Blood of Dragons

The 'A Song of Ice and Fire' MUSH


The Usual Suspects
IC Date: Day 9 of Month 9, 162 AC
RL Date: May 16, 2011.
Participants: Aryard Manwoody, Darion Fowler, Lilah Gargalen, Valerin Dayne
Locations: Sunspear: Inner Yard

Summary: Lord Aryard Manwoody’s morning practice is interrupted by Lilah Gargalen, and a brief lesson in small blades occurs; words, and blades, are then traded between Ser Darion and Ser Valerin as they show their mettle.

As usual, the Lord of Kingsgrave seems to be up at dawn to have an early training. Armed with spear, he elegantly moves into different positions, carefuly using every muscle he has. The blade thrusts through imaginary opponents at full speed only to be pulled back to change direction.

“A fine morning for stabbing invisible men, is it not?” Lilah’s voice rings out as she enters the inner yard, dressed simply—fine fabrics, gold and silver and well-crafted leather—but simple, for any lady. She is carrying a bow, one of the well-crafted traditional Dornish implements, the finish still shining with newness; over one shoulder is the leather strap of a quiver, not yet stiffened by the sun.

“I’d come to practice bow-work, before most were here to mock me for my failure, and yet I find someone has beat me to it.” She walks over to a fence and leans on it, content to observe. “And with a proper spear, at that.”

Aryard finished his last serie of footwork before he stops, showing not signs of fatigue neither heavy breathing. Sending Lilah one of his common, amiable smiles he nods. ” You’ll have to be quick to beat me in that, Lady Lilah.”

Lilah chuckles again and nods, watching his motions with an admiring eye. “Indeed, and I love my sleep and bed a bit too much, yet. Though Will’s back, and I’m fairly certain I’ll be enjoying bruises before long. Nothing like being out of practice, and having one’s brother rub one’s nose in it, to make you feel the need to get back to work harder than before.”

” Ah yes, Wild Will. I’ve heard of the man. He seems… pleasant when i saw him wandering around lately.” Aryard says, amused.

Lilah grins cheerfully. It’s a bit odd that she’s so enamoured of a man with such infamy as a brute—but then again, one forgives strange things when tied by blood. “He is, when you get to know him. Not so much on the battlefield… Not with that warhammer of his! But otherwise, well, he’s as meek as a lamb and always helps me out of a tight spot if I need it. It will be good to have him around Sunspear, I think.”

“Maybe for you.” he says. “Seems like he often searches conflict.” Aryard notes thoughtful but then winks to Lilah. ” Anyway. Lets see what you’re up to with that new toy of yours.”

Lilah snorts, unladylike and not delicate, but she smiles gamely. “Barely anything, truth be told. I’m better with a dagger, but again—not by much. I decided that I’d best learn the bow, and it seems Lady Azalais has picked up the sword, and our Princess may follow for sword or dagger or who knows what else.” There’s no overweening pride with her, and she slips over the fence.

Grabbing a sheated dagger, he throws the weapon in a large curve to Lilah. ” Lets see what you got.” Gesturing the lady to attack, he throws the spear aside and awaits her unarmed.

Lilah shifts, catching the dagger with a fair bit of nimbleness; no slow woman here. “As you wish, my lord,” she says, with a mixture of sincerity and mischief, and she drops into a guard stance for a few moments before moving in. She’s practiced - but equally clearly, she’s never been trained for life-or-death. Her first few feints are almost testing, but they’re not bad. Just… out of practice.

Avoiding Lilah’s swishing attacks, Aryard then suddenly steps into her range. Grabbing her wrist he pulls her against his chest. ” Dead” he says with a smile as he looks her in the eyes. Taking a step back, he raises Lilah’s arm in front of her and changes the way she’s holding the dagger. ” Don’t hold it in the lenght of your arm. Hold it so that the dagger is positioned verticaly to your arm. That way you can avoid having your wrist grabbed as the opponent will certaintly cut himself if he’d try. Now. Try again.”

Lilah shifts as is directed, adjusting her grip, her stance, and makes another move, in, looking for a weak point that should, allegedly, exist… but on a trained knight, is as hard to find as snow in the sands. “I would rather be dead at your hand, my lord, than at the hand of one of those from the Stormlands or King’s Landing. It will - for a time, at least - be as memorable, and less permanent.”

The gaunt figure of Ser Darion Fowler pads softly into the Inner Yard of Sunspear entering through from the Outer Yard. He stops in the outer edge, watching Lord Aryard and the Gargalen girl quietly.

Again, Aryard swiftly avoids the dagger, stepping back, stepping aside, stepping forth. As she seems to be a quick student, Aryard mumbles approvingly as he leaps back to end this round. ” Good.” he says. “Now the footwork. When you do that backhand slash…” taking Lilah’s arm to show what he means.” have to watch out for your opponent. He could step forth into the newfound space, making a counter attack himself.” Aryard moves forward and again they stand chest to chest. ” See? Now. Place your left foot behind you. Yes. And turn your body aside to avoid a possible attack. Good.” Stepping back, Aryard nods to the Gargalen lady. ” Ok. Again.”

“Planning on conquering Westeros, m’lady?” The scarred knight moves closer to the two nobles, “Might need a bigger knife.”
She raises her arm, moving again as directed, something smooth, an occasional glimmer that say there _is_ promise here, that there *can* be something strong, if it’s honed, but it is a soft thing, the steel core hidden by soft silk, occasionally leaving that flash of naked promise. She turns to Darion and flashes a smile. “No, Ser… not to conquer, not yet. But defence should they come back? That.. yes.”

She practises a few times, testing the new position and strike, and then making a strike with some force… and then proceeding to begin to slip and fall, her balance having shifted just one jot too far.

Quickly, Aryard moves in to catch the lady. ” Watch it.” he says amused as he helps her regaining foothold again. ” Not bad though. Some more practise and you’ll be able to defend the court from your brother in no time. ” Aryards jests before he turns to the Fowler knight. ” Ah, ser Darion. A pleasure. May I introduce you, lady Lilah of House Gargalen.”

“Daggers are better suited to fending off robbers and rapists in leathers rather than those in plate.” Ser Darion then smiles, a warped affair for his face is scarred. “I’ve already had the pleasure of Lady Lilah’s acquaintance, m’lord of Kingsgrave. Aye, I know well many of those from Salt Shore.”

Lilah straightens, and shifts her stance with a determined look, before flashing Aryard an expression of gratefulness, and thanks, and something else, perhaps, tucked away. “And that is what I would rather deal with. Not that I’d prefer to be raped—but when confronted with the choice of stabbing a man in leathers in the gut, or a knight in plate… I will take the one in leather. Though with such sellswords as we have a problem with,” she says with a look calling back the event not so long ago, “it is better to be prepared.”

“Ah, yes. I’ve forgot Lilah was there as well. It must have slipped my mind. How do you fare, ser? Settled yet? ” Aryard asks

“Settled enough, I suppose, m’lord.” The knight looks to Lilah, “Well, I commend you on taking your safety into your own hands though I would have thought there would be sufficient Gargalen guardsmen to serve your needs, no?”

Lilah chuckles slightly. “Oh, there are, especially as my brother has returned. But I think you would know, Ser Darion, that I am the sort of lady who would rather be prepared than not. No meek flower I… the manticore of my house, perhaps a sand cat-albeit one whose grace needs some work,” she adds with a look of chagrin, “but leaving myself open for having advantage taken? No…” She pauses, eyes twinkling. “Unless he asked nicely and performed a chivalrous act or two, then I might let one take advantage of me.”

Aryard arches an eyebrow and looks to Lilah. ” Only an act or two?” he says laughing a mischievous grin

“It seems that Lord Manwoody might need to clear his schedule for more acts of chivalry where Lady Lilah is concerned.” The scarred knight watches the two with an amused look.

Lilah was known, once, for being the paramour of Ser Madyn Santagar—that ended while he was hostage in the Red Keep, but it was fairly well known the affections that passed between them. She’s probably got some sort of romantic memories of knights—or at least an increased resistance to their wiles. “Oh, it would depend upon the act. One must judge sincerity and creativity, after all.”

Aryard chuckles amused as he shakes his head. ” I have a busy schedule already. Anyway, if you don’t mind. I’ll beter get myself cleaned before the rest of the court awakes. My lady. Ser.” the Manwoody bows gently, takes up his spear and leaves.

Lilah nods with a cheerful smile. “Thank you for your time—we’ll see how much more my brother beats into me, and I shall see if I can land a blow on you, one of these days.”

Darion bows to the lord as he leaves, before turning to Lilah and holding out his hand, palm up, “Do you mind if I see the weapon, Lady Lilah?”

Approaching from the Courtyard, is Ser Valerin Dayne, the Captain of the Guards. He looks to have just finished breaking his fast, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand as he walks into the Inner Yard. He smiles lightly, catching sight of the current occupants, but doesn’t call out to distract them.

Lilah hands the dagger over - it’s small, obviously a battered practise blade. “I’d come more prepared to pepper the ground with arrows, aiming at the targets,” she admits, “but I’m not going to deny aid unasked for.”

Darion grasps the blade firmly in his hand before flipping it deftly. “Hmm,” he grunts, “Well, point beats the edge, m’lady.” He turns it over and offers her the hilt of the knife.

Valerin leans against the wall, motioning a guardsman to approach him. He starts talking in a muted tone with him before some order is clearly given and the man nods and walks off. He, then, decides to make his presence known. “Ah! Lady Lilah and Ser Darion! Good morning!” He calls out, raising a hand and looking to the dagger, he smiles. “Showing off your newfound skill with a small blade, my lady?” He asks, purely innocently.

Amused, she shakes her head. “This is not the newfound skill, Ser Valerin. More the rusty one, and with my brother now in Sunspear, I must make sure I am up to his standards, if nothing else!” She plays with the dagger in her hand slightly. “He said he was shocked to find me out of armour, and while I’ve never quite been _that_ much a fighter… I suppose it inspired me to break out of new habits, and return to some older ones.”

“Ah, Captain. I was just giving m’lady of Salt Shore one of the quicker lessons of bladed combat. Though perhaps she’d be better off under your tutelage.” The scarred Fowler knight shrugs, his armour clinking softly beneath the cloth.

Valerin grins lightly. “Ah, yes. I had a little meeting with Ser Willum.” He says, “He expressed his utter distaste at me weilding a sword.” He comments, off-handedly. To Darion, he offers a grin. “Perhaps, ser.” He replies. “Are you not that skilled ser? I find that hard to believe.”

Lilah watches the two men, and shakes her head slightly. “You two are going to go at it, aren’t you? I can just tell. It’s about this time that you start sniffing at each other like hounds, then pull out your… swords… and see whose is bigger, harder, longer, and which one if you is more skilled in wielding it.”

“I have my skill. Perhaps we might meet in training some time and compare notes?” The gaunt knight offers a smile though as always it is tainted somewhat by the marring lines left by Lord Tyrells troops. He turns that visage next upon Lilah and lets out a throaty, warm laugh. “My lady, if you ever wish to see how well I handle swords or anything else for that matter, you have only to ask.”

Valerin smirks at Lilah. “Why, my lady.” He says, affecting mock hurt. “I am rather insulted that you think me to seek out battle like some bloodthirsty Westerosi!” He continues. He does, however, look to Darion and grins. “However, if Ser Darion /would/ like to participate in some sparring, I would not say no.”

Lilah’s eyes light, and she takes a few steps back, motioning to the space. “Well, I shall step aside, should you decide to do so.”

“It would be my pleasure, ser. I have yet to find a good partner with whom to compare my hard steel.” Ser Darion’s lips twitch into a smile as he unstraps his quiver and passes his bow to Lilah, “M’lady, if you would take good care of my fine Dornish yew, I would be most grateful.” The scarred knight then removes his outer-layer of riding robes, pulls on his steel half helm, straps his shield and draws his well-balanced, steel short sword. The lean knight salutes and then pads towards his opponent warily.

The captain is already dressed for combat, being ready to patrol the walls with his men. He draws his sword and pulls on a half-helm also, grinning under it. He doesn’t move with wariness, running forward and striking out at Darion’s side.
Valerin attacks Darion with his sword…and misses by a narrow margin!

Apparently the Fowler knight’s caution was worthwhile for he is nearly caught by Ser Valerin’s sudden assault. Slipping to the side, Darion makes a fast hack towards a percieved opening near Valerin’s ribs.
Darion attacks Valerin with his sword… and strikes him with a shattering blow!

And that perceived opening strikes true. Valerin grunts, moving back a tad before stabbing out for Darion’s chest.

Valerin attacks Darion with his sword… and sees his blow go astray!

Twisting aside, the scarred knight stamps forward, driving his steel short-sword in a low feint before swinging for his opponent’s helm.
Darion attacks Valerin with his sword… and strikes him with a swift blow!

Valerin staggers back, but doesn’t fall, swinging a backhand slash at Darion’s helm.

Valerin attacks Darion with his sword… and strikes him with a hard blow!

The silk-scarf wrapped about his half-helm striped and the helm itself ringing, the knight of the Prince’s Pass throws himself into a forward roll in an attempt to dive past Valerin and deliver a hard backhand slash to the man’s exposed back.

Darion attacks Valerin with his sword… and merely strikes a glancing blow!

Sitting off on a bench now, her own bow along with Ser Darion’s, she watches the bout, an occasional call or cheer in favour of one knight or the other, dividing her favours equally… mostly. It’s hard to tell whether some of the sounds are cheers in favour of Valerin, or dismay when Darion is almost struck.

Valerin is forced forward slightly by the blow to his back, and wheels around, slicing out for Darion’s arm.

Valerin attacks Darion with his sword… and sees his blow go astray!

Darion lunges for the exposed belly as Valerin’s blow seems to be misjudged.

Darion attacks Valerin with his sword… and strikes him with a hard blow!

Valerin grunts out as the wind is forced from him, staggering back. Valerin growls lowly at himself, starting to back off a bit and watch his opponent before lunging for Darion’s knees.

Valerin attacks Darion with his sword… with no result as the two warriors battle!

Darion hacks down towards the wrist of Valerin’s sword-arm with a twist of his body.

Darion attacks Valerin with his sword… and strikes him with a swift blow!

Valerin grunts out as his wrist is hit, but the captain keeps a firm grip. He stabs out at Darion’s chest.

Valerin attacks Darion with his sword… and sees his blow go astray!

Twisting again, the knight lashes out with another swift blow; this time directed for the Captain’s elbow.

Darion attacks Valerin with his sword… and strikes him with a powerful blow!

Valerin grunts as his sword is sent spinning, the powerful blow forcing him onto the opposing knee. “Yield, I yeild…” He says, raising his uninjured arm.

Politeness now, and Lilah claps her hands once. “Well fought both, sers,” she says simply.

“Very well,” The Fowler says little for his breath is short. He sheathes his blade and removes his shield, strapping it once more to his back before wandering back to where the lady is observing and retrieving his bow and quiver also. “Thank you, my lady.”