|Once, We Were Common Men|
|Summary:||Tam and Hollister fight side by side at the Trident, the day they earn their knighthood|
|Date:||Day/Month/Year (OOC Date)|
|Battle of the Trident|
|Approximately Year 284|
Arrows buzz through the air like wasps, in thick flights of grey-feathered death. The day is long and hot, and the dust rising up from thousands of feet pounding dirt to mud has long since obscured the 'big picture' from view. Who is winning? Who knows? Tam Cooper - affectionately known as 'The Coop' among the small-folk, licks the edge of his bastard sword and turns toward his lads. "Come on, you blackhearted fucks! We ain't bein' paid to sit about like Pretty Lady Cocktease, are we, boys? Let's get our bloody hands wet!"
Twisting and pointing his sword forward, the mercenary captain leads a roaring band of two hundred pikemen into the shallows of the Trident at a trot - and into the battle proper. An arrow whistles by Tam's cheek, and another smacks the ground at his feet. "Shiet!" And then he's amongst the enemies, driving his sword forward and smashing aside an enemy spear-point and lunging forward as his men hit the Targaryen flank like a miniature hammer.
Lines and battle orders seem to collider as the fighting is in it's pitch. Currently the men of the Riverlands have been pushing and punishing the middle for some time, In so much that the middle has spread and bled into the flanks. Rhaegar has already made his push, and the Rebels have been rocking onto their heels. Shouts and cries seem to break out the middle breaks into two sides, Some pushed right, the other's pushed left into Pikemen. Lords try to rally their troops, and men, young and old piss and shit themselves as they go down under a flurry of blows.
There's a whiney of a horse as down goes another knight, the pikes and one of those of Staunton have pushed themselves in on the bugger. And given the horse having pinned the man down, it'll be a matter of minutes in which he soon will be dead or drowned in the shallows. But there's movement. Another horse coming into the fray as it's rider, exceptionlly older for a squire bursts in, wearing the colours of Terrick. In one hand his sword swings out, as he is moving to come down from the animal before it bolts in the face of the pikes and the charging Staunton. "Fucking Hell!" is bellowed out as Hollister barely slips down, before he is having to defend the fallen knight-and himself from the fury of incoming blows.
"Come on, yew miserable sons of pox-blinded whores! Get to the knight! Come ON!" Tam exhorts his men as he sees Hollister defending his downed master in the chaos of the split lines; a knot of pikemen break out, some already reduced to wielding the shortswords kept as a reserve weapon, Tam at their head - /his/ bastard sword is gleaming red in the sunlight, and he stomps the throat of a wounded Targaryen as he hacks his way toward the squire.
"A COOP! A COOP! /HACK 'EM DOWN, LADS!/" And suddenly, there they are - his bastard-sword's tip rips through a man's chest, two feet of steel suddenly blossoming as his pikemen fall on the preoccupied Targaryen men-at-arms. "Get yer knight out, man! We'll hold 'em!" After all, mercenaries are paid to bleed and die - and these men are doing it in bucketfuls, forming a grim circle of spears as the lines dissolve around them. One of Tam's men takes a lance through the throat from a plunging knight; another ducks and pivots, ramming his pike up into the belly of the man's mount. Cooper himself plants a boot on his fallen enemy's chest, ripping his sword free and yelling his rally. "A COOP! On me, y'fucken little shiets! On ME!"
Hacking is the order of the day. Already Two pikemen have fallen, and there, the Squire remains with his arm drenched in blood, either from a wound or from someone's innards, but he is fighting in front of the fucking horse, as if his wild antics would keep them at bay, long enough. So far two have fallen, as Ser Kestrell struggles in his own squirming back. And as the other pikemen come and force in on Cooper, there is almost a wave of relief, unseen in the tall bloodied man. But there, is another knight breaking through the small knot that was formed. His lance High, and Hollister goes low with a cry, as his sword, swings into the unarmed legs of the courser, sending it and the knight down in a crumpled mess of mangled horse and soldier. All of it is madness. And the tall squire is quick to come up with his broken blade. Arm, craddled in, as he mucks his way in the battle towards the downed Staunton, who is trying to get to his feet. Battle vision lucked in on the Squire. His boot singing out to kick the young knight's sword arm away, before he is throwing his body into the loyalist-pushing him into the river shallows, only to wrench off the helmet, and stab the man many times in his face and throat with the sword's only working point.
As Cooper's yell wakes him out of it, there's a turn, and he's moving towards Petr to boddily drag the man out from under his horse. A graveled "Thank you." is passed-though in this mess, it will be hard to tell.
"Don't fucken mention it." The two men are kindred spirits, right enough - Tam, younger by some years, takes the moment to look around himself. He can see Rhaegar pushing, pushing, can see banners in the distance, other rebel knights in trouble as Ser Staunton seems to be.. But his job isn't the grand strategy of it all - his job is the tactics of his little checkerboard of the battlefield. And here in the chaos, there is an opportunity. A small hollow, as pressure is diverted around the group for whatever reason. "FORM UP BY LINE!" The roar breaks, halfway through, his voice strained with smoke and dust and thirst - ironic, fighting in a pink-run river.
"Form on me! ON ME! BANNERMAN!" He's waving his sword over his head, and pikemen - not necessarily his own - begin to form a ragged line around him. Not a proper dense thicket of pike-points, but a few men deep, the banner of a bloody sword flying above them now. Looking over at the squire, Tam growls out, "Drag him ashore then get the fuck back here." He's issuing orders? To an older man, and to one apparently ennobled? But then, the day is just all fucked, isn't it? "Rally! Rally, rally!" A group of loyalists see the danger and come screaming out of the smoke, and suddenly all is flashing blades and chaos once again as the two lines crash together. Tam disappears beneath a swirl of stabbing blades, impossible to tell whether he yet lives.
"Aye." Hollister hollers back, as Ser Petr Kestrell is better or not, pulled back behind Cooper and his boyos, And now has time to get to his feet. Broken sword discarded, the older Squire's snagging up a broken pike from a dying man, who in turn gets a boot to the throat in order to stop the squealing, before he's looking towards where the call is from. "FUCKING PUSH." As if the Pikemen needed a reason to stab out blindly like a hedgepig. And soon enough the bigger man is wading to where he saw Tam disappear, already stabbing and smashing with the pike, the way someone might use a stave or club, in order to break a path there in to help the man who just covered his arse as he rescued his knight from pausible death by a memmber of the Staunton house.
Perhaps the angered blood of his father works well in Hollister, for he pushes through the pain and stabs with a zeal not seen by many riverland levies. Know, he fights with a meanness in him. And it seems the lines have meddled into that shit moment when men's bowels turn to water and you either fight through the fear or shit yourself. Pikes to pikes, shield to shield. A time where you gut and castrate your way through a push.
And behind them, Robert rallies, and surges for the Prince-breaking like mad to take down Rhaegar, as his lords follow with him.
"—Like that, do ye, y'fuck? How's this?!" *Crunch*. Tam has a pikeman by the balls, literally, his sword through the throat of another and forgotten for now as dead weight, and as the man screams, he brings his helmeted forehead down on his nose in a perfect 'sailor's salute', leaving his face a bloody ruin. Remarkably, only a cut above his eyebrow shows when Hollister manages to hack his way to him; the man must have the Seven on his side.
Tam rips his sword free of the corpse, taking it up in both hands as he and Hollister stand before their meager line. The counter-attack, smashing toward Rhaegar, goes unnoticed for now; Tam has bigger fish to fry. "Yer knight alright?" He doesn't wait for an answer. There, in the shallows, another knight is down and drowning. Without waiting, he's rushing forward to Seryn Yronheart - a stranger to him, and yet… It's as though the whole thing were happening all over again, in reverse. A handful of Staunton men are surging forward, and there's Tam, straddling Yronheart and hacking out with his sword - alone for twenty yards, surrounded only by dead and dying, his men and Hollister still too far away to help. On shore, a knot of Terrick knights rein in to watch interestedly, too far to assist but close enough to recognize the mercenary captain.
Indeed, Hollister cannot get to the bastard in time. But that doesn't mean he doesn't try. With a nod, he pushes Tam's men forward, into the hacking and slashing, so as to give some help to the lone man in the water. But, it seems he has it under control. "Give him room, you fucks, or he'll cut you down!" Hollister howls back in a laugh before, he is clubbing away, at some poor downed bastard. They'll eventually get to Tam, but for the now, they are working with the surge.
And when they do get to him, there's a mailed hand reaching for Tam's shoulder, and a jerk, so as not to get his arm lopped off. "Move up A Coop." barked out, as that's all he can paint with the man and his men- Still Hollister hangs back A look over his shoulder, to spy where Ser Petr is. "He has a horse and is coming back into it, it seems." Hollered in the din. "I think we're winning." Or are about to go cock up.
Tam helps Seryn up with considerable effort, and the knight stumbles ashore; words are exchanged, but it doesn't seem as though they register with the mercenary captain. He turns to look at Hollister uncomprehendingly, blood trickling down a few new cuts. "Winning?" He looks out over the battlefield. "We're winning?" A deep, booming laugh rises up from the exhausted savager's throat.
"Ye hear that, ye bastards?! I told ye! I told ye! Robert for redemption, lads. Now let's after 'em and kill 'em all! /Kill 'em all!/" A cheer goes up from his surviving pikemen, as the surge continues forward, and Tam grins bloodily aside at Hollister. "C'mon, nobleman. I want'a die with my hands around Rhaegar Targaryen's fucken throat." There is very little humanity in that smile, only bloodlust, and he trots forward at a loping pace without waiting for an answer, following the advance toward the red slaughter.
"I am no noble, my cocker. Just a man." Hollis bellows back, before he is looking for a different weapon than this spearhead cum club he's been using since the lines broke. He's looking back to his side, to watch the surge of knights as the flanks begin breaking and men begin running. Though he cannot pin down exactly what is happening. Eyes squint, and he's taking his time to March onward with the rest of the advancing mercenary pike. Like hell he will be left with out wetting his hands any further.
"Terrick!" seems to be Hollister's cry as he mows along with the Men At Arms, He'll press in with them, and bleed and die with them if it means they come out the war. At least if he goes down fighting, someone may bury him. Or so he would hope.