10.11.3013: Tournament of Tomorrow - Melee Event
Summary: The melee event of the Tournament of Tomorrow.
Date: 21 September 2013
Related: Tournament of Tomorrow: Archery Event, Tournament of Tomorrow: Joust Event
Agnes Ashleigh Beden Chiron Ellinor Erik Jarek Johana Kassandra Nikomachos Sammel Solon 

Tournament Grounds
Four grand walkways, raised hundreds of meters in the air, come together from the cardinal directions to the colossal center that is the Coliseum of the Fortress of Phylon. It is an expansive promenade that makes up the entire lower level of the citadel-like arcology, round in shape and surrounded by columns from which statues of rearing white horses have been carved out of the lower third of the solid stone. These statues are easily three meters in height each, with the remainder of the smooth column stretching still high above them. A rib vaulted ceiling looms high above, and chandeliers of glowing globes of light float just shy of its arches and spread artificial light across the Coliseum.

Various banners proclaiming the "Tourney for Tomorrow" have been placed throughout the arena, with the occasional sigil of a sponsor house. Specifically, signs for House Cindravale, House Grantham, House Rovehn, and House Leonnida have been given prominence in the arrangements. Grandstands have been raised from recesses in the floor, turning the entirety of the Coliseum into a stadium capable of seating tens of thousands. Hard light generators are emplaced around the ground level to provide the lists and the fenced-in area of the melee at need.

11 October 3013

The various holoscreens and speakers around the Coliseum come to life simultaneously, as lights appear all around the grand arena. The 'Tourney for Tomorrow' insignia is now visible to all. It highlights previous results from Archery and the Foot Race. There's thunderous music in the background, as people cheer in the stands for their favorites in past victories as the time for the Grand Melee draws night. The stands are nearly packed, though the vendors outside the Coliseum remain busy as well, though people are beginning to take notice of the holoscreens posted around the colossal structure. A feeling of anticipation is in the air as the combatants are listed, one at a time, the crowd cheering the loudest and proudest for any Valen who's name is shown.

Lady Sir Agnes Peake is not here to compete today, but as a spectator. She is dressed in a deep green gown with flowing skirts and a fitted, modest, bodice, cinched at the waist with a wide leather belt. The color is a nod to the favorite of her betrothed, Young Lord Sir Jarek Saimhann, whose arm she is on. She finds her way to her seat in the designated section on their ticket, and cheers along with the rest at the recap from the prior events.

Ellinor Sauveur strides confidently out toward the melee circle in plates of dark red and gold that has been polished and freshly repaired. The stylized drake armor includes frills and tendrils of thick cords that dance from her helmet, and the eye sockets of the draconic head glow a vibrant yellow. As she makes her way toward her designated entry point, there is a sudden burst of holographic wings from the arch of her shoulder-blades, the broad and leathery span flapping twice before they fold back and disappear along her back. The Drakefire Knight hoists her sword up toward the crowds, and those in support of House Sauveur cheer from the stands.

Nikomachos is settled into the front row of the noble stands as a benefit of both his Valen birth and Sauveur name. His ivory jacket is unbuttoned and thrown back to reveal the purple lining. He whistles sharply for the announcement of the Rovehn victor of the archery contest, but the variety of family members and wife being announced draws him up to his feet, clapping and whistling sharply. The wings on his wife's back are evidently a new touch to him, and he laughs aloud, calling out good-naturedly, "Thief!"

Young Lady Sir Ashleigh Grantham is standing off to the side, her armor on and weapon at the ready, the blunted greatsword made to look like the one she carries into combat. Her hair is loosely braided in a style that keeps it out of her face which puts her serious expression on full display. Her uncle is somewhere to be found, present to watch and cheer her on.

Stepping out to the melee circle, steps light and looking quite relaxed, Sammel lifts his polearm in a wave to the crowds as he takes a few fast steps further into the circle, before he moves back to his first position. There's a bit of a chuckle as he looks at the crowd, and then the assorted relatives and such that's participating, before he seems to go through his last few moments of preparation before this fun little event.

Kassandra takes to the field with a determined stride, tucking up her hair beneath the white-and-gold gleaming helmet. She fastens the last of her armor in place while moving before reaching down to check the placement of her axe at her hip. She orders her AI to 'shield up', and the blue hardlight shield springs from her right bracer. Her gaze scans the array of contestants before she looks back to the stands. "This is a lose-lose for me, Sir Ellinor," she mutters into her comm. "Who knew marriage would be a burden on me too?"

The cameras make sure to pan around the Coliseum showing off the splendor of Phylon as well as the various banners denoting sponsors. Finally after a brief commercial break the smiling face of Demitrius Merkadus appears. "Well dear viewers, the event you have all been waiting for is upon us. Oh no, not the joust, but the Grand Melee on Foot! Witness as the best and brightest knights in Haven proceed to beat each other over the heads with blunted weapons for our amusement. Today we have a rather all-star cast of participants… Young Lady Ashleigh Grantham and her brother Lord Sir Beden Grantham seem to represent the Lashes. From Landing, we are blessed by the presence of Lady Sir Ellinor Sauveur. The Vale is represented by the sibling trio of Lady Sir Kassandra Cindravale, Lord Sir Sammel Cindravale, and Lord Sir Erik Cindravale. Two knights of the Vale have also decided to test their skill in the melee. Who will win? I can't wait to see. Let's watch the contestants make their introductions and then the fun will begin."

In the Coliseum: The announcer lists off the name of each participant as they make their way forward. Once those introductions have been made, the microphone of one of the officials eyeing the event is switched on for the crowd. "On my mark, the Melee will begin. Make sure you are each prepared Milords and Miladies."

There had been a great debate that Erik had with himself, the Valen side of him did not want him to participate in the Grand Melee but to wait for the Joust and focus on that, with the chance of unseating his brother without risking previous injuries. But now that he is of House Ibrahm, to not fight on foot could be viewed as being cowardly, shying away from the fight. That is something that Erik would not want anyone to think of, or be mistaken of. So in black armor with dark red compliments, the Ibrahm knight stands ready once the announcement is made. He acknowledges the crowd as well, especially in the direction of the stands where his wife is watching from.

Beden Grantham makes his way onto the field, zoning out the crowd around him and taking in his fellow combatants. He'll try to give his sister a quick, knowing nod. The Sergeant is wearing coal black combat armor, much akin to that of the Legion of Ash. On each side are Anvils amidst the sigil of House Grantham. The Lord raises his fist to the sky to the crowd as he steps on to the field, though he's certainly not expecting a large cheering section for a Grantham.

Young Lord Jarek walks to his seat with his left arm in a sling and his righ bent to be his betrothed's escort. Dressed in house colors, he smiles brightly at Agnes, "You look great in that color." taking the designated seat after she's taken hers. He'll give attention to the announcer and the screens, waiting to watch the melee events start.

"I love you too, Kassie," Ellinor replies over the comms to her sister-in-law, and she titls her dragon head in her direction. The gorget of her helmet is pulled up briefly enough so she can smile broadly toward the Cindravale, and then she settles the helmet closed again. "I promise that you will still be able to beat your brother at the joust later." Then she hoists her sword up once more at the introduction of her name before she speaks inwardly to her AI. "Syrus, shields up… track opponents…" There's a pause. "And play Hell If I Know's Master of War, fifty percent volume." And then her ears fill with the rumbling voice of Drake Danger as she rolls her shoulders beneath her pauldrons.

The Grantham heir hefts her weapon up, knowing that the people in the stands will want a good showing. There might even be a smile… whooops. Only if one's looking right at her as it's that slight and that fleeting. Once in position she makes sure her helmet gets put into place properly and then she takes a shoulders-width stance, her greatsword held in both hands in a grip that is as strong as the steel of Ignis' foundries.

"Go, Sir Erik!" Agnes calls out. Her fiance is of the Crescent, so that's the horse she's decided to back in this particular race. She leans in to murmur to Jarek. "Thank you, I thought you might like it. How is your arm?"

The two Valen knights make their way onto the field, both seeming to favor large weapons. They take up their positions and ready themselves for the action.

The officials seem to be satisfied and they go ahead and wave for the event to begin.

"And here we go everyone." The voice of Demetrius remarks as things are started off. "I'm still not sure who I view as my favorite, but if I had to pick… I would say that it's going to come down to one of the three Ladies."

"Stiff, but it's healing. Pyotr has been making sure to check on me enough." Jarek's gaze wanders out to the field again, "It would have been good to convince Uncle Kazimir to participate in this." He looks over to Agnes once more, "I'll rely on your lungs to give our support, mine still feel sore. How are you feeling?"

"I'm fully recovered, my love. I could have participated in the melee if I wanted to, but I wanted to watch for a change," Agnes murmurs to Jarek.

Having seen the mock Drake-Winged figure, Beden made a quick call to attack Ellinor. Seeing the Valen Knight joining in the fight, Beden thinks he's found an ally of conveninence. His swing falls wide of Ellinor as he watches her tussle with the knight. Not enough time to vent his anger, Bey gives a few nanoseconds of prayer to the Crone before rebalancing.

The Drakefire Knight storms the field, boots soft against the padded support surface. Two things happen for Ellinor as the group of fighters collide — first she hears the whoosh of a sword sweeping past her head and second she slams her own sword directly into the chest of the Valen Knight with such power that it causes the man to immediately collapse and yield. She turns toward the Grantham now, those glowing draconic yellow eyes settling on him just as a burst of smoke snort from the faux nostrils on her helmet. She takes a deliberate stride toward him as her orange shield remains up and sword readied.

"WOW! Did you see that swing by Lady Sir Ellinor to that knight? She practically took off his head! Holy… I think we have a new favorite to win it all folks." Demitrius exclaims, rather impressed it seems by Ellinor's skill. "In other news, it seems that a sibling rivalry is brewing though Lord Sir Sammel seems to have one-up'd his sister. The only other action of note seems to be Lord Sir Erik Ibrahm of Cindravale's rather vicious cut across the neck of the other knight, though he doesn't seem to enjoy the success of Lady Sir Ellinor."

On the field, the first knight seems to lay there knocked out, while the second reels back from Erik to ready for another action, glad that he didn't meet the fate of his comrade in arms.

The knight who Ashleigh attacked moves out of the way but it's all for nothing as they are felled by the others who attack, her annoyance voiced in a low snarl. There is a moment of pause before she seeks a new target, that being the other knight. This time she aims for their stomach, not holding back.

Why is it always with the neck? Kassie cannot dodge Sammel's swing in time, and the thwack of his polearm against her armor is loud and hellaciously painful. She swears something fierce, shaking her head to clear her vision while lunging at her brother rather half-assed. Her stance is too wide, giving Sammel plenty of time to dodge out of her way. This allows her to backpedal and regain her composure, lifting her shield up high to protect her head. And her freaking neck.

Managing to dodge his way out of Kassie's swing, Sammel ends up taking a hit from one of the other knights to his arm. "Okay, it's on…" he mutters, before he once more moves in for an attack against Kassie now. After all, one doesn't let one's sister beat oneself up unpunished, right?

In a Grand Melee, the initial clash is usually confusing and wild, this one was no different. Luckily for Erik, no one was attacking him in the first exchange so he was free to choose his target and it didn't take long to select the Valen Knight that was going after his brother, disrupting the brother and sister matchup. A lesson was of course taught as a solid blow connects with the other knight's neck, which in turn drew the man's attention. With a grin under his visored helm, Erik prepares for the next exchange of blows, facing off with the other Valen. "Now that is more fair, isn't it, Sir."

Nikomachos settles down as the melee starts, only to straighten up again as Ellinor goes flying into the middle of the fracas. He laughs aloud, shaking his head, "Six Above… she's going to be insufferable tonight." Laughter rises among the words, and he shakes his head, turning his eyes over to where his siblings are clashing with one another. That causes him to smack his forehead with his hand, "Really? Really?"

The spectacle of the opening mad rush is thoroughtly watched by the Young Lord Jarek. He leans over slightly to whisper to Agnes, "I am glad you're watching with me today, though I would have loved to watch you fight… I may have even made you a favor to carry." There's a small smirk, before Jarek looks back out to the combatants.

Once a strategy has been selected in a Melee, there's really no point in trying to change it. At least, so believes Beden Grantham. His black metal armor glistens as he manages to maneuver around Ellinor, his blade making contact with her left arm. He takes enough time to notice that this is the second attack against her that has not appeared to do damage. The Anvil takes aim to strike.

Agnes leans lightly against Jarek in the stands, all smiles, until the fighting gets more intense. "Ouch, I didn't realize how brutal it appears from the outside. When you're in there, you focus so hard on just what is immediately around you, you miss all the chaos."

"Alright, Sammie," Kassie pants into her comm, swinging her axe to thud the dull blade against his breastplate. The momentum allows her to sidestep his thrust just barely, and she finishes off by spinning away from him to pick a new target. "We can dance in a little bit. You know me far too well." The nearest opponent in her field of vision is the Grantham woman, and she shifts her stance and raises her shield, preparing to attack.

"Well, it seems this clash isn't as exciting as the previous one… though Young Lady Sir Ashleigh and Lord Sir Erik seemed to have teamed up to deliver two very damaging blows on that Valen knight. Not to be denied, the knight seems to have struck Lord Sir Erik a harsh blow in response." Demitrius' voice seems slightly bored as Lady Ellinor couldn't be obliged to smash someone into oblivion this round.

The Valen knight staggers from the blow delivered by Ashleigh, but keeps his composure long enough to exchange serious blows with Erik. Spinning away from the engagement, the man readies himself for his next exchange.

Ellinor's shield catches the attack from the Grantham with a sputter of orange hard light. Then she turns sharply from him, readjusting her strides as she draws another aggressive strike against the young Sergeant. She is stepping perhaps a touch too quick and overshoots, her blade catching nothing but air in a sharp whoosh. Those aggressive wings sprout from her back once more, stretching to their full span to reveal the pale webbing on their interior.

"Later, then, Kassie," Sammel replies, before he starts spinning around, trying to use the momentum in an attack against that knight that hit his arm before. Moving in a bit lower, aiming for the abdomen now.

It appears that both Erik and his opponent believes that offense is the best defense as instead of preparing to deflect the blow, both knights swing their weapons. The Ibrahm Knight connects with the Valen's chest while in return receives an equally hard blow to his abdomen. Forced back a step, Erik appears to be studying his opponent, seeing that the Grand Melee is about to swallow up the Knight again.

Nikomachos shakes his head as Ellinor dances with the Grantham, "At least something worthwhile is rubbing off on her." With everything going well for his wife, he seems in fine spirits. Seeing his siblings split from one another again, he nods, "Good. Tactics, tactics." And then he's looking over to Erik just in time to watch his youngest brother take a hit, causing him to chuckle in amused sympathy, "Ow."

Ever wary, the Sergeant Grantham has staked his name on being imminently aware of the battlefield. To some, the attack from the Valen Knight might have been a surprise, but, as he moved to dodge the first strike from the Sauveur, Beden's stance was ready for the swing of the other knight and he responded with relative ease. His own, strike, however, was denied. The stubborn Lord Grantham is not to be dissuaged from his current path. Holding in the eruption of the volcano within, he maintains a cautious, guided attack on his still pointed target.

Ashleigh's attack hits true this time but just as her attack hits Ellinor's blow strikes true as well, causing her to wheel about. Living up to her byname of Flame Dancer, Ashleigh's sword is moved in a sidewards arch as she spins, this attack aimed for whatever the largest target of opportunity the Lady's current stance provides her might be, the sting to her chest a slight distraction once she notices it.

Hitting his target a bit higher up than he was planning, Sammel shakes his headf a little, moving in a touch more aggressively now. Going for the chest region this time, a bit more forcefully.

Huzzah! Kassandra has actually managed to hit something! Finding a hole in Ashleigh's defense - likely due to her focus on a different knight - the Valen manages to bear down on the unwary Grantham woman. As Ashleigh's sword connects with its target, so does the blunted blade of Kassie's axe bite into the armor of her opponent's back. The dent is visible, the clang is loud, and Kassie's response is to giggle rather maniacally as she dances out of reach with the unscathed, vibrant blue of her hardlight shield rising to half-obscure her face behind its hazy, translucent barrier.

"Will you look at that, folks? That knight just took three consecutive hits from Young Lady Sir Ashleigh, Lord Sir Sammel, and Lord Sir Erik… and he's still standing! Who is this guy? Is he even human? I can't imagine what it would feel like to go through such a meatgrinder like that yet still be standing." Demitrius pauses to catch his breath after that, then adds, "Oh, it seems that Lady Sir Kassandra has a problem with the Young Lady of Grantham as that hit she just delivered was particularly nasty."

Down on the field, the Knight grunts as each successive attack lands, the pain and the focus to not collapse cause his swing against Beden to miss.

There is another moment where the Grantham and Sauveur dodge one another's blows. Ellinor's wings collapse once more, disappearing into her back as she dances away from the Sergeant. "You're very dedicated," the Sauvuer comments to the younger of Marah's offspring before she launches foward once more.

Targets are changing, as is who is fighting who, true to the chaos in a Grand Melee and Erik is adapting to it. With another solid blow delivered to the Valen Knight who staggers heavily under his blow, the Ibrahm has decided not to toy with the man anymore. Instead of finishing off, he searches for another, remaining in a defensive posture while he eyes a target, the Gratham Lord.

In the stands, Johana Ibrahm is watching the melee and when Erik takes another hit, her brow furrows and she rises to her feet giving the attacker a threatening look. Ohhh how she wishes she were out there! When it seems he's still up and able to fight, she calls out. "Get 'em Erik!" Not embarrassing or anything right? Taking her seat again, she sits on the very edge, awaiting a winner.

Nikomachos follows the grind of nobles around the Valen knight, whistling softly, "Father Above, he must be doing something right with his life." As Ellinor and the Grantham continue to spar and strike at one another, he shakes his head, "Finish him, Drakefire!" And then he looks over to Johana, "We're going to embarrass someone at this point, aren't we, Sir Ana?"

"Why not save the best for last then?" Beden offers, quickly turning after their swords again miss each other in a graceful dance back and forth. Before he even bothers to hear her response, he turns to find new targets, seeing the other Valen Knight fall, he takes aim at its aggressor.

"It appears that Lord Sir Sammel has ended the hopes for Sir Takes-A-Lot-Of-Hits for this melee. In other news, it appears the other contestants cannot hit the broad side of Phylon." The cameras break from the action for a moment to show Demitrius' smiling face. "Oh, and how about a brief word to thank Senator Alistair Hartcliffe for being a driving force behind this tournament. I know that if -I- could, I would vote for him for Senate. After all, what other options are there in The Roar?"

"Seems like we're going to dance with each other, Sir," Asleigh calls out, respect ringing from somewhere within that helmet of hers. Kassandra's regarded as a target again but, as is the nature of competitions of this nature, nothing is static and now that the two first two knights she attacked are down she switches, this time aiming for Ellinor herself.

Managing to hit the knight solidly, Sammel nods a little as the man goes down. "Well fought," he says, a bit quietly, before he looks around again. Focus on Beden now, as he sees the man moving in, he moves forward quickly, hoping to surprise the Grantham with a solid hit now.

Ana flashes Niko a grin as a brow arches playfully. "I sure hope so. I'm not used to being a spectator, but since it's his fault I'm in this condition, I'm going to do all I can to make sure he's feeling it too." Course she's just mercilessly teasing her husband about now, but she's having a good time doing it.

It is a free-for-all, is it not? Kassie's visor clears long enough for her to flash a smile to Ashleigh before she circles around warily. The two have danced, dodging, but as the Grantham turns away, Kassie has a moment of doubt. But no, it is the melee. She swings away and focuses on the other Grantham, the man with the sword who has spent far too long playing with her sister-in-law.

The Drakefire Knight continues her dance with the younger Grantham for a moment longer, dodging from his sword just as he dodges hers. Then she glances over her shoulder toward the Young Lady of Ignis as she turns her focus toward the Sauveur Knight. She disengages from the Sergeant, preparing to engage her.

When the path between Erik and the Gratham Lord clears up, the Ibrahm finds his chance and then charges forward to engage the man. It appears that the Valen siblings are ganging up on the poor Lord.

"Yes, it does seem much more brutal from the outside." Jarek agrees with Agnes, watching the fighting happening. "I suppose all fighting looks like chaos from the outside." he muses. Glancing to Johana and Nikomachos before looking back to the field again.

Kassandra's swing does not connect, as Beden dodges her axe just in time to meet Erik's sword. The Valen grunts in satisfaction, lets out a wordless cheer, and extracts herself from the tangle to turn about and side with her Sauveur sister. "Shield up," she mutters, and the glowing blue hardlight shield that was gone a moment before springs back into place.

Ashleigh's arm feels the vibration of Ellinor's sword as it crashes against the metal plating there. It makes her arm tingle but is otherwise fine, the limb unscathed and fully functional once the momentary numbness passes. When she sees that her own blow hits the Lady she crows, proud that she managed to get a hit on her. Beden's plight is caught out of the corner of his sister's eye then; gritting her teeth, she leaps towards the knot of aggressors, Erik swung out at to try and drive him back.

The Sergeant Grantham's calculations fail as he finds himself in the middle of the melee field. Taking two rather serious hits, he decides to use his remaining charge to attack the one going after his sister. Beden gives a roar of rage, accepting the inevitability of defeat, for he is a member of the Legion. He has already died. He shall die again, countless times.

The strike from the Grantham heir is going to leave a bruise, and she feels an ache draw up her right hand, but she can't focus on it now. She instead continues to engage with the Grantham, preparing to return the favor to the young woman just as Niko's younger brother turns his attention on his sister-in-law. Family love, they say.

"Look at that folks, it seems the Cindravale have decided to double up and launch a coordinated attack on the Grantham. Lord Sir Sammel and Lord Sir Erik both hitting Lord Beden like a ton of bricks. I'm amazed that he is still standing after that beating. It also appears that Lady Sir Ellinor has taken a minor wound in her dealings with the Young Lady of Grantham. As it stands now, there's no one who has been left unscathed." The camera switches to show Demitrius' face once again and he goes on, "But now, let me tell you about H.A.G., no, not that old ball and chain you deal with day in and day out, but the Haven Actors' Guild." And then he goes on to talk about HAG.

Nikomachos blinks at Ana, laughing suddenly, "Congratulations. Our surrogate is in a similar condition." Frowning back to the 'battlefield,' he gestures back toward the melee, "Shouldn't you have told everyone to hit him in the head and the stomach then?" Smiling once more, he chuckles, "It would be only fair, wouldn't it?"

Nodding a bit as he sees the hits against the Grantham, Sammel draws back a few steps, before he moves in for another attack, with a chuckle now. "Well done, still staying on your feet," he offers to the man.

"Oh dear, the Grantham boy isn't looking good at the moment," Agnes murmurs to Jarek.

Unable to refrain from it, Ana chuckles in response and pretends to consider. "Maybe you're right.. but no, that would be too much. I already do that at home." There is amusement dancing in her eyes though as she drags her gaze from the field to rest on Niko, catching sight of the look from Jarek and offering him a nod before turning her attention to her brother in law. "Thanks for the congratulations, we decided to have the first one together, any after though, he'll have to do some heavy convincing. Congratulations yourself, that's wonderful news."

"No, he doesn't seem to know how to step to the side or raise up a defense. Granted, I'm not one to talk after what happened." Jarek winces slightly at remembered pain from his injuries.

The blow was a brutally heavy one, even Erik could feel it when his blunted Greatsword slams into the armored chest of the Grantham. Retreating a step again so he doesn't get fully tangled in the melee, he searches for another warrior that doesn't appear to be too battered. This time it is the wife of his eldest brother and a grin of amusement curls up as he readies to strikes.

Breath heaving, the stubborn Beden simply smirks to Sammel, his armor rattling from the blow. He gives a half-hearted swing that misses Kassandra by a mile. The beating he's taken thus far was quite severe, but he's struggling through, though he can hear the voice of his trainer reminding him that yielding exists for a reason.

"So another thing I would like to tell you about is Hell If I Know's new album, VENGEANCE, because it looks like Lady Sir Ellinor just took out some VENGEANCE against Young Lady Sir Ashleigh right there. With both Granthams both taking some hits, will the contestants finish them off quickly, or will someone new find themselves the favored target?"

There's a brief grin offered to Beden again, before Sammel moves for the man once more, attempting to go for the abdomen once more. Perhaps trying to knockk the wind out of his opponent, or omething?

An unlucky dodge - at least for Kassandra - but a rather lucky lunge that takes her far out of Beden's reach. It does not escape her notice, however, and she wheels about to gaze at the Grantham sergeant thoughtfully. She rolls her shoulders beneath her armor and raises her shield, although her stance is wider than before.

That hurt. Thankfully it wasn't her left hand as it wasn't entirely too long ago that it got injured during the wall breech. But that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt and Ellinor's blunted weapon finds the weak spots in the glove. Gritting her teeth, Ashleigh once more attacks her, allowing for Beden to fight on his own, her missing Erik noted but dismissed.

Once more, Erik is taking the time to find an opening in the melee and when it comes, he gets ready to rush forward again. This time though, another knight gets in the way but the incoming blow is read which is met with a hard parry and a feint, one that is to give him space to engage on his original target. Closing the distance between himself and his brother's wife, the Ibrahm Knight sees that she is ready so the clash between the two begins.

Nikomachos nods his head at Ana's commentary, "Even if I wanted to, there's no way I could have convinced Ellinor to step out of combat for a year. Besides, this way I can still convince her to go out for drinks." His smile spreads wide, and he laughs easily. "I'm a bad influence, by the way. The surrogate has suggested that she stop drinking for the next nine months." Wincing a little at the clash in the middle of the stadium, he shakes his head, "I do wish they would just pick an opponent and deal with them one at a time. It's… even messier than real combat."

The Sauveur indeed returns the favor to the Grantham heir — a right hand wound for a right hand wound. She tips her chin toward her just as she turns sharply toward the approaching Cindravale. She smirks, her brows arching a bit behind the visor of her helmet. She quirks her head a bit, golden eyes focusing on the Cindravale-turned-Ibrahm.

"I understand. It was a long discussion between us and finally I gave in." Though from the contented smile slanting across her lips, Ana doesn't seem too disappointed in the final decision. "A bad influence? I think all of you Valen men are the same in that way, getting your women to do anything you ask." Shaking her head, she looks back towards the fight and notices Erik engaging Ellinor. "How much of a chance do you think he has against her?" Her smile hitches up a few notches.

Jarek leans over slightly, "Looks like they are all starting to tire a bit, most of them are missing their marks… or so it looks from here." commented to Agnes about the fight.

"Agreed. And I think Sir Erik is about to get a whooping. Sir Ellinor is formidable," Agnes replies to Jarek.

"Lord Sir Sammel has scored his second knockout of the fight. If he keeps this up, he will be the clear winner of the melee. The question is… does this make him a favorite? Or the number one target of the rest of the pack? As for Lord Beden's particpation in the melee? It appears as if he will go down as the third person to be knocked out of the competiton."

The first exchange is… anti-climatic, or it's just that both Erik and Ellinor are very wary of each other's skills. Despite connecting with his strike, the Sauveur's armor is thick enough where it is only a glancing blow and the counter-blow from the Ibrahm's opponent is sidestepped at the last moment.

Grrr. All this dodging and missing and not getting anywhere is wearing very thin on Ashleigh, the Grantham who is aggressive and highly competitive. Shaking her head, she murmurs to her AI who gives a quick readout which does absolutely nothing to make her happy. Ellinor is swung for again, this time in an arc that starts low from Ash's hip and will hopefully wind up hitting somewhere on the other Lady Knight's head.

Having turned his attention to Kassandra, The Anvil's wounds clearly were causing more than a hindrance to his physical actions. While he gave another wild swing towards Kassandra, both she and Sammel connected hits to Beden. Ever stubborn, it is only as he falls to the ground, blacking out from the multiple sources of pain overloading his senses that he's done and out.

Erik's strike connects, but the impact is absorbed by the well-padded and structured helmet. Syrus reports the impact, sending a sprawl of information across her visor to confirm whether or not her armor has taken a substantial amount of damage that may impact its integrity. She lifts her head toward Erik. "You have an interesting way to show that you love me, brother-in-law." She then advances forward with those same aggressive strides, though she pauses long enough to dodge the attack from the Grantham. That earns Ashleigh her attention for now, and the Drakefire Knight turns toward her.

Kassandra's aim is slightly off, and the swing of her axe slides uselessly off of Beden's leg. Still, it looks as though her brother, Sammel, has finished the job. Grunting and sweating, the Valen pulls back, dancing out of the reach to catch her breath and keep herself limber while looking for her next opponent. She waits politely for assistants to help clear Beden from the field before her attention turns back to the other Grantham.

Nikomachos laughs lightly again, "I doubt that either Erik or myself could convince our wives to do anything they really didn't want to do, no matter how charming we are." Arching one eyebrow, he gestures languidly toward himself, "And we are very charming." He shakes his head as he looks back to the fight, "And so indecisive. That's why I do so love the joust. There's always a decision."

As he manages to knock Beden down, Sammel offers a polite nod to the man, even though he seems to have blacked out, before stepping back a bit now, then going for his brother this time, a little more carefully at the moment.

"Well now folks, things are getting more interesting. Lord Sir Erik has turned and delivered a wound to his brother while Young Lady Sir Ashleigh has just delivered a rather harsh hit on Lady Sir Ellinor. I think I winced a little bit watching that one."

Again, Kassandra's balance is disrupted by her eagerness to attack, and she lunges just as Ashleigh moves toward Ellinor. What could have been a hearty hit instead glides harmlessly off of the Grantham's armor, leaving a scratch in the paint job. She grunts, unwilling to let her quarry go, and circles around to find a better angle of attack.

Ana gives him a knowing look but doesn't confirm it, instead, she counters it. "So far we've been fairly lucky and wanted the same things." His self praise earns genuinely amused laughter. "You're trying to sell me on that? Don't I know it all too well. Oozing charm and good looks. You Valens are deadly."

The Drakefire Knight takes the strike to the chest, and there is a flare of red light at the edges of her HUD. She intakes a sharp breath, though she doesn't seem about to surrender to the Grantham. She steps forward also, though her stance adjusts as her shield raises a bit more. She also circles, keeping her gaze fixed on the Young Lady.

*THUNK*THUNK* comes dual sounds as one and then another attack from Ellinor and Kassandra both bounce off, Ashleigh's armor getting a workout even with this just being 'pretend'. They might not necessarily have the ooomph behind them to dent metal but even then, vibrations can cause damage on its own as Ashleigh's discovered in the past. She finds herself in a precarious postion now, that being between the two women. Her stance shifts, becoming a bit more defensive and a feign is made towards Ellinor but the real attack comes in towards Kassandra, the male warriors left to their own devices.

"It would seem that they are coming to stand still, at least from here. Some hits make contact, but no one save for that Grantham have fallen recently." Jarek comments to Agnes, "Now I wish you were down there, I'd be happily giving you a victory kiss by now." he smiles to her before turning back to the fight.

The first exchange between brothers has Erik coming out with a slight edge as his blow strikes true against Sammel's midsection. The polearm that comes at him is parried in turn and it appears that the Ibrahm will be focusing on his older brother, no letting up and chosing another target this time.

"Now that's not nice, Erik. You scratched the paint," Sammel remarks with a chuckle to his younger brother, before he takes a step back, and moves in for another attack now.

Nikomachos hisses as Ellinor takes the hit from Ashleigh, leaning forward in his seat and resting his elbows on his knees. "Shit." And then he half-turns his head toward Johana, "Hrm? Oh, right. Yes. We are quite deadly. Although I have to say that I think Sammy and Erik should be glad that the women are dealing with one another out there. One of them might actually last until the end at this rate."

Agnes chuckles softly and squeezes Jarek's uninjured arm. "You can give me a consolation kiss later for not participating."

"Oh, and now ladies and gents it looks like things are going to come to a head soon. Hits all over during this last exchange with Young Lady Sir Ashleigh Grantham taking the worst out of the lot, although Lady Sir Kassandra and Lord Sir Sammel also took small wounds. I think I've picked my favorite to win it all though… you're going to hear it here first folks. I pick Lady Sir Kassandra Cindravale to win the melee. Not only can she hit like a ramship, but she's only taken one or two minor hits. Good odds if you ask me."

The Drakefire Knight flanks Ashleigh as she turns her attention on Kassandra, but it doesn't prove to be helping her all that much. She whooshes her sword just shy of the Young Lady. In some circles, they would call that a whiff.

Jarek smiles softly, turning just so to place a soft kiss to Agnes' cheek. "Alright, but dinner first. I don't think we've had a proper date in weeks… I am supposed to be courting you still."

That is going to smart. Kassandra lets out a whoop of pleasure as she feels the solid connection of her axe with Ashleigh's armor. Pulling back, however, leaves her open for a blow, and the hammer from the Grantham's greatsword leaves her left arm tingling. She hefts her axe, tightening her grip and gritting her teeth against the pain that radiates from shoulder to wrist. No doubt she will be sporting rather fetching bruises tomorrow. "Music on," she orders to her AI after hearing her name over the PA. "Something pretty. A Letha Vallas album."

If Ashleigh could hear the announcer's assessment she'd probably curse him under her breath. But she is a bit too busy and the AI is grousing at her. "Yes, yes, I know," she whispers to it before ducking, this time swinging low on Ellinor. The blade is leveled for just above her knee, Ash not wanting to accidentally hurt her while trying a new tactic. Kassandra will be repaid for her luck next go around.

Once more, the exchange goes the same way between Erik and Sammel, another light blow dealt by the Ibrahm to his older brother. Hard enough for Sammel to feel it but not hard enough to do anything significant.

"Yeah the competition is getting fierce. I couldn't believe so many of you were in the melee part. I thought you'd all be saving yourselves for the joust." Like Niko, Ana continues watches the field and the battle between them all.

One solid hit. Kassandra is past the point of cheering. All of this dodging around is growing tiresome, and sweat is pouring down her head. She must look a fright inside her gear, but thank the Six for helmets. She refuses to relent, continuing to bear down on Ashleigh.

Frustration starts to work through Ellinor's frame as she is evaded again. She peels her lips back over her teeth and then she takes a large step back as the woman turns toward her. She ducks her chin a bit, but maintains her stance as she prepares to attack the Young Lady again.

More of the same continues between Erik and Sammel though it appears that after another light blow to his older brother, the younger is changing tactics. Instead of trying to knock his brother down to his knees, the Ibrahm is going for a disarming move.

A growl of anger tears through Ash. What did she do to merit the attention of both Lady Sirs? More blows thunk off of her armor which is starting to give her a headache which is, in turn, doing squat for her temperament. Next target, Ellinor, her attention sew-sawing.

"That the best you can do, brother? Seems we'll be standing here until next week or something, then," Sammel remarks, as he once more goes for his brother, this time aiming for his abdomen. He hasn't paid any attention to how the girls are doing now.

"A meal sounds lovely, Jarek," Agnes says, wincing at a few of the blows Sir Kassandra delivers. "That woman hits like a broodmother," she notes quietly.

"Only a few of us are intelligent enough to save ourselves for such things." Nikomachos flashes a grin at Johana, although he keeps his eyes on the melee itself, "She must be getting frustrated. The Young Lady Grantham is doing an excellent job holding off Ellie and Kassie alike. A very formidable defender."

"Well look at that fury of blows, folks. Lord Sir Sammel and Lord Sir Erik are engaged in their own private sibling rivalry with Lord Sir Sammel at the losing end of it, while the ladies all decide amongst themselves which are going to be crowned the winner of the Melee, although currently Young Lady Sir Ashleigh is at the losing end of things."

"Yes she does, she was handy to have along with us." Jarek comments, "Where should we go for dinner? I would offer dancing but I don't think I'm fit enough just yet." there's a soft sigh, "We can go or do whatever you'd like after the joust. If you want to stay and watch, that is. The day is yours my love."

Ashleigh is finally felled and she just lays there, muttering under her breath. She'll congradulate the other once it's over but right now she'll just mutter and nurse her injured prid.

Ana is concentrating on the fight now that more and more are getting eliminated yet Erik is still in. "Looks like a good fight between them all. Just about equal." The observation is quietly spoken though and when it looks like Erik got hit, she calls out again. "Watch your back, Erik!" Oh wow… then three gang up on him and she frowns. "Kick ass, babe."

"Down goes Young Lady Sir Ashleigh! Down goes Young Lady Sir Ashleigh! That concentrated attack by both Lady Sir Ellinor and Lady Sir Kassandra was just too much to handle and now both Granthams have been knocked out of the melee. And now it seems as if Lord Sir Erik is going to have to fend off three attackers at once. What a hero, look at him duck and weave!"

"To Erik, Ellie?" Kassandra's voice comes across the comm, and her music volume decreases by half as she opens up a conversation. She puts voice to their currently silent truce, taking a second to lean down and offer Ashleigh a hand up to her feet. "You fought well, Young Lady." When she is free to do so, the Valen salutes Ellinor with her axe and turns her attention to her baby brother who is fighting so valiantly against Sammel.

"To Erik," Ellinor confirms with a grin toward her sister-in-law once the Grantham heir yields. She steps quickly forward with Kassandra, honing in on Erik. Alexandros's children are proving to be major pains in her butt.

Nikomachos winces as the Young Lady drops, and then laughs aloud as everyone else gangs up on Erik, "That's what he gets for marrying out of the House. Kassie will be trying to drop me into the dirt later on for the same offense." Shaking his head in amusement, he pats Johana's arm lightly, "He's very good. I'm sure he'll only be badly bruised."

The Ibrahm was having a very nice fight with his older brother when he is suddenly set upon by the two lady knights, which causes him to go full defensive. Weapons are parried and dodged, somehow none of the blows hitting him. When Sammel turns to face one of the attackers, Erik does the same, foes suddenly becoming allies in this Grand Melee.

Making sure to keep the defensive stance, Sammel takes a few moments to look between the different opponents, before trying to hit Ellinor with the polearm now. Maybe he'll have better luck against a different target?

Chiron is very late, and he's looking around for an open spot, or someone he knows. In his hand is a drink and in the other some kind of snack food, possibly candied nuts? It takes him a while, but he spots Agnes sitting next to Jarek. He makes is way over to the two and gives them a smile. "Sir Agnes, Young Lord Sir Jarek. How are you? Who's winning?" He says as he looks on at the combat that seems to be close to over.

"Hm, somewhere in Phylon, I think. They have some lovely restaurants," Agnes replies to Jarek. She waves Chiron over when she spots him. "Mister Quellton! If I had to put money on a winner, I think it would be Lady Sir Kassandra at the moment."

"Sammel… how's your betrothed?" Ellinor says conversationally as she regards the man. There is a brief moment to hear what he has to say before she turns toward Erik once more and slashes her blade at Erik swiftly. She strikes and hits, adn then she backs up a moment to adjust her stance once more.

"Not — very nice — Erik," Kassandra growls into her comm, doubling over to catch her breath as his absurdly large sword smashes into her chestplate. "I think I heard something crack. I'm telling mom." The one hit is nearly enough to do her in, but she staggers to her feet and inhales deeply, wincing, and raises her shield for another go 'round. At least maybe it'll be over soon, now.

"Things are getting ugly out there now folks. Enemies become allies, the men are fighting the women, it's everyone out there for themseles. Lady Sir Kassandra, who you might remember me picking as a clear favorite not too long ago has just been on the receiving end of a rather harsh attack from her own brother. Who will win? I don't even know anymore!"

Once more, Erik changes targets after dealing a light blow on Ellinor, this time he is going after his elder sister who's had free reign in this fight so far. His blow strikes true to her chestplate, perhaps an unexpected one and under his visor, his only answer to Kassandra's words is a grin. He isn't fighting timidly either, with both ladies targeting him. Choosing offense instead of defense.

"He's got the joust next, I hope he isn't hurt too badly." Ana says almost flippantly, but the concern in her eyes belies that pretty effectively. "It's a damned good fight. Longest I've ever seen any of these run. So evenly matched."

"Good, good. I guess she might be a bit worried about the hits you guys have delivered to me, but that's life in these events, right?" Sammel remarks in return to Ellinor, before moving to attempt an attack at Erik now.

Nikomachos turns a crooked grin at Johana, "And now you see why I always save myself for the joust." Shaking his head, he adds, "You never turn aside from your first love." There's a pause, and then he adds, "Unless your first love is a Citizen several years older than you and you're thirteen."

"Phylon sounds like a good idea Agnes." Jarek comments before nodding to Chiron, "Young Master, good to see you again." he nods his aggreement with Agnes' theory of winner.

This is why family fights are so much fun. Someone instigates something and everyone piles on, which is what happens to poor Erik from Ellinor's perspective. When all three of them strike the younger of the family, there is almost a moment of guilt felt by the Knight — almost. She maintains her focus on Erik even as he manages to recover from the triple-threat.

Nope. No. Kassandra refuses to relent, not when the melee event has dragged on for so long. It is with weary relief that she feels her axe hit Erik in the side, and the combined three blows look as if they just might topple her brother. But alas, no, it is never quite that easy to take down a Valen. Dodging out of the way of Sammel's attacks like one would a buzzing fly, Kassie continues to plug away at Erik.

When Erik is struck by all three again, this time he stumbles back a few steps and then goes down to one knee. But not out, not yet, the Ibrahm doing his new House colors proud as he slowly rises to his feet after planting the two-handed blade into the ground. After rising to his feet, the Ibrahm Knight fights on with the same vigor this his movement is slightly more sluggish now with the bruises he has collected.

Seems that Sammel's current tactic is switching between his targets very often now. And so, this time, Ellinor is his next target. Looking around very quickly to see that nobody's attacking him, just in case.

"It appears as if Lord Sir Erik is going down…. NOPE, he gets back up. Only to get hitt again, but this time he stays on his feet. A close call for Lord Sir Erik, that was almost the end of his hopes for winning the melee!"

Chiron raises an eyebrow. "We survive a mission we shouldn't, and the only thing you can say is nice to see you again?" Chuckling lightly, he turns to watch the melee, quietly rooting for Kassandra.

With a bemused smile, Ana turns her attention back from Erik getting gang banged to Niko. "I do see why but I can't say once able I'll be doing the same. I'm more a melee person and not for the joust. I'll leave that for Erik." Tilting her head to the side, she laughs. "Uh oh. Never turn aside from your first love? I have to admit that was Thalo, when he saved me, I think I fell for him then." Course Erik and Ana never discussed… love before and she turns to look back at him with a contemplative look on her features.

"Jarek is just a little terse. He got a bad patient dressing down by his brother a little bit ago," Agnes muses to Chiron, even as she kisses Jarek's cheek gently. "We're going to have a nice, quiet, romantic dinner after this."

Nikomachos looks over to Johana, gasping on mock horror, "Goodness. You do like them big, don't you? But that was absolutely just a random example." One blue-gray eye flashes shut in a wink, and then he's looking back into the melee, "My first love is the joust, of course. My last, however, would be my Lady Wife." Shaking his head at the fighting, he grimaces, "Family squabbles are… painful."

Ellinor does not back down from the Ibrahm Knight as she continues to drive her steps forward with sure deliberation. She strikes him solidly, though the hit does not have the same amount of penetration as her previous attack. It is enough though, and the man yields. She nods to him, conveying camaraderie even as she turns to see how Kassandra is doing against Sammel.

Finally, it is the end. The agreed-upon end, anyway. Kassandra lets out a loud laugh - truly, a guffaw - and when both of her brothers have yielded and dropped to kiss the ground, she reaches up to pull off her helmet. Shaking out her sweaty hair, she blinks in the bright light and turns to find Ellinor staring at her. One eyebrow arches upward, and she reaches up to touch the side of her neck and feel around for a bruise. "Sister," she offers with a nod, securing her axe to her side and tucking her helmet under her right arm. Her strides toward Ellinor are slower, off-balance, and obviously painful. "I have probably said it before, but - remind me to never piss you off."

"The action is fierce folks, hits are being delivered all around. Wait.. wait.. yep, it looks like the brothers Lord Sir Sammel Cindravale and Lord Sir Erik Ibrahm of Cindravale have both gone down. The two ladies appear to be the only ones standing. Wait… WE HAVE TWO WINNERS. Lady Sir Ellinor Sauveur and Lady Sir Kassandra Cindravale are going down as a tie. Congratulations to them both! I hope you enjoyed watching this Melee, I know I had fun watching it!"

"Same to you," Ellinor laughs brightly at Kassandra once she also rolls her head out of her own helmet. She raises her sword to the crowds as they cheer, and then she finds her husband. She points her sword tip at him and winks, which is probably seen on the jumbo vids. Then she looks toward Kassie, wrapping an arm around her shoulder to press a sisterly kiss to her temple and murmurs, "I think Sammel and Erik are going to get their revenge…"

Sent to the ground, Sammel's unable to hold back a chuckle now. "Well done," he offers, as he starts to remove his helmet for now. "I must say that even with how this ended up, it was great fun, though." A smile as he works his way to his feet. "Congratulations, both of you. Well deserved."

Agnes can't help but cheer for Kassandra, after mucking through the back woods of the Spine with the woman after the Waygate mission, and the lovely Lady Ellinor.

The called truce causes Niko to blink hard, and then laugh aloud, rising up to clap aloud, then places two fingers in his mouth to whistle sharply. "Go Ellie! Go Kassie!" Laughter interrupts the cheers, then he watches Ellinor's gesture, bowing from the waist, raising one hand to his lip to blow her a kiss.

"You can play a crowd," Kassie murmurs, smiling cheerfully and reaching up to pat Ellinor on the head. She glances toward the crowd and, spotting Agnes, lifts her hand in a cheerful wave before turning back to both Erik and Sammel. "Hey, Sammieboy, you did brilliantly. It was tough, that's for sure. Now, I must limp me away to my horse so Niky can throw me on my butt. Coming, Erik, or do you prefer it down there?"

Jarek gives his applause for Kassie, his lungs incapable of handling cheering right now. He looks at Agnes for a moment, "Who are we cheering for in the joust?" Jarek also gives his applause for Ellinor, because he totally knew about the whole truce bit.

Ashleigh had stepped off to the side once helped to her feet, her hand extended to Kassandra and Ellinor, in turn, and then the men. "That was so much fun. Thank you, truly, for making this melee the best ever. It will be one that will be spoken of for years to come."

"Thanks," Sammmel replies, with a grin, before he adds, "Or maybe you're having one of those days when nobody can knock you out?" A momentary grin, before he adds, "I'm glad I have a little bit longer until it's my turn to ride. Gives me a chance to catch my breath first, you know."

Ana rises and smiles at Niko. "Clever of them.. I like that." She does applaud the two. "I'm going to Erik's tent, I'll see you later. Good luck in the joust!" Offering a quick wave, Johana departs the stands and heads out to find her husband before he's up for the next event. If he's up to it.

Agnes smiles at Jarek. "I'll be rooting for Lady Sir Brienne, as I remember when she was born. I was 11 I think, or ten. She was the first Arboren child I babysat." She seems wistful at the memory. She returns Kassandra's wave with a grin. It's her turn to be the one in a fancy dress today, against expectations.

Chiron cheers for the two winners. raising a hand in the air. He looks over at Jarek and says, "I know who I'm cheering for." giving the man a grin before looking back at the middle of the ring.

"Oh, you are welcome. And thank you and your - brother? - for making it that much more delightful. You were a formidable opponent, my lady." Kassandra grips Ashleigh's hand firmly to shake it before allowing the woman to move along. Instead, she links her armored arm with Sammel's as best she can, using him as a leaning post while watching the field erupt into a flurry of activity as the set-up for the joust commences. "I'm going second against Niky. Is it bad if I hope he throws me down on the first pass so I can get out of this armor?"

Sammel chuckles as he hears Kassie's words. "Well, it's bad, but still understandable, I'd say. And although I'd want to get out of my armor too, there's still this part of me that hates losing." Another grin, "But it will be as it will be."

Nikomachos gives Johana a wave as she departs, "Go help him ice down before the joust this evening. I don't want him whining about being at a disadvantage." And then he's laughing his way down to meet his wife and lead her off the field.

"Good luck, little brother," Kassandra offers to Sammel, rising up on her toes to kiss his cheek before nudging him to move. "We'd better get set up." With her helmet still tucked safely beneath her elbow, she scurries off the field to go find her horse.

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