(1312-04-16) Spring Tournament: Archery Contest
Summary: The archery contest of the tournament.
RL Date: Thu Apr 16, 2020
Related: Springtime Tournament
remy valerie farah audrialla andre isolde jehan-pascal etienne symon 

Tournament Field — Countryside outside of Marsilikos

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 time has come again for a tournament to be held in the beautiful city of Marsilikos. And so… people have ventured out to the tourney field outside of the city, nobles have arrived in their elegant carriages, others on horseback, with a flock of guards and retainers following in their wake. But there are commoners, too! Smallfolk who have arrived on foot, braving the distance in a delightful spring walk. Some of them are making their rounds now, aiming to sell some of their goods, tasty snacks, bake rolls. Others provide those who have coin with beverages, like wine or ale.

Banners have been put up among the tents and pavilions where the contestants prepare, and most of them are present, colors and coat of arms of the Great Houses, many Eisandine, but also some from elsewhere. The archery contest may not be as grand and attractive an occasion as those competitions that involve riding or sword fights. But there has gathered a veritable crowd, today, to enjoy the overture to what will become a promising and entertaining string of events.

In the Ducal Box, Her Grace, Armandine de Mereliot has already settled herself with family and ladies. Grey-blue eyes glint as she lets her gaze drift, taking in who is there. Then, a few murmured words to a lady of hers, a smile blossoming on kind features, as people wait for the herald to announce the first round of the competition.

Farah emerges from one of the pavilions of House Mereliot. The slightly foreign looking Vicomtesse de Toulon today is clad in an outfit that is unusual for her, a tunic of dark leather, high-waisted, with long sleeves that fit her arms and pronouncing their slender shape. Below, riding skirts of that same leather are slitted at the front, revealing an occasional glimpse of leggings. Long dark hair has been carefully braided and gathered in a practical do that will keep it from obstructing her vision, and Farah holds herself upright with grace like a dancer. Her chin is lifted slightly, and her brows are raised as she lets her dark eyes roam over the gathered crowd where she stands to the side of the field. The hunting bow is held loosely in one hand, while the other touches against the leather strap that keeps the quiver of arrows secured to her shoulder.

Audrialla is one of those clever commoners wandering the stands and skirting close to new grounds to ply her wares. The baker wears her finest dress to stand out from the common throng as she carries a tray around her neck of tempting hand-pies in various flavors. Some meat, some fruit, others with healthy veg inside. She calls out, "Sweet and savory treats."

Another scruffy-looking commoner is ambling about, taking in the atmosphere here and there. His clothes are plain and his head is covered by a large floppy hat. He pauses at a stall to buy a tankard of ale, which he holds in one hand. He's still savouring the taste when he notices the baker wandering past, offering her goods. Yum.

Remy is here. He arrived with his bow and all as he's heading over to the actual tournament grounds to well compete. He's dressed nicely as fitting his station but still functional and all.

Lady Valerie Cherevin arrived on horseback earlier with a small group of retainers with her. The dark haired Kushiline lady is now just reappearing, coming out of a pavilion set up for her house. Amber eyes regard those around her thoughtfully as she calmly steps out onto the field, staying near the edge for now. That dark hair has been pulled into a single elegant braid that tumbles down her back. Her outfit is a set of amber hued leathers with a short panneled skirt. The amber color of the leather brings out her eyes and the crest of her house is worked into the leather, resting over her heart. Black leggings cover the rest of her legs as the armored skirt she wears only covers up to the lower thighs. She holds a bow in one hand and has a quiver of black feathered arrows secured over one shoulder. Spotting Farah she offers the forigen lady a respectful nod and a faint smile while she awaits the start of the events.

As Farah de Mereliot steps closer, she catches sight of the lady who is looking towards her, and so the vicomtesse inclines her head politely. Her features look d'Angeline, but the slightly darker tone of her skin gives away her Akkadian heritage. "My lady," she murmurs, with a wry twist of a smile. The bow in Valerie's hand suggests that she is here for the contest as well. And so names will be likely to be announced by the herald in a few moments. There is another competitor, and Farah turns her head to regard him with slight curiosity.

Isolde d'Eltoine arrives on horseback with her guard and handmaiden. Violet eyes peer out at the field as the giant of a woman dismounts from her black steed. Dressed in a riding gown of dark plum purple with subtle black vines embroidered onto it, she looks refined yet practical in her style. The horse she rode here is led away as she and her group move to find a suitable place to watch. She will only be observing it seems, this time anyway.

Oh how pleasant the sun shines on this day. Canopies have been set up to shed some shade here and there. There is the ever going noise of murmuring and chatter, that only subsides, when the herald gives the sign for the trumpets to sound the fanfare. "People of Marsilikos. People from abroad. Your Grace…" Here he turns to offer a deep respectful bow towards the Duchesse of Eisande. "It is time for the archery contest. Many have signed up to compete… so allow me to call forth the first contestants. The rules are simple… A first round of three shots. Then the archery butts will be set up at a greater distance. Then another three shots. Then, eventually, a third round, where the butts are moved farthest. Three shots. The points will be counted, and the best overall score will win." The herald straightens. "Now… Please come forth… Lord Remy de Morhban. Lady Valerie Cherevin. Lady Farah de Mereliot."

Remy steps up to the line and nods a bit as he listens to the Herald. Offering a bow to the Duchess's box and then looks over towards the targets and takes a breath as he prepares himself for the first round.

Hearing her name Valerie smiles faintly and steps forward with a calm expression and the grace of a dancer. Moving to the assigned mark she looks to both Farah and Remy and dips her head offering them both a gentle smile. "Best of luck to you both." Then she draws an arrow and takes in a deep steadying breath as she prepares to shoot.

Farah lowers her gaze for a moment, and an inhale flares her nostrils, her dark eyes distant as if she were trying to focus. When she looks up and turns, entering the field she wears a confident smile. The dark leather of her riding skirts and her tunic make her look like an ominous dark ghost against the colorful banners and dresses and doublets worn on the spectators benches. As she takes her place before one of the archery butts, she lets her gaze drift over the people, before she offers a quick smile towards Remy and Valerie. "We are honored by those of Kushiel's province who attend this tournament," Farah offers smoothly, and there is a glint in her dark eyes, before she turns her attention to the task at hand.

Isolde takes a place in one of the canopies and watches as the competitors are called forward. Her gaze calculates each of them as she watches carefully. "My money is on the Morhban, if bets were being taken that is." She remarks to her handmaiden who giggles softly and eyes Remy curiously.

<FS3> Farah rolls Ranged: Good Success. (7 3 6 7 5 3 2 2)
<FS3> Remy rolls Ranged: Great Success. (7 4 5 8 5 3 8 8 4)
<FS3> Farah rolls Ranged: Success. (8 6 6 5 5 4 6 3)

<FS3> Farah rolls Ranged: Success. (5 4 2 8 3 2 2 3)
<FS3> Remy rolls Ranged: Good Success. (8 4 3 6 6 7 2 3 3)
<FS3> Remy rolls Ranged: Good Success. (4 3 7 8 1 6 4 1 3)

<FS3> Valerie rolls Ranged: Success. (5 7 1 1 2)
<FS3> Valerie rolls Ranged: Good Success. (3 5 8 1 7)
<FS3> Valerie rolls Ranged: Failure. (5 5 5 6 3)

Farah draws a deep breath through her nose as she lifts the bow and places her first arrow against the bow string. The hand that holds the bow is covered by a leather glove to make sure her lower arm is protected. She takes aim and then lets the first arrow fly, grinning with relief when she sees that it hits the inner ring. The second and third arrow both hit the outer ring, but at least each of her shots hits the archery butt.

Valerie studies the target carefully, slowly she draws back her bowstring, arrow nocked. Releasing the arrow with a slow exhale she lets it fly…right into one of the outer rings of her target. Smiling faintly. She tries again, this time hitting the inner ring. Her amber eyes widen just a fraction clearly having surprised herself a bit. She is a bit unsteady with the next shot though and it lands sideways in the grass next to her target.

The scruffy commoner has managed to push his way to the front line of the commoner's viewing section from which he can get a good idea of what's going on. A friendly woman beside him tells him who the contestants are. "The chap's better than the women.", he comments on the obvious, "They're much nicer to look at though." There's a hint of foreign accent in his voice.

Remy takes a breath. Lets it out. Takes another one and then starts letting his arrows fly hitting close tot he center with his first arrow and the inner rings with his other two. Stepping back he starts to let himself relax until the next round.

Those poor targets are given a harsh treatment by the volley of arrows that is coming at them. As soon as each contestant has released their first three arrows upon the targets, the herald approaches to inspect them (the targets), one by one, nodding gravely, before he turns to address the audience of spectators. "My lords! My Ladies! Common folk of Marsilikos! It seems, Lord Remy de Morhban is taking the lead with 7 points, followed by Lady Farah de Mereliot with 4 points and Lady Valerie Cherevin with 3 points." He gestures for some lads to come to his help and set each target a bit further away, which will increase the difficulty for the contestants. Once everything is set, he announces, "And now for the second round of shots. Three arrows each. Make sure you hit your mark!"

<FS3> Farah rolls Ranged-2: Success. (3 2 6 8 5 4)
<FS3> Farah rolls Ranged-2: Good Success. (6 7 2 4 7 4)
<FS3> Farah rolls Ranged-2: Success. (2 4 1 7 4 5)

<FS3> Valerie rolls Ranged-2: Good Success. (7 1 8)
<FS3> Valerie rolls Ranged-2: Failure. (5 3 5)
<FS3> Valerie rolls Ranged-2: Success. (1 7 4)

<FS3> Remy rolls Ranged-2: Success. (2 5 4 5 1 8 1)
<FS3> Remy rolls Ranged-2: Failure. (3 2 2 2 4 5 6)
<FS3> Remy rolls Ranged-2: Success. (5 1 3 2 2 8 2)

Farah's nostrils flare slightly, as she gets ready for her next three shots. There is the nervous blink of her eyes, the way she tries to calm her breath and regain her focus. Her first arrow hits the outer ring. The second is aimed better, and scores two points as it hits the inner ring. The third, again, manages to pierce the target at the outer ring. "Ah… Azza have mercy on me," the dark-haired lady murmurs.

Remy takes another breath as he steps back to the line for his three arrows. Inhale… exhale and fire. Repeating each time he manages to land two arrows on the target but one manages to miss complete, "This is actually rather fun."

Audrialla's business winds down as the archers line up and begin, so she stops to watch as well. Her hand covers her eyes to better observe the shooters.

Valerie lines up her next shot with a look of concentration. Amber eyes zone in as she breathes steadily. That first shot is good, landing in one of the innermost rings quite solidly. The second though is caught by a small gust of wind that causes her short paneled leather skirt to lift slightly. It is blown down past the target a ways off to one side. The third shot lands however, but its only in the outermost ring. Still Valerie seems pleased enough and she smiles gently to Farah. "You are doing well My Lady. Fear not. And you are quite skilled as well my lord." She smiles faintly to them both.

Again. The herald comes forth, when he is certain that all arrows have been shot and he is in no danger to be hit by a stray one, as the cautious glances he shoots over to the contestants betrays. "Ah… very good." His features twist into an approving smile. "Lord Remy de Morhban gains another two points and is now at phenomenal nine points in total. Lady Farah de Mereliot… keeps up her standard and scores another four, so stands at eight points now, close behind Lord Remy… As for the lovely Lady Valerie Cherevin… She scores another three, so she stands at six points now. Wonderful." A swirl of his hand gestures for the lads to lift the targets and carry them a bit further away. "Now… for the final, all deciding round. Get ready."

"Thank you," Farah replies to Valerie with a smile. "I am amazed I managed. Usually there have been more than one stray arrow… we shall see."

<FS3> Farah rolls Ranged-4: Success. (2 5 3 8)
<FS3> Farah rolls Ranged-4: Success. (8 6 1 2)
Farah spends 1 luck points on Sniper shot.
<FS3> Farah rolls Ranged+1: Good Success. (3 5 4 4 7 8 7 5 2)

<FS3> Valerie rolls Ranged-4: Failure. (3)
<FS3> Valerie rolls Ranged-4: Failure. (5)
Valerie spends 1 luck points on Don't fail!.
<FS3> Valerie rolls Ranged+1: Success. (6 6 3 6 8 6)

The scruffy commoner sidles up beside Audrialla. "Penny for your bun?"

<FS3> Remy rolls Ranged-4: Success. (3 1 7 2 5)
<FS3> Remy rolls Ranged-4: Good Success. (3 2 6 8 7)
<FS3> Remy rolls Ranged-4: Success. (7 4 4 3 2)

Audrialla offers an apologetic smile as he inquires. "These are no mere buns, my dear sir. They're hand made pies with fancy fillings. I'm afraid they cost a bit more than a penny."

Her dark eyes narrow, as Farah looks towards the target, now so far away. She closes her eyes. She opens them. Her brows furrow slightly as she focuses on the black spot that is the bull's eye. There comes the first arrow. And there the second. Each hit the target at opposite sides, in the outer ring. "Ah… Azza…", she whispers, trying not to pay attention on how her two opponents in this contest are doing. It is hard to pretend they aren't there, nor those people cheering in the stands and in the high benches and boxes. There. With a soft sound of surprise, Farah watches the third arrow hit home, between the other two, a solid hit in the inner ring. "Companions…" At which the bow falls from her hand and she stares, delighted, astonished, daring to hope… but eventually. It may not be enough to win the day.

Remy takes another breath as he steps up to shoot the next round after the targets are moved back, "Thank you m'lady. I'm glad that my practice has made it so I'm actually doing well. I'd hate to have to go back to my crew later and explain why their captain can't shoot straight." Then his next few arrows go and no bullseyes but he's doing pretty well still.

The arrows hiss towards their targets, and it will be in the silence that follows, that a certain herald steps forth to inspect how well aimed they were. "Third place in this first round of archery contests," he announces to the crowd, "is Lady Valerie Cherevin, who scores seven points, in total! Second… is Lady Farah de Mereliot. She manages a glorious twelve points in all." There is a cheer going through the crowd applauding the two ladies, before it goes still again, holding their breath to hear of the winning score of this first bout. "First place, so far… is Lord Remy de Morhban. Who manages to finish at an amazing thirteen points. Thirteen! My people! The number, rumored to bring ill luck, becomes the lucky charm of the Vicomte de Quimper!"

The commoner claps for the winners and leans to Audrialla again. "Who's the dark hottie? She isn't local, is she? And um, how much for your pie then?"

<FS3> Audrialla rolls Politics: Success. (1 7 5 6 4 5)

"Dark hottie?" Audri echoes it as she looks at the competition. She points to Farah with a questioning frown. "Farah de Mereliot. Vicomtesse of… somewhere," she can't recall but she knows the title and person in question enough. "And here," she says, handing over a pie with cherry filling. "As a gift. No charge."

Farah turns and offers Remy a curtsey, which may look a bit odd given her dark leathers. "My lord, my congratulations. May you win the contest," the Mereliot lady tells him, before she looks towards Valerie. "It seems all that is left to us is to withdraw form the field and enjoy the spectacle, and the next rounds to come."

"Ah, somewhere. Sounds exotic alright.", the commoner agrees with a grin, "Married into here, then? Off the market? Dang." Aww, and then he's offered a pie for free and looks sheepish. "Naw, Ma'am, can't deprive you of your livelihood. Lemme pay. Or buy you a drink?", he suggests hopefully. Of course he accepts the pie all the same and takes a big bite from it.

Remy offers a bow to the other contestants, "Well shot both of you ladies." He collects up his gear as he gets ready to head off the field as well, "Some enjoying of the spectacle sounds delightful."

"I… don't know. I am feeling a bit… hungry," Farah admits with a lop-sided smile. "You are… of House Morhban? I met some Morhbans, last December. When I was visiting Pointe d'Oeste." Her dark eyes linger on Remy for a moment. "You were not among them, but then again, I assume you were at the Capital for Longest Night?"

Remy nods a bit, "I was at the Capital for the Longest Night. So how did you like the Morhbans you met? We're an interesting family." He hmmms a bit as he motions towards the pies, "The pies look good care to join me for a bite then?"

Audrialla sighs dramatically. "Alas, I see hungry nobles eyeing me and my wares, so an ale will have to wait," she tells him. "They are my bread and butter, forgive the pun." She arches her hand in a wave at Remy and Farah. "Fresh pies, all kinds," she tempts them.

Well, well, it's the dusky-skinned hottie. The cherry pie suddenly seems to stick in the commoner's throat and he pulls the floppy hat a bit deeper into his face. "Of course, of course, make sure to overcharge them accordingly.", he grins at Audri and takes a step back.

"You are," Farah agrees lightly, as she lets the quiver slip from her shoulder to hand it to a Mereliot servant. The same, that will gather the bow she dropped earlier. "My mother was taken on by the Baron de Bardenac, he has been a mentor of hers." Following along with Remy, she arrives where Audrialla shows off her delightful pies. "Ah… yes… pie. A small one, if you have?" Farah reaches for one, hardly noticing the mysterious commoner who stands there with the baker.

Audrialla offers Farah one of the hand pies. "Meat and onion. My lady. Or do you want a sweet fruit pie insfead," she asks brightly. "And for you," she inquires of Remy.

The other commoner drifts further and further away from the small group until he's disappeared in the crowd. Poof!

"Sweet fruit pie," Farah replies, and her hand brushes over the front of her dress. Dark eyes follow the man whom she barely had a chance to notice nor recognize, as he vanishes instantly from the baker's side.

Remy glances over at Audrialla and nods a bit, "Meat and onion is fine for me. Something to keep me full for a bit longer during this event. Might come by later for a fruit pie later."

Audrialla bobs a curtesy and hands over a pair of pies after a moment of deliberation. "A strawberry and creme for my lady, and meaty onion for my lord. Did you both enjoy the shooting? A fine match today."

Remy takes the pie and hands over some coins for it and likely too much but you know he's good for it for now… "I liked the competition. IT was enjoyable to just shoot at something that's not shooting back though." And then pie is starting to be eaten.

Audrialla asks the tall man, "Oh, are you shot at often? How dreadful. And yet, exciting?" She's unsure.

<FS3> Audrialla rolls Baking: Amazing Success. (3 8 8 2 7 8 6 5 8 6 8)

Remy shrugs a bit as he's eating his pie, "I've a few ships that hunt pirates. I'm here on one of them so yes I've been shot at often. Yes exciting and a great way to feel alive."

The lists too full or the range too short— probably better the former than the latter— and some of the competitors in the archery contest have been drawn by lot to wait until the first round have gone and an intermission be given for people to come and go and spend money at the vendors and on souvenirs. But in a while the second group are beginning to mill about the range and the stands to fill up again. Jehan-Pascal is leaning on his bow, looking up and out to someone in the stands and issuing a wave when he spots one aimed in his direction.

Étienne looks more mature than he did, the last of his youth melting away to reveal the rather impressive architecture of his face. Those startling eyes finally have a setting worthy of them. He is holding a bow as well. spotting his kinsman he strides over with characteristic grace, "Coz! I have heard many exciting things of your doings in the past year. Well met!"

Symon hasn't bothered to bring a bow to even play at the archery. He's really come to spectate. And that is where he truly shines. He's not far behind Etienne. "Oh, hello," he says cheerfully to Jehan-Pascal. "Thank heavens w…winter finally ended!"

Jehan-Pascal turns, looking a little distracted in his wits, but soon, "Etienne!" he calls back, lifting his bow just by the top of the curve and holding it somewhat behind him as he reaches out with his other arm to gather his cousin in against him in an embrace. "Oh— thank you. It's been a lot of work but… that's our job, isn't it? I'm only sorry that you've heard of everything second-hand, we really must make more time to see one another. If only there were another seven hours to a day," he laughs. "Symon! Hi!" he grins. "Yes, though I wish it wasn't in such a rush to get warm. We've had such nights recently I thought it was summer already," he banters genially. "You're not shooting?" he supposes.

Étienne flashes symon a dimpled smile, "Your sort of weather at last!" Then he is hugging back one armed, but with enthusiasm. "We should take tea, or possibly coffee. What have you been working on?"

"At last!" Symon agrees brightly. "W…what's whose job?" he has to wonder next, but he doesn't really seem to mind whether they return to the topic or not. "P-personally, I like it w…warm."

"Oh, cous, I have fallen so deep to the charms of the Black Pearl," Jehan-Pascal shakes his head somewhat ruefully. "You'll find me there most mornings, and the mornings that you don't I'll be somewhere else, but rather crabby about it," he laughs. To Symon, "Why, ours— to see to the lands, their management and betterment, of course," and to Etienne, again, "Just yesterday I placed my seal on the papers of taxation and left them on my father's desk before riding back to Marsilikos. Between that, the twins, and the upcoming wedding," he shakes his head. "I'm only glad it's a holiday here, and I'm done with the papers. I will shoot a bow and ride a horse and drink." Not that working ever stopped him from drinking.

Étienne blushes, "I fear I have as well." And not just for the coffee. Alas, only the culinary delights are within his grasp. "That sounds like a very fine use of such good weather." He looks to Symon again, "Don't you think Sweet?"

Symon looks mildly cowed by this talk of papers and duties. "B-bow and horse and drink?" he asks Etienne. "I think it sounds extremely fine. I can't w…wait to w-watch." He seems sincere in that.

And, as though Symon's wish were granted, his inability to wait is ended by the trumpet call for the next round of archers to approach their marks, and Jehan-Pascal grins at Etienne. "Let's pick marks next to one another," he suggests, "See you after, Symon!" he calls, and begins to stroll out to one of the vacant lanes which also still has a vacant neighbor. The crowd cheers. Not for him, in particular, of course, but for the contestants in general.

Étienne catches something of Symon's look, "Have you any? We could work on them together tomorrow if you do. Today is for enjoying the weather." He winks at Symon, "Remember this isn't my best event." He follows his cousin, taking a stance next to him at the line. "It really is good to see you."

"…Have I any w-what?" Symon asks, blinking at Etienne, but then the trumpets are heralding so he moves to quit the field, though he does turn back to wave at the two he's rooting for before joining the crowd.

Jehan-Pascal turns a smile upon his cousin and unstraps his quiver, setting it on the ground beside him and popping open the lid so as not to be burdened by it while shooting. It's not exactly a traditional way to go shooting, but those who remember the last time he participated in this event (two years ago? three?) might remember he comported himself quite the same. "Yes, this is pleasant. I've been hoping to organize a hunting trip and get out of the city for a little bit during the games. You and Symon will come, I hope?"

Étienne laughs like the glint of sunlight on water, "Papers." He waves back before focusing himself on the competition. He has kept his quiver on his back. He adjusts his arm guard and draws his arrow, "I'm sure we'd love to. It's good to get out of the city. are you working on any new poems, or have recent events drawn you away from our quill?"

Symon is conveniently too far away to talk about papers now! He'll have to settle for watching an exciting contest instead. He waves from the crowd.

Jehan-Pascal shakes his head grimly. "My Muse has been sorely neglected in all of this business." The words should be light, but they're anything but, as though the Muse were an actual someone he ached to hurt. "There's just been so much to do. But after the wedding things should calm down. This summer will be so much less exacting than last, when I was running in ten directions at once." The archers to the left of him each are taking their shot in turn, and soon it's time for him to select an arrow and step forward. He's dressed in an outfit from his new spring wardrobe, all fawn and cream with dark brown details with tall, gleaming boots up to a fawn-velvet trouser. Bright but earthy, it's a fresh take on his pastel preferences the last time he revamped his wardrobe. It's possibly quite a bit more striking than his aim, to the spectators.

<FS3> Jehan-Pascal rolls Fashion: Good Success. (8 6 4 3 7 5 1 7 5 4)

<FS3> Jehan-Pascal rolls Ranged: Good Success. (2 6 3 8 7 6 3 4 6)
<FS3> Etienne rolls Ranged: Great Success. (3 1 7 8 4 7 3 8 1)

Jehan-Pascal spends 1 luck points on making a fashion statement (just in case I have something better than a Good Success lurking in there)..
<FS3> Jehan-Pascal rolls Fashion: Good Success. (4 4 6 3 6 6 2 8 2 8)

Étienne takes his kinsman's talk of his muse quite seriously, "I do look forward to seeing what the summer produces." He is in pale blue and a fresh leaf green himself. Well tailored and suited to the weather, but he hasn't Jehan-Pascal's exquisite taste or purse, so the result is rather more pedestrian. Still, there is something in the way he moves that makes up for it a little in the dancer's grace with which he nocks his arrow and draws his bow. There is a calm and a focus to his stillness as he aims, and lets fly.

Symon is of course delighted to see Etienne's arrow strike so well in the very first shot. He claps and cheers loudly from among the crowd.

"Oh, cous, tremendous!" Jehan-Pascal is also entirely impressed by the feat, crossing the toe of one boot across the top of the other to lean conversationally toward Etienne and look down his lane at the arrow. "You might be in danger of actually killing something when we go out to the hunt," he laughs. Oh, this is nice. Fresh air and good meaningless chatter between friends while the arrows are retrieved and the targets set back to the next mark.

<FS3> Jehan-Pascal rolls Ranged: Great Success. (7 6 2 8 3 8 1 6 8)
<FS3> Jehan-Pascal rolls Ranged: Good Success. (5 6 7 2 2 7 6 6 7)

<FS3> Etienne rolls Ranged: Great Success. (6 6 8 7 7 8 8 2 5)
<FS3> Etienne rolls Ranged: Good Success. (7 3 5 4 3 7 5 8 1)

Étienne flashes him a smile, "I'm fond of venison." He studies his kinsman's array, "So might you. We shall feed poor Symon fresh game until his stomache is quite round."

Symon scarcely gets a break in his applause. They are all doing so well, surely! And if he forgets to even glance at the strangers' targets to see how the competition stacks up, surely that is understandable.

It's hard to tell anything, anyhow, when you shoot in two heats like this. The points will all have to be tallied by those who are keeping careful notes. And meanwhile the line has started over again, with each contestant taking his or her turn down the line, and Jehan-Pascal is still grinning at the mental image of a satiated Symon when he takes up an arrow and steps forward again, readying it but waiting to lift the bow until the Lady to his left has finished her three and her partisans have had time to cheer her. Then, straightening his bow arm and drawing the feather back to his ear, he tries for the harder shot.

<FS3> Jehan-Pascal rolls Ranged-2: Good Success. (5 2 6 4 3 7 8)
<FS3> Jehan-Pascal rolls Ranged-2: Success. (7 6 1 6 3 3 3)
<FS3> Jehan-Pascal rolls Ranged-2: Success. (3 6 8 6 6 5 6)

<FS3> Etienne rolls Ranged-2: Great Success. (8 7 1 1 7 7 4)
<FS3> Etienne rolls Ranged-2: Success. (2 6 7 2 4 4 2)
<FS3> Etienne rolls Ranged-2: Great Success. (6 7 3 8 8 7 8)

Étienne shoots nearly as well as last time, despite the longer distance, not speaking until he's taken his turn. "Have you noticed he's quite lost his stutter? And how is your particular friend?"

Symon is a little antsy that this lady he's never heard of is taking up time, delaying his knowledge of how the people he actually cares about will do! Not that he does anything actively impolite. But his applause are much less perfunctory for Jehan-Pascal and Etienne.

I hadn't thought of it, ah—" Jehan-Pascal stands completely impressed by the strength of Etienne's shooting. "Heavens, cous, you may win the whole thing," he suggests. "The Lady Emmanuelle is… well, it's hard to tell, sometimes. I still feel a sort of awkwardness. But maybe it's just me. I only hope that she and the Lady Favourite end up friends," he confides, in the relative privacy of being way out in the middle of a field where no one can hear them.

Étienne gives symon an extra little wave. Then he flashes a smile at Jehan-Pascal, "I've been practicing, but we used to do quite a bit of hunting back home." He blushes under his admired kinsman's praise. He gives a soft bark of a laugh, "I am nothing but awkward in front of her. Still, I wish them the very best." His gaze is very sincere, "Anything you say on the subject goes no further than this, you know."

Symon squints across the field, then lifts his hand in a wave back. He puts the other hand up to shield his eyes from the sun. "W…Well shot!"

Jehan-Pascal cracks a grin. "I had been so bold as to assume as much, cous," he laughs along with him, then, looking out to the stands, "She's out there. Watching. The Lady Favourite. We mean to spend time together in public at these games. I'm getting actually really anxious. But I suppose that's normal?" he indulges in this impromptu family therapy session while the points are tallied and the targets moved back yet again.

Étienne's eyes are rather wide, "I understand it is. I… wish I had your courage, Coz." He looks down, "I wish I were as dutiful as you." He takes a breath and meets his eyes, "But you'll do fine. I have every faith in that, and who could help but want to like and be liked my you."

<FS3> Etienne rolls Ranged-4: Good Success. (7 8 6 2 4)
<FS3> Etienne rolls Ranged-4: Success. (2 8 4 3 5)
<FS3> Etienne rolls Ranged-4: Success. (4 3 3 2 7)

"I mean, don't mistake me, she's super nice. But this is a big deal. What if it's just… wrong, it turns out?" Jehan-Pascal has always had something of an overactive imagination where racing thoughts of myriad disaster outcomes are concerned. And now a nice day out in the field has devolved into a puddle of worry, even as he takes up his bow again, taking a deep breath and at least endeavoring to make it across the field.

<FS3> Jehan-Pascal rolls Ranged-4: Success. (1 8 5 5 3)
<FS3> Jehan-Pascal rolls Ranged-4: Failure. (2 1 4 3 4)
<FS3> Jehan-Pascal rolls Ranged-4: Success. (5 4 7 5 1)
Jehan-Pascal spends 1 luck points on trying for 3/3..
<FS3> Jehan-Pascal rolls Ranged-4: Good Success. (4 7 1 4 7)

Étienne says, "Breathe. Breath, Coz. You are handsome and likeable and a first rate scholar and poet. You have an amiable way of…bending where bending is wise and standing tall when that's what's needed. Can it be that much scarier than what you've een doing for love?" He goes quiet as his kinsman shoots and then takes his turn. After, he flashes him a grin, "That's a very fine grouping indeed!"

Symon turns to someone nearby in the crowd. "How m…many rounds do they go?" he asks. "And how many has it b-been?" He's quite lost track.

Jehan-Pascal tries to remember how air works, and goes with one hand to clap Etienne's shoulder, "Likewise," in re: the arrows' placement. "But it isn't just about me, is it? I have children, now, and there will be a County ever more in my protection— and hers," he adds, which is really the crux of it. If he were a private citizen he could only be concerned about how he and his wife got along. But he's been charged with the eventual care of Avignon since the death of his brother when they were both very young, and now he's giving his people a Comtesse.

Étienne claps him back, "Then court her. Court her like you aren't to be yoked unless you win her, but also learn to be friends. If you can truly enjoy eah other's company and interests, then the rest will fall into place. Work on the getting along and enjoying each other's companie and it will be easier to work in harness together to properly run the county. I wish…" he gulps for air and casts a longing glane in the direction of his beloved Symon. "I wish that things were such that one could be with the one closest to our hearts as help meets and lovers and all the rest, but our duty… Still we can make the lot we are given work.

Jehan-Pascal stands there with Etienne, the pair of them not quite embracing, but providing a stately portrait of family concord and support as the cousins clasp at each other's arms and the trumptets sound the end of the competition. The scores will be tallied and the winner announced…. later.

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