Autumn, as the rainy season, wreaks havoc upon the pavilion grounds. Standing so close to the river, the grounds are hardly more than a big field of mud and still pools. Rents in the ground form and are smoothed in, as runoff down towards the river constantly occurs in one place or another. Trees are upon the riverbank, but primarily willows. Within the Blackwater Rush, a pleasure boat or a merchant’s shallow-drafted ship might occasionally float by, sometimes even accompanied by a war-galley employed against piracy.
To the south, of course, the grounds come to an end when they are met by the waters of the Blackwater Rush. Further along the river, past a congregation of willows to the west, lie the tourney fields themselves, where many a reputation has been made and lost. Towards the northeast lies the Breakspear Lane, neatly kept and flanked by tall rows of trees. Ending at the King’s Gate, it links the city to its tournaments.
Fair weather clouds drift through the blue sky from the west. The wind is gusty.
The weather, it seems, has smiled for the melee today - fair clouds drift through the sky, and gusty winds fill the sails of ships along the river. Several tiers of seating, much as one would see at a joust, have been set up safely away from the bank of the Blackwater Rush.
Smallfolk and a variety of curious courtiers are already scattered in the seats and along the river, their clothing bright against the wooden seats and cheerful in the cool autumn weather. With the rumours that have been slowly moving around King’s Landing, murmurs of the ironborn and the finger-dance, bringing perhaps more of an audience. Still - there are those who merely wish to watch the glorious bloodshed of a melee, no matter how unusual it is.
The field of battle today is three shallow-draft longboats moored near the bank, a fresh coat of paint and new linen sails snapping in the breeze, bereft of decoration. The ships are wide-bellied, allowing for at least a crew of twenty plus cargo; today that crew has vanished, rowing benches removed in favour of a deck cleared of rope and barrels and other obstructions. Small ramps have been built from the shore to two far-end ships, wide enough for two men in plate to walk abreast to the river-craft. A spiked boarding-ramp has been placed between the ships craft at the widest part of the hulls, allowing men to cross betwixt them.
It’s been an eventful last couple of days for Janden Melcolm. After the encounter at the inn - rumors have swirled - with the Ironborn and the Lady Serry left him needing to think hard on one thing or another, there was a chat with his sister as well. Today? He’s decided to try himself with this new kind of melee. All the same, he looks out at the longboats in shallow waters with a less than eager expression. Plate armor has been left behind in favor of lighter stuff, consisting of some hardened leather and mail. All the better to be quick with. He mills about on solid ground, double-checking things.
Considering that he’s performed less than admirably in Lady Tully’s melee, Ser Jared Fell is here to try and make more of a showing this time around. The Stormlander is clad in a breastplate with some other plate pieces, but it’s clear that he’s decided to opt for mobility rather than full protection this time around. His sword rests within a scabbard to the left, clipped in place through a loop in the belt. Very few, if any, servants of his House are here to attend him.
Ammon Massey stands upon the field, or near enough to make no matter. He studies the longboats with a critical eye, brow furrowed, jaw clenched tight. His left hand, the maimed one, taps a rhythm on his sword’s hilt.
A melee on boats, eh? Well, it seems no one told the Blackhand—the knight wears his plate, well polished, though to worn to give much of a shine. His helm lies in the hands of his squire; the boy stands quietly by the man’s side.
Plate armor? But then, Ammon Massey squired for Dagur Saltcliffe, so perhaps he is trained to fight on deck in full armor. Or perhaps he just doesn’t care, with word coming from Duskendale as it has.
Ammon does look angry, come to think of it.
A newly-minted captain in the Sea Watch, it is likely no surprise that Brynden Tully would make an appearance at a melee happening onboard ship. That it might provide a chance to commit violence against Ironborn makes this even more attractive. Thus the Tully knight seems in good-spirits as he waits for things to begin. He has not brought his heavy plate as he might use on land, instead choosing to wear his colorful brigandine, gauntlets, sleeves and leggings too, a nasaled helm that is otherwise open for a good field of view. His shield is smaller than he might take to war as well and is round, perhaps hoping not to snag on fighting companions. The wooden face of the shield is painted in the red and blue of his house, the embowed silver trout on the field.
For the first time in years, Ser Walton Smallwood has shown up to a melee. He’s clad in simple armor, little to no plate, mainly chain mail and padded cloth armor. Arriving with a few of the Stormlanders present, friends of House Buckler or acquainted with them, he makes his way around to inspect the others who’re present. He has two men-at-arms with him, one bearing the Smallwood colors, another the Buckler ones.
Ser Humfrey Westerling has lost half a stone and much of his ruddy color since departing the Riverlands two months past. Gone too is his mane of hair-all save the inch and a half that has grown over his skull in the time since his departure from the Golden Tooth. More telling there are now a few strands of gray in the erstwhile heir’s hereto chestnut hair. Nevertheless, he is here arrayed in jerkin and lambswool leggings dyed chestnut. He is attended not by Erton who, doubtless, has made his way back to Brightwater or found service with another knight but rather by his macabre begging brother-a sinister man tall and gaunt with three teeth in his skull. These click as he surveys the field-like a lord looking, lustily, over a feast set upon his table.
Ser Humfrey of the Crag—or rather Ser Humfrey of the Hedge wears no armor. By the look of him it’s doubtful he’d be able to bear of the weight of mail and plate.
In the stands sit an odd collection - the Lord Serry, in finery of red and white, seated beside his wife; his ironborn wife, dressed in the black-and-gold of her natal house, finally appears interested in the event to come. The newborn twins are nowhere to be seen - likely tucked away with a nurse, not so close to the fracas, if not back in the Serry apartments in the Red Keep. Katla looks every inch the Greyjoy today, the only nod to her Southshield ties an iron comb in her thick black hair, the comb studded with rubies and pearls, and a heavy pendant around her neck, a heraldic rose marked out with chips of red and white gemstones. She leans over to murmur something to her spouse, who answers equally quietly, pointing to the ships.
Andred brings the only armor he has. Though he has left plate at home, he wears what he has left: a haubrek of mail. The rings are made of a crude form of iron, iron that jingles excessively as the young squire walks. The haubrek is too long. It hangs near his knees, perhaps restricting his movement, but he could not move very fast to begin with. Under an armpit, he carries his Great Helm freckled with dents not all the way hammered out. In his right hand draped over his shoulder, he carries with him the only thing of worth: his warhammer. A precious thing of madness and destruction.
Blue eyes go to the longships, the field of combat. They look intent even if this is not the large squire’s ideal field of combat. His walk is slow. He saves his energy for hammer time.
His eyes move from the ships towards the stands. They look for familiar faces. Squirely duties have severely hindered his social life at court (if it existed in the first place him being a bastard and all).
Garlan has something to prove in the field of battle. The squire jumped at the opportunity to participate, and appears eager to begin. He has chosen to wear some light leather, hoping to take advantage of the mobility it will afford him in a ship board melee.
Perhaps preparing to be thrown overboard, the Warden of the Kingswood stands amongst the other competitors in his war leathers rather than plate. His morningstar has likewise been eschewed for an axe; smaller than a battleaxe, but somewhat larger than a hatchet, though not by much. The sight may come as a surprise to many who know the Warden’s typical preference of the flashy and formal over the objective and necessary, but at least the ensamble is all done in crimsons and ermines - Ser Farin’s penchant for heraldry still lacking any device that might hint at the part of his heritage that might have done him well here.
Some might wish to fight in the style of the Ironborn with full plate on the deck of a ship but not Ser Luthor. The Riverlands bastard arrives on horseback, armoured in mail and leather only, a barbute helm perched upon his head. He swings down from his horse and passes his reins to one of his men, exchanging them for a shield of light pine rimmed in iron and blunted arming sword, good for close combat. So armed, Luthor makes his way through the crowd to the waterside nodding to well-wishers as he passes by.
Janden continues to pace, though his eyes briefly shift toward the stands where he finds Katla Serry in particular. Efforts to speak with her the day prior were unsuccessful. A reason for it? No matter now, a gauntleted hand rubbing at his thin beard as he checks a half-helm brought for added protection, a plain shield in possession along with a tourney-style sword. Most people he’s seen have gone with the lighter armor as well, opposed to the full plate. Up to now there have been no greetings offered, certainly not to any of the Ironborn as yet. It’d seem he’s more focused on just staring down the ships as he drinks from a wineskin.
Walton arms himself with a combination of round shield and a long-shafted hand axe with a hook rather than a spike at the back of it. There’s also a club hanging from his belt. He stops to speak with one of the Stormlanders while looking out among the crowds. When Ser Luthor shows up, Walton waves him over, or attempts to.
And then - there are the ironborn. They are clad in plate and mail for the most part, a demonstration of their nonchalance at the risk of drowning; most wear the sigil of their house somewhere on themselves, often the Greyjoy kraken - there is a silver serpent there, and a silver fish on green as well. They stand with their helms off, sunlight glinting off hair black as ink, and one with dark red locks: the gingers are everywhere, it seems. Almost all the ironmen are armed with bearded axes, shafts well-worn and the axeheads blunted, at least for this tourney - His Grace’s orders.
Luthor spots his cousin and sees him wave, after a moment’s consideration he makes his way over. “Cousin,” he says with a nod. “Ready for the fight?”
Wearing an ornately designed burnished steel fitted breastplate with matching shin and wrist guards, Ser Marrik Bar Emmon looks well protected, but without the heaviness of full plate armour. Strapped to his left arm is a small banded buckler that, while not very heavy, can be used to quickly knock away incoming attacks with precision. His handsome face shines from underneath a matching, ornate burnished steel barbute helmet with noseguard. The famous Captain’s confidence emanates from his posture, and the look in his eyes as he watches the other combatants.
The only true Westerling present - Ryckon - is dressed to signify his house, but not elaborately, with a surcoat in his house’s colors worn over a mail hauberk, itself over his normal set of leather armor, and a plain metal half-helm. No plate, of course, following the example of others who want to be able to move during the fight. His normal mace hangs from the left side of his belt, and he also has a hatchet at the right for closer combat. His shield, as usual, bears the blue-chiefed arms of his father. Glaring over at the ironborn as they arrive, he suddenly straightens himself out, standing tall and holding his head up, trying to look intimidating.
Walton nods to Luthor when the slightly more famous ‘family’ member approaches him. He hefts his axe up onto his shoulder and nods sideways towards it. “Got a hook axe, cannot get much more ready than that.” There’s even a small smile, a sense of excitement in someone who rarely displays such.
The competitors trickle in, and Ammon’s eyes move from longboat. to Ironborn, to the gathered knights. One small group in particular draws his attention; Ammon and his squire make their way toward the Rivers bastard and the men he speaks with. “So, it’s blades again is it, ser?” Ammon Blackhand asks his good-nephew.
The Lady Damia is here this day, but her betrothed appears not to be. Still, she seems in good spirits, in a blue linen gown pipped with bright maroon silk around the hem, arms and neckline. A belt of gold coins hangs loosely over the shape of her hips, with a gold ship as the clasp. She wears a woven golden necklace, and comes with her Septa close in tow.
Her arm is laced with that of Jyana, the Jewel of the Eyrie. The girls seem to be talking quietly together as they walk. “...duties called him away, he was terribly unhappy to miss it. I confess I do not know who I shall put my hopes behind, if Ser Dermett is not here.”
Humfrey surveys the field with chestnut eyes that—truth be told—look a bit dull. A glance from Tully and Smallwood to the begging brother. “Brother…. my mail.” There is a great deal of fishing about—and fumbling but, at last, the brother pulls it from off a drey a short distance from the pier—and sets about, awkwardly helping the thin knight buckle his mail on. When all is, at least, seemingly, as it should be. Ser Humfrey approaches the the pier—his steps a bit unsteady if truth be told. He turns then to Ser Ammon and his good nephew. “Sers. The Ironmen look rather wroth.”
In the stands, bedecked in her usual red, is Elrone Darklyn, who seems a bit fidgety as she looks over the preparing men, saying a few words to her septa every now and then as the pair study the boats. The girl seems rather nervous- which is not terribly unusual for her, really, as she slowly wrings the fabric of her skirt in and out of her fingers and chews her lip as she waits for the melee to begin.
At his place upon the curved prow of one the longships, Greydon Greyjoy rocks gently in time with the sway of the bay’s easy waters. A helm held beneath one arm, a blunted sword in the other hand, and a rakish half-smile on his face—this son of the Iron Fleet’s own Lord Captain appears all ease and at the ready. That is, if one discounts a certain gleam in his eye.
Trumpets blare, an announcement, calling the warriors to attention and the stands to quiet, at least for a few moments. “The melee will be fought as follows: two teams, with the goal of capturing their opponent’s ship. The team with the last man or men standing will divide a prize, as given by the men of the Iron Islands.” The speaking herald points to a large chest, fine enough in and of itself, wrought in heavy exotic wood with its hinges and handles and clasp gilded. “The teams will be divided as follows: Ser Ammon Massey called Blackhand, Ser Luthor Rivers, Ser Walton Smallwood, Ser Brynden Tully, Ser Jared Fell, squire Garlan Hunter, and the ironborn Rafe Botley, Lord-Captain Eurik Greyjoy, and Urron Greyjoy. The second team, Ser Ryckon Westerling, Ser Farin Prester, Ser Humfrey Westerling, Ser Janden Melcolm, Ser Marrik Bar Emmon, squire Andred Stone, and the ironborn Greydon Greyjoy, Tormund Stonetree called Bloodaxe, and Romny Saltcliffe.”
Luthor looks at the axe in Walton’s hand. “Looks solid enough,” he remarks without much feeling. He nods greeting to Ser Jared and then to his uncle. “Blades as always, this should be interesting. How do you think we shall fare? Well? Or will we all be meat for the Ironborn’s blades?”
Brynden checks his swordbelt and the blunted weapons there, then steps towards the knot of people collecting about Ser Luthor. “A good day for this, eh?” he says. “We shall do well. Let us stay together and defeat them in detail, shall we?” But then there is Humfrey approaching. “What is he doing here?” The herald distracts him with his call. “Ah, we have the Greyjoys with us… do we agree to yield the command to the Lord-Captain?”
“Then share your hopes with mine,” says the Jewel of the Farman lady, patting the arm entwined with hers, “And pray my brother—Andred—manages a good showing in the melee today. He’s eager to prove himself worthy of spurs; would that my own opinion matter much, elsewise he’d have them by now,” Jyana sighs. Behind them, Ser Noel snorts his opinion on the matter—but as the ladies seat themselves, Standfast parts from their company for a better vantage away from the stands. The Farman retainer will do more than well at minding both ladies, after all.
Walton nods to Luthor and then studies the Ironborn. “That depends if the Lord-Captain knows how to use all of us. I’d divide us into two groups, one for those who are used to fightin’ on ships and one who are used in a defensive manner,” he observes. “Position our defensive core as a hold and then have the other group drive those they can to us, hammer against the anvil.”
The heir to Lordsport and Captain of the Sea Horse, Rafe Botley surveys the group of competitors with a keen eye. The expression which he wears is one of the calm before the storm and as he notes the rest of the members who will be a part of his team, he walks in a long stride in their direction, to stand beside Jared. A curt nod is given the men, though his eyes look towards their competition in a careful manner.
Janden’s eyes seek out one face after another as names are called for the two sides. There’s a look of curoisity here, one of some distaste there, especially at a couple names on his own side, followed by a shake of his head. Whatever his level of comfort, or lack of it with those ships, he makes a point of approaching the changed Humfrey Westerling to say, “Best you remember this is a melee. No killing today.”
If the Warden’s expression does not look pleased in its state of rest, it certain looks far more displeased now that the teams have been called. Begrudingly, the lordling turns to the pacing Melcolm knight. “/Do/ endeavor to forget that the ships are on water, Ser Janden.”
Damia settles comfortably beside her friend, possibly close to invisible next to such a beautiful woman. “Consider it done,” Damia says happily. “My hopes are yours that Andred may win the day.” It’s unlikely that a man not a Knight shalln’t win, and her tone indicates that she is aware, but she doesn’t seem to stay from her hopes. “It must be quite a feeling, to be waiting for a battle to begin in this way.”
Ryckon approaches his prodigal cousin with an eyebrow raised up into his helm. “So you are really back then, Humfrey? Get rid of the begging brother, at least, and get a real squire, if you can.” After this bit of advice the teams are announced and he gives a nod to no one in particular before approaching his former master and current teammate. “Thank the gods,” he notes, “I would relish the opportunity to beat Urron’s face in one more time. And I suppose it would be better to have a man named Bloodaxe on our side rather than against us.” He glances curiously in that man’s direction to see if he lives up to his ominous name.
Ammon turns to Humfrey, lips opening to speak—but the trumpets, and herald, draw his attention. And when the teams are announced, whatever words he would have said to the disgraced Westerling are lost. “Welcome home, ser,” Massey says simply. “Fight well.” And he turns to his team.
A cheer rises from the Ironmen, and the Captain of the Defier saunters forth. He offers a coy smile beneath his oft-broken nose, his midnight hair hanging slack. At his belt: knives. And knives. And knives. In his gloved mitt, a dulled sword. Romny Saltcliffe is come to claim a prize.
Marrik moves to meet with Ryckon, without a word he nods to his fellow Knight, seeming to be completely at home aboard a rocking ship.
Janden returns a sniff Farin’s way. “Yes, I’ll just picture it as a great big drunken horse fit to hold twenty-some people or more atop its misshapen back.”
Urron has an eye to Ryckon - the squire that came to Farin so quickly after Urron himself graduated form his wardship, and then Farin, the erstwhile master and kinsman. Urron smiles, perhaps a little too toothily for comfort, before turning back and listening to Brynden and Luthor and Walton, and his uncle Eurik.
The Lord-Captain of the Iron Fleet looks out at the other men and then towards the other team. “The question is, how many of you have fought shipboard before, or have you all had your feet on dry land the whole time?”
Tormund Bloodaxe hefts an axe - blunted - and looks between Farin and Janden, Ryckon and Humfrey. The older man grunts, slapping the head of the blunted bearded axe into his hand. “As long as you don’t fucking hit each other the whole damn time and remember to fight them, not each other,” he grunts, nodding once to Rafe and once to Romny, captains both - and he, well, merely the master-at-arms of Pyke, now.
“That is a good lad,” Farin replies to Janden, his tone lacking in any real confidence on the matter. “Fight well then, coin or no. We have too few swordarms in this fight,” he mutters, and steps away to face Ryckon.
“Aye, then show him how well you learned to do that. But Blood axe or no, I’m more worried for the Lord Captain. The Greyjoys do not give away titles simply by heritage.”
Upon hearing the teams, Andred meanders towards the ship. He seems to be hungover or just in desperate need of comb. His hair is hopelessly in a ratsnest. It stays that way for only a moment more. He looks up to his sister. Though unknowing of her confidence in him, the young man offers her a sheepish smile before shoving his helmet on his head. The helmet on his head hides the mess of hair for now. Now, all one can see are his blue eyes, those Andalian blues, a matching pair watches him now, a matching pair rules the Vale.
“Land or sea… you hit someone in the sternum with your hammer. They go down.” His commments seems to be no one in particular, but they are loud enough for anyone to hear.
“I’m a drylander,” Walton notes with a nod to the Lord-Captain. “And willing to command the defensive group, of those who are just like me. I’m used to making my voice heard and have seen my fair share of battles on foot.” He looks to the others to see if there’s anyone else who has other ideas or might offer up other strategies. The Smallwood knight checks the handle of his axe and shield one more time while observing the others.
“Good day for something at least,” Luthor quips to Brynden with a smile for the Tully knight. Then he turns to the others. “Walton’s plan seems sound,” but then the Lord Captain is amoung them and the Riverlands bastard holds up a gloved hand. “I’ve fought on ship before.”
Ammon glances to the Lord-Captain. “I earned my name aboard ship, such as it is, and lost my fingers there.” And that is all for the Greyjoy; Massey turns back to Luthor. “I’ve seen Saltcliffe fight, he’ll be little more than a distraction. The Westerlings will give us trouble, and Stone.”
Humfrey Westerling for all his pallor summons a sardonic smile for Ser Brynden Tully. “I have come to fight, Ser.” He turns then to Ser Janden and spares Black Anchor a nod—then slips the tourney blade from the out of his scabbard. At his cousin’s words, Humfrey turns to Ryck. He opens his mouth as though to speak—but merely nods as the trumpets blare.
The last look is directed to Ser Ammon. A nod. “And you, Ser. fight well.” At the sight of young Stone nearly as wobbily as he, Humfrey spares the youth a taught stare. “Are you quite well, Andred?”
Janden turns from those he was speaking with to instead take in the Ironborn present. Some may have been there at the inn the other evening, for all he can recall. “Are we going with a certain strategy, then?” Like as not, he’ll be content to do as little running around as necessary.
Marrik stands in silence, looking the combatants over. His brow furrows as he studies the Greyjoys, obviously disliking what he sees.
“The trick is in the aiming,” drawls the ironborn Gredyon to the young Vale squire nearby. He does not bother looking at Andred. His eyes are on the other team across the way; particularly, he looks to his father on the opposing side. He hoists his helm as if in salute—sarcastic? honorable? it could be either—before settling it over his own, less nested, head. “A ship is a fickle bitch, as any woman is, boy. You’ll see.”
“I have been an officer on board ship in Dorne, Lord-Captain.” Brynden says. “And I am a captain in the Sea Watch here. I should hold my own.” he offers.
Ryckon answers Urron’s smile not with a smile of his own but with an eyebrow raised in an aloof challenge, as his attempt at an intimidating posture returns and he takes a step away from Farin, keeping the other Westerman out of his reach. He eyes whatever huddle the other team has going. “...The other team seems to be organizing some strategy. Perhaps we should as well, or will it be sufficient to just charge in and hit them until they fall off?”
Walton stares at those around him with a hint of disbelief. “Are everyone a sailor except me? Well, I can’t hold a defense on my own. Those with the least experience, or most experience with defending a position, should opt to stay with me then.”
Jared nods once to Rafe as the ironborn approaches, studying the opponents’ ship and team. “I assume we must needs act quickly and in unison to achieve success today, though I am not a sailor and do not quite understand how naval combat works beyond the basics.”
Garlan breaks his silence and nods in Walton’s direction, “I am not a sailor… you’ll have good company in me. I will aid in the defense.”
Jyana sighs as she looks out over the competing teams—indeed, it’s easy to pick the large manchild that is her brother Andred among all the rest, even at this distance. “He’s rather hopeless when left to matters such as hygeine,” she notes to Damia at her side; she keeps her arm entwined with the other, and the Farman lady could note the tension in Jyana’s slight frame. “But he’s a formidable fighter. Still… this is wholly different than any melee I’ve seen before…”
Finally, Ser Marrik breaks his silence and nods to Garlan and Walton, “Correct, there needs to a defense team left behind as a boarding party attacks their ship.” Continuing, “I am going to take part in the boarding party, seeing as I have much experience in fighting aship. Who shall join me and who shall remain as defense?”
Ammon looks to Walton, then, listens to his strategy. He shrugs. “I’ll hold the line with you.” And the Blackhand draws his blunted steel.
“Good,” Walton points with his hand to Garlan then. “On defense: You, I,” He does the same in Jared’s direction. “You. And one more. A four person defensive shield wall, then six on the offensive, if I heard the names right…” He hears Ammon speak up and nods to him. “Sounds good. Then we have four.
Andred offers stiff nod to Greydon. “Alas, that is why I aim for the chest. I miss I hit an arm.” His blues shaded his Great Helm flit towards the Humfrey. “I shall be better in a few moments. The clang of steel, salt air, the chance of blood perfect are cure after a night of drink. Any wish to take out the Lord Captain with me?” If no one else thinks strategy perhaps, it falls to the bastard squire. Cut the head off the snake seems to work in small encounters like this.
“I’ve sailed, but not so much lately,” Janden says in an almost cryptic fashion. “I’ll help with guarding our side.”
Jan Marbrand’s been inconspicuous for most of the events so far, his discomfort at being aboard a ship - even if they are moored - readily apparent. He leans against a railing by Ser Farin and Ryckon but, as the fighting appears to start getting underway, rights himself and grasps the hilt of his blunted sword. He nods at Marrik and replies, “Given my /in/experience, I propose I stay behind in defense, then” he says with a wary grin.
In the stands, Katla shifts, raising a hand to shield her eyes for a moment, and looks down at the scenes - she raises one hand as she looks towards the team with Janden and her dear friend Romny - not to mention her cousin Greydon - and tries to catch Janden’s eye, long enough to smile and wriggle her fingers in what might be a wave. To her brother, and her uncle, and the Botley captain, a wicked smile, something mouthed, and then she leans back, contented, for a time.
“It is, isn’t it,” Damia says, reaching over to lay her other hand across Jyana’s upper arm in an attempt to calm her nerves. “In truth I am delighted to see it. The symbol of my house is three ships, as you know. We are no Ironborn but the sea and the ships are our lives. See here,” Damia removes her hand from Jyana’s arm, pointing across the ship’s deck. “How the deck rises and falls always, but only one one side, then the other? It is not so much here now, but it is worse out to sea. One must learn even how to stand again - how to ride teh ship, as it is known. To swing a blade, to parry and step forward or to retreat - it will be those who can anticipate the location of the deck best that will do well.” She lowers her hand, and looks a moment at Andred. “Perhaps so, but he is a handsome sort too, and he appears very strong.”
Lucos wanders over to the stands, and joins the crowd looking on, inquiring to noone in particular: “Have they mostly finished with the posturing? This is why brawls in Bravosi taverns are more entertaining; the preludes are ever so much more entertaining.”
Jared nods once to Walton, resting his forearm against the pommel of his sword rather comfortably. “Sounds good to me,” he replies in a near-murmur, drawing in a breath and releasing it slowly.
Aliona is a bit late, her hand lifting to tuck her rebellious curls into their neting, but she moves through the penches and makes a space for herself near Katla with a wink and a grin, an excited flush coming to her cheeks. Finally sport has come that the tall Dondarrion woman appreciates entirely. “Lady Serry, it’s a beautiful day is’t it?”
Ammon nods, spits into the dirt. “Keep your shields tight together; we’ll likely have more luck knocking the whoresons overboard with our shields than swinging our swords. We fight together, and mind your fucking balance.” Even as he says it, Ammon’s cool eyes find Marbrand in the crowd, and he smiles.
Humfrey Westerling lifts his shield—a glance to Stone: “I will fight their Captain alongside you, Stone.” At the appearance of a somewhat seasick Ser Jan, Humfrey spares the knight a slim smile. “Ser Jan, our Aunt Manysa bid me send your her regards.”
“Well, let us seize the initiative.” Brynden says. “Let us choose our ship and dress our lines, such as they are.” He looks back the Greyjoy. “Do you care to have the honor?”
Greydon smirks to the Melcolm knight, and nods once—sharp and decisive. “Aye, stay behind and guard the girl,” and his meaning might be obvious, then, “I’ve heard a man or two say you’re quite the hand at that.” It’s hard to tell by the look in the Greyjoy’s eye or the in the tone of his voice if that is meant as a compliment. He turns, then, and moves into position to be one of the fighters ready to infiltrate the other team’s ship.
Lucos notices Katla, and makes his way over to her. “Well met, Lady Serry. It has been too long. And I am sorry,” he continues, turning to Aliona, “but I do not belive I have made your acquaintance lady…?”
Steps are finally taken for Janden to board the ship their side is tasked with holding, and there’s a notable moment of hesitation before he simply runs up the ramp rather than dally further. If he caught the look from the Lady Serry, no acknowledgement is returned. Instead, his lips move wordlessly, no doubt a prayer of a sort. Of all things, Greydon receives a snort of amusement. “Indeed.”
Eurik looks at the Tully, his face impassive as he steps up with his helm, setting it on his head and raising his axe to the opposing team, waiting for an agreement to begin the fracas. Urron takes his own position not far away, his plate bright in the sun, ready to race across the boarding-planks to the middle craft.
Walton makes a last minute adjustment to a sword rather than his axe, for a defensive position rather than one where he’d be pulling people down on offense, and then leads the defensive group: “Come on! I am Ser Walton Smallwood, if you did not know my name already. Good to meet you all. Now, let’s hold that ship at all costs.. except our lives.” He gives them a restrained grin before he waves the three others to start towards their ship and position.
Garlan takes up position alongside Walton, drawing his blunted sword from its sheath swiftly.
Ammon’s answer for Walton is to spit in the mud again. He offers no name for himself, not yet, but follows the Smallwood aboard, loosening his shoulders as he goes.
A brief smile at Aliona, for Katla Serry looks altogether too pleased, and she raises a hand in Lucos’ direction as well. “My lord of Blackwood,” she answers the man who, curiously, managed to successfully miss most of his kin’s feuding. “Leave it to you to sneak back to King’s Landing just in time for another debacle. I’d think you disliked the court if I didn’t know how you fed on its gossip.” She turns then to Aliona, and smiles. “A fine enough day indeed, and the sort of sport I think we like the most.”
Luthor rolls his shoulders and moves into position behind the Lord-Captain. Chivalry is for the chivalrous and he has no problem let the fully armoured captain take the brunt of the charge to open the way for him to cross. He looks to Brynden. “Cover my back, I’ll cover yours.”
Jan offers a weak smile in reply to Humfrey and nods. “I heard you’d ridden to Ashemark, ser. I’d like to sit down and talk about how it went under less…hectic circumstances.” On cue, he follows quick on Janden’s heels, the two of them both agreeing to defend their ship, and both displaying their trepidation in coming aboard. Only once finally in place does he look across to the other team, returning Ammon’s smile with a hand raised briefly in salute, before he has to use it to brace himself.
Aliona considers Lucos, considering his face intently and sifting hrough her memory before she shaes her head, “I don’t believe so my lord. But if you are a friend of Lady Serry’s than it is a pleasure to meet you, Aliona Dondarrion of Blackhaven.”
If Brynden is annoyed by others giving commands, he does not show it. He also takes up a place behind the Lord Captain. “Agreed. Let us finish them quickly.” He stretches for a moment. “May we all come away from this whole.” he says, perhaps that’s a prayer?
Humfrey turns to Jan. “Are you quite well, Ser.” Then the boat rocks and Humfrey nearly stumbles. “Ah, I see…” He steels his courage then turns to his foes. “Stone, with me!” Despite his the loss of half a stone Humfrey Westerling runs across the deck bound for the vessel betwixt the his ship and his foe’s. He doesn’t look back to see if Andred and his fellows follow.
Lucos bows courteously to Aliona. “Lucos Blackwood, and listen to none of the calumnies lady Serry may direct at me. I happen to avoid politics as a matter of habit. I enjoy surviving, and the one thing in common between Westeros and the Free Cities is that politics is worse for the health than wandering naked in midwinter.”
Under his great helm, there would be matching irrelevant. But, now only his march towards the ship matters with his hammer at the ready. He cannot see Eurik, trying to place him, because he cannot see the Lord Captain. He must content himself with fighting another, but whom? The choices are endless. Right, now he just stares down the opposition sizing them up. His eyes seem to settle upon the Tully knight.
Walton positions himself shoulder to shoulder with Ammon, or next to. Their shields are not crammed together but rather allows some space of movement, so they can defend the man to the left or right of them should there be need. Like that, he awaits the oncoming attackers.
Marrik eyes the Greyjoy Ship-“Lord” with disdain and mutters, “Bloody pirates. Always have a high name for themselves.” Drawing his sword he prepares his attack.
Readjusting the sword in his grasp by a turn of the wrist, Jared prepares for the onslaught by having the weapon wielded overhead, and by both of his hands, which means simply not using a shield at all, but it doesn’t seem to phase the Fell knight much. And for now, he waits.
Jyana can only nod as Damia notes points of interest on the longships, though she seems to soak in the information as if filing it away for later reference. “I have not been on boats all that much—but I was thankful the trip down the river did not cause me the kind of sickness that plagued others,” she comments as she leans forward, trying to get a look past a man that stands of a sudden in front of them to shout a word or two down below. “It gives me hope I might weather a sea journey, some day.”
Aliona gasps softly, “You have been to the Freecities? You’re going to have to indulge me in listining to a thousand of my questions one day then Lord Blackwood. After the fight of course.” Her hands clasp together in her lap excitedly. “I don’t believe, at any of the melee’s I’ve been to Lady Serry, that I’ve ever seen any of your uncles fight.”
Marrik raises his buckler and gives a commanding shout, “Stay and defend, or come with me and fight. Make your choice now, and let’s knock these men into the sea!.” With a yell, he leaps across the rail and runs forward across the bridge connecting the ships.
Every muscle in Rafe’s body tightens and releases in a steady pulse to match his breathing. With weapon in hand, he walks in a slow swagger forward, looking to take the offensive. For a long moment he scans his opponents in the far distance and that is when he spots a familiar face before he calls out, “Greydon Greyjoy, be on your ready!” The musculature in his arm tenses once more and he looks prepared to spring into action and make his way across.
Humfrey quickly closes with Urron Greyjoy. Cold sweat pours down his face from his brief run, clearly he has not recovered from his penance. His tourney blade whistles as he closes with the Ironman and swings at the man coming in high just below the warrior’s gorget.
Humfrey attacks Urron with his sword…with no result as the two warriors battle!
Marrik attacks Eurik with his sword…and strikes him with a shattering blow!
As it all begins, Janden takes to pacing and remaining as light on his feet as he can. The ships move in place, enough that it will need to be accounted for. Sword and shield are out and he places himself closer to the ramp leading to the middle of the three ships than not, muttering, “Fucking huge, drunken horse.”
And then Marrik moves, and so does Eurik, moving to close with the Bar Emmon. He grunts at the contact as Marrik’s blade connects and scrapes across the shoulders of his plate. The Lord-Captain lets out a blood-curdling cry, hefting his axe and swinging back at the green lands sailor, aiming for the knee.
Eurik attacks Marrik with his mass weapon…and merely strikes a glancing blow!
Greydon skims the planks between his ship and the middlemost deck; light as a feather despite his heavy armor. A swing and a miss from some random oncoming knight sees the Greyjoy dip, spin, and continue on—but a familiar voice calls him out. He stops, a sly grin visible beneath that helm, and in response to Rafe’s threat: lifts a hand, and crooks his fingers once. “Come at me, then!” Then barks a laugh and does not bother to wait for the other ironborn before advancing.
Walton waits and sees Tormund rushing over to attack their defensive line, his sight on Jared on Walton’s other side. The Smallwood knight realigns and engages the Ironborn with his shield and blade to try to topple him.
Greydon attacks Rafe with his mass weapon…and strikes him with a powerful blow!
Damia nods with a soft smile. “I daresay you shall, but you must be cautious. Sea journeys - everyone is sick on their first one. There is no respite from it. But many become used to it, after time.” She goes quiet then, setting a hand once more on Jyana to try and relax her as the fighting begins. “Who is that Ser Ryckon is fighting? Ser Merys? How lovely it would be to see Ser Merys do well this day - I have met him twice and have been quite impressed with him so far.” And of course, Ryckon’s fall is always a delight to witness.
Urron watches as Humfrey, the disowned Westerling, swings for him, and manages to raise his blade up in time to defend against the attack. He spins around, weapon extended, hoping to connect with Humfrey’s torso and knock the knight off-balance.
Urron attacks Humfrey with his sword…and merely strikes a glancing blow!
Marrik sees the Ironborn’s attack coming and moves his leg just in time. It only scratches his leg. Using his shield to shove Eurik back, he makes another attack with his sword.
Marrik attacks Eurik with his sword…and sees his blow go wild!
Luthor is cautious in his advance, shield up sword laid against its steel rim as he makes his way across the planks to the enemy ship. Once on the far side he searches the deck for foes and finds one in Romny Saltcliffe. With a wordless shout he charges at the captain of the Defier, swiping at him high with his shield while his blunted blade sweeps low at the Ironborn’s ankles.
Luthor attacks Romny with his sword…and strikes him with a powerful blow!
Ryckon begins charging forward, in Urron Greyjoy’s direction, and he scowls when he sees that his cousin is attacking the young ironman instead. He mutters something about Humfrey ruining everything and then continues his charge, running up to the first unoccupied man he sees, in this case Merys Lydden, a fellow Westerman. He furrows his brow at him in a glare and wordlessly lifts his mace and swings it at the Lydden’s chest.
There shall be no running from Andred. Just cautious step after cautious step. He is not fast. There is no use pretending to be here. So, slowly but surely, he makes his way to the other ship. His eyes set upon Brynden Tully. His hammer is held in a low position. “Tully!” He yells out as right before he enters striking distance. Where this occurs depends on how Brynden moves. If he rushes forward, it will be on Andred’s ship. If he does not, it should be somewhere near the middle. Regardless of where it will be, a hammer swing attempts to strike Brynden slam into the Tully Knight’s side.
Andred attacks Brynden with his mass weapon…and strikes him with a shattering blow!
Ryckon attacks Merys with his mass weapon…and strikes him with a shattering blow!
Tormund Bloodaxe is comfortable in his own heavy plate, taking long strides across the deck of his starting ship, and then the boarding-planks to the middle. He evades a few wild swings from someone-or-another, and then he is standing just before the second boarding-bridge, raising his axe to Jared, hoping to close with him, and heaving the blade down towards Jared’s shoulder, the goal to dislocate - of course. Nothing more.
Tormund attacks Jared with his mass weapon…and strikes him with a shattering blow!
Urron’s blow slams clips Humfrey in the shoulder—but the knight draws back as the Ironman completes his spin and narrowly avoids the brunt of it. Humfrey’s reverb is aimed at the knight’s chest just above the groin a wicked diagonal cut.
Walton attacks Tormund with his sword…with no result as the two warriors battle!
Humfrey attacks Urron with his sword…with no result as the two warriors battle!
Rafe grins broading at Greydon, his own feet moving swiftly over the plank to close the distance between himself and his chosen opponent, ““Glad that you are so eager to accept my invitation.” With that jest still at the tip of his tongue, he draws his mighty axe back just as Greydon lands a hard blow aginst his chest, which more than gives him pause. “And no holding back, nice!” His hand tightens about the hilt of his weapon before he returns the attack with one of his own.
Rafe attacks Greydon with his sword…and strikes him with a swift blow!
Ser Farin has waited for an opportunity, and finally he sees one - the Stone squire has engaged Brynden Tully, and the Prester knight begins to hasten to that fight to join it (though unsteadily, on the rocking ship.)
Jared attacks Tormund with his sword…and strikes him with a shattering blow!
Eurik laughs as Marrik’s blow goes wild, the sound echoing in helms and carrying, even, on the gust of wind u