(514-05-18) de Falt Falters
Summary: A trio of de Falt participate in the opening phases of the grand Wedding Tourney at Carlion
Date: 05-18-514
Related: None
custennin leodwen myfanwy 


A bright, crisp Spring day in a year of hope and good fortune - what could be better for one's first tournament as a participant? Of course, the newly-minted Lord and Lady of Falt manor are each rather direly inexperienced when it comes to setting foot on such a grand stage, but nothing ventured nothing gained, eh?

For his part, Sir Custennin has (more by luck than judgement) chanced upon the correct attire, manner of carrying his lance, and point of entry to the tourney grounds for one of his standing. Though somewhat oblivious to it, he cuts a surprisingly fine figure as he makes his way to the masters of the appropriate events to announce his arrival and participation.

Myfanwy is rather less used to the courtesies of the tournament. Riding alongside her husband she forgets to nod to the right people and for a moment she loses sight of where she has to announce herself. At least she is apologetic when she needs to be and quick to learn so it is not a /complete/ faux pas.

Once the formalities of administration are attended to, Myfanwy ensures her armour and weapons are ready for the later tournament before going to watch her husband in the oratory competition. No doubt it will be stirring and heartfelt words of the kind that wooed her in the past.

In the opening rounds of the performance competition, there are quite an eclectic mix of styles… and what ensues is a rather unusual clash between Roman-inspired formal rhetoric, and an elegant young courtier named Caedwal - at least nominally a squire in service to Lonazep - declaiming traditional Cymric poetry. The judges are left perplexed as to how to determine a winner, and after a brief conference among themselves request that the two competitors serve up another offering apiece.

Sir Custennin, unfortunately, flounders somewhat… not disgracing himself, but apparently finding performance in front of so large an audience to be more of a challenge than is comfortable. His rival, however, not merely finds his stride but his inspiration, delivering a bravura improvisation upon the nations and peoples of Britain being drawn together under the banner of the Pendragon. Though the theme is not precisely original, the ad hoc composition and the performance result in Custennin himself warmly applauding the clear victor.

Myfanwy applauds too - it is the sporting thing to do - but she is disappointed that Custennin was defeated. He had been practicing for days. That mirror in their bedroom could probably recite his speech if it was asked. "You did well" she smiles to her husband, "Far better than I. With only a little more practice you will be easily able to out talk hotheads like him. But now it is time for something much more exciting. You have a knight to separate from his horse." She slaps him on the shoulder before adding, "And I must get ready for my own tilt."

From defeat (albeit after an honourable struggle) before the judges, and the rather more pleasant and uplifting consolation of his beloved new wife, Custennin does indeed hurry to the lists to face his opponent in the opening round of the great jousting contest. This proves to be one of the Cambrian knights, Sir Bleddyn - a little older than Custennin, but not greatly more renowned as yet. The duo make a fine show in the first pass, with pristine accoutrements, unmarked shields, and thundering hooves scattering flying sods… but each easily swats aside the other's lance-point.

The second pass is still more dramatic, their snorting horses propelling them into a crunching encounter in the middle of the lists. Custennin's aim is sound; but the Cambrian's is superior, taking the huge Falt high on his shield to pivot him in the saddle. The result is an ungainly multi-stage tumble to the ground, there to bounce and roll a couple of times before coming to a halt. After a few moments, Custennin struggles upright, with (somewhat sheepish) laughter emerging from within his helm as he turns to and fro. Locating his opponent in the middle distance, he raises a hand in salute, then bows, reclaiming his shield before setting off to where his squire is attempting to bring his horse under control.

Myfanwy was so intent on watching her beloved that she almost missed the call to prepare for her own bout. Running quickly to her horse, she checks her armour, climbs into the saddle and then places the helm slowly upon her head. Her opponent is Sir Davydd of the Far Isles…probably a pseudonym. An experienced knight with gray in his hair, a wrinkled visage and a spark of confidence in his eyes.

The knights take their place. The trumpets sound. A flag is dropped. Spurs dig into the flanks of the warbeasts as they lurch towards each other. Building up speed, Myfanwy lowers her lance for the core of her opponent, concentrating on the blow. Concentrating too much. The more experienced knight rams the tip of his blunted lance into her helmet with a thud that echoes around the field. Myfanwy's own blow misses completely as her world goes dark and she starts to see stars. Her destrier slowing of its own accord as the female knight tries to keep upright on her saddle but at the end of the tilt she simply topples to the ground with a crash of metal.

Thankfully consciousness is kept though Myfanwy does not move for a few moments. Eventually she slowly sits up before dragging her helm from her head and putting a gloved hand to her throbbing forehead. That is going to hurt for a while. Her opponent helps her up and she clasps his forearm with her hand before nodding - ow! - with appreciation to his expertise before trying to find her tent. And if she finds out who is banging that really loud drum then they are in trouble.

Custennin is there to welcome Myfanway - and indeed to make sure that she makes her groggy way to the Falt tents rather than any others. There, he can at least offer the commiserating notion that they still have the Grand Melee to come, and a whole army of Cambrian knights to pound upon their helms anew.


It is time for her artistic challenge, and Leodwen de Falt is there to… demonstrate her skill before a grander audience than she is used to entertain, meaning… a crowd comprised of more than a few maids and knights back at Falt Manor. The blonde lady does enter the area with a certain dignity, hair done beautifully by her maid in a complex arrangement of braids, a fine dress of dark blue samite with ornamental embroideries at the hems of the sleeves a garment that does catch the eye and wraps about the slender physique of the young woman in a pleasing and tasteful manner.

Even so, Leodwen's hazel eyes are wide with wonder and even excitement as she lets her gaze drift over those present, the jury, the spectators, among which she is so relieved to spot her brother Sir Custennin! Hard to overlook, that one. And maybe it is his strength, so evident in his physique, his bearing, the confidence of a brother that has Leodwen de Falt straighten with some regained courage - even if her gaze returns now and then to the herald as she is unsure when to start and how to proceed - waiting for a sign from him, as she rarely takes part in such contests.

Fortunately, the organisers of the tourney are well-accustomed to diffident uncertainty (or overconfident mistakes) from the participants in the assorted contests, and a lovely young lady such as Leodwen does not find herself abandoned without cue for long. A brief discussion with a junior herald confirms just what she will be offering up by way of performance, which information is then relayed to the judges.

In the crowd, Custennin is doing his best to look encouraging - but few save his close kin (and perhaps his new wife, close by his side) might manage to make that out amidst the beard and scarring. Still, he offers a broad grin when he catches her eye, before she is politely invited to step forward so that the herald may announce her to the gathering.

Leodwen waits patiently, her hands joined before her as she turns her head to look in the direction of the herald. Custennin's encouraging smile she notices, and it will inspire a smile of her own, only slightly tempered by a slight hint of nervousness. Barely resisting the urge to raise a hand and wave to him, the lady straightens when the herald steps forth and announces: "The Lady Leodwen de Falt." After which said lady will clear her throat and announce with a slight tremble in her voice: "I shall sing a song of Spring, that is well known in Salisbury, Falt in particular." A pause then. A soft exhale of a breath, before the blonde de Falt launches into her performance and delivers in a confident mezzo-soprano that does not show the slightest sign of fear or awkwardness, a rather cheerful song that fits her disposition so well.

Now is the month of maying,
When merry lads are playing,
Fa la la la la la la la la,
Fa la la la la la lah.
Each with his bonny lass
Upon the greeny grass.
Fa la la la la la la la la,
Fa la la la la la lah.

The Spring, clad all in gladness,
Doth laugh at Winter's sadness,
Fa la la la la la la la la,
Fa la la la la la lah.
And to the bagpipe's sound
The nymphs tread out their ground.
Fa la la la la la la la la,
Fa la la la la la lah.

There is warm approbation for Leodwen's choice, and also for her performance. However, though her voice is sweet and her cheery delivery fits the song, it's not one of the more outstanding performances of the day. Still, against many of the nervous contenders thus far seen, it would be more than sufficient to win…

Unfortunately, the mere announcement of Leodwen's opponent is sufficient to stir up excitement among some sections of the audience. Adlais of Caerwent was hitherto unknown by sight to Leodwen - and proves to be a small, graceful brunette - but the name does seem vaguely familiar to the de Falt, even before she breaks into a song of her own.

Almost from the first high, pure note it's clear that Leodwen's rather outclassed, and Adlais proceeds to demonstrate why so many among the audience were looking enchanted even before she opened her mouth to sing. She takes the listeners on a wistful tour of an ancient forest lost beneath the Severn Sea, and of the princess who tried to hold back the encroaching waves with nothing but songs and faith. As the beautiful land slowly succumbs to salt and surf, the princess struggles on - eventually halting the sea, at cost of her own life, before it swallows Escavalon and spills over Somerset.

When she finishes, sinking into a deep curtsey, the enthusiasm of most in the crowd is unmistakable.

Leodwen had looked quite content with her own effort as she stepped over to the side after her own performance, to make room for… her opponent in this match of artful performances. The ghost of some notion was present at the back of her head, finding the name familiar, that somehow stirred a certain awe even in her, despite her failure to remember what exactly she had heard of this lady. But then… when Adlais hits the first note it becomes so evidently clear, that Leodwen will not win this contest, but she does not seem to mind, enchanted as she is. Her hazel eyes are fixed on the petite form of the Lady de Caerwent, and her jaw drops as she stares at her competition. That a human voice could sound so lovely - this will be the lesson learned in this round, and when Adlais is done, Leodwen will lower herself into a deep respectful curtsey to the other lady, acknowledging her skill and showing her gratitude to have been so fortunate as to witness such outstanding and moving performance.

Fortunately, the petite brunette is gracious in her victory - and makes no indication of presuming that she has won before any announcement is made. Indeed, she invites Leodwen forward to wait with her, while the judges discussion their decision. There's surely little to it, but they make a display of talking among themselves… before delivering their judgement to the herald.

"With warm thanks to both ladies, and congratulations upon their performances, we must nonetheless declare a single winner in the competition between them. Duly: Adlais of Caerwent shall proceed to the next round, while Leodwen de Falt must retire from the contest, albeit with our thanks for the gift of her song."

Adlais curtseys deeply to the judges, then offers Leodwen a look that manages to include at least a little apology along with its evident happiness.

Leodwen already saw it coming, why, she has enough sense to acknowledge the fact that Adlais in fact delivered the more impressive performance and also showed a more memorable choice of song. And so the blonde lady meets the kind look of the other with a smile and and a sparkle in her gaze that shows she is by no means disagreeing with the verdict of the jury. "Congratulations," she offers amiably, with another curtsey to Adlais, and to the jury, before she moves over to join her brother.

"Beautiful," the newly-minted Falt lord says gruffly, before slipping an arm around Leodwen's shoulder to deliver a rather uncourtly but warm hug. "I think that this should be an occasion for good cheer and happiness, myself. But the lady of Caerwent did deliver that very finely, I have to admit."

Even if there may a slight hint of disappointment in Leodwen's gaze, the enthusiastic smile prevails. "Aye, she did, and so she proceeds to the next round, most rightfully so! Even if I do admit, I've sung worse before, brother, to which you certainly can attest."

Custennin laughs, almost in spite of himself, before delivering another squeeze. "Well, that might well be that, I fear, for Falt participation in our own name. Myfanwy and myself are in the Grand Melee, but we have all come a-cropper one way or another today. Still, it was a grand thing to be involved at all, no?"

Leodwen nods, and a melodious chuckle leaves her lips.

"Aye. It was!"


Collected Rolls

Tourney

Success
You check your tourney at 2, you rolled 1.

Failed.
Myfanwy checked her Tourney of 2, she rolled 5.

Failed.
Leodwen checked her Tourney of 2, she rolled 18.

Custennin flukes the appearance of competence; the others don't

Performance

Custennin:

Failed.
You check your orate at 10, you rolled 16.

Myfanwy rolls 1d20 and gets (17) for a total of: (17) (on behalf of Average competitor, with skill of 15)

Neither wins: contest continues to second round of performance

Failed.
You check your orate at 10, you rolled 17.

Myfanwy rolls 1d20 and gets (15) for a total of: (15) (critical on competitor's skill of 15)

NPC wins, utterly convincingly

Leodwen:

Success
Leodwen checked her Singing of 10, she rolled 3.

Custennin rolls 1d20 and gets (15) for a total of: (15) (On behalf of Famous performer, with skill of 19)

NPC wins due to higher successful roll

Success
Leodwen checked her Modest of 13, she rolled 12.

Leodwen succeeds in appreciating that the better lady won

Joust

Custennin:

You check your lance at 15, you rolled 19.

Myfanwy rolls 1d20 and gets (17) for a total of: (17) (On behalf of Average knight, with Lance skill of 15)

First pass sees both knights remain seated

Success
You check your lance at 15, you rolled 3.

Myfanwy rolls 1d20 and gets (7) for a total of: (7) (Still vs a skill of 15)

Second pass sees Custennin hit, though he gets his shield in the way

Myfanwy rolls 6d6 and gets (1 6 3 5 6 1) for a total of: (22) (Damage)

22 exceeds Custennin's Size of 18; risk of being unhorsed. Rebated lance does half damage: 11 points easily absorbed by shield & reinforced chain

Failed.
You check your horsemanship at 10, you rolled 17.

Crash

Myfanwy:

Custennin rolls 1d20 and gets (5) for a total of: (5) (On behalf of Old knight, with Lance skill of 18)

Failed.
Myfanwy checked her Lance of 10, she rolled 13.

NPC scores clean hit; Myfanway does not get her shield in the way

Custennin rolls 6d6 and gets (3 5 5 5 1 4) for a total of: (23) (Damage)

One point away from automatic knockdown (Myfanwy has Size 12); Horsemanship check required. Reinforced chain barely sufficient to avoid damage, absorbing 12 out of 12 done

Failed.
Myfanwy checked her Horsemanship of 10, she rolled 11.

The virtual d20s really dislike de Falts - even those who've just married in. ;)

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