Blood of Dragons

The 'A Song of Ice and Fire' MUSH


Crackclaw Point: Sparring on Deck
IC Date: Day 17 of Month 11, 162 AC
RL Date: July 23, 2011.
Participants: Alyard Corbray, Ammon Massey, Josmyn Reyne, Justyn Serry and Willard Ryger
Locations: A galley en route to Crackclaw Point
Comments: This is the beginning of the Crackclaw Point TP, but was simply a free form RP scene we came up with whilst waiting to make land fall.

Summary: The leaders of the Crackclaw Point expedition ( minus the Warden ) and the Warden's squire prepare to make landfall -- by having one last sparring session on deck.

The two galleys set for Cracklaw Point still roll and pitch even as they hit calmer waters than the first part of the journey. The rains subsided last night and the morning sun has even started to dry the deck. The oars rise and fall in unison and a chilly wind keeps the sails full, they appear to be making good speed.

On deck a handful of Alyard’s men are tending their weapons under the watchful eye of the Stone Bear, a bastard from the Vale who stands somewhere around six and a half feet in height, weighing more than two grown men. His long grey beard almost comes to life as the wind tugs at the ancient whiskers.

“Keep your blade sharp, I saw a brother of mine catch his sword the leather armour of a clansman in the Vale, the wretch put a dirk in his ribs…” The Stonebear’s voice carries as he tells his little story.

Sitting on a barrel behind the stonebear is their commander, Ser Alyard Corbray. He too is sharpening his blade, his black hair batting around in the wind as he occasionally looks over to his men. The famed Valeknight is wearing a leather jerkin laced at the side and his sable cloak is draped over his shoulders.

Though he is not one of Corbray’s men, Ammon Massey sits amongst them, sharpening his own blade to a razor’s edge. He sits close by his good-brother, humming softly to himself, until the Stone Bear tells his story.

“I saw a Dornishwoman take a blade in the belly and kill four men with a spear,” he says. “She wasn’t wearing armor, but they were. These pirates will be wearing armor. Sharp is best.”

“Massey has the right of it.” Alyard calls out as he hops off the barrel and swiftly slides the sword back into the scabbard. “They will be armoured and they will fight quickly and without honor.” He takes a few steps closer. “They will offer no mercy, nor should you.”

Ammon remains silent as Corbray address his men; he nods as he tests his blade with a nail. Standing, the squire slides his own blade home and strides to the rail, still close enough to hear the men and to talk to them if needs be. With a deep breath of salty air he says, “Landfall soon, I think.” Massey’s eyes scan the horizon.

Alyard passes the stone bear, clapping the giant of a man with a clap on the shoulder as he passes. “Make sure they have everything ready before we land.” He utters quietly to the man before following Ammon to the rail. “I believe so, Cracklaw isn’t a world away.” He says as he turns to rest his buttocks on the rail. “I heard you had a spar with the Ryger knight, how did you find swordplay on a pitching ship?”

The squire looks to Alyard as the knight addresses him. He shrugs. “As I told Ser Willard, I squire for an Ironman. He has taught me much of fighting on ship. More than Buckwell ever did, and Ser Tymos was more concerned with horses—I was always hopeless with horses. He was an excellent master, but his knowledge of boats was lacking.” Ammon smiles in rememberance.

“I misjudged Ser Willard; our first match was too easily won. The man is quick.”

“I cannot recall if I have faced him yet…” Alyard replies, glancing from his men to Ammon once more. “I will have to put his speed to the test, see if you tell it true.” His lips curl somewhat. “I suppose there will be plenty of time see his skill when we meet our pirates.”

“He saved me at Grassy Meadow. Some men might say that he robbed me of glory—but I’m not one of them.” Ammon’s smile is easy as he turns around to face the assembled men, leaning his back on the rail. “I owe the man for that, I think,” he continues with a laugh. “I had hoped to marry Doryssa to him, truth be told.”

“Poor Doryssa.”, Josmyn Reyne remarks as he joins the other knights on the deck. The young lion seems to have found his sea legs by now and is no longer spending half the day bent over the ship’s rail with a green face. Still there is some ice-cold demeanor about him, as if he shut something down inside and battened down the hatches. He’s carrying a bowl of gruel with him and sits down to eat and listen.

“Doryssa, isn’t she fond of that Green Lion?” He asks with a shrug, placing his hands either side of him to steady himself on the rail. Ser Josmyn’s entrance is met with a curt nod. “Our other /green/ lion graces us with his presence, good to see you returned to your normal colour, ser.”

“Hardly ‘poor’, Ser Josmyn,” Ammon greets the newcomer. “It would be a good match for the two—bah! I’m starting to sound a proper lordling,” he says with a chuckle.

A chuckle which turns into a laugh at Alyard’s quip. “She is fond of Galan Lannister, yes. But my father has charged me with finding her a fitting match, whether with Ser Galan or elsewise.” A sly, half smile spreads across his lips. “Neither of you are married are you, my lords?” But the twinkle in his eye belies the jest.

Josmyn doesn’t smile, only offers Alyard a nod in acknowledgement of his return to a normal facial colour. “No, I am not married, Squire, nor am I planning to be.”, he replies curtly and begins spooning the hot gruel into him for breakfast.

The quiet of the sea puts the people aboard the galleys in a merrier mood than the days before. Though there is some nervousness around as the time of landfall grows ever closer. Ser Willard Ryger steps onto the deck from the stair leading below and scans the entourage, noticing the gathering of the nobles and fellow officers.

The Ryger’s steps carry him towards them as he smiles his easy smile and hears Josmyn’s confession. This time he decides not to poke the lion, sleeping or otherwise, and just nods courtly “Ser Alyard, Ser Josmyn. Ammon. Finaly nice weather. I think we’re due to land somewhere later today? How do you find our voyage?” he apparently has not heard the whole talk about marriages and the lady Doryssa, as he leans his back on the rail and crosses his arms on his chest.

“I suppose Ser Galan is a fair enough knight, at least he was in his heyday…” Alyard offers to Ammon with another shrug before he pushes himself away from the rail. “She seems smitten enough…” He flashes that wry grin and takes a few steps towards the centre of the deck, offering Willard a curt nod as they pass one another. “Ser.” He turns, facing the other three. “The journey has been swift, one cannot complain about the weather…it’s autumn at sea…”

Coming up from the lower decks, the Lord of Southshield breaths in the refreshing sea air. At least, it’s refreshing for one denied the sea for so long. A cursory glance about the decks finds… almost all the officers of Crackclaw Point. Blinking, Lord Serry hails them, “Well, good afternoon, sers! Whatever is the occasion, to find you all idling about here?” The Lord of Southshield gives them all a little grin, seeming to be in a fair mood.

“She is smitten with the name, unless I miss my guess, Ser Alyard,” says Ammon as he leaves the support of the rail as well. He grins as Willard joins them and turns to Serry as he comes up. “Lord Justyn!” Ammon shouts. “We have good weather for once. That is occasion enough.”

“I’m having breakfast.”, Josmyn points out when Justyn joins them. His cousin would notice, that his cousin is a) looking better and b) appearing cooler in demeanor. “I suppose we’ll be reaching port sometime later today…” He points towards the coast that is clearly visible in the distance.

Willard widens his smile looking at Alyard “I never said the weather was bad, but today it -is- mighty fine.” he stretches and looks to Ammon “I hope our spar has not left you with any serious wounds or bruises, Ammon? I must say you got me pretty well on the ribs with that sword of yours. Strong as a bull, that man is” the Ryger knight turns to the other nobles and nods, while rubbing his left side.

“That it is.” Alyard replies, looking up to the skies for a moment before his gaze settles on Ammon once more. “Aye, it seems fitting for Ser Dagur’s squire.” The Valeknight unbuckles his sword belt and passes it to one of the younger members of his own command. “Fetch me a blunted blade.” He says to the youngster who dutifully gets up and runs below deck.

Ammon smiles as well. “Not especially hurt, ser,” he replies to Willard. “I’ve been regaling Ser Alyard with tales of your quickness,” he says as Alyard calls for a blunted blade—and his smile widens. “Don’t make a liar of me, Ser Willard.”

And then Ammon is moving across the deck to fetch his own practice blade.

Looking after the squires as they fetch a pair of blunted blades, Lord Serry chuckles. He replies, “Aye, fair weather indeed, apparently fine enough to spar?” He slants a grin toward Alyard, tacitly challenging the valiant Valeknight before he signals to his own squire to get him a blade as well.

“Coz, you were so eager to practice a fight at sea against pirates, seems you get your wish.”, Josmyn comments and as the other knights seem to be getting ready for some sparring, he sets his breakfast aside to join them. IT wouldn’t do otherwise.

Smiling as always Ser Willard turns his head until a short snap is heard and turns to a young dark haired man from his own charges “Quenton, get me a blunted sword, shield and halfhelm. Now, ya taffer!” he hurries the youth as the former doesn’t seem to move fast enough at first. “It will do for a nice training, yet again. Fighting on deck is completely different from fighting on land, I must admit.” the Ryger knight points at Ammon “At first I had trouble with compensating for the rocking and Ammon beat me as easily as he’d eat that gruel Ser Josmyn has a bowl of” he scratches his chin “Though maybe not the -same- bowl, yet still.”

Alyard’s lad Alyx returns with his blunted sword and pine shield bearing his personal arms, the single raven bearing a heart in flight. “I propose we impose rules, sers.” Alyard utters as he slips his off hand into the straps on the shield. “We will be facing pirates soon enough and blows to the head now might prove deadly should we lose our focus in battle.” He takes his sword and tries a couple of practice swings before he motions for his men to clear the deck and watch from the sidelines.

“So none above the shoulder…agreed?”

Ammon returns, bearing his own blunted sword and battered shield. “I agree, ser,” he says as the blade rings free of its sheath. “And to help simulate a boarding action—shall we separate into teams? Myself and Ser Alyard, against the three of you, say? I’ve a score to settle with Ser Willard.” Ammon smiles as he says it with a nod to the Ryger knight.

The Lord of Southshield slips a shield on, apparently opting to fight in the traditional manner rather than in a Braavosi style. “Sounds fair,” Lord Serry replies to both the rules and proposed teams, weighing the blade in his hand, “And should there be more than one man standing at the end, the alliance ends?”

Willard nods to the Lord of Southshield “Aye, coz. None shall stand in the end, but one” he glares raising his eyebrows clearly indicating a jest. His man return with a blunted sword, a worn but still usable common shield, with neither arms nor sigils and hands the Ryger heir a halfhelm, which the latter puts on quickly.

He then smiles to the Massey squire “Ammon. Still didn’t have enough, my man? Let’s try it again, then!” he bellows, stands beside his temporary teammates and slides into a low defensive stance. His shield high, the sword held lower it’s blade pointing to the side - a stance from which a counterattack should prove faster and surer.

Alyard tries another couple of practice swings as he waits for Ammon to stand beside him, he leans in and utters something quietly. He flexes his shield arm and holds it across his ribs as be begins dancing softly on his feet, his shield prepared to defend from another attacker as he dashes into the trio, a backhanded slash aimed at the Ryger knight’s thighs.

Alyard attacks Willard with his sword…
...and strikes him with a swift blow!

The match begins and the big squire surges forward—Ammon rushes Ser Willard Ryger. Predictably, perhaps, but there it is. Mindful to heed Alyard’s rules, the attack is a horizontal slash at Willard’s sword arm.

Ammon attacks Willard with his sword…
...and sees his blow go wild!

Ser Josmyn decides to be a lazy ass today after all and returns to finishing his gruel while he watches the other in silence.

Lord Serry takes note how his two opponents both moved for his Ryger kinsman, but also notes something else as well. Eyes bright with hope, he calls out, “Ammon!” And immediately attempts to capitalize upon the older squire’s brief opening, hoping to strike before the lord of Massey can defend, swinging for his shoulder.

Justyn attacks Ammon with his sword…
...with no result as the two warriors battle!

Willard only has time to blink as Ser Alyard falls upon him quick as the raven on his shield, swooping down with a backhanded slash to the thigs. The Ryger knight turns and sidesteps, the sword barely touching his right leg, but the hit still makes him wince.

And then Ammon is on him as well, but this opponent the heir to Willow Wood knows better, from yesterday’s spar, and he avoids the big man’s strike with ease.

And then it’s time for a counter, his stance helping in that - two quick steps find Willard to the right and behind Ammon, his sword’s strike aimed at the squire’s weapon hand.

Willard attacks Ammon with his sword…
...and has his blow intercepted by Ammon’s shield.

Alyard sees Josmyn come in from his left and brings his shield up to defend himself before the Reyne knight withdraws. With Ammon now taking the brunt of two attacks, he Valeknight twists and brings his sword down at Willard’s hand at he attacks the squire.

Alyard attacks Willard with his sword…
...and strikes him with a powerful blow!

Somehow, over the din of the melee, Ammon hears his name called. He turns at Justyn’s shout, bringing his shield up just in time to block Willard’s attack. He sees Justyn’s blade coming as well, and easily brings his own around in a parry. Sparks fly as blunted steel strikes blunted steel!

But the brief exchange is enough to move Ammon apart as Josmyn Reyne departs the contest. Finding himself closer to Justyn than Willard, the squire begins to circle towards the knight’s shield arm, an unconscious grin spreads across Ammon’s face. One could get the impression of a bear stalking its prey.

An opening! Ammon springs forward a half step, sweeping his blade upwards to take Lord Serry in the hip.

Ammon attacks Justyn with his sword…
...and sees his blow go wild!

Taking a step back as the squire manages to parry off his blow, Lord Serry raises his shield to deflect off a retaliatory strike from Ammon. Though the Iron Serpent’s squire seems intimidating, the Lord of Southshield is not cowed, but swings again, attempting to strike at Ammon’s thigh this time.

Justyn attacks Ammon with his sword…
...and strikes him with a hard blow!

A short yelp and then an angry grunt leave the Ryger knight’s lips as he is struck on the forearm with Alyard’s blade. He -nearly- drops his sword, but instead goes along with the powerful strike, drops to the deck and tumbles forward, standing again near the Massey squire “We’re not done yet, Ammon” Willard grins and aims his own sword at Ammon’s unprotected right side.

Willard attacks Ammon with his sword…
...and strikes him with a shattering blow!

Ammon is driven from the saddle!

Alyard’s eyes widen as Ammon takes the heavy blow. The dash has of course moved Willard closer to Ammon and Alyard dashes in once more, aiming a heavy blow at the Ryger knight’s hip.

Alyard attacks Willard with his sword…
...and strikes him with a shattering blow!

Willard is driven from the saddle!

Ammon grunts as Serry strikes him in the thigh, but he manages to move with the attack. Skirting away from the man’s sword arm still, Ammon suddenly switches direction and charges. The squire’s intent seems to be a furious shield bash to stun Justyn and force the smaller man back towards the rail—but Ammon never sees Willard.

The Ryger knight’s blade catches Ammon in the ribs. There is a crunching sound, a wheezing sound and the squire collapses to the deck, gasping.

Lord Serry grins over to his Ryger cousin as he takes Ammon down, denying the man the chance to bash him with the shield. This, of course, allows him to to see Alyard swinging his blade at the heir to Willow Wood. Before he can even speak, the blow lands, and Willard falls.

And then there was two. Taking a step back, shifting away from the railing, the Lord of Southshield chuckles, “Well, well. Best of luck, Ser Alyard.” With a quick grin, he attempts to make an equally quick strike, aiming for the Valeknight’s sword arm.

Justyn attacks Alyard with his sword…
...with no result as the two warriors battle!

The Ryger heir laughs as he finally lands a strong hit on Ammon and the big man falls. “Attack one man, when in group. Easier to…” and then he himselfis falling. Overconfident as always Willard didn’t hear the Vale knight coming at him and the hit sents him to the deck on his belly with nothing more than surprised “Oooof!” of pain.

Alyard waits a moment to make sure the Ryger knight is unharmed, gesturing for the Stone Bear to help him away from the middle of the deck. Before he knows it Justyn is coming down on him and swiftly his sword comes up to meet the blow.

The Valeknight flashes Lord Serry a brilliant smile and strikes quickly, a high-high-low combo that culminates with another attempted strike on the thigh.

Alyard attacks Justyn with his sword…
...and strikes him with a shattering blow!

Justyn is driven from the saddle!

Ammon rises, laughing, as he works the stiffness from his side. “You were saying, ser?” he asks, extending his hand help Willard up.

Lord Serry’s eyes widen as Alyard hits him with a barrage of attacks, overwhelming the Lord of Southshield with relative ease. Wincing, he falls to a knee and hisses, “Yield.” Shaking his head, he seems… quite displeased at the turn of events, his good mood quickly fading.

The young Ryger knight laughs at Ammon’s comment “Ah, yes. See, Ammon? This was an -example-!” and he laughs even harder as he lets both the Massey squire as well as Alyard’s man help him up. Willard rubs his hip, bends down for his sword and winces as the Serry Lord is beaten seconds after “Well done, ser” he calls out and his eyes narrow.

“How about the two of us try a dance for two only? I didn’t have a chance to test my blade against you yet, I believe.” he raises his shield hand towards his neck and touches something on it, then smiles again “Certainly not today. Can I have this pleasure, ser?” and he attacks as soon as his opponent agrees.

Willard attacks Alyard with his sword…
...and strikes him with a swift blow!

The Valeknight’s sword is pointed wholly at Justyn until he yields, only then does he receive a warm smile. “Well fought.” He then glances to the side. “All of you.” A youngster comes over to take Alyard’s shield and sword, however the Ryger knight issues his challenge and is met with a curt nod. “As you wish, ser.”

He allows Willard to begin and is instantly impressed with his speed. His shoulder takes a blow before he can raise his shield, luckily he is able to twist enough to allow a slight blow. In retaliation he dashes in, striking this time with a lightning quick high-low-high combat that aims to hit his shoulder.

Alyard attacks Willard with his sword…
...with no result as the two warriors battle!

Trusting in his speed Willard is surprised that the Valeman is able to almost dodge his strike, but then remembers the duel below Grassy Vale and grins. An even quicker reply comes from Ser Alyard, but the Ryger heir is prepared - he ducks from the high strike and takes a step back to dogde the rest of the combo.

He steps back in, a quick stride takes him closer to his opponent and aims a high overhead strike, that proves a feint - he turns and his sword lashes out in a sweeping motion for the Corbray knight’s right side.

Willard attacks Alyard with his sword…
...and strikes him with a shattering blow!

Sure enough the Valeknight can’t get his sword down to parry the blow and his leather clad ribs take the brunt of the blow. He staggers to the left and covers his side with his arm incase the knight pursues.

Slowly he steadies himself and flashes -that- wry grin, his eyes narrowing as he says. “Well hit…” He utters before dashing in, another combo. This one is more furious, a showing of the Corbray knight’s true speed. High-High-High-Low-High.

Alyard attacks Willard with his sword…
...and strikes him with a hard blow!

His attack hits, but Willard is not smiling his usual smile - this fight is on a higher level of ability and he needs every ounce of his strength, speed and focus to match the Corbray’s attacks. And even that proves not enough as another flurry of attacks finally breaks through his shield and parry - the last strike hits true, the Ryger’s shoulder it’s target.

“That was a good one, Ser. I’ll match it, if it please my lord…” Willard grins with effort and comes in his shield high, then at the last moment goes for a lighting quick jab below his shield and tries to squeeze below Ser Alyard’s into his belly.

Willard attacks Alyard with his sword…
...and merely strikes a glancing blow!

“I am -no- Lord.” Alyard utters quietly, throwing Willard’s correct usage of the word back at him. It’s no secret that Lord Corbray and Ser Alyard -loath- one another.

The quick blow from his opponent is dealt with as Alyard leaps back, the tip of his opponent’s blade gliding across his leather-clad belly. Alyard catches himself on his heel and lunges forward, his sword held across his body before he strikes with a backhandes swipe at Willard’s belly in retaliation.

Alyard attacks Willard with his sword…
...and strikes him with a shattering blow!

The fury of Alyard’s attack takes him aback and Willard is unprepared for the backhand strike. He almost doubles over from the sheer power of the hit, but stands his ground, rising his shield for fear of another attackwhile he’s somewhat incapacitated.

And then it’s the Ryger on attack - no time for words, or even to ponder upon the Corbray’s words - the fight grows serious now. Willard tries a combo of his own, a series of quick attacks - left leg, right side, sword hand, right side - and then finishes off with a powerful swing, aided with a turn of his whole body, again for the right side, hoping for an opening.

Willard attacks Alyard with his sword…
...and strikes him with a hard blow!

Alyard relents for a moment, allowing Willard to recover before he takes on the incoming attack. The first four attacks are met with the Valeknight’s own blade, however the strike on his right meets his side. He winces again, bringing his sword arm down to protect his damaged side. It might be a quick reply, but instead of swinging, Alyard strikes out with his right arm, punching at Willard’s chest with his sword hand, the hilt held tightly in his fist giving it some weight.

Alyard attacks Willard with his sword…
...and merely strikes a glancing blow!

The Riverlands knight has the slightest of moments for a grin as his flurry of attacks proves successful, waits for the Corbray to recover and is surprised with the uncommon attack of the Vale knight. But not surprised enough to be caught off guard, he twists his body, dodging the hand, althought the hilt slides across his chest. This close, a longsword is of no use, but the shield… Willard comes closer and puts all of his, meagre as it is, weight behind the shield to buffet the older knight onto the deck.

Willard attacks Alyard with his sword…
...and strikes him with a hard blow!

Alyard is rocked back in the saddle by Willard’s blow, but manages to keep his seat!

Now the battles appears more like a duel, the sort Alyard is more familiar with. The shield hits him hard in the chest and he stumbles back. It takes a moment for him to compose himself, though he uses his own shield and most of his weight to try and batter Willard’s aside and use the opening to bring his blade down on the younger knight’s sword arm….grinning as he does.

Alyard attacks Willard with his sword…
...and strikes him with a powerful blow!

Willard is driven from the saddle!

The shield attack almost proves successful. -Almost-. The Corbray knight is sent reeling, but not enough for him to fall down. And as he counters, Willard already notices he isn’t fast enough to parry. He feels a sharp pain in his right hand and his blunted sword falls out of his grasp and onto the deck. The young Ryger kneels on one knee, his pale blue eyes looking straight at Ser Alyard and grins something more akin to his usual soft smile, as the anger and focus disperse from them “I yield, ser. Very well fought. I had not had such a demanding fight in quite some time.”

He bows his head courtly and stands up holding his right hand with his left, rubbing his bruised forearm. “Quenton! Find Kegs and tell him to start readying my armor. We won’t be long to Crackclaw Point now, so it better be shining when we get there. And take these away for now” he hands the youth his helmet, shield and point to the sword. As the dark haired Quenton runs with his affects the Ryger sits on the rail and grabs a pail of water from a barrel nearby. There’s a smile on his lips still, as if he’s remembering something wonderful.

Alyard holds his sword and shield out for Alyx to take away from him. “Well fought, ser.” He offers to the Ryger knight with that wry grin as his weapon and shield are stripped from him. “I feel more comfortable riding beside you with such skill, it’s impressive in one so young.” He concedes as he follows him to the rail.

Turning he sits on the rail with his hands there to steady himself. The cool wind bats at his inky black locks shining with sweat. “Who did you squire for?” He asks.

Willard keeps his smile, though his eyes darken a bit as he answers “I squired for my uncle Ser Roger Ryger.” he looks at his hands as he speaks further “He taught me everything - how to ride, how to fight with sword and shield, against one opponent, against many, how to joust…” the young Ryger shrugs “I hope what I learned is enough. This was the best training one can have - I can fight Ammon or Ser Josmyn, but… It’s only when you fight your better that you truly learn something” he smiles and nods to the Corbray knight.

As he finishes a fat man arrives, an anchor sigil on his doublet betraying him a Melcolm “Ser, you are needed below deck.” Willard sighs and smiles wryly to Alyard “Never a moment’s peace with these people. Have a good day, ser. We shall see each other at landfall” and with that he leaves after his squire.