Blood of Dragons

The 'A Song of Ice and Fire' MUSH


Jousting with Jaesin
IC Date: Day 18 of Month 12, 163 AC. (about 11 am)
RL Date: August 17, 2012.
Participants: Jaesin Lannister, Elmer Crakehall, Janden Melcolm, Dagur Saltcliffe, Astos Corbray, Theonald Locke, Jyana Arryn, Elrone Darklyn, Elyse Meadows and Dermett Corbray.
Locations: Riverrun: Tourney Ground.
Comments: Epic joust is epic.

Summary: Jaesin Lannister is a main source of practice for other knights looking to test themselves against him before the Riverrun Tourney. Though Jaesin splits a pair of tilts with Dagur Saltcliffe, it’s the second one between the Kingsguard and Janden Melcolm that will lead to stories being told.

The rains and mist of earlier in the week have passed, and the sun shines down upon the fields below Riverrun. The glare off the river itself in the distance lends the horizon a sparkling sheen, and the clear blue skies lend their cheer to a crisp, autumn day.

The scents of harvest and fallen leaves are blown about on the breeze, but so too the more prosaic smells of horse and of men—for here, great pavilions have been erected, and stables, and tents.

Not a few folk from the Tullys’ citadel have come out to watch the knights from King’s Landing and verily, all across the realm at practice. For the tourney is in two days, the grand celebration of the lord’s daughters’ wedding, and if one of those daughters is no longer being married, well—there is always the jousting, and these famous knights.

Not least in the favor of the crowd is one of the famed White Swords, Ser Jaesin Lannister. He has never ridden in the lists at Riverrun before, and among those scattered knots of folk gathered in the viewing stands, the Kingsguard’s every move is watched with scrutiny.

How he sets his foot in the stirrup, there at the lists’ southern end? How he rides in the saddle? How he tests the heft of the ash in his hand, and laughs with the Targaryen squires that aid him?

Oh, all these things and more are taken in! But Ser Jaesin himself seems unaware or uncaring—both, perhaps.

Elmer walks onto the field, the tall knight wearing the black steel gilded armor he won at the Baratheon-Tully wedding, his destrier brought along by his squire. His eyes are surprisingly clear, he doesn’t seem to have been drinking. He raises his gauntleted hand towards the Kingsguard. “What brings you to the field today, Ser Jaesin?” he calls out.

Back in armor and atop his courser, Janden Melcolm feels more at home for purposes of preparing for a joust instead of traveling multiple days with all the roughing it that goes along with it. The tourney itself promises to have a very strong field from the things he’s been hearing, so a good showing in it would be a nice thing in his favor.

Practice is a necessary thing, knights learning how to fall along with how to knock others off their horses long before they’re allowed to call themselves knights. When Malwyn Hightower pauses in helping Janden prepare for a ride, the knight looks over to see why: Jaesin Lannister. “I’d wondered if he might join the lists. If he does, we might all be aiming for second best,” he says to his squire with a hint of a grin.

Turning his attention from the squire below him to where Ser Elmer Crakehall strides clanking in his expensive armor, Ser Jaesin laughs and acknowledges his father’s liegeman with an expansive wave.

“This, Elmer! Can’t you smell it in the air?”

Jaesin draws in a deep breath, visibly drinking in the atmosphere of the day, a broad grin splitting his face. “Ah! I -missed- this, Crakehall! Only a fool waits for the morrow when today is there for the taking.”

Elmer sniffs, and shakes his head. “I can only smell a camp where several hundred horses have been staying for a while. Rather pungent.” he chuckles, but then he can afford to be witty he doesn’t have to live with the restrictions of a White Sword. “Are you riding then? Will you try your lance against us?”

Janden brings his courser closer to Jaesin and Elmer, in time to pick up the tail end of the Crakehall’s query. “I think the question is, will we be trying ours against his?” the Valeknight joins in. His armor is plain as it comes, no special markings or designs on plate or helm. On the lists, one of the few things that separates him from the rest is the hint of red hair that would be seen at the edges of the helm, which is currently tucked in at an elbow.

The Lannister laughs at Ser Elmer’s question, and actually looks amused. “I’d try my lance against the Dragonknight if he were here,” Jaesin quips, in the wake of Ser Janden’s question, “but since he’s not, I suppose the pair of you will have to do.”

Still grinning, the golden-haired Kingsguard holds out a hand for his burnished helm, the rampant lion crest on it gold in the sunlight. “Now then,” he asks. “Who’s first?”

Elmer salutes Melcolm, he actually started to like the other knight after he behaved like a gentleman taking Reyna Saltcliffe away from a most distressing situation in a singing contest. “Yeah, we’d only need the Dragonknight and that serpent Dayne, and we’d stand no chance…you go right ahead Melcolm, I’ll watch at first.”

“Aidan Dayne’s a fine knight, for all that he’s Dornish,” Ser Jaesin dryly responds as he sets his helm atop his golden curls, though the visor’s still raised. “We’ve tilted twice, and it’s split between us. The man is chivalrous enough… surprising for a Dornish, true, but he’s the best of the lot by far.”

“That’d be a sight to behold,” Janden says of the prospect of a tilt between Jaesin and Aemon. “I remember well the ransom I earned against Prince Aegon, but I think the sight of him falling hurt him more than the dragons spent afterward,” he japes, looking between the other men. “How long has it been since you’ve been unhorsed, ser?” he wonders of Jaesin, adding, “I’ll face you, and I look forward to the attempt.” He offers a hand toward Jaesin to clasp as he brings his courser alongside, a basic gesture made. “Practice is good for all, is it not?”

Ser Astos Corbray emerges from his tent, his grey-blue eyes narrowing slightly as they take in the ongoing jousting practice. He does not intend any jousting at the moment, it would seem, as he wears a grey doublet and black breeches - and no armour. Although his curiosity is stirred sufficiently to make him approach and watch. On his way to the stands, Astos passes a maid with a basket full of apples. “Mind if I take one?” A question which does not expect an answer. The Corbray knight already has snatched one of the apples and starts to eat it while his eyes intently scan the tourney field and come to rest on Ser Janden, his fellow song contestant from a week ago, Ser Elmer, who unhorsed him at the melee and the Kingsguard Ser Jaesin Lannister.

Theonald enters the field followed by a young servant. The knight clothes are purple and white, his house colors and his dark brown hair is tied on the back of his head.

He waves to the other present knights with a smile, “Hello sers, having a nice day at Riverrun?” The greeting is polite.

A gust of laughter drifts on the cool breeze, twinned by another within moments. There, not far away, is a thick cluster of knights—of the Riverlands, all, to judge by their devices—bruised and sweaty and cheerful with it, sprawled here and there in their clanking armour. It seems their practise for the day is already done with, or paused for the moment, although some of them continue to watch those still ahorse—the Lannister, Melcolm and Crakehall among them.

They seem to be arguing something good-naturedly with the tall, grim figure in plate dark as night—but only on his breast, back and arms, for he hasn’t bothered to wear greaves, cuisses or armoured boots—who stands amidst them, head tilted back, splashing water from a skin over his face while a squire stands behind him, fastening a loose buckle.

And for all the fearsome armour, there is a quirk to his mouth as he finally lowers the skin and answers; whatever he says sets some of them of to laughing again. It is an uncanny camaraderie between knights of the Riverlands, and one of the loathed ironborn who have reaved their coasts time and again—but then, the men of the Riverlands rode under the Iron Serpent’s command in Dorne, and such bonds are not easily forgotten.

The question from Ser Janden sets the Lannister aback, and he actually pauses in the act of hefting a lance to consider it. “How long…? Dear gods,” he breathes aloud.

Momentarily, Jaesin is fazed, until finally he blinks and says, “Dagur Saltcliffe did it, somehow,” he admits, himself even sounding a bit surprised. “I’m still not certain how he managed it. I suppose I was a trifle overconfident. And Rollingford, as well. I’ve always misliked riding at Highgarden. Most like the Tyrells put something in the ale.”

And with that, Ser Jaesin touches his heels to the flanks of his mighty white charger, and spurs off to the far end of the lists at an easy canter.

“Long enough, then,” Janden nods with a grin after hands are met, knowing most other knights fall twice in the same tourney when it’s double elimination, himself included. “Let’s see if I can at least break a lance against you!” he calls after the Kingsguard, taking the prospects of finding himself soon dumped from the saddle in good humor.

He rides along to the other end as he centers his helmet in place, Malwyn catching up to offer up a lance the Melcolm knight claims. Flipping his visor down, he signals his readiness to the storied Lannister knight, sets the lance in place, and heels his plain courser forward at a gallop, eyes intent on his target. Practice is practice, but the joust is still real.

“Ah, Ser Theonald.” Astos smile fades for a fraction of a second. “A nice day in Riverrun, indeed. Many knights are training for the wedding tourney, it seems. Will you ride as well?” And as he awaits the Northerner’s answer, the Corbray knight’s eyes wander off to the tourney field where he recognizes the familiar figure of Ser Dagur Saltcliffe. “Hmm, this will be interesting…” he mutters, as he notices Janden’s and Jaesin’s preparing for the tilt.

At the far northern end of the lists, Ser Jaesin leans his lance aside, lifting a hand to close his helmet’s visor. Then he takes up the blunted jousting weapon—lighter than the steel-tipped versions used in Dorne by himself and other veterans, here—and sets the white charger forward.

Quickly the charger picks up speed, carrying Ser Jaesin toward Ser Janden swiftly. At the last moment, Lannister rises slightly in the saddle, knees bent, coiled to strike—

+ 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.
+ Janden’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.

Elmer makes a sign to his squire to prepare his destrier and he checks out a couple of lances as he nods towards Astos and Theonald. “Sers.” But he doesn’t say more as he turns to see Jaesin and Janden face each other and lances shattering. His gauntleted hands applaud. “Good one!”

“I do want to join Ser Astos, but I must confess that I am no champion.” Says Theonald, “How about you sers? Are we to break lances soon?” He asks with a smile and picks a plum from his leather bag and starts to eat it.

Ser Jaesin of the Kingsguard is shaken in the saddle by the force of the collision, but keeps his seat, and what—? Is he—laughing?

“Well struck, Melcolm!” he calls as he takes up a second weapon from a squire. Turning about, he is swiftly off on a second course, riding fast and then lowering his lance at the proper moment.

Janden matches Jaesin’s stance in the saddle, the two otherwise contrasted greatly based on what they wear and ride. However, when the Kingsguard and Royal Huntsman meet lances, both are destroyed in a shower of splinters and pieces of wood that fly about them. Janden takes the jolt well and steadies himself with a hand out for balance, riding by to glance back and see the same. “Now that felt good!” can be heard, the man also laughing in response. He claims a second lance from his squire, riding forth again with the same determination as before. Again, he dips his lance toward that sweet spot he knows so well.

+ Jaesin’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.
- Janden’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.
* Janden struggles to keep to the saddle for a few instants, before finally succumbing and sliding to the ground.

A second pass, two more lances broken. Ser Jaesin rides on to the end, casting aside the remaining haft of his weapon as he reaches the terminal point of the field. Wheeling about, he canters back toward Melcolm, raising his visor to reveal a pleased smile.

“Well done, Ser Janden, well done,” the Lannister calls, impressed.

Elmer shakes his head as lances are shattered again, but this time Janden falls. He climbs on his large black steed and he makes it dance a little. “Well done, Ser Jaesin. I’m next…” he salutes Janden who after all performed very well, only that a blow from Jaesin is more than impressive. He rides towards the lists, calling out. “need a moment of rest, Ser Jaesin?” he teases.

As he sees the first pass with two shattering lances, Astos calls: “Well done, Ser Janden!” And then to Theonald he replies: “I am only a mediocre jouster, Ser Theonald. And I doubt my wife will let me ride in the tourney tomorrow.” The Corbray curses, as he watches Janden being unhorsed by the Lannister in the second pass. “Hmm, I had hoped he would have a chance against this Lannister…” And with a slightly displeased look he takes another bite from his apple.

Another loud impact follows as the men meet in the center of the list, more wood falling around them as two more lances are laid to waste. Shaken again from the impact, this time Janden can’t quite get his balance together in time and he slips down to slide to a stop. As he flips his visor up, it doesn’t seem as though he’s bothered one bit by it.

“And to you, Ser Jaesin! That was quite the test for me. No shame in being the one to end up on the ground after those passes.” He raises a hand to acknowledge the Kingsguard, a smile back in place as he leads his courser off to the side. There hadn’t been much of that Janden to be seen following the departure from Acorn Hall, but this may have helped. “I encourage anyone else to do better than that!” Good words from the rest are welcomed and accepted.

“I’ll rest when I’m dead, Crakehall,” the Kingsguard calls out to Ser Elmer, grinning wickedly as he is offered up a third lance by a squire in the royal sable-and-scarlet.

Eyes sparkling, Ser Jaesin touches the tips of two gauntleted fingers to the middle of his breastplate—“For luck,” he confides to the puzzled squire—before accepting the new weapon handed him.

Lowering his visor again, the golden lion roaring rampant on its hind legs above his splendid suit of white-and-gold plate, Ser Jaesin readies himself to meet Ser Elmer in the lists.

Elmer calls out. “No need for that soon, Ser Jaesin!” he says and rides to the end of the lists slowly, eyeing his opponent then urging his horse forwards as he couches his lance, and picks up speed slowly, he’s training his new stallion to reach his top speed at the moment of impact. The big man leans some of his weight into the long lance as he aims at Jaesin’s chest

Theonald chuckles, “Maybe that is why my uncle Stevyn has not taken a wife yet.” He smiles and turns to the servant, “Bring me my horse, I want to practice.” The young boy starts to run through the field.

“Do you want to practice too Ser Astos?” He asks to the Corbray with a smile.

The white charger bears the white knight forward with the barest touch of spurred heels, and again Ser Jaesin shows consistency in his form. Riding, lowering the lance, rising slightly, taking sure and steady aim….

+ Jaesin’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.
- 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.
* Elmer is pushed from the saddle by his opponent’s lance.

Again, the Kingsguard lazily throws aside the shattered remnants of his lance’s haft, and wheels about to ride back toward his fallen opponent. The sound of scattered cheers and applause from the small crowd gathered rain down on them like a gentle shower—victor and vanquished alike.

“Well done, Ser Elmer,” Jaesin says to the other, lifting his visor as he proceeds back toward where his squire awaits with another lance.

Elmer slides off his horse and throws his broken lance away angrily. “Hah…I knew I needed more drink..I can’t stay in a saddle otherwise!” he says and his squire dutifully hands him a wineskin. he drinks deeply and smiles. “I’ll try you again if you wish..if there are no other takers first

“Well-ridden,” Janden can be heard as Elmer falls, but not before shattering a lance of his own against the Kingsguard man. Sipping from a waterskin of his own, he checks over his armor with an extra hand from Malwyn, looking up afterward. “I’m sure others would like to test themselves against Ser Jaesin, yes?” Eyes sweep the grounds.

“Do you mean, you would like to challenge me for a tilt, ser?” Astos inquires with a wry grin, before sending a servant off to get his horse, and his armour and jousting equipment. “A Corbray always accepts a challenge.”

Theonald smiles back as he mount the white rouncey, “Then let’s do it.” Pulling the horse by its reins he moves to the position in the field, where a lance and a shield are given to him. He takes a look at the Corbray as waits for him.

When the servant returns with the horse and a second servant in tow with the plain dark grey tourney armour, Astos takes a final bite of the apple before he tosses it aside to put his armour on. “Quickly now, before my wife comes out of the tent and tries to talk me out of it!” He calls to the servant who is fastening the leather straps of the breastplate. Then he mounts his horse with one swift movement and waits until the servants have handed him lance and shield. “Let’s get on with this!” He calls over to the Locke, and couches his lance, before he urges his steed on.

+ Astos makes a solid impact against his opponent in the joust, though the lance remains unbroken.
- Theonald strikes a poor blow after the lance dips unsteadily in the final moment before impact.
* Theonald is pushed from the saddle by his opponent’s lance.

To those raised to it, the thunderous crack of wood on steel and the pounding of hooves make as sweet a music as any bard’s song. A few of the Riverknights taking their ease raise their arms in salute to the Kingsguard, and to his two opponents as well, at those well-run passes. One among them says something to the Iron Serpent, and the man, after finishing drinking again—he has watched the first clash, but not the second—makes what seems to be a brief reply. Corking the waterskin, he tosses it to the other man, then bangs his gauntleted fist against his breastplate as the squire steps away.

He seems to be satisfied with the lad’s work, for he strides to his horse, mounts, then turns the black stallion towards the makeshift lists. It takes him only moments to reach, the squire trotting behind with his helm and shield, and then he calls to the white-clad knight with his wonted directness, “When you are ready, ser.”

Elmer raises an eyebrow as Dagur joins the crowd. “This should be interesting..” he says. “I always bet on Lannisters, will someone bet a dragon on the Iron Serpent?” he asks, tossing a coin in the air.

Pausing for a sip from a waterskin—if a ‘sip’ can ever truly be meant as a lengthy, mouth-filling squirt—Ser Jaesin observes the Corbray and the Northman with open interest. His eyes narrow, not at the clash but before it, singling out something in the pair’s technique, but he says nothing on it for now.

And then, there is the Iron Serpent across the lists, a black-and-silver mirrored shadow of his own white-and-gold. Ser Jaesin allows himself an eager smile, exchanging the waterskin for a new weapon.

In reply, he lifts that weapon high in a hand, then—after a moment to ensure his opponent has seen it—Jaesin lowers his visor and begins the charge. Slowly first, then gathering speed.

Janden observes Astos and Corbray having a tilt of their own, though when the Iron Serpent comes over a hint of a smile spreads into something more. “Ah, Ser Jaesin, here comes your adversary the Iron Serpent!” If they’re going to ride, that will be the one to watch - practice or not. He asides to Elmer, “I won’t take that bet, but not because I don’t trust in Ser Dagur’s ability. That was a fine test, was it not?”

The lance remains unbroken, yet Astos managed to push the Northerner from the saddle. When he reaches the end of the list he wheels his horse about to see his opponent on the ground, with an incredulous smile on his face. “By the Seven, I did not expect it would be that easy…” But then he notices someone emerging from a Corbray tent, and he frowns slightly. “I thank you for the tilt, Ser Theonald. But I must be off now.” And he rides off the field in the opposite direction, away from the tents and pavilions.

Theonald falls to the ground with a rattling sound. The knight stands up and removes his helmet, “Well played Ser Astos, but I really need some practice.” He mounts the horse again and waves to the departing Corbray, before calling his servant and taking a bite on his plum.

In the space between calling to the Kingsguard and the man beginning his charge, the ironman has armed himself with the unthinking deftness of a man who has done just this all his life. The helm first, that hissing serpent’s visage, both advantage and disadvantage; the open face allows him a far clearer view than is afforded to most of his opponents, but it also leaves him vulnerable to flying splinters and the like.

His scarred shield comes next—and finally, his squire hands up one of the many lances kept there, arranged by Lady Tully’s steward.

And then, it is into the charge—a touch slow to begin with, and then his mount gathers itself, muscles bunching and all but explodes forward, the lance swinging smoothly down.

Almost in tandem with Ser Dagur’s lance, so too does Ser Jaesin’s lower with a precise aim, and a steady hand. Again he rises slightly in the saddle, only half a moment before impact.

- 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.
+ Dagur’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.
* Jaesin struggles to keep to the saddle for a few instants, before finally succumbing and sliding to the ground.

Elmer laughs loudly. “Thank you, ser Janden, you did save me a dragon..” he shakes his head. Taking another long drink, he shouts towards Dagur. “Will you accept challengers, Ser Dagur?” his voice booms through the field

Though his lance shatters upon Saltcliffe’s shield, the Kingsguard wobbles in his seat at the impact of his opponent’s well-struck blow. Striving manfully to stay in place, at length Ser Jaesin loses the battle, and cannot help but slip from his seat.

Tumbling to the ground with a lack of his usual grace, the Lannister is quick to force himself to his feet—itself a struggle even in the more basic plate of his field armor. “Seven hells,” he bites off the curse, looking about for Ser Dagur.

“Let’s try that again,” Jaesin calls, lips pressed in a tightly displeased grin. Or is it a grimace?

Theonald eyes upon the other jousting knights and moves towards them on his horse. From the top of it, the Northman looks a lot taller, “If Ser Dagur isn’t able to just with you, I certainly would be, Ser Elmer.” Says Theonald with a smile.

When Dagur unhorses Jaesin, Janden shakes his head and looks more than impressed. “That could have gone either way. I thought Ser Jaesin would regain his balance in time, but even if that was just one pass it’s easy to see them going all day long.” Up to now it’s been easy for Jaesin to look pleased since he’s been the better of the others, but now the Huntsman watches to see how that changes as he calls out, “Well done, Sers!”

That perfect explosion of wood surrounds both men as they thunder past each other; the mark of a tilt well-ridden. But the Iron Serpent’s lance was placed just a touch better, his shield at just the right angle to deflect some of the force of Jaesin’s precisely aimed lance. And so, although the force of it shakes him in his saddle for a heartbeat, he keeps his balance with ease, tossing aside the shattered stump of his lance as he brings his horse around in a wide loop.

In the shadow of those twin fangs curving down across his face, it is impossible to read his expression; indeed, to make out anything at all save for the glint of his eyes and the thin trickle of blood that slowly drips from the scratch along one cheekbone to run along the clean angle of his jaw. For a moment, he lifts his his head to glance at Elmer, acknowledging his call—but his attention returns to the Kingsguard soon enough. And he replies laconically:

“As you wish, ser.”

Back he rides, to take up another lance, waiting until his opponent has mounted, ridden back and done so as well. And then, it is into the charge again, steady as an oak in the saddle, lance swinging down just so.

The sound of splintering wood and thundering hooves has drawn a few spectators to the lists, perhaps to evaluate some of the competitors in order to better pad their wagers on the day of the tourney. Amongst these is a curvy, copper-haired girl in a red dress- Elrone Darklyn, watching the lists with a keen eye, particularly as her lady’s husband takes to the field again.

Elmer nods. “It seems the iron Serpent wants to try Jaesin again. I’ll urge my bet on you again, Ser Janden, two dragons this time?” he asks, he is quite rich after all, mooching off Jonn, winning tourneys and marrying a Reyne. Then he nods to Theonald. “Why not, Ser, if Ser Dagur is too busy, I’ll test your lance.” He mounts up and takes another long drink of brandy. Apparently he wants to make sure

The Lannister is not so proud as to refuse the aid of his royal squire as he is helped back up into the saddle. Few men will climb easily ahorse in even light plate—and certainly not upon so broad a beast as Ser Jaesin’s white warhorse.

Handed a lance with little delay, the Kingsguard accepts it and, after settling his mount, is spurring off to meet Ser Dagur again. The canter to gallop, the steady hand, the aim—

+ Jaesin lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
+ Dagur lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.

Janden’s head shakes briefly to Elmer, saying, “Honestly, I’m not much of a betting man. I’ve learned it’s a far too easy way to lose hard-earned coin. I’m content to watch.” And watch he does, as the first pass between the two is the first of any involving Jaesin so far not to result in a shattered lance. “Hm.”

Not a poor pass by most knights’ standards—but with the white knight and the black in the lists, clearly those watching expect more. For so the observing Riverknights’ comments seem to indicate as they call out good-natured japes. The Iron Serpent can be seen to shake his head as he tosses the broken lance aside and rides back to take another.

A moment, then two to gather himself, and it is into the lists again.

Clearly disgusted with a poor tilt, the Kingsguard tosses aside the offending lance before even completing the circuit, minus its broken tip. If anything, Ser Jaesin seems more disappointed by that showing than he was at his unhorsing by the same man not moments before.

Pausing at the lists’ end, he briefly lifts his visor to flash a grin at the sable-and-scarlet group that have come to watch and aid him. Targaryen men, all, but mostly the younger ones, squires and grooms—not Aegon’s knights.

“Let’s see if we can’t fix this,” Jaesin tells them, ere accepting a third lance and wheeling about for another pass. Again he approaches the clash in a remarkably consistent manner with every turn before it….

+ 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.
- Dagur lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
* Dagur is roughly jolted in the saddle, struggling for a few moments to keep to his seat.

+ Jaesin’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.
- Dagur lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
* Dagur struggles to keep to the saddle for a few instants, before finally succumbing and sliding to the ground.

As the knights gear up for their third tilt, Jyana Arryn appears amidst the crowd—her guard ever by her side—and wends her way through the growing audience until she is at the very front of their gathering, somewhere near that Darklyn lady in red.

Just in time to see the splintering of the Kingsguard knight’s lance upon the Serpent’s shield. “Oh, well done!” the lady calls out—louder than her slight frame would suggest her capable of—and she claps her hands together.

Janden observes the Iron Serpent getting rocked after a subpar impact both the second and third times, then the man slides out of the saddle. “That squares the two up, but it took Ser Jaesin longer to unhorse him than it did Ser Dagur before,” he notes to Elmer while reacting with the applause and cheer due the pair.

Theonald stands at one of extremity of the field, looking forward to the Crakehall knight. “Hope you to be ready ser.” He says with a grin. The Northman lance stays steady as he starts to move.

Elmer shakes his head as this time Jaesin is the victor and he applauds, his gantlets making a loud clanking sound. “Best two out of three?” he wonders as he mounts up and lowers his visor, the knight does look resplendent in black and gold. He picks up a new lance and rides to the lists, inclining his head to the Northman. “None so fierce!” comes his battle cry and he couches his lance as his charger picks up speed.

- Theonald strikes a poor blow after the lance dips unsteadily in the final moment before impact.
+ 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.
* Theonald is pushed from the saddle by his opponent’s lance.

With the sound of shattering lances ringing through the nearby trees, more and more nobles gather around the field to watch the ongoing tilts. Not long before the appearance of the Jewel of the Eyrie, ser Albyn has appeared as well. His squire Haston in tow, both Reachheirs make their way to a spot not far from Elmer and Janden to gain a good look on the event. Once in a while, one can see the Crane bend sidewards to Haston and point to the riders as if he’s explaining something.

It takes a pair of broken lances, and again—that steady, consistent application of technique—before the Kingsguard can finally unhorse the Iron Serpent. When he at last doffs his helm at the lists’ end, Ser Jaesin shakes out his sweat-dampened mop of golden hair and smiles.

It is not without some measure of relief.

Then he glances back over his shoulder, into the lists, and lifts a hand in salute to his opponent the Saltcliffe. “Water, again,” Jaesin calls to the squires, and while waiting he chances a glimpse into the gallery. A second wave, now, though where and to whom?

This time, it is the Kingsguard who has the better of it; it is no more than a passable blow by the Iron Serpent, while Jaesin’s is as sweetly struck as could be. Even so, for a heartbeat, two, three, it seems Dagur might stay on, kept upright by skill and will both.

But even muscle and sinew trained to war can do only so much; in the end, he lets go, kicking his feet free of the stirrups as he falls; the impact is heavy, but not terribly so. And soon enough, he is on his feet again, his squire beside him.

Reaching up, he draws off his helm—and damp hair clinging to his brow, he shakes his head as if chiding himself. But he doesn’t appear angry; there is, if anything, a faint smile tugging at the corner of his mouth as he raises his helm in acknowledgement to the Kingsguard.

That smile fades as his squire says something urgently to him. “Bring the horse,” he can be heard to tell the lad—and then he is gone, mounting and spurring the stallion with deliberate haste, not waiting even to unbuckle his armour.

“I should… get… some lessons with you southerners” Says Theonald, panting. “It is my second fall today and I don’t think it to be the last.” He removes the helmet before moving towards his servant and ordering him to bring a wineskin. After some sips of the wine are taken the knight approaches Elmer, “Another run ser?” He asks.

Elmer rides as his lance shatters, not needing to look back to see Theonald fall. As he lifts his visor at the end of the lists , he laughs. “I told you I always ride better drunk!” he launches towards Janden. “I’ll try Ser Theonald again if you wish to keep ser Jaesin practicing in the meantime..” He says and drinks deeply again. “At your service..” he inclines his head to Theo and picks up a new lance.

“Very well,” Janden chuckles to Elmer, giving Theonald a dip of the head as well. He’s had his time to watch, moving over to acknowledge Jaesin. “I’ll try you again, see if I can do any better than before,” he offers, though he knows he rode very well to shatter two lances the first time around. Climbing atop his courser again with assistance from Malwyn, he awaits the Lannister’s response.

The Darklyn girl smiles to the Jewel as she works her way to the fore. “That was well struck, was it not?” Elrone steps around another spectator to gain a place next to Jyana. “Do you have any favorites for the tourney yet? They are giving us quite a show already- I hope none end up injured before the true lists.”

With a shrug of his armored shoulders—a gesture that is more implied than actually seen, beneath that white-lacquered and gilded plate of his—the Kingsguard agrees to Ser Janden’s request. “I’ll give you another trial,” Jaesin tells the man, “but that last was a fine match. Ser Dagur’s skills have grown since the war’s end.”

“Still,” quips Jaesin dryly as he lowers his helm once more, “at least we’ve seen he needs the comfortable surrounds of Highgarden to truly best me.”

Theonald takes another sip before getting on his position again. “I will give you some fun this time.” He says putting the helmet back on, a new lance is brought and the knight moves faster, rushing an attack.

Elmer chuckles and lowers his visor, the big knight charging towards Theonalt, his lance expertly balanced, and it seems his new horse is finally learning his steps and the right pace.

- Theonald strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.
+ Elmer’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.
* Theonald finds himself forced from the saddle by his opponent’s charge.

“Ser Jaesin is a champion with the lance,” Jyana replies, smiling, to the Darklyn lass as she joins her side; the Arryn girl leans closer in order to be heard better, though her eyes are on the field. She lifts a hand to wave to the Lannister knight—whether of her own accord, or as a return to his own, it doesn’t much matter. “Hmm… who do /you/ favor, I wonder,” and with that, the Jewel’s gaze turns to Elrone properly, a brow arching.

Janden says nothing much of the opinion Jaesin has toward Dagur’s abilities or one particular setting aiding him over another, answering instead, “I don’t think I’ve unhorsed him yet. I’ve fallen enough times that they become a blur after a while, but I do know the others I ride against have fallen more often. The ransoms bear that out in my favor.” And it’s important for him, one of his primary ways of getting by.

Back in the saddle again, he goes through a basic routine prior to charging toward the Kingsguard. No doubt he’s watched the steady consistency in which Jaesin rides, an important thing to emulate. As lances dip toward their targets, their practice - just like this - takes over as always.

Walking towards Elmer, the Crane raises a hand in greeting. A soft smile emerges on his face but the rest of his bearing is still proud, as it befits a Reachman. ” Well done, Crakehall.” he says, throwing a look to the dust eating-Theonald.

+ Jaesin lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
- Janden strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.
* Janden just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.

A wry grin crosses Elrone’s lips. Her eyes on the field, she leans a little closer to the Jewel to speak. “... ... shall ... my favor this time… Ammon ... ... you know. ... ... it to anyone ... until we ... ... and ... not ... ... least not ...” With that she leans away to applaud Janden’s hit upon the Kingsguard. “Oh, that was well struck!”

With a carelessness that borders on disinterest, Ser Jaesin Lannister discards his damaged—but relatively unbroken—lance and accepts another. Wheeling the white charger about, he corrects his posture slightly—it is a small adjustment, one that very few watcher will note—but it is real.

Then soon enough, a deft touch of spurs to steed, and he is off at a quickening run for another clash with Janden Melcolm.

No shattered lances this time but Janden weathers a solid blow that nearly forces him out of the saddle, clamping his armored legs together a bit tighter to help steady himself. “Nearly got me there, ser!” he calls toward Jaesin, though it sounds as if it shook him just enough that the enjoyment of the impact doesn’t come through in his words. Malwyn is there with another lance for the Huntsman to take up, a nod to the squire as he waits for his ‘partner’ to be ready as well. Kicking his courser forward, Janden goes at it again with the legendary knight.

+ Jaesin lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
- Janden strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.
* Janden just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.

Elyse is nearby Theonald and Elmer’s tilt, when she sees the Northman falls to the ground, a call is heard. The Reach lady is wearing a salmon colored dress and black shoes

Elmer turns his horse around and again he drinks, even deeper this time as he sees Janden manage to stay in the saddle against Jaesin, but he shakes his head. “Would have been better if he broke his lance..” he says before nodding to Albyn

The Kingsguard rides again, this time against a Valeman—and still the Jewel calls a cheer for the Lannister knight. She does not neglect the Melcolm man, though, and shouts encouragement for him, as well. “Oh, really? Oh, Elrone—that’s… that’s just lovely,” Jyana says as she turns again to speak with Elrone; her hand reaches out to squeeze the other woman’s forearm warmly. If her smile seems odd, it may only be surprise and nothing more.

Then, the men ride again and she turns to watch them.

Shaking his head as best he may in that casing of steel, Ser Jaesin’s dismay at his showing is apparent in the way he casually tosses the second lance aside. Again, it is mostly intact. Some knights would be pleased, even counting it a broken lance.

Not the Lannister.

He takes up a third, and in the same sound motion is couched for the strike once more, tip lowering, aim perfect or nearly so, poised to strike as iron-shod hooves thunder beneath him.

At the last moment, Ser Jaesin rises in the stirrups.

This one is not as spectacular as the first time when both Janden and Jaesin destroyed their lances prior to the Kingsguard facing Elmer and Dagur twice, but this pass is nearly exactly the same as the one before it: the Melcolm knight shaken but not enough to dislodge him. “I understand what the quintain must feel like!” he shouts out, shaking his head to clear it from the impact. Then, their third pass, new lances held again. He meets Jaesin much the same this time, trying to add an extra thrust to the impact.

- Jaesin strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.
+ Janden lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
* Jaesin is roughly jolted in the saddle, struggling for a few moments to keep to his seat.

Theonald smiles when the lady is seen, he approaches her and says, “Lady Elyse, it is been a long time since we have met for the last time.” The knight wipes some of the dirt from his tourney armor, trying to appeal more chivalrous.

“Luck is not with you today, ser,” one of the young Targaryen squires tells Ser Jaesin when he reaches the end of this pass.

Canting his visor upward, the Kingsguard calls for and receives a waterskin, from which he cools himself liberally before allowing a small, tight smile.

“You’d be surprised where a man can find luck, lad,” Jaesin returns at length, tapping his chest once before slamming the visor down again and taking up a fourth lance.

Then he is off once more, the contest joined.

Now Janden passes the Lannister man with a better strike, watching as the Kingsguard wavers atop his mount before recovering. The lance is tossed aside as he takes a moment as well for a sip of water, rolling his shoulders as he watches Jaesin tap his chest from afar. It’s difficult to tell what that’s about, but he lowers his visor again after the two have set themselves for another go at it. Will this be the one that finds one of them in the dirt?

- Jaesin strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.
+ Janden lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
* Jaesin is roughly jolted in the saddle, struggling for a few moments to keep to his seat.

“I can’t remember, but it has been a while, I have missed you.” Says Elyse with a smile on her face and bright eyes to Theonald.

Theonald blushes a little and smiles back to the lady, “I have missed you too. Are you going to see me at the tourney?” He asks, “I surely would joust much better if you amuse me with your presence.”

Shaken in his seat again, the Lannister seems less than himself in the saddle. Perhaps the bout with Ser Dagur jarred him? Did he receive a blow to the head in falling? No matter, for now. Jaesin is quick to replace his lance, and ride again at Ser Janden. Perhaps this will be the moment of triumph he so clearly expects.

“My, I might have to lay a coin or two on Ser Janden if he keeps up like this…” Elrone tilts her head, turning a smile- a sad smile?- toward the Jewel. “Yes, well… nothing is settled yet. And you? Any chosen champions for yourself?”

Janden again makes solid contact that nearly knocks Jaesin from the saddle, but they will have a fifth pass to come. No matter how much the Huntsman might be enjoying the closeness of their competition, each strike with the Lannister knight leaves him that much more focused on making the next a better one. It’s as good as any test he’s had in the tourneys, maybe more. Malwyn doesn’t seem to know what to make of this, given all the tales he’s heard of the Kingsguard. Both shaken twice, odds are one of them will take a fall very soon. Then comes the charge.

+ 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.
+ Janden’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.

A better blow this time, and the lance is shattered, but so too is Ser Janden’s! Jaesin Lannister cannot but laugh, and cheer to his opponent across the long earthen track, “Well struck, Ser! You are vexing me, Melcolm!”

Then he takes up a sixth lance, and sets off yet again for the clash.

“That’s what we were missing!” Janden finally allows himself to say as the splinters fall around the passing knights again after so many near-misses. “Maybe I’m rising up to the challenge.” Will /this/ settle it?

+ 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.
- Janden delivers a mediocre blow of the lance, failing to find any purchase with which to unseat his opponent.
* Janden just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.

With her eyes on the knights as they round for another tilt, Jyana can only shake her head. “Hmm,” she noises thoughtfully as they charge again—and the mighty blows they each land causes her to jump in her place. “Oh, gracious!”

A laugh issues forth and the Jewel casts her sparkling gaze back to the lady at her side, “My favor rests where it always has, dear,” and Jyana points to the lists where the Lannister knight gears up again.

“Clever, don’t you think?” she murmurs conspiratorially, “Can you imagine the trouble I would have if I gave it to just any knight?”

“The man is -glued- to the saddle,” one of the Targaryen squires marvels! For his part, Ser Jaesin just chuckles, impressed, and accepts yet another lance. He has broken seven such against Prince Aemon the Dragonknight—but the Royal Huntsman? Janden Melcolm is earning himself much honor this day, no matter how things fall.

Then, again, back to the lists. Again the thunder of iron-shod hooves, again the lance, again the seat and the aim and the springlike uncoiling of muscle and sinew and steel.

For the first time, it seems Janden’s concentration falters and he doesn’t even land a good strike on the man with his lance. He takes a heavy blow from the accuracy of Jaesin’s, but /somehow/ he keeps to the saddle. “A moment,” he calls back, flipping the visor up to blink away the impact of that one and splash water over his face and in his mouth, breathing more heavily as they continue on.

“I don’t want this one, Malwyn. Give me another.” The unmarked lance is cast aside. Bad luck to keep one that proved useless? Either way it’s replaced and the two go at it yet again - for the seventh pass. Janden puts it behind him, hoping for another, better strike.

+ 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.
+ Janden’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.

“I can, actually.” Another wry grin from Elrone, with a hint of self-deprecation. “Though I ... imagine it ... ... worse ... you ... ... me…” she murmurs toward Jyana, before arching a brow. “... will ... ... place ... elsewhere, ... ...”

The ongoing clash between Kingsguard and Melcolm draws her eyes back to the lists. “Was that eight lances?” she asks in shock.

Now, again, Jaesin and Janden fail to unhorse the other. Ser Jaesin returns to his squires, accepts another span of ash, and turns about. This time he turns toward the viewing-stand, and lifts that eighth lance in salute.

“The Seven have had their say,” he tells the squires dryly. “Let’s see if forces here in our mortal lands can affect the outcome better. Maybe that golden bear can give me a bit of a push.”

Puzzled, the squires exchange looks as Lannister sets out again.

Once again the two jousters meet with an explosion of wood around them, neither coming out ahead. “Yes! Again!” Janden laughs, and as he heels his courser back toward Malwyn a hand is already gesturing for the next lance from Malwyn. It might remind some of the joy old Whalon Rosby himself had on the lists. Another charge, a breath held and let out the moment before impact as he braces himself…

+ 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.
- Janden delivers a mediocre blow of the lance, failing to find any purchase with which to unseat his opponent.
* Janden just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.

Whatever answer the Jewel might prepare for Elrone’s first question is voided by the next—and she looks out to the lists again. “I believe the Melcolm knight is trying to prove something,” the lady says, not all together unkindly. “He’s had a bit of a rough go at things, of late,” she notes next, shaking her head.

“Seven hells,” the Lannister curses, completing his circuit, “that man has the Stranger’s own luck today!” But he seems in good spirits, accepting his next lance and riding again. A ninth try. Even the Dragonknight and Ser Aidan Dayne have never tested Ser Jaesin this long, and many among the crowd seem to know it.

Did Malwyn give Janden that one lance again? He hits poorly for the second time and is lucky not to fall, helmet nearly falling to the dirt with the impact. He fumbles with it and catches the thing before it does, looking back toward Jaesin a beat later. It’s possible Jyana’s right about part of it, but the larger truth is he’s just trying to match the quality of Jaesin’s jousting. Rising to the challenge, as it were. “I think..this is the ninth,” he comments to his squire before deciding to keep the offending lance this time around. “One way or another, I’ll sleep well tonight.” On they go.

- 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.
+ Janden’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.
* Jaesin is pushed from the saddle by his opponent’s lance.

Elmer looks at the combat and nods. He’s grown to like Melcolm and as he not only…Holy Seven! Not only did he last so long, but actually he unhorses Jaesin. His laughter resounds through the air, booming. “Well done Ser Janden!” he laughs again. “Ser Jaesin, you fell twice today! Will you give me a chance to make it three?” Yeah he’s been drinking steadily, so he’s a bit overconfident.

Though his lance shatters at another typically well-struck blow, the weariness upon Ser Jaesin is too much to overcome—especially when taken together with Ser Janden’s sure aim. The white-clad Kingsguard cannot keep his seat, and is felled by an opponent he bested easily before.

This time, he is not so quick to rise. In fact, it is after a few moments of dazed watching that the pair of Targaryen squires finally sprint out to where Lannister lies flung on his back.

They make swift to remove the champion’s helm, and help him prop himself up on his elbows. He can be seen blinking in the sunlight.

The lack of answer to her first question does not go unnoticed, but Elrone leaves the topic for now. “Well, this should make up for it then.” She eyes the Lannister with a note of concern as he slowly sits up. “Oh, I hope he is not injured.”

Ser Dermett, sauntering over to the commotion on the tourney field, joins in with the applause as his fellow Valeknight unhorses Ser Jaesin Lannister. “That is most impressive, Melcolm,” he bellows through cupped hands before continuing his applause. At the floored white knight, Ser Dermett can only wince… and smirk.

It’s only fitting that the last one sees two more lances blown up around the pair of knights, but it’s no doubt to the surprise of all that this time Janden is the one to remain in the saddle with Jaesin landing in the dirt. “Gods be good..” he says to himself, not sure he can go a tenth after all that. Finally, he sees he won’t need to. “Well, then.” The visor is flipped up and the Huntsman looks as surprised as anyone else at the end result. “Malwyn, help me down.”

Once the Hightower squire has done so, Janden tosses his helmet aside and splashes more water over his face and red hair, pushing it back as he takes heavier steps toward the Lannister knight. As the Targaryen squires get over to Jaesin, so too does Janden reach him to kneel nearby. “Ser, are you well?” he asks, some concern showing first, any elation over his win secondary.

One of the squires spies the smirking Ser Dermett, and leans down to whisper something in the Kingsguard’s ear. Though dazed, Ser Jaesin turns an unbelieving look on the lad, and says something like “Very well.”

Then he reaches up both arms, and the second squire—along with Ser Janden—help the Lannister knight to his feet. He stands there, a bit wobbly, before calling for his horse and another shaft.

The second squire allows himself a tight smile, and calls to Ser Dermett with a certain haughtiness borne of serving Aegon Targaryen, “You! Corbray! Ser Jaesin wants you in the lists!”

Lannister laughs, and adds, “Enough, lad. I’ll handle it. Yes,” he looks to Dermett as his horse is led around. “Come along, ser. I’ve a ride left in me yet.”

As the Kingsguard knight falls, Jyana presses a hand against her chest—stilled by a sharply drawn and deeply held breath. A foot makes a half-step towards the list, looking likely to turn into another until Elrone’s voice recalls the Jewel’s attention. “I’m sure he’s fine,” she says with forced sincerity. “He’s fine—look, he’s awake—only stunned, then—!”

Then the white knight is up again and calling for another tilt—and the Arryn lady resumes breathing regularly again.

It may be Janden’s not completely sure how to handle this just yet. He came to the day looking for practice, and when Jaesin offered it seemed a good chance to test himself against such a man. Their first one was good, but over quickly. Then came nine rounds, leading to this of all things. “That was..let’s just say I won’t forget this day, ser,” he says quietly to Jaesin, only the man and the other squires in range of hearing it. “Water?” His ‘skin is offered. Once certain the Kingsguard is able enough on his feet, he raises a brow toward Dermett as he’s challenged.

Elmer laughs as Jaesin challenges Dermett instead and grins. “It’ll be better for him to regain his confidence first anyway.” he says to his squire before drinking again deeply, his eyes red rimmed now. “Ser Janden!” he calls out, his voice booming. “After such a magnificent display, will you test your skill and luck against mine?”

Looking around himself farcically aghast, Ser Dermett makes a face as to say “what did I do?” Nonetheless, his smirk broadens when he realises he’s irked the downed Lannister so he shrugs and makes his way towards the lists. “Fetch my horse,” he commands of a Tully servant who happens to wander past. The lad looks rather annoyed at taking orders from the man in Corbray colours though thinks better of challenging the brother of Simona Tully.

As luck would have it, the Corbray heir has taken to wearing full armour during his stay at Riverrun, in aim of looking more soldierly in the place where he was once knighted three years earlier. After several minutes, the man’s horse and great-helm are fetched and Ser Dermett is saddled and kicking his horse to the end of the list. “I’m ready when you are,” he says, closing the visor on his helmet.

Elyse smiles again, “Yes I will see you at the tourney and try to not get away from you anymore.” She says.

Wordlessly, the Kingsguard accepts Ser Janden’s offer of water. “That was… well done, ser. I am most… impressed,” Jaesin admits, his words coming with a bit of extra labor. The famous knight’s blue eyes, typically sharp, are a bit glassy, but he takes a long drink and grits his teeth.

Then his horse is there, and he is being helped into the saddle and handed up a lance. He has driven three men easily into the turf this day, but—uncharacteristically—two of them have returned the favor.

Never mind that one was Ser Dagur Saltcliffe, and the other an epic tilt with Ser Janden, who well deserved the triumph. Never mind that he bested them both.

A Lannister always pays his debts, and that smirk, it seems, incurred one. Ser Jaesin touches spurs to his steed’s flanks, and the white charger leaps into action once more.

+ Jaesin lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
+ Dermett lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.

Janden watches Jaesin with a hint of a frown after seeing that look in his eyes. The Melcolm knight isn’t far removed from something similar, given a few of the blasts he took. “I think I outdid myself, ser. I thank you for it.” Elmer is given a reluctant shake of the head, an explanation following. “If it pleases you, let’s wait to see if we meet up in the tourney itself. I..honestly, I need to sit down after this.”

The Darklyn maiden loops her arm through Jyana’s. “Yes, all is well. Recovers quickly, doesn’t he?” Her tone is comforting, even though she is teasing a little. Bringing her lips a bit closer to the Jewel’s ear, she murmurs something else with her eyes on the field. “I think ... if you ... ... freedom ... ... you would not, hm? I ... ... is ...”

Theonald smiles too and leans towards the lady, “... ... on ... your ... to ... ... ... ... wife and ... knows ... ...”

Though the result is not ideal, the Lannister straightens from his crouch as he fails to find real purchase in that first tilt. Upon slowing at the lists’ end, he hands the remnant down simply in exchange for another. Then he turns his white charger about, and is off on a second run.

Ser Dermett takes a firm hit to his chest, though manages to land one in return. He seems unfazed for the moment, his fluttering white tabard making more noise than what escapes his great-helm. He rounds the lists, takes a replacement lance and charges once again…

+ Jaesin lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
+ Dermett lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.

Again, the result is not ideal. Clearly, Ser Jaesin is flagging a bit. His seat is no longer perfect, and the consistent form exhibited in his earlier victories is visibly lacking here. He has been riding without stop for three hours, after all—

But he takes up a third lance, readies himself, and is off again with alacrity.

The second tilt seems to mirror the first, though this time an annoyed grunt can be heard from within Ser Dermett’s great-helm. Whether it is due to pain or impatience, it isn’t quite clear, though this time as he reaches the end of the list the man barks “another!” at the squire handing out lances. He inspects it for a moment before kicking his horse into a charge…

+ Jaesin lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
- Dermett strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.
* Dermett is roughly jolted in the saddle, struggling for a few moments to keep to his seat.

Though his opponent is jolted, Ser Jaesin’s blow is hardly an echo of his better moments. He hands the offending lance aside for a better, fresher pole of ash, and is again turned about in little time. Still, his seat is not perfect, his balance unusually lacking.

Ser Dermett curses loudly as he is jolted in the saddle. With a replacement lance not necessary, he rounds the list and charges back towards Ser Jaesin, the Corbray man breathing heavily…

+ 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.
+ Dermett’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.

A better strike this time, as the lance shatters, but a weary Ser Jaesin has no glib comment for it now, no light remark. Only does he toss the shards aside, and wordlessly accept a replacement. Then he is around and off again, a white knight on a white steed, that horse’s hoofbeats thudding on the hard-packed ground.

The Corbray and Lannister knights make another matched strike and Jyana can do little else but shake her head. It serves as good as an answer to the quiet comment the Darklyn lady makes in her ear, as well. With their arms threaded together, the Jewel brings her other hand over to pat Elrone’s arm. She points, then, as the next tilt occurs. “I think keeping up with our good Prince’s… exuberant lifestyle… is catching up with his guard,” she sighs, a slight frown forming on her lips as the joust continues apace.

Splinters cover his armour, sprinkling all across the dusty floor below. While the blow seems to jar Ser Dermett, he can be heard laughing beneath his great-helm. “Another!” he roars at the squire before charging down the list for hopefully the final time…

- Jaesin strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.
+ Dermett’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.
* Jaesin just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.

With Janden having moved off toward one side to indeed sit, he works his way out of his armor with Malwyn’s help. The man is sore, but he’s still watching. Now Dermett’s lasted five passes with Jaesin, the practice day turning into something much more like a tourney could be expected to go. “What a day,” he says quietly to his squire.

Rocked but not thrown by the Corbray’s best effort, Ser Jaesin attains the end of the lists still upright—if barely. There is a certain grim precision to his movements now, as if muscle memory and sheer grit are keeping him aright here where conscious thought fails.

The cracked lance is given down, a better given up, and the dance begins anew.

“Oh, seven fucking hells,” Ser Dermett can be heard moaning as he reaches the end of the list. “I thought I had him,” he says to the squire as he hands him a replacement lance, though the lad doesn’t seem eager for banter. Again he kicks the horse into a charge, heavy hoofs booming upon the dirt below…

- Jaesin strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.
+ Dermett lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
* Jaesin just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.

“... ... talk ... ...” Says Elyse in a low voice, her face shows some signs of worry.

Again, Ser Dermett curses as the Kingsguard continues to defy him. “Right,” he says at the end, laughing, “this is it now. No more playing around. Hand me a lance, lad. I’m going to make the man fly.” List rounded, he sets off on another charge…

Only hours spent riding at the Rock, in tourneys throughout the Reach, and not least on the cruel sands of Dorne in wartime keep the Lannister in his seat. The blows come faster and harder, the work of it a struggle, but the pride of the White Swords is great, and no less for this one of their number.

Shaking off an offered waterskin from his squires, Ser Jaesin only accepts another lance, and silently sends his mount forth anew.

+ 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.
- Dermett strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.
* Dermett struggles to keep to the saddle for a few instants, before finally succumbing and sliding to the ground.

As Ser Jaesin’s lance explodes into splinters on Ser Dermett’s armor, the Warden of the Kingswood can be seen arriving to the yard, giving the mildest of applause. Ser Farin is dressed in his best courtly attire, rather than in training leathers or plates, but he does not seem to mind coming to watch the others train in them. “Bravo, Ser Jaesin!” he calls out, as he approaches.

Elmer sighs a little. “Damn, it was time…I was about to swear a curse had come on ser Jaesin.” he pats his squire on the shoulder. “Go get him some of the brandy, lad, he’s earned it.” his gauntleted fist raises in the air and he begins a chant. “Lann-is-ter! Lann-is-ter!” picked up by the crimson cloaked gruardsmen around him.

Theonald also seems worried after listening to Elyse answer, “I will do it.” He says to the lady, the Northern gasps to Jaesin strike, “I think he will give everyone a nice opponent at the tourney,” The knight takes a look to the Meadows, “But with your favour, my victory is almost certain.”

Hurling down the shattered remnants of his lance in disgust, Ser Jaesin reaches the end of the lists, waiting impatiently for a replacement. Only when his squires repeat that he’s won does he chance look behind him, realizing… yes. There fell Ser Dermett.

Wordless still, Jaesin accepts the help of the black-clad lads in dismounting, and again in removal of his helm and unlacing of his armor. They are swift about it, and not without concern. Perhaps it is the dazed look in his eyes.

Elrone nods. “Ser Dermett is decent in the lists, but I did not think he would last quite so long…. yes, Ser Jaesin must just be worn down-” but then the Kingsguard finally does unseat her cousin, and a little smirk creeps onto the girl’s lips. “Not that worn down, apparently.” She applauds the Kingsguard with a smile as he dismounts.

The Darklyn lady’s applause means Jyana’s hands are now free to join in the clapping—and she does so, eagerly in action, but her sharp eyes catch on to the haste with which the Kingsguard’s attendants work to loose the man of his armor. “How many times did he fall?” she wonders aloud, her brow wrinkling with studied concern.

A rough jolt, smashing against his armour spins Ser Dermett in his saddle though for a moment he seems to be able to wear it out. He fails, however, as the horse picks up speed, the unbalanced Valeknight sliding from his saddle. In an effort to save his wounded sword hand - a dog bite and an infection almost claiming it back at Acorn Hall - Ser Dermett throws out his left hand to break his fall. The leather gloves he is wearing do little in the way of protection, however, as Ser Dermett lands heavily on his wrist. Crack.

Shouts of “Lann-is-ter! Lann-is-ter!” are interspersed with cries of “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” from the Corbray heir as he throws off his great-helm, cradling his newly wounded hand first in his lap and then in his formerly wounded hand. He turns and offers a pained bow to the Lannister knight, though his opponent seems fairly disgusted and unaware of his gesture. Ser Dermett slinks off back to a nearby tent to nurse his wrist and his pride.

Stripped of his plate at least, standing at the lists’ end in a padded tunic and white leggings, even now Ser Jaesin Lannister seems a formidable figure. If one should discount the weariness about his posture, or the glazed look in his eyes, at least.

Waving off offers of help, he walks slowly but under his own power back toward the viewing stands, a black-clad squire trailing him at a careful distance. Now and again, a silver chain at his neck or the garnet in his left ear glint in the bright sunlight, but his hair, matted and sweaty, does not.

“I think I saw two? Ser Dagur got him earlier, but Ser Jaesin returned the favor in kind.” Elrone looks from Jyana to Jaesin as he approaches the stands with a bit of concern. “He must be sore… they had been at it a while before I came to watch.”

In search of an answer, Jyana’s gaze turns to Elrone while the white knight is freed from the majority of his armor. “Two,” she repeats, nodding, and continues, “That’s not so bad, then. Still, so many tilts in a row…” The lady trails off as she catches Elrone’s quick look past her. The Jewel turns her gaze in that same direction, smiling as the knight’s able-bodied stride puts to rest any growing concerns. “Ah,” says Jyana, “He’s recovered already.”

Finally out of the majority of his armor, Janden can be seen to have sweated enough beneath it that much of his clothing is going to need some wringing out. He’s caught the tail-end of the tilt between Jaesin and Dermett, even that one lasting a while before the Kingsguard claims victory in the end. A frown follows for one reason or another, be it Jaesin’s apparent condition, Dermett’s more obvious one, or both. Casting a glance toward the crowd that’d grown and watched all of this, he motions for Malwyn and the two pack up to depart the grounds silently. Seems he’ll be leaving it to others to talk about what’s happened here. Sometimes, practice ends up becoming more than just practice.

Wandering on, still dazed, Ser Jaesin’s feet lead him up into the viewing stands—past the few commons and then among the watching nobility. The former look on a Kingsguard in some sort of awe, so perhaps it’s best that he has something of a thousand-yard stare, looking well past them.

Soon enough he is passing the ladies, Elrone and Jyana, though a few rows beneath them. He pauses there, glancing quizzically up toward the pair, and smiles woozily in their direction.

“Good day, Lady Elrone. Lady Jyana,” he calls. “Jyana… do you have any wine? Arbor Gold? I left mine at Casterly Rock,” he says, oddly distant. “Father always says we shouldn’t carry much with us. Is he here somewhere? He said I should marry you, had your face in a locket. Dainty little thing.”

Behind him, the young squire goes red-faced and shoots the women an embarrassed, apologetic look, aghast.

“Well I hope some of the squires watching learned a bit of technique- especially those that intend to compete in the tourney…” Elrone trails off as Jaesin nears and begins to speak, her mouth falling open as she stares at the man.

She swallows, finally, and looks to Jyana. “We ought to get a maester, I think.”

Elmer moves at Jaesin’s side, the big knight laying his hand on the Whitecloak’s shoulder. “I suspect he’s a bit dazed, my Ladies..but..” he bows his head to Jyana. “He might be speaking the truth also.” He grins. “Come Ser Jaesin..” he raises an eyebrow. “Unless you ladies wish to keep him? That might be good for him too.”

It’s a sight and sound—that famed knight’s befuddlement—to stir some of the watching nobility to uneasy laughter.

But not Jyana. Her eyes sharpen on the Lannister man standing just below, mark his distant look, and swiftly she turns her raptorial stare on the squire beside him. Echoing Elrone in a much firmer voice, she says to the boy: “Get him to the maester, /now/—before he injures himself further.”

It is only with great effort that Jyana’s stiff command does not translate into a rude reply when Ser Elmer chances a joke. She blinks, shakes her head, and looks at the Crakehall knight next. “Ser, surely you too can see this is more than a mere /daze/. Please, if you mean well at all, help them get the Kingsguard to the nearest maester—/quickly/.”

The squire, for his part, is quick to obey. Hopping to, he ducks under the tall Lannister’s right arm and says, “Come along, ser. The lady says I’m to see you to the Maesters, ser.”

For his part, Ser Jaesin seems agreeable enough to the squire’s suggestion, even if he did fix Jyana with a somewhat puzzled look as she snapped out her orders. “You didn’t talk like that in the locket,” he says, befuddled. “Tell her, Elmer. Tell her how Matrim Jordayne called me the Knight of a Hundred Smiles.”

The squire, tugging the Lannister along, sends Crakehall a mute look of appeal—he is not strong enough alone.

“Killed the bastard for it, too. Stupid Dornishman. Think they’re so gods-damned witty. Jossart Vaith thought he was witty, too, til I had him at swordpoint. Didn’t he, Aemon?”

“Oh no.” The Darklyn girl, less used to command than her Arryn friend, gives her Crakehall cousin a concerned look. “Please, Ser Elmer, help him.”

Elmer takes Jaesin around nodding to the girls. “He’ll be fine ladies, he’s not as far gone as Ser Ethos..” of course, that’s not saying much, Ethos is a crackpot. “Come ser, let’s meet a nice Maester..”

Standfast is there, suddenly, sizing up the Lannister and giving Jyana a pointed look. The lady makes quick work of finding her way down the stands even as the men obey her command. “Boy,” she says to the squire, “Let Noel take your side—Ser Elmer… oh, thank you,” Jyana sighs as the Crakehall finds his mark. “I’ll go on ahead to warn the maester,” the Jewel’s saying even as she suits action to word—swift on her feet now that they find firm ground.

Buoyed up by Ser Noel on the right and Ser Elmer on the left—strong, capable men both, either one even broader of shoulder than he is himself—Jaesin Lannister is helped along slowly. He does not resist, but neither does he move quickly.

“Gods, Aemon,” he says to Ser Elmer as they go, “Do you remember the tourney at Summerhall in our eighteenth year? When you took down my uncle Landyll in a single blow. I thought his head would explode, he turned so red. And Lira was being married, and I missed that…”

They drag him onward, the Kingsguard still prattling on happily. “Dear Lira, she’s done such lovely things for all of us. I hope to see her again soon, she has this exquisite set of cyvasse pieces. Strange game. She would always beat me, too….”