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 Post subject: Re: The Waning Days of King Valacar
PostPosted: November 22nd, 2017, 7:44 pm 
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Therald leaned against the open door to watch the citizen's of Osgiliath stream past in throngs. Their chatter was of the tournament, who was attending, who was competing. Frankly, he couldn't care less, for it was other business that had brought him here and that business was already making them late. With a sigh, he turned back from his study of the streets and made his way to the bottom of the stairs.

"AMARWEN! WE'RE LATE!" he called, and not for the first time that morning.

"Almost ready, Adda!" his daughter called down, her voice singsong light.

He shook his head her tone for only last night she had been as happy as a drowned cat. If she dallied any longer, they'd be unforgivably late. The sort of late that caused offense and that was likely what Amarwen was hoping for. She had been digging her heels in, sometime surreptitiously and occassionally openly, since this matter first arose. But, of course, it was entirely possible that this delay was not another ploy to belay the business that had brought them to the city. If so, he wondered at the obvious shift in her disposition overnight. They had both been weary, arriving at Osgiliath late in the evening after a long day of travel. Still, her displeasure had run deeper than mere fatigue. Not the sort of thing to sleep off, he thought.

As his ruminations ran, Amarwen finally appeared at the top of the stairs. He looked up at his daughter, pride swelling in his chest. She was a marvel to him and Therald felt a familiar sense of astonishment that this lovely young woman was part of his doing.

"Sorry, Adda," she said, pressing up on her toes to kiss him on his cheek.

"I hope you've washed your hands," he said gruffly, at which she smiled. It was one of their many inside jests, a shorthand between father and daughter.

Of course she had washed her hands for he could see Amarwen had taken great care to present herself. Still, she held out her hands for inspection and then turned away to collect her cloak. As she did, Therald saw just why it had taken his daughter so long to prepare for she had woven her thick hair into an intricate braid. A braid that she wore whenever a certain someone came for dinner. Suppressing a sigh, Therald assisted his daughter into her cloak and then watched her brush imaginary lint from the smooth folds of her skirt.

"Ami, love, he won't be here," he said gently.

She continued to fidget, "Who won't Adda?"

"You know who I speak of."


His daughter looked up at him through her lashes, "He might be, though."

Not for the first time in this journey did Therald wish his wife was here to deal with this. This was, all in all, largely her doing but her mother was busy with her duties at Edhellond and so it had fallen, all too conveniently he thought, to him.

Therald gentled his voice to soften what was likely to be a blow, "Amarwen, even if Hal is here, it changes nothing. Your mother and I, we've discussed this with you before. You know what today is about. You know why you are here."

At this his daughter's head lifted and he saw a number of things pass through her mind before she settled on a response, "Yes, Adda, I know. But Prince Aldamir may find me detestable."

He lifted his brows at the statement for he had been present the last time the Prince and his daughter had met. Amarwen had been a study of politeness but Aldamir, Therald had seen the way the Prince's eyes had lit up...and lingered. So had his father, the Crown Prince of Gondor.

"The Prince certainly raised no objections to the match the last he met you," Therald said, controlling his distaste for this for Amarwen was his daughter. He'd been a young man himself, once. He knew how they thought and what they noticed. Still, it was important for Amarwen make a good match and Aldamir certainly fit the bill.

Intelligent, good natured, well positioned as the younger son of the Crown Prince and able to provide Amarwen and any children that follow with a safe, well provided for life. Not too close to the cut and thrust of politics, as his wife said, but not so distant as to suffer for it. Amarwen would want for nothing and love, well it could follow with time and patience. She was young now, headstrong...but just look at what he had accomplished with her mother.

"Oh! Prince Aldamir and I have met? I quite forgot," Amarwen replied, her voice smooth as honey despite how unlikely he knew that observation to be, "I give you my word, Adda, that I will be on my best behaviour."

Therald did not believe a word, or rather, knew precisely what she meant and so he sternly warned her, "I will be watching, Amarwen."

She curtsied at that, every inch the diligent and obedient daughter, and so with a sigh he shepherded her out the door for the tournament. It was, he thought, going to be a long day.

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(other stuff too but my poetic license expired)


Last edited by Elora Starsong on November 30th, 2017, 10:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Waning Days of King Valacar
PostPosted: November 24th, 2017, 8:10 am 
Dunedain Ranger of Arnor
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The tournament of 1430 was at hand. Training was done, and it was up to the contenders now. King Valacar was impressed that the word had gone so far and wide, and that peoples from almost all lands had come, be they to compete, sell their wares, or entertain. He came to the lounge room of the Great Hall where he found his son Eldacar with his wife, Lady Farian. Their sons Ornedil and Aldamir were waiting in the grandstands, as were Lord Therald and his daughter Amarwen. Also, the Mariners Guild counsel to the King’s Court, Calimir, would be attending. Eldacar considered the last meeting with Calimir in East Osgiliath some time ago, and remembered his words about the Rhovanions. Yet, he would have to sit through this, and inside he hoped the Rhovanions would hand the south Gondorians their helms in this tournament.

Vilmaith was ready, and she signed up for all forms of combat. For squad melee, she and the Rhovanion shield sisters would compete as a team. They numbered six, while many of the male squads numbered eight. Vilmaith said it took two less women to equal that of men. It was all fine to say, but when it came to blows, a two person advantage was something hard to counter. Yet Vilmaith was a champion of the Rhovanion games. Gondor and the other lands would need to bring their best if they wanted to see her defeated.

The twins Vilna and Vidnavi would compete in singles, doubles, and in squad melee. Vidnavi kept looking for the guards they had met in East Osgiliath, but for some reason, she didn’t think they would show. Still, this was going to be intense, and fun. There was enough Gondorians who hated the Rhovanions to go around.

When the rosters were set, Valacar, Eldacar, and Lady Farien were about to make their way to the grandstands to join the Princes Ornendil and Aldamir. The first matches would be the provincial teams. The first was set to be a melee between the team of Umbar and the team of Anorien. The Rhovanians would battle Ithilien second. The day had come, and the royal procession made its way to their seats.


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 Post subject: Re: The Waning Days of King Valacar
PostPosted: November 24th, 2017, 11:35 am 
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Rie-Zunic stood adorned in his royal armor, lined in the ranks of soldiers set to fight in the name of their prince and province. He waited and watched as the first rounds unfolded. He had picked out Almara in the group from the guildsman, though she was hard to recognize in her new black battle gear, partial face mask, and blood red sash around her waist. He would need to speak with her at some point, to find out if she had discovered anything. Right now, however, the opportunity was not presented.


Almara, wearing her new gear, stood by and watched as well. Her time would come. They had provided new weapons for her, as well as her outfit. Her leggings fit too tightly and her sword was a quarter inch off balance to what she preferred, but it would do.


Amount the first fighters was a man from Umbar. Tall, wide, and stout. He was bald with black tattoos resembling scarrs covering his face, head, and neck. He fought hard for his province, but his loyalties were evident. He spoke I'll and openly of those of mixed blood. He fought with a curved sword that came to a hook on the end, a bill hook as he called it. Only the curve was more pronounced than usual.

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 Post subject: Re: The Waning Days of King Valacar
PostPosted: November 24th, 2017, 5:58 pm 
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Eldacar watched as Ornedil and Aldamir approached the royal pavilion ahead of their first contest. Ornedil sought his wife but Aldamir faced a gauntlet of lovely young maids eager to provide his young son with their favour. Drifts of fine linen, silk and ribbon waved before enticing smiles and fluttering lashes. As any young man might, prince or not, Aldamir took in the sight.

He walked by the maids, smiling and nodding until he came to a halt before Lady Amarwen of Edhellond. Whilst she did not jostle nor strive as her companion’s did for Aldamir’s attention, Eldacar could understand his son’s choice. Lady Amarwen was of impeccable lineage, accomplished and truly lovely. Her restraint only lent her an air of mystery that drew his youngest son to her. And, of course, Aldamir was aware of the negotiations underway. Only natural that he would seek to know something of the woman that was likely to be his wife, as Eldacar well knew. He'd barely known Lady Farien the day they had wed.

Aldamir reached up towards Amarwen, smiling openly as he murmured something to her. Whatever it was, Eldacar watched the other maids drew back with disappointed sighs. Amarwen swung her braid over her shoulder and untied the golden ribbon binding it. This, she passed to Aldamir, who caught her hand in his and brought it to his lips. Not once did Aldamir’s eyes drop from hers but Amarwen flushed and her head bowed. In her gown of green silk, glowing in the morning sun, Eldacar studied the noblewoman who just might be Aldamir’s bride.

Amarwen of Edhellond was the sort of young woman that young men noticed. Certainly his youngest son seemed quite taken with her. Still, what Aldamir saw as mystery could bode of something else entirely. Was this the fetching restraint of a young noblewoman in truth?

As Aldamir withdrew to take his position, Eldacar scanned those gathered in the pavilion for Amarwen’s father, Lord Therald. Therald smiled broadly at his approach, as was his nature and greeted the Crown Prince fairly. He nodded to where his daughter stood at the rails watching the competitors form up.

”Coming along nicely,” Therald said, pleased with the scene and yet Eldacar could still discern hesitation in his daughter. Whilst her companions called to their respective champions on the field, Amarwen remained still and silent.

Hesitation his son, smitten by her abundant charm and clever wit, had yet to perceive.

”You have every reason to be proud, Lord Therald. Your daughter is a credit to you and Lady Alenna both.”

“Alenna more than I, truth be told,”
Therald admitted and Eldacar smiled politely as Captain Calimir passed by.

That Castamir had sent his proxy rather than attend in his capacity as Master of Ships was not lost on Eldacar but he turned his attention back to Lord Therald.

”There is no delicate way to put this,” Eldacar began at which Therald’s cheer began to wilt.

”My daughter is spirited, your Highness, but she is young. Time will tempter youthful excesses.”

“Nothing of that nature,”
Eldacar answered, looking to his son, ”Truth be told, Aldamir needs a woman who knows her own mind. It is this, I think that draws him so.” Among other more obvious attractions but the Crown Prince let those pass unremarked, “Might I speak with your frankly, Therald, as one father to another.”

“Of course, your Highness. You may speak as plainly as you wish.”

“What is the nature of your daughter’s relationship with Calimir’s son?”

“Halvarin?”
Therald asked, somewhat perturbed, ”Calimir and I have known each other since we came through the Guild together. Our children met years ago. They are companions, your Highness. Friends.”

“Nothing more?”

”No,”
he stated firmly for lingering glances and secret smiles were nothing to found a life upon.

Eldacar considered this for a long moment and then nodded, ”My son will be fortunate indeed to take your daughter to wife, Lord Therald.”

Therald bowed at this, thrilled until he considered how he might break the news to his daughter. Oh to have Alenna with him now for she could weather such a storm far better than he could.

”I will, of course, discuss this with my father,” Eldacar continued, for such matches required royal assent, ”But I do not anticipate any impediment.”

“Wonderful,”
Therald answered, ”Alenna and I, we could not be happier. It is an honour, your Highness, an honour.”

Eldacar smiled at this and took his leave just as the first round of combat was called. Therald looked to his daughter at the rails. Or rather, where she had been at the rails before, for she was not there now even though Aldamir was upon the field. He swept the pavilion looking for her and still she could not be found. A conclusion that Aldamir, his helm freed from his head and cheeks flushed with exertion also came to.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~



Amarwen shouldered her way through the press, unweaving her braid now that it’s ribbon was gone so that her thick black hair hung down her back to her hips. She had done her part. She had smiled and batted her lashes obediently until she could bear it no longer. Her stride lengthened as she walked and a man caught her eye, staring at her. Or rather, the swing of her hips in her gown. Damn it all, she had wanted this gown for another purpose. A different set of eyes. And now all of Osgiliath ogled her in it.

A familiar sound drew her attention and she swung about to find an archery range. Not all of the positions were taken and so she slotted herself into one and studied the target.

”Have you used a bow before” asked fierce looking woman, her westron accented strangely but quite coherent all the same.

Despite her doubtful expression, Amarwen drew herself up, ”I most certainly have.”

“Where is it, then?’
the woman returned, showing her a broad grin as her blue eyes swept over her, ”No room in that bodice of yours, so hidden under your skirts?”

Amarwen flushed at the jibe as another women leaned around to advise, ”Ignore Helda, unless she’s buying the next round.”

“I didn’t bring my bow,”
Amarwen said to her and then frowned, ”Or rather, I was not permitted.”

“Why?”
Helda demanded, her voice gruff now as if she had somehow taken offence.

”Because such equipment is not suitable for fetching a husband,” Amarwen remarked ruefully, attention returning to the archery range with a sigh.

A nudge at her shoulder turned her attention back to the fierce looking women.

”If he’s a man worth catching, he’ll like your bow,” Helda informed her with an authoritative nod of her head.

”Is not me that wishes to catch him,” Amarwen said and shook her head, ”No matter. My parents, they wish the best for me.”

“Your parents chose?”
said the other woman, perplexed and slightly shocked.

She nudged Helda, ”Lend her your bow.”

“You lend her yours,”
Helda replied and after a brief debate Amarwen held someone’s bow in her hands.

It was smaller than she was accustomed to and compact. Still, she could almost feel the tension, the power coiled within it.

”You put the arrow on the string and then you pull really hard,” said the other woman helpfully, nodding until Helda elbowed her.

”She knows how it works, Vilna,” Helda chastised.

_________________
~Dancing 'twixt southern stars~

(other stuff too but my poetic license expired)


Last edited by Elora Starsong on November 30th, 2017, 10:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Waning Days of King Valacar
PostPosted: November 25th, 2017, 9:45 am 
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The day’s weather had started out sunny and calm, with a gentle breeze from the west. It was perfect for the tournament. The state games were single round elimination and had played out the first round. Victories had been gained by Umbar, Rhovanion, Lebennin, and Harador. The next round would see only the Rhovanions represent the north. In the joust, so far the Rhovanions had swept the first rounds. The Gondorian calvarymen would have to step up if they wanted to not be swept away by the excellent horsemanship of the Rhovanions in the next round. The five-on-five melee was coming, as was the standing archery. But now, it was a one on one challenge in wrestling. A big Haradian faced off with a muscular Rhovanion, and they were showing they were fairly evenly matched.

By the archery range, Vilna smirked at Helda’s words. She watched Amarwen notch an arrow skilfully, and let it fly toward the target. It missed, but did hit the bale, so she was close. Vilna asked Amarwen,

”Your bow, it is a bit heavier, no?”

“Yes, somewhat heavier.”


She went over and got a different one and came back. She held it out to Amarwen and said,

”My sister Vidnavi’s bow. She prefers heavier. Try it!”

Amarwen pulled an arrow and examined it closely. Vilna smiled as Amarwen notched it and stretched the bow. Letting it go, it went into the target just off the centre. Both Helda and Vilna nodded in surprise. Vilna asked Amarwen,

”You competing?”

“Yes, you should.”


Helda added. Amarwen looked at the bow and pulled another arrow. Checking it, notching it, and letting it fly put it off centre very near the other arrow. Amarwen turned around and asked Vilna,

”I like the feel of this bow. Will your sister mind if I use it?”

“As she is not competing in archery, I think she would like to see you use it. Lady…”

“Amarwen of Edhellond.”


Vilna nodded her head, knowing she was of Gondor royalty. She said,

”I am Vilna of Rhovanion. This is Helda of Rhovanion.”

Helda gave a silent nod as she notched up an arrow and quickly sent it true into the centre of the target. Vilna gave Helda a nod and said to Amarwen,

”Let us get your name on the roster, it may still be open. How are you with sword and axe?”

Amarwen smiled, she said,

”I am supposed to be at the rail cheering Prince Aldamir. I don’t think they would want me to step into the field to oppose him.”

Vilna smiled. Helda again asked,

”You competing Amarwen of Edhellond?”

Amarwen eyed the target and her two arrows close to Helda’s centre arrow as the breeze pushed her hair about.


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 Post subject: Re: The Waning Days of King Valacar
PostPosted: November 25th, 2017, 7:11 pm 
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Rhinnin watched Vilna and Helda talk with the fair lady, and watched her shoot her arrows. She walked up to her and Vilna and said,
“But for your gown and the slight breeze, I think you would have had center.”
Amarwen looked at her and Rhinnin bowed.
“I am Rhinnin of Rhovanion.”
She bowed to Amarwen and said,
“If you compensate with your elbow and adjust the grip on the bowstring, I think you could split center.”
Rhinnin stepped up and let her arrow fly. It hit between the two arrows Amarwen had shot.
(OOC Been away too long. Hope to stay with this)

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You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet,
there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings


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 Post subject: Re: The Waning Days of King Valacar
PostPosted: November 25th, 2017, 8:50 pm 
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(OOC thread is here: http://www.arwen-undomiel.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=20449, Rhinnin)

Helda, Vilna and now Rhinnin. Amarwen considered the three women of Rhovanion for a moment. She'd come here not knowing anyone of that land and now she had met three all within the span of an hour. She turned next to consider the arrow Rhinnin had just loosed. Whilst advice unlooked for stirred her pride, it was difficult to argue with the result the woman had accomplished. Unless...a smile found Amarwen's lips as she fit another arrow, sighted it and drew smoothly on the string. She released her breath first and then, once she was certain, sent her arrow after it. Sure enough, it knocked Rhinnin's arrow from the bale at which Helda and Vilna laughed heartily.

"Why thank you Rhinnin. It would appear your counsel is sound," Amarwen said, her smile growing as Rhinnin stared at the bale.

Helda and Vilna both nudged Rhinnin and said something in their own tongue that got their companion smiling ruefully. Strange though they were, Amarwen found herself warming to their ways. There was an inherent honesty to them that was difficult to find amongst her own people. Certainly amongst the aristocracy. Perhaps her included, when she considered the matter of Aldamir. These women had simpler lives, she intuited. Lives where they could take up axes and swords and stride onto the field without anyone fussing over what might be thought by this lord or that prince. Another notion made Amarwen smile: what would Aldamir make of a potential bride who could swing an axe? That would be one way to curtail the negotiations underway. Perhaps she should reconsider her earlier decline and certainly, there was nothing to stop her from enlisting for the archery. Who could possibly fault her for that?

Amarwen nodded, decision made, "Yes, I think I will compete in the archery."

Rhinnin, Helda and Vilna all grinned at her and then Helda observed, "Who knew such a simple decision would take so long!"

Vilna rolled her eyes at that, "Yes, because why think about something before you do it, Helda?"

Rhinnin chortled at the observation, well aware of Helda's reputation but Helda merely puffed herself up to her full formidible height, "Thinking, I can tell you, is overrated. Come on, Amarwen of Edhellond, let's get you enlisted."

The shieldmaiden grabbed Amarwen's elbow to escort her off to the lists and then peered at her sleeve, "This is nice. What is it?"

"Silk,"
Amarwen said, rushing to keep pace with Helda's longer stride.

Helda nodded, "I think I'll get me some."

The notion of the shieldmaiden prowling along beside her in a silk gown made Amarwen grin anew and she was so distracted that she did not see Halvarin's father until he had planted himself in front of Helda and Amarwen both. His expression was one of shock and outrage.

"What do you think you are doing," he barked at Helda who proceeded to glower at the man ominiously.

"Who is this toad?" she inquired of Amarwen, the contemptuous question a match for the disdain that she saw in Calimir's face.

His lips curled back in anger to demand, "Unhand the Lady of Edhellond at once, barbarian cur!"

He was reaching for his sword and Helda had suddenly dropped Amarwen's arm as she purred, "Gladly, you bloated windbag."

To Amarwen's dismay, the shieldmaiden had started to draw her own and a crowd was forming. Vilna and Rhinnin were pushing through to join Helda. Swords were still being drawn and an ugly murmuring had begun in the crowd.

"No, please, no! Helda, Captain Calimir, please stop!"

Halvarin's father did not listen to her and Helda, already a sword in one hand and a dagger in the other, informed Amarwen, "Best step away, or that silk of yours will be ruined."

Panic set in at that and so Amarwen found herself instead standing between two drawn swords, her back to Helda as Calimir glared through her.

"Captain, I am weary. Will you please escort me back to the Royal Pavilion?' she asked, striving to steady her voice as her hands curled in her skirts.

"Please?" she pressed at which Calimir's eyes finally seemed to take her in.

His mouth pressed into a thin, unhappy line but he nodded curtly and stepped back to sheath his sword. It snapped back into its sheath and without further word, he took her arm and set about escorting her back to the pavilion at a rapid clip. The crowd cleared to allow them a path and the last she saw was Helda watching her rushed departure, perplexed, with her two companions at her side.

"One would think you've no desire to wed Aldamir," Halvarin's father said, his voice cold and stern and Amarwen straightened about.

"I...no, it's not-"

"Unless you wish to undo your father's efforts, you will take better care in future with whom you associate,"
he pressed on and then glanced at her from the corner of his eye, "And just remember this, my young Lady, if the prince is not to your taste there is more than one royal heir with unmarried sons."

The statement caught Amarwen entirely by surprise and she pulled her arm from the grip of Halvarin's father. What did he think she was, she wondered? And which heir was he referring to? Surely not this Castamir, would be pretender to the throne. If his sons were anything like their father, they'd be odious snakes she'd soon step on than wed!

"Amarwen! There you are. Where did you get off to?" her father asked, hurrying down the stairs of the royal pavilion even as Amarwen stared at Calimir.

He cleared his throat and addressed her father, "Trying her luck at the archery range, Therald, of course."

Her father smiled at this and nodded to Halvarin's father, "Of course, my thanks for seeing her back to us."

"Can't be too careful with all these Rhovanians prowling about,"
Calimir replied, distaste clear in his voice.

At this Amarwen's father stiffened but Calimir nodded calmly to him and then inclined his head to Amarwen, "I trust you will enjoy the rest of your day."

Still repulsed, Amarwen stared back at him dumbly, until he turned away and her father took her arm, "Come, dear heart, Aldamir is eager to see you."

"Yes, Adda,"
she said and then tried to reassemble her composure as he led her up the stairs and back into the royal pavilion.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Helda leaned back in her chair and her tankard waved in perfect rhythm with her speech, ”And they say we’re the uncivilised ones!”

This, of course, was said a little too loudly for a Shieldmaiden sitting in a common room surrounded by the very people she was criticising. Fortunate, then, that she was not using Westron. Not because Helda did not want to offend those around her, of course, but rather because she found Westron unwieldly. The bold Shieldmaiden still attracted her fair share of dark glances but these she seemed to revel in. As if she was just waiting for some poor fool to start a fight.

Rhinnin leaned forward over a table littered with tankards and what was left of lunch, ”Arranged marriages aren’t that uncommon.”

“Bah. The only person who decides who warms my blanket roll is me!”
Helda answered, thumping her chest solidly for emphasis and then considering the common room around them.

Her attention fell on a man minding his own business and her grin grew as she jerked her chin towards him, ”He’d do nicely.”

Rhinnin turned about to study Helda’s target and shook her head immediately, ”You’d only break him.”

“Every good horse needs breaking,”
Helda chuckled into her ale.

”Why not one of the royal guard then. They, at least, can put up a decent fight. Mostly.”

Helda shrugged at that, ”Haven’t you heard? Royal guard is not for….well, that.”

“I heard…but when have orders ever gotten in your way, Helda?”


A whistle from the door caught both women’s attention and they turned to see Vilna standing there, impatiently waiting.

”We’re up,” Helda said, rising from her chair and grabbing her helm from the table, ”This should be a good one.”

“Melee is it?”
Rhinnin asked, following Helda through the tables.

The Shieldmaiden nodded and pointed at the man she had earlier indicated and switched to Westron, ”I’ll be seeing you later!”

His eyes widened to find a Shieldmaiden in full kit pointing at him and he swallowed his lunch too quickly, prompting him to splutter. Helda’s laughter rose and lingered in the common room long after she had quit the Keel Chain Inn.

_________________
~Dancing 'twixt southern stars~

(other stuff too but my poetic license expired)


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 Post subject: Re: The Waning Days of King Valacar
PostPosted: November 26th, 2017, 9:21 pm 
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With the continuation of the tournament, the tatooed man from Umbar proved to be a worthy adversary. He was strong, yet unusually quick for a man of his build.

He had crushed his first opponents, but the competition was bound to be more stout next round.

Across the way, Almara walked to the tournament melee field. She was up next against a fellow from... one of those other provinces. She hadn't really paid attention. He seemed skilled enough, but she already knew she had him beat. He walked with a spring in his step, a cocky spring. His grin was lopsided to the same side as his altered gate and his right shoulder was always held higher than his left.

Almara stepped up, slowly drawing her twin blades. The handles were black, the blade polished silver, and a blood groove ran the length as red as blood itself.

"They put me up against a pretty one, eh?" the man mocked, brandishing his larger two handed sword. "Those little toys of yours won't stand a chance against my strikes."

Almara grinned under her mask. "You have to hit me first."

The man scowled and swung. Almara easily dodged his attack, his swing being just as she had figured. He favored one side, evidence of an old injury. He hid it with his cocky walk and attitude, but it limited his left side.

Almara spun under another attack and let three swift strikes fall on his left side. He blocked the first, barely deflected the second, and the third found his leather armor.

While she fought, Rie-Zunic watched Almara from the sidelines. By taking advantage of her opponent's old injury Almara quickly defeated him.

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 Post subject: Re: The Waning Days of King Valacar
PostPosted: November 28th, 2017, 5:54 pm 
Dunedain Ranger of Arnor
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The five on five melee was on and the Shieldmaidens of Rhovanion were to face the Mercenaries of Pelargir. Vilna, Vidnavi, Vilmaith, Rhinnin and Helda would face the ringers the Mariners Guild had hired, and they started to take the field. Eldacar and Therald watched as Calimir escorted Amarwen up to their seats. Therald said to Eldacar,

"Your Rhovanion shieldmaidens look like they will have a tough time getting past the first round."

"You haven't seen them fight, Therald."


Eldacar remarked. Tharald smiled,

"This is no Rhovanion country fair m'lord. Will you take a wager?"

Eldacar nodded, he said,

"I have ten gold on the shieldmaidens."

"Then I am forced to take the Pelargir team."


Both Eldacar and Therald looked at the mercenaries as they walked out before them. Calimir and Amarwen xat down, and CAlimir smiled, seeing the Guild Mercenaries on the field. In a moment they would bow to King Valacar, the rules explained to the contenders, and the flag would be dropped...


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 Post subject: Re: The Waning Days of King Valacar
PostPosted: November 29th, 2017, 4:35 pm 
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While Almara calmed herself from her first fight the announcement went out for their next match. They would face off against the shieldmaidens. Five on five.

She stepped over to the line up, her name being on the roster. This should be fun, she thought. She had always heard how good these women were. It would be interesting to finally put that skill to the test.

"You remembered the rules," their lead fighter said. "No kill blows... But accidents happen. Thirty silver to the fighter who sends one of those foreigners out of the games injured... And double if they don't walk away."

The man looked to Almara. "Being the only women on this team, I expect you to show these dogs what real Numenorian bloodlines can do."

Almara pulled her mask up over her face and an ominousness glare entered her eyes. "You can count on it."

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 Post subject: Re: The Waning Days of King Valacar
PostPosted: November 29th, 2017, 6:51 pm 
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As they waited for the match to begin, Rhinnin eyed the opponents. She leaned over to Vidnavi to her right and said,
"They are out for blood. I can feel it. Be ready!"
She said the same to Helda on her left, and word was passed to Vilna and Vilmaith. They were ready!
(Sorry it is so short)

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 Post subject: Re: The Waning Days of King Valacar
PostPosted: November 30th, 2017, 2:17 am 
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If blood they wanted blood they would have as far as Helda was concerned. She yawned, for the rules droned on and on and it was clear no one would abide by them. Helda's attention wandered, having already taken stock of their opponents. Not warriors, she had already concluded, but mercenaries. She could tell from the way they held themselves. Honourless scum to be sure, but vicious as the day was long. Shifting her weight, Helda's attention wandered through the royal pavilion until she espied a familiar face. Despite the fact she held a heavy war shield, she hoisted her arm to wave at the Gondorian noblewoman and gave Amarwen a wide grin momentarily forgetting that her grin would be obscured by her helm. Amarwen looked somewhere between irritated and bored and she sat next to an older man who continued to talk at her even though it was clear to Helda the noblewoman had stopped listening to him. The noblewoman didn't respond to Helda's greeting and so, discouraged, the Shieldmaiden lowered her arm.

Still the instructions droned on but Vilna had tired of listening and was issuing instructions in their silent language of hand movements. As the instructions unfurled, Helda smiled again but this time in anticipation. There would be no soft welcome for the mercenaries on the other side of the field. Hefting her spear, with a shaft thick enough to shatter a man's leg, Helda fell into stance and waited for the flag to finally drop. When it did, she shot off with a raucous whoop and then remembered Vilna's request. Soon she joined the fell song of the other three shieldmaidens carried into battle.

The melee began with a mighty din and Therald turned back to consider his daughter. Amarwen sat with her arms crossed and her expression an exact match for the one her mother wore when she was striving to contain her temper. Beside her, sat Calimir.

"Backing Pelargir as well," he called to his friend, more a bid to separate him from his daughter before her restraint snapped than anything else. Things had been strange between them for some time now.

"Of course," Calimir said, rising from his seat and coming to the rail for a better view.

At that, Amarwen shot to her feet and Therald wanted to be able warn her discretely - no more disappearances he wanted to say but his daughter was studiously avoiding his gaze. Thankfully, Therald was not the only man in the royal pavilion watching Amarwen for Prince Aldamir intercept her neatly before she could vanish into the crowds once more. Soon enough the Prince had his daughter's hand tucked into his arm and even teased a smile out of her. Relieved, Therald turned back to find that Pelargir was not doing quite so well against the Shieldmaidens.

Beside him, Eldacar chuckled as a tall Shieldmaiden clobbered her opponent with her shield hard enough to make the man collapse, his legs taken out from under him. War shields were weapons in and of themselves and it was for good reason that even a skilled swordsman feared a proficient spear wielder upon the field. Between the weight and sharp edges of the war shields and the range and heft of the war spears, the Shieldmaidens were holding their own. Not pressing too hard though. They seemed to be, Therald squinted for a moment to be sure, yes the women of Rhovanion seemed to be playing a game. Why, he could even hear their amusement and delight floating up with the dust.

But then came a sharp cry and a spray of blood shone, tiny rubies scattering in an arc through the air and a ripple eddied through those watching. The pitch of the contest tilted, and the laughter ceased. Shieldmaidens redoubled, bringing an intensity to bear that was terrifying to behold for they moved with synchronized precision. This was no longer a sport for them. Now they were fighting in earnest, one of their number flanked by four stern sisters of the shield.

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 Post subject: Re: The Waning Days of King Valacar
PostPosted: December 1st, 2017, 5:31 pm 
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Almara walked calmly into the battlefield once it started. The clash of steel to steel droned in her ears and she zoned everything else out. Her fellow fighters fought hard, but she wondered how much training they had received beyond pillaging farms and innocent civilians. They fought hard, but sloppy.

For the time, however, the shieldmaidens seemed to be holding back. So, Almara held her stride with them, waiting to see how things would play out.

All that changed, however, when one of the other fighters on her team made a quick strike. Almara cringer, and her breath became shallow. It was that silent, yet deafening sound of steel severing flesh. She had been in enough real battles to know that sound. It always made her sick to the stomach the first time she heard it. Then it all changed, Almara's emotions steeled over. The shieldmaidens picked up the game... If it could even be called that anymore. It seemed Almara's companions had a bloodlust, like a shark on a feeding frenzy, they flung themselves into the new battle.

Almara fought with skill, trying to avoid her emotions. She employed precision and dexterity to surprising level as steel met steel with a new vigor.

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 Post subject: Re: The Waning Days of King Valacar
PostPosted: December 2nd, 2017, 5:57 pm 
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The cut to Vidnavi’s arm looked harsh as her blood sprayed everyone. The field steward flagged the mercenary team but he was summarily ignored. Vidnavi hit the ogre aside the head, turning her sword to not kill him, but he lost an ear and more blood sprayed the contenders. Vilmaith kept herself measured against her opponent who didn’t seem as reckless as the others, and they matched each other with vigorous ringing of well-placed blows being countered as they noted the chaos that was going on around them.
Vilna fought a particularly vicious mercenary, and he aimed a kill shot to her chest that connected, but it only staggered Vilna even as it damaged her armour. She would have to be wary of another blow to the same place. But she saw him turn and was going to blindside her sister, and she went low and hit him in the back of the knee, causing him to crumple. The steward, seeing that this match was beyond the scope of the rules, still flagged the man so Vilna stepped back. But he sister Vidnavi did not, and with the hilt of her sword, knocked the man out. They now could help Rhinnin whose shield had just shattered under the strain of heavy axe blows…

Eldacar was silent as he watched the match. It appeared to be five on four, and the Rhovanions were not going to stand down from the mercenaries. The rules violations were numerous and it was likely that both teams would be disqualified at the end. Eldacar debated on ending it before any more injuries were inflicted.


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 Post subject: Re: The Waning Days of King Valacar
PostPosted: December 2nd, 2017, 7:31 pm 
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The owner of the axe was going to regret shattering Rhinnin's shield and almost the arm she had strapped to it. Helda smashed the metal boss of her own shield into his face, hearing the soft crunch of the axe weilder's nose as head and helm snapped back. Rhinnin scrambled back out under Helda's grinding advance, rolling to avoid Vidnavi who had rushed to join Helda. Together, their spears whipped about. As they pushed, though, the mercenaries would flank them and so that was where she and Vilna had to fill the breach. Men, marshals she presumed, were running out towards them. And someone was shouting that the melee was finished. Difficult as it was to pull themselves back, the Shieldmaiden's ground to a grudging halt.

Helda swore, openly, bitterly disappointed and eyed the royal pavilion with the sort of rebellious glare Vilna had seen too many times before. She reached for Helda's forearm just as one of the mercenaries took a swing at the rambunctious Shieldmaiden's head. The blow rang over the field and Helda collapsed, hitting the pressed earth hard. Vidnavi roared her outrage at such an act, for a halt had been declared and had Rhinnin not restrained her the Shieldmaiden's would have again surged to battle. As it was, the marshals were amongst them, shoving the honourless mercenaries away as the watching crowd could be heard to hiss and jeer. Whether for the fact that the melee had ended or the egregious blow against one of their number was not nearly so certain.

"A poor showing," Amarwen observed distastefully from the pavilion, eyes on the fallen Shieldmaiden. She was so still now. "Will she be hurt?"

"Helda?"
Aldamir inquired and shook his head, "I've seen her shake off worse."

"A ruse?"
Amarwen inquired, leaning forward to look closer. It looked authentic to her. The irrascible Shieldmaiden was not moving at all and two of her companions knelt over her, helms pulled free to reveal worried expressions. The other two glared murderously at the unrepentant competitors from Pelargir. Unrepentant save one. A woman, who held herself apart from the others.

"Like as not, Helda is playing this up. She never could resist an audience," Aldamir observed and turned to face Amarwen, "Will I see you tonight, my Lady, at the feast?"

The sudden change of subject surprised Amarwen and her eyes shot to where her father stood, frowning down at the field with Eldacar and Calimir, "I...My father and I have yet to decid-"

"I certainly hope that I will,"
Aldamir opined, his eyes gleaming merrily as he reached for her hand. As he lifted it to his mouth, Amarwen again considered the floor of the pavilion as a new thought occurred to her. Perhaps, she mused, Aldamir liked to make her uncomfortable. When she looked up again, the prince had taken his leave.

Down on the field, Helda whispered out the side of her mouth, "Is it working?"

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(other stuff too but my poetic license expired)


Last edited by Elora Starsong on December 2nd, 2017, 11:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Waning Days of King Valacar
PostPosted: December 2nd, 2017, 10:40 pm 
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As the fight thickened and worsened Almara was forced to make the hard call. Ease up and risk a scolding by her supervisor, or fight hard and save her cover from scrutiny. She did the latter. Though she landed several good blows that no doubt cause some pain, she was cleaver to place them just to the side of causing any real injury. It made for a.good show, though. To her credit, she came away with far less injuries than her fellow mercenaries. She felt rather proud of that fact.

As finally the martials stepped in to stop the outbreak, Almara caught sight of Rie-Zunic. She pushed against him, faking a struggle to push him out of her way and get at the shieldmaidens. "The guildsman are offering rewards for anyone who injured or kills a shieldmaiden," she whispered as she struggled against Rie-Zunic.

Rie-Zunic nodded, then spun her around and put her in a headlock. "That's enough, I said!" He shouted at her. "The fight is over! It's over!" He shoved her to the ground at the feat of another of the mercenaries.

Almara looked up, Rie-Zunic's words ringing in her ears. Though faked they were, they brought back a memory all too real. She glared back with a look of utter contempt and as Rie-Zunic caught her gaze he was taken aback. He hadn't seen that look since the last night they spent together before... He shook off the memory, scowling with a face of confusion as Almara sulked back into the mercenaries camp to await the judgement of the officials in the fight.

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