(123-11-13) Highgarden Tourney
Highgarden Tourney
Summary: A tourney takes place at the very seat of chivalry!
Date: 13/11/2016
Related: Continues in Highgarden Tourney Afterparty.

The tourney grounds of Highgarden are amongst the most beautiful in all Westeros. Carved of white marble, flanked by statues of ancient knights of yore with climbing roses entwined, the broad jousting field is a sight matched by none. Green and gold banners flutter with the slightest of breezes and the colorful shields of the Reach's famed knights hang on the stands. The high box features a carved pair of thrones in ebon wood with red velvet seating for the Targaryeans alongside gold-leaved high-backed chairs for the ruling family of the Reach. The stands are often filled with the nobility of Highgarden and its' smallfolk, waving pennants and making healthy wagers. Young men stare with envy while maidens' hearts are full of romantic dreams, seeking their own Florian.

The sun is shining over Highgarden, seat of House Tyrell, rulers of the Reach. The mighty castle walls are decked out in the flags and wimples of many well-known houses of the Reach and beyond and a veritable city of colourful tents has sprung up in front of them. The tourney grounds have been busy from the early mornings with an early mock-tourney for squires and other youths. The smell of fried food mingles with the intense odour of the nearby rose fields, creating a heady mix and there are bands of musicians, jugglers and other entertainers out, trying to make a pretty penny from the visitors.

Now that the sun is high in the sky, the stands are filling with well-dressed nobles, all chatting among themselves and eager for the tourney. One particular piece of gossip is still making the rounds (+bbread 9/51) and keeps tongues wagging. Beyond that, speculation reigns over who might claim victory on this day and little bets are wagered here and there.

On the main stand in the middle, Lord Lorant Tyrell has taken pride of place with his wife on one side and his sister-in-law Josanne on the other. Excitement is in the air.

A slender widow in a long veil is up in the noble stands. The oval of her face is pale through the fine Myrish lace, though her features are obscured. She has her mulled wine and a cone of roasted nuts.

The Merryweathers, resplendid in blue and gold with the Cornucopia crest on display, sit in a box just below the high box. Several young men, the young lady Merryweather with the baby on her lap, and the broad and jovial lord Josaf. On the field, the golden horn of plenty on his helm, is Nigel Merryweather, waving cheerfully to his sister in the high box. Lady Miranda Tyrell sits with her goodfamily, dressed in Tyrell green with yellow roses demurely embroidered on the high collar.

All good tourneys must have villains. Luckily, the Dornish have arrived to fill that role. Ser Arros Sand, bastard brother of the Lady of Starfall and stepson of Lord Uller of Hellholt steps out of his tent. The young Dornish Knight does not look the role of a villain what with his sable colored curls and appealing smile, and yet he will be booed all the same. He makes his way towards the field with his page and squire leading his destrier and carrying his sword and shield. The crowds may boo, but Arros just smiles and waves all the same.

Looking around as he's made his way to the field, Ser Brynden Hightower has made his way to Highgarden for this event. He looks around rather carefully, studying the other participants, before he looks back at his horse and gear, checking it all once more, rather carefully.

If the Dornish bastard has taken the part of the villain, Ser Loryn Tyrell has taken the part of the local hero, especially in his cousin Garvin's much-noted absence. People wonder if he can repeat the feat of his wedding tourney, but if he feels the pressure he doesn't show it, waving to smallfolk and nobles alike as he rides into the field.

This far South, there are some banners that are not as common as others. All manner of Reach banners flutter in the Autumn wind, but the white and grey of one particular banner attending today might surprise a few. The Stark Direwolf watches over a relatively small contingent of men, though they've seemed an amicable group. Just enough of them to attend a single Knight and his Targaryen wife. Where said wife is precisely, well, she's been seen, and surely she's in the stands somewhere, but Viserra has taken to watching this particular event, and less directly involving herself.

Save, of course, that over all of his armored finery, Bryce Stark bears a boldly placed braided ribbon in red and black. He's been milling about through much of the late morning, smiling and encouraging during the squires' bouts, until proper preparations needed to occur. Which, really, was less about the Stark Knight getting into his armor, and more about the fact that he needed to see the dark furred Direwolf that accompanied by his side, was kenneled soundly before he entered into any sort of Tourney. Sentinel, while he has proven to be quite curious and peaceable over the morning, never took well to seeing Bryce in situations he deemed to be 'danger.' He had a right sight more sense than his human counterpart on that front.

Hounds and wolves have always made more sense to Bryce, and he's better known in the Tourney circles for his skill in the melee, but he's not unfamiliar with horses, or with jousting. And while he'd had help armoring, Bryce leads his own horse onto the field. Seemingly, he has taken to polite conversation with the animal, quite as though he has a proper Lady on his arm even as he gives the requisite waves to crowd and patrons.

A small contribution made to this day's arrangements by Ser Laurent Tyrell even in his absence — and along much the same lines as his insistence upon the fineness of her chambers in Oldtown and Highgarden both — is the presence of Lady Olenna Roxton in a proud place amongst the Tyrells' guests, with what would be a magnificent view of the lists from her box if… she could view it.

She is decidedly not in mourning for her late cousin, Ser Petyr Roxton (+bbread 8/10), though there's an argument to be made that house colours are always appropriate attire. Hers are sky blue and gold, the hues of her splendid silk gown and the embroidery upon it. She too is wearing a veil, spidery-thin golden sandsilk shielding her fair skin from the sunshine (despite the canopy of green and gold oiled silk stretched over her head) and her unfocused, sightless gaze from curious onlookers; she might be a quite ordinary lady come to enjoy the festivities, accompanied by a round-faced and rather excited handmaiden.

The latter is in her best dress (blue linen, the colour of her lady's, with a much more discreet pattern of yellow-gold rather than thread-of-gold rings at collar and cuffs) and constantly looking round at everything in sight and leaning in near to that unmoving veiled head to tell her lady all about it. Fragments of their conversation drift up toward a certain other veiled lady sitting so close; they both have the accents of the Reach, the maid speaking rather better than the local smallfolk are wont to do, and the mistress occasionally slurring a word in the same style. After a while the maid gets up to lean over the half-open side of the box and report on the garments of the ladies and lords sitting nearby: seeing the veiled head of that soberly-dressed lady turned towards her, she blushes and offers a propitiatory curtsey.

After a few elimination rounds only the five best knights are left over to complete for the Golden Rose of Highgarden, which lies on a velvet cushion in front of Lord Lorant, a fancy golden thing, a foot long, leaves studded with tiny emeralds, the petals crusted in rubies. The Master of Ceremonies, one of the Elder Tyrells that are usually pressed into charge on these occasions announces the final:

"The winner will have proven that he can beat everyone on this day. So every of the five last knights in the tourney will compete against the other four - unless they are knocked out of the competition by serious injury or death." He announces this without batting an eyelid, "First up, we'll have Ser Arros Sand and Ser Brynden Hightower!"

Miranda looks over at Olenna and asks, timidly, "Would you care for some lemon water? I find I always forget to take food or drink when the riding starts." She never knows how to deal with the blind woman and smiles even if it's unseen. The maid, no doubt, can see it for her.

Up in the boxes, dressed sharply in black and red, Rhaeyn Targaryen settles with his sister. Though he'd provided little fanfare through action, it's hard to miss a set so distinctly Targaryen. But now there is jousting, and there is wine, and it seems the Prince is actually content to sit still for once. It's a shock, really. But this was entertaining enough, there was cheering, and often blood, and plenty of tension in the air that made it heady and heavy and he could revel in it quite happily. Whether he's remembered to do sensible things like eat, or drink something other than wine, though, well, you would have to ask his twin.

When his name is called first Arros mounts his warhorse, and begins guiding it towards the lists while his page carries his shield and jousting lance. As the crowds jeer him he continues to smile through the visor of his helm. Once his shield and lance are handed up to him he bows courteously in his saddle to Brynden Hightower before shutting the visor, and getting in jousting position.

Brynden's eyes narrows momentarily as he hears the announcement. Mounting his horse, and bringing it to the right place, he offers a brief nod and a smile, as well as one of those bows in return to Arros, before getting ready for this to start. All business now.

House colors are all well and good, but certainly to limit ones palette to only such colors would be dull and tiresome, indeed. So it is that when the good King's niece makes her appearance in the place set aside for her family at this event, it is in a gown of pale blues and white and silver - brocades that cling and flare in such a way to add a certain ethereal aura to an otherwise small, spritely frame. There are diamonds in her hair, little chips of cut stone set into silver pins that catch the light every time she moves. There is a luxurious white fur cloak wrapped around her shoulders. The only concession to her House is a small silver pendant fashioned in the shape of their sigil, resting in the hollow of her throat. As she settles near her twin, Valaerys Targaryen is less his match and more his polarized negative, and yet there is a balance that leaves little doubt they are - as always - part of a paired set.

It is an irony that the most hated knight on the field wears armor enameled a beautiful white; Ser Arros uses the reverse of his father's house colors for his armor and shield. The shooting star of Starfall is purple as opposed to white against his white shield. After the two knights salute each other and the call is given to ride he spurs his mount on, and strikes solidly on the Hightower while avoiding the other man's lance. He drops the cracked lance, and his page runs over to hand up another lance to him. Then he and the other knight repeat the same process two more times. Each time Arros' lance cracks, but he doesn't unseat the Hightower. Each time he evades the other man.

Miranda is of course cheering for the knight of Hightower. Local favorite and all. But she cannot deny the Dornishman's skill. The young woman claps for the good showing overall although the loss does draw a faint pout from her. "Well rode, well rode," she calls.

Not a good start, but then again, Brynden doesn't seem surprised. Taking a solid beating in this, his biggest accomplishment is staying in the saddle. As they finish the third pass, he removes his helm, offering the Dornishman a polite nod and a smile, before he makes his way off the field.

Even the Tyrells have to clap for the Dornishman who's delivering the goods in his bout on the field. There are quite a few excited whispers among googly-eyed girls, too who clap and cheer rather too loudly on the stands, earning them disapproving glares from their mothers.

"Very well then!", the Elder Tyrell announces, "That was impressive. Next up we have… Ser Nigel Merryweather facing Ser Bryce Stark from the Northern lands."

The Merryweather knight trots up to the lists on his charger, waving to the pretty maids in the stand. He salutes the box with royals and liege lords alike before raising his lance in tribute to the northerner. "My little brothers want to see your wolf when the match is over," he calls out with a friendly laugh. "I only hope it isn't too angry when I best you, Ser Bryce."

Bryce is content to watch peacefully this bout. Raising appropriate cheer, but applause would be all but ridiculous in this armor. So he refrains from that, at least. When he is called, however, it's with a quiet grace that he takes the field. Seated on a horse of dappled grey, in armor that is well made, but much more function than form, the tall Northerner is so obvious for the Stark that he is that he might look out of place in the Reach. But the peace to his composure doesn't say he feels terribly out of place at all.

Bryce is content to watch peacefully this bout. Raising appropriate cheer, but applause would be all but ridiculous in this armor. So he refrains from that, at least. When he is called, however, it's with a quiet grace that he takes the field. Seated on a horse of dappled grey, in armor that is well made, but much more function than form, the tall Northerner is so obvious for the Stark that he is that he might look out of place in the Reach. But the peace to his composure doesn't say he feels terribly out of place at all. Thus when the call comes from the Merryweather knight, it's met with a raise of his own lance and a laugh that is more friendly than some might expect. No direct words, but the nod says enough.

The maid Sallei's eyes are sharp indeed: when she sees it's all right and her behaviour hasn't perhaps reflected so ill upon her lady, her uncertain expression melts into a broad smile of relief, and she gives the other veiled lady a tiny wave. She retreats into the more shielded part of the box, just as Lady Roxton is tilting her own head toward the sound of Lady Miranda Tyrell's voice in the next one along. "Thank you, Lady Miranda," she answers sedately, pitching her voice — she hopes — to be heard above the noise of so many people gathered together. She makes a stiff figure as well as an elegant one, among such a commotion as she has never, as it were, seen — but at least by Ser Laurent's precautions she can be certain of not being surrounded, or jostled… "I'm sure the distractions must be very great," she adds.

A goblet of the refreshing beverage in question arrives in her hand, accompanied by Sallei's description of that nice-looking widow sitting in the stands further back, whose veil looks heavier than milady's, and what a shame that she can probably hardly see what's going on, through that and from up there—? It isn't as though ladies in mourning have much entertainment, is it. Lady Roxton, nodding, showing the elaborately-engraved golden cuff bracelets about each of her wrists as she lifts her goblet in both hands and lowers it again untasted, agrees in a murmur that yes, it is a shame for the lady.

And ere long she cuts off Sallei's frantic efforts to describe the clash below between Ser Nigel Merryweather — some relation of Lady Miranda's? — and the Stark lord whose direwolf they made friends with once upon a time, and whom they are by unspoken agreement rooting for. "… Will you ask the lady to come and sit beside me?" she suggests, having an idea of her own in mind.

Sallei is a maid; she doesn't argue, but unlatches the box's tiny gate and begins to pick her way upward through the stands to Lady Deirdre Trant.

Those who know Bryce Stark a little better know that he honestly doesn't joust that often. Those who don't however, probably wouldn't know it for the way he rides today. Some of this friends might even actually doubt the truth of the claim. Three lances, all broken, cast to his squire who took them up with the attentive enthusiasm of his youth. Nevertheless, when after three turns, Bryce has felt two solid blows, the familiar ringing in his ears that always comes along with this sport, he is smiling when he removes his helm. There is a wave that is warm sent to the Merryweather knight after all the pleasantries, he can appreciate decent sport for what it is.

He's a jovial sort, that Nigel. Gets it from his father likely. After a decent showing he salutes the Stark and removes his helm, ruffling his hand through his hair as he laughs. "Good showing. Your direwolf won't be quite so irate at me then!" And back to his tent while his brothers and sister pout for the loss.

Arros dismounts from his sandsteed without aid, and pulls his helmet off to wet his curls and face with some water before taking a long drink from the skin. Perhaps it is the diamonds glittering in her hair that catches his attention or maybe it is simply because the Princess is lovely, but when he pulls the waterskin back his eyes widen a touch, and then he smiles rather broadly. It is an impetuous reaction, done without regard for Valaerys rank, and he covers for it by raking his fingers through his damp curls and turns his attention on the Stark and Merryweather jousting. When the Stark wins he lets out an amused whoop and says, "So the North does ride again!"

The widow in black lace waves back, the tilt of her head still quizzical, and leans forward to get a better look at the riders as they joust. She claps along with the others. A slender hand deftly lifts a nut beneath the veil. She turns at the maid's approach and after some quiet words she rises and follows Sallei to the Lady Olenna's box. She gives a graceful curtsey.

The crowd cheers the local boy Ser Nigel of course, but they give the Northern knight his due round of cheers and claps when he emerges victorious. The result is noted before the Elder Tyrell announces the next bout to cheers from the small folk: Ser Loryn Tyrell shall be facing Ser Arros Sand from Dorne.

The young Tyrell knight looks cheerful, as he rides into the grounds on his charger, but there's a note of worry in his eyes. The Dornishman was rather frigging good.

Miranda blows a kiss to her beloved knight. The coin changes hands as the prowess of the wedding tourney of the pair is remembered. This should be a crowdpleaser.

Rhaeyn had been doing so well. Yes, he was dressed in dour darkness in comparison to his twin. Yes, he's almost uncharacteristically quiet, but he'd been behaving. He'd even been amused. This rounds had flair to them. That was something. When, however, the Dornish knight looks up to his twin, Rhaeyn does catch that. Violet eyes narrow, appraising the man, and then slowly turning to his sister, looking at her with the expression that only ever means, 'need there be fire?'

Arros puts his helm back on when his name is announced, and mounts up again. Once he has collected his lance and shield from his page he rides to face Loryn. The Tyrell knight is given a respectful bow and salute; whatever animosity there is between Reach and Dorne it seems the Dornishman has left those feelings at home for the tourney.

Lady Roxton's box boasts a trio of the well-cushioned chairs carried out of Highgarden proper for the day for the comfort of the better class of tourney guests; sitting with her full skirts spilling in almost every direction out of the chair in the middle, she gestures with the hand which isn't holding a goblet to the chair between her and the edge of the Tyrell box next door. "Won't you sit, please?" she offers pleasantly. "When my maid told me of another lady in a veil, we worried that you might not be able to see well from where you were, Lady…?" She makes the word a question, a polite inquiry into her new companion's name and antecedents. Sallei, who has already explained that she's in the service of Lady Roxton of the Ring, a local house whose present penury she did not touch upon, is busy filling another goblet.

Deirdre's accent is gentile, but clearly of the Stormland's, "Lady Deirdre Trant, My Lady, widowed now. I was of House Rogers, of Amberleigh before. It was kind of you to invite me." She arranges her skirts prettily as she sits, a slender, straight backed figure, her age hard to determine in her demure mourning clothes.

It seems the young Tyrell is still riding on the wings of love or just massively buoyed by the noisy support from the stands. After two lacklustre bouts in which he barely manages to tip the Dornishman's breastplate, he finally manages to shatter his lance and send his opponent flying. Letting out a loud whoop, he tears off his helmet to blow a kiss to his young wife on the stands, before offering Arros a respectful nod.

"Well, that was quite something", the Elder Tyrell announces with a look of relief, "Next up we'll have Ser Brynden Hightower from Oldtown ride against Ser Bryce Stark of Winterfell!"

Most among her acquaintance Vala would happily describe as 'oblivious' were she to be entirely honest. Her family standards of such awareness may or may not be unreasonable, but the fact remains that one of their earliest lessons had been how to read a room. Gazes are naturally drawn to those who win, of course. In this instance she can hardly be the only one to notice the rashness of this Dornish knight's behaviour. It is a gaze she meets without hesitation or the lauded ladylike demure demeanor. There isn't a smile in return either - unless one were to count the way just one corner of her mouth twitches into something almost predatory - but there is a raised brow, a silent question that is as much invitation to make his next move as any opening pawn's gambit. It's all the consideration he's given, however, because when Rhaeyn shifts beside her, Valaerys' attention is arrested upon him entirely. Looking to him, her face softens into a light kiss of color along the apples of her cheeks and a smile that grows slowly as she leans up and over to press a chaste kiss to his cheek, though the nuzzle against his jaw as she pulls back is perhaps less so. In any case, it is unquestionable affection, reassurance, playful calm. If there is a need for fire, it has not come yet.

Rhaeyn nods to his sister, seemingly contented by her affections, and he turns to watch, as the Dornish admirer had been called to the field once more. When, however, Arros finds himself unhorsed, the young Prince can't help but laugh. He muffles it a moment later into his wine, but the movement in his shoulders portrays his pleasure nevertheless. Not a subtle thing, this dragon.

Well, that was quite the round. Ser Loryn's victory at his wedding tourney had certainly travelled on excited lips, but Bryce is now legitimately regretting missing seeing that display, if his luck is still holding true. But there's little rest to be had on a tourney field, and when his name is called once more, he takes to the call just as easily as before. There's a respectful nod to the Hightower, but he's not a man of many words even in more social exchanges.

Arros does not do as well during his second bout. Twice Loryn Tyrell strikes him with his lance. Perhaps the Tyrell knight simply outclasses the Dornish bastard. Still, there is a distracted turn of his helmed head in the direction of the Targaryen box where the twins reside as he rides towards Loryn Tyrell, and it is then that he is knocked clean off of his horse.

Brynden nods a little as he sees Loryn's work, unable to hold back a brief smile. As he's called again, he moves forward once more, this time taking a bit more time to do so. Looking like he's taking the time to get some ritual done. There's a nod politely given to Bryce, as he gets into place, ready to charge forward!

To Lady Roxton's keen ears Lady Deirdre's voice sounds neither old nor young, and very gently-bred despite her peculiar accent; beneath her veil she smiles, the expression concealed from the eye but perhaps there to be heard in her words. "I'm pleased to make your acquaintance," she says; "I'm Olenna Roxton."

Sallei is busy about the little box, easing past her lady's abundant skirts, laying within Lady Deirdre's reach the nuts and the mulled wine she carried down for her and placing the goblet of lemon water there too for when the wine runs out. If she does it now, she won't have to get up again so soon, will she? She curtseys to the Stormlands lady and edges backward into the chair at Lady Roxton's other side, where she perches on the very edge and mentions again how well Ser Bryce is acquitting himself, and won't his wolf wag his tail to hear it? Being a close personal friend of Sentinel's, she's casual in crediting him with a certain intelligence! Lady Roxton nods gravely; of Lady Deirdre she inquires, "Have you friends or kin in Highgarden, my lady?"

There are just some days where things go your way. So far, the Stark knight seems to be having one of those days. A touch to the ribbon at his shoulder gives him a small pause before the first turn. But then that becomes the only turn, as lance hits home with the distinct sounds of shattering wood. He really might have to reconsider his stance on jousting after today. Perhaps it was the impending cold weather, or the blessing of his wife's favor, but when Bryce removes his helm this time, his Northern paleness is flushed just a little and the smile he wears has a little more pride than his even, friendly countenance before would let on. Even still, when Ser Brynden is back on his feet, there is a bow of his head for the other man.

There's an audible collective gasp of the crowd when Ser Brynden Hightower is unhorsed, but still a round of polite applause for the Stark after this impressive showing.

"Ouch, that was painful.", the Elder Tyrell announces when he steps forward again, "Will we see Ser Brynden ride again today?" He quirks an eyebrow into Brynden's general direction as if expecting a direct answer, then consults his notes. The field has shrunk and so Ser Bryce will have to ride again immediately, facing Ser Loryn Tyrell this time.

Lady Deirdre's voice has a warmth to it and a natural richness, "I am pleased to meet you. I've not many aquaintences in Reach, and I have never been to the highgarden before, though I have seen some Marcher Tourneys. I have roast nuts if you'd like some. She makes a small sound of Alarm. "That was a fast unhorsing. The Stark just sent the Hightower flying!"

At least he manages to hit something this time. Brynden goes flying off his horse, landing and rolling around. He takes a few moments while staying on the ground, before he slowly gets back to his feet, shaking his head a little as he offers a nod to Bryce, then makes his way off the field.

Honestly, Bryce had been set for a longer round than he'd had, so turning back to meet the Tyrell doesn't seem to bother him. There's a pat to his horse's neck, likely some apology about this foolishness he insists she indulge him in, but otherwise he's still smiling when his helm is resettled. There's a raise of his lance when it is handed to him, an acknowledgement to Ser Loryn, but still he remains quiet. It seems easier for him that way.

Ser Loryn rides back into the grounds amid cheers from the locals and offers a nod to Bryce Stark before lowering his helmet, ready to ride again…

Another murmur rolls through the crowd as Ser Loryn is defeated by the Northerner. So much for the invincible local hero. While Loryn looks a little disappointed that his lucky streak has ended, he offers Bryce a respectful nod. "Well ridden, Ser!", he remarks with a little smile.

Before he can ride off, the Elder Tyrell announces that Ser Loryn shall ride again immediately, this time meeting Ser Brynden Hightower. The former squire riding against his knight who hasn't been having his best day so far.

"Oh!" And the maid Sallei bursts into the conversation between the two ladies, as though she had every right to speak so. "He's getting up already, milady, but I think he's…" She hesitates, sitting up straighter, leaning forward with a hand on the front of the box. "He's given up," she reports, "and he's going off the field again. Poor fellow," she sighs, "such a fall it was…"

Lady Roxton registers no surprise at her maid's interjection; she sits sedately, at the back of her chair rather than upon the edge of it, occupied not with gazing at the antics on the field below but with her veil and her goblet and insinuating one past the other with great care. "The poor man," she agrees solemnly, thinking of horses and how high they always seem. "He must have had the wind knocked out of him… I have never been to a tourney before," she mentions to Lady Deirdre; "there never seemed any point. I don't know whether Sallei remembered to tell you — I am blind."

Now that was a round that Bryce had legitimately enjoyed. Still smiling as he moves to the side, there is a nod sent back to Loryn. "And you, Ser." Is called back with no touch of dishonesty. Today had gone a right sight better than he'd expected, and the Stark seems to be in good spirits.

Rhaeyn is entirely engaged, but his sister is always welcome to a portion of his attention. So when she speaks, the Prince smiles, and drinks deeply. "They wouldn't dare." He says back, sounding wholly amused, "Though, it's not as though I can really blame him." There's a purr in his voice then, as he reaches to tuck back the smalled lock of stray silver hair from his sister's face.

Deirdre makes a soft sound suspiciously akin to a tiny, ladylike snort, "It's more sensible if they don't try to fight afoot. The jousting armour is far too stiff and they lumber about like oxes. They use a different style of armour in melee, the same armour they'd use in battle. Jousting armour's designed to cut down on them outright dying when a lance is thrust at them…. Of course in the old days it was field armour for everything and they'd ride loose in groups over field and village, trampling the crops instead of nice and neat in lists." She lifts her hand to her mouth, embarrassed at having run on so. "My apologies. My husband and his brother were fond of stories of knights of old." She ducks her head politely, "Then I shall try to be colourful for you."

Having gotten back on his horse, Brynden is unable to hold back a grin in Loryn's direction as he hears them called to face each other. He lets out a bit of a breath, as he looks to the Tyrell. "Now, don't be too harsh with an old man, hmm?" he calls lightly over towards his former squire, before he puts his helm back on, readying himself.

Loryn just chuckles at Brynden's words, but doesn't directly respond. Instead he puts on his helmet to ride once more…

There can be no doubt that Loryn would consciously give the older knight some leeway but somehow the fight seems to have gone out of the young Tyrell. No more victories on the wings of love the balladeers can sing about. Instead he suffers a defeat at the hand of the Hightower and offers the man a warm smile. "Still some fight left in that old man, huh?", he teases and offers Brynden his hand to shake before they leave the tourney grounds.

Maybe getting knocked out of the saddle was what Brynden needed to wake up. Getting through this one on top, he pauses for a few moments, offering a similar warm smile in return to Loryn. "Had to happen at some point, right?" A brief pause as he makes his way off the field again.

The Elder Tyrell needs a moment to digest the defeat of his younger relative before he steps forward. "Well well, tourneys are always good for a surprise.", he comments to the crowd and clears his throat. "This makes the last bout all the more exciting though! We have Ser Bryce Stark of the Far North face Ser Arros Sand of the Far South! Should Ser Bryce win, we'll have a clear winner…" His eyes wander to the golden rose on its velvet cushion, but leaves the sentence there. They all know that if Ser Arros wins this bout, both of them will have to go through another one to slug it out among themselves.

Deirdre's head tilts towards the field, "Those were some very good passes, with tight lancework. The one in Tyrell colours started out well, but the Hightower broke two lances solidly at the end to the Tyrell's one break and a touch. They look well matched to me, but I am not an expert. I was more one for hawking myself."

Valaerys reaches for her brother's cup when he's finished drinking, taking a deep swallow for herself as though the concept of getting her own had never even occurred to her. She smiles over its rim as Rhaeyn purrs at her and reaches to tuck her hair behind her ear and takes one last small sip before offering it back to him when his hand has finally fallen away. "Flatterer." It's a single word that might have been chiding if she'd been able to keep the naked affection from her voice. But with the next announcement made, her attention is briefly stolen. She settles closer to the warmth of her brother's side, leaning into him and lowering her voice to an excited whisper. "It appears he might have one final chance to redeem himself, dearest. Do you think he can best that great northern wolf?"

There's a smirk on Bryce's face through this whole exchange. Old man, indeed. He's got at least a couple years on Ser Brynden himself. There's a quiet satisfaction when the older knight bests his once squire. This is the sort of poetry tourneys were good for. But then… Well… He hadn't actually expected to come this far. Nevertheless, back to the field he goes, a touch to his ribbon, and a glance into the audience to seek out one particular woman. Whether he finds her with his looking, however, is up for debate. With a nod to Ser Arros and that same quiet grace from before, though, Bryce settles in for this round.

Having had more time to prepare after his fall Arros is mounted up already when his name is announced. He rides towards the lists, and when both his opponent and he are in place he takes his lance and shield up, and salutes the Stark knight. This time there is a concentrated effort not to turn and look up into the Targaryen's box where the Princess sits with her brother.

Rhaeyn relinquishes his cup as though it had never been his at all. And when Vala moves closer, the Prince is unabashed in placing his arm smoothly around her. He laughs quietly. "Perhaps," He says, "Though I will say I'd be surprised." Not that Rhaeyn is any great expert on jousting. He's never bothered to do it himself, and these tourneys were really more fun for all of the people to pester than for the matches.

But Lady Roxton is listening with interest, however long Lady Deirdre goes on: "Sallei," she explains softly, beneath the roar of the tourney crowds expressing their feelings about this knight's victory and that one's defeat, "doesn't know about armour; she has only been telling me the colours and the sigils. I am interested to know a little more of it, Lady Deirdre. Like oxen, you say? Sallei, how do oxen walk?" She uses names rather than turning to affect a glance at whichever of them she's speaking to — though she does cant her head towards the maid to hear about the oxen, which Sallei with her broad vocabulary is quick to describe in terms as colourful as her lady could wish.

And Lady Roxton laughs aloud, a pretty soprano sound: "I have heard of brave and handsome tourney knights, of their armour flashing brilliantly in the sunshine when they tilt at one another, and of the splendour of their horses' equipages — but no one before ever told me how clumsy they could be on their foot!" Her amused, appreciative tone is an invitation to Lady Deirdre to keep on nattering just as long as she pleases — having an expert in the box does make a change… Sallei, relieved temporarily of her duties as commentator, accepts her lady's goblet of lemon water and, under guise of refilling it from the pitcher set on a shelf below the edge of the box where it can't be knocked off, holds it down out of sight and tips in about half the contents of a small pottery flask she happened to have in a pocket of her fine blue linen gown. On second thoughts she looks up at Lady Deirdre questioningly, seeing if she can catch the lady's eye even through her veiling: want some?

Ah, there is the end of his perfect luck. But, honestly, Bryce seems to be glad of it. He'll ache from those blows for a good while, he knows, but what was a decent tourney without coming back soundly bruised? Nevertheless, this isn't the end of things. With their records this day, they'll have to go again. There's a nod sent Arros' way as Bryce takes a deep breath that isn't the most comfortable thing he has ever done.

The noise from the stands, especially the female screeching is cranked another few notches when the young Dornishman rides well and defeats the older Northman. Apparently Arros has won the ladies' votes already if not the tourney. There's a quiet conference between the Elder Tyrell, Lord Tyrell and a few other Tyrells who want to chip in with their opinions, then the Elder Tyrell steps forward again: "Well well, that was rather exciting, was it not? - Ladies, could you keep it down a bit, I'm trying to speak here - So Ser Arros managed to wrest certain victory from Ser Bryce at the last minute. While we acknowledge Ser Bryce's skill in unhorsing more opponents than anyone else today, the Golden Rose is not lightly won. So we ask Ser Arros and Ser Bryce to ride again to determine a clear victor!"

Deirdre says, "I fear I know less of the Sigyl's outside of the famous one. I know stormlander one's better…" She laughs merrily at Sallei's description, "It is true! When jousters fight on foot they really are rather like Lobsters trying to walk on their tails on land and apt to tip over. They are lovely and shiny ahorse, but not on foot. They make the feild armour lighter and with more joints in the plate bits, and chain mail where there is no plate. When they fight in earnest they need to be able to do all manner of things, some quite unexpected, and the armour shows that. All jousting plate need do is let the one arm more enough to aim the lance and the rest is ment to protect the man inside. If you are friends of the Tyrell's, perhaps they might let you examine the armour later….Oh!" She nods yes to the maid. and offers her goblet. "The Dornishman has just outroad the Direwolf two breaks out of three…""

Brynden smiles a little as he hears the announcements, staying where he can watch the final tilt now.

Arros redeems himself against the Stark, who has up until this moment ridden much more skillfully than the Dornish knight. After his last lance is cracked he drops it on the ground. He lifts his visor then to smile at the cheering women in the crowd, and bows as well as he can manage in his armor. His gaze may turn towards the Targaryen box very briefly, but it is just a small look before his visor is dropped, and his lance is picked up. He salutes Bryce respectfully before lowering his lance.

Valaerys settles more easily against her brother's side with his arm around her, for the first time not made entirely uncomfortable by the crispness of the air. She enjoys the laugh that resonates beside her, but does watch this bout with more interest than she had done some of the others. It's a fine showing, enough to bring both competitors around for a final round, it would seem, but her interests are slightly off-center. "Well, well. Would you look at that? A fine horseman, when he isn't staring at us." But also. "That dapple grey under the Stark knight is beautifully put together. I wonder if he would consider selling…" As though a lady has any business with a charger like that.

You know, Bryce has gotten to the end of this. And he's not been off his horse once. He will take this as his own personal victory, even when only one lance breaks. So when this final round ends, and the ringing in his ears tells him more than anything that he has lost today, he's out of his helm quickly, and offering a hand to Arros with a very genuine smile. "Well won, Ser." He says with a nod, and moves to the side to get off of this horse and out of this armor that he'd really never cared for having on too long. He likes moving much more easily than this.

Sallei takes Lady Deirdre's goblet and tops it up with something very, very alcoholic — even thus diluted it may dictate small sips rather than thirsty gulps… Lady Roxton meanwhile is twitching at her veil with uncertain, sapphire-bedecked fingers: "Sallei, will you unpin me?" she asks at last. "Perhaps the veil was not one of our better ideas…" Her maid hides the flask and hurries to assist, resting one knee on the seat of the empty chair and leaning over her lady's bowed golden head to relieve her of her veiling. "We thought perhaps people would find me less curious," she explains diffidently to Lady Deirdre, "but when Sallei counted the veils there were so few, and I am not used to…" She lifts the goblet slightly by way of explanation.

Then the veil is lifted away to reveal a simple arrangement of looped dark braids with a golden chain of large round links woven through, echoing the pattern of embroidery on both women's dresses. Lady Roxton drinks gratefully, unimpeded; she turns her head to Lady Deirdre then, on her best social manners, looking just past her with wide, unfocused, rather lovely eyes quite the same clear sky blue as her gown. She must be thirty, or a year or two more. "I do know some of the Tyrells," she concedes, "though — the northman with the Direwolf sigil, Ser Bryce Stark, is an acquaintance of ours also. Perhaps he would not mind letting me touch his armour when he has no more need of it today…" Her high pale brow furrows. "If I see him I shall certainly ask."

Deirdre sips delicately lifting her goblet under the veil with a practiced air. Apparently she often eats and drinks with the veil. "But it Is lovely, such delicate lace, and the colour suits both you and your gown…. It takes some practice, but it helps when one travels." Her own veiled head turns towards the other woman. "Then you are happy in your friends… Now that I think of it, a Stark riding around with a rose could cause comment what with the recent troubles up North. I supose in the end it is just as well it went to the Dornishman. They both rode very well though."

The young ladies' shrieks reach another ear-shattering level when the young Dornishman rides so well against the Northman. While fathers only roll their eyes, mothers threaten instant removal to their rooms and no attending the dance in the evening. This shuts them up to the point of only whispering among themselves. The adults meanwhile offer a big round of applause to both participants of the final tilt.

The Elder Tyrell now takes a back seat as Lord Tyrell himself steps forward. "What an extraordinary performance, Sers!", he calls out, "You have both ridden very well today and I'm sure both the North and Dorne are very very proud of you!" No sour Dornish grapes here. He picks up a small golden rose, only two inches or so long and not encrusted with jewels, to be worn on a tunic or fasten a cloak, which he offers to Bryce as the runner up. If it bothers Lord Tyrell to hand the precious Golden Rose to a Dornishman, nobody would guess from the warm smile he bestows on Arros when he offers it to him with a respectful bow. "Congratulations, Ser!"

"He ought to work on his riding while distracted then. Might be of use to him in the future." Rhaeyn quips quietly to his sister. The cup of wine is taken back to drink from, and then offered to her as though it was hers. "Don't you think that horse would be a bit tall for you? He has to have at least a solid foot on your height." Rhaeyn says, "But you could ask. Isn't that the one that married Serra?" Rhaeyn was actually pretty good with names, and that ribbon was something of a giveaway.

It is not exactly a clean victory. While Arros cracks two lances on his opponent he is struck once, and there is no dramatic unseating. He bows to Bryce, "Well rode." He says in return, and then he dismounts from his sandsteed, and tosses the reigns to his page. His helm is handed off to his squire, and he shakes out his curls before smiling broadly to the young women of the Reach. There is no arrogance in the bastard's posture as he approaches Lord Tyrell; for this tourney all animosity has been set aside. He bows in return, "Thank you, my Lord."

Yet again, Valaerys is in a position where society would expect her to protest her brother's behavior - or at least to scold him for it, however playfully. Even now, however, she does no such thing. Instead, she turns her head and tilts it up so as to look Rhaeyn in the face despite their close proximity, mouth curved into a shape of wicked pleasure. "Are you suggesting we assist him in such an endeavor?" There is no outrage or displeasure in the question, only a dragon's purring curiosity. But when he questions the wisdom of her choice in steed, Vala leans back with nose wrinkled. "What is a charger to a dragon, brother-mine?" Which, obviosly, is more important than questions of whether or not the man who jousted upon the horse in question happens to be married to their cousin.

Once free of his armor, Bryce shoulders on a dark cloak. It's thin, for all that the design of it is Northern. Even in the Autumn the Reach was warm by his standards. Nevertheless, the golden pin is attached to it with a quiet appreciation. A page sees to the horse that is being talked about well beyond his earshot, and his squire has departed to see to the armor. And thus it is that after appreciating the completion of the jousting for a polite moment, Bryce slips away to where his kennel had been set up, to fetch the direwolf that he frankly feels terribly alone without. And perhaps, for those that are observant, a pale haired woman slips away from the boxes to go find him.

Now that the winner has been determined, a longer break is announced and the stands are starting to empty as people go in search of food. Musicians provide entertainment for the nobles still in their boxes or milling about somewhere. Ser Loryn Tyrell has changed from his rather dented armour into a fine golden tunic and can be seen taking his place in the family box, next to his wife.

"If it would amuse you, sister dearest." Rhaeyn answers with a small, dark laugh. "Oh, I am sure you could handle the horse just fine. That isn't the issue. It just doesn't seem as though it would be terribly comfortable. Perhaps they've a smaller option from similar stock?" That arm around Valaerys tightens just a little as things settle and people set off to mingling or other things.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License