(121-05-13) Life's a Bitch
Life's a Bitch
Summary: Saskia and Riderch finally encounter one another. Gossip is shared. Hilarity ensues.
Date: 13/05/2014
Related: Um I am terrible at linking maybe we will get around to this one day

Tourney Grounds The Reach
Wed May 14, 121 ((Wed May 14 13:00:03 2014))
It is a summer day. The weather is hot and drizzling.

The Tourney Grounds stand just outside of the walls of Oldtown. There is a raised platform of several levels for noble viewers, with space for comfortable chairs and little tables to be set in place, and tall posts for canopies to be hung to keep the sun off. Not far stands the great board where the lists are kept. On the far side of the grounds rough tiered benches are available for the smallfolk, and past them there's a flat field for the knights to erect their pavilions in the grass.

The long log rail for the jousts stands right before the Lords' and Ladies' platform, with the space for the melee just beyond it. The archery butts are mounded at the Southwest edge of the grounds, where a great meadow of purple-red fireweed spreads off into the distance. The rough little narrow road to Blackcrown cuts through it.
It's a hot summer's day, the heat permeating through the air despite the heavy clouds that hide the sun's rays. Saskia is found in the tourney grounds taking advantage of some free time to train outside of the Dragon manse. She is in the corner of the melee grounds, a training sword in hand. A post has been set up to take the damage of her blows while she swings the weighted blade against it over and over again. She only stops for a quick breather, her hand reaching up to wipe her damp black hair away from her sweaty brow. As she practices however, the occasional passer-bys, usually other Knights or squires, can't seem to help but toss out a few words of disdain, hatred and disgust, laced with more than the occasional innuendo about how they can teach the 'lady knight' how to 'wield a proper sword alright', All this is happily ignored by the woman however, her attention fixed mostly on her training.

A large black dog is stretched out outside of the arena, panting annoyingly in a shade it manages to find by a nearby tree; his eyes are half-shut but his ears are perked in attention, twitching and flicking every now and then.

Today the tourney grounds have a few dedicated practitioners of the arts of war, honing their skills, just chattering, or goofing off. One of these practitioners is definitely not chattering at the moment. Like most of the other folk on the field, he is a man, pausing a moment as he hefts a bastard sword in both hands — it's not a comically oversized weapon but looks quite well-balanced to support a two-handed grip. A series of slashes through the air are made into the poor guts of a training dummy.

Riderch Blackwood's face is distorted slightly, squinting in the sun with narrowed eyes and a furrowed brow.

Stopping after this next volley of strikes, he lets the sword fall to his side and takes a deep breath, wiping some sweat from his forehead with the back of his hand and frowing as he idly glances around. Of course Saskia sticks out like a sore thumb here, and his gaze settles on her. There's some recognition, although it's not entirely clear that there's any disdain or hostility. Yet.

Why is it so damn hot? Saskia lowers her own blade, leaning against it as she drops her head to catch her breath from her last set of swings. Her linen shirt is a few shades darker than it ought to be, covered by sweat from her exertion. Drops drip from the bridge of her nose and chin, which she allows for a moment before reaching up to wipe it away in a futile attempt to dry her face. Deciding she needs an actual break now, she slowly turns and flops down heavily on the ground, limbs akimbo with the blade by her side. Her back resting against her post, her ice blue eyes scan the yard idly, her hand reaching out to her dog and waving blindly in his direction to silently beckon him closer - he ignores her completely. It's only when she gives up and tiredly drops her hand that she catches sight of Riderch catching sight of her. Slowly her eyebrows quirk upwards as she recognizes him from the tourney. Suddenly she lets out a harsh bark of laughter that dies away far too quick since it takes just too much effort.

Wait, — What? Laugh? There's a little flippant gesture on the part of the Riverlander, who she did indeed recall from said tournament. It's not exactly rude or insulting, but more the kind of thing one does when being taunted by someone when drinking a little too much at the same table. He even wrinkles his nose to emphasize it. He stands there a few moments longer, and then the look fades, being replaced by a mild sigh. "Your war-hound is looking a little tired today, /Ser/!" He cups his hand to his mouth. Hiding a bemused smirk. Or at least he thought he was hiding it.

At Riderch's own taunt, Saskia tries her best to act indignant, truly she does, but again..effort. She lolls her head to the side to peer towards her warhound, crinkling her own nose in his direction. "He's just restin' after he fell twelve men," she calls back in obvious jest towards Riderch. Her head rolls back so that she can refocus her eyes on his, trying her best to recall his name and rank. Seeing the sigil however, she tenses the slightest bit before she calls back, perhaps a touch experimentally. "I'm glad to see you recognize the massiveness of my cock, mi'lord. I have been told it rivals the size of most stallions."

Taunts are exchanged, and the lanky Riverlord makes a valiant effort to continue with them except — well, there's an obvious failure there. A PPPPPPFFFFFFT sound as he blasts out a loud, snickering laugh and Riderch's voice finally fades in a cackle. "You should keep a stable full of them, /Ser/. Clearly. Petyr's butcher shop is in a sate perpetual crisis, or so I heard." Finally a snort as he looks at Saskia's aforementioned 'appendage' and another emerges.

"It does, eh? I can tell you where the Brackens are staying if you want to test your theory. They're experts, or so I hear." Clearly amusement is winning out over any indignation here.

"And shame them so utterly? I have already been deemed an abomination, if I showed them the gigantic size of my member, well, they might decide to worship me, then where shall we be? Me as the eighth god, the SerLady, with tits and a cock to rival all that ever is and ever will be." She seems very sure of this. Saskia then adds with a sage tone, "If you wish to start praying for me now, I accept donations." She finally looks back towards the dog and yells at him, "Squid! Get the skin." He ignores her again and Saskia gets more than just a bit frustrated as she grabs her sword and smacks it against the ground threateningly. "Squid! Get. The. Skin!" The dog lazily fixes his eyes on Saskia, then, with a huff, he rolls up to his feet and moves to dig in the pile of her belongings, sniffing lazily to find said skin. He is certainly seems to be taking his sweet time, momentarily forgetting his orders as he gets sidetracked by some other smell.

There's a momentary look of distraction which is then accompanied by a quick grimace as the dog is called. "That poor hound, with a name like that." Riderch tucks the sword under his arm and shakes his head slowly from one side to the other and back before the grimace fades.

But that was only the first thing that caught his attention here. "Knighthood isn't what it..used to be, is it?" He offers tactfully as he takes a few languid steps away from his chosen training dummy, that damnable smirk back on his lips.

"They started letting in heretics." Was that an oh-so-subtle thump against the Weirwood on his sigil? There is such mocking emphasis on this word. Another quick laugh and another step. " And Dornishmen. And now women? I mean, great big weapon and all, Ser. It's a good thing they have drawn the line at Ironborn, otherwise the whole enterprise would collapse under the weight of its own ridiculousness."

"Squid is a perfectly valid name," Saskia returns towards Riderch with a frustrated tone that suggests he isn't the first one to point it out. "Squid Ink, cause he's black, and I thought I was clever, and well, look at'em!" She gestures roughly in the absent-minded dog's direction, who finally seems to remember the skin, grabbing it gently with his teeth and trotting lazily on over to his owner. Saskia's frustration melts into one of pure pride as he does his duty; she grabs the skin from him, roughly rakes her fingers through his neck and back before turning her attention to Riderch as he approaches. She blinks slowly through his words before that same harsh bark of laughter rips through her, her shoulders shaking from the effort before she manages to contain herself to add in her best attempt at solemnity. "If they did allow the Ironborns I would have to give up my title. I wouldn't dare stand for such a thing." Though in truth she doesn't have anything against them outright. Opening the skin, she takes a good swallow of some crisp, clean water before, droplets running off the side to drip down her chin. Having her fill, she finally lifts the skin up towards Riderch in offering while the back of her free hand wipes against her chin and lips. "Looks like I ain' the only one who brings out their ire, eh?" Her lips pull back into a wolfish grin. "What do they call you then?"

"I know, I know. Bad connotations." Smirking again, Blackwood's repartee regarding the name and repartee in general is witty enough to at least confirm he has had a Lord's education, somewhere. There's a touch of a soldier's glibness, though. The man falls silent a moment as he nods his head bemusedly at the dog. There's some kind of fondness for beasts there, although likely not on the level or practice of Saskia's. Another step is taken, and there's a certain — sway in his walk. It's a little bit like he's at sea, which seems a bit ridiculous for their current situation.

He pauses a beat. "Well, there, at least if you're bringing about the end of the world and disgracing the G," he corrects himself, "The Seven, it's nice to know that there are still some standards being upheld." He lets loose a laugh again but it's a bit forced. "Well, Ser," he finally answers, "Ser Riderch Blackwood of Raventree Hall." Which is a long way away, for sure. "Hmmm. So She took you on hire, eh?"

The way he walks does seem to attract Saskia's attention as she peers at him curiously, her head canting to the side. "The Eight," she corrects him as well, pointing at herself to remind him that there is a new addition to the crew. "The LadySer won't take kindly to you forgetting himher," Or was it SerLady? "Standards are meant to be lowered anyways, or was it challenged? Somethin' like that. Gotta twist their heads every now'n'then. Besides, work for the Dragons now," and with that her lips pull back into a wide and toothy grin. "They've gotta deal with the Dragons now if they don't like it."

When he mentions his name, Saskia blinks slowly then, with a tired sigh, she grabs her sword, stabbing it into the ground, and uses it to pull herself up. "Well, Ser Riderch Blackwood of Raventree Hall," she then dips in a bow, a lazy one but surprisingly respectful. "Aye, that they did. Sworn to Princess Elionys Targaryen, apparently the dragons like collecting oddities from across the Seven Kingdoms," she grins at that, "not that I'd mind. Sometimes its good to be a pet, especially if it means you get to keep your title to piss off the other buggers." She then lifts up the waterskin in offering towards Riderch once more, shaking it to capture his attention.

"Seven. Eight. Eight-and-a-half." The Riverlander's head wags a little to and fro as he speaks, hefting that sword under his arm again idly as he leans against a post. "I don't think /your/ Gods really care about me in the first place, otherwise I'd be in deep— shit." there's a /touch/ of 'watch your language around a woman' there that is hard to override but the proverbial little light went off in his head as he becomes reminded the type of woman he's actually talking to. "Maybe I am in deep shit. Although I swore, you know, to uphold the things they asked for Ser Lukas Mallister. He thought it was funny. I went and reswore the oaths a little later /elsewhere./"

"Mmm. Ser Saskia." Of course her name is remembered, they've got more honest whores in Lys than there are the likes of her. "She's good at that. She's a clever girl, that one." He nods a bit, his grin lopsided and bemused. "I remember you from the tournament. I think one of my men won a bag of silver thanks to you, but the laughter he got out of it at the expense of that fool Tyrell man made it worthwhile." Now he clears its throat. "So how's it feel to be an abomination? Different?" He accepts the skin hesitantly after eyeballing it, but takes it all the same.

"If you differentiate my Gods from your Gods then they definitely don't give a shit about you," she returns with a low chuckle. "Should I ask about the second time you swore your oaths?" At the mention of the tourney, Saskia winces, her hand reaching up to rake through her short hair once more before roughly rubbing back and forth to shake the tendrils out. "Sometimes I wonder if Ser Fulk did what he did just to piss the people off, I wouldn't be surprised - he is a wise man, but he seems to have a better understandin' than most Septons and he isn't afraid to prove it" She then pauses briefly, weighing Riderch thoughtfully before she adds slowly, "Don't be so sure you know of which of the gods I prey to. I never really thought of such things. It feels like somethin' them highborns do when they're bored-." Saskia stops short right after that then quickly adds, "Not that you are one; ah, thoughtful highborn I mean. Not to say that I don't think you are full of thought," she stumbles over her words for a moment before sighing as she gives up and drops her head, her shoulders slumping in defeat. "You a boat rider I take it?" Look, change in topic! As she looks up at him through her dark wet bangs, she notices his reaction to the skin. Better be careful, that skin is full of smallfolk dirtiness. Very contagious. Saskia seems more than a touch amused as he eyeballs the skin, happily watching him deal with the awkwardness of her kind gift. Her eyebrows lift at him expectantly, as if nudging him to go ahead and drink.

"Oaths? The further South you go, the fewer Weirwoods there are." Riderch says matter-of-factly in response to matters theological. There's a sloppy shrug there. "Now now, don't go assuming I'm placing in the Sept doing one thing or another." He says, attempting to move the topic along. It's not even condescending, really. "My mother still keeps the Seven and she's no less my mother." Although his smirk returns however subtly. "She hasn't moved the list to Eight just yet." He takes a drink of the skin before languidly dangling it back to Saskia now. "MMm. Thanks." He wipes his face with the back of his hand.

"Ser Fulk is amusing. I think he understands just what to laugh at and if he did this for this reason I would /like/ to think I'm almost in on the joke." He then just sighs and rolls his eyes. "You know what? You can stop trying to crawl up my arse here. I don't really care. I get enough of that every time the Terricks try to parade some /horrible/ dull girl out to arrange a match."

His face suddenly falls into a sharp frown as a boat is mentioned but it is banished almost as quickly as it came. Oh, and he decided to just live with the dirt. "Sometimes I am. Lately it's an ill-omened activity for me."

"Be sure to tell her of the recent change, wouldn't want her to pray to false gods now do you? Besides, I hear new gods tend to be much better at granting wishes." Saskia says this with all the confidence she has of someone making a new religion up. She reaches to accept the waterskin from him and shuts it before dropping it to her side. Her hand reaches down and scratches Squid between his ears, who in turn has flopped tiredly in the heat by her feet. "Almost in on the joke?" Saskia returns with a touch of amusement, "then tell me, what do you think is his reason for Knighting me? Besides slapping the Septons in the face with their draconic rules that no longer make sense?" The mention of crawling up his arse illicits another bark of laughter from the woman, her shoulders shaking as watches Riderch with bright eyes. "Yea well, I don't have the blood of noble borns in me; if you were a Tyrell you might have me whipped on the pillory for looking at you wrong. Better safe than strung up by my intestines. I quite like where they are now…"

In this case, Saskia's ideas have found an amused ear. Likely he doesn't take someone messing with the Faith of the Seven any more seriously than he would an Orthodox worshipper, so it's all fun and proverbial games to him. The shrug he provides essentially proves it. "And what the joke is? I think you just answered the question yourself, there's no need for me to repeat what exactly you said." The self-proclaimed 'heathen knight' is clearly having some small measure of fun with Saskia. "Probably something to do with knocking as many knights as you did flat on their arses. That's the long and short of it. Believe me, /Ser/." The tone is tinged with mirth, "You will get no mockery from me because I simply do not bloody care. If you can fight these people and /win/, well, what does that say? Maybe it says enough. I don't know, because I'm the sort of Knight that I am." He hefts the bastard sword under his arm and takes yet another step forward.

"And really? Do I look like a fucking Tyrell?"

"The careless heathen knight," Saskia returns with a laugh as she grabs her sword. "I did not go up against you in the last rounds of the tourney, did I? Perhaps you might be feelin' left out and want a round or two yourself," she teases back with a wry grin as she places her sword against her shoulder languidly. "Show you how I fell them so easily…Okay it wasn't so easily, and the reason I won was because Ser Fulk resigned-…I would like to say he did it because he was smart enough not to go up against a woman, keeps his reputation in tact while still disrupting the Sev-..Eight." She coughs and clears her throat.

The question of whether he looks like a Tyrell or not earns him a slight shrug before she flashes him a sharkish grin, "You look like a balding, rabid dog who got into his owner's kohl," she nods sagely at that while her eyes narrow in merry amusement. "But, as a Lady Knight, I try not to judge by appearance. For all I know you may be a /shaved/ rabid dog who got into his owner's kohl. I know nothing of families or what they are reputed to be, except powerful, petty and sometimes unforgivable."

"I think Fulk and I beat on each other until that ponce of a Herald got bored." Riderch recalls, carelessly. "Not much happened there. And then that bloody Dornishman with his cheating Dornish horse kept picking at me again and again. It's fine though, really." The Riverlord just finishes this with a great, hapless shrug. "I'm better in the melee." He pointedly avoids talking about the details of this, though.

"From you, that almost sounds like a compliment." If her taunts actually cut into him, he's not showing it.

To be honest, he seems a good sport about the whole thing. "I want to make sure the Princess got her money's worth, is all." He hefts his sword and looks at Saskia flatly. "I'll give you a few rounds, for sure."

"Oh she got her money's worth," Saskia murmurs before she blinks and quickly adds, "As in having me as a swornsword, not as in-…" She clears her throat before lowering the blade with a grin. "Yes, I saw that though I was a bit distracted at the time. I can see how you two would get along." She pauses, nodding as he claims he would give her a few rounds. She doesn't heft the sword in a ready position, at least not yet, but looks towards Riderch with a thoughtful expression. "So you know of Princess Elionys? What can you tell me of her? And of her cousin, Prince Aevander?"

"Hmmm. Well. She's — gracious." Riderch's answer to this is incredibly hesitant at first, but eventually he opens up, his own sword finally lifted in his hand although also not quite ready. As he narrows his eyes. "She's the birthright, sure. But — I know something of Targaryens. When Aegon the Liberator" Note the phrasology here. Not Aegon the /Conqueror/ but the /Liberator/ "flew in near our lands, we were amongst the first houses to aid him. This is her Birthright. Fire, blood, power, and all of the things that people whisper about her family behind closed doors."

"And through it all, she's the sense to be decent. There's a strength there, not the kind that you or I have." He shrugs a little, nonplussed, having hit a point where he's realized that maybe he's said enough, or too much, and his lips purse ever-so-slightly. "Prince Aevander I know less of. He's level-headed. Seems to have an ear for politics. He seemed a little skeptical of me, from what I remember. But then again, can you blame him?"

"No, I cannot," she admits with a little smile at the last comment of Aevander's nature. She then flicks her eyes over to the rest of the grounds briefly before turning back to Riderch. "So the coin was flipped in her favor? Or should I say in our favor," that grin turns positively wolfish as she stabs her sword to the ground again and leans against it. "So I hear; many people say good things about her and I am lucky that she has decided to have me as part of her house. Fire, blood, power…dragons. So much given to you upon the chance that you were birthed a Targaryen. I get shit, mud, twigs and rocks. It's a good thing I quite like twigs and rocks."

She waits a beat or two before adding with a little knowing but amused look in Riderch's direction. "Aegon the Liberator, eh?" Saskia stands straighter to heave her sword upwards. "You definitely aren't afraid of voicin' your views. I like that, refreshing in a lo-…in a knight. I would consider you one of us if it weren't so insulting to some highborns; though you might take it as the compliment it is meant to be." With sword aloft, she points the blade's end in Riderch's direction, a call to ready himself. "I will let you win in front of them," she mock-whispers in his direction, "well at least at first, but then my pride will force me to pin you down and have you admit to the mightiness of my mighty cock."

"Our favor? Maybe yours. I don't know if I could ever /dream/ of being that lucky." The man opines. This isn't about winning. This is about fighting. That's the first thing old Donal Fenn ever taught me." Riderch says, finally raising his blade. "We seem to be talking a lot about this. I like that. So then —" He raises his own. It's more of a longsword than a bastard sword, to be frank, mainly the enlongated grip is what sets it apart. He's fighting without a shield here.

The Riverlander's face breaks into an absurd grin. "You seem to be very fixed upon that. How about —" He lunges forth, uttering one singular word. "This?"

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Saskia=blades Vs Riderch=blades>
< Saskia: Good Success Riderch: Good Success>
< Net Result: DRAW>

"Would you rather have the coin flipped the other way?" Saskia asks as she stares at Riderch with a touch of confusion. "Unless youw wished for her to be just the slightest touch mad; is there a reason?" As she asks the grin returns though as she watches him. "And I like your sword," she notes as she watches him level it at her in return. She has no shield either; pfft, who needs one? Not these two bad asses. "Tell me, what else do you like?" But then he is lunging at her and Saskia widens her eyes in surprise, her sword jerking up to clang loudly against his, blocking the lunge though it takes her a bit more effort than usual. It sets them as evenly matched as their swords press against each other. With a hoarse grunt, she steps forward to towards him to add her weight to the block, narrowing her eyes as she fixes them on Riderch.

Then she moves, dropping the block to swing at him again.

"Some of our best sworn swords didn't even /start/ with mud, twigs and rocks." comes Riderch's quick retort. The man's an interesting study in not being the bulkiest or with the most overpowering strength — what he does have is speed and a basic sense of agility. The practice sword is brought up an instead of a sluggish, powerful hit, a pair of quick strikes to Saskia's side which are countered much in the same way as she counters his.

Lips brought up in a smile that some smallfolk might describe as a little 'touched in the head' remain prominent on his face. He steps back, breaking their parry before moving to strike again. "No and never." He retrots, simply. "You know what you're doing, eh? And what I like is the open water, a nice boat full of drink and a great broad summer sky. I am a boring man, Ser."

+roll Saskia=blades vs Riderch=blades>
<FS3> Opposed Roll — Saskia=blades Vs Riderch=blades>
< Saskia: Success Riderch: Good Success>
< Net Result: Riderch wins - Marginal Victory>

"Maybe a little-…" she admits about knowing what she is doing; but so accustomed to men trying to exert their strength over her as a woman, she wasn't expecting Riderch's speed. As he breaks away then moves to strike again, he gets past her defenses as she tries to block him. Saskia is just a hair too slow and his blade cuts through to smack against her hip even as she tries to pull away. She hisses as he gets through and wins first cut, baring her teeth a bit savagely before she surges in for another attack. "For a man who loves boats and wine you are well-trained with your blades as well. Next time I should lace my waterskin with wine, Ser." With that she lunges forward once more, aiming a bit lower, towards his legs as she takes advantage of her shorter height.
<FS3> Opposed Roll — Saskia=blades Vs Riderch=blades>
< Saskia: Great Success Riderch: Amazing Success>
< Net Result: Riderch wins - Marginal Victory>

It's no easy fight for Riderch. This is true. The man keeps his shoulders squared as he swings the blade again, and his eyes narrow in concentration as sweat pours down his brow. He probably smells /terrible/ at this rate. Her riposte comes at him and he barely brings his own sword up in time, with a /clang/ sound, the blade briefly catching against his crossguard. "I also love sounding like an idiot." he admits, the sudden flash of teeth he provides slightly vulpine.

Exerting himself, he strikes at her again and again after breaking blade-lock but the strikes are still light.

"Boats and wine are fine and all, but that's the thing about history — we've had to fight one greedy bastard after another off our land for centuries. You tend to learn a few things."

Her strikes are amazingly swift and precise, but unfortunately for her Riderch is much more effective and his swings are that much more perfect as he cuts through her attacks easily and breaks through her defense. She falls silent for a brief moment in concentration, but she loses her swing and his smacks home, this time causing the woman to actually stumble away in time and falling on her ass. A harsh bark of laughter escapes from her as she lays there. Considering how much sweat has been pouring down her nose and shirt, she isn't exactly as fresh as a daisy either. Not to mention she is probably used to worse stenches. "Tis a talent you seem to have sharpened as much as your blade," she finally concedes when he mentions sounding like an idiot. "A talent I admire greatly," oh yes, the sarcasm laced with amusement is definitely heard as she grins back at Riderch, from her much lower seat.

And so it goes. At the end of the little exchange, the Riverlander stands before Saskia, himself snickering. The man just /laughs/ at things, like he's sailing through this world an not seeing anything but one great joke. Moving over towards her, he offeres his hand while peering down at where she's situated.

"Nobody takes an idiot seriously." He admits, shrugging haplessly. "I think you might be as good as me, on a good day. Maybe one day even better. But for now, I am hungry. Are you hungry? I hope you like chicken. " His smile is clearly goofy here.

"It's alright, no one takes a Lady Knight seriously either." She flashes him a massive grin before reaching out to accept his hand, wrapping her fingers around his forearm and using him as leverage to pull herself up to her feet. "Fuckin' love chicken," she assures him with a sage nod before patting her thigh to get Squid's attention. "Squid does too," Saskia tells Riderch, with a look that suggests her dog would hopefully be fed too. "Then you can tell me about how much better I will soon be, along with all the other compliments you can muster."

That afternoon, many chickens would meet their end.

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