Author Topic: Coming Crow Tourney  (Read 7432 times)

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Coming Crow Tourney
« on: March 07, 2008, 07:12:34 AM »
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It had been a rather spontaneous idea. Given notice three weeks beforehand by means of letters, posters, and word of mouth, the Coming Crow Tourney was planned to take place. Land for the tourney was offered by a local farmer and many of the farmers and commoners took great pride in working on making the tourney to go well. They needed something to distract their troubled minds of the current affairs of Oberon. The men worked on setting up booths and getting ready for the sporting events. Women worked on baking foods and setting up the banquets that would come before and after the tourney. Children decorated the booths and seemed just as excited, if not more, for the coming tourney.

The Coming Crow Tourney was to take place on the first day of the week. The evening before, the commoners held a rather elaborate banquet to celebrate putting the tourney together. A community feeling of accomplishment swelled in them and when the day came it was even more refreshing to see that it would be a reasonably sunny with a few murky clouds in the sky.

Sporting events had sign-up sheets in the early morning. At dusk, squires began to arrive to sign up their knights and servants began to arrive to check if the tourney was suitable for nobles to attend. It was relatively clean and obvious effort had been put in it. Servants returned to let the nobles know that the tourney was in fact perfect for nobles. The tourney even had a separate group of benches just for nobles to sit at.

Various sporting events set up and ready to go were the jousting event, which would take place all day through rotating knights that wanted to show off, swordplay, archery, a medieval version of football (for the commoners), tag team running, and even a potpie contest for the women.

It was planned that after the sporting events, another lavish banquet for both commoners and nobles alike would take place. Entertainment involving bards and dancing would also take place offered by the patron of the tourney.

So here it was, the day of the Coming Crow Tourney.


The Boivins had arrived a tad bit early. They were accompanied by Robin Chaput As soon as he had caught word of the tourney, he had offered the opportunity to his student, Blake. Blake quickly agreed to taking part in the archery tournament. The boy loved to show off his skills in the sport and would take any chance even if it was a mixed nobles-commoner tourney. Blake’s mother and younger sister quickly went off to go chat with a few other noble women who were in support of their servants joining the potpie contest. Many noble women, such as Blake’s mother, refused to cook for such a menial tournament instead they competed through having their best maid make the potpie and enter the contest. The Boivin’s maid, Uli, had also entered the competition and Blake had a hunch that the woman would be in the top competitors if not win.

Blake was left alone with his father and his archery coach. He gripped his bow tightly before he spoke towards Robin, “Let’s go try to see the field.” The boy was anxious to see where his targets were. He wanted to do well, if not win, this tournament. Anxious feelings were swirling his stomach as he quickly jogged down the field towards the area where archery was taking place. Robin bowed, dismissing himself from Blake’s father, Galen, before following quickly.

Galen watched as his wife and daughter wandered off and then just a few minutes later his son ran off with the instructor. He was left all alone. Smoothing out his tunic, he straightened it out a bit. It was a medical tunic covering a noble’s shirt. His clothing identified him as both a noble and as a doctor. He walked over to where the jousting would be taking place. Galen had offered to take care of wounds on the jousting field today since his family wanted to partake in the tourney anyways. He hoped that perhaps he would be able to do some stitches today. Recently, he had hit a breakthrough in his research about using a needle and thread instead of ants to stitch up a wound. He was anxious to try it out. Galen shifted the strap of his medical bag on his shoulder as he introduced himself to the man in charge of the jousting tournament. It wasn’t long before he was given his own table and he was putting out his medical tools on it. Looking up at the clear sky, he hoped the day would go well.


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Re: Coming Crow Tourney
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2008, 11:20:34 AM »
He wasn\'t sure about the policies of the festival, and wasn\'t even sure that they would let him regester in the event. Yet, Magnus\' first task had been to get into the swordplay event. Jousting simply wasn\'t one of his strengths. Whenever he had ridden a horse in battle or tournaments, he had used a sword or short bow. He had considered archery, but first he meant to see that he could do anything at all. If not, he\'d certainly watch the events. It would be a great opportunity to meet people and get a taste of the Oberon culture. An odd place for Valdis to be avoiding. How curious.

Sword on hip and his body guard Thad trailing just behind him, Dag prowled about the grounds with a grin twisting his thin lips. He had always enjoyed a good crowd when business was possible, and it was a wonderful chance to improve his reputation. To keep on good terms with Lord Liari for the day, he had come as a guest, and not a merchant. Not stirring up trouble with Kysis might keep his allies civil as well. Perhaps open-minded enough to be swayed to the Gulbrand business rather than the Liari. Thoughts for later. Wiping some dust from his tailored tunic, he noted with a measure of disgust that his brother was about. He pointedly kept his distance. Perhaps he\'d let Thad enter the swordplay event to see someone finally best his brutish brother.

Malak had chosen a white veil and fan to replace her usual black as she slowly made her way across the grounds. A masked servant trailed behind, holding a dainty umbrella above the lady to protect her from the sun. Aside from that, a similarly porcelain masked servant trailed behind with a small chest; a fragile glass, a small box of crushed ice, and a sealed pitcher of water. Like with her veil and fan, Malak had also deigned to replace her usual, darker dress with a pale lavender with white and rich crimson lace and embroidery. The dress ended in a long tail, currently being carried by a third servant, who also wore the curious mask the former two did.

She was irritated that Shihab wasn\'t going to attend the festival. She knew her father would have wanted to join every event, or at least watch. Instead, the man chose this day of all days to slip back home and call on more of their wealth. Gold adorned every one of her fingers, small bands, each with a pale blue or purple gem encrusted in it... and he wanted to bring in more of their fortune? The point of being here was to earn favors and reputation, not buy them.


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Re: Coming Crow Tourney
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2008, 07:05:32 AM »
Humming radiated from a quaint little stall, hidden amidst the others.  No pretentious means here; the stall was moderately draped in a slightly faded shadowy purple silk and canopy.  Bouquets of dried Burdock, Lavender, Rosemary and Sage decorated the slightly askew counter with teal ribbons.  The sweet exotic scent of myrrh emitted from the clean and simple shop, enticing innocent buyers further into the silken miasma.  

   Expectant of likely litigious issues, Nasir set up the stall in a reclusive location behind most of the other booths.  He realized that many found his shop interesting, and not in a good way; he was assured his customers knew where to find him.  The adorned Levant uninterestedly rapped his jeweled digits on the wooden post of his stall.  New marketing opportunities often worried him.

   On the grassy earth below his stall were small sealed pots of Egyptian honey, Byzantine beeswax, Lebanese cedar toys, Italian Bergamot and Yemeni Mocha—in fact, he tried to get an exclusive item for every kingdom he visited.  Whatever wasn’t taxed or was too precious, they carted with them.  

   He taught his itinerant companions to be very organized and thorough.  Image and Quality gave a business excellent reputation.  Their efforts faded in his “immaculate” stall; crates and misfits cluttered the crowded pavilion and made Nasir unable to move.  Two guards flanked the shadowy stall, unprepared and drowning in boredom, strung bows and arrows.  Several of the other workers concluded to washing clothing and humming as they wove products. Workers dressed in an orthodox pallid cloth, which they detested.  

Nasir himself was draped in a simple beige veneer that encompassed his entire body in a clean fashion.  Trimmings of dried herbs displayed themselves, preserved in time, on the counter.  The dark drapery hid a menagerie of rich colors, in an ambience immersed in yawning and several languages mumbling simultaneously.  Nasir brought each of them to his curved nose with a connoisseur-esque method.

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Re: Coming Crow Tourney
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2008, 03:49:00 PM »
Now, what kind of event would this be if the town\'s best-known bard weren\'t in attendance?

A very drab one, that\'s what. And if Pheobe saw him or her about, she\'d be sure to let them know.

Pheobe was a bard, as well, but she thought herself of little repute. Others might think otherwise, especially in light of the fact that she\'d been asked to play, onstage, today of all days. But, then, so had everybody else. So maybe she really wasn\'t all that special. Either way, it mattered little to her, and she wasn\'t playing until later, so she had some time on her hands.

She hummed softly to herself as she browsed among the stalls – perusing the baking contest entries until she was shooed away by the proprietary housewives. Undeterred, she simply laughed, cowering under good-natured swings of their rolling pins, and danced away from the stifling baking tent with jingling steps and a flounce of colorful skirts.

The jingling came from the bells attached to the laces of her soft leather boots, and the skirts were a riot of color – several layers of light cotton, raggedly hemmed and of varying lengths, and all of different colors (Well, mostly, anyway. The homespun underskirts which gave most of the volume were quite well hidden.) Her bodice was dark green canvas, richly embroidered with vines and white flowers, and her chemise was worn quite immodestly off the shoulders - but Pheobe, it seemed, was a lively creature, and not one given to caring overmuch about other people\'s taboos.

She wove her way around the grounds, ever-slightly smiling at some inner joke. For the amusement of passerby, she mocked the regal bearing of the court ladies behind their backs – sticking her nose up in the  air and waving an invisible fan. Though she was often caught slinking (somehow she managed to slink and jingle at the same time) away, however, just as the snickering turned to out-and-out laughter. She had yet to be caught in the act, though, and only suspicious glares followed in her wake.


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Re: Coming Crow Tourney
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2008, 03:29:38 AM »
A crack sounded loudly across the fields of the tourney. The noise signified that the tourney would officially begin in just a couple hours. A couple messenger boys ran through the crowds to convey this, letting people know that this was their last chance to sign up to the open tournaments and that the jousting tournaments were to begin first.

The festival was a very open one and didn’t require much for people to compete in the tournaments. The tournaments weren’t even separated by age. Which didn’t seem like a bad thing to Blake. He was excited to finally compete against older men. Noble tournaments usually forced him to be in a younger division where he won easily. Now there was actually the possibility of competition. The young red-head was very anxious for the archery competition to begin. Blake lingered around the sign-up table, wanting to see who else was going to enter. As he paced just a foot away from the table, he began to play with his curls, twirling his index finger around the ringlets. There was a fair amount of participants, all young noble men, but most older than Blake. Blake wished that archery was the first event of the tournament, he wanted to get it started with. As he watched a man (Rico), approach the table to sign the paper, Blake looked towards his instructor. Robin hadn’t left, waiting patiently by his eager student as the boy surveyed the competition. He had been spacing out a little bit, just staring into the crowd but now that Blake’s gaze on him he snapped back to reality.

“Yes?” He asked curiously, wondering what the boy was thinking. Blake chewed at his lower lip for a few seconds before speaking up again, “Maybe I should practice before archery begins.” His voice squeaked with adolescent anxiousness. Robin shook his head, bringing his gaze over to the man at the table that was now signing up. He was aware that a lot of the people entering were probably older and very skilled at archery. The instructor hoped that losing wouldn’t discourage Blake. He set a hand on top of Blake’s head, ruffling the curls, “No no, don’t worry. You’ll do fine, I know you will.” The feminine man smiled at Blake, then politely at the man at the table, before bringing his gaze back to the crowd absently.  

Swordplay, perfect. Maybe he’d be able to win and get a few extra coins. This was the exact process going through Gerard’s mind as he waited for someone else to finish writing their name. He had come here without Isleen’s consent, leaving earlier in the morning while she was still asleep. Gerard wanted to keep it a surprise. Just in case he didn’t win, he didn’t want to anger her any further. She was already peeved at him about ripping one of her dresses. Though, lately it seemed as if every day his wife was angry with him. He didn’t quite understand it. She had been so sweet when they had first met. Of course, she had some fire to her, that was the reason he chose her, but he never thought that all he would get out of her all day was anger directed towards him. Despite this, Gerard still wanted to please his wife and so he hoped that he would get some sort of money prize from the swordplay competition to pay for Isleen’s dress.

Finally, the man before him stopped writing. Gerard moved forward to write his own name. He gazed at the illustrated looking scrawl. The man looked back at who had written it. He stayed silent for a moment before looking back at the list. Gerard did his best to make his name show eloquence too. Once he was done, it was apparent that he had some educating, but his own style of writing was very rough and geometric. Setting the writing utensil down he looked back over at the merchant. Gerard was glad he had decided to dress up today. He had taken a bath the night before so his hair looked relatively well-taken care of. The man wore his best clothes, not noble’s clothing but higher-end commoner’s clothing. He wished he still owned his noble’s clothes.

Galen had finished setting his medical supplies up fairly quickly. He straightened them out before picking up a jar and shaking it. Inside hundreds of large ants scrambled over one another. The doctor stared at them for a few seconds before setting the jar back down. Jousting would begin in about an hour or so. Galen decided to go look around the stalls during this time.

As he walked through the stalls Galen felt a tad bit awkward. He hadn’t participated in any social event since his wife’s last party, and he was noticing a difference in how people were reacting towards them. Most gave him the usual proper greeting that an esteemed doctor gets, but there was a couple that made Galen blush. Some noble girls giggled wildly after curtsying before turning towards one another to whisper as soon as Galen walked past. Galen was unsure of what was going on, but something was.

After a particular greeting from a man, who Galen didn’t think that the noble could raise his eyebrows any further, the doctor turned towards the nearest stall to try and escape people for just a few seconds. He glanced around the stall as if interested. Galen picked up a small bouquet of dried lavender, absently examining it. He was thankful that this booth was out of the way of the path and was probably the subconscious reason why he had chosen it. Holding onto the bouquet, he looked over at the pots on the ground. The doctor was beginning to become actually interested in the booth as he wondered what was in the exotic looking pots.

Another loud crack sounded through-out the fields. Only an hour or less till the jousting tournament was to begin.

Galen looked down at his hand. The bang had taken him aback and in the process he had snapped the bouquet of dried lavender. It was now in two pieces, a small amount in his fist, the rest on the ground. He quickly gathered up the lavender and set it back on the counter looking utterly embarrassed at having done such a thing. Maybe the shopkeeper would not care and he could just hurry away.

The messenger boys ran back through the crowds to convey this message. Some of the crowd began to head over to the jousting area to secure a seat. Others continued with what they were doing.


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Re: Coming Crow Tourney
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2008, 08:48:53 AM »
Magnus headed back to the table, to see who else was regestering for the sword-play event. He had seen Kysis, and noticed Dag prowling about, but wondered if what other sort of competition he might have. Dag wouldn\'t compete. Would Kysis?

Comfortably lounging near the jousting event, Dag smiled contemptuously at the passing folk. Most mistook the cruel smile for a friendly one. A few words of greeting, the customary bow from the waist, and they\'d move on. At least, that was the hope. Thad hadn\'t returned yet, so Dag let his hand rest on the hilt of his sword, fingers drumming on the pommel. No sense in letting his guard down with so many fools about.

Sipping daintily from a glass of crushed ice, Malak handed her fan off to one of the servants while she inspected the line at the archery table. It wouldn\'t be proper for her to compete, and quite frankly, it would be a sore loss as well. Still, she missed the few lessons Shihab gave her with the bow. She still knew all the best ways to deploy archers in battle, but the skill of archery itself elluded her.

Thankful for the veil that masked her small sigh, she let it fall back into place over her lips as she handed the glass to another servant. Too many formalities. She didn\'t want a glass of crushed ice. She wanted wine. Shihab would never let her live that down. Drinking was reserved especially for parties, and only when he was there. She didn\'t see the need for all the fuss. She never had more than a few sips anyways.