Page 147: Iron in the Blood
Iron in the Blood
Summary: Tam Cooper and Mistress Damara share friendly words and than a companionable bar brawl.
Date: 09 Dec 2011
Related Logs: TBD
Damara Tam 
Terricks Roost by Night!
Outside and then in the Rockcliff
December 9, 288

Striding out from Rockcliff Inn, a tall figure stands briefly silhouetted in the doorframe. Tam takes a look through the Square before stepping into it, the precaution perhaps borne of long habit. He looks toward the stables, noting a collection of rather fine-looking horses, and makes his way in that direction. The man's movements are entirely lacking in grace - there is no swagger to him, nor any refined elegance. His very steps bespeak a certain…denseness. Stopping alongside the woman who tends to the mounts, he studies her for a long moment, apparently not in any hurry to speak. Finally, he says "If you'll forgive the asking, Mistress, whose mounts are these?" His voice is rough, uncouth, though he appears to be trying to be as polite as he can manage.

The question catches her off-guard at first having not really noticed anyone is lingering currently except for the stablehands and herself. Damara hesitates and then realizes she is being addressed, her mind having been elsewhere. The pass of the brush stills and she turns to look over her shoulder up at the man who addresses her. "Most are in the care of House Camden visiting at the Four Eagles Tower…is there something I can help you with?" She asks curiously, idly going back to her work but her attention given over to the man more freely now.

She shifts a bit so she can face him partially and continue to address the horse, moving about to the other side.

Idly taking a step backward, an affable smile creasing his leathery features, Tam shakes his head slowly. Absently brushing a bit of dirt off his sleeve as he addresses Damara, he says "Nah, thank you Mistress. I was hoping it was an old friend, is all. Be finding him up at the Tower, I expect." Despite the clearly-common accent, his tone is placid, untroubled. He casts a glance up toward the Four Eagles Tower, sizing it up steadily, then looks back to the woman. "I am Ser Tam Cooper - you'll beg my pardon for not introducing myself proper, I hope."

Nodding her head to his introduction and explanation, Damara lets a slow smile spread in response as she looks to her work as she talks for a time. "I am not troubled by such proper introductions. I am often over looked for such things but it is nice to meet you, Ser Cooper." She intones a moment, yet to give her name but she then adds. "Who is it you are in search of?" She asks curiously.

She moves to set the brush aside and then take up a bent piece of steel and takes up the hoof of the mare she works on, resting it in the crook of her legs to begin to clean the dirt from beneath.

Fishing a long-stemmed pipe from a pouch on his belt, Tam busies himself for a time tamping in a sweet-smelling tobacco. He lights it from a small taper, inhaling the fragrant smoke deeply and blowing it out through his nose. After a moment or two of stillness, with a deliberation that further solidifies an image of denseness, he looks back at Damara and answers. "A Ser Hardwicke Blayne? Fought together for King Robert, once upon a time. When I was younger and less ugly." His smile widens to a crooked grin, at his own humor.

There is a huff of a laugh at the mention of being younger. "We were all much younger than…but a lot less wise." Damara mentions as she taps the dirt off the end of the hooked metal. She wipes a bit on the long dirties rag that hangs from her belt. She smiles and continues her work and than sighs, shifting to get a bit more comfortable in her posture. "Ser Hardwicke…I know the man." The Mistress looks upward at the Ser and than nods her head. "Smiles a lot less than you…perhaps he learned that as well during the war." She sets down the hoof and moves on, working methodically in practied motions. "I think he may very well be at the towers. I am to head there soon, but I thought to give the nobles their time and find myself some food and drink before checking in on the ladies."

A rumbling laugh escapes Tam and he shakes his head, lifting the long-stemmed pipe from his lips to grin at Damara. He turns to look out over the square, his gray eyes surprisingly alert as he surveys the passers-by. Taking another long puff on his pipe, he finally answers. "He didn't laugh much when we met, neither. But a fairer man, I couldn't meet. I did some damn-fool.. excuse me, some fool thing, and Ser Hardwicke saw it. Saw me rewarded with a title, too." Gazing up at the Tower, he flits a glance over at Damara. "But he sure doesn't laugh a lot."

"To be sure.." Damara confirms and again, moves to another hoof, wiping the instrument clean between each pass of it. "And do not excuse yourself. Damn or fool or whatever you wish to say, it matters not." She rubs at the small of her back, looking somewhat tired from the ride and now tending the steeds. "I do not think you will find him hard to miss.." She admits in due time and then she smiles a little. "I suppose a knight need not smile when it comes to bar fights. He is at least strong and capable, that is all that truly matters I suppose." She pushes her braid back over her shoulder and sets the tool aside, hooking it back into place as she wipes her hands on the cloth. "What did Ser Hardwicke reward you for, ser?"

There is a sudden awkwardness, a sheepishness, about Tam. He scuffs a boot on the ground, before murmuring very softly "…I like bar-fights." Like a little boy called to task, the Knight reddens a bit. And then he grins, his whole demeanor changing, livening up when Damara asks her question. "Well!" He clamps down on his pipe, somehow managing to talk and gesticulate while still smoking - causing the words to be a bit muffled. "It was at the Trident. This fellow, Ser Seryn Yronheart, got himself in all sorts of trouble. Ended up flat on his back in the water - and you may have noticed, lass, but armor don't float much." He is certainly loosening up a bit as he tells his tale, hands flying in the air when he speaks of the knight hitting the water.

"Well, I'm a bit of a fool - no fool like an old fool - and I see this poor boy splashing and spluttering, and of course he's a real easy target for those Targaryen bas..soldiers." He pauses here, squinting and drawing himself up as he continues, presenting a more robust presence. "So I leapt atop poor Ser Seryn, and hauled him up by his hair to breathe, and killed anyone that came near the boy. And then I dragged him in to shore."

Arms slowly fold in a sort of stance that tells she is ready to settle in for the tale. Damara can not help but grin a little still from his claim of liking bar brawls. A brow lifts, "Last I checked any man in steel strapped as such is usually already well drowned.." But she quiets, her gaze flickering to those broad sweeping gestures that become more readily available with the passing of moments. A dark auburn brow raises gives a tug to her own hair in thought of the feat and then there is a laugh.

"I dare say you like bar-fights…" Is her dry comment on the matter of him fighting off the opposition to the water logged knight. "The other part of me realizes you like to have your hands full.." She tips her head, making note of his pipe and moving hands. "A right one for trouble…" There is a tick of a grin as she says it and she is pulling the rag free from her belt to set it aside. "Seems the right thing to do when you save a mans life. To knight you…" She is a rather calm, sedated Mistress but a twinkle is still in that jade gaze of her's. "I bet it is not safe to enter a tavern with you at all, no wonder Ser Hardwicke is tired and often grumpy." Her grin remains.

"It ain't my fault some pup thinks that just 'cos he's pretty, I'm going to kiss him! You know what they say, lass. Can take the pig out of the sty, but he -still smells like shit!-" Laughing agreeably, the Knight casts another glance around. His tone and manner are irreverent, but he watches passers-by with a professional interest that his jests simply fail to hide. Returning his attention to Damara, the man takes another long puff on his pipe, smoke snorting out of his nostrils and trailing upward along his beard.

"Ser Hardwicke stopped going to taverns with me some years back. Probably on account of my always needing rescuing. Don't mistake me, lass. I'm helpless as a lamb - I just got lucky that day, is all." His smile as he studies Damara is a bit too toothy for a lamb, despite his protestations. Leaning his shoulder against the wall of the stables, the knight seems utterly relaxed, if far too informal for his new station.

"Well then we are one and the same….Ser Hardwicke manages to round up and save many a lost patron in such a sea of punches and slurrs." Damara jests right back, though a tired sigh and she is removing the leather jerkin near her saddled goods that hang over the tack wall. She lays that over as well and slips her gloves to her belt, hooking them over.

A brow lofts again, a dry smile still resting gently in place. "I mistake no one…I have yet to truly know you except by station, name, and a watery deed…and let us not forget the love for a scuffle." She muses and then adjusts the lacings of her blouse a moment, turning down her collar. "Lamb or not, I do not think you are like to find food at the towers presently, unless you plan to be a lamb of purple and yellow quiet so quickly." She intones with a laugh. "Yet I fear to even extend the invite to join me for stew and ale. You truly don't seem quite the creature to be sheered so easily." She gives him another considering look.

Looking up at the Tower, an unmistakeable expression of trepidation crosses Tam's features. He follows it up with a glance aside to the Inn, and offers a sly smile to Damara. "I think I could stand an ale or three," he says in a musing tone. "Yeah, I think I could." Puffing on his pipe again, the Knight considers further. "And maybe a bowl of stew." As if on cue, his stomach growls rather rudely. With exaggerated dignity, Tam turns his gaze up toward the sky, as though pretending not to know where the sound came from.

He gives up, a broad smile on his face as he looks over at Damara. "I got more stories, and a wicked way of throwing men about, and I promise not to embarass you -too- much, Mistress. If you'd join me, that is."

"I fear if I had anything left in me to embarrass, you would not find it, ser." Damara says with something near a challenge. "Besides, I could not by far hold you back from food that you apparently so eagerly need." There is a long drawn breath and her mood seems to have lightened as well as the exhaustion that had readily been apparent before. She gives the stables a look and then considers Tam a long moment. "I suppose I could be persuaded to join you. Not like it's easy to find good company these days in taverns, I suppose you will have to do."

The last is said as she nods ot him and moves about the stables to head into the bustling Rockcliff, already starting to brim over at the current time. She hesitates and then looks back a moment. "So tell me more about these other stories…of yours." She says amiably.

Flicking the remains of his pipe out onto the cobbles, Tam smacks the bowl against his thigh to clear it before dropping it into his belt-pouch. He follows the woman toward the Rockcliff, forcing the crowd to move around -him- rather than accomodate their flow in and out of the busy inn. Gallantly offering an arm to Damara, the Knight takes her gentle ribbing in stride, smiling down at her idly.

"Well. I was born of stories, lass. Or more like - I was born of war. They say some men are like that, shield for a cradle, rocked to sleep by the sound of a grindstone on a blade. That was me. Battlefield baby." He begins his tales with relish as the pair move into the Inn, seeming to savor the very disreputable nature of it.

Rockcliff Inn Terrick's Roost

The Rockcliff Inn is one of the better inns within the town and it shows with the well-lit interior and the relative cleanliness to the other locations in Terrick's Roost. The tables are polished with oils and the floor regularly swept. A set of booths towards a darker rear of the Inn's bottom floor, just beneath the staircase, are where whores generally socialize and eye prospects from when not waiting tables. Signs over the undersized bar area advertise prices for ales and wines as well as several different choices of food to be served at the small eating area by the bar or in the main open area in its comfortable seating. A door behind the bar leads to the kitchen and cellar while another near the staircase leads to a private room that would appear to be off-limits to the 'wait staff' except for food and drink service.

The Inn, for it's part is brimming with bodies and shiftings of patrons trying to find room or grab a table. Damara is glad for the arm, though she finds the beginning of the next story something quite amusing as she lifts a brow. "You keep calling me lass and I am about to think I am some maiden or the like." She lifts her voice so her companion can hear her.

She hesitates a moment, giving part of her attention to finding them someplace less commotion filled to dock. There. She gives a tilt of her head towards a small but cramped table near one of the walls as she tugs his arm. "Shields for cradles…you are not a Camden man that is for sure." She muses, but the Mistress is guiding them in and there, she manages to give a look to a group of menfolk that are starting that way.

"I'm a whoreson." The shocking words come quite naturally out of the Knight's mouth; he glances aside at Damara to see how she takes them. Approaching a table at the same time as a somewhat smaller man, Tam draws himself up, his features growing fierce as he stares. The other man blanches, takes a step back, and forfeits the table. As though nothing had happened, he turns and draws out a seat for Damara. "You -are- a lass. Young as a yearling, far as I see."
The grizzled knight rounds the table, making for his own seat and flashing Damara a mischievous grin as he drops into it. "But, aye. Born on a shield. My ma taught me how to strip a corpse of valuables inside of five minutes."

As the man packpedals from the table, Damara can not help but give a clipped laugh. "Lamb, indeed." As for the business of being a whoreson, it seems the Mistress is not one to judge. "We all come into the world the same way, just some of us have more titles upon entering." She smirks a little and takes to the seat he pulls for her. Sliding into it, she lifts her legs a moment, stretching them out with a sigh before getting more comfortable. "A yearling…really…are you just attempting to win some honor for your kindness or is there something else for being so generous that you are searching for?" That makes her laugh again and she shakes her head.

"Well one can not say you don't have usable talents…" She adds in a low tone and then gives a look upward to see if she can find one of the servers in the flow of bodies. "

"Am I hoping to take you back to that stable, pay the boy there a copper or three to bugger off for an hour? Nah. I'm too -old- for that. Older I get, uglier I get, more I realize that sort of thing never quite works out for men like me." Tam's very crassness is disarming; he grins across the table at Damara, then - without really looking - reaches out to nab a passing barmaid around the waist. She curses, looking down at him indignantly. "Two ales, luv. And two stews." Hissing at him as he releases her, the barmaid flounces off.

Tam turns his attention back to the woman aross from him. "But all that said, I still enjoy the company of a beautiful young girl over a few ales. It's a kindness I won't forget, you joining me here." Despite his crude manners, the man -does- seem to possess some sense of gallantry.

"See I knew there was still some deep facet of your charm I had yet to gather…." Damara says sarcastically and seems to becoming more relaxed as the time passes. But she laughs all the same, finding at least a decent amount of humor. Her gaze lifts to the barmaid, giving her a sympathetic look. After the flounces off, Damara looks at him in sort of a conspiratol way. "I have it heard that the ladies of the Rockcliff can be rather tender to the right man, but seeing as you are so old, my advice not be worth a grain of salt you should take it with." She stays leaning forward, rolling her sleeves back upon her arms, the right a massive fest of crisscrossing scarred lines, the left having it's own share but not quite so many.

"You keep calling me a girl, but I was married once and widowed once. I am sorry but no amount of times you say girl or lass will offer me back those years." She lauhs a little. "As for kindness, I was quite hungry and well, I would rather have company as well to eating alone before finding a suitable resting spot for the evening."

"Married and widowed, eh? Either my eyes fail me, or you've a finely-preserved manner to you, madame." Tam's words are grave, sincerely respectful, though he swipes thirstily at the ale as it's set in front of him - and just as promptly swipes the young barmaid's backside as she storms off, eliciting a squeal of outrage. He looks back to Damara, taking in her scars unflinchingly, with a single glance of his gray eyes.

"Any advice a woman such as yourself gives a lout like me, madame, I'll take in wide-eyed, like a boy at his lessons." He grins again, taking a long gulp of ale, and looks up as the stew arrives. "Ah! Look at that, eh? There's even some pork among the barley." Leaning down, he sniffs the meat, then smiles. "And it ain't even rancid yet. This one time, during the fight for King's Landing, I got lucky and found a whole -link- of garlic sausage on a Targaryen soldier. Been hunting for that butcher who made it ever since. I'll never forget the smell."

There is a rueful look than to that and Damara says rather easily, "I can thank the Lords Camden for keeping the peace of Tall Oaks that a woman may never have to worry about such things besides her duty." But there is a soft laugh at the barmaids expense, that quirk of a smile setting her green gaze with a glint before giving her gaze over to the stew, leaning in to smell the oddly hearty looking meal before lifting her own ale to drink deeply of it. A long ride, and longer time tending all the mounts to the guards and ladies of Camden.

"Like I have nothing much to give you in way of advice other than fight when it is only necessary. There is plenty of it to be had and little of quiet…take the quiet while you can." She gives him a look that says more and than with the mention of the meat, she lofts a brow. "More like you skewered him as was that sworn…sad to say many things were lost to not be replaced by that war, even if the realm is safer for it." She admits readily, obviously not favoring the Targaryens by any means. She lifts a spoonful of the soup, taking part of it with a sigh and then a nod. "You are lucky to be alive besides, and I am lucky to be so entertained for my evening."

For just a moment, the burly knight's manner is steely - his gray eyes harden like iron blades as he replies. "I wasn't lucky." The fierce look isn't directed to Damara at all, but rather over her shoulder, to a pair of young men speaking to the bartender and glancing in their direction. He lifts his stew, slurping at the broth and swiping a hand through his beard. Features softening as he looks back to Damara, he continues. "I'm real good at what I do."
He considers her advice, lifting his mug and gulping down huge mouthfuls, foam running into his beard. When he slams the tankard down, it is half-empty. He grins across the table at Damara, and says "I like quiet. Quiet's real nice. It has its place. But for me? I sort of enjoy the roar, too." The two men shove off the bar, begin sidling in the direction of Damara and Tam, and the Knight just grins across the table at his companion. "I'm sorry," he apologizes in a sincere manner, "But I think I'm gonna have to ignore your advice here in a moment.

"Sometimes luck has a great measure in our skills as well…" Damara intones, though the track of his gaze is one that makes her turn some and send a cursory glance over her shoulder before settling back and giving him a considering look. The Mistress does not ask, but when he continues on, she nods her head. "I have no doubt you are…" Her own ale is lifted and she draws deeply on it, feeling the dryness of her throat abate once more with a sigh befores he stirs a the stew, taking another bite.

The slam draws her attention a little more readily. "Quiet is a blessing…" She promises him and then shakes her head. "Too much iron in your blood, it makes you restless.." It seems she is quoting something, perhaps someone, but the falconer is draws a long breath, as if in preparation for what might come according to his tone. "Not like I was to get much quiet in here anyways.." SHe admits reluctantly. Not again.

Tam With a final apologetic glance to Damara, Tam rises to his feet. He lifts his tankard of ale, draining the remnants of it as the two men sidle closer - splitting up and approaching from both sides. The burly knight smiles crookedly, setting down his tankard and spreading his arms wide in a disarming gesture. "Boys, boys. You lads seem like you've some small trifle you want to share. Can't you see there's a lady to consider?"

He does not seem concerned in the slightest, stepping toward the pair - making their flank-job easier, it seems. Over his shoulder, to Damara, the older man says "Iron in the blood? Maybe so. Or in the bones." And with that, his attention snaps back to the pair of strongarms closing in on him, affable manner abruptly vanishing. "This ain't a fight you lads want. Walk away. Now." Of course, they simply sneer, confident in numbers and youth.

"Set that pretty blade aside and just see how much I want this fight, old timer," the first of the local young men rebutts to Tam's warning. "No bloody sellsword is gonna set hands on a Roost girl without getting worse than a slap to his ass, hear?" The second seems willing to let his friend to the talking, the subtle body language poised for movement.

Ill luck seems to favor the choices Damara makes in company as well. Lady. When that is said she frowns a little and looks back and up again at the men that have drawn closer in their pursuit of something - though most likely they are drunk and just wanting to scratch an itch. Much like her companion - sans being drunk. The mistress makes a motion of pushing their stews to the wall their table rests one side against, followed by their ales. She sighs and says to herself, "No harm in trying…" She intones and then starts to rise, meaning to try to ease the situation.

Though the finality of Tam's words near the end, she finds the words she had readied are dried before they leave her lips or tongue. A sharp breath is done. "It's part of the job description, I am sorry but those are the hazards of being a bar wench…" She offers up, taking a step up a bit closer, though leaving some room.

In a single motion, Tam rips the hand-and-a-half sword from its scabbard. Its unadorned blade glints, clearly worn down through years of sharpening, and clearly razor-keen. For a moment, it may seem that the older soldier is going to turn his blade on the two ruffians - and perhaps *he* thinks so, too, his features blazing with a sudden rage. But he reverses the blade deftly and, without looking, sets it on the table behind him.

"Madame, I'd stay back. Don't want to be getting blood on your fine clothes." The joviality is gone from Tam's voice; there is no sarcasm, nor bluster, simply cold facts as he looks between the two younger men. "Alright, you snot-nosed, sway-backed, knock-kneed babes. You want to see how a grown man tussles? Come on, then." And he stands, waiting, his posture perfectly relaxed after the taunt.

"Keep your teeth together," the talker warns Damara shortly. "Less you want to give us a feel of your backside to even the table, I don't give a dead dragon's arsehole for what you think a bar girl deserves, girlie." Then his angry eye goes back to the 'sellsword'. The drawn blade certainly shuts him up for the moment- the thought that the blade might be turned upon him clearly crossing his face. Just as swiftly, the whole of the inn's common room grows silent. Drawn swords tend to have that effect.

As the blade is set down, a breath is let out that the young man hadn't known he was holding, and he barks back to recover his nerve, "You ain't got time enough left in you to talk so much, old man- Will knock you across the bloody Cape, I will!"

Huffing faintly, first at Tam's words and than finally those of the smallfolk. Her face flushes a moment and her somewhat amiable attitude falters and fails. Damara narrows her gaze and than lifts her chin at the quick want to threaten her. "If I was worried about blood, I wouldn't have just tended all the horses…" But she doesn't look all that eager to quickly throw punches.

"Don't let me stop you…" She murmurs lowly, not much liking the snark and the talk coming off the two across from them. But locals are outnumbering them more than just two should this get really ugly.

Once the altercation devolves to shouting, it shortly thereafter turns violent. The young man with the big mouth is well muscled and tall, but has about as much finesse to him as a half-giant. He rushes Tam, swinging wild haymakers at the hedge knight, and sparing hardly a thought for defense.

His friend has the fair play to avoid ganging up on the warrior right away.

Tam The older knight is no novice to this sort of fight, it seems. He lashes out with his left arm, catching one of the young man's punches square on the knuckles, like a game of Sissy. His other hand, however, shoots out toward the man's chest in a palm-strike to his solar plexus, hips pivoting to drive more force into the blow. Even as he's engaging, Tam shifts his body, keeping himself between the pair and Damara without really seeming to be conscious of it.

Tam's palm strike lands a bit high, catching the younger brawler in the chest, and staggering him with a gasp. The windmill blows that Georg launched at Tam are soaked up by the knight's raised hands, but a twinge of pain reflects that the exchnage was hardly one sided.

As the first two entangle, Damara winces some and then shifts, her braid swaying down her back as she eyes the other, ready to step in if he means to up the ante. The Mistress is not liking the tight quarters in which they are and with Roost smallfolk everywhere. It could only be worse if there was and Ironborn - oh wait..she's lived that already. She frowns and then narrows her gaze, stepping wide to try to get the others attention. "Stop this, this is foolish.." She says, the odds wavering each moment another punch or blow is thrown.

"Sorry, luv.." murmurs Tam in Damara's direction. The knuckles of his left hand are already purpling, but he doesn't seem to notice beyond a slight twinge, caught-up as he is in the adrenaline of the moment. Having sent the younger man staggering backward, the grizzled knight flows into the offense. He steps in on the man with surprising speed, his forearm lashing out toward his opponent's exposed windpipe, other arm guarding his side.

<COMBAT> Martyn passes.
<COMBAT> Georg attacks Tam with Unarmed but Tam DODGES!
<COMBAT> Tam attacks Georg with Unarmed - Moderate Stun wound to Neck.
<COMBAT> Damara passes.

There is an ugly gurgle as Georg's bullish swings are brought up short by a jab to his throat. Eyes bulge, and the young man staggers backward, but seems to be tougher (or more stubborn) than the average tavern brawler, as he refuses to go down.

On the upside, at least there is no more banter from him. his friend, on the other hand, hollers, "You dirty son of a whore!" The gentleman's agreement to keep it fair appears to have gone out the window.

Sorry nothing, as the first goes stumbling back and the second joins the fray, it seems Damara is growing impatient. She reaches out a scarred hand to grab for Martyn rather clumsily - she is hardly trained in any sort of close combat. She narrows her gaze and lets her voice cleave where her fists can not. "Back the hell off!" Her way is forceful but she means to come from the side and not give Tam any problems with her presence. Friendly fire is not good for morale. SHe grips and twists as she can, meaning to take himd own even as she fumbles.

His forearm slamming into Georg's windpipe, Tam seems to consider the man less of a threat - at least for the moment. He's already turning to face the newcomer to the brawl, feinting with a jab to attempt to draw Martyn up short before lifting his leg up in a brutal stomp-kick at the unfortunate young man's knee-cap. His teeth glint in a wolf-like grin, and a booming laugh escapes the old knight. "Iron in the blood!" he shouts, perhaps nonsensically, into Martyn's face. He's amused by Damara's entry into the fight, calm enough to even give the woman a wink over poor Martyn's shoulder.

<COMBAT> Georg attacks Tam with Unarmed but Tam DODGES!
<COMBAT> Martyn tries to subdue Tam but fails.
<COMBAT> Tam attacks Martyn with Unarmed - Moderate Stun wound to Right Leg.
<COMBAT> Damara attacks Martyn with Unarmed and MISSES!

Martyn's diving tackle is interrupted by Tam's swift kick to his kneecap, the rough young man stumbling to his unstruck knee with a grunt. He manages to struggle back to his feet just in time to swat away Damara's effort at violence.

Georg takes a half hearted swing at Tam, still clearly hampered by his tender windpipe, but the assault isn;t over just yet.

The wink distracts her some and Damara gives him a long look, unable to help that faint crook of a grin, though it fades some. She feels the focus of the man she had reached for shifting and she catches her breath. She is drawn in no matter her original intentions now and each has their own dancing partner. "Not again.." She manages to mutter as she lifts her hand to try to thrust a shove with a slide of her foot awkwardly forward, meaning to try to send Martyn stumbling as her body is half turned away, not quiet uncoiling from her first movements. But there is an odd quiet focus there, even if her actions do not speak of being just the same.

Satisfaction and a certain amount of relish on his face, Tam uses the momentum from his stomp-kick to push off Martyn and spin back to face Georg, hauling off with a right cross toward the button of the gasping man's jaw in an overt attempt to floor him once and for all. "Big, tough boy like you," he taunts, "Your ma ought to have put you down for a nap already!" His back is toward Damara and Martyn for the moment, rendering him blind to the rising danger for the woman there.

<COMBAT> Martyn attacks Damara with Unarmed and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Georg attacks Tam with Unarmed - Light Stun wound to Left Arm.
<COMBAT> Tam attacks Georg with Unarmed - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> Damara attacks Martyn with Unarmed but Martyn DODGES!

Martyn, hobbling about on his kicked knee, misses Damara cleanly with a backhanded slap, threatening, but not upsetting his balance. "Sunovawhore," he grinds out through clenched teeth.

Georg does slip the punch Tam aimed at his jaw, landing another overhand blow of his own, but rather than hitting Tam's ear, it lands on his upper arm. "Maybe if'n your daughter tucked me in," he mutters back to the offered nap, hauling off for another flurry as he bears down on Tam once again, trying to force the knight into the table at his back.

Tam Instead of backing up, as Georg clearly intends, Tam rushes toward the man. "Your mother tucked me in before you were born," he snarls at the much-younger man. As his face comes into closer proximity with Georg, for a surreal moment it looks as though he's going to plant a kiss on the other man's cheek. And then, clenching his neck muscles, he whips his forehead toward the bridge of the other man's nose like a club. His arms are hugging his sides, prepared to defend against more powerful blows from the clumsy brawler.

"Why do you not have a seat?" Damara offers quickly, again trying spill the man to his backside, wanting to keep him off balance. But there is that tension in her shoulders, the worry that others are moving closer. They had friends. They had to. She means to try to end this before more bruises, blood or worse is found in the Inn. She shifts on and twists on her foot to try to thrust herself forward in a quick fashion to try to drag the man down as she can, her jade eyes trying to focus but that wariness still stealing some of her attention.

<COMBAT> Georg attacks Tam with Unarmed but Tam DODGES!
<COMBAT> Martyn attacks Damara with Unarmed - Critical Stun wound to Neck.
<COMBAT> Tam attacks Georg with Unarmed - Critical Stun wound to Head.
<COMBAT> Damara attacks Martyn with Unarmed and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Elf has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Damara has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Damara spends a luck point to keep fighting!

Tam's up-close maneuver succeeds wildly, the bigger younger man unprepared, and recieving a headbutt squarely to his nose. A spurt of blood accompanies his pained grunt, as the young man staggers back and falls to the ground. Still moving, he is not unconcious, but by his pained howls, likely wishes he was.

Any satisfaction the knight might derive from that may be diminished by the sharp *smack* of Martyn's backhanded blow that strikes Damara.

<COMBAT> Tam will attack Martyn this turn. Options: called=abdomen
<COMBAT> Martyn will attack Tam this turn. (Elf)
<COMBAT> Georg will pass this turn. (Elf)

She is too close and her wariness keeps her from turning with the blow. As it lands, Damara feels her head rattle and then she blinks, having trouble to focus. She blinks over and over and stumbles to the side, collapsing into the side of the man that struck her, blood already running down her chin and the corner of her mouth, lip cut and most likely ready to puff from the blow. She catches her breath, but there is an odd sensation, part of that hard strike having caught her along the temple and taking her sense of up and down. She by no sense is ready at all to do anything, she can't even focus enough to find Martyn.

Tam wheels from Georg, his own forehead smeared with the young man's blood. At the sound of Martyn backhanding Damara, the knight has gone white with rage, hesitating for a bare moment as he sizes up her condition. He roars, thudding toward the younger man in a dead-on bullrush. He drops his shoulder at the last moment, clearly intending to smash into the other man's gut with the point of his shoulder. "/I -am- a whoreson/!" he snarls in answer to the other man's earlier taunt.

<COMBAT> Martyn attacks Tam with Unarmed but Tam DODGES!
<COMBAT> Georg passes.
<COMBAT> Tam attacks Martyn with Unarmed - Serious Stun wound to Abdomen.
<COMBAT> Damara passes.

Add Martyn to the list of local young men who arent prepared to wrestle with a hedge knight. A haphazard effort to slug Tam as the enraged warrior bullrushes him, the still-stiff knee only makes the man flatfooted as Tam slams into him, knocking him through a chair and to the ground, but still not into unconsciousness.

As Martyn grabs hold of a half spilled bowl of stew to throw it at Tam, in a desperate effort to fight back to his feet, his more talkative (and bloody-faced) friend stumbles back up to his feet, and- in a moment of what must be providence- catches sight of Tam's forgotten sword.

As the two bowl forward suddenly clutching each other, Damara is gone to one knee and reaching out a hand to try to pull herself back up or fear the possibility of being sucked into a brawl that will suddenly take up everyone around her. Blood continues to come from the old cut reopened at her head and she draws a sharp breath, trying to focus, trying to get her rattled senses about her again. She takes a hastened step forward, "Tam…stop…stop I am fine…" She grimaces. Maybe not quite fine but the room is beginning to stop spinning, though the floor is tilting yet and fighting her ability to stand. She starts to straighten a little more, looking to the two men on the floor. "Tam!" She tries to raise her voice to be heard but with all that iron in his ears and pounding through his blood, she may do little.

But as she turns to try to locat the other for a moment, she blinks and takes note of him lingering near the sword, or at least eyeing it. She furrows her brows and starts to move for it, pushing past anyone in her way.

"You want to hit a woman, you turd-covered little boy? You pay the price!" Tam brutally stomps down at Martyn's prone form, attempting to drive his heel into the man's ribcage. He looms over the man, and it is vividly evident that he is angry enough to kill - with blood running down into his beard, the knight paints a savage picture. At Damara's shout, he turns, belatedly realizing his danger, hand already dropping to the dagger at his belt - far too late to move for the sword himself.

<COMBAT> Georg passes.
<COMBAT> Martyn attacks Tam with Unarmed but Tam DODGES!
<COMBAT> Tam attacks Martyn with Unarmed - Light Stun wound to Left Leg.
<COMBAT> Damara passes.
<COMBAT> Martyn has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Tam has changed weapons to dagger.

Tam's stomping on the prone and battered Martyn at last succeeds in putting the young man out of the brawl, just as it starts to turn truly dangerous.

George gets to the sword, and takes the bright bladed weapon into both hands, shouting through his gory lower face, "Get the fuck away!" he bellows at Tam. "You come in here- you handle my girl, and you gonna get the fuck out, or I'll fucking kill you!" Hearing those words grows more difficult though, as once steel is taken in hand, shrieks and calls for the Guard begin to fill the tavern.

<COMBAT> Georg has changed weapons to Broadsword. (Elf)

Closer to Georg, Damara holds up her hands so he can see them for a moment but as his eyes shift to Tam, she reaches for her own dagger and shifts on her feet. "Put down the sword, nothing will happen. Just put it down and take your friend to get treated. It can end now.." She says and begins to slide free her hunting dagger at the back of her belt. She can feel her heart pounding, hear it in her veins and she is still blinking to try to focus. Defuse this now. "Too many people can get hurt, put it down…" The Mistress says again, trying to take a step towards him.

"You ever kill a man, boy? I've killed so many, I lost track." Tam shows no sign of fear as he stalks toward Georg, dagger in hand. "I touched your woman. Your mate nearly killed mine. We're quits." He's still closing the distance, like a wolf closing on its prey, sizing the bloodied man up. "I got no inclination to end your life. Set down the sword." Still moving forward - inclination or not, Tam is not apt to stand by and let himself be butchered with his own blade.

"Then stand the fuck back!" the bloodied young man shouts again, as Tam stalks closer. Both hands on the hilt, holding the point squarely at the knight. He takes a hesitant half step backward, but until Tam steps into his reach, no blow is struck. Damara's mediation efforts are met with a shouted, "You out of your wits? You pull a pair of knives on me, and then ask for the fucking sword??"

"Put it down…." Damara shows her willingness by slowly lowering her dagger to the floor and giving the common room a look. "Too many people will get hurt…just set down the sword.." She takes slower steps forward and extends her hand, still giving him some distance as she swallows stiffly, her world yet feeling a little off kilter. She blinks, blinks again and narrows her gaze. Tam's words are lost on her, her attention solely on the blade in hand. "You may have a problem with us…but not with these people. Come now…just set the blade down and take your friend." She advises him, moving past her blade and leaving it where it is.

Tam slows, studying the bloody boy, then looks aside at Damara. He seems to be coming out of his rage, the red film dropping away from his eyes. "By the Seven, lad, you're lucky today. I lay down my knife.." And he flicks his dagger to the ground beside his boot, the point -thunking- into the wood and sticking, "..And you just put down my sword. Or, you don't, and I have you flogged for thievery and assaulting a knight. You hear?" His tone reasonable, Tam takes another step forward - still poised like a wolf, ready to spring, though he no longer has a weapon in his hand.

As the doors fly open and a particularly loud patron runs into the street shouting for the Guard, as the 'old bastard' names himself a knight, and as he belatedly notes that Damara's clothing is rather too fine for the average townswoman, the bloodied Georg takes another half step backward, the point of the sword wavering. His eyes flick between Tam and Damara and back to Tam, reflexive sniffing and snorting trying to clear the blood from his broken nose. "…Alright. Alright…"

Damara motions to the sword. "I will take it, hold it till you clear out…" The Mistress insists, taking the moment to close more of the distance. She keeps her hand outstretched, taking a slow breath as the room tilts for a moment and she manages to stay upright. Damn. She is far more addled than she believes, though she does her best to hide it from view. "Get him to a healer…hurry on now.." She says and makes a motion with her head towards the other on the floor - though truly that was a bad thing to do considering how her head is pounding some.

Tam 's tone is almost gentle as he continues to step forward, eyeing the young man sympathetically. "Look.. Every man loses, son. I been beat before, plenty of times. Don't make this mistake any worse than it already was. Hand over the sword, and I'll make certain you and your mate have no trouble from the Guard. You've my word." Everything about the doughty old soldier radiates sincerity; he gestures aside at Damara with a broad, lopsided smile. "This wonderful lady here'll take the sword. And I'll not follow you. Go on."

Georg hesitates as the two continue talking, but without much delay he does bring the point off of it's aim at Tam's torso, and the hilt is turned over to Damara, with a short nod. His eye still remains on Tam, visibly still expecting to be sucker punched, and equally visibly unable to do much about preventing it. He nods again, sniffs, snorts, and wipes a hand across his lower face in a futile effort to clear the blood that still drips from the nose. He starts toward the still and groaning Martyn.

As the hilt is gifted to her, she breathes a little easier and Damara grips it, taking a step aside as she lets the point aim towards the floor. Looking to Tam and than to Georg, she closes her eyes a moment, then opens them a little wider as if to keep her wits. The hesitation is still evident from everyone but the Mistress has a hard grip on that sword, wetting her lip and tasting the tang of blood that is still warm. Though once Georg finally steps away, she looks to the Knight, her jade eyes flitting for a moment in a rather irradic way.

Tam just grins at Georg, then leans down and scoops up his dagger, sliding it away. For a man perhaps twice the age of his two opponents, the hedge knight is in remarkably fine shape. He reaches up to wipe blood off his forehead, licking his fingers, then seems to remember Damara. Hastily stepping toward her, he goes to solicitously take her arm. "Madame, we need to have you sitting down," the man states in his uncouth accent. His gray eyes fix on hers, and he frowns, chewing his lower lip worriedly. "Why don't you let me have my sword, and we'll make you real comfortable. Innkeep! Get me a bowl of water!" The brawl might as well be forgotten, as far as Tam is concerned, wreckage aside.

"Yeah..the sword is yours…don't think I could swing it if I wanted to…" Damara says with one of those mirthful grins half there unlike earlier. The grip at her arm makes her falter a moment, shocking her a moment back from her wandering thoughts. There is a short laugh, "At the rate these brawls I get caught up in go, I will not be allowed to leave Tall Oaks for the rest of my life…" She lifts her left hand up to wipe at her mouth and then feels the blood along her cheek. "That..that is an old wound…well not that old…" She says to the cut at her temple. She follows though, where she is let, realizing well enough she needs a seat. "I don't think staying in the common room is a good idea…" She admits slowly, focusing on the side of his face to try to keep from losing her footing.

As the bowl of water and cloth is set beside him, Tam takes a moment to gently reclaim his sword from Damara and slide it away. He lifts the cloth, his other hand reaching up to gently touch Damara's chin and turn her face toward him, the better to see the injury. "I'm no chirurgeon," he murmurs as he reaches up to dab at the cut with a surprisingly gentle touch, "But I've seen a few head-wounds like this. You oughtn't sleep for a time. Head wounds always bleed, just like this, so no need to be worried." Meanwhile, a pair of guardsmen have burst in and are, of course, looking for the source of the trouble.

"Yeah well, I can't find any quiet around you anyways…so what use is sleep.." She jests but hisses a little as her face is a little tender yet. It's starting to puff up and welt a little. "So much for ale and stew….not sure ours survive the scuffle." The Mistress gives a passing look to the side of the table. Wait this isn't their table. "He didn't add to my pretty scars…did he?" She asks, still trying to lighten the tone as the sound of the guards makes her catch her breath. "Company again. May want to go take care of that.." She reaches up for the cloth. "Promise not to go anywhere, besides I am not the only one who needs to be looked over and unlike a certain knight, a certain Mistress has some talents in treating wounds."

"Busted knuckles, a little bruise on my shoulder. I'm fine. Really, they barely touched me. I'll be right back." Tam rises to his feet reluctantly, turning to address the two guards. He explains in low tones, politely, his own status and a - slightly skewed - version of events in which he was merely defending himself. Almost the truth, after all. "The fight's over.. everyone's alive.. you lads got nothing to worry about." Reluctantly, the two guards begin to depart, though not after another glance in the Mistress's direction. Tam turns back to her as well, examining her face with a wince. "Look what they've done to your lovely face," he mutters softly. "You'll not have a new scar, madam, but you've a fine new bruise. I -am- sorry. I should've seen that coming."

Touching her face with the cloth to begin cleaning it up, Damara smiles all he more and laughs when he speaks to her again. It is light and a look up from the corner of her eye makes her lift a brow. "You could not have known for all that blood singing in your ears. I saw it…let alone hearing you roar in battle. It has been long for you, hasn't it?" She asks curiously and then wipes the small well of blood still coming from her temple.

She wipes her fingers upon it and across her arm to clean up the dried blood that had spread. "Scar or not. It doesn't matter." She adds and lowers the cloth to the blow before she continues. "I will be fine. It just seems my taste in company lately likes to dance in battle more than I have the ability for. Seems I should change that, right?" She quirks. "I still do not think we are overly welcome in here…" They are given quite the wide berth. "I have rooms, I can retire there and see to it that you have some as well so that things can cool down before you seek out your friend."

"I've a spot in the stables. An arrangement with that same lad I mentioned earlier." Tam grins ruefully at the woman, then eyes the glaring bartender. "As for how long it's been, madame… since my last barfight? A week or so. My last melee in tourney? A fortnight. My last proper battle? Far too long." He reaches out, stopping just short of brushing at the bruse on Damara's cheek. "You go and rest now, Madame. Next time.. I promise I'll not get us into trouble with the barmaid." His crooked smile returns, and he glances in the young woman's direction - shockingly, she is gazing interestedly back. "…Though I don't think she minds as much as she pretended. Blood does that."

Realizing then how she had not given her name, Damara realizes now the continued madames. But she stills, looking at his hand poised rather close to her cheek and then looks back up to him. "Damara Kells…" She offers him with a growth of a smile. "Blood does a lot of things…but it seems to have gotten yourself some victory attention and the notice of the rest of the smallfolk. I only hope it is for your benefit." She offers Tam and slowly rises, taking as her head turns from the nearness of his hand finally. "Get your knuckles looked at…I would hate for you to be damanged when you get into another brawl. Though….being defended was rather inspiring." She admits with a return of her smile. Her hand releases he cloth and she takes a step out from the chair.

Tam watches the woman rise interestedly, reaching up to wipe a bit more of Georg's blood off his forehead. His grin is decidedly crooked, and he shakes his head. "Pleasure, Damara Kells. And it's been..enjoyable defending you." For a moment, the smile isn't entirely pleasant, and it's clear that the Knight truly did enjoy beating those two boys to a pulp. He sketches a bow, somewhat clumsily, before turning toward the door and making to depart. The barmaid follows.. at a discrete distance.