A Superior Oppenent

In which Haft is impressed

Practice Grounds
You find yourself on a pretty, grassy lawn that runs along the north side of
Cair Paravel’s main tower. Most of it has been trampled quite a bit by feet
and hooves of various sizes, as it’s been used as a training field for Cair
Paravel’s resident knights. There are a number of flagstone paths, though,
that run around the perimeter toward some outbuildings. There is a stable to
the north, a wide, stocky watchtower to the northeast, and to the distant east
at the end of the peninsula, the naval pier is being constructed. You can see
the ocean beyond, stretching out in its twinkly blueness toward the horizon.
There isn’t much of a beach that you can detect from here, though.

A door in the north tower leads back into the castle.
You can go: Enter the Tower Yard <NE>, Toward the Stable <N>, Enter the North
Tower <W>

Haft is practicing in the yard,,sword in hand, facing off against a centaur. He’s doing pretty well considering the creature’s height advantage, but plainly some agreement has been made to keep hooves out of the fighting.

Chlamash enters the training ground, nodding to those whom he encounters and who looks his way. He notices the archenlandish guard fighting and he finds a place out of the way to watch.

Neither opponent looks especially winded yet, a sign that the spar’s pretty newly begun. Taking the initiative before his larger opponent can turn size and stamina against him, Haft finds an opening and deftly twists the centaur’s weapon from his hand.

Chlamash strokes his chin thoughtfully, his eyebrows raise however when the guardsman twists the weapon out of his opponants hand.

The centaur yields and Haft leans on the sword for a moment, conversing and ending on a laugh. He then steps away so the centaur–scarcely tired–can soar with another being. Haft inadvertently ends up standing near Chlamash.

Chlamash says, “Masterfully done, Guardsman.” Chlamash offers, softly standing to his feet.”

Haft turns to Chlamash, frowning. He bows and offers a grudging “Thank you.”

Chlamash nods and bows as well. “You must has some familiarity with this land.”

Haft’s brow furrows. “Because I can fight? Fraid I don’t follow.”

Chlamash says, “No. Often when one is familiar with his opponant, his strenths and weaknesses, he maybe able to exploit them, and defeat him.”

You say, “Oh. Yeah. I’ve fought a few centaurs in my day. Formidable opponents. Not much a man can do except get in fast. Maybe with a spear for the reach.”

Chlamash nods, “Formidable indeed.”

Haft raises a brow. “Was one of them took you down in the battle?”

Chlamash laughs. “Nay. One exchanged blows with me during the battle, but twas the Narnian’s King whom I surrendered to.”

You ask, “What happened to the centaur?”

Chlamash says, “I know not. The press of the battle separated us, perhaps twas he who fought against the Prince.”

Haft shakes his head. “That was King Edmund who fought Rabadash at the end. Sounds like he had a busy day, accepting your surrender too.”

Chlamash says, “An admirable opponant.”

Chlamash says, “But Twas folly of a foolish prince to go against Narnia and her allies. But so I have heard the gods have punished him, his form now bears the likeness of his attitudes.”

Haft scowls. “Any opponent would look admirable compared to a company that would attack without a declaration of war.”

Chlamash finds himself frowning, “Guardsman, I trust in your esteemed position you understand and follow the chain of command. /So did I./

Haft folds his arms. “You may trust, Tarkaan, that your excuse doesn’t move me.”

Chlamash says, “I have trusted that nothing I say may move you, Guardsman. Not loss of loved ones dear, nor home nor position.” Still I have endeavored to give no offense to Lord Peridan, nor his guards not nor his guests. ”

Haft snorts, turning from the man to regard the combatants. “I’d imagine not.”

Chlamash folds his arms, “And what do you want from me, Guardsman? Repentence? Penance? My fellow countrymen who came north with the Prince are dead or captive. The Prince is an donkey, or so I hear.”

“You?” Haft asks with a mixture of contempt and amazement. “From you I want nothing.”

Chlamash says, “And I expect it would make you happy. Good day, Guardsman. A pleasent rest of the day to you.” He turns to leave, nodding politely, to those he encouters on his way.”

Haft grunts in response, sketching a bow. “Tarkaan Chlamash.”

A formidable-looking Badger calls out after Chlamash. “Leaving so soon, Tarkaan? We thought you was gonna maybe challenge one of us.”

A Stag breaks from practice and tosses his head in agreement. “They say you fought well against Commander Peridan in a spar awhile back.”

Chlamash hesitates and turns back around, “Most worthy, badger, worthy Narnians. It would indeed be an honor.”

Haft frowns, glancing past Chlamash to his guard. “Is that permissible?”

The Tiger guard behind Chlamash nods rumbling, “Only with pratice weapons as such as when he sparred before.”

Haft grimaces.

A Squirrel page who has stopped to listen says, “Who shall he fight? Ooh! Let him fight the Archenlander! It’s so FUNNY when Men fight.”

Haft looks at the Squirrel in some disgust, but doesn’t immediately reject the idea. He turns to Chlamash. “Who won the spar, you or the Commander?”

The Squirrel speaks, “It was him, it was him. But the commander was very gracious about it. They seemed to be on quite friendly terms afterwards.”

Haft frowns, addressing Chlamash. “Is the Commander good?”

The Badger speaks up again, indignantly. “He’s very good.”

Haft eyes Chlamash appraisingly. “All right. I’m game if it’s not beneath you.”

Chlamash lips turn up at the side as if wanting to be amused, but not really humored by Haft’s comment. “Very Well. I accept.”

Haft turns and takes up the practice sword he had laid aside as a Dog trots up with a second weapon in his mouth, offering it to Chlamash.Chlamash takes the blade in his hands, nodding his thanks to the dog. “And the terms?”

Haft narrows his eyes. “Fight till disarming or a kill stroke.”

Haft takes his stance opposite Chlamash. Any heat from their previous discussion has vanished, as he dispassionately assesses his opponent.

Chlamash sets his stance as well, sizing up his opponant. His strikes outward, feeling out his opponent’s defenses.

Haft is surprised as the first blow manages to sting, but reacts with cool competence.

The corner of Chlamash’s lip curls downward, and he steps outwards toward the side swinging towards the side. For the most part he seems unconcerned by Haft’s blow, but there is a sense of knowing in his eyes.

Haft moves to block the motion, not entirely successfully, and answers with a move of his own.

Chlamash twists off Haft’s blade, and with some excellent footwork dodges and aims a swipe at Haft’s feet.

Haft fails to avoid the blow, taking a sharp rap to his left shin.

The two men continue to circle each other. Haft defends himself ably, but a couple of misjudgements leave him vulnerable to Chlamash’s attacks and the Calormene slips his sword under Haft’s guard to land a blow to the chest.

Haft steps back, sword still in a defensive position as though he isn’t sure whether the Tarkaan will honor the terms.

Chlamash withdraws his blade and steps away, lowing the practice blade. He bows to Haft.

Haft lowers his blade as well, bowing in turn. The dislike has returned to his face, but there’s a grudging respect there too. “I shall have to see King Edmund fight someday,” he remarks.

The Stag tosses his antlers in approval at the fight.

Chlamash sees the open dislike on the man’s face, but makes no reaction, instead nodding and “His Majesty is a very great Warrior.”

You ask, “So it would seem. Were you fighting on horseback?”

Chlamash nods.

Haft grunts. “Not my area, that.” He looks around at the assorted soldiers and pages. “Well,” he says crossly, “Have we provided adequate entertainment for you?”

The Squirrel does a somersault in affirmation, and the Badger offers a quiet, “Nice match. Maybe you’ll humor us again sometime.”

Chlamash lips quirk upwards as Haft glances around the to gathered company, but it vanishes quickly. He bows to the assorted company and then to Haft. “Well fought” He says before turning and heading back towards the castle.

Haft purses his lips as he watches the man’s back.

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