(1867-11-06) Pacitta Tourney: A Plagued Parade
Pacitta Tourney: A Plagued Parade
Summary: The Parade for the Pacitta Circuit Championship of 1867 does not go as planned.
Date: 11-06-1867 IA
Related: None
Evelyn  Jonathan  Leander  Lorelei  Raimond  

Pacitta City - Tourney Grounds

The tournament grounds stand ready for use at a moment's notice. The stands are setup with the well-to-do sitting in the center, with the best seats, and for any courtiers present. A half canopy has been established to help keep the shade in the area and protect from any of the elements, a thick leather trim going across the area where the VIPs are sitting raised up about fifty feet and supported by heavy wooden poles and tethers tying it. The benches have been formed of thick wood in the gallery, with lesser galleries set to the side for commoners, guards, and those who are watching and not immediately involved over in the arena. There are roughly eight rows of seats set up for the commoners stretching off the full length of the viewing gallery, and roughly three rows thick for the VIPs to sit upon. Among the rows are those who are bringing beverage and refreshments.

The arena is dusty, a pit formed in the ground which has been dug down flat with padded dirt roughly two feet down from the main tents, the incline designed to give the crowd a better view. The center of the arena betray tell-tale markings where it is apparent that the rail for jousts could be set, if not set already. The dirt is thick and solid, packed down as firmly and evenly as it can be to ensure good footing. From the opposite ends of the exhibition pavilions are a pair of berths where the combatants would enter from and where judges and guards would otherwise sit, as well as attendants to quickly go and tend to the injured or break apart the combatants should it be necessary. The main pit is larger than the pavilions, being roughly fifty horse lengths wide, enough for all the combatants to have plenty of room to brawl without being so spread out that the main viewing area would risk losing track of them.

Novembre 6, 1867 IA

It's….not going to be a normal Parade, that much is certain. Even with the superb prizes being offered, the attendance for the Pacitta tourney is still extremely thin. Even more thin? The crowds. Despite the best last-minute efforts by the still-ambulatory folk working for Chancellor Mancini and the Circuit officials and workers (and people they've hired "on the ground" here in Pacitta) to "dress up" the stands to make them look full (mostly by "blocking out" large swathes of empty space with bolts of cloth erected between them and the full portions of the stands), it's still clearly a scant crowd. There's an ominous mood, and as the various knights prepare for the parade, the horses seem to pick up on it, clearly a bit more nervous and restless than usual, though trained warhorses aren't likely to get TOO unruly with their masters in the saddle. Even so, just about everyone is on-edge, unless they're either insanely brave or immensely stupid.

And then, at the last possible minute, one of the Circuit Officials and a small entourage of his fellows, including a couple of Chancellor Mancini's assistants, approaches the staging area where the Knights await….

The Circuit Official is holding a cloth over his lower face, likely perfumed, in the hopes it will stave off the plague. But he lowers it and clears his throat, calling out:

"Excuse me! Excuse me! Might I have your attention please, good Sirs?"

Raimond Giraldi is waiting beside his warhorse, lightly stroking its' neck as he awaits the beginning of the parade. He's had a bit of a pensive frown all evening, seeing the state of Pacitta firsthand. This place is a second home to him, and to see it like this…well, it's not pleasant, to say the least. He knows it's dangerous to be here, but he has more to do here on this visit than just compete…and yes, a desire to maintain his lead for the Circuit.

Seeing the Circuit official approach, Raimond cants his head at his brother Leander, a quizzical expression on his face, "Best go see what this is all about, then…." And with that, he tucks his helm under his arm and moves over in the direction of where the official awaits.

Evelyn was well aware what the mood would be, and she's done a fine job of keeping her horse calm, despite the creature being unsure of the setting and mood it was in, presently. Her thoughts wander to just how the steeds might perform during the Joust, as she waits for the parade to start. Except — it doesn't. Not right away. She tucks her own helm under her arm, and follows Raimond's lead to step closer to the official.

Well, if it isn't one thing, it's another. The younger Giraldi brother is certainly aware of the risks of being in Pacitta. And he had his doubts. He was about willing to sit this one out…but pride or an over-developed sense of ego may have helped convinced him otherwise. After all, it is home turf for him, of sorts. And so, when the official calls, Leander meanders over. Which is quite a feat while on horseback.

To say the least, Jonathan t'Maren's arrival here is made with mixed emotions. The Pacitta tourney is never an easy one for him to begin with, even under ideal circumstances, and the present circumstances are about as far from ideal as one could imagine. And there are the rumors flying out of Bloodfield, that several other t'Marens are unwell, thus making it rather a risk to have the heir here. To say nothing of his personal worries, on behalf of his parents, and a certain formerly t'Artan knight who won't be participating.

But he, too, is a contender for the Circuit title, and as frustrating as it may be to be here, it would be still worse to miss the tourney. Especially with the chance of a victory to bring hope to those back home…

And so he's here, making a show of normalcy even amid the grim mood, armor-clad, beside his charger. When the parade doesn't start quite as planned, he at least outwardly appears unconcerned, lagging somewhat behind as the knights approach the offical, though he does fall into step behind them sooner or later.

The Circuit official clears his throat again, "Good eve to you all, Sirs. I regret to inform you that tonight's parade will not go forward as intended." Yep, there is he is clearing his throat again, it seems to be a habit. Perhaps a nervous one at that. But he continues, "The Chancellor has decided that it would be an unnecessary risk for the crowds, and for your own health. He encourages you all to rest well this eve, that you may fight with all your skill and might upon the morrow."

It's a flimsy excuse, especially given that it's already clear whatever crowd was going to show up is already here.

She hadn't planned to be in the parade to begin with. Hovering at the outside of whatever paltry group had assembled, Lorelei Asheflour watches people amass, though not as much as they had last year, with curiosity as always. When the knights in the parade all crowded around the Official, she cants her head to the side, quirking a brow and craning her neck to see. There's discomfort there, surely, but she can't quite make out what's going on from so far back, and, frankly, she doesn't want to get closer.

Raimond Giraldi glances to the stands and the sides of the streets where people have gathered, frowning once more, then looks back to the Official, his expression less than pleased, "I trust that if the Chancellor decides to cancel any further events, the notice will come in a more timely fashion?" He doesn't really wait for an answer, turning and moving back towards his Warhorse. He's not really upset about not having the parade. More at the simple incompetence behind this comedy of errors. "Thank the One Mother wasn't here to see this" he asides to Leander as he passes.

Evelyn clears her throat. Once. She looks at the official, exchanges a look with Jonathan, and then Raimond. Ten, she looks back to the official. And, on the heels of Raimond's parting words, "I will hope to see the Chancellor well, then, upon the first event. As difficult as these times are, hope and distraction can help all people deal with more grave matters. No matter how brief the escape." She nods her head to the official, then, knowing there's no reason to shoot the messenger. Then, she turns to head back to her steed. And, then back to her family's manse.

No parade. Well, that's not a ton of skin off Jonathan's nose. There's a suspicious tilt of the head to one side, of course, a raised eyebrow, and then a little nod. "Then I trust you will wish the Chancellor good health in return, sir," he replies, flatly. That's as much as the knight has to say before he turns about to collect his steed and head back to his home-away-from-home. No need to take unnecessary risks. Even if he's wondering about who else he might encounter in Pacitta…

While it may not be apparent to some, it is quite clear to Leander that the official is avoiding the real reason for the cancellation. The nervousness is noted…as well as the slight, but present displeased air in which the cancellation and apology is given. With a shrug, he turns to follow Raimond, but not before he makes a comment. "I would imagine that, next time, the Chancellor would be more forthright with being honest, as well, as for the reasoning behind cancellation. It's plainly evident that it isn't for our sakes." He turns to leave, following after his brother. "Tis but an observation. Nothing more. Please, offer my well-wishes to the Chancellor."

Not very tactful, that Leander. But, it's obvious now that Leander doesn't believe the 'unnecessary risk' comment in the slightest. If so…they wouldn't be there at all.

The Circuit Official looks like he swallowed a bug, though whether due to Leander calling him out or all the "well wishes" for the Chancellor is unclear, but it's hard for him to keep all trace of sarcasm from his voice when he adds, "Yes, I'm sure the Chancellor will be overwhelmed with all of your concern for his health." Somehow that sardonic tone seems more directed at the absent Chancellor than the departing knights though, and after they begin to disperse, so too goes the Circuit Official, as others move along the parade route spreading the word that the event is cancelled. The crowds don't even seem to care that much one way or another. Like most of the Knights here…they have other things on their mind.

Raimond is leading his horse back to where it will be quartered during its' stay here, giving a nod in passing to the other Knights as they go about their business. He does also wave to a few of the folks in the crowds as they start to disperse as word spreads of the cancellation. Wouldn't do to completely ignore them, after all. But as he's moving along his way, a servant wearing Giraldi livery approaches and hands him a message. Raimond pauses in his march for the tents, opens it and reads it, nodding to himself and asiding to Leander, "Master Marchette's agreed to meet with me."

That pause is enough for Leander to pull up alongside his brother. "How fortunate for you to suddenly have an opening available within your schedule, then, Rai." The comment is said in jest, though it may still have a hint of the ire Leander must have felt to have been lied to. "Though I have no doubt you actually had planned for a later time. When will Marchette be expecting you?" Leander doesn't bother asking as to what the meeting is actually for. Either he already knows…or feels that Raimond would have stated if Leander needed to know.

"Thursday. The night after the bareknuckle." Raimond chuckles albeit with an edge of bitterness, "Somehow doubt that event's going to have much participation this go-round." He shakes his head, gesturing towards where their squires await, "Let's get the horses taken care of and get back to the Manse. I don't want to be out on the streets any longer than we must." That's not normal for Raimond when home in Pacitta. Usually he loves getting out and about when he's at his "home away from home" but well…things are certainly different now, and the already nearly-disappeared crowds lining the roads are a lingering reminder of it. The City is already veering towards that eerie sort of quiet that just feels…off. Particularly for such a bustling city as Pacitta.

It's going to be a long two weeks.

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