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Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:47 pm
Silvano thought that perhaps standing and watching on the sidelines was not good enough for the King of the Court. Before the contest started, the man had gone early to the stables and saddled his colt, happy to see the preparations for the racetrack had been relatively completed for the race that afternoon. The morning was clear and there were few clouds in the sky. Silvano gazed up at the cold blue and exhaled in satisfaction as the mist in front of his nose formed and dispersed in seconds. It had been a short walk, too, to the training grounds were the archery fields, just a few lanes and three target circles. They were handmade cloth with painted even circles to the black center. It was stuffed with dried grasses and sand to keep it up, propped up against a sturdy log to keep from falling.
The red cloak around his neck fluttered in the wind, lightly rising off the horse's rump as he stood near the archery field, watching the contestants get ready, checking their equipment. There was pride in the man, though not as much as he had felt before; their champion was new to their kingdom, but his readiness to take up the bow for their honor was touching and he had thanked him profusely. Yet, he did not know how his champion would fair against his uncle's, a man he did not know much about or even know personally really.
"Ladies and gentlemen," he began, his lower voice ringing out across the cold field, emerald gaze shifting from the champions to the small crowd of people waiting for it to begin. "Today we come to see Sebastian Auditore and Temeraire Stormbringer face off in a challenge of archery." It was a cold day and they were sure to be cold from standing. A few hot torches had been placed nearby, merely for the sake of warming those with thinner pelts and those that got cold easily. "Contestants will have ten arrows each. They must be in their stands before we begin or they will not be allowed to be used." The man gestured to the the wire circles around the sticks that was the arrow stand. The rules for this contest were simple, and he thought them as fair as can be. "Fallen arrows may not be retrieved until all arrows are used."
The king's horse fidgeted a bit, and the man tightened his hold on the reins. "Scoring is 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. One point for hitting the target but missing the rings. And then each ring going in is awarded the points accordingly. A bullseye is worth five, obviously. The shooter with the most points at the end is declared the winner." But then the man's gaze traveled to the audience, his eyes severe on them. "Do not approach near the lanes until the shooting is over and the tally counted. Consider it a hot zone; we do not want anyone hit as these are merely blunted arrows; they will still kill if you are not careful."
The King moved himself away from the lanes and to the side, standing behind and to the side of the archery champions. "You may fire when ready. When finished, set your bows down and then we will tally the results." And then he sat silent, eyes focused on the two ready to shoot for the honor of their individual packs. "May the best archer win."
Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:14 pm
Teme Optime is by Alaine!
Observing the previous events had been enlightening to the male, even if he didn't know any of the competitors. The trip to Casa di Cavalieri had been enlightening for the boy and he'd enjoyed the brief time he'd spent there. Still, returning to the Court had the most peculiar feeling- he was returning to Lena and it felt like a relief to cross the borders. This place was not yet home as Vinátta would always be home, but he thought it might be getting there. He would need to spend more time here, get to know the members, work towards something better than what he was now. Silvano's request that he compete as their Archer had excited him when he'd accepted, but the pressure he felt from no-one but himself settled on his chest.
He didn't want to lose, to represent the Court only to fail them. But the cold morning saw him standing just back from the archery stands, swinging his arms back and forward to keep the muscles warm and limber. At Silvano's words, Temeraire moved forward, the bow slung across his chest lifted off. He listened to the rules and the intricacies of this event- it seemed very simple. Unlike the Hand to Hand or Swordfighting, which in the end was just a desperate struggle to gain an upper hand against the opponent. This event was cool logic, a calmness that suited the shadow prince. As Silvano indicated the arrow stand, Temeraire removed his own arrows and placed them in there, pushing down slightly so that they dug into the ground and remained upright so they'd be easy to grasp when he needed them.
The quiet buzzing in his ears effectively tuned out any background noise, but he certainly heard King Silvano's words and gave the slightest of nods to the male. He took very little notice of his competitor, this was between himself, his bow and the target. Picking his bow back up, the boy fit the wood snugly into his left hand, feeling the familiar weight and smoothness that came from his near constant use of it. His right hand came up, testing the string by tugging it a few times. The cold weather would have caused his bow to seize up as well and like his muscles, he gave it a little time to warm up. Shifting his stance so that his body was at a right angle to the targets, the male picked up his first arrow.
A trance-like silence had settled over him as he notched the arrow, the soft click as the arrow slotted into place and the glide of wood on wood as it slide into place just above his closed fingers. His body twisted expertly as he drew back the string, his elbow at an acute angle above his face, fingers holding the arrow against his cheek. His left eye closed, presenting a narrower aim for him to judge. With a deep intake of breath, the Stormbringer male aimed the arrow and on the exhale, he released his fingers. The bow string sprung forward, propelling the arrow at high speed towards the target. Naturally he allowed the bow to swing forward and away from him, as if following the movement through. Shrewd eyes seemed to take the arrows movement in slow motion, the spiralling wood careening towards the target. At the same time, it moved so quickly he didn't have time to see the slight error. The arrow thunked into the target, just on the curve of the fourth ring. It was a three pointer, although just a few inches to the right and four points would have been his. A soft click of his tongue was given, the only sign of his irritation, before he settled once more, fingers reaching for a second arrow.
Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:21 am
Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:41 pm
It could be evident to all that looked upon him that Sebastian Auditore was not at his best.
His normally pristine fur was mussed, his white chest still blotched a faint shade of pink from Leon's blood. His bright orange eyes were tired but opened just a little too wide when they were not trying to shut from exhaustion. When he glanced from side to side, it was easily seen how bloodshot they were. Anyone who got close enough could see that they were red-rimmed. His jeans were scuffed and torn, splattered with mud at the hems.
Not precisely the image he would have wanted to convey but that was all the Court would be getting out of him. He had far more important things to do than look pretty for the sake of his pack.
He paid no attention to anyone but Silvano as he spoke. He ignored the crowd completely, keeping his eyes on the target and his ears pointed towards Silvano. After taking a brief moment to wonder where Charlotte was, Sebastian held his bow at the ready and took aim with a fluidity that belied his ragged appearance. Essentially, all he had to do was stay in one place and hit as close to the bull's-eye as possible. Fine. Simple. That didn't stop him from letting out the quietest of bitter huffs at the King's last words.
That will not happen, he murmured with spite, the wind blowing his quiet words toward his competitor. They would be inaudible to any but the black-furred archer.
The Italian tested the bowstring three times, running his finger and thumb down the string down the string. He turned his body to the side and unsheathed an arrow, holding his bow in his right hand and the arrow in his left. He took a deep breath, aligned his eye to look down the arrow and released the breath with unintended raggedness.
The arrow thudded on an outer ring, netting him two points. His aim was steady on the next, getting another five. The mental image of Maxen hurting Leon made his arm shake hard on the next shot, missing the target completely. Wetness in his eyes blurred his vision for the next thirty seconds, finally clearing as he gained another three points. His next shot was sufficient, taking four points.
Sebastian changed arms for the next five shots. The lump that formed in his throat at this humiliation took a minute to die down. He could do this. His next two shots gained him four points each. How many was it now? Twenty-two. Thirteen less than he should have. That thought interrupted his next shot at precisely the wrong time, giving him two points. The thought that he could not justify his performance to the masses without humiliating himself further or making people think he was begging for sympathy interrupted his next shot, giving him three points. His third and final shot gave him four.
Thirty-one out of fifty points. Sebastian snarled as he let his bow drop to the ground.
Pathetic, he growled to himself, glaring at the ground and pounding his fist into his other hand. There was not a doubt in his mind that his mockery of a performance had handed his opponent the victory. He had not shot so badly since he had been less than eighteen months old. Sebastian watched his opponent with hot eyes, folding his arms tightly across his chest as he forced a look of neutrality on his face, waiting for Temeraire to shoot his final arrow so that this farce could bring itself to its inglorious end.
Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:38 am
426 Wayne is worried about his little Sebby. :CCCC
Though not usually one for these fancy-schmancy affairs, Wayne had to admit that he liked watching the competitions in the tournament. He missed out on the opening ceremony but rode in the bright and early morning to make it to the Kingdom in time for the archery tournament. Fern seemed unusually eager to go, though he'd picked her only because of her mild nature and her ability to get along with strange horses, as she'd undoubtedly be stabled with. He supposed she was looking for her foal, somehow, but tried to shove the thought of the coyote kid out of his mind. He had Cavalieri friends to root for now, and the whelp didn't have to be a part of his life anymore if he didn't want to -- though he still sometimes felt like he'd lost the stupid little brother he'd never had.
The Labrador arrived a few minutes later than he meant to, and ran toward the archery fields with deep panting breaths. He knew that, with Adelle gone, there would be no one to truly root for in the afternoon horse race (even if he quite liked Alder) -- but Sebastian was one of his better friends, the short man half-filling a strange empty spot in him since everything else that had happened in his life. At least he knew Seb wouldn't leave him alone for five minutes if he didn't have to.
The King was stepping back, the arrow-shooting starting, when he finally reached the other spectators. Wayne stopped and tried to control his breathing, puffing warm vapor into the cool air and reaching up to grab at his deer-trimmed cloak (because he respected Jazper enough to wear this thing at such a grand affair, if during no other time) and pull it closer around him. Brown eyes then flicked to the two archers -- a dark youth from the Court, one he wanted to snort at, and then Sebastian, who looked like utter hell. Wayne blinked and crossed his arms, watching with increasing worry as the expert archer started missing his bullseye -- and one arrow flying totally off-course to miss the target entirely. The Labrador shook his head, knowing something was wrong, and it took a surprising amount of resolve to wait until the black pup was done shooting and the winner called to storm the field and grab Sebastian. He just knew he'd have to talk to the guy later; he couldn't stand seeing a friend like this.
Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:25 pm
Lena was not sure what the fuss was about when it came to archery. Sure, the ability was useful -- Temeraire was effective with it when he brought home dinner, so flinging arrows had its perks -- but it just seemed so boring. At least with sword fighting and hand-to-hand combat she could sort of hear the fighters clash, with metal clanging against metal and fists thumping against bodies. Even if she could see what was going on, she assumed she was not missing much by the sounds of it. There was no excited cheering, only the silence of withheld breaths as the crowd allowed the two males to concentrate. Never the less, she would not skip the event for the world. Temeraire was representing the Court, since they lacked any other archer but the the newcomer, and the girl knew how great his marksmanship was. She was certain he was going to win in a landslide.
The rules were explained by Silvano, but they may as well have fallen on deaf ears where she was concerned; they made absolutely made no sense to her. But, that was to be granted, seeing that she wouldn't be able to watch the whole affair anyway. When the King's voice dwindled and announced that they could start, her ears strained forward, hoping to catch something at least. Occasionally, she heard the slight cutting of the air as the arrows were released and the slight thunk whenever they landed on the target. She had tried to keep track of the number of arrows fired, but after she lost count she stopped trying, realizing she would not be able to identify who's was who's.
She could only hope that Temeraire was doing well -- again, she was positive he was doing stupendous, though there was a bit of worry that the unknown Cavalier would be as skilled as him -- and wait until someone mentioned something. Maybe a slight remark from someone, or if her friend made some sort of sound of triumph, would clue her in on what was going on, but she dared not asked, not wanting to break the fragile silence that surrounded the canines.
Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:38 pm
I am... THE worst person! I'm so sorry for the hold up <3
Teme Optime is by Alaine!
The slow rhythm of the dark males breathing served not only to ground him, but to help wash away the noise and distractions from the outside. He didn't need to know how his opponent was doing, where his arrows hit. It was his own arrows, his own target he was concerned about. Even the muttered words from the Cavalieri served only to flicker one white rimmed ear back before the bow fit into his hand, smooth and well worn by now. Reaching for his second arrow was easier than the first and with a single focus, blue eyes narrowed to watch the second arrow fly towards the target. It landed squarely in the four point ring. He was gauging his accuracy, testing the wind, his stance and making subtle changes as he began again. Draw, breath, knock the arrow, breath out, draw back, breath in, aim, eyes narrowed and on the exhale- release.
Despite his focus, he didn't fail to catch Lena's scent and it was almost enough to break through his iron calm. She was here- not technically watching him but supporting him none the less. It was exhilierating even if she couldn't see the marks his arrows made. After that, he refused to be distracted. His arrows peppered the four point ring for another round before he'd gained his stride and before he knew it a further five arrows landed in a neat little ring in the bullseye. Euphoria raced through the males veins as he steadied his final arrow. He was sure he was going to win this, certain he was going to beat his opponent. He should have known to keep his head on the last one, his last shot. At the last minute, his concentration slipped and his shot ran a little wider than he wanted. It landed on the very edge of the four pointer, his heart racing as he began to count.
The growl from his opponent broke his concentration and he glanced over to see the others score. As realisation hit him, Temeraire couldn't help the 'whoop' of happiness. There wasn't much in it, but he'd scored higher. A grin lit up his lips and before he could help himself, he jumped towards Lena, scooping the girl close to him and mashing his lips to her own in victory. He'd won!
Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:17 pm
Of the quartet of challenges in this tournament, the archery event was the calmest and quietest. Hati appreciated the solemnity in the air, the hush in the crowd as they all held their breath and listened to the twang of bowstrings, the whir of fletchings slicing through the chill winter air, and the satisfying thud as they sank into their target. There were torches thoughtfully erected for the spectators to huddle near if they craved the warmth, but Hati was in his element this time of year. He merely watched, pale blue eyes unblinking, still as a statue as he watched the champions Temeraire and Sebastian display their skills.
There was power and grace combined in their athletic movements, an almost hypnotic rhythm set off by the curves of the bow being drawn and released. It was soon obvious even to his untrained eye, though, that something was off with the Cavalier champion. The smaller, foxy male switched arms, fired too quickly, and seemed painfully distracted and frustrated. His empathetic nature made it difficult for him to watch, yearning to ease the visitor's emotional discomfort. He turned his attention instead to Temeraire, his packmate. By contrast, the Stormbringer had a better grouping, despite his obvious youth. Again Hati grew curious to see who the male was, now thoroughly impressed with the skills he displayed.
All too quickly it was over, and the archers lowered their bows to study their targets. It was a victory for the Court! Hati couldn't help but smile at the enthusiastic cry of their dark archer. After watching both of his brothers be defeated in the Cavalier arenas, it was a great relief to see that they were still in the running. Hati's plumed tail waved behind him, as he hesitantly edged nearer with hand outstretched to congratulate his packmate on the surprise win. But the passionate archer had already swept up his female companion into a forceful kiss, and Hati blushed beneath his fur, quickly turning aside. It would not do to interrupt a romantic moment like that. Shyly Hati scurried away, knowing he would soon have to prepare for the horse race.
last-minute spectator post is go~ +358 words