|Summary:||Hardwicke gives a young Jarod a lesson in swordplay.|
|Date:||February 25, 2012 (OOC Date)|
|The Green — Terrick's Roost|
Ser Revyn may be Master-at-Arms, but that doesn't mean he has time to train each man personally at all times. Sometimes, others must be assigned to the task, and thus it is today that Hardwicke has been given the responsibility of giving Jerold's bastard a lesson in swordplay. He waits on the Green in his Terrick colors, a pair of wooden practice sword at hand. The sword that he is sharpening while he waits is far from a practice blade, though, but hopefully that won't come into play in the lesson. Hopefully. He lifts a hand from the work to scratch idly along the stubble at his jaw, just a lazy day or two old.
Jarod Rivers comes bounding to the practice field, running at top speed. His preferred mode of transport through life. He's early, if not by much. The boy is an ever-trying student for anything the family maester tries to drill into his head, but he's always dutiful about lessons in anything martial-related. He's tall for his age at thirteen, though it's the kind of all-arms-and-legs height that comes with a recent growth spurt, so he still looks skinny and gawky more than anything else. He skids to a halt, a hint of surprise at seeing Hardwicke there. "Good afternoon, Ser Blayne." Though panting, he tries to put on better manners in front of Lady Evangeline's favored knight than he might for the other men-at-arms he's more familiar with. "Where's my lord uncle?"
"He has better things to do, I imagine," Hardwicke says a bit dryly. He eyes the boy up and down as if to remind himself of his gawkiness of his student. He slides the whetstone away in a pocket and sheathes his sword. "Disappointed, are you?"
"Umm…" Jarod stands up straighter and squares his shoulders as he's looked at, in an attempt to make himself look as impressive as possible. It's not a very successful effort, on the whole. "Disappointed? No, Ser. Of course not, Ser. Just…wasn't expecting…umm…aye, I'm sure he had better things to do. He's busy with Jaremy now that he's his squire, anyhow. Thanks for…umm…taking the time, Ser."
"Not much else to do when I get the order." Hardwicke leans over without quite getting off his comfortable perch — maybe it's a rock or a barrel or something — to pluck up one of the wasters from the ground. He leaves the other for Jarod. "What've you been working on?"
Jarod scurries over to pick up his waster, hefting it in two hands with a grunt. He knows how to grip the thing correctly, at least. He gives it a few practice swings that are extra-flourishy, and more wobbly and crooked for being so. Perhaps he's intending to show off, albeit probably not with the intended effect. "Was blocking yesterday, Ser. I think I got that pretty good."
"Really." Color Hardwicke skeptical. He watches those flourishes with a squinted, unimpressed gaze that is rather unfair for the poor thirteen-year-old. "Think you know how to hit with it now, do you?" he surmises from the practice swings.
Jarod notes the unimpressed look, and stops 'showing off.' Which is probably for the best. Whatever he was trying to do was getting increasingly silly-looking. He eyes the knight, grin dipping down into an expression of some determination. "We'll see if I can hit something, Ser." That something being Hardwicke, of course.
Hardwicke eyes him a moment longer, then finally stands. Tall and broad, he doesn't attempt an impressive stance as Jarod did, but he doesn't particularly need to try much in this instance. He cracks his neck, rolls his shoulders, and then settles. "All right, then," he says. "Hit me."
Jarod looks up, and up, at Hardwicke. The not-terribly-old knight does indeed manage to be comparatively impressive. The boy rolls his shoulders as well (perhaps in imitation of a thing he's picked up from Ser Blayne), takes a deep breath, and swings at the man's knee as hard as he can. Aiming low is easier, given their respective height. It's a simple strike and one that's done correctly for what it is, though what it is would not be hard to see coming.
Hardwicke twists his waster low to direct the blow from his leg. "Obvious," he deems it. He doesn't give any helpful sort of warning before using the momentum of the block to swing the wooden blade upwards in an quick attack on Jarod's shoulder. Pretty good at blocking, you say?
Jarod scrambles back and brings his sword up when Hardwicke strikes back at him. He does actually block it. He's an athletic boy and he tries super hard at everything remotely related to possibly achieving the knighthood, so his swordwork is decent for his age. Between the scrambling and the force of Hardwicke's blow, however, he ends up a little off-balance, and he has to take a second to catch himself to keep from tripping over his own feet.
Hardwicke sends an ungentle knock towards Jarod's knee in retaliation. "Watch your footwork," he commands in lieu of complimenting the block.
Jarod is off balance already, so it doesn't take much to knock him completely. He goes sprawling, making a muffled "Ungf" sound at the blow to his knee, though he manages not to actually yelp. With the padding, and the wooden wasters, it'll not be anything more than a bruise anyway. He lays on the ground for a minute, wind knocked out of him from landing flipped on his back.
Hardwicke takes a step in to loom over him, brows arched. "Are you taking lessons in lounging now?" he guesses, setting the tip of his waster on his chest. "Now you're legless /and/ dead."
Jarod sucks in a deep breath, once he can again, inching his neck up to eye the waster on his chest. He frowns, rolling out from under it if he can, to get back to standing. A little less springy after that hit to the knee, but he's not too wobbly once he's got his feet planted again. "I'm not taking lessons in lounging, Ser." He raises his waster defensively for another go. His guard's too low.
"Considering a nap, then." Hardwicke's assessment is rapid with experience, and it certainly doesn't fail to note the placement of his guard. He aims high where Jarod prepares low in ruthless exploitation of his stance's opening.
"Fuck!" That is kind of yelped, as Jarod is nailed on the shoulder. He steps back again, not so far this time, but at least he's less scrambly about it this time, which makes him look less easy to topple. And he hefts his guard higher this time.
"Better," Hardwicke finally says when Jarod adjusts his guard. It is not the most enthusiastic "better" in the world, but it's something, right? He settles his weight back, watching the boy closely as he allows him to take the next strike.
It is indeed something, however grudging and minimal. Jarod beams at even the unenthusiastic sort-of compliment, smiling widely as he makes another attempt to hit Hardwicke. Striking at his ribs this time. It's not subtle, but it's not as obviously telegraphed as his attempt to knee the old knight, so there's that.
This next blow is deflected once again, which proves to be a theme for the training session. Hardwicke does not actually speak much outside of keeping Jarod on his feet and fighting, but there is still teaching there: he just lets Jarod learn from his mistakes, providing a rare word or two approval when he does so. The boy might end up a bit bruised and battered, but hopefully he will remember a thing or two. Eventually, Hardwicke glances at the sun and jerks a nod. "That's it," he says.
Jarod is sweaty and out of breath and beaten and bruised by the time Hardwicke is done with him. Though he's still grinning. Mostly when Hardwicke isn't looking at him. He's a hard-working lad for this particular pursuit, if nothing else, and he endeavors not to repeat the same mistake. "Thanks, Ser," he pants, going to put away his waster. A pause as he settles his equipment and he asks, "Do you have a squire, Ser?"
Hardwicke snorts a bit at the question. "Apparently I'm to have the honor of Lord Harlyn Haigh as my squire," he says rather dryly. "His parents are making a point to him, I'm sure."
"Oh." Jarod nods at that. "Well, that's good, Ser." It has sound of one of those things you just say. "My brother Jace…umm…Lord Jacsen is going off to Seagard to do for Lord Mallister before the year's out. Lord Jerold's trying to get me a place there, too, but I won't be for the lord, of course. Hasn't heard back yet, but he thinks Lord Jason can find me someone."
Hardwicke glances back over at the boy, studying him for a brief moment. Then he turns away with a quiet huff of breath, setting the waster down, and says, "Aye, I'm sure they'll find a place to put you."
"Aye," Jarod says to say something again, getting a water skin and glugging a long drink. Being beaten around by grumpy old knights is thirsty work. "Where'd you squire, Ser?" He asks with no small amount of curiosity. The bastard boy does not converse with Ser Blayne much, so he knows little of him.
"My uncle." The brevity of his reply does not invite much in the way of continued conversation, sadly.
"Oh. Aye." It does indeed not invite much in the way of conversation, so the boy doesn't press any further. "He must've been a good swordsman. Thanks for the lesson, Ser." And off Jarod scampers, back castle-wards.
Hardwicke does not offer much in the way of farewell, though he does chance a look back at Jarod as he scampers off. His jaw hard, he watches the boy go with something complex in his expression. Then he turns back to gather his equipment and make a slower path back to the castle.