(1867-11-07) Pacitta Tourney: Free-for-All
Pacitta Tourney: Free-for-all
Summary: The Free-For-All of the 1867 Pacitta Circuit Tourney
Date: 11/7/1867 IA
Related: None
Players:
Conrad  Elrick  Evelyn  Jonathan  Leander  Raimond  Bartolo  

Pacitta City, Pacitta 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 7, 1867 IA

Unlike the Parade the night previous, the Free-For-All remains a "go" for this particular evening, but it's quite clear that the field is much more thin than it has been in previous competitions. Only a handful of Knights have made it to this event after a hard day of fighting in preliminary bouts, and now they eye each other across the field as they await the arrival of the Chancellor. The crowds are…as expected…equally thin. Very few from outside Pacitta have travelled here to bear witness, and even some of the most diehard Circuit aficionados are sitting this one out for very good reasons (there are a few of the truly hardcore fans still present, though…sports fans can be nuts in any setting).

The Chancellor does eventually show up, though, much to the relief of the Circuit Officials. However, his arrival is…decidedly odd, to say the least. Servants on each side of him help prop up what basically amounts to a portable "booth" of heavy cloth, with but one "window" in the front cut out to allow Mancini to see where he's walking. He's got his lower face covered with a perfumed cloth, and when he finally seats himself in the empty-beyond-himself-and-his-servants Chancellor's box, the assembly is quickly cleared away, leaving him seated in ostentatious finery, but he looks a bit impatient and even nervous as he gestures and calls out, "Let the Free For All begin!"

Raimond offers his salute to the Chancellor, the Crowd, and then his opponents in quick succession, before bringing his tourney sword up in a high guard, moving carefully across the field, and directly towards Jonathan t'Maren, who seems to have similar ideas about tackling the higher-scored competitors early. There's no real banter, only a grim sort of determination from both men. The atmosphere of this tourney isn't really one of good cheer.

Evelyn knew the field would be … limited, all things considered. But, she'd pressed her father with her reasons for going. While the stands would be limited, she knew there would still be messages going here and there of the standings. Betting, gambling going on. This was one thing she could do, even if only for a brief time, to 'help' Ostvor in the way she knew best and was most familiar. She watches the Chancellor's approach, unsurprised by the cautionary measures Mancini takes to avoid catching the sickness. She salutes the man, and then turns into the melee, without hesitation. Conrad, being the closest man to her in that moment, is the focus of her first series of attacks. She too, like Raimond, does not seem to hold her usual grin of enjoyment at the contest, and that shows in her own grim expression as she swings her sword towards her opponent.

One of those knights standing on the field is Leander Giraldi. And…he does not miss the 'grand' entrance of Chancellor Mancini. There may very well be an eyerolling as the knight watches the whole affair. Really….as if a walking bolt of cloth is going to stop anything. The attention turns to the field…and to the pair of knights that seem to want to test Leander's mettle. And, of course, Elrick is one of the two. That illicts a soft shake of the head…then somewhat of a forced smile as he beckons the two onward.

Conrad is pleased to finally get the opportunity to compete in a tournament, but as his luck seems to hold, it is /this/ tournament. Nonetheless, the t'Artan knight tends to his gear prior to the match and observes the sparse field. He notices the Rivnans and gives a small sneer, but takes a deep breath and readies to enter the fray.

Despite being one of the bolder knights that have chosen to compete in the Plague Tourney, the t'Tremaine Heir can't help but feel a bit unease which is thick in the atmosphere. Despite expecting less than a full house, how thin the crowd is, as well as the field of competitors, is still a shock. The arrival of the Chancellor doesn't exactly instill confidence into this event and Elrick. However, being a veteran of the war front up north, he is able to put on the proper face, saluting the Chancellor who is now alone in his spectator box. Then, Elrick turns his gaze to those that are present, spotting the Giraldi brothers. The t'Tremaine's first target is clear, the younger of the two southern brothers, even the plague would not still his competitiveness and possible over-protectiveness of his little sister.

<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Leander attacks Elrick with Tourney Sword - ARMOR on Right Arm stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Conrad attacks Leander with Tourney Sword - Light wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Jonathan attacks Raimond with Tourney Sword but Raimond DODGES!
<COMBAT> Evelyn attacks Conrad with Tourney Sword - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Elrick attacks Leander with Tourney Sword but Leander DODGES!
<COMBAT> Raimond attacks Jonathan with Tourney Sword but Jonathan DODGES!
<COMBAT> Conrad has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Conrad spends a luck point to keep fighting!

<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Leander attacks Elrick with Tourney Sword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Jonathan attacks Raimond with Tourney Sword but Raimond DODGES!
<COMBAT> Evelyn attacks Conrad with Tourney Sword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Elrick attacks Leander with Tourney Sword - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raimond attacks Jonathan with Tourney Sword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Conrad attacks Evelyn with Tourney Sword - Moderate wound to Left Arm (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Raimond attacks Jonathan with Tourney Sword - Light wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Leander attacks Elrick with Tourney Sword - Light wound to Left Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Evelyn attacks Conrad with Tourney Sword but Conrad DODGES!
<COMBAT> Conrad attacks Evelyn with Tourney Sword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Elrick attacks Leander with Tourney Sword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Jonathan attacks Raimond with Tourney Sword but Raimond DODGES!

Instead of a two-on-one, Elrick ends up facing the younger Giraldi alone after Evelyn peels the t'Artan off of the young southern knight. The exchange between the t'Tremaine Heir and Leander isn't a brutal one, the latter landing two light blows while the former delivers a solid strike to the midsection. Despite it being a thinner field, it is still a melee and soon enough, another knight steps between Elrick and his would-be opponent. That forces the northern knight to turn to a new opponent, one who is already coming at him, the older Giraldi this time.

The free-for-all has never been a kind event, and this is a lesson Evelyn's learned the hard way, just as she did of true battle with Elrick as a standing veteran of those battles in the north. The first swing is true, and hits Conrad hard, fast, and perfectly. She measures her stance as he refocuses on her, and she's able to get another hit in, even as Conrad manages to score against her, until she sees Jonathan coming towards her. Keeping her eyes on Conrad, she edges back from him to face the man whose bested her more often than not.

Conrad scowls as he enters the fray only to find a blade strike him unawares, nearly brining him out of the contest. Fortunately, he regains his footing quickly enough and rounds onto his opponent, Evelyn, though he sadly is unable to remove her from the contest at this time.

Raimond proves an elusive foe for his t'Maren rival in this first flurry of strikes, narrowly shifting his body away from Sir Jonathan's strikes, and answering them with a few of his own, though those strikes that do make it past the formidable Couvieri's defenses barely do more than ding his armor. And then the tide of the battle carries Raimond past Jonathan, and towards the Northerner who had opened up against his younger brother. Not surprising given Elrick's skill and reputation, Raimond focuses on remaining well-balanced in his footwork, and not overextending himself in his attacks.

Meanwhile, whether "retribution" for attacking a countryman, because she has a good number of Circuit points, or simply being a target of opportunity, Sir Jonathan turns his attention towards Evelyn l'Faust, lashing out with his blade in another flurry of strikes.

As the battle begins, Leander starts with a swing towards the t'Tremaine's shoulder, which glances ineffectually off of the maile. Leander does manage to side-step the return strike…and steps right into Conrad's strike. That seems to knock Leander a little off his game, as he manages to strike Elrick a couple more times, but not without taking a solid hit back from Elrick in return.

Still, Leander seems to be rather still in the thick of it. He steps away from the t'Tremaine, to offer a bit of payback for the strike he did receive, angling for Conrad, while the other combatants shuffle their own dance partners.

<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Jonathan attacks Evelyn with Tourney Sword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Evelyn attacks Jonathan with Tourney Sword - Critical wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raimond attacks Elrick with Tourney Sword - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Leander attacks Conrad with Tourney Sword - Critical wound to Neck (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Elrick attacks Raimond with Tourney Sword but Raimond DODGES!
<COMBAT> Conrad attacks Leander with Tourney Sword and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Leander attacks Conrad with Tourney Sword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Elrick attacks Raimond with Tourney Sword but Raimond DODGES!
<COMBAT> Jonathan attacks Evelyn with Tourney Sword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raimond attacks Elrick with Tourney Sword - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Evelyn attacks Jonathan with Tourney Sword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Conrad attacks Leander with Tourney Sword - Light wound to Left Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Conrad has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Leander tries to attack but has no target!
<COMBAT> Jonathan attacks Evelyn with Tourney Sword but Evelyn DODGES!
<COMBAT> Elrick attacks Raimond with Tourney Sword but Raimond DODGES!
<COMBAT> Raimond attacks Elrick with Tourney Sword - Serious wound to Neck (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Evelyn attacks Jonathan with Tourney Sword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Jonathan has been KO'd!

The exchange with the older Giraldi is certainly much rougher for Elrick. The first exchange of blunted blades is a draw, a glancing blow that did no harm to the northern knight. However, the two following blows are brutal, a heavy strike to the t'Tremaine's chest and then one that strikes into the protective chains at the neck. Surprisingly, Elrick stays on his feet though he is certainly slightly shaken, withdrawing a few steps to take a brief moment to recover. The field is much clearer now with only four knights remaining. Seeing Evelyn still there, he calls out to her, "Stand strong, Sir Evelyn, we face some fierce opponents." If he is able to, Elrick will try to dispatch Leander as soon as he can.

Raimond seems to find his stride now, continuing to prove his cautious approach a sound strategy, as he avoids Elrick's strikes, but answers with first a blow that merely glances off Elrick's armor, but it's followed by two hard strikes that connect quite solidly with his chest and neck (Thank the one for gorgets!). As the battle continues, Raimond shifts past Elrick and onward towards Evelyn, and while the mood has been grim, she can likely hear a touch of resigned laughter from behind Raimond's helmet as he closes the gap and attacks.

Jonathan t'Maren, however, takes a tremendous wallop to the noggin from Evelyn, and it clearly leaves him off-balance enough that the relatively light follow-up attack that strikes against his chest is enough to send him into the dirt, and not being quick enough to reclaim his feet, he makes the sign of yielding, and makes to move off the field, pulling off his helmet and looking distinctly unhappy with his performance. Or maybe that's just the way he looks normally. It's often hard to tell with him.

Evelyn l'Faust has been at the mercy of those wicked attacks from the t'Maren knight before, and she's learned a thing or two about them. She stays focused, not on scoring points, not on 'winning', or 'doing better' as she has in the past. She focuses instead on waiting for that singular opening she knows will come. She twists just enough to let the attack slide off her armor before turning and slamming her sword into Jonathan, hard. She continues to focus, not exhilarting in the caliber of her hit, still waiting, following up her severe attack with two others, that eventually topple the man down to the ground. But there is no rest, not in the free-for-all. A quick glance and she knows she's in hard company, and at least one of the men to beat is going to be Raimond Giraldi. She gives Elrick the courtesy of, perhaps, having another go at Leander knowing her friends 'interests' in doing so, and so gauges her swordplay next at the man whom she has traded both wins and losses with, one of her fiercest competitors in these events.

Well, it's Conrad's first tourney in over a year and he finds himself out of the first contest quickly enough, to a Rivanan, no less. He stands up as he is called out of the contest and makes his way out of the ring to where his squire waits with a wineskin that the t'Artan avails himself of as soon as he is able.

And what a response! Leander unleashes a massive swing, which catches the t'Artan knight solidly across the neck. It seems only by the grace of the One that the Giraldi didn't take the knight's head off. Leander follows up with a much less severe blow to the chest. It was, however, the same area that caused Conrad a bit of a problem before. As Conrad falls, Leander pauses only for a moment, to ensure that his opponent is well and able to withdraw under his own power…before turning to find his opponent is once again the t'Tremaine heir.

With a sigh, Leander calls out to Rai. "Well, at least it's fair now. Onward, brother…Let's do this."

<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Elrick attacks Leander with Tourney Sword - Light wound to Left Leg.
<COMBAT> Raimond attacks Evelyn with Tourney Sword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Leander attacks Elrick with Tourney Sword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Evelyn attacks Raimond with Tourney Sword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Leander attacks Elrick with Tourney Sword - Serious wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Evelyn attacks Raimond with Tourney Sword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Raimond attacks Evelyn with Tourney Sword - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Elrick attacks Leander with Tourney Sword but Leander DODGES!
<COMBAT> Elrick has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Elrick spends a luck point to keep fighting!

<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Leander attacks Elrick with Tourney Sword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Evelyn attacks Raimond with Tourney Sword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Elrick attacks Leander with Tourney Sword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raimond attacks Evelyn with Tourney Sword - Light wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raimond has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raimond spends a luck point to keep fighting!

Elrick is able to weather one more blow, his legs keeping him standing but when a second, harder strike lands on his midsection, the northern knight stumbles back a couple of steps and down to one knee. With the air knocked out of him, the t'Tremaine Heir manages a brief pause but wills himself back to his feet. Movements a bit more sluggish, it appears that this particular knight is still willing to put up a fight, though a more defensive one. After warding off another blow directed at him, Elrick appears to be trying to catch his breath as he turns to face Raimond again, swapping with Evelyn, perhaps to give her a moment of respite against the older Giraldi. It appears it will be his last stand, how long can he last though.

Well, Raimond's footwork doesn't quite serve him well this go-round, as even though he manages to land two solid strikes against Evelyn, and a third that's more a grazing blow against her stomach, Evelyn's blade impacts with his chest twice in quick succession, and seems to hit him at the perfect moment to put him off-balance. He stumbles down to one knee, but reclaims his feet quickly, just in time to face Elrick t'Tremaine again. He tries to control his breathing and regain his balance quickly, because he certainly reckons Elrick isn't going to give him a chance to recover if he can help it!

Evelyn's eyes reveal nothing as she moves onto Raimond. The man might notice the merest inclination of her head, a token of respect or acknowledgement of the man's ferocity, in her eyes at least. And this time, the fight seems more even, blows are traded for blows in an exchange of some familarity, but as with Jonathan t'Maren, Evelyn at the last is able to take advantage of Raimond, if only for the moment. She seems to be reading Elrick's thoughts, and as her fellow countrymen turns to finish Raimond, she turns upon the younger Giraldi, this another foe she is familiar with in the melee. She nods her head to him, as well, even as her sword moves out to seek to set him onto the ground, and out of the competition.

As they have done already this evening, as well as numerous other occasions, Elrick and Leander face off once more. The younger Giraldi takes a shot to his left leg, which certainly may seem an attempt to slow down the normally agile knight. Leander returns with a bit harder swing across the chest and, immediately afterwards, takes a step in towards Elrick and slams the butt of his sword hit into the Couvieri's stomach, which is enough to cause him to drop to a knee. The next exchange goes wide, for both, as the two seem to be getting a little weary…perhaps of each other. And, as such, Leander moves away from Elrick, as he turns to face someone he has seen before…just not tonight. Evelyn l'Faust. There is only the briefest of nods as Leander steps towards and seeks to meet blade with blade. He is determined to keep on going.

<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Leander attacks Evelyn with Tourney Sword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Evelyn attacks Leander with Tourney Sword but Leander DODGES!
<COMBAT> Elrick attacks Raimond with Tourney Sword but Raimond DODGES!
<COMBAT> Raimond attacks Elrick with Tourney Sword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Leander attacks Evelyn with Tourney Sword - Light wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Elrick attacks Raimond with Tourney Sword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raimond attacks Elrick with Tourney Sword - Light wound to Right Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Evelyn attacks Leander with Tourney Sword - Light wound to Neck (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Elrick has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Leander attacks Evelyn with Tourney Sword - Moderate wound to Right Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Evelyn attacks Leander with Tourney Sword - Moderate wound to Neck (Reduced by Armor).

It's a near thing, but Raimond's blade manages to sneak past Elrick's defenses, and while the blow is not excessively forceful, it's precise enough to strike at Elrick's sword hand, and enough to send the t'Tremaine from the field, though not without a brief salute before Raimond again turns his attention to Evelyn, this time managing at least a hint of a weary smile, "This is getting familiar, Sir Evelyn." He notes, a touch breathless from the exertion of battle, but clearly focusing entirely on defending himself now.

Evelyn trades a few blows with Leander, neither seeming as the fight wears on to have a decisive edge over the other, though Leander's blows do seem to strike slightly harder than Evelyn's own after the initial shift-and-miss, feeling each other out. It's at Raimond's words that the first hint of a smile, a roughish, lopsided thing, twists briefly on Evelyn's lips. "So it is," she agrees. "A fine dance. But it would be ill mannered of me to let brother face brother," she jests, before the smile fades from her lips, and she re-focuses, feeling her body out, and returning to the 'wait and attack' mindset that allowed her to send her other opponents sprawling to the ground.

The next three exchanges seem rather identical, from both Evelyn and Leander. When one hits, so does the other…and yet, both do not fall. Still, it is apparent that Leander is getting a bit winded, if that miss was any indication. Then, as Leander spins around to find if there is anyone else besides his brother to defend against….he finds himself without an opponent. At least for now. He catches his brother facing off with his most recent dance partner and Leander pauses. A bit odd, in the middle of a free-for-all…but perhaps Leander has had the lesson from Thaddeus beaten into his head too well.

<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Raimond attacks Evelyn with Tourney Sword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Leander passes.
<COMBAT> Evelyn attacks Raimond with Tourney Sword - Light wound to Left Leg.
<COMBAT> Evelyn has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Evelyn spends a luck point to keep fighting!

<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Evelyn attacks Raimond with Tourney Sword but Raimond DODGES!
<COMBAT> Leander passes.
<COMBAT> Raimond attacks Evelyn with Tourney Sword - Moderate wound to Right Leg.
<COMBAT> Evelyn has been KO'd!

Nobody will be able to deny Evelyn l'Faust didn't start out the free for all like a woman possessed, hitting hard, fast, and precise. But, in their second face off, Raimond Giraldi certainly seems to have her number and her technique she's shifted to. The man is cunning, skilled, and at first her own device is used against her, sending her to her knees. She recovers, quickly, but winded and perhaps one might argue, over-focused, Raimond is able to follow up his evasive dodge of her follow-up attack to send her to the ground a second time in moments. She exhales, yields, and begins to slowly move off the battlefield, leaving the brothers to take first and second place and decide amongst themselves who is the better.

Raimond seems to claim the upper hand against Evelyn quickly in this exchange, tipping her off-balance with a quick strike to the chest, and then finishing her off with a more solid strike to Evelyn's leg, which tips her completely off balance. He gives her a salute and another weary smile as he adds, "Well fought." And then he turns to offer a salute and a brighter smile for his younger brother. "Well then, Leander. Let's see whose training has paid off more, eh?"

The Crowd is actually a bit excited now, with some cheering and applause now that the field is whittled down to the two "semi-local" boys. Mancini, however, doesn't exactly look entirely pleased by the turn of events.

If Leander thought he was going to get a bit of a breather, it certainly isn't a long one. A swing, and he watches the l'Faust falter, but then come back for more. Another swing, and Leander witnesses Evelyn fall to the ground once more. He offers a quick nod to her as she journeys to the sidelines, before stepping up to face his brother. "Sounds like a plan, Rai. Just like sparring." And with that, he lifts his sword.

Time to play.

<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Leander attacks Raimond with Tourney Sword - Critical wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raimond attacks Leander with Tourney Sword - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Leander attacks Raimond with Tourney Sword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raimond attacks Leander with Tourney Sword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raimond has been KO'd!

Well, Raimond's head rings from the clobbering that Leander gives it in their first exchange, but he gives nearly as good as he gets with a powerful strike to Leander's chest, but Leander is quicker with the follow up, sending Raimond staggering back and then losing his balance altogether and collapses to the ground, waving off the opportunity to rise up with a sign of yielding. He climbs back to his feet, pulling off his helmet, and moving over to briefly embrace his brother, before lifting his younger sibling's arm in triumph as the crowd cheers with some genuine enthusiasim, and Mancini looks like he swallowed a bug, but acknowledges the pair with a wave of his hand….before quickly making his way from the box and away from the crowds, that makeshift "mobile booth" re-assembled around him quickly before he goes.

It certainly looks like the two brothers are anything but merely 'playing.' That swing to Raimond's head was certainly not a love tap, nor was that solid strike to Leander's chest. However, it is Leander that is indeed quicker on the follow-up. Perhaps that short pause did him some good, as he was able to come back with a chest blow of his own that causes his brother to fall to the dirt. And there, in the middle of the field, the helm is tossed off and to the ground as the two brothers embrace. The smile upon Leander's face is certainly not forced…not now, as his arm is lifted. However, before there is too much celebration, he does pause and offers a salute to Mancini. However, it is certainly clear that the smile has shifted to a more sardonic nature, as Leander's eyes meet the Chancellor's before the Chancellor makes off with his cloth box.

And, it is as Mancini is leaving that Leander caters to the crowd with a wave or two. The few that are there, at least.

END

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