(514-08-04) Darkening Horizons, II: Stormclouds
Summary: Earl Robert dispatches a force of knights to bolster the southern border with Dorset.
Date: 4 August 614, later in the day
Related: Unnamed Feeling I: Hatred, Unnamed Feeling II: Vengeance, Unnamed Feeling IV: Nemesis, Darkening Horizons I
ailil arian brynmor catryn cyndeyrn kamron padrig steffan 


It has been a few days since the trial of Sior de Gillingham, and his subsequent execution by the Earl's hand. If there was sparse diplomatic communication between Dorset and Salisbury before, now there is none, save for the promise of retribution for Robert 'overstepping his bounds'. It may not even be the truth of the matter, but in politics, truth is a very relative, flimsy thing.

What this means is that hostilities between the two Earldoms resumed tacitly, if not quite expressly, and even now the animosity of before is demonstrated with the occasional border skirmish whenever a group of knights from one meets another from the other.

Today, however, battle is not made against knights, but against a manor; after a raid on Coombe Bisset, the knights of Salisbury were gathered to present a defense force to put a stop on Dorset's depredations on their homeland and the weakening of Earl Robert's and Lord Oswallt's southern assets.

Already did such a defense take place today: in the wake of a brutal raid on Coombe Bisset, six Salisbury knights have taken to the defense of Odstock, valiantly stopping a raiding party from Dorset but not without grave injury and almost costing the lives of almost half of the contigent that was sent.

Another group is sent from Ebble to reinforce the outskirts between Chalke and Ebbesbourne Wake, with the news that scouts have, recently, attacked those parts. The terrain there is rougher, which means that the Dorsetshire riders will be slower in reaching their targets; something that the Earl and his Marshal are keenly aware of, and hopefully, the brave knights sent on this mission can put a stop to the raiders before they so much as start attacking.

Having missed the defense of Sarum when the Saxons came calling, Steffan of House de Wylye has been stepping up patrols of his own lands as well as more frequent visits to Sarum. When news of the execution was carried out and that their southwestern neighbor may be retaliating, the Wylye Knight volunteered to be part of the contigent of knights to help defend their borders. Riding west along the Ebble River with the others, Steffan is easily identified as one of the Earl's knights with his reinforced chainmail as well as the colors of blue and gold.

Sir Brynmor de Steeple Langford is only remotely aware of all the turmoil going on between Salisbury and Dorset, not the sort to pay keen attention to news which he deems is irrevelent, which in his case, is most news. So when called to task to defend this or that border, the valiant young knight is all too eager to take up arms and defend the… weak, he supposes, but they really ought to have a good fighting force of his own. And what is meant by eager is the fact that he was ordered to come out here and told to be ready to fight! So rather unenthusiastically, the Steeple Langford watches the horizon with grim expression on his otherwise handsome face, "If fending off Saxon invasions just wasn't enough, we now have to put up with this bulls—" At that very moment, one of the other more attentive knights (see: a knight positioned directly beside him) gives him this look which Brynmor interprets as glare, thus he lifts his shoulders with a 'what?' gesture, before grumpily sets his sights forward once more. He knows he's right about all this!

The harsh clicking of his tongue tries to calm the dappled warhorse which Ailil de Broughton rides. It's a great slab of a beast chomping irritably at the bit, and in contrast to its knight, scowls at the world as much as a horse can. "Get over it, you miserable breedbate. Be glad to be out of the stables." The horse stamps its hoof, thoroughly unimpressed. But the pair of them ride along, having swung south from Broughton the long way around and ended up on the fringes of the forest and river. His own lands having been on the receiving end of Saxon harrying, it stands to reason he chooses to be out here to put the Dorset matter to rest. "Let the man say what he wants to say," he mutters at the knight giving Brynmor such a look. "Dorset ought to know better."

Kamron has been to Sussex and back. He's had word of illicit marriages and had religious crises. He also started this, as much as anyone in Salisbury did, and so he is here at the front of this new and undeclared war, lance held tight in his hand, his heavy bucket helm already on his head, and mounted atop his graying charger. His young squire trails behind, but the Dinton's knight is focused ahead, for all that he half-turns his helmet toward the Steeple Langford, "Made all the worse by the Saxon invasion, Sir Brynmor. Without the Saxon strike, the Dorsets wouldn't dare raid us on this flimsy of an excuse." Anger scours his usually-clear voice, the glower on his features audible even through his helmet.

Riding in with another Knight, Catryn has a squire following along behind her, the pace in which they ride is a gallop, hurrying along from Odstock where the injured were taken, further west to between Chalke and Ebbesbourne Wake, taking the river route for ease of travel and quickness. The news of the raid fresh in her mind, she notices the other knights up ahead and rides hard in their direction, intending to warn them, or perhaps fight them, if they are from Dorset.

Sir Arian de Laverstock is astride her scarred, veteran mulberry gelding. The charger is a calm and steady presence — quite unlike her flirting rouncy she rides for travel. He is gray, speckled in red, with great stripes of bloodied crimson through his dark gray mane and tail. He snorts softly as he stands amongst the other knight's horses, and his flank twitches. Arian looks over toward Kamron at his words, and she shakes her head slightly. "No excuse is too flimsy if there's a chance for victory, Sir Kamrn." Then she adjusts her grip on her own lance, her helmet also in place over her features. Her squire — the young Avane de Ford — is behind her near Newt, looking a bit stoic for such a young woman.

Failed.
Padrig checked his awareness of 10, he rolled 14.

Following up hard on Catryn's heels, Padrig is riding hell-for-leather with his squire trailing just behind him. The four of them make quite the scene as they rush along the river route and barrel toward the group, and were it not for their colors and their already blood-splattered appearance, it's possible an eager young newbie could mistake them for an enemy. "Ho there, news from Odstock on behalf of Earl Robert!" he bellows loudly, hopefully pre-empting any anxious desire to spear them with a lance upon their approach. From this distance he cannot yet make out any particular faces or coats of arms, so the offer is news is extend to the group as a whole.

Failed.
Steffan checked his awareness of 12, he rolled 17.

Success
Ailil checked his awareness of 10, he rolled 6.

With his usual serious demeanor, Steffan de Wylye chooses not to partake in the verbal banter with the other knights as they proceed to their objective. His opinions about their Dorset neighbors are kept to himself though his gaze does shift to four riders approaching, two appearing to be heavily armored but he is not able to identify them at this distance, "Take care, Sirs, we have riders approaching." The warning is quickly issued as he looks towards his squire, "Joseph, lance!" The order given and a lance is handed off to him. There is no charge yet, as he waits to see if the riders are friend or foe. When one of the four shouts that the news is on behalf of their Earl, Steffan relaxes slightly.

Cyndeyrn has no doubt been summoned up with some other Salisbury knights to reinforce the border manor against the Dorset raids, perhaps hearing some news of the trouble, or maybe on orders from the Earl directly. In any event, he rides out with some other of his fellows to reinforce the border, a bit more hastily as the situation requires, though as ever a stoic presence on the field. This is one of those cases where the several horses a knight maintains proves necessary and valuable; he and his squire ride the rouncies while making the hasty journey, with his charger in tow. It will be no less tired than any of them for the distance traveled, but is spared his armored weight for the majority of distance. Hopefully, as he comes riding from the friendlier direction than the more hostile one, no one will mistake him for a Dorsetman, although there is only risk of that for a short while before his arms and colors are visible, recognizable certainly to a few of the knights already present, along with his large silhouette.

Ailil's bitter steed snaps its head around to the clop of rapidly traveling horses. He twists the reins around in his gloved hand to stop the horse from acting out, and then he tips his head in the direction mentioned. "Inbound riders. Ours, I think," he calls out in a rolling tenor. His teeth grit slightly and he straightens in the saddle for a better view over his peers though he's already a rather large man on a rather tall horse. "By the looks of it, they have seen battle." His eyes narrow while searching among the quartet for anything familiar, definitively marking them as friend, foe or something in between. "Robert?" Mouth tightening, he pitches his voice louder upon seeing the lance snapped out. "At ease!"

Kamron looks over at the call, lifting up his own spear with its red, blue, and gold pennon at the end. He looks back to Arian briefly, "It should be, when they are attacking fellow Christians and Pagans who have just driven off the depredations of Saxon dogs." There's no heat there, just a grumble. And then he calls out to the newcomers, "Sir Paddy, Deyr." There's a pause, and then he continues, "Sir Catryn. What news from Odstock? Did you turn them aside there? Are they coming this way as well?"

"There are none to come this way that we are aware of, they have been.. Dispatched." A small cruel twist of Catryns lips accompanies the information exchange. "They raided Coombe Bisset, leaving many dead in their wake." She looks to Padrig to finish the relay of news.

Panting, Padrig pulls his mount up short, kicking up a cloud of dust. He leans over a bit and rests his hand on the rouncy's neck, patting it affectionately for the hard run. "Aye, they raided and slaughtered them nearly whole, but a few of the remaining knights who survived rounded up the prisoners to haul them back to Sarum for the Earl to pass judgment. The number we faced was not great, and I am unsure of how many there might still be remaining." He glances to Catryn and frowns, shaking his head once. "We dispatched many, but not so many to account for the atrocities committed there. It was a wasteland of bodies, and not enough of them the enemy's to account for the low number we encountered. I am hesitant to say we are at a reprieve." While speaking, he makes to dismount the rouncy, and Dey assists him into mounting up onto his charger and equipping with shield and lance. This act in and of itself should speak to his belief that reinforcements may be imminent. "I do not suggest we relax our watch, at any rate."

It was already afternoon when the second group was sent, which means that at their arrival, a few hours later, the sun begins to dip in the horizon, clear blue sky giving way to bright oranges, purples and darker blues. The road is treacherous and often the tracks fade into the ground, made worse by mud and clay, signals of past rains, or the river's high tide.

True to the predictions of Sir Jaradan, the Dorset knights are facing some difficulty riding uphill to Ebbesbourne Wake, a village which enjoys the rare privilege of being on something other than plains, especially on rough terrain such as this. They are, in fact, just riding towards their target, about to meet in combat with a number of peasants when the Knights of Salisbury find them at the flank.

A perfect situation for a cavalry charge, and certainly one that can make things easier for the defense of these more distant fiefs.

Kamron's anger burns all the hotter at the reports from those coming from Coombe Bisset, and he looks ahead, studying the situation for a bare moment before he snarls, "Animals." Lowering his spear to point toward the Dorset knights rushing toward the bare defenders of the manor, "These are men and women to would slaughter people we are sworn to protect." His voice rises, and he stands up in his stirrups, "For Earl Robert, for your Faith," whatever that may be, "and for the people!" And then he settles back into his saddle, sweeping his spearpoint up again and then spurring his charger forward at a slow walk first. There's no sense in galloping right away, you build up to that, and Kamron has no intention of winding his horse before he reaches their foes. But he leans forward as they near, pushing his old steed into a trot, a canter, and finally a gallop as the lancepoint drops, "FAMILY AND FAITH!"

Failed.
Kamron checked his orate of 9, he rolled 14.

Arian draws her shield in tight, and her lance is drawn up at the ready. Blaze begins to shift beneath her, showing that he is ready and his left hoof digs at the ground as his head tucks in tight to his neck. Then when the others burst forward, so does he. He rides almost stride for stride with the other chargers, showing his dedication. He just hopes his rider can stay saddled this time around. Arian seems confident, her thighs tight against the horse's belly and her body leaning into each motion of the canter.

Only mildly listening to some of the chatter going on around him, Brynmor has to fight hard to stifle yet his seventh yawn since that one knight began glaring at him for griping. It's not so much Kamron's sudden desire to speech that snaps him out of his mental fog, but the fact that his young squire, Guffud enthusiastically claps for the Dinton orater, even if his words may or may not inspire the rest of those within the group. "For Earl Robert!" The young squire echoes, only to be followed by his knight's annoyed murmuring, "Merl Robert." Still, Brynmor knows what this all means and while he's still a bit more sleepy than he'd like, he'll sit up high within his saddle, even his shoulders still slouch and with weapon in hand, he allows his horse, Stone, to roll on forward. "One day you're going to be in my shoes, Guffud and.." Before the Steeple Langford can even finish his statement, the squire exclaims whole-hearted, "And I can't wait, Sir!"

The de Wylye Knight's visage darkens just like Kamron's when the news of the peasantry being slaughtered before help could arrive to help them, shaking his head at hearing the results. When the Dorset knights finally make their appearance at the manor they were sent to protect, Steffan is already angling his steed towards the attackers, nudging his charger into motion. "It appears they indeed have sufficient numbers to harry our southern border, we need to dispatch these first. If we are quick enough, we can hit them before they are fully able to turn about and prepare themselves." Moving in formation with the other Salisbury Knights, the de Wylye releases no battle cry, the silent visage returning as he approaches one of the Dorsets codenamed Tywin. Only when the distance closes does he lower his lance, amidst a thundering of hooves.

Newt, Kamron's squire, knows his duty, and so when his knight starts metaphorically frothing at the mouth, the young de Newton guides his rouncy over to one side, beckoning to Avane to follow. He looks tense as well, and he drives a pair of spears into the soft earth point-down where he can grasp them readily, and eases the axe and sword he carries at his side, ready to take replacement weapons in to his knight if need be.

It seems the reserve's arrival is timely, and Cyndeyrn does not question the serendipity involved. There is an opening to exploit, and as the various chivalric codes are concerned, such a military blunder is quite fair play to take for what advantage it may offer. Like the others, he spurs his horse into first a light trot that will only slowly build in speed as the formation of knights approaches their target, to keep the group tight and not overly tire their steeds in advance of the actual, effective charge. He is not one for grandiose speech himself, but echoes the family words his cousin offers. Beyond that, his audible contribution is the addition of his horse's trampling hoofbeats to the chorus, growing louder as they reach the final stretch of distance before the enemy. Only in the last moments does his lance lower, as not to overtire his arm, steady toward whatever target lays ahead.

Ailil makes a gesture to his squire, a young woman hidden in the background until signalled by a flick of his wrist. She trots forward carrying a rather heavy lance, handing it up to the Broughton knight. He tucks it against his side, adjusting his grip such he can manage his horse and maintain a rather straight line. "Keep near," he tells Cigfa; and then turns the horse towards the others in the line. It takes very little to encourage the beast to stretch out its long, painted legs and hasten to the task. Almost eager for battle, it picks up the pace without much of a suggestion at the rein or the heel. He hasn't any need to howl or cry out, but that low, rumbling snarl almost belongs to beast, not man, lost far under the sound of hooves hitting earth. Somewhere stands a Dorset man who wasn't favoured by a dire wolf, and shan't again by a stark, cold-eyed man from the north… of here.

Padrig is silent as the grave as he jams his helmet into place, shifts his shield up onto his left arm, and all but jerks his lance out of the grip of Dey, the poor squire who is doing his utmost to see that the Laverstock survives this the second encounter in one day. Dey than collects the rouncy and his own mount and moves off to join forces with Newt and Avane. Taking a deep breath, Paddy wheels his sad charger about and murmurs kind, coaxing words to the horse that this will surely be the last one for the day. "Tonight it will be a warm stables, all the oats you can eat, maybe a little fat mare to keep you company," anything to keep his mind off of the gut-churning battle to come following the gut-churning battle of the morning. The charger seems to care less about the words and more about the fact that he has to move again, but he does so by breaking out into a trot to warm up before he must launch into a gallop to carry his rider into the charge.

Success
Kamron checked his lance of 10, he rolled 2.

Success
Acwel makes a check for Daario Sword at 14, he rolled 12.
Acwel rolls 4d6 and gets (1 2 2 5) for a total of: (10)

Failed.
Arian checked her lance of 10, she rolled 15.

Success
Acwel makes a check for Daenerys Sword at 14, he rolled 12.

Arian rolls 12d6 and gets (6 4 6 4 6 3 2 1 2 2 4 2) for a total of: (42)

Failed.
Steffan checked his lance of 10, he rolled 15.

Success
Acwel makes a check for Tywin Sword at 14, he rolled 12.

Steffan rolls 12d6 and gets (5 4 3 4 4 4 4 6 6 2 1 2) for a total of: (45)

Success
Brynmor checked his lance of 13, he rolled 5.

Success
Acwel makes a check for Ramsay Sword at 14, he rolled 6.
Acwel rolls 4d6 and gets (1 1 5 4) for a total of: (11)

Success
Ailil checked his Lance of 15, he rolled 1.

Success
Acwel makes a check for Sandor Sword at 14, he rolled 5.
Acwel rolls 4d6 and gets (3 1 1 3) for a total of: (8)

Failed.
Catryn checked her lance of 10, she rolled 17.

Success
Acwel makes a check for Aleister Sword at 14, he rolled 5.
Acwel rolls 4d6 and gets (4 3 3 2) for a total of: (12)

Success
Catryn checked her horsemanship of 15, she rolled 5.

Success
Cyndeyrn checked his lance of 15, he rolled 14.

Success
Acwel makes a check for Gregor Sword at 14, he rolled 5.

Cyndeyrn rolls 6d6 and gets (4 4 4 3 6 1) for a total of: (22)
Failed.

Acwel makes a check for Gregor Horse at 10, he rolled 15.
Acwel rolls 1d6 and gets (6) for a total of: (6)

Failed.
Padrig checked his lance of 15, he rolled 19.

Success
Acwel makes a check for Willas Sword at 14, he rolled 3.

Padrig rolls 6d6 and gets (3 3 6 3 3 3) for a total of: (21)

Success
Acwel makes a check for Willas Horsemanship at 10, he rolled 7.

Success
Kamron checked his Axe of 15, he rolled 7.

Success
Acwel makes a check for Daario Sword at 14, he rolled 11.
Acwel rolls 4d6 and gets (3 6 6 1) for a total of: (16)

Failed.
Kamron checked his Horsemanship of 13, he rolled 17.

Kamron rolls 1d6 and gets (6) for a total of: (6)

Success
Arian checked her sword of 15, she rolled 9.

Arian rolls 4d6 and gets (3 2 5 5) for a total of: (15)

Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Daario Horsemanship at 10, he rolled 16.
Acwel rolls 1d6 and gets (3) for a total of: (3)

Success
Steffan checked his sword of 15, he rolled 10.

Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Aleister Sword at 7, he rolled 12.

Steffan rolls 5d6 and gets (2 1 4 3 6) for a total of: (16)

Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Aleister Horsemanship at 10, he rolled 14.

Failed.
Brynmor checked his sword of 15, he rolled 17.

Success
Acwel makes a check for Ramsay Sword at 14, he rolled 12.
Acwel rolls 4d6 and gets (5 5 4 5) for a total of: (19)

Success
Brynmor checked his horsemanship of 15, he rolled 3.

Success
Ailil checked his Sword of 15, he rolled 3.

Success
Acwel makes a check for Sandor Sword at 14, he rolled 4.
Acwel rolls 4d6 and gets (1 5 3 5) for a total of: (14)

Success
Cyndeyrn checked his sword of 15, he rolled 4.

Critical Fail!
Acwel makes a check for Gregor Sword at 9, he rolled 20.

Cyndeyrn rolls 6d6 and gets (2 1 5 2 3 4) for a total of: (17)

Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Gregor Dex at 10, he rolled 13.

Success
Padrig checked his sword of 15, he rolled 1.

Success
Acwel makes a check for Willas Sword at 14, he rolled 9.
Acwel rolls 4d6 and gets (2 3 2 2) for a total of: (9)

Success
Kamron checked his Axe of 15, he rolled 9.

Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Daario Sword at 7, he rolled 8.

Kamron rolls 4d6 and gets (2 1 1 6) for a total of: (10)

Failed.
Arian checked her sword of 15, she rolled 19.

Success
Acwel makes a check for Daario Sword at 7, he rolled 4.

Arian rolls 4d6 and gets (6 4 4 3) for a total of: (17)

Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Daario Dex at 10, he rolled 14.

Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Aleister Sword at 2, he rolled 11.

Success
Steffan checked his sword of 15, he rolled 4.

Steffan rolls 5d6 and gets (5 2 2 4 4) for a total of: (17)

Success
Acwel makes a check for Aleister Dex at 10, he rolled 1.

Failed.
Brynmor checked his sword of 15, he rolled 19.

Success
Acwel makes a check for Ramsay Sword at 14, he rolled 5.
Acwel rolls 4d6 and gets (4 2 5 3) for a total of: (14)

Success
Brynmor checked his horsemanship of 15, he rolled 10.

Success
Ailil checked his Sword of 15, he rolled 10.

Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Sandor Sword at 14, he rolled 15.

Ailil rolls 5d6 and gets (1 5 6 6 2) for a total of: (20)

Success
Acwel makes a check for Sandor Horsemanship at 10, he rolled 6.

Failed.
Catryn checked her sword of 15, she rolled 16.

Critical Success!
Catryn checked her sword of 15, she rolled 15.

Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Aleister Sword at 7, he rolled 11.

Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Aleister Sword at 2, he rolled 3.

Catryn rolls 4d6 and gets (1 3 1 5) for a total of: (10)
Catryn rolls 8d6 and gets (2 2 2 3 5 2 1 4) for a total of: (21)

Success
Cyndeyrn checked his sword of 15, he rolled 10.

Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Gregor Sword at 4, he rolled 5.

Success
Acwel makes a check for Aleister Dex at 10, he rolled 3.

Cyndeyrn rolls 6d6 and gets (5 3 2 4 6 5) for a total of: (25)

Success
Padrig checked his sword of 15, he rolled 2.

Success
Acwel makes a check for Willas Sword at 14, he rolled 12.
Acwel rolls 4d6 and gets (3 5 4 6) for a total of: (18)

Padrig rolls 1d3 and gets (3) for a total of: (3)

Kamron is not a lancer. That much is apparent. His lance skitters off the shield of his chosen foe, and goes straight past. He takes a sword-blow to the shield in return, and has to pull his horse about to avoid slamming the mounts body to body. "Turn and face me, not the helpless peasants." He probably shouldn't have said that, for although he drops the lance and pulls his axe from the loop at his belt, the other knight's attention is definitely now on him. Kamron trades several blows with the other man, peeling slivers from the man's shield, but he gets as good as he gives… and then he gets better. One of the blows comes in under his shield, just clipping the bottom of the wooden heater and slamming into his thigh, wringing a grunt and a wince of pain inside his helmet. And then he realizes that the sword caught in the links of his mail, and has started pulling him down to his left. The Dinton tries to recover, but it's too late, and he topples off the horse, striking his helmet on the inside of his shield. Be bounces once, rolling onto his back and then hauling himself to his feet. He's saved from immediate attack by the Dorset knight when Arian comes in to strike the man he was fighting, and as he rises, he strikes out at the likewise-fallen Dorset knight, the other man in the ribs at his right side, although the axe doesn't cut through the mail. Hauling himself to his feet, he squares off against the likewise ground-bound knight, nodding up to the lady knight, "Thanks for the assist, Sir Arian."

The clash between the two groups of knights is inevitable and it appears that the group flanking the other is putting their advantage to good use. The Wylye's lance is brutally accurate as the iron tip slams into Tywin's chest. Linked mail does nothing to protect the wearer as the chains shatter and the padded leather beneath shreds. The lance itself punches through the ribcage with a devastating crunch, the force of the charge strong enough that it protrudes out of the back, tenting the chainmail there. For Steffan, the lance is snapped as the Dorset Knight goes flying off of his steed and the broken weapon is quickly dropped. Sword is drawn and then raised into the air triumphantly as he calls out, "For Salisbury! Cut down these motherless dogs!"

Now the de Wylye seeks another target, seeing which knight requires assistance and immediately rides towards the Dorset that is trying to unhorse the Burcombe. Spurring his charger into motion again, Steffan's blade is too quick for Aleister to parry as he rides past, a swift slash cutting into the Dorset's midsection, drawing blood and also putting the man into the ground. Wheeling his charger around, the Salisbury Knight takes his time on his next attack, easily parrying the feeble attempt from Aleister to stab up at him. With a vicious thrust down, his sword sinks into the other knight's shoulders, drawing more blood though somehow the Dorset manages to get to his feet, even with a devastating blow from Catryn.

Blaze proves his prowess as he drives his rider into the fray, but it is Arian's steady grip on her lance and accuracy that sends it straight into the body of the other female knight. It jars her a bit, but she maintains her seat as it crashes through her shield and chest and sends her off her horse and into the dirt. She does not need to regard the fallen Dorset knight, as if she knows the woman is not getting back up. She pulls tightly at her mulberry gelding's reins, drawing him around to set her sights on Kamron's knight. When her amor is unhorsed, her jaw tightens and she directs her horse toward Kamron and his charger. With the swordsman attention solely on Kamron he does not see the other knight coming, and Arian brings her sword down hard against the man and sends him reeling from his horse. "To make things fair," she hisses, though there is a hint of humor in her voice. This is also the reason she strikes again to send the knight to the ground so that Kamron can have the upperhand.

The initial charge, while not being really victorious, at least helps bring the boundless energy into a focal point for Padrig. He is a quiet fighter, focusing all of his attention to the combat and none of it to the yelling or the banter. He grunts and groans as his lance impacts against his foe, and while it shatters against the armor, a sliver of it pierces the man's skin. The shockwave vibrates up his arm, and his fist unclenches reflexively to let loose the last fragments of the lance. He curses under his breath and reaches out with numb fingers to draw his sword, flexing his wrist as he does so and bringing his charger about to bear upon Willas. Paddy's enemy is skilled, enough to deflect the majority of the exchanged swordblows, and so is he, but one particularly tricky thunk of sword on shield has enough energy to carry him off of his horse and onto the ground. He groans as a rib cracks, and his breath escapes in a gust of air, leaving him momentarily dazed and fighting his opponent on foot.

The impact of the charging knights and their targets, who, caught at least partially unawares, are unable to turn and offer an equal charge in return, is as devastating as one might expect. Several men are killed outright, and Cyndeyrn's is thrown from his horse, landing roughly in the dirt, even as the other Salisbury knights tear into the Dorset flank, causing considerable chaos. The large Dinton remains set on his own target as others wheel and maneuver, drawing his sword after the charge is done, and riding in close. His first heavy swipe takes the fallen man as he tries to rise from the ground, his foe leveraging his considerable size and strength with the added advantage of height to make a sweeping, almost scythe-like cut that the man can only desperately block, suffering all the impact if not the hard edge of the sword behind it. And not only does that powerful blow put the unlucky fellow on the ground again, but it seems to dislodge his weapon too. This makes him an easy target for a second stroke, no pause given for chivalric considerations when the rest of the force rages nearby. If the man lives through the blow that fells him, perhaps he will see kind treatment, but for the time being, he is left as a fallen enemy as the Salisbury knight wheels his own steed about, trying to get a sense of the continuing battle.

Though capable with a lance, Ailil suffers the curse of a fairly capable opponent. At least one halfway able to slap away his lance after the initial charge at speed disrupts his brilliant dreams of victory. He discards the lance after the first charge and pulls his sword, a serviceable, honed instrument of an unusual design: it's not Cymric, in any event. Twisting his wrist, he steers his horse through the melee to engage his opponent, the initial blow absorbed between shield and chain shirt to prevent more than ugly bruising in the future. His movements are accompanied by very little sound in the slightest, and in that respect, he probably most resembles Padrig. His opponent throws a sharp slash at him and the metal of the kite shield intercepts the force, his horse snapping and sidling away from another abortive parry. Their quarrels are shot in sparks and screeches of steel on steel, as he seeks an opening from his Dorset opponent to exploit. Patience is with the virtuous, rather than the bold, and another furtive thrust to test the defenses leads to a nasty interception that fails to really get through his armour. Grunting, he thrusts forward and stabs again at his opponent who is too bloody graceful to curl up and die already.

Once the charge is called for, Guffud calls out from atop his knight's rouncy when he sees Brynmor speed off behind the others, "Good luck, Sir Brynmor! You can take them all on!" Obviously, he has more confidence in the Steeple Langford than even Brymor has! But Brynmor charges still, hopefully trying to get away from that incessant chanting of his name coming somewhere from behind him where Guffud bounces in his saddle.

The Steeple Langford doesn't care /who/ he clashes against, not pinpointing any particular target and ends up tangling with the first person whom he lance meets! Though in that difficult clash, despite ramming the tip of his lance hard up against this Ramsey fellow's shield, the man launches his own strike, his sword in hand. It's a good thing that the Steeple Langford is able to maneuver his shield just time time to meet with the other's swipe. Here, he tosses lance aside, favoring his weapon of choice, some shoddy sword that was passed down to him from someone in his family, he isn't sure too, nor does he believe it to be some important heirloom. But still it is his and with that weapon in hand, he quickly turns his steed around for yet another clash with this fella, but this time around, his strike goes wide and in his haste to try to best his opponent, the Dorset goon takes a stab at his midsection, completly bypassing the man's shield! Without even pulling back, keeping to these close quarters, Brynmor again lurches forward to strike, but once more his blade only cuts through the air. "Son of a…" He curses beneath his breath and just before he realizes that there is an strike incoming, it's already too late to raise his shield! Yet with his mad endurance and desire to keep his legs clenched tightly at the side of his mighty steed, this second blow fails to knock him over and so he calls out in his brave stupidity, "Is that the best you can do?"

Back with the other squires, Newt flinches as Kamron is overtopped, starting to spur his horse forward, but when Arian has him covered, he wheels his horse back around, pointing down to the fight and noting to Avane, "And that's how knights are supposed to fight, Avane!" In his excitement, he's forgotten to use her title, "Covering each other's backs when they need it." He's so drawn into the fight below that he's completely lost his stutter.

Catyrn is calm, that is what makes her cruelty that much more beautiful. For fades into battle with the single minded desire to finish those who would dare to ride against the keeps and villages. Her moves are ever so graceful, the sweep of the lance, or the sword. It is the last swing of a sword that shows that practice is sometimes better than a strong arm, as she cuts deeply and moves with a twist of her lips to the next strike.

Success
Kamron checked his Axe of 15, he rolled 9.

Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Daario Sword at 2, he rolled 16.

Kamron rolls 4d6 and gets (6 1 4 5) for a total of: (16)

Success
Acwel makes a check for Daario Dex at 10, he rolled 1.

Failed.
Arian checked her sword of 15, she rolled 17.

Arian rolls 4d6 and gets (4 2 6 3) for a total of: (15)

Critical Success!
Acwel makes a check for Daario Sword at 2, he rolled 2.

Acwel rolls 8d6 and gets (5 1 3 3 5 1 4 5) for a total of: (27)

Acwel rolls 1d6 and gets (1) for a total of: (1) - Fall Damage for Arian

Failed.
You check your sword at 15, you rolled 17.

Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Aleister Sword at 7, he rolled 12.

Steffan rolls 5d6 and gets (2 4 4 6 2) for a total of: (18)

Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Aleister Dex at 10, he rolled 14.

Critical Fail!
Brynmor checked his sword of 15, he rolled 20.

Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Ramsay Sword at 14, he rolled 19.

Success
Cyndeyrn checked his sword of 15, he rolled 10.

Success
Ailil checked his Sword of 15, he rolled 7.

Success
Acwel makes a check for Sandor Sword at 14, he rolled 3.

Ailil rolls 5d6 and gets (1 2 1 1 3) for a total of: (8)

Success
Catryn checked her sword of 15, she rolled 5.

Success
Acwel makes a check for Aleister Sword at 7, he rolled 5.

Catryn rolls 4d6 and gets (2 4 1 1) for a total of: (8)

Cyndeyrn rolls 6d6 and gets (1 5 3 3 3 6) for a total of: (21)

Success
Acwel makes a check for Ramsay Horsemanship at 10, he rolled 9.

Success
Padrig checked his horsemanship of 15, he rolled 14.

Success
Padrig checked his sword of 15, he rolled 14.

Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Willas Sword at 14, he rolled 16.

Padrig rolls 5d6 and gets (6 2 3 1 5) for a total of: (17)

Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Willas Horsemanship at 10, he rolled 15.

Acwel rolls 1d6 and gets (6) for a total of: (6)

Success
Kamron checked his Amor for Arian of 19, he rolled 8.

Success
Kamron checked his Axe of 15, he rolled 4.

Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Daario Sword at 7, he rolled 10.

Kamron rolls 4d6 and gets (6 6 4 4) for a total of: (20)

Failed.
Arian checked her horsemanship of 10, she rolled 11.

Success
You check your sword at 15, you rolled 10.

Success
Acwel makes a check for Aleister Sword (2nd Option) at 12, he rolled 8.

Steffan rolls 5d6 and gets (6 6 4 1 4) for a total of: (21)

Success
Acwel makes a check for Aleister Dex at 10, he rolled 9.

Success
Brynmor checked his sword of 15, he rolled 7.

Success
Acwel makes a check for Ramsay Sword at 14, he rolled 8.

Acwel rolls 4d6 and gets (2 3 6 5) for a total of: (16)

Success
Brynmor checked his horsemanship of 15, he rolled 5.

Failed.
Ailil checked his sword of 15, he rolled 19.

Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Sandor Sword at 14, he rolled 17.

Success
Catryn checked her sword of 15, she rolled 4.

Critical Fail!
Acwel makes a check for Aleister Sword at 7, he rolled 20.

Catryn rolls 4d6 and gets (1 5 1 2) for a total of: (9)

Success
Cyndeyrn checked his sword of 15, he rolled 1.

Cyndeyrn rolls 6d6 and gets (3 1 1 5 1 2) for a total of: (13)

Success
Padrig checked his sword of 15, he rolled 1.

Success
Acwel makes a check for Willas Sword at 14, he rolled 9.

Acwel rolls 4d6 and gets (5 5 1 3) for a total of: (14)

Padrig rolls 5d6 and gets (1 2 4 6 4) for a total of: (17)

Failed.
Kamron checked his Horsemanship of 13, he rolled 16.

Acwel rolls 8d6 and gets (5 4 2 4 3 1 4 3) for a total of: (26)

Success
Arian checked her sword of 15, she rolled 13.

Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Willas Sword at 7, he rolled 9.

Arian rolls 4d6 and gets (1 5 4 6) for a total of: (16)

Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Willas Horsemanship at 10, he rolled 15.

Acwel rolls 1d6 and gets (5) for a total of: (5)

Success
You check your sword at 15, you rolled 12.

Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Aleister Sword at 7, he rolled 12.

Success
Acwel makes a check for Aleister Sword at 7, he rolled 3.

Steffan rolls 10d6 and gets (5 1 1 4 5 4 5 6 4 5) for a total of: (40)

Failed.
Brynmor checked his sword of 15, he rolled 17.

Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Ramsay Sword at 7, he rolled 9.

Failed.
Ailil checked his Sword of 15, he rolled 16.

Success
Acwel makes a check for Sandor Sword at 14, he rolled 13.

Acwel rolls 4d6 and gets (6 1 3 4) for a total of: (14)

Success
Catryn checked her sword of 15, she rolled 1.

Catryn rolls 4d6 and gets (4 6 4 5) for a total of: (19)

Failed.
Cyndeyrn checked his sword of 15, he rolled 16.

Success
Acwel makes a check for Ramsay Sword at 7, he rolled 6.

Acwel rolls 4d6 and gets (5 5 6 3) for a total of: (19)

Success
Cyndeyrn checked his horsemanship of 15, he rolled 5.

Success
Padrig checked his sword of 15, he rolled 2.

Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Willas Sword at 9, he rolled 18.

Padrig rolls 5d6 and gets (3 2 3 3 1) for a total of: (12)

Success
Acwel makes a check for Willas Dex at 10, he rolled 2.

Even at extreme disadvantage, the Dorset Knight that Steffan is facing proves to be very tenacious in choosing to live, though the other man is putting up a very futile attempt at fighting back. Any weak attacks are easily beaten back and down, especially with the assist of Catryn who is still hounding the man with her blade as well. Another easy parry and stab is made, no mercy being shown as the sword plunges into Aleister and when the knight on foot puts up a valiant defensive effort, focusing his all in blocking the de Wylye's vicious strike, it is not enough as he is cut into again. Surprisingly, the southern knight slowly rises to his feet again, which appears to anger Steffan, "You scum, you attempt to stand? Die!" Once more, the blade from the mounted warrior descends brutally and this time, the results are devastating for the Dorset knight. The sharpened edge of the blade cuts through not only mail, but the neck as well, slicing through muscle and vertibrae completely, letting the head fly up and off. Sir Aleister has lost his head.

Kamron presses his foe hard now that they're both on the ground, driving him back to where Arian waits on horseback. One of his blows slips past the man's guard, drawing blood from the Dorset man's shoulder, and then he has to watch Arian being struck. He may still be dizzy from striking his head against the inside of his helmet in the fall, but it's enough to get him to see red. Hooking the head of his axe over the other man's shield, he pulls it down, then slams the rim of his own shield into the man's throat. It sends the Dorsetman staggering, but Kamron steps up and hammers his axe into the helmet, denting it in and sending the man crumpling. He looks about, nods with relief when he spots Arian getting back on her horse. And Newt is racing into the fray, circling around to ride down Kamron's charger and lead the horse back to his knight. Kamron looks about the area a moment, and then there's Newt and Guts the old charger. He gets his axe in his left hand with his shield, grabs the saddle and gets a foot in the nearest stirrup. Guts takes that opportunity to step sideways, causing Kamron to hop after the horse and sway on his feet as a sudden dizziness comes over him, "Come on, you old crowbait…" it's an almost-fond grumble, and then Kamron is up in the saddle again, getting his bloodied axe into his right hand once more and searching for a new target through the narrow slits in his helmet.

This bit of a slapfest going on, more in favor towards Ramsey unfortunately, continues on in the exact same way that it had started. The fight is kept in close combat, neither withdrawing or pulling back to set up another charge or angle. No, instead, their swords are raised and the sound of steel striking against shield, or in Brynmor's case, the rattling of his maile can be heard through the sounds of the clashing going on all around him. There is a point, in his frustration where his sword even slips from within his grasp, after a lengthy show of dominance with their swords pressed hard up against one another. This eventually leads to him loosing his grip and this Ramsey's sword slipping forward, missing him entirely! At first, Brynmor doesn't really notice the looming presence of Cyndeyrn, but once the Dinton strikes his opponent from behind, does Brynmor realize that maybe he can just sneak away from this fight and let the big guy finish the Dorset punk off! That is, until this unrelenting foe dares to take a quick jab with his sword towards the Steeple Langford's arm, which on reflex forces him to raise his shield as he tries keep hold less he loses his newly gained sword once more. "Looks like you've got bigger fish to fry now. If I were you, I'd withdraw this instant." He taunts, despite doing rather poorly in this entire thing. But once or if that guy flees, it will allow him to finally settle back, giving him a few moments of reprieve.

After the shiny stars back away from the edges of his vision, Padrig manages to bring his shield up in time to ward away the admittedly glancing blow from his opponent, and with a groan he rolls back up onto his feet. He glances to and fro and whistles shrilly, calling up his charger and thanking the gods for his luck. He takes a second to jump back up into the saddle and swing around and to re-engage Willas, and the two clash swords once again. Things seem to be going his way as he scores a heavy enough slash against his opponent's sword-arm to knock him from the saddle, but on his second pass Willas manages to drive his sword deep into Padrig's thigh when the charger slips on a rock hidden beneath the grass. The Laverstock lets out a harsh oath of pain and tears away, pressing his sword-wielding fist against the wound and seething before he wheels about to deal retribution. Unfortunately, revenge is not yet his as armor and shield continue to thwart his attempt to end this sorry man's life once and for all.

There is much that happens to poor Arian in the course of a couple minutes. Her shield rattles fiercely with the strike from the grounded knight, and it is enough to send her into a sprawl from her horse and onto the ground. Her entire body aches on impact, but it is mostly from the gashed wound cut across her leg. She grimaces, tasting blood in her mouth mingled with mud. She gets to her feet shakily, though this is in time to see Kamron strike down the man and leave them both unhorsed, but also without an immediate threat. She whirls around, searching for Blaze — but the gelding has not gone too far. She is able to grab his reins andpull him in. "Be safe, Kam," she calls to him before she sweeps up into her saddle. This is in time to see her cousin taking his own beating, and she heels the horse toward him so she can stirke out with her sword and send the Dorset knight from his own horse and left to Padrig to deal with.

The Dorset enemy who is known as the Hound gives Ailil a run for his silver, slashing away in a flurry of sword blows that end up intercepted on a shield or turned on a sword. The clash of arms is deafening for a man in a heavy, low helmet that covers his ears. He pushes forward, refusing to relinquish any footing on the battlefield, only scarcely aware of what goes on around him. Gripping the sword firmly, he thrusts at the Hound to punch through his guard, but the blade does not connect home in a meaningful fashion more than once, leaving a sharp cut on the Dorsetman's shoulder and not deep enough to incapacitate him. Blood wells through, staining steel links. Undeterred, the Broughton knight pushes his horse into the thick of it to advance on his initial strike, but no smile of luck comes with him today. A change in tactics by the southern knight favours a more defensive game, or that's the story Ailil means to tell later on. He makes several stabs to try and breach the parries turning his efforts away, and without success. Eyes narrow under a drip of sweat, and he utters a harsh growl at Sandor. Go ahead and DIE.

"I have the greatest cousins in Salisbury!" Padrig cheers as he flails dramatically at Willas, albeit without any great effect.

Catryn stays in the thick of things, managing only to irritate her opponent with her chicken scratches of her sword against him. Grateful to the Wylye, she remains in it until the persistent knight is down before turning towards another, tossing out a quick word of thanks for the assist, a quick wry twist of her lips for the beheading. When she faces up with Sandor, her position and angle are a little better than the first time, and she manages to strike hard, damaging him with the assistance of Ailil.

Cyndeyrn, having handled the man he unhorsed in the opening charge, quickly locates some other combat yet ongoing, this in the form of Brynmor and the man he is engaged with. The pair do seem evenly matched, but with the battle pressing around, and others bogged down in larger engagements, he thinks it prudent to offer some assistance to a man he knows, rather than riding off in search of some lone glory or pitching himself into an even more chaotic sort of scramble. In any event, he rides up on the other man, who does not seem to see him, or perhaps merely does not heed his presence (even though it is large and hard to miss) and in any case gives him a good strike. Even that does not cause the man to turn, perhaps set on Brynmor's defeat before engaging a new opponent, but a second blow seems to gather enough of his attention, even if it is light on the other man's armor. Perhaps in turn it is then Cyndeyrn who is not quite paying attention, lifting his sword to try and land a harder strike on the man who seems content to ignore him - only to have him turn and make a quick thrust under that raised blade, right into his chain, if not deeply so. Well, now you've made him mad!

Success
Kamron checked his Orate of 9, he rolled 6.

Kamron nods to Arian at her words, "I will, Rhi. You too," then turns his horse in a tight circle to study the melee around him, the local armsmen and levies gathered a short distance away, and then he again raises up in his stirrups, lifting his voice to bellow out above the clamor of steel on wood, steel on steel, and steel on flesh. "Men of Dorset! You have failed in your attack, but you need not die for your failure. Yield now, and you can expect to face ransom, not Saint Peter."

Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Willas Prudent at 15, he rolled 16.

Success
Acwel makes a check for Ramsay Prudent at 15, he rolled 8.

Success
Acwel makes a check for Sandor Prudent at 15, he rolled 4.

Success
Padrig checked his sword of 15, he rolled 4.

Failed.
Acwel makes a check for Willas Sword at 14, he rolled 19.

Padrig rolls 5d6 and gets (3 2 2 6 5) for a total of: (18)

For Kamron:
Success
Acwel makes a check for Ebbesbourne Wake Lady's Healing at 17, he rolled 2.
Acwel rolls 1d3 and gets (2) for a total of: (2)

For Arian:
Success
Acwel makes a check for Ebbesbourne Wake Lady's Healing at 17, he rolled 10.
Success
Acwel makes a check for Ebbesbourne Wake Lady's Healing at 17, he rolled 10.
Acwel rolls 1d3 and gets (1) for a total of: (1)
Acwel rolls 1d3 and gets (2) for a total of: (2)

For Brynmor:
Success
Acwel makes a check for Ebbesbourne Wake Lady's Healing at 17, he rolled 6.
Success
Acwel makes a check for Ebbesbourne Wake Lady's Healing at 17, he rolled 8.
Acwel rolls 1d3 and gets (1) for a total of: (1)
Acwel rolls 1d3 and gets (2) for a total of: (2)

For Cyndeyrn:
Success
Acwel makes a check for Ebbesbourne Wake Lady's Healing at 17, he rolled 7.
Acwel rolls 1d3 and gets (1) for a total of: (1)

For Padrig:
Success
Acwel makes a check for Ebbesbourne Wake Lady's Healing at 17, he rolled 1.
Success
Acwel makes a check for Ebbesbourne Wake Lady's Healing at 17, he rolled 11.
Acwel rolls 1d3 and gets (1) for a total of: (1)
Acwel rolls 1d3 and gets (2) for a total of: (2)

For Ailil:
Success
Acwel makes a check for Ebbesbourne Wake Lady's Healing at 17, he rolled 6.
Success
Acwel makes a check for Ebbesbourne Wake Lady's Healing at 17, he rolled 7.
Acwel rolls 1d3 and gets (3) for a total of: (3)
Acwel rolls 1d3 and gets (2) for a total of: (2)

At the end of the day, the knights of Salisbury manage to heroically repeal yet another Dorset raid. Some knights of the enemy were killed, others were taken as ransom. The knight of Ebbesbourne Wake gives them succor for a day and his lady, an experienced healer, looks over and treats their wounds, that they might ride with their prisoners, healed and refreshed, to Ebble Castle, where they might stop before heading back to Salisbury.

For now, the threat has been vanquished, but the raids, the ambition of the Earl of Dorset for the land south of Ebble are not yet over.

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