(514-05-17) Battle of the Banns
Summary: Two Knights, thrust together by their families, attempt to navigate the strange new landscape before them.
Date: 17th of May, 514
Related: The Efforts of Romance
merryn rozenn 

Critical Fail!
You check your Dex at 14, you rolled 20.

Her arrival in Carlion was in company of her mother and sister, plus their individual retinues. The Knight of the trio was quite well sated with only her squire and usual travel requirements. It was, however, little surprise when they arrived to their lodgings in the city, that Rozenn found her more ladylike family members had planned ahead. Her finest attire had, indeed, been packed. Thus, when appearing before Arthur and Guenevere, she looked… well, right. There's even, perhaps, been whispers of her appearance. The pagan Knight had -flowers- in her hair. For a Lady, it may not be all that much. For Rozenn de Burcombe, of whom some have started calling 'she bear?' It's quite the oddity.

And upon a smaller training field, off and away from the tourney fields, the brunette is not in her courting attire, no. She is wearing her leathers, instead. She is not on duty, thus no full armor. Rather, the woman has a sword in hand and is working on footwork.

At first, all seems quite well. The sword work is rather well-done. No great feat of strength here, but her motions are deft and on target with each turn and arc. For a time, at least. In fact, there's no problem at all with the swordwork. It's when she tries to emulate a turn as if to dodge an incoming blow and find footing for riposte that one foot becomes entangled in a divot in the field and she falls to her knees with enough force to temporarily force the air from her lungs.

Fortunately, no one's about… right?

Merryn checked his proud of 7, he rolled 9.

Merryn checked his modest of 13, he rolled 11.

Merryn is at least moderately well-dressed for his time in Carlion. He's not in his finest, no, that would be reserved for court, but he's hardly in the tunic and vest that Rozenn would have witnessed him in back in Pitton. Good wool and fine leather. No armor, but he does wear a cloak in orange and green with the sleeping lion on Pitton embroidered on the breast and sword at his side, so there's no mistaking his station and house.

Merryn is simply strolling the grounds of Carlion, his first time at the seat of the king and he wants to make sure he sees the sights, and this of course includes the training grounds. He does make note of a woman he is acquainted with, and perhaps more notably betrothed to, training, though elects not to disturb her. At least until she takes a spill to the ground. And then he's there, standing beside her with one gloved hand out should she choose to take it, his eyes very studiously pointed off in the distance, at once offering her a help to her feet and attempting not to witness what is likely not a proud moment for the knight.

You check your Modest at 7, you rolled 5.

When her breath is regained, Rozenn tightens her grip upon the hilt of her sword. It is not her best sword, thankfully. It is a more blunted blade meant for training purposes. The proper one is with her squire, being tended to after being worn much of the day. The woman is about to stand when that hand enters her field of sight. There's only a flicker of blue eyes further up to see who said hand belongs to.

With only a small utterance of a sigh, Roz places her bare palm against the gloved one and accepts the aid to her feet. "I suppose there are worse men to witness me in such a moment of weakness."

"I have no idea of what you speak, Sir Rozenn." And so Merryn chooses to play dumb for the moment, only looking back once Rozenn has regained her feet. He sketches something of a stiff bow, then again very little about the man's movements aren't stiff, it's to be expected. Except his smile, that seems to come smooth and easily, if not a touch awkward. There is, after all, a rather large issue between them now "I did not expect to run into you so soon after arriving in Carlion."

He takes a couple of steps back, so as not to be too close, or too familiar at this point. Their previous meeting was not poor, but it certainly wasn't all that intimate either. He leans against the fence of the training yard, resting his hand on the pommel of his sword, a different sword than the one he was training with in Pitton, no, this is the sword he uses when there is truly need for a sword.

You check your Trusting at 10, you rolled 18.

You check your Suspicious at 10, you rolled 14.

The bow is studied for a long moment, uncertainty causing a darkening in Rozenn's eyes as her brows knit by a small measure. The woman finally just gives a small nod, moving aside to where she has a few things; such as her cloak. Within the pile is soon produced a skin. From this there's a long drink, before she closes the distance… just enough to proffer it towards Merryn. Within is ale, nothing special.

"Running into one another is inevitable at this point, though I daresay I prefer this to other circumstances. I could have had family about." And the last thing one wants with new banns, perhaps, is to have their siblings and cousins running off at the mouth.

Merryn looks off towards the castle in the distance, smiling faltering as his eyes remain locked on the structure, almost seeming to trance out for a moment. However he manages a slow nod at the sentiment, showing he's at least paying some attention to her words. "Indeed. Perhaps its lucky that my cousin is otherwise occupied." He lets out a long, rather dejected sounding sigh before turning his attention back to Rozenn.

"Practicing for the tourney?" Small talk, the go to of those who are trying with all their might to avoid topics of any substance or awkwardness. "I was considering getting some time in myself later."

You check your Prudent at 4, you rolled 17.

Critical Success!
You check your Reckless at 16, you rolled 16.

When he doesn't take the skin, Rozenn just turns away and returns to the small bundle. It's really just her cloak and the skin, from the looks of it. She had lain the sword there, but takes it up again now. Perhaps to get back to her practice. She stares at the practice dummy she'd been working with, jaw tight. There's a shift there as she considers, somewhat grinding teeth.

Finally, without much extra thought, she looks to Merryn. Her voice is perhaps a bit harsh, but it seems more stress- than anger-driven. "Did you know? That they were planning this?"

"No." Merryn's voice does not echo Rozenn's sharpness, rather seeming to almost counter it with its mildness. He doesn't bare the same outrage or sharp emotion tied to the bann, and in fact seems a bit more resigned to it, his shoulders slumping slightly as the topic he was attempting to avoid is dragged right out into the forefront of their conversation.

"I expected something like this eventually, of course, but to whom.." He shakes his head. "I had no clue. Nor did I anticipate it quite yet." His hand leaves his sword hilt, arms crossing across his broad chest. "I have not had a chance to speak about the details of it with my mother and aunt, yet, either."

"I was told it had somewhat to do with alliances. That there was one intended between our houses and my cousin may have made a bit of a… mess in his state at the tavern recently." The one in which Caerwyn did not give way to the Pitton heir. Rozenn turns her sword in her hand, looking to it rather than to Merryn. She's frowning, but at least it's a thoughtful frown.

"Wedding me to your house serves two purposes. It rids them of me and helps bolster that alliance." There's a raise of chin, curiousity now dominant upon her features as she studies Merryn. "Would you have preferred a lady? I know we knights of a womanly ilk are not so readily desired as wives."

Merryn checked his honest of 16, he rolled 9.

"Makes sense." Merryn does not really need to know more than that, he simply nods his head and accepts it as what it is. "I do not know how offended Aluksander was by that, but I can say he was likely not pleased. Our house hasn't enough standing to let something like that go easily." And there is that bold-faced honesty Sir Merryn de Pitton is known for. And it just keeps coming.

"I hadn't given it much thought. Besides, I'm a Pitton, chances are you will not have to suffer me as a husband long." His taps his fingers along his arm, lips pulling tight into a fine line. "The men of our house are not known for living long." And there's that resigned look from him again, as if a man taking one step closer to the gallows.

Critical Fail!
You check your DEX at 14, you rolled 20.

While Merryn speaks, Rozenn goes through the motions of the riposte again. It's a tricky set of footwork and likely not for the faint of heart nor the less deft Knights. The sort of thing someone may work on for years without ever mastering. Parry, step, twist, step, duck- and arm extended. Yet it's the point where she's going from stepping beneath an imagined incoming blow and into a thrust that the woman has issues. When he's first speaking of his house, she takes it slow; like one learning a slower dance.

It's when he's speaking of suffering him as a husband that she tries to speed up the process and only ends up stumbling a number of steps towards the fence. "Tell me of Pitton history. Do they die in the battlefield or by other means?"

Merryn checked his orate of 6, he rolled 4.

Merryn's eyebrows shoot up a bit at the request to deliver Pitton's history, enough that he doesn't even notice the stumble. Or else, perhaps, he's once again just being too polite to acknowledge it. "Numerous means." He stands up a bit straighter as he goes into storytelling mode. His voice picking up from its usual softness almost out of habit. A bit of training as a speaker serving him well as he delves into the history of the Pittons.

"I believe it began with my great grandfather Deniel, who was killed buring the Night of Long Knives. My grandfather Hywel took over the house. He and his wife conceived a child in the first year, my uncle Thane. A year later they conceived my father Withell, though Hywel died of illness before his birth. Sir Thane conceived my cousin Aluksander who you met, but died in the invasion of Frankland before he was born. My father was long lived as Pittons go, I was seven when he fell in a Saxon raid." He squares his shoulders. "The same raid where I nearly died and almost cost me my chances at knighthood." He spreads his hands a bit before letting them fall to his side. "Not much luck for the men of our house, I'm afraid."

Rather than try the footwork again, Rozenn moves to lean against the fence; forearms draping upon the uppermost log. The sword ends up held upon the other side, as a result, and she leans. Her gaze goes to the castle as she listens; eyes distant. Her attention is rapt, even if she does not look directly at Merryn as he speaks.

There is some silence when he is done. She turns in time to witness his hands fall back to his sides. With a look of consideration, she finally tilts her head in something of a nod. "Save your grandfather, all have died in service to the land. It is, at least, a good death. I was but ten when my father was slain by Saxons. It's what made me decide, once and for all, to be a Knight. I did not wish to see others in my family fall if I had any hand in the matter."

"Yes, good deaths, true. But none got to see their children grown." Merryn pushes himself away from the fence. "And I would see my cousin avoid that fate before I myself would attempt to overcome it." One side of his mouth pulls up into a crooked grin. "Though honestly, I wanted to be a knight more to avoid a boring life in a monastery. I believe I would have torn my own hair out from boredom. Though make no mistake, I have no love of the Saxons." And this is the first time his voice contains even a note of heat. Even his comments in the tavern were no more than firm. This reeks more of true anger.

"Monastery. I have to wonder at such a calling. For us," it seems a generalized sort of term, "the faith is something one is driven to. Excited about. A priest is rarely one who simply couldn't be a knight, but one who felt called by the earth herself to serve." Rozenn moves away from her post and rather a few steps nearer Merryn. Not too close, but close enough that when she speaks in a quiet, but firm voice, she can be heard without difficulty.

"I respect that. A duty towards family. Only my twin is older than I. The rest are all younger and I feel a great need to keep them safe. From any harm or ill. What transpired in the tavern that night, ultimately, was on the Bodenham. I may have spoken out of turn to your cousin, but that sort of anger? Is only when I feel my family has been slighted." It may, in its own way, be a way of explaining. Preparing, in a sense, for the future.

There's another noncommittal shrug from Merryn. "It would simply be a way for me to be of service without being a burden on my family. I was not expected to achieve knighthood. I was squired more as a way to attempt to show me I couldn't do it. I just seem to be remarkably stubborn." He doesn't move away as Rozenn comes closer, nor does he shift from his perch, simply remaining where he is.

"All I know of what happened after I left is from hearsay, but I've heard enough. But I can understand why you felt the need to speak up. It is something we will need to speak of in the future as well, hopefully with cooler temperaments."

Ah, yes. After it all, Rozenn -does- become a part of the conversation. Simply from her own standpoint. The woman's jaw tightens, briefly. She looks away, turning a measure to stare at the training dummy. There's a glance down to her blade, as if considering setting to it again. Instead, she finally looks back to Merryn.

There's a moment, when she seems ready to speak. From the look in her eyes, it is something quite likely to be rather honest and almost painful in the giving of it. At the last moment, however, she steels herself. There's a hardening of her mien and she gestures, in a general sort of way. "Would you care to spar? I might like to know what the man I am to be wedded to is capable of. Other than removing the arm of a wooden dummy."

Merryn quirks a brow as he watches Rozenn, perhaps trying to gauge the tumult of emotions the woman is showing. Then slowly, but surely, he nods. "I would not mind a spar, especially if we are to fight side by side in the grand melee. Though I will need to borrow a spare training sword, I would not use my father's sword in a sparring match." He finally stands up from where he was leaning, reaching up to first unclasp his cloak and throw it over the fencing, and then going for his scabbard to do the same. Quick and easy motions, and the only time he does that are when they are well practiced.

"I'll retrieve one." Her things, such as the more proper sword and that skin, are already set aside. There's a tent nearby that seems to hold a number of practice weaponry and the like. All on hand should someone have need of it, or break their own. Practice blades and the like, obviously, having far less care and work put into their construction. When she returns, the blunted blade is held out for Merryn to take, rather than tossed.

"How would you like to do this? Until one yields or is knocked over?"

"Yields." Merryn offers the simple one word response as he reaches out to accept the practice sword, feeling the heft of it in his hand. A bit lighter than his usual sword, but it produces a nod from the man. He gives it a few practice swings as he makes his way towards towards one side of what will be their duelling ground. Rozenn should recognize the familiar chopping from his previous training, his seeming go to. He turns to face the other knight, raising the sword to show he is ready.

You check your sword at 15, you rolled 13.

Merryn checked his sword of 15, he rolled 5.

Rozenn rolls 4d6 and gets (6 5 5 6) for a total of: (22)

Merryn checked his dex of 8, he rolled 17.

The man decides he's ready and Rozenn does not make him wait. There's a turn of the sword in her hand, testing its balance. She's swift, that much can be said. Unlike the Pitton, the woman is not limited in her movements. She is no great being of strength as he may be, but she balances it with deft, rapid motions. It may be this very aspect of her skill that aids in the press. She's not just able to make quick movements with the blade, but also avoid those thrusts and swings in her direction.

It might become immediately obvious why he didn't choose until one falls. As he is not the most dexterous of knights. And while he might be solid, if he does loose his rooted footing, he goes down. And so, in twisting in an attempt to block the nimbler knight's advance, he loses his base and ends up on a knee on the ground. He gives a slight grimace, but there's no complaint as he tries to bring himself back to his feet for the next exchange of blows.

When Merryn falls, Rozenn drops her sword and steps back. The woman doesn't offer a hand up, either. It's a sparring match. She's doing her best to not be patronizing. Instead, she settles back on her heels in a pose of waiting. There's no words: neither of encouragement nor jest. Rather, she seems content to wait. To give him the opening move this time.

Merryn checked his sword of 15, he rolled 7.

You check your sword at 15, you rolled 4.

Merryn rolls 5d6 and gets (3 2 2 3 3) for a total of: (13)

You check your DEX at 14, you rolled 9.

Back on his feet, Merryn's face remains set in stone. If his going to the ground bothered him, he's not showing it. More it seems he might just be used to being knocked down. But then he's closing the distance again, lacking any of the flowing grace of Rozenn, he instead comes in like a stampeding bull. Direct and to the point. His sword coming down in a heavy chopping swing, his strength and weight behind the direct attack.

The charge, perhaps, is unexpected. But speed is not borne of dexterity, no. Many things can be put into it and for Roz, well. It's all she can do to try to block the blow. It's not enough. The force of it is enough to push down her blade and bring his to her shoulder. It would cut were it not for the blunt nature of the iron. As it is, she grunts slightly with the effort, rear foot sliding in the dirt as she struggles to keep her balance. As soon as the pressure lets up, however, the Burcombe woman is twisting away; making for an attack from the side. The first 'round,' it would seem, was just a precursor. She's happy enough to continue.

You check your Sword at 15, you rolled 4.

Merryn checked his sword of 15, he rolled 4.

You check your Sword at 15, you rolled 16.

Merryn checked his sword of 15, he rolled 9.
Merryn rolls 5d6 and gets (6 1 4 2 4) for a total of: (17)

You check your Dex at 14, you rolled 6.

It's unrelenting. A style born of necessity and ability rather than honed skills. There's no hint of him being ready to yield yet, no. Merryn barely moves his feet to follow his opponent, merely turning to face her, his sword leading the way in a horizontal swing. Using motion and strength to once more hopefully batter away any defenses put up against his assault. Though perhaps the slightest twinge of a smile has formed on his face as he squares off against the other knight and witnesses her deft use of her blade.

She's quick, but he has strength and follow through. In the moment, as swords clash and iron rings, it becomes all Rozenn can do to keep her guard up. She's already breathing a bit heavily, but then… she was training before he arrived. The woman will never, ever admit to having given the upper hand in such a way. Or requesting anything resembling a handicap. There's another pass of his sword by her guard; knocking hers away. The way it connects with her arm; it's clear to leave a bruise. But rather than yield, she just steps away, back, and then moves in again; trying a feint.

You check your sword at 15, you rolled 11.

Merryn checked his sword of 15, he rolled 13.
Merryn rolls 5d6 and gets (3 2 6 6 3) for a total of: (20)

You check your Dex at 14, you rolled 2.

Either Merryn sees through the feint, he's willing to take the blow to land one of his own, or else he hopes his opponent will change their maneuver as yet another chopping swing comes down on a diagonal strike. He's not calling for a yield, and at the point he's certainly not giving one. At least, true to his word, he's not holding himself back out of a worry for the gender of his opponent.

The attempts to out-maneuver Merryn have proven to not work well for Rozenn. The woman is certainly flagging, but she's not giving up. Another spot for bruise to bloom and she's stepping back, shifting sword to her other hand to shake out her arm. "Despite seeing you at training the other day, I may have underestimated your strength, Sir Merryn." This time, she awaits him to make the first move again. Even if only to get a few second's respite.

Merryn checked his sword of 15, he rolled 3.

You check your sword at 15, you rolled 7.
Rozenn rolls 4d6 and gets (3 3 5 5) for a total of: (16)

Merryn checked his dex of 8, he rolled 5.

Merryn checked his prudent of 10, he rolled 5.

Respite. Merryn's willing to take a few seconds himself, slowly sidestepping as he holds his sword in front of him. He's quite obviously grinning now as well. It's not smug or cocky, just that same genuine smile that seems to appear once in a while when he's truly enjoying himself. And then those few precious breathing seconds are over and he's coming in for another assault. This time lunging forward to put his full weight behind his next swing towards her already flagging flank.

She's flagging, but she's not out yet. Rozenn's breathing heavily and her movements have become a bit sluggish, but she's able to predict that lunge. The way his feet move and weight shifts. It's parried and in turn, she's swinging low; 'cutting' at his midsection. It's not a very strong swing of the blade, but it's one angled to get in beneath a guard and slow or stall the defender.

The blow to the stomach may not have been strong, but in normal combat were Merryn not wearing armor, it would be a dangerous one, and has him instinctively backing off a few steps. Then a sound breaks their combat, the chiming of the evening bells from the cathedral. He lowers his sword just a little, enough to put a guard up should Rozenn decide to press the attack again, but making it obvious he's not about to go in for another attack himself. "Perhaps we should call a draw. I'd hate to miss tonights dinner as much as I'm enjoying our fight."

You check your Trusting at 10, you rolled 4.

She's too tired to push the attack. If anything, Rozenn is glad for the pause. She's moreso when he calls a draw of their sparring. The woman tries not to show it too much, that relief, but she also takes him at face value. Perhaps she's found no need to continue seeking ulterior motives. If the Burcombe lass had thought he had part in their banns… perhaps that suspicion has been abated. The sword is lowered, point to the dirt. Not as careful with a simple training blade. "Whoever thought you would not make a knight sorely underestimated you, Sir Merryn."

She smiles, then. It's fleeting, it's tired, but it's genuine. With it, Roz turns away and heads for her cloak, retrieving 'skin to take a long drink. She holds it out, but he'll have to come to her to get it. She's resting.

"You should have seen me my first few years as a squire." Merryn shakes his head as he issues a small laugh. "It was shameful." He reaches up and digs his hand into his shoulder, loosening the tightness that always takes him after a fight. "Took quite a few years till I had grown into the strength I have now." He walks over to Rozenn and sets aside the training sword, this time accepting the skin from her for a swig of ale before handing it back. At least he is breathing heavier and a bit flushed from the workout.

You check your Flirting at 10, you rolled 15.

As he accepts the skin, Rozenn sets her blade aside as well. The woman grabs her cloak and swordbelt while Merryn drinks, putting them back upon her person. He's left holding the ale a moment longer as she affixes the clasp of her cloak. There's a bit of a smirk. "I'm sure we were all rubbish in our first years. Especially if my own squire is any indication." The skin is finally accepted in turn and capped. She stares at it as she speaks, the words coming out… well, downright fumbled. She might as well be talking to the skin itself: "Have you company already for dinner?"

Merryn checked his romance of 2, he rolled 10.

Strange that two individuals that could open up to each other in the midst of combat suddenly descend into an awkward back and forth as soon as it comes to more normal interactions. "Ah.. no. I don't. Not that I'm aware of anyway." He looks up towards the castle then back to Rozenn, seemingly stuck on what to say next. "Would you..?" Yes, quite eloquent.

To hide his embarrassment at his own verbal ineptitude, he busies himself getting his cloak and sword back in place. Looking once more at his betrothed before turning towards the castle, at least having enough sense to wait fer her before starting the journey, though likely in some awkward silence.

Critical Fail!
You check your Proud at 13, you rolled 20.

It's like she's a maid again. And Rozenn is, if anything, not a maid. At least she's not blushing. No, she's just a touch frustrated. The skin is lashed to her belt and she gathers her cloak about her before joining him. She doesn't even find it in her, after such an awkward moment, to step up at his side. Her shoulders are a touch rounded and the cloak is gathered about her. As if she were cold. That, at least, doesn't last long, before she's pushing it back over her shoulders. No, unless Merryn makes a move, Roz is perhaps a touch too shamed or uncertain to even walk closely with the man who is to be her husband.

Critical Success!
Merryn checked his flirting of 3, he rolled 3.

Merryn checked his singing of 10, he rolled 7.

Merryn looks over to Rozenn, then down to his feet, certainly realizing this whole situation is just not going to help things. And so he stops in his tracks and waits for Roz to come closer, whistling softly under his breath. And then perhaps more surprisingly starts singing, and.. isn't half bad. Minstrel he's not, but as he works his way into the soft ballad, he doesn't really need to be, seemingly unable to express what he had been feeling except through borrowing the song.

And he walks through the town at her side just like that, not really seeming to care if other people are staring at him randomly serenading the other knight as they walk up the street of Carlion towards the castle. And while it might be a little more.. flirty than proper, he still can't help but break into a grin as he belts out the song.

The whistling doesn't much phase Rozenn. It is an awkward sort of space to fill, after all. But when he begins singing, she becomes intrigued. And no, it's not bad at all. Nor is the song- well, it suits. And as they walk, she angles in a bit nearer. And then nearer still. Drawn in by the song or soothed by what it represents. In the end, her shoulder even brushes to his arm every few strides. The Burcombe doesn't say anything; perhaps for fear of breaking the spell.

And well, that seems to do the trick. Even as Merryn finishes his song, and somehow doesn't look embarrassed about belting it out he finally manages to work up the nerve to offer his arm for her to take if she should be willing along with perhaps a slightly dopey if genuine grin, no more really needing to be said at that point. After all, conversation could be saved until they're seated at dinner.

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