15th Sess, 229: Conversations on War and Feuds

Conversations on War and Feuds
Summary: Kierne and Eoin meet on the practice fields.
OOC Date: 01/Mar/2014
Related: Nothing specific
Players:
Kierne Eoin 
Practice Fields - City of Stormvale
A barn of sorts stands at one side of this barren field. There is a fence haphazardly built and marking the edges of the fence. The barn is large enough to be used during inclement weather, though it limits the practice to only one event at a time and certainly jousting is not possible. Usually, the barn is used to store wooden archery butts, a couple tables, a few benches, and practice equipment. Weather permitting, this is the area where the town guard and those who cannot afford better practice areas come to practice arts martial - melee, unarmed, archery or some combination therein.
15th Sess, 229

Kierne hasn't seen this hour of the morning for some days, deep in his cups as he's been, but he's starting to crawl out of the hole of his alcoholic binging, facing the morning with copious doses of water and a ride on horseback before a bath and the donning of his squirely armour, the girding of his hips in a belt outfitted with suitable sheathes to bear a training blade and a spare of differing lengths. For the time being he's leaving the shorter of the blades sheathed, using the longer to go through his paces, those basic foundational movements which need to be committed to muscle memory, that they might be triggered instinctively in battle before the mind even actively knows what's going on.

Eoin has of late been taking advantage of the fact that a large number of the usually resident nobles have headed to either Greenshire or Lakehsire, or in some cases both, to spend a quiet hour or two at the practice butts. His unstrung bow is slung over his shoulder in a long, thin canvas cover and a selection of arrows sit in a quiver on his left hip, where one might usually expect a man's sword to hang. Said blade however seems to be resting on his right hip instead. Kierne's presence is noted and he watches the lad's exercises as he run through the steps to prepare his bow, steps which have long since been committed to the same muscel memory that the squire is now working on.

Kierne's features maintain stoic and grim; either he's concentrating ferociously or else simply trying to work through the last aches of hangover. His motions are tight and efficient. No wasted energy, all impetus funneled into the blade itself, swiveling its angle to block imaginary blows along his arm, aflank his shoulder, above his head. As he made manifest in the tourney of blades on foot, his training seems to espouse the notion that the best offense is a good defense. He finally returns to a basic defensive staring posture, then stands straight with blade upright in a salute to an imaginary opponent. He might start the cycle of exercises all over again, but, spotting Eoin over yonder, his eyes are distracted, and he sheathes his practice blade to salute the fellow smartly.

Eoin has his bow strung and is dry-drawing and relaxing to great and greater draw-lengths to get the limbs flexing by the time that Kierne finishes his set of exercises. He seems faintly amused by the salute but returns it with a brief nod before givin a brief greeting of "Morning Squire." A glance around, for show, then he asks, "getting in some work before the Duke arrives, or is this your free time?"

"My Lord Knight will be along come noontide, I expect. But I would have him find me ready for him," Kierne tilts his head just a little bit, lending the sentiment a bit of humble jocularity, mocking his own abilities with a deeply engrained lack of confidence, lifting up a hand to scratch at the scruffy protobeard coming up along his cheek as he ambles closer. "I wish I had thought to bring my bow with me. I miss a good shoot. Do you think there are men enough left in town to get together a good hunting party?" Everyone seems to have gone off to the wedding, after all.

Eoin glances briefly upwards to judge the position of the sun when noon is mentioned, then nods once to indicate his undersanding. "Affairs of his duchy keeping him busy until then I imagine," he replies, a faint grin indicating that he might be using 'affairs of his duchy' as a bit of a euphamism. "I believe the Princes are all still in town, and Lord Robben, while I ager that most of thr Royal Rangers at least will still be about. No doubt a party could be gathered." Resting the bottom of his bow on the ground he leans a bit of his weight on it before asking, "what are you looking to hunt?"

"Oh, I'm not all that particular. Some plump rabbit or pheasant would please me well enough, if there are no young does to put to flight, nor harder prey to corner," Kierne explains. Harder prey would probably include the boar, the bear, the mountain lion. The scurrilous smile engenders one of his own, "Oh, yes, I do rather think my Lord Knight deep in discussions with his Duchess on the matter of an heir."

"An important discussion for them to be having, given the circumstances," Eoin replies, doing his best to give the lad a sage looking nod, "I imagine it's a talk they'll be having often in the coming weeks." Nods are given as he goes through the list of potential prey before he offers a word of reminder, "just be careful to get permission before you go. These are the Kings lands and I doubt he takes well to poachers. My cousin has lands a day's ride from here, but she and her husband are amongst those who have left for the festivities so it'd be tricky to ask."

"Easily enough done, especially if he and the princes are invited along. I'll ask my Lord Knight for permission; it might come better from him than me," Kierne realizes with a dry twist of his lips. "Oh!" he remembers. "How does the Lady Lis with her new puppy?" he wonders. "Did she discover him a name?"

"I am sure an effort could be made to pursuade some of the princes at least," Eoin replies with an easy nod, "although given the number of visiting royals we seem to have we might get over run somewhat." Very few of them it appears have gone to the wedding. "When last I saw her she could barely put him down," he smiles, "and I believe she has named him Oscar. They are on the raod now though, or perhaps have reached Lakeshire. I believe they are diverting there for Lord Shepards wedding before continuing on to Greenshire."

"Oscar," Kierne repeats the name with a smile that turns dim at the news of the puppy's departure along with its mistress. "I'd have preferred to go to my cousin's wedding, myself. But things being what they are between my Lord Knight and my uncle," he shrugs his shoulders helplessly. Oh, the awkward position of those caught in the middle of great feuds. "And is the Lord Kieryn in escort of Lady Lis, as well?" he wonders.

"Tensions are still high then?" Eoin enquires, making no reference to the faded smile, "I heard your uncle apologised or somesuch after wards or was that just rumour on the streets?" He wasn't at the events in question after all, so is having to rely on second hand accounts. The question about Kieryn is greeted with a faintly raised eyebrow though, before he gives a single slow nod. "Aye,he rides with her, along with her guards and maid. He has fleet business to attend to on the West coast." Yeah, that's why he's gone. Work.

"He did, though indirectly. I feel like there's got to be something more to it than a dispute over tourney law," Kierne twists his lips to one side. "There aren't any outward hostilities, but things still feel… drawn, I suppose. Maybe it'll just take time for feelings to soothe over." Kierne puts enough force into the words to make them a mockery of hopeful, then casts a timid glance over Eoin's features as he gets dodgy over the subject of Kieryn. "I'm sorry if I've said something I shouldn't, Lord. I meant to imply no impropriety. Your Lady sister and I came to something of a friendship while she and I have been attending to the Duchess and Duke, respectively. He seems to make her happy; so I'll be glad for her, should all turn out well."

Eoin takes in that reply with another slow nod. "Your uncle it seems, if you do not mind me saying, seems to have a way of making friends with the heads of the other great houses." He goes no further than that though, choosing instead to focus on the other strand of conversation. Nodding easily to the explaination given he expands a bit himself. "As well as the fleet business, the trip will also give him chance to meet with my father, and I suspect that once my cousin the Count and Baron Eldan are free to talk again then another announcement may be added to the growing list."

"I know, right? It must be spring, everyone is flinging himself headlong into marriage," Kierne draws up some of his convivial jocularity in time to jest with a squinted-eyed smile, letting the political talk fall to the wayside. "It will be a good season for the flower-weavers, at the very least," he laughs.

"Spring always seems to be a time for marrages," Eoin states with a slight shrug. "I'd say it was something to do with the return of the flowers and such after winter but in this case I suspect there may be a number of, discussions, such as the Duke and Duchess are having, before the war really kicks off." Now there's a cheery thought. "Either way though, I think you're right, the flower weavers will have a profitable season."

"Eh-heh, yeah," Kierne looks a little bashful to agree, but agree he does, unable to hide a little bit of the glow of the recently deflowered. "It's time to leave a child behind in case there's no coming home to do so, isn't it? Would you care to spar, at all, Lord High Admiral?" These are presumably unrelated thoughts. Hopefully.

"Precisely," Eoin agrees, perhaps a little grimly, but such are the facts of life. At the mention of a spar he pauses to consider for a moment, eyeing the lad and his practice blade. "Only if you have another of those to hand," he states amiablely enough, "my sword is both sharp and meant for meant for work on a crowded, rolling deck, not an open field of battle." Pulling the hilt towards himself a little so the bottom of the scabbard swings out it should be plain to see that he wears a cutlass rather than a longsword, as is the way with many mariners.

"I do, Lord," as Kierne happens to have brought both lengths of training blade with him. In deference he offers the longer blade to the Lord, if he'll have it, before drawing the shorter blade for himself. "It's a natural instinct, isn't it? And yet I suspect many people might look down upon it. Following the instincts of nature has long been out of vogue in the higher courts," he grins unevenly.

Eoin takes the blade offered and sets it down briefly while he unstrings his bow once more, replaces it in it's canvas cover and then removes the quiver and cutlass from his belt so they won't get in the way. He takes a minute or so to test the weight and balance given it's an unfamilar weapon, then turns to face Kierne once again. "Alright then, but lets start slow, I am not as warmed up as you." That and he's no expert swordsman, where as the squire has just won himself a tournement.

"As you say, Lord," Kierne assents, stepping back slowly and deliberately, working with the shorter sword somewhat just as Eoin does with the longer practice blade. After all, he warmed up with the larger weapon, and so it'll take a bit of adjustment to get back into step with the smaller weapon. When he's retreated to a decent distance, he makes his stand, blade at a wide, defensive angle to the line of his stance, inviting an attack with a brief salute.

Eoin returns the salute with a faint nod of his head before he moves in cautiously. This is not his usual style of swordplay so he knows, despite his age and expereince, that he is at the disadvantage here. Still, no harm in keeping in practice. Noting Kierne's defensive stance and hoping the lad hasn't faught many left-handers before he aims his first blow at the lad's upper arm, although it's more of an in-out dart to test reflexes than an all out attacking manouver.

<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Eoin attacks Kierne with Long Sword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Kierne attacks Eoin with Long Sword - Critical wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Eoin has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Eoin has been KO'd!

Kierne sees the jab coming in for his arm at a stranger angle than he's used to deflecting, and so, pivoting the hilt about in both of his hands, he leans into the blow, angling the thickest portion of his shouder armour against the sword and using the force of his body to shove his own blade lengthwise up against the grain of Eoin's ribs, trying to shove him backward and away.

Eoin is not all together surprised when his attack is deflected and he's just startin to pull back and reset himself for either another attack or a defense when Kierne comes barrelling into him. Nothing wrong with the squire's reflexes it seems. His though, when thats a different matter entirely it would seem, for he's unable to do anything about the impact other than roll with it, pick himself up and then slowly crouch back down again and bend forward a little as his lungs get hung up on the fact that they've had all their air forced out and refuse to suck any more in properly.

Kierne goes all at once from stoic-faced warrior to worried teenager, dropping his practice blade and going to kneel before Eoin. "Ohmygodareoyokay?" comes out all as one word, his hands sort of hovering over Eoin's shoulders, unsure whether to touch him would help or hurt. He ends up giving the guy a pat of manly encouragement on one shoulder. "You took me kind of off-guard, I shouldn't have… tackled… like that." He seems to think it bad form for a spar, effective as it was to make use of the opening he had.

Eoin prefers breathing to talking right now, so merely holds a hand up open-palmed in response to Kierne's question, hoping to get across that he will be fine, in just a moment or two. A few more deep breaths and he makes the effort to push himself upright again, hands resting on his hips and practice blade left somewhere on the floor. "I'll be fine," he replies, in as reassuirng a tone as he can manage, "just, give me a moment."

Kierne remains there kneeling on the ground, his hind end finding a seat on the backs of his calves, head bowed and biting the inside of his cheek hard to keep himself from crying. What the hell is the matter with him? Why is he such an idiot? Why can't he just act like a normal person for two minutes in the blessed day? Such thoughts crowd his brain, making his brow stormy with a furrow of intense hatred directed inward. What he woudn't give now for a drink.

Eoin gives his ribs a brief examination with his fingertips, but he's not expecting to find anything other than a touch of tenderness. Doesn't mean he isn't relieved when his prediction is proved correct though. Then, noting that Kierne hasn't risen he offers the lad an arm to help pull him up. "Come on," he states simply, "you'll forgive me if I decline another pass just now, but you're welcome to shoot a few ends while I just stand here and breathe for a bit if you want. How heavy can you draw?"

Yeah, only Kierne suffers from emotional KOs that keep him on the ground longer than a swordcheck to the ribs. Still looking fairly ashamed of himself, he accepts the hand up with a swallow, eyes cast downward. "Thanks, Lord," he finally pulls himself together to say, going about quickly to collect both of his training weapons, too good a squire to leave them lying on the ground where they can fall into disrepair. "Uh, my hunting bow's pretty light, but I can draw fifty pounds on a larger bow if the need begs," he tells his sometime sparring companion, untucking a cloth from the back of his belt and giving each practice blade a quick wipedown before sheathing. "Do you think I'd be able to lift yours?" he wonders with a timid smile.

Eoin weighs up for a moment or two between asking the lad what's up or leaving him his dignity by pretending not to notice. He opts for the latter, given as he doesn't know him well and moves to pick up his quiver so he can pass it over. "If you can comfortably darw fifty then give it a go, it's new wood so the limbs are still settling, but it's about a sixty. Just be careful to stop when it gets to heavy a draw, even if it's not all the way to your cheek. Better that then pull something in your back."

Kierne is a Kincaid. Emotional troubles run in the family, and it probably wouldn't be too much to say, from a modern perspective, that they tend toward depression or degrees of manic depression. One only need look at his cousin Hadrian to see the worst of it, but here they are, even in a squire this young, those seeds of brooding budding green in the soil of his soul. At least his servitude to Ronan seems to have imparted him with a deeply entrenched sense of goodheartedness, rendering him polite if sometimes not entirely proper, and amiable if sometimes a little too rowdy. Once his swords are cared for, he goes to take up the bow, hefting its weight in his hand, better at feeling out whether he'll be able to use a weapon than talking about it in terms of numbers. "It's a beautiful bow," he remarks. "I'll try, at least. It may be a bit much for me, yet."

"Aye," Eoin replies, walking slowly over. Reaching a hand out for it he offers, "let me string it for you. If you aren't used to the draw weight you might struggle." Thats not said in a judgemental way, just plain stating the facts. The wood itself is steardly but light, and those in the know would likely recognise it as being Sky Forrest wood but Greenshire design, not a bad combination all told. "May be it is," he acknowledges with a slow nod, "like I said though, just take the draw steady and stop when it gets too much."

Kierne hands over the bow to its proper owner, not taking the offer of help badly, having wondered whether he could string it by himself. "Thanks," he tells the guy with a bashful but heartfelt smile. "Yeah, OK," he nods slowly, apt to take guidance. It comes with being a good squire: let no piece of advice go wasted.

Eoin stings the thing easily enough, wedging the bottom end with the inside of his boot and pulling down on the top to bend the limbs enough to slip the string over the top into the groove. Passing it back he'll let the lad test the draw strength himself and backs off a pace to give him the room. "How long have you been with the Duke?" he asks as he folds his arms across his chest, "looking for your spurs this spring?"

Kierne takes up the bow and lifts it into position, elbow wagging just a little bit as he first begins to pull it back, enough to draw a faint blush of shame to his cheek before he takes a deep breath and begins again, easing it slowly back, following Eoin's advice, maintaining form even as he works against the bow that's rather heavier than his light hunting kit. "Nearly three years, now," he answers on the back of that deep breath as it leaves him. "Uh," his lips twitch to one side. "Not really, to be perfectly honest. I like working with Sir Ronan. Maybe I'm just being cowardly in the face of oncoming war, but I honestly can hardly imagine going to face it without being at his side." He manages the string back into a quite passable stance, holding it there for a few breaths further.

Eoin moves slightly so he can get a better view of the draw, there's a few small pointers he could make, but that's Ronan's job. That and it'd be rather unfair given the draw weight dispartity. "Worrying about it isn't being cowardly," he offers simply, "nor is being scared by the way, just in case you ever are. So long as you do your duty then it doesn't matter how much you'd rather be somewhere else, or with someone else, or whatever. Actions, not thoughts." He Kierne's draw-arm for a moment or two as the lad holds the draw, just keeping an eye for any tell-tale wobbles that might mean he's losing control and about to dry-fire, such things are bad for bows after all.

Kierne doesn't get much training on the bow from Ronan, who does not favor the weapon, himself. It's clear he's a hunter rather than a warrior with the bow, more casual with it than someone who's had formal training for shooting while armored. Eoin's keen eye for form might well also be able to discern he's more accustomed to shooting from horseback, his hips just slightly ticked to the side to attain that customary slant to make sure he doesn't shoot his horse in the neck. He eases the string back to its resting position, lowering it and then lifting it again into position. Practice makes perfect. Slowly, now. "You really think that thoughts don't count? So a man with the most depraved of thoughts who is too cowardly to act upon them is better than one who means quite well but is compelled to an evil act?" he posits the situation. Oh, yes, Philosophy, his other favorite sport.

Eoin smiles slightly, and shakes his head. Philosophy isn't his thing, not at all, so he clarifies without delay, "I'm talking battle lad. Land or sea I'll wager it makes no difference, you need men who'll do their duty, doesn't matter if they'd rather be home with the wife and kids, chances are the guy you're opposite does too. What matters is putting that aside and doing what you need to, when you need to. You want to start talking theoreticals then go right ahead but it isn't what I'm meaning."

Kierne can spin theoreticals in his head all day long, and sometimes does. Especially when drunk. But right now he's easy enough to talk down from his ledge with words of practical pragmatism. "OK," he answers, pulling back the bow slowly once more, stopping to draw his attention inward, sensing the level of strain in his arm rising higher than he likes it, but pulling back to another fine shooting posture before slowly letting the bowstring back into place. "Heh, when the wood settles I warrant I'll barely be able to bend it at all," he disparages his own skill after his usual fashion.

"They tend to settle downwards actually," Eoin remarks, still just watching that draw-arm for signs of weakness. "Fresh that was about a 65 on the draw, but I figure it closer to a 60 now, doubt it's got much to go though. Should be useable once we take the fleet out again." Which he hopes will be soon, or at least sooner than the Lannivers take their's out, "I suspect it won't be too much longer now."

"Huh!" Kierne had no idea. Then again, he's never made a bow before, only bought them from shops. Once he's let the bowstring ease back to its resting point, he lowers the bow again and turns to Eoin, stepping closer as though about to offer the bow back to him. "When, do you think?" he asks, words quiet and serious.

Eoin considers the question for a moment, eyeing Kierne as he does so. "For you lot," meaning the land based forces, "I don't know, but I'd imagine as soon as the roads are passable once more so the levees can be marched. Naval wise? As soon as the sea is calm enough. We've had pockets of good weather but nothing thats lasted so far. Could be tomorrow, could be a fortnight."

Kierne tightens his lips into a narrow line, nodding, then drawing up a little smile. "Well, here's hoping for one more good snow, huh?" he gives a huff of understated laughter underneath the statement.

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