(1310-09-05) Length Matters
Summary: Wherein a little sparring takes place between events at the tournament, and Drake pushes his luck with Adeline.
RL Date: Wed Sep 05, 1310
Related: Logs relating to the 1310 Tournament of Marsilikos.
drake desarae adeline jean isla jelene 

Tournament Field

The wind billows pennants and banners as far as the eye can see, here. The terrain is generally flat, with some signs that areas of the plain might have been built up to help flatten it— one corner in particular overlooks a steep downward hill. The plain is partitioned off by fences into walkways and competition grounds, and in the middle of each set of fences feet have long worn away the grass, leaving the centers of each area naught but earth and dust, all the better not to accidentally trod in a hole and break oneself.

On the western edge of the field a huge mass of stands has been erected out of fresh beams of wood, all redolent of pine and of cedar, nailed in place with giant iron stakes and sturdy enough to stand firm below the mass of humanity which moves onto and off of it every day during the tournament competitions. Opposite the stands are the brightly colored pavilia, each with its banner waving overhead, where the competitors of each family might store equipment, rest and prepare. In the middle of the pavilia is a raised stand where the Duchesse, her family, and invited VIPs may sit under a canopy of their own and watch the games from closer to the action.

The tournament grounds are quiet right now.

The recent events have turned the grass muddy. Churned earth around the seats and practice areas make the place less-than-hospitable for elegant dresses and delicate finery. The area is relatively quiet, but for some combatants practicing and some guardsmen preparing themselves for fights that hopefully never happen.

Such is the way of things.

A lonely figure stands at the edge of the practice area, leaning idly against a staff-mace. Dressed from head-to-toe in armor, it's hard to tell who — or whom — rests within the suit. It's a tallish-figure, with broad shoulders. Could it be a knight? Perchance some visiting captain from another realm of Terre d'Ange.

It's hard to say from a distance, as the figure's cape has no crest.

<FS3> Drake rolls Stealth: Good Success. (4 2 2 7 8 2 3 7)

Suddenly another person emerges just behind the lonely figure on the tourney field, though this one has not bothered to hide his features. Blood-red cloak and bright red hair, it could only be a Rousse. "Morning!", he greets the stranger cheerfully, "Here for the sword fight?"

Muddy grounds. Indeed they certainly do have a way of dirtying up the hem of a lady's gown, which would be a problem for anyone were they not to have the resources of the ducal palace at their disposal. Thus it is that though Desarae might just lift her skirts an inch or two above the mud and muck, she's not terribly concerned as to just how filthy they might be getting. Straight-backed and with chin held 'just so', she makes her way along the edge of the practice grounds, her eyes peeled for a certain someone that she'd deigned to bestow her favor upon. In tow is a grey-clad brother of the Cassiline Order, his eyes also peeled, but for quite different reasons than for those of his charge. "Good morning," comes the call from Desarae as she's about to pass the figure in armour, though anything else she might care to say gets cut off quite suddenly by the appearance of another. Brows lift, and her head tilts to a questioning angle. "I am not." is her response, though the question was clearly not meant for her.

The figure turns her head quickly, but doesn't otherwise respond.

"Nor am I." It is a woman's voice. "I'm no stranger to the sword, but I don't think I'll enter." Which would explain the mace embedded in the soil. With both hands, she removes her helm; then, she places it under an arm, sighing. "I've other things on my mind."

Her light hair is sweaty and matted on her head.

"Are you taking names for the tournament, then?" Adeline asks of Drake, her attention on him. The woman looks like a Mereliot, but she's pretty tall and burly for that House. Aren't they supposed to be surgeons and artists? "If so, do you know if I've missed the Grande Battle? I think there was supposed to be one. I thought I heard there was to be one, at least." She looks to Desarae.

"Do you happen to know?"

"Oh, how disappointing.", Drake sighs when both say, they aren't there for the sword fight. "I would quite have liked a little warm-up." He inclines his head to the newcomer politely, but turns his head back to Adeline. "You have not. Only archery has been done so far. I didn't compete.", he adds even though nobody asked him, "Couldn't find my own arse in the dark with an arrow."

"That's scheduled for this weekend, I believe," Desarae says, allowing her skirts to fall from her hands now she's come to a halt. Her Cassiline stays close behind her left shoulder, and there's a grunt of agreement from him. "I believe it's to be held on the Saturday, though I've yet to see someone compete with one of those." There's a tic of her eyes to Adeline's mace. "It is your intention to enter with that?" The question had to be asked, of course it did, and the beginnings of a smile start to form on her lips. She addresses her next to Drake. "I believe that the sword duels have been delayed until tomorrow, something about something not being quite ready. You'll be warming up a long time if your intention's to do so now."

"Length matters."

Adeline makes a snicker-snort sound, and then sets her free hand on her hip. "Well, sir, if it's practice you want, so be it, but — " She shrugs. " — I've always believed you get the best practice from your superiors. Doing otherwise may make you complacent. Can't have that." She sighs with mock tragedy, and looks to her weapon.

"I think men get intimidated by her."

"I know the sword duels have been delayed… but I stilll enjoy a good warm up against worthy opponents in preparation.", Drake replies to Desarae, although he includes Adeline in that as well. Eyeing her up and down for a moment, before he smirks. "Ah, a pity you seem to consider yourself my inferior, I would have liked a little spar. I've never fought anyone with that… thing before."

Desarae looks at the mace, and then at Drake. "A mace against a sword? How very odd. It is something which I have never seen, but something that I would very much like to." It's perhaps the case that there are a great many things that a girl of her mid-teens may never have seen, but more likely it'd be because this particular girl has led a life that's been relatively sheltered until recent events. "I take it that you wouldn't mind were I to watch, would you? I find that sometimes the most fun is to be had outside of the formal events. I watched a wrestling match once, where a brute of a man got felled by a girl."

Adeline looks skeptical.

"I appreciate the invitation and the challenge, but — " She looks at her weapon meaningfully. " — you surely do not want me to use that when sparring." A gesture to Drake. "You aren't wearing armor or padding. And she is built to crack men's heads like eggs." Beat. "Find me a stave, then, and we can spar, but, I'll tell you know, I'm not removing my armor."

She raps her knuckles against her breastplate.

Then, Adeline looks back to Desarae. "Are you comparing me to a brute of a man, m'lady?" Her smile is easy-going, indicating the absence of offense. "Perhaps the man was being charitable and noble. What has a man to win besting a girl, except for a barbarian's reputation?"

There's a pause. "Do I know you, m'lady?"

"This is a tournamet, not a war, Mylady.", Drake smirks, "I don't think any man's head should be cracked like an egg. You do not have a sword then? I thought that's why you were here. Oh well.", he shrugs, "You are also right that a man has nothing to win by besting a mere girl." He pauses, looking her up and down, before adding: "Evena -big- girl. Have you not trained with weapons at all?", he then turns to Desarae, "I don't think we've been introduced…?"

It seems that it's time for a little etiquette to be put on display, and there's the soft filtering of a breath through Desarae's lips. "Lady Desarae Mereliot," is the quiet response that's given. "And no, I can say with some confidence that we have not met before, unless you were a frequenter of Rose Sauvage. Recent months have seen me away from the city entirely, andI have only recently returned." There's a great deal of composure that shows in the young woman's face, her eyes the clearest of green as they switch between the faces of those before her. "And no, I am not comparing you to a brute of a man, my lady, I was just remarking on how things can be entertaining when not subjected to the rules of events." A pause. "You refer to your mace as 'she'. Has she a name?"

"Yes, m'lady." Although she does not give the name.

Adeline, instead, is drawn back to Drake. She lifts an eyebrow at him. "Did you call me 'large', m'lord?" She lets her free hand come to grip her staff mace. "I'm uncertain as to what you mean. Is it a comment on my hips, my ass, or my breasts?" She makes a huffing sound. "And why would you presume that a woman with this — " She lifts her mace, and smacks its metal butt into the soft earth. " — would be untrained with weapons?"

There's a pause.

"If you wish to test yourself, fine. I tell you again, I will not remove my armor. And unless you are prepared to have bones broken, I suggest you put some padding on." Adeline lifts her mace up onto her shoulders, letting it rest there secured by her single hand. "The Lady Mereliot wants to see me fight you with a mace, so I shall find an appropriate version for sparring. And then you can test your mettle against a 'big' woman, m'lord."

A nod to Drake, and then to Desarae. "Excuse me while I find something to strike him with."

Drake blinks, startled by Adeline's words and sudden disappearance. "What did I say?", he turns back to Desarea with a frown. "She is a big girl. I like big girls. And I think I've heard your name before.", he changes the subject abruptly, "I've been away for a long time myself. I spent the last year in Tiberium, at the university. My sister is catching me up on the local gossip."

"I think you struck a nerve," Desarae says, her eyes tracking Adeline as goes to hunt for that stick. "And you may have heard my name before, though it would depend on how long you've been here in the city." And also how much of a gossip his sister is. Her chin lifts, and her eyes lid a little as she looks over the man before her. "You would be a Rousse I assume." That hair. Her arms come about her middle in a small self-hug, and there's something of humour that shows in her eyes as they once more drift in the direction that Adeline's taken. "You know, she's likely to find the stakes that they use to hold the ring ropes. Perhaps you should run."

"Indeed I am, Drake Rousse.", he introduces himself with a formal little bow, before he follows her look to Adeline, then back to her. "She's a big girl, but I doubt she could wield THAT.", he grins, "Unfortunately, walking away now, would result in a massive loss of face and a Rousse never walks away from a fight. Give you something to watch, I will.", he winks at the younger girl. "Will you be in attendance tomorrow?"

Desarae blinks, and for the space of a second it appears she might, just might allow herself to smile. But she doesn't. Instead there's the smallest chew of her lower lip before she speaks again. "In truth, I think she seeks something long and slender. I imagine that, despite whatever offence it is that you've caused, she really doesn't wish to inflict permanent injury upon your head." Which probably does sum up the situation quite neatly, and she pokes at the mud with the toe of her boot, falling silent for a minute, before speaking again in response to Drake's question. "Yes. I shall. I have given my favour to someone, and though I imagine that they will do rather badly against some of our seasoned swordsmen, it will please me to see my ribbon fluttering at his wrist."

"Well, I can offer her something long.", Drake says before he can stop himself, then bites his lip and smirks. "Erm, oh, really? Who's the lucky one then?", he asks with his nicest innocent look.

The Vicomte de Tonnerre has not signed up to the tournament, that much is certain. What is also certain is that said Vicomte generally does carry a longsword at his side when he's out in the field, and, dismounting from his horse, he leads it across the grounds, crushing the mud underneath his boots with a wet slosh. No armor for the man, alas, other than a suit of brigandine underneath a jupon bearing the colors and the emblems of House L'Envers. When he spots Desarae, he pauses, and then heads that way. "My Lady. I'm glad to see you again." The other lord offers a nod in greeting.

Desarae appears not to notice the off-the-cuff quip that Drake makes, no flush of embarrassment to her cheeks, nor girlish giggle upon her lips. Her brows knit in a frown. "The Vicomte de Dijon," she replies to his question, her arms tightening about her midriff as she yields up his name. "He is a recent arrival in the city, so it was my way of making him welcome." And such a nice way too. There might be more that she'd say on the subject, but her attention is caught by the arrival of another Vicomte, this one a little more familiar to her than the one she's just mentioned. "My Lord. And I you." Despite the mud and the inescapable heaviness that it's now added to the lengths of her skirts, she lifts them gracefully and executes an elegant curtsey. "I arrived from Chavaise just a few days ago. It is good to be in the city again."

"I see. Well, he is a very lucky fella, carrying the favour of a beautiful young lady into battle.", Drake smiles at Desarae. He, too, falls silent when the newcomer arrives and greets him with a quick nod of his head. "I don't believe we are acquainted?"

"Jean Shahrizai L'Envers, Vicomte de Tonerre, at your service." Jean inclines his head to the man, staring at him with an intense, but not hostile, focus. At last he smiles briefly, and then that smile brightens towards Desarae and the curtsey she offers, his hand proffered, palm up. The one not holding the reins of his horse, anyway. "I hope Chavaise has treated you well and Marsilikos has dearly mourned your absence. Myself included, my Lady. You're a sight for sore eyes, and I'm truly happy to see you grace your aunt's halls once again, in a manner of speaking."

Desarae takes Jean's hand as she rises from her curtsey. It does mean that her skirts fall once more to the mud, but the damage there has already been done. "It was very healing to be home at Chavaise, to spend time with my father and assist where I could with the resultant problems in Béziers." As has been her wont of late, she's left her hair to fall loose about her shoulders, an affect that makes her appear more fragile than the usually more restrained manner in which she wears it. The dark lengths so close to her face only serve to enhance her complexion and her eyes, and there's a clarity to those eyes when they meet with his. "I should perhaps have invited you to visit me there, but the march of the days went quickly." A turn then to Drake. "This is Lord Drake Rousse, whom has recently joined us from his studies in Tiberium. His sister is also here with us, though I don't, as yet, know her name."

Drake arches a brow when he overhears Desarae's story but remains quiet. "My sister -lives- here.", he points out to clarifiy the last bit, "I'm staying with her for now. Anyway… if you'd excuse me… I should go and find some armour before that girl hits me with a mace.", he grins and bows deeply to both of them, getting the sense that they won't mind being left alone.

"I suggest a helmet, my lord. A great helm, not a bascinet. And make sure it's padded, too. Maces are not easy things to deal with," Jean promises the man with a bright smile. "And it's a pleasure to make your acquaintance." To Desarae's words, he smiles again, bending down to kiss her knuckles softly as he listens to her, meeting her gaze. "I would have enjoyed the visit, very much so. A little retreat from the odds and ends of responsibility, but indeed. It is inexorable, time, that is." With another pause, he draws a bit closer to Desarae, so that he stands right next to her while flashing Drake a faint smile. "Companions guide you, my Lord. And good luck at the tilts."

"I think that that would be wise," Desarae notes to Drake. "And as Lord l'Envers suggests, perhaps a helm too. I think that once let loose with a stave, the lady will not stop." She did look particularly pissed. A sudden smile. It's her first since the conversation had started, and it does wonderful things to her face. Her voice lowers to near conspiratorial levels. "But you could still run…" Her words tail off, that smile curving the edges of her lips quite delightfully as her arms come back up to wrap once more about her middle. "But no. No. I do believe that you are too honourable for that. So I shall linger longer to watch how well you defend yourself."

Whatever Adeline finds is somewhat less of a flagpole, but it is somewhat longer than a cudgel.

The woman in brigandine stomps back to the practice field. In her right hand, her staff mace; along her shoulders and in her left, a sort of stave that is slightly larger at one end. While she does not look infuriated, there is a serious look in her eyes, which are partially shaded by her helm. But when she arrives, she looks around for the proverbial Signore Montanto, a frown on her face.


She drives her staff into the soft earth, and looks to Desarae and Jean. "M'lady Mereliot, did — oh, hello." Adeline nods curtly in Jean's direction. "I did not notice your arrival, m'lord. Good day." She brings her stave from her shoulders, and also drives it into the ground, thus creating two posts which she can hold and use for support.

"The Lady Mereliot wanted to see if I could pummel a man into the ground."

"Jean L'Envers, Vicomte de Tonerre, at your service, my Lady." The Vicomte introduces himself, glancing about briefly. "I don't think you would've seen me if you were away to put on your armor, truth be told. I do wish you the best of luck in your upcoming melee, however, if you are the fighting type."

Bending to about the shoulder level in a briefly respectful gesture of greeting, he looks to Desarae again, flashing her another smile. "Helmets do prevent the whole 'getting your skull crushed in by a heavy weight' thing, after all."

"It should be very entertaining, to watch a fight, I do agree."

The young Dragon finally returns, dressed in his own armour with the Rousse crest proudly on display. He's also brought a helmet, which he's carrying in one hand now. "I so hate to ruin my hair.", he remarks to no one in particular when re-joining the little group. "I see you found a big staff.", he notes to Adeline.

It's definitely amusement that shows in Desarae's face when Adeline returns, and she watches with the wryness of another smile as first the mace and then the stave are planted in the ground. "That's a very fine stick that you've found. Not one to crack a skull, I hope." The last of her words leave her lips as Drake appears back in their number, and it's with approval that she now looks him over. "You wear your armor well, but I'm afraid that you will need to ruin your hair, if you're not to ruin your head." A glance to the field behind them. "Have you a stick of your own? Or did you bring padding for your sword…" A small step back is taken, allowing both of them to easily step around both her and Jean, and onto the practice ground.

"Thank you, m'lord."

Adeline turns her attention back to Drake, and laughs a little. "You're worried about your hair, m'lord? Ought it not be wiser to worry about your head?" She sounds rather like an older brother getting ready to beat on a younger one. "Before we set about to entertain the Lady Mereliot and the Lord L'Envers, however, should we perhaps introduce each other?"

She pulls the wooden stave from the ground.

"I am Adeline Victoire Mereliot, Vicomtese de Cerdagne." Her gauntlet-covered hands both grip the makeshift weapon tightly. "My mother, Justine, has died, and, on her death bed, she asked me to come to Marsilikos to protect our family's interests. And I think she sent me instead of one of the more genteel sisters because she always had an odd sense of humor."

Such witty banter suggests that she probably doesn't want to pulpify Drake.

Drake sighs a little at the introduction. "This town is awash in Vicomtesses.", he realizes, "I am Drake Rousse, my sister's the Vicomtesse de Draguignan." He unsheates his sword and takes a step back. "Well, ready when you are, my dear?"

"Best of luck," he declares to both. Jean is amused by Adeline's remarks, a slight curve across his lips to the latter statement that has him shake his head slowly, and offer a light chuckle for them. Because he's not one to be discourteous, he offers his arm for Desarae to take, so as to bring them out of harm's way as fighting ensues. After all, one can't guarantee that the combatants will stick to a strict square, and this is the best way to be sure.


Adeline roars. No, wait — it's a laugh. It's odd, perhaps, to hear laughter from a Vicomtesse swinging a stave around; but that's what she does. Laugh. She makes a quick attack to the hands — a wise decision with the longer weapon — but she can't avoid the slash at her neck. Thankfully, the thick armor she has makes the blow less-than-dizzying, but she's forced to take a couple of steps backwards, wincing visibly.

"I'll show you, dear. Have at you!"

Drake winces when she whacks his hand, but the blow isn't strong enough to force him to drop the sword. Instead he nimbly steps back. "Need to hit a little bit harder, dear.", he teases her with a grin and lifts his sword to try and get another hit in.

Desarae rests one hand on top of a post from which the ring ropes are strung, anticipation in her eyes for the sparring that's to follow. "I feel quite terrible now," she confesses, her eyes lifting briefly to meet with Jean's. "Then again, Lord Rousse did confess a desire to warm his muscles." Perhaps not quite in the manner in which they're now sparring, and her teeth catch to her lip at the first of the blows. "Perhaps they will tire themselves quickly, then retire to the tents for a drink. The Vicomtesse seems in good humor now." Something that's then said has her bringing her focus back from the fighting, and a quiet response is given.


Then, a clank into her chest, as Drake's sword smashes against her armor. Adeline makes a grunting sound, and takes another step back, moving her polearm now more in a defensive posture than anything else. Humor kind of flies away when you're in enough pain to stagger.

She plants her back foot into the ground, and charges.

Drake's sword connects with her chest and he's quick enough to leap back before her staff can connect with his person. "Sorry about that!", he calls out, "But there's really rather a lot of chest to hit… and I entirely approve.", he grins, getting ready to dodge what he presumes will be an attack with a good dose of anger now. Drake, stop annoying ladies.

There's a swing and a miss, and a reward at the end in the chest.

By now, Adeline has slowed considerably. She holds her stave in one hand for a moment, pressing the other up to her chest. "Six months," she says, panting. "It's been six months." Whatever that means. And she laughs after, shaking her head. "Shit." Her other hand grips the stave again, and she resumes the sparring match undaunted.

Not a wilting flower, that's for sure.

"Is that so?" Jean is amused as ever at what's imparted, and he spends a moment to regard the Lord of Rousse for a mment. "Seems as though he's getting plenty of exercise now, though. Perhaps that would suffice." His eyes meet Desarae's right back as he smiles, before he looks back to the duo that is currently hacking and bashing at each other with weapons. The quiet words that are offered have him nod slowly, and he reaches up to squeeze the Mereliot's shoulder briefly, but meaningfully so.

Drake actually winces when he hits her in the chest again and dodges the swung polearm again. "You ready to yield?", he asks Adeline with a slight worried frown, "I don't want to hurt a lady… It really -doesn't- do anything for a man's reputation to defeat girls, even bi-" No no, he stops right there and swings the sword at her again.

"Oh!" An exclaimation of surprise slips from Desarae as the sparring on the field takes a turn she'd not foreseen. "Now that I didn't expect. Perhaps she should have used a bigger stick." The squeeze to her shoulder doesn't go unnoticed, and it's acknowledged with the smallest of smiles. "I shall have to find one that is purely my own, however. The past is the past." Still, now is not the time for dwelling on such things, and her hands come together in a quiet congratulatory clap for Drake. "Well done, Lord Rousse. Perhaps it is you that I should have bestowed my favor upon for this tournament. Another time, perhaps."

Well, that did it.

Adeline stumbles after being hit for the fourth time. She manages to avoid turfing herself into the ground by driving her weapon's butt into the earth, and using it as a crutch. Indelicately, she spits out onto the ground, perhaps to see if there's anything bleeding internally. No? Good. It hurts to chuckle, but she does so anyway, as if this were all amusing.

"Lord Rousse, if you are going to insist on calling me a girl, then we are going to continue to fight."

The session is over, really. Adeline isn't in any shape to continue; the brain is willing, but the body is all bruised and spongey. "I did not spend twelve years with my Camaeline brethren to earn the title of 'girl'." And then she groans, gasps, and spits out again. "And I'd advise you remember that, m'lord."

With another groan, Adeline pulls herself up to a stance.

"I beg forgiveness, Mylady.", Drake replies to Adeline with a big smile on his face and offers her a hand to help her steady herself or at least shake his to mark the end of the fight. "You fought well. Can I offer you a cup of wine perhaps?" He then turns to the peanut gallery and offers Desarae a warm smile for her compliment. "Thank you, my lady. While carrying your favour would have been a great honour for me, I would not deny the Victomte the pleasure."

"Which Vicomte? Me?" Jean asks, pointing to himself, before shaking his head with a faint smile. "I am not going to participate in the tournament, my Lord. For one, I am old, and two, I'm not in search of wealth or prestige of that sort anymore. Tournaments are for when someone is just past majority age and in desperate need to accrue the wealth and accolades. I will be in the box, though, wishing the best to all competitors. No favorites on my part, either, although," he looks at Adeline, considering her for a moment.

"How good are you with a blade, my Lady Adeline? I am tempted to lend you my longsword if you show this much spirit on the sands as you do in casual sparring. Given that it has helped me exact Kushiel's justice not too long ago, I think you will find it to serve you well."

"Not you, Lord l'Envers, no. I was speaking of the Vicomte de Dijon when speaking of favors." Desarae's breath exhales in a sigh, and as Jean turns the conversation to the loaning of his sword to Adeline, a messenger in Mereliot livery arrives to her side with a note in his hand. She breaks the seal and reads it through slowly. "I must return to the palace. Perhaps I shall see you in the box, my lord." A turn to the others. "Vicomtesse. Lord Rousse." She slips the note away in the seam of her gown, and with Florent at her side, turns and makes her way, muddied skirts hitched only an inch, from the grounds.

"Not as well."

With Drake's help, which is not refused, Adeline pulls herself up to her full height. She still uses the stave as additional support. "If you wish me to fight with it, Lord l'Envers, I shall, but I do not think you will find me as spry or skilled as another." Beat. "My mother said that I should not refuse such a favor, however, so if you so desire, m'lord, then I shall so fight."

And then she attempts a curtsy, awkwardly, at which point her legs give out.

On her hands and knees. Somewhere inside, Adeline's probably swearing to herself. But, having made the attempt and failing — twice, actually — the Vicomtesse slowly gets back up to stand, using her stave again. "I apologize, m'lord. I am — " Cough. " — I am out of practice, it seems."

She wipes a gobbet of mud from her cheek, smearing it only a little.

"A pity you're not competing, mylord.", Drake tells Jeans politeness after Desarae cleared the confusion about the favoured Vicomte, "There is a lot to be said for experience." He eyes Adeline with some actual worry in his eyes. "You shouldn't fight again right now, I thi—-" Oh yea, and there she goes. "Come on, don't be such a girl, Mylady. Let us sit down somewhere and let me serve you with a cup of the finest wine in the country."

"Well, even if you do not use it, I'd be amenable to showing you the support of House L'Envers. We do appreciate someone with that much fire." Jean considers his blade, detaches it from his belt, and without a second thought tosses it to Adeline. "Do treat her well, and I hope she bestows great glory upon you."

The L'Envers watches as Desarae departs, the woman's departing figure holding his gaze for a bit longer than is proper before his attention turns to the combatants. Drake's affirmation prompts spontaneous laughter.

"These days, when I fight, I want it to be with live steel, and against people I despise or have reason to stop. I am as much of the Punisher's as I am of Naamah."

Injured as she might be, Adeline snatches the blade out of the air with little regard for her own safety.

"I will, my Lord l'Envers," replies Adeline with as much solemnity as she can. "And when the time comes, I hope you will not hesitate to ask for a favour as worthy as this gift." And then she takes a moment to check the blade, before tying it to her own belt.

And then, there's Drake.

"Lord Rousse." Adeline lifts only one eyebrow. "Whatever makes you think I have any interest in drinking wine right now?" And then, she frowns. "It's clear that my skills have gone cold, and the Lord l'Envers' gift is not one that should be left idle. If there is something I need, it is practice, m'lord, not libations." She wipes mud off of the front of her brigadine. "I do not take these tournaments as games. They are opportunities, as the Lord l'Envers describes, and this one — this one — is not one I will let go."

Sounds like someone may end up joining the duel tournament after all.

"Heavens, woman!", Drake groans. Well, at least she's progressed from girl to woman. "You need a break. A rest. You want to fight me with that sword right now? I might as well defeat you by tipping you over." He ventures close enough to poke Adeline's shoulder with the tip of his index finger, gingerly, like one might approach a wild and currently antagonized animal. "Come on, let's have some wine and you can fight me with that sword later."

A flash of black and gold can be seen as Isla clad in a riding gown of ebony silk comes galloping in on her black mare Eydis. The noblewoman has her hair pulled into a loose yet neat braid and it trails behind her as she rides. Both rider and horse seem well accustomed to each other galloping in and coming to a stop near the crowds. Isla arches a brow as she scans the field from atop her horse, quietly observing for now.

Something Drake says clearly sets Adeline off.

In a flash, she grabs the man's armor in one of her plated-covered hands, and gives him a shake. "You do not get to tell me what I will and will not do, Lord Rousse! I am not a drinking wench!" The snarl in her tone is visible and audible for a split-second. "So I will commit myself to practice, and I will do so on my own, and nothing you say or do will change that! I hope I am clear!"

And then she lets him go, as roughly as she initially nabbed him.

The fury inspired by whatever it is Drake said causes the armored woman to pull off her helm, and stick it under an arm. Disgust in her face, she picks her staff mace from the ground, and bows curtly in the Lord Rousse's direction. "Until we meet again." And then, turning to Jean, she gives him respectful salute and inclining of her head.

And then the slow march to lick her wounds.

Jelene just behind Isla comes another horse rider. This one is a falme haired woman, riding a rare bay double pearl stallion. The white-gold coat of the horse seems to shine in the sub's light. The woman wears a her hair loose, haging down past her waist, with one braid having been wound about to reast atop the crown of her head at just a bit of an angle, like a tilted halo. She wears a riding dess of dark blue, high necked even in this warm Marsilikos weather, and fashionable black riding boots. She arrives just in time to see her brother has angered has angered someone. She pulls back on the reins and comes to a complete halt, clucking her tongue. "Well, well, well." she calls out, eyes on Drake, then at the woman who is walking off. "Who did you upset this time, Drake?" she asks him, rolling her eyes.

With a nod of his head to Adeline, Jean flashes the woman a quick smile, saluting her in turn. It's been quite awhile since he was clad in plate and made to go to the far Marches of Camlach to fight the Skaldians, but he remembers that temperament all too well. And he appreciates it, strange mixture of Namarrese and Kusheline that he is.

"A note to the wise, my lord, though unsolicited a piece of advice this may be: when one seeks to prove themselves worthy, they do not want to be belittled. I understand her ambitions, and her drive. It's similar to mine, though far more overt than my own would be. Now, you said something about wine — may I introduce you to brandy, instead? It's the same thing, really."

Jelene's arrival has him cast a long look to her, and he's offering a courteous wave of his arm in greeting.

Drake boggles a little (well, a lot) by the rough approach. The young dragon clearly isn't used to his charms failing. "I… uh… well, suit yourself.", he finally shrugs and watches her walk off. When he's sure she's out of hearing distance, he grumbles quietly. "You're just pissed that I beat your girly arse."
Jean's advice is not exactly welcome, but the offer of brandy is. "Even if she doesn't, I could sure as hell use a drink.", he agrees. But 'lo, there's the family dragon riding in, calling at him. "I didn't upset her, I beat her fair and square - ask him!", he ropes in Jean as a witness. He hasn't noticed the other rider yet.

Isla notices Jelene riding in after her and a polite nod of that golden haired head is offered in acknowledgement along with a faint smile. She watches Drake as he is grabbed after offending the woman and arches an eyebrow. Shaking her head at the little Dragons antics Isla looks faintly amused but also a touch exhasperated. She seems to be debating turning her mare around and riding off in fact, her expression turning conflicted. Finally she sighs and slides gracefully down out of the saddle. Her gown is fitted at the top yet modest, hugging her curves before flaring out in a sectioned skirt that bares just a bit of leg and reveals her tall riding boots. Those boots fall light upon the ground as she marches towards Drake with a raised eyebrow. "Lord Drake. Just because you won does not mean you should rub it in. One should be aware of how to win gracefully and how to lose gracefully as well. Or do you not know how to treat a lady with respect? Was I mistaken?"

Jelene nods a cordial greeting to Isla from atop her horse, giving the other noblewoman a smile. "Lady Isla." she murmurs, glancing at Drake and shooting him daggers of warning from her Kushelene blue eyes. She then quickly looks back to Isla. "How lovely to see you again." She loosens her grip on her horse's reins. "I trust you have been well?" she asks her, then dismounts, as well. Feet on the ground now, she dusts her long blue skirt off with one hand, while tapping her leather riding crop lightly against her thigh with the other. She does that while pointedly looking at the other red headed Rousse. Upon seeing another man there, she offers him a nod of greeting, as well. "My Lord." she greets Jean. "I hope my brother here has been behaving himself?" She makes it sound like she is jesting, but there is an underlining threat in the undertone of her voice, subtle yet unmistakable, directed at the younger Rousse.

<FS3> Jelene rolls Intimidation: Failure. (3 6 1 5 4 3)

Drake goes a little pale when Lady Isla arrives on the scene, but then his cheeks promptly flush at her words. Damn the light skin that comes with red hair. He looks distinctly unimpressed by his sister's undertone though, when he tries to explain himself. "I didn't rub anything in. We sparred. I won. I offered her a cup of wine and a repose. She refused. I thought that was rather unkind to not share a drink after a shared fight."

There is a sigh from the red-headed woman when the other man doesn't back Drake up. "Looks like your new friend here isn't taking your side, Drake." she says. Jelene shrugs. "I will choose to believe you, though." She gives him an amused, yet somewhat predatory, half smile. "It also looks like Lady Isla has chosen to leave your arse here." That has her frowning. "Oh well." she says, giving a bit of a disgruntled shrug. "Cannot be helped." She turns on her heel and slaps her crop against her thigh again, a tad bit annoyed. She then mounts her horse and takes up the reins. She regards her brother with an arched brow. "Coming?" she asks him. Clearly she means for him to walk. With that, she clicks her tongue again and urges her mount to turn, at least leading it in a trot so Drake can can follow easier.

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