(514-06-10) Marlboro Mission Part 2
Summary: The rescue of a knight from vigilante justice.
Date: 514-06-10
Related: Marlboro Mission
acwel brynmor catryn cyndeyrn deryn drustan elrick signe uwain 


The travel to Swindon is uneventful; unfortunately for Brynmor, time was a commodity they did not have and as such, the wagon had to be ditched, or even better, sold to some merchant who offered a pittance for it, but knights do not bargain; they simply take the offer.

The Manor, located at the borderlands of Marlboro, is known for their distrust of their neighbors, but also rumored to have secretive dealings with the Earl of Rydychan, including a possible marriage match of their oldest daughter to his youngest son. Unfortunately, the Swindons are also the ones who stand the most to lose from that match, seeing as that daughter was allegedly corrupted by Sir Dilwyn de Mildenhall, which is the reason why the Knights of Salisbury are here.

As soon as they arrive, they can see that the Count had reason to be concerned: a platform with a noose have already been built, even if flimsily, and there is a congregation of knights from either side of the border here, shouting over the din and tossing rotten foodstuffs at the accused, while the prosecutor continues to elucidate his case. Obviously, the 'judge' presiding over this, Sir Ianto de Swindon, a keeper of the law for the borderlands, is not quite interested in any case by the defense. He's seeing blood, and he wants blood.

"And thus, Honorable Justice, this man deserves nothing less than a slow death for his crimes against Rydychan and potentially inciting a war with our neighbors," says the prosecutor. The irony.

"It seems we have arrived at a fortuitous time," Acwel comments, dryly, to his companions as they arrive on the scene, when eyes turn upon them and the banner they carry.

The thought of becoming involved in the politics of another county do not sit well with Drustan. Especially upon learning of the marriage to the son of Earl Rydychan. It is a persnickety matter, all told, and one that honestly may require a more careful and deft hand than any in their campaign possess. The Falt knight has been, in this place, quiet upon the travel to the outlying Manor. When they arrive, his countenance darkens further and his hand tightens upon his lance. Even his squire has been less loquaciou as they neared their destination, taking a cue from his knight. The whole air — din of shouts and thrown produce all — is one of tension and Drustan's slate eyes shift past the crowds to focus upon the man named as accused. "I do not see them readily giving over Sir Dilwyn."

Giving up the comfort of sleeping in a cage was all too disappointing for Brynmor. He knew that there was no better way to travel than that and perhaps he could come up with some carriage or chariot of sorts for knights to ride into battle on, giving one enough room to curl up and rest as your horse takes over. So here he is, not exactly certain as to what is going on nor is he at all pleased that he is back in his own horse's saddle. "So how much longer will we be…" He starts with his usual complaint, having asked the same question a few times already. But when his gaze falls upon the menacing sight of the noose and the angry shouts there, does he breathe out a heavy sigh while shaking his head. "Well, I see that they are ready for negotiation." He mutters under his breath and to this his young squire, Guffud, speaks out the obvious, with nervous anticipation, "I don't know, Sir. You see that." He even points to the platform for the noose, "I think we better be on our guard because they mean business!" To this the Steeple Langford's eyes narrow, in fact they narrow so much that he closes them for a time, releasing yet another sigh again. "So, do we all need to line up and do a little song and dance for them too?"

The trip, uneventful as it is, passes along well enough for Cyndeyrn, who does nothing on his own part to make things any more exciting. As ever the dull travel companion, most of his time is spent in silent contemplation of the countryside, the young man seemingly at least taking some interest in the varied terrain over which they ride in this long trip through the neighboring county. Outside of a handful of outings to war with his master knight, he's rarely had such opportunity or cause to travel. Arriving on the scene, however, his interest is surely roused. Justice is a Dinton value, but the mere presence of a judge and scaffold does not make this that, at least without fair hearing. "I think this is less a matter of song and dance, as I doubt these people are likely to be quickly swayed, and quick we must be if the situation is not to be finished with before it has started. We must see that they halt, and then appeal to a more rigorous course of justice, in the Earl's name, so that the outcome is not seen as mere… vigilantism between the sides. Come." And with that, the Dinton at least spurs forward, obviously to make an impressive arrival, not just with his size but hopefully with the band of knights around him. "What proceeding is this?" he will call, as they approach!

Allegedly, Signe has a careful and deft hand when it comes to speech. Or a somewhat powerful one, anyway. It's probably the only reason she's here. As she takes in the scene before them, gloved hands resting with the reins in her lap, she wrinkles her nose delicately. "If she were forcefully ravished that would be the accusation, not this 'deflowering' business. She was clearly culpable. Men never give women enough credit in matters such as these."

While riding along with the others, Elrick remains mostly quiet on the direction of the trip, his attention apparently distracted by silent thoughts during the quiet transit to Swindon. When they do arrive though, the focus returns and the Laverstock's gaze immediately zeroes in on the makeshift platform with the noose, the fate of the accused already pre-determined it appears. "We should tread carefully, it would do us no good to become ensnared in this political quagmire and worse, start a fight as we are outnumbered." The knight finally speaks, a low voice used as they near the sham of a trial that is being carried out.

"The problem here, good Sirs and Lady, is that we are facing a mockery of a trial," Acwel replies, noticing the lack of partisans for the man's defense. "Perhaps this Manor is rivals to the defendant's? Judging by their reactions to the sight of him, he has no friends here." And neither do they, in that case. When Cyndeyrn speaks, the Woodford knight nods affirmatively, heading decisively towards the judge.

Failed.
You check your orate at 3, you rolled 5.

"It's a sign of how beautiful she is that he would bed her, is it not? They should be proud of having such a beautiful and sought after lady to welcome to their family." Catryn gives a dismissive look towards the noose and the guilty man. "As it is, she fell for his charms, why is she not to blame equally?"

Never let it be said that Catryn is good with such things.

"I am surprised that she is not held to blame. Often, the maiden is the one sent to a nunnery- though I would presume it is due to the alliance that will not see ties bound that she is not." Drustan urges his steed on to follow Acwell, waving to his squire for the lad to remain back with the others of his ilk. There's a final glance to Catryn, "And also, often, there are fathers who believe their daughters can commit no wrong-doing, no matter the evidence." Then, the Falt's stoic gaze is offered in support of the Woodford knight; following a bit behind, but no less serious in his regard.

Success
Signe checked her orate of 14, she rolled 12.
Failed.
Acwel checked his orate of 10, he rolled 15.
Failed.
Drustan checked his orate of 10, he rolled 16.
Critical Success!
Elrick checked his courtesy of 10, he rolled 10.

Failed.
Cyndeyrn checked his courtesy of 8, he rolled 11.
Success
You check your intrigue at 15, you rolled 9.
Failed.
Brynmor checked his intrigue of 3, he rolled 4.

Seeing Cynderyn riding forward towards the gathering of the mockery of a trial, Elrick quickly nudges his charger forward as well, calling out to the Dinton Knight, "Sir Cyndeyrn, hold a moment please. I wouldn't be surprised if the gathering is already in an agitated state, and if we just barge in, it will not end well. For that young man, for us, and ultimately, for the Earl." Diplomacy first is always what the Laverstock prefers, as it provides less risk for himself to get impaled with a lance, sword, arrow, or crossbolt. "Let us try a… softer approach first, shall we?"

Despite the fact Catryn says something similar to what she herself just said, Signe glances at the Burcombe with a poorly concealed grimace of distaste. And then she looks at Brynmor, clearly blaming him for being related to the Burcombes. "If her family treats her as spoiled, she may as well be in the eyes of any men. She'll be illtreated by her husband for the rest of her life. Hmph." She rides forward and calls out, "Good people!" Her tone borders on the ironic. "Where is the former maiden in all this? Is she innocent or is she guilty? You treat her as guilty in either case— spoiled by this man so much that he deserves death. So why aren't you executing her as well! She can't be of much use -deflowered-." She sweeps a hand toward the gibbet. "String her up to! Cleanse her of her sin by marrying her to her lover at the gibbet. Not to do so is to treat her— all women— as useless dolls." Signe's command of her voice keeps that irony up front, though it's not likely most of the people will understand the concept.

Acwel rolls 1d20 and gets (5) for a total of: (5)

"What is what?" One knight turns, sees Cyndeyrn basically charge towards them and pushes his friend back, "Out of the way, there's a madman here!" It is, perhaps, a good idea that Elrick may have intervened, because there were several men already drawing weapons; with one particularly dirty looking cretin wielding his spear a little straighter, as a group follows the strangers with their gaze. So now they know there's a group riding towards them, and as such the knights on foot give way, allowing the horsemen their wide berth lest they get trampled.

And since eight knights are nevertheless eight knights (and one lady), those people are less wont to fight with their current numbers — around twenty.

The Judge looks at them, looks at their banner, and then inquires, "Who are you, and why do you have any authority here, men of Salisbury? I am Sir—"

What Signe says instantly has people shutting up and staring at her. It's not a kind look, either, with a lot of them nearly frothing at the mouth. And if she's standing behind Brynmor, well, he's the one getting that attention right now. If provoking was the goal, one might say she definitely succeeded it.

"You better give me a good reason not to have all these fine knights here descend upon you like hungry wolves, foreigners."

Success
Signe checked her reckless of 16, she rolled 8.

"Look, Sir Brynmor." Guffud says in a loud and excited tone, noting how everyone else was riding on ahead to leave them both behind. "Maybe we should take a closer look?" He urges on before ushering his knight's horse to follow along as he leads them towards the chaos. To this, Brynmor doesn't even open his eyes, being used to his horse doing whatever the hell it wants when he's trying to nap. "Look, I'm sure that they can handle every—" Is that Signe he hears behind him and to this Guffud just stares at the pair with large eyes, then looks over towards the now riled crowd. "Uh, Sir Brynmor?"

Signe probably doesn't actually have the sense to hide behind Brynmor.

There is a long, long stare in Signe's direction at her words. Drustan, it would appear, is practically dumbfounded. The man, however, swallows and just grunts, moving his horse in nearer Acwel's, but far enough to have space should it suddenly become a melee. "Perhaps, sirs," he's trying, he is, but he may not even be heard over the crowd. Certainly not after the insults paid the very woman they seek to 'defend.' "We should have a talk in regards to this. Your liege lord wishes to see things mended without risk for war. There are matters greater than fighting your fellow countryman." Yeah, it's probably hopeless at this point.

Justice has a special meaning for Cyndeyrn de Dinton, and a perversion of it in his sight is not one he will readily tolerate! And while he will not outright assault the gathering, he will ride in with enough force to cause people to take notice, announcing his presence with the thundering hoofbeat of his dark charger, if not his words. "I say again, what action is being carried out here, and on what authority?" Elrick may caution him from actually -trampling- anyone, but not a whole lot more than that! "And who calls me a madman?" he then shouts back, surveying the crowd. "I see a man being hauled to his death, a knight. A serious manner, I am sure any would agree, and normally one that would be settled before the Earl. For what cause is such a serious trial carried out away from the eyes of the man whom surely both accuser and accused do serve?" And then, of course, the judge will draw his attention. "We are serving the Earl as a matter of friendship between our counties, and he has asked us here. And surely if your proceedings are just, there is no harm on us bearing witness, nor hearing the case? Justice is not something done in secret. It is proclaimed loudly, before all who would watch, and before God."

Though Elrick was successful in intervening with the initial ruffling of feathers as the group descends on the larger gathering of people and armed men, the Laverstock quickly turns his head back as he hears Signe speak, a somewhat incredulous expression appearing. The results were easily predictable and when the tone of the judge turns from neutral to hostile, Elrick can only look down at the ground and shake his head slightly, muttering about people needing to use their heads before opening their mouths. He is at a loss right now on how to recover from the situation, as he tries to work his mind in finding another possible way to end this amicably. When Cyndeyrn steps forward to speak, the Laverstock remains silent, no longer following as closely anymore, maneuvering his horse closer to Acwel as he has a rather bad feeling about this.

"I am Sir Acwel de Woodford, currently on a mission to this very same county as we all stand, on behalf of Earl Robert. Your own Count, the good Elidyr, has told us that he wishes to preserve the life of this man." Acwel states, on horseback, staring at the justice. "And as the good Sir de Dinton asks, I want to know, as such, under whose authority do you profess to want to execute this man."

The grimace of distaste directed at her from Signe goes unnoticed, or Catryn pretends not to notice, it's not clear which. Her riding forward, Signe that is, gets an arched brow and she dismisses her and whatever it is she says with a soft laugh that borders on scathing. Falling silent, herself, she holds the reins of her horse and adopts a bored look, not contributing.

It appears that Ianto de Swinton, the judge, has a serious blood pressure problem. His face goes red, after listening to Signe's screed about killing his poor, defenseless little girl, the apple in his eye. Clearly, judging by the look he gives to the defendant in question, he thinks this chicanery has been set up ahead of his arrest. "SILENCE!" He shouts, stomping his foot on the platform while he looks to the crowd at large.

"Well, since you seem to presume to find your way into someone else's affairs, Sirs," and a look is pointed to Cyndeyrn, since the most insults were hurled from that way, "how about you tell me how these proceedings are supposed to go, and spare us the work of spending our whole day here?" He crosses his arms, expectant. "This man is accused of not only violating one's rights to their property," meaning: trespassing, "but has also brought GREAT DISHONOR upon this very HOUSE you stand upon!" It is clear he's getting pissed off, considering the voice just lifted five octaves or so, though he would sound more intimidating had he a deeper voice.

"But before we go ahead, how about we get some introductions from the people who clearly think themselves better than a representative of Count Elidyr's own Sheriff."

Signe totally did interrupt the lynching because, see, they all want to lynch /her/ now. And that was her strategy all along. Or something. Either way she doesn't seem at all surprised that the people are staring daggers at her, nor does it put her out in the slightest. Now that she has their attention, "This is vengence, and nothing more. It certainly isn't justice. If you wanted justice, you would let one of these fine knights from beyond your borders impartially hear the case, and then follow his advice."

Success
You check your cruel at 16, you rolled 10.

"Wait!" Catryn finally calls out, "How about we offer a fair exchange.. the Steeple Langford.. lady here, and I use the term loosely, for the prisoner."

Wait a minute, did someone just say Steeple Langford?" Brynmor's eyes finally open, not liking the sound of it. When he realizes it's just Cat, however, there is this look of annoyance given her for making him stir from his horseback dozing, when he could still be snoozing at this moment. But then it dawns on him what exactly is being offered up, "Hold on a minute," He says in annoyed scowl, "We're not exchanging any Steeple Langford, me or otherwise, to this crowd of madmen." Though he does glare over in Signe's direction when he states flatly, "Not that you're helping us with things here, but from what I can tell," His eyes now lift to survey what the hell is going on now as he was napping just prior, "Yeah. Not good. What the heck did you all say to them?"

"I am Sir Cyndeyrn ap Cynfarch de Dinton, on an embassy to Marlboro on behalf of Earl Robert of Salisbury." Introduction given, and with no sense of sarcasm at all, Cyndeyrn will then tell the judge, "If you wish to surrender your duties to us, then by all means." He may not think the man serious, but he will answer him as if he is! "We would be happy to listen to all the facts and speak our mind, as we are unfamiliar to any party involved and would have no cause for impartiality." When the judge then gets on to the actual accusation, the Dinton will remain as he is, in every evident way clearly listening carefully to the accusations. "Who makes this accusation toward him, and with what evidence? What testimony?" And then, in turn, he will look squarely to the man who is presumably being abused in all of this, "And what is your defense?" As for the idea of … erm, exchanging anyone, he seems to either take no notice or politely pretend he didn't hear it!

For the moment, Drustan is listening and watching. He still has a firm grip upon his lance, but seems a touch tempted to forgo it to have a hand upon his sword. Still, perhaps a stoic, still figure is better than one preparing for the fight. The Falt appears more inclined, after his own attempt to appeal for clemency, to allow others to take the mainstage and speak up in support of their mission and intent. He does, however, angle nearer to Acwel and lean over to speak quietly to the Woodford.

Since Acwel has more or less stepped forward, offering his introduction and is the de facto leader of this diplomatic party, which is now a very loose description of what it is, Elrick nudges his charger forward to do the same, especially after the judge more or less demands it and it is the courteous thing to do. And courtesy may yet salvage something in this current situation, "I am Sir Elrick de Laverestock, apologies for… our entrance, as it was a bit uncommon, but please understand that circumstances that have brought us, by His Grace's command, has many of us on edge. As has the journey north to Marlboro." Before speaking further, the Laverstock glances to the other companions who are speaking, as some are certainly rougher with their tongue, than his, a clash of words and meaning now.

The judge takes one look at Signe, then looks at Catryn, then at Signe again, and finally once more to the Burcombe before he gives her a look as though the woman is simply out of her mind. It would be a more slack jawed look if he was a slightly more unbalanced person.

"This man," cue the prosecutor, also a Swinton, "has in the past month trespassed my lands and committed violence most foul against my virgin, unwed daughter, in the woods west of here and now she is with child. Her betrothed, and our family, would like to see retribution for this act of injustice and dishonor committed against us. And if we must present evidence, once again…" He lifts his voice, "BRING IN THE HUNTSMAN!"

A clearly drunken, reddish-brown haired man stumbles in and smiles at the knights, some teeth clearly missing, and the corner of his mouth bruised, "'tish true… I saw them together naught two fortnights ago; she was schreaming , 'Oh God!' nonstop an' also 'I love yo-" but then a guard knocks him back into his chair and the judge clears his throat, "Thank you for your testimony."

"Clearly, then, Sirs, he must be put to the death, as he has violated his knightly vows never to do harm to the defenseless."

The knights in the crowd all nod and agree, 'yeas' are heard, and the defendant is pelted once again with a rotten tomato.

There's a response from Acwel to Drustan and then back, as he gives the man a reassurance, and he looks to Cyndeyrn for a moment. The Woodford contemplates something and suggests, to the magister, "If it is as you say, then the man is a knight, and as a knight, he has the right to demand that his honor be tested through combat, Sirs," his voice is clearly enough as he states this, "and if the man is unable to fight for himself, then we shall appoint a champion for him, as we come on his behalf."

After their brief exchange, there is a mildly concerned look given to Acwel from Drustan, but the Falt nods all the same. He remains silent as the 'trial by combat' is proposed; straight and stoic within his saddle. His stress, however, is apparent within how tightly he holds to his lance.

Now Elrick offers his expression of disbelief at the witness that is marched out to give testimony, a drunk who no doubt witnessed a young man and young lady enjoying each other's company in wild abandon. Being a Pagan and also not exactly holding an extreme sense of justice, in fact the opposite, the Laverstock was about to open up his mouth but quickly shuts it again. Especially when Acwel offers a solution, or at least an alternative, a very risky one. But with the deck stacked entirely against them, the options are few. Shifting his attention from Acwel to the Judge, Elrick awaits the other man's decision.

Trial by combat? Catryn perks, that was to the death yes? Or she was wrong. Sitting up, she offers another curled lip sneer in the direction of Signe, but her main focus is on Acwel, Drustan and the more outspoken ones. She nudges her horse nearer, listening to the huntsman and the magister. There's a look at those in the lot, who would volunteer? For the loyalty of Robert? Questions in her eyes, she looks at the varied knights present, "Would anyone champion?"

After the huntsman speaks, the Dinton knight will make a bit of a show of looking toward the accused, still wondering if he cares to offer any defense. But regardless: "Even if we take this man's testimony as true," Cyndeyrn will begin, "He does not claim that the accused raped the woman, and so this is no high crime worthy of execution. Nor would it be within your purview to adjudicate such matters or deliver such a sentence. To my ears, we have neither a high crime, nor do we stand here before a high court." Of course, all of this may be little enough to disuade the rabble here, and glancing toward Acwel, he gives a nod. "In any case, Sir Acwel is right, that at the very least, if he protests innocence, the accused has the right of trial by combat, if he chooses to invoke it, that his judgment be by God's hand alone."

"I volunteer." Acwel tells Catryn, drawing in a breath and exhaling. It's his mess that he put them into, so he has got to clean it. "Are there any objections, my fellow Sirs?"

Deryn has been here, listening quietly from the back upon her horse. Perhaps feeling some pain here and there with the movements of the journey. The current sitation has her attention, the various comments made to bring a slow nod of this pagan knight's head. "None." She does offer to her cousin when he asks if any objections are to be had to his volunteering.

"You are the leader of the expedition, I don't think you should volunteer, Sir Acwel. You know the mission at hand and have the means to carry it through. I would object, yes. And I would volunteer in your stead. In his." Catryn counters with a shrug. "If you would be agreeable. It is the quest of my liege and I would see it done no matter the cost."

Brynmor looks upon the huntsman rather suspiciously as if he may just recognize the guy from somewhere, but not. Shaking his head, he looks to the others who call up their desire for a champion to be chosen from their ranks and thus the Steeple Langford remains quiet, he even guides his horse a few steps back if they so wish. To all of this clamor, however, he mutters, "Yeah, go knock yourselves out. I'll make sure that… no one else tries to interfere." He lies.

Elrick was about to raise the same objection when Catryn beats him to it, his attention moving to the Burcombe Knight as he nods his head to her in agreement, "Sir Acwel, I concur with Sir Catryn. You are our leader, for if they do not honor the result of this trial by combat, we will need to look to your leadership to find another solution. If not here, then back in Marlboro where we must report the grim news to the Count, and then the Earl."

"So this is two votes against, and two votes for," yes, Acwel is tallying his cousin's vote as an aye. He looks to Cyndeyrn, then.

Cyndeyrn glances back from his horse. "What?" He is waiting on the judge more than anything, it would seem, to be concerned with the party bickering over who will do the honors of leaping to the man's defense. Has the man even taken the option yet? "I am sure any one of us would stand for the man, if it comes to that. Though I find the notion Sir Catryn standing up to fight in the name of justice… interesting." He doesn't totally say that like it's meant to be an insult, either!

The judge looks at the group at large then, draws in a breath, looks at the man and sneers. But since he is not an altogether terrible man, and is probably aware that his ass is on the line if it gets known that he not only violated the Count's law, but has also stripped someone of their knightly prerogatives, he concedes, "Very well, you shall fight on his behalf in trial by combat."

Instantly, the knights that wanted blood clear out a nice, circular area for such a contest to occur, as they want to see blood, it just doesn't matter whose blood is on the floor by the time it's all said and done.

A knight among them steps into the circle, expectantly, and draws his sword, being outfitted with his shield by a dutiful squire.

It's now or never.

Meanwhile, the Knights of Salisbury make their votes on who will champion the man. You know, the underfed, severely bruised, overtly tired man that is currently on the execution block.

"I am not certain if that is an abstain or not, Sir Cyndeyrn, but then if not me, does anyone else wish to volunteer? And we must not tarry, since it seems pretty obvious they are waiting for us to offer a challenge," Acwel is willing to listen to the counsel of his fellow knights, though he nods once to Deryn, appreciative, perhaps, of the vote of confidence.

As the first vote is completed, Elrick looks back to Catryn and once more inclines his head, "I believe Sir Catryn wished to volunteer, she is a skilled knight and I see no reason to deny her the chance."

Catryn dismounts, taking up her shield and her helm, Anais immediately at her side. The helm is slipped on, the shield assisted with and she salutes the others from the party before walking towards the circle, unless there are further objections. If none, she announces herself, "Sir Catryn de Burcombe, I fight in his stead and for the belief in the greater good. From the sounds of what the huntsman said, it was mutual love." Who was she to speak about love? She steps into the circle. "Never let my loyalty to my liege be questioned." Without another word, she draws her sword and becomes the aggressor.

Honoring Catryn's wishes, and that of his fellow knights, Acwel nods, then notes, to Elrick and Drustan, "I want you to look for ways we can get out of here safely and extract the man if all goes wrong. I do not care if I become infamous as a result of this," this is murmured, and he is back to watching the fight.

Success
You check your sword at 15, you rolled 1.
Critical Success!
Acwel makes a check for Sir Jehan de Swinton at 18, he rolled 18.
Acwel rolls 8d6 and gets (1 5 2 4 4 4 1 1) for a total of: (22)

Deryn shifts upon her horse's back, nodding once more when the quiet words of her cousin are overheard. Her gaze takes in those gathered, in how they might leave. She does offer up a quiet prayer to her Gods and Goddess for Catryn as the other lady knight takes to the field to champion the poor knight.

Failed.
Deryn checked her awareness of 10, she rolled 17.

The opponent, one Jehan de Swinton, sees an opportunity in Catryn being the aggressor. Quickly, he places his shield in front of him to mask the jab forward of his sword, which catches her stomach. Thankfully, the chainmail stops most of the damage that should be done to the Burcombe.

Failed.
Elrick checked his awareness of 10, he rolled 14.
Failed.
Acwel checked his awareness of 10, he rolled 12.
Success
Drustan checked his awareness of 10, he rolled 4.
Success
You check your sword at 15, you rolled 2.

Fierce, but not enough, Catryn engages the champion in immediate swordplay, the sounds of metal on metal, the crashing against the shield, it's not enough though and the Burcombe takes a hit to her midriff, the bruise immediate, but her armor holds. Knocked off her feet with the brute strength of the man, she finds herself on her back. She continues to fight while trying to make her way to her feet, this was nothing like the tournament challenges, there were no points, no time to rest between, no fairness. She slams her shield at him and tries to strike at the same time.

When it is his cousin Cat who is chosen to face off against this Sir Jehan, Brynmor watches with more attentiveness from where he is seated upon his horse behind the others. Sure, she's a bit of a brat and can be an annoyance from time to time, and that she was a bitch, but the Burcombe was still his cousin. "You show him, Cat." He calls out from his safe zone, though he does wince when it is the other guy slams into her, making him turn his head to the side. Maybe he should have voted for Acwel…

A lot of this makes Drustan uncomfortable, truly and surely. The man leans back in his saddle, dipping his head to Acwell before angling his mount towards Elrick. The Falt gives a quick nod to the Laverstock — hey neighbor! — before setting to watching the others. Most eyes are on the combat, it is true, but the Falt's steel gaze is upon those beyond. Notably any near the accused man.

Critical Success!
Acwel makes a check for Sir Jehan de Swinton at 18, he rolled 18.
Acwel rolls 8d6 and gets (6 6 1 2 3 3 2 1) for a total of: (24)

Since the command was given, Elrick nods his head as he watches the duel begin, not exactly going very well for the representatives of the Earl at the moment. However, his attention quickly shifts away, trusting the brothers and sisters in arms that are with him as he turns his focus on what needs to be done. With Drustan taking the lead, the Laverstock inclines his head back to the other knight and follows, knowing that most of the attention will be on the duel, not them. "Let me know if you see an opening… perhaps since the prisoner is already in chains, the guard they set will be minimal, if any." All this spoken in a quiet voice.

Signe, having played what part she could in the affair, has moved out of the way of any possible riots. or at least, she won't be right in the middle of it, should one break out. Sitting her horse beside Brynmor, she withdraws a glove and tousels her hair, apparently not all that concerned for the Burcombe. "Brynmor, assure me that should Rose or I be in such a situation, you won't go trying to hang the poor man," she says, shaking out her hand and flexing her fingers.

Cyndeyrn remains upon his horse, largely for the concern everyone has that at the end of the match, were it to go in their favor, things might go poorly. Not, as it turns out, that things seem to go in their favor. Much as he has been in the same position, looming over Catryn, right now he doesn't look pleased for the beating she is taking there on the ground, and indeed, if he is preparing for anything, it is to make sure the terms are honored - that if she goes unconscious, the man doesn't take the 'liberty' of some extra swing.

Catryn is down, and Jehan is the type of man who intends to keep her that way. The next attack is the bash of his shield as she tries to stand up with a slash, this time to her side. It hits its mark just fine, but once again, the woman's shield and chainmail prevent a more serious injury. Still, blood now stains the floor, all from the Burcombe.

Her damn side, the side that had healed already from the tournament but damned if it's not getting battered again! Catryn fully intends to get to her feet at some point, she had something to fight for at least! Still, trying to get to her feet, she swings her sword towards the knight, trying to catch him anywhere so that she can at least have a fighting chance.

Failed.
Elrick checked his awareness of 10, he rolled 14.
Success
You check your sword at 15, you rolled 2.
Critical Fail!
Acwel checked his awareness of 10, he rolled 20.
Success
Cyndeyrn checked his awareness of 8, he rolled 3.
Critical Fail!
Acwel makes a check for Jehan's Sword at 18, he rolled 20. (+5)
Success
Drustan checked his awareness of 10, he rolled 3.
Acwel rolls 8d6 and gets (3 3 5 6 3 5 2 5) for a total of: (32)
Failed.
Brynmor checked his awareness of 11, he rolled 13.

"I haven't spotted anything yet." Drustan is keeping his voice pitched low, but there is little need. Enough of the men cheering their champion on to drown out most everything else. He handed his lance off to his — understandably freaked out — squire and now moves lighter upon horseback. Sure, it's at the fringes, but if he must make a quick move.. he's in the better position. Never minding the better angle to see through and across the crowd. "That is a good thought. Let's circle around. We may be able to use an opening created by the duel." A distraction!

Success
Drustan checked his horsemanship of 15, he rolled 6.
Catryn rolls 1d6 and gets (3) for a total of: (3) (stat loss)
Success
Elrick checked his horsemanship of 15, he rolled 11.

With his eyes on the battle, something about it keeping him mostly awake, Brynmor's gaze does shift a moment once his other cousin mosies up to him on her horse to make small talk. "Uh… sure." He only catches part of her statement, being fixated on the trial by combat thing, though he showed no interest in it before. He then blinks, eyes narrowed on Signe, "This has nothing to do with Rose does it?" He is only trying to make sure, but soon even that is dismissed when yet another hard blow is delivered to his Burcombe cousin and here and he starts to urge his horse forward.

Critical Success!
Brynmor checked his horsemanship of 15, he rolled 15.

Signe does not have to answer Bryn, as he's…doing…soemthing? How weird. For her part, Signe remains back, so no one has to decide whether she's worth rescuing should things get uglier. She does put one hand behind her, to her bow, should anyone need any dubious cover fire.

Nodding his head in answer to Drustan's evaluation of the situation, Elrick appears to be in full agreement with his plan, "We ride around… and by the sound of the way the crowd is cheering, we may not have enough time." As they ride to come towards where the prisoner is located from another angle, another cheer from the blood thirsty mob can be heard which causes the Laverstock to curse, "Sir Drustan, I will ride between you and the knight, grab him as soon as you can. I will have your back and buy as much time as you need." With that, he kicks his charger into a hard gallop with his blade pulled free from sheath, a clear ring sounding into the air. The handle of the blade is apparently wrapped in a ribbon which he kisses it as his steed begins to gallop towards the prisoner, putting himself between Drustan's rescue of the young man and the mob.

Never did Catryn gain a chance to get to her feet, she had fallen and she hadn't been able to fight her way to her feet. When she swings her sword, she meets air, and it leaves her open for the devastating strike that does cut through her armor slicing dangerously into her body, leaving her limp, bleeding and unconscious… or dead. At the moment, she may be wishing for the latter, but it's certainly a very, very real possibility.

For the coup de grace, after a successful and brutal across Catryn's shoulders — one that certainly wounds deeper than it looks, and the chainmail cannot prevent altogether — Jehan intends to stab her through the heart.

The judge seems pleased with the outcome, folding his hands in front of himself and parting his lips to utter, with all the majesty and composure he can muster: "And so it is decided by God, and this man shall be put to the death," Then Drustan and Elrick kind of burst into the scene just as the executioners seem willing to remove the man from the makeshift stocks, prodding him towards his death.

But the horsemen and their rampaging mounts make enough of a distraction that both are certainly able to take the man and fend other people off, the commotion rising as knights draw their swords, some even call for their squires to fetch horses.

Brynmor stops Jehan at the very last moment with the gallop of his horse, causing the confused knight to stumble back as Catryn's taken and he rides off to safety.

For Cyndeyrn, of course, trial by combat is, for all the mockery these people might have made of the situation to begin with, still a divine test by God. Seeing Catryn fall, he frowns. Maybe he was hoping to see some proof of righteousness in the otherwise corrupt Burcombe, or maybe the frown is for the poor man and his love, who have been shown wanting by the result. Perhaps their love was not so pure, and perhaps this man some philanderer who tricked her into her professions of love? Still, God wills it. But there is a gap between divine judgment and mortal, and here is where the Judge again places himself on the wrong side of the proceedings: Guilt does not mean death. "It is still but a low crime, judge, a matter of trespass and property, not of rape, murder, or treason. You act beyond your station to declare such justice upon a knight: the death penalty belongs to higher sovereigns alone." Even as the Dinton condemns the man, the others are already springing their rescues. To offer some cover, he rears his own charger, hooves in the air, to ward off any nearby. "Press your false justice at the risk of your lives!" He'll give the others that moment, and then -hopefully- turn into retreat with them.

Seeing that Catryn is extracted, and the others have taken the prisoner, Acwel draws out a breath, his expression one of remorse and perhaps concern for the Burcombe lady knight as he draws his sword. "Knights of Salisbury! WITH ME!" He points the sword up and to the clearing, before the crowd closes in on them, and gallops forward.

And oh, things went bad. They weren't good, but they just got bad. Drustan nods sharply to Elrick's words and brings his horse around. The equine is already dancing; sensing the tension in its rider. Once Elrick bursts forward and clears the way, Drustan follows. He grabs the accused by the chains initially, then by the waist; dragging him up before him on the horse. It is not glamorous, but it is the quickest way about it and does give him access to his own blade. One hand on his sword and another on the reins, the Falt knight follows Elrick; out and away. They aren't going to slow. It will be up to the rest to ensure Catryn is removed and to follow.

Though he may be lazy and overly cautious, to some degree, Sir Brynmor de Steeple Langford was still a knight. While others may question his actions and motives, even questioning his valor, he was not one to cower away from danger! Okay, sometimes he may take the more prudent route, but when the going gets tough and there is no other choice to take, Brynmor will do what he feels is right. And at this very moment, that means rescuing his other cousin from being pounded on again by some psychopath! Or that's how Brynmor sees it, himself the dashing hero in his mind. Urging Stone, his horse, on more fervently, he calls out to this Jehan character, "I wouldn't do that if I were you. It's over." If he could, he would run the other knight down, but instead, he reaches low to scoop the Burcombe into his arm and race off towards safey. He tries to be careful, but it's a difficult task when your steed is running at such high speed to get away from the maniacs in the square. "You alright down there?" He asks, only slowing once he gets into a range of safety.

Deryn's charger steps high, picking up on the unease, nostrils flaring when the metallic scent of blood comes to the beast. So it's only natural that she edges it closer towards Cyndeyrn and her cousin, joining their ranks when the others spring their rescues. Ready, sword in hand to defend those galloping away with their prizes.

Signe may be reckless, but there's a difference between reckless and sheer stupidity. And so, her bow remains across the back of her saddle. She turns her horse, ready to follow behind Brynmor, whom she can't blame ENTIRELY for going to rescue the Burcombe.

Unfortunately, some of the enemy knights have already mounted their steeds, one of them a Sir Afon de Swinton, the Bloody Bastard, whose cruelty and vengefulness are known throughout all of Marlboro. Him, and six knights, all young of face and likely having just earned their spurs: Henceforth they shall be called Grump, Sad, Rabid, Angry, Manic and Frosty.

Catryn definitely was not alright, she was close to dead. Unconscious at the very least, if she lived through it she would owe her cousin more than she could ever repay. Whatever he does with her at the moment, she's not aware of it, but she's hanging on to life by that fragile thread of pure stubbornness she's been known to have.

"Flee before I cut you down and my horse crushes your skulls!" Elrick roars out at the executioners who had removed the prisoner from the stocks, choosing intimidation instead of spilling blood outright. These are not Saxons, they were unfortunate men who is following a Lord that has overstepped his bounds. Seeing Drustan grabbing the young knight, the Laverstock swings his blade at any who nears in a menacing manner before riding off at a full gallop, looking over his shoulder to make sure the other knight is following, "We must regroup with the others, this surprise will not last long." His eyes then quickly scans the area, to separate the mob on foot, any pursuit, and where their compatriots are.

Critical Success!
Signe checked her awareness of 7, she rolled 7.

Signe's the only one at any real leisure to keep an eye on the entire group, and know who's getting left behind or who might need help. She keeps out of the crowd, ready to go as soon as she can ensure everyone's accounted for. But should anyone need help— she'll let the others know, or assist herself.

Indeed, much like Elrick, Drustan is resistant in spilling blood. When it came down to it, these were fellow countrymen. Countrymen who had allowed a desire for greater status and power cloud their judgement, but countrymen all the same. He holds his sword tightly should he have need, reins held tight and arm tucked against the man who is across the horse's neck before him. It cannot be comfortable for the poor knight, but there is no time to adjust. Rather he leaves it to his charger to know properly to follow Elrick. "Lead the way, Sir Elrick!" Where the Laverstock goes, he will follow; Elrick is his best defense at the moment.

The squadron of enemy knights bursts forward, and Cyndeyrn, high on his rearing steed, spots a gap in the charging formation. "Sir Acwel, I will cut their leader from them!" He points the way with his very sword-tip, and with that, his charger's hoofs hit the turf, already breaking into a short run that takes him right through a split in the host. The rest of the group will have to deal with the various rest of their lot, but at least they will not be well-organized, cut from their leader.

"I am coming with you. Give them fight if this is what they want, Salisbury!" Acwel replies, following after Cyndeyrn on a gallop as he lifts the sword, grasping firmly upon the reins of his horse as he takes a hard right, allowing him to wheel around and come to the other side of the man the Dinton knight intends to fight.

As they gallop free of the mob, Elrick is able to see where the others are, glad to see that they were able to retrieve the downed Burcombe. "Sir Drustan, that way, we must rejoin our brethren!" He calls out to the other knight and turns his horse slightly but that is also when he sees the pursuit, cursing, "Looks like there are men chasing, I suggest you ride towards Sir Brynmor, he has Sir Catryn, it would be easier for us to defend you both if you are together. I will help those delaying them, Sir Drustan." With that he angles his charger towards one of the knights, joining Cyndeyrn and Acwel, echoing the latter's cry, "Salisbury!"

Hearing all of the shouting all around him, Brynmor finds what he considers a clear space for now, having outran those who might try to pursue him and his cousin. Hopefully, the other knights are able to chase the rest of the mob off, but he looks ready to ride on at a moment's notice if anyone gets too close. While he has never really been particularly close to this cousin, Brynmor knew her enough that finding her just laying there within his arms, so limp and lifeless, actually rather scared him. "Everything's gonna be alright." He informs her, "We'll get you back to the manor and you'll be good as new in no time." It's as if he's reassuring himself of this. From his position, he is looking for yet his other cousin. In the mass chaos of it all, it was hard to keep track of everyone.

Failed.
Signe checked her dexterity of , she rolled 6.
Success
Signe checked her dex of 16, she rolled 14.

Signe seems to be out of danger and generally staying that way. No tempting fate or drawing attention with a bow that won't be terribly effective at the moment. One of the peasants does come to harass her, no doubt remembering the young lady's speech. Signe unceremoniously kicks her in the face, then turns to regroup with Brynmor.

"Aye!" It's a very simple response, but they are cut for time and in danger. Drustan breaks away from Elrick and heads towards Brynmore. Two Knights, with prone figures across their steeds. The Falt gives a sharp nod towards the Steeple Langford, eyes shifting to watch the fray. His horse is still a touch frentic; light upon its feet, ready to be off and away again. The man holds his sword tightly, breath still quickened from the rushed adrenaline of it all.

The wedge thus driven by Acwel and Cyndeyrn between the young knights and their leader, the six riders surge forward without orders to attack the remainder of the Salisbury knights while the Dinton and the Woodford take it upon themselves to fight against the Bloody Bastard.

"That man deserves to die!" Afon shouts, his sword and shield at the ready to engage the two meddlers into a completely just and fair trial. In his cruelly misguided view, anyway.

Success
Acwel checked his sword of 15, he rolled 3.
Critical Fail!
Brynmor checked his sword of 15, he rolled 20.
Success
Uwain checked his sword of 15, he rolled 11.
Success
Elrick checked his sword of 15, he rolled 14.
Critical Success!
Deryn checked her spear of 15, she rolled 15.
Failed.
Cyndeyrn checked his swords of 15, he rolled 17.
Success
Acwel makes a check for Frosty Sword at 15, he rolled 14.
Acwel rolls 4d6 and gets (3 1 1 1) for a total of: (6)
Success
Drustan checked his sword of 15, he rolled 3.
Success
Acwel makes a check for Sad Sword at 15, he rolled 3.
Deryn rolls 8d6 and gets (5 1 5 4 5 6 2 2) for a total of: (30)
Success
Acwel makes a check for Rabid Sword at 15, he rolled 13.
Acwel rolls 4d6 and gets (6 6 2 5) for a total of: (19)

Success
Drustan checked his horsemanship of 15, he rolled 2.
Success
Acwel makes a check for Grump Sword at 15, he rolled 13.
Elrick rolls 5d6 and gets (3 5 1 2 2) for a total of: (13)
Success
Acwel makes a check for Manic Sword at 15, he rolled 10.
Acwel rolls 4d6 and gets (3 6 5 4) for a total of: (18)
Success
Brynmor checked his horsemanship of 15, he rolled 14.
Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Afon vs Acwel at 11, he rolled 12.
Success
Acwel makes a check for Afon vs Cyndeyrn at 11, he rolled 7.
Acwel rolls 5d6 and gets (5 1 5 1 1) for a total of: (13)
Acwel rolls 5d6 and gets (4 5 1 3 5) for a total of: (18)

Critical Success!
Acwel checked his sword of 15, he rolled 15.
Success
Drustan checked his sword of 15, he rolled 8.
Success
Elrick checked his sword of 15, he rolled 13.
Success
Brynmor checked his sword of 15, he rolled 8.
Success
Deryn checked her spear of 15, she rolled 3.
Success
Uwain checked his sword of 15, he rolled 13.
Success
Cyndeyrn checked his sword of 15, he rolled 9.
Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Afon vs Acwel at 11, he rolled 12.
Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Afon vs Cyndeyrn at 11, he rolled 14.
Acwel rolls 10d6 and gets (6 1 5 2 3 2 1 5 4 2) for a total of: (31)
Cyndeyrn rolls 6d6 and gets (2 5 3 4 5 1) for a total of: (20)
Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Afon Uncon at 8, he rolled 12.
Acwel rolls 1d6 and gets (3) for a total of: (3)
Success
Acwel makes a check for Rabid at 15, he rolled 8.
Success
Acwel makes a check for Grump Sword at 15, he rolled 4.
Elrick rolls 5d6 and gets (4 2 1 4 4) for a total of: (15)
Critical Success!
Acwel makes a check for Grump Horsemanship at 10, he rolled 10.
Success
Acwel makes a check for Sad Sword at 15, he rolled 7.

Cyndeyrn rides boldly into the gap he has discovered, with Acwel quickly taking up a position alongside, so that they come at the mounted knight from both sides at once. Obviously poor odds, even for a famous fighter! The Dinton comes up on his sword side, however, and finds the opponent no slouch ever double-manned, he strokes once but is parreid and a blow rings back against him, although whatever bruises are done through his armor, the power of his righteous belief in GREAT JUSTICE holds the younger knight fast. And, harrying him from one side, Acwel is given all the vantage he needs on the other. The large Dinton presses, now battering down the man's defense, which seems all that his counterpart needs to deal a more telling strike from across the other side. Dead or not, the man is on the ground, and that is the important part: he has little chance of pursuing them like that! "Around, to the others!" he will call, quickly wheeling to find the other combat and give aid to whoever looks the most beleagured.

The Knight of Woodford's horse, Saint, slows down to a march as his rider's sword runs across Afon the Bloody Bastard's side, after he manages to parry the blackguard's attack with his shield. Indeed, pairing up with Cyndeyrn has made the fight manageable, for in the second pass, he runs the sword through the man's back, sure to pierce his kidney, perhaps, while the larger knight of Salisbury assaulted him from the other side. Their opponent falls to the ground, and if they are not dead, they are well on the way there. "For Catryn!" He calls out, riding to meet yet another of the mounted enemies in single combat.

The knight that Elrick squares off with appears to be one of equal skill and tenacity as their blades clash to the sound of steel on steel. Even though the Laverstock's strikes slip through the other knight's defenses, it was blocked or parried just enough so that no damage is dealt. Seeing that both Cyndeyrn and Acwel have felled their leader, Elrick immediately releases a shout of warning to the hostile knights, "Your Captain has fallen! Retreat, we do /not/ wish to take your lives as well!" It appears he is attempting to end this battle as soon as he can, knowing that one of their knights is in critical condition and they need to return to Marlboro or nearby manor at haste.

Failed.
Elrick checked his orate of 5, he rolled 18.
Deryn rolls 4d6 and gets (3 3 2 1) for a total of: (9)

Well, that's not a good sign. Though he and Brynmor had remained separate to allow the others to run interference and protect their 'charges,' two knights still managed to break through. Drustan swears under his breath and has to release the reins; relying on guiding his horse by his knees and the charger's own experience. One hand to the accused man's back in a tight hold and the other with sword. The first pass, the Falt knight is able to partially parry, but the Marlboro knight's sword gets through his defenses. There's a hiss of pain, but Drustan does not back down and on the riposte, he is equally matched by the man he fights. Their steeds circle and iron clashes admist the ringing from other swords, but neither goes down yet.

Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Manic Sword at 15, he rolled 16.
Brynmor rolls 4d6 and gets (6 6 1 1) for a total of: (14)
Failed.
Acwel checked his Manic Horsemanship=10 of , he rolled 16.
Acwel rolls 1d6 and gets (1) for a total of: (1)

Deryn spurns her charger forwards, spear at hand, and finds herself facing off against Sir Sad. The poor knight surely doesn't know what hit him, for soon the spear has stuck him good, hard enough to knock the man out of his saddle. She doesn't leave it at that, charger dancing, the spear thrust downwards again at him as he gets to his feet. Quick is the lady knight, intending to do as much damage as she can to move on to help another of her fellow knights.

Success
Acwel makes a check for Frosty Sword at 15, he rolled 9.
Uwain rolls 5d6 and gets (5 5 5 5 1) for a total of: (21)
Failed.
Acwel checked his Frosty Horsemanship=10 of , he rolled 16.
Brynmor rolls 1d3 and gets (3) for a total of: (3)

The cold knight swings at Sir Uwain, whose armor casually deflects the damage, their horses nipping at each other as they turn in a tight circle, fighting for a better position. The two struggling for the upper hand, the much larger de Tisbury eventually gaining the upper hand and swinging a deciding blow which the cold knight struggles to avoid at the last second, only to slip from his saddle, a gash across his body where his armor was weakest. "For justice!" he yells out, because he likes to yell things in combat, and moves in for a follow-up blow.

Brynmor should have continued to race forth to who knows where rather than be foolishly be trapped in and be engaged in combat when he had an ailing cousin in one arm, her frail form resting on his lap. If it wasn't already difficult to defend himself from incoming attacks, having Catryn with him pushed that difficulty to the limit! On realizing that one of these horsemen is actually a jerk enough to pursue him and his baggage, all that the Steeple Langford can do is mutter a sharp, "Damn." Before he reaches for his sword, which is almost comical in a sense the way he tries to juggle with and in the end it falls from his grasp. This wasn't good. Not with that jerkface charging baring down on him. Catryn's presence also makes it hard to use his shield arm, with her being cradled there, so even though he'd like to attempt to defend himself with said shield, he swerves at the last minute, taking the brunt of the attack just to avoid Cat getting hurt. He had wanted to be one of those knights of legend, a damsel in one arm as he faced off against his opponent with the other, looking so majestic in the process and all he got was this lousy wound in his shoulder. The Steeple Langford was terribly unhappy.

His shoulder smarting, he isn't given time to think when his opponent immediately returns for another attack. Sword now in hand again, the clash of metal against metal can be heard as both struggle for supremacy against the other. "Very much like a coward." He calls out to the other in his usual grouchy tone, "What kind of knight do you think you are? Daring to strike one who only desire is to rescue one of my fallen." He swings, the first blow crashing against the other's shield, before they both pull back, preparing for another pass. This time, in his annoyance and due to the pain, the normally lazy Steeple Langford knight returns with full force! Or… he gets a lucky break, avoiding the other guy's shield, the force just enough to push him over the edge and off of his horse. "Serves you right!"

Success
Acwel checked his sword of 15, he rolled 2.
Success
Uwain checked his sword of 15, he rolled 1.
Success
Brynmor checked his sword of 15, he rolled 14.
Failed.
Drustan checked his Prudence of , he rolled 12.
Success
Drustan checked his Prudent of 16, he rolled 10.
Success
Elrick checked his sword of 15, he rolled 13.
Success
Drustan checked his sword of 15, he rolled 3.
Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Manic Sword at 10, he rolled 19.
Brynmor rolls 4d6 and gets (2 5 5 2) for a total of: (14)
Failed.
Acwel checked his Manic Dex=11 of , he rolled 1.
Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Grump Sword vs Elrick at 8, he rolled 12.
Critical Success!
Acwel makes a check for Grump Sword vs Acwel at 8, he rolled 8.
Acwel rolls 8d6 and gets (6 5 5 4 4 6 3 5) for a total of: (38)
Critical Fail!
Deryn checked her spear of 15, she rolled 20.
Failed.
Cyndeyrn checked his sword of 15, he rolled 18.
Deryn rolls 8d6 and gets (3 3 6 5 6 6 6 2) for a total of: (37)
Success
Acwel makes a check for Angry vs Cynd at 15, he rolled 8.
Acwel rolls 4d6 and gets (3 5 3 3) for a total of: (14)
Elrick rolls 5d6 and gets (1 3 4 4 4) for a total of: (16)
Success
Acwel makes a check for Sad at 10, he rolled 5.
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d2 and gets (1) for a total of: (1)
Acwel rolls 5d6 and gets (6 4 6 6 6) for a total of: (28)
Success
Acwel makes a check for Rabid vs Cynd at 15, he rolled 8.
Acwel rolls 4d6 and gets (3 3 2 1) for a total of: (9)
Success
Acwel makes a check for Frosty at 15, he rolled 1.
Uwain rolls 5d6 and gets (6 6 1 6 5) for a total of: (24)
Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Frosty Uncon at 7, he rolled 18.
Critical Success!
Acwel makes a check for Rabid Sword at 15, he rolled 15.
Acwel rolls 8d6 and gets (5 5 1 6 1 4 2 1) for a total of: (25)

With his opponent still downed and taking only a minimal amount of damage as Brynmor continues to keep hold of his cousin, the Steeple Langford decides to take flight, his horse so named for Brynmor's own tendency to rest like a stone wherever he lies, now acts in contrast to that: A Rolling Stone. Not that the horse itself was really lazy, just the rider. As much as he would like to rub that jerk's face into the dirt, he races forward, leaving only a thick cloud of dust in his wake. With each passing second, Cat's pallor just grows paler and paler that he knows that something has to be done and sadly, it has to be done BY HIM. Once he believes he's in relative safety, his squire helps him to carefully dismount, laying the injured woman down almost tenderly from their little hiding place behind some wagon or other.

Drustan rolls 1d6 and gets (1) for a total of: (1)

Elrick's opponent is a formidable one who appears to be able to take repeated blows without incurring wounds or falling from his steed. However, the Laverstock has purchased himself enough time that when Acwel rides to assist him, it was more than enough to overwhelm. Blades from both knights slice into the pursuer, knocking him down if not outright killing him. Elrick does not care though, knowing that time is of the essence and not wishing to deal a deathblow to these warriors that pursuing him. Wheeling his charger about, he now searches for the two knights carrying the wounded, immediately kicking his horse into a gallop after Drustan and his pursuer, "Damn… Come at me you ugly bastard!" He calls out to the one who has downed Drustan, wanting to intercede before another blow could be delivered down on either knights.

Signe, presumably safe for the moment, sends her horse galloping to intercept Brynmor. As loath as she is to be of any use to a Burcombe, there's no real choice to be made. She dismounts as well, moving to lend her cousin whatever assistance she can.

Again does Deryn's spear slash down upon Sir Sad, and for a third time, does it find purchase within the poor knight. This time when he falls, he doesn't get back up again, blood leaking into the dirt so lose to her charger's hooves. Looking up to see who may need help, she jerks the reins, abou to follow after Brynmor, but seeing Signe take flight upon her own horse, she holds back - making sure none will follow the two lending help to Cat.

As the fight rages on, the six knights that set out to stop the Salisbury embassy have been engaged, time and again.

Grump misses his strike against Elrick and Acwel, being struck by both. He collapses on his horse before skeetering away, dead.

Sad gets stuck like a pig by Deryn's expert lance attack, heart thusly pierced as he falls limp to the ground.

In the exchange with Brynmor, Manic has been unhorsed and wounded, he tries to run after the knight but he simply cannot keep up with a horse.

Frosty exchanges blows with Uwain, but he ends up getting struck again and falls limp to the ground, unconscious.

Angry continues to exchange blows with Cyndeyrn, he hits once, but the chainmail of the Salisbury knight is more than sufficient to absorb it.

Riding swiftly to rejoin the emerging melee, Cyndeyrn spots one of the horsemen headed for Signe. Pagan or not, she is a lady, and thus worthy of a spirited defense, especially from a man who would cruelly and dishonorably assault her. Well, her bow might make it technically within the bounds of honor, but the Dinton still looks unfavorably on it. He rides in to intercept the man, cutting him off and allowing the woman an avenue of retreat, although he is laid a blow in the process - albeit one that hardly shakes him on his horse, let alone wounds him through his armor. With the woman away, he redoubles his effort in a more directed assault!

Rabid unhorses Drustan, though the Salisbury knight is not that far from help.

Success
Signe checked her firstaid of 10, she rolled 7.
Success
Signe checked her firstaid of 10, she rolled 2.
Success
Signe checked her firstaid of 10, she rolled 8.
Signe rolls 3d3 and gets (3 1 3) for a total of: (7)

Better if a woman does it right? Even if that woman totally loathes the patient. Because she has small fingers and a delicate touch and can't 'accidentally' kill Catryn with Brynmor watching, so… Signe does her best. She's not at all disturbed by the gore, wiping away blood and binding injuries as best she can.

Brynmor is indeed watching and sometimes he paces about like an expectant father, but from time to time he will stop to make sure that is all is well! Crouching down, his hands pressed against his thighs near his knees, he murmurs, "Well? Is she going to be alright?" Not that his cousin is a healer of any sort, not anymore than the rest of them here.

It's not easy, truly. Keeping an injured man prone upon your horse while fighting off a foe. Drustan is too busy to even properly call for aid to his side. Instead, he finds himself just barely keeping a sword from descending upon his throat. It skids across the iron of his own, but with such force it cleaves through the maille and leather across his chest. The Falt knight is unhorsed, landing heavily upon the ground. The baring of his teeth is not in a grin, no. It is a pure grimace in effect. There's a quick look to the horse's saddle, but Drustan has not the time. Instead, blood dampening a tunic rended useless, he must turn to the still-mounted knight. It's a sort of wild look that's taken those eyes, but he knows others are approaching to his aid: "Your captain is dead! Give up lest you join your brethren in the dirt!"

Success
Elrick checked his sword of 15, he rolled 9.
Success
Cyndeyrn checked his sword of 15, he rolled 9.
Failed.
Drustan checked his sword of 15, he rolled 17.
Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Rabid vs Elrick at 5, he rolled 15.
Success
Deryn checked her spear of 15, she rolled 3.
Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Rabid vs Drustan at 5, he rolled 11.
Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Rabid vs Deryn at 5, he rolled 9.
Success
Uwain checked his sword of 15, he rolled 10.
Success
Acwel checked his sword of 15, he rolled 7.
Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Angry vs Uwain at 5, he rolled 18.
Success
Signe checked her intrigue of 5, she rolled 3.
Deryn rolls 4d6 and gets (2 1 3 3) for a total of: (9)
Success
Acwel makes a check for Angry vs Cyn at 5, he rolled 2.
Success
Acwel makes a check for Angry vs Acwel at 5, he rolled 4.
Uwain rolls 5d6 and gets (3 3 6 5 1) for a total of: (18)
Acwel rolls 5d6 and gets (3 1 2 4 3) for a total of: (13)
Elrick rolls 5d6 and gets (5 4 2 3 6) for a total of: (20)
Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Rabid Horsemanship at 10, he rolled 19.
Acwel rolls 1d3 and gets (2) for a total of: (2)
Cyndeyrn rolls 6d6 and gets (6 4 6 6 5 1) for a total of: (28)
Success
Acwel makes a check for Rabid Valorous at 15, he rolled 9.
Success
Acwel makes a check for Angry Horsemanship at 10, he rolled 8.

The combined assault of Deryn, Elrick and Drustan manage to unhorse Rabid, giving him grievous wounds in the process, though he continues fighting.

As Acwel and Uwain join forces to take down Angry along with Cyndeyrn, the Dinton knight scores a powerful attack that unhorses the opponent in a single, clean, blow.

Success
Drustan checked his horsemanship of 15, he rolled 11.

It is not an easy thing, getting back on his horse. But Drustan is at least able to evade any attempt from the rabidly persistent knight to hit him once again. The aid of his compatriots is blessed in this regard. Still, the Falt knight grunts with the strain to his wound, slumping a measure against their quarry once in the saddle. He'll apologize later. It's a snap of the reins and the two are off; moving to ride past where Brynmore is with Signe and Catryn. Not far enough to fully escape yet, no, but the man is ready as soon as the rest of his party disengages. Likely, he will end up leading the return to the Count.

And with that deboubled effort upon his target, and other knights soon joining in the attack, the man that Cyndeyrn cut off from his pursuit soon finds himself in rather dire straits. Battered a bit from all sides, the Dinton lands a hefty blow himself, proving why he is sometimes called ox-like by his friends and relations, as the force of it sends the man from his saddle and down into the dirt. Dismounted and having little chance at pursuit, the Salisbury knight soon spurs ahead. "Let us be gone, our path is clear and no more will be gained by spilling more blood, even over such injustice."

The blow that Elrick delivers to the knight that was threatening both Sir Durstan and the knight they have come to save was a solid one, cleaving into the man's body, parting chained links. The blow was strong enough where the hostile rider is unhorsed, but not slain. With a smirk at the fallen knight, the Laverstock raises his blade but this time, instead of delivering a deathblow down, he actually slaps the downed knight's steed with the flat of his blade, causing it to panic and ride off, removing any chance the dismounted knight could remount and pursue. That should buy them enough time from this one!

Signe rises, a bit bloody from her personal enemy only, and after helping Brynmor get on his horse with Catryn, if necessary, she mounts and turns her horse, spurring on after Cyndeyrn.

Deryn rides forth, timing it with Elrick to help him keep the knight off Drustan, allowing him to remount his hourse. With a stab of her spear that helps unhorse the knight, she begins to do so again, only to see him fall to the ground under the weight of his injuries. With the knight's horse sent running off, she grins to Elrick, nodding to her fellow knight, taking a quick look about to see if all are well before looking to follow the others.

As soon as the call is made to retreat, Drustan puts knees to his mount's sides and leans in a bit more. Yeah, he'll bleed on the man they've rescued, but really… what's a little blood between survivors of such frenzied combat? There's no need to reply, no. Just to set hoof to dirt at speed and return to the Count.

Brynmor doesn't even know what's going on in the distance with the others. His horse and ran a great distance to break away from any would-be pursuers, so for now he felt safe. That is, until he hears Cyndeyrn's call for retreat. Guffud, his ever excitable squire chirps up, "You were great out there, Sir! So heroic and brave! The bards will sing tales about you and I'll be able to brag to everyone that you were my knight and I was your squire and…"

Brynmor can only simply stare at the boy. "To your horse. We are taking flight once more." And with Signe's assistance, it's odd for her to be so helpful, he remounts, his shield arm still cradling his Burcombe cousin and though she may look just a touch better, all covered in bandages and such, Brynmor is still concerned that she isn't out of the woods yet. So once Signe is off, he follows suit with Guffud trailing behind.

The Vassal Knight of Woodford is tired, his chain is stained with other people's blood and he has a dying fellow knight under his responsibility. He should have volunteered, damnit. "Yes, Sir Cyndeyrn is right. Everyone, let us leave, and report our findings to the Count. We have done our part here and we needn't tarry any longer," he calls, sheathing his bloodied sword as he snaps on the reins of Saint, galloping away.

Acwel's squire was… somewhere, in the midst of all this fighting. Yes. He *achoos* really loudly as he rides away with his master, his nose reddish and runny as he wipes with the sleeve of his coat.

Following the others, Sir Uwain looks back over his shoulder repeatedly to the fallen knights and wonders what sort of ransom they were leaving there on the battlefield. All the same, he wasn't about to risk his neck for something so petty, and so simply picks it up and moves to catch up. "How far will they follow?" he asks, not knowing the whole political situation involved.

In the absence of her knight's command, Anais rides her own horse but is leading Catryn's with her, she looks to Acwel, the mission leader, for direction, a solemn nod given to him when he tells them they ride. There's a worried look to Catryn, but she stoically continues following orders, just silently praying for the recovery of her knight.

"Not far if they know what's good for them," Acwel tells Uwain, rubbing at his neck as though meaning to allude to something. "Once we tell our story to the Count, and deliver the man to him, we will have what we came for in the first place." And then he raises his voice so the other knights can hear, "And I will pay, on my expense, a drink to everyone in homage to Sir Catryn."

Once they have arrived in Wandborough once again, Catryn is taken by expert nurses and a chirurgeon to receive treatment. The knights have thus to wait at least a few days before the knight of Burcombe is sufficiently healed to join them in their journeys once again.

The Count receives the beaten Sir Dilwyn, who tells his tale of forbidden love and unbound lust to Elidyr. Unfortunately for him, his actions are not without consequence; deemed guilty in the trial by combat, once he is deemed better by the healers, he is to make penitence before the church for his sinfulness by escorting monks to and from the various abbeys of Marlboro for a year, in addition to his regular service as a knight.

When Sir Catryn is once again able to stand on her feet, the knights are received by Elidyr at his court hall, who receives them as warmly as a man now aware of unfaithful vassalage can be.

Success
Acwel makes a check for Court Healer at 19, he rolled 7.
Success
Acwel makes a check for Court Healer at 19, he rolled 5.
Critical Success!
Acwel makes a check for Court Healer at 19, he rolled 19.
Success
Acwel makes a check for Court Healer at 19, he rolled 14.
Success
Acwel makes a check for Court Healer at 19, he rolled 3.
Success
Acwel makes a check for Court Healer at 19, he rolled 3.
Critical Success!
Acwel makes a check for Court Healer at 19, he rolled 19.
Success
Acwel makes a check for Chirurgery for Catryn at 19, he rolled 2.
Success
Acwel checked his sword of 15, he rolled 7.

Signe, oddly enough, stays near Catryn. When the knight finally regains consciousness, the young lady rises, peers at her. She'll be the first face Catryn will see upon opening her eyes.
"Oh good, you're awake," she says. Unmistakably Signe, she continues, "The Steeple Langfords saved your life." It is a charged statement, a very pointed one, accompanied by a dark smile. "Feel better soon, Burcombe." And she'll leave.

Acwel rolls 1d3+3 and gets (2) for a total of: (5)
Acwel rolls 1d3+3 and gets (3) for a total of: (6)

Eventually, Catryn does open her eyes and Signe is certainly the first person she sees when she does wake up. There's pain in her eyes, but it's from the wound, not for seeing who her healer was. Hearing the words, she responds in a weak, soft-spoken voice, "Thank you, my lady. I owe you more than I could repay." Speaking was difficult when even breathing hurt, so she closes her eyes again, "Some champion I am," she whispers, not knowing anything else that happened, but assuming the man was dead who she had championed.

Of course Signe will hear that, before she leaves. Whether or not it makes her feel guilty for the pleasant bedside manner she just displayed, only she can know. But it's never much of a triumph to kick an enemy while she's down.

Days to rest up is fine with Deryn. Gives her a chance to better heal from her first encounter with the Saxons! She'll gladly hang out with the others, checking in on Catryn to see how the other lady knight fairs while bidding time to see how things will go for their group before the count.

For all of Brynmor's heroics, he watches after Catryn even as he, himself, is getting his bloodied shoulder bandaged up. He doesn't wait for her to awaken, however, taking this opportunity to find a nice cot and drift off to some much needed and to Brynmor, much deserved sleep! He does, however, sit Guffud near his cousin's bed, just in case the woman takes a turn for the worse. So there the young squire sits, chatting away with the Burcombe's only squire and greeting all of the many visitors who come in to see them. "You really hit that guy hard!" He tells Deryn, possibly watching the action from the side-lines. All the action, not just of his knight!

Certainly Drustan was happy to see a healer… after making certain the Count's men were aware the blood upon the accused man's back was Drustan's and not further injury to their rescue. A few days certainly helped; some kind lady's minstrations more than enough to set him on the path to wellness. There is little likelyhood that he will gain an infection and the scar may even be minimal, to boot. Upon returning to face the Count, he is again in courtly attire… and bathed. There is some paleness yet to the edges of Drustan's mien, but the Falt knight is able to stand tall and proud for their audience. Success does a lot for the constitution!

Acwel wasn't hurt. Not really, but he still feels guilty about letting Catryn go off and get herself almost killed. So when she wakes up, there's a jar of wine waiting for her, by the bedstand, and one of those cups. No note left behind, because he can't write, like the rest of the knights. Or most of them, anyway. Maybe someday, though. Maybe.

Of course, Cyndeyrn's greatest role after their return will be stressing the lawlessness of the men they encountered, and defaming the judge in particular, who acted well beyond all the established bounds of low and high justice. As long as this point is heard, he seems quite content with whatever else might pass, and leaves the rest to Sir Acwel or their more clever-tongued companions.

On the days that the wounded knights were recovering from the wounds, Elrick had chosen to remain mostly to himself, either silently brooding to himself. There was one of the days before being summoned by the Count that the Laverstock had sought out the leader of their expedition, Sir Acwel, for a few words. When summoned though, he was well prepared with a change into 'finer' clothes, arriving at court with the other knights, a gaze offered to Sir Catryn to see how she fairs. Alive is a good sign to start.

The Count listens to the retelling of the story from the knights of Salisbury one last time, nodding as he informs them, in the aftermath, that he has apprehended the treacherous Swindons and deprived their head of household from the right to title, giving it to someone else in the line who has, indeed, been loyal. Some distant cousin.

And as promised, he has gathered a sizable amount of armsmen and quite a few knights to assist against the Saxon advances on Salisbury, though for the embassy and the entire forces to march in, it might certainly take a few days.

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