Blood of Dragons

The 'A Song of Ice and Fire' MUSH


The Queen’s Joust of Love
IC Date: Day 6 of Month 12, 162 AC. (about 9 am)
RL Date: August 11, 2011.
Participants: Albyn Crane, Alek Reyne, Almer Connington, Alyce Bar Emmon, Anton Piper (played by Luthor), Elmer Crakehall, Jace Rollingford (played by Almer), Jaesin Lannister, Jannia Tully, Josmyn Reyne, Melissa Lannister, Ryckon Westerling, Talbard Storm, Urston Coldwater, Whalon Rosby (played by Damphair), and Willard Ryger.
Locations: Outside the City: Tourney Field

Summary: On the first day of the Queen's Tournament of Love, a Joust of Love was held. After much pageantry and prowess by the knights of the Seven Kingdoms, and considerable wagering by their ladies, a number of knights (and a squire) distinguish themselves. In the end, Ser Almer Connington is named champion by the noble ladies present after a surprising act of chivalry in the lists, and makes an unexpected choice for his Queen of Love and Beauty.

The morning is sweet with the perfume of thousands of flowers. Ivory, pale blue, crimson, yellow, and every color in between, they bedeck every imaginable surface at the tourney grounds, and many and more are the ladies who bear them in their hair. The misty, cool air is electric with anticipation, smallfolk and highborn alike gathering and jostling for a better view of the impending jousts. There are few vantage points left; already a number of knights have ridden, and everyone desires now to see these finalists, the very flower of the Seven Kingdoms’ chivalry.

In a box on the high viewing stand draped in white silk and bright flowers, Queen Daena Targaryen and her ladies-in-waiting sit watching, laughing, and chatting pleasantly. With the Queen are the Princesses Rhaena and Elaena, along with their companions and attendants. In the rear of the box is the shadowy Master of Whisperers, Preston Wayn. The royal dragon banner is prominent over the stands; beside it, snapping proudly in the brisk breeze, are the dancing griffins of House Connington and the white tower of House Hightower. On either side of the royal box are raised benches for the nobles of the court. And as for the commoners and smallfolk… they must stand.

The lists are ringed by a rainbow assortment of tents and knightly pavilions, and the press of the crowds, all under the watchful eye of the City Guard and the men of the Master of Games. Vendors hawk their sweets and their wines, whilst children laugh and play tag or come-into-my-castle as they wait. One by one, the knights who would take part in these final jousts begin appearing from their tents, preparing themselves and mounting their chargers.

Among the Queen’s ladies are some who have been specially invited, though they sit in the lowest places. Miranda Fossoway is tucked into a corner, which seems to suit her, for she is out of her element here. She is dressed all in black from head to toe, but there, brilliant as the sun at midnight among her honey-brown curls, is a bright red silk ribbon.

Moving the curtain before the entrance of his tourney tent aside, ser Albyn Crane appears. His eyes narrowed -as to adjust at the sudden impact of light- he stands there for a moment. The polished plate armour -inlaid with golden cranes- reflects the sunlight, making a shiny appearance of the heir to Red Lake. The great helmet of the Crane proves to be the showpiece of the whole outfit. The helmet is shaped so that it represents the sigil of his house. The long neck of the bird running down from his forehead, ending with the lower part of it and the head as nose-guard. The wings curling forwards along the sides of the helmet, leaving only two visors open for the user’s view. Long white tail-feathers are attached to the top of the helmet, giving the holder an even bigger appearance. Also, special for the whole occasion, a fine linnen cloak of pale blue with gold wire embroidered cranes on it, made by Lady Delanei herself runs down from his shoulderplates. The favour he got after completing his task and the right to join the tournament. Then a short bark from behind the helmet and his servants quickly get into action. Two helping their master in heavy armour to mount his horse -a beautiful white destrier with a blue gleam- while a third stands already present with shield and lance in hand. And it is like this that Albyn Crane appears at the tourney field. Ready for one of his least favourite activities… jousting.

Like so many others, Alyce Bar Emmon sits among the ladies. Beside Jannia, with whom she arrived, she looks out upon the field with a bright smile. Her hair has been elaborately braided all the way down to the small of her back, blue and white flowers placed in nearly ever possible crevice. Only the sides of her fiery hair show through. She chats amiably with those nearby.

Pulling himself into the saddle of his sleek, black destrier is Ser Alek Reyne. The Westerman knight is decked out in fine armour, despite it being dented a tad from his previous bouts. Hanging down his back is a silver cloak, embossed with the red lion of Castamere, with the same sigil inlaid on his chest in the form of a fine surcoat. Alek holds himself proudly as he urges his horse into position as the other knights do, his squire following after him with his shield, helm and lance.

Tied to his arm is a favour of silver, crimson and lighter red.

Katla Greyjoy is seated with the other ladies, watching the spectacle with interest. She reaches up a hand, a bemused expression on her face, to touch the golden-yellow flowers tucked into her hair, blooms pressed upon her by someone or another when she arrived.

Walking from his tent, nervous with anticipation but proud to have made it so far, Urston Coldwater stands tall. The man is dressed deliberately simply, with the neatly embroidered Coldwater sigil on his surcoat and the fine white and grey favour of House Mertyns being his only luxeries. The rest is simple reliable plate armour, with no overdone pomp, both as a deliberate statement, and because Urston could not afford fine things, as a unloved scion of a lesser lordly house.

Melissa sits with the ladies as well, looking particularly radient in crimson and gold, without a hint of her mourning blacks to be found, save two ribbons that lace the sleeves of her gown. There are others to mourn for other than her former husband, and she marks them in her way, but her own dress reflects her recent betrothal. In her hair, piled up high on her head, there is a red flower, surrounded by smaller, white ones. Her signature accessory, her usual smile is evident, as is her usual cup with a delicous red.

Jannia sits with glass of wine in her hand, ladies about her. She is clearly enjoying all the gayety that surrounds these games, She is wearing a gown of red and blue, the Tully colors naturally. The bodice, red, the skirts blue. The great sigil of the House Tully emblazoned on her chest, upon her wrist the red Lion of Castamere adorned in white and tied neatly.

A fish out of water, or more aptly an owl out of the ravenry, Talbard peers from a forest floor of chiffon and satin in the Ladies’ Box, whither his new acquaintance Lady Jannia has kindly allowed him to perch; incontestably the best view is found here. He has a sizable amount of silver on young Westerling, and also a small bet against Lord Justyn, whom he heartily expects not to turn up. He is about to be disabused of this notion, however, as he scans the contestants…and another surprise is in store, among the favours fluttering from this inner round of successful challengers…the maester suppresses the urge to swear loudly.

Stocky and stern of face Ser Anton Piper emerges from his pavilion and pulls himself onto the back of his horse. Once settled, he takes his helm from his squire and seats it on his head, hiding all but his pale hard eyes behind well tempered steel. The wind sets the maiden on his Piper blue cloak to dancing, as he sets his shield in place. Then settled, and ready, he pauses a moment to touch braided ribbon of black, red and gold on his arm before nodding once to where his betrothed sits in the stands.

Near by Ser Argos Waxley comes forth swathed in grey, save for the white candles with golden flames on his breastplate. He kneels breifly in prayer before kissing the strip of black and gold cloth in his hands and ties it about his arm. That done, the knight moves beside his grey clad destrier and waits for his name to be called.

Josmyn Reyne is his finest armor which has been polished to a shine, though the first jousts have already left a few splatters of mud on his legs. He is proudly wearing a red-blue ribbon around his wrist, the colors of House Tully. He is standing next to his squire who is holding his nervous destrier by the reins. They exchange a few words before Josmyn climbs into the saddle once more and waits for the squire to wipe the last bits of mud off his shiny greaves. “Here we go then.”, he murmurs to the boy with a little smile and takes the helmet to hold it in one arm, while he waits for his next joust to be called. His eyes scan the seating area to find the lady whose favor he’s wearing.

Andrya Tully dons today a vivid emerald green gown laced with shimmering gold threads at the border and elegant, flowing sleeves that only just brush the floor. It is cut demurely in traditional Tully style and brings out the colour of her auburn locks whilst contrasting with the creamy pale of her skin. Milk-white flowers in her hand and just one in long auburn hair. She watches with bright eyes and comments every now and then with a smile to one of her fellow ladies.

The morning mist parts, and another knight appears. Lean, graceful, and handsome, this fair-haired champion wears plate so dark it seems hewed from the night sky itself. This can be no other than Ser Almer, the famous son of Lord Athell Connington, in martial panoply both sorrowful and fantastical.

His shield bears the ancient sigil of the Conningtons, but not in its usual tint; one bereaved black griffin, dark and alone, rears on a midnight field where a bright pair would usually dance. This grim cognizance is repeated on his surcoat, and on the trappings of the ill-tempered black destrier he canters alongside the viewing stands.

A shadowy cloak trimmed with silver stars trails from his armored shoulders, and the visored greathelm hanging from his saddle bears two wings of black steel. The crowd cheers at the sight of this well-known champion in such darkly romantic array, and he salutes them as he canters by and takes up a position to await the call to arms.

Jannia nods “Aye Lady Alyce, I think we are in for many surprises on this day,” she smiles, shifts in her to aquire another cup of wine. “Ah, there is my Champion.”
Elmer is waiting by the Lannister tents, the big knight wearing the colors of his own House, as this is a Joust where he fights for his wife, whith a long sash in the brown of Crakehall and the red and gold of the Reynes. He is clean shaven and his long unruly black hair has been combed, to no great effect. A big grey gelding is dancing impatiently at his side, the knight resplendent in his blue steel gold engraved plate armor (They hadn’t brought in niello yet).

A white tent with green trees sewn onto it’s side stands to the left in the line of knight’s tents. There stands a tall knight, who’s thin silhouette is this time hidden behind a plate armor. His bronze hair is tied at the back into a short ponytail, his pale blue eyes scan the other knights and the stands as well. His armor is very nicely done, although it lacks the emroidery and flash of the other knights - it is plain, without adornements, but very well maintained and made by very talented hands. On his shoulders is draped a white cloak, trimmed with dark green, in it’s center a tall green weeping willow stands proud.

Ser Willard Ryger eyes the other contestants, as his squire, Kennard, brings his horse and lance. Waiting to have his name called the Ryger knight merely stands there with his helmet under his arm. Upon noticing lady Andrya Tully in the stands he does a bow with a flourish, galant despite all the steel upon him.

His hair streaming in the wind, the laughing Knight of the Fountain, Ser Jace Rollingford, trots his big brown destrier from the pavilions. With the roundels on his shield and livery he is unmistakable; the crowd cheers for this well-known tourney champion, and he gives them a bright and cocky smile. On his arm is a scarf, red and green and blue, presumably the favour of his lady wife.

The crowds have barely begun to settle after cheering for bold Jace Rollingford when they erupt again; this time for a very different manner of man. His pink scalp gleams through his thinning grey hair, already fushed from the heat. His jowls are the mark of a man who enjoys his meat and drink perhaps a bit too well. His girth and the belly on him cannot be disguised by his cleverly wrought armour.

And yet, the smallfolk love Lord Whalon Rosby, the Jousting Lord, as well as he loves the lists. His beaming smile ennobles those homely features and his armour, pale as milk, glitters blindingly in the morning light. His cloak, draped over his white stallion’s withers, is the crimson of heart’s blood. His wife’s favour flutters about his arm—and even among the highborn, there are few who don’t smile for the show he puts on when he bows extravagantly in the saddle—as much as his girth will allow, at least—to the Queen, and then to his indulgently smiling wife, before riding on to his pavilion.

A chief herald in the dragon tabard of House Targaryen trots out to the center of the green tourney field, flanked by two other heralds wearing the lofty tower of Oldtown and the dancing griffins of Cape Wrath. Silver trumpets sound a fanfare. The crowd erupts in rapturous applause, nearly drowning out the dragon-herald’s voice. “Your Graces, ladies, lords, knights, and good people! Attend me now!” Few do, it seems; such is the crowd’s excitement.

“Good people of King’s Landing! We present to you the Tourney of Love, a gift to honor the blessed nameday of Her Grace, Queen Daena Targaryen!” cries the herald. Thunderous applause continues. “Now let all good knights who would test their mettle in the cause of love come forth and declare their devotion!” At that, the dragon-herald makes a sign to the serjeants of the lists, and the trumpets sound again.

Alas, the maester is to be disappointed. Though he still is healing from his injuries from weeks back, the Lord of Southshield has not only appeared, but made quite a showing within the first few tilts, earning him even more the hearts of the smallfolk. That is not to say there has been no struggles, as Lord Serry’s shield can testify. His armor, finely polished to a brilliant white, is trimmed with an embattled red border, a series of lesser white roses enameled upon it. The sigil of his house has been chased upon the breastplate as well, the white rose seeming to blossom out from the red escutcheon painted there. In contrast, however, Lord Serry’s armet helmet is a rather simple thing, little ornamentation having gone into it, though it, too, has been finely polished. Tied about his right wrist is a bit of embroidered silk, black and gold, proudly displayed for his betrothed. For now, he remains idly off to the side, holding the reins to his white charger, his squire Garlan Hunter at hand to give him his lance and shield when he is to be called.

The darkling griffin knight, Ser Almer, reins up before queen and court and raises his right arm in courteous salute. Bound around that sword-arm is a slender ribbon of bright apple-red, a noble lady’s favour.

“Your Graces! Ladies, lords, and good people!” he cries, his grey eyes flashing with excitement. “I am Ser Almer Connington of Griffin’s Roost. I bear the favour of the Lady Miranda Fossoway. For her love, do I hazard my body! For the memory of her lady sister, do I wear the colors of mourning! For the Lady Miranda have I vowed to break seven lances or unhorse seven knights ere I fall!”

A hush falls; many know the Lady Miranda’s name by now, and the tragedy that befell the lady’s twin in recent days. Ser Almer tugs his reins, half-rearing the wild black destrier. The heavy silence is shattered by the furious whinnying of the charger, and he spurs toward the edge of the lists, and his rendezvous with destiny.

Materializing from the Westerling tent is a young but strong boy leading a chestnut mare who can only be Ryckon, everyone’s favorite squire! The horse is rather unimpressively armored and the boy, too, wears dull, but undamaged, plate graced with a sand-and-shell surcoat of the Crag and a red-and-ermine favor of Feastfires. He conspicuously bears the shield of his father, Ser Ryck Westerling, with its blue chief.

Miranda blushes furiously under Almer’s declarations, but she stands at the urging of the Queen and raises her hand in salute to the knight who wears an apple-red ribbon to match the one in her hair. Shy as she is, she is also a daughter of the Reach, where chivalry was born, and she kisses her fingers to Almer before he rides away in acceptance of his vow.

Alek’s armour is plain and undecorated, as it is the norm for the veteran knight to dress conservatively, even at such events. The Watch Commander pays the customary applause when the Queen is introduced, but otherwise sits in his saddle quietly, running a hand through his blond hair, and waiting his call.

Talbard takes Lady Jannia lightly by the arm in a mood of exaggerated distress. “The young fool! My lady, do you remember the pains I…and you too…expended to get Serry back on his feet? Well, I certainly never gave him permission to gallivant right back onto his saddle!”

Striding forward politely, Urston declares himself “I am Ser Urston Coldwater, of Coldwater Burn in the Vale. I wear the favour of Sarella Mertyns of Mistwood, in the Stormlands!” Urston says, his declaration as simple as his armour. He has no gift for finery, he would prove how true a knight he was through the jousting, not sweet words or overly extravegant armour

Jannia looks up to the distressed Maester, she nods to him, speaks lower to the man, “Aye Maester I do remember, and I fear that nothing will keep him away from the tilt.” she gives the Maester a look of sympathy, “I know you worry about him, and truly I understand. But there is nothing I can do to change his mind, if there were you know I would do everything I could to help.” she half smiles to him, and eyes Lady Katla, “but she might.”

Among the Queen’s attendants is Fiona Crakehall. She’s bright-eyed and searching the lists as she moves with the queen’s sisters and her retinue then her storm-hued gaze settles on a few ladies, familiar ones and she moves in that direction, slowly still, keeping an eye on the lists.

Elmer climbs atop his horse, accepting a cup of Arbor gold from his squire and drinking before he stands proud in the saddle, his lance held straight, as he watches the beautiful Queen who once named him her Champion. But to him there is only one Queen of Beauty and it stands there, golden and fierce. He moves forward, and lowers his lance to his wife. “I am Ser Elmer Crakehall, Captain of the Lannister Guard, and I proclaim that no lady here is as fair as my sweet wife, the Lady Fiona. I cannot promise you my life and my love, for those are already yours, locked securely into your heart, and your gaze gives me strength to fight, as always. But I will tilt today in your honor, which you have entrusted me with, and may the Seven bless our love with victory!” His eyes burn fiercely.

Talbard tuts loudly as he hears still more egregious folly. What IS his sister playing at, locked up in her solar but dispatching a champion she cannot have even met more than two or three times…? He and Mother will see about this Coldwater. In his irritation he hardly hears Jannia’s sympathetic reassurance; he has, for a moment, quite forgotten Justyn. The Greyjoy lady’s rebuke brings him back to earth, stopping his mutterings about how he’s never heard any good of wastrels from the Vale, etc, etc. He looks slightly humbled, raps out smartly, “As you will, Lady; though something makes me suspect we are actually of one mind on this matter…”

The trained destrier strides elegantly towards the ladies’ box, the gray mist sliding alongside the pale blue horse cloth. In front of the bow, the visors of the great helmet turn up and slightly to the left, aiming for one of the ladies there, a dark haired beauty with green eyes, clad in the colours of House Crane. ” My love…” the voice from behind the helmet is muffled but clear enough to understand. The knight then brings his hand up and to the pack of feathers that run down to his neck. There he removes a skilfully hidden fan of feathers out of the pack and moves his horse forwards to hand it over with the words. ” A fan, so that the mist would not conceal your beauty, now, for everyone to see.” Then, a quick tap of his heels and the Crane rides to the middle of the field. ” Ladies and lords of the court! I carry the favour of my wife, lady Delanei, heir to Lord Harroway’s Town. I have not promised anything but to uphold my love for her, now and in eternity!” Another move of his heels and the reachman then rides to the side of the field, waiting for him to be announced.

When it is Josmyn’s turn, he bows first to the Queen, then to the Princesses and finally to the other noblewomen. “Ser Josmyn Reyne of Castamere.”, he announces himself, “I have the honor to ride for Lady Jannia Tully and carry the colors of House Tully, after proving that I was able to live up to their motto of Family, Duty, Honor in my quest. Thank you, Mylady, and I hope to do your House proud.” He has no gift to offer Jannia though, just a smile and a bow, before he returns to the ranks of waiting knights.

The gallant Knight of the Fountain, Ser Jace, has nothing eloquent to say; he merely grins, guiding his destrier to the stands, and rises in his stirrups to blow his lady wife a kiss. For her part, the lady seems boredly content. Clearly this is not the first tourney she has attended on her husband’s behalf.

The Queen looks dazzled by all the pageantry of the gallants parading before her. She is clad, as always, all in white, but she wears a black lace veil over her silvery hair in deference to the recent deaths at court, including that of the beloved Glenna Massey and her own sweet lady-in-waiting, Lady Doryssa. There is a sobriety to her that is not her usual wont at such events, a sadness behind her violet eyes that is not leavened by the gaiety of the joust.

Spurring his mount forward Ser Anton reins his steed in before the gallery and dips his blue painted lance. “Lords, Ladies, your Graces,” he booms out in his commander’s voice. “I am Ser Anton Piper of Pinkmaiden, Officer of the City Watch. I ride today for my betrothed, Lady Melissa Lannister,” his eyes turn upon the lady in question with a furious intensity. “I vow to unhorse a worthy knight in her name.” With that, he slams shut his visor, bows once to the Queen and once more to Melissa, before riding back to his place by the lists to linger like a glowering storm cloud until his name is called.

The sleek stallion moves forward, the beast as well-trained and as calm as the man sat atop it. As he takes is position, Alek calls out his proclamation, after paying the customary bows to the Royal Box, The Reyne being perfectly versed in protocol. “I am Ser Alek Reyne of Castamere, Commander of the River Gate of King’s Landing,” He pauses, his green eyes picking out someone in the stands. “I bear the favour of Lady Ameria Serry, my wife of more than 30 years.”

Another pause. “It is true that my lady wife assigned no quest onto me, as she feels I have done enough in the past years to earn her undying love. As a symbol of that, I shall aim to break at least one lance in my tilts, even if I am to fall.” With that, the man bows to his wife, and then to the Queen and Princesses before moving to retake his position.

Melissa hmms and listens to the ladies talking but watches Talbard and Katla talking about the most obvious of victims here, as she looks to her maid to refill her cup, and she watches as well, looking to the Queen and her sadness a moment in total understanding. Ser Almer’s word sould not have made this much easier. But she hears the words of Ser Anton and smiles at him, raising her newfilled cup in his honor as she toasts him silently, before settling back.

As it seems most preliminaries are now taken care of, the real business begins. The crowd hushes as the Targaryen herald strides forth. “Your Grace!” he cries to the Queen and the court. “Ser Willard Ryger shall face Ser Josmyn Reyne!”

Jannia smiles and nods in kind to Josmyn, then turns to her sister. “care to wager.” she giggles at the jest.

And so it comes time for his announcement to the masses. Taking a deep breath, the Lord of Southshield removes his armet and hands it to his squire. Tossing back his flaxen hair, he mounts up onto his white destrier and proceeds at a gentle trot to stop in front of the box which holds both the Queen and -his- queen. Smiling that charming smile as best he can, the Lord of Southshield raises a lance in a courteous salute to the court and announces, “Your Graces, lords, sers, ladies, and good folk! It has been my honor to bear the favor of my betrothed - the Lady Katla Greyjoy this day. I, Justyn, Lord Serry, Lord of Southshield, have endured much to prove my devotion to her. She had tasked me to display for all to see the chivalric virtues - of humility and honour, gentleness and piety, courtesty and constancy, bravery and modesty, generosity and justice, truth and reason, and of dignity, discipline, and loyalty.” Lord Serry pauses a moment to catch his breath. “For her, I risked and took injury, fighting alongside the men of Crackclaw Point to free her from creatures most foul, thereby winning her favor! Though I still bear the wounds of those terrible days, I stand before you today to bring her honor in this Tourney of Love! May all witness my devotion to the daughter of the Lord of Pyke!” With a brief but polite bow of his head, he then urges the horse back to the sidelines and dismounts.

Josmyn smiles faintly, apparently not very pleased with this announcement, but he rides to the far end of the tourney ground, where he lowers his visor and accepts a lance from his squire, waiting for the signal to begin.

Within the stands, Alyce’s grin suddenly widens at the announcement of the first contenders. Some might call it smug or even mischievous. Either way, her attention is rapt upon the field now.

Katla watches the Southshield lord and knight, her expression an almost stony neutrality as he speaks, his words beating as ineffectively as the waves crashing on Pyke. Still - just as they have worn away the island, at the end, her expression cracks, a bare bit, a thin ghost of a smile crossing her face for a few moments.

The Ryger knight, in his unadorned and plain armor looks like a creature from another story. His only two accesories being the green-and-white cloak of house Ryger and a deep-blue-and-red ribbon tied to his right arm. He walks slowly towards the stands leading his pale grey destrier, his helmet still under his left arm. He stops directly en face of the Tully ladies and bows with a flourish.

“My armor may be plain.” he calls out for all to hear “And my helmet unadorned. My cloak is simple. And my horse, just a tourney horse, nothing fancy.” he looks up and his pale blue eyes stare straight at lady Andrya Tully “In contrary to all these other knight, I need no adornments, no intricate ornaments, no other beauty than that of lady Andrya Tully, who graced me with her favour” he beams a brilliant smile and bows yet again. Then he gracefully jumps onto his horse, puts on his helmet and salutes the lady who favoured him.

Fiona brightens considerably when she sees Elmer then at his words she smiles at him, for him, and once he is done she inclines her head and gently touches her hand against her chest over her heart, a sign for the Crakehall knight no doubt. She turns and sights in the group of ladies again then moves to take her seat with them, sweeping her skirts beneath her as she does so.

Josmyn lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
Willard’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Josmyn struggles to keep to the saddle for a few instants, before finally succumbing and sliding to the ground.

Andrya watches the first tilt and her eyes widen as the Reyne knight is brought to the ground. Turning to Jannia with a smile she says “I am afraid it is too late to take you up on that wager sister, pity could have won something nice..” she trails off playfully, though she does pat her sister’s hand consolingly.

Jannia looks to the joust at hand, when Josmyn falls from his saddle she winces slightly with a faint look of concern on her face, but as quickly as it came it disappears.

Josmyn seems to have a curious lack of interest in this particular joust and perhaps it shows. Being more on the defensive doesn’t pay off when his opponent lands a clean blow and although he struggles to remain in the saddle, he is off balance too much and is finally forced to let go of the reins and drop into the muddy ground. Luckily nobody can see him curse under that helmet.

Elmer almost cannot move away from the stands, his eyes arm as he looks into his wife’s but when he finally rides ove rhis smile is wide and he seems almsot uplifted by her love. He watches the tilt, shaking his head as his brother in law is unhorsed. But not everything is over yet, and he whispers to his squire to go and tend to Josmyn, offer him a cup of wine.

And he is up as first. Willard’s last tourney resulted in him winning his spurs… He could only wonder what this one could bring. Before him his opponent, ser Josmyn Reyne, who silently rides to the end of the lists and begins his run up. The Ryger knight salutes with his lance and calls out “I wish you luck, Ser Josmyn!” then slaps his visor shut and rides for his target.

There’s he hit, his shield shudders, but he stays on horse. Unlike his opponent. Ser Josmyn tries hard, but cannot keep his seat. Willard turns around, jumps off his horse and offers a hand to his donwed opponent, saying loudly “You rode well, ser. And I congratulate you, for it was just my lucky day. On another occassion, I’m sure you would unhorse me easily”

The Targaryen herald calls the next bouts. “Your Grace!” he cries. “Ser Urston Coldwater shall face the squire Ryckon Westerling! Ser Elmer Crakehall shall face Lord Justyn Serry!”

When Ser Josmyn Reyne falls, Urston claps half-heartedly for his opponent, but stops when Willard once again, in Urstons opinion, overdoes the chivalry. It was the backdoor to victory, and Willard was shamefully abusing it, as far as the Coldwater was concerned.

Melissa watches as Josmyn falls after the first pass, shocked but a little richer for the experience. Such a display though is rather poor form, and worrisome to the value of the entertainment. She looks to her maid a moment and beckons her closer and whispers in her ear, something pointed and direct. Wylla refills Melissa’s cup, and disappears shortly afterwards out into the boxes.

Alek winces as Josmyn falls, his eyes then going to Willard. Frowning, the Reyne knight calls out himself. “Do not be disheartened, nephew!”

Moving his horse alongside Ryckon, the Crane knight - quite massive looking in that armor of his- looks down upon the young squire. His pale blue eyes pierce to Ryckon as he inhales to say something… before getting interupted by the announcement of the herald. ” Good luck, squire.” he just states, the cold smile on his lips concealed by the helmet.

There is a shift of black and gold in the stands as Katla turns her eyes to the aisle where Elmer and Justyn will tilt. Her face hard to read, her hands folded in her lap, fingers interlaced, as she simply… watches.

There is a brief look of concern on Alyce’s face as Josmyn falls, although she gives a small nod of approval to Willard’s gallantry.

Elmer rides forward at the announcement, tipping his lance towards the stand where his wife and the Queen are, he takes another drink of wine before placing his helmet on his head. “None so fierce….Fionaaaaaaaaaa!” he yells, his massive lungs making his roar heard over the stands. He tips his head to the Serry knight then puts on his helmet and lowers his visor. He waits for his opponent to tale his place, then lowers his lance and spurs his horse forward. This is a tourney of gallantry so his lance aimed at Justyn’s shield, not his helmet or chest, a blow which might injure his opponent.

Josmyn nods stiffly towards Willard to acknowledge the man’s words and victory once he’s removed his helmet, then he offers Alek a little smile when he hears his uncle call out. Remaining silent still, he accepts the cup of wine from Elmer’s squire and takes a few sips, settling in to watch his brother in law joust for his sister.

The Lord of Southshield hears the herald call his name. Giving his squire a brief smile, he pulls his visor into place. He lingers a moment more for Garlan to inspect the armor carefully before he swings up onto his horse. Accepting the lance proffered to him, Justyn rides to the far end of the lists and waits, lance held high and proud, his shield gripped tight in hand, remaining quite quiet in contrast to the Crakehall knight. With a few deep breaths, he waits for his opponent to ready himself, and then his lance is raised in a formal salute - crisp and as perfect as any from the Reach could ask for. Seeing his opponent spur his horse on, the Lord of Southshield does the same, lowering his lance as he hopes to unhorse his most valorous foe.

Elmer makes a solid impact against his opponent in the joust, though the lance remains unbroken.
Justyn delivers a mediocre blow of the lance, failing to find any purchase with which to unseat his opponent.

Justyn struggles to keep to the saddle for a few instants, before finally succumbing and sliding to the ground.

Ryckon glares at Albyn but remains calm. “Thank you, ser, I imagine I shall need it.” He nods with curtness unbefitting one so young and edges away with his horse to take his position on the lists opposite Urston.

Elmer rides to the end of the lists, a bit disgruntled that he hasn’t broken his lance, but he dismounts and walks towards Justyn, who must not be too hurt by that. “Good luck in your next bout, Ser..” he says, extending a gauntleted hand. His eyes do look towards the pavilion, smiling at his wife.

Sighing to see Lord Serry fall, Urston makes a note to check on Justyn later before mounting his horse. Dismayed at the idea of jousting against poor Ryckon, whom he was rapidly growing fond of, Urson rode to the far end of the pavilion. A knight whose lady wasn’t present, jousting the squire everyone loved? Urston was sure to be ‘the bad guy’ in this, there was no two ways about it. And he was not happy to joust the man wearing Lady Prester’s favour, either, being Farin’s personal retainer. Donning his simple helm, Urston did not make for an impressive of fanciful sight, his favour and surcoat the only garments not worn or dented or torn from some prior combat. But everything had been polished the day before and that effort made his armour gleam as Urston took his place at the far end of the yard, lowered his helm, and, sighing, brought his horse to a canter to face the boy, recalling how a few days prior they had squired for each other in the yard. Urston’s lance lowered slowly, almost… hesitantly. But it lowered.

There seems to be much chatter in the women’s seating. Any close enough might hear word of wagers, unsurprisingly.

Holding tight onto the reins of his horse, Lord Serry attempts to aim his lance for just beyond the boar’s shield. This succeeds, but unfortunately the tip does not stick, sliding effortlessly off the Crakehall knight’s armor. The same cannot be said of Lord Serry. Surely the words of House Crakehall are proven true by Ser Elmer, as even as he impacts the shield of the Lord of Southshield, Justyn finds himself struggling to remain in the saddle. By the time he reaches the end of the lists, he has slipped out, falling to the ground. Though some may be concerned, what with his injuries, it does not take long for Lord Serry to get to his feet, especially with the help of his squire. Unbroken lance still in hand, Justyn raises his visor and offers a bright smile to his opponent, taking the proffered hand. “My thanks, ser. It has been an honor,” He releases his grip, backs up a step, and sweeps as graceful a bow he can manage in his armor.

After a moment or two, with the chill in the air, Melissa’s maid Wylla approaches the ladies around Queen Daena and hands them a cup of hot mulled wine, and gestures to her lady, whispering, “Please, for your Grace. My lady wishes you better cheer and warmer spirits, and hopes some small kindness might be extended. If you have need of anything further, my lady wishes Your Grace to know she is at your disposal.” Wylla delivers a deep blush and low curtsey.

The cup passes from hand to hand and when it reaches the Queen, she looks around, finds Lady Melissa, and raises the cup slightly in acknowledgement and thanks.

Ryckon stammers less than usual as he makes his announcement. “I am Ryckon Westerling of the Crag in the, er, Westerlands, squire to Ser Farin Prester. I bear the favor of his, er, lady wife, Aurana Prester. I have promised her nothing but that I shall try my best to… symbolize our, er, my chaste respect of her. Yes.” Groping for a conclusion but unable to find one, he instead dons his simple helm, mounts his horse, accepts a lance from a servant, and lowers his lance as well. “Good luck, Ser Urston!” he calls out, words muffled by his helm. As soon as Urston seems ready, Ryckon charges with a poorly aimed lance!

Ryckon delivers a mediocre blow of the lance, failing to find any purchase with which to unseat his opponent.
Urston makes a solid impact against his opponent in the joust, though the lance remains unbroken.

Ryckon just manages to keep to the saddle after weathering a good blow from his opponent.

Urston grinns happily to see Ryckon weather his lance’s blow. Coldwater had held nothing back, and yet the lad stayed mounted! No-one could say it was poor form to unhorse the lad now, after he had genuinely outlasted a charge. Turning at the far end, with the same unbroken lance in hand, Urston urges his horse onwards, charging and cheering both himself and his young opponent on “Well done Ryckon! Now Fall!” With a gleeful laugh for the knight of the kingswood, their lances met.

Ryckon grunts at the hard impact and nearly topples, but manages to remain ahorse. He turns and gives a charge similar to his first, this time shouting, “The Craaaag!”

Urston makes a solid impact against his opponent in the joust, though the lance remains unbroken.
Ryckon makes a solid impact against his opponent in the joust, though the lance remains unbroken.

Melissa returns one bow of her head to the queen and her most humble and sympathetic smile to her, before retuning her attention to the joust at hand, looking concerned after Ryckon’s words.

Ser Urston Coldwater whooped madly as yet another charge had failed splendidly. The boy was GOOD! Turning and charging, their horses closing the gap rapidly, Urston calls out in support of the boy “Good Ryckon! Good!” and, following Ryckons example, yelled the name of his birthblace “COLDWATER BUUUUUURRRRRRRRRNNNN!!!!”

Alek has reconnected.

Ryckon, struck but having made a strike as well, rides for the end of the list. “We both seem to be doing better than I thought, ser!” This time as he charges he attempts to shout out his house’s words, but they devolve into a wordless yell. “Honor, not aaaugh!”

Ryckon strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.
Urston manages only the poorest of blows, lance skittering ineffectually off the corner of a shield.

Urston is pushed from the saddle by his opponent’s lance.

Falling from his saddle with a thump, one would think Urston would sigh or complain. Instead, he leapt to his feet and called to the boy “Well ridden, Ryckon! Well ridden! You shall be a brilliant knight one day, I can feel it!” Urston said happily as he walked to the young squire, grinning with a mix of pride and battle lust

Josmyn has forgotten his own embarrassing defeat and is totally absorbed by the spectacle. “Wow, Ryckon! Well done!”, he calls out to the boy when he finally manages to unhorse the older knight.

A loud clapping resounds from the ladies seating area, as some sound of coin is heard and seen exchanging hands.

Alyce grins brightly as Ryckon wins the tilts, although she does not seem even slightly surprised. Clapping politely, the young squire can no doubt expect her congratulations later.

The Lord of Southshield seems suitably impressed as the young squire unhorses the Coldwater knight. He gives a subdued nod of his head, remaining perhaps uncharacteristically quiet as he watches the proceedings.

Alek politely applauds as Ryckon strikes down Urston, shifting in his saddle as he waits. He casts a glance towards the ladies stands, frowning a tad.

Melissa claps brilliantly and smiles just as brightly, as Ryckon wins, and laughs in delight as she talks with the ladies,

The Ryger knight stands near his tent, letting his retainer Teak take care of his horse. He watches impassively the largely boring tilt of the squire and hedge knight, but claps enthusiastically when Ryckon strikes down hisopponent “Very nicely done, Ryckon. You have a bright future ahead of you!” he calls out to the squire.

Elmer watches the other tilt, smiling a little, though no lances were broken it was a good showing. He takes another long sip of wine waiting for his next challence, stealing a glance now and then at his adored wife. Then with a smile he catches sight of a small girl selling flowers in the crowd. he sends his squire to her and soon he has a small bunch of wildflowers in his hand. he moves atop his destrier, and rides to the stands, bowing his head to get the Queen’s permission, and leans in to places them in Fiona’s hair, his eyes looking into hers.

The Targaryen herald calls the next bouts. “Your Grace!” he cries. “Ser Alek Reyne shall face Ser Anton Piper! Ser Albyn Crane shall face Ser Jace Rollingford, the Knight of the Fountain!”

If Albyn is impressed by Ryckon’s victory, he does not show it, neither could he with his helmet on. He merely restrains his horse from dancing sidewards and remains silent, watching the lists… and the ladies bow attentively. But at hearing his own name, the iron statue upon the saddle of the white-blue destrier turns alive again. A soft curse after hearing he’s to face the Knight of the Fountain remains unheard and a growl has his servants quickly hand over the lance and shield. The Crane then leads his horse to his end of the field, waiting for his opponent to take place and charge.

Ryckon, in a state of consummate shock, stumbles off his horse and walks hesitantly towards Urston, his own face a mix of astonishment, incomprehension, and rapture. “Th-thank you. ser! Thank you. Thanks. Yes. He shakes Urston’s hand, gives an awkward bow to the audience. He then turns away to the Westerling tent and walks towards it with his horse, silent, not stopping.

Andrya smiles and claps at the outcome of the tilt, beaming at both the Coldwater knight and Westerling squire. Upon listening to the knights involved in the next joust, she turns to the other ladies and starts chattering away once again.

At the sound of his name being called Ser Anton reaches out and takes the lance offered to him by his squire, then rides out take his place in the lists. Once, settled he dips his lance to the Queen, to Melissa, and then, briefly, to his foe, then waits for the signal to charge.

Jace Rollingford whistles for a lance and lowers his visor, still laughing. The Knight of the Fountain kicks his horse around, to take up position in the lists. The streamers on his helm flutter in the breeze, and he waves to the crowd. And when the signal is given, down comes the lance and off he goes, charging for Albyn!

Jace lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
Albyn strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, its lance.

Albyn is knocked from horseback, armor rattling as it falls.

Jannia claps and grins with a twinkle of excitement in her eye, as if she were a child again. As the jousts continue, this excitement only heightens.

“A fine performance, Ser Jace!” calls Ser Willard applauding the quick, but efficient tilt. Not one to waste words nor strikes, a dangerous jouster it seems.

With elaborate courtesy, Ser Jace bows his helmed head to the fallen Crane knight. He flips the cracked lance aside and returns to the verge, raising his visor and grinning.

As his horse leaps forwards, Albyn visor turns to the ladies box - to where Delanei sits in particular- for the first 3-4 meters before his sight shifts to his opponent. A chivalrous act and perhaps a bit too chivalrous as he manages to strike a proper blow, worthy of a jouster, but not enough as the lance of Jace knocks him onto the ground. His armor rattles as he falls in a clouth of dust. For a second or two the Crane does not move but then he rolls on his side, takes a knee and regains his foothold. With a knock against his chest plate he salutes his opponent before he leaves the field.

Hearing his name called, Alek slips on his shield, bearing the Reyne sigil, and takes his helm and lance. Moving to the lists, Alek calls out once Anton is within earshot. “Ser Anton, as a friend of Lady Melissa, and a loyal friend to the Lannisters, allow me to test the resolve of the man to win her hand!” He pulls on his helm. “And I hope that I am the worthy knight to complete your charge.”

With that, the Reyne knight’s lance is couched and he charges the list.

Removing his armet again, the Lord of Southshield calls for a skin of wine. Delivered to him by his squire, he takes a long drink, watching the next round. He winces as the Crane knight is unhorsed in a single tilt, shaking his head slightly in sympathy. Looking to his Hunter squire, Lord Serry plucks a red rose from his white cloak and hands it to the boy. With a faint smile, he sends the squire off to the stands. One can easily guess the recipient of the rose, and Garlan hands it to the Kraken’s daughter, passing along a quiet message along with the flower, waiting but a moment before he returns to his master’s side.

“Hm, we shall see,” is Anton’s dour reply before he couches his lance and charges, his blue cloak fluttering behind him.

Anton’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.
Alek’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.
Both jousters are driven from the saddle! Alek is the first to rise from the ground.

There’s a faint falling of shoulders visible, as if a sigh expressed, as Katla’s fingers curl around the stem of the rose, quirking a brow at Garlan as he whispers something. She leans forward, twirling the rose in her fingers, murmuring quietly something in response, before sitting straight again, looking down at the crimson rose, an odd expression crossing her face.

Ser Anton pushes himself unsteadily up from the dirt. His squire is already running towards him with his greatsword but he waves him away. “Ser Alek!” he calls in his heavy dour voice. “The match is yours, my goal has been achieved, and unhorsed a worthy knight.”

There is much gasping and talk in the ladies section over this. A simultaneous dual lance shattering -and- unhorsing is rare indeed!

Seeing that his Hunter squire has a message for him in return, the Lord of Southshield listens attentively. His gaze shifts to the stands to spy his betrothed, seeming deeply conflicted. He says a few hushed words to the squire again, then sends him back on his way.

Jannia stands and lightly claps for the joust was most chivalrous. Turning to the ladies she sits by she smiles, “That is what this Tourney is about,” she gleams a smile to Melissa.

The Targaryen herald calls the next bouts. “Your Grace!” he cries. “Lord Whalon Rosby shall face Ser Almer Connington! Ser Jace Rollingford, the Knight of the Fountain, shall face the Kingsguard, Ser Jaesin Lannister!”

When Alek accepts the victory Ser Anton bows deeply to his foe, and then withdraws from the field. Upon the verge as he settles to wait for his next bout he bows to his betrothed, then sits silently.

Urston, shocked to see two knights knock each other simultaneously off their mounts, claps lously at Ser Alek’s win. It was well ridden indeed
Melissa rises and gives Anton her applause and raises her cup to him once more as he leaves the field. She nods to Jannia and then grins brightly to Alyce, “I shall put that to inquiry, my lady…how delightful indeed that might be to know of other Pipers with such gallant behavior.”

Elmer stands up straight as the son of his liege lord is announced. Ser Jaesin gave him a hard lesson the previous day, and he cheers for the Kingsguard. His cheers join those of the men at the Lannister tents.

And the Ryger knight is craning his head as the Piper and the Reyne are unhorsed both at the same time. And claps wildly “That was amazing, sers! I have never seen a greater feat in a tourney!” he sounds very sincere. Even his squire nods in approval.

With the message passed along, Lord Serry turns his attention back to the tilt. Seeming a bit brighter, Lord Serry cheers, “My! Impressive!” He smiles blithely to Alek and Anton. The announcement that the Kingsguard, Ser Jaesin, is to be in the next tilt seems to enthuse the young lord even more, and again he calls out, “For His Grace, Ser Jaesin!”

And so at the herald’s call does a Knight of the Kingsguard enter the lists—all in white plate embossed and inlaid alike with golden lions, and with a flowing white mantle draped across his back. The blood bay on which he rides, too, is barded all in white and gold. Ser Jaesin Lannister.

Lannister takes his place at the end of the lists opposite Ser Jace Rollingford, lifting a hand in salute to the royal box. A lady’s scarf in midnight blue is tied visibly about the white plate of that arm, his right.

Through all the charges and thunderous clashes, the Jousting Lord has watched from outside his pavilion with the enthusiasm of a man half his age. His delighted laugh rings out often at some particularly fine charge, or an exclamation of approval at some display of bold riding.

When his name is called, he is swiftly into his saddle—not as spry as his opponent, true, for a man of his girth must be helped up by his squire—and riding forth to make his white stallion prance before the Queen and his lady wife, pale armour agleam. His rich, robust decalaration has a touch of the mummer’s craft to it, for he is well-used to the lists: “All here know it for truth when I say that I have ridden in tourneys the length and breadth of the Seven Kingdoms for two score years and more now. But never have I ridden before such a Queen!”

The smallfolk cheer at this, calling the name of the beautiful, silver-haired girl sitting there. His voice rises above it, and with it, a fond smile for the pleasant, plump woman knitting not too far from Daena: “And never has my lady wife seemed fairer. For her, I vow to best the three finest knights in the lists today!”

It is an extravagant claim for a man of his years. But there is no hesitation in the way he spurs back to settle his greathelm and take up his lance and shield. And white and crimson plumes streaming from his helm with the speed of his charge, he thunders towards Almer, couching his lance!

Having sat silent until now, the dark-limned griffin knight Ser Almer Connington dons his winged greathelm and takes up a lance from his squire. Silver spurs kiss the dappled flanks of his big black destrier, and he canters into a position of readiness. A glance is spared for the ladies in the viewing stand, and for one in particular… Lady Miranda Fossoway, whose bright red favour he bears this day. He turns to his face his foe and friend, the Jousting Lord, and spurring into the attack, charges!

Whalon lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
Almer strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.

Almer is roughly jolted in the saddle, struggling for a few moments to keep to his seat.

Again a message, and the Greyjoy leans down again, listening. She murmurs a handful of words to the squire, and sends the youth back to his knight. She sits back, twisting the rose stem between her fingers as she watches the men in the lists, lips pressed together.

With a flashing smile, Ser Jaesin lowers his visor; then it is but the lightest touch of spurs to the bay’s flanks, and he is off. Gaining momentum, the hooves thunder upon the hard-packed earth and he lowers his lance, unerringly level, for the Knight of the Fountain….

Jace’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.
Jaesin’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Miranda is watching very keenly this bout between the Jousting Lord and the dashing knight who wears her red ribbon. Even in her black mourning she is bright and watchful, smiling when she sees him withstand the first go. “Is he not gallant?” she asks the lady beside her, who gives the young woman an indulgent smile.

Jaesin is pushed from the saddle by his opponent’s lance.

The first lance is cracked but not broken, and Almer manages to hold on before the famously skilled Lord Rosby; many know that these two once broke eighteen lances in one meeting. He turns his horse, takes up another lance, and resumes the charge once more!

Willard nods knowingly as he read wellthe tourney knight “Ser Jace, you are a master jouster, one can see without a doubt!” he calls out clapping with fierce admiration. The man only made the slightest effort more than his opponent, and that was enough. Amazing…

Albyn meanwhile refrains from conversation as his servants wipe off most of the dust from his armour. ” If I fall, I will fall well dressed.” he mumbles as a cup of wine is handed to him.

The Jousting Lord is laughing for the sheer pleasure of the tilt as he thunders on to the other end of the lists, tossing away his broken lance. When he turns and takes a new lance, he it in salute to his famous young opponent before spurring his white stallion into a charge again!

As the vaunted Kingsguard falls before the Knight of the Fountain, the latter throws away the shattered lance and reins in. Ser Jace salutes Ser Jaesin, and the crowd, and then canters from the lists to await the next call.

Whalon’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.
Almer’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.

Whalon is struck down as if by a hammerblow, tumbling from his saddle to the hard earth below.

Lord Serry is silenced as Jaesin is forced from his saddle, the Knight of the Fountain seeming no worse for the wear despite the lance broken against him. Again, he murmurs, “My… Entirely impressive, this Knight of the Fountain.” He gives Ser Jace a smile as he rides to his position. The sound of yet more lances breaking draws Justyn’s attention back to the lists, and he watches the Lord Rosby fall before the Connington knight. The result seems to please the Lord of Southshield, who cheers for Almer.

Lady Rosby looks up to cluck her tongue, her knitting needles working independently of her gaze. “Get up now, my dear,” she calls to her portly lord husband, waiting to see him do so while the crowd cheers. Miranda Fossoway looks quietly pleased, waving to Almer at the end of the lists before sitting again.

Elmer gasps as the riding grows glorious, with lances shattered, and strong knights unhorsed. He certainly didn’t expect to see Jaesin fall at his first tilt, but this a remont tourney, so…not all is lost. His hands raise in the air to clap for the superb show.

Struck from his horse by the Knight of the Fountain’s blow, Ser Jaesin of the Kingsguard lands with a thud and a clatter of steel. Climbing to his feet with the barest hint of a stagger beneath the weight of his ceremonial plate, the Lannister flings the remains of his own shattered lance-haft aside.

Acknowledging his opponent’s luck with a wave of his hand, Ser Jaesin walks from the lists unaided. Lifting his visor, he calls to his squires for a better mount.

cheering with each victory, Urston watched the knights earnestly, studying each mans form and skills carefully, and making note. Having already lost to a squire, Urston hoped for at least one victory today

The force of Lord Rosby’s unhorsing must concern Ser Almer; he drops his shattered lance and kicks his horse toward his fallen friend. Words pass between the knight and the lord, though they are drowned out in the tumult.

Garlan Hunter returns with another message from Justyn’s betrothed, and Lord Serry listens to the words attentively. He soon seems chided, giving a mild nod to the lad before he straightens up again, waiting to hear for his name to be called again.

The Jousting Lord hits the ground hard enough for the clatter of steel to be clearly audible even above the crowd’s yell of dismay. And there he lies, flat on his back as his squire comes racing out to fuss over him, seemingly unconscious—or worse.

But almost as if he has heard his wife’s call through all the noise, he finally pushes himself to an elbow, then sits. His squire has to help him fumble off the greathelm, for it has been dented in the fall. When it comes off, his gaze is unfocused and blood trickles from his nostrils and his mouth.

Nevertheless, he struggles to his feet with the lad’s aid, raising a gauntleted hand to the smallfolk’s relieved cheering. And whatever passes between Almer and him, it ends with a smile from him and a fatherly pat on the Connington knight’s shoulder before he stumbles out of the lists. A maester can already be seen hurrying to his pavilion.

The herald calls out the next bouts. “Your Grace! Ser Albyn Crane shall ride against Ser Josmyn Reyne! Lord Justyn Serry shall ride against Ser Urston Coldwater!”

Josmyn pushes himself off the fence on which he has been sitting, watching the jousting with interest while working his way through a wineskin. “Things can only get better.”, he smiles faintly at his squire as he mounts up again, lowers his visor and takes a fresh lance from the boy. He canters to the far end of the jousting ground and waits for the signal to charge at Albyn.

Jannia sits up as the barker calls out her champions name, she looks to the group of ladies beside her with a grin. And turns to watch intently, as the Knights take their places.

For a second time, Albyn’s name echoes over the field as the herald announces him to joust against Josmyn Reyne. Not entirely enthusiastic about facing such experienced jouster again, Albyn quickly calls for his helmet to avoid anyway seeing it. After mounting and taking his shield and lance, he trots to his end of the list, again looking sidewards to the ladies box. A tap of his heels and for a second time his horse leaps forwards. Again the Crane only shifts his attention from his wife to his opponent halfway the list, quickly adjusting his lance, aiming for Josmyn’s shield.

Albyn’s lance is broken into so many splinters as it delivers a tremendous blow to its opponent.
Josmyn’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Josmyn finds himself forced from the saddle by his opponent’s charge.

When Ser Jaesin emerges a second time from the milling confusion of tents and squires and steeds, one thing has changed. His armor, his helm, his mantle and his shield all remain white and gold—but now, so too is horse.

The blood bay of Lannister’s disastrous tilt with the Knight of the Fountain is nowhere to be found; instead he rides a white charger to match his office.

And… it doesn’t take long for him to be called. Accepting his helmet from the Hunter youth, Lord Serry dons it once again, keeping the visor up for now. After being inspected by Garlan once more, the Lord of Southshield mounts the white charger and rides to the far end of the lists. Lance at the ready, again he gives a salute, first to his opponent, then to the masses in general, flashing them a smile before he lowers his visor, waiting for his opponent to signal that he, too, is ready. Once that is given, Lord Serry spurs his horse into a charge, lowering, then couching his lance as he rides against the Coldwater knight, his white cloak with its embroidered red roses fluttering behind him.

There is an undercurrent of irritation now at the Lannister tents. It is said that ravens were received by certain wealthy retainers of the Rock, with instructions from their heir and Ser Jaesin’s bookie. The outcome of the Kingsguard’s last tilt was costly for some. It is unclear which son of Lord Loren is the subject of this irritation, but it is likely to be the second.

Grinning happily when Justyn is announced as his opponent, Urston Coldwater waves to Lord Serry and smiles at Maester Talbard. Urston was wearing the Maesters’ sisters’ favour, and Talbard had attended to Justyn’s injuries after Urston and Justyn’s previous joust a few days earlie, breaking four lances before Urston won narrowly. Coldwater rather liked Lord Serry, and didn’t want to anger Lady Katla further by injuring her bethrowed, AGAIN, in front of her. Urston was also a little taken aback that each of his jousts so far had been against a friend. Chance, or fate? Urston mounted his horse, took a lance that was offered to him, and prepared to joust. Urston only hoped Justyn did not become badly injured. If Serry kept proceeding in the tourney he was bound to get hurt, so as his friend all Urston could try to do was swiftly beat him Urston lowered his lance and charged

Urston makes a solid impact against his opponent in the joust, though the lance remains unbroken.
Justyn makes a solid impact against his opponent in the joust, though the lance remains unbroken.

Once again Josmyn finds himself unhorsed after a tremendous blow hits him square on the chest and sends him flying into the mud. And so he’s the first knight to be out of the tourney. After nodding a faint smile to Albyn, offering the man a “Well done!”, he heads to the ladies’ box and bows to Jannia. “I am terribly sorry, Mylady, to be such a disappointment to you and proved unworthy of the colors of Tully.”, he says, “I hope you can forgive me.”

Elmer shakes his head as his brother in law is unhorsed again and he moves to see if he is allright. As he hears the man’s words to jannia, he shakes his head, and puts his arm around the man’s shoulder. “Don’t listen to him Lady Jannia. He is the bravest man here, to fight after his grievous wounds, and his last hit was a thing of beauty…reward his bravery well.”

Cupping his hands before his face, watching from horseback with his visor lifted, Ser Jaesin calls out in support of his new friend. “Serry! Well done, now bear down and finish the job,” he calls, encouragement for the Shield Islander.

Jannia sighs as she knows how disappointed Josmyn must be. “Ser Josmyn, I assure you, no need to feel that way, you jousted well. I am indeed proud, no need for forgiveness, there are many more games to be played.” She smiles to him trying to reassure him.

Once again, the Lord of Southshield seems evenly matched against the Coldwater knight, both men landing a solid blow upon the other, but neither being forced from their horse. Inspecting over his lance, Lord Serry waves off his squire, seeming content to remain with the one he has. Turning his horse about, Justyn waits for Urston to ready himself again before the Lord of Southshield charges down the lists, lance couched to deliver a hopefully powerful blow.

Smiling at the strength behind Serry’s lance, which indicated that he was infact recovering, but then realizing he should stop thinking so positively about his opponents, Urston Coldwater quickly rode to the end of the field, turned his beloved horse around, and charged.

Urston’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.
Justyn makes a solid impact against his opponent in the joust, though the lance remains unbroken.

Justyn seems practically catapulted from the saddle by his opponent’s charge. He is thrown to the earth with painful force while the splinters of the other jouster’s lance falls about him.

Shocked by the force of his blow, Urston leaps from his horse and runs to his friend “Justyn! Are you okay? I… I didn’t mean to… I..” Urston cursed himself under his breath and yelled for a Maester

A collective gasp comes from the Ladies seating area, all eyes are forced upon the Lord Serry.

Between Elmer’s arm around his shoulders and Jannia’s words, Josmyn manages a faint smile, but it’s obvious that he is very disappointed with himeslf. “I will try to do better in the other tournament.”, he assures her weakly and nods to Elmer. “Now it’s you and Alek to do the Reyne name proud.” Then he turns around and cringes when he sees Justyn get unhorsed in a rather spectacular way. “Dear Gods.”, he murmurs, his woes forgotten.

Talbard stormed from the ranks of the onlookers, barking commands, to get to Lord Justyn’s side and see him back to some private treatment as soon as possible. Grand Maester’s orders be damned.

The Ryger knight is almost on his toes now, brimming with excitement and admiration for the jousters. The tourney started lacklustre… but quickly turned into something absolutely amazing.

Melissa gasps at the ferociousness of the blow that unseats Justyn, as she winces visibly at the rough impact with the earth. “By the Seven…” she whisper/prays. She eyes him, waiting for him to stand, before casting a quick look at Katla out of the corner of her eyes.

Ser Jaesin watches as Ser Justyn is violently unhorsed, his sapphire eyes going narrow and cool. Knowing better than to add his own voice or presence to the clamour around the fallen horseman, though, the Kingsguard merely purses his lips in a grim line—then lowers his visor.

Albyn closes his eyes just before the hit and as the blow shivers through his body, he opens his eyes finding himself…still seated! The Crane’s heart rises significantly due this victory and he quickly rides to Josmyn and Jannia. ” My lady” A gentle bow from out of the saddle. ” ser Elmer speaks the truth. I fear the ...” Albyn is interupted by the large sound that the between Justyn and Urston produced. Turning his head he sees Justyn hitting the ground /hard/. The Crane winces. ” Hmmmfff…” Then a quick look around for a maester to call.

Jannia nods to Josmyn, “I am sure you will….” The crack of lance to armor turns Jannia’s attentions away from Josmyn, mimicking his words almost unison, “Dear gods,” she shakes her head and holds her breath.

For a brief moment, the Lord of Southshield feels as though he is flying - for, indeed, he is, right out of the saddle. This perhaps pleasant experience (though tinged with the pain of the impact) is soon turned sour as he lands upon the ground. Hard. Though some call out to him, there is no reply from Lord Serry, who remains upon the ground. It doesn’t take much to guess that he has been knocked unconscious from the powerful strike.

Quietly, and without much ado, a pair of squires are dispatched from Ser Jaesin’s side at speed. One jogs off in the direction of the city gates and the Red Keep; the other for men and a litter.

Andrya offers a sympathetic look to the Reyne knight as he speaks with her sister but her face is one soon of alarm and concern as the Serry lord is so forcefully unhorsed, she gasps sharply and shoots up from her seat in shock, craning her neck to get a proper look at what has happened.

Katla’s reaction is sharp - her eyes narrow, and she stands. The ironborn woman pauses, turning to the Queen, and it is with iron control and restraint. “Your Grace,” she says very, very carefully, through gritted teeth. “I pray, excuse me.” And then propriety is effectively thrown to the wind, as the ironborn woman departs the box, and makes her way through the crowd, not giving a single thought to courtesy, or whether or not a woman should be on the tourney field. Her face is stormy, her eyes dark, and she pushes her way through to the Southshield lord, murmuring invective that might make a sailor blush. She looks up to Urston, and her eyes are flat and her voice is chill. “If he dies, Coldwater, you had best pray to your seven gods that the Stranger gets to you before I do.”

A hush falls at the gruesome blow inflicted on young Lord Serry. The chief herald, flanked by a dozen armored marshals of the lists, trots out to where a number of servants and healers are already gathering. He makes a sign to them to take the fallen knight from the field as swiftly as possible, before heading over to the Queen’s box to inform Her Grace of the situation.

Talbard crouches urgently at Lord Justyn’s side, then turns his face furiously to Ser Urston. “See what you and Sarella have done this day with your folly! If you had any honour, Ser, you would withdraw at once!” Then he checks Lord Justyn’s pulse, which is still feverishly active, before joining the hubbub wafting him from the field, with a last, contemptuous stare at Ser Urston and his Mertyns favour.

Alek shifts in his saddle, standing in the stirrups, looking with concern to the condition of his good-nephew, Lord Justyn. “Bloody fool.” He mutters.

Elmer looks in waorry at the prone for of Justyn Serry. This is a tourney of love, and such scenes..mar the beauty of it, however Urston’s prowess cannot be contested. He takes a long drink of Arbor gold and and the wonder. “Hmm, this is getting hairy.:

Alyce’s expression has been carefully neutral during Josmyn and Jannia’s chat. However, the moment Lord Serry is thrown so violently, her gaze is riveted. She half rises from her seat when Katla does so fully, almost as though to go with the woman. But, of course, she cannot. She does all she can: bows her head, squeezes her eyes closed, and prays fervently.

Jannia suffers a sympathetic glance to the Maester Talbard, and Katla as she watches her storm off, she nods to her as she understandably leaves.

“Justyn! No!” ser Willard starts running to the Serry lord, but slows down as he comes closer. Lady Katla is already there, the maester. He sighs and starts walking back to his horse… he will probably be one of the next ones to joust, but his good humour is spoiled. And the chivalry all but gone.

“Good people! All will be well!” The chief herald motions to calm the restive crowd as the injured Justyn is removed, and then cries the next bout. “Ser Anton Piper shall ride against the Kingsguard, Ser Jaesin Lannister! Ser Alek Reyne shall ride against Ser Elmer Crakehall!”

The Greyjoy woman waits for the litter, a guard and maid both dressed in Greyjoy black-and-gold moving from where they have been watching the jousts. As the Southshield lord is effectively loaded onto it, unconscious and lolling, she speaks swiftly to them, making several sharp gestures, and another look to the Coldwater knight that promises nothing good, and everything of the reaver. Her eyes do not rim with red, but it seems to be a near thing, and it is with her small retinue that Katla accompanies the litter, pivoting on one heel with an almost military precision, disregarding the muck churned by hooves and boots alike, departing from the field.

The Queen is standing and commanding servants and maesters to the field. Her dismay is writ plain on her face, but she looks less so when the herald takes command of the situation. “I will have word at once of his condition,” she says to the herald before sitting again.

Oooh, family duel. Once Josmyn is assured that Justyn is in good hands and taken care of, he leaves his position by the ladies’ box where he had been talking to Jannia and goes to perch on his fence again, draining the rest of the wine skin while he watches his uncle and his brother in law.

Albyn nods in acknowledge to the cousin of his wife. Then he looks to Urston. ” Do not fear, ser. We’re all aware of the injuries that can follow from this…game.” the latter showing that his joy over beating ser Josmyn has changed back to his slight feeling of disdain for the whole thing. The politician in Albyn does however smell the tension rising and moves his horse next to Urston. ” If you would accompany me for a cup of wine?” A tap of his heels and the heir to Red Lake moves to the other side of the field, away from Justyn, Katla and the rest, hoping the knight will be smart enough to follow.
Ryckon has connected.

Another light touch of the spurs, then, and Ser Jaesin sets his white steed in motion. With the sight of the noble Kingsguard re-entering the lists, perhaps some normality would be restored to the world in the wake of Lord Serry’s fall—but this Kingsguard has been felled once already. It a strange and feckless day, and the whims of the gods are capricious things.

Against all of that, Jaesin Lannister finds comfort in ritual. The growing thunder of hooves, the lowering of the lance—just so. The couching of it, holding the point level as the world swirls around him, only Ser Jaesin and Ser Anton, now.

When the herald hears the Queen’s edict, the man blanches somewhat. “At once, Your Grace,” he says, bowing and motioning frantically to his assistants. He looks afraid, and rightly so.

Elmer laughs softly in relief as he hears that Justyn will be well, and he looks at Alek. “Ahh, this should be interesting.” he mounts up and kaving kept one of the wildflowers sets it behind his ear roguishly. He smiles and blows a kiss to his wife. “I ride for your beauty, my love..forgive me for lowering a lance against your family.” He says chivalrously, then places his helmet on his head, lowering the visor and saluting his good uncle. Then he raises his wide oaken shield with the Boar of Crakehall and lowers his lance, charging towards Alek, his lance aimed at the shield again. He doesn’t want such drama to happen.

Urston Coldwater’s shocked silence continued as the unconscious body of his friend was taken away. At some point Lady katla had been there, angry, but Urston hadn’t heard a word of it, just a strange buzzing and the odd sensation of fear. It had been awhile since Urston Coldwater had felt so afraid. He stumbled to the side of the field and sat sullenly, knowing if he was thought of by anyone this day, it would be as the man who lost to a squire and took it out on a Lord. Intentions would matter for naught. Urston was alone, like always. A Black Sheep.

Alek frowns as his name is called. Nudging his squire in the back with his foot, he says. “Inform me of Lord Serry’s condition shoild you hear anything.” He slams his visor down, moving to his end of the list. Taking his lance, he couches it and charges.

Elmer’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.
Alek delivers a mediocre blow of the lance, failing to find any purchase with which to unseat his opponent.

Alek is driven off the saddle by his opponent’s skillful charge.

Anton watches Justyn be carried away with an expressionless face. Then when his name is called he slams down his visor and moves forward to his place in the lists with a lance in hand. Pausing for a long breathe, he dips his blue painted lance first to the Queen, then to Melissa, and finally to Melissa’s cousin, his foe, Ser Jaesin Lannister. When the signal is given he couches the lance, then charges, aiming it’s blunted point at the center of Jaesin’s breastplate.

Anton strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.
Jaesin lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.

Anton finds himself forced from the saddle by his opponent’s charge.

Hearing Albyn speak, Urston followed silently, not quite sure what was happening anymore

Josmyn sighs a little when he sees his uncle go down, but at least Alek will have another round to do the Reyne name proud. He watches things going on around the tourney ground and slips off the fence again to wander over to where Urston is brooding with a nobody-loves-me face and sits down beside him, offering him the wineskin while he whispers some quite words to him.

Alek lands with a clang. He lies there for a second, before shifting and groaning. He sits up, ripping his helm off. “Congratulations, ser!” He calls, “My neice has a fine champion.”

Elmer rides through the shards, smiling to himself, as he finally broke a lance. Even if it is his wife’s uncle that he unhorsed. He rides to the end of the tilts, and sends his squire to see if Alek is well, then at the man’s words, bows in the saddle. “Thank you, Commander.” There seems to be less ice in his vocie when he talks to Alek.

A better result for Ser Jaesin, but hardly satisfactory—at least, to judge by his reaction. The goldcloak—his cousin’s suitor—is unhorsed, but the Kingsguard tosses his own lance aside with nary an afterthought. It did not shatter, after all. He wheels about to ride back toward the fallen Ser Anton, does Lannister, and on reaching him lightly tells the man, “A good seat, and a good aim. Welcome to the family, Piper. Mayhap next time, you’ll draw Jonn, and have better fortune.”

Melissa doesn’t need to see Anton fall after this and watch her own concern inflate over the smallest matter of course. This is the way jousts are supposed to be, but for her betrothed it does not seem very good fortune. She takes some small comfort in that it is at least family against him and unhorsing him.

For the second time today Anton feels himself falling and hitting the ground. For a moment he lays still, then slowly he grasps the rail and pulls himself to his feet. “Thank you, my lord” he says the words echoing hollowly from within the confines of his dented helm. “I will be glad to joust with any Lannister. But I am done today, so ride well, ser.” he bows to his opponent, then to Melissa, before staggering away towards his pavilion whispering of needing to see a blacksmith.

The herald cries the next bout. “Ser Urston Coldwater shall ride against Ser Alek Reyne! Ser Willard Ryger shall ride against the squire, Ryckon Westerling!”

Draining the wine offered by Ser Albyn in quick, desperate gulps, and nodding eagerly at Ser Josmyn’s whispered kind words, Urston resisted the urge to cry. He had done his best to be a honourable and chivalrous knight, only to earn death threats and enemies and shocked gasps. Urston wondered for the first time if the Coldwaters had been right all along to despise him. Maybe he didn’t deserve to be loved. Maybe it was his fate to be the cruel mockery of knighthood some great champion would kill one day for honours sake. The herald screeches out that Ser Albyn, one of the treasured few who has considered Urston’s feelings at all, was to be his next opponent, and Urston felt like screaming. He had almost killed his friend! His FRIEND, and they thought he cared about a fucking tourney? Knowing he would only gain more disapproval if he didn’t meet the challenge, Urston shook the Ser Albyn’s hand gratefully, and walked with lonely resignation to his horse

Melissa sits and relaxes now, as Anton moves away, knowing that her greatest worry of injury is done for the day. She sips from a fresh glass of wine and continues to recover from earlier shock and worry, until she is somewhat back to herself.

Draining the wine offered by Ser Albyn in quick, desperate gulps, and nodding eagerly at Ser Josmyn’s whispered kind words, Urston resisted the urge to cry. He had done his best to be a honourable and chivalrous knight, only to earn death threats and enemies and shocked gasps. Urston wondered for the first time if the Coldwaters had been right all along to despise him. Maybe he didn’t deserve to be loved. Maybe it was his fate to be the cruel mockery of knighthood some great champion would kill one day for honours sake. The herald screeches out that Ser Alek was to be his next opponent and Urston felt like screaming. He had almost killed his friend! His FRIEND, and they thought he cared about a fucking tourney? Knowing he would only gain more disapproval if he didn’t meet the challenge, Urston shook the Ser Albyn’s hand gratefully for the whine and friendship, then walked with lonely resignation to his horse. “Good luck, Ser.” Urston called out with a voice obviously on the verge of tears, as Urston readied to charge

Seeing her flower-bearing Knight drawing near to the stands Fiona’s eyes light up then instead of handing her the flowers he’s reaching to put them in her hair and she’s beaming and blushing at once. The Crakehall knight gets a smile and a few quiet words then she rights herself and straightens, watching him take his place in his next tilt. Alek goes down and Fiona winces, but, if it has to be someone, at least it’s her husband, her grin crooked and eyes cutting to the side a bit, sheepish.

Poor Urston. After Josmyn had hopefully cheered the man up a little, he’s now up against his uncle and blood’s always thicker than water. So he rises to his feet and whoops: “Uncle Alek! GO!”

Ser Willard Ryger jumps onto his horse takes the offered lance from his squire and dons his helmet. He slides his left arm into the straps of the shield and rides forward, towards the stands. He stands in the stirrups and proclaims “My lady of Tully, I ride with your favour and to honour the sacred feeling of love, to which this tourney is devoted. I do not plan to fail you in that, my lady, for it is your beauty that shall be proclaimed on this day” he salutes with his lance and closes his visor as he arrives at the beginning of the lists, waiting for his opponent.

As the jousting continues, Andrya sips from her newly aquired glass of wine, still recovering from the incident. With Willard not off the field yet, there is still some worry there although upon hearing the Ryger knight’s gallant words she blushes and cannot help but offer him a smile and an encouraging nod as he goes to joust the Westerling squire.

The herald clears his throat. “Ryckon Westerling? Ryckon Westerling?” When silence is the answer, he consults his lists. “Ser Jaesin Lannister, the Kingsguard, to ride against Ser Willard Ryger!”

Having recovered suitably from his bout against Elmer, Alek pulls himself into the saddle, trotting to meet Urston. Calling out to the crowds, he says. “I may have failed in my task against Ser Elmer,” He calls, “But I still joust for the love my wife gives me!” He slams his visor down, couches his lance and spurs his horse down.

Alek makes a solid impact against his opponent in the joust, though the lance remains unbroken.
Urston manages only the poorest of blows, lance skittering ineffectually off the corner of a shield.

Urston just manages to keep to the saddle after weathering a good blow from his opponent.

Sighing unhappily as his instincts keep him in the saddle, Urston turns his horse and charging. Knock me down man, knock me down. Everyone wants to see it, finish me. Aim for the gorget and end it all. Urston lowers his lance unevenly to force another miss as the horses come closer. Just end it! Urston wants to scream and cry and beg and plead, but the nightmare wont end, and the tourney continues

Striking a decent blow against Urston, Alek grins under his helm. “Well played, ser!” He calls, seizing a new lance and charging once more.
Urston delivers a mediocre blow of the lance, failing to find any purchase with which to unseat his opponent.
Alek lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.

Urston struggles to keep to the saddle for a few instants, before finally succumbing and sliding to the ground.

So now and again, the white knight on his white charger returns to the lists, this time across the long lane from Ser Willard Ryger. Ser Jaesin lifts a salute to the other man before lowering his visor once more. Then again—the spurs, the thunder, the lance is lowered.

Hearing the new pairings Willard can not help, but scowl. The Kinsguard. Damn, he could have won with Ryckon. But Ser Jaesin… Still, he must do this. He shifts the ribbon given by Andrya and starts his tilt.

Jaesin’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.
Willard lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.

Willard is pushed from the saddle by his opponent’s lance.

Falling to a floor with a thump of pain the Urston can barely feel, but not from lack of trying, Coldwater scrambles to his feet reluctantely, bows to all the people in the crowd he just knows wish has fall had been worse, and stumbles back to Ser Albyn, hoping for more wine so he can forget this blasted day ever happened.

Jannia claps lightly at the goings on, when Alek unhorses Urston she smiles slightly, knowing Josmyn would be pleased. When Willard is unhorsed she grins at her sister, “As I said sister luck is not always on our side.” Her excitement is still there, just sedated after the Lord Serry’s fall. %

The Kingsguard’s lance shatters as he drives Ser Willard from the saddle; it is the first time Ser Jaesin has seen the result that the commons expect from him. He flings the remaining shards of his weapon aside, then wheels about to tell the fallen opponent, “A good seat, ser. It was my honor to face you.”

The herald steps up, growing hoarse from the long day’s shouting. “Your Grace! Ser Albyn Crane, to ride against Ser Almer Connington! Ser Elmer Crakehall, to ride against Ser Jace Rollingford, the Knight of the Fountain!”

After handing a cup of wine to the Coldwater knight, Albyn leaves the man to himself. Sipping from his own cup, the eyes of the Crane attentively watches both goldcloaks to be bested by their opponents. He rises, gently clapping his hands for the cousin of his wife, ser Elmer and then watches the other jousts patiently. Then he hears his name again….this time against ser Almer Connington, a famed jousting champion, known to have broken eighteen lances with the Jousting Lord in a row. A slight sparkle of concern appears in his eyes as he calls for a servant. A young boy in Crane colours quickly approaches. “Yes, ser?” Albyn doesn’t give the lad even a glance as he stares into the empty air, his voice soft but clear. ” Go tell my wife that Ella is not to watch this one.”

Then he mounts for the third time, receiving shield and lance, and rides to his end of the list.

Fiona beams and her hands pat together when Alek wins his round, applauding the victory. She perks up when Elmer’s name is called out again and reaches to touch at the flowers in her hair, grinning to herself.

The Knight of the Fountain, hearing his name again, leaves off chatting with a pair of friendly-looking serving maids. He grins, pulls on his helm, and trots out to the lists to face off against the boar of Crakehall. When he and his opponent appear ready, and the heralds have given their sign, he charges!

Elmer groans as he is paired with the vanquisher of Ser Jaesin. he lifts a new lance towards the Kingsguard, then he rides towards the stands, looking at Fiona. “My love….Pray for me. It is your love, and support that hold my arm strong, now and forever.” He whispers, the two make a lovely couple. Then he rides to the lists, and takes along drink of wine before lowering his visor, and charging towards his opponent, his lance aimed at his opponent’s shield, picking up speed fast.

Over in the pavilion with the joust returning to form, it seems as though the ladies are beginning their final judgments to the victor of the joust, talking a bit more excitedly, and pointing to knights about the field and those dismissed.

“Come on then, Elmer,” calls Ser Jaesin, loudly! “Let’s see this Fountain run dry! Crakehall!”

Jace strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.
Elmer’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Jace is pushed from the saddle by his opponent’s lance.

Most of the ladies, at least. Alyce looks distracted, only even remembering to clap mechanically when others first begin to applaud. She leans over on occasion to offer her voice, but it is rare and brief.

Willard feels his lance hit well, but… he’s falling. The Kinsguard is not someone to be trifled with and the Ryger suffers for it. He stands quickly, he’s not hurt so he has no problem with it, and bows gallantly to the Kingsguard “A fine joust, ser. Thank you for the lesson of humility.” and he walks back to his tent leading his grey destrier.

A great cheer goes up from the Lannister pavilion when Jace of the Fountain goes down! Not least among the voices raised is Ser Jaesin, who raises a fist in the air to salute his brother’s good-brother! “Well done! WELL DONE,” cries the Kingsguard!

Elmer rides in elation through the splinters, and he doesn’t stop, instead as he gets in front of the ladies’ stand he dismounts in a flowing move, despite his heavy armor and he kneels, his face grinning towards Fiona, his gauntleted hand shooting up. “Touch my hand, my Love!”

The fall of so many good knights in so violent a fashion may have cast a pall on the proceedings, but the dark-liveried griffin knight, Ser Almer, will not stop until his vow is fulfilled. He canters to the lists when the match is called, and lifts a hand in gallant salute to the onlooking Fossoway maiden in the box.

When all is in readiness, he lowers his lance and spurs into a charge!

Almer lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
Albyn’s lance is broken into so many splinters as it delivers a tremendous blow to its opponent.

Almer finds himself forced from the saddle by his opponent’s charge.

As the Crakehall knight’s lance proves the surer, the Knight of the Fountain finds himself upended from the saddle! He falls, and collects himself with a rueful laugh before heading back to the sidelines.

A day of upsets! The griffin, like the Knight of the Fountain, finds himself unhorsed! The ill-tempered black charger founders under Ser Almer, and the Crane knight’s lance is true; horse and rider go down. In a few moments, Connington recovers himself and tosses away the broken lance, giving his foe a salute.

Fiona claps excitedly for Elmer then he’s running near the stands and she rises to lean forward enough to touch his hand, a brief caress, really, and he’s wearing a gauntlet, but the gesture is decidedly sweet. She looks back to the group of ladies and smiles then turns and takes her seat quickly, one little flower falling to her lap as she settles. She holds it in one hand, smelling it once, idly, as she watches.

Humfrey arrives late with a layer of dust clining to his boots and trousers, otherwise he is still te habitually well dressed young knight.
A raw, primitive roar escapes from the Crane’s lips. he e raises the significantly shortened lance in the air as a salute to Almer. Then the knight rides to the ladies box and removes his helmet from his head revealing the grinning face of Albyn, ran red due excitement. A wink to Delanei as he speaks. ” How’s the fan doing?” A jest, something the solemn Crane doesn’t often make. His eyes turn even more amused as he looks to his daughter, sitting next to his wife. The little girl holding a two small hands in front of her eyes though it’s obvious she’s been peeking through her fingers. “You can watch now, Ella. Your father has prevailed.”

Miranda gives a muffled little cry of dismay when Almer falls, but when he rises, kisses her fingers to him and smiles. “Two broken lances!” she calls to him.

The herald steps up yet again. “Your Grace! Ser Albyn Crane, to ride against Ser Jaesin Lannister! Ser Willard Ryger, to ride against Ser Alek Reyne!”

A fourth time, the Kingsguard whose white-and-gold panoply is broken only by a lady’s blue favour takes to the lists. Ser Jaesin’s lance is long and straight, his aim level and true; iron-shod hooves ring loudly on the hard-ground earth as he spurs his steed to the clash against Ser Albyn Crane.

The announcement of the herald however changes the situation again. First the Dark Griffin, now one of the Kingsguard! ” No peeking.” Albyn warns his daughter before he bows gently to his wife ” Love you…” and rides off again to face his next opponent.

Jaesin’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.
Albyn’s steady lance and solid seat on its steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of its lance as it shatters.

Both riders weather the powerful blows and remain on horseback.

Hearing his call against Willard, Alek retakes his position at the end of the list. He salutes Willard, the Queen and his wife, looking to Josmyn and smiling at his nephew. Helm equipped, visor down. “Good luck, ser!” He calls, spurring his horse down.

The crack of a double-shattering fills the air as both riders’ lances fall to splinters. When Lannister reaches his end of the lists, he lifts his visor to reveal a flashing grin. “Now, -that- was entertaining,” he laughs!

Joyfully, Ser Jaesin slams down his visor with authority, then sweeps up another lance and rides off to a second tilt. His white steed gains speed….

A surprised grin as well from Albyn as he manages to remain in his seat again. Quickly he changes lance and forces his horse into a fluent gallop again. Lance aimed for the white shield.

Jaesin’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.
Albyn manages only the poorest of blows, lance skittering ineffectually off the corner of a shield.

Albyn is knocked from horseback, armor rattling as it falls.

Willard once again rides towards the stands and bows at the lady whose favour he wears. “Lady Andrya, I ride once again in your name. I have failed you once, but not again. This victory will have your name on it.” he bows from his saddle and rides towards the beginning of the lists, where he prepares for his joust against Ser Alek.

Alek delivers a mediocre blow of the lance, failing to find any purchase with which to unseat his opponent.
Willard strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.

Alek just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.
Josmyn returns Alek’s smile and nods to his uncle. “Good luck - again!”, he calls out to him and perches on his fence again to watch.

Elmer watches the Kingsguard ride and he smiles at the first bout, when Albyn rides gloriously, this is the way a tourney should be. But what will happen in the second tilt? He laughs as Jaesin rides like a demon and his own fist shoots up in the air. “Lannister!”

The weary herald, his normally mellifulous voice raspy with overuse, croaks out the next bout, even as Reyne and Ryger fight on. “Your Grace! Ser Almer Connington, to ride against Ser Jace Rollingford, the Knight of the Fountain!”

Humfrey watches Ser Alek and Josmyn with an almost scholarly detachment while sipping water from a silver cup. His Chestnut eyes, cool and unblinking.

As Connington and Rollingford are called forth, both knights salute the Queen, their ladies, and each other; they are of an age, though old foes since their teens, and known to one another even longer. Ser Almer and Ser Jace level their lances, spurring onward in a fierce onslaught!

Jace strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.
Almer lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.

Jace just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.

Alek keeps his seat, growling lightly at his bad seat. He readjusts his seat, seizing a new lance and charging once more.

“A Griffin! A Griffin,” cries Ser Jaesin aloud! The white-clad Kingsguard makes no secret of his favorite in this tilt, calling out for his cousin of Connington.

This time the lance makes his hit but this isn’t just any opponent. The lance skitters ineffectually from Jaesin’s shield while the Crane himself recieves a powerful blow. This time it more then enough to have Albyn hit the ground with the sound of rattling armor. The drop however is not that hard as the one Lord Serry had to bear so the Crane raises quick enough to salute his opponent. ” The King does well with such men in his guard, ser Jaesin. It was an honour.”

Josmyn eyeballs Humfrey in that are-you-looking-at-me? way when he notices the man stare at him. But then he refocuses on his uncle as Alek rides again.

Willard barely notices the poor hit dealt by Alek, but sees his own lance hit very well. Unfortunately the Reyne knight holds his seat. The heir to Willow Wood salutes his foe and takes a new lance “Ser Alek, good tilt. I will try better this time.” and he rides again.

Alek manages only the poorest of blows, lance skittering ineffectually off the corner of a shield.
Willard’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Alek is driven off the saddle by his opponent’s skillful charge.

Miranda glances at the Queen, who has signalled to the herald. “Word of Lord Serry?” she asks. “I wish to know how he does.” She does not sound pleased to have had no word yet. Meanwhile, the Fossoway maiden, half a pair of twins now, watches Almer jousting with bright eyes.

As the clash is indecisive, Almer spins his horse and snatches up another lance… four have been broken, of a seven that were vowed. He nods his dark-helmed head, the griffin wings on it vaguely menacing. Jace likewise turns, laughing as is his wont, and with a new lance, the two champions charge again!

Jace’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.
Almer’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.

Jace struggles to keep to the saddle for a few instants, before finally succumbing and sliding to the ground.

Having congratulated his fallen opponent, Ser Albyn, some minutes before, Ser Jaesin is cheering from the end of the lists. “Huzzah,” cries the Lannister, visibly glad for Ser Almer’s triumph.

“Four lances!” cries Miranda before she can stop herself. The other ladies may not speak to her, but she seems quite pleased to be as she is, tucked into her corner of the viewing stands.

The Knight of the Fountain’s luck has dried up indeed. Ser Jace goes tumbling, and Ser Almer rides on. The fourth lance is destroyed, and his vow to the Lady Miranda is that much closer to fulfillment. Connington salutes the fallen Rollingford knight, and urges his horse near the stands. He lifts his dark visor, giving his chosen lady a laugh and a smile. “Four indeed, my lady!” Almer lowers the visor, then canters back to the lists, her red ribbon fluttering on his arm.

Alek is knocked clean from his saddle. He then sits up and starts hobbling from tue field. “Well played, Ser Willard!” Alek calls, bowing slightly, moving off to collapse into a chair at his pavillion.

Jannia giggles at the outburst of Miranda, she smiles at the lady, and turns back to the box. ” I am always pleased to see some as excited as I, and it is also good to see her in good spirits.” said to the ladies. She frowns only a touch as Alek is unhorsed, “He jousted well today.” she nods in her resolve.

And another blow from Alek that is average at best as Willard’s own strikes true. He reins his destrier in, jumps off and salutes his opponent “Ser Alek, a good joust. A pity, you won’t be riding again. Your skill deserves better” he bows again. And walks off the field.

Andrya cannot hide her joy at that and she beams to the Ryger knight as he unhorses Ser Alek, clapping amiably and sinking into her seat with a wide smile. “They both have.” Andrya agrees with her sister.

Sitting to the side where be belongs, Urston Coldwater held his empty wineskin forlornly, as he looked about every few minutes, hoping to see a servant running back with news of Lord Serry. None came. Alone and long forgotten by the others at the tourney, except of course for remaining fresh in the minds of all his new enemies, Urston shivered sadly, and thought back to earlier, when he had wondered if being chosen to joust with Justyn was fate or chance. Either way, the day had soured for the poor Coldwater knight, while the tourney bustled around him, his sympathisers having long since moved on. He wondered if Justyn would have scars. If Justyn would wake up.

Walking to his own field chair again, defeated but proud, he notices Urston still sitting there with the face of a sad looking dog. Albyn gives the chair beneath Urston a kick to attract his attention as he looks down to the Coldwater knight. ” Man up, for the Seven’s sake! He’ll live through it. Now…” Looking for his servant he calls the boy and orders the lad to give Urston another cup of wine.

The end is in sight for the exhausted dragon-herald “Your Grace! Ser Almer Connington, to ride against Ser Willard Ryger!”

Drinking down the offered wine eagerly, Urston sets it aside and turns to Albyn, who are least seemed to care, though was clearly losing patience with him. “Thank you, Ser. I don’t deserve such kind treatment. Even the Maester looked like he wanted my head on a pyke, and I am wearing his families favour!” Urston said sadly, before drinking more and sighing. “I shall check on Justyn tonight, as soon as the tourney is over. I.. I want you to know your kindness is genuinely appreciated, I don’t want to seem ungrateful.”

A hand suddenly appears on Urston’s shoulder. “Ser Urston Coldwater, yes?” The voice is owned by Ser Alek Reyne. Albyn is more or less ignored barring a cold nod. “Are you well? You seem mororse, ser.”

With hurried steps, a herald arrives from the Red Keep to deliver news to the Queen. With a moment’s pause to compose himself, giving a formal bow to the Queen and Court, the herald notes, “Lord Serry remains unconscious, your Grace. Maester Talbard is seeing to his wounds. It seems he will yet live, but…” the herald trails off nervously, “Well, it seems grim, your Grace.”

His last bout barely done, Almer hears his name once more. He sees his foe and the willow tree cognizance, though his expression is a mystery behind the steel visor. Connington takes a black lance up, addressing his shield with the single dark griffin on it, and waits for the herald’s sign. When given, Almer spurs into another charge.

“Ser… Ser Reyne!” Urston said happily, remembering the officer from days earlier in the solar. “I… I am well, Ser. I just needed a drink. Company would be welcome…” Urston trailed off, hopeful

As the herald calls out the new pairs Willard scowls again. The famous jouster Ser Almer? And he thought Ser Jaesin was the end of bad things. But, what to do? He jumps onto his grey destrier and rides up to the stands “My lady of Tully. I promise to do the best I can not to soil your name, nor to fail your trust in me.” he salutes her and snaps his visor shut. Riding to the lists he takes a lance and salutes ser Almer. “I wish you luck, ser. And I wish the same upon myself” he smiles under the visor and charges.

Willard lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
Almer’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.

Willard just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.

“Then you shall have it, ser.” Alek says, looking about. “Assuming the /esteemed/ Ser Albyn does not mind?” Alek says, his green gaze moving to Crane. By Reyne’s voice its clear that there is some bad blood.

The Queen, so young and herself excited, hears the herald gravely. “We will pray for Lord Serry’s recovery. The grand maester himself will be sent for to look at him.” She waves a hand and a footman goes running.

Walking to his own field chair again, defeated but proud, he notices Urston still sitting there with the face of a sad looking dog. Albyn gives the chair beneath Urston a kick to attract his attention as he looks down to the Coldwater knight. ” Man up, for the Seven’s sake! He’ll live through it. Now…” Looking for his servant he calls the boy and orders the lad to give Urston another cup of wine. ” ...drink up and stop looking like you’ve killed the man. Besides, we reachmen don’t die that easily.” Then he turns around, leaving Urston with Alek and walks to the ladies box. In front of it he removes the half-cloak he got as favor from his wife and calls for his daughter. The six-year old descends towards her father, shyly looking at all the noble ladies around. Smiling gently to his daughter, Albyn leans forwards to kiss her on the forehead. ” Honey. Will you give my cloak to your mother? I don’t want her to catch a cold in this misty weather.” Handing over the cloak he gives her an Off-you-go-push. Then a gentle smile and nod to the other ladies around. ” Ladies.” After that the Crane turns to get to his field chair again and watch the jousts.

Five. Five lances shivered, and the dark griffin rides on; Almer snatches up another lance with his usual poised grace, and turns his black mount to face the foe once more. He is a practiced hand at crowd-pleasing, and so it is with more than his usual panache that the Connington knight spurs back into a second course, and a sixth lance!

Elmer watches the fighting and stands by the woman’s pavilion, looking at Fiona from now and then, her beauty making his eyes sparkle every tome. He wears a little flower behind his ear too, and he seems perfectly happy.

She Nods to Albyn as he makes his leave. Vaguely hearing the news on Justyn, Jannia sighs in relief, for Katla’s sake…. for now, and turns back to the games where Willard is almost unhorsed.

“Thank you, Ser Alek.” Urston said, passing the man his wineskin. During one of his now ritualistic scanning’s of the area, Urston notices a herald adressing the queen. News of Lord Serry? It had to be! Urston stared at the Queen, trying to guage what she may have heard, and noticed a footman run off hastily. What?

Ser Jaesin, awaiting the winner of this tilt, cheers again for his friend the Griffin. Some might remark on the would-be folly of this, for Ser Almer is as renowned a lancer as the Lannister himself—and should he win, the Connington will face Jaesin.

Melissa frowns as there is no improvement in the lord’s state but she must pass up the word now and focus again. There is still a champion to consider and she’s a little bleary eyed from the day around her. She watches the other ladies, and smiles, hoping for a quick and desicive victory soon.

Barely. He barely held on to his seat, but he did and that is all that matters. “Almost there…” he mutters under his nose, then he again calls out to the Connington knight “Ser Almer. That was a fine hit. Let us repeat try that again.” he takes a new lance and charges at his opponent.

Willard’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.
Almer’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Both riders weather the powerful blows and remain on horseback.

“Ah-ha! Well struck, well struck,” calls Ser Jaesin as both lances shatter!

Alyce seems less relieved by the news about Lord Serry. Shaking her head, she simply looks through all the fighting. After a while, she speaks to the other ladies.

Six. One more to that holiest of numbers, and to a vow fulfilled. Almer laughs now, his voice strange behind the visor, and tosses away the shattered haft of his sixth lance. He turns to the stands now, his eyes upon Miranda Fossoway; she is a dark flower in a sea of colorful plumage, and easy enough to spot.

He takes up that seventh, and sacred, lance; the griffin turns his lathered horse, taps spurs to flanks, and launches into another fierce charge at the Ryger.

“Do not worry about Lord Serry.” Alek says, waving a hand. “The man is a tough one.” He does, however, decline the wineskin. “No, ser, I am still to attend another joust later this day, it would not do to fall off my horse and do my opponent’s job.”

Miranda claps her hands to her mouth, the vision of maidenly excitement. “Six,” she breathes, watching. “Oh, he will break it, won’t he?” she asks of no one. “He must break the seventh.”

“Very well” Urston said, draining the wineskin with ease. “I am going to find out what the herald told the ladies, care to join me? I hope it’s news of Justyn” Urston said hopefully, looking at Ser Alek, far too nervous to approach the stand in his semi-drunk dishounoured state alone
Humfre turns away from the joust and his goblet to look toward the ladies seating, an unblinking stare, a moment then he turns back toward the lists.

Even when luck is on his side, it is even moreso on his opponent’s. Willard curses and catches another lance thrown. His shield is already dented, but this doesn’t matter now. He presses his right hand to his lips, kissing the signet with the two die showing the holy numer “VII” for luck, and rides again, focused and hopeful.

Willard lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
Almer’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Willard just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.

“I know my good-nephew, ser.” Alek says. “It would take more than that to tear him from his betrothed.” Taking his waterskin from his squire and drinking some down, he says. “But if you insist, I shall accompany you.”“

“Well well,” The Kingsguard remarks to a nearby squire, a youth in crimson and gold Lannister livery. “This Ryger rides well. Twice Ser Almer has shattered a lance on him, and yet he keeps his seat. Admirable!”

Fiona smiles at Elmer then her attention goes back to the lists as the brackets become smaller and smaller. She clutches the little flower in one hand while one remains in her hair and sits forward on her seat, anxious.

Standing up surprisingly gracefully considering how much wine was in his system, Urston and Ser Alek walked over to the ladies’ seating area promptly “Lady Jannia?” Urston called up, hoping desperately nobody glared at him with the hate he dreaded would be there “Was.. Was that news of Justyn?”

A bit restless, Albyn rises from his chair and walks over to Jaesin. ” Greetings, ser. The Ryger is doing well.” he states to open up the conversation.

The final lance of the seven is shattered, and Ser Almer rises in his stirrups; the broken weapon is held high. He glances back over a shoulder to see that Ser Willard has nobly ridden, and he laughs again. The crowd, sensing that something of import has happened, looks on in bated breath.

“Ser Willard Ryger!” calls the griffin knight, dropping the broken lance and unlacing his helm. “Hold! My promise is now kept, and I yield to you the field of honour!”

He turns his sweating horse back toward the Queen and the viewstands; his short, fair hair is plastered to his brow, and his grey eyes are bright. “My Lady Miranda!” he calls. “For love of you, my vow is fulfilled!”

Alyce looks up when the pair of knights walk over. Although the woman beside her is addressed, the Bar Emmon still turns her gaze upon Urston. Surely there is anger, but also worry and sorrow so that her normally vivid cobalt blue has become a murkier shade. She sharply looks away, jaw trembling a bit, letting Jannia respond.

Jannia looks down to Urston and Alek, nods,and offers him a sympathetic smile, “He lives Ser… But I believe his health is still in question. At least that is what I could gather from the quiet announcement to the queen.”

“See, ser? I told you all will be well.” He says, “Lord Justyn is a tough man. He will see this through.” Bowing to Jannia, Alek smiles. “Thank you for the news, my lady. It is most appreciated.

From horseback, Ser Jaesin Lannister glances down toward Ser Albyn Crane, a genial smile on his lips. He opens his mouth to reply, but then Ser Almer… cedes the field?

The Kingsguard looks back up, scanning the lists for Almer there, in the center—and he can’t keep from grinning. “Ah, there! You see? Chivalry from the vaunted warrior. We’ll make a Lannister of him yet!” Then he claps his hands together thrice. “Well done!”

The Queen and her ladies all exclaim in delight at Almer’s announcement, but Miranda just sits quietly on her bench in her mourning. Her eyes, however, green and wide, are bright and smiling at the knight who bears a simple apple-red ribbon taking from her hair.

At the Queen’s urging she rises. “I hold your vow fulfilled, Ser Knight,” she calls to him. “May all honor and glory be yours!”

Breathing an audible sigh of relief at the news Justyn had not yet perished, Urston worked up the courage to take a quick glance at Lady Alyce, to see if the look of hate that would of been hardest to cope with was there. Urston was unable to read the expression in her eyes. Was that good or bad? Falling in line with Alek and bowing to Jannia, Urston voiced his thanks “Thank you, my lady.” he said, all his inner turmoil clear in his tone.

Melissa frowns as the ladies give Urston a powerful glare. This is the joust, these things happen, horrible as they are. She glances over to Jannia and then to Alek and Urston in front of them and says, “We know no harm was intended in such fashion, ser knight, but we do hope that this injury is being well tended to. Ease your mind for now, and know you rode honorably.”

Elmer grins at Almer’s words. “Well, one must know when to stop, if one accomplishes a vow.” His helmet off, long unruly hair plastered to his head he smiles towards Fiona. “Is there a challenge you will set on me now, my lady?”

Jannia nods back and offers Alek a friendly smile, “It was my pleasure Ser Alek, you have proven yourself well today… If I might add.” She nods to Urston in kind offering him the same courtesies “My pleasure ser.”

“Very chivalrous indeed.” Albyn admits, looking a bit surprised though. But then he applauds politely for ser Almer as well.

The young Ryger again rides well, but his opponent’s hit is much stronger. Yet he -still- refuses to fall. He reins his horse in and call for another lance, when he hears the Connington knight speak. What feelings fly through his face under the visor is unknown, but when he speaks, he speaks clearly “Ser Almer! You rode admirably and should be proclaimed the victor, yet I understand the importance of vows and thank you for giving me this honour.” he rides closer to his opponent nd offers a mailed gauntlet “It was a pleasure, and an honour to tilt against you. I want you to promise me, though, that one day we will finish what we started here…”

The royal herald, brow quirked at the surprising turn of events, nods curtly. “Very well, then. Ser Almer Connington yields to Ser Willard Ryger! Your Grace, Ser Willard Ryger, to ride against the Kingsguard, Ser Jaesin Lannister!”

There is a lull while Ser Almer yields and his lady reacts, then the Queen has raised her hands and the crowd roars its approval for the chivalric deed in an event that glories in chivalry.

A hand is clapped upon Urston’s shoulder, before the Reyne knight’s eyes find his wife nearby. Responding to Jannia first, however, Alek smiles. “My thanks for the words, my lady.” He bows. “Especially from a house as esteemed as the Tully’s.” Looking back to his wife, Alek smiles warmly and bows to his lady, before looking back to Urston. “Shall we return to our seats, ser?”

Josmyn claps for Almer’s chivalric deed as well, before he goes to join Alek and Urston wherever they are sitting.

“Yes, we shall. Thank you again, ladies” Urston said, bowing deeply, which made his head swim from the drink. Walking back with Ser Alek, Urston was as graceful as he could be, though not as graceful as he should be in this situation

Aside to Ser Albyn who stands beside him, Ser Jaesin says quietly, “I’d looked forward to riding against Connington, but this will serve. Ryger rides well, and will prove a stout challenge.” Then he spurs his horse forth.

Ser Jaesin takes up a lance, and pauses at the end of the lists to salute his opponent. Then they are off, gathering momentum, and the long, pale shaft of his lance is lowering inexorably to hold steady, parallel to the ground, couched to strike.

“Good luck, ser.” Albyn offers to Jaesin as the next joust is announced. Then he walks back to his own seat, crossing Urston and Alek. ” Anything of Lord Serry?” he asks to Urston, only the slightest of glances reserved for Alek.

Jannia claps as the true spirit of the games comes out in Almer. “Well done ser.“She says to herself.

Fiona looks to her husband and smiles then kisses the flower she holds in her hand and answers, “Keep the flower safe!” and she grins then sits back to watch again. Her eyes lift to Alek and she smiles, “Uncle, a grand day no?” she asks, eyes dancing merrily.

Andrya claps eagerly for both Ser Almer’s deed and her champion, her eyes wide and excited from witnessing it all “That was chivalry indeed” she states. Smiling brightly, she murmurs a silent “Good luck” for the Ryger knight as he prepares himself to joust against the Lannister knight again.

The young Ryger is called upon again, just after tiresome three tilts against Ser Almer. Luckily a new lance is already in his hand. He salutes his opponent “I wish you luck, ser. And myself as well” and with that he rides.

Jaesin’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.
Willard lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.

Willard just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.

Once their seats are retaken, Alek clicks his fingers for his squire. “Do you drink ale, ser?” Alek asks, “For I am afraid that is all I have. I have to be in a certain mood to drink wine.”

And then Josmyn appears. “Aah, nephew, please join us.” He says, looking to Urston. “Ser Urston, do you know my nephew? Ser Josmyn Reyne?”

“We know each other, Uncle.”, Josmyn confirms to Alek with a smile, “When Ser Urston was upset about unhorsing Justyn in that way I told him about… the accident in Highgarden,” he explains.

Lance shattered again, the Kingsguard reaches the far end of the lists and seizes the replacement offered him by a squire. “Seven hells, the man has good balance,” Ser Jaesin remarks, amazement in his voice. Then he wheels his white charger and is back on the course, bearing down on Ser Willard once more.

“Ale would be perfect right now.” Urston said, with a grimace that was as close to a grin as he was likely to get until Justyn woke up again. “I do know Ser Josmyn, we have been sparring and jousting in preperation for this day for a week now.” Urston said, giving a familiar nod to one of his few friends

Humfrey comes to his feet and claps with the nobles and the Commons at Ser Almer’s act of chivalry. A pearlescent smile splits his face when Ser Jaesin tilts with Willard the Westerland knight winces at the impact of and splintering of Jaesin’s lance on Willard’s shield any nearby would hear him remark to a page bearing the crest of his house, “that one’s the true steel.”

Elmer almost blushes himself, and he raises the flower in his hand, soft and delicate, a true wildflower. He Beams towards Fiona. “My lady has issued me a new challenge! And I shall indeed strive to do her quest.” Not such a feat of arms as Almer’s yet..something more intimate. He places the flower in his left hand, holding it as his Shield rests on his arms. He gives an approving nod at Jaesin’s run.

And the same again. A good hit, but the opponent hits even better. “Ser Jaesin, I now see with my own eyes why they say that the Kingsguard consists of the best knights in Westeros” he kisses his signet again, takes up a new lance and rushes on, only for a brief moment noticing how ruined his shield has become.

Jaesin’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.
Willard’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Willard struggles to keep to the saddle for a few instants, before finally succumbing and sliding to the ground.

Even as his horse rides on down the lane, Ser Jaesin is tossing aside the haft of his broken lance and lifting his visor for air. A broad smile is on his handsome face, and when he wheels about to approach his fallen foe it is with a look of benediction. “Well done, Ser Willard, well done,” Lannister says. “You can ride beside me in any clash of arms.”

Then he canters down to the lists’ end, where he can prepare for the final tilt—and Ser Elmer, with whom he rode a lonely training run not one night agone.

The last pair to practice, and now the last pair to contest the prize.

Elmer watches Jaesin ride so brilliantly, and smiles. He looks at the small flower in his hnad and shakes his head, then, without putting on his helmet, he rides to the Queen. He bows in the saddle. “Your Highness…I was given a quest by my own keep her small flower safe. And I am afraid that I could not do that against a knight of Ser Jaesin’s valor. Do I have your leave to withdraw and grant Ser Jaesin the victory?”

Josmyn boggles when he hears Elmer’s words and looks towards the ladies’ box to see how his sister reacts, before burying his face at Alek’s shoulder.

“Lady Jannia says his condition is stable, but not promising” Urston replies to Ser Albyn. “He.. He should be okay, but they won’t know for sure yet.” Urston sighed and drained half his ale rapidly. “You jousted well, Ser. Very well…”

Nodding to Urston, Alek’s squire moves forward with an aleskin before offering Josmyn one also.

“It is good to hear that you are getting along, sers.” Alek says, smiling genially. “I hope that you /are/ getting along?” He asks.

“He’ll get through it. Don’t worry.” Then a slight nod of appreciation. ” Love seems to fuel ones abilities.” Albyn replies.

“You have our leave, yes,” says the Queen from her gilded chair. “But you must go and beg your lady’s forgiveness, Ser Elmer, and keep her better next time.” The remonstrance is given with a smile, and there is no ire in it at all.

Willard admires the skies from the ground. As the Kinsguard approaches he sits up and finally stands.“Thank you for your kind words, ser. It is a lesson of humility that every man needs to learn once in a while. You were aworthy opponent, and unhorsed me twice today. I feel this is the just result” and he bows gracefully, leading his destrier to the stands, where he again finds himself in front of lady Andrya.

“My lady, I have tried my best and only the power of one of the finest knights in the realm, for that is what the Kingsguard are, fell me. I owe it all to your favour, to your beauty and to the love that fed this tourney. I thank you for having faith in me.” Willard bows gallantly once more and moves towards his tent with a steady pace.

Having sat in the ladies’ stands, somber as can be since Lord Serry’s tragic fall, Alyce suddenly blinks at Elmer’s request to the Queen. A moment later, she covers her mouth with her hand in an attempt to muffle the melodic tinkling that is her giggling. She even looks to Fiona apologetically, but cannot stop the laughter; all she can do is mute it a bit by pressing her lips tightly together and looking away.

Josmyn looks confused. “Who? Ser Urston and me? Yea sure.”, he assures Alek carelessly and takes the wineskin. He’s been drinking steadily since his own dishonorable early exit from the joust and none too sober. “But what in the Warrior’s name is Elmer thinking? If I was Fiona, I’d let him sleep in the yard for a week…”

The royal herald seems energized, as the final two knights must now ride. “Your Grace! Ladies, lords, knights, and good people of King’s Landing!” He does not need to add ‘good -drunken- people’, though most of the crowd have been imbibing since daybreak. “Now we come to the final pair! And when these two gallants have run their course, Her Grace the Queen commands the ladies present to choose their victor, who will crown our Queen of Love and Beauty!”

A deputy herald comes dashing up, whispering in his ear, and presumably informing him of Queen Daena’s edict. “Ahem. Well now, most peculiar indeed,” mutters the herald. Then, louder: “Ser Elmer Crakehall yields the victory to Ser Jaesin Lannister of the Kingsguard! Ser Jaesin Lannister, the final champion on the field!”

“Uh, yes Ser Alek. Josmyn and I have been getting on rather well so far, though he has gotten more and more proficient at disarming me in our sparring matches.” And to Ser Albyn “That is does, Ser. Mayhaps if the lady whose favour I wear had been here, today wouldn’t have ended so… unfortunately for me. I plan to visit Justyn as soon as the queen of love and beauty is crowned!”

Elmer looks at Willard and nods his head in respect then, holding the flower, he kneels before Fiona and smiles. “You are worth to me more than any victory, and your quest….it pleases me to fulfill it.” He looks her in the eyes. “Will you forgive me for the way I kept it?”

“I shall join you.” Alek says, “He is my good-nephew, after all. And a Lord of Westeros. We should pay our respects.” Alek then looks to Josmyn. “Will you be coming with us, Josmyn?” He asks.

Unable to hear whatever words transpire betwixt Ser Elmer and the Queen, still Ser Jaesin observes their conversation from afar. As the gist of Crakehall’s gambit becomes apparent, the White Lion of House Lannister lets his shield slide from his left arm, and into the waiting hands of a squire. Then he raises both hands to lift his helm from his head, and shakes out his thick golden curls.

Josmyn nods to Alek. “Yes, of course… but let us wait until the Queen and Winner are announced.”, he says, then turns to clap for the Kingsguard who just walked to victory.

Jannia is impressed with the result and claps as the champion is announced and for what reason… She sits waiting to hear the results of the joust.

Still mounted astride his lucky white charger—the one that bore him to four triumphs, not the blood bay on whose back he was upset—Ser Jaesin, white knight of the Kingsguard, guides the horse to a halt before the ladies’ booth. There he lifts his right arm—the one with the blue favor tied ‘round—and waves in salute toward the Jewel of the Eyrie, Jyana Arryn.

Albyn applauds as well for the Kingsguard who had bested him just before. Then he waits -with interest- for the announcement of the ladies. A slight cunning smile as he thinks of how much joy they must have had during the whole event, scheming and whispering along.

She’s been on the edge of her seat the entire joust, watching anxiously. Every time Jaesin Lannister has come onto the field, worry has briefly crossed Jyana Arryn’s face. But she’s remained calm and poised in her spot beside Queen Daena’s. Each victory has brought relief to the Jewel of the Eyrie’s face. And as the final round is finished, she joins in with cheers, applauding the Kingsguard along with everyone else. Jaesin’s wave is returned, as well, the Jewel smiling warmly.

With a look to the ladies around her, Melissa Lannister rises and says, “There is no alternative this day. He has fulfilled his promised vow, honored the fallen, and given the ladies of the court faith again in the dignity of chivalry.” She smiles and says, “We are firm in our choice, though there are certainly some that are as deserving of victory today. The ladies choose Ser Almer Connington as the champion of the Tournament of Love.” She raises her glass to the man, grinning brightly to him, “A most gracious victory, with our congratulations and respect. We are honored by your ride and actions this day.”

Jannia raises her glass in kind. And nods to Melissa’s words.

Clapping briefly for the victor, and drinking his ale all the heavier when he recalled all the times he had dreamed of winning this tourney, Urston smiled along with the rest quietely, impatiently wanting to visit Ser Justyn’s sickbed

Ser Jaesin arches his golden eyebrows at that, a wry smile twisting his lips as his cousin of Connington is proclaimed the champion by acclamation. He touches his lips with two fingers, likely unnoticed amid the tumult, and blows a chaste kiss to the Jewel of the Eyrie.

Willard has no choice, but to clap for the Connington knight. His gesture was pure chivalry and a very intelligent ploy for gathering the ladies’ votes.

Elmer laughs softly towards his wife and applauds Almer’s election as champion. But as he does he does notice Jaesin’s gesture and his smile deepens. “Yet even Kingsguard are allowed a choice and feeling..and he only takes Fiona’s hand, squeezing it lightly.

Josmyn claps for Almer as well, then he trails after Alek and Urston to check on Justyn before going to drown himself in wine.

Fiona applauds for the announced winner, that’s how the votes go sometimes, it’s likely no secret who wins in her book. “You were spectacular today,” she says with a smile, her voice soft, barely above a whisper toward Elmer.

Albyn as well applauds for the Connington. A slight smile though on his lips as he thinks about it. That one would make a fine politician, he thinks.

Andrya claps and nods approvingly as the Connington knight is declared the winner of the Tourney of love, smiling to all the ladies around her and watching the proceedings.

Jyana frowns mildly at the result, but it’s hardly noticable. Especially when Jaesin blows her that kiss, and a smile replaces the frown on her face. A small kiss is placed upon her palm, and blown in the Kingsguard’s direction. Then, she turns, clapping for Almer with that smile lingering on her features.

Now that the joust is done, Ser Almer is visibly relaxed in the saddle. Bareheaded, he sits his horse near the noble ladies’ stands, chatting amiably with those nearest the railing. But his eyes go periodically up, up, to the lady in black whose favour he still wears.

And then, the Lady Melissa rises and speaks, and he smiles. “Lady Melissa. Ladies. I am deeply honored by your kind regard.” He places a mailed hand to his breast, then guides his horse toward the Queen’s box.

Humfrey and the youth and the Page serving him both applaud for the the Knight of Griffin’s Roost, the boy even shouts a few words of encouragment. Humfrey just smiles.

Alyce applauds for Ser Almer along with the rest, her expression a simply polite courtly smile now. It is likely she is itching to leave and check on the hurt knight with some of the others.

Still seated astride his own white charger, the martial victor of the Tourney of Love—Ser Jaesin Lannister of the Kingsguard—lowers his voice as Ser Almer moves past upon his own steed. His lips move, but his voice is to quiet to be heard by any but the Connington knight.

“Well done, Almer. Perhaps tomorrow, you and I will meet in the lists, and you can acknowledge the -true- champion today,” he quips, full of good-natured laughter as he teases his friend.

The chief herald appears, bearing upon a velvet pillow the crown of the Queen of Love and Beauty; it is a delicate thing, autumn flowers and leaves, intertwined with golden wire. He offers it to Ser Almer.

Connington, having no lance at hand to place the crown upon, instead draws his sword. The herald grins, setting the crown upon the point.

The griffin knight turns his horse to walk it along the stands, the trembling crown dangling from the blade. He pauses a moment, before the lovely young maiden of Fossoway, all in her mourning black.

Miranda catches his eye and there is pride there for him, but she shakes her head ever so subtly and touches the black veil over her hair. She is not smiling; indeed, she raises a linen handkerchief to her face to hide her tears. It is only when he passes her by that she looks back.

Out of the corner of his eyes, Albyn notices the concealed exchange of flying kisses between the white knight and the Arryn beauty. Although a slight frown appears on his forehead, he quickly manages to refrain from it. ” Interesting” he thinks just before he sees his wife and daughter approach. With a bright smile he catches and lifts his running daughter, holding her against his side while he waits for Delanei to arrive. Giving his wife a kiss on her forehead he grins and shifts his attention to the announcement of the Queen of Love.

Elmer watches Almer and he holds Fiona’s hand. Who will Almer choose? It does seem to be a mistery, and he smiles, there is only one Queen of Love and Beauty for him.

Jannia sits drinking her cup of wine, taking in the merriment that goes on all around her, when she finishes her cup she gestures for more.

Melissa smiles as she watches the proceeding and sips her wine, looking rather pleased but also very tired from this long day of jousting…“My goodness, there’s still more to come today isn’t there?” She laughs and says, “I believe I am done with wine until this evening. Ser Anton would be delighted to hear this.”

Fiona looks to Elmer and grins, “Either way it’s simply a grand day..” she comments, waiting like everyone else to hear who is chosen.

As all eyes follow Ser Almer, the Lannister is helped down from his steed—still in his ceremonial white-and-gold plate—by a pair of Lannister squires in their livery of crimson-and-gold. To a quiet query, he answers lightly:

“That’s how it goes, lads. Doubtless the ladies who voted were wroth that I left their lovers on their backsides.” Light his tongue, and light his eyes at the jest; Ser Jaesin is all flashing smiles.

As the Lady Miranda subtly declines him, only the most perceptive might see the flicker of emotion in Almer’s visage. But still, he rides on.

With so many virtuous and beautiful ladies, it is nearly an impossible choice. But a choice must be made.

So it is that the knight pauses, his blade steady, and the autumn crown is dropped into the ladp of a lady. The young Princess Rhaena Targaryen, oft overshadowed by her illustrious siblings, but just as often, Almer’s good luck charm!

Princess Rhaena, only fifteen, blushes with pleasure. She rises to take the crown and put it on her head, then make Almer a pretty curtsy. “Thank you, Ser Almer, most gallant knight,” she says in a high, sweet voice. Then the Queen rises to make her closing remarks, thanking them all for so exciting a joust, and bidding them go to the pavilion field where there is a feast laid for all.

Albyn shouts along with the crowd for the newly crowned Queen of Love and then turns to leave the tourney field with his wife, daughter and ...a young teenager clad in the black, silver and yellow of House Costayne.

Alyce rises, then curtsies to the rest of the ladies. After bidding them all fond farewells, she files out of the stands, her destination obvious to any who have been paying attention.

As Ser Jaesin and his squires return toward the various pavilions, they are met by his old captain of the guard, Ser Brion Lantell. The Lannisport man smirks, clapping the Kingsguard on the shoulder. “Ah, Jaes,” he chuckles. “Even when you win, you lose.”

Ser Jaesin meets the other’s look with a grin. “Bother that, Brion,” he says. “Have you ever known me to let a flock of hens determine how I carry myself? I won the day, and well you know it. Besides—it may be for the best.”

Elmer gasps at the bold choice made by Connington. “Oh, my, our Griffin is certainly ambitious, is he not?” he asks his lady , before offering her his arm to lead her home.

Fiona grins at Elmer and nods, “Boldness seems the order of the day,” and she slips her hand through the crook of his arm.