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The furious winds and hammering rainfall has broken for the moment and so Luthor and his squire have emerged from within the keep to make use of the archery butts. The straw is sodden, and stands in a pool of rainwater but it still takes their arrows as well as before.
While out in the yard Luthor takes a moment between shots to speak to one of the castle pages, a messy haired youth of noble birth and sends him off to find Ser Janden, with word that the Warden wishes to speak with him, if he has the time.
It’s been one of those days where it’s much better to stay inside, so Janden’s had a fairly boring time of it. The best place for the page to find him is his quarters in the guest tower. Upon doing so the Melcolm knight sends word back that he’ll be over shortly. Sure enough, it isn’t long after the message has been returned that he enters the wet yard, a cloak worn to help ward off some of the rain should it return. “Rotten day, Ser Luthor,” he begins once close enough. “Were you waiting just in case it stopped for a few minutes?”
Luthor hits the target! The arrow strikes it at the edge of the bullseye.
OOC: 1 successes, worth 7 points.
Luthor lets fly from his bow, the arrow flies true and strikes the edge of the bullseye and the bastard knight smiles, pleased with his performance. He turns to Janden. “More or less, we were stuck inside with the household accounts until the weather broke, at which point we left the accounts with my man Watty and decided to take a break,” he says. He offers the bow to Janden. “Care to take a shot? I need your counsel on something, if you’re willing to give it.”
Janden hits the target! The arrow strikes it within the second ring.
OOC: 1 successes, worth 3 points.
Janden accepts the bow and takes up an arrow. “I’m sure my shot won’t be as true as yours, but that’s why we practice,” he says with a half smile, shaking his head. “Depends on what you’re looking for counsel with, and of course if I can give it, but try me.” Sure enough, after taking aim and letting loose the arrow, it’s not that close to a bullseye but it makes good enough contact. “Like I said.”
Luthor smiles a little at the compliment. “I was lucky, as my squire can attest, most times I barely find the target.” The young man in Smallwood colors nods with a bit of a smirk.
A gust of wind flutters Luthor’s cloak and he says. “It’s about the huntsmen, what did you think of their performance on the hunt?”
Janden hits the target! The arrow strikes it within the third ring.
OOC: 1 successes, worth 4 points.
Janden decides to take a second shot before handing the bow back to Luthor. Lining it up, he strikes it one better than before. “There. Luck or no, we’re equal. If you miss like you think you would, we’d stay so.” He squints when the wind picks up, eyes blinking a few times before the gust dies back down to something less. “Ah. To be honest, it felt like it took much too long for them to get us to the boar.”
Luthor hits the target! The arrow strikes it at the perfect center!
OOC: 1 successes, worth 9 points.
Luthor takes the bow and an arrow and after a second lets fly. He blinks when he sees the shaft sprout from the perfect center of the target. His squire blinks too. The Warden laughs. “Well like I said, luck,” he smiles before he nods and leaning on his bow. “So did I. My gameskeepers had been keeping eyes on the beast for weeks, and they couldn’t bring it to bay, or warn us that it’s mate was on our scent. The Huntsmen need new leadership, do you agree?”
“Ser Luthor, I do believe you’re putting me on now,” Janden laughs, shaking his head. “It’s a good thing I’m not a betting man, else I’d be out a few dragons.” Back to the hunt, he nods his agreement with the general assessment Luthor gives. “The issue with its mate was most concerning, especially since it came back to camp and could have harmed the women. Bad enough some of the injuries that were already taken, but that’s the danger of hunting any boar. Yes, it sounds like they could benefit from better direction.”
“Don’t worry, I’m not the sort of man to dig traps with words, and let good knights fall into them,” Luthor explains with a bit of a smile. “I will come out with it, despite our differences, I would like to see you become Royal Huntsman. What do you say to that?” he asks.
For a spell Janden grows more silent and his expression turns difficult to read. Considering what happened in the past, there’s a part of what Luthor says about traps and good knights falling into them that pulls at an old wound, but they’d discussed that situation in the past and had come to an understanding. Besides, it was more Luthor being an accomplice, and Janden made mistakes of his own. At the idea put forth he confesses, “It would certainly solve a few problems of my own, and perhaps I’d be able to solve a few others related to the hunts. How would we go about this?”
“Well, like I said, not with words,” Luthor says by way of excuse, shamed. “As to how we make you the huntsman, we will do it with words and deeds. Aurana is well placed to speak your praises to the Queen, I will submit a report of your skill during the hunt to the Hand, and finally we should arrange a hunt that you will lead, to display your skill, perhaps for Lady Melissa, a Lannister’s support is never unwelcome at court.”
Janden waves it off, the first part. “No need to go back to things that are in the past. Best to move on from them and learn how not to repeat things that went wrong.” That’s more on him, that part. He glances back toward the targets as he listens to the things others could do to speak for him, then he gives the man more of his attention again as the idea of another hunt is brought up. “For her, that wouldn’t hurt at all. As you know I’ve already been giving her a hand with her hawk.”
Luthor nods approvingly. “Good. I had thought you might refuse our help, and since you’re helping Lady Melissa with a hawk, mayhaps you could take her and some of the ladies hawking, I’ll lend you some of my gamekeepers to act as beaters.”
The Melcolm knight frowns, admitting, “I don’t like talking about it, but I’m not really in a place to be able to afford to turn down an offer like this.” Janden explains, shaking his head, “You basically know where I stand with my family. I’ve had little luck even finding a squire through my own father and it’s been through the jousts that I’ve been able to even live comfortably here. You know how close that puts me to being little more than a hedge knight?” He gestures around them in general. “I don’t care for the court as a whole. This sounds like the perfect chance to do something I’d enjoy and be allowed back in the Kingswood without Farin’s restrictions.”
Luthor picks up his bow and puts it over a shoulder nodding. “I know how it is to be like that, I left home to become a hedge knight when I was eight and ten,” he says. “And tourney winnings are an uncertain fortune. So then, I’ll pass word to Aurana, to speak with the Queen, I’ll put my report in with the Hand, and mayhaps you would speak with the Lady Melissa, and suggest we go hawking?” he asks.
“Yes, and my father sent me as far away from Old Anchor as he could at an early age, which is how I ended up in Oldtown,” Janden says with a thin smile. “That place feels more like home to me at this point, since most of what I learned was there.” It’s fortunate in his case he /is/ a capable jouster and knight. “Very uncertain, which is why I’d rather not rely on knocking others off their horses more than I am. I do appreciate the efforts. I’ll seek Lady Melissa out and see what we can arrange, then get back to you. Whatever happened before, I /do/ miss the Wood and think this would be a good way to make some things better.” He mulls things over briefly, adding, “And if you come across anyone you think would make a good squire, let me know?”
Luthor nods. “Oldtown is a good city, I passed through when my mentor and I wintered in the Reach,” he says and then nods. “I could tell the Wood was the place for you, since you spoke of your tree friends,” he smiles. “And it’s a nice relief from court. As for a squire I’ll keep my eyes open, and see if we can find you a likely lad.”
Janden’s hands clasp in back of him beneath the cloak, remaining dry since the rain’s given them a continued respite. “I enjoyed Oldtown. Perhaps I’ll send my father a raven just to thank him for sending me off,” he sniffs in dry amusement. “And the thing about the tree friends was more of a joke, that’s all. Truth is, though, I could settle down someday with trees around a place.” He sidesteps a muddy puddle as he paces nearby. “I’m just not one for the deeper things of the court. As much as Farin is, I’m the exact opposite. I don’t want to beg just for a squire, but I’d like to have someone to teach and aid me when I need it. I think I’ll ask a few others, too.”
“I suspected you were jesting, though I tell you I often find myself preferring the company of trees to the company of some of those at court,” Luthor smiles. “Well if we can get you this post, you’ll have the hunting lodge to care for, and you can use it when you need a place to get away from all of this. A nice simple life.”
Luthor nods then. “You have your pride, I understand. If a good squire comes to my attention, I will let you know.”
“I know what you mean. It beats listening to people posturing in court,” Janden explains, quipping, “And they smell better than some of the people I’ve been around, too.” He inclines his head toward Luthor, the conversation on the verge of wrapping up. “If this happens, I’m sure I’ll seek you out for some advice based on how you handled things. I’d ask Ethos but he’s been a little difficult to find lately. Either way, we’ll see about that next hunt as well. I’ll be in touch.”
The first drops of rain begin to pat into the mud of the yard and the wind blows through cold and damp. “Not a moment too soon,” Luthor remarks pulling his cloak around himself. “Aye, the trees are better mannered and better smelling,” he nods. “And of course, what advice I have is yours,” he says as the rain starts falling harder. He pulls his bow under his cloak to save the cord. He claps Janden on the shoulder. “But for now let us get back inside, I will speak with you soon, ser,” and with that the Warden and his squire hurry off for home through the rain.
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