(1868-02-24) Sparring in Eastfield
Sparring in Eastfield
Summary: Folk in Eastfield are sparring in front of the Duke.
Date: 1868-02-24
Related: None
Darren  Leander  Liam  Katerine  Raimond  

Charger's Rest Castle - Eastfields - Rivana
See scene

It's a gray day in Eastfields, with clouds looming overhead, threatening rain that hasn't quite materialized yet. Despite that state of affairs, the atmosphere in the courtyard of Charger's Rest (The Castle, not the City) is relatively jovial, with several knights squaring off in sparring matches at various points around the courtyard. For the moment, however, Duke Darren Haldis isn't among them. He's clad in casual, comfortable garb, but his attention is on the sparring match taking place between his half-brother, Sir Raimond Giraldi, and his betrothed, the Lady Katerine Greycen, who are presently sorely testing each other with rapiers…though it does distinctly look like Katerine seems to have the upper hand.

Darren is grinning around a lit cigarra, occasionally hooting or hollering when either of the combatants scores a hit, but not offering much else in the way of encouragement or advice, at least for the moment.

Standing in attendance in the courtyard, but for now not paired off with any other knight to spar is recently-knighted Lord Sir Liam Haldis, a cousin of the Duke. His expression is stoic as he watches the future Duchess spar with the heir to Watch Hill. Rapiers were a weapon the young man had only a passing familiarity with— his knight had left no weapon untouched in Liam's training, but that simply was one that didn't see a lot of use. They were meant more for show and finesse than true battle, as far as Liam understood it, and thus not something to spend overmuch time on when there were so many other weapons that needed mastering.

He is clad in Haldis colors, though the clothing is less showy that his grandfather may prefer… it seemed to fit under the maile he was wearing in anticipation of being called to spar himself.

The other half-brother to the Duke stands off to the side, watching the rapier duel with interest. Sir Leander Giraldi does look like he has recently sparred, with his maile….but with two blades in close proximity to him, rather than the typical one. It seems that the knight has been trying his hand with the pair as of late.

Leander chuckles softly as his older brother circles about the Lady Katerine. "Better not go easy, Rai. You know you won't hear the end of it if you do." As to who would be teasing is not spoken…but there are three candidates that would be more than willing to fit the bill.

Raimond ignores Leander's taunt, circling Katerine and looking for an opening. He's danced this dance with her more than a few times since coming to Eastfield, mostly because he's one of the few here with more-than-passing skill with the thin, flexible blade. Truth be told he's actually learned a good bit from Katerine during these matches, and both Darren and Leander would well know by now that he rarely comes out ahead.

"Come on, Giraldi. If you spent half as much time practicing the rapier as you do preening in the mirror, you'd have beaten me twice over by now!" Katerine japes, accompanying it with a flurry of swift thrusts that prove to once again force an opening in Raimond's defenses, wherepon she promptly "stabs" his chest hard enough for him to yelp a bit. "Oh, did I muss your hair? Do you need a breather to fix it?" Katerine smiles "sweetly" but her eyes are intent upon her opponent. Jokes or not, she's focused on the match, and skilled enough that Liam might even be seeing some of the utility of the rapier when in the hands of someone who's mastered its' use.

"Not yet." Raimond replies, attempting a quick step-lunge to try to score an attack before Katerine has fully regained her footing, but she's already ahead of him, sidestepping and "tapping" his blade out of alignment, and "stabbing" him in the pit of his outstreched arm. The kind of strike that with a sharp blade could have punched right into the soft area and done some serious damage. As it stands, it's painful enough that Raimond drops his blade, rolling his shoulder and arm and shaking his head ruefully, "All right, all right. I think you've embarrassed me enough for one day." He moves over to reclaim the blade, if only to give Katerine a proper salute, which perhaps surprisingly (or not) she returns.

"I suppose I'm amused enough, even if I've barely broken a sweat." She saunters over to where Darren waits, unceremoniously plucking the cigarra from his lips to take a drag upon it herself. She does manage not to blow the smoke in anyone's face as she looks around the yard, her eyes falling on Liam, "Looks like you have some fresh meat on the field." She comments to Darren without formalities or titles, offering the cigarra back to him without turning her gaze away.

Cigarras were not as popular in Sunsreach as they were in Eastfield, and Liam is quite glad to be away from the smoke. The dance between Katerine and Raimond had been interesting— he could see what Jaren meant when he said a very skilled man with a rapier could find the chinks in a knight's armor and kill him— though he was still mentally weighing how it would fare against a heavier blade. He was silent for the moment, waiting his turn to be called to spar.

He does not wait long. One of the Unbridled gestures towards the boy, and the young Haldis hoists his practice sword and steps forward onto the sparring ground. He nods solemnly to his opponent, who smirks at the boy at least ten years his junior.

"You may have impressed the court, kid," the man says with a half-friendly, half-chiding tone, "but battle isn't a dance with pretty ladies in Sunsreach."

A slight frown tugs at Liam's lips, but he does not respond to the mockery. He salutes his opponent.

"Huh. You that ready to be shown your place?" the knight asks, before lunging forward quickly with his blade.

CLANG. Liam meets the charge with a parry, and the fight begins in earnest. At first, the Unbridled is obviously toying with Liam, not putting his full effort into the spar… but soon enough, that changes. Liam's parries are lightning-quick, and he smoothly thrusts and counters every hit the older man swings at him. Many of the knights (and squires) on the sidelines waiting their turn to spar turn their full attention to the bout.

It isn't longer before the older knight looks sorely harried by the recently knighted Haldis. His face is a mixture of disbelief and anger as he continues the battle.

Liam's face is calm, no emotion to be seen.

"It is uncanny. It is as if she knows *exactly* how long you spend admiring yourself." The comment is finished with a laugh as Leander continues his friendly ribbing of Raimond as the two trade blows. Or, rather, as Kat schools Raimond once again in the fine art of fencing. The final thrust has Lea wincing in sympathy, as he just shakes his head…a rather large smile on his face but, for the moment, silent. No need to add anymore. Katerine had made her point rather well.

And then, it is young Liam's turn in the ring. This time, Leander remains silent, watching the verbal exchange. The very one-sided exchange, for that matter. Though, as the sparring commences, it is quite apparent that Liam lets his sword do the talking.

"You know who he squired for. You was expecting a walk in the park?" There is a pause, as Leander adds. "Besides, I do not recall Sir Haldis spending much time at all with the ladies. Perhaps one should have warned you before taking his youth for granted."

"It's not my fault I got the looks /and/ the brains, Leander. You'd admire yourself too if you did." Raimond replies without any real venom as he moves out of the patch of ground he and Katerine had been sparring on, turning to watch Liam's bout with interest, but not offering the commentary that Leander does. The Unbridled may well have NOT known who Liam squired for, really. Though who knows how far word has spread?

"Hah! Stuck your nose in it this time, Sir Willem. Mind you don't get it broken." Darren comments, taking another drag on what's left of the Cigarra before dropping it to the ground and crushing it underfoot. He reaches over and gives Katerine's rump a swat, which has her rounding on him swiftly and slapping the Duke across the face hard enough to leave his cheek red.

"I am not some tavern trollop to be groped at your leisure, Duke Horse-fucker!" There's an angry gleam in Katerine's eyes, and she speaks through clenched teeth, but Darren just grins down at her, not backing down in the least.

"My mistake, Milady. After you asked for it last night I got the impression it was the sort of thing you enjoy."

Katerine doesn't seem abashed in the least at Darren's retort, still glaring up at him, "When I ask for it. And only when."

Darren's silent a moment, and actually nods a touch more seriously after a moment, "Noted."

Raimond glances at Leander and rolls his eyes with a slight shake of his head, before looking back to Liam's match.

With graceful precision, Liam continues the spar. And while he looks no different than when it began, Sir Willem's eyes are flashing with rage and his forehead is pouring sweat. He redoubles his efforts, determined not to be beaten by a whelp— even if that whelp had squired to the King.

And suddenly, Liam's eyes narrow. His sword lashes out, first parrying a blow, then thrust, thrust, swing—and the last swing cracks into Sir Willem's hand, knocking his practice blade away.

"Why you little—!" the older knight snarls.

"Holding anger while in combat makes one lose focus," Liam says calmly. He gestures to the blade on the ground. "Would you like to try again, Sir?" There is no mockery in his tone, no derisveness. And that only seems to infuriate the Unbridled even more.

"I won't take that sort of lip from a mere boy," he snaps.

Several of the knights on the sidelines are laughing and clapping. This only serves to anger the man more. He snatches up his practice blade and scowls. "We'll meet again, and next time I won't go easy on you."

Liam salutes the man politely. "Yes, sir." Then he, too, departs the sparring area and moves to where his cousin (and his cousin's betrothed and half-brothers) stand. "Your Grace. My lady. My lords."

Raimond's retort doesn't receives a response, as both Giraldis watch Liam's turn with Sir Willem. Though….that itself doesn't hold Leander's attention for too much longer. Not when that slap rings out, in any case. Leander's eyes shift to watch the heated exchange between Duke and future Duchess…and the slight smile that the younger Giraldi has on his expression never wavers as the two engage in verbal fisticuffs that rival some of the sparring that has occurred already. Though…the exchange is brief. Brief enough for Leander to meet Raimond's eyes with a wink and a slight nod of the head to Kat. That nod more than enough to signify Leander's approval of her, not that she (or anyone else) needed it.

Then, back to Liam's match. The disarming is met with approval as Leander joins in the clapping. Of course, Sir Willem's reaction is not unexpected. However, Leander's response may be. He calls out to Willem. "Oh, don't be such a sore loser. I am sure we can find you one of those pretty ladies to kiss your hand and make it all better. I would, but I have a reputation to upkeep, you see."

"You'll have to kick his ass again later, Liam." Darren comments, turning away from Katerine and addressing his second cousin. "Willem's Unbridled to the bone." Darren frowns for a half-second, "But the way you deal with that is by not backing down from them. Ever. They'll always want to test you, and themselves in doing so."

"Hello, Sir Liam, and congratulations on those spurs. Knew it couldn't be long after we saw you in action at the tourneys last year." Raimond comments to Liam with a friendly smile, "The court here was practically abuzz when the news came." He grins sidelong at Leander, "I daresay you might even manage to draw some of the ladies' attentions away from my brother for a while. Don't worry, he won't hold it against you."

Katerine briefly meets Leander's gaze, but doesn't otherwise acknowledge his nod, instead moving over to study Liam more closely, "You were the King's squire, weren't you?" She snorts, not exactly derisively, "Hope you're more entertaining than he is. I'm never going to know what her Majesty sees in him." She grins wickedly, "Though maybe he has a big sword beyond the sidhe-steel one he carries."

Liam frowns a bit at Leander, but doesn't say anything. He's not much of one for taunting. Still, he does watch the older Unbridled knight walk off with some of his companions. His frown deepens at Darren's advice, but he nods. "So be it, then, Your Grace."

He offers a slight smile to Raimond. "Thank you, Lord Sir Raimond. It came sooner than I expected, admittedly." The talk of drawing the ladies brings a faint blush to his cheeks, and a quick shake of the head. "I do hope not. I haven't the time nor interest in such things— assuming His Grace has tasks for me."

As Wild Kat nears him and sizes him up, Liam tenses slightly, though his expression remains… neutral. "Yes, my lady, I was His Majesty's squire. I cannot speak to being more entertaining." At the sword comment, Liam frowns. Not the frown of "that was inappropriate"… but the frown of "thinking… thinking…".

"He does have several lightsilver blades," he nods sagely. "I think he even has one that's a bastard sword, so yes, I would say that is larger than Winterthorn."

Raimond's comment draws a hearty laugh as Leander turns to regard Liam. "Oh, I am sure I can spare some. Why, it might provide some variety. Luring them away from Raimond has become rather too easy." Another jest, but certainly friendly enough as Leander turns that smile on to the younger Haldis. "It's quite alright. I don't mind sharing in the slightest." There is the briefest of glances back behind the Giraldi, just to make sure that Sir Willem is indeed walking off before Leander does relax.

Then, the attention shifts to Katerine, as she makes her inquiry. Unlike the sweetly naive Liam, Leander catches the innuendo dead to rights. That slight smile widens considerably when the question is asked….and it is all that Leander can do to keep from bursting when Liam answers without a hint of exactly which 'sword' Kat was referring to. A hand does go to his face, holding back the threatening laughter, until Leander regains his composure.

"Oh, I see that we are definitely going to need to work on some social cues. Someone has spent entirely too much time on the practice yard."

Katerine's gaze and expression are flat as she regards Liam for several moments, silent. Perhaps he's grown a second nose on his forehead? Then she finally shrugs, "Well, being that thick might be entertaining in its' own way. I suppose we'll see." She turns on a heel and without so much as a "by your leave" starts striding back towards the castle proper.

Darren snickers, shaking his head, "Maybe a bit. But Liam's still young." The Duke laughs softly, "Though he might want to take advantage while he can. Never know what might be around the corner."

"Well, I can't think of anyone better for that job, Leander." Raimond pauses a half moment, "Oh wait, actually I can think of several. But they're not here at the moment, besides me, and I've got too many other things to attend to."

A beat.

"Like my hair."

"Did I offend her?" Liam asks seriously as Katerine departs. "If so, I will need to go apologize. It is extremely bad form to upset a future duchess."

He glances to Leander. "You sound exactly like Sir Quentyn," he says flatly.

"Sir Quentyn is a smart man." Then, as an afterthought, Leander adds. "And rather handsome, too. From what I have heard, it would do you well to listen to him, Sir Liam." Eyes shift in time to see the retreating backside of the Greycen heading to the castle, before returning. "Oh, I do not believe that Lady Kat is offended, by any means. More like stunned. Maybe."

Then, to Raimond. "Oh, of course there are better people for the job. I am sure I am just too ripe with nasty habits and the like to be a proper teacher. Unless, of course, that is exactly the point."

Darren laughs a little more openly now, "Believe me, Liam. When you offend Kat, you know." He grins and nudges the younger man's shoulder, "All right. Give me a couple minutes to get into some mail and I'll see what you're made of myself." He steps away, already bellowing for his squire to come attend him.

Raimond chuckles at Leander, "And if the infamous Sir Quentyn Bazan couldn't get Liam properly introduced to the…opportunities of the Court, I fear we may have little luck." He grins at Liam, "But we might have to try, anyway. For now though, I need to speak with you a bit about certain opportunities in Azure Lake, Leander." He beckons towards the doors to the interior, before nodding to Liam, "Until later, Sir Liam."

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