(1866-10-11) Morning Practice
Morning Practice
Summary: Broderick and Aidric watch their squires spar while they discuss the events of the day.
Date: 1866-10-11
Related: None.
Broderick  Aidric  

Tourney Grounds

An open space in the middle of the city the tourney grounds is a wide flat field divided by rose bushes that have been allowed to grow here since the ascension of Queen Alysande.

The outer ring of the grounds is set aside for competitor pavilions and the stalls of merchants and food sellers fortunate enough to win a space from the master of the games to ply their trade. The inner ring is the tourney grounds themselves; a flat oval of earth ringed by a fence with openings on each end and a high gallery to one side and a flat open space to the other. On tourney days the fence is freshly whitewashed, the rose bushes are trimmed and the gallery is swathed in green and gold cloth while all around spectators and competitors mingle with gallery filled with nobles and the common folk packing in cheek and jowl across the lists to watch whatever event is on offer be it the melee, archery or that highest of competitions: the joust.

When the grounds are not in use the lists are off-limits to casual visitors and the grounds remain fanatically well-tended, lest the field become uneven and some future match be lost due to loose dirt or a wayward puddle.

Octobre 11th 1866

"It's morning, not crack of dawn morning, but still well before the heat of the middle of the day. While the melee field and jousting lists are offlimits lest they me damaged, there is still plenty of flat ground on which to train, or indeed to watch others train. Right now Brodrick is doing the latter, but his squire the former, given the gatefinder a chance to assess the lad's technique rfom a step back. His opposition? Aidric's squire, giving both lads a good workout, and their knights a chance to talk. "We should see if there's any interest in a squire's tournement to run alongside the main," Broderick comments as Andrew blocks successfully, "it'd favour the older lads and lasses of course, but would be invaluable experiance I think. I'm not sure who's opinion would be less welcome at the moment though." Then, turning to look at Aidric for a moment, "what did you do by the way, I've heard all sorts of rumours, but somehow I don't think even you would have had your way with our soverign's handmaid."

"Hm?" Aidric says looking away from the fight, though in truth he had been letting his thoughts wander as mornings were never his time of day. Still, an invitation was an invitation no matter what it was for and invitations of any sort were rare. "A squire's tourney?" he asks, considering the question for a moment, "Could be done on the open days between the main events." He nods at it favouring the older boys, and glances back out to the field, where Kieran, had three years, several inches, and a good many pounds over Andrew. Still, Kieran was the son of Paul Gerrell, and while he pressed the boy hard with his attacks he did not go out of his way to hurt the younger squire as Aidric might have done in younger years.

He turns back to Broderick, "Anyhow it sounds like something to bring up with whomever is acting as steward with regards to the tourney, but it shouldn't be hard to arrange. The question comes next. It was what everyone asked, "A handmaiden? Is that what they say?" he says with amused smile, "But sadly the truth is less sordid, I lost my temper at the Queen while discussing the murders."

Broderick appreciates Kieran's maturity in how he's handling the bout, as, no doubt is Andrew. "Maybe not a full tourney, but a melee certainly, archery perhaps? I suspect the lsits should be saved until growing has finished though, it has the greatest potential for serious injury." He nods in slo agreement to the comment about the steward then asks, "do you know has that task? I suspect, however easy it might be to arrange, that the soner it is suggested the lesshastle it would be, and One above knows that there's oging to be enough to do once the wedding gets closer." Wincing reflexivly as Andrew gets clocked with a solid, but not punative hit, he offers "keep your guard up, and remember to move your feet," in advice then turns back to Aidric. "Thats one of the stories I've heard, thre are a few circulating though, of varying degrees of credibility. It's safe to say though, that now Tristan seems to have settled down that serveants rumours have move you into his place and carried on as before." Nodding slowly at the actually answer though he says quietly, so it won't carry to the lads, "she can have a temper the Queen, but she does not suffer others the same." As is the royal perogative of course. "What news on that front though? Any new developments?"

Aidric nods, "Squires can compete in the regular archery, but a squire's melee might be amusing," he says before glancing back at the two squires hacking at one another. He smiles, "Though we might want to make it two melees, one for those who haven't reached their majority and those who have." In this case that line would be drawn at sixteen. "As to who to speak to, who can say? There is no official steward or master of ceremonies, though Clara seems to be filling that latter job, best to speak to her as a start."

He contrives to sigh at the news he has become the new Tristan, at least in the court rumours. "I suppose that is a burden I shall have to bear," he says with a smile, before his face takes on a more serious mien when the rest is brought up, "Hm, yes, all true. Needless to say I shall think twice before I let my temper get the best of me while before the Queen," he says with the piety of the recently chastised. "I am blind and deaf outside of court, and few will speak with me, save old friends," he gives Broderick a nod, before he carries on. "As to the murders," he glances about the tourney grounds, they were empty save for the four of them, "Do you remember the killers our side used during the war, it seems that they are behind this." Or at least that was the theory that Aidric clung to.

"That might even things up a fraction," Broderick admits with a slow nod. "I don't know how many would enter in each band, and maybe a division would be detrimental is take up is low, but I suspect that it would be easier to combine if numbers require it than to seperate at the last minute. I will talk with Clara though, and make the suggestion."

"I have decidd that my best tack with her Majesty is to always be honst with her, but to do so as respectfully as I can. I had pondered fawning for favour, but I will not stoop to that, even if it ensures I remain only on the outskirts at Court. What I do hear though, or that of it that seems at least plausible, I will pass on. I'm hoping to try and have words with the Lord Marshall regarding the raids on Blacksands, if there is anything you'd wish to ask yourself?" Offer made he calls another, faintly exaspirated, "One Above, -footwork-!" as Andrew gets caught out again, the notes once more in conversational tones, "I suspect I know what we'll be working on tomorrow at least. He learns quickly though, once shown." His expression darkens a fraction at the mention of the war though, and he broods silently for a moment before answering, "I've been thinking on the war a lot more since your return. There are many memories, some more pleasant than others. Is their proof yet, or just indications?"

Aidric cocks his head to the side, "Could be quite a lot, each knight competing, in theory, has a squire, so it will depend on which knights lets theirs compete. Though you can probably count on Kieran, Gawain, and perhaps Liam taking part with the older ones," he says naming his squire, Thaddeus' squire and Jaren's squire. The three had become as thick as thieves when their duties did not demand them be apart. Anyhow, best not to let the boys hear about it until the matter's settled, they'll give us no peace if it is denied."

"You made the right choice, better to advance by skill at arms or matters of state than skill at licking ass," he says with an approving nod to Broderick. The mention of the Brodlund raids makes Aidric turn thoughtful and he taps his chin, "Best speak to the Lord Marshall soon, I've not spoken to him myself but, I cannot see Thaddeus taking the death of his kinsman with a shrug and an 'oh well' he will soon be after the raiders by land or by sea. I am surprised you're going to him however, from our past conversations I've gathered you do not like him much."

Of the killers Aidric says, "Only indications, but Tristan was openly against them for the death of his father and the killers strung up the woman and laid out the child in the dead of night in this very quarter of the city with no one seeing or hearing a thing. Who else could it be?"

"Not every one," Broderick notes, "but fair point. I don't doubt that we'll lack for knights and so you are correct, we will likely not lack for their squires." A silent nod of agreement is given regarding keeping the idea quiet for now then he moves on to the other matters. "Or to hold out that one day she'll favour me precisely because I tell her what I think she needs to hear rather than what she wants to, but I suspect skill at arms may be the quicker route, as long as the Order allowes me the time of course." As for Thaddeus his expression darks a fraction again, "you gathered correctly, but he is Lord Marshall, and I am not, therefore the response falls under his perview and I have little choice. Or of course, there's always cousin Martin, the general who sent my wife and I on a suicide mission then married my father's bastard. My choices are not what you might call, ideal." Straightening he adds, neutrally, "of course neither of them were in the army that killed my wife, that would be where you come in, but then that's the thing about civil wars isn't it, they're anything but civil." He keeps his eyes on the squires as Aidric lays out his evidence then nods once, "I can see the logic in that, who is leading the investigation though?"

The matter of the squire's tourney handled, Aidric moves on nodding about how best to win the queen's favour, "I have offered truth and valour and got nothing coz, but then you bear the Tracano name so perhaps she will favour your effort more generously," he says. He turns back to the squires, as Andrew lands a blow against Kieran's side, "Drop your elbow, it will help protect your flank!" he calls before he shakes his head. "Andrew has the Sorez prowess it seems," he remarks to Broderick. "Anyhow Thaddeus is not so bad, and he will at least meet courtesy with courtesy. And as for Martin, I'd forgotten he'd done that too you and yours, mostly though I dislike the man because he is joyless lump for as much as he tries to be friendly. The question about the investigation is answered with "Tristan. Though I have not spoken to him since my banishment."

"Perhaps," Broderick agrees with a short nod, "if I learn from your mistakes as well as my own." Yes, it's a dig at the other mna and his temper, but a good natured one at least. "Well done," he calls over to the squires, seeing the same hit and offering Andrew a short period of applause. "Were that there more of his House so that being head of it would mean something," he rues, "had they still their seat.." He shakes his head though, sometimes there is no coming back. "At least the name shall not die." Not yet at least. As Tristan is named though he raises an deeply skeptical eyebrow. "Really? Tristan himself? I can not see that as a sensible idea, a clearer head, one less removed from the grief would surely have been a better choice?"

Aidric snorts and offers a narrow eyed look in Broderick's direction. Still, while the Carling knight disliked being needled, his old comrade gets a pass. He claps the man on the shoulder. "Well as long as someone does," he manages with believable good humour before he nods and looks back at the Sorez boy. Who even Kieran praises for the well struck blow. "Who knows what the future holds. The boy could fall in some skirmish in the road or he could win glory and restore his family name, which it is depends on him," he offers philosophically. "I envy him a little," he admits.

The sceptical look is met with a confirming nod, "There was talk of bringing in the Greycen Wardens as well, but, yes, it seems that for now Tristan is in charge. I don't suppose you saw anything when we were with the Thorns that could be used as proof of these killer's past crimes? Even if we cannot link them to these proof of past crimes would see them hang just as quickly."

"The Greycens, of course," Broderick replies with a quiet, but derisive snort, "of course. They do like to get involved in everything don't they. Me? I'd trust it to a Durante, one of the ranking Lancers perhaps. There's is a house I'd trust with a matter such as this." He shakes his head slowly at the idea of the wardens getting their oar in then glances to Andrew and adds, "I think, were I him, I'd want just a little bit more to be in my favour. A small handful of cousins perhaps. If your father can pursuade someone to marry Sophia and take her name then perhaps there's a chance, with two branches, but I'm not sure who would be ameniable to such a bargin. Unless of course, he's made a name for himself by then, but that's an aweful lot of pressure on such young shoulders." He considers, deeply for a moment then continues, "perhaps a show of favour from someone importnat at court. Do you think perhaps, that should we get the squire's tourneyment running, that him asking to wear the Queen's favour would be too bold? It would indicate that his is not a forgotten house perhaps, keep the name on people's tongues, and the house was lost in her service." It's something he can consider at least, and something far preferable to thinking back to some of the darker sides of the Thorn cause. "I'm afraid not," he answers levelly, "I'm a battlefield commander and when other measures were called for I was used to lead raiding parties. My strengths lie in that direction, rather than the more underhand."

"Well they are the most powerful house in the land after the Tracanos, one could argue that it is their right to butt in where they like," Aidric says but his tone leaves his position on that matter neutral. "I doubt you'd get anyone other than some up-jumped commoner willing to take that offer," Aidric answers honestly. "I heard the Queen did give them some coin for dowries and such because their family fell fighting for her, but, I doubt someone would give up their name to wed either of the two. At least as things stand now." He gives Broderick an apologetic shrug. "However it is two years before Andrew can wed anyone, and four for Sophia, much can change in a span of years like that." He turns his mind to the question of the favour, "Too bold," he judges after a moment, "Though it might be endearing if he asked Clara for hers. Word of that might get back to her Majesty. By any road, I will keep my eye out for a chance to promote their name. Your boy's ancestor helped slay Giorgio's dragon, their house should live on."

"I understand," Aidric says of the killers. "I had no part in their business either. I think few did. Which is a shame, if we had someone to swear to their involvement in any of our allies' crimes, we could do much to secure the realm."

"Yes," Broderick replies almost grumpily, "they are, as I am continually reminded." Leaving aside talk of the archduke elections for that would truely ruin his mood he focuses on Andrew's future. "Agreed, as things stand Sophia will likely be married out to a hosue that wants a lack of complications and he will be alone, perhaps even he will be married out and the name will die ontheir marriage beds. We have time though as you say, especially if we can keep your father onside and ensure there is no rush to nuptuals." Mind back on business he asks "is there anyone else likely to approach the Princess so? Liam perhaps? Myabe that is another arguemnet for a split tourney, reduce his competition for favours as well as glory." He smiles a little then though, mood picking up faintly as he notes, "assuming we -get- a tourney of course. We may be on a hiding to nothing but I appreciate your help in this matter, the pair of us will undoubtably spot more opportunities than either of us alone." He has nothing more to add on the topic of the Thorn killers though, so simply nods his agreement at the sentiment expressed.

Aidric leaves further discussion of the Greycens alone. He smiles wryly at keeping his father on-side, "You would be better for that job than I," he say with a laugh. "Even so, he has a good many Carlings to wed first," himself included, One help him. "So we have time."

There is a smile, "The split does help him some, puts him in the middle of his pack rather than in the bottom when it comes to age." He considers other contenders for Clara's favour, "Liam is possible, but, engh, he is a Haldis," he remarks. "Better your boy gets it."

He nods of the promised help. "Glad to do it, but for now though, we ought to give the boys some rest," he says with a glance towards the squires. "Feel up to a drink afterwards," he glances beyond the grounds, "The Golden Dragon is not far."

"If your father is willing I can speak with him at the wedding," Broderick starts, "not regarding marriage and such, it is far to early for that as you say, but there are other things we can discuss. A way of indicating to him that I mean more than to merely have him clean my armour for a few years and teach him a few tricks with the sword, that I am interested in his progress even once he has gained his spurs. I can't not claim to know your father, but I suspect a verbal acknowledgement that I intend to offer what support I cna in person, rather than merely by your missives, might help to ensure no rushed plans are made." The idea of Aidric being wed though does amuse him and he quips, "you're on the market too? Perhaps we should meet from time to time, discuss the field, see if we can find arguements to pursuade those with the power ot make contracts we actually want." Or just get drunk and talk abotu women, either works. He pulls the required face at the mention of Haldis then nods slowly, "I will speak with the princess when I can, put the idea to her, or perhaps hint at it so that she construct the idea herself. I can not claim to know her either, but I find many are more willing to push their own ideas than those of others." A touch synical perhaps, but such is life sometimes. Glancing to the lads as a rest is mentioned though he nods in agreement, then calls over, "next hit is the last, make it count," before smiling back to the Carling once more. "I've been keeping Andrew busy inthe afternoons by giving him small, interlinked tasks in the city so he learns his way around, both the main routes and the short cuts. He'll likely be engaged in such for a couple of hours after lunch if the time suits you?"

"Well, my father will be at the wedding so an introduction will not be hard to manage," Aidric says of his father but makes no more comittments than that. His father was not someone Aidric knew well. The prospect of finding a wife, earns a laugh from Aidric, "Well I am not so much on the field as trying to stay off of it, at least as long as my father has a say in my match, however, women are among my favorite topics, so I'll take you up on that drink." He smiles turning back towards the boys, "Cynical, but true," Aidric agrees, before calling, "You heard the man. Best make these hits count," he settles back as he watches the boys spar. "That would work for me," he says of the timing, before there is a thud of practice sword meeting padded armor and Kieran, unsurprisingly has won the day. Aidric gives his squire an approving nod. "Well then, shall we be off while the boys attend to their duties?"


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