Umbra 29, 228: Hunter's Day - Archery Contest

Hunter's Day Archery Contest
Summary: The Hunter's Day Archery Contest for Umbra's Golden Arrow is won by Aldren.
OOC Date: November 1, 2013 (OOC)
Related: None
Tyrel Aldren Wenna Caedmon Luna 
The Hunter's Day Archery Contest is underway. Archers from across the kingdom are displaying their skill in an effort to win Umbra's Golden Arrow. The competition lasts the entire day with archer's being permitted to take their standard shots at any point during the day though they must take their own trick shot by noon and complete any competitor's trick shot by midnight. Along with the main archery field and trick shot areas are numerous displays of skill with bow and other ranged weaponry, some of exotic nature from distant lands.

Food and drink are plentiful with common fare available for the asking and more exotic fare being served to the nobility or available for a price to the commoners. The atmosphere is festive but an undercurrent of tension can be felt, the Watch has been bolstered with additional military forces and less leeway is given to those who become rowdy and rambunctious than in previous years. The many children rushing around could not care less, of course, as every moment brings a new feat of skill. Wagers and betting are rampant this year as the new trick shot competition has many re-evaluating long time favorites.

Crown Prince Tyrel, along with a fleet of officiators, is in attendance and no shot may be made that he does not personally witness. He is seated atop a raised platform with a commanding view of the main archery field and the fields dedicated to the trick shots. Seats for the King and Queen are set behind his seat raised a touch higher than those for himself and Princess Ciarrah. On the tier below within comfortable talking distance are a number of chairs for other members of the royal family and their guests. The next tier has seating for the nobility and below them the common benches though these are constantly emptying and filling as crowds follow their favored archers from field to field.

Umbra 29th, 228

Tyrel turns his attention to the traditional field as a call from one of the officials indicates a contestant has drawn. "It has been rather interesting watching the archer's wait on the favor of the wind rather than having them all loose at once. This will be his second shot I believe?" He does not look away from the contestant but the scribes move check their tallies and confim. "Ah, splendid, do you think he'll draw his third quickly after or hold again for another favorable moment." The arrow is loosed and it sails downfield to strike the target near center. Officiators on both sides of the fields sheltered from wayward arrows call back the scores. "Well shot." Tyrel comments shading his eyes before turning his attention back to the Trick Shot areas where a rather complicated shot is being aligned. The competitor claims he will shoot at three wine bottles and shatter the middle without disturbing then outer two then strike the bung of a cask on it's side behind them.

Slow and heavy steps bring Wenna to the tourney. Today she is dressed in a wool gown that has been dyed a deep indigo. The gown is heavily embroidered with flowers that can be found in Greenshire and are used for healing but it is without jewels, silver or gold and that is what makes it plain. Her long hair has braided and been bound up with silk ribbons and pins. She is carrying three things with her today. One is a quiver, full arrows that is strapped to her back. The second is an unstrung yew long bow and last but not least is a grey leather satchel stuffed with healing supplies. Trailing behind her is a bored guard, who is well armoured and armed and he matches her slow pace.

The shots are loosed on the trick field and the first succeeds in clearing the bottles and scoring the side of the bung. The bottles are reset but he second shot breaks the wrong bottle and is judged a failure. The third shot is better striking the bung solidly but not quite dead center. The contestant awaits his scores and on hearing an earlier shot was judged higher looks disappointed but comments, "Ah, but here's the beauty of my trick, now I've got several bottles of wine open to ease my disappointment."

Tyrel laughs once the comments are echoed up to the platform, "Ah, a good sport then, be sure he's sent a bottle of good wine with instruction not to shoot at it." He instructs one of the attendants then settles back to watch.

Wenna makes her way to a different part of the practice field where they are doing the standard archery. She pauses and from the quiver she takes out her brown leather bracers. She then puts them on quickly before she stings her bow. She takes her time to get into the correct stance. Then she takes an arrow from her quiver. The wind is in her favor and her mind is blank and she is relaxed as she draws the string of her bow back once the arrow is in place. Then she releases the arrow and lets it fly straight and true into the target and it hits it solidly.

Tyrel looks to the standard field as an officiator announces a contestant, "Baroness Wenna, splendid." He keeps his eyes on the shot and flight, "Ah, a true shot but one would expect nothing lest from Kilgour. What is our current leader, seven points, yes, she could easily take that." He applauds along with the crowd at the Lady's prowess.

Making his way to the crowded grounds is the Count of Greenshire. He is dressed in sharp white pants with a green and white hunting ves beneath a hunter green cloak. He has traded his rich red boots today for some more well worn and comfortable brown ones. He carries a bow of ashwood on his back that has a blue and red ribbon tied to the end and a quiver of arrows as well. He is shortly behind his sister and pauses to watch her shoot. Her arrow is finely placed and he smiles for it. When she is done he says, "Well shot, sister!" He approaches now to hug her fiercely before he readies himself for his own demonstation. When he turns he nods to the prince in the stands and any other nobles who he sees.

Tyrel returns the greeting from his spot on the platform and sends word of greeting and welcome down with one of the pages. He watches with interest to see how the Count will be taking part though his attention is frequently called away to observe other shots as they take place.

Wenna hugs her brother back fiercely and she kisses his cheek. She then goes to take her second shot. Once again she goes through the motions with practice ease. There is a reason Greenshire produces the best bowman, it is said they are all born with a bow in their hand. Her second shot goes straight and true and lands with a thud into the target and the arrow joins her first. She looks to brother and she grins. When she is done she goes to stand behind her brother, once against her steps are slow and heavy.

After nods and kisses the Count says to his sister. "I will let you lead over here for awhile." He winks at her and moves to the trick shot area. His bow is taking from his back and wraps his arms through each side and places it atop his shoulders as he twists left and right to loosen up. When he seems satis fied he holds it up and inspect the favor as it flaps in the wind. "As sight seems to be one of the determing factors in fine archery I have decided to eliminate it from my shots." A cask of wine is now brought and set down range at a distance of fifty yards. "Some of the finest from Greenshire, he announces proudly. Hopefully I will strike it near the top so as to limit the amount lost." He takes a final look at Lady Moira's favor as it flaps in the wind and when he seems satisfied eh holds his arms out and one of Wenna's guards ties a green hankerchief over his eyes. Slowly he lifts the bow and draws back. Holding his breath he looses his first shot amd waits for audible reactions for a brief moment before knothing his next arrow.

A few oohs and ahhs are heard and he quickly loosens again while smile slowly forms on his face.

The gasps now cannot be mistaken for anything but success. Aldren turns his head and can hear the cask dripping with wine now and his pride rilled smile broadens. He knothes his last arrow and tilts his head to the side for the briefest of moments before loosing one last time.

Wenna goes to throw her arms around her brother and she kisses him again on the cheek. Her eyes are dancing. "Born with a bow in your hand Da, would be proud, he always said you were better with a bow than brother." She smiles at him warmly and she looks to the prince where he stands sits on the dais.

Aldren removes the blindfold and grins when he sees the arrows, not one below the halfway mark. His sisters embrace turns the grfin into a smile. He turns and bows sweepingly to the prince before retrievinghis arrows. When he is done he bends down to take a drink from the one of the holes as a stream of the brushberry wine from his county pours forth. When he is done some of the small folk are cheering and bows one last time before returning to his sister. A few words are given to her quietly now.
Aldren mutters to Wenna, "I shall… remain… on… other side… a…"

The smile she offers him is radiant. "You should do the next round and show them what we can do without tricks." She tells him. "I am solid with my bow but hardly an expert you should show them." She tells him warmly.

"Oh, I will. But a proper drink from a cup first." He winks at her and will offer his arm if she will accompany him for a bit while he bides his time.

First her bow is unstrung and then she moves to take her brother's offered arm. She holds on to it as they go to find a place to sit. Her bow, quiver and satchel she brings with her. Her bored guard looks a lot less bored as he now has something to watch outside of his easy charge. "I should hope so or I will be have to tell our sisters that you did not." She teases.

Tyrel notes each of the shots as several contestants fire then applauds and after the scribes tabulate he announces the results. "And with that spectacular display Count Aldren has set a high mark for the trick shot competition while Baroness Wenna has made good challenge on the traditional contest. Perhaps we'll see some sibling rivalry this evening in the final competition."

"Oh, there will be little to tell, I am sure." He moves with her to the area of the stands for nobility and nods again to the prince above them before they sit. Some others are now readying their shots and the Count looks on eagerly.

The current holder of the Golden Arrow, Victoria, moves onto the field to test the wind and light. Not finding it to her liking she moves off the field to observe the trick shots though she is not expected to compete in that venue.

Tyrel leans down when a lull in the shooting allows comment, "Count Aldren, Baroness, congratulations to both of you. That was fine shooting. How were the conditions today? It is diffiult to judge from this height how the gusts are blowing across the fields below."

"The conditions are decent." Wenna says as she turns towards the prince to offer him a proper and deep curtsy. "I thank you. I think if they were not we would have more injuries with the trick shooting." She points out. "You can shoot in the rain and you can shoot in the wind it is a matter of compensating." She looks up at the sky clear and blue sky. "It would see that the gods are favoring this tournament this day."

Tyrel smiles, "I'm glad to hear the conditions were clear. While rain and wind do make things more exciting the lower scores when compared to other years always seem a touch disappointing."

Another competitor has taken the field to loose his final arrow on the standard field.

Aldren nods to his sisters assesment as she gives it and adds, "I would welcome some wind and rain now that I have gotten the more complicated leg of the contest out of the way." He grins wickedly and watches as a new contestant readies, turning to the prince he says, "A friendly wager? say, fifty gold peices? I would wager the poor fool has at least one arrow fly astray." He waits to see if Tyrell will accept and while he does signals for some wine to be brought.

Tyrel laughs, "Ah, Count, you're almost giving me money. These are the finest archers in the kingdom and not likely to miss a target entirely. Let us give a pass on drawing me in with an easy win and get to the wagering in earnest straight away. Shall we make it something dangerous to wager on, like how many will shoot before your sister is surpassed? If we wager low we'll earn her ire."

Aldren looks at his sister and laughs. "Well, that is true enough. Though I would have asked for odds had you accepted." He thinks for a moment and says, "Why don't we wager that this one alone shall not surpass her." He raises an eyebrow to see if this is acceptable.

Tyrel looks down at the man as he readies, "I believe I can find 50 gold that says he will. Though more to give you the satisfaction of a wager than any doubt of the Baroness' abilities."

"Very well," He says kindly. He looks to Wenna now and winks. Turning his attention back to Tyrell he says, "Good luck to you. sir." He nods and turns to see how the contestant faires.

The first two shots are solid putting the crowd on edge but the third nearly misses the target sinking into the outer ring. A total of 6 points, not enough to top the leader board.

Tyrel laughs, "Ah, a touch more of breeze and that first wager wouldn't have seemed so far-fetched." He fishes inside his pouch and produces the coin handing it over with a nonchalance that would stun a commoner. "Is he someone that you've seen shoot before to know that he tends to buckle with pressure?"

Aldren easily and quite smoothly, accepts the coin. "No, but my sister has the gods on her side this day. She is my only competition." The words are japish and a nice compliment, though with the range of contestants anyone who would hear would know he is simply doting on his twin. The Count receives his wine now and adds, "Will you compete, my prince?"

Tyrel smiles, "Not today, I play the part of judge and while I consider myself a fair an equitable man I am far to demanding of myself to judge fairly. Besides, I am not likely to draw bow often in battle so let Umbra's blessings fall upon those who will serve Mobrin the best with it." He looks on as others begin staging their shots, "It has been quite entertaining so far to observe."

"Well, an honest answer if nothing else." He says kindly to the prince. The Count now drinks from his cup and watches on as shots are arranged. "How many contestants would you say have gone thus far?" He asks.

Tyrel looks down to the scribes who provide the tally, "Ten have finished their shots entirely, some twenty more have taken one shot at least, another eight have not shot at all." He looks about the field, "I feel that some may be theatrically minded and wish to wait till the last moment."

"Surely, I must confess to having indulged that idea myself for the standard leg." He smiles now and has another drink from his cup. A signal would show that he is in need of more and he asks the prince while he waits. "This arrow, have you seen it? Who holds it now?"

Tyrel says "The Golden Arrow, currently it is held by a huntress by the name of Victoria. You may have seen her about the city but there is little to her that would draw attention when she is not drawing a bow." He looks out over the crowd for a few minutes before indicating the woman, "She has yet to shoot, but I understand she is quite exceptional."

Aldren is taken back by the answer, "Yes, I know her." He looks at his sister now and squeezes her hand before he continues, "I'd no idea she was in possesion. Though if she bests me with a bow i gifted her with I would be displeased." His words ring with playfullness and he adds, "Though I would disagree, you should see the woman dance, I hear that draws attention quite well." He smiles now and raises his cup again for another small sip.

Tyrel smiles, "I've seen Ciarrah dance, no other will ever manage to capture my attention." He then looks back to the field where others have taken position to shoot.

Tyrel moves about his platform overseeing the events as shots are taken by the competitors.

Aldren nods to the prince when he speaks on his wife and he smiles, "No man could fault you for that, my prince." He says sincerely. Now he looks on from below the king's son as he sits with his sister. He looks on to the field as some ready trick shots and others simply converse. On the other side butts are arranged for the standard competition and there are numerous small folks about as well as they take in the competition. He drinks from his cup now and when his sister makes way to leave he offers her a warm hug…

Better late than never perhaps, as Moira enters the Fairegrounds, Kayla and those guards someone set with her. Nodding to them and murmuring something to Kayla, she takes a moment to peruse the grounds and the pavilion where everyone sits abd bgeings to make her way in that direction.

Tyrel is entirely occupied for a moment as several archers make ready to loose.

It is late now and the final participants are taking their last shots, one is Aldren Haravean, Count of Greenshire. After watching and drinking the majority of the day he has decided to shoot his standard shots. Knotching his bow he releases his first arrow. It is just outside the bulls. "Damn!" He shouts.

Tyrel looks on from above watching as the shots are taken. He echoes the scores called out by those in the shelters near the targets, "Ah, the Count is off to a solid start as would be expected."

Quickly Aldren knotches a second that lands next to his first. He scowls.

And alas, his third is dead on with the first two. Not one dead center. He shakes his head. Perhaps one too many cups.

Earlier in the day Victoria had made a solid showing that had placed her at the top of the board seemingly defending her title for the year, but as the Counts shots are tallied a cheer rises as his name and arms are moved to the top of the list. "Oh, well done." Tyrel yells down but his voice is lost in the roar.

The Count washes the scowl and dissapointment from his face and turns to the crowd. He offers bows to the small folks and one for the prince as well. The man is smiling now as heads for the stands where he may celebrate with another drink.

The trick shot competition was won a hair before noon when a crafty man set his target mere inches away from his bow and burried three arrows in tbe bullseye. Easily earning the highest score none tied him so he had no competition for a second round. The 'cheat' awaits the fair contest against the Count for the golden arrow.

Tyrel raises his hands, "The final competition will begin as soon as the Count indicates he has recouped from his shooting. Each archer will shoot and the shots be compared, the first to achieve three wins will hold the golden arrow and Umbra's favor for the year."

As hunter's day comes to a close the final archery contest is about to get underway. Count Aldren has won the standard tournament and a rather crafty archer from Weston has won the trick shot competition. Prince Tyrel is overseeing the final shots which will be made my torchlight as the sun has sunk giving way to Umbra's favored evening time.

The Count nods to the Prince and says, "Yes, give me just a moment." He then catches sight of Luna and it may be the wine but Aldren stares for a moment. If he hadn't met her before he wouldn't know any better, and the look on his face seems to betray that he may actually not. He shakes his head and loses her in the crowd. Turning to the prince he says, "Now, it must be now."

Tyrel turns to look in the direction the Count gazes then smiles, "As you wish, Count Aldren, would you like to shoot first or second?" He then gestures for the officiators to notify the other archer that the shooting will begin momentarily. Once that is underway he offers the palm to palm greeting towards Luna then indicates a chair on the raised platform, "Do come and join us." He says indicating where the royal family and their guests have been watching the contests from. "Would you care to offer a blessing as these final shots are taken?"

Although he waited patiently for Wenna throughout the afternoon, his interest in seeing how the tournament concludes finally prodded Caedmon to leave the castle and ride to the grounds. As is often his custom on such occasions, he is wearing simple clothes and those not familiar with his face might mistake him for another mere commoner in the stands. However, he watches the competition with keen interest, particularly when the field narrows to only a few, including Aldren, his brother by marriage. When the competition pauses so that servants can light torches around the field, he glances at the area. He sees the priestess, and chuckles to himself at the sight of others deferring to her as if she were Umbra incarnate. Then he returns his attention to Aldren, watching the man carefully while he prepares for the next event.

The priestess dips her head in gratitude for the royal offer, then gracefully moves toward the chair. Before sitting, however, her smirk deepens in an almost private smile to Tyrel as she nods to answer his question. Luna looks over the crowd as her voice carries with strength and ease. "Good people, you have done much this day to win over the ever-fickle Umbra. Yet you wonder at your success or failure."

Another long, hard look is given to both remaining contestants.Eventually, eyes shining with mischief, she gestures toward Aldren, yet continues speaking with the crowd. "However goes the arrow of the Count of Greenshire, so goes Umbra's favor. It is now Her tool to answer your question. However it goes, recall there are yet days remaining in which Her judgment may be overturned." With that proclamation, she daintily sits in the offered chair.

"Second. Let us see how many bulls the man can mark with the target down range." He says confidently. Catching sight of Caedmon he nods to the man. A snap of the fingers swiftly brings him a wash of ale while he waits for the other man. He listens now to the priestess. He slowly smiles and nods to her as well as she stands near her chair. Noticing folks in the crowd looking to him now he shakes his head and looks at the ground mumbling to himself.

The crafty Weston archer smiles, "Thank you, Count, for the honor of sending the first arrow down the field in this match." So saying he draws his bow and pauses. His eyes note the movement of the torches and he adjusts minutely for the wind then releases his arrow.
The arrow strikes the very outer ring of the target, barely scoring a point.

Aldren offers a small little bow to the man and stands back. After his poor attempt the Count steps forward. Before he knotches his he holds it up for all to see. He turns this way and t hat showing it off. Lastly to Luna. Then, a swift motion brings it to the string and in turn to his ear. He sights, holds his breath and gently releases, the whisp heard through the air as all has grown quiet.
The arrow strikes inches from the center and another cheer goes up. He turns and bows to the priestess, or Umbra, he is in his cups and is not so sure. Either way, it seems a blessing.

Tyrel applauds the shots and calls out the verdict, "The first round, clearly, goes to Count Aldren. Well shot both of you, a moment while the arrows are cleared for the next round." A page scurries quickly out of cover to pull the two arrows loose and smooth the cloth covering the target.

Rilet of Weston is not to be beaten quite so easily and steps up for his second shot when the field is cleared. "Fairly shot, Count Aldren, a fine competitor you are, but let's see if I can make this a bit more interesting."

Caedmon again focuses on the field. When the man from Weston's arrow flies and hits the edge of the target, Caedmon merely nods impassively. Then he watches while the count prepares and then releases his arrow. The results are obvious, and Caedmon nods with satisfaction.
This shot strikes true, a match for Aldren's previous shot.

The Count steps back for the man and watches. As his arrow strikes he nods a bit though seemingly unimpressed. He steps forward for his. The same graceful motion as before.
His shot strikes dead center and a purer arrow has not been seen all day.

Luna sits in silence, watching the men compete. Her right hand subtly moves just before Greenshire's next turn.

Tyrel calls out the second win for the count, "Ah, Greenshire has not let us down this evening, if Umbra's favor is to be found in the flight of these shafts we're in for good followed by better, let us pray it is so."

Rilet gives a low whistle as the arrow strikes dead center and shakes his head as the assistants move to clear it, "Well, can't say that I was unfairly beaten there, My Lord, that was as pretty a shot as I've seen." He takes up his bow again as the field is cleared.
Rilet strikes the outer ring again, apparently craft, not skill, is this man's strength and in a fair contest he is failing.

Aldren smiles as the man strikes the edge again and he readies for his own shot. The Count is surely confident in his next stroke and the fool does not waste any time as he quickly draws and releases the last arrow. Worse then the first and surely his last. But good enough to easily beat the Westonian. After he nods to the man and says, "Well played Sir." He is not unkind to the man but quickly turns to the prince and bows. A fleeting look for Luna as well accompanied by a sly smile is given to the Priestess before he looks for Caedmon.

Rilet bows to the noblemen then moves to excuse himself from the company of his betters and to see to his lesser but more easily spendable prize for second place.

The priestess is brazen enough to actually /wink/ in response to Aldren's smile. Luna then turns her head toward Tyrel and asks, "Is is settled, then, Your Highness?"

When the arrows fly again, Caedmon watches tracks their arcs and slaps his knee when Aldren's hits. When he sees the count looking toward him, the chancellor raises his hand in a fist and offers a confident nod.

Tyrel smiles and nods raising his hands, "Lords, ladies, and all good people of the Kingdoms. I am pleased to announce the winner of this year's tournament, Count Aldren of Greenshire who will bear Umbra's Golden Arrow and her favor." The previous champion, Victoria, moves forward to offer the Golden Arrow to the new champion.

Aldren returns the nod to Caedmon after the wink flushes his face. After the princes announcement the Skyhawk lady presents him the arrow. He kindly takes it. "Mistress, I thank you. We will share a cup later if you ahve the time and you can tell me how that bow has been treating you." He smiles to her and when she hands the arrow over he looks at it for a moment. The torch light seems to be drank in by it and he looks now at Luna, a strange and lingering look for the priestess as he holds umbra's favor in his hand

The Count's red cheeks bring playful laughter to Luna's lips. Once the presentation of the Golden Arrow has finished, the mysterious priestess (goddess?) rises and presses ehr palms together in farewell to the royal family. Without a word, she turns to step down from the raised dais. If not stopped, the tan woman will slip into the crowd.

Tyrel watches over the exchange and the dancing and revelry that has begun now that the fields are no longer full of flying arrows and they are free for merriment. "Well done, one and all, I'm looking forward to what you think up on hiding day." He then descends to congratulate Count Aldren more personally.

Even before the prince has declared the victor officially, the crowd begins to rumble with excitement. People stand in preparation to swarm from the bleachers onto the field to congratulate Aldren, and the offer sympathetic words to his rivals. Caedmon stands with the rest, and wades into the crowd. When opportunities present themselves, he edges slowly toward the count until he can offer his hand. "Well done, count!" he a congratulates. "I'm sorry that Wenna could not be here, but you can be sure that I will tell about your success." He eyes the arrow and then warns, in a lower voice, "Be sure that Master Cricket doesn't see that. I'm not sure how understanding the king will be if something happens to the relic." Then he chuckles jovially before stepping aside to allow other people to deliver their greetings and congratulations.

The Count watches as the priestess dissapears and he finally shakes his head of the image. He sees now that the prince is approaching and when the chancellor does he takes the hand. "Yes, thank you. Surely she is in the infirmary." He seems displeased at that and it takes him a moment to answer to his next statement. "Yes that would not be good. I would suffer the wrath of the king and the gods. Surely I could handle one of the other, but both? I think not." He chuckles now and accepts the random praise as it randolmly comes from random strangers as they pass by and begin their own celebrations.

Tyrel employs his royal bearing (and a few guards) to get him through the crowd next to Aldren to say, "Count Aldren, I'm sure you will be celebrating for some time but I wished to offer my congratulations and thanks for doing so well to earn Umbra's favor this year."

Caedmon inclines his head to the count and then he confirms, "As you say, she is in the infirmary." He looks around the area at the growing press of people, and he says, "I'm quite sure that she will want to be in the suite to drink a toast to you and congratulate you in person. If you will excuse me, I'll take my leave and urge her to leave some work for the duchess."

Aldren nods to the prince. "Thank you." He inclines his head to the man kindly. Listening to Caedmon he says, "Yes, I assumed she would be." He seems displeased at the idea but pays it no more mind after a moment. "Yes, please do. I would enjoy that. Surely she and my other sisters would like to the chance to lay their eyes on an actual holy relic!" He seems quite proud of himself by this point, that much is clearly plain.

With a final bow, Caedmon steps back from Aldren, allowing others to swarm around their hero. He heads toward the area behind the bleachers where the horses wait, although he stops occasionally to answer questions from people who are eager to bring some matter to his immediate attention, even though he is clearly attempting to leave the grounds and return to the castle.

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