Page 514: Let the Good Times Roll
Let the Good Times Roll
Summary: Darek Boldt becomes a knight.
Date: 19 December 2012
Related Logs: Fortunate Son
Jac Darek Sela Charlott Ozric Daryl Aylene 
Courtyard, Tanglewood Manor
The courtyard opens up into a barren expanse of well-trodden, hard-packed dirt underfoot. Surrounded on three sides by the looming structure of the Keep, and on the fourth by the outer wall and gatehouse, the courtyard benefits from both sunlight and shade at most hours of the day, illuminated in the evening by well-placed lanterns. Through the western wall, an arching, covered walkway leads to the paddock and stables beyond, by way of the Lord's kennels and hawking mews, while the opposite building houses the Keep's barracks and armory. The main building looms tallest, dominating the area with it's weighty double-doors - easily twice the height of a man - at the pinnacle of a clean-swept set of steps.
December 19, 289

No one usually comes out for the knighting of a common squire. When it isn't a family affair, it is on a battlefield that has not yet begun to cool. That is not the case for one Master Darek Boldt. Squires, other knights, most of the entire kitchen staff, several barmaids, and a handful of nobles have arrived on the dusty courtyard to see the knighting of a Stone Hedge son. The sun is just over the eastern horizon, marking that dawn arrived a few hours ago. There is no fanfare, but a humbleness to the entire affair. Captain of the Guard Jac Caddock has shined up his armor to an impressive glean, and he stands beside a short, pleasantly plump woman that everyone knows as Mistress Charlott Caddock — mother of Jac, adopted mother of Darek, and one of the best cooks in Tanglewood Manor. She is fussing over a bit of dirt on her son's gauntlet, which he endures with a kind of familiar patience. Not far off from Mistress Charlott is the petite scullery maid Sela Shale.

Indeed, not many come out. However when said squire has made himself present and his own accolades which make him worthy of the event. Some who have seen it do come. As in the case of a knight and noble not belonging to either Stone Hedge, or Tanglewood- Ser Ozric Terrick finds himself here as witness anyway. As this is no battlefield, the one eye'd knight does not come dressed in fine armor or such, but still he comes to stand and bear witness. Dressed down in leather with the dark colour of Terrick to serve as his marker. Spurs on his boots, and his chain of office dangles down, lost in the fold of cowl, but it is there. And as this is peace-his own fine blade is wrapped in ribbon of gold and purple-then secured with leather. A peace bond he shall not break. Still, the knight's hand remains on the pommel of the bastard blade, a sign of solemnity, as he takes his own place amongst the knights present who will serve as witness.

Daryl approaches the courtyard, eyebrows raising a touch as he takes in the view. With interest, the deputy wanders closer and notes the ceremony, finding a spot amongst the nobles. His eyes observe around, then stop on Ozric for a few moments. He looks forward then, folding hands in front of him as he stands tall and waits for it to begin.

One is supposed to face their vigil clad only in a simple, undyed tunic, but Darek Boldt has added two items to that attire — a pair of bandages around his left shoulder and his midsection. The bandage at his left temple has been removed, however, letting his hair fall in luxurious waves of brown and exposing the purple and blue bruising surrounding a scabbed cut there at his hairline. He's bleary-eyed from lack of sleep, but still manages to walk steadily enough down the steps from Tanglewood Manor, where he spent the knight praying in the private sept of the Ashwoods. He stops two steps from the bottom, blinking in surprise at the assembled crowd, then bows his head in silent thanks, continuing his even pace toward Ser Jac Caddock.

Never let it be said that Aylene is not very fond of the squire in question. The little blind bardette is decked out in her most festive attire of bright blues and sunshine yellows as she stands a little to the side, away from the bustle of others. Conspicuously absent from her side is the large black dog who is her constant companion. Instead, she grips a slender staff that she can use to guide herself around when need be. Or run in to people, depending on the crowds. But a bright smile beams from her pretty face, even as her head swivels to take in all of the commotion.

To the other side of Ser Jac is a young page, wide-eyed and eager, with more suitable attire folded in his arms, a gorgeously-jeweled sword attached to a rather simple leather belt with a rather ostentatious red lacquered buckle.

Ozric watches Darek with a brief smile forming. Still he does not say anything or call out to distract the lad. Falling back into the stoic line of silence, the Terrick lord barely shifts his weight. His own eye sliding over to Jac, Ozric takes time to regard the other knight for a moment-before movement forces him to take notice of Lord Daryl. No nod isa given as quickly the Terrick Knight is back to the ceremony at hand.

Daryl observes Darek a few moments, noting his surprise with a small smirk. The Ashwood looks down to one of his forearms, lightly running his fingers over a new set of bracers made of pliant ebon leather, bearing the wolves of his house. He seems lost in thought a moment before he snaps back to reality, smiling as he sees Darek's sword presented by the page. The Ashwood notes the gaze he catches with Ozric, but does much similarly, simply turning his attention back to Darek and the ceremony at hand.

Charlott Caddock beams at the sight of Darek come down from Tanglewood Manor, and she clasps the cloth-wrapped gift closer against her chest. Her eyes are bright with the same tears she shed when Jac was knighted, though the Songbird at her side is quite stoic as his squire approaches. He doesn't dare smile even as the boy approaches, though Lotti and Sela are making up for the Captain's lack of expression with their own smiles. He waits until the Squire comes to a stop before him, and only then does the Knight flash a quick smile. He draws from his hip his broadsword, the weapon freshly cleaned — perhaps moments ago knowing the reputation Jac has when it comes to attracting dirt.

Darek draws to a halt before Jac, bowing his head, looking up from behind a fallen lock of hair to give Sela a wink, and then settling a little gingerly down on his knees. There will be no flashing thigh at the crowd by going down to one knee for this soon-to-be-knight. No, he's going to play it safe and kneel on both knees, each already sore from spending the night kneeling before the various altars of the Seven.

Aylene remains as still as she can, listening to the various movements all around her. Little fingers grip at her walking stick more tightly, clearly uneasy with so many around and without her dog. But it still doesn't dim the smile.

A brief nod is given Darek, whether the lad sees it or not, as he drops down before Jac. His own fingers curling tighter around his sword, Ozric closes his lone eye and bows his head. Whatever prayer or thoughts are flitting within the Terrick Lord-don't escape pass his lips. Instead he remains silent and stoic, before looking back towards Darek.

Sela returns the wink covertly under the fall of her dark hair, and out of the corner of her gaze, she spies Aylene. Too bad the girl wouldn't be able to see her wave.

"Darek Boldt, in the face of terrible odds, dedicated to the protection of all men under Gods New and Old, you have proven yourself the merit of a Knight," the Songbird's perfect tenor booms across the courtyard. He gingerly places the flat of the sword against Darek's right shoulder. "In the name of the Warrior, you will be brave." The blade taps his left. "In the name of the Father, you will be just." And then the left. "In the name of the Mother, you will defend the young and innocent." To the right. Onward the Songbird goes, blessing Darek in the name of the Seven.

Daryl watches with solemn countenance, hands still folded lightly before him. His eyes close for a brief few seconds before re-opening and observing closely as Darek is knighted, a small smile stuck to his features.

Darek's shoulders tighten up slightly as that sword descends for the first blessing, as if some part of him still thought that this was a big joke on the poor common bastard. But the first blessing actually spoken lets those same shoulders slump into relaxation, a breath the young man didn't know he was holding slipping between his lips. Under cover of his bowed head, his lips move, whispering words in return to each charge, "I will be brave. I will be just." And so it goes, the Stone Hedge man's additions inaudible to any but those closest to the actual dubbing.

Ceremonies are actually very boring to those who can't see, especially when half the participants speak in a low volume. But still! Aylene waits patiently. Darek is her friend and that is that in the little bard's mind. She'll wait all night if she has to.

After Jac invokes the Stranger, he turns to take the sword belt from his young page. "Stand," the Songbird instructs in that firm tone. And once Darek has done so, he steps up to fasten the belt around the young man's waist. He ensures that the sword rests heavily, but comfortably, against the man's hip. "Welcome to the fold, Ser Darek Boldt. You stand before us now a Knight of the Seven." And he claps Darek on the shoulder, this time as a brother in arms.

Applause blooms from the crowd, and some of the maid girls cheer boisterously. That causes Sela to roll her eyes, even if briefly.

Daryl continues to observe, and when it is official, the Ashwood straightens further and claps his hands together in applause, even putting two fingers to his lips for a sharp whistle in celebration. His eyes wander about the crowd as they clap, looking over those gathered before finally settling on the newly appointed knight.

With the oath done, Ozric grins now, easily. His own hands coming to clap together, with the assembled crowd. Still no cat calls. Just the right nod of a knight and his own claps to add to the rest of the volume. Well-No calls, but two pinched fingers are placed in his lips-and a shrill enough whistle is tweeted out to show the Young Lord's excitement for the new knight.

Darek lets out another ragged breath as the charges — and his own private oaths — are finished, and he rises to his feet as he is bid. One hand settles down to the hilt of the jeweled blade, and he bows his head, rocking a little under the clap on the shoulder, "Thank you, Ser." There's a pause, and a smile of more than a little wonder spreads across his lips, "Ser Jac." He half-turns to address the audience, starting to raise his arms, then thinking better of it as the motion causes his tunic to raise up a bit on his legs. Laughing a little ruefully, he spreads his hands to the side instead, raising his voice to address the cheering crowd, "After I get some pants on…" The page steps forward then, shaking a pair out and holding them out, "The first drink's on me. After that, you all are buying!"

Happy, bubbly cheers erupt from Aylene as it's official that Darek has become a knight. Her hands clap together with her excitement and she half-bounces in place.

"You needn't thank me, Ser Darek," Jac says with a grin finally flashing the whites of his teeth. He clears his throat though, as if in warning, because there's Charlott. She hugs the boy fiercely, ruffling up his hair with little care that this boy is now a man; mothers never care. She murmurs something to him, looking up into his eyes with a large grin. She hands him the wrapped gift, explaining he shouldn't open it right now. Then she releases the boy so he may go off and celebrate. You know, after he gets his pants on.

Daryl laughs slightly at Darek's comment, continuing to clap until applause fades, and he slowly removes himself from where he is standing, taking a few paces away and stopping in front of Ozric. He leans in to whisper a few words and then nods and continues some away, looking back at Darek with a genuine smile.

Ozric turns his head, as Daryl comes up. A raise of a brow barely given before he is looking to the Ashwood Lord. A smile crosses his lips before he passes on his own words. Only then does he look back to Darek and offer one more blast of a whistle. "Well Deserved, Ser Darek." the Young Lord cried out before chuckling.

Darek has one hand held out to take the pants from the page when Mistress Caddock strikes, puzzlement at Jac's clearing of his throat just starting to come over his features. The young man winces as the hug squeezes his bandaged shoulder and stomach, but he doesn't resist, curling his arms back up to squeeze back at the clasping arms. He even leans over to give the older woman a kiss on the cheek, taking the package with murmured thanks and finally swapping it over for his pants. He's got one leg on when the second whistle blasts out, and he hops a moment on one bare foot to offer up a wave in response. Once he's gotten his pants fully pulled on, he gives the nobleman a more formal bow of his head, "Thank you, Milord." And then he reaches out for Sela's hand, "C'mere…" And unless she resists, he'll draw her close, then twist to dip her low to one side and kiss her rather thuroughly, despite the complaints from his shoulder and stomach.

Jac steps aside so his former squire can enjoy his moments of glory as he drops into quiet conversation with his mother. This gives Sela a moment to gather herself before she is pulled forward with a bit of a laugh on her lips. She wraps an arm carefully around her knight's shoulders to press the kiss with a bit of a grin on her lips. She even toe-pops. Though, soon enough she is back on her feet and she is blushed a solid red. "Alright, alright, you gotta go buy drinks for everyone now," she points out coyly before she links arms with the man.

Daryl nods his head back slowly towards Ozric before continuing onwards with that uncharacteristically solemn expression that he's beared for most of the ceremony. He leans in to mutter a few words to an Ashwood guard standing by, taking his attention elsewhere for the moment. Daryl seems to be selling some sort of idea and the guard just stares hims down. Daryl smirks a touch and shrugs nonchalantly, folding his arms as he peers off.

Ozric watches Daryl for a moment, before he is looking to the guard in question. With Darek promising to buy drinks for all, the Young Lord is taking his cue and slowly turns to mingle his way through the knights- and so as to head back to the stables. He has a long road ahead of him and likely won't make it back the Roost till after dark. Long way so.

Darek nods at Sela, "Just the first round. Then they get to buy 'em for me." And he turns around to face the crowd, now able to raise his arms to beckon them onward without showing off anything inappropriate, "Come on, everyone… I've got one day between being a squire and swearing to a Lord, I plan to get drunk as all hells, and you're all invited!" If he takes offense that some of the nobles are already drifting off to their own business, he doesn't show it. There are still plenty of 'family' and friends around. At some point he'll probably have to put some boots on, though.

Whatever business Daryl was attending too, it's concluded quickly and the plan of 'getting drunk as all hells' seems to be agreeable with him, eyeing the guard one more time before stepping closer to the ground in preparation of mass drinking. Besides, he'll be good for buying those second and third round drinks, always one for festivities. "Your getting plastered tonight, Ser, hope you know that." Daryl jests to Darek in passing.

Darek shakes his head at Daryl, "Forget that, Milord. I'm getting plastered well before tonight." Looping his good arm around Sela's shoulders, he gathers in the rest of the party and begins to lead the way down toward the Inn.