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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Lessons learned the hard way, attn Kynwric


Visar Falmaien
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(ooc: get to it when you can, no rush)

 

Visar stretched after his morning warm up, and went over to the place in the warder yard where Kynwric agreed to meet him.  He had been in a training rut for a while, and Visar felt that he desperately needed to train with other experienced swordsmen.  He had heard that Kynwric was among the best.

 

Meeting Kynwric there, Visar shook his hand.

 

"Good morning, and thank you for agreeing to see me.  I'm sure you're busy."

 

They exchanged a few more polite words, and Kynwric suggested that they spar first to get an idea where Visar was at.  Visar nodded, and took up his lathed sword.  He had sparred plenty with blunt steel as well, but he did not feel like armoring up the additional safety equipment necessary, and sometimes the painful and dangerous blows with blunt steel could knock him out of sparring for hours until he recovered.  Play it safe... he was thinking, and it showed in his initial reactions when the spar began.

 

Visar was hesitant to attack at Kynwric at first, since he knew the man was a more experienced swordsman.  Yet he was not sure whether he could counter the man's blows if Kynwric attacked first.  And Visar wasn't even thinking of the possibility of feinting blows...

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Kynwric nodded to Visar "Good morning, I'm rarely too busy to help." the request was nothing new to Kynwric most of the Tower Guards at some point or another wanted to test themselves against a Blademaster or Grandmaster. It was actually becoming sort of a routine. Kyn himself had already stretched and warmed his muscles, he chose a lathe from the rack and gave it a swing or two as he settled his shield into place on his arm. When they lined up Kyn studied Visar for a moment or two, taking in the styles and learned from it. he could see the hesitancy in Visar's approach and it did not sit well with the technique the young man was using. That and hesitancy in a fight could get you killed. All the same Kyn settled into his defense and waited the Guardsman out, giving hints of feinted blows randomly as they began the dance.

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Visar started out at a distance, trying to size up his opponent.  Kynwric had the added advantage of a shield, and while Visar had not sparred much against the sword and shield combo, he knew from his limited experience that this was going to be a challenge.

 

Visar jerked a little at each feint, thinking that Kynwric would attack, but it seems that the man was completely content on waiting.  Visar felt intimidated by his opponent's calm, confident manner.  It didn't seem at all like Kynwric was hesitant, as Visar knew he himself was.

 

Stop thinking about it, and just do something!  Visar shrugged aside his nervousness, and attacked.  He did not have the patience to continually circle around and probe.  Get the fight over with quick, he always thought was a good idea.  But that shield...

 

Visar feinted a blow to Kynwric's head, and then went low with a one-handed strike at the man's legs.  He had caught many off guard with this, as the added reach of a one handed strike made it difficult to block or maneuver, but if he failed to hit, he knew it would leave his upper body completely vulnerable.

 

Thwack!  A blow landed solidly on Visar's outstretched arm.  Kynwric had seen his attack coming, and had been able to nimbly dodge it while countering in one movement.  Shaking his arm briefly, Visar reset and tried again.  Again Kynwric waited.

Perhaps my feint wasn't good enough. Visar thought briefly, so he went straight in, cutting savagely on the side the shield wasn't.  If he tried to block with his sword, then Visar intended to try to close in on him.  Some who used shields didn't practice grappling as often as someone who used one weapon with two hands, where the off hand could easily be used for a number of nasty tricks.

 

(ooc: I'll let you do this one)

 

 

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Kynwric punished Visar's arm for the lackluster feint and settled back into his defense waiting again for the swordsman to make the first move. The blow coming in at his sword side was nothing new, almost everyone tried it as it was an area that appeared open, unfortunately for Visar it was a well rehearsed opening and as Visar's sword came closer Kyn parried it with his own sword while stepping in close and bashing Visar's other arm in the elbow with his shield and then brought the shield straight up to either force the man back or take him under the chin all at the same time Kyn's lathe lashed out from behind the shield on the same plane Visar's attack had come from, literally following his own sword back to the point from which it originated. Following this quick pass Kyn rolled out to his right, not giving Visar room to maneuver for another attack until they were out of range and then he settled back in behind his shield. He realized he likely could have pushed the attack and not allowed Visar another attempt, but, as with most things, he felt more comfortable defending solidly and counter-attacking; particularly when time was not a concern.

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(ooc: sorry for the delay!)

 

Visar's sword arm became instantly numb from the shield blow to his elbow, and in the shock, he was easily pushed back, the rim of the shield driving most uncomfortably into his neck.  Another blow landed from Kynwric's agile sword, though Visar did not see it.  He certainly felt it though.

 

Kynwric quickly maneuvered back out of range, waiting.  Visar paused for a moment, and then with a sigh acknowledged the hits.

 

Once his arm had recovered, Visar tried to come in again, feinting low at Kynwric's legs.  However, before he could land a second blow, Kynwric closed in a blink of an eye and stabbed Visar straight in the gut.

 

Visar doubled over from the blow, the wind knocked out of him.  He held his hand up, and took another break of a minute or so to catch his breath.

 

I have to be able to hit him one of these days!  He thought as he was ready again.  He didn't think at all, and rushed right in, trying to strike Kynwric right on the head.  The shield intercepted it with a loud thud, and Visar could not pull his sword back in time to block Kynwric's stinging blow on his thigh.

 

He tried to attack again, this time rewarded with a blow right in the ear.  Visar staggered back, losing his balance, and disgracefully fell onto his back.

 

After another short break, Visar was ready to try again.  I have to keep trying.  I owe him that much!  This time he did not rush in.  He waited for Kynwric to make the opening move, staying just out of range.

 

 

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OCC: Not a problem.

 

Kynwric smiled, "So it seems you are capable of learning." Kynwric settled into his defense and waited, he had patience, training and stamina on his side he was certain for this was precisely the style of fighting he had spent the last decades training in. "While we wait, let me tell you a story..." Kyn then began a long story of Jain Farstrider as he held his defense implacably in place in front of him, not wavering or shifting as he spoke. He watched Visar and for the first few minutes he kept a strong, central defense but as time wore on Kyn could see the tiredness and soreness creep into his arms and shoulder. The pain was written on his face. Kyn was about halfway through when he paused and asked, "You okay over there?"

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Vusar frowned, his mind itching to do something, yet he knew that Kynwric's responses were extremely well honed.  The fact that Kynwric could easily take and win the initiative then and there only made his relative inaction more nonsensical.  This 'patience game' has nothing to do with fighting! he thought to himself, becoming more frustrated and angry by the minute.  What was worse, Kynwric started telling a story.  A story!!

 

Visar played the game as patiently as he could manage, but every second made him want to grit his teeth.  Every minute which passed reminded him of his bruises, and of the continuing strain to hold his weapon just so, to maintain distance just so.  It was horribly passive, both of them waiting for the other to do something, yet that only seemed to add to Visar's mental and physical tension.  And that, though he was unaware of it, tired him out more quickly.

 

"You ok over there?" Kynwric asked.

 

Visar considered what to tell him, ranging from a simple yes or no to verbally or physically exploding on the better trained warder.

 

"This exercise seems pointless other than to try my patience."  Visar began.  "It goes against everything that I have seen or been taught.  To seek the initiative, not hide behind a shield and wait for the enemy to strike you.  There is no such thing as a perfect defense, however well trained you might be to keep me from hitting you.  If I fail at my offense, I still might have another chance to retake the initiative and strike again, though so far that has eluded me.  If you fail in your defense...You would die, no?"

 

Yet Visar realized just after he said this that his criticism was pointless.  He had not landed a single blow with assumedly superior offense.  He amended his statement, acknowledging Kynwric's skill.

 

"Still...baiting me and taking the initiative back just as I strike...  You are very good at that.  That is something I'd like to be better at." 

Visar shifted his grip and footwork slightly, trying to ease the soreness and tension in his upper body.  Intentionally or not, he might as well as screamed "Hit me!" to an opponent looking for an opening to strike right away.

 

 

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Kyn smiled at Visar's assessment, it was one he expected from those who trained in a different manner than he did. "Oh aye, if my defense fails I am certain to be injured and possibly die from those injuries. However, I am content to be here and you are not content to be there. Whom do you think makes the first mistake? The man happy with his lot or the one who is not... and while this exercise may try your patience it is not what it is designed to do, it is designed to test your fitness." He had noticed the sag and shift in Visar's defense and knew he could hit the man at his leisure. That being the case Kyn held his defense in place and waited more through another shift back to the tight defense and then another back to the relaxed, neither of these lasted very long as he could see the tension and tiredness etched in Visar's posture and visage. Finally another shift in stance came and it was then Kyn seized the intitative as Visar had put it, lashing out quickly and precisely with <i>The River Undercuts the Bank</i>, followed immediately with The Courtier Taps His Fan into The Swallow Takes Flight to bring his sword back above his shield again. There was not break then though, Kyn continued to flow from one form to the next for several dozen attacks until he finished the flurry with The Heron Spreads Its Wings into Striking the Spark before folding back into his turtle shell defense to see what condition Visar was in.

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Visar listened.  So it was not purely defensive, but more about being content...It sounded a little vague to him, but perhaps the principle would work if he practiced at it.

 

Visar shifted his stance, trying not to betray the fact that he was tiring from tensely anticipating Kynwric's move.  Then, when he did it again, Kynwric struck out, quick as a snake.  Visar only had to move his position slightly to block the River Undercuts the Bank, but Kynwric easily transitioned into another attack at his head.  Visar was somehow able to block the second one, but his focus was shattered, and now all he could do was attempt to defend himself, realizing he was being methodically driven backward and off balance.

 

Finally, his attempt at voiding and blocking failed and one of Kynwric's strikes landed on Visar's right side, and the man was not shy to follow it up with several more bruise inducing hits.  If these had been sharp, Visar would have literally been cut to pieces.

 

After a few more rounds, Kynwric easily seizing the initiative with the first and successive strikes each time, Visar held up his hand in submission.  His arms were shaking and numb from so many blows, and even the act of breathing brought stinging pain.  Kynwric waited, in his confident defensive stance, as Visar caught his breath.

 

"I...I see...You are quite able to do both.  I was a fool to think you too focused on the defense.  And a fool to think that I can simply attack and be safe.  My abilities at present do not match my ideals, either."

 

Visar leaned heavily on his lathed sword, the sweat running off of him now almost unbearably cold.  He shivered, and finally composed himself.

 

"I have much work to do." Visar started, trying to assess his own mistakes and what he needed to work on.  There seemed to be so many he did not know where to begin.  He only wished he had the energy to continue.  For now, though, he would rest and try to recover from the thrashing he had just received.  "What would you recommend, Kynwric Gaidin?  Shall we practice again some time?"

 

 

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Kynwric relaxed, letting his guard down some, but not quite fully. He was certain Visar had been beaten, but some trainees liked to be tricksome. In answer to his question Kyn said, "I would recommend thinking about balance in your style. All offense is just as untenable as all defense and someone who is good at defense can sustain it longer than someone on offense. I would be happy to practice with you again, merely seek me out when you are recovered. I would also caution against the belief that one style is more effective than all others, some may be less effective than others but none is 'the best', for if it existed than all would fight that way."

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"I would recommend thinking about balance in your style. All offense is just as untenable as all defense and someone who is good at defense can sustain it longer than someone on offense. I would be happy to practice with you again, merely seek me out when you are recovered. I would also caution against the belief that one style is more effective than all others, some may be less effective than others but none is 'the best', for if it existed than all would fight that way."

 

Visar nodded, knowing he was in for at least a couple of sore days.  Kynwric's words made a good bit of sense, now that he thought about it.  Balance.

 

"I will seek some form of balance, then, in my practice and in my future endeavors.  You're right that's very important.  Thank you for your time, Kynwric.  You'll be seeing me in a few days, no doubt."  Visar grinned, and added, "Maybe I'll manage to land a single hit on you next time."  He started laughing, but it turned into a painful cough, his ribs aching from all the bruises.

 

"I'll be seeing you, and thank you!"  he managed, nodding to Kynwric a last time.  He then turned, limped away, determined to try to recover.  Oddly enough, Visar did not feel quite as discouraged as he had been.  Although he had been beaten, he did not feel humiliated.  He had learned from it, and was determined he could do better.

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