Page 563: Bloodless Celebrations
Bloodless Celebrations
Summary: Maldred Rivers celebrates his nameday at the inn at Broadmoor. When Leon and Garion join the cosy festivities, fencing with words soon becomes a duel with swords between the two knights.
Date: 06/02/2013
Related Logs: None
Garion Leon Maldred 
Broadmoor: The Old Hoe
Scruffy Pub, a lot of Ale, lack of maidens.
Feb 06, 263

The Old Hoe is a fine place to celebrate getting a little older yourself. This afternoon, moodily clouded outside, is merry and warm enough within, as an unusual character appears to be buying the rounds. Lady Jaimera's bastard companion and guard is better known for sponging off others than sponsoring festivities himself, and lately he hasn't even done that, keeping apart and grimly abstemious. But now he seems to be back, and showing the whole tavern the colour of his family's not unplentiful silver. Ser Maldred Rivers leads the charge personally with a good, dark ale in hand. While a few Broadmoor locals are enjoying his hospitality, he does not seem to have gathered any more personal connections yet - certainly, no noblemen. And no women at all…

The door opens in a lively swing, the sound of roaring laughter enters the room before Garion Goldenbreath does. As so often the minstrel is frilled from head to toe, though his flouncy attire is disarranged in an other way than in the well-considered flair of audacity, he often tries to show with his halfly opened doublet. Today both posture and looks show sincere lackadaisically flippancy.

As soon as the tall man catches the sight of the woodharped man, his the roar of his laughter dires up to a more stiffened, guttural sound. For a heartbeat or two, he stays in the dorrframe, a young lad, apperently still amused by the minstrels jest, slips past him into the warmth of the room. With a slight shake of his head, Garion follows. "Oi, Frey-knight, again crossing paths?", he asks with his bright smile showing a certain careful immobility.

If Leon Undyl had known what awaited him at this Inn, he had very much stayed clear of it. But as it is, the man's tired and hungry and needs a break from whatever journey he is on. So he steps inside not long after Garion and looks around. He frowns when he sees the two miscreants he remembers well and decides to ignore them, heading towards a free spot in a corner to order a meal and some ale.

Maldred's apparent high spirits seem bolstered by Goldenbreath's apparition…and practically overwhelmed by the hangdog, surly appearance of the knight after him. From a smile the bastard knight breaks into a throaty guffaw, which he only brings back under control with the generous application of ale. Turning to one of his lowborn, temporary hangers on he quips - "Whose idea was this? Two fine maidens for a nameday present, eh - Goldenbreath and Goldilocks? Whoever dreamed it deserves a dragon, though alas these days, dragons must remain but dreams…"

Garion's eyes widen as the hedgeknight walks past him and with him the memories of their last encounter - especially since the combination of those two has lead to such a rough outcome. The chuckle he offers is a bit sour but the bow deep and well-performed. "Ah well, melady, one does always enjoy to keep you company, when you drool over dreams of fair maidens and dragons. Your ale must be a fine way to feed those vivid ideas. I want some."
A bit concerned he looks over to the hedgeknight, before asking leisurely "And what brings your shiny appearance to Broadmoor, good Ser?"

Leon glares at Maldred's words without directly commenting on them, then he sniffs at Garion's question. "I came to be entertained by a double act of mildly amusing court jesters apparently.", he replies sourly and grabs his ale, when it is delivered, trying to ignore both singers with a disdainful shake of his head.

"Mildly amusing, he says," the Frey bastard exclaims in a surprisingly good natured roar. "At any rate, aye, Goldenbreath, you can share our board, if you know who and what you're drinking to! You too, my fine gallant, I'm not too small a man to forgive sullen words slurred in anger. How," Maldred adds after a wholesome gulp and with a particularly cheerful intonation, "is your sweet sister? Is she nearby, on your saddle's crup, perhaps? As you see, we're far too short of womenfolk here…"

Satisfied Garion attempts to find himself a seat, shooting a merry "Ale, good man", to the innkeeper. Before he finally sits down, he slightly frowns and wipes with his sleeve over the seating surface. "Oh, a successful minstrel always knows what and who he is drinking for. Usually the one, who pays the merry fluid is a good choice."
Then the talk about womanfolk catches his attention and the notable absence of any maiden in the room. "Indeed, no girl around. If your sister has the same mane of hair, as you have, and maybe less of a beard, she should be fine enough to join our company.", he comments.

Bringing up his sister is not a good idea. Leon glares at Maldred again, then leans forward to the minstrel and narrows his eyes: "My sister is as far away from scoundrels like you as I can possibly keep her. And if I ever find you in her vicinity, you will answer to my blade." He pats his trusty longsword, then glares at Garion as well. "Same goes for you, Stinkbreath."

As a strange fate would have it, Maldred *has* once been in this knight's sister's vicinity - though no more! - but he himself, of course, is blissfully ignorant of this. However, his assumptions about the maiden in question are not exactly immaculate.

"Calm yourself, pup," he insists in his most leisurely mien, "and join us in forgetting the pedantries of kith and kin for a moment. If you had as many sisters as I do, perhaps you'd be less…precious on this point. The minstrel's eyes serve him as well as his ears - the serving-girls here aren't even deigning to show 'emselves yet, pox on them. I'm Maldred Rivers," he proclaims, "the richest bastard in the Riverlands - and twenty seven years ago to this very day, old Lord Walder got me on his favourite whore. THAT is what we are drinking to!"

A ragged cheer goes up from the patrons of the Hoe, who have, of course, been generously bribed in liquid form.

A bit baffled Garion furrows his brows at the grouchy response of the hedgeknight. "And now I'm somehow sure the chit has a bonny beard.", he speaks in a lowered voice to Ser Maldred. Promptly the ordered ale arrives by the hands of the absent innkeeper himself.
"A Rivers it is? And a nameday? Well, then Seven bless the day of Lord Walders little infidelity, then." Garion proclaims, raising the mug "And may there be many more of days to celebrate."

Leon can't help smirking at Maldred's words. "I am sure the serving girls have a very good reason for staying hidden from your view, Rivers.", he comments idly, "And what exactly are you the richest of? A false impression of your own wits? But very well -" When Garion toasts to the man, he lifts his own mug of ale. "And may the Crone bestow a little wisdom on you for a nameday gift. For surely the Seven know what a man is most in need of!"

The resultant snort at *that* sprays about a good half-inch of Maldred's tankard, though his mood appears to be left unimpaired. "Is the pup's sword rusting so unprofitably that he thinks to make a septon? Or more likely a begging brother? The very preceptor of wisdom I'd pick myself, lads - the knight who likes to attack guardsmen and overturn taverns!"

Actually, there may be a grudging compliment in that last summation - Maldred is hardly averse to those who cause chaos - even unintentionally. As for Garion's snide little witticism, he does not specifically reply to it, though some joviality reaches even his cold eyes at that, and he unslings his harp free. "A song of maidens, perhaps, to compensate us for flesh and blood?"

"Good Ser, let me give you a little piece of advice - coins usually grant a kind of wisdom, that is found nowhere but in the flood of silver. The Crone already blessed all the rich ones, am I right?", Garion muses.
"A song of maidens, you say? Ah, I guess I have one." With that confident announcement, he grabs the lute from his back, and plays a few chords. Soon his honeyed voice joins.

"The maid I glimpsed is far from fair,

Her teeth are crooked, she lacks of hair,

But by no-o means she lacks of charms,

For there are melons between her arms"

But apparently the lute refuses to serve those verses, for a string springs in an disharmonic noise. The minstrel stops and lifts his hurt finger up to his mouth.

Leon is still busy glaring at Maldred, when Garion begins his ill-fated tune. "Yea, sounds like the kind of maiden you'd attract.", he informs Maldred dryly, then literally facepalms when the string springs. His eyes still closed, he groans: "Surely the entire Riverlands has lost its hearing when men like this can make a living as a minstrel.", he groans, "Oh how they would laugh in King's Landing."

Fortunately the breach is filled quickly by tougher cat-gut, as Maldred's competent, no-nonsense harp performance replaces the stylish - but, it seems, unreliable, - twanging of Garion's lute. "Broadmoor is no place of good fortune for lutenists, or their instruments," the bastard comments with a twisted grin. "You'll recall my dear mother's golden instrument met with a similar fate. And that lutelash will sting for a time, but you'll find the pain passes…"

The hedgeknight only elicits more mockery: "Ah, hoity-toity, city boy! I suppose the Queen herself spread out her favours for you? Or maybe the King! With your beautiful countenance and artful locks, it'd only take a pint or two before he could scarce tell the difference…"

All this repartee is hardly helpful to the song, but Maldred seems to care not a fig.

A snort of warm air, escapes Goldenbreath's nostrils. "Humorless grouch.", he mutters at Leon, as he wipes his fingers at his doublet. Now the absence of any more or less fair maidens seems to be of benefits for his dignity. An appraising nod at Ser Maldreds tunes, but still, Garion resigns with an irritated sigh.

Putting the lute aside and clings to his mug again. "Peasant knights. A plague of the Riverlands.", he mumbles, the words almost drowning in a huge swig of the dark fluid. The ale's bitterness makes him twist his mouth. "What's the matter, fine knight, why so hostile?" He asks Leon with his bold, bright smile poorly restored.

Leon stares at Maldrid and lifts his hand with his half-drained ale mug, looking like he is about to either pour the contents over Maldred's hair or simply fling the mug into this face. And then there's Garion's question. Now Leon might launch into a big speech of how wroth the bastard maketh him, but he puts it into simpler words: "He pisses me off. He and his unstoppable gob. Put a cork in it, Rivers.", he grunts, then eyes Garion. "And you - sing a decent song. Or is that too much to ask?"

At last the hedge knight's persistent discourtesy appears to have succeeded in raising a pall upon this…joyous…occasion. The bastard frowns. "For all your talk of wisdom, lad, you persist in folly. Master Garion is my guest at this board, not yours, and need trill nothing upon your bidding. But I've a mind to sing a song of another sort. I have long yearned for practice, and there's no day for luck like a nameday…care to take a walk just outside…peasant knight?"

The bastard drains off all but about an inch of his drink…and up-ends the rest on Goldilocks, in a sort of baptism, to formalise the challenge…

"Uhm" Garion comments weakly, emptying his own ale in a hasty swig. "Haha, no, no worries. We all know it is mere jesting, good lord, good knight." Cautiously he grabs his lute and steps a few inches closer to the middle of the room, as so often maneuvering the potential shield of a table between him and any openly shown swords, dirks or other inconvenient things more dangerous than
Leon sits frozen for a Moment, then he slowly rises to his feet and grabs Maldred by his shirt to pull him close. "You better apologize right now, Rivers, or this is the last birthday you have celebrated with all your limbs intact.", he threatens. Garion? Garion gets ignored. Poor chap.

There's no trace of any forthcoming apologies on this bastard's countenance, and indeed his smile quite returns, merrier and crueller than heretofore. "Are you man who likes to wager, peasant knight?" he asks pleasantly, obviously having decided to call Leon, for a time, by no other term. "What do you say…a friendly spar," his eyes flash ironically, "just beyond here. If I yield first, this purse," he jangles the leathern bag of silver he's been spending so lavishly, "is all yours. If you yield…well, it's my nameday and I'm feeling clement; how about your armour? It's none too fine, but to be without it for a time might cool your distempered peasant blood…"

Garion swallows. Finding himself at the protective keep behind a table, amused fascination soon reigns over his mien.
Craving for a little spectacle, the few other customers begin to mutter. The first wagers by other can be overheard. "Three coppers on the bastard."
"Cheap louse, I'll bet a stag on the younger one.", they exchange with lowered voices.
"Well, anyway, that's the time, when songs are born." Garion comments to the inkeeper, who doesn't seem to excited about the knights' idea.

Leon knows he should just turn and leave, but Maldred has said the magic word: Gambling. He eyes the bag of jingling coins for a moment, then sighs. "Franky, Rivers, I hate to rob you of your meager earnings, which you must have saved for months to allow for a little festivity today. But you leave me little choice and I think you will benefit from a lesson." He nods towards the door and starts striding towards it. No use breaking up another inn.

Trim and sinewy, the bastard of the Crossing reaches his rival's side with a nimble step…and accidentally on purpose goes for a light trip to send the rash cub leaving the Old Hoe face first…

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Maldred=unarmed Vs Leon=unarmed
< Maldred: Failure Leon: Success
< Net Result: Leon wins - Marginal Victory

Leon sees the other man approaching and sidesteps him, frowning. "You're already so drunk you're stumbling, Rivers?", he wonders. And then he is outside, raising his fists to welcome the other man's arrival with a punch right to his ugly mug.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Maldred=unarmed Vs Leon=unarmed
< Maldred: Great Success Leon: Good Success
< Net Result: Maldred wins - Solid Victory

The excited crowd follows and clings like a bunch of grapes outside the door. Among them, tall Garion. "I'll collect the wages.", he calls.

"Come then," the nameday knight concludes with a shrug, letting the punch fly past him while barely seeming to edge away, "let's conduct ourselves like gentlemen. As befits our noble rearing and…oh, never mind…" And he is gone into the more spacious battlefield to be beyond…

[ Stables ]----------[ Broadmoor ]
Wed Feb 06, 290 — Wed Feb 06 2013

A towering stone archway leads from the square into this trodden-dirt yard, lined on each side by orderly stable-blocks, and on the far by a large barn and storage rooms. A well is set at the center of the area, with a bucket on a pulley for easy drawing, and smooth cobblestones level out the ground in front of the numerous doors, which hace iron rings set in the stone between so that horses might be tied outside for grooming in the fresh air. The further building, by the looks of it, is where tack and feed is kept dry and cool; these smaller rooms taking up about a third of the structure with the rest devoted to an airy haybarn.

Like a excited flock of chesty-voiced ducklings, the other men and the frilled minstrel follow. The coins are already jingling in his empty mug and another he found somewhere in the hands of a spectator. "Left mug hedgeknight, right mug bastard! ", he repeats. Then he turns to the two opponents, apparently pleased by his new role, to lead the audience. "Listen! This is an official duel, many witnesses are around. You shall use your swords! " he simply sets "'til first blood. Whoever wins shall hand out the price to the other before dust. May the battle begin now. " Clinging both mugs together he gives a sign. The crowd cheers.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Maldred=alertness Vs Leon=alertness
< Maldred: Good Success Leon: Success
< Net Result: Maldred wins - Marginal Victory

Ser Maldred Rivers has not fenced in earnest - even over so trivial a matter - in far too long, and he seems to treat the whole affair as his ideal nameday present. His face is focussed and peppery, his - suitably enough - bastard sword out before he draws breath, clean and whirring in the air, its steel looking as hungry as he does. Characteristically swift and nippy on his feet in style, it is the bastard who seizes the chance for a first lunge - towards Leon's sword arm, an easy length of away from Maldred's unusual, left-handed technique.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Maldred=blades Vs Leon=blades
< Maldred: Good Success Leon: Success
< Net Result: Maldred wins - Marginal Victory

Leon had obviously not expected the bastard be so swift in his attack and the man's blow grazes his sword arm, leaving an indent in his leathers. "Damn you, Rivers!", he mutters and leashes out himself, going for the other man's shoulder to propel him back.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Leon=blades Vs Maldred=blades
< Leon: Failure Maldred: Great Success
< Net Result: Maldred wins - Crushing Victory

"A swift blow!" Garion exclaims. Looking behind him, he shoves a stouty man in front of him. "There fellow, I'm tall enough to peek over your shoulder.", he explains jovially. Meanwhile his fingers find the bottom of one of the jingling mugs subtly enough not to get spotted. A few coins remain in his hand, when he reaches them over to the man in front of him. "And here, I trust you to take care of it. The coins have to be in the front row."

"Thing about we Rivers is…we *flow*," Maldred catcalls as he swerves out of the way of the careering hothead entirely, letting the young fellow charge himself into further confusion for several long, contemptuous moments ere he returns to the attack - a rapid sideswipe of the blade against the hedge-knight's shield-arm, this time.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Maldred=blades Vs Leon=blades
< Maldred: Success Leon: Great Success
< Net Result: Leon wins - Solid Victory

Leon is slowly warming up as he realizes that he has underestimated the bastard and his fighting skills. He dodges the man's next attack with a swift sidestep, then whirls around to slam his sword into Maldred's side to send him off balance.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Leon=blades Vs Maldred=blades
< Leon: Great Success Maldred: Great Success
< Net Result: Leon wins - Marginal Victory

"What a lanky lad." Garion mutters, as he lays his hand on the shoulder of a young boy and pushes him a few inches closer to the battle. "Here, better stare at those two fellows instead of my back.", he adds with gruffy chuckly. "Maybe you can learn something."
The minstrel slowly dives into the background.

A feat which knocks a lot of wind out of Ser Maldred…but as yet, extracts no blood. Besides, his curious left-handed stance means it is double difficult to blindside him. Still, more insulted than hurt, he looks genuinely dangerous for the first time now. His pale eyes glimmer with something between lust and fever…as he raises his blood sword in a high risk, dirty slash that aims to sweep across and horrifically scar the 'peasant knight''s pretty face.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Maldred=blades Vs Leon=blades
< Maldred: Good Success Leon: Good Success
< Net Result: Maldred wins - Marginal Victory

Not his pretty face! While Leon can't fully dodge the slash, it's little more than a brief touch that shaves a quarter inch off his nice beard. His eyes flashing with anger, he lunges forward, sword ahead as if he's trying to poke Maldred into his belly.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Leon=blades Vs Maldred=blades
< Leon: Success Maldred: Good Success
< Net Result: Maldred wins - Marginal Victory

Another easy step back by the bastard - but the ease is beginning to be feigned, and even, possibly, to any trained onlookers, to look it. Still, Maldred's spirits remain high and his words bitter. "Hungry, peasant knight? You won't find my luncheon that way, I'm afraid." The bastard of the Crossing has strength as well as speed, and now, the temper up, he aims to show it, barrelling towards his foe to get in at the young knight's left thigh, sweeping any guard aside.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Maldred=blades Vs Leon=blades
< Maldred: Great Success Leon: Good Success
< Net Result: Maldred wins - Solid Victory

Leon winces a little when the sword hits his thigh, but still there is no blood. "You start to -really- piss me off, bastard!", he growls and uses Maldred's proximity to land a hopefully ferocious blow on the other man's sword arm.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Leon=blades Vs Maldred=blades
< Leon: Good Success Maldred: Good Success
< Net Result: Leon wins - Marginal Victory

Ferocious it would have been - to be sure it connected - but the scion of Frey is more armoured than he looks, it seems, as the slashed doublet gets more slashed and the severed sleeve reveals a high iron bracelet, turning the blade. There is no repartee now, and Maldred's mouth is thin, his teeth gritted as he aims to take advantage of the temprory obscruction of Leon's blade - to stab him under the sword arm, good and hard.

The crowd is caught. The audience hisses whenever swords cling together, roar in laughter at the knights' fencing of words and raise fists whenever one /almost/ succeeds. Almost. The stouty man in the front row trembles in anticipation. The lanky boy, stamps his feet as the next blow goes without the desired blood. No golden breath mingles with the excited shouts, however and his frilled figure went out of sight for now.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Maldred=blades Vs Leon=blades
< Maldred: Success Leon: Success
< Net Result: DRAW

Leon sees the attack coming though and steps back to parry the blow. Gritting his teeth, he swings around to try and disarm Maldred with a well-placed blow to his left bicep…

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Leon=blades Vs Maldred=blades
< Leon: Failure Maldred: Good Success
< Net Result: Maldred wins - Solid Victory

Leon sees another attack come to nothing and grunts. "May the Others take your silver, Rivers! I've got better things to do than waste my time with the likes of you!" The hedgeknight stalks off, looking angry at himself for not being able to beat the other man.

It's been a long display of defensive skill - some might say, a combination of two closely matched experts, others might deride, a drunken brawl of woeful incompetents - and either way, the bastard's legs, blade and tongue are all too weary to give proper chase, but he does croak, "Yield - coward - peasant - "

…and then spits, as accurately as he can, after his adversary, before turning round and throwing silver disdainfully into the crowd. "Another round! To valiance, and a pox on cravenness!" At that, he leads the rabble back whence they had come, a minstrel and a knight the shorter…

Unsatisfied the audience mutters displeasedly at the outcome of the battle. "I want my money back." A man huffs and reaches into one of the mugs. Slowly they begin to move. Before dispersing others claim back their wagers too and it takes not long to spot a few missing. A sudden movement conquers the disgruntled audience as the first fist meets the stouty man's face and the empty mugs fall to the ground.
"Seven hells!" Garion says, as he hastily flees the scenery.