Sailboat Archery Challenge
June 11, 2019, 7 p.m.
Outside Arx - Eastern Approach - Beaches
Comments and Log
Kit, the grey fox, Primus, First of Monique's Assistants, 1 Greenmarch Guard, Tertius, Third of Monique's Assistants, Quartus, Fourth of Monique's Assistants arrive, following Monique.
Ronja Sandreef is lingering by the large statue of Mangata at the beaches. She might be admiring its craftsmanship -- she might be saying a silent prayer. Who knows? What is known is that the Sea Dancer of Eventide Vast is wearing her blue leathers, has her hair braided back out of her face (though only the parts that would flop into her face -- the rest is a wild red mane), and generally seems ready to set sail.
As the small crowd of onlookers gathers, Ronja turns away from the statue to address them. "Right! All you lot! I'm Ronja Sandreef. This is a friendly competition between myself and Lady Isabetta Gilden -- now, I emphasize FRIENDLY, so none of you get any ideas, right?" The sailor speaks with an accent that could only be found on the westernmost shores of Westrock Reach. Pure western islander stock, in speech and manner if not in complete appearance. "First part of it, a sailboat race! Second part of it, we're going to shoot some arrows at some buoys! Now, for that part, you might want to have brought along a relative you don't care for so much, to duck behind! Lady Monique Greenmarch is keeping us honest on this one, Mangata help us all, but your job is to make noise and cheer us on! Or at least me."
Merek has come to watch the two challengers face each other, longcoat adjusted about his frame while he makes his way to the shores. He looks to the people as they make their announcement, and he settles back to watch with a smile also.
The words 'Lady Monique Greenmarch is keeping us honest' have probably never been spoken aloud before, and they bring a distinct smile of amusement to the lips of the Lady in question. Monique inclines her flame bright head, and lofts the shield she's actually brought, a big kite-shaped thing, perfect for taking cover behind. "I shall watch with utmost care," she assures the crowd, perhaps not entirely reassuringly. There's a wave of greeting to Merek as she spies him.
Arcadia has come to walk along the beach, but stops when she hears Ronja addressing the crowd. Curious, she comes over to listen.
Vincenzo makes his way to the beach to be an onlooker and hearing that it's a friendly competition he says, "I'll take bets for those who want to spice it up!"
Isabetta arrives a touch late, Ronja is giving her announcement as she arrives, so yeah, she's late. Dressed in leathers for ranging, all green like the forest, tailor fit to her, a hood, a mask, half gloves. . She looks like she could pass as a soldier, if a soldier could afford tailored leathers. She has a bow strung and over one shoulder and a quiver full of arrows. She tromps along the beach until she is in the crowd. Her hair is fully braied, tied up. She breaths and says, "I'm hiring a sailor for a race. Anyone interested?"
Is she cheating? It is hard to say. She doesn't pretend to think she is cheating.
"I'll take your coin," Ronja responds with a grin as she walks up to size up Isabetta. Ronja DOES have a three-inch advantage, height-wise, and then crazy hair besides. "I mean, I won't help you win at all, but I'll take your coin." She winks, and then starts walking to the sailboats. "Besides, it's not hard! Just watch me and do what I do. Or as much as you can watch before I sail over the horizon."
Monique laughs to Vincenzo's offer, and she demures. "Would that I could, but I think as judge, I'd better not. Still..." Still, it's clear the Minx of the Marches has earned her questionable reputation fairly. She hefts her shield, walking down to the beach where the boats await. Carefully, she plants it. "Now, ladies, do you both know how to swim, just in case?"
Arcadia gives a snort of laughter at Ronja, before telling Vincenzo, "I'll bet on Ronja, if anyone else wants to wager?"
"No one?" She looks around and sighs, "Okay just so long as there are oars..." She sizes Ronja up back and tries to give her a little shove. "Ah huh, and you can watch me with the archery, did you remember a bow? Did you string it yourself?" She looks over as people start betting against her and then turns to Monique, "Didn't you offer to sail with me, pleeeeese?"
Vincenzo says to Arcadia, "Excellent! I bet five hundred silver and a terribly written poem in the whites about the winner of those two. You on?" with a lift of his brow. To the competitors he says "Good luck and win me some silver!"
Ronja checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 6 lower.
Arcadia grins at Vincenzo, "Deal." She then shouts to Ronja, "You better win." before she whoops loudly, ready for the competition to begin.
"Hey!" Ronja takes the shove, but not gracefully. "That was my tit, you--" Ronja buttons it, but too late. Far, far too late. "So, it's like that, then, is it? Well. I'd say may the best woman win, but really, it'd just be rubbing it in, wouldn't it?"
Monique looks up over her shield. "Why, of course, Lady Isabetta! I did tell you about that one lesson I took with Lord Ian Kennex, didn't I? I'm fairly certain I'm a natural at sailing now. It will almost be unfair to the poor Sea Dancer." In her lovely gown and her scads of dragonweep, she moves to join Isabetta by her boat gamely.
Isabetta hasn't quite gotten to her boat yet but seems smugly pleased with herself after Ronja gets mad at her. She cants her head like she can't figure out what Ronja could possibly be flustered about. "Sorry, that was your what?" She touches a hand over her mouth and says, "Oh my, I am so sorry, I didn't mean to do anything offensive." She turns to walks off toward her boat where Monique is with a sway. "Good luck," She blows Ronja a little kiss.
Vincenzo sings cheerfully with the rest of the peanut gallery, "An ode to those who race on the sea, where one already bumped a tit we did see. With the race underway, their ships will sail away. And hopefully return to you and me. Hurrah!" as he gives a gesture to Arcadia to say the bet is started. "What if mermen tempt them away and they decide to live a life of pirating instead of coming back?"
Ronja checked dexterity + sailing at difficulty 15, rolling 45 higher.
Monique clambers into Isabetta's boat, producing a dagger as she goes. Sliiiiiiiiice goes all that lovely silk fabric, giving the Minx a breezy slit for manueverability. She waves to the crowd, laughing at Vincenzo's song. "Is now the best time to mention I can't swim?"
Monique checked dexterity + sailing at difficulty 15, rolling 18 higher.
Isabetta checked dexterity + sailing at difficulty 15, rolling 10 higher.
It doesn't take more than a moment for Ronja to climb aboard the sailboat and get the lay of its particular land. "Don't get Lady Monique killed, in that case," she calls over to Isabetta's boat -- and then she's off, catching a breeze and moving away from shore.
Isabetta tries to follow what she sees Ronja do and maybe what Monique thinks she should be doing and .. Somehow they get off, though it's meandering and way slower than the actual sailor. Remarkably, Isabetta actually seems to be pretty happy about it, I mean they havn't sunk, .. yet.. "We're going to win Lady Monique! " That person way ahead? Ronja. "Err.. somehow."
"Now, I'm fairly certain this rope is the pulling one," Monique calls out to Isabetta, gesturing to the rope attached to the small boom. "You pull it and that thing," she gestures to the sail, "will swing. Don't get hit by it. That's what catches the wind. I think. Once we get the wind we just... go." That's how it works, right? And they do go. Slowly. And it's almost the right direction, even. But Monique does look much less confident than she started out being. "Now, what did Ian say about steering..." Turning back to shore, she calls out to the crowd, "HOW DO WE STEER? THERE'S NO WHEEL! I THINK IT WAS STOLEN!" She glares ahead at Ronja, making it clear who she thinks stole it. She looks back to Isabetta. "But yes, we're definitely going to win!"
Ronja checked dexterity + sailing at difficulty 20, rolling 24 higher.
Monique checked dexterity + sailing at difficulty 20, rolling 4 higher.
Brother Chester arrives, following Jeffeth.
Isabetta checked dexterity + sailing at difficulty 20, rolling 15 higher.
Ronja is still motoring along. Well, sailing along, to be completely accurate. She glances back over her shoulder to see how Isabetta and Monique are doing. Mostly, she's making sure they're both still on the boat. "You know, she'll have to do her own arching, Lady Monique!" Ronja calls back, cheerily.
Vincenzo cheers from the shore probably to the ocean that waves back as the boats are sailing off.
Isabetta is really really pleased about not sinking, "Okay , I think you steer this way." She tries steering by pulling something and it makes no difference, 'Or like this." She tries leaning so the boat moves that way,. Nothing seems to be working, but they're moving more or less in the right direction. "Oh we are going to win we're going to pass her look we're gaining." Not really. "Oh she's talking about archery."
Arcadia calls to Ronja, "Pay me and I'll do your archery."
Monique stares at Isabetta's optimism. "... I'm fairly certain you'll have to get your bow out at range, Lady Isabetta." She glares at Ronja so far ahead of them and getting closer to the buoys. "I've never held a bow in my life!" she calls out to the Sea Dancer. "So count your lucky stars that she does! Oh, Isabetta, look, you did a thing. Do it again! We had a little more speed!"
"You're all the way over there!" Ronja hollers back at Arcadia.
Ronja checked dexterity + sailing at difficulty 25, rolling 60 higher.
Monique checked dexterity + sailing at difficulty 25, rolling 5 lower.
Arriving on the beach on a very large horse is a very large man. The big man glances off at the ships in the distance and bites down on his lower lip for a moment. "I think we're a little late." Jeffeth rumbles down to his horse before his eyes flick up sidelong to Vincenzo. A small nod is afforded the man before Jeffeth is looking back to the water, leaning back in the saddle.
Merek looks over to Jeffeth, "Feeling better, Ser?" he asks, as he offers a polite bow his way, recognizing the man.
Isabetta checked dexterity + sailing at difficulty 60, rolling 41 lower.
Arcadia shouts back, cocky as anything, "Bet I could still hit it."
Vincenzo says, "Five hundred silver and badly written poetry about the winner if you want a claim in the stakes." to Jeffeth with a chuckle and friendly wave. "I think one of the crew are sailing to Maelstrom, and the other might be coming back. Very difficult to judge."
Isabetta assures Monique, "Don't worry, I can shoot, that is one thing I can really really do!" She's excited, they're sailing, they're really sailing. They're moving along, they're pitching. You know, but that's part of sailing right? Pitching? ppppiitching... "Ahhhh." The boat starts taking on water. "Monique?" Isabetta gestures to the water. More comes she gestures more wildly, "Lady Monique!" They're taking on a lot of water.
Isabetta checked dexterity + sailing at difficulty 25, rolling 8 lower.
Ronja checked dexterity + sailing at difficulty 30, rolling 31 higher.
Ronja has the sailboat race easily won. She turns to cackle and crow about winning the first round of the challenge, and then sees... oh, well. That's not good. Ronja kicks the sails back into gear, turning them to head back -- not to shore, but towards the other two's boat, smoothly and easily. "Right, hop on over," she calls. "Bring your bow, we can take shots from this one together."
Monique checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 39 higher.
Pitching and taking on water was not part of Monique's plan. There's a certain resignation in her eyes, a muttered prayer to spirits and gods alike, as the boat begins to turtle on them. But then there's Ronja, and the Minx of the Marches is quick enough to abandon ship. She doesn't even check to see if Isabetta is following, just leaps from one ship to the other.
Isabetta checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 6 lower.
Isabetta isn't nearly so graceful as Monique is in abandoning ship. Instead she ends up splashing in the water and gripping on the side for dear life. "Oh gods, sailing is not for me. Not For Me." She fights to get onto the boat, struggles like a little floundering fish. Hopefully someone will help her aboard.
The big man slowly looks over to Vincenzo pursing his lips. He gives a small nod before looking back over to Sir Merek, he arches a brow. "I think so. I suppose it depends on what instance I'm getting better from." Jeffeth pipes with a small shrug, leaning back on the saddle to look out at the boats. He raises one hand to shade his eyes. "Well. Something is definitely happening."
Ronja can't help but laugh, "Ah, hell!" She moves to help Isabetta aboard, motioning for Monique to do the same as well. "I'll say one thing, my Ladies -- you two know how to make contest exciting!" She looks between the two of them: "Have everything you need off of there? Because this is rather your last chance, I think."
Farewell, sweet boat. Monique takes a moment to wave to those still ashore. "We're fine! Everything is fine!" Down one boat, but everything is fine. "If you have a shield to stand behind, now's the time. We'll start the archery contest as soon as Lady Gilden's hands dry!"
Arcadia sniggers as she watches the drama at sea, but immediately moves to stand behind Jeffeth. He is the biggest meat shield on land.
Isabetta looks at the boat as it sinks and shakes her head, "She died as she lived." And then Isabetta makes zero attempt to explain exactly how or why. Then she straightens, and shakes some water out of her hair. She tries to compose herself, but she just looks like a soaked cat. "Uhg, can we just do the shooting part and get back to shore?"
Ronja takes up the sail again, and provides more of an up-close lesson in how it's done, as she brings the boat back to where it's meant to be for the archery challenge. "Watch your heads, now," she says, as the sail moves. She seems completely at ease -- this is her environment, moreso than anywhere on land. She seems so much more... calm. Still brightly happy, but calm.
Ronja checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 15, rolling 13 higher.
Isabetta checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 15, rolling 10 higher.
Monique huddles into the aft of the boat, trying to present as small a target as possible, away from the direction of the buoys. Her shield is still on land, dug into the sand.
Isabetta readies her bow after not getting knocked off the boat by the keel? It's a keel right? Apparently no one knows anything about sailing, at least that is the way that Isabetta imagines the world? She readies an arrow, takes aim and looses. "Damn It Ronja, does this boat not sway as much?" She's not thrilled by her shot, but at least she hits the target.
Ronja takes her time getting her shot ready. It's not because the boat is bobbing. That part seems to give her no trouble whatsoever. It's more a matter of technique, and that she has none when it comes to archery. The sword at her hip is clearly her speed. The bow... she holds it sort of wrong and she has to adjust herself several times before the arrow successfully flies -- and hits a target. "Hell! I did it!" she blurts, shocked. "...my Lady, YOU were the one who wanted to shoot arrows from the boat. We COULD have done this on dry land." Ronja takes her next arrow to spend another age fixing her awful form.
Ronja checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 20, rolling 17 higher.
Isabetta checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 20, rolling 15 higher.
Isabetta grumbles, "But I actually shoot archery! " She complains to Ronja as she readies her second arrow, "I can't believe this, you just got a lucky shot and this shot? I'm going to definitely going to beat you this time." She tries to take careful aim and steady, but she's really not used to the swaying of the boat. Once again the most you can truly say for her shot is she hits the target.
Both women hit the target on the closest buoy and it boosts Monique's courage. She starts to straighten, to cheer Ronja and Isabetta on. "Fabulous shots! Truly, not a single arrow into the water, I'm impressed!" She takes a glance back to the shore, signaling the 'all okay' to those on land.
Arcadia leans aside peering at the women. She gives a whoop of cheer to them.
If Ronja's shot is better, it's only by a small matter of degrees. She breathes out, deeply -- she'd been holding her breath for the entire process of setting up and letting off that second arrow, which was actually quite some time when one sits back to look at it. "You went out on the water with the Sea Dancer," she says to Isabetta with a little smirk, and then murmurs to Monique as she leans to take a third arrow.
Ronja checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 25, rolling 45 higher. Ronja rolled a critical!
Isabetta checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 25, rolling 15 higher.
At least Isabetta didn't sink _this_ boat. She grumbles some more about how she's -losing- at archery against someone who was probably hustling her, she's totally getting hustled. She takes her next shot, but it's only a middling shot, like the first too. She looks expectantly over at Ronja to put an arrow in the water and when it doesn't (cause it won't) she gives a despondent exclamation, "Oh come on."
Ronja laughs at whatever it is Monique says back to her, and it seems to give her the good cheer needed to loosen up her shoulders, draw the bowstring... and take an absolute wonder of a shot. Complete bullseye. "Shit!" Ronja blurts, as if she herself can't believe it. She's still staring in shock for a long moment as she lowers the bow, and then looks to Isabetta. "My Lady," she says, "you put up a strong fight, and I'm honored to have been challenged by you. Please, do me the further honor of shaking my hand." And if Isabetta takes Ronja's hand, the redhead leans in, to say something discreetly.
"Congratulations, Sea Dancer!" Monique says to Ronja as she sinks a bullseye dead center of the target on the buoy. "Well done. Next time," to Isabetta, "dry land? Speaking of which," the Greenmarch glances longingly back to shore. "Mistress Ronja, might you return us to relative safety?"
Mystified, that is the only way to describe the way that Isabetta looks at the shot and then what Ronja says to her. She lower her bow and just says, aloud, "Huh. Well _I_ am not sailing us back, that would be idiotic."
Ronja grins and brings the sail back around. She's trying not to rub it in, but she does seem rather pleased with herself. It's a quick trip back to shore, and as she hops out to get the ship properly grounded, she spots: "Sir Jeffeth! You came!" A big, big smile from Ronja, and then a look to Arcadia: "Did I win you any coin, my Lady?"
Arcadia chirps to Ronja, an easy grin "I did. Plus you will have a terribly written poem on the boards about your win."
The large man smiles brightly as Ronja arrives, shifting in the saddle on top of his massive horse. Jeffeth urges her forward a little, the hooves clop clop clopping towards Ronja, the big man guiding her around. "Well done, Ronja." Jeffeth pipes happily.
Isabetta folds her arms, looking statuesque, "There is also the matter of your own winnings Ronja, there were stakes, you win." She digs her toe into the boat, "So you should enjoy your victory because next time you're going to lose." She tilts her head up and murmurs, "Lucky shooting." She doesn't seem overly upset, not really, just trying to maintain a calm exterior. Maybe.
"Lady Isabetta, you were marvelous. Please, accept nothing but my most gushing praise -- as well as my apology for putting you in a situation that could have endangered you." Ronja's grin spreads. "So next time, make it dangerous for me, and we'll call it even." Ronja flashes a bright smile at Jeffeth again, and then turns to Isabetta and Monique. "Now, the terms were, a prize of my choosing. I'm not sure what I've chosen, yet. I won't put you out of sorts, though -- unless it's really, incredibly funny."
"I can't wait to hear what it's going to be," Monique replies to Ronja, looking to Isabetta with some sympathy. "Perhaps you ought to have matching tattoos of Mistress Ronja," she suggests, totally innocently.
Isabetta rolls her eyes and gives Ronja a little shove, this time on the arm. "Hmph, There is still more to compete, you don't get out of that." She leans over to murmur something to Ronja, only too happy when they are at dry land and she can stalk away from the water, she's still dripping wet. "I wonder whose boats those were." She looks back at where hers went down honorably.
Ronja takes the shove in good cheer. Her competitive streak is satisfied, for the moment, and she's all smiles. "Next time we'll get an arbiter of YOUR hair color and see in which direction the wind blows, my Lady," Ronja laughs. At the question of whose boats, Ronja shrugs. "I... I assumed you knew. Perhaps we... had best make haste along from here. And don't you dare even DREAM of copying my tattoo."
There's a stir down at the docks as unfamiliar sails are spotted down the river; two ships in the same style and with the same fan-like folding sails as Emissary Zulana's flagship, the Ordered Path. But though they dwarf Arvani vessels, the two Imperial newcomers are themselves dwarfed by the gargantuan Ordered Path.
As the crowds watch from the shore, the two newcomers anchor themselves near the immense flagship. Two wooden stairways are placed set out, making it possible for Imperial personnel to shift themselves -- and what appears to be some gear -- from the Ordered Path to the new arrivals. This goes on for a while, as quite a few personnel make their move.
The very last figure to descend the stairs to one of the ships is Emissary Zulana herself; the stairs are promptly withdrawn, and the two new Imperial vessels immediately head back down the river, out towards open water once more.
The Ordered Path -- and an Imperial presence -- remains in the harbor, but it seems the Emissary has business elsewhere to attend to.
Speaking of tattoos, Cady points to Ronja."You owe me a tattoo still." Hearing about the boats she starts moving away herself.
With a winner declared, a boat sent in tribute to the Deeps, and general merriment about to ensure as the sun sets, the beach becomes a place to drink and dance, and to celebrate the contest just passed. No one died, after all.
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