Page 152: That's the Way to Do It
That's the way to do it!
Summary: Ironborn show others how to spar properly.
Date: 14/12/2011
Related Logs: None
Nares Kathryna Anais Hardwicke 
Coastline, Terrick's Roost
The Cape of Eagles looms out over Ironman's Bay, a vast, blue ocean inlet, that spreads its watery depths out beyond the horizon. The path that leads down to this coast winds down behind the towers for several hundred meters before arriving at the rocky water's edge. Rather than sand, the coast is covered with innumerable smooth and rounded stones about palm-sized. They stretch up and down the coast in all directions with the battered remnants of driftwood scattered about. Above the beach, one every mile or two, are towers with a large bell and mallet atop them which are to be beaten to warn of an incoming invasion. A small dock is being constructed of thick northern timbers, with mooring space for two large ships, or perhaps a half dozen smaller craft.
Wed Dec 14, 288

It's early morning and the tide seems to be just starting it's twice daily retreat. While dawn has definitely passed, it's still a while before breakfast and the rising sun is painting what cloud cover there is a arm orange. Possibly a bad sign for the weather ahead, red sky in the morning, but the serious of all that is lessened somewhat when not at sea. With the waves lapping gently against the timber of the construction and the rocks themselves, it's a fairly peaceful scene with only the occasional sea bird crying to break the calmness. Well, the occasional sea bird and maybe the occasional Ironborn too. As is his want of a morning, Nares is down by the ocean, breathing deep of the salty air. Right now though, he's crouched down on a rock at the water's edge, holding something into the water with his left hand, leaving his sword hand free, just in case.

"Homesick, Asvard?" The sea is so loud, and the early morning wind, that unless he was being particularly sharp to listen upon the air, he probably never would have heard her approach. Mostly awake and not looking too hurting, chances are Kate actually didn't drink herself silly last night OR obtain any more head wounds. The day is looking up. She's in her blacks, as oft, long sword at her side and wild mane of blonde curls twirling in the air around her face. If she were on a ship, it'd be getting close time to put it into proper dread locks or hack it off.

Nares had not been, at that moment, listening carefully enough it seems. That said though, his reactions don't seem to have slowed with age and by the time his brain registers that it's Kate then he's already stood facing her with a good eight inches of his sword out of it's sheath. Once it does register though he slides his sword home again and just shakes his head for a moment. A slow grin touches his features as he replies amused, "For fucks sake Kate, don't do that to me. I'm an old man now remember." Well, older than many of his mates will ever be, but that's just part of life really. "Landsick, fuck all this dirt and grass shit." And in his left hand? Well, that’s a leather flask which, after a cursory glance at, he stoppers.

A pale brow lofts on Kate's features, especially as he starts going on about being landsick. She watches him resheath that sword with just a touch of impatience in her ice eyes, but she shakes her head to him, "No, no… come now. Sword out. If you're going to be a cranky bastard, you might as well get some of that misery out here with someone up to the fight…" Screw blunted weapons. Kate never fought with them back home. Never until she came here. She draws her own sword and paces back a few more feet, drawing him at least a -bit- away from the cliffside. "We'll see how old you really are. Unless your heart can't take it?"

Nares just stands still and eyes Kate for a moment, smiling as she offers her challenge. "Ah, the impertinence of youth." Setting the flask down in a gap between a couple of rocks where it shouldn't get washed away he follows Kate's lead away from the cliffside, drawing as he walks. "You want me to take my mail off? Wouldn't want to disadvantage a Lady" he pronounces the capital carefully, "by being so ungentlemanly as to wear better armour than her." He takes a step closer, flexing his limbs in preparation. "Do your worst kid, I just hope for your sake you've improved since we last crossed blades. Wouldn't to have to explain a second bump to our Gracious Hosts." He pronounces those capitals too. Ahhh, banter.

Kathryna groans and rolls her eyes to the sky as he mentions taking his mail off. "If you want to strip for me, Asvard, you don't have to do it at sword point, you know! I thought we put those days behind us!" She clearly has no care otherwise, trusting her leathers to protect her from the worst. That's why she wears them. She does, however, peel off her long coat and toss it aside on a rather large boulder so she doesn't get caught in the tails. It leaves her just in that leather bodice, the white shift beneath and her leather pants. She's thin and muscled as ever, not all that much form of a woman, but it means she's kept in fighting shape.

"All you have to do is ask," Nares shoots back, still grinning. Hunkering down just a little to both drop his centre of mass and improve his manoeuvrability to readies his sword, then gestures with his off hand towards Kate, "Ladies first," before immediately darting forward to engage.
< Net Result: Nares wins - Marginal Victory

When the fight is over and he no doubt boasts about getting the first hit on her, Kate will claim he cheated from the get go. Not that that ever disqualifies anything between the Ironborn, but his comment of Ladies first definitely means she was just about to strike herself when his sword comes in to slash at her side. "Fuckin' eh!" She growls out, jerking her sword up a second too late for a parry. It means that he doesn't really cut through her shirt, but he definitely makes bodily contact before her steel slaps him away. She then abruptly turns her wrist and brings her sword for a cut across his chin. "Lookin' like you need a shave!"
< Net Result: Nares wins - Solid Victory

As the blow connects Nares just smiles and mocks, "You're getting slow Kate." Bringing his sword back from the blow he spots her move and simply takes a half pace backwards, putting himself safely beyond her reach. "And predictable it seems." Stepping back in and launching a faint to the left followed by a blow aimed at her shoulder. Stun the arm that holds the weapon and all that. "I reckon all this Riverlands greenery is making you soft after all. Besides, you said you liked my beard, gave you something to grip."
< Net Result: Nares wins - Marginal Victory

He may very well be right, considering Kate just doesn't seem to be able to keep up today. Her lacking speed and blows only make her even more frustrated, as he easily parries her 'predictable' cut to his jaw and then brings another cut around to her sword arm which ALSO hits, though not hard enough to make her fingers numb. She hisses out a far less than lady like curse, growling to him, "Not fucking soft… Just making certain you're warmed up for a proper fight, old man!" The lady doth protest too much. She swings her blade in for a long slash to his thigh, meant to take his leg out from under him while still operating in close confines.
< Net Result: Kate wins - Marginal Victory

Nares notes Kate's building frustration and tries to play on it. "If not soft, gentle perhaps? Tame?" He takes a deep breath of the salt air again, relishing his successes. Maybe perhaps, relishing them too much and not paying enough attention, and as such he spots the swing just that fraction too late to fully parry it. He gets his own blade there in time to take the worst of the blow though so he isn't downed. It does break his step though. With his sword still on his body side of her's where it had blocked, he swings outward, wide and fast, hoping to force her blade out of her hands and leave it clattering against the rocks.
< Net Result: Nares wins - Marginal Victory

Kathryna relaxes, just a touch, as she finally gets -something- of a hit in. At least it's a start. She shakes her head to him, "If YOU couldn't tame me… and you sure as hells couldn't, then these soft riverland men certainly can't do the job. I'm just a bit rusty. We need to do this more often." She calls over the clash of their swords as he makes that abrupt, outwards swing. It definitely hits her blade, swinging it wide and free but she manages to keep her grip, letting the force of that swing bring power for her blade as she swings it up and around to his other side, now cutting at the shoulder of his sword hand.
< Net Result: DRAW

Nares is a mite disappointed that his effort didn't work, but then it is one of those tricks that’s most effective against less experienced swordsmen, like say, Banefort militia and peasants. "You think that was me trying to tame you?" He retorts as he brings his own blade back across his body to block the incoming blow. "As I told you before, if I'd wanted you, I'd have -taken- you." As the swords meet, his blade is vertical and just outside of the line of his shoulder, his elbow carefully tucked in to avoid it being hit should her blade slide down his. The almighty clang they make is the main result though and he then launches forward again, pushing his elbow and wrist forwards to bring the sword down in an arch towards her shoulder again. He's avoiding the head for now not wanting to inflict the kind of damage that sort of blow can achieve.
< Net Result: Kathryna wins - Marginal Victory

Maybe it was very well Kate who needed warmed up, because several blows in now, and she doesn't seem nearly so slow as she was during the first few bouts of the fight. He might meet her sword at that previous cut, but Kate proves herself not weakened in the least, as she barely stumbles back and holds the pressure against his own blade before they mutually swing away. He's not overpowering her here. Not now. She wastes no time in smacking away his sword now like it was a sort of a fly, that blow not even touching her. But, having parried that blow, she now drags her sword the rest of the way down, for an intended long slice across his stomach.
< Net Result: Nares wins - Marginal Victory

"You see, that’s far more like it," Nares replies almost conversationally, "all you needed was a man to show you how." As her blade comes swooping in he steps back out of range again and the tip merely skims his mail where it's rolled a little way over his belt. "Or maybe I need to show you again?" He tuts briefly he doesn't step back in this time, choosing instead to bring his blade down fast across her elbow, hoping to catch it while it's still extended in her swing.
< Net Result: DRAW

Kathryna strikes out to block JUST in time, though half a heartbeat later and her elbow would have been sent numb and tingling, she catches his sword against her own and holds it there tight, teeth gritting. He was probably just a -bit- stronger than her, at least, but she knew how to use leverage, and he's not making progress on this one. Neither is she. She grunts out. "I… do think I've… got it…" she hisses, and then finally jerks her sword away, body suddenly ducking back so all the pressure she was putting there is GONE. Hopefully, he stumbles forward as she whirls around and shoves the hilt of her sword into his back, trying to push him to the ground.
< Net Result: Kate wins - Solid Victory

Nares is just a fraction of a second too slow to twig to her move, although ask him later and he'll swear it was a slimy patch of rock. As Kate pulls back he moves to follow but she's timed it just right and he's unbalanced when the blow comes in. The impact with the rocks is audible but he's experienced enough to be able to roll out of it and stagger back to his feet. Ensuring his out of range for a few moments he takes a couple of deep breaths to regain his composure and embrace the adrenaline wave before tilting his head slightly to look at Kate, "Clever girl." Steady again he lunges forwards with a flurry of strokes, the vast majority are not designed to hit, but simply to try and get blade too tangled in parry so that he can step within her reach and use his fist to drive the air out of her lungs.
< Net Result: Kathryna wins - Crushing Victory

Kathryna knows she has him off balance now, as she feels the solid hit of her sword's hilt into his back. She possibly could end it there, but she allows him time to get back to his feet and resituates himself. Then he's coming at her again and within the first or second stroke, she parries so hard, and exactly at the right point of his sword to send it flying out of his hand. When he's disarmed, she brings her sword immediately around, pressing the flat of it to the side of his throat and bounding pulse there. If he was an enemy? His jugular would be cut. She keeps it there tight and close. "Yield." She growls between her teeth.

<FS3> Nares rolls Mind: Failure.

Well, crap. As he sword goes clattering off onto the rocks nearby Nares stands very, very still. A couple of breaths, a swallow. Needless to say he's well aware of the exact position of Kate's blade, even though he's looking directly at her instead. "You know," he starts, before dropping his hands from their ready position, "I fucking love it when you play rough!" That last bit is almost yelled as he throws himself to one side, away from her blade. The plan? Well it's simple, if also possible bloody stupid. He's expecting to meet the rocks this time and so should be able to use land on his side and use the momentum to roll away before getting to his feet again, drawing his boot dagger as he does so. It's a formidable weapon at close range with a blade that's razor sharp. Shame it's also only six inches long mind, but he's in no mood to yield.
< Net Result: DRAW

Kathryna groans loudly as he jerks away. Who knows if she would or would not have been able to cut his throat in that moment, probably she could, but she's not -willing- to do so. He's her only real friend in this whole land. So he gets away, rolling down to the rocks, and her blade swings back around fast, smacking HARD at the back of his wrist and pinning it there against his ankle before he pulls his blade. He can grab it out, but he's going to get most of the skin shaved off of the back of his hand if he does it, if not lose a finger. "Don't even fucking think about it, you little snake!"

Nares had the dagger half out of his boot before Kate's blow strikes. Fortunately it hits mail and not flesh but the instantaneous reflex is to let go and so it slowly slides back down and disappears below the top of his boot. With his other knee still resting on the rock surface he slowly leans back and down until he's sitting on that leg, rather than kneeling in a position from which he could easily spring up. Well, easy were it not for that whole sword issue. It's a little uncomfortable, given such a move would normally have involved the rotation of his pinned wrist, but then it's a fair sight less painful than had this been a real fight for blood. "I can see I have some work to do," he states after a moment's thought over exactly what to say, and although he hasn't actually said the words 'I yield' yet, he makes no other move, save moving his hand, slowly away from his body to show he's not about to go for any other concealed weapon.

It's fairly early in the morning, and the cliffside has attracted, of course, the two Ironborn. They are also, of course, doing Iron born things! Mainly going at each other with live, sharp steel, Kate just in her leathers (sans coat) though Nares has on his mail. It also seems that the woman, at some point, disarmed the man, as his sword is at an awkward angle several feet away on the stones, and she's got her sword half pinning his arm against his leg. Her ice eyes stay hard on his, "…I told you… to yield. I would not rather further damage your body putting you down, but I will if I must." She growls out to him over the wind and the waves.

Early morning or no, Anais is already out and about. Perhaps it's the only way she can be sure she gets a chance to escape the confines of the keep, or perhaps it's simply a means of dealing with her usual restlessness when there are few people up and about to entertain her. Rather than her usual guard, she rides with Hardwicke and a handmaiden. When she catches sight of Kathryna and Nares, she rises up a bit in her stirrups, brows arching as she looks to her companion. "Well that looks like an interesting turn of events," she observes.

Hardwicke does not look particularly thrilled to have ended up in the position of Anais' guard, but he rarely looks particularly thrilled, so it's probably not too out of place an expression. He has an easy seat on his mare, his gaze mostly drifting to the rocky shoreline and the sea beyond, though the fighting certainly grabs his attention. He sighs out a sharp, exasperated breath and nudges Delylah into a brief trot to draw closer. "And you wonder why Lady Terrick doesn't want you in her home," he comments dryly to Kathryna.
< Net Result: Nares wins - Marginal Victory

Well, Nares might have given in and offered to buy the first round that evening, but the arrival of the Lady and her guard means there's now an audience and the mixture of adrenaline and testosterone that’s racing round his body screams out a refusal to be publicly embarrassed so. As Harwick approaches and speaks he figures it's now or never and pulls himself backwards sharply, unable to prevent himself from grunting in pain as Kate's blade cuts a gouge out of the back of his wrist. It's not a graceful withdrawal but it serves, although the wound, combined with the previous numbness means he's using his off hand for his boot knife. The prospect is poor, but his blood is screaming.

Kathryna isn't -exactly- distracted, not foolish enough to look behind her and figure what voices are now calling over the rocks, only slightly hushed by the roaring waves beyond, but she's not immediately on Nares as she was previously, her brain forced to kick into some sort of multitasking. It means the man DOES get away with his hand still attached to his body, though his wrist most certainly isn't in quite as good tact as it was before. And the blades they both use are -clearly- not blunted now. This is, apparently, how Ironborn train. Or maybe the woman is trying to kill him? Either way, Kate growls out to behind her without turning her head. "He is not one of the Terrick's men and I am not in their keep or their courtyard. This is bloody well none of her business." And, though the man is armed with naught but a blade, Kate swings her long sword around to slash at his opposite arm, trying to disarm his off hand now. She'll divest him of all weapons, if she must. "Asvard… just yield and be done with it, old man!"

Anais tilts her head to one side for a moment, arching a brow at Hardwicke when Kathryna replies. "She's got a point, you know," she notes, shrugging one shoulder and flashing a blindingly innocent smile. "Besides, it's Ironborn beating up on each other. I'm reasonably certain that's a good thing." Her mare tosses her head at the sounds of the fight, though Anais doesn't seem bothered by the dancing that follows, leaning down to pat a hand to the horse's neck.

Hardwicke shoots Anais a dour look before sliding off his horse and landing with a thump on the ground. His hand is heavy on the hilt of his sword; as fitting for an officially guardly outing, he's in maile. "Put up your blades," he growls. "You're still in the Roost."

Nares is doing his damndest to pay the newly arrived Riverlanders no heed, but the friendly banter from before is now all gone, as is the smile. In its place, his brow is knitted in concentration. The incoming blow strikes home he curses with the shock of the blow, in language a Lady really probably shouldn't hear, but just about manages to keep hold of the blade. "Make me," he replies, before launching himself forward, although if it's to Kate, Hardwicke or both is unspecified. Kate may have the range but if he can get inside her guard then he has the both height and weight on his side and a solid landing on her back may be enough to knock the wind out of his fellow Ironborn.
< Net Result: Kathryna wins - Crushing Victory

Kathryna groans quietly at Hardwicke's words, "Arrest me if you like, I'm finishing this fucking fight." She calls behind her, but apparently her lacking patience with the man behind her, and the one in front of her, AND Probably just MEN in general has run out! She jerks forward as Nares tries to get in her guard, and he does get close, but she's smaller and faster. She pulls to the side so he's gone slightly past her and releases her own sword from one hand, freeing HER hand to reach out and grab his wrist that he's got the dagger in. She uses his own forward momentum, a technique best practiced by women smaller and faster than their opponents, to jerk him forward and across her -shoulder, flipping him onto his back and the stone below. Something pops when she does that, not broken, but his wrist or his shoulder is UNHAPPY. She scoops down, picking up his clattering blade before she kneels beside his hand and puts his own knife to his throat. "…Do you yield -now-?"

"Ser Hardwicke." Anais' smile is gone as quickly as the wind off the sea, her jaw setting as she puts her heels to her horse to move between the knight and the Ironborn. "That will not be necessary," she says firmly. "The lady is, after all, our guest and an envoy in our house. It would be a tremendous breach of hospitality to try to command how she spends her time not only within our walls, but outside of them as well." She pauses, the faintest smile tugging at one corner of her lips. "Besides which, I believe Lady Evangeline forbade the men of her household from crossing swords with the Lady. So." That smile is gone. "At. Ease."

Hardwicke looks up at Anais with a raised brow that looks thoroughly unimpressed. "I am well-aware of precisely what Lady Terrick was forbidding," he says blandly, moving without hesitation to try to side-step the horse. "Oh, /yield/, man," he snaps at Nares impatiently.

Well, if Nares only be trying to pay no attention to the new arrivals before, he's certainly managing it now. The impact of his back against the rock, even with aid of his arming jack, is more than enough to knock the breath clean out of him. He has just enough time mid-flight to tuck his chin up and into his chest which saves the back of his head from the worst of it but alas, the same can not be said of his shoulder. He himself doesn't hear the pop of it slipping out of its joint on account of being somewhat distracted by the shooting pain instead. His expression of this discomfort mostly takes the form of a string of obscenities which are then cut short as he feels the cold of the blade against his throat. He'd been lucky last time she had a blade in that position, but feels no desire to test his acrobatics again. "Fine," he hisses through clenched teeth, although if through pain or anger at himself for losing it's hard to tell. "I yield." That said he lets his head drop back against the rocks and relaxes what tension he can in his muscles, surrendering.

Kathryna finally stands up, grinning wide to him, "Ye need a maester now, old man. That shoulder is half way across the sea I fear. And this is mine now. Take it back some day, if you can." Kate keeps the blade from his boot in her hand, though she's sheathing her own sword as she now walks away. She'll find somewhere to stow his dagger in her jacket. Then she looks back to their intruders, bowing her head respectfully to the Lady, "Lady Anais, I thank you for your…Understanding. Your man here seems to have his sword so far up his buttocks that he's blinded by its light reflecting Lady Evangeline's pure soul." She mutters with a half growl beneath her voice. She's leaning down to scoop up her long coat now, pulling it on her own shoulders, barely cut for the fight though she's no doubt got bruises. If she's worried about Asvard, it doesn't show.

Anais stubbornly moves her horse to stay in front of Hardwicke, jaw setting. "Stand down, Ser Hardwicke," she repeats herself firmly. "Lady Evangeline may believe she's above the dictates of hospitality and diplomacy, but I won't suffer it in my pres-" And then Kathryna opens her mouth, and Anais sighs, pressing a hand to her brow. "That was unhelpful," she calls over, dry.

"I'd call any two men at each other with naked blades on the Roost to sheathe them," Hardwicke snaps, impatient at the play of words. "You suffer nothing but duty to keep the peace, /my lady/." He snorts distinctly at Kathryna's words, but seems generally appeased now that the fight is through leaving no further danger of immediate death or maiming. Well — grumpily appeased.

Nares stays still for a moment or two after Kathryna moves away, but he understands the drill well enough to know he only has a limited amount of time to more or things will get worse. Ignoring as best he can the blood from the back of his wrist, he moves his good arm across to brace his left and then rolls onto his right side. From there he struggles momentarily to make it to his knees and from there it's a relatively easy push to get him onto his feet. The process is neither graceful, nor dignified (nor indeed silent), but he makes it while Kate is still looking away, and that’s the important thing. It's the work of moments to wedge his left hand through his belt to leave his right free before he glances around to locate both his sword and the flask he'd set down at the start of the spar. Needless to say both are located, retrieved and stowed before he walks over to where Kate now stands. Leaning close enough to mutter something into her ear before turning and offering brief nods to both Anais and Hardwicke as he makes to leave up the path, hoping now that the Maester is experienced enough to be able to relocate the joint without him having to take his armour off first.
Muttered: 'This cranky bastard will be partaking of something strong and medicinal in the bar as soon as he escapes. I'll get enough for two.'

Kathryna is just ice cold like that, not helping Nares up at all. If he's not strong enough to get up, he deserves to lay there. But the two might recognize a -slight- easing of her body as she hears him coming back in her direction. At least it means he's still mobile enough. She mutters something back to him then nods, letting him go off before she turns ice eyes back to Hardwicke and Anais. "No one was dying or hurt beyond repair, Ser… do not furrow your brow so much. Those wrinkles are already setting in place." She gives him one more flash of a smile then looks back towards Anais. "Forgive, lady… my blood is up. I have a tendency for honesty when it is such." Or any time that she's breathing air and conscious.
Muttered: Be well, old man. I'll see you there.

"Would you? Because I remember there being a tournament here a few months ago and a whole host of bared blades," Anais snaps back at Hardwicke. "Quit picking fights. Soldiers need to spar in order to stay sharp, and I doubt you'd be glad to sheathe your blades if you found yourself the guest of the Harlaws on the Isles. Honestly." Now Kathryna gets her fair share of the Banefort glare. "This whole situation is ridiculous, and I'm quite certain it will be seen to shortly. In the interim, perhaps we could all try to be civil to each other. By which I do not mean pretend to be civil while instead throwing barbs all about."

Kathryna cannot quite help but agree with Hardwicke's comment, a slight frown tugging at her lips. Kate breathes out slowly, still trying to catch her breath and calm her own pounding heart, blood rushing from the fight. She rests her hands upon her hips now, looking over both of them, "Aye… I believe the Ser's issue, Lady Anais, is that my man and I fight with sharpened weapons. Oft when Knights practice, it is with a blunted blade that will bruise far more than it cuts. It is a far less lethal weapon than the ones Nares and I bore." She is at least willing to teach the woman what she doesn't know about blades. "-That- being said… it is our bodies, our lives… and our culture. It is how we have always fought and we're both still breathing, so it can't be entire madness."

"I know the difference between sharp and dull blades," Anais drawls with a dry look shared between the pair. "We don't always use blunted blades at Banefort, either. My father says using blunted blades all the time makes a man more willing to take a blow, because he's trained himself to think it won't really harm him. And if you're in the habit of wearing armor to battle, then that may not be a bad habit. If, however, you tend to fight from a ship and have any hope of not sinking if you fail, you find yourself with less protection, and should perhaps not encourage the instinct to take a hit." Hardwicke gets the brunt of her pointed look this time.

"I beg your pardon, my lady," Hardwicke says in a spectacularly arid voice. "It was hard to tell." Too old the quell under pointed looks from young women, his gaze is even and unmoved as he watches her. Then he turns to remount his horse and wait with a bored sort of expectancy.

Kathryna tilts her head to Anais, hearing the clearly quite learned explanation from the proper lady's mouth. She nods in approval, "Aye… forgive me, Anais… you clearly know plenty of this subject. I'm… Surprised. Though encouraged." Kate looks like she's almost about to say something more, but then her eyes flicker to Hardwicke and she seems to settle on biting her tongue. "…Well, now that you both know the battle is over, I shan't keep you much longer. Your man is looking bored, Lady… I hope you both have a somewhat more… Interesting morning than this."

"I imagine it's difficult to see past your preconceptions, Ser Hardwicke," Anais agrees in a cool voice. As Kathryna moves to make her departure, the lady lets out a soft sigh, though tension lingers in her spine. "You should probably see to your man, Lady Harlaw," she agrees, the ghost of a smile touching her features once more. "I hope your day passes swiftly."

Hardwicke snorts in a distinctly dubious sort of way, but says nothing as he settles straight and tall in the saddle. He waits silently for the women to exchange farewells.

Kathryna bows her head respectfully towards Anais. "Aye, indeed. He has gotten older. I hope I didn't break him for good. That would be a shame. Both of you, be well." And with that, she turns upon the ball of her foot and begins heading in the direction of the town, probably for the inn to find her man.

Anais watches Kathryna leave, then looks to Hardwicke for a long moment. And for once, she keeps her mouth shut, turning her horse back toward the keep. Record this for posterity.