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 [RP/D] Saddle Up (Open)

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Garlan Elridge

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PostSubject: [RP/D] Saddle Up (Open)   Thu Jan 19, 2017 3:31 pm

He borrowed a lance from the armory -- who'd say no, much less before sun up? -- and went back to work.  His sword wouldn't do, no.  The oversized thing, a greatsword forged for his father years before he'd been born, looking ridiculous in Garlan's hands until he started swinging it.  No, no, it wasn't made for horseback.  It was fine for sheathing near a saddle instead of carrying about, sure, but a knight couldn't swing about a great two-handed thing like that.

A knight needed a lance.  A knight needed to fight from horseback.

It's early, yet, in the training yard.  Garlan's the first one here.  He saddles the rounsey himself -- The charger can wait, he tells himself, patting the courser but leaving its tabled -- checks and double-checks each strap.  No one sees him step up into the stirrups and swing a leg over.  No one sees the tension in his shoulders and back, no one but the horse feels how he knots up.

He gives a few click-clicks with his tongue, touching with his heels just enough to get the mare moving.  He looks fine.  He looks like a knight.  He couches the lance, and looks yet more knightly.

But he stares, from his one blue eye, after he lines up against the quintain.  Nobody feels it but the mare, how he grits his teeth, goes all rigid, sweats beneath his armor.  

No, he spurs her on, leans into it.  I've not lost my nerve.  I've not.  I won't.

Still and all, he lifts his visor -- like you're supposed to, to keep half-a-shaft of splintered ash out of your eye -- right before his lance-tip crashes against the battered training shield.
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Luke

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PostSubject: Re: [RP/D] Saddle Up (Open)   Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:41 am


He's here early.


Luke sat alone in the stands, shrouded in his Shadowcat fur cloak, watching the young Knight make his passes.  He watched the guards and Knights often.  It was how he'd learned to fight; that and watching his Father.

He rarely sparred though.  Sparring with people was more politics than fighting.  Most of the guardsman whom he'd faced were more interested in making a point than learning anything.

He's good.

It had stopped snowing, but a cold wind blew though the open yard.  Not cold enough to bother Luke though.  It had to be a lot colder than this to bother Luke.

He's very good.  Better than he thinks he is.  Pulls to one side though.


Luke had never understood the point of jousting.  He rested his cheek on the haft of his spear as it leaned against his shoulder.  Except in a tournaments or a large battle, he couldn't see the use for such a skill.  He'd never be in a tournament, or want to be, and if he was ever in a large battle, he doubted it would be from the back of a horse.

He's handsome.  Very handsome.  More handsome than is good for him, judging by the scar.

Not that the scar did anything to detract from the man's looks.  Too many nobles tried to look perfect, and perfect was boring.  If anything, the scar improved the man's looks.  Gave him character.

Stop it.  The last thing you need is to look at a Knight the wrong way.  You're not some blushing maiden for whom he might appreciate it.  Nobles can kill you as soon as look at you.

Still, he peered out from the depths of his hooded cloak watching the Knight's technique.
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Garlan Elridge

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PostSubject: Re: [RP/D] Saddle Up (Open)   Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:28 am

Another pass.  Another.  Another.

He's not the finest lancer in the realm, not by a longshot, but he's far from the worst.  Still, he -- and the horse -- feels it;  tension where there shouldn't be.  His legs grip a little too tightly, his knees ache sooner than they should at eighteen, he's tense.  Wound up tight, coiled, every time, right before the moment of impact.  He doesn't flinch, not quite, but he has to fight not to.

Riding used to be fun.  

Another pass.  As a boy, he'd dreamt of jousting.  What page-boy didn't wish to suffer through crowning a Queen of Love and Beauty in exchange for the adoration of the crowd?  What squire didn't want the envy of the other lads, the fear of his opponents, and the sighs of passing maidens?  What knight didn't want glory?  

But it wasn't fun any more.  He wasn't loose, like he should be.  

Another pass.  

Solid enough hits, every time.  Smooth-looking, riding right past, not breaking stride or getting wacked;  it had been years since the quintain had bested him.

One last one, then, panting a bit when he knows he shouldn't be, horse's breath coming out like a dragon's in the cold, the pair of them high-strung and tired early.  

Enough.  

His rounsey gets nudged off the line, trots across the fields half-lazily.  Garlan's practice lance gets hauled up high and rested on a shoulder, and he lets himself acknowledge -- not just notice -- his small, small, audience.

"Sev'n blessings," he calls out, riding closer;  slowly, not a challenge like most knights might give. No, a genuine greeting, not hostile in any way.  He'd seen the shadowcat cloak a few times, and had heard smallfolk talk about the half-crazy hunter-lad who wore it.  But...I'm Captain now, but there's no need not to be friendly.


Last edited by Garlan Elridge on Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ronnel

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PostSubject: Re: [RP/D] Saddle Up (Open)   Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:29 pm

Needing some air and a brief respite from the sick, injured and dying, Ronnel walks outside.  Some say he is too soft to be a healer, too caring of his patients.  But the Maester does not see patients and injuries, he sees people who need his help.

His breath steams as he goes, aimlessly but with an eye to how long he's gone. The Maester hears the snorting of a horse followed by pounding hoof beats.

The young Ser Garlan put his horse and himself through paces, running his lance at a target.  The young man is graceful and proud in his landed bearing, but ahorse his is rather less so.  Still it is with dogged determination that the young man rides at the target again and again.

Ronnel had once dreamed of being a Knight.  Once.  If he thinks back, he was eight and he wanted to become a knight and wear armour and ride a great horse so he could pound the heir of little House Throll - he used to drop the r, just to wet them off, into the ground.

He sees too the half Wildling Luke in the stands, also watching.  What they say about that one was worse than what they say about his birth.  The words they use... so angry so full of vitriol.  So what?  Wasn't a man's private time his own business?  Ronnel shakes his head.  Such thoughts always lead him to a bad place and he had to remain the chubby chipper one, yes?  Otherwise none would tolerate him much.  The young man seems very dangerous, even when simply sitting quietly.

The Maester's eyes drift back to Garlan.  He admires the young Knight, riding even after losing an eye in a tourney.  He returns the young Captain's salute and friendly smile.

Ronnel pauses in that admiration.  He has had few interactions with either of these young fellows and yet how he feels about each is miles apart.

‘I must study this.’  And with that thought in mind, he goes back to the infirmary and his duties.

((OOC Ronnel rolls against what I would consider and easy target of 3 to realise he is being biased - 4 Dos))
Roll:
 
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Luke

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PostSubject: Re: [RP/D] Saddle Up (Open)   Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:55 pm

"The God's blessings upon you, Milord"

Those six words said so much, and yet so little. Cautious, careful, practiced. A respectful greeting that meant nothing beyond what social conventions demanded. No mention of the Old Gods or the New. The title 'Milord'; a routine fallback when you did not know the actual titles of the noble you addressed (or perhaps did not care).

Gods. He's even better looking close up.

Stop it. You broke your rule already with Bryen and it's caused you no end of grief. Nobles are nothing but trouble.

Garlan was surprised at how young the hunter was. Tall for his age, and broad shouldered, but still the frame and bearing of a boy. Luke was barely out of manhood, if that.

Still, Garlan's practiced eye told him Luke knew how to wield the spear leaning on his shoulder as well as any guard or hedge knight. Such talent and discipline was extremely rare in one so young. Most squires Garlan knew took years to learn what seemed natural to this young man. Reserved, yes, cautious, certainly, dangerous, absolutely. It was no wonder many smallfolk gave him a wide berth. Sheep were not friends with Shadowcats.
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Garlan Elridge

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PostSubject: Re: [RP/D] Saddle Up (Open)   Mon Jan 23, 2017 6:30 pm

Garlan shoots a sidelong glance at the Maester, giving him an idle wave as he makes his way across the yard. Then his one good eye, sky blue, Valeman blue, Andal blue, is back on Luke, but his smile doesn't waver.

"Good spear," he says with a little nod to Luke's well-worn weapon. "Seems it's seen a bit more use than most. Trouble in the woods, or generous hunts?"

It's the strangest thing; there's still nothing accusatory about the question. It sounds like the silly bugger just wants to do his duty and help if it's the former, or have a pleasant conversation if it's the latter.
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Luke

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PostSubject: Re: [RP/D] Saddle Up (Open)   Mon Jan 23, 2017 7:08 pm

"Thank you, Milord. It has served me well."

Trouble in the woods? Is the man touched? Between outlaws, clansmen and starving shadowcats, the woods are a bloody nightmare. Even a noble should know that. Obviously he's been knocked off his horse one too many times.

"I made it. I make most of the things I need." He squeezes the haft firmly and fondly. "The woods are difficult right now. Dangerous if you don't know your way around. Hunting is better. Still lots of hare, fox and beaver. Plenty of Shadowcat and wolf, if you've a mind to hunt them." More likely they are of a mind to hunt you. "Still some deer and boar in the upper hills and goats even higher in the mountains, if you want to go that high, but I don't touch those." He finished pointedly. "That would be poaching."
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Garlan Elridge

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PostSubject: Re: [RP/D] Saddle Up (Open)   Mon Jan 23, 2017 7:23 pm

"Aye," he says with a hint of a smile at the poaching bit, "It would. But right this moment, personally, poaching's less my concern than other outlaws. The mad clansmen fall a bit outside my purview, more often than not, but we've had some banditry problems lately. I'm sure you know about it."

He doesn't quite shoot a look after the portly maester, who's been treating, it feels like, half Garlan's men for injuries lately.

"If you come across camps or tracks or the like, there'd be some silver in it if you let us know. I'm Ser Garlan."

I'm with the Guard he almost says. Like he'd wanted to for half his life.

"Captain of the Guard," he remembers, just in time. "I'll help however I can."
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Luke

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PostSubject: Re: [RP/D] Saddle Up (Open)   Mon Jan 23, 2017 7:54 pm

He really doesn't have a clue.

Luke wasn't quite sure if that was annoying or endearing.  Probably annoying, as he was Captain of the Guard.

"I'm Luke."  he nodded. "You've no worry of Clansmen.  They want nothing to do with us right now.  That may change depending on how long winter lasts.

You don't need to pay me.  I know exactly where the bandits are.  Walk out half a mile into the wood and throw a rock.  You'll likely hit one.  The hills around Sunray Keep are crawling with them.  Ex-soldiers, sell-swords, crazy northmen, starving peasants, ex-sworn swords who lost their Lord in the war, ex-farmers with only burnt land to go back to, and a few fallen hedge knights and religious zealots thrown in.  

The House Lyras Captain tried to sweep the hills of the 'vermin'.  Failed miserably and got most of his men killed in the process.  He might as well have tried to attack a lake with a bucket."
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Garlan Elridge

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PostSubject: Re: [RP/D] Saddle Up (Open)   Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:44 am

"A pleasure to meet you, Luke," he flashes that sunny smile, and maybe even means it.

"And the good news is? I'm not out to empty the whole lake. I want to bail water out of a ship, is all. The hills far enough off can keep their vermin, there's little and less I can do to right half the Vale. But some of the outlaws? A bucket at a time? They need to be pushed back. Out of Marsten lands, away from Marsten folk, out of arm's reach from Marsten food. It might be a temporary solution to a long-term problem, but it beats doing nothing."

Garlan shrugs, partially to break the subject, partially to flip his lance off his shoulder and down, giving Luke a friendly nod.

"When my men and I go looking for a camp or two -- hells, for much of anything in those woods you seem to know so well -- we may call on you. Silver or not, it's your choice, but I'd like the help. And the Lady Marsten would, no doubt, be grateful."

A nudge, a shift of his weight, a little tug at the reins, and his rounsey is turning to start away.

"It was nice to meet you, Luke. Stay warm."
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PostSubject: Re: [RP/D] Saddle Up (Open)   Tue Jan 24, 2017 7:32 am

Luke nodded in parting to the young Captain and watched him canter away, then blew out a long breath.  He felt like he'd just faced off with a Crag Lurker and the creature had simply snuffled around him a bit, rather than trying to rip out his throat.

He smiles too much.  You should never trust anyone who smiles that much.
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