The day of the joust is here! The pavilions are full of guests pretending to be fancy noblepeople, and the grass below them is full of peasants dressed in their nobles' colours, cheering on the knights -- and lady knights, as it so happens.
Up in her own pavilion, absent the actor who plays her 'King' under normal circumstances, the Queen Soleil-Levant, a.k.a. November, sits in the shade of painted canvas to survey her small domain, listening to the vendors hawking old-fashioned skewers of meat, ale, wine...and grape juice, or water, for the children in the audience and those who don't want to get tipsy this early.
There have been a number of jousts already, and there are more to come, spaced out with other events to let the audience cheer on their favourites. The Round Stable has been hopping all morning and is still hopping now, with trainers guiding prospective knights through their paces to be sure that the insurance company won't have more apoplexy than usual.
Yes, anyone jousting DOES need to sign a waiver forgoing the right to blame/sue Rising Sun Tourneys for any injuries they may incur during the process. It's a dangerous sport!
The horses are generally large breeds with broad barrels, stocky and strong, though there are a number of smaller mounts for those whose legs aren't long enough to reach the stirrups on the broader beasties.
Damion already went through his knight certification. It might have seemed a little strange to the people he was working with that he seemed so comfortable with all of it. Especially when he confirmed that he hadn't been in any other events like this before. Which is true enough. His experience comes from... someplace else. Wearing a suit of rather simple, functional plate armor the tall Fairest isn't carrying the colors of any of the noble houses. He's watching the current joust from wherever it is that contestants stay when they're not actively performing. His helmet is tucked under one of his arms, because who wants to wear that thing all day?
Eden is there as well, dressed for the tourney, in the colors of the Mellifantes Family, which adds a bright, almost garish note to her garb, grinning a bit as she waits for her turn at the play joust.
Haruki went through the Knight certification only to discover he really doesn't like the idea of charging at other people and trying to hit them off a horse. Doing tricks on horses though, that's more fun, and goodness knows where he learned to ride but he's reasonable enough at it. He's stuck by Damion, watching all the goings on. "We should all be mystery knights, of colours, like the Black Knight and... OH WAIT I didn't mean that racist, sorry. I mean it like, against Lancelot and in Monty Python. That one. Not that you are black. You could totally be whatever colour you wanted."
The red, black and golden stars of the ambitious Sarcenil family flap in the breeze, a sharp contrast to the green and silver cross of the Llewewyns, the barding on the two knights' horses matching that of their riders' armour as the latest two competitors trot around the end of the list to reach their starting positions. Already, the Sarcenil has two flags marking points, while the Llewewyn has none.
Lifting their lances in salute, the knights nudge their eager steeds into the charge, and with a sudden splintering of the break-away tips, both knights' strikes hit home -- but the Sarcenil's strike proves too much. The knight in green and white is jolted straight out of the saddle, unhorsed, and the day's Sarcenil peasantry and nobles burst into loud cheers. There's a fair amount of cheering from the other families as well, but the Llewewyns boooooo, and, when it becomes clear that the fallen knight is not seriously injured, the medics simply escort him, limping slightly, to his horse to clear the field.
The Sarcenil knight trots around to stand before the royal pavilion, broken lance raised, as the announcer calls, "Sarcenil wins! Three lances to one!"
'Queen' Soleil-Levant acknowledges the win with a gracious dip of her head, and the Sarcenil trots off to be congratulated and return the horse to his handlers. Settling back into her throne, the Queen listens as the herald bellows, "The Grey Knight versus Lady Knight Eden of Mellifantes!"
The crowd, eager for more, cheers the new knights on.
Damion glances down at Haruki when he starts to talk, his lips quirking into a smile. "It's fine, hon. I know what you meant." He pats the tiny magician on the head. Or...knight or squire or whatever position he's going with today. Then he resumes observing the joust in progress. When the Sarcenil Knight wins, he grunts a little. Then he hears himself announced, and puts on his helmet before moving to where his horse is being kept. Climbing up onto the thing, he trots it over to one end of the list, taking his place and taking his lance and shield from attendants. There's no hearld proclaiming his deeds. He just readies his weapon, and waits for the other person to prepare themselves and the match to begin.
Squire, sure! Haruki will fetch Damion's lance for him, help him up on the horse, and do any other squirely (not squirelly) duties he needs. And he cheers and cheers when Damion is called.
"The Victory of Valenroux, the Champion of Chernabog, she puts the Breast in Breastplate, announcing Dame Eden Mellifantes Family!" The herald shouts out just as Eden rides out atop the horse she's borrowed for the event, clad in the colors of the family, Rose, Gold, and Azure accents, waving out to the crowd, smiling bright as she moves to position herself at one end of the list and prepare to Joust!
The announcer strides out onto the dirt of the tourney field with a heavy, tasseled flag, holding it horizontal to display the Soleil-Levant family's rising sun, seeing as they are the 'family' sponsoring this tournament. He looks to the left and right to confirm that both knights are ready, and once they are, he lifts the flag and sprints out of the way, back to his podium. The joust begins!
Eden gets her horse off just a bit faster then Damion, aiming her lance down towards the giant as she races at him, managing a bit of a hit against the beastly fellow.
As he starts his horse running, Damion feels a sense of deja vu. How many times did he do this back in Arcadia? He can't remember. He tightens his grip on his lance, leaning forward in his saddle and spurring his large black horse faster. As him and Eden pass each other, he leans somewhat out of the way of the lance of the smaller knight, though a solid hit screeches over his shield. Then he thrusts out with his own lance and catches her fight in the breast plate, sending her up and back off of her horse to the ground with a solid thunk. He slows to a trot, then stops entirely at the end of the till, glancing over to make sure Eden is alright before raising his lance to the sky towards the crowds.
Haruki shudders at the crash and his cheering stops and when Eden goes flying he gasps. She's got to be all right though. This is just fun. Not real. No worse than any sort of other sport. Right?
The scorekeeper sets one white flag in the holder when Eden scores the hit on Damion, but The Grey Knight's powerful strike gets him three flags and a whole lot of cheering.
Mind, the Mellifantes family is booooing the Grey Knight and urging Eden to get up. She has the option to continue battling the foreign knight afoot, if she so chooses -- will she take this fight to the sword, or surrender? Blunted swords, mind, but every knight is given one.
Eden of course gets up, she doesn't give up that easily afterall, pushing herself back to her feet and going to draw her sword, "Come and face me Grey Knight!" She calls out, bruised from the lancing!
Damion glances over twoards Eden when she gets off of her horse, clambering down from his own after dropping his lance and shield. He draws his own sword, stepping around the till and starting towards her, keeping the weapon at the ready as he approaches her. "You are brave, knight! But foolish! I will end this swiftly for your sake."
Eden of course doesn't stand much a chance, considering the size discrepency of the two, at the very least, as she gets walloped on by the much larger Damion, oofing a bit at the hit as she tries to put up something of a defense.
"Yield!" Haruki calls out to Eden. "Just yield!" With her being so much smaller than Damion is Haruki doesn't seem to think she'll ever have a chance against the humungous giant.
As he prepares to swing again, Damion speaks to the other Lost in a low voice. "Shift your left hand a little down on the grip. Raise the tip more. Whenever somebody attacks, there's a moment where they have to recover from the swing. Watch and try to counter when that happens." Then he thrusts forward towards her belly, her armor again all but negateing the blow. Then he yells out, "I think she still has fight in her!" He draws his sword back again, giving a dramatic spin of the blade with one hand, a moment that would be good for her to get her own blow in.
Widget lightly thwacks Haruki with her mutton haunch. "Never yield! Never!" A nice member of the crowd has let her sit on their shoulders, allowing her to cheer at everyone and everything.
"I wouldn't want to deprive the Grey Knight of a chance to beat on a woman more!" Eden shouts out at the calls for her to Yield, waving her sword a bit menacingly as she positions herself for another round of blows with the much larger Damion.
EWWW MEAT! Haruki jumps as he's assaulted and wrinkles his nose and ewww is that meat? He looks rather queasy and surprised to see Widget's approach and. "No. He who yields and runs away, lives to fight another day."
The crowd is alternately cheering and jeering as the smaller Dame Mellifantes puts up such a fight, the Mellifantes pavilion loudly encouraging her to 'Beat that Grey Knight's pants off!'
Not the most PG-13 of images, but they mean well.
When Eden pulls the 'beating on women' card, the crowd collectively oooooohs, the women, especially, cheering Eden on even more.
"When you took the field, your sex stopped mattering! A knight is a knight whatever else they may be!" Damion steps in closer, intentionally catching his weapon on that of the other knight and spending a few moments in a lock before pushing harder, making her own sword thump into her shoulder, stepping back and whirling his weapon through a few quick moves.
"But maybe not! Yes." That seems logical enough to Widget, the gremlin waggling the mutton shank in the bunny's face when she sees it turn. Her other hand raises her flagon, cheering on both. "Ten coppers on the big one!" She could at least *try* to get in character, even though she barely knew where she was.
Haruki tries to keep as far away from the meat as possible. He in fact pulls out an antibacterial wipe from one of his pockets and uses it to disinfect his shirt where the meat touched it. He's at the very front allowing him for a good view without having to resort to Widget's methods of riding the audience.
To get close, Widget would be riding on a peasant -- they are down on the grassy dirt below the noble pavilions, and are the closest to the wooden railing dividing audience from contestant.
Upon hearing the gremlin's bet, one of the men nearby yells, "Ten on the Dame!"
Eden takes another hit from the big beastly Knight, then she'll toss her sword down, "I yield." She says, scowling a little at Damion as the bruises are starting to add up from being hit by the Gray Knight repeatedly.
Wearing a suit of simple gray plate mail, Damion is on the till with Eden. Apparently their joust as shifted to melee, since the two of them are off their horses and trading blows with blunted swords. He moves in to clash with the other knight again, this time starting to go low and at her legs...then she yields. He straightens, and resheathes his sword. Then he offers his hand to the smaller fighter. "Bravely fought."
Widget howls at the lastest exchange of blows, swaying with the loud cheering of her 'mount'. The mutton gets jabbed in the general direction of the bet-taker, flagon raised high. "A bet made! A bet paid!"
Eden doesn't accept the offered hand, just scowls fiercely at Damion before she turns to storm her way off the field and to whatever 'backstage' type area there is.
There are disappointed calls from the Mellifantes pavilion, and a number of 'You'll win next time!' from the crowd, but when the announcer calls out, "The Grey Knight triumphs!" the crowd cheers, feet thumping, hands clapping.
Widget, seeing as she won the bet, gets a bit of grumbling from the peasant, but he pays up, counting out the fake coinage and holding them up for her to take. "Fine, fine. When're YOU going out there, missy?"
Bronwyn is a little late but she's here! Intrigued by what the locals get up to at such an event - the area not known for its European medieval history - the anthropologist may be taking notes and have a laptop hidden on her person. Though when she sees someone using an antibacterial wipe, the need to hide modern technology diminishes. Being a traveller herself, she has chosen the Hainswell family with her Noble pack. Bronwyn is wearing a white dress with blue sleeves and purpure cuffs and she's already spattered the bottom of the skirt with mud - desert boots worn and hidden under her dress. She'd love to be in on the fighting but not in this corset. Cheering as she sees one of fights end with a submission - which she quickly lowers in volume with Eden's reaction.
Damion shrugs a shoulder after the departing Eden, then salutes the crowd and raises his hands as he walks back over to the edge of the field, stopping near Haruki and Widget. He slips his helmet off, rubbing the top of his bald head with one hand before tucking it under an arm. "Hope you two are having fun."
The announcer lifts his hands once Damion has left the field, waiting until the crowd quiets, and calls out, "The Tawny Blade of Thyrwick versus," he blinks at the page in front of him, then clears his throat. "'Oh No Not Another Nameless Mystery Knight.' Knights, take your stations!"
Widget and Haruki will both be given horses to ride, in Thyrwick or and azure for Widget, and a simple black and grey for Haruki.
Haruki beams at Damion. "It's so much fun! Hey would you let me ride about on your shoulders and whack Wicket with a pillow?" But he seems to be half-joking. "That sort of jousting is the most fun. Only it wouldn't be fair at all." And then the Herald is calling out, somewhat bemused. "Introducing Sir Knight of Knightly the Knightliest Knight who ever did Knight at Night I am not pronouncing those knights k-nig-hit. Or you can call him Oh No Not Another Nameless Mystery Knight."
Haruki grabs his things. It can't be that difficult. Nope. Just sit on the horse. Make sure your helmet is on right and you can see out of it. Aim the lance. Hold up the shield. Let the horse do its thing. Try not to fall off until the right time.
Knowing Haruki, Bronwyn dashes over towards him but is too slow - running in this dress is not encouraged. She can only offer him a wave as he leaves before smiling to Damion. "Well fought, sir knight. I am Lady Bronwyn Ga...um...Hainswell. Sorry, new name to remember" she giggles, blinking a little since she's not wearing her glasses to maintain the medieval facade and the contacts are taking some getting used to.
Widget snatches up the coin, giving the man a rather unsettling grin. "Now! Yes." She points her peasant where she needs to go to prepare, beaming at Damion as she goes.
Widget's on her horse, fidgeting in excitement. Her herald clears his throat, voice ringing out with a bit of a drunken slur. He'd have to be drunk to let the gremlin ride on his shoulders like that. "Introducing the Tawny Blade! Nameless though she be, not one debt to her is owed, nor one left unpaid. Little deeds, she had done, but large in profit when counted as one. Rusted though her blade may be, her gold is not! Bet now and chance seeing the luster it will hold!"
Damion watches Haruki go out onto the field thoughtfully, calling out, "Good luck!" then glances over at Bronwyn, giving her a smile. "Thank you, Lady. It was enjoyable." He blinks when Widget goes out onto the field, then chuckles. "Good luck to you, Wij." He folds his arms over his chest as he observes his two small friends preparing to battle one another.
Bronwyn returns Damion's smile, blushing a little before it is time to watch the joust. Such unusual combatants but it looks like they're having fun. "Smash each other to a bloody pulp!!" she yells out before looking rather embarrassed to have done so. Thankfully there is a large Damion to hide behind before she changes her chant to "Fight well, sir knights!"
Damion chuckles a little at Browwyns cry. "Well. I like both of them so I just hope they have fun without getting too hurt." He studies her then adds, "My name is Damion, by the way. It's nie to meet you." He offers his hand to the woman. He keeps one eye on the field at all times.
Haruki's horse does its horse thing of charging towards Widget as fast as it can. Haruki has his lance pointed vaguely in the right direction but not really, he's more braced for impact and trying his best not to fall off and why on earth did he agree to do that and somehow at the last moment his lance sways wildly and smacks Widget's shield, which it shatters upon.
Widget lists, righting herself with a mad little giggle. Bronwyn's cry reaches her ears once they stop ringing, getting another laugh. "Yes! We'll see! We'll see!"
Bronwyn takes the offered hand from Damion and shakes it in a most unladylike way. "Bronwyn...but it's really Gallagher rather than Hainswell. That's the house I chose but you probably already know that and I'm babbling a bit. I met Haruki once in a library but I don't think I know the other one. I'm sorry, but you look familiar. Should I know who you are?" Then her attention is caught by the thundering hooves of trotting horses and she looks over to see Haruki has some skill. Instinctively, Bronwyn ducks behind Damion as the lance splinters on shield - one of those splinters killed a French king once.
The crowd cheers when the two knights begin to charge, screaming encouragement when Haruki's lance tip shatters on Widget's shield. The Knightliest Knight is quickly given a second lance when he reaches the end of the field, the broken lance taken away, and a handful of squires dash out to scoop up the biggest pieces of the lance from the field for the safety of the horses.
The scorekeeper sets out a single white flag for Haruki.
Damion lets out another laugh at Brownyn and her babbling. He seems amused rather than annoyed. "Well, that depends on whether you follow boxing at all." He loks back at the field where...Haruki lands a strike on Widget? And Widget misses? Well! He yells out, "Be careful you two!" It's not like he could pick one of them to cheer for over the other.
Haruki's absolutely stunned that his lance actually managed to hit Widget's shield first time around. He needs a new one, and he doesn't have a squire but presumably someone else is on hand to give him a replacement. Okay just two more times. He tries again, bracing himself in the saddle, making sure his shield is in the way, horse does its thing thundering along the field and if his own lance slides across Widget's shield when Widget hits him it sends Haruki flying into the air, sommersaulting in fact with a dramatic flair fit for any movie. He somehow, despite the chain armour, manages to land, solidly, on his feet. Should they take it to swords? Might as well he supposes, even if it's not following his earlier statements on yielding. He draws his blade and waits for Widget to join him.
"From an anthropological rather than a sporting aspect" Bronwyn explains about her interest in boxing. her eyes narrowing for a moment. "Oh...yes...you were good at it. Probably still are. And jousting too it seems." The next round of the joust begins and it seems Widget has the better of it this time - though Haruki's dismount is rather extraordinary. "Wow...did you see that?" she asks of Damion. Maybe her contacts are playing up?
Widget rides up, determined to get a hit. She's really small, so it's a struggle to lift the lance and when she gets hit she feels it. Still! Have to try! Horses were like cars, sort of! This could be fine! When the hit came and her shield took the blow, there was a moment of blurriness as the impact jarred her vision. She kept on, though, enough to see Haruki flip off of his horse like some sort of beknighted ninja. Neat.
When the she made it to the other side of the field, she dismounted. Her own blade was drawn, a thin sword with what appeared to be...orange paint? They wouldn't let her use the real rusty one. The grin she gave Haruki bordered on psychotic, but her eyes were glittering with excitement. This'd be fun!
Damion nods to to Brownyn. "Ah. Alright. I didn't do too badly in the ring, no." He looks back out to the field. When Haruki is sent backflipping through the air, he starts to step forward before seeing that the boy lands on his feet, letting out a slow breath then chuckling. "Yeah. I saw it. He's pretty agile." He watches closely as the two smols prepared to clash blades with one another.
And here comes Count, /suuuper/ late and mildly disheveled, wearing clothes from the night before, or maybe even the night before that. Well that and a patch safety pinned to the arm of his leather jacket that seems to proclaim him to be a member of house Normanni, of course on the opposite arm there is the patch that has the Family crest of Addams, so maybe he's both?
Count is not however, heading to the public areas, no, instead, he's managed to sneak himself up onto the Royal Pavilion and is walking over to the Queen, going so far as to lean against the side of her throne and lean in to whisper into her ear.
Count whispers "Hey Gorgeous, who's winning?"
Haruki's got his helmet on, so his smile isn't really seen. With his sword out, no need to wait, he moves closer to Widget, waiting for her to make a move, a strike, an attack, prepared to step out of the way if she does.
"Agile doesn't even begin to describe it" says a still incredulous Bronwyn about Haruki's gymnastics. "Not to say I don't appreciate the sport of boxing too" she smiles to Damion before there looks to be blood about to be spilled - judging from Widget's face. "I'm terrible with swords" she sighs. "I tried to participate in a ritual in Thailand that involved swords and, well, I won't be invited back." Bronwyn decides to then shut up so everyone can enjoy the carnage on the field.
Widget's not exactly skilled with formal swordfighting. Her chosen tactic of clamping onto the shoulders and stabbing like a tiny demon can't really work here, so she's got to try it proper. The gremlin crouches slightly before darting forward, point speeding towards Haruki. Mayube it hits, maybe it doesn't. Widget's cackling either way!
Damion keeps his eye on the fight between Haruki and Widget. He can already tell what's going to happen in the end. Because Haruki clearly has no interest in actually winning. "Mmm. Well, it's not like there's a lot of call for swords most of the time in this day and age. Not being good with them isn't a big deal. Though, if you really wanted to, I'm sure you could get lessons to improve."
Haruki's fast, which of course isn't all that much fun for those who're watching since it just involves ducking out of the way of Widget's weapon and trying his best to get the hang of her fighting style, waiting for an opportunity to attack. There's no clang of blades there's no... well his jousting shield's been dropped already since it was weighing him down and while he's not as quick as he'd usually be, what with all this armour on, now's not the time for the most dangerous stripping. When she charges, he's simply not there having taken a step to the left.
Widget sails past her opponent, head snapping to glare widly at where he ended up. He was fast. Really fast. Oh. This was going to /fun/! Her grin takes on a decidedly impish edge as her fangs start to show, flickering eyes sharpening and looking just a little bit redder. Fun /indeed/.
"Hit each other!! We want to see blood!" Bronwyn screams out before remembering their are children present and she's supposed to be a lady. "Ummm...well dodged, sir!" Her next words directed to Damion. "Are you offering to teach? You'll probably be champion by the end of the tournament. Who better to learn from?" Her brow furrows as she looks at Widget. "Your friend has big teeth."
Damion lets out a low laugh. "The weapons are blunted, so hopefully there won't be much actual blood. Just bruises." He glances down at the oddly aggressive seeming intellectual. "Hmm. Maybe? It's not what I normally do. I run a gym in town. But, I could maybe show you a few things at some point." He returns his attention to the battling pair on the field.
Haruki dodges a few times then he sweeps his sword around to clang upon Widget's sword, giving people the sparks they hopefully want to see fly. He's clearly used a blade before. How a magician managed to do so is another question.
Queen Soleil-Levant doesn't turn her head, giving the combatants on the field their due attention, but she does lift a hand to forbid one of her 'guards' from ejecting Count from her vicinity. "The Grey Knight-" she lifts a finger to indicate Damion's general direction, "-defeated Eden of Mellifantes on horse and foot. The Tawny Blade of Thyrwick-" this time, the finger moves toward Widget, "-unhorsed the Knightliest Knight, and now they fight. There have been no conclusive winners for the overall tournament; this event is mainly for the entertainment value."
Far louder than her quiet conversation up in the royal pavilion, the crowd cheers and roars, and, yes, demands blood with the casual bloodthirstiness of a generation brought up on video games where no one REALLY gets hurt when their arm's lopped off.
In that moment when they lock blades, there's a moment when Widget sort of...forgets. It's not enough for her to start biting or anything, but the look in her eyes is troubling to say the least. So when she hops back and goes in for another strike, the movement is closer to a pounce than an actual thrust.
"Blunted? Oh...of course they are. Sorry, in the Upper Zambezi it is usually a bit more...bloody" Bronwyn explains to Damion. "I forget this is for fun and games, not the actual kingship. A gym? I'll look out for it and definitely drop by." And then the Artful Dodger is conceding to the madwoman...probably best for Haruki's safety. Bronwyn applauds the duel.
Poppy also makes her appearance, rather late, although it seems that the siren has had a 'why the hell not' moment and paid for the noble package - House Hainswell, to judge by the colors of the blue and white dress with purple accents that she's wearing, and perhaps surprising nobody. Ten to one she's still wearing her stilettos under the skirts. She pauses just inside, peering about for any familiar faces before being distracted by the current combat on the field and grinning cheerfully.
No! No yield! Stab! Stab and stabstabstabstab- Nowait.
Widget catches herself in time to avoid skewering Haruki in a vital area, slamming into Haruki's chest with all the strength her tiny frame can muster. Whether the bunny goes down or not has yet to be seen, but the blunted point of her blade still screeches to a halt alarmingly close to one of his eyes. Breathing heavy and bumping her forehead into his, she looks very, very confused. "Yield?" Like the sign? Oh. Was he stopping? Were they stopping? Aw.
The crowd, seeing the Tawny Blade's madness, yells its approval, especially the Thyrwick pavilion, fists and feet pounding on railing and floor.
Damion nods his head towards Bronwyn, though he keeps his eyes on the fight. "Yeah. Just good fun." He cna't really see their expressions that clearly from there, so doesn't notice Widget wigging out a little. "Yeah, feel free to. I'm there...well. Pretty often. Mostly earlier in the day." Since he spent some evenings looking over his OTHER business. The more risque one. He's tall enough that he should be easy to spot, so maybe Poppy will recognize him. Then Widget almost skewers Haruki through an eye and he grimaces. He calls out, "That's probably enough, Wij."
Haruki gets slammed into by widget and goes flying backwards, landing in the mud, and he calls out, "YIELD!" again. "I YIELD!" And he is wearing a helmet so the chance of losing an eye is hopefully less likely, especially since he's playing dea,d on the ground, or at least waiting for her to make a move so he can roll out of the way..
Widget makes a noise that can only be described as a 'gigglehiss' as both sides of her Imp natures smash headlong into each other. She rolls off, not dropping her sword. She knew rabbits were tricksy things! Very, very tricky. She half-expects him to keep going, but either way she's still pretty amped up. And confused. She glances at the Queen's booth, unsure what to do.
"I think that's your foe for the final joust" Bronwyn asides to Damion. "Do you think you can handle her?" She continues to applaud the winner while glancing around in the crowd. Spotting Poppy and her colors she gives her a wave. "Hello, cousin!" She's never met her before in her life but it's part of the facade and the fun.
Haruki's playing dead, in the mud, all mucky and everything. Although he's also waiting to see if Widget's going to move on him and if so he'll be dodging again. But for now, it's safest down here, in the dirt.
Widget's enthusiasm is rewarded with a peal of laughter from the siren - apparently someone's at least a bit bloodthirsty - although she does wince a bit at that landing of the other knight. Spying Damion, Poppy heads in that direction with a cheerful wave to both him and his companion, carefully maneuvering the skirts to prevent tripping.
Queen Soleil-Levant gestures, and the announcer has the trumpeters blat a fanfare to catch the crowd's attention. "The Tawny Blade of Thyrwick defeats the Knightliest Knight, three lances to one! Blade, salute your queen."
Count gives the guard a big smile as November waves them away, and the beast leans against the Queens throne and pulls his phone from his pocket, smirking at the screen and seems to be responding to a text, and then another, before tucking it away again.
"You know..." he says conversationally to the Queen, "...I was never very good with a sword or knife in my hand, never really felt... right." and he's looking down at his empty hand, fist opening and closing as if imagining a hilt in his grip and then shakes his head and instead curls his fingers into a claw-like position. "I'd probably make myself look a fool out there."
Still not looking at Count, the rainbow-haired Queen agrees, "You would be marvelous. Will you compete in the archery event? Or the rings? I believe it will be catching rings on lances, ahorse, next."
The Queen is correct, and even as she is conversing with Count, temporary stands are set up, rope strung with pennants between them, a safe distance apart, one on either side of the permanent structure in the middle. Now, instead of ONE set of lanes for horsemen to charge down, there are THREE, for a total of six possible riders.
A set of heavy wooden T shapes is brought out next, three for each lane, beribboned rings dangling from each arm of the T. The rings, notably, are all in variations of the Soleil-Levant colours, rather than those of the lesser Houses. Crimsons, roses and golds.
While this is going on, employees dressed as squires are scampering up to the previous contestants to see which of them is willing to participate. Eden is nowhere to be found, but Damion, Widget and Haruki are all asked: will they ride in the ring-catch? They must use their lance to collect all three rings on their lane.
Haruki's lying there on the ground still. Maybe he's stuck. Maybe the weight of the armour is too much. Maybe he's dead. Maybe the mud's acting like glue. Perhaps he's just having a nap. Maybe he's secretly teleported out of his armour and it is but an empty shell. Who can tell.
A medic, seeing that Haruki hasn't moved, trots over to ask, "You alive in there? You're going to get very sore if a horse runs you over."
Widget beams up at the group, still shifting from foot to foot as the adrenaline keeps on. "Hi! I'm Widget now! Yes! You're pretty!" Directed at both, it seemed. Wait, was she supposed to be someone else? She couldn't really remember. She /did/ remember to get some ale before agreeing to the next event, though. And some more mutton. And maybe some bread. Nomf.
There is a buzzing in Count's pocket and again he's pulling out his phone to eye it and then smiles and takes a moment to point it at the tourney ground with the immobile Haruki, and takes a picture before tucking it away again.
"So, Queenie, yer asking me if i want to get onto a large animal, carry a large stick, and catch rings with it?" There is a certain level of incredulity in the beasts tone, and he's looking out at the field. "I think you just want to see me end up in some sort of humiliating position. Do I have to wear armor? Is there a changing room?" Really Count, you are utterly unprepared.
Poppy grins at Bronwyn, eyes twinkling with humor. "Why thank you, you look pretty goddamn fabulous yourself. And we've met, yes." She nods to Damion. "Hopefully you don't get stabbed to death; that one seems pretty fucking enthusiastic at murderfacing." Apparently even fancy dress doesn't fix the siren's language. Damion's question about cousins is met with a bright laugh. "Yep!" It's hard to tell if she means for the day or in general. As Widget approaches, the siren offers another wave before glancing towards the supine knight.
"Nice to meet you, Widget" Bronwyn smiles in reply. "Is that an Eastern European name? You fought very well...and thank you for the compliment." Even if the compliment makes Bronwyn blush a little. Though Poppy's compliment makes her go even brighter. Time to change the subject. "So you'll both be lancing the rings?" she asks Damion and Widget, trying her best to not smirk at any innuendo. "I haven't ridden a horse in years. A camel...but not a horse. Love the shoes, Poppy."
Damion winks over at Bronwyn, "Seems so. Hope you ladies enjoy the show." When the officials arrive, he agrees to compete in this as well. He ruffles the Wij before going to get back on his horse, get a lance, and take his place at one of the lanes. This particular sport he hasn't done as much of in the past in jousting. But, it's all for fun right? Yeah.
"Don't think I can move!" Haruki admits. "Stuck. Can I get a hand up?" He'll take any hand offered and then go to get himself cleaned up, before it's time for the ring-catching, which he hopefully won't need so much armour for anyway.
Widget tilts her head, swallowing a mouthful of gruel. "/Eastern/ Europe?" There was an Eastern Europe? Widget didn't know anything about geography, much less foreign stuff. Except cars. And weapons. And other munitions. And tooling. But that didn't count when she was barely aware of anywhere other than ten meters around her at any given time. "No? Like...Widget." That was about all she could offer. "Your name is better. Yes." She smiles brightly at the two before wandering back to where she needed to go.
Oh! Haruki was alive. That was nice.
Queen Soleil-Levant surveys the preparations with interest!
The medic, when Haruki professes that he can't move, reaches down to grip his forearm and help haul him up to his feet. The medic is a strong man, and this may be why! He helps brush off the worst of the dirt, then waves Haruki over toward the sidelines where the others are gathering with the horses.
Poppy smiles at Bronwyn. "Thanks," she says with a sharp grin. As the ring catch is announced, she gets a somewhat speculative look on her face. "You know what, what the hell. I'll be back." It seems that's the theme of the day, as with that excuse to the small group, the siren starts over towards one of the attendants. At least she hasn't had anything to drink yet.
Bronwyn smiles at the origins of Widget's name. "Widget is a lovely name" she assures the small woman before she wanders off. "I might do more than enjoy the show, Sir King. I think I might become part of it" Bronwyn grins. "What say you, cousin, Poppy. Shall we demonstrate that it is not always brute force that wins the day?" But Poppy has already gone without her encouragement. Bronwyn looks down at her tight dress. "Hmm...side saddle I think. Now...where do they keep the horses?" She sets off after Poppy.
Haruki's going to get changed into something comfier, but not without warm thanks to the medic first. And then there's some loosening up exercises to be done, and he joins the others in watching the start of the ring-catch event.
Now his brains are no longer in danger of being squishes, and he's had a complete costume change, Haruki's no longer wearing a helmet and thus is identifiable, if not identifiable as the loser earlier.
While the latest contestants are getting themselves ready, some of the day's previous tourney participants take a go at the rings, six charging across the field at once. The sound of the horses' hooves drumming on soft dirt is a thunder not many hear nowadays, but the swearing? Yeah, plenty of people hear that.
Looks like the Llewewyn knight from earlier in the day is just not having a good time of it! He not only missed the first ring, but also dropped his lance entirely.
Each prospective contestant is matched up with a horse and, in Bronwyn's case, a saddle is brought out to be hefted up onto one of the unsaddled horses. Not quite a palfrey, but certainly a lighter steed than those the knights had been riding.
Apparently there is a decision reached and Count leaves the Queens pavilion, and he too goes to talk to some attendant/employee who knows what the fuck he's supposed to do, and he is led to the horses. Count you see, has never taken any 'knights training' and is woefully under dressed for all of this, sporting black jeans, motorcycle boots and a zipped up leather jacket. And then, after a brief conversation and mild contention, Count hands over some cash and is given some serviceable Faux-Noble clothing to wear... displaying his allegiance to that house he chose based on color alone. Black and Gold Baby. Except he then puts on his leather jacket anyway.
Once all of the prospective contestants are ready, and up in the saddle, the attendants guide them to the heads of the lanes, one each. In this case, they are NOT charging directly toward each other... The horses will run, side by side, with only a rope with fluttery pennants on it dividing them from one another. The rings are strung a bit above elbow height, so to catch them, the knight WILL need to lift the tip of his or her lance.
Stepping forward once everyone is in their places, the announcer bellows, "Hear ye! The ring catch is soon to begin! The rules are as follows: whichever knight or noble contestant catches all three rings the fastest, wins! You will charge across the field ONCE. There are no second chances. Knights, be ye ready?"
He looks to the array of riders, waiting for a sign from each of them.
It seems Poppy, while interested in the ring catch, isn't particularly interested in appearing ladylike - on the other hand, perhaps she considers astride more secure. She's currently settled in her saddle, skirts hiked up - although covering more than enough for modesty's sake and falling at least to just above the knee - displaying her knee-high, blue suede stiletto boots for all the world to see. Either someone got lucky or planned ahead. Is it points for style when it's also potentially tasteless? Apparently she's content to let the audience decide, as she's grinning cheerfully. Is she waving? She might be.
The horses are restless, eager, and prance a bit in place, ears pricked and tails flagged. THEY know what is coming next!
And they're off! Bronwyn's horse proving to be as fast as any of the others - over the first inch. Then it starts to fall behind. A lot. At least Bronwyn is getting the rings with her lance though, unfortunately, her horse stops to take a selfie each time while everyone else gallops ahead. Side saddle was definitely a mistake. Hopefully, her horse will arrive at the finish line before the tournament has packed up for the night.
Haruki's taking it slow and steady, and not racing really, as long as he snags three of the rings he'll be perfectly happy, which is why he's close to last. It's all in the name of fun anyway. This seems to be okay with his horse which is more into idly plodding now as opposed to charging heroically onwards.
Damion rolls his shoulders, waiting for the event to start. When it does he takes off. He's always been more about power than speed, so not surprisingly he doesn't quite keep up with some others who are the opposite, like Widget and the one who seems to come in far in the lead, Count. He still manages to snag his rings on the tip of his lance, sliding them down one by one. One he reaches the end, he glances over at the others.
Count looks... utterly uncomfortable on a horse. Like he really does not belong there, and he's patting the creatures neck and whispering to it like he's praying. The lance is held awkwardly, like he's never held one in his hand before, ever. Which is actually true.
Count however, is a cheater, a dirty bastard cheating Winter, and things change once they get going.
It's as if one moment there was a relatively charismatic goth sitting on a horse, looking awkward, and then the next, he's leaning forwards and looking like he's done this a million times, I mean that first ring is snatched with a grace and precision that that is incredible...
And then he approaches the second ring and while he does catch it, it's a close thing, so as he approaches the third, once again that glorious bastard grace is there, and he snags it with a flourish...
And he crosses the finish line! At which point he stan ds up in his stirrups and immediately tilts sideways, only managing to stay on the hose by grabbing it's amne and swinging his lance arm wildly.
Arriving fashionably late, Lux is here with no entourage as perhaps she might deserve. Ah well, the tall Fairest(?) moves with a slow grace through the outside of the fields. She keeps a fair distance from the 'peasant' rable seats, instead circling by each of the Pavilions to get a sense of who is inside and who might be worth mingling with. She is, after all, a Vizier, and while she may have no standing in the various Courts at the very least that insures her neutrality to advice the lords and ladies who would call themselves nobility.
Of course, this is not ...actually... anything that a Vizier would be able to pull any sort of rank or privilege in, but Lux seems somewhat oblivious to that fact. She is, however, at least modestly dressed the part in a long white dress instead of slacks, and her leather jacket that is usually under her cloak replaced tonight with a red blouse of suitable historic content. The cloak and long gloves remain, but they fit in well enough. For those that can see, the usual pool of light surrounds her feet, bits of light drifting up like smoke and haze about her shoulders as she wanders the edge of the tournament.
Eden likewise is a dirty dirty cheater, but not nearly as dirty a one as she could have been, as it happens. She at least looks good doing it, even if she doesn't get nearly enough of the rings to finish anywhere respectably. Probably all the bruises she got for being beaten on.
If a horse is like a car, Widget somehow managed to strip out the governer. She's careening madly along the track, looking like she's having the time of her life. When the Count switches his stance into something so skilled, it pings every Gremlin instinct she has. Cheats! That's...that's...why didn't she do that? No matter! Rings now! When she makes it to the end, she nearly goes flying off the horse, managing a rather terrifying looking drift before swiveling around to see just what the hell happened. Everything got kinda blurry.
Poppy seems more interested in having fun than winning; while it might not be her first time on a horse, she can still probably count on one hand how often she's had the joy of that experience. The horse appears slightly more concerned than the rider, if one is entirely fair; on the other hand, being considered supper has never been good for anyone's morale. The siren collects her rings, grinning like a mad thing, entirely unconcerned with the amount of leg she's showing, then casually crosses the finish line. Count's showing is given a thumbs up with her free hand.
Sir Count, Knight of the Tongue(s) is grinning like the bastard he is, smiling and showing all of his pearly whites (And to those Lost among the crowd and competition, Count's teeth, once you get past the Incisors, are too large and too sharp and too many. So many damned sharp teeth with a smile that is just too wide). He soaks up the emotions of the crowd, breathing in all of that mixed melange of emotion, mostly to replace that which he lost, cheating like a cheater. Poppy gets a wave and a nod, and Count looks around at the others, giving each person a grin and a silent greeting.
The crowd, predictably, goes wild as the horses charge, and even those who didn't charge quite as gracefully as the rest get cheers. The Thyrwicks are especially pleased with Widget, as the Hainswells are with Poppy and Bronwyn, the Mellifantes with Eden -- isn't it nice having an extended 'family' for hire?
The announcer declares, "Sir Count wins, with the Tawny Blade and the Grey Knight second and third." The horses, knowing their business, start tugging at the reins, trying to turn back to the starting area. "Knights, return your steeds to the attendants. Our final events will be archery ahorse and archery afoot. Dismount if you will NOT continue."
Count = 16
Widget = 12
Damion = 9
Eden = 8
Haruki/Poppy = 6
Bronwyn = 5
Damion lets his horse head back to the starting area. He stays on his horse, waiting for somebody to provide him with a bow and arrow. He checks which of the others are staying on their horses as well. He smiles over at Widget and Haruki either way. "You two did good." He nods towards the Gremlin, "Especially you. That was impressive."
Haruki smiles at Damion. "Not as good as you. Everyone's cheating." He sighs. "And I don't know how to cheat. And it's not cheating at all if it's not against the rules. The air's buzzing."
It seems Poppy is done with the leg and pony show, as once the announcement is made for the archery, she turns the ring catch accessories and her horse over to one of the attendants before /very carefully/ dismounting in the interest of not snapping off a heel. Then, collecting her skirts, she also goes to collect a drink.
Count lets the lance drop and then pulls out his phone, to send another text, and then tucks it away again, leaning into his horse and patting it on the neck again, guiding it back towards the start. Apparently Count is down to shoot things.
Finally deciding that there is nothing worth it in the 'families,' Lux heads between two of the Pavilions, in a spot she can put as maximum an amount of distance between herself and the peasants. Sure, they are just normal people, but ... ugh. So very normal. Nothing for her to deal with.
No, the Changelings that charge across the field are much more interesting to Lux as she settles in near the edge of the tournament field. She folds her gloved hands together, grasping her own forearms as she leans on the dividing fence. Her eyes take in each of the riders in turn, considering each of their aspects before she turns back to the next.
Widget hops off of her horse, having no skill with bows. She'd wanted to try, but she was already hungry and they made really sure she was careful with the horse. Still, she beamed at Damion on the way to the drinks area. This was great! It was like her workshop! She was dirty, sweaty, and nearly killed somebody!
Bronwyn trots back to the starting area and hands over her horse. No archery today as she slides off the horse and into a pile of dung. "Of course" she mutters under her breath before looking around for Damion. Surely he would still be competing. Making her way over to him, she offers up her colors for him to take into 'battle'. "Good luck" she smiles up at him before heading off to wherever there is mead...in barrels.
Eden has appearently signed up for the mounted Archery as well, and is off to prepare for that event as well, making her way nearby to the staging area for the next event, her gaze wandering a little bit about.
While the horses are being led back to the start, attendants are dismantling the ring-catch apparatus and drag-carrying it all away, while others are raking the dirt back into place, and yet more are going about to collect any fallen rings. More attendants scamper out with a heavy archery target, and each of the participants is given a recurve bow, small, better for horse-archery than the longer longbow.
For those unaccustomed to archery, the draw weight is more or less how hard it is to draw the string all the way back, and a heavier draw weight means a faster arrow which will hit harder, more force behind it. Something 40-45 pounds is enough to kill an elk.
Not a single one of these bows has a draw weight higher than 30.
The prospective archers are given wristguards and finger protection, and if need be, are shown how to use the bow, with those who DO know how to fire the things set at the front of the line, so the crowd doesn't have to wait.
Once everyone seems to be settled, saddle-quivers and arrows are brought out. Each one is tipped with a small, chalk-impregnated sponge, and each participant gets three arrows.
The announcer declares, "The knight whose arrows are closest to the bullseye will be the winner! First knight, proceed!"
Haruki's more concerned about making sure he gets the colour of chalk he wants, the sparkly glittery gold one, than he is about being up first, or anything else. He also bribes his horse with some mints while he waits his turn, and watches the others, hoping to pick up some tips.
Damion smiles over at Haruki. "I'm not cheating." He takes the bow when it's given to him, testing the pull while the saddle quiver is also brought. He nods to the attendant, then draws and aims at the target down the way, shooting. He hits towards the edge of the target. Bah. Not great. He draws a second arrow, and fires again. A little closer to the middle. He thinks he's getting a better feel for it. One last arrow and....bullseye! He grins briefly, then moves aside to let the next archer go.
Bronwyn has a huge pot of mead to watch the archery alongside her 'cousin'. She sips at it, enjoying the sweet deliciousness. "Mmmm...good stuff. So how do you know Sir King?" she asks Poppy. A cheer at Damion's shots. "Oh, that's the woman Sir King beat in the individual combat" she explains to Stiletto while pointing at Eden.
Down the run goes Eden atop her horse, wielding her bow decently, as she sends the pink arrows into the targets as she rides along, *TWANG TWANG TWANG* Each one hitting the target, though no bullseyes from the sumemr cat! She moves off, handing her horse off to the staff to find a spot to cheer, and when it's time for Count's run she's shouting, "Yeah! Good shot! Show those targets who's boss!" And other things, that inherently aren't distracting, but are literally the worst when you're trying to focus.
Sit on the horse. Fire at the target. How difficult can it be? Haruki nocks an arrow to his quiver, and takes aim then lets it loose several times, readjusting his aim each time. The horse moves under him, but well he's just not as good at the whole archery thing as everyone else. Or the moving on horseback thing. It's one or the other. His first arrow barely hits. His second is a bit more solid. The third again just hits the edge. He does at least manage to hit the target each time. At least they're pretty and sparkly and gold.
Widget wanders over to the other two Lost, mead in hand. It doesn't have a lot of places to go, so she's already a little wobbly. She's not sure wjay to talk about, though. These women were really pretty and had costumes and she was rusty and- Nnnngh. More mead. The gremlin sidled up, trying to avoid eye-contact.
Poppy seems more than happy to sip from her own glass of mead, once acquired, then grins at Bronwyn. "I honestly can't quite fucking remember how we met, honestly, but we've run into each other enough. I work at Alchemy, in the entertainment district, so. How the hell do you know him?" A curious look, then she follows Bronwyn's gesture towards Eden, and grins - it's hard to say if that's for the performance, or the distraction being leveled at Count. As Widget sidles up she grins sharply at the gremlin. "Hey," she offers cheerfully.
And so Count goes! Full of Confidence this time around, and he shoots while riding x3, and while he does at least HIT the targets... all of the shots are far from the bullseye, much further than he would like, or expect from himself. As he turns and rides back, he's looking... perturbed, and he's narrowing his eyes towards Eden. That Basdtards Grin? No, that's still there, it's just mixed with a little bit of... soemthing, chagrin maybe?
Damion: 2 3 7 (red)
Haruki: 1 3 1 (glittery gold)
Eden: 2 2 3 (pink)
Count: 2 1 3 (pumpkin orange)
The attendants help the other participants to dismount if need be, and quietly go around asking if they will be participating in the NON-mounted archery as well.
If they WILL be participating, they get to trade their bows for longbows, not recurved, and stronger, with longer (but still foam tipped) arrows.
Dismounting from his horse, Damion accepts the longbow in exchange for his horse bow, and waits to see what order people go in this time. He glances over towards the crowd, noting the three girls he's familiar with, or at least knows the names of, standing together. He smiles a little, raising a hand their way.
As the arrows go flying down the lanes, leaving their marks on the targets, Lux shakes her head. "Better if they were real," she says to no one in particular, watching the movement of participants away from the tournament grounds.
"Oh, I just met him today" Bronwyn explains about meeting Damion. "I'd met Hiruki briefly some weeks back and they happened to be together. Hiruki went off to fight so I was left talking to Sir King." A shrug. "Simple as that. Did you know he is a famous boxer?" And speaking of Hiruki's fight, here comes the victor of it. "Hello, Widget. Don't like the bow? You fight really well though." Bronwyn returns Damion's wave but doesn't see her colors anywhere. Oh well.
Haruki considers the unmounted archery and if he feels like losing something else. Still Damion's there so he sticks with the huge man, which means he does take a new bow.
The crowds cheer for the archers, and as other archers continue after the first four, they clap and stomp and generally make a very loud noise which probably exemplifies part of why this tourney ground is way out in the middle of a field with no neighbours. Who would want to hear THAT all the time?
When it is all over, the announcer declares, "The Grey Knight triumphs! Dame Eden of Mellifantes takes second, with Sir Count in third. Archers, assemble at the line."
The line, as it so happens, is a flat bit of fabric rolled out over the dirt and pegged in place on either end to hold it there. Individual targets are also brought out, and the announcer waits until everything is in place and all archers are ready. "Archery afoot, begin. Fire until empty!"
In this case, that means another three arrows.
Eden flashes a little grin Count's direction as she moves to line up for the next competition, the dismounted archery, wiping her hands on her hips a little as she listens to the announcement of the results. She's quiet this time as she lines up with the others to shoot this round.
That was a greeting! She had been greeted! Ok! "H-hey. Hi!" The gremlin perks up, smiling with fangs of her own. Whatever arcane force held the remote to her eyes upped the brightness a little bit, to whoever could see it happen. "Oh! No bows. Knives better. Yes. Thanks!" She looked between the pair. "Cousins? Yes?"
Damion takes his position, and aims carefully. His first shot flys out, just barely missing hitting the bullseye. He smiles, then quickly pulls and fires again...and just barely hits the edge of the board. He frownw, then fires again. The same. Well, dammmit. He sighs, glancing at how the other contestants are doing. He notes the double bullseye by one, a brow raising. Well, he knows who's wining this event.
"Oh, was Haruki fighting? I think I missed that; goddamn shame," Poppy says cheerfully to Bronwyn, even as she takes another sip of her drink. At the mention of boxing, she considers. "Hmmm, not sure; granted, he did look kind of fucking familiar." Her attention follows Count briefly, expression amused for whatever reason before it returns to those standing nearby and she grins to Widget. "You seemed pretty fucking good with a knife."
Eden looses her arrows down the range at the targets, each of the three arrows landing on the target, the first two fairly decently, the final on the edge, but still on the target!
Off the horse, Count takes up the longbow and stands in line, rolling his shoulders and once more shoots a glance at Eden, and then watches Damion perform. He's much less... flippant now, as if all the fun and games became much less 'games' when he flubbed the previous event. Maybe he's got a competitive streak when it comes to public silliness. I mean look what happened at Paintball... oh and Stripping. Damnit. A weakness!
Count shoots... and two of them are bullseyes, and the last one was close.
Is he smiling? Yes other Count, I believe he is.
Haruki's not looking excited anymore and he doesn't really put any effort in to hitting the target. Ping ping ping go the arrows, and they all bounce off the target at wildly different bits of the edge. He hasn't even bothered to take proper aim and his form's terrible. There. Done.
Damion nods over to Count when he's done, "That was some good shooting." Then he moves to ruffle Harukis hair. "You hit all three targets. Not everybody did that, hon. Don't feel bad." He glances over at where Widget, Poppy and Bronwyn are still talking, noting Widget's face. He smiles a little, and bends down to murmur something in Haruki's ear.
Widget nods excitedly, ignoring that her face got a bit red at the compliment. "Yes! Not real fighting here. Or real knives. No. Yes." She sips her mead, taking a few seconds to wave happily at the contestants. "Lots of practice. With knives. Good practice!" Bloody, screamy, stabby practice. Or, like, racoons in a sun-baked dumpster. Whatever worked.
Haruki smiles up at Damion. "One day I'm going to be tall enough to ruffle your hair." He spots Count eating something and he looks over, curious. "What's that?" he asks, more focused on weird fruits than on Damion's whisper, although the whisper gets a smile and a nod.
Damion: 4 1 1
Count: 7 5 3
Eden: 3 3 1
Haruki: 1 1 1
As Damion fires, the crowd cheers, soooo excited for his almost-bullseye! They sound a bit disappointed when the last two shots are nowhere near. Count has clearly redeemed himself, and the crowd goes wild! Eden, too, is so close to hitting the centre. Haruki's lack of effort draws some laughter, but heck, everyone cheers anyway. He's still better than the poor Llewewyn knight, who misses every. single. time. He is very much The Little Knight That Couldn't.
The announcer, applauding with the rest, declares, "Sir Count is the winner! Dame Eden of Mellifantes is second, followed by the Grey Knight!"
Damion quirks a brow down at Haruki. "Oh? You going to get a time machine too?" He reaches up and rubs his bald head to illustrate. Then he sets a hand on the small of the boys back, and starts to guide him toward the two lost and other mortal. Once they're closer he says, "Hello, ladies. Did you enjoy watching?"
The beast looks to Daimon and gives the man a nod "You too, man, you too." and then he reaches into his pocket, and unwraps what looks to be a baggie of some dried fruit or another and starts to munch them down. Look, Count is hungry okay? /ALWAYS/.
Whan Haruki spots him an d asks about the fruit he opens the bag and offers a couple over. "Coupnettle" he murmurs, voice low so that really only those close to him can hear. "Good fer focous."
And then the announcer is saying his name and he distractedly raises his hand and bow up with triumph and divided attention.
"Pretty sure they'd throw a shitfit if someone /actually/ ended up bleeding from a mortal wound," Poppy murmurs dryly before sipping from her drink. "Still, it's hella fun to watch." She smirks at Count's snacking, then grins as each archer takes their turn, cheering brightly. As Damion makes his way back over, she nods with a smile. "Much."
Bronwyn applauds the archery competitors when they are done before offering a Widget a wary smile. "Should I ask where you practice all that knife fighting? Actually, probably best you don't tell me." She leans a little closer to Poppy. "Do you know the guy with all the teeth?" she asks, nodding towards Count. "He seems like the kind of guy who thinks he's the top dog...but everyone else around hasn't been told yet. I've seen his type a lot. In the Coolamatra tribe in the Arnhem, they're forced to wrestle crocodiles to prove their stories." And then Damion and Haruki are back. 'My business is watching" Bronwyn replies with a smile, "THough I do like to get involved as much as I can. You both did very well."
Haruki beams at Damion. "Stilts and a wig." His eyes go wide as Count actually offers him something to eat and he's distracted and maybe he looks like he just wants to hug Count for a moment and all bad thoughts are over but he resists the urge in order to take a couple of leaves and say "thank you!" He looks at Damion. Should he share. Does he need focus? Are these the magic that let Count win everything. He sniffs the leaf and then licks it first because he hasn't learned any lessons about sticking stuff in his mouth from strangers.
Eyes narrow as Lux watches Count consume the hedgefruit. Not that there's anything wrong with that of course, but it is something worth noting. People with skills and connections are always something to note. So she watches Count, catching his eye if the beast will return it, but not trying overly hard to draw attention to herself.
Of course, Lux is radiating power, looks like she might just belong to the True Fae themselves, and seemingly unconcerned that she is -glowing- enough that it even comes through into the Real, something mortals may even notice. It's easy to dismiss in any sort of light but... shes is what she is.
Rising from her throne, Queen Soleil-Levant steps into the sunlight at the front of her pavilion, the crushed velvet of her cloak a wash of pale sun gold and amber. Her dress is peach-tinted rose and gold, with a belt of beaten copper and gold, the lower portion of the skirt a deepening rose. Her crown, for those nobles close enough to get a good look at it, is rose-gold with amber, crimson and pink gems. It also weighs a flipping ton, but hey, royalty has its price.
Of note: her posture, even with the weight of the crown, is very little different from usual. Authority. She haz it.
"Knights, dames, lords and ladies, and all of those afoot, We offer you Our congratulations and felicitations for a tournament well-fought. Winners, please see the heralds for your earnings." Said earnings amount to decreased prices here at the tournament grounds/stable, or free food, or free rentals, depending.
Damion glances down at Widget when Bronwyn almost asks that question, then says, "Lots of self-defense lessons. She tends to move arounda lot, so can't be too safe, right?" He reaches out to briefly scritch the scalp of the somewhat tipsy gremlin with the tips of his sharp nails. Then he considers Count. "I don't know him well myself. He doesn't seem THAT bad. At least not so far." He eyes the hedgefruit that Haruki took from the Winter. "Hmm. It won't really do you any good, hon. It would just taste bad. BUt try it if you want I guess." Not that haruki really asked him. He looks up at the announcement from the Queen. "Well, I'll be back I guess." He starts off for the heralds.
Widget looks at Bronwym, clearly confused. There's living shit-tacular life and then there's not knowing it. The gremlin didn't really care, though, because normal was fighting rabid animals for expired food and sleeping under cars. Well, not as much anymore, but..eh. Still fun sometimes. Or needed. Still, she knew that look. That was the 'don't stab in the shins' look. She didn't like that look. Recover! "Y-you have nice eyes! Yes!"
Poppy laughs at Bronwyn's comment about Count. "Now there's a fucking visual," she says cheerfully before giving her 'cousin' a curious look. "What the hell do you do?" she asks curiously before falling silent at the Queen's announcement, sipping from her mead.
Not that Count cannot afford his own food, but it's food, and it's free, and it's right there, in front of him. Promises for future discounts be damned!
Count bought himself a 'noble' package, but he demands mutton to go with his salmon, and when he turns back to the rest of the world that does not involve a free meal for the black hole that he uses for a stomach, he starts paying attention to the world again. He catches Lux's look, and gives her a wink, and then starts heading towards someone else he knows, or who keeps popping up when he's being ridiculous.
And so Count heads towards Poppy, and those around her.
Get it? Poppy? Popping up? Shut up I'm hilarious.
Haruki nibbles a little on the leaves and sure it tastes bitter and not the best but, "tea!" he says. "This would be the most amazing tea ever. Thankyou so much." And then he's trying to hug Count because he's really overjoyed and not crush the fruit, no those will be packed safely away into a plastic baggy - why does he even carry those - in one of his pockets. And wait Count is eating meat so probably best not to deserve him and whomever said this gives focus was wrong because Haruki's all over the place. And it's not that he didn't hear Damion, it's just he has this special thing and he's so happy!.
Eden is finished putting her things away and she starts her way over towards the little gathering of strange folk and others not long after Count heads that way, flashing a grin at the gathering. "That was quite fun." She says to noone in particular, though with a voice that just demands folk pay attention to it.
If Haruki tries to hug Count before the food, Count will totally give the guy a hug.
"Oh, so you're not local, Widget?" Bronwyn asks of the gremlin but gets a compliment in return that makes her blush. "Oh...thank you. I have contacts on at the moment so maybe that's why they look nice." It seems she can't take a compliment well. "I'm an anthropologist" she replies to Poppy. "I study societies, cultures, how the people in them act and maintain themselves, that kind of thing. Not a psychiatrist. I'm interested in the broader culture. And this area seems quite interesting. So many folk tales that haven't changed over the years. And...I'm going to stop talking about work now. Oh, here comes Sir Teeth." That last whispered to Poppy before Count is upon them, Eden soon following. "You shoot very well" she smiles to Eden. "Though I missed most of your joust."
There is a moment where Lux may turn to join the gathering, but she stands back. Maybe it's the fact she doesn't know any of them (but that doesn't seem likely)... probably its the fact that if she were to walk up behind Widget she might send the poor newbie into a heart attack or some other sort of crazed Clarity shattering effect. And frankly, there are far to many mortals about for that to be a good idea.
In anycase, she notices 'November' and tips her head toward the Queen slightly, before resting her elbows on the railing and leaning back against it.
Widget peers up at Bronwyn in a distinctly analytical way. It was like the mere word 'maybe' flipped her demeanor. "No, just pretty." Then she's back, eyes glittering (flickering?) as she babbles a bit. "New Mexico! Desert. Very hot. Dry. Came here! Rails. Cars. Feet. Long time. Yes." she nabs a bit of unattended bread, munching away.
Poppy blinks at Bronwyn. "That's pretty fascinating, although I have zero idea why the fuck someone would get an anthropologist confused with a psychiatrist," she says frankly, then glances over to see Count approaching and offers him a sharp grin. "Hey, you. Nice show." Her eyes glint with humor as she adds, "Not /quite/ as flashy as the other night, but still pretty fucking impressive." Eden's approach is met with another smile.
'Yeah, it wasn't much of a joust really." Eden says with a shrug, "You mostly just missed me getting beaten on a lot is all!" She says with a little grin, "So, don't feel bad for missing out on /that/."
Given that she IS the Queen here, November can't wander about as freely as her nobles. Must maintain royal mystique! She can, however, gesture toward one of the 'guards' nearby and lean over to murmur a request.
Thus it is that a 'royal' guard approaches Lux to relay that Her Majesty the Queen Soleil-Levant would like a word.
Count gives Poppy a big, toothsome smile and says "Yer just sad because I'm wearing all my clothes this time." Did he just? Yes, yes he just rather blatantly thrusts his hips towards Poppy, accentuating the motion with a pair of 'Unf' sounds. Classy, over the top.
When Eden comes close after him he glances to her, and then to Bronwyn as well, giving each of them a nod and says "I dont believe I've had the pleasure, from either of you." and he holds out a hand "I'm Count, local Laundry enthusiast and shopping center mogul."
Damion smiles wryly over at Eden, "Sorry. I didn't pick the matchups or anything." He shrugs a broad shoulder, then stretches. "This has been fun. Though I think I should get going soon. Bronwyn, Poppy. Feel free to stop by the gym sometime. It's calle The Iron Church." He might have given them business cards, if he wasn't currently wearing plate armor. He grins over at Count and Eden. "Same to you two." He considers Widget and Haruki. "Either of you need a ride back or anything?"
A peal of harmonic laughter greets the Beast's hip-thrusting, then Poppy mock-snaps at him with those sharp teeth. "Promises, promises," she sing-songs before sipping from her mead again, eyes twinkling with humor. Looking back to Damion, she gives him a wry smile. "It was good to see your ass at least," she says. "Catch you later, definitely."
With a tip of her head in acknowledgement, Lux follows the guard toward the pavillion with the 'Queen'. She gives a smile to said Queen and steps up within. "Ah. I see that you come naturally to all forms of power." She curtseys quite properly, a deep low thing that dips her almost to the floor. It's done with a natural grace and a -lot- of practice. "You have gathered a wonderful cadre of Knights here. Their prowess does well in promoting your glory."
Eden flashes a bright grin at Count, "No, I don't think you have had the pleasure!" She says with a twinkle in her eye at that, "But I'm Eden, Eden Lopez." She says, accepting the offered hand and shaking it, "Nice to meet you though. You were a pretty good shot with the bow.. once you had your feet on the ground, anyway."
"Count?" Bronwyn confirms. "Since we're using our made up names, I'm Lady Bronwyn Hainswell. And, no, you haven't had the pleasure, and I doubt I would have any anyway." Since he just danced the Time Warp with Poppy - pelvic thrusts that really drive you insane - Bronwyn declines to offer her hand but rather studies the classy 'gentleman' with a professional eye before Damion is back. "You're going? Oh...sorry to hear that. I'd love to drop by the gym some time soon, thank you. 'Iron Church', got it. Are you going too, Widget? Nice to meet someone with a good eye." She offers a shrug to Eden. "I'm sure you did our sex proud."
Haruki smiles at Damion and nods. "Please? This was fun but I could so do with a hot soak now. Any chance of borrowing your hot tub? Itsy hasn't dug us one yet."
Widget shakes her head proudly. She had actually prepared for this! Granted, it had taken some doing and it was temporary at best, but it was still something approaching a plan. That was a victory in itself, when it came to the gremlin. "No! Found a car!" ...Found?
Damion nods to Haruki. "Alright then. And sure hon." He smiles at him, then blinks over at Widget. "Found....? We'll have to discuss that later, Wij." He bends over and kisses her atop the head. "If you need a place to crash, you know where you can come, alright?" Then he's saluting to the rest. "Night meeting you all. Take care." And he's heading off with the magician.
"Made up names?!" Count seems utterly faux-aghast, even bringing his hand to his chest (after stuffing the rest of the salmon into his mouth and thus freeing said hand to do so). "I never, everyone knows me as Count." What is there for her to study? The golden brown roots of his bottle black hair? The dark smudges of yesterdays eyeliner? The way his eyes are constantly on the move, watching people even as he has that perpetual grin fastened to his lips.
And then Eden is taking his hand and he shakes it, his grip firm his skin... warmer than it should be, as if his body temp was just a few degrees above normal. "Eden Lopez, that name sounds a little familiar." he says aloud, looking her over, studying the woman he was in competition with not so long before. "Yeah, usually I'm pretty good when I'm on top of something, but today I was just..." Damnit Count, can you even say anything without adding some lewd or inane commentary? Apparently not this day. "...off my game. Been meaning to come by, Novy likes her silly little side ventures."
As Daimon and Haruko and other leave, he watches them, and then glances to Widget as well, studying...
Queen Soleil-Levant, naturally, accepts the Vizier's obeisance as her due, expression properly calm -- except for the dancing of unspoken laughter in those rosy amber eyes. "Imaginary royalty is still royalty," she replies, and even if she isn't -quite- purring the words, her tone is still very much a silky thing, a cat with cream. "I was surprised to see you here." November keeps her voice down, and while there was no obvious motion, she must have turned her microphone off somehow, because the conversation isn't being blared out to the stands.
Poppy adds her nod to Bronwyn's with regards to Eden's performance. "It was sure as hell worth watching," she says with a wink. Is some of that referencing the siren song from earlier? Maybe. Leave it to a siren to recognize that sort of thing. Widget's comment about a car earns an arched eyebrow. "...found?" Count's dramatic reaction is met with a smirk and a shake of her head, then she sips form her emad.
There is a tinkle of laughter from Lux, as she nods her head slightly. "Indeed. It is." she says toward November. Turning slightly, she nods her head out toward the few other Changelings in the crowd. "I was curious to see who would be drawn to this sort of event. Many people of interesting natures. And it was a place that it would be best for -I- to attend." She smiles slightly. "You never know what interesting things you will learn from watching" Eyeing November for a moment, she nods her head. "Or, perhaps... you do."
"Hey, sometimes you've got to be on the bottom for perspective." Eden says in response to that with a little shoulder shrug at Count, she too watches Damion and Haruki depart a bit before looking over at the others surrounding them, laughing a bit, "I'm not so good with big clumsy tools, the guys can wield those things. I like something with a little more grace. Maybe next time I'll be a little better prepared for when I get dismounted!"
If Bronwyn /was/ a psychiatrist, she could make a living off books about Count. Even as an anthropologist she could be looking at a great case study. Her lips parted a little, in shock, at Count's innuendos...and stuffing a salmon in his shirt...before Eden gives as good as she got. Maybe this is normal for this place? She almost misses out on Widget's claim. "You 'found' a car? That's lucky." Time for more mead. Much more. A wave to those departing before she gracefully sloshes through the mud to get another drink. "Wnat some more, cousin?"
Widget nods, just as proud as before. "Yes. Found! Made it better!" Sure, finding a once-flaming vehicle dumped in an abandoned carpark was probably not something to be happy about. Getting it running and removing those funny-looking bones from the trunk, though? Straight artistry. Charred, entirely road-illegal artistry. The gremlin managed to get some of the conversation between Bronwyn and the Count, piping up, "Can make you tools! Good ones! Good size! Yes!" Ever helpful. Well. She tried.
Poppy grins brightly at Bronwyn. "I am definitely not going to say no to goddamn mead," she says cheerfully to the other woman as she accompanies her for more drinks. Widget's explanation of her 'found' car is met with a laugh. "I can only fucking imagine," she murmurs.
Oh if Bronywn only /knew/ what was behind these masks that Count shows thew world. Alas! Today he is smarmy lewd fun having man-child!
Edens' retort earns her a smile, a different smile than that mischievous maniacal-ness that seems to be glued in place. This smile is pleased, a little surprised, approving, and comes with an inclination of his head.
Then the beast stops for a moment to pull out his phone and takes a selfie, in which his haunch of mutton is on full display, sends it away and puts it (the phone) back in his pocket.
At this point Bronwyn is moving and that movement catches his attention, like when a cat doesnt move untill the bird actually starts to take flight, only then does his attention follow, where she heads towards the mead, and he is suddenly reminded that there is alcohol.
But wait, Widget is speaking and his eyes focus on her again, raising a brow "What kind of tools?"
Eden flashes a grin towards Count, then looks back to Widget a little, "You like making things, huh?" she asks, "You should come chat with me sometime, I might have an opportunity for you, going forward, if you're interested!" She says with a winsome smile to the young woman.
Widget hops up and down with genuine excitement at Eden's over. "Yes. Interested. Very!" It's a bit childish, how she reacted, but she really liked building! And breaking. But not enough that you couldn't build something with the bits! Never break it all. Just...enough. The Count gets a much different tone, though, one that's oddly serious. "Can make things like presses and traps and drives and gears and..." This continues until she's stopped. Odd tools come up more and more as she goes on, however. 'Incendiary devices', 'Pneumatic hammers', 'Rotary cannons', etc. Eventually it ends up nearly incoherent, morphing into phrases like 'Arc-flash localization array' and 'Compressor-rigged marrow harvester'. She...really like machines.
November lowers her eyes, russet lashes fanning over peach-kissed alabaster cheeks, so demure, so innocent. Butter wouldn't melt in her mouth, no siree Bob.
The fact that, technically speaking, butter would -freeze- in her mouth is something else entirely...
"I? Surely I see nothing more than knights and ladies at play." So innocent. So so innocent. So so lying. Her expression is perfect, however, all of the tiny little physical cues, posture, gesture. When she lifts her eyes again, there is a wicked glint in them, sidelong, before she tells Lux, "I'm miserable with horses. This part, I can do. Sit still, look pretty." After watching Count and his collection of ladies, she asks, "Do you ride?"
More mead is claimed and a toast is made - "To cousins" - before Bronwyn is heading back to the small crowd. "You do look like the kind of person who would be good with their hands" she smiles to Widget - though those last machines are a bit beyond her ken. Are they even real? "This mead is very good" she announces to everyone and anyone. "I hope I'll be able to drive home."
There is an arched brow from Lux toward November, before she returns her gaze toward Widget. Bits and pieces of nonsensical mechanical words float through the din at her and she shakes her head. "Of course. What court advisor would be worth her salt if she could not ride with the Crown on hunts or on parade?" She leans her hands down on a railing, looking out over the crowds. "Good practice, I suspect, for other arenas." She turns back to November, keeping the crowd of changelings in her vision. "I hope I am not taking you from other duties. Should you be congragulating the winner?"
Once that toast is made, Poppy idly picks her way back over the crowd, humming absently under her breath as she listens to the current conversation - particularly Widget's enthusiastic list - occasionally taking a sip from her glass. At Bronwyn's comment, she grins, however. "I can get you if you've accidentally fucked yourself," she offers.
"Wait, who's fucking whoms-self?" Count looking now directly at Poppy and Bronwyn, and once again that faux-leer is just, no Count, stahp. Then he looks to Edenand says "Stop by Dirty laundry sometime and we'll talk..." and then he steps back and includes those that remain. "Any of you, Dirty laundry, Mercy Plaza, this was fun, I'll cook." Cook? At a Laundry? What?
Count continues to step back, and then turns,m heading for the mead talbe, where, he finds something to drink, finishes his mutton and lights a cigarette, before starting to head out.
Bronwyn's comment sends her thoughts to a screeching halt as that little greebley thing in the back of her head pokes a very specific and very powerful part of her brain. There's a few seconds of silence as she forces herself to take it literally, offering a squeaky "Y-yeah." Burying her now-crimson face in a mug of mead, she rallies after a few gulps. "Can drive you! Yes!" Oh god no.
"Wonderful!" Eden says to Widget, she's fishing out a piece of paper to scrawl down a phone number onto as Count excuses himself, "I'll come by, see what you've got to offer sometime soon." She says to him then back to Widget, handing out the scrap, "Here, call me at this number soemtime, ask for Eden."
Queen Soleil-Levant rests at what amounts for 'her ease' in her throne -- which is to say, her posture is impeccable and if her neck isn't already aching from holding that bloody crown up, it certainly will be by the time the day is done.
Smiling up at Lux, she notes, "Precisely why I built this place. We can speak of it later." Here, she glances at the 'royal' guards. The very mortal, non-Changeling royal guards. The walls have ears.
The smile on Lux's face never changes, as she tips her head toward November again. "Of course." Then she curtseys once again, just as deep and just as perfect from practice to much. "By your leave, Queen Soleil-Levant?" She asks, and though her smile is stiff, there is mischief twinkling in her eyes. Once given leave she turns and strides purposely from the tournament grounds, head forward and eyes unerringly peering straight ahead.
"Thank you both for the offer" Bronwyn smiles to Widget and Poppy. "Though it won't be accidental" she assures the latter. "Hey, we girls should go kick on from this. Hit the town. All that kind of stuff. I mean, medieval life is great but I can't really shake my booty to a lute." The mead must be taking effect if she's talking about dancing. She tries to maintain a smile as Count leaves. "Why does it not surprise me that he has a business called 'Dirty Laundry'...and you eat there" she observes once he is gone. "Invitation to kick on is open to you too" she says to Eden.
Poppy smirks at Count, but doesn't elaborate, apparently perfectly willing to let the Beast's imagination run away with himself. She does nod in cheerful assent at the offer of food at Dirty Laundry - if she's confused at the juxtaposition, it doesn't show - and lifts a hand in farewell as he exits. Looking back to Bronwyn she laughs. "I know a place or two."
November lifts a hand, tacitly granting her leave for Lux to depart, and contents herself with observing the crowds which linger in the stands.
Widget looks nervous, but excited. They wanted her along? For fun things?! That...that never happened! Well, it never happened more than once, but...still! "Yes! I'll go!" They would kick things! All the things! She'd make special boots. Kick through a *wall*! Yes. Yessssss...
Bronwyn drains the remainder of her mead and then looks a bit unsteady on her feet for a moment. "Let's get going then. I'll just get changed out of this dress." Her brow furrows. "Oh my God! I'm an idiot. I have met Sir King before. He was at the library a few months back. Dang, no wonder he didn't want to ear my colors. Okay, back soon and then time to Partay!!"