Fucking Jardon is such a buzzkill. What right does he have to take my Halberd away? A boring voyage seemed like the perfect time to learn how to use my pole-arm, and the swaying ship the perfect place to master balance whilst using it. Ser Darron tells me that I was given fair warning, but how was I to get better if I didn’t practice?
I know when I started things looked a little wild, but I was getting better! In the first few days I went from nearly taking out Jardon’s other eye during a practice jab (Warning number 1) to masterfully holding my halberd forward off the bow of the boat. The Human Figurehead look was quite dashing and it gave me the muscle control to hold the mighty weapon steady. Plus, Captain Asten told me that was the only place I was allowed to have my halberd on the deck of his ship after the almost blinding Jardon…
A few days later, after a long night navigating through The Broken Arm, Captain Asten was asleep in his cabin. Surely, he would approve of me resuming my active halberd studies were he awake (I had after all mastered holding the weapon). I launched into a Kata that I saw Viktor and Tito practicing back during the march through The Reach. I spun and swung my gleaming halberd masterfully. I used one hand, then two, and then back to one again. Two forward jabs and then a wide swing around behind me and THUNK… The halberd sank into the reel cutting the lines to our Anchor. “SSLSSSHHH” the Anchor reel squealed as the rope un-spooled and the heavy iron weight sank out of sight into the Summer Sea. I yanked the halberd out of the real and slowly brought it up to my shoulder holding it as a farmer holds a pitch fork. “That might be bad” I said quietly. “YOU FOOL!” shouted the ship’s first mate Paxtan. “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?! We will not be able to moor the ship for the rest of the voyage!” to which I responded cleverly with “Uh… Uh…” before darting below deck with my weapon before Asten could be summoned.
The next few days I took meals in my room and worked on my writing. It was quite embarrassing to write a letter to our Ladyship in my broken scrawl. Alas, this was futile and boring to boot. I mostly drew pictures of what I wanted my castle to look like. I drafted a number of impressive motifs that would do a lord like me proud. My favorite had an epic statue of me on top of a spire holding my Halberd like a mighty hero, made of gold of course! Asten came to berate me a few times, but I refused to open the door. He mostly yelled about me being incompetent and dangerous and how I owed him a new Anchor. He said if I ever brought my halberd on deck again it would wind up at the bottom of the sea. (warning number 2) I simply would reply “I don’t speak Westerosi” in Braavosi. He didn't buy it. I also took the time to carve “Carsen was here” in the cabin wall with my Stiletto. It helped my writing and let the world know of my presence!
Finally, it was time to resume my practicing. This time, I wanted to have the full experience and the look of a knight. So, I put on my Scale, strapped my shield to my back to show off my crest, and went above deck with my weapon. I snuck to the forecastle of the ship without anyone noticing I was there. It was then I loudly proclaimed “All ye deck hands, look to me for the image of a proud knight!” I gave my Halberd a mighty swing, jumping onto the deck railing. I then looked down on the main deck yelling “Behold, grace and power!” bringing my weapon up over my head. All eyes on the ship turned to me adoringly. I prepared for a mighty jump-swing to the lower deck when the wave hit. It is really hard to balance in scale while standing on a railing on a moving ship! What was to be a majestic jump turned into a topple. I tried to catch my balance on the ship’s lines with my Halberd, but unfortunately the thing is sharp and simply cut through them, sending sails into the wind.
I landed on poor Paxtan, and did a real number on him. I guess a full-grown man in mail falling on you from 10 feet up will do that. He broke his arm and cracked a few ribs. (he also was very scraped up and splintered from the deck.) My swinging antic also badly wounded one of the deck hands. I managed to catch him in the meaty part of his shoulder with the blade of the halberd as I came down, rendering his arm useless until it could heal. Asten practically exploded at me. “MY SAILS! MY CREW! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? YOU CALL YOURSELF A KNIGHT?! HAVE YOU EVEN USED THAT THING BEFORE?!” to which I replied “Well… not realy. That is why I am practicing. I can’t be pulling this on a battlefield you see!”
Asten seethed for a moment and then charged me. “That thing is going into the sea! You’re going into the sea!” Funny thing about being in full war armor; unarmed sailors don’t scare you. He punched me a few times, but I couldn't really feel it, so I chuckled and said, “is that all you got?!” To which he responded with a reckless punch that managed to take my breath away, even through the armor. Unfortunately for him, he punched metal armor as hard as he could bare handed and broke some bones in his hand. “YEEEOWWWWWW!” he screamed and jumped away from me. I looked around slowly not sure what to do next when Jardon appeared from below deck with his cross bow. It was loaded, and he pointed it right at me. “Carsen, drop the halberd” he said calmly. I could see Darron and young Thomas behind him, both looking concerned. I opened my mouth to speak and he cut me off “None of your fast talk Carsen, drop it now.” And so, I dropped my halberd on the deck and rose my hands slowly. He walked over, took the weapon and told me “You can have this back when you’ve proven yourself responsible enough to wield it.” Darron and Thomas shook their heads slowly at me, then turned and followed him back below, leaving me unarmed with a very angry captain and crew…
An hour of fast talking and negotiating later I had soothed the crew and returned to my cabin. I was a hair away from being thrown overboard in my armor, which would have been a death sentence. Asten followed me closely, he didn't expect me to hold onto my end of the bargain. I retrieved my coin purse from my bags and counted out 105 Silver Stags, a whole half dragon, to replace his Anchor, the sails, and as reparations for his men and his hand (even though that was his fault). I put the coins in a new purse and dropped it his good hand glumly, for it was the entirety of my “bard money.” He looked down at the purse frowning, and sighed, “I still don’t understand how you talked us out of throwing you overboard.” To which I replied, “Silver helps, but I’m surprised too.” And after a long pause “I’m sorry Asten, I know that probably isn’t enough. I truly do value my life, you did me a favor in sparing it. Consider this, I Carson Thorne do additionally owe you one favor. Speak it now, or later should our paths cross again, I will make good on this promise.”