Page 418: Captain Bastard and the Mystery Merc
Captain Bastard and the Mystery Merc
Summary: Ser Jarod spars with his new 'recruit,' he which calls himself Dramdel 'the Dreadhame.'
Date: 12/09/289
Related Logs: Beneath Sightless Stare
Jarod Maldred 
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.
Wed Sep 12, 289

Morning in Stonebridge. Still a town braced to defend from war, more with each passing day. Still waiting for the Charltons, camped outside their doorstep, to come and do violence upon them. Though exactly when they will come isn't clear. For now, the men drill and wait. Ser Jarod's doing the former at the moment. He's in his partial maile and has gone to a patch of empty field a little off the Stone Walk, to hit things. His blade is a blunted practice sword rather than his own longsword, so theoretically he doesn't mean to kill these things today. There are archery targets set up as well. He's called together a handful of the mercenaries he's gathered - such as they are - to see what they can do with themselves.

One of the more ominous looking of the sellswords at their training - while far from the largest - is a grim-aspected fellow with a russet-coloured beard, a similar style of armour to the Half-Eagle, if in less good repair, and a dark hangman's hood hiding his face from the crown of his head to the bridge of his nose. Dramdel 'the Dreadhame' keeps his distance from the other fighters, out of pride or habit acting the part of a loner, though he looks now and then lingeringly in Ser Jarod's direction, obviously aiming to impress, or at least gain the attention of, their temporary commander. He is equipped with a larger tourney blade than the Terrick bastard, the size of a bastard sword itself, able to be swung in both hands or lunged in one; and his trusty longbow remains across his back.

It's the Dreadhame - as he calls himself - that Jarod approaches first. Most of the other men are set about happily bruising each other, which Jarod sees no call to interrupt. "Master Dramdel. A good morn. You found the gear, I see. That's for the good." The armor's noted with an approving sort of nod. "And you've a set of proper maile. Did you say you won that upon the Pyke?"

"Aye," comes the reply, curt and staid but with an oddly meditative note. The 'Northerner' rests upon the big, hollow false-bastard-sword, his off-hand - in this moment, it may be noted that his dominant hand is left - tracing the rings on the maile's torso. "I've wondered now and then, ser Half-Eagle, if it were'n worth its mettle; for the Ironman look of the design turns almost as many hands on me as the rings turn blades aside! But I see ye favour the same garb yersel' this day, capt'rn bast'rd."
The mercenary's grin is quick, thin behind the beard's bristles, broad, the teeth surprisingly clean if not very perfectly intact. "Shall we test whether m'maile was worth the trouble, capt'rn, or would y'rather play at archers? 'M better with a bow; so p'raps I need the hand's practice the more…"

Jarod smirks when he's called 'Captain Bastard' again. Though, again, he doesn't object to the term. "I had a set of breastplate, but my lord father stripped it from me when I was dismissed from the Terrick household. The maile I've managed to earn here, so it suits me just fine. I'd like to see your work with the bow first, I figure. Practice of melee can leave a man bruised in inconvenient places, wouldn't want to muss your shooting arm before you had the chance for it. In battle do you prefer the sword, or the archery line?"

Dramdel nods almost…cheerily, for someone who wears an executioner's mask without apparently ever removing it. "Un'erstood, capt'n. Well, that would depend on mood, but I count a bout spoilt when a'havena put paid to foemen with arrows n' edge both. A waste of potential, like. A'know I'm a fine shot n' I know how to get other folk shootin' faster n' harder. But battle, true battle, true wages, come in combat. I aim to win that ransom. 'Twere a choice o' mine…I'd hold, till my quiver was bare and my floor gleaned, then enter th ethickest o' the press, where leaders n' fat purses can be found."
His tread is light for a mailed man, as they take a turn over towards the targets. "Yer first, capt'n, or I?"

<FS3> Jarod rolls Marksmanship: Failure.

Jarod goes to get himself a bow, leaving his practice sword sheathed for the moment. There are arrows available to pepper the hay bail targets. "I'll give it a go. I'm far better with a blade, for my part. Done most of my killing with arrows on beasts. Hunting, other sport like that. It's Lord Rafferdy who's our best archer, though…" Grimace. "…well, who knows how long his lord father's business may hold him at the Mire. And Ser Bruce means to give any man who can manage a bow that as well. Might as well thin before that way before we have to stab them." He draws, he shoots…he misses. Another grimace. "Uh…aye, see if you can better that."

"N' crossbows?" the man from up Dreadfort way enquires beadily. "There enough of them for the Longbough to dish 'em out to we as are trained? Well. I like long and crossbows both, capt'n. Like two kind o' women, fair n' lean, or dark n' vicious down below…" The sellsword, or indeed bow, distracts his attention from this analogy with apparent difficulty before following the flight of the Half-Eagle's feather with an honest brand of open sneer.
"Well," he confines his comment; his quiver is prepared, and he readies his old longbow to reply in kind, and, with any luck, more notable kind at that.

<FS3> Maldred rolls Marksmanship+reaction: Good Success.

"They've crossbows enough to outfit the guardsmen. And I'll be issued one," Jarod says. Not that he's proving himself especially adept at archery just now. "If you're as good as you claim, I'll speak to Ser Longbough about seeing if one can be found for you. Our supply of them's not unlimited." The sneer gets a shrug. It was a sneer-worthy shot. "Dark and vicious has always been my preference. Keeps one's life interesting." The shot itself earns a low whistle. "Well done enough."

"Well enough for a dark and vicious wench?" Dramdel suggests cheekily, "near as vicious perhaps as yer own Harpy wife, she that robbed ye of yer spurs when she gained her own?" This is a well informed outlander, for sure, and while his jibing spirit seems to have no more or less malice than previously, his level of detail may yet provoke even the easy-going bastard of the Roost.
But perhaps it has a purpose, as 'the Dreadhame' sets aside his longbow and picks up the training bastard-sword in two hands. "C'mere, capt'n, for yer dark and vicious wife's honour, eh…"

"You've heard that tale, then." It's said wry from Jarod, and not really a question. The misadventures of he and his sometime squire, now bride, are well-known across the Riverlands. "Her honor is what she makes of it now. As is mine. Suppose we'll see what the world brings us on that score." He's not provoked to immediate violence, but he's eager enough to put the bow aside. For something more built for hitting. He draws his blunted blade. "For sport today, Dreadhame. And we'll see what we can do."

<COMBAT> Maldred attacks Jarod with Greatsword - Light wound to Neck (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Jarod attacks Maldred with Greatsword - Light wound to Left Hand.

The 'Northerner' has the worst of the first fracas, going for the jugular…a vicious tactical move but one that leaves his unarmoured hands open to assault. It almost causes him to lose a grip on his greatsword and he swears in a blurred profanity and an accent that sounds suspiciously earthy and nearby, before grunting more softly, "By the Old Gods…this time, Half-Eagle," neglecting the ser as he rallies for another blow…

Jarod grunts as he's struck, turning his himself so he deflects some of that strike to his neck, but it still stings. As being hit anywhere on the neck tends to. He does indulge in a little grin when his own blunted blade strikes the 'Northerner's' dominant hand. "You're well-informed of Riverlands, for a Northern man," he observes as he pivots back for another blow. "Have they come up with a tavern ballad about Rowenna's exploits yet. She's due one. Must say, I wouldn't mind a song of my own other than Lord Jerold's Lament. Not that it my lord father's not still…lamenting."

<COMBAT> Maldred attacks Jarod with Greatsword - Moderate wound to Right Leg.
<COMBAT> Jarod attacks Maldred with Greatsword - Moderate wound to Right Arm.

"I don' get my news from songs," Dramdel grunts, "the Dreadhame likes such liltin' little." He is chewing his lip as the right forearm stings, but pain aside, his glad to have managed to guard his main sword arm this time. "A wise sword is a sharp sword," he adds simply, and aims to lunge to match.

"I like a good song, myself. So long as you keep to mind they're all bullshit, mostly, they give a man good rhythm to march to. Or fight to." Jarod keeps his aim on the sellsword's upper body, his aim seemingly to knock the sword from his hands. Or at least weaken his arms that hold it. He does get in another hit, but it leaves his knees undefended. And he has to spin back one-legged for a second to regroup. He doesn't fall. It's a near thing, but the bastard is lighter on his feet than one might expect.

<COMBAT> Jarod attacks Maldred with Greatsword but Maldred DODGES!
<COMBAT> Jarod has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

"That's what them hollyhocks out there seem to think," the 'Dreadhame' avers. "Ye'd starta believe one in three o' their levies were singers not soldiers. The song that pleases men where I was born, that's screaming. DREADFORT!" He swings with his banter hardly flown from his cracked, beard-hindered lips.

Jarod takes a moment to turn his head and spit, at mention of the Charltons. "They're in terrible voice, too. Could at least hire a fucking bard if they're going to sing all night, not just howl like mutts. Well. I've never been afraid of a dog in my life, won't start now." Rather than a proper battle cry, he lets out an ear-piercing whistle, and steps light away from 'Dreadhame's' sword. Perhaps he's still regrouping from that blow to his leg. His own tourney blade also finds empty air, but he doesn't seem too put out. He'll give it another go.

<COMBAT> Maldred attacks Jarod with Greatsword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Jarod attacks Maldred with Greatsword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

"Did Lord Terrick get you on some Northern wench…?" Dramdel speculates with sullen, insinuating flattery. "Here we are, you and I, in the same armour, dancing to the same jig…" Then he makes a gamble, and his move, and reels back…falling into laughter soon enough, as he observes they have mirrored each other's steps, and injuries, yet again. "North blood, or some blood, aye, something binds us," he breathes raggedly, and his next stroke is slow but low, and calculated.

"No, he didn't." Jarod apparently has less of a sense of humor about his mother than his bizarre marriage and wife. He tries to get in a quick strike at the sellsword's chest, though he can't manage to do more than jar the other man's armor. "I'm all River bastard. What about your lord father?" It's asked in an almost off-hand manner. Almost. "Never heard a man not bastard-born talk on it like you do. Like it's a bloody joke. Which…well, damn well is, most ways."

<COMBAT> Maldred attacks Jarod with Greatsword - Light wound to Left Arm.
<COMBAT> Jarod attacks Maldred with Greatsword but Maldred DODGES!

Not much of the sellsword's face escapes the covering of the helm, the hood and the beard, but what strips can be discerned pale bone white at the other's insinuation. As if a true hurt within inspires him to sliver with almost abhuman speed without, Dramdel quite evades the Half-Eagle's next lunge and lands a hurt himself, slight but telling. Then he paces about, pausing a little before he closes again, thinking, before he warns, "You sniff around after the Lord's Night up north, you get hurt, bast'rd. Capt'n or not, leave that aside or ye'll lose the sooner. Have at thee!"

Jarod winces at that hit, his grip on his sword slipping for a moment. He regains it, but that did smart. "Fair enough," he pants. "It's no business of mine. Plenty of bastard swords in the land. You wield is well enough, which is all I care for."

<COMBAT> Maldred attacks Jarod with Greatsword - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Jarod attacks Maldred with Greatsword - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

"Glad s' enough for ye. Enough for me, too," Dramdel snarls, hurling down his practice greatsword, as if Jarod is responsible for robbing him of some spring in his step…and not by the shame of defeat. "No point in fightin' to the true pain, against a good leader and captain. I'll save the vim for the hollyhocks, and their vapid singers. Yielded…capt'n bast'rd."