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Sticks and Swords (attn Visar)


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Kate was having a hard time dealing with her struggles channeling.  Dancing forms in her room after hours was not helping distract her or calm her down, so she did what she knew she should not, she decided to go to the Warder's Yards to find a fight. 


She knew it would get her in trouble so she wanted to hide who she was before going down.  Kate crept into a servants quarters and stole some breaches and a shirt.  They didn't fit very well but they would do.  She bundled her white dress up and headed to the Yards to see what she could find.  She felt more comfortable in these clothes then she had in the many months she'd been in that damned white dress.


Kate knew she shouldn't do this, but she was fustrated and she needed to do something she was at least semi-good at.  She could beat her brother when she wanted to, but he was getting bigger and stronger than she was, it was getting harder for her to do without any additional training.


Kate listened to the pounding of practice swords and nearly felt at home, it did reminder of times on the ranch when her mother taught them and the other town kids how to use the quarterstaff.  It made Kate smile.


Kate found her way to the weapons rack and picked up a quarter staff and started testing it for weight and height.  She backed up so she'd have room to twirl the big stick around as a test and stepped on someone's foot.





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Thwack!  Their lathed swords clashed.  Torvus tried to disengage and strike around the other sword, but his opponent dodged, his sword moving through the air with a Whish!  Torvus saw the blow coming, but couldn't get his own up in time to defend as it went Thud!


"Agh!" Torvus grunted in pain as his sparring partner's lathed sword slammed mercilessly against his ribs.  That would leave a nasty bruise later, he knew, but now it just stung like crazy!


"This isn't working, Chades.  I need to switch weapons and I'll come right back."  What Torvus really felt he needed was a breather, and not More punishment.  But nobody took it easy on relatively new trainees.  He had heared the process called weeding: all trainees would be subjected to rigorous sparring with the lathed swords, to put them under so much pressure that the weaker would drop out and quit of their own accord.


He had no intention of quitting early, however, no matter how many bruises these young men doled out on him.  He could take bruises, especially with the bit of brandy he had earlier in the morning to help dull his senses.  Although he wasn't supposed to drink any in the training yards, Torvus had hidden a small flask of brandy in tall grass that grew around one of the fence posts.


Why did he even bother trying?  It was obvious he was not born to be a good swordsman.  Especially not with a mainly two handed weapon, the single edged long sword that quite a few trainees and Warders here preferred.  His right hand just could not grip it dexterously enough, and he wasn't used to having the left hand lead yet.  Although he had already done so many times, Torvus silently cursed the night he had gone drinking with Adela.  He didn't remember most of it, but apparently she had won, and he had wagered signing up as a Warder Trainee somehow in the process.


Looking back to the rack, he thought he would have to try a more complicated weapon combination, but what exactly would do the trick?  Limping over to the practice weapons' rack, Torvus examined his options carefully, trying to calculate what might give him a better chance against an agile, two-handed sword.  His eyes rested on a short sword meant for only one handed use.  It didn't have the reach of a longsword, but at least it was likely to be lighter and possibly faster.  But a one handed sword alone against a two hander wasn't good enough in his opinion.  So he chose a large quillon dagger to pair with it. If he could hold onto the dagger, maybe that would do the trick.


Fumbling at his specially-made leather brace, Torvus unclasped it and slid down the small knob which would loosen his grip.  Shaking his hand loose of cramps, he then placed the dagger in hand, and pulled sharply up on the knob, which through leather wraps on his fingers closed his grip.  He then locked it into place, hoping that would do the trick.  Taking the sword in his good hand, Torvus turned around, only to have his foot stepped on.


"Hey!" he shouted angrily at the trainee who back peddled into him and almost hit him with the staff he was twirling around. "Watch where you're going, you scrawny chipmunk!"  adding insult to the boy's diminutive size.


The boy turned around, and to Torvus's slight surprise 'he' turned out to be a girl dressed in guy's clothes.  Something about her didn't fit right, Torvus thought.  It was more than just the clothes being too big for her.  He had never seen her out here before.


"You must be new around here." Torvus concluded, pointedly not apologizing for calling the girl a chipmunk.  She looked somewhat affronted.  Good, he thought.  She would give him an excuse not to have to fight Chades again, and he doubted she would be much of a challenge, even with a quarterstaff.



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Kate laughed.  He was a spirited boy much like her self.  "I ain't no chipmunk.  And I guess you could call me new around here."  Though that was a lie in and of it self.  She wasn't new, she wasn't suppose to be here at all.  But Kate really needed to fight with something that she knew better. 


Kate assumed the void with a bit of struggle, her training with the one power was damaging her own fighting techniques, she sighed and tried again.  It was becoming a chore to try to do both, she would have to figure out how to manage this thing, if only she could learn to channel at will.  The thought slid around the void and she smiled.  At least she still had her training.  Her mother would be proud, but disappointed she was going soft on her.


Kate didn't want to play around she wanted to fight.  She swung her quarterstaff at the boy's sword.  "I'm Kate."  That was all she said as she swatted at his sword again, then backed up to an empty sparring ring.  "You coming?"  Kate gave him a friendly smile and then started to stretch a little while he came over, she hoped she didn't hurt herself doing this, it had been a while since she'd practiced with a partner.



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So she wanted a spar.  Torvus happened to be just the right amount of annoyed to give one to her.  And if she fought anything like he thought she would, just hitting his sword to try to annoy him and not aiming at him, this would be easy.


He followed her as she moved to a relatively empty space.  She started to stretch a little, and Torvus paused, allowing her this brief time to get ready.  He was always ready, and felt no need to stretch.  When she seemed good to go, he assumed a defensive stance, his sword held to cut off attacks from most of one side, his dagger closer in.


"On Guard." he indicated he was ready to begin.  He would not make the first strike, not when she had such an obvious advantage in reach.  He needed to see what she could do with the staff first before he could proceed to enter past the point and destroy her at closer range.  At least that was what he thought he was supposed to do.  It seemed rather simple in his head; how hard could it be?

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Kate smile, he had taken the bait, but she wondered really how good he was.  Aiden could beat her easily.  The thought skirted the edges of the void as she gave her staff one more test twist to make sure it would work for her.  "And here we go." 


Kate didn't wait for him to attack her, from his stance it didn't look like they would, and Kate really didn't feel like waiting.  Kate threw several tentative strikes at the boy.  She wondered how old he was.  But it was of little consequence to her really, older or younger really didn't matter when it came to fighting.  But he was just a trainee, so his skills could be worse or better than hers.  She tried not to think about it as she made more quick strikes at him.  Her thoughts were wandering and it would get the better of her if she didn't pay attention.


Kate remembered her mother's voice scolding her for wandering thoughts, "Kate, your thoughts wander, be wary, be careful or you'll get yourself killed".  She focused on the battle in front of her and only the battle.  Kate through the first of the real attacks at the lad.  Kate didn't land any strikes as he parried and dodged easily.  Kate smiled, she knew she would have to try harder, but she fell into a circling stance.  She didn't want to tire herself out, but she wanted to know what the kid was made of.  So she waited now for him to attack. 

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They started tentatively, Torvus mostly on the defense, wary of the range of her staff.  He managed to ward most of the blows she sent at him well enough, and he saw his opportunities for closing in come and pass.  That frustrated him, and he was about to move in and attack when she attacked for real.  He had to use both his dagger and his sword to defend that time, and his counter came too slow for him to close in before she backed out of range again.


They reset, and finally Torvus had had enough of waiting and being cautious.  He kept his dagger forward for defense and raised his sword, launching in with wide footwork to close the gap and get into range to strike her right on the head.  But before he could do so,




Her quarterstaff flicked out and struck his dagger hand behind the guard.


"Yow!" he exclaimed in alarm and considerable pain, and the dagger tumbled from his loose grip.  His leather brace ripped in the process, and it was all Torvus could do as he fumbled with it to dodge her next strike, which could have done some serious damage to his skull, possible even kill him if she hit hard enough.


As it was it caused a nasty bruise on his right arm, and made him not want to use it anymore.


Alarmed that she was suddenly landing hits on him, Torvus thought the only thing he could do was try to attack again.  They were close enough by now, and he struck out as far as he could with his sword at her leading leg.  That should cause a nice welt if she didn't block it!

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  • 1 month later...

Kate smiled as she landed a few blows. It was always nice to remember what she was doing, and be good at it. She was severely frustrated with channeling, this was life, she missed it. She wondered if she'd ever make it to Accepted.


And with that the boy struck at her leading leg and Kate had been distracted by her own thoughts and it landed. Kate didn't cry out but it hurt like anything else she'd felt. She leapt back and hobbled a little before regaining her balance. He struck again, and she barely blocked it. She was now on the defensive and it was more like fighting against Aiden. She tried to remember what she'd been taught but he was stronger and faster and he landed a few blows. She smiled it brought back memories.


He would eventually tire himself out and Kate would take advantage of it.

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Torvus pressed his offensive desperately, knowing he was at a disadvantage with his dagger gone and fighting one handed against a two handed weapon. He started to finally land a few hits, but he took some as well, and the bruises were starting to add up and slow him down. Once another hit on his hand might have ended the spar if he were careful, but Torvus glared through the pain and kept going. He would not admit defeat before this girl, and a newcomer at that! Even if she broke all his fingers in the process!


There! Torvus dodged one of her strikes and hurled himself in the gap to strike Kate on the head and hopefully finish this. His sword stretched out, moving to hit her head, when suddenly an unexpected and shocking pain flared beneath his extended arm in his ribs, knocking the wind completely out of him. His sword tumbled numbly from his grasp as he gasped for air, crumpling down to the ground in a heap. He hadn't even seen the thrust to his chest coming.


Dazed and confused, Torvus just sat there, trying to remember a time when he was able to take a full breath of air without it hurting like crazy. Light, was one of his ribs broken? As a concerned Kate bent over him, Torvus attempted to mumble that he might actually need help with this one.


"Infirm...!...?" he gasped.

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Kate had thought she wasn't swinging her staff that hard, but he crumpled to the ground and Kate nearly panicked, she didn't know how to heal. She wished she could. Kate knelt down near the boy and hoped that he would be okay. Her was trying to talk but he didn't get all the words out. It was okay though Kate knew what to do. Kate knew going to the infirmary was going to get her in trouble, but at least this boy wouldn't die because she was foolish.


Kate looked stronger than she was, she'd been lifting bales of hay for years before she'd come here, she'd helped on the Rashad Ranch and now she would carry this hurt boy to the infirmary. Hopefully it wouldn't do more damage. He winced in pain as she walked but she carried him quickly.


Kate muttered to herself "I wish I could heal, I wish I could heal" the entire way under her breath. Kate poked the boy to keep him away. "You have to stay awake. We are almost there." Kate knew he must be going into shock my now.


Kate walked into the infirmary and received a stern look from the yellows in the room. "I was on the practice yards and I hurt this boy with my quarterstaff please help him."


Kate laid him down on the vacant bed and turned. "I will see the Mistress of Novices now, I know the way." She thought she'd seen one of the Accepted smile as if Kate had made a funny, but Kate had been to the Mistress of Novices too many times now, she knew the way from anywhere in the Tower."

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  • 3 weeks later...

Torvus blinked tears from his face, the only thing keeping him slipping into unconsciousness was the sheer embarrassment of it all. Here he was being carried by a girl! While normally under more intimate circumstances he might not mind this as much, but this was out here in the Warder Yards, where everyone would see! He had been bested and injured by a girl, and now this same girl was adding insult to injury by carrying him. And there was nothing he could do!


He winced as he attempted to struggle briefly. That hurt too much. He tried to relax, but the way she kept stepping was hardly the most comfortable. He focused on breathing, inhaling each breath and thanking the Light that he could still breath. Just breathe. That was the key. Breathe!


He heard her muttering as she carried him, but it didn't make any sense. Why was she concerned about healing? The infirmary was right there, wasn't it? He wasn't hurt that bad, surely?


He didn't really remember the whole trip. One minute she was still carrying him telling him to stay awake, then things blurred a little. Then he remembered being settled down onto a bed. Then, concerned voices above him. And then ice washed through him, the final shock which somehow seemed to numb his pain.


He woke up some few hours later, feeling dizzy, tired, but somehow quite refreshed. He stared down at his chest. The pain was gone! Even from the other bruises he had received before that. The sisters in the infirmary must have healed his injuries. An Accepted rushed over upon seeing him awake and trying to get out of bed.


"Excuse me, young trainee!" she said with a kind but gratingly patronizing tone, as if Torvus was a child of ten. "You should not be getting up just yet! You had broken a rib and fractured a finger, and you need more time to rest and eat for your body to regain its energy after Healing."


Torvus blinked. This was one of the first times he had been Healed at the Tower proper, but it would most likely not be the last with his kind of luck. Almost as if on cue, his stomach rumbled, and he wisely settled back into his bed, hoping none of his friends in the yard knew about this yet. Though chances were they had seen him being carried off by a woman and that alone might be the source of further hazing for months to come.


"Alright." he acquiesced. "Food would be great, thank you! Where... Where did she go? The trainee who carried me in here?" The Accepted's face lit up into a strange mixture of amusement and concern, but quickly resumed its professional solemnity.


"She has gone to see the Mistress of Novices." The Accepted replied. Torvus nodded, accepting that answer until he noticed something was amiss.


"Wait... did you say the Mistress of Novices? Not the Mistress of Trainees, Surely?" The woman did not reply. The grin was back, and she was trying not to laugh. "Wait. Am I missing something here?"


"No, you heard me correctly. Kate was sent to the Mistress of Novices for punishment."


"Novices... So... That makes her..." A horrible conclusion passed Torvus's mind, so terrible and embarrassing that he could not speak it aloud. Scowling, he sat back in his bed and thanked the Light for the tray of food to allow him to be excused from further conversation.


Beaten up by a Novice?! He would never hear the end of it.



--Torvus, soon to be laughingstock to the Warder Community

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