I didn't get no favor. Cheese and biscuits, I wish I'd asked for a favor."

"Perhaps, or perhaps because I'm hoping to fall off the stands so the pain will stop," Martyn mutters a bit darkly. "Anywhere in particular we should be seating ourselves, cousin?" Looking around for a few moments, as he takes a few more deep breaths.

Well that's unnerving. Veris leeeeans back as if to dodge Kittridge's line of sight, only giving him a roll of the eyes and a slight lift of the glaive in acknowledgement. Hugh's greeting gets returned, and he gives Brynner a suspicious look. "Conspirin' little shits," he mutters under his breath, looking around for other Terrick squires. "Is Jessem here? Probably got scared and ran away."

Rowenna cranes around as her name's called. She squints at Rio and the young man with him. "Then be fucking fast. And fucking smark," Rowenna tells Hugh, clapping the boy's shoulder in parting. "Keep your head." She gives her husband a kiss on the cheek — somewhat lukewarm a greeting for the PDA pair — and strides over to Riordan. "What's all this now?"

"Yeah." Locke says with a faint nod, as he ties it on tight. "I'm gonna try an get blood onnit to show her, I fought hard for her." the other Groves' lad announces. There's a glance to Brynner and a grin. "I did. Asked Laurel." he states confident and all before he is reaching for his sword from Nicodemus. "I'll be sure t' keep movin'. An look out for Brynner." he tacts on. And so he turns to look over the competitors 'Who was that cow fucker givin' you lip, Bryn?" CAUSE BUSINESS.

Jarod tries to turn his head to catch Rowenna's lips when she kisses his cheek, but he's not quite quick enough. He shrugs and lets her go for now.

"I don't have a particular preference myself, cousin," Nedra replies with a small shake of her head to Martyn and simply gestures to the nearest open seats in the section predominantly populated by Mallisters. "This should do, and it offers a good view of the field," she suggests. Granted, it's also a mere handful of feet away, all the better to keep Martyn from falling over. "And I recommend against falling over, I dare say it'll probably hurt more."

Riordan's smile slips, and the punch he gives Raymond in return for the elbow is a bit harder then just joking. "No means no, Raymond. And don't you forget it. There are plenty frogs in the swamp, and…" But he trails off as Rowenna comes up, so he gives their brother a last glare before turning to grin at her. "Our brother, Raymond. Raymond, you remember little Rowenna, don't you?" He'll move back to let Rowenna get in a hug and a noogie, and when she isn't looking, he mouths 'Don't ask'. Hopefully he realizes he means the wearing pants thing.

Raymond eyes Riordan, looking decidedly less impressed with his older brother now, but he just shrugs. Turning to greet Rowenna. "Sister! Sort of sister. I'd heard you'd turned into a man or something. Or that little Rowan had turned into a girl. All sounded rather weird, but well met, in any case."

Rowenna blinks. "Maiden fuck me twice!" she laughs, grasping Raymond's forearm in a manly shake, before attempting to drag the boy into a bro-hug. "Look at you! I'd never have recognized you — how are you, Ray?"

Arriving late, but not too late, is one final competitor. It seems that not even the squire's melee is free of mystery competitors. This figure is clad in maile with a surcoat of simple, pristine white. He wears helm that hides his features and carries a longsword, appropriate dulled, and a shield as white and blank as his surcoat.

Although not on the tourney field itself, Tommas stands at the standlines to watch the event. Slipping two fingers between his lips, he blows out a loud, shrill whistle as the Groves squires take the field. Team Pride. His grin is from ear to ear.

"Good lad," Nicodemus approves as he returns Locke's sword to him. "Watch each other's backs, keep calm and don't get angry, you'll do well." Glancing over as Kitt departs, he says, "I better get up into the stands. Warrior be with you."

Hugh bounces on the balls of his feet and looks over at the new comer. "Well, he's not going to stay white for long, I figure." He glances up at the audience. Bad move. There's an /audience!/ He turns back to the competition.

Kittridge heads up to the stands, slapping Tommas on the shoulder as he heads past to find a seat. He doesn't actually save one for Nicodemus, but he does at least choose a bit of the stands where there is room for others to join him hypothetically.

Bryn jerks a bit from Kittridge's slap, and sidles over to be more shoulder-to-shoulder with Locke. "Laurel? Crikey. Y'think she'll letcha stick her, if ya win?" His grin is a little lopsided here, and fades to an expression of concentration as he scans the other competitors. He jabs his spear toward Veris. "Tha one. We're gonna get 'im real good, ay? I'll stick him with the pointy end, an' thwack 'im upside the head." He clears his throat, and sees the two Groves knights off with a collective, "Ser."

Riordan looks about ready to plant face to palm as Raymond goes and opens his mouth. But somehow, he still finds a smile. Family. "You do well, Raymond. I need to go get my squire ready. Beers later, though, yeah? I brought some Mire brew with me. Give you a little taste of home before you get back to the Reach." He moves to give Raymond a companionable slap on the back, then will head back towards where Hugh is. "You all set?" he asks his squire.

"A mystery squire?" Jarod eyes the competitor in white with open curiosity. He shrugs to Hugh. "I half wonder if it's Lord Patrek. He never had a chance to finish his squiring with my lord father. In any case, knock him good, lad. And remember, it's all play war. Have fun out there."

Martyn shrugs a bit at Nedra's words as he moves to take a seat next to her. "Not if I land on my head?" Yes, someone seems to be in a grouchy mood now. Looking out onto the field now, he shakes his head a little bit. "Now let's see if this is going to be any good…"

Wesly looks at the mystery squire, and he smirks, rolling his eyes. He shakes his head, and waits for the battle to begin.

Rowenna catches the flash of white from the corner of her eye, turning to eyeball the mystery knight. She blinks, looking hard at the figure, then breathes a soft laugh. She doesn't look entirely sure what to do with what she thinks she knows, but finally settles on pleased. Perhaps proud. Her smile is broad, but rueful. "Shit," she murmurs.

Locke shrugs back towards Brynner. "If she does, I'd be honored an all. But, I don' think you get to screw a girl, because you beat a man. You get to if you kill one." He adds as if he has some authority. There is a beat as he looks towards the knight in all white. "Oh look there, a little dove..With a fine bit o' hiding. Watch that one, Bryn.." And then Locke looks over towards Veris, and nods. "Right. That one. I bet he swings like a mule."

Raymond takes Rowenna's arm and pumps it, though he looks non-plussed about her trousers. "If you weren't my sister I'd object to the pants, but it's not like I'm going to try getting up your skirt. I'll do our lord father proud!" He dashes off to get into the competition, on that note.

Letting out a warm, low laugh at the slap on his shoulder, Tommas grins at his Lord. "This is going to be a miniature bloodbath, I think," he opines, following Kittridge up and into the stands. "These lads have tongues on 'em that'd my mother would salt with someone what comes outta them in place of words." As it should be.

As others make their way into the stands, Jocelyn glances towards them, inclining her head and waving when she realizes who they are. Martyn and Nedra get a wave and a smile of greeting. Looking around again, she sees Kittridge and she offers him the same greeting she gave Nedra and Martyn.

Hugh nods again, still bouncing. He looks over at Riordan, and with a calm, cool, and collected voice, "Yes." He looks over at Veris and then at the Groves squires. "Fun. Right."

Veris eyes the mystery squire. Real hard. Then looks around at the others to gauge their reactions, trying to figure out what the deal is. That's when he catches sight of Brynner and Locke looking and pointing his way. "First you run away, now you come back with help?" he calls out pointing right back with his polearm. "Didn't think you were so scared of me, Brynner."

Nicodemus makes his way through the crowd again, up to where Kittreidge and Tommas sit, and where there just happen to be a couple empty spaces beside them. Just randomly. Nic drops down into one with a puff of a sigh. "You know, I think I'm more nervous for them than I ever was for myself."

Rowenna watches her newliest-found brother take the field, then glances skeptically ay Riordan. "Is it just me, or is our brother a little shit?"

Bryn chokes back a bit of a laugh at Locke's 'honored an all'. But then thumps himself in the chest and fakes a cough, eyes more serious. "Wait," he says, giving the mystery squire but a glance. "Y'get to bone a girl when you kill someone? Ser Kitt never tells me these things, aye?"

"You're awful grouchy today," Nedra murmurs to Martyn even as she tucks her skirts carefully out of the way so that Martyn doesn't have to worry about accidentally sitting on her gown. "I'm sure it will be. If nothing else, just think, you'll get to see what these boys are made of," she suggests. "Isn't their skill as a squire somewhat reflective of what their knights are training them up to be?" she wonders.

"Ser Nic, didn't tell me that, mucker. I saw'r it on the stones. Nic killed him twenty men, an every girl on the island wanted t' spread their stuff for em." Locke says before tapping the side of his nose. "You kill a man before, Brynner?" he asks as one dark brow raises up. Because, yes Brynner getting advice from Locke is such an awesome thing. "Also, I think Bryn, you gotta be a knight. Or close to it." HEY WE'RE CLOSE TO IT.

The mystery squire peers out from his helm, idly testing the weight of his sword then lifting his shield, getting a feel for it. It must be that he notices Veris staaaaaaaring, because he lifts his blade towards the the other lad's direction and offers Hardwicke's squire a polite little bow.

Riordan gives Hugh a friendly slap on the shoulder, smiling at him. "Luck," he says, simply, grinning at the squire. And then, he'll leave him to it. Turning to Rowenna, he smirks slightly. "Not just you. That's what happens when you spend too much time in the Reach. Too much wine and heat addlepates the brain. When he comes back to us, we'll have to sort him out." They always come home, after all. "Shall we?," he then asks Rowenna, offering her his arm, despite her pants, with a big smile. "I think I see Jocelyn in the stands."

Lark tilts her head — though she can't quite catch all the words, it's fairly clear Veris is taunting the other squires. All of them. She looks… worried. "Oh, dear," she murmurs.


Hugh calls out to Brynner, getting into the spirit of the thing. "Of course you do! Everyone knows that! But you never will! You have to have the right parts for that!" He starts laughing.

Whether she has escaped duty for the day, or merely that Day is currently with Rosanna, there is a figure in the common area of the crowd that clings to the railings surrounding the field, looking uncomfortably squished by the people surrounding her. Laurel's cheeks are flushed, though she chews at her bottom lip as she searches the crowd of squires.

Jarod wishes Hugh a final good luck in the knocking of heads, then strides over to join Riordan and Rowenna. Extending his own arm to his wife, when he sees Riordan doing it. The look he gives her is somewhat puppyish.

"Might just be," Kittridge agrees with Tommas, "Tough to say with squire matches, you've got ones so young they barely know which end's pointy, and ones just waiting for enough coin to get their spurs. Hopefully Locke and Bryn together can hang in a while and make a showing. Bryn's a good lad, and Locke looks… tough."

The herald's fanfare interrupts any further banter from the squires on the field. Lord Paxter Redwyne steps forward to offer an elegant little welcome to the squires that sounds rather more bored than the one he issued to the team melee, but it is polite and appropriately formal. Then it is time.

"SQUIRES. TAKE THE FIELD AND BEGIN," the herald cries.

Nedra waves to Jocelyn in return, nudging Martyn lightly with her shoulder to get his attention so he may return Jocelyn's wave in kind as well.

Hugh adjusts his helm one final time, glad of its coverage and then lopes out into the field, both hands finding the grip.

"Me, grouchy?" Martyn replies with a bit of a pained smile. "Am I ever grouchy, cousin?" The nudging makes him wince a bit, but he turns his head so he can offer a half-wave and the same kind of pained, perhaps a bit forced, smile.

Veris, confused, holds out his glaive to the mystery squire and bows as well. And looks up into the audience, heart pounding, to see if he can catch sight of Lark anywhere. He still hasn't spotted her when the herald's cry prompts him to the field. "Whew. Okay. Do this thing." He kisses that jade necklace again and tucks it safely under his maille before the melee begins.

Sitting near Kittridge and Tommas, naturally, Rosanna is not quite so flush with excitement as she is for the knightly bouts, but she has a certain loyalty to her poor, lovesick squire. Look, Brynner: she will wave a handkerchief for you. NOW WIN EVERYTHING. "He'll win, right?" she says to her brother and their giant sworn.

"Locke looks like he could crush the rest of them with his damned foot," Tommas comments dryly, gesturing towards Nicodemus's squire. "Aye, they'll do best hanging together though. It's hard to say, my Little Lady. You'll know he'll make his best showing with you in the crowd though." He flashes her a warm smile.

Rowenna's about to take her brother's arm — then there's Jarod, and Jarod's arm. She smirks softly, kisses Rio on the cheek for his gallantry, and takes her husband's. "Up we go, boys."

"Oh, no, not at all," Nedra says in a dry tone of voice to Martyn, fighting to keep a smile off of her face. "Only like a bear in winter awakened weeks before spring thaw would be a trifle grumpy," she suggests a comparison that is moderately accurate.

"I'm gonna jab you in the balls for that," Bryn calls back to Hugh, har-har-harring in return. Yeah. He jogs out to the field, and shares a quick look with the other Groves squire before nodding to Veris. "We get that one, yeah? Let's do it! FOR GROVES!" (But really for Lady Rosanna.)

Hardwicke is among the crowd, looking a bit grim with his arms crossed as he watches to see how Veris will fare. He does not look very optimistic. What a great knight to squire for.

"If he keeps his head on straight, I think he'll do well," Nicodemus says of his squire. "Had a rather different squireship to most of the lads out there." What with the majority of it being on the Stepstones and all. "Of course, since Rosanna's chosen to favor Brynner, might be he's the one who carries the day." Glancing over at the squire in white, his brow lifts. "Huh."

Riordan sticks out his tongue at Jarod, all gallant-like, when Rowenna takes his arm. And he follows it up with a laugh and a grin, and accompanies the pair into the stands. "Ser Martyn, good day," he offers pleasantly, as he ambles by the night. And seeing the lady next to him, he offers a small bow. "My lady." Looking past to Jocelyn, he gives her a big grin and a wave. He's coming your way next, cous!

Lark sees Veris scan the crowd without finding her. She hefts herself up on the rail so she's a little taller and waves. "VERIS! GOOD LUCK!" Alona just stares at her cousin. "Him? Really? Weeping Crone, Lark."

After her waving greetings, Jocelyn looks back towards the field. Seeing her family starting to approach the stands. A smile brightening her face as she sees her family appraching where she is already sitting. Yay company!

"My sword will be entering your asshole!" Locke calls out, is that to Veris, or Hugh? Or the white pride squire? It's hard to say. But Locke does beat his fist on his chest and heft up his sword. Yeah, he is totally ready to go and put some leather to asses, as it were. And with that he is moving to help out Bryn. FOR GROVES.

Kittridge chuckles at Tommas and nods, and scratches at his chin as he snorts at Nico's words, "Aye, I bet he did. I'm glad they're planning to stick together," he says, "As it should be." He glances over at Rosanna's handkerchief waving and sighs. "You're such a tease, Rosie, leading him on. It's cruel," he says. "Come on, Bryn!" he shouts, turning back to the field as they begin, "GROVES!"

Rowenna laughs at the trash talking on the field. "Holy fuck," she murmurs, grinning wide. "Kids today. I don't remember that shit at Stonebridge."

"Well, I want a Groves squire to win, and he's better-behaved than Nico's," Rosanna claims, wrinkling her nose at Locke and his language. "He shouldn't speak like that. It's not respectable."

Jarod leads Rowenna up to their seats in the stands with as much chivalric flourish as one can manage when squinting against the sun like it's pounding at him. He waits for her to sit, before planting himself next to her. "You went up against Lord Patrek at Stonebridge. He was far more polite."

Wesly is, perhaps, the most silent of the squires on the field. His eyes move one by one across his competitors, before he finally settles on the Nayland boy. He stares, and then smirks.

At the heralds' call, the mystery squire steps onto the field, helmed head swiveling from one side to the other as he looks over the others out there and tries to choose his first target. His hidden gaze settles on Hugh, and he begins to move towards the Nayland-squired lad.

Hugh looks over at the two against one situation, and grins, "I'll let you try that!"

"And little Eddie Tully, and the Crakehall boy — and there was another one, too." Squire melee or no, Rowenna's not about to have her victory whittled down to besting only sweet Patrek Mallister. "I cleaned up that field, thanks little."

Seated at Martyn's side, Nedra glances up at the young Nayland lord and offers a glimpse of a smile, "Good day to you as well, my lord," is offered in a voice that's pitched just enough to carry over the sound of the crowd.

Hugh looks over at the two against one situation, and grins, "I'll let you try that!" he shouts to Brynner. Nothing personal, right?

<COMBAT> Wesly attacks Raymond with Broadsword - Moderate wound to Right Hand.
<COMBAT> Veris attacks Locke with Polearm but Locke DODGES!
<COMBAT> Raymond attacks Wesly with Sword & Shield - Light wound to Right Arm.
<COMBAT> Mysteryknight attacks Hugh with Sword & Shield and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Locke attacks Veris with Greatsword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Brynner with Greatsword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Veris with Spear & Shield and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wesly has been KO'd!

Nrgh. At Locke's shout, Nicodemus rubs a hand over his face, muttering a lower epithet of his own. "No," he sighs, "he really shouldn't." But still, Nic leans forward, cupping his hands around his mouth so he can bellow, "HOUSE GROVES!"

"Sorry, cousin. Just been a bad couple we… month." Martyn offers with a half-smile to Nedra, before he pauses a bit at Riordan's greeting. "Ser Riordan. The same to you." Whatever that is, in Martyn's mind. Turning a bit more to watch the happenings out there now.

"This is why there needs to be more squire jousting," Riordan tells Roslyn with a sage nod in the direction of the trash talking squires. "You don't trash talk until after you actually do something worth rubbing in." He grins good naturedly though. He gives a last smile and nod to the pair of Mallisters, and then he's moving off to find his seat with his family. "Mind you, I am glad Hugh is excited. He's got alot of energy to get out of him." And even as he says that, as he is sitting down beside Jocelyn, he stands to his feet again as the Squires collide. "Thattaboy, Hugh!"

"FOR THE GLORY OF HOUSE NAYLAND AND HIGHGARDEN!!!" Raymond shouts, his voice close to cracking on the final syllable of 'Highgarden.' He dives at Wesly enthusiastically enough, perhaps to make up for his less-than-manly baritone.

Lark winces as Veris takes a blow, however light, and pounds her fists on the rail. "Pulverize his SPLEEN, Very!"

A cheer goes up from Laurel as Locke makes his hit and manages to dodge the one coming towards him, her hands immediately clamping on her mouth as she realizes what she just did. Lark's call has her light gaze travelling to the other commoner near, lips twisting into a frown.

A clash of steel and Locke is quick to move out of the swing that comes his way from a rather enthusiastic Veris. However he's able to sneak and knock a hit into the big squire's chest. "Back off, you Chud." Locke quarrels out, as he swings his blade again. "Go muckin' with me mate eh?" Oh and there is someone swinging at Brynner. "Nayland piece of shit.." muttered, QUICK LOOKS.

Veris has no time to respond to Lark's shout, though he looks for a second to the source of the sound; he plants his feet firmly, expecting the two-on-one charge right at the beginning. "Bring it on, Cocklips!" he taunts Brynner, waving his glaive at full length. "Come impale yourself!" But it's not Bryn he goes for, it's Locke - a jab that doesn't connect, though Locke's attack does. It knocks the wind from him and sends him back a few steps, where he plants again for the second wave. "Hey, at least your friend can fight," he coughs to Brynner.

Nedra rests one hand lightly on Martyn's arm, "I know, cousin," she says in a quiet voice before clasping both hands together in her lap once more and sending most of her attention out to the field again.

"I'm a melee kind of girl," Rowenna tells Rio with a wry grin and a shrug. And a wince. Wincy shrug. Ow. She reaches for her ribs beneath her arm. "Pulled something in practice."

Hugh lifts his sword with both hands, sets his jaw and swings at Brynner's chest with a grunt, only then realizing that the mystery knight was after him. He steps it up and turns on the MysteryKnight as the greater threat.

Brynner lifts his shield arm as the combat begins, and circles round one side of Veris. "Oy," he yelps as he takes a hit from Hugh, the wind knocking out of him for a moment, causing him to jab his spear wildly and miss his target. "For… for…" He splutters, trying to regain his breath. Here it comes. His chest heaves as he sucks in a big breath, ignoring the trash talk and shouting again: "FOR GROVES!!" (But really, it's for Lady Rosanna!)

Rough go, that," Jarod says, slipping an arm around Rowenna's waist. Or trying to. He seems to half-suspect he might get an elbow for his trouble, so he makes sure to continue to direct that puppydog-like expression at her. He misses Hugh's first turn, engaged in that as he is.

The mystery squire in white gets to stay pristine this round, as the other squires are more focused one each other than him. He swings at Hugh, but it's a poor opening move ad swishes air as Hugh moves in his own attack against a different squire.

Rowenna leans over to Jarod and whispers something to him, eyes on the pairing twist MysterySquire and Hugh.

"It's your job to teach him," Rosanna continues to insist to Nicodemus. "He's serving a knightly house. He must behave appropriately." At least she's not insisting they throw him out? (For the moment.) She frowns as Brynner's first attack fails to strike home, but leans forward to watch.

Wesly slices at Raymond, but at the same moment, Raymond knocks his weapon from his hand. He grumbles, and heads off the field.

Kittridge winces and gives his brother a look. "You really need to teach him he's not a random mercenary in the Stepstones anymore, if you're going to stay and keep him," he says, at all the cursing. "COME ON, BRYNNER!" He shouts after, "Got to be quicker than that, lad!"

"Well, at least he can hit his mark," Nicodemus says, grinning as Locke thwacks Veris nicely. "THAT'S THE WAY!" he shouts before putting his fingers to his mouth to loose a piercing whistle.

Raymond Nayland looks…surprised when his rather mad, wavey sword stroke knocks the blade free of Wesly's hands. But he'll take what he can get. He directs his attention to the mystery knight, with his first opponent 'dealt' with. Sort of.

Kell arrives at the melee field a little late and for once, shows up to an event without his kit on as this is the Squire's Melee. Seeing that the combat has already begun, the Terrick Sworn tries to find a place closer to the fields, taking care shouldering his way past other spectators with murmurs of "'Scuse me, pardon me." littered around. Finally he is able to find a way to the railing, perhaps the other commoners recognizing Kell and giving him space to pass or just because he is a bigger man.

"YOU GOT TO CONNECT, LAD," Tommas bellows at the field and at Brynner in particular. At least he has his own cheering section?

Jarod blinks at Rowenna's whisper to him. Letting out a surprised, "Huh." And watching the mystery knight with far more interest now.

Watching the happenings carefully now, Martyn mutters a little bit. "I'm glad Xander didn't take part here. He'd probably just end up getting knoked out rather bad," he comments to Nedra, shrugging a little bit to himself. Watching the happenings out there now, especially in the direction of the one in white.

Riordan sits back down as the combat continues, though he keeps careful watch on both Raymond and Hugh. Smiling aside to Jocelyn, he murmurs, "Enjoying yourself, cousin?"

Nedra shakes her head slowly, trying to follow the action on the field, "Xander?" she wonders in a quiet aside to Martyn, making the name a question in and of itself.

<COMBAT> Veris attacks Locke with Polearm - Serious wound to Left Leg.
<COMBAT> Raymond attacks Mysteryknight with Sword & Shield - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Mysteryknight attacks Hugh with Sword & Shield - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Locke attacks Veris with Greatsword - ARMOR on Neck stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Mysteryknight with Greatsword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Veris with Spear & Shield - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Veris has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Veris spends a luck point to keep fighting!

Adjusting in her seat to make sure there it room, moving her skirts over to rest beside her leg, she welcomes her family with a smile. "Cousin Riordan." she greets since he sits beside her. But her eyes are never off the field for too long. "I am." she returns. "I'm nervous and excited both for Hugh. He's been looking forward to this." she glance in the direct of the boy.

Raymond Nayland finds himself fighting alongside Hugh, though it seems more happenstance than any actual attempt to help the lad. "Best not get in my way, Asterholm," is the oh-so-courteous thing he says to him as he tries to get in hit in on the white-clad figure

Rowenna laughs at Jarod's whisper, smiling and kissing him before she whispers back.

"Of course I can fight. I fight harder than your mother did, when that dog mounted her." Locke states with a grimace. His blow goes high, as he swings in on Veris' neck. However doing so, he causes the lad to get a sound thwack on his leg. Staggering back Locke grits his teeth. "Hit em Bryn!"

Hugh seems intent on getting the White Knight dirty as they trade hits. The lanky kid stumbles back a bit as he is hit in the chest. SHIT! That's not fun! Who was saying this would be fun?! Still, he stumbles all the time like a scarecrow, amazingly staying upright against the laws of physics. "Got a little smudge on you," he wheezes, "Whoever you are." To Raymond, he adds cheerfully, "Stay out of /my/ way!"

Maybe amidst all the shouting and mock-battle clanging going on, Brynner can hear all those words of encouragement? Tommas is certainly loud enough. Hot on the heels of the giant's bellow, Bryn darts a jab at Veris' middle. And connects! "HUZZAH! Stay up, Locke!"

The squire in white grunts as he finds himself with two opponents and they each land a hit to his chest. Need to hold that shield higher! At least his own sword does just as well, jabbing Hugh in the chest in kind. He says nothing as he fights.

"There it is!" Tommas cheers, applauding with delicate as Brynner manages to land a solid blow on Veris. "He's got some fire in him at least, my Lord. You can't argue with that."

"That's better," Kittridge says of Brynner's next swing at Veris, "There you go. BETTER, BRYN!" he shouts, "GROVES!" He claps, palm to palm, avoiding the two splinted, purplish fingers on one hand as he does, "Come on, boys!"

"Indeed," Riordan returns to Jocelyn with a grin, even as he keeps watching his squire. He winces as the boy is hit, and bangs a fist into his leg in joy when he hits back. "Good lad," he murmurs. At the whispering between Rowenna and Jarod, he glances over to them, and rolls his eyes good naturedly. "Really? Even here? Not that I'm not a fan of whispering sweet nothings, but still…" He shakes his head, the smile never leaving his face, and turns back to watch the action.

Nicodemus whistles again as Brynner lands a fine one on Veris. "COME ON, LOCKE!" he calls, "KEEP YOUR GUARD UP!" Aside, for Rosanna and Kitt's comments he nods with a sigh. "We'll work on it."

Laurel cries out in concern as Locke takes what seems like the hardest hit of the melee yet to her, her fingers gripping the rails as she echoes with a "GROVES!" of her own.

Jarod grins when Rowenna kisses him, getting into the match itself a little more now. "Hugh's making a decent showing so far. For the youngest out there, especially. He's got a good feel for blade-work, even just starting as he is." He watches the way the young Asterholm fights the mystery knight with particular interest. Snorting to Riordan. "We're highly improper, my lord. Hadn't you noticed?"

This two on one is just not working for him at all. Veris tries to take Locke out of the equation by going after his leg when they come at him, but he still manages to take two hits, the one to the gut doubling him over in pain and stumbling back to put some distance between him and his assailants. "Oh, fuck this," he growls, eyeing Brynner and continuing to ignore Locke's taunts. "He made me do this on purpose."

"You know, Xander. That troublemaker that is my squire," Martyn remarks to Nedra, before he shakes his head a bit as he watches the happenings out there again. "Come on…" he mutters, watching them out there.

Lark leans over the rail, bawling out, "YOU CAN TAKE THEM, VERIS! YOU CAN DO IT!"

Hardwicke sighs in the stands at all the hits Veris is taking. SO DISAPPOINT, VERIS. TOTALLY YOUR FAULT PEOPLE ARE GANGING UP ON YOU.

A wince is released from Jocelyn as she watches, "Is that two on one thing allowed?" she asks Riordan. "Is that just part of it? It seems almost unfair." However, what was fair about most of it?

<COMBAT> Veris attacks Locke with Polearm and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raymond attacks Mysteryknight with Sword & Shield - Light wound to Right Hand.
<COMBAT> Mysteryknight attacks Hugh with Sword & Shield - ARMOR on Neck stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Locke attacks Veris with Greatsword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Mysteryknight with Greatsword - Light wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Veris with Spear & Shield and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Veris has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Veris spends a luck point to keep fighting!

"Why now that you mention it, Ser Jarod…" Riordan chuckles at his goodbrother, and shakes his head, but it is to Jocelyn that he glances aside. He lightly reaches out to pat her hand, saying, "I know. I'm not a fan of melees myself. Not the same sense of showmanship and skill that a joust requires. But, then, perhaps I would have faired a bit better on the Isles if I had participated in them a bit more. Real combat, on foot, is alot like it. Many people, no real rules. It's good training for Hugh." Still, it's said just a bit grudgingly. The boy should practice jousting, darnit!

HACK. And spit. That is what Lock does. Stretching his neck, he brings his sword back up in the falconer's position and gives Veris a snort. "Come at me brother!" he hollers before it's a step back, as the sword is brought down and then swung up into the open gut of Veris. After all, that poor sod has to watch out for Brynner.

Hugh's armor saves him from the strike to his neck, and though it rattles him a fair amount, he manages a half hearted strike to the MysteryKnight. He spies the two ganging up on Veris. Doesn't sit right. But he still has a White Knight who seems to be after him.

Under her breath, and flushing at it, Laurel mumbles a, "I don't think he's taking them," as she overhears Lark's shouted words.
<COMBAT> Hugh will attack Mysteryknight this turn.

"You're on your own, boy," Raymond says to Hugh, after another go at the mystery knight. "No glory in besting some mystery nobody." So he turns to assault…Locke. Who their is questionable glory in besting, but maybe logic isn't his strong suit.

Lark gasps, both hands flying to her mouth with a cry of dismay. She covers her hand with her face, peeks between her fingers. Alona rolls her eyes. "You were canoodling with that lech when I was sick in bed, weren't you?" the dark-haired girl demands of Lark. Lark stares at her cousin. "I do not," she says very primly, "'canoodle.'" Hrmph. She might blush a bit, though.

The white squire's whiteness is getting a bit grubby as Raymond lands another strike to his chest, though he lifts his shield in time for it to take the brunt of it. But, that's a bit too high, as Hugh gets a scrape across the mystery squire's stomach. His own strike taps against Hugh's gorget, too light to do anything.

Veris is still trying to catch his breath, circling back, trying to keep the Groves duo at a distance with his glaive. He tries to jab at Locke again, determined to at least bring down one, but that turns out to be a bad decision. His weapon goes wide, but his opponent's strikes true, once again staggering him back and leaving him hurting. The glaive is starting to droop in his hands. "That all you got?" he says to Locke. "That how they teach a Groves squire to hit? Eh? Come on, then. Let's have it."

Up in the stands, for no apparent reason, Rowenna threads her fingers through Jarod's and holds his hand.

Jocelyn cant seem to drag her eyes away, but she response to Riordan when she says, "Actually, I prefer Melee and Archery." she says, another wince, this one making her pause in her statement, staring out. "I prefer them to jousting." she finally says and lifts a shoulder and shrugs it. "Something about it draws me in more."

"There, that sounded better" Nicodemus murmurs, "Far less unseemly." There's hope for Locke, really there is. "THAT'S IT!" he calls down to the field, "WELL DONE, KEEP AT IT! GROOOVES!"

Devra has been here this whole time. No, really. She's been quietly watching the melee with whatever usual company she keeps, right there behind a couple of Naylands. A dinstinctly bored glance sweeps over yon mock battle; she leans over as one of her companions points out the Mystery Knight and says something. "A secret fighter, is it?" she feigns a sarcastic yawn. "How /original/. There was one at a tourney down south. Turned out to be some stableboy, though the gods only know how he got his hands on a suit of armor."

<COMBAT> Veris attacks Locke with Polearm and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raymond attacks Locke with Sword & Shield - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Mysteryknight attacks Hugh with Sword & Shield but Hugh DODGES!
<COMBAT> Locke attacks Veris with Greatsword but Veris DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Mysteryknight with Greatsword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Veris with Spear & Shield - Moderate wound to Head.

Riordan actually looks a bit horrified at Jocelyn's comment, and he draws back a hand in a huff. Honestly. Rather put out, he keeps his eyes on the combat for now, his smile coming back as he continues to watch Hugh go. "Come on, lad," he murmurs in quiet encouragement.

"I don't know the names of everyone in our household," Nedra replies, a bit belatedly, to her cousin, looking a bit chagrined to have misplaced the name of Martyn's squire all the same. She cheers when it seems appropriate, winces at others and just in general watches the contest with fascination.

Locke can only dodge so much. There's a grunt as he looks back over towards Brynner, looking for the lad to come in, And there's a sword catching at his chest, A grimace and Locke turns his head with a cough. Hopefully spitting on the Nayland that came up from the side. "Get off me, you twat!" he spits, before he is turning to swing again, for Veris. After all-you mess with one Groves Squire, you get the Horns…or something.

Jarod takes Rowenna's hand in his gladly, not seeming to need a reason for it. "Far more interesting than any other squire's melee I've seen, so far," he notes, still focused on the fight between Hugh and the mystery contender.

The squire in white's got the hang of using his shield now, and he moves it in time to block Hugh's swing. There is a small grunt of satisfaction from behind the helm for that, but all that focus on positioning the shield means the swing of the unknown squire's blade is far too wide.

"Nice one, Brynner!" shouts Kittridge, "Keep your guard up! Help Locke out!" he calls, as Raymond swoops in to attack the other Groves squire as well, "Look out behind you, boys! GROOOOOVES!" Always that.

Veris is so intently focused on keeping his distance from the Groves duo that he doesn't even notice that someone's come to help him until Raymond's landed a shot on Locke. "Thanks, brother," he says, trying to swing for a follow-up hit on the same squire with no joy, which opens him up for a shot from Brynner, right to the moneymaker. BAM. That sends him reeling back good, dazed.
GAME: Dump complete. Time in.

With the grace of a baby giraffe, Hugh manages to dodge being hit by the White Knight. Of course, in his haste to dodge, his own strike is for crap and bounces off the shield. He tries to regain his balance to take another swing.

"Thought two on one was the way you liked to fight!" Raymond shouts back at Locke, swinging his blade at the other squire's chest. His coordination is decent. He's probably mostly done growing, for all that his voice still warbles. Maybe it'll just stay like that.

Martyn chuckles a bit as he hears Nedra's words, "Probably a good thing, cousin. Lots of names to remember there," he offers a bit lightly. As he hears Devra's words, he turns to look at her, studying her for a few moments, before he looks out to the field again, rather carefully.

Rowenna grins, shoulder touching Jarod's as she watches the field. "It's kind of adorable."

Side glancing at her Cousin, Jocelyn waits for his retort but does not recieve one. She is rather greeted with his horrified face. It takes most of her will to not start laughing at it. So in order to better resist she looks back toward the field. At the dodge from the baby giraffe aka Hugh, Jocelyn jumps a little in her seat, excitedly.

Still Locke-d in combat with Veris (ha ha see what I did there), Brynner sweeps his spear around to thwack the Terrick squire upside the head. JUST LIKE HE SAID HE'D DO. "Seein' stars, yet?" He grins, taking a moment to savour his prime hit before spinning around to face Raymond. "GROVES! FOR GROVES!!"

"Not funny," Riordan murmurs aside from Jocelyn. There is a slight lift of his lips regardless of his words, but he works real hard to keep the horrified look in place. Because really! Horrible!

"Work together, lads!" Nicodemus coaches from the sidelines, "Keep on 'em, you've got another now! Stay sharp!" It's all the supportive but useless advice proud knights everywhere bellow as their squires hack at one another.

"Ooh, I heard about that," one of Devra's fellow ladyfriend's puts in, then elaborates quickly, "I heard it was the daughter of some lower Lord's doing; they were quite in love and she helped arrange for him to get some sick knight's armor…" The rest of the story is drowned out as a group nearby cheers loudly for whatever fighter they favor. As Devra is turned in that direction to hear her friend out, she catches Martyn's glance, and likewise considers him curiously for a moment—that trademark Paege browline furrows with brief concentration.

"I think it takes serious nerve to take the field, with or without borrowed armor," Nedra says in a quiet aside to Martyn, glancing past him to the young lady with the remark about mystery knights.

"Kids," Jarod says with a broad grin, seeming to mean the field in general. He shouts to Hugh, "Go for the arms, lad!"

<COMBAT> Veris attacks Locke with Polearm and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raymond attacks Locke with Sword & Shield but Locke DODGES!
<COMBAT> Mysteryknight attacks Hugh with Sword & Shield and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Locke attacks Veris with Greatsword - Moderate wound to Right Arm.
<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Mysteryknight with Greatsword - Moderate wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Raymond with Spear & Shield but Raymond DODGES!

"Oh, thosethosecheaters!" Laurel fumes, turning bright red as she catches sight of two squires attacking Locke.

And with another grunt, Hugh puts all he is worth into a strike to the White Knight's head and braces himself.

Tommas winces as Veris and Raymond team up, however briefly to take a swing at Locke. "Bound to happen, I suppose. He present a damned tempting target," he says. He hoots for the blow Locke manages in the midst of being attacked.

"I can't understand why everyone was ganging up on him!" Lark laments, wincing as Veris takes another punishing blow. Alona folds her arms. "You don't think it's his winning personality?" she dark-haired girl asks Lark.
<COMBAT> Mysteryknight has changed stance to aggressive. (Nicodemus)

Apparently fighting in pits has done something for the Groves Squire, swings his blade down as Veris overextends himself. A grimace there as he looks back towards Raymond. "I'm not your mother." Nice retort. And now to continue hacking. A nod is passed to Brynner as he steps in and steps up.

"He can hold his own," Nicodemus murmurs, though it sounds half a certainly, have a request that the warrior make sure Locke can hold his own against two combatants. Then he whoops right along with Tommas as his squire avoids the blows aimed at him and manages to strike Veris again. "ATTABOY LOCKE!"

"You've sure got a pretty face, boy," Raymond Nayland sneers to Brynner. "Shame I'm going to have to mess it up for your girl."

Martyn chuckles in agreement with Nedra. "Either serious nerve or serious stupidity, or both," he replies, with a smile. "Probably both, though." He looks over in Devra's direction again, pausing for a few moments, before he's about to look back out to the field, while he gets a bit of a coughing fit, causing him to lean forward rather quickly.

"Stay up, Locke, stay sharp!" Bryn's all encouragement as he jabs enthusiastically at Raymond. "C'mere, dodgy! Let's dance!" Isn't that what real knights call it? His goofy grin sits in place on his face, eyes narrowing slightly as he lines up the Nayland. "I don't got a girl," he retorts cheerfully. "Might steal yours, ay?"

Oh, that's a good hit, and the mystery squire's helm clangs loudly, which probably sounds even worse when your head's inside it. He staggers back a step, and there's a small groan from behind the metal. His own swing is a poor one, missing Hugh entirely.

Veris takes a blind swing at Locke, trying to catch something so he can buy himself some time to recover, but there's just no luck there at all. All he gets is a good slam to the right arm, a strike that makes him hiss with pain, though he manages to keep hold of his weapon. For now.

"I've got all the girls, some of them just don't know it yet!" is Raymond Nayland's reply to Brynner. Preening a little for the viewing audience. He's not particularly impressive.

Jocelyn does break out into laughter now at Riordans comment. Keeping a look out on the field again, "Do not judge on my own opinion, Cousin." she shakes her head. At Hugh strike toward the head of the mystery knight, she holds her breath for the seconds that tick by. Solid. Nice. The breath is released.

"Come on, Brynner!" Kittridge shouts again, "Hit the bug— guy!" He rubs at an ear and then shakes his head, "Locke and Veris are just wearing each other down. They're the strongest lads in this, they should be picking off the rest not wasting strength on each other."

Devra offers a mild smile and nod towards Martyn and his friend, Nedra, since all their eyes happen to be exchanging glances—though her own glance is a little blank in the recognition department. She pays attention to her friends again, as the one gossip wraps up her story, "Finally, since they determined the girl was still innocent and nothing happened between them, the family maintained a respectable reputation. The stableboy was beheaded." Devra cuts in sharply, "Oh don't be stupid, if they beheaded stableboys for casting doe-eyes at young ladies, there would be none left."

"Better for the little'uns that they are. It could give out lad Brynner a fair shot, although he's holding his own pretty well," Tommas comments, applauding the hit that Hugh manages against the Mystery Squire. "Those two seem matched."

"Possibly both," Nedra admits and winces, again, at the field before reaching out one hand to resting a supporting hand on Martyn's arm again, making a sympathetic noise at the cough and just how wonderful that cough did not sound.

Rowenna frowns and sighs, shaking her head. She leans over to whisper to Jarod again.

Riordan simply harumphs good naturedly at Jocelyn, still doing his best not to smile. But right now, he is mainly focused on watching the melee. In particular, his eyes seem to follow Hugh dueling it out with the white-clad mystery knight…er, squire. "The Warrior surely likes that boy," he comments to those around him, shaking his head in amazement, admiration, and pride.

<COMBAT> Veris attacks Locke with Polearm but Locke DODGES!
<COMBAT> Raymond attacks Brynner with Sword & Shield - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Mysteryknight attacks Hugh with Sword & Shield - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Locke attacks Veris with Greatsword - Serious wound to Right Arm.
<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Mysteryknight with Greatsword - Moderate wound to Right Arm.
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Raymond with Spear & Shield but Raymond DODGES!
<COMBAT> Brynner has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Veris has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Brynner spends a luck point to keep fighting!
<COMBAT> Raymond will attack Brynner this turn. (Jarod)

Jarod whispers back to Rowenna, while keeping half an eye on the field. He doesn't look sappy enough to be whispering sweet nothings, though who knows with the pair of them. Maybe melees are romantic outings.

And there it comes a wild swing from Veris and Locke responds back with force, and a yell. A grimace there, once he fells the Terrick Squire and then he moves to step over the downed boy, and to kick his glaive away. "Don't ever fuck with Brynner again, or I'll remove your testicles, scrote." A sniff, and he turns, catching Raymond whacking at Brynner. And there comes a snort. "DON'T YOU DARE." And then it's one FOR GROVES.

Coming at Hugh with more determination, the white squire gets in a sword strike to Hugh's chest… though it only scrapes the armor there. The reach of his arm allows Hugh to strike the mystery squire's much better, and the white squire's hand hand squeezes around his longsword's pommel to keep from losing his grip.

Martyn takes a few moments while still leaning forward to compose himself, taking a few deep breaths before he slowly sits back up again. "Sorry," he mutters to his cousin. "If you ever need to explain the expression 'feels like shit', just remember this moment, cousin." Leaning back in his seat a bit more heavily. Looking out to the field again.

As Locke's opponent is knocked out of the competition, Laurel calls one bright, non-stuttery, "LOCKE!" She may be colored red, but she is smiling happily.

Anais is late to the melee, looking rather more casual than usual in a sleeveless dress of dark purple linen embroidered in gold, with a deep hood that hangs back over her shoulders. Her hair is pulled into a simple, loose braid over one shoulder, tied off with a slender ribbon. With the melee already underway, she tries to pick her way through the crowd quickly, wincing to see the Terrick representation already on the ground.

Hugh seems just as surprised as Riordan about his successes so far. He gets clanged upon, but manages to get in a healthy swipe to the Knight's arm. See, Jarod! He was listening! He hauls back to swing again.

Lark bites her lip and winces, fingers laced together against her mouth. "Oh, Very…" she sighs. She looks so disappointed for him. "Darn it."

"Cheese and rice," gasps Brynner. "All the girls? What, you so bad with yet spear y'need that much practice?" He jabs repeatedly at Raymond. "GROVES! GROVES! GROVES! GRO—" Oof. The over enthusiastic lad takes a solid hit to the chest, and is winded again.

Nedra waves a cheerful hello to Lady Anais before watching Martyn carefully for a long moment. WHen he finally leans back she gives her cousin a wry glimpse of a smile, "Should I ever need to point to a visual aid as demonstration, I'll remember this moment," she promises.

Riordan simply can't help himself. He's on his feet now, letting out a whoop at that newest in a long line of good blows from his squire. Probably drawing attention to himself, but hey. It's the first time he's really enjoyed a melee. He's due some understanding. Or something. "Attaboy, Hugh," Riordan says, a bit more softly, fist pounding into his leg before he forces himself to sit down again.
GAME: Valda has connected.

Veris takes another miss and another shot the the arm - harder this time, and in the same damn spot. There's a shout of pain and helpless rage as falls sideways to the ground, still clutching his weapon with his left hand even as his right hangs powerless. "Really wanna touch my junk that bad, huh?" he coughs - then the glaive's kicked away from his hand, knocking out his left arm and sending him sprawling. Very's down for the count.

"Shake it off!" Kittridge shouts to Brynner, "Keep your guard up! Keep swinging! You're alright!" He claps some more, nodding to Tommas, "I suppose so. Veris was probably the best of them, I think. Good work by Locke, wearing him down. Who's this Raymond? Is it really Raymond Nayland? What a silly name."

"Well, he wasn't a stableboy anymore, that's for sure," Devra's friend replies just as sharply, but Devra takes no more notice of the conversation. The septa sitting in their midst does some tut-tutting, as septa's are wont to do, for all their gossip and does her job to point out Anais' arrival to the gaggle of young ladies. Devra, representing some of Terrick's relations here on the civil side of things, casts an appropriate bowed head in Lady Anais' direction.

Raymond Nayland delivers a sound thwack to Brynner's chest, and looks insufferably pleased with himself. He doesn't bother to take up a more defensive posture when Locke turns to engage him as well, though he's using his shield semi-competently, which provides him some extra cover as he hacks and slashes.

Nicodemus crows again as Locke sends Veris staggering. One hand pumps into the air. "GROVES!" is his creative call of pride.

Rowenna tilts her head, assessing the competitors that remain. "You know… I think our Hugh might have a shot at this."

Martyn takes a few more moments to compose himself, before he looks over in the direction of Anais, offering her a bit of a nod and a half-wave. Looking back towards the field again now. "A nice little fight out there," he mutters.

Anais can't help but laugh as she hears so much cheering from the noble knights, looking to Riordan and Kittridge both with some amusement. "Why do I feel like they cheer more than we do?" she asks with some amusement as she draws closer to Nedra, looking over the stands more than the tournament ground for the moment. Devra's nod draws a curious glance and a polite smile as Anais marks the face and the gesture.

"He's been lucky so far," Jarod says with Rowenna, though he smiles broad as he says it. The lucky bastard has an appreciation for victory by sheer, dumb happenstance.

<COMBAT> Raymond attacks Brynner with Sword & Shield and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Mysteryknight attacks Hugh with Sword & Shield - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Locke attacks Raymond with Greatsword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Mysteryknight with Greatsword - Light wound to Right Hand.
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Raymond with Spear & Shield - ARMOR on Neck stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hugh has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Hugh spends a luck point to keep fighting!

Nedra shakes her head at the field, still doing her best to follow the action, not entirely following every exchange, but she certainly looks fascinated, wincing still from time to time. "It is a nice little fight," she agrees, wincing again and rubbing lightly at her temples with her fingertips, "elderberry wine," is murmured a bit cryptically.

"I've always said that the melee is more about luck then skill," Riordan nods in agreement with Jarod. "But, Hugh seems to have a good arm, for someone only recently made squire. I can't wait to get a lance in his hand and a horse under him. In a few years, I bet he'll be making strong showings at tourneys, if he's a mind for it."
GAME: Wesly has disconnected.

The white squire does better this round. Although his hand in struck again as he lunges forward, he manages a good little tap against Hugh's chest. It won't leave much actual damage, but it at least makes an impressive sound.

Hugh stubbornly goes after that right arm again and hits the knight's hand, a graze. But he's too concentrated on that and gets knocked back, hit on the chest. It doesn't take much to push the skinny kid back sometimes. He steps back. "Just give it up! I'm an Asterholm!"

Jarod gives Riordan a steady look. "No more luck than the joust, my lord. At least on the melee field, you get more than one tilt for 'luck.' What I meant is, nobody's really tangled with him, save that mystery fellow."

Devra returns her attention to the melee, now that the septa's ruined their fun (for now) by ending all the talk of stableboys and Lord's daughters and whatnot. The other two ladies in her company sneak a few whispers and pointing fingers this way and that as a few more noblefolks join the audience.

Martyn blinks a bit as he hears Nedra now, "Elderberry wi…" The rest of the question is drowned out by another round of coughing, although it's not as bad as the one that sent him forward earlier. "Sorry…" He also looks over towards Anais, offering her another nod. "Lady Anais…" he offers, a bit quietly, before he shakes his head again now. "Why did I…" he mutters to himself.

Recovering his breath after the rallying cry from his knight, Brynner starts to dance about Raymond again. Jab, jab, jab - a few blows strike, but none of them enough to hurt. He steps swiftly aside of the Nayland's cuts and thrashes, and beams his goofy grin at Raymond. "C'mon, fella. You gotta give yer girls a show, else they'll be lookin' elsewhere, ay?"

Veris gets a helping hand up, since he's still mostly conscious, and limps with his arm on his helper's shoulder out to the healer's tent. Ouch, ouch, ouch.

"Ser Martyn," Anais nods to the Mallister knight with a small smile. "At least they look like they're having fun down there." She doesn't sit yet, all the better to see the action below. "Groves seems to be well-represented," she laughs as that particular name is cried from several directions.

Lark watches Veris limp off to the healer's tent, all worry-face. Alona sighs and gives Lark's shoulder a shove. "Oh, fuck it. Go on." Lark blinks at her cousin, hugs her tight, then hurries off to check on the fallen squire.

Riordan doesn't seem to notice the look from Jarod, gaze still fastened to Hugh and his duel with the mystery squire. "The joust is more skill, Ser. When I get unhorsed, it's because the other man got in a better blow. In the melee, when you're surrounded by twelve other men and you're all hitting eachother, luck comes into play more. But," he qualifies, gesturing to Hugh. "You're right in that, however. There is some luck in him to be able to have a one on one combat in the midst of it all. He and his white squire get to show off more skill, which I'm glad for." He smiles as he says all this. Just idle chatter while getting to cheer on his squire.

Raymond manages to deflect the hits that come his way, smirking at the pair of Groves. "My girls'll get a fine show when I'm the victor, boy!" he sneers at Brynner. For all that they're probably the same age.

"BRYNNNNERRRRRRRRRR!" shout Kittridge. He's running out of helpful advice, it seems, or amusing cheers or anything. "COME ON GROVES!" He's a very active watcher, shifting with each attack and parry on the field, shoulders twitching in sympathetic movement.

"Never seen you on the melee field, my lord. We should spar sometime. I'd be curious how my 'luck' fared against yours," Jarod replies to Riordan with a grin. Though it's got a curved sort of edge to it. He's a partisan for bashy stuff. "Come on, Hugh!"

Nedra doesn't speak further on the topic but lowers her hands, as rubbing at her temples doesn't really seem to be helping anyway. She glances curiously at Martyn as his partial comment but back to the field when Groves is cheered again, from several directions at once and laughs quietly.

Nicodemus just settles into a chant, glancing over at Kittridge and Tommas in silent invitation for them to join, "Groves! Groves! Groves! Groves!…"

Elrick Otto Erenford had arrived to Seaguard too late to enlist in the tourney, unfortunately. Still though, the large man could at least watch what was left of it as he sauntered towards the lists from the Erenford encampment. Brigandine armor left in his tent, the man wears a simple pair of wool pants and a leather doublet with the Erenford crest embroidered into the breast in dark leather stitching. A flaggon of ale in hand, and a noble longsword upon his side, the young knight watches as he climbs into the bleachers heading for the first available seat. He'd missed enough already to be overly concerned with who he might be sitting with. Politics be damned for the moment.
GAME: Saethwyr has connected.

As Nedra rubs at her temples, Anais twists a faint, sympathetic smile, moving away from the Mallister lady. "You squire's support seems to be vastly outnumbered, Jarod," she says as she approaches the Half-Eagle, smile flashing. "I'm hearing a lot of 'Groves,' but not so much otherwise."

"Groves, Groves, Groves," Tommas joins in, clapping his large hands like a cheerful seal. This is great.

<COMBAT> Raymond attacks Brynner with Sword & Shield - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Mysteryknight attacks Hugh with Sword & Shield - Light wound to Right Arm.
<COMBAT> Locke attacks Raymond with Greatsword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Mysteryknight with Greatsword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Raymond with Spear & Shield but Raymond DODGES!

"Sparring isn't luck. One on one, that's skill. That's my point," Riordan says with a chuckle. Turning to look at Jarod, he adds, "Besides, you'd likely hand my ass to me. But sure, I could use the improvement." It's then that, glancing past Jarod, he notices some of the others. Like, say, a certain Terrick wife. He offers a small smile in her direction, but does his best not to let the look linger. Besides, look, Hugh is still going strong! "Get his leg, Hugh! Knock him on his a… backside!" Riordan catches himself last minute, and grins a bit goofily.

Locke HACK. And uh SMASH

A coordinated defense and strike! The white squire lifts his shield and blocks Hugh's swing before smacking his own blade against Hugh's right arm. Give it up? "Not unless I am bested!" answers the voice behind the helm.
GAME: Rafferdy has disconnected.

Rowenna laughs at Nedra's observation, then hops up to stand on her seat, putting her fingers in her mouth and emitting an ear-splitting whistle. "NAYLAND! ASTERHOLM! A HARPY! A HARPY! A HARPY!" She whoops and shouts. "KNOCK HIS FACE ON HIS ASS, LAD!"

Hugh mutters some unintelligible, but very expressive sounding curse words under his breath as he takes a hit to his arm, which makes him spiral his own strike out of control. Perhaps he is getting tired, and mishearing he spits out, "You /are/ a bastard!"

Because it seemed to work against Veris, Brynner aims a sweep of his spear right at Raymond's head. Later, he will tell people (Rosanna) that he only missed because Locke thwacked the Nayland square in the chest and sent him staggering, okay? The Groves squire grunts, and lines up his opponent again with another grin. "GROVES!"

Raymond winces as that greatsword strikes his chest, turning and directing his blade at Locke. If he's going to knock him around, might as well try to knock him back. "CAW! CAW!" he shrieks. Is he trying to imitate a harpy's cry. It's unclear. It sounds shrieky, though more the sort of thing that will confuse and befuddle opponents rather than frighten them.

"Lady Anais." Jarod's grin for his goodsister is warm, but he waves off her words. So he tables the argument he would not doubt like to continue with Riordan about the merits of the melee. "The Groves are doing all right. They're sticking together, which is how you run the field. Hugh's doing well enough on his own, though. He's not mine, really. He's Lord Riordan's lad, just been aiding me during the tourney. He's making a damn fine showing for his first time out, though. He's only fourteen, but he's got a natural feel for bladework." Jarod does sound proud, for all that the lad is borrowed. He adds to the cheering, though for him it's just a booming, "ASTERHOLM!!"

"House Caw?" Anais quirks a brow at the shout from the Nayland squire. "I'm not familiar with that one." As Rowenna adds to the cacophony, a smile spreads to crinkle the corners of her eyes with a laugh. "Sit down, Ro, or they won't let me talk to you anymore," she laughs, reaching up to try to tug at the other woman's sleeve. Riordan gets a reflection of that smile, though she doesn't look too closely at him.

"Come on Brynner! In the neck!" Kittridge advises, before joining his fellow knights in chanting the name of their house. They're obnoxious fans, but seem to be enjoying themselves.

Still looking out there, Martyn keeps his eye on the duel between the one dressed in white and Hugh, before there's another of those coughing fits, causing him to double over a bit. Getting to his feet, he moves forward to the edge of the stands, perhaps a bit faster than he should with his ribs the state they are in. Leaning over said edge, he opens his mouth to let a mixture of phlegm, some wine and something looking like food rain down on the ground below. How dignified. Hopefully there weren't anyone right below there.

Not knowing any of the combatants on the field, Otto watches with narrowed eyes, making mental notes as to their styles and if he could pick out who might have trained some of them. His observation doesn't help, unfortunately. He makes his way past a couple of people cheering and finds a seat amongst the crowd, one of the few vacancies, at least in this set of bleachers. "Were I or my squire able to get here sooner, he might have shown some of those boys a thing or two," he comments to nobody in particular. After all, he'd been away for so long, he scarcely remembers those in his family, much less those outside of it.

"If you want, you can add your cheering expertise to ours, Lady Anais. I am afraid I am still learning how to do it." Which is a complete lie, but Riordan says it with a winning smile. However, even as he says it, he only looks briefly aside to Anais, before he's adding louder calls into the mix. "ASTERHOLM AND NAYLAND!" Maybe it means he's cheering for his brother too, or he's simply lumping Hugh into his house, as that is who he serves. Regardless, most of Riordan's attention remains on his squire.

"Bah," says Rowenna, nevertheless taking her seat at her goodsister's urging. "Who are 'they'? I'll punch them in the groin."

Nedra's attention is drawn from the field as the tall man wearing the Erenford crest takes one of the empty seats near where she and her cousin Martyn are seated. "Indeed? Well, on the bright side it's just one of the many contests that are - and have - taken place, my lord," she offers politely before turning toward Martyn as she sees him turn a rather alarming shade. She starts to say something, drawing breath in fact, when Martyn abruptly stands and goes to the rail to return the rented wine and food in a rather abrupt manner. She winces again, one hand lifting to cover her own mouth as she exhales instead of speaking.

"I saw Jacsen earlier. Seemed to be doing fair well," Jarod says to Anais. He doesn't look at Riordan as he talks to her, so it's hard to tell how aware he is of any smiles. He's not glowering, at least. "I told him the pair of you should come to Stonebridge sometime. Get a feel for how matters stand in the town yourself, rather than from gossip-mongers." And visit him. Which goes without saying. He adds another booming, "ASTERHOLM!" to the cries down to the field.

"Never change, Ro," Anais laughs to the other woman. "Never change. And I've no one left to cheer for," she adds to Riordan with an easy smile. "It looks like I missed our squire's performance, and Cayt stayed back at the Roost. Otherwise I imagine he'd be giving them a run for their money." To Jarod, she nods. "His leg was bothering him a bit when I left, but it's almost time for his dose. I wouldn't mind visiting Stonebridge, though."

<COMBAT> Raymond attacks Locke with Sword & Shield - Critical wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Mysteryknight attacks Hugh with Sword & Shield - Light wound to Right Leg.
<COMBAT> Locke attacks Raymond with Greatsword but Raymond DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Mysteryknight with Greatsword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Raymond with Spear & Shield and MISSES!

"I'd love to see the pair of you there. Together," Jarod replies to Anais. Not exactly subtly, but he's not going on about whose wife she is, which is marginal improvement. Most of his attention now is on the field, anyhow, as the competitors take more and more damage. He sticks two fingers between his lips and lets out an ear-piercing whistle as Hugh lines up another attack on the mystery knight.

"Hah! Cayt's a beast — it wouldn't even be a competition, if he'd come," Rowenna opines, her opinion of Anais' Hill-brother obviously admiring and warm. "Tell him I said 'oi' will you?"

"Well, then consider Hugh lent to you for cheering for, Lady Anais. He's newly squired, and it's his first melee. I'm sure he'll appreciate it." Riordan says it still with a smile on his face, because he smiles at everyone, ok Jarod? And, still looking at the melee, he elbows Jarod in the side. But hey, he does that with a smile too. See?

That hit from Raymand rings through Locke's helm and staggers him back. The young squire sways for a moment before wading back in.

"CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAW!!!" Raymond Nayland shrieks. It's an awful sound, but it leads up to a solid bash on Locke's head. So maybe it's working for him.
GAME: Cherise has disconnected.

"I'll tell him," Anais grins to Rowenna. "He'll be disappointed to have missed this, though. And of course together, Jarod," she adds with a wry curve of her lips. "I couldn't go leaving him behind, could I?" The cawing from the field draws her attention to Raymond again, neck craning. "Who /is/ that?"

Confused by Raymond's creepy caws, Brynner wonders, "What in whiskers??" His next few jabs miss the crowing harpy completely.

Jarod elbows Riordan back. It's a bro-y gesture. Mostly. On the rough and pointed edge of bro-y, admittedly. With one hand laced with Rowenna's, he can't jab as much as he might want to anyhow, and he certainly isn't going to remove it.

Shaking his head a bit before he looks up from where he'd been partially hanging, Martyn grimaces as he moves to get back to his seat, far slower than he did when he got there in the first place. "Sorry…" he mutters, as he slumps down into his seat. Leaning forward a bit as he keeps his attention on the happenings out on the field for the moment. Probably safest not to say anything now. Wincing a bit at that cawing sound from out on the field now.

Nicodemus winces in sympathy as Raymond really lands a good one to Locke's helm. "COME ON, LOCKE!" he calls, breaking off his chanting of 'Groves, Groves', "CLIP THAT CROW'S WINGS!"

Riordan grunts as Jarod returns the gesture, and chuckles richly. "Oh, that cawing loon is my brother, Raymond, up from the Reach. His knight came with the other Reach fellows," Riordan adds by way of commentary, so Anais is aware of what is going on.

Hugh slices again at the White Knight. "Who are you?" And perhaps this is where his inexperience shows. He stumbles as his opponent gets in a hit on his right leg, and his attack is pissed away.

"What?" is the muffled question from behind the mystery squire's helm. Bastard? He achieves another block with his shield before swinging low and poking at Hugh's right leg. Might be the squire in white is getting the hang of this melee thing! Or, might just be he's having a streak of luck.

Nedra turns slightly and accepts a small flask of water from her Septa and hands it to Martyn, "Small sip," she suggests. "This is why you're not out on the field, and you're not a squire," she adds with a laugh and another sympathetic look.

"Oh." Anais glances to Riordan at the explanation, smirking. "You certainly have an interesting family, Lord Riordan."

"Don't I just?" Riordan asks, with a laugh and a grin, glancing aside to Anais again. But he's good, and doesn't let it linger. Thankfully, Hugh and Raymond make good distractions with their fighting and antic-making, respectively.

Otto follows Nedra's eyes after she comments to him, spotting the man hurling over the edge of the stands. He gives a light shake of the head, and glances away as Nedra moves to give the man water. Blood, guts, death, these things didn't turn his stomach anything like watching another man wretch did.

<COMBAT> Raymond attacks Locke with Sword & Shield - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Mysteryknight attacks Hugh with Sword & Shield - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Locke attacks Raymond with Greatsword but Raymond DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Mysteryknight with Greatsword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Raymond with Spear & Shield and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Troll has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Locke has been KO'd!

"CAW! CAW! CAW! A HARPEEEEEEEEEEE!" Raymond continues to squawk. So long as he's hitting people while he's doing it, he's probably not going to stop. For all the flailing and shrieking, he's been a squire long enough where he's not incompetent with that blunted sword.

For who he is, the mystery squire only answers, "I'm your opponent!" He once again gets his shield between Hugh's attack and his own person, and then it's another sound, if modest, poke to the other squire's chest.

Martyn grimaces a bit at Nedra's words, letting out another deep breath, but he takes the offered flask, nodding a little bit, "Thank you, cousin…" he mutters, before he takes a sip, perhaps not as small as suggested, before he hands the flask back. "Sorry for that…" he mutters, before he looks out to the field again, with a wince.

Anais just sort of stares at Raymond Nayland and his noise. And then she starts to snicker. And giggle. And tries to hide it behind Rowenna's shoulder.

Rowenna cranes to peer at the lady giggling behind her shoulder. And snortles. And giggles. And passes a hand over her face, shaking with laughter.

"Ah, too bad," Kittridge says as Locke gets the wind knocked out of him hard enough to force a yield. "He's a tough one, Nic, I'll give him that for sure. And a good attitude, for all he's got a mouth like a pirate." He scratches at his cheek and shouts, "ALL YOU NOW BRYN COME ON! GROOOOOVES!"

growing frustrated with his continued misses, Brynner grits his teeth. Aaaaand… Locke goes down, prompting a cry of dismay from the remaining Groves squire. "Cheese on crackers, Locke! Bah!!" He sucks in a long breath, trying to steady himself enough to land a blow on the shrieking squire. "Come on, you worm in a rotten apple! IT'S GROVES! GROVES!!"

Hugh stumbles back again and grits his teeth. He's getting pissed and his strikes are going wilder, reflecting that.

"Hey, every man needs a battle cry," Jarod defends the Nayland brother from the Reach. It's not a very firm defense, though, and he hides some chuckling snort behind his knuckles. He doesn't laugh so much that he forgets to, "ASTERHOLM!" again for Hugh.

Riordan gets an even broader smile on his face, his expression one of immense pleasure and satisfaction. The kind of look one gets when hearing one of the best songs in the world. It has nothing to do with the giggling from certain ladies nearby, however, nope. It must be how his squire keeps missing. Yes, that must be it. Or maybe his brother being a spectacle. Well, that at least might fit. "I think I'm beginning to see the Nayland in Raymond, now," he murmurs to Jarod with a chuckle, more laughter in his eyes, even as he calls out "ASTERHOLM!" alongside Jarod.

Rowenna cups her hands around her mouth, shouting, "KEEP YOUR HEAD, HUGH! STEADY, LAD!"

"I think we'd best call on Mistress Dania to check on you again when this match is over," Nedra suggests as she takes the flask back and corks it again, tucking into the belt at her side. She shares a moment of commiseration with the Erenford lord seated nearby, her head ringing at 'Asterholm' is shouted in contest with 'Groves' from the stands.

"He's screaming like a girl," Anais snickers from behind Rowenna's shoulder. "Seriously, one of you should have a talk with him before he goes-" And then she's dissolving into laughter again, wiping at her eyes.

"Ah," Nicodemus sighs as Locke is taken out of the competition by Raymond. Then he calls, "GOOD SHOWING, LAD, WELL FOUGHT!" And then, of course, "GET 'IM, BRYNNER!"

There's a small cheering section for Raymond among the spectators from Highgarden, though there're a few handmaids in Reach livery staring daggers at him. As if they could defeat him with harsh thoughts alone. They shout and titter loudly for Brynner, now that Locke is down.

"Yeeeeeah, the harpy cry needs a little work. But — y'know. Harpies do scream like girls," Rowenna says, smirking. "Just… terrifying, fanged girls that will rip out your spleen."

"I guess so," Martyn replies, sounding a bit resigned now. "She'll probably kill me, though." That last part offered a bit lightly. Watching the happenings as well, he takes a few moments to get out a bit of a shout. "GO MAN IN WHITE!" Taking a few deep breaths after he's let out the shout, though.

"Hey, I'm pretty sure I roar in rather manly fashion," Riordan objects to Rowenna good naturedly, with a chuckle.

<COMBAT> Raymond attacks Brynner with Sword & Shield - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Mysteryknight attacks Hugh with Sword & Shield - Light wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Mysteryknight with Greatsword - Moderate wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Raymond with Spear & Shield - Moderate wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).

"It's certainly effective from the shock and awe standpoint," Anais giggles, just /barely/ avoiding a snort before she gets herself under control. "I think even Cayt would have to stop and look at that. Although it might cause an instinctive 'KILL IT NOW' reaction out of sheer terror."

Nedra laughs quietly, "Wouldn't that be a improvement right now, though?" she jests, lightly patting Martyn on the back with one hand. She cheers for the mystery knight in white as well, offering Martyn the flask of water again. "Or would you prefer a bit of wine?" she asks, en sotto voice, rather a quiet aside even, to her cousin, still looking worried.

Hey, he's got a fan! The squire in white turns his helmed head in the direction of Martyn's cry which, it turns out, wasn't too smart, because it allows Hugh to smack him upside the head. Again. "Son of the Stranger," the mystery squire growls, swinging back at his opponent and smacking him right back. Not as hard, mind, but at least they'll both have ringing ears.

Hugh was /going/ to say something very witting and scathing to the White Knight. He was sure of it. But the clang to his helm put all those thoughts aside. He does gives a little victory cry when he nails the fellow.

Awyeah! Brynner gets 'im, alright, landing a ringing blow to Raymond's head. He squeaks with surprise, and grins, and is dealt a slash to his chest in return that sends him hopping back a couple steps. "GROOOOOOVES!"

Raymond also squawks in surprise, and for once it's a yelp of pain, rather than any weird attempt at a battlecry. He launches himself at Brynner, aim a little off for any meaningful hit. His helmet was knocked down at a funny angle around his eyes.

"Attaboy," Riordan says, leaning forward and pounding his leg with his fist as Hugh gets another blow in. "Now, don't celebrate yet. Follow through…" Yes, he's giving advice to a squire he hasnt really begun to properly train yet. At least he hasnt started shouting his pointers, though. Trying to avoid being distracting. So for now, Jarod and the ladies will have to put up with him talking at a squire who can't hear him.

<COMBAT> Raymond attacks Brynner with Sword & Shield - Light wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Mysteryknight attacks Hugh with Sword & Shield - Moderate wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Mysteryknight with Greatsword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Raymond with Spear & Shield - NEAR MISS!

Otto watches as the melee continues, his eyes focused more upon the combatants than those around him. He sips from his flaggon of ale as he seems to be enjoying the clash of steel and shields. Each slice, each bash from a shield, each hit draws a bigger smile on Otto's face.

"Good point," Martyn offers to the words about improvement, unable to hold back a bit of a grimace. Taking the offered flask of water, before his expression gets a bit more uncomfortable at the mention of the wine, although he doesn't vomit or anything now. Taking a long sip from the flask now.

<COMBAT> Raymond attacks Brynner with Sword & Shield and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Mysteryknight attacks Hugh with Sword & Shield - Moderate wound to Left Arm.
<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Mysteryknight with Greatsword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Raymond with Spear & Shield and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raymond attacks Brynner with Sword & Shield but Brynner DODGES!
<COMBAT> Mysteryknight attacks Hugh with Sword & Shield but Hugh DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Mysteryknight with Greatsword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Raymond with Spear & Shield but Raymond DODGES!
<COMBAT> Raymond attacks Brynner with Sword & Shield and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Mysteryknight attacks Hugh with Sword & Shield - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Mysteryknight with Greatsword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Raymond with Spear & Shield and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raymond attacks Brynner with Sword & Shield but Brynner DODGES!
<COMBAT> Mysteryknight attacks Hugh with Sword & Shield - Light wound to Left Leg.
<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Mysteryknight with Greatsword - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Raymond with Spear & Shield but Raymond DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hugh has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Hugh spends a luck point to keep fighting!

"ASTERHOLM!" shouts Rowenna, as Hugh rallies. "That's it, cous! Hang in there!"

"He's doing well," Anais grins to the Naylands, craning her neck to get a better look at Hugh. "Fourteen, you said?"

Stab, slash, takes a hit! A dodge. The occasional miss. Jab here, jab there. Hop to the side like a drunken kangaroo. Brynner is not having anymore luck taking Raymond down than the Nayland squire is he — nevertheless, his battlecry remains fiercely passionate. "GROVES!!"

"Come on, Asterholm! Knock that sword out of his hands!" Jarod says, not holding back on the shouting, for his part. "Fifteen now," he asides to Anais brightly. "Still the youngest on the field."

Meanwhile, Hugh and the mysteryguy just beat the shit out of each other.

"CAW! CAW! Ca-ack." Raymond's latest attempt at war-shrieking ends on a shrill note. He's probably getting hoarse.

Clang, clank, clang! The mystery squire swings and blocks and swings some more, managing a a blow to Hugh's head, a strong hit to Hugh's chest and then a weaker one to the other squire's leg. But the white (increasingly more like grey) squire over-reaches himself for that last hit, and he grunts in pain as Hugh returns the favor with a hard strike to the mystery squire's own mailed chest.

"That's right, we still owe him a celebration," Riordan tells Jarod with a grin. "Here, or should we wait to get back to Stonebridge?" he asks, before he calls out, "COME ON, HUGH!!!"

"BRYYYYYNNERRRRRRR," shouts Kittridge, "Come on, hit him! What's all this dodging about, come on!"

Nedra sees the wince on Martyn's face as she mentions wine and this time she can't quite help it, and laughs quietly - though quite merrily - at the look on his face. "OK, so, no wine then," she remarks, laughing quietly again, actually having to hold her sides as she gets a good giggle out of the wince on his face. "I'm, I just can't help it," she admits, eyes sparkling, "at least you didn't go out drinking with the rest and end up singing - probably off key," she suggests. "I apologize for my cousin," she offers to the Erenford lord seated nearby, "normally he doesn't return his rented wine in this manner," that's right, sense of humor (inappropriately) enabled.

"At least you managed to keep the one you trained from making ridiculous noises," Anais giggles again when Raymond starts back up. "I'm sorry. I am. I'm sure Quentyn sounded just as ridiculous." If only she could say it with a straight face.

"COME ON BRYNNER!" Nicodemus shouts alongside his twin's cry. "For Groves! Show 'em what you're made of, lad! Land a good one on 'im!"

"I don't know, I've heard Rowenna make some pretty ridiculous sounds," Riordan says, in response to Anais. Completely straight faced. "Especially when she's making kissy faces her Jarod."

<COMBAT> Raymond attacks Brynner with Sword & Shield but Brynner DODGES!
<COMBAT> Mysteryknight tries to attack but has no target!
<COMBAT> Hugh passes.
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Raymond with Spear & Shield - Light wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raymond has been KO'd!

"You haven't heard me make half the sounds Jarod has," says Rowenna, just as straight.

"It could have been worse, m'lady," Otto says to Nedra. "He could have spilt it upon one of us. It would have ruined that dress, and well, it wouldn't have made my clothing look any better." He chuckles a bit and gives a bit of a bow to the woman. "Elrick Otto Erenford," he says to the lady.

"I'm sure Jarod's stoically silent himself," Anais adds, though she's not nearly as good at keeping a straight face.

Alys arrives late having slept for part of the day due to ridding the whole of the day prior. Her red hair is down to the small of her back, the thick mass of curls are haphazardly placed about her, loose and wild. Wearing a Charlton green gown slashed with sunny yellow at the sleeves and a lightweight cloak of the same deep green. She climbs up to the stands with her maid in tow, guards wait at the bottom with the others that may be standing there. Looking about Alys takes a seat in the front row near to the exit. Folding her hands in her lap she watches quietly.

Raymond Nayland dives forward to try and hit in a hit on Brynner, but he over-reaches. And a relatively light hit to his mid-section is enough to send him sprawling in a heap to the ground, dropping his sword and shield. He makes a winded sound that doesn't not resemble a bird of prey. "Fuck you," he says to Brynner. It's apparently a yield, because it's followed by him stomping off the field with his gear. As much as one can stomp when they're limping.

Jarod flashes Anais a big grin, and winks at Rowenna. But he has no comment. No denial, certainly, and he directs a high-pitched whistle at the playing field for Hugh's benefit.

There's a pained look and a grimace as Martyn hears Nedra mention wine again. "You evil, evil woman…" he mutters under his breath to her, before he looks over at Otto. "Ser Martyn Mallister." Yes, he doesn't do more than offer his name at the moment. Draining the last of the water from that borrowed flask.

Jarod is given another sharp elbow to the ribs from Riordan anyways. Just because. There is a visable whince at Rowenna's words from Riordan. "I do not need to know that, Rowenna," he tells her, almost pleading. And then oh, look, more fighting. Let's pay attention to that. Or anything. And then, as he sees Raymond head off the field, he shakes his head with a sigh. "Rowenna, remind me, we should start teaching some manners into him now before the Reach ruins him completely."

Hugh has been hit too hard in the head. Is that a whistling sound he hears? He shakes his head to get it out.

Brynner seems truly surprised to have sent Raymond squawking from the field. He blinks, and pumps his shield arm in the air, calling after the lad lustily: "No thanks!" He turns, sizing up the two remaining combatants, and eventually decides upon the squire in white. "For Groves! GROVES!" Here comes his spear!

"YEAH!" shouts Kittridge, throwing up his arms as Brynner bests the other squire, "WELL DONE BRYN!" He whoops and cheers, elbowing Nicodemus, and just generally looking very proud, even though it's not actually over at all.

<COMBAT> Mysteryknight attacks Hugh with Sword & Shield - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Mysteryknight with Greatsword - Serious wound to Right Hand.
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Mysteryknight with Spear & Shield - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!

Nicodemus laughs, applauding as Raymond goes down and their little Brynner remains in the fight. "You're doing well with him," he tells Kittridge with a grin. "Think we might need to get him and Locke drunk good and proper after this."

<COMBAT> Mysteryknight attacks Hugh with Sword & Shield but Hugh DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Mysteryknight with Greatsword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Mysteryknight with Spear & Shield - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Mysteryknight attacks Hugh with Sword & Shield and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Mysteryknight with Greatsword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Mysteryknight with Spear & Shield - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

Hugh growls, "Fall down, fucker!"

<COMBAT> Mysteryknight attacks Hugh with Sword & Shield and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Mysteryknight with Greatsword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Mysteryknight with Spear & Shield - Moderate wound to Right Leg.

Brynner adds an insistent, "Yeah!" DO WHAT HUGH SAID.

Also: "GROVES!!"

Hugh somehow shas a burst of energy that allows him to dodge and skip around the strikes the mystery squire tries to make. He starts laughing. It's not really appropriate, but it's a necessary relief of tension it seems. Brynner being there seems to help him get a few of his own in. "Brynner! Thanks, but he won't go down!" he says. He glances at Brynner and tries to time the next strike with the other named squire.

Suddenly, the mystery squire has not one but two other squires hacking away at him, and the distraction of trying to block and defend himself makes his swings pretty much crap. He manages to block about half of the attacks, but the other get past, striking at his chest, his leg, his hand hard enough that he nearly loses his sword. Still, he pants from behind his helm as he recovers his grip, "Not… yet…"

Jarod takes the elbow with no shame. It's unclear how much he notices. He's on the edge of his seat now. "He might actually pull this off. No small feat. I saw that Groves lad in service on the Iron Islands. I'll be interested to see how they stack up against each other." Which is where he seems to be betting this is headed.

<COMBAT> Mysteryknight attacks Hugh with Sword & Shield - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Mysteryknight with Greatsword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Mysteryknight with Spear & Shield - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Mysteryknight attacks Hugh with Sword & Shield and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Mysteryknight with Greatsword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Mysteryknight with Spear & Shield - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Mysteryknight has been KO'd!

"Groves!" Kittridge cheers some more as the mystery squire is eliminated as well, even though it's wasn't Brynner's blow that did it in the end. "Tough little bugger, that one," he says, "I heard someone say it might be Lord Patrek, do you think?" To Nic, he shrugs, "Aye, we suit pretty well. He's not as far along as Locke, to be honest, or other squires his age, but he started late. He works hard, he'll get there."

"Quite," Nedra agrees with another laugh and returns Otto's bow with a nod and a glimpse of a smile in answer. "A pleasure to meet you, my Lord Erenford," she offers before Martyn's words reach her and she gives another quiet - and again, entirely merry - laugh, "why yes, but only when it's most necessary," she murmurs. She turns her attention back to the field and sees the mystery knight squaring off against two other squires, "Go White Knight!" she cheers.

Riordan inches forward himself, his eyes glued to the combat. "Come on, come on…. YES!!!" Riordan roars happily as Hugh lands the final blow against the Mystery knight, his fists clenching in excitement. "One more…"

"He'll get there," Nicodemus agrees. "Doesn't look so far from there, considering his showing. Locke's, well, he had a different sort of squiring than most." Peering at the mystery squire he shrugs. "Well, could be Lord Patrek, I suppose. Don't see him in the crowd at any rate."

"We'll get him," Brynner resolves to Hugh, punctuating each word with a jab or a swipe at the mystery squire. He even lets out a whoop when the lad in white is felled, despite his own being the blows falling short of effective. The Groves squire sends a quick glance around the field, in case, you know. There is someone left that he could attack that is not Hugh. He winces, and shrugs at the other lad. "Nothin' for it," he begins, lifting his shield. "Nothin' personal like but, ay? Stay away from my face, and I'll keep clear a'yours!" And ooooone last time… "GROVES!"

Hugh just stands there catching his breath.

"Well met, Ser," Otto says to Martyn as Nedra returns his bow. "I only regret I couldn't get here in time to compete myself," he adds. "There will be other tourneys, after all," he says with a grin. "Maybe by then, you'll be well enough so that we might cross lances or blades in noble competition."

He holds up against the paired attack for a few strikes longer, but the mystery squire can't keep that up forever. He manages to land a final good blow to Hugh's belly for that laughter, but after a jab to his chest from Brynner and a harder one from Hugh, down to his knees he goes. He stays down there a moment before gasping, "I yield. Well fought." He eases to his feet and offers Bynner, then Hugh a bow before moving gingerly off the field and over to the sidelines. Only then does he remove his helm to reveal curling blond hair and a flushed, sweaty face. It is, indeed, Lord Patrek Mallister.

Hugh says with a grin, "Just don't get me in the nuts. I have a nameday to celebrate!"

Watching the melee intently Alys' eyes are torn away by the sound of Riordan's voice. Her curls pull over her shoulder as her head snaps in his direction. She studies him for a moment and offers him a nod if he should notice, before turning her gaze back to the field. Clapping lightly as the mystery squire is forced to yield.

<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Brynner with Greatsword but Brynner DODGES!
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Hugh with Spear & Shield but Hugh DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Brynner with Greatsword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Hugh with Spear & Shield - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).

Rowenna smirks, asiding to Jarod, "Let's not tell Lord Mallister that I thought he was a girl, eh?"

"I'll be looking forward to it," Martyn offers to Otto, before he looks to Nedra again, shaking his head a bit. And then the mystery squire goes down, and unmasks himself and Martyn blinks a little. "Nice work, cousin Patrek…" he mutters, under his breath, offering a half-salute in the direction of the unmasked mystery.

It's hard to be bored with so much excitement and gaiety swirling about her, but Devra somehow manages to keep a dull expression on her face as the hooting and hollering swells. A few boisterous members of the audience tip into each other, which then jostles the young lady in her seat. She shoots them a bit of a glare, but her friend's in her ear again, asking questions. "Oh, yes, well, I'm sure there's more than one or two cousins of some description down here," she replies with a negligent flick of her fingers. "If I shout for one, I'd have to shout for all—and have no voice left."

<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Brynner with Greatsword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Hugh with Spear & Shield but Hugh DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Brynner with Greatsword - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Hugh with Spear & Shield and MISSES!

Riordan does not seem to see much except for the final contestents right now. His eyes are utterly focused on Hugh and the Groves squire facing off. His fists still curled into balls, knuckles white, he is literally on the edge of his seat.

Hugh looks very surprised at who his opponent was and offers a bow before getting back to the battle. And Hugh is tired and hurt. His manages to dodge the first of Brynner's strikes, but the second lands in his gut with an oof. He can taste what he had for lunch again.

<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Brynner with Greatsword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Hugh with Spear & Shield - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Brynner with Greatsword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Hugh with Spear & Shield and MISSES!

"ASTERHOLM!" shouts Rowenna.

<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Brynner with Greatsword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Hugh with Spear & Shield - Light wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).

"GROVES!" shouts Tommas.

<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Brynner with Greatsword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Hugh with Spear & Shield - ARMOR on Neck stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Brynner with Greatsword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Hugh with Spear & Shield but Hugh DODGES!

"By the Warrior, it was Lord Patrek!" Jarod grins, jumping to his feet and cheer-whistling loudly. Both for the yielding Mallister and Hugh, though it's Hugh who gets the call of, "ASTERHOLM! ASTERHOLM!" as the contest continues.

<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Brynner with Greatsword - Critical wound to Right Hand.
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Hugh with Spear & Shield but Hugh DODGES!

Brynner is too caught up in attack and parry to note the mystery squire's big reveal. SORRY. "GROVES!" He shouts, predictably, then promptly takes a blow to the gut. "C'arn, Hugh," he puffs, starting to look a lot less sprightly on his feet. His jabs have grown weak. "Finish me off, I ain't yieldin' without a good hard knock."

"COME ON BRYNNER!" shouts Nicodemus.

"GROVES!" Shouts Kittridge, and then spots Lord Patrek as others do as well, and cheers the young Mallister as well. "Well fought, Lord Patrek! Mallister! Groooooves! COME ON BRYNNER END IT!"

"Well fought, indeed!" Tommas bellows, along with what seems like most of the crowd which roars with approval. One could go deaf standing in the common section. "WIN IT BRYNNER! You've got him lad!"

No holding back now. Riordan rises to his feet now. "ASTERHOLM!" he calls, joining his cries to the others. He glances aside at Anais, only briefly, but the look he gives her is urging her to join them. Then it's back to watching Hugh!

Hugh pants, "I don't want you to give it up…"

Devra takes the hint from all the shouts and comments to her friend, "Ah, so it was a Mallister?" A moment later, after receiving a wide-eyed, pointed look, "Oh, it was /the/ Mallister? Well, that's underwhelming. Wasn't this a contest between squires or something? That seems a bit inappropiate of a /Lord/." This observation earns Devra another pointed look, though she doesn't seem to care.

<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Brynner with Greatsword - Light wound to Right Hand.
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Hugh with Spear & Shield but Hugh DODGES!
<COMBAT> Brynner has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Brynner spends a luck point to keep fighting!

Hugh doesn't so much as dodge, but fortuitously stumbles out of the way, as he manages to get in another strike to the hand. He laughs again. "We probably screwed up all the bets today."

"YIKES!" Bryn winces as he takes a hit to his spear hand. "Wha' was that for," he teases, his knuckles smarting. He changes hands for a moment to shake out the pain, leaving himself open for another hit. TO THE SAME HAND. WTF HUGH. "ACK! GRO — AHHHHHHH!" His spear back in his right hand, he drives it forward with a last summons of energy.

Rowenna is on her feet. "KEEP IT UP HUGH! NO SURRENDER!"

Anais catches Riordan's glance, biting down on her lower lip before essaying a careful shout. "Go, Hugh!" she exclaims.

<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Brynner with Greatsword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Hugh with Spear & Shield and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Brynner with Greatsword - Serious wound to Right Leg.
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Hugh with Spear & Shield and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Brynner with Greatsword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Hugh with Spear & Shield and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Brynner with Greatsword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Hugh with Spear & Shield and MISSES!

Alys sits up in her seat for the passes made by Hugh and Brynner. Clapping as others exclaim their preference of a winner.

Grinning proudly at Anais, Riordan accompanies her call with a much louder version. "GO HUGH!!!"

<COMBAT> Hugh attacks Brynner with Greatsword - Light wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Brynner attacks Hugh with Spear & Shield and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Troll has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Brynner has been KO'd!

Nedra glances toward the lady heckling Lord Patrek as he withdraws from the field and feels the smile fade from her face. "I've often hard that the standards of ladylike decorum differ from house to house," she murmurs in a quiet aside to Martyn. "It would appear that this assessment is correct," and turns resolutely away from where Devra is seated and turns her attention back to the field.

"Finish him off, Asterholm!" Jarod yells with vigor. He hastily adds, "Honorably! Finish him off honorably!"

"FREE BEERS FOR A MONTH, HUGH! YOU CAN DO IT!" Riordan calls as encouragement.

"COME ON BRYNNER HANG IN THERE!" shouts Kittridge, "COME ON! So clooooose," he groans, stamping his feet since clapping is no longer sufficient. "COME ON GROVES!"

It would seem that Devra's friends share some of Nedra's misgiving's about the her unpopular opinions—it's something of a thing for her, see, to be the party pooper. "/I/ think it's a nice boost for a squire, to see that he's bested a Lord, y'know," the friend sniffs back. To which Devra quickly replies with a roll of her eyes, "It's /patronizing/ at best, and unwise at worst. How's a squire to take a Lord seriously with the memory of him crying 'Yield!' in the back of his head. Pish, tosh, I say." And does she ever.

Martyn pauses for a few moments as he hears Nedra's words now. Looking over towards Devra for a few moments, he doesn't say anything at the moment, just nodding a bit at Nedra's words. "Quite probably, yes," he offers in return to her, before he looks out to the happenings out on the field again.

There are few more blows… well, attempted to be traded, before finally Hugh lands one right slap against Bryn's belly. The Groves squire stumbles backward and drops his spear, flexing his smarting fingers. Instead of reaching for his weapon, though, he offers his battered hand to his opponent. "Well fought, mate. Don't shake it too hard, ay? Yield."

"Ahh, fuck," Nico laughs as Brynner is bested, throwing his hands up in the air. "No offense, Kitt, but it's kind of a sad day for the Groves when you're the only one that managed to win a melee."

"Well done." Alys says quietly to herself and her maid. Her maid nods back to her as she continues. "Honorably fought I should say." She claps as Brynner offers a hand to Hugh.

Rowenna WHOOPS, leaping around and hugging everyone nearby. Jarod — hugged! Riordan? Hugged! Anais — HUGGED! And then she resumes bouncing around. "HUGH! HUZZAH! HUZZAH!" She beams and shouts and claps. "Boys," she says to Jarod and Rio, "we're buying that young man the most expensive whore in the Riverlands."

Hugh stands more stunned than celebratory. In fact, what possibly could be going through his head is 'Please don't throw up. Please don't throw up.' But that last strike he gave Brynner must have been sent from above. He reaches down to help Brynner to his feet and almost falls over himself. "It could have gone either way. I'll get you a beer." The he looks up to the stands and tries to remove his helm.

"He ranked higher than you did, my Lord," Tommas says wryly, applauding as Brynner takes his defeat rather gracefully. "Although, the house in whole, myself excluded, showed well. A win and two near ones? That's not so bad at all."

Otto goes back to watching the melee after his brief words with Martyn and Nedra. He raises his flaggon with a smile towards the field. There were few things better than games such as these.

Anais laughs at her hug from Rowenna, grin flashing. "Hugh!" she exclaims with her seatmates, laughing. "Oh, well done."

Riordan reacts rather similiar to Rowenna, eagerly hugging his sister, and even claps Jarod in a manly bro-hug, grinning from ear to ear. His eyes then move to Anais… but no, he just gives her a goofy, boyish grin. He's got a rather proud Papa Bear expression on his face, and he shares that look with everyone. "Nothing but the best for our cousin!" he assures Rowenna with a bright laugh.

Patrek steps forth as the melee comes to an end, still flushed but smiling as he walks back onto the field. "Well fought," he approves, holding up his free hand. A herald darts forward to place a shiny new helm on it. This he holds out to Hugh Asterholm. "You fought bravely and well, Squire Asterholm," His grin suddenly widens, "and I should know! Warrior protect you, you'll be a fine knight someday." The helm is silver and gleaming, the nosepiece fashioned to look like the neck, head and beak of an eagle being viewed from the top down.

"Fuck off," Kittridge replies to his brother, "If I'd run away to do nothing but kill pirates for six years I'm sure I could've ended up third, too." He applauds for Brynner, sticking two fingers in his mouth to whistle loudly in approval. "We should get them both drunk," he agrees, "This sounds fun."

Nedra makes a quiet hum of sound, trying to sort out who is who on the field and cheering for the squire that emerges victorious. She rises to her feet when Lord Patrek returns to the field and cheers again as the helm is given to Hugh Asterholm, "Well done!"

"If I could have fought them like I fought pirates, I would have managed better than third," Nicodemus grouses for a moment. Then she shrugs and returns to smiling. "Well, shall we get Brynner so drunk he can't feel his hurts?"


"See what happens when you loan me your squire for a week, my lord?" Jarod says to Riordan, before doing some more ear-piercing whistling. Four in a row this time, clapping Riordan on the shoulder roughly. "Let's go congratulate him proper."

Devra, at least, has given up her arguing over propriety on the field now that the melee's finished. With a mild expression on her face, she stands with the others and primly claps while those around her continue to cause a happy racket.

Hugh manages to pull his hand me down helm off and drop it aside as he takes the shiny new one. He is grinning ear to ear, and he bows…but boy did that hurt?! "Thank you, My Lord. You fought very well. I thought I was fighting a seasoned knight…" He looks at the helm and grins again.

Bryn flashes a quick grin at Hugh, and bobs his head breathlessly for the promise of beer. They'll drink beers together, sure. Then he staggers off the field breathlessly, no doubt to wear the disapproval of Lady Rosanna — SECOND PLACE WHUT — and find his Ser for some debriefing.

Martyn applauds as well. He's a bit more reserved, though, but that's probably because of his own wounds at the moment. "I'll get going back to our tents now, cousin," he offers to Nedra, before he adds, "If I'm not back there in an hour or so, look between the trees for wherever I've collapsed?" And he's starting to make his way off the stands and out of here now, moving rather slowly.

Anais grins to the Naylands, taking a step back. "Please, give him my congratulations as well. Very well fought."

Nedra nods to Martyn as he voices his intent to return to their encampment, "Of course, cousin," she says then grins, "check the trees, of course," she promises and shakes her head at Martyn as she makes his way away from the stands at a nice, slow, steady pace before taking a seat again.

"Man, that's some prize," Riordan whistles appreciatively. Jarod's comment brings a laugh from him. "That, or he knew I came here especially to watch him, and he wanted to do me proud," he jokes with his goodbrother, laughter still plentiful in his voice. He really can't stop grinning. Nodding then at Jarod's suggestion, he looks back to Anais. And if her slight withdrawal and words cause the smile to lessen, it's only by a fraction, and he nods easily. "Of course, my lady. He'll be glad to know that you cheered him on." And, with that, Riordan will move out of the stands, aiming to go congratulate his victorious squire.

Jarod claps Riordan on the back to urge him down to the field. And possibly away from Anais. Just possibly.

Lord Patrek laughs and shakes his head. "Hardly that, Lord Asterholm. Afraid I wasn't much further than you are now before…" his smile falters a moment, "…before I was called home again," he finishes. "Always did want to know how I'd fare in one of these."

Quietly Alys rises from her spot in the stands, dodging a few people here and there as herself and her maid make way to exit. Stepping down from the viewing box to speak to her guards and maid.

"You're both wrong," smirks Rowenna. "He was inspired by me — figured if a girl could do this knight stuff, he'd have no problem!" She hugs Anais once more, then follows her boys down to the field.

Hugh laughs, "You did well." He feels his chest. "You may have broken a rib of mine. And sorry if I called you. ..whatever it was I called you." Hugh's hair is sopping with sweat. And his face is red. He looks up at the stands, but not at Riordan…or Jarod…of Rowenna…What?! Why aren't the girls just swarming all over him?!

"I'm not sure. It was hard to hear with the front of the helm down," Patrek admits with another small laugh. "Enjoy your evening, squire Asterholm." With a nod, Patrek steps back and makes his way towards Seagard proper, likely to remove his maile and see to his own dents and bruises.

As Brynner leaves the field, he will find the knights House Groves, his own included, waiting and cheering. There is all sorts of approving comments and hearty back-slapping, and promises of lots of drinking, though no drinking out of awesome eagle helms like Hugh will be doing.

With a nod from all spoken to, Alys turns and looks to the cheering crowd and the squire who just won the melee. She nods as her maid whispers in her ear turning away from the field she goes off to her tent, maid hot on her heels.



Hugh sees how Riordan and Jarod are coming down to meet him. He holds out the Helm to Jarod, "Look! And I need to get out of this maile…"

Riordan will greet Hugh with hugs and enthusiasm and other displays of manly affection and pride. And then he will fade into the background, and let Hugh soak up the glory, and the eagle-helms full of booze. He's had enough drinking this week, thanks. Maybe when they get back to Stonebridge, though! Nameday party!

"Not bad a start to arming yourself," Jarod says with a big, broad grin to Hugh, reaching out to clasp the squire's hand once he's rounded onto the field. Though he at least waits until Riordan is done. "That was well fought, Squire Asterholm. Your service has been damn fine throughout this tourney. You'll do the knighthood proud one day, I've no doubt."

Rowenna probably causes the boy a bit of pain when it's her turn to hug him, but that's the way the cookie crumbles. "I'm SO proud of you, cous! SO well done! Skill and comportment both — you were so fine!"

Hugh's face is going to hurt from grinning. Until Rowenna hugs him. He sucks in his breath. "It was fun! Well, Imean it…was and wasn't. It was hard!" he admits. "And I was lucky the bigger guys were busy pounding each other. Did you see how the Groves both went after Veris?"

"Very's very popular," Rowenna notes, wryly. "He can be a smug, showy cock — brings it on himself. Get your armor off and let the healer see to you, cous. We'll celebrate later."

"Figure they saw him as the threat. Was lucky you didn't have the older lads going for you right away. Still, that was a fine finish. Squire Brynner went with his knight to the Iron Islands, so he was no push-over." Jarod leaves Hugh to savor his victory after those words. He's still nursing both bruises and the effects of a night of drinking, so his tent appeals.