An Unintended Lesson in Humility

An Unintended Lesson in Humility
Summary: Sir Deidra of the Blue Guard spars with Sir Jaren Cassomir and Sir Gauvain Tarris in turn. Much pride is bruised and battered along the way.
Date: Day/Month/Year
Related: None
Samwell Deidra Jaren Gauvain 

TP Room 2
The Camp of Prince Samwell's retinue just outside Lohstren Castle, in Estermarch.

Sir Jaren Cassomir makes his way through the castle at Estermarch, escorted by a pair of guardsmen. They usher him (at his request) to where the Prince waits (in the sitting room of the guest chambers he has been provided), and waits outside the door until one of the guardsmen announces his presence and the Prince indicates that he wishes to speak. As seems to be rather typical of Sir Jaren, he waits in absolute stillness for the reply, and could practically be a stone statue for all the movement and emotion he displays on most occasions.

The prince has rather rosy cheeks and looks oddly cheerful, lounging in a comfortable chair by the fire where he is reading a long letter. Once he finishes, he rolls it up again and looks up to the newly arrived knight. "Sir Jaren, hello, what brings you here?", he asks.

Sir Jaren steps inside and taking up a position inside the door, bowing deeply from the waist before speaking: "Your pardon, Highness, but I believe you had wished to speak with me regarding the matters in the village some nights ago?" Well, he seems nothing if not consistent. His expression remains mostly neutral, though a glimmer of a polite smile creases the corners of his lips.

"Ah that.", Samwell remembers with a shrug, apparently he had already forgotten about it. "It doesn't really matter now, does it. But it's good you came, please take my orders to the camp that we will ride out to the mountain fortress of Brenton tomorrow and considering the distance, will stay over night, so people should pack accordingly. I will ask the Lady Claire to accompany us in case of mishaps in the mountains."

A single brow briefly quirks over Jaren's left eye, but it shifts back to a neutral position easily enough, "As you will, Your Highness. The Lady's skills will no doubt be most welcome. Is there anything else you may require before I depart?" Straightforward,and professional seems the order of the day (or well, every day) with Sir Jaren.

"Not really, Sir. I believe our trip has been a success so far.", Samwell replies easily. Bit of riding in fresh air, looking at fortresses, draining Lord Losthren's wine cellar, what's not to like? "How's the mood in the camp? Are the men content?", he asks, "Lord Losthren kindly sent a barrel of wine down yesterday evening and some loaves of fresh bread this morning."

"As content in men in camp ever are, your Highness." Sir Jaren replies with a faint smile, "The usual combination of grousing that we haven't seen much action with fears that we actually will. The look forward to hearth and home upon our return. The wine and fresh bread most certainly proved a boon to morale, and thankfully very few indulged too much." Jaren concludes, "Otherwise the camp is among the most orderly and well-disciplined I have seen, though I suspect your Blue Guard occasionally passing through and the efforts of Sir Gauvain and others to keep the men from resting -too- idly could take a lion's share of the credit for that. Certainly the men take pride in being part of your Escort."

"I am glad to hear that.", Samwell smiles, "Well, we are going to Brenton tomorrow and people can return to Laketown then if they wish. I will probably proceed to the Sollingers' lands with my Blue Guards, but I really don't need an entourage and I doubt the Lady Claire would want to head down the road she only just came from. So I may deliver her into your care to take her to Laketown."

"Whichever path you choose for us, Highness, it will be my honor and pleasure to serve, as always." Jaren affirms, inclining his head slightly. He falls silent then, waiting to see if the Prince either has more questions or wishes to dismiss him. Though he does add after a moment, "I am glad to see that you have enjoyed the hospitality of my Liege Lord."

"It's been a pleasant stay indeed.", Samwell confirms, "Lord Losthren is an excellent host. However, we shall not impose on him for much longer." The prince has received Jaren in his rooms, but they seem to be about to break up. Samwell turns to Deidra, who is presumably around to guard her prince. "Sir Deidra, why don't you walk to the camp with Sir Jaren, see how the men are faring there?"

Certainly, Deidra had been there, all unobtrusively in the background. "Of course, Commander sir.", the Blue Guard replies, her steely green eyes shifting from Samwell to Jaren, her mien not exactly friendly but not particularly sour either, while her gaze brushes him in a slightly assessing manner. "Are we to break camp soon, my prince?"

Jaren looks like, well…most veteran knights. Relaxed but ready, expression mostly stoic, though a glimmer of a polite smile paints his features at the moment. He inclines his head towards Deidra as she's addressed, but does not speak as she directs her question to Samwell. The only oddities about him may be the fact that he is extremely, almost unnaturally still as he stands just inside the Prince's guest chambers, and his dark eyes have a particularly penetrating gaze, and unlike the rest of him, they seem to move frequently. Watching, assessing, waiting. Not "shifty" but a healthy caution borne of a life of war.

"We will ride for the mountain fortress of Brenton tomorrow and stay overnight but the main camp shall remain here. Once we return, I will send some of the men back to LAketown with the Lady Claire while we continue to Tharnham.", Samwell explains to Deidra. Then he smiles brightly. "Now be on your merry way, you two!" A not too subtle hint that the prince wishes to be alone. His player needs his bed.

Deidra lowers her head in a nod as her inspection of the knight does find her approval. "Very well then, Sir Jaren. As we are to continue our mission with you, it would not hurt to exchange a few words." Her green gaze darts to her prince. "Informative our way may be, rather than merry, Commander Sir." Just clarifying. Before she offers her prince a bow and moves out of the room, casting a look over her shoulder at the doorstep to see if Jaren will follow her.

"By your leave, Highness." Jaren bows from the waist towards Samwell again, just as Deidra does, and then he pivots on his heel to follow her out of he room, moving through the corridors of the castle and outside towards the camp. In a few paces he catches up to move alongside the Knight of the Blue Guard, though those dark eyes continue to watch his surroundings more than the person he's traveling alongside. He's mostly silent as well, though he doesn't seem in a surly mood.

Gauvain stands at the edge of the practice yard again, this time in armor, sipping a cup of water. He pinches the bridge of his nose and sighs, wishing he had just not touched the wine. As much as he needed it, he had been quietly proud of not having had a drop of drink since the trip had begun. He looks up and watches as men begin to gear up for the day's drills.

Deidra's gaze is all attentive on their way out, shifting from here to there util her green eyes come to rest on Jaren beside her. One hand moves to push some damned stubborn strand of dark brown hair out of her view, that has escaped that leather strap at the back of her head that holds the rest of her hair neatly tied into a pony tail. "Not the talkative type, are you?", she inquires in a matter-of-factly tone. "Not that it would bother me much." As they pass the practice yard, she cannot help but glimpse Gauvain. The Blue Guard pauses momentarily to offer a polite nod in greeting. "Sir Gauvain." Shooting a glance toward Jaren then, as she seems eager to continue, as her restless gaze betrays.

"No, Sir Deidra. I find that the less that is spoken, the less likely it is I will speak words that offer unintended offense, and the more direct my speech, the less likely that my intent will be misinterpreted." Jaren's smile does turn towards a touch of genuine fraternal warmth at spotting Sir Gauvain, and he gives the (slightly) older man a nod, "Gauvain. May have to wrap this up early tonight. His Highness wishes to ride for the Fortress of Brenton upon the morning."

Raising an eyebrow, Guavain nods in greeting to the other two Knights. "Sirs." He says evenly, a touch softer than normal. He runs a hand through hsi hair and nods once again to Jaren. "I'll pass that on to the men. I think they're getting tired of me drilling them anyway. Wouldn't hurt to give them some time to themselves for a day." He shrugs. "So long as the perimeters are still watched." The big knight looks between the two other knights. "What brings you two out and about if I may ask?"

Deidra raises a brow at Jaren's reply. "Depends on what you have to say, sir. And any offense could be resolved with a refreshing spar, when there is time." Nodding towards Gauvain, she lets her gaze wander over the assembled men. "Seems you wore them out already… Before you even started?" To his question, she remarks: "We're on the way to the camp to check on things there. And prepare for the departure."

"It would be my honor, Sir Deidra. Perhaps once we've arrived at Brenton. I suspect most of the rest of the day will be occupied with breaking camp down to the bare necessities in anticipation of our departure." He looks to Sir Deidra at her comment over the men seeming tired, "I suspect that may have something to do with the barrel of wine and loaves of fresh-baked bread Lord Lohstren sent to the camp last night. Few over-indulged but a full belly can make for a sluggish start." He looks to Gauvain and nods, "I'll be sure to let Bethany know if I see her."

Gauvain nods again and then says to Deidra, "Sir Jaren has the right of it." He folds his arms over his chest and looks off toward the men. "I am now free. Do you wish company?"

"Why not," Deidra replies with the hint of a smile. "And while the guards seem to have fallen victim to that well meant generosity of Lord Lohstren, the security of the camp may have to depend upon our skills, sirs. While Prince Samwell tries to get some rest."

"The sentries remain in place." Sir Jaren notes, "And the men will recover well before nightfall, but we will remain vigilant nevertheless." He assures, answering Gauvain's question with a nod of his head. This is about as safe a place as could be asked for, but that doesn't mean they should get lax! "It seems the Lady Claire will be continuing with us to Brenton. We will overnight there, then return here. After that, we may be tasked with escorting Lady Claire to Laketown while the Prince and his retinue continue to Tharnham." Jaren explains for Sir Gauvain's benefit.

Listening as the trio move through the camp, Gauvian nods to Jaren. "Sounds reasonable. The Lady Claire has been detoured for awhile, I'm sure she would rather continue than to pass through the lands she had just left." He shrugs a shoulder and gives Deidra a slight smile. "I've been drilling them, aye, but these troops… They're young. Like our Prince, and have not seen battle. I felt I should trian them so that if the Prince is put in danger, the men will act as best as they can." He ponders the men as they walk and the troopsgo about their activities. "They're good men. They listen, are receptive, they are men I would have no problem standing beside." He nods to the other Knights wiht him. 'And with Knights like us, who could stand before us?"

"Sir Jaren, Sir Gauvain." Deidra's eyes shift from one knight to the other. "Certainly more must be expected from us than from mere guardsmen. As for Lady Claire… Well, if Prince Samwell has no objections she will certainly accompany us." A sigh escapes the Blue Guard, as she has little doubt that will be the case, knowing her commander all too well. The mention of Laketown has her steely green eyes soften for a short moment, but it seems to pass sooner than it came.

Deidra frowns slightly as she hears Gauvain's remark. "Prince Samwell may indeed be young, Sir Gauvain. But he has seen battle. May I remind you, that he fought at the Battle of the Fens? He engaged in a sword fight with his own brother even? He fought bravely and with courage. I saw it with my very own eyes and would knot have doubted him to do so at any time! The prince has many sides to his personality, I assure you. Do not let yourself be misguided by your presumptions about his character, sirs."

"I cannot make any presumptions on a character I have had little exposure to. The Prince's reputation suggests he is a skilled knight, and while his manner may sometimes seem nonchalant, I do not gather that he allows his pleasures to overwhelm his common sense. Though he may wish others to believe it so." Jaren notes simply towards Deidra. "And Sir Gauvain and I would both proudly stand beside him in battle if called upon." He glances back to the practice yard, tilting his head a bit, "You know, if we wanted to put a bit of fire into the men, we -could- spar now. No doubt they would enjoy seeing one of your skill deliver a sound thrashing to Gauvain or myself, Sir Deidra."

"I do not doubt the Prince." Gauvain says with a shrug. "I was speaking of the men, and their like ages." His green eyes looking over the area as he goes. "And Jaren is right. The Prince is clearly a skilled and honorable Knight. It would be an honor to stand beside him ina Cavalry line or a shield wall. I also have no doubt that in a siege he would be one of the first over the walls."

Deidra looks at Jaren, her green eyes sparkling as she lets out a good-natured chuckle. "You are all politeness, sir, to suggest me thrashing you or Sir Gauvain here, when it could be the other way around…. And indeed you have the right of it. Why deprive the guards of a spectacle, when we can indeed give them a demonstartion of our prowess."

"I have always felt it far better to overestimate an opponent than underestimate one." Jaren notes with a brief, humored smile, "I suppose it is only fair you select your opponent for yourself, Sir Deidra." Jaren turns back towards the practice yard, moving over to where the practice swords are neatly arranged.

Gauvain turns to keep pace with the other two. "Indeed. You can face off against either Sir Jaren or myself." He shrugs a shoulder and winks at Jaren. "Sir Jaren has a problem with strikes coming form the left. Cna't raise his shield as fast from that angle. Took an axe," He gestures to the spot on his shoulder he's speaking of. "Right there. From a Corsair becuase of it." He shakes his head. "Poor man weeped when we removed the axe." He sighs and gives Jaren a slight wink.

"I will see for myself, if you don't mind," Deidra replies towards Gauvain, while her gaze has already locked onto Jaren's. "Sir Jaren? Your boisterous humility calls for a lesson." One corner of her mouth moves upwards in a smirk. "Training swords?"

Sir Jaren rolls his eyes amusedly at Gauvain's anti-boasting of his prowess, shaking his head slightly. When Deidra asks her question, Jaren smiles, more openly than before, "A far better idea than bare steel, I would say. I doubt the Prince would be very forgiving of any of us if we ended up too injured to continue the journey." Sir Jaren notes, offering Sir Deidra the pick of the rack, "Do you prefer just the blade or blade-and-shield?" He queries, quite willing to tailor the spar to the "challenged's" preferences.

"Just the blade.", is Deidra's swift reply. She never was good with shields anyways and has always trusted in her ability to evade a blow by dodging it most gracefully. She moves over to the rack, frowning slightly as she picks up a pair of wooden tourney swords. "Hrrm, no comparison to my dear own sword." - that one has been tailor made for her, of course - "But… I think they will do. Get yourself ready, sir." She tosses one of the weapons to Jaren and assumes a ready stance, awaiting his attack with a smile.

Gauvain grins and folds his arm over his chest and leans back against a pole, leaning casually to watch. He watches as the two of them prepare for their practice. He remains silent and watches carefully as they pick weapons.

"Fair enough." Jaren catches the blade tossed at him, gives it a few light swings before rolling his shoulders and neck to loosen them a bit. He moves to a traditional distance and brings the blade up to salute Deidra, then brings it into a ready position as well. After a heartbeat-long pause, he shifts forward in a swift overhand strike, aiming to bring the practice blade down across Deidra's right shoulder. Not an exploratory attack, but apparently quite content to get right to the "going all out" portion of the sparring match.

<ROLL> Jaren tests his Blades skill (78) against Deidra's Blades skill (79): Deidra wins by 1 points.

Deidra's eyes widen a touch as she sees the practice sword coming at her, but not in depsair, rather in an assessing glance that takes in the angle and aim in a matter of mere fractions of seconds. Without much thinking her own blade moves upwards to parry the blow, just in time before it reaches her right shoulder. "I see. You're not the type that beats around the bush, sir.", she mutters, wjirling about to launch her own attack now, that will aim for Jaren's midsection.

<ROLL> Deidra tests her blades skill (94) against Jaren's blades skill (71): Deidra wins by 23 points.

Gauvain winces slightly and points to his shoulder. "It's the shoulder. I told you you should have had that looked at!" He chuckles and notes the movements.

Jaren's blade barely even tips towards The side where Deidra's own attack comes from, and her blade strikes solidly against the side she aims for, hard enough to drive the breath from Jaren's lungs. She can hear the sharp exhale and inhale of breath that follows, but it doesn't seem to take Jaren off-balance just yet, and instead his own sword comes around to try to return the strike to the now slightly-exposed side that Deidra's strike has presented.

<ROLL> Jaren tests his Blades skill (60) against Deidra's Blades skill (86): Deidra wins by 26 points.

The fact that her own blow seems to connect does not make Deidra lightheaded. She acknowledges the hissing sound coming from Jaren's lungs with a quick nod, parrying that next blow to her side with surprising ease. "Already got enough?", she inquires with a grin, not really expecting an answer yet, before she moves to her next attack, feinting towards the knight's left arm before aiming in fact for his left leg.

<ROLL> Deidra tests her blades skill (86) against Jaren's blades skill (76): Deidra wins by 10 points.

"I am…fairly beaten, Sir Deidra." Jaren notes with a touch of breathlessness in his voice, "But that doesn't mean I'm done fighting." The strike had connected solidly with his leg, but even as he hobbles back a few steps, he regains his feet, then moves forward to attempt another strike of his own, feinting towards Sir Deidra's shoulder before shifting down to strike towards her midsection.

<ROLL> Jaren tests his Blades skill (64) against Deidra's blades skill (88): Deidra wins by 24 points.

"I admire your persistence…", Deidra says in reply, now looking a bit concerned at Jaren's next attack, which she parries almost effortlessly. Almost, as that wooden practice sword is indeed heavier and way less balanced than her own priced weapon. "Hrrm, persistent and stubborn. Or just ignorant as to the right time as to admit your defeat!" The Blue Guard shoots the knight an annoyed glance as she whirls around one more time, swift steps taking her around her opponent until she stands at his back, the wooden sword aiming for his left side.

<ROLL> Deidra tests her blades skill (83) against Jaren's blades skill (76): Deidra wins by 7 points.

"Ah!" Jaren exclaims as the next strike lands, shaking his head slightly and hobbling away once more, "All right, All right, I yield." He notes, clearly still out of breath from that very first strike. "But I always try for at least one more strike, particularly…" He pauses for breath, "On the practice yard. Consider it practice for selling one's life dearly if need be." He stands straight, and salutes Deidra once more, before moving over to lean against the railing of the practice yard, rubbing at his side a bit, "You see? A sound thrashing. Gauvain's probably afraid to face you now." He smiles faintly once more, moving only a bit stiffly to replace his sword on the practice rack.

Deidra lowers the sword as soon as Jaren yields. "You fought well," she acknowledges with a nod, the expression in her green eyes not unfriendly. "And you're quite persistent, Sir Jaren. Don't be discouraged though. I am a Blue Guard. Lots of hard training have got me where I am today." Her gaze shifts to Gauvain, after Jaren clearing the field. "Would you care for a spar, Sir?" Her cheeks are a bit flushed from the exercise, still her green eyes gleam with delight at the prospect of yet another match.

Gauvain smirks and picks up a practice sword that is most like his Bastard Sword. He takes a few warm up swings and nods to Deidra. "Are you certian you wish to continue so soon after your match with Sir Jaren? I mean no disrespect, you are an accomplished Knight. I jsut want to make sure you're willing." He takes an en guarde position, already missing his shield.

Deidra grins widely at Gauvain's remark. "Willing? What do you think this is?" Making a few swings with the practice weapon herself. "The question was: Are you?" Noting his stance that might give away he is used to another fighting style, the Blue Guard launches her attack, feinting at his right side when in fact aiming for his chest at the last moment.

<ROLL> Deidra tests her blades skill (92) against Gauvain's blades skill (71): Deidra wins by 21 points.

"I've fought and trained my whole life, Sir Deidra, and am, I suspect, roughly of an age with you." Jaren shakes his head, "I doubt I will ever match you with a blade." He shrugs, "But then again, I am not of the Blue Guard." Jaren moves to the sidelines to watch Gauvain try his hand against Deidra, watching intently as the mock-battle begins.

Almost, almost, Gauvain raises his shield arm, but instead, because of it, he is too slow to get his sword in the way to block the incoming strike. The weapons CRACKS against Gauvain's armor and the knight takes a step back, grunting. "He doesn't pause though, and moves forward, using a two handed grip on the bastard sword to bring it around in a slash that goes from shoulder to hip.

<ROLL> Gauvain tests his blades skill (73) against Deidra's blades skill (78): Deidra wins by 5 points.

Shoulder to hip? Deidra seems to be on her guard, her feet moving swiftly as she steps to the side, bringing her blade between his and herself at the last moment to deflect the blow. "Not bad, Sir Gauvain.", she remarks with a faint smirk, swinging her sword at the knight's left shoulder now.

<ROLL> Deidra tests her blades skill (90) against Gauvain's blades skill (67): Deidra wins by 23 points.

And again, that crack is heard as Gauvain tries to move the blade to parry and is once again to slow. He narrows his eyes slightly, and moves in once again. The blade moving toward Deidra in a wicked arc toward the woman's midsection. To at least drive her back, if not impact the other Knight.

<ROLL> Gauvain tests his blades skill (71) against Deidra's blades skill (77): Deidra wins by 6 points.

Deidra takes a step backwards, after parrying Gauvain's next attack, pausing for a moment as she studies him intently, as if searching for a weak spot to deal him a finishing blow. "You are a skilled fighter, Sir Gauvain. But I had expected at least a bit more… routine and experience, maybe." Taunts, that might help in provoking him to commit some blunder maybe. Anyway, the blue guard raises her sword, swings it as she whirls about, aiming not at his torso but at his right leg as she completes her spin.

The older Knight is quite at home in a practice yard, but he seriously hopes his daughter isn't seeing the beating he is taking. However Gauvain isn't one to fall for taunts, gentle teasing amongst friends is one thing, but loosing your cool is against Gauvain's rules. He once again grunts as the blade connects, again, he's jsut too slow on the uptake to bring the bastard sword in for the parry. But the blade is in perfect position, and he steps in, trying to trap Deidra's on the other side of his body, and moves in Pomel bash the woman in gut, and knock the wind from her.

"Hmm, I see you know some tricks, don't you…", Deidra smirks, after evading that pommel bash to her gut at the last moment. She is called Deidra the Swift for a reason, apparently. Her sword hand finally freed, she launches her next and maybe last attack, aiming for the knight's midsection.

With a resounding fourth CRACK, Gauvian drops to a knee. The blade point catching him and keeping him from face planting as the wind leaves the older knight in a WHOOF of air. Training, and having been the survivor of countless battles in the Corsair War, causes the Knight raise his blade quickly as he nods to Deidra. "The four have blessed your sword arm Sir Knight." He says between attempts of catching his breath. "I yield. The field is yours." He lowers the blade and begins to pick himself up.

Her mien suddenly slightly sobered, Deidra nods to Gauvain's yielding. "You fought very well indeed," she remarks respectfully, then turning her head towards Sir Jaren as well. "As did you, sir. The Guardians have blessed me today, I did not expect to… win this easily against the both of you." Putting the sword back on the rack she adds: "I thank you though for the training match. Maybe…" she seems to hesitate as she straightens. "Maybe I could buy you a drink at the next tavern. To drink to the fact that we will not ever have to face another in the field…"

Bowing to Deidra, Gauvain moves to put the practice sword away. He's not used to being the one leaving the yard wiht teh bruises, but he doesn't let it show. "A drink?" Gauvain says in that low gruff voice of his, "The Four know I could very much use a nice Mead, or a strong Cider. Perhaps just a nice bottle of Whiskey." He sighs and shakes his head, more to himself than to anything else as he restraps on his actual blade. "Thank you Deidra. I will likely take you up on that."

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