(1310-11-12) Skirmish
Summary: Jean and his men attack a band of brigands, and fighting ensues.
RL Date: 26/11/2018
Related: Tonnerre plot

A Road — Somewhere in Tonnerre

It's a chase, to be fair. The hooves of horses pounding the dirt road could be heard from miles as Jean and a contingent of loyal l'Envers guards make chase of the malcontents trying to create unrest and make the lives of his commoners miserable. The lord himself is clad in a light suit of armor, with his faithful sword at his side. The riders charge in a wedge as soon as they set upon the brigands waiting idly on the road to waylay people. Those villagers, the Namarrese does not know; and he does not appreciate their presence in his lands.

Drawing his sword, his followers swiftly launch themselves upon those individuals like beasts upon prey. Most of the enemy ranks are occupied fighting his guards, but Jean has to contend with three of them by himself. One being the leader.

The band of brigands they are closing in upon couldn't be more diverse. There are some d'Angelines there, of commoner stock, but also those few of darker skin and Tsingano heritage. At least one could assume as much from their looks. They are riding on horses that look as diverse as the band itself, and they are clad in lighter leather armor so they can remain swift in their progress, plain swords carried in worn looking leather scabbards. There is one though, who sits on a dapple grey courser of better quality - the prize taken home from a raid perhaps? This man's grey eyes are piercing, and his physique is muscular, and he wears an armor of mail and a helmet that with its elaborate decorations and poor upkeep looks like a mockery and challenge to anyone of noble birth, as it must have belonged to one of such some time ago.

As Jean and his small group of followers attack, the leader wheels his horse around, to face them. Scars cover what is visible of his features, and his laughter is loud, lacking respect and full of mockery. "They are fewer than us," the man announces in a growl. "Let's kill them, before we take their fancy stuff and their fancy horses." A cruel smile twists his lips as he urges his horse forward, riding right towards Jean, with two of his minions in tow.

It doesn't matter if he has to take on three individuals. Jean's prepared. The sword is at the ready and held by his right as he makes straight for who he presumes is their leader. And if he isn't the one that he hits, well, nothing's lost, is it?

Well. One of the riders is hanging back. Perhaps by coincidence, it is the one in the shiny mail armor, on the fine horse. The man with the scars and the helmet that has obviously not been made for him. Cruel laughter rings over to where the two others attack the Vicomte de Tonnerre, a gruff looking fighter and a Tsingano lad armed with a dagger.

<COMBAT> Jean has changed stance to cautious.
<COMBAT> Jean attacks Brigand with Broadsword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Tsingano attacks Jean with Dagger - Light wound to Left Hand (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Brigand attacks Jean with Broadsword - Light wound to Right Arm (Reduced by Armor).

Having taken a hit to his hand, Jean is undeterred. He scores a nasty hit on the henchman that steps on his way, across the man's chest. He then takes a hit to his arm, and his armor seems to mostly mitigate the strike. Raising his blade, he descends it on his opponent with holy fierceness.

There! The dagger hisses through the air as the Tsingano slashes for Jean's hand, and his darker features twist into a triumphant grin when some blood is drawn through the manoeuver. While the Tsingano seems to go for Jean's left side, the brigand goes for his right, and it is only thanks to Jean's armor (or the poor aim of the strike), that the broadsword only manages to inflict a light bruise. A cry there, suddenly, when the brigand receives Jean's counter, and steel cuts through the light armor of the man. There may be a moment, in which the brigand meets that merciless stare of the Namarrese lord, and his eyes widen. But who can tell for sure in the heat of battle.

The leader of the brigands seems to be less amused by this overture, and with his smile fading into a grim expression he trots over, warming up his sword arm with a few swings, while holding the reins with his other hand. His eyes never leave Jean l'Envers, as his horse slowly crosses the distance. It seems, the leader is not in a hurry, granting his men another round to prove their worth before their leader will have to intervene.

<COMBAT> Jean attacks Brigand with Broadsword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Tsingano attacks Jean with Dagger and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Brigand attacks Jean with Broadsword - Serious wound to Left Hand (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Jean has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Jean spends a luck point to keep fighting!
<COMBAT> Jean will spend luck on defense this turn.

Struck twice and not quick enough to put down one of the enemies before he worked on the second, Jean almost falls off his horse. It strikes deep enough into his left hand that it will leave a scar, through the scale and the leather armor beneath. Hissing in pain, the L'Envers redoubles his efforts in an attempt to rebuff his enemies.

The Tsingano becomes merely distraction, when his next stab with the dagger goes amiss. But it is the brigand, who takes his second hard strike to the chest, biting back a groan, as he completes his own attack, aiming for the hand the Tsingano already had nicked earlier. There is a yowl of triumph that escapes the brigand when he almost manages to drive Jean out of the saddle. And then a slightly disappointed snort, when the Vicomte regains his seat.

There is applause, slow, but no less mocking, coming from the leader, the handle of the sword caught between the elbow and his side, keeping the weapon in reach to be taken into his hand again, once he is done. "You there.", he addresses Jean, and then spits out to demonstrate how little respect he has for the man. "I could leave you to the dogs…" A whistle then, through the fingers of his left hand. "Stand back. Let me have my fun with him…"

There is faint protest from the Tsingano, but also from the brigand, as they make room for the leader, riding past Jean and then remaining there to make it impossible for him to escape.

<COMBAT> Jean attacks Toughguy with Broadsword - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Toughguy attacks Jean with Broadsword but Jean DODGES!
<COMBAT> Toughguy attacks Jean with Broadsword but Jean DODGES!
<COMBAT> Jean attacks Toughguy with Broadsword - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Jean will spend luck on defense this turn.

And there it is, the fight of leaders, the outcome of which can decide all. Violet eyed Vicomte against grey eyed villain, noble against commoner, the blood of Angels against the thinned blood of a mercenary soul. "Gerard," the man introduces himself, with the thick accent spoken in back alleys of less pleasant districts. "That's what I'm called. So that you know the name of the man who killed you." That will be all preamble Jean will get from the man, as the brigand leader then starts his attack. The first exchange of blows is mostly steel clashing against armor, and the Vicomte evading the strikes of the villain. The second strike of the Vicomte hits home, causing a cry of pain and anger, when the mail armor covering the brigand leader's abdomen is damaged, and stained with blood soon after.

"No… I will handle this," the leader tells his two men through gritted teeth, lifting his hand to gesture for them to stay where they are. Around them, there is fighting, of Jean's men against the brigands that seem to be far more than them in numbers. Grey eyes find the form of Jean sitting on his horse, and the leader nods. "I shall teach you…" At which he urges his horse on, towards Jean, in grim determination, with his sword raised.

When he's apparently called out, Jean turns to fight this new enemy. The first pass does nothing to his opponent's armor. The second does, and both times, he's fighting defensively. But he performs well despite the stress, knowing the way of the blade as he does. "Jean L'Envers. I'm not dying today, friend." There's a smile despite the pain that he feels, and those violet eyes of his burn with fury.

<COMBAT> Jean attacks Toughguy with Broadsword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Toughguy attacks Jean with Broadsword but Jean DODGES!
<COMBAT> Toughguy has been KO'd!

Mud is slung upwards from hooves as the riders guide their horses to ride against each other — and then it is decided in a matter of moments. The brigand leader, in lifting his chin to glance at Jean beneath that heavy yet so elaborate helmet fails to see the strike in time to evade it, and so the blade damages the mail armor, crushing it against the villain's chest with enough momentum, to drive him out of the saddle, while his own strike fails to hit home. There is barely a clatter of armor, as the heavy body hits the ground, and the cry remains caught in the man's throat, his vision going blurry, as he tries to get up but does not manage to do so, immediately.

Still cognizant of the threat posed by the two others, Jean looks at his men as they fight. Should one be unoccupied, he nods towards the fallen brigand, turning the blade upon the lesser armored henchmen. "You have one choice: surrender or die right here. If you surrender, I will at least allow you the reprieve of Kushiel's whips."

<FS3> Jean rolls Leadership: Good Success. (5 1 2 2 8 5 6 8)

The henchmen look and watch with astonishment as their leader falls. And it seems, the brigand who injured Jean earlier is a bit undecided, staring at the leader, watching him struggle, before they can see him drift off into unconsciousness. The spectacle in itself shattering to the man, so shattering that his sword slips from his hand and lands on the ground with a soft THUD.

The Tsingano, meanwhile, seems quicker of wit, turns his horse away from the fighting and urges it on to get out of there in a hurry.

Spurring his horse on, Jean nods to the henchman that surrenders, willing to make chase to the Tsingano. That one will not receive Kushiel's reprieve, after all. The blade held aloft, ready to cut the man in half, even.

<COMBAT> Jean will spend luck on defense this turn.
<COMBAT> Tsingano has changed stance to evade. (Aurelie)
<COMBAT> Jean attacks Tsingano with Broadsword - Light wound to Neck.
<COMBAT> Tsingano has changed stance to cautious. (Aurelie)

The Tsingano cries out, as the blade of Jean l'Envers nicks him at the neck, drawing blood, a tiny red rivulet running down to stain the leather jerkin and the shirt worn beneath. His dark eyes are wide with terror, as the man lifts his dagger, ready to defend himself. But sometimes attack is the best defense. He is a good rider, as so many Tsinganos are, the horse swift and smaller than the courser the brigand leader had ridden. With a shift of his weight and a soft press of his knees against the flanks, he urges the steed on, and it flies at the Vicomte, with the Tsingano rider still sitting on his back. "Let me go!", the foreign looking man tells Jean in fluent d'Angeline. Said, as he angles the blade to slash it at the man with those violet eyes.

"Surrender now or face your punishment." Jean offers one last time after the blade bites in. It's now or never for that man.

<COMBAT> Tsingano attacks Jean with Dagger and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Jean attacks Tsingano with Broadsword - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Jean attacks Tsingano with Broadsword - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Tsingano attacks Jean with Dagger and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tsingano has been KO'd!

There is only way for the Tsingano to get out of this dire situation, and it leads over Jean's dead body. And he tries. He tries and puts all his heart into the strike. But it seems, the wound at his neck and the steady stream of blood soaking his shirt do distract and weaken his aim. The Tsingano misses. Not once. But twice. And there won't be any third attempt, when Jean's last attack slashes him across his chest, parting the light protection of the leather jerkin and the flesh beneath. With a whimpered curse uttered in Tsingani tongue, the man slips out of the saddle. He is dead, only few moments after he has hit the ground.

With a pleased hiss, Jean wheels his horse about to ride back to his detachment. He's wounded, and these will be tough to treat, but he carried the day, at least. And now he has a man to convict, a man to present before his Barons and to execute as a testament to his power as a L'Envers. As a lord of Tonnerre and, most important, a stepping stone in the greater foundation of reclaiming his birthright.

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