Sunday, April 24th
The 2nd Challenge: Test of Metal (Fencing)
There is a tang of excitement in the air as the ladies and the Queen find their seats and choose drinks that suit their natures. The gathered lords and ladies make wagers and comments on the upcoming Corps-à-corps in this test of martial skill.
The large Norseman and the Dwarven king are drawn for the the first match, a pairing that inspires the Lady Jaki to comment, “the Prince Zarg has quite the height advantage but what is that saying now? The bigger they are, the harder they fall..” In the end though, the blond Barbarian took the match.
Prince Kelmor and the Bard Gage are the next pair to exchange blades. Prince Kelmor steps forward, clearly familiar with a blade and how to handle it, meanwhile the Bard’s weapon is rather unique, a rose made of steel. Princess Ivy noted that when asked yesterday what type of flower the Queen might be compared to, Ser Gage did choose a rare heirloom rose. It seemed to her that he may have had his weapon fashioned especially for this event as a result.
As the matches continue, and Prince Kelmor’s skill at the blade becomes apparent as he triumphs over one suitor after the other, the Lords and Ladies watched and made small wagers. Qυεεŋ Coмεŧ takes a wine goblet from the tray offered to her, observing “I try never to be sober for such occasions. It dampens the spirits.” Her ladies are happy to join her in the pursuit, except for Lady Malada, the Queen’s physician who offers to salve and bandage the wounds of the combatants, and conduct her own inspections of their forms.
The fencing matches continue as each suitor is pitted against his fellow suitors, but a second subtle competition for the ladies’ favors is still being played out. First the Bard steps before the Queen, his shirt open to display a very fine chest, and then Prince Vindonus appears for his next bout shirtless, drawing the attention of the ladies. His bare chest is very much to their liking, so much so that the Queen had to rein them in with a sharp “Ladies please!”
Prince Kelmor steps forward, “This seems to be the deciding fight. Only right we make it a fight to remember. So….” He casts off his cloak and unbuttons his tunic, holding them over his arm, before handing them off to the Lady Jaki, and proceeds to emerge from his last bout, victorious and undefeated. The Queen’s guard Pelinor announces “Well fought all…. we shall see whom the Ladies favor. Prince Miliandrovic has taken the day with skill at arms.” Lady Acacia quickly counts the suitors favors for the event, telling all that “this evening it seems the darker haired ones took the ladies favor, for the Bard and the dark haired Prince tied.”
The event over, people began to make their preparations to leave. With a bow towards the Queen, Prince Kelmor comments, “As defeat was tasted at the end of my blade this day, so too shall the Dark Prince taste the same.”
As the Queen prepares to depart, she comments, “I look forward to the next challenge!!”
The ladies nod in agreement, wondering what the suitors will bring for the gifts of gratitude, as the would-be suitors will be presenting the Queen with gifts and explaining why they believe their gifts to be of value.