|The Pre-Melee Show|
|Summary:||Knights, squires and ladies gather on the Green and banter before the tourney melee violence begins.|
|Related Logs:||Melee at the Roost|
|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.|
|Mon Oct 24, 288|
Morning of the melee, though the competition itself is still several hours away. A good many knights are still in their pavilions, sleeping off all the 'celebrating' that's taken place in the wake of the Terrick-Banefort wedding. But somehow, Ser Jarod Rivers is among those who's actually mobile at this hour. His duties at Four Eagles Tower have kept him from having too much stupid fun during the course of the tourney. He's not in armor yet and is idling on the side of the Green, talking with a knight in Banefort livery.
Without having taken upon himself to join the celebrations or the tourney of the wedding, Alek is surprisingly mobile as well, though he has a flask of wine already in his hand this morning. He's near the Green, supervising a young, lithe squire that busies at erecting a tent for the knight. Wind ruffles at shaggy blond hair, his feet spaced in an easy at-rest position as he waits. He talks to his wine, and no one else. And by talk, I mean drink.
"Rivers!" It's a cocky, cheeky greeting called across the green — delivered by Rowan Nayland, the slender lad hauling a sack that likely contains a full suit of armor. "Someone put snakes in your bed? Didn't expect to see you before noon, what with your Mallister lads in town." He drops the sack, glancing at the tent that — as erections go — is decidedly at half-mast. "Oi, lad…" he strolls over to the younger squire, grabbing one of the ropes dangling from the listing shelter. "You're missing some spikes, somewhere. Go have a look in the bag again, eh? You've got it halfway there, now just have to tack it to the ground." Been here, done this — Rowan has experience in these things.
The Banefort man Jarod's chatting with gets a boisterous laugh out of Rowan's greeting to Jarod. Ser Rivers grins broadly as well, excusing himself from conversation with the Westerman to approach the Oldstones squire. "Had to abandon the boys to entertain themselves last night, I fear. Though I did manage to talk Ser Andrey Charlton into sharing a couple of pints. Made him a bit more amenable on the random he'd won for unhorsing me." He chatters even as Rowan busies himself with the pavilion, though it takes him a second to realize who the Nayland lad is erecting for. His grin crooks a notch, but it doesn't fade. "Ser Coope. Your face has healed up, I hope?"
A flick of fingers brushes over the lingering bruise under his eye, faded yellow-purple. "Well enough," he allows in a drawl, sipping from his wine slowly. "Just in time to get more banged up today. I trust you are entering the melee?" He takes little note of the pretty squire, unfortunately, but his own unnamed squire directs a look of relief towards Rowan before digging through equipment to come up with more stakes.
"Ah, you always where a charmer, Ser," says Rowan, holding the ropes taut as Alek's squire fetches the stakes. "A third pint, and I'm sure you could have gotten Charlton to offer his hand in marriage." He continues holding the ropes as the stakes go in the ground, flicking a speculative glance over the still-bruised knight. "Ah, so you're Ser Alek Coope." Before deciding how he feels about this meeting, he checks, "You got the goodwill of Lady Lucienne, yet?" Word. It gets around.
Jarod is sporting a similar faded bruise on his right eye. He offers the Oldstones knight a rather cheeky wink of said eye, and nods an enthusiastic affirmative to Alek's question about the melee. "Aye. Wouldn't miss it. I tried my hand at the joust, but I'm more for the sword, not the lance. I've got a few scores I'm looking to settle, but I would like to try my blade against yours if we're both still standing near the end of it. See if you're as flashy with your sword as with your fists." As for Rowan's last question, he answers it for Alek. "I heard you made amends with my lady sister. That was well-done, Ser."
Morning of the melee, though the competition itself is still several hours away. A good many knights are still in their pavilions, sleeping off all the 'celebrating' that's taken place in the wake of the Terrick-Banefort wedding. Jarod, however, is up and about, and chatting with Ser Alek, while Rowan assists Alek's squire in setting up the knight's tent.
"I hate the lance, myself. Better to save yourself for the real entertainment than wear yourself out on all of that chivalry and jousts," Alek agrees easily, humor playing warmly in his words as he offers a nod towards Jarod. "I will certainly be standing near the end." With Jarod being so helpful, he instead takes a moment to flick his gaze over the squire who is so speaking out of turn, brow curving up slightly in an amused gesture.
Spare the rod, spoil the squire, as they say — and this one's apparently been spared plenty. For the lofted eyebrow, Ser Alek gets a look of perplexity and irritation. The Nayland boy's nose actually wrinkles in displeasure. "Right. Talk amongst yourselves, then." One side staked, Rowan goes with the other squire to complete the job, muttering to the boy as they pass briefly out of sight around the structure, "Oi. My condolences."
Jarod snorts at Rowan's cheek, glancing over his shoulder as he works on the tent with Alek's own squire. "Is Ser Gedeon about?" he asks. The question is more for Alek, but it's pitched loud enough that he probably expects a contribution from Rowan to the answer. "Figured I should offer him good luck before the competition. Not so good luck as I want for myself, of course, but I'd be glad to leave him second-place out there."
"As you command, lad," Alek offers dryly to Rowan as the squire expresses displeasure, his own lips crooking into a contrary smirk at the reaction. "I have not seen him this morning yet, but I have not gone calling to find him either." The squire shrugs his shoulders, mumbling something about "It could be worse."
There is one more knight out on the Green, and n a rare odd collision of people, for once it's the Oldstone contingent that outnumber the men (man) or the Roost. Gedeon drifts towards the little trio, looking reseted enough that either he didn't drink much the night before or he's very good at faking it. "Leave off him, Alek," Gedeon calls for Alex's 'harassment' of the borrowed Rowan, laughing as he approaches, "He's the hero of the day, haven't you heard? Morning Jarod."
As the fourth day of the wedding festivities continue, Anais is still doing her best to circulate among the guests and thank everybody for coming. Which probably explains what she's doing out among the tournament preparations. She trails a guard in the Terrick colors now, glancing over her shoulder every now and then to make sure he's keeping up with her. If it's aught other than chance that leads her steps toward the Oldstones contingent, well…Who could say?
Rowan blushes to the roots of his hair, shooting his knight a suspicious look — as though fairly certain he's being mocked. He says nothing, only braces his foot on a tent stake and ties off the rope with a good yank.
"Morning Gedeon," Jarod says, grinning broadly at the Tordane bastard. "Wanted to wish you luck before we took the field at the melee. Less luck than me, of course, but luck all the same. I figure the sword'll favor me much better than the joust did." Rowan's lack of response to Gedeon's words earns a puzzled look, which he shifts between knight and squire, but he ends it simply by shrugging.
"I had heard something of a squire winning the joust, but I thought he would have had some meat to him, not this skinny little thing." There is a new look of assessment cast in the direction of the squire, knuckles dragging along Alek's jaw as he studies Rowan. "How old are you, lad? 12? 13?" he questions over to him. He doesn't chime in on talk of luck or who should have more, since he obviously doesn't need any.
The Bastard of Stonebridge chuckles. "Well, couldn't favor either of us much worse," Gedeon replies to Jarod. "I'm looking forward to this afternoon. It should be quite a gathering of talent. Excepting this one over here," he says, smirking as he twitches a thumb towards Alek.
"Surely, Ser Alek, you wouldn't be mocking my champion," Anais calls as she approaches the Oldstones group, smile flashing across her features. "Ill form indeed. Ser Gedeon, Jarod," she greets the others as she approaches, dipping her chin politely. "I just wanted to wish everyone luck in the melee."
Tying off the last of the ropes with a yank that's — emphatic… Rowan replies tersely, "I am ten and eight, Ser." He claps the other squire on the shoulder for a combined job well-done, then bows to Anais — a little less elaborately than usual. He doesn't appear in a fair mood. "My lady," there's more warmth in his tone for her, however. And a faint, wry smirk. "Do you intend to champion me right back? I thank you, but I'm in no danger here."
"He's slim, but he's wiry," is Jarod's wry comment, as to Rowan's build. If he has any other comments on Rowan's form, they're not voiced now. He has to turn and flourish a jaunty bow to Anais. "M'Lady Terrick." The title is used warmly, and with more than a trace of humor. Like he's testing out the sound of it. "Take a look at us now to fix our handsome faces in your mind, before we go out and beat each other to bloody pulps for your honor."
At Gedeon's jipe, Alek is quick to respond, stepping forward and hooking his arm over the man's neck in a hold before his knuckles drag against the other man's hair, messing it up. He stops at least that as Anais speaks, seeing as a lady is present, but he doesn't move to let Gedeon go. Instead, he assures brightly, smile crooked and boyish, all charm, "Of course not, my lady. Merely expressing my disbelief, but you'll certainly get a better showing today."
Alek adds dryly, "After all, I will be competing."
"My la-" but then Gedeon is grabbed with a sort of "ack!" sound as he finds his head mussed. He stays, bent and caught, as the other Oldstones knight chats politely to Anais. Somewhere in their friendship, it seems Gedeon has learned it's best not to struggle when captured thusly. "My lady," he tries again from his odd position. "I hope the morning finds you well." Cue a hard elbow to Alek's side.
"That will be a pity indeed," Anais laughs to Jarod, smile slipping crooked as she crosses her arms loosely over her chest and looks among the men. "You are all so very pretty, after all." As Gedeon ignores his be-noogied state, so she tries to as well, even if it's something of a struggle. "Ser Gedeon, I wanted to thank you for the loan of your squire in the joust. He was a credit to you and to Oldstones, and I hope a sign of the cooperation to come between Oldstones and Terrick's Roost."
As Gedeon's praise seemed to humiliate the squire, so Anais' kind words seem to leave him stricken. He twitches a smile into place, but it's a painful rictus. "Thank you, my lady. I do assure you, Ser Gedeon could not be prouder of me." His tone is desiccated, his words sand between his teeth. "By your leave, I have much I must still be about to prepare."
Jarod makes a "Huh" sound at the exchange between Gedeon and Rowan. Ser Rivers is confused. But, as with many things that confuse him, he just shrugs it off. "I should be preparing myself, come to it. Going into a melee without armor really isn't adviseable. M'Lady. Sers." He'll take his leave on that note, to track down his squire and encase himself in a large metal suit.
Gedeon's elbow connects with a breath of air that escapes with an "oof". Alek is quick enough to let go, gently shoving the younger man away with a push and shove that's more playful than meant. "If my lady does not mind, I would like to steal Ser Gedeon for a word before the melee," Alek offers, his gaze flicking thoughtfully after the squire before sliding to Gedeon in a question. "Gedeon, join me for a glass?" He shakes his wine flask in demonstration.
Gedeon straightens up and steps (is pushed) back, giving his shirt a tug and running a hand through his hair to straighten it. He glances over at Alek and then to Anais, offering her a bit of a more proper bow. "By your leave, my lady Terrick."
Anais looks after Rowan with a glimmer of concern, though her smile is still in place when she looks back to Gedeon and Alek. "Of course," she says politely, stepping back with another dip of her chin. "The best of luck to all of you," she adds with another smile, then turns to make her way back toward the dais.