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Sunday Night Sip'n Spar XXXIII

Join us for another night of exciting sparring, high spirits and excellent company at the Golden Hart.

All levels of warriors and fighting styles welcome (including melee, brawling, archery and other battles of skill). For those light in gear or wishing to truly test your skills upon the sands, the Hart's equipment is available to borrow. Or simply come and enjoy the scene and make a wager or two on your favourite fighters.

Everyone is very welcome. Drinks are on the house.

Donations of silver and writs to the Golden Hart's charitable fund appreciated but not required. Deepest thanks for your ongoing support!

We look forward to seeing you there!



This event was created to offer some relaxed fun and more great chances to RP. As always, the Hart is open to everyone. If you are new to the game or looking for RP, please be welcome.

If you have questions, @mail Valencia. We look forward to seeing you! Winners from past events are listed here: <3


May 26, 2019, 9:30 p.m.

Hosted By



Ahmar Kaya Ian Fianna Azolla(RIP) Mikani Waldemai Bonnie Reese Syd(RIP) Peri Ajax Svoli(RIP) Jennyva Merek Rysen Dianara Pharamond Giulio


Golden Hart


Arx - Ward of the Compact - The Golden Hart Social & Gaming House - The Arena

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

Lizette, a pretty buxom barmaid arrives, following Valencia.

Ian has joined the ringside table.

Mack, a sable Northern Shepherd, Bruno, an energetic Wolfhound, 4 House Crovane Guards arrive, following Fianna.

Ahmar rolls after he hits the ground spining his spear above his head swiping at imaginary feets

Ian has left the ringside table.

Ian has joined the corner table.

Kaya has rolled a critical success!
Kaya checked perception + empathy at difficulty 15, rolling 30 higher.

Eina, the Pearl's Own, Soot, a frenetic ferret arrive, following Peri.

Syd has joined the ringside table.

1 Redoubt Buccaneers, Damien Pierce - A Charming Assistant, 1 Redreef Warden, Vagari - Cinder Kitten, 1 Obsidian Order, 4 Byrne Mountain Men arrive, following Mikani.

Kaya glances over at Ian and says mildly, "Excuse me." Kaya moves over the Ian and says with a bit more concern then she normally would show, "My Lord, are you quite alright?"

Silver Armor Tournament Chest is now unlocked.

1 Redoubt Buccaneers, Damien Pierce - A Charming Assistant, 1 Redreef Warden, Vagari - Cinder Kitten, 1 Obsidian Order, 4 Byrne Mountain Men leave, following Mikani.

Violet Armor Tournament Chest is now unlocked.

Red Armor Tournament Chest is now unlocked.

Ahmar gets Amaranthine DireWolf Arm Armor, Amaranthine DireWolf Cuisses, Amaranthine DireWolf Sabatons, Amaranthine DireWolf Gauntlets, Amaranthine DireWolf Cuirass and Amaranthine DireWolf Helm from Violet Armor Tournament Chest.

Bronze Armor Tournament Chest is now unlocked.

Weapons Rack is now unlocked.

Ahmar wields Steel Bladed Spear.

Ian eases into a chair at the usual table he haunts in a corner in the back. "I'm alright," he assures Kaya. At about this point, a waitress deposits a bottle of whiskey and a small stack of glasses onto his table, right in the center. He looks over at the bar, and sees Mags giving him a pointed look. He flashes the big bartender a quick, wry smile, and then fills one of the glasses with whiskey.

Fianna Crovane draws back the hood of her fur lined cloak as she enters, allowing the windswept waves of her mahogany brown hair to fall freely over her shoulders. Tawny colored eyes sweep across the area to see if there are any familiar faces before she makes her way in to locate a vacant seat, tugging her gloves off as she does. Soon her cloak is removed to reveal a long sleeved top and fitted trous tucked into tall winter riding boots with tread.

Ahmar stands and nods once to his imaginary opponent and heads back over to his sister Azolla. He gives her a little hig, "Wish me luck Azzy?"

1 Redoubt Buccaneers, Damien Pierce - A Charming Assistant, 1 Redreef Warden, Vagari - Cinder Kitten, 1 Obsidian Order, 4 Byrne Mountain Men arrive, following Mikani.

Azolla hugs Ahmar gently and kisses his cheek. "Of course brother. The best of luck. If you need patching up after this you know where to come," Azolla says gently

Fianna has joined the bar.

The snow blows about the city covering the tracks of it's citizens as quickly as footprints fall. It is cold and fierce inside the Hart it is warm and full of good spirit, fine drink and excellent company. The little vixen is delighted today as she sweeps into the Arena as people from all over ilk come to enjoy a warm and exciting night together.

Kaya has joined the corner table.

1 Grayson House Guards, Peaches, a lovely white war filly with a peach saddle, Deliverance, an albino falcon, Stormy, a silvery gray hunting hound, Rascal, a hyper terrier, Rosalie, a lady in waiting arrive, following Reese.

Mikani enters ready for the sip and spar. She heads to the bar and gets a glass of rum. As she gets to the bar she bows her head to Fianna. "Duchess good to see you again." She says warmly with a bright smile.

Waldemai sees all the fighters coming in, some really good ones, and calls down to Lord Syd, "Looks like there will be plenty of good fights tonight, m'lord."

Peri has joined the bar.

Bonnie and Jennyva show up around the same time; with the width of the doorway it's almost exactly the same time but Bonnie holds back a step to avoid squishing her cousin out of habit. Whistling a little in a low pitch, whatever shanty she's mangling the tune of is interrupted steadily here and there. "Still tired of the damn snow, really.." But then both hands come up in a wide shrug that also requires her to lag behind a step to avoid swatting anyone by accident, "But it's warm and there should be stuff to drink, so going out is worth it for this, Jen." Then both hands flap back down with a solid clap against her hips, as she gets a look around to the inside of the arena with a curious tilt of her head.

Kaya eyes Ian suspiciously and sits near him, ordering her self a warm cup of cider. "If you say so," she says mildly before taking out her journal again and returning to her writing.

The finch that lives in Ahmar's hair decides to flutter out finally after all the movement. Peeps lands on Azolla's shoulder while Ahmar readies himself for a spar.

Reese arrives at the Hart while wearing a warm winter cloak over her pink and ivory. She peeks over the arena, trying to get a sense for things here. She has a gentle smile and then continues further inside.

Fianna collects the drink she ordered and then sits upon a barstool with her glass in hand. "Countess Mikani! Good to see you as well." She lifts her glass in 'cheers'. "How are you?"

"I shall pray for bloodshed!" Syd declares, climbing into a seat beside Waldemai with some effort, pausing to remove his beret and wipes his liver-spotted scalpt. "Feeling particularly brawny today, my dear?" he asks, when he finally sits. "Been eating plenty of fish? I understand that's what they recommend in Arx. I was always a rabbit man, myself--stew, you know, not too heavy on the tubers, if that means what I think--but fish is what I hear recommended now, by overwhelming majority, before a fight. One fellow insisted on smoked eel, but he was met with mockery and derision. I trust, in any case, that you are rested and ready? Your thews--or hews, I always forget which--are mighty from the anvil?"

Peri does not look relaxed and perhaps sitting at a bar and watching people spar will change that. She takes a seat at the bar. She grins as the brother and sister hug. There's a soft awwwwww sound. She gives polite nods to everyone she knows and then turns her attention to ordering a drink while she writes.

Ian fills and downs a glass of whiskey, and then fills it again. He's in the process of doing this when Kaya orders cider, which is probably why he didn't just assume she wanted a glass of spirits.

Ahmar stands at the edge of the sands. Spear in hand. Stoic and watching.

Within the harts entrance proper the large rubicund clad mercenary makes his way into the arena properly, the staff seeming to know him, yet, this night Ajax arrives without his usual gaggle of Redwoods, his brown eyes moving across the room with a curious look, he notices Ahmar, his lips curling into a large smile as he makes his way towards the sands, keeping his gaze into him.

Mikani smiles at Fianna and clinks her glass against Fianna's. "I am doing well. Yourself?" Mikani's voice is warm and calm like a beautiful day on the ocean. "Thank you again for your wonderful meal."

An outsize aura of presence enters with Svoli, as if she were somehow taller perhaps. Violet-blue eyes sweep her surroundings and she remains for a moment quiet, pausing to scope out the throngs and clusters of people gathered to get a feel for what is happening with each before deciding where to head.

Azolla smiles gently at Peeps as he lands on her shoulder and settles in to watch her brother in action. She will greet anyone politely if the come over in her direction

Jennyva is still huddled up against the cold, and for all that it's not *too* long of a trip from home to here, her cheeks are white and her nose is red. Brrr. She walks with Bonnie into the place, drawing up when her cousin stops and puts her hands on her hips. "I've never been to one of these before," she admits. "But I've heard it's a lot of fun..." She looks, and looks, and looks, until she sees Ajax. Not that she heads that way (or even smiles at him), she just looks back to Bonnie. "Where do you want to sit?"

Mikani has joined the bar.

Waldemai agrees with with what Lord Syd said. "Thews prepared to hew, yes, m'lord, and quick on my feet, too. But some of these folk have been at it since they were tykes, while I just have my basic militia training."

Kaya sips her cider as she writes silently, only offering polite silent greetings to anyone whom decides to notice her

Bonnie draws up semi-short at that, already taking off her bandana with a shake of it to free some snowflakes, and then tucking it into a pocket. "Well.." Further thought required as she fluffs her curls a few times while scratching her head, keeping that semi-curious tilt in place before pointing to the nearest ringside table, "Over there's comfortable, I think. And, look, it's Volkov!" Pointing Syd out like part of the decor, she waves her other hand fairly energetically towards him, before glancing back at Jennyva, "Maybe a bit further back though? Avoid any blood, teeth, clumps of hair, things of that nature.. ..though they are /great/ souvenirs."

Reese has joined the bar.

Svoli has joined the ring of valor.

"They shall fall before your hammer like tipsy colts on a frozen pond!" Syd tells Waldemai, tugging at his beard, before smiling when his nearsighted gaze falls upon Valencia. "Oh! There's my lady of honeyed whiskey! Been looking for her. Needed wisdom of the quiet, erm, wise sort. Not much on that sort myself, unless--" He barks a laugh when Bonnie calls his name. "Lower the jig boom, my captain of the flaming cutlass! I shall back you before all, save only my darling Hammer here! How does one -wager-?"

Svoli wields Windrunner, a well-made assegai.

Dressed in southern silks that embrace sensual curves and slender waist, Valencia gracefully moves to the center of the Ring of Valor. Offering a bright smile, she holds up her hands and graciously inclines her head to the arena.

"My lords and ladies, misseres and madams, dearest friends -- welcome to my Hart. Thank you for joining us tonight."

"This evening, we offer you another exciting tournament of exceptional skill, excellent drink and beautiful company. We are so very happy to have you join us, and hope you will enjoy all we have to offer."

"Thank you again for your generosity to our charity and for making our Hart a such a vibrant and welcoming place for all in Arx. Our Hart would not beat so strong, if it were not for you."

"And now, if you please, the bar is open and the ring is ready to receive. Please enjoy the evening! Competitors, if you would please take to the sands!"

Reese heads toward the bar, taking a seat there and ordering herself a mug of warm cider. She looks toward the ring, seemingly curious about the spar soon to take place. Reese then smile warmly to warmly to Valencia and her dimples briefly appear.

Waldemai tells Syd, "I'll take the other end of that bet, m'lord," since he doesn't know either of the fighters. "Say, 500?"

Lingering on the edge of the sands after Svoli makes her way to face the man, a mild look of disappointment flickers across Ajax's expression, his head tilting to the side where Jennyva and Bonnie stand together, his eyes landing on Bonnie for a long moment before he tilts his head towards the sands properly, shifting his large form to watch the two face off against each other

Ahmar heads out to the sands. His spear twirling and spinning like a helicopter blade around him as he does. Once he makes it out, he slams the back end of the spear in to the ground and just nods once. "On your mark."

Ian doesn't drink his second glass of whiskey quite as fast as the first, but this definitely isn't just polite, social drinking. He regards Ahmar as he steps onto the sands with detached interest; not every day you see someone going in to fight with a spear.

Finally, Svoli decides which spot to join. The ring. She reaches over her shoulder to pull her assegai as she enters the ring of Valor, feet settling shoulder width apart.

Reese peeks over to Waldemai, giving him a smile. "Oh, Master Waldemai." She says. She then smiles her dimpled smile to Ajax. She waves to Ahmar. "Good luck, Lord Ahmar!" Reese has a smile for Ian as well. "Lord Ian." She greets.

Azolla is sitting at the ringside table keeping her emerald eyes focused on her brother. Azolla smiles warmly at Reese and keeps quiet watch over her brother

"Wasn't planning on betting on anyone but you," Syd tells Waldemai. "Not even little Svoli there. What's she -doing-? I've never seen a child ride like she does--conceived on horseback, that one, and rides like the western wind--but I'm not sure she's up to snuff with the brawling. Still! She's a Volkov. So I'll wager 500 on her--long as you scream for her to win, even while your coin depends on the other fellow."

A fight has broken out here. Use @spectate_combat to watch, or +fight to join.

"Greetings Princess Reese," Kaya states mildly, glancing up for a moment from her writing

Ian lifts his drink in silent greeting to Reese.

Valencia steps off the sands with a smile and gentle nod to Ahmar and Svoli. "Good luck, my darlings," she offers earnestly as the sergeant of Arms takes to the sands and bids them stand before the raucous crowd. The little vixen moves into the crowd now, a gentle smile to Ajax as he stands by the ring and a warm welcome is offered to Waldemai as he arrives and to Peri as she finds her way to the bar.

"There's--" Jennyva gives Bonnie a skeptical look, then laughs. "It can't be that bad," she says. "Is it?" No, no, she doesn't look worried at all (okay, maybe a little bit). "Further back is probably a good idea." She lifts a hand to wave to Syd when Bonnie does, and whether she's met the man or not he gets a bright smile. There's a deep breath taken, and then she's starting for a seat, only taking a few steps before pausing to make sure Bonnie is following. Once she's sure, she continues moving. "Are you going to fight?" She's not yet shrugging out of her cloak. She'll warm up. Eventually.

Jennyva has joined the raised seating.

Reese looks over to Kaya. "Oh, Kaya Rose, hi," She says to her. "You have been feeling okay?" Then adds. "Your poems were well received at the book give away." She says softly. Reese then has a warm smile for Syd. "Lord Syd." The girl greets warmly. She has cider cradled in her glove hands now.

Waldemai has no problem yelling for a fighter, regardless of who his money is on. "Then my 500 on Lord Ahmar, m'lord Syd. Let's have a good fight there! All glory to Gloria!"

Reese is offered a gentle embrace and kiss upon the cheek and Lord Syd a happiest of smiles. "My Lord! I'm so happy to see you, sir. Please be so welcome to my Hart," she nods warmly her dark glimmering eyes finding Ian and offering him a warm and affectionate nod hello. Kaya is greeted as well, as she come to say hello to Reese. And Jennyva and Bonnie are both offered gentle nods of welcome as well.

Bonnie reaches up, with a tap against her temple as sort of brief salute over towards Ajax. And with a grin, she makes little 'stabby' motions with an inquiring tilt of her head too. Though after that she turns her attention back to Jenn with a gleeful giggling, rather deep in timbre but still overall a pleasant enough sound, "Well, of course. I can't spend the entire night just drinking." The faux solemnity she blurts that out with is maybe not her best performance. But, still, she tried; she goes along with Jenn towards some of the further seats, though there is a pause near Syd to give him a clap on the shoulder, "Oh, there'll be widows aplenty before the thirst for blood is satisfied; isn't it always the way, when gut-slashers like us are around?" But it's in passing, to leave him to the gambling and such when following along after Jenn.

Bonnie has joined the raised seating.

Valencia has joined the ringside table.

"Well enough given that my body has been invaded by a tiny little creature who thinks rearranging my internal organs is fine," Kaya states mildly. "I am glad that your party went well, now I am sure I shall become famous, thanks to you." Kaya is focused mainly on her writing and sipping cider

Peri takes her hot tea toddy from a bartender and holds the mug to her face, inhaling its refreshing steam. She closes her eyes for a moment and breathes out a relaxing breath.

Svoli checked stamina, willpower + survival at difficulty 10, rolling 22 higher.

Svoli remains capable of fighting.

Azolla history

Waldemai calls down, "Hang in there, Lady Svoli!"

Syd calls to Svoli, his quavering voice carrying, "Go for his plums! He's got the reach of you--get in close and fight dirty. Gouge his face! Take an eye, my love, he don't need 'em both! Get your fangs on his throat--all these Oathlanders think you're a lady but I know the truth! Show 'em how a plainsgirl fights with tooth and hoof!" Having exhausted himself momentarily, Syd greets Reese with a waggled eyebrow, Valencia with a mouthed, "Been looking for you!"--though she may be watching the fighting instead of the elderly spectator--and winks to Jennyva.

Reese looks over to Kaya, giving her a nod. "I cannot even imagine." She says softly to the woman. She is still perched at the bar. The girl watches the fight, seemingly quite curious about such.

Nods are exchanged, then the duel of spears begins. It is a long distance fight. Each using their long weapon to keep distance. Ahmar is an acrobatic man. He catches his openings and his spear is accurate. He ducks and dodges underneath the incoming strikes form Svoli. At one point he rushes at Svoli and plants the blade of his spear in the ground and uses it to brace his momentum to turn in to a solid pole vault kick to the chest. In a quick follow up, he uses the blunt end of his spear to jab hard straight in to Svoli's elbow.

Azolla frowns over at Syd keeping a quiet focus on her brother. Azolla silently watches wincing at any bows taken by Ahmar

"Yes it is a thrilling experience, A blessing I have been told," Kaya states mildly, only mildly paying attention to the spar taking place

"You can't?" Jennyva eyes Bonnie with playful suspicion before she laughs it off again, waves a hand. "I can. I'll bet on you, though." Syd's wink earns him a smile from the redhead, though it's a brief thing. Once she's claimed her chair she does finally shrug out of that big ol' cloak, hanging it over the back of it and then looking towards the bar. "I'll get our drinks," she decides. "What would you like?" Her eyes go back to Bonnie for the question, for all that her attention is ping-ponging around like a squirrel that's been drinking coffee, with everything that there is to see.

Svoli checked stamina, willpower + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 28 higher.

Svoli remains capable of fighting.

The little vixen loses a hint of her composure at Syd's enthusiastic calls of support and advice, which result in her offering a smile likely far to bright and bold to be proper. She cants her head and looks curiously at the man, "I am yours, sir," she nods in reply. "At your pleasure and convenience, of course, sir." Casting her eyes about the full and festive room, Duchess Fianna Crovane is spied and is offered a bright smile, as does Countess Mikani. With happy smile, she takes a seat near the ring, offering g a nod to those at the table and taking a up a glass of wine.

Valencia claims that! <3

Svoli checked stamina, willpower + survival at difficulty 73, rolling 41 lower.

Svoli checked stamina, willpower + survival at difficulty 39, rolling 5 higher.

Svoli remains alive, but close to death.

Svoli is incapacitated and falls unconscious.

Bonnie sweeps both hands up and back through her hair to rearrange her curls and get the last of the 'bandana head' look going away. Frowning for a moment, she makes a lighter, briefer shrug, "Oh, whiskey should be fine. Just a large amount of it, of course." Her own chair she leans back in, watching the spear-fighting in the ring with no little bit of concentration. Certainly a bit beyond her typical kind of brawling. "And don't bet too much! I kind of admit, I had a few before we left!"

Waldemai cheers. "Well fought! A great fight to start the night!" Yes,, his poetry gets worse as the level of ale in his bucket gets lower and lower.

Merek makes his way in to observe at the moment also.

With a total lack of restraint, Svoli charges at Ahmar, leaving herself wide open, taking rough hits till bruised and some nick on her scalp sees a trickle of blood running down her temple. She tries to meet and match Ahmar's strikes, but manages little other than stratching him with her spear when she tries to jump to her feet after taking a solid hit to the chest. Syd and Waldemai call out and it seems to hearten her through the continuous rain of blows taken. And this is when you can tell the girl ain't right: even unsteady on her feet and likely not quite seeing straight, she smiles, lifting her hand to smear the trickle of blood like war paint when she manages to nick at Ahmar, getting her spearhead in the joints of his armor, half distracted, violet-blue stare wild.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Mikani before departing.

Peri is at the bar talking about plays and books. "I would enjoy a sequel party, Princess. And I hope to make that one. Duties kept me away." Her smile fades.

"Whiskey, and lots of it," Jennyva echoes back at Bonnie, and nods. "Coming up." She flashes a grin, and then there's another deep breath taken before she moves to slip through the crowd, heading for the bar in an open spot where she can request 'lots of whiskey please, and two tumblers'. It's all paid for without hesitation, gathered up and brought back to the table so she can pour her cousin some more alcohol BEFORE she goes out to fight. That's helping, right? To anyone (and everyone) near enough to hear her call, "Does anyone want to bet against my cousin?"

Ahmar takes his hit like he never cared about taking a hit. He ducks and rolls and spins his spear with great flourish, before Svoli knows it his spear twirls and sweeps Svoli off her feet. He stands quickly and shoves the blade of his spear deep in to the sand next to her and drags it within inches of her neck. His stoic expression never leaving his face. The blade stops just inches from her neck while she is on the ground. He freezes and says nothing. He just offers an extend arm to help her up and a nod of respect.

Waldemai calls down from the rafters, "I'll bet against anyone save Princess Reese and the head of my house. Which one's your cousin?"

Azolla claps for her brother, keeping a close eye on his fight the whole time. "Good fight," Azolla says gently

Svoli has left the ring of valor.

The crowd goes wild with applause for both fighters, rising to their feet and cheering. The sergeant of arms returns and calls to Ajax and Bonnie with a gruff voice that rings through the arena.

Bonnie has left the raised seating.

Kaya is quietly sipping cider and writing, humming a strange tune to herself as she does

Fianna is seated at the bar and claps for the winner of the spar after setting her glass down. "Good form!" she calls out when Ahmar helps Svoli up.

Breath coming hard after she takes his hand, Svoli uses her spear to push up with the other hand, offering Ahmar a solemn nod in response, before making her way out of the ring, not bothering to wipe the crimson from her face.

Bonnie gets to her feet with the glass from Jennyva in hand - already her mood is improving. First there's a few quick gulps and then she's up to stretch, from tip-toes up to laced together fingers. With a jaunty step down to the ring as she's called, she gives an insouciant little wave to Ajax before taking her place there at the ring. "Now, I have to warn you.." And then there's a good, contralto boom as she raises her voice for the cheap seats, "AJAX! I learned my trade from the stabby fish; I've wrestled the spiny ones and bitten the sharks! I boil my buttons in poison every day and my spit alone can cut a foe in half!" A little flip of her hand near one side of her belt and her knife is ready, balanced by the point against a fingertip, "So since it's just friends here, I think I'll use a blade. Have at you!"

Bonnie has joined the ring of valor.

Svoli has joined the ringside table.

Bonnie wields a sharp, dark dagger with a subtly scalloped edge and red wire-wrapped hilt.

As the fight comes to a close, Ajax keeps a leveled head onto the two fighters, his hands coming together in a polite clap, as the people leave the ring properly he steps forward onto the sands, his eyes shifting to the staff properly as he raises to his full height, his fingers moving to rest towards his belt which contain a pair of hilts, keeping his head lowered as he awaits for Bonnie's approach his usual trudging demeanor fades as he allows a moment of silence to overtake the man as he's addressed he does dip his head towards Bonnie, his fingers moving to pull free Penance, shifting in his form to face the woman.

Ajax wields Penance,a Diamondplate longsword.

Ajax has joined the ring of valor.

"That's my girl!" Syd croaks enthusiastically at Svoli's courageous--if doomed--assault. "A hit! You've got him now, bluewolf, you've--" He winces when Ahmar sweeps her off her feet and and drives his spear into the sand. "Well! The heart of the Volkovs! Well-fought, my girl! Let them try this on horseback and they'll see who ends trampled!" He snorts to Waldemai. "You're just spending my coin, now, my Hammer of Hart's Haven!" He looks around for anyone to take his bet as he offers: "I'll put another 500 on Captain Bonnie, the jib-boom of Jayus, if anyone else is fool enough to wager against her!"

"My money would be on Master Ajax," Kaya says mildly

Wait. Wait wait wait wait. Bonnie's name is called. With Ajax. The horror on Jennyva's face is so immediate she doesn't have time to cover it up before it can be seen, though the serenity is slammed into place promptly. Pleasant smile. See? Pleasant smile. She stares after Bonnie as she heads down for the ring, and then she's looking up in Waldemai's direction. Loooooong pause. She glances once more towards the ring, then back up, before she hollers, "Nevermind." Yep. She sinks in her chair a little and her dark eyes lock on the ring again. Both of her hands come up to cover her face, though she does peek through one set of fingers.

A fight has broken out here. Use @spectate_combat to watch, or +fight to join.

"I will take that bet, Lord Syd," Valencia chimes with a slight grin. "Do you accept?" she smiles the Lord's way with a playful flash of finely arched brows.

Ahmar make his way to the tables on the edge, bowing to Svoli, "Well fought my lady." His usual nerves, gone during a fight. He kisses his little sister, Azolla, On the top of the head. "Long night still. We will see who I have to fight next."

Ian has been watching the fight with interest, and as Ahmar leaves the sands, Ian makes an effort to catch his gaze and motion him over.

"Hope your luck does not make it Master Ajax," Azolla says gently, smiling as she leans in to hug her brother gently

Ahmar catches Ian waving him over, so he goes there, not one to ignore a summons.

When Ahmar gets closer, Ian braces himself on the table and pushes to his feet. "There's something I'd like to show you, if you have a minute." Assuming Ahmar sticks around, he begins talking in a low voice. And talking. And talking. While he talks, he lifts his cane and holds it as though it were a spear. So he's doing the 'helpful peanut gallery' thing again, probably.

Svoli gives Ahmar a deep dip of her head again, offers a "Thank you," and makes her way to a table where she smiles at Syd around a fat lip, waving someone down to order some vodka. "It's been a while since I've been anywhere without Alban, I feel so short," she confesses to him. And so she is. Her feral stare shifts to the ring.

The little vixen smiles, "With all do respect to the lovely Captain Bonnie, I shall hope that my silver is doubled for this round," Valenica smiles to Azolla as Ahmar returns to his seat and then quickly departs to speak to Ian. "He is an excellent fighter," she nods to those remaining at Ahmar's table. "I am impressed. I'm so pleased to see you all here. Please be so very welcome in my Hart," she nods earnestly.

"Five hundred, then?" Syd calls down to Valencia, tugging his beard happily. "I shall crow over this victory, my sweetwhiskey bijou, with an evil glee! Stealing into your home to pocket your loose change! None save the Hammer can possible stand before Captain Bonnie! Hers is the name that parental pirates utter when trying to frighten their young. She is a dread and a warning, on all thirteen seas! I once saw her casually bat aside a volley of flaming arrows with nothing but the stem of a brandy snifter!"

Kaya watches Ian helping Ahmar for a moment, smirking slightly before returning to her writing silently.

"I promise to keep my celebration to a polite candor, my sweetest Lord Syd," Valencia offers back with a glimmer of playful glee. "I think you have fine taste in fighters, Lord Syd. I do not underestimate the lady, but I am confident that Captain Ajax will win the day," she smiles again and takes a sip and winks to Reese impishly.

A challenging roar that rips through the noise that surrounds the sands errupts from the mercenary as Ajax moves towards Bonnie, with a snap the usual bear like trudge from his gait vanishes as he moves rapidly against the woman.

In a display of almost surreal grace from anyone who knows the man yet has never him fight is displayed as he encircles the knife wielding Shepard drawing inwards with a fierce aggression the silverly blade of Penance lands a vicious blow against her side. Underneath his helmet a snarl is show as she manages to overpower his armor for a brief moment only to be met with his body twisting and delivering a second blow to her otherside. Ajax pulls back rapidly as his footwork moves to surround the Shepard the white of penance playing against the light as he keeps his gaze leveled againse her.

Waldemai quaffs from his bucket of ale, glug glug glug.

Fianna finishes her drink at the bar after noting that her assistant needs her for something, which then has the Duchess getting up from her seat. "If you'll excuse me, Countess Mikani and Lady Peri. I must be off. I do hope to see you both again soon." With a smile to her friends, Fianna strides toward the exit while fastening her cloak to prepare for the cold.

Fianna has left the bar.

Mack, a sable Northern Shepherd, Bruno, an energetic Wolfhound, 4 House Crovane Guards leave, following Fianna.

Jennyva's hands drop from her face (so she can pick up her whiskey) and she sits forward in her chair some, watching the combat between her cousin Bonnie and Ajax with all of her attention (except that which is required for sipping whiskey, because she also does that). Every blow that _either_ of them land have the young Shepherd wincing with sympathy.

Bonnie meets the charge with a step into it; and then a shift to the side during the opening swings, keeping a little distance and holding her knife in a reverse grip while moving more to push away the sword chopping down at her. The shorter reach is, obviously, a problem - her stance is fairly defensive for the moment and there's an un-Bonnielike quiet while she's concentrating on avoiding the stabbing bits and defraying the slashy parts by pushing down with the edge of her knife when the blades meet. Which is great; so long as the blades meet. When the length works against her and she isn't stepping away in time there's a hit here and another further on that take telling blows. Though at the last exchange with at least some success at meeting a weak point in Ajax's armoring, there is a slightly pained but energetic cackle from her as she spins the knife around in her grip to the more expected stabbing-grasp.

Mikani leans against the bartop with her drink as she watches the duels.

Ian nods to Ahmar once they exchange a few more soft words. "It'd be a lot to ask a beginner to remember, but you're good enough to fight at that level."

The little vixen's large dark eyes dance with delight as the two fighters circle each other. A glance to the rafters finds Waldemai in some of the best seats in the house. Raising her glass, Valencia toasts the man and then Lord Syd and the others at her table with happy aplomb.

Reese is still here, but she has got rather quiet. She does peeks over to Waldemai, seemingly flattered at his words about betting.

Bonnie checked stamina, willpower + survival at difficulty 35, rolling 16 higher.

Bonnie remains capable of fighting.

Bonnie checked stamina, willpower + survival at difficulty 48, rolling 20 higher.

Bonnie remains capable of fighting.

Bonnie checked stamina, willpower + survival at difficulty 61, rolling 8 lower.

Bonnie checked stamina, willpower + survival at difficulty 29, rolling 16 higher.

Bonnie remains alive, but close to death.

Bonnie is incapacitated and falls unconscious.

Syd murmurs to Svoli, "Bravely fought. I've always know you had the heart of a wolf ... " His eyes twinkle. "... to break your fast every morning." Raising his voice, he calls to Bonnie, "Hit him in the mizzenmast, captain! Set fire to his sails! You've got him now, the big lollopping landlubber! Cut his hamstring! Cut his hamstring!"

Lygeia, a calligrapher and alchemist arrives, following Rysen.

Waldemai cheers the fight from the cheap seats upstairs. "Well done! Well fought!"

Svoli remains comfortably laconic in watching the fight. The first two shots of vodka are slammed in quici succession and soon she doesn't even feel the bruises. She flashes a toothy smile and tells Syd with a wink, "And a flask," before her eyes track from the fight to the finch near Azolla and Ahmar curiously and she winds up distracted birdwatching and drinking.

Mikani leans against the bar talking with Peri and Reese. She sips her drink as her eyes watch the dueling ring. She is dressed in her armor and looks ready to duel herself.

"Let's take her up on learning horsemanship," Peri suggests to Mikani. Horsemanship was a topic at the bar, apparently, along with books. Peri watches Ian demonstrate some moves with his cane and leans over to ask a question.

Despite the work of Bonnie’s defense, she’s unable to keep out of the sellsword. With a feral growl he steps forward in a brief moment to overtake the woman. Flipping to the bluntside of Penance Ajax’s body pivots driving out her knees. In that brief moment the mercenary shifts luckily still using the blunt side of the blade he raises up the blade only to bring it down in quick matter against Bonnie’s chest chasing a bit of a loud thud against her armors to echo through the ring properly, the mercenary captain draws back a bit letting his brown eyes linger on the woman's form to see if she can get up to continue the battle properly.

Svoli hears horsemanship.

Svoli has left the ringside table.

Svoli has joined the bar.

Mikani looks at Peri, "Sure if you want to die laughing. I took a lesson for Duke Vercyn ... still can't steer a horse to save my life."

Ahmar stands stoicly near his sister, Azolla, Watching the fight. Waiting until he is called again.

Azolla is intently watching the spar, sitting at a table close to the ring and very close to Ahmar, one of her hands resting gently on his arm.

Ian eases himself back into his seat when Ahmar leaves. As Peri approaches, he lifts an empty glass with an inquiring expression. He answers her question in a low tone.

Rysen makes his way into the Hart, walking through the crowd with Lygeia to the bar. He comes to stand beside Peri, Mikani and Ian at the bar and says to the bartender, "Whiskey." Rysen glances towards the fight in the arena as the drink is poured, and when it's slid into his hand, he turns to catch the eye of Valencia, and raises his glass in toast.

Kaya is still sitting in her same place, humming to herself as she writes in her journal when she hears Rysen she peeks up for a moment from her writing and offers him a small wave before returning back to what she is doing

Bonnie's change in tactics hasn't helped much with the basic problem, of getting in with the knife and doing enough with it to put some ache into Ajax. The knife in hand comes at the sellsword in a flurry that trades off in that whole reach problem by just about letting herself get chopped here and there and everywhere, with the growing grin on her face not quite betraying the stiffer, slower motions that come with a thorough beating. But at last she jabs in and overextends, making those knees an easy target. Before she can really think about catching herself there's the ground underneath her ass, and before she can get around to standing again there's a heavy thump that drives a 'whuf' out of her and puts a plum colored look to her cheeks as some of her pre-fight festivities nearly come up. Free hand against her collarbone, she lets the knife spin down to a less aggressive grip as she waves the other hand off at Ajax to nonverbally yield while she's catching her breath and massaging her sternum so it'll come loose from her lungs.

With the motion to yield offered, Ajax returns his blade into his scabbard, his fingers moving towards her next offering his hand in support of the woman, yet he does not offer any words.

"Lord Rysen," Azolla calls out gently to Rysen, gesturing him to join her for a moment.

The battle on the sands is impressive with both fighters being cheered with riotous acclaim. Valencia is riveted to the fight, her breath held as she watches it unfold. A particularly hard hit turns her head and she looks up to see Rysen's toast. She smiles warmly to the man and lifts her glass in return, her dark eyes glimmering with delight at seeing him in her Hart once more.

The battle continues below and the crowd roars its approval as Ajax seems to win the day, though the arena calls Bonnie's name as well. The little vixen cheers both as boldly and brightly as any there and rises to her feet to applaud, with only a little flash of a playfully wicked grin Lord Syd's way.

Bonnie pulls on Ajax's hand to kickstart the whole process of not laying there in the dust the rest of the night. The knife takes a little work to properly put away rather than accidentally stabbing herself in the leg, but once that's handled she gives Ajax cheerful swat on the shoulder before she makes a bit of a lurching step. It's a little smoother from there thankfully, one step at a time, with the color in her cheeks slowly fading to something less alarming and asphyxiating. Though the best she can do for Jennyva when returning to her seat is a ratcheting cough and a thumbs-up.

Puff, a dainty yellow-green canary arrives, delivering a message to Rysen before departing.

There may have been a little yelp when there's that thump against Bonnie's chest. Jennyva comes to her feet, but manages to keep it to that. She smoothes her dress down after a moment and clears her throat, breathing out a sigh of relief as Bonnie starts moving about. Okay, okay, good. There's a careful look over Ajax's frame when he moves to help Bonnie up, too -- she's attentive to how he's moving. She does sit back down before her cousin returns to the table, sliding the bottle across to her and picking her own whiskey back up to drink from it. As Bonnie returns to the table she says something to her quietly, her smile wry.

Syd presses his hand to his chest as if Valencia's look stabbed him, then beams and doffs his beret at her. "She almost had him!" he loudly insists. "On a rolling deck in a gale, even the gods retreat when Captain Bonnie gets her temper up! And I've got five thousand silver on Wal--The Hammer--demai against any comer. The Blacksmith of Battery! The Forge of Ferocity! That's what they call him, my darlings. He once uprooted an ancient oak by accident, when he paused to clean his boot on the roots."

With a small dip of his head, Ajax helps Bonnie out of the ring properly before returning once more, he keeps his head low just waiting for the next battle.

Bonnie has left the ring of valor.

Bonnie has joined the raised seating.

Waldemai seems to be suffering from a choking fit. Possibly some of that ale went down the wrong pipe.

The crowd cheers and calls for drinks come as the mercies rush to see to Bonnie and Ajax's hurts. The Hart's gruff and grizzled Sergeant of Arms strides to the sands and looks to his list. "Well done, warriors. And now to the next match," he bellows. "We call Lord Ahmar and Captain Ajax to the sands! Fight well," he nods curtly to each and moves to the side to watch them with experienced hard eyes.

Ahmar has joined the ring of valor.

Rysen takes a drink of whiskey as Valencia raises her glass, and smiles at Mikani. When he hears Azolla's clear voice over the crowd, he makes his way over to her ringside table. "Lady Azolla," he says in a warm greeting, "Good to see you again."

Rysen has joined the ringside table.

Ajax wields Retribution - A rubicund hand and a half blade.

Ahmar makes his way back to the sands. Stoic. His curly hair looking a bit absurd

A fight has broken out here. Use @spectate_combat to watch, or +fight to join.

Azolla offers Rysen a gentle hug. "Well I guess you will have to wait to meet my older brother Lord Ahmar, for looks like he is off to fight again," she tells Rysen gently, her emerald eyes tracking he brother

Ian finishes off his glass of whiskey and, pouring another one, then turns all of his attention to the fight.

As the spear wearing man approaches, his fingers move back towards his belt as he pulls free his blade of rubicund in turn, dipping his head towards the man he shifts back into his stance and bring himself forward to engage.

Rysen nods to Azolla, and his eyes shift to the arena to the fighter who is obviously not Ajax. "Watching someone fight is a great way to get to know them," he says softly. He lifts his glass of whiskey to his lips without looking away from the combatants in the arena.

Valencia smiles to Syd, her expression flooded with deep affection for the man. "Keep your coin, the honour of knowing I was right is win enough, my sweetest sir. Though I would ask a boon that you continue to bring such spirit and good company to my Hart as often as you may," she laughs sweetly. Turning back to the sands, the little dark haired vixen smile quietly now as she watches the warriors take to the sand once more.

Whispers that possess skill with a blade are not unusual, but Dianara Whisper definitely doesn't look like the type to enjoy a spar, being rather willowy of build with hands that are much likely to bear calluses from gripping a quill rather than a sword. Yet, despite that, the Whisper finds herself drawn to the distraction of combat nonetheless and the look on her face appears to be one of a woman desperately in need of distraction. She finds a seat for herself, blue eyes on the combatants in the ring as she watches the fighters with some interest and more than a smidge of concern.

At the start of the fray, Ajax moves with a certain grace as the dark red edge of retribution simply plays against the nightgolds guard, testing the stance of the spear as a feral growl escapes the mercenary Captain, after a few small exchanges he tilts his head to the side, with a quick feint he manages to land a solid blow against his left draw drawing back as his brown eyes level onto the lord, almost like a curious predator who wonders if he can be a threat to him.

"I know he was looking forward to get to know someone I described as one of my dearest friends, I am still excited to continue work on our musical and any future songs you wish to team up on," Azolla says gently to Rysen as she keeps her eyes on her brother as he faces off against Ajax, seeming a bit worried

Bonnie has most of her breath back and doesn't quite look so discombobulated after a bit of time to sit. A long drink from her tumbler after passing some words with Jennyva though, and she turns her attention back to the sands. Maybe she's not quite up for a full whistle again just yet, but there is a gleeful wave of one fist in the air to general pumping motion, "Good hit! hit me harder though, so put your back into it, 'Jax!"

Ahmar takes the hit from the giant mercenary. It causes him to quck dodge backwards and spin his spear. He nods once, readying for the next exchange, "I have fought bears smaller than you... I don't see this ending well for me." He grins a little readying his spear.

Rysen's eyes shift back to Azolla at her words and he smiles. "I'm looking forward to the same, My Lady, and I'm glad your brother has come to Arx. ...Has he met Lord Erik yet," asks Rysen trying hard to hide a grin, before the clash of weapons draws his attention back to the fight.

As Ahmar offers that statement, he's quickly replied by a secondary thwap against his side, in the same spot he struck before, a chuckle rumbles from the man, yet, he's unwilling to lighten up in his assault of the wry humored Lord.

So, maybe it wasn't just Bonnie she was worried about (because anyone at this point thinks it might be?). Jennyva jumps and claps when Ajax lands a blow on Ahmar, bouncing in her seat and giving a little gasp. It's all followed by a quick left-right look before she Pointedly turns her attention back to Bonnie and sips her whiskey in oh-so-dignified fashion.

The crowd rumbles and cheers as Ajax and Ahmar set to. Once again, the little vixen is attentive to the match, her eyes watching the men move and weave, testing each other's skills with sharp attention. As Dianara arrives, she turns to smile, offering the weaponed Whisper a warm welcome as one of the Hart's ladies comes to see that she is well cared for. A nod of invitation is made in case the lady wishes to join the table before the crowd explodes into cheers and Valencia's attention turns back to the ring.

Ahmar takes yet another hit... to the same spot... cruel... Yet again all he can do is dash backwards in place and spin his spear and ready it again. The grin/smile doesn't leave his face. It's all in good fun so far.

"You're always right," Syd mock-grumbles to Valencia. "Though as a favor to you, I'll keep my coin. You'll owe me, though, my lady of the long amber afternoon!" And he peers at Dianara with his nearsighted eyes, and clearly decides he recognizes her. "Oh! Ain't seen in two forevers, my lady! Come sit with us, if you'd like. Be honored. And perching beside the Hammer of the Gods--" He nods to Waldemai. "--is considered three kinds of good fortune. Health, wealth, and romance."

"He thinks I made him up," Azolla says smirking. "I am sure he can explain exactly what he intends to do once he does meet Erik," Azolla says chuckling for a moment before her attention is back on her brother. She has a worried look, seeming ready to go offer him medical aid if needed

Kaya quietly continues to write in her journal and sipping her cider, only mildly watching the spar taking place

Peri waves her arms in a shrug and things for a time. She snaps her fingers, "Blanchard!" and the group continues talking. "You should meet Dumpling, Kaldur's horse." Peri tells Lady Svoli.

Mikani has left the bar.

Mikani has joined the ringside table.

The bout continues with a fury of blows, yet, while this duel does not have the same of ferocity that the mercenary offered Bonnie, in turn the sellsword seems to be just prying into the Lord landing blow after blow. Yet when the Lord moves to strike back at him he simply moves out of the way the edge of retribution offering a near sinister glow as it swings into the man playing off the light of the sands, he draws back a bit looking over him curious before returning properly to the fight.

As she catches it, Dianara returns Valencia's offered smile before her own attention shifts to the ring. She claps because other people are clapping and that's only polite, but it's clear that she probably doesn't quite understand what exactly she's clapping for. In the midst of that, she catches Syd's invitation. A smile tugs at her lips and she tips her chin in his direction as she calls back in a warm, but dignified tone, "I believe that it's actually been two forevers and an eternity since last we met, my lord. Is this truly the Hammer of the Gods? Well. I would be honoured to make the acquaintance. Will you introduce us?" She bows her head to Waldemai, still smiling pleasantly. Her blue eyes glitter as she lifts her eyes to look at Syd again, clearly expecting him to make a proper introduction.

Rysen chuckles softly. "I hope it's friendly in nature," replies Rysen to Azolla. Rysen glances over his shoulder when he hears Peri yelling, and notices Kaya and Ian. He raises his glass of whiskey to them in greeting.

Valencia smile and takes a small sip of her wine and draws a deep breath. "I have always admired those who could fight so. How wonderful it must be to know that one can manage one's self in such situations," she muses gently.

Ahmar takes hit after hit. He can't seem to keep the range advantage his spear normally offers. What's more. Is no matter how Ajax moves or the battle goes, Ahmar seems to be /intent/ on keeping his back to Azolla near the side of the ring. Like he is trying to stand between Ajax and her... even though Ajax clearly isn't going after her. This is clearly an advantage the mercenary would see and take advantage of, leaving the spear wielding Nightgold at a disadvantage

Pharamond makes his way in and looks about, curious to see who is fighting tonight and who is not. He has a wide smile on his features, and seems in good spirits. "For lack of anyone else to spend time with the night before the wedding ceremony, I choose you all." He makes his way to the bar to figure out the best drink to get, giving a nod to those he recognizes - Ian, Rysen, Valencia, Reese, and anyone else who may be about with them.

Ahmar checked stamina, willpower + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 83 higher.

Ahmar remains capable of fighting.

Ahmar checked stamina, willpower + survival at difficulty 55, rolling 15 higher.

Ahmar remains capable of fighting.

Ahmar checked stamina, willpower + survival at difficulty 70, rolling 22 higher.

Ahmar remains capable of fighting.

Ian is very focused on watching the fight right now, his eyes moving fast and constantly, taking in details one after another in quick succession. He does catch the flash of light off of Rysen's glass when he raises it, and gives a distracted nod.

Mikani raises her hand to get another drink.

Azolla sighs and calls out, "Ahmar watch out!" she definitely seems concerned, she does not even seem to hear Rysen. Her focus in on her brother

Kaya is too immersed in her writing to notice Rysen at the moment, unless he was to come speak to her directly at the moment

As the fight goes onward, Ajax continues to land blow after blow against the lord, his eyes narrow from under his helm as he growls a bit as he dodges a blow from lord, he steps around him and lands a heavy blow against his back which echoes out a serious thud throughout the ground properly he drawls back slowly thinking that it would be the deciding factor his fingers wrapped tightly against the hilt of retribution as he draws back inwards.

Lord Pharamond's arrival is met with a sweet smile and a gentle nod, her expression one of fond welcome as he makes his way to the bar. But the crowd roars again and she turns to see what has transpired on the sands. Rysen's warm greeting of the others brings another smile to her face but the smile washes away as Azolla cries out a warning to her brother. Head snapping to the sands, Valencia catches her breath and sits up in her seat, her large dark eyes wide.

Ahmar defiantly rises to his feet and wipes at his forehead with his arm. He spins the spear again and then points it at Ajax. He won't go down without a fight. Azolla, still at his back.

Reese smiles gently to those here. She leans into say something softly to Peri. She then rises to her slippered feet. Pharamond gets a smile as well.

Syd is actually sitting at the very rear of the great table, which is convenient to, though below, the upper seats were Waldemai is perched. Still, he's close enough to gesture behind and above himself with one frail hand, to introduce Dianara to Waldemai. "That slab of a blacksmith you see perched behind me like a brawny vulture licking his lips--except vultures are notoriously lipless, of course--is my personal Champion, for the purposes of this Booze and Brawn. His soul is as pure as ... well, as some metal-based metaphor that I haven't the knowledge of blacksmithery to compose." He raises his voice to Waldemai, gesturing in turn to Dianar. "And this, of course, is my lady of diaphanous eternity, whose every word is truth and whose every breath is peace."

Marius, 1 House Corvini Guard arrive, following Giulio.

Ahmar checked stamina, willpower + survival at difficulty 74, rolling 18 lower.

Ahmar checked stamina, willpower + survival at difficulty 39, rolling 58 higher.

Ahmar remains alive, but close to death.

Ahmar is incapacitated and falls unconscious.

Waldemai cheers for the fighters. Maybe if everyone cheers, no one will hear Lord Syd. "Huzzah! Hooray! Rats rats ree, hit'em on the knee! Rats rats rass, hit'em on the other knee!"

At the end of Ahmar's spear spinning, Ajax rushes forward, dodging the man's attempt to strike once more with a well timed side step he slams the pommel of retribution against his temple, drawing back a bit as if he was getting ready to strike once more in the off chance the stubborn man attempts to get up again.

Pharamond picks up a simple whiskey and makes his way over to Valencia, taking her hand should she let him and giving the Vixen's hand a kiss as he smiles, "Princess." He smiles and then makes his way back to the bar and settles down on one of the stools, playfully spinning about once before turning to face the ring.

Pharamond has joined the bar.

Giulio has joined the Champions' table.

Azolla frowns as her brother goes down she rushes over to his side and says gently, "That is quite enough." Azolla's emerald eyes look up at Ajax, slightly challenging him before tending to her brother

Ahmar hits the ground with a heavy thud. Having been pushed back to the edge of the ring, becuase he refuses to circle like most... His downfall ending near the table Azolla is at. He looks like he tries to get up for a moment, but then just lets the spear go and holds his arm up for help, from who ever would give it.

Ian winces about half a second before Ajax goes in for that last move with the air of someone who knows what's coming next, and has experienced what's coming firsthand.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Svoli before departing.

Svoli has left the bar.

The slender figure of the Corvini count makes his way into the Hart, something of a sly smile on his lips. He is trailed by a single guard and his manservant Giulio. There is a whisper of velvets as Marius glides to the bar, while the gaze of the Corvini count tracks about the room. One corner of his mouth ticks up as his gaze flits towards the Arena and the combatants. There's a moment's idle pause, one brow rising in question. Then, his smile settles as he flits about the room. His gaze lands on Dianara and, seeing her sitting alone, he meanders in her general direction. "May I join you?" he inquires, one brow arching in question.

Svoli gets up and walks out after setting her drink down.

Mikani watches Azolla, "Is he okay?"

Rysen nods to Pharamond when he enters and smiles warmly at his words and the reminder that the Sword of Ashford Keep's wedding is fast approaching. Turning to Valencia, Rysen says, "The fights have been fantastic from what I've seen so far tonight, Your Highness. To be honest, though I have seen Ajax in the Training Center more than once, this maybe the first time I have actually seen him spar, and it is something to behold, nor do his opponents lack skill or courage," he says as Azolla rushes over to Ahmar.

Dianara leans in gracefully so as to better hear Syd. Her smile widens just a trace as Syd speaks of Waldemai. Her eyes shift in that man's direction, giving him a long, assessing look as if trying to ascertain from visual inspection alone whether the man lives up to Syd's enthusiastic praise. Her brows lift slightly, betraying no hint as to whether she has been convinced or not, though she does tsk at Syd. "I said a -proper- introdution and not flattery, my lord. I've worked many years to diminish my ego, just as my tutors taught me. How disappointing for you to come so perilously close to undoing all their work now." Giulio's words make her turn her head and she offers her usual warm smile to him as she gestures to a chair, "

As Ahmen goes down, and stays down, he lets out a sharp exhale, his body lowering as he forces himself out of his combat state, sliding retribution back into his scabbard, his attention shifts between Azolla and Ahmar giving a firm nod of his head towards the pair slowly shifting in his stance he starts to make his way out of the sands with his slower bear like trudge returning to him.

Dianara says, "Of course. I was just being enlightened about the Hammer of the Gods."

Reese has left the bar.

The little southern princess lifts her eyes to Pharamond and her cheeks flush with good cheer. "My dearest Lord Pharamond. I hope we will see you on sands this fine evening," she nod encouragingly. "Please be so very welcome to my Hart. I hope you allow me to introduce you to all that you do not know when you have moment," she beams brightly.

The crowd collectively winces and then roars their approval as the battle is won and Ajax stands triumphant, though as always, both fighters are given high respect as the mercies rush to see to their ills. The Hart's Sergeant of Arms nods with approval and waits for them to clear te sands.

Valencia turns to Rysen and smiles once more, "The Captain has long been a champion in the Hart. I am glad he enjoys finding his way here. I must admit he is a joy to watch, but you are correct. Tonight is magnificent on all counts. Lord Arham seems to be well suited the sands as well. And Captain Bonnie and Lady Svoli. Hope we will see more of them as well.

"He is definitely going to be sore and bruised but he will be fine. I will tend to him," Azolla says gently. She is not strong enough to help him to his feet but she does ease him up to a sitting position. She seems a bit concerned but she is seeing to what injuries he has

Ahmar looks a little dazed and confused... "Did I win?"

Ahmar has left the ring of valor.

Peri has left the bar.

Ajax has left the ring of valor.

Ajax has joined the ring of valor.

Ajax has left the ring of valor.

Ajax has joined the ringside table.

Peri has joined the corner table.

Mikani has left the ringside table.

Mikani has joined the ring of valor.

With a dip of his head towards the people seated, Ajax makes his way back into the crowd, his fingers moving to raise his helm off of his head as he regards those he passes with an easy going smile, a bit of tiredness creeps into his expression as he dips his head, "Well fought." he offers when he shifts his attention back towards the sibling pair.

Pharamond nods to Valencia, "Of course, and hopefully with a little less of my red on it than last time," he offers teasingly. "Though I think your introduction has already helped introduce at least a few of them to me. But I'm here to play a bit." He does look amused as he settles down at the bar in time for the Princess and Svoli to leave, two of the women that were there heading out as soon as he...noep there goes Lady Seliki. Pharamond's streak remains unbroken as he settles down just in time to chase all the women away. "Hopefully I can borrow a weapon from someone but I am ready to play for a bit." He hops up and starts to walk towards the ring, smiling to Mikani. "Countess! I don't think I've had the pleasure as of yet."

Pharamond has left the bar.

Everyone has left the bar. Peri considers working quietly at the bar versus working quietly at the table where Lord Ian has set aside glasses of whiskey for people. She joins Ian and Kaya at the table.

"Excellent fighting, if you all will excuse me, I think I shall turn in for today," Kaya states mildly, placing her journal away and making her way out

Bonnie finishes with her drink, or the second one, and sits back again with a content sigh. Also a slight wince too. "Ah, you'll have to pardon me." Standing up with a little delicacy, it's another burst of stretching before Bonnie feels confident to move with grace or at least the typical artful blundering. "I'm going to take a walk for a bit, the cold usually helps a little." Though before stepping away from her seat she does lean over to give Jennyva a quick side-hug at the shoulders, before walking down and towards the exit.

Mikani takes Golden Hart Arena Dagger from Weapons Rack.

As Pharamond passes, he draws free retribution, handing it towards the man by the hilt.

Mikani wields Golden Hart Arena Dagger.

As Pharamond passes, Ajax draws free retribution, handing it towards the man by the hilt, "Eeeeh, just make sure you don't break it, my lord. I am very particular about my weapons."

Bonnie has left the raised seating.

Mikani wields Griffin's Tooth, A rubicund dagger.

Pharamond wields Retribution - A rubicund hand and a half blade.

"The next time you see your tutors," Syd tells Dianara, "you can tell them that Syd Volkov says they are a gaggle of crosseyed geese. Diminish your ego? Fah! Fah and bah. Well, fah and bah and ... " He tugs his beard thoughtfully. "And I'm starting to suspect, my lady, that we -haven't- actually met before, and you're being kind--I hope not in any professional capacity--to the elderly artichoke making an ass of himself in public again. To wit, me. Volkov. Syd. A pleasure to meet you if we haven't met before, and my tearsome apologies if we have, and I've forgotten. My memory is as sound as a rusted bugle being tramped by a calvary charge."

Ian is just looking away from the fight when Peri approaches the table. He sets out a glass and splashes a little bit of whiskey in the bottom. ... Then tops up his own glass for good measure.

Jennyva chews on her lip a bit as she watches Bonnie go, but ultimately she stays in her seat, her attention swinging back to the ring again.

"Oh? Hammer of the Gods?" One brow rises in consideration. "How intriguing," the Corvini count replies. He settles into place, the skirts of his cassock flaring about his legs in a swirl of ebon silk. A sidelong glance is shot towards the bar and a smile of contentment settles his lips as Marius returns, offering his lord a goblet of brandy. "Count Giulio Corvini," he offers by way of introduction, offering a nod of thanks to Marius and taking a first sip. A nod of satisfaction follows.

Mikani moves into the sands and bows to Pharamond. "Well met."

Ahmar finally makes it to his feel with the care and attention of his sister. He looks between Rysen and Azolla, "So is this Lord Erik? The one that needs to go camping with me?" He gently points at Rysen with his spear, not threateningly, just it is what is in his hand.

Pharamond has joined the ring of valor.

4 Byrne Mountain Men have been dismissed.

Pharamond sees Mikani reach for the rack's blade and he shakes his head, pointing to her own dagger. "That's too pretty just to stay in the sheath, Countess. The Captain here has been kind enough to offer me an equal blade if you would like to use your own." He says it graciously, and brings the sword up into a salute. "But, not the face, please! If I have a cut on my face tomorrow for the wedding I'm not sure what Tabitha will do." He's grinning fondly though, seeming to be in good spirits as he steps into the ring, downing the last of his whiskey and then saluting to Ajax for the blade before turning to salute to Mikani. "Well met."

Kaya has left the corner table.

A fight has broken out here. Use @spectate_combat to watch, or +fight to join.

Damien Pierce - A Charming Assistant have been dismissed.

1 Obsidian Order have been dismissed.

Vagari - Cinder Kitten have been dismissed.

1 Redreef Warden have been dismissed.

1 Redoubt Buccaneers have been dismissed.

A fight has broken out here. Use @spectate_combat to watch, or +fight to join.

Azolla chuckles musically at Ahmar and says, "No this is Lord Rysen. I think you wanted to take him camping as well though."

Ahmar looks Rysen up and down for a moment. "Northerner?" is all he says.

Dianara gives Syd a wry smile as she offers in return, "It is a pleasure, Lord Volkov. I am Dianara Whisper. I don't believe that we have had the pleasure of meeting before now, but I am grateful for the mistaken identity so that we could meet now. Have you met Count Corvini?" Dianara asks smoothly as she gestures to Giulio. "I confess it is also my first time meeting him but his company comes -highly- recommended. I'm afraid he's not quite the Hammer of the Gods, but I think he'll do." The Whisper smiles at Giulio, offering in a lower tone, "You must be Emrys' associate. It is indeed a pleasure, my lord."

"Another whiskey please," Rysen says to Lygeia, without taking his eyes off of the arena - before Ahmar points a spear at him. Rysen's eyes shift to the arena again, but he seems to force them back to Ahmar and smiles slightly. "I am not, My Lord. My name is Rysen Crovane. I am a friend of your sister's, and a colleague in the musical arts. And if you plan to camp, I would be happy to join you, so long as the coffee we bring is not the sort which Harlex insists on brewing in camp." As the fight begins to proceed, Rysen's attention shifts unconsciously to the combatants.

Peri takes the glass and holds it up to toast Ian before turning her gaze on the fight.

Ahmar nods once as Rysen explains it all. He shoves the blunted end of his spear down and... kinda smiles? "If you are a C-c-crovane I assume you can handle the north... I am more worried about this imaginary be-betrothed my Sister has invented.... I fear she is feverish again..." He glances at Azolla before turning back to the spar.

Syd peers from Dianara to Giulio. "Don't think we've met! I could count on one hand ... no, wait. I can't count on ... No, that won't do." He sighs apologetically to Giulio. "Sorry, m'lord. No doubt you've already heard all the most terrible 'count' wordplay. I cannot think of anything new, my child, though I must say I adore your chin. Strong. Jutting. Mine is a weak and retreating thing, which is why I conceal it behind this rather luxuriant beard and--" Peering at Dianara again. "--you're a -Whisper-? I thought that lot mostly swaggered around with swords, bullying young idiots when they hadn't apologized property, but I'm dashed glad to be proven wrong again. A pleasure."

Azolla chuckles musically and just shakes her head, letting the boys figure it out for themselves

Valencia smiles to Syd an Dianara and gracefully rises from the table leaving them to talk. Moving to the bar she has a quiet word with the Hart's master barkeep as the crowd continues to cheer for Mikani and Pharamond.

"... ah yes, Messire Emrys has been most kind in providing some critiques of a number of my works. It has been most pleasant," Giulio offers. There's a wry amusement in his voice that is mirrored in the smile resting on his lips. "He has spoken most well of you. I am pleased the moment has given me opportunity to make your acquaintance." His eyes glide across her features for a moment, something rich and sardonic in the cast of his gaze. And then he is looking towards Syd. A laugh follows. "A luxury of fate, but, I thank you nonetheless. It is a pleasure m'lord." He allows the smallest of lip twitches at Syd's words, seemingly amused.

Valencia is overheard praising Svoli: Well done! Great promise!

Valencia is overheard praising Ajax: A welcome warrior in my Hart! Thank you.

Rysen chuckles, though his eyes continue to track the spar in progress. "I am Crovane, and a man of the North. I can also vouch for your sister and assure you that Lord Erik exists." Just as Lygeia returns with a glass of whiskey, the wild battle in the arena causes Rysen to leap from his seat, his eyes tracking the movements of the warriors as they clash.

Valencia is overheard praising Mikani: Brave and bold.

"I'm not that sort of Whisper. I wouldn't know how to hold a sword and I don't have the hips to properly swagger, but if you need a lecture about rhetorical strategies employed by essay writers from the Lyceum as compared to the Oathlands, I'm -that- kind of Whisper," Dianara responds, still grinning at Syd. She nearly laughs when he compliments Giulio's chin and narrows her eyes to inspect it herself before adding, "Emrys? Kind? Hm. Do we know the same man, Lord Corvini? If he is kind to you, that is high praise indeed."

When her tumbler is finished, Jennyva glances at the empty tumbler Bonnie left behind. After a moment she slides to her feet, taking up her cloak and hauling it up over her shoulders, starting to get it tied into place again.

Valencia is overheard praising Pharamond: Charming and very skilled upon sands. Always a welcome addition to the Hart's lists.

Pharamond has fun as he gives the blade a twirl or two. Those who have seen him at the Sip'n'Spars before are famliar with the fact that Pharamond usually starts off fairly balanced, if not defensive. Today though he seems to start off the opposite, deciding to take a more aggressive stance against the smaller blade to try to keep her from getting in on him. He knows once those little blades get in close it is hard to keep them at a distance. And, while not using his weapon, it is clear the one Captain Ajax has lent him is one he is capable of handling as when he's not busy being Mikani's personal pin cushion, he seems to be able to toss in a couple of reminders as to the challenges of attacking a longer blade with a smaller one. He is at ease though, pushing the attack but also allowing Mikani time to recover in between blows. He's not here tonight for anything other than the fun and the company.

Valencia is overheard praising Waldemai: The Sip n'Spar would not be the same without him. Grateful for his patronage.

Valencia is overheard praising Syd: Well welcome company and a delight. Also a gracious gent to make wagers with.

With a dip of his head, Ajax offers greetings towards Giulio and Syd as he draws closer towards the pair offering a warm seeming smile in greetings, for a moment he looks towards ring, more importantly towards retribution with a certain fondness, but he tilts his eyes towards the trio that seems to be chatting, "Lord Syd, an' Count. I trust ye are enjoying yourselves, aye?" he offers with a tenor that hints he's gained his second wind, his head dipping in greetings towards Dianara though not a look of familiarity across his features.

Valencia is overheard praising Ahmar: A very good first spar!

Mikani watches Pharamond with her dark eyes. She moved her dagger between her hands. Mikani knew that longer bladed fighters would keep her away. Daggers advantage was the foot work and close fighting. At his aggressive stance and his quick move in, Mikani flowed like the ocean. Her movements were graceful and it was as if the dagger was one with her. While for her the duel was fun. Learning and practicing was just as fun for her. She got in a few good hits around his slices at her. Mikani's body continued to move in it's flowing movements as if she were dancing with Pharamond and his blade.

"... mmm, the provenence of being ept enough to accept critique, without being cowardly about questioning," Giulio replies, his hand tilting to one side at Dianara's words. "A simple thing, I suppose, but it does allow. I fear I lack the grander presumption of being right all of the time." Blandly, he adds, "I settle for most of the time." There's a flit of a wink at his words, amused and self-deprecating all in one. "Mmm, have you perchance read my works, then?" He asks of Dianara.

Valencia is overheard praising Bonnie: Definitely a lady to look out for. I'm excited for her.

Ahmar puts Amaranthine DireWolf Arm Armor in Violet Armor Tournament Chest.

Diane, a bright-eyed peregrine falcon arrives, delivering a message to Peri before departing.

Ahmar puts Amaranthine DireWolf Cuisses in Violet Armor Tournament Chest.

Ahmar puts Amaranthine DireWolf Sabatons in Violet Armor Tournament Chest.

Ahmar puts Amaranthine DireWolf Gauntlets in Violet Armor Tournament Chest.

Ahmar puts Amaranthine DireWolf Helm in Violet Armor Tournament Chest.

Mikani checked stamina, willpower + survival at difficulty 10, rolling 40 higher.

Mikani remains capable of fighting.

Ahmar puts Amaranthine DireWolf Cuirass in Violet Armor Tournament Chest.

Mikani checked stamina, willpower + survival at difficulty 22, rolling 16 higher.

Mikani remains capable of fighting.

Mikani checked stamina, willpower + survival at difficulty 54, rolling 16 higher.

Mikani remains capable of fighting.

Mikani checked stamina, willpower + survival at difficulty 59, rolling 3 higher.

Mikani remains capable of fighting.

Mikani checked stamina, willpower + survival at difficulty 68, rolling 7 lower.

Mikani checked stamina, willpower + survival at difficulty 34, rolling 14 higher.

Mikani remains alive, but close to death.

Mikani is incapacitated and falls unconscious.

Jennyva has left the raised seating.

Syd peers curiously at Giulio. "What kind of works? Not an artist, are you, m'lord of the glimmering pauses?" To Dianara, he says, "But my lady! I've been everywhere trying to unearth the secret strategums--stratega?--er, strategies of the rhetorical scribes of the Lyceum as contra-somethinged with the Oathland jotterers! Ask anyone. Ask Waldemai. Just the other day we were lounging at his forge, talking of this and that, and I said, 'My dear Hammer, what -do- we think about rhetorical provenences?' He doesn't read, himself--he doesn't believe in it--but he's a man of wide and wise experience and ..." He turns his rheumy gaze to Ajax. "I'm having a grand time, but it'd more profitable if you weren't so skilled at combat! You've got the gift, my child. It's a pleasure watching you dance."

Diane, a bright-eyed peregrine falcon arrives, delivering a message to Peri before departing.

To be fair, this kind of thing is Pharamond's job and as she tags him again, almost getting up near his jaw before he brings his shoulder up to deflect the blow, mostly, a bruise likely regardless, he says in a teasingly chiding tone, "I said not the face!" His voice raises but there's clearly no venom in it. The two trade a few exchanges, but Pharamond seems to get the better now at keeping his distance. Mikani doesn't back off however, a lucky turn or placement of the armor keeping a few would-be hits from doing worse injury. In the end though, Pharamond plays coy and lets her in closer but on purpose, bringing the hilt of that sword right up into her midsection to knock the wind out. It's not nice, but it's a fair reminder in a 'safe place' on the perils of going in too often. Pharamond is quick though knowing what he was going to do to kneel down beside the fighter and offer an arm to help the Countess back to her feet should she let him.

Ahmar side hugs is sister and nods at Rysen

Peri unrolls a message and her brow goes up. She purses her lips and pulls out a quill and sends Soot out to deliver a response. "We'll see if she believes that," Peri tells Eina. But soon another message comes. Peri opens it up and shows Eina. "I should see to this. Thank you for the drink, Lord Ian." Peri downs the last of it and makes her exit.

Peri waves farewell and gives a smile to those who catch her eye on the way out.

Mikani continues to move like water. But it had been a long time since she had dueled and when she saw the opening she went for it. An umph sound escapes her as his sword hits her midsection and she falls into the sands. She pants softly and smiles up at Pharamond taking his hand. "Thank you." She says as she gets pulled to her feet. "Very well fought. I enjoyed it."

Ian nods to Peri. "Have a good evening." He's especially untalkative tonight, it would seem, and once Peri goes, he goes back to drinking.

Dianara gives the Corvini count an enigmatic smile as she says with a little laugh, "I do believe that I received something authored by yourself as a gift from Emrys when I was away. He would not call the books he sens me a 'gift'. He would call those texts an effort to further my education, but I prefer to call them presents just to annoy him." Her smile brightens a touch as she addresses Syd, "What a coincidence, my lord, that your interests should dovetail so nicely with my own! If fate existed, I might dare to call it such! In recognition of our meeting, I would be more than happy to sit with you and the Hammer at the forge and offer my dissertation on the variance of writing styles between the generations of Crownlands novelists. I think you would both find it enlightening." Her blue eyes are glittering with warmth and humor as she regards the older man, awaiting his answer. She only looks away to nod to Ajax, still smiling.

Peri has left the corner table.

Eina, the Pearl's Own, Soot, a frenetic ferret leave, following Peri.

Azolla has fallen quiet while watching the event. There is a warm smile on her face.

"... I've written a volume or three on a subject or two," Giulio replies to the Volkov lord, his tone bland. "They're interesting to a sort or three, but, largely philosophy of politics," he muses, his gaze flitting towards the fight. And then his hands come together in a sharp clap. "Well fought," he offers, before looking back towards Dianara. A dry smile toys his lips and he tilts his head. "That does seem quite like him, yes," he notes, with that same bland echo of amusement. He takes a sip from his goblet, one brow rising at Ajax' adress. "Rather so. It is so lovely to get out from my study... from time to time."

"I gather your activities have been successful of late?" he inquires of Ajax.

Pharamond nods to Mikani and he lets her have his escorting elbow to whichever table she wishes, before he takes a cloth and quickly wipes away and grit or sand from the blade Ajax lent him. "Thank you Captain," e says, wanting to make sure it can be sheathed without injury. He then smiles and looks about, curious to any other contests while also recognizing his own lack of drink. "I think tonight I am one and done Princess. I got some good exercise without damaging myself greatly. Now I think it will be a contest of what whiskey tastes the finest."

Waldemai has finished his ale. Time to clank off to Southport Square in the cold. "Night, all!" he calls.

Waldemai has left the upper rafters.

Mikani has left the ring of valor.

Mikani has joined the ringside table.

Pharamond has left the ring of valor.

Pharamond has joined the bar.

Valencia smiles and offers a gracious nod to Waldemai and then to Pharamond. A final cheer goes up for all the fighters and the sands begin to clear. The little vixen smiles and nods as guests settle in to drink now, her dark eyes glimmering softly in the dim light of the Arena.

Rysen applauds the combatants, and makes his way with Lygeia to the gate leading to the arena. As Mikani exits, Rysen hands her a glass of rum and says, "Well fought, Countess." He smiles and throws back the rest of his whiskey. Making his way back to the table, Rysen bows to Valencia and says, "Thank you for hosting another wonderful evening, Your Highness." He turns to Azolla and Ahmar and says, "Take care, I hope to see you again soon." He makes his way towards the exit, stopping to give a brief respectful bow to Ian, before making his way out of the Hart.

Mikani smiles at Pharamond and takes his arm. "Thank you again." She said softly before she takes her seat again. The bartender on top of her needs as usual bringing whiskey with ice.

Ian nods to Rysen as he departs.

Azolla offers Rysen a gentle hug as he makes to leave. "I look forward to it as always Lord Rysen," she says gently. Then smiles warmly at her brother

Syd peers at Guilio as if he can't tell if the count is teasing. "The philosophy of politics," he repeats, for once unable to say anything more.

Rysen has left the ringside table.

Lygeia, a calligrapher and alchemist leaves, following Rysen.

Mikani grins at Rysen, "Thank you Lord Rysen." She murmurs before Rysen leaves.

Pharamond beams the broadest of smiles at Mikani as he tips his glass to her. "My pleasure. I always appreciate the reminder of how challenging fighting the daggers and stilettos can be. So that I appreciate. And a good attitude out on the sands, even more greatly appreciated." He settles back then and takes another drink of the whiskey, this time sipping it since he doesn't have to rush to the sands.

Another smile is offered and the little vixen nods and draws herself up to her full height. "Lords and Ladies, misseres and madams, I think you again for joining us. It is so good to have my Hart so full of good people," she nods warmly as she places a delicate hand upon her chest in gracious thanks.

Mikani laughs warmly. "Well my dear Lord Pharamond ... a good duel can always get the heart pounding. And one can't learn if they are busy bemoaning their loss."

"If I was not so skilled my lord, I wouldn't be able to charge what I do." Ajax offers with a dip of his head, his lips remaining in the easy going smile, he looks towards the count next, shifting in his stance, "It is always good to do something else. Even I have been busy with other things lately so it was good excuse for me to cut a bit loose." he chuckles at that before his attention turns to the whisper, "Ajax, a simple sellsword." he offers with a dip of his head before he looks towards Pharamond heading towards the bar properly.

Mikani puts Golden Hart Arena Dagger in Weapons Rack.

Peeps the Little Red and Black Finch have been dismissed.

Dianara reflects the dip of Ajax's head with one of her own before she says, "It is a pleasure to meet you, Ajax. I am Dianara Whisper, but I cannot claim to be simple whatsoever." She notes with some amusement that Syd has been stunned into silence and so, as her training dictates, she smoothly interjects, "Come now, new friends. Let's not let our diverging academic interests consume any joy or amusement that our conversation might hold." She pauses to offer a bit of applause to the hostess of the event, smiling in Valencia's direction.

Syd asks Ajax, "You ever consider taking up banditry? Carving out a little empire of your own in the hills? M'lady of the silken ease--" He applauds Valencia along with Dianara, his eyes twinkling at the princess. "--recommends that everyone engage in a little reprehensible deviltry. The word on the street is that she's been hoarding flaming arrows for a display of midnight beauty and terror. What say you to engaging in just a healthful smidge of evil, Count? And you, Whisper?"

The vixen begins to withdraw now, leaving her guests to enjoy her Hart as they wish. Valencia smiles her thanks to her staff for the exemplary work as always.

At Valencia's words, Giulio's hands come together in applause, before he returns to converse with those near him. "I could claim simplicity," the Corvini count, replies blandly, "... but, I doubt I have the talents to sell something that disingenuous." There's an arch of a brow, lips pursing in bland amusement, before he looks towards Syd. "We're nobles, my lord Volkov. We call it 'taxation'," he notes, with dry amusement. There is a tilt of his head towards Valencia as she moves to depart.

Dianara is overheard praising Valencia.

Mikani is overheard praising Valencia.

Pharamond looks over to Valencia. "Good night, Princess! Thank you again for giving me something to do and to hopefully keep me out of trouble the night before," he teases as he raises his glass, looking to the ever-graceful hostess. Settling back he fols his leg, ankle over knee, and listens to the varied conversations that are going on, trying to pick the best place to perhaps jump in.

Ian finishes off his drink and, leaving some silver on the bar, braces against the table and pushes himself to his feet. He watches his own footsteps, walking with that odd, mechanical gait, as he paces out.

Ian has left the corner table.

"I was a lovely show of skill and combat. Thank you for hosting it Princess Valencia," Azolla says gently

"Only if it is just a smidge, my lord," Dianara says with good humor in response to Syd's query. "Indulging in more than a smidge of evil is terrible for the complexion -and- the digestion or so I've heard."

With loud rumble of a laugh, he looks at Syd, shaking his head slowly, "I make coin off removing bandits, my lord. My skills are shaper then theirs and I smell vermin." Ajax shakes his head, his fingers moving to rub at his chin before his shoulders roll, "Given what was made last year? I think me an' mine do just fine." his eyes shift towards the pair, "Eeeeeh, whatever you claim, I will just smile an' nod, good whisper." he tilts his gaze to the retreating Valencia, flashing the woman a warm seeming smile.

A gracious smile and flush of cheek is returned to one and all. Valencia looks touched but the kindness. "Please stay on. You are all so very welcome to enjoy all my Hart has to offer," she nods warmly to one and all. "If I am needed, I shall be taking a turn in the gardens," she smiles playfully and then turns to depart with a rustle of southern silk.

Valencia has left the ringside table.

Lizette, a pretty buxom barmaid leaves, following Valencia.

Mikani has left the ringside table.

Azolla has left the ringside table.

1 Nightgold trained guards leaves, following Azolla.

Syd snorts a laugh to Ajax. "And you dance just as nimbly -outside- the fighting ring! Smile and nod and agree with my lady of the evergentle eve. Wise fellow -but-! But I must warn you, the whisper made a grievious strategic error. She mentioned 'digestion' in front of a gentleman of advanced years, and there is no subject that pleases me more! Some may study the art of war, others the philosophy of politics--or even the politics of philosophy--but as for the health of one's digestion, there is no substitute for age. I have pondered upon every gurgle and should be happy to recount them to you."

Syd is overheard praising Valencia: Her Hart is the most sacred space in this city.

Giulio chuckles at Dianara's words. "Mmm, I suppose that explains the need for excellent products for the clarity of my skin," he muses. And then, he is addressing Syd, "My good Lord Volkov, please allow me to commend you to the Countess Ilinca Corvini. She is a most talented alchemist with a definite talent for tonics and the like," Giulio says, his toe amused, befoe he takes a small swallow of his brandy. A glance is shot towards Ajax. "Do you have current contracts?" he inquires, one brow rising in question.

Pharamond has left the bar.

"Is it a mistake, my lord Volkov. I am a Whisper. It is my sacred duty to seek out the conversational subjects which are the most pleasing to my companions. If yours is to be digestion, I shall not judge, though I will have to tell you. It's not my first conversation about the intricacies of the digestive faculties. Though the others did occur with children, take that as you may." Dianara's blue eyes glitter, warm amusement practically radiating from her at this point. For Ajax, she laughs slightly and retorts, "I am not simple, but I'm also not the sort to require blind agreement with my every whim either, Messire Ajax. I believe I have at least a decade or two before my vanity is so fragile as to require frequent soothing."

Pharamond hops up, "Alright all, that's my cue. Time to be ready for tomorrow. I hope everyone has a splendid evening." This having gone far better than his last visit to the sip n spar, he seems amused giving a general bow and then finishing his drink before he heads on out.

Syd laughs at Giulio's words about skin care and then at Dianara's teasing about the intricacies of the digestive faculties. "Good name," he tells Giulio. "Ilinica Corvini. Musical. Though speaking of digestion, I truly should look after my own. Pleased to meet you, Whisper, Count. And to meet you again, Sworddancer." He stands with a grunt. "Now I've got to try to remember who I owe money to. And to scold the Hammer for not sparring!"

Syd has left the ringside table.

"You did well my Lord." Ajax offers towards the leaving Pharamond, making his way over he dips his head towards the man, extending his hand in what's likely an attempt to gain his blade back, "It's to be worked on in the coming weeks to match penance's edge a bit closer." he shoots the trio he was with an apologetic look.

Ajax has left the ringside table.

There is a brief raise of a brow at that, one leg crossing over the other at the ankles. Syd does, however, receive a small nod from the Corvini count as he departs and a small smile. "Be well, Lord Volkov," he offers, as the man moves to depart. "Do take care of such... matters," he says, with a bland grin, before he looks to Dianara. "... why, why would one wish anything but to..." He pauses and shakes his head. "No, sadly, I lack that degree of flattering effacement, I fear. Do forgive, Messire Whisper."

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Ajax before departing.

A brief exchange as Ajax follows Pharamond out, he returns after a few moments with his second weapon hanging from his hip, he dips his head slowly towards the pair still seated, "Mm, people cleared out fairly fast. Didn't they?" he wonders with an idle tilt of his head.

Dianara smiles a farewell to Syd before returning her attention to Giulio. "The thing about flattery is that it must have at least a thread of sincerity to it, else the effort is entirely wasted. I find myself rather fond of Lord Volkov. I hope to meet him again someday." The Whisper gestures to the seat next to her and then looks to Ajax. "Please join us, if you'd like. And yes, people did depart the hostess took her leave. That's to be expected, I think."

"... indeed," Giulio replies, a tilt of his head in her direction. "Now, more sincerely, I see why Emrys chose you as a student. High praise, from the Eldest Whisper," he notes, blandly, one eyelid drifting down and then up in a languid wink. Another small sip is taken from his brandy, before he looks back to Ajax, nodding. "I am enjoying my brandy -- and, moreover, Marius is directing my long suffering guardsman to make certain that the firebox in the carriage is sufficiently heated before I depart. Rank hath its privileges and all that. Still, I am curious. Have you a contract of the moment? I may have a matter or three needing some small measure of... assistance." His tone is bland. "Though, I do suppose the Isles have their own measure of concern, no?"

"The Redwoods always welcome more work, my Lord. If I cannot settle a matter, I can assure you. I have someone that can." Ajax offers, giving the eldest whisper a warm seeming smile as he settles into a chair properly, rolling his shoulders, "For contracts especially as during this next year, I will be handling a few different projects, one of them is on the isles, though, likely not what you expect. I actually don't draw any coin from it." he nods his head slowly, "At least usually. That may very well change, but not tonight."

"Very good, Count. Though, you have an unfair advantage since you're Lycene. From what I've heard, Lycenes all possess the skill of effective flattery by the age of three or they are sent to the country and become the relative no one speaks of." As the conversation shifts into talk of contracts, Dianara quiets, listening with interest even if she has nothing to contribute.

"... one does, from time to time, aspire to a certain measure of such, though, I fear of late my duties have required a good deal more plain speaking." Giulio presses the back of his hand to his forehead in mock horror, dry amusement etching his features. "A talent of various ilks." Those dark eyes track back towards Ajax, though, his head tilting in a small nod. "You would be surprised," is all he says. "And I shall need to think on such. Matters are far from simple of late."

"Mm, few matters are genuinely simple. Though, the solutions at times can be so." Ajax offers with a small chuckle that bounces off of his form, he leans forward looking over the man with a raise of his brow, "I am always willing to do business, of course. Though, my rules are. I don't touch innocent people, the meek are not meant for Redwood blades, it hits a little too close to home given our origins, you can understand."

"That you can switch between the two to do what is necessary is a testament to skill," Dianara murmurs, still smiling as she rises from her seat. "If you will both excuse me, I should be going. It was a pleasure to finally meet you, Count. And you, Messire Ajax. May the gods be with you both." With that, the Whisper sketches a brief, but graceful curtsy and makes her way toward the door.

"Do be well, Messire Whisper. I've little doubt we shall speak again." The Corvini count raises his goblet in salute, taking a small swallow, before he looks back to Ajax. "I've little interest in harming such. It is morally repugnant -- and even worse, politically unwise." His tone is bland. "I've enough properly villainous sorts to provide whatever examples I need. After all, why lie, when a truth will suffice." His lips purse in a small amusement.

"Of course, of course. It is a wise decision to make. You make many enemies harming the meek. If the chapters of knights can't get one, I usually can. Retribution for the meek. That is one of the things I do for very cheap." Ajax dips his head as shifts in his seat, "So, my friend. You speak of work?" his lips pursing as he shifts in his chair, "What is it you need done?"

"... I may request your aid with that. Some of the pilgrims slaughtered on the lands of House Fournier come from Iasu and the surrounding confines. Should there be true complicity?" The Corvini count smiles, but it is a smile devoid of warmth, the smile a spider might give to a particularly juicy fly. "Matters will be attended to. But, that is not yet the time. No, I may need assistance in dealing with expeditionary ventures on my own lands. Exploratory considerations and the like."

"Always a good idea. A redwood Ranger is a field out in the wilderness." Ajax replies after a long moment, with a nod of his head slowly, "When I was young lad, I watched everything I ever loved burn to a crisp. All in a singular evening during the siege of Tydehall. When I came to the mainlands, I tend to enjoy a rousing band of retribution." he purses his lips, leaning forward, "My side projects involve establishing Redwood Chapters, the first one will be on the isles, the rest are still in the air as it is."

There is a nod from the Corvini count, his lips settling into a dark smile. "I was a magistrate once, before becoming landed. I am quite skilled at tracking -- and unlike many of my Lycene peers, I am not averse to the cold," he says. "So, I understand the nature of tracking. And... as for retribution?" He takes a sip of the brandy. "I am as merciful as a Velenosa."

"To be honest. I don't usually head out to your part of the world, but I have found more reasons to walk that way. I have considered making a couple exceptions, especially as business may dictate setting up a chapter out there somewhere." a sheepish smile dances across AJax lips as he gives a firm nod of his head, "And, that is something I can agree with in a sense I suppose. Mercy can be important. Some just don't warrant it."

"Oh, I can assure matters of interest," the Corvini count replies, dryly, his hand tilting outwards. He considers Ajax for a moment. "Though, I think, for now I've another potential matter which may be more interesting -- both for you and a place for potential growth of such a chapter. I would have to speak with the one in question, but..." his hand tilts to one side. "I think certain opportunities might be arranged that allow an easier exercise of such."

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