Jump to content



At least it's not monitoring the potty...


Recommended Posts

Edana climbed up on a cart that held a collection of lathes and curled her long legs up under her. The Captain had gruffly told her to handle this training this morning and she'd pretended to groan and mutter about it until he'd turned almost purple and ordered her out of his sight. She was pretty sure this was going to slap her in the face someday, but until he stopped trying to force her hand in her own love life, she was going to make him pay. Not that it was much different from her usual treatment of him, but that was a different story, entirely.


She grinned as her eyes scanned the Yard looking for the trainees who were told to meet their "instructor" at this cart. She grabbed the thick braid behind her and pulled the ties free to start plaiting it over again as she waited. Since she'd let it grow out to her hips, it took her a while to do. If they weren't there by the time the ties were on it again, she was assigning them extra latrine duties and giving herself a day off. If she was humming, so be it. The dream of an afternoon to herself was enough for her to hope they wouldn't show...




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Arlow walked briskly out of the mess hall, still carrying a half eaten piece of bread in his hand. He looked up at the sun, remembering a conversation the night before about training. Bloody hell, my first day and I'm already late! He finished of the rest of the bread in one bite, and sped up to a brisk pace. He walked through the empty training areas before coming to a cart with a lone woman sitting on it, doing something with her hair. "Mistress, I am here for a lesson on using a sword. Are you the instructor of the lesson?," Arlow asked politely and bowed slightly in her direction. In Amadacia, no women held places of power, but that can't be true of the rest of the world, can it? he thought, hoping that he was in the right place.


~Arlow Sharbaeyil - Trainee

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Torvus walked back out to the training yards after putting his bow and quiver of arrows away. He had been here over a year, and still his archery left much to be desired. Frustrated at having to learn everything all over again with his left hand, Torvus hoped today's sword lesson would prove a little better.


He found a small cart with sticks and lathed swords sticking out of it, and a woman with the uniform of the Tower Guard sitting there. That would be his instructor for the day. He wondered why the Tower Guard had so many women in key positions in it. There were some few female soldiers in Saldaea, so he was no stranger to knowing women who knew how to fight. But why would they want positions in the guard was a question beyond him. Still, he remembered what had happened last time he had thought he could best a woman. Wasn't that the reason he was a trainee in the first place?


No matter. He introduced himself to the Guardswoman, who was already addressing another trainee who had arrived first.


"Trainee Torvus reporting for your sword class," he said stiffly. He was trying to ignore the pains in his arms. Archery was a difficult discipline to perfect, and it didn't help that often he could barely shoot from the bruises and welts he accumulated. The Warders told him again and again to protect his arms, but apparently they wouldn't teach him the secret to doing so.


Torvus had a lathed wooden short sword with him, having made it himself last week. It was already showing signs that it might break. He was always trying to fight against trainees with two handed weapons and found himself always at a disadvantage. Maybe this teacher would help him actually learn something useful.

--Torvus Arathel, trainee--

Edited by Visar Falmaien
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ed eyed the first trainee who arrived with a quirk of her eyebrow that quickly turned to a smirk. Mistress, indeed. She was just opening her mouth to say something to him about it when the second of her charges arrived. "Well, it's nice to see you're only a little late, Arlow and Torvus. I'm Edana, obviously of the Tower Guard and the officially recognized thorn in the Captain's side," she said with a laugh. No doubt, they expected her to bash them about being late, but she really didn't care over a few minutes. The peace had been worth it, even if it had been short-lived. "And bringing your own equipment is usually a good way to start, Torvus, unless it splinters in your hand. Bruises may make a man move more smartly but a splinter will turn him into quite a baby." She grinned and winked.


"So, we're working with our swords today, yes?" She turned and looked around at the cart under her. "Ah, here we are." She grabbed a pair of lathes and pulled them free of the cart, tossing one to Arlow and leaning the other on her shoulder. "Let's start with something easy and move from there. First, because we don't walk around with bare blades unless we're ready to use them, let's get our weapons in the right place. Unsheathing a sword is easier from your hip than your back, although even I have to admit someone grabbing it off their back looks really menacing. I'll let someone better at that show you how to do it, though. I'm afraid I'd just cut my hair off and that would be tragic." She smirked again. If she kept that up, they'd be swearing this was a joke. Alas, her blade was just about the only thing she didn't joke about. "So, put your lathe on your hip. The first form we're going to talk about is Leopard in the Tree. Just like the name implies, it's a waiting stance, a bit predatory and with the right facial expression, usually gets your 'don't mess with me today' message across easily enough. Sometimes, just looking like you're not afraid to bare a blade is enough to make people rethink their actions. Try flexing your knees a bit, like a leopard about to pounce. Move your shoulders back and put your sword hand on the hilt of your blade." She watched them mimic her movements without correcting anything.


"You'll know whether you're doing it right when you try the next one. If you're off balance, then pulling that hilt out is going to be awkward. The next one is called Unfolding the Fan. This is how you get the sword from your hip to your hand and ready to cause damage in the most efficient way. The name sounds horribly fancy, but if you do it right, the motions of that sword coming free and a lady drawing a fan will look very similar. It looks like this." She pulled the lathe free of her hip, the hand that would've been holding her scabbard still in place until the lathe was free of it. The tip of the lathe made a graceful arch until she fell in to the next form. "The next one is called Lion on the Hill and I want you to practice doing them both together at first. It'll give you somewhere to aim when you get your lathe free. The hilt of the sword stops here, with the blade about shoulder high, ready to move into another form. This is also called a basic guard stance." She showed them both forms, flowing from Unfolding the Fan and stopping in Lion on the Hill. "Again, watch your balance as you do them, as you can loose your balance if you're leaning too far one direction or another. Go ahead and try them."


She put the tip of her lathe into the ground and watched them both move through the three forms, nodding in approval as the lathes cleared their hands a little more smoothly each time. She helped as needed, but otherwise, just let them work through the movements to find their own fluidity.


"Alright, good job! Let's assume, for a moment, that you've sliced up your opponent quite well, now. You really don't want to walk around with a bare blade, as it's just a challenge to people who are bigger idiots than than the one you just took out. So, let's put the thing away, shall we? You could do it like a farm boy whose not used to being around people trying to kill him or you could do it with some finesse. Rule number one, the more finesse you show, the less people want to mess with you. It's completely worth the time playing with these things in front of a mirror, just don't let your room mate see you doing it or the ribbing will never end. So, let's put our lathes away with a little finesse, then. Just as taking the sword out was called Unfolding the Fan, putting it away it called, Folding the Fan. Hey, I didn't name them, I just teach them! So, you're blade is hopefully back in a guard stance, like Lion on the Hill, just in case the guy bleeding before you isn't the only one who's up for a challenge. Now, with a little flick of the wrist, the lathe will reverse it's original arch and end up right back where it started. Since we're not dealing with real blades, that means you need to aim for your hipbone and hopefully have your hand there to catch your imaginary scabbard. Like this," She twisted her wrist while dropping her left hand, and a second later the tip of the lathe slid easily into the hole she'd made for it with the hand she'd dropped. She slid it easily back into Leopard in the Tree before removing her hand and stiffening her knees. "Ok, now you try it."


Again she stood back and watched them, demonstrating and adding assistance where needed. When they seemed to have it, she stood back and nodded, noting the sun's progression to near mid-morning. "Let's stop there for today. You practice this evening and meet me back here in the morning ready to make me cry with how beautiful your movements have become. Practice moving from Leopard in the Tree to Unfolding the Fan and then Lion on the Hill then resheathing it and standing up again using Folding the Fan, and Leopard in the Tree. Oh, and try not to be late next time? If I've lost the opportunity to have a day off, the least you can do is make it here on time." She winked when she said it and sheathed her lathe in the cart.



feel free to use Ed however you need to when she's "demonstrating and assisting." ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Torvus was not used to this sort of teaching, with Edana seeming fairly free with her humor. He did not mind at all, however, since it was much better than the harsh taskmasters he had had who simply yelled at him or hit him if he did something wrong, and never really told him what it was.


Edana instructed them on the drawing stance. Torvus had already practiced this before, but it had been useless to him trying to draw a sword from his left hip. He already knew he had to have the blade and scabbard on the other side so he could draw it smoothly with his left hand.


He mimicked what Arlow and Edana were doing but on the other side. Leopard in the Tree, look like you're about to draw and that you could leap around. Wasn't too hard.


Then they got to drawing the sword. Torvus had already practiced that hundreds of times, this should be easy.


He took hold of the hilt with his left hand and energetically drew up and out, like opening up a fan with a flick of the wrist. Only this lathe was not nearly as light as a fan, and Torvus's first attempt was more of a wild flail that carried his arm way too wide. He tried again, trying to get that finessed stopping point where the blade was just so... But kept finding himself going wide. One time he almost lost his grip on the weapon. He glanced around, a little embarrassed, but didn't say anything.


"Here, let me show you something," Edana interjected. She mimicked the draw again, and then gripped Torvus's wrist. "If you bend your wrist like that when you draw, you have no strength in your grip, and the second your blade gets hit it'll go flying away. Keep your wrist stable and use your arm more."


Torvus tried doing that, correcting his overly bending wrist. That made it much easier to make the draw smoothly and stop it where he needed to.


Then he went into Lion on the Hill, holding his hilt high by his head. That wasn't too hard, though the way he did it felt reasonably weak. Could he really stop any blow from here?


"Let me show you something again. Stay where you are." Edana came over and without warning struck at Torvus's guard. It impacted and just as Torvus suspected, his own blade came crashing back into his head. He grunted, more from annoyance than any real pain.


"For a single sword, you need to hold it out more, so you can absorb a two handed. Got it?"


"I think so," Torvus said. He kept practicing. Draw, Lion on the Hill. Then they started sheathing the sword, 'Unfolding the Fan'. Easiest part, right?


The first time Torvus tried, he hit himself in the leg as he was coming in. The second time his point jammed into his hip inches from his hand. Growling, he tried doing it slower, and it was much easier to get the sword "sheathed" into his hand.


Then before he knew it, the class was over for the day. What had they done? All they had been doing was drawing and sheathing practically! What was the deal? He knew he needed the practice though, as his form was absolutely awful from what instructors told him and the bruises he accumulated regularly. Frustrated, he practiced some more before he had to do other duties.



The next day he was back a few minutes early.

"Are we actually going to learn something new today?" he asked Edana.


-Torvus, probably needing a lesson in humility

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Arlow made a mental note to turn up on time from now on, and caught the lathe with two hands, almost dropping it. He positioned it at his hip awkwardly, and pulled his shoulders back, and stumbled backward, trying not to fall. His knees had been too bent, and combined with the lean, caused him to start to fall back. Face going red with embarassment, he stood straight and put the lathe to his hip again. This time he didn't lean so far back, and figured that he had the right position by looking at Torvus and Edana.


Then, it was time to draw the lathe from his hip. He shifted his grip slightly, so it sat comfortably in his hand, and tried to draw. The blade came out easily, but Arlow's hand slipped, and was barely holding onto the blade. Arlow moved his hand into the first position he used to grip the handle, and tried again. This time, he kept control of it, but Arlow's grip felt awkward. It must be because I never bothered with Father's lessons, he thought, and replaced the lathe at his hip and drew more easily this time. He noticed Edana hitting Torvus' blade, and hitting him in the head with it. Arlow grinned, and because he hadn't focussed on his grip, shifting into the more comfortable position, his attempt at another draw failed, and the sword fell from his hand.


Picking it up hastily, he decided to focus more on the lesson rather than Torvus' progress. His blade came off his hip easily, and Arlow brought it up into Lion On The Hill, albeit slowly. He did it again, this time a bit quicker, and didn't notice Edana come over to him. " You're drawing your sword too high, it should stay around your shoulders, not the top of your head," she told him, and Arlow grimaced. As he drew again, Edana stopped him just as the tip of the blade left his hip. " The sword-tip is moving too far away from your hip, and causing your blade to go wide of where you want it to," Edana showed him the correct way, the blade not straying too far from her body. Arlow tried, and managed to hold it just below shoulder level. " I would prefer you to practice this form more after the lesson has ended today, but it's your choice whether you stay or not," Ed said, and moved away from him.


Next came Folding the Fan, and Arlow winced as he hit himself on the hip with the blade, more from embarassment than pain. He tried to sheathe it again, and missed entirely. Frustrated, he looked to where Torvus was practicing, and saw that he was doing it slowly, rather than trying to sheathe it fast. Arlow slowed his movements down, and the blade went through the circle his hand made against his waist. He grinned, and attempted it again, succeeding. Edana announced that the lesson had come to an end, glancing at him before walking away. He noticed that Torvus had stayed behind, practicing the forms. Arlow nodded to Torvus when he looked up, and mimicked him, practicing the same movements, over and over.




Arlow arrived just after Edana, having seen her on his way to the training grounds and followed her. He had kept the lathe from yesterday, and brought it with him to this lesson. He stood there in front of Edana, and waited patiently for her to tell them what today's lesson was.


~ Arlow Sharbaeyil

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Edana was stretching when she heard footsteps approaching and nodded with approval as both trainees arrived early. She was about to compliment them on it, when Torvus spoke up. "Are we actually going to learn something new today?"


She laughed, though the sound was far from humor. "I'm not sure, Torvus. It depends on whether you can get your lathe out of your scabbard before I kill you or not. And unless you've spent your evening doing a lot of practicing, I'd say you're still a little rusty on getting it free. I don't have to report for my turn on the wall for a few hours, yet, so I suppose I can sit here and trim my nails while you unfold and refold the fan a few million times. That might make your sword arm stronger, so I believe it would help you quite a bit. A good use of our time? Eh. Terribly boring, definitely. So what do you say we drop the attitude? I could waste precious time showing you why you need to keep your mouth shut and let me to my job, but the way I see it, you're on that side of this conversation for a reason and that reason should be enough without adding a trip to the infirmary to the agenda."


She paused only long enough to move on to the day's lesson. "Let's start by seeing your progress with the forms I showed you yesterday." She called the forms, watching their balance as they moved the lathe and their bodies and noting minor things she'd need to fix later. They seemed comfortable enough with those forms, so she moved on.


"Alright, let's start with some offensive forms, since we're in such a peaky mood today. This one is called Arc of the Moon. You start from a normal guard position, so get there." She waited for a second and then moved. "Now, from here, the lathe moves in a pretty simple slash, from around here and back." As she talked, she moved the lathe from the middle of her body around in a slash that would've taken off Torvus's head if she'd have been closer, then brought the lathe back to where it started. "As you can see, the movement has a pretty standard purpose. Go on, give it a try."


She assisted as needed and otherwise stayed out of their way, watching their weight shift as they slashed and correcting it to keep them from overextending the lathe. When they seemed to have the general motion, she nodded and moved on. "The second one is called The Courtier Taps His Fan. Now, I'm not sure how many Courtiers you've met, but this motion looks just like it sounds, it just hurts more." She demonstrated the form, turning to the pell behind her this time, with her lathe swinging in a neat arc and landing a square hit on the top of the pell's head. When she returned the lathe to a guard stance, she turned back to the trainees. "This form is done overhanded, so be careful with your grip. Go ahead and give it a try."


She stood away from the pell and gestured to let them practice the movements, correcting what needed it and nodding in approval when they got the general idea. "Naturally, the more force you put behind it, the better chance your opponent isn't getting up. Trollocs, in particular, have really hard heads, so when you practice, try getting the arc to come down as hard as you can without exhausting yourself. You're going to need to dance away again pretty quickly, but we'll talk about that later."


"Now, let's move on to the last two we're going to do today. The sun is setting and the wall is calling me. The first of this set is called The Kingfisher Takes a Silverback and can be used in a lot of different ways, not just offensively. Unlike the other two, these aren't arcs, they're more brute force slashes. This one starts a little high," She moved the lathe to her shoulder and stabbed downward, stopping only when her lathe landed a crippling blow on the pell's abdomen region. "Being a versatile form, however, you adjust the starting point with the damage in mind. If it's the stomach you're aiming for, you start higher. If it's the legs you want to take out, you start lower." She demonstrated both and stepped back. "Now, it's your turn."


After they seemed to get the general idea, she nodded and started working on the last form. "Now, the last one we're going to do is very similar to that one. It's called The Falcon Stoops and the alteration here is the swiftness of the blow. Kingfisher is a devastating attack, mostly about inflicting as much damage as possible in one blow. The Falcon Stoops, however, is lighter, moves faster and is meant to get in and get out pretty quickly. Let me show you." She stepped to the pell and performed almost the same motion as with Kingfisher takes a Silverback, she just shortened the swing and pulled back faster. "If this was a blade, rather than a lathe, you'd see the damage will be different, too. The blade will sink in further with The Kingfisher Takes a Silverback than it will with The Falcon Stoops. It truly is all in what your intention is and how much time your opponent is giving you to maneuver. Go on, give it a try."


Again, she stepped back and let them try it out, helping where she was needed, but otherwise letting them feel the form out for the subtle differences. When they seemed to have it, she nodded. "Alright, now let me see all of today's forms. After each one, return to a guard stance so you have a starting point for the others."


When they were finished, she smiled. "Alright, now start with yesterday's forms and move through today's. The last form should be [b[Folding the Fan."


And finally, they were done. She sighed as she looked up at the sun and shook her head. "Your homework today is to work on all eight of those forms. Get them as smooth as possible. There are some pells in the far end of the Yard that you can practice with a sword instead of a lathe, so when you feel comfortable enough with the weight of the lathe, move on to the sword. I especially want you to practice the last two with a sword so you can see and feel the difference in the strike. I'll see you back here in the morning for some more fun. Try to do me a favor and not drink too much with dinner, ok? The Captain thinks its funny when I have to hold your hands while you expel dinner in the latrines..."



Thanks for being patient, ya'll! :) My hand and I appreciate it a lot!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Arlow winced when Torvus spoke, and quickly decided to imitate a nearby tree, hoping to avoid Ed's attention. His eyes drifted around the yard, following two white birds soaring into the sky from a tree somewhere nearby, but immediately brought his attention back to Edana when she finished her tirade and moved onto the start of the lesson. Arlow quickly moved into the starting stance, drawing his practice blade with only a small wobble as the tip hit his hand, and brought it up into Lion on the Hill. The way he held the lathe felt wrong, and as Arlow attempted Folding the Fan, his grip slipped, and the tip hit him in the hip. He winced, and Edana came over. " You're twisting your wrist too much, hold it like so," she intructed, and Arlow mimicked her demonstration. He tried it again, and managed to complete Folding the Fan, albeit slowly, and went through the stances a few more times before Edana called them to a stop.


Arlow moved into Lion on the Hill when Ed told them, and watched as the trainer flowed smoothly through the form, Arc of the Moon. Then it was their turn to try. Arlow's first swing went too far away from his body and unbalanced him, causing him to take a step forward to avoid falling on his face. He went red, and attempted again, this time controlling the movement a bit more than the first time. There was time for one more try before Edana moved on to the next form she was teaching. Arlow paid close attention to Edana as she performed the next form, and moved forward to stand in front of a pell when she motioned for them to try. Before Arlow moved from Lion on the Hill, he tightened his grip, hoping that he wouldn't make the same mistake as before. He moved slowly, and managed a light tap on the pell's head. He looked at Edana and she nodded, making him smile. Arlow tried again, a bit quicker, and just barely hit the side of the head. Turning red, he decided that going slow was bettter than missing the head completely.


Arlow stepped back when Edana announced that they were moving on, and held his sword by his side while Ed showed them the next sword form. He tried to imitate her when she stepped back, but he had loosened his grip while watching her, and the sword had no real power behind it, because of the bad grip. Arlow shook his head and adjusted his grip, keeping it in mind to keep his grip the way it was. He attempted it again, and managed a passable attack at the pell's torso. Edana didn't give them much time to work on it, moving on to the last sword form of the day, which was The Falcon Stoops. Arlow swung, but this time he put too much force behind the blow, allowing him to only draw back slowly. He tried again, softening the blow, and was able to pull back more quickly than before, if still slower than Edana had done it.


As they moved on to The Kingfisher Takes A Silverback, Arlow felt his arms starting to tire. He groaned inwardly when Edana told them to repeat all of the forms they had learned today, and groaned aloud when she said to add on yesterday's forms, keeping it quiet so Edana wouldn't call him out on it. When she left, Arlow went over to the proper swords almost immediately, and started practicing the forms with a proper blade, and felt the change of balance and weight as soon as he started. The night grew dark long before Arlow gave up, his arms aching, and retired to his bed after dinner.


~ Arlow Sharbaeyil


OOC: Sorry about the long wait!

Edited by Arlow
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Torvus kept his face expressionless, or at least tried to, as Edana told him to drop the attitude. Inwardly however, he simmered. Making him do repetitive things and then when he tried to see if they would do anything new, she assumed he needed an attitude adjustment. Well, she wouldn't hear any more out of him for now, but just wait until she needed his help for anything!


They reviewed what they went through, Torvus having difficulty not glaring every now and then for the sake of showing he was unhappy. He unfolded the fan, then folded it, again and again. What was so hard about it? Sure, he could be smoother or more graceful with his motion, but he had it down, didn't he? Edana didn't seem to say too much to correct him other than keep saying something about relaxing. Why should he relax? He was moving a sword around; surely he wouldn't be relaxed when there was an actual fight? He tried it anyway, and it seemed to smooth things up for him a bit.


Then, to his surprise, they actually moved on in the same day. He forgot momentarily about his grudge, and listened to what Edana said and did.


He blinked and stumbled back slightly when her first demonstration came almost within a handbreadth from hitting him in the face. Was she trying to hit him, now? Or just trying to keep him off balance? He got back into his former position of balance.


Arc of the Moon, it seemed simple yet effective. Something he could probably pull off. He stepped up to the post in the ground and swung his lathe. He missed, the blade passing too short. Grunting in annoyance, he tried again. Still missed.


"Try stepping forward with the blow." Edana said, visibly trying not to laugh. Torvus twisted his mouth a little, and tried again, this time hitting the target so hard the lathe flew out of his hands on impact. He went over to retrieve his practice weapon, and tried again, putting a little less force into it, and managed a decent tap, though his targeting was off, a little too low.


He worked on it some and they moved on. Courtier Taps His Fan. Torvus had a similar problem with accuracy the first few times, and was starting to get tired of hearing Edana tell him to relax. Why didn't she just relax and let him figure it out? He thought about the form some. How was it supposed to be a powerful blow if it was just a "tap" arc? He tried arcing it more, widely exaggerating the motion. The pell barely moved. Then he tried relaxing, and snapping it forward, sort of like a punch. Since the lathe moved a lot more quickly to the target, and went in a natural arc rather than one he tried to create, the pell actually shook a little on impact, the way it was supposed to.


A little more satisfied with that one, Torvus practiced it a bit more before they moved onto the next one, the Kingfisher Takes a Silverback. He tried and tried, and just couldn't seem to get the motion down the way Edana had been doing it. Frustrated yet angry, he refused to ask her for help. He had to figure it out on his own! He managed to get an awkward thrust into the target a few times, but half the time he tended to miss. He looked at how Arlow was doing it and adjusted, but the other trainee seemed to be having trouble with it too, both of them tiring.


The Falcon Stoops was a little easier since it didn't require the full motion or quite as nuanced a grip to get right, but accuracy kept eluding Torvus and he ended up hitting the pell all over the place.


The forms introduced, Edana asked for them to review again, and add these to the ones they had learned yesterday. So, what was it now? Unfolding the fan, Torvus got that one. Arc of the Moon. Well, mostly. Courtier Taps His Fan? Torvus got it, at least when he hit the pell right. Kingfisher Takes A Silverback and the Falcon Stoops. He stumbled his way through those, but hoped that at least Arlow wouldn't notice. Folding the Fan. There, done. He stared at Edana proudly and silently. She told him to do it again.


"What in the flaming bloody Light am I doing wrong?" he asked angrily, his pent up frustration getting the better of him. Where was a place to get a good, strong drink in this place? He wanted to drown himself in brandy and whiskey!


"You seem determined to figure it out on your own," she replied. "I'll let you."


Torvus went through it a few more times, but kept getting tied up with the last two forms they had learned that day.


"Ok, I'm doing something wrong." he finally admitted to her. "Can you help me?"


She raised an eyebrow.


"Pretty please?" he added with his best, winningest smile.


"Ok, now that you ask nicely. If you want my advice: you're not relaxed, and you're not aiming where you're supposed to. Once you do relax, you'll find it easier to aim and hit the target correctly. Try that and get back to me."


Torvus took that advice in. Relax. He stood at ease for a while, thinking about that. Relax. He started in the stance for drawing the sword again, breathing in and breathing out. There was no need to hurry or do it forceful. There was only the motions. Get them right. Relax.


He drew, cut, cut, slashed with Kingfisher at the stomach, and then hit with the Falcon Stoops in the chest. Sheath sword. The motions seemed to take forever, and they probably did, but he actually did it! He actually did the forms right, or at least mostly. He nodded silently to Edana as she told them to practice all eight forms before tomorrow's lesson.


Thank you! he said with his eyes, though he could not quite bring himself to say it openly. The lesson concluded for the day, he practiced next to Arlow all the way to sundown. Tired, sore, he staggered off to bed and was asleep within moments.


Awake the next morning, Torvus frantically, though trying to stay relaxed which was next to impossible, tried to catch up on his homework. He didn't feel at all ready when Edana came for the next lesson.



caught not doing his homework!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Edana stood in the window of the Captain's Office, which overlooked the Yard on one side. Her eyes followed her two students, making notes about things to point out to them as they worked through the forms they'd learned thus far.


"Only a few more, eh?" She heard over her shoulder. She turned and eyed the Captain.


"Yes. Things are smoother now that they're not afraid of me and have dropped their attitudes. Is that why you made me take up teaching them forms?" She turned back to the window, knowing she'd have done it even without his urging.


"I would never," he snorted, turning on his heel and walking away again. Edana sighed and shook her head, cursing him under her breath.


The next morning, she crossed the Yard bright and early, nodding as both of her students were already there. "Eager to get it over, eh?" She laughed softly, shaking her head. "I'm not that bad, surely. Tell you what, I'll bribe you with a cold ale if you get through today's four forms and add them to the ones you already know well enough to make me smile and make the Captain curse." She grinned and waggled her eyebrows at them. "Getting his blood boiling is what I do best. Let's get this thing started, then..."


She didn't wait for responses. They had work to do, and this was about the only thing she took seriously around here. "Unfold the Fan and stop at Lion on the Hill and I'll show you the next one." She waited until they got there and nodded, praising their movements, even if they still needed to spend a little time making it more smooth. "Alright, let's try this. We're going to start with some defensive stuff. The Grapevine Twines is a defensive maneuver designed to disarm your opponent. Watch closely." She engaged the blade in Torvus' hand, lightly dipping her blade under his hilt and then twisting back up, deftly pulling the hilt from his fingers and tossing it a few feet away. "Useful in a fight, especially if it's one you don't actually want to fight."


She paused and retrieved his lathe, handing it back to him. "The trick is to get just the tip of your blade under the hilt of your opponent. Go on and give it a try on each other and I'll help position your lathe until you've got the feel of it." After a few tries for each of them, she nodded and moved on.


"And now, let's try something that'll work on your balance. This one is called Heron in the Rushes. It's easier to show you than to tell you, so..." She paused and slashed her blade in a flat, horizontal line from her left shoulder to the right, pivoting on her foot to add force to the movement. "It's not very useful in combat, as it leaves your entire midsection open, but there are a few forms that use this one as a base, so it's easily adaptable. Don't feel bad if it feels funny or your lose your balance. It takes a while to get the timing right when you pivot. Go on and give it a try." Again, she helped as she was needed, but otherwise, tried to stay out of their way.


"Alright, something easier, perhaps?" She said after a few minutes. "This is the same kind of slashing movement with the blade, less movement on the feet, but a whole lot of blood on your opponent if you want to get in for a quick kill. It's called Parting the Silk, and honestly, it's more like parting your opponent from his innards." She demonstrated the hard slash on a pell, slicing the abdomen open right under where its ribs would've been. "Quick and deadly. Try it on that set of pells. I don't think it'll take you very long." She smiled and pointed to a pair of pells she'd moved into place the night before.


After a few moments of assisting them, she smiled and called them to a stop. "Last, but definitely not least, Hummingbird Kisses the Honeyrose. Sometimes it's easier to picture this in your head before you try to do it with a lathe. Imagine a hummingbird darting into a flower for nectar and quickly darting away again. That's exactly what we're doing here." She turned back to her pell and demonstrated; thrusting the blade quickly at the pell's head and pushing her sword straight through before quickly drawing it back again. "Most of the time, it won't be that deep because you're more interested in damage than anything. No matter how deep it is, your opponent is most likely dead after this one. Go on and give it a shot." Again, she gestured towards the pells they'd worked on earlier, helping as they needed it.


She spent another half an hour working through all twelve of the forms she'd taught them, correcting balance, speed and blade direction as she went. Finally, she paused and clapped each of them on the shoulder. "That's one ale I owe you. You get another tomorrow for your final test. Tomorrow morning, you'll meet me here individually and work through all twelve of those forms, connecting them together as smoothly as you can. That's what a battle is all about, after all. I suggest you practice this evening, as much as you can."


She smiled and shook her head. "Not like you need much, but better safe than sorry, right?"


She nodded and waved, leaving them to their practice for the evening.




ok, go ahead and post your response to this one. I'll post a "meeting you tomorrow morning post" and you can have at it from there. WE're almost done, guys! :D Thanks for being patient!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I'm not that bad, surely. Tell you what, I'll bribe you with a cold ale if you get through today's four forms and add them to the ones you already know well enough to make me smile and make the Captain curse. Getting his blood boiling is what I do best. Let's get this thing started, then..."


Torvus nodded assent to that idea. He could use a good ale, though he'd prefer it with shots of something a little stronger in it. Ale would do for now though, given the general sobriety around here.


They reviewed what they had already learned. Torvus struggled with some of it, but made sure, by checking with Arlow and Edana that he got each part right before moving on.


As Edana demonstrated The Grapevine Twines on Torvus, he could barely believe it. One minute he was holding the sword steady, and the next it just twisted out of his grip! How did she do that? He watched it again. There was something about the way the weapons circled around, and something about her blade dipping under his hilt.


Arlow and he paired up, and they spent turns trying to disarm each other, winding their blades around and under to try to disarm the other. Torvus almost got it a few times, but did not quite manage to dislodge Arlow's grip, so he had to try again. And again. And some time later, he finally got something right, but he sincerely doubted he'd ever be able to do it at full speed. It was just a little too complicated for his tastes, though he could not deny that he would feel a lot of pride for pulling something like this off.


Then they did a balance exercise. Torvus kept tripping over what used to be his bad leg. His balance was just plain awful, and even when he had his feet and legs positioned right, when he tried the slash, it completely off balanced him and he had to stumble so as not to fall over. He was frustrated, and wondered why they were doing this if it wasn't a very practical form. But Edana had explained, it was important to practice, and it did say something about what he needed to work on. He could sort of do it slowly. He wished he had more time to practice when they moved on.


Parting the Silk was a relief compared to the ones before. All he had to do was strike low at the abdomen. Sometimes considered a bit of a cheap shot, it was still difficult to pull off without leaving your head exposed. Still, it was encouraging to practice something that Torvus got almost right off.


And Hummingbird Kisses the Honeyrose was not much harder. It was a simple thrust that darted in and darted back. In and out. Torvus grinned when he thought of something else that came to mind. Where was that ale when he needed it?


They worked through them all after that. Unfold the Fan, Arc of the Moon, the Courtier Taps his Fan, Kingfisher Takes, Falcon Stoops, and all the rest, and then with a slight flourish, they Folded the Fan. That is, when they got the sequence down. Torvus still tripped up over some of them, and that kept him from being very smooth like Edana was emphasizing.


"That's one ale I owe you. You get another tomorrow for your final test. Tomorrow morning, you'll meet me here individually and work through all twelve of those forms, connecting them together as smoothly as you can. That's what a battle is all about, after all. I suggest you practice this evening, as much as you can."


Torvus nodded. He would have done better today if he had practiced more. He looked over at Arlow, asking,

"You want to work with me on these tonight? That way we can both help each other with the ones we have trouble with."


-Torvus Arathel,

About to pull an all nighter?

Edited by Visar Falmaien
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Create New...