A Dance of Blades: Ainsley vs Shard
Not quite a Rite of Gloria, but a Dance of Blades.
The victor will be the one that draws blood first.
April 16, 2018, 6:30 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Grayson - Triumph Plaza
Comments and Log
2 House Velenosa Guards arrives, following Alistair.
Ramona - A Farshaw House Guard arrives, following Lisebet.
Kaine wanders onto Triumph Plaza, one of his hands resting on his satchel's strap as he approaches the area and takes a look around. He's dressed largely in black and white, with a thin, red woolen overcoat.
Alistair arrives, hands clasped behind his back. He seems to be all business at the moment, which possibly doesn't bode well for someone here. His eyes sweep those who are gathered, but he doesn't seem to find who he is after.
Lisebet and her shadow (ie the guard who gets to follow her everywhere) have heard there might be something to see here, apart from the statues which are actually pretty amazing. So, she has made her way, and is currently checking out some of the statues, as she tries to figure out where to stand, and what she should be doing.
Dagon arrives more on a whim than for any design in coming. Walking through with a swordsman's grace, the Duke moves off to one side and takes a patient, standing position. Interested more because of the fight and those who are involved than for anything else. An easy smile on his lips as he looks around, waiting for the event to begin.
Shard wields wings of the griffin elegant oathlands steel blade.
Shard arrives in simple clothing, rather than the usual black leathers she wears seemingly everywhere, at all other times. In addition, while she's armed with her usual weaponry, she has another, wrapped sword tucked under one arm that, at any glance, clearly isn't one that belongs to her--not with that oathlands design, certainly not with the griffin etched onto the guard. She glances over those that are gathering with a careful eye, pausing perhaps a little longer on Alistair than the others, before she carefully unwraps the sword and gives it a single, testing swing.
Jordan arrives to watch this much-heralded fight, standing off to the side of the commons' crowd, if there's any. Nodding a quiet greeting to Shard, along with a brief smile, he straightens so as to watch the fighting.
This is all happening pretty close to Esoka's doorstep, so she has to come out of Heron Hall to mingle. She's armed and armored. But, them she usually is. Her days are spent on stompy, knightly business. A cheery wave is offered to the folk gathered in the plaza.
Alistair's gaze meets Shard's for a moment. Is she the one he is here to nab? Or steal away? It seems not, as neither he nor his Confessors move in response to her arrival. The High Inquisitor speaks quietly with some nearby Grayson guards, inquiring on the presence of Prince Ainsley, but seems content for a moment.
Lisebet heads over closer to Heron Hall, nodding to those who she recognizes or who look her way, politely. She pauses to look around, trying to identify where this dance of blades will take place, and where might be a good spot to watch from.
Alejandra, a snowy white hound, 2 Grayson Guardsmen, Planchet, an unrelenting valet, 3 Iron Guardsmen arrive, following Ainsley.
2 House Riven Soldiers, white-tailed eagle arrive, following Thesarin.
Alejandra, a snowy white hound have been dismissed.
2 Grayson Guardsmen have been dismissed.
3 Iron Guardsmen have been dismissed.
Fashionably late? Eeeh, probably just late! Ainsley arrives from the south with only his valet. Looking rather sheepish as he arrives. His steps carrying him toward where Shard is.
Ainsley gets Grayward, a steel longsword from A sword crossed griffin backpack.
Ainsley wields Grayward, a steel longsword.
The High Inquisitor's gaze slides to regard Ainsley, the dour man peering at the Grayson Prince for a long moment. But alas, Inquisitors and Confessors don't materialize from the shadows to steal him away. It seems, for the most part, Alistair is here to watch the display.
Shard turns toward Ainsley as he arrives, jerking her chin upward just slightly in acknowledgment. The sword he lent her is already in hand--it seems she was in the midst of a few warm-up swings.
Esoka has just exited Heron Hall and is getting herself a good place to watch the upcoming dance. A bow of her shoulders is offered to Ainsley and Shard both as they arrive and prepare.
Dagon looks like he was just about to go and see about the other potential duel going on today, when Ainsley does arrive. A bit of a grin crosses Dagon's lips as he eases back into place where he had been standing. Shifting a bit where he stands, with a glance over the crowd before settling onto the pair.
Thesarin steps out with Esoka, looking grim as ever, and just as much like an overdressed shav from the woods as he always does. He offers a single nod to the combatants and crosses his arms as he moves to spectate.
Lisebet finds a good out of the way spot to stand, where she can watch curiously. The young Farshaw Lady is only here idly, since she has no bets on the winner, and no idea how to use a sword.
Ainsley makes his last few strides toward Shard, detours a moment to find his wife and press a kiss to her cheek. Esoka gets a smile, before he strides back to Shard. His voice calling to those gathered, "Hello! Thank you for coming-- I apologize for being late." He coughs, but offers no excuse for it.
"I'm sure you've already been waiting long enough, so I won't bother with speechifying at you." His steelsword is drawn from it's sheath, and hops back several steps to smile at Shard.
A fight has broken out here. Use @spectate_combat to watch, or +fight to join.
Tikva boops Ainsley's nose and grins at him before sending him off to fight. Because she is a dork.
Shard says nothing at all, but as Ainsley prepares, something about the way she's standing changes. It can't really be called a ready stance, so much that there's a faint shifting of her weight to her toes, and the tip of her sword lifts just enough to be noticeable. And then, just like that, without any further warning, she springs forward at him, rushing in fast and low.
Shard takes minor damage.
Esoka flashes Thesarin a grin. "Chief. This should be good entertainment. And we barely have to leave home to see it." She takes a water skin off her belt, taking a sip from it, then offering it to Thesarin.
Shard takes serious damage.
Lisebet does recognize a few faces. She settles not too far, listening to what she can hear being said. A smile ghosts across her face, and then she's watching the two combatants.
Ainsley rolls his wrist and dips his chin toward Shard, shifting his body into a defensive posture. His eyes on the Valorous Few's Vice-Captain like they might be on a viper. When she springs at him he seems to anticipate and pirouettes on his left foot to the side out of the range of her blade. At the end of that spin he attempts to jab his sword across her side but she's already gone. And he's once more leaping out of the way of her next oncoming attack.
Jordan watches the fighting quietly, paying rapt attention to the exchange of maneuvers between Ainsley and Shard while they fight each other.
Tempest arrives, following Signe.
Tempest have been dismissed.
A viper might describe Shard quite well in this fight. She's fast and sharp, at one moment moving one direction, the next, an entirely different one, in quick, jagged motions that are hard to track, but are by no means graceful or pretty to watch. She strikes and withdraws almost in the same movement. It might be enough to catch a slightly slower combatant, but Ainsley is clearly her match in speed--her borrowed sword only slashes air, and again she jerks back and away, anticipating his return offensive.
Alistair watches the fight with some interest, standing at attention with hands clasped tightly behind his back. With the diamondplate blade at his waist there is a hint he knows of some swordwork, despite his prodigal nature. Its not just all clubs and spears in the Gray Forest! Or perhaps hes been properly civilized in combat as well as etiquette.
Dagon has a similar stands, hands behind his back, his eyes watching the two go back and forth. Eyes narrowing slightly - focusing more on Shard's own style than on Ainsley's, at least from how it appears. Curious, perhaaps, or wanting to compare it to what he himself knows.
There's another exchange of misses; Ainsley dodging out of the way of those serpentine deadly strikes with dramaticus acrobatus. At one point shifting to the side just enough that Shard's sword slides through the space between his arm and side, and he uses that closeness as an opportunity to nick the side of her shoulder-- causing only a red welt more than a cut. So close, but not blood yet.
Tikva has, since the fight began, plopped down on the stone floor of the plaza, tucking her boots beneath her and balancing her lean backwards on the flat of her palms. Her eyes track the movements of the competitors with keen interest, but she trusts each fighter whole-heartedly not to accidentally skewer the other, and so there is little concern to be found in its midst.
Lisebet watches intently. Maybe she's trying to learn just by watching? Her gaze goes to the rest of the audience time to time, looking to see their reactions in case she manages to miss something important.
Thesarin takes Esoka's offered water and has a quick swig, giving a slow nod as the pair trade blows. He generally looks about as expressive and warm as the statues surrounding the Plaza, eyes going back and forth as the fighters move. "Couldn't miss this right on our doorstop," he rumbles to Esoka in a low tone. Alistair does get a bit of a look, watching the Inquisitor a moment as he hands the water back to Esoka
Shard clearly feels the nick; not enough to jerk in response to it, but as the hit lands, her feet plant and she twists. It's one of those jagged, ugly but difficult to track changes in direction that define the way she fights, as she pulls most of her weight into a sudden return slash that attempts to take advantage of that momentary opening in Ainsley's defenses. It's a risk that doesn't pay off--she's just a little too slow, and again her sword strike finds only air instead.
Jordan nods slowly at each move taken and the missteps made are simply watched all the more intently, as if he's studying the strategies behind the motions rather than the strikes or parries themselves.
Alistair shifts where he stands to get a better view of the action as the two fighters shift and turn where they stand, exchanging half blows and dodges. He takes a pre-emptive step back when the fight starts to shift in his direction, less he suddenly find some wayward blades swing his way.
It finds that air because Ainsley is literally dropping to his knees underneath the strike. Apparently not above using every direction to his advantage when fighting the erratic sellsword. He swings his sword upward from his spot on the stone pavilion and in a decisive move, thrusts his sword up along her side and cut through not only the shirt she wears but her skin beneath, to splatter a speckle of blood across himself and the stones behind them.
Esoka takes her water skin back with a grunt, drinking deep again as she watches the fight. There's a loud cheer from her at the blows exchanged, and a low whistle and Ainsley dodges so swiftly. As blood is drawn, she brings her big hands together in a clap.
a fire salamander arrives, delivering a message to Alistair before departing.
Lisebet's gaze stays on the fighting duo, impressed with the athleticism on display. She waits until she is sure things are done before she claps along with the rest of the audience, obviously taking her cues from them.
This is enough to drive air from Shard's lungs as she recoils from the hit, although she catches herself before she staggers more than a step. For just a breath, perhaps a little less, there's a glittering look to her eyes, a little bit more teeth showing as her upper lip draws tight. Then she inhales and stands straight, and with a little bit of a light flip, offers the borrowed sword to Ainsley, hilt first. There's no hint of a smile on her features--her face doesn't look as though it really /works/ that way--but she seems entirely satisfied regardless.
Signe is a late arrival to witness the duel. She maintains a close contact with Tempest, the the pup, as she tries to find herself a spot to observe through the gathered crowd.
Thesarin doesn't cheer or call out, but he claps with the others, big palms together in a steady clap.
Dagon adds his own applause - after making sure that Shard is able to stand up and still move after the fight happens. All too easy, at times, for something more to happen. The Duke himself seems rather satisfied with the outcome, and the display that the two put on.
Gia the peregrine falcon, 3 Rubino and Zaffria guards, 2 Armed Confessors, Rary the Lycene beauty arrive, following Grazia.
Ainsley remains on his guard as Shard recoils backward, leaping upward from his knelt position with his sword still between them. But when she inhales he lowers his sword. A small dip of his shoulders is given toward Shard, over the hilt of the oathlands steel sword held out to him. Grayward is given a shake, to fling off any blood lingering on the tip of the blade, before he sheathes it and takes the sword. "Thank you, Shard. Well fought, as always."
When it ends just as fast as it began, Alistair does not seem surprised. Real fights are hardly like the ones of myths and legends, epic clashes that last hours. A few seconds, and someone is dead. Luckily no one is dead today. Alistair unclasps his hands and gives a soft clap. His Confessors join in to add to the chorus of celebration at the quick, but rather decent dance put on!
Shard gives Ainsley a small nod in return, and the audience a very brief--very brief--glance. "Nice shot," she says to the Prince, quietly, but with some sincere emphasis. She says something else, but this is a little lower still.
Grazia arrives late. Too late. One cannot be fashionably late to a fight and expect it to still be going on when one arrives. The duchess does not look terribly disappointed though. She just lingers for a moment to see how it has gone, her expression neutral.
Ainsley tilts his head toward Shard and nods toward her, before lifting a hand to call toward Planchet, "Call for a Healer, please." The valet hops up from his seat and immediately runs off.
Wilhelm the Iron Messenger, Gene Erique, Guardsman arrive, following Sparte.
Tikva pushes herself up off the ground and dusts her hand over the leather of her pants, shedding dust either real or imaginary. She claps her hands in case this is appropriate.
Ainsley is overheard praising Shard for: She fights like a serpent strikes, it's always an honor to fight with her-- an nerve-racking.
As the fight has concluded, the High Inquisitor's gaze once more focuses on Ainsley. Is he the one the man is here to drag off to some damp cell within the Panopticon? Who knows! But he doesn't approach just yet, allowing the event to properly wrap itself up.
Alistair is overheard praising Ainsley.
Alistair is overheard praising Shard.
GusGus, the fluffy Whitehold Mountain puppy arrives, delivering a message to Alistair before departing.
Shard relaxes a little, and then looks toward the gathered crowd again. It's a little sidelong, but not nearly so brief this time. Practically as an afterthought, she ends up pressing her hand to the cut on her side. Right, that's a good idea.
Sparte was on patrol nearby when the call went out for a healer. Not a proper physician or mercy, but he is the sort to answer the call anyway. He has made his way into the Grayson Ward, looking around to see what the state of things is.
Margret limps into view carrying a bag of bandages and other healing supplies. "Did someone call for a healer?" She calls out, and then she spots Shard and starts getting a bandage out of her bag as she limps in that direction.
Lisebet stays over to the side, out of the way. "Well fought," she calls out, joining the crowd. She's no healer, alas.
"All honors for the display, both of you," Esoka booms to Ainsley and Shard. "Such bouts between friends honor Gloria. And your honor each other, plainly."
Sparte glances over as Margret heads past, giving her a polite nod. Seeming satisfied things are in hand, Sparte gives the people gathered another once over before turning to head back to his patrol.
Wilhelm the Iron Messenger, Gene Erique, Guardsman leave, following Sparte.
Signe applauds when the duel has finished. "Well done!" Tempest just looks around with disinterest.
Marie, chef of Keaton Hall arrives, delivering a message to Alistair before departing.
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