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A Duel: Princess Zara vs Duke Cristoph

Lord Haakon will represent Princess Zara's interests in a duel prompted by Duke Cristoph's deep feelings about the misuse of bee puns! Lord Drake Wyrmguard will represent Duke Cristoph. The duel will be to first blood.

Despite the subject, attendees are encouraged to come up with as many puns as possible throughout the duel.


Oct. 19, 2020, 8 p.m.

Hosted By

Cristoph Drake Haakon Zara


Ryhalt Alis Flora Patrizio Niklas Korka Macda Katarina Orelia Medeia Caprice Kiera Sorrel Monique



Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Valardin Grounds

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

Kit, the grey fox, Primus, First of Monique's Assistants, 1 Greenmarch Guard, Tertius, Third of Monique's Assistants arrive, following Monique.

It's the fight of a lifetime, over one of the most important issues on Valardin's mind, the right to make Bee Puns. The grounds have been cleared of traffic to allow for ample space for the combatants and a row of benches face the field to seat any who'd wish observe.

Zara Valardin sits on one of the front benches, her eyes fixed intently on the Champions as they prepare. "I have high hopes." She says to any nearby. "Though I could do without this breezzzze." She extends the zzz naturally. There's a very defiant expression on her face when she looks to the duke, knowing this may be her final opportunity.

Zara has joined the Eastern Benches.

3 Ivory Shields arrives, following Patrizio.

Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise, Isabelle, who is just so tired of everyone's nonsense, Roland, the worst bard in Arvum arrive, following Niklas.

Chiara, 4 Seraceni pirates, Jimothy, a spirited paint horse arrive, following Appolonia.

Looking curious, Ryhalt arrives and takes a seat along the eastern benches. Overhearing Zara, he chuckles. "Next time you should tell him it's BEElow you unless it's warm enough to sit out and watch." He grins shamelessly.

Alis took a prime seat early, thank you! Because she /needs/ a front row seat to be able to see. So for now at the Eastern Benches, the diminutive princess holds a mug of some hot drink in her hands while awaiting the festivities. Zara's insistence on bzzzzzing earns a rare giggle from her at least. And then a cough behind her hind.

"I really thought we had an even number of benches," Cristoph can be heard explaining to Rupert as he gets to the grounds. When he looks between the two areas and sees that there isn't an even number of benches, all he can do is shrug. "I guess I'll get that fixed later. At some point. Add it to the list, Rupert." Rupert looks dubious about the duke taking care of this task. "Can't you just ask the groundskeeper about this, my lord?" Cristoph frowns. When he spots Zara, he lifts a hand to wave to her and finds a clear spot of his own to wait while Drake and Haakon get ready.

Flora marches in, peering around and looking for a prime seat. "Just what's going on here?" She asks, scanning the gathering crowds.

Patrizio arrives, making his way over to one side with his ever-present entourage, who he quietly encourages to step off to the side with all the others. Not that he needs a front-row seat at all, he, but he does get one where he's sure to hear all the sordid details, not being party yet to the complaint that's led to such. The cold adding colour to his cheeks, there are casual nods to the familiar faces amongst the throng.

Cristoph has joined the Western Benches.

Patrizio has joined the Western Benches.

Monique has joined the Eastern Benches.

Aedric has joined the Eastern Benches.

Niklas makes his way in from the rest of the city which is boring because no one THERE is about to commence battle except possibly in the Murder of Crows and stabbing someone in the kidney and taking their silver isn't really doing battle as much as it is doing crimes and murders. To Flora he says, "It's a duel!" Then, "I don't remember what it's a duel about, but that shouldn't really bother anyone. Two of the city's finest combatants will go to war for the honor of their client. One will win and their client will be proven true, the other will lose, but no matter which, so long as chivalry and valor are expressed, all will revel in glory!" Then he tips his coronet at her and heads for one of the stands.

Haakon had been present in the square for some time, his sword set out for inspection should his opponent wish. As the appointed time draws near, the stonefaced Prodigal might seem an odd champion for the cause of jokes, yet here he is. Donning helm and hefting shield in the right hand, he turns to give a salute to Zara, voicing loud and steady, "Princess of Dragons, whose wit is well known, I ask your patience as I.. Drone.." Annnnd a bee pun. "May the flight of swords please, And the Laurent be teased-" A salute toward Duke Cristoph with that last line, before returning to face Zara. "As we champions duel to humbly see: Which cause shall ascend.. as the bumblebee."

Korka does not move over to find a prime seat with a good view, no, she keeps walking past the benches over to where the Champions are preparing, "Lord Drake," she calls out, reaching down to the sash at her waist and untying it to wrap around her hand and offer it over, "For luck to win, or should you be defeated a chance to seek me out afterwards. I can't promise I'll be the best at tending to your wounds, I've been told I have a terrible bedside manner, but no one's ever complained when I was in it."

Drake, as a duelist, arrives when he means to - not late, obviously, but the show cannot start without him. Wearing a leather vest for proper protection and a bit of a cloak against the outdoor cold, he is for a moment without helm, though naturally he will protect his head momentarily. Sometimes he even uses that head for thinking.

Having just a moment to state his case, and the sensibilities of a showman, he turns to the crowd as it gathers around to watch. And then, he begins a brief address. "Good people of Arx. I'm here today to fight on behalf of Duke Laurent in his duel against the Princess Zara. They are debating a matter that surely does needs be addressed." With the word 'bee,' he looks at Zara, but then doesn't linger too long on that word, or that gaze.

"There are those here that are unhappy that I am fighting against the side of ... puns." Drake pauses in this, and pulls his sword out, drawing forth a rather standard looking dueling blade, one that has been used before in honor battles and carries the sigil of Gloria on it. "I understand that in some circles, say, among the Harlequins, this makes me the villain. But as far as playing the heel goes..." Drake points at his own face, then grins. "You know very well I can't pull that off. I don't have the glare for it." He takes one step back. "So, I thought to myself... if I am not the heel here... I am at least fighting on the side of those who hate levity, jokes, and humor."

"In other words...." Drake easily swings his sword around in a small swoop, as if for punctuation. A squire tosses him his helmet, which he catches in the free hand, and dons. "Today... I fight for the Oathlands."

With that, he gives Korka one of his winning grins as he accepts her sash. He tucks it next to the silk already hanging from his belt.

Niklas has joined the Western Benches.

Macda leans over to murmer to Niklas then she looks over to Haakon as she grins a bit at his pun, her eyes flicker back over to Drake and she grins a little "To Drake!" she calls out "kick him in the royal jelly!" well everyone else was joking about bees may as well

Drake wields a steel longsword engraved with the sigil of Gloria.

Haakon wields old-fashioned broadsword.

Aedric has left the Eastern Benches.

Despite this being a duel about the nature of bee puns, Cristoph can't help but start to laugh over where he's sitting. When Haakon salutes him, he lifts two fingers to his temple and gives a lazy one back. He looks generally amused, stretching his legs out in front of him as he waits for the two duelists to begin.

Zara stares sternly ahead, until her maid arrives with a flask of something presumably warm since her eyes liven, taking in the scent. Then it's back to watching the duel before it commences, giving the duelists a salute in return.

Sitting next to Alis is a small hill of blue and white furs. Occasionally, the hill shivers. If one gazes into the hill enough, one can identify the golden eyes of Princess Katarina peeking through layer upon layer upon layer.

Orelia laughs and whistles after Drake's opening statement, then settles in to watch.

Medeia had arrived early, really, she's just short so no one saw here there behind Haakon somewhere. And suddenly, there she is, murmuring, "I just don't see what all the buzz is about. Hm. Best not wing it." She tucks a bit of fabric into his hand, says, "I know this isn't that kind of a thing, but..." and reaches up on tip toe to whisper something to him. She steps away with a grin before finding a seat.

Medeia has joined the Eastern Benches.

Flora seems unaware of the exact details, yet enthused all the same as she takes to the western seat, clasping her hands together to watch with eager interest. "Well, may the irghteous deliver the sting of bitter defeat, then!"

Flora has joined the Western Benches.

Macda laughs a bit at all the quipes.

Patrizio arches a slender brow as he's realizing that, indeed, this appears to be a duel over... puns. The expression says it all - poor taste in his book, fighting over such things, but he's not going to let such a thing stand in the way of an evening's entertainment. And as such, he's gathering his cloak about himself, clearly unwilling to miss such a spectacle.

Caprice came early to claim a good seat, then they -brought in more seats-. Maybe it's too cold to dislodge from her bench again, maybe it's just too fine a vantage point to give up. Whatever the reasoning, as the new benches fill in, the woman hunkers down within her cloak, cheering and jeering at random from the more common-flavored peanut gallery. "Bee aggressive! Get him where it stings!"

Favor delivered, Korka moves back to claim a seat at one of the benches, rolling her eyes at every pun as she does so.

"Where's the honey themed snacks?" Alis suddenly protests, now that the bee puns have started. She also takes pity on the shivering hill beside her, and holds out the mug of hot chocolate. "You definitely need this more than I do." She should not sound so amused by that, but she can't help the affection laced bemusement in her voice as she foists her drink onto the equally short princess beside her. "The puns are going to kill us all. UnBEEleavable." And now she's doing it too, even wincing at herself.

Korka has joined the Eastern Benches.

Kiera grins as she takes a seat on the eastern bench "I don't know which is more bee...fudling the fact that we're having a duel over puns or the fact that appolonia isnalso i'm contractually obligated to route for my brother, it has nothing to do with opinions wordplay

When Haakon speaks Niklas pushes to his feet and bewllows, "ISLANDS!" Then drops back down and looks around to see if someone brought some food.

Macda shouts from nearby, "place your bets with me!"

Flora pumps a fist with enthusiasm, flashing a sunny smile. "Seize the sweetness of victory! I'll believe in you, Lord Haakon!"

Macda giggles

The small hill of furs called Katarina accepts the hot chocolate with mittened hands and says something like "Mmm mmf," which may be an expression of gratitude among the Fur-Hill People. The mug disppears into the furs.

"You mean bee-lieve." Zara doesn't miss the opportunity to add to Flora's cheer.

Alis is just going to drape dramatically to the side now like Zara's last pun has finally slain her.

"Yay, puns," Korka deadpans, leaning back in her seat and looking around for something to drink.

Macda says, "because they are punny, honey."

Draping into the fur-hill Katarina without said fur-hill being ready for it causes the sound of mug hitting front teeth, and muffled but excited Eurusi cursing as hot chocolate is spilled down the front of the Princess. Not that it can be seen through all of the furs.

Haakon steps back from the benches, a short bow of the head and shoulders in the direction of whoever shouted 'ISLANDS', before turning to face his opponent for the day. "Wyrmguard," he greets, rapping the edge of his sword on the rim of his round shield with the word. "Here's to strength, here's to valor, and here's to winning a good scar. Winner buys drinks, after." A wry twist curls his scarred lip with the even words and sharp move of his sword in salute.

Flora nod nods at Zara's addition. "You're quite right! I BEE-LIEVE IN YOU, LORD HAAKON!" She reiterates, and then slouches back to look for anything hot being served or offered. She hums merrily to herself.

Lady Teonia Redreef, Aryka Wyrmfang, 3 Thrax Guards, Marquessa Pudding, a doughy dog, 2 Thrax Elite Guards arrive, following Sorrel.

Medeia is grinning at all the puns, then raises her eyebrows before luaghing at Katarina's string of Eurusi expletives. She rummages in her bag for a handkerchief to give the tiny princess to try to dry up some of the spilled hot chocolate.

Alis slings an arm around the now hot drink be-decked fur-hill beside her. "Sorry, sorry! I couldn't help it. At least it will wash out." she counsels, apparently having discovered this at some point.

"All right. You're on, then." Drake faces down Haakon, a smile on his face, but his grip tight around the dueling sword. He holds it in his standard stance, out a bit defensively, his eyes judging the other man's form, and his reach. "Let's not keep the crowd waiting too long, eh? It's cold out. And... if I hear another bee pun I very well may lose it myself." Maybe Drake truly is an Oathlander at heart.

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

Katarina accepts the handkerchief and the hug, in that order. "Mm mf," she says, through a mountainous pileup of furs, and she pulls her arms in underneath to try and pat herself down underneath. This makes the furs at her chest bump out like she's some kind of cartoon having a wacky heartbeat. When Alis hugs, Katarina tilts her hooded-many-times-over head to bump against the High Lord's. "Mf mm-mm. Mm fmmff mm."

"So sorry for being late," Sorrel says as she slips onto one of the benches to watch the fight. "Did I miss quite a lot of bee puns?" She grins cheerfully as the Champions start the fight.

Sorrel has joined the Eastern Benches.

Ryhalt grins as he watches the fight begin and nods as Sorrel arrives. "Of course, but we can continue. It BEEhooves us to get them all out in case the worst case situation BEEfalls."

"So many of them." Alis confirms for Sorrel. "And they never end, obviously." A gesture made in amusement towards Ryhalt.

"They're the sort of puns only a Queen could love," Korka drawls in response to Sorrel, though she keeps most of her attention on the fight.

Haakon strides forward as the duel commences in earnest. The Prodigal seems intent on trying to stalk down gis slightly smaller and lighter armed opponent, pressing aggressively with the shield and following up with the edge of a stout broadsword. While not slow in advance or movement, Drake's formidable agility and skill at arms prevent any of his blows from landing hard enough to do any injury.

Caprice is a cheerfully attentive member of the audience, clapping for either or both opponent, though they've not circled long before she's cupping her hands around her mouth to shout over, "Let me WAX you a question, boys! When are you going to stop POLLEN our legs and thwack each other, already?"

Macda watches the fight, "Beeeee yourself!, float like a bee! Hover and dance! kick his ass!"

"A few puns are nothing to hive a fit over, Korka," Medeia says, helpfully, procuring whiskey from her bag for a sip.

"Mmm ffmm mm mfmfmf fm mmmf mmff," Katarina says from under three or four scarves and a veil besides, joining in on the bee puns.

Drake is indeed floating around fast, but so is Haakon. A few light touches get no particular purchase. Drake tries not to be distracted by the audience, as he focuses on his duel. But he's at least aware of them.... and laughs a bit at one of the louder heckles. "Really, Princess Macda, whose side are you on?" he asks. Eyes forward, but mouth laughing as he lunges back in.

"I'm just combing through and finding most of them are rather bumbling really," Korka replies dryly, sipping her hot chocolate that's definitely not been spiked. And definitely isn't spiked more a minute later from her flask.

Macda is overheard praising Haakon.

Flora is overheard praising Haakon.

Alis is overheard praising Haakon.

Katarina is overheard praising Haakon: MMmf mfmf ff mm mmfff mm mff mmhhh!

Drake keeps his blade level and watches his opponent. He's moving fast, dodging mostly, and lunges in, but still doesn't seem to be able to hit a strike worth much of anything. A touch hits nothing particuarly meaningful. He reassesses, one step back, holding his blade defensively, but leaves enough opening this time.

Kiera is overheard praising Haakon: well done lord haakon

Kiera is overheard praising Drake: well fought brother

Macda laughs a little deeply as Haakon strikes true "good show Haakon!"

Flora breaks into a racuous, clanging applause when Haakon's trike lands true, cheering victoriously.

Kiera hollers "Well fought brother. Impressive Lord Haakon

Patrizio is overheard praising Haakon.

Korka is overheard praising Drake.

Orelia is overheard praising Haakon.

Orelia is overheard praising Drake.

Katarina claps from within the shield of pelts, which admittedly looks strange in the way it makes said pelts swing outward from the motions of her elbows.

Cristoph is overheard praising Haakon.

Haakon had been a half step behind Drake for much of the duel, thus far. The Wyrmguard had landed more touches and made Haakon miss cleanly more than once, but at least the Eswynd is able to gauge Drake's timing, catching the deftly handled longsword on his shield and pressing in during that ever so brief instant if assessment. The edge of his broadsword lands on Drake's leg, and though the nimble Wyrmguard twists to negate the worst of the blow, it is swing with strength enough to bring a splash of bright Oathlands blood. Haakon's shoulders are heaving with adrenaline and exertion as he voices, "A fine dance, Wyrmguard. Something.. something.. bee proud."

Cristoph is overheard praising Drake.

Cristoph is overheard praising Zara.

Caprice shouts from nearby, "Sweet hit, my Lord!"

Alis is overheard praising Drake.

Zara is overheard praising Haakon: I couldn't bee more proud!

Caprice is overheard praising Haakon: Buzzworthy bout!

Caprice is overheard praising Drake: Buzzworthy bout!

As the duel went on, Medeia watched closely as Haakon and Drake seemingly toyed with one another. Haakon's winning blow has her on her feet, cheering loudly.

Medeia is overheard praising Haakon.

Drake doesn't lower the sword in time. That's blood, which means...

Drake steps back and has to call it. He looks a little disappointed... maybe not on behalf (is it beehalf) of puns, but maybe on behalf of having lost... even though the stakes were low, people were after all, watching.

But, there's cheers, and that's what matters. It's a good sport. He smiles again a second later. "A good hit, worthy." A pause. "I guess this means I buy the round, too."

Zara is overheard praising Drake: A force to bee reckoned with!

Appolonia is overheard praising Drake: Truly, no mere drone.

Appolonia is overheard praising Haakon: A valiant sting.

Orelia cringes a bit when the deciding blow lands, then applauds politely before looking toward the duke and the princess.

With his eyes mostly locked onto the duel for the entirety of the time the two Champions were battling, Cristoph finally lifts his hands together at the end of match and claps when Haakon bests Drake. He rises to his feet, clapping. "Well fought, Lord Haakon! And Lord Drake, thank you for championing my side tonight." With words paid to the pair of men, he turns in Zara's direction and offers a quick bow at the waist. "Princess Zara! I apologize for suggesting you overused bee puns. May you forever feel free to send endless amounts of them to my house whenever you feel the urge. I might even laugh." Maybe. Possibly.

"I bee-lieve that I have at least caught the exciting part," Sorrel admits, then claps for the two competitors. "Good show, Lord Drake! Good show, Lord Haakon! I am bee-side myself with delight that the bee puns never end!"

"He's not going to laugh," Korka asides to those nearby.

Haakon snorts, "Nay, drinks are on my silver," he corrects Drake on the latter point. His sword is raised to the Laurent Duke, then raised again to Zara, with a short bow added to the gesture.

Drake looks to Cristoph, with a nod. "Ah, that's right, Haakon, you did say winner. At least there's that." Then he looks at Korka, returning her scarf, sheepishly. "I think it's official. Two for two, this hasn't helped. But maybe that was your plan all along."

Patrizio applauds from where he's seated, the touch of a smile finding his features as the combat is ended, and the matter is apparently resolved without loss of life. But an amused shake of his head conveys all that need be said about the victory for humor.

When the spar comes to an end, Zara rises, removing her gloves -very briefly- for a more impactful applause for the two duelists. "You fought well, both of you. That was a sweet showing!" There's the faintest flicker of an almost-smile there. "Thank you, Duke Cristoph. For beeing a wonderful sport." She dips her head.

Macda smiles a little as she stands from the bench and she moves on out of the duel her eyes dancing. "this was a wounderous buzzing night."

Macda has left the Western Benches.

1 Grayson House Guards, Thistleton, an elderly and devoted manservant leave, following Macda.

Norah is overheard praising Haakon.

Ryhalt looks delighted that the match has gone in favor of bee puns and claps loudly.

Norah is overheard praising Drake.

Caprice has left the a small cherrywood picnic table.

Korka winks at Drake and takes the sash, wrapping it around her hand a moment, "It's no fun raising the spirits of a winner, Lord Drake. Perhaps one of these days I can help you with your swordplay before a duel to give you a bit of an advantage."

Laurene, a military adjutant arrives, delivering a message to Cristoph before departing.

Smiling, Caprice joins in with the general applause too before quietly moving to depart.

Alis hands a message off to her assistant before standing from her seat to clap for both of the Champions. "Congratulations, Zara." she murmurs, lips quirking slightly. "Now you can plot dozens of bee jokes in advance."

Laurene hands Cristoph a piece of paper and he looks up from it to stare across the grounds at Alis and calls out, "I'm right here! Or do you want to slip another dagger into my things again? Are you distracting me?" What? Honestly.

Orelia has left the Western Benches.

Orelia gets up off the bench now that the fight is over and makes her way to the ring to talk to Drake.

"That defeat must sting," Monique murmurs, finding her way towards Princess Zara, a congratulatory smile on her lips. "Well done, Your Highness. Will you be going to celebrate after this?" she asks of the Valardin royal, dipping a curtsey and extending it to Cristoph as well.

Drake looks at Orelia, and nods to her. "...Still feel all right backing me? I think winter's making me a little soft. That or... well. My training isn't really finished." He offers her a hand. "Good thing I have a good teacher. Do you want to get a drink?"

2 Eswynd shieldbearers have been dismissed.

Alis widens her eyes with near comical innocence. "Who me? I have no idea what you mean. Distract you from what?" She'd bat her eyelashes to underscore her completely inauthentic lack of knowledge, but really she can't ever pull that off. "I can't believe you didn't see the dagger, though. Honestly. Who doesn't notice a messenger giving them a dagger?" With a snort, she beckons Sir Rhys and nudges him into helping Kat up once she decides to go inside. "I have a trip to the market to make. Be back soon!" Bye.

Niklas pushes himself to his feet and claps his hands together. "BEES!" Then he heads toward the exit.

Niklas has left the Western Benches.

Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise, Isabelle, who is just so tired of everyone's nonsense, Roland, the worst bard in Arvum leave, following Niklas.

There's an approving glance given to Monique at the added pun. "I'm glad it's swarming through the ward." She glances around. "Hmm, I might do. Though truth be told, this has made me want to cuddle up indoors, much like my poor cousin here." She gestures to the bundle of fabric that is Katarina.

Orelia grins to Drake. "Hell yeah, I do. Then after we can talk about getting some regular training sessions going."

Katarina might look over toward the gesture. It's really difficult to tell.

Alis has left the Eastern Benches.

Sir Rhys, a Valardin Knight, Laurene, a military adjutant, 6 Valardin Knights leave, following Alis.

Drake is overheard praising Haakon.

Drake is overheard praising Zara.

Drake is overheard praising Cristoph.

Ryhalt has left the Eastern Benches.

Medeia is overheard praising Zara: 5

"I was clearly distracted," Cristoph says to Alis when she comments that he didn't notice a messenger handing him a dagger. "I can't be expected to remember everything. I'm getting old. Senile, practically. As people begin to mill out, he lifts a hand and gives a little wave to this or that person. He dips his head in the Greenmarcher's direction. "Lady Monique, good to see you out."

Medeia is overheard praising Drake.

Medeia is overheard praising Cristoph.

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