Author Topic: The Game Begins  (Read 8273 times)

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Offline Kysis

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Re: The Game Begins
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2008, 03:19:15 AM »
Well, Dag might have thought it a slight, but Ryanna flashed a smile at that thought.  Thad was kind of cute in her mind.  Then again, she had been nursing a crush for Lieutenant Frederickson for quick some time, and not many other women shared her opinions there.  Oh well.  More for her right?  Ha.  Not likely.  Ryanna cursed herself for being so short again, trying to keep in character as Dag led her around some more.  Luckily they kept to the shade a lot, otherwise Ryanna would have had to complain.  Noble complaining was one of the things that grated on her nerves the most, and having to do it... just the thought alone made her blood seethe.

However, the barracks got her thoughts off that quite quickly.  They were orderly, well kept, clean.  Ryanna looked down at the floor, taking note of the design.  Very good.  She did not know about everything, so she had to assume on some of it.  Luckily she was the one quizzing Dag and not the other way around.  Ryanna would have failed already.

"Very strict.  Very good.  Weaknesses like that should not be suffered."  Ryanna looked at the cook\'s servant for a second, a hasty glance to make sure the lad was already before turning her head sharply away as if in disgust. "I cannot linger in this tainted air long, Gulbrand.  Would you mind moving us along?  I believe the cottage was our next stop?"
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
Fenwick Baldor (Song, wine, and a bit of trouble),
Calista Liari (Θραύσματα Ομορφιά)

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Re: The Game Begins
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2008, 06:21:16 AM »
Dag exited the building, and finally dismissed Thad. The gardener would be in the cottage tending to the herb garden kept in over the fireplace, and Thad needed to practice anyways. That would be a good distraction for Lady May, later on. He hoped she was serious about it. The longer he kept her in good spirits the better the report was likely to be.

Opening the front door of the cottage, he stepped into the plain room. It served as his personal dining room, the meeting and planning room, and a good sitting room to read. Simple, but with its uses. The gardener, Abe, was hovering near the fireplace, trimming one of the mint plants. A miracle that he could get one to survive. They never lasted for very long, though.

"As you can see, there would be little gain from breaking into the cottage itself. The room on the right is where my body guard would sleep. Thad\'s my next canidate, he does well." Opening the door to the guard\'s room, which was currently set up as a very basic kitchen, he gestured towards the door beyond. My room is beyond this one. I keep all important articles on my person or hidden at all times, there would be little gain in breaking into my room."

"Below us is the storeroom, guarded at all times. The door is on the back of the cottage." Pausing to let her soak all that information in, he watched as Abe clipped withered leaves from the plant. The man wore an ugly eyepatch over his right eyesocket. He had tried convincing the gardener to wear smoother, more decent looking cloth, but the man had picked a tattered rag of leather. Why were all of his staff so dirty? It bothered him.

Offline Kysis

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Re: The Game Begins
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2008, 12:25:35 PM »
"How prudent of you."  Ryanna made the observation, and was calculating how she could get her hands on one of these important articles.  There was one option, which involved getting his clothing off, then getting him to fall asleep in such a state.  Ryanna could think of one way to do that, but would rather not.  Having touched Dag\'s arm, she wasn\'t interested in the least.  Yuck.  She would rather the muscle of someone like Thad any day.

But such thoughts had to be swept aside.  Ryanna would do what she had to do to get the information she and Magnus both needed.  She had no idea how much Magnus had to go through to get those authentic seeming documents, so Ryanna would assume it had been a lot.  So, she would return the same amount of effort.  She had to find something, and she had to find it quickly.

"I am curious though, how much did you spend upon your own room?  Merchants are known for being gaudy in most cases.  I would hate to see my Master\'s money wasted in such a fashion."  It was a direct, blunt accusation, which Ryanna was not afraid to make.  Of course, there were risks, but with her current position, she felt comfortable doing it.  Dag would not question her unless she did something suspicious... that he saw.  Ryanna could have gone either way, guard or thief.  She knew a few tricks from both sides.
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Re: The Game Begins
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2008, 12:42:40 PM »
"Furnished, but just enough to keep base comfort and quality." Dag moved beyond into his room, pointing out all the things in the room. "The carpet was easy to attain, and by purchasing it I also purchased the eyes and ears of a useful merchant. The chest I brought with me, the affects within as well. The book cases were built with spare wood, the books from my personal collection." Turning to the bed, he grinned. One of his few genuine smiles. "I needed a bed, and my rest is important. I need my mind sharp, and I need my body fresh. You\'ll find it isn\'t of some magnificantly rare wood, or anything of that sort. At my estate, in Norway, I indulge myself with money I earn. Here, I use coin only as seems fit."

He said no more about the bed, Lady May simply not being his type. Had she been here of anyone\'s accord but Weiss\', he might have had an interesting time with her, but this was strictly business. Curiousity struck him suddenly, as he pushed away thoughts of beds and women. "The fool that escorted you, how did you know to find him? He certainly isn\'t bright enough to know what you are. He doesn\'t even know about Weiss." He paused to hold his hands out, dismissing any ill offence. "I am glad you managed to find your way here, but I am curious."

Offline Kysis

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Re: The Game Begins
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2008, 12:09:51 AM »
So, Dag was already getting some leverage in the city.  That was not good at all.  Ryanna was not sure how much influence the Lord Liari had in Oberon, only that he had one really good connection with the Guard.  She knew he had gone to a feast thrown in honor of the Judge of the kingdom, which really important nobles and the king attended.  From what little Ryanna had heard of the event, Kysis had actually talked to the king, if briefly.  Ties with other merchants, though?  Ryanna was not sure.  Lord Liari had to be active in both circles, with merchants and nobles, and she wasn’t sure how that balance was going.

Norway.  Interesting.  That was further north than Ryanna thought the Gulbrand group was coming from.  Interesting in deed.  Was Weiss from there?  Ryanna could not really ask such a question, as she was supposed to work for the man.  Damn.  There was so much more information Ryanna wished she knew.

But where would someone like Dag hide things?  Not in the chest, that seemed too obvious, though if she got the chance, she would definitely look.  Perhaps on the bookshelf?  Ryanna glanced it over, wondering if there was anything hidden inside the books, if any of them were hollowed out with secret compartments and such.  It was a possibility.  Marcatte hid some of her more important things in books, or at least that was what Ryanna heard while working there.

That question had her pausing for a moment, considering the answers she could give.  Oh dear.  That was not the sort of question she had wanted to hear.  Ryanna had to think of something, and fast.

“I was informed that an encampment of Gulbrand men was to be found outside the city walls, and that they could point me in the correct direction.  When I arrived, there was not much left, but I found my way, none-the-less.”
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
Fenwick Baldor (Song, wine, and a bit of trouble),
Calista Liari (Θραύσματα Ομορφιά)

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Re: The Game Begins
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2008, 07:28:28 AM »
Dag nodded, slowly. "You informant should have looked more into the matter. The camp broke up today. You\'re lucky you caught anyone, when you did." Bowing, he hid another frown. Sigvald was incompetant and his brother lacked ambition. He had no worries from them. If Lord Liari was involved..but what was he doing? Doubting Lady May? She fit the role perfectly and it was just like Weiss to send a blithering, idiot noble-child to bother him.

Shaking those thoughts away, he led Lady May back out into the main room of the cottage and offered her a chair. Rather than waiting to see if she would sit as a guest for a time, he offered encouragement. "I can have wine brought now, if you would like to rid yourself of the dry-lastings of the sun." He still had the scroll tucked under his arm, and Abe was still tending to the herbs in the fireplace. Service could be easily arranged. He still wanted to stall her and prolong this positive mood she seemed to be in. So he spoke of the possible match again. "If you would like, I could also arrange those matches for you. Or, you can pick them out yourself. The weather is fine today, and shelter can be raised to keep the sun from bothering you."

Offline Kysis

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Re: The Game Begins
« Reply #21 on: February 23, 2008, 10:45:33 PM »
Informant should have been better.  Right.  If only he knew.  Magnus would probably be rolling on the floor in laughter when he heard her report back, whenever she got to give it.  Of course, that report might not come right away.  Ryanna had spent enough time around her employer to pick up some on tactics.  Dag would probably send someone to follow her home the first few nights, just to be sure she did not go see Magnus or his closest workers, of the Lord Liari.

She had to go see him soon, though.  Dag was plotting something against Kysis, and she couldn\'t bare to see him blindsided and hurt, not now especially.  He was soon to be a married man, had just come back from receiving his title in full.  It just wasn\'t right that someone wanted to hurt him.

"The matches sound like a good end to my inspection today." Ryanna eyed the scroll tucked under Dag\'s arm, considering.  It would be out of decorum to not accept wine during entertainment.  Ryanna had learned this from working under Maracatte.  However... no.  That would make him suspicious. "I am sure Weiss will want to be reassured of just what your men are capable of.  Arrange it."  Ryanna almost said please in there, having to remind herself to be snappy and demanding.  She really did not enjoy the bitchiness as much as she thought she would.  Oh well.  Different strokes for different folks, and all that.

Through all this, Ryanna kept her gaze trained to Dag, though she kept glancing every so often at the gardener, making sure he was not making any suspicious moves.  Was he trained too?  Probably.  Just like how Lord Liari\'s Retainer was battle ready, Ryanna figured the people closest to Dag would be as well.
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Re: The Game Begins
« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2008, 12:16:06 PM »
"Of course." Dag ducked into a slight bow. He quickly made a mental list of all of his guards. He could arrange a tournament, or simply have sparring sessions. He wasn\'t sure which was more suited to the lady\'s interest. Perhaps just a handful of matches, to show her the men\'s potential?

His questioned was answered the moment Thad entered. It was an interesting idea. Scratching his chin, he turned with a curious smile towards Lady May, ignoring Thad\'s look of confusion. "A champion. Perhaps you would like to choose a champion to fight a series of rounds? Thad here performs excellently in every sparring session."

The gardener turned his single eye on Dag, curiousity driving him. Thad too managed to rid himself of his look of confusion, and replace it with curiousity. It was unusual for Dag to favor any of the men. Thad won every battle by the sweat of his brow and the strength of his back. Dag was harder on him than any of the others. To put him on a pedestal, seemed a little out of character.

Dag himself was thinking of possible ways Lady May might respond. She\'d either want to see the best, see them all, or see the worse simply to irritate Dag. If Weiss chose well, she\'d pick the worse. If this Lady May was more than just Weiss\' puppet, and it was a habit of Weiss\' to occasionally let real human beings into his presence, then she would want to see the best. Or perhaps he was wrong. Perhaps Weiss had choosen her not to irritate him, but to trick him. Inspection might be the least of Weiss\' interests.

Offline Kysis

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Re: The Game Begins
« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2008, 12:32:53 PM »
It was an interesting prospect.  Ryanna wanted to see Dag\'s secret weapon.  She wanted to see Thad fight, to memorize his patterns and rhythms and relate them to the Lord Liari, but it felt like a trap.  Again, it was the presence of Kysis which had rubbed off on her, giving her a bit of an eye for strategy, though no where near his.  Kysis was a genius when it came to those things.  Ryanna was just learning.

But, learning meant she already knew something.

"Asking to see a champion dominate would be like... asking the Lord Liari to fight against general gathering at a tournament.  It would give me no measure of this place\'s truth worth.  I have seen that man fight.  Show me your worst first.  Show me just how far they can improve by following with the champion."

Ryanna kept her eyes locked on Thad through this, no smile on her lips.  Her eyes were as calculating as she could get them, though there was still a glint of curiosity, a dash of fear.  Ryanna wanted to know what her lord was against.  She had to.  Lord Liari did not deserve to be blindsided after all the hard work he had put into gaining his territory, not when Dag had done so little.  Oh no.  She would see the secret weapon sometime she was there.

And if possible, she would draw the secret weapon away from the arm that would use it.
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Re: The Game Begins
« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2008, 12:46:45 PM »
Dag thought a moment, and then smiled. "An admirable idea. I see Weiss selects his people carefully." He offered another bow and then waved to Thad. "Arrange it. We haven\'t terribly much left for daylight. You know who to pick." He was curious about the mention of Lord Liari. Had Weiss already filtered spies in? He might have to step his plans up a bit.

Thad would pick just a handful of men. A pair from every level of advancement. Four fights would have to suffice with what light they had left. He only had one last concern. Who would fight Thad after the other three fights? The gardener seemed to be the only other with skill even approaching what Thad possessed, but Abe refused to fight. His back didn\'t seem fit for it.

He shook his head after glancing the gardener\'s way. If the man truely had the skills he performed against those pickpockets, than he would be a trick worth holding onto. Weiss didn\'t need to know about that. As an afterthought, he looked Abe\'s way again and waved him over. His initial glance had to be masked. "Get me a bottle of Miatana." An obscure wine that he had purchased in Turkey. He doubted Lady May would have heard about it before. Aged to perfection, the rose-wine had a subtle, sweet but not too sweet taste, with a fragrant aroma. It reminded him more of a light juice rather than a wine, but it had a spice to it that made his brow sweat.

Slipping out of the cottage, and holding the door open for Lady May, he directed them back to the compound. Thad was already lining the combatants up. Six obviously curious men standing at ease by a rack of unsharpened, sturdy metal blades.

Dag paused to think again. "We don\'t quite have anyone of Thad\'s level. Perhaps the other six could team up against him after their respective sessions." It was an off idea. It didn\'t really matter to him, he simply needed some sort of way to end the battles. "Or do you have any ideas? This is in your honor m\'lady."

Offline Kysis

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Re: The Game Begins
« Reply #25 on: March 07, 2008, 12:56:40 PM »
Ryanna heard the name stated, wondering what it was to.  A wine?  Hmmm.  Ryanna hoped it was not to strong, as she could not deny Dag any longer without seeming out of place.  Damn.  It was good to see things put into action.

With a lady-like gait, floating almost, Ryanna followed, hands held comfortably before her to stop herself from fidgeting.  Keeping the mask of Lady Westra May up for so long was a pain, but necessary.  Ryanna could not let her guise slip.

But once they went in there, and Dag said there was no one matched to Thad, she could not help herself.

"Do you have any spears, by chance?" A smile tugged onto Ryanna\'s lips.  She kept her hawkish gaze locked on Thad, green eyes twinkling.  She could use a spear while wearing a skirt.  A proper lady should be able to defend herself, right?   That almost made her laugh.  Ryanna was itching to see what Thad could do.

And wouldn\'t a man sending someone to survey a weapons merchant\'s compound chose someone who knew their way around weaponry?  It made perfect sense to Ryanna.  And, she could observe Thad\'s movements first hand.  It would be a way to start sowing the seeds of descent as well.  Wouldn\'t that be a perfectly ironic way to do it?  Perhaps the tips Kysis had given her would come to use.
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Re: The Game Begins
« Reply #26 on: March 07, 2008, 01:08:00 PM »
Catching onto Lady May\'s plan, Dag grinned. "Of course Lady May." Nodding to Thad, he watched as the guard picked out a blunted spear and offered it to Lady May for inspection. The point could still kill in the hands of a skilled warrior. Dag had little doubt about Lady May\'s skill. There was no hesitation, no second thoughts. Weiss had chosen quite the lady.

He\'d offer her the chance of a warm up after the first three fights. Perhaps let Thad warm up as well if she took that opportunity. Lady May was an unknown now. He had thought he had her figured out, but it seemed there was a completely new page to this mystery. He didn\'t doubt for a moment that there would be another page after that, and another, and another.

Until then... Abe returned with the wine and two glasses, as other servants set down a chair and small table. The furnishing was for the lady, if she chose to use it. As soon as she was ready, the battle would begin. Already the first pair was stretching. His two weakest fighters, neither were from the disbanded Zirat. One was a local once-farmer, and the other one of his accountants from the estate. The farmer had picked out a broad sword, while the accountant had grabbed a small shield and short sword. It would be an interesting pairing.

Offline Kysis

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Re: The Game Begins
« Reply #27 on: March 24, 2008, 08:43:27 PM »
She took the spear as it was handed to her, feeling the weight and balance instantly.  It was not as good as her own, Liari made spear, but it was just a shoddy practice piece, so no need to judge, right?  That got a mental laugh from her.  Ryanna waved off the wine for the moment.  She could take a sip later.  However, she did sit, trying to calculate just how movement would differ in a skirt... and a corset.  The corset was the problem, but not too much of one, so Ryanna would suffer through it.

Sitting, Ryanna kept the spear close to her, refusing to let it out of her hand.  Her eyes were trained to the two stretching warriors.  With a quick sweep of her gaze she could tell they were not carrier warriors, probably recruited recently.  She would see how good they were in a moment, right?

Sure.

Ryanna kept watching, ignoring Dag for now.  She wanted to see what kind of punch his people packed.  More importantly, she wanted every tidbit of information she could get about Thad.  He was the trump card.  He was the one to watch.
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Re: The Game Begins
« Reply #28 on: March 27, 2008, 10:35:23 AM »
After letting Thad draw the circle they\'d fight in, and waiting to see that Lady May was comfortable, he nodded towards the bell. Thad rung it and the two novice warriors gazed warily at each other. Neither had any confidence in their skills. Neither should.

The farmer leapt forward, bringing the broadsword down in a wide-arc that the lighter, and notably smaller accountant easily ducked under to take a swipe at the farmer\'s generous gut. Rather than doing what everyone had expected, and losing the first hit, the farmer managed to sweep the accountant\'s attack aside and counter in a completely out of the book manner. The farmer, Espen, picked the accountant up by the collar and tossed him out of the ring.

Dag considered the fight slowly. Both were novice warriors, but not necessarily inexperienced with the bases of fighting itself. The farmer was obviously a tavern brawler of some sort, or perhaps simply physically used to the abuse of weight. His usual chores in a single day probably outdid what the accountant did in a year, if even.

He decided the let the match go at that, after offering the accountant a scowl. "When they know so little about weapons, it\'s hard to expect any less from them." He said to the side, for Lady May. Then louder, "You two will do clean-up tonight, and I expect you to be first in the compound tomorrow training."

Wanting to waste as much of Lady May\'s time as possible without looking rude, he let the next pair of fighters stretch while the first pair redrew the circle. The rest of the guards were from the Zirat, professional soldiers. He was sure Weiss, or even his damnable brother could best any one of them, but their fights wouldn\'t be so laughable.

Sipping from his wine, he hid a sigh as Thad rang the next bell. Lady May seemed to be for what was going on here. That meant Weiss would be pleased, and finance would continue. Anyone who displeased Lady May, Dag would gladly kill. Perhaps even let Lady May do it herself. That would likely be pleasing.

The next pair chose weapons better suited to their needs. When the first picked a long sword and dirk, the other grabbed a spear to gain the advantage of range. They didn\'t move at first, the bell seemed unnecessary now. The fighters knew when to do their work and how to do it. All Dag had to do was keep Lady May entertained. The spearman tried the usual thrust, unsurprised when the swordsman slapped the spear blade aside with his dagger and leapt in with his own thrust.

Dag smiled as the pair moved, watching professionals at their best. They weren\'t amazing, not even graceful. But they were skilled. The spearman won the battle within ten minutes, using the butt of his spear to knock the swordsman off his feet, blade spinning around to nick his throat. Mikkel and Gabriel were among the first to abandon Magnus, and Dag hoped they would both continue to advance in skill and ambition over the next few weeks.

The third bell was the most interesting. As soon as Thad had struck it, Jerrik had leapt forward and thrust a one-two with a pair of short swords at his opponent. The latter had chosen a battle-axe, using the sweep of the blade to catch first one sword, then twist and slash to deflect the second. Jerrik had expected it though, and spun on his heel to bring both blades around in a single slash, the first blade clashing angrily against the axe as the second blow ripped it from his opponents grip. Within moments, Jerrik had his opponent on the ground and both swords at his throat.

Nothing remarkable, but it had given Thad enough time to study Lady May and analyze her movements. Even watching the fights merited some sort of movements, excitements, twitches. It showed Thad how strong her concentration was, and how surprised or familiar with the scenes she was. After the third pair of fighters had moved away, joining the others in their line, Thad picked out a single long sword and stood in the middle of the drawn arena. "It would be my pleasure, Lady May." Thad bowed to the waist, only taking his eyes off of Lady May for a moment. Not a bead of sweat disturbed his brow under the sun\'s glare, and gaze was nothing short of predatory.

Offline Kysis

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Re: The Game Begins
« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2008, 09:36:13 PM »
Ryanna had been watching intently through every battle, even when she grew rather irritated at how dull a few of them were.  Didn\'t these men train?  Oh, but they had not been soldiers on the field of battle much, had they?  Ryanna had not either, but she had trained with a few.  Kysis had been Commandant of the troops in Kreos before becoming the Lord Liari, and in a way, he still had their loyalty.  They trusted him, not just because he was a natural leader but was always out on the battlefield with them, proving himself along side them.

The others in that household could not beat Kysis, but still seemed better than a good majority of these men, whether or not they could fight with all different weapons.  So far, Ryanna was not at all worried for her lord.

However, it was Ryanna\'s turn.  She stood up slowly, gracefully, holding the spear out to the side with her right hand, blade at a forty-five degree angle to the ground as she stepped forward into the ring, head held high.  Ryanna walked like the noblewoman she was pretending to be, saving her abilities for later.  She did not want Thad (whom she had felt the eyes of this entire time) to know anything until it came at him.  That was how Kysis beat her every time, and Ryanna refused to let it happen again.

Once in the circle, Ryanna changed her grip on the spear right hand controlling further forward, left holding the spear balanced on her hip.  She was turned just slightly so her right side was a little further forward, feet positioned in a balanced stance with her knees slightly bent.  One look could tell that she at least knew what she was doing, and had not just done this for fun\'s sake.

How much training was left to be seen by the battle.

"Start whenever you are ready, Thad." Ryanna smiled when she used his name, keeping her eyes on the warrior.  Now it was time to garner a little respect and start Operation Make Thad Defect.
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
Fenwick Baldor (Song, wine, and a bit of trouble),
Calista Liari (Θραύσματα Ομορφιά)