|Blades, Girls and Other Experiences|
|Summary:||Jarod spars with Squire Hugh, and jaws more about the boy's upcoming nameday and how he might want to spend it.|
|Stone Walk — Tordane Tower|
|Set at a slight incline, the stone pathway leads up a slight rise northeast out of the town square towards the single tower of House Tordane. Grass grows thick and plush along the side though it is well maintained. Private shops and stables are located up closer to the manor with the family's private stables attached directly to the exterior wall of the small castle.|
|Sun Jun 10, 289|
The young squire is busy and out of breath. He is carrying a pack on his back, that appears to be heavy, and he is trying to run along the side of the road. He may have already run to the Town Square, because now he seems to be running back.
Jarod has spent most of his duty time at Tordane Tower itself throughout the last days. So many Charltons means more guards are necessary, and he's been volunteering himself for taht. It's meant he's getting his own practice in later in the afternoon. He comes out for that now, kitted up in a suit of partial maile, blunted blade in hand rather than the longsword he generally carries. He heads over to a space of grass off the main walk, where a dummy is set up for whacking.
Hugh sets the pack down with a grunt when he sees the knight about to do much more interesting things than Hugh is doing. His face brightens, "Ser Jarod! Good day! Can I watch? Maybe I will learn something. ' done with this anyway. I dont see how it's supposed ot make me stronger, since I feel weaker after doing it."
"Good day, Squire Hugh," Jarod calls to Hugh, swinging the blade in long arcs. The exercise seems meant more to limber up his arms than anything else, since whatever sword forms he's creating seem random and accidental. "You don't learn by watching." Swing, swing, swing. "Grab a practice blade, give it a try. That'll make you stronger anyhow. Never saw the point of carrying about heavy rocks and the like. Might as well build your muscles doing something useful."
Hugh grins and trots off to bring back a practice blade. Standing not far from Jarod, he tries to follow the same series of moves, but when the moves are pretty much random, it makes for a difficult game of follow the leader. And the lanky kid needs to work on control. "Thanks, whenever I ask, the trainer gives me something like that to do. Or clean armor." He looks at his red hands. "I'm cleaning the skin off my hands."
"Cleaning armor's not bad. At least you learn how to tend the stuff. When Rowenna was squired to me - and I thought she was a boy - I used to send her to work with the hounds and steeds when I hadn't need of her. Gets necessary tasks done, at least." Jarod stops his sword-stretching when he sees Hugh trying to copy him, chuckling. "I was just limbering up, lad. That was nothing you should mimic. You done much work with blades before, when you were a page?"
Hugh nods and shrugs, "A little. When the Squires and Knights had time. But that was almost never. So we kept a couple of practice blades hidden in our room, and would go off to practice amongst ourselves sometimes. Once he tries to stop copying Jarod, he looks a little more stable with the thing. He lifts it easily, despite its weight. That will not be a problem.
Jarod laughs. "I used to do that with my brothers, when we were pages at the Roost. I could beat the seven hells out of Jaremy. Jacs was always quicker than me, though." The memory's plainly a little wistful, so he shakes his head and holds his blunted blade down, balancing it with the point in the ground. "Show me your grip. We'll do this two-handed. Lord Riordan might want you to learn how to fight with sword and shield, but this is the way I do it. You lose some cover, but it gives your blows more heft. You want to grip it right below the guard, with your dominant hand…" He tightens his right around his own, to demonstrate. "…and grab the pommel with your other. Keep your thumb and first finger a little looser than the others on that one, that'll keep it easier to maneuver."
Hugh models what Jarod is doing. His hands are large and wrap around the grip easily as though he has learned to hold it properly at some time. "You just like to jump into the fray then?" Hugh takes a practice swing.
Jarod chuckles. "Suppose I do at that." He steps wide of the boy and takes a swing of his own, a long slashing horizontal arc. "I never figured, if you were going to make being a man-at-arms your life, that it'd do you much good to be timid. Makes me feel like I've got more control over it, I suppose. You hesitate, you're just waiting for some asshole to come to you. Might as well get him first." He lunges forward in a stabbing motion.
Hugh swings the blade as well. "Have you been in many battles? Have you ever been injured?" Hugh seems rapt and repeats the motion.
"A few," Jarod replies without looking at Hugh, concentrating more and doing the forms proper. And slow, so it can be more easily followed. "I squired with a knight in the Mallister ranks during the Rebellion. They fought for Good King Robert's side, when Lord Hoster Tully called the Riverland banners to him. And I led the Terrick forces on the Iron Islands. Fought with your Lord Riordan during that last little adventure."
Hugh looks interested, "He's a good fighter, I think." He copies the moves. There is potential. There is even some skill there. It may be hard to see since he is so gangly, but he takes a swipe. "So, where do you think you should hit your enemy to make the most damage if you hold it two handed? On the neck?"
"Damn fine horseman, and good with a lance," Jarod says of the Riordan. He watches the boy's work, nodding with some level of approval, but he doesn't praise him verbally just now. "Depends on how a man's armored. If you got get in a killing blow to the neck or chest right away, you take it. That's a clean, quick death, Warrior smiles on it. Most fighting men with any training don't give you those openings, though. I go the arms first if I don't see a place to go straight in. You hit a man's wrist or forearm hard enough, won't be holding onto his sword for long."
Hugh nods and turns to the dummy, "Can I practice on the dummy? Or can I spar with you?" He takes another mighty swipe. "I have to become a better horseman. Well…" he grins, "I have to become better at many things, but I will. I know I can, but it takes some time."
"More fun against a proper opponent. Think fast, lad." And without further ado, Jarod takes a swipe at Hugh. Not a particularly hard or fast one. His goal is to hit the squire's blade and force some semblance of defense.
Hugh brings up the sword in front of him and steps back. Jarod's sword hits his squarely, and Hugh almost loses his grip. Once he loses his look of surprise, he grins and tries a similar strike at Jarod. "Yes, I am hoping Riordan gets better soon, so he can teach me some things." He tries to adjust his stance.
"Hoping so as well, poor time for the Lord Regent to be down with the Charltons stuffed in our walls, and waiting on word from Hollyholt," Jarod says. He's more tight-jawed than concerned for Riordan, but if he has any criticism for his lordship, it certainly won't be voiced in front of his squire. "Keep your guard high when you're using a two-hander. Remember, this blade's your shield as well as your sword."
Hugh obeys and raises his arms up, holding the sword up high. "May I ask you a question, ser?" His eyes shine with curiosity.
"You can always ask, Squire Hugh. Can't always get an answer." Jarod says it with a grin, and strikes at Hugh's more guarded posture. Again trying to hit the blade, and test how well the lad's defending, than really penetrate his defense.
Hugh seems to be holding his own as far as defending, so long as nothing quick or sneaky is tried. And it is notable that when he his thinking about his feet, they tend not to do what he wants. He is clearly /not/ thinking about his feet when he asks the questions, however, so his feet do what they are supposed to. "My nameday is in thirteen days," and several hours and minutes, but who is counting. "Were you really planning on taking me to get a woman at the Crane, or were you just teasing?" One can tell that this has consumed his thoughts since their conversation.
"Aye, why not?" Jarod replies with a grin, about getting Hugh a woman on his nameday. "Practice improves everything, lad. Nothing wrong with getting in some with girls as well, if everyone understands what they're getting from it. No highborn women, of course. That sort isn't made to fool with. But common girls and whores, nothing wrong with having a bit of fun at your age. Had my first at fourteen." He pivots back and raising his own blade in a defense posture. "Not bad. Now, try and hit me."
Hugh tries to hit the man, and again, so long as he is thinking of girls and whores, his movements are smoother. The blade rises and falls in a strike to the chest. "I am not totally…I mean I have…I have…some experience." He grins a little and then adds, "I haven't met any girls round here yet. Not really." Then he pauses, "Ah…do you think Riordan will say anything about it?"
Jarod brings his sword up and out to deflect Hugh's hit without much trouble, but he doesn't try and dodge it. Another short nod of approval. "Good hit. Don't be afraid to get in there." As for Riordan, he shrugs, like he hadn't really thought about it. "Suppose he might. I can ask him if in case he disapproves. He's a man, though. Can't figure any fellow should begrudge another some fun."
Hugh moves forward and tries another hit from a different angle. This time going after an arm, as Jarod had suggested. "I don't know him well enough. But I wouldn't wish to hide anything from him. And so long as I don't catch anything or give away any secrets, there shouldn't be a problem…right?" He is definietly trying to sound knowledgable. His so called 'experience' in these matters is likely suspect. "Like this?"
Jarod smirks at that. "Aye. Lying to your lord is a bad idea." It's said very ruefully. "But, aye. You never talk household matters with a girl you're fucking. That's why I had a preference for whores. Far less complicated. Get in, get out, everybody gets something out of it. Matters with Rowenna were much more complicated." He grins. "I figure it was worth the trouble, though." His sword comes up surprisingly quick to ward off Hugh's strike to his hand, trying to force him back.
Hugh is forced back but he steps back, quickly raising his sword again in defense. "I imagine it was complicated." He makes a face and nods, "I think I would prefer to fuck whores. At Hag's Mire, the girls all seemed to want something more. I just never had the money for that." Yes, that is the reason right there. Lack of funds.
Jarod's smirk crooks. "Women always want something. The one's who just want coin are the simplest. Best start there, take on the dodgier stuff when you've worked up to it. Think fast!" That's a warning for a quick, low sweep Jarod makes at Hugh's knees.
Hugh had not expected that, and his sword was in the wrong place. With the warning, he is fast enough to dodge the strike by jumping away, but not coordinated to stay standing, and he stumbles backwards onto his ass. "Crap!" he mutters and scrambles back to his feet, readjusting the practice sword. He makes a vengeful lunge at Jarod. The strike is aimed to the neck, and there is power behind it, but Hugh's speed needs work.
Jarod doesn't try and block Hugh's blow this time, but he dodges instead, stepping back quick. He's not the fastest of fellows, but he's been at this long enough to be able to get out of the way of something moving at that speed. Rather than attacking the squire, he just watches the boy's momentum, to see where he'll end up.
Hugh has put so much power into the strike, he does find himself carried beyond the Knight, trying to turn to face Jarod as he goes by.
"Not bad, just a little late," Jarod says to Hugh with an easy grin, pivoting about to meet the boy as he turns back. "And you stayed on your feet. Try again. Hard to get an opening to attack a man's neck. Most men are rather careful about defending it." He again waits to see how Hugh will attack him, rather than going after the squire.
Hugh had had a look of frustration on his face, but it melts as Jarod gives him the encouragement. He catches his breath. "But now you are expecting it. And I know I am slow. Big and slow. I need to do something to get faster." And in the middle of his talking, he steps in as quickly as he can and strikes at Jarod's side. Perhaps he thought that his talking would distract the man. Perhaps he just isn't thinking.
Maybe Jarod is distracted. Maybe he just thought the squire would be well served by landing a hit. Whatever the case, he doesn't turn quite fast enough, and takes it in the ribs. He's armored, so it won't leave more than a bruise in the morning. Still, it draws a pained grunt. "Strong arm. That's a better start than many get. Rowenna can show you quickness better than me. Woman moves like a whip."
The hit is satisfying to Hugh as he lands it. One can see it in his young eyes. He remembers to get ready for another strike and not to let his guard down. He tries to hide a grin of pleasure, but he can't quite. Then he asks, "Can speed be learned?" He hopes so.
"It can be honed, like sharpness in a blade," Jarod replies, though it's not quite an affirmative. "You're big and strong. That's an advantage. Comes with some disadvantages, though, you'll never be a slim, leaping Braavosi. I sure as seven hells never will." He chuckles. "You get more coordinated the more you practice, though. Running helps, as does climbing, anything that improves your balance. Dancing especially. My lord father's wife made me take lessons to improve my manners. Made me lighter on my feet. And girls like it." He grins.
Hugh wets his lips and nods, "I will see if someone can teach me to dance, then." That should be an interesting quest. "And I will keep running." One thing that will be seen about Hugh is that the boy is willing to work. He doesn't expect things to come immediately. "My balance isn't all that good, Iknow. But I will try." He grins, "I will get better." He bows to Jarod, "Thank you Ser for the training. I have to run and tend to some duties now, though."