OMG I was not sure I was going to make the deadline at all, I have work tonight in half and hour and didn't have time to touch this up like I wanted to, so meh. My tablet broke at the start of this round, and it took me a little less than a week to get a new one. Between that, school, and my work schedule I'm just happy I got this anywhere close to done.
For the WTS Summer Joust
Horse: Rocky Mountain Way (Black Sabino Clyde, in blue and purple) [link]
Rider: Sean Aden
Opponents: Thomas Marks on RMS Fuqin Jingshen
-----------*Important notes- Sean is a btk amputee, if you want more of his story read his bio and start here.
I also totally imagine this is run with rules similar to Full Metal Jousting Rules. Round One here.
Edit 1: Changed some stuff to better reflect Sean's personality
They had made it through the first round, relatively in one piece. Sean was cautiously thrilled, but for the moment he was trying to figure out who he had been paired with for the next turn at the lists. The tally board with the match up brackets said his opponent was Thomas Marks, on a horse called Fuqun Jingshen, barded in gold and grey. He had yet to spot the pair, and it was making him tense. But that was nothing new. It was sort of relief to channel his energy towards something competitive, but he also wished he could not feel so....on edge.
"Hey Sean!" He jumped in his saddle, hand automatically reaching to his hip, before recognizing the voice as belonging to Rockroot's owner and the one who had come up with the idea to enter the joust in the first place. "Great job on the first run, you looked great."
He grinned, despite himself. Joyce may have terrible taste in colors, but she sure knew her horses. He had first met her about three months ago, when he had come to visit the farm where his mother worked. He hadn't even been considering getting back into riding at the point, let alone something like Jousting, but he hadn't wanted to do much of anything other than sit at home and ignore everyone. That was right around when he had just officially lost his own house, finalized his divorce, and been dropped from physical therapy for being deemed 'good enough.' Not a happy place for him. His mother had insisted though, and not having anything else to do, he had went to see the farm one day. And went for a ride. Well, more of a pseudo joust run. He had kept coming back, first just to ride and work horses for Joyce,then more to chat and even kind of hang out with her. She was one person who never seemed to mind his nervous habits. She had helped him find a job as a maintenance worker, at the very same hospital she worked at. 3 months later, and he was feeling far more ok with himself than he could remember, probably since he had been told he was going to serve overseas, and that had been years ago.
Sean felt that he owed a good deal of that to her, although he had a hard time fining the words to say so. He was hoping that he could place well enough in the tournament, perhaps not a first but in the top 3, as a way to show his appreciation. If that made sense to anyone. Which it probably didn't. He frowned, his face mostly obscured by his helmet, trying to untangle his thoughts.
"Sean? Are you listening?" A hand on tapped the armor on his thigh, startling him out of his thoughts. Joyce was looking up at him, also frowning, but hers was one of impatience. "There's Thomas Marks and Fuqin Jingshen. The big blood red bay with the horns on his faceplate."
She was pointing at a pair far across the field. "Oh." Sean had never been much for words.
"I'm not sure if you watched his first round, but he knocked the girl clean out of her saddle. She had to go to medical, too. She was fine, but the guy hits like a truck." Joyce continued, and he nodded. He hadn't seen them close up, as the fog had been too thick, but he had certainly heard them, and that had been a solid hit. "I'd say watch out, but you kinda have to take the hit. So, just be ready for it, and try and drop Rocky's reins before you go flying, I don't want you pulling on his mouth. He knows what to do."
"Right. Got it."
"You're also up first this time, so be ready. They're adding straw and sand to the track too- poor Rich and Charlie actually slipped and fell last round -but it might still be slippery."
Joyce glared at him for a split second, before realization crossed her face."Oh that's right, I forget you're new and haven't met any of the other big draft stables yet. Don't worry about it, it's not important."
He nodded. Across the field, he saw the crowd stir. The man who had been announcing the rounds was walking up to a small wooden platform, and that meant soon the next round was to start. Joyce had noticed as well, and gave Rocky a pat on the neck. "Good luck!"
His opponent this time was much closer in height that the last. They had only about an inch between them, and for the life of him he couldn't figure out what breed the red bay horse was. Those horns were weirding him out as well, they had
to be part of the horse's face plate but the looked like they were actually growing out of the horse's head, but that had to be wrong. The gold dye underneath the armor was next though, the designs reflected the light and matched the color of the horse's armor.
Both contestants entered the run, raising their lances to each other in salute. Not a moment later, before he even heard the call, both horses charged forward, kicking up clods of straw laden mud. He reaction was instinctual, and for a brief moment he was glad that had ridden as much as he had when he was younger. Despite his roughly 8 year break from horseback riding, he seemed to had retained a lot of his skills, and regaining his balance after an Rocky's huge leap forward was relatively easy. Even so, he had only moments to get his lance up-eyeing the strike plate-
His lance hit true- but so did his opponents, and like he had been told, he hit hard.
He felt his lance shatter, and saw his opponent's break as well, both cracks ringing out across the field. The blow forced him back, and everything felt slowed- delayed, he was off balance, Rocky was still moving, and he was slipping from his saddle. He opened his hand to drop Rocky's reins, remembering what Joyce had said, and then he hit the ground, winded. Dazed, he laid there for a moment, listening to both horses halt. The dude did hit like a truck. A very focused truck. Holy crap. His heart was racing now, but he forced himself to lay still for a moment despite the rush of adrenaline, running a mental checklist of how to react.
He rolled to his knees after a few more moments, shaking off someone's offered hand, then slowly got to his feet. He was glad that his prosthetic leg had stayed with him, he honestly hadn't been sure if a sound de horsing would knock it off his stump when he was knocked off his horse. Outside of the obvious medical personnel, only his parents and ex wife knew about his leg, so that would of been an awkward conversation with Joyce and the rest of them at Rockroot that he'd rather just never bring up. Sighing, he quickly adjusted his armor, brushing off the dirt, and went to go retrieve his horse from the volunteer holding him, and winced. He hadn't even managed to de horse Marks despite the hit. One pass down, only 7 to go.