(514-01-28) Sparring Verbal and Otherwise
Summary: Kamron and Arian enjoy the spar they promised one another, and speak with Gideon as well.
Date: January 28, 514
Related: A New Squire
kamron arian gideon 

It takes time to get into the padded doublet, mail hauberk, coif, mittens, and thick leather boots and pants that makes for armor in Salisbury in 514, especially when the squire assisting you has never helped you into armor before and keeps dropping things. And so it is some time before Kamron de Dinton manages to get out to the barren tourney grounds in the Farmer's Quarter, but at least he's not carrying his own gear this time. Jonnin has the knight's shield on his back, and carries his helm and axe. Kamron himself has a tourney axe with wooden blade in his hand, tossing it lightly from one hand to the other. No more the excuse of using his own axe backwards and the associated change from axe to mere bludgeon. The light snow continues to drift down in small flakes, but the ground resists any attempt to cover it with a snowy blanket, remaining stubbornly brown.

Arian does not have a squire to assist her, but somehow manages to arrive on time and fully armored like her opponent. She carries her own gear which is a simple black and orange shield with the rampant stallion of her house with the Greenman emblazoned on its flank. Her helmet is tucked under her arm and her training sword is heavy at her hip. She has her hair tightly plaited back and tucked into her coif without a hint of stray forelock at her brow. She worries lightly at her lip until she spots Kamron, and then her smile is back in full force as she starts toward him. "Are you ready, Sir Kamron?"

For now, Jonnin is the sort of squire who slows things down as much as he speeds them up, but he does show great promise. Some of the time. Kamron reaches back with his left hand, sliding his arm into the straps and tightening them up. "Oh, I think so." Taking up the practice axe in his left hand, he pulls on his helmet as well, framing his features in steel, "My favorite type of dance." And then he's ready, gathering up his axe once more, pulling down his helm's visor, and then stepping forward.

Arian situates her own helmet when Kamron does, and her smile is obscured by the metal of her own head garment. She steps aside a bit, adjusting her shield and sword. She nods her head deeply at the Dinton knight. She takes up a steady stance that is meant to be quick and agile rather than brutish. She isn't about taking hits, but hopefully evading them. She grinds her foot a bit in the hard, frozen ground. "Now we see if you're any good at it…"

Kamron checked his Axe at 15, he rolled 6.
Arian checked her sword of 15, she rolled 11.
Arian rolls 4d6 and gets (3 3 3 2) for a total of: (11)
Kamron checked his dex at 13, he rolled 11.

Kamron appears ready to test that evasiveness, advancing directly at the lady knight with his shield up before him and his axe low at his side. For once, there's a combatant who is actually smaller than him, and he appears to be trying to take advantage of the fact, driving straight forward and pushing out his shield, aiming to thump into hers and drive her back and off-balance. It's not the most subtle of approaches. "I haven't had any complaints from Saxons, but the knights around these parts are whiners."

Kamron might be taller and wider than Arian, but she has found a way to make her stature work for her. She slips quick out of the drive before it pushes her back more than a few strides, sidestepping around him with precision and grace. She is at his back if he does not turn quickly to adjust his advance. "I don't think the Saxons would take time out of their busy schedule to complain to a Briton knight." Her voice is wry through the guards of her helmet, and her smile quite easily heard in the lilt of her voice.

Kamron checked his modest at 13, he rolled 12.

Kamron absorbs the shock of shields, frowning slightly inside his helmet as the impact is only glancing, and doing his best to turn with the faster woman. He avoids presenting her his back, but his shield slips a little too far to his right, exposing some of his left flank, "You're quite right, they may have simply been too busy, Sir Arian."

Arian takes quick advantage of his slipping shield, sweeping in quickly to smack his side soundly with the blunt of her sword. Had it been the edge of an actual sword, it would have found a nice spot to wedge itself in his armor. She quickly backs away, widening the berth between them. She tilts her helmeted head a bit, and again her smile almost radiates despite being unseen. "That would be one, Sir Kamron," Arian says, her laughter present.

Kamron checked his axe at 15, he rolled 3.
Arian checked her sword of 15, she rolled 18.
Kamron rolls 4d6 and gets (5 5 1 4) for a total of: (15)
Arian checked her dex of 15, she rolled 7.

Kamron jerks his shield back in time to rob the blow of some of its power, although he still takes a good solid thumping in the ribs. Laughter echoes inside his helm as the knight finishes his turn to face her again, "You know the steps well, Sir Arian." He spins the axe in a tight circle at his right side, and then advances once more. At first, it looks like he is going to try the very same approach, but his steps slow, and he keeps his shield in place, instead striking out for hers with his axe, aiming a quick series of hammer-blows at the painted panel.

"Thank you, My Lord… but it takes a good partner." Arian has retaken her stance, though it is done a bit late as Kamron is already advancing. She prepares the same response, but the sudden slowness and abrupt strikes to her shield has her staggering off-balance. She does not take the brute force well, digging her armored feet in the hard, cold ground with each blow. She grimaces through the collisions, and the last blow is met with a sharp shield slam toward the Knight in hopes of setting him off balance, but it is ill-aimed and leaves her own side open.

Kamron shifts his shield as she challenges him directly, twisting beneath the force of her blow to shrug the strike off to his left as he absorbs the power of impact and lets it drive him further around to his right. The movement frees space around her own left flank for him to swing his axe in, looping around her wayward shield in an attempt to repay her earlier strike. "It does indeed."

Arian is not able to shift her shield into place as Kamron had done, and takes a rather bruise-inducing strike to her side. She gasps in surprise by the hit and its intensity, but is quick to recover in a series of sidesteps until she has escaped him. Her side aches, but she ignores the pain as she focuses on the knight across from her, and her gaze narrows. "Well struck." She adjusts her shield, pulling it close into her body and tucking her smaller frame behind it.

Arian checked her sword of 15, she rolled 3.
Kamron checked his axe at 15, he rolled 4.
Kamron rolls 4d6 and gets (6 5 2 6) for a total of: (19)
Arian checked her dex of 15, she rolled 12.
Kamron checked his merciful at 10, he rolled 2.

The Dinton knight raises his axe up in salute as the Laverstock retreats, allowing her the space. There might be a flash of concern across Kamron's face, but it is well-hidden by his helmet's visor, outwardly unmoving to the hit. This time, he does not charge her, letting the lady knight set the pace of the next exchange of blows, remaining in a careful defensive stance, his shield up so that the rim hovers just below the vision slits in his helm, and his axe carefully held close to his body, hidden behind the shield for the most part. "Then we are well-matched, for my ribs ache."

The petite Knight takes several breathes, finding the capacity her lungs can take and allowing her nerves to settle. She then starts forward again, drawing herself out from behind her shield. She goes for a more straight forward approach, perhaps even trying to mimic the Knight's previous strike. She bears her shoulders behind the shield, using it to power forward, though she appears to be attempting to drop low against it, perhaps setting up for a lower strike.

Kamron moves to his left this time, rather than his right, in a dangerous maneuver. His axe comes across his body, aiming to hook the head behind the edge of her shield and pull her past him. This, of course, leaves him open to her sword, but only for a bare moment, as his shield crosses his body, aiming to punch the edge of it into her right upper arm… hopefully before her own blow strikes home at his open stomach.

That attack surprises her a bit, as she has not experienced a weapon actually grabbing her shield in such a manner. She staggers forward several spaces, and her shield falters. She is not able to take advantage of the opening Kam provides her as she tries to recover her footing, and ends up with her arm becoming the next target of his strike. This strike is just as firm as the first, though she bites back her gasping as to not show that he has pained her once more. She sweeps her shield around, protecting herself as she recovers from the stirke. "Again, well struck… that's two." Her smile can just be heard in her words, and she winces soundly. "That was an interesting move… the axe-hook on my shield…"

Kamron shuffle-steps back from any follow-up by the lady knight, lifting and twisting his left shoulder under the weight of his mail to test the pull of his ribs where she struck home. "It's one of the reasons that I like the Saxon weapon." He hefts the weapon a moment, then tosses it over to Jonnin, calling out, "Catch, Newt." Catch… he does not. The wooden axe is fumbled, bumbled, bobbled, and then dropped before it is caught up again. Raising his visor with his newly-freed hand, Kamron offers up a crooked smile, "One of the reasons I think it particularly useful to have a few of us about who use the axe, to provide practice before the real thing. Next time you'll be ready for it, and put your blade between my ribs when they're open."

Arian does not have a squire to toss weapons and shields at, but she does quickly replace her sword at her hip so she has a free hand to draw away her helmet. She is flushed, and fighting between pain and elation with a tight smile. She rolls her arm a bit, trying to coax it to relax as it throbs. "You are also strong, Sir Kamron… unsuspectingly." She casts him a softer smile now before she rolls her helmet from her head and pulls away the coif to free her plaited hair. She nods at his assessment. "Yes… next time I will," she says with a soft laugh.

Kamron checked his modest at 13, he rolled 19.
Kamron checked his proud at 7, he rolled 19.

Kamron laughs easily, "Just because I'm not a giant, you think I am not strong?" Once Newt has gathered up the axe, he is handed the red and blue shield with the great brown and green tree atop it, and Kamron pats his left side, wincing a little at the bruise there. "Did I strike too hard, Sir Arian?" He steps forward, mailed mitts rising toward her shoulder, but stopping just shy, "I certainly wasn't trying to hurt you."

The Laverstock woman juggles her shield and helmet until both are comfortably held. When he steps forward, and reaches to her, she offers him a soft smile that warms her cheeks and dimples. She sets the shield down at her feet, leaning it against her thigh as she does. She shakes her head, and her laughter bubbles. "I'm alright." She reaches out, and squeezes his armored forearm with her own mitts. "We sparred, you struck, I'll be bruised… I'm a Knight, Kamron. A woman, yes, but a Knight also. Keep that in mind." She steps away now, stretching open her side a bit despite the absolute ache of those ribs.

Kamron's blush dives into the sides of his helmet, seeking out his ears as he shrugs a little uncomfortably, "Well yes, but I have to admit that is always something that I have to remind myself of." Bowing his head a little, he adds, "Not of you particularly, Sir Arian, but of Lady Knights in general." The clasp of her hand on his forearm stills him, but when she steps back, he nods, reaching up to take off his own helmet and show those blushing ears. "You fought well, whatever the case, Sir Arian. I quite had to work for each of those blows, and my side aches despite the armor and the padding."

Arian laughs, and her expression becomes almost devious. "That'll be the last time I remind you politely, Sir Kamron. Next time, I'll just hit you a bit harder, perhaps over the head…" She sets aside her shield and helmet so that it is safe, but out of the way. She tilts her head as she regards the blushing Dinton. "You don't seem to mind being rough with Sir Catryn." She teases him about that Burcombe knight quite easily, and her smile is bright and dimpled as she looks at the man for his reaction to her jab.

Some take full opportunity of no longer being forced to train every day and constantly being poked with swords and spears and god knows else. Gideon is one such knight, though it could be argued he learns just as much from watching as from doing. Keeps up the mystique as well, which is well, a Stapleford thing. The absence of the pile of sparring knights has made walks through the open snow far more palatable, and Gideon has taken the opportunity to break in a comparatively new set of boots. His reverie however is disturbed by the last sounds of body and the groundswell of body heat that emnates from a certain staid Christian knight. The snow possibly some of the sound of his steps as he comes upon the formerly grave combatants. This, this should be when he says something clever.

"There are ways more conducive to the long term health for a man and a woman to know one another without bashing each other over the head." It is the best he could come up with on short notice. And just standing around when you aren't trying to get the jump on someone is just creepy.

Kamron checked his Forgiving at 10, he rolled 8.
Critical Fail!
Gideon checked his hunting of 12, he rolled 20.
Kamron checked his recognize at 5, he rolled 8.

Kamron laughs easily at Arian's words, some of his blush fading away, "My cousins often said that those were the blows least likely to affect me, due to the thickness of my skull." The comment about the Burcombe knight causes him to chuckle more ruefully, "But Sir Catryn is not so ladylike in bearing or composure as yourself, Sir Arian." Which is about the nicest thing that he might say about Catryn at the moment. Behind Kamron, his new squire, holding his shield and axe, starts as Gideon approaches, setting up a clatter as he drops both shield and weapon. The noise causes Kamron to turn about, "Indeed, Sir?" he remembers that much about the other man, that he is a knight, but the other man's name escapes him at the moment—there were so many that he met over the past few weeks. "If you think that, then you have not felt the sharpness of the Lady Sir Arian's tongue." A crooked grin is flashed over at the Laverstock to show that he is merely teasing, and he continues, "Or my own, for that matter." Because self-deprecation is surest way to show that he was not intending insult.

Arian turns at the clever comment, facing the interloper with an earnest smile. "I don't know, good sir…" She casts a narrowed glance at Kamron. "He's a terrible conversationalist." She does smile sidelong to Kamron at his compliment, and her pale eyes dance with amusement. Then she gestures politely between Kamron and herself. "This is Sir Kamron de Dinton, and I am Sir Arian de Laverstock." Introductions done, she adjusts the gathered coif around her shoulders, trying to pull the metal away from her skin where it chills.

Gideon checked his recognize of 8, he rolled 18.
Gideon checked his Forgiving of 13, he rolled 2.

Apparently recognizing each other by mere glance is blase amongst the knights of Salisbury. Something something know each other by their sword something something. Gideon leans forward slightly, broad shoulders hunched as he pulls a bearskin cloak about himself to ward off the cold. He doesn't expect to fight anyone perhaps, which is why he can focus on comfort rather than protection. "If you consider Sir Arian acerbic, perhaps I should introduce you to my aunts or any of my legions of cousins. The barb is something of a family sport." The knight says as a means of dismissing the potential insult. His posture is nonthreatening enough, though his glance does glide seamlessly from one to the other with practiced precision, even if he can't place them directly. "Gideon De Stapleford. An honor." He says by way of introduction.

Kamron sputters and scoffs at Arian's accusation, clasping at his side and crying out in mock pain, "You wound me, Lady Arian." His sounds of woe shift to laughter, and he shakes his head, "I think it a merry sort of sport, really, the barb and tease. But I fear my own ego would be too weak to hold up to such practiced scorn." Recognition springs to his eyes at the introduction, and he nods, "Sir Gideon, yes. We stood alongside the sparring several days ago."

"Merry met, Sir Gideon." Arian dimples lightly before she turns a sharp smirk on Kamron. "Consider it a justified strike, Sir Kamron. My ribs will be sore for days." She clasps her hands behind her back, shoulders drawn back and her petite height maximized. "I don't know, Sir Kamron… I think you might need more exposure to practiced scorn." Her eyes dance with amusement before she turns back to Gideon. "Your aunts do sound lovely… I say that we shouldn't neglect Sir Kamron from a proper meeting."

"Your capacity to remain merry when being whacked with a blunt instrument is truly a testament to the virtues of your sex." Gideon says casually. His interest in flirting appears nonexistent, but he does know a thing or two about the art of the compliment. "Oh they are the most lovely women in the world, Sir Arian. Wise, gentle, warm of heart and selfless of character. In the same manner that foxglove and oleander are. Sublime when observed from the distance, but probably best to avoid ingesting or breathing too deeply. It is maintaining that distance that can be troublesome." He gives a shrug and a roll back onto his heels. He's probably not all that much taller than Arian, really. "It is indeed a game and a sport to some, perhaps. And you are correct, Sir Kamron….I find just as much benefit in the watching as the participation, so I tend to save combat amongst peers for…social necessity."

Kamron checked his merciful at 10, he rolled 4.

Kamron grins a little more ruefully at Arian's remark, "And yet, when I tried to apologize for that clout, I saw my nose bitten off." Laughter rolls easily in the wake of his words, despite the threat implicit in Arian's suggestion. "I have always heard the very best about the Stapleford Ladies," in public, at least, "And I'm sure that spending time in their company would be most illuminating." He nods at the mention of sparring, "Watching others fight can be a great way to learn their strengths and weaknesses, but I've always found taking part myself to be a great way to learn the same about myself."

Arian laughs brightly at the words from the Stapleford. She shakes her head, as if it might clear the amusement from her head even while her dimples remain strong. "Thank you, Sir Gideon… Your insights of your aunts warm me." Laughter is a cure even for the cold, it would seem. Then she shakes her head, stepping to retrieve her shield and helmet once more. She casts a glance toward Kamron. "Then perhaps you shouldn't be so quick to apologize, Sir Kamron… unless you aren't fond of your nose." Her own wrinkles lightly before she regards both knights in turn. "I should go… I'm expected back at the inn for supper soon." She hesitates a moment. "Safe travels home, Sir Kamron." Her smile softens a bit, and then she regards Gideon. "Sir Gideon, I hope our paths cross again… I would like to hear more about Foxglove and Oleander."

"I know that I am no man's champion. I do what I am asked to do, and that which my people demand. No more. To do any more is to tempt the Earth to swallow me up or Heaven to take me, depending on your stance on such things." Gideon raises an eyebrow at Arian's reaction, though allowing himself the inkling of a smile. "We are but humble guides at the crossroads of the human soul who sometimes reads the paths better than most. How much illumination you get is…entirely at your burden." He says of himself, his aunts, and other such Stapleford sorts. "Be well, Sir Arian. Lest you think I speak ill of them, we are the first to admit our flaws and our sins. But if you wish to be regaled with stories of the women of my family, I shall indulge."

Kamron smiles lightly at Arian's laughter, for all that he looks back to Gideon quickly enough. The comment about his nose, however, has him reaching up to cover it with one mailed mitt for a moment, "I've been told it's rather a pleasant nose, so I think I would rather keep it, Sir Arian." Gideon's response draws a chuckle and a nod, "We are all obliged to those who toil beneath us, and it becomes you, Sir Gideon, to say so." Kamron looks back to the lady knight then, bowing more formally, "Fare thee well, Lady Arian. May your travels be smooth and swift." Gideon gets another chuckle, "I do believe those nicknames will stick, by the way. You will have to decide which of your aunts is Lady Foxglove and which Lady Oleander, Sir Gideon."

"Flaws and… sins are part of the way of life," the Pagan girl comments with a wry smile. Arian, without a squire to help her carry her equipment, takes a moment to adjust her shield and helmet before departing the grounds. She casts a glance over her shoulder toward the pair as she goes, offering them both a nod of farewell.

Gideon's own nose has taken a few cracks, and though it hasn't healed prettily, at least it has not disfigured him. Misspent youth perhaps feeds into his pragmatism. He nods as Ariadne leaves, and then gives a slight shrug. "We have not always had as many knights as other houses, so we have fought on the ground. Put ourself in the ranks of our levy. It does give a certain perspective as to what the common man gives up. It takes 21 years to craft a knight, I will not throw away such an investment lightly…perhaps this means I will die with less glory, but I will die giving my people the most protection these bones can offer. So I try to limit my spear strokes to Saxons and Picts where possible, save for at the Earl's bidding." He then waves a hand dismissively. "But I ramble, and prefer much more to be a listener than a talker. As for nicknames, they have had both more and less flattering ones. One more sobriquet will not weigh them down I think."

Kamron looks back to Gideon as Arian departs, "I have a preference for being able to move quickly with knights, squires, and sergeants to engage raiders before they can reach our people, but I know that is not always possible, especially when they come in numbers." Reaching back to clap his squire on the shoulder, he adds, "Speaking of which… I don't believe I introduced my new squire. It was finally decided that I needed one. Sir Gideon, this is Jonnin de Newton. Newt, Sir Gideon de Stapleford." The squire is taller than either knight, but rail-thin (for now), and working to balance Kam's axe, a wooden practice axe, and a shield at once, but bows his head and mumbles a greeting. Kam helps out by taking his axe back and slipping it into his belt at his right hip, "Well that is a fine thing, you being more of a listener than a talker, as I'm more of a talker than a listener. Besides that, wasn't it you who was promising a tankard of ale after some of those previous spars? Perhaps we could share one after I deal with all of this…" one hand gestures to the weighty hauberk hanging from his shoulders.

"Speed is well and good when you have the numbers and resources to do. It is why we try to cultivate the impression of being everywhere." Gideon responds fluidly, rolling his shoulder back as he nods to the squire. "And I have seen just enough times when a knight, so eager to engage the enemy becomes cut off, or his troops are attacked and scattered." Differences in opinion perhaps, but Gideon seems unperturbed. "My squire Alec has the day to himself. Some time to rest, but also a test to see how he manages his free time." His offer of a drink gets a curt nod. "Well, I think I can spare some time and a bit of coin."

Kamron chuckles easily, "We will share our time, but buy our own ales. I don't know about your Lord, but my uncle believes quite strongly that he has other things to spend coin on than slaking my thirst and that of my friends," the Dinton's chuckle rises up to an easy laugh, and he adds, "and I generally quite agree with him." Beckoning Jonnin along, Kamron says, "I'll meet you in the pub when I've gotten the mail squared away, Sir Gideon?"

"Clearly your uncle should engage one of my cousins to look after his assets. I always find myself with just eneough to be generous…and will the cost of a bit of soup or an ale truly make the difference in the running of your household?" Gideon asks curiously, utterly straight faced. "And we shall meet at that appointed hour then." He says, turning and making a crisp step out towards the town proper with a salute for Kamron left in his wake.

Kamron shrugs helplessly at the deadpan question, laughing easily, "I haven't the faintest clue, but I presume my uncle knows better than I." With that and a nod, he turns to go his own way, already speaking with young Jonnin about what went on in the spar, to see if the new-made squire caught all the details.

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