Page 053: Squire Reacquired
Squire Reacquired
Summary: In which Ser Jarod Rivers gets a new squire and Veris Kallan gets a new job.
Date: 04/09/2011
Related Logs: Log continues in Drink, Dice, and Dames.
Caytiv Irys Jarod Thea Veris 
Kitchens — Four Eagles Tower
The kitchen is usually alive with activity but for the latest hours of the night. Stone counters with wooden tops line the interior except nearest the large brick ovens. Open fire pits in the center have iron bars across them for grilling as well, the hot surfaces on the other side of the room from the tables in the center used for final food preperation. Huge cabinets have been carved out of the walls to store the dishes and utensils for serving the meals to the House Lords and Ladies. The few exits lead towards the Servant's Quarters as well as the Throne Room and Entrance Hall.
Sun Sep 04, 288

Late morning in the kitchen is cleaning up after breakfast, taking what was not eaten and using it for the fields and prepping the food for the midday meal. The bustle of the kitchen has yet to fully pick up and Thea is leaning over one of the counters, setting preservatives into the molds of the tarts to be baked. A dusting of flour paints her nose and she wrinkles it, nearly done with her task as she tastes a bit of the apple cinnamon mixture. There is a quirk of a smile and she gets a quick tsk from one of the older women who catches her in the act. She puts forth a look of utter innocence and then is quick to snag up the first tray and move towards the slatted ovens, the wood embers giving off a rather hot air.

It looks like a late morning for Veris, who more or less looks like he just woke up. Then again, he always looks like he just woke up with his hair all over the place and an uneven stubble framing his young face. Weaving his way through the people and equipment, he pauses for a second to dip his finger in one of the mixes, flashing the cook a broad grin as he passes. "Whew! Hot in here," he comments to nobody in particular as he continues on.

At his comment, the cook growls, "Then ge' outta 'ere boy!" She proclaims, trying to come about the table and swat him for his efforts. Thea turns to glance over her shoulder and smirks a little, pushing a few of the already cooked tarts free and handing off the last sheet of them to go in. Picking them up, she moves over towards the misplaced boy and clears her throat. "Best ta take what's offered…instead of what is not.." She extends one of the apple tarts to him.

Veris ducks and dodges as the cook swats at him, laughing silently as he continues moving through the kitchens looking about. He's almost done a full circuit now, and whoever it is that he's looking for doesn't seem to be there. Thea's approach is as good a stopping point as any. "Best to beg forgiveness than ask permission," he corrects with a wink. "Besides, I offered 'em to myself." His words are definitely a commoner's; they lack refinement and carry a lilt to them. He reaches out to pick up one of the tarts, only to drop it straight to the ground, drawing in a hissing breath and shaking his fingers. "Fresh, eh?" he asks, crouching down to pick it up again. Once it cools down enough.

"That may be true elsewhere, but no here. Emmi's got a mean slap." Thea advises and as the tart is dropped to an unseemly near-death, she smirks some at him. "Aye, fresh lad. An' you…your callouses are not thick enough yet it seems." She is already plucking at the bits of her own tart as the cook eyes them a moment, giving Veris the evil look that says 'I'm watching you'. "What's yer name?" She asks of him, letting some of the sugary apple mix cool before she dives in deeper to the warm tart. In places, the young girl looks like she might have rolled in the flour itself, a few smudges on her cheek here and there. They stand together, the young chambermaid having given the boy one of the new tarts.

"Not on the tips of the fingers," Veris admits. "But my extremities are hardened enough where they need to be." Gingerly, he picks up the dropped tart and brushes it off. Her evil look doesn't seem to faze him any, as he just returns that same broad grin as he takes a bite of the tart. "I'm called Veris, but them what know me call me Very." A bit of that commoner's grammar spills over to accompany his lilted speech. "Right now, I'm Very Hungry." The rest of the tart gets stuffed unceremoniously into his mouth, and he grabs up another one. "Mmm," is all he has to say with his mouth full.

Hungry— it's more or less a growing squire's constant companion. And growing, Cayt is. He must be up a quarter inch from the time he got here, already, and he was already tall for his age. And so after he's let free from drills, Cayt comes roving through the kitchens like a wild boar through the woods, rooting here and there for something to keep him tided over 'til dinner. Spotting a fresh little tart all covered with flour, a cock-eyed grin spreads sharkishly and he rolls up behind her to give her a squeeze. "Ay, lassie," he greets her, all spirit. "Lad," he grins to the other. "Our Thea been keepin' ye well fed on her sweets?" he leans forward, nudging her head with his chin and trying to reach over her to steal something to eat.

"Eh eh now, Very…those are for the ladies of the House. Make certain you leave some or I shall have to present you instead. Something I am sure they are unaccustomed during their afternoon gathering." Thea says, smirking as she watches him take another. She still is plucking at her first and then takes a bite. CHewing, she says faintly once her mouth is nearly clear. "Thea…people call me Thea.." She swallows the rest and dusts a hand to her flour ridde apron. "Don' think I've seen you about much. Whatcha do here?" She asks before taking another bite of her tart. But the sudden press of Cayt behind her and the squeeze has her grinning brightly and a faint snort escapes her as she wiggles back against him. "I'm always the bright spot of welcome. Everyone likes my sweets, Cayt." She says tilts her head to allow him past a little and reaches out to snag him a tart with her small fingers. "Here…now do as I told Very here..leave some for your sister and Lady Lucienne." She chides. She gets something of a fiendish look on her face as she wiggles again against Cayt. "Very, this Caytiv. Ser Jaremy's squire. I was just askin' Very what he did about the Roost."

"You can present me to the ladies any time you please," Very replies, starting to attack the second tart enthusiastically. "The tarts are tasty, but I'm even tastier'n them." Licking off his fingers to get every last bit, he gives Caytiv a nod in greeting. "That she has," he answers, giving him a quick look-over. "I'm just new in to the Roost, been around the parts here and there as Ser Kirin's squire." Kirin's not a very well-known name, nor is he a knight of many distinguished feats. "But he's released me now, so I came here looking for new adventure. But no adventure on an empty stomach, eh?"

Caytiv has a wiggly tartrump all up on him, and so he gives it a thrust or two of his hips in a playful mock-humping, holding her loose about the waist before him with one arm while he takes the tart with his other hand and has done with it, licking at his fingers. "Ay?" he asks of Very, "Call me Cayt," he offers. A strange name for a boy, but it suits him. "He's released ye? What for?" he wonders. "Ay, an' our Ser Jarod's just been released of his own squire, and has been going without all this while."

There is a faint laugh from Thea and she smirks a bit. "Once squire not a squire, in any case, you come to a good House of Sers, Very." She offers and then looks him over a moment before leaning back against Cayt with a sigh. The cooks are eyeing them now, taking up space and eating the sweets - keeping Thea from her work. She wrinkles her nose at them and then looks back to Veris. "Should go speak to, Ser Jarod. Strong Knight that he is. I am quite sure he would take you on." She makes no comment of the Rowan matter.

"Ser Jarod, eh?" Very muses aloud. "Captain of the Guard, him?" He may be starting the get Ideas and is only half listening to what goes on for a moment, lost in his thoughts. "Aye, I'm just in between knights, that's all," he says in response to Thea, snapping back to and snatching up another tart. Cayt's question goes unanswered, which implies that it probably wasn't an amicable parting between Very and Ser Kirin. "Been going without, you say?" he asks, looking back and forth between the two of them. "What happened with his last squire?"

Caytiv is slow to let the rhythm pass, and he still bumps at Thea from behind, though his attention seems fully on Very, so it may just be that his hips are moving on auto-pilot, as it were. He, for his part, leaves the rest of the girl's baked goods alone, as she had asked him to, but as she has not yet asked him to stop humping her, please, 'kay, thanks, he keeps his arm hooked around her waist, the girl in front of him as he considers the gap left in Very's story. "Rowan? His frame weren't meant for Ser Jarod's style of fight, is all. He's a slight lad, ay? An' begged leave, I reckon, to go an study with a knight who fights with lighter gear," he explains the parting easily.

As Caytiv continues, Thea shifts a little and is about to say something but a giggle emits instead. It is when Very goes to steal another cooling pastry that she protests. "I will make good on my threat, Very." She eyes him and the head cook is really giving the three of them a hard look, especially the start stealing Veris. "I can see about making you something proper so you don't spoil yourself on sweets.." She offers faintly but quiets to listen of the story of Rowan and the squire-less Ser Jarod. "Yes, Rowan indeed." She starts to shift to protect the tarts, which may mean vacating Caytiv's grasp.

Veris smirks as Thea starts to shift and puts the tart back at her insistence. "Hey now, I wouldn't mind that one bit," he says. Mission accomplished. "So his last squire was a little girl, eh?" he asks Caytiv - of course, not meaning it literally. "That's all right, then. I can handle the heavy stuff." He gives the arms a flex - they're not that big. But at least they got some muscle on them. "C'mon - sheath your sword and tell me a little more about this Ser Jarod so I know what I might be getting into," he says to Cayt, giving him a knock on the shoulder.

"Ay, lad, best put it down," Cayt approves ov Very putting the pastry away. "Our Thea's always very generous in giving good things to us lads, an' so 'tis only fair to take only what she would give, an' no further. Take no advantage a' this fine lamb an' her giving spirit, lest she deign to give no more." And he lets the lamb go with a playful swat to her ass, to see to her baking and not earn her overseer's wrath. "Ser Jarod's as fine a bloke as they come, I reckon. Strong and good, with a ready laugh an' a ready wit. I rather like 'im, ay. An' Rowan in't a girl," he adds, almost sounding protective of the lad, "He's just built diff'ernt, ay? He's a good fighter, quick as you can blink he's on you, nimble an' sich."

Giving Very an approving nod, Thea eyes the offended tart and pushes it back as she squeaks. The playful swat makes her skip a few steps forward and then cast a look back over her shoulder. She smirks a bit and then adds, "I will get you something.." She says and skirts away from them to produce some salted meats, cheese and bread, that she begins to gather on a wooden plate, setting them out so to save the poor pastries all lined up so beautifully and being assaulted by the young men.

The sound of heavy footfalls and whistling precedes Ser Jarod Rivers into the kitchen area. Some jaunty marching tune. Sounds like a military cadence, come to it, if more merry than it would like be heard on the field proper. A few quick greetings are offered to the servants in the main kitchen area as he scouts around. Looking for something. Or someone. Still whistling in between saying easy "Hullo"s.

Veris chuckles as Cayt swats Thea away. "One way to find out how good a fighter he is," he says with a shrug. "I haven't matched up with many of the squires 'round here, so this Rowan'd be as good a first match as any other. Probably bad for me if he's a quick one, though - I favor the polearms." He glances back over his shoulder when he hears unfamiliar whistling, then looks back to his fellow squire. "He don't sound like a bad type, this Ser Jarod." He sounds like it's his choice where he'll end up, not the other way around. "Guess I'll try to figure out how I'll run across his path after I have a bite to eat, eh?"

Caytiv turns about, still half-stoked from Thea wiggling her bum all against his crotch, and he plants his hands on a bare section of table, hopping up to perch there and watch Thea set them out a snack with the eyes of a falcon waiting for the opportune moment to dive at a mouse. Whether he's looking at the girl or the bread is up for debate. "If you can't find Rowan I'll show you the training yard later, ay? We'll have at one another. Maybe Thea would like to come along to watch, an', ah— give her congratulations to the winner." Nothing like an incentive, is there? But the boy's stomach is growling such that he barely notes the whistling in the kitchen.

Jarod is, perhaps, drawn by the promise of tarts to filch. Whatever the case, he finds himself wandering the direction of Veris, Caytiv and Thea. The maid gets a quick smile and dip of his shoulders that's not *quite* a bow, but still has a certain amount of easy flourish in it. If he has any thought he might've interrupted some happy times between her and Caytiv, he shows it not. "Cayt." The Westerlands bastard gets a quick grin. "How's Young Lord Jaremy's service treating you? You doing him good works? It's much labor of both body and mind in being a squire, particularly one to such as the young lord." He eyes Veris, though he doesn't immediately greet him. Rather, he plucks a tart for himself and takes a chomping bite out of it, all while giving the younger man a long once-over. "Kallan, aye?" It's nominally a question, though he doesn't sound like he doubts the answer.

"Ser.." Thea beams at Jarod upon his silent introduction. She winks at him and sets more food to the plate just as he grasps for a tart. Her lips part as if to stop him but the cooks make no move to do so, so she lets it be. As the food is heaped and then arranged into place, she lifts it easily in one hand before snagging a few freshly cleaned goblets between her other, making her way back towards the others. Silently she sets down these things before each of them and finally the plate next to Caytiv before she begins to turn to head back for the summerwine stashed along the far edge in the picthers.

Veris nods to Cayt at the suggestion. "Nothin' so good as a good match when there's a lass a-watchin'," he says, his eyes wandering over to where Thea prepares the food. Looks like he wouldn't mind getting some of her congratulations. As the newcomer approaches, he shifts to include Jarod in the conversation, looking him over as well to figure out where he sits in the pecking order. He's taken by surprise when Jarod calls him by name, evident in the brief look of confusion that crosses his face. "Aye, that's me," he says hesitantly. "Though how I'm known to you is a mystery to me."

Food. A crusted roll of bread is ripped fair open and a hunk of cheese and slab of meat stuffed haphazard into the middle of it, and even though he spots Jarod, at that point, it doesn't stop him trying to dislocate his jaw to get a bite out of the thing, producing a great number of crumbs and then chewing loudly over the mouthful for a while before, mouth not exactly empty, yet, "Ay, Ser Jarod, we were just talkin' a' ye," he remarks in surprise. "More body'n mind, as yet, Ser," he chuckles. "The Lord Ser thinks to make me humble by making me act as pack beast for the folk down in the town. He mayn't a' reckon't I acted pack beast for the most a' mine youth, up on the pass." And then he's busy once again trying to fill the void the day's drills have left in his gut.

"You got the look of your brother, Kile, a bit," Jarod says, green eyes serious as he scrutinizes Veris, easy smiles and tart chomping aside. "Good man, he was. More solid fellow you don't often meet. Anyhow. Heard around the Roost you were seeking another chance at the knighthood. If you're young Veris, and I don't think I miss my guess you are. I'm Ser Jarod Rivers, as Cayt just pointed out." To Caytiv himself, he nods his head. "That's honest service, good for one to learn, though I figure a lordling would need that kind of humility drilled into them more than my kinsman in the West. Well, either way, it'll do you no harm. Might want to ask him about training in heraldry and formal study of the virtues as well. I got a bit of that in the castle as a boy, but I still wasn't properly prepared for what was expected of a Ser."

Thea gives Cayt a look and then Veris when she returns with the pitcher, beginning to fill the cups with fresh summerwine. The chambermaid hands the first one to the Ser before going about to the squire and perhaps the squire to be. "There now. Leave the tarts alone…" She scolds them and sets the pitcher down to the side, wiping her hands again before she eyes them a moment, taking a step back to go retrieve the last of them from baking.

Veris, hungry as he is, has yet to reach out for any food yet. When Cayt identifies the newcomer as the very Ser Jarod that they were discussing previously, he straightens up a bit and squares off his shoulders. "I hear that from those who knew him, Ser," he replies after a brief pause. "He was a bit shorter and bulkier'n I, but the rest is all one." He stands awkwardly, wiping his palms on the sides of his pants as Jarod and Caytiv talk, waiting for a silence to open up. "Aye, you've heard true, Ser. I've spent four years as squire to Ser Kirin and came to look for a new position here. I've just heard tell that you've gone lacking a squire yourself." He accepts his cup from Thea with both hands to steady them.

Caytiv seems unphased, at least, by the prospect of strenuous labor and do-goodery. That's a knight's bread and butter, after all, isn't it? But even as he's beating down his rising hunger with cheese and bread and meat, the words 'formal study' cast a sort of glassy haze over his eyes. Formal study means reading, and reading anything longer than the first few letters on tavern signs gives Cayt headaches. But he doesn't complain outwardly, either from propriety and sufferance of the toils of his training, or because his mouth is wedged open with grub.

Jarod grins at Caytiv's rather put-upon expression when 'formal study' is brought up. But he doesn't dwell on that particular aspect of the knighthood for now. He takes another bite of his tart, still eyeing Veris speculatively. "I recently parted ways with young Rowan Nayland, aye." Which he sounds rather sorry about. "I've been doing for myself, and having the pages do what's inconvenient atop that, but with my fair lord brother's wedding tournament coming up I figure I'd best find a new squire sooner than later. What was the issue between you and Ser Kirin. Four years is a long time to serve a man only to decide you need to part ways."

Thea continues to look back and keep guard over the tarts from afar even as she pulls free the two other trays from the oven. Setting them aside, she goes about freeing them from their cups to another tray to let them cool. Smiling faintly to herself, she casts a few quick looks over towards the menfolk again, making certain they are not spoiling the amassed sweets.

"No issue, Ser," Veris answers, looking away to grab himself some food. "Just came to a time when he decided that I would benefit from another's instruction." Which isn't technically untrue. "So he sent me off to the Roost to make my way, as it were." The slightly guilty look on his face is likely visible to Caytiv before he straightens up and turns around again to face Jarod. "If you'll have me, Ser, I'll be your squire for the tournament."

Caytiv gets the rest of the cheese and bread down, and the meat with it, and washes the whole down with the wine Thea had brought, looking to Veris with a look approximately as sceptical as Veris' is guilty. But he's not going to call the lad out on the shiftiness, much more content to steal another piece of salted meat from the tray and grab it in his teeth, tearing at it like a dog might. The sweets, of course, remain sacrosanct.

"Huh. That's not quite how the rumor mill's telling it," Jarod replies with a smirk to Veris' answer. "I might just. I'd like to have a go with you on the training yard first, see how you fight. One of the reasons Rowan and I weren't really meant to be anymore was that I could't take him any farther than he'd gone. Oh, I think he could've gotten a knighthood in a year with me, don't misunderstand. But he had ambitions to join the Kingsguard, and he was too slim to really make full use of the sort of techniques I favor. You and me aren't built too different, though."

The tarts are set to cool and the trays moved over to set for washing. Thea wipes her hands on her apron, suckling on burned fingers as they throb. She furrows her brow and draws them out to look at them, reddened by the touch of the hot cookware. She meanders back closer as she hears the words of Jarod ot Veris. "The Ser is a right good figther…I could pack the food to go with some wine if you had wish to go now." Offers the chambermaid, placing her burned fingers to the cool pitcher to try to soothe them.

"Rumors are vicious, fickle things, good Ser," Veris responds with a straight face - coincidentally, when he has a straight face instead of a goofy grin is often the only time you can tell for sure that he's lying or evading the truth. "I can hold my own fair enough with a sword, but it's the glaive I favor. Ser Kirin weren't too big a fan of that fact, to be blunt, which is why I mention it. I might not strike the hardest, but I'm a stubborn bastard what don't go down easy. If that's like enough to your style, then I'm your man." At Thea's words, he looks down at the cup still full between his hands and the food on the tray. "I'm at your pleasure, Ser," he says, deferring the question to Jarod, as he should.

Caytiv finishes up the strip of salted beef and slips down from the counter, determined to leave the rest of the grub for the others. He sucks at his teeth and lets Very and Jarod work things out between them, watching the pair, though sparing a look for Thea's reddened fingers.

"I can appreciate stubborn bastardy," Jarod says with a chuckle. "Most knights fight primarily with blade, or lance and spear if they're better as cavalry, but if you've got a better hand with a polearm you should concentrate on where your strength lies. You got a longer reach than a sword that way, which is one advantage. I favor the sword, myself, but you'll like as be primarily fighting swordsman when you take the field, so best to practice on how to best them. Good King Robert Baratheon is a bludgeon man, and his war hammer won him a kingdom, so I'll not call it wrong. If you've time now, and the Mistress is willing to get us some refreshments for it…" A nod of his head to Thea. "…I'm always in the mood for a go-round."

Shifting her fingers from the pitcher, Thea bounces upon her feet as she turns to grasp up the plate. "I will set it right away and meet you at the green, Ser Jarod, Very." She looks to them both and then to Caytiv who she smiles warmly for. "If Caytiv would not mind, he could help me carry the food for the event and we won't be far behind you." It is a request of the young lad more than a requirement. She sets the platter side and fetches a larger basket to gather some of the last apples into.

Veris nods once, relaxing enough to let a smile touch his lips. "I've naught but time now, Ser," he answers, putting down the cup. He's got at least a chance to prove himself to the Captain of the Guard, and he's confident enough in his abilities - for a squire, anyhow - that he's starting to feel back in his element. "As was my brother with the sword, so am I with the glaive, as I'll show."

"Ay, glad to be a' help, lassie," Cayt assents, once more, today, to play pack beast, shuffling toward the girlie as though drawn by some invisible force by the groin, hips cocked casually forward, shoulders slouched as he roves up behind her. To, eh, help. Maybe his sights are rather on being riding pony than pack beast, after all— though he's ready to snag that basket when she gets it packed.

"Assisting a young woman to ease her labors is a fine knightly task, Cayt," Jarod says to Caytiv. "Don't hurry on our account. I know the virtue of a well-packed basket." Was that a double-entendre? Probably. "Anyhow, let's be off, lad." This to Veris. "Just got to get us some jerkins and make sure our master-at-arms has a blunted polearm. This way." He'll lead on to play violence, on that note.

The Green — Terrick's Roost
The Green is a large field of deep green grass, nearly flat, that runs along the base of the towers. The road into town runs along the far edge, hemming it in neatly to a confined area where beyond a line of trees serves as a subtle windbreak. This area is most often used for drilling or practice for the guards but also serves as home for festivals, tournements, and another other gathering that might require the space for a large number of the local residents. A well-trodden path winds around the side of the wall and moves towards the coastline.
Sun Sep 04, 288

After a rather brief consultation with the mater-at-arms, Ser Jarod digs them up a pair of leather jerkins, and a blunted blade and graive for their use at beating on each other, and makes his way onto the practice field. Since he doesn't seem inclined to bother with getting into full armor, it doesn't take much time. The polearm is tossed casually to Veris - perhaps to see if he's fast enough to catch it - and Jarod himself begins going through some warm-up sword forms. Seemingly more to stretch his muscles than anything else. His blade is a hefty two-hander, and he stretches with long, arcing strokes. "Any particular reason you favor the graive?" he asks, somewhat conversationally, as he fight the air.

Veris just barely catches the polearm as it's tossed his way - his mistake is trying to catch it one-handed and misjudging its point of balance, which almost gets him a knock in the teeth. "I find it more intricate than the sword, Ser," he answers, giving the glaive a quick run-through to adjust to it. "More useful all around. Better for dismounting an enemy. It fits better." Whatever that means. "And besides, I find most practice blade-on-blade, leaving 'em unprepared for a skilled polearm fighter. Where I was, leastwise." That last bit is almost apologetic. Resting the glaive horizontally across his shoulders with his hands hooked over it, he twists from side to side at the hip. "Ready when you are, Ser."

"More intricate, eh?" Jarod does a quick pivot and blocking parry, which he manages with what might be surprising grace, given the size of the blade. "Well, we'll see about that. Though you're correct that most knights learn melee combat blade-on-blade. That'll be something of an advantage against less experienced - or more arrogant - opponents. Anyhow. Let's to it. Salute." He offers a respectful one to Veris with his sword. And then, it's down to business. The business of beating on one another, that is.

Salute! The mock-glaive comes down off Veris' shoulders and is presented to mark the beginning of combat. The young squire decides to go balls-out instead of holding back; to pass this test would not be to best Jarod, but rather to show his fighting spirit and combat abilities. With a fairly impressive battlecry, he immediately thrusts forward, pointed aimed for the top of Jarod's chest, taking a wide grip on the pole to fend off the expected parry and counterattacks.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Jarod=Blades Vs Veris=Bludgeons
< Jarod: Good Success Veris: Good Success
< Net Result: Veris wins - Marginal Victory

Jarod likely is far more used to fighting blades-on-blades, so at first he's somewhat awkward in fending off Veris' attacks. The wannabe squire even lands a hit on his jerkin, though it's a glancing blow even with the blunted blade. As he gets into it, however, the knight's fighting style adjusts fairly quickly, and he's soon using a wider guard to parry and aiming attacks more in the form of quick blows at Veris' side, which rely more on being in the right place quickly than trying to get around Veris' longer weapon. A solid blow is aimed at the younger man's ribs. There's no danger of it piercing the jerkin, but the force is enough for a nasty bruise.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Jarod=Blades Vs Veris=Bludgeons
< Jarod: Great Success Veris: Success
< Net Result: Jarod wins - Solid Victory

Veris barely manages that first hit and has not much luck afterward despite his efforts. His initial plan of keeping Jarod at a distance and using the 'blade' of his glaive is not turning out well; he finds himself defending with the haft and maneuvering his weapon more like a staff. On the defensive and losing steam, he attempts a wide sweep to get some space back, only to realize how poorly timed his attack is - it leaves him wide open for the rib shot, which lands with a thud against his leathers and sends him staggering sideways. Struggling to catch his breath, he guards himself with the glaive held diagonally, both grips overhand. Once he's got his breath back, he attempts a short jab with the blade followed by a snap-swing of the butt toward Jarod's knee.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Jarod=Blades Vs Veris=Bludgeons
< Jarod: Good Success Veris: Good Success
< Net Result: Jarod wins - Marginal Victory

And so, the basket finally packed to everyone's profound satisfaction, Cayt strolls out through the portcullis and onto the green, a Thea on his back, with his arms tucked around and under her knees and both hands clutching both handles of the big basket with the picnic spread in it, providing an easy lock for her to rest her weight on his forearms, a steady perch so that she has her arms free to carry some little parcel herself. The pair of them, beast and rider, move out through the grass, Cayt occasionally breaking into a trot to frighten her or make her giggle. When they finally hit the edge of the melee ground, he bends his knees and leans forward a little so she can balance herself on his back while he sets the basket down, then squats further until her feet can find the ground and she can dismount safely.

Jarod picks up steam while Veris loses it. While it is just practice fighting and he's making no real effort to injure the other man, he's not going easy on him. He backs up a notch when Veris takes a moment to get his breath back, but it's only to get farther away from the superior reach of the polearm. And adjust his guard. He bends to block that blow to his knee, trying to deflect the polearm back at Veris harder. It's meant to jar his grip, or at least make him think about keeping his hands on the weapon rather than pressing.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Jarod=Blades Vs Veris=Bludgeons
< Jarod: Good Success Veris: Good Success
< Net Result: Jarod wins - Marginal Victory

As the two go at each other, Thea laughs at the sudden distruption by Caytiv's frollick. She lets out a huff and bites at his hear as she leans in. Her gaze drifts back to the sparring two and she tilts her head, nearly losing her balance as Caytiv stops and lowers her. She grips his shoulder and once she is able, slides free to step off and stand, her skirt settling back around her shins and leaving her ankles bare. She holds the bottle of summerwine and teeters to the side befors she turns to fully watch them.

Caytiv stands straight and stretches his back before dipping after the tottering Thea, nabbing her with an arm to keep her upright and make sure she's steady on her feet. "Ay, careful, thar, lassie," he tells her, giving her a squeeze before he crouches down between her and the basket, falling back onto a hip and then settling into the grass to watch the end of the match, knes up before him and leaning back onto the palms of his hands.

Since Veris is gripping the glaive with a double-overhand, Jarod's counter isn't as effective as it could be - but he still sends the would-be/once-was squire back a step, which he uses to switch his grip back. He's got his breath back, and he's got his distance - for him, it's far easier to work with too much distance to the target instead of the opponent being too close within his guard. With a reinvigorated battlecry, he lunges forward into a wide stance, letting loose a flurry of slashes and jabs toward Jarod's lower legs meant to at least get him off-balance if not on the ground.

As she is righted by Caytiv, she laughs a little and moves over to settle beside him in the grass. Leaning back against him, she snuggles into his chest with her back and then sighs. She winces a few times and her eyes widen at the battlecry and she shifts to sit up a bit, looking to Caytiv. "It would be nice to see you spar." She tells the once sheperd. She bites her lip at Veris, wishing the lad well enough, watery eyes gleaming as she sticks her burnt fingers back to her lips.

Jarod doesn't seem too disappointed when he fails to loosen Veris' grip on his weapon. He doesn't stop the offensive, pressing harder now that he seems to have an opening, pivoting around the blow to his legs and trying to get closer to Veris rather than farther off. Which does seem to work. His aim now to stay near and use the polearm's length against the would-be squire, making this a close-quarters little match. Blade of his two-hander sword is swung upward high and quick, trying to catch and lock the blade of the glaive so he can try to leverage Veris off-balance. He hasn't noticed Caytiv and Thea's approach yet. Or, if he does, it's not apparent. He's all of concentration.

Irys wanders up, apparently 'off duty' for now. The girl sashays along her way, a carelessly unthinking sway to her hips, which is perhaps a good thing. If she was too still, her size might trick someone into thinking her a life-sized doll. A lace-up front to her bright white chemise has been left open enough to offer a good view of her cleavage, and, if that wasn't enough to bespeak her obvious profession, her skirts have been carefully slitted to allow flashes of toned legs to be glimpsed through the green overskirts and sunshine yellow underskirts.

Caytiv is given a slow blooming smile and a wink before that smile is leveled on Thea. Only then does she devote her attention to watching the spar.

Caytiv hardly seems to strive to be the center of Jarod's attention, after all. He's nice and relaxed, some edge of his earlier high energy taken off by a good snack and a good frolic. He shifts his torso's weight from both palms to just one, bringing his arm thus freed up and around Thea, resting first on her belly and then idly wandering up her torso to cup a breast and stroke at it unthinkingly with his thumb while he watches the match. Having just been basket-packing with the lassie at his side, he's not wont to be driven to distraction by the appearance of the prostitute by the field of combat, though he does toss her an easy smile in turn, and a nod, before his attention returns to the combatants and the tides of battle as they turn one way and then the other. "Maybe the winner of this match will feel up to a second go," he tells Thea, in re: her desire to watch him fight.

Veris' wide stance prevents him from being knocked off his feet completely, but Jarod's maneuver does get him off-balance. "Shit," he hisses, stepping sideways to steady himself as one hand comes off the glaive for balance. But, instead of trying to back away to regain footing, he moves forward toward his opponent as he tries to regain full control of his weapon in the hopes that decreasing the distance will negate the sword's effective striking range. It isn't an attack, it's a full-on shoulder check, and it's a move of sheer desperation. This might be mock combat, but Very is fully committed to it.

The easy way in which Cayt settles with her, makes Thea grin slowly and she snuggles back to relaxing. Though his hand rising hire makes her squirm and she leans back to whisper at him with a flash of a grin. Her hand lifts to rest lightly on his wrist. Her gaze shifts forward at the 'shit' and she tilts her head, trying to see as that poof of wild blonde hair shifts, the cloth that had restrained lost back somewhere in the kitchens. But her eyes catch on Irys as she smiles at them both and the young girl returns it, still studying the other woman before she looks bakc again. "Come now , Very! The Ser is not all that tough!" She cries in encouragement from her relaxed position.

Jarod is not short on commitment himself, so much so that even Irys appearance isn't immediately registered. He's looking to finish this now, and looking for an opening to do so. Which one does, when Veris moves forward. He meets the shoulder check with a hard slam of his own, attacking with the side of the blade and pushing it forth, rather than trying to parry it. It's a shoving blow rather than a cutting one, but it's full force all the same.

Caytiv's eyebrows, usually flat and severe-looking as they are, drift upward at Thea's whisper, and for a moment he just looks baffledly down to his trousers, then aside to her, "Ay?" he wonders, before it finally sinks in to the thinky part of his brain that he's giving her a groping out in the middle of the tourney field, and he gives a low chuckle by way of apology— though it doesn't stop him a-fondling at her. Jarod and Very are still caught up in the fight, and, well— it's not like a tit grope is something Irys has never seen before.

Meeting the flat of Jarod's blade with his shoulder-check is bad enough. But when it's accompanied by the full weight and force of the Captain of the Guard, it hurts like a bitch. With a wince and a grunt of pain, Very slides away to the side, the force of Jarod's counter making him turn, leaving his back exposed. Even though he knows it, there's not much he can do about it. He tucks the glaive under his armpit, gripping it with his good hand, and pushes the butt of the shaft all the way back with one sharp motion. A real stab in the dark. If the jab misses, maybe his sharp spin might catch Jarod. Either way, it looks like Veris' right arm is hurting after that check gone wrong. It's not until Thea's shout that he realizes that there are others present, which puts some life back into him - there's pride on the line now. Even if he's meant to lose, he's gotta lose with dignity.

The stab does miss, but Jarod is indeed caught by the spin, taking a hard hit to his side that makes him whirl and double over. Wincing. That's going to leave (another) bruise, right there. Though he doesn't just whirl away without landing a blow. He gets in a stinging strike to Veris' exposed back before he himself is caught. It's a bruise-y sort of contest.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Jarod=Blades Vs Veris=Bludgeons
< Jarod: Good Success Veris: Success
< Net Result: Jarod wins - Solid Victory

Caytiv does not relent and Thea is forced to let out a sighing whimper as she allows him. "Better be glad I like you.." She murmurs. She tilts her head back to steal a kiss from his cheek and then regards the exchange. As Veris makes a blow, she grins a little. "Right on you.." She says lowly beneath her breath. She wets her lips and smiles a bit more, quirking a brilliant smile as she reaches for the basket, straining a little as the young lad holds her still.

Caytiv does let go when Thea gets mumbly at him for the attention, patting her, instead, on the hip and returning a kiss to her cheek for the kiss on his cheek, letting her crawl away to get the picnic ready, and leaning back on both arms again to see how the fight finishes up.

The strike to Veris' back knocks the wind right out of him and his knees buckle as he finishes his spin. Weakly, he pulls the glaive forward and stabs it one-handed - with his off-hand, no less - at Jarod, trying to delay the inevitable attack and put some space between them. But even if it connected, it wouldn't hurt the man at all.

Connect it does, though Jarod manages to swipe it aside with his blade and point the thing at Veris. "Yield, lad. You fought well enough. We can try this for a month, if you like. See how it goes. I do need a squire for Jaremy's tournament." He offers him a quick, boyish grin. He's breathing hard, sweaty, and bruised in a few places. He had fun.

Veris grimaces as briefly he stares at the blade pointed his way. It's a bitch to have to yield after being bested even when you go into a fight fully expecting to lose to your superior. But then he fades out of his combat mindset and remembers why they were doing this in the first place. The glaive drops to his side and he yields to the victor. "I'll serve you well, Ser," is Very's quiet response. He's still catching his breath. When he gets back to his feet, he retrieves his weapon. "It was the drink," he adds, glancing back at Jarod. "That's why Ser Kirin dismissed me. You should know that, Ser, if I'm to be your man."

Jarod nods to that. "All right. Well, don't get stupid and lazy with it, and we won't have any problems. I expect you up early to tend to my horse, Symeon, and then to avail yourself to help out in the kennels, just as Rowan did. If you can work through a hang-over…well, all the better." He grins. "Measure of a man, that. You can sleep above the stables, there's board space for squires there. Tonight…consider it your last of freedom. Enjoy yourself." He winks. And with that, off he strides. Squire? Acquired.