(Oh yeah, if Stefana wins, then Kelnyn will not marry Balen. That’s one way to engineer a result.)
“How embarrassing. I lose no honor armor thief as this is the competition we both signed up for. My sister had fewer qualms before our fight than you and she’s my flesh and blood. Poor Stefana wants to marry the knight of her dreams but can’t make him look her way even though she’s as tall as an ogre. Stop mewling and ready yourself.”
Stefana goes in full force with her axe and tries to land a blow… (exchange blows)
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Her anger gets the better of her and she over extends, missing her target completely and almost loses her axe in the process…
d20: 18 vs 16
5d6: 4 + 3 + 5 + 5 + 2 = 19 ÷ 2 rebated
Bersaba begins her swing confidently, but the axe flies a little too close as she leans back out of the way, her own sword short of the mark.
(Exchange blows again)
Lady Stefana smiles watching Bersaba lean out of the way and coming up short. She chooses to press on, hoping for an opening… (Exchange blows as well)
She swings again, and is true on target… that is, until Sir Bersaba moves just out of the way and the axe whizzes past barely missing…
d20: 11 vs 16
5d6: 6 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 4 = 22
Bersaba presses the advantage and lands a square hit on Lady Stefana. For a moment, her eyes light up in sastifaction as the bout draws to a close. It was a good strike, and were her blade not rebated it would have likely been grevious. She has enough tact not to taunt her opponent further and nods respectfully without saying a word before leaving the arena. The decision is left in Roderick’s hands now, but there is always her last resort. She awaits his decision, resolute in what she must do.
The wound is deep, but the hit to her emotionally is more grievous, though she does not show it. I was certain I was going to beat her… If only I had moved a little faster… Maybe if I would have waited… In a slight state of shock, Lady Stefana mulls over the possible outcomes in her head which are never to be as she instinctively nods in response to Sir Bersaba. I almost had it… I almost won… The wound along her ribs will be a constant reminder of this fact for the rest of her life.
As Sir Berbasa walks away, Lady Stefana thinks to herself with a smirk on her face: She claimed she was wanting to stop her sister from marrying him, and she had the perfect chance of doing that… I think she is here for the money. I cannot blame her, it would have been nice to have £25… But what if I would have offered her some of the prize money? Would she have backed down, or would her pride blinded her… At least I pulled my blows against an opponent not trained in combat! It shows how much she really feared me… Anyway, I am rooting for Lady Kelnyn to win now… May your self imposed shame be complete by failing to see reason Sir Berbasa! Though, if I am honest, if it were not for seeing Berbasa’s fear realized, it would be nice to see Sir Tanwyn win. Besides myself, I think she is the only other one here taking this seriously and for the right reasons…
She slightly winces as she makes to leave the arena and withdraws to her tent, realizing she is no longer in the running to win the competition.
Tanwyn breathes a sigh of relief as the bout goes to form, and Bersaba strikes true. Down to a judges decision then.
She sees Sir Jiam across the fighting ring and locks eyes with him, receiving an almost imperceptible nod.
I wonder if the family fued might work to my favour? If one of Kelnyn and Bersaba wins, then the other will be extremely unhappy. If neither of them win then there might be a chance to mend the rift in their family. Will the judges give that weight in their considerations?
Lady Ellen stands before the two ladies and two knights, while the guests all make their way into the church, and Balen is taken into position before the bishop, ready to perform the rites of whoever is brought down the aisle by Earl Roderick.
“You were judged” she starts “Not only on how you performed in the tasks as set but on how you displayed the characteristics that Sir Balen said he valued in a wife. In the speeches, you were not only judged on how you composed yourself, how you spoke but on whether you held strong beliefs that you were prepared to defend. From what I have heard from Balen he would rather a wife who he disagrees with than who lets life pass by with barely an acknowledgement.”
“In the Cross Country, you were not only judged on how well you rode, but on how you dealt with failure, whether you picked yourself back up and kept your head held high, or if you let defeat drag you down to despair.”
“In the hunting, you were given an unfair task. While we were impressed that you all managed to complete the task in your allotted time, we were in fact more interested in whether you handled the unfairness of the task as a simpering wallflower, a little maiden who does as she is told without complaint, or did you stand up for yourself and demand a fair test.”
She nods to Lady Stefana “Of course, it’s fair to say that one of you did so spectacularly well that it could not possibly be considered an unfairly difficult task, it proved in fact to be far to easy a task.”
“In conclusion then, you have seen who has won each event, but this only tells half the story, and I can tell you that with the secondary factors all taken into account, it is Sir Tanwyn who has claimed victory today. She showed the spirit that I feel is most matched for Sir Balen and it is my honour to ask my husband to lead her down the aisle.”
“However, we all know that this is no the end of today’s festivities, Sir Bersaba, you have a dual to fight, an attempt to win compensation for your lost brother. I can’t say I approve and I know Roderick does not, but neither can we prevent this taking place.”
Balen, Sir Tanwyn will remain @Scribbs’ character, it’s my impression you wanted a wife with an independent spirit, how better to represent this! Will the pair of you tell us how the ceremony goes.
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Tanwyn’s eyes go wide at the announcement, and she seems somewhat lost for words. She falls back on courtesy, bowing graciously to Lady Ellen. “I am honoured that you judged in my favour. Even more so considering the worthiness of Lady Kelnyn, Lady Stefana and Sir Bersaba.”
“If you would please excuse me, I would go and clean myself up a little before entering the church.”
As Tanwyn passes Sir Bersaba, she clasps her shoulder. “Of all of us competing here, your motivation in looking after your family was most admirable. I wish you luck with your duel Sir, even if it is against my intended.” There’s a little frown as she says the last, the words feeling strange on the tongue and in the mind.
Tanwyn retires to wash the sweat and dirt from her face. She realises that she is somewhat unprepared for her own wedding, neglecting to plan far enough ahead to have any fancy clothes on hand. A rummage through her gear finds a simple green tunic, selected by virtue of being the only clean item in her luggage. Her squire is set to cleaning her mud splattered boot in a hurry, whilst she reorganise her hair into a crown braid, taking the opportunity to thread in a few wild flowers. Finally her sword is buckled back on, and she strides towards the church to meet with Earl Roderick at the doors. She proffers an arm “Please lead on my Lord.”
Her eyes roam the guests to find Sir Jiam, and Tanwyn gives him a small nod. Her sights are then locked on the altar and the figures at the far end.
(Marriage or duel first?)
Balen stands at the Altar, resplendent in full armour. He grins ferociously, he is either very happy at the selection of wife or just amused at the drama of the day.
He looks at the spotted mud on her boots, and a fresh bruise on her shoulder. “Tamwyn, you are almost perfect.”
“But a wife needs to know she is the most precious person, and I think you are one who can more than look after themselves.”
He bows low. “Although there is one adjustment I would suggest to your wardrobe.”
He unclips his scabbard. “If you are going to protect me in the field, you’ll need the finest arms available…”
(I am using some of your(UK) slang in this one… Hopefully, I did not misuse it. Let me know if I did!)
Lady Stefana, already knowing she is unlikely to be chosen, listens patiently to Lady Ellen’s words. As more details are revealed as to how they were judged, it is clear to her not winning the competition was probably for the best. As much as she would have liked to see Sir Bersaba have to deal with the possible negative outcomes which odds had in favor, or to have won the prize herself; she is happier Sir Tanwyn was chosen in the end, though she refrains from externalizing this feeling. Instead, she looks respectfully disappointed but also displays a visage of understanding of the results as well.
As she reflects back on the events from earlier in the day, she judges herself harshly for not having more faith in her abilities and to not have picked herself up from her defeats. She secretly relishes the recognition from Lady Ellen in regards to her skills in hunting, holding it as a point of personal pride. So, if I would have exhibited false feelings I could have won… A strategy I would never have considered and never would have stooped to. Tanwyn really did deserve to win this day… Of those of us here, perhaps she is the only one who entered for the right reasons…
She gives Sir Tanwyn a meek smile as the bride-to-be goes to prepare herself and then finds a seat in the church. She regards her surroundings and finally looks at Sir Balen by the altar. After a moment of thinking, she comes to a conclusion: You know what… I do not know what got into me… Perhaps it was the money that made him more appealing… The more I think back to my birthday and what he said, the more I realise he is a bit of a git. Surely there is someone out there more worthy of my attentions… Or perhaps my skills displayed today may open new doors to me? Who knows, but I will just have to see what tomorrow brings… One thing is for sure… If Sir Bersaba does choose to duel Sir Balen, I still hope he knocks her teeth out!..