Blood of Dragons

The 'A Song of Ice and Fire' MUSH


Constrained by Courtesy
IC Date: Day 26 of Month 3, 163 AC.
RL Date: November 29, 2011.
Participants: Alyard Corbray, Brynden Tully, Humfrey Westerling, Jannia Tully, Katla Serry, and Kendros Goodbrook
Locations: Red Keep: Western Outer Yard

Summary: The long-awaited confrontation between the Longeaxe and Alyard Corbray, which proves to be constrained by courtesy and the presence of two highborn women. Sparring bouts break out twixt Corbray and the heir to the Crag, while the Longaxe and Brynden Tully spar.

Dark but never bereft of light, torches in sconces about gates and the entrances of buildings provides a faint flickering illumination that leaves only the central part of the western end of the outer yard itself in the gloom. More light pours from the windows of the towers and other structures. Guards make their rounds, sometimes with a torch at hand and sometimes not, occasionally challenging one another or hammering the butt of a spear on the stone of steps or cobbled paths to call out the time. The great bronze gate is usually shut after sunset but the postern gate is kept open and guarded for men on foot or horseback to come and go.

The outer yard continues a great distance beneath the high red walls, encompassing the smaller inner yard from which the highest peak of the Maegor’s Holdfast can just be glimpsed. Here in these northern and southern quadrants of the outer yard, the royal sept and the kitchens can be found, among a number of other structures. To southwest is the great stableyard where horses of guests and the City Watch are kept. Rising in the east is the high wall separating the outer yard from the inner and Maegor’s Holdfast, the only passage through being a lone portcullis. To the west, the bronze gates lead out of the castle entirely.

Cold rain falls from a grey-black sky without moon or stars. A raw wind blows from the east.

The wind blows, hard and cruel and heedless of the comfort of the nobility of King’s Landing. The deepening Autumn does not excuse the men from their practice, however. Knights, squires and boys all are in the yards. Some hack at each other with wooden swords, or posts with real ones. Others tilt at quintains. And amidst the clatter of swords and the rattling of armor, Ser Kendros Goodbrook, the famed Longaxe stands alone. Stripped down to a shirt and dripping with sweat, he spits on the ground and wipes his mouth with his arm before helping up a man at arms. Clutched in his hand is a wooden poleaxe—for practice, of course. The real one rests against a table nearby, and next to that a sword and dagger. No one would ever call him unprepared, no.

Seldom found are unprepared knights in King’s Landing and Ser Alyard Corbray is no exception. The famed Valeknight is recently returned to the Red Keep and word of his arrival has not yet spread beyond the Serry and Greyjoy families. The familiar sound of hooves can be heard through the gate before a rider in dark leather enters the yard with a small retinue in tow. His horse is a white charger covered in mud and travel dirt. The rider is cloaked and hooded, recognisable only by the single raven with a red heart in his talons embroidered onto his leather jerkin.

As he wheels his horse around the cloak is pulled back to reveal long raven black locks, short stubble and stormcloud grey eyes of Alyard Corbray. He swings out of the saddle and passes the reins to a stableboy rushing over to meet them.

The rain and wind do not faze others around the Landing, made of perhaps less stern stuff than knights. One of those figures walks across the yard, emerging from the inner gates that lead from Maegor’s Holdfast. Woollen skirts protected by a well-used sealskin mantle, a maid and guard following in her wake, comes the ironborn. Lady Serry pauses, watching the knights at practice, as well as the knight astride, and a dark brow arches, glancing from the Longaxe to the self-made black sheep, and back again.

Another man comes along to see or perhaps even to include himself in the martial practice of the day. Brynden Tully has on his usual red and blue sleeved brigandine, though the weather is not the best for the material on the outside… thus he adds a cloak to his kit. He bears a plain shield and a practice sword. “Good morning.” he calls, to no one and everyone as he approaches.

New arrivals always cause a bit of a lull wherein the young and oafish turn to gawp at the newcomer, and this is no exception. The Longaxe seems unfazed by it; he is rather in a quiet conversation with his felled opponent, a bearded, pock-faced man who looks as though his beard is attached with paste. Kendros is giving an education on the virtues of the poleaxe, obviously, when he catches the youngster gawping, and turns in time to see Corbray remove his hood. His only immediate response is to spit on the ground and step towards his weapons.

Ser Humfrey, attended by his squire, rests just outside of the fray, after an hour spent battering and receiving blows from his peers. The Knight of the Crag is arrayed in plain plate and mail armor enameled a deep snady gold. He takes a water skin from his squire, takes a long drought and sprays a bit on his face to wash away the sweat. Taking then a woolen rag from his squire he wipes hsi face clean. The Knight of the Crag notes the arrival of s knight bearing the Corbray Crest on his jerkin, then the arrival of Ser Brynden and Lady Serry. “Quite the gathering.” Humfrey lifts his tourney sword from the spot it leaned upon near the yard wall. “Ser Brynden? Care to try me Ser? House Tully has produced a great many fine swordsmen. Or may haps one of you other, gallant fellows?”

The white charger Frost whinnies as it is lead to the stables by the lad, leaving the captain of such a meager party to order his men about, his voice is deep and carried more authority than perhaps before. The men look tired and dirty, they all dismount and split up, some take the horses to the stable and others file off into the keep to leave Alyard standing alone.

His left hand drops to rest on the hilt of his longsword, his gloved index finger tapping a heart-shaped stone worked into the pommel. The knight’s gaze soon shifts to the Serry lady before she looks his way, offering polite bow of the head when her eyes meet his. Glancing over her shoulder he spies a familiar knight stepping towards his weapons. Lifting his right hand the Valeknight brushes a stray lock behind his ear before beginning to slowly pace in the direction of Katla, or perhaps the Longaxe himself.

He is distracted for just a moment by the knight of the Crag before looking away as if he were nothing, more important are the Kraken and the Longaxe.

Jannia Tully comes into the yard wearing a dark blue cloak emblazoned with the Tully sigil in silver thread. Its soft texture is blown about to reveal peeks of a deep blue gown of heavy fabric. Silver embroidery line the hem of her skirts and the collar, flashing little trout that seem to swim along the hem as small swirls connect the them. She tucks an unruly curl back into her hood, and adjusts the pin that holds up the only side of her hair that is suspended. Her guards, Septa, and maid Sarah follow her at a comfortable distance.

Jannia walks eyes averted downward but stops as she hears her brother’s voice, looking up to see Ser Humfrey as well she smiles and curtsies, “Ser Humfrey, Bryn, how do you fair this day?” She smiles brightly as Alyard crosses between them, she greets the man as he rides on past, “Ser,” she says walking to her brother after Alyard goes by.

“Corbray.” Katla looks up to him, rocking back on her heels a bit, careless of the mud and muck. “Gone off to the Vale again, or playing errand-boy for Lady Arryn?” She tilts her head, curious, eyes flicking back to Kendros and then the famed Valeknight again. “You’ve been in and out so oft of late, I’d think you wanted little enough to do with the Keep.” The erstwhile Greyjoy’s eyes skim over the others, seeming to take little interest in the Tullys and the Westerling heir, eyes more focused on the imminent chaos.

Ser Kendros seizes his discarded shirt of mail and dons it, next buckling his swordbelt about his waist just so. He leaves the poleaxe for now, bidding a young boy too fat for his leather hauberk to keep an eye on the thing, and walks towards Lady Serry. “Perhaps later, Ser Humfrey,” he says curtly. “Lady Jannia.”

He cracks a knuckle as he approaches Katla and Alyard, though it is an idle gesture. “Lady Katla,” he finally says as he arrives, though he chooses to focus his gaze on Corbray, barely even looking at her.

“My lady…” Alyard utters politely, abeit quietly before she too is dismissed as he continues onto the Greyjoy-Serry, pausing at her feet, though his gaze remains on the Longaxe as he speaks. “A hunt, breaking in the youngsters, a raven from the Vale brought word of rapers fleeing Lord Arryn’s justice and…” He pauses as if he remembers her status, eventually. “Needless to say it is all taken care of, Lady Serry.” He glances at her for just a moment, an apologetic look, perhaps for the impending violence, forgetting her status or maybe just for treating her like a lady.

The Longaxe regains his attention as Katla is addressed. Stormcloud gaze shifts, sizing him up perhaps. Tap tap tap goes that finger on the stone heart. “Ser…” He utters when their eyes meet again.

The Knight of the Crag’s attention is torn from the knights sparring in the courtyard, at Jannia’s appearance. He watches he walk toward Brynden, a riot of river blue, and lighter hues, adorned with silver.

Katla’s shoulders rise and fall in a heavy sigh as she looks at Kendros. “Ser Kendros.” A smile, bare politeness, ghosts across her face. “I would say well met, but there is little of good meeting in the rain and winds.” She turns her eyes to the Corbray knight. “Ser Alyard. I’ve still expectations you’ll be teaching my lord how better to knock men off a horse. You offered such, and have vanished, and I will be most wroth if it happens again. You have saved my life,” she says firmly, “and yet you seem flighty as a maiden with a knight she longs for when it comes to staying around the Keep.”

Jannia nods at Alyard for his greeting, turning to Brynden giggling at her ever jesting brother, “/You/” she says in reply with a playful smile dancing on her lips. “You know brother one of these days I am not going to know if you are kidding or telling the truth and you will draw great offense.” She grins, looking at Kendros recognizing a familiar face, the name comes to her, “Ser Kendros, it has been a very long ti..” She snaps her mouth shut as he readies himself and moves towards Alyard. “Oh dear,” she says with a look of foreboding the wipes away as quick as it came turning back to the two that stand in front of her.

Her maid and septa move to stand under the eves near by, Jannia watches them settle in their place, shooting Humfrey a smile as her eyes note his appearance, “Brother what has you out here this day? Does Uncle Darmen have you on some business?” She smiles awaiting her brothers response.

The Knight of the Crag’s attention is torn from the knights sparring in the courtyard, at Jannia’s appearance. He watches he walk toward Brynden, a riot of river blue, and lighter hues, adorned with silver. “My Lady, you’re quite the vision of loveliness, you’ll forgive me impertinence but you where is your longbow.” Here Humfrey’s lips turn up into a teasing smile. He makes his way to where the Lady Jannia and her brother stand, falls on one knee and kisses Jannia’s signet. Rising and turning to Brynden, Humfrey tilts his chestnut brows. “Ser Alyard looks rather wroth, Ser . . .” A word is spoken to Humfrey’s squire and the boy fetches the knight’s sword. Humfrey buckles the weapon on then turns to Brynden. “I would be honored Ser . . . but perhaps we should wait, I am a bit worried they may endeavor to kill each other.”

A twitch of the eye is the only sign of his ire, though Ser Kendros does not lash out. “Don’t play the fool with me, Ser. It is unbecoming. It was my wish to be the first to greet you, but it seems I have been robbed of that honor. What a pity.”
“No, no… hoping I’ll see Ser Dagur about. Mostly.” Brynden says to his sister. “I would not worry overmuch about those two. They’ll just hurt each other a good deal and someone will drag them off to their quarters. Longaxe knows better in any case.” He looks to Humfrey. “It bothers him to no end, that he has to answer to anyone.” Then the knight falls to a knee and kisses his sister’s ring. “That hardly seems necessary. And rather forward.”

“Saved your life? I did what any knight would have done…even your husband. Perhaps it is time you accept some men fight with swords and others with words, you can decide in your own time to which group Serry belongs.” His tone is as sharp as his words, a brief glance down at her reveals a cold side to which she has not had to endure for some time.

As for the Longaxe, he looks him dead in the eye and flashes /that/ wry grin. “I respect you enough, /just/ enough to spare you being played for a fool. I assume you are here to serve a purpose, or is your visit to King’s Landing for my benefit, Ser?”

Jannia blushes lightly as he speaks of her appearance, “You flatter me surely.” Smiling asks of her bow, “Not this day no, but the rain has made it less than ideal for it now.” When he drops to a knee to kiss her hand she doesn’t know what to do, so instead she just stares cheeks as red as a rose. She looks to the group destined to fight then back to Brynden, then back to Humfrey, completely out of her comfort zone, when he rises she breaths again. She just nods at Brynden about Dagur and stands silent for a moment, collecting her thoughts.
“You, Dagur, and Ammon. Otherwise…” A hand drifts up to touch her throat, an unconscious gesture, and then it falls back to the Serry woman’s side. “Lord Serry was busy enough on-deck. No, you gave me the blade, Corbray, and the three of you that went into Saan’s ship, I owe a debt of gratitude to, and you’ll have to come to terms with that fact soon enough.” Her eyes blaze, but she does not move from that position between the two knights. She smiles prettily up at Alyard. “And if you happened to ever stay round long enough in King’s Landing, you might find I’ve already found which side my lord husband falls on.”

Her posture shifts, ever so slightly, and she turns to Kendros. “I have a penchant, it seems, for running into Corbray at the times he could least wish it. A special skill I seem to have acquired.” Still, Katla does not back out from twixt the pair, shoulders almost squaring beneath the mantle as she balances.

Humfrey meets Jann’s gaze and chuckles at the sight of her face flushing. She is quite the maid, for all her willfullness and poise. When Brynden kneels to kiss Jann’s ring in turn Humfrey turns to Brynden, tilting his eyes toward Jannia’s brother, knelt before her kissing her ring. “Rather forward Ser?” He turns them to the Longaxe and to the Knight of House Corbray, a look of keen interest on his face, his hand falls to his sword hilt. “I pray it doesn’t break out into a wholescale brawl, Ser.”
“Clearly you have been gone for some time, my lord of Corbray, or you would know that I reside here for the forseeable future. There are tournaments enough nearby to keep me in the style to which I am accustomed. Someone must be here to keep the tongues of the Reynes in check, after all,” Longaxe replies, looking finally to address Katla. “I doubt it is all so special as you think, Lady Serry. I daresay it is rather common.”

Brynden frowns at Humphrey. “See here, ser. Perhaps you should consider the brawl that may be happening right here in a moment. You are not my sister’s husband. I will thank you to keep your hands off her until such time as you are, if ever.” He considers for a moment. “What possessed you to do that in front of all these people, in front of her brother, for the gods’ sake?” He seems to getting up a head of steam now. “Do you want people to talk about her? It may be wise, ser, for you to apologize to the lady for your poor judgment.”

“The Brawl here?” Humfrey’s lips part, as though to speak, no words escape his lips, his jaw closes until Brynden has finished speaking. “Ser, I beg your pardon for being so forward. Though I doubt any who suggested impropriety on the part of your lady sister would utter such slander more than once, your Lady sister is quite the spitfire, Ser, her words and wit are sharp as Prince Aemon’s Dark Sister, Ser.” Turning to Jannia, Humfrey smiles. “My Lady, I beg you pardon my forwardness . . . and I beg that you do gut and dress any who suggest impropriety on your part, a simple maiming would suffice.”

The frustration on the Corbray knight’s face is clear as Katla continues to draw attention from Kendros. He glances down at her once more and speaks quietly, though his tone grows cold. “If you insist on rewarding me, Greyjoy, I ask that you return to your Lord husband. Your place is with him, not here. I saved you because he could not, that is all. /Now/ you two are wed and it is his place to watch over you, we owe each other nothing…My Lady.”

Stepping away from her he looks to Kendros once more. “Unfortunately not all of us are able to enjoy tourneys and the comforts offered by our Royal hosts for as long as you it seems, I was needed in the Vale…” Alyard glances to Katla once more for a fleeting moment before Kendros is given space and time to make his move. “I have duties, Ser…did your welcome go as planned, or is there more you wished from me before I continue?”

Katla chuckles softly, a half-smile dancing across her face, softening the sharp angles. “True, Ser Kendros. Then again, any time I’m seen is a time someone could least wish it, for who wants the Lord Reaper’s daughter ever walking their way?” If there is another meaning, she seems to ignore it; her gaze catches the pair of Tullys and the Westerling heir, and then she turns back to Alyard and Kendros, hands folding beneath the mantle against the wind and rain. She seems to ignore Alyard’s request utterly, and merely stands back to watch the pair.
Jannia frowns at her brother, “Brynden I am fairly sure I am able to speak for myself. He meant no harm…. ” Her mouth finds it’s self snapping shut for the second time this day, “No apologies necessary I know your intent was not to bruise my character. I may be a spitfire, but I do know when to speak and when not to, but to this I would defend, you are correct.” She giggles, “You two shall not fight in the chance that one day you be good brother’s I could not stand anyone quarreling in my house. I do think we all get along fairly well there, do you not agree Brynden?” She says trying to diffuse the situation.
Distracted by the scene taking place nearby, Kendros looks over to Brynden and Humfrey and Jannia. “Leave off the poor man, Brynden. You sound like a that crag-faced old Septa back at Riverrun.”

That said, he looks back to Alyard, frowning. “Her name is Serry, Ser, not Greyjoy. And I would wish many things of you, most of them impolite to give name in mixed company. The women do so abhor the sight of blood; perhaps later.”

Brynden nods to Humfrey, then. “Better.” He points a finger at Jannia. “I told you that if you…” He looks back to Kendros. “Who asked you, Goodbrook? Just because you have no idea how to act around a lady you haven’t paid, does not mean other knights have to be the same.” He shrugs and looks back to Humfrey again. “Better. My thanks.”
“I take no offence, Ser Kendros. He was neither here when I was wed, nor have I spoken with him but once or twice since then. I have heard it said that ravens are clever, but this one got into a habit that seems hard to shake… And I am still my father’s daughter, and ever will be.” Katla shrugs a bit, smiles again. “I have been a Greyjoy for twenty-four years, and Serry for less than one. It takes some adjustment.” She looks down at the signet rings on her hands, shoulders rippling in a silent laugh. She moves to walk away, then pauses, and looks back. “Ladies are not so affrighted of blood as you might think, Longaxe.” And then she moves towards the Guest Tower, guard and maid again following in her wake.
The Knight of the Crag nods to Jannia “Yes, my lady, it would be ill indeed to start such a quarrel.” When Kendros speaks, Humfrey smiles, and stifles a chuckle. “Ah, Ser, I think every maid and page are maligned by that specimen of old Septa, I’ll wager the crone mints them and sends them about the realm to malign boys and maids.”

At Ser Brynden’s rebuttal Humfrey swallows another chuckle. “Ser, you Ser Kendros is a fine knight . . . is that not so Jann?”

“Lady Serry will always be a Greyjoy…” Alyard replies simply before his lips curl into a wry grin once more. “For once we agree, Longaxe, though do not fool yourself. I am no weak prey, if I recall, you have seen me duel once before.” He bows at that and takes a few steps back before turning and moving into the crowd of training men, seeking out his own.

Jannia shoots Kendros a grin, “Aye I certainly do, she was a sour woman to that I remember,” saying before he turns back to Alyard. She grins at Brynden, “Aww brother, what kind of sister would I be if I did not sass you every now and again.” She pokes him with her finger trying to get him to smile, “You are Family, it is my Duty to keep you on your toes, and my Honor to do so,” she says with a hearty chuckle. She looks at Humfrey with a smile, “Indeed they are, I had not seen Ser Kendros in a very long time, though I might say I am surprised he remembers me even, I was such a young thing then. I take pride in all the Knights of the Riverlands of course.” she says with a smile that says as much, beaming with pride.

“Ah, but you have never dueled me,” Kendros observes wryly, turning his full attention now to Brynden Tully. “I do not need to be asked, ser. If you have a problem with that…”

His voice trails, and he merely shrugs.

The Knight of the Crag looks toward the crowd of knights and squires, spreading, resuming their exercises, a bit disappointed no doubt that there will not be a fight, no blood shed, no sound of steel on steel as Corbray and Goodbrook try each other with longsword and axe. “Ser Alyard! Ser, you were rather preoccupied with the Longaxe but may I offer you a sword, or mayhaps a lance?”

Jannia pipes up, “Brother, you should practice duel with Ser Kendros, for memories sake, if that would please the both of you of course.” She looks down briefly, “It is always nice to see a familiar face Ser Kendros, how have you been?” she asks politely, half glad there was no fight, looking back up with a smile.

Brynden throws his head back and laughs. “You do enjoy hearing yourself talk, Longaxe. Thank you for the amusement for the evening. Very funny.” He looks to Jannia, still grinning. “I am far too lowly for our Riverlord’s attention. I’m no Reyne, after all.”

The Corbray knight moves through the assorted knights and men-at-arms before Humfrey stops him. “Ser?” He asks, halting for the persistent knight, that cold look usually reserved for Katla shared for the third time today. “If you wish to knock down this Corbray to impress lady Jannia, I suggest you look for weaker prey…” Alyard replies as he turns to relieve a young lad of his blunted blade. With a fluid motion he brings the blade up to almost press into the other knight’s chest. “I will give you a moment to turn and return to your companions…”

Kendros looks from Brynden to Jannia and back again. “Ah, but there are no Reynes here, Ser Brynden. But I can understand a desire to avoid reliving unpleasant memories.

“I am quite well. I should have loved to have a spar with your brother, my lady, if it would amuse you even for a moment,” he says to Jannia, smiling warmly and sounding quite ardent to boot. “I fear it is not to be, sadly. Perhaps you can suggest someone else? Someone with the stomach for it?”

Jannia rolls her eyes at Brynden, “Sure brother, I do not think Ser Kendros would think such a thing.” Her gaze turns to Alyard, “Ser I do believe that everyone knows I cannot be impressed by such gallantries, only amused, I do not swoon so easily,” she grins at Alyard, Turning back to her brother and Kendros, smiling brightly, “No need to amuse me, though the offer is kind, I just thought it would be good fun no. He might not like the memories, but I sure do. Surely a girl of eight and ten, is allowed to like it just as much as a girl of four and ten no?” She grins, “As you wish though I will try not to be too sad,” she chuckles.

The Knight of the Crag lifts his tourney sword in in a wicked quick blow, slim as a lance, he’s not as strong as some of his peers, like Lord Rivers or the Stormbreaker, but quick and nimble as a dancer. Humfrey lifts his sword. “You’re uncharitable Ser, my ego is not so fragile as thing nor would I presume to call any but a lame Corbray weak prey or shirk a challenge once I’ve proffered it.” The Westerling knight raises his tourney sword in a salute and charges at Alyard, aiming a quick sing at his gorget.

Brynden shakes his head. “But you have not kidnapped me, ser. Is that not how you find your opponents? Ambush and letting your companions beat them before you face them finally?” He shrugs and turns his back on the Goodbrook knight. “Ah, well.”

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

Kendros’ right eye twitches and he speaks in a fey voice. “Yes, and if Edmure had been murdered in cold blood I fully expect you would have hid behind your father. Or in this case, your sister’s skirts. Ah, well. Such is the luxury of the second son.”

Then the moment passes and Kendros shrugs, looking then to the fight. “I’ll lay a stag on Corbray, since it appears I’m not to beat on a Tully today.”

Alyard sighs as Humfrey continues with his challenge, not giving the other knight the respect he clearly deserves. His sword stays low as the other strikes, reeling back into a couple of training men as the sword strikes the side of his neck. “If this is what you want, Ser…” He utters, craning his neck as he slowly paces purposefully to the knight of the Crag, meeting him with a swift strike aimed at his sword to hopefully open him up to a swing aimed at his side.

Alyard attacks Humfrey with his sword…andstrikes him with a swift blow!

The Knight of the Crag chuckles at the sight of Alyard stumbling into a pair of Targaryen guardsmen, trianing with wooden clubs. “Indeed it is Ser” Humfrey lifts his sword for another strike but the Corbray knights quick retort puts an end to that. Humfrey gasps and winces as Alyard’s sword slams into his cuirass in a swift attack. Still wincing from the blow, “You’re quite quck, Ser.” Humfrey lifts his blade high and swings down at Ser Alyard’s left pauldron in a vicious diagonal arc.

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

Brynden looks back. “Eh, if Edmure had been murdered, I doubt I would have run away from the Reach.” He shrugs again. “Eh, why not? Do you need your little axe or do you prefer swords and shields?” He reaches down to unbuckle his sword belt and sets it near Jannia, then collects his tourney sword and shield.

Jannia restrains a chuckle at Kendros’ words, thankful she is facing away from her brother. Smiling as he accepts the challenge. Picking up the sword to keep it safe as she moves away a few steps to get a better view. “Don’t kill each other alright? I do not need to be sending /those/ ravens out.” She giggles lightly watching as Humfrey and Alyard go at it nodding as Humfrey’s blade hits true.

If Alyard had started to take this knight seriously, it certainly didn’t show with his sloppy defending. He left himself open as if he expected his last blow to fell his opponent. The blow takes him in the side and he staggers to the left with his expression going from a flash of pain to rare anger. “Who are you, knight?” He spits before moving in with a vicious strike of his own aimed at Humfrey’s sword hand.

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

“I am exiled, Ser, if you had not heard. Why do you think I am even here?” Kendros snaps, though he smiles. It seems he has gotten what he wanted. The heir to Goodbrook steps to a rack of weapons and hefts a pollaxe with a head made of very dense wood—it will not slice, but it will really fucking hurt. Unbuckling his sword belt, he casts it to the side and tosses his new weapon back and forth between hands before whipping it through the air. “It will do,” he says, stepping into an empty area. “Ready when you are.”

Ser Humfrey lifts his sword and shield as soon as the blow lands circling left with the Knight of House Corbray, a wicked smile forms on the Westerling Knight’s face. “Ser Humfrey of House Westerling, my Lord father’s heir, Ser Alyard. Though you’d scarce ever hear him admit to it.” Humfrey glances to the opposite side of the yard where Kendros and Brynden are squaring off then fixates upon Ser Alyard. “Good fortune, Ser Brynden, Ser Alyard is quite formidable, and I fear quite wr…”

Humfrey’s words die as Alyard’s sword cracks against the joint of male above his gauntlet. He winces and curses and narrowly avoids dropping his sword. “Ah . . . you almost had me, Ser.” Humfrey’s retort comes high a wicked downward blow aimed at the knight’s right pauldron, a bit laggard but with all the force of his frame.

Humfrey attacks Alyard with his sword…and sees his blow go wild!

Brynden steps forward, his sword and shield ready. “Oh, I know. You are exiled, rather than fighting to your last drop of blood. Ah, well. You let them win. But then I would have expected little more.” He really must want to get himself hurt as he begins circling slowly to his own right. “I always wondered why you prefered the poleaxe. I’ve played with them myself…. but I wonder if you need the long pole because it makes you feel better about something else?”

“Well then, Ser Humfrey…I am Alyard Corbray of Heart’s Home and this is the last time you will assume we are fast friends.” The Valeknight spits back as he moves into a defensive stance to meet his opponent’s attack. In a swift motion he moves his blade to parry the heavy swing and reply instantly with a heavy swing aimed at the Westering’s chest.

Alyard attacks Humfrey with his sword…and has his blow intercepted by Humfrey’s shield.

“Come now, you can do better,” Longaxe says, unimpressed, shuffling his feet slowly to his own right to keep the Tully in front of him. Then he attacks, lunging forward with a quick thrust down at Brynden’s knee, trying to hook the axe head around his leg and pull him off balance.

Kendros attacks Brynden with his polearm…and strikes him with a shattering blow!

Jannia smiles as her brother readies for Melee, “Try not to get too hurt brother,” she shouts a jest. Wincing a little as Humfrey is whacked in the arm. When Kendros hits her brother she lets out a quiet “Ouch,” and grins as the melee continues.

Humfrey’s sword wrist blazes as his blow descends he swallows a curse then lifts his sword to intercept Corbray’s thrust at the last moment, leaning his frame back to dodge the helf foot of wood that snakes past his tourney sword. “My, ser, you are wroth. I hate to imagine what you would have done to Longaxe if one of you had bared steel.” Humfrey shifts his legs and pulls back freeing his blade and whips his sword forward in a lightning quick serpent-snap at the joint between Alyard’s codpiece and his breastplate.

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

Brynden’s defense fails him, but then he was trying to be more clever than he actually is with his nonchalant movement. He pays for it with a hard clout to the knee, but possibly just the edge of his shield deflects the blow enough to keep him on his feet. He moves quickly forward, trying to get inside the longer weapon’s effective distance, he swings his sword in a quick little arc, hoping for a hit on Kendros’ elbow.

Brynden attacks Kendros with his sword…and strikes him with a shattering blow!

The Corbray shares no more banter with the Westerling, he becomes more efficient, more combatlike as he deals with the incoming attack. Sweeping it to the side he hopefully opens up his opponent up enough to a heavy rake against his belly.

Alyard attacks Humfrey with his sword…strikes him with a swift blow!

Humfrey grunts as the Corbray knights slams a quick blow against his breast plate, his sword ascends and descends in an arc at Corbray’s helm

Humfrey attacks Alyard with his sword…and strikes him with a shattering blow! The Corbray knight is driven to the ground.

Brynden’s retaliation is effective enough; it lands hard on his mail shirt and the sheer force of the larger man’s blow knocks him off balance, a noticeable grimace on his face. He spits on the ground and attempts to shake off the pain. All of which takes a mere second before he is again on the offensive, lashing out with the top of the axehead to smash straight into Brynden’s chest.

Kendros attacks Brynden with his polearm…and strikes him with a hard blow!

Alyard defends poorly and pays the price with a strike against the side of his head that forces him down to one knee, the sword dropping from his hand. “Gods…” He utters, flexing his burned hand as he catches his breath. Looking up, the Valeknight glares before steadying himself and turning without saying another word.

Jannia crosses her arms holding Brynden’s sword there with a half-hug, Kendros and Brynden whack away at each other with deft strikes. When Humfrey strikes Alyard with a bone rattling blow that causes Alyard to turn away she nods, “Well done sers,” with an amused look on her face.

Humfrey bends down and offers Alyard a hand. “A fine duel Ser, thank you, we should cross swords again, the minstrels are right. The Corbrays are fine swordsmen.”

Brynden is fast, but the blow to his knee slows him down some. Too much, it seems, as his opponent is able to bring his weapon around after all. He evidently expected an attack from his left, so that’s where his shield went. Instead, he again leaves himself open, this time he takes a blow to his chest. “Oof! Bloody Hells!” he exclaims. He does his best to bind the pollaxe’s shaft as he thrusts his sword at Kendros’ chest in return.

Brynden attacks Kendros with his sword…and strikes him with a swift blow!

“The last thing I need are your sympathies…Ser.” Alyard replies with venom as he ignores the offered and hand rises unaided and pushes past the knight into the crowd.

Humfrey stares at the Corbray knight for a time then turns to Jann, he walks over to the the Lady of the Vale’s youngest daughter turning as Brynden’s sword slams into Kendros. “Knock the stuffing out of him Ser!”

Kendros tries to knock aside the blow with the queue of the weapon, finding only partial success. He knocks the blade into his shoulder instead. It hurts, but it merely adds more torque. He brings around the queue and attempts to use it to hook Brynden around the leg again and take him clean off his feet.

Kendros attacks Brynden with his polearm…and strikes him with a shattering blow! The Tully knight is knocked to the ground.

Bryden’s attempted bind only serves to keep his shield unready for Kendros’ swift rotation of his axe. His legs are indeed swept out from under him and he lands hard on his back. He pulls his shield close as he goes down, in case of a follow-on attack. “Ugh! Ow!” he grunts, but then he is laughing. “Good, good! Feel better?”

Humfrey winces as the Longaxe’s blow takes Brynden in the legs. “Well fought, Sers, well fought. Brynden, come and have some wine, I think I may need a flagon to still the aches Ser Alyard gave me.”

Jannia smiles as Humfrey as he whispers to her she grins, and nods, “Yes I do believe they are doing very well, though it looks like my Brother has been bested.” She looks around Kendros to check, leaning to the right almost falling, she grumbles at this. She smiles when her thoughts ring true, “Good show brother, Ser Kendros, it was nice seeing that again, it has been far too long.” She walks up to the men setting Brynden’s sword down, “Ser, brother, I must needs to eat, I will be on my way now. Brother I will see you at the manse, Ser Kendros, it has been a pleasure, I do hope it is not years before I have it again.” She curtsies before turning to leave, speaking with Humfrey. “Would you like to join me ser?” she gestures toward the Kitchen Keep, “I think the cook their said they are having squab and broth this day.” She smiles brightly before gathering her retinue, she waits for Humfrey’s reply.

Humfrey smiles to Jann and nods. “Squab sounds delightful.” Humfrey hands his sword to his squire, the boy sets it down beside the knight’s camp stool and helps Humfrey doff his helm, gorget, greaves, breastplate and the rest. Stripped down to padded wool doublet, boots, and leggings, the knight dons his cloak and follows after Jann.

“No,” replies Kendros, breathing a little heavily as he looks at the Tully knight with his axehead poised. He lets that image hang for a second, and then lowers it. He extends his hand to offer to help the Tully up. “Do not make light of Obyn’s death again. He was twice the knight of any man here. You. Corbray. Myself. Everyone.”

There is more than a touch of anguish to his voice, but he reserves a hateful stare for Alyard. That being said at last, he turns to leave.

Brynden accepts the help up. “Yes, he was. I do not make light of it, ser. Good fight today. I hope we meet again in a tournament, or at least in the melee. We are on the same side, Goodbrook, if you want to accept it or not.” He shrugs, though. He looks back to Humfrey. “My thanks, ser… but I think I should speak to my sister.” He steps back to where she was to collect his swordbelt and moves to set off after her.