|Summary:||Now that Jaremy's sickness has finally lifted, he meets Caytiv in the yard for his first lessons on being a squire.|
|Courtyard — Four Eagles Tower|
|The Courtyard of Four Eagles Tower is floored with a fine grey stone that match the color and tone of the interior structure of the castle's yard. Plants have been potted and placed around the entrances to add some color, the greenery accompanied by several trellises of flowers that climb the support columns. The most prominent structure in the area is the set of large slab steps that lead up to the great oak doors of the Great Hall. Several hallways and accesses lead off into different sections of Four Eagles which makes this the hub of noble activity when court is not being held.|
The first lines of sun are cresting over the edges of the horizon, painting the sky over Terrick's Roost a pale shade of purple that darkens on its way across the sky. Waking early, especially now that he's able to meet his squire in the yard for lessons, Jaremy is dressed for training as he takes the steps down to the stone floor of the courtyard's set aside area for training near the northern side of the Tower. The torches in the sconces are still lit, allowing him to get a look into the yard before he commits himself to it.
Caytiv has up and run the dogs and cleaned the troughs already, as seems to have become his morning routine, along with a run down to the shore to throw stones and jump in the water while it's still cold. He's used to showing back up for sunrise drills with Revyn, but now he's returned to the yard, hair spiking every which direction with the salt crusted on it from the ocean swim, dressed in a simple pair of hide riding-trousers and a well-fitting light linen shirt to allow for a full range of motion without extra fabric hanging off everywhere. He carries a maile shirt over one shoulder and a helmet under his other arm, and the sword blunts and practice dummies are all already set in the yard.
"Good morning, Caytiv…" Jaremy says with a grin, stepping over to the barrel of blunted swords. Pulling one out, he tests its weight in his hand, turning it over on its end a few times and slowly chopping at the air. "My good uncle was able to train you a little in my absence, though all of that's ended. I'm back on my feet and we've a lot to get to." He motions to the maile and the helm, signifying that it's time for the man to armor-up. "But while you begin, I have a question for you…" He pauses, letting a small moment of suspense settle in. "…why do you wish to become a knight?"
"Lord SER," Cayt nearly barks it out, barely seeming encumbered by the amount of metal he's hauling around. There's not much like a cold plunge and a brisk run to get the spirit up in him, and bright-eyed and bushy-tailed would both be apt descriptors at the moment. He squats down to set the helm on the dirt while he gets the maile shirt overhead, then snags the helmet again as he pushes up with his legs. "I reckon I got blood to live up to, ay? Long was I unrecognized in the mountains before I won the Lord Banefort's recognition by conquest in contests with his full-blooded sons. What do I render up to my sire if I take his acknowledged seed back to the mountains and passes, there to mind the herds and flocks? I would do fine work by him, and by you, Ser, to whom he'd have me give service."
"Well you're definitely born with the stature to be a beast on a field, be it for tourney or for battle, Caytiv. An aurochs like yourself is sure to wind up with an honorific if your name and traits preceed you." Folding his arms, he lets the blunted training sword rest upon his shoulder as he finds a post to lean against, watching the younger man prepare for his morning lessons. "You've blood to live up to aye…" Jaremy nods. "…but have you given considerations to the duties of a knight to the realm and to their oath in light of the larger picture? Have you been informed of this, Caytiv?"
Caytiv is about to put on the helmet, but he pauses, since Jaremy is still talking to him, and listening is easier without helmet than otherwise. Nor does he take up a sword, as he's still carrying his helmet in front of him in both hands. He steps closer, stride not quite a swagger, but impressive. "You mean the bad blood with the Naylanders, ay?" he asks. "Or what? Our Annie is to be your wife, Ser. There's not much I would not do for her safe-keeping, be there an oath or no."
"An oath…Caytiv, is something not to be taken lightly. I know not all knights think the same way, but allow me to impart something on you before we begin our lessons." He turns to the younger squire, reaching out with blunted sword to tap the man harmlessly on his bicep. "Knights of the realm, all of them, swear to protect the realm as well as house, lord, king, and to uphold their knightly virtue. Knights are to be examples, and in many ways servants. To be a knight isn't to pay back a debt of blood or to protect one's family in safe-keeping. It is to take a place of service to crown and country." His eyes grow fierce, filled with severity. "You, Caytiv, bastard born, mountain raised, or castle weened, would be a symbol. You would be the sum of your oath, and would be in service to the people. Think on that. Are you yet ready to die to defend the people, and not just a family you've only come to be accepted into?"
Caytiv looks down to where the blunt clanks on the maile, then up again, looking to Jaremy with eyes narrowed in a keen focus. "I can't say all right just how I'd be for an example, ay, but to service I am well used. To flock, to family, to realm… to any in need. You would not see me standing idle, Ser. I have arms, and I have legs, and I have a strong back. Let me take up the burdens where others are struggling, and be put to good use."
"Prudence, Temperance, Justice, and Fortitude…Caytiv." Jaremy steps away from the post, starting to walk around the squire. "Humility, compassion, Courtesy, Devotion, Mercy, Purity, Peace, and Endurance…these are the ethics and virtues of a knight of the realm. These are the words and virtues that from this day forward as my squire you will walk and breathe." As he rounds around from the right, Jaremy smacks the blunted sword lightly against Caytiv's chest. "There are a many great thing in this world, but there are rapers and marauders, pirates and murderers, the unjust and the cruel, and there will be people that will look to you, a knight, to believe in these virtues to make the right stand when the stand is needed. To not take a step back when even it means death to save but a few. Devotion…Fortitude. To not just speak these words and claim to follow them but to live by them. To lead the charge. To lead with honor." Jaremy smirks. "Even you, Caytiv, a once baseborn believed that turned from mountain man to lord's bastard, could become an example of all that is meant to be in a land that you and I both know in some places is forced to believe the unjust to be just. You would defend this realm."
"Now what say you to this?"
Caytiv begins to turn to follow Jaremy with his eyes, but then stands straight and lets the Lord Ser have his circuit of him. The list of words is fine, to start with, but when it goes on after the Ser says his name, his head starts to swim in the act of trying to remember them all. He opens his mouth and then shuts it again with a clenchof his jaw working against a grunt as he's hit across the chest by the blunt. And so he says nothing, but lowers his chin toward his chest, takes a series of slow, deep breaths and lets the exhortation get to him, standing like a pillar, feet just slightly apart of one another, one arm strict at his side while the other clutches the helmet, elbow cocked out to the side. "It's a terrible lot of words to learn, Ser, but to act rightly and boldly in the name of what is good and right, without to hesitate or shrink from the danger of it, nor shirk such burden as Seven have blessed you with the strength to bear, nor cheat a man who deals you fairly… these are things I knew from the passes and still know now. The words you may have to teach to me again, but I hope you find my spirit a-right in this."
"Good…because I have no intention in raising you to knighthood to find that your ethics change after taking your oaths to uphold these very things. It would be shortsighted of me to do so, and in the days coming I will be teaching you and watching. Consider this, Caytiv. This week you will have a mission alongside the rest of your duties. Courtesy and Humility. This week I want you to head down to Terrick's Roost in your afternoons and be available to the people. If a child is lost…help the child find home. If an old man aches pushing a cart I want you to push it for him. Let them all know you are my squire, and let them know your face. You've two months to your sister and I's wedding, and I would allow you to fight in the squire's melee. I'll be listening for their cheers to you." Jaremy grins, nodding to Caytiv's hands. "Now…take up your weapon. This weapon will be used in defense of the realm…"
Jaremy turns his sword over in his hand, taking a few steps back. "Prepare to defend yourself."