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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Surviving the Merry Pauper ((ATTN: Captain))


Kura
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Arcon woke up with one hell of a head ache, and for some reason his jaw clicked when he moved it. Then he remembered; Mr. Sweeper. At the thought he reached for the source, intent on burning down the boat, but when he reached, he hit a wall. His eyes widened, shielded. Then he noticed the small man in his room, well, larger than he, but small none the less. "Dun be tryin' dat again, boy. Ye 'member wha happened da last time?" It took the Acolyte a few moments to puzzle out the mans words, but when he did, he gritted his teeth. It had all come back to him by this point, feeling an incredible surge of the power, and then being thrown overboard.

 

Arcon quickly dressed, taking a fine woolen garment instead of his normal silks. As true as it was he didn't take care of the clothing as he should; it still didn't deserve the beating he was bound to get. Before he could move out of his room though, a man entered, one of his. An Andorian Acolyte, a couple years older then Arcon. What was his name again? Oh, Erian, thats right. "Arcon, your up, finally. We'd thought you had been put out for good." Arcon's eyes widened, "How long was I out?" Erian shifted his feet, "Two days." The Leader of the little group, whom referred to itself as the Pit Fiends, took a steadying breath. "Don't do anything rash, Erian-" The young man's face lit up, it wasn't often Arcon used a name. "We are shielded, and these men know their blades better than us. So let us do what we came here to do, and learn weaponry." He glanced at the man in the room, whom wore a large grin. "We'll deal with the rest later."

 

With that, Erian was rushed out of the room, and Arcon soon followed. He squinted at the bright light when he came to the deck. Mr. Sweeper was there. The boy could have screamed, but he had learned better. He awaited his first mind numbing assignment..

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Mr. Sweeper was very pleased when he saw Arcon reach the deck. Arcon: his special new friend; protégé, if you prefer. Oh, yes, Mr. Sweeper had plans for that one. What his plans were precisely, he wouldn’t say. The main reason for this was that he intended to mostly make it up as he went along. Sure, he would do the same jobs as the others, and receive the same training, but John Sweeper had been a first mate for a very long time, and he knew beyond all doubt that he could make Arcon’s  life . . . unpleasant.

 

Today’s lesson was one every member of the crew knew. The standard level of fitness for any sailor was his ability to run up the shrouds, cross over the top-gallant yard and get down the other side. The shrouds on a raker were impressive but it was no trouble for an experienced seaman. These recruits, he reminded himself, were most definitely not that.

 

To make it more entertaining, as well as to strengthen their arms and grip, they would carry a weighted belaying pin. Mr. Sweeper, naturally, already held the belaying pin that Arcon would be made to use. There was the slight possibility that it was heavy than anyone else’s and may or may not also have been greased. He could not kill Arcon for assaulting him—an officer!—nor could he pummel him anywhere close to it; however, making Arcon wish he were dead was not out of bounds.

 

“Morning, ladies! Tis a fine day fur trainin! I have befur me a pile of be-lay-in’ pins, as ye can all plainly see. Now ye’re all fat, and if ye’re not fat ye’re weak. It is my job to change this, my job to save ye from the weakness of yer own condition and see if I can’t be doing somethin’ to improve your stupid-ity. Now, pick one up, each. Oh-ho, no, not ye Arcon, I’ve got yers right here. Allow me.”

 

“Now, yer jobs are to git yerselves up them there shrouds over the other side and back here without dropping your pin. If ye drop yer pin, ye’ll be startin’ again. Fair ‘nough? I thought so! Yer pin cannot leave yer hands, though ye can swab if ye’re so weak that ye need to. Don’t just stand there, dis-missed!”

 

This would be great to watch

 

 

OOC: up to you whether or not you succeed. You can make it easily, with difficulty, pass out trying, whatever you like. Let’s see some creativ-ity!

 

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Oh, wonderful. A customized belaying pin, no doubt weighted and, was that a sheen as it caught the light? By the Great Lord this man was trying to kill him! He refused to look down at his pitiful Carhierien frame; but that didn't stop him from wondering how it was going to get the job at hand done. Still, with almost no pause, he walked over and took the Belaying pin from Mr. Sweeper, whom Arcon had fondly named flaming goat kisser, and proceeded to watch his arms nearly fail off as the man's massive muscles stop contributing. He'd spent to much time in his books.

 

He stepped slowly to the shroud, already unsteady due to the slight waves of the ship, and took a deep breath before climbing up. He even managed a few steps before the greased pin slipped from his hand, and clanked loudly onto the deck. By the Great Lord I'm going to kill this man... But before that, he either needed to kill most of the channelers on board without the source, or learn the blades well enough as to be able to kill Mr. Sweeper at his own game. Bloody tough choice.

 

With these thoughts in mind, he tried again. This time he got five steps before dropping it, and so began a pattern in which Arcon climbed, dropped the pin, cursed Mr. Sweeper and the woman who bore him, and tried again. After a full hours worth of exertion, sweat staining his fine woolen clothes, he had nearly made it, before he again dropped the pin. This time, it managed to hit his toe on the way down. With a yelp, he lost his balance, and fell. Franticly he grabbed for the shroud, but all he managed to do was hit his chin on the way down.

 

Black specks danced across his eyes, and later he would remember with a bit of satisfaction that the click of his jaw was gone, right before he slammed into the deck.

 

His training was done for the day.

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Having prodded the new recruit, Arcon, with his toe and finding no response, John Sweeper—Mr. Sweeper, decided a trip to August (the ship’s churgeon and doctor, if you will) was in order. There was no permanent damage, just a severe concussion. Channellers aboard The Merry Pauper, those dread lords who were allowed, were given orders to stop those recruits dying because of their falls; they were not instructed to stop the fall entirely. If a recruit fell and got a nasty bump he would learn far more than the recruit suspended in mid-air each time trouble rolled around. Arcon was indeed, done for that day.

 

The next day, however, was a new subject. Arcon again found himself scaling the shroud’s ratlines, though his belaying pin was neither greased, nor exceptionally heavy. The Sweeper had gotten his revenge. Each day this practice was repeated until such time as the basic fitness level of all trainees reached the required minimum. There would be no fat-bodies aboard this vessel!

 

(Unspecified length of time passes)

 

“ Good mornin’, ladies! Now if ye be lookin’ be-fore ye, ye’ll not help but notice the pile of wooden staves that just so ‘appin to look like swords. Well, these are yer new girlfriends. Ye will sleep with them, wake with them, you’ll even take to the jakes with ‘em! Am I understood? Don’t all move at once, ladies. Darkness forbid ye actually pick them up. Move it!”

 

Mr. Sweeper stepped aside and allowed each one to pick up a training stave. These staves were sword shapes but their blades were flat and slightly thicker than the rest of the blade. They could cut, but not very well. The average user was in more danger of breaking their bones than cutting their flesh.

 

Once each recruit held a stave in his or her hand, Mr. Sweeper spoke again, “Now. I’m glad I don’t be ‘ affin to tell ye all which side ye’re holdin’ and which side’ll be cutting!’ I am going to show you a basic form and ye’ll all be repeating it to my satisfaction. And then, ye’ll be repeatin’ it some more!’

 

Unfolding the fan—felling the unwary

Lion on the hill—harnessing aggression

Arc of the moon—to topple the grand

Courtier tips his fan—with the divide to conquer

The Falcon Swoops–thrice, to find prey

Hummingbird Kisses the Honey Rose—blinding the light

Folding the fan—when all else is done

 

His strikes were typically aggressive, designed to batter and smash through an opponent with superior physical force and speed.

“Now. One at a time. Repeat it!”

 

 

OOC: Rightio, you're up sunshine. You're going to need this http://wolfkin.wordpress.com/2007/07/24/sword-forms/ Go there read what those forms I used are, and explain each one in your own words while you do them. It'd be no fun for me if I did it for you.

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Weeks passed, and Arcon could see his body growing harder, leaner. He woke up in the morning, stripped to his waste, and after weeks, he saw definition. Physically, he felt like a bull, better than he had before he had ever touched the taint. Mentally was another issue, he missed the source. The feel of molten Saidin running through him, filling him with a life greater than any non-channeler could imagine. But he'd have to deal with it; hadn't a choice. He'd be strong, he wouldn't give that Flaming Goat Kisser the satisfaction of watching him break.

 

When he came up on deck this day though, he saw lathes instead of the average, and on one faithful occasion above average, belaying pins. Each looked to be about the length of a longsword. Finally; some sword practice. He picked up the 'blade' gingerly. He'd never really hefted a weapon, only filled with the power. This was what he'd come to learn, and so he stepped last in line. IT held the advantage of watching all of his classmates perform, though the disadvantage of having the most attention on him when it came to a close.

 

He watched how Mr. Sweeper brutally critiqued each member of his pitfiends, and could have growled. Instead, he took his turn.

 

Unfolding the Fan- He drew it from his left with his right hand, edge swinging outward in an initial cut, his foot moving forward to put his new found weight behind the blow. It seemed clumsier than when that aggravating first mate had done it, but he had no time to stop and think about that. He pulled the sword back infront of him, and

 

Lion on the Hill - the wooden sword moved up to shoulder height, his elbows bent sharply, and the blade angling out in front of his face. It all seemed to leave him terribly open; yet it'd probably allow one to attack a fraction faster, at least if they swung high, like when he moved his sword to

 

Arc of the Moon - slash almost straight across, keeping both hands firmly on the hilt. Instead of forward, he took a step diagonally forward, aiming to get the tip to cleave at least half way through his opponents neck. Half was as good as completing the job in this instance. With a rotation of his wrists he moved on to

 

Courtier tips his fan - split the skull. A simple, but brutal move. He thought he'd found a fondness for it. This time, he chose to simply sidestep; knowing better than to stand in one place for to long. With that done, he retracted into guard position. Though quickly he moved to

 

The Falcon Swoops - He drove the sword forward, another simple forward step, and retracted. Repeating the overhand thrust three times, as Mr. Sweeper had done. With a step back, he brought his sword up, moving to finish all with

 

Hummingbird Kisses the Honey Rose - a jab straight into the face. Blinding, impaling, and cutting off the light from those fools who worship it. Satisfied, only one move remained.

 

Folding the Fan - He turned his right wrist, and swung his arm as to sheathe the blade. Holding it there for a moment, it wavered a bit, before bringing it across to the proper side.

 

His gaze locked on Mr. Sweeper, who shook his head. "Not a damn spark of skill in the entire lot. I want you to repeat again, and again, till your all old and blind enough to be playin' stones with Rat over there." And so it began, each student redoing the forms, Mr. Sweeper  draging elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles into the proper position, even if Arcon could hardly see the difference of the adjustment. He practiced until the sun went down, till his muscles screamed torment. He fell into a deep slumber that night; knowing not what to expect the next day.

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Time passed, again as it liked to do. For Mr. Sweeper the long days were never long enough and the training sessions were never hard enough, but for his 'students' I don't doubt that the reverse was true. The trainees were shaping up real nice: the constant motion of the ship demanded constant adjustment to footing, which eventually would become second nature. The shroud climb strengthened their bodies, minds and . . . Mr. Sweeper's ego.

 

This lesson performed two functions: it would teach the average student just what balance was all about, and it would help show the student what they needed to work on. Every one of the students, by this point, could perform the basic form Mr. Sweeper had shown them. What he had not told them and what they were about to find out is that the by holding a weapon at chest level your centre of gravity of raised which makes balancing all the more difficult.

 

Various crew members were lashing together light wooden beams, while Mr. Sweeper and his trainees watched on. It was a raft by the end of it; long, wide, square. The front was elevated somewhat while the back was lowered. The crewmen lowered the raft into the water and tied it off to the stern.

 

"What ye see before ye there, ladies, is a raft! I'm su-re, ye'all 'ave been seein' one be-fore! Ye'll all be takin'turns and ye'll all be per-formin' yer form while I watch, and while the ship moves. Ye'll keep going until I've seen enough, or until ye fall off the raft (and there was always the possibility he'd make them get back on). Try not to fall off. The Merry Pauper is a big lass, and it takes 'er a lot of time to turn about. You there, Arcon. Ye can have the 'onour of goin' first!"

 

What Mr. Sweeper did not say is that the ship would be travelling as fast as it possibly could.

 

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Arcon watched every piece of wood get lashed into place, and shook his head, fingers absently running through his hair. What wild scheme does he have for us now? He looked at his fellow classmates, and all returned a shrug. He noticed how a few didn't hold his eyes as long as normal. He could have growled. This ship was loosening his hold on the entire lot. Today, he had to succead, and all the unfaithful had to fail. Dominance was the only plausible way out of this.

 

It was good he'd remembered something about the Void. He couldn't believe he'd never thought to use it before today. The Oneness would be immeasurably useful, unless Mr. Sweeper planned on starting a knitting circle. Looking at the burly man, he doubted it. Then again, Arcon was here to learn the sword. At last, the raft was complete, and Mr. Sweeper spoke in his typical drawn out, arrogant tone. If Arcon didn't know better, he'd lathe him straight in that Goat Kissing Mouth. But alas, his jaw had only recently stopped clicking.

 

He was first. This was the chance to regain his dominance; he thought he needed it. The second his second foot hit the bound wood, two things happened. He assumed the void, and he felt the source being embraced. The mental equivalent of a sigh skittered the edge of the void, and he quickly grabbed hold of some bindings. Just in time for the first jerk. His arm wrenched, but pain was distant. Getting his adjusted sea legs, he moved to the center of the raft.

 

He started as he was taught to, Unfolding the Fan. The motion a graceful arc across the cool sea air. The raft hit the wake of the ship, and his legs buckled reflexively, adjusting for the height. None of this stopped him from raising his blade into Lion on the Hill. Without hesitation, he took that reflexive diagonal step, almost over balancing on his rolling platform. Still, the blade came from right to left, in Arc of the Moon.

 

He slammed hard onto his knee, but the concentration technique held firm. His wrists rotated, causing a simple downward slash, Courtier taps his Fan. Faint joy skittered the edge of the void, his favorite move so far. He was on the front of the raft, when he chose to extend his bent knee, and another large wave struck as he pulled into guard position. His back heel was on the edge, and he knew he was about to fall in. Reflex more than quick thinking saved him; The Falcon Swoops. Each of the overhand thrusts was in tune with a heavy step, Arcon fighting for position in the center.

 

Distantly he felt sweat beading on his body; the forms were taking him far longer than usual. Another thrust into, Hummingbird Kisses the Honeyrose. He thought Mr. Sweeper would be proud of the extra strength he put into the blow; until he realized just who's face he imagined burying the blade hilt deep into. Without further ado, he finished with the sheathing technique. Folding the Fan. A graceful arc, slipping the wooden lathe into his imaginary sheath.

 

The ship slowed, and Arcon climbed aboard. Just before he was over the lip, he released the void. Those not intelligent enough to realize the Void's other uses didn't deserve it. He looked at the next one in line, nodding, before turning to Mr. Sweeper. His hair hanging wet against his head, and his clothes drenched. He did his best to put all of his father's arrogance into his stance. "Come on old man, next time make it hard."

 

He hid his surprise well when a ham sized fist didn't come flying for his face. Instead, he got a wide grin. This can't be good... Hope it was worth it. He looked over the men, hearing the satisfying yell of someone falling off the raft, and stood with his arms on the end of the hilt; the 'point' resting against the ships deck. He thought it just might be...

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The previous exercise had gone according to plan: few injuries, no fatalities and a surprising number of recruits being successful. This was not to say that John Sweeper was impressed. He impressed about as easily as coastal rock and that took thousands of years of relentless pressure.

 

Arcon found this exercise too easy, or so he stated and Mr. Sweeper was a hellion for increased workloads. If Arcon wanted more, then Mr. Sweeper was more than pleased to give it to him; he was ready. Arcon would be repeating his forms all right, but there would be more pressure. Not simple distraction, but stress . . . and pressure.

 

Mr. Sweeper shouted for a crewman who quickly trotted over. Mr. Sweeper whispered into his ear, so sounded like a volcano erupting and the crewman grinned broadly and ran below decks to the weapons supply room. Not too long after he came back without two other buddies, three short-bows and about three dozen arrows.

 

These arrows were not aerodynamically efficient, they wouldn’t go far and they would lose power quick. They had thick, square ends, with a small piece of leather padding. Other than that they were real arrows. Unlike real arrows they couldn’t puncture skin . . . easily; just like real arrows, they really, really hurt.

 

“Well, Arc-on, ye’re about to get yer chance at some ‘arder training. If you would be so kind as to step into the centre of the deck, there’s a good lad. Now, Arc-on, ye’re going to perform those pretty forms of yers, and ye’re going to do it four times in a row while me friends ‘ere shoot ye with these arrows. Try not to get distracted. And don’t worry, if ye do, well, ye’ll just ‘ave to start over!”

 

The crewmen nocked their arrows, drew their strings and waited.

 

 

 

 

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Arcon's jaw locked. By the Great Lord what had his mouth gotten himself into this time? He forced his jaw to unhinge, and instead flashed a grin. Oh, sure, he knew he was going to regret this, but it had to be done. "Thank you for the accommodations, Mr. Sweeper." Pushing fear of exactly where an arrow would be placed thanks to that comment out of his mind, he stepped into the middle of the ring.

 

His right hand held the sword at his left hip, and he bagan to draw in Unfolding the Fan. The first volley was shot. Three arrows, one in his back, one in his left shoulder, and the other in his right arm. His jaw clamped, and he dropped the sword. Bloody things hurt... He looked at his arm; that was going to bruise.

 

Still, he was prepared for the pain now, and so, he bent to pick up his fallen lathe. He ignored the words of the crew, and again began the forms. Right to left, Unfolding the Fan; three arrows didn't get a grunt. Lion on the Hill; he took two in the abdomen and three in the back, but continued with the now innate movements of Arc of the Moon

 

He continued from there, every form met with arrows, and he managed to get through one full set, then two. By three he felt his arms growing heavy, with both the repetition and the angry red welts forming all over his body. Still, he pushed on. He couldn't fail this late in. Besides, he felt fortunate; he hadn't been hit in the face yet. He finished Folding the Fan for the third time. As he began again that familiar motion of Unfolding the Fan for the final time, it happened.

 

He wasn't sure why, but one 'twang' of a bowstring stuck out above all others, as he moved into the initial slash. A heavy ball seemed to form in the pit of his stomach; and he knew why. A blunt arrow flew for his face, straight and true. He opened his eyes in shock, and that moment was all it took.

 

The Arrow struck him in the left eye.

 

He dropped the lathe; and his legs dropped him. A piercing scream ripped through the salty air on board the Merry Pauper. Arcon writhed on the deck, cursing, vowing things he wouldn't remember. After a minute, his managed to get onto his knees, and wrap his hands onto the shaft. Blood, tears, and pieces of his ruined eye burst fourth onto him and the deck as he pulled it out. His jaw was locked, as he desperately sought the void, but it evaded him. He instead sat shivering from pain and anger, as he looked around at the group of men whom had been shooting at him.

 

Each looked a few shades lighter; one of them had just blinded a future dreadlord. The words "Heal me" burst from him, every bit of malice he'd ever hidden bursting from him in those words. Oh how he wished he could seize the source! Everyone of them would be incinerated before even that crippled Rat could get him. He only wished he'd known who had shot that arrow; the arrow he still had clutched in his hands. A man appeared, Arcon could feel him holding the source. The man took his head, and the young acolyte felt cold washing over him. He shivered as it dug into his face, clawing at the injury and defeating it as well as every bruise that checkered his skin. He felt the blood stop flowing, and fell to his knees panting.

 

His stomach growled, but he knew what he needed more, and the dreadlord helped him to his feet. He was swiftly put into his bed. A few days later, he found food waiting for him, and he eagerly devoured it. Besides the tray, sat a black silk eye patch. He reached for it, and with a sigh fitted it onto his head. Checking his reflection in the water left for him; he shook his head. It overlayed his scar. "One scar is as good as another." He reflexively fed the next memory into the flame. It would do him no good to think of Alice now..

 

He promptly fell back asleep.

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Mr. Sweeper was ridiculously pleased with himself.  Not only had he managed to put Archon in his place, which was flat on the deck as far as Mr. Sweeper was concerned, but he’d also managed to injure him right and proper in the process and this could be viewed with anything other than deep pleasure. Why the recruit had to pull his eye clean out of its socket and mush it all up with his hand rather than let it be healed by August was a mystery, but hey, he wasn’t going to complain.

 

Now he stood upon the foredeck grinning and appearing very smug. The recruits filed out slowly to form the line. As usual, although previously unstated, Mr. Sweeper called out the names of each, ticking their names off on his list as they replied, “aye, aye.” Although he decided that in Archon’s case there would probably only be one “aye.” That made him smile, even some hours later. Really he was a clever man when he wanted to be.

 

“Well ladies, today is yer lucky day! I’m goin’ to give yer sword arms a break. Ye can all thank me later.  Now, put yer swords in yer opposite hands and let’s get down to business. Today will be a lo-ong day. Ye know the forms I’m goin’ to ask for and ye know what I expect, but these unschooled ‘ands do not. It will be my humble pleasure to teach you to teach them the right ways to move. This is not goin’ to be fun, this will not be easy but ye will not be relieved until both of your arms are equally useless.”

 

Mr. Sweeper rattled up and down the lines cuffing and swatting whether he saw a misstep or wrong movement. Today was going to be glorious.

 

 

 

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Arcon moved slowly; cautiously up to the deck. Everything was odd without his eye, his left one to be exact. His vision wasn't so wide, or as clear and he had a hard time judging distances. He'd adjust though; he wouldn't let Mr. Sweeper have the final victory. Some of the others gave him a wide birth; they'd seen his outburst. They knew what emotions boiled under his cool exterior; good. Fear and Respect was a great combination for those under you to have towards you. Mr. Sweeper on the other hand, looked ridiculously pleased. At that moment he knew exactly who had taken his full vision from him.

 

Still, he obeyed. Why? Well, he was half-blind on a ship that was geared towards teaching him the sword, and lets not forget shielded. So, he put the lathe into the beginning of Unfolding the Fan. Well, thats awkward; he couldn't see the lathe. At that moment it hit him just how much he'd relied on his eyes, both of them. He gazed again at Mr. Sweeper, and smiled. He knew it wasn't the man's intention, but he did give Arcon an idea. Another limitation of channeling; if you couldn't see you couldn't weave. So, blindness would be another area he'd need a weapon.

 

He closed his right eye, and began Unfolding the Fan. He felt that it was wrong in his left hand, felt Mr. Sweeper's calloused hands correcting his form. "Now? What do we have here?" He heard Mr. Sweeper's voice, but not the words past that point. He was concentrating on his forms. Lion on the Hill, again it was off, and he dropped it and repeated it a couple times, until it was passable. Then he moved into Arc of the Moon. Again he had to move back into Lion on the Hill, and try Arc of the Moon again, and again. He moved through all of the forms like this, and when he finished. He did it again, and again, and again. He repeated the forms until the sun was down, and his arms ached from the repetition.

 

Then, he opened his eye, and saw Mr. Sweeper. He flashed the man a grin, "I have to say, thanks. Since you took out my eye, I noticed a couple more limitations of channeling. Don't worry though, I'll have a weapon or two to make up for them, Mr. Sweeper." With that, he went downstairs, caring very little how Mr. Sweeper reacted. He just wanted to sleep, and see what was in store for him tomorrow.

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(One week later, you'll have practised that form with both hands every day since, as well as still doing your shroud climb)

 

 

Mr. Sweeper swung his training lathe. It was such a puny thing and barely more than a toy. Why use such a useless, fine contraption when a great, brutal halberd could cleave a man in twain with nary an effort. (I stole that off wo de nai just then) Later he would show his recruits how a real weapon was handled, right this moment he would give them a glimpse of true battle and its demands on the mind.

 

 

It was unfortunate that sea-combat called for fierce and quick melee combat for it denied a sailor the pleasure of clobbering his enemies into puddles with a great maul, punching a hole clean through them with a spear or generally eviscerating them with an axe. Sweeper himself, while aboard, used two maces; one was flanged, the other spiked. Their names were “Thud” and “Splat” respectively.

 

“Today, ladies, I’m goin’ to make ye all men. No, not ‘ow yer mothers did; a better, more mutually pleasin’ way: we’re goin’ to spar! That’s right, ye and me in-divid-ually. The art of combat is glor-ious, swift and bru-tal. There is no time fer muckin’ about, there is no time fer second guesses and there is no time fer mercy or consideration. Yer job, and yer only job, is to survive; usually this is done by ensuring that yer opponent does not.”

 

He motioned for the first recruit to step forward, which he did. Mr. Sweeper held his sword in a nonchalant way, not all too concerned about being struck. The recruit watched him warily but did not move. It was plain that he was thinking and thinking hard; Mr. Sweeper waited. The recruit, having decided on a course of action sprang forward, halting suddenly when Mr. Sweeper moved.

 

About half a second later the recruit in question was flat on his back. His breathing was pained, and would be, for the next few hours. Mr. Sweeper waited to see if he would stand again and when he made no movement to, looked towards the next recruit. “Do not second guess!”

 

The second recruit stepped forward and moved in a cautious defensive movement. Mr. Sweeper snorted and then closed the distance between them too rapidly for the recruit’s comfort, grabbed his sword arm with a vice like grip until the sword dropped and all but threw him across the deck. He slid a fair distance. “Do not hesitate!”

 

The third recruit stepped forward and didn’t wait; he ran at Mr. Sweeper’s exposed side and struck hard with his sword. Mr. Sweeper bellowed and bent over, clutching his ribs and groaning. The third recruit came forward quickly to apologise, having seen what happened to the last person to strike him unannounced. When he got there, Mr. Sweeper met him with the flat of his blade. It was amazing how quickly the recruit dropped when the wood struck his forehead. “Very good, but show no mercy! When yer enemy is ‘urt  ‘e is less likely to ‘urt  back!”

 

And so Mr. Sweeper moved down the line.

 

 

OOC: Right, so here is your first spar and you're going to lose. He's bigger, meaner, and better, but don't mind striking a blow if you think you can land it. If he knocks you down you may also get back up and keep going, whatever you like. Just remember I get to impose the rule of "this is my ship" and inject reality if I have to. Have fun!"

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Arcon watched as his classmates took Mr. Sweeper's blows and fell one by one. He took each lesson to heart until finally, it was his turn. He held the 'sword' in front of him in both hands. He took a measured step forward, and started an overhand chop, which was blocked side stepped, forcing Arcon to block a horizontal slash squarely. He was actually slid by the force of this Ox of a man Mr. Sweeper. He made a mental note never to do that again.

 

The First mate didn't stop, as a horizontal slash went to cleave the boy in half. Arcon slid to the side and advanced a step and swung at the man's right arm.  Sweeper released one hand from his blade, and turned the downward cut into a sweeping stroke at Arcon's legs; which he jumped over. Arcon could guess what was coming, and the second his toes touched deck he sprung back to avoid being shoved over and pummeled. Arcon continued to retreat, slapping away blows as needed, and circle the deck.

 

To be honest, Arcon was amazed at the endurance of Sweeper, chasing him around and attacking. He doubted he'd wear the larger man out, and so he needed to launch his counter attacks. He batted away a jab by Sweeper, and countered with one of his own. He felt the point tap the man on the chest; but he had underestimated just how much longer Mr. Sweeper's reach was, and as such it was hardly a solid blow. His gallant effort was rewarded by the hilt being slammed into his arm. The covered socket tingled with the memory of those bloody arrows, and it was because of that training that he managed to hold onto his sword, and retreat.

 

Still the first mate advanced, and launched a horizontal slash, one Arcon had no doubt would knock him out for a good long while if it connected, and he rose his blade to block. Instead of taking it squarely however, he knocked it to the left, and launched a counter meant to slap Sweeper in his own favorite spot to hit Arcon, the jaw. Instead, he inhaled sharply as the hilt of Sweeper's lathe crashed into his ribs; and the blade proceeded to slap him upside the head sending him spinning onto the deck.

 

When he looked up, he saw something repulsive; not one, but three Mr. Sweepers. Even his taint hardened stomach almost lost it at that. He rose to one knee, and was slapped again. At that, the dreadlord in training decided he liked the feeling of the deck beneath his face and stayed there, until Mr. Sweeper turned to grab another student, and Arcon launched himself to his feet and hit the massive man in the back. The return elbow didn't give him a choice in the matter of staying down or not.

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