Teveriel (prime)/At the Lists Pt. 2

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Lady Anduin took her place overlooking the tiltyard below just as the trumpets were sounding their bright fanfare, summoning the appointed jousters to take their places at the lists. The midday sun was shining brightly, glinting pale gold off of the polished armor and newly-appointed barding of her lord husband and his charger. Matching the tabard and shield he carried, streamers of crimson and gold fluttered from Lord Anduin's lance, held upright so that it pointed towards the sun and gave the wyvern adorning its pennant the appearance of flight.

Uniana drew in a steadying breath as his opponent trotted his mount forward from the opposite gate, brushing back a stray ringlet that had loosened itself from her eahnor haircomb in her haste to witness the match. Astride an immaculate silver-grey courser and outfitted with a slit-visored greathelm, the pearl-enameled full plate all bedecked with azure gemstones and violet tabard, she knew that this was the Loenthran 'Knight of Sapphires' of whom Teveriel had spoken, the one he regarded as the ultimate test of his ability with mount and lance.

The din all around her was almost overwhelming, the shouts of the crowd all but drowning out the last few blasts of the trumpets as their music came to a close. The herald called for silence, both riders exuding confidence as each stared down the lists at the other. But Uniana's eyes were for Teveriel alone, and her heart swelled when he turned his helmed head in her direction searchingly, almost as if he could sense them upon him. Bathron, the charger he had chosen for himself, whinnied and pawed at the loosened dirt with his front hoof as if to signal his impatience as the rules were recited.

"The knights shall run five courses, no more. During each of these five courses if one knight should hit the other, splintering his lance and the knight upon whom that lance splintered did not break their own lance by striking their opponent, two points shall be awarded to the knight who broke their lance," the herald declared with affected enthusiasm. "Should both knights make contact with their opponent, then the course shall be called a draw with one point awarded to each knight. Furthermore, if one knight should be unhorsed by lance and the other remains in the saddle, the fallen knight shall be regarded as vanquished."

With a nod of finality the herald refurled his scroll and withdrew to his station overseeing the field alongside the maiden chosen to signal the beginning of the day's matches. Leaning over the railing in full sight of both jousters, she let fall her vivid orange scarf. As soon as the length of organdy touched the grass the riders spurred their chargers as one, their long spears lowered and placed into the rests of their saddles. Thick clouds of dust shrouded their forms as they sped to a thundering gallop, their bright accoutrements providing the sole guidance for Uniana's eyes to follow as the massive steeds bore their riders forth.

She bit her lip, her fingers clutching the lion pendant she wore at her throat anxiously. The dust clouds dispersed, both riders emerging from them near the midway point where they met with a great clash of spears against shields, both of them scoring glancing strikes that rolled off of their heaters. *One point to each,* she recalled. Her eyes fell shut as she released a sigh of quiet relief, letting her hand fall to the gold dupioni skirts of her bliaut. Refocusing her attention on the lists she saw that the two were slowing their horses circle back for the second pass.

Teveriel dashed his spurs into Bathron's flanks and the beast lowered its head as it charged forward. The Loenthran's lance shattered as it struck Teveriel's shield squarely, throwing him off balance and sending his own blow wide. Lady Anduin gasped, rising onto her tortile eahnor heels in surprise and worry. Her Lord was reeling in his saddle but he held fast, circling once more as his opponent retrieved a replacement arm. She pursed her lips grimly, remembering with disappointment that this put the Loenthran knight two points ahead, three to Teveriel's one.

The two horses beat a staccato rhythm over the tiltyard grounds, speeding for one another once again. Both riders couched their lances, leaning forward as they braced for impact. Poised for the center of the Sapphire Knight's shield, Teveriel let out a bellowing war cry, angling his lancepoint upward at the last moment before collision. There was an ugly clash of wood on metal and a surprised shout as the lance caught the Loenthran in the joint just below his left pauldron, wrenching him from his saddle and sending him sprawling in the dust.

The herald was a blur of excitement as he leapt from his perch, crowing Lord Anduin and the Dragon's victory for the match as a retinue of squires helped the Loenthran to his feet. Uniana's hands came together in pride as Teveriel rode his victory lap, drawing in a deep breath that swelled her breast and letting it out in a heartfelt cheer when he passed below where she was seated. "Brave showing, my champion! Well fought!" She watched as he was ushered back into the plum tent reserved for the Dragons and began making her own way there with her spirits lifted. Her first experience at Rumor Woods was proving to be a magical one.