05.21.3013: Practice Makes Bruises
Summary: Many knights train for the tourney, but few earn so many bruises as Solon and Ellinor.
Date: 21 May, 2013
Related: None
Nikomachos Ellinor Solon Tristan Cambric 

Tournament Grounds, Landing
Jutting out into the sea is a prominence crowned by the bulbous shape of the Landing Stadium. Built to hold 80,000 screaming fans, and boasting the latest in holo-screens high above the tournament grounds themselves, there is never-the-less plenty of room for nobles and extremely rich Citizens down at field level, nearly close enough to feel the breeze of the destriers passing one another, and certainly close enough to be surrounded by the clangor of a melee on foot.

The field itself is set up to suit whatever event is being held, allowing for tilts, the grand melee on foot, single combat on a raised platform, singing competitions on stage, shooting at archery butts, soccer games, and much more.

21 May, 3013

This close to the Landing Tournament, the stadium and its many practice areas are quite busy. The archery range is divided from the rest of the area by a translucent hard light shield, protecting most of the area from misfires or just plain misses, but the shooting area itself is open, allowing for archers to interact with men and women sparring or tilting at each other or a quintain. Nikomachos Cindravale rides atop his huge black beast of a destrier, glittering and gleaming in the spring sunlight. He has just finished a pass at the quintain, turning about as a replay of the charge runs inside his helmet, his head tilted just slightly as he studies the hologram before his eyes.

Ellinor Sauveur stands off to the side of one of the sparring rings, chatting with another Lady Knight who is gesturing very animatedly about the spar she had just interacted with. The pair are laughing, the redhead reaching up to massage at her forehead gently. "I can't believe you let him pin you like that," the Royal is saying with a smirk, which causes the other knight to laugh and waggle her brows suggestively. "Karine!" Ellinor says with a swat to her armored shoulder before she shakes her head. Ellinor is in her drake-accented armor, her helmet tucked under her arm and her two-handed sword slung across her back. She glances over toward the black destrier that belongs to the Valen as he approaches, inclining her head gently.

There's no doubt that Solon, the Lion of Phylon, is in the training area. He's in his heavy aggressive armor with its gold lion imagery all over it, right down to the vicious lion head on the chest. He's not far from the quintain, standing in one of the sparring rings with a rather large wooden greatsword in one hand. He's not sparring with a knight, rather, the owner of a fairly successful bakery who's decided to throw in with the nobles at the tournament. Solon is helping.

He's charging at the man, then crouches down and does a bit of a spin, allowing the weight of the sword to pull his body around, dodging at the man charges as well. Then the sword swings around to the back of his knees and brings the man down. "See, if this were a real battle, you'd have lost your legs. Never let someone goad you into charging, that man is probably a crazy bastard. If you're not a crazy bastard, don't charge." is his sage advice, standing up and reaching down to take the man's hand.

At the sight of Niko, he offers the man a nod and goes to jump down from the ring, waving a hand. "Niko!" he shouts, waving his sword.

Seems that it's practicing for the melee that seems to be the thing for Tristan today, as he's present near the sparring rings, looking at the people present. Sword and armor in place, he hasn't done any kind of sparring yet, as he watches the people present for now.

Nikomachos murmurs a command, and the hard light shield that protects his left side from the vicious swing of the quintain collapses into the left gauntlet of his Defender armor. Ellinor's nod causes the Valen to raise his lance slightly in salute, and then his cousin is calling out. Laughter rises up in his throat, faithfully broadcast by his armor's speakers, "Sol! I didn't know you had already come down." It's a good thing his squire arrives about then, because Niko releases the lance down for the youth to catch, then swings a leg over his destrier's back and drops easily down to the ground. The Young Lord may be a good half-hand taller than him, and significantly broader, but Niko approaches without hesitation, spreading his flame-washed arms for an armor-clattering (and manly-brief) embrace. Glancing back over to the other person he greeted, he beckons Ellinor over, "Sol, this is Sir Ellinor Sauveur. Sir Ellinor, Young Lord Sir Solon Cindravale." Laughter isn't far from his words, infusing them with warmth.

The pair of Lady Knights look over toward the shouts of familiar names between the sparring matches, and Ellinor casts her friend a grin before she steps away toward the pair of Valen knights. She spies the Arborenin also near by, and she casts Tristan a grin and a wave, gesturing him over as she is drawn into the conversation between the Valens. She inclines her head gently at the introduction. "My Lord," she says with a smile. "Pleasure to meet you." She adjusts her helmet a bit between her hands. She gestures to Tristan, drawing him in. "Have you met Lord Sir Tristan Arboren?" She offers.

Solon pats his armored hand against Niko's armored back during their brief manly hug, turning around when his attention is shifted to the slightly younger woman. He turns around to face her, nodding his head with a slight smile. "It's a pleasure to meet you as well. Rest assured, if it were appropriate for me to bow any deeper, I would." he offers with that smile still plastered over his face, and gestures a nod to Tristan as well. "We haven't met. A pleasure to meet you as well. Are you all practicing for the tournament? I admit, I'm far more anxious to for the melee than the jousting, though I love the jousting as well."

Offering a nod and a smile to Ellinor as Tristan sees that wave, making his way over to the others, to offer a grin and a nod to them. "A pleasure to meet you, Sir," he offers to Solon, before he shrugs. "Figured I'd work some on the melee part of this. Archery's good so far," he offers, a bit lightly.

Nikomachos snorts at Solon's words, "You just want to hit people with that giant sword of yours, Sol." Tristan's arrival draws a nod from Nikomachos, and the young man reaches up to pull his horse-crested helmet free of his head, balancing it at his right hip instead. His features are covered in a light sheen of sweat, but a joy glimmers in his grey eyes. "Sol… I know Ariston's here, but is Mirana going to make it too?" He leans over then, pointing across to the Sauveur and noting sotto voce, "Watch out for Ellie, by the way, she's a wicked touch with a blade. Fast and precise. Don't let her get inside your reach." Which suggests, of course, that he won't be participating in the melee, if he's giving advice. "Sadly, I have yet to face Sir Tristan, so I cannot give you any good advice on his tactics of tendencies."

Ellinor glances toward Tristan, offering a bit of a lopsided smile. "If you haven't heard yet… your younger brother asked me out on a date… I, uh… well, perhaps you can let your mother know that I'm not intended to rob her cradle—" Speaking of course to the fact that Keanen and Ellinor are four years in age difference. "I let him down as gently as I could." Then she looks over toward the pair of Valen, and she flashes a grin toward Nikomachos. "You do know best, Sir Niko… Your ego has recovered since our last standoff I see, though." She does incline her head again toward Sol. "Will you be participating in both the tilt and melee?"

"If no one has any objections to doing so. I am considerably better at the melee, but I wouldn't say I'm a slouch when it comes to the tilt." Solon stares over at Tristan, as if sizing him up after Niko mentions not being familiar with him. But the previous statement seems to hold his interest even more. He stabs the tip of the large wooden sword into the ground, and nods to Ellinor. "Sir Ellinor, if you don't mind the unformality, would you like to spar? A quick opponent is the best practice for me, and Sir Niko has me interested."

"My tactics, Sir Nikomachos?" Tristan looks amused for a few moments. "I would prefer keeping that a secret for as long as possible," he remarks, before he offers a grin to Ellinor. "He did? Well, who could blame him for that?" Nodding a little as he hears the rest, offering a quiet smile now. "If needed, I'll let her know," he offers with a smile.

Nikomachos laughs aloud at Ellinor's comment to him, "And just how could my ego suffer from being given a first-hand instruction on the fine points of swordsmanship from a skilled knight, Ellie?" Solon's request draws another chuckle, and he shakes his head slowly, "Yes… a wonderful first impression with a lovely lady, Sol… 'Hi, can I hit you?'" A crooked grin blossoms behind the words, however, showing that he's just teasing. Another laugh lifts from the jovial Valen at Tristan's response to his words, "See, I prefer to let my opponent see what I have, and then prove that I can still defeat him — or her." The last is added with a nod to Ellinor, "No tricks, no traps, just skill on skill." Aaaaand there's a reason he's a tourney knight, not a battlefield veteran.

"I think as long as I haven't once more stirred up trouble between the Arboren and Sauveurs, there will be no need…" she says to Tristan. Ellinor slides a quick glance toward Nikomachos at the invitation from the Young Lord to spar, and she then starts to grin. She bows her head gently to the Valen Heir. "Of course, My Lord… I would be honored." She rolls out of her live steel, handing off the drake-headed sword to Niko if he is so willing. "If you will give me a moment…" And she sets her helmet down gently on the ground before she tosses her head downward, gathering up her fire-touched hair in a knot before she reclaims the helmet to settle over her features. The visor of her helmet illuminates with a fiery stare, and the ruffs around the helm is very similar to that of a drake head. Her voice comes through the little slits in the helm now. "Tricks are half the fun."

"The quickest way to show a lady your physical prowess is to fight her. Or, if she isn't a warrior, fight the person standing next to her." Solon says with a self-assured nod, eyes momentarily closed. HIs helmet was already sitting near the ring, which he goes over to pull over his head. His looks vaguely like a golden lion is earing his head, with a black visor covering his eyes at the lion's mouth. "Tricks and tactics are for the battlefield. Against opponents in melee, the only true trick is to understand the basics of combat enough to break every rule."

"I'm sure there are some… creatures that could tell you my tricks, Sir Nikomachos," Tristan replies, a little lightly, before he shrugs a little, nodding a little as he glances between the others now. "So, the two of them fight, we try to see what kind of tricks they have?" he asks to Nikomachos now.

Nikomachos magnetically locks his helmet to the hip of his armor, then steps over to take the sword from Ellinor. He wraps the belt around the sheathed blade, then cradles it easily in the crook of his left arm. Bending down to scoop up her helmet when she sets it down, he offers it back to her in turn after her hair is settled. "Yes, yes… tricks are fun, tricks are great…" He looks over to Tristan, shaking his head, "And this is why I enjoy the tilt. The tricks available are minimal and usually not enough to shift the battle beyond the skill of the jousters and a healthy dose of luck." He nods to Tristan, "I have absolutely no intention of getting in between the pair of them, or getting bruised up before I tilt."

Ellinor takes up one of the sparring hilts whose holographic technology crafts a sword that looks almost exactly like the blade she just handed off to Nikomachos while also emphasizing its fakeness. She rolls her shoulders a bit beneath the structured pauldrons of her defender armor before she steps into the sparring ring. She kicks at the dirt that has been laid out, getting the feel for the terrain before she glances toward Solon. She offers him a gentle bow. "My Lord…"

Solon stares at his wooden sword, then drops it, grabbing a holographic hilt instead. This forms a large but generic greatsword that he holds in one hand rather than the appropriate two. Then he steps into the ring with her, resting the sword over his armored shoulder as he crouches down, a somewhat unorthodox stance. "Redheads first."

"And here I thought the reason for you preferring jousting was something to do with big sticks, Sir Nikomachos," Tristan remarks, as he turns to watch the spar now. Humming a little under his breath as he watches carefully for the moment.

<COMBAT> Ellinor has changed weapons to Greatsword.
<COMBAT> Ellinor has changed armor to Defender Armor.
<COMBAT> Solon has changed weapons to greatsword.
<COMBAT> Solon has changed armor to aggressor armor.
<COMBAT> Solon has changed stance to Aggressive.
<COMBAT> Solon attacks Ellinor with Greatsword - Moderate wound to Left Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Ellinor attacks Solon with Greatsword - Light wound to Left Arm (Reduced by Armor).

Arriving on the tournament grounds, Cambric gives a chuckle as he notices the others already at practice. Coming up near Nikomachos and Tristan, he gives a lift of his head as he moves to take a seat at a observer. "Afternoon." Offered rather casually, he kicks up his feet to watch as he gives a grin. "And are we taking bets on who wins yet?"

The Drakefire Knight relaxes into her own stance a bit, feeling her weight balance itself all the way into her heels. She steps forward at the invitation, remaining alert and attentive to the Cindravale Knight as she brings her sword down in rather commonplace sweep. She is pleased to not feel the sweep of air that signifies a miss entirely, and it strengths her confidence. For now.

Nikomachos shrugs helplessly at Tristan, "Sure, the big sticks don't hurt. Neither do the destriers. But no, it's the clarity of purpose, the pure expression of skill in point control, balance, and horsemanship." Ellinor's sword still cradled in the crook of his left arm, he pulls a slim-line digital camera from within a compartment at his belt, bringing it up in front of his face and circling slightly around the just-beginning spar to get a good angle. Cambric's arrival gets an off-hand nod, then a frown of recognition and another nod, "Sir. One of the Leonnidas, yes? I'm Sir Nikomachos Cindravale, this is Sir Tristan Arboren. And no, I don't believe any wagers have been made yet."

Tristan just grins a little as he hears Niko's words, before he shrugs a bit now. Looking over to Cambric as he makes his way over, he offers the man a grin. "Sir Cambric. And no, no betting happening yet, I believe. How are you today?"

Ellinor is fast, there's no getting around that. So instead of trying to dodge out of the way, Solon tries to use the armor of his left arm to parry the blow downward. The weight and force causes his arm to go numb, so he stops moving it for the moment. But he doesn't make a sound of pain, possibly not wanting to let on how effective the blow was.

Either way, directly after that, his right arm sweeps out into a quick broad arc of his own greatsword, not seeming to aim at any part of the woman except the general area of her body. It is a very 'I'm trying to split you in half' motion. "I apologize, but I'm rarely a delicate man."

<COMBAT> Ellinor has changed stance to Defensive.
<COMBAT> Solon attacks Ellinor with Greatsword - Light wound to Left Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Ellinor attacks Solon with Greatsword and MISSES!

"I am already well aware of Sir Tristan." Cambric says with a slight chuckle and a two fingered salute towards the Aborden. "Seeing as I am courting his sister. But aye, I am Sir Cambric. Nice to meet you, Sir Nikomachos. I've seen and heard of your prowess in these tournaments in the past, looking forward to see how you fare in the joust this tournament."

Her HUD lights up in the upper right corner to indicate that she has been struck on her left arm — as if the snap of pain wasn't sign enough. Ellinor does not seem to be dissuaded however as she moves around in a steady sidestep even as she keeps her weapon up and alert. She chuckles slightly at his apology. "I would be insulted if you treated me with delicateness, Sir…" And then she steps forward quickly with perhaps a bit too much fevor to strike at the Cindravale once more.

Nikomachos watches the first exchange of blows, shaking his head and looking over at the other two knights watching, "And that is why I use a shield. At the very least it protects my left side." He nods at the Leonnida's introduction, "Sir Cambric, a pleasure. And please, call me Sir Niko. I know full well that my name is a mouthful. Thank you for your kind words. I do hope that I will do the Vale proud. Perhaps this will even be my chance to win one for a change." A self-depricating smirk accompanies the words, and a little light laugh follows them.

Solon crouches down under her sword, raising an arm to try and keep her from bringing it down on him. Then he raises his own sword for the underside of her left arm, getting up close and personal to a rather risky degree. "It's probably rather inappropriate to be crouched down at this level with a Sauveur woman." he quips, the grin practically heard in his tone.

<COMBAT> Ellinor attacks Solon with Greatsword - Light wound to Right Hand.
<COMBAT> Solon attacks Ellinor with Greatsword - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).

"In other words, he's crazy," Tristan offers a bit jokingly in Cambric's direction, before he offers the man a grin. Nodding a bit at Nikomachos now, he offers a momentary grin. "Well, I could bet against you. Those I bet on has a tendency to not win, after all." Looking back at the match now.

"Is he sparring with her are trying to flirt with her?" Cambric asks with an amused smile as he calls out, "Save the offers of a dance for the closing feast!" And then he grins, looking back towards Tristan and laughs out-right. "I suppose that could be a proper obersvation, though I perfer - challenged." Winking at that, he glances towards Nikomachos again and gives a thoughtful pause. "I'd wish you luck, but I plan to enter myself, so would not wish to vex myself - so will instead hope that you finish second to me."

Despite the overshot of her strike, Ellinor appears to use it to her advantage as she refocuses the energy into striking at the man's sword hand. She does not stop there, though. While the Drakefire Knight did not actually hear the other Cindravalen on the sidelines, she appears to be having a shared thought as she drops her left hand away from the sword and tosses up her left forearm in a gesture that springs to life a fiery orange shield. The drake-head of her helmet appears to be loosening its jaw as if about to launch a blaze of fire. "I'm not your typical Sauveur," she responds with her own grin hiding in her tone.

Nikomachos guffaws, calling out to Solon, "No, you should be bent down further, cleaning her boots, Sol!" Shaking his head in apparently amusement, he does flinch slightly at the paired strikes before he looks over to Cambric, "With Sol, it's rarely either or, Sir Cambric. And I'm quite willing to wish you good luck." His smile flashes wider, "And then still come in first, especially with Sir Tristan's bad luck assistance."

"There's no point in a duel without banter!" Solon shouts out without taking his eyes off of her. Though this doesn't keep him from getting a sword slammed right into his hand, causing him to actually drop it due to the shock of the impact, even with armor. But he doesn't waste any time, because with the feeling returned to his left, he grabs the sword with his off-hand before it hits the ground and swings the sword at the air, crouching down to the ground on one foot to increase his momentum while decreasing the resistance offered by the ground, and moves to impact her directly in the side of the abdomen.

<COMBAT> Ellinor has changed stance to agg_shield.
<COMBAT> Ellinor has changed weapons to Sword.
<COMBAT> Ellinor will attack Solon this turn. Options: Called=Right_Hand
<COMBAT> Solon attacks Ellinor with Greatsword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Ellinor attacks Solon with Sword - Moderate wound to Right Hand.

Tristan chuckles a little as he listens now, shaking his head as he turns his attention to the fight a bit more fully. Lookng a bit thoughtful as he studies the fighters for now, smiling a bit.

"You Valens and your ban—" Even while her shield pops to life, she feels the slam of his weapon onto her belly and she almost feels her lungs tighten up with sheer shock of the impact. Her HUD flashes a warning red, but she does not seem willing to relent yet. She takes advantage of their close proximities, slamming her weapon down on his right hand again with absolute intent. Then Ellinor takes several steps back, resuming a more normalized stance with her shield up.

The second attack to his right hand assures that he's definitely not switching back to it any time soon, opening and closing it as if he's trying very hard not to yell. Possibly holding in a yell of the little girl variety.

Either way, he starts to back up a bit, trying to make some space as her shield goes up. He seems to take a moment, as if he's planning something clever. Then, without much warning, he just starts running, as fast as he can in that armor. He's holding his sword back, so it's difficult to tell how he's even planning to go at her. But at the last moment he swings his sword down at the ground, cutting the tip through the dirt. It slows the speed of his swing a bit, but then he just abruptly stops, aiming the sword at her chest, then thrusts it forward with all of his strength.

In other words, he set up an entire attack, did something completely illogically stupid, then feinted.

<COMBAT> Ellinor has changed stance to shielded.
<COMBAT> Ellinor attacks Solon with Sword - Moderate wound to Right Hand.
<COMBAT> Solon attacks Ellinor with Greatsword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

Considering that Ellinor has stared down charging drakes, she drives her heels into the dirt and sweeps her shield around as if to take the strike. Her calculation of his speed and the slight feint does its job as her breastplate absorbs some of the strike, but still sends a sharp warning through her to indicate that, had this not been a spar, that would have been quite painful. She does not give them room though, refusing to step away from him as she brings up the flat of her sword to connect with his hand once more as its one of the view places she has access to this close together.

Nikomachos winces again at that blow to the stomach, finishing for Ellinor, " — ter." He looks over to Cambric and Tristan, "I may have forgotten to warn Sir Ellinor that Sol hits like a crawler full of heavy metal ore. And I definitely should have warned her that he would never stop talking." Looking back to the charge and shaking his head, Niko chuckles, "…I did warn him that she was fast."

Solon wasn't expecting to be stopped dead in his tracks, and it seems to take him back long enough to get slammed in the hand again. "Damnit!" he finally loses his composure and yells, trying to step back and wave his hand a few times. "Arrrgh, I swear I'm gonna…" he trails off then, mumbling.

As Solon steps away, she takes a moment to breathe — stopped by armor or not, she feels an ache in the depth of her chest. Bruises, people. Lots of bruises. Though when Solon shakes out his hand a bit, Ellinor hesitates a moment. She keeps her stance loose and ready while also peeking up over her orange shield. "My Lord?" She inquires…

"I didn't tell you to stop. My hand hurts, and I took my attention off of you to focus on the pain. That was my mistake, and it's your position to teach me not to make that mistake again." Solon grips that sword tightly in his left hand, starting to touch down, this time the same stance as in the beginning, except a left-handed one. "Or at least, it was. Come at me, Sir."

<COMBAT> Ellinor attacks Solon with Sword - ARMOR on Left Leg stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Solon attacks Ellinor with Greatsword - Light wound to Left Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Solon attacks Ellinor with Greatsword - ARMOR on Right Hand stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Ellinor attacks Solon with Sword but Solon DODGES!

Ellinor laughs softly, the warm noise carrying easily through the vocorder in her helmet. "Come now… I make a terrible teacher." And then she steps forward, sweeping her blade confidently toward him after they were both given a moment to breathe. It is an unfortunate way to resume for the young Sauveur as her blade strikes his left leg, the momentum having slowed, and limiting the intensity of the strike. Even her second strike doesn't bode well, proving that perhaps Solon might also have a bit of speed in his technique.

Tristan smiles, listening as he watches intently at the moment. "Good work, both of you," he offers, a bit lightly, as he keeps on watching for now.

Solon slams his left leg into the ground as the sword slams into it, bracing himself to switch hands again, grasping his sword through the pain and swinging it around to slam it into her left arm. Then he does another crouched spin, ducking under her sword and rising back up to swing at her hand, even though it doesn't do much in the way of helping him. "I'm sure you're an excellent teacher."

<COMBAT> Ellinor attacks Solon with Sword but Solon DODGES!
<COMBAT> Solon attacks Ellinor with Greatsword - Light wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Solon attacks Ellinor with Greatsword - Moderate wound to Right Leg (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Ellinor attacks Solon with Sword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Ellinor has been KO'd!

Despite the breather, Ellinor appears to be losing focus in the fight as her HUD continues to report damage that is felt as welting bruises through the protection of her armor. Her sword swing is far too wide to achieve connection, and when she does connect, she still does not put enough power behind the strike to make it effective. It is only after his sword connects with her leg does she stagger back several steps and raises a hand immediately to show that she yields. "I think… that you may be wrong there, Lord… I yield." Her breathing is coming in and out in audibly through her vocorder.

Solon removes his helmet, laying it on the ground with the holographic hilt. Then he walks over to offer his left hand, shaking his head. "You did very well. I'm not exactly feeling as if I can spar again any time soon today. But you are an impressive knight. I hope we get to face each other in the tournament."

Nikomachos watches the ending of the sparring session with tight eyes, although he laughs at the words, "I don't know, Sol… do you think you'll make it to the melee after gathering all those bruises?" He flashes a broad grin as he starts to unwrap the swordbelt from around Ellinor's drake-hilted sword, "I know she left me with bruises for days." His eyes flicker over to the Sauveur knight, and a smirk gathers at one corner of his mouth for a moment, and then he's shaking his head, "One more reason to stick to the tilt. I'll get all my bruises and broken bones the day of, rather than ahead of time."

Ellinor also removes her helm, shaking out her sweaty fire-touched hair. She glances toward Nikomachos with a bit of a smirk. "I did not hurt him as much as he did me," she says, casting a wink toward Solon before she steps forward to exchange a handshake with the man. "Well done, Sir." Then she shakes her head. "I need some… ale." She steps up to collect her drake-headed sword, offering the other Valen a grin. "Sirs, if you will excuse me…"

Nikomachos hangs the sword down by its belt, offering it out to Ellinor so that she can drape it back into place. That done, he raises his eyebrows, "Speaking of… I should get back to my own practice. A good match to you both." He pulls his helmet from his hip, settling it back into place with a quiet 'click.' A few steps, and then he's hooking a foot in the stirrup of his destrier, swinging astride the saddle and taking up the practice lance from his squire.

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