Ryk looks out across the Ley as you fall silent, giving you some time to think. Presently, he speaks, his voice cracking earnestly. “Just find Lady Jonquil. I’ve no idea how those two ended up in the river.”
OOC: This time Ryk influences you for 2, after applying your DR. You’re at 7/9 Composure unless you want to take Frustration instead.
Lord Shawney disappears from view. Soon enough, a young herald boy makes an appearance, bowing. “Septon, I’ve been sent to bring you Shella, wife of Pard. Ser Ethan has commanded her to seek confession and punishment.” From behind him, a simple woman of some thirty years steps forth, clad in a roughspun dress. The herald departs.
“G’day, Septon,” she offers. “The Lord said I’m to present meself your punishment for my crime.” She lowers her eyes. “Adultery. They’ve already struck me six times across the back with a switch, but now the Gods must punish me as well?” Her understanding of theology appears to be as limited as her understanding of rank; your nephew Ethan is a landed knight, not a lord, but smallfolk are prone to such mix-ups.
Your risposte easily breaks past the knight’s defenses. He had stood high in his stirrups, extending mightily for each strike, but leaving himself open to your response. His black stallion backs away, its head rolling from side to side. On your right, the knight with the clam on his shield begins slashing harder and faster, raking your armor with his blade. Your horses jockey and snap at one another, stomping and dancing in a tight circle.
Somewhere behind you, you hear the twang of a crossbow and the shriek of the bolt glancing off steel. Ser Willis dances his horse to the side, twisting to see the bowman, only to be taken full in the chest by his foeman’s halberd. He goes down in a clanging heap. The crossbowman himself flees for the deeper wood, revealing himself a coward before gods and men. His companion with the halberd hefts it and turns towards you. He's still five yards away.
There are now only three men left standing (or astride a horse) in the clearing—you, the Clam Knight, and the halberdier footman.
OOC: Your strike is good for 4 DOS and the defeat of the mace-wielding knight. It's up to you as to the manner of defeat. I left it ambiguous in case you want him for a prisoner. The longsword-wielding knight with the clam painted on his shield strikes for 7d6 best 4: 17 and 2 DOS, dealing 10 damage minus 9 from your armor. You take 1 damage.
Wate bows deeply and gratefully, while the Greenarm’s gesture is more reserved. They both take their leave of the chamber, exiting through different doors. Your remaining retainers tactfully exit as well, reading your exasperation with the petitioners. Only Ser Elmar stays, getting up to wander Templestone with you.
Outside the great hall, Templestone is little more than a few winding corridors and old septons’ quarters, converted now into your personal solar and a few rooms for your family and close attendants. Old, faded tapestries line the walls, depicting the Andal conquest. Back in those days, knights were much more zealous in their piety. Many of those depicted have carved the seven-pointed star into their chests or foreheads, and legend has it that the Andal conquerors struck their most decisive blows when they charged with seven hundred and seventy-seven knights. Between the the tapestries are evenly spaced torch sconces and alcoves featuring statues of each of the Seven. Each one bears evidence of worship--wilting flowers left at the Maiden's feet, a pair of spurs and an old dent-rimmed shield set before the Warrior, and a simple workman's hammer leaned up against the Smith. It’s a serviceable enough holdfast, but the defensive fortifications are mostly external—thickened walls, mortared over windows, a crenellated rooftop—leaving the inside more pious than lordly.
OOC: Either people can come find you or vice versa. Assume you can easily figure out where everyone else is by asking around.