We are the Knights that say Ni!

Malcolm

The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.
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Elyna
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47 Ashan 716
Elyna had almost forgotten about her arranged meeting with Malcolm that evening, so she was surprised by the knock on her door during a break for mid day meal. The young messenger presented her with a note and she gave him a copper nel for his trouble, sending him on his way after she’d messed with an unruly shock of dark hair. Embarrassment that she had almost missed appointment quickly gave way to excitement. The captain explained in his missive that he could no longer attend their training, as he was patrolling. Her heart skipped with excitement as she read his invitation to join. She didn’t pause to second guess the meaning behind, or if it was a genuine or merely polite gesture. She intended to cease the opportunity with both hands. The note was left in the dust on the floor as she sprinted back to her bedroom, changed into longer boots, collected her jerkin, a pair of leather clothes, a small purse of coin and sprinted out of her home to the stables.

The mistress, Ruth almost laughed at her breathless request to rent a horse. But Elyna took her time once the rental fee was paid to acquaint herself with the animal. Brushing the tall bay she moved her fingers over the fur, inhaling the scent of horse and hay. She loved it. The Bay, Ember was quiet enough but kept a watchful eye on her as she prepared and saddled up. She led the horse to the school before mounting, checking her seat and riding for a few moments. Satisfied that she and Ember would get along Elyna dismounted once more and led the horse through the busy streets, her sword strapped to her side. She was still fizzing with excitement and struggled to tamp it down so she didn’t spoke her new companion.

But the smile as she approached the Eastern gate to the city was hard to contain. She mounted up again, swinging her leg over with an ‘omph’ Ember was a bit taller than she was used to, and it had been a long way up and effort too. Settled she straightened, pulled on her gloves and took a firm grip of the reins as the rest of the patrol arrived. She twisted as she sat, waiting. Birds were singing, the day was cooling. She could smell trees and grass and felt the wind pulling playfully at her hair
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Malcolm
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Malcolm had recently purchased a young gelding, nothing special, just an animal he hoped to train up in order to get him where he needed to go. The chestnut was a fiery red colour with a white blaze and four white socks. He galloped the horse up the road towards the eastern gate and brought the animal to a stop just beyond the drawbridge by pulling on his reins firmly. The gelding raked the earth with shod hoof and snorted, ready and willing to gallop through the countryside, standing a test of his patience, of which he currently demonstrated very little. Malcolm sat atop the saddle in full knight regalia, arms and hands dressed in black leather, wearing dark pants, polished boots, and three, small golden swords etched into the metal of his silver chest plate.
Dark green eyes roved over the group, finding Elyna quickly. The hint of a smile forced his lips briefly to defy him, and in a stern tone of voice he addressed his patrol group. "Simon, Peter, Benjamin, Ronald, take the south road to the docks, Kathryn, Nathan, Elyna, you're with me."
"Ser," the first four replied collectively before departing, headed south for the bay.

Malcolm gestured for Kathryn and Nathan to go on ahead along the east road and did his best to turn his wayward mount around without making a complete fool of himself. The gelding shook his head and skipped forwards unexpectedly, almost running into the backend of Nathan's horse. With gloved hand he gripped the reins tightly and urged the horse to slow, allowing Elyna the opportunity to catch up. "I suppose you're used to being up there," he lifted his chin and pointed his gaze skyward before fixing it on the woman. His horse yawned and shook our his mane again. "You're a lot braver than I am," he smirked, though his words seemed genuine enough.
Last edited by Malcolm on Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 328
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Elyna
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It was hard to the clattering arrival of a squad on patrol and Elyna sat up straight in the saddle, Ember shifted her feet beneath, sensing excitement. But she tried to keep her hands low on the pommel, not pulling back but keeping contact with the horse’s mouth. With her expression back under control she offered a brief, polite smile to the Captain as he gave out the orders. Nodding to each of the other Knights as the passed with the occasional look. Skyriders turning up wasn’t unusual, but she’d never this group before. A few weeks before she’d acted badly during an assignment and she desperately wanted to retrieve some good standing in Malcolm’s opinion. Although, she reasoned, he couldn’t think too badly of her because he had invited her and had agreed to regular sparring practise. Maybe she’d not written herself off as a total failure.

She was relieved when she was assigned to his group and happy to settle into step alongside his gelding. When the animal started forward it was all she could do to stop Ember going with him. She spun the horse in a tight circle, almost topping off herself and hurried to right herself as Ember came to an abrupt stop, her nose pressed against Elyna’s boot tip. Elyna let out the breath she’d caught and turned the horse back, nudging her into a controlled trot until she caught up with Malcolm once more. If he wasn’t going to mention the unpredictable, sometimes insane temperament of horses, she wasn’t going to either.

Instead she let out a soft laugh as she looked skyward, still keeping a steady hand with Ember, “I like the freedom,” she replied, “nothing but the wind and air, the beat of wings,” and the own frantic heartbeat in her own chest. She didn’t think she’d ever lose the first frission of fear when first taking off. It was after a few minutes though that the fear would fade and she’d really start to enjoy herself.

“Everyone has something…” and not many people enjoyed the thought of being so far above the rest of the world, a rueful smile coaxed the corners of her mouth and cheeks, “I’d rather have an axe coming at my face than have to handle a snake,” she shuddered and started scanning their environment more closely.

“Are we searching for anything in particular, Ser?”
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"Nay, skyrider," he teased, "Us ground dwellers patrol these roads often to put off ruffians and the sort, we stop caravans for inspection, talk to any groups numbering more than two, and check in on a couple of distant farm houses for updates on any strange activity. Down at the docks my team will be opening up crates, asking for shipping licenses, and trying to weed out any smuggling rings, probably a bit more dangerous than our route this afternoon, but I didn't think you would be interested in that kind of thing."

Malcolm knew the Skyriders were used to longer trips over villages and farmlands, seldom setting down unless they absolutely had to. Volareon were an illegally hunted creature, and so their rider's didn't often risk their capture, sticking to the clouds to fly over known problematic areas or scan the coasts. He wasn't trying to imply that knights did any more or less, but it was a little harder to escape trouble if they happened to run in to any.
Up ahead, Nathan and Kathryn had just finished talking to a wagon driver and lifted the cover to reveal a load of barrels headed for the capital, all marked with different wine stamps. Malcolm watched as Kathryn handed back the man's papers while Nathan left his horse for a time to open two or three barrels at random in order to check that they contained what the driver had promised. Satisfied that the wagon driver wasn't smuggling a group of criminals into the city, he was let on his way to make the last of his journey in peace, no doubt until he got to the gates where he would be more thoroughly searched there.
The Captain could feel his horse chomping at the bit and scanned the road ahead to see whether or not it was clear, and satisfied that there was enough of a stretch where they were unlikely to run into anything, he turned to Elyna and pointed forwards to a landmark in the distance, a fallen tree that looked as if it had been that way for some time, "Come on," he encouraged, "let's see what you're made of, skyrider. First to the tree chooses which way we go at the fork in the road," Malcolm grinned and switched up his hold on the reins, giving the gelding a little slack before he urged him on and leaned forwards in order to adjust to the speed of the horse's canter that progressed quickly into a gallop which was a lot more comfortable and twice the fun.
Last edited by Malcolm on Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 449
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Elyna
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Elyna nodded, “I remember my first journey to the city, we must have been stopped half a dozen times,” she smiled at the memory. She’d been a child of about four or five years old and the site of Andaris and all its walls rising up from the landscape was ingrained in her memory. She was truly a daughter of Burhan and the wilderness, and yet, she had fallen in love with the snapping flags and the endless call of voices, the hustle and bustle and the thousands of smells. She made a promise to herself, even so young, that she would spend a portion of her life as a city dweller, learning it’s secrets. Disappointed to hear Malcolm thought she might be disinterested in work at the docks she shook her head, “I’m willing to learn whatever is taught,” she spoke with feeling. Who know how long this opportunity would last?

The Skyrider watched the routine check of the wagon, nodding to the driver as they passed. She lent forward, surveying the ground that Malcolm suggested they raced over and nodded, holding back her grin, “I hope that’re your not too disappointed,” she called as she clicked, spurring Ember on. Unlike the Captain, she held the horse in a canter for longer. It wasn’t that she disliked riding, or flying as fast as she could, but it had been a long time since she’d ridden anything so close to the ground. She was cautiously aware that if she fell off, it would hurt, it would hurt a lot. Flying was different, if you fell for some reason, you could be saved or if you did hit the ground – the chances were it wouldn’t hurt, or you would never know about it. As Malcolm surged ahead though she let go and let Ember stretch out. She gripped tightly with her legs and held onto the pommel. After the first few strides some of her fear dissolved and she lent low over the horse’s neck. This was more like it. Her competitive nature rose with the adrenaline in her blood.

Reaching the tree she circled the bay in an arch to slow her eventually to a walk. Stoking the warm neck she stood up on the stirrups. It was then that a flutter of red in the distance caught her attention. She tilted her head, trying to work out what it was and motioned to Malcolm, “is that…a flag?” or was it a piece of clothing? Cautiously she nudged Ember down towards the left path. The melting ice had left the side fork muddy and trees came up on either side, closing it in. She glanced back at the Captain, but then Ember, as horses do, spooked. Jolting forward. Cursing Elyna wrested with the reins and tried to pull her back into a circle but she bucked and bolted. Stirrups lost, Elyna gripped on as hard as she could, breathless and heart-pounding before she managed to bring the horse back under control. Circling she fought to fill her lungs with air again the horse dancing beneath her. She twisted, looking back down the path they’d raced. They were lucky not to have slipped in the mud or fallen on their mad descent downhill.

It was then the arrow whistled past her face and she shouted in surprise. Luckily it made Ember dance forward as the second arrow flashed past. ELyna ducked, drawing her sword as best she could and turned, trying to retreat. It was then that three shapes emerged from the trees themselves, trying to lock her escape.
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Malcolm
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The galloping gelding tore up earth and grass, both kicked out behind him as he stormed towards the tree. By the time Malcolm managed to slow the animal and bring him to the standstill, Elyna had already caught up to him and quickly inquired about something in the distance. Malcolm twisted his upper body on the saddle, squinting in order to try and spot what the woman was pointing out when an arrow whipped by them, swiftly followed by a second, "Shields!" Malcolm's voice boomed and the swift approaching sound of their fellow riders echoed from behind them.

Quick thinking had saved his life before and it seemed this time would be no different as an arrow collided with the face of his shield and bounced aside, grazing the top of his right shoulder; something that could have been a lot worse. When the three bowmen stepped out from the undergrowth and the safety of the trees, instead of retreating, Malcolm urged his mount forwards, boots knocked against the animal's sides in order to see him charge. The gelding sprung forwards and raced towards the trio.
Finding it more appropriate to hold up his shield and stay on the horse at the time, Malcolm had failed to draw his long-sword and so was forced to raise his right leg to deliver a high speed kick to one of the troublemakers. His victim toppled over comically and rolled aside in order to take shelter behind a tree while the other two had managed to dive out of the way of the charging horse just in time to avoid being trampled.
Malcolm's shield protected him from another wave of arrows, while his horse had suffered a blow to his right front shoulder and rose up, kicking his front legs out wildly and throwing the knight onto his back against the damp earth. Winded, it took Malcolm a moment to gathered his senses, hidden in the long vegetation, though it would not provide cover for long, he rolled onto his belly, lifted the shield out in front of him and took a throwing dagger from his belt. Aiming for the broader of the three targets, he threw the blade, a miss drawing all three bandits to his current location, and without a horse to make a quick escape on, Malcolm found himself reliant on the backup of his team or the Skyrider's plan of attack.
Last edited by Malcolm on Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 415
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Elyna
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Elyna managed to bring Ember back around in time to see Malcolm falling. She paused long enough to survey the situation and swore under her breath. She didn’t have a shield and she didn’t have anything ranged. She spun her sword quickly in her hand, an old habit that helped her think. How many times had try tried to coax her out of it, she didn’t know, it hadn’t worked and the habit remained. The three bandits, or bowmen whatever they were, were going for Malcolm. She could see the other riders hammering towards them. At least the two that had been close by. There wasn’t time for them to arrive and to guarantee that Malcolm wouldn’t get hurt. She nudged Ember on, riding as he had directly for the group, sending two scattering before she circled quickly to trample through towards the bowman taking shots from behind his tree. She bore down on him, and as he turned to run, managed to clip him at the base of the neck with the flat of her blade. He dropped like a stone to the greenery beneath and breathless she urged the horse through the thicker grass back to the Captain. Making it back before the other two on foot she twisted again, setting herself up on his left flank. She remember, dimly, that he’d had trouble with his arm, or had it been his shoulder?

With any luck he’d had time to rest it, but if she could help defend his flank she would. She swallowed as the two attackers approached again, Elyna grimaced and spun her sword once more, changing it to her left hand. As the taller of them three approached, a thin man with even thinner blonde hair, he pulled out a knife. She swung at him, more than anything, trying to keep him at a distance. He managed to step inside her wild swing and she earnt a knife cut horizontal along her calf before he back away a step and regather himself. Sweat beaded at the base of her neck.

It was then she heard noise behind them, two more mercenary’s approached from the rear.

“Malcolm,” she grimaced, “we’ve got company…”
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Elyna had afforded him time to stand and Malcolm raised his shield to pass to her, he could take a hit, he had ways... in dealing with such. Shield abandoned to the woman, he turned to face the pair headed for them, leaving Elyna to make sure that the man she had taken down didn't get back up again. A long waxy curl of hair fell in front of his left eye as he bared his teeth at their attackers, his canines both naturally sharper and more defined than the rest, seemed to make him appear almost animalistic.
The captain drew a blade from his belt before taking a second in his left hand. With the pair drawing ever closer, Malcolm heaved the first of the blades forwards, striking the first man, the thinner and therefore faster of the two, in his right shoulder. Not bad, Malcolm would later have time to think, even if he had been aiming for the face or throat. He dove at the man, empty hand once again filled with the blade he had moments ago abandoned, and roared as he slammed the blade into the man's neck, and the other into the soft socket of his left eye.
A loud scream from the bandit announced his impending doom, causing his once brave partner to slow before he came to a brief stop, turned on his heels and ran in the other direction. A plan short lived as Kathryn thundered by on horseback, and with a stab of her sword, sent the man to his knees. Nathan would ride on to catch up with Malcolm's mount and the captain himself would once again get to his feet and see to another man's end. With his long-sword it took three mighty hacks to sever head from neck, and with blade and hands painted with blood, he looked around to see if everyone was all right.
Malcolm wiped his gloved hands against his chest plate and had Kathryn remove his gloves and hold his sword while he caught his breath.
"You didn't want to keep him alive for questioning?" Kathryn sounded surprised, it wasn't like Malcolm to act without thought.
"Let's see what their gear can tell us," was his reply, one Kathryn could work with.
"You're hurt," his voice was lowered as he spoke to Elyna and helped her sit down so that he could take a closer look at her leg.

There was little he could do for the woman out on the field but remove his armour and slip out of his long-sleeved, leather tabard, one all captains were presented with, decorated with the image of the Jacadon, the Kingdom's symbol. He took off his white linen shirt then, leaving his chest bare. Malcolm did not resemble a chiselled statue beneath his clothes, but had the torso of a man one could tell was hard working, and slim. His muscles did not bulge or ripple, but he was broad, at the shoulder and had a lean waist. A light smattering of hair across his chest drew a line to a tapered point just above his midsection only to start again below his bellybutton. There was a cut on his right shoulder about an inch long, but the leather of his tabard had prevented his attacker's blade from slicing too deep, leaving his shirt clean.
Malcolm folded the shirt before wrapping it tightly about Elyna's leg, knotting it once he had reached the cuffs. "That shouldn't go anywhere," he told her, feeling incredibly guilty that he had offered for the Skyrider to join them and at the same time relieved, wondering what might have become of him if she hadn't been here.
Last edited by Malcolm on Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 640
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Malcolm pushed his shield into her hands and who was she to refuse. She nudged Ember forward, circling the man on the ground as the captain leapt forward, dispatching their attacker. The gurgling sound and then the sound of the man’s death was something she knew she would never forget. As she circled the more determined archer she realised, too late that she’d perhaps hit him too hard in the heat of the moment. He wouldn’t be getting back up again. She turned back in time to watch the cavalry arrived and concentrated on Ember again, calming the horse. She wasn’t a horse trained for combat, and Elyna wondered if this was going to be something more regular, it would be worth investing. She stroked the sweat-streaked fur, feeling the pulse beating beneath as she murmured soft words of praise. She liked this horse though. The bay was sweet enough.

Malcolm approached like a long lost warrior for the first shields, bloody. She passed him back his shield and nodded, funny how his mention of her wound bought it back. In the skirmish she’d managed to block it out, ignoring it. But as she swung her leg over and dismounted, she stumbled as pain coursed up her shin. She accepted his help to sit and stretched both legs out, wriggling her toes in her boots before she bent the leg, wincing again. Pulling back the split wool of her breaches she could examine the cut. It wasn’t deep, but it ran from her knee most of the way down the side of her leg, and it was bleeding. Her stomach rolled and she looked up quickly at the sky.

Flexing her fingers she let Malcolm work and eventually looked back at him, blinking as she realised the extent of his generosity, “thank you,” she reached forward toward his “you’re hurt,” her eyes fixed on the thin line of crimson and her fingertips brushed the skin beneath before she snatched her hand back, dropping it to the ground.

“I’ll swing by Levinia on the way home, my healer friend, with the white hair?” she smiled quietly, it really wasn’t deep or serious, she hoped. It was just bleeding far more than it had any right to. Her stomach twisted again and she saw little flecks of grey dancing at the sider of her vision. She bit the inside of her cheek quickly, the sharp sensation pushed any of the wooziness away, “I always try and visit her for anything that comes up,” strictly speaking she probably saw her friend when she didn’t need to, but Levina didn’t have a noble family to fall back on if times were ever hard, and Elyna doubted her friend would accept any form of charity, not that she’d ever needed to, but if there was a chance to pay her friends for her services or supplies, she would take it. Besides, it would do anyone any good to know she wasn’t a fan of blood.
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Levinia, the man had heard that name before, Elyna’s mention of the young doctor’s white hair quickly sparking his memory, “Ah yes,” he nodded and helped the woman to her feet and back up onto the horse if she so wished.

At the mention of the scratch on his shoulder, Malcolm only smiled, a soft, warm gesture. “Tis but a scrape,” he told her and folded his tabard before pulling the chest plate over his left arm to fix against his body, the embrace of cold metal against his skin causing it to tighten.

Nathan soon returned with the man’s horse, the gelding, wide-eyed and nervous, jumped back from his rider as Malcolm reached to take the reins. He cooed gently to the beast and managed to bring him under control. The captain tucked his folded tabard within the saddle bag and put his left foot in the stirrup, shortening the reins in order to jump up into the saddle without too much difficulty. He pulled on one of the leather straps and brought the horse around to face the dead men and watched Kathryn go through their belongings.
“I don’t see anything implicating any kind of group they might belong to, Ser.”
“Maker marks on weapons?” Malcolm asked.
“Not on any of the blades, and the bows look handmade, Lord.”
“Hmm,” the man hummed, “any documents?”
“Only empty pockets.”
“Take the weapons and arrows, the squires can always use more training instruments.”
“Yes, Ser.”

As they headed back to the city walls, Malcolm made sure all of his weapons were accounted for before urging his horse on to catch up with the bay, and more specifically, Elyna. “Don’t worry about washing the shirt,” he told her, “I’ll take it from you at our next scheduled training session. Three days!” He voiced with a laugh before charging ahead.
Last edited by Malcolm on Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 323
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